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


Forgot your password?
Slashdot Deals: Deal of the Day - Pay What You Want for the Learn to Code Bundle, includes AngularJS, Python, HTML5, Ruby, and more. ×

Submission + - I have a strange rash

An anonymous reader writes: This morning I went to pee in the toilet, and I discovered it burned. I was like "What is this? Has Microsoft invaded my penis? Why is this so painful?"

No, it seems that I may have a sexually transmitted disease. Slashdot, what should I do about this? I only have 19 bitcoins. Will doctors accept these?

Submission + - Linux 4.4 Kernel To Bring Raspberry Pi Graphics Driver, Open-Channel SSD Support (

An anonymous reader writes: Linux 4.4-rc1 has been released. New features of Linux 4.4 include a Raspberry Pi kernel mode-setting driver, support for 3D acceleration by QEMU guest virtual machines, AMD Stoney APU support, Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 support, expanded eBPF virtual machine programs, new hardware peripheral support, file-system fixes, faster SHA crypto support on Intel hardware, and LightNVM / Open-Channel SSD support.

Comment A complete overreaction (Score 1, Insightful) 267

This is actually a side effect of the other changes they are planning; particularly, the deprecation of XUL. The bug itself has comments dictating that they are not removing the concept entirely, but want to revamp it to fit the new architecture. Theoretically, a new theme system could be built under the new architecture.

Comment Re:Economic reality check (Score 1) 125

"Betting on the performance of individual players", is essentially betting on whether a particular player will do well/score this many points/run for this many yards/etc. They call those "props" in Vegas terms. Daily fantasy is essentially making a combination of props, which is called a "parlay". Look up the memo that Nevada's gaming board published on its similar assertion, and you'll see that calling it "fantasy sports" is literally a smokescreen for the fact that it is essentially betting. Oh, and DraftKings' CEO all but referred to it as being "almost identical to a casino" in a Reddit IamA.

Comment Re:Economic reality check (Score 2) 125

And that's the point. They're painting these things as games of "skill" because of its thin relation to actual fantasy sports. But there's only skill when you expand the game out long-term; you have to be strategic from week to week, pick players wisely, make good decisions, trade, etc. Daily fantasy takes away almost every element that is remotely skill-based and turns it into something that is pretty much a lottery. Speaking of that, in Canada, we have legal sports betting, and it's done through the lottery. How we do it has some issues of its own but it's better than nothing.

Submission + - Another $1 Million Crowdfunded Gadget Company Collapses (

An anonymous reader writes: In 2012, a company raised over a million dollars on Indiegogo to build a robotic dragonfly. It was originally supposed to be delivered in 2013. Unfortunately for backers, the company seems to be struggling to complete the project. They haven't been able to resolve issues with the drone falling apart after just a few seconds of flight. Unless they locate investors soon, they're going to run out of funds to continue work at full force. They're in the process of uploading all design work and their knowledge base, in case they have to officially cancel the project. They say some part-time work will continue as long as funds allow. The article warns, "This is just the latest example of how consumers need to be more careful with crowdfunding. There are no guarantees with crowdfunding and there is more risk involved than what’s advertised."

Submission + - EPO admits the Unitary Patent is all about software patents (

zoobab writes: The European Patent Office (EPO) has recognised that the Unitary Patent Court will provide harmonisation across Europe on the issue of software patents. In a conference in London held few days ago, EPO’s Grant Philpott said "The UPC (Unitary Patent Court) will provide strong harmonisation in ICT applications that will play a dominant role in patent world". A recent leak by also shows that the EPO has been prioritizing patent applications for a few large non-European companies, such as Microsoft or Huawei. The leaked document and webpage is now made inacessible and filtered from the internet access within the EPO premises.

