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Submission + - Senate Passes Bill Making Internet Tax Ban Permanent (

kheldan writes: Nearly two decades ago, Congress passed the first Internet Tax Freedom Act, establishing that — with a handful of grandfathered exceptions — local, state, and federal governments couldn’t impose taxes on Internet access. Problem is, that law has had to be renewed over and over, each time with an expiration date. But today, the U.S. Senate finally passed a piece of legislation that would make the tax ban permanent.
Open Source

SourceForge Eliminates DevShare Program ( 435

SourceForge has officially eliminated its DevShare program. The DevShare program delivered installer bundles as part of the download for participating projects. We want to restore our reputation as a trusted home for open source software, and this was a clear first step towards that. We are more interested in doing the right thing than making extra short-term profit. This is just the first step in a number of improvements we will outline in the coming weeks. SourceForge and Slashdot were acquired in late January by BIZX.

Submission + - The Internet of Broken Things (

szczys writes: The Internet of Things is all the hype these days. On one side we have companies clamoring to sell you Internet-Connected-everything to replace all of the stuff you already have that is now considered "dumb". On the other side are security researchers screaming that we're installing remote access with little thought about securing it properly. The truth is a little of both is happening, and that this isn't a new thing. It's been around for years in industry, the new part is that it's much wider spread and much closer to your life. Al Williams walks through some real examples of the unintended consequences of IoT, including his experiences building and deploying devices, and some recent IoT gaffs like the NEST firmware upgrade that had some users waking up to an icy-cold home.

Adblock Plus Maker Seeks Deal With Ad Industry Players ( 356

An anonymous reader writes with Yahoo's report that the makers of Adblock Plus are "looking to reach out to advertisers and identify an 'acceptable' level and form of advertising on the net." That involves convincing advertisers to conform to the company's own guidelines for advertising, or an alternative path much disliked by some of the software's users — to pay the company to ignore ads that don't meet those guidelines. From the article: Big websites can pay a fee not to be blocked. And it is these proceeds that finance the Cologne-based company and its 49-strong workforce. While Google and Amazon have paid up, others refuse. Axel Springer, which publishers Germany's best-selling daily Bild, accuses [Adblock Plus maker] Eyeo of racketeering. "We believe Eyeo's business model is against the law," a spokesman for Springer told AFP. "Clearly, Eyeo's primary aim is to get its hands on a share of the advertising revenues." Ultimately, such practices posed a threat to the professional journalism on the web, he suggested, an argument Eyeo rejects.

Linux Kernel Patch Hints At At 32-Core Support For AMD Zen Chips 136

New submitter Iamthecheese points to an article which says that a patch published on the Linux Kernel Mailing List indicates that AMD's forthcoming Zen processors will have as many as 32 cores per socket, but notes that while the article's headline says "Confirms," "the article text doesn't bear that out." Still, he writes, There are hints of such from last year. A leaked patch for the 14 nanometer AMD Zeppelin (Family 17h, Model 00h) reveals support for up to 32 cores. Another blog says pretty much the same thing. We recently discussed an announced 4+8 core AMD chip, but nothing like this.

Comment To all of you noobs... (Score 1) 148

...who are complaining that Khyber's question/post is stupid, etc -- YOU ARE THE PROBLEM,
*NOT* KHYBER. Slashdot used to be a valuable resource for questions like this. Try and Contribute something useful to the discussion IF you have any knowledge worth sharing, or feel free to go elsewhere and post your useless whinging somewhere else. This falls under "Stuff that matters."

--Even tho I don't have any skin in this game, I learned something useful reading the responses that actually tried to help the guy with his situation - i.e. Win32 works, Win64 doesn't. Linux works. THAT ALONE makes it worth the submission, so GTFO if you don't like it.

Submission + - Microsoft's Cortana Doesn't Put Up With Sexual Harassment (

MojoKid writes: Not long after Apple unveiled its Siri personal assistant to the world, it took very little time before people began asking her outrageous questions, sometimes inappropriate or just humorous, if for no other reason than they just could. When creating Cortana, Microsoft was well-aware of what its digital assistant was going to have to deal with, so, believe it or not, it was designed in such a way to handle abuse in a specific manner. According to Microsoft's Deborah Harrison, who is one of eight writers for Cortana, a chunk of the earliest queries were about Cortana's sex life. A specific goal was to make sure Cortana wasn't treated as a subservient. If she's insulted, she doesn't apologize or back down. She handles it with tact, so as to reduce the chance of further abuse.

