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Submission + - Feds Shut Down File-Sharing Website Megaupload (

Subratik writes: Today, "Federal prosecutors in Virginia have shut down one of the world's largest file-sharing sites,, and charged its founder and others with violating piracy laws."

The indictment given to Megaupload cites over $500 million in lost revenue from stolen intellectual-property.

Even though SOPA has drawn insurmountable criticism from both citizens and the White House, it would seem as if the US needs less of a reason everyday to not need it passed anyway.

Comment Scorecards and Politics (Score 1) 315

I also work in a small company with two staff in IT. Myself and a web developer. We do use metrics to report to upper management how well systems are running. What I've done is create an excel spreadsheet with all of the systems we have running, the licenses, version and comments for each system. We then assign that system a 1 to 5 score and average the total at the end for a total composite score. One is if there are no problems, five is for serious issues. I generate this spreadsheet every month and send it to my boss. The other Major part to a small operation is customer service. In a small company, how happy your end users are imho more important than if the systems are running perfectly. We have to market ourselves and make sure we are available if anyone needs us. Being personable and friendly is very important. A final point of advice. Please don't make the metrics too complex. Management may be looking to let somebody go. However, they also may be looking to see what needs to be fixed and/or improved for capital expenditures. Metrics help track trends and you can use them to get the equipment and/or programs you need if you design them correctly.

4G iPhone Misplacer Invited To Germany For Beer 164

eldavojohn writes "You may recall the hapless engineer who left a fairly sensitive iPhone at a bar recently. Well, in a PR stunt, Lufthansa has invited him to visit Germany on their dime after citing his latest Facebook status, 'I underestimated how good German beer is' as well as his obvious passion for German beer and culture. It's not clear if Gray Powell has decided to 'pick up where he last left off' (as the letter puts it). I know what my decision would be."

Comment Impact Probably Much Higher (Score 1) 233

I imagine this impact was much higher than they stated. One of the small operations I support on the side called a couple of days ago about this issue when it cropped up. The Windows XP computer would not even allow him to do a system restore let aloneuse his computer. Luckily, we found out about the fix yesterday or it could have cost them a couple hundred dollars to fix. Along with the lost productivity time, this isn't a good thing for McAfee. While we use other solutions for our systems, this highlights how much testing needs to take place before a patch is deployed. It's amazing these types of 'issues' occur in today's world. Time for McAfee to step up QA.
PC Games (Games)

Game Devs On the Future of PC Gaming 375

Shacknews wraps up a developer panel at PAX East discussing the future of gaming on the PC. They cover topics including DRM, digital download platforms and cloud-based gaming services. "Joe Kreiner of Terminal Reality: 'If you look at it from a giant publisher perspective, then the numbers on the PC just really don't make financial sense for you to bother with it. But if you start out with the mindset — you know, you're targeting that group, you make a niched product that's going [to] do well, if you look at a lot of the titles on Steam, Torchlight's a really good example — as long as you know that's your audience to begin with, and you make something inside of a budget that you know you're going to be selling those kinds of numbers, you can be very successful. I think it just takes a targeted developer. ... There is no [PC] platform, really. It's just a mish-mosh of hardware, an operating system that kind of supports games. The problem with that platform is, there's no standards and piracy is rampant, so why would we want to make a video game for that platform unless you had some sort of draconian DRM thing to keep it from being stolen?"

Comment Layered Security Approach... (Score 1) 396

While Antivirus and a well setup firewall can help, I've found as a sysadmin that there are additional layers that need to be applied. We also use Content Filters to block out any unwanted malicious sites, porn and other sites we need to block. While I use Websense at work as an in-line filter, I setup Opendns at home and on home user's computers to cut most malicious websites off at the knees. We also employ an off-site email scanning service to scan our emails before they hit our internal email server. Once email hits the server, then it gets scanned again. All computers have are locked down and we utilize LANDesk for Malware and Patch Updates / Security Vulnerability scanning. Of course, Altiris works well too as well as MS System Center. Having a layered approach tends to mitigate most problems. Some do get through, but the computer immediately gets re-imaged. All User Files are stored on a central server. The computers themselves are as 'dumb' as I can make them and thus, easy to fix. Of course, you can't avoid everything. However, many solutions exist and are very low cost to implement if needed. A decent home stack would be: Anti-Virus (Sophos, Kaspersky, yada, yada) Malware Detection (Adaware, Spybot, etc.) Content-Filter (aka opendns or k9 webprotection) Backup (aka mozy or carbonite) Online Email (aka gmail, yahoo, etc.) Baseline Image (...) Ad-block, Flashblock and Firefox... Sorry Slashdot... There are many choices available. Many of them work very well. While this won't mitigate all attacks, it will minimize them quite a bit. As long as folks don't intentionally break them... :) Hope this helps.

Comment Re:Parenting, Autism, and Lego Star Wars (Score 2, Interesting) 278

I agree that games can help many improve their skills in many areas. My son was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome when he was three years old. His main difficulty had to do with Coarse Motor Skills and Physical Fitness. Knowing this, we decided to get a Wii and Wii Fit. He's played that game more times than I can remember. He especially loves the 'Marble Madness' game and the Soccer Dodge game. This game has done wonders for his physical activity level and he is more coordinated now more than ever. He was able to get out of the Special Needs program when he was 6 1/2 years old which was amazing. Now, he's seven and reads at a 3rd grader's level. He's mastered everything in his class with straight A's. Sure, he plays Super Mario Wii. However, the applications that game makes him go through are insane. Yet he still progresses well academically. A great motivator for him is the classic "I'll take away the game for 'x' days if you don't get your homework done." My belief is if games are monitored and chosen for the appropriate age, then there's no need to worry about them. They teach skills that cannot be traditionally taught. This is a well known fact. We'll see how things evolve. However, I can't wait until I'm playing Star Wars in my holodeck here in 10 years. :)

