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Submission + - Almost no real women on Ashley Madison

gurps_npc writes: Ashley Madison claimed to have about 31 million men and 5.5 million woman enrolled. Those odds are not good for the men, 6:1. But unfortunately, most of those 'women' were fake. This researcher analyzed the data and found only 12,000 actual, real women using Ashley Madison. That means for every 7750 men, there were 3 women. There are reports that Ashley Madison paid people to create fake female profiles. Their website admits that 'some of the users may be their for "entertainment purposes"' The article itself is well written, including a description of the analysis.

A charitable person would say that Ashley Madison was selling a fantasy, not reality. But a realist would say Ashley Madison is just a thief stealing money from lonely, unhappy men.

Submission + - Jim Bakker Urging Followers to Buy Real Estate in Heaven->

An anonymous reader writes: Jim Bakker, a former superstar in the televangelist world, is now selling real estate in heaven. Bakker has been urging his followers to make monthly $100 donations to ensure they will get a good place to live in heaven.
“Heaven has all kinds of property, ghettos, shacks, apartments, starter homes and mansions,” Bakker said. “Send in your love offering to ensure you have a palatial mansion in heaven. You want to make sure you are in a good heavenly neighborhood.”

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 + - Whiskey in space

schwit1 writes: An experiment to test how whiskey ages in weightlessness is about to begin on ISS.

H-II Transfer Vehicle No. 5, commonly known as "Kounotori5" or HTV5, was launched on Wednesday from JAXA's Tanegashima Space Center carrying alcohol beverages produced by Suntory to the Japanese Experiment Module aboard the International Space Station, where experiments on the "development of mellowness" will be conducted for a period of about one year in Group 1 and for two or more years (undecided) in Group 2.

Don't worry, the astronauts on ISS won't be getting drunk. After the test period is complete the samples will then returned to Earth, untasted, where they will then be compared with control samples.

Submission + - California: Mandatory water efficient shower heads->

An anonymous reader writes: Standards adopted today require that all showerheads not exceed 2.0 gallons per minute maximum flow rate. In the state’s latest drought-conservation measure, California regulators Wednesday adopted stricter low-flow standards for showerheads in a move designed to save billions of gallons of water annually.

In related news, the San Diego Metropolitan Water District is thanking San Diegans for saving so much water during the shortage that they will need to raise water rates 16% because they didn't make enough profit.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - Windows 10 could disable pirated games and unauthorized hardware->

Mark Wilson writes: Cries of "FUD!" ring out whenever potential issues and concerns with Windows 10 are pointed out, but there's no denying that the launch of this version of Windows has been more blighted than any other. The latest controversy finds Microsoft updating its EULA so that it is able to block pirated games and unauthorized peripherals.

While on one hand this seems entirely reasonable — few people would argue too strongly that they should be permitted to play pirated games — on the other it is confusing and worrisome. It is yet another example of Microsoft causing trouble for itself by failing to properly communicate with its customers, being insufficiently transparent and clear in meaning. Just what is an 'unauthorized peripheral'? It is the lack of clarity that is likely to give the greatest cause for concern here.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - Working STEM students may be forced to leave U.S. next year, says court->

dcblogs writes: A federal judge made a ruling this week that could force tens of thousands of foreign workers, many of whom are employed at tech companies on student visas, to return to their home countries early next year. This ruling, released Wednesday by U.S. District Court Judge Ellen Huvelle in Washington, found that the government erred by not seeking public comment when it extended the 12-month Optional Practical Training (OPT) program to 29 months for STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) students. The OPT program allows someone to work on a student visa. Huvelle could have invalidated the OPT extension immediately but instead gave the government six months, or until to Feb. 12, 2016, to submit the OPT extension rule "for proper notice and comment." Ian Macdonald, an immigration attorney at Greenberg Traurig, said that if the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which overseas immigration, doesn't act to fix the problem before the court's Feb. 12 expiration, the OPT extensions "will be terminated with immediate effect and (the visa holders) will have 60 days to pack up their belongings."
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Can Edward Snowden run for president? And win? 1

BisuDagger writes: Edward Snowden qualifies under the American rules to run for President of the United States.

  This is controversial because he is under investigation and would be arrested if he returned home. However, someone else is under investigation,alleged law breaker Hillary Clinton, who is also running for President. Edward Snowden could run as an independent should he announce, or citizens could do the old fashion "write-in" his name as their selection. If Snowden did run, would you vote for him? Do you think he could win?

Submission + - Firefox's Secret Requests 1

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 and no javascript needed. Try it for yourself. Disable CSS and javascript in Firefox and fire up iftop, 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 'secret request'.

Submission + - Blindness and reading Slashdot 1

An anonymous reader writes: Hi, I’m a longtime Slashdot reader and a big fan of the site. Your site is definitely in the top 5 sites I check out every day and find it to be a great way to find out about news, tech culture, and generally interesting and entertaining information.

That said, I’m writing to you becuase reading the site has been become a chore, mainly because I’m starting to go blind. I don’t mean that in the literal sense of losing all vision, just my up close reading vision. As a guy in his 40s I’m starting to have harder time seeing things up close. This affects me as a computer professional because my career is based on reading things up close.

Luckily, the technology we use specifically for vision-impaired people and allows changing most content size via a zoom functionality or changing the font size. Most every operating system and application supports this. So, here are things I use to make text larger when reading web pages:

Zoom
When I load a website, I generally enlarge the page via web browser zoom functionality. On all major browsers for Macintosh, this is Cmd +. And on most websites this works well enough. Some web sites handle layout issues with zoom better than others but it’s generally readable. Slashdot is an unfortunate exception. When I zoom the Slashdot page, the left side that has the actual content becomes smaller and the right bar overtakes the page. Zooming enough so that I can read the text means the articles become almost impossible to read.

http://i.imgur.com/XZnDMLy.png

At this level of zoom, you can only see a partial headline. Less than 15% of the area of the page is a news posting. More than 85% of the page is non-content, that is, an actual article I wanted to read. Those ads sure don’t get smaller though; they are shown at correct zoom and aspect ratio.

