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Microsoft Patents OS Shutdown 404

An anonymous reader writes "You would think that shutting down software could be fairly simple from an end user's view. If I ask you to shut it down, would you mind shutting it actually down, please? Well, it's a bit more complicated than that, because you need to ask the user if they really want to shut down and if unsaved documents should be saved. And that warrants a patent that also covers Mac OS X. Next time you shut down Windows, remember how complicated it is for Windows to shut down. Perhaps that is the reason why this procedure can take minutes in some cases."

Comment "Look out, we'll further ruin our own credibility" (Score 1) 288

Is anyone else tremendously amused at the method these guys have chosen to get their message out? I don't necessarily disagree with them - specifically, I usually only believe in full disclosure being necessary when an exploit is already in use in the wild - but it seems to me that they're just going to polarize the debate against their own position. IT security geeks are notably stubborn, defiant, etc., and being attacked over this will only entrench them further in their position. And to add to this, the 'attack' is frankly negligible - your blog will be defaced! Of course, you will certainly have backups now that we've warned you, but it'll still be defaced for up to a few hours!

Comment You already know the answer. (Score 5, Insightful) 592

I'm sorry, but this is plainly obvious. Now there are a lot of useful comments in this thread about IT ageism and all that, but the wording of the submission is plain as day to anyone who cares to read between the lines: For continuing in IT you mention no particular positives, and harp on the negative aspect of having to stay up to date and 're-invent yourself'. Whereas w.r.t. management you only say that you seriously enjoy doing it and are seriously considering spending the rest of your working life on it.


Granted, you then go on to imply that management is for senile old men, but this only serves to clarify to your audience why you're having this issue: you have deep-seated preconceptions as to what type of people actually go into management, and while you respect the work itself and would like to shine in that respect, you can't get past your own mental blocks of seeing them all as Dilbert-styled PHBs.

Well, by the power vested in me by Slashdot, I officially set you free. Go forth and manage, AND stay up to date on tech, and be the good manager that will render Dilbert obsolete. Use all the grey matter you have - and frankly you will need to - to properly challenge your talented techie workers while using them to the best of their abilities and making the latter obvious to those above you.

I wish you all the best in your management career. Remember, while it's not the same as tech work, don't be afraid to treat it the same when it comes to research - there are innumerable useful books written to help ease you into management coming from any techie standpoint.

The Courts

Submission + - SPAM: FTC targets massive car warranty robocall scheme

coondoggie writes: "Robocalls are a scourge and the Federal Trade Commission today took action against one outfit by asking a federal court to shut down companies that have been bombarding consumers with hundreds of millions of allegedly deceptive robocalls in an effort to sell vehicle service contracts. According to the FTC, the robocalls have prompted tens of thousands of complaints from consumers who are either on the Do Not Call Registry or asked not to be called. Five telephone numbers associated with the defendants have generated a total of 30,000 Do Not Call complaints. Consumers received the robocalls at home, work, and on their cell phones, sometimes several times in one day. Businesses, government offices and even 911 dispatchers also have been subjected to the calls, the FTC said. [spam URL stripped]"
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Court orders breathalyzer code opened, finds mess (

Death Metal writes: "After two years of attempting to get the computer based source code for the Alcotest 7110 MKIII-C, defense counsel in State v. Chun were successful in obtaining the code, and had it analyzed by Base One Technologies, Inc.

          By making itself a party to the litigation after the oral arguments in April, Draeger subjected itself to the Supreme Court's directive that Draeger ultimately provide the source code to the defendants' software analysis house, Base One.

Draeger reviewed the code, as well, through its software house, SysTest Labs, which agreed with Base One, that the patchwork code that makes up the 7110 is not written well, nor is it written to any defined coding standard. SysTest said, "The Alcotest NJ3.11 source code appears to have evolved over numerous transitions and versioning, which is responsible for cyclomatic complexity.""

Comment Let's take a deep breath and wait. (Score 3, Informative) 27

We don't have all the info yet. All we know so far is that AT&T is a client of "MEC Interaction" and that this company has then used Audience Science. There's no way to know for sure yet that they were placing ads based on DPI, or giving info about their customers' browsing habits - it is every single bit as probable that their advertising firm merely placed ads with the behavioral-based advertising network.

Now, there's still a slight disconnect between her testimony (which lambasts behavioral advertising as a whole) and the company contracting Audience Science via a third party, but it's extremely possible that this is being interpreted in the worst possible light [to sell pageviews?] Grain of salt, people.

Comment Well.. It may not (Score 4, Insightful) 547

This is a particular case, given that it is dealing with a psychological test. In many or most cases these rely on the test-taker not knowing the exact questions ahead of time. As you're dealing with over 10% of the test here, it's not all that far-fetched to say that foreknowledge of these questions could skew the results in a statistically significant way. This would count as causing harm or devaluing the original work (by causing prospective clients [the government] to doubt its results), which are direct reasons for fair use not to apply. Of course, IANAL and you should seek one, etc, but it seems to me that this is not that unreasonable a claim. A single question? Sure. 75 of them? Probably not so much.

Comment So they can detect the keys - (Score 1) 217

But the key signals they're picking out of the air don't include the layout. For bonus paranoia points (and since fairly elementary pattern recognition can be applied to this issue), use a rotation of 3 or more keyboard layouts changing at random intervals with a very minor on-screen notification. Now they need to be rocking TEMPEST, which has a much shorter range than this technique according to TFA.

(Extra tinfoil points for reprogramming your keyboard's microcontroller to rotate the key codes away from the default for your model. Extra extra points for using a new schema whose usage pattern would be reasonably close to the expected.)

Comment Re:Deaf? (Score 1) 743

Few things irritate me as much as parents taking the avoidance of bad influences to an extreme. When your kids leave your reach and are exposed to TV for the first time, can you be sure they'll be able to enjoy it in moderation rather than make up for lost time? Teaching a child to enjoy reading is fantastic. Teaching them to enjoy reading rather than watching the latest drivel on Fox is even better - but you can't do this if there isn't a TV in the house. Values taught in a 'clean room' setting do not always stand up when later exposed to real world influences. Not to mention that there are good things to be had on the television, such as BBC documentaries, pieces on the Discovery channel, etc. Use these to teach them critical thought while you're at it. If you can't get your child to differentiate between good TV and bad TV, then sure, you may be better off without it at all. But don't blame the television set for your failing as a parent in this.

Comment Re:This has been on my mind for a few years ... (Score 1) 990

Honestly, the debate seems moot, given your extremely pertinent point re: feral children and the morality thereof.

Really, to do this in anything resembling good conscience, we'll have to raise the child semi-normally, and as soon as we do that it's not even close to an 'outside observer'. I find it funny the way so many articles seem to treat this as essentially raising a dead neanderthal so we can see how neanderthals would view us, when really all we'd be doing is bringing otherwise extinct DNA into modern society. Whoop dee doo?

Hardware Hacking

Submission + - NVIDIA Introduces Enthusiast System Architecture (

MojoKid writes: "NVIDIA has just introduced a new open-industry standard for real-time monitoring and control of PC power supplies, chassis, and water cooling systems. Dubbed ESA, which stands for Enthusiast System Architecture, the company hopes the standard will be adopted across the industry. A new wave of ESA compliant hardware that can be monitored and controlled via a standard interface could ensue, enabling smart health-monitoring components to increase system stability and reliability."

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Logic doesn't apply to the real world. -- Marvin Minsky