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Software

Ask Slashdot: Most Secure Browser In an Age of Surveillance? 391

An anonymous reader writes "With the discovery that the NSA may be gathering extensive amounts of data, and the evidence suggesting makers of some of the most popular browsers may be in on the action, I am more than a little wary of which web browser to use. Thus, I pose a question to the community: is there a 'most secure' browser in terms of avoiding personal data collection? Assuming we all know by know how to 'safely' browse the internet (don't click on that ad offering to free your computer of infections) what can the lay person do have a modicum of protection, or at least peace of mind?"
United States

NHTSA and DOT Want Your Car To Be Able To Disable Your Cellphone Functions 405

savuporo writes "The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Department of Transportation are considering technological solutions for people to stop using their cellphones while driving. Proximity detectors or requiring physical link with the car are the solutions under the scope. From the article: 'NHTSA wants automakers to make it impossible to enter text for messaging and internet browsing while the car is in motion, disable any kind of video functionality and prevent text-based information such as social media content or text messages from being displayed.' Obviously these regulations would need to go beyond cellphones, as laptop, tablet or any other gadget with a 3G data connection or even on a wi-fi hotspot made by your phone would be equally distracting."
Handhelds

It's Time To Start Taking Stolen Phones Seriously 282

itwbennett writes "'Find My iPhone' is neat, but it's time for smartphone makers and carriers to stop pretending their anti-theft measures are anything more than minimum viable products, says blogger Kevin Purdy. He's not the first to point this out: As reported in Slashdot, 'NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg said overall crime in New York City was up 3.3% in 2012 due to iPhone, iPad and other Apple device thefts.' And now San Francisco and New York attorneys general are calling a 'Smartphone Summit' where representatives from Apple, Google, Samsung, and Microsoft are due to meet and discuss the implementation of a industry-wide 'kill switch' system."
Social Networks

Ex-Marine Detained Under Operation Vigilant Eagle For His Political Views Sues 279

stry_cat writes "You may remember the story of Brandon Raub, who was detained without due process over some Facebook posts he made. Now with the help of the Rutherford Institute, he is suing his captors. According to his complaint [PDF], his detention was part of a federal government program code-named 'Operation Vigilant Eagle,' which monitors military veterans with certain political views."
Communications

Google Drops XMPP Support 416

Cbs228 writes "During last week's Google I/O conference, the company announced a replacement for its aging Talk instant messenger: Google Hangouts. Hangouts, which is only available for Android, iOS, and Chrome, offers closer integration with Google+. Unfortunately, the new product drops support for the XMPP instant messaging protocol, which has been an integral part of Talk for over ten years. XMPP delivers instant messages to desktop clients, like Pidgin, and enables communication between users on different instant messaging networks. Hangouts users attempting to communicate with contacts on non-Google servers, such as jabber.org, have found that all communications have been suddenly and inexplicably severed. A Google account is now required to communicate with Hangouts users. Google Hangouts joins the ranks of an already-crowded ecosystem of closed, incompatible chat products like Skype." Interesting, because Google Wave was based on XMPP and Google was integral to the creation of the Jingle extension that enabled video chatting over XMPP. Note that no end date has been set for Talk yet, but the end must surely be nigh given Google's recent history of axing products like Reader and CalDAV support from their calendar app without much notice.

Comment Re:So much for that! (Score 1) 579

Isn't that the point of these seeds though? They are designed to work with Roundup, thus he was using the product as intended? Except Monsato doesnt allow that.

Monsanto has a policy to protect its investment in seed development that prohibits farmers from saving or reusing the seeds once the crop is grown. Farmers must buy new seeds every year.

Also, I dont think you are correct. This is exactly what the court said was wrong. I also dont think it helped his case that he already had first purchased Monsato seeds, then went and bought cheaper mixed seeds in the hope of getting similarly resistant seeds (unclear from TFA how many, if any, were Monsato).

From TFA

[ Justice Elena Kagan said ]
"Bowman planted Monsanto's patented soybeans solely to make and market replicas of them, thus depriving the company of the reward patent law provides for the sale of each article," she said. "Patent exhaustion provides no haven for such conduct."

Comment Re:Dubious story, dubious subject... (Score 5, Insightful) 92

Well, there are a few "interesting" gems there. Though it's mostly business fluff. From TFA:

Such companies as Facebook (FB) and Google also have special teams that review the lines of code written by developers. It’s these people who get to decide when a new feature is ready to make its way to their websites. Not LinkedIn. It has one, huge stash of code that everyone works on, and algorithms do the code reviewing. “Humans have largely been removed from the process,” Scott says. “Humans slow you down.”

Uh, Okay. Automated code review? Um, where to begin? I think there an obvious misunderstanding on the part of the author of the article. Surely Google, FB, et. al., do CI and all sorts of automated testing. They just *also* use humans.

Incidentally, Google clearly has more products, thus more specialties and codebases. FB also, to a lesser extent. I dont think the Google Search team is the same as the Google Maps team or the Android team.

LinkedIn is a website, they have an API, messaging, maybe some mobile apps? It's not trivial, but it's probably not very close to the technical complexity of FB, and no where near the technical complexity of Google.

LinkedIn initiated Project Inversion to fix its issues and has since evolved into one of the poster children for continuous development

...by stopping all continuous dev so they could rebuild from scratch...

I think TFA misses the point in a very "PHB way" sadly. They took the time to make the devs happy and give ownership of features to devs. The result was the devs created an environment that was productive and could be continuously updated with less fuss.

To me, this is the poster child for creating a dev focused culture, and taking the time to do things the right way. Which, sadly, is the exact opposite of the conclusion of TFA and the LinkedIn PHB.

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