Submission + - Ask Slashdot: What Are The Worst Computer Or IT Related Jokes You Have Heard?

dryriver writes: It seems that in just about any field of employment — whether you are a 3D artist, a pastry chef or a lawyer — there is an abundance of jokes related to the profession or to situations commonly encountered during that profession, some pretty good, some so so, and some very, very bad. What I want to know is — what are the absolute WORST computer or IT related jokes that you have either heard from someone, found on the internet or possibly even invented yourself? (Since this is Slashdot, feel free to throw in Science-related jokes as well, provided that they are just as bad as the computer or IT jokes asked for). Thanks.

Submission + - Book Recommendations FOR Bill Gates?

theodp writes: This holiday season, many Slashdot readers are likely to find gifts under the tree because of Bill Gates' book picks. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but it seems that turnabout is fair play — what book recommendations do you have for Bill? At the top of my pick list for personalized learning advocate Gates would be Brian Dear's remarkable The Friendly Orange Glow: The Untold Story of the PLATO System and the Dawn of Cyberculture, with its tale of how a group of visionary engineers and designers — some of them only high school students — created a shockingly little-known computer system called PLATO in the late 1960s and 1970s that was decades ahead of its time in experimenting with how people could learn, engage, communicate, and play through connected terminals and computers. After all, "we can't move forward," as Audrey Watters argued in The Hidden History of Ed-Tech, "til we reconcile where we've been before."

Submission + - The sun is blank, NASA data shows it to be dimming (

Templer421 writes: Today at Cape Canaveral, SpaceX launched a new sensor to the International Space Station named TSIS-1. Its mission: to measure the dimming of the sun’s irradiance. It will replace the aging SORCE spacecraft. NASA SDO reports that as the sunspot cycle plunges toward its 11-year minimum, NASA satellites are tracking a decline in total solar irradiance (TSI).

Across the entire electromagnetic spectrum, the sun’s output has dropped nearly 0.1% compared to the Solar Maximum of 2012-2014. This plot shows the TSI since 1978 as observed from nine previous satellites:

Submission + - Restoring a Bricked iMac Pro Requires a Second Mac ( 1

dibdublin writes: From the article: "If an iMac Pro becomes unresponsive and requires restoring, like if there's a power failure during a software update, there are a special set of instructions iMac Pro users must follow, which require a secondary Mac."

Submission + - Pentagon's Mysterious U.F.O. Program - with video! ( 1

Joosy writes: Until 2012 the Pentagon had a program, the "Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program", that tracked unidentified flying objects. Finally the program has come to light, and a few videos have been released.

Submission + - Certain CDC Officials Forbidden To Use Words Like "Science-Based". (

hey! writes: On Friday the Washington Post reported that the Trump Administration has forbidden the Centers for Disease Control from using seven terms in certain documents: "science-based", "evidence-based", “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “transgender,” and “fetus".

It's important to note that the precise scope and intent of the ban is unknown at present. Scientific and medical personnel as of now have not been affected, only policy analysis preparing budgetary proposals and supporting data that is being sent to Congress. So it is unclear the degree to which the language mandates represent a change in agency priorities vs. a change in how it presents itself to Congress. However banning the scientifically precise term "fetus" will certainly complicate budgeting for things like Zika research and monitoring.

Submission + - CDC banned from using words such as 'Science-based' or 'Evidence-based' (

Ayano writes:

Policy analysts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta were told of the list of forbidden words at a meeting Thursday with senior CDC officials who oversee the budget, according to an analyst who took part in the 90-minute briefing. The forbidden words are “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “transgender,” “fetus,” “evidence-based” and “science-based.” — VoxWP

Aside from the more political words, this is especially troubling that rather than disagreeing about the science, that the current administration would rather ban the use of such language .

Submission + - Reverse Engineering a Frame of Metal Gear Solid V (

An anonymous reader writes: The Phantom Pain concluded the world-renowned Metal Gear Solid series as directed by Hideo Kojima. Two years after the release of the game, an article revisits the process of rendering a frame of the Fox Engine. It is an in-depth analysis of every computing step happening on the GPU in a modern game engine every 16 milli-seconds.
The article also experiments with hacking the rendering, revealing the true face of some masked character the players were never supposed to see, enough to re-ignite some fan conspiracy theory.

Submission + - Windows 10 Bundles a Password Manager. Password Manager Bundles a Security Flaw (

An anonymous reader writes: A Google security researcher has found and helped patch a severe vulnerability in Keeper, a password manager application that Microsoft has been bundling with some Windows 10 distributions this year. "This is a complete compromise of Keeper security, allowing any website to steal any password," Tavis Ormandy, the Google security researcher said, pointing out that the password manager was still vulnerable to a same vulnerability he reported in August 2016, which had apparently been reintroduced in the code.

