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Censorship

"Terrorist" Lyrics Land High Schooler In Jail 573

Posted by timothy
from the now-for-aesthetic-offenses-maybe dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A Methusen, Mass. high schooler, who goes by the rapper name 'Cammy Dee' has been arrested after posting lyrics that police felt were 'communicating terrorist threats.' This wouldn't be the first time rap lyrics were investigated, but if formally charged for 'communicating terrorist threats' this would a set a chilling low bar for terrorist investigations."
Debian

On the Heels of Wheezy, Aptosid Releases 2013-01 79

Posted by timothy
from the different-drummer-to-similar-tune dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Right on the heels of Debian's 7.0 ('Wheezy') release, the Aptosid team is proud to announce the immediate availability of the 2013-01 release. Aptosid is a rolling release built on top of Debian's most modern branch Sid, providing the most up-to-date kernel available with patches and stabilization not yet seen in mainline, along with many patched Debian packages, all while maintaining 100% compatibility with upstream Debian (unlike other distros based on Debian). If you think Debian Stable is too old to be useful, give Atposid a spin!"
Communications

Former FBI Agent: All Digital Communications Stored By US Gov't 621

Posted by timothy
from the and-soon-it-will-all-be-in-utah dept.
New submitter davesays writes "CNN anchors Erin Burnett and Carol Costello have interviewed Former FBI Counterterrorisim specialist Tim Clemente. In the interviews he asserts that all digital communications are recorded and stored. Clemente: 'No, welcome to America. All of that stuff is being captured as we speak whether we know it or like it or not.' 'All of that stuff' — meaning every telephone conversation Americans have with one another on U.S. soil, with or without a search warrant — 'is being captured as we speak.' 'No digital communication is secure,' by which he means not that any communication is susceptible to government interception as it happens (although that is true), but far beyond that: all digital communications — meaning telephone calls, emails, online chats and the like — are automatically recorded and stored and accessible to the government after the fact. To describe that is to define what a ubiquitous, limitless Surveillance State is."
Facebook

Facebook's Hackathons Get a Rethink 49

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the sleep-deprivation-optional dept.
itwbennett writes "They'll still be all-night coding sessions, but starting with this week's 'Project Mayhem' event, there are a few notable changes. First, they're longer — starting at 11 a.m. Thursday and continuing until 2 p.m. Friday. And coding through the night is optional. 'It's like, "let's take this day off to do this, and then if I need to get more done, we can hang out and finish at night,"' said Facebook engineering manager Pedram Keyani, who organizes the hackathons."
Databases

There Is No Reason At All To Use MySQL: MariaDB, MySQL Founder Michael Widenius 241

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the reunion-episode dept.
sfcrazy writes "In this exclusive interview MySQL founder Michael Widenius talks about the reasons of decline of MySQL, what Oracle is doing wrong and how MariaDB is fast replacing it. There are quite some interesting information in this interview. The take out of this interview is — '...there is no reason at all to use MySQL 5.5 instead of MariaDB 5.5. The same will be true for the next generation.'" Of course, he has an economic interest in getting people to use MariaDB. Hard to argue that Oracle isn't evil though.
Businesses

Ask Slashdot: How Do You Sell an Algorithm To Venture Capitalists? 205

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the wait-for-apple-to-steal-it dept.
dryriver writes "Dear Slashdotters, We are a two man crew who have spent almost three years developing a video processing algorithm that 'upgrades' the visual quality of digital video footage. We take video footage that is "of average quality" — think an amateur shooting on a cheap digital camcorder or on a smartphone camera — and use various mathematical tricks we have developed to make the footage look better — optically sharper, better lit, more vivid colours, improved contrast, enhanced sense of three-dimensionality and of 'being-there realism.' In about a month, we will be presenting our algorithm to some venture capitalists. We have the obligatory before-and-after video demos prepared for this, of course. But there will also be a short PowerPoint presentation where we explain our tech in some detail. Now here is our main question: What, in your opinion, should we — or indeed should we NOT — put in the PowerPoint presentation to impress a Venture Capitalist? Should we talk about how we developed the algorithm at all — what kind of R&D and testing was involved? Should we try to walk the VCs through how our algorithm works under the hood — simplified a bit for a 'non-engineer' audience of course? Or should we stick to talking about market potential, marketing strategy & money-related stuff only? If you were in our shoes — presenting a digital video-quality improvement technology to professional VCs — what would and would you not put in your PowerPoint? Any advice on this from Slashdotters with some experience would be most welcome!"
The Media

Xkcd's Long-running "Time" Comic: Work of Art Or Nerd Sniping? 190

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the trolling-your-readers-for-fun-and-profit dept.
Fortran IV writes "Randall Munroe's xkcd webcomic has done some odd things before, but #1190, 'Time,' is something special. It's a time-lapse movie of two people building a sandcastle that's been updating just once an hour (twice an hour in the beginning) for well over a month (since March 25th), and after over a thousand frames shows no sign of ending; in a few days the number of frames will surpass the total number of xkcd comics. It's been mentioned in The Economist. Some of its readers have called it the One True Comic; others have called it a MMONS (Massively Multiplayer Online Nerd Sniping). It's sparked its own wiki, its own jargon (Timewaiters, newpix, Blitzgirling), and a thread on the xkcd user forum that runs to over 20,000 posts from 1100 distinct posters. Is 'Time' a fascinating work of art, a deep sociological experiment — or the longest-running shaggy-dog joke in history? Randall Munroe's not saying."
Input Devices

