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Submission + - Have your iPhone 6 repaired, only to get it bricked by Apple (theguardian.com) 1

Nemosoft Unv. writes: In case you had a problem with the fingerprint sensor or some other small defect on your iPhone 6 and had it repaired by a non-official (read: cheaper) shop, you may be in for a nasty surprise: error 53.

What happens is that during an OS update or re-install the software checks the internal hardware and if it detects a non-Apple component, it will display an error 53 and brick your phone. Any photos or other data held on the handset is lost – and irretrievable.
Thousands of people have flocked to forums to express their dismay at this. What's more insiduous is that the error may only appear weeks or months after the repair.

Increduously, Apple says this cannot be fixed by any hard- or software update, while it is clearly their software that causes the problem in the first place.

And then you thought FTDI was being nasty...

Submission + - Intel Says Chips To Become Slower But More Energy Efficient (thestack.com)

An anonymous reader writes: William Holt, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Intel's Technology and Manufacturing Group, has said at a conference that chips will become slower after industry re-tools for new technologies such as spintronics and tunnelling transistors. "The best pure technology improvements we can make will bring improvements in power consumption but will reduce speed." If true, it's not just the end of Moore's Law, but a rolling back of the progress it made over the last fifty years.

Submission + - If You Registered Your Drone with the FAA, Kiss Your Privacy Goodbye (reason.com)

SonicSpike writes: Are you a law-abiding drone owner who registered your unmanned aerial vehicle with the federal government? Congratulations! Total strangers can now find your name, address, and lots of stuff about your fun toy in a public, searchable database!

Late last year, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced that virtually everyone who owns a drone (a drone's a drone, no matter how small, it seems) would have to register their flying computers for $5 a pop with the federal government. The penalty for failing to register: civil fines of up to $27,500 and criminal penalties of up to $250,000 and imprisonment for three years.

Reason's Scott Shackford has written about the failure of the FAA to actually convince most people to register their drones.

And thank goodness for that incompetence, since it will offset this latest revelation of incompetence: The 300,000 entries in the federal UAV registry are public, searchable, and downloadable, despite claims by the feds to the contrary, Engadget reports.

Submission + - Firefox 44 Deletes Fine-Grained Cookie Management (mozilla.org)

ewhac writes: Among its other desirable features, Firefox included a feature allowing very fine-grained cookie management. When enabled, every time a Web site asked to set a cookie, Firefox would raise a dialog containing information about the cookie requested, which you could then approve or deny. An "exception" list also allowed you to mark selected domains as "Always allow" or "Always deny", so that the dialog would not appear for frequently-visited sites. It was an excellent way to maintain close, custom control over which sites could set cookies, and which specific cookies they could set. It also helped easily identify poorly-coded sites that unnecessarily requested cookies for every single asset, or which would hit the browser with a "cookie storm" — hundreds of concurrent cookie requests.

Mozilla quietly deleted this feature from Firefox 44, with no functional equivalent put in its place. Further, users who had enabled the "Ask before accept" feature have had that preference silently changed to, "Accept normally." The proffered excuse for the removal was that the feature was unmaintained, and that its users were, "probably crashing multiple times a day as a result" (although no evidence was presented to support this assertion). Mozilla's apparent position is that users wishing fine-grained cookie control should be using a third-party add-on instead, and that an "Ask before accept" option was, "not really nice to use on today's Web."

Submission + - Marco Rubio Wants to Permanently Extend NSA Mass Surveillance (nationaljournal.com)

SonicSpike writes: Marco Rubio wants Congress to permanently extend the authorities governing several of the National Security Agency’s controversial spying programs, including its mass surveillance of domestic phone records.

The Florida Republican and likely 2016 presidential hopeful penned an op-ed on Tuesday condemning President Obama’s counterterrorism policies and warning that the U.S. has not learned the “fundamental lessons of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.”
Rubio called on Congress to permanently reauthorize core provisions of the post-9/11 USA Patriot Act, which are due to sunset on June 1 of this year and provide the intelligence community with much of its surveillance power.

“This year, a new Republican majority in both houses of Congress will have to extend current authorities under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, and I urge my colleagues to consider a permanent extension of the counterterrorism tools our intelligence community relies on to keep the American people safe,” Rubio wrote in a Fox News op-ed.

Submission + - Eradicating the First Disease Since Smallpox (economist.com)

AdamnSelene writes: It looks like something out of a Gothic movie: a metre-long monster that emerges slowly through blistered human skin, its victim writhing in agony. No one is spared. It can creep out from between the toes of a child or from the belly of a pregnant woman.

In the mid-1980s Dracunculus medinensis, the Guinea worm, as this horror is called, afflicted 3.5m people a year in 20 countries in Africa and Asia. But last year that number was down to just 22, all of them in Chad, Ethiopia, Mali and South Sudan. Dracunculiasis is thus poised to become the second human disease to be eradicated, after smallpox.

This blessed state of affairs is thanks to a 30-year campaign led by the Carter Centre, a charity set up by former US president Jimmy Carter.

