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Windows

+ - How to create bootable USB images?

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "I've spent all afternoon picking Google's brains about how to create bootable USB image files on Windows and there seems to be no good answers. No, Linux is not an option else I'd dd it in a second. The goal is to create a 32MB image that can be connected to an iLO for a firmware upgrade. Tools that will let me create an image from a USB stick that is bootable want to create an 8GB image (the USB stick is that size) even when the first partition is only 32MB. A volume based image tool excludes the MBR. I might add that creating a 32MB partition on an 8GB USB stick is in itself no easy feat with Windows. So I'm asking slashdot, how do you get a 32MB firmware update into a floppy image file that you can connect to with an iLO, boot into DOS and thereafter run the firmware update? (32MB appears to be the minimum size for FAT32 and using FAT16 or smaller formats did not lead anywhere else useful.)"
NASA

+ - NASA's NEXT ion thruster clocks up continuous operation world record->

Submitted by cylonlover
cylonlover (1921924) writes "NASA's Evolutionary Xenon Thruster (NEXT) ion engine has set a new world record by clocking up 43,000 hours of continuous operation at NASA’s Glenn Research Center’s Electric Propulsion Laboratory. The seven-kilowatt thruster is intended to propel future NASA deep space probes on missions where chemical rockets aren't a practical option. The NEXT ion thruster is one of NASA’s latest generation of engines. With a power output of seven kilowatts, it’s over twice as powerful as the ones used aboard the unmanned Dawn space probe. Yet it is simpler in design, lighter and more efficient, and is also designed for very high endurance.

Its current record of 43,000 hours is the equivalent of nearly five years of continuous operation while consuming only 770 kg (1697.5 lbs) of xenon propellant. The NEXT engine would provide 30 million-newton-seconds of total impulse to a spacecraft. What this means in simple terms is that the NEXT engine can make a spacecraft go (eventually) very far and very fast."

Link to Original Source
Education

+ - American Dream Fades for Generation Y Professionals->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes ""Generation Y professionals entering the workforce are finding careers that once were gateways to high pay and upwardly mobile lives turning into detours and dead ends. Average incomes for individuals ages 25 to 34 have fallen 8 percent, double the adult population’s total drop, since the recession began in December 2007. Their unemployment rate remains stuck one-half to 1 percentage point above the national figure.

Three and a half years after the worst recession since the Great Depression, the earnings and employment gap between those in the under-35 population and their parents and grandparents threatens to unravel the American dream of each generation doing better than the last. The nation’s younger workers have benefited least from an economic recovery that has been the most uneven in recent history. "

So how are younger, and older, Slashdotters approaching the employment market?"

Link to Original Source
Privacy

+ - Privacy, security, and best practises for the average guy

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "I'm an average guy looking for some basic advice on how to best ensure my security and privacy online. There's so much contradictory information out there, and always the niggling worry that actions will make things worse than they already are, and I find myself feeling like I need a Comp Sci degree just to log into google securely. So, simply, what are your top tips for ensuring basic security online for an average guy. Browser choice? Settings? Add-ons? What nefarious vulnerabilities exist that I wouldn't even think to be worried about (facebook cookies? Some sort of cross-browser data leaking?)."
Android

+ - Apple and HTC Settle Patent Dispute->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "HTC and Apple have reached a global settlement that includes the dismissal of all current lawsuits and a ten-year license agreement. The license extends to current and future patents held by both parties. The terms of the settlement are confidential.
Jealous much, Samsung and Google?"

Link to Original Source
Electronic Frontier Foundation

+ - What do you think of open wifi vs. network neutrality? 11

Submitted by
kwerle
kwerle writes "There was a recent story on slashdot about the EFF suggesting that folks leave their hotspots open to the public. One of the major concerns discussed was the issue of bandwidth hogs — and the frequently suggested solution was traffic shaping/limiting.

Network neutrality has often been covered on slashdot, and is also supported by the EFF. It seems like most slashdotters also support it.