Submission + - Charge Rage: Electric Cars Are Making People Meaner in California writes: Matt Richtel reports at the NY Times that the push to make the state greener with electric cars is have an unintended side effect: It is making some people meaner. The bad moods stem from the challenges drivers face finding recharging spots for their battery-powered cars. Unlike gas stations, charging stations are not yet in great supply, and that has led to sharp-elbowed competition. According to Richtel electric-vehicle owners are unplugging one another’s cars, trading insults, and creating black markets and side deals to trade spots in corporate parking lots. The too-few-outlets problem is a familiar one in crowded cafes and airports, where people want to charge their phones or laptops. But the need can be more acute with cars — will their owners have enough juice to make it home? — and manners often go out the window. "Cars are getting unplugged while they are actively charging, and that's a problem," says Peter Graf. "Employees are calling and messaging each other, saying, 'I see you're fully charged, can you please move your car?'"

The problem is that installation of electric vehicle charging ports at some companies has not kept pace with soaring demand, creating thorny etiquette issues in the workplace. German software company SAP installed 16 electric vehicle charging ports in 2010 at its Palo Alto campus for the handful of employees who owned electric vehicles. Now there are far more electric cars than chargers. Sixty-one of the roughly 1,800 employees on the campus now drive a plug-in vehicle, overwhelming the 16 available chargers. And as demand for chargers exceeds supply, a host of thorny etiquette issues have arisen, along with some rare but notorious incidents of "charge rage." Companies are finding that they need one charging port for every two of their employees' electric vehicles. "If you don't maintain a 2-to-1 ratio, you are dead," said ChargePoint CEO Pat Romano. "Having two chargers and 20 electric cars is worse than having no chargers and 20 electric cars. If you are going to do this, you have to be willing to continue to scale it."

Submission + - Untamed OpenBSD gets a pledge(2), hazing follows

ConstantineM writes: Two weeks after making a presentation on the new tame(2) in OpenBSD, Theo de Raadt has untamed the tame(), and declared it as the new pledge() system call instead.

The call bears system call number 108 , which has been the only unchanged part about it since its original introduction to syscalls.master some 3 months prior as sys_tame(int flags), having since hazed its way through multiple incarnations to arrive at the present and more modern-looking sys_pledge(const char *request, const char **paths).

What's it for? Pledge is OpenBSD's answer to capsicum(4) capabilities and libcapsicum from FreeBSD and seccomp(2) from Linux, but done the OpenBSD way — fewer knobs and easier IU for higher adoption. In his presentation, Theo proclaims that "tame() implementation is only 1200 lines of code", and programmes "can use it with 3-10 changes", and that some hundred ones have already been tamed with minimal effort (and are currently pledging).

Some examples include cat , mkdir and patch , which all require merely two lines of code each. The original idea for syscall 108 came from the recent file(1) rewrite, which originally required 300 lines of systrace code to sandbox, which can now be accomplished in merely 4 lines with pledge .

The interface has not been declared stable or cross-platform yet, but the mailing list posts and commits do show active adoption within OpenBSD.

Submission + - There is No .bro in Brotli: Google/Mozilla Engineers Nix File Type as Offensive 1

theodp writes: Several weeks ago, Google launched Brotli, a new open source compression algorithm for the web. Since then, controversy broke out over the choice of 'bro' as the content encoding type. "We are hoping to establish a file ending .bro for brotli compressed files, a command line tool 'bro' for compressing and uncompressing brotli files, and a accept/content encoding type 'bro'," explained Google software engineer Jyrki Alakuijala. "Can I talk you out of it?," replied Mozilla SW engineer Patrick McManus. "'bro' has a gender problem, even though the dual meaning is unintentional. It comes of[f] misogynistic and unprofessional due to the world it lives in." Despite some pushback from commenters, a GitHub commit made by Google's Zoltan Szabadka shows that there will be no '.bro' in Brotli. "I have asked a feminist friend from the North American culture-sphere, and she advised against bro," explained Alakuijala. "We have found a compromise that satisfies us, so we don't need to discuss this further. Even if we don't understand why people are upset from our cultural standpoint, they would be (unnecessarily) upset and this is enough reason not to use it."

The easiest way to figure the cost of living is to take your income and add ten percent.