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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).


+ - Bidding war between networks, sports leagues will increase price of cable TV->

Submitted by Trachman
Trachman (3499895) writes "It appears that the cable tv bill is guaranteed to be a victim of inflation. According to the Washington Post article, ESPN and TNT have signed a new $2.6 billion annual contract to carry National Basketball Association games. All of it will have to be paid by cable subscribers. Let's do a simple math here: let's assume there is a 100 Million households in USA who have cable service, which amounts to $260 of costs, per year, attributable to each subscriber, or approx $22 per month. Of course, some of the expenses are reimbursed by advertisers, but the amount is staggering.

The word is that such a record amount will increase monthly bill? Or perhaps more people will be encourage to disconnect "zombie box""

Link to Original Source

+ - White House Deputizes Zuck's Tech Billionaire PAC to Implement Executive Action

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes "On Friday, the White House announced steps it would be taking to implement the President's Executive action on immigration in cities across the country, which includes turning to Mark Zuckerberg's tech billionaire-backed PAC to help the nation's mayors get it done. "Cities have taken significant steps to defend and prepare for the implementation of the President's executive actions on immigration," reads the White House Fact Sheet, "which will strengthen border security, hold potentially millions of undocumented immigrants accountable, and boost wages and our economy. Cities United for Immigration Action (CUIA) and Cities for Citizenship are two initiatives helping to organize mayors to partner with business, faith, and law enforcement officials; and host information sessions. Over the next few weeks, in partnership with the National Immigration Forum,, and CUIA, mayors will host over 14 informational sessions in cities across the country including Phoenix, AZ, Boston, MA and Austin, TX." The White House announcement comes just days after Senator Jeff Sessions, who blasted "Master of the Universe" Zuckerberg over immigration last fall, was named to Chair the Senate Panel on Immigration."

+ - NSA Wrong, John McAfee Knows Who Hacked Sony->

Submitted by GregTheFiddler
GregTheFiddler (3984987) writes "NSA Renews Finger Pointing at N. Korea in Sony Hack, Anti-Virus Pioneer John McAfee Disagrees

I have had my doubts from the very beginning. Ever since the U.S. Government first indicated on December 17, 2014 that North Korea was “centrally involved” in the cyber-attack on Sony, I’ve had this unshakeable feeling that there was more to it than met the eye. Even after the NSA recently renewed their accusations, claiming to have implanted software inside North Korea’s internet in 2010 which allowed them to spy on the isolated nation’s online activity, there are plenty of reasons to have doubt. [Read Blog Post]"

Link to Original Source

+ - Fox News Apologizes for False Claims of Muslim-Only Areas in England and France-> 1

Submitted by operator_error
operator_error (1363139) writes "Fox News issued an unusual on-air apology on Saturday night for having allowed its anchors and guests to repeat the false claim for a week, that there are Muslim-only “no-go zones” in European countries like England and France that are not under the control of the state and are ruled according to Shariah law.

Fox Report host Julie Banderas, said that “over the course of this last week, we have made some regrettable errors on air regarding the Muslim population in Europe, particularly with regard to England and France.”

“Now this applies especially to discussions of so-called no-go zones, areas where non-Muslims allegedly are not allowed in and police supposedly won’t go,” Ms. Banderas continued. “To be clear, there is no formal designation of these zones in either country and no credible information to support the assertion that there are specific areas in these countries that exclude individuals based solely on their religion.”

The claim that such areas existed attracted widespread attention, and a wave of online derision.""

