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Comment What's the point of 140 characters to begin with? (Score 1) 50

Why can't you have tweets that are much longer - say 2000 words, or a whole magazine article? Why can't you have some layout options in your tweets? You know, like we used to with DTP (Desktop Publishing) 20+ years ago? I just don't understand Twitter's obsession with "short messages". What's so bad about longer tweets? Or are they no longer tweets then? Very confusing....

Comment Going To The Cinema Is Great But... (Score 4, Interesting) 294

... different people have different preferences. One person may love to see Nolan's "Dunkirk" on a huge cinema screen, where the experience is probably quite overpowering. Another may prefer to pop the Dunkirk Bluray into his living room Bluray player and experience the film on a smaller screen in the comfort of his home. Also, some people - like working adults with children - simply don't have the time for a 3+ hour trip to the local multiplex. I used to love going to the cinema when I was 13 - 25 years old. I wanted to watch everything on the big screen. These days I like watching Bluray's or streaming movies at home - some even on a laptop screen with headphones on. The films still work. After the first 3 minutes, you forget what kind of screen you are watching on. You cannot expect everybody, in this day and age, to prefer cinema over home viewing options.

Submission + - UW Professor: The Information War Is Real, And We're Losing It (seattletimes.com)

An anonymous reader writes: It started with the Boston marathon bombing, four years ago. University of Washington professor Kate Starbird was sifting through thousands of tweets sent in the aftermath and noticed something strange. Too strange for a university professor to take seriously. “There was a significant volume of social-media traffic that blamed the Navy SEALs for the bombing,” Starbird told me the other day in her office. “It was real tinfoil-hat stuff. So we ignored it.” Same thing after the mass shooting that killed nine at Umpqua Community College in Oregon: a burst of social-media activity calling the massacre a fake, a stage play by “crisis actors” for political purposes. “After every mass shooting, dozens of them, there would be these strange clusters of activity,” Starbird says. “It was so fringe we kind of laughed at it. “That was a terrible mistake. We should have been studying it.” Starbird argues in a new paper, set to be presented at a computational social-science conference in May, that these “strange clusters” of wild conspiracy talk, when mapped, point to an emerging alternative media ecosystem on the web of surprising power and reach. There are dozens of conspiracy-propagating websites such as beforeitsnews.com, nodisinfo.com and veteranstoday.com. Starbird cataloged 81 of them, linked through a huge community of interest connected by shared followers on Twitter, with many of the tweets replicated by automated bots. Starbird is in the UW’s Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering — the study of the ways people and technology interact. Her team analyzed 58 million tweets sent after mass shootings during a 10-month period. They searched for terms such as “false flag” and “crisis actor,” web slang meaning a shooting is not what the government or the traditional media is reporting it to be. Then she analyzed the content of each site to try to answer the question: Just what is this alternative media ecosystem saying? Starbird is publishing her paper as a sort of warning. The information networks we’ve built are almost perfectly designed to exploit psychological vulnerabilities to rumor.

Submission + - The 265 members of Congress who sold you out to ISPs

Presto Vivace writes: They betrayed you for chump change

Republicans in Congress just voted to reverse a landmark FCC privacy rule that opens the door for ISPs to sell customer data. Lawmakers provided no credible reason for this being in the interest of Americans, except for vague platitudes about “consumer choice” and “free markets,” as if consumers at the mercy of their local internet monopoly are craving to have their web history quietly sold to marketers and any other 3rd party willing to pay. ... The only people who seem to want this are the people who are going to make lots of money from it. (Hint: they work for companies like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T.) Incidentally, these people and their companies routinely give lots of money to members of Congress.

Comment The Lack Of A 3D Engine Killed Flash (Score 1) 221

Macromedia had two popular web plugin platforms in the early 2000s - Flash and ShockWave (for publishing Macromedia Director content online). Shockwave got a good 3D engine with built-in Havok physics (ShockWave3D, developed by Intel if I'm not mistaken), Flash didn't get a 3D engine, although many Flash devs asked for it. When Director was neglected, first by Macromedia and then very, very seriously by Adobe (which let Director die completely), ShockWave3D, which started as a very promising Web3D technology, failed. Flash never got a decent 3D engine - although you could embed Flash content inside Director/ShockWave and use ShockWave3D alongside a Flash UI for example. So Flash never had a good chance at going 3D - which might have saved it when people began tiring of 2D Flash. So that's basically it - ShockWave got 3D capability, Flash didn't.

Submission + - Study: Playing Tetris Can Reduce Onset Of PTSD After Trauma (cnn.com)

dryriver writes: CNN reports that a new study has found that playing Tetris within hours of a traumatic event can reduce the onset of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: "After experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event, such as a car accident, people are likely to develop anxiety or distress in relation to that event soon after the experience, leading to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). But a new study has shown that playing the computer game Tetris within hours of experiencing trauma can prevent those feelings from taking over your mind.

PTSD occurs when intrusive memories linked to fear from a traumatic event become consolidated in a person's mind by them visualizing the event in a loop until it becomes locked in their brain. Competing with the visualization, such as with a game like Tetris, can block that consolidation form happening. 'An intrusive memory is a visual memory of a traumatic event,' said Emily Holmes, Professor of Psychology at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, whose team led the study. 'Tetris also requires imagination and vision. Your brain can't do two things at once, so this interrupts.' "

Submission + - Apartment Building In China Has A Train Going Through It - And Stopping In It (cnn.com) 1

dryriver writes: CNN reports: This decade, the mantra in real estate has been people want to live near mass transit. Now it seems people want to live with the transit. An apartment building erected in Chongqing, China — a city with a population of a whopping 49 million residents — has a train line passing through the 6th — 8th floors of the building. The train doesn't just pass through this building either, it also stops inside the building. So building residents can take the elevator up to the relevant floors — floors 6 to 8 — and hitch a ride on the train that stops there, then moves on to other parts of the city.

