US States Edge Toward Cryptocoin Regulation

No Ownership Rights in Account.

Not withstanding anything to the contrary herein, you acknowledge and agree that you shall have no ownership or other property interest in any account stored or hosted on a Blizzard system, including without limitation any BNET account or World of Warcraft account, and you further acknowledge and agree tha

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Lots Of People Really Want Slideout-Keyboard Phones: Where Are They?

In my
about the sucky LG Optimus phone
that I got from
T-Mobile, I admitted that I stuck with it anyway and let them keep my money, because I couldn’t stand switching away from the
slideout keyboard on the phone.
Same reason that I kept the Stratosphere from Verizon for so long, despite the other features of that phone
sucking too.
But after failing to find even one true smartphone with a slideout keyboard after visiting the local ATT, Verizon, Sprint
and T-Mobile stores, I started to wonder if I was just an old fud who couldn’t get with the times.

(The slideout keyboards are usually called “QWERTY keyboards” in the marketing, but I’m using “slideout keyboard” in order
to distinguish them from phones like Blackberries that have a physical QWERTY keyboard and screen
all on the outer surface of the phone, since that forces the keyboard
and the screen to be much smaller.)

Slideout keyboards have always felt more natural to me in a couple of ways. You can let your finger or thumb center on the correct
key, and then press the key in a separate action, resulting in far fewer typos then if you’re required to land your fingertip
on the correct spot on the screen. (Fewer typos also means you can turn off autocorrect and worry about fewer idiotic
auto-corrections.) A slide-out keyboard also makes it easier to hold the phone in a relaxed grip — with the keyboard out,
you can rest the phone on your other fingers while using your thumb to keep it in place, rather than having to grip
the phone around the edges with your fingers to keep the screen uncovered. The
relaxed thumb-centered grip makes it much easier to tilt the phone
at different angles and even hold above your head without dropping it (handy for the first texts you answer before getting out
of bed), all while hardly having to tense your fingers at all.

I mentioned this to the Sprint sales guy and he shook his head and said, “Oh, no, everybody wants touchscreen phones now.” When I
mentioned later to the ATT store manager that I felt I must be in a shrinking minority, he said that he preferred slide-out
keyboards, most other people preferred slide-out keyboards, and the industry was just moving away from them regardless. Who
was right? Skeptical as ever about people’s claims that they’ve “heard lots of people saying so-and-so,” I posted a survey
on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (
which I have used in the past for
seeking out respondents who had used both a phone with a slideout keyboard and a phone with a virtual keyboard, and asking which one they
preferred, and why.

Out of 49 respondents, 27 said they preferred slideout keyboards and 22 said they preferred virtual keyboards. And I know
the Internet survey-takers weren’t just clicking answers at random, because most of them gave details as to the reason for their
preference (even though this was not enforced by the survey form). Obviously that’s too small of a sample to be very precise
about the percentage of users that prefer slide-out keyboards (apart from the fact that Mechanical Turk users are
unrepresentative of the general
in several ways), but it does mean that the near-extinction of slideout-keyboard phones in retail stores
is probably not in proportion to what people actually want.

You can download the raw survey data
; some of the highlights from people
who said they preferred slideouts:

“I preferred using an actual keyboard because I can actually feel the keys. After my hands get used to the keyboard,
I could type very fast. Using a virtual one is much harder because you don’t actually feel the keys you are typing.”

“I can put my fingers on the actual keys just like a typewriter and know they won’t slip off and hit the wrong key.
I was heartbroken when then got rid of almost all qwerty keyboards in the new phones. They are now almost impossible to find.”

“The slide-out keyboard offers more accuracy and feedback than a virtual keyboard. I can easily tell if I’m pressing
the wrong letter key on a physical keyboard than a virtual one. I also prefer my keyboard to be off of the screen so I
can easily see what I’m typing.”

“I think its easier to type on a slide out keyboard. With the virtual ones I’m always spending half the time correcting the mistakes.”

“I preferred slide-out keyboards because you could actually feel the crevices that separate each letter on the keyboard, and this allowed you to type much more efficiently. There’s just something more beautiful and human about physically touching something rather than using the heat in your fingers to make unreal letters type on a screen.”

On the other side of the aisle, the most common reasons that people gave for preferring virtual keyboards were that slideouts
were too flimsy or bulky:

“Virtual keyboards are sturdier than slide out keyboards.”

“The decreased overall weight of the device due to the lack of physical keyboard is the biggest benefit to me.
Plus the added benefit is that virtual keyboard technology has come a long way in the last few years and offers
unique features such as swiping words whereas a physical keyboard still limits you to typing and switching between
buttons and the screen in order to select or correct words.”

“A virtual keyboard is faster and less cumbersome than a slide out keyboard.”

