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Comment: Yes and no. (Score 1) 292

by ResidentSourcerer (#42889711) Attached to: Is the Concept of 'Cyberspace' Stupid?

If you think of it as being another physical location, then yes it's stupid. If you think of it as having a level of reality that can be mapped into a visual metaphor where in your metaphor you can hurl a ball of fire at a server and destory the server, then yes, it's stupid.

But viewing it as a set of constraints in a parallel universe makes sense.

E.g. On Planet Earth we have a distance function. Give me two locations, and I can tell you the great circle distance between them. A different distance function will give you one of several highway routes beween them.

In Cyber earth there is also a distance function. Generally called ''latency' Physically I live 50 miles from the University of Alberta. But the U of A is 750 ms from me. My local library, 10 km from here is only 35 ms from the U of A.

So Cyber Earth has a very different 'geography' Places that have much longer latency can be visualized as being on high mountain tops. Cyber Earth looks much like a spiny sea urchin with most of the space being very high 700 ms plateaus on a 40 ms diameter sphere.

There are entire transactions that can take place digitally e.g. you buy a digital song with digital representations of cash. Similarly the people I know as online personalities that I've neer meant. In that sense, cyber space is reality.

Also, that bits can move across borders mostly without impediment, creating confusion about jurisdiction when a crime has been committed, that lends some sense of reality to cyber space. (Dammit, it didn't happen here. I happened in Cyberspace)

Comment: There's always Mac Book... (Score 1) 570

by ResidentSourcerer (#42889397) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Buying a Laptop That Doesn't Have Windows 8

Seriously. Macs are pricey, but are pretty solid hardware. At that point you can:
* run MacOS X
* run VirtualBox or Parallels, then inside that run your choise of windows operating systems.

(Recently I have hada to do this in order to run MS Access. So I've got Snow Leopard -> Virtual Box -> Windows XP -> Access.

Actually runs better than when I had a single purpose win xp box 8 years ago to do the same thing.

Comment: That depends. (Score 1) 736

by ResidentSourcerer (#42889293) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Why Is It So Hard To Make An Accurate Progress Bar?

Getting it right all the time is impossible. Getting it right 80% of the time should be easy. Much of the problem is due to bad assumptions about 'progress' E.g. The classic windows file copying progress bar. I think it works on the basis of the number of files. The estimation doesn't take into account the size of the files, or the depth of the directory tree, or how busy the disk subsystem is.

What *should* happen:
* A better estimation algolrithm taking into account the 4-5 leading factors.
* Smart modification of that estimate based on a weighted average of the progress to date.

Sure it's not going to take into account the 'getting hit by a bus' scenario mentioned in another response. But it should be able to make better and better estimates for MOST of the circumstances.

In addtion, if the program is smart, and sees random events interfering with the progress, it could express a range.

+ - Forum AND email list manager in one package? 1

Submitted by
ResidentSourcerer
ResidentSourcerer writes "I like forums. You can have good partitioning of sub topics. Conversations can span months as different people discover a thread. Threading works nicely.

I like email lists. I don't have to remember to log in, new stuff just shows up if I've subscribed to it.

I'm looking for a package that does BOTH. A forum package that also:
* Users can subscribe by sub-forum.
* Users can reply to a post by email.
* Users can start a new thread by email.

In addition: Individual posts should support the display of entire range of static html & css, including divs."
Android

+ - Oracle to Open Source iOS, Android Ports of JavaFX->

Submitted by hypnosec
hypnosec (2231454) writes "Oracle is going to open source JavaFX ports for Android and iOS soon as a part of its efforts to open source the framework. JavaFX, destined to replace Swing GUI library as the default method to develop graphical user interfaces, is a framework used to develop cross-platform rich internet applications (RIAs). The ports for iOS and Android are based on an “unreleased version of JavaSE Embedded for iOS/Android". Oracle’s Richard Bair revealed that the "first bits and pieces" for JavaFX for iOS should probably be out sometime next week. The rest of the release will be scheduled along with the release of prism. Oracle is going to leave javafx-font as closed source but, Bair has said that developers are already working towards an open source native replacement of the component through the OpenJFX list."
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Security

+ - ATM Skimming Ring Compromised 6,000 Bank Accounts->

Submitted by
Orome1
Orome1 writes "U.S. federal authorities have announced the filing of an indictment against two alleged leaders of an international scheme to steal customer bank account information using “skimming” technology that secretly recorded the data of customers who used ATMs at banks in New York, New Jersey, Illinois, and Wisconsin. The ring targeted J.P. Morgan Chase (“Chase”), and Capital One, N.A. banks. Throughout the course of the scheme, they engaged in over 50 skimming incidents that resulted in the compromise of over approximately 6,000 individual bank accounts, from which the defendants made and attempted to make over approximately $3 million in unauthorized withdrawals."
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Apple

+ - New Zealand frontline police get Apple iDevices->

Submitted by mask.of.sanity
mask.of.sanity (1228908) writes "Thousands of New Zealand frontline police will be armed with smartphones and tablets from this year in an efficiency initiative that the force hopes will save millions of dollars.

NZ Police say the devices are Apple iPhones and iPads.

These will be password protected and can be wiped remotely if lost. Police declined to say if the devices and their communications will be encrypted."

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Security

+ - New Adobe Reader zero day used in phishing attacks-> 1

Submitted by mask.of.sanity
mask.of.sanity (1228908) writes "Zero day holes found in Adobe Reader are being exploited by attackers in phishing campaigns.

The attack drops two dll files: One opens a PDF to distract users while the other opens a backdoor.

