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


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Submission + - The Individual Midnight Thread 40

unitron writes: Trying to figure out time zones is starting to make my brain hurt, but apparently in a bit over 6 hours somewhere on the other side of globe from Greenwich the Week of Slashcott will begin, as Midnight arrives for anyone in that zone, and then it travels west, where I will encounter it in about 23 hours.

So if we can get this thread out of the Firehose, I was thinking that, as the 10th arrives for us in our respective locations, we could leave here what may be our final farewells to Slashdot.

Until Midnight, this is our meeting place, our City Hall, our town square.

(and yes, our playground)

After that I'm not sure where we can congregate to discuss how the Slashcott's going and whether it's time to move on.

I'm going to jump the gun and lay claim to "So long and thanks for all the Karma", and perhaps someone could do a Bob Hope and re-write the lyrics to "Thanks for the Memories".

In the meantime, a bit of housekeeping.

An AC beat me to the week-long boycott idea by a couple of hours, and suggested the date range of the 10th through the 17th.

As part of a group of people familiar with the concept of beginning a count with 0 instead of 1, I really should have spotted the mistake of putting 8 days into that particular week.

So, should Slashcott Week end as the 17th begins, or do we give Dice a bonus day?

Submission + - NSA intercepts shipments of new computers and installs software. ( 2

whoever57 writes: According to an orginal report in Der Spiegel, and
secondary reporting in the Washington Post, the NSA intercepts deliveries of PCs and installs logging software or hardware on them before the customer receives them. According to a document cited by Der Spegel, interception is one of the NSA's "most productive operations"

Der Spiegel also reported that the NSA intercepts and uses Windows crash reports in order to gather information that is used to develop new methods to crack Windows machines.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: What's a good replacement for Google Revue? (

An anonymous reader writes: I've finally reached the point where I'm done with my Google Revue. It really only worked with Netflix after the major TV networks blocked all the content and I had to supplement any other online shows with my work laptop setup next to it. I'm not looking to do anything more than just stream content from various websites so I'd like to get a PC to replace the Revue and use a wireless keyboard and mouse. What are some good options for a dedicated PC that (in order of importance) is powerful enough to watch video on a 46" TV 1080p without any stuttering, somewhat small enough to fit into a traditional console area, reasonably priced and light on the power consumption (if that's even probable)?

Submission + - Disappeared Kdenlive Developer Has Been Found

jones_supa writes: A month ago there was worry about Kdenlive main developer being missing. Good news guys, Jean-Baptiste Mardelle has been finally reached and is doing fine. In a new mailing list post by Vincent Pinon, he says he managed to find Mardelle's phone number and contacted the longtime KDE developer. It was found out that Mardelle took a break over the summer but then lost motivation in Kdenlive under the burden of the ongoing refactoring of the code. Pinon agreed that there are 'so many things to redo almost from scratch just to get the 'old' functionalities'. The full story can be read from the kdenlive-devel mailing list. After talking with Jean-Baptiste, Vincent has called upon individual developers interested in Kdenlive to come forward. Among the actions called for is putting the Git master code-base back in order, ensuring the code is in good quality, provide new communication about the project, integrate new features like GPU-powered effects and a Qt5 port, and progressively integrate the new Kdenlive design.

Submission + - Zuck Shows Kindergartners Ruby Instead of JavaScript

theodp writes: If one was introducing coding to 10 million K-12 kids over 5 days, one might settle on a programming language for examples more than a few weeks before D-Day. But the final tutorials for the Hour of Code aren't due now until the day they're to be taught, so was able to switch the example Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg uses to illustrate Repeat Loops from JavaScript to what looks like Ruby (earlier /. discussion of the JavaScript example), which will no doubt make things clearer for the kindergarten set working on the accompanying Angry Birds tutorial. Khan Academy, on the other hand, is sticking with JavaScript for its Hour of Code tutorial aimed at middle-schoolers, which culminates in a project showing the kids how they can draw a circular plate by invoking an ellipse function with equal major and minor axes. By the way, as Bret Victor might point out, the 2013 Khan Academy lesson looks a lot like circa-1973 PLATO!

Submission + - 270 million Android users in China ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: Until now, it was particularly difficult to obtain reliable figures on the results of the Android operating system in China. Indeed, there is no "centralized app store" and most smartphones sold in the country do not use Google services, including activation. In fact, it is very difficult to know the actual results. The search engine Baidu has corrected this by publishing a report on trends in the mobile internet for the 3rd quarter 2013. It appears that there would be now 270 million active users of the Google platform in the country (more than 20% of the total population). Growth would, however, decrease with a small 13% against 55% for the same period last year but up 10% compared to Q2 2013.

