Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


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! ×

Submission + - Girls Around Me: An App Takes Creepy to a New Level (nytimes.com)

suraj.sun writes: Girls Around Me uses Foursquare(http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/30/girls-around-me-ios-app-takes-creepy-to-a-new-level/) to determine your location. It then scans for women in the area who have recently checked-in on the service. Once you identify a woman you’d like to talk to, one that inevitably has no idea you’re snooping on her, you can connect to her through Facebook, see her full name, profile photos and send her a message. When you sign up for the Girls Around Me application, you are asked to log in to Facebook, giving the service your personal information, too.

The app, which was first discovered by the blog, Cult of Mac(http://www.cultofmac.com/157641/this-creepy-app-isnt-just-stalking-women-without-their-knowledge-its-a-wake-up-call-about-facebook-privacy/), is built by a company called SMS Services O.o.o., which is based in Russia. Although the app maker knows a lot about its users, the company seems to have done a fairly good job of obscuring itself online.


Submission + - "It's not as intuitive as Vista, is it"

Jehoshaphat writes: "I bought my wife a shiny new Macbook yesterday. It's our first Mac, we've had pc's for years, and our main pc runs Vista. As she unpacks it, I'm rather excited at the brownie points I will earn for getting her such a "cool" machine, and I'm looking forward to her raving about an OS instead of cursing it.

Having set it all up, I leave her for 20 minutes to have a play, certain that I will return to oohs and aahs of delight. Instead, on my return I am greeted by a concentrated frown on her face as she searches for a right-click button on the touchpad and tries to get a window to maximise to the entire screen. "It's not as intuitive as Vista, is it?", she quips...

So, SlashDot, does MacOS truly have a monopoly on intuitivism, or is it merely down to clever marketing and 25 years of conditioning?"
The Internet

Submission + - Children on the News and MySpace

MikeDataLink writes: "I recently did a little investigation of my own. I noticed that the news station I watch shows the full names of children and teens on the air when doing interviews and stories. I wrote the names down and then searched MySpace.com for those names in my area. To my not so much suprise, I found a large majority of them with pictures, blogs, and contact information. Is it a good idea for news stations to use a little more caution in showing full names of minors in this day and age or am I over reacting?"

Submission + - How to legally determine an anonymous coward's ID

CPE1704TKS writes: My girlfriend is running into a weird situation. Someone is posing as her and sending her friends on her friendster account messages asking for their IM account names. Some of them have been duped and have even engaged in conversation with this person. What can I do (legally) to determine this person's true identity.

I was able to determine this person's IP address by putting trackers on specific web pages and sent those pages to them to look at. I even set up a fake AIM account and chatted with this person, pretending to be someone who thought she was my gf.

Now what?

I have the person's IP address, and I know the city that they live in, based on it. Is there any way I can narrow down who they are? If people post grey-area or not-so-legal tactics, as a law-abiding citizen, I would never do such a heinous thing, but it would be educational to know what tricks and tips there are out there to figure out who this person is.

Submission + - Registry for *nix?

hellsDisciple writes: "The registry is often touted as being the source of many of Windows' faults. But the horrid messy binary blob does unify configurations of many system services and paves the way for Group Policy and AD to control a lot of the machine's behaviour. With Samba's recent push to emulate AD fully for Windows and LDAP being suggested as the basis of a central management system, is it not time to get applications like Apache and Samba into shape for unified control? Should a standard config file syntax be agreed on and where should the data be stored? A push towards an "open registry" in *nix would make remote management really a snap."

Submission + - How do you use your battery?

mcorner writes: "As part of a University research project my group is studying, how, when and why users charge their devices (laptops, phones, music players, etc.). We have been looking at this in a variety of ways, including having users install a battery logging tool on their laptops (we have done phones as well). After studying some of the preliminary results we saw that users frequently leave a lot of energy left in their devices when they plug in. So one way of taking advantage of this observation is to try and predict when users will have "excess" energy when they recharge, and use that energy proactively to benefit the user (screen brightness etc.). We have had some success in building such a system. At first blush, many people say: "but I just want my device to use as little energy as possible!", but in reality people are always trying to balance their experience with battery life, and usually are using more than the minimum. At this point, we thought AskSlashdot would be a good place to look for: (i) you opinions on using "excess" energy, (ii) what other things to do with "excess" energy (synchronizing, etc.) (iii) how and when do you recharge your other devices, and (iv) more volunteers for the logging survey. If you are interested in installing our tool (Mac 10.4.x or Windows XP, I promise it is quite innocuous, with source available) please download it and install."
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - One-handed computer control

FredDC writes: I recently injured my right hand, which is my main hand. I only have my left hand available at the moment and offcourse it is now harder to perform everyday tasks. One of them is using a computer, I am a programmer and I'm currently having alot of difficulties getting any work done. Does anyone have any ideas, thoughts, ... on how to make it easier? speed up productivity? ...

Submission + - Is Anti-Virus software dead?

An anonymous reader writes: After stumbling over several unanimous recommendations against using viral scans for your email (which somewhat shattered my security world view), I started to notice a bigger and bigger movement which argues against the use of anti-virus software altogether, as it is ineffective against the main threats of malware, counter-productive (as it eats up system resources), and seems to be more of a "good-luck charm" than anything else.

I have to admit that, even though I deal with loads of suspicious software, I can't even remember when I got the last real virus warning.

