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Comment The groupthink is strong (Score 1) 396

Glad to know I'm not the only who noticed that, hey, Steam-on-Win10 actually still runs just fine. If you read TFA, you'll see it looks about as credible as somebody in ragged clothes standing on a street corner and shouting that the Martians have mind-controlled the government. There's no evidence claimed, much less presented, whatsoever. The only actual concrete claim made (about how some new features are UWP-specific) has nothing to do win Steam; Steam has never cared what features Windows Store apps do or don't have, any more than it has cared what features Java ME does or doesn't have. Nothing that Steam actually uses has been impacted, so far as I can tell or so far as TFA claims.

Comment Sue for what? (Score 3, Interesting) 396

So... did anybody actually RTFA? (Yeah, yeah, not new here, whatever.) You need some kind of grounds to sue. I checked TFA; it contains exactly one more concrete claim, and exactly as much evidence to support the allegations, as TFS.

Concrete claim:

Microsoft has launched new PC Windows features exclusively in UWP

Leaving aside the fact that you can (fully supported) sideload UWP apps, I don't even see what this has to do with Steam. Adding new features to a platform that Steam doesn't use will not impact Steam at all! The author doesn't ever even imply, much less actually claim, that Microsoft is specifically removing or modifying anything that will impact Steam.

Evidence to support the allegation: Nothing at all. I mean, maybe the author has some (in which case it would presumably come out at trial), but TFA doesn't even claim to have evidence, much less present any. Not one single point. This entire article is no more credible than idle speculation!

As far as I can tell, Steam runs about as well as it ever has (which is to say, much better than it used to in the Win7 days) on Win10, Look at that: I just made a more-concrete claim about Steam on Win10 than anything in the entire article.

Comment Eh, looks pretty free-market to me. (Score 1) 174

What's not free-market about it, aside from the fact that if they'd printed outright lies they could have been sued? I really doubt that that's the kind of government intervention in free markets you were referring to. One of the colossal problems with free-market ideals is that the consumer will *never* have all the information, nor will the very partial info the have be representative or properly weighted by importance, nor will the (partial, sensationalized, and unrepresentational) information be unencumbered by bias.

The vast majority of people do not, on an everyday basis, make rational decisions. This is true when deciding what to have for breakfast (see the absurdly sugar-rich and/or fatty things that pass for "breakfast" in most of America, at least), it is true when deciding on political candidates (I'm not even going to mention major candidates; in states where primaries select delegates instead of directly voting on candidates, Trump lost some delegates from regions that otherwise favored him because some of his potential delegates in those regions had foreign-sounding names), and when deciding what car to buy. Instead, we mostly rely on heuristics: I should eat this because it tastes good, I shouldn't vote for this delegate because their name doesn't sound like the names of people who think like me, I shouldn't buy a Tesla because somebody on Slashdot said they'll go out of business soon, etc. Often, it is rational to use heuristics; they're less mentally expensive than rational cost-benefit analyses. For major decisions (or ongoing behavior), though, it's really not... and yet we do anyhow.

What's more, people (most commonly salespeople, marketers, lobbyists, politicians, con artists, evangelists, and the rest of that ilk) are skilled at exploiting weaknesses in those heuristics. They appeal to emotion, exploit widespread ignorance, craft popular narratives that spread virally, present easy answers, use ad hominem attacks, try to get people to confuse them with trustworthy sources, and (when they can get away with it, which is pretty often) outright lie. You might think that all the bullshit would cancel out and the truth would win in the end, but not all positions are equally privileged in peoples' minds. Just as a comforting lie is much more believable than a painful truth for most people, it is much easier to tear down somebody else's reputation on distortions than to build up your own on truth.

We see that today, all the time. A lot of it's medical (anti-vaccine, homeopathy, "miracle" diets, etc.) but it happens in every other field too. One I see all the time, professionally, is products advertised as "secure" or "private" when they are the polar opposite of that. Even in pure science, it happens as people compete to be credited on publications and to horde the limelight for accomplishments they don't want to share, thus raising their status higher than it should be, to the detriment of us all.

Comment Re:No, why would I? (Score 2) 151

Usually, because of the new features. Often, they are
A) cool / fun - letting you do neat stuff the device couldn't do (or at least not easily) before
B) useful / productive - even if you spend some time debugging, you can sometimes make back that time by using those new features to get stuff done faster
C) more secure - while pre-release software can have (new) security bugs as well as other kinds of bugs, defense-in-depth type features often aren't rolled out in minor updates, and OS security features can help protect you even against security vulnerabilities in third-party software (sandboxing features, ASLR improvements, etc.)

Alternatively, because you support internal or niche software for that platform. The company isn't going to test your specific environment; there are far too many to try, even if you ignore the combinatorial explosion when you consider interactions between components. They'll do their best to ensure backward compatibility, but it's never exactly perfect (if only because sometimes they have to fix buggy behavior that old software was relying on). It is your responsibility, not that of the OS developer, to ensure that your specific code works on the new version before your customers (internal or external) start coming to you saying they updated their machine and now your code breaks. If you test before the thing gets released, and find a compatibility bug that affects your code in particular, you can tell the OS vendor about the bug and maybe they'll fix it before any of your users see the problem.

