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Comment Have my digital life story, but get out of my yard (Score 1) 168

I have noticed that everyone that has expressed deep concern to me about drone spying seems to have little to not a care in the world about digital mass surveillance. Based on this correlation, I wonder if, amusingly, this list may be a great way to identify easy targets for digital identity theft.

Seriously though, when I think of the resulting abuses from the do-not-call registry idea, where for a nominal fee, marketers could get a full list of these active, valued phone numbers, I can't help thinking of the abuses. What does this group of people have in common, and can that be leveraged with political messaging in support of a particular state or federal party?

I'm not going to speculate on how many people will refer to the registry while logging their drone's flight plan with the FAA.

Comment Re: (Score 2) 708

Not to be a nitpicker, but that site looks like a cheesy rip-off of Apple... Why do companies insist on doing this? Be original. Personally, I like the Asus laptops with a Costco return policy. 2 years only, but no hassle.

Look at this picture, particularly the bezel right below the screen, reflecting the keyboard... what is with all that warping????

Comment Re:Not really cracking the passwords. (Score 2) 165

Addendum (also, this problem is not just bad because of the password hash exposure):
You could argue that brute forcing passwords is not the most common approach. For example, harvesting a million accounts and walking away with the passwords that can be cracked through an efficient "smart dictionary" attack, and abandoning the other ones, is probably bar far the most common harvesting strategy.

It's sort of like putting a club on your car.. It's not that they can't steal your car... but there's an easy to steal one next to yours.

So having a hash+salt with SHA-512, and a secure password? If you have a cryptographically strong password, this is a low severity aspect of the problem. The other issue is being able to use the same dscl subsystem to *change* passwords, under certain circumstances, without using credentials. If you can change the logged-in user's password, su to them, sudo /bin/sh, and then reinstall the old salt/hash into the compromised account, you can effectively root the box without damaging the target user's credentials.

Comment Thanks for all the Fish Wrapper (Score 5, Interesting) 1521

In 1997, right after Chips n' Dips had faded away, to be replaced by the enigmatically named http:///, all of us free software nerds hung on its every story, comment and poll like it was carved on tablet and flung from a burning bush. A year later I had started at hardware maker VA Research and /. was falling down for lack of machinery, so we rummaged through our returns piles and sent Rob and Jeff some 2u servers to help out. That was for me the beginning of some of the most important friendships in my adult life.

Its hard to explain how important Slashdot was to all of us 10 years ago. Indeed, without it it would be hard to imagine HN, Reddit, Digg, Fark or any of a thousand lesser sites. The editorial perspective of Rob and the other editors of /. is what kept people coming back and for a long time that perspective was Rob's, then Rob and Jeff and a bunch of us (some, like Timothy and samzenpus, still around!), but then Jeff left, now Rob. In some way I see this as a passing of an era in free software.

Throughout, while some have left for those greener shores, slashdot abided even while buffeted by the markets and the de/evolving internet news world, and it has remained a default tab in my and many others' browsers.

I didn't mean this post to be about Slashdot though, but about my friend Rob. I'll only say that while the site will be the lessor for you leaving, I firmly believe that computer science will gain my. While this note reads like an epitaph or the last pages of a book, it is really no more than a thank you note from me and many I know to your for your decade+ of work on the site. So...



Rock Band 3 To Include MIDI Keyboard 107

xbeefsupreme writes with news that Harmonix has officially demonstrated Rock Band 3's 25-key MIDI keyboard. From USA Today: "During the game, green, red, blue, yellow or orange keys flow on a 'stream' representing the notes to be played on five corresponding keyboard keys. In a new authentic Pro mode meant to help players segue to actual instruments, all 25 keys are used; the streams shifts left and right to cover the correct keys. The keyboard also works as a MIDI keyboard that can be connected to a computer. 'This is a real instrument and a real device,' says senior designer Sylvain Dubrofsky." The game will also support more advanced "real" guitar controllers, which have six actual strings you can strum. Hit the link below to see the keyboard in use.

