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Tomb Raider: Definitive Survivor Trilogy has popped up on the Microsoft store

Eurogamer - Sun, 07/03/2021 - 15:03

An unannounced Tomb Raider bundle has popped up on Microsoft's Xbox store.

Tomb Raider: Definitive Survivor Trilogy bundles all three games of the rebooted series - Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition, Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration, and Shadow of the Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition - and looks set to release on 18th March 2021.

Although there's no mention of a next-gen upgrade, features listed on the store include HDR and 4K, as well as all the DLC and the online multiplayer and co-op modes, too.

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Categories: Video Games

When Amazon Raises Its Minimum Wage, Local Companies Follow Suit

Slashdot - Sun, 07/03/2021 - 14:34
In the areas where Amazon operates, "low-wage workers at other businesses have seen significant wage growth since 2018..." reports the New York Times, "and not because of new minimum-wage laws." The gains are a direct result of Amazon's corporate decision to increase starting pay to $15 an hour three years ago, which appears to have lifted pay for low-wage workers in other local companies as well, according to new research from economists at the University of California, Berkeley, and Brandeis University... [T]he research illustrates how difficult it can be for low-wage workers to command higher pay in the modern American economy — until a powerful outside actor, like a large employer or a government, intervenes. Most directly, there is little evidence in the paper that raising the minimum wage would lead to significant job loss, even in low-cost rural areas, a finding consistent with several recent studies. Other research, including a recent report from the Congressional Budget Office, has found a larger negative effect on jobs, although still smaller than many economists believed in the past. The authors of the latest study — Ellora Derenoncourt of Berkeley and Clemens Noelke and David Weil of Brandeis — studied Amazon, Walmart and Target, which operate in areas where wages tend to be low. But even in those places, the researchers found, wage increases by the large corporate employers appear to drive up wages without driving down employment. "When you have major changes in the wage policies of large actors in the labor market, this has ripple effects," Dr. Derenoncourt said in an interview. At the same time, Dr. Weil added, "the sky doesn't fall."

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Animal Crossing has a neat hidden joke about a Leonardo mystery that is still being debated

Eurogamer - Sun, 07/03/2021 - 12:00

I have a Mona Lisa on my fridge. Not the Mona Lisa, just a Mona Lisa. This one is free from the smokey yellow varnish of the one in the Louvre, and so its colours shine. The sky behind the sitter is very blue, her face is very pale, and her sleeves are a sort of bright terracotta.

Those sleeves are a bit of a shock. The whole thing is a shock - even if you know it's coming. I first encountered this Mona Lisa downstairs at the Prado in Madrid a few years back, which is where I also picked up my fridge magnet. (I also have Las Meninas and a really brilliant El Greco - all told it's quite a fridge coming together.) I knew she was there - that is, I knew the Prado had its own Mona Lisa - but when I turned the corner and there she was, I froze all the same. Everybody passing by seemed to freeze. You, here? A reminder, if any were necessary, that there is more than one Mona Lisa. This one is widely understood to be a copy from Leonardo's workshop. No mystery here. But there are other Mona Lisas beyond the Prado's, too. And from there it gets complicated.

How complicated? I am not going to try and untangle it all here. This mystery - it is known as the Two-Mona Lisa Theory, and it's been knocking around for centuries - is one of the great unsolvable questions of art. It's muddled all the more, a riot of superpositions, because so many people think they have solved it in their own ways, and so many more think there is no mystery in the first place and we're all just picking away at nothing. Today I'm just going to tell you about yet another Mona Lisa, and yet another another Mona Lisa. This last one was offered to me for sale a week back, in Animal Crossing.

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Categories: Video Games

What's the Best Linux Distro for Enhanced Privacy and Security?

