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Comment: Small typo (Score 1) 201

by Errol backfiring (#49530517) Attached to: McConnell Introduces Bill To Extend NSA Surveillance

It puts McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.), the bill’s co-sponsor, squarely on the side of advocates of the National Security Agency’s continued ability to collect millions of Americans’ phone records each day in the cluesless hunt for terrorist activity

There, fixed that for you

Advertising

German Court Rules Adblock Plus Is Legal 278

Posted by Soulskill
from the non-crazy-software-judgments dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Following a four-month trial, a German court in Hamburg has ruled that the practice of blocking advertising is perfectly legitimate. Germany-based Eyeo, the company that owns Adblock Plus, has won a case against German publishers Zeit Online and Handelsblatt. These companies operate Zeit.de, Handelsblatt.com, and Wiwo.de. Their lawsuit, filed on December 3, charged that Adblock Plus should not be allowed to block ads on their websites. While the decision is undoubtedly a big win for users today, it could also set a precedent for future lawsuits against Adblock Plus and any other tool that offers similar functions. The German court has essentially declared that users are legally allowed to control what happens on their screens and on their computers while they browse the Web.
Science

Scientists Close To Solving the Mystery of Where Dogs Came From 167

Posted by Soulskill
from the evolved-to-fit-the-need-for-a-natural-vacuum-cleaner dept.
sciencehabit writes: For years researchers have argued over where and when dogs arose. Some say Europe, some say Asia. Some say 15,000 years ago, some say more than 30,000 years ago. Now an unprecedented collaboration of archaeologists and geneticists from around the world is attempting to solve the mystery once and for all. They're analyzing thousands of bones, employing new technologies, and trying to put aside years of bad blood and bruised egos. If the effort succeeds, the former competitors will uncover the history of man's oldest friend — and solve one of the greatest mysteries of domestication.
Microsoft

Microsoft's Role As Accuser In the Antitrust Suit Against Google 192

Posted by samzenpus
from the on-the-other-side dept.
HughPickens.com writes Danny Hakim reports at the NYT that as European antitrust regulators formally accuse Google of abusing its dominance, Microsoft is relishing playing a behind-the-scenes role of scold instead of victim. Microsoft has founded or funded a cottage industry of splinter groups to go after Google. The most prominent, the Initiative for a Competitive Online Marketplace, or Icomp, has waged a relentless public relations campaign promoting grievances against Google. It conducted a study that suggested changes made by Google to appease regulators were largely window dressing. "Microsoft is doing its best to create problems for Google," says Manfred Weber, the chairman of the European People's Party, the center-right party that is the largest voting bloc in the European Parliament. "It's interesting. Ten years ago Microsoft was a big and strong company. Now they are the underdog."

According to Hakim, Microsoft and Google are the Cain and Abel of American technology, locked in the kind of struggle that often takes place when a new giant threatens an older one. Microsoft was frustrated after American regulators at the Federal Trade Commission didn't act on a similar antitrust investigation against Google in 2013, calling it a "missed opportunity." It has taken the fight to the state level, along with a number of other opponents of Google. Microsoft alleges that Google's anti-competitive practices include stopping Bing from indexing content on Google-owned YouTube; blocking Microsoft Windows smartphones from "operating properly" with YouTube; blocking access to content owned by book publishers; and limiting the flow of ad campaign information back to advertisers, making it more expensive to run ads with rivals. "Over the past year, a growing number of advertisers, publishers, and consumers have expressed to us their concerns about the search market in Europe," says Brad Smith, Microsoft's general counsel. "They've urged us to share our knowledge of the search market with competition officials."

Comment: Re:No they can't ignore consumer protections (Score 1) 247

by Errol backfiring (#49476693) Attached to: EU To Hit Google With Antitrust Charges

Good luck with that

Actually, hell would not exactly freeze over if you block Google. In fact, if they did, people would just use another search engine (IXquick, DuckDuckGo or others) and almost every web site would load a lot faster without the cross-site scripting attack from Google. As a second advantage, people might start to think twice before handing their entire life to some evil company when it comes to documents or agendas.

Comment: Why are lottery employees allowed to play at all? (Score 0) 342

When I read contest or lottery rules, it always states that the people who work at the organising organisation are not allowed to participate in it. Even if everybody plays fair, an organiser winning his own lottery will be suspected of foul play.

Comment: if we had to rebuild society... (Score 1) 363

by Errol backfiring (#49469711) Attached to: Can Civilization Reboot Without Fossil Fuels?

If we had to rebuild society, could we do it without all the fossil fuels we used to do it the first time?

