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Submission + - Secret trade agreement covering 68% of world services published by WikiLeaks (

schwit1 writes: The text of a 19-page, international trade agreement being drafted in secret was published by WikiLeaks on Thursday as the transparency group’s editor commemorated his two-year anniversary confined to the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.

Fifty countries around the globe have already signed on to the Trade in Service Agreement, or TISA, including the United States, Australia and the European Union. Despite vast international ties, however, details about the deal have been negotiated behind closed-doors and largely ignored by the press.

In a statement published by the group alongside the leaked draft this week, WikiLeaks said “proponents of TISA aim to further deregulate global financial services markets,” and have participated in “a significant anti-transparency manoeuvre” by working secretly on a deal that covers more than 68 percent of world trade in services, according to the Swiss National Center for Competence in Research.

Submission + - NIgerian born UK TV repairman sentenced 16 months prison for 91% reuse ( 1

retroworks writes: The Guardian uses a stock photo of obvious electronic junk in its coverage of the sentencing of Joseph Benson of BJ Electronics. But film of the actual containers showed fairly uniform, sorted televisions which typically work for 20 years. In 2013, the Basel Convention Secretariat released findings on a two-year study of the seized sea containers containing the alleged "e-waste", including Benson's in Nigeria, and found 91% working and repaired product. The study, covered in Slashdot last February, declared the shipments legal, and further reported that they were more likely to work than new product sent to Africa (which may be shelf returns from bad lots, part of the reason Africans prefer used TVs from nations with strong warranty laws).

Director of regulated industry Harvey Bradshaw of the UK tells the Guardian: "This sentence is a landmark ruling because it's the first time anyone has been sent to prison for illegal waste exports." But 5 separate university research projects question what the crime was, and whether prohibition in trade is really the best way to reduce the percentage of bad product (less than 100% waste). Admittedly, I have been following this case from the beginning and interviewed both Benson and the Basel Secretariat Executive Director, and am shocked that the UK judge went ahead with the sentencing following the publication of the E-Waste Assessment Study last year. But what do Nerds at Slashdot think about the campaign to arrest African geeks who pay 10 times the value of scrap for used products replaced in rich nations?

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Replicated filesystem for linux - disconnected use

TarpaKungs writes: There are many clustered filesystems for linux — most seem to have HPC clustering or failover in mind and assume there is relatively continuous network connectivity between the hosts.

I'm after one that would suit multiple clients (laptops typically) in a "business/home" usage scenario with very intermittent connectivity.

Right now, I have a central fileserver at home which is backed up properly and similar at work. I work mostly on a laptop (which is the way everyone in my family and most of my work colleagues are going. I occasionally sync back to my home server and work servers with unison over ssh, which is a great tool.

I'm not looking for a caching solution that depends on the network being there — I'm after a full on replicated (at the file level, not the block) filesystem preferably with no concept of a master (unison handles this quite well).

So there seem to be a couple of directions I could take:

1) Run unison as root from a script with a carefully chosen config file per FS area. Write a script runs when (say) at-home WiFi is detected, so as to avoid syncing over a mobile link. Email errors to me for manual fixing (unison generally "does the right thing" and baulks before doing something that is not provably correct).


2) Find a more elegant solution that works at the kernel or daemon level.


1 — Anyone done this and did it work out?

2 — Are there any well maintained linux network filesystems worth looking at that would behave well in a WAN-with-intermittent-connectivity context?



Submission + - EFF to unveil Open Wireless Router for Open Wireless Movement (

hypnosec writes: A new movement dubbed the Open Wireless Movement is asking users to open up their private Wi-Fi networks for total strangers – a random act of kindness – with an aim of better securing networks and facilitating better use of finite broadband resources. The movement is supported by non-profit and pro-internet rights organisations like the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), Mozilla, Open Rights Group, and Free Press among others. EFF is planning to unveil one such innovation – Open Wireless Router – at the Hackers on Planet Earth (HOPE X) conference to be held next month on New York. This firmware will allow individuals to share their private Wi-Fi to total strangers to anyone without a password.

