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


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Comment Lack of linting and debugging. (Score 2) 168

I have tested all of them in the past. Some have moved in a direction that I don't think is right for a PHP developer. They are essentially moving to sandboxed virtual environments where they want you to develop on that virtual box.

I have been keeping my eye on codeanywhere as I believe it is going in the right direction. However with the lack of PHP (or any language) linting, it is useless. For those of you that don't know, linting is essentially the highlighting of syntax errors in your code. I believe this should be their top priority but is seems they could care less. If it is ever implemented, I will definitely give codeanywhere another try on a real project.

A few months ago I gave up on the cloud IDE's as well as cloud syncing. I carry around a 512 gig USB3 SSD with my projects as well as any applications and configurations/preferences I need. It works great for those that never know where they will be and always want access to their projects and preferred IDE. Just remember to back it up on a regular basis.

Comment These are not Comcast/Xfinity devices (Score 1) 119

It is important to note that Comcast is not the manufacturer of these devices. They are also most likely not creating the software for them either. The alarm system is sold by an OEM that several different alarm companies use, including other cable companies.

The system also isn't just using ZigBee for communication, it is using the ZigBee Home Automation standard. ZigBee has defined how they want home security and automation products to communicate over their ZigBee radio standard. So this isn't just related to Comcast. I would think that just about every other system out there using ZigBee for home security would have the same problem. So this is a bigger problem than just Comcast users.

I would think a software update could be pushed to the base station that would detect active signal jamming. It could be as simple as checking of the signal level is peaked on all channels with no valid data being detected. It could also be a lot more sophisticated and look at actual received data to determine if it was from a jamming device or possibly matches signatures of known devices that can cause interference.

I think an ideal solution is adding a beacon that is not dependent on power usage. This beacon would transmit on regular intervals (every second or so). If this signal is not received for a period of time (plus may some other detected conditions), then the system can trigger the desired alarm.

Comment History already tells us what will happen (Score 1) 295

This is one of those things where history got it right. We get sent to colonize and are supported by a particular governing body (group of nations?). At some point this governing body is no longer required. The colony decides to separate itself from this governing body when it is no longer required. If it is truly no longer required, the separation is a success. Some people sacrifice their lives, but eventually everyone becomes friends and they all live happily ever after.

Many people in several different "colonizations" refer to this transition as Independence Day.

Comment Re:How can there be? (Score 1) 622

The thing is, it was and will never be an infinite resource. While the data was not necessarily limited, you had purchased a specific amount of bandwidth. Using that full amount of bandwidth 24/7 will cause your truly unlimited plan to still have a limit.

This is similar to Mail Order Netflix. You could get an unlimited number of DVD's in one month. However those had to be sent via mail which took time and limited you to a maximum number of DVD's per month. Now lets say Netflix were to upgrade to a shipping method that took half the time. Now you can have your DVD's quicker and order twice as many in one month.

This exact scenario happened. Online Streaming. Now you can have a truly unlimited amount of movies shipped to you from Netflix. The problem is they are no longer paying for shipping and the shipping company wants to be paid one way or another.

Submission + - Would you rather disable your adblocker or pay to access content? (

Mark Wilson writes: German tabloid Bild has made a bold move with its website — blocking anyone using an adblocker from accessing content. Visitors to the site who want to use a tool such as Adblock Plus are now faced with a stark choice: add to a whitelist so ads are displayed, or cough up for a €2.99 monthly fee to remove ads.

This is not a move that — at the moment at least — every website could get away with. Bild finds itself in the unique position of being the top-selling tabloid newspaper in Europe; it can afford to lose a few visitors with this experiment. With adblocking back in the limelight at the moment, it's time to ask the question: would you rather disable your adblocker or pay to access content?

Comment Re:What about connection? (Score 1) 508

The whole situation amuses me though. I remember being one of the only kids in school that had access to a computer at home, let alone liked using it. Now we are almost to the point that teachers can start requiring students perform their work on computers and submit it over the internet.

20+ years ago in middle and grade school I was also one of the few with a computer at home (also one of the even fewer with a "personal" computer and modem). At that time the requirement already existed to perform work on a computer and also print it out on a printer (dot matrix, ink jet or laser if you were rich). However almost no students had these things at home. That is the point of a computer lab, free periods and "late buses" This isn't anything new.

My suggestion to the OP. Let the students deal with it. There are computer labs and libraries for these types of students. Things can be hand-written at home and then typed and submitted during normal or extended school hours. If they have cell phones, buy a bunch of Bluetooth keyboards and loan them out.

