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Largest Auto-Scandal Settlement In US History: Judge Approves $15 Billion Volkswagen Settlement ( 116

A federal just has approved the largest auto-scandal settlement in U.S. history, a $14.7 billion settlement concerning Volkswagen Group's diesel car emissions scandal. USA Today reports: U.S. District Court Judge Charles Breyer in San Francisco approved the sweeping agreement between consumers, the government, California regulators and the German automaker in a written ruling a week after signaling he was likely to sign off. He said the agreement is "fair, reasonable and adequate." The settlement comes about a year after Volkswagen admitted that it rigged 11 million vehicles worldwide with software designed to dodge emissions standards. The company is still facing criminal investigations by the U.S. Justice Department and German prosecutors. The U.S. probe could lead to additional financial penalties and criminal indictments. About 475,000 Volkswagen owners in the U.S. can choose between a buyback or a free fix and compensation, if a repair becomes available. VW will begin administering the settlement immediately, having already devoted several hundred employees to handling the process. Buybacks range in value from $12,475 to $44,176, including restitution payments, and varying based on milage. People who opt for a fix approved by the Environmental Protection Agency will receive payouts ranging from $5,100 to $9,852, depending on the book value of their car. Volkswagen will also pay $2.7 billion for environmental mitigation and another $2 billion for clean-emissions infrastructure.

Comment stop going techno-nerd on it.. they failed (Score 1) 236

Unless support wasn't part of the deal that was signed, then it clearly is Microsoft's fault. And the NFL's. They are the ones who agreed to the deal.
And these three words: User Acceptance Testing

I have a feeling this was technical people saying "it should work" and sales people saying "it's flawless" and the NFL saying "this will be great" and people getting bonuses and high-fiving each other.... and NOBODY actually trying it out in a real setting ahead of time.

Serves them right.

Comment Re:If the point was ... (Score 4, Insightful) 334

There's no proof that it has anything to do with Wikileaks, but in a world of IoT devices with no thought toward security, anyone who cares to do so can mount DDOS with the power of a national entity.

What's the point of doing what Assange and Wikileaks have been doing without any moral position? He isn't helping his own case.

Comment Re:Legal? (Score 2) 283

No, of course it is not legal to set a trap to intentionally hurt someone, even if you expect that the trap could only be activated by the person committing property theft or vandalism. Otherwise, you'd see shotguns built into burglar alarms.

Fire alarm stations sometimes shoot a blue dye which is difficult to remove or one which only shows under UV. Never stand in front of one when pulling the lever! But they are not supposed to hurt you.

And of course these booby traps generally are not as reliable as the so-called "inventor" thinks and tend to hurt the innocent.

Submission + - Comodo OCR fail: researchers hack TLS certificate

alanw writes: The original e-mail should have been archived on Google Groups, but
all that is there is this reply:

There's a news report in German here:

Two researchers: Florian Heinz and Martin Kluge discovered that the
WHOIS server for some top level domains will only provide the contact
e-mail address as an image.

Comodo was using OCR to extract the e-mail address so it could send a
verification e-mail to the domain. Their OCR was faulty, and the
researchers tricked it into sending the e-mail to a different domain.

Comodo has made very negative comments about these domain registrars.

Comment I object to some of your comments.... (Score 1) 268

* its software is free as in beer (this is what made me try out linux)

For almost all practical purposes so is Windows and you can get all the good Linux software on Windows and Mac too.

NO, it is not. Mac OS is not either. Free as in beer means free as in beer - no cost. You cannot LEGALLY get Windows for free. Which leads to the OTHER free, which is free as in freedom - which clearly the other two are not either. You can get all the good Linux software on Windows and Mac? Hold that thought.

* its software is free as in software (this is what made me stay on linux for so long)

Like it or not, users in the vast majority don't care about that and it won't draw them to Linux. As far as the software is concerned that same free software like Blender, Gimp and LibreOffice are available on Windows and Mac too. No exclusivity to Linux.

Again... hold that thought.