“I liked the tactile feeling of the slide out keyboard. I found the keyboard slide to be more bulky however.
I like the virtual keyboard because it allows me to use a larger amount of screen space on my phone when I
am not typing. You can also do cool keyboard gestures with the virtual keyboard, such as sliding the finger to
type. The virtual keyboard also has an auto correct feature built in which is handy. My old slide out keyboard
phone was cool at the time but lacks the features modern virtual keyboard have. Also, real keyboards make clicky
noises, which can prevent you from sending texts out under your desk during meetings, haha.”

(That last guy’s right — I’ve been out of the workforce long enough that I forgot you can’t get away with texting
in a meeting on a slideout, unless other people in the room are covering your noise by “taking notes” typing
on their laptops.)

So – not everyone wants slideout keyboards, but a lot of people really, really want them, and the stores refuse
to stock them. What gives?

The ATT store manager simply said that they were more expensive to make, and people return them more often because they
break more easily. Well of course it makes sense that the extra component costs more, but it seemed counterintuitive
that the slideout keyboards are usually only found on the cheapest phones in the store (which don’t qualify as true
smartphones). It’s odd for an expensive extra component to be found only in the cheapest models of a product
line, as if Ford had announced that their
self-parking technology
would only come bundled with the Fiesta.

More importantly, it seems strange that a more expensive or even a more fragile component, cannot be made available at any price
when so many people want it. If it costs more, surely they could just charge more. I’d pay at least an extra $100-$200 for
a phone with a slideout keyboard (which is more than the entire retail cost of a dumbphone with a slideout keyboard,
so the price increase on a real phone should be less than that). If it makes the phone more fragile and more
likely to be returned, surely that could just be reflected in a higher monthly “insurance” fee to cover the cost of exchanging
damaged phones (which is only about $5 per month anyway).
Is this another example of market failure, even in a competitive industry? It’s easy for Facebook to force changes down our
throats, since we have nowhere else to go, but how did Verizon, ATT, T-Mobile and Sprint all end up abandoning such a sizable
portion of their customers, even while locked in a cutthroat battle with each other?

Maybe this can be the next big thing that T-Mobile does to differentiate themselves from everybody else (like when they
broke ranks and decided to
sell all phones
at retail price with no long-term contracts
) — everybody knows their network is spottier, but it’s usable, and
if they’re doing one thing right that you really care about, and everyone else is doing it wrong, that’s reason enough
to switch. Their pink-shirted CEO certainly
likes making
waves with his
colorful metaphors about
the other carriers screwing you over.
If T-Mobile sold me a real phone with a slideout keyboard, I’m sure I’d stay with them for years, even though
yesterday the rain
(a fairly common phenomenon here in
Bellevue, where T-Mobile U.S. is headquartered) caused the reception on the phone to go from 4G to 2G and then down to “G,”
which I didn’t even know was a thing.

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Ask Slashdot: Where Can I Find Resources On Programming For Palm OS 5?

First time accepted submitter baka_toroi (1194359) writes I got a Tungsten E2 from a friend and I wanted to give it some life by programming for it a little bit. The main problem I’m bumping up against is that HP thought it would be awesome to just shut down every single thing related to Palm OS development. After Googling a lot I found out CodeWarrior was the de facto IDE for Palm OS development… but I was soon disappointed as I learned that Palm moved from the 68K architecture to ARM, and of course, CodeWarrior was just focused on Palm OS 4 development.

Now, I realize Palm OS 4 software can be run on Palm OS 5, but I’m looking to use some of the ‘newer’ APIs. Also, I have the Wi-fi add-on card so I wanted to create something that uses it. I thought what I needed was PODS (Palm OS Development Suite) but not only I can’t find it anywhere but also it seems it was deprecated during Palm OS’s lifetime. It really doesn’t help the fact that I’m a beginner, but I really want to give this platform some life. Any general tip, book, working link or even anecdotes related to all this will be greatly appreciated.

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UK Team Claims Breakthrough In Universal Cancer Test

Based on these calculations, the cutoffs for low (0.10), medium (0.25), and high (0.50) thresholds are 1.47 at a sensitivity of 94.8% and a specificity of 54.7%, 1.73 at a sensitivity of 81% and a specificity of 78.7%, and 1.99 at a sensitivity of 62.1% and a specificity of 94%, respectively

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Dear Museums: Uploading Your Content To Wikimedia Commons Just Got Easier

The ed17 (2834807) writes Galleries, libraries, archives, and museums (GLAMs) are now facing fewer barriers to uploading their content to Wikimedia Commons — the website that stores most of Wikipedia’s images and videos. Previously, these institutions had to build customized scripts or be lucky enough to find a Wikimedia volunteer to do the work for them. According to the toolset’s coordinator Liam Wyatt, ‘this is a giant leap forward in giving GLAMs the agency to share with Commons on their own terms.’

The Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision has a short article on their use of the new toolkit to upload hundreds of videos of birds. See also the GWToolset project page and documentation on the upload system (includes screencasts). Before the toolset, organizations wishing to donate collections had to write one-off tools to translate between their metadata schema and Wikimedia’s schema. The GWToolset allows the organization to generate and upload a single XML file containing metadata (using arbitrary, even mixed, schemas, with some limitations) for all items in a batch upload, prompts for mappings between the vocabulary used by the organization and the vocabulary accepted by Mediawiki, and then pulls the files into the Commons.

