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Outcast 1.1 Released

Recent Blue's News Posts - 4 hours 43 min ago
Outcast 1.1 is now available on and Steam, offering an updated version of this classic action/adventure game that comes as a surprise following a failed kickstart (thanks Kotaku). The Steam...

Steamship Ahoy - Assetto Corsa

Recent Blue's News Posts - 4 hours 43 min ago
Assetto Corsa is now available on Steam, featuring the official release of this racing game following a few laps around the early access track. The game is 30% off for the next couple of weeks, and...

Saturday Crowdfunding Roundup

Recent Blue's News Posts - 4 hours 43 min ago
Glorious Leader! by Moneyhorse ? Kickstarter. "Glorious Leader! is a satirical 16-bit run 'n' gun. Take up the mantle of Kim Jong Un as you battle the entire American Army."

Saturday Consolidation

Recent Blue's News Posts - 4 hours 43 min ago
Sony bets it all on indie at PlayStation?s Vegas expo. Duck Hunt?s Virtual Console debut, and why the original hates your new TV. Pulp Nintendo. Thanks Ant. Rock Band DLC Sale For The Holidays.

Saturday Mobilization

Recent Blue's News Posts - 4 hours 43 min ago
T-Mobile to offer LTE over 5GHz Wi-Fi airwaves to boost data rates. Save The Teenies - Android Apps on Google Play and Save The Teenies on the App Store on iTunes.

Saturday Metaverse

Recent Blue's News Posts - 4 hours 43 min ago
Your complete guide to free (and legal!) TV streaming. Thanks Ant. Making the Internet a utility?what?s the worst that could happen? Justin Bieber just lost 3.5 million Instagram followers. FCC...

Saturday Tech Bits

Recent Blue's News Posts - 4 hours 43 min ago
New Zealand couple manages to lock themselves in keyless car for 13 hours. Rescue delayed by escalator breakdown. Notes from TR's next-gen storage testing. The Tech Report Podcast 167.5 bonus...

Saturday Safety Dance

Recent Blue's News Posts - 4 hours 43 min ago
Thanks j.c.f. Obama on hack: "Sony made a mistake" in killing 'The Interview.' Staples: Breach may have affected 1.16 million customers' cards. Driver?s license app on a smartphone raises privacy...

Saturday Legal Briefs

Recent Blue's News Posts - 4 hours 43 min ago
Sony hack: How cybercrime just got even more complicated. Thanks j.c.f. NSA to defend Internet collection in court. Thanks Ant via DSLReports. Verizon to FCC: You can?t stop Netflix-like...

Game Reviews

Recent Blue's News Posts - 4 hours 43 min ago
Corto Maltese - Secrets of Venice on Just Adventure. Elite: Dangerous on IGN. Thanks Cutter.

Hardware Reviews

Recent Blue's News Posts - 4 hours 43 min ago
Asus Crosshair V Formula-Z on LAN OC. Dell Venue 8 3000 Series Android Tablet on MEGATechNews. GIGABYTE MW50-SV0 (Intel C612) Workstation Motherboard on TweakTown. GIGABYTE X99 Gaming G1 WIFI...

Out of the Blue

Recent Blue's News Posts - 4 hours 43 min ago
We had plans for a family holiday gathering today, but a young one with a fever caused things to be postponed until after the new year. It will be nice to see everyone, but it is also nice to be able...

Ask Slashdot: Is an Open Source </nobr>.NET Up To the Job?

Recent /. Posts - 5 hours 46 min ago
Rob Y. writes: The discussion on Slashdot about Microsoft's move to open source .NET core has centered on: 1. whether this means Microsoft is no longer the enemy of the open source movement 2. if not, then does it mean Microsoft has so lost in the web server arena that it's resorting to desperate moves. 3. or nah — it's standard Microsoft operating procedure. Embrace, extend, extinguish. What I'd like to ask is whether anybody that's not currently a .NET fan actually wants to use it? Open source or not. What is the competition? Java? PHP? Ruby? Node.js? All of the above? Anything but Microsoft? Because as an OSS advocate, I see only one serious reason to even consider using it — standardization. Any of those competing platforms could be as good or better, but the problem is: how to get a job in this industry when there are so many massively complex platforms out there. I'm still coding in C, and at 62, will probably live out my working days doing that. But I can still remember when learning a new programming language was no big deal. Even C required learning a fairly large library to make it useful, but it's nothing compared to what's out there today. And worse, jobs (and technologies) don't last like they used to. Odds are, in a few years, you'll be starting over in yet another job where they use something else. Employers love standardization. Choosing a standard means you can't be blamed for your choice. Choosing a standard means you can recruit young, cheap developers and actually get some output from them before they move on. Or you can outsource with some hope of success (because that's what outsourcing firms do — recruit young, cheap devs and rotate them around). To me, those are red flags — not pluses at all. But they're undeniable pluses to greedy employers. Of course, there's much more to being an effective developer than knowing the platform so you can be easily slotted in to a project. But try telling that to the private equity guys running too much of the show these days. So, assuming Microsoft is sincere about this open source move, 1. Is .NET up to the job? 2. Is there an open source choice today that's popular enough to be considered the standard that employers would like? 3. If the answer to 1 is yes and 2 is no, make the argument for avoiding .NET.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Study: Red Light Cameras Don't Improve Safety

