Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

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).


Comment: Wrong place at the wrong time.... (Score 5, Insightful) 110

My biggest fear of this technology is that people may be investigated for no reason other than that their car was seen in close proximity to where a crime was committed. Police and district attorneys have been found to fit the evidence to match an individual. This has lead to, at a minimum an extended "interview" at the police station, and at a maximum being put to death. Was your car parked at the entrance to an alley while you picked up a pizza at the same time somebody was raped in the alley? How much money do you have for an attorney?


Comment: Re:I can see this working! (Score 1) 282

by JimMcc (#49331941) Attached to: Ford's New Car Tech Prevents You From Accidentally Speeding

I don't know about most, but I'm sure many do. I know I do. My normal vehicle is my work E250. Occasionally I drive my wife's Subaru and frequently notice that I'm driving 10 or 15mph over the limit. While the Subaru can certainly handle corners and stop a heck of a lot quicker than the van, it doesn't make up for the one constant, human reaction time. We live in a rural area with narrow roads and a lot of twists and blind driveway entrances. Being able to easily keep one's speed reasonable would be a handy feature.


How Activists Tried To Destroy GPS With Axes 247

Posted by samzenpus
from the here's-johnny dept. writes Ingrid Burrington writes in The Atlantic about a little-remembered incident that occurred in 1992 when activists Keith Kjoller and Peter Lumsdaine snuck into a Rockwell International facility in Seal Beach, California and in what they called an "act of conscience" used wood-splitting axes to break into two clean rooms containing nine satellites being built for the US government. Lumsdaine took his axe to one of the satellites, hitting it over 60 times. The Brigade's target was the Navigation Satellite Timing And Ranging (NAVSTAR) Program and the Global Positioning System (GPS). Both men belonged to the Lockheed Action Collective, a protest group that staged demonstrations and blockaded the entrance at the Lockheed Missiles & Space Co. test base in Santa Cruz in 1990. They said they intentionally took axes to the $50-million Navstar Global Position System satellite to bring the public's attention to what they termed the government's attempt to control the world through modern technology. "I had to slow the deployment of this system (which) makes conventional warfare much more lethal and nuclear war winnable in the eyes of some," an emotional Kjoller told the judge before receiving an 18-month sentence. "It's something that I couldn't let go by. I tried to do what was right rather than what was convenient."

Burrington recently contacted Lumsdaine to learn more about the Brigade and Lumsdaine expresses no regrets for his actions. Even if the technology has more and more civilian uses, Lumsdaine says, GPS remains "military in its origins, military in its goals, military in its development and [is still] controlled by the military." Today, Lumsdaine views the thread connecting GPS and drones as part of a longer-term movement by military powers toward automated systems and compared today's conditions to the opening sequence of Terminator 2, where Sarah Connor laments that the survivors of Skynet's nuclear apocalypse "lived only to face a new nightmare: the war against the machines." "I think in a general way people need to look for those psychological, spiritual, cultural, logistical, technological weak points and leverage points and push hard there," says Lumsdaine. "It is so easy for all of us as human beings to take a deep breath and step aside and not face how very serious the situation is, because it's very unpleasant to look at the effort and potential consequences of challenging the powers that be. But the only thing higher than the cost of resistance is the cost of not resisting."

Comment: Re:In the US (Score 2) 122

by JimMcc (#49158661) Attached to: Craig Brittain (Revenge Porn King) Sues For Use of Image

Interesting comment to post as an Anonymous Coward. If you feel that strongly you should be posting from a username which is your true legal first and last name and include your phone number as well. Oh, and to prove you really believe what you are saying, post a compromising nude photo of yourself as well. Umm, on second thought skip the photo.

Yeah, yeah, I know, don't feed the trolls.

Comment: They got caught this time... (Score 3, Insightful) 266

by JimMcc (#49095007) Attached to: Lenovo To Wipe Superfish Off PCs

But what about next time?

What about other vendors?

