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Aussie Scientists Find Coconut-Carrying Octopus 205

An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from an AP report: "Australian scientists have discovered an octopus in Indonesia that collects coconut shells for shelter — unusually sophisticated behavior that the researchers believe is the first evidence of tool use in an invertebrate animal. The scientists filmed the veined octopus, Amphioctopus marginatus, selecting halved coconut shells from the sea floor, emptying them out, carrying them under their bodies up to 65 feet (20 meters), and assembling two shells together to make a spherical hiding spot. ... 'I was gobsmacked,' said Finn, a research biologist at the museum who specializes in cephalopods. 'I mean, I've seen a lot of octopuses hiding in shells, but I've never seen one that grabs it up and jogs across the sea floor. I was trying hard not to laugh.'"

Pirates as a Marketplace 214

John Riccitiello, the CEO of Electronic Arts, made some revealing comments in an interview with Kotaku about how the company's attitudes are shifting with regard to software piracy. Quoting: "Some of the people buying this DLC are not people who bought the game in a new shrink-wrapped box. That could be seen as a dark cloud, a mass of gamers who play a game without contributing a penny to EA. But around that cloud Riccitiello identified a silver lining: 'There's a sizable pirate market and a sizable second sale market and we want to try to generate revenue in that marketplace,' he said, pointing to DLC as a way to do it. The EA boss would prefer people bought their games, of course. 'I don't think anybody should pirate anything,' he said. 'I believe in the artistry of the people who build [the games industry.] I profoundly believe that. And when you steal from us, you steal from them. Having said that, there's a lot of people who do.' So encourage those pirates to pay for something, he figures. Riccitiello explained that EA's download services aren't perfect at distinguishing between used copies of games and pirated copies. As a result, he suggested, EA sells DLC to both communities of gamers. And that's how a pirate can turn into a paying customer."

Saboteur Launch Plagued By Problems With ATI Cards 230

An anonymous reader writes "So far, there are over 35 pages of people posting about why EA released Pandemic Studios' final game, Saboteur, to first the EU on December 4th and then, after knowing full well it did not work properly, to the Americas on December 8th. They have been promising to work on a patch that is apparently now in the QA stage of testing. It is not a small bug; rather, if you have an ATI video card and either Windows 7 or Windows Vista, the majority (90%) of users have the game crash after the title screen. Since the marketshare for ATI is nearly equal to that of Nvidia, and the ATI logo is adorning the front page of the Saboteur website, it seems like quite a large mistake to release the game in its current state."

Comment Re:Note to self: buy another laptop (Score 1) 273

1. Make backup of laptop prior to travelling. Store "working" backup image at home on your main workstation.
2. Mindwipe the drive (zero it with formatting software particular to the drive - WD offers "Data Lifeguard Diagnostic", Seagate offers "Seatools")
3. Restore a pre-built image of the drive with only the software you need to do your work, including software to securely remote to your desktop at work (where the real work files are located.)
4. Pack laptop, backup software, and copy of factory image
5. Travel to foreign land.
6. If your laptop is searched, or is out of your posession and under the control of an agent of a foreign government, repeat steps (2) an (3) once you recover it. You can't trust it until you repeat those steps. Like a poster above, be concerned about the presence of keyloggers, sniffers, etc.
7. Use restored laptop at the work-site in the foreign country. Remote to your own workstation to pick up, or drop off any business files, agreements, data files, whatever.
8. Before returning, repeat steps 2 and 3 to protect your client's confidentiality and yours.
9. Return to your home country. If laptop out of your personal posession/control, or searched again on return, repeat step 2, then restore your "working" image when you get back to your own workstation.

Not only does this protect your confidentiality, but it may also help protect you from search/seizure when data you have on your hard drive contravenes local laws in the foreign country. For instance, here's a wikipedia link that may be of interest to travellers: List of books banned by governments

Were you to have one of the publications on your hard drive in digital format, and were travelling to a country that banned import of it, you could find yourself in legal difficulties.

Comment A virtual environment then. (Score 3, Interesting) 470

> (c) any evidence that the hard-drive has been 'wiped' or erased since the initiation
> of the litigation.

So as long as you wipe or erase the hard drive before litigation begins, or before you become subpoena'ed (aware of the litigation), you're protected if you destroyed any evidence of your activities?

Perhaps a VMWare or other virtual operating system is in order then. Download, burn to optical, revert the guest image.

Perhaps NewYorkCountyLawyer could confirm the viability of this method?

Something about not being forced to testify against yourself. No sense in leaving your equipment capable of testifying against yourself either.

Comment It's probably about the BACKUPS (Score 2, Insightful) 409

I suspect this is merely a boilerplate change to cover the legal status of ownership/possession of the users' content on the backup media when accounts are deleted. The new terms were quite poor, because they were too broad and vague in what they permitted the company to do, the users interpreted this is the worst possible light, and we have the situation you now see. (It is important to note that the users were not incorrect to interpret the terms in the worst possible light! One should always look at worst-case interpretations of a legal contract.)

The old terms were likely insufficient, and placed the company at risk of a lawsuit for retaining data (on any media, in any form) that the user had deleted. In reality, it is not feasible to search out all copies of a user's content on all live and backup media to over-write it if they delete their account.

By taking ownership in perpetuity, the company mitigates any legal risk from maintaining backups, and the old backup data could be destroyed over time through the process of backup media destruction or re-use in another backup process.

Now the lawyers will have to revisit the boilerplate language, remove it, and craft a new legal framework to cover this situation with much more in the way of specifics (maximum length of data retention, method of data destruction, possibilities for restoration before the maximum time elapses, liability of the company toward the user if the obligation for deletion is not met by the maximum stated time, etc...etc...)

This is how terms-of-service documents get so long and unwieldy, folks.


Submission + - Reported Gunman at the University of Kansas (

Midwest Pirate writes: "As I was running late to work today with the University of Kansas, I called in to notify that I was on my way when I was told to stay in my apartment and wait for a call back because campus was locked down. A employee this morning reported seeing a man walking into a building with a rifle. This is my alma mater and after the horrible events at Virgina Tech it can't help but wonder. updated events are at"

Submission + - Does vacation mean quality time with a laptop? (

coondoggie writes: "So the summer vacation season is upon us. And what will you bring along? Well if you're like a lot of other geeks out there you're gonna pack up the old laptop and cellphone and hit the beach. A study out today says one in five people carried laptop computers and 80 percent who said they brought along their cell phones on their most recent vacations. The AP-Ipsos poll says many people are interrupting their unwinding time to check in at the office and, even more so, to keep up with the social buzz. About one in five of 1,000 randomly chosen adults said they did some work while vacationing, and about the same number checked office messages or called in to see how things were going, the poll showed. Twice as many checked their e-mail, while 50% kept up with other personal messages like voice mail. 4"

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