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Google Launches Project Fi Mobile Phone Service 112

Posted by samzenpus
from the new-carrier-in-town dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Google unveiled today a new cell phone service called Project Fi. It offers the same basic functionality as traditional wireless carriers, such as voice, text and Internet access, but at a lower price than most common plans. From the article: "Google hopes to stand out by changing the way it charges customers. Typically, smartphone owners pay wireless carriers like AT&T and Verizon a bulk rate for a certain amount of data. Google says it will let customers pay for only what data they use on their phones, from doing things like making calls, listening to music and using apps, potentially saving them significant amounts of money. For now, the program is invite-only and will only be available on Google's Nexus 6 smartphone."

Microsoft Announces Device Guard For Windows 10 190

Posted by Soulskill
from the throwing-up-a-new-moat dept.
jones_supa writes: Microsoft has announced a new feature for Windows 10 called Device Guard, which aims to give administrators full control over what software can or cannot be installed on a device. "It provides better security against malware and zero days for Windows 10 by blocking anything other than trusted apps—which are apps that are signed by specific software vendors, the Windows Store, or even your own organization. ... To help protect users from malware, when an app is executed, Windows makes a determination on whether that app is trustworthy, and notifies the user if it is not. Device Guard can use hardware technology and virtualization to isolate that decision making function from the rest of the Windows operating system, which helps provide protection from attackers or malware that have managed to gain full system privilege." It's intended to be used in conjunction with traditional anti-virus, not as a replacement.

Columbia University Doctors Ask For Dr. Mehmet Oz's Dismissal 320

Posted by timothy
from the that's-just-like-your-opinion-man dept.
circletimessquare writes Dr. Mehmet Oz serves as vice chairman of Columbia University Medical Center's department of surgery. He is a respected cardiothoracic surgeon but his television show has been accused of pushing snake oil. Now other doctors at Columbia University want Dr. Oz kicked off the medical school faculty. Dr. Oz has responded on his Facebook account: "I bring the public information that will help them on their path to be their best selves. We provide multiple points of view, including mine which is offered without conflict of interest. That doesn't sit well with certain agendas which distort the facts. For example, I do not claim that GMO foods are dangerous, but believe that they should be labeled like they are in most countries around the world." In their letter, the doctors accuse Dr. Oz of quackery: "Dr. Oz has repeatedly shown disdain for science and for evidence-based medicine, as well as baseless and relentless opposition to the genetic engineering of food crops. Worst of all, he has manifested an egregious lack of integrity by promoting quack treatments and cures in the interest of personal financial gain."

Comment: Interesting discussion (Score 5, Insightful) 229

by peppepz (#49491373) Attached to: GNU Hurd 0.6 Released
101 posts and not a single one with technical content. Somebody should create a slashdot post generator, with modules producing output of these kinds:
- internet meme repeater ("year of Linux on the desktop", "stallman eats his own toes", "thou shalt not compare to nazi");
- xkcd repeater (its output is prefixed by the string "obligatory" and displays a strong prevalence of this one);
- project deprecator ("this software is so stupid, I could write a better one with one arm tied behind my back, except I'm too smart to actually do it");
- Google/Apple/Microsoft PR ("it's not Google who kills kittens! It's their subcontractors!");
and, last but not least,
- Slashdot deprecator ("slashdot is no longer a nice site to read these days").

Microsoft's Role As Accuser In the Antitrust Suit Against Google 192

Posted by samzenpus
from the on-the-other-side dept.
HughPickens.com writes Danny Hakim reports at the NYT that as European antitrust regulators formally accuse Google of abusing its dominance, Microsoft is relishing playing a behind-the-scenes role of scold instead of victim. Microsoft has founded or funded a cottage industry of splinter groups to go after Google. The most prominent, the Initiative for a Competitive Online Marketplace, or Icomp, has waged a relentless public relations campaign promoting grievances against Google. It conducted a study that suggested changes made by Google to appease regulators were largely window dressing. "Microsoft is doing its best to create problems for Google," says Manfred Weber, the chairman of the European People's Party, the center-right party that is the largest voting bloc in the European Parliament. "It's interesting. Ten years ago Microsoft was a big and strong company. Now they are the underdog."

