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Comment Re:Question (Score 1) 192

It is not true that "most Fortune 500 companies and government intelligence agencies rely on this private corporation to know what is going on in the world." Stratfor is a small company that does some private consulting, not some kind of global anti-CIA.

Stratfor will be prosecuted for corporate espionage when it commits corporate espionage. Stop trying to substitute drama for analysis.

Comment I am the perfect target (Score 4, Interesting) 913

I am the perfect target of Windows 8. I use a touchscreen laptop (Lenovo x220t) and I love it--I work with the pen as much as possible, even when typing would be more efficient, simply because I like it.

I and users like me have been complaining since Windows 8 released that it's simply not a good touch/pen interface. Windows 7 had an excellent pen input system. Microsoft scrapped it and replaced it with a much less useful and less practical input interface in Windows 8. It was a bafflingly stupid decision--they dumped the best interface in the industry for something that's barely functional.

Reviewers haven't paid much attention to this problem because, I think, relatively few people are using the pen as a significant input device. But Microsoft is trying to change that. If they want Windows 8 to succeed, or PCs to move towards a touch/pen interface generally, they need to ask some hard questions of whoever is currently in charge of those design decisions. (I'd recommend, "Can you name any single way in which the Windows 8 pen interface is superior to the Windows 7 interface?", "Then why did you change it?", and "Have you been drinking on the job?")

Comment Re:Man whose job relies on the scientific method.. (Score 1) 743

I believe their legal theory here is that it doesn't matter whether ID is a religious theory. They've taken the approach that it only matters whether the employer thought it was a religious theory. In other words, if the employer fired him because of what they thought were his religious beliefs, it committed unlawful discrimination whether or not those beliefs are actually religious. This theory has apparently survived motions to dismiss, which usually weed out crazy or obviously wrong legal theories.

Caveat emptor, I'm basing this on second-hand reports and haven't read the pleadings myself. My thoughts are worth exactly what you paid for them.

Comment Re:Incorrect assumptions (Score 1) 68

you wouldn't just give the cc's away and publish what you did if your main point was to acquire cc numbers for fraud.

Yes I would. I would do it for two reasons:

First, it would let me claim that I committed the crime for altruistic reasons, which would feed my ego and let me pretend to be a hero instead of a crook. Anonymous's fans don't seem to need or want a serious moral or ethical justification for the crime; they're happy with a paper-thin pretext. It helps if you keep referring to the company you hit as "the shadow CIA!!!!!!!", and don't say anything at all about the thousands of individual customers you victimized.

Second, by releasing the numbers publicly, it would result in a widely distributed bloom of fraudulent transactions that would make my own thieving harder to trace. I would have assumed, at least, that a global rush of hits on the stolen CC numbers would give the original hackers a lot of cover for their own fraudulent use of Stratfor's customers' cards.

why is fbi releasing this data now? to make hacktivism seem like stealing...

It's not "like" stealing, it is stealing. They stole CC numbers from innocent strangers, and used them to victimize charities and for-profit businesses. Releasing a mountain of innocuous emails doesn't make it "hacktivism."

in any case.. stratfor is actually responsible for the fraud committed, they kept a data cache they didn't have authority to keep...

No. The people who broke into the Stratfor system, stole that data, and used it to make fraudulent transactions are "responsible for the fraud committed." Because they committed the fraud. If Stratfor was violating the processors' TOS, then it's responsible for violating the TOS. It is not responsible for malicious thefts committed by anonymous strangers.

Comment Re:it's a mole! (Score 1) 511

Their antics were harmless. Show me a victim and then maybe you'll have a point. No victim = no crime.

Just off the top of my head, all the Stratfor customers whose credit card numbers got published. Or the charities that received donations from those stolen CCs, and then had to pay chargeback fees. Or Stratfor itself. Or any owner of any of the systems they accessed without permission... you have a very limited definition of "victim."

