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

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

+ - Senator Paul stands for over ten hours in Senate over NSA bulk data collection. ->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: Sen. Rand Paul held up a vote on the Fast Track Authority for a eleven hour dissertation on the flaws of the Patriot Act, the replacement the USA Freedom Act, bulk data collection including credit card purchases, the DEA and IRS's use of NSA intel. for "parallel construction", warrant-less GPS bugs on vehicles, as well as the important distinction of a general warrant v a spacific one.

The memes that have been created are clever too, "I don't normally take over C-Span2, but when I do -people watch C-Span2." Of course, the expected #StandWithRand and posting selfies with people actually watching C-Span2.

Link to Original Source

+ - Australian ISP offers pro-bono legal advice to accused pirates

Submitted by thegarbz
thegarbz writes: As covered previously, after losing a legal battle against Dallas Buyers Club and Voltage Pictures the Federal Court of Australia asked ISP iiNet to hand over details of customers allegedly downloading the movie The Dallas Buyers Club. iiNet has now taken the unprecedented move to offer pro-bono legal advice to all of its customers targeted over piracy claims. "It is important to remember that the Court's findings in this case do not mean that DBC and Voltage's allegations of copyright infringement have been proven," Ben Jenkins, financial controller for iiNet wrote. Also, as part of the ruling the court will review all correspondence sent to alleged copyright infringers in hopes to prevent the practice of speculative invoicing. Unless it can be proven exactly how much and and with how many people a film was shared the maximum damages could also be limited to the lost revenue by the studio, which currently stands at $10AU ($7.90US) based on iTunes pricing.

+ - Aging perl developer seeks career advice.

Submitted by ukrifleman
ukrifleman writes: I've been doing UK based perl, JS, light PHP and JQUERY dev plus Centos/Debian sys admin on a freelance basis for over a decade now. Mostly maintaining older stuff but I also undertook a big, 3 year bespoke project (all written in legacy non OO perl). The trouble is, that contract has now finished and all the legacy work has dried out and I've only got about 2 months of income left! I need to get a full time job.

To most dev firms I'm going to look like a bit of a dinosaur, 40 odd years old, knows little of OO coding OR modern languages and aproaches to projects. I can write other languages and, with a bit of practice I'll pick them up pretty quickly. I really don't know where to start. What's hot, what's worth learning, I'm self-taught so have no CS degree, just 15 years of dev and sys admin experience. I've got a bit of team and project management experience too it's quite a worry going up against young whipper snappers that know all the buzz words and modern tech!

I was thinking maybe trying to get a junior job to start so I can catch up with some tech?
Would I be better off trawling the thousands of job sites or finding a bonafide IT specialist recruitment firm?
Should I take the brutally honest approach to my CV/interviews or just wing it and hope I don't bite off more than I can chew?
What kind of learning curve could I expect if I took on a new language I have no experience with?
Are there any qualififcations that I NEED to have before firms would be willing to take me on?

I've been sitting here at this desk for 10 years typing away and only now do I realise that I've stagnated to the point where I may well be obsolete!

Any advice at all will be heartily accepted :-]

+ - Ext4 Corruption Bug Found in Linux

Submitted by jones_supa
jones_supa writes: It seems that an Ext4 data corruption bug has slipped into Linux at some point. Josh Triplett warns about the issue in the Debian bug tracking system. His server machine already experienced major damage to the filesystem. A patch has already been created, which describes the situation as follows: "Currently it is possible to lose whole file system block worth of data when we hit the specific interaction with unwritten and delayed extents in status extent tree. [...] For now we can fix this by simply not allowing to set delayed status on written extent in the extent status tree. Also add WARN_ON() to make sure that we notice if this happens in the future." Consider applying the patch (or simply upgrading to Linux 4.0.3 which incorporates the patch) to prevent filesystem corruption.

+ - Harnessing excess datacentre heat 1

Submitted by GoddersUK
GoddersUK writes: A Dutch startup is offering to install a server in your house to provide free heating in a novel solution to the problem of keeping datacentres warm:

"Ask Jerry van Waardhuizen about his new radiator and you get an excited response. "I'm very enthusiastic," he says. "It's a beautiful thing." The sleek white box, which has been hugging his wall for two weeks, looks nice enough as radiators go. But what's really got Waardhuizen excited is what's going on inside. Instead of hot water, it contains a computer connected to the internet, doing big sums and kicking out heat in the process. It was created by a Dutch start-up called Nerdalize, and could be part of a solution to a big problem for the tech industry."

