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Submission + - FCC plans to make DD-WRT illegal to use (cnx-software.com) 2

An anonymous reader writes: Recent FCC rules have made it illegal for users to modify transmit power and other similar functions on personal WiFi access points. This makes loading custom illegal and opens easy backdoors into your network. Could this be the end of wireless?

Submission + - Could the Slashdot community take control of Slashdot? 10

turp182 writes: This is intended to be an idea generation story for how the community itself could purchase and then control Slashdot. If this happened I believe a lot of former users would at least come and take a look, and some of them would participate again.

This is not about improving the site, only about aquiring the site.

First, here's what we know:
1. DHI (Dice) paid $20 million for Slashdot, SourceForce, and Freecode, purchased from Geeknet back in 2012:
    http://techcrunch.com/2012/09/...
2. Slashdot has an Alexa Global Rank of 1,689, obtaining actual traffic numbers require money to see:
    http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/...
3. According to Quantcast, Slashdot has over 250,000 unique monthly views:
    https://www.quantcast.com/slas...
4. Per an Arstechnia article, Slashdot Media (Slashdot and Sourceforge) had 2015Q2 revenues of $1.7 million and have expected full year revenues of $15-$16 million (which doesn't make sense given the quarterly number):
    http://arstechnica.com/informa...

Next, things we don't know:
0. Is Slashdot viable without a corporate owner? (the only question that matters)
1. What would DHI (Dice) sell Slashdot for? Would they split it from Sourceforge?
2. What are the hosting and equipment costs?
3. What are the personnel costs (editors, advertising saleforce, etc.)?
4. What other expenses does the site incur (legal for example)?
5. What is Slashdot's portion of the revenue of Slashdot Media?

These questions would need to be answered in order to valuate the site. Getting that info and performing the valuation would require expensive professional services.

What are possible ways we could proceed?

In my opinion, a non-profit organization would be the best route.

Finally, the hard part: Funding. Here are some ideas.

1. Benefactor(s) — It would be very nice to have people with some wealth that could help.
2. Crowdfunding/Kickstarter — I would contribute to such an effort I think a lot of Slashdotters would contribute. I think this would need to be a part of the funding rather than all of it.
3. Grants and Corporate Donations — Slashdot has a wide and varied membership and audience. We regularly see post from people that work at Google, Apple, and Microsoft. And at universities. We are developers (like me), scientists, experts, and also ordinary (also like me). A revived Slashdot could be a corporate cause in the world of tax deductions for companies.
4. ????
5. Profit!

Oh, the last thing: Is this even a relevant conversation?

I can't say. I think timing is the problem, with generating funds and access to financial information (probably won't get this without the funds) being the most critical barriers. Someone will buy the site, we're inside the top 2,000 global sites per info above.

The best solution, I believe, is to find a large corporate "sponsor" willing to help with the initial purchase and to be the recipient of any crowd sourcing funds to help repay them. The key is the site would have to have autonomy as a separate organization. They could have prime advertising space (so we should focus on IBM...) with the goal would be to repay the sponsor in full over time (no interest please?).

The second best is seeking a combination of "legal pledges" from companies/schools/organizations combined with crowdsourcing. This could get access to the necessary financials.

Also problematic, from a time perspective, a group of people would need to be formed to handle organization (managing fundraising/crowdsourcing) and interations with DHI (Dice). All volunteer for sure.

Is this even a relevant conversation? I say it is, I actually love Slashdot; it offers fun, entertaining, and enlightning conversation (I browse above the sewer), and I find the article selection interesting (this gyrates, but I still check a lot).

And to finish, the most critical question: Is Slashdot financially viable as an independent organization?

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: What Web Platform For A Small Municipality?

r3dR0v3r writes: I have the opportunity to help improve / replace the website of my small U.S. town (~6000 people). The town leaders are open to most any suggestions, and are open to the idea of having the website facilitate a more open government — by being a place at which town documents, meeting agendas, meeting minutes, legal forms, ordinances, etc. can be found in an organized way and downloaded. And of course the site should provide general info about the town, it's services, recreation opportunities, etc.. Now, we have no budget, so we'll be looking at free/open software. I've considered options such as Drupal, but I'm doing this as volunteer work so I don't want to start from scratch and spend overly much time. Thus, I'm looking for advice about any existing platforms made specifically for municipalities as a great way to get a jump start. I'm guessing there are other slashdotters that have helped their communities in this way. Your suggestions please?
Security

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Router Security Vulerability?

