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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).

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+ - But for the video ...->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "The latest example of cellphone video vindicating someone from false charges is a doozy.

He was not only arrested, he was also charged with two felonies and a misdemeanor. A prior drug charge on his record meant he was potentially looking at decades in prison. Seven witnesses backed up the police account that Dendinger had assaulted Cassard.

But Dendinger had asked his wife and nephew to record him serving the papers. It was a last minute decision, but one that may have saved him his freedom. That’s all well and good. And Dendinger has since filed a federal civil rights lawsuit. But why aren’t the seven witnesses to Dendinger’s nonexistent assault on Cassard already facing felony charges?"

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Comment: I strongly disagree. (Score 1) 47

I strongly disagree. The whole idea is nonsense. If there is a failure of the "command channel" in the table, everything I said is correct. Do you trust Ikea to make 100% reliable electronics?

A few days ago, at a store called Dollar Tree, I bought a Charge and Sync dock for $1. Wouldn't a dock be better than buying cheap-looking Ikea furniture, especially since the convenience is minimal or non-existent?

Who would EVER put an expensive phone flat on a table??? That's asking for trouble. It's easy to knock it off.

I'm NOT saying the $1 dock is better. I'm saying that a dock is better than laying a phone flat on a table. (The $1 dock needs a charging transformer, of course.)

Look at the Wikipedia page to which you linked! Quoting: "This article appears to be written like an advertisement."

Air core transformers, especially air core transformers with distance between the primary and secondary, don't transfer much energy. Do you want to wait longer because you bought an ugly-looking Ikea table?

Comment: Obligatory, #2: Laws of Physics (Score 0) 47

Quote from the article: "The wireless charging works through an energy induction transfer."

Translation #1: There is a coil in the table. There is a coil in the back of the phone. The 2 coils act as a transformer with an air core. That only works if you bought a new phone. (And paid huge amounts for it including the 2-year contract.)

Problem: The coil in the table will also induct energy (induce electricity) into anything that conducts electricity.

So, if a child puts a phone on the charger area that is not one meant for rear-side induction, there will likely be problems.

Library books have chips with high-frequency antennas. The chips help libraries prevent theft. It is possible that putting electricity into the antennas will cause problems.

What else could go wrong? Lots. Some of the chemicals in your body are conductive. So, if you rest your hand on the table, the coil will cause electrical current in your hand.

Translation #2: The CEO of Ikea has no technical knowledge.

+ - Ghostery lists Adobe TypeKit as privacy threat ->

Submitted by Maurits van der Schee
Maurits van der Schee (2943109) writes "In order to provide the Typekit service, Adobe may collect information about the fonts being served to your website. The information is used for the purposes of billing and compliance, and may include the following:

Adobe TypeKit's privacy policy says that, but AFAIK "may include" does not imply "is limited to". Also this "compliance" is not further specified. What do you think? Should I take off my tin-foil hat?"
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:How is a HDD firmware written? (Score 1) 266

by Microlith (#49159721) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Does One Verify Hard Drive Firmware?

There is even a specific firmware update command in the ATA spec, but many vendors use their own just because.

Not "just because," but because the standard Download Microcode command is PIO and happens completely synchronously. This can cause Windows to BSOD if it happens to hit a page fault during the update.

Vendors typically implement an NCQ, DMA-capable process that is asynchronous so you can update from within the OS without issue.

Comment: Re:how ? (Score 1) 266

by Microlith (#49159655) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Does One Verify Hard Drive Firmware?

Many hard drives have a secondary TTL level serial port that you can use to load new firmware on a bricked drive.

That depends on how the vendor utilized the serial port and how they do their boot sequence. If it's anything above baseline chip support, you might not be able to do anything useful with it.

+ - Which classic OOP compiled language: Objective-C or C++?

Submitted by Qbertino
Qbertino (265505) writes "I've been trying to pick up a classic OOP oriented compiled language since the early 90ies and have never gotten around to it. C++ always was on my radar but I'm a little torn to-and-fro with Objective-C. Objective-C is the obvious choice if you also want to make money deving for Mac OS X, but for the stuff I want to do both languages would suffice on all platforms. I do want to start out on x86 Linux though and also use it as my main development platform. Note: The fight is only between these two. Yes, I know quite a few other PLs, but I want to get into a widespread compiled language that has good ties into FOSS and both Objective-C and C++ fit that bill.
I'm leaning towards C++ but what do you recommend? How do these two PLs compare to each other and how easy is cross-plattform development in either? (GUI free, 'headless' applications). Thanks for your opinion."

