Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


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

Submission + - Controversy Over High-Tech Brooms Sweeps Through Sport of Curling writes: Billy Witz reports at the NYT that the friendly sport of curling suddenly has become roiled in controversy over — what else? — the brooms. The crux of the debate is fabric — specifically, something called directional fabric. The use of this material in broom pads is the latest escalation in an arms race among manufacturers, whereby the world’s best curlers can guide the 44-pound stone around a sheet of ice as if it were controlled by a joystick. Many of the sport’s top athletes, but not all of them, signed an agreement last month not to use the newest brooms. But with few regulations on the books and Olympic qualifying tournaments underway this month, the World Curling Federation has stepped in and issued new rules that set severe restrictions on the types of brooms that can be used. “There’s definitely some anger over it,” says Dean Gemmell. “In curling, we’re generally known for being pretty friendly with most of your opponents. Even at the big events, you see the top players hanging out. But it’s sort of taken that away this year, that’s for sure.”

It was prototype brooms made by BalancePlus that were the focus of complaints at the Toronto tournament, but Scott Taylor, president of BalancePlus, says they were never intended for sale, and were meant to demonstrate the problems that the reversed fabrics could cause. Players say the brooms allowed sweepers to "steer" the rock much more than they were comfortable with, and even slow them down. The brooms have been compared to high-tech drivers that allow amateur golfers to hit the ball as far as a pro, or the advanced full-body swimsuits that were banned from competition in 2010 for providing an unfair advantage. Of his company’s high-tech broom, Taylor says: “This isn’t good. It’s like hitting a golf ball 500 yards.”

Submission + - Exploit Vendor Publishes Prices for Zero-Day Vulnerabilities

An anonymous reader writes: A shady exploit vendor published a price list for the zero-day bugs it's willing to buy. The highest paid bugs are for remote jailbreaks for iOS. Second is Android and Windows Phone. Third there are remote code execution bugs for Chrome, Flash, and Adobe's PDF Reader. This is the same company that just paid $1 million to a hacker for the first iOS9 jailbreak.

Comment Don't do it. (Score 1) 189

Honestly man, if you value your job, don't rock this boat.
If the management group thought that it needed to be upgraded, it would be. You can be assured of that.
Proposing it yourself cannot possibly end well for you.

Even if it goes well, better than expected, and it's not a huge undertaking, you're still going to have a lot of resentment on your team from people who simply don't want to do it. When and if management ever forces them to do it, it's going to be your fault, especially if the changes are radical. Your fault means loss of good will on the team, or with managers.

The caveat to that being that you're best friends with the CEO or CTO, and you can do essentially anything you want.
Short of that... don't rock this boat.

In a year, when someone else gets this idea, and manages to get the changes through... you'll thank me.

Comment Re: Follow the money (Score 1) 211

It's not exactly that.

If successful, you also get the existence of the product, in the offered conditions.

Example, you pay $200, and you get you widget next year, or you have to wait until Apple/whoever "creates" it in 4-5 years, patents it, and then you have a chance to buy it for $500.

It _is_ an investment.

Comment Re:Kansas City (Score 1) 464

Shh.... nobody wants to live in Kansas City. Google fiber is a myth. Does not exist. The whole thing is a scam, wifi speeds still suck, and latency is high. We're next to Johnson county, which is hell on earth. Our drivers are terrible. Worse than Nashville or Boston. The place is land locked. Tons of fat stupid rednecks that hate nerds here. In other words, Walmarts everywhere. Worst sports teams in professional sports bar none here. The place is very "southy." You'll get made fun of. There are no tech jobs anywhere. You'll hate it. When you've spent some time in Kansas City, you'll wish you were never born. I'm telling you this for your own good. Stay away. If you're happy in San Francisco, please, stay in San Francisco. It's for the best. Seriously.

Comment Re:This is a good thing. (Score 1) 291

Yes, that's essentially the same thing, you believe the economy will keep growing forever, because there will always be scarcity to fuel it.

The problem with that is that you can sell only 7 billion iphones a year, and the minute you achieve that, you just can't keep growing anymore.

The few things that are naturally scarce are not enough to fuel an economy. A small fraction of people work because they want nicer things, but most do it because they need to pay the mortgage or feed their kids. That's a large part of the economy.

Comment Re:This is a good thing. (Score 2) 291

3 is just an implementation of 2, maybe flawed.

In any case, it's easy to understand that there _will_ come a time where money stops being the center of our lives, and we produce enough stuff for everyone without having everyone work 40+ hours a week.

The question is _when_, and _how_ that change happens. Marx thought it would happen soon. The commies thought it was possible a century ago. Looks like they were wrong in that, also in their methods. They also thought they knew what people wanted, looks like they were mostly wrong. We still need to see what happens with China's version.

The lukewarm socialist think that the welfare state is going to grow until everything is taken care of by the state. Has it problems, but might work. Basic income is one of the big steps in that direction, and one of the easiest measures to implement.

Right wing people seem to just think that economy, both physical and virtual, is going to keep growing forever, and that scarcity will fuel its growth forever. If there comes a time that that no longer happens, there's no plan, and they probably hope to be already dead by then.


Ask Slashdot: How To Determine If One Is On a Watchlist? 400

An anonymous reader writes: On Slashdot, we joke about it all the time: 'I did a Google search for 'pressure cooker' and I connected a bunch of times to the Tor network to download some Linux distribution .torrent files... I must be on some sort of watchlist now.' There have been news articles about people being questioned in airports and given special attention for being political activists. How can one determine is one is on a watchlist of some sort? Are there any Slashdot users who are knowingly on a watchlist? What sort of suspicious special attention have you received?

Even the CEO's Job Is Susceptible To Automation, McKinsey Report Says ( 176

colinneagle sends word that according to a new report it's not just blue collar workers who need to be concerned about being replaced with a robot, top execs should be worried too. According to Network World: "Global management consultants McKinsey and Company said in a recent report that many of the tasks that a CEO performs could be taken over by machines. Those redundant tasks include 'analyzing reports and data to inform operational decisions; preparing staff assignments; and reviewing status reports,' the report says. This potential for automation in the executive suite is in contrast to 'lower-wage occupations such as home health aides, landscapers, and maintenance workers,' the report says. Those jobs aren't as suitable for automation, according to the report. The technology has not advanced enough."

FDA Approves Drug That Uses Herpes Virus To Fight Cancer ( 76

An anonymous reader writes: U.S. regulators have approved a first-of-a-kind drug that uses the herpes virus to infiltrate and destroy melanoma. Nature reports: "With dozens of ongoing clinical trials of similar 'oncolytic' viruses, researchers hope that the approval will generate the enthusiasm and cash needed to spur further development of the approach. 'The era of the oncolytic virus is probably here,' says Stephen Russell, a cancer researcher and haematologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. 'I expect to see a great deal happening over the next few years.' Many viruses preferentially infect cancer cells. Malignancy can suppress normal antiviral responses, and sometimes the mutations that drive tumour growth also make cells more susceptible to infection. Viral infection can thus ravage a tumour while leaving abutting healthy cells untouched, says Brad Thompson, president of the pharmaceutical-development firm Oncolytics Biotech in Calgary, Canada."

Every cloud has a silver lining; you should have sold it, and bought titanium.