Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

+ - Defending Privacy Doesn't Pay: Cdn Court Lets Copyright Troll Off the Hook->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: A Canadian court has issued its ruling on the costs in the Voltage — TekSavvy case, a case involving the demand for the names and address of thousands of TekSavvy subscribers by Voltage on copyright infringement grounds. Last year, the court opened the door to TekSavvy disclosing the names and addresses, but also established new safeguards against copyright trolling in Canada. The court awarded only a fraction of the costs sought by TekSavvy, which sends a warning signal to ISPs that getting involved in these cases can lead to significant costs that won't be recouped. That is a bad message for privacy. So is the likely outcome for future cases (should they arise) with subscribers left with fewer notices and information from their ISP given the costs involved and the court's decision to not compensate for those costs.
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Yes... (Score 3, Insightful) 809

by garcia (#49048493) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Portion of Developers Are Bad At What They Do?

Depending on what need I'm trying to fill, I hire 90% for culture fit and 10% for technical ability. Most often, people can learn to improve their technical ability, especially b/c there is very rarely any single individual who can fill an open req 100%. That said, what I have found cannot be learned as well, is how to fit into an organization's culture.

Comment: Seems as if you want broad experience (Score 1) 809

by garcia (#49048381) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Portion of Developers Are Bad At What They Do?

Broad experience is great and I wholly support companies which are looking to add resources who possess such knowledge; however, broad experience can come with the price of not having enough targeted knowledge to bring deep-dive specifics to the mix.

The real question you should be asking is whether they can figure it out on their own if tasked with finding a solution to the problem. I guarantee you that most of those you have cast aside due to their lack of public-key cryptography knowledge would be able to do so while bringing you the specific knowledge you need straight out of their heads.

Honestly, if you interviewed me and I didn't know the answer to some mostly irrelevant question and told me that's why I didn't get the job, I would thank you for not hiring me to work with someone who doesn't know enough about being a hiring manager to do his job effectively.

Comment: Re:Will the training really matter? No. (Score 1) 388

by garcia (#48805845) Attached to: UK Computing Teachers Concerned That Pupils Know More Than Them

I'm preaching to the 4-digit choir here, I know. Let me issue the disclaimer that I am not a teacher but a bunch of my friends are, and my job does depend on staying up to date.

I am not sure what my ability to remember the login information for an account I created in 1997 has anything to do w/the discussion; however, EVERYONE's job depends on them staying up-to-date, it's just that most people choose not to and fall behind.

Comment: Will the training really matter? No. (Score 4, Insightful) 388

by garcia (#48804057) Attached to: UK Computing Teachers Concerned That Pupils Know More Than Them

Technology funding in school districts (in my area these are tax levies) is already insanely high; mostly because we're pushing for tablet devices in schools driven, behind the scenes, by extremely lucrative vendor deals.

Without adequate training, the related curricula are severely limited and thus the added benefits when compared to related cost are low, if at all positive.

Now, this research, as well as the districts, are rightly saying the teachers need more training in order to leverage the technology effectively; however, what really needs to be understood is just how much training is really necessary and whether the tech gap between teachers and their students can really be mitigated.

It is my unfounded opinion that it will never be mitigated enough as teachers are not usually well enough equipped at their own subject matter, let alone keeping up with the taxing knowledge demands of technology.

What we need to do is take a step back and ensure that these additional tax investments in technology are actually doing anything to further student development and because they aren't, think about what we can do to actually concentrate on doing that instead of buying the new and shiny and letting it, effectively, collect dust in the corner while levy after levy is passed to support it.

Comment: Re:Who gives a fuck (Score 5, Insightful) 104

by Mr_Silver (#48791947) Attached to: Chrome For OS X Catches Up With Safari's Emoji Support

I consider then harmful.
I suspect Emoji are like those smileys with mustaches, beer steins, and birthday cakes that show up in skype chat. I hate that garbage. Many a time, I write a sentence that contains a parenhtesis, using grammar correctly, and then my message comes across as some random retarded shit sprinkled with smileys. I have a hard enough time avoiding typos, I don't really need the client mucking it up even worse.

That's not the fault of Emoji, that is the fault of the client replacing things like ":)" and ";P" with pictures in order to simulate Emjoi.

As bizarre as it sounds, you actually want to be embracing the support of Emoji! This is because all the searching and replacing logic (which, as you rightly pointed out, tends to make unwanted changes to your text) is now redundant and can be removed by the developers.

The net result is that people can still insert smileys with moustaches, beer steins, and birthday cakes and you can still type grammatically correct messages (or code) without fear of them being replaced with pictures. A win for everyone.

+ - Scientist Says Curiosity May Have Found Fossils on Mars->

Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp writes: A scientist named Nora Noffke says she thinks that the Curiosity rover may have found fossils on Mars. Noffke’s findings have been published in the journal Astrobiology. The study theorizes that certain rocks on Mars might have been formed by microbes, Discovery reports.

