Shared posts

15 Sep 19:14

Facebook login adds real-name policy, auto-updated friends list to Oculus

by Sam Machkovech

I personally lost all interest in Oculus Rift the moment fecesbook bought the company. Sounds like I chose wisely.

This week saw the latest Oculus Rift software runtime begin to roll out to PC users, and the 1.8 version includes one new feature in particular: official Facebook integration. The software update is rolling out in waves, so Oculus owners may not yet have this live on their PCs, but once it rolls out, users are told that "Oculus is better with Facebook friends" and are given the option of logging in to a Facebook account.

To confirm, this is wholly optional, and the service will still operate normally should users not opt in. And in some ways, this change brings Facebook up to speed with other major online gaming platforms such as Steam, Xbox Live, and PlayStation Network, which all support Facebook-specific features like searching for friends and posting updates.

However, Oculus' tie-in to Facebook is different from the others in more aggressively tying FB to a gaming service, according to the Facebook-in-Oculus terms posted to the headset's official Reddit forum. For starters, should you log in to Facebook via the Oculus Rift's PC app, your username will change to your real name. If for any reason you'd rather your Oculus username continue to be your favorite gaming handle, whether for privacy's sake or just because you like the sound of it, you'll have to avoid the login.

Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

31 Aug 17:48


by Joey deVilla

most used language in programming

31 Aug 16:43

Turns out the signal astronomers saw was “strong” because it came from Earth

by Eric Berger

Surprised? Hopefully not.. :p

Ars was among the first news outlets to report on discussions among astronomers about observations of an intriguing "signal" that may have originated from a distant, Sun-like star. We cautioned readers that, because the signal was measured at 11Ghz, there was a "significant chance" it was of terrestrial origin, likely due to some military activity.

Well, it apparently was. First, astronomers with the search for extraterrestrial intelligence downplayed the possibility of an alien civilization. "There are many other plausible explanations for this claimed transmission, including terrestrial interference," Seth Shostak, a senior astronomer with SETI, wrote.

Now the Special Astrophysical Observatory of the Russian Academy of Sciences has concurred, releasing a statement on the detection of a radio signal at the RATAN-600 radio astronomy observatory in southern Russia. "Subsequent processing and analysis of the signal revealed its most probable terrestrial origin," the Russian scientists said. (Maybe it was really Steve Martin and his hair dryer?)

Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments

26 Aug 19:03

Bone is possibly one of the best fantasy series ever told

by Wink

Bone is awesome - even when translated into Finnish


See sample pages from this book at Wink.

Bone: Coda (25th Anniversary Special)
by Jeff Smith
Cartoon Books
2016, 136 pages, 6.4 x 8.9 x 0.5 inches (softcover)
$13 Buy a copy on Amazon

If you haven’t read Jeff Smith’s Bone series, just stop. Stop reading right now, mid sentence, and go pick up his masterpiece. It’s wonderful. Quite possibly one of the greatest fantasy stories ever told. Once you’ve read that and fallen in love with Smith’s humor and characters, then you can appreciate this follow-up that gives you a reason to revisit the Bone Brothers.

If you aren’t familiar with the Bone series, this coda won’t interest you. It’s a companion piece that includes interviews of Smith, an oral history by comic historian Stephen Weiner, and early illustrations of the Bone characters. I found it compelling to hear that Bone was a story that almost wasn’t. But through determination, some luck, and careful maneuvering, Smith was able to get the comic off the ground. It’s great inspiration for any independent artist out there.

But the best part about this book is that there’s a new Bone story to be had! The brothers and Bartleby are still in route back to Boneville, when in true Bone fashion things go awry. It’s not a long story, or a deep one, but it’s a reminder about everything that was so great about this series. It’s a little heartbreaking that Smith makes a point to define coda as “the concluding passage of a piece or movement, typically forming an addition to the base structure.” Hopefully we’ll see more from this world, but for now this is a pretty good sendoff. If you’re a completest, you’re going to need to pick this up. – JP LeRoux

