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Comment: It's Not Going Anywhere (Score 1) 154

by Clugy (#30854360) Attached to: MIT Offers Picture-Centric Programming To the Masses With Sikuli
I'd be curious to see how they handle the back end, especially as some others pointed out it does make calls that seemingly require some hook into the OS. As for its usefulness, I doubt it will really take off beyond being a decent prototype. It relies on image matching so if you use and change a custom icon set all your scripts would be kinda worthless. Same goes if the programs you are "screenshot scripting" receive a major overhaul in the GUI department. Until it can address those issues, I doubt it will really take off.
Programming

+ - Proper Documentation

Submitted by Clugy
Clugy (1325793) writes "As a developer in training, reading comments on several articles like this caused some concern as none of my classes to date has even covered the idea of code documentation. I'd like to start practicing and learning how to effectively document my code and was wondering what resources, programs, or methods would the Slashdot community recommend."
United States

+ - Chicago Traffic Cameras to Scan Cars for Insurance->

Submitted by suraj.sun
suraj.sun (1348507) writes "Traffic cameras could help wipe out city's projected deficit :

Chicago could rake in "at least $200 million" a year — and wipe out the entire projected deficit for 2009 — by using its vast network of redlight and surveillance cameras to hunt down uninsured motorists, aldermen were told today.

The system pitched to the City Council's Transportation Committee by Michigan-based InsureNet would work only if insurance companies were somehow compelled to report the names and license plates of insured motorists. That's already happening daily in 13 states, but not here.

The data would be entered into the National Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (NLETS), the information-sharing network that links federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.

When a camera spots an uninsured vehicle driving on Chicago streets, a citation would automatically be generated and sent to the registered owner.

Illinois' mandatory insurance law carries a $500 fine. If Chicago levied a $300 fine and used its home-rule power to keep the money, the annual take would top $100 million. A $500 city fine would generate $357 million.

Gizmodo : http://i.gizmodo.com/5173548/chicago-street-lights-may-scan-for-car-insurance

Chicago Sun-Times : http://www.suntimes.com/news/cityhall/1479275,red-light-camera-uninsured-031609.article"

Link to Original Source
Programming

Hope For Multi-Language Programming? 371

Posted by Soulskill
from the one-and-done dept.
chthonicdaemon writes "I have been using Linux as my primary environment for more than ten years. In this time, I have absorbed all the lore surrounding the Unix Way — small programs doing one thing well, communicating via text and all that. I have found the command line a productive environment for doing many of the things I often do, and I find myself writing lots of small scripts that do one thing, then piping them together to do other things. While I was spending the time learning grep, sed, awk, python and many other more esoteric languages, the world moved on to application-based programming, where the paradigm seems to be to add features to one program written in one language. I have traditionally associated this with Windows or MacOS, but it is happening with Linux as well. Environments have little or no support for multi-language projects — you choose a language, open a project and get it done. Recent trends in more targeted build environments like cmake or ant are understandably focusing on automatic dependency generation and cross-platform support, unfortunately making it more difficult to grow a custom build process for a multi-language project organically. All this is a bit painful for me, as I know how much is gained by using a targeted language for a particular problem. Now the question: Should I suck it up and learn to do all my programming in C++/Java/(insert other well-supported, popular language here) and unlearn ten years of philosophy, or is there hope for the multi-language development process?"
The Military

+ - Marines Closer to Next-generation Rifle->

Submitted by ixidor
ixidor (996844) writes "The Marine Corps Systems Command in Quantico, Va., announced contract awards for three competing weapons manufacturers to produce and deliver their final entries to the Corps by the middle of next year, in what signifies a final round of competition that began with ten candidates. http://www.military.com/features/0,15240,181898,00.html?ESRC=marine-a.nl"
Link to Original Source
The Courts

+ - Chinese slaps pirates with harsh prison sentence

Submitted by HASUS
HASUS (1013325) writes "The alleged ringleaders of a Chinese counterfeiting gang that sold at least $2 billion worth of bogus Microsoft Corp. software were sentenced Wednesday to prison terms of up to 6 1/2 years, in what is believed to be the harshest penalties yet under China's tightened piracy laws. Research commissioned by the Business Software Alliance, an industry trade group, found that 82 percent of the software used in China in 2007 was not legitimately purchased, more than double the worldwide piracy rate of 38 percent."
Earth

Is the Yellowstone Supervolcano About To Blow? 877

Posted by timothy
from the four-horsemen-dressage dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Apparently, Yellowstone National Park has been having a very unusual number of earthquakes. Many of the most recent tremors have been deeper underground, an ominous sign. Combine that with a rapid rise in elevation over the past three years, and the possibility that earthquake activity from surrounding areas could trigger such an eruption on its own, and you've got the possible warning signs of a supervolcano eruption that would wipe out half to 2/3 of the continental US, plunge global temperatures, and wipe out a very significant chunk of world food sources. Here's a little more info to make your New Year brighter!"

