Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×
Social Networks

Meg Whitman Campaign Shows How Not To Use Twitter 147

tsamsoniw writes "California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman's campaign team attempted to share with her Twitter followers an endorsement from a police association. Unfortunately, the campaign press secretary entered an incorrect or incomplete URL in the Tweet, which took clickers to a YouTube video featuring a bespectacled, long-haired Japanese man in a tutu and leggings rocking out on a bass guitar. And for whatever reason, the Tweet, which went out on the 18th, has remained active through today."

Australian Visitors Must Declare Illegal Porn To Customs Officers 361

Australian Justice Minister Brendan O'Connor has advised visitors to take a better safe than sorry policy when it comes to their porn stashes, and declare all porn that they think might be illegal with customs officers. From the article: "The government said it changed the wording on passenger arrival cards after becoming aware of confusion among travellers about what pornography to declare. 'People have a right to privacy and while some pornography is legal and does not need to be disclosed, all travellers should be aware that certain types of pornography are illegal and must be declared to customs,' Mr O'Connor said."
Red Hat Software

Submission + - It’s Not Your Father’s Linux Market An (

AlexGr writes: In a recent article by Jeff Gould he talks about the proprietary nature of Linux in the hands of companies like Oracle and Red Hat. What I found most interesting was this:
"A recent Red Hat marketing newsletter ( sternly instructs Red Hat channel partners that customers who choose not to renew their RHEL subscriptions "must de-install Red Hat Enterprise Linux software from the servers with the expired subscriptions". GPL fans will point out that this injunction is mere table-pounding intimidation that has no legal force, but that's beside the point. As far as Red Hat is concerned, no one is entitled to use RHEL without paying for it, and they're not shy about letting people know where they stand."


Submission + - Cannot opt-out of unlimited contactless payments

|>>? writes: On 30 July I contacted the Commonwealth Bank in Australia about a product I'd recently seen advertised on TV, PayPass or Tap 'n Go — a contactless payment system attached to all their Mastercard Credit and Debit Cards.

The idea behind this technology is that you can make a transaction without needing to sign or enter your PIN when making a purchase. You just wave your card in front of a reader and the transaction is complete. There is no physical contact between your card and the reader — in fact you don't even need to take your card out of your wallet.

I learnt the following:

      1. The transaction limit is AUD $100 per transaction.
      2. There is no limit to the number of transactions.
      3. You cannot set a limit.
      4. You cannot opt-out.

I raised several security concerns and was advised that I'd receive a reply to my case. The reply on 6 August did not address any of my concerns and I put them in writing to the bank on 9 August. The second bank reply arrived on 28 September and it did not address my concerns in any substantial way.

I am concerned that I cannot opt-out or limit my exposure to this technology — I didn't ask for it and I don't want it. There is no protection against skimming my card and once it becomes known that there is no limit to the number of transactions, there will be an incentive to physically steal my card for those who may not be so technologically advanced which potentially exposes me to a higher risk of physical violence — since it's like carrying a large amount of cash in your wallet.

I've kept a log of my interaction with the bank. It shows their email responses and my email to them as well as related information as I learn more about this:


What else can I do to get my point across to the bank, since the level of response I'm getting indicates to me that those replying appear to have no idea what I'm talking about.

Submission + - Yahoo Hires Goldman to Handle Takeover Approaches (

suraj.sun writes: Excerpts from Bloomberg:

While the company hasn’t received an offer, Yahoo has been working with advisers for about two weeks to help defend against possible takeover approaches, said the people, who asked not to be named because the talks are private. AOL has talked with private-equity funds including Silver Lake about a possible bid, people familiar with the matter said.

Yahoo surged 13 percent in extended trading, headed for the biggest gain since February 2008, when it received an offer from Microsoft.

Excerpts from CNET News:

Sources said the key players in the growing soap opera are the execs who run Yahoo-affiliated companies in Japan and China. That would be Masayoshi Son of Yahoo Japan and Jack Ma of the Alibaba Group. Yahoo owns big and lucrative stakes in both companies, assets which make up a big part of the company's current valuation.

The sale of those stakes is what has some investors interested, since--if thorny tax issues can be solved--it would make the purchase of part or all of Yahoo very inexpensive in relative terms.


Submission + - Judge to NetBSD developer: "You are too smart sir!

Hymer writes: Danish NetBSD and Varnish developer Poul-Henning Kamp (PHK) case against Lenovo on Widows refund has been dismissed because the judge evaluated PHK as being too smart to not understand the EULA.
PHK is however quite happy about it because "the judgenent clearly shows the de facto monopoly on operating systems" he said to Version2's reporter after the judgement. PHK later wrote on his blog that the judgement opens the possibility of a antitrust case against Microsoft in Konkurencestyrelsen (danish government organization for monopoly cases).

PHK's blog
Versions2's coverage of the case

Comment The moral of this story? (Score 1) 430

"The moral of this story seems to be that it is a bad idea to buy a game just before a major holiday."

Um, no the moral of this story is that DRM is beyond USELESS and only punishes the honest customers. I am sure that as usual the "pirates" are playing the game just fine.

Another moral to take away is don't give your money to people that want to treat you like a thief EVEN THOUGH YOU HAVE ALREADY GIVEN THEM MONEY.

Comment Re:Huge learning curve. (Score 1) 742

There is such a huge learning curve, there is simply no way for your average young developer to get into it. Some say that it's good that only older, more experienced people are getting into it. I would argue that when today's youth are older and more experienced, they still won't be working on it.

