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


Forgot your password?
Slashdot Deals: Cyber Monday Sale! Courses ranging from coding to project management - all eLearning deals 25% off with coupon code "CYBERMONDAY25". ×

Comment Re:"using the opportunity to suppress dissent." (Score 3, Informative) 244

No, the French government doesn't deny the existence of anthropogenic climate change. Nor does the US, China, or indeed virtually any major government or multinational corporation. Despite that fact, global CO2 emissions are still rising on an exponential curve. And all of these organisations are actively searching for more sources of fossil fuels at a time when science tells us we need to keep ~80% of known fossil reserves in the ground to avoid dangerous climate change

Climate denial-ism is a sideshow intended to keep you distracted. The media loudly promote a debate that doesn't really exist any more so that people can feel good they aren't a part of the evil climate deniers causing the problem. Liberals who loudly proclaim the importance of fighting climate change while doing everything they can to increase emissions have been far more of a threat to our climate than deniers for at least 20 years. When Obama gives another inspirational speech about preserving the environment for future generations everybody claps, and nobody bothers to mention the fact that the man has authorised an unprecedented increase in US domestic oil and gas production.

The COP conference in Paris will be little more than another sideshow intended to keep you distracted. We already know that there will be no legally binding agreements to reduce emissions and that the voluntary pledges countries are prepared to sign up to will likely lead to some 3-4C of warming even if implemented fully.

The reality is we live in a world that is gearing up for more, not less, fossil fuel use. Despite the loud proclamations of governments and media corporations to the contrary.

That is why protest is necessary and why the French government is actively suppressing dissent with these measures.

Comment Re:Exactly what part do you register? (Score 1) 192

Okay, so let's just register people, and insist they inscribe their social security number onto everything they own - cars, guns, drones, clothes, computers, cell phones, baseballs, cakes, or anything else you could possibly misuse or cause damage with...this couldn't possibly get creepy, and then we'll have one universal identifier for each individual.

Maybe, just maybe, those people without those identifiers can be deported immediately, because obviously nobody would be able to actually *forge* any sort of universal identifier, right?


This is like anti-abortion folk being pro death penalty, and pro-choice folk being anti-death penalty. Your liberals would jump at the chance to register every person and take away every gun, and your conservatives would jump at the chance to register every person and deport every illegal immigrant - and both would see the other as some horrific injustice.

Comment Let's register baseballs too. (Score 2, Insightful) 192

I'll bet you get more damage to property from poorly regulated baseballs thrown by children than drones.

Obviously, baseballs can hurt, and even kill people, and people play with them in public spaces all the time - we really need to get everyone registered properly so we can educate them and hold them responsible for the errant throw.

Comment Exactly what part do you register? (Score 2) 192

So, we generally work by the fiction that a "gun" is the lower receiver, and that is the part that is what we register.

Exactly what part of the drone are you going to serialize and register? The wings? The engine? The fuselage? Will you need to de-register when it breaks? Re-register it after it's repaired?

At what point will the government decide to have us "register" all of the home made cakes we bake in our ovens? The parts and technology for a cake are just as common and available as the parts and technology for a drone...

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.

Comment Re:Digging up some history... (Score 1) 262

I worked at IBM at the time (I designed and wrote a good chunk of the C/C++ compiler back-end used for OS/2), and this is quite true -- but it was aided and abetted by IBMs inability to sell OS/2 outside their traditional corporate markets. OS/2 is sadly dead and not relevant today, and has been in this state since at least 1995.

That compiler was an interesting story -- we (the OS/2 back-end team) were told to write an RPG compiler back end for OS/2 (this was back in 1989). That didn't seem like much fun, but the IR (W-Code) was the same as the one used by the C & C++ compilers for the mainframes. So we decided to make the back-end support C & C++ too -- because that *was* fun. When there was the falling out between MS and IBM, we had a working C and C++ compiler for OS/2. I can still remember getting hello.c running, then dhrystone, and not much later bootstrapping the compiler itself.

