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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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Comment: Re:Yes, it's free. Also, the patent system sucks (Score 1) 197

Explicit language might modify what would otherwise be there only by an implicit doctrine.

In general, a licensor can modify their own terms. So, if you are using the GPL on software to which you hold the copyright, and you add some sort of exception, it applies. You can't do it to other people's software.

Comment: Some Premises Need to be Questioned (Score 3, Insightful) 233

by Bruce Perens (#49383785) Attached to: NSA Worried About Recruitment, Post-Snowden

I am still having a little trouble with "we don't need our spies to spy". Maybe we do.

I am also having trouble believing that the kind of encryption we use on the Internet actually stops the U.S. Government from finding out whatever it wishes although IETF and sysadmins might be kidding themselves that it can. Government can get to the end systems. They can subborn your staff. Etc.

+ - 1,000 year old eye salve recipe kills golden staph->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Scientist at the Univeristy of Nottingham use a recipe from an ancient medical text to successfully kill the golden staph bacteria. Bald's Leechbook calls for leeks, garlic, brass, wine and other ingredients to create an eye salve for curing an infected eyelash. The salve has been found to be effective in killing the superbug staphylococcus aureusat at least as well any modern remedy."
Link to Original Source

+ - SCOTUS: GPS Trackers Are a Form of Search and Seizure->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "If the government puts a GPS tracker on you, your car, or any of your personal effects, it counts as a search—and is therefore protected by the Fourth Amendment.

The Supreme Court clarified and affirmed that law on Monday, when it ruled on Torrey Dale Grady v. North Carolina, before sending the case back to that state’s high court. The Court’s short but unanimous opinions helps make sense of how the Fourth Amendment, which protects against unreasonable search and seizure, interacts with the expanding technological powers of the U.S. government.

The only theory we discern [...] is that the State’s system of nonconsensual satellite-based monitoring does not entail a search within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment. That theory is inconsistent with this Court’s precedents.

"

Link to Original Source

+ - Amazon tests delivery drones at secret Canada site after US frustration ->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Amazon is testing its drone delivery service at a secret site in Canada, following repeated warnings by the e-commerce giant that it would go outside the US to bypass what it sees as the US federal government’s lethargic approach to the new technology.

The largest internet retailer in the world is keeping the location of its new test site closely guarded. What can be revealed is that the company’s formidable team of roboticists, software engineers, aeronautics experts and pioneers in remote sensing – including a former Nasa astronaut and the designer of the wingtip of the Boeing 787 – are now operating in British Columbia.

The end goal is to utilise what Amazon sees as a slice of virgin airspace – above 200ft, where most buildings end, and below 500ft, where general aviation begins. Into that aerial slice the company plans to pour highly autonomous drones of less than 55lbs, flying through corridors 10 miles or longer at 50mph and carrying payloads of up to 5lbs that account for 86% of all the company’s packages."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re: It's stupid (Score 1) 197

Yes. The last stuff I wrote that I couldn't compile today was in "Promal" or "Paradox". My C and C++ code from 1980 still builds and runs.

All of my web development is on Ruby on Rails. That environment has had a lot of development and I've had to port to new versions. So old code for RoR would not quite run out of the box, but it's close.

IT

Ask Slashdot: Dealing With User Resignation From an IT Perspective? 269

Posted by timothy
from the here-is-your-read-only-cardboard-box dept.
New submitter recaptcha writes Today one of my fellow workers has announced he has found another job and will be leaving our company in two weeks' time. This is all above board and there is no disgruntled employee scenario here; he is simply working through his notice period and finishing up some jobs. I have already set some fileserver folders to Read-Only for him and taken a backup of his mailbox in case he empties it on the last day. Which best practices do you follow that will prevent a resigning user from causing any damage (deliberately or not) in these last days of employment before his account is disabled?

+ - User resignation from an IT perspective 1

Submitted by recaptcha
recaptcha (4064357) writes "Today one of my fellow workers has announced he has found another job and will be leaving our company in two weeks' time. This is all above board and there is no disgruntled employee scenario here; he is simply working through his notice period and finishing up some jobs. I have already set some fileserver folders to Read-Only for him and taken a backup of his mailbox in case he empties it on the last day. Which best practices do you follow that will prevent a resigning user from causing any damage (deliberately or not) in these last days of employment before his account is disabled?"
Microsoft

Microsoft Considered Giving Away Original Xbox 82

Posted by timothy
from the could've-been-a-cue-cat dept.
donniebaseball23 writes While the term 'Xbox' is firmly implanted in every gamer's mind today, when Microsoft first set out to launch a console in 2001, people weren't sure what to expect and Microsoft clearly wasn't sure what approach to take to the market. As Xbox co-creator Seamus Blackley explained, "In the early days of Xbox, especially before we had figured out how to get greenlit for the project as a pure game console, everybody and their brother who saw the new project starting tried to come in and say it should be free, say it should be forced to run Windows after some period of time." Blackley added that other ideas were pushed around at Microsoft too, like Microsoft should just gobble up Nintendo. "Just name it, name a bad idea and it was something we had to deal with," he said.

