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Comment Re:Still at v6.0.1. (Score 1) 51

Yeah, I'm waiting on Samsung too. Supposedly it's coming late this year or early next year, but if you didn't want to wait and were on the ball and in the right country you could have signed up for one of the limited number of slots on the Galaxy Beta Program a few months back. Apparently that pushed out a Beta 3 release a week or so ago which focusses on bug fixes and enhancements, so other than a couple of outstanding bugs mentioned in the link we're not too far from release.

Submission + - White House Silence Seems to Confirm $4B CS For All K-12 Initiative Is No More

theodp writes: "2016 as a year of action builds on a decade of national, state, and grassroots activity to revitalize K-12 computer science education," reads the upbeat White House blog post kicking off Computer Science Education Week. But conspicuous by its absence in the accompanying fact sheet for A Year of Action Supporting Computer Science for All is any mention of the status of President Obama's proposed $4B Computer Science For All initiative, which enjoyed support from the likes of Microsoft, Facebook, and Google. On Friday, tech-backed Code.org posted An Update on Computer Science Education and Federal Funding, which explained that Congress's passage of a 'continuing resolution' extending the current budget into 2017 spelled curtains for federal funding for the program in 2016 and beyond. "We don’t have any direct feedback yet about the next administration’s support for K-12 CS," wrote CEO Hadi Partovi and Govt. Affairs VP Cameron Wilson, "other than a promise to expand 'vocational and technical education' as part of Trump’s 100-day plan which was published in late October. I am hopeful that this language may translate into support for funding K-12 computer science at a federal level. However, we should assume that it will not."

Comment Re:Why air gaps? (Score 2) 226

If you're talking about things that happen with p < 10^-5 you can can't test to any kind of reasonable confidence level. Engineers have to use the collective experience of the profession as a whole as a guide, in addition to actual testing.

Since phone design is interdisciplinary -- involving marketing, industrial design and engineering -- engineers will just have to push back when the designers and marketers try to take that half millimeter away. This case will be a touchstone for future generations of EEs, the way the Tacoma Narrows Bridge is for civil engineers and Therac-25 is for software engineers.

Submission + - Google Preparing 'Invisible ReCAPTCHA' System For No user Interaction (bleepingcomputer.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Google engineers are working on an improved version of the reCAPTCHA system that uses a computer algorithm to distinguish between automated bots and real humans, and requires no user interaction at all. Called "Invisible reCAPTCHA," and spotted by Windows IT Pro, the service is still under development, but the service is open for sign-ups, and any webmaster can help Google test its upcoming technology. Invisible reCAPTCHA comes two years after Google has revolutionized CAPTCHA technologies by releasing the No CAPTCHA reCAPTCHA service that requires users to click on one checkbox instead of solving complex visual puzzles made up of words and numbers. The service helped reduce the time needed to fill in forms, and maintained the same high-level of spam detection we've become accustomed from the reCAPTCHA service. The introduction of the new Invisible reCAPTCHA technology is unlikely to make the situation better for Tor users since CloudFlare will likely force them to solve the same puzzle if they come from IPs seen in the past performing suspicious actions. Nevertheless, CloudFlare started working on an alternative.

Submission + - What To Do If You Need To Learn To Code To Keep Your Job (backchannel.com)

mirandakatz writes: Karen Wickre has survived the highs and lows of Silicon Valley’s kingmakers, working everywhere from Twitter to Google, and now, she's taking her years of workplace savvy and applying it to her new gig as Backchannel's advice columnist. In this edition of the Help Desk: what to do if you're being told you need to learn to code to keep your job; how to handle being leveled down; and what to do when your manager is taking all of the credit for your entire team's work.

Comment Re:Dangerous (Score 1) 343

I'm pretty sure I'd see features like independently powered exit row lighting, emergency exits, inflatable slides/rafts, life vests etc.

In design and engineering you can't make things failure-proof, but you can plan for certain failure-modes. Yeah, if you lose a wing at 10,000 feet or do a nose dive at Mach 2 into the ground nobody is going to survive. But there is plenty of design that goes into an airplane that is aimed at very rare situations like the loss of all engines.

Comment Re:Unfortunately no and I have a reason (Score 1) 360

The Abelson and Sussman textbook, Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs, uses LISP (actually Scheme). There are quite a few LISP fanatics who passionately feel it is still the best programming language made, citing such reasons as the simplicity of writing an interpreter for it. However, that textbook is pretty difficult. The authors didn't appreciate how hard recursion can be for many students to understand, and LISP and functional programming in general uses recursion so heavily it's the proverbial hammer for every nail of a programming problem.

