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The Military

The High-Tech Warfare Behind the Israel - Hamas Conflict 402

Posted by samzenpus
from the who's-got-the-best-guns dept.
Taco Cowboy writes The Israel — Hamas conflict in Gaza is not only about bombs, missiles, bullets, but also about cyberwarfare, battles of the mind over social media, smart underground tunnels and cloud-based missile launching systems. The tunnels that Hamas has dug deep beneath Gaza are embedded with high tech gadgets, courtesy of Qatar, which has funded Hamas with billions to equipped their tunnels with intelligent sensors which are networked to control centers enabling the command and control staff to quickly notify operatives nearby that IDF units are advancing inside a certain tunnel, allowing for rapid deployment of attack units and the setting up of bobby traps inside the tunnel.

In addition, Hamas has automated its rocket firing system using networked, cloud-based launching software provided by Qatar which can set off a rocket from any distance, and set them to go off at a specific time, using timers. "Anyone who thinks they have dozens of people sitting next to launchers firing rockets each time there is a barrage is mistaken," said Aviad Dadon, a senior cyber-security adviser at several Israeli government ministries. While Doha is allowing Hamas to use its technology to fight Israel, it's their own cyber-security the leaders of Qatar are worried about. For the Qataris, the war between Israel and Hamas is a proving ground to see how their investments in cyber systems have paid of — Qatar is very worried that one of its Gulf rivals — specifically Saudi Arabia — will use technology to attack it, and Qatar spends a great deal of money each year on shoring up its cyber-technology.

Comment: Re:How has slashdot come to this? (Score 1) 150

Utter crap. Codenomicon are very friendly to FLOSS and FLOSS developers. They're also great guys. They have been providing free test services to the Samba project for many years now, and have helped us fix many many bugs.

In case you hadn't noticed, the code they're reporting on here is closed source proprietary code...

+ - U.K. Cabinet Office Adopts ODF as Exclusive Standard for Sharable Documents->

Submitted by Andy Updegrove
Andy Updegrove (956488) writes "The U.K. Cabinet Office accomplished today what the Commonwealth of Massachusetts set out (unsuccessfully) to achieve ten years ago: it formally required compliance with the Open Document Format (ODF) by software to be purchased in the future across all government bodies. Compliance with any of the existing versions of OOXML, the competing document format championed by Microsoft, is neither required nor relevant. The announcement was made today by The Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude. Henceforth, ODF compliance will be required for documents intended to be shared or subject to collaboration. PDF/A or HTML compliance will be required for viewable government documents. The decision follows a long process that invited, and received, very extensive public input – over 500 comments in all."
Link to Original Source

+ - UK to use Open Document Format for government documents->

Submitted by sfcrazy
sfcrazy (1542989) writes "UK has decided to use ‘open standards’ for sharing and viewing government documents. The announcement was made by the Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude. One of the primary objectives of this move is to create a level playing field for suppliers of all sizes. The move must put some pressure on Google to offer full support for ODF in Chrome, Android and Google Docs."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Oh Microsoft, oh Microsoft.. (Score 1) 742

by Jeremy Allison - Sam (#46326529) Attached to: "Microsoft Killed My Pappy"

"Guys, I know we've been punching you in the face for 20+ years but we've *stopped* now !
Why don't you love us ?"

As someone who works very well with Microsoft these days and has many friends there, the lack of self-awareness in the posts on the article is staggering :-).

You have to do more than stopping being bad. Being *good* is required. :-).

I know you can do it ! Stop being a patent troll for starters.

+ - Hacker Public Radio audio interview with Jeremy Allison @ FOSDEM.->

Submitted by Jeremy Allison - Sam
Jeremy Allison - Sam (8157) writes "Here's a (long:-) interview that Ken Fallon of Hacker Public Radio did with me at FOSDEM. Covers a variety of subjects, from the Sinclair QL interview with Linus to how Samba got started (and how to steal programming time from your employer :-), to the Microsoft/EU lawsuit !"
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Heaven (Score 1) 420

by Jeremy Allison - Sam (#45980093) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Suggestions For a Simple Media Server?

The thing you have to understand is that this isn't a technical problem.

All of these things are well understood, and there are Free Software libraries that will do all of these things (indeed the proprietary commercial solutions are often built with these very self-same libraries).

No, this is a *legal* problem, with patents on software destroying the opportunity to create many wonderful things that consumers would love to buy, if the legal framework allowed it, which it doesn't.