An anonymous reader writes: I am a freelance security/pentest consultant. I've discovered the modem/routers my local ISP leases out to customers are affected by a security vulnerability that would allow an attacker to (relatively easily) gain root access. The vulnerability is publicly known, and the manufacturer is aware of the issue and has since released a firmware update resolving it. However, unless you are a service provider, there is no way for an end-user to get the update individually.

After numerous failed attempts at contacting anyone at the corporate office of my ISP (customer service tech support was hopeless), I got in touch with someone from the manufacturer who notified me about the firmware update. Filing a CERT report does not seem like an option as the issue has already been addressed by the OEM, but what can I do to get my ISP to take action? How about the thousands of other customers potentially affected?
The Internet

Submission + - U.S Congressman Wants to Ban Internet Bills (gizmodo.com)

SchrodingerZ writes: "Representative Darrell Issa, a republican congressman from California, has drafted a bill for the internet. The bill, aptly named the Internet American Moratorium Act (IAMA), is, "a two-year moratorium on any new laws, rules or regulations governing the Internet." In short it hopes to deny any new government bills related to lawmaking on the internet for the next two years. The bill was first made public on the website Reddit, and is currently on the front page of Keepthewebopen.com, a website advocating internet rights. "Together we can make Washington take a break from messing w/ the Internet," Issa writes on his Reddit post. The initial response to the bill has been mixed. Users of Reddit are skeptical of the paper's motives and credibility. As of now, the bill is just a discussion draft, whether it will gain footing in the future is up in the air."

Submission + - InTrade bans U.S. customers. (intrade.com)

MyFirstNameIsPaul writes: "In an announcement dated Monday, Nov 26, 2012, Dublin based InTrade stated "that due to legal and regulatory pressures, Intrade can no longer allow US residents to participate in our real-money prediction markets." The Washington Post reports that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission filed a complaint in federal court against InTrade for "illegally facilitating bets on future economic data, the price of gold and even acts of war," demonstrating just how far the long arm of U.S. law can reach."
Privacy

Submission + - "Anonymous" File-Sharing Darknet Ruled Illegal by German Court (torrentfreak.com)

An anonymous reader writes: A court in Hamburg, Germany, has granted an injunction against a user of the anonymous and encrypted file-sharing network RetroShare . RetroShare users exchange data through encrypted transfers and the network setup ensures that the true sender of the file is always obfuscated. The court, however, has now ruled that RetroShare users who act as an exit node are liable for the encrypted traffic that’s sent by others.
Software

Submission + - Best Strategy to Start Development Career Without Degree

An anonymous reader writes: Hey slashdotters, first time poster here, hope I'm following protocols. I'm looking to change careers and go into software development. I have the equivalent of about a first year CS education — understanding of OOP, understanding of algorithm design and analysis, ability to code up non-trivial programs (mostly in Python), etc. However, I don't have a degree. I have enough cash set aside to where I can spend about another year honing my skills, but I will need to be making a liveable income after that. I'm located in a major metropolitan area. I was thinking about using the year to familiarize myself with programming libraries, picking up a few more languages, learning some front-end/design principles and methods, involving myself with a number of open source projects, and picking up a little bit of work from friends/contacts. Would anyone care to critique that strategy or maybe add some specifics to it?

Feed Google News Sci Tech: Facebook And Yahoo Discussing Search Partnership, Report Says - TechCrunch (google.com)


TechCrunch

Facebook And Yahoo Discussing Search Partnership, Report Says
TechCrunch
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg are discussing a potential partnership, according to a report in The Sunday Telegraph. The story is based on anonymous sources, who seem primarily to be “Yahoo insiders.” It's vague on the ...
Facebook and Yahoo reportedly seeking search partnershipCNET
Report: Yahoo's Mayer Laying Hammer Down on StaffPC Magazine
Yahoo! plots alliance with Facebook in new search dealTelegraph.co.uk
Business Insider-Search Engine Journal-Sydney Morning Herald
all 27 news articles

