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Network

Slashdot Asks: Which Wireless Carrier Do You Prefer? 205

Earlier this year, telecommunications giants like T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon and Sprint were battling to see who could release the best unlimited data plan(s). T-Mobile started the domino chain reaction with the launch of its "One" unlimited plan in August. But the competition became especially fierce in February when Verizon introduced unlimited data plans of their own, causing Sprint and AT&T to unveil new unlimited data plans that same week, both of which have their own restrictions and pricing. Each of the four major carriers have since continued to tweak their plans to ultimately undercut their competitors and retain as many customers are possible.

Given how almost everyone has a smartphone these days and the thirst for data has never been higher, we'd like to ask you about your current wireless carrier and plan. Which wireless carrier and plan do you have any why? Is there any one carrier or unlimited data plan that stands out from the others? T-Mobile, for example, recently announced that it added 1.1 million customers in Q1 2017, which means that it has added more than 1 million customers every quarter for the past four years. Have they managed to earn your business? MyRatePlan has a good breakdown of the current unlimited data plans on the market today.

Comment Re:I can't get behind this concept. (Score 1) 152

your child starts crying, throwing a tantrum, demanding everyone goes home, is agitated or aggressive

Quelling this behavior is parenting 101. This is never allowed to fly from day one from any of my children. I have 8, and have been a parent for 24 years with the same wife. I think I am qualified when I call bullshit.

So I'm not saying you're wrong (I'm not a parent and I haven't carefully considered how I would do so), but surely you must realize you're an (extreme) outlier and your experience doesn't necessarily apply to most people right? 8 kids over 24 years with the same wife is incredibly unusual, and I can think of several things off the top of my head that would apply to you and that situation that wouldn't apply to me.

Businesses

Bidding Website Rentberry May Be the Startup of Your Nightmares (gizmodo.com) 307

Renting is already fraught with pain, from annual rent hikes to extortionate lettings fees. But if a new service called Rentberry takes off, it could be about to get a lot worse. From a report: Rentberry has been operating in test cities and angering affordable housing advocates since 2016. But with its new expansion into 1,000 cities in the United States, the rental bidding website is about to piss off a lot more people. Alex Lubinksy, founder of Rentberry, seems to be pursuing an image that's closer to Uber's vilified Travis Kalanick than the do-gooder model of Elon Musk. Lubinsky courts the controversy that surrounds his startup and is known to include negative press when communicating his vision to reporters. But one big difference with Rentberry will be that if it takes off and becomes the new standard for renting apartments, most of its customers won't be able to run a #deleteRentberry campaign because landlords will have the control. The website essentially functions as a cross between CraigsList and eBay. A landlord lists a rental space and potential tenants bid against one another to claim the lease. Tenants' personal information is available to the landlord. The landlord then makes their final decision by weighing what the best offer is along with which bidder seems like they'd be the best tenant. For now, Rentberry charges users a $25 fee, but in the future, it plans to charge 25 percent of the difference between the asking price and the agreed upon rent. Whoever received the better deal pays the fee -- every month.
Government

Trump Extends Obama Executive Order On Cyberattacks (infoworld.com) 35

"U.S. President Donald Trump is extending by one year special powers introduced by former President Barack Obama that allow the government to issue sanctions against people and organizations engaged in significant cyberattacks and cybercrime against the U.S.," according to InfoWorld. An anonymous reader quotes their report: Executive Order 13694 was introduced on April 1, 2015, and was due to expire on Saturday, but the president sent a letter to Congress on Wednesday evening informing it of his plans to keep it active. Significant malicious cyber-enabled activities originating from, or directed by persons located, in whole or in substantial part, outside the United States, continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States," Trump wrote in the letter. "Therefore, I have determined that it is necessary to continue the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13694 with respect to significant malicious cyber-enabled activities."

The executive order gave the U.S. new powers to retaliate for hacking of critical infrastructure, major denial of service attacks or large scale economic hacking. It was expanded in December 2016 to include election-related systems and used to sanction Russian agents and organizations for their alleged role in a series of attacks during the presidential election.

Security

Flatbed Scanners Used As Relay Point For Controlling Malware (bleepingcomputer.com) 14

An anonymous reader writes: "Scientists from two Israeli universities have come up with a way to use flatbed scanners as relay points when sending commands to malware installed on an air-gapped computer," reports BleepingComputer. "Further research also revealed the scanner could also be used to relay stolen data to a nearby attacker. The technique they came up with revolves around the idea that a beam of light could be interpreted as a binary 1 and the lack of visual stimulant can be considered a binary 0."

The attacks can be carried out with lasers mounted on drones, on fixed stands, or by hacking smart light bulbs present near the targeted computer. Attack distances can go up to 900 meters (0.56 miles). During their tests, researchers sent various commands to the PC, such as "d x.pdf" (delete file x.pdf) and "en q" (encrypt folder q). Relaying such commands took between 50 to 100 milliseconds. This research was done by the same team that created methods to steal data from PCs using a hard drive's LED, fan heat, sounds emanated by a computer's GPU fan, electromagnetic signals given out by the GPU, and electromagnetic signals given out by an USB bus.

