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


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Submission + - Watch Kim Dotcom`s totally over the top MEGA launch event (

An anonymous reader writes: Kim Dotcom`s a big man, so was the launch event for MEGA. This one has everything, helicopters, tribal dancers, techno, pretty girls and of course flamboyant speeches from the man himself all from his mansion
The Internet

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: What was your favorite web comic of 2012? 3

skade88 writes: Its that time of the year again! You guessed it! Its time to do another year-end best-of roundup! Today's topic is web comics. What was your favorite web comic of 2012? Feel free to use the following categories or make up your own.

1) Best overall web comic series of 2012. (Any web comic that produced content in 2012)

2) Funniest web comic of 2012. (This one represents the single funniest comic of any web comic series.)

3) Best art in a web comic of 2012. (Web comic from 2012 with the most amazing art ever)

4) Web comic that was most relevant to you in 2012. (This one is even more subjective than the others)

I will post my choices along with why in the comments. I can't wait to see y'all's!

Submission + - Give us your personal data or pay full fare

ebh writes: "Noted in an AP story about how fees make it difficult to compare air travel costs, is how the airline industry is moving toward tailoring offer packages (and presumably, fares) for individuals based on their personal information. Worse, "The airline association said consumers who choose not to supply personal information would still be able to see fares and purchase tickets, though consumer advocates said those fares would probably be at the "rack rate" — the travel industry's term for full price, before any discounts." Now, about those Amtrak upgrades..."

Submission + - Introducing students to rigor 2

An anonymous reader writes: As an engineer who studied in Asia for most of my life, my first exposure to real mathematics was when I arrived at graduate school in the United States. While I did take and enjoy some basic courses in mathematics (like real and functional analysis, measure theory and probability), I had a tough time because I found myself having to train myself in making rigorous proofs/arguments, compared to the engineering approach. I also found that training invaluable in helping me in other aspects of my life (including my engineering job). Now that I am back in my home country with children of my own, I see that the curriculum and approach in mathematics hasn't really changed. Rather than getting them used to thinking and making concrete arguments, they are taught formulae and most of their homework and exams focus on number crunching. So I'd like to ask slashdotters: What books/activities would you recommend for students in the 5th-12th grades (or even earlier) that might get them to appreciate rigor and critical thinking?

Submission + - Online Privacy- Who's in Control? ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: I'm writing to ask if you might have some time to speak with me about developing a story on online privacy. It is estimated that online shoppers will spend more than 54 billion dollars this holiday season, accounting for more than 24% of all U.S. retail spending during this time. All of this activity, all of this personal information and choices of people shopping online, are followed by various advertising and tracking companies whose scripts are embedded on these websites in an attempt to track your online behavior-and later target ads to you.
Ghostery is a browser tool that scans pages for scripts, pixels and other elements and notifies the user of the companies whose code is present on the page. Ghostery allows you to see what is happening behind your browser, to learn more about the companies whose code appears on the page (and their practices), and to block the page elements from loading if you so choose. Ghostery gives you the opportunity to exercise choice and helps you understand how companies collect and use your data- often to target ads to you. Ghostery also gives you the ability to opt out of targeting if you wish.
As you know, online privacy has been a popular topic of late and its use in politics was spotlighted in the press in the past few weeks in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and on Bloomberg TV. Below are a few examples of such stories.
I encourage you to download Ghostery (free download available at as using it is the best way to get its full effect. In addition to Ghostery’s' unparalleled transparency, it is able to scan pages without disrupting your browsing experience by either slowing down your browser or not allowing your web pages to load completely. Other products on the market simply block tracking, which may cause websites not to function properly. With Ghostery, consumers can see and make their own choices in real time.
I would welcome the opportunity to discuss Ghostery with you and walk you through the download. Please let me know when you might be available to do so. You can reach me by phone or email.
Best regards,
Annie Oberfield
WIT Strategy


Submission + - What to do after you fire an idiot sysadmin or developer ( 1

Esther Schindler writes: "The job of dealing with an under-performing employee doesn't end when the culprit is shown the door. Everyone focuses on security tasks, after you fire the idiot, such as changing passwords, but that's just one part of the To Do list. More important, in the long run, is the cleanup job that needs to be done after you fire the turkey, looking for the hidden messes and security flaws the ex-employee may have left behind. Otherwise, you’ll still be cleaning up the problems six months later, when you discovered that the backup he automated... well, not that we are speaking from experience or anything, but we wanted to bring him back in just so we could fire his butt all over again. Rick Cook has a checklist of Stuff To Look For in his article, Cleaning Out The Turkey Coop: What To Do After You Get Rid of an Incompetent Employee. See what you might add to the list."

