Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Slashdot Deals: Deal of the Day - 6 month subscription of Pandora One at 46% off. ×

Submission + - A Modest Proposal, re: Beta vs. Classic 19

unitron writes: Dice wants to make money off of what they paid for--the Slashdot name--, or rather they want to make more money off of it than they are making now, and they think the best way to do that is to turn it into SlashingtonPost.

They should take this site and give it a new name. Or get Malda to let them use "Chips & Dips".

Leave everything else intact, archives, user ID database, everything except the name.

Then use the Beta code and start a new site and give it the slashdot.org name, and they can have what they want without the embarrassment of having the current userbase escape from the basement or the attic and offend the sensibilities of the yuppies or hipsters or metrosexuals or whoever it is that they really want for an "audience".

Comment unpopular but interesting opinion (Score 1) 822

Judging from the reactions yours was indeed an unpopular opinion :-)

Snowden committed crimes. For the rule of law, he should be tried and sentenced to the prescribed penalty for those crimes.
I'm glad we know what he told us. But you can't not prosecute people who undoubtedly did commit crimes because you agree with their stated motives.

(emphasis mine)
You bring up an interesting point, and I don't think that you're trolling.

But your statement presupposes that you're living under the rule of law, in the USA at the moment.
But, we have proof that this is not so:

  • 1. US Congress security oversight committee asks Clapper: is it true that you're doing mass surveillance on US civilians? (I paraphrase; feel free to look up the original text yourself and post it here)
  • 2. Clapper says no.
  • 3. Snowden proves that the answer should have been "yes"
  • ???
  • 5. Security oversight committee notices that Clapper was lying under oath to his bosses (them), and begins an impeachment procedure against that recalcitrant underling
  • no... that's *NOT* what happened; and this is, in fact, the scary thing for us outside the USA:

  • 5. Security oversight committee notices that Clapper was lying under oath to his bosses (them), and decides to increase the NSA's budget
  • 6. If you haven't noticed this yet, this is actual proof that you currently don't have the rule of law, otherwise the media's attention would be directed to Clapper and Alexander and not to scapegoat Snowden.
  • 7. No profit. Seriously. I think you have NO idea of the damage this has done to US interests worldwide.

To paraphrase it in computer-like Slashdot terms:
NSA >> official USA government
NSA pwns official USA government
NSA is above the US law (which means that you don't have rule of law which was your original point)

So... tell me.. if we want to do business with an American multinational; or sign a trade agreement with the USA; who do we have to talk to? Whose is the hand up the puppet's bum? It is unclear. Conspiracy theories are just theories, but the reality is that outsiders cannot know who currently leads the USA (just that it's not the official president and government).
Better not to do any business with USA until the situation is cleared up. If it turns out that e.g. the Mafia is pulling the strings of the NSA/USA government, then we'll at least know whom we're negotiating with, and what negotiating points might be of strategic value of them.

tl;dr version:
security organizations cause scandal. well, shit happens. that is not nice but there are procedures under rule of law to correct it. For government employees in USA I belive it's called "impeachment" (it's not just for presidents, you know).
the people in oversight/power react to the revelations with "oh well.. so our employees lied to us.. let's increase their budget". That is NOT normal. People in power (congressmen) are probably not the kind of pushovers that would react like that, or they wouldn't have climbed to the top of the US political pyramid in the first place. Can you tell us if many congressmen like Senator Dianne Feinstein actually have humble, kindly personalities? We don't see them on TV very often over here.

Submission + - The Math of Gamification (foursquare.com) 1

An anonymous reader writes: The Foursquare blog has an interesting post about some of the math they use to evaluate and verify the massive amount of user-generated data that enters their database. They need to figure out the likelihood that any given datapoint accurately represents reality, so they've worked out a complicated formula that will minimize abuse. Quoting: 'By choosing the points based on a user’s accuracy, we can intelligently accrue certainty about a proposed update and stop the voting process as soon as the math guarantees the required certainty. .. The parameters are automatically trained and can adapt to changes in the behavior of the userbase. No more long meetings debating how many points to grant to a narrow use case.
So far, we’ve taken a very user-centric view of p-sub-k (this is the accuracy of user k). But we can go well beyond that. For example, p-sub-k could be “the accuracy of user k’s vote given that they have been to the venue three times before and work nearby.” These clauses can be arbitrarily complicated and estimated from a (logistic) regression of the honeypot performance. The point is that these changes will be based on data and not subjective judgments of how many “points” a user or situation should get.