Link to Original Source

+ - Questions Raised About Apple Software Quality 2

Submitted by (3830033) writes "Jean-Louis Gassée writes in Monday Note that the painful gestation of OS X 10.10 (Yosemite) with its damaged iWork apps, the chaotic iOS 8 launch, iCloud glitches, and the trouble with Continuity, have raised concerns about the quality of Apple software. “It Just Works”, the company’s pleasant-sounding motto, has became an easy target, giving rise to jibes of “it just needs more work”. "I suspect the rapid decline of Apple’s software is a sign that marketing is too high a priority at Apple today," writes Marco Arment. "having major new releases every year is clearly impossible for the engineering teams to keep up with while maintaining quality." Many issues revolve around the general reliability of OS X. "With Yosemite, I typically have to reboot my laptop at least once a day, and my desktop every few days of use," writes Glenn Fleishman. "The point of owning a Mac is to not have to reboot it regularly. There have been times in the past between OS X updates where I've gone weeks to months without a restart." I know what I hope for concludes Gassée. "I don’t expect perfection, I’ve lived inside several sausage factories and remember the smell. If Apple were to spend a year concentrating on solid fixes rather than releasing software that’s pushed out to fit a hardware schedule, that would show an ascent rather than a slide.""

Comment: Re:"Thousands of bookmarks"? Why? (Score 1) 117

by SpzToid (#48849199) Attached to: With Community Help, Chrome Could Support Side Tabs Extension

No, I'm not doing it wrong. For example, I see tech-notes and answers all the time on, so I bookmark and tag them for future reference, so I CAN forget about them. Other forums too, since I am a developer. These add up and can overwhelm quickly otherwise, and become un-useable. Tag Sieve plus the native tools for sorting bookmarks in FireFox make my clippings very manageable and useful.

FWIW, Scrapbook is a FireFox extension that saves selected HTML from a web page to my local disk. These local pages can be re-ordered, or prioritized even. This is very useful when I'm concerned the page's content might disappear in the future. A useful research tool!

Comment: What about faceted tag clouds for bookmarks? (Score 1) 117

by SpzToid (#48848667) Attached to: With Community Help, Chrome Could Support Side Tabs Extension

How do you folks deal with thousands of bookmarks? You do tag them right? Firefox's tagging facility has been able to do this for awhile, but then how does that reduce the sheer quantity, to something user-friendly? There's a decent but semi-broken extension for this also, called Tag Sieve. There's also been a feature request made to build it into FireFox native, and I hope the original developer gets the job. In the meantime, having read the user-comments, I've made the extension work, and it is wonderful. Highly recommended.

+ - Facebook hiring spree hints at ambitions->

Submitted by SpzToid
SpzToid (869795) writes "The Internet social networking company aims to add nearly 1,200 new employees, the outgrowth of aggressive investments that executives have said will define the coming year.

Besides Oculus Rift, Facebook’s ambitious effort to build its own satellites and drones capable of delivering Internet service to remote regions of the world is another important area for hiring: the program has Facebook searching for specialists in areas such as avionics, radio frequency communications and thermal engineering.

Facebook gets more out of each employee, according to calculations using company revenue figures. Facebook’s revenue works out to roughly $384,000 per employee in the third quarter of 2014, versus $300,000 for Google and $183,000 for Microsoft.

That efficiency has helped Facebook enjoy rich profit margins. And the company's relatively small headcount provides an important talking point in the battle to attract the most talented computer programmers."

Link to Original Source

+ - Republican Bill Aims to Thwart The FCC's leaning towards Title II

Submitted by SpzToid
SpzToid (869795) writes "U.S. congressional Republicans on Friday proposed legislation that would set "net neutrality" rules for broadband providers, aiming to head off tougher regulations backed by the Obama administration.

Republican lawmakers hope to counter the Federal Communications Commission's vote on Feb. 26 for rules that are expected to follow the legal path endorsed by President Barack Obama, which Internet service providers (ISPs) and Republicans say would unnecessarily burden the industry with regulation.

Net neutrality activists, now with Obama's backing, have advocated for regulation of ISPs under a section of communications law known as Title II, which would treat them more like public utilities.

The White House on Thursday said legislation was not necessary to settle so-called "net neutrality" rules because the Federal Communications Commission had the authority to write them."