UK Wants Authority To Serve Warrants In U.S. ( 144

schwit1 writes with this news, as reported by USA Today: British and U.S. officials have been negotiating a plan that could allow British authorities to directly serve wiretap orders on U.S. communications companies in criminal and national security inquiries, U.S. officials confirmed Thursday. The talks are aimed at allowing British authorities access to a range of data, from interceptions of live communications to archived emails involving British suspects, according to the officials, who are not authorized to comment publicly. ... Under the proposed plan, British authorities would not have access to records of U.S. citizens if they emerged in the British investigations. Congressional approval would be required of any deal negotiated by the two countries.

Firefox 44 Deletes Fine-Grained Cookie Management ( 423

ewhac writes: Among its other desirable features, Firefox included a feature allowing very fine-grained cookie management. When enabled, every time a Web site asked to set a cookie, Firefox would raise a dialog containing information about the cookie requested, which you could then approve or deny. An "exception" list also allowed you to mark selected domains as "Always allow" or "Always deny", so that the dialog would not appear for frequently-visited sites. It was an excellent way to maintain close, custom control over which sites could set cookies, and which specific cookies they could set. It also helped easily identify poorly-coded sites that unnecessarily requested cookies for every single asset, or which would hit the browser with a "cookie storm" — hundreds of concurrent cookie requests.

Mozilla quietly deleted this feature from Firefox 44, with no functional equivalent put in its place. Further, users who had enabled the "Ask before accept" feature have had that preference silently changed to, "Accept normally." The proffered excuse for the removal was that the feature was unmaintained, and that its users were, "probably crashing multiple times a day as a result" (although no evidence was presented to support this assertion). Mozilla's apparent position is that users wishing fine-grained cookie control should be using a third-party add-on instead, and that an "Ask before accept" option was, "not really nice to use on today's Web."

Comment A bug and a couple of suggestions (Score 1) 1836

--There's a bug in the "Threshold" dropdown that has probably been there for years. Try setting it to Threshold: 2 and mode "Flat" and before you hit the Change button, it will list ~500+ comments (for this article, for instance) to be displayed. After hitting Change, it only displays ~100+ comments.

--Proper behavior should be displaying all comments in the thread that are scored +2 or above, in Flat mode.


o Give us some way to track in real-time how many posts we've modded up or down so far. Currently I have to do this in my head, or write down a tally. (Slashdot browser plugin? Nah)

o If we get Mod points, make them either non-expiring or give us like 2 weeks to use them. Half the time I get Mod points on days that I don't/can't access the site, and never have a chance to use them.

--BTW, thanks again for being constructive/proactive and listening to us. :-)

Comment Re:Allow pics (Score 1) 1836

--Slashdot has a distinctive look and feel, and a unique vibe. I admittedly thought about suggesting allowing inline pics in the thread, but I realized that's *not* why most of us come here.

--You want tumblr, go to tumblr. You want Fark, go to Fark and post your pics. You want FB, go to FB - and get spied on. I want *Slashdot.* Text news. It's like a distilled refuge from the rest of the multimedia crap that's out there. Why do you think everyone rebelled against Beta? It went against everyone's expectations (especially long-time users.) If they do (God forbid) allow inline pics, at least give us an option to turn it off in Preferences for logged-in users.

Comment Re:It's the financial models, stupid! (Score 1) 1836

> So the kernel of my suggestion is "By listening to the users". But not just any users. You should listen hardest to the users who are willing to donate a few bucks for a piece of the action. The basic unit of sincerity might be a charity share with a suggested retail price of $10

--Yeah right, since that way of thinking has been working SO WELL for us in Washington,DC lately.

--Slashdot has NEVER been a "pay us to listen to you" kind of site. Go away before your misguided ideas kill the place for the rest of us - start your own d--n site if you want to pull that kind of crap.

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