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We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).

Electronic Frontier Foundation

EFF: Apple's Dev Agreement Means No EFF Mobile App For iOS 220

Posted by samzenpus
from the not-for-you dept.
schwit1 writes The EFF launched a new app that will make it easier for people to take action on digital rights issues using their phone. The app allows folks to connect to their action center quickly and easily, using a variety of mobile devices. Sadly, though, they had to leave out Apple devices and the folks who use them. Why? Because they could not agree to the terms in Apple's Developer Agreement and Apple's DRM requirements.

Comment: Re:Magic Pill - Self Discipline (Score 0) 153

by George_Ou (#48578189) Attached to: "Fat-Burning Pill" Inches Closer To Reality
"what if we eat so much crap food that the wholesome hearty foods stop being produced"

There really isn't a clear line between "wholesome hearty food" and "crap food". The dosage is the problem and some foods like deserts, candy, and chips are just so calorically dense and so tasty that they're almost assured to be overeaten by the majority of people.

Comment: Interviewer is extremely ignorant on power (Score 3, Informative) 92

by George_Ou (#47512869) Attached to: Buying New Commercial IT Hardware Isn't Always Worthwhile (Video)
At one point the interviewer asks "how much money you gonna save on electricity for 50 computers, $50/year"? It's clear he's never even attempted to do the math. An extra 100 watts in California is going to cost $314.91 per year at the typical rate (above baseline) of 35.949 cents per year. That's just the savings on one computer system much less 50 computers.

Comment: 0.74% atmospheric pressure and trace oxygen levels (Score 1) 104

by George_Ou (#47405483) Attached to: ESA Shows Off Quadcopter Landing Concept For Mars Rovers
To properly test a prototype, you would need to fly a prototype helicopter (probably with very large rotor and very powerful turbine) to 33,000 meters altitude on Earth to test equivalent atmospheric pressures. The current altitude record for helicopters is only 12,442 meters.

There's another major problem posed by Mars. 96% of the atmosphere is comprised of CO2 and there is only trace amounts of oxygen. That means not only would you have to carry fuel, but you would need to carry your own oxidizer as well which adds a lot of weight.

Comment: Cisco is only describing the IETF standard (Score 1) 337

by George_Ou (#47214321) Attached to: Cisco Opposes Net Neutrality
"A July 1999 IETF specification (RFC 2638) discusses paid prioritization by saying: “It is expected that premium traffic would be allocated a small percentage of the total network capacity, but that it would be priced much higher.” Another specification (RFC 2475) published half a year earlier says that setting different priorities for packets will “accommodate heterogeneous application requirements and user expectations” and “permit differentiated pricing of Internet service.” (An RFC is a policy document, often accepted as standards, published by the IETF.)"

I would also add that the abstract of RFC 2474 says:

“Differentiated services enhancements to the Internet protocol are intended to enable scalable service discrimination in the Internet


Kids With Operators Manual Alert Bank Officials: "We Hacked Your ATM" 378

Posted by samzenpus
from the protect-ya-neck dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Two 14-year-olds hacked a Bank of Montreal ATM after finding an operators manual online that showed how to gain administrative control. Matthew Hewlett and Caleb Turon alerted bank employees after testing the instructions on an ATM at a nearby supermarket. At first the employees thought the boys had the PIN numbers of customers. 'I said: "No, no, no. We hacked your ATM. We got into the operator mode,"' Hewlett was quoted as saying. Then, the bank employees asked for proof. 'So we both went back to the ATM and I got into the operator mode again,' Hewlett said. 'Then I started printing off documentations like how much money is currently in the machine, how many withdrawals have happened that day, how much it's made off surcharges. Then I found a way to change the surcharge amount, so I changed the surcharge amount to one cent.'"

With the Surface Pro, Microsoft Is Trying To Recreate the PC Market 379

Posted by Soulskill
from the can't-lose-if-you-don't-fight dept.
An anonymous reader writes "An opinion piece at ReadWriteWeb makes an interesting suggestion: Microsoft's efforts in the tablet market aren't aimed at competing with the iPad or any of the Android tablets, but rather inventing a new facet of the PC market — one Microsoft alone is targeting. Quoting: 'Microsoft wants everyone to think the Surface Pro 3 is a tablet, but its pricing gives the game away. Microsoft wants to recreate the lucrative PC market that made the company billions of dollars by repackaging a PC into tablet clothing and then hammering away at the Surface product line until everybody believes that PCs never really went anywhere, they just got a touchscreen and a cellular connection.' This is also supported by the lack of a smaller Surface tablet, which many analysts were predicting before this week's press conference. Microsoft is clearly not pursuing the tablet-for-everyone approach, but instead focusing on users who want productivity out of their mobile computing device. The Surface Pros are expensive, but Microsoft is hoping people will balance that cost against the cost of a work laptop plus a personal tablet."