Submission + - Intel's Knights Landing - a 72 core, 3 teraflop beast (realworldtech.com)

asliarun writes: David Kanter of Realworldtech recently posted his take on Intel's upcoming Knights Landing chip. The technical specs are startling massive and shows Intel's new found focus on throughput processing (and possibly graphics). 72 Silvermont cores with beefy FP and vector units, mesh fabric with tile based architecture, DDR4 support with a 384bit memory controller, QPI connectivity instead of PCIe, and 16GB on-package eDRAM (yes, 16GB!). All this should ensure throughput of 3 teraflops/s double precision. Many of the architectural elements would also be the same as Intel's future CPU chips — so this is also a peek into Intel's vision of the future. Will Intel use this as a platform to compete with nVidia and AMD/ATI graphics? Or will this be another Larrabee? Or just an exotic HPC product like Knights Corner?

Submission + - The String Theory Landscape may not be Science after all

StartsWithABang writes: For more than the last decade, physicists have realized that String Theory provides a Landscape of possible values for the cosmological constant, some 10^500 of them. Only the ones that are finely tuned to support possible observers could ever be observed by someone like us, so says the anthropic principle. But despite all the work, publicity and hype that's gone into it, not only have there been no scientific advancements on this front, but this line of thinking is unlikely to ever lead us there, not without some actual science.

Submission + - Edward Snowden Does Not Deserve Clemency 2

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: Fred Kaplan, the Edward R. Murrow press fellow at the Council on Foreign Relation, writes at Slate that if Edward Snowden's stolen trove of beyond-top-secret documents had dealt only with the domestic surveillance by the NSA, then some form of leniency might be worth discussing. But Snowden did much more than that. "Snowden's documents have, so far, furnished stories about the NSA’s interception of email traffic, mobile phone calls, and radio transmissions of Taliban fighters in Pakistan’s northwest territories; about an operation to gauge the loyalties of CIA recruits in Pakistan; about NSA email intercepts to assist intelligence assessments of what’s going on inside Iran; about NSA surveillance of cellphone calls “worldwide,” an effort that 'allows it to look for unknown associates of known intelligence targets by tracking people whose movements intersect.'" Kaplan says the NYT editorial calling on President Obama to grant Snowden “some form of clemency” paints an incomplete picture when it claims that Snowden “stole a trove of highly classified documents after he became disillusioned with the agency’s voraciousness.” In fact, as Snowden himself told the South China Morning Post, he took his job as an NSA contractor, with Booz Allen Hamilton, because he knew that his position would grant him “access to lists of machines all over the world [that] the NSA hacked.” Snowden got himself placed at the NSA’s signals intelligence center in Hawaii says Kaplan for the sole purpose of pilfering extremely classified documents and gained access to his cache of documents by lying to 20 to 25 of his fellow employees to persuade them to give him their logins and passwords, turning them into his unwitting accomplices. "It may be telling that Snowden did not release—or at least the recipients of his cache haven’t yet published—any documents detailing the cyber-operations of any other countries, especially Russia or China, even though he would have had access to the NSA’s after-action reports on the hundreds or thousands of hacking campaigns that they too have mounted over the years," concludes Kaplan. "If it turned out that Snowden did give information to the Russians or Chinese (or if intelligence assessments show that the leaks did substantial damage to national security, something that hasn’t been proved in public), then I’d say all talk of a deal is off—and I assume the Times editorial page would agree."

Submission + - First US Public Library With No Paper Books Opens In Texas (myfoxny.com)

cold fjord writes: Bexar Country, Texas, has opened a new $2.3 million library called BiblioTech Library that doesn’t have physical books, only computers and e-reader tablets. It is the first bookless public library system in the US. The library opened in an area without nearby bookstores, and is receiving considerable attention. It has drawn visitors from around the US and overseas that are studying the concept for their own use. It appears that the library will have more than 100,000 visitors by year’s end. Going without physical books has been cost effective from an architecture standpoint since the building doesn’t have to support the weight of books and bookshelves. A new smaller library in a nearby town cost $1 million more than Bexar Country’s new library. E-books have advantages such as not being susceptible to damage, or needing to be reshelved. So far there doesn't appear to be a problem with returning checked out e-readers. — A new state law in Texas defines the failure to return library books as theft.