On a side note, I would put money down that lack of funds isn't why they don't have a computer at home. Lack of need for a computer is more plausible. They probably have a tablet or at least the parents have decent cell phones which covers any of their internet or computing needs. The same people that didn't have computers when we were younger are the same people that don't have them now because they have a capable mobile device.

Comment Are you sure it isn't a phishing scam? (Score 1) 213

Have you looked at the links in the email? Have you looked at the email headers to find out exactly where it is coming from? It is pretty common to send emails like this to get you to enter information on a false site where they log it and then try to use those login details somewhere else... hence the reason multi-factor authentication was invented.

Comment There are plenty of options... (Score 0) 107

Did you even try searching? Linux support may be hard to find, but OSX and Windows apps seems readily available. I'm sure most of these companies are working on Linux support too. There is no technical reason why this can't work seamlessly. The only disadvantage is using the native web interfaces to search for and view files. [looks like this runs from the cloud, so will work anywhere] [windows only]

Comment Same as if they pick up our signal (Score 2) 391

From the article... Shostak told me. “I’ve bet dozens of astronomers coffee that if we pick up an alien signal, it’ll be artificial life.”

This is true an any scenario. We have been sending out signals for at most a few hundred years. These signals may have been engineered by us, but they were sent with an "artifical" life form. By the time another intelligent life receives these signals, we will most likely be long gone and they may believe they came from artificial life.

The reverse holds true for us. When we finally find an alien signal, it will just be an artificial life form. The chances of the original life form (or even their planet) still being around are fairly small.

But to say that artificial rules all depends on if non-artificial ruled first. How many probes have been sent to voyage beyond our solar system? Take that number and compare it to the number of living organisms on just our planet. Sure we will all die off and the probes will continue on their voyage. But they aren't intelligent and may not even make it to another destination where they are detected.

Comment Re:Am I the only one (Score 5, Informative) 115

No one is referring to when they speak of Alibaba. They are referring to the Alibaba Group which includes and at least 5 other websites which are consumer based ( They are even the PayPal or maybe of China with AliPay.

so... - not consumer based - Consumer based, like Amazon or eBay
Taobao - Consumer bases, like Amazon or eBay - Consumer based, Amazon like
Juhuasuan - Consumer based - like any daily deal site, think
eTao - consumer based comparison shopping, think Google shopping
Alipay - consumer/retailer based, AKA PayPal
Alibaba Cloud Computing - smells like Amazon
China Yahoo! - ya, they pretty much own Yahoo, and again consumer based
Aliwang - messaging app? consumer based.
ChinaVision Media Group - TV? consumer based
Youku Tudou - seems to be a Netflix, consumer based
11 Main - online mall, consumer based
Alibaba Group R&D institute - smells like Google, end user, consumer.

Seems pretty consumer based to me.

Comment A few corrections and some reality (Score 1) 291

First of all it is DOCSIS (Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification).

Secondly comparing the maximum bandwidth of a fiber line to a 4 channel DOCSIS 3 modem that is connected to the same wire as multiple other DOCSIS 3 modems is just ignorant. DOCSIS 3 can add more channels and have more bandwidth while also supporting more modems off the same line. The fiber you mention is a single point-to-point connection and probably costs 100 fold to deploy. Take that fiber and tell me how much it costs to create a setup with 4 channels grouped and each delivered independently to a neighborhood of 100 houses. Including the termination at each house. Fiber is not for individual households. Maybe in the future, but currently completely unnecessary. Especially when copper and wireless are the last foot.

You say DOCSIS alternatives will be more expensive in the long term. The only way they will be more expensive is if they become legacy and have to be maintained separately. Currently most of the infrastructure was already in place and re-used, so again your comparison is apples to oranges. Adding fiber costs a lot more, but can be cheaper in the long run if it is re-used and doesn't become a legacy system.

People without fiber are not losing out on "super-fast" broadband. 100+ Mbps is readily available and more than enough for most users.

In reality... (In the US) The problem is I can get 100+ Mbps yet my co-worker, living only about 20 miles from me can't even get DSL. He is stuck on fixed wireless that claims 10+ Mbps but averages 2Mbps. His provider is most likely sharing a single 10Mbps line with several customers. This is an issue. Broadband penetration is missing a lot of small areas which should be supplied with broadband. No one currently "needs" fiber. Cable and POTS lines can handle the bandwidth needs of just about anyone. They just need to be made available to everyone.

Slashdot Top Deals

The unfacts, did we have them, are too imprecisely few to warrant our certitude.