Comment Ebooks vs. Paperbooks (Score 1) 390

I've been musing over this for some time. I currently live in a condo which makes space limited. Since my wife and I read a ton of books, the space issue of storing the books became a problem. Thus, I purchased a Sony ereader which I didn't like due to downloading issues. I returned that and got the nook. Since then, if my wife is going to read it, I'll buy the paperback. If I'm going to read it, then I get the ebook. It saves space and the ebooks tend to be cheaper. I love how the battery is replaceable and the contrast is better than paperbacks (believe it or not...). Plus, with the nook, I can put my pdf's on it as well as some text documents and read them on the go. The classics are free and if I break my device, all my books are backed up on Mozy and on Barnes and Noble's website. I still love the paper books, but it is nice to have all of my books at my fingertips. Newspapers are nice as well since I can now purchase them and I don't have to worry about a subscription. Like it or not, ereaders are here to stay. It will be interesting to see how these gadgets will evolve in the future.

Comment Significant Other (Score 1) 414

I enjoy using Keypass for all of my password needs with a huge complex mnemonic to open the safe. Most of them are in my head as well. Keypass is just a backup just in case. However, in the case of my significant other, I can't get her to even change her passwords unless I go snooping. "I just broke into your account. Here's what I found." Wife: "Oh crap, I guess I'd better change my password." Three months later, I do the same thing all over again. Keeps her passwords secure and keeps me sane. YMMV...
United States

Supreme Court Rolls Back Corporate Campaign Spending Limits 1070

lorenlal writes "The Supreme Court of the United States must have figured that restrictions on corporate support of candidates was a violation of free speech, or something like that." From the AP story linked above: "By a 5-4 vote, the court on Thursday overturned a 20-year-old ruling that said corporations can be prohibited from using money from their general treasuries to pay for campaign ads. The decision, which almost certainly will also allow labor unions to participate more freely in campaigns, threatens similar limits imposed by 24 states."
Role Playing (Games)

Genre Wars — the Downside of the RPG Takeover 248

Phaethon360 writes "From Bioshock and Modern Warfare 2 to even Team Fortress 2, RPG elements are creeping into game genres that we never imagined they would. This change for the most part has managed to subtly improve upon genres that needed new life, but there's a cost that hasn't been tallied by the majority of game developers. 'The simple act of removing mod tools, along with the much discussed dedicated server issue, has made [MW2] a bit of a joke among competitive players. Gone are the days of "promod," and the only option you have is to play it their way. If Infinity Ward are so insistent on improving the variety of our experiences, they don’t have to do it at the expense of the experience that many of us already love. It really is that simple. If they don’t want to provide a good "back to basics experience," they could at least continue to provide the tools that allow us to do that for ourselves.'"
Role Playing (Games)

Looking Back At Dungeons & Dragons 189

An anonymous reader sends in a nostalgic piece about Dungeons & Dragons and the influence it's had on games and gamers for the past 36 years. Quoting: "Maybe there was something in the air during the early '70s. Maybe it was historically inevitable. But it seems way more than convenient coincidence that Gygax and Arneson got their first packet of rules for D&D out the door in 1974, the same year Nolan Bushnell managed to cobble together a little arcade machine called Pong. We've never had fun quite the same way since. Looking back, these two events set today's world of gaming into motion — the Romulus and Remus of modern game civilization. For the rest of forever, we would sit around and argue whether games should let us do more or tell us better stories."
PlayStation (Games)

Gran Turismo 5 Delayed 122

RogueyWon writes "The Times is reporting that Polyphony Digital's Gran Turismo 5, likely to prove a key title for the PlayStation 3, has been delayed indefinitely, despite an expectation that it would be released relatively early in 2010. The delay seems likely to impact Sony's plans to bundle the game with the PlayStation 3 console in time for the important spring sales period in Japan."

An Open Source Compiler From CUDA To X86-Multicore 71

Gregory Diamos writes "An open source project, Ocelot, has recently released a just-in-time compiler for CUDA, allowing the same programs to be run on NVIDIA GPUs or x86 CPUs and providing an alternative to OpenCL. A description of the compiler was recently posted on the NVIDIA forums. The compiler works by translating GPU instructions to LLVM and then generating native code for any LLVM target. It has been validated against over 100 CUDA applications. All of the code is available under the New BSD license."

Comment Network Overhaul - Things To Consider (Score 1) 264

I was put in your exact position four years ago with the current place I work with. Here's some things I suggest: 1- Make a plan. These things can't be fixed in a day. My boss, the CIO said, "Rome wasn't built in a day." He was right on with that one. It took me three years to get things to where they needed to be. One piece at a time. 2- Make sure you break things up and prioritize them. What is the 'oldest' equipment or the pain points? Is the network holding up? Connectivity is the most important part. Make sure you have your network running well before you mess with other parts of the system or put additional strain on the system. 3- Make sure you have the right people on board. I call this checks and balances. You need to have firepower behind your decisions, especially when it comes to making the budget. 4- Remember the phrase: KISS. Burn it in your mind... It means, keep it simple, stupid. Don't bow to salesman, brochures, 'white papers' or peer pressure. Experience and checks and balances are essential. And finally, be cautious and move slow. Systems don't all just fall apart at once. Once you're prioritized, gotten the right people on board and have your ducks in a row, things will run smothly. If managment gets in your way, refer back to the checks and balances you set up and force it down their throats. It's kind of sad to say that this is just like playing chess, but when management doesn't trust IT in general, you have to prove yourself. Following the above steps will help. Good Luck.

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