+ - Climate Change, the Fermi Paradox, and the Fate Of Our Planet

Submitted by (3830033) writes "Astrophysicist Adam Frank has an interesting article in the NYT postulating one answer to the Fermi paradox — that human evolution into a globe-spanning industrial culture is forcing us through the narrow bottleneck of a sustainability crisis and that climate change is fate and nothing we do today matters because civilization inevitably leads to catastrophic planetary changes. According to Frank, our current sustainability crisis may be neither politically contingent nor unique, but a natural consequence of laws governing how planets and life of any kind, anywhere, must interact. Some excerpts:

The defining feature of a technological civilization is the capacity to intensively “harvest” energy. But the basic physics of energy, heat and work known as thermodynamics tell us that waste, or what we physicists call entropy, must be generated and dumped back into the environment in the process. Human civilization currently harvests around 100 billion megawatt hours of energy each year and dumps 36 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the planetary system, which is why the atmosphere is holding more heat and the oceans are acidifying.

All forms of intensive energy-harvesting will have feedbacks, even if some are more powerful than others. A study by scientists at the Max Planck Institute in Jena, Germany, found that extracting energy from wind power on a huge scale can cause its own global climate consequences. When it comes to building world-girdling civilizations, there are no planetary free lunches.

By studying these nearby planets, we’ve discovered general rules for both climate and climate change (PDF). These rules, based in physics and chemistry, must apply to any species, anywhere, taking up energy-harvesting and civilization-building in a big way. For example, any species climbing up the technological ladder by harvesting energy through combustion must alter the chemical makeup of its atmosphere to some degree. Combustion always produces chemical byproducts, and those byproducts can’t just disappear.

As we describe in a recent paper, using what’s already known about planets and life, it is now possible to create a broad program for modeling co-evolving “trajectories” for technological species and their planets. Depending on initial conditions and choices made by the species (such as the mode of energy harvesting), some trajectories will lead to an unrecoverable sustainability crisis and eventual population collapse. Others, however, may lead to long-lived, sustainable civilizations.


+ - If the Programmer Won't Go To Mountain Valley, Should MV Go To the Programmer?

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes ""If 95% of great programmers aren’t in the US," Matt Mullenweg advises in How Paul Graham Is Wrong (a rejoinder to Graham's Let the Other 95% of Great Programmers In), "and an even higher percentage not in the Bay Area, set up your company to take advantage of that fact as a strength, not a weakness. Use WordPress and P2, use Slack, use G+ Hangouts, use Skype, use any of the amazing technology that allows us to collaborate as effectively online as previous generations of company did offline. Let people live someplace remarkable instead of paying $2,800 a month for a mediocre one bedroom rental in San Francisco. Or don’t, and let companies like Automattic and Github hire the best and brightest and let them live and work wherever they like." Microsoft and Google — which hawk the very tools to facilitate remote work that Mullenweg cites — have shuttered remote offices filled with top talent even as they cry the talent sky is falling. So, is "being stubborn on keeping a company culture that requires people to be physically co-located," as Mullenweg puts it, a big part of tech's 'talent shortage' problem?"

Comment: Re:That is not doxing (Score 2) 171

by SpzToid (#48724185) Attached to: Doxing -- Something To Expect More of In 2015

Doxing is what has just happened to Sony Pictures & Entertainment big-time. Variety and The Hollywood Reporter have been reporting on email contents (as I understand the situation, but don't really know first-hand), and SPE have sent lawyers telling Variety, etc. those emails can't be published due to copyright ownership; which is another matter open to debate. We're talking emails between C-level types and million-dollar A-List Hollywood types. The Wikileaks of Hollywood if you will.

Twitter lawyers have even had to weigh in as has been reported in Slashdot (as I recall).

To make matters worse, while the Microsoft mail files were uploaded en masse to sites like Pastebin, all sytsems were wiped at SPE so all their records were lost. SPE has had to request 2nd-parties to photocopy their contracts so Sony could still retain a copy.

Here's how bad it's gotten. Sony's files have been wiped clean, and we're told the studio is now calling agents and lawyers who represent Sony big wigs, asking them to make copies of deals and proposed contracts that they can send back.

SPE got Doxed to the maximum extent possible.

What I'd like to know is how many companies STILL want to be a Microsoft Shop(tm), given recent events?

"Well, if you can't believe what you read in a comic book, what *can* you believe?!" -- Bullwinkle J. Moose