Well, that's what you get when you beta test your textbook with MIT students. But that said, CLRS is no picnic for people who aren't very good at math, either.

Comment Re:I call bullshit. (Score 4, Interesting) 343

The article is light on details as to how the emergency unlock got overridden - maybe the guy was just high and was tricked, but maybe BMW's double-pull safety/security feature gave them a window of opportunity that let them do this. If BMW were repeatedly sending the central lock signal to the car at a faster rate than the recently woken (and potentially also doped up) thief could do the double-pull, then perhaps that would be enough to keep the doors locked. We also have no idea from TFA how long they kept the doors locked for; it might only have been a few minutes, or possibly even less than that. It's entirely possible it was less than the time that the recently woken thief would have taken to gather hits wits and try something else like, say, opening/breaking a window and climbing out.

Comment Re:Analyzing a car purchase over 1 year? (Score 1) 36

True. And the cost/arrest concept is broken too. Would the arrests have been made anyway? Could they have been made another way?

When people have a tool they use it, whether it is the use-case that was supposed to justify the purchase -- and that can be a good thing (because the widget is earning its keep) or a bad thing (using a tool that's overkill, to expensive to operate, or counterproductive). The real question is what did they specifically buy this for? If the cost justification was that it was going to allow them to make x arrests per year, it's probably a failure. If the cost justification is some other kind of scenario that doesn't necessarily happen every year (e.g. the Beltway Sniper), then the question is whether they're using this thing reasonably.

Submission + - Sysadmin Gets Two Years in Prison for Sabotaging ISP (bleepingcomputer.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Dariusz J. Prugar, 32, of Syracuse, New York, will have to spend 2 years in prison for hacking his former employee, Pa Online, an internet service provider (ISP) formerly located in Enola, Pennsylvania. According to authorities, Prugar had used his old credentials to log into the ISP's network and "take back" some of the scripts and software he wrote while as an employee there, after being fired in June 2010.

Seeking to hide his tracks, Prugar used an automated script that deleted various logs. As a side effect of removing some of these files, the ISP's systems crashed, affecting over 500 businesses and over 5,000 residential customers. When the former ISP couldn't fix the issue, they asked Prugar to help. During negotiations, instead of requesting money as payment, Prugar insisted that he'd be paid using the rights to the software and scripts he wrote while at the company, software which was now malfunctioning, a week after he left. This tipped off the company, who detected foul play, contacted the FBI and rebuilt its entire network. The ISP shut down operations in 2015.

Comment Re: What a stupid question (Score 1) 585

Sure, there's always a subpoena (or more likely an NSL), but before it gets to that point Trump will need to have passed some form of legislation to actually get the database off the ground and into reality, and that's going to require a considerable amount of support from Congress, Senates and (almost certainly) the courts, because you just know this would get challenged in multiple jurisdications and head towards the SCOTUS. Or, I suppose, he could maybe try and do it off the books through one of the three letter agencies and a whole bunch of NSLs, in which case the US is absolutely done as "The Land of the Free" and we'll just have to repeal Godwin because the Nazi Germany / Stasi comparisons will be absolutely justified in that eventuality.

Having multiple parties whose co-operation would be useful, if not essential, to making the project viable basically stating up-front they don't support the idea and will almost certainly challenge any data requests through the courts, again likely all the way to SCOTUS, just as Apple recently did with a certain iPhone is quite likely to undermine at least some of that support. If there's one thing you can particularly count on politicians for, and especially so in Trump's case, is not wanting to back a losing horse, so the less likely the project is to succeed the more likely it is to be stillborn, and that's the best way for it to be.

Besides, since we're entirely talking about hypotheticals here, if Twitter were to do a Lavabit how is TheRealDonaldTrump going to get MSM to jump and report any <140 character bit of random thought as front-page news? ;-)

Submission + - Chrome 55 Now Blocks Flash, Uses HTML5 by Default (bleepingcomputer.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Chrome 55, released earlier this week, now blocks all Adobe Flash content by default, according to a plan set in motion by Google engineers earlier this year, in May. While some of the initial implementation details of the "HTML5 By Default" plan changed since then, Flash has been phased out in favor of HTML5 as the primary technology for playing multimedia content in Chrome.

Google's plan is to turn off Flash and use HTML5 for all sites. Where HTML5 isn't supported, Chrome will prompt users and ask them if they want to run Flash to view multimedia content. The user's option would be remembered for subsequent visits, but to avoid overprompting, Chrome 55 will use a system called Site Engagement (chrome://site-engagement).

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