Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Comment Re:Is Virtual Companionship Good? (Score 1) 308

I'm not familure with Asimov's works, but I have to say that in this instance The Matrix is a bad thing to look at. In the Matrix, the world is so totally experienced by its participants that it !IS! real. If you experience any environment with all your senses in crisp detail then its real to you. If two people experience the same reality then that reality is real.

I am actually believe that when the graphics of games improve, they will eventually become more than real. Its an odd concept, but our reality is limited to what our eyes can see, our ears can hear, and our skin can feel. In a virtual reality connected directly to the brain, we can experience the virtual reality without being encombered by our human limitations.

As an example of this, in TES4:Oblivion I've been able to see Vistas that are impossible to see in reality. This isn't really due to enhanced graphics, but is because of an art style that isn't possible with real world physics.
  which I guess brings up the point that we are also limited to what we can experience in reality by the laws of physics.

Anyway, as in the Matrix, if we could breed through some automated system, then we wouldn't have to even worry about phsyical contact.

Comment Re:Steam (Score 1) 731

He does have a very good point that there should be no reason why we can't transfer our license to another person. Xest is correct that it is illegal (or dodgy at best) to make it illegal to sell your license.

If I buy a copy of software, you don't own the software, but you do own a license of it in the same way that you own a book. It is legal for me to transfer my license to another person (either as a gift or as a sale or even temporarily) as long as I uninstall the software completely there is nothing illegal about it.

It should be trivial for Valve to setup a sharing system on Steam. If I get done playing Bioshock and want my friend to be able to play it, normally I would uninstall it from my computer, hand him the CD, then he would install it and play it. When he was done, he would uninstall it and give it back. On Steam I should be able to right click the game, say "trade" or "give", then enter their SteamID, and it removes my ability to play the game and gives it to them. The beauty of this system is that I don't even have to uninstall the game because it prevents me from even playing it until I have the License back.

Comment Re:Steam (Score 1) 731

I don't think anyone's ignoring the DRM nature of Steam, we're just saying that its a compromise between us and the publishers. They want some control and we want some features and playability. I can't speak for everyone, but I've come to accept Steam as the best DRM. For the reasons that Shrike82 stated above and I've decided that the reasons that you've mentioned aren't important to me.

Usually I buy games from Steam on the 'rotten rack' (eg for half the normal price or less). I've actually been introduced to lots of Indy games that I would never had considered getting until they were 5$ and easy to download and play right away. So its easy marketing for companies too.

The games that I've bought at full price are Steam games anyway so they're required to use Steam to activate. The Spore DRM was the same way though, so I'm really incapable of avoiding DRM if I ever want to play games again. (well I didn't buy or play Spore because of the DRM so I'm going to say voice your opinion with your money.)

Does this mean that you wouldn't buy games thru XBox Live either?

Summary: Compromise is the key to every relationship. If you don't want to compromise on a point, then don't buy and tell them. Thats what I do and I'm happy.

Submission + - Retroactive immunnity for gov't wiretaps voting

hal9000(jr) writes: eWeek has an article about how "the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee delayed Nov. 8 a scheduled vote on whether telecommunications carriers should be granted immunity for cooperating with the White House's domestic spying program of telephone wiretapping and e-mail surveillance. The panel hopes to vote on the provision as soon as next week." If you want to make your voice heard, contact your senator today!

Submission + - Will newspapers end up paying to report the news?

Jyms writes: Racing, rugby and now cricket all seem to want to "protect" their "product", but when does their right to protect their product interfere with your right to access news?

"The broader picture is even more scandalous. In heedlessly, greedily following the lead of the Rugby World Cup organisers over the use of photographs on the web, and the flat racing authorities in Britain before them, Cricket Australia have chosen to ignore an inescapable verity. To wit, the written media provide the best free advertising in town. When newspapers here were asked to stump up a fee to print racing cards a few years ago, a one-day blanket blackout by the editors was all it took to force a rapid rethink and red-faced retraction.

Can you imagine a world in which Warner and his multitudinous Brothers charged correspondents for the privilege of sitting in dingy screening rooms and reviewing their movies? Or where Sony imposed a fee on those charged with reviewing their CDs? Or where correspondents were obliged to stump up money to cover a General Election? Easier to picture a racoon winning the Tour de France without the aid of a copious helping of drugs, right?"

"The world's top three global news agencies — Agence France-Presse , Reuters and Associated Press have suspended all coverage of the season unless a deal can be agreed. The stand-off also involves Getty Images, who provide photos to newspapers and websites across the world."

Submission + - First use of RIPA to demand encryption keys (theregister.co.uk)

kylehase writes: The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) is being used for the first time to force an animal activist to reveal encryption keys for encrypted files she claims to have no knowledge of. According to the article, she could face up to two years if she doesn't comply.
The Internet

Submission + - Demonoid's server company threatened by CRIA

Gelthoth writes: When checking for a few torrents, I came across this message at Demonoid: "The CRIA threatened the company renting the servers to us, and because of this it is not possible to keep the site online. Sorry for the inconvenience and thanks for your understanding."

