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The Internet

Will Fiber-To-the-Home Create a New Digital Divide? 262

Posted by samzenpus
from the have-and-have-nots dept.
First time accepted submitter dkatana writes Having some type of fiber or high-speed cable connectivity is normal for many of us, but in most developing countries of the world and many areas of Europe, the US, and other developed countries, access to "super-fast" broadband networks is still a dream. This is creating another "digital divide." Not having the virtually unlimited bandwidth of all-fiber networks means that, for these populations, many activities are simply not possible. For example, broadband provided over all-fiber networks brings education, healthcare, and other social goods into the home through immersive, innovative applications and services that are impossible without it. Alternatives to fiber, such as cable (DOCSYS 3.0), are not enough, and they could be more expensive in the long run. The maximum speed a DOCSYS modem can achieve is 171/122 Mbit/s (using four channels), just a fraction the 273 Gbit/s (per channel) already reached on fiber.
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NPR: '80s Ads Are Responsible For the Lack of Women Coders 742

Posted by Soulskill
from the advertisers-driving-culture dept.
gollum123 writes: Back in the day, computer science was as legitimate a career path for women as medicine, law, or science. But in 1984, the number of women majoring in computing-related subjects began to fall, and the percentage of women is now significantly lower in CS than in those other fields. NPR's Planet Money sought to answer a simple question: Why? According to the show's experts, computers were advertised as a "boy's toy." This, combined with early '80s geek culture staples like the book Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution, as well as movies like War Games and Weird Science, conspired to instill the perception that computers were primarily for men.

Comment: I doubt it (Score 2) 264

by Ckwop (#48143283) Attached to: Confidence Shaken In Open Source Security Idealism

I'd be surprised if a random member of the public could even define what free software is. They'd probably think it's connected to the cost of the software rather than its freedom giving properties.

That said, I think that the view that with enough eyes all bugs are shallow is false. Given that bash is used in millions and millions of servers and the bug took decades to root out, we must think of a better way to get eyes on the code.

The whole stack needs a line by line review by security experts. That will cost tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars but my view is that it's probably worth it. Then we have to make sure all changes get reviewed in the same way.

The result of this process would be a super-hardened version of OpenBSD. It would come with a nice fat government certification and if you want to do business with the government, you have to use that distro.

That might rub people up the wrong way but I think that's what's ultimately going to happen eventually. A lot of this infrastructure is so critical to the modern economy that we can't just run any old code anymore.

Comment: Another Advantage for State Level Control (Score 1) 279

by Nova Express (#48137625) Attached to: Who's In Charge During the Ebola Crisis?

Without a top-down bureaucracy calling the shops, states can try 50 different methods to control the pandemic, and compare results to see who has the best one. They're not stuck mindlessly doing what Washington has dictated, even if it's wrong.

The CDC is swearing up and down Ebola can be transmitted by airborne infection, but what if they're wrong about this strain?

The federal government is much more likely than the states to continue a wrong course of action long after it's been proven a bad idea than the states. See also: Welfare, agribusiness subsidies, the food pyramid...

Comment: Re:Boeing bought more politicians. (Score 1) 127

Leaving out Boeing would be budget suicide for NASA.

No one should be left out because there should be no contract. Instead, NASA should be fostering a spot market for launches. They should have a separate bid for each launch: "We want X satellite in Y orbit, and insured for Z dollars." Then give the launch to the lowest bidder. That way each company can work continuously to cut costs and improve services, knowing that if they leapfrog the competition, they can win the next launch, instead of being locked out for years.

That is not feesable. It take years to be trained to fly in a spaceship - whether the lifting body like the Shuttle or Dream Chaser, or a capsule such as Soyuz, CST-100, or Dragon V2. You have to build not only the rocket, but a tower to carry the crew to the top of the rocket along with an arm to get the astronauts into the vehicle (which is not compatible/spacecraft). Escape systems need to be installed. It's very expensive, and it would never be built without assurance that the demand is there. At this time, there is no market for launches except from NASA or ESA. Cosmonauts would ride Russian spacecraft, Indians and Chinese are developing their own systems, etc. The public demand is too little at this time. Without a long-term contract, NASA is not enough for your proposal.

Comment: Learning Resources (Score 1) 316

by neoshroom (#48007497) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Swift Or Objective-C As New iOS Developer's 1st Language?

I would stick to Objective-C for the moment as there are more learning resources online.

I agree with this. As a new user, for the moment, Objective-C is likely the way to go due to their being more documentation out there. Swift documentation though is rapidly increasing.

As a developer in both Swift and Objective-C, the primary advantage of Swift is it is slightly faster to do many things as it doesn't require strict classing of variables, so you find yourself not having to spend as many lines of code swapping strings to integers as that kind of thing and end up with slightly more readable code.

However, these advantages likely aren't as important for a new user as having a wealth of documentation to learn from.

Privacy

Justice Sotomayor Warns Against Tech-Enabled "Orwellian" World 166

Posted by Soulskill
from the trading-privacy-for-convenience dept.
An anonymous reader writes: U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor spoke on Thursday to faculty and students at the University of Oklahoma City about the privacy perils brought on by modern technology. She warned that the march of technological progress comes with a need to enact privacy protections if we want to avoid living in an "Orwellian world" of constant surveillance. She said, "There are drones flying over the air randomly that are recording everything that's happening on what we consider our private property. That type of technology has to stimulate us to think about what is it that we cherish in privacy and how far we want to protect it and from whom. Because people think that it should be protected just against government intrusion, but I don't like the fact that someone I don't know can pick up, if they're a private citizen, one of these drones and fly it over my property."

Comment: Overall death toll under communism: 100 Million (Score 2, Informative) 540

by Nova Express (#47880553) Attached to: Cuba Calculates Cost of 54yr US Embargo At $1.1 Trillion

Let's not forget that the best estimates for the death of communist regimes killing their own people is right around 100 million people. Both The Black Book of Communism and R.J. Rummel's Death by Government come up with roughly the same number of people killed.

Communism is incompatible with both human rights and a healthy economy, and never has, never can, and never will meet the needs of its own people or offer better lives than those under capitalism.

Embargoes have nothing to do with it...

"Your mother was a hamster, and your father smelt of elderberrys!" -- Monty Python and the Holy Grail

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