Valve Really Doesn't Want You Using VPNs To Get Cheaper Games

Ever since Valve began selling Steam games with different prices for different markets, people who live in the more expensive regions have been trying to find ways to get cheaper video games. Ways that Valve knows about, and is continuing to quietly crack down on.

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Source: Kotaku – Valve Really Doesn’t Want You Using VPNs To Get Cheaper Games

DeepMind Uses AI To Tackle Neglected Deadly Diseases

Artificial intelligence is to be used to tackle the most deadly parasitic diseases in the developing world, tech company DeepMind has announced. The BBC reports: The London-based Alphabet-owned lab will work with the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDI) to treat Chagas disease and Leishmaniasis. Scientists spend years in laboratories mapping protein structures. But last year, DeepMind’s AlphaFold program was able to achieve the same accuracy in a matter of days. Many diseases are linked to the roles of proteins in: catalysing chemical reactions (enzymes); fighting disease (antibodies); and acting as chemical messengers (hormones such as insulin). And knowing the 3D structure of a protein is important in developing treatments for, among others, cancer, dementia and infectious diseases.

Prof Dame Janet Thornton, of the European Bioinformatics Institute, told BBC News: “Most new drugs in recent years have been developed using protein-structural data as one part of the process. “There are, however, many other aspects which need to be taken into account, which, due to lack of data, may not be amenable to AI approaches.” But the predictions would be “particularly valuable” for pathogens with unknown protein structures, including some neglected diseases. “Developing new AI approaches for designing such drugs is a new challenge but one to which the new AI techniques can be applied and this holds out great hope for the future,” Dame Janet added.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot – DeepMind Uses AI To Tackle Neglected Deadly Diseases

Warren Buffett Resigns From Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Warren Buffett, the chairman and chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway, announced his resignation as a trustee of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on Wednesday, according to a press release. Interesting Engineering reports: Bill and Melinda Gates announced that they were getting divorced in May of 2021. For many, it was an earth-shattering announcement, one that raises a host of questions about the future of their foundation and its quest to end disease worldwide. This latest announcement adds to the growing number of questions about what’s in store for the many enterprises currently being managed by the Gates Foundation. The foundation supplies grants to researchers studying polio, nutrition, agriculture, global education, sanitation, HIV, malaria, tobacco control, vaccines, gender inequality…and we’re just getting started.

At the age of 90, Buffet has donated $41 billion worth of Berkshire stock to the five foundations. In today’s announcement, he added that he has donated an extra $4.1 billion, but he didn’t give a reason for his decision. “Today is a milestone for me,” Buffett wrote in a statement. “In 2006, I pledged to distribute all of my Berkshire Hathaway shares — more than 99% of my net worth — to philanthropy. With today’s $4.1 billion distribution, I’m halfway there.”

“For years I have been a trustee — an inactive trustee at that — of only one recipient of my funds, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMG). I am now resigning from that post, just as I have done at all corporate boards other than Berkshire’s,” Buffett said. “The CEO of BMG is Mark Suzman, an outstanding recent selection who has my full support. My goals are 100% in sync with those of the foundation, and my physical participation is in no way needed to achieve these goals.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot – Warren Buffett Resigns From Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

The True Crime Story Of A GameFAQs User Who Just Wanted More Mountain Dew

In 2008, GameFAQs user EpitaphILIP had an idea: what if, instead of buying a cup of soda at Taco Bell and merely drinking it, he bought a refillable cup, built a contraption leading from the cup to a container hidden in a messenger bag and proceeded to pour a whole ton of Mountain Dew.