Slashdot - Sun, 07/03/2021 - 10:34
Slashdot reader b-dayyy quotes the Linux Security blog: While all Linux 'distros' — or distributed versions of Linux software — are secure by design, certain distros go above and beyond when it comes to protecting users' privacy and security. We've put together a list of our favorite specialized secure Linux distros and spoken with some of their lead developers to find out first-hand what makes these distros so great. This "favorites" list cites six "excellent specialized secure Linux distros." Some highlights from the article: In a conversation with the LinuxSecurity editors, Qubes OS Community Manager Andrew David Wong elaborated, "Rather than attempting to fix all of the security bugs in software, Qubes assumes that all software is buggy and compartmentalizes it accordingly, so that when flaws are inevitably exploited, the damage is contained and the user's most valuable data is protected." A Kali Linux contributor provides some insight into the distro's history and the benefits it offers users: "Named after a Hindu goddess, Kali has been around for a long time — but it's still updated weekly, can be run in live mode or installed to a drive, and can also be used on ARM devices like Raspberry Pi." Obviously there's strong opinions among Slashdot readers. So share your own thoughts in the comments. What's the best Linux distro for enhanced privacy and security?

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Antitrust Advocate Who Coined the Phrase 'Net Neutrality' Joins Biden's White House

Slashdot - Sun, 07/03/2021 - 07:34
Tim Wu coined the phrase "net neutrality". He's the author of The Curse of Bigness: Antitrust in the New Gilded Age , and Bloomberg calls him an "outspoken advocate for aggressive antitrust enforcement against U.S. technology giants." They add that now the Columbia University media law professor "is joining the White House an adviser, signaling that the Biden administration is preparing to square off against the industry's biggest companies." Wu will join the National Economic Council as a special assistant on technology and competition policy, the White House said Friday. Wu's appointment elevates to a senior position in the administration a leading antitrust expert, favored by progressives, who has assailed the power of dominant tech companies like Alphabet Inc.'s Google and Facebook Inc. Both companies were sued by U.S. antitrust enforcers last year for allegedly abusing their monopoly power... After the Federal Trade Commission and state attorneys general sued Facebook in December, Wu wrote a column in the New York Times comparing Facebook's strategy of buying competitors to Standard Oil's tactics in the 19th century. "What the federal government and states are doing is reasserting a fundamental rule for all American business: You cannot simply buy your way out of competition," Wu wrote. "Facebook, led by its chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, has taken that strategy to a smirking and egregious extreme, acquiring multiple companies to stifle the competitive threat they pose." Wu joins the Biden administration as tech giants are grappling with a reckoning in Washington that could transform the industry. The Facebook lawsuit could lead to the breakup of the company, while the Justice Department's complaint against Google targets the heart of its business — Internet search. Antitrust enforcers have also opened investigations of Apple Inc. and Amazon... Wu argued in his book, The Curse of Bigness: Antitrust in the New Gilded Age, that rising concentration across the economy has led to concentrated wealth and power as well as radicalized politics that threatens American democracy. A White House press briefing Friday included this response to a question about Biden's plans for big tech companies: The President has been clear — on the campaign, and, probably, more recently — that he stands up to the abuse of power, and that includes the abuse of power from big technology companies and their executives. And Tim will help advance the President's agenda, which includes addressing the economic and social challenges posed by the growing power of tech platforms; promoting competition and addressing monopoly and market power issues; expanding access to broadband for low-income and rural communities across the country... We don't have new policy to announce here... Just that the President believes, as he's talked about before, that it's important to promote competition and address monopoly and market power issues. Interestingly, last August Wu also wrote an op-ed in the New York Times titled "A TikTok Ban is Overdue," arguing that China's "extensive blocking, censorship and surveillance violate just about every principle of internet openness and decency. China keeps a closed and censorial internet economy at home while its products enjoy full access to open markets abroad..." The asymmetry is unfair and ought no longer be tolerated. The privilege of full internet access — the open internet — should be extended only to companies from countries that respect that openness themselves... [China] bans not only most foreign competitors to its tech businesses but also foreign sources of news, religious instruction and other information, while using the internet to promote state propaganda and engage in foreign electoral interference... Few foreign companies are allowed to reach Chinese citizens with ideas or services, but the world is fully open to China's online companies... The idealists who thought the internet would automatically create democracy in China were wrong. Some think that it is a tragic mistake for the United States to violate the principles of internet openness that were pioneered in this country. But there is also such a thing as being a sucker. If China refuses to follow the rules of the open internet, why continue to give it access to internet markets around the world...? We need to wake up to the game we are playing when it comes to the future of the global internet. The idealists of the 1990s and early '00s believed that building a universal network, a kind of digital cosmopolitanism, would lead to world peace and harmony. No one buys that fantasy any longer. But if we want decency and openness to survive on the internet — surely a more attainable goal — the nations that hold such values need to begin fighting to protect them.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Mozilla Urges 'Remain Calm: the Fox is Still in the Firefox Logo'

