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Submission + - GCHQ distributing malware to LinkedIn and Slashdot users

Aim Here writes: If you're reading this, it's probably too late.

The latest Edward Snowden scoop, from Der Spiegel is that GCHQ hackers have targeted Belgian telecommunications employees by spoofing social networking sites (LinkedIn and Slashdot are mentioned) in an apparent man-in-the-middle attack, and infecting their computers or devices with malware. The very fact that they consider ordinary telecom employees in a NATO country to be worth spying on is newsworthy in itself, too. The article ends with quotes from GCHQ documents suggesting that they plan to turn every mobile device into a piece of surveillance equipment.

At this rate, the most newsworthy items will soon be the revelation that some gadget or other isn't spying on you.

Comment Sometimes the companies act differently (Score 4, Interesting) 344

Heh, I've had experience with commercial film companies and fansubs.

A few years back, I had too much time on my hands, and an itch to watch certain foreign movies that (then) had no publicly available English translation. Not to be outdone just because I was monolingual, I downloaded the films themselves from the internet, downloaded subtitles for *other* languages (French, Spanish and Portuguese) and proceeeded to convert the subtitles into English, using a mixture of google translate, perl, online dictionaries, hand-editing and mass rewatching of parts of the film, until I got something that looked roughly right to me, at the time. It took a pile of time, but as I say, I had too much time on my hands.

When I was done I finally got to watch the film, then uploaded the files to some subtitle database on the internet in case others found it helpful, which apparently a few people did. No matter that what I did had a lot of wrong bits (the hardest part is catching local idioms, which aren't well-documented, even on a place as comprehensive as the internet).

Fast forward a few years, and I spot DVD versions of one of these films on Amazon complete with English subtitles and buy it instantly. Finally, I'll get to see the film with properly translated subtitles, rather than some botch job by someone who didn't know what they were doing. And, of course, it turned out that the Korean company that packaged the DVD had just downloaded my subtitles from the internet, made some small alterations and slapped them on the DVD itself (sadly, not correcting the most obvious mistakes I'd made).

Seems some of these film companies will happily take free fan labour (however shoddy!) and sell it on to paying customers without acknowledgement or royalty*, while others will send in jackbooted thugs to have you sent to jail. Such is life.

*I'm not miffed about my work being used like this - I'm just embarrassed at the terrible job I did and hope the customers aren't upset by it!

Comment Re:No, because science != sci-fi/fantasy (Score 2) 298

The Andromeda Strain is the only movie I can think of which depicts actual bona-fide scientists performing something close to actual bona-fide science - there are a number of experiments (including some not overly humane animal experiments) performed by the main cast in order to ascertain the nature of some deadly space plague. What's more, you can actually tell, more or less, how the experiments work and what they're intended to achieve, unlike most science in 'science fiction' films, which generally involve some mad scientist pulling inscrutable levers or pouring green foaming liquid from one test tube into the purple bubbling liquid in the beaker.

Not that I think it would be an easy movie to use to sell science to today's sugar-addicted attention-impaired youth. The film is fairly slow and talky by today's standards, the main characters are mostly rather dowdy and middle-aged, there's more or less no sex or violence, and it's from 1971 and most definitely looks it. The only thing that would make you think otherwise is that, refreshingly, it's not about some lone individual rebel fighting back against/escaping from an oppressive totalitarian government like almost every single mindfucking sci-fi flick made in the English-speaking world between 1965 and 1975. Count the other exceptions, if you like, I'll be surprised if you can think of more than 4 without referring to Halliwell's or the imdb.

Anyways, if you want to see science done almost right in a movie, you can do far worse than the Andromeda Strain.

Comment Re:TMI (Score 1) 586


Candid assessments about Karzai's leadership : DO NOT RELEASE
Name calling of the Prince of England : DO NOT RELEASE

The thing is, if Wikileaks redacted cables based on the nature of the content, rather than a few names that might be considered 'at risk', then they would be accused of bias or editorialising or censorship - attacks on Wikileaks' integrity. Far better to release the whole thing and be accused of distributing trivia.