+ - Amazon's New Dash Button Hardware Offers Instant Orders For Products-> 1

Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp (3454017) writes "Amazon has new hardware called the Dash Button that allows one-press ordering of products you’re likely to want to replace on a regular basis. The Dash Button comes in a number of different branded versions based on what it’s coded to order, and includes an adhesive backing and hook holster to let you stick it where it’s most convenient.

The Dash Button is a natural extension of Amazon’s one-click ordering feature on the web, but turned into a hardware gadget that makes ordering laundry detergent, for instance, as easy as actually starting the wash cycle. Amazon clearly hopes that if you have a physical one-button device near the place where you actually consume these consumables, you’re more likely to have the presence of mind to order them via its service before you run out, when a trip to the corner store might prove more convenient even than home delivery.

You setup Amazon’s Dash Button using the Amazon mobile app, and then connecting to your Wi-Fi network to assign the product you want the Dash Button to order with a single press (limited by brands pictured on the hardware at launch, apparently). Once it’s configured, the button will automatically trigger an order to your default address using your default Amazon payment order, and you can cancel it via your phone should you have second thoughts. Amazon won’t trigger another order made via subsequent button presses until the first one is delivered, the company notes, unless you override that manually.

At launch, the eligible products for the Dash Button include things like toilet paper, cleaning products, juice, personal grooming products, dog food and much more."

Link to Original Source

+ - Microsoft considered giving away original Xbox

Submitted by donniebaseball23
donniebaseball23 (1888144) writes "While the term 'Xbox' is firmly implanted in every gamer's mind today, when Microsoft first set out to launch a console in 2001, people weren't sure what to expect and Microsoft clearly wasn't sure what approach to take to the market. As Xbox co-creator Seamus Blackley explained, "In the early days of Xbox, especially before we had figured out how to get greenlit for the project as a pure game console, everybody and their brother who saw the new project starting tried to come in and say it should be free, say it should be forced to run Windows after some period of time." Blackley added that other ideas were pushed around at Microsoft too, like Microsoft should just gobble up Nintendo. "Just name it, name a bad idea and it was something we had to deal with," he said."

+ - Kickstarter: Record Chopin on 1832 Pleyel under Creative Commons->

Submitted by rDouglass
rDouglass (1068738) writes "Frédéric Chopin's favorite piano was the Pleyel — it is the instrument he played and heard while composing his pieces. Unfortunately, finding Creative Commons photos, recordings, and video of Pleyel pianos is very difficult. Kimiko Ishizaka, the pianist behind the Open Goldberg Variations, is raising money via Kickstarter to record Chopin's 24 Préludes on an 1832 Pleyel piano with all of its original parts, and to release the recording, video, and photos with a Creative Commons license."
Link to Original Source
Education

Why America's Obsession With STEM Education Is Dangerous 366

Posted by timothy
from the fallacy-of-the-excluded-middle dept.
HughPickens.com writes According to an op-ed by Fareed Zakaria in the Washington Post, if Americans are united in any conviction these days, it is that we urgently need to shift the country's education toward the teaching of specific, technical skills, expand STEM courses (science, technology, engineering and math) and deemphasize the humanities. "It is the only way, we are told, to ensure that Americans survive in an age defined by technology and shaped by global competition. The stakes could not be higher." But according to Zakaria the dismissal of broad-based learning, however, comes from a fundamental misreading of the facts — and puts America on a dangerously narrow path for the future.

As Steve Jobs once explained "it's in Apple's DNA that technology alone is not enough — that it's technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the result that makes our hearts sing." Zakaria says that no matter how strong your math and science skills are, you still need to know how to learn, think and even write and cites Jeff Bezos' insistence that writing a memo that makes sense is an even more important skill to master. "Full sentences are harder to write," says Bezos. "They have verbs. The paragraphs have topic sentences. There is no way to write a six-page, narratively structured memo and not have clear thinking." "This doesn't in any way detract from the need for training in technology," concludes Zakaria, "but it does suggest that as we work with computers (which is really the future of all work), the most valuable skills will be the ones that are uniquely human, that computers cannot quite figure out — yet. And for those jobs, and that life, you could not do better than to follow your passion, engage with a breadth of material in both science and the humanities, and perhaps above all, study the human condition."

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