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Submission + - Sony Reaches Settlement In PlayStation3 "Other OS" Class Action Lawsuit

Dave Knott writes: After six years of litigation, Sony has reached a settlement with the the plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit relating the Sony's removal of Other OS functionality from its PlayStation3 gaming console. Sony and lawyers representing as many as 10 million console owners reached the deal on Friday. Under the terms of the accord, gamers are eligible to receive $55 if they used Linux on the console. The proposed settlement also provides $9 to each console owner that bought a PS3 based on Sony's claims about "Other OS" functionality. The accord did not say how much it would cost Sony, but the entertainment company is expected to pay out millions.

Submission + - Thirteen Wikipedia editors sanctioned in mammoth GamerGate arbitration case (wikipedia.org)

The ed17 writes: The English Wikipedia's Arbitration Committee has closed the colossal GamerGate arbitration case. One editor has been site-banned, while another twelve are subject to remedies ranging from admonishments to broad topic bans and suspended sitebans. Arbitrator Roger Davies told the Signpost that the case was complicated by its size and complexity, including 27 named parties and 41 editors presenting roughly 34,000 words worth of on-wiki evidence—a total that does not include email correspondence.

Submission + - Debian Votes not to Mandate Non-systemd Compatibility

paskie writes: Voting on a Debian General Resolution that would require packagers to maintain support even for systems not running systemd ended tonight with the resolution failing to gather enough support.

This means that some Debian packages could require users to run systemd on their systems in theory — however, in practice Debian still works fine without systemd (even with e.g. GNOME) and this will certainly stay the case at least for the next stable release Jessie.

However, the controversial GR proposed late in the development cycle opened many wounds in the community, prompting some prominent developers to resign or leave altogether, stirring strong emotions — not due to adoption of systemd per se, but because of the emotional burn-out and shortcomings in the decision processes apparent in the wake of the systemd controversy.

Nevertheless, work on the next stable release is well underway and some developers are already trying to mend the community and soothe the wounds.

Submission + - Data Mining Shows How Down-Voting Leads To Vicious Circle Of Negative Feedback

KentuckyFC writes: In behavioural psychology, the theory of operant conditioning is the notion that an individual’s future behaviour is determined by the punishments and rewards he or she has received in the past. It means that specific patterns of behaviour can be induced by punishing unwanted actions while rewarding others. While the theory is more than 80 years old, it is hard at work in the 21st century in the form of up and down votes--or likes and dislikes--on social networks. But does this form of reward and punishment actually deter unwanted actions while encouraging good behaviour? Now a new study of the way voting influences online behaviour has revealed the answer. The conclusion is that that negative feedback leads to behavioural changes that are hugely detrimental to the community. Not only do authors of negatively-evaluated content contribute more but their future posts are of lower quality and are perceived by the community as such. What's more, these authors are more likely to evaluate fellow users negatively in future, creating a vicious circle of negative feedback. By contrast, positive feedback does not influence authors much at all. That's exactly the opposite of what operant conditioning theory predicts. The researchers have a better suggestion for social networks: "Given that users who receive no feedback post less frequently, a potentially effective strategy could be to ignore undesired behaviour and provide no feedback at all." Would /.-ers agree?

Submission + - Tesla Gets $34 Million Tax Break, Adds Capacity For 35,000 More Cars

cartechboy writes: The state of California will give Tesla Motors a $34.7 million tax break to expand the company’s production capacity for electric cars, state officials announced yesterday. Basically, Tesla won’t have to pay sales taxes on new manufacturing equipment worth up to $415 million. The added equipment will help Tesla more than double the number of Model S sedans it builds, as well as assemble more electric powertrains for other car makers. In addition to continued Model S production, Tesla plans to introduce the Model X electric crossover in late 2014, as well as a sub-$40,000 car--tentatively called Model E--that could debut as soon as the 2015 Detroit Auto Show. It turns out California is one of the few states to tax the purchase of manufacturing equipment--but the state grants exemptions for 'clean-tech' companies. California estimates this expansion by Tesla will add 112 permanent jobs.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Enterprise level network devices for home use? 3

osho741 writes: I was wondering if anyone has enterprise level networking devices set up at home? I seem to go through at least 1 wireless consumer grade router a year or so. I can never seem to find one that last very long under just normal use. I thought maybe I would have better luck throwing together a network using used enterprise equipment. Has anyone done this? What would you recommend for a network that maxes out at 30mbps downstream from the ISP and an internal network that should be able to stream 1080p movies to 3 or 4 devices from a media server?

