Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Get HideMyAss! VPN, PC Mag's Top 10 VPNs of 2016 for 55% off for a Limited Time ×

Submission + - The Minecraft Parent

HughPickens.com writes: Michael Agger has an interesting article in the New Yorker about parenting in the internet era and why Minecraft is the one game parents want their kids to play.

Screens are no longer simply bicycles for the mind; they are bicycles that children can ride anywhere, into the virtual schoolyard where they might encounter disturbing news photos, bullies, creeps, and worse. Setting a child free on the Internet is a failure to cordon off the world and its dangers. It’s nuts. We inure ourselves to this craziness by relying on the basic innocence of kids: they could type all sorts of unseemly things into that Google search box, but they usually don’t.

The comfort of games is that they are partially walled off from the larger Internet, with their own communities and leaderboards. But what unsettles parents about Internet gaming, despite fond memories of after-school Nintendo afternoons, is its interconnectivity.

Minecraft is played by both boys and girls, unusually. Players can join together to build worlds together: airports, castles, cave systems, roller coasters, an accurate replica of Westeros. At its best, the game is not unlike being in the woods with your best friends. Parents also join in. The Internet is full of testimonials of parents playing with their kids, of children reading their first word in Minecraft, and other milestones usually performed in the analog world.

According to Agger the significance of Minecraft is how the game shows us that lively, pleasant virtual worlds can exist alongside our own, and that they are places where we want to spend time, where we learn and socialize. “To me what Minecraft represents is more than a hit game franchise,” says new Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. “It’s this open-world platform. If you think about it, it’s the one game parents want their kids to play.” We need to meet our kids halfway in these worlds, and try to guide them like we do in the real world concludes Agger. "Who knows how Minecraft will change under Microsoft’s ownership, but it’s a historic game that has shown many of us a middle way to navigate the eternal screens debate."

Submission + - Apple to Unveil New Products at Sept. 9 Event (nbcwashington.com)

Halolland writes: The Cupertino company sent out official invitations to the press Thursday morning, with a date (September 9th), time, and place (10am, Cupertino). The invitation also came with a brief message: 'Wish We Could Say More."

The tech press is already saying plenty about the event, speculating that we'll see a new iPhone, a new iPad (both reportedly larger), and maybe even the long-guessed about iWatch. Apple is not saying anything beyond its emailed invitation.

Submission + - In Maryland, a Soviet-Style Punishment for a Novelist (theatlantic.com) 1

An anonymous reader writes: A 23-year-old teacher at a Cambridge, Md. middle school has been placed on leave and—in the words of a local news report—"taken in for an emergency medical evaluation" for publishing, under a pseudonym, a novel about a school shooting. The novelist, Patrick McLaw, an eighth-grade language-arts teacher at the Mace's Lane Middle School, was placed on leave by the Dorchester County Board of Education, and is being investigated by the Dorchester County Sheriff's Office, according to news reports from Maryland's Eastern Shore. The novel, by the way, is set 900 years in the future.

Submission + - 160,000 New Malware Samples Appear Each Day

An anonymous reader writes: Malware is still being created at the record levels reached in the previous quarter: 15 million new samples were generated, at an average rate of 160,000 every day, according to Panda Security. Trojans, once again, have accounted for more infections (62.8%) than any other type of malware, although this figure is lower than the previous quarter (79.90%). Potentially Unwanted Programs are in second place with 24.77% of infections, underlining how these techniques are now being used massively. A long way behind came adware/spyware (7.09%), viruses (2.68%) and worms (2.66%).

Submission + - Apple reveals the most common reasons that it rejects apps

mrspoonsi writes: One of the great mysteries of the App Store is why certain apps get rejected and why others don’t. Apple has let a surprising number of ripoffs and clones through the store’s iron gates, yet some developers face rejection for seemingly innocent apps. “Before you develop your app, it’s important to become familiar with the technical, content, and design criteria that we use to review all apps,” explains Apple on a new webpage called “Common App Rejections.” Rejections include: Apple and our customers place a high value on simple, refined, creative, well thought through interfaces. They take more work but are worth it. Apple sets a high bar. If your user interface is complex or less than very good, it may be rejected; Apps that contain false, fraudulent or misleading representations or use names or icons similar to other Apps will be rejected.

Submission + - Stealing ATM PINs with a cheap infrared camera (youtube.com) 1

cccc828 writes: German tech news website heise.de reports about a video by Mark Rober. It shows how to use a $300 infrared camera for the iPhone to read the residual heat signatures of an ATM. The residual heat signatures allow an attacker to reconstruct the PIN around 80% of the time. While this attack vector is not new, IR cameras used to be both rare and expensive. The best defense against the attack is to simply touch all the keypads keys after making a payment.

Submission + - Invasion Of Ukraine Continuing As Russia Begins Nuclear Weapons Sabre Rattling (news.com.au) 3

cold fjord writes: News.com.au reports, "This morning, Prime Minister Tony Abbott labelled Russia’s escalating and “open” invasion into Ukraine as “war”. But he was not only person using fighting words. ... on Friday, Vladimir Putin’s nuclear threat was simple. “I want to remind you that Russia is one of the most powerful nuclear nations. This is a reality, not just words.” It’s the first time in more than 25 years that Moscow has raised the spectre of nuclear war. The difference this time is that its tanks are already pouring over its western borders. “A great war arrived at our doorstep, the likes of which Europe has not seen since World War II,” Ukraine’s Defence Minister Valeriy Geletey wrote ... warning of “tens of thousands of deaths”. Putin appears to agree. Italian newspaper La Repubblica reports Putin has told the outgoing European Commission President ... : “If I want, I take Kiev in two weeks.” " — CNN reports, "The British government source told CNN on Friday that Russia has moved 4,000 to 5,000 military personnel — a figure far higher than one U.S. official's earlier claim of 1,000 troops. The soldiers are aligned in "formed units" and fighting around Luhansk and Donetsk.... And they may soon have company: Some 20,000 troops are on border and "more may be on the way," ..." — Newsweek reports, "Russia Has Threatened Nuclear Attack, Says Ukraine Defence Minister"

