Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?

+ - Mozilla dusts off old servers, lights up Tor relays->

Submitted by TechCurmudgeon
TechCurmudgeon (3904121) writes "According to The Register:

Mozilla has given the Tor network a capacity kick with the launch of 14 relays that will help distribute user traffic. Engineers working under the Foundation's Polaris Project inked in November pulled Mozilla's spare and decommissioned hardware out of the cupboard for dedicated use in the Tor network. It included a pair of Juniper EX4200 switches and three HP SL170zG6 (48GB ram, 2*Xeon L5640, 2*1Gbps NIC) servers, along with a dedicated existing IP transit provider (2 X 10Gbps). French Mozilla engineer Arzhel Younsi (@xionoxfr) said its network was designed to fall no lower than half of its network capacity in the event of maintenance or failure.

The Polaris initiative was a effort of Mozilla, the Tor Project and the Centre for Democracy and Technology to help build more privacy controls into technology."

Link to Original Source

+ - A mattrass adjusts ambiance, starts coffeemaker, when you wake-up->

Submitted by mi
mi (197448) writes "A smart mattress-cover will turn off lights when you go to sleep, get coffee ready when you’re waking up. Luna’s new device fits around the mattress like a cover, and monitors whether those sleeping on it are asleep. When it senses that they are, it can power down lights or change heating settings. And when it detects that they’re waking back up, it can start brewing coffee or turn the lights back on.

And while you’re asleep, it will track the room temperature and how much sleep you get, creating the perfect conditions. The bed has “dual zone temperature”, which means that it can monitor differnet sides of the bed separately.

The only disturbing piece about it comes at the very end of the article:

Data is stored on the smart mattress cover itself, and then sent to Luna for storage and analysis.


Link to Original Source

Comment: Why not a gradually-degrading array instead? (Score 1) 158

by mi (#48932489) Attached to: Proposed Disk Array With 99.999% Availablity For 4 Years, Sans Maintenance

Our conclusion is that having N(N + 1)/2 spare disks is more than enough to achieve a 99.999 percent probability of not losing data over four years.

Instead of keeping the spares inside as just that — spares — can it not start using all of them (in a sufficiently redundant configuration) and gradually lose capacity as physical disks fail?

Yes, it would require coordination with the driver and filesystem, but there is nothing insurmountable in that...

Comment: Re:Praise the non-violent (Score 1) 223

by mi (#48932309) Attached to: Why ATM Bombs May Be Coming Soon To the United States

It *is* nonviolent.

Sure. It is also "quiet" and "stealthy" — and a bunch of other things. Which is the best term to use in this context? That depends on the subtle connotations of each one, does not it? I am willing to believe, TFA's use was an honest mistake — the article makes no (other) suggestions, bank-robbing (violent or otherwise) may be a just thing. But...

Are the Somali pirates just that — pirates — or are they hard-working folks laboring in a harsh environment, risking their lives directing foreign aid to their impoverished country and the people, who need it most?

See also "Hezbollization".

+ - New Study Says Governments Should Ditch Reliance on Biofuels

Submitted by (3830033) writes "The NYT reports on a new study from a prominent environmental think tank that concludes that turning plant matter into liquid fuel or electricity is so inefficient that the approach is unlikely ever to supply a substantial fraction of global energy demand and that continuing to pursue this strategy is likely to use up vast tracts of fertile land that could be devoted to helping feed the world’s growing population. “I would say that many of the claims for biofuels have been dramatically exaggerated,” says Andrew Steer, president of the World Resources Institute, a global research organization based in Washington that is publishing the report. “There are other, more effective routes to get to a low-carbon world.” The report follows several years of rising concern among scientists about biofuel policies in the United States and Europe, and is the strongest call yet by the World Resources Institute, known for nonpartisan analysis of environmental issues, to urge governments to reconsider those policies.