It's almost unimaginable how much damage one simple thing (allowing patents on software) has done to the industry.

Comment: Happened to us too (Score 3, Interesting) 133

by mattbee (#45873829) Attached to: UK Company Successfully Claims Ownership of "Pinterest" Trademark

A US startup called "Bytemark" started trading in the UK (my hosting company has been around since 2002). Like an idiot I asked them to please change their name because it could cause some confusion. Until then I'd not considered trademark issues, and we finally filed for a trademark of our own. Of course they filed 2 weeks before us, after I'd sent my polite request. So 2 years and about £20,000 later (only finished just last month) we defeated their objection to our trademark at a hearing, and the trademark office gave us full rights over the name. If it hadn't gone that way we could have been harassed into changing our 10-year old brand name, especially if we'd gone into any new areas of business.

My takeaway from that is that if I start another business I'll take on registration of the UK, EU & possibly US trademark as a given before launching. But when you're just starting out, it is (at best) thousands of pounds that could really be put to better use.

Privacy

Swarm Mobile's Offer: Free Wi-Fi In Exchange For Some Privacy 121

Posted by timothy
from the tradeoffs-tradeoffs dept.
cagraham writes "Startup Swarm Mobile intends to help physical retailers counter online shopping habits by collecting data on their customer's actions. Swarm's platform integrates with store's Wifi networks in order to monitor what exactly customers are doing while shopping. In exchange for collecting analytics, shoppers get access to free internet. Swarm then send reports to the store owners, detailing how many customers checked prices online, or compared rival products on their phones. Their platform also allows stores to directly send discount codes or coupons to shopper's phones."
Network

Researcher Shows How GPUs Make Terrific Network Monitors 67

Posted by samzenpus
from the keeping-an-eye-on-things dept.
alphadogg writes "A network researcher at the U.S. Department of Energy's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory has found a potential new use for graphics processing units — capturing data about network traffic in real time. GPU-based network monitors could be uniquely qualified to keep pace with all the traffic flowing through networks running at 10Gbps or more, said Fermilab's Wenji Wu. Wenji presented his work as part of a poster series of new research at the SC 2013 supercomputing conference this week in Denver."

Comment: Amazon's competitors still leaving an open goal (Score 1) 258

by mattbee (#45251847) Attached to: Why Amazon Is Profitless Only By Choice

So here are two experiences that made me think "screw this, I wish I'd shopped at Amazon". This may just be a UK-specfic experience, but...

1) Samsung Series 9 laptop from PC World, bought from their store in April, came with Windows 8 drivers (I think) that just never worked. Mouse pointer jerking around, it blue-screened within 5 minutes on one boot out of every two. I updated its drivers through Windows, through the Samsung driver update utility ... just hopeless. I tried to use it for about a month, trying to avoid reboots, but eventually gave up and took it back to the shop. Their nice assistant agreed it looked screwed, took it back, and after two phone calls their support people said that because I hadn't made a restore disc, they couldn't / wouldn't do anything with it, and it must have been my negligence that broke it. I am taking them to court for the £900 purchase price to get a refund, after I'd bought a different model ... at Amazon.

2) Bought a £150 model helicopter for a member of staff as a leaving present from Maplin (big electronics component & gadget store), to be delivered to his house. They make a picking error and deliver a completely different, much cheaper product. I call them and say, hey, you've made a mistake would you mind delivering the correct item. No. I must go over to the recipient's house, pick the item up, drive it to the store before they will acknowledge their mistake and get me what I ordered. They generously offer a freepost address for me to send the item back, but I must be sure to go to the post office and get a certificate of dispatch! [if you've never been to England this generally involves driving into town, queuing, finding it closed for lunch etc.]

I know from for 1) Amazon would take the item back without question, and I'd be confident enough ordering a replacement on the same day, giving me what I want sooner. And for 2) again, I know they would send the right item out without question and tell me to keep the mistake, it's nor worth the restocking fees.

So whenever I hear "Amazon driving retailers out of business" what I really hear is "Amazon showing how it's done by treating customers as honest & impatient, competitors continue to fuck it up". Amazon aren't even the cheapest, or even the easiest web site to find what you want, but I do know that they care about customers getting what they want quickly, and often that's why I'll pay a bit more.

Is this unfair to ALL OTHER retailers? Am I forgetting some intangible Amazon magic here?

Some people claim that the UNIX learning curve is steep, but at least you only have to climb it once.

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