Comment What's the point? (Score 1) 82

I love my Kindle, and often find that critics of the device who claim that it has no benefit beyond a laptop or a paperback are simply not familiar enough with the device. Having said that, I'm not sure what the benefits of this thing (excuse me: tHIs THinG) are, over and above a separate netbook and e-reader. I can see some minor synergies, such as TFA's reference to sending search results to the e-ink half of the device, but is that really worth the extra weight and complexity? Of course, I don't think I can explain why the Courier needs two screens, either, but hot damn I want one anyway.

tHIs THinG may be perfect for a niche of readers, but I don't see this device going anywhere. That's too bad, because I want a much more diverse field of e-readers out there, in order to encourage publishers to settle on a uniform format. (Or, failing that, just to encourage Amazon to make the Kindle software platform hardware-independent.)


Review: Champions Online 203

Champions Online is Cryptic Studios' latest entry into the Superhero MMORPG genre, representing several years of advancement in game design both for Cryptic and for MMOs as a whole. It's no longer a new field, and there are now certain expectations about what an MMO should contain, and how it should play. Two major factors to a new game's success or failure are the standards they embrace and do well, and the ones they reject and do differently. Champions Online succeeds at adapting many established concepts, while still setting themselves apart from the typical swords & sorcery backdrop. Read on for the rest of my thoughts.

Comment Re:Recommend a TiVo alternative? (Score 1) 335

It allowed you to see all the upcoming conflicts on one page, and to see multiple conflicts for each timeslot. You could see, for example, that six shows were competing for the 7-8 pm timeframe, and choose which one to record. (And whether it would be a one-time priority, or to bump it up on an ongoing basis.) You could also do this with a mouse, which I would love to do with the TiVo - their refusal to give us an online interface is baffling and irritating.

TiVo's system is smart enough to resolve most conflicts--smart enough that I don't normally need to resolve conflicts. But it would be nice to be able to see, once a week, what the upcoming conflicts are, and choose my own priorities for each one. Not a big deal, but it's the sort of thing TiVo should have implemented at some point in the last five or six years.

Comment Recommend a TiVo alternative? (Score 4, Interesting) 335

I'm a long-term TiVo user, but this story reminds me of my simmering frustration with TiVo. Years ago I used a Hauppauge card, and their interface had innovations that TiVo still hasn't picked up on, like a vastly superior conflicts-resolution system. Is there a decent alternative to TiVo, with a better interface? Cable-company solutions are generally poor, as I understand it, and I frankly don't have time to roll my own Myth system. (I would consider an out-of-the-box Myth product, though.) I'd appreciate informed recommendations.

Data Storage

How To Use a Terabyte of RAM 424

Spuddly writes with links to Daniel Philips and his work on the Ramback patch, and an analysis of it by Jonathan Corbet up on LWN. The experimental new design for Linux's virtual memory system would turn a large amount of system RAM into a fast RAM disk with automatic sync to magnetic media. We haven't yet reached a point where systems, even high-end boxes, come with a terabyte of installed memory, but perhaps it's not too soon to start thinking about how to handle that much memory.

Submission + - Law student web forum: Free speech gone too far?

The Xoxo Reader writes: "Today's Washington Post carries a front-page article on the internet message board AutoAdmit (a.k.a. Xoxohth), which proclaims itself the "most prestigious law school discussion board in the world." The message board has recently come under fire for emphasizing a free speech policy that allows its users to discuss, criticize, and attack other law students and lawyers by name. Is this an example of free speech and anonymity gone too far, or is internet trolling just a necessary side effect of a policy that otherwise promotes insightful discussion of the legal community?"
Operating Systems

Submission + - Microsoft responds to DOT ban on Vista, Office, IE

roscoetoon writes: What's Microsoft's response to the DOT's charges? A corporate spokeswoman sent this statement, via e-mail: (caution: microbrain double-speak ahead) ... "We respect the customer's decision. As with any of our other Federal customers, it's our job to help DOT maximize the value of its Enterprise Agreement through the adoption of our technology. We are engaged with large, strategic customers across government at every level, and are working closely with them on these products through their participation in our Technical Adoption Programs."...

From the blog of Mary Jo Foley:

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