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Submission + - Carbon Dating Shows Koran May Predate the Prophet Muhammad 3

HughPickens.com writes: Brian Booker writes at Digital Journal that carbon dating suggests that the Koran, or at least portions of it, may actually be older than the prophet Muhammad himself, a finding that if confirmed could rewrite early Islamic history and shed doubt on the "heavenly" origins of the holy text. Scholars believe that a copy Koran held by the Birmingham Library was actually written sometime between 545 AD and 568, while the Prophet Mohammad was believed to have been born in 570 AD and to have died in 632 AD. It should be noted, however, that the dating was only conducted on the parchment, rather than the ink, so it is possible that the quran was simply written on old paper. Some scholars believe, however, that Muhammad did not receive the Quran from heaven, as he claimed during his lifetime, but instead collected texts and scripts that fit his political agenda. "This gives more ground to what have been peripheral views of the Koran's genesis, like that Muhammad and his early followers used a text that was already in existence and shaped it to fit their own political and theological agenda, rather than Muhammad receiving a revelation from heaven," says Keith Small, from the University of Oxford's Bodleian Library. "'It destabilises, to put it mildly, the idea that we can know anything with certainty about how the Koran emerged," says Historian Tom Holland. "and that in turn has implications for the history of Muhammad and the Companions."

Submission + - Do We Need More Emojis?->

mikejuk writes: The Unicode Consortium has accepted another 38 emoji characters as candidates for Unicode 9.0, with new characters including bacon and a duck on the list. Why could we possibly need a duck?
Many of the new characters are the ‘other half’ of gender-matched pairs, so the Dancer emoji (which is usually rendered as Apple’s salsa dancing woman) gets a Man Dancing emoji, who frankly looks like a cross between John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever and your dad at the wedding disco.Would Salsa Dancing Woman really dance with Dad Dancer?
I doubt it.
Other additions include carrot, cucumber, and avocado, and bacon.
How did the emoji world survive without a bacon emoji until now?
The list of additions is rounded off with new animal emojis. Some are the ‘missing’ zodiac symbols (lion and crab). Others are as baffling as ever – is there *really* a demand for a mallard duck? Sorry it's in fact a drake!

Link to Original Source

Submission + - Google Chrome Will Block Auto-playing Flash Ads Starting September->

jones_supa writes: Google has a set a date of September 1 for when its Chrome browser will block all Flash content that isn't "central to the webpage." Flash content, such as advertisements or auto-playing videos on non-video websites, will be automatically paused by default, but you can click to play them if you wish. The main reason for the blocking is mobile device battery life, thanks to Flash ads consuming a large amount of CPU time. The move could also help to stop the spread of malware, as Flash has had a long history of security vulnerabilities.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Jail for a copy of the Anarchists Cookbook?->

Submission + - Oakland Changes License Plate Reader Policy After Filling 80GB Hard Drive->

An anonymous reader writes: License plate scanners are a contentious subject, generating lots of debate over what information the government should have, how long they should have it, and what they should do with it. However, it seems policy changes are driven more by practical matters than privacy concerns. Earlier this year, Ars Technica reported that the Oakland Police Department retained millions of records going back to 2010. Now, the department has implemented a six-month retention window, with older data being thrown out. Why the change? They filled up the 80GB hard drive on the Windows XP desktop that hosted the data, and it kept crashing. Why not just buy a cheap drive with an order of magnitude more storage space? Sgt. Dave Burke said, "We don't just buy stuff from Amazon as you suggested. You have to go to a source, i.e., HP or any reputable source where the city has a contract. And there's a purchase order that has to be submitted, and there has to be money in the budget. Whatever we put on the system, has to be certified. You don't just put anything. I think in the beginning of the program, a desktop was appropriate, but now you start increasing the volume of the camera and vehicles, you have to change, otherwise you're going to drown in the amount of data that's being stored."
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Underground Piracy Sites Want To Block Windows 10 Users

An anonymous reader writes: Some smaller pirate sites have become concerned about Windows 10 system phoning home too many hints regarding that the users are accessing their site. Therefore, the pirate administrators have started blocking Windows 10 users from accessing the BitTorrent trackers that the sites host. The first ones to hit the alarm button were iTS, which have posted a statement and started redirecting Windows 10 users to a YouTube video called Windows 10 is a Tool to Spy on Everything You Do. Additionally, according to TorrentFreak, two other similar dark web torrent trackers are also considering following suit. "As we all know, Microsoft recently released Windows 10. You as a member should know, that we as a site are thinking about banning the OS from FSC," said one of the FSC staff. Likewise, in a message to their users, a BB admin said something similar: "We have also found [Windows 10] will be gathering information on users’ P2P use to be shared with anti piracy group."

Submission + - Two US Marines Foil Terrorist Attack on Train in France

hcs_$reboot writes: A heavily armed gunman opened fire aboard a packed high-speed train traveling from Amsterdam to Paris late Friday afternoon, wounding several passengers before he was tackled and subdued by two Americans Marines. The assault was described as a terrorist attack. President Barack Obama has expressed his gratitude for the "courage and quick thinking" of the passengers on a high-speed train in France, including US service members, who overpowered the gunman. Bernard Cazeneuve, the French interior minister, paid tribute to the Marines as he arrived at the scene, and said "Thanks to them we have averted a drama.
The Americans were particularly courageous and showed extreme bravery in extremely difficult circumstances."

