Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Comment Re:familyâ(TM)s (Score 1) 227

The reason it appears to not work is because of unicode abuse by commenters.

Yeah, I remember when Unicode worked, and the abuse that came along with it. If /. wants to filter out non-ASCII characters (or non Latin-1 characters), that's fine, but whatever it's currently doing is broken. There's no case where turning a curly quote into â(TM) is the correct thing to do.

It even seems like the code is trying to do something sensible, but just has a simple bug where it's using the wrong character encoding on its input. The Unicode character "RIGHT SINGLE QUOTATION MARK" is encoded as the bytes E2 80 99 in UTF-8. If you interpret those bytes as if they were Windows codepage 1252 characters, you get â, the Euro sign, then the Trademark symbol. Of those, only â is in Latin-1. It looks like Slashdot is trying to convert non-Latin-1 characters to a Latin-1 equivalent, or remove the character if there's no equivalent. So â makes it through, Euro sign is dropped, and the TM symbol gets turned into "(TM)", and you end up with the curly quote turning into "â(TM)". This is basically what GNU iconv does if you use the "//TRANSLIT" suffix on the the destination encoding, except converting to iso-8859-1//TRANSLIT turns the Euro sign into "EUR".

The code just needs to interpret the input as being UTF-8 instead of CP1252, and it should work a lot better. But it's been broken for years, and nobody there wants to fix it.

Comment Re: USA! USA! USA! (Score 1) 553

Actually, you're rather wrong


what you don't need to do is apply for a tourist visa in some countries. What they put in your passport when you're entering is a visa, and it's automatically issued to people from certain countries.

Visa exempt/visa waiver program is distinct from visa on arrival. E.g., Thailand offers visa-free entry for citizens of certain countries, visa on arrival for citizens of other countries, and requires applying for a visa in advance for citizens of yet another set of countries. Travelers who are visa-exempt get a stamp in their passport, but that stamp is not a visa, and may have restrictions compared to an actual visa. E.g., visa-exempt entry to the US cannot be extended, while entry on a tourist visa (and some other non-immigrant visas) can.

Comment Re:kind of a jerk, in my view. (Score 1) 155

First off, they are not cheaper once you account for the money they recieve from our tax dollars.

What, that $0 they receive from our tax dollars? USPS isn't taxpayer-funded. That said, they do get some tax exemptions, so they do have some advantages in that sense. But on the other hand, many private companies get tax breaks too.

Comment Re:My old phone had a replaceable battery (Score 1) 210

People complained about the bulk and weight of having a removable cover and another layer of hard plastic around the battery.

And besides, what are you talking about? Extra plastic? A non-removable battery is still covered by the phone case. There's no extra layer of hard plastic, just the small tabs or whatever mechanism keeps the cover attached.

I suspect Entrope is talking about the "hard plastic around the battery". A non-removable battery is covered by a thin, easily-punctured sheet of plastic, and that is then covered by the phone case. A removable battery is covered by a more substantial layer of plastic so it's more difficult to puncture or bend the actual battery inside--because that could be bad. And that is then covered by the phone case.

Comment Re:Nope (Score 5, Insightful) 675

With no PIN, there is really no major advantage. Steal a card, forge a signature.

The advantage is that you now have to steal a card, rather than just skimming the magstripe of one. The idea is that the chip ensures that you have the actual card, and the PIN (mostly) ensures that you are an authorized user of the card. In the US, with chip and signature, we don't have that second assurance, but having the first is better than nothing.

Comment Re:So.. (Score 1) 693

Cameron resigned.

He has not already resigned, but has stated that he will resign at some point in the near future (probably October).

"There is no need for a precise timetable today but in my view we should aim to have a new prime minister in place by the start of the Conservative Party conference in October.

"Delivering stability will be important and I will continue in post as Prime Minister with my Cabinet for the next three months."

I'm assuming triggering Article 50 just got delayed by his resignation.

I think it got delayed because Boris Johnson and that other pro-Brexit guy whose name I don't remember say he shouldn't rush into it. "In voting to leave the EU it’s vital to stress that there’s no need for haste, and as the Prime Minister has just said nothing will change in the short term except work will begin on how to extricate this country from the supranational system. As the Prime Minister has said there is no need to invoke Article 50."

