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! ×

Comment Re:Thats up to FaceBook (Score 1) 191

Yes, just because they can get a judge to say it's not illegal "because it's the government doing it because drugs and terrorists", doesn't mean that Facebook actually has to allow them to violate the terms of service. I don't have a FB account, but if I did, I would be spamming https://www.facebook.com/DOJ with questions about this while reporting them to the admins for abuse.

Comment Re:No matter where it is ... (Score 3, Interesting) 160

Wow. According to that story, the prosecutor did show a screengrab of an iPhone Siri query for this, but it was actually taken from the Facebook cache on the defendant's phone, meaning it was just a funny picture making the rounds on Facebook. I can't imagine why the judge let him show that, since it proves absolutely nothing, but it is a hell of a way to prejudice the jury against the defendant.

Comment Re:Maybe because the Guardian has surprisingly lit (Score 4, Informative) 135

This NSA document published at the NYT states explicitly that the NSA is attempting to "Influence policies, standards and specifications" for public key encryption, and given that the project described in that same document is about expanding the NSA's access to data, rather than increasing the security of that data, this proves that the NSA is working to weaken, not enhance, public key crypto. That NSA document doesn't specifically mention DUAL EC DRBG, but this NYT story does say that the Snowden documents somewhere list DUAL EC DRBG as one backdoored technology.

Of course DUAL EC DRBG is only one algorithm. How many other algorithms has NSA contributed to? At this point, they're all suspect, because it's obvious now that the NSA is more worried about decrypting communications it intercepts rather than protecting any communications transmitted. So what academics should be doing is independently vetting all widely used encryption technology, starting with anything the NSA is known to be involved with, even peripherally. That is a tall order, and it used to be tin-foil-hat thinking, but like a police officer caught lying under oath causing decades worth of court cases to be thoroughly redone or thrown out, there is no alternative if we want to be sure that nothing else got through.

Comment Re:Hopefully (Score 1) 257

That's what I came to say. A massively vulnerable installed base of computers is a self-solving problem, once the computers get so slow and unusable that their owners just give up. Sure, some of them will pirate XP or miraculously recover their decade-old installation media to wipe their computer and start fresh, but once it gets to the point where you can't even put XP on the internet without it getting trashed within minutes, even those die-hard fans will be forced to see the writing on the wall.

Comment Re:Phone alerts (Score 4, Insightful) 382

Have you heard one of those things go off? On my phone, it's an awful klaxon sound that seems psychologically designed to maximally distract you from whatever unimportant thing you were doing, like steering a 100-ton crane, and focus on the flood warning two counties over, which is clearly more important. These alerts are good in theory, but there's a real boy-who-cried-wolf problem with the current implementation.

Comment Re:Robotics (Score 2) 265

That's what I would recommend as well. I work in industrial automation, building tooling for the kind of robots that build cars, and for me, it is really cool to see something physically move based on your programming. With a serial port or other kind of connection (maybe some sort of wireless) between the moving thing and your PC, you can also create stuff that's fairly advanced, e.g. a command program on the PC that uses voice synthesis to warn a student to leave the area before sending the robot to "attack" them, or something similarly interactive.

Roku Finally Gets a 2D Menu System 80

DeviceGuru writes "Many of us have griped for years about Roku's retro one-dimensional user interface. Finally, in conjunction with the release of the new Roku 3 model, the Linux-based media streaming player is getting a two-dimensional facelift, making it quicker and easier to access favorite channels and find new ones. Current Roku users, who will now begin suffering from UI-envy, will be glad to learn that Roku plans to push out a firmware update next month to many earlier models, including the Roku LT, Roku HD (model 2500R), Roku 2 HD, Roku 2 XD, Roku 2 XS, and Roku Streaming Stick. A short demo of the new 2D Roku menu system is available in this YouTube video."

Comment Re:Really? (Score 1) 1110

What about the start search field? Does it replace that? Can I just push the windows key, start typing a couple of characters, and launch my app if it's not in the folder?

Actually, yes. I just tried it now, I hit the Start key, and, yes the stupid Start Screen came up, but just start typing and it automatically searches, just like the Windows 7 Start Menu search. I entered "calc", calculator came up, I pressed enter, and it didn't even come up with a stupid Metro version of calculator, it brought me back to the desktop and launched the regular calculator program. I do think the forced mode switching between a tablet-style interface and a "normal" PC desktop is weird and kludgy. Metro apps should really just run in a window on Windows 8, even if that window is forced to maintain a constant aspect ratio to match the tablet experience. You could even still allow the user to maximize Metro apps to their full-screen "glory," if they wished to do so. But I can see they're trying for a unified experience across PCs and tablets, they just got off on a wrong foot. Hopefully Windows 9 will apply some lessons learned.

Comment Re:A good reason to go independent (Score 5, Insightful) 550

The organizer of Chick-Fil-A appreciation day, Mike Huckabee, is a former, not current governor. I'm not sure if any active governors endorsed Chick-Fil-A appreciation day. But I'm not aware that any politicians expressing support for Chick-Fil-A were implying that they would spend government resources supporting Chick-Fil-A, e.g. by catering their department lunches exclusively from Chick-Fil-A. Several of the mayors who have spoken out against Chick-Fil-A, however, at least strongly implied, if not directly threatened, to use government resources to punish Chick-Fil-A for its president's personal opinion, by denying permits for new store locations, etc. Those opposed to the views of Chick-Fil-A's president have every right to protest and boycott, and the mayors would have been well within their authority to denounce the views of Mr. Cathy, including endorsing boycotts by private citizens, but using tools of government to punish individuals or corporations is not acceptable or legal. For what it's worth, I voted against a recent constitutional amendment in North Carolina that prohibits gay marriage, and disagree very strongly with Mr. Cathy's apocalyptic viewpoint on the issue, but I am even more firmly opposed to the government rewarding or punishing points of view.

Comment Virgin Galactic Vs. SpaceX (Score 4, Interesting) 65

When Rutan won the X-Prize in 2004, I was seriously excited. It seemed like commercial suborbital joyrides for anyone with money to burn were happening right then. 8 years later, still no commercial flights. What happened? SpaceX went from first launch in 2006 to ISS in 2012. I know, manned flights require more rigorous design, but SpaceX has been designing for human flight all along, and Musk is in serious contention to get crew flights to ISS by 2015 or 2016. At this rate, we may be able to buy orbital joyrides before suborbital ones. I know Burt Rutan and crew have the engineering skill to get this thing done, what's been holding them back?

Slashdot Top Deals

All science is either physics or stamp collecting. -- Ernest Rutherford