Gadgets Have Taken Over For Our Brains 311

skotte writes "According to a Trinity College survey released Friday, the boom in mobiles and portable devices that store reams of personal information has created a generation incapable of memorizing simple things. In effect, the study argues, these devices have replaced our long-term memory capabilities. 'As many as a third of those surveyed under the age of 30 were unable to recall their home telephone number without resorting to their mobile phones or to notes. When it came to remembering important dates such as the birthdays of close family relatives, 87 per cent of those over the age of 50 could remember the details, compared with 40 per cent of those under the age of 30.'"

Submission + - Is Your Printer Spying on You?

gnujoshua writes: "In 2005, the EFF alerted the world to how laser printers are spying their users by providing tracking information in the form of a unique smattering of barely detectable yellow dots that appear on every printout. Revitalizing this issue, the Computing Counter Culture Group at the MIT Media Labs has launched Seeing Yellow. They provide instructions to see the tracking dots, as well as provide you with a list of clever questions, and appropriate contact information so that you can confront your laser printer manufacturer. Let's act before this issue slips through the cracks again and send the message that manufacturers' must respect our privacy and our right to anonymous free speech."

Fewer People Copy DVDs Than Once Thought 333

MasterOfMagic writes "According to a survey reported at the NY Times, very few people actually have and use DVD copying software. The survey reports that only 1.5 percent of computer users have DVD copying software, and of those 1.5%, 2/3rds of them don't even use it. The survey also revealed that users were more likely to download DVDs than copy DVDs that they borrowed or rented, and that about half of all downloaded DVDs are pornography. According to the survey's lead analyst, 'With music, part of the appeal is sharing your own playlists and compilations with your friends ... I'm not sure people share their porn the way they share their music.'"
XBox (Games)

Submission + - Microsoft admits all 360s sold so far are flawed

An anonymous reader writes: CNN reports that Microsoft has admitted all xbox 360 consoles sold in the past 19 months suffer from a design flaw. But it does not have any plans to start a recall program.

It seems like everyone with a functional (like myself) are lucky. This seems to be a bad time for Microsoft. But as a 360 owner, I am glad they actually admitted this instead of denying and repeating their line on how the actual failure rate is very low.

Submission + - Where in the US can you get JUST a Cell Phone? 6

arakon writes: I am looking around for a cell phone for my technically challenged mother and all she wants is just a phone, and yet there seem to be no carriers in the US that carry a plain cell phone with good reception and battery life. All of them bundle camera's, pda's, mp3 players and a kitchen sink with a battery life of 2 hours, all for the low price of $350 or more...

Having looked around, the Motorola F3 is exactly what she wants but it doesn't seem to be available in the US. If we order it online will it work on US carriers? Are there any comparable products out there with a similar feature set and price range available for US networks? I appreciate the help.

Submission + - Kaspersky antivirus failed VB100 test

thisispurefud writes: Antivirus software from three global vendors has failed a major series of malware tests, the VB100. Products from Kaspersky, Grisoft, and F-Secure all failed to detect 100 percent of the in-the-wild malware signatures in the database of testers Virus Bulletin, although each company has passed before. Of the 37 products submitted for testing, 10 failed to demonstrate the detection abilities required for VB100 certification. Kaspersky Anti-Virus failed to detect a network worm called allaple. According to Kaspersky's senior technology consultant David Emm, Kaspersky first added a signature for the worm in February. At the time of the test, Kaspersky was "optimising" its allaple signature, and the signature wasn't in the Kaspersky database, Emm explained. Kaspersky said it is confident that no customers running its security suite were affected at the time of the test, because the security suite includes a firewall, behavioural analysis and heuristics, and the product was tested in a manner that precluded behavioural analysis. "That doesn't help in our disappointment at not passing the test, but at least we know our customers weren't affected," said Emm. Grisoft AVG 7.5 Professional Edition also failed the VB100. AVG is a popular free anti-malware application, which has widespread use. Larry Bridwell, global security strategist for Grisoft, said that the part of its anti-malware application, AVG 7.5 Professional Edition, that detects signatures had failed to detect one of the W32 agobot Trojan variants, but that the anti-spyware part of the product had picked it up. "Testing is on-access, at the hardware level, which is scanned," Bridwell told ZDNet.co.uk. "When [AVG 7.5 Professional Edition] was tested, we picked up the bot on the spyware side, which is on-demand [the program has to start to be executed before it is halted]. We should have detected it on-access."
United States

Submission + - Terrorists must register before entering U.S. (usatoday.com)

Soft writes: Citing Islamist terrorists traveling with European passports as a threat to America, the Secretary of the DHS announces that visitors to the U.S. under the Visa Waiver program will have to register online 48 hours in advance, and fill out a questionnaire. According to other articles, this would include personal data such as previous travel destinations and credit card number; this in addition to data already requested directly from airlines, from name and address to luggage ticket number and frequent flier miles collected. Presumably the questions will also include whether the traveler intends to blow himself up in the coming 90 days, or has ever done so in the past? The questions on the back of Form I-94 also come to mind.

Slashdot Top Deals

No amount of genius can overcome a preoccupation with detail.