Space

Submission + - NASA discovers most distant galaxy in known universe (www.cbc.ca)

An anonymous reader writes: From cbc.ca: "NASA's Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes (not to be outdone by the Kepler Space Telescope) have discovered the most distant galaxy identified so far in the universe... the galaxy is 13.3 billion light years away and only a tiny fraction of the size of the Milky Way. Due to the time it takes light to travel through space, the images seen from Earth now show what the galaxy looked like when the universe was just 420 million years old, according to a press statement released from NASA. The newly discovered galaxy (is) named MACS0647-JD"
Education

Submission + - Computer Science vs. Software Engineering 1

theodp writes: Microsoft's promotion of Julie Larson-Green to lead all Windows software and hardware engineering in the wake of Steven Sinofsky's resignation is reopening the question of what is the difference between Computer Science and Software Engineering. According to their bios on Microsoft's website, Sinofsky has a master's degree in computer science from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and an undergraduate degree with honors from Cornell University, while Larson-Green has a master's degree in software engineering from Seattle University and a bachelor's degree in business administration from Western Washington University. A comparison of the curricula at Sinofsky's and Larson-Green's alma maters shows there's a huge difference between UMass's MSCS program and Seattle U's MSE program. So, is one program inherently more compatible with Microsoft's new teamwork mantra?
Technology

Submission + - Smart Lighting Industry Takes Off (intelfreepress.com)

kenekaplan writes: Lighting typically accounts for almost 40 percent of electricity costs, and lighting control systems can reduce consumption 35 to 55 percent. Those potential savings will drive expansion of the global market for so-called intelligent lighting controls from $1.5 billion this year to beyond $4.3 billion in 2020, according to Pike Research projections. As big as the potential light control market is, it’s just the beginning of what sensor technology can bring to the built environment, says Rich Green, Enlighted senior vice president of products and technology, in this interview.
Bitcoin

Submission + - WordPress to accept bitcoins (computerworld.com.au)

angry tapir writes: "WordPress has said it will accept payment in bitcoins, opening up the blogging platform to payments from users in countries not supported by PayPal or credit card companies. WordPress is free, open-source software, but the company Automattic offers paid-for features such as blog designs, custom domains, hosting partnerships and anti-spam measures."
Transportation

Submission + - With Pot Legal, Police Worry About Traffic Safety 13

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "AP reports that with Pot soon legal under state laws in Washington and Colorado, officials in both states are trying to figure out how to keep stoned drivers off the road as law enforcement officials wonder about whether the ability to buy or possess marijuana legally will bring about an increase of marijuana users on the roads. "We've had decades of studies and experience with alcohol," says Washington State Patrol spokesman Dan Coon. "Marijuana is new, so it's going to take some time to figure out how the courts and prosecutors are going to handle it. But the key is impairment: We will arrest drivers who drive impaired, whether it be drugs or alcohol." Marijuana can cause dizziness and slowed reaction time, and drivers are more likely to drift and swerve while they're high and Marijuana legalization activists agree people shouldn't smoke and drive. But setting a standard comparable to blood-alcohol limits has sparked intense disagreement because unlike portable breath tests for alcohol, there's no easily available way to determine whether someone is impaired from recent pot use. If scientists can't tell someone how much marijuana it will take for him or her to test over the threshold, how is the average pot user supposed to know? "A lot of effort has gone into the study of drugged driving and marijuana, because that is the most prevalent drug, but we are not nearly to the point where we are with alcohol," says Jeffrey P. Michael, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's impaired-driving director. "We don't know what level of marijuana impairs a driver.""
Security

Submission + - Skype Halts Password Resets as Massive Security Hole Discovered (ibtimes.co.uk)

An anonymous reader writes: A massive security hole has been found in Microsoft's Skype application, where it is possible to gain access to a user's account by knowing nothing more than their email address.

It is then possible to gain access to the target's account, change their password and associated email address, and lock them out for good, as any password reset requests by them will be sent to the new email address, not theirs.

UPDATE: Skype has since shut down its password reset tool while it investigates the issue. The company told IBTimes UK: "We have had reports of a new security vulnerability issue.

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