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Submission + - SPAM: Why Your Dad's 30-Year-Old Stereo System Sounds Better Than Your New One

schwit1 writes: The receiver engineers have to devote the lion’s share of their design skills and budget to making the features work. Every year receiver manufacturers pay out more and more money (in the form of royalties and licensing fees) to Apple, Audyssey, Bluetooth, HD Radio, XM-Sirius, Dolby, DTS and other companies, and those dollars consume an ever bigger chunk of the design budget. The engineers have to make do with whatever is left to make the receiver sound good.
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Submission + - Is Vodafone's new broadband service a man-in-the-middle attack? (vodafone.co.uk)

Duncan J Murray writes: Vodafone's recent entry into the competitive broadband ADSL and fibre market in the UK has been met with accusations that they are partaking in a man in a middle attack by providing certificates from contentcontrol.vodafone.co.uk. bored writes "Vodafone are performing a man-in-the-middle attack... Rather than subverting a wifi router, they have a proxy server which is intercepting your encrypted data requests, making the connection to the encrypted endpoint itself and getting you to send your requests to the Vodafone proxy server...."

Vodafone broadband also seems to be falling foul noscript's Application Boundary Enforcer designed to prevent DNS rebinding attacks, requiring system ABE rules to be disabled to access https addresses.

So far vodafone have responded by suggesting a security exception is created for each occurrence, and another reply from vodafone respond "I've double checked this with our Broadband team and this is how our routers are set up, we're unable to change any settings at our end."

Though we should not attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity, is this unwittingly compromising the security of vodafone broadband users?

Submission + - Mathematicians find optimal video game double jump strategy. (jstor.org)

RobertJ1729 writes: Mathematicians Aaron Broussard, Martin Malandro, and Abagayle Serreyn have cracked the code for the optimal video game multi-jump, a normal jump followed by additional jumps initiated in midair without the aid of a platform, to determine the highest achievable jump, and have described strategies human players or AI can use in real time to select successful multi-jumps in real time. Their results (doi) are published in the December issue of The American Mathematical Monthly . From the paper's introduction:

A multi-jump is a finite sequence of jumps where the first jump is initiated from the ground and the rest are initiated in midair. The number of jumps in a multi-jump is the length of the multi-jump, so a double jump is a multi-jump of length two. Several video games, such as Chair Entertainment Group(R)’s Shadow Complex(TM) and Nintendo(R)’s Super Smash Bros.(TM) Melee, feature triple jumps or multi-jumps of even longer length.

The basic problem we consider in this paper is the following. Suppose that a character in a two-dimensional side-scrolling video game wishes to use a multi-jump to jump to the right from a fixed starting point across a gap and land on a fixed platform. ...We therefore assume that the character has a known finite sequence of jump arcs available to her and faces the problem of selecting when to jump in midair, i.e., to switch from the arc of one jump to the next, so as to land on the platform. ...

Provided the platform is reachable by a multi-jump, we give strategies for solving this problem on the fly for both player-controlled and artificial intelligence (AI)-controlled characters. In the simplest situation all jumps available to the character are equal and fully concave (Definition 5). In this situation we give a simple strategy (the line method) that is usable by both players and AI. In our experience the majority of games featuring multi-jumps are covered by this situation. We give two further strategies for AI-controlled characters in more-complicated situations. Our first AI strategy is very general, in that it applies to any collection of standard jump functions (Definition 1). We also give a faster (less computationally intensive) AI strategy for collections of standard jump functions whose derivative inverses are known and computable exactly.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Why Did 3D TVs And Stereoscopic 3D Television Broadcasting Fail? 2

dryriver writes: Just a few years ago the future seemed bright for 3D TVs. The 3D film Avatar smashed all box office records. Every Hollywood Studio wanted to make big 3D films. The major TV set manufacturers from LG to Phillips to Panasonic all wanted in on the 3D TV action. A 3D disc format called BluRay 3D was agreed on. Sony went as far as putting free 3D TVs in popular Pubs in London to show Brits how cool watching Football ("Soccer" in the U.S.) in Stereo 3D is. Tens of millions of dollars of 3D TV related ads ran on TV stations across the world. 3D Televisions and 3D content was, simply put, the biggest show in town for a while as far as consumer electronics goes. Then the whole circus gradually collapsed — 3D TVs failed to sell well and create the multi-Billion Dollar profits anticipated. 3D@home failed to catch on with consumers. Shooting genuine Stereo 3D films (not "post conversions") proved to be expensive and technically challenging. BluRay 3D was only modestly successful. Even Nvidia's Stereo 3D solutions for PC gamers failed. What, in your opinion, went wrong? Were early 3D TV sets too highly priced? Were there too few 3D films and 3D TV stations available to watch (aka "The Content Problem")? Did people hate wearing active/passive plastic 3D glasses in the living room? Was the price of BluRay 3D films and BluRay 3D players set too high? Was there something wrong with the Stereo 3D effect the industry tried to popularize? Did too many people suffer 3D viewing related "headaches", "dizzyness", "eyesight problems" and similar? Was the then still quite new 1080HD 2D Television simply "good enough" for the average TV viewer? Another related question: If things went so wrong with 3D TVs, what guarantee is there that the new 3D VR/AR trend won't collapse along similar lines as well?

