Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


Comment: Re:Is she good at her job ? (Score 2) 343

> I think i know why she isnt a computer programmer

She's a psychologist. That's pretty close to a computer programmer. Psychologists do their work on a biological computer and without the aid of a debugger and without the programmer's greatest tool: the reboot. But in both cases, it is trying to work out where the logical inconsistencies are and apply code patches to get the system to respond correctly to input.

+ - Internet of Things endangered by inaccurate network time, says NIST->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Current standards of network timekeeping are inadequate to some of the critical systems that are being envisaged for the Internet of Things, according to a report [] by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The report says 'A new economy built on the massive growth of endpoints on the internet will require precise and verifiable timing in ways that current systems do not support. Applications, computers, and communications systems have been developed with modules and layers that optimize data processing but degrade accurate timing,'. NIST's Chad Boutin likens current network accuracy to an attempt to synchronise watches via the postal system, and suggests that remote medicine and self-driving cars will need far higher standards in order not to put lives at risk because, for instance, a self-driving car fails to distinguish between a plastic bag blowing in the wind and an obstructing pedestrian. He notes [] "modern computer programs only have probabilities on execution times, rather than the strong certainties that safety-critical systems require,""
Link to Original Source

+ - Google caught altering search-results for profit->

Submitted by mi
mi (197448) writes "We've always suspected, this may happen some day — and, according to FTC's investigation inadvertently shared with the Wall Street Journal, it did.

In a lengthy investigation, staffers in the FTC’s bureau of competition found evidence that Google boosted its own services for shopping, travel and local businesses by altering its ranking criteria and “scraping” content from other sites. It also deliberately demoted rivals.

For example, the FTC staff noted that Google presented results from its flight-search tool ahead of other travel sites, even though Google offered fewer flight options. Google’s shopping results were ranked above rival comparison-shopping engines, even though users didn’t click on them at the same rate, the staff found. Many of the ways Google boosted its own results have not been previously disclosed."

Link to Original Source

+ - 9 Year Old CEO warns of dangers of phone hacking, demonstrates how its done->

Submitted by abhishekmdb
abhishekmdb (4015829) writes "9 year old Reuben Paul who is CEO of Prudent Games, delivers a keynote address at cyber security conference and demonstrates how dangerous phone hacking is

Meet Reuben Paul. The Harmony School of Science third-grader has accomplished more in nine years than some adults accomplish in a lifetime.

Reuben Paul is pretty well known in cyber security circles for a 9 year old boy because of his exploits. He is also the CEO of Austin, Texas based Prudent Games."

Link to Original Source

+ - Japanese 'Octopus' robot to support rescue and recovery missions->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A team of Japanese researchers has designed an eight-legged ‘Octopus’ robot [] to help clear heavy and contaminated rubble following the 2011 Fukushima disaster. Engineers at Waseda University’s Future Robotics Organisation and the Kikuchi Corporation, have created the 1.7-meter tall robot with four arms and four tank-treads, which is specifically built to deal with difficult terrain and lend assistance in rescue missions. As well as heavy-lifting, it has also been engineered to efficiently put out fires, deal with radioactive waste and cut through rock with fiber laser capabilities. "We hope to overcome the obstacles that come with natural disasters and an aging society, and use this robot to bring new industries to Fukushima prefecture,” said ‘Octopus’ robot creator Professor Masakatsu Fujie."
Link to Original Source

+ - 'Penguin' Anomaly Hints at Missing Particles->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "With precious few other leads, the penguin anomaly has tantalized theorists since LHCb first reported it. Most of the matter in the universe — the particles that make up “dark matter” — is completely missing from the Standard Model, and what is included seems fragmentary and suggestive of a larger pattern. Physicists built the most powerful machine in history to search for signs of those more complete laws of nature. But almost everything about the way particles shape-shifted and shattered during the first round of collisions at the LHC precisely matched Standard Model predictions. In the 3.7-sigma penguin anomaly — as well as another, 2.6-sigma deviation the group detected in a different penguin process — some particle physicists see a sliver of hope that new discoveries lie around the corner.

“We’re chasing an imaginary ambulance,” said Sheldon Glashow, a Nobel Prize-winning theoretical physicist at Boston University, discussing the LHCb anomalies last week before he and most other experts had learned the results of the new analysis. “It could be very important, and also it could be nothing.”

