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+ - Non-profit writes its own software - good idea?

Submitted by don_e_b
don_e_b (3860887) writes "I have been asked by a non-profit to help them gather a team of volunteer developers, who they wish to have write an online volunteer sign-up site. This organization has a one large event per year with roughly 1400 volunteers total.I have advised them to investigate existing online volunteer offerings, and they can afford to pay for most that I've found so far. In the past two years, they have used a site written by a volunteer that has worked fine for them, but that volunteer is unavailable to maintain or enhance his site this year.
They believe the existing online volunteer sign-up sites are not quite right — they feel they have very specific sign-up needs, and can not picture using anything other than their own custom software solution.
I am convinced it's a mistake for this non-profit to create a software development team from a rotating pool of volunteers to write software upon which it is critically dependent. How would you convince them to abandon their plan to dive into project management and use an existing solution?"

+ - Flight Attendants Want Stricter Gadget Rules Reinstated

Submitted by stephendavion
stephendavion (2872091) writes "You might be super happy to toil away on your phone or tablet the entire time you're on a plane, but not everyone is pleased to see your face buried in your device during takeoff and landing. The Federal Aviation Administration's new, more relaxed rules on gadget use aren't sitting well with one group — flight attendants. According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, the nation's largest flight attendant union is now suing the FAA to have the ban on gadget use during takeoff and landing reinstated. The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA argues that the change has caused many passengers to ignore flight attendants' emergency announcements, and that the new rules violate federal regulations requiring passengers to stow all items during takeoff and landing."

+ - Windows Flaw Allowed Hackers to Spy On NATO, Ukraine, Others->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Reuters reports that a cybersecurity firm has found evidence that a bug in Microsoft's Windows operating system has allowed hackers located in Russia to spy on computers used by NATO, Ukraine, the European Union, and others for the past five years. Before disclosing the flaw, the firm alerted Microsoft, who plans to roll out a fix on Tuesday. "While technical indicators do not indicate whether the hackers have ties to the Russian government, Hulquist said he believed they were supported by a nation state because they were engaging in espionage, not cyber crime. For example, in December 2013, NATO was targeted with a malicious document on European diplomacy. Several regional governments in the Ukraine and an academic working on Russian issues in the United States were sent tainted emails that claimed to contain a list of pro-Russian extremist activities, according to iSight.""
Link to Original Source

+ - FBI: Apple's new privacy features protect kidnappers, pedophiles and terrorists->

Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp (3454017) writes "Apple recently took measures to enhance user privacy. Now, only users have the key to unlock text messages, photos and emails on their device. As such, iOS 8 will shield your data from anyone — including police.

Here's how it works: You send a text message that's encrypted on your device. It passes through Apple servers as jumbled code nobody can crack. And it can only get decrypted by your friend's iPhone passcode.

Google (GOOG) has announced it's doing the same for its Android devices.
The FBI director isn't pleased.

"The notion that people have devices... that with court orders, based on a showing of probable cause in a case involving kidnapping or child exploitation or terrorism, we could never open that phone? My sense is that we've gone too far when we've gone there," Comey told CBS.
Comey compared selling iPhones to selling "cars with trunks that couldn't ever be opened by law enforcement with a court order."

But there are two things that are wrong with that statement:

1) The FBI can still get your phone data. Now, they can't do it secretly by going to Apple or Google. Agents must knock on your front door with a warrant in hand — the way it's always been.

2) Opening devices to law enforcement means opening them to hackers. When it comes to data, possession of a key is everything. If your passcode is the only thing that unlocks your digital life, then it doesn't matter if the FBI presents Apple or Google with a warrant — or if hackers break into the company's servers. They won't get anything useful."

Link to Original Source

Comment: This is the academic pricing (Score 3, Interesting) 403

by luminate (#43660187) Attached to: Adobe's Creative Cloud Illustrates How the Cloud Costs You More
Huh? $403.99 is for the Design and Web Premium Student and Teacher Edition while the $49.99/month cloud service gets you the Master Collection for commercial use (currently ~$2100). While it certainly isn't a better deal for everyone (students, those that rarely upgrade or only want a few of the apps), it looks like a great deal for current non-academic master collection users. That said, it seems backwards to substantially lower the price for the customers that can most afford it (commercial master collection users) and jack up the price on students and casual users. I don't blame them for trying the cell phone model though. It's amazing how much people will throw away if the cost is amortized over a long period.

Comment: Re:please think of the children (Score 1) 899

by luminate (#42643979) Attached to: New York Pistol Permit Owner List Leaked
It seems the founding fathers wanted to put private citizens on a relatively even playing field with the government -- understandable considering they had just fought long and hard to free themselves from tyranny. Isn't the risk government oppression still very much a relevant issue today?

I don't get the technology argument at all. Technology certainly has advanced, but if everyone is armed with the latest technology, there's no relative difference from everyone being armed with muskets. Besides, it's simply not true that the only weapons in the late 18th century were single shot. The Girandoni Air Rifle, actively used in the Austrian army for over a decade at the time the Second Amendment was adopted, had a 22 round magazine that could be emptied in about a minute. It even had usable accuracy (could place ten shots into a group the size of a quarter at 50 feet).

Comment: Re:Kraken Cray XT5 (Score 1) 76

by luminate (#36236952) Attached to: Cray Unveils Its First GPU Supercomputer

The Kraken reportedly consumes about 2.8 megawatts of power, so assuming your figures are accurate, the power alone would cost about $6,720/day (at $0.10/kWh) for a "profit" of $1730/day. Factor in the fact that it's a $30 million machine with a very short usable lifespan (i.e. massive depreciation), and they'd be losing a ridiculous amount of money.

Image

Jetman Attempts Intercontinental Flight 140

Posted by samzenpus
from the a-jetwing-and-a-prayer dept.
Last year we ran the story of Yves Rossy and his DIY jetwings. Yves spent $190,000 and countless hours building a set of jet-powered wings which he used to cross the English Channel. Rossy's next goal is to cross the Strait of Gibraltar, from Tangier in Morocco and Tarifa on the southwestern tip of Spain. From the article: "Using a four-cylinder jet pack and carbon fibre wings spanning over 8ft, he will jump out of a plane at 6,500 ft and cruise at 130 mph until he reaches the Spanish coast, when he will parachute to earth." Update 18:57 GMT: mytrip writes: "Yves Rossy took off from Tangiers but five minutes into an expected 15-minute flight he was obliged to ditch into the wind-swept waters."

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