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Source: Kotaku – The True Crime Story Of A GameFAQs User Who Just Wanted More Mountain Dew

Peloton Treadmill Safety Update Requires $40 a Month Subscription

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard: Peloton’s Treadmills cost between $2,500 and $4,000. They’ve also injured 70 people and killed one child. Peloton issued a recall on the treadmills after an investigation by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Those who kept the Tread+ got a nasty shock in their inbox recently: After the treadmill downloaded an update Peloton said was designed to make the device safer, users reported they could no longer run on it without paying Peloton a $39.99 per month subscription fee. “We care deeply about the safety and well being of our Members and we created Tread Lock to secure your Tread+ against unauthorized access,” Peloton said in an email it sent to customers. “Unfortunately at this time ‘Just Runn’ is no longer accessible without a Peloton Membership.” It offered to waive the subscription fee for the first three months and apologized for the inconvenience.

Peloton’s subscription ecosystem provides users with live classes, crafted playlists, and customized tracks. For people who just want to run or bike, they can select the “Just Bike” or “Just Run” feature and use their devices like normal exercise equipment. Unless, of course, the user has updated the Tread+ to get the safety update. […] The new Tread Lock update adds another layer of safety to the Tread+. “Tread Lock is a safety feature that automatically locks the Peloton Tread+ after you put your Tread+ to sleep or after 45 seconds of inactivity outside of a class,” Peloton said on its website. For now, the cost of using that new feature is, apparently, about $40 a month, though Peloton claimed it would not always be so. “Unfortunately due to current technical limitations, Tread Lock is not yet available without a Peloton Membership,” Peloton told Motherboard in an email. “We understand that this is an inconvenience for some and are working on updates to Tread Lock that will allow us to make Tread Lock and Just Run available without a Peloton Membership.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot – Peloton Treadmill Safety Update Requires a Month Subscription

LEGO: Builder's Journey Is Very Good, Very Chill

There have been loads of LEGO games before, some of them trying to replicate the sensation of playing with the real thing, others just using the bricks as set dressing for some very funny licensed platforming. The latest one (well, latest on PC, anyway), LEGO: Builder’s Journey, takes a slightly different approach,…

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Source: Kotaku – LEGO: Builder’s Journey Is Very Good, Very Chill

Apple Says It Needs the App Store In Order to Protect Consumers From Scams

Apple continued its impassioned defense against a new crop of antitrust bills on Wednesday, advising lawmakers that the legislation’s recommendation that the company open itself up to third-party app stores would spell disaster for consumers by exposing them to unvetted scams and violating their privacy.

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Source: Gizmodo – Apple Says It Needs the App Store In Order to Protect Consumers From Scams

AI Helps Restore Rembrandt's Night Watch Masterpiece

For the first time in more than 300 years, Rembrandt’s masterpiece The Night Watch can again be seen in its entirety in the Netherlands. The BBC reports: Created in 1642 by the Dutch master, the huge picture was trimmed on all four sides in 1715 to fit between two doors in Amsterdam town hall. The city’s Rijksmuseum has now added the missing scenes from a small, early copy of the original. It used artificial intelligence (AI) to mimic Rembrandt’s style.

The Night Watch is considered Rembrandt’s most ambitious work. It was commissioned by the mayor and leader of the civic guard of Amsterdam, Frans Banninck Cocq, who wanted a group portrait of his militia company. Prior to the restoration the painting was nearly 4m tall and 4.5m wide (12.5 x 15 ft) and weighed 337kg (743lb). As well as being famous for its size, the piece is acclaimed for its use of dramatic lighting and movement. In 1975, a man armed with a bread knife fought off a museum guard and slashed the painting, telling bystanders that he “did it for the Lord.” The piece was also attacked with a knife in 1911 and sprayed with a chemical in 1990, but only minor damage occurred on both occasions that was relatively easy to repair.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot – AI Helps Restore Rembrandt’s Night Watch Masterpiece

A quick-start guide to OpenZFS native encryption

Close-up photograph of a padlock.

Enlarge / On-disk encryption is a complex topic, but this article should give you a solid handle on OpenZFS’ implementation. (credit: Paul Downey / Flickr)

One of the many features OpenZFS brings to the table is ZFS native encryption. First introduced in OpenZFS 0.8, native encryption allows a system administrator to transparently encrypt data at-rest within ZFS itself. This obviates the need for separate tools like LUKS, VeraCrypt, or BitLocker.

