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Woman Jailed For Starting Office Fire To Leave Work Early 136

A Florida woman was sentenced to nine months in jail, followed by five years of probation, for starting an office fire so she could get out of work early. From the article: "Pasco sheriff's investigators said Michelle Perrino, 40, started a fire at Bayonet Point Oxygen on May 12, 2009. Perrino drew suspicion when she mentioned the fire's origin — a filing cabinet — during an employee meeting. Employees had not been told where the fire started." I hope she had the good sense to start the fire on Friday so she could have a long weekend.
PC Games (Games)

On Transitioning To an Asian-Style MMO, Such As Aion 256

A. Harvey writes "Ten Ton Hammer has an interesting article about the transition to Asian-style MMO games, specifically Aion. 'In many ways, the West is catching up to the East in terms of gaming. Per capita gaming ... and broadband proliferation is markedly higher in Asian markets. Gaming is much more social in the East as well; many players gather together in internet cafes to spend their game time with each other. Another surprising difference in most Asian-based games is that most functions of game control are mouse based.' I think the author hit the nail on the head that Aion will be a big success in North America and will introduce a lot of players to games with an Eastern feel."

0 A.D. Goes Open Source 88

DoubleRing writes "Wildfire Games has announced that it will be moving its previously closed development process for 0 A.D. to open source. All code will be released under the GPL and all art under CC-BY-SA. 0 A.D. is a historically-based RTS, and while it's not yet complete, this trailer is purportedly actual gameplay footage. With a codebase of over 150k lines of C++ code plus 25k lines in development tools, this is looking like a fairly promising entrant into the open source RTS field. The screenshots are definitely pretty, to say the least."

Comment Re:HAM Radio is the way to go. (Score 1) 504

As far as my experience goes, this is fine for very low bandwidth data (sub-100KB text-only email) but no good for anything else. I used an SSB radio with a Pactor modem and SailMail while crossing the Atlantic, and it was great for staying in touch with friends but it wouldn't handle attachments, so photos and suchlike were out of the question. A lot of the sailors I've met opt for satphones with data capabilities, from providers such as Thuraya, which give something like 9600 baud at a reasonable cost, but the coverage isn't as complete as what you'll get with SSB. Either way, there's no chance a student can afford these: an SSB with a modem is way more expensive than a cheap satphone, and the cheapest Thuraya Hughes phone I found was around $500 second-hand (excluding any data topups).

It's pretty clear if you know a bit about marine data comms that Ubergamer's data quotas are actually extremely generous: 100 minutes of net access and permanent e-mail use with a megabyte message limit is a good deal. My advice would be to use a WordPress blog and set up the e-mail posting option, forget photographs or perhaps use them as part of the 100 minutes quota. Forget Facebook, MySpace and other social networking sites; point your friends at your blog and stay in touch via e-mail and the occasional phone call (assuming you get a reasonable voice quota). Read more books, get to know the people you're sailing with and Enjoy the travels!

Comment Re:Seriously, what is wrong with the United Kingdo (Score 2, Informative) 434

Keep an eye on "S and Marper v United Kingdom", where two British citizens who've had their DNA taken argue that this retention is in breach of their human rights. More here:

NFL Caught Abusing the DMCA 357

Implied Oral Consent writes "You know how the NFL puts up those notices before every game saying 'This telecast is copyrighted by the NFL for the private use of our audience, and any other use of this telecast or of any pictures, descriptions or accounts of the game without the NFL's consent is prohibited?' Well, Ars Technica is reporting that Wendy Seltzer thought that that was over-reaching and posted a video of the notice on YouTube. Predictably, the NFL filed a DMCA Take Down notice on the clip. But Ms. Seltzer knows her rights, so she filed a DMCA Counter Notice. This is when the NFL violated the DMCA, by filing another Take Down notice instead of taking the issue to court — their only legitimate option, according to the DMCA. Unfortunately for the NFL, Ms. Seltzer is a law professor, an EFF lawyer, and the founder of Chilling Effects. Oops!"

Submission + - How MediaSentry Poisons P2P

Quid custodiet ipsos custodes? writes: "Ars Technica has an interesting tour of MediaSentry's operations. MediaSentry, best known for putting fake files on P2P networks, apparently has no less than 60 employees, 2,000 geographically diverse co-located servers, and 9 GBps of bandwidth which it uses to attack P2P networks that serve files it has been hired to protect. They use no less than four different tactics: decoy files, some of which are now advertisements; spoofing results to P2P network search requests; spamming uploaders with download request to eat their bandwidth; and swarming, where they join BitTorrent or similar swarms and serve bogus data to slow or corrupt the downloads. While some of this has been known for a while now, it would be interesting to see how this admission to the details of their operation plays in court. Given that the RIAA has offered little more than screenshots as evidence on infringement, could they not be mistakenly accusing people based on spoofs they paid MediaSentry to create?"

Submission + - Vista: Not just another pretty face

Bob_the_Builder writes: An in-depth look at Vista argues that the new OS is far more than a pretty shell slapped on top of the same underlying components. In fact, what's under the hood represents a complete reworking of many OS subsystems, and it will determine the direction of Windows development for the next several generations of the OS. "Even after the false starts and scaled-back plans, Vista is still a huge evolution in the history of the NT platform, and that's not something to be sniffed at. The fundamental changes to the platform are of a scale not seen since the release of NT." Is Vista a bigger deal than many critics have said?

Comment Re:Converting (Score 1) 483

I am not so sure. I applied heavy pressure to convert my Mum to Ubuntu due to the state of her Windows install meaning that basically nothing worked consistently anymore anyway. The heavy part was required as she had no understanding of any of it, so change == bad. Now, no calls, no issues - have checked. All just works. For basic non-power users (i.e. just browsing, email, simple word processing) it takes some beating in terms of no issues, runs on windows hardware happily (roll on simple Mac installs?). The only issue I can see is that if you hand a linux system over and they have a problem with it, they are going to be forced repeat business unless they know a power user of their own...

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