Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Get HideMyAss! VPN, PC Mag's Top 10 VPNs of 2016 for 55% off for a Limited Time ×

Comment This isn't a victory for Behring-Breivik. (Score 3, Insightful) 491

Someone once pointed out that hoping a rapist gets raped in prison isn't a victory for his victim(s), because it somehow gives him what he had coming to him, but it's actually a victory for rape and violence. I wish I could remember who said that, because they are right. The score doesn't go Rapist: 1 World: 1. It goes Rape: 2.

What this man did is unspeakable, and he absolutely deserves to spend the rest of his life in prison. If he needs to be kept away from other prisoners as a safety issue, there are ways to do that without keeping him in solitary confinement, which has been shown conclusively to be profoundly cruel and harmful.

Putting him in solitary confinement, as a punitive measure, is not a victory for the good people in the world. It's a victory for inhumane treatment of human beings. This ruling is, in my opinion, very good and very strong for human rights, *precisely* because it was brought by such a despicable and horrible person. It affirms that all of us have basic human rights, even the absolute worst of us on this planet.

Programming

'My Heroic and Lazy Stand Against IFTTT' (pinboard.in) 177

Like many of you, I use IFTTT. It's one of the handiest tools on the internet to get your work done. Want a text alert for weather? Want a notification on your Android smartphone whenever someone you follow publishes a blog post? IFTTT can do all sorts of such things. It is able to do so because it works with different companies and utilizes APIs of their services. Many of these companies are happy to have IFTTT trying to enhance the experience of their customers. Many don't necessarily want -- or can allow -- IFTTT to do that. Pinboard, a social bookmarking website, falls in the latter category. Maciej Ceglowski, CEO of Pinboard in a blog post explained why that is the case: Imagine if your sewer pipe started demanding that you make major changes in your diet. Now imagine that it got a lawyer and started asking you to sign things. You would feel surprised. This is the position I find myself in today with IFTTT, a form of Internet plumbing that has been connecting peaceably to my backend for the past five years, but which has recently started sending scary emails. [...] Because many of you rely on IFTTT, and because [their request] makes it sound like I'm the asshole, I feel I should explain myself. In a nutshell: 1. IFTTT wants me to do their job for them for free. 2. They have really squirrely terms of service. In the blog post, Ceglowski further explains his concerns with IFTTT. He says IFTTT wants ownership of all right, title, and interest. "Pinboard is in some ways already a direct competitor to IFTTT. The site offers built-in Twitter integration, analogous to IFTTT's twitter-Pinboard recipe. I don't know what rights I would be assigning here, but this is not the way I want to find out." You should read the blog post, it's very insightful and sheds light on things that many of us might not have considered otherwise. Jason Snell has offered his take on this as well, he writes: If IFTTT sticks with this philosophy, it will rapidly become a lot less useful and interesting as a service.
Crime

Mars Rover Code Used For Cyber-Espionage Malware 78

An anonymous reader writes: Two open-source libraries used in the Mars Rover software have been integrated in the source code of a malware family (nicknamed Rover) used as part of a cyber-espionage campaign against the Indian government (Indian Ambassador to Afghanistan). The two libraries are OpenCV and OpenAL, two libraries for processing image and audio information. As such, the Rover malware can take screenshots, record video and audio.
Bug

Apple Says Sorry For iPhone Error 53 and Issues IOS 9.2.1 Update To Fix It (betanews.com) 123

Mark Wilson writes: Apple has a lot of support at the moment for its stance on encryption and refusing the FBI access to an iPhone's contents, but it's only a couple of weeks since the company was seen in a less favorable light. There was quite a backlash when users found that installing an update to iOS resulted in Error 53 and a bricked iPhone. Apple initially said that Error 53 was caused 'for security reasons' following speculation that it was a bid to stop people from using third party repair shops. iFixit suggested that the problem was a result of a failure of parts to correctly sync, and Apple has been rounding criticized for failing to come up with a fix. Today the company has issued an apology, along with an update that ensures Error 53 won't happen again. But there's more good news ... If you were talked into paying for an out of warranty replacement as a result of Error 53, you could be in line to get your money back.
Privacy

Congressman: Court Order To Decrypt iPhone Has Far-Reaching Implications (dailydot.com) 400

Patrick O'Neill writes: Hours after Apple was ordered to help the FBI access the San Bernardino Shooters' iPhone, Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.), a Stanford University computer-science graduate, wondered where the use of the All Writs Act—on which the magistrate judge based her ruling—might lead. "Can courts compel Facebook to provide analytics of who might be a criminal?" Lieu said in an email to the Daily Dot. "Or Google to give a list of names of people who searched for the term ISIS? At what point does this stop?"
Apple, so far, has vowed to fight the order that it decrypt the phone of San Bernadino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook, in no uncertain terms.

Comment This is called "cable mining" in the telephone biz (Score 1) 169

And Ma Bell has been doing it for a century. Cable rack in the central offices gets crowded after just a few decades, otherwise.

There's precedent, there are specialized tools and procedures for error reduction, and worldwide there are at least dozens, perhaps hundreds, of people with lots of experience in this very specific field.

Comment Blind folks still use cassette tape quite a lot. (Score 5, Interesting) 169

You can feel the weight balance to tell how much of the tape is on one reel versus the other. You can rewind and fastforward by gut-feeling, with no display. Every operation of the player is tactile, and there are no hidden options menus, touchscreens, or any of that crap.

