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Businesses

Submission + - Architecture versus pattern recognition in programming (hou2600.org)

hessian writes: "Most programming is a variant of “cut and paste” programming. You find the archetype you’re looking for, adapt it, and then paste it into the program from a mixture of sample code and blog posts. It works; you move on.

The problem with each of these method is that they’re limited role. The programmer is the only one involved in how the project works; the major architectural factors unique to the project are removed; and, it’s difficult for others to participate."

Programming

Submission + - G. K. Chesterton on software development (rc3.org)

hessian writes: "John D. Cook blogs a great quotation from G. K. Chesterton that advises caution before removing something. In essence, he challenges people who would remove something unnecessary to go and figure out why it was erected in the first place. Needless to say, this is an issue we deal with a lot in writing software."
Microsoft

Submission + - MSFT reaches out to hackers: 'Do epic $#!+' (cnn.com)

hessian writes: "Microsoft isn't exactly known for its underground hacker culture, but a recent effort to give its employees more slack is generating some wild experiments.

Last summer, Microsoft completed a redesign of one of its original buildings on campus — Building 4, where Bill Gates' office used to be — into a laid-back workshop where staff can tinker with things. It's open to anyone, anytime, and it's got everything from a hardware workshop to an actual working garage door.

If it doesn't sound to you like something Microsoft would normally do , the Garage's motto will really shock you: "Do epic s--t.""

Government

Submission + - While the public discusses SOPA, malevolent issues (amerika.org)

hessian writes: "Right now, there’s a huge publicity blitz on the internet designed to make you think that Voldemort-Hitler is going to censor the internet unless we all band together and fight him. Time to rage! For great justice!

However, a list of dangerous developments — data correlation, falsified online personas, behavior monitoring, and false citizen journalism — may actually be more likely to harm us, says this researcher."

Government

Submission + - Palantir, the War on Terror's Secret Weapon (businessweek.com)

hessian writes: "None of Fikri’s individual actions would raise suspicions. Lots of people rent trucks or have relations in Syria, and no doubt there are harmless eccentrics out there fascinated by amusement park infrastructure. Taken together, though, they suggested that Fikri was up to something. And yet, until about four years ago, his pre-attack prep work would have gone unnoticed. A CIA analyst might have flagged the plane ticket purchase; an FBI agent might have seen the bank transfers. But there was nothing to connect the two. Lucky for counterterror agents, not to mention tourists in Orlando, the government now has software made by Palantir Technologies, a Silicon Valley company that’s become the darling of the intelligence and law enforcement communities.

The day Fikri drives to Orlando, he gets a speeding ticket, which triggers an alert in the CIA’s Palantir system. An analyst types Fikri’s name into a search box and up pops a wealth of information pulled from every database at the government’s disposal. There’s fingerprint and DNA evidence for Fikri gathered by a CIA operative in Cairo; video of him going to an ATM in Miami; shots of his rental truck’s license plate at a tollbooth; phone records; and a map pinpointing his movements across the globe. All this information is then displayed on a clearly designed graphical interface that looks like something Tom Cruise would use in a Mission: Impossible movie."

Government

Submission + - Surveillance Company Says It Sent Fake iTunes, Fla (wsj.com)

hessian writes: "Gamma International UK Ltd. touts its ability to send a “fake iTunes update” that can infect computers with surveillance software, according to one of the company’s marketing videos.

The Wall Street Journal unveiled on Saturday the “Surveillance Catalog” – an online database containing highlights from surveillance industry marketing documents. The documents show dozens of companies making and selling everything from “massive intercept” gear that can gather all Internet communications in a country to “hacking” tools that allow governments to break into people’s computers."

Privacy

Submission + - AT&T hackers warned of vulnerability, now prov (hou2600.org)

hessian writes: "A few years ago, a smart young hacker saw a blatant hole in AT&T security and so whipped up a quick script to mine the website for information.

However, this guy was a grey hat or white hat hacker, meaning that he did not have criminal intent of the for-profit variety. Instead, he was just curious to see if it could be done. He sent the data to the corporation and, when they ignored him, published the hack.

