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We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


+ - MP3 Backend of Firefox and Thunderbird Found Vulnerable->

Submitted by jones_supa
jones_supa (887896) writes "A critical vulnerability has been found in the MPEG-1 Layer III playback backend of Mozilla Firefox and Thunderbird. Security researcher Aki Helin reported a use-after-free scenario when playing certain audio files on the web using the Fluendo MP3 plugin for GStreamer on Linux. This is due to a flaw in handling certain MP3 files by the plugin and its interaction with Mozilla code. A maliciously crafted MP3 file can lead to a potentially exploitable crash. Linux is the only affected platform, so Windows and OS X users are safe from this particular vulnerability."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Copyright (Score 1) 98

by jones_supa (#49384811) Attached to: Mario 64 Remake Receives a DMCA Complaint From Nintendo

How is a copyright term of 14 years going to cause anyone to reduce their investments in game companies? Do you believe anyone seriously expects a video game to continue selling after 14 YEARS?

That's not unreasonable at all.

There's also another point here: if old games were automatically released into public domain after 14 years, some customers might not want to pay for new stuff at all, because there would be so much old games to play for free.

Comment: Re:Copyright (Score 1) 98

by jones_supa (#49383955) Attached to: Mario 64 Remake Receives a DMCA Complaint From Nintendo

Shortening copyright to 14 years for digital works would fix a lot of this.

Wait, you have to consider all sides of that. Would that "fix" also cause smaller investments being made in game companies and their products? What is more important: cool, big, polished games from the original companies, or the permission for a hobbyist to make a Mario clone?

+ - Mario 64 Remake Receives a DMCA Complaint from Nintendo

Submitted by jones_supa
jones_supa (887896) writes "Well, we saw this one coming. Just a couple of days after computer science student Erik Roystan Ross released a free recreation of the first level of Nintendo's 1996 Super Mario 64, Nintendo filed a Digital Millennium Copyright Act complaint. It was sent to the content distribution network CloudFlare and the complaint asked to immediately disable public access to the page hosting the remade game. CloudFlare forwarded the complaint to the person hosting Ross' game, after which the hosting provider (a friend of Ross) had to take the game down. Nintendo also sent Ross takedown notices for his downloadable desktop versions of the Bob-Omb Battlefield. Nintendo is famously protective of its copyright, taking issue even with "Let's Play" videos posted on YouTube and threatening to shut down live-streamed Super Smash Bros tournaments."

Comment: Wolfenstein (Score 3, Informative) 31

by jones_supa (#49380033) Attached to: Developer of 'Banished' Develops His Own Shading Language
I once scooted through the source code of Return to Castle Wolfenstein, and it also seemed to have some kind of intermediate "mini-language" for shaders. It wasn't a language really, but it allowed artists to execute various effects with different parameters (like "winterfog 22 3.0 3.0 1"), which were then converted to real shaders on the fly. What is also surprising that I would have expected such an old game using fixed functionality instead of shaders.

Comment: Re:Why I'm Now a BSD Guy (Score 1) 197

Not to digress, but of late (last ten years), I have noticed the quality of Linux is not near the BSDs. Not knocking any programmers out there, but in general BSD tends to be better developed than Linux. Linux seems to be chaotic and many things seem like afterthoughts or ill-conceived notions and some are broken, yet ship anyway. I've not noticed this in the BSDs. The Free and OpenBSD boxes I've worked on and with have, short of HW failures, been almost perfect.

That matches my experience.

+ - Developer of 'Banished' Develops His Own Shading Language->

Submitted by jones_supa
jones_supa (887896) writes "Luke Hodorowicz, the hard-working developer behind the townbuilding strategy computer game Banished, has designed a novel GPU shading language and written a compiler for it. The language has been christened "Shining Rock Shading Language" (SRSL) and it outputs the program in several other shading languages. The first goal for the language was to treat the vertex, fragment and geometry shader as a single program. The language sees the graphics pipeline as a stream of data, followed by some code, which outputs a stream of data, and then more code runs, and another stream of data is output. Body text of the shaders is very C-like and should be understood easily coming from other shading languages. SRSL has all the intrinsic functions you would expect from HLSL or GLSL. All types are HLSL-style. Loops and conditionals are available, but switch statements and global variables are seen redundant and not implemented. Luke's blog post tells more about the details of the language, complemented with examples."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Now if only... (Score 1) 122

by jones_supa (#49377567) Attached to: Microsoft Rolls Out Project Spartan With New Windows 10 Build
I still find Windows Update to be one of the most flaky components of Windows. There's a too high chance of updates failing to install, and the Windows Update dialog in Control Panel can be stuck displaying 0% while the backend is making progress just fine. Also they removed the "New updates are available" system tray icon, which I find disappointing. Also you have to keep automatic updates turned on so that the Windows Defender malware definitions are kept up to date.

+ - German Paper's Timeline of Flight 9525's Final Moments->

Submitted by jones_supa
jones_supa (887896) writes "German tabloid newspaper Bild has released what is claims is a summary of the timeline from downed Germanwings flight 9525 (4U9525/GWI18G). The timeline is based on the data recorded on one of the black boxes recovered from the wreckage. An official transcript of the cockpit voice recording has not been released, so Bild cites sources close to the investigation for the information. CNN translated Bild's report, but cannot independently verify the information. The timeline provides one of the most detailed descriptions of the plane's final moments, and makes it seem that the crash was indeed intentional."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Let me guess (Score 1) 64

by jones_supa (#49372391) Attached to: India Mandates Use of Open Source Software In Government

Some nerds have now sold them this idea, but when it eventually comes to deployment, everyone will realize "Oh my god the desktop is buggy, and LibreOffice constantly screws up the formatting of documents. We can't actually use something like this." After that, there will just be the ugly flag symbol and a spinning pearls animation when people start their computers.

Any counterarguments?

+ - Final Moments Inside Cockpit Are Heard But Not Seen

Submitted by jones_supa
jones_supa (887896) writes "There's no video footage from inside the cockpit of the Germanwings flight that left 150 people dead — nor is such footage recorded from any other commercial airline crash in recent years. Unlike many other vehicles operating with heightened safety concerns, airline cockpits don't come with video surveillance. The reason, in part, is that airline pilots and their unions have argued vigorously against what they see as an invasion of privacy that would not improve aviation safety. The long debate on whether airplane cockpits in the U.S. should be equipped with cameras dates back at least 15 years, when the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) first pushed regulators require video monitoring following what the agency called "several accidents involving a lack of information regarding crewmember actions and the flight deck environment". The latest NTSB recommendation for a cockpit image system came in January 2015. Should video streams captured inside the plane become a standard part of aviation safety measures?"

Adding features does not necessarily increase functionality -- it just makes the manuals thicker.