Submission + - Google's Eric Schmidt talks against the NSA spying

rtoz writes: Google’s Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt has said that it would be “outrageous” if the NSA had really looked into Google’s data centers.

“It’s really outrageous that the National Security Agency was looking between the Google data centers, if that’s true. The steps that the organization was willing to do without good judgment to pursue its mission and potentially violate people’s privacy, it’s not OK,” Mr. Schmidt told The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) in an interview. “The Snowden revelations have assisted us in understanding that it’s perfectly possible that there are more revelations to come.”

Eric Schmidt said Google had registered complaints with the NSA, as well as U.S President Barack Obama and members of Congress. And, he said that the right balance of security and privacy starts with finding the appropriate level of oversight.

NSA snooping of Google Data had brought issues to Google. For example, few days back an union representing German journalists advised its members to stop using Search And E-mail Services of Google and Yahoo because of the reported snooping by US and British intelligence.

Submission + - SAP willing to take a hit to rebuild cloud solutions from scratch (itnews.com.au)

littlekorea writes: SAP is willing to risk a dip in revenues to rebuild its cloud solutions around its in-memory HANA technology, even if this effort takes over 12 months and blindsides customers of its ByDesign service, which is likely to be left a step behind in any SAP upgrade. SAP has written formal letters to its largest ByDesign customers promising it will continue to provide support.

Submission + - Satellite Internet connections for South America (specifically Peru). Advice? 6

EdIII writes: I've been looking on the Internet for a decent contention service (4:1,10:1) in South America and I am not finding much. I have also heard that some frequency bands are a lot better at cutting through cloud cover. This is for a fairly remote ground station with reliable power generation, but also routinely cloudy. I would need at least 3/1Mbps with hopefully decent latency. What's your advice Slashdotters? Yes, I know that some of the solutions can cost 20K for deployment and 2-10K per month for service. Not looking NASA results with Home Depot parts on the budget of a 7/11 chiclet. Feel free to to tell me about a good commercial service. There is another ground station that might be deployed in north east Alaska. Thanks

Submission + - The NSA Revelations Decoded (theguardian.com)

Robotron23 writes: The Guardian has published a comprehensive review of the revelations derived from leaked documents published by Edward Snowden. Among the topics covered are NSA monitoring programs and techniques, the legal framework of such programs, counter-surveillance techniques, events such as the Lavabit shutdown, and prospects for reform. In the final section, some NSA documents are available for access.

Submission + - Linux 3.12 Release, Linux 4.0 Kernel With Only Bug-Fixes Proposed (phoronix.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Linus Torvalds announced the Linux 3.12 kernel release with a large number of improvements through many subsystems including new EXT4 file-system features, AMD Berlin APU support, a major CPUfreq governor improvement yielding impressive performance boosts for certain hardware/workloads, new drivers, and continued bug-fixing. Linus also took the opportunity to share possible plans for Linux 4.0. He's thinking of tagging Linux 4.0 following the Linux 3.19 release in about one year and is also considering the idea of Linux 4.0 being a release cycle with nothing but bug-fixes. Does Linux really need an entire two-month release cycle with nothing but bug-fixing? It's still to be decided by the kernel developers.

Submission + - Microsoft Admits Windows 8.1 Update May Bork Your Mouse, Promises a Fix (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: Microsoft has several valid reasons why you should upgrade to Windows 8.1, which is free if you already own Windows 8. However, there's a known issue that might give some gamers pause before clicking through in the Windows Store. There have been complaints of mouse problems after applying the Windows 8.1 update, most of which have been related to lag in video games, though Microsoft confirmed there are other potential quirks. Acknowledging the problem, Microsoft says it's also actively investigating the issues and working on a patch.

Submission + - Project seeks to build inexpensive 9-inch monitor for Raspberry Pi (computerworld.com.au)

angry tapir writes: A Kickstarter project is aiming to bring an inexpensive 9-inch portable monitor to the popular US$25 Raspberry Pi PC, which comes without a keyboard, mouse or monitor. The "HDMIPi" will include an LCD panel that will show images at a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels. Computers can be hooked up to the monitor via an HDMI controller board that can be wired to the LCD. The display is being made by Raspi.TV and Cyntech.

To do two things at once is to do neither. -- Publilius Syrus