Adobe confirmed the latest versions of Reader and Acrobat (10.1.5, and 11.0.1) are affected."

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Government

+ - Obama Signs Executive Order on Cybersecurity->

Submitted by wiredmikey
wiredmikey (1824622) writes "President Barack Obama signed an executive order on Tuesday designed to better protect critical infrastructure from computer hackers.

Obama, in his annual State of the Union speech to a joint session of the US Congress, said his executive order would "strengthen our cyber defenses by increasing information sharing, and developing standards to protect our national security, our jobs and our privacy." The president also urged Congress to pass legislation "to give our government a greater capacity to secure our networks and deter attacks." The executive order (PDF) calls for voluntary reporting of threats to US infrastructure, such as power grids, pipelines and water systems. The directive, which follows two failed attempts in Congress to pass cybersecurity legislation, allows the government to lead an information-sharing network but stops short of making mandatory the reporting of cyber threats.

House Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul said he was "concerned that the order could open the door to increased regulations that would stifle innovation, burden businesses and fail to keep pace with evolving cyber threats."

Leslie Harris of the Center for Democracy & Technology welcomed the directive, arguing it "says that privacy must be built into the government's cybersecurity plans and activities, not as an afterthought but rather as part of the design."

White House officials noted that the measure would not apply to consumer-based services or information systems that do not meet the standard of "critical infrastructure." But the director of George Mason University's Technology Policy Program Jerry Brito said in a tweet that "top-down regulation is the last thing that will improve cybersecurity.""

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United Kingdom

+ - Britain Could Switch Off Airport Radar And Release Spectrum->

Submitted by
judgecorp
judgecorp writes "Britain is considering switching off air traffic control radar systems and using "passive radar" instead. A two year feasibility study will consider using a network of ground stations which monitor broadcast TV signals and measure echoes from aircraft to determine their location and velocity. The system is not a new idea — early radar experiments used BBC shortwave transmitters as a signal source before antenna technology produced a transceiver suitable for radar — but could now be better than conventional radar thanks to new antenna designs and signal processing techniques. It will also save money and energy by eliminating transmitters — and release spectrum for 5G services."
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Software

+ - Retail copies of Office 2013 are tied to a single computer forever -> 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "With the launch of Office 2013 Microsoft has seen fit to upgrade the terms of the license agreement, and it’s not in favor of the end user. It seems installing a copy of the latest version of Microsoft’s Office suite of apps ties it to a single machine. For life.

On previous versions of Office it was a different story. The suite was associated with a “Licensed Device” and could only be used on a single device. But there was nothing to stop you uninstalling Office and installing it on another machine perfectly legally. With that option removed, Office 2013 effectively becomes a much more expensive proposition for many."

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Software

+ - Ancient Languages Reconstructed by Computers->

Submitted by
halls-of-valhalla
halls-of-valhalla writes "Researchers have developed a new software which can be used to reconstruct dead, ancient languages using probabilistic models of sound change.

This new software was tested by taking 637 Austronesian languages currently spoken in Asia and the Pacific, and attempting to reconstruct the ancient languages they're based on. The system was found to have provided a relatively accurate, large-scale automatic reconstruction of the protolanguages. A language believed to be roughtly seven thousand years old was reconstructed using a database of 142,000 words.

When compared to the results of linguists specializing in Austronesian languages, more 85% of the system's reconstructions were found to be within one character of the manual reconstruction. These are very promising results, however a linguist is still able to produce a higher accuracy, so this will be likely to become a tool used by linguists rather than a replacement for them."

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+ - Obama Administration Asks Supreme Court To Not Hear Jammie Thomas Case->

Submitted by Jane Q. Public
Jane Q. Public (1010737) writes "The Jammie Thomas-Rasset case has been in the news for years now. As of the last court ruling, she has been ordered to pay $222,000 for sharing 24 songs. Her attorney argues that you can buy the same songs on iTunes for $24, and imposing a penalty of almost 10,000 times as much is "excessive and oppressive". The case has been appealed to the Supreme Court.

The Obama Administration has asked the Supreme Court to not review the case. Is this another example of this administration pandering to the copyright tro... I mean corporations, rather than The People they are supposed to represent?"

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Security

+ - How Lockheed Martin's 'Kill Chain' Stopped SecurID Attack->

Submitted by
CowboyRobot
CowboyRobot writes "A few months after RSA's SecurID database was hacked, defense contractor Lockheed Martin discovered an intruder using valid credentials of one of their business partners, including the user's SecurID token. But the user soon began tripping alarms, including pulling data in stages and trying to access unrelated data. So Lockheed launched its homegrown Cyber Kill Chain framework, which tracks an intruder's movements and blocks each attempt to siphon data. But the Cyber Kill Chain framework isn't for everyone, according to Steve Adegbite, director of cybersecurity for Lockheed Martin, "We have a multimillion-dollar investment in this technology." And that only makes sense for organizations at risk for advanced persistent threat attacks."
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Earth

+ - Obama Proposes 'Meaningful Action' on Climate Change->

Submitted by
astroengine
astroengine writes "President Barack Obama called for "meaningful progress" on tackling climate change in his State of the Union speech in Washington, DC on Tuesday night. While acknowledging that "no single event makes a trend," the President noted that the United States had been buffeted by extreme weather events that in many cases encapsulated the predictions of climate scientists. "But the fact is, the 12 hottest years on record have all come in the last 15. Heat waves, droughts, wildfires, and floods — all are now more frequent and intense. We can choose to believe that Superstorm Sandy, and the most severe drought in decades, and the worst wildfires some states have ever seen were all just a freak coincidence. Or we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science — and act before it’s too late," Obama added."
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