Any thoughts and or suggestions are welcome.

Submission + - MS handing NSA access to encrypted chat & email (guardian.co.uk)

kaptink writes: Microsoft helped the NSA to circumvent its encryption to address concerns that the agency would be unable to intercept web chats on the new Outlook.com portal. The agency already had pre-encryption stage access to email on Outlook.com, including Hotmail. The company worked with the FBI this year to allow the NSA easier access via Prism to its cloud storage service SkyDrive, which now has more than 250 million users worldwide. Microsoft also worked with the FBI's Data Intercept Unit to "understand" potential issues with a feature in Outlook.com that allows users to create email aliases. Skype, which was bought by Microsoft in October 2011, worked with intelligence agencies last year to allow Prism to collect video of conversations as well as audio. Material collected through Prism is routinely shared with the FBI and CIA, with one NSA document describing the program as a "team sport".

Submission + - Addendum re Google Blogger Shutdown Issues / Speculation re COPPA (vortex.com)

Lauren Weinstein writes: In reference to the Blogger shutdown warnings discussed above, it has been suggested (and it occurred to me as well) that the timing of this sudden policy change by Google somehow relates to the new COPPA (Children's Online Privacy Protection Act) regulations coming into force on 1 July (Monday).

Coincidence?

Maybe ...

Hardware Hacking

Submission + - SPAM: Sony fires back at PS3 hackers

kamaaina writes: Cats out of the bag, genie out of the bottle, toothpaste out of tube, whatever analogy you want to use. Still Sony feels they must fire back at the team that hacked the PS3.
Link to Original Source

Feed Engadget: Sprint axes Huawei, ZTE telecom bids due to security fears in Washington? (engadget.com)

Huawei might be making inroads into the US consumer smartphone market, but the Chinese telecom supplier's attempts to break into big business have been stonewalled. Now, the Wall Street Journal reports that Sprint is excluding both Huawei and competitor ZTE from a multi-billion dollar contract -- where they would have been the lowest bidders -- primarily because of national security concerns. The US Secretary of Commerce reportedly called Sprint CEO Dan Hesse to voice concerns about letting firms with possible ties to the Chinese government supply local communications infrastructure, a perspective also penned by eight US senators back in August. "DoD is very concerned about China's emerging cyber capabilities and any potential vulnerability within or threat to DoD networks," the Department of Defense told the publication, without naming Huawei or ZTE directly. We're not doctors, but it sounds like someone's got a serious case of supercomputer envy.

Sprint axes Huawei, ZTE telecom bids due to security fears in Washington? originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 06 Nov 2010 15:33:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Submission + - NoSQL Solution: A Handy Evaluation Guide [CHART] (perfectmarket.com)

archivedigger writes: I had pre-determined requirements for the NoSQL 'solution-to-be' before I started looking:

        * Fast data insertion. Some data sets in our content processing platform may contain hundreds of millions of rows (KV pairs), although each row may be small. If data insertion is slow, populating a data set into the database may take days, which would not be acceptable.
        * Extremely fast random reads on large datasets. This is key to achieving short content processing time.
        * Consistent read/write speed across the whole data set. What this means is that the speed should not favor certain parts of a data set due to how data is stored or indices are organized.
        * Efficient data storage. The ratio of the database size (after original data is loaded into database) to original data size should be as low as possible.
        * Scale well. Our content processing nodes in EC2 may spawn a large number of concurrent threads hitting data nodes, which requires data nodes to scale well. Also, not all data sets are read-only. Some data nodes must scale well under moderate write load.
        * Easy to maintain. Our content processing platform utilizes both local and EC2 resources. Packaging code, setting up data and running different types of nodes in different environments is not easy. The 'solution-to-be' must be easy to maintain to fit in the highly automated content processing system.
        * Have a network interface. A library solution is not sufficient.
        * Stable, of course.
I started looking without any bias in mind since I had never seriously used any of the NoSQL solutions. With some recommendations from fellow co-workers, and after reading a bunch of blogs (yes, blogs), the journey of evaluation started with Tokyo Cabinet, then Berkeley DB library, MemcacheDB, Project Voldemort, Redis, and finally MongoDB.

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