Submission + - Trump targets the abuse of H-1B Visas->

An anonymous reader writes: As part of Trumps comprehensive immigration overhaul, his plan not only addresses immigrants who enter or stay in the country illegally, but also the H-1B visa program and its well-documented abuses. (Known by the Slashdot crowd) Parts of the proposal include requirements to offer positions to U.S. STEM graduates and effectively requiring a minimum wage for hiring out of the country that would make it prohibitive to do so.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Legal Scholars Warn Against 10 Year Prison for Online Pirates

An anonymous reader writes: The UK Government wants to increase the maximum prison sentence for online copyright infringement from two years to ten. A number legal experts and activists are pushing back against the plan. One such group, The British and Irish Law, Education and Technology Association (BILETA) has concluded that changes to the current law are not needed. “legitimate means to tackle large-scale commercial scale online copyright infringement are already available and currently being used, and the suggested sentence of 10 years seems disproportionate,” the group writes.

Submission + - Mozilla Tests Improved Privacy Mode For Firefox->

An anonymous reader writes: Firefox's privacy mode stops your computer from keeping track of where you've browsed, but it doesn't do anything about external tracking. A new feature just rolled out to the Developer Edition and the Aurora channel now actively tries to block online services from tracking you. "Our hypothesis is that when you open a Private Browsing window in Firefox you’re sending a signal that you want more control over your privacy than current private browsing experiences actually provide." The feature uses a blocklist maintained by Disconnect.me to stop you from navigating to sites known to log your personal data.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Lawsuit Over Two-Word Tweet Moves Forward->

An anonymous reader writes: A defamation suit filed by a former Minnesota high school student has gotten approval from a federal judge to proceed. The suit was filed in response to a suspension issued by the school after Reid Sagehorn published a two-word comment on Twitter. In 2014, there existed a Twitter ostensibly about confessions from students at Sagehorn's high school. That account asked if Sagehorn had made out with a particular female teacher, and Sagehorn jokingly replied, "Actually yes." Not long after, he was suspended for five days, and that suspension was later extended to the rest of the month. The school administration convinced his parents to withdraw him from the school and send him to a different one. The town's police chief even spoke about it to the media, saying the comment was likely a felony. Sagehorn filed the lawsuit seeking damages and an expungement of the disciplinary actions.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Firefox's Silent Requests

An anonymous reader writes: Unlike older versions of Firefox, more recent versions will make a request to a destination server just by hovering over a link. No CSS, no JavaScript, no prefetch required. Try it for yourself. Disable CSS and JavaScript and fire up iftop or Windows Resource Monitor, hover over some links and watch the fun begin. There once was a time when you hovered over a link to check the 'real link' before you clicked on it. Well no more. Just looking at it makes a 'silent request'.

This behavior is the result of the Mozilla speculative connect API . Here is a bug referencing the API when hovering over a thumbnail on the new tab page. And another bug requesting there be an option to turn it off. Strangely enough the latter bug is still labeled WONTFIX even though the solution is in the comments (setting network.http.speculative-parallel-limit to 0).

Firefox's own How to stop Firefox from making automatic connections also mentions setting network.http.speculative-parallel-limit to 0 to to stop predictive connections when a user "hovers their mouse over thumbnails on the New Tab Page or the user starts to search in the Search Bar" but no mention regarding hovering over a normal link. Good thing setting network.http.speculative-parallel-limit to 0 does appear to disable speculative connect on normal links too.

One can expect Firefox to make requests in the background to its own servers for things such as checking for updates to plugins etc. But silently making requests to random links on a page (and connecting to those servers) simply by hovering over them is something very different.

Submission + - CNN and CBC Sued For Pirating YouTube Video->

vivaoporto writes: CNN and Canada's CBC are being sued after the companies allegedly ripped the "Buffalo Lake Effect" from YouTube and used it in their broadcasts without a license. In addition to claims of copyright infringement, the media giants face allegations that they breached the anti-circumvention measures of the DMCA.

New York resident Alfonzo Cutaia (an intelectual property attorney) sensed last year that he had a hit video on his hands and used the YouTube's account monetization program to generate some revenue.

The attorney uploaded his footage to the video site and selected "Standard YouTube License" that grants Youtube (and Youtube only) "a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, sublicenseable and transferable license to use, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, display, and perform the Content in connection with the Service and YouTube's (and its successors' and affiliates') business". All other rights are reserved to the copyright owner and standard copyright laws and exceptions apply.

According to a lawsuit filed this week by Cutaia in a New York court, around November 18 Canada’s CBC aired the video online without permission, with a CBC logo as an overlay.

After complaining to CBC about continued unauthorized use, last month Cutaia was told by CBC that the company had obtained the video from CNN on a 10-day license. However, Cutaia claims that the video was used by CBC and its partners for many months, having been supplied to them by CNN who also did not have a license. CBC and CNN are also accused of distributing the video despite knowing that the copyright management information had been removed.

Link to Original Source

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