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Submission + - Cart Leads Horse for Years, Says Slashdot Reader

mtrachtenberg writes: Seriously, folks. This competition to develop the tiniest compute thing that can be plugged into a power brick and an HDMI port is a little ridiculous.

Can we please have HDMI monitors that include power and HDMI connectors to an internal pocket for compute units that will go inside their shells. Fans, too, that can be set on or off to cool the pocket. The companies can get together with a standard form factor or, if a company was Apple, it could do up proprietary shapes so only their "compute units" will fit in their monitors, and let the best approach win (or lose, as the case may be).

But seriously, if you need a screen that is 12" to 96" diagonal, and you are paying thousands for it, why are you worried about shrinking the thing that costs hundreds and generates images for that screen.

There. I feel better now.

Submission + - Apple Leads the Way on Taxes (

mtrachtenberg writes: I've decided I'm only going to pay $5 in federal taxes this year, following Apple's "we'll pay what we want to pay" strategy. The strategy is outlined in this article from the always excellent Guardian newspaper.

Submission + - DOJ 411: UEFI DMCA Violators DOA. GPS. 10-4?

mtrachtenberg writes: M E M O R A N D U M
Sponsored by Office 365,
your newest Office aid
and best friend. Office!

United States Department of Justice

Division for Intellectual Property Rights
and Maintenance of the Faith

Office for the Preservation of Microsoft

As per prior memoranda from this office, all points are alerted that uncooperative elements are still attempting to authorize non-Microsoft software (Linux, BSD, Z80 assembler) to run on US and Microsoft approved computing equipment.

It has been clearly established that Microsoft's financial survival is of code mauve importance to the American economy, at an equal level to that of Goldman Sachs and Citicorp. Therefore, this office is implementing Code Swartz immediately.

Drones shall lock and load on the GPS coordinates of abusers, and shall fire at will. Open source computing is like fluoridation — an assault on American values and freedom.

(P.S.: Nothing in this memorandum is to be construed as authorizing any activity illegal under the Constitution as interpreted by the Roberts court. If uncertain, contact the authorities at Guantanamo Bay.)

Submission + - Lithium ion battery prices to drop? (

mtrachtenberg writes: "A California company working with Argonne National Labs is talking about a new anode for lithium ion batteries; it claims a 300%+ increase in energy density and is talking about volume manufacturing by 2014.

The company, California Lithium Battery, is talking about a potential 70% price drop in the cost of EV battery packs. If this happens, EVs suddenly begin to make sense."

The Internet

Submission + - DC Internet Voting attacked TWO ways

mtrachtenberg writes: University of Michigan Professor J Alex Halderman and his team actually had two completely separate successful attacks on Washington, DC's internet voting experiment. The second path in was revealed by Halderman during testimony before the District of Columbia's Board of Elections and Ethics on Friday.

Apparently, a router's master password had been left at the default setting, enabling Halderman to access the system by a completely different method than SQL injection. He presented photographs of a video stream from the voting offices.

In addition, he found a file that had apparently been left on the test system contained the PINs of the 900+ voters who would have used the system in November.

Others on the panel joined Halderman in pointing out that it was not just this specific implementation of internet voting that was insecure, but the entire concept of using today's internet for voting at all. When a DC official asked why internet voting could not be made secure when top government secrets were secure on the internet, Halderman responded that a big part of keeping government secrets secret was NOT allowing them to be stored on internet-connected computers.

When a DC official asked the panel whether public key infrastructure couldn't allow secure internet voting, a panel member pointed out that the inventor of public key cryptography, MIT professor Ronald Rivest, was a signatory to the letter that had been sent to DC, urging officials there not to proceed with internet voting.

Clips from the testimony are available on youtube at these links.

Submission + - Microsoft admits stealing code from startup (

mtrachtenberg writes: Microsoft has suspended a new internet messaging service in China, after it emerged that the site was partially based on code stolen from a rival startup.

The site, Juku, launched in November is similar in concept to other online messaging systems like Twitter. But earlier this week the team behind Plurk, a young internet company based in Canada and popular with users across Asia, accused Microsoft of directly copying as much as 80% of the code to run the program.

Our informal mission is to improve the love life of operators worldwide. -- Peter Behrendt, president of Exabyte