Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Businesses

The Tech Industry's Legacy: Creating Disposable Employees 263

Posted by Soulskill
from the train-your-replacement-to-train-your-replacement dept.
An anonymous reader writes: VentureBeat is running an indictment of the tech industry's penchant for laying off huge numbers of people, which they say is responsible for creating a culture of "disposable employees." According to recent reports, layoffs in the tech sector reached over 100,000 last year, the highest total since 2009. Of course, there are always reasons for layoffs: "Companies buy other companies and need to rationalize headcount. And there's all that disruption. Big companies, in particular, are seeing their business models challenged by startups, so they need to shed employees with skills they no longer need, and hire people with the right skills."

But the article argues that this is often just a smokescreen. "The notion here is that somehow these companies are backed into a corner, with no other option than to fire people. And that's just not true. These companies are making a choice. They're deciding that it's faster and cheaper to chuck people overboard and find new ones than it is to retrain them. The economics of cutting rather than training may seem simple, but it's a more complex calculation than most people believe. ... Many of these companies are churning through employees, laying off hundreds on one hand, while trying to hire hundreds more."

Comment: Re:32bit vs 64bit (Score 2) 156

by Dynamoo (#48863961) Attached to: Windows Server 2003 Reaches End of Life In July
Application compatibility in Windows 8.1 is pretty good (except for really ancient 16-bit apps).. but a server environment is different with products that are often much more complicated and with very difficult migration paths to a newer version. If one exists. Take for example database clusters with custom code written by people who no longer work for the organisation - migrating from those is extremely difficult.

But.. although it is a pain, but Microsoft's EOL was well-known many years in advance. People are moaning about the dropping of support, but it has been around for 12 years. For a migration path Windows 2012 R2 will be supported until 2023, Windows 2008 R2 until 2020

Comment: Remember Conficker? (Score 4, Insightful) 156

by Dynamoo (#48863851) Attached to: Windows Server 2003 Reaches End of Life In July
The problem isn't that Windows 2003 will stop working.. the problem is that it won't get patched. Now, servers are generally lower-risk than client PCs because they just tend to do a couple of things without users surfing for porn, reading email or downloading crap. And also the products *running* on those servers may well continue to get updates anyway.

But about once a year or so, there is a vulnerability in Windows that is exploitable over the network remotely without authentication, the sort of thing that Conficker used to spread on (i.e. MS08-067). Wormable vulnerabilities are the highest risk, and the time between the flaw being announced and an exploit being created can just be a matter of days.

So, eventually those Windows 2003 boxes are going to get pwned. It might be weeks or years after 2003 goes EOL, but eventually it will happen.

+ - Interior of burnt Herculaneum scroll read for first time 1

Submitted by Solandri
Solandri (704621) writes "When Mt. Vesuvius erupted in A.D. 79, it destroyed a library of classical works in Herculaneum. The papyrus scrolls weren't incinerated, but were instead carbonized by the hot gases. The resulting black carbon cylinders have mostly withstood attempts to read their contents since their discovery. Earlier attempts to unfurl the scrolls yielded some readable material, but were judged too destructive. Researchers decided to wait for newer technology to be invented that could read the scrolls without unrolling them.

Now, a team led by Dr Vito Mocella from the National Research Council's Institute for Microelectronics and Microsystems (CNR-IMM) in Naples, Italy has managed to read individual letters inside one of the scrolls. Using a form of x-ray phase contrast tomography, they were able to ascertain the height difference (about 0.1mm) between the ink of the letters and the papyrus fibers which they sat upon. Due to the fibrous nature of the papyrus and the carbon-based ink, regular spectral and chemical analysis had thus far been unable to distinguish the ink from the paper. Further complicating the work, the scrolls are not in neat cylinders, but squashed and ruffled as the hot gases vaporized water in the papyrus and distorted the paper.

Full paper in Nature Communications (paywalled)."

