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

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: It's so important.. (Score 1) 358

by nightfire-unique (#48669125) Attached to: UK Man Arrested Over "Offensive" Tweet

.. to know how people feel.

We, as members of society, need information when we choose who to befriend, who to do business with, and who to avoid. If people are not free to express themselves, we cannot make good choices.

If you're the type to avoid humor in bad taste, and you find this person offensive, you should be fighting this. Otherwise, at some point, you may find yourself emotionally attached to someone who feels this way, only to find out after the fact. When people bare their soul in a public forum, without fear of repercussion, you can observe and make decisions on how you want to interact with them in private. You can decide ahead of time.

If speaking one's mind is potentially illegal, much important information becomes unavailable as people will be unwilling to speak their minds. You cannot know someone is a racist, or someone is opposed to religious influence, or someone is against liberal governance, or someone has a problem with war. You can't know if they're neo-nazis, and you can't know if they believe politicians should be hanged for war crimes.

You may enter into relationships with these people only to find out much later that they feel a certain way.

The more deeply offended you are by speech, the more you should fight for it to be open and free.

Beer

Problem Solver Beer Tells How Much To Drink To Boost Your Creativity 73

Posted by samzenpus
from the I-know-I-could-do-this-if-I-could-just-have-a-beer dept.
mrspoonsi writes When you've been stuck on a problem or that creative spark just won't come, the chances are you've turned to a cup of coffee to get things moving. A quick java infusion can certainly help, but studies also suggest that alcohol can also have a positive impact on your creative cognition. University of Illinois Professor Jennifer Wiley determined that a person's "creative peak" comes when their blood alcohol level reaches 0.075, lowering their ability to overthink during a task. Medical Daily reports that marketing agency CP+B Copenhagen and Danish brewery Rocket Brewing wanted to help drinkers reach their imaginative prime, so they decided to create their own beer to do just that. The result is The Problem Solver. It's a 7.1 percent craft IPA that its makers say offers a "refined bitterness with a refreshing finish." To ensure you reach the optimum creative level, the bottle includes a scale, which determines how much of the beer you need to drink based on your body weight. The agency does offer a word of warning though: "Enjoying the right amount will enhance your creative thinking. Drinking more will probably do exactly the opposite."

Comment: Re:Sony security: strong or weak? (Score 1) 341

Something not much discussed, if outsiders were able to liberate "terabytes" of data from Sony Pictures, just how good was the corporation's computer security?

How many bytes of data did Snowden liberate from the CIA? If the CIA couldn't stop it, then this does not inherently say anything bad about Sony's corporate security.

That's Schneider's point -- NO organization can totally prevent data hacks and folks skilled in security know this.

I wish I had mod points... I'd mod you up.

Comment: Re:Sony security: strong or weak? (Score 1) 341

There is also the fact that this isn't Sony's first time on this ride. Shouldn't they have doubled-down on security after PSN got hacked?

You're supposing that "Sony" is a single massive thing -- it's not. It's a conglomerate with many separate units that share relatively little other than a name and some discounts at the Sony Store.

Proof: The hackers have done nothing outside of Sony Pictures. If there'd been interoperability in the layer that they got into, we'd be seeing data from other "Sony"s out there as well.

SOE/SMSS/SNEI learned a lot after what happened in 2011. But a movie studio that deals mainly with corporate accounting to pay actors and production companies, and the occasional internal creative discussion, has a far different calculus to make on what to secure how than an Online Game company, or the one handling end-user billing (read: PCI) data for a storefront (PSN).

You're going to see a giant top down review come out of this, of course, but implementation will probably still be handled by individual corporate units to some extent.

Sony wasn't attacked because they were vulnerable or had particularly lax security, they were attacked for political reasons by a foreign power. I guarantee you that if Viacom has been producing The Interview they would have had a similar attack against them and would probably have fared little better.