Of course there are some applications for which this probably isn't suitable:

"there are probably a fair number of computing jobs that companies would not push out into people's homes. They would want to have them in a secure data centre. So again that limits the total market share they could achieve."

+ - Animations in UI Design: For, Against, or Just Another /. Toxic Waste Zone?

Submitted by Press2ToContinue
Press2ToContinue writes: Google made it big limiting advertisements using strict guidelines: only simple text ads were allowed.Google's home page adhered to a similar concept: no distractions, nothing moving. It simply said "Google." The rise of the world's biggest brand was based on this premise of a simple, unmoving, unanimated theme.

How soon we forget. Now Google's page is always animated. The more they grow, the more they feel it is acceptable that user experience elements move, and more and more distractions are now acceptable, even pre-pending video ads at the beginning of videos, and animating Gmail sign-in boxes as they glide into place. But clearly, as evinced by the popularity of Adblock, distractions are annoying and unwelcome, Adblock is now so popular that makes a fortune accepting Google's payments to let distractions through, while users desperately search for ways to disable all possible animations. Somehow, it seems counterproductive to what we consider "good" UI design.

In fact, and depending entirely on who you consult, it seems that there can be no limit to the the idea that animation only ever makes the user experience richer. If it doesn't move in some way, it can be improved by movement. And this is the inherent, conflicting unquestioned assumption in the current state of UI design: movement is good. But where is the line between helpful movement and distractions? And is it the same for everyone?

Again, this is at odds with the anti-trend precepts that made Google popular, and at odds with the hate that we spew for animations and distractions on web pages, and especially for the videos that start playing when we land on a page.

But I ask you, seriously, as web and UI designers, in your head, where is that line between good UI design, and distracting, pointless movement? Does a line even exist? When it comes to UI design, is the sky the limit, and is it OK for everything to be animated at the whim of the designer, because they can utter incantations that justify their new, more animated, design?

Does anyone even think that UI animations, and animations in advertising, may both be simply manifestations of our innate desire to catch people's attention? Animations are the trend, but would anyone really miss them if they went away? Or worse, are some users actually distracted and impeded by them, but we don't want to know because it's less fun to design a static UI?

I can think of a dozen ways to design a UI with more efficient and accurate inputs than swipes, gestures, and carousels with artificially-induced momentum. Vista and Windows 8 failed miserably. Could it be that the commonality was that their core concept revolved around the assumption that users crave skeuomorphic movement? Will there come a time when someone says, these are all simply subclasses of the now-faded skeuomorphism fad of early UI design, the faux marble bitmaps and the cheesy animated gifs of the early web?

And could they, in some cases, actually be harmful enough that even though we think they are cool, we should always provide a way to switch them off?

And is the worst-case scenario, that we are simply wasting development time, and slowing down the user interface without really adding any value, time that could be better spent because what users really want is better performance, and real functionality?

+ - Hydrogen-Powered Drone Flies for 4 Hours->

Submitted by stowie
stowie writes: Hycopter uses its frame to store energy in the form of hydrogen instead of air. With less lift power required, Hycopter’s fuel cell turns the hydrogen in its frame into electricity to power its rotors. Hycopter can fly for four hours at a time and 2.5 hours when carrying a 2.2-pound payload. "By removing the design silos that typically separate the energy storage component from UAV frame development — we opened up a whole new category in the drone market, in-between battery and combustion engine systems."
Link to Original Source

+ - Huawei's LiteOS Internet of Things operating system is a minuscule 10KB->

Submitted by Mark Wilson
Mark Wilson writes: Chinese firm Huawei today announces its IoT OS at an event in Beijing. The company predicts that within a decade there will be 100 billion connected devices and it is keen for its ultra-lightweight operating system to be at the heart of the infrastructure.

Based on Linux, LiteOS weighs in at a mere 10KB — smaller than a Word document — but manages to pack in support for zero configuration, auto-discovery, and auto-networking. The operating system will be open for developers to tinker with, and is destined for use in smart homes, wearables, and connected vehicles. LiteOS will run on Huawei's newly announced Agile Network 3.0 Architecture and the company hopes that by promoting a standard infrastructure, it will be able to push the development of internet and IoT applications

Link to Original Source

+ - E-paper Display Gives Payment Cards a Changing Security Code->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett writes: Using payment cards with an embedded chip makes payments more secure in physical stores, but it’s still relatively easy for criminals to copy card details and use them online. Payment specialist Oberthur Technologies has another idea, which it will soon be testing in France. Oberthur’s Motion Code technology replaces the printed 3-digit CVV (Card Verification Value) code with a small e-paper display. The code changes periodically, reducing the time a fraudster has to act.
Link to Original Source