Timothy D. Searchinger says that recent science has challenged some of the assumptions underpinning many of the pro-biofuel policies that have often failed to consider the opportunity cost of using land to produce plants for biofuel. According to Searchinger if forests or grasses were grown instead of biofuels, that would pull carbon dioxide out of the air, storing it in tree trunks and soils and offsetting emissions more effectively than biofuels would do. What is more, as costs for wind and solar power have plummeted over the past decade, and the new report points out that for a given amount of land, solar panels are at least 50 times more efficient than biofuels at capturing the energy of sunlight in a useful form. “It’s true that our first-generation biofuels have not lived up to their promise,” says Jason Hill said. “We’ve found they do not offer the environmental benefits they were purported to have, and they have a substantial negative impact on the food system.”"

Comment: Re:For all of you USA haters out there: (Score 1) 223

by dave420 (#48931757) Attached to: Why ATM Bombs May Be Coming Soon To the United States

Keep telling yourself that and see just how long your decrepit infrastructure lasts. Every single country has legacy systems, so clearly that is not an excuse. That only makes sense if you truly believe the US is some wonderland of technology the rest of the world has only recently adopted, which is such an absurd notion it defies belief someone can actually hold it in the 21st century, when information which dispels said notion in seconds is available at the click of a mouse button.

You're not special.

Comment: Praise the non-violent (Score 1) 223

by mi (#48931371) Attached to: Why ATM Bombs May Be Coming Soon To the United States

stealing cards remains an effective, nonviolent way to get at the cash in an ATM.

Wow, that makes it sound like the card-thieves are nice folks — see, they are "nonviolent". Almost like the "unarmed" we read so much about recently.

What a way to turn a phrase and alter connotations — pick a nice-sounding synonym of many. Khmm, "quiet"? Neah... "Stealthy"? No... "Nonviolent" — yeah, that's it!!

Comment: Re:Well I guess it's a good thing... (Score 1) 185

by dave420 (#48930645) Attached to: Adobe's Latest Zero-Day Exploit Repurposed, Targeting Adult Websites
It is costing them resources to serve up content you obviously want to see (hence you being there in the first place), yet you can't see that? I think the problem here lies more in your brain than in the advertising of the sites you visit. If the advertising offends you so much, don't visit their site. That simple.

Comment: Re:Well I guess it's a good thing... (Score 1) 185

by dave420 (#48930549) Attached to: Adobe's Latest Zero-Day Exploit Repurposed, Targeting Adult Websites
Don't try bringing logic to this party. He wants the content he values for free, and doesn't care that his attitude (if extended to everyone else) will cause that content to simply disappear, or become so diluted it won't be worth reading. He simply doesn't get that. No amount of eloquence can convince him of his rampant, selfish asshattery.

Comment: Re:Ask yourselves these questions... apk (Score 1) 185

by dave420 (#48930539) Attached to: Adobe's Latest Zero-Day Exploit Repurposed, Targeting Adult Websites

And HOSTS files can't block inlined advertising (of which your spamvertising posts are a great example), whereas adblockers can do that effortlessly.

Go get some help. You need it. I await your replies where you pretend to be a whole different bunch of people all agreeing that I'm some sort of messed up lunatic. Maybe you'll link to some of my comments and you and your made-up friends will judge me on them? I can't wait!

Comment: Re:Sucks to be law enforcement in a Republic (Score 1) 401

by dave420 (#48930385) Attached to: Justice Department: Default Encryption Has Created a 'Zone of Lawlessness'

You seem awfully confused. A monarchy might be constitutional (as in the UK now), or a dictatorship (as was in the UK ages ago). A republic might be a dictatorship, or it might be a democracy. Using "republic" to talk about a system of government is pointless, as it has absolutely nothing to do with anything. The UK, for example, is a monarchy, yet the power comes from the people - the Queen is merely a figurehead, and can make no laws. The British police seem to be doing a far better job of protecting the people than the US's police do, so your argument seems entirely false, and based on nothing but wishful thinking and ignorance.

If you want to bang on about things and use these words, it might help to know what they actually mean, so you don't look really foolish in the process.

Nothing succeeds like the appearance of success. -- Christopher Lascl