Video: By Creator:Marc PlompNederlands: Natuur Digitaal (Marc Plomp); Stichting Natuurbeelden ( [CC-BY-SA-3.0-nl], via Wikimedia Commons.

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Free Copy of the Sims 2 Contains SecuROM

OK, I’m recounting a user report on forum from years ago from the back of my memory here, so take this paragraph with a grain of salt: (may have been a similar copy protection system, if not exactly SecuROM)

I remember a user reporting a broken DVD writer. He bought a new one and replaced the “malfunctioning” drive only to find out that the new drive was also “broken”. Turned out it was a DRM system that blocked the DVD writer and that user threw away a perfectly functioning DVD writer. Actual monetary damage here.

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How Gygax Lost Control of TSR and D&D

Going into business with friends or relatives is not a problem.

Just treat it like a business. When your cousin comes to work for you, you’re under no different obligations as an employer than you would be if they weren’t you cousin.

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London Police Placing Anti-Piracy Warning Ads On Illegal Sites

This police bunch, it is worth noting, is the police force of the “square mile”

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Dusty pre-Facebook, pre-Twitter laws will do for social media crimes

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

Blighty MPs have said that the country doesn’t need new laws to cover criminal offences committed on social media, but said public prosecutors need to clarify when revenge porn qualifies for prosecution.

The Lords Communication Committee said in a report that the Communications Act from 2003 and the Harassment Act from 1997 were enough for social media crimes, even though Twitter and Facebook did not exist when they were enacted.

“Cyber bullying, revenge porn, trolling and virtual mobbing are new phrases in our media vocabulary, but they generally describe behaviour that is already criminal,” said Lord Best, the chair of the group.

“We need to be careful: we need to balance people’s right to freedom of expression with implementing the criminal law, whether the offences are committed online or offline. It’s a complex subject, but we feel that legislation as it currently exists is generally fit for purpose and doing the job, even though it was drafted before the social media were first invented.”

However, the government officials did acknowledge that there needed to be some clarity on when online communication crossed the line, particularly in regards to revenge porn.

Two other peers in the House of Lords have already claimed that revenge porn – posting intimate images of others online without their consent – needs its own specific sanctions. Lib Dem Baroness Olly Grender and Lord Jonathan Marks tabled an amendment to the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill currently making its way through Parliament that would send offenders to jail for up to a year.

In their report, the comms committee said that the clause would add flexibility that would be “desirable”, even though existing laws like the Harassment Act and the Malicious Communications act covered the offence. Under these legislations, offences are triable in the magistrate’s court and guilty parties can get up to six months in prison, a £5,000 fine, or both.

Aside from the amendment, the committee asked the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to add the offence to his guidance for social media prosecutions.

“The committee is calling for more clarity from the DPP as to when an indecent communication (e.g. “revenge porn”) could – and should – be subject to prosecution under existing powers,” the group said.

The Lords also said that sites like Facebook and Twitter should speed up their replies to ID requests from law enforcement and further develop their abuse monitoring and user protection systems.

“Although anonymity has a valuable place when using social media – enabling human rights workers and journalists working in conflict areas to communicate with the outside world, for example – its negative effects when used as a shield for offenders to hide behind should be addressed,” said Lord Best.

Neither Facebook nor Twitter had returned a request for comment at the time of publication. ®

Top three mobile application threats

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Only ’3% of web servers in top corps’ fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

A study of the public-facing web servers run by some of the world’s largest firms has suggested only three per cent of the machines have been fully protected against the OpenSSL vulnerability known as Heartbleed.

The research, carried out by security specialists at Venafi Labs, examined 550,000 servers belonging to 1,639 companies on the Forbes top Global 2000 list, and showed that 99 per cent of the companies checked had patched the data-leaking Heartbleed flaw.

But, Venafi tells us, only 15,000 of the patched servers have changed their private keys, and as well as being issued with new SSL certificates and having the old ones revoked. Given that Heartbleed can be exploited to snaffle private keys out of a vulnerable computer’s memory, it should be assumed the server keys and certs have been compromised, we’re told.

“Mopping up after an incident isn’t as simple as it used to be,” Kevin Bocek, VP of security strategy and threat intelligence at Venafi, told The Register. “You can’t just stick a patch on and call it done.”

He pointed out that the OpenSSL flaw had been exploitable for two years before it was finally spotted in April. During that time passwords were retrievable by those capable of exploiting the flaw, but so were encryption keys and certification data that could be used to masquerade as corporate servers.

Bocek said the situation was even worse in servers that aren’t public facing, and in many cases servers residing inside corporate firewalls hadn’t even been properly patched against the Heartbleed flaw.

In terms of the types of business that had fully patched against Heartbleed, the computer services sector unsurprisingly performed best, ahead of broadcasting firms, banks, and the semiconductor industry. ®

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

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