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Data Storage

Apple Disables Trim Support On 3rd Party SSDs In OS X 323

Posted by timothy
from the paying-more-for-the-exit-row dept.
MojoKid (1002251) writes One of the disadvantages to buying an Apple system is that it generally means less upgrade flexibility than a system from a traditional PC OEM. Over the last few years, Apple has introduced features and adopted standards that made using third-party hardware progressively more difficult. Now, with OS X 10.10 Yosemite, the company has taken another step down the path towards total vendor lock-in and effectively disabled support for third-party SSDs. We say "effectively" because while third-party SSDs will still work, they'll no longer perform the TRIM garbage collection command. Being able to perform TRIM and clean the SSD when it's sitting idle is vital to keeping the drive at maximum performance. Without it, an SSD's real world performance will steadily degrade over time. What Apple did with OS X 10.10 is introduce KEXT (Kernel EXTension) driver signing. KEXT signing means that at boot, the OS checks to ensure that all drivers are approved and enabled by Apple. It's conceptually similar to the device driver checks that Windows performs at boot. However, with OS X, if a third-party SSD is detected, the OS will detect that a non-approved SSD is in use, and Yosemite will refuse to load the appropriate TRIM-enabled driver.
Canada

Canadian Police Recommend Ending Anonymity On the Internet 231

Posted by samzenpus
from the sign-in dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Michael Geist reports that last week the Ontario Provincial Police, one of Canada's largest police forces, recommended legally ending anonymity on the Internet. Noting the need for drivers licenses to drive or marriage licenses to get married, the police suggested that an Internet license that would reveal all users is needed to address online crime. The Canadian Supreme Court strongly endorsed a right to anonymity earlier this year."
Databases

Ask Slashdot: Choosing a Data Warehouse Server System? 147

Posted by timothy
from the index-cards-and-an-actual-warehouse dept.
New submitter puzzled_decoy writes The company I work has decided to get in on this "big data" thing. We are trying to find a good data warehouse system to host and run analytics on, you guessed it, a bunch of data. Right now we are looking into MSSQL, a company called Domo, and Oracle contacted us. Google BigQuery may be another option. At its core, we need to be able to query huge amounts of data in sometimes rather odd ways. We need a strong ETLlayer, and hopefully we can put some nice visual reporting service on top of wherever the data is stored. So, what is your experience with "big data" servers and services? What would you recommend, and what are the pitfalls you've encountered?
Crime

Dealer-Installed GPS Tracker Leads To Kidnapper's Arrest in Maryland 270

Posted by timothy
from the cheaper-than-lojack dept.
New submitter FarnsworthG writes A news story about the capture of a kidnapper mentioned that he was caught because a car dealer had secretly installed a GPS device on his car. Apparently this is becoming common for "buy-here-pay-here" dealers. The devices are sold by Spireon, among many others. Raises interesting privacy questions. FarnsworthG also points to this Jalopnik article condemning the practice, when it's done without disclosure. The kidnapping itself, of Philadelphia nursing assistant Carlesha Freeland-Gaither, was captured by a surveillance camera.

Comment: Re:Under what grounds (Score 1) 219

by uvajed_ekil (#48328953) Attached to: Silk Road 2.0 Seized By FBI, Alleged Founder Arrested In San Francisco
Facilitating illegal sales IS indeed illegal, very much so. Torrent trackers exist in a sort of gray area because they amount to little more than links, while these drug markets are clearly illegal. Even if they weren't acting as a middleman and transferring payments (which is what makes them popular), simply maintaining a site that explicitly connects illegal drug sellers to buyers is illegal. The difference with Craigslist is that illegal transactions are banned by the site's policies and are often taken down quickly, they account for a minuscule portion of the site's traffic, and CL does not handle the money. How your site is used IS your fault if you put it up to facilitate crimes and you know that it is being used for that purpose.
Bug

Another Election, Another Slew of Voting Machine Glitches 388

Posted by Soulskill
from the another-vote-for-robot-nixon dept.
An anonymous reader writes: As Election Day in the U.S. starts to wind down, reports from around the country highlight another round of technological failures at the polls. In Virginia, the machines are casting votes for the wrong candidates. In North Carolina, polling sites received the wrong set of thumb drives, delaying voters for hours. In Michigan, software glitches turned voters away in the early morning, including a city mayor. A county in Indiana saw five of its polling sites spend hours trying to get the machines to boot correctly. And in Connecticut, an as-yet-unspecified computer glitch caused a judge to keep the polls open for extra time. When are we going to get this right?
Technology

What People Want From Smart Homes 209

Posted by Soulskill
from the lasers-please dept.
Hallie Siegel writes: Despite the energy savings and environmental friendliness that has often been associated with smart home technologies, a recent poll showed that consumers primarily want their homes to optimize for their comfort level and personal preference (45%). Security/Safety and Energy Savings tied in second place (18%). Environmentally friendliness came in at only 11%. Note that the three most voted choices have direct advantages for the user, as opposed to Environmental Friendliness, which is primarily a societal benefit. What would you look for in a smart home?

Comment: Re:One of the most listened to Engineers (Score 5, Interesting) 82

by uvajed_ekil (#48307533) Attached to: "Car Talk" Co-Host Tom Magliozzi Dies At Age 77

Hell I was never a "car guy" and had ZERO interest in cars yet whenever i would find their show on i just had to listen, because they were just so fun and had such a great back and forth you couldn't help but like 'em.

To me that is what makes a great entertainer, when you can make even those that don't care about the subject listen in, RIP.

Yes, Tom and Ray had such a large following not because they were car experts (which they were), but because they were incredibly entertaining. I am a little bit of a car guy, and trying to guess solutions before them was fun, as well as hearing their car tips, but it was really their humor and banter that made the show so good. It was a great run.