Slashdot - Sun, 07/03/2021 - 04:34
Last week Firefox's official blog responded to some viral misinformation about the Firefox logo. "People were up in arms because they thought we had scrubbed fox imagery from our browser. Rest easy knowing nothing could be further from the truth..." Sure, it's stressful to have hundreds of thousands of people shouting things like "justice for the fox" in all-caps in your mentions for three days straight, but ultimately that means people are thinking about the brand in a way they might not have for years. .. The logo causing all the stir is one we created a while ago with input from our users. Back in 2019, we updated the Firefox browser logo and added the parent brand logo as a new logo for our broader product portfolio that extends beyond the browser... which represents the family of Firefox products we make outside of just the Firefox browser, like Firefox Monitor. It's not an icon you're going to see on a dock, phone's home screen or desktop, though. We didn't get rid of the fox then and have no plans to do so now, or ever. Plenty of folks jumped in to try and clear things up in the original thread, but once the "they killed the fox" meme caught momentum and became the "Firefox minimalist logo" meme, there was no stopping it. It spread to Instagram and then to Reddit. The memes became so pervasive that there were memes being made about how there were too many Firefox logo memes... Well, fear not, because no matter what you think you heard on the internet, the fox isn't leaving any time soon. For our Firefox Nightly users out there, we're bringing back a very special version of an older logo, as a treat. Stay tuned.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

JavaScript- (Not Python-) Defined Neutral Networks? Deno 1.8 Supports WebGPU

Slashdot - Sun, 07/03/2021 - 01:34
InfoQ reports: Deno 1.8 recently shipped with plenty of new features, including WebGPU support, internationalization APIs, stabilized import maps, support for fetching private modules, and more. The Deno permissions API is now stable. Deno 1.8 additionally ships with TypeScript 4.2. The release note explained the motivation behind the support for the WebGPU APIs as follows: These days, most neural networks are defined in Python with the computation offloaded to GPUs. We believe JavaScript, instead of Python, could act as an ideal language for expressing mathematical ideas if the proper infrastructure existed. Providing WebGPU support out-of-the-box in Deno is a step in this direction. Our goal is to run Tensorflow.js on Deno, with GPU acceleration. We expect this to be achieved in the coming weeks or months. WebGPU is an API originally proposed by Apple that exposes the GPU computation functionality available on many devices. WebGPU may provide better performance than WebGL in tasks that benefit from parallel processing — as often occurs in scientific computing, machine learning, graphics and games development... Deno users can upgrade by running deno upgrade in a terminal.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Torvalds Warns the World: Don't Use the Linux 5.12-rc1 Kernel

Slashdot - Sun, 07/03/2021 - 00:34
"In a message to the Linux Kernel Mailing List Wednesday, founding developer Linus Torvalds warned the world not to use the 5.12-rc1 kernel in his public git tree..." writes Ars Technica: As it turns out, when Linus Torvalds flags some code dontuse, he really means it — the problem with this 5.12 release candidate broke swapfile handling in a very unpleasant way. Specifically, the updated code would lose the proper offset pointing to the beginning of the swapfile. Again, in Torvalds' own words, "swapping still happened, but it happened to the wrong part of the filesystem, with the obvious catastrophic end results." If your imagination is insufficient, this means that when the kernel paged contents of memory out to disk, the data would land on random parts of the same disk and partition the swapfile lived on... not as files, mind you, but as garbage spewed directly to raw sectors on the disk. This means overwriting not only data in existing files, but also rather large chunks of metadata whose corruption would likely render the entire filesystem unmountable and unusable. Torvalds goes on to point out that if you aren't using swap at all, this problem wouldn't bite you. And if you're using swap partitions, rather than swap files, you'd be similarly unaffected... Torvalds also advised anyone who'd already pulled his git tree to do a git tag -d v5.12-rc1 "to actually get rid of the original tag name..." — or at least, to not use it for anything. "I want everybody to be aware..." Torvalds writes, "because _if_ it bites you, it bites you hard, and you can end up with a filesystem that is essentially overwritten by random swap data. This is what we in the industry call 'double ungood'."

