Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Take advantage of Black Friday with 15% off sitewide with coupon code "BLACKFRIDAY" on Slashdot Deals (some exclusions apply)". ×

Comment Re:Um, what about history? (Score 1) 818

LOL. You want to do something hard and constructive instead of an ultimately meaningless gesture that everybody is on-board with for the next few days. Did you forget where you live? In another 2 weeks some other item will be shoved down our throats and nobody will remember the flag the same way that everybody has already forgotten about Bruce/Catlyn Jenner.

And please don't misunderstand - I think the underlying topics for both issues are worth discussing, but the idea that corporate entities embracing or decrying an issue *fixes* something is absolutely absurd.

Submission + - Intuit beats Web encryption patent that defeated Newegg at trial (arstechnica.com)

mpicpp writes: A controversial patent that has been used to wring millions of dollars in settlements from hundreds of companies is on the verge of getting shut down.

US Circuit Judge William Bryson, sitting "by designation" in the Eastern District of Texas, has found in a summary judgment ruling (PDF) that the patent, owned by TQP Development, is not infringed by the two defendants remaining in the case, Intuit Corp. and Hertz Corp. In a separate ruling (PDF), Bryson rejected Intuit's arguments that the patent was invalid.

TQP has been arguing for years that using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) or Transport Layer Security (TLS) combined with the RC4 encryption cipher infringes its patent. The company's former owner, renowned "patent troll" Erich Spangenberg, acknowledged during a trial last year that he has made more than $45 million in settlements on the TQP patent. TQP is one of dozens of patent groups that he owns.

Comment Re:I don't understand all the anger over Google (Score 2) 164

What responsibility does Google have to spend time and money on infrastructure on products that are used by the minority of people?

Google's time and money is what it probably comes down to. Somewhere deep in the accounting department they figure out that the quality of data they are mining is not enough to offset the actual cost of running the service. It's true that a larger user base would create a larger data set and therefore be more likely to be profitable for them, but if it's just a different representation of the same data there really isn't any point. They can figure out what we're interested in from Search, what we actually buy from the email receipts in our Gmail boxes, etc. A new service like Keep might give them new information, but if not there's no reason to continue it.

Comment Re:Live traffic data. (Score 4, Informative) 279

In the Google Privacy Policy on my phone, in the Service section it says:

"Location information
When you use a location-enabled Google service,we may collect and process information about your actual location,like GPS signals sent by a mobile device. We may also use various technologies to determine location,such as sensor data from your device that may,for example,provide information on nearby Wi-Fi access points and cell towers."

That's one of the things I'm assuming they're using it for.

Comment Re:Live traffic data. (Score 2) 279

That's part of the EULA and the "anonymous statistics" I believe. When you use Google Maps it uploads your position periodically, from which it can deduce your average velocity. It correlates that with other reports from other users in geographically similar areas and creates congestion maps.

I don't think stand-alone GPS (like Garmin) upload any data, so they probably purchase it from Google. That's most likely why it's a subscription or ad-based service on those devices.

Comment Re:Really? (Score 1) 170

Oh yeah, I want to run right out there and do business with a company that seems to be in the business of suing people over every little thing

If I had wanted that, I would have bought copious amounts of SCO products to keep Daryl McBride employed. Let me put it more simply to you, for those at .... who might care:

I'd rather eat razor sharp ground glass than use your products.

-- Posted with love from my iPad

Comment Re:Damn! (Score 1) 1165

It's not the same permit. Not only are there multiple levels of permits (Class A - high capacity, Class B - low capacity, FID - ammo and pepper spray), it is up to the discretion of your local police chief to implement any restrictions he might see fit. You may end up with a Class A, which allows you to purchase any gun available in MA but your chief may add a restriction of "Target and Sporting" which means that you can not carry concealed and should only be using your guns while hunting or at a range. The only way you can carry concealed is with a Class A and Restrictions: None.

Also, there is an appeals process if your local chief is a problem. It can be elevated to the head of the state police (forget the exact office) but I have no idea of the success rate. Luckily I live in a "green" town in MA where my local chief was more than willing to give me a permit, the local cops and I chatted while I was fingerprinted, and overall it was a pleasant experience. I believe they have the correct attitude that anybody who is going through the trouble to do this legally is going to be one of the last people they have to worry about.

Comment Re:this is complete BS (Score 4, Insightful) 938

This is all of course excludes DUI. Those need to be moved to the buses for life, period.

Why should it exclude DUI? Unless you're driving dangerously, it's just as safe as talking on the phone. Probably more so, since if you're a little drunk you're concentrating on driving and looking out for cops, rather than fucking around with your phone and being generally oblivious to your surroundings.

Comment Interesting that nobody changes Windows shells... (Score 1) 249

I've been using Emerge Desktop for more than a year now on Windows 7 and it's awesome. Takes a little bit to set up, but so much cleaner than Explorer. Plus, you can actually make the right and middle mouse buttons useful for something other than getting Display Properties. Right mouse is a fully customizable menu of shortcuts, program folders, whatever you want. If anybody remembers OpenWindows, it's kinda like that. It also has a system tray, quick launch, and can handle virtual desktops as well.


Comment Re:Prevent the TSA? (Score 4, Insightful) 241

Why don't they do the RIGHT thing and DISMANTLE the god damn TSA?

I'm not saying that it is, but it could be the beginning. Cutting funding is a way of stopping something when you have to save face for the people who support it. Then you can say "it was a good idea, but too expensive" and they can say "it was a good idea, but they were too cheap" and everybody walks away with their precious egos mostly intact.

"Necessity is the mother of invention" is a silly proverb. "Necessity is the mother of futile dodges" is much nearer the truth. -- Alfred North Whitehead