That was a long time ago.


Oracle Bakes Security Into New Chips (theregister.co.uk) 99

An anonymous reader writes: Oracle's Larry Ellison gave a presentation yesterday at OpenWorld in which he detailed how the M7 chip's new Silicon Secured Memory system works. "On the M7, pointers and their memory blocks are stamped with a 4-bit 'color,' and accesses are verified to make sure the color in the highest bits of the pointer matches the color of the memory allocation. This works with virtual memory allocated from the heap rather from the stack, it appears. Solaris tries to avoid giving adjacent blocks the same color." El Reg notes that a 4-bit security stamp doesn't really offer that many distinct options. "Four bits of color means there are 24, or 16, possible colors a memory block can have. A hijacked pointer has a one-in-16 chance of having a matching color when it accesses any block of memory, allowing it to circumvent the SSM defense mechanism. ... It is even possible [a hacker] can alter the color bits in a pointer to match the color of a block she wishes to access, and thus avoid any crashes and detection. In short, SSM is a mitigation rather than bulletproof protection." Still, Ellison claims this would have shut down vulnerabilities like Heartbleed and Venom.

Patricia, Strongest Hurricane Ever Seen In Eastern Pacific, Strikes In Mexico 144

CNN reports that Hurricane Patricia has made landfall in Mexico; Patricia is notable for having the third-lowest barometer reading ever recorded, and as "the strongest hurricane ever observed in the eastern Pacific or Atlantic oceans." Slate points out that at one point, "satellite estimates of Patricia’s intensity broke the Dvorak scale, peaking at 8.3 on the 8.0 scale. ... In fact, Patricia is now very close to the theoretical maximum strength for a tropical cyclone on planet Earth." The Weather Channel is tracking the storm's path, and predicts "catastrophic damage ... along a narrow path as the eye slices into the interior of southwest Mexico Friday night." Here's a map from the National Weather Service showing Patricia's track as well as projected path.

Windows 10 Upgrades Are Being Forced On Some Users (arstechnica.com) 374

grimmjeeper writes: According to Ars Technica the Windows 10 upgrade option is being selected by default for some users. A dialogue box is appearing that only permits them to reschedule the upgrade process, not cancel it. "For the first year of its availability, Windows 10 is available for free to most Windows 7 and 8 users, and Microsoft has been trying to coax those users to make the switch by delivering the operating system through Windows Update. Until now, the OS has been delivered as an optional update; while Windows Update gives it prominent positioning, it shouldn't be installed automatically. This system has already generated some complaints, as Windows Update will download the sizeable operating system installer even if you don't intend to upgrade any time soon, but, over the last couple of days, the situation seems to have become a little more aggressive. We've received a number of reports that people's systems are not merely downloading the installer but actually starting it up." Update: 10/16 11:35 GMT by S : Microsoft said, "In the recent Windows update, this option was checked as default; this was a mistake and we are removing the check."

Source Code On Trial In DNA Matching Case (post-gazette.com) 117

An anonymous reader writes: While computer analysis by other programs was inconclusive in matching DNA evidence to a suspect, one program, TrueAllele, gave a match. As reported in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, an expert witness for the defense wants access to the 170,000 lines of source code to determine whether the match is scientifically valid. Not surprisingly, the software creator is resisting. From the article: "TrueAllele, created by Dr. Perlin and in its current version since 2009, is the only computer software system of its kind that interprets DNA evidence using a statistical model. It can single out individuals in a complex DNA mixture by determining how much more probable a match is versus mere coincidence. Complex mixtures can involve multiple people, as well as degraded or small DNA samples. ... Although the technology is patented, the source code itself is not disclosed by any patent and cannot be derived from any publicly disclosed source. The source code has never been revealed, he said, and it would cause irreparable harm to the company if it were. In his declaration, Dr. Perlin said that reading the source code is unnecessary to validate the program, and that a review could be done in his office or online."