As for the cases you're talking about, Prince Andrew stands a very good chance of becoming King (it just depends on the order in which his mother and brother die in) and the monarch does have a lot of formal powers which can get abused to the detriment of democracy (These powers were used to forcibly deport the islanders of Diego Garcia and to unilaterally depose the Australian Government in 1975). The fact that Prince Andrew is a moronic jingoistic fucknut when there are no TV cameras in the room is actually of some serious public interest.

Comment Keyboard (Score 1) 715

I spilled a small amount of coffee on my new(ish) Unicomp Model M clone keyboard a couple of days back and now some of the keys just fail to work. Hopefully it's some gunk on the membranes causing a short that can be cleaned off, but if it's not fixable then I'll not be happy. Best keyboard I ever had, and it was Not Cheap.


Comment Re:Blizzard? (Score 4, Interesting) 356

Thing is, there's a bnetd-derived server running now, called iCCup which is the server of choice for almost anyone playing Starcraft (BroodWar, not 2) these days. Not only does it ignore CD checks but iCCup will offer you a chopped-down copy of Starcraft to play on, if you look hard enough. There doesn't seem to be any great rush from Blizzard to stomp it off the net, either.

Blizzard seems to be ambivalent about iCCup. It has called it a "pirate server", but it has also linked to ongoing iCCup tournaments from the battlenet homepage, which is probably because it has realised that the vast majority of people still playing BroodWar (legitimately as well as otherwise) much prefer iCCup to battlenet, to the extent that if you don't know your iCCup ranking, you really can't call yourself a Starcraft player.

Likely, that's because iCCup has a functioning ladder system, and the admins do keep iCCup relatively free of cheats, and the worst of the foulmouthed little brats you get playing online games, unlike battlenet, which is a cesspool in comparison. The "pirate server" offers, for free, a better service than the one that Starcraft players generally paid for, and Blizzard has realised that allowing overt (if discreet) piracy is a small price to pay for keeping a functioning community centred around some of their products.

Comment RIAA shoots self in foot, I think (Score 4, Interesting) 510

Think about it. The RIAA's usual claim is that every downloaded file is a lost sale. and damages should be calculated based on that. Now by asking for this ludicrious figure, they've just put the lie to that previous assertion, since there is absolutely no way in hell that the general public could, or would have paid for $1 trillion worth of their products.

On the other hand, they've just claimed that Limewire has increased the net digital wealth of the world by something of the order of well over $1 trillion, something the RIAA could never have done by themselves. Way to go, Limewire!

Comment Re:how quaint (Score 5, Informative) 432

The GP didn't say paying taxes was quaint. He said filling in a tax form was quaint. Over in this part of the world, income tax is automatically deducted from an employee's paycheque by the employer and sent off to the Inland Revenue (paye, or Pay-As-You-Earn), so that the vast bulk of the population (self-employed people excepted of course) don't have to waste hours of their lives with all that dismal rotten paperwork that you USians inflict upon yourselves every April 15th.

Comment Re:Sport? (Score 2, Funny) 471

Sir, I beg you to try clicking the mouse 3 times a second for half an hour. I assure you it is quite physical.

He's on Slashdot. He probably clicks that fast normally.

Actually, in all seriousness, 3 times a second, or 180 actions per minute) is fast for a starcraft player, but it is too slow for a Korean pro - only the slowest of them, such as Savior, average 200 over a game, while most average an APM Of 300-450 over the course of a 5-60 minute game, and peak at maybe 600 or so.

I can maybe hit 300-400 if I mindlessly spam keypresses and mouseclicks while doing nothing at the start of the game. I can't evisage how anyone actually can click that fast that AND keep track of the units and the tech tree and the base layout and the production buildings and the workers and the scouting and the upgrades and the 2 dozen things you have to worry about in a normal Starcraft game AND try to outwit some other devious bastard at the other end of the internet trying to kill you off all at the same time.

Anyone who says playing Starcraft doesn't involve a physical skill is probably assuming that it's like some other game they happened to play once.


Submission + - SCO vs Novell: Novell wins

Aim Here writes: Breaking News: According to Novell's website, and the Salt Lake Tribune, the jury in the SCO vs Novell trial has returned a verdict: Novell owns the Unix copyrights. This also means that SCO's case against IBM must surely collapse too, and likely the now bankrupt SCO group itself. It's taken 7 years, but the US court system has eventually done the right thing...

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