Comment Re:Lots of places in the US support NFC payments. (Score 1) 225

Apple Pay is much worse than the NFC payments the rest of the world uses.

The US has had NFC payments for years. However, it never caught on here... I think people are paranoid about RFID. But Visa, MasterCard, and Discover all had contactless cards for a while, but it seems that the experiment was deemed a failure and they're phasing them out now.

Comment Re:Not too hard (Score 1) 68

At the moment, the big US banks are rolling out "chip and sign", where you slide the card into a reader, but sign with a digital pen rather than enter a PIN. From a security standpoint, it's no better than the mag-swipe and sign system, as nobody verifies the signature anyway.

No, it's much better than the magstripe system because you can't clone a chip card, whereas its trivial to clone a magstripe card (e.g., using a skimmer). Magstripe: something you have, except it's easy to copy, so the bad guys might have it too. Chip and sign: something you have. Chip and PIN: something you have and something you know.

Sure, chip and PIN is more secure, but it's not true that chip and sign is "no better than the mag-swipe and sign".

Submission + - ESR: Radical Feminists Are Attempting to Frame Linus, Others for Sexual Assault (

_KiTA_ writes: Open Source Pioneer Eric S. Raymond has revealed explosive allegations on his blog, claiming that he has a source with evidence that the Ada Initiative, a tech initiative designed to support women in open source, has been attempting to frame Linus Torvalds and other high profile members of the Linux and Open Source community for sexual assault. Linus has been noted for never being alone at conferences as of late, apparently this is a defensive move due to repeated attempts to "scalp" him — getting him alone and then immediately pushing a fake claim of sexual harassment or assault to either have him arrested or pulled off Linux development.

Possibily related to October's Linux Kernel Dev Sarah Sharp Quits, Citing 'Brutal' Communications Style story on how feminist Sarah Sharp took words out of context to try and suggest Linus and Greg were being aggressive monsters on the Kernel Mailing List — something she equates with physical violence on her blog.

Sarah Sharp is a member of the Ada Initiative's Advisory Board, the group that is apparently behind the attempt to frame Linus, among others, for sexual misconduct.

Comment Re: Eeeehhhh (Score 1) 294

China, for the last several years, has typically been the largest holder of US debt.

They're the largest foreign holder of US debt. But about 2/3rds of US debt is owned by domestic entities--and of domestic holders, Social Security owns the most, at about 16%. How does the US government own its own debt? Who knows? But in any case, China is a couple steps down the list; it owns about 7% of US debt.

Comment Re:Is this obsolete already? (Score 1) 317

Sorry, UK guy here. Somebody seems to have a made a repost from the early 2000s...

We're just in the process over here of replacing chip and pin with 'contactless', thus removing the security that the PIN afforded us.

We have that in the US too (e.g., Visa payWave, Mastercard Paypass, Discover Zip. EMV can use either a contact smart card (ISO/IEC 7816) or a contactless smart card (ISO/IEC 14443). They both have chips; the difference is whether the reader communicates with the chip via electrical contacts or via radio waves.

Also, what's happening today is that US banks are changing who has to eat the cost of fraudulent transactions... it's not that the US is just getting EMV cards (or contactless cards) today. They've been around for years... Discover Zip was out in 2011 (however, it still hasn't become popular... probably because there weren't many terminals that could do contactless back then. Now that merchants are being forced by the banks to upgrade their terminals to support EMV, a lot are getting terminals that take both contact and contactless).

Comment Re:You are right for the wrong reason (Score 1) 317

Which hurts in countries whose cellular carriers charge subscribers to receive SMS text messages. Slashdot's home country (USA) is one of them.

Whether a cellular carrier charges extra to receive an SMS isn't a country-dependent thing. Or even carrier-dependent. It depends on which plan you have purchased. All major providers in the US (and probably all providers, even the minor ones, but I haven't actually looked) offer plans with unlimited SMS--i.e., you pay a flat monthly fee and you can send/receive as many texts as you want for no additional charge.

Slashdot Top Deals

"Our vision is to speed up time, eventually eliminating it." -- Alex Schure