Comment Re:drone ship landings require a lot less fuel? (Score 3, Interesting) 103

Yep. The video doesn't make it clear, because the cameras are all either tracking the rocket or are mounted *on* the rocket, but the first stage is going really fast at separation, and a lot of that velocity is lateral. Going to *space* only requires going up a relatively short distance, but going to *orbit* requires going extremely fast around the planet. After the first few seconds post-liftoff, the rocket is angled mostly downrange, not just up. To come back to the launch site, the rocket not only needs to kill all that down-range velocity, it needs to boost *back* to the launch site.

The rocket does actually need to do a braking burn when landing on a downrange barge anyhow, but the purpose is different. Rather than being focused on reversing the rocket's forward trajectory, it's focused on slowing the rocket down so it can re-enter the atmosphere safely. By the time of separation, the stages are quite high - well out of the thick part of the atmosphere - and sheer momentum will take them quite a bit higher. Eventually gravity takes over, though, and between gravity pulling the rocket downward and that downrange momentum still making it go forward so fast, the rocket wouldn't survive re-entry if it didn't use its motors to slow down. This re-entry braking burn is done both for land and sea landings.

Comment Re:Drone ship landing not because of fuel (Score 3, Informative) 103

Well, in theory it *could* if it had the fuel, and I bet that for a really light GTO payload they could manage to save enough fuel for the boostback burn, but in practice satellites intended for GSO aren't that light. It would be a longer boostback burn (than for LEO) anyhow, because the first stage is usually going faster at separation when it's targeting GTO, but for a really light payload the second stage wouldn't need to burn for as long either so maybe the first stage could separate a little earlier.

No matter what the target orbit, the first stage will always be well down-range, and have a lot of velocity in that down-range direction, at separation. For ground landings, it needs to reverse that velocity to come back to the launch site, then do another burn to slow down enough to not burn up in the atmosphere, and then the landing burn. For GTO launches, it usually skips the first burn (boostback) and just continues along that down-range trajectory, doing just the re-entry and then landing burns. This obviously needs less fuel, but also means that the rocket is hundreds of miles downrange by the time it lands.

It's not theoretically impossible to do a full boostback burn after a GTO launch, though... just impractical given how much fuel the first stage uses on the ascent of a GTO launch.

Comment Re:Calea and 3rd party databases (Score 1) 104

Hmm... diabolical, if true. I suspect it'd get them sued *hard* if it came out that they were doing this, though. Requesting more access than you need is a security risk and a reason to distrust the app. Abusing that unreasonable level of access is an existential risk for a company, and a financial (and possibly even criminal; you could arguably make something stick via CFAA) risk to the people responsible for that decision.

Comment Re:What if. . . (Score 1) 104

What do you mean, when "it" can't find your information? If you don't have a Google account, you can't sign into the app using a Google account. Since the only other way to sign into the app is using a service that no longer allows new account creation, you won't be able to use the app at all until you create a Google account.

Comment Re:The good and the bad (Score 2) 104

This isn't about app capabilities on your phone. This is about third-party API access to your Google account. It's all online, viewed and managed through a browser and used (or abused) via web services. It has nothing to do with your phone (except that apparently the iOS and Android versions of the app request different permissions to your Google account, and apparently the iOS version is unreasonably greedy).

Comment Re:Not to worry (Score 2) 104

Well, the app has to request that you sign in to grant it access, and you have to do that. It can't *just* assign the permissions to itself; you do have to do something too.

With that said, I certainly *thought* that Google would tell you just what permissions it is granting to what entity (app, in this case) and require you to approve that grant before actually giving access. Apparently that's not always how it happens, though (at least, not for ex-Alphabet companies, or something).

Comment All fun and games until your account gets stolen. (Score 4, Interesting) 104

Do you use your Gmail address with any services other than Slashdot? At a minimum, just having your /. account tied to your Gmail account means that they could reset your /. password and take over your account. If you have any other third-party accounts tied to that Gmail address, they can be compromised too.

In the modern world, there are few things that need to be more tightly protected than your email account (which is sad, considering the pathetic state of email security). It's the key to getting into far too many other things.

Additionally, something like this could be used to spam all your contacts with messages (possibly containing malware, or at least malicious links) that appear to come from you. I figure it's been long enough since ILOVEYOU for people to have forgotten some of the more salient lessons there; I'm seeing an uptick in advertisements for scam sites being spread that way on social media.

Comment Re:So twice as safe then? (Score 2) 379

You realize that traffic fatalities are a multiple-times-daily occurrence in the USA alone, right? That's not some fuzzy guesstimate, it's about as statically sound as you could hope for. 94M miles (the number Tesla gives per fatal accident in the US, which is a better comparison than the idiot submitter and CNBC author chose to display) is nothing in a country with over 2.5 times that many vehicles. The worldwide rate is, if anything, possibly less well-established just because it's hard to collect accurate global statistics, though I'm sure that it's a damn solid number in the data they have.

True, this is the first fatal Tesla crash while under autopilot, so we don't have enough data yet to draw a trendline, but it's just as likely that this was a fluke in happening after *only* 130M miles. We also don't have (or at least, weren't given) the rate for luxury sports car drivers in the US, but I wouldn't necessarily expect it to be that much safer than the general populace except possibly as a result of the cars themselves having better safety standards.

Comment "They" who? (Score 1) 379

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