Tech Today w/ Ken May

Archive for June, 2017

Here’s how the 1980s got its colorful look

Posted by kenmay on June - 27 - 2017

It turns out a lot of the aesthetics of the 1980s can be traced back to an Italian design collective. As Vox explains in this new video created by Dion Lee: [The] Memphis Design movement dominated the ’80s with their crazy patterns and vibrant colors. Many designers and architects from all around the world contributed to the movement in order to escape from the strict rules of modernism. Although their designs didn’t end up in people’s homes, they inspired many designers working in different mediums. After their first show in Milan in 1981, everything from fashion to music videos became influenced by their visual vocabulary. [ via The A.V. Club ]

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Ozzy Osbourne’s favorite metal albums

Posted by kenmay on June - 27 - 2017

Rolling Stone magazine asked the Prince of Darkness to list his ten favorite metal albums. Here are five of Ozzy’s sure-shots: AC/DC, ‘Highway to Hell’ (1979) “I love Brian Johnson but to me my good friend, the late Bon Scott, was the best singer AC/DC ever had. This album was like an addiction to me.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l482T0yNkeo Guns N’ Roses, ‘Appetite for Destruction’ (1987) “One of the greatest debut albums of all time. There’s not a weak song in the bunch. I never get tired of hearing it.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1tj2zJ2Wvg Led Zeppelin, ‘Led Zeppelin IV’ (1971) “I’ve always been a huge Led Zeppelin fan. All of their studio albums are classics but this is one of my all-time favorites.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qyivczZI5pw Metallica, ‘Master of Puppets’ (1986) “I took Metallica on tour with me after the release of Master of Puppets. The album was a milestone for the band and for heavy metal.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xVR4bkyMykA Motörhead, ‘Ace of Spades’ (1980) “The album that put Motörhead over the top. The title track “Ace of Spades” is Motörhead’s “Paranoid.” It’s one of the great metal anthems and, to me, a band hasn’t made it until they have their own anthem. This is theirs.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWB5JZRGl0U Ozzy Osbourne: My 10 Favorite Metal Albums (Rolling Stone)

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Indie Game Developer Shares Free Keys on The Pirate Bay

Posted by kenmay on June - 26 - 2017

Jacob Janerka, developer of the popular indie adventure game ‘Paradigm, ‘ recently spotted a cracked copy of his title on The Pirate Bay. But, instead of being filled with anger and rage while running to the nearest anti-piracy outfit, Janerka decided to reach out to the pirates. Not to school or scold them, but to offer a few free keys. From a report: “Hey everyone, I’m Jacob, the creator of Paradigm. I know some of you legitimately can’t afford the game and I’m glad you get to still play it :D, ” Janerka’s comment on TPB reads. Having downloaded many pirated games himself in the past, Janerka knows that some people simply don’t have the means to buy all the games they want to play. So he’s certainly not going to condemn others for doing the same now, although it would be nice if some bought it later. “If you like the game, please tell your friends and maybe even consider buying it later, ” he added. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Update: In a statement provided to Polygon , Nintendo said it is not “providing specific numbers, but we will produce significantly more units of Super NES Classic Edition than we did of NES Classic Edition.” The company said the new hardware will be produced at least through the end of 2017 and said “at this time, we have nothing to announce regarding any possible shipments beyond this year.” Original Story Read 12 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Salvador Dali’s corpse to be exhumed

Posted by kenmay on June - 26 - 2017

A judge in Spain has ordered the exhumation of artist Salvador Dali’s body for genetic testing, so that a paternity lawsuit may be resolved. Dali died in 1989; Pilar Abel believes the painter is her father, from an affair he reportedly had with a maid in 1955. From Agencia EFE: Una juez de Madrid ha ordenado la exhumación del cadáver del pintor Salvador Dalí y la obtención de muestras de su cuerpo para la práctica de la prueba biológica de determinación de la paternidad de Pilar Abel, una gerundense que presentó una demanda para ser reconocida como hija del artista. Según indica en un auto la juez encargada del caso, “es necesaria la prueba biológica de investigación de la paternidad de Maria Pilar Abel Martínez respecto de D. Salvador Dalí Domenech”, al “no existir restos biológicos ni objetos personales sobre los cuales practicar la prueba por el Instituto Nacional de Toxicología”.