August 26, 2016

17 Aug 20:45

UC Davis Chancellor spent $400K+ to scrub her online reputation after pepper-spray incident

by Cory Doctorow


Back in April, we learned that UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi had hired a sleazy "reputation-management" company to scrub her reputation and that of the university after the 2011 incident in which university police lieutenant John Pike hosed down peaceful protesters with pepper spray, jetting chemical irritant directly into their open mouths and eyes. (more…)

17 Aug 13:20

The surprising spryness of fighters in 15th C armor

by Cory Doctorow

Neat :o

animation (1)

Paris's Musée national du Moyen Âge teamed up with The University of Geneva to make this video demonstrating the fighting techniques available to people in 15th century armor, which are much more fluid and athletic that I had presumed -- turns out you can really move in those tin cans. (via We Make Money Not Art)

15 Aug 23:20

Windows 7, 8.1 moving to Windows 10’s cumulative update model

by Peter Bright

So it's another way of pushing that cursed telemetry crap, CEIP and whatnot so one can't opt out?

(credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft is switching Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 to a cumulative update model similar to the one used by Windows 10. The company is moving away from the individual hotfix approach it has used thus far for those operating systems.

One of the major differences between Windows 7 and 8.1 on the one hand and Windows 10 on the other is what happens when you run Windows Update. Microsoft's two older operating systems usually need to fetch a handful of individual patches each month. If a system hasn't been patched for a few months, this can require dozens of individual fixes to be retrieved. In the case of a clean installation, that number can reach the hundreds.

Windows 10, on the other hand, has perhaps one or two updates released each month. A single cumulative update incorporates not just all of the newest security and reliability fixes, but all the older fixes from previous months, too. If a system isn't updated for a few months or has had its operating system freshly reinstalled, the scenario of having hundreds of individual fixes never occurs. Windows 10 just grabs the latest cumulative update and, with that one package, is more or less up-to-date.

Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

10 Aug 18:04

Aviation's war on moisture turns ten today

by Cory Doctorow


Ten years ago, British domestic security claimed to have caught a terrorist cell that had planned to blow up airplanes with a gel they'd carry on in a Gatorade bottle and detonate with an Ipod. (more…)

08 Aug 16:47

Making a real Star Wars Speeder Bike

by David Pescovitz

Neat! :D


Vintage Works built this fantastic motorcycle that is exactly like a Star Wars Speeder Bike. Only it doesn't fly. Sadly.






29 Jul 15:55

It’s now or never: Free Windows 10 upgrade ends in just a few hours

by Peter Bright

My main question is: have they finally stopped pushing 3035583 now that the free downgrade period is over?

It's better, we promise.

If you use Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 and want to upgrade to Windows 10 for free, there are just a few more hours left to grab your copy. The offer expires today, July 29. At the time of writing, less than 19 hours still remain.

If you're eligible, you should upgrade. In almost every regard, Windows 10 is a better operating system than Windows 7 or 8.1 (unless you use Media Center, in which case you're trapped on old operating systems forever). If you want to get the free upgrade but can't upgrade right now because of timing or compatibility concerns, your best option is to install Windows 10 onto an empty hard drive using your existing Windows 7 or 8.1 key. Activate that installation and magic will occur: your key will become Windows 10 "enabled," and you should be able to use it to perform the upgrade at a later date. Similar results can likely be achieved by installing into a virtual machine rather than an empty hard disk.

The cut-off doesn't apply to those who use assistive technology such as screen-readers; those Windows users will be able to upgrade to Windows 10 whenever they feel like it, though Microsoft apparently has yet to fully explain how this will work.

Read on Ars Technica | Comments

28 Jul 14:09

RIP, MAD Magazines's Jack Davis

by Cory Doctorow

He was one of my favourite artists in MAD


Davis had been with MAD since its first run in 1952, and his illustrations helped define the look of satirical art for generations. (more…)

08 Jun 23:30

A scene of Hotline Miami, recreated in LEGO

by Clinton

Hotline Miami was awesome

Hotline Miami LEGO are two things which shouldn’t mix. One is an ultra-violent top down murder fest of a game, and the other is a made-for-kids interlocking bricks system. Luckily, Nannan Zhang does both properties justice with this little scene from the games.

