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Comment Dan Geer is not James Clapper (Score 1) 124

Don't denigrate people because of associations. I've seen no evidence that Dan Geer is in a position to know about what the NSA and CIA have been lying to us about; indeed it would be gross operational incompetence for him to be in that position. His responsibility is to make near-future dual use security technology available to intelligence agencies. Although I'd prefer to see the CIA abolished and the NSA completely redirected and reorganized, that doesn't mean everyone associated those organizations are liberty destroying liars. For that, you need to be directly responsible for violating fourth amendment rights and lying about it to congress, e.g., James Clapper.

Submission + - Official: Microsoft to acquire Nokia Devices and Services (

symbolset writes: REDMOND, Washington and ESPOO, Finland – Sept. 3, 2013 – Microsoft Corporation and Nokia Corporation today announced that the Boards of Directors for both companies have decided to enter into a transaction whereby Microsoft will purchase substantially all of Nokia’s Devices & Services business, license Nokia’s patents, and license and use Nokia’s mapping services.

Under the terms of the agreement, Microsoft will pay EUR 3.79 billion to purchase substantially all of Nokia’s Devices & Services business, and EUR 1.65 billion to license Nokia’s patents, for a total transaction price of EUR 5.44 billion in cash. Microsoft will draw upon its overseas cash resources to fund the transaction. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014, subject to approval by Nokia’s shareholders, regulatory approvals and other closing conditions.

Comment 64K RAM max for TRS-80 (Score 1) 135

The Z80 processor had no memory management unit, so there was no virtualizing the 16 address lines to anything more than 65536 bytes. The bottom 8k or so were reserved to the operating system and basic interpreter in ROM. I don't know where that 512 K number came from. Was that the max storage on the 5 1/4 " floppy?

Comment Re:Defined by their employer... (Score 1) 346

We don't know if the software was unauthorized, unless we see the terms and conditions under which the child/parent received the laptop. Anything with a barely modern web browser is constantly running javascript programs, and the vast majority of folks have no idea it's running on their machines, much less knowingly authorizing it.

Comment Re:I'm still trying to wrap my brain around... (Score 2) 346

The Northern Mariana Islands are a top ten candidate for the farthest habitable point from everywhere else in the world. I'm surprised there was more than one FBI agent on the island, and it's a good bet any one of the top quartile of slashdot's readership would instantly be the most computer literate person on the island were they to move there. Hanlon's razor is particularly applicable here.

Comment Lords of the Starship (Score 1) 1365

Mark Geston,criticizing technology worship. The cover blurb:

"The ship was to be seven miles long, a third of a mile in diameter and have a wing-spread of three and a half miles. It would take two and a half centuries to construct. Its announced purpose: to carry humanity away from its ruined world, from the world that had become a perpetual purgatory.

To build this vast ship would require the undivided activity of an entire nation and would mean carrying out a ruthless program of war and conquest, of annihilation and reconstruction, and of education and rediscovery.

But was this starship really what it was claimed to be? Or was there a greater secret behind its incredible cost -- a secret so strange that no man dared reveal it?"

Submission + - 16th-Century Map May Provide New Clues About The Fate Of The Roanoke Colony (

JoeRobe writes: Roanoke Colony (on the coast of North Carolina) disappeared sometime between 1587 and 1590, with the only clue to its fate being the word "Croatoan" carved into a wooden post. Now, as if straight out of an Indiana Jones script, new clues to the whereabouts of the lost colony may have been discovered on a 16th-century map. The British Museum has re-examined the watercolor map to find a hidden symbol under a patch, in the shape of a 4-pointed star. The star likely indicates the location of an existing or intended fort that the settlers may have retreated to after abandoning the colony. Adding to the mystery, the patch overlaying the star may have been added in order to hide it from the "spy-riddled English court."
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - True Tech Confessions (

snydeq writes: "Recursive deletes, deep-sixing servers, bugs that become rewarding features — InfoWorld's Dan Tynan serves up seven true tech confessions by IT pros. 'You might have deleted the entire contents of a server by accident or wiped out three months' worth of government agency data without a reliable backup on hand. You may have pulled a youthful prank that cut off Net access for thousands of your employer's customers. You could have deliberately shared your log-ons with everyone else in the company in order to make a point or unplugged network servers willy-nilly, just to see what would happen,' Tynan writes. 'Some names have been changed to protect the guilty. Don't laugh. One day, you may find yourself in eerily similar circumstances.'"

Submission + - Eolas 906 Patent struck by Tyler, Texas jury (

ackthpt writes: "All that's necessary for the forces of evil to win in the world is for enough good men to do nothing" — Edmund Burke. Sir Tim Berners-Lee did something — he traveled to the courtroom in East Texas to give his testimony on how, if upheld, the Eolas Technologies & University of California patent on Web Interactivity if upheld could prove to be a major threat to the Internet as it's known today. The Jury deliberated only a few hours before invalidating the patent in question. In a victory Tweet Berners-Lee said, "Texas jury agreed Eolas 906 patent invalid. Good thing too!" Google, Amazon, Apple, Adobe and a host of other companies, with representatives present, must have given a Texas-size sigh of relief.
Data Storage

Submission + - Intel Releases Cherryville SSD - 80,000 IOPS (

Lucas123 writes: Intel today began shipping its fastest SSD to date and the first one to a SandForce controller — the SF2281. The spec sheet for the Cherryville 520 Series 2.5-in SSD shows sequential read/write speeds of 500MB+ per second and random read rates exceeding 80,000 IOPS. Actual testing on a MacBook Pro showed significantly lower performance, but it's still a drive that can offer 15-second system boots and application loads that seem instantaneous. Intel has also for the first time added a 5-year warranty on its SSD.

Submission + - ACTA Ratification Suspended by Czech Republic (

tykev writes: The Czech government suspended the ratification process of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, ACTA, said Prime Minister Petr Necas today. The government wants to further analyze the issue. There were a number of public demonstrations against ACTA in several Czech towns, and some Czech Euro MP's oppose ACTA as being ‘completely wide of the mark’. Earlier, Poland announced its intention to suspend the ratification process as well. In the meantime, the website of the ruling Czech Civic Democratic Party was attacked and defaced by Anonymous who also publicly released personal data of the party's members.

Submission + - Boffins embed electronic components into optical fibres (

An anonymous reader writes: Scientists at the Universities of Southampton and Penn State have found a way to embed electronic components into optical fibres, in a breakthrough that could lead to the creation of super high-speed telecommunications networks.

Rather than trying to merge flat chips with round optical fibres, the team of scientists used high-pressure chemistry techniques to deposit semiconducting materials layer by layer directly into tiny holes in optical fibres. This bypasses the need to integrate fibre-optics onto a chip, and means that the data signal never has to leave the fibre.

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