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

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
United States

US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia Has Died (theguardian.com) 616

clovis writes: US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has died in his sleep while on a hunting trip near Marfa, Texas. Justice Scalia was a Constitutional originalist and textualist. He did not believe the Constitution was a living document to be interpreted with the evolving standards of modern times.

I, for one, am very interested to see what happens next.

Comment Be Skeptical of Priming Studies (Score 5, Informative) 173

Remember: "Priming studies" (like here: being reminded of prior winning makes you more like to cheat) are notorious for showing anything under the sun and then failing to be reproducible later.

Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman called priming studies the "poster child for doubts about the integrity of psychological research":

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Priming_%28psychology%29#Criticism

In the Many Labs Replication Project, the two "priming studies" landed at the very bottom, showing no evidence of any real effect in the replication trials:

https://osf.io/wx7ck/

Bug

FTDI Driver Breaks Hardware Again (eevblog.com) 268

janoc writes: It seems that the infamous FTDI driver that got famous by intentionally bricking counterfeit chips [NOTE: that driver was later removed] has got a new update that injects garbage data ('NON GENUINE DEVICE FOUND!') into the serial data. This was apparently going on for a while, but only now is the driver being pushed as an automatic update through Windows Update, thus many more people stand to be affected by this.

Let's hope that nobody dies in an industrial accident when a tech connects their cheap USB-to-serial cable to a piece of machinery and the controller misinterprets the garbage data.

Space

What Spotlighting Harassment In Astronomy Means 432

StartsWithABang writes: Geoff Marcy. Tim Slater. Christian Ott. And a great many more who are just waiting to be publicly exposed for what they've done (and in many cases, are still doing). Does it mean that astronomy has a harassment problem? Of course it does, but that's not the real story. The real story is that, for the first time, an entire academic field is recognizing a widespread problem, taking steps to change its policies, and is beginning to support the victims, rather than the senior, more famous, more prestigious perpetrators. Astronomy is the just start; hopefully physics, computer science, engineering, philosophy and economics are next.
Security

New WiFi HaLow Protocol May Bring Old Security Issues With It 65

Trailrunner7 writes: Perhaps because smart lightbulbs that refuse firmware updates and refrigerators with blue screens of death aren't enough fun on their own, a new WiFi protocol designed specifically for IoT devices and appliances is on the horizon, bringing with it all of the potential security challenges you've come to know and love in WiFi classic. The new protocol is based on the 802.11ah standard from the IEEE and is being billed as Wi-Fi HaLow by the Wi-Fi Alliance. Wi-Fi HaLow differs from the wireless signal that most current devices uses in a couple of key ways. First, it's designed as a low-powered protocol and will operate in the range below one gigahertz. Second, the protocol will have a much longer range than traditional Wi-Fi, a feature that will make it attractive for use in applications such as connecting traffic lights and cameras in smart cities. But, as with any new protocol or system, Wi-Fi HaLow will carry with it new security considerations to face. And one of the main challenges will be securing all of the various implementations of the protocol.
The Almighty Buck

Why Do Americans Work So Much? 729

HughPickens.com writes Rebecca Rosen has an interesting essay at The Atlantic on economist John Maynard Keynes' prediction in 1930 that with increased productivity, over the next 100 years the economy would become so productive that people would barely need to work at all. For a while, it looked like Keynes was right: In 1930 the average workweek was 47 hours. By 1970 it had fallen to slightly less than 39. But then something changed. Instead of continuing to decline, the duration of the workweek stayed put; it's hovered just below 40 hours for nearly five decades. According to Rosen there would be no mystery in this if Keynes had been wrong about the economy's increasing productivity, which he thought would lead to a standard of living "between four and eight times as high as it is today." Keynes got that right: Technology has made the economy massively more productive. Now a new paper Benjamin Friedman says that "the U.S. economy is right on track to reach Keynes's eight-fold multiple" by 2029—100 years after the last data Keynes would have had. But according to Friedman, the key reason that Keynes prediction failed to come true is that Keynes failed to allow for the changing distribution of wealth.
Advertising

Forbes Asks Readers To Disable Adblock, Serves Up Malvertising (engadget.com) 406