+ - Canadian Piracy Rates Plummet as Industry Points to New Copyright Notice System-> 2

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: Canada's copyright notice-and-notice system took effect earlier this year, leading to thousands of notifications being forwarded by Internet providers to their subscribers. Since its launch, there have been serious concerns about the use of notices to demand settlements and to shift the costs of enforcement to consumers and Internet providers. Yet reports indicate that piracy rates in Canada have plummeted, with some ISPs seeing a 70% decrease in online infringement.
Link to Original Source

+ - Adblock Plus Launches Adblock Browser: Firefox For Android With Ad Blocking

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: Adblock Plus today launched Adblock Browser for Android. Currently in beta, the company’s first browser was created by taking the open source Firefox for Android and including Adblock Plus out-of-the-box. You can try the browser yourself by joining the Adblock Browser Beta Google+ community. Just click the red “Join” button on the right-hand side, go to “About this Community” and click “Beta Opt-In.”

+ - Ask Slashdot best way to solve a unique networking issue

Submitted by petro-tech
petro-tech writes: I work as a service technician, maintaining and repairing gas pumps and POS equipment.

In my day to day activities, one that consumes a ton of time and is relatively regular is the process of upgrading the software on pumps.
This is done by connecting to the pump via direct ethernet from my laptop, then running a manufacturer provided program that connects to the device and pushes the new software.

Some sites have 8+ pumps with 2 devices in each, and at 20-30 minutes apiece this can be quite time consuming.

Unfortunately the devices are not actually on a network, and as such cannot be updated remotely, also since they are not on a network, they are all configured with the same IP address. Additionally the software doesn't allow you to specify the adapter to use.

I would like to be able to get to a site, connect a cable to each pump, and load them all at the same time.

The only way I can figure to accomplish this with the software we've been provided is to do this:

Get a 16 port powered usb hub, with a usb-ethernet adaptor in each port. Set up 16 VM's with extremely stripped down XP running on each, with only one usb-ethernet adaptor assigned to each VM. Set xp to boot the application for loading software as its shell. and load each device that way at the same time.

Is there a better way to accomplish this?

+ - Oregon to test pay-per-mile idea as replacement for gas tax->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 writes: Oregon is about to embark on a first-in-the-nation program that aims to charge car owners not for the fuel they use, but for the miles they drive. Drivers will be able to install an odometer device without GPS tracking.

The program is meant to help the state raise more revenue to pay for road and bridge projects at a time when money generated from gasoline taxes are declining across the country, in part, because of greater fuel efficiency and the increasing popularity of fuel-efficient, hybrid and electric cars.

Starting July 1, up to 5,000 volunteers in Oregon can sign up to drive with devices that collect data on how much they have driven and where. The volunteers will agree to pay 1.5 cents for each mile traveled on public roads within Oregon, instead of the tax now added when filling up at the pump. Some electric and hybrid car owners, however, say the new tax would be unfair to them and would discourage purchasing of green vehicles.

Link to Original Source

+ - Ask Slashdot: Web- / CMS-based tool for publications?

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: I am searching for a software that would allow users to submit and edit texts for books, articles or catalogues online via a CMS interface (or something alike), then allow reviewers and publishers to work on it and finally create a PDF, e-book etc. that could be published directly, e.g. in a book-on-demand publishing process. I know there is a plug-in for the ZOPE-based CMS Plone by Swiss company 4teamwork for books, using TeX in the background. Does anyone know something similar? I would definitely prefer Free or Open Source software but am also interested in non-free solutions and their possibilities. Thank you for your help!

+ - Two thirds of public sector workers keep quiet on major security breaches->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: A cybersecurity survey conducted by British IT and telecom firm Daisy Group has revealed that almost two thirds of public sector employees would not report a serious data breach that they thought would cause problems in the workplace. The research, which was based on a study involving 2,000 public sector staff, also discovered that many workers held a negligent attitude toward sufficient password protection. It found that respondents were willing to sidestep corporate security policies to ease their work life. The survey showed that 64% of employees in the public sector would keep quiet about major security breaches, and that 5% had disabled password protection features on a laptop, mobile or other mobile devices. 20% confirmed that they do not regularly update their passwords, while a further 8% answered that they used ‘simple’ passwords that could be easily guessed. Daisy Group’s product director of cloud services Graham Harris explained that the survey served to highlight the importance of staff awareness and involvement in effective IT security management.
Link to Original Source

The only perfect science is hind-sight.

Working...