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Comment Sony is claiming this is voluntary... (Score 4, Insightful) 146

Sony is saying that this is a voluntary effort to cooperate with Japanese authorities, as they are not actually legally obliged to wait for permission to restart their services in Asia.

However, it's worth pointing out that in Japan it is common to allow companies and individuals to take "voluntary" actions to save face or prevent a public appearance of contention. There is also generally a greater public expectation of privacy amongst the Japanese, so their regulators are more less amused with Sony than American authorities.

Make of Sony's voluntary claims what you will.

Comment This headline and summary are completely wrong! (Score 5, Informative) 691

I live in Japan and have been following this news all day. The info in the headline and summary about the the reactors is complete incorrect. As to what has actually been happening:

First, the linked article is from 7 hours ago and is referring to the second explosion at Fukushima Daiichi of Reactor #3. The current situation as of 8PM Japan time was that the cooling system of Reactor #2 finally died and they just recently started filling it with seawater like the other reactors. This reactor is likely to cause another hydrogen explosion like the other two failed reactors before it. Also like the other reactors, this one may have suffered from some partial melting of its fuel rods.

Secondly, the article implies that thousands have died as a result of the problems at the Fukushima reactors. THIS IS NOT THE CASE! There have been reports of non-serious injuries and VERY mild radiation contamination but nothing that warrants any kind of panic yet.

Slashdot editors, please rewrite or delete this article, it is just spreading misinformation!

Comment Re:How Does It Encapsulate the Source Code? (Score 4, Informative) 220

Crash dumps sent to Microsoft can contain memory used by the Windows process that was hosed by the virus writer, which could very well include whatever machine code was injected in to the process's memory or the invalid input that caused the crash . No phoning home via Visual Studio is required (amazing FUD with your speculation there, by the way,) the nature of the attack means the code/data is going to be exactly in the place it needs to be for MS to get at it without doing anything nefarious.

Comment There is actually a really good reason to do this (Score 1) 240

This is actually a totally understandable response to the flawed user profile/content ownership system on the PS3. Really the only thing that surprises me is that it took this long to happen!

Basically, on the 360 permissions work out such that your purchased content can be used by you or any other user on the console it was originally bought from and roams with you, but can only be used by you on other consoles. This means I can play SomeGame X with my friend at his home, but he can't play it once my account is gone.

As I understand it The PS3 ownership model doesn't seem to really do anything at all, so as another poster mentioned you can basically share PSN Games and DLC with abandon.

This didn't need to happen this way but somebody skimped on the planning stages for this whole downloadable content thing and left the door wide open to abuse. I'd love to see a way to digitally transfer ownership legitimately, but that is an argument for another day.

Comment Wonderful reporting courtesy of the BBC (Score 4, Informative) 222

I think it's worth pointing that Winni is used almost exclusively by the Japanese, and the total population of Japan is still under 130 million people. The 200 million users figure put forth by the BBC is a bad guess at best, and completely made up at worst. I honestly expected better from the BBS, but why should factual reporting get in the way of writing a sensational story?
Space

Messenger Sends First Full Fly-By Image of Mercury 55

An anonymous reader writes with this snippet from Gizmodo: "NASA's Messenger (MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry and Ranging spacecraft) has flown by just 125 miles over the surface of Mercury, the closest planet to the Sun and the smallest in the Solar System. This is the first time in history that the whole planet is going to be photographed in its entirety by an Earthling probe, with amazing resolution and ultra-crisp detail." The picture at the top of the linked story is fantastic, too.
Upgrades

Steam To Begin Hosting Game Mods 81

Valve made a brief announcement on Friday that they will be allowing the download of user-created game mods directly from Steam. "Once installed, these MODs will appear in your 'My Games' list and will receive automatic updates just like other games on Steam. Also, these MODs now take advantage of Steamworks, which provides stat tracking and tighter integration with the Steam community." Mods will be available for five different games to start, and more in the future.
Space

On Fourth Launch Attempt, SpaceX Falcon 1 Reaches Orbit 518

xp65 writes with the just-announced success of Elon Musk's SpaceX's long efforts to reach orbit with a privately-developed launching craft: "T+0:08:21 Falcon 1 reached orbital velocity, 5200 m/s Nominal Second stage cut off (SECO) — Falcon 1 has made history as the first privately developed liquid fueled launch vehicle to achieve earth orbit!" dbullard adds "This was a completely new vehicle — it's not using any previously developed hardware. All developed from scratch. No government supplied hardware, Russian engines, or old ICBM motors. My hat's off to the employees of Space X — all 550 of them. (Note — no 'cast of thousands,' just 550). They've got video of the entire launch."
Security

Submission + - The Physical Hacks at DefCon (physorg.com)

eldavojohn writes: "As we all know, DefCon is occurring in Vegas this weekend but Saturday held a room that focused on possibly the oldest form of hacking — lockpicking. That's right, as software security becomes better and better, the focus may instead shift towards simple hacking tips like looking over someone's shoulder for their password, faking employment or just picking the locks to gain access to the building where machines are left on overnight. This is nothing to sneeze at, "Medeco deadbolt locks relied on worldwide at embassies, banks and other tempting targets for thieves, spies or terrorists can be opened in seconds with a strip of metal and a thin screw driver, Marc Tobias of Security.org demonstrated for AFP ... Tobias says he refuses to publish details of 'defeating' the locks because they are used in places ranging from homes, banks and jewelers to the White House and the Pentagon. He asked AFP not to disclose how it is done." I'm sure all Slashdot readers are savvy enough to use firewall(s) but do you know and trust what locks 'physically' protect your data from hacks like these?"
Graphics

Submission + - New Milestone Demoscene Releases. (pouet.net) 4

An anonymous reader writes: With over 3000 visitors one of the biggest computer festivals, the Assembly 2007, just closed doors. The event saw the release of some of the best demoscene productions of this year. Among them the first good demos for the XBOX 360, but also for platforms as obscure as the Atari VCS2600 from 1976. The main demo competition was won by Lifeforce, one of the most acclaimed demoscene demos ever. Other releases can be found here.
Republicans

Submission + - Florida University forced To Idolize Jeb Bush

Ariastis writes: Two weeks ago, the University of Florida voted to deny Jeb Bush an honorary degree. By a 38-28 vote, the faculty Senate rejected the former governor's nomination, citing concerns about some of Bush's education initiatives, including his dismantling of affirmative action programs in the state. Upset by this lack of Jeb Bush adoration, the conservative-controlled House Schools & Learning Council voted yesterday to force the university to rename its education school the Jeb Bush College of Education.

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