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Submission + - SPAM: Microsoft dropped an interesting piece of information today!!

douglas1986 writes: amid its confirmation that Windows 10 will go on sale this summer.

Near the end of its announcement, the Redmond-based company casually revealed that it is testing Windows 10 with “power users” of Xiaomi’s flagship Mi 4 Android smartphone. The initiative, which Xiaomi stressed is not a partnership but merely assistance with the trial, is an interesting one because it again shows Microsoft’s new ‘platform agnostic’ approach.

Neither Microsoft nor Xiaomi provided specific details of the Windows 10 software being trialled, but TechCrunch understands from sources that it effectively overrides Android, turning the Xiaomi phone into a Windows 10 device complete with Microsoft services. (Which the company hopes will dazzle Android owners into making the switch.)

That’s to say that the software doesn’t offer a dual boot option, which Microsoft has pushed in the past in India. This is a ROM, based on Windows, that operates much like software from Cyanogen — a company Microsoft was incorrectly linked with an investment in — and other custom ROMs developed by the likes of Tencent and Baidu in China.

The ROM is thus designed to go beyond Microsoft’s Android apps and offer a native-like Windows experience on Android phones.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - OpenSSL security update less critical than expected, still recommended

An anonymous reader writes: As announced on Monday, the OpenSSL project team has released new versions of the cryptographic library that fix a number of security issues. The announcement created a panic within the security community, who were dreading the discovery of another Heartbleed-type bug, but as it turns out, the high severity issue fixed is a bug than can be exploited in a DoS attack against servers. Other issues fixed are mostly memory corruption and DoS flaws of moderate and low severity.
The Almighty Buck

Submission + - Video Game Actors Don't Get Their Due (nytimes.com)

Dekortage writes: "The New York Times reports today about Michael Hollick, the actor who provided the voice of Niko Bellic in Grand Theft Auto IV. Although the game has made more than $600 million in sales for Rockstar Games, Hollick earns nothing beyond the original $100K he was paid. If this was television, film, or radio, Hollick and the other GTA actors could have made millions by now. Hollick says, "I don't blame Rockstar. I blame our union for not having the agreements in place to protect the creative people who drive the sales of these games. Yes, the technology is important, but it's the human performances within them that people really connect to, and I hope actors will get more respect for the work they do within those technologies." Is it time for video game actors to be treated as well as those in other mediums?"
Role Playing (Games)

Congress Slashes Funding for Peaceful Conflict Resolution Game 84

In a departure from the usual video game setting a recent educational video game called "Cool School" was designed to teach kids peaceful conflict resolution. Unfortunately Congress has decided to slash the funding of this program that has been receiving rave reviews from the testers at schools in Illinois. "Cool School focuses on taking players through a school where just about everything (desks, books, and other objects) are alive and have their own personality. Over the course of ten levels and over 50 different situations designed by Professor Melanie Killen and then-doctoral student Nancy Margie (both of the University of Maryland). The primary goal of the game is to teach students how to solve social conflict through skills like negotiation and cooperation. During the title's development, Killen and Margie were able to work with some talented members of the video game industry, including independent developer F.J. Lennon and animator Dave Warhol." The game is now available as a free download and will play on both Mac OS X and Windows XP.
Puzzle Games (Games)

Submission + - Casual Games Get Smart (glassbead.net) 1

knecht writes: "Think everything2 meets 6 degrees meets poker. The Glass Bead Network is a new casual knowledge game where players compete by connecting ideas — represented by beads — in creative ways. The project was developed over several years using Perl, Flash, MySQL, Apache, Berkeley DB XML, and other Open Source tools. Astute readers will recognize the title from Hermann Hesse's novel The Glass Bead Game, where an abstract game played with beads serves as a symbol for the value of knowledge. From those vague notions, the developers invented a game that rewards invention and interaction. The game's web site includes tournaments, player ranks, topic portals, and transcripts from previous games. What does Jack Thompson have in common with a rhesus monkey? The Scarecrow and Death Star? That's the game."
PC Games (Games)

Submission + - The Political Machine 2008 Announced (neowin.net)

An anonymous reader writes: Do you have what it takes to be the president? Today Stardock Entertainment announced The Political Machine 2008, a new PC game that puts players in control of the 2008 presidential campaign. Play as the campaign manager for a host of candidates including Barack Obama, John McCain, Hillary Clinton, historical candidates or design one from scratch. Players then choose their campaign battlegrounds and are off on the campaign trail to face a host of challenges including fundraising, talk show appearances, hiring spin doctors and winning endorsements. The game is won on Election Day by the player who gets the necessary electoral votes to become President. The Political Machine is both a single and a multiplayer game — players can either compete against the computer or against others online on www.politicalmachine.com. The website also provides an ideologically neutral location for users to discuss the current election. The game will be released at retail in this upcoming June for $19.95.
Privacy

Submission + - Penn State Issues Laptop Scanning Edict

An anonymous reader writes: In response to a recent laptop theft potentially placing social security numbers at risk, Penn State University has initiated a policy requiring the mandatory registration of all personal and university owned laptops used for any university related business, making them subject to periodic scanning by the university. Not only does this procedure severely infringe on the privacy of students, faculty, and staff, it does little if anything to solve the problem and in all likelihood makes the security problem worse. An anonymized copy of a recent email concerning this topic follows.



