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Comment Re:Old fans (Score 1) 292

Except you can't reboot a universe like Doctor Who, because they did not reboot the universe...... (Technically they did reboot the universe in a recent-ish story in the new Doctor Who series, but that was a plot device.)

Make your mind up, did they or didn't they reboot the universe?

Here's your helping hint : It wasn't a plot device, but a deliberate decision by Moffat. who respected RTD's work bringing Who back, didn't want to be tied down by Russell's vision.

RTD rebooted Who by using the nebulous off camera "time war", while Moffat DID quite literally reboot the entire universe, flicking a giant reset switch that allows him to ignore anything RTD did he doesn't like.

This is how good writers make a mythology their own. They reboot in such a way as to please the ubernerds that require canon while taking the characters off in directions unemcumbered by half century of cruft.

Comment Re:So? (Score 1) 146

It won't be unique to each bank though. They will simply require you to provide the ID# assigned to you by Experian.

This ID# will effectively become the new SSN, and the problems will continue.

Until you make data security a legal requirement punishable by prison, you are going to see leak after leak. Making the leak of personal data a criminal offence is the only way to make it cost effective to have decent security procedures in place.

Comment Re:Speaking of backups.... (Score 1) 266

I use http://www.livedrive.com/ . Unlimited backup storage for 3 PCs. You can browse the folders and open the files backed via the web or iphone. So even without using their "briefcase" service, you can have every file and folder from your main PC available to you whereever you are.

You can even build a streaming playlist for the iphone or laptop based on the music or movies you've backed up.

Comment 50 grand tax break (Score 1) 106

Bad news for the video games industry but it's not a total disaster. They get to benefit from a drop in corporation tax, and if they are smart, they'll take advantage of the 50K tax break for setting up a business outside of the SE hot zone.

All anyone such as Rockstar needs to do is open a new software house in Bradford, adjacent to and working with Rockstar Leeds for example and they get a reasonable tax break.

So while they've been kicked in the teeth, there are still some workable benefits to be had from the new budget.

Comment Re:Employment policies - US vs. Europe (Score 1) 757

If you've written a job description / contract that allows mediocre performance, then no, the employee cannot be fired. But that's the company's fault for writing a mediocre job description, that then needs to be honoured as all contracts should. You could write in a performance requirement, for example a sales target or a minimum allowable score in a 360 review, then you could fire them for an average performance. But again, this comes down to planning the job properly before you hire, because you can be sued for setting targets that are not achievable.

Contractors are more expensive than employees, and certainly in the UK at least, become classed as employees if you hire them for a year, and no you aren't allowed to keep hiring and firing the same people every 364 days. The other advantage to hiring employees is that they can't skip out on you, most people above burger flippers are required to give one month's notice before resigning, and senior staff can see that rise to 3 to 6 months.



Submission + - 250GB drive coming to the Xbox? (gamesindustry.biz)

NexusTw1n writes: Microsoft and Activision have revealed a new Xbox 360 console which ships with a 250GB hard-drive and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 branding. The unit will ship for $399. While game branding of consoles isn't new, what is interesting is the drive size. Are MS finally going to sell a decent drive for those of us stuck on 20GB? If so, what price will it be?

Comment Re:rights unknown? (Score 5, Informative) 125

Gutenburg wants to be able to scan orphaned works too. They have been campaigning legally for years. Gutenburg isn't a billion dollar advertising agency so can't afford the lawsuit that google pulled off. But now they are watching in horror as Google gets an exclusive deal meaning non profits such as Gutenburg and other libraries and archives are locked out. The law will never change now because congress will argue the problem is solved - Google is running it.

Comment Re:What about future authors? (Score 4, Interesting) 125

Imagine if instead of just indexing, Google stopped linking to the real website and just presented its cache. You'd never have access to the real site, just Google's copy of it. Imagine how happy webmasters would be then.

They aren't just indexing books, they are allowing them to be read online with Google adverts raking in the money. They have the exclusive right to do this, a monopoly gatekeeper. Books they don't approve of can simply vanish, books they do approve of, get an artificially high page rank, popular books get pay per view.

This sort of power over books should not be in the hands of any single company.

Comment Re:The non-competitive product argument is total B (Score 1, Interesting) 125

Once Google has an established monopoly there is nothing stopping them charging for access. They become the gate keepers to millions of books. Meanwhile their rivals a non profit making Project Gutenburg will be out of business because they used to scan orphaned works, and this deal prevents them from continuing.

This is not about laziness, Google just did this without bothering with permission, and then sent lawyers only billionares can afford in to steam roller an insane settlement, that no one else will ever be able to pull off.

Monopolies stop innovation and stop competition and in this case treat the talent like crap. It's a bad thing.

Comment Re:rights unknown? (Score 5, Interesting) 125

The writer retains the rights. Google came to an agreement with a guild that does not represent most writers to hand over EXCLUSIVE online rights to themselves even if the author didn't agree to it.

If the author doesn't like the deal, he needs to find out about it, and he may be living in isolation in a jungle somewhere, and then he needs to opt out by a deadline.

This completely screws other places offering free online books such as Gutenburg, because Google now owns the rights to pretty much all literature online. It's an EXCLUSIVE deal that means only google has the right to scan orphaned works. The only way anyone else can do it, is to scan the books anyway, and hope to win a billion dollar lawsuit from both Google and the Authors Guild.