Submission + - All 12 Countries Sign off on the TPP (freezenet.ca)

Dangerous_Minds writes: News is surfacing that the TPP has officially been signed by all 12 countries. This marks the beginning of the final step towards ratification. Freezenet has a quick rundown of what copyright provisions are contained in the agreement including traffic shaping, site blocking, enforcement of copyright when infringement is "imminent", and a government mandate for ISPs to install backdoors for the purpose of tracking copyright infringement on the Internet.

Submission + - Google starts blocking sites with fake download buttons (blogspot.co.uk) 1

Kobun writes: Google is now rolling out automatic blocking of websites that use fake download buttons or deceptive ads to trick users into downloading Malware. The original blog post from Google can be found here, with additional commentary at Ars and Gizmodo. CNET and Sourceforge are mentioned by name in the Ars article, although this doesn't take into account SourceForge's recent sale and the subsequent reversal of their malware-distribution policy.

Submission + - Cisco To Acquire IoT Company For $1.4 Billion (thestack.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Cisco has announced its intention to spend $1.4 billion purchasing startup Jasper Technologies, Inc. which specialises in IoT connectivity. It's the most significant acquisition the tech multinational has made since its purchase of Wi-Fi manufacturer Meraki in 2012. In 2015 Cisco also acquired OpenDNS for $635 million, and with the Jasper acquisition seems committed to securing a major foothold in IoT infrastructure over the next five years.

Submission + - Is it time to seriously get into crypto-currency? And if so, which?

Qbertino writes: German officials recently suggested to make all transactions larger than 5000 Euros illegal in cash. It's only a proposal, but definitely some back-room grey-suits machiavellian attempt to introduce the concept of ultimate transaction tracking in the long term. We all know how this goes. With all this and the ever-looming cyberpunk future in close proximity, I'm starting to wonder if it isn't time to get myself familiar with crypto currency as a means of trade.
Bitcoin is all the hype, but the blockchain has flaws, in that it isn't as anonymous as one would hope for — you can track past transactions. Rumors of Bitcoin showing cracks are popping up and also there are quite a few alternatives out there. So I have some questions: Is getting into dealing with crypto currency worthwhile already? Is bitcoin a way to go or will it falter under wide use / become easyly trackable once NSA and the likes adopt their systems to doing exactly that?
What digital currency has the technical and mind-share potential to superceed bitcoin? Are there feasible cryptocurrencies that have the upsides of bitcoin (such as a mathematical limit to their amount) but are fully anonymous in transactions? What do the economists and digi-currency nerds here have to contribute on that? What are your experiences with handling and holding cryptocurrency? And does bitcoin own the market or is it still flexible enough for an technology upgrade? May the discussion begin ...

Submission + - Julian Assange might turn himself in to police on Friday (bbc.co.uk)

peetm writes: Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has said he will turn himself over to UK police on Friday if a UN panel rules he has not been unlawfully detained.

He took refuge in London's Ecuadorian embassy in 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden over sexual assault claims.
In 2014 he complained to the UN that he was being "arbitrarily detained" as he could not leave without being arrested.

Submission + - Patent troll VirnetX awarded $626M in damages from Apple (arstechnica.com)

Tackhead writes: Having won a $200M judgement against Microsoft in 2010, lost a $258M appeal against Cisco in 2013, and having beaten Apple for $368M in 2012, only to see the verdict overturned in 2014, patent troll VirnetX is back in the news, having been awarded $626M in damages arising from the 2012 Facetime patent infringement case against Apple.

Submission + - New Hack Shrinks Docker Containers (www.iron.io)

destinyland writes: Promising "uber tiny Docker images for all the things," Iron.io has released a new library of base images for every major languages optimized to be as small as possible by using only the required OS libraries and language dependencies. "By streamlining the cruft that is attached to the node images and installing only the essentials, they reduced the image from 644 MB to 29MB," explains one technology reporter, noting this makes it quicker to download and distribute the image, and also more secure. "Less code/less programs in the container means less attack surface..." writes Travis Reeder, the co-founder of Iron.io, in a post on the company's blog. "Most people who start using Docker will use Docker’s official repositories for their language of choice, but unfortunately if you use them, you’ll end up with images the size of the Empire State Building..."

Submission + - Winner of the 2015 Underhanded C Contest announced (underhanded-c.org)

Xcott Craver writes: The Underhanded C contest results have now been announced. This time the contest challenge was to cause a false match in a nuclear inspection scenario, allowing a country to remove fissile material from a warhead without being noticed. The winner receives $1000 from the Nuclear Threat Initiative.

Submission + - Open Source Pioneer Michael Tiemann on the Myth of the Average

StewBeans writes: In a recent article, Michael Tiemann, one of the world's first open source entrepreneurs and VP of Open Source Affairs at Red Hat, highlights an example from the 1950s US Air Force where the "myth of the average resulted in a generation of planes that almost no pilots could reliably fly, and which killed as many as 17 pilots in a single day." He uses this example to argue that IT leaders who think that playing it safe means being as average as possible in order to avoid risks (i.e. "Buy what others are buying. Deploy what others are deploying. Manage what others are managing.") may be making IT procurement and strategy decisions based on flawed data. Instead, Tiemann says that IT leaders should understand elements of differentiation that are most valuable, and then adopt the standards that exploit them. "Don't aim for average: it may not exist. Aim for optimal, and use the power of open source to achieve what uniquely benefits your organization."

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