They came down on him like a ton of bricks. Today, a similar hack may have leaked confidential customer information from AT&T. They were warned by a hacker but because of the source, ignored it, and now their customers are the ones to pay for AT&T's hacker-phobia."

Music

Submission + - High quality global journalism requires investment (ft.com)

hessian writes: "High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article. See our Ts&Cs and Copyright Policy for more detail. Email ftsales.support@ft.com to buy additional rights. http://blogs.ft.com/businessblog/2011/11/emis-recorded-music-business-proves-to-be-alive/#ixzz1dVfsAZKS

The conventional wisdom of recent years has been that, while the music publishing companies that hold the back catalogue rights for well-known music, still had some value, recorded music values were slipping due to mass piracy and the digital revolution.

Yet the reported prices for EMI’s music publishing and recorded music divisions are not so far apart, with the former fetching about $2.2bn.

Although recorded music sales are falling in many countries due to piracy, the picture in the US is a bit brighter, with album sales rising 1 per cent year-on-year in the first half of 2011, according to Nielsen SoundScan – the first time there has been a rise since 2004. Digital album sales rose by 10 per cent in the same period."

Government

Submission + - Darpa Begs Hackers: Secure Our Networks, End 'Seas (wired.com)

hessian writes: "The Pentagon’s far-out research agency and its brand new military command for cyberspace have a confession to make. They don’t really know how to keep U.S. military networks secure. And they want to know: Could you help them out?

Darpa convened a “cyber colloquium” at a swank northern Virginia hotel on Monday for what it called a “frank discussion” about the persistent vulnerabilities within the Defense Department’s data networks. The Pentagon can’t defend those networks on its own, the agency admitted."

Privacy

Submission + - Feds' Use of Fake Cell Tower: Did it Constitute a (wired.com)

hessian writes: "Federal authorities used a fake Verizon cellphone tower to zero in on a suspect’s wireless card, and say they were perfectly within their rights to do so, even without a warrant.

But the feds don’t seem to want that legal logic challenged in court by the alleged identity thief they nabbed using the spoofing device, known generically as a stingray. So the government is telling a court for the first time that spoofing a legitimate wireless tower in order to conduct surveillance could be considered a search under the Fourth Amendment in this particular case, and that its use was legal, thanks to a court order and warrant that investigators used to get similar location data from Verizon’s own towers."

The Military

Submission + - Get Hacked, Don't Tell: Drone Base Didn't Report V (wired.com)

hessian writes: "Officials at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada knew for two weeks about a virus infecting the drone “cockpits” there. But they kept the information about the infection to themselves — leaving the unit that’s supposed to serve as the Air Force’s cybersecurity specialists in the dark. The network defenders at the 24th Air Force learned of the virus by reading about it in Danger Room."
Privacy

Submission + - R.I.P. Wikileaks (hou2600.org) 1

hessian writes: "Hacking is to wield a power. It’s one thing to explore distant systems, learn to circumvent rules and safeguards, and gain more power by doing so. Wikileaks attempted to hide their political vendetta behind the mask of hacking, privacy and morality. It is probably best this task be left to more responsible parties."
Piracy

Submission + - Tales of the copyright wars (bob-way.com)

hessian writes: "Mike and I shared disks at first. It wasn’t much of a bother. But in a moment of clumsiness his brother spilled a Coke on the stack of game disks. Most survived but a game we were currently playing became a sticky mess and would no longer turn. In desperation Mike cut open the outside plastic and carefully unstuck the magnetic disk inside. He washed the now very floppy bit of plastic under the sink and hoped it wouldn’t effect its magnet fields. I sacrificed a blank disk by carefully opening its shell to make a new home for the cleaned floppy. It worked! We were elated!

There was no doubt left. We needed backup copies. I bought a box of blank disks and we set out to make copies of the games we didn’t want to lose. Most of the early games copied easily. Going through the disks, however, made us realize that some of the two year old floppies were already worn out. They simply wouldn’t boot anymore.

None of the newer games, including the rehabilitated disk were copyable. The publishers called them “protected” disks. We saw them as unprotected from wear or another “Pepsi Syndrome.” Every time a protected disk failed I felt the publishers stealing from me again."

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