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Comment Super Exciting! (Score 1, Insightful) 335

Let's run through that announced feature list.

  • Windows Ink: Windows Ink is without a doubt the best part of the Anniversary Update. It's essentially a central location to find built-in or third-party apps that work with your stylus. -- Irrelevant. Don't use a stylus on my Win 10 machine.
  • Microsoft Edge extensions: If you're a fan of Chrome extensions, then you'll be glad to hear that they're heading to Microsoft's Edge browser. -- Irrelevant. If I were a fan of Chrome extensions, I'd continue using Chrome. I wouldn't use Edge at gunpoint.
  • Cortana improvements: Microsoft's digital assistant, Cortana, debuted on Windows 10 last year, and the software maker is bringing it to the lock screen with the Anniversary Update. -- Irrelevant. I neutralized Cortana as effectively as I could as soon as I could, and the only improvement Win 10 Anniversary could bring would be the ability to completely uninstall it.
  • Dark theme and UI tweaks: You can switch on what I call even darker mode in settings -- Irrelevant, because I am not a emo self-cutter in black duster and unlaced combat boots. But, uh, yaaay for those guys?

So, a hugely marketed mixed bag of fail and irrelevant. I am soooo glad I upgraded to Win 10 on my guinea pig machine.

Comment Re:Really, this happens in America? How?? (Score 1) 180

Sure, except for the dog-in-the-manger ferocity of any incumbent provider fighting tooth and claw to keep out any new competition.

If it's an opportunity, it's an opportunity for the incumbent only whenever they feel like it. And if they can make as much money easier, they'll take that instead. But under no circumstances will it become an opportunity for anyone else.

Government

Saudi Arabia Revives 15-Year-Old Ban On 'Zionism-Promoting' Pokemon (timesofisrael.com) 326

An anonymous reader writes: Clerics in Saudi Arabia have renewed a 15-year-old ban on Pokemon, following the release of the highly popular augmented reality version of the game, Pokemon Go. According to Reuters, the General Secretariat of the Council of Senior Religious Scholars reaffirmed a 2001 ban on the game. The Times of Israel reports: "While fatwa no. 21,758 makes no mention of the latest iteration of [the] game, it does list many sinful aspects of Pokemon. Firstly, the game is seen as a form of gambling, which itself is forbidden. Secondly, it encourages belief in Darwin's theory of evolution, and thirdly, the fatwa says, the symbols used in the game promote the Shinto religion of Japan, Christianity, Freemasonry and 'global Zionism.'" The ruling says: "The symbols and logos of devious religions and organizations are used [including] the six-pointed star: You rarely find a card that does not contain such a star. It is associated with Judaism, the logo and sign of the State of Israel, and the first symbol of the Masonry organizations in the world." Pokemon Go has been such a success that it has already doubled Nintendo's stock price after launching just two weeks ago.

Comment Re:Article is not even correct (Score 1) 183

As far as do it yourself electric dragster type vehicles that have been called "street legal" there are motorcycles that can do the 1/4 mile in the 6 second range.

You should probably correct the Wikipedia article, then, if you have concrete citations rather than faulty and exaggerated memory.

Model year Motorcycle Time (seconds) Final speed
2012 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14R 9.47 152.83 mph (245.96 km/h)
2008 Ducati Desmosedici RR 9.49 152.80 mph (245.91 km/h)
2015 Kawasaki Ninja H2 9.62 152.01 mph (244.64 km/h)[11]
2008 Ducati 1098R 9.75 148.6 mph (239.1 km/h)[39]
2013 BMW HP4 9.76 152.4 mph (245.3 km/h)[39]

Comment Re:"Blocked". What does "blocked" mean in this cas (Score 1) 109

Well, let's get specific.

The decision by Judge Daniela Barbosa Assuncao de Souza in the southeastern state of Rio de Janeiro applies to Brazil's five wireless carriers.

Are the "five wireless carriers" also significant land network providers? Primary long-haul infrastructure? I could imagine it, given how networks and network ownership tend to consolidate, but is it the case here? Because if my home network isn't provisioned by one of the five carriers under orders, to stop my use of WhatsApp they'd have to block it within the core network, and not just at the "wireless carrier" level.

The devil is always in the details. As pointed out in another reply, it appears this judge hasn't heard of VPN, so there is that.

Comment Re:Pierce the corporate veil (Score 2) 123

You realize VW is largely owned by a German state....

Commonly-believed urban legend. Volkswagen AG's only governmental holder is the State of Lower Saxony, at 12.7% of the shares.

Claiming VW is owned by the German federal government is like saying ExxonMobil is owned by the United States of America because CalPers holds shares of it in their pension fund.

Comment "Blocked". What does "blocked" mean in this case? (Score 3, Funny) 109

How are they going to "block" this app?

Prevent WhatsApp traffic from transiting phone carrier networks? Doesn't affect Wi-Fi, then. Prevent WhatsApp traffic from transiting any network? That would need the Great Wall of Amazonia, which doesn't exist. Any traffic to WhatsApp servers? By IP block? By routing blackhole? By DNS block? That might work if they can get every net provider to agree. Until the next version incorporates a workaround.

Maybe the judge has no idea, and neither do the folks who are supposed to implement it.

