Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Edward Snowden Leaks Could Help Paedophiles Escape Police, Says UK Government 510

An anonymous reader writes "Paedophiles may escape detection because highly-classified material about Britain's surveillance capabilities have been published by the Guardian newspaper, the UK government has claimed. A senior Whitehall official said data stolen by Edward Snowden, a former contractor to the US National Security Agency, could be exploited by child abusers and other cyber criminals. It could also put lives at risk by disclosing secrets to terrorists, insurgents and hostile foreign governments, he said."

Comment Re:The summary is pure flamebait (Score 1) 168

Android is not Motorola. If Motorola is losing money it doesn't
follow that Android is.

Motorola's losses show other players in the market either that being an Android OEM is unprofitable even if it's Google itself, or that Google is willing to sustain losses to better compete with other Android OEMs. Neither interpretation bodes well for other manufacturers using Android.

Comment Re:Free and Open is Android's strength (Score 1) 168

Android is popular because any manufacturer can make a fully functional phone for very little development cost. Free is a strength, not a weakness. Microsoft has a closed proprietary phone and it isn't doing well at all.

As an upside to keeping their cards close to their vest, they have easily rolled out a "fuck your OEM/carrier, here's a dev preview directly from us if you're not afraid of voiding your warranty", and it's not reported to be causing many problems to people trying it.

Google cannot push an update for the above-hardware parts of Android and expect everything to work, because the device vendors have been tweaking those as well. So the tinkerers have to use third-party mods like Cyanogen, or stick with a Nexus.

It is a win-win proposition for everyone and that is why it does so well.

In practice, it shifts control to the manufacturers, and the benefits for the vast majority of the end-users are not so clear cut.

Comment Re:so they are cab's (Score 1) 123

Bus stops are ubiquitous around metropolitan Helsinki. They not only use the stops used by "main line" buses, but also stops on smaller residential roads that are served by minibus lines catering to seniors and other people with reduced mobility (a Kutsuplus vehicle is basically the same minibus equipped with high-tech gizmos). They have even invented new stops for themselves in places they notice people often go to.

Comment Re:No worries, US will catch up! (Score 1) 123

With any luck, our government will also tax our gas to the point where paying $10 to wait for a bus in the rain and then ride in it with random strangers for an hour all over the town will make more sense than driving directly there in comfort of your own car in 15 minutes.

You don't need the government for that. Rising oil prices may do this sooner than we all switch to electric cars, natgas, or something else. Pretty much every datum in your rainy day scenario is sheer hyperbole as far as Helsinki capital area is concerned. Car commute is pretty fast, but if you need to park downtown, you'd need to spend extra time and money. Kutsuplus also drives you almost door to door, and you can come up to the pickup point at the prearranged time without waiting, or even track the bus in real time.

Random strangers are called the society. Here, the society is not that scary in general; most people would rather stare at their shoes than acknowledge your existence, unless you need help.

And who says innovation comes only from the private sector!

This project has been developed by a private company, and it aims to be profitable.

Comment It's very urban for now (Score 1) 123

Such a service would be very useful in rural areas, indeed.
For now, though, Kutsuplus is piloted within Kehä I, AKA the perimeter of civilization around Helsinki :-)

I tried the service shortly after it was opened to the public. It's awesome. You can track your bus in a mobile browser in real time. On a screen inside the bus, you get ETA information for your destination (possibly after other passengers' stops if they get out earlier).


Nissan's Autonomous Car Now Road Legal In Japan 205

Daniel_Stuckey writes "The current test vehicle uses what Nissan calls its 'Advanced Driver Assist System,' which isn't fully autonomous, but rather can be thought of as a really advanced cruise control system. According to the company, the system can keep a car in its own lane, while automatically changing lanes to pass slower vehicles or prepare to exit a freeway, which it can also do automatically. Along with that, the car automatically slows for congestion, and — most impressively in my opinion — can automatically stop at red lights. In other words, the car isn't fully automatic in that you can't simply type in a destination and have it do all the work, but the bulk of driving load is taken care of. Curiously, Nissan's goal appears to be to take sloppy human drivers out of the equation to eliminate road fatalities."

Comment Drama (Score 1) 218

Curious to know people's thoughts on this: how necessary are projects like MATE now that GNOME 3 has a supported-in-the-long-term "Classic" mode

Why, there should always be a project that people will loudly "threaten" to switch to every time somebody makes a development commit affecting their favorite workflow habit.

Comment Nobody in the business cares (Score 1) 144

Damn it people, so much emotional attachment to a company because it once had the distinction to cock up an OSS-based project.

Please get it through your heads: Nokia shareholders' objectives do not include supporting the cause of Linux, or Qt, or whatever. It is, plainly, to make money. They are fucking happy to see something sellworthy made out of the dysfunctional wreck that Nokia was in 2010.

Comment Re: It shoud have suprised no one (Score 1) 144

I'm a bit suspicious about that. Almost every smartphone upstart these days claims ability to run Android apps, and in the end it comes to very little.

Please realize it's not just Dalvik emulation that you need to do to make an Android application work. There is a whole lot of services and intent handlers that an app may rely upon, many of them digging into system internals, most of them are not under AOSP. These need to be implemented compatibly on an alien platform, basically from scratch. So, it's a major effort to undertake, in addition to your platform development. And there will inevitably be a long tail of apps that just don't work because you missed some little detail, or bug-for-bug compatibility.

Has anyone actually tried those myriad Android apps that were claimed to be ported to Blackberry OS 10?

Comment Re: It shoud have suprised no one (Score 1) 144

(Sigh) Please read this. Keep close attention to the dates and how each device is named. I hope it will help to remove a lot of confusion from your postings. As someone who was in on the events described, I can attest that the article is mostly correct.

What myth? It's in numerous sources backed up by financials and information from Nokia itself.

Continuation of this discussion would require you to provide the sources.

FORTUNE'S FUN FACTS TO KNOW AND TELL: A firefly is not a fly, but a beetle.