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


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:Google Found Guilty of Being an American Compan (Score 1) 126

Actually you're wrong. You always had an option to use a different OS. You could even purchase a computer that didn't run Windows.

The courts decided that, since Microsoft had an overwhelming majority share of the desktop market, they should be considered a monopoly. They abused their monopoly by not only preinstalling internet explorer and making it an part of the OS but also by restricting the OEMs ability to preinstall a competing browser as a condition to receive heavily discounted licenses per machine sold.

Despite the actual motives behind Russia decision, the argument used against Google is very similar to the ones made against Microsoft. Google has a large share of the wireless handset market and it is alleged that they require manufacturers to make Google the default search engine. If this is actually the case then I can see why people liken this to the US vs Microsoft case.

Comment Re:Stop the panic! The headline is click bait. (Score 1) 242

That doesn't prohibit modifying the device with such parameters, this prohibits having devices that are even able to be modified, and a device that is merely able to be modified, period, is able to be modified with such parameters.

That actual term is "properly authenticated software". That doesn't mean the firmware can't be modified. It means a method must exist that authenticate the firmware executed on the device. You are implying that it means no modification is allowed, but the FCC purposely waved their hands on the details of who or how the firmware can be authenticated with "the manufacturers may consider applying existing industry standards for strong security and authentication."

Comment Stop the panic! The headline is click bait. (Score 1) 242

The FCC regs linked in the summary above:

An applicant must describe the overall security measures and systems that ensure that:

1. only properly authenticated software is loaded and operating the device; and

2. the device is not easily modified to operate with RF parameters outside of the authorization. The description of the software must address the following questions in the operational description for the device and clearly demonstrate how the device meets the security requirements. While the Commission did not adopt any specific standards, it is suggested that the manufacturers may consider applying existing industry standards for strong security and authentication.

(Usual IANAL applies)

The FCC is only interested in and authorized to prevent RF interference. Basically the FCC wants the manufacturers to put safeguards in place that prevents the device from operating out of its authorized bands and/or cause willful interference to other devices. It didn't ban all firmware modifications. The manufacturer needs to make the radio not operate out of its approved allocations and make a method to ensure that the firmware is modified by authorized individuals using standard authentication methods.

You are free to continue to panic if you desire.

Comment Re:How is this legal? (Score 1) 311

Don't forget the more vague sentences that seem to cover the bots:

Our Site and our Service also is geared to provide you with amusement and entertainment. You agree that some of the features of our Site and our Service are intended to provide entertainment.

Comment Re:What's the point? (Score 1) 389

The cost of changing all the documents and textbooks that reference that mountain.

Even history textbooks are updated and replaced at regular intervals. More facts are discovered and the textbooks wear out from use. Nothing is forcing anybody into quickly replacing textbooks. It will work itself out.

Teachers can also point out the new name of the mountain. I think they can handle it.

Comment Re:Curious (Score 1) 389

That's fine, but it doesn't belong to the people of Alaska. It's a national asset.

While that is technically true, I'd give more precedence to the Alaskans since it is within their state.

The Ohio delegation has been from both parties.

Of course it was. That just shows how desperate Ohio is for the attention.

Comment Re:Haven't I heard this before? (Score 3, Informative) 113

If you don't have your own router/firewall between your LAN and Comcast's (or anyone else's) cable modem than you are vulnerable.

Want a quick demonstration? Call Comcast with an issue with their builtin router and watch as they are able to reset the passwords on the device and verify that all of the devices on the LAN are able to connect to it.

I kept the Xfinity wireless enabled. I use my own WiFi on my own firewall/router and see the potential of using the WiFi hotspots while traveling as greater than any imagined threats on my LAN.

Comment Re:Nothing New Here... (Score 1) 318

The demand for linux desktops from Dell isn't high enough to justify selling access via crapware.

The same can't be said for Android. Look at the uninstallable crapware that comes with phones from certain manufacturers. Don't you think the software company paid said phone manufacturer for the opportunity to not only be preinstalled on the phone but also to make it not able to be uninstalled?

Comment Re:Nothing New Here... (Score 1) 318

The road to hell is paved with good intentions, and Microsoft is only merging onto the limited access highway already paved by the likes of Google, Facebook, and others.

We've already became complacent with allowing "diagnostic data" being sent back to the developers. It's going to be hard to change that attitude now that most people waited until after "the frog was boiled" before realizing that maybe we should be concerned.

Some of us was already waving the caution flag but our concerns were downplayed because others argued that sharing information was a small price to pay for access to free software and services.

Comment Re:This is why we like C (Score 1) 234

I'm sure it was said "tongue in cheek".

We used to have this joke flow diagram in our meeting area which basically said (I can't do it justice):

1. Problem with a subsystem?
Hardware engineer: Looks like a software issue.
Software engineer: Looks like a hardware issue.

2. Running out of time?
Hardware engineer: We can emulate this missing hardware function in software.
Software engineer: We didn't need that feature.

One of the chief duties of the mathematician in acting as an advisor... is to discourage... from expecting too much from mathematics. -- N. Wiener