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Comment Re:NO. (Score 1) 349

You need to look at the consequences one at a time.

  • If students use e-books they they don't forget their books.
  • If the teacher distributes a pdf then the students don't throw it away.
  • Many students cannot type fast enough to take notes on an ipad.
  • You lose some students to Facebook, but at least the horizontal screen make it easy for the teacher to see what the student is doing.
  • The students need access to a real computer if they need to work on a long report or essay in class.
  • The students probably need access to a real computer if they need to work with spreadsheets.
  • If you install a browser with flash then you can use interactive websites to add variation to the lessons.
     

I am a high school teacher so some of these points may not ne relevant to young children.

Submission + - FSF petitions against closed implementation of UEF (fsf.org) 2

GameboyRMH writes: The Free Software Foundation is currently holding a petition urging hardware manufacturers to implement UEFI Secure Boot in a way that allows alternative operating systems to be installed by users. Currently it has about 13,000 signatures — Slashdot polls regularly rack up more votes. If you run a non-Windows operating system or wish to support the right to do so, sign the petition here.
Politics

Submission + - Russian Officials Support US - Russia Rail Tunnel (bbc.co.uk) 1

arisvega writes: Russian officials have backed the idea of a rail tunnel linking Russia and the US.

It would run under the Bering Strait for 105km (65 miles) — twice the length of the UK-France Channel Tunnel.

The tunnel itself has been estimated to cost $10-12bn and to take 10-15 years to build.

But an additional 4,000km (2,485 miles) of new track would be needed to link it to Russia's rail network, plus another 2,000km (1,243 miles) to connect to existing services on the US side.

Android

Submission + - Sony Reader T1 Hack Now ut (the-digital-reader.com) 1

Nate the greatest writes: The Sony Reader PRS-T1 joined the Nook Touch as a hacked E-ink Android tablet today. A new hack has been posted online by the developer who shot the proof-of-concept video last week. It's still a little rough and there's not a whole lot included in it, but the hack is ready for the end-user.

It won't let me install anything, unfortunately. I've tried to install the Kindle app as well as the Amazon Appstore. Neither worked. But I think the hack is still worth installing; it's safe and bound to improve over the next few weeks.

Open Source

Submission + - BoardX: The Open Source Miniature Motherboard (kickstarter.com) 2

An anonymous reader writes: BoardX is a collection of electronic circuit boards that stack on top of one another to share resources, communicate, and extend the functionality of one another. This system is built on the motherboard that acts as both an electrical and structural foundation.

Unlike similar products (but much like a familiar PC system), the motherboard does not come with a processor pre-installed. Processors come as simple, low cost add-on boards, which allow any processor (or multiple processors) to be used with the system.

BoardX is transparently compatible with Arduino SDK as well, meaning users can switch boards without having to learn how to use a new development environment.

Add-ons can be attached to the USB, SPI, UART, and I2C buses to provide any feature imaginable. These can be sensors, communication interfaces, or even physical control devices like motors or servos. With this idea in mind, a robust and flexible design can be achieved that allows you to choose which parts of the system to design and which parts can be off the shelf.

The project is seeking its final round of funding to begin large scale production and delivery.

Programming

Submission + - Wikimedia October 2011 Coding Challenge (mediawiki.org)

An anonymous reader writes: The Wikimedia Foundation has thrown open a challenge for coders to make Wikipedia more easy and exciting . Grand prize winners for each challenge will receive an all-expenses paid trip to a Wikimedia event of their choice in 2012.

Submission + - Lying About Your Military Record Ruled Free Speech

Hugh Pickens writes writes: ""I'm a retired Marine of 25 years," said Xavier Alvarez soon after he was elected to the board of the Three Valleys Municipal Water District in Claremont, CA. "Back in 1987, I was awarded the congressional Medal of Honor." Alvarez's lie about the Medal of Honor put him in violation of the Stolen Valor Act of 2005, a law passed by Congress and signed into law by President George W. Bush that prohibits anyone from falsely claiming "to have been awarded any decoration or medal authorized by Congress for the armed forces of the United States." Alvarez's "semper fraud" led to a criminal conviction, which was later thrown out by the US. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco which found that the Stolen Valor Act was an unconstitutional restriction of free speech. Now the US Supreme Court has agreed to to decide whether the Constitution's free speech clause protects people who falsely claim to have been awarded military medals. Jonathon Turley writes in the LA Times that however distasteful, with the Stolen Valor Act, Congress has made it possible to jail someone simply for telling a lie. "The Alvarez case could establish a legal principle that would allow Congress to criminalize virtually any fib, which could lead to a sweeping new form of regulating speech in the United States," writes Turley. "Giving the government such power would allow it to target "liars" who it portrays as endangering or dishonoring society.""