To "help" authors make up their minds Google offered a bribe. Sign up before the deadline and get a share in the advertising revenue made from the orhpaned works, sign up aferwards and you don't get that benefit. Change your mind after a year or so, and it's too late. The data will be in the database permanently.

Google is trying to be a monopoly, and not a single piece of their behaviour appears to be concerned with authors, libraries and archivists. It's a disgrace and I look forward to them explaining the land grab of European author's rights to the EU.


Data Breach Exposes RAF Staff To Blackmail 153

Yehuda writes "Wired reports, 'Yet another breach of sensitive, unencrypted data is making news in the United Kingdom. This time the breach puts Royal Air Force staff at serious risk of being targeted for blackmail by foreign intelligence services or others. The breach involves audio recordings with high-ranking air force officers who were being interviewed in-depth for a security clearance. In the interviews, the officers disclosed information about extra-marital affairs, drug abuse, visits to prostitutes, medical conditions, criminal convictions and debt histories — information the military needed to determine their security risk. The recordings were stored on three unencrypted hard drives that disappeared last year.'"

Comment Re:Meet the new boss, same as the old boss (Score 1) 449

I'm not convinced they did invent multi-touch first. I use a laptop powered by an N-Trig touch screen, which uses dual mode (pen, finger) ignores accidental touches (your palm) and implements gestures (two finger gestures allow you to scroll, zoom , one finger gestures move you back and forward etc).

This tech has been around on tablets for years.


Submission + - YouTube angers I&B with its tasteless Gandhi v

priyank_bolia writes: "A tasteless video clip on Mahatma Gandhi by New York-based NRI comedian Gautham Prasad has got the government's knickers in a twist. Outraged by the video, the government is seeking to shoot the medium — YouTube, currently the hottest video sharing website. I&B ministry is understood to have taken up the matter with the IT ministry for 'action' against YouTube. While some I&B ministry sources said that YouTube would be blocked, some others said that YouTube would be asked to take off the offending video."

Submission + - Vanishing Point: explains Microsoft laptop scandal

secretsather writes: "http://tech.blorge.com/Structure:%20/2007/01/14/va nishing-point-addictive-onlinereal-world-game-expl aining-microsofts-laptop-scandal/

At a point in time, something happens that makes you question the validity of anything you read, see, or believe. I've come to this point, and it's spinning my head in circles. The deeper I dig, the realization that I haven't traveled far enough consumes me.

Each week, tens of thousands of mystery seekers flock to Vanishing Point, an online/real world game, in an effort to unlock hidden clues in real world events around the world. The Prizes are immense, including a sub-orbital space flight for the grand-prize winner.

Microsoft and AMD have finally come clean by admitting 'Vanishing Point' is just a clever marketing campaign for Vista, set to launch on Jan 30, and an extremely clever one at that! Don't be surprised that there is ulterior motive here; only big names like Microsoft and AMD can generate enough buzz to make this advertisement/game a successful one.

Wait.. I've started too soon. Lets go back to the past. The clues are mind bending, and seem to be trailing back to events that happened last year, events that were not properly associated with a game.

Last month, Microsoft and AMD sent free Acer Ferrari 1000 and 5000 notebooks loaded with Vista to a group of high-profile bloggers. While it attracted loads of criticism, jealousy, and hype; it's to no-one's surprise that Microsoft and AMD were up to something.

There's more. The laptops included a Chinese puzzle box that featured a USB flash drive. The drive came pre-loaded with a video of a woman named Loki, Microsoft's puzzle master, in which Vanishing Point is solely based around.

Who is Loki? This question seems to be the ultimate challenge in the game Vanishing point. All that's known, currently, is that Loki is a character with a fictional story broken into 1,000 clues that are scattered around the Internet, and in real world events. The person who reveals her true identity will have their name laser-etched onto a batch of microprocessors from AMD.

"Especially for that audience, the most technically engaged, having their name in lights like that is a pretty special thing," said Brian Marr, the group marketing manager for Vista.

This international game challenges players to work together, extracting clues from certain global events. Each week, twelve puzzles are posted, along with footage of the real world event, which must be used together to unlock the correct answer.

The first "official" real world event was a water projection displayed outside the Bellagio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas earlier in the week. Hundreds gathered around to view an image of Loki projected in the waters, showing a cryptic clue filled with indications of calendars, clocks, and time.

More clues were unveiled yesterday delivered through cryptic sky-written messages around the world including Los Angeles, Phoenix, Miami, and Sydney. Microsoft has hinted that more offline events "could" happen later this month.

The puzzles are ingenious, and give you an optimum challenge; they seem to have a distinct similarity to the old PC game, Phantasmagoria, except the players are competing for nearly a half-million dollars in prizes.

Vanishing point has been in the works now for over a year, and all to create buzz for the launch of Windows Vista. The heart of the game was created by 42 Entertainment, a viral marketing agency based in Emeryville and Seattle in which Microsoft used to create hype for the launch of Halo 2 in 2004.

While the game is just a massive promotion, it's almost impossible to stay away from, and it's not too late to register and start solving puzzles. Vanishing Point promises to challenge the most brilliant minds, and it will certainly be interesting to see how this plays out."

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