Comment: It doesn't matter how secure the password is.. (Score 1) 197

by Dynamoo (#48859225) Attached to: The Most Popular Passwords Are Still "123456" and "password"
It doesn't matter how secure the password is, if a site or service gets compromised then it is highly likely that the password will get revealed. What makes a difference in those cases is how well encrytped or hidden the password is, and how determined the attacker is. Attackers can use precomputed tables made up of all sorts of phrases, letters, numbers etc which will get a handle on even very secure passwords.

It's far more important to have a different password on each site.. or at least a different password on each site you care about. For some sites is really doesn't matter if it gets hacked or not. The Gawker breach a few years back for example.. who would really give a stuff about having their Gawker password compromised.

So, it doesn't really matter on a lot of these sites if your password is 123456 because everything of value is protected by something better. Isn't it?

Communications

Obama: Gov't Shouldn't Be Hampered By Encrypted Communications 556

Posted by timothy
from the some-animals-more-equal-than-others-by-jingo dept.
According to an article at The Wall Street Journal, President Obama has sided with British Prime Minister David Cameron in saying that police and government agencies should not be blocked by encryption from viewing the content of cellphone or online communications, making the pro-spying arguments everyone has come to expect: “If we find evidence of a terrorist plot and despite having a phone number, despite having a social media address or email address, we can’t penetrate that, that’s a problem,” Obama said. He said he believes Silicon Valley companies also want to solve the problem. “They’re patriots.” ... The president on Friday argued there must be a technical way to keep information private, but ensure that police and spies can listen in when a court approves. The Clinton administration fought and lost a similar battle during the 1990s when it pushed for a “clipper chip” that would allow only the government to decrypt scrambled messages.
Programming

Linus On Diversity and Niceness In Open Source 359

Posted by timothy
from the are-you-or-have-you-ever-been dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Linus Torvalds has sent a lengthy statement to Ars Technica responding to statements he made in a conference in New Zealand. One of his classic comments in NZ was: "I'm not a nice person, and I don't care about you. I care about the technology and the kernel — that's what's important to me." On diversity, he said that "the most important part of open source is that people are allowed to do what they are good at" and "all that stuff is just details and not really important." Now he writes: "What I wanted to say — and clearly must have done very badly — is that one of the great things about open source is exactly the fact that different people are so different", and that "I don't know where you happen to be based, but this 'you have to be nice' seems to be very popular in the US," calling the concept of being nice an "ideology"."
Bug

Steam For Linux Bug Wipes Out All of a User's Files 329

Posted by Soulskill
from the big-oops dept.
An anonymous reader sends a report of a bug in Steam's Linux client that will accidentally wipe all of a user's files if they move their Steam folder. According to the bug report: I launched steam. It did not launch, it offered to let me browse, and still could not find it when I pointed to the new location. Steam crashed. I restarted it. It re-installed itself and everything looked great. Until I looked and saw that steam had apparently deleted everything owned by my user recursively from the root directory. Including my 3tb external drive I back everything up to that was mounted under /media. Another user reported a similar problem — losing his home directory — and problems with the script were found: at some point, the Steam script sets $STEAMROOT as the directory containing all Steam's data, then runs rm -rf "$STEAMROOT/"* later on. If Steam has been moved, $STEAMROOT returns as empty, resulting in rm -rf "/"* which causes the unexpected deletion.
Security

Simple Rogue WiFi Hotspot Captures High Profile Data 67

Posted by samzenpus
from the protect-ya-neck dept.
jones_supa writes Gustav Nipe, president of Sweden's Pirate Party's youth wing, was successful with somewhat trivial social engineering experiment in the area of the Sälen security conference. He set up a WiFi hotspot named "Öppen Gäst" ("Open Guest") without any kind of encryption. What do you know, a large amount of unsuspecting high profile guests associate with the network. Nipe says he was able to track which sites people visited as well as the emails and text messages of around 100 delegates, including politicians and journalists as well as security experts. He says that he won't be revealing which sites were visited by specific experts, as the point was just to draw attention to the issue of rogue network monitoring. The stunt has already sparked criticism in Swedish newspapers and on social media, with some angry comments saying that Nipe breached Sweden's Personal Data Act.
Communications

