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


Forgot your password?
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×

Drone Racing League Wants To Be the Next NASCAR ( 91

An anonymous reader writes: The Drone Racing League has secured a series of significant investments that it hopes will be enough to turn drone races into a spectator sport. The quadcopter drone racing scene has only exists for a few years, so it's still fairly disjointed. Rules and standards vary between organizers, so it can be hard to have fair races. The DRL aims to fix that. In doing so, it hopes to take lessons from NASCAR and the growing e-sports leagues to find an audience. "Often, pilots wear virtual reality goggles that receive a feed from the camera embedded on the drone and maneuver as if they were in the craft itself. That first-person feed is also recorded and used as raw material for the content produced by the Drone Racing League." The high speeds combined with the ability to make interesting (and photogenic) courses may appeal to people who find car racing too boring.

Submission + - Supreme Court Rules In Favor Of Renewable Energy And Cheap Electricity (

mdsolar writes: On Monday, the court upheld the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) demand response rule, which was created in 2011 and orders utilities to compensate consumers for reducing their use during peak hours — the times of day, typically in the morning or evening, when most people home and using their electricity. As Justice Elena Kagan explains in the court’s opinion, demand response “arose because wholesale market operators can sometimes — say, on a muggy August day — offer electricity both more cheaply and more reliably by paying users to dial down their consumption than by paying power plants to ramp up their production.”
Electricity producers and grid operators challenged the rule in court, saying FERC overstepped its authority, but the Supreme Court ruled 6-2 against the challenge. FERC’s authority does extend to wholesale power markets, and the court ruled that, in this case, FERC was simply exercising that authority.

Submission + - Feds Indict Prison Guards, Inmates in Jury Duty Phone Scam

Trailrunner7 writes: Federal officials have indicted more than 50 people, including 15 former prison officials and 19 former inmates, in a long-running vishing and phone fraud scheme that was run through a Georgia prison.

Using cell phones smuggled into Autry State Prison by guards, the inmates would call victims, mostly in the Atlanta metro area, and inform them that they were warrants our for their arrest because they had failed to show up for jury duty. The callers would warn the victims that law enforcement officers were on the way and they were about to be arrested. Unless, of course, the victims could come up with some money to pay a fine and have the warrants erased.

Because that’s how the justice system works.

Submission + - Are Gatekeepers The Answer To Bad eBooks?

popstack writes: The promise of indie publishing, that any author can bring their book to market, has the downside that any author can bring their book to market. The resulting mass of poor quality books has been, somewhat indelicately, termed a shit volcano that may cause the end of literacy as we know it.

CBC News covered one Saskatoon author's mission to sift the mountain of ore for the gold with what he calls the Immerse or Die challenge.

"Smith reads the book while walking [on a treadmill], trying to stay engaged in the story for 40 minutes. Anything that breaks his immersion, like bad grammar or continuity errors, gets a strike.

After three strikes, he stops the timer, closes the book and posts an article on his website outlining what went wrong." Those books that survive make the hall of fame, and garner the associated promise of quality.

But is the notion of a gatekeeper for indie ebooks even reconcilable with the open market? Many readers don't seem to care if their werebear romance didn't immerse cover-to-cover. So is it a problem when the authors don't care either?

Submission + - Disney IT workers allege conspiracy in layoffs, file lawsuits (

dcblogs writes: Disney IT workers laid off a year ago this month are now accusing the company and the outsourcing firms it hired of engaging in a "conspiracy to displace U.S. workers." The allegations are part of two lawsuits filed in federal court in Florida on Monday. Between 200 and 300 Disney IT workers were laid off in January 2015. Some of the workers had to train their foreign replacements — workers on H-1B visas — as a condition of severance. The lawsuits represent what may be a new approach in the attack on the use of H-1B workers to replace U.S. workers. They allege violations of the Federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), claiming that the nature of the employment of the H-1B workers was misrepresented, and that Disney and the contractors knew the ultimate intent was to replace U.S. workers with lower paid H-1B workers.