Submission + - Teaching College Is No Longer a Middle Class Job (

An anonymous reader writes: When you think of somebody who teaches at a college, you typically bring to mind moderately affluent professors with nice houses and cars. All that tuition has to go into big salaries, right? Unfortunately, it seems being a college instructor is becoming less and less lucrative, even to the point of poverty. From the article: "Most university-level instructors are ... contingent employees, working on a contract basis year to year or semester to semester. Some of these contingent employees are full-time lecturers, and many are adjunct instructors: part-time employees, paid per class, often without health insurance or retirement benefits. This is a relatively new phenomenon: in 1969, 78 percent of professors held tenure-track positions. By 2009 this percentage had shrunk to 33.5." This is detrimental to learning as well. Some adjunct faculty, desperate to keep jobs, rely on easy courses and popularity with students to stay employed. Many others feel obligated to help students beyond the limited office hours they're paid for, essentially working for free in order to get the students the help they need. At a time when tuition prices are rising faster than ever, why are we skimping on the most fundamental aspect of college?

Submission + - Google's Nest buys Home Monitoring Camera Company Dropcam

rtoz writes: The popular home monitoring camera startup "Dropcam" will be acquired by Nest Labs, the maker of smart thermostats and smoke detectors.

The deal is worth $555 million in cash.

Nest itself was purchased by Google just four months ago for $3.2 billion.

Dropcam is a cloud-based Wi-Fi video monitoring service. It was founded in 2009. Dropcam lets users place cameras throughout a home for live-viewing and recording. The cameras also include options for night vision and two-way talking with built-in microphones.

Dropcam has never disclosed sales, but it is routinely the top-selling security camera on Amazon, and it recently branched into selling in retail stores like Apple and Best Buy.

People concerned about the privacy implications of Google’s acquisition of Nest may be further unsettled by Nest’s purchase of a home surveillance company. Nest's founder Matt Rogers anticipated this issue , insisted that there’s no reason to worry. In his blog post, he says that data won’t be shared with anyone, including Google, without a customer’s permission.

Nest has run into product challenges recently. In April, Nest said it was suspending sales of its smoke alarms after it determined the units could be switched off unintentionally. The products are now back on the market.

Submission + - BlackBerry back in profit (

An anonymous reader writes: Upon arrival at the controls of BlackBerry last November, CEO John Chen seemed determined to turn things around. In only four months, it has already achieved its objectives, namely reducing operational costs by 30%. To do this, he has had to continue to cut in the workforce, reduced by half in two years.

John Chen estimated that BlackBerry has 80% chance of escape, against 50% a year ago. First positive sign. Results for the first quarter of 2014 During this period, it reported net income of $ 23 million against a loss of 84 million a year ago. However, these results take into account the sale of a building complex sold 500 million. Thus excluding exceptional items, BlackBerry still recorded a loss of $ 60 million, which is still two times lower than analysts' forecasts.

Submission + - ICANN CEO Wants To Make Progress On US Split At London Meeting (

itwbennett writes: ICANN CEO Fadi Chehadé hopes to make progress on preparations to take over running the world's central DNS servers from the U.S. government's National Telecommunications and Information Agency when the organization meets in London next week. 'I think this is a meeting where the ICANN community has to deal with the fact, the good fact, that its relationship with the U.S. government, which characterized its birth, its existence and growth, has now run its course,' Chehadé said.

Submission + - MIT and Caltech's coding breakthrough could accelerate mobile network speeds (

smaxp writes: What if you could transmit data without link layer flow control bogging down throughput with retransmission requests, and also optimize the size of the transmission for network efficiency and application latency constraints? Researchers from MIT, Caltech and the University of Aalborg claimed to have accomplished this with stateless transmission using Random Linear Network Coding, or RLNC. The universities have collaborated to commercialize this promising technology through joint venture called Code On Technologies.