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Elon Musk Plans New City in Texas - Called Starbase and Led by 'The Doge'

Slashdot - Sat, 06/03/2021 - 23:34
schwit1 shares an article from Entrepreneur: If anyone has the ability to surprise the world with his ambitious projects, it is Elon Musk . The billionaire announced that he is building a new city in Texas to be called Starbase, around the rocket launch site of his company SpaceX... Later, he alluded to his project to colonize the red planet, hinting that Starbase would be just the beginning to go further. "From there to Mars. And hence the Stars," detailed the CEO of Tesla. The tycoon, who is currently the second richest person in the world , said that his city will occupy an area "much larger" than Boca Chica , a place that houses a launch site for SpaceX and where the company is building its Starship rocket... Eddie Treviño, judge for Cameron County, Texas, confirmed that SpaceX informed the authorities of Elon Musk's intention: to incorporate Boca Chica into the city of Starbase . The official noted that the mogul and his company must comply with all state statutes of incorporation and clarified that the county will process any petition in accordance with the law. Musk also tweeted that the leader of his new city "shall be The Doge," linking to a Wikipedia definition for the Venetian word doge (meaning either "military commander" or "spiritual leader".) Musk made his remark in response to a Twitter user named Wootiez, who had asked him whether his new city would be dog friendly.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

The One-Week Hijacking of Perl.com - Explained

Slashdot - Sat, 06/03/2021 - 22:34
"For a week we lost control of the Perl.com domain," a long-running site offering news and articles about the programming language, writes the site's senior editor, brian d foy. "Now that the incident has died down, we can explain some of what happened and how we handled it." This incident only affected the domain ownership of Perl.com and there was no other compromise of community resources. This website was still there, but DNS was handing out different IP numbers... Recovering the domain wasn't the end of the response though. While the domain was compromised, various security products had blacklisted Perl.com and some DNS servers had sinkholed it. We figured that would naturally work itself out, so we didn't immediately celebrate the return of Perl.com. We wanted it to be back for everyone. And, I think we're fully back. However, if you have problems with the domain, please raise an issue so we at least know it's not working for part of the internet. What we think happened This part veers into some speculation, and Perl.com wasn't the only victim. We think that there was a social engineering attack on Network Solutions, including phony documents and so on. There's no reason for Network Solutions to reveal anything to me (again, I'm not the injured party), but I did talk to other domain owners involved and this is the basic scheme they reported. John Berryhill provided some forensic work in Twitter that showed the compromise actually happened in September. The domain was transferred to the BizCN registrar in December, but the nameservers were not changed. The domain was transferred again in January to another registrar, Key Systems, GmbH. This latency period avoids immediate detection, and bouncing the domain through a couple registrars makes the recovery much harder... Once transferred to Key Systems in late January, the new, fraudulent registrant listed the domain (along with others), on Afternic (a domain marketplace). If you had $190,000, you could have bought Perl.com. This was quickly de-listed after the The Register made inquiries. "I think we were very fortunate here and that many people with a soft spot in their hearts for Perl did a lot of good work for us," the article notes. "All sides understood that Perl.com belonged to Tom and it was a simple matter of work to resolve it. A relatively unknown domain name might not fare as well in proving they own it..." But again, the incident ended happily, foy writes, and "The Perl.com domain is back in the hands of Tom Christiansen and we're working on the various security updates so this doesn't happen again. The website is back to how it was and slightly shinier for the help we received."

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Thousands of World of Warcraft Classic players descended upon a single server to get a fresh levelling experience - and it was absolute chaos

Eurogamer - Sat, 06/03/2021 - 22:23

Thousands of World of Warcraft Classic players last night descended upon a single server to get a fresh levelling experience - and it was absolute chaos.

