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Comment: Nice job (Score 1) 30

by Animats (#47520503) Attached to: Raspberry Pi Gameboy

That's a nice job. Of course, the only original part is the case. Coneniently, there's someone who sells a board with buttons designed to fit in a GameBoy case and bring out the buttons for emulation purposes.

If you 3D printed a new case, you would't need a Game Boy at all. I wonder if there's a decal set for that.

Comment: iDrive has the same problem (Score 1) 45

by Animats (#47520455) Attached to: Dropbox Head Responds To Snowden Claims About Privacy

iDrive, which is supposed to be a remote backup service, has a similar problem. They used to be a honest remote backup service, with client-side encryption. (They didn't protect the client password very well on the client machine, but at least the server didn't have it.) File contents were encrypted, but filenames were not, so you could look at logs and the directory tree on line. Then they came out with a "new version" of the service, one that is "web based" and offers "sharing".

For "sharing" to work, of course, they need to know your encryption key. They suggest using the "default encryption key". Even if you're not "sharing", when you want to recover a copy of a file, you're prompted to enter your encryption key onto a web page. The web page immediately sends the encryption key to the server as plain text, as can be seen from a browser log. Asked about this, they first denied the problem, then, when presented with a browser log, refused to answer further questions.

They try real hard to get their hands on your encryption key. After you log into their web site, a huge pop-up demands your encryption key. Without it, some of the menu items at the top of the page still work, and with some difficulty, you can actually find logs of what you backed up. You can't browse your directory tree, though.

It's possible to use the service securely (maybe), but you have to run only the application for recovery, and never use the web-based service. They don't tell you that.

This isn't a free service. I pay them $150 a year.

Comment: Tool problems (Score 1) 222

by Animats (#47518871) Attached to: 'Just Let Me Code!'

The author has a point. At one time, there were development tools, which cost money, were relatively static, and which were expected to work correctly. Then there were applications, which relied on the development tools.

We now have a huge proliferation of tools, many of them open source, poorly integrated with each other, and most badly maintained. Worse, because everything has a client side and a server side, there are usually two independent tool chains involved.

Web programming is far too complex for how little most web sites do. (And the code quality is awful. Open a browser console and watch the errors scroll by.)

+ - Open-Source Blu-Ray Library Now Supports BD-J Java->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Updates to the open-source libbluray, libaacs, and libbdplus libraries have improved the open-source Blu-ray disc support to now enable the Blu-ray Java interactivity layer (BD-J). The Blu-ray Java code is in turn executed by OpenJDK or the Oracle JDK and is working well enough to play a Blu-ray disc on the Raspberry Pi when paired with the VLC media player."
Link to Original Source

Comment: About 4x beyond current production. (Score 1) 233

by Animats (#47511533) Attached to: Google Offers a Million Bucks For a Better Inverter

As an actual product available right now, there's this 250 watt inverter. from Enphase, intended to work with one solar panel. That's 54 cubic inches, or 12W/cubic inch. Google wants 50W/cubic inch, so Google is asking for 4x the power density. This one happens to be configured for 48VDC input, but that's not hard to change. It exceeds the efficiency limit set by Google.

Enphase sells those little inverters for a one-inverter-per-solar-panel system, where power is combined on the AC side. The inverter, at 171 mm x 173 mm x 30 mm, is a lot smaller than the panel it sits behind. Making it smaller won't have any effect on system size.

One big difference: Enphase offers a 25 year warranty on that unit. Google only wants to run for 100 hours. They'll probably get something that will pass their tests but wouldn't last a year in a real solar installation.

+ - Black Hat presentation on TOR suddenly cancelled->

Submitted by alphadogg
alphadogg (971356) writes "A presentation on a low-budget method to unmask users of a popular online privacy tool, TOR, will no longer go ahead at the Black Hat security conference early next month. The talk was nixed by the legal counsel with Carnegie Mellon’s Software Engineering Institute after a finding that materials from researcher Alexander Volynkin were not approved for public release, according to a notice on the conference’s website. https://www.blackhat.com/lates... Volynkin, a research scientist with the university’s Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) was due to give a talk entitled “You Don’t Have to be the NSA to Break Tor: Deanonymizing Users on a Budget” at the conference, which take places Aug. 6-7 in Last Vegas."
Link to Original Source

+ - Why are the world's scientists continuing to take chances with smallpox?->

Submitted by Lasrick
Lasrick (2629253) writes "MIT's Jeanne Guillemin looks at the recent blunders with smallpox and H5N1 at the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health to chronicle the fascinating history of smallpox eradication efforts and the attempts (thwarted by Western scientists) to destroy lab collections of the virus in order to make it truly extinct. 'In 1986, with no new smallpox cases reported, the World Health Assembly, the decision-making body of the WHO, resolved to destroy the strain collections and make the virus extinct. But there was resistance to this; American scientists in particular wanted to continue their research.' Within a few years, secret biological warfare programs were discovered in Moscow and in Iraq, and a new flurry of defensive research was funded. Nevertheless, Guillemin and others believe that changes in research methods, which no longer require the use of live viruses, mean that stocks of the live smallpox virus can and should finally be destroyed."
Link to Original Source

