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Submission + - Microsoft's Skype Drops Modern App In Favour Of Old Fashioned Win32 App (i-programmer.info)

mikejuk writes: Microsoft, after putting a lot of effort into persuading us that Universal Apps are the way of the future pulls the plug on Skype modern app to leave just the desktop version. The split in Windows apps created by the launch of Windows 8 still persists today and Microsoft is currently trying to fix this huge blunder by creating a true Windows 10 Universal App that can run on desktop, phone and mobile.Microsoft's argument is that any WinRT apps that you have or old style Windows 8 Universal apps can easily be converted to a Windows 10 Universal app with a single code base for all platforms.
Skype is one of Microsoft's flagship products and it has been available as a desktop Win32 app and as a Modern/Metro/WinRT app for some time. You would think that Skype would support Universal Apps, there are few enough of them — but no. According to the Skype blog:
"Starting on July 7, we’re updating PC users of the Windows modern application to the Windows desktop application, and retiring the modern application."
Microsoft is pushing Windows 10 Universal Apps as the development platform for now and the future but its Skype team have just disagreed big time. What ever this is not a good example of dog fooding and puts in doubt any decision programmer might have made about being an early adopter of Windows 10 Universal Apps — if Microsoft can't get behind the plan why should developers?

Submission + - SourceForge Analysis of nmap project and data (sourceforge.net)

An anonymous reader writes: A few days ago, the maintainer of nmap (an open source network mapping tool) complained that SourceForge had taken over the nmap project page. SourceForge has now responded with a technical analysis of the nmap project history. "We’ve confirmed conclusively that no changes were made to the project or data, and that all past download delivery by nmap on SourceForge was through our web hosting service where content is project-administered."

They detail the history of services used by the nmap project, and use screenshots from archive.org to show how long the project was empty. SourceForge: "The last update date in 2013 relates to the migration of the nmap project (along with all other projects on the site) from SourceForge’s sfx code base to the new Apache Allura-based code base. This migration was an automated operation conducted for all projects, and this platform change did not augment data in the Project Web service or File Release System. We therefore conclude that no content has been removed from the nmap project page. Look and feel of this page has changed over time, but the underlying data remains has remained unchanged by staff." They also confirm that nmap downloads were never bundled with ads: "Infosec professionals do not generally wish to install secondary offers."

Submission + - Airbus confirms crash as a result of software failure.

sabri writes: As far as I know this is the first time that a manufacturer has confirmed that the root-cause of a plane crash is believed to be a software error. Airbus writes:

CITAAM confirmed that engines 1, 2 and 3 experienced power frozen after lift-off and did not respond to the crew’s attempts to control the power setting in the normal way, whilst engine 4 responded to throttle demands. When the power levers were set to “flight idle” in an attempt to reduce power, the power reduced but then remained at “flight idle” on the three affected engines for the remainder of the flight despite attempts by the crew to regain power. This statement is consistent with those three engines being affected by the issue addressed with our AOT.

Dutch newspaper NRC confirmed as well that the root-cause is believed to be software related.

Are these the first confirmed dead due to a software issue?

Submission + - Sourceforge staff takes over a user's account and wraps their software installer (arstechnica.com) 11

An anonymous reader writes: Sourceforge staff took over the account of the GIMP-for-Windows maintainer claiming it was abandoned and used this opportunity to wrap the installer in crapware. Quoting Ars:

SourceForge, the code repository site owned by Slashdot Media, has apparently seized control of the account hosting GIMP for Windows on the service, according to e-mails and discussions amongst members of the GIMP community—locking out GIMP's lead Windows developer. And now anyone downloading the Windows version of the open source image editing tool from SourceForge gets the software wrapped in an installer replete with advertisements.


Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Building a Home Media Center/Small Server in a Crawlspace 4

An anonymous reader writes: I've decided it's time for me to build a separate machine specifically for use as a Media Center/Small Home Server.
My wife and I haven't had cable TV in years, instead relying entirely on Netflix, other streaming sites, and hard copies we've bought over the years. Having just finished ripping our entire media collection (CDs, DVDs, and even our Vinyls and VHS with the help of a capture card and some sweet digital voodoo) to a couple HDDs, I'm feeling froggy. Up until now we've been using WDTV Live, and it's been pretty snazzy, but I want to upgrade to a dedicated media machine instead of piggybacking off of my office computer. It'll be a Windows based machine utilizing Plex, and it's going in the crawlspace of the house.