* it has working package management. updating software is no nightmare. Windows has to force its customers to update it, because its a nightmare.

yep! But remember Windows has Chocolatey and Mac has Homebrew, this covers many of the free software options and for proprietary software you most often need to go through their updaters whether you're on Windows, Mac or Linux anyway.

It's great that it does what you need but you have to remember that above anything else a computer is a tool to run the programs a user needs and while Windows and Mac run pretty much anything Linux does the same cannot be said the other way around and most standard applications in industry support Windows & Mac but not Linux. It might be more secure and/or more stable and free of charge and open source but none of those things matter if it doesn't run the applications I need.

So it's a chicken and egg problem, if you want people to use it they need their applications to support it and to do that you need users. So what you need to offer is some disruptive innovation, some great feature that draws people to Linux, something so good that they would be willing to temporarily forgo the lack of applications and work through the kludge of dual-booting or VMs until their programs supported Linux as a first class citizen. But for the entire life of the hundreds of Linux desktop distributions none has ever offered the user such a feature(s).

Now you can pretend this isn't true, mod it down and fantasize about how desktop Linux is simple held back by a big conspiracy perpetrated by Microsoft and Apple but the fact is it has succeeded incredibly in pretty much all other markets including those in which Microsoft and Apple participate - and it dominates! Server? Dominates! Embedded? Dominates! Mobile? Dominates! Desktop? Utter failure!

So you say Linux dominates in server, embedded, and mobile. So remember what the question was - why do you use linux? The three word answer could very well be "Server, Embedded, Mobile".

And if you don't like the linux desktop because you like or use something that isn't supported on it, that is ok too. I don't think that is an utter failure, however. That is more up to the applications than the OS. There is nothing the OS is doing to prevent them from creating a version for linux. Which brings me all the way back to where I said to hold that thought. Do you know WHY apps that are on linux are also on Windows and Mac? Because of the openness, the other freedom mentioned above. It's not ABOUT exclusivity. It's not about cornering market share, or keeping secrets, or patents, or obscurity, or profits, or lock-out, or lock-in, or backroom deals, or crushing the competition.

I use it, and have used it exclusively outside of my job, since 1998. No dual boot, no VM. It does everything I want. I can't say it hasn't been frustrating at times, but I have never ONCE considered going to windows or mac. It meshes well with my brain and how I think. The desktop is great, and I find it much better than any Windows version (even 7)! But I think that the only thing that it is really missing is in the corporate space. That is where I use windows. There's no conspiracy theory there, they became the standard for that by any means necessary. (see those things above that linux is not about) And that's OK. It's fine to me that Windows has the corporate market, it doesn't really bother me. To me, that's work. It's using a few programs, to accomplish a few goals. Obviously linux is capable in that arena, but to be honest, too many people/companies have invested in the Microsoft way to choose another. I understand, it's a big leap to even consider moving away from Windows. That is really the only argument that I see when talking about why linux hasn't conquered the desktop. People use Windows at work, they use it at home. (not to mention when you buy a computer, it has windows on it) But I digress.

My three words as to why I use Linux: Because It's Linux.

Comment Re:Bribe? (Score 1) 122

Why not both ?

As an aside, can you imagine the unholy shitstorm that would be making the rounds if any of this were happening to Apple ?

Exploding iPhones... The internet might not cope with that, and then Apple bribing people to keep quiet about the whole thing ? We might have a singularity event...

Comment Re:Only Logical (and irresponsible) (Score 1) 403

I think it is interesting to see and note. It's data. More data gives you more things to compare. We aren't exactly comparing like for like here. The US is huge. Yet it is compared to European countries, some of which are tiny. Look, we're different. So that we work more is just a data point, and judgement shouldn't be passed down on that data alone. The type of work is relevant as well.

Moreover, how do other places like Japan or China or Australia compare? We likely won't have comparable data, so it makes coming to conclusions more tricky.

I get that this is a simple generalized comparison. Jumping to conclusions based on it is quite irresponsible, IMO.