Submission + - White House threatened Bob Woodward for Obama expose (

An anonymous reader writes: On Wednesday, the White House sent a threatening email to Washington Post editor Bob Woodward in response to a column in which the veteran journalist suggested that President Barack Obama and cabinet official Jack Lew lied about the sequestration cuts. In a Feb. 27 appearance on CNN's "Situation Room," Woodward declined to identify the senior administration official who had threatened him.

"They're not happy at all," said Woodward. "It was said very clearly, you will regret doing this. He added that he was "very uncomfortable to have the White House telling reporters you're going to regret doing something. Let's hope it's not the strategy."


Submission + - Apple's Secret Plan to Join iPhones with Airport Security

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "Currently — as most of us know — TSA agents briefly examine government ID and boarding passes as each passenger presents their documents at a checkpoint at the end of a security line but Thom Patterson writes at CNN that under a 2008 Apple patent application that was approved in July and filed under the working title "iTravel," a traveler's phone would automatically send electronic identification to a TSA agent as soon as the traveler got in line and as each traveler waits in line, TSA agents would examine the electronic ID at an electronic viewing station. Next, at the X-ray stations, a traveler's phone would confirm to security agents that the traveler's ID had already been checked. Apple's patent calls for the placement of special kiosks (PDF) around the airport which will automatically exchange data with your phone via a close range wireless technology called near field communication (NFC). Throughout the process, the phone photo could be displayed on a screen for comparison with the traveler. Facial recognition software could be included in the process. Several experts say a key question that must be answered is: How would you prove that the phone is yours? To get around this problem, future phones or electronic ID may require some form of biometric security function including photo, fingerprint and photo retinal scan comparisons. Of course, there is still a ways to go. If consumers, airlines, airports and the TSA don't embrace the NFC kiosks, experts say it's unlikely Apple's vision would become reality. "First you would have to sell industry on Apple's idea. Then you'd have to sell it to travel consumers," says Neil Hughes of Apple Insider. "It's a chicken-and-egg problem.""

Journal Journal: Samsung will sue Apple tomorrow ?

Tomorrow looks to be the day of the antipcited Apple release of the iPhone 5 but other sources tell of a threat to people being able to buy an iPhone directly after the announcement as they usually can. Samsung is in the final stages to start a court case against Apple if it is revealed that iPhone 5 support LTA or 4G in its phone.Apple has not licensed LTE from Samsung. Samsung has a large number of patents in the LTE tech and probably do what they can to stop Apple from selling their iPhon


Submission + - Converting RSS feeds to a dynamic 3D scene in 120 lines of code ( 4

descubes writes: "Tao Presentations is a 3D presentation tool based on a 3D dynamic document description language. This makes it very easy for developers to create their own 3D shows, illustrate talks in an innovative way, even build small interactive 3D applications. An example included in the latest release grabs RSS feeds from a variety of sources (including Slashdot) and turns them into a 3D scene, all in real-time and in about 120 lines of code. It fetches the pictures directly from the web site and maps them on 3D shapes. And this is only a starting point. Tao Presentations can display 3D objects, drive the majority of 3D displays (including glasses-free 3D displays from Alioscopy, Philips or Tridelity), use GLSL shaders for advanced effects, and much more.

Tao Presentations is free (as in beer), and the document description language is based on the free (as in speech) XL programming language. If you get bored of Powerpoint and are looking for a more stimulating alternative, Tao Presentations may be what you were looking for."


Submission + - If Apple's Mac UI Came From Xerox, iPhone Came From Sony? (

sfcrazy writes: Same story again, only this time the concept of iPhone was not born at Xerox but at Sony. Can someone think of how Apple was born? It was the UI which made Mac a popular house-hold name. The UI was born at Xerox and not at Apple, pretty much the same way iPhone concept was born at Sony and not Apple.

You know you've landed gear-up when it takes full power to taxi.