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 This is not your Father's World (Score 1) 538

I have worked in industry, and have worked in higher education - the list of problems in both related to educating AND training workers is long. And the "blame" list is even longer. But looking at this from another angle - the world has changed

What used to be lower skilled labor is now done by robots. Robots do warehouse stocking/packing/shipping. Robots manufacture things from big to small. I use robots to clean my house. The day will come when taxi's are replaced by self driving cars. What is the point of this argument? We have changed our world and the social economics that were the norm of the past, are not the norms of the future. The need for high tech workers, at a wide range of skill levels will continue to drive many in college.

The real challenges ahead are not those of the past. How do we develop the workforce of the future? How do we develop the new social economic models where large sections of previously employed are replaced by automation - how do we develop the policies and models to balance societal benefits?

And how do we fi our education system to support this new world. I doubt many would say our current system is adequate and meeting our needs - how do you fix it?

This is bigger than student debt and college costs - these are the just the tip of the iceberg

Comment Re:Static DH is not better than Static RSA (Score 1) 51

"It is not the designers responsibility. Rather education campaigns to assist application developer and operator community in selecting appropriate cipher suites and or more work in security stacks to provide generally applicable options."

This mentality has led to so many errors - lest I say many C functions, that routinely result in fail because no one did bounds checking . . . We will always have poor developers, so we need to use standards and tech to help them get it right. Saying it is the developer's responsibilities to get it right is fantasyland, and to everyone who has been there they know it is never as great as they thought it would be.

Comment Source of costs (Score 1) 827

I see complaints of a lot of sources of cost - high professor salaries, declining state support, etc. I work in a major State University and I see rising costs associated with bureaucracy associated with government. State funding comes with the requirement for tons of paperwork - research funds, paperwork and people to process it. Loans, paperwork and people to process it. Federal funds - more paperwork, more people. We have numerous offices of senior people who oversee reporting programs. These programs serve the government masters, not the needs of the student . . . While each additional paperwork requirement seems "useful" the weight of many sheets of paper becomes heavy fast.

Comment Unintended Consequences? Unfortunately - Not! (Score 5, Insightful) 597

This is what happens when you automate things and accept all claims as true. Sad thing is, "the industry" will say this is a small price to pay, and NASA being a government agency will not pursue it. This needs to be a wakeup call before we allow ISP's to monitor and police everything - there needs to be a human in the loop to fix these issues - and timely, not is days or weeks, but with the same SLA as the automated system. Right now, it is almost like the recording industry is calling the shots and everyone is guilty unless they prove they are not infringing. In the US, shouldn't the system be the other way around?

Comment Science or Climate Change? (Score 1) 900

The article (yes, I RTFA) says very little about science other than climate change - What about alternative energy (regardless of greenhouse gases), computers, space exploration, advances in transportation, standard of living, food generation, medical care, etc. Science is everywhere, yet we either take it for granted or ignore what we don't want to confront. SOPA is correct in idea - we need to protect intellectual property, but flawed in science - the way they want to do it does not fit with how the Internet and networking was designed . . . I bet we ignore the science and pass a law because it is so important . . . Science doesn't do sound bites, so we won't find the Higgs particle in the US, nor will will solve many of the upcoming scientific grand challenges. We deserve the fate we select . . .

Comment Review of book, not commentary on Smart Grid (Score 1) 97

Trying to avoid getting off-topic and digressing into yet another diatribe on Smart-Grid technologies and focusing on the content of the book. . . This is a good introductory book on the topic. Not very deep, nor will you find the technical details on the wide range of technologies, but then again - the technical details of Smart Grid technologies would fill thousands of pages and the discussion of all the security implications, thousands more. So, this book is a good 50,000 foot view, and it fills a void as I know of no other general introductory text. I agree with some of the comments, that the actual analysis is a bit weak, that at times it seems like they just substitute "smart grid" for "network" before security and do mass replace function. And, in reality, this will not be the path to securing this technology, as it has different purposes and characteristics than a standard TCP/IP network. That said, it is still a decent book and worth the read if you want to learn about the ideas behind the new technologies coming to us like a out of control freight train. Mandatory Disclaimer: I am not, nor do I know the authors. I have read the book (cover to cover) and bought several for people on my Smart Grid team.

Comment Re:watching rich kids fight (Score 1) 218

First, I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV. I do believe that lawyers play an important balancing and cleansing function in the marketplace. If things get out of balance, lawyers can act as a balancing force, chewing up excesses. In a perfect world, we would not need laws, nor would we need lawyers. We don't live in a perfect world, so, hence we need these control structures. If we don't like what they do, then we need to take the appropriate actions to avoid interactions. If you think addressing risk is expensive, wait until you address outcomes when risk was ignored . . . So - back to the point - is the market functioning efficiently, or is it broken - the legal system is a part of the control mechanism for free markets, get used to it and use it wisely.

Comment Hawthorne Effect (Score 1) 824

This is just another example of the "Hawthorne Effect" - a phenomena observed that when workers had working conditions modified, their productivity increased. We have known since the 1930's that people behave differently when they believe they are being observed or that their environment is under their control, or that there is a mechanism to improve thier work environment. And this effect results whether or not these changes are true or effective.

Comment Responsible Disclosure (Score 5, Interesting) 106

As one who has attended many BlackHat conferences - I take offense to the line "Unlike many presenters at Black Hat, Michael responsibly disclosed the flaw to organizers, who quickly fixed the issue" In my experience, BlackHat presenters have followed responsible disclosure - including this year's high profile ATM exploit talk, which, for instance can not be replicated by those in attendence (proof was given that it can be hacked, but the sourcecode was not released) - and the industry certainly knew it was coming for > 1 year - and the end of the presentation gave simple directions about how to mitigate the issues. . .

NHS Should Stop Funding Homeopathy, Says Parliamentary Committee 507

An anonymous reader writes "Homeopathic remedies work no better than placebos, and so should no longer be paid for by the UK National Health Service, a committee of British members of parliament has concluded. In preparing its report, the committee, which scrutinizes the evidence behind government policies, took evidence from scientists and homeopaths, and reviewed numerous reports and scientific investigations into homeopathy. It found no evidence that such treatments work beyond providing a placebo effect." Updated 201025 19:40 GMT by timothy: This recommendation has some people up in arms.

Comment Re:10,000,000+ U.S. commerical flights annually... (Score 2, Interesting) 888

Has anybody provided any evidence that the guy had anything remotely like a bomb?

From this article:

High explosives are believed to have been moulded to his body and sewn in to his underpants. ...

A preliminary FBI analysis has found that the device allegedly found on Mr Abdulmutallab contained the high explosive PETN, also known as pentaerythritol.

It sounds pretty full on to me. I think we dodged a bullet.

Derivatives of pentaerythritol are components of alkyd resins, varnishes, PVC stabilizers, tall oil esters, and olefin antioxidants.

Or he could have had a HEAVY tan after he put on the pants?

Comment Re:Written by someone born in the 90s? (Score 1) 249

Actually, what he recalls was partially true. The courier line supported HST mode, which was able to do 19.2K+ when the sportster (and everyone else) was still doing 2400. The later sportsters were able to support V.32 (9600 baud), but still weren't able to do HST mode, which for the majority of people meant only being able to run at 2400 still, as most BBS's were doing HST only.

Slashdot Top Deals

Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons.