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+ - Comcast Forgets To Delete Revealing Note From Blog Post

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Earlier today, Comcast published a blog post to criticize the newly announced coalition opposing its merger with Time Warner Cable and to cheer about the FCC’s decision to restart the “shot clock” on that deal. But someone at Kabletown is probably getting a stern talking-to right now, after an accidental nugget of honesty made its way into that post. Comcast posted to their corporate blog today about the merger review process, reminding everyone why they think it will be so awesome and pointing to the pro-merger comments that have come in to the FCC. But they also left something else in. Near the end, the blog post reads, “Comcast and Time Warner Cable do not currently compete for customers anywhere in America. That means that if the proposed transaction goes through, consumers will not lose a choice of cable companies. Consumers will not lose a choice of broadband providers. And not a single market will see a reduction in competition. Those are simply the facts.” The first version of the blog post, which was also sent out in an e-mail blast, then continues: “We are still working with a vendor to analyze the FCC spreadsheet but in case it shows that there are any consumers in census blocks that may lose a broadband choice, want to make sure these sentences are more nuanced.” After that strange little note, the blog post carries on in praise of competition, saying, “There is a reason we want to provide our customers with better service, faster speeds, and a diverse choice of programming: we don’t want to lose them.”"

+ - What Does The NSA Think Of Cryptographers? ->

Submitted by mikejuk
mikejuk (1801200) writes "A recently declassified NSA house magazine, CryptoLog, reveals some interesting attitudes between the redactions. What is the NSA take on cryptography?
The article of interest is a report of a trip to the 1992 EuroCrypt conference by an NSA cryptographer whose name is redacted.We all get a little bored having to sit though presentations that are off topic, boring or even down right silly but we generally don't write our opinions down. In this case the criticisms are cutting and they reveal a lot about the attitude of the NSA cryptographers. You need to keep in mind as you read that this is intended for the NSA crypto community and as such the writer would have felt at home with what was being written.
Take for example:
Three of the last four sessions were of no value whatever, and indeed there was almost nothing at Eurocrypt to interest us (this is good news!). The scholarship was actually extremely good; it’s just that the directions which external cryptologic researchers have taken are remarkably far from our own lines of interest.
It seems that back in 1992 academic cryptographers were working on things that the NSA didn't consider of any importance. Could things be the same now?
The gulf between the two camps couldn't be better expressed than:
The conference again offered an interesting view into the thought processes of the world’s leading “cryptologists.” It is indeed remarkable how far the Agency has strayed from the True Path.
The ironic comment is clearly suggesting that the NSA is on the "true path" whatever that might be.
Clearly the gap between the NSA and the academic crypto community is probably as wide today with the different approaches to the problem being driven by what each wants to achieve. It is worth reading the rest of the article."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Intelligence is like money (Score 1) 366

by FreeUser (#48161843) Attached to: Scanning Embryos For Super-Intelligent Kids Is On the Horizon

Intelligence is a lot like money.

Those who've always had an abundance generally either think its no big deal, because they've never suffered the limitations of not having enough, or look down on those with less and consider them inferior.

Those in the middle have enough to see the benefits of having more, and want to improve themselves in order to get more.

At the bottom this analogy falters, but I think the point remains. It's easy to dismiss making the rest of the population smarter when you're already smart and not suffering the limitations imposed on those with less to work with. I find the notion that we shouldn't meddle and just leave those who draw the short genetic-straw to be cruel and self-serving. If the lowest common denominator is raised, chance are the whole society benefits, the world becomes a better, more thoughtful place, and the overall pie grows accordingly.

+ - Details of iOS and Android Device Encryption

Submitted by swillden
swillden (191260) writes "There's been a lot of discussion of what, exactly, is meant by the Apple announcement about iOS8 device encryption, and the subsequent announcement by Google that Android L will enable encryption by default. Two security researchers tackled these questions in blog posts:

Matthew Green tackled iOS encryption, concluding that at bottom the change really boils down to applying the existing iOS encryption methods to more data. He also reviews the iOS approach, which uses Apple's "Secure Enclave" chip as the basis for the encryption and guesses at how it is that Apple can say it's unable to decrypt the devices. He concludes, with some clarification from a commenter, that Apple really can't (unless you use a weak password which can be brute-forced, and even then it's hard).

