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Comment Re:Phishing, not hacking. (Score 1) 86

Got a call from "Microsoft" a little while back. The original caller informed me my PC was in trouble and then transferred me to my Scandinavian representative, Mr Gundersen (I kid you not). Mr Gunderson spoke English with a heavy Indian accent (why he didn't speak any of the Scandinavian languages was never explained). Anyway, me, being a really dumb user, took a long time to accomplish what Mr. Gundersen wanted me to do: download and install TeamViewer.

After a good hour I finally "managed to install TV" so Mr. Gundersen asked me for the ID and password. I gave him a random number and the password was f-u-c-k-y-o-u. He tried it several times, but our connection was going bad, so I kept saying "hello", "hello", "hello" and hung up. After a few minutes a rather angry Mr Gundersen called me back and explained in some detail how I could have a sexual encounter with my mother. I didn't really take him up on that. It was a fun hour or so, and I needed an hours break at the time :-) Two colleagues monitoring our conversation also had a good time. I was a really stupid computer user. Just finding the TeamViewer website (which turned out was not on my local computer and therefore not accessible from my Explorer) took a good 15-20 minutes.

Comment Re: Basement theory (Score 1) 86

There's no more likelihood of civil war come November 9th than there was eight years ago when Obama became President. Yes, there will be some miserable losers, and this time they'll have a miserable loser in Donald Trump, but they'll do what they did eight years ago, be assholes on the Internet and get on with their lives.

Comment Re:Phone (Score 4, Insightful) 160

If Ecuador has decided to shut off his Internet access to stop him from trying to fuck around with the US election, I have a feeling that they wouldn't be any more tolerant of him using alternative means to continue the campaign. I honestly think that his days hanging out in the Ecuadorian Embassy are numbered, and too much pursuing of his October Surprise strategy is likely to mean he's shown the door.

Comment Re:Basement theory (Score 3, Insightful) 86

Circumstantial may mean there's a question mark, but it doesn't mean "no evidence at all". Certainly Russia would gain greatly from a President who was less willing to stand behind the US's European allies, and who, all in all, would likely represent a more inward-gazing US. Russia has no hope in hell of ever militarily dominating the West, but if it can divide, then it gains a great deal of strategic space.

Clinton's victory means the general policy towards Russia that has, by and large, been the US's strategy since the Truman Administration, remains intact, so it is clearly in Russia's interest to try to help the person that at least might represent a break with that strategy.

Yes, it is circumstantial, and there is a possible counterargument that not even Putin actually would want someone as potentially unpredictable as Donald Trump in the White House, but I still lean towards Russia wanting a more isolationist Administration in the White House, much as it wants the European Union and NATO to be weakened. These three entities; the US, the EU and NATO represent significant checks on Russia's ability to project its power, and if any or all of them can be weakened or eliminated, it is of enormous strategic advantage to Russia.

Comment Re:Ignores the issue (Score 4, Insightful) 86

Ah yes, the real damaging ones are just around the corner...

It's less than three weeks away, and no modern presidential candidate has ever come from this far behind at this late a date, so if Assange and Friends really are interested in tanking the Clinton campaign, to wait until this late date, AFTER millions have already cast their ballots, would be idiotic.

The alternative explanation is that there really isn't anything there so odious that it's going to make a difference, and this is just Assange's latest "Look at me!" bid.

Probably his last, too, if the rumors that Ecuador is in discussions to kick his ass out of the embassy.

Submission + - Wired says Google's Pixel is the best phone on the market

swillden writes: The reviews on Google's Pixel phones are coming in, and they're overwhelmingly positive. Most call them the best Android phones available, and at least one says they're the best phones available, period.

Wired's reviewer says he used to recommend the iPhone to people, but now he says "You should get a Pixel." The Verge, says "these are easily the best Android phones you can buy." The Wall Street Journal calls the Pixel "the Android iPhone you've been waiting for." ComputerWorld says "It's Android at its best."

AndroidPolice is more restrained, calling it "A very good phone by Google." The NY Times broke from the rest, saying "the Pixel is, relatively speaking, mediocre", but I'm a little skeptical of a reviewer who can't figure out how to use a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner without using both hands. It makes me wonder if he's actually held one.

Comment Skyrim is a 2011 game though (Score 1) 235

I mean nothing wrong with having it on the platform, but it isn't exactly the pinnacle of modern tech. It was released in 2011, and the console versions were designed to target systems with 512MB of RAM (unified for the 360, 256/256 system/GPU for the PS3) at 1280x720@30fps. That was fairly low spec then, since the consoles were old (remember Oblivion released in 2006 as one of the first flight titles on the Xbox 360) and is really low spec now. It wouldn't at all surprise me if my Shield Tablet could handle it easily. It has more RAM, and its GPU seems to be at least as powerful as the 360/PS3 era stuff.

So while there's nothing wrong with Nintendo getting games like this, it isn't really some major win, or proof of a high spec system. We saw the same kind of thing happen with the Wii U where it got games that previously the Wii hadn't because of a lack of power.

The issue in the long run is that being too low spec can exclude games from being released on your platform. While people like to claim "graphics don't matter" they do and they sell games. That aside, there are a lot of things you could want to put in a game that will require more memory, more CPU, more GPU and so on. Developers aren't always going to be interested in either compromising on what they want to make, or producing a cut-down version to target the lower spec hardware.

Comment Re: Irony (Score 1) 85

They obviously know, but are legally forbidden from commenting.


I think people often forget that corporations are about the furthest thing possible from monolithic. It's entirely possible for one organization within a corporation to receive a request that is within its own ability and authority and to handle it without bothering to tell anyone else, or with only brief consultations with legal, who may not have kept any records. Given government secrecy requests/demands, that possibility grows even more likely. Further, corporations aren't static. They're constantly reorganized and even without reorgs people move around a lot, and even leave the company. There are some records of what people and organizations do, but they're usually scattered and almost never comprehensive.

It's entirely possible that they did something like this, that the system was installed and later removed, and that the only people who know about it have left the company or aren't speaking up because they were told at the time that they could never speak about it, and that the organization that was responsible for doing it and/or undoing it no longer even exists. It's possible that Yahoo's leadership's only option for finding out whether it happened is to scan old email to see if anyone discussed it via email (which may not have happened; see "government secrecy requests/demands") or to look in system configuration changleogs to find out if the system was ever deployed (and it may have been hidden under an innocuous-sounding name)... or to ask the government if the request was ever made.

Of course, my supposition here depends on a culture of cooperation with the government. I don't know if that existed at Yahoo. I think most of the major tech corporations at this point have a strong bias towards NON-cooperation, which would cause any request like this to go immediately to legal who would immediately notify the relevant C-level execs. But I have worked for corporations where the scenario I describe is totally plausible.

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