As some of you may have already heard, a PSU laptop was recently stolen. The theft potentially placed sensitive data (such as social security numbers) at risk. Understandably, data security measures have since become a top priority within Old Main and the Office of Risk Assessment. A coordinated, University-wide response is being developed within the framework of existing University policies AD19 (Use of Penn State Identification Number and Social Security Number), AD20 (Computer and Network Security) and AD35 (University Archives and Records Management).

What is clear at this point in time is that the response will require centralized tracking and periodic scanning of all laptops that have been, or are being used for any University related business. This includes all laptops purchased with any sort of University funding, and personally purchased/owned laptops. Laptops you have purchased and assigned to your research assistants are included in this inventory collection.

The first step has commenced. The step requires registration of all laptops meeting the above description. The immediate goal is to assess the scope (and potential risk). There is an aggressive time line for laptop data collection, so an email reply to me with the following information would be greatly appreciated.
  1. User/owner's name, office address, telephone number and email address
  2. Primary use of the system
  3. Laptop manufacturer, serial number, and approximate date of purchase


Please understand that the urgency of this initiative is being driven by Old Main's justified desire to protect identity information from accidental or intentional misuse. A response with your laptop information is needed no later than 5:00PM Friday March 7th. If there is some reason that this is not possible, please let me know.
Music

Submission + - RIAA Not Sharing Settlement Money With Artists

Klatoo55 writes: "Various artists are considering lawsuits in order to press for their share of the estimated hundreds of millions of dollars the RIAA has obtained from settlements with services such as Bolt, KaZaA and Napster. According to TorrentFreak's report on the potential action, there may not even be much left to pay out after monstrous legal fees are taken care of. The comments from the labels all claim that the money is on its way, and is simply taking longer due to difficulties dividing it all up."
PC Games (Games)

Submission + - Shadowbane Data Purge, Restart On The Way (wired.com)

CyBlue writes: The development team behind Shadowbane has come to the decision that "it would be best for the longevity of the game to reset all server and character data and start from scratch." In case you aren't entirely clear on the details of this decision, the developers have decided that everything that has ever occurred in the game to date will be wiped out along with every character ever created, every item ever equipped and every monster ever slain.
Software

Submission + - Is There Any Decent Access Control Software?

An anonymous reader writes: I am a power user in a very, very small niche of the computing world: I'm a power user on XP x64 with a Firewall from 2005. The Story: A few years back, I was turned on to Tiny Firewall Pro. It gave me not only a damn good firewall, but also granted me very anal access control over what programs could run on my system, what priviledges they could use, and what they had access to (Think Vista's User Access Control, only with more options and a better UI). At this point, I was still using the 32bit Windows XP. My problems started when I moved to an x86_64 arch. If I ran the 32bit windows with the firewall, for some reason, any and all network cards in the system would cut out after a few minutes (The issue is beyond the scope of the question). After much frustration, I ended up moving to XP x64, and yes, I can hear you groan. Luckily there was a version of the firewall that ran on x64, so I picked that up. It ran fine, and I was happy. Happy until I tried to apply some Windows updates. As it turns out, I can't apply any Windows updates that affect the kernel or its patching protection, lest I become infatuated with with a BSoD. I blame everything on the fact that the software was released in 2005. "Maybe you should upgrade!" I hear you cry (Kindly ignoring the "Move to Linux" folks with an empty smile). Alas, Tiny Software was accquired by Computer Associates halfway through 2005, and, to my knowledge, their products have long been discontinued. From what little I've read about Computer Associates, and from personally experiencing their Anti-Virus software, I don't particularly trust them, so using their equivalent is out. Is there anything comparable to Tiny's Firewall suite that runs on XP x64 or Vista x64 and is still being maintained?
The Courts

Submission + - Police subpoena MySpace over Meier suicide

Stony Stevenson writes: A federal grand jury has subpoenaed MySpace in an investigation into the suicide of teenager Megan Meier. The girl killed herself after being harassed by someone on MySpace, whom she believed to be a boy but who was in fact the parent of a schoolmate. Police in California are now investigating to see whether they can prosecute the parent for defrauding the MySpace social networking website after she set up a false identity on the site. Los Angeles police feel that they have jurisdiction since MySpace is headquartered in Beverley Hills.
Announcements

Submission + - SPAM: Terrorist Attack on New York Just Happened 1

An anonymous reader writes: The mainstream media is just starting to break this story, but I witnessed it first hand and have posted a video of the attack here. Two suicide bombers detonated themselves right in the heart of midtown Manhattan. Several are dead and the police have closed of the area. It is utter chaos. Remember to keep those who were lost in today's attacks in mind as this was truly a tragedy. Fear is gripping the city.

Feed Engadget: Pentagon prepping non-lethal "light and sound" weapon (engadget.com)

Filed under: Misc. Gadgets

Blissfully unaware that it's up against a generation raised in the sensory madhouses known as techno clubs, the Pentagon is reportedly working on a non-lethal weapon that utilizes light and sound to sicken and disorient targets. Like Homeland Security's "pukelight," the so-called Distributed Sound and Light Array Debilitator being developed by Penn State's Applied Research Laboratory is meant to induce a feeling of nauseousness, in this case combining light patterns with "aversive noises." So yeah, like we said, sounds pretty effective unless you happen to run into a group of insurgents hardened by years of all-night raving and the accompanying neurological damage.

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