Nikolay Elenkov looks into the preview release of Android "L". He finds that not only has Google turned encryption on by default, but appears to have incorporated hardware-based security as well, to make it impossible (or at least much more difficult) to perform brute force password searches off-device."

+ - Some raindrops exceed their terminal velocity->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "New research reveals that some raindrops are “super-terminal” (they travel more than 30% faster than their terminal velocity, at which air resistance prevents further acceleration due to gravity). The drops are the result of natural processes—and they make up a substantial fraction of rainfall. Whereas all drops the team studied that were 0.8 millimeters and larger fell at expected speeds, between 30% and 60% of those measuring 0.3 mm dropped at super-terminal speeds. It’s not yet clear why these drops are falling faster than expected, the researchers say. But according to one notion, the speedy drops are fragments of larger drops that have broken apart in midair but have yet to slow down. If that is indeed the case, the researchers note, then raindrop disintegration happens normally in the atmosphere and more often than previously presumed—possibly when drops collide midair or become unstable as they fall through the atmosphere. Further study could improve estimates of the total amount of rainfall a storm will produce or the amount of erosion that it can generate."
Link to Original Source

+ - How Facebook Sold You Krill Oil

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "With its trove of knowledge about the likes, histories and social connections of its 1.3 billion users worldwide, Facebook executives argue, it can help advertisers reach exactly the right audience and measure the impact of their ads — while also, like TV, conveying a broad brand message. Facebook, which made $1.5 billion in profit on $7.9 billion in revenue last year, sees particular value in promoting its TV-like qualities, given that advertisers spend $200 billion a year on that medium. “We want to hold ourselves accountable for delivering results,” said Carolyn Everson, Facebook’s vice president for global marketing solutions, in a recent interview. “Not smoke and mirrors, maybe it works, maybe it doesn’t.”"

+ - The Government Can No Longer Track Your Cell Phone Without a Warrant 1

Submitted by Jason Koebler
Jason Koebler (3528235) writes "The government cannot use cell phone location data as evidence in a criminal proceeding without first obtaining a warrant, an appeals court ruled today, in one of the most important privacy decisions in recent memory.
"In short, we hold that cell site location information is within the subscriber’s reasonable expectation of privacy," the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit ruled. "The obtaining of that data without a warrant is a Fourth Amendment violation.""

+ - Computer Chronicles Now Streaming 24x7 on Justin.tv

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Some of us might remember the television series Computer Chronicles, created by Stewart Cheifet. It aired on Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) during the mid 80's to early 2000's and documented the rise of the personal computer from its infancy to the immense market at the turn of the 21st century. Last week, the unofficial YouTube channel ComputerChroniclesYT announced they were streaming past episodes 24x7 live on Justin.tv."

Comment: Late-breaking news: PATHWAYS TO VICTORY! (Score 4, Funny) 206

It doesn't work to do this with a democratic government. We need a monarchy :-(

Or perhaps a font of sage wisdom? You know, like a Council? Composed of wise people, you know, like one's Elders? Something any sentient species ought to be able to figure out. Speaking of which, I feel another press release coming on...

K'Breel, Speaker for the Council, addresses the publication of the new report thusly:

"WE HAVE TRIUMPHED! Our skilled operatives from the Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Propaganda; Planetary Research Council have successfully infiltrated the blueworlders' technological and informational systems. One notable document, Pathways to Exploration makes clear the disarray in which the blueworlders' long-term invasion plans lie, drawing on the history of meat-controlled spaceflight to justify future programs in organic space exploitation. Although the report promotes the invasion of our world as the horizon goal for the program, it takes into account funding levels necessary to maintain a robust tempo of execution, current research and exploration projects and the time/resources needed to continue them, and intertribal cooperation that would be required to further oppress the citizens of our fair red world."