Hotline Miami

Aside from the great colours used to imitate the game and the textured brick pieces being used as carpet details, what I really love is the fact that (as far as I can tell) only LEGO pieces were used. The Chima headpiece acting as a Tony Mask works particularly well. It all comes together so well and makes me want to play the games again.

26 May 15:01

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Kill All Humans? A Flowchart


Makes sense

Hovertext: Once you realize there is no hope, you can relax and just enjoy the progress in machine learning.

New comic!
Today's News:
17 May 22:05

Windows 7 now has a Service Pack 2 (but don’t call it that)

by Peter Bright

This also includes the GWX-adware and CEIP packets, I would assume. I'll take the tedious route instead, if I ever need to do a fresh W7 install.

This should become a thing of the past. (credit: Microsoft)

Anyone who's installed Windows 7 any time in the last, oh, five years or so probably didn't enjoy the experience very much. Service Pack 1 for the operating system was released in 2011, meaning that a fresh install has five years of individual patches to download and install. Typically, this means multiple trips to Windows Update and multiple reboots in order to get the system fully up-to-date, and it is a process that is at best tedious, typically leading one to wonder why, at the very least, it cannot pull down all the updates at once and apply them with just a single reboot.

The answer to that particular question will, unfortunately, remain a mystery, but Microsoft did today announce a change that will greatly reduce the pain of this process. The company has published a "convenience rollup" for Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (and Windows Server 2008 R2), which in a single package contains all the updates, both security and non-security, released since the Service Pack, up through April 2016. Installing the rollup will perform five years of patching in one shot.

In other words, it performs a very similar role to what Windows 7 Service Pack 2 would have done, if only Windows 7 Service Pack 2 were to exist. It's not quite the same as a Service Pack—it still requires Service Pack 1 to be installed, and the system will still report that it is running Service Pack 1—but for most intents and purposes, that won't matter. Microsoft will also support injecting this rollup into Windows 7 Service Pack 1 system images and install media.

Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

18 May 05:00

Comic for 2016.05.18

New Cyanide and Happiness Comic
28 Apr 17:37

When you notice a tiny bug

by CommitStrip

A "Casey and Andy" reference, perhaps? :p It should be!


16 Apr 16:39

Stunning LEGO Nebulon-B Medical Frigate

by Rod

The Nebulon-B Frigates are for some weird reason one of my favourite capital ships.

Morten_Svendsen has built a massive and highly-detailed model of the famous Nebulon-B Medical Frigate, first seen in The Empire Strikes Back. Morten’s dedication to getting the angles, details, and textures just right in comparison with the model used for shooting the movies is frankly astonishing…
 Nebulon_2_full_front perspective
The overall shaping and coloring are simply spot-on, but the little touches are what sets this creation apart. Check out the medical bay window featuring the famous scene of Luke, Leia, and the droids watching the Falcon depart to begin the search for Han Solo…

 photo Nebulon_window_zpsc7vqh9dh.jpg

As you might expect from a builder displaying such attention to detail, this isn’t a model that can only be viewed from one angle. Morten has focused an equal amount of love on the engines at the ship’s rear…
And he’s made sure there’s an accurate scale representation of the Millenium Falcon docked in the right place…
According to Morten’s post on Eurobricks detailing his construction process, the model is built from thousands of bricks taken from a selection of over 500 different types! Brilliant stuff — a new benchmark for Star Wars LEGO scale modelling.

16 Apr 03:25

Slay demons with a 20 pound LEGO Doom BFG 9000

by Nick

Lego BFG 9000? Wonderful :D

Doom returns to popularity in gaming with a new installment to the series next month. What better time than now for YouTube LEGO builder ZaziNombies to build one of gaming’s most infamous weapons, the BFG 9000 (“Big F***ing Gun”) from Doom (1993), in 1:1 scale. Weighing over 20 pounds and built from over 5000 LEGO pieces, ZaziNombies’s detailed replica of the BFG more than lives up to the name. See it hauled around, discussed, and shown from the first person perspective in this three minute video.

