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Comment Impossible to do without VR? (Score 2) 448

I can suggest a cheaper, significantly more effective way: full body henna tattoo.

There is no physical discomfort for the user; they can wear the same clothing, perform their usual activities in real-world scenarios, and their sensations are not altered. The same cannot be said with VR gear.

The effect would be immediate, and while not permanent, the user cannot stop participation because of some slight discomfort: they'd have to live the life of a non-white person for several weeks. You're not going to get the same kind of emotional reactions unless participants are all-in, and some reactions are going to take time to develop after the initial shock.

Comment Re:I've taken mine offline at 3.41 (Score 1) 336

Mine's been offline since 3.15. I haven't used 'Install Other OS' (yet), but I still get to see it.

What about new games? I'm not buying new games until Sony relents. This probably means I'm not ever going to buy any more PS3 games, but I'm more than willing to wait.

If the console stops playing bluerays/DVDs, I'll replace it with a non-Sony unit and sell off the few games I have.

Comment Use a Carabiner (Score 1) 763

I've used a carabiner for several decades. Not one of the toy ones sold as key rings, but a small climber's carabiner, about 2.5 inches tall, and the 'tube' is about .25 inches in diameter. The advantages are:
  • the carabiner can hook on most anything; on a belt loop, my keys are inside the pocket but are suspended, reducing wear and eliminating perforation.
  • the carabiner makes it easy to organize/separate keys on separae loops; I keep my work keys/RFIDs on one, home/personal on another, and vehicle keys on a third.
  • the carabiner makes it easy to detach keys as necessary; say for driving, or lending keys.

I've had to replace carabiners twice due to wearing out of the latch spring. A new one costs $3-4 at a local hardware store.

Comment Re:Huh? (Score 1) 700

Correct. It is a rather unfortunate turn of events. My PS3 was used occasionally as a BD player, but the vast majority of the time it was running Life with Playstation; I seldom gamed on it at all. As I do not wish to lose the 'install other OS' option, and Life with Playstation requires signin on PSN to submit work units, the PS3 is now off most of the time and is used solely for BD. The collateral damage is my contribution to protein folding research.
PC Games (Games)

A Look At How Far PC Gaming Has Come 427

Bit-tech is running a feature examining the progress PC games have made over the past couple decades. The article highlights aspects of modern games we often take for granted or nitpick, and compares them to earlier games in which such features were implemented poorly or not at all. Quoting: "Doom's legacy is still being felt today in fact and it's a fair bet that you can take any shooter off a shelf, from America’s Army to Zeno Clash, examine it, and list a dozen things that those games owe to Doom. Things like the wobble of the guns and the on-screen feedback that tells you which direction you are being shot from — these were things that id Software invented. On the other hand, from a story perspective, Doom was absolutely rubbish. You start in a room, no idea what’s going on and you are surrounded by demons. You have to read the manual and supporting media to get a grip on it all — something modern games would get heavily slated for doing. Yet the idea that plot was optional caught on and the same flaw was replicated in other games of the era, such as Quake and (to a lesser extent) Duke Nukem 3D. There were years and years where the lessons of early story-driven games were forgotten and all anyone really cared about was having as many sprites or polygons as possible."
PC Games (Games)

Left 4 Dead DLC, SDK Announced 66

Today Valve announced plans for Left 4 Dead's first DLC, called The L4D Survival Pack. It will include a new game mode and two campaigns for Versus mode. The new content is coming to both the PC and Xbox 360 versions of the game (a PS3 port to the base game still seems unlikely). The press release goes on to say, "In addition, for PC gamers and aspiring developers, the first Left 4 Dead release for the Source Software Development Kit (Source SDK) will allow the creation of custom Left 4 Dead campaigns that will be discoverable via L4D's matchmaking system. The SDK update is also due for release this spring, and is free of charge to all owners of L4D on the PC." The Opposable Thumbs blog also reports on a way to play Left 4 Dead in 3D.
The Internet

Submission + - Pirate Bay earns 20,000 Euros a day ( 2

An anonymous reader writes: controverisal pro-piracy website the piratebay likes to portray itself as an innocent hobby site that provides a free index without censorship, but recent facts show that the site is earning up to 20,000 Euros per day from its advertising. Taking in money on this scale puts a different slant on the motives behind the Swedish filesharing site, and could open up the runners of the site to prosecution for profiting from copyright infringement.

