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PlayStation (Games)

PlayStation 3 Games Are Coming To PC (cnet.com) 123

PlayStation 3 games are coming to Windows. Sony said Tuesday that it is bringing its PlayStation Now game-streaming program to Windows PCs. The service broadcasts PlayStation 3 games over the internet similar to the way Netflix beams movies to devices like Roku. CNET reports: This fall, you'll be able to play previously exclusive games like Uncharted 3 and Shadow of the Colossus on a Windows laptop. The catch: you'll be playing those games over the internet with Sony's streaming game service, PlayStation Now. Think Netflix. PlayStation Now has already been around for a couple of years on the PS4, PS3, PS Vita handheld, plus a handful of Blu-ray players and smart TVs. For $20 a month or $45 for three, the service gives players unlimited access to a long list of over 400 PlayStation 3 games. Like Netflix or any other streaming service, the quality can vary wildly depending on your internet connection -- Sony requires a solid 5Mbps connection at all times, and that doesn't change today. What changes is the size of Sony's audience. With a Windows laptop or tablet, you aren't tethered to a big-screen TV. You could theoretically take these PlayStation games anywhere -- and wherever you go, your save games stream with you.
Microsoft

Microsoft Wants To Pay You To Use Its Windows 10 Browser Edge (theguardian.com) 256

An anonymous reader shares a report by The Guardian: Microsoft has a new browser. It launched with Windows 10 and it's called Edge. The company says it's faster, more battery efficient and all-round better than Chrome or Firefox. You can even draw on websites with a stylus. Trouble is, not very many people are using it. So now Microsoft's trying to bribe you to switch. The newly rebranded Microsoft Rewards -- formerly Bing Rewards, which paid people for using Bing as their search engine (another product Microsoft says is better than a Google product but that very few people actually use) -- will now pay you for using Edge, shopping at the Microsoft store, or using Bing. Users of Edge who sign up to Microsoft Rewards, which is currently US-only, are then awarded points simply for using the browser. Microsoft actively monitors whether you're using Edge for up to 30 hours a month. It tracks mouse movements and other signs that you're not trying to game the system, and you must also have Bing set as your default search engine. Points can then be traded in for vouchers or credit for places such as Starbucks, Skype, Amazon and ad-free Outlook.com -- remember, if you're not paying for something, you are the product.

Comment My first programming job (Score 4, Interesting) 68

In the mid-eighties, I worked as an apprentice at a place where they used LOGO (M.I.T. Experimental LOGO #43 or some other number) on a mini running TSX (or RT-11, can't remember) to do bookkeeping for about 30 small businesses.

This mini ran about 12 terminals in text-mode (of course) and we had a small complement of clerks entering data.

This LOGO also had NO turtle, although we had an Apple-II that I was given to take home that did have the turtle-graphics.

What this LOGO did have were the list and word operators, which we used to write accounting software that had specialized rounding, which was more precise than using something like C floats because you could calculate precision to any arbitrary limit by simply breaking numbers apart as words and calculating their digits to the decimal place of your choosing. By being strings, they were immune to typical numerical-storage problem.

Another thing I did with LOGO was have almost-constant epiphanies about recursion and abstraction. LOGO was designed to light fires in young minds and it certainly did for me.

Seymour Papert has thus been a hero of mine since then and I've always longed to someday thank him for his work. I offer up my thanks to his spirit. Everything I ever went on to write in software is owed to him.

Thank you again, Mr. Papert and may God rest your soul.

PS - Sadly, one of the partners embezzled the business, which folded and I never got to program in LOGO again professionally, which is a real shame because LOGO was simply wonderful

Microsoft

Microsoft Finally Releases New Skype App For Linux (skype.com) 164

Four months after Linux users complained about issues with Skype app -- an update in March apparently broke the instant message and video calling app -- Microsoft announced a few minutes ago the launch of the Alpha version of a new Skype app for Linux, a move that "reaffirms the company's commitment to the Linux community." The blog post adds that there will be a two-hour Q&A session todat at 7AM PDT between Linux users and engineering team to welcome the new app. The alpha version uses the "latest, fastest and most responsive Skype UI." The company also says that users on Skype for Linux 4.3.37 will no longer be able to use the app to make or receive any calls -- so you really need to use this new app. In the blog post, Microsoft also adds that anyone with a Chromebook and Chrome for Linux can now visit web.skype.com to make one-to-one and group voice calls on top of text messaging feature. It is also an alpha version of Skype -- and is built on top of WebRTC standard.
Youtube

180 Artists, Labels Including Taylor Swift Take On YouTube, Join Copyright Plea (cnn.com) 288

Chloe Melas, reporting for CNN: Taylor Swift, U2, Kings of Leon and Paul McCartney are some of the 180 recording artists and labels petitioning Congress to reform the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (D.M.C.A.) In an open letter to Congress, they write that the current online copyright law has allowed YouTube and other sites to "generate huge profits by creating ease of use for consumers to carry almost every recorded song in history in their pocket via a smartphone, while songwriters' and artists' earnings continue to diminish." The letter, which is being published in The Hill and Politico this week, goes on to call for "sensible reform." "We ask you to enact sensible reform that balances the interests of creators with the interests of the companies who exploit music for their financial enrichment. It's only then that consumers will truly benefit." YouTube's parent company, Google, declined to comment Tuesday, but in a statement in April said, "Any claim that the DMCA safe harbors are responsible for a 'value gap' for music on YouTube is simply false." This comes days after musician Trent Reznor said YouTube is built on the back of stolen content.
Encryption

Non-US Encryption Is 'Theoretical', Claims CIA Chief In Backdoor Debate (theregister.co.uk) 312

Iain Thomson, writing for The Register: CIA director John Brennan told U.S. senators they shouldn't worry about mandatory encryption backdoors hurting American businesses. And that's because, according to Brennan, there's no one else for people to turn to: if they don't want to use U.S.-based technology because it's been forced to use weakened cryptography, they'll be out of luck because non-American solutions are simply "theoretical." Thus, the choice is American-built-and-backdoored or nothing, apparently. The spymaster made the remarks at a congressional hearing on Thursday after Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) questioned the CIA's support for weakening cryptography to allow g-men to peek at people's private communications and data. Brennan said this was needed to counter the ability of terrorists to coordinate their actions using encrypted communications. The director denied that forcing American companies to backdoor their security systems would cause any commercial problems.
Cloud

Microsoft is Working On Software For The Legal Marijuana Industry (theverge.com) 87

An anonymous reader writes from a report via The Verge: Microsoft has announced today that it will partner with Los Angeles-based startup Kind on a system for tracking the legal growing and sale of marijuana. Microsoft will work with the startup on software services for governments tracking legal weed, with Microsoft powering the software through its Azure cloud computing service. "The goal of this relationship is to leverage each company's resources to provide State, County, and Municipalities with purpose built solutions for track and trace ('seed to sale' in the cannabis industry) technology," Kind said in a statement. As reported in The New York Times, this is a pretty significant venture for a corporation publicly journeying into the controversial industry. Growing and selling marijuana is still illegal under the federal government.

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