Deathlizard writes with a report at Engadget that when this year's "Forbes 30 Under 30" list came out , "it featured a prominent security researcher. Other researchers were pleased to see one of their own getting positive attention, and visited the site in droves to view the list. On arrival, like a growing number of websites, Forbes asked readers to turn off ad blockers in order to view the article. After doing so, visitors were immediately served with pop-under malware, primed to infect their computers, and likely silently steal passwords, personal data and banking information."
Security

Drupal Update Process Flawed By Multiple Bugs (softpedia.com) 55

An anonymous reader writes: The Drupal CMS, a favorite with large enterprises, has a few bugs in its update process, affecting both the Drupal core update and its modules. The biggest flaw of the three discovered by IOActive researchers allows an attacker to take over the sites via poisoned updates. What's worse is that Drupal's team had known of this issue since 2012, but only recently reopened discussions on fixing the problem.
Java

Java Named Top Programming Language of 2015 (dice.com) 358

Nerval's Lobster writes: What was the most popular programming language of 2015? According to the people behind the TIOBE Index, Java took that coveted spot, winning out over C, Python, PHP, and other languages. "At first sight, it might seem surprising that an old language like Java wins this award," read TIOBE's note accompanying the list. "Especially if you take into consideration that Java won the same award exactly 10 years ago." Yet Java remains essential not only for businesses, it continued, but also consumer-centric markets such as mobile development (i.e., Google Android). That being said, even big languages can tumble. (Dice link) Objective-C tumbled from third place to 18th in the past 12 months, thanks to Apple's decision to replace it with Swift. In 2016, TIOBE expects that "Java, PHP (with the new 7 release), JavaScript and Swift will be the top 10 winners for 2016. Scala might gain a permanent top 20 position, whereas Rust, Clojure, Julia and TypeScript will also move up considerably in the chart." What has been your most-used (or best-loved) programming language of the last 12 months?
EU

Uber In Retreat Across Europe 460

HughPickens.com writes: Mark Scott reports at the NY Times that Uber is rapidly expanding its ride-hailing operations across the globe but some of Uber's fiercest opposition has come in Europe, where the culture clash between the remorseless competition of the US tech industry and the locals' respect for tradition and deference to established interests is especially stark. In Frankfort, Uber shut its office after just 18 months of operation spurred in part by drivers like Hasan Kurt, the owner of a local licensed taxi business, who had refused to work with the American service. Uber antagonized local taxi operators by prioritizing its low-cost service, and then could not persuade enough licensed drivers to sign up, even after it offered to pay for licenses and help with other regulatory costs that totaled as much as $400 for new drivers. "It's not part of the German culture to do something like" what Uber did says Kurt. "We don't like it, the government doesn't like it, and our customers don't like it."

Uber also pulled out of Hamburg and Düsseldorf after less than two years of operating in each of those German cities. In Amsterdam, Uber recently stopped offering UberPop, in Paris and Madrid, Uber has been confronted by often violent opposition from existing taxi operators, while in London, local regulators are mulling changes that could significantly hamper Uber's ambitions there. Uber's aggressive tactics have turned off potential customers like Andreas Müller who tried the company's Frankfurt service after first using Uber on a business trip in Chicago. Müller said he liked the convenience of paying through his smartphone, but soon turned against the company after reading that it had continued operating in violation of court orders and did not directly employ its drivers, who are independent contractors. "That might work in the U.S., but that's not how things are done here in Germany," says Müller. "Everyone must respect the rules."

Comment Figure Out What Happened on April 7th (Score 3, Insightful) 210

Looking at the graph in the article, there's on obvious inflection point that occurs on 7-Apr. Prior to that, the two lines (opened and closed items) are basically tracking each other. After that point, the opened items (red) retains the same slope; but the closed items (green) switches to a different, shallower (but thereafter basically constant) slope. And thus the two curves veer away from each other from that point.

So: What happened on 7-Apr? Did one or more developers quit, burnout, take a long vacation? Maybe they haven't been replaced yet?

After that I'd try real hard to stop new features from coming in, and start thumbing through a Brooks book to look for suggestions in an emergency like this.

Comment Re:Schooling, perhaps? (Score 1) 519

Wisconsin is a blistering disaster of an example. The worst thing about education in this country is that classroom management has been taken out of the hands of the people in the classrooms, organized in their professional union, and taken over by political wonks with axes to grind in spite of the kids.

Slashdot Top Deals

Writing software is more fun than working.

Working...