Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


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! ×

Submission + - Big Data Search Engines Are Big Right Now – Stremor Announces Heuristic En (siliconangle.com)

SpicyBrownMustard writes: Stremor is announcing a new kind of search engine. They call it a language heuristics engine. Truly the “Holy Grail” of Big Data, a system capable of taking unstructured data from emails, web pages, and any document that uses sentences and converts it to structured, minable, normalized data.

Submission + - Microsoft Phases Out XNA and DirectX? (i-programmer.info) 2

mikejuk writes: It is reported that Microsoft has sent an email to DirectX/XNA MVPs which informs them that they are no longer needed because XNA and DirectX are no longer evolving. What does this mean? If you don't need MVPs then presumably you anticipate nothing to support in the future.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Can the government use photos of me on their websites? (wikipedia.org)

Andurin writes: Hey photo folks: I'm pretty clear on my rights and responsibilities as a photographer, but I was wondering about non-civilian (or even non-person actors) and publicity rights. I know that most commercial ventures would require an image release before using my likeness for their website. But what about the government? If a federally-employed photographer takes my picture in a public space, can they post it to their agency's site? Or to a government Flickr account, or Facebook even?

Submission + - Open Source Software Licenses versus Business Models (networkworld.com)

dp619 writes: Network World is running a guest article by Outercurve Foundation's technical director Stephen Walli discussing how FOSS license choice can affect a company’s business model. Walli disagrees that a FOSS license dictates the business model or that the business model dictates the license.

Submission + - Israel Infrastructure Proves Too Strong For Anonymous (timesofisrael.com) 1

Mephistophocles writes: Ever since the beginning of Operation Pillar of Defense, hackers have been working overtime to strike a blow against the Israeli government’s computer systems, Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz said Sunday. No fewer than 44 million attacks have been recorded since the operation began five days ago — with nearly all of them failing, thanks to the recent strengthening of computer defense systems in Israel.

Speaking at a special press conference at the Government Computing Center in Jerusalem about the cyber war against Israel that has accompanied Hamas’s rocket attacks, Steinitz said that hackers “are trying to disable the symbols of Israeli sovereignty, to enter web sites and install anti-Israel content, thus compromising information and data and damaging the government’s ability to serve the public.” Most of the attacks, he said, were against government sites, like the Prime Minister’s Office site, and security-related sites, such as that of the Home Front Command, the body charged with informing Israelis on how to protect themselves in the event of an attack.

Out of those 44 million-plus attacks on government and defense related sites, said Steinitz, only one succeeded – partially. One site, which he did not name, was “wobbly for a few minutes,” but quickly recovered. Even though the government has been successful in warding off hack attacks, Steinitz said that government sites were fully backed up and mirrored, meaning that they could be replaced by a duplicate site instantly if the original site were compromised.


Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Better option than C#? 2

evilgeniusjamie writes: I work as a software developer for a company based in the UK. We currently have a program written in COBOL which is the core of the company. The company are looking to upgrade, since COBOL developers are hard to find in this area, and the program (of a 12-year old legacy) is somewhat archaic and chaotic, as it has been changed and reverted and changed again almost daily since the day it was first released.

After our team put the idea forward to redevelop from scratch rather than upgrade the current system (5 developers, 2 of which write in COBOL and manage the change/control of the current system, but 4 of us are C# developers. The math is correct — one of the COBOL developers also uses C#) we were told C# was not the way to go. Incidentally, the person that made this decision has, to the best of our knowledge, zero programming experience.

So my question — as a C# developer, my opinion is rather biased — what would be a better option than C#, considering:
The main program will be the core of the entire company
The main program needs to have a Windows app version as well as a web-app version, which must both work simultaneously.
There is also a requirement for a mobile-app for field agents, which whilst not working entirely the same way as the core program, will need to integrate seamlessly.
The current program does, and the future program must, input AND output multiple formats of file (including, but not limited to, Excel, CSV (comma separated, tab-separated, pipe-separated, asterisk-seperated, to name but a few), XML, fixed-width text files, and PDF versions of all the above).

