Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


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 Re:There's Your Problem Right There (Score 1) 1108

Didn't notice I wasn't logged in when I posted that ... so here is my post on the Chattanooga area geek's mailing list spawned by this ridiculous law's passage:

I've been trying to bite my tongue as well (and obviously failed).

My daughter had to deal with mandatory prayer in her elementary school until that principal retired. I ended up having to avoid the campus because of my "blasphemous nature" (his words) ... funny how I got along exceedingly well with the new (non-bible-thumping) principal that replaced him. Thing is, the prayer itself wasn't my problem. I'd had it myself back when I was in school (you could get suspended for "sacrilegious behavior" then too). But he shouldn't have punished those that chose not to participate nor risk wasting my tax dollars on a lawsuit should someone have pushed it to that.

Even now my son has to be careful in his high school since there are both students and faculty whom actively persecute anyone that's a "non believer". Back when my daughter was there, she was refused permission to leave for an appointment to the health department. The school's attendance officer actually called me and gave me an earful, screaming in front of everyone there, about my daughter getting birth control (as if it was any of her business in the first place). She said my daughter wouldn't be doing it if I had her in church and that I was responsible for her going to hell. If she had been the youngest, I might have actually pressed charges on that one.

So, yes, it's a problem throughout the state and I don't see that changing any time soon. Especially given the widespread indoctrination still prevalent in many school systems.

My favorite bait for ID folks is to get them to state that we are the way we are since "God designed us" (usually doesn't take long). Then, since "God" is supposed to be infallible, I ask why we have a blind spot in our vision. The reply, if there is one, is usually something along the lines of "because it was the best way to do it" (having the optic nerve connected on the retinal front). I counter with the fact that an octopus doesn't have a blind spot since their optic nerve is connected to the rear. And at this point they usually get angry, call me a heathen and tell me I'm going to hell.

Submission + - Leaked AT&T Letter Demolishes Case For T-Mobil (

An anonymous reader writes: Yesterday a partially-redacted document briefly appeared on the FCC website --accidentally posted by a law firm working for AT&T on the $39 billion T-Mobile deal (somewhere there's a paralegal looking for work today). While AT&T engaged in damage control telling reporters that the document contained no new information — our review of the doc shows that's simply not true. Data in the letter undermines AT&T's primary justification for the massive deal, while highlighting how AT&T is willing to pay a huge premium simply to reduce competition and keep T-Mobile out of Sprint's hands.

Submission + - Google Starts A Price War With Facebook

An anonymous reader writes: Google added games to its Google+ social network yesterday. Later in the day, Facebook updated its gaming platform to retaliate. The real news is that Google has started a price war with Facebook: the search giant is charging developers a 5 percent commission for in-game transactions, compared to social networking giant’s 30 percent.

Submission + - Feds' radios have significant security flaws ( 1

OverTheGeicoE writes: The Wall Street Journal has a story describing how the portable radios used by many federal law enforcement agents have major security flaws that allow for easy eavesdropping and jamming. Details are in a new study being released today. The authors of the study were able to intercept hundreds of hours of sensitive traffic inadvertently sent without encryption over the past two years. They also describe how a texting toy targeted at teenage girls can be modified to jam transmissions from the affected radios, either encrypted or not.

Submission + - Google Pulls Plug on Programming for the Masses 1

theodp writes: Google has decided to pull the plug on Android App Inventor, which was once touted as a game-changer for introductory computer science. In an odd post, Google encourages folks to 'Get Started!' with the very product it's announcing will be discontinued as a Google product. The move leaves CS Prof David Wolber baffled. ' In the case of App Inventor,' writes Wolber, 'the decision affects more than just your typical early adopter techie. It hurts kids and schools, and outfits like Iridescent, who use App Inventor in their Technovation after-school programs for high school girls, and Youth Radio's Mobile Action Lab, which teaches app building to kids in Oakland California. You've hurt professors and K-12 educators who have developed new courses and curricula with App Inventor at the core. You've hurt universities who have redesigned their programs.' Wolber adds: 'Even looking at it from Google's perspective, I find the decision puzzling. App Inventor was a public relations dream. Democratizing app building, empowering kids, women, and underrepresented groups — this is good press for a company continually in the news for anti-trust and other far less appealing issues. And the cost-benefit of the cut was negligible-believe it or not, App Inventor was a small team of just 5+ employees! The Math doesn't make sense.'

Submission + - Apple: No Tactic Is Too Sneaky to Defend the iPad ( 1

bizwriter writes: First, Apple talked a German court into a preliminary injunction against Samsung, to bar the Galaxy Tab tablet from most of the European Union for the time being. Now it's trying to do the same to Motorola. But this isn’t a story of Apple protecting some hard-won patented innovations. Instead, the company is trying to block competitors based on a trademarked design — basically, a tablet shape. And it’s filing for these preliminary injunctions without giving the other parties any warning that would let them defend their position in court.