Based on user reports, Microsoft appears to have been bundling Keeper as part of Windows 10 Pro distributions since this past summer. Keeper issued an update and fixed the problem.

Submission + - FBI appears to have investigated – and considered prosecuting – FOIA (

schwit1 writes: Investigative reporting blog and FOIA tool provider Muckrock shows that as far back as 2016, the FBI refused to produce documents that had the names of deceased FBI staff (nullifying any privacy concerns), but consistently failed to redact personal information about the requesters a clear violation of privacy:

"Despite redacting the names and email addresses of the public servants handling the case, the FBI released not only the author’s name and address in the file (technically improper since there was no waiver, albeit understandable) but the name, email address and home address of another requester who also used the script to file requests. Their name along with their email and physical addresses were left unredacted not once, not twice, not thrice but seven times, not including the email headers, several of which also showed their name and email address."

Other emails show that the FBI’s Obama-era FOIA office consulted a number of people from the Criminal Justice Information Services division for the purpose of singling out "suspicious" FOIA requests for possible prosecution targeting.

I'd love to know what they considered a "suspicious" FOIA request.

Submission + - Radio Telescope Pointed At Mysterious Interstellar Object

alaskana98 writes: An unusually shaped interstellar object careening through the Solar System named OuMuaMua was recently studied using the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia for signs of alien radio emissions. Although initial results have not indicated anything unusual, the 'Breakthough Listen' team continues to pour through the estimated 90 terabytes of information collected during the 6 hour observation window of the object.

The object has sparked interest due to it's highly elongated shape and lack of characteristics that would be indicative of more common celestial objects such as comets and more spherical asteroids (not to mention the fact that it's likely from a different star system). Future telescopes that are due to come online within the next decade will be able to find many more of these sorts of Interstellar visitors if indeed they are much more common than previously thought. If future searches turn up empty for like objects, that will certainly raise the mysterious profile of OuMuaMua.

Hypotheses speculating on the nature of this object include the more mundane such as it being part of the 'flotsam and jetsam' of nearby solar systems to the exotic such as it being a Von Nuemann style alien space probe sent to scout out neighboring solar systems. If such objects really do exist, Scientists speculate that such an object would likely exhibit some of the characteristics observed in OuMuaMua.

Click here to view the article at Scientific American's for further details.

Submission + - Mozilla Slipped a 'Mr. Robot'-Promo Plugin into Firefox and Users Are Pissed (

MarcAuslander writes: Mozilla sneaked a browser plugin that promotes Mr. Robot into Firefox—and managed to piss off a bunch of its privacy-conscious users in the process.
The extension, called Looking Glass, is intended to promote an augmented reality game to “further your immersion into the Mr. Robot universe,” according to Mozilla. It was automatically added to Firefox users’ browsers this week with no explanation except the cryptic message, “MY REALITY IS JUST DIFFERENT THAN YOURS,” prompting users to worry on Reddit that they’d been hit with spyware.

Submission + - Ask /.: Would you pay for a lower UID? 8

o_ferguson writes: It seems like Slashdot is always in use of new monetization ideas. Perhaps they should re-confirm which original users are still alive, and then sell the low-digit UIDs in a special fund-raising auction? That's what I'd do, and I have 2 6-digit ID's.

edit: why can I not choose the section id for a submission anymore? This is an Ask Slashdot.

Submission + - Perhaps the Best Feature Ever Comes to Chrome: Per Site Audio Muting! ( 1

Lauren Weinstein writes: Tired of sites that blare obnoxious audio at you from autoplay ads or other videos, often from background tabs, sometimes starting long after you’ve moved other tabs to the foreground? Aren’t these among the most disgustingly annoying of sites? Want to put them in their place at last?

Of course you do ...

Submission + - Team Uses Predictive Keyboard To Create New Chapter of Harry Potter ( 3

ProKras writes: What do you get when a predictive keyboard app tries to write a new Harry Potter story? Apparently, you get Chapter 13 from Harry Potter and the Portrait of What Looked Like a Large Pile of Ash.

The folks at Botnik Studios trained their keyboard using all 7 Harry Potter novels by J.K. Rowling. They used one set of training data for narration and another for dialogue. Then a bunch of team members got together in a chat room and pitched the best (worst?) lines created using the keyboard, and Botnik editors assembled them into a cohesive(ish) chapter of a story.

The results are about as ridiculous as you might imagine. For example, at one point Ron Weasley "saw Harry and immediately began to eat Hermione’s family. Ron’s Ron shirt was just as bad as Ron himself." It is never explained how Hermonie knew that the password to a certain locked door was "BEEF WOMEN," nor why "the pig of Hufflepuff pulsed like a large bullfrog." Maybe that was covered in Chapter 12.

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