So — is it time to dump your anti-virus software, go "commando", and free yourself from the shackles of these system drags?
Operating Systems

Submission + - Is now the time for a Windows alternative?

An anonymous reader writes: The current software industry environment raises questions about the possibility of an alternative commercial desktop operating system for PCs. Consumers seem to finally understand that they are responsible for market diversity, and that relying on government intervention will not improve the situation. As evidence of this, consider the increasing adoption of standards based applications such as Firefox and OpenOffice. Furthermore, frustration with draconian licensing models and protection environments has facilitated the emergence of DRM-free media. Thanks to the attention given to web applications, the availability of small legacy utilities is not perceived to be the issue it once was. Windows Vista is exuberantly priced, relying on an extortionary tiered licensing model that reeks of intentional crippling. Macs are actually gaining market share. Is hell freezing over? Could a low priced, snappy, easy to use, commercially backed desktop operating system a la BEOS actually succeed? I have the faint impression, that were BEOS released now rather than 6 years prior, it would be commercially viable. Any thoughts? (As a side note, we should celebrate Microsoft's efforts for preventing users from pirating Windows. If they are successful, the argument to force bundling on new PCs is questionable.)
The Internet

Submission + - What traffic do you value most on your network?

An anonymous reader writes: The company I work for has just implemented the technology to shape traffic almost any way possible, but have not necessarily decided on how to implement the technology. The goal is to aide our existing pipes to the internet enough to delay purchasing an additional pipe. The majority of our traffic is HTTP (~65%), followed by a few major P2P protocols (~30%). Limiting P2P will help our contention issue. I personally have no problem with shaping traffic until an additional pipe is in place; however management is ready to 'cut the *[p2p] to 348K.' This leads me to believe shaping P2P traffic will be a long term plan to maximize profits. The mindset seems to be that 99.999% P2P traffic is illegal anyways. What are your thoughts?
Linux Business

Submission + - Bubba: the best Linux appliance ever?

Joe Barr writes: "Bubba is both heavier and smaller than I expected, weighing roughly 3.5 pounds and yet scarcely larger than a typical 3.5-inch IDE drive. Four models are available, differing in the size of their hard drive from 80 to 750GB. The Bubba I tested had a 320GB drive. The device comes with a short Category 5 cable, power supply, and power cord. Bubba is the best Linux-based product I've tried."

Feed DARPA developing threat sensing binoculars (engadget.com)

Filed under: Wearables

The night-vision thing has definitely been done a time or two before, but DARPA's latest initiative is looking beyond the darkness as it hopes to create a set of binoculars that can actually detect threats and warn soldiers of impending death. Taking a note from Star Wars, the jokingly dubbed "Luke's Devices" is actually considered a "cognitive technology threat warning system," and utilizes brain monitoring to bring attention to spikes in activity before the person can actually realize he / she has noticed something awry. Among the gizmos that'll bring this all together are "neurally-based target detection signatures, ultra-low power analog / digital hybrid signal processing electronics, wide-angle optics, large pixel-count digital imagers, and cognitive visual processing algorithms." Yeah, sounds pretty complicated to us too, but unlike snazzy concepts we've seen before, the gurus behind these goggles reportedly hope to have prototypes ready for battle in just a few years.

[Via Wired]

Read | Permalink | Email this | Comments

BOLD MOVES: THE FUTURE OF FORD A new documentary series. Be part of the transformation as it happens in real-time

Office Depot Featured Gadget: Xbox 360 Platinum System Packs the power to bring games to life!

Linux Business

Submission + - Can GPL be enforced in China?

An anonymous reader writes: The legal recognition of GPL in China is at best a grey area, but at most unrecognized due to limited government regulations and confusion of whether or not GPL requires copy right since it is interpreted at free. Chinese officials have a long way to go to understand what Free means. Until they do, developers in China are going to find a better way to cooperate and ensure the longevity of their projects.

Submission + - Apache urges Sun to free JCK

bjourne writes: "Geir Magnusson Jr. head of the Apache Software Foundation has written an Open Letter to Sun Microsystems urging them to lift certain IP rights restrictions present in their license of their Java Compatibility Kit. Apparently, the current JCK licensing terms are unacceptable to the Apache Harmony project. Sun's initial response is fairly vague, but ASF:s request has not been dismissed outright. Sun recently choose to to free Java itself, so one must wonder if a free and GPL licensed JCK isn't also on the horizon. If not, what is preventing them from doing that and how does it affect free Java implementations such as Harmony and Classpath?"

Submission + - Kurt Vonnegut - R.I.P.

cultrhetor writes: "Kurt Vonnegut, whose satiric eye, tinged with an oddly innocent moral vision, left an indelible mark on science fiction with Player Piano and The Sirens of Titan, and on American Literature as a whole from Cat's Cradle and Slaughterhouse-Five forward, died at age 84 from "irreversible brain injuries" resulting from a fall six weeks ago, according to an article in the New York Times. From the article:

His novels — 14 in all — were alternate universes, filled with topsy-turvy images and populated by races of his own creation, like the Tralfamadorians and the Mercurian Harmoniums. He invented phenomena like chrono-synclastic infundibula (places in the universe where all truths fit neatly together) as well as religions, like the Church of God the Utterly Indifferent and Bokononism (based on the books of a black British Episcopalian from Tobago "filled with bittersweet lies," a narrator says).

Slashdot Top Deals

Pohl's law: Nothing is so good that somebody, somewhere, will not hate it.