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Comment VR is almost there (Score 2) 77

I have an Oculus Rift and had a DK2, and to be honest I was skeptical of gaming in VR at the current iteration of the technology as it gets tiring in the long run and a lot of the games are more tech demos than real games.

But then I played Elite:Dangerous (space sim) and later The Unspoken (fireball-tossing wizard duels in multiplayer). These are games where that sense of presence that VR offers is used to mind-blowing effect. Especially in E:D, as VR allows a real sense of *scale*. I never thought about this before I tried E:D, but flying into a space station that is over a km long really gives you a "holy crap that this is huge"-feeling. And you really feel that you are sitting *inside* of your ship, which is oddly pleasing.

The same for The Unspoken. Using Oculus touch controllers you really feel that the hands you see in-game are your own, and the first time I saw my right hand burst into flame as I was charging up a fireball was another of those "holy crap" moments.

Once developers get a better handle on how to make VR games it's going to become a serious segment of gaming. We see early signs of this already, as E:D and Unspoken demonstrates, but there is still some way to go (and possible a couple of HW iterations) before it becomes a serious platform in terms of users and revenue. And I'm not ruling out another short-term crash/flop if the next iteration takes too long, or developers can't come up with better experiences before users' patience runs out. We're not there yet, but VR is just too much fun to go away permanently.

Comment Re:The other side (Score 1) 159

Perhaps it has always been like this, people who vote similarly read the same news sources and congregate with like-minded people only. The internet just makes groups bigger and makes these behaviours more obvious to the observer.

Probably Mr Goatse was right all along.

You're probably right, but at the risk of falling into the "everything was always better before" trap, I can't help but think that even if you used to read a right-of-center newspaper, you would get differing viewpoints, some not following general orthodoxy. A "perfect" algorithm that can with a very high degree of certainty give you what you most want to read could create the feeling that the world is *exactly* as you think. The only conclusion then, when meeting people who disagree, is that they must all be idiots...

Comment The other side (Score 2) 159

What worries me more than social media becoming the primary source, is the idea that we should only read be interested in things we are already interested in.

We're in a period of strongly polarized opinions where the idea of political discourse seems to be that you and me sit alone on our respective mountaintops and yell at each other. It bloody important to read news that doesn't fit your existing opinions or interests, how else will you ever question them? Or get new ones?

I try to make a point of reading news sometimes from sources who's political alignment I clearly disagree with. It's annoying and refreshing (and allows me to smugly roll my eyes at the world occasionally). And just once every blue moon, I actually change my opinion or discover something interesting. In an ever more complex reality, we need more viewpoints, not fewer, and I'm worried that algorithmic filtering of news feels like a boon but is actually really detrimental to us all.


Submission + - SPAM: CPL in USA

An anonymous reader writes: Aviation is a most growing sector overall world. Here always needs for eligible pilots and instructors. Many people get a better job in this industry and live a royal life.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Microsoft rumored to be taking a 'meaningful look' at Office for Linux ( 1

alancronin writes: Open source obsessive Michael Larabel says he has it on good authority that Microsoft is considering a native version of Office for Linux. Specifically, the company is taking a "meaningful look" at the idea, now that Linux is showing signs of becoming more of a player in the OS stakes. The information came to Larabel from an unnamed source during the Free Open-Source Developers' European Meeting (FOSDEM) in Brussels, and this voice in the shadows apparently also revealed the port could be ready in 2014.

Submission + - Fox News: US Solar Energy Investment Less than Germany because US has Less Sun (

Andy Prough writes: Apparently those wise folks at Fox have figured out America's reluctance to invest as much money in solar energy as Germany — the Germans simply have more sun! Well, as Will Oremus from Slate points out, according to the US Dept. of Energy's Solar Resource map comparison of the US and Germany, nothing could be farther from the truth — Germany receives as much sunlight as the least lit US state — Alaska.

Submission + - Want a Job at Google? Better Know Microsoft Office!

theodp writes: After recent Slashdot discussions on Google's quest to unseat Microsoft Office in business and whether Google Docs and MS-Word are an even matchup, let's complete the trilogy by bringing up the inconvenient truth that numerous Google job postings state that candidates with Microsoft Office expertise are 'preferred' to those lacking these skills. 'For example,' notes GeekWire, 'when hiring an executive compensation analyst to support Google's board, the company will give preference to candidates who are 'proficient with Microsoft Excel."' Parents and kids at schools that have gone or are going Google are reassured that, 'it is more important to teach technology skills than specific programs' and that 'Google itself uses Google Apps to run its multi-billion dollar company.' Which, for the most part, is true. Just don't count on getting certain Google jobs with that attitude, kids!

Comment Re:What's the problem with the TrimSlice? (Score 1) 332

Developer only? What is that non-sense? The TrimSlice ships with Ubuntu ready to use. ~$200 for the feature set is a steal, IMO. Not happy without a Dell logo or something? What's the problem with the TrimSlice?

I bought one last week from here

Cheap, cool (as in not hot) and fairly reasonably priced for what you get. Waiting for mine right now...


Halo Reach Leaked To Filesharing Sites 160

Stoobalou writes "What appears to be the full version of Bungie's Halo Reach game has turned up on a number of file sharing sites. The hotly-anticipated multi-player shooter had been hosted on a private area of the Microsoft Live site in order for journalists to preview the release, but Microsoft has admitted that a security breach has meant that pirates have been able to bypass personal download codes given to writers. Disk images of the game are now appearing on a number of public torrent and P2P sites as well as on popular NZB aggregators and Usenet binaries newsgroups." The game isn't due to be released until September 14th. Microsoft is said to be "aggressively pursuing" whoever grabbed the files without their permission.