OpenZFS encryption algorithm defaults to either aes-256-ccm (prior to 0.8.4) or aes-256-gcm (>= 0.8.4) when encryption=on is set. But it may also be specified directly. Currently supported algorithms are:

  • aes-128-ccm
  • aes-192-ccm
  • aes-256-ccm (default in OpenZFS < 0.8.4)
  • aes-128-gcm
  • aes-192-gcm
  • aes-256-gcm (default in OpenZFS >= 0.8.4)

There’s more to OpenZFS native encryption than the algorithms used, though—so we’ll try to give you a brief but solid grounding in the sysadmin’s-eye perspective on the “why” and “what” as well as the simple “how.”

Read 49 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Source: Ars Technica – A quick-start guide to OpenZFS native encryption

Supreme Court Sides With High School Cheerleader Who Cursed Online

schwit1 shares a report from CNN: The Supreme Court ruled in favor of a former high school cheerleader who argued that she could not be punished by her public school for posting a profanity-laced caption on Snapchat when she was off school grounds. The case involving a Pennsylvania teenager was closely watched to see how the court would handle the free speech rights of some 50 million public school children and the concerns of schools over off-campus and online speech that could amount to a disruption of the school’s mission or rise to the level of bullying or threats.

The 8-1 majority opinion was penned by Justice Stephen Breyer. “It might be tempting to dismiss (the student’s) words as unworthy of the robust First Amendment protections discussed herein. But sometimes it is necessary to protect the superfluous in order to preserve the necessary,” Breyer wrote. Breyer said that the court has made clear that students “do not shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression even ‘at the school house gate.'” “But,” he said, “we have also made clear that courts must apply the First Amendment in light of the special characteristics of the school environment.” “The school itself has an interest in protecting a student’s unpopular expression, especially when the expression takes place off campus. America’s public schools are the nurseries of democracy,” the opinion read.

Breyer disagreed with the reasoning of a lower court opinion that held that a school could never regulate speech that takes place off campus, but at the same time he declined to set forth what he called “a broad, highly general First Amendment rules stating just what counts as ‘off-campus speech.” Instead, he allowed that while the cheerleader’s post were “crude” they “did not amount to fighting words.” He said that while she used “vulgarity” her speech was not “obscene.” In addition, her post appeared “outside of school hours from a location outside of school” and they did not target any member of the school community with “abusive” language. He added that she used her own personal cellphone and her audience consisted of a private circle of Snapchat friends. Breyer said “these features of her speech” diminish the school’s interest in punishing her. Justice Clarence Thomas dissented. He wrote that students like the former cheerleader “who are active in extracurricular programs have a greater potential, by virtue of their participation, to harm those programs.” He added: “For example, a profanity-laced screed delivered on social media or at the mall has a much different effect on a football program when done by a regular student than when done by the captain of the football team. So, too, here.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot – Supreme Court Sides With High School Cheerleader Who Cursed Online

[$] Pulling GitHub into the kernel process

There is an ongoing effort to “modernize” the kernel-development process;
so far, the focus has been on providing better
that can streamline the usual email-based workflow. But that
“email-based” part has proven to be problematic for some potential
contributors, especially those who might want to simply submit a small bug
fix and are not interested in getting set up with that workflow. The
project-hosting “forge” sites, like GitHub and GitLab, provide a nearly
frictionless path for these kinds of one-off contributions, but they do
not mesh well—at all, really—with most of mainline kernel development.
There is some ongoing work that may change all of that, however.

Source: – [$] Pulling GitHub into the kernel process

Q-Force's First Trailer Wants in on All the Corporate Gay Pandering

When Netflix first announced Q-Force back in 2019, the animated series sounded like a queer sendup of the James Bond franchise and other stories about hypermasculine superspies that have been fixtures in the genre space for decades. But Q-Force’s first trailer makes it pretty clear that the energy it’s going for is…

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Source: Gizmodo – Q-Force’s First Trailer Wants in on All the Corporate Gay Pandering