My question for the slashdot audience is how you resolve the issue of bandwidth shaping your neighbors with the notion of network neutrality. After all, if your neighbor supplies a service through your network, and you limit traffic speed/volume to their system, you are violating network neutrality. Right?"

Comment: Re:Alternate hypothesis (Score 5, Informative) 729

by cappp (#41216815) Attached to: Do We Need a Longer School Year?
The articles themselves pretty much cede that point.

During the school year, disadvantaged children manage to catch up somewhat to more advantaged students. But during the summer, they lose those gains while their more advantaged peers -- whose parents can afford to arrange for summer enriching activities -- maintain theirs.

Moreover, they note that the issue is more complicated than just throwing a couple of extra days into the mix.

We should note, however, that a long school year tends to go part and parcel with several other policies, such as a longer school day and Saturday school, and this should make us cautious about assigning too much importance to a longer school year in and of itself. A more conservative conclusion would be to think of the package of the three policies having a positive association with student achievement.

Comment: Stats disagree (Score 4, Informative) 388

by cappp (#40405573) Attached to: Kaspersky Says Lack of Digital Voting Will Be Democracy's Downfall
The official stats seem to disagree, or at least suggest that there's more to consider than just age/membership in a wired generation.

Consider for instance the breakdown in voting participation over the last 4 presidential elections (.pdf warning) - voter participation of those between 18 and 34 (what I would consider to be the net generation) has increased, in many cases markedly. Consider for instance that 18 to 20 year olds in 1996 had a 31.2% rate, 2000 saw a 28.4, 2004 had a 41% and 2008 had 41%. Similarly 21 to 24 saw 33.4, 35.4, 42.5, and 46.6. Similarly overall participation has increased across the board - 50.3% in 2000 to 57.1 in 2008.

If anything one could argue that the rise of the internet has increased participation through the development of targeted demographic outreach like that popularly attributed to Obama's campaign success. Combine that with the ready stream of polarising online news, politicised communities, and use of social media and you've got a recipe for maximum outreach with minimum investment.

Comment: Re:Asking the wrong question. (Score 1) 223

by cappp (#39567161) Attached to: Do Tablets Help Children Learn?
It remains to be seen if this sort of interactive technology is beneficial in the classroom. A previous comment from a couple of months ago gives a few handy links to stories suggesting the benefits, if they exist, are limited.

That being said, a recent story in the NYT paints a more positive picture.

Many studies have found that technology has helped individual classrooms, schools or districts. For instance, researchers found that writing scores improved for eighth-graders in Maine after they were all issued laptops in 2002. The same researchers, from the University of Southern Maine, found that math performance picked up among seventh- and eighth-graders after teachers in the state were trained in using the laptops to teach. A question plaguing many education researchers is how to draw broader inferences from such case studies, which can have serious limitations. For instance, in the Maine math study, it is hard to separate the effect of the laptops from the effect of the teacher training.

The whole article is worth reading if you have the time but a few take away comments include:

Some classroom studies show that math scores rise among students using instructional software, while others show that scores actually fall....

One broad analysis of laptop programs like the one in Maine, for example, found that such programs are not a major factor in student performance.

“Rather than being a cure-all or silver bullet, one-to-one laptop programs may simply amplify what’s already occurring — for better or worse,”

A review by the Education Department in 2009 of research on online courses — which more than one million K-12 students are taking — found that few rigorous studies had been done and that policy makers “lack scientific evidence” of their effectiveness.. A division of the Education Department that rates classroom curriculums has found that much educational software is not an improvement over textbooks.

Belated long story short – the evidence is contradictory and more study is needed.

Comment: Possibly not (Score 5, Informative) 536

by cappp (#38030954) Attached to: Mexican Cartel Beheads Another Blogger
Wired updated their story with an important caveat

Our original report named “Rascatripas” as a forum moderator for Nuevo Laredo in Vivo. That’s now appears to be off-base. At least one local reporter says there’s “no proof” yet that the decapitated man found Wednesday was actually murdered for his online activity. And administrators for Nuevo Laredo en Vivo now say that “Rascatripas” wasn’t one of theirs. “Negative,” they tweet (thanks to Xeni Jardin for the translation, and for the tip). “He was not our partner, he is confirmed to have been a scapegoat to scare others. The person executed is not a collaborator with our site, but this was without doubt an attempt to silence the voices of Nuevo Laredo.”