Submission + - UK home secretary peddling Security Snake Oil (bbc.co.uk)

Martin S. writes: Amanda Rudd the UK Home Secretary responsible for Policing is peddling security snake oil. Ignoring the big problem with information security is that is really is impossible to tell the difference between good security and bad security without an expert and we all know what the current crop of politicons they think of experts. https://www.schneier.com/crypt...

Submission + - Microsoft Sued Over Windows 10 Upgrade Causing "Data Loss" (theregister.co.uk)

dryriver writes: The Register reports: Three people in Illinois have filed a lawsuit against Microsoft, claiming that its Windows 10 update destroyed their data and damaged their computers. The complaint, filed in Chicago's US District Court on Thursday, charges that Microsoft Windows 10 is a defective product and that its maker failed to provide adequate warning about the potential risks posed by Windows 10 installation – specifically system stability and data loss. The attorneys representing the trio are seeking to have the case certified as a class action that includes every person in the US who upgraded to Windows 10 from Windows 7 and suffered data loss or damage to software or hardware within 30 days of installation. They claim there are hundreds or thousands of affected individuals.

Submission + - Windows 10 forced upgrades spark legal action

AmiMoJo writes: Three people in Illinois have filed a lawsuit against Microsoft, claiming that its Windows 10 update destroyed their data and damaged their computers. The complaint, filed in Chicago's US District Court on Thursday, charges that Microsoft Windows 10 is a defective product and that its maker failed to provide adequate warning about the potential risks posed by Windows 10 installation – specifically system stability and data loss. The attorneys representing the trio are seeking to have the case certified as a class action that includes every person in the US who upgraded to Windows 10 from Windows 7 and suffered data loss or damage to software or hardware within 30 days of installation. They claim there are hundreds or thousands of affected individuals. Last June, a California woman won $10,000 after a Windows 10 update disabled her PC.

Submission + - If you had to lecture on Cyber Terrorism 1

quantumghost writes: I have a high likelihood of presenting for a group of about 400 healthcare workers at a disaster preparedness conference next year. It is a 20 minute slot (and nothing more than a primer), but obviously, I want to capture their attention. I was thinking of working with the venue to set up a fake WiFi hotspot to capture those who randomly link to any hotspot, but how do I use that to full effect (e.g. anyone ever light up all their phones at once)? Or any suggestions about how to get their attention? Any topics that you think should be stressed? My plans for the talk will be about ransomware (and the need for backups), attacks on medical devices (hacking pacemakers, insulin pumps etc), (spear) phising attacks on providers/institutions, and awareness of social engineering — are there other topics that should be addressed?

Submission + - Terrifying anti-riot vehicle created to quash any urban disturbance (ibtimes.co.uk)

drunkdrone writes: A formidable remote-controlled anti-riot vehicle called the Bozena Riot has been designed to make light work of angry mobs with a giant expanding shield and packing an arsenal of crowd dispersal tools.

Built by Slovakian company Bozena, the high-tech security system keeps law enforcement units safe with its shock-absorbing barrier, which can be expanded out to 7.5 metres to protect 36 officers and features a rising platform to give riot police an elevated view of their surroundings and provide tactical advantage against aggressors.

The shield has ports for firing non-lethal projectiles and is equipped with tear gas guns to "guarantee control of crowds" when things get dicey. Mounted loudspeakers can be used either to issue instructions to officers or to appeal to crowds, and the vehicle can optionally be equipped with smoke grenade launchers and a radio jammer for blocking mobile communications.

Submission + - Microsoft Patent Would Count Number Of People Viewing Content On A Device (kotaku.com)

dryriver writes: A slightly older story from Kotaku (Nov 2016) examines how a Microsoft Corporation Patent filed in 2011 proposes electronically monitoring the number of people viewing digital content on a device (possibly with a Kinect-like camera), and taking action if the number of viewers is larger than the content was "licensed for". So if you were to stream a Movie or TV Show licensed for 2 viewers to your living room TV and the system determines that 4 rather than 2 people are watching, you would be in violation of the viewing license for the content, and content playback would cease, or you would possibly be charged for the extra eyeballs present. Here's how the patent's abstract (US 2012/0278904 A1) puts it: "A content presentation system and method allowing content providers to regulate the presentation of content on a per-user-view basis. Content is distributed an associated license option on the number of individual consumers or viewers allowed to consume the content. Consumers are presented with a content selection and a choice of licenses allowing consumption of the content. The users consuming the content on a display device are monitored so that if the number of user-views licensed is exceeded, remedial action may be taken. "

Comment Why Not On Release Day And For A Regular Price? (Score 4, Interesting) 128

So film enthusiasts are supposed to spend themselves silly on 4K TV sets, upconverting BluRay players, broadband internet or streaming setups, and then you can't view a film the day it is released because you need to be at the cinema for that? What is the difference between me "not going to the cinema and waiting 90 days for the rental" and "not going to the cinema and waiting 0 days for the rental"? People who WANT to go to cinema WILL go to the cinema. What's the point of keeping people who like to see films @home waiting for 20 - 90 days anyway?

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