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United States

Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment 1578

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the invest-in-crossbows dept.
CanHasDIY (1672858) writes "In his yet-to-be-released book, Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution, John Paul Stevens, who served as an associate justice of the Supreme Court for 35 years, believes he has the key to stopping the seeming recent spate of mass killings — amend the Constitution to exclude private citizens from armament ownership. Specifically, he recommends adding 5 words to the 2nd Amendment, so that it would read as follows: 'A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms when serving in the Militia shall not be infringed.'

What I find interesting is how Stevens maintains that the Amendment only protects armament ownership for those actively serving in a state or federal military unit, in spite of the fact that the Amendment specifically names 'the People' as a benefactor (just like the First, Fourth, Ninth, and Tenth) and of course, ignoring the traditional definition of the term militia. I'm personally curious about his other 5 suggested changes, but I guess we'll have to wait until the end of April to find out."
Transportation

The Best Parking Apps You've Never Heard Of and Why You Haven't 163

Posted by samzenpus
from the park-that-anywhere dept.
Bennett Haselton writes "If you read no further, use either the BestParking or ParkMe app to search all nearby parking garages for the cheapest spot, based on the time you're arriving and leaving. I'm interested in the question of why so few people know about these apps, how is it that they've been partially crowded out by other 'parking apps' that are much less useful, and why our marketplace for ideas and intellectual properly is still so inefficient." Read below to see what Bennett has to say.
Transportation

If Ridesharing Is Banned, What About Ride-Trading? 353

Posted by samzenpus
from the hop-on dept.
Bennett Haselton writes "The city of Seattle just imposed new limits on commercial app-based ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft, effectively protecting taxi companies from low-cost competition in the form of smartphone apps. If other cities follow suit, could a company help ridesharers circumvent the restrictions by creating a ride-trading app, allowing drivers to earn 'miles' by driving passengers, and redeem those miles later to get rides for themselves?" Continue reading below to see what Bennett has to say.
Earth

Introducing a Calendar System For the Information Age 224

Posted by timothy
from the might-not-last-a-whole-week dept.
First time accepted submitter chimeraha (3594169) writes "Synchronized with the northern winter solstice and the UNIX Epoch, the terran computational calendar contains 13 identical months of 28 days each in addition to a short Month Zero containing only new year's day and a single leap year day every four years (with the exception of every 128 years). The beginning of this zero-based numbering calendar, denoted as 0.0.0.0.0.0 TC, is on the solstice, exactly 10 days before the UNIX Epoch (effectively, December 22nd, 1969 00:00:00 UTC in the Gregorian Calendar). It's "terran" inception and unit durations reflect the human biological clock and align with astronomical cycles and epochs. Its "computational" notation, start date, and algorithm are tailored towards the mathematicians & scientists tasked with calendrical programming and precise time calculation.

There's a lot more information at terrancalendar.com including a date conversion form and a handfull of code-snipits & apps for implementing the terran computational calendar."
Security

Ask Slashdot: Does Your Employer Perform HTTPS MITM Attacks On Employees? 572

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the padlock-icon-says-I'm-good-right dept.
New submitter Matt.Battey writes "I was recently on-site with a client and in the execution of my duties there, I needed to access web sites like Google Maps and my company's VPN. The VPN connection was rejected (which tends to be common, even though it's an HTTPS based VPN service). However, when I went to Google Maps I received a certificate error. It turns out that the client is intercepting all HTTPS traffic on the way out the door and re-issuing an internally generated certificate for the site. My client's employees don't notice because their computers all have the internal CA pushed out via Windows Group Policy & log-on scripts.

In essence, my client performs a Man-In-The-Middle attack on all of their employees, interrupting HTTPS communications via a network coordinated reverse-proxy with false certificate generation. My assumption is that the client logs all HTTPS traffic this way, capturing banking records, passwords, and similar data on their employees.