Recent /. Posts - 6 hours 47 min ago
An anonymous reader writes: Ars Technica summaries a study by the Chicago Tribune (paywalled) that found red light cameras do not improve driver safety. "[W]hile right angle crash incidents have been reduced, rear-end crashes that resulted in injuries went up 22 percent." Chicago officials recently claimed that the cameras led to a 47% reduction "T-bone" injury crashes, using that statistic as evidence that the program is worthwhile. But the study's authors, who "accounted for declining accident rates in recent years as well as other confounding factors, found cameras reduced right-angle crashes that caused injuries by just 15 percent." They also noted that the city chose to install many cameras at intersections where crashes were rare to begin with. Chicago has raised roughly $500 million from red light camera tickets since 2002. "[O]fficials recently admitted to the city inspector general that they had quietly dropped the threshold for what constitutes a red light camera ticket, allowing the tickets even when cameras showed a yellow light time just under the three-second federal minimum standard. That shift earlier this year snared 77,000 more drivers and $7.7 million in ticket revenue before the city agreed to change the threshold back.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Behind the Scenes With the Star Trek Fan Reboot

Recent /. Posts - 7 hours 48 min ago
SternisheFan writes: The original Starship Enterprise was on a 5-year mission, but the original series was canceled after the third year. A continuation of Star Trek:TOS is being created by a dedicated cast and crew intent on keeping true to the spirit of Gene Roddenberry's television show. From recreating the original sets with incredible accuracy and attention to details, staying faithful to original storylines has been a true labor of love for all involved. Here are a series of videos showing the progress being made on recreating the iconic series. (And if you missed it last time, here's the first episode they produced.)

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Google Sues Mississippi Attorney General For Conspiring With Movie Industry

Recent /. Posts - 8 hours 52 min ago
ideonexus writes: Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood has called for a "time out" in his perpetual fight with Google in response to the company filing a lawsuit against him for conspiring with the movie industry to persecute the search giant. Leaked Sony Pictures Entertainment emails and documents obtained under FOIA requests this week have exposed how the Motion Picture Association of America was colluding with and lobbying state prosecutors to go after Google, even going so far as to "assigned a team of lawyers to prepare draft subpoenas and legal briefs for the attorneys general" to make it easier for them to persecute the company. Here's the full complaint (PDF).

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

New Record Set For Deepest Dwelling Fish

Recent /. Posts - 9 hours 57 min ago
mpicpp tips news that oceanographers have discovered a creature that sets the record for the most deeply dwelling fish on Earth. It was found in the Mariana Trench, some 8,145 meters below the surface. The 30-day voyage took place from the Schmidt Ocean Institute's research vessel, Falkor, and is the most comprehensive survey of world's deepest place ever undertaken. The Hadal Ecosystem Studies (Hades) team deployed unmanned landers more than 90 times to depths that ranged between 5,000m and 10,600m. They studied both steep walls of the undersea canyon. ... Dr. Jamieson said: "We think it is a snailfish, but it's so weird-looking; it's up in the air in terms of what it is. "It is unbelievably fragile, and when it swims, it looks like it has wet tissue paper floating behind it. And it has a weird snout — it looks like a cartoon dog snout."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

