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Submission + - mozilla CEO threatens anonymous mozilla employee for anti-SJW comment (

An anonymous reader writes: The Verge reports an impending witchhunt for criticizing a departed diversity-focused employee. The CEO explains he will fire the employee (if found) for "hate speech": "I'm talking about when you start saying 'someone's kind doesn't belong here, and we'll all be happy when they're gone.'", referring to the anonymous commenter, whose kind doesn't belong there, and the CEO will be happy when he/she is gone.

Submission + - CNN & CBC Sued For Pirating 31 Second YouTube Video

Dave Knott writes: CNN and Canada's CBC are being sued after the pair allegedly ripped a 31 second video from YouTube and used it in their broadcasts without a license. On November 18 2014, New York resident Alfonzo Cutaia decided to record event surrounding winter torm "Knife" on his mobile phone. Recognizing the potential for interest in his video, Cutaia uploaded his 32 second clip to YouTube, and opted to generate revenue via YouTube’s account monetization program. His video soon generated over 2.3 million hits and he was receiving requests from news outlets – CBS, ABC, CNN, NBC, Reuters and AP – to use his footage. But according to a lawsuit filed this week by Cutaia in a New York court, around November 18 Canada’s CBC aired the video online without permission, with a CBC logo as an overlay. After complaining to the CBC about continued unauthorized use, last month Cutaia was told by the CBC that the company had obtained the video from CNN on a 10-day license. However, Cutaia claims that the video was used by the CBC and its partners for many months, having been supplied to them by CNN who also did not have a license. In his complaint, Cutaia accuses the news outlets of “intentional and willful” copyright infringement and seeks appropriate damages. Interestingly, the lawsuit also claims that both the CBC and CNN violated the DMCA when the companies ‘liberated’ it from the YouTube system and offered it for viewing elsewhere.

Submission + - Lenovo modifying Windows OS files from BIOS .. (

An anonymous reader writes: Before booting windows 7 or 8, the bios checks if C:\Windows\system32\autochk.exe is the Lenovo one or the original Microsoft one. If it is not the lenovo one, it moves it to C:\Windows\system32\0409\zz_sec\autobin.exe, and then writes it's own autochk.exe

Submission + - United flight costs less due to IT glitch, customer charged more after the fact (

ugen writes: This is a discussion on Flyertalk. Evidently, a United passenger accepted an attractive offer of upgrade when booking a flight on After flight was complete, United decided that the fare offered was an IT glitch, and charged the customer's credit card additional $1200 without prior notice.

Submission + - This App Lets You Piggyback Facebook's Free Internet to Access Any Site (

sarahnaomi writes: In countries like Zambia, Tanzania, or Kenya, where very few have access to the Internet, Facebook is bringing its own version of the net:, an app that gives mobile users free access to certain sites such as Google, Wikipedia and, of course, Facebook.

While the initiative has clearly positive goals, it’s also been criticized as an “imperialistic” push for Facebook colonies, where novice users will grow up thinking their restricted version of the web is the real internet.

To fight against that possibility, a 20-year-old developer from Paraguay is working on an app that tunnels the “regular” internet through Facebook Messenger, one of the services free to use on’s app. This allows users to establish a link to the outside, unrestricted internet, circumventing restrictions.

Submission + - Terrorists used false DMCA claims to get personal data of anti-islamic youtuber

An anonymous reader writes: German newspaper FAZ reports (google translated version) that, after facing false DMCA claims by "FirstCrist, Copyright" and threatened by youtube with takedown, a youtuber running the german version of islam-critic Al Hayat TV had to disclose their identity in order to get the channel back online, in accordance with youtube policy. Later, the channel staff got a mail containing a death threat by "FirstCrist, Copyright", containing: "thank you for your personal data. [...] take care your house gets police protection!". As the staff had already suspected that "FirstCrist, Copyright" were in fact islamists, they had tried to convince youtube youtube to find another way, but in vain.

Submission + - 'Police detector' monitors emergency radio transmissions ( 1

schwit1 writes: Now it’s law enforcement that has nowhere to hide, and that may or may not be a good thing. A Dutch company has introduced a detection system that can alert you if a police officer or other emergency services official is using a two-way radio nearby.

Blu Eye monitors frequencies used by the encrypted TETRA encrypted communications networks used by government agencies in Europe. It doesn’t allow the user to listen in to transmissions, but can detect a radio in operation up to one kilometer away.

Even if a message isn’t being sent, these radios send pulses out to the network every four seconds and Blu Eye can also pick these up, according to The Sunday Times. A dashboard-mounted monitor uses lights and sounds to alert the driver to the proximity of the source, similar to a radar detector interface.

Submission + - Solar plant sets birds on fire as they fly overhead (

Elledan writes: Federal investigators in California have requested that BrightSource — owner of thermal solar plants — halt the construction of more, even bigger plants until the impact of these plants on wildlife has been further investigated. The BrightSource solar plant in the Mojave Desert which was investigated reportedly kills between 1,000 and 28,000 birds a year with the concentrated solar energy from its 300,000 mirrors, charring and incinerating feathers of passing birds. This isn't the first report of negative environmental impact by this type of solar plant either.

Submission + - Is Java to Blame for Lack of K-12 Programming Classes?

theodp writes: In December, President Obama, celebrities, politicians and tech companies came together to launch a national coding education push.'s rallying cry that "9 out of 10 schools don't even offer computer programming classes" surprised many, some of whom recalled being taught coding in elementary school in the early '80s. So, why the decreased interest in programming by kids? Interestingly, long before he joined's Leadership Team, IU Dean Bobby Schnabel co-authored a chapter on Education (pdf) for a 2006 ACM report which fingered Java as a villain: "One final possible explanation has to do with the quality of teaching and the nature of the material that is taught. High school curricula have changed in the last decade to focus on languages (primarily Java) and paradigms (object-oriented programming). The introductory college computing course also typically focuses on teaching the more modern object-oriented style of programming such as Java, in part because students who mastered these tools could readily find employment (at least in the 1990s). However, these tools are somewhat difficult for faculty to teach and students to learn especially compared to tools and skills taught in introductory courses in other science and engineering disciplines. The preparation of high school teachers who are teaching computer science has been an issue for many years, but the complication introduced by these new programming languages has made the quality of instruction even more problematic. Many high schools have eliminated computer science courses perhaps because it is so hard to teach." Along these lines, it should be noted that while Microsoft, Apple, and Google are now crying to Congress that little Johnny can't code, all three dumped their programming-for-the-masses offerings — Steve Jobs deep-sixed Hypercard, Microsoft killed BASIC, and Larry Page abandoned App Inventor. Curiously, the huge PR success enjoyed by the Hour of Code stemmed from a Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg-narrated tutorial that employed Blockly, a programming-for-the-masses project that Neil Fraser brought back from the dead after Google killed it. So, if the tech giants want to get kids programming again, might shipping a usable-by-kids programming language on their devices again be a better strategy than giving $750-$1000 to teachers of's 20-hour course, or offering $100 to 'every U.S. public high school girl' who completes Codecademy's 15-hour JavaScript curriculum?

Submission + - Slashdot Beta Woes 16

s.petry writes: What is a Slashdot and why the Beta might destroy it?

Slashdot has been around, well, a very long time. Longer than any of it's competators, but not as long as IIRC. Slashdot was a very much one of the first true social media web sites.

On Slashdot, you could create a handle or ID. Something personal, but not too personal, unless you wanted it to be. But it was not required either. We know each other by our handles, we have watched each other grow as people. We may have even taken pot shots at each other in threads. Unless of course you are anonymous, but often we can guess who that really is.

One of Slashdot's first motto's was "News for Nerds" that Matters. I have no idea when that was removed. I have not always scoured the boards here daily, life can get too busy for that. That excuses my ignorance in a way. I guess someone thought it politically incorrect, but most of us "Nerds" enjoyed it. We are proud of who we are, and what we know. Often we use that pride and knowledge to make someone else look bad. That is how we get our digs in, and we enjoy that part of us too. We don't punch people, we belittle them. It's who we are!

What made Slashdot unique were a few things. What you will note here is "who" has been responsible for the success of Slashdot. Hint, it has never been a just the company taking care of the servers and software.

— First, the user base submitted stories that "they" thought mattered. It was not a corporate feed. Sure, stories were submitted about companies. The latest break through from AMD and Intel, various stories regarding the graphic card wars, my compiler is better than your compiler, and yes your scripting language stinks! Microsoft IIS has brought us all a few laughs and lots of flame wars to boot. Still, we not only read about the products but get to my second point.

— User comments. This is the primary why we have been coming here for as long as we have, many of us for decades. We provide alternative opinions or back what was given in the article. This aspect not only makes the "News" interesting, but often leads to other news and information sharing. It's not always positive, but this is the nature of allowing commentary. It also brings out the third point.

— Moderation. Moderation has been done by the community for a very long time. It took lots of trial and error to get a working system. As with any public system it's imperfect, but it's been successful. People can choose to view poorly modded comments, but don't have to. As with posting anonymous versus with our own handle it's an option that allows us to personalize the way we see and read what's on the site. And as a reward for submitting something worth reading, you might get a mod point of your own to use as a reward for someone else.

Why we dislike Beta and what is being pushed, and why this will result in the end of an era if it becomes forced on the community.

1. Bulky graphics. We get that Dice and Slashdot need revenue. I have Karma good enough to disable advertisements, but have never kept this setting on. I realize that Slashdot/Dice make money with this. That said, the ads sit away from my news and out of the way. I can get there if I want it (but nobody has ever gotten a penny from me clicking an ad... nobody!), but it's not forced into my face or news feed.

2. Low text area. I like having enough on my screen to keep me busy without constant scrolling. Slashdot currently has the correct ratio of text to screen. This ratio has never been complained about, yet Beta reduces the usable text area by at least 1/2 and no option for changing the behavior. I hate reading Slashdot on mobile devices because I can't stand scrolling constantly.