"And its conclusion? Although the mechanized threat remains, and we salute those still fighting pitched battles with the two active land-based invaders, Pathways to Exploration makes it clear that it is not possible for the blueworlders' organic-based self-replicators to invade our world, at least not without a sustained commitment to funding at a higher level than their own tribal leaders are currently providing."

When an intern from the defense engineering board suggested that improving the capabilities of the blueworlders' EDL systems, radshielding, and propulsion and power systems were ultimately matters of engineering and not physics, and could ultimately be addressed if the tribals of the blue world ever get it into their oxygen-addled brains to work together to achieve a common goal (as, the intern suggested, the way any sentient species does), K'Breel had the intern's gelsacs addled by immersing them in a suitably-merciful quantity of liquid oxygen.

Thus spake K'Breel, Speaker for the Council of Elders, Committee on Native Spaceflight; Arenautics and Defense Engineering Board; Defense Studies Board; Division of Blueworlder Social and Physical Sciences; Committee on Gelsacular Statistics.

+ - Star Within a Star: Thorne-Zytkow Object Discovered->

Submitted by astroengine
astroengine (1577233) writes "A weird type of ‘hybrid’ star has been discovered nearly 40 years since it was first theorized — but until now has been curiously difficult to find. In 1975, renowned astrophysicists Kip Thorne, of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena, Calif., and Anna Zytkow, of the University of Cambridge, UK, assembled a theory on how a large dying star could swallow its neutron star binary partner, thus becoming a very rare type of stellar hybrid, nicknamed a Thorne-Zytkow object (or TZO). The neutron star — a dense husk of degenerate matter that was once a massive star long since gone supernova — would spiral into the red supergiant’s core, interrupting normal fusion processes. According to the Thorne-Zytkow theory, after the two objects have merged, an excess of the elements rubidium, lithium and molybdenum will be generated by the hybrid. So astronomers have been on the lookout for stars in our galaxy, which is thought to contain only a few dozen of these objects at any one time, with this specific chemical signature in their atmospheres. Now, according to Emily Levesque of the University of Colorado Boulder and her team, a bona fide TZO has been discovered and their findings have been accepted for publication in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Letters."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Damn I'm old... (Score 4, Funny) 126

I kept thinking "I am the very model of a modern Major Perl Framework..."

I am the very model of a modern Major Perl Framework,
But here I am on Slashdot, trying harder from my job to shirk,
From HackerNews to 4chan there's no forum in which I won't lurk,
I am the very model of a modern Major Perl Framework!

Comment: Go for it! (Score 1) 405

So it sits there. Unpublished by anyone. I'll never know if nobody likes it until I hit the go button. But I'm also scared to learn that I suck at something I enjoy doing.

I went through a similar process to yours, with agents liking (but not taking) my novel. My wife has won literary awards for works agents wouldn't take because they couldn't see her stories becoming best sellers. Not just doing well (which they admitted they would do), but becoming best sellers! The entire publisher/agent thing is a bad joke on creative talent. These self appointed gatekeepers of our culture often miss the next big thing and are rarely looking for a new, different voice despite what they claim, but rather the next celebrity ghostwritten tripe where they can make a quick buck.

I can relate to your fear of rejection...I share it...but I'd encourage you to go for it. Make sure your book is professionally edited and proofread (this is absolutely critical, and far too many self-published authors don't do this). While you're doing that, figure out a promotional strategy. For example, line up bookstores in your area for signings, create a presence on goodreads, participate in book fairs, lit fests, and conventions applicable to your genre, etc.

Don't be too disappointed if you don't sell a ton of copies (it is very hard to get noticed), and don't measure yourself on that...measure yourself on how well people enjoy your work. That is the real metric on how well you write, and how good your work is. My novel Autonomy received all kinds of good reviews (from people I've never met!), but it's still not a "best seller." Just put your edited, polished work out there and if those who read it love it, then you don't "suck at something" you enjoy. Quite the opposite.

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