A Mask That Can Give You Superhuman Abilities 68

Posted by timothy
from the your-superhero-name-is-conspicuous-man dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The students at Royal College of Art in London have developed masks that can increase your sight and hearing senses. They allow you to choose one conversation or one visual among a cluster of sounds and visuals, then hear or see the one which you want to. There are two masks developed by them: Eidos Vision and Eidos Audio. Eidos Audio allows a wearer to hear a specific conversation in a crowd and could be developed as a hearing aid and help ADHD sufferers. Eidos Vision improves vision allowing wearer to see 'time trails' similar to a timelapse photography."
Education

Campaign Raises Funds To Send Wikipedia Readers To Kids Without Internet 97

Posted by timothy
from the billions-of-words dept.
Eloquence writes "Remember the WikiReader? It was pitched as a device that would contain the text of the entire English Wikipedia, and run on two AAA batteries for months. Unfortunately it was sold to the wrong audience: people who already have smartphones, tablets and laptops. At a cost of $20 per device, Aislinn Dewey and Victor Grigas (who works for Wikimedia) are trying to raise funds to buy up the company's inventory and ship WikiReaders to kids in places without Internet connectivity."
Businesses

Ask Slashdot: How To Teach IT To Senior Management? 159

Posted by timothy
from the first-there-were-the-dinosaurs dept.
New submitter gagol writes "I recently took a position at a small industrial equipment manufacturer. We are looking to buy a new ERM software package and my boss, who is looking forward to buy the thing, knows nothing about computers or software. I will be providing basic IT training to the senior management and I am looking for your input on the scope and content of said training. I am thinking: basic components and architecture -> networking -> software -> proprietary vs open source. What do you think?"
The Courts

Google Seeks 'Do-No-Discoverable-Evil' Patent 109

Posted by timothy
from the can-we-bribe-someone-to-bury-this-from-auditors? dept.
theodp writes "E-mails and other communications between employees,' explains Google in a newly-published patent application for its Policy Violation Checker invention, 'can implicate potential violations of company policy or local, state or federal law that can go unchecked by attorneys or other legal personnel.' So how can you avoid those embarrassing Goldman Sachs and Enron e-mail gaffes? Use Google's 'methods and systems for identifying problematic phrases in an electronic document'! From the patent application: 'Documents may be used as evidence in court, administrative, or other proceedings. It is in a company's best interest to minimize or eliminate policy violations and/or situations that could give rise to legal liability. It is also often in a company's best interest to be able to Pack [?] these situations. Problematic phrases include, but are not limited to, phrases that present policy violations, have legal implications, or are otherwise troublesome to a company, business, or individual.' So, if you can't Do-No-Evil, at least you can Do-No-Discoverable-Evil!"
Earth

Observed Atmospheric CO2 Hits 400 Parts Per Million 367

Posted by timothy
from the why-hawaii-is-warm dept.
symbolset writes "Over the past month a number of individual observations of CO2 at the Mauna Loa Observatory have exceeded 400 parts per million. The daily average observation has crept above 399 ppm, and as annually the peak is typically in mid-May it seems likely the daily observation will break the 400 ppm milestone within a few days. This measure of potent greenhouse gas in the atmosphere should spark renewed discussion about the use of fossil fuels. For the past few decades the annual peak becomes the annual average two or three years later, and the annual minimum after two or three years more."
Debian

Debian 7.0 ("Wheezy") Released 191

Posted by timothy
from the seven-does-sound-fairly-prime dept.
First time accepted submitter anarcat writes "After two years since the last Debian release (6.0, nicknamed "squeeze"), the Debian release team has finally published Debian 7.0 (nicknamed "Wheezy"). A newly created blog has details on the release, which features multi-arch support (e.g. you can now install packages for both i386 and amd64 on the same install), improvements to multimedia support (no need for third party repositories!) and improved security through hardening flags. Debian 7.0 also ships with the controversial Gnome 3 release, and the release notes explicitly mention how to revert to the more familiar 'Gnome classic' interface. Finally, we can also mention the improved support for virtualization infrastructure with pre-built images available for Amazon EC2, Windows Azure and Google Compute Engine. Debian 7.0 also ships with the OpenStack suite and the Xen Cloud Platform. More details on the improvements can be found in the release notes and the Debian wiki." An anonymous reader points out (from the announcement) that "[t]he installation process has been greatly improved: Debian can now be installed using software speech, above all by visually impaired people who do not use a Braille device. Thanks to the combined efforts of a huge number of translators, the installation system is available in 73 languages, and more than a dozen of them are available for speech synthesis too. In addition, for the first time, Debian supports installation and booting using UEFI for new 64-bit PCs (amd64), although there is no support for Secure Boot yet."
Transportation

Why US Mileage Ratings Are So Inaccurate 374

Posted by timothy
from the if-you're-wrong-enough-ways-at-once dept.
Why does a car rated for 47mpg fall so far short? The Houston Chronicle features an article on just why EPA gas estimates can be so different from real-world drivers' experience at the pump (or in looking at the dashboard display), in particular for hybrid cars. From the article: "A geometric average of the FTP-75 and HFET results (with city driving weighted at 55 percent and highway driving weighted at 45 percent) produces a vehicle's CAFE fuel economy, which is then incorporated into a manufacturer's corporate average. CAFE is measured using these tests to the present day. In fact, this methodology will be 50 years old when it's used to gauge compliance with the forthcoming 54.5-mpg CAFE requirements in 2025. That kind of continuity is admirable in baseball, but not in transportation. These tests are irrelevant to contemporary real-world driving. For example, the maximum acceleration on either test is 3.3 mph per second. At that rate, it takes more than 18 seconds to hit 60 mph. Even in the horsepower-deprived 1970s, most people were driving harder than that. And the 60-mph maximum speed on the highway test does not accord with the 75-mph truth of today's interstate traffic."

Computers can figure out all kinds of problems, except the things in the world that just don't add up.

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