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Submission + - Almost impossible to exercise WIndows downgrade rights? (microsoft.com)

An anonymous reader writes: I recently purchased a Dell XPS 15 (9550) with Windows 10 Pro, with the intention of downgrading the OS to Windows 8.1 Pro as per the license right to do so. Thats when I went through the looking glass on a kafka-esque journey ot hellish hold times and circular support queues. I called Dell to ask for installation media for Windows 8.1 Pro. After arguing with them that it was within my rights as a MS client and they were the OEM, I needed them to provide me a working install media and Key to activate Windows. I found out that the UEFI key used to activate Windows 10 is NOT usable to acitvate Windows 8, and there is no way to get downgraded. The OS is clearly supported byt Dell as all the drivers for Windows 8 are still available on their site, but there is no way to use the UEFI key to install Windows 8. I can choose to go to Windows 7 Pro which doesnt need the UEFI key, or succomb to MS and run WIndows 10 Pro. Im leaning toward 7 but lack of drivers for new hardware is the hesitation. When I called MS for assistance to activate windows 8 I was put on hold for 3 hours and finally hung up in disgust.I know you will all say run Linux and maybe I will, but the principle of the license downgrade rights being denied by the OEM is really what gets me agitated. Is there any way to get satisfaction here? How can I get my Windows 8.1 Pro downgrade license? Thanks.

Submission + - Feds Want to Lower Legal Driving Limit to One Drink (freebeacon.com)

schwit1 writes: The National Transportation Safety Board wants to decrease the legal driving limit to one drink, lowering the legal limit on blood-alcohol content to 0.05 "or even lower."

The agency released its "most wanted list" on Wednesday, a laundry list of policies it would like implemented nationally. The list includes recommendations to reduce the current 0.08 blood alcohol content limit and outlaw all cell phone use while driving, even hands-free technology.

Submission + - VLC Launches On Apple TV

An anonymous reader writes: VideoLAN today launched VLC, the world’s most used media player, for Apple TV. Because there is no web interface on the device, a direct download link isn’t available: You’ll have to search for “VLC” in the App Store on the TV (that said, if you already have the iOS app, you should see it show up automatically in the “Purchased” tab of the TV’s store).

Submission + - Who wants to upgrade to win10? So far less than 10% despite Microsoft push.

jimbob6 writes: Windows 10 is a free upgrade for windows 7 users but people seem mostly disinterested in upgrading their aging operating system for a Google style, spyware bloated imitation, despite the fact that it appears to be faster and more modern.
One would think MS would be more interested in bring Windows style power and usability to the mobile market as opposed to bringing mobile style "Server side security" to the desktop. If things keep at this rate Win 10 will be slated to take the spot just above the 15 year old Windows XP about this time next year.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Jamming UK metadata collection

AmiMoJo writes: It looks likely that the UK will try to require ISPs to collect metadata on behalf of its security services, and various other agencies that will have access to this vast, privacy and security destroying database.

How can individuals resist? Some metadata is trivial to hide, e.g. much email is encrypted between the user and server, but a record of an access will still exist. Would there be much benefit to creating fake traffic, say by sending dummy emails to yourself? What about fake browsing, or keeping TOR running 24/7 (not as an exit node, just a client)?

The goal is to make the data less useful and harder to tie to an individual or separate from fake data, and to increase the cost of collecting and storing such data. Don't worry, I'm already on the list of known dissidents anyway.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: We've had online voting, why not continuous voting ? (iamnotanumber.org) 1

periegetes writes: This idea has been bugging me for a while. It takes months to organize a physical election, and several days to count the results, so it makes sense that we don't organize elections every day. However, with the computing resources at our disposal, it would be child's play to setup a site where every citizen could vote for (or against) proposed laws themselves, and could even change their vote at all times, cutting out the middle man and restoring true democracy to the world. That last part may be a stretch, but I for one would feel more involved in my government if I didn't have to watch it screw up for years before getting another say in it. I've found precious few articles discussing the matter, which usually means I'm missing an obvious problem. Why, in the age of Big Data and petaflops, don't we consider continuous voting ?

Submission + - Drone Crashes Missing Champion Skier by Inches

HughPickens.com writes: NBC reports that defending World Cup champion Marcel Hirscher, who won silver in the slalom at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, had a lucky escape after he narrowly avoided being hit by a falling drone. Hirscher was on his second run in a World Cup slalom race at Madonna di Campiglio in Italy when a remote-controlled drone with a mounted camera slammed down on the piste inches behind him. "This is horrible," Hirscher said after the event. "This can never happen again. This can be a serious injury." The International Ski Federation (FIS) released a statement on its website apologizing for the "unfortunate accident." But some saw the lighter side announcing that the drone wars had shifted to the ski slopes. "Man, I'd watch a lot more winter sports if this was a standard part of the game," tweeted Marc Andreessen. The company responsible for the drone, sports marketing agency Infront, said its initial investigation "indicates a malfunction of the drone." "The most likely reason is a strong and unforeseen interference on the operating frequency, leading to limited operability," Infront said in a statement. "The pilot followed the official security procedure, purposely flying the drone as close as possible to the ground before releasing it. The aim was to destroy the drone, in order to prevent it from losing control."

