Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?
Take advantage of Black Friday with 15% off sitewide with coupon code "BLACKFRIDAY" on Slashdot Deals (some exclusions apply)". ×

Comment Re:Please explain (Score 1) 158

Similar to others, I have: work phone, personal phone, old personal phone that is basically a music remote now, tablet, older tablet that is sort of a TV/home todo list/recipe viewer, two handheld ham radios with GPS accessories, SLR camera with built in GPS.

I don't own a car because I like city life and for the amount I use them can rent them on demand for less cost and parking hassle.

So, eight.

I do think, now that we are getting closer to the "personal area network" that people used to talk about, it would be great if some of this sort of thing became more standardized; I don't see any good reason (other than lack of coordination and the desire to sell lots of electronics) why my phone (or some other device I always have with me) shouldn't provide, for instance, GPS services to the other devices. It would be great for battery life, among other things... I know my radios lose about 10-15% battery life to the GPSes, for instance.

Submission + - What to Say When the Police Tell You to Stop Filming Them 3 writes: Robinson Meyer writes in The Atlantic that first of all, police shouldn’t ask. “As a basic principle, we can’t tell you to stop recording,” says Delroy Burton, a 21-year veteran of DC's police force. “If you’re standing across the street videotaping, and I’m in a public place, carrying out my public functions, [then] I’m subject to recording, and there’s nothing legally the police officer can do to stop you from recording.” What you don’t have a right to do is interfere with an officer's work. "“Police officers may legitimately order citizens to cease activities that are truly interfering with legitimate law enforcement operations,” according to Jay Stanley who wrote the ACLU’s “Know Your Rights” guide for photographers, which lays out in plain language the legal protections that are assured people filming in public. Police officers may not confiscate or demand to view your digital photographs or video without a warrant and police may not delete your photographs or video under any circumstances.

What if an officer says you are interfering with legitimate law enforcement operations and you disagree with the officer? “If it were me, and an officer came up and said, ‘You need to turn that camera off, sir,’ I would strive to calmly and politely yet firmly remind the officer of my rights while continuing to record the interaction, and not turn the camera off," says Stanley. The ACLU guide also supplies the one question those stopped for taking photos or video may ask an officer: "The right question to ask is, ‘am I free to go?’ If the officer says no, then you are being detained, something that under the law an officer cannot do without reasonable suspicion that you have or are about to commit a crime or are in the process of doing so. Until you ask to leave, your being stopped is considered voluntary under the law and is legal."

Submission + - LinkedIn used to create database of 27,000 US Intelligence personnel (

An anonymous reader writes: A new group, Transparency Toolkit, has mined LinkedIn to reveal and analyse the resumes of over 27,000 people in the US intelligence community. In the process, Transparency Toolkit said it found previously unknown secret codewords and references to surveillance technologies and projects. It aims to use the database for crowd-sourced data mining to "watch the watchers".

Submission + - Carbon dioxide hits 400ppm

mrflash818 writes: For the first time since we began tracking carbon dioxide in the global atmosphere, the monthly global average concentration of this greenhouse gas surpassed 400 parts per million in March 2015, according to NOAA’s latest results.

Submission + - caught sharing DNA database with government (

SonicSpike writes: In 1996, a young woman named Angie Dodge was murdered in her apartment in a small town in Idaho. Although the police collected DNA from semen left at the crime scene, they haven’t been able to match the DNA to existing profiles in any criminal database, and the murder has never been solved.

Fast forward to 2014. The Idaho police sent the semen sample to a private lab to extract a DNA profile that included YSTR and mtDNA—the two genetic markers used to determine patrilineal and matrilineal relationships (it’s unclear why they reopened the case after nearly 20 years). These markers would allow investigators to search some existing databases to try to find a match between the sample and genetic relatives.

The cops chose to use a lab linked to a private collection of genetic genealogical data called the Sorenson Database (now owned by, which claims it’s “the foremost collection of genetic genealogy data in the world.” The reason the Sorenson Database can make such an audacious claim is because it has obtained its more than 100,000 DNA samples and documented multi-generational family histories from “volunteers in more than 100 countries around the world.”

Sorenson promised volunteers their genetic data would only be used for “genealogical services, including the determination of family migration patterns and geographic origins” and would not be shared outside Sorenson.

Despite this promise, Sorenson shared its vast collection of data with the Idaho police. Without a warrant or court order, investigators asked the lab to run the crime scene DNA against Sorenson’s private genealogical DNA database. Sorenson found 41 potential familial matches, one of which matched on 34 out of 35 alleles—a very close match that would generally indicate a close familial relationship. The cops then asked, not only for the “protected” name associated with that profile, but also for all “all information including full names, date of births, date and other information pertaining to the original donor to the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy project.”

Comment Re: #2 (Score 1) 368

I'm not poking and prodding at Apple out of hatred, I'm doing so because, as an Apple user, I want them to succeed, but I also want them to keep going in a direction that is useful to me. As I see them shifting in a direction that is anything but, I prod them back in the direction that benefits not only myself, but also the largest number of users.

You do? What, you have late night heart-to-hearts with Tim, him spilling his hopes and fears, you providing a shoulder to cry on and gentle guidance from your decades of experience in product development and operations?

Comment Re:Guardian covering their ass (Score 1) 296

Well, no, not exactly. The Guardian published the password. Wikileaks failed to secure the encrypted payload. They both had to fail for the security breach to have happened. Irresponsibility is shared there, and as best I can tell, Julian is embarrassed and attempting to salvage ego with a dumb "I meant to do that" sort of maneuver.

The Guardian is being a bit silly in complaining now, after the data is already out there - anyone with an interest has already found a torrent.

But really, the whole thing is silly, given that the cables were available very widely to (as I understand it) millions of US folks already. I simply don't believe that documents shared with 7 figures of people, security cleared or no, don't find their way to people who have an interest in such things.

Most of the hot air being puffed about this has to do with what is public-public, instead of private-public. It makes a difference. (To pick a different example: "everybody knows" that many cops in the US arrest routinely people who annoy them on bullshit charges. This is private-public knowledge. Now imagine documents hypothetical leaking about this being policy. That would make it public-public.

Comment Best to you, Taco (Score 1) 1521

End of an era.

I don't know why this particular change feels so big, but it does. /. has been a big constant in my life for over 10 years now, and /. has always been, to a significant degree, Taco.

I know you're not dying or anything, but golly.

Thanks for making the joint the kind of joint it has been.

Comment Re:Refuse Permission? (Score 2) 507

You can't copyright/patent/trademark facts.

In the U.S. You might notice that Trinidad and Tobago (and England, for that matter) happen to not yet be an official vassal of the empire, and is still a sovereign nation that makes its own rules.

It isn't clear from the article what rules and agreements govern here, but it certainly isn't U.S. copyright.

"Necessity is the mother of invention" is a silly proverb. "Necessity is the mother of futile dodges" is much nearer the truth. -- Alfred North Whitehead