Submission + - Multiformat Listening Test at 64kbps

Anonymous writes: The Hydrogenaudio community is conducting a "Public, Multiformat Listening Test" ( to see which codecs (AAC, WMA Pro and Vorbis) provide the best sound quality when compressing samples at 64kbps.

This test is open until the 5th of August and seems to be much, much harder than what one would expect, even for experienced developers of sound codecs, at bitrates that the public would find "too little", as the comments on the thread at the discussion forums (see: topic=56397).

Do you think that you have good ears? That 64kbps is "too little"? Then try it for yourself and participate. Your participation will help us improve the codecs so that they are even closer to being "transparent" at such "low" bitrates.

Submission + - New Tool Automates Webmail Account Hijacks (

An anonymous reader writes: A pair of software tools demonstrated at the Black Hat security conference today automate the interception of cookie files transmitted over a wireless network that allow attackers to hijack accounts for Gmail, Hotmail, Facebook and a number of other Web 2.0 services,'s Security Fix reports. From the story: "the attack works even if victims subsequently change their passwords, or actively sign out of their accounts. However, attackers would be unable to change the victim's password, as all of the above-named services force the user to reenter the current password before changing it to a new one."
Media (Apple)

Submission + - Apple May Track IPod Thieves & You (

Ryan N. Kamfolt - ClickAway writes: "Apple may begin implementing software in its I-Tunes suite to track serial numbers of I-Pods and compare them to a stolen I-Pod database. Due to the worlds most successful and popular product being on the #1 most stolen items list. This may alert the local police to come knocking on your door, if "Your" I-Pod is in question. Weather it be stolen or legit, people are not taking this to heart kindly at all. With the right to privacy walls closing in on us ever so fast, this seems to be another push to take our privacy rights away even more, or is it? Those who have had their I-Pods stolen love the idea. Others are not so happy about the idea. Some privacy right advocates have suggested implementing I-Pods or I-Phones with owner ID verification, such as a password or other forms of verification that must be entered into the devices before they will take a charge or allow you to place songs on the device. Or offer a service that is apart of Apple iCare, which allows users who feel they may become a victim of theft, to join this database, to further protect them in the even their I-Pod is stolen."

Submission + - World's Most Powerful Single-kernel Linux System?

An anonymous reader writes: NASA has selected an SGI Altix supercomputer to help it meet future high-performance computing requirements. The new system will be the first supercomputer to operate 2,048 processor cores in SMP mode under control of one Linux kernel, creating the world's largest single-kernel Linux system. Driven by 1,024 Dual-Core Intel Itanium 2 processors, the new system will generate 13.1 TFLOPs of compute power. To accomplish this feat, SGI had to extend the Linux kernel's SMP support from 1,024 CPUs to 2,048 CPUs. Fancy that on your desktop!

Submission + - Next-generation 911 system almost ready (

coondoggie writes: "Six years after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks demonstrated weaknesses in the nation's telecommunications infrastructure, the Internet engineering community has come up with a new way to handle emergency communications. The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) plans to wrap up work on key components of its next-generation emergency communications system by year-end. The new system will support voice calls, text messages and images sent over the Internet. The current 911 system will not work for voice, text or real-time multimedia communications sent over the Internet. The ECRIT working group has developed a way for IP-based phones, mobile devices and network gear such as proxy servers to handle 911-style emergency services. gen-911.html"

Submission + - Merely "cloaking" data may be incriminatin

n0g writes: In a recent submission to Bugtraq, Larry Gill of Guidance Software refutes (successfully or not, you decide) some bug reports for the forensic analysis product EnCase® Forensic Edition. The refutation is interesting, but one comment raises an important privacy issue: When talking about perps creating "loops" in NTFS directories to hide data, Gill says, "The purposeful hiding of data by the subject of an investigation is in itself important evidence and there are many scenarios where intentional data cloaking provides incriminating evidence, even if the perpetrator is successful in cloaking the data itself."

That begs the question, if one "cloaks" data by encrypting it, say, exactly what incriminating evidence does that provide? And how important is that evidence compared to the absence of anything else found that was incriminating? If you find an encrypted hard drive on my system, that doesn't mean there's pr0n in there, that's just to hold my bank records. No, seriously.

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PL/I -- "the fatal disease" -- belongs more to the problem set than to the solution set. -- Edsger W. Dijkstra, SIGPLAN Notices, Volume 17, Number 5