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


Forgot your password?

Submission Regionally encoded toner cartridges 'to serve customers better'->

sandbagger writes: The latest attempt to create artifical scarcity comes from Xerox according to the editors at TechDirt who cite German sources: Xerox uses region coding on their toner catridges AND locks the printer to the first type used. So if you use a North America catridge you can't use the cheaper Eastern Europe cartridges. The printer's display doesn't show this, nor does the hotline know about it. When c't reached out to Xerox, the marketing drone claimed, this was done to serve the customer better,
Link to Original Source

Submission Ad Blocking 'To Cost' Publishers $21.8bn In 2015 As Use Increases 41 Percent 1

Mickeycaskill writes: A report from Adobe and anti-ad blocking startup PageFair says the growing popularity of ad blocking software is set to cost online publishers $21.8 billion 2015 and could reach $41.4 billion by 2016.

The study suggests the number of ad block users worldwide has increased by 41 percent in the past 12 months to 198 million monthly active users.

“It is tragic that ad block users are inadvertently inflicting multi-billion dollar losses on the very websites they most enjoy,” said PageFair boss Sean Blanchfield. “With ad blocking going mobile, there’s an eminent threat that the business model that has supported the open web for two decades is going to collapse.”

Submission The Most Stunning Night Sky Photography By Lagerstedt->

Nejra Brkan writes: Finnish photographer Mikko Lagerstedt takes the most stunning photos of the night sky you’ve ever seen. Unless you live in a rural area, you might have never even seen this many stars all in one skyscape. It’s enough to make you marvel over the wonders of the universe and make you feel extremely small an insignificant.
Link to Original Source

Submission In San Francisco, Billionaires Tax School Districts! 1

theodp writes: The San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) has turned to crowdfunding to raise funds for classroom technology to enable its students to "contribute to and thrive in the digital world." And billionaire-backed crowdfunding site Tilt, explains the grateful SFUSD in a press release, "is taking only one percent [of donations] to offset the site maintenance expenses." SFUSD is following the example of tech leaders and their corporations, who have turned to "begfunding" sites to not only direct tax-free millions to their pet K-12 public education projects, but also to control who gets educated. Hey, Microsoft did say "there are better ways [than taxes] for us to address the state's [education] needs." Unfortunately, Tilt so far seems to do a better job of funding party experiences "normally reserved for Saudi Princes" than passionate critical thinkers. Still, SF Mayor Ed Lee is jazzed!

Submission Think Tanks: How a Bill [Gates Agenda] Becomes a Law

theodp writes: The NY Times' Eric Lipton was just awarded a 2015 Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting that shed light on how foreign powers buy influence at think tanks. So, it probably bears mentioning that Microsoft's 'two-pronged' National Talent Strategy to increase K-12 CS education and the number of H-1B visas — which is on the verge of being codified into laws by the President and lawmakers — was hatched at an influential Microsoft and Gates Foundation-backed think tank mentioned in Lipton's reporting, the Brookings Institution. In 2012, the Center for Technology Innovation at Brookings hosted a forum on STEM education and immigration reforms, where fabricating a crisis was discussed as a strategy to succeed with Microsoft's agenda where earlier lobbying attempts by Bill Gates and Microsoft had failed. "So, Brad [Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith]," asked the Brookings Institution's Darrell West at the event, "you're the only [one] who mentioned this topic of making the problem bigger. So, we galvanize action by really producing a crisis, I take it?" "Yeah," Smith replied (video). And, with the help of nonprofit organizations like and that were founded shortly thereafter, a national K-12 CS and tech immigration crisis was indeed created. Last December, as Microsoft-backed 'taught President Obama to code' at a White House event to kick off the nations's Hour of Code (as a top Microsoft lobbyist looked on), Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella was also in D.C. publicly lobbying for high-skilled immigration and privately meeting with White House officials on undisclosed matters. And that, kids, is How a Bill [Gates Agenda] Becomes a Law!

Submission French Intelligence Bill: 5 Web Hosting Providers Threaten To Leave The Country->

albert555 writes: Five popular French web hosting providers, including Gandi and OVH, said on Thursday that the new French intelligence bill might push them to leave the country in order not to lose their customers. The five companies are protesting against the "real-time capture of data connection" and their analysis by the intelligence services using "+black boxes+ with blurred lines". The web hosting providers believe that this project "will not reach its goal and will potentially put every French citizen under surveillance, that will result in the destruction of a major segment of the economy of our country," by pushing their customers to turn to other less intrusive territories. If the bill is passed as it is, "we have to move our infrastructure, our investments and our employees where our customers want to work with us". The companies have provided a listing of dozen cities where they "will suppress jobs instead of creating new ones."; "These are thousands of jobs (...) that startups and large companies will also create elsewhere," they add. The press release was addressed to the French Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, and was co-signed by Gandu, OVH, IDS, Ikoula and Lomaco.
Link to Original Source

Submission NJ Cops Let the Dogs Out, Then Turn on Citizen Journalists

kraksmoka writes: "New Jersey cops killed a man by mauling him with a dog before one cop turned to witnesses who were recording and demanded their phones." Citizen Journalists recorded the incident and sent it to PINAC News as "Cops ordered 32-year-old Philip White to roll over as he lay on his back, his hands covering his face, trying to protect himself from a police dog biting away at his head and face." When will they learn that Photography is Not a Crime?

Submission Carly Fiorina Calls Apple's Tim Cook a 'Hypocrite' on Gay Rights writes: David Knowles reports at Bloomberg that former Hewlett-Packard CEO and potential 2016 presidential candidate Carly Fiorina called out Apple CEO Tim Cook as a hypocrite for criticizing Indiana and Arkansas over their Religious Freedom Restoration Acts while at the same time doing business in countries where gay rights are non-existent. “When Tim Cook is upset about all the places that he does business because of the way they treat gays and women, he needs to withdraw from 90% of the markets that he’s in, including China and Saudi Arabia,” Fiorina said. “But I don’t hear him being upset about that.”