Submission + - Akamai reissues all SSL certificates after admitting Heartbleed patch fail (techworld.com.au)

SpacemanukBEJY.53u writes: It took security researcher Willem Pinckaers all of 15 minutes to spot a flaw in code created by Akamai that the company thought shielded most of its users from one of the pernicious aspects of the Heartbleed flaw in OpenSSL. More than a decade ago, Akamai modified parts of OpenSSL it felt were weak related to key storage. Akamai CTO Andy Ellis wrote last week that the modification protected most customers from having their private SSL stolen despite the Heartbleed bug. But on Sunday Ellis wrote Akamai was wrong after Pinckaers found several flaws in the code. Akamai is now reissuing all SSL certificates and keys to its customers.

Submission + - Macs Plus iOS Devices Outnumber Windows PC Sales Worldwide 1

An anonymous reader writes: For a very long time, Windows has had supreme dominance of the desktop market: over 90% for decades. Thats still true. But computing has in many ways moved beyond the desktop. As of last quarter, combined worldwide sales of Macs, iPads, and iPhones outnumber those of Windows PCs. If you add Windows phone, then Microsoft can still claim dominance. Also, if you subtract the iPhones (just keeping iPads), Microsoft is still ahead... but for how much longer? Internet Explorer moved from the ubiquitous browser to a continuously shrinking player solely in the desktop market. How much longer can Microsoft keep its reputation as the OS of choice for computing?

Submission + - Federal smartphone kill-switch legislation proposed (networkworld.com) 1

alphadogg writes: Pressure on the cellphone industry to introduce technology that could disable stolen smartphones has intensified with the introduction of proposed federal legislation that would mandate such a system. Senate bill 2032, "The Smartphone Prevention Act," was introduced to the U.S. Senate this week by Amy Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrat. The bill promises technology that allows consumers to remotely wipe personal data from their smartphones and render them inoperable. But how that will be accomplished is currently unclear. The full text of the bill was not immediately available and the offices of Klobuchar and the bill's co-sponsors were all shut down Thursday due to snow in Washington, D.C.

Submission + - Is the NSA the best thing for Open Source?

An anonymous reader writes: Just want to start a discussion. Is the NSA's spying on everyone, everywhere the open door for open source software and hardware? Just ask Cisco how their sales in China are doing. Of course other governments, like China, want their own back door in.

Does this give open source the dream opening to make its case? I can't think of a better opportunity myself.

Submission + - Syrian Electronic Army defaces Skype's Facebook page, Twitter account, and blog (winbeta.org)

An anonymous reader writes: Microsoft's Skype team is working extra hard right now, circumventing an attack that occurred earlier today by hackers claiming to be the Syrian Electronics Army (SEA). This group apparently defaced Skype's Facebook page, Twitter page, as well as the Skype blog. The message? "Don't use Microsoft emails (hotmail,outlook), They are monitoring your accounts and selling the data to the governments."

Submission + - Increased Ski Helmet Use Isn't Reducing Brain Injuries

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: The NYT reports that the life-threatening head injury that Formula One driver Michael Schumacher recently sustained while skiing in the French Alps has focused attention on an unsettling trend — although skiers and snowboarders in the United States are wearing helmets more than ever — 70 percent of all participants, nearly triple the number from 2003 — there has been no reduction in the number of snow-sports-related fatalities or brain injuries in the country. Experts ascribe that seemingly implausible correlation to the inability of helmets to prevent serious head injuries like Schumacher’s and to the fact that more skiers and snowboarders are engaging in risky behaviors: skiing faster, jumping higher and going out of bounds. “The equipment we have now allows us to do things we really couldn’t do before," says Chris Davenport, "and people’s pushing limits has sort of surpassed people’s ability to control themselves." The population most susceptible are men in their late teens to late 30s, the same population that most often engages in high-risk behaviors like driving fast. “There’s this energy drink culture now, a high-level, high-risk culture, that’s being marketed and impacting the way people ski,” says Robb Gaffney. “That’s what people see, and that’s what people think skiing is, but really, that’s the highest level of skiers doing the highest level of tricks.”

Submission + - US Lets Church Group Opt Out of Birth Control Coverage

theodp writes: First approved for contraceptive use in the U.S. in 1960, "The Pill" is currently used by more than 100 million women worldwide and by almost 12 million women in the U.S. But just hours before the Affordable Care Act was to go into effect, Justice Sonia Sotomayor issued a stay temporarily blocking a mandate requiring health insurance coverage of birth control, and gave the Obama administration until Friday to respond to the Supreme Court on the matter. Sotomayor’s order applies to a group of nuns, the Little Sisters of the Poor, and other Roman Catholic nonprofit groups that use the same health plan, known as the Christian Brothers Employee Benefit Trust (PDF). The group is one of many challenging the federal requirement for contraceptive coverage, but a decision on the merits of that case by the full Supreme Court could have broader implications. One imagines Melinda Gates is none too pleased. So, will U.S. health care require a Department of Personal Belief Exemptions that are dictated by employers (PDF, "The Trustees of CBEBT and the management of Christian Brothers Services are dedicated to protecting the employers participating in the CBEBT from having to face the choice of violating their faith or violating the law")?

Slashdot Top Deals

I had the rare misfortune of being one of the first people to try and implement a PL/1 compiler. -- T. Cheatham

Working...