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Submission + - Google's Java Coding Standards (

An anonymous reader writes: Google uses Java extensively to develop its products. The firm has recently released their complete definition of coding standards for Java source code. These are hard-and-fast rules that are clearly enforceable, and are followed universally within Google. It covers not only formatting, but other types of conventions and coding standards.

Submission + - How would you secure your Parents' PC?

StirlingArcher writes: I've always built/maintained my Parents' PC's, but as Mum has got older her PC seems to develop problems more readily. I would love to switch her to Linux, but she struggles with change and wants to stay with Vista and MS Office.

I've done the usual remove Admin rights, use a credible Internet Security package. Is there anything more dramatic that I could do, without changing the way she uses her PC or enforcing a new OS on her again?

One idea was to use a Linux OS and then run Vista in a VM, which auto-boots and creates a backup image every so often.

Thanks for any help!

Submission + - Google Is Building Password-Free Locking and Unlocking Into Chrome OS

An anonymous reader writes: Google has a vision for how Chrome OS users will one day be able to lock and unlock their devices, without requiring a password. The Chromium OS team is building support for unlocking and locking devices running the operating system with a new Chrome API called "chrome.screenlockPrivate." Google outlines some use cases: "A platform app may use the USB, NFC, and/or Bluetooth APIs to communicate with a secondary trusted device such as a phone, ring, watch, or badge, thereby allowing that trusted device to serve as an alternative form of authentication for the user."

Submission + - Why Apple Wants Its Software to Be Free

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: Sam Grobart writes in Businessweek that Apple has decided to give away long-awaited upgrade to Mac OS X, code-named Mavericks for free as well as two other software suites, iWork and iLife, that are now available for download free of charge while Microsoft charges $120 for the base version of its latest operating system, Windows 8.1, and $200 for Windows 8.1 Pro. By going free, Apple has acknowledged something that’s been true in the industry for years: Software is a means to sell hardware. Apple’s strategy here is to get you on a device and with the latest version of its software as quickly and painlessly as possible says Grobart. "Does it want to get caught up in the intricacies of a pricing scheme for OS X Mavericks? No, it does not. Better to just remove price as a consideration and make it part of the device you’re using." This runs counter to Microsoft’s DNA as a software company. That strategy worked really well for a while but just as there’s been a shift in interest to well-designed devices (as opposed to the beige boxes that defined the PC era), so has there been an expectation that software be as seamless and costless as possible. "Apple's real message is that if it can get all customers on the latest software — a model that has worked for iOS since two-thirds of users have iOS 7 now — the company gets more customer loyalty," says Larry Dignan. "Apple is betting that the OS sales are a thing of the past. The real money revolves around services like app sales, subscriptions, e-books and iTunes Radio."

Submission + - Battlefield Director: Linux Only Needs One 'Killer' Game To Explode (

dryriver writes: It would only take one "killer" game for the Linux platform to explode its way into mainstream gaming, DICE creative director Lars Gustavsson told Polygon, revealing that the development studio would "strongly" like to get into Linux. "We strongly want to get into Linux for a reason," Gustavsson said. "It took Halo for the first Xbox to kick off and go crazy — usually, it takes one killer app or game and then people are more than willing [to adopt it] — it is not hard to get your hands on Linux, for example, it only takes one game that motivates you to go there." "I think, even then, customers are getting more and more convenient, so you really need to convince them how can they marry it into their daily lives and make an integral part of their lives," he explained, sharing that the studio has used Linux servers because it was a "superior operating system to do so." Valve's recently announced Steam OS and Steam Machines are healthy for the console market, Gustavsson said when asked for his opinion on Valve's recent announcements. He believes the products will open up the market to explore new, and perhaps better, ways of consuming games. "Basically for different ways of accessing customers and giving them possibilities of play, I think it is super exciting," he said. "The only thing I know is that from five or ten years from now gaming and especially how you consume it won't look like it does today. I do think with streaming services and new input devices and so on, it wouldn't surprise me if there is less need of hardware and more on demand gaming experience."

Submission + - Kickstarter for open source GPU (

eekee writes: The targets are high, but so is the goal: developing Verilog source code for a GPU implementation. The source will be open source, LGPL-licensed, and suitable for loading onto an FPGA. The first target is for a 2D GPU with PCI interface; perhaps not terribly interesting in itself, but the first stretch goal is much more exciting: full OpenGL and Direct3D graphics.

Submission + - North Korea is the worst place in the world to be a standup comic – Quartz (

An anonymous reader writes: When it's not threatening nuclear war, the repressive hermit kingdom of North Korea is a bountiful provider of absurdist comic fodder. But it turns out to be a terrible place to tell jokes for a living. According to a report by Radio Free Asia, the well-known North Korean comedienne Lee Choon Hong, "known for satirizing...