In similar criticism of Hillary Clinton on the Fox News program Hannity, Fiorina argued that Clinton's advocacy on behalf of women was tarnished by donations made to the Clinton Foundation from foreign governments where women's rights are not on par with those in America. ""I must say as a woman, I find it offensive that Hillary Clinton travels the Silicon Valley, a place where I worked for a long time, and lectures Silicon Valley companies on women's rights in technology, and yet sees nothing wrong with taking money from the Algerian government, which really denies women the most basic human rights. This is called, Sean, hypocrisy." While Hillary Clinton hasn't directly addressed Fiorina's criticisms, her husband has. “You’ve got to decide, when you do this work, whether it will do more good than harm if someone helps you from another country,” former president Bill Clinton said in March. “And I believe we have done a lot more good than harm. And I believe this is a good thing.”

Submission Reporters Without Borders unblocks access to censored websites->

Mark Wilson writes: Online censorship is rife. In many countries, notably China, citizens are prevented from accessing certain websites at the behest of their government. To help provide access to information and unbiased news, freedom of information organization Reporters Without Borders has set up mirrors to nine censored websites so they can be accessed from 11 countries that blocked them.

As part of Operation Collateral Freedom, Reporters Without Borders is mirroring the likes of The Tibet Post International which is blocked in China, and Gooya News which is blocked in Iran. Mirrored sites are hosted on Amazon, Microsoft and Google servers which are unlikely to be blocked by a censoring country.

Link to Original Source

Submission Shape shifting liquid metal able to propel itself through liquids->

Eloking writes: From :

A team of researchers at Tsinghua University in China has, according to a report in Newscientist, found a way to mimic, if only in a small way, the shape shifting robot in the Terminator movies. The team has published their findings in the journal Advanced Materials.

Read more at:

Link to Original Source

Submission Why We Need Free Digital Hardware Designs->

jrepin writes: Free software is a matter of freedom, not price; broadly speaking, it means that users are free to use the software and to copy and redistribute the software, with or without changes. Applying the same concept directly to hardware, free hardware means hardware that you are free to use and to copy and redistribute with or without changes. But, since there are no copiers for hardware, is the concept of free hardware even possible? The concept we really need is that of a free hardware design. That’s simple: it means a design that permits users to use the design (i.e., fabricate hardware from it) and to copy and redistribute it, with or without changes. The design must provide the same four freedoms that define free software. Then “free hardware” means hardware with an available free design.
Link to Original Source

Submission IDF recruits soldiers from autism spectrum->

Lew-the-nerd writes: The Israeli Defense Forces are recruiting soldiers who have been diagnosed as somewhere on the autism spectrum to analyze images from surveillance satellites.
"With the help of their officers and decoding tools, they analyze the images and find specific things they need in order to allow those who are planning a mission to get the best data of the area.”

Link to Original Source

Submission The Robots That Will Put Coders Out of Work

snydeq writes: Researchers warn that a glut of code is coming that will depress wages and turn coders into Uber drivers, InfoWorld reports. 'The researchers — Boston University's Seth Benzell, Laurence Kotlikoff, and Guillermo LaGarda, and Columbia University's Jeffrey Sachs — aren't predicting some silly, Terminator-like robot apocalypse. What they are saying is that our economy is entering a new type of boom-and-bust cycle that accelerates the production of new products and new code so rapidly that supply outstrips demand. The solution to that shortage will be to figure out how not to need those hard-to-find human experts. In fact, it's already happening in some areas.'

Submission Patent troll Wins $15.7M From Samsung By Claiming To Own Bluetooth->

An anonymous reader writes: A jury has upheld patent claims against Samsung and awarded the patent-holder $15.7 million. "The patents relate to compatibility between different types of modems, and connect to a string of applications going back to 1997. The first version of Bluetooth was invented by Swedish cell phone company Ericsson in 1994." Lawyers for the plaintiff argue that the patents hold for all devices that use Bluetooth 2.0 or later, so further cases could extend far beyond Samsung. Of course, the company that won the lawsuit wasn't the one who made the invention, or the one who patented it. The company is Rembrandt IP, "one of the oldest and most successful" patent trolls.
Link to Original Source

Submission DEA Planned to Monitor Cars Parked at Gun Shows Using License Plate Readers writes: According to a newly disclosed DEA email obtained by the ACLU through the Freedom of Information Act, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives collaborated on plans to monitor gun show attendees using automatic license plate readers. Responding to inquiries about the document, the DEA said that the monitoring of gun shows was merely a proposal and was never implemented. “The proposal in the email was only a suggestion. It was never authorized by DEA, and the idea under discussion in the email was never launched,’’ says DEA administrator Michele Leonhart.

According to the Wall Street Journal the proposal shows the challenges and risks facing the U.S. as it looks to new, potentially intrusive surveillance technology to help stop criminals. Many of the government’s recent efforts have scooped up data from innocent Americans, as well as those suspected of crimes, creating records that lawmakers and others say raise privacy concerns. "Automatic license plate readers must not be used to collect information on lawful activity — whether it be peacefully assembling for lawful purposes, or driving on the nation's highways," says the ACLU. "Without strong regulations and greater transparency, this new technology will only increase the threat of illegitimate government surveillance." National Rifle Association spokesman Andrew Arulanandam says the NRA is “looking into this to see if gun owners were improperly targeted, and has no further comment until we have all the facts.”

"We don't care. We don't have to. We're the Phone Company."