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+ - Computer chess created in 487 bytes, breaks 32-year-old record->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The record for smallest computer implementation of chess on any platform was held by 1K ZX Chess, which saw a release back in 1983 for the Sinclair ZX81. It uses just 672 bytes of memory, and includes most chess rules as well as a computer component to play against.

The record held by 1K ZX Chess for the past 32 years has just been beaten this week by the demoscene group Red Sector Inc. They have implemented a fully-playable version of chess called BootChess in just 487 bytes."

Link to Original Source

+ - FCC calls blocking of personal Wi-Fi hotspots "disturbing trend"->

Submitted by alphadogg
alphadogg (971356) writes "The FCC on Tuesday warned http://transition.fcc.gov/Dail... that it will no longer tolerate hotels, convention centers or others intentionally interfering with personal Wi-Fi hotspots. This issue grabbed headlines last fall when Marriott International was fined $600K for blocking customer Wi-Fi hotspots, presumably to encourage the guests to pay for pricey Internet access from the hotel."
Link to Original Source

+ - The iPad Is 5 Years Old This Week But You Still Don't Need One

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "Will Oremus writes at Future Tense that five years ago Steve Jobs introduced the iPad and insisted that it would do several things better than either a laptop or a smartphone: browse the web, send email, watch videos, enjoy your music collection, play games, read ebooks. By most standards, the iPad has been a success, and the tablet has indeed emerged as a third category of computing device but there's another way of looking at the iPad. According to Oremus, Jobs was right to leave out the productivity features and go big on the simple tactile pleasure of holding the Internet in your hands. But for all its popularity and appeal, the iPad never has quite cleared the bar Jobs set for it, which was to be “far better” at some key tasks than a laptop or a smartphone. The iPad may have been "far better" when it was first released but smartphones have come a long way. The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus and their Android equivalents are now convenient enough for most mobile computing tasks that there’s no need to carry around a tablet as well. That helps explain why iPad sales have plateaued, rather than continuing to ascend to the stratospheric levels of the iPhone. "The iPad remains an impressive machine. But it also remains a luxury item rather than a necessity," concludes Oremus. "Again, by most standards, it is a major success. Just not by the high standards that Jobs himself set for it five years ago.""

+ - 'Super-secure' BlackPhone pwned by super-silly txt msg bug->

Submitted by mask.of.sanity
mask.of.sanity (1228908) writes "The maker of BlackPhone – a mobile marketed as offering unusually high levels of security – has patched a critical vulnerability that allows hackers to run malicious code on the handsets. Attackers need little more than a phone number to send a message that can compromise the devices via the Silent Text application.

The impact of the flaw is troubling because BlackPhone attracts what hackers see as high-value victims: those willing to invest AU$765 (£415, $630) in a phone that claims to put security above form and features may well have valuable calls and texts to hide from eavesdroppers."

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+ - How can I help a 14yo learn to program?

Submitted by WyzrdX
WyzrdX (1390963) writes "My son is 14 and loves using Mac's and Linux. He wants to learn to code so he can write programs for the Mac and dabble in linux programming. (He despises Windows)

My question for Slashdot is;
How can I my son to start learning some of the currently used languages that would be geared toward kids? And is C++ still viable to learn for someone who wont even be in college for another 4 years?"

Comment: The most important prerequisite (Score 3, Insightful) 159

by Taco Cowboy (#48919985) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Makes a Great Software Developer?

Whether or not it is called "Software Development" or "Software Engineering" or "Coding" or whatever the newest trendy iteration, they all boil down to identifying the need and/or problem and then SOLVE IT

From the primitive but extra-ordinarily crucial computer systems that ran the Apollo space program to Lotus 1-2-3 to Linux, all they did was the same --- they identified what is needed and then providing solution to get the problems licked

+ - Yikes! Nomadix is Suing My Company for Using a Captive Portal, Seriously!->

Submitted by ldickens
ldickens (3995491) writes "I hope you can help us, and we’re willing to pay a bounty for a silver bullet. This isn’t the first time Nomadix and Acacia have tried to sue hotspot operators for captive portal patents they hold from the late 1999’s. Scanning old articles from this forum, and others, we learned that in 2004 Acacia launched a broad-based assault on hotspot providers to hotels and coffee shops for redirecting to a captive portal. Nomadix (owned by NTT Docomo) also began suing companies in 2005 using different patents directress to the same basic concept. Many within the SlashDot community responded then, some posting righteous outrage, noting knowledge of prior use of this very technology. Now, in 2015, Nomadix is at it again, suing my company, Blueprint RF – a hotel hotspot provider.

