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Comment Re:I Guess This Means ... (Score 1) 336

Makes you wonder if a low-tech solution might be the answer. That is, no telephones, and no electronic-based communications of any kind. Codes, radio, and messages written and sent via standard mail. It's hard to electronically hack something when the information does not exist electronically. Just a thought, though.

And I agree with cutting out all the middlemen. Assign a small team of about two or three on each side to handle the whole thing. One leader of operations on both sides and two agents operating under them for intelligence gathering and the like.

Submission + - Dot-dash-diss: The gentleman hacker's 1903 lulz (

ka6wke writes: "New Scientist writes:

A century ago, one of the worldÃÂÂ(TM)s first hackers used Morse code insults to disrupt a public demo of Marconi's wireless telegraph.

  LATE one June afternoon in 1903 a hush fell across an expectant audience in the Royal Institution's celebrated lecture theatre in London. Before the crowd, the physicist John Ambrose Fleming was adjusting arcane apparatus as he prepared to demonstrate an emerging technological wonder: a long-range wireless communication system developed by his boss, the Italian radio pioneer Guglielmo Marconi."


Submission + - Wasting Hackers' Time to Keep Websites Safe (

wjousts writes: A new security start-up, Mykonos Software, is pushing a new approach to handling hackers. Instead of blocking them, it proposes instead to waste their time by feeding them false information until they give up.

As reported in Technology Review:

As a promotional tool to impress potential clients, Mykonos engineers have built versions of the company's software that taunt attackers. One directs a hacker to a Google Maps search for nearby criminal attorneys. Another parodies Microsoft's now-defunct anthropomorphic paper clip, Clippy, with the message: "It looks like you're an unsophisticated script kiddie. Do you need help writing code?"

Their tactics include placing supercookies on suspected attackers computers.

There are few things hackers hate more than being taunted. So is this a valid strategy? Or is it waiving a red cloak at a bull?

Your Rights Online

Submission + - Why MegaUpload Was Really Shut Down (

David Gerard writes: "In December of 2011, just weeks before the takedown, Digital Music News reported on something new that the creators of Megaupload were about to unroll. Something that would rock the music industry to its core: MegaBox. MegaBox was going to be an alternative music store that was entirely cloud-based and offered artists a better money-making opportunity than they would get with any record label — "allowing artists to keep 90 percent of earnings.""

Comment What if it doesn't work just right? (Score 1) 704

I have no problems with HDMI at its base. When I've actively used it, it's worked just fine, and as for HDCP, well... name a copy protection scheme that hasn't been chiseled open given a little time (if that's your thing, of course. It's not for me, but ymmv).

No, my problem is actually a more unique one, or at least I think so. I use my laptop now as my main PC since my desktop aged too much and became so slow it was no longer useful to me. The laptop I have features an HDMI port on it, as does the 22" monitor I have (a Hannspree). And for active use, this port works just fine and does everything it should. But since upgrading to Windows 7 on that laptop a couple of years ago, and updating the GPU drivers for it, the monitor won't go to sleep and stay asleep whenever the laptop goes to sleep or turns off. Once the laptop is asleep or is turned off, a couple of seconds later the screen shows a "NO SIGNAL" message right in the middle. When using VGA, this message goes off after a couple of seconds and the monitor itself then goes to sleep. While connected to HDMI, though, it never goes to sleep, even though the laptop is clearly asleep or off.

It's almost as if the HDMI cable is still getting power from the laptop somehow, and the monitor is detecting that, but the monitor is obviously not getting any video feed from the laptop because it's asleep. But the monitor chooses to stay awake anyhow. The only fix is to unplug the HDMI cable after I turn off the laptop but that's a bit of a kludge if you ask me.

At any rate, it's little bugs like these that I hope they work out. And maybe I just haven't gotten the right settings on the laptop to force the HDMI port to turn off when it goes to sleep.

Comment Re:Terrible (Score 5, Interesting) 380

That does appear to be the case. Oh there's still public domain as a sort of status, however temporary. But this renders anything in public domain into what's essentially a nebulous limbo until someone comes along and stakes claim to it to re-up the copyright on it.

Naturally it would be in the best interest for a public domain interest group to form and keep a watchful eye on all works entering into public domain, staking claim to said works as soon as it fall into public domain, then immediately releasing it under a sort of GNU-type license that everyone can have free access to the work(s) in question.

After all, as long as someone has a claim to it, especially if it's a collective group for the express purpose of keeping public domain items free for general use by the public, doesn't that still accomplish what public domain has for all these years anyway? It's just a way of working around this new ruling to render it the same.

Comment Re:And they wonder why people pirate (Score 3, Insightful) 473

I don't think it's quite the same. You see, with a console, you know what you're getting into when you buy it. You know that the console you purchase today will be the same 10 years from now, 20 years, etc. And the only way to "upgrade" the hardware is to buy the next console that comes out. Most who do this, but want to play the older games too, will keep the older machine laying around. In doing so, you're able to continue to play the older games you like on your old console for as long as you want. You also know that in buying a new console, unless the new console is backwards-compatible with the older console, your game won't work on it. But for consoles, this is a given, and has been so since game consoles were invented.