That's because the average reflects the lowering of standards. Average CS student 15-20 years ago was expected to do Pascal/Ada, C, a full-course on assembly (and not just a few weeks), Lisp/Prolog, create multi-threaded/multi-tasked applications from scratch (and if lucky to be at a good university, create a bootloader or mini-os or an embedded app from scratch as well) by the time of graduation. Some even were lucky to learn how to create primitive calculators with hardware in their computer org classes.

Average CS student now is expected to know how to create a dynamic web site in Java or whatever without ever having to learn how all of this shit works from the moment they press the "power on" button on their computers. Mind you, I do Java for a living, so it's not like I'm a C-enamored freshman bashing Java development for the heck of it.

So to say that the learning curve is too great for the average developer is just a reflection of the averages TODAY (and an indictment of our CS education nowadays.)

Comment The real work needed isn't in the kernel. (Score 2, Informative) 742

I'm a veteran Linux user but have moved to OSX some time ago, since it gives me the UNIX I need, and the GUI I so sorely crave.

BUT recently, I was trying to get someone's computer up and running, and Linux was the only thing that would install due to some bug or other, so I temporarily put an Ubuntu install on their computer. Decided it would be a nice experiment for a non power user, to see how well they could cope.

He hated it. He couldn't get flash going, so it wouldn't work with certain sites. He was having trouble doing basic navigation of the OS, and had no idea which programs really did what beyond the basic.

There were a host of other issues I can't really remember now, but it was a very frustrating experience for him, and he was very happy when he got his Windows 7 back.

I sat him down with my macbook and he seemed to figure out OSX handily.

The Kernel works well. The OS handles many things very well internally, but the overall user experience, while MUCH MUCH improved over how things used to be, just is not as easy to use as a Mac or Windows computer.

The real work needs to be done by UI designers with coders to support them. Even connecting to a wireless network can be a chore. God forbid a driver doesn't work or something along those lines and you need to open a terminal.

While you'd think the 'many eyeballs' thing would take care of something like that, it seems all these eyeballs and the heads behind them just want their OS to work, and for a non power user right now, I wouldn't call it ready.

Why the First Cowboy To Draw Always Gets Shot 398

cremeglace writes "Have you ever noticed that the first cowboy to draw his gun in a Hollywood Western is invariably the one to get shot? Nobel-winning physicist Niels Bohr did, once arranging mock duels to test the validity of this cinematic curiosity. Researchers have now confirmed that people indeed move faster if they are reacting, rather than acting first."

Why Time Flies By As You Get Older 252

Ant notes a piece up on WBUR Boston addressing theories to explain the universal human experience that time seems to pass faster as you get older. Here's the 9-minute audio (MP3). Several explanations are tried out: that brains lay down more information for novel experiences; that the "clock" for nerve impulses in aging brains runs slower; and that each interval of time represents a diminishing fraction of life as we age.

Submission + - Engadget blog turns comments off (

An anonymous reader writes: The Engadget blog has turned off the ability to comment on articles, claiming that "over the past few days the tone in comments has really gotten out of hand" and that "luckily, our commenting community makes up only a small percentage of our readership". In the last few days general disappointment on the quality of the articles and especially the continuous pointless references to the iPad surfaced in the "little commenting community", prompting a response introducing a filtering feature, which they say was being done "due to the overwhelming demand of 16 commenters". The discussion on the post has reached 900 comments, most of which not exactly enthusiastic about the solution and especially the way the commenters were being treated.

Researchers Pooh-Pooh Algae-Based Biofuel 238

Julie188 writes "Researchers from the University of Virginia have found that current algae biofuel production methods consume more energy, have higher greenhouse gas emissions and use more water than other biofuel sources, such as switchgrass, canola and corn. The researchers suggest these problems can be overcome by situating algae production ponds behind wastewater treatment facilities to capture phosphorous and nitrogen — essential algae nutrients that otherwise need to come from petroleum."

Comment Re:This isn't a bad thing. (Score 1) 274

Until such time as ISP's are able to uniquely identify WHO did it and not just "well this guy owns the house where the service is terminated", the other folks in the area can get their own internet access.

Until such time as ISP's are able to uniquely identify WHO did it and not just "well this guy owns the house where the service is terminated", prosecutors and plaintiffs should not be able to meet their burden of proof on such offences.

There. FYP.

Obligatory IANAL

Now, hmmm. Consider 2 situations:

Situation A
- Bad guy cracks your WPA / WEP key and uses your network to download copyrighted material.
- You are sued (civil case), and the burden of proof required is preponderence of the evidence / balance of probabilities.
- You live in a densely populated area where there are a large number of computer-unsophisticated users who regularly use somebody else's network because they left it open
- It is introduced into evidence that you secured your network to try to ensure that only you could use your network
- The only question of fact at trial is the identity of the infringer - your defense is that somebody else may have used your network to commit the act in question

Situation B
- Bad guy uses your open wireless network to download copyrighted material.
- You are sued (civil case), and the burden of proof required is preponderence of the evidence / balance of probabilities.
- You live in a densely populated area where there are a large number of computer-unsophisticated users who regularly use your network because you left it open
- The only question of fact at trial is the identity of the infringer - your defense is that somebody else may have used your network to commit the act in question

Do you feel that it is more likely that your defense (somebody else did it) is correct under Situation A or Situation B?
In a civil case, where allegations do not have to be proven beyond reasonable doubt, how do you feel this impacts a balance of probabilities test?

"Securing" your network could put you in a worse situation. DUCY?

Slashdot Top Deals

Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd. - Voltaire