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Submission + - Silicon Valley's Big Lie

HughPickens.com writes: Danny Crichton writes at TechCrunch that startups in Silicon Valley run on an alchemy of ignorance and amnesia and that lying is a requisite and daily part of being a founder, the grease that keeps the startup flywheel running. Most startups fail. The vast, vast majority of startup employees will never exercise their options, let alone become millionaires while doing it. But founders have little choice as they sell their company to everyone, whether investors, employees, potential employees, or clients. "Founders have to tell the lie – that everything is fine, that a feature is going to launch even though the engineer for that feature hasn’t been hired yet, that payroll will run even though the VC dollars are still nowhere on the horizon," writes Crichton. "For one of the most hyper-rational populations in the world, Silicon Valley runs off a myth about startup success, of the lowly founder conquering the world."

Crichton says that Silicon Valley needs a new transparent approach toward information, but also need to understand that startups are inherently risky – and accept the lies that come with them. Founders can’t expect to hide the term sheets and their liquidation preferences from employees who ask and informed employees have a right to know what they are getting into. "We still need that Big Lie to function. We still need to dream about the possibility of success in order to realize it," concludes Chrichton. "With greater transparency comes a responsibility on the part of everyone in the startup ecosystem to understand and empathize with the plight of founders trying to build their companies."

Submission + - Tor Project Pilots Exit Nodes In Libraries->

An anonymous reader writes: The Tor Project has announced a new initiative to open new exit relays in public libraries. "This is an idea whose time has come; libraries are our most democratic public spaces, protecting our intellectual freedom, privacy, and unfettered access to information, and Tor Project creates software that allows all people to have these rights on the internet." They point out that this is both an excellent way to educate people on the value of private internet browsing while also being a practical way to expand the Tor network. A test for this initiative is underway at the Kilton Library in Lebanon, New Hampshire, which already has a computing environment full of GNU/Linux machines.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Open Hardware Team successfully replicating Tesla inventions->

lkcl writes: A small team has successfully overcome the usual barrier to replicating one of Tesla's inventions (death threats and intimidation) by following Open Hardware development practices, encouraging other teams world-wide to replicate their work. Their FAQ and several other reports help explain that the key is Schumann resonance: "tuning" the device to the earth's own EM field and harvesting it as useful electricity. Whilst it looks like it's going mainstream, the real question is: why has it taken this long, and why has an Open Hardware approach succeeded where other efforts have not?
Link to Original Source

Submission + - The real price of Windows 10 is your privacy->

Mark Wilson writes: Windows 10 is a free upgrade, right? Well, surely you know by now that there's no such thing as a free lunch. We're only 48 hours on from the launch of Windows 10 and already the complaining and criticism is underway. One thing that has been brought under the spotlight is privacy under the latest version of Microsoft's operating system.

Some people have been surprised to learn that Microsoft is utilizing the internet connections of Windows 10 users to deliver Windows Updates to others. But this is far from being the end of it. Cortana also gives cause for concern, and then there is the issue of Microsoft Edge, and ads in apps. Is this a price you're willing to pay?

Windows 10 is more closely tied to a Microsoft account than any previous version of the OS. This allows Microsoft to assign an ID number to users that can then be used to track them across different devices, services, and apps. This in turn can be used to deliver closely targeted ads to people. Microsoft has been pushing the mobile first, cloud first philosophy for some time now, and it becomes clear with Windows 10 that the love of the cloud is as much to do with the ability it gives Microsoft to gather useful data as it is about convenience for users.

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Comment Tried this on me once... (Score 1) 176

...it was a couple years back. Met this girl online, real nice, pretty photo, all that jazz. She got real close real quick--quick enough that I started doing a little research on the side. Like when she said her brother had died of cancer, and the only person I could find with that name had died in a drive-by. Then she lowered the boom: she was stuck in a hotel in London, her finances from the family business had some sort of snarl-up, and she couldn't leave until she got money to pay the bill.

A-ha.

I played ignorant at first, not quite taking the hint when she asked for help. When she gave up on subtlety, I plead poverty, but wished her all the luck in the world and told her to get in touch once she got out of there.

Never heard back. Funny thing, that.

Submission + - Apple Loses Ebook Price Fixing Appeal, Must Pay $450 Million->

An anonymous reader writes: A federal appeals court ruled 2-1 today that Apple indeed conspired to with publishers to increase ebook prices. The ruling puts Apple on the hook for the $450 million settlement reached in 2014 with lawyers and attorneys general from 33 states. The Justice Dept. contended that the price-fixing conspiracy raised the price of some e-books from the $10 standard set by Amazon to $13-$15. The one dissenting judge argued that Apple's efforts weren't anti-competitive because Amazon held 90% of the market at the time. Apple is unhappy with the ruling, but they haven't announced plans to take the case further. They said, "While we want to put this behind us, the case is about principles and values. We know we did nothing wrong back in 2010 and are assessing next steps."
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Stanford Starts the 'Secure Internet of Things Project'

An anonymous reader writes: The internet-of-things is here to stay. Lots of people now have smart lights, smart thermostats, smart appliances, smart fire detectors, and other internet-connect gadgets installed in their houses. The security of those devices has been an obvious and predictable problem since day one. Manufacturers can't be bothered to provide updates to $500 smartphones more than a couple years after they're released, how long do you think they'll be worried about security updates for a $50 thermostat? Security researchers have been vocal about this, and they've found lots of vulnerabilities and exploits before hackers have had a chance to. But the manufacturers have responded in the wrong way.