So we’re now asking this community to support our defense by providing any information you may have to lend. We need clear published references or documented prior use dating back at least to 1998 and preferably 1997 or earlier showing automatic browser redirection to a login server. We’ll give $1,500 to anyone who produces evidence, that we are not already aware of, that helps us invalidate any of the patents at issue. Please send your questions or submittals to me at priorart@blueprintrf.com

The technology in question is TCP transparent proxy, 'ipfw fwd 127.0.0.1' in FreeBSD, combined with an HTTP 303 redirect message in order to send them to a page that they did not initially request. In our case, this is typically the login page you encounter at hotels. Here are links to the patents in question:
        http://www.google.com/patents/...
        http://www.google.com/patents/...
        http://www.google.com/patents/...
        http://www.google.com/patents/...
        http://www.google.com/patents/...

Please understand that we respect the patent system and legitimate innovation. But we do not want to be held to pay for using technology that was in use before the patents at issue, which we believe to be the case here. Thank you so much for considering our plight and any information that you can provide."

Link to Original Source

+ - Potential epidemic of autism, said MIT scholar->

Submitted by Taco Cowboy
Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "Dr. Stephanie Seneff, senior scientist at MIT has declared that we are facing an epidemic of autism that may result in one half of all children being affected by autism in ten years

Dr. Stephanie Seneff, who made these remarks during a panel presentation in Groton, MA last week, specifically cites the Monsanto herbicide, Roundup, as the culprit for the escalating incidence of autism and other neurological disorders

Roundup, which was introduced in the 1970’s, contains the chemical Glyphosate , which is the focal point for Seneff’s concerns

Roundup was originally restricted to use on weeds, as glyphosate kills plants. However, Roundup is now in regular use with crops. With the coming of GMO’s, plants such as soy and corn were bioengineered to tolerate glyphosate, and its use dramatically increased. From 2001 to 2007, glyphosate use doubled, reaching 180 to 185 million pounds in the U.S. alone in 2007

Even if you don’t consume corn- on- the -cob or toasted soybeans, you are still hardly exempted from the potential affects of consuming glyphosate. Wheat is now sprayed with Roundup right before it is harvested, making any consumption of non- organic wheat bread a sure source for the chemical. In addition, any products containing corn syrup, such as soft drinks, are also carrying a payload of glyphosate

According to studies cited by Seneff, glyphosate engages “gut bacteria” in a process known as the Shikimate pathway. This enables the chemical to interfere with the biochemistry of bacteria in our GI tract, resulting in the depletion of essential amino acids

Monsanto has maintained that glyphosate is safe for human consumption, as humans do not have the Shikimate pathway. Bacteria, however, does—including the flora that constitutes “gut bacteria"

It is this ability to affect gut bacteria that Seneff claims is the link which allows the chemical to get on board and wreak further damage. The connection between intestinal flora and neurological functioning is an ongoing topic of research. According to a number of studies, glyphosate depletes the amino acids tyrosine, tryptophan, and phenylalanine, which can then contribute to obesity, depression, autism, inflammatory bowel disease, Alzheimer and Parkinson

Whatever may driving the autistic/Alzheimer’s diesel train, one thing is for certain: the spectre of half of our children coming into the world with significant brain damage constitutes a massive and undeniable wound to humanity. The rate of autism has skyrocketed from roughly one in every two thousand in the 1970’s to the current rate of one in every sixty eight. Alzheimer’s has become almost universal in the elderly"

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+ - DEA Cameras Tracking Hundreds of Millions of Car Journeys Across the US->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett (1594911) writes "A U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration program set up in 2008 to keep tabs on cars close to the U.S.-Mexican border has been gradually expanded nationwide and is regularly used by other law enforcement agencies in their hunt for suspects. The extent of the system, which is said to contain hundreds of millions of records on motorists and their journeys, was disclosed in documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union as part of a Freedom of Information Act request."
Link to Original Source

+ - CIA source of NY Times reporter James Risen convicted on circumstial evidence-> 2

Submitted by webanish
webanish (1045264) writes "The New York Times reports:

Jeffrey A. Sterling, a former Central Intelligence Agency officer, was convicted of espionage Monday on charges that he told a reporter for The New York Times about a secret operation to disrupt Iran’s nuclear program.