Submission + - Rivals can legally create copycat software says UK Court (

eionmac writes: Decision byy UK Appeal Court. Businesses can replicate the way a rivals' computer program operates by interpreting how it functions from reading user manuals or other accompanying documents their rivals produce without infringing copyright, the Court of Appeal has ruled

Submission + - SPAM: Solyndra Seeks More Time to Negotiate Reorganization Plan

jess9i writes: The solar-panel maker filed a reorganization plan in July under which the U.S. might not receive anything for its $528 million claim from an Energy Department loan guarantee. The government was projected to recoup at most 17 percent on the $142.8 million portion of the loan and probably nothing on the $385 million portion.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Physical assault by McDonald's for wearing Digital Eye Glass ( 2

RockoW writes: "Steve Mann, a long time researcher of computer vision systems, (ie. Augmented reality, Digital Eyeglass) had an incident at McDonald's in Paris, France. He was assaulted by three guys during his visit to a McDonald's Restaurant. They had a problem with his digital eye glasses and tried to took them off. Imagine when Google release their Google Glass you may get assaulted if some place have a no pictures policy."

Submission + - US seeking a 15.7% levy on submarine cable operators ( 3

AHuxley writes: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is considering an expansion to the Universal Service Fund. Submarine cable operators with landings in the United States could face a 15.7 percent levy on quarterly revenues. Some history on US telco rates can be found at:

Submission + - NY: Freedom of Information Req's Do Not Include BBerry's PIN-to-PIN Msg System (

wrekkuh writes: The Daily News is reporting that if aides of New York's Governor Andrew Cuomo cannot speak in person or by telephone with the Governor, they are told to use BlackBerry's PIN-to-PIN messaging system — a function that leaves no lasting trail because it bypasses data-saving email servers. Consequently, a Freedom of Information request for all e-mails to and from Governor Cuomo's office resulted in an empty reply from the Records Access Officer -

"Please be advised that the New York State Executive Chamber has conducted a diligent search, but does not possess records responsive to your request."


Submission + - Apple holds secret talks with Australian government on price gouging ( 2

An anonymous reader writes: Australia's top politicians are holding secret talks with top Apple executives from the US on Tuesday to discuss why its products like the iPad and MacBook cost hundreds of dollars more there than they do in all other countries.

While Microsoft, Adobe and Hollywood studios have all provided public answers to an official inquiry into technology price rip-offs, Apple demanded a secret hearing where formal notes and journalists are banned.

These are normally only given to intelligence agencies and secret organisations where national security or witness protection is concerned.

Australians pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars more for technology and software than people from the US and UK, even though many of the products are downloaded and not physically shipped.


Submission + - The Hivemind Singularity (

An anonymous reader writes: Alan Jacobs at The Atlantic writes about a book called New Model Army, which takes the idea of Anonymous — a loose, self-organizing collective with a purpose — and adds twenty-five years of technological advancement. The book's author, Adam Roberts, 'asks us to imagine a near future when electronic communications technologies enable groups of people to communicate with one another instantaneously, and on secure private networks invulnerable, or nearly so, to outside snooping.' With the arrival of high-tech communications technology, such groups wouldn't be limited to enacting their will from behind a computer screen: they could form actual armies. 'Again, each NMA organizes itself and makes decisions collectively: no commander establishes strategy and gives orders, but instead all members of the NMA communicate with what amounts to an advanced audio form of the IRC protocol, debate their next step, and vote. Results of a vote are shared to all immediately and automatically, at which point the soldiers start doing what they voted to do. ... They are proud of their shared identity, and tend to smirk when officers of more traditional armies want to know who their "ringleaders" are. They have no ringleaders; they don't even have specialists: everyone tends the wounded, not just some designated medical corps, and when they need to negotiate, the negotiating team is chosen by army vote. Each soldier does what needs to be done, with need determined by the NMA which each has freely joined.' Let's hope resistance isn't futile.

Submission + - 1.3 billion pages of free, open web index +metadata (

An anonymous reader writes: 1.3 billion pages of 2012 crawl data, metadata, and text files. Free and open from the Common Crawl Foundation. Easily do things like this cool study showing 22% of web pages mention Facebook and 8% have Open Graph tags

Submission + - Walmart Is Where The Unbanked Shop And Why It Matters (

VOUGHT456 writes: "The correlation between the poor and access to technology is no longer applicable. Hartung wonders why any shopper with access to a computer would bother to then go to a store. But a personal computer isn’t the only way to get online and even some homeless are now carrying smartphones. Wifi hotspots are blanketing the nation and it’s not even necessary to have a pricey data plan to browse and buy online. Pay as you go plans are readily available and allow subscribers to walk into any carrier store and pay each month, with cash."

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