+ - Genetic Data Analysis Tools Reveal How US Pop Music Evolved

Submitted by KentuckyFC
KentuckyFC (1144503) writes "The history of pop music is rich in anecdotes, folklore and controversy. But despite the keen interest, there is little in the form of hard evidence to back up most claims about the evolution of music. Now a group of researchers have used data analysis tools developed for genomic number crunching to study the evolution of US pop music. The team studied 30-second segments of more than 17,000 songs that appeared on the US Billboard Hot 100 between 1960 and 2010. Their tools categorised the songs according to harmonic features such as chord changes as well as the quality of timbre such as whether guitar-based, piano-based orchestra-based and so on. They then used a standard algorithm for discovering clusters within networks of data to group the songs into 13 different types, which turned out to correspond with well known genres such as rap, rock, country and so on. Finally, they plotted the change in popularity of these musical types over time. The results show a clear decline in the popularity of jazz and blues since 1960. During the same period, rock-related music has ebbed and flowed in popularity. By contrast, was rare before 1980 before becoming the dominant musical style for 30 years until declining in the late 2000s. The work answers several important question about the evolution of pop music, such as whether music industry practises have led to a decline in the cultural variety of new music and whether British bands such as The Beatles and The Rolling Stones triggered the 1964 American music revolution [spoiler: no in both cases]."

+ - How Does One Verify Hard Drive Firmware? 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "In light of recent revelations from Kaspersky Labs about the Equation Group and persistent hard drive malware, I was curious about how easy it might be to verify my own system's drives to see if they were infected. I have no real reason to think they would be, but I was dismayed by the total lack of tools to independently verify such a thing. For instance, Seagate's firmware download pages provide files with no external hash, something Linux distributions do for all of their packages. Neither do they seem to provide a utility to read off the current firmware from a drive and verify its integrity.

Are there any utilities to do such a thing? Why don't these companies provide such a thing to users? Has anyone compiled and posted a public list of known-good firmware hashes for the major hard drive vendors and models? This seems to be a critical hole in PC security.

I did contact Seagate support asking for hashes of their latest firmware; I got a response stating that '...If you download the firmware directly from our website there is no risk on the file be tampered with." [their phrasing, not mine]. Methinks somebody hasn't been keeping up with world events lately."

+ - Oracle Sues 5 Oregon Officials for "improper influence"

Submitted by SpzToid
SpzToid (869795) writes "Following up on an earlier Slashdot story, the Oracle Corporation has filed a rather timely suit against five of former governor John Kitzhaber's staff for their "improper influence" in the decision to shutter the Cover Oregon healthcare website, while blaming Oracle to defuse the political consequences. Oracle argues the website was ready to go before the state decided to switch to the federal exchange in April.

"The work on the exchange was complete by February 2014, but going live with the website and providing a means for all Oregonians to sign up for health insurance coverage didn’t match the former-Governor's re-election strategy to 'go after' Oracle,” Oracle spokeswoman Deborah Hellinger said in a statement.

Kitzhaber resigned last week amid criminal probes into an influence-peddling scandal involving allegations that his fiancée used her position in his office for personal gain."

+ - UNDER U.S. PRESSURE, PAYPAL NUKES MEGA FOR ENCRYPTING FILES->

Submitted by seoras
seoras (147590) writes "After coming under intense pressure PayPal has closed the account of cloud-storage service Mega. According to the company, SOPA proponent Senator Patrick Leahy personally pressured Visa and Mastercard who in turn called on PayPal to terminate the account. Bizarrely, Mega's encryption is being cited as a key problem.... ... What makes the situation more unusual is that PayPal reportedly apologized to Mega for its withdrawal while acknowledging that company’s business is indeed legitimate.
However, PayPal also advised that Mega’s unique selling point – it’s end-to-end-encryption – was a key concern for the processor.""

Link to Original Source

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