Last week, I reported on how over one thousand World of Warcraft players had banded together to create a "fresh" experience in the Classic version of the famous MMO.

In the absence of incoming fresh servers with the launch of Burning Crusade Classic, those who only now fancy playing the famous MMO as it was in 2004 face starting on realms filled with maximum level players and botting.

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Categories: Video Games

America's Air Force Is Having To Reverse Engineer Parts of Its Own Stealth Bomber

Slashdot - Sat, 06/03/2021 - 21:34
Long-time Slashdot reader AmiMoJo shares a report from The Drive: In a surprising turn of events, the United States government is calling upon its country's industry to reverse engineer components for the Air Force's B-2 Spirit stealth bomber. An official call for this highly unusual kind of assistance was put out today on the U.S. government's contracting website beta.SAM.gov. Mark Thompson, a national-security analyst at the Project On Government Oversight, brought our attention to the notice, which seeks an engineering effort that will reverse engineer key parts for the B-2's Load Heat Exchangers. While it is not exactly clear what part of the aircraft's many complex and exotic subsystems these heat exchangers relate to, the bomber has no shortage of avionics systems, for example, which could require cooling... While it's hard to say exactly why this approach is being taken now, it indicates that the original plans for these components are unavailable or the manufacturing processes and tooling used to produce them no longer exists... Indeed, as the average age of the Air Force fleet continues to increase, there are only likely to be more such requirements for parts that are long out of production. Before he stood down, the former Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics, Will Roper, told Air Force Magazine of his desire for a "digital representation of every part in the Air Force inventory...." All in all, the search for reverse-engineered components for the B-2 fleet is keeping with the Air Force's current trend of moving toward the latest digital engineering and manufacturing techniques to help ensure its aircraft can be sustained not just easier and more cheaply, but in some cases, possibly at all.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Minecraft Dungeons is getting an arcade cabinet

Eurogamer - Sat, 06/03/2021 - 21:02

Here's something we didn't expect: Minecraft Dungeons is getting an arcade cabinet.

The colourful, fun co-op Minecraft action role-playing game has an arcade cabinet from Play Mechanix that will be released in North America, Mojang announced in a blog post. It's called Minecraft Dungeons Arcade.

It's a perfect fit, really - Minecraft Dungeons is a four-player co-op game, and the arcade cabinet has room for a full party. Here's how it looks:

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Categories: Video Games

Chinese Steam hit Tale of Immortal sells 1.8m, English localisation work begins

Eurogamer - Sat, 06/03/2021 - 20:37

Work on English localisation for Steam hit Tale of Immortal begins in April, its developer has announced.

The news comes as sales of the game hit 1.8m after just a month in early access.

Tale of Immortal is an open-world role-playing game developed by Chinese indie team GuiGu Studio. It's part of a new breed of cultivation sims, where you grow to become immortal, defeating monsters from the Classic of Mountains and Seas (a Chinese classic text and compilation of mythic geography and beasts).

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Categories: Video Games

A New Motherboard For Amiga, The Platform That Refuses To Die

Slashdot - Sat, 06/03/2021 - 20:34
Hackaday writes: In the early years of personal computing there were a slew of serious contenders. A PC, a Mac, an Atari ST, an Amiga, and several more that all demanded serious consideration on the general purpose desktop computer market. Of all these platforms, the Amiga somehow stubbornly refuses to die. The Amiga 1200+ from [Jeroen Vandezande] is the latest in a long procession of post-Commodore Amigas, and as its name suggests it provides an upgrade for the popular early-1990s all-in-one Amiga model. It takes the form of a well-executed open-source printed circuit board that's a drop-in replacement for the original A1200 motherboard... The catch: it does require all the custom Amiga chips from a donor board... It's fair to say that this is the Amiga upgrade we'd all have loved to see in about 1996 rather than waiting until 2019. Mike Bouma (Slashdot reader #85,252) shares a recent video showing the latest update of AmigaOS 4 by Hyperion Entertainment, and reminds us of two "also active" Amiga OS clones — AROS and MorphOS. Further reading: Little Things That Made Amiga Great.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Genshin Impact is getting a new type of story quest that looks a bit like a dating sim

Eurogamer - Sat, 06/03/2021 - 19:54

Genshin Impact is getting a new type of story quest that looks a bit like a dating sim as part of the upcoming 1.4 update.

