Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Slashdot Deals: Deal of the Day - Pay What You Want for the Learn to Code Bundle, includes AngularJS, Python, HTML5, Ruby, and more. ×

Submission + - Will you be able to run a modern desktop environment in 2016 without systemd?

yeupou writes: Early this year, David Edmundson from KDE, concluded that "In many cases [systemd] allows us to throw away large amounts of code whilst at the same time providing a better user experience. Adding it [systemd] as an optional extra defeats the main benefit". A perfectly sensible explanation. But, then, one might wonder to which point KDE would remain usable without systemd?

Recently, on one Devuan box, I noticed that KDE power management (Powerdevil) no longer supported suspend and hibernate. Since pm-utils was still there, for a while, I resorted to call pm-suspend directly, hoping it would get fixed at some point. But it did not. So I wrote a report myself. I was not expecting much. But neither was I expecting it to be immediately marked as RESOLVED and DOWNSTREAM, with a comment accusing the "Debian fork" I'm using to "ripe out" systemd without "coming with any of the supported solutions Plasma provides". I searched beforehand about the issue so I knew that the problem also occurred on some other Debian-based systems and that the bug seemed entirely tied to upower, an upstream software used by Powerdevil. So if anything, at least this bug should have been marked as UPSTREAM.

While no one dares (yet) to claim to write software only for systemd based operating system, it is obvious that it is now getting quite hard to get support otherwise. At the same time, bricks that worked for years without now just get ruined, since, as pointed out by Edmunson, adding systemd as "optional extra defeats its main benefit". So, is it likely that we'll still have in 2016 a modern desktop environment, without recent regressions, running without systemd?

Submission + - TPP makes copy left licences illegal 8

ras writes: With the release of the final version of the Trans-Pacific Partnership treaty yesterday, this little gem was noted on the Linux Australia mailing list. Quoting article 14.7.1 of the TPP:

No Party shall require the transfer of, or access to, source code of software owned by a person of another Party, as a condition for the import, distribution, sale or use of such software, or of products containing such software, in its territory.

It goes onto to exempt demanding copies of the source in commercially negotiated contracts, quality assurance, patents, orders made by judicial authorities or to comply with the regulation. The one notable exception to the exemptions: copy left licences.

Submission + - 23th IOCCC Winners Announced (ioccc.org)

achowe writes: Here are the names and categories for the winners of the 24th IOCCC:

        Most Well-rounded Hash
                Qiming Hou — MD5 without integers

        Most Different
                Anthony Howe — diff tool

        Most Useful
                Dave Burton — hex/decimal calculator

        Most Compact
                Chris Mills — uncompress

        Best Documented
                Jens Schweikhardt — Collatz bignum computation

        Best One-liner
                Yusuke Endoh — visual factorization

        Most Overlooked Obfuscation
                Yusuke Endoh — hidden text quine

        Most Pointed Reaction
                Don Yang — text encoder with sea star pattern, varies with C flavor

        Best Handwriting
                Etienne Duble — handwriting with Braille

        "For the Birds!" Award
                Chris Mills — flappy bird

        Most Diffused Reaction
                Someone Anonymous — reaction-diffusion system HTTP server

                Yusuke Endoh — reaction-diffusion system HTTP server

        Most Crafty
                Gil Dogon — X11 Minecraft demo

        Back to the Future Award
                Yusuke Endoh — 1984/mullender emulator

        Most Complete Use of CPP
                Dominik Muth — preprocessor Turing engine

@IOCCC : Winning #IOCCC24 source code will be released in a few weeks: after authors review our #IOCCC write-ups. See IOCCC News in coming weeks.

Submission + - EFF: The Final Leaked TPP Text is All That We Feared (eff.org)

An anonymous reader writes: Wikileaks has released the finalized Intellectual Property text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which international negotiators agreed upon a few days ago. Unfortunately, it contains many of the consumer-hostile provisions that so many organizations spoke out against beforehand. This includes the extension of the copyright term to life plus 70 years, and a ban on the circumvention of DRM. The EFF says, "If you dig deeper, you'll notice that all of the provisions that recognize the rights of the public are non-binding, whereas almost everything that benefits rightsholders is binding. That paragraph on the public domain, for example, used to be much stronger in the first leaked draft, with specific obligations to identify, preserve and promote access to public domain material. All of that has now been lost in favor of a feeble, feel-good platitude that imposes no concrete obligations on the TPP parties whatsoever." The EFF walks us through all the other awful provisions as well — it's quite a lengthy analysis.