+ - Elephants may have best noses on Earth->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "Scientists have identified and examined olfactory receptor genes from 13 mammalian species. The researchers found that every species has a highly unique variety of such genes: Of the 10,000 functioning olfactory receptor genes the team studied, only three are shared among the 13 species. Perhaps not surprisingly, given the length of its trunk, the African elephant has the largest number of such genes—nearly 2000, the scientists report online today in the Genome Research. In contrast, dogs have only 1000, and humans and chimpanzees, less than 400—possibly because higher primates rely more on their vision and less on their sense of smell."
Link to Original Source

+ - Tor developers vow to fix bug that can uncloak users

Submitted by Graculus
Graculus (3653645) writes "Developers of the Tor privacy service say they're close to fixing a weakness that researchers for an abruptly canceled conference presentation said provides a low-cost way for adversaries to deanonymize hundreds of thousands of users. The talk previously scheduled for next month's Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas was titled "You Don't Have to be the NSA to Break Tor: Deanonymizing Users on a Budget." The abstract said that the hack cost less than $3,000 and could uncloak hundreds of thousands of users. On Monday, Black Hat organizers said the presentation was canceled at the request of attorneys from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), where the researchers were employed, as well as the Software Engineering Institute (SEI). The attorneys said only that the materials to be presented "have not yet been approved by CMU/SEI for public release." Researchers Alexander Volynkin and Michael McCord have yet to explain why their talk was pulled."

+ - Microsoft Is Testing Developer Biometrics To Predict Software Bugs 1

Submitted by rjmarvin
rjmarvin (3001897) writes "Microsoft Research is testing a new method for catching errors and bugs in while developers code: biometrics
http://sdtimes.com/sd-times-bl.... By measuring a developer's eye movements, physical and mental characteristics as they code, the researchers measured alertness and stress levels to predict when a programmer will make a coding error. In a paper entitled "Using Psycho-Physiological Measures to Assess Task Difficulty in Software Development" http://research.microsoft.com/..., the researchers summarized their study of 15 developers where they strapped an eye tracker, an electrodermal sensor and an EEG sensor to developers as they programmed various tasks. The study found that biometrics predicted task difficulty for a new developer 64.99% of the time. For a new development task, the researchers found biometrics to be 84.38% accurate. The researchers did not, however, comment on the invasiveness of biometric sensors to developers."
United Kingdom

UK Users Overwhelmingly Spurn Broadband Filters 110

Posted by timothy
from the but-it's-a-free-service dept.
nk497 (1345219) writes "Broadband customers are overwhelmingly choosing not to use parental-control systems foisted on ISPs by the government — with takeup in the single-digits for three of the four major broadband providers. Last year, the government pushed ISPs to roll out network-level filters, forcing new customers to make an "active" decision about whether they want to use them or not. Only 5% of new BT customers signed up, 8% opted in for Sky and 4% for Virgin Media. TalkTalk rolled out a parental-control system two years before the government required it and has a much better takeup, with 36% of customers signing up for it. The report, from regulator Ofcom, didn't bother to judge if the filters actually work, however."

+ - Brits ignore government's parental-control broadband filters->

Submitted by nk497
nk497 (1345219) writes "Broadband customers are overwhelmingly choosing not to use parental-control systems foisted on ISPs by the government — with takeup in the single-digits for three of the four major broadband providers. Last year, the government pushed ISPs to roll out network-level filters, forcing new customers to make an "active" decision about whether they want to use them or not. Only 5% of new BT customers signed up, 8% opted in for Sky and 4% for Virgin Media. TalkTalk rolled out a parental-control system two years before the government required it and has a much better takeup, with 36% of customers signing up for it. The report, from regulator Ofcom, didn't bother to judge if the filters actually work, however."
Link to Original Source
Linux

Ask Slashdot: Linux Login and Resource Management In a Computer Lab? 98

Posted by timothy
from the explain-your-system dept.
New submitter rongten (756490) writes I am managing a computer lab composed of various kinds of Linux workstations, from small desktops to powerful workstations with plenty of RAM and cores. The users' $HOME is NFS mounted, and they either access via console (no user switch allowed), ssh or x2go. In the past, the powerful workstations were reserved to certain power users, but now even "regular" students may need to have access to high memory machines for some tasks. Is there a sort of resource management that would allow the following tasks? To forbid a same user to log graphically more than once (like UserLock); to limit the amount of ssh sessions (i.e. no user using distcc and spamming the rest of the machines, or even worse, running in parallel); to give priority to the console user (i.e. automatically renicing remote users jobs and restricting their memory usage); and to avoid swapping and waiting (i.e. all the users trying to log into the latest and greatest machine, so have a limited amount of logins proportional to the capacity of the machine). The system being put in place uses Fedora 20, and LDAP PAM authentication; it is Puppet-managed, and NFS based. In the past I tried to achieve similar functionality via cron jobs, login scripts, ssh and nx management, and queuing system — but it is not an elegant solution, and it is hacked a lot. Since I think these requirements should be pretty standard for a computer lab, I am surprised to see that I cannot find something already written for it. Do you know of a similar system, preferably open source? A commercial solution could be acceptable as well.

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