Censorship

Reaction To the Sony Hack Is 'Beyond the Realm of Stupid' 580

Posted by timothy
from the pretty-jaw-dropping dept.
rossgneumann writes North Korea may really be behind the Sony hack, but we're still acting like idiots. Peter W. Singer, one of the nations foremost experts on cybersecurity, says Sony's reaction has been abysmal. "Here, we need to distinguish between threat and capability—the ability to steal gossipy emails from a not-so-great protected computer network is not the same thing as being able to carry out physical, 9/11-style attacks in 18,000 locations simultaneously. I can't believe I'm saying this. I can't believe I have to say this."
Google

Eric Schmidt: To Avoid NSA Spying, Keep Your Data In Google's Services 281

Posted by samzenpus
from the no-snooping-zone dept.
jfruh writes Google Chairman Eric Schmidt told a conference on surveillance at the Cato Institute that Edward Snowden's revelations on NSA spying shocked the company's engineers — who then immediately started working on making the company's servers and services more secure. Now, after a year and a half of work, Schmidt says that Google's services are the safest place to store your sensitive data.
IBM

Apple, IBM Partnership Yields First Results: 10 Mobile Apps 53

Posted by samzenpus
from the big-blue-apple dept.
itwbennett writes IBM and Apple have unveiled the first results of the enterprise IT partnership they announced in July: 10 mobile applications aimed at businesses in six industries as well as government users. One of the apps, for example, allows a flight crew to personalize a passenger's in-flight experience. An app targeted at the banking industry allows a financial advisor to remotely access and manage a client's portfolio. And police officers can use iPhones to view video feeds from crime scenes with an app for law enforcement.
AI

AI Expert: AI Won't Exterminate Us -- It Will Empower Us 417

Posted by Soulskill
from the but-the-tee-vee-said dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Oren Etzioni has been an artificial intelligence researcher for over 20 years, and he's currently CEO of the Allen Institute for AI. When he heard the dire warnings recently from both Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking, he decided it's time to have an intelligent discussion about AI. He says, "The popular dystopian vision of AI is wrong for one simple reason: it equates intelligence with autonomy. That is, it assumes a smart computer will create its own goals, and have its own will, and will use its faster processing abilities and deep databases to beat humans at their own game. ... To say that AI will start doing what it wants for its own purposes is like saying a calculator will start making its own calculations." Etzioni adds, "If unjustified fears lead us to constrain AI, we could lose out on advances that could greatly benefit humanity — and even save lives. Allowing fear to guide us is not intelligent."
Cloud

Fedora 21 Released 106

Posted by Soulskill
from the can-now-drink-in-the-U.S. dept.
linuxscreenshot writes: The Fedora Project has announced the release of Fedora 21. "As part of the Fedora.next initiative, Fedora 21 comes in three flavors: Cloud, Server, and Workstation. Cloud is now a top-level deliverable for Fedora 21, and includes images for use in private cloud environments like OpenStack, as well as AMIs for use on Amazon, and a new "Atomic" image streamlined for running Docker containers. The Fedora Server flavor is a common base platform that is meant to run featured application stacks, which are produced, tested, and distributed by the Server Working Group. The Fedora Workstation is a new take on desktop development from the Fedora community. Our goal is to pick the best components, and integrate and polish them. This work results in a more polished and targeted system than you've previously seen from the Fedora desktop." Here are screenshots for Fedora 21: GNOME, KDE, Xfce, LXDE, and MATE.
Science

Berkeley Lab Builds World Record Tabletop-Size Particle Accelerator 90

Posted by timothy
from the paging-doctor-brown dept.
Zothecula writes Taking careful aim with a quadrillion watt laser, researchers at the US Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Lab claim to have managed to speed up subatomic particles to the highest energies ever recorded for a compact accelerator. By blasting plasma in their tabletop-size laser-plasma accelerator, the scientists assert that they have produced acceleration energy of around of 4.25 giga-electron volts. Acceleration of this magnitude over the short distances involved correlates to an energy rise 1,000 times greater than that of a traditional – and very much larger – particle accelerator.

Comment: Success rate is the interesting bit (Score 1) 186

by Etcetera (#48517665) Attached to: Pizza Hut Tests New "Subconscious Menu" That Reads Your Mind

One can imagine all sorts of objections to this ("I take too long", "I like staring at onions, but I don't like eating them", etc...), however a self-reported 98% success rate -- or at least, 98% of the time they end up with a pizza with their preferred ingredients and/or that they end up really liking -- would explain why Pizza Hut decided to roll ahead with this -- seemingly weirdly ahead of its time -- tech right away.