14 Apr 21:02

Worshipping the Flying Spaghetti Monster is not a real religion, court rules

by David Kravets

I personally don't see the difference between one the level of trueness between one religion and another...

(credit: aaditya sood)

Inmate Stephen Cavanaugh

A Nebraska inmate who has professed his allegiance to the divine Flying Spaghetti Monster lost his bid demanding that prison officials accommodate his Pastafarianism faith.

A federal judge dismissed the suit (PDF) Tuesday brought by Stephen Cavanaugh, who is serving a 4- to 8-year term on assault and weapons charges at the Nebraska State Penitentiary. US District Judge John Gerrard ruled that "FSMism" isn't a religion like the ones protected under the Constitution.

"The Court finds that FSMism is not a 'religion' within the meaning of the relevant federal statutes and constitutional jurisprudence. It is, rather, a parody, intended to advance an argument about science, the evolution of life, and the place of religion in public education. Those are important issues, and FSMism contains a serious argument—but that does not mean that the trappings of the satire used to make that argument are entitled to protection as a 'religion,'" the judge ruled. (PDF)

Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

06 Apr 17:40

First Windows 10 preview with bash support is out now

by Peter Bright

I still don't intend to touch w10, no matter what :|

It's bash, and it's on Windows. (credit: Microsoft)

The first Windows 10 Insider Preview build that includes support for native Linux bash on Windows is now out. This was some of the biggest news to come out of Build last week, as Microsoft works to make Windows even more attractive to developers.

The full install process is described on Microsoft's blog post, but the important part is that in order to use the Windows Subsystem for Linux, the system will have to be put into developer mode through the Settings app (instead of its default sideloading mode). Then the feature will need to be added from Windows Features, and finally the runtime environment will have to be fetched from the store. This process is a little convoluted, but it underscores that Microsoft is positioning the Linux support as a developer feature, not meant for production deployments yet.

The new build looks to be the most significant update since the release of the November Update last year. In addition to the Windows Subsystem for Linux, a bunch of other changes are included. Cortana is smarter, able to sync phone status and notifications between Windows and Android phones and Windows on the PC. She can also help you find your phone by making it ring when you've lost it, and if you look up directions on your PC, she can beam them to your phone for you.

Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

23 Mar 17:41

The latest innovation from the media

by CommitStrip

Pretty much, yes :p

16 Mar 18:49

Watch a hydraulic press crush Barbie

by Rob Beschizza

Unplaceable but heavy accent? Hmmm... He sounds very much like a Finnish rally driver :D

x 2016-03-16 at 2.50.45 PM

On YouTube, a gentleman with an unplaceable but heavy European accent crushes things with his hydraulic press. Above, he crushes Barbie. ("Beautiful… but for how long?") (more…)

10 Mar 23:17

Microsoft pushes ads for Windows 10 in a security update

by ()

I just can't wrap my mind around this pos...

Security update package MS16-023 for Internet Explorer doesn't only contain security patches, but also a few other things, including: "This update adds functionality to Internet Explorer 11 on some computers that lets users learn about Windows 10 or start an upgrade to Windows 10." writes: Microsoft does not reveal what this means, or what this has to do with Internet Explorer. According to Woody Leonhard over at Infoworld, the update pushes a banner on Internet Explorer 11's New Tab Page advertising the company's new operating system Windows 10. Unfortunately the ads can't be uninstalled without uninstalling the whole security update package.
09 Mar 15:55

French Parliament votes to imprison tech execs for refusal to decrypt

by Cory Doctorow

I refuse to believe that even the cheese-eating surrendermonkeys are idiotic enough to pass something like this...


Amendment 90 to France's penal reform bill provides for five year prison sentences and €350,000 fines for companies that refuse to accede to law enforcement demands to decrypt devices. (more…)

04 Mar 14:15

Epic CEO: “Universal Windows Platform can, should, must, and will die”

by Mark Walton

I approve of his message. Anything by MSFT should die, in general.

In a scathing editorial in the Guardian, Epic Games co-founder Tim Sweeney has spoken out about Microsoft's Universal Windows Platform (UWP) initiative, calling it a "fiasco" and "the most aggressive move Microsoft has ever made."