Comment: Re:Anyone Surprised? (Score 2) 219

by cappp (#37788012) Attached to: Proposed UK Online Libel Rules Would Restrict Anonymous Posting
Read the proposal itself, you might be somewhat comforted. I think TFA is specifically referring to section 3 where they state

we recommend that any material written by an unidentified person should be taken down by the host or service provider upon receipt of complaint, unless the author promptly responds positively to a request to identify themselves, in which case a notice of complaint should be attached. If the internet service provider believes that there are significant reasons of public interest that justify publishing the unidentified material—for example, if a whistle-blower is the source—it should have the right to apply to a judge for an exemption from the take-down procedure and secure a "leave-up" order.[170] We do not believe that the host or service provider should be liable for anonymous material provided it has complied with the above requirements...Any host or service provider who refuses to take-down anonymous material should be treated as its publisher and face the risk of libel proceedings, subject to the standard defences and our proposals relating to leave up orders. It is for the Government to make clear in the Bill any exceptional circumstances in which unidentified material should have evidential value for the purposes of defamation proceedings.

I'm not sure how I feel about the proposals themselves but they're still in the consultation phase - if you disagree, call your Member's number.

Comment: Re:Bullshit (Score 1) 624

by cappp (#37608884) Attached to: NY Senators Want To Make Free Speech A Privilege
The section you're citing to reads

PROPONENTS OF FREE SPEECH HAVE LONG ARGUED THAT A SOCIETY THAT PUTS PEOPLE ON TRIAL FOR THINGS THEY HAVE WRITTEN OR SAID IS NO LONGER A TRULY DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY. THE POWER OF THE WORD HAS BEEN UNDISPUTABLE; IT HAS BEEN ESSENTIAL TO PRESERVING DEMOCRACY AND, IN FACT, ITS FOUNDING PREMISE WAS TO PRESERVE THE EXCHANGE OF IDEAS: A “MARKET PLACE” WHERE CITIZENS COULD SORT THROUGH BELIEFS AND IDEAS WHICH BEST RESONATED WITH THEM AND DISCARD THOSE THAT DID NOT,74 THEREBY ALLOWING FOR THE CREATION OF AN EVER-EVOLVING, OPEN SOCIETY. MOREOVER, THEY CONTEND THAT FREEDOM OF SPEECH IS RECOGNIZED AS A HUMAN RIGHT UNDER ARTICLE 19 OF THE UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS,75 SO IT CANNOT AND MUST NOT BE LIMITED. AND YET, PROPONENTS OF A MORE REFINED FIRST AMENDMENT ARGUE THAT THIS FREEDOM SHOULD BE TREATED NOT AS A RIGHT BUT AS A PRIVILEGE – A SPECIAL ENTITLEMENT GRANTED BY THE STATE ON A CONDITIONAL BASIS THAT CAN BE REVOKED IF IT IS EVER ABUSED OR MALTREATED. BRITISH PHILOSOPHER JOHN STUART MILL LONG ARGUED THAT “THE ONLY PURPOSE FOR WHICH POWER CAN BE RIGHTFULLY EXERCISED OVER ANY MEMBER OF A CIVILIZED COMMUNITY, AGAINST HIS WILL, IS TO PREVENT HARM FROM OTHERS.”76 HIS “HARM PRINCIPLE” WAS ARTICULATED IN AN ANALOGY BY OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES, JR. (1841-1935), AND STILL HOLDS TRUE TODAY: “THE RIGHT TO SWING MY FIST ENDS WHERE THE OTHER MAN’S NOSE BEGINS,” OR, A PERSON’S RIGHT TO FREE SPEECH ENDS WHEN IT SEVERELY INFRINGES UPON THE SAFETY AND WELL-BEING OF ANOTHER. 74

It's not an argument one way or the other. It's merely a statement of two differing stances. The report also notes that the First Amendment has never been absolute, an important fact that a lot of people don't seem to realize. Nothing is being thrown under the bus, these are basic legal principles that exist in the law anyway.

