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Comment Re:Weakest link? (Score 1) 486

Indeed, to paraphrase, "In theory, theory and practice are the same, in practice, they are different". The weakest link in security is always the human element (coders, users, attackers...). I was just clearing up the misconception that the algorithm is weak/backdoored as conjectured by another poster.

Comment Re:Wrong Agency (Score 5, Informative) 486

No, AES has been independently vetted and attacked by multiple security organizations. The only flaws that have been discovered in the algorithm are minor and inconsequential. The NSA is a double-edged sword - they help with useful security tools such as SELinux as well as their traditional spook espionage. The NSA can't crack AES even with a supercomputer (right now, and only if the user has a decent password and/or 2-factor authentication).

Comment It's possible! (Score 1) 185

The key to make a game appeal to both types of gamers is to include elements such as 'rubberband AI' (In Mario Kart, CPU speed was adjusted by player position; items get better as you fall behind) and difficulty levels (imagine that!), choices, or chaos (The Super Smash Bros series can turn a near-win into a loss or a tie through items or stage elements). Super Mario Galaxy 2 allows players to choose between easy, doable and brutally difficult Stars. Frequent checkpoints and lives ensure that the challenge is painless for those who wish to undertake it. Since you only need 60 or so to win, the challenge is self-adjusted. Unfortunately, as games have become more complex, tweaking hardness is nigh impossible without losing balance or frustrating players; this is a brilliant little strategy that leaves all players fulfilled. Now, 'casual' games made in 5 minutes are a different story....

Comment To Be Expected (Score 4, Insightful) 267

As soon as censorship is mentioned, media coverage (pro and anti) will jump in the fray. Not good for an organization committed to facts (in principle, anyway), not controversy. Fox and "family" groups will always contend Wikipedia is not going far enough regardless of anything they do. What I see happening (unfortunately) is the de-sexualization of topics (i.e. stick figures for examples and clinical language for descriptions) now that this can of worms has opened. This will inevitably lead to a loss of information, as Wikipedia's rabid destruction of lists and articles on rare subjects has told us time and time again.
The Internet

Submission + - Bell Canada Urges CRIA To Sue Its Own Subscribers

An anonymous reader writes: Bell Canada has told a Canadian government copyright consultation that the recording industry should be suing its subscribers. The company argued that not suing sends the wrong message and that it is waiting for lawsuits. The comments come as Canadians are being squeezed by the recording industry on one side and the copyright collectives on the other as Canada's copyright consultation winds down. With only five days left to speak out on copyright, the music and movie groups are calling for a DMCA+ model that includes three-strikes and you're out, while copyright collectives want new taxes on iPods. Time for Canadians to have their say before it's too late.

Submission + - How Many Rejections Will It Take to Kill 1-Click?

theodp writes: "Last week, a USPTO Examiner issued another 'Final Rejection' for Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' 1-Click patent. So will Amazon finally suck it up and be a gracious loser? Don't bet on it. The e-tailer just dumped thousands more pages of documents — including 600+ pages of CORBA specifications and a 495-page CompuServe text — on the poor USPTO Examiners that got stuck with the 3.5+ year-old 1-Click patent reexamination, requesting a full review of them. Let's hope Amazon at least had the decency to submit the documents on one of their carry-your-library-in-10.2-ounces Kindles. After all, didn't 'patent-reformer' Amazon say they're all about making life easier for the overworked USPTO? BTW, when IBM sued Amazon for allegedly ripping off its IP ('Much, if not all, of Amazon's business is built on top of this property,' quipped IBM), new USPTO chief David Kappos was in charge of Big Blue's patent portfolio. Not sure if that's good news or bad — let's hope it's not out of the Amazon frying pan and into the IBM fire!"

Comment Missing the point (Score 1) 418

The FCC does not need to be regulating this. We could be spending the cash on eliminating our trillion-dollar deficit instead, or another worthy pursuit. This law co-opts censorship. It labels it as good and necessary, when in reality it depends on the maturity and development of each child. This is a fact that psychological studies always seem to sidestep. I play videogames and watch violent movies. This does not make me a cold-blooded assassin. My brother, on the other hand, could not as it would rub off on him significantly. The Senate is subtly saying "Censorship is OK".

Getting Paid To Abandon an Open Source Project? 654

darkeye writes "I'm facing a difficult dilemma and looking for opinions. I've been contributing heavily to an open source project, making considerable changes to code organization and quality, but the work is unfinished at the moment. Now, a company is approaching me to continue my changes. They want to keep the improvements to themselves, which is possible since the project is published under the BSD license. That's fair, as they have all the rights to the work they pay for in full. However, they also want me to sign a non-competition clause, which would bar me from ever working on and publishing results for the original open source project itself, even if done separately, in my free time. How would you approach such a decision? On one side, they'd provide resources to work on an interesting project. On the other, it would make me an outcast in the project's community. Moreover, they would take ownership of not just what they paid for, but also my changes leading up to this moment, and I wouldn't be able to continue on my original codebase in an open source manner if I sign their contract."

Germany Implements Sweeping Data Retention Policies 210

G'Quann writes "Starting next year, all communication providers in Germany will have to store all connection data for six months. This includes not only phone calls but also IP addresses and e-mail headers. There had been a lot of protest against the new law, but it was ignored by the government. Quoting: 'The content of the communications is not stored. The bill had been heavily criticized. Privacy [advocates] had organized demonstrations against the bill in all major German cities at the beginning of this week. In October there had already been a large demonstration with thousands of participants in Germany's capital Berlin. All opposition parties voted against the bill. Several members of the opposition and several hundred private protesters announced a constitutional complaint.'"

Ex AT&T Tech Says NSA Monitors All Web Traffic 566

Sir Tandeth writes "A former technician at AT&T, who alleges that the telecom giant forwards virtually all of its internet traffic into a 'secret room' to facilitate government spying, says the whole operation reminds him of something out of Orwell's 1984. Appearing on MSNBC's Countdown program, whistleblower Mark Klein told Keith Olbermann that all Internet traffic passing over AT&T lines was copied into a locked room at the company's San Francisco office — to which only employees with National Security Agency clearance had access. 'Klein was on Capitol Hill Wednesday attempting to convince lawmakers not to give a blanket, retroactive immunity to telecom companies for their secret cooperation with the government. He said that as an AT&T technician overseeing Internet operations in San Francisco, he helped maintain optical splitters that diverted data en route to and from AT&T customers. '"

Sony Calls Current Blu-ray/HD DVD Format War a 'Stalemate 547

unger814 writes "Sony CEO Howard Stringer says that Blu-ray and HD DVD are currently in a 'stalemate' and is 'playing down the importance of the battle.' Stringer addressed a crowd at Manhattan's 92nd Street Y cultural center Thursday, where he said that 'it was a matter of prestige' which format wins. Stringer pointed to the switch by Paramount from producing movies in both formats to only HD DVD as a turning point. 'We were trying to win on the merits, which we were doing for a while, until Paramount changed sides,' Stringer said."

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