Instead of developing a more robust approach to device security, they've simply thrown encryption at everything. This makes it temporarily harder for malicious hackers to have their way with the devices, but also shuts out consumers and white-hat researchers from knowing what the devices are doing. Thus, Stanford, Berkeley, and the University of Michigan have started the Secure Internet of Things Project, which aims to promote security and transparency for IoT devices. They hope to unite regulators, researchers, and manufacturers to ensure nascent internet-connected tech is developed in a way that respects customer privacy and choice.

Comment TFA: (Score 5, Informative) 65

http://www.eecs.qmul.ac.uk/~ha...

(Since there doesn't seem to be a link).

Basically, the table on page 3 is probably where you want to start looking. TorGuard, PrivateInternetAccess, VyperVPN & Mullvad are proof against IPv6 leakage, so it's actually 10 of 14 that aren't.

Also, they found Astrill is proof against OpenVPN and PPTP/L2TP DNS hijacking. Interesting read.

Comment "Please write clearly and legibly." (Score 2) 149

So, does this mean that somewhere out there is someone who wanted to join Al-Qaeda and become a terrorist and blow themselves up and all that jazz but got rejected for poor penmanship?

"Well, Ahmed, you scored high in fanaticism and lack of moral scruples, but this application is frankly a mess. I could barely read the thing. I'm afraid you're just not what we're looking for, sorry. Have you tried Amway?"

"They sent me here."

Comment Re:Non-answers (Score 1) 107

Yeah, they do seem to have been run through a legal/marketing filter, don't they? Certainly don't sound like engineer's answers. I have a sneaking suspicion that her actual answers were swooped upon by serious people in serious suits until we got the above. Frankly, I kept expecting the phrase:

"Thank you for asking. Your question is very important to us. Unfortunately we cannot answer your question at this time. Please ask again later. Thank you. [BEEP]"

To pop up.

Still, the few little nuggets of info we did get were pretty neat. I like about getting more recharge stations in new home building, and standardizing the charger plugs. Hopefully those will have spread a bit more by the time these suckers get down to my price level.

Comment Re:"There will come soft rains" (Score 1) 403

Yes! I was hoping somebody would mention this :) I read it when I was a kid in school, and it chilled me to the bone. I wasn't really into sci-fi at the time, but Bradbury always knocked me out with his stories. He really got into the human side of things in a way a lot of the "space opera" types never did. This particular story is very haunting, and I think comes very close to how it will be--heck, come back and read this thing now, and see how plausible most of it is as our homes get smarter and smarter.

Submission + - Self-Driving Big Rigs Become a Reality

drinkypoo writes: We've been discussing the import of automation of over-the-road trucking here on Slashdot in fairly passionate terms whenever self-driving vehicles enter the conversation. Jalopnik reports that The Freightliner “Inspiration Truck” will be the first autonomous commercial truck to drive on American roads. The truck will be demonstrated today.

Submission + - No Justice for Victims of Identity Theft->

chicksdaddy writes: The Christian Science Monitor's Passcode features a harrowing account of one individual's experience of identity theft.(http://passcode.csmonitor.com/identity-stolen) CSM reporter Sara Sorcher recounts the story of "Jonathan Franklin" (not his real name) a New Jersey business executive who woke up to find thieves had stolen his identity and racked up $30,000 in a shopping spree at luxury stores including Versace and the Apple Store. The thieves even went so far as to use personal info stolen from Franklin to have the phone company redirect calls to his home number, which meant that calls from the credit card company about the unusual spending went unanswered.

Despite the heinousness of the crime and the financial cost, Sorcher notes that credit card companies and merchants both look on this kind of theft as a "victimless crime" and are more interested in getting reimbursed for their losses than trying to pursue the thieves. Police departments, also, are unable to investigate these crimes, lacking both the technical expertise and resources to do so. Franklin notes that he wasn't even required to file a police report to get reimbursed for the crime.
“As long as their loss is covered they move on to [handling] tomorrow’s fraud,” Franklin observes. And that makes it harder for victims like Franklin to move on, “In some way, I’m seeking some sense of justice,” Franklin said. “But it’s likely not going to happen.”

Link to Original Source

Submission + - Two Programmers Expose Dysfunction and Abuse in the Seattle Police Department->

reifman writes: Programmers Eric Rachner and Phil Mocek are now the closest thing Seattle has to a civilian police-oversight board. Through shrewd use of Washington's Public Records Act, the two have acquired hundreds of reports, videos, and 911 calls related to the Seattle Police Department's internal investigations of officer misconduct. Among some of Rachner and Mocek's findings: a total of 1,028 SPD employees (including civilian employees) were investigated between 2010 and 2013. (The current number of total SPD staff is 1,820.) Of the 11 most-investigated employees—one was investigated 18 times during the three-year period—every single one of them is still on the force, according to SPD. In 569 allegations of excessive or inappropriate use of force (arising from 363 incidents), only seven were sustained—meaning 99 percent of cases were dismissed. Exoneration rates were only slightly smaller when looking at all the cases — of the total 2,232 allegations, 284 were sustained. This is partly why the Seattle PD is under a federal consent decree for retraining and oversight. You can check out some of the typically excellent Twitter coverage by Mocek from his #MayDaySea coverage.
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