New Linux Petabyte-Scale Distributed File System 132

An anonymous reader writes "A recent addition to Linux's impressive selection of file systems is Ceph, a distributed file system that incorporates replication and fault tolerance while maintaining POSIX compatibility. Explore the architecture of Ceph and learn how it provides fault tolerance and simplifies the management of massive amounts of data."

Where Android Beats the iPhone 365

snydeq writes "Peter Wayner provides a developer's comparison of Android and the iPhone and finds Android not only competitive but in fact a better choice than the iPhone for many developers, largely due to its Java foundation. 'While iPhone developers have found that one path to success is playing to our baser instincts (until Apple shuts them down), a number of Android applications are offering practical solutions that unlock the power of a phone that's really a Unix machine you can slip into your pocket,' Wayner writes, pointing out GScript and Remote DB as two powerful tools for developers to make rough but workable custom tools for Android. But the real gem is Java: 'The pure Java foundation of Android will be one of the biggest attractions for many businesses with Java programmers on the staff. Any Java developer familiar with Eclipse should be able to use Google's Android documentation to turn out a very basic application in just a few hours. Not only that, but all of the code from other Java programs will run on your Android phone — although it won't look pretty or run as fast as it does on multicore servers.'"

Comment The story from Google... (Score 4, Informative) 140

Hey, the fellows in netops asked me to clarify for you folks here's the story: is a Google-owned domain name used to identify the servers in our network. Following standard industry practice, we make sure each IP address has a corresponding hostname. Starting in October 2009, we started using a single domain name to identify our servers across all Google products, rather than use different product domains such as,, and We did this for two reasons: first, to keep things simpler, and second, to proactively improve security by protecting against potential threats such as cross-site scripting attacks. Most typical Internet users will never see, but we picked we picked a Googley name for it just in case (1e100 is scientific notation for 1 googol).

So there you go!

Comment Lots of comments on's coverage (Score 5, Informative) 354

If you head over to LWN, we've already gone back and forth on this a bit. The short form is that if they don't like how we use the kernel, we're unlikely to be accepted upstream. It's all still released as source code to the world, but the mainline is not interested in most of what we've with to the kernel.

Comment X is a four letter word (Score 0, Troll) 460

Windows 2000 did this flawlessly in 1999. My powerbook did it flawlessly in 2002.

My Ubuntu 9.10 and Gnome XFCE desktops still cannot do this properly today.

X is needed for many things in enterprise... SPECTRUM, polling, whatever. Great. Run X when you need it, use something that isn't a terrible piece of junk the rest of the time.

It's time to bin X.



Solar Machine Spins Sunlight-Shaped Furniture 71

Mike writes "Austrian designers mischer'traxler have created a solar powered machine that makes an incredible array of furnishings that vary based on how much sunlight it receives over the course of a day. Titled 'The Idea of a Tree,' the machine spins spools of thread into stools, benches, containers, and lamp shades that wax and wane as the available sunlight shifts. Furniture created during cloudy winter days will be wrapped more slowly, causing it to be darker in color, thicker, and smaller than pieces created during the sun-soaked summer months."

Submission + - Google Summer of Code announces mentor projects!

mithro writes: "As everyone should already know, Google is running the Summer of Code again this year. For those who don't know, GSoC is where Google funds student's to participate in Open Source projects and has been running for 5 years, bringing together over 2600 students and 2500 mentors from nearly 100 countries worldwide. Google has just announced the projects which will be mentor organizations this year. It includes a great list of Open Source projects from a wide range of different genres, include content management systems, compilers, many programming languages and even a bunch of games!"

Comment Re:Android (Score 2, Informative) 92

I'd like to point out that the Kogan phone folks could have adapted the code to the screen size, but it would have taken longer than their product plan would have allowed. So in that case, you are right, but if they had started the screen porting stuff earlier, then they probably could have shipped something like what they put on their website.

Let me remind you that the structure of the droid licensing is very clear: linux kernel, then apache/bsd all the way up from there (With a dollop of lgpl). You don't need googles permission to ship an android based device. There are some apps (maps comes to mind) that you do need googles permission to ship, but those are closed anyhow.


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