The quest to further "monetize" customers that have already paid for a product is one that more and more companies are doing. I understand the business reasons behind it, but what about the consumer's rights? Do we have any let? Superfish is an especially egregious example if this problem. It is, in essence, a back door installed into millions of consumer devices. The penalties on a company should be so severe that they couldn't just make it disappear in one quarter, but not so severe that it forces the company in bankruptcy. In other words it needs to be painful enough that other companies will think long and hard about possibly doing something similar, but stopping short of putting the head of the villain on a stick outside the castle walls.

Sadly, I think the extent of the punishment will be a little bad press for a few days, then they'll continue on as if nothing had happened.

Comment: Re:Cred? (Score 1) 47

Be careful with that advise. I friend asked my what specific recommendations I had for a product. I told him to buy anything but Brand X. A few days later he's showing off his beautiful new Brand X. I asked why he bought it and he said it was because he remembered me saying "Brand X". Most people these days are so tuned into brand names, it's the name they remember, not the good or bad behind it.

Comment: Re: Nosedive (Score 1) 598

by JimMcc (#48739895) Attached to: Tumblr Co-Founder: Apple's Software Is In a Nosedive

Sadly, I agree. I moved to the Mac world 10 years ago because I was tired of the constant struggle to keep Windows boxes working, both hardware and software. At that time, Mac was a breath of fresh air. It did just work. Now I'm with macalli, I dread each new update wondering if things will net out as better or worse.

Comment: Re:Call Comcast? (Score 2) 405

by JimMcc (#48381181) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Unblock Email From My Comcast-Hosted Server?

Also, talk to Yahoo, Hotmail, and Gmail about being blocked.

For the first time every I'm going to use this expression....


Unless you have some kind of super squirrel secret agent phone number, or your company is worth billions, please explain how to call any of these companies and actually talk to somebody that can _accurately_ answer your questions and just as importantly has the power to make a change.

Comment: Re:Progress comes at a cost (Score 2) 112

by JimMcc (#48289653) Attached to: SpaceShipTwo Pilot Named; Branson Vows To 'Move Forward Together'

And how is this different than most other endeavors throughout time which need significant funding? How many men were lost at sea exploring the world in search of trade goods for the ships owners? The list is virtually endless. I'm sure that Oog sent Uma to a probable death in trying to kill a sabertooth tiger in order to have the teeth to trade with the neighboring clan. Nothing has changed, and nothing will.

Comment: Re:Branson Vows To 'Move Forward Together' (Score 2) 112

by JimMcc (#48289615) Attached to: SpaceShipTwo Pilot Named; Branson Vows To 'Move Forward Together'

Oh no, can't sit on the living room couch. An engine might fall off a passing jetliner, crash through your roof, and kill you. Better get in your bomb shelter in the basement. Or, since you will need to remove all joy and sensation from life in order to be "safe", just skip to the end game instead.

Comment: These articles frustrate me. (Score 1) 88

by JimMcc (#48169175) Attached to: Google Fiber To Launch In Austin, Texas In December

I get so frustrated reading these kind of articles. We get 3mb for $70/month. That's 3mb with horrible latency and dropped packets. That's 3mb that frequently requires pages to be reloaded in order to complete properly.

Of course 3mb is a lot better than my first connection which was, and I kid you not, 110kb via an acoustic coupler on a good old fashion TTY. So I guess that makes my complaint a first world problem.

Oh well, never mind. Century Link just carry on with your fine upstanding service.

Comment: Some Stuff is Just Hard to Act Correctly on (Score 1) 265

by JimMcc (#48132487) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Why Can't Google Block Spam In Gmail?

I use a spam filter which quarantines suspected spam. I then review the quarantine and white list or black list as appropriate. Not an ideal solution for large scale users, but for us it works.

Last week I black listed an email. The subject was "You've got to see this!" and the body was only a link. It turned out that it was a legitimate email so I turned around and white listed the sender. But that email would set off the spam flags on just about any filter, including human based filters. Sadly, there is no certain means of determining spam vs non spam.

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