3. JavaScript. We all know the risks of JS, and many of us disable it. We also have an option of reading in Lync or non-standard browsers that many of us toy with for both personal and professional reasons. This flexibility is gone in Beta, and we are forced to allow JS to run. If you don't know the risks of allowing JS to run, you probably don't read much on Slashdot. Those that allow JS do so accepting the risk (which is admittedly low on a well known site).

4. Ordering/Sorting/Referencing. Each entry currently gets tagged with a unique thread ID. This allows linking to the exact post in a thread, not just the top of the thread. In Beta this is gone. It could be that the site decided to simply hide the post ID or it was removed. Either way, going to specific posts is something that is used very commonly by the community.

5. Eye candy. Most of us are not here for "eye candy" and many have allergic reactions to eye candy. Slashdot has a good mix currently. It's not as simple as the site starting with a r-e-d-i-t, which is good. That site has a reputation that keeps many of us away, and their format matches my attitude of them (s-i-m-p-l-e-t-o-n). At the same time, it's not like watching some other "news" sites with so much scrolling crap I can't read an article without getting a headache. The wasted space in beta for big bulky borders, sure smells like eye candy. Nothing buzzes or scrolls yet, but we can sense what's coming in a patch later.

The thing is, the community cares about Slashdot. We come here because we care. We submit stories because of that, we vote because of that, we moderate because of that, and we comment because of that. At the same time we realize that without the community Slashdot loses most of its value. We respect that we don't host the servers, backup the databases, or patch the servers. Slashdot/Dice provide the services needed for Slashdot.

It's a give give relationship, and we each get something in return. Slashdot gets tons of Search hits and lots of web traffic. We get a place to learn, teach, and occasionally vent.

Look, if you want to change default color scheme or make pre-made palettes for us to choose from, we would probably be okay with that. If you want to take away our ability to block ads by Karma, or move the ads to the left side of my browser window, I would be okay with those things too.

If you want to make drastic changes to how the site works, this is a different story all together. The reason so many are against Beta is that it breaks some of the fundamental parts of what makes Slashdot work.

User input until recently has not been acknowledged. The acknowledgment we have received is not from the people that are making the decision to push Beta live. We told people Beta was broken, what it lacked, and we were rather surprised to get a warning that Beta would be live despite what we told people. People are already making plans to leave, which means that Slashdot could fade away very soon.

Whether this was the goal for Dice or not remains to be seen. If it is, it's been nice knowing you but I won't be back. A partnership only works when there is mutual respect between the parties. A word of caution, us Nerds have good memories and lots of knowledge. The loss of Slashdot impacts all of Dice holdings, not just Slashdot. I boycott everything a company holds, not just the product group that did me wrong.

If that was not the goal of Dice, you should quickly begin communicating with the user base. What are the plans are to fix what Beta has broken? Why is Beta being pushed live with things broken? A "Sorry we have not been communicating!", and perhaps even a "Thank you" to the user base for helping make Slashdot a success for so many years.

Submission + - Oracle's attempt to copyright its Java APIs (

An anonymous reader writes: The remarkable outpouring of support for Google in the Oracle v. Google appeal continues, with a group of well-known innovators, start-ups, and those who fund them — innovators like Ray Ozzie, Tim O'Reilly, Mitch Kapor, Dan Bricklin, and Esther Dyson — standing with yesterday's group of leading computer scientists in telling the court that Oracle's attempt to copyright its Java APIs would be damaging to innovation.

Submission + - Facebook 'Trusted Contacts' lets you pester friends to recover account access (

alphadogg writes: Facebook Thursday said it’s making available globally a feature called "Trusted Contacts" that lets users select three to five friends who can help users recover account access such as if they forget their password. Facebook said the idea is that once these friends are identified as “trusted contacts” through the user’s security settings, Facebook will provide each of them with a special code. “Enter the codes from [at least 3 of] your trusted contacts, and you’ll be able to access your account,” Facebook says. “After you set your trusted contacts, we’ll notify them so that they can be ready to help you if you ever need it.”

Emscripten and New Javascript Engine Bring Unreal Engine To Firefox 124

MojoKid writes "There's no doubt that gaming on the Web has improved dramatically in recent years, but Mozilla believes it has developed new technology that will deliver a big leap in what browser-based gaming can become. The company developed a highly-optimized version of Javascript that's designed to 'supercharge' a game's code to deliver near-native performance. And now that innovation has enabled Mozilla to bring Epic's Unreal Engine 3 to the browser. As a sort of proof of concept, Mozilla debuted this BananaBread game demo that was built using WebGL, Emscripten, and the new JavaScript version called 'asm.js.' Mozilla says that it's working with the likes of EA, Disney, and ZeptoLab to optimize games for the mobile Web, as well." Emscripten was previously used to port Doom to the browser.

It was kinda like stuffing the wrong card in a computer, when you're stickin' those artificial stimulants in your arm. -- Dion, noted computer scientist