Here's a PDF of the report, which is titled "Oops!...I think I scanned a malware."
Classic Games (Games)

Google Maps Adds 'Ms. Pac-Man' Feature (blog.google) 31

An anonymous reader quotes a blog post by Google Maps: Starting now until April 4, you can chomp fruit, avoid ghosts, and collect PAC-Dots along city streets in Google Maps worldwide -- all as Ms. PAC-Maps. Just tap on the Ms. PAC-Maps icon on iOS and Android, or click the Ms. PAC-Maps button at the bottom left on desktop, to enter the maze and start chompin'. Sign in to save your top score on the leaderboard and share with friends.
A playable Google doodle commemorated Pac-Man's 30th anniversary in 2010 -- and was estimated to have cost the IT sector (and other workplaces) 4.8 million hours in lost productivity.
It's funny.  Laugh.

Ask Slashdot: Seen Any Good April Fool's Pranks Today? 106

An anonymous reader writes: It's that special time of year where sites around the net celebrate April Fool's Day with parodies of their own product offerings. Google Home announces a new companion service for smart yards called Google Gnome. Stack Overflow announces Dance Dance Authentication. The Russian foreign ministry changed their voicemail to include new menu options like "Press 2 to use the services of Russian hackers," and "press 3 to request election interference." And in what's either a really good prank or a horrific piece of bad timing, Phrack.org announces that they've been seized by the FBI.

Has anybody else noticed anything funny today?

The internet has a long history of April Fool's Day pranks, and it looks like 2017 is no exception. So use the comments to share what you're seeing around the web today. Seen any good April Fool's Day pranks today?
Programming

Someone on Medium Just Said C++ Was Better Than C (medium.com) 315

Developer David Timothy Strauss is publishing a call to code "straightforward, easy-to-reason-about approaches" -- in an essay titled "Choosing 'Some C++' Over C". (Alternate title: "C++ for Lovers of C." The problem with just picking C++ is that most criticism of it is legitimate. Whether it's the '90s-era obsession with object orientation and exceptions or the template errors that take up an entire terminal window, there have been -- and remain -- rough edges to C++. But, these rough edges are avoidable, unlike the problems in C that get worse with modern event and library programming. The opinionated essay calls for "adopting a subset of C++ to smooth out C's rough edges," arguing that C++ offer a better, type-safe approach for event-driven design (as well as destructors to avoid memory allocation leaks). Are there any readers who'd like to weigh in on the advantages of C versus C++?
Earth

Robots Could Solve the Lionfish Ecological Disaster (mashable.com) 20

"Lionfish are an invasive species that are destroying our coral reefs and fisheries," writes SkinnyGuy. "The non-profit RISE (from iRobot's Colin Angle) has a plan to use robots to fish these Lionfish and serve them up to us on a delicious, golden platter." Mashable reports: This was not as crazy of an idea as it sounds and Angle had already been wondering "if there was still a way to use robot technology to solve larger environmental problems and maybe more proactively than merely sending our defense robots to natural disaster zones"... Could, Angle wondered, a robot even do the job and could it do it at scale? "Spending half a million dollars to build a robot that kill 10 lionfish is absurd," he told me...

They started with fresh-water electro fishing technology and adapted it for salt water. The robot stuns, but doesn't kill the lionfish and then it sucks them into the robot. It does this over and over again, until full of unconscious fish and then rises to the surface where a fisherman can unload the catch and deliver them to waiting restaurants and food stores. "Ultimately, the control of this device is like a PlayStation game: you're looking at screen and using a joystick controller. Zap it, catch it, do it again, said RISE Executive Director John Rizzi who told me that a team of unpaid volunteers have been working on the prototype for over a year."

The fish-killing robot will launch in Bermuda at the America's Cup festivities on April 19th, where there'll also be a celebrity chef lionfish cook-off and other events to help raise money "to further developer, build and deliver these robots to commercial fishermen and women."
The Internet

There's A New New JavaScript Framework (infoworld.com) 70

An anonymous reader quotes InfoWorld: Mithril, an open source JavaScript framework for single-page applications, is looking to best Facebook's React, Google's Angular, and Vue JavaScript tools in performance and ease of use. The framework is small and fast, and it provides routing and XHR (XMLHttpRequest) out of the box. Mithril also offers benefits in relative density, lead developer Leo Horie said. "It's possible to develop entire applications without resorting to other libraries, and it's not uncommon for Mithril apps to weigh a third of other apps of similar complexity." Horie said that the framework feels closer to vanilla JavaScript.

Mithril's website features a comparison to Angular, React, and Vue. Mithril, for example, offers much quicker library load times and update performance than React, and it has a better learning curve and update performance than Angular. Compared to Vue, Mithril supposedly offers better library load times and update performance.

Since its initial release, version 1.0.1 has added performance improvements in IE, while 1.1.0 added support for ES6 class components and support for closure components.

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