The crawlspace in question is unfinished, but I do have a dry concrete slab down there where I can put/mount/assemble something. Cooling won't be an issue obviously, and I am keeping a close eye on hardware specs with regards to moisture. It is still a crawlspace though...

My Question(s) being:
* What would be a good setup to to house the hardware? Priorities being to safeguard against moisture, vermin, and dirt.
          — Modified PC Tower?
          — Rack?
          — Build an enclosure?
          — Something I haven't considered?

Please assume I'm stubborn and absolutely dead-set on putting it in the crawlspace to avoid the discussion devolving into the "best" place to put a media machine. Any advice or ideas are very much appreciated, Thank you /.

Submission + - Silicon Valley Is the World's Innovation Capital Because of a Legal Technicality

HughPickens.com writes: Natalie Kitroeff writes at Bloomberg that a new study says the secret to Silicon Valley’s triumph as the global capital of innovation may lie in a quirk of California’s employment law that prohibits the legal enforcement of non-compete clauses. Unlike most states, California prohibits enforcement of non-compete clauses that force people who leave jobs to wait for a predetermined period before taking positions at rival companies. That puts California in the ideal position to rob other regions of their most prized inventors, “Policymakers who sanction the use of non-competes could be inadvertently creating regional disadvantage as far as retention of knowledge workers is concerned,” wrote the authors of the study "Regional disadvantage? Employee non-compete agreements and brain drain" (PDF). "Regions that choose to enforce employee non-compete agreements may therefore be subjecting themselves to a domestic brain drain not unlike that described in the literature on international emigration out of less developed countries."

The study, which looked at the behavior of people who had registered at least two patents from 1975 to 2005, focused on Michigan, which in 1985 reversed its longstanding prohibition of non-compete agreements. The authors found that after Michigan changed the rules, the rate of emigration among inventors was twice as a high as it was in states where non-competes remained illegal. Even worse for Michigan, its most talented inventors were also the most likely to flee. "Firms are going to be willing to relocate someone who is really good, as opposed to someone who is average," says Lee Fleming. For the inventors, it makes sense to take a risk on a place such as California, where they have more freedom. "If the job they relocate for doesn’t work out, then they can walk across the street because there are no non-competes

Submission + - FAA grounds all UPS flights, blames UPS computer issues

witherstaff writes: The FAA has sent an alert to ground all UPS flights regardless of destination. The Official reason is "AIRLINE COMPUTER ISSUES". My tinfoil hat wearing self wonders about something bad happening on 9/11. My tech self wonders what sort of computer problem UPS could have that would warrant stopping all traffic.

Submission + - One of John Franklin's lost ships found?

schwit1 writes: A Canadian expedition thinks it has located one of the ships from John Franklin’s lost 1845 Arctic expedition.

The Canadian government began searching for Franklin’s ships in 2008 as part of a strategy to assert Canada’s sovereignty over the Northwest Passage, which has recently become accessible to shipping because of melting Arctic ice. Expedition sonar images from the waters of Victoria Strait, just off King William Island, clearly show the wreckage of a ship on the ocean floor.

Submission + - Americans More Distracted Behind The Wheel Than Europeans (npr.org)

Taco Cowboy writes: Either the Europeans have lied, or the Americans were bragging

U.S. drivers are much more likely than Europeans to drive while distracted, federal health officials report Thursday

Nearly 69 percent of Americans who drive say that they talked on their cell phones while driving at least once in the previous month, according to a survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

That's a lot higher than what was reported by Europeans in another survey. Only 21 percent of British drivers reported chatting on their cell phones while behind the wheel, for example. In Germany and France it was about 40 percent

The same goes for reading or sending texts or emails. About a third of U.S. drivers said they did that. And that's about double what it was in Spain and Great Britain

Health officials say that's a big problem because driving while distracted causes fatal car accidents. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, 3,331 Americans were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver in 2011, compared to 3,267 in 2010

"The cell phone can be a fatal distraction for those who use it while they drive," CDC Director Thomas Frieden said in a statement. "Driving and dialing or texting don't mix. If you are driving, pull over to safe place and stop before you use your phone"


