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


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Comment Re: That's OK, I only care about bar crawls (Score 1) 258

I just don't see Google ever becoming an auto maker, that's so far removed from their core business.

Considering their re-organization into Alphabet Inc., they may well be considering pushing even further afield than they already have. Would that include a car division? Probably not, I wouldn't be at all surprised if they sought out an established partner; but, they have show a willingness to jump into markets with large, entrenched players (e.g.: Google Fiber).

Submission + - UK to ban "unbreakable" encryption ( 1

Retron writes: The Telegraph reports that the UK Government is going to ban companies from offering "unbreakable" encryption, effectively requiring a backdoor in products from the likes of Google and Apple. The reasons given are that they don't want the likes of terrorists and paedophiles to communicate in places the Police can't reach.

Given that Apple especially makes a big fuss of their encryption standards, will they really cave in to the Government's demands? Will the population support the moves? And why is there no mention of Tor or VPNs?

Submission + - App To Hold Police Instantly Accountable In Stop And Search (

An anonymous reader writes: A collective of London-based youth clubs and organisations has released an app called Y-Stop to help encourage those involved in unfair police encounters to instantly record and report their experiences. The idea is to ‘encourage police accountability’ by making it easier for anyone to have a say about what they think may be unjustified or illegal police action. The app allows its user to immediately send audio and video footage of harassment for secure holding with the charities themselves, or with the police directly. It also enables easier communication with lawyers for assistance and advice.

Submission + - UK government plans attack on encryption (

whoever57 writes: The UK government now plans to ban companies from using encryption that cannot be decrypted on demand.
There does not appear to be any consideration of whether others, perhaps with malicious intent will be able to leverage the same weaknesses in encryption, or perhaps the UK government believes that the impossible can be achieved just because they can pass a law?
The UK government apparently hopes that people are not aware of Snowdon and the revelations that came out of "Loveint", stating: “I think it is absurd to suggest the police and the security services have a kind of casual desire to intrude on the privacy of the innocent ...They have enough difficulty finding the guilty. No-one has produced any evidence of casual curiosity on part of the security services."

Submission + - Virginia radio station broadcasting Chinese propaganda (

An anonymous reader writes: An investigation by Reuters has uncovered a radio station located just outside Washington, D.C. that broadcasts dedicated Chinese propaganda to the U.S. capital and the surrounding area. In 2009, under new ownership, Virginia-based station WAGE erected new broadcast towers, amplifying its signal by ten times, and changed its call letters to WCRW, for "China Radio Washington." All WCRW programming shares a common theme, with newscasts that avoid any criticism of China and are critical of Beijing's political enemies; for example, a report on pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong last year did not explain why people were in the streets, and said only that the demonstrations had "failed without support." WCRW's American owners claim they have no input on content and are only rebroadcasting programming provided to them by a state-sponsored Chinese company to which they lease the airtime. U.S. law requires that anyone seeking to influence American policy or public opinion on behalf of a foreign government must register with the Department of Justice, but according to Reuters, government officials didn't even know WCRW existed until Reuters told them about it.

Submission + - Internet firms to be banned from offering unbreakable encryption under new laws (

oobayly writes: The Daily Telegraph reports that "Companies such as Apple, Google and others will no longer be able to offer encryption so advanced that even they cannot decipher it when asked ton under the Investigatory Powers Bill". David Cameron has been pleading with the public and MPs to back the legislation, which is facing some tough opposition, even amongst our less than tech-savy MPs.
Granted, it won't be much of a surprise to many of us in the UK, however it seems that our government isn't just content with being able to prosecute us for not disclosing encryption keys when prompted. Does this mean that the only secure option will be to use open-source projects, as this would put an end to Apple's inability to decrypt FaceTime and iMessage data in transit.

Submission + - Federal IT Outsourcing Spend Alarmingly Poorly Managed (

itwbennett writes: That's the finding of a report released in September by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) that studied IT services outsourcing at three military branches within the Department of Defense (DoD), along with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). According to the report, while efforts to better manage their IT outsourcing had improved, most of these agencies’ IT spending 'continues to be obligated through hundreds of potentially duplicative contracts that diminish the government's buying power.'