According to Hakim, Microsoft and Google are the Cain and Abel of American technology, locked in the kind of struggle that often takes place when a new giant threatens an older one. Microsoft was frustrated after American regulators at the Federal Trade Commission didn't act on a similar antitrust investigation against Google in 2013, calling it a "missed opportunity." It has taken the fight to the state level, along with a number of other opponents of Google. Microsoft alleges that Google's anti-competitive practices include stopping Bing from indexing content on Google-owned YouTube; blocking Microsoft Windows smartphones from "operating properly" with YouTube; blocking access to content owned by book publishers; and limiting the flow of ad campaign information back to advertisers, making it more expensive to run ads with rivals. "Over the past year, a growing number of advertisers, publishers, and consumers have expressed to us their concerns about the search market in Europe," says Brad Smith, Microsoft's general counsel. "They've urged us to share our knowledge of the search market with competition officials."

Comment: Re:So.. Why? (Score 2) 309

by peppepz (#49481441) Attached to: NVIDIA's New GPUs Are Very Open-Source Unfriendly

Because they have TRADE SECRETS to protect.

No. They don't want to protect the binary blobs from your eyes. They're not encrypting, they're signing. They want to prevent you from developing your own blob, by having your video card reject firmware not written by them.

I don't think they are anti-open source,

It's not a matter of opinion. They are anti-open source by definition, it's a fact dictated by their actions. They're locking down the cards that they manufacture in order to prevent their owners from writing open-source software to drive them. You can't get more anti-open source than this. Nvidia have always been anti-open source, and they are getting worse and worse with time.


NVIDIA's New GPUs Are Very Open-Source Unfriendly 309

Posted by Soulskill
from the returning-to-par dept.
An anonymous reader writes: The Nouveau driver developers working on open-source support for the GeForce 900 Maxwell graphics cards have found this new generation to be "very open-source unfriendly" and restricting. NVIDIA began requiring signed firmware images, which they have yet to provide to Nouveau developers, contrary to their earlier statements. The open-source developers have also found their firmware signing to go beyond just simple security precautions. For now the open-source NVIDIA driver can only enable displays with the GTX 900 series without any hardware acceleration.
The Internet

Mobile 'Deep Links' and the Fate of the Web 26

Posted by Soulskill
from the URLs-with-short-half-lives dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Mobile developers call the links they're forging between apps "deep links," but so far the whole idea seems to be more about marketing than deepening understanding. This essay over at Backchannel argues that we still haven't delivered on the original promise of links online — the idea of enabling people to build and share "cathedrals of context." Quoting: "The people who invented the link saw it as a tool for relating ideas in illuminating ways—for making conceptual leaps and connecting disparate thoughts. If these visionaries had achieved their aim, the kind of tech-cultural amnesia represented by the recycling of the term 'deep links' shouldn't have been possible, two decades into the Web era. The links with true depth that they envisioned would have made sure of that."

Windows 10 Successor Codenamed 'Redstone,' Targeting 2016 Launch 197

Posted by Soulskill
from the please-just-call-it-windows-11 dept.
MojoKid writes: Windows 10 isn't even out the door yet, so what better time than now to talk about its successor? Believe it or not, there's a fair bit of information on it floating around already, including its codename: "Redstone." Following in the footsteps of 'Blue' and 'Threshold', Redstone is an obvious tie-in to Microsoft's purchase of Minecraft, which it snagged from Mojang last year. Redstone is an integral material in the game, used to create simple items like a map or compass as well as logic gates for building electronic devices, like a calculator or automatic doors. The really important news is that we could see Windows Redstone sometime in 2016.

Comment: Re:So does this mean.... (Score 1) 133

by peppepz (#49360095) Attached to: Microsoft Releases Windows 10 SDK

Wrong. It does prevent the kinds of malware and rootkits that operate by modifying the bootloader.

