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Ask Slashdot: Is Your Data Safe In the Cloud? sponsored by: SourceForge 332

With so much personal data being kept on the cloud, including government and health records or your source code, do you have any concerns about it falling into the wrong hands? Do you think the cloud's benefits are outweighed by continuing security issues?

Comment Re:hands free? (Score 1) 171

Interesting question actually.
In the UK at least:

  • Driving with your right hand on the wheel and a phone in your left hand: illegal
  • Driving with your right hand on the wheel when you do not have a left hand: legal

If the laws were there just because of the distraction, using a hands-free phone would also be banned, but it is not.

Comment Nothing new here (Score 4, Insightful) 57

I just tried the web version at TellTaleGames. It has the same problem as every other chatbot I've seen - When it cannot parse your sentence or you do not give any keyword that it knows about, it tries to conceal the fact by giving a non-sequitur or changing the subject.
The trouble with that is that humans are trained to spot that and react with suspicion (because other humans use it to dodge difficult questions.)
Chatbot developers might have more luck if they start programming their bots to admit when they don't understand something. That didn't work in the 80s because the bot would say "I don't understand" every 3rd sentence or so. But they can fit in much larger databases now so that should be less of a problem.


Submission + - The new market for life-saving kidney-swap chains (

John Mecklin writes: "Using game theory and market-design software, doctors are arranging kidney-transplant "swaps" — sometimes in long chains — to give more people with renal disease better transplant options and healthier futures. Kidney transplants are the treatment of choice for people with end-stage renal failure, kept alive — barely — with weekly rounds of debilitating dialysis treatments, and nationally, some 78,000 people await transplants. Doctors prefer to use kidneys from live donors because on average they last nearly twice as long as transplants from cadavers, but the need for live kidneys outstrips the supply. To increase the number of live-kidney transplants, doctors are turning to what are known as paired exchanges and even creating chains of exchanges among strangers that link together as many as 10 pairs of live donors and recipients. This push to boost the number of live transplants is improving and even saving lives — but creating logistical and ethical concerns, too."

Submission + - Extrasolar planet was hiding in old Hubble image (

Kristina at Science News writes: "A new way to process images reveals an extrasolar planet that had been hiding in an 11-year-old Hubble picture. After ground-based telescopes found three planets orbiting the young star HR 8799, a team took that information and reprocessed some 11-year-old Hubble Space Telescope images. Voila. There was one of the three planets, captured by Hubble but not visible until new knowledge could see the picture in a fresh light. The technique could reveal hidden treasures in many archived telescope images."

Submission + - New Way to Produce Hydrogen (

Iddo Genuth writes: "Scientists at Pennsylvania State University and Virginia Commonwealth University are producing hydrogen by exposing clusters of aluminum atoms to water. Rather than relying on the electronic properties of the aluminum, this new process depends on the geometric distribution of atoms within the clusters and requires the presence of Lewis acids and Lewis bases in those atoms. Unlike most hydrogen production processes, this method can be used at room temperature and doesn't require the application of heat or electricity to work."

Submission + - RazorSQL as an example of Missed Opportunity (

jbsurveyer writes: "RazorSQL is a robust Java app that one can rarely find on LAMP based servers. It is typical of a broad range of Open Java tools (think Alfresco, Maven, Hibernate, etc, etc)that still are not available on most web hosting services and Linux distributions. This is an ongoing shame for the Linux community — why such short sightedness, given that Java's creators (Sun) have been such big contributors to Open Source, is hard to fathom."

Comment vi (Score 1) 663

Being able to move around your cursor and delete and edit things without leaving your home position can easily *double* your editing speed. That's the reason why people still love vi and Emacs. And this is not a joke.

Well almost. You still have to reach for the ESC key to switch between typing and moving the cursor. I find that slightly harder than reaching for the enter or backspace keys. You can train yourself to reach for it in a certain location, then find that when you switch to a laptop you keep hitting backquote or F1 instead.


AMD Employee Charged With Stealing Intel Secrets 212

IWonderWhatICanPutInThisFieldWithoutBeingDeleted writes "A man who once worked for Intel and then jumped ship to join AMD has been accused of stealing his erstwhile employer's chip secrets. Federal detectives allege they discovered 19 CAD designs and more than 100 pages of confidential Intel documentation."

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"The eleventh commandment was `Thou Shalt Compute' or `Thou Shalt Not Compute' -- I forget which." -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982