PC gaming, however, is a different animal. Every PC is, at heart, based on the same hardware and software (generally speaking) as the generation before. Therefore, there should be no conceivable reason why software that currently runs on my machine now can't run in the future if I make a simple upgrade to the same machine (more memory, bigger HDD, different graphics card, etc.). Likewise, if I buy a newer machine, there's a high likelihood that, if I'm running the same base OS (usually Windows), it should still work with little to no extra configuration necessary. PC gamers have relied on this for years, and is one reason dedicated PC gamers who do not own consoles specifically choose not to own a console. It hasn't been until recently that we've had to deal with DRM do the degree that it basically locks a PC gamer into his or her current hardware configuration without the possibility to transfer to another machine (games purchased over Steam excepted).

Perhaps the biggest thing that makes the difference between PC gamers and console gamers is that console gamers can (and do) have multiple consoles in the house. Being smaller in size than a PC gaming rig, gamers will tend to occasionally keep the old boxes to play the old games that the new machines will not play. PC gamers, on the other hand, tend to only have one PC rig in their house, and maybe two if they have the room. That rig then gets updated over time, or eventually replaced. We know that on a hardware and software level, these upgrades or a full replacement should not render the old software inoperable (there are certain cases where it might, but these situations are becoming far and few between). It's just things like DRM that tend to stand in the way.

Comment Re:Maybe if they hadn't lied last time... (Score 1) 121

I'm with you on this. Ubisoft has a history of lying about their DRM and other things, to the point that I don't even believe anything they say anymore, and have lost a great deal of respect for them as a company.

Ubisoft isn't beyond releasing the game with this "DRM on startup only" system, then forcing users to patch the game later in order to keep playing it to a full "must be online always forever until the earth rots" DRM a month hence.

Comment Re:Smartphones do not make good gaming systems (Score 1) 140

I downloaded that Geometry Wars clone as well. It's a game called PewPew. The controls are a little iffy but after playing a while you do tend to get somewhat used to them. Overall it's a good game, and I don't fault the developer for the control issues.

That said, smart phones are powerful enough to handle complex games. We know this. Most have seen the Kal-El "Glowball" demo that came out recently (if you have not, youtube it). It shows off what the nVidia Tegra 3 quad-core can do, and it only goes up from here. But we need controllers. Desperately.

First, though, we need APIs for it. For the iPhone and Android each, we need an API very similar to DirectX's DirectInput. Something that defines a structured set of rules and specifications for controllers and how various controller functions are handled (thumbsticks, D-pads, buttons, etc.). Once that's in place, then you start having companies develop compatible controllers for it, and have a certification system in place. Then, if you're a game developer, if your game needs to use a more traditional control set, encourage developers to support the platform for the system. In other words, make a gaming API that is very tightly integrated into the OS itself (like DirectX is with Windows), and include a rich, highly-functional input API to handle gaming.

Do this, and gaming on mobile devices will soar, and it won't just be touch-based games either. You'll have real, honest-to-goodness traditional gaming the way it ought to be done.

Comment Re:How can you game without physical controls? (Score 1) 140

Second on changing cartridges. A mobile platform should allow you to at least install games to some form of storage memory on the system, whether that be an internal hard drive, SD card, etc. Going to a download service would be a convenience for a mobile platform. Although the PS Vita will also use cartridge-based storage.

That being said, another option would be to include multiple cartridge slots directly in the system. Instead of carrying around a bulky case to house your system and 3-5 games, why not instead have a bay of cartridge slots that would allow you to insert up to three games at once in the system. That would give you a good enough variety to justify needing cartridges while not limiting you down to pretty much just one (unless you want loose carts flopping about in your pocket or having to carry around a bulky storage case).

Comment Re:Inside vs. outside sales (Score 2) 331

Ah. I think I understand here. So basically, either an outside OR an inside salesperson makes a sale. But not both. Therefore, if it's the outside guy, that person gets 20% and the inside people get zilch. But if it's an inside guy that makes the sale, the engineering salesperson gets 10-15% while the rest of the engineers as a whole get the remaining 5% to share, and the outside people get to work a little harder next time.

In either case, if this is what you're saying AC (and I believe it is), nobody is making over 20% for any individual sale. So what you're basically doing is setting up a 20% commission and telling both groups that it's up for grabs for whoever is able to make the sale happen.

Seems a little high still at 20%. I'd probably bump that on down to about 10-12% tops with perhaps an additional end-of-year 10% bonus for your top sales rep (either inside or outside, as that gives an incentive to make more sales). Sounds ok unless you're aiming to share the commissions with everyone. In which case, it would take some retooling of the numbers. But every situation is different, of course.

Comment Re:Technical solution? (Score 1) 182

Yes, it's actually a very decent "Halo" clone. Originally for iPhone and later ported to Android. I grabbed it for my Samsung Galaxy S and I've played the heck out of it. It has a good single player campaign mode, and decent online multiplayer. NOVA2 is better, of course, but the original game is nice.

I wouldn't have a problem with them giving me free stuff. But I would say that they should either give me a way to uninstall it, or if they won't do me that service, at least give me the full version of the game to enjoy. One or the other. Unfortunately, Gameloft is notorious for preinstalling a demo of their game on phones and asking you for $5 to unlock the rest of it. My Galaxy S has a demo for "Asphalt 5" preinstalled, which I haven't bought.

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