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Comment: Re:One word... (Score 3, Informative) 75

by Samantha Wright (#46735151) Attached to: Can Web-Based Protests Be a Force for Change?
Well, here's the tl;dr of TFA: Social media is the starting point. Hence the Arab Spring—you use Facebook or Twitter or whatever to spread your message and/or propaganda, and then accrue those with personal willingness to march and coordinate action through the net. Five dictators have been overthrown in the Middle East since December 2010 (as well as uprisings and protests in more than a dozen other countries) following social media germination, so clearly it's viable for that. Unfortunately this means it's also a single point of failure, as shown in Egypt when they depeered from the rest of the network in early 2011, easy to infiltrate and possible to manipulate.

3D Display Uses Misted Water 65

Posted by Soulskill
from the bring-an-umbrella dept.
An anonymous reader points out work at the University of Bristol into interactive, 3-D displays created by projecting light on misted water. "These personal screens are both see-through and reach-through. The see-through feature provides direct line of sight of the personal screen and the elements behind it on the tabletop. The reach-through feature allows the user to switch from interacting with the personal screen to reaching through it to interact with the tabletop or the space above it. The personal screen allows a range of customisations and novel interactions such as presenting 2D personal content on the screen, 3D content above the tabletop or supplementing and renewing actual objects differently for each user."

Comment: Re:Gee, that's worse than no encryption isn't it? (Score 1) 303

by buchner.johannes (#46691765) Attached to: OpenSSL Bug Allows Attackers To Read Memory In 64k Chunks

If only they had written OpenSSL in Java instead of C! I'm wondering how many friends I can get on Slashdot with that statement.

..., I think that we need to do three things:

  1) Pay money for security audits of critical security infrastructure like OpenSSL
  2) Write lots of unit and integration tests for these libraries
  3) Start writing alternatives in safer languages

Given how difficult it is to write safe C, I don't see any other options. ...

(from, someone else linked this below).

Comment: Re:Because you think Google is any better? (Score 1) 218

by Samantha Wright (#46684689) Attached to: Why No One Trusts Facebook To Power the Future

I was actually thinking of large platform developers such as Zynga. The fee and labour cost is potentially significantly higher, which makes it only attractive to a smaller number of companies prepared to do the work of scraping information itself, but the opportunity for information transfer still exists, doesn't it?

I believe you when you say the company's trying to improve its image in this regard, but, well, when you have a history of putting things like "Facebook does not screen or approve Platform Developers and cannot control how such Platform Developers use any personal information" in your privacy policy, that sours users' perception of your brand. It shouldn't really come as a surprise that people assume such things continue.

Comment: Re:Sounds like a RC plane not a drone (Score 2) 177

Never had anyone get hit by one. Now they're banned. Sad.

Over a period of eight years, lawn darts had sent 6,100 people to the emergency room. 81% of those cases involved children 15 or younger, and half of those were 10 or younger. The majority of injuries were to the head, face, eyes or ears, and many had led to permanent injury or disability.

And one was killed.

Just use plastic ones!

Comment: Re:Because you think Google is any better? (Score 1) 218

by Samantha Wright (#46672605) Attached to: Why No One Trusts Facebook To Power the Future

I've gotten quite a few random spam messages from Chinese industry, despite being a software engineer at an academic institution with absolutely nothing to do with any product development or manufacturing whatsoever. I've gotten offers for piping, ceramics, and a wide variety of plastics. At this very moment, I am reading a spam message from Kevin, who informs me he represents "one of the best digital images retouching/editing professionals located in China."

They seem like very good deals, and I'm almost saddened that I can't take them up on what appear to be very genuine, heartfelt attempts at mass mailing in an age where most unsolicited e-mail is about "your urgent Cooperation in transferring the sum of $11.3million immediately to your private account" and unauthorized activity notifications from Bl1zzard Entertanmnt on my several hundred accounts.

If you ever figure out what kind of plastic it was, let me know, and I'll check to see if I got the same e-mail!

Comment: Re:Because you think Google is any better? (Score 3, Insightful) 218

by Samantha Wright (#46672555) Attached to: Why No One Trusts Facebook To Power the Future

Facebook's position on providing large amounts of user data to its business partners has been the subject of scrutiny a few times. It remains unclear exactly how much stuff developers like Zynga have been able to access. There was also a series of events a couple of years ago where privacy controls were updated and set to overly permissive defaults—which is either spectacularly bad management (given how much bad PR it generated each and every time) or a bribed enablement of data-scraping.

As for sending email to a Gmail user, that's what I meant by "passive" use of Google's services, although I should note that if your e-mail never gets read, it cannot make Google money, just like a site with Google ads on it that never gets visited. You're really only an incidental bystander in that situation.

Comment: Re:Because you think Google is any better? (Score 5, Interesting) 218

by Samantha Wright (#46671699) Attached to: Why No One Trusts Facebook To Power the Future

Well, there's at least one sentence that's essentially different: "even when you die, Facebook can still make money off you."

Google doesn't (as far as I know) sell user information to advertisers. They exclusively use their own analytics; all an advertiser can do is submit their target demographics and keywords, and let Google do the math. While they're both huge storehouses of personal information, the big G is monolithic and generally non-porous—unless you're a malignant security agency, at least. If you're not using their services (at least passively), you're definitely not making them money.

This doesn't make them Totally Cool Groovy Guys You Should Trust With Anything, but it does make them naive ideologues surfing along the edge of a slippery slope rather than the outright thuggery of Facebook and other traditional advertisers—FB is more like a spam subscription; once you get signed up, you can be certain that your private information will propagate across the cosmos for eternity.

"If John Madden steps outside on February 2, looks down, and doesn't see his feet, we'll have 6 more weeks of Pro football." -- Chuck Newcombe