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Is there a place for a new software (markuspetersen.dk) 3

An anonymous reader writes: While trying to solve the returning problem of making money on open source software, is there a place in the world for a new software license that permits use and modification, but prohibits redistribution? The Single Source License isn't revolutionary or even an open source license, but maybe a step in the right direction.
Apple

Submission + - Apple's iPad Dominance Fades (pcworld.com)

PolygamousRanchKid writes: On an earnings call earlier this week, Apple revealed that iPad shipments for the most recent calendar quarter rose to 11.12 million units, compared to 9.2 million in the previous quarter. That news, though, was offset Friday by a report from Strategy Analytics that the iPad's share of the global tablet market—previously a domineering 96 percent—had fallen to 67 percent. Meanwhile, Android tabs had grown their market share to 27 percent. "It is clear that the iPad is experiencing slowing growth," observed IDC analyst Tom Mainelli in a research note today. He reasoned that if Apple wants maintain past shipment levels, it's going to have to appeal to mainstream consumers. For them, he continued, $500 for a tablet is a hard sell, even harder in the face of the competition like Amazon's upcoming $199 Kindle Fire.So if Apple wants to compete in that mainstream market, Mainelli maintained, it's going to need to augment its media tablet lineup with lower-priced products. "Following this strategy," he explained, "we might see Apple offer the current $499 16GB/WiFi-only Apple iPad 2 at $399 or less after it launches the iPad 3 at $499 and up."
Hardware

Submission + - DARPA to Rip Up Dead Satellites, Make New Ones

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "DARPA reports that more than $300 billion worth of satellites are in the geosynchronous orbit, many retired due to failure of one component even if 90% of the satellite works just as well as the day it was launched. DARPA’s Phoenix program seeks to develop technologies to cooperatively harvest and re-use valuable components such as antennas or solar arrays from retired, nonworking satellites in GEO and demonstrate the ability to create new space systems at greatly reduced cost. “If this program is successful, space debris becomes space resource,” says DARPA Director, Regina E. Dugan. However satellites in GEO are not designed to be disassembled or repaired, so it’s not a matter of simply removing some nuts and bolts says David Barnhart. “This requires new remote imaging and robotics technology and special tools to grip, cut, and modify complex systems." For a person operating such robotics, the complexity is similar to trying to assemble via remote control multiple Legos at the same time while looking through a telescope. "If you've got a satellite up there already, don't worry, this isn't going to be some illicit grave-robbing mission to create hordes of evil Frankensatellites," reports Dvice. "DARPA says the agency will make sure and get permission before it chops anything up for scrap.""
Security

Submission + - XML Encryption Broken, Need to Fix W3C Standard (ruhr-uni-bochum.de)

gzipped_tar writes: Researchers from Ruhr University Bochum demonstrated the insecurity of XML encryption standard at ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security in Chicago this week. "Everything is insecure", is the uncomfortable message from Bochum.

As pointed out by the Ars Technica article, XML Encryption is used widely as part of server-to-server Web services connections to transmit secure information mixed with non-sensitive data, based on cipher-block chaining. But it is apparently too weak, as demonstrated by Juraj Somorovsky and Tibor Jager. They were able to decrypt data by sending modified ciphertexts to the serve by gathering information from the received error messages. The attack was tested against a popular open source implementation of XML Encrytion, and against the implementations of companies that responded to the responsible disclosure — in all cases the result was the same: the attack worked.

Fixing the vulnerability will require a revision of the W3C XML encryption standard, Somorovsky said. The researchers informed all possibly affected companies through the mailing list of W3C, following a clear responsible disclosure process.

Space

Submission + - DARPA working on grave-robbing Frankenstein satell (extremetech.com) 1

MrSeb writes: "Just in time for Halloween, DARPA has published details of a new satellite that will allow scientists to create Frankensteinian satellites out of dead communications equipment currently orbiting the Earth. Right now there are about 19,000 different pieces of space debris in both low and high orbit around the planet, creating a dangerous scenario for both space flight and expensive items like the Hubble space telescope. Aptly named Phoenix, the idea is simple with a complex implementation. Using re-purposed robot arms from assembly lines and surgery units to create the scavenger bot, Phoenix will be shot into space and placed in the “graveyard” orbit that all the dead satellites are on as well. From there, it will attach to these units, and cut away different components to be used to create new, working units to be placed back into useful service. Phoenix is slated to launch in 2015 for testing, but there are some hurdles to its success, namely the Outer Space Treaty that states that an object launched into orbit remains the property of the country that put it there."
Botnet

Submission + - Most Sophisticated Rootkit Getting An Overhaul (itworld.com)

jfruhlinger writes: "TDL4, a rootkit that helps build a powerful botnet, is pegged by security vendor ESET as one of the most sophisticated pieces of malware in the world. But its creators aren't resting on their laurels; they're rewriting some of the code from the ground up to make it difficult for antimalware to detect it, creating a hidden boot partition that gaurantees that malware code will be loaded even before the operating system is. It's part of a plan to turn TDL4 into a turnkey product that can be sold to other criminal operations."

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