"With its new Universal Windows Platform (UWP) initiative, Microsoft has built a closed platform-within-a-platform into Windows 10, as the first apparent step towards locking down the consumer PC ecosystem," says Sweeney. "Microsoft has launched new PC Windows features exclusively in UWP, and is effectively telling developers you can use these Windows features only if you submit to the control of our locked-down UWP ecosystem."

"PC UWP can, should, must and will, die as a result of industry backlash."

Read 14 remaining paragraphs | Comments

04 Mar 23:23

Tony Dyson, Creator of R2-D2, Has Passed Away

by Caleb Kraft

I met him last year, he was a fun chap... sorry to hear of his passing

new-slide-4R2-D2 is recognized and loved by Star Wars fans around the globe. Today, his creator Tony Dyson has passed away.

Read more on MAKE

The post Tony Dyson, Creator of R2-D2, Has Passed Away appeared first on Make: DIY Projects and Ideas for Makers.

26 Feb 18:30

Friday Facts #127 - Steam Status III: Thank You

by Tomas

Factorio is awesome 8)

what a week. Let's see what has happened. The game launch at Steam has obviously been a highlight of the week (well not just the week=)). However quite a few other "launches" have happened as well. As for the game, together with Steam launch we have launched the game [...]
25 Feb 19:40

Disney CEO asks employees to chip in to pay copyright lobbyists

by Joe Mullin

Are they serious? wtf...

Oh, hey, do you work here? Mickey could use a little extra cash. (credit: Loren Javier)

The Walt Disney Company has a reputation for lobbying hard on copyright issues. The 1998 copyright extension has even been dubbed the “Mickey Mouse Protection Act” by activists like Lawrence Lessig that have worked to reform copyright laws.

This year, the company is turning to its employees to fund some of that battle. Disney CEO Bob Iger has sent a letter to the company’s employees, asking for them to open their hearts—and their wallets—to the company’s political action committee, DisneyPAC.

In the letter, which was provided to Ars by a Disney employee, Iger tells workers about his company's recent intellectual property victories, including stronger IP protections in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a Supreme Court victory that destroyed Aereo, and continued vigilance about the "state of copyright law in the digital environment." It also mentions that Disney is seeking an opening to lower the corporate tax rate.

Read 16 remaining paragraphs | Comments

17 Feb 23:22

Warren Spector returns to game development for System Shock 3

by Kyle Orland

Warren Spector

With nearly 17 years having passed since the well-remembered launch of System Shock 2, we've been having some trouble believing that newly launched studio Otherside Entertainment could recall the series' former glories for the recently announced System Shock 3. Our skepticism is at least a little reduced today, though, with the news that original System Shock producer Warren Spector has joined the Otherside team as studio director.

Spector, who's also known for his work on the Deus Ex, Thief, and Epic Mickey series, was already serving as a creative advisor for Otherside along with his current academic role at the University of Texas Austin. As Spector told

"I've loved working with students as Director of the Denius-Sams Gaming Academy in the University of Texas' Moody College of Communication," Spector said. "But when the opportunity to have a bigger role in bringing Underworld Ascendant to life, as well as playing in the System Shock universe once again, helping to bring these games to a 21st century audience, I just couldn't say no. Working on System Shock was one of the most fulfilling things I've done in my career and it's hard to describe how much I'm looking forward to sharing with players what SHODAN has been up to since the last game was released."

While there are still precious few details known about System Shock 3, the array of well-known names being lined up behind the game's development is certainly starting to impress. At Otherside, Spector joins studio founder Paul Neurath, whom he worked with on games like Thief and Ultima Underworld at Looking Glass.

Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments

09 Feb 17:41

Copyright trolls who claimed to own "Happy Birthday" will pay $14M to their "customers"

by Cory Doctorow

At long last 8)
"Now Warner/Chappell has settled a claim brought by many of the companies that had paid it for a license over the years and years that they were running their fraud. The music publisher will pay $14 million in penalties and fees."


For decades, Warner/Chappell Music claimed to own the rights to the Happy Birthday song, despite the reams of copyright scholarship and historical research showing they had no legitimate claim. (more…)