The case revolved around a C.I.A. operation in which a former Russian scientist provided Iran with intentionally flawed nuclear component schematics. Mr. Risen revealed the operation in his 2006 book, “State of War,” describing it as a mismanaged, potentially reckless mission that may have inadvertently aided the Iranian nuclear program.

While this comes as no surprise given the Obama administration's record on going after whistleblowers releasing secrets in public interest, the ramifications of these building cases could be twofold.

  • Legitimate issues which should be discussed in public are withheld out of fear
  • Leakers might not always act so benevolently to go to reputed press institutions

To an outsider, it seems there is widespread support for Snowden and responsible whistleblowing laws. Why is there no momentum for this in the government?"
Link to Original Source

+ - EFF Unveils Plan For Ending Mass Surveillance-> 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The Electronic Frontier Foundation has published a detailed, global strategy for ridding ourselves of mass surveillance. They stress that this must be an international effort — while citizens of many countries can vote against politicians who support surveillance, there are also many countries where the citizens have to resort to other methods. The central part of the EFF's plan is: encryption, encryption, encryption. They say we need to build new secure communications tools, pressure existing tech companies to make their products secure against everyone, and get ordinary internet-goers to recognize that encryption is a fundamental part of communication in the surveillance age. They also advocate fighting for transparency and against overreach on a national level. "[T]he more people worldwide understand the threat and the more they understand how to protect themselves—and just as importantly, what they should expect in the way of support from companies and governments—the more we can agitate for the changes we need online to fend off the dragnet collection of data." The EFF references a document created to apply the principles of human rights to communications surveillance, which they say are "our way of making sure that the global norm for human rights in the context of communication surveillance isn't the warped viewpoint of NSA and its four closest allies, but that of 50 years of human rights standards showing mass surveillance to be unnecessary and disproportionate.""
Link to Original Source

+ - As real Flash patches go out, fake ones hit thousands of Facebook users->

Submitted by River Tam
River Tam (3926677) writes "On the heels of two real Flash Player security updates being distributed by Adobe Systems this week, hackers are spreading a fake update for the media player via a scam on Facebook that has exposed at least 5,000 users to the threat.

Fake Flash Player update through a three-day Facebook scam beginning Friday. The hackers are targeting the social network’s users by tagging would-be victims in photos that purport to be racy videos."

Link to Original Source

+ - Verizon, Cable Lobby Oppose Higher Broadband Definition

Submitted by WheezyJoe
WheezyJoe (1168567) writes "Responding to the FCC's proposal to raise the definition of broadband from 4Mbps downstream and 1Mbps upstream to 25Mbps down and 3Mbps up, the lobby group known as the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) wrote in an FCC filing Thursday that 25Mbps/3Mbps isn't necessary for ordinary people. The lobby alleges that hypothetical use cases offered for showing the need for 25Mbps/3Mbps "dramatically exaggerate the amount of bandwidth needed by the typical broadband user", referring to parties in favor of the increase like Netflix and Public Knowledge.

Verizon, for its part, is also lobbying against a faster broadband definition. Much of its territory is still stuck on DSL which is far less capable of 25Mbps/3Mbps speeds than cable technology.

The FCC presently defines broadband as 4Mbps down and 1Mbps up, a definition that hasn't changed since 2010. By comparison, people in Sweden can pay about $40 a month for 100/100 mbps, choosing between more than a dozen competing providers. The FCC is under mandate to determine whether broadband is being deployed to Americans in a reasonable and timely way, and the commission must take action to accelerate deployment if the answer is negative. Raising the definition's speeds provides more impetus to take actions that promote competition and remove barriers to investment, such as a potential move to preempt state laws that restrict municipal broadband projects."

"If you want to eat hippopatomus, you've got to pay the freight." -- attributed to an IBM guy, about why IBM software uses so much memory

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