My question: How common is it for employers to perform MITM attacks on their own employees?"
Microsoft

Steve Ballmer Blew Up At the Microsoft Board Before Retiring 248

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the developers-developers-developers-rage-quit dept.
mrspoonsi writes with this excerpt from Business Insider on Steve Ballmer's final months as Microsoft CEO: "Ballmer decided to announce his retirement a few years before anyone expected him to. It all came to a head in one board meeting with Ballmer in June 2013. According to Businessweek, Ballmer got into a shouting match with Microsoft's board when directors said they didn't want to buy Nokia and start making smartphones. Ballmer told the board last June that if he didn't get what he wanted, he wouldn't be CEO any more. Businessweek said Ballmer's shouts could be heard in the hall outside the conference room. In the end, the board compromised with Ballmer. Ballmer wanted to buy both Nokia's handset business and its mapping platform called HERE. Instead, Microsoft ended up buying just the handset business for $7.2 billion and licensed HERE maps from Nokia." Ballmer seems to be regretting not getting into hardware sooner (although given that not making hardware propelled them to success in the 90s...)

Comment: Crazy claims in summary (Score 4, Informative) 104

by mpicker0 (#45766745) Attached to: Why Snapchat and Its Ilk Face a Revenue Conundrum

...it's easy to see why: in these paranoid times, with the NSA allegedly sniffing around the world's collective inbox, and lots of software on the market designed to snoop into people's lives, it's comforting to have an app that'll vaporize your messages within seconds of their opening

So, Snapchat's wild success is from people paranoid of the NSA who use it to send messages, even though multiple stories have appeared about how Snapchat messages can be saved without the sender's knowledge, and Snapchat's own website lists conditions under which messages will be preserved. Riiiiight.

...it doesn't store user information on its servers

Even assuming it doesn't store images (which it does, see above), to use the application, you connect with people as in any other social networking application. This is definitely "user information," and this metadata (some might even call it data) has value.

Comment: Re:As a developer I'd like to know ... (Score 1) 243

by mpicker0 (#45442211) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Makes You Uninstall Apps?

So, what do people think. Are one time notifications regarding common mistakes acceptable?

Notifications from a calculator app? No, I wouldn't find them acceptable, ever. Why not just pop up a "Did you know?" screen when they start up the app? Limit it to once a day, and be sure to include a "Don't show me these tips anymore" button. They've started the application, therefore they're more likely to pay attention to what you're saying than if you broadside them with a notification.

Comment: Re:They don't. (Score 1) 295

by mpicker0 (#45432465) Attached to: Zuckerberg To Teach 10 Million Kids 0-Based Counting
There are plenty of software documentation sets, tutorials, etc, like this one (selected at random), that have Step 0, Step 1, etc. I think it's an attempt to be clever, in that offsets start with zero, and this is documentation about computer stuff, being read by developers. But items in a list, intended to be read by humans, shouldn't be represented by offsets, but numbered with counting numbers, that is, starting at 1.
Spam

To Beat Spam Filters, Look Like A Spammer? 143

Posted by Soulskill
from the hello-sir-madam dept.
Slashdot contributor Bennett Haselton writes "A recent webinar for newsletter publishers suggested that if you want your emails not to be blocked as 'spam,' you paradoxically have to engage in some practices that contribute to the erosion of users' privacy, including some tactics similar to what many spammers are doing. The consequences aren't disastrous, but besides being a loss for privacy, it's another piece of evidence that free-market forces do not necessarily lead to spam filters that are optimal for end users." Read on for the rest of Bennett's thoughts.
Encryption

Ask Slashdot: Can Bruce Schneier Be Trusted? 330

Posted by timothy
from the shifty-eyes-and-a-beard dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Security guru Bruce Schneier is, among other things, a world renowned cryptography expert, author of several popular books, and a second-order internet meme. He is also an outspoken critic of the NSA, in particular the massive NSA surveillance programs disclosed over the summer by Edward Snowden. Schneier has been involved in reviewing the leaked documents and has put in effort to determine which cryptosystems should still be considered safe. I'm a big fan of Bruce Schneier, but just to play devil's advocate, let's say, hypothetically, that Schneier is actually in cahoots with the NSA. Who better to reinstate public trust in weakened cryptosystems? As an exercise in security that Schneier himself may find interesting, what methods are available for proving (or at least affirming) that we can trust Bruce Schneier?"

Comment: Re:No trust without source (Score 5, Informative) 233

by mpicker0 (#45143209) Attached to: Security Researchers Want To Fully Audit Truecrypt

It's not open source.

Not open source? The source is available for download here.

You can't compile it yourself. You have no idea what is in the source.

You certainly can compile it yourself; I built it on my old Linux iBook G4 (PowerPC), since there were no binaries available for that platform. As has been discussed above, it does have a weird license, but it is absolutely open source.

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