Submission + - Six Ways America Is Worse Than A Third-World Country

mrspoonsi writes: Business Insider writes "Although the U.S. is one of the richest societies in history, it still lags behind other developed nations in many important indicators: 1. Criminal Justice. America imprisons 716 people per 100,000 citizens (of any age). That's significantly worse than Russia (484 prisoners per 100,000 citizens), China (121) and Iran (284). The only country that incarcerates a higher percentage of its population than we do is North Korea. 2. Gun Violence. The U.S. leads the developed world in firearm-related murders, and the difference isn't a slight gap – more like a chasm. According to United Nations data, the U.S. has 20 times more murders than the developed world average. Our murder rate also dwarfs many developing nations, like Iraq, which has a murder rate less than half ours. 3. Healthcare. A study last year found that in many American counties, especially in the deep South, life expectancy is lower than in Algeria, Nicaragua or Bangladesh. The U.S. is the only developed country that does not guarantee health care to its citizens. 4. Education. The U.S. is among only three nations in the world that does not guarantee paid maternal leave (the other two are Papua New Guinea and Swaziland). This means many poor American mothers must choose between raising their children and keeping their jobs. 5. Inequality. By almost every measure, the U.S. tops out OECD countries in terms of income inequality, largely because America has the stingiest welfare state of any developed country. This inequality has deep and profound effects on American society. 6. Infrastructure. The United States infrastructure is slowly crumbling apart and is in desperate need for repair. One study estimates that our infrastructure system needs a $3.6 trillion investment over the next six years.

Submission + - Stephen Hawking claims "there are no black holes" (nature.com)

ananyo writes: Stephen Hawking has proposed a new solution to the black-hole firewall paradox, which has been vexing physicists for almost two years, after its discovery by theoretical physicists Joe Polchinski at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics in Santa Barbara, California, and colleagues. The paradox troubles physicists because if the firewall scenario is correct, Einstein’s general theory of relativity is flouted. But the classical theory black hole cannot be reconciled to the quantum mechanical prediction that energy and information can escape from a black hole.
Now Hawking has proposed a tantalizingly simple solution to the paradox which allows both quantum mechanics and general relativity to remain intact--black holes simply do not have an event horizon to catch fire. The key to his claim is that quantum effects around the black hole cause spacetime to fluctuate too wildly for a sharp boundary surface to exist. As Hawking writes in his paper, "The absence of event horizons mean that there are no black holes — in the sense of regimes from which light can't escape to infinity."

Submission + - Disabled Woman Denied Entrance to USA Due to Private Medical Records (thestar.com) 4

Jah-Wren Ryel writes: The latest from the front lines in the War on Dignity:

In 2012, Canadian Ellen Richardson was hospitalized for clinical depression. This past Monday she tried to board a plane to New York for a $6,000 Caribbean cruise. DHS denied her entry, citing supposedly private medical records listing her hospitalization.

Submission + - Affordable Blood Work In Four Hours Coming To Walgreens (singularityhub.com) 4

kkleiner writes: With the cost of healthcare services increasing, it's welcome news that a recent deal between Walgreens and Theranos will bring rapid, accurate, low-cost blood testing to the local pharmacy. A pinprick of blood from a finger is enough to run any number of a la carte diagnostic tests with results in four hours or less. The automation of blood testing in one convenient machine may mean that the demand for clinical technicians may decline, but the benefits of making blood analysis more accessible to everyone is enormous.

Submission + - State Photo-ID databases Mined By Police

Rick Zeman writes: Showing once again that once a privacy door is opened every law enforcement agency will run through it, The Washington Post details how state drivers license photo databases are being mined by various LEOs in their states--and out. From the article: "[L]aw enforcement use of such facial searches is blurring the traditional boundaries between criminal and non-criminal databases, putting images of people never arrested in what amount to perpetual digital lineups. The most advanced systems allow police to run searches from laptop computers in their patrol cars and offer access to the FBI and other federal authorities.

Such open access has caused a backlash in some of the few states where there has been a public debate. As the databases grow larger and increasingly connected across jurisdictional boundaries, critics warn that authorities are developing what amounts to a national identification system — based on the distinct geography of each human face."

Submission + - BBC Clock Inaccurate - 100 Programmer Days To Fix? (i-programmer.info) 2

mikejuk writes: The BBC home page has just lost its clock because the BBC Trust upheld a complaint that it was inaccurate. All it did was to show the current time on the machine it was being viewed on and not an accurate time as determined by the BBC.
However, the BBC have responded to the accusations of inaccuracy by simply removing the clock as it has been stated that it would take 100 programmer hours to fix. It further says:
"Given the technical complexities of implementing an alternative central clock, and the fact that most users already have a clock on their computer screen, the BBC has taken the decision to remove the clock from the Homepage in an upcoming update."
and
  "impossible to offer a single zonally-accurate clock".
They cannot be serious!
In fact it should be possible with a single line of JavaScript and perhaps a single line of say PHP back on the server. The clock wouldn't be millisecond accurate but in most cases it would be correct to the second.
So a 100 hours or "too simple to fix"?

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