Submission + - OpenGertie - Open Hardware relative of Pixar's Luxo Junior (

zapyon writes: Fabian Gerlinghaus has constructed a robotic desklamp that includes a camera and a microphone as a "flexible and low-cost resource for conducting research into cognitive products and human-robot interaction." As it is open hardware all plans are available and you may make your own if you have a 3D printer available.

Submission + - Podcast: Chris Soghoian on Exploit Sales (

Gunkerty Jeb writes: Threatpost's Dennis Fisher talks with Chris Soghoian, a principal technologist at the ACLU, about the developing market for buying and selling exploits and vulnerabilities. Soghoian has been a vocal critic of exploit sales and in this podcast he discusses the reasons why and why he thinks the policymakers in Washington need to get involved.

Submission + - Cray Unveils 100 Petaflops XC30 Supercomputer (

hypnosec writes: Cray has unveiled its supercomputing beast – the XC30, which is capable of achieving over 100 petaflops performance thereby putting not only the Titan but, also China’s Tianhe-2 in the shade. Previously codenamed “Cascade” and based on the new Aries interconnect architecture, the XC30 has been developed in conjunction with DARPA. The supercomputer can scale up to a million cores and uses Intel Xeon E5-2600 processors for now. Cray has revealed that it will equip the future version of the XC30 with Intel Xeon Phi coprocessors along with NVIDIA Tesla GPUs.

Submission + - Public and remote DNS usage without the web performance cost (

mas939 writes: Northwestern University researchers have found that public Domain Name System (DNS) services could slow down users' Internet connections, and have developed namehelp, a solution that could speed up Web performance by as much as 40 percent. The Northwestern researchers, led by professor Fabian Bustamante, found that users' Web performance can suffer due to the hidden interaction of DNS with Content Delivery Networks (CDNs), which help performance by offering exact replicas of Web site content in computer servers around the world. The namehelp system runs personalized benchmarks in the background, from within users' computers, to determine their optimal DNS configuration and improve the Web experience by helping sites load faster.

Submission + - Microsoft Site Loophole Lets Anyone Buy Windows 8 Pro For Just $15

An anonymous reader writes: If you bought a Windows 7 PC after June 2, you’re eligible for a discounted Windows 8 Pro upgrade for just $15. If you lie and tell Microsoft you bought a Windows 7 PC after June 2, you can also get a discounted Windows 8 Pro upgrade for just $15, thanks to a loophole in the official Windows Upgrade Offer site.
Wireless Networking

Submission + - The Danger In Exempting Wireless From Net Neutrality (

nmpost writes: "Nearly two years ago, the FCC outlined its rules for net neutrality. Notably absent were rules for wireless networks. There are several legitimate reasons that the same rules applied to wired networks can not apply to wireless networks. However, the same danger lies in leaving wireless networks unguarded against the whims of its administrators. As we move more and more towards a wireless dominated internet, those dangers will become more pronounced. We are going to need a massive investment in infrastructure in this country regardless of net neutrality rules. Demand for wireless is going to continue to grow for many years to come, and providers are not going to be able to let up. Data caps and throttling are understandable now as demand is far outpacing infrastructure growth. Eventually, demand will slow, and these practices will have to be addressed. This is where allowing internet providers to regulate themselves becomes an issue. Self regulation usually does not end well for the consumer. Imagine allowing power plants and oil refineries to determine what chemicals they could pour into the air. Would they have the population’s best interest at heart when making that determination? In the future when the infrastructure can match the demand, what will stop internet providers from picking winners and losers over their wireless networks? As conglomerates like Comcast gobble up content providers like NBC, a conflict of interest begins to emerge. There would be nothing from stopping one of the big wireless providers like AT&T or Verizon from scooping up a content provider and prioritizing its data speed over the network."

Submission + - What can we do to stop people rebranding and selling FOSS? ( 1

promythyus writes: "A friend brought this software package to my attention, and it is being sold in 2 major brick & mortar software retailers in Australia. Although they don't provide many screenshots, you can clearly tell that this office solution they are selling is a simple rebranding of OpenOffice.Org and Mozilla Thunderbird. After doing a little research on the Apache License and MPL it seems that both of these licenses allow this. Obviously, this is a totally unethical business practice and contributes nothing back to the FOSS movement that made these software packages available to them.

So, how can we stop unscrupulous businessmen rebranding FOSS without adding anything to it and selling it to oblivious consumers?"


Submission + - Yahoo awarded $610 million in spam case (

angry tapir writes: "Yahoo has won a lawsuit against spammers, a legal victory that also includes a default judgment of US$610 million. In the lawsuit, filed in May 2008, Yahoo targeted a variety of individuals and companies, accusing them of trying to scam people via a spam campaign that falsely informed email recipients that they had won prizes in a non-existent Yahoo-sponsored lottery."

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