Submission + - The clock is ticking for the US to relinquish control of ICANN (

Mark Wilson writes: The US is not afraid to throw its weight around; it likes not only to be involved in things, but to be in control. For decades, ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) — the non-profit organization that manages IP addresses and domain names — has been overseen by the US Department of Commerce, much to the chagrin of people around the world. Most upset are those who point to the independent nature of the internet, and the need for any body with global power to be similarly indpendent. Later this year ICANN is set — at long last — to completely separate from the US government.

While this does hinge on US government approval, by the end of September, ICANN could instead be in the hands of businesses, individuals, and multiple global governments. While the changing of hands should not alter the way ICANN operates, it is hoped that it will go some way to restoring faith that may have been lost after revelations about online surveillance by the NSA and other US government agencies.

Submission + - DOJ and 4 states want $24 billion in fines from Dish Network for telemarketing (

walterbyrd writes: The DOJ as well as Ohio, Illinois, California, and North Carolina say that Dish disregarded federal laws on call etiquette. US lawyers are asking for $900 million in civil penalties, and the four states are asking for $23.5 billion in fines, according to the Denver Post. "Laws against phoning people on do-not-call lists and using recorded messages allow penalties of up to $16,000 per violation,” the Post added.

Submission + - NSA Chief: Arguing Against Encryption Is a Waste of Time (

An anonymous reader writes: NSA director Mike Rogers said, "encryption is foundational to the future" on Thursday. He added that it was a waste of time to argue that encryption is bad or that we ought to do away with it. Rogers is taking a stance in opposition to many other government officials, like FBI director James Comey. Rogers further said that neither security nor privacy should be the imperative that drives everything else. He said, "We’ve got to meet these two imperatives. We’ve got some challenging times ahead of us, folks."

Submission + - Metasploit Creator HD Moore to Launch Venture Fund (

wiredmikey writes: Well known security expert HD Moore announced that he is leaving Boston-based security firm Rapid7 to help launch a new venture capital firm focused on helping early-stage security firms get to market faster.

Moore is the creator of the open source penetration testing framework Metasploit, which Rapid7 acquired in 2009. Moore says he will continue to work on Metasploit and will remain active in the community even after he leaves Rapid7 on January 29.

Submission + - Russia forming space alliance with Iran, may fly Iranian astronaut (

MarkWhittington writes: Quietly, the Russians appear to be forming a space alliance with the Islamic Republic of Iran, according to a story in Sputnik. Not only is Russia in talks to launch Iranian satellites on Russian rockets but also to include an Iranian astronaut on a future space mission. What that space mission might be is open to question. A visit by an Iranian astronaut to the International Space Station would likely kick up a political firestorm with the United States, even though the Obama administration is attempting to develop a rapprochement with the Islamic Republic.

Comment Re:file transfer (Score 1) 466

In addition to the above suggestion to get a USB to 2.5" IDE converter, if this is some old machine that is controlling a piece of industrial or scientific equipment, you could try using software like Acronis Trueimage to clone the contents of hard drive to the new(er) PC, and make it bootable.

Comment Re:Simple methodology (Score 1) 347

From my experience, it's easy to make bad estimates because bad estimates are easy to make. If it's a big project, take your worst possible guess, and multiply by 1.5.

I've found that this rule generally holds true for most projects which have complexity or labor involved.

In the case of construction and renovation, it doesn't even need to be that big of a job to exceed the worst case guesstimate multiplied by 1.5

Comment Re:But... (Score 1) 261

he problem with instant translation is that it undermines the choice of looking up or not. Memory comes from a really strong filter. Instant translations make you look up more words, many more than what your brain can remember. It's better you just learn 2 words from that book that will stay for life than 20 you'll have forgotten by tomorrow.

I have a simple fix your this issue of yours, make the search more tedious by forcing the user (you) to solve a Sudoku puzzle before the dictionary will give you the definition.

Slashdot Top Deals

Build a system that even a fool can use and only a fool will want to use it.