Submission + - IE6 Finally Falls Below 5% Market Share

An anonymous reader writes: The third quarter of 2013's browser war is now over. The latest market share numbers from Net Applications show Internet Explorer was the biggest winner last month, and that its most hated version finally fell below the 5 percent mark. IE7 was down 0.17 percentage points to 1.37 percent and IE6 slipped a huge 1.22 percentage points to 4.86 percent.

Submission + - How to turn off Slashdot Auto-Refresh? 4

Futurepower(R) writes: Slashdot's Auto-Refresh is annoying. I go to another window to do something, and when I come back, what I was reading is not there!

How do I turn Auto-Refresh off?

Submission + - My three-year experiment to switch from a laptop to a tablet (

An anonymous reader writes: Microsoft is describing its new Surface tablets as "the most productive tablets on the planet", but does the tablet really have a future as a serious business computing device? This opinion article questions this. As the writer says, "For the last three and half years I have been engaged in a long, informal experiment — trying to make a touchscreen tablet into a viable replacement for a "proper" computer. I've come excruciatingly close to success. I've tried devices running Android, iOS, Windows and even HP's short-lived TouchPad running WebOS. I've used a variety of different keyboards and cases, dozens of different applications and cloud services and more accessories than I can count. After every single attempt at replacing a real computer with a touchscreen tablet I've returned to a traditional computer." He puts this down to the interface, iOS and Android apps, and at the end of the day, still preferring a mouse and keyboard.

Submission + - Microsoft: you need better AV than Security Essentials (

nk497 writes: Microsoft has admitted Windows users should install antivirus above and beyond its own Security Essentials, describing its protection as merely a "baseline" that will "always be on the bottom" of antivirus software rankings.

Microsoft Security Essentials has previously flunked antivirus tests, but that's not why Microsoft is telling users to install third-party antivirus. Instead, the company said it's now focusing on identifying emerging threats, and passing that data to third-party antivirus firms to help them do better. "We’re providing all of that data and information to our partners so they can do at least as well as we are," said Holly Stewart, senior program manager of the Microsoft Malware Protection Center. "The natural progression is that we will always be on the bottom of these tests. And honestly, if we are doing our job correctly, that’s what will happen."

Submission + - Myst was supposed to change the face of gaming. What's its legacy? (

glowend writes: From the article: "Twenty years ago, people talked about Myst the same way they talked about The Sopranos during its first season: as one of those rare works that irrevocably changed its medium. It certainly felt like nothing in gaming would or could be the same after it. Yes, Myst went on to sell more than 6 million copies and was declared a game-changer (so to speak), widely credited with launching the era of CD-ROM gaming. It launched an equally critically adored and commercially successful sequel, and eventually four more installments. Fans and critics alike held their breath in anticipation of the tidal wave of exploratory, open-ended gaming that was supposed to follow, waiting to be drowned in a sea of new worlds. And then, nothing."

Why didn't Myst have a larger impact?

Submission + - What's it like to be Slashdotted Twice? (

toygeek writes: I've been reading Slashdot for many years and have been fortunate enough to have had articles featured on the front page a couple of times. I always wondered what it would be like. It has happened not just once, but twice now, I wanted to share the other side of the experience with my fellow Slashdotters. My small article covers what my website statistics look like (the Slashdot effect) and the social aspects too. I hope you enjoy reading it!

Submission + - Feds Seek Prison for Man Who Taught How to Beat a Polygraph

George Maschke writes: In a case with serious First Amendment implications, McClatchy reports that federal prosecutors are seeking a prison sentence for Chad Dixon of Indiana, who committed the crime of teaching people how to pass or beat a lie detector test. Some of his students passed polygraphs and went on to be hired by federal agencies. A pleading filed by prosecutors all but admits that polygraph tests can be beaten. The feds have also raided and seized business records from Doug Williams, who has taught many more people how to pass or beat a polygraph over the past 30 years. Williams has not been criminally charged.

I'm a co-founder of (we suggest using Tor to access the site) a non-profit, public interest website dedicated to exposing and ending waste, fraud, and abuse associated with the use of lie detectors. We offer a free e-book, The Lie Behind the Lie Detector (1 mb PDF) that explains how to pass a polygraph (whether or not one is telling the truth). We make this information available not to help liars beat the system, but to provide truthful people with a means of protecting themselves against the high risk of a false positive outcome. As McClatchy reported last week, I received suspicious e-mails earlier this year that seemed like an attempted entrapment.

Rather than trying to criminalize teaching people how to pass a polygraph, isn't it time our government re-evaluated its reliance on the pseudoscience of polygraphy?

"All the people are so happy now, their heads are caving in. I'm glad they are a snowman with protective rubber skin" -- They Might Be Giants