Siphons Work Due To Gravity, Not Atmospheric Pressure: Now With Peer Review 360

Posted by timothy
from the suck-it-oed dept.
knwny (2940129) writes "Peeved by the widespread misconception that siphons work because of atmospheric pressure, physics lecturer Dr. Stephen Hughes, [in 2010] wrote a mail to the prestigious Oxford English Dictionary(OED) pointing out the error. To back his claim, Dr.Hughes tested a siphon inside a hypobaric chamber to check if changes in atmospheric pressure had any effect on the siphon and demonstrated that gravity and not atmospheric pressure was the driving principle. [This week, the] paper detailing his experiment was published in Nature. The OED spokesperson responded saying that his suggestions would be taken into account during the next rewrite."

Ask Slashdot: Are You Apocalypse-Useful? 737

Posted by Soulskill
from the it's-the-end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it-and-i-feel-disenfranchised dept.
An anonymous reader writes: "Young people, when choosing a profession, are often told to 'do what you love.' That's why we have experts in such abstruse fields as medieval gymel. But let's talk hypotheticals: if there's a worldwide catastrophe in which civilization is interrupted, somebody specializing in gymel wouldn't provide much use to fellow survivors. In a post-apocalypse world, medical doctors would be useful, as would most scientists and engineers. The bad news for Slashdotters is that decades without computers would render computer science and related professions useless. What do you consider to be the most useful and mostly useless post-apocalypse professions? How long would it take for society to rebuild enough for your profession to be useful?"

Comment: Re:The title is a bit misleading (Score 1) 32

by George_Ou (#46682383) Attached to: New MU-MIMO Standard Could Allow For Gigabit WiFi Throughput
Capacity matters a lot in Wi-Fi as well as cellular data. Very rarely will you see mobile devices be able to leverage 2x MIMO or better because they only have one antenna. Capacity is effective peak performance for most situations. Peak throughput is great for marketing benchmarks and occasionally real life performance when it comes to wireless bridging.

Comment: Re:The title is a bit misleading (Score 1) 32

by George_Ou (#46665821) Attached to: New MU-MIMO Standard Could Allow For Gigabit WiFi Throughput
MU-MIMO does effectively offer higher speeds than SU-MIMO in practice. Since most client devices are single antenna devices and only a few that are dual-antenna, MU-MIMO effectively increases the per-client throughput by improving overall capacity. If four single-antenna clients can be concurrently served by a MU-MIMO access point with 4 antennas, each client can have up to 4 times more throughput than the same 4 clients being served by a 4-antenna SU-MIMO access point. The SU-MIMO 4-antenna AP can't speed up operation for a single 1-antenna client.

Comment: Re: Official cable doesn't stop dangerous chargers (Score 1) 663

by George_Ou (#44914785) Attached to: Apple Starts Blocking Unauthorized Lightning Cables With iOS 7
I said the cables are overpriced, way overpriced I might add. It's just a freaking cable. I said the chargers at $20 aren't *that* overpriced, though they're still overpriced somewhat. The chargers that Apple sells are actually one of the highest quality chargers on the market according to this guy's tests (http://www.righto.com/2012/10/a-dozen-usb-chargers-in-lab-apple-is.html) so they're actually worth close to $20.

So my point is that if Apple cared about safety, they'd lock out 3rd party chargers rather than the 3rd party cables. It's the charger that's dangerous when it sends 110V or 220V AC down the USB cable.

Comment: Official cable doesn't stop dangerous chargers (Score 2) 663

by George_Ou (#44914177) Attached to: Apple Starts Blocking Unauthorized Lightning Cables With iOS 7
A person can still use an overpriced official cable from Apple but used a dangerous charger and the dangerous conductive surface of the iPhone. The cable isn't the cause of the safety issue but the cable is what's overpriced so iOS 7 is forcing you to buy the overpriced cables. The official Apple chargers aren't *that* overpriced.

It is masked but always present. I don't know who built to it. It came before the first kernel.