98% approval suggests that browsing an appetite are more firmly linked. If the numbers hold up outside of the focus groups and small study areas, I'd expect this technology to spread far and wide. Carls Jr. (a/k/a Hardee's) and Jack in the Box already use the kiosks in several locations here in San Diego; a camera and tracker wouldn't be that much of a step and could provide a quite different experience.

Math

Mathematical Trick Helps Smash Record For the Largest Quantum Factorization 62

Posted by Soulskill
from the still-slower-than-a-12-year-old dept.
KentuckyFC writes: One of the big applications for quantum computers is finding the prime factors of large numbers, a technique that can help break most modern cryptographic codes. Back in 2012, a team of Chinese physicists used a nuclear magnetic resonance quantum computer with 4 qubits to factor the number 143 (11 x 13), the largest quantum factorization ever performed. Now a pair of mathematicians say the technique used by the Chinese team is more powerful than originally thought. Their approach is to show that the same quantum algorithm factors an entire class of numbers with factors that differ by 2 bits (like 11 and 13). They've already discovered various examples of these numbers, the largest so far being 56153. So instead of just factoring 143, the Chinese team actually quantum factored the number 56153 (233 x 241, which differ by two bits when written in binary). That's the largest quantum factorization by some margin. The mathematicians point out that their discovery will not help code breakers since they'd need to know in advance that the factors differ by 2 bits, which seems unlikely. What's more, the technique relies on only 4 qubits and so can be easily reproduced on a classical computer.

Comment: Wavelength matters too? (Score 1) 327

by PaulBu (#48511463) Attached to: You're Doing It All Wrong: Solar Panels Should Face West, Not South

My first though without even reading the summary:

Of course pointing it to the South would "catch" more integrated spectrum, but not all of that can be converted to electricity efficiently (they are more efficient for longer wavelength), so it should not *hurt* much to till them westwards (or eastwards), where/when blue light ("useless for") is filtered by the atmosphere...

By the way, blue light is still absorbed/heats/damages the cells, but not gets converted to voltage. Or some such... ;-)

Aligning with peak demand might make more sense though.

Paul B.

Programming

Celebrated Russian Hacker Now In Exile 130

Posted by Soulskill
from the hoping-the-next-leap-will-be-the-leap-home dept.
An anonymous reader writes: VKontakte is a Russian social network, more popular there than even Facebook. Its founder, Pavel Durov, was a celebrity for his entrepreneurial skills, much like Mark Zuckerberg elsewhere. But as Russia has cracked down on internet freedoms, 30-year-old Durov had to relinquish control of the social network. He eventually fled the country when the government pressured him to release data on Ukrainian protest leaders. He's now a sort of roving hacker, showing up where he's welcome and not staying too long. "Mr. Durov, known for his subversive wit and an all-black wardrobe that evokes Neo from the Matrix movies, is now a little-seen nomad, moving from country to country every few weeks with a small band of computer programmers. One day he is in Paris, another in Singapore." Durov said, "I'm very happy right now without any property anywhere. I consider myself a legal citizen of the world."
The Almighty Buck

The Cashless Society? It's Already Coming 375

Posted by samzenpus
from the your-money-is-no-good-here dept.
HughPickens.com writes Damon Darlin writes in the NYT that Apple pay is revolutionary but not for the reason you think. It isn't going to replace the credit card but it's going to replace the wallet — the actual physical thing crammed with cards, cash, photos and receipts. According to Darlin, when you are out shopping, it's the wallet, not the credit card, that is the annoyance. It's bulky. It can be forgotten, or lost. "I've learned while traipsing about buying stuff with my ApplePay that I can whittle down wallet items that I need to carry to three": A single credit card, for places that have not embraced, but soon will, some form of smartphone payment; a driver's license; and about $20 in cash. Analysts at Forrester Research estimate that over the next five years, US mobile payments will grow to $142 billion, from $3.7 billion this year. "If I were to make a bet, I'd say that 10 years from now the most popular answer from young shoppers about how they make small payments would be: thumbprint. And you'll get a dull shrug when you ask what a wallet is."

I never cheated an honest man, only rascals. They wanted something for nothing. I gave them nothing for something. -- Joseph "Yellow Kid" Weil

Working...