 

Submission + - IRS doesn't tell 1 million taxpayers that illegal immigrants stole their SSNs (washingtontimes.com)

schwit1 writes: The IRS has discovered more than 1 million Americans whose Social Security numbers were stolen by illegal immigrants, but officials never bothered to tell the taxpayers themselves, the agency’s inspector general said in a withering new report released Tuesday.

Investigators first alerted the IRS to the problem five years ago, but it’s still not fixed, the inspector general said, and a pilot program meant to test a solution was canceled, and fell woefully short anyway.

As a result most taxpayers don’t learn that their identities have been stolen and their Social Security files may be screwed up.

“Taxpayers identified as victims of employment-related identity theft are not notified,” the inspector general said.

And we should put the federal government in charge of healthcare?

Submission + - Kim Dotcom To Revive Megaupload; Claims Bitcoin Will Spike As A Result (fortune.com)

SonicSpike writes: The controversial entrepreneur Kim Dotcom said last month that he was preparing to relaunch Megaupload, the file-sharing site that U.S. and New Zealand authorities dramatically shut down in 2012, with bitcoins being involved in some way.

This system will be called Bitcache and Dotcom claimed its launch would send the bitcoin price soaring way above its current $575 value.

The launch of Megaupload 2.0 will take place on Jan. 20, 2017, he said, urging people to “buy bitcoin while cheap, like right now, trust me.” Bitcoin’s value fell sharply this week after a $72 million theft from the Hong Kong exchange Bitfinex, though it subsequently bounced back to a degree.

Crucially, Dotcom said the Bitcache system would overcome bitcoin’s scaling problems. “It eliminates all blockchain limitations,” he claimed.

Comment How to delete your phone number from facebook (Score 2) 103

So obviously even after you 'delete' your phone number from facebook they will still retain that information indefinitely and probably trying to link your facebook and whatsapp accounts/information. You have to make them think your number has changed. You do this by registering a second facebook account (using a second email of course, and any random name), register your phone number with that second account (thereby removing it from the first account) then wait a while then delete/deactivate the second account. This way facebook will assume the number has changed hands (don't let them know the two facebook accounts were owned by the same person, use a different IP or at least spoof your user agent) and *hopefully* won't make the link between your original facebook account and whatsapp account (phone number).

Comment Re:WSUS offline + PortableUpdate (Score 1) 405

I thought it was for enterprise users only, unavailable to home users.

I'm not sure how it will actually work (anyone know?) but I expect the updates will be available on microsoft's website for manual download by anybody. If you have to download it through windows update I should be fine since I'm using win7 Ultimate. Worst case, I can't access them directly but someone helpful will doubtless upload them to the pirate bay.

Submission + - Proposed 'social media ID, please' law met with anger (computerworld.com)

dcblogs writes: A plan by the U.S. government to require some foreign travelers to provide their social media IDs on key travel documents is being called by critics “ludicrous,” an “all-around bad idea,” “blatant overreach,” “desperate, paranoid heavy-handedness,” “preposterous,” “appalling,” and “un-American." That's just a sampling of the outrage. Some 800 responded to the U.S. request for comments about a proposed rule affecting people traveling from “visa waiver” countries to the U.S., where a visa is not required. This includes most of Europe, Singapore, Chile, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand. Travelers will be asked to provide their Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+, and whatever other social ID you can imagine to U.S. authorities. It’s technically an “optional” request, but since it’s the government asking, critics believe travelers will fear consequences if they ignore it. People who are traveling from a country where a visa is required, such as India or China, get a security vetting when they apply for a visa at a U.S. consulate, so this proposal doesn’t apply to them. In a little twist of irony, some critics said U.S. President Obama’s proposal for foreign travelers is so bad, it must have been hatched by Donald Trump.

Submission + - SPAM: Nuclear's Glacial Pace

mdsolar writes: Climate change has forced us to rethink how we get electricity. Use of renewable sources like solar and wind is rapidly increasing, while nuclear, though long a reliable source of carbon-free electricity, is not. Meanwhile, a number of startups are promising cheap, safe, proliferation-resistant nuclear energy in the next decade (see “Fail-Safe Nuclear Power”).

Can these startups fulfill their promises? Outside of China, nuclear power is expanding nowhere. China has 21 new reactors under construction; Russia has nine, India six. The U.S. is bringing five new plants online, but since 2012, five other reactors have been retired, with seven more to be shuttered by 2019. California’s Diablo Canyon plant recently announced it will close by 2025. With other plants closing in Japan, Germany, and the U.K., more reactors may be decommissioned than built in the near future.

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