Comment Re:Your morals are not my morals (Score 3, Insightful) 438

Yay, Moral Relativism! So while we're agreeing to disagree, we'll just have to agree to disagree that it is wrong for me to drop by, tie you up, skull fuck you in both eye sockets and take all of your possessions. After all, I see nothing wrong with me doing any of that to you, so it's OK and we'll just agree to disagree.

And this would be why no sane society bases itself on Moral Relativism, it sounds fun right up until someone with weapons and organizational skills realizes that he can set himself up as a dictator, and does so. And then the anarchist utopia ends and we get Somalia. Paradoxically, in order for a free society to function you have to have good laws which don't leave things open to such ridiculous interpretation. While some of the lines are pretty easy to draw, I think we can all agree that skull fucking someone is not OK, others are going to be a little tougher. Unsurprisingly, in those gray areas people tend to disagree. At this point, the best solution for deciding those gray areas, which we have come up with, is to have democratically elected representatives argue it out and make a final rule. And, in order to keep our society out of the hell of anarchy, we all go along with it and work though the system to change things we don't like. I think I'll have to agree with Mr. Churchill on this one, "Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time."

So which one sounds better to you?
A society based on rules which keeps everyone mostly free but brings overwhelming force to bear to maintain an acceptable standard
Anarchy and the possibility of a random guy dropping by to skull fuck you

I'm gonna stick with my laws, even if they are screwed up from time to time. At least I have the option to change them without a gunfight.

Porting Lemmings In 36 Hours 154

An anonymous reader writes "Aaron Ardiri challenged himself to port his classic PalmOS version of Lemmings to the iPhone, Palm Pre, Mac, and Windows. The porting was done using his own dev environment, which creates native C versions of the game. He liveblogged the whole thing, and finished after only 36 hours with an iPhone version and a Palm Pre version awaiting submission, and free versions for Windows and Mac available on his site."

Comment Re:Border crossing and the fourth (Score 2, Informative) 246

The Constitution puts limits on the actions of the government. Not 'the actions of the government within the borders of the admitted states.'

Just to nitpick, but it really is important because of the context. The Constitution does not place limits on the actions of the government. The US Constitution grants the government powers. The problem is that a number of people were worried that the government would work to grow those powers in an unbounded way and so they insisted on the Bill of Rights as an check on that behavior. The counter argument to the Bill of Rights was that it would eventually be turned around and used as an exhaustive list of the rights of the people and the limits of government power. The fact that many people today now believe that this is the case, and will state that "The Constitution puts limits on the actions of the government" shows that the detractors of the Bill of Rights were right. Technically, it was because of these fears that the Ninth and Tenth Amendments were added; however, FDR managed to murder the Ninth and the Tenth sort of withered away during the twentieth century.

Still, based on the (probably vain) hope that we might breath some life back into the Tenth, I tend to pick at this issue:
The US Constitution does not limit the power of US Government, it grants powers to the US Government. The US Government does not have any power not specifically granted to it by the US Constitution.

Comment Question (Score 1) 4

A few quick questions:
1. What are you going to use this monitor for?
Your second monitor listed is a TV with a tuner which is adding to the cost. If you never plan to have this thing hooked up to a TV feed, it makes no sense to pay for the tuner.

2. Do you need/want speakers built into the monitor?
If you already have a nice sound system, having speakers in the monitor is an extra cost which can be avoided.

3. How comfortable are you with BenQ and RankArena as brands?
I realize that I could be accused of snobbery here; but, I tend to be very picky on brands, mostly because I've had too many problems with brands I don't know. That said, BenQ is a brand I can take or leave. I've not had any bad experiences with it, and I have heard a few good reports from people who's opinions I trust. RankArena is completely new to me.

Slashdot Top Deals

Like punning, programming is a play on words.