Comment: Re:Bullshit (Score 1) 624

by cappp (#37608858) Attached to: NY Senators Want To Make Free Speech A Privilege
But it is out of context. The paper uses a basic rhetorical device: some people say X, some people say Y, we say blah blah blah. It's not advocating the stated positions at all, and if the entire thing is taken as a whole it makes a compelling legal argument for the protection of the first amendment in an area that is otherwise pushing in the opposite direction. We can argue about if it's a necissary expansion of the law, I would argue that it's codifying principles that already exist throughout anyway, and we can argue about the validity of the conditions and standards applied; but what we shouldn't do is cherry pick a sentance, divorce it from the context in which is sat, and then make hyperbolic statements.

Some people think the death penalty is flawed, some people think that the death penalty is a good idea. Headline: Cappp says the death penalty is a good idea!

Comment: Re:Bullshit (Score 1) 624

by cappp (#37606514) Attached to: NY Senators Want To Make Free Speech A Privilege
The First Amendment has never been absolute. Years of case law and precident demonstate this - shouting fire in a crowded theatre blah blah blah.

This report in no way seeks to undermine the rights of speech, infact they go out of their way to avoid it. What is suggested is two changes to current laws (stalking and manslaughter specifically) to faciliate prosecution of malicious internet communications. This is already a crime in every other medium.

A PERSON IS GUILTY OF STALKING IN THE THIRD DEGREE WHEN HE OR SHE INTENTIONALLY, AND FOR NO LEGITIMATE PURPOSE, ENGAGES IN A COURSE OF CONDUCT USING ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION DIRECTED AT A CHILD UNDER THE AGE OF TWENTY-ONE YEARS, AND KNOWS OR REASONABLY KNOW THAT SUCH CONDUCT:
A) IS LIKELY TO CAUSE REASONABLE FEAR OF MATERIAL HARM TO THE PHYSICAL HEALTH, SAFETY OR PROPERTY OF SUCH CHILD; OR
B) CAUSES MATERIAL HARM TO THE MENTAL OR EMOTIONAL HEALTH, SAFETY OR PROPERTY OF SUCH CHILD

This is merely updating the laws to better reflect today's means of communication - the content of said law already exists. You're not allowed to intentially cause fear in othe people, nor cause material harm. Those principles already exist in the law.

I should have used the earlier post to elaborate more on the point and apologise for that failure. The proposed changes are not about stiffling free speech, as the report if read in it's entirety makes clear, but rather about updating current laws to reflect technological realities. This is not new content nor judicial reaching, it's whats already on the books merely applied to a new medium.

Comment: Bullshit (Score 4, Informative) 624

by cappp (#37605488) Attached to: NY Senators Want To Make Free Speech A Privilege
Only thats not at all what's written. Read the entire report for yourself, you'll be pleasantly suprised.
The quote given is taken completely out of context, infacT the report notes on the page previous that

THE CHALLENGE LIES IN PROTECTING TEENAGERS FROM CYBERBULLYING WITHOUT TRAMPLING ON THE FREE SPEECH PROTECTIONS AFFORDED BY THE FIRST AMENDMENT. THIS PROPOSED LEGISLATION ACCOMPLISHES THAT IN THE FOLLOWING WAY:

The report has some fairly decently nuanced considerations and is being damned by a single, out of context quote. Hell read onto the next page if you like

IN SUMMARY, ALTHOUGH SPEECH IS GENERALLY PROTECTED UNDER THE FIRST AMENDMENT, THERE ARE INSTANCES IN WHICH RESTRICTIONS ARE WARRANTED. IN

HOLY SHIT, THEYRE CONSIDERING THE LAW AS IT'S WRITTEN AND APPLIED IN THE REAL WORLD, NOT MY IDEOLOGICAL BUNKER!!!!!

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