Submission + - Increasingly, U.S. IT workers are alleging discrimination (networkworld.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Some U.S. IT workers who have been replaced with H-1B contractors are alleging discrimination and are going to court. They are doing so in increasing numbers. There are at least seven IT workers at Disney who are pursuing, or plan to pursue, federal and state discrimination administrative complaints over their layoffs. Separately, there are ongoing court cases alleging discrimination against two of the largest India-based IT services firms, Infosys and Tata Consultancy Services. There may also be federal interest in examining the issue.

Submission + - Yet another kid's homebrew electronic gadget gets him arrested (washingtonpost.com)

thermowax writes: ‘They thought it was a bomb': Ahmed Mohamed, Texas 9th grader, arrested after bringing a home-built clock to school he had whipped up to show his teachers what he could do. It's bad enough that our legal system is too stupid to understand things like this, but it sounds like they violated his Constitutional rights pretty severely. Furthermore, I doubt that they'll ever admit that they were wrong and delete the incident. And apologize? Hah.

Submission + - 9th-Grader May Face Charges after Homemade Clock Mistaken for Bomb (dallasnews.com)

bengoerz writes: 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed was led away from MacArthur High School in handcuffs and faces possible charges after teachers, school administrators, and police in Irving, Texas mistook his homemade clock for a bomb. The device — a circuit board, power supply, and digital display wired together inside a pencil box — was confiscated by a teacher after the alarm sounded in class. Despite telling everyone who would listen that his device was just a clock, Ahmed was confronted by 4 police officers, suspended for 3 days, and threatened with expulsion unless he made a written statement, before eventually being transported to a juvenile detention center to meet his parents.

Submission + - New UK password guidance says re-using OK, regular changing a waste (www.gov.uk) 1

isoloisti writes: New UK govt guidance on how to handle passwords "advocates a dramatic simplification of the current approach." "Unlike previous guidance, this doesn't focus on trying to get ever more entropy into passwords." For example: "Regular password changing harms rather than improves security, so avoid placing this burden on users." And "given the infeasibility of memorising multiple passwords, many are likely to be re-used. Users should only do this where the compromise of one password does not result in the compromise of more valuable data protected by the same password on a different system."

Blog launching the guidance: https://cesgdigital.blog.gov.u...
Main guidance doc: https://www.gov.uk/government/...

Submission + - Windows 10 Blocking Counterfeit Games? (zdnet.com)

Eloking writes: Microsoft's new unified services agreement includes language that has some worrying Microsoft may scan their Windows 10 devices for pirated software and block its use.

Submission + - The Placebo Effect, a review (nejm.org)

An anonymous reader writes: We often get involved in discussions about the 'Placebo Effect'. The discussions are often long and interesting but I have never seen anything so cogent as a recent New England Journal of Medicine brief review of the subject (free, no paywall, not even a PDF!).

TL;DR — it's complicated. But interesting.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Are there any search engines left that don't try to think for me? (google.com)

An anonymous reader writes: As a programmer especially, I'm becoming increasingly unhappy with Google searches. They try very hard to present me with what they THINK I'm searching for instead of what I'm actually searching for. This issue mostly shows up when searching error messages, obscure type and function names and stuff like that.
What I think though, is that I only notice the issue when searching for stuff I know a lot about, namely programming, but my queries get distorted when I'm searching for just about anything, I just don't know enough about the subject to notice.
Are there any alternative search engines left that don't think they know better than me what I'm looking for and just search for my phrase, like in the 2000s?

Comment Future? (Score 1) 367

Self driving cars are already here, we've had articles about google self driving car accidents, stop pretending it's a future thing that will need proper AI. Also, if they ever make the equivalent of the human brain it will take over a year before it can say its first word, who's going to put in the endless hours of talking to it like it's a baby to help it understand words? Even more of a problem for the prototypes, you wouldnt even know if it'll work after all that.

"People should have access to the data which you have about them. There should be a process for them to challenge any inaccuracies." -- Arthur Miller