By Soulskill from Slashdot's all-about-the-benjamins department
hey! writes "On February 18 of this year, global giant payment processor PayPal sent eBook publisher Smashwords an ultimatum: if Smashwords didn't remove all eBooks with certain erotic content from its catalog in the next several days, PayPal would immediately stop handling payments. Smashword's TOS already precluded child pornography, but now PayPal wants them to also censor depictions of consenting, non-related adults acting out incest fantasies. Likewise, fantasy novels in which human characters transform into non-humans are affected if those characters have sex. ZDNet has a summary of the impact of these changes, which would among other things ban Vladmir Nabokov's Lolita. As outrage mounts, finger pointing is in full swing. Smashwords blames PayPal, and PayPal blames the banks it deals with. The crux seems to be that erotica buyers have a higher rate of 'chargebacks' — customers who buy stuff then demand their money back. Fair enough, but is a customer really more likely to return a book because it depicts one kind of fantasy between consenting adults vs. another? Perhaps the problem is just the quality of writing."
Note: as you can probably tell from the summary, the linked articles (while factual in nature) discuss subjects that may not be suitable for workplace reading.Read Replies (0)
By Soulskill from Slashdot's making-them-an-offer-they-can't-refuse department
PatPending writes with news that Google will be offering up to $1 million for the discovery of new exploits in their Chrome browser
. This comes as part of the CanSecWest security conference, and the rewards will be broken down into categories: $60,000 for an exploit using only Chrome bugs, $40,000 for an exploit using a Chrome bug in conjunction with other bugs, and $20,000 for exploits that affect Chrome (and other browsers) but are due to bugs in other software, like Flash, Windows, or drivers. Google had originally planned to offer rewards through the Pwn2Own competition, but they were concerned by the contest rules: "Unfortunately, we decided to withdraw our sponsorship when we discovered that contestants are permitted to enter Pwn2Own without having to reveal full exploits (or even all of the bugs used!) to vendors. Full exploits have been handed over in previous years, but it’s an explicit non-requirement in this year’s contest, and that’s worrisome. ... We guarantee to send non-Chrome bugs to the appropriate vendor immediately."Read Replies (0)
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's four-cores-good-two-cores-better department
writes with this news from Extreme Tech: "In a move that will shock and disgust bleeding-edge technophiles everywhere, Asus has announced at Mobile World Congress 2012 that its new Transformer Pads — the high-end Infinity Series — will use the recently-announced dual-core Qualcomm S4 SoC. The critically acclaimed Transformer Prime, the Infinity Series' predecessor which was released at the end of 2011, used the quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3. Why the sudden about-face? Well, the fact that quad-core processors don't really have a use case in mobile devices is one reason — but it doesn't hurt that the Krait cores in the S4 are significantly faster than the four Cortex-A9 cores in the Tegra 3, too. The S4 is also the first 28nm SoC, while Tegra 3 is still on 40nm, which means a smaller and cheaper package, and lower power consumption to boot. The S4 is also the first SoC with built-in LTE, which was probably a rather nice sweetener for Asus."
The Snapdragon S4 "Krait" CPU is still a bit shrounded in mystery as far as hard specs (Qualcomm has never been one to release docs), but it appears to be similar to the Cortex-A15
in performance; how they stand up to Intel's new Medfield designs
remains to be seen.Read Replies (0)