Submission + - 'Most hated man in America' Martin Shkreli arrested on suspicion of fraud (ibtimes.co.uk)

Ewan Palmer writes: Pharmaceutical start-up owner Martin Shkreli, dubbed the most hated man in the US over his controversial plans to significantly raise the price of life-saving drugs, has been arrested on suspicion of fraud.

Shkreli, 32, who received widespread criticism for hiking up the price of Daraprim from $13 to $750 per pill in September, is being questioned over allegations involving stock from a company he founded in 2011.

According to Bloomberg, Shkreli is accused of illegally taking stock from biotechnology Retrophin Inc to pay off debts from unrelated business dealings.

Submission + - Is Subversion As Bad As Comparisons With Git Tell Us? (svnvsgit.com) 2

An anonymous reader writes: There are a lot of SVN vs. Git comparisons on the Web. Notably, most of them exaggerate weaknesses of Subversion. For example, they tell that Git repositories are much smaller than Subversion repositories or that Subversion branches are very cumbersome. However, there is a page that proves these statements are untrue. So is Apache Subversion really that bad?

Submission + - Dwarf planet Ceres may harbor clouds of water ice (sciencemag.org)

sciencehabit writes: Data from a NASA spacecraft suggest that Ceres—a 950-kilometer-wide dwarf planet estimated to contain about one-third of all the mass in our solar system’s asteroid belt—occasionally sports a cloud of ice and dust within one of its largest craters. Although another study released today hints that Ceres has little if any water on its exterior, together the findings suggest that the small world may harbor significant amounts of water ice just below its surface.

Submission + - Microsoft to resume its aggressive push of Windows 10 to machines with Win7, 8.1 (computerworld.com)

LichtSpektren writes: After previously apologizing on October 16th (see here: http://tech.slashdot.org/story...) for forcing Windows 10 on some users of Windows 7 and 8.1 via the Windows Update mechanism, Microsoft disabled by default the update option for Windows 10, so that users eligible for the OS update would have to manually opt in. Gregg Keizer at ComputerWorld reports today that Microsoft will switch the default option back to "on" again starting tomorrow, December 8th. Users who do not want Windows 10 are strongly advised to turn off automatic updating to avoid accidentally installing the OS.

Submission + - Facebook ordered by Belgian court to stop tracking non-users (theguardian.com)

An anonymous reader writes: A Belgian court has ordered Facebook to stop use of it's "datr" tracking cookie in Belgium. The cookie is added to a visitor's browser and remains there for up to two years, allowing facebook to recognize the user whenever they visit another site equipped with either facebook plug-ins or Audience Pixels: a tool offered to advertisers by facebook for the purpose of tracking user activity on their websites. The judge ruled that data collected by the datr cookie qualified as personal data, any use of which is prohibited by Belgian privacy law unless expressly permitted by the user.

The technical report commissioned by the Belgian Privacy commission can be found here: https://securehomes.esat.kuleu...

Facebook's manual on the Audience Pixel advertising tool can be found here: (scroll down about half-way) https://developers.facebook.co...

Facebook's chief security officer Alex Stamos responded to the ruling by denying that data collected with datr was shared with advertisers, and claiming that use of the cookie is a necessary security measure, regularly used to distinguish between genuine users and bots. This latter claim is rather revealing, since it is an admission that facebook regularly records and logs the browsing habits of users without their consent. Highlights from Mr Stamos's defence can be found here: http://www.adweek.com/socialti...

Submission + - New Physics Formula For Pi Links Quantum Mechanics And Pure Math (thescienceworld.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Pi has become more and more popular by the day. Researchers belonging to the University of Rochester have recently derived a formula that determines the levels of energy of an atom of hydrogen to be the same as that developed as long as 360 years back. This was done by an English mathematician by the name of John Wallis who derived the value of Pi.

University of Rochester researchers realized that the formula can be simplified in the Wallis Product upon variational method being employed in order to calculate the levels of energy of hydrogen atoms. In case you were wondering what the variational method is, it is useful in approximating the lower energy states of atoms in case of electrons being nearby the nucleus. Since hydrogen is simple scientists are able to accurately approximate levels of energy.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Is Scrum still relevant? (opensource.com)

An anonymous reader writes: In an article titled "Scrum is dead: breaking down the new open development method," Ahmad Nassri writes:

Among the most "oversold as a cure" methodologies introduced to business development teams today is Scrum, which is one of several agile approaches to software development and introduced as a way to streamline the process. Scrum has become something of an intractable method, complete with its own holy text, the Manifesto for Agile Software Development , and daily devotions (a.k.a., Scrum meetings).

Although Scrum may have made more sense when it was being developed in the early '90s, much has changed over the years. Startups and businesses have work forces spread over many countries and time zones, making sharing offices more difficult for employees. As our workforce world evolves, our software development methods should evolve, too.

What do you think? Is Scrum still a viable approach to software development, or is it time to make way for a different way of doing things?

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