There are also plenty of business rules that dictate how and when certain processes must take place and even the way in which we take on new work.
The Military

Submission + - Israel's Iron Dome Missile Defense Shield Actually Works

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "Sarah Tory writes that the fighting between Israel and Palestinians in the Gaza strip is the latest round of violence in a region that has been torn apart by a decades-old conflict but the debut of Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense shield has added a new element to the conflict, one that military officials are calling a “game-changer.” Israeli officials are claiming that the shield is destroying 90 percent of missiles and rockets it aims at that have been fired into southern Israel by Hamas. This level of success is unprecedented compared with older missile defense systems such as the American-made Patriot model used during the 1991 Gulf War. The missile-defense system can detect rocket launches and then determine the projectiles’ flight paths and only intercepts rocket or artillery shells if they are headed for populated areas or sensitive targets; the others it allows to land. It takes a lot of raw computing power to rapidly build a ballistic profile of a fast-incoming projectile, make a series of quick decisions concerning potential lethality, and launch a countermeasure capable of intercepting said projectile in-flight and one reason Iron Dome is showing a much more robust capability than the Patriot system did in the early 1990s is simply that its battle control hardware and software are several generations more advanced than those early interceptor systems. "Israeli officials point out that Iron Dome saves money despite the fact that the interceptors cost up to $100,000 each," writes Tory. "The cost of rebuilding a neighborhood destroyed by a rocket attack—not to mention people wounded and lives lost—would be far greater than the cost of the interceptor." Most important, the system buys Israel time, allowing it to plan out an appropriate response without the political pressure that would be generated by hundreds of potential deaths."

Submission + - UN to Seek Internet Kill Switch Next Month (thenewamerican.com)

helix2301 writes: "The United Nations and a wide swath of its autocratic member regimes were drafting a plan to give a little-known UN agency control over the online world. Among the most contentious schemes: a plot to hand the International Telecommunications Union a so-called “kill switch” for the Internet that critics say would be used to smash free speech."

Submission + - Dad, Can We Legalize Pot Now? (economist.com)

retroworks writes: "Two state initiatives, in Washington state and Colorado, will legalize and tax marijuana sales. Both conservative and liberal media have covered the issue calmly. Will budget pressures finally lead to reform of marijuana laws in the USA? Legalize + Regulate + Tax = Profit!"

Submission + - Will EU Regulations Effectively Ban High-End Video Cards? (nordichardware.com)

arun84h writes: A new energy law, which will apply in the European Union, has the power to limit sale of discrete components deemed "energy inefficient". GPU maker AMD is worried this will affect future technology as it becomes available, as well as some current offerings. From TFA:

"According to data NordicHardware has seen from a high level employee at AMD, current graphics cards are unable to meet with these requirements. This includes "GPUs like Cape Verde and Tahiti", that is used in the HD 7700 and HD 7900 series, and can't meet with the new guidelines, the same goes for the older "Caicos" that is used in the HD 6500/6600 and HD 7500/7600 series. Also "Oland" is mentioned, which is a future performance circuit from AMD, that according to rumors will be used in the future HD 8800 series. What worries AMD the most is how this will affect future graphics cards since the changes in Lot 3 will go into effect soon. The changes will of course affect Nvidia as much as it will AMD."

Is this the beginning of the end for high-end GPU sales in the EU?


Submission + - Microsoft's Surface Specifications and Photos (blogspot.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Microsoft Surface is a tablet ultra-portable PCs designed to work with Windows RT and Windows 8 operating systems. Two versions will be available featuring ARM and Intel CPUs and the display is a 10.6", 16:9 widescreen HD Display (RT version) or Full HD Display (Pro version).

Submission + - Microsoft announces Surface tablet, with kickstand and fold-out keyboard (extremetech.com) 7

MrSeb writes: "At its much-discussed “big unveil” this evening, Microsoft did indeed launch a tablet — but rumors that the device would showcase a Barnes & Noble partnership were misplaced. Instead, Microsoft showed a vision for a next-gen PC that combines the portability of a tablet with a minimalistic fold-out keyboard and integrated kickstand. Microsoft’s idea for the tablet (confusingly called Surface) is a device that integrates a better keyboard option than typing on the screen without adding size or weight. That’s where the new keyboard — which doubles as a screen cover — kicks in. At 3mm thick, it adds virtually nothing to the device’s size, but it opens up a world of inputs. There are two covers available — the Touch Cover (very thin) and the Type Cover (with proper, tactile keys). Microsoft is touting the device’s magnesium body, vapor-deposited construction, full PC functionality, and additional features like being the first tablet to showcase a 2×2 MIMO wireless antenna. Windows RT (ARM) and x86 versions are both in the works, with the x86 version apparently having a higher quality screen. No word on hardware specs yet; Microsoft is claiming it “rivals the best ultrabooks” and uses less power than the Core i5. I'm a little bit dubious on that front — and also dubious about how Microsoft's hardware partners will receive this new, rather competitive offering..."

Slashdot Top Deals

The decision doesn't have to be logical; it was unanimous.