IT

The Great IT Hiring He-Said / She-Said 574

Posted by Soulskill
from the keep-looking-for-that-unicorn dept.
Nemo the Magnificent writes: Is there an IT talent shortage? Or is there a clue shortage on the hiring side? Hiring managers put on their perfection goggles and write elaborate job descriptions laying out mandatory experience and know-how that the "purple squirrel" candidate must have. They define job openings to be entry-level, automatically excluding those in mid-career. Candidates suspect that the only real shortage is one of willingness to pay what they are worth. Job seekers bend over backwards to make it through HR's keyword filters, only to be frustrated by phone screens seemingly administered by those who know only buzzwords.

Meanwhile, hiring managers feel the pressure to fill openings instantly with exactly the right person, and when they can't, the team and the company suffer. InformationWeek lays out a number of ways the two sides can start listening to each other. For example, some of the most successful companies find their talent through engagement with the technical community, participating in hackathons or offering seminars on hot topics such as Scala and Hadoop. These companies play a long game in order to lodge in the consciousness of the candidates they hope will apply next time they're ready to make a move.
Transportation

"Car Talk" Co-Host Tom Magliozzi Dies At Age 77 82

Posted by samzenpus
from the don't-drive-like-my-brother dept.
samzenpus writes "Many outlets are reporting the death of Tom Magliozzi, co-host of the long-running weekly National Public Radio show Car Talk. Tom and his brother Ray ran a repair shop in the '70s and in 1987 landed their radio gig. They were known as "Click and Clack the Tappet Brothers." The show stopped recording two years ago and is currently airing old episodes. Tom died of complications from Alzheimer's at age 77."
Earth

Interviews: Ask CMI Director Alex King About Rare Earth Mineral Supplies 62

Posted by timothy
from the dude-I-loved-their-2nd-album dept.
The modern electronics industry relies on inputs and supply chains, both material and technological, and none of them are easy to bypass. These include, besides expertise and manufacturing facilities, the actual materials that go into electronic components. Some of them are as common as silicon; rare earth minerals, not so much. One story linked from Slashdot a few years back predicted that then-known supplies would be exhausted by 2017, though such predictions of scarcity are notoriously hard to get right, as people (and prices) adjust to changes in supply. There's no denying that there's been a crunch on rare earths, though, over the last several years. The minerals themselves aren't necessarily rare in an absolute sense, but they're expensive to extract. The most economically viable deposits are found in China, and rising prices for them as exports to the U.S., the EU, and Japan have raised political hackles. At the same time, those rising prices have spurred exploration and reexamination of known deposits off the coast of Japan, in the midwestern U.S., and elsewhere.

Alex King is director of the Critical Materials Institute, a part of the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory. CMI is heavily involved in making rare earth minerals slightly less rare by means of supercomputer analysis; researchers there are approaching the ongoing crunch by looking both for substitute materials for things like gallium, indium, and tantalum, and easier ways of separating out the individual rare earths (a difficult process). One team there is working with "ligands – molecules that attach with a specific rare-earth – that allow metallurgists to extract elements with minimal contamination from surrounding minerals" to simplify the extraction process. We'll be talking with King soon; what questions would you like to see posed? (This 18-minute TED talk from King is worth watching first, as is this Q&A.)
Government

Is Public Debate of Trade Agreements Against the Public Interest? 219

Posted by timothy
from the you-can-discuss-it-afterwards dept.
onproton writes The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), currently being negotiated in secret, has been subject to numerous draft leaks that indicate these talks are potentially harmful to everything from public health to internet freedom. So why isn't the public involved, and why are the terms of the agreement being debated behind closed doors? According to New Zealand's current Trade Minister, Tim Groser, full disclosure of what is being discussed would likely lead to "public debate on an ill-informed basis before the deal has been done." Leaving one to question how revealing the full context and scope of the agreement talks would lead to an increase in misinformation rather than clarity.
Transportation

Space Tourism Isn't Worth Dying For 594

Posted by timothy
from the all-worked-up-about-a-false-dichotomy dept.
rudy_wayne writes with this opinion piece at Wired published in the wake of the crash of SpaceShipTwo, which calls the project nothing more than a "millionaire boondoggle thrill ride." A selection: SpaceShipTwo is not a Federation starship. It's not a vehicle for the exploration of frontiers. Virgin Galactic is building the world's most expensive roller coaster, the aerospace version of Beluga caviar. It's a thing for rich people to do. Testing new aircraft takes a level of courage and ability beyond most humans. Those engineers and pilots are at the peak of human achievement. What they're doing is amazing. Why Virgin is doing it is not. When various corporate representatives eulogize those two pilots as pioneers who were helping to cross the Final Frontier, that should make you angry. That pilot died not for space but for a luxury service provider. His death doesn't get us closer to Mars; it just keeps rich people further away from weightlessness and a beautiful view.
The Media

Video Raises Doubts About Attkisson's Claims of Malicious Hacking 105

Posted by timothy
from the you-can-be-differentially-wrong dept.
Was former CBS News correspondent Sharyl Attkisson's computer hacked? Earlier claims that it was are being scoffed at by some security experts, after looking at cellphone video she has released intended to demonstrate that an intruder was deleting files. The video, say various commentators, may instead just indicate a stuck or faulty backspace key. It could be that both things are true (a stuck backspace key, as well as malicious intrusion targeting Attkisson for her political reporting), but it would be helpful to know more of the details on which CBS's (unnamed) hired experts concluded that her machine was breached.

"Those who will be able to conquer software will be able to conquer the world." -- Tadahiro Sekimoto, president, NEC Corp.

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