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Comment: Re:Lie. (Score 1) 155

You can, and I'd guesstimate that about 50% of legit SMTP connections to our server are encrypted with TLS. But that number could also be as low as 10-20% (the 90% of all connections being spam zombies makes it harder to estimate).

I have not tracked the value over time to see if it is going up/down. And our site is not particularly large, so we don't have a good sample to pull from.

+ - Neuroscientists Working to Push the Boundaries of Perception Through Wearables->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A pair of neuroscientists from Houston, Texas, Dr. David Eagleman and his graduate student, Scott Novich, have teamed up to work on the ultimate test of pushing the boundaries of our sensory perceptions: giving deaf individuals the ability to 'hear' through their sense of touch. The two are experimenting with raising funds for the project through a crowdfunding campaign via Kickstarter. At the moment, it looks like they have a working prototype developed along with some preliminary data. If the science works out, they plan to utilize the technology to provide atypical information streams to people, like Twitter feeds or stock market data."
Link to Original Source

+ - New Global Plan Would Crack Down On Corporate Tax Avoidance

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "Reuters reports that plans for a major rewriting of international tax rules have been unveiled by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) that could eliminate structures that have allowed companies like Google and Amazon to shave billions of dollars off their tax bills. For more than 50 years, the OECD’s work on international taxation has been focused on ensuring companies are not taxed twice on the same profits hampering trade and limit global growth. But companies have been using such treaties to ensure profits are not taxed anywhere. A Reuters investigation last year found that three quarters of the 50 biggest U.S. technology companies channelled revenues from European sales into low tax jurisdictions like Ireland and Switzerland, rather than reporting them nationally. For example, search giant Google takes advantage of tax treaties to channel more than $8 billion in untaxed profits out of Europe and Asia each year and into a subsidiary that is tax resident in Bermuda, which has no income tax. “We are putting an end to double non-taxation,” says OECD head of tax Pascal Saint-Amans.

For the recommendations to actually become binding countries will have to encode them in their domestic laws or amend their bilateral tax treaties. The OECD says that it plans to hold an international conference on amending the network of existing tax treaties. Sol Picciotto, an emeritus professor at Lancaster University in Britain, says the recommendations are at least five to 10 years from becoming law, and that the jury is still out on whether they will accomplish their stated goals. “These are just tweaks,” says Picciotto. “They’re trying to repair an old motorcar, but what they need is a new engine.”"

+ - Ethical trap: robot paralysed by choice of who to save-> 1

Submitted by wabrandsma
wabrandsma (2551008) writes "From New Scientist:

Can a robot learn right from wrong? Attempts to imbue robots, self-driving cars and military machines with a sense of ethics reveal just how hard this is

In an experiment, Alan Winfield and his colleagues programmed a robot to prevent other automatons – acting as proxies for humans – from falling into a hole. This is a simplified version of Isaac Asimov's fictional First Law of Robotics – a robot must not allow a human being to come to harm.

At first, the robot was successful in its task. As a human proxy moved towards the hole, the robot rushed in to push it out of the path of danger. But when the team added a second human proxy rolling toward the hole at the same time, the robot was forced to choose. Sometimes, it managed to save one human while letting the other perish; a few times it even managed to save both. But in 14 out of 33 trials, the robot wasted so much time fretting over its decision that both humans fell into the hole.

Winfield describes his robot as an "ethical zombie" that has no choice but to behave as it does. Though it may save others according to a programmed code of conduct, it doesn't understand the reasoning behind its actions. Winfield admits he once thought it was not possible for a robot to make ethical choices for itself. Today, he says, "my answer is: I have no idea".

As robots integrate further into our everyday lives, this question will need to be answered. A self-driving car, for example, may one day have to weigh the safety of its passengers against the risk of harming other motorists or pedestrians. It may be very difficult to program robots with rules for such encounters."