Penguin decays were so named by the physicist John Ellis in 1977; when a loss at darts obliged him to use the word “penguin” in his next academic paper, he noticed that diagrams of the decays discussed in the paper happened to resemble the flightless birds."

Link to Original Source

Comment: How about pay it based on recent spending? (Score 1) 760

If the cost is supposed to be "some portion of what you have to spend each day", the story mentions net income and the discussion threads talk about net worth, and the downsides of both. What if we simply said, "Show your bank statement, credit card and estimated cash transactions for the last 60 days and we base your fine off of the *expenditures* you have made." Thoughts?

Comment: Re:Sony Comcast Level Reputation (Score 5, Insightful) 266

by Aristos Mazer (#49094689) Attached to: Lenovo To Wipe Superfish Off PCs

Be fair. Sony and Comcast have both blamed their customers and dallied around in court for quite a while before doing anything, or avoided doing anything in some cases. Lenovo reacted within a day. Lenovo may have taken a fall, but there are circles to Hell, and they aren't in the same class as Sony and Comcast.

Comment: Ways to pick good oligarchs? (Score 2) 307

by Aristos Mazer (#49071055) Attached to: The Software Revolution

> The second major challenge of the software revolution is the concentration of power in small groups.

I have sometimes mused about feasible ways to make this work. In other words, just accept that tech IS going to concentrate power in small groups and just ensure that the small group is people we actually want to have that power. Republics are supposed to do that by giving the elected officials the ultimate authority -- by definition, a small group with lots of power -- but that hasn't worked so well by some measures when tech gets involved.

I don't have any good answers here, but I figure that along with brainstorming ways to prevent the consolidation of power, we might also brainstorm ways to be happy with the results of the consolidation.

Comment: Re:Brits hated him so much.... (Score 4, Insightful) 121

Pretty much any country in the world would have treated Turing the same in that era. Most of the world still would. The Brits have no special shame in that category, and they have been doing their level best to set things right. Many other countries still have yet to catch up, not just legally, but culturally.

Comment: Re:Just post it (Score 1) 99

by Aristos Mazer (#48902193) Attached to: Why We Still Can't Really Put Anything In the Public Domain

Without a license statement, I have to assume that your copyright still applies. It is similar to a chain of evidence for legal proceedings -- I have to document that any image I use in my work didn't just come from some place that claimed it was a public domain image but actually can be traced back to the original author and confirmed as public domain. It's a real bitch some days, which is why the Internet is often not helpful at all for image searches and why people still end up paying large sums of money for image libraries that are vetted as "cleared for commercial reuse".

Comment: Re:Someone teach me something here... (Score 1) 360

by Aristos Mazer (#48837269) Attached to: NASA, NOAA: 2014 Was the Warmest Year In the Modern Record

True, but some ice is right at the tipping point. And some trees only bear fruit at some particular tipping point. As the average temperature moves up, more and more species and systems find themselves outside of their personal equilibrium point. So you'll see a chunk of ice melt somewhere. And some trees die off somewhere. And some fish fail to spawn somewhere. And we are talking about a GLOBAL effect, which means a few of those events happen everywhere. At some rate of failure, the system heals itself. At a higher level, we have mass extinctions and it takes thousands of years for species to come back together. We appear to be pushing fast [geologically] toward that higher level. Look at the problems already being created in California and Texas by the ongoing drought. In March, Texas is expected to break the 1950s record of the "drought of record." We are losing whole towns. If this is a consequence of climate change and not just weather cycles, we have a real long term systemic problem. And the science is suggesting that it is climate and not weather that is causing the droughts.

Comment: Re:In the real world (Score 1) 245

by Aristos Mazer (#48801557) Attached to: PHP vs. Node.js: the Battle For Developer Mind Share

Unfortunately, because of the network effect, it is actually quite important that you fight for your choice. Let's say you like PHP but no one else does... you will quickly find that tools for writing PHP dry up/don't get updated for new OSes. If you like Windows Phone, you're going to need to "sell" your preference to all your friends or eventually you'll have to switch to Android or iOS because if the Windows Phone platform doesn't get enough mindshare, it goes away.

Mindshare matters, and your company can get screwed easily by picking the wrong one and by not defending the one it does pick.

To downgrade the human mind is bad theology. - C. K. Chesterton