The update, due out 17th March, is dubbed Invitation of Windblume and launches on PC, Android, iOS, PlayStation 4 and, via backward compatibility, PlayStation 5.

All players who have reached Adventure Rank 20 or above and completed the Song of the Dragon and Freedom questline get an invite to join the in-game spring festival. The trailer is below:

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Categories: Video Games

How CRISPR Can Create More Ethical Eggs

Slashdot - Sat, 06/03/2021 - 19:34
Slashdot reader wooloohoo shares a new article from Cornell's Alliance for Science, a group who gives its mission as correcting misinformation and countering conspiracy theories slowing progress on issues including synthetic biology and agricultural innovations: There are two types of chickens: the broilers that we eat and the layers that produce the eggs. The layers don't have enough meat to make them useful for human consumption and since only hens can lay eggs, that leaves the male layers useless. As a result, billions of newly hatched male layer chicks are killed each year. Now the Israeli ag-tech startup eggXYt has found a way to humanely address this dilemma through the use of CRISPR — the gene editing technique that allows scientists to make targeted, specific genetic tweaks... By using CRISPR, eggXYt's scientists can edit the genes of chickens to make them lay sex-detectable eggs... The global egg industry saves the costs and the ethical conundrum of killing half of its product and billions of additional eggs are added to the global market to help meet growing demand.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Tales of Arise re-emerges with a fresh trailer and promise of news in the spring

Eurogamer - Sat, 06/03/2021 - 18:53

Tales of Arise has re-emerged with a fresh trailer and the promise of news in the spring.

Bandai Namco published the familiar trailer, below. It ends with a note to say news is coming spring 2021.

"Spring is just around the corner, and we've been working hard to make it unforgettable!" Bandai Namco said. "Catch the first new glimpse from Tales of Arise."

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Categories: Video Games

Can Users Poison the Data Big Tech Uses to Surveil Them?

Slashdot - Sat, 06/03/2021 - 18:34
"Algorithms are meaningless without good data. The public can exploit that to demand change," argues a new article in MIT's Technology Review (shared by long-time Slashdot reader mspohr): Data is fed into machine-learning algorithms to target you with ads and recommendations. Google cashes your data in for over $120 billion a year of ad revenue. Increasingly, we can no longer opt out of this arrangement... Now researchers at Northwestern University are suggesting new ways to redress this power imbalance by treating our collective data as a bargaining chip... In a new paper being presented at the Association for Computing Machinery's Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency conference next week, researchers including PhD students Nicholas Vincent and Hanlin Li propose three ways the public can exploit this to their advantage: Data strikes, inspired by the idea of labor strikes, which involve withholding or deleting your data so a tech firm cannot use it — leaving a platform or installing privacy tools, for instance. Data poisoning, which involves contributing meaningless or harmful data. AdNauseam, for example, is a browser extension that clicks on every single ad served to you, thus confusing Google's ad-targeting algorithms. Conscious data contribution, which involves giving meaningful data to the competitor of a platform you want to protest, such as by uploading your Facebook photos to Tumblr instead. Will we someday see "white-hat data poisoners" trying to convince tech companies that the best place to advertise is the classified sections of small local newspapers? While the researchers believe sporadic individual actions have little impact, the article takes this to its ultimate conclusion. "What if millions of people were to coordinate to poison a tech giant's data well...? That might just give them some leverage to assert their demands."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Watch Dogs: Legion's online mode delayed on PC

Eurogamer - Sat, 06/03/2021 - 18:13

Watch Dogs: Legion's online mode is delayed on PC, Ubisoft said. It was due out 9th March.

In a tweet the developer said it had identified an issue in the PC version that can cause the game to crash for players with certain GPUs, and had taken the decision to delay online indefinitely.

"The team is working on fixing the issue as quickly as possible," Ubisoft said.

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Categories: Video Games
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