Submission + - Right-Wing Extremists Tricked by Trojan Shirts (

gzipped_tar writes: Fans at a recent right-wing extremist rock festival in Germany thought they were getting free T-shirts that reflected their nationalistic worldview. But after the garment's first wash they discovered otherwise. The original image rinsed away to reveal a hidden message from an activist group. It reads: "If your T-shirt can do it, so can you. We'll help to free you from right-wing extremism."

Submission + - A cure for the common cold? (

locater16 writes: Perhaps the most important medical break through since penicillin. Researchers at MIT have apparently created a new type of medicine that, in initial lab tests, acts as a general anti viral and has already proven successful at curing cells infected with the common cold, while proving nontoxic to uninfected cells. Of course the mean time from a discovery in the lab till a product is on the market is currently 13 years. So don't skip those yearly flu vaccinations quite yet.

Submission + - Collecting DNA from arrestees unconstitutional ( 1

wiedzmin writes: A California appeals court is striking down a voter-approved measure requiring every adult arrested on a felony charge to submit a DNA sample. Court questioned the extent to which technology can be permitted to diminish the privacy guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment. More than 1.6 million samples have been taken following the law’s 2009 implementation. Only about a half of those arrested in California are convicted.

Submission + - Court Says Sending Too Many Emails Is Hacking (

An anonymous reader writes: An appeals court has ruled that having people send a company a lot of emails (in this case, a union protesting a company's business practices) qualifies as hacking under the Computer Fraud & Abuse Act. We're not even talking about a true DDoS action here, but just a bunch of protest emails. Part of the problem is that the company apparently set up their email to only hold a small number of emails in their inbox, and the court seems to think the union should take the blame for stuffing those inboxes.

Comment Re:Time to leave California (Score 1) 454

Amazon is already leaving Texas. Or, at least, they are closing their distribution center there. See this article (or just google it). They are presently building new facilities in Tennessee near Charleston (about 10 miles away from me at the moment) and Chattanooga. There is already talk in the Tennessee state legislature about passing a new law expressly to renege on the sales tax exemption granted as a condition to building the distribution centers here. Just goes to show that all state representatives are clueless -- it's not limited to California.

Comment Streamlined Sales Tax (Score 1) 454

As some have already mentioned, collecting sales taxes cross-state is a significant burden since, in some states, the rates may differ even from one side of a street to another. Using ZIP codes does not provide enough granularity to determine the proper rate. With this in mind, several states started the "streamlined sales tax project" which aims to provide the data for determining the proper rate, a single point of reporting and indemnifying businesses from errors in the rates supplied. If every state which imposed a sales tax adopted this system, it would practically eliminate the burden facing Internet (and traditional mail-order) businesses today.

That said, enforcing the use of this system would require Federal legislation and, even then, there will still be the issue of purchases from other countries. I'm not so sure that it's a good idea to get the Federal government involved anyway since they might be too tempted to add a Federal sales tax as well.

Submission + - Immortal Jellyfish Provides Clues To Human Aging (

kkleiner writes: "The search for the fountain of youth has been ongoing ever since man decided that dying wasn’t all that appealing. And now, it appears that this elusive holy grail has been found, albeit by a species that is not ours! A dime-sized jellyfish known as Turritopsis nutricula has accomplished what no other biological being on our planet has ever been known to do: reverse it’s aging to become young again after reaching full maturity. As human regenerative medicine continues to advance, it’s clear that this tiny jellyfish may hold the answers to not only addressing the many aging-related ailments we face, but also our own mortality."

Submission + - DHS Warns ACTA Will Harm National Security (

An anonymous reader writes: A freedom of information act request has revealed serious concerns about ACTA from Homeland Security. It highlights concerns about national security, switching enforcement from private actors to the government and how other countries will almost certainly abuse the rules. The letter was written back in 2008 and it does not appear that negotiators paid much attention to those concerns.

Submission + - What Motivates an Organization to Secure Data? (

wiredmikey writes: What motivates an organization to secure data? For one, there is the cost or impact of a breach, which spans from the losses the business incurs while resources are shut down to investigate the attack to the potential damage to a company’s brand. Not all retailers, however, find the prospect of a hefty price tag reason enough to invest in securing customer data (emails, addresses, identification numbers, credit card numbers, etc.). Luckily for consumers, there is an even more compelling reason to protect customer data — regulations. Businesses fearful of violating different industry regulations and state laws take heed and comply. But the question is this: does compliance actually hinder hacker activity?

The cybercrime industry trades in data. Similar to corporate business models, hackers are looking for ways to optimize their Return on investment (ROI) by increasing revenue (data) while decreasing costs (attack resources). There are numerous ways to increase ROI, such as using Google as the vehicle for attack. How? A hacker can inject nefarious code in 1 million websites within just a few of hours — as the recent LizaMoon attackcampaign illustrated. The first targets? Websites lacking basic security controls.

Slashdot Top Deals

All the simple programs have been written.