OpenSSH 5.4 Released 127

HipToday writes "As posted on the OpenBSD Journal, OpenSSH 5.4 has been released: 'Some highlights of this release are the disabling of protocol 1 by default, certificate authentication, a new "netcat mode," many changes on the sftp front (both client and server) and a collection of assorted bugfixes. The new release can already be found on a large number of mirrors and of course on'"

Tower Switch-Off Embarrasses Electrosensitives 292

Sockatume writes "Residents in Craigavon, South Africa complained of '[h]eadaches, nausea, tinnitus, dry burning itchy skins, gastric imbalances and totally disrupted sleep patterns' after an iBurst communications tower was put up in a local park. Symptoms subsided when the residents left the area, often to stay with family and thus evade their suffering. At a public meeting with the afflicted locals, the tower's owners pledged to switch off the mast immediately to assess whether it was responsible for their ailments. One problem: the mast had already been switched off for six weeks. Lawyers representing the locals say their case against iBurst will continue on other grounds."

Comment MBA? (Score 1) 783

Having spent a little under a decade in IT consulting (AIX/Solaris/Linux) I also ended up wanting to change. Not so much because I was fed up with doing what I was doing (I also felt I made ok money), but because I wanted to try something new. I also wanted to have a career with a higher income potential and more options of taking on quite different roles in the future. I'm a little surprised only two comments suggest what I did: get an MBA!

There are typically two points in your life when employers are less obsessed with only giving you a job that directly fits your background: when you've just graduated from university (where, at least at my university, only about one third accept jobs directly related to their field of study) and upon completing an MBA (where you apply for "MBA positions", many of which do not require any particular background). I really believe the MBA is the hands down best way of performing a radical career change *without* sacrificing salary of career progress - quite on the contrary: on average it will boost both quite nicely. It is also a very intersting study, covering fields I'd always been curious about and it's a great opportunity to meet peolpe from a myriad of backgrounds. The network and friendships I gained from my MBA is really the most valuable thing in the long run (come to think of it, when you're past 30, most of us don't make that many new close friends, but during the MBA I did, which was great).

Trying to get into a ranked MBA, which I really recommend to get some bang for your bucks, might seem quite dauting at first, but in truth it is easier than one might think. There are tons of things you can do to boost your chances to a point where you will be very likely to succeed - most of which Google can dig up for you.

Comment Re:and who ISN'T going to pay up? (Score 1) 325

Um, I must admit this sounds extremely strange, but perhaps things were that different 20 years ago. Today, banks shouldn't even admit to someone having an account with them until they have IDed themselves. In my case I have my standard current account with UBS (UBS is one of the biggest retail banks in Switzerland, unlike abroad where there are no retail branches to my knowledge), and I can tell you from experience that until they have had a long hard look at my passport, they won't even talk to me (much less give me money from a friend's account).

As for my employer, which is a classic traditional Swiss private bank, you would have your own relationship manager who knows you and follows you from you first enter the bank and for the duration of your relationship with us. All your contact with the bank, in person or otherwise, would go through him or her. I know of a case where a friend of mine's father was a client with another private bank, and she'd been meeting the relationship manager several times with her father in the past. Nevertheless, one time she was in Switzerland she decided to visit the bank to check on the account's performance, but as she was not formally listed as a co-owner of the account, the relationship manager refused any information, despite recognizing her.

I think your friend's experience was rather unusual - as a matter of fact, if your friend came to me tomorrow, and I volunteered information on your account, I would be guilty of revealing client information which carries a prison sentence as well as a nasty fine.

The Swiss are extreme when it comes to keeping people's privacy. Even your tax payments (tax at source/quellensteuer) is anynomized before your company hands it over to the tax authorities on your behalf if you have a direct taxation/tax at source arrangement.

A quick comment on the numbered accounts though: one benefit of the numbered accounts which I failed to mention is that even internally in the bank, only a handful of people know who hides behind the number, which means that even though you are on file with the bank and still must idntify yourself upon opening the account, the number of people who knows who you are is very very low, and not potentially all 20'000 employees of a large bank like UBS or Credit Suisse with access to normal client information. This is the solution Elvis would choose! ;)

Comment Re:A prettied-up version of organized crime (Score 3, Interesting) 325

Though I don't necessarily disagree with the point that banking secrecy can be abused (as can all forms of anonymity), one should perhaps consider that it's the Swiss' right (and I am not Swiss myself) to have whatever laws they want in their own country. The Swiss believe strongly in the rights of the individual and have accepted that with this extended freedom, which you do not enjoy in for example the US or most of the EU, there will be a price to pay. I would dare argue there is a price to pay for the deteriorating rights of the individual that we see in most countries today as well.

In Norway for example, every citizen's taxes are available publicly to everyone else online (you can google the taxes of any Norwegian). They argue that without this practice (i.e. with secret wages and taxes) you will have fraud, inequality and a lack of transparency. This is further towards the other end of the spectrum. I presume you're American, which puts you in the middle. That doesn't mean I think I can tell you that you should post your taxes and salary online, nor hand over the details of your bank account to the first public servant who asks, though the (US in this case) government would probably catch a couple more tax avoiders that way.

Comment Re:Facts & fiction (Score 1) 325

To be honest I do not know, and I would suspect you are right. What I can say for sure though, is that in my own organization, this is is considered an absolute rule and I'd be willing to bet anything that it has never been broken. You risk jail and losing your job - I don't think any ticket (i.e. new account) is worth that (at least not to me, and I'm 100% sure not to my colleagues).

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