Not only could we do it, we have already done so. The 18th century was the century where a sawmill was actually a mill. Like this one. Mills made cement, drilled canons, ground paint, tobacco, oak bark and corn, kept our feet dry, pressed oil, made felt and more. Many of them still do, for historical reasons. See the links (you have to use a Babel Fish if you do not read Dutch). Our "Golden Age" was run mostly on wind, and other countries also used water.

Censorship

Turkish Hackers Target Vatican Website After Pope's Genocide Comment 249

Posted by timothy
from the robust-free-speech dept.
An anonymous reader writes Turkish hackers have brought down the official Vatican City website, following Pope Francis' statement in which he referred to mass killings of Armenians by Turks as 'genocide'. According to reports, the website www.vatican.va was first taken offline on Monday evening with a Turkish hacker, named @THTHerakles, announcing that he would continue to target the website should an official apology not be issued from the Vatican City. The hacker said that the Pope's comments were "unacceptable" for a respected religious figurehead. "Taking sides and calling what happened with the Armenians genocide is not true ... We want Pope [Francis] to apologize for his words or we will make sure the website remains offline," he added.
Education

Ask Slashdot: How To Introduce a 7-Year-Old To Programming? 315

Posted by timothy
from the first-you-must-erase-his-mind dept.
THE_WELL_HUNG_OYSTER writes I'm a professional programmer and have been programming since I was a small boy. I want to introduce this to my 7-year-son but know nothing about teaching this to children. Since he enjoys Roblox and Minecraft very much, and knows how to use computers already, I suspect teaching him to write his own small games would be a good starting point. I'm aware of lists like this one, but it's quite overwhelming. There are so many choices that I am overwhelmed where to start. Anyone in the Slashdot in the community have recent hands-on experience with such tools/systems that he/she would recommend?
Earth

Did Natural Selection Make the Dutch the Tallest People On the Planet? 298

Posted by timothy
from the my-grandmother-could've-told-you-that dept.
sciencehabit writes The Dutch population has gained an impressive 20 centimeters in the past 150 years and is now officially the tallest on the planet. Scientists chalk up most of that increase to rising wealth, a rich diet, and good health care, but a new study suggests something else is going on as well: The Dutch growth spurt may be an example of human evolution in action. The study shows that tall Dutch men on average have more children than their shorter counterparts, and that more of their children survive. That suggests genes that help make people tall are becoming more frequent among the Dutch. "This study drives home the message that the human population is still subject to natural selection," says Stephen Stearns, an evolutionary biologist at Yale University who wasn't involved in the work. "It strikes at the core of our understanding of human nature, and how malleable it is."
Security

Research Finds Shoddy Security On Connected Home Gateways 88

Posted by timothy
from the junction-box-is-open dept.
chicksdaddy writes Connected home products are the new rage. But how do you connect your Nest thermostat, your DropCam surveillance device and your Chamberlin MyQ 'smart' garage door opener? An IoT hub, of course. But not so fast: a report from the firm Veracode may make you think twice about deploying one of these IoT gateways in your home. As The Security Ledger reports, Veracode researchers found significant security vulnerabilities in each of six IoT gateways they tested, suggesting that manufacturers are giving short shrift to security considerations during design and testing. The flaws discovered ranged from weak authentication schemes (pretty common) to improper validation of TLS and SSL certificates, to gateways that shipped with exposed debugging interfaces that would allow an attacker on the same wireless network as the device to upload and run malicious code. Many of the worst lapses seem to be evidence of insecure design and lax testing of devices before they were released to the public, Brandon Creighton, Veracode's research architect, told The Security Ledger. This isn't the first report to raise alarms about IoT hubs. In October, the firm Xipiter published a blog post describing research into a similar hub by the firm VeraLite. Xipiter discovered that, among other things, the VeraLite device shipped with embedded SSH private keys stored in immutable areas of the firmware used on all devices.
Windows

Microsoft Engineer: Open Source Windows Is 'Definitely Possible' 303

Posted by Soulskill
from the cats-and-dogs-living-together dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Speaking at ChefCon, Microsoft Technical Fellow Mark Russinovich talked briefly about the prospect of some or all of Windows going open source. He said, "It's definitely possible. It's a new Microsoft." Russinovich acknowledged the reality that most developers and IT workers have embraced open source software to run some or all of their machines, and that means Microsoft needs to adapt. He also noted that Microsoft is beginning to adopt a strategy familiar to open source vendors: give away the software, and then sell support and related products. "It lifts them up and makes them available for our other offerings, where otherwise they might not be. If they're using Linux technologies that we can't play with, they can't be a customer of ours."

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