Additionally, reading the articles is painful. The text is flowed such that you can see at most 3 words per line, and sometimes one or two words per line. At this zoom level, one third of the page is actual content, 2/3 going to that right sidebar. In general, this bar has ads and some incidental navigation content that I’ve never used in my life and has no interest to me. So, forcing this to overtake the page makes reading content unbearable.

Override Font Size
OK, since I like your site I will go through some more hoops to make it more readable. Maybe I can change the text size in my browser to make the site look better and I can still read the text. Whoops, Safari doesn’t have that preference any more. OK, let’s try Chrome. It has a ‘font size’ preference, so I’ll change to the largest ‘Very Large’. Andnothing happens. Apparently your site overrides the browser’s built in font setting. Fine, I’ll go to Firefox which still allows you to override the page font. Unfortunately, not much luck.

http://i.imgur.com/BYe1z6A.png

1. Only the headline size and the top menu font size changed. The actual article content can’t be overridden by Firefox for some reason. I tried changing every font size in the preferences I could find with no effect.
2. The layout is now messed up, with text overlapping in the menu, and the comment number for each post going outside it’s bar.
3. The font I picked (Times New Roman, a standard serif font) doesn’t have glyphs for all the characters on the page so there’s a lot of broken areas of the page that draw unknown characters.

Mobile
Another tactic I try is to go to the mobile version of a site, which generally has a much simpler layout and handles showing content and ads better at ‘smaller’ sizes. I even see on your desktop site it tells me how to go to the mobile site.
No such luck, going to the mobile URL redirects back to the desktop version.

Summary
All this means that the Slashdot site is very hard to read with my current vision. The maddening thing is that the technology to make the site readable exists on all major operating systems, applications, and browsers. Except Slashdot manages to circumvent these options.

The Blind Manifesto
I don't think it's too much to ask that I can read a web page that has non-obtrusive ads and side bar. Or some way to dismiss them when they get in the way.

I don't think I should be penalized for my declining vision. Someone with better vision has more of the web site with actual content, and has the optimal layout that the developers created. I have to either squint and hurt my eyes, or see a crap version of the page.

May I humbly ask for one of these:

When zooming, don’t mandate that the right sidebar has to be onscreen at all times. All other major websites don’t have this problem. I tried the top 10 websites and many others to prove it, so hopefully Slashdot can do the same.

Allow the right sidebar to become squished like the content.

Have some control on your website to zoom the font size. And not just 2 or 3 settings. Allow as much zoom as I want. As an example, I use somewhere between 200% and 300%.

Allow overriding the font in Firefox.

Allow going to the mobile site on the desktop.

I appreciate you taking the time to read this and I very much hope I can go back to reading Slashdot.

Submission + - ASK Slashdot: Why can't ransomware be tracked down? Follow the money?

An anonymous reader writes: My company just posted a warning about the CTB Cryptlocker ransomware, but I guess the question applies to any ransomware.

In theory, they want money transferred to them, so it must be possible to track that money, and determine who is benefitting from the ransomware.

So ... why is there still ransomware? Shouldn't there be drone strikes killing these parasites? (or some less vigilante response?)

Is it merely that the agencies which have the power to do it, don't care enough? Do they know / assume it's from some giant organized crime syndicate which nobody will dare cross?

Or is there some technical impossibility that would stop even a large government, willing to throw its weight around, from stopping this?

Submission + - Tell Us Your Windows 10 Upgrade Experience

An anonymous reader writes: So, Windows 10 free upgrade rolled out a few days ago. Lets hear about your success, troubles, or tribulation about it. Personally, my upgrade kept failing with Code 80240020 after three days of trying. I finally found the solution, a registry hack, at answers.microsoft.com with the following...

This is an expected message indicating that when installation begins it may require user interaction. This is the largest software upgrade event ever and we’re managing it so everyone has a great experience. We recommend waiting until your PC receives a notification to upgrade, and then following the instructions provided.

Please note that there is no problem with your reservation or upgrade download. The upgrade download is not corrupt as some have stated, and you will be notified in the coming days or weeks when your device is ready to upgrade.

If you are very eager to upgrade, tech savvy users with the above message can modify the following registry key to install immediately.

Warning: Serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Before you modify it, back up the registry for restoration in case problems occur.

Locate the registry key: [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\WindowsUpdate\OSUpgrade]
It should exist, but if not, create it.
Create a new DWORD (32-bit) Value with Name = "AllowOSUpgrade” (without the quotes), and set the Value = 0x00000001.

Once the registry key is modified, close and reopen the desktop Control Panel, go to Windows Update and check for updates. You should now be able to click the Get Started button to upgrade to Windows 10. Note: Windows 8.1 users must go to the desktop Control Panel, and not the modern Windows Update UI.”

Submission + - Are we there yet? Ask Google maps...

An anonymous reader writes: Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet? If you use Google maps on your phone for directions in GPS mode, and have it updated to the latest version... Press the microphone button and keep asking that question.

Submission + - Check whether Hacking Team demoed cyberweapons for your local cops->

v3rgEz writes: Turns out death squads aren't the only agencies buying Hacking Squad's controversial spyware. Town from Miami Shores, FL to Eugene, OR appeared on a list of US agencies that received demonstrations from the hacked surveillance vendor. MuckRock has mapped out who was on the lists, and is working to FOIA what these towns actually bought, if anything. Check and see if your city is on the map.
Link to Original Source

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