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Comment: or they could just NOT do it (Score 4, Interesting) 135

by cellocgw (#47713197) Attached to: Google Receives Takedown Request Every 8 Milliseconds

Instead of having software automatically remove every alleged infracting page, how about having the software automatically send a notice back informing the complainant of a lack of credible evidence, and dropping all the takedown notices into some summer intern's Inbox?

I mean, jeez...

Comment: us other engineers matter, too (Score 5, Insightful) 371

by cellocgw (#47688323) Attached to: Companies That Don't Understand Engineers Don't Respect Engineers

/. may be a software-centric site, but those of us in mechanical, electrical, optical, materials, and other branches of engineering are in the same basic position. But sadly, even in businesses which promote engineers into senior roles end up respecting people primarily on the basis of how many direct reports (that's the term for peons whose salaries they determine) they control. Until you're able to rate people by the quality/quantity of output regardless of altitude in the org chart, this problem will continue.

Security

Connected Collar Lets Your Cat Do the War-Driving 110

Posted by timothy
from the wifi-password-|"pl[\'as[cnp dept.
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Security researcher Gene Bransfield, with the help of his wife's grandmother's cat, decided to see how many neighborhood WiFi access points he could map and potentially compromise. With a collar loaded with a Spark chip, a Wi-Fi module, a GPS module, and a battery, Coco the cat helped Gene identify Wi-Fi networks around the neighborhood and then reported back. The goal here is obvious: Discover all of the unsecured, or at least poorly-secured, wireless access points around the neighborhood. During his journey, Coco identified dozens of Wi-Fi networks, with four of them using easily-broken WEP security, and another four that had no security at all. Gene has dubbed his collar the "WarKitteh", and it cost him less than $100 to make. He admits that such a collar isn't a security threat, but more of a goofy hack. Of course, it could be used for shadier purposes." (Here's Wired's article on the connected cat-collar.)

Comment: Re: Reaction or reflex? (Score 1) 51

by cellocgw (#47621645) Attached to: Researchers Make Fruit Flies Perform Aerobatics Like Spitfire Pilots

Now engineer a fruit fly the size of a dog and run the test again. I bet response time goes way up.

Geez, quit giving Michael Crichton ideas for his next "OMG Technology Bad!!!" novel.

Now, engineer a dog the size of a fruit fly and the whole "pooper scooper" paradigm goes away. No need for specialized dog parks; heck, no need to walk your dog any farther than around the dining room table! I, for one, welcome our new micro-sized Man's Best Friends!

Comment: Re:Do you blame them? (Score 1) 267

by cellocgw (#47621625) Attached to: Skype Blocks Customers Using OS-X 10.5.x and Earlier

Well, this leads directly to the heart of the Open Source movement. Compare with Firefox: some nice guys at tenfourfox put out PPC versions of every FF update. If the Skype source were available, the same could be done here (at least in theory, if Skype didn't choose to block it at their end).

Open Source

Ask Slashdot: What To Do About the Sorry State of FOSS Documentation? 430

Posted by samzenpus
from the keeping-up-with-the-times dept.
First time accepted submitter TWX writes I've been out of computers as a serious home-hobby for many years and in returning I'm aghast at the state of documentation for Open Source projects. The software itself has changed significantly in the last decade, but the documentation has failed to keep pace; most of what I'm finding applies to versions long since passed or were the exact same documents from when I dropped-out of hobbyist computing years ago. Take Lightdm on Ubuntu 14.04 for example- its entire configuration file structure has been revamped, but none of the documentation for more specialized or advanced uses of Lightdm in previous versions of Ubuntu has been updated for this latest release. It's actually harder now to configure some features than it was a decade ago. TLDP is close to a decade out-of-date, fragmentation between distributions has grown to the point that answers from one distro won't readily apply to another, and web forums for even specific projects are full of questions without answers, or those that head off into completely unrelated discussion, or with snarky, "it's in the documentation, stupid!" responses. Where do you go for your FOSS documentation and self-help?
Businesses

If You're Always Working, You're Never Working Well 135

Posted by Soulskill
from the brain-gets-mushy dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Hard work is almost an axiom in the U.S. — office culture continually rewards people who are at their desks early and stay late, regardless of actual performance. Over the past decade, it's encroached even further into workers' private lives with the advent of smartphones. An article at the Harvard Business Review takes issue with the idea that more work is always better: "When we accept this new and permanent ambient workload — checking business news in bed or responding to coworkers' emails during breakfast — we may believe that we are dedicated, tireless workers. But, actually, we're mostly just getting the small, easy things done. Being busy does not equate to being effective. ... And let's not forget about ambient play, which often distracts us from accomplishing our most important tasks. Facebook and Twitter report that their sites are most active during office hours. After all, the employee who's required to respond to her boss on Sunday morning will think nothing of responding to friends on Wednesday afternoon. And research shows (PDF) that these digital derailments are costly: it's not only the minutes lost responding to a tweet but also the time and energy required to 'reenter' the original task." How do we shift business culture to reward effective work more than the appearance of work?

Comment: how about secure transmission (Score 1) 115

by cellocgw (#47523331) Attached to: 'Optical Fiber' Made Out of Thin Air

Granted, I'm just another /.-er who never RTFAs, but I do have some experience w/ FO comms and free-air transmitters (of one wavelength or another).

So consider: the channeling lasers may disperse, but they carry no information beyond the existence of the channel and possibly the source and destination. The transmitted data packets do not disperse, so what you've got is the equivalent of a phased-array transmitter with zero sidelobes.

These screamingly hilarious gogs ensure owners of X Ray Gogs to be the life of any party. -- X-Ray Gogs Instructions

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