To create her hypothesis, Noffke closely examined photographs taken by Curiosity and compared them to rocks on Earth that have definitely been formed by living organisms. She says the pictures returned by the rover look extremely similar to microbe-created rocks on our own planet. The specific photos Noffke studied were taken in Gale Crater, specifically in the Yellowknife Bay area which houses the Gillespie Lake outcrop. The bottom of the lake and bay, which once contained water, consists of sedimentary sandstone.

While there have been previous papers theorizing that certain rocks prove life on Mars due to the presence of fossils, those have often been debunked. Noffke’s work has been so thorough, though, that even NASA is impressed.

NASA spokesperson Chris McKay explained, “I’ve seen many papers that say ‘Look, here’s a pile of dirt on Mars, and here’s a pile of dirt on Earth. And because they look the same, the same mechanism must have made each pile on the two planets. That’s an easy argument to make, and it’s typically not very convincing. However, Noffke’s paper is the most carefully done analysis of the sort that I’ve seen, which is why it’s the first of its kind published in Astrobiology.”

Link to Original Source

Comment: Oh dear (Score 1) 391

by Mr_Silver (#48746635) Attached to: Sony Thinks You'll Pay $1200 For a Digital Walkman

At some point, my iPod Classic is going to bite the dust and I'd love something that is a similar size that can store my large music (and video) collection and have a decent battery life.

This could have been it, but with an old version of Android and a stupid price point, I think I'll pass. Hopefully they'll come up with something that is less audiophile and more useful for the masses.

Comment: Re:No... (Score 1) 598

by Mr_Silver (#48739177) Attached to: Tumblr Co-Founder: Apple's Software Is In a Nosedive

But they are right about the software, never has it been more insecure and more geared towards grabbing up your data and marketing/profiting from it.

The only thing I can think of that involves "grabbing up your data and marketing/profiting from it" would be iAd and that's hardly a large part of Apple.

What's your proof that Apple are making a massive play to slurp up your personal data and use it in the way Google would?

Comment: Partial solution (Score 1) 598

by Mr_Silver (#48738389) Attached to: Tumblr Co-Founder: Apple's Software Is In a Nosedive

Part of the solution would be for Apple to decouple application updates from operating system updates.

I see no reason why a bug fix to Safari (of which there are plenty required) has to be delivered in the same way as an iOS update when they already have a perfectly good app updating mechanism (the App Store). Plus customers are used to apps updating frequently and automatically, adding Apple to the mix isn't going to be something strange for them.

Comment: Re:As expected... (Score 4, Informative) 400

by Mr_Silver (#48717323) Attached to: Box Office 2014: Moviegoing Hits Two-Decade Low

When you keep releasing a slew of poorly written movies, yet continue to demand unreasonable fees, this is the result. People aren't willing to shell out the bucks to see a B grade movie. It's just not worth it anymore.

This gets mentioned a lot on Slashdot but, in reality, the number of "good" movies has remained reasonably unchanged each year.

Here are the movies in the IMDB Top 250 grouped and counted by year:

Year Total
2014 6
2013 4
2012 5
2011 5
2010 6
2009 6
2008 4
2007 5
2006 5
2005 3
2004 7
2003 7
2002 4
2001 8
2000 6

In fact, 2014 (Interstellar, Boyhood, Gone Girl, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Grand Budapest Hotel and X-Men: Days of Future Past) was actually a better year than 2013 (The Wolf of Wall Street, Rush, 12 Years a Slave and Prisoners).

The "prime" year was 1995 but that only resulted in 10 films (Se7en, The Usual Suspects, Braveheart, Toy Story, Heat, Casino, Twelve Monkeys, Before Sunrise, La Haine and Underground).

(Nitpickers will point out that I really should run this over the entire DB and not the Top 250 and all take into account all film ratings - they'd be right, but that's a lot more work which I don't have the time to do).

Comment: Re:And this is why there's traffic... (Score 1) 611

by garcia (#48604087) Attached to: Waze Causing Anger Among LA Residents

Clearly you have never been to the UCLA campus because, if you had, you would have known this isn't true in the least. You can walk all over that place.

The problem in LA is the culture. People believe they are to be seen in their automobiles and they buy or lease expensive cars and drive them ridiculously short distances for that sole reason (if there is another reason, please do share but nothing really makes sense).

I worked for a company based out of LA for 2.5 years and we were there often. One guy lived a 10 minute walk from the office but chose to drive each and every day. He didn't buy an M3 to have it sit in his garage, after all. Nope, it sat in the company's garage instead.

SMH.

"Dump the condiments. If we are to be eaten, we don't need to taste good." -- "Visionaries" cartoon

Working...