Comment: Re:Massachusetts long arm (Score 1) 155

by Clugy (#25416591) Attached to: New State Laws Could Make Encryption Widespread
As a preface to my comment, IANAL. If you look at how states collect sales taxes from online sales, they can only "force" online companies that have a physical presence in their state to charge sales tax to residents of that state -- if the online business is outside the state, the most the state can do is require anyone who makes an online purchase to be a good citizen and report it to the revenue service and pay taxes on it. I think Massachusetts will run into the same situation, they will be able to enforce the laws on businesses that have a "presence" in Massachusetts but any business that does not have a presence will probably be exempt or could make a very strong legal case to be made exempt since they are not physically located in any way, shape, or form in Massachusetts.
Encryption

New State Laws Could Make Encryption Widespread 155

Posted by kdawson
from the squeamish-ossifrages dept.
New laws that took effect in Nevada on Oct. 1 and will kick in on Jan. 1 in Massachusetts may effectively mandate encryption for companies' hard drives, portable devices, and data transmissions. The laws will be binding on any organization that maintains personal information about residents of the two states. (Washington and Michigan are considering similar legislation.) Nevada's law deals mostly with transmitted information and Massachusetts's emphasizes stored information. Between them the two laws should put more of a dent into lax security practices than widespread laws requiring customer notification of data breaches have done. (Such laws are on the books in 40 states and by one estimate have reduced identity theft by 2%.) Here are a couple of legal takes on the impact of the new laws.
Security

FBI Says Dark Market Sting Netted 56 Arrests 130

Posted by timothy
from the precise-number-on-those-prevented-thefts-fellas dept.
narramissic writes "A two-year undercover FBI sting operation targeting online 'carder' forums hosted on the DarkMarket.ws Web site has netted 56 arrests and prevented about $70 million in fraud losses, the FBI said Thursday. DarkMarket.ws was widely used by online scammers to buy and sell stolen credit card numbers, other financial information, and even the devices used to make fake banking cards. Before it was shut down earlier this month, the Web site had registered more than 2,500 members. Although Dark Market was thought to have been administered by a criminal going by the name Master Splyntr, German Public Radio reported on Monday that the FBI had been running a sting operation on the site since late 2006, and that Master Splyntr was actually an FBI agent named J. Keith Mularski." Of course, they say it in German; non-German speakers may want to consult the Babelfish.
Security

FBI Warns of Sweeping Global Threat To US Cybersecurity 134

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the only-a-matter-of-time dept.
GovIT Geek writes "The FBI's newly appointed chief of cyber security warned today that 'a couple dozen' countries are eager to hack US government, corporate, and military networks. While he refused to provide country-specific details, FBI Cyber Division Chief Shawn Henry told reporters at a roundtable that cooperation with foreign law enforcement is one of the Bureau's highest priorities and added the United States has had incredible success fostering overseas partnerships."
Privacy

ISP Embarq Monitors User Traffic 106

Posted by Soulskill
from the you-can-trust-us dept.
Deli Korkmaz writes "The Washington Post reports that Sprint-Nextel spin-off Embarq, currently the US's fourth largest DSL provider, monitored Internet activity on some 26,000 customers in Kansas using deep-packet inspection technology NebuAd in order to deliver targeted advertising to users' desktops. CNet provides coverage as well. The House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce is investigating whether any privacy laws were broken. Users were informed of this test and invited to opt out only via Embarq's online Privacy Policy; a mere 15 subscribers did so."
Microsoft

Microsoft Blesses LGPL, Joins Apache Foundation 425

Posted by timothy
from the could-be-the-largest-free-software-vendor dept.
Penguinisto writes "According to a somewhat jaw-dropping story in The Register, it appears that Microsoft has performed a trifecta of geek-scaring feats: They have joined the Apache Software Foundation as a Platinum member(at $100K USD a year), submitted LGPL-licensed patches for ADOdb, and have pledged to expand their Open Specifications Promise by adding to the list more than 100 protocols for interoperability between its Windows Server and the Windows client. While I sincerely doubt they'll release Vista under a GPL license anytime soon, this is certainly an unexpected series of moves on their part, and could possibly lead to more OSS (as opposed to 'Shared Source') interactivity between what is arguably Linux' greatest adversary and the Open Source community." (We mentioned the announced support for the Apache Foundation earlier today, as well.)
Math

No Gap Found In Math Abilities of Girls, Boys 701

Posted by kdawson
from the anything-you-can-compute dept.
sciencehabit writes "For anyone who still believes that boys are better at math than girls, a massive new study published today in Science shows there's no difference. 'Among students with the highest test scores, the team did find that white boys outnumbered white girls by about two to one. Among Asians, however, that result was nearly reversed. Hyde says that suggests that cultural and social factors, not gender alone, influence how well students perform on tests.' But the researchers do note a disturbing trend towards omitting harder kinds of math questions from standardized tests."

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