Link to Original Source
Education

Ask Slashdot: Any Place For Liberal Arts Degrees In Tech? 325

Posted by timothy
from the be-the-legacy-hire dept.
Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes A new article in Fast Company suggests tech CEOs want employees with liberal arts degrees, because those graduates have critical thinking skills. Meanwhile, a new article on Dice (yes, yes, we know) posits that STEM degrees such as data science, IT admin, and electrical engineering are what science-and-tech companies are going to want for the foreseeable future. What do you think? What place do those with liberal arts degrees have in companies such as, say, Tesla or a biomedical engineering firm?

Comment: Re:You mean... (Score 5, Insightful) 223

by Sloppy (#47918577) Attached to: AT&T Proposes Net Neutrality Compromise

I think the idea is that you pay the ISP for a "Netflix booster", and then your Netflix traffic gets un-humped into the fast lane.

Is it just me, or does anyone else see the foolishness in one of the highest volume uses of the Internet also being one of the highest priority? That people are thinking of the huge transfers of pre-produced video as being something other than the dead last, lowest priority cheapest-per-byte traffic there is, is totally ridiculous.

The only things that should be "fast laned" (low latency) are VoIP, videoconferencing, interactive terminals, etc: most of which is either low-bandwidth or else niche. If "high priority" is what many peoples' connections are doing several hours per day, then our very sense of "priorities" is fucked up.

I can't say I'm a fan of the ISPs that Netflix is fighting with, but at the same time: Fuck Netflix. Netflix is a case study in how to do video technologically wrong and it seems like they're just totally ignoring common sense. Why shouldn't doing things like a luddite, be relatively expensive? (Really, having storage in your box is still considered prohibitively expensive? It sure wasn't expensive in 2000 with Tivo series 1. Things got worse since then?!?) If the pampered princess insists that her cake be delivered from the kitchen a bite at a time and the commoner just puts a whole slice on his plate and takes a bite at the table whenever he wants it, we expect the princess' servants to be rolling their eyes when she's not looking, embezzeling, etc.

When we have broken up the monopolies and our streets have conduits under them containing a dozen competing fibers, we can re-evaluate the tech from our position of abundance. Maybe video streaming won't be on-the-face-of-it-stupid, then. But that's the future, not today.

+ - Digia Spins off Qt as Subsidiary->

Submitted by DeviceGuru
DeviceGuru (1136715) writes "Digia has spun off a subsidiary called The Qt Company to unify Qt's commercial and open source efforts, and debuted a low-cost plan for mobile developers. The Linux-oriented Qt cross-platform development framework has had a tumultuous career, having been passed around Scandinavia over the years from Trolltech to Nokia and then from Nokia to Digia. Yet, Qt keeps rolling along in both commercial and open source community versions, continually adding support for new platforms and technologies, and gaining extensive support from mobile developers. Now Qt is its own company, or at least a wholly owned subsidiary under Digia. Finland-based Digia has largely been involved with the commercial versions of Qt since it acquired the platform from Nokia in 2012, but it has also sponsored the community Qt Project as a relatively separate project. Now, both efforts are being unified under one roof at The Qt Company and the new QT.io website, says Digia. Meanwhile, Digia will focus on its larger enterprise software business."
Link to Original Source

+ - NASA to announce private space shuttle deal->

Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp (3454017) writes "NASA will make a "major announcement" later Tuesday about its plans to partner with the private sector to transport astronauts to the international space station.
The space agency said it will hold a news conference at Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 4 p.m. ET to discuss "the return of human spaceflight launches to the United States," according to a brief statement on its website.

The agency is expected to award a contract to one or more private aerospace companies to shuttle astronauts back and forth to the space station.

The contract to be announced Tuesday will be difficult to compare with the current arrangement, since it will involve "additional capabilities," such as development and certification programs, as well as shuttle services, the spokeswoman said.

The leading contender is Boeing (BA), according to the Wall Street Journal. Other bidders include SpaceX, which is backed by Tesla (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk, and Sierra Nevada Corp."

