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 Next step: Premium Passwords (Score 1) 83

For our security, one can go buy passwords from HP for 40$ each. They'll be encased in boxes about 6" x 6" x 10", and printed on plastic cards in case you ever need to log into your printer during a downpour. You'll be able to obtain HP-Certified passwords, produced using premium random string generation systems to be able to access your printers. They last six months, then they expire and you need to buy another in order to get your printer working again.

Comment Re:Surprising? Not so much. - they're stupid (Score 1) 134

yes. obviously. that such an exemption only increases the excuses for data collection "we need to know who people are in order not to spy on them!" It's just unbelievable that they are that stupid. It's a useless thing to ask... If they are going to ask for something it should be something about greater transparency, more oversight of the collection, watching the watchers is the only thing that might be helpful, if you are going to have watchers.

Comment Re:Surprising? Not so much. - they're stupid (Score 5, Insightful) 134

They clearly do not understand how these technologies work. How do they expect to be excluded from mass surveillance? In the words of Edward Snowden, "Security is a binary state" if they are collecting metadata on everyone, for example, there isn't going to be a tag on particular phone numbers to to say "this is a politico", either they are gathering for everyone or no-one. The only way to implement this is to gather all the info, and then annotate it with metadata about all the numbers that belong to politicos, you end up keeping a list of all their phone numbers, social media accounts, etc... so that you can remember that you aren't allowed to look at them. All such identities need to be registered with the government some how, so that they can be excluded. In reality, all the information will still be collected and indexed as that will be the only way to be able to use the information if the PM ever provides permission. In other words, on top of the data being collected, it will also be tagged as especially interesting.

I don't think this achieves what the people proposing the amendment intend. They're being stupid.

Comment Re:How can this be competitive? (Score 2) 121

"2/3rds of the satellites will always be over water and have their bandwidth utterly wasted. " Internet on vessels sucks. Buoys at sea observing weather, all those unmanned vehicles need to provide camera feeds to operators in Topeka. upside of global warming? Ships can now take a shortcut from asia to Europe by the Canadian North... where there is little to no civilisation and very limited weather info available. Think Titanic... yes, ships in ice-prone waters... Above 75 degrees north, geo-stationary is below the horizon, so good luck with that. The choice today is iridium, which is tech designed 30 years ago, lofted 20 years ago, and good only for telemetry (really, really slow.) More choice (and especially more bandwidth) would be really helpful.

Comment Re:The course is clear (Score 1) 165

The issue isn't government vs. private, it's an issue of monopolies/oligopoly. In a lot of cases, government services have no "competition" because, frankly, there is no money to be made. competition is good, it brings focus.

When a public service fails, and there are private alternatives, it is compared to them and eventually de-funded.

When a private oligopoly fails, or is wasteful, what happens? "We'll just raise prices" ...

Hello PSTN & Cable Co's. I

Comment Re: Where will the additional electricity come fro (Score 1) 155

The energy content in the fuel is irrelevant unless it can be harnessed to perform useful work. If you want to dig a 6 foot hole, using a nuclear weapon will work, there will just some energy wasted.

Similarly, since 85% of the energy in gasoline is turned into heat, it isn't helping. At 15% efficiency that is typical of internal combustion engines, you are down to about 5 kwh actually used to move the car, versus an electric motor which is over 90% efficiency. If you add that ICE has no regenerative braking, no means of storing kinetic energy for re-use, you have a further disadvantage for ICE.

Comment Re:Where will the additional electricity come from (Score 2) 155

There isn't any additional net electricity. It takes more than 4 KWh to refine a gallon of gasoline. 4 is the lowest number you will hear. Some say 6, some say 8 if they add more elements in the chain than just refining. An average car will go further on the 4KWh than the gallon of gas. So the more electric cars we have the less electricity we will be using. best explanation:

Comment Re:Where will the additional electricity come from (Score 1) 155

Canadians don't hate you, and we have lots of oil, but our oil is more expensive (tar sands and offshore), so you don't have to pay people that hate you... just more to friends. We were in Afghanistan, helped in Libya, and we're in Iraq now... but Friendship/Alliances are not worth anything apparently. Heck you don't even pay us 'world price'... It would make it a lot easier if you would have approved keystone.

Comment Its unmanned, they should just do a tail-sitter! (Score 1) 53

It seems pointless to have two tilting wings. tail sitters are kind of inconvenient when there are people on-board, in something like an Osprey but un-manned? probably a lot lighter to replace the wing tilting with landing legs like a SpaceX booster, a really long nose wheel that pushes the whole plane into a vertical position, a lot less moving parts, and the ones that move deal with a lot less strength and mass. Stick the camera in a bulb under the tail instead of the nose, and you can hover with it just the same, as with the tilt wing... doesnt matter much because these things spend most of their time orbiting anyways. you could get away with just a little thrust vectoring, and completely fixed engines.

Comment Re:What the doctor ordered... (Score 1) 699

I don't want to be that guy, but this is why you 1. Don't type fast when your command starts with rm -rf;

I typed this slowly: rm -rf /;

2. Never rm -rf by absolute path at all;

cd /; rm -rf .

3. Never start typing rm -rf at all, but type the rest of the command first and then edit in the rm; and

/<^H><^H>rm -rf ? how does this help ?

4. Don't use root shells, but sudo, and edit in the sudo last on potentially destructive commands.

sudo rm -rf / ? sudo /<^H><^H>rm -rf ?

There may be good reason to break one or more of these rules at one time, but never all four.

There is no substitute for just knowing what you are doing, and not doing the bad thing. I've seen people complicate their lives with incantations, and all it usually does is make it fail in a more complicated way. Simplicity is easier to remember.

Comment Joanna Rutkowska is right: read-only BIOS sticks. (Score 1) 699

you need for the BIOS to be a read-only thing that can only be written from another computer. Yes, it can be rather inconvenient to have to have a removable BIOS stick, but it would be simple to recover from this by just removing the stick and re-writing it on another machine. Having a read-only BIOS is great against hacking also. It also makes bios upgrades safer. You just have two sticks and always keep your old one as a backup.

Slashdot Top Deals

Your code should be more efficient!