Comment It's not CGI, it's familiarity (Score 3, Insightful) 302

Remember when Jurassic Park came out, how impressed we all were with the dinosaurs?

Remember when T2 came out, how impressive the liquid metal man was?

The problem isn't that CGI is "bad". It's just a technique, that can be used well or poorly like anything else. It's mature enough now that you can use it a whole lot. But there's nothing intrinsic about it that makes it less impressive or less verisimilitudinous or less worthwhile to watch than other filmic techniques.

The real problem is that "lots of things moving at once look at the spectacle!" is no longer novel. We have scads of movies every year come out that show us that. So, when Jurassic Park had cool dinosaurs, it was *the* movie that had that. When Return of the Jedi had fighters flying all over the place in a massive space battle that upped the ante from the previous two Star Wars movies, it was fresh and cool and new.

Nowadays, that's just same old, same old. You can no longer impress by having lots of specatcle out there, because audiences have been there and seen that. it doesn't matter how you accomplish it -- CGI or otherwise. CGI only gets blamed because that's how people usually accomplish it nowadays. Maybe you can blame CGI because that's what made it cheap engouh to be overused so much. But it's not CGI itself.

Done well, it still entertains. Somebody else has already mentioned Mad Max. As another example, the speedster running through the exploding house scene from [i]X-Men: Apocalypse[/i] was a lot of fun, because there was more to it than just spectacle. The same movie at the end had lots of crap flying all over the places in a special effects spectacular, and it was kind of boring, because it was just gratuitous spectacle for the sake of spectacle, and that's old hat.

Comment Re:Clever Grad Student (Score 1) 85

So, do you really have a coherent argument, or are you just gonna go full pseudo-philosopher here? Because the only thing I got from your post that's even faintly on-point is that the Rule of Law is only "mostly dead". And therefore could be resuscitated for a noble cause.

You probably didn't mean that, though. You probably didn't mean anything.

Security

Hacker Uses Premium Rate Calls To Steal From Instagram, Google, Microsoft (helpnetsecurity.com) 37

Reader Orome1 writes: Some account options deployed by Instagram, Google and Microsoft can be misused to steal money from the companies by making them place phone calls to premium rate numbers, security researcher Arne Swinnen has demonstrated. Swinnen calculated that, in theory, these options would allow an attacker to milk over 2 million euro per year from Instagram, 432,000 euro per year from Google, and nearly 700,000 euro from Microsoft by using a slew of fake accounts, multiple premium numbers, and different tools and approaches to automate the process.

Comment Re:The law is as broad as possible (Score 2) 76

The other issue concerns employee use of employer owned systems. There have been cases where employees have been prosecuted for violating a purely civil agreement between them and their employer about the systems they have access to.

In general the law should not criminalize a civil contract violation or in the case of EULA's and Acceptable Use policies, it is questionable whether they are even valid contracts. This is especially true when the law in question is very one sided in favor of big companies using the threat of prosecution against researchers and employees and customers. I can't get the FBI to prosecute Comcast for turning on their public Wifi network on my router, even though it does potentially violate the CFAA.

Comment Re:The law is as broad as possible (Score 3, Informative) 76

If you make factual data public, you don't generally "own" it as in you don't have exclusive rights to it. You can't copyright a database of factual information. Basically the CFAA lets a firm make data public but then if someone uses a script to aggregate it, they can claim it was a felon. Just as an example, the CFAA could even apply to things like price comparison websites if a particular merchant doesn't want their public pricing information compared to their competitors.

Comment Re:Heh, 1 0 0 1 0 0 (Score 1) 89

YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

The Body Electric is Rush at their best. The bass and drums on the intro are instantly recognizable. It's one of several tracks on the Grace Under Pressure album (released in 1984) that showcase the classic Rush sound.

Few rock bands dare to address "heavy" topics, but Rush did it regularly, and with great success. Neal Peart's skill with lyrics is on full display here. Grace Under Pressure included songs about artificial life ("The Body Electric"), the holocaust ("Red Sector A"), and the cold war ("Distant Early Warning"). None are "preachy", and all are quite accessible to mainstream audiences. They all received a good amount of airplay on rock radio.

(Yes, I'm a huge Rush fan, and I'm proud to admit it!)

Robotics

Artificially Intelligent Russian Robot Escapes...Again (livescience.com) 89

Slashdot reader Taco Cowboy brings a new report about Russian robot IR77, which has escaped from its research lab again... The story goes that an engineer working at Promobot Laboratories, in the Russian city of Perm, had left a gate open. Out trundled Promobot, traveling some 150 feet into the city before running out of juice. There it sat, batteries mostly dead, in the middle of a Perm street for 40 minutes, slowing cars to a halt and puzzling traffic cops

A researcher at Promobot's facility in Russia said that the runaway robot was designed to interact with human beings, learn from experiences, and remember places and the faces of everyone it meets. Other versions of the Promobot have been docile, but this one just can't seem to fall in line, even after the researchers reprogrammed it twice. Despite several rewrites of Promobot's artificial intelligence, the robot continued to move toward exits. "We have changed the AI system twice," Kivokurtsev said. "So now I think we might have to dismantle it".

Fans of the robot are pushing for a reprieve, according to an article titled 'Don't kill it!': Runaway robot IR77 could be de-activated because of 'love for freedom'

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