Comment Agree ... Happy Birthday to my ex (Score 1) 127

I agree. Although for me the downfall wasn't going 'pretty', it was in instability. For almost a year I struggled with a bug where something would cause dbus to inexplicably eat 100% of the CPU and the only way to get out of it was to reboot. I could just restart KDE, but then it would come back. I had my machine on 24/7, and about once a week I would wake up to the cpu having been pegged all night. Sometimes it would happen while I was using it. It was maddening. I posted and searched, and nobody had an answer. I was running Kubuntu at the time, so I tried other things. I fell in love with the simplicity of XFCE and haven't looked back.

OK, I did look back once, but for me the magic was gone.
It was like I went to a bar to meet an ex-girlfriend. I could recall past memories, but it was uncomfortable. She never really supported me, we always had to do things her way. I realized we had just grown apart. I was happy for her, but I too was happier now.

And she wore WAY too much makeup.

Comment Re:So, what's Soylent really about? (Score 1) 207

Like Boost, too much simple sugar.

Water, Corn Maltodextrin, Sugar, Blend of Vegetable Oils (Canola, Corn), Milk Protein Concentrate, Soy Protein Isolate, Cocoa Powder (Processed with Alkali). Less than 0.5% of: Nonfat Milk, Magnesium Phosphate, Sodium Citrate, Soy Lecithin, Natural & Artificial Flavor, Calcium Phosphate, Potassium Chloride, Cellulose Gum, Potassium Citrate, Choline Chloride, Ascorbic Acid, Cellulose Gel, Carrageenan, Salt, Ferric Phosphate, dl-Alpha-Tocopheryl Acetate, Zinc Sulfate, Niacinamide, Manganese Sulfate, Calcium Pantothenate, Copper Sulfate, Thiamine Chloride Hydrochloride, Vitamin A Palmitate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Folic Acid, Biotin, Chromium Chloride, Sodium Molybdate, Sodium Selenate, Potassium Iodide, Vitamin B12, Phylloquinone, and Vitamin D3.

Comment Re:So, what's Soylent really about? (Score 1) 207

The closest would be Boost Plus, which still comes in short on calories and way too much simple sugar. Look at the ingredients!

Water, Corn Syrup, Sugar, Vegetable Oil (Canola, High Oleic Sunflower, Corn), Milk, Protein Concentrate, Cocoa Processed with Alkali, and Less than 1% of: Calcium Caseinate, Soy Protein Isolate, Sodium Caseinate, Gum Acacia, Fructooligosaccharides, Potassium Citrate, Inulin (from Chicory), Soy Lecithin, ...

Comment Re:So, what's Soylent really about? (Score 1) 207

First, you're not realizing what I bill those customers. I don't want to wave money around on Slashdot but I assure you, you too would drink an unoffensive bottle of Soylent for that much. The main thing it buys me is freedom, and there is no shortage of pleasure coming from that. I can work on what I want most of the time, or not work, if I just keep a few of those customers.

Second, you can't have any of the real pleasures in life without your health. You are evolved to be attracted to foods that would have been infrequent windfalls throughout most of the evolution of human beings. Now, you can have them for every meal, and your body is sending you the signals to do so despite the fact that those foods will ultimately be detrimental to you. If you are still compelled to eat them, there's a pretty good chance that's the addiction talking.

Comment So, what's Soylent really about? (Score 4, Insightful) 207

I have some customers in San Jose, and live in Berkeley. Given the horrid traffic and the lack of good trains with little hope that BART's Silicon Valley extension will be done within a decade, I get up at 5AM when it's necessary to work at these customer sites, hit the road by 5:30, and head home around 1 PM.

Obviously, that doesn't leave time for a leisurely breakfast. So, a cold bottle of Soylent 2.0 just out of the 'fridge is about my best option while driving. Warm Soylent doesn't actually seem that much worse, and I've used that during long drives when the alternative would have been fast food.

Yes, I get paid enough to compensate for all of this.

Soylent 2.0 tastes OK, but not so good that you'd eat it just for the taste. It takes care of physical needs and doesn't do anything nasty to my gastrointestinal system. I do not attempt to use it as a total food replacement.

Consuming Soylent, though, leads one to think about how food flavors and other characteristics of food are evolved or engineered to manipulate us, and how this is a dependence or addiction and perhaps the largest cause of health issues in our lives.

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