Marriot Back-Pedals On Wireless Blocking 179

Posted by timothy
from the customer-is-right-if-we-get-caught dept.
gurps_npc writes "Marriot Hotels had been illegally blocking Wifi hotspots in Nashville. They thought they owned the airwaves inside their hotel and wanted to charge guests for using them. They claimed to be 'surprised' they were breaking the law. Other hotels have complained to the FCC, asking for permission to do it legally. The FCC had fined Marriot $600,000 for their actions, among other things. They have stopped their illegal blockage, in part because of public backlash and in part because the government told them they were criminals.
Businesses

IEEE: New H-1B Bill Will "Help Destroy" US Tech Workforce 482

Posted by samzenpus
from the maybe-something-good-maybe-something-bad dept.
dcblogs writes New legislation being pushed by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) to hike the H-1B visa cap is drawing criticism and warnings that it will lead to an increase in offshoring of tech jobs. IEEE-USA said the legislation, introduced by a bipartisan group of lawmakers on Tuesday, will "help destroy" the U.S. tech workforce with guest workers. Other critics, including Ron Hira, a professor of public policy at Howard University and a leading researcher on the issue, said the bill gives the tech industry "a huge increase in the supply of lower-cost foreign guest workers so they can undercut and replace American workers." Hira said this bill "will result in an exponential rise of American jobs being shipped overseas." Technically, the bill is a reintroduction of the earlier "I-Square" bill, but it includes enough revisions to be considered new. It increases the H-1B visa cap to 195,000 (instead of an earlier 300,000 cap), and eliminates the cap on people who earn an advanced degree in a STEM (science, technology, education and math) field. Hatch, who is the No. 2 ranking senator in the GOP-controlled chamber, was joined by co-sponsors Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) in backing the legislation."

+ - China Spacecraft Enters Orbit around the Moon->

Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp (3454017) writes "A Chinese spacecraft service module has entered orbit around the moon, months after being used in the country's landmark test flight that sent a prototype sample-return capsule on a flight around the moon and returned it to Earth.

The service module from China's circumlunar test flight arrived in orbit around the moon this week, according to Chinese state media reports. The spacecraft is currently flying in an eight-hour orbit that carries it within 125 miles (200 kilometers) of the lunar surface at its closest point, and out to a range of 3,293 miles (5,300 km) at its highest point.

According to chief engineer Zhou Jianlian of the Beijing Aerospace Control Center the module will make its second and third braking in the early hours of today (Jan. 12) and tomorrow, Beijing time. Doing so will enable the module to enter a 127-minute orbit around the moon, Zhou said. [China's 1st Round-trip Moon Shot in Pictures]

Earlier reports noted that a camera system is onboard the service module, designed to assist in identifying future landing spots for the Chang'e 5 mission that will return lunar samples back to Earth in the 2017 time frame."

Link to Original Source

+ - The Next Decade in Storage

Submitted by Esther Schindler
Esther Schindler (16185) writes "Beyond “What’s coming in 2015” articles: Robin Harris, a.k.a. StorageMojo, predicts what storage will be like in 2025. And, he says, the next 10 years will be the most exciting and explosive in the history of data storage. For instance:

There are several forms of [Resistive RAM], but they all store data by changing the resistance of a memory site, instead of placing electrons in a quantum trap, as flash does. RRAM promises better scaling, fast byte-addressable writes, much greater power efficiency, and thousands of times flash’s endurance.

RRAM's properties should enable significant architectural leverage, even if it is more costly per bit than flash is today. For example, a fast and high endurance RRAM cache would simplify metadata management while reducing write latency.

...and plenty more, of course."

Neckties strangle clear thinking. -- Lin Yutang

Working...