1) Whatever it does, it can be nullified by malware that gains root-level access AFTER the OS has booted (which is the norm). And if the malware managed to modify the bootloader, of course it has already gained that access, hence no effective protection is added, UNLESS you are running a machine that doesn't allow unsigned software to run (EXEs, batch scripts, stuff written by the user) that could have been installed or patched by the malware. But clearly this is not Windows as we know it today.
Moreover, locking down the machine (this is the only firmware behaviour authorized by Microsoft when the so-called Secure Boot restriction is violated) is arguably the worst outcome for desktop users, as they will be left with no way to service the machine (beyond running "rescue partitions" which of course are static and therefore can't contain anti-malware software), and with no access to their data.
2) Malware that operates by modifying the boot sequence is extremely rare today, because it must target specific hardware, and is associated with government-sponsored attacks. Of course, three-letter agencies are only a piece of paper away from having their malware signed with legitimate keys.

and harmful thing

Cite specifically the "harm".

Read the thread. I'm no parrot.

Well, now it's no longer true, as widely expected by the hysterical idiots.

And being hysterical idiots you and the rest of them still haven't figured out that in fact it is still true, in fact unless some OEM makes the choice to not include the ability to turn it off it will remain true.

"Unless" is they key word here.

Describe exactly how the OEM being responsible for their product is "anti-competitive, anti-consumer and anti-free software behaviour", because that does not make any sense in any context whatsoever.

Imagine that I am an operating system vendor and I want to sell an OS. Describe exactly what I have to tell my customers before I sell them my OS.

Imagine that I know an unskilled person (grandma) running an old version of Windows that is no longer supported on an otherwise perfectly fine machine. Describe exactly what I have to tell her before I propose to install Linux, or a commercial OS costing less than the new version of Windows, on her PC.

Imagine that I am a student and I've heard about this Linux thing. I'd like to try it on my PC that I bought off a shelf a couple years ago. Describe exactly what I should do to try Linux on my machine, fix it when it doesn't work and add new features to its kernel.

Comment: Re:So does this mean.... (Score 1) 133

by peppepz (#49359993) Attached to: Microsoft Releases Windows 10 SDK

Absolute, 100% rubbish! Show me an OEM that does not provide the ability to turn secure boot off.

I don't know if you're the same Microsoft supporter as before, but in case you aren't, I'll repeat that we are talking about "designed for Windows 10" machines which aren't for sale yet.

Impossible, no machine could ever be sold without the capability to boot from an external device, as this would prevent installing Microsoft Windows on it.

Wrong again, they can easily install it and then lock you out of the BIOS.

No, because that would prevent the user from buying copies of future versions of Microsoft Windows.

Bullshit. The OEMs should be held accountable if they make the choice to produce a product that doesn't allow secureboot to be turned off. Why are you so desperate to defend the OEMs as some blameless, unaccountable entity?

Because the OEMs are known not to care about letting the users fiddle with advanced boot options. They are also known to make firmware that, for example, will crash the machine from SMM when running a non-Windows OS: I've owned such PCs (that bug was meant to be a fix to make Windows 2000 run on that hardware). If the machines they make don't boot Linux, it's because they don't care, or haven't the resources to support Linux, not because of malice. But it's Microsoft who put these hurdles for them (and the users) to overcome. It's their decision that will lock people out of their own PCs, not the disinterest of the OEMs, which has always been there and is not changing.

Do you also blame Google for not forcing everybody who makes Android devices to provide an unlocked bootloader and root-level access on phones?

Yes of course. That's where I usually lose most of my karma points.

can you give a non-malicious explanation about why the requirement of being able to disable the so-called Secure Boot is being lifted now?

Less overhead in the certification process perhaps

You've just admitted that there's "overhead" in the overall process of the OEM to add an option that disables the so-called Secure Boot. Hence, OEMs that want to get rid of this "overhead" WILL remove the option. Thanks for proving my point.

but likely pushed by the OEMs as a way to try and sell both their Windows and Linux offerings separately rather than just one and have the user dual-boot it.