Submission + - Google: Too Many White/Asian Males Play Computer Scientists on TV and in Movies 2

theodp writes: In partnership with Gallup, Google has released a second report with its take on the state of U.S. K-12 CS education. Entitled Images of Computer Science: Perceptions Among Students, Parents and Educators in the U.S., the report suggests tech's woeful diversity can be traced back to Hollywood's portrayal of Computer Scientists. "Students and parents perceive that there are few portrayals of women, Hispanic or Black computer scientists on TV or in movies," the report explains in its Key Findings. "These groups are much more likely to see White or Asian men engaged in computer science. They also often see computer scientists portrayed wearing glasses." In an accompanying post at the Google for Education blog, Google's Head of R&D for K-12 Education adds, "The results show that there's high value and interest in CS among all demographics, and even more so for lower-income parents. But unfortunately perceptions of who CS is for and who is portrayed in CS are narrow-White, male, smart with glasses. Even though they value it, students often don't see themselves in it." As a result of this and other factors, the report notes that "among the 49 states with at least one student taking the [AP] computer science exam, 12 had no Black students participating in 2014." It's an alarming factoid, but also a misleading one. As Gas Station Without Pumps explained two years ago, it is hardly surprising from a statistical standpoint that there are no Black student test takers in a state if there are essentially no test takers at all. So, let's not forget about girls and minorities, but let's also not forget that pretty much everyone is underrepresented if we look at the big AP CS picture — only 46,344 AP CS scores were reported in 2015 for a HS population of about 16 million students. So, shouldn't the goal at this stage of the game really be CS education for all? Towards that end, perhaps Google might want to look into commissioning a free programming book for kids from O'Reilly instead of another point-the-finger report from Gallup. But if Google wants to continue its search for things that have discouraged kids from coding, it might want to look in the mirror. After all, dropping a programming language for kids — as Google did with App Inventor in 2011 after CEO Larry Page ordered the plug pulled on projects deemed unworthy of Google 'wood' — didn't exactly send kids (and their perplexed teachers) the message that CS was for them, did it?

Comment Re:The Police Shouldn't Be That Worried... (Score 1) 40

While your scenario is entirely plausible; why would anyone spend money to 'hack' a rental car? They wouldn't be able to predict who will drive it next or even when. I mean, sure, teenagers will shoplift spraypaint to tag up the local underpass; but with regards to this, the talented have better things to do and sophomoric aren't renting cars.

Personally, I'd worry about this less than I worry about skin cancer.

P.S. That being said, I will admit I bought a more expensive bluetooth OBD-II adapter to use in my explorer that requires a physical button press to pair. Cheaper adapters are generally discoverable when not connected to a host and used a generic 0000 or 1234 pin. I leave the adapter plugged in all the time because there's an old android tablet between the seats that logs OBD-II PIDs while I'm driving and auto-uploads them when I'm in my driveway.

Robotics

Video More From Tim O'Reilly about the 'WTF?!' Economy (Videos) 61

More From Tim O'Reilly about the 'WTF?!' Economy (Video) On August 12 we ran two videos of Tim O'Reilly talking with Slashdot's Tim Lord about changes in how we work, what jobs we do, and who profits from advances in labor-saving technology. Tim (O'Reilly, that is) had written an article titled, The WTF Economy, which contained this paragraph:

"What do on-demand services, AI, and the $15 minimum wage movement have in common? They are telling us, loud and clear, that we’re in for massive changes in work, business, and the economy."

We're seeing a shift from cabs to Uber, but what about the big shift when human drivers get replaced by artificial intelligence? Ditto airplane pilots, burger flippers, and some physicians. WTF? Exactly. Once again we have a main video and a second one available only in Flash (sorry about that), along with a text transcript that covers both videos. Good thought-provoking material, even if you think you're so special that no machine could possibly replace you.
AI

Video Tim O'Reilly and the 'WTF?!' Economy (Video) 111

This is a conversation Tim Lord had with Tim O'Reilly at OSCON. Tim O'Reilly wrote an article titled "The WTF Economy,", which started with these words: "WTF?! In San Francisco, Uber has 3x the revenue of the entire prior taxi and limousine industry." He talks about Uber and AirbnB and how, with real-time measurement of customer demand, "The algorithm is the new shift boss." And then there is this question: "What is the future when more and more work can be done by intelligent machines instead of people, or only done by people in partnership with those machines?"

My (late) father was an engineer. Politically, you could have called him a TechnoUtopian. He believed -- along with most of his engineer, ham radio, and science fiction writer and reader friends -- that as machines took over the humdrum tasks, humans would work less and create more. O'Reilly seems to have similar beliefs, even though (unlike my father) he's seen the beginnings of an economy with self-driving cars and trucks, factory machines that don't need humans to run them, and many other changes the 1950s and 1960s futurists didn't expect to see until we had flying cars and could buy tickets on Pan Am flights to the moon. Listening to these conversations, I remember my father's dreams, but O'Reilly isn't as optimistic as a full-blown TechnoUtopian. He takes a "Something's happening here; what it is ain't exactly clear" view of how work (and pay for work) will change in the near future. Please note that Tim O'Reilly has been called "The Oracle of Silicon Valley," so he's totally worth watching -- or reading, if that's your preferred method of taking in new information.

NOTE: Today we have a "main video," plus a "bonus video" that is viewable only with Flash. But we have a transcript that covers both of them. Enjoy!

Slashdot Top Deals

Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler. -- Albert Einstein

Working...