Link to Original Source

+ - College Students: Want To Earn More? Take A COBOL Class->

Submitted by jfruh
jfruh (300774) writes "With a lot of debate over the value of a college education, here's a data point students can use: at one Texas college, students who took an elective COBOL class earned on average $10,000 more a year upon graduation than classmates who hadn't. COBOL, dropped from many curricula years ago as an outdated language, is tenaciously holding on in the industry, as many universities are belatedly starting to realize."
Link to Original Source

+ - Apple tastefully edits iPhone 6's protruding camera out of official photos 2

Submitted by Sockatume
Sockatume (732728) writes "If you've been browsing Apple's site, eagerly awaiting the iPhone 6 launch, you might've noticed something a little odd. Apple has edited the handset's protruding camera out of every single side-on view of the handset. (The camera is, necessarily, retained for images showing the back of the device.) The absence is particularly conspicuous given the number of side views Apple uses to emphasise the device's thin-ness; perhaps they felt that the camera was an unslightly blemish upon the device's clean, elegant lines."
Cloud

Tim Cook Says Apple Can't Read Users' Emails, That iCloud Wasn't Hacked 155

Posted by timothy
from the our-cooperation-was-strictly-reluctant dept.
Apple CEO Tim Cook insists that Apple doesn't read -- in fact, says Cook, cannot read -- user's emails, and that the company's iCloud service wasn't hacked. ZDNet presents highlights from Cook's lengthy, two-part interview with Charlie Rose. One selection of particular interest: Apple previously said that even it can't access iMessage and FaceTime communications, stating that such messages and calls are not held in an "identifiable form." [Cook] claimed if the government "laid a subpoena," then Apple "can't provide it." He said, bluntly: "We don't have a key... the door is closed." He reiterated previous comments, whereby Apple has said it is not in the business of collecting people's data. He said: "When we design a new service, we try not to collect data. We're not reading your email." Cook went on to talk about PRISM in more detail, following the lead from every other technology company implicated by those now-infamous PowerPoint slides.

+ - Microsoft goes cross-platform with a universal keyboard for Android and iOS

Submitted by DroidJason1
DroidJason1 (3589319) writes "Microsoft has released a new keyboard that is designed to work with all of your devices. The Universal Mobile Keyboard, as Microsoft calls it, works on Android, iPad, iPhone, and Windows. Microsoft is taking the "one experience for everything in your life" mantra quite seriously. The keyboard connects to devices via Bluetooth, and works with Windows 8 and higher; Windows RT; Apple iOS 6 and higher; and Android 4 or higher. It features an OS switch that lets you change from one operating system to another while maintaining a fully functional keyboard. The keyboard cover has an integrated stand that can easily be detached too. The keyboard hits retail in October for $79.95."

Comment: Re:Not good enough (Score 5, Interesting) 273

by ConceptJunkie (#47918083) Attached to: Say Goodbye To That Unwanted U2 Album

U2 didn't used to be terrible, but at some point in the late 90s or early 2000s they seemed to start phoning it in. I haven't listened to anything new by them since then.

I'm a pretty serious music junkie, and while I usually listen to progressive rock and jazz fusion, I liked U2's stuff starting in the late 80s and my wife brought me an appreciation for their earlier stuff. They were a talented bunch of guys who were never above reinventing themselves every couple albums, like a lot of good, creative groups. This was back in the days when a significant amount of popular music was interesting and creative.

I'm surprised that Apple would be so tone-deaf to think everyone would automatically want this new album pushed to them. It wouldn't bother me (but I don't own any Apple devices and you couldn't pay me to use iTunes), but I can guarantee I'd want a very easy way to get rid of it if I didn't like it. I haven't spent decades curating a collection of music just to have it be carelessly junked up.

+ - Researchers' new app outs iPhone and Android phone energy hogs->

Submitted by alphadogg
alphadogg (971356) writes "Researchers from the United States and Sweden have launched free iOS and Android smartphone/tablet software that singles out which apps take the biggest toll on your device batteries and also illustrates fragmentation of Apple and Android mobile OSes. The NODES research group at the University of Helsinki's Department of Computer Science has joined forced with the University of California at Berkeley to deliver the Carat app and has published live stats http://carat.cs.berkeley.edu/s... based on some 2 terabytes of data extracted from Carat, which has been downloaded by about 750,000 users who employ more than 300,000 apps."
Link to Original Source

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