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Submission + - Red Star: North Korea's operating system revelaed (

rippeltippel writes: Linux-based and with a stylish OSX-like interface, it tackles illegal file exchanges by watermarking your data and reboots itself when you try to tamper with the OS.

From the article:
"If a user makes any changes to core functions, like trying to disable its antivirus checker or firewall, the computer will display an error message or reboot itself. [...] Illegal media is usually passed person-to-person in North Korea using USB sticks and microSD cards, making it hard for the government to track where they come from. Red Star tackles this by tagging, or watermarking, every document or media file on a computer or on any USB stick connected to it"

Submission + - Billguard removed from non-US app stores

rippeltippel writes: As a European BillGuard user, I recently received this email from their customer support:

Hi there, I’m writing to let you know that we recently removed BillGuard from all app stores outside the United States. We had to take this unfortunate step because we added some features that currently don’t function outside of the U.S. ... We hope to be able to return to international app stores in the future, but we currently can’t put a date on that.

I initially thought of a joke: did they really remove an app from all non-US app stores, rather than disabling some feature in those countries? What sort of disruptive country-specific features could they have possibly added? But alas! I checked and can't actually see that app on Google Play anymore.

Needless to say that I'm very disappointed for both the lack of future updates and their little interest in non-US customers: this is very poor management to me. Does anybody have more insight about the technical reasons that led to this?

Comment Re:As always with C++, the truth is more nuanced (Score 1) 262

However, it also means that if you have any weak_ptrs pointing at the end of that shared_ptr, the object itself won't go away until all the weak_ptrs do too (because the control structure won't go away until they do, and they're contiguously allocated).

Shouldn't you lock the weak_ptr before using it?

Submission + - Google becomes a subsidiary of Alphabet (

rippeltippel writes: Larry Page announced the birth of Alphabet, a collection of companies the largest of which, of course, is Google. As he wrote: "this newer Google is a bit slimmed down, with the companies that are pretty far afield of our main internet products contained in Alphabet instead."
The full announcement can be found at Alphabet's new website:
As TechCrunch reports, the stock market is reacting favorably to the announcement, with Alphabet’s stock going up 5.5% after hours.

Submission + - UK government releases rules to get self-driving cars onto public roads (

rippeltippel writes: Ars Technica UK reports that the UK government has released the rules to get self-driving cars onto public roads. As the article reports, drivers will be required to have "a high level of knowledge about the technology used" (i.e. they'll be techies) and — most notably — will have to mimic the act of driving, to avoid confusing other drivers. The original PDF can be viewed here.

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The bogosity meter just pegged.