North Korea Denies Responsibility for Sony Attack, Warns Against Retaliation

Recent /. Posts - 10 hours 59 min ago
jones_supa writes: A North Korean official said that the secretive regime wants to mount a joint investigation with the United States to identify who was behind the cyber attack against Sony Pictures. An unnamed spokesman of the North Korean foreign ministry was quoted by the country's state news agency, KCNA, describing U.S. claims they were behind the hack as "slander." "As the United States is spreading groundless allegations and slandering us, we propose a joint investigation with it into this incident," the official said, according to Agence France-Presse. Both the FBI and President Barack Obama have said evidence was uncovered linking the hack to to North Korea, but some experts have questioned the evidence tying the attack to Pyongyang. Meanwhile, reader hessian notes that 2600: The Hacker Quarterly has offered to let the hacker community distribute The Interview for Sony. It's an offer Sony may actually find useful, since the company is now considering releasing the movie on a "different platform." Reader Nicola Hahn warns that we shouldn't be too quick to accept North Korea as the bad guy in this situation: Most of the media has accepted North Korea's culpability with little visible skepticism. There is one exception: Kim Zetter at Wired has decried the evidence as flimsy and vocally warns about the danger of jumping to conclusions. Surely we all remember high-ranking, ostensibly credible, officials warning about the smoking gun that comes in the form of a mushroom cloud? This underscores the ability of the agenda-setting elements of the press to frame issues and control the acceptable limits of debate. Some would even say that what's happening reveals tools of modern social control (PDF). Whether or not they're responsible for the attack, North Korea has now warned of "serious consequences" if the U.S. takes action against them for it.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

What Happens To Society When Robots Replace Workers?

Recent /. Posts - 12 hours 3 min ago
Paul Fernhout writes: An article in the Harvard Business Review by William H. Davidow and Michael S. Malone suggests: "The "Second Economy" (the term used by economist Brian Arthur to describe the portion of the economy where computers transact business only with other computers) is upon us. It is, quite simply, the virtual economy, and one of its main byproducts is the replacement of workers with intelligent machines powered by sophisticated code. ... This is why we will soon be looking at hordes of citizens of zero economic value. Figuring out how to deal with the impacts of this development will be the greatest challenge facing free market economies in this century. ... Ultimately, we need a new, individualized, cultural, approach to the meaning of work and the purpose of life. Otherwise, people will find a solution — human beings always do — but it may not be the one for which we began this technological revolution." This follows the recent Slashdot discussion of "Economists Say Newest AI Technology Destroys More Jobs Than It Creates" citing a NY Times article and other previous discussions like Humans Need Not Apply. What is most interesting to me about this HBR article is not the article itself so much as the fact that concerns about the economic implications of robotics, AI, and automation are now making it into the Harvard Business Review. These issues have been otherwise discussed by alternative economists for decades, such as in the Triple Revolution Memorandum from 1964 — even as those projections have been slow to play out, with automation's initial effect being more to hold down wages and concentrate wealth rather than to displace most workers. However, they may be reaching the point where these effects have become hard to deny despite going against mainstream theory which assumes infinite demand and broad distribution of purchasing power via wages. As to possible solutions, there is a mention in the HBR article of using government planning by creating public works like infrastructure investments to help address the issue. There is no mention in the article of expanding the "basic income" of Social Security currently only received by older people in the U.S., expanding the gift economy as represented by GNU/Linux, or improving local subsistence production using, say, 3D printing and gardening robots like Dewey of "Silent Running." So, it seems like the mainstream economics profession is starting to accept the emerging reality of this increasingly urgent issue, but is still struggling to think outside an exchange-oriented box for socioeconomic solutions. A few years ago, I collected dozens of possible good and bad solutions related to this issue. Like Davidow and Malone, I'd agree that the particular mix we end up will be a reflection of our culture. Personally, I feel that if we are heading for a technological "singularity" of some sort, we would be better off improving various aspects of our society first, since our trajectory going out of any singularity may have a lot to do with our trajectory going into it.

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Boeing and BlackBerry Making a Self-Destructing Phone

Recent /. Posts - 13 hours 5 min ago
Rambo Tribble writes: It sounds like a Mission: Impossible scenario, but aerospace company Boeing is teaming with Canadian phone maker BlackBerry to produce an ultra-secure mobile phone that "self-destructs." The phone uses encryption on calls and is intended to serve the high-security needs of government and industry. As Blackberry CEO John Chen said, "We're pleased to announce that Boeing is collaborating with BlackBerry to provide a secure mobile solution for Android devices utilizing our BES 12 platform. That, by the way, is all they allow me to say." No word yet if you'll need the services of the bomb squad when you go over your minutes.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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