Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


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Submission + - Square Enix Pulls, Apologizes For Mac Version of FFXIV

_xeno_ writes: Just over a week after Warner Bros. pulled the PC version of Batman: Arkham Knight due to bugs, Square Enix is now being forced to do the same thing with the Mac OS X version of Final Fantasy XIV (which was released at the same time as Batman: Arkham Knight). The rather long note explaining the decision apologizes for releasing the port before it was ready and blames OS X and OpenGL for the performance discrepancy between the game's performance on identical Mac hardware running Windows. It's unclear when (or even if) Square Enix will resume selling an OS X version — the note indicates that the development team is hopeful that "[w]ith the adoption of DirectX11 for Mac, and the replacement of OpenGL with a new graphics API in Apple’s next OS, the fundamental gap in current performance issues may soon be eliminated." (I'm not sure what "the adoption of DirectX11 for Mac" refers to. OS X gaining DirectX 11 support is news to me — and, I suspect, Microsoft.) Given that the game supports the aging PS3 console, you'd think the developers would be able to find a way to get the same graphics as the PS3 version on more powerful Mac OS X hardware.
Role Playing (Games)

Submission + - CCP on EVE Online, White Wolf MMO (

Gamer Dude writes: "The world of EVE Online is in a constant state of transition. With over 200,000 players, and up to 35,000 online in the same universe at the same time, the game has developed a social structure unlike another other in the realm of MMOs."

Submission + - Judge Strikes Down Patriot Act ISP/Telco Tap (

slughead writes: A PC World article posted September 6 states that Judge Victor Marrero, of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York has struck down the Dept. Of Justices ability to utilize National Security Letters to gain access to customer records from ISPs and phone companies. National Security Letters (NSL's) are essentially 'self-written warrants' as described by former Judge Andrew Napolitano in this Cato Institute meeting (20:40). As a side note, the ability to write these NSL's to get documents was expanded to include hotels, casinos, restaurants, bodegas, lawyers' offices, real estate agents offices, and the POST OFFICE by the Foreign Intelligence Authorization Act, signed December 14, 2003. This act allows the government to read your postal mail without a warrant and without your knowledge.

Submission + - Chinese company looking to buy Seagate (

andy1307 writes: According to this article in the New York Times, a Chinese technology company has expressed interest in buying Seagate, raising concerns among American government officials about the risks to national security in transferring high technology to China. From the article : In recent years, modern disk drives, used to store vast quantities of digital information securely, have become complex computing systems, complete with hundreds of thousands of lines of software that are used to ensure the integrity of data and to offer data encryption. That could raise the prospect of secret tampering with hardware or software to make it possible to pilfer information via computer networks, intelligence officials have warned. The Chinese company has not been named in the article. According to William D. Watkins of Seagate Technology, "The U.S. government is freaking out,"

Submission + - Ape-Human split moved back by millions of years (

E++99 writes: "Up until now, scientific consensus has place the divergence of man from ape five to six million years ago (based on "genetic distances"). But newly discovered fossils in Ethiopia place the divergence at least twice as far back. They also largely put to rest any doubts that both man and modern apes both originally emerged in Africa. From the article:

The trail in the hunt for physical evidence of our human ancestors goes cold some six or seven million years ago. Orrorin — discovered in Kenya in 2000 and nicknamed "Millennium Man" although its sex remains unknown — goes back 5.8 to 6.1 million years, while Sahelanthropus, found a year later in Chad, is considered by most experts to extend the human family tree another one million years into the past. Beyond that, however, fossils of early humans from the Miocene period, 23 to five million years ago, disappear. Fossils of early apes especially during the critical period of 14 to eight million years ago were virtually non-existant — until now. "We know nothing about how the human line actually emerged from apes," the authors of the paper noted. But the new fossils, dubbed "Chororapithecus abyssinicus" by the team of Japanese and Ethiopian paleoanthropologists who found them, place the early ancestors of the modern day gorilla 10 to 10.5 million years in the past, suggesting that the human-ape split occurred before that.
The scientists leading the team that found the fossils — Gen Suwa of the University of Tokyo, and Ethiopian paleontologists Berhane Asfaw and Yonas Beyene — calculated that the human-orangutan split "could easily have been as old as 20 million years."
Owen Lovejoy of Kent State University in Ohio... described the fossils as "a critically important discovery," a view echoed by several other scientists who had read the paper or seen the artifacts.
"This is a major breakthrough in our understanding of the origin of humanity," Yohannes Haile-Selassie, a physical anthropologist at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, told AFP.


Submission + - Video game shocks players (

kublikhan writes: Scientists have hooked up players to a Pac-man like game that delivers electrical shocks to players when they get eaten. Scans show that when they are close to getting eaten(shocked), brain activity switches from the forebrain(thinking center) to the mid-brain(instinct, fight or flight). This is an indication of fear taking over the player's decisions. I wonder if something similar happen to the Microsoft coders when a new bug comes in their Share the Pain program?

Submission + - Brit social services try to censor Youtube

Kedyn's Crow writes: Britain's social services, citeng the Data Protection Act, are trying to remove a audio recording from youtube. The recording posted by expectant parents Vanessa and Martin Brookes , shows social services attepting to force the adoption of her unborn child in spite of their own belief that there was "no immediate risk to your child from yourselves"

Submission + - Psychiatry from a Geek's Perspective?

An anonymous reader writes: Slashdot has covered articles about Asperger's syndrome, autism, and how it might relate to the (somewhat stereotypical) geek mindset. I've been diagnosed as borderline autistic, so in a similar vein, I've found myself in an unusual position when it comes to getting therapy. I'm very analytical, investigative, and detail-oriented, so when I'm the patient of a psychiatrist, psychologist, or therapist, I feel like I'm coming in at a very different angle than other patients. I want to fully grok the pharmacology of the medications prescribed to me and how they interact with my nervous system. I analyze all of the methods and suggestions my therapist offers. I'm told that working with me as a patient is quite interesting (and often enjoyable), contrasted against many patients who are unaware of the therapy process or have no interest in it or its effects. I see the brain as the machine that coordinates my life, therapists as debuggers, and pharmaceuticals as hardware tweaking.

I'm extremely curious to know if other geeks have this mindset, or have any interesting experiences or viewpoints. There are other questions that can be considered, as well: are you very self-analytical? Perhaps you avoid therapists and attempt to diagnose and debug your own mis-programming?

There's a book online about hacking your body's energy management system. Meditation is also along the lines of hacking your psyche, and there's the OpenEEG project, which is worth noting.

I think there's a lot of unexplored territory here, at least considering that it hasn't been explored by people with a coding/hacking mindset. Do you hack your own mind? If so, then how?

Providing a lot of detail would probably generate the best discussion, so be careful; anything that you might not want future employers to know about you, post anonymously!

Submission + - Large Auto Warehouser Switches to OS X

good soldier svejk writes: Computerworld reports that, "Over the next 60 days, AWC (Auto Warehousing Co.) will begin systematically pulling the plug on all Windows-based PCs in its cavernous auto processing shop and power up Macs to execute virtually all of its revenue-generating operations. The move comes on the heels of a quiet wholesale replacement of Windows-based servers for data storage and Web operations, which are now running on Apple Inc.'s Xserve RAID machines."

Apparently, the company tested OS X and was impressed with the feature set and long term return on investment.

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