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Coming on September 29, the Super Nintendo Classic. It will cost $80 and include 21 built-in games, including Super Mario World, Earthbound, Final Fantasy III, Link to the Past, Secret of Mana, Donkey Kong Country, and Super Mario Kart . From Ars Technica : Unlike the NES Classic, which sold $10 controllers on top of the $60 base package, the SNES Classic comes packaged with two controllers. Even so, only five of the included titles include true simultaneous multiplayer gameplay, with a handful of others allowing for two players to alternate play. The Classic Controller and Classic Controller Pro designed for the Wii and Wii U will also work on the SNES Classic Edition, much like its predecessor. Of the 21 included titles, a full 14 were published by Nintendo itself. Three games from Capcom, two from Konami, and two from Square Enix round out the package.

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An anonymous reader writes: “The price of ethereum crashed as low as 10 cents from around $319 in about a second on the GDAX cryptocurrency exchange on Wednesday, ” reports CNBC, calling it “a move that is being blamed on a ‘multimillion dollar market sell’ order… As the price continued to fall, another 800 stop loss orders and margin funding liquidations caused ethereum to trade as low as 10 cents.” An executive for the exchange said “Our matching engine operated as intended throughout this event and trading with advanced features like margin always carries inherent risk.” Though some users complained they lost money, the price rebounded to $325 — and according to a report on one trading site, “one person had an order in for just over 3, 800 ethereum if the price fell to 10 cents on the GDAX exchange, ” reports CNBC. “Theoretically this person would have spent $380 to buy these coins, and when the price shot up above $300 again, the trader would be sitting on over $1 million.” Yet the currency exchange announced Friday that they’re honoring everyone’s gains, while also reimbursing customers who suffered losses. “We view this as an opportunity to demonstrate our long-term commitment to our customers and belief in the future of this industry.” Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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An anonymous reader quotes CNET: Anthem, the largest health insurance company in the U.S., has agreed to settle a class action lawsuit over a 2015 data breach for a record $115 million, according to lawyers for the plaintiffs. The settlement still has to be approved by US District Court Judge Lucy Koh, who is scheduled to hear the case on August 17 in San Jose, California. And Anthem, which didn’t immediately respond to a request for confirmation and comment, isn’t admitting any admitting any wrongdoing, according to a statement it made to CyberScoop acknowledging the settlement. But if approved, it would be the largest data breach settlement in history, according to the plaintiffs’ lawyers, who announced the agreement Friday. The funds would be used to provide victims of the data breach at least two years of credit monitoring and to reimburse customers for breach-related expenses. The settlement would also guarantee a certain level of funding for “information security to implement or maintain numerous specific changes to its data security systems, including encryption of certain information and archiving sensitive data with strict access controls, ” the plaintiff attorneys said. The breach compromised data for 80 million people, including their social security numbers, birthdays, street addresses (and email addresses) as well as income data. The $115 million settlement averages out to $1.43 for every person who was affected. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Long-time Slashdot reader nri tipped us off to a developing story in Victoria, Australia. Yahoo News reports: Victoria Police officials announced on Saturday, June 24, they were withdrawing all speed camera infringement notices issued statewide from June 6 after a virus in the cameras turned out to be more widespread than first thought. “That does not mean they [the infringement notices] won’t not be re-issued, ” Assistant Commissioner Doug Fryer told reporters, explaining that he wants to be sure the red light and speed cameras were working correctly. Acting Deputy Commissioner Ross Guenther told reporters on Friday that 55 cameras had been exposed to the ransomware virus, but they’ve now determined 280 cameras had been exposed. The cameras are not connected to the internet, but a maintenance worker unwittingly connected a USB stick with the virus on it to the camera system on June 6. Fryer said that about 1643 tickets would be withdrawn — up from the 590 that police had announced on Friday — and another five and a half thousand tickets pending in the system would be embargoed. Fryer said he was optimistic the 7500 to 8000 tickets affected could be re-issued, but for now police would not issue new tickets until police had reviewed the cameras to ensure they were functioning properly… The “WannaCry” malware caused the cameras to continually reboot, Fryer said. Fryer said there was no indication the malware had caused inaccurate radar readings, but police were being “over cautious” to maintain public faith in the system. Last week Victoria’s Police Minister was “openly furious” with the private camera operator, saying the group hadn’t notified the relevant authorities about the infection. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Old games as standalone apps: no emulator necessary

Posted by kenmay on June - 26 - 2017

Games Nostalgia is a retrogame site with a useful difference: instead of simply providing files which then must be fed to the often-difficult gods of emulation, it packages the classics as ready-to-click apps for Mac and PC. Examples to eat your morning: seminal Atari/Amiga RPG Dungeon Master , DOS blaster Doom , and 1990’s original RTS Dune II . Then there’s Populous , Archon , Shadow of the Beast … Previously: Vast collection of Amiga games, demos and software uploaded to Internet Archive

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