That is, to keep Linux out of of the users' PC as I've been stating from the beginning!

If MS wanted to stop Linux they would be offering huge discounts to OEMs to not ship Linux (and Android) devices and to only ship Windows.

My friend, in this world pressures against OEMs are the norm, not an exception.

In recent years despite Linux on the desktop being offered pre-installed from big box retailers, available in the form of ChromeOS, available pre-installed systems from Dell, HP, Lenovo and others, free of charge, easy to install and even with the ability to try *without* installing the desktop PC userbase has *still* rejected it, it hasnt made any gains at all.

I'm not denying that Linux users are a minority. I'm stating that they risk to become zero thanks to these dirty tricks. And this will harm the market of Linux on the servers, too, because of the way how people become Linux contributors. And I'm stating this in a comment which, if you bother to read, was meant as a response to someone who said "Microsoft supports Linux now".

If they really wanted to lock out alternative operating systems they would have done it decades ago when they actually saw Linux on the desktop as a threat.

They have been doing stuff like this endlessly for decades. Remember Bill Gates' "we should make ACPI Windows-only" in the 90s?

Comment: Re:So does this mean.... (Score 1) 133

by peppepz (#49359929) Attached to: Microsoft Releases Windows 10 SDK
A statement is true when it's always true, not when it's true sometimes and sometimes not. You didn't even bother following the line of reasoning.
Microsoft supporter: "SecureBoot is useful and gives no problem to the user"
Me: "No, it's unuseful and here's how it harms the user"
Microsoft supporter: "Eh, but you can always turn it off"
Me: "Not anymore."

Notel Media Player Helps North Koreans Skirt Censorship 54

Posted by timothy
from the one-day-will-be-on-ebay.nk dept.
An anonymous reader writes A small portable media device, costing roughly $50, is allowing North Koreans to access and view foreign media despite tight government censorship, according to a Reuters report. The 'Notel', a mashup of notebook and television, is being described as a symbol of change in the repressed society. Used to watch DVDs and shared content from USB sticks and SD cards, the media player can be easily concealed and transported among families and friends. According to correspondents in the region, as many as half of all urban North Korean households have a notel and are swapping a broad range of banned media such as soaps and TV dramas from South Korea and China, Hollywood blockbusters, and news clips — all of which is strictly forbidden by Pyongyang law.
The Courts

Google Loses Ruling In Safari Tracking Case 56

Posted by Soulskill
from the permission-for-lawyers-to-make-money dept.
mpicpp sends this report from CNET: The floodgates are now open for UK users to sue Google over privacy violations tied to tracking cookies. In a landmark ruling, the UK's Court of Appeal has dismissed Google's request to prevent British Web users from suing the company over tracking cookies and privacy violations. The decision was announced Friday, according to the BBC. In spite of default privacy settings and user preferences — including an opt-out of consent to be tracked by cookies — Google's tracking cookies gathered information on Safari browser users for nine months in 2011 and 2012.

Amazon Requires Non-Compete Agreements.. For Warehouse Workers 331

Posted by Soulskill
from the you-may-not-lift-and-carry-objects-for-anyone-else dept.
Rick Zeman writes: Amazon, perhaps historically only second to Newegg in the IT nerdling's online shopping heart, has not only subjected their warehouse employees to appalling working conditions, but they're also making them sign a non-compete agreement for the privilege. Here's an excerpt from the agreement: "During employment and for 18 months after the Separation Date, Employee will not, directly or indirectly, whether on Employee's own behalf or on behalf of any other entity (for example, as an employee, agent, partner, or consultant), engage in or support the development, manufacture, marketing, or sale of any product or service that competes or is intended to compete with any product or service sold, offered, or otherwise provided by Amazon (or intended to be sold, offered, or otherwise provided by Amazon in the future)."

The first rule of intelligent tinkering is to save all the parts. -- Paul Erlich