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


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Submission + - Zuckerberg, Ballmer-Led Groups: Jesse Jackson Wrong About Foreign Tech Workers

theodp writes: Contrary to what Jesse Jackson says, what's really holding back black and other Americans from jobs is the lack of foreign tech workers with H-1B visas, according to a new research brief entitled The H-1B Employment Effect , which is being jointly promoted by Mark Zuckerberg's PAC and Steve Ballmer's Partnership for a New American Economy Action Fund. Released on April 1st to coincide with the first day of FY2016 H-1B petition filings, the report claims that "every 1 additional H-1B visa awarded to a state was associated with the creation of 1.83 more jobs for U.S.-born workers," while noting that other studies pegged the H-1B job multiplier anywhere from 1 to 5. Curiously, a Google image search of the photo of a young black male that dominates the report — presumably a U.S.-born worker who owes his job to a high-tech immigrant — indicates the image of the U.S. worker is identical to one gracing the website of a UK memory distributor, except it's been Photoshopped from color to black-and-white, giving it a civil rights movement-era vibe. April Fools' Day joke, Mark and Steve?

Submission + - Google Code shutting down (

flote writes: "As developers migrated away from Google Code, a growing share of the remaining projects were spam or abuse. Lately, the administrative load has consisted almost exclusively of abuse management. After profiling non-abusive activity on Google Code, it has become clear to us that the service simply isn’t needed anymore.

Beginning today, we have disabled new project creation on Google Code. We will be shutting down the service about 10 months from now on January 25th, 2016. Below, we provide links to migration tools designed to help you move your projects off of Google Code. We will also make ourselves available over the next three months to those projects that need help migrating from Google Code to other hosts."

Submission + - Google Spotted Explicit Images Of A Child In Man's Email And Tipped Off Police 1

mrspoonsi writes: A Houston man has been arrested after Google sent a tip to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children saying the man had explicit images of a child in his email, according to Houston police. The man was a registered sex offender, convicted of sexually assaulting a child in 1994, reports Tim Wetzel at KHOU Channel 11 News in Houston. "He was keeping it inside of his email. I can't see that information, I can't see that photo, but Google can," Detective David Nettles of the Houston Metro Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce told Channel 11. After Google reportedly tipped off the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the Center alerted police, which used the information to get a warrant.

Submission + - Facebook and Google's Race to Zero

theodp writes: As Facebook and Google battle to bring the Internet to remote locations, Alicia Levine takes an interesting look at the dual strategy of Zero Rating and Consolidated Use employed by Google's FreeZone and Facebook's, websites which offer free access to certain Google and Facebook services via partnerships with mobile operators around the world. By reducing the cost to the user to zero, Levine explains, the tech giants not only get the chance to capture billions of new eyeballs to view ads in emerging markets, they also get the chance to effectively become "The Internet" in those markets. "If I told you that Facebook's strategy was to become the next Prodigy or AOL, you'd take me for crazy," writes Levine. "But, to a certain degree, that's exactly what they're trying to do. In places where zero-rating for Facebook or Google is the key to accessing the Internet, they are the Internet. And people have started to do every normal activity we would do on the Internet through those two portals because it costs them zero. This is consolidated use. If Facebook is my free pass to the Internet, I’m going to try to do every activity possible via Facebook so that it's free." The race to zero presents more than just a business opportunity, adds Levine — it also presents a chance for tech companies to improve lives. And if Google and Facebook fall short on that count, well, at least there's still Wikipedia Zero.

Submission + - Man Jailed for Gmail Invite to Ex-Girlfriend

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: ABC News reports that a Massachusetts man has been jailed for sending his ex-girlfriend an email invitation to join Google+. But Thomas Gagnon, who has a restraining order against him, contends he didn't send it; Google did, without his knowledge or consent. When his ex-girlfriend received the invitation, according to the Salem News, she went to the police, complaining Gagnon had violated the restraining order by sending her the email. Police agreed and arrested him, the News reported. He was jailed then released on $500 bail. Gagnon’s attorney says his client has no idea how the woman he once planned to marry — popping the question with a $4,000 ring earlier this month — got such an invitation, suggesting that it's entirely possible Gagnon is telling the truth — that he did not intentionally or knowingly send the invitation. "If he didn't send it — if Google sent it without his permission and he was jailed for it — Google could be facing major liability." Shear pointed out a Google product forum from 2011 and 2012 titled "Prevent automatic email invitations to Google+?" that contains a number of angry complaints by Google+ users about the automatic invitation feature. In response these complaints, a Google Community Manager calling herself "Natalie" responded: "Thanks for your feedback. Right now the emails that go out alert people of your activity on Google+, and more importantly the sharing of content with them. We send them an email when they aren't yet on Google+ so they know that you are out there in the world [of] G+. They should only incur this email once." Shear noted: "Google is going through every one of your contacts and sending them an invitation, whether it's your doctor, your lawyer, your mistress, or your ex-fiancee who's got a restraining order against you." He called this, "a perfect example of what happens when a company oversteps its bounds."

Submission + - CentOS joins Red Hat ( 1

sfcrazy writes: Red Hat and CentOS have joined forces to create a ‘new’ CentOS. The new entity will be governed by CentOS Governing Board which will comprise of members from CentOS and Red Hat teams. This move means that CentOS now has more resources at hands. Some CentOS members are moving to Red Hat, as a part of their sponsorship of the CentOS Project, allowing these people to work on the Project as their primary job function.

Submission + - Linux x32 ABI Not Catching Wind

jones_supa writes: The x32 ABI for Linux allows the OS to take full advantage of an x86-64 CPU while using 32-bit pointers and thus avoiding the overhead of 64-bit pointers. Though the x32 ABI limits the program to a virtual address space of 4GB, it also decreases the memory footprint of the program and in some cases can allow it to run faster. The ABI has been talked about since 2011 and there's been mainline support since 2012. x32 support within other programs has also trickled in. Despite this, there still seems to be no widespread interest. x32 support landed in Ubuntu 13.04, but no software packages were released. In 2012 we also saw some x32 support out of Gentoo and some Debian x32 packages. Besides the kernel support, we also saw last year the support for the x32 Linux ABI land in Glibc 2.16 and GDB 7.5. The only Linux x32 ABI news Phoronix had to report on in 2013 was of Google wanting mainline LLVM x32 support and other LLVM project x32 patches. The GCC 4.8.0 release this year also improved the situation for x32. Some people don't see the ABI as being worthwhile when it still requires 64-bit processors and the performance benefits aren't very convincing for all workloads to make maintaining an extra ABI worthwhile. Would you find the x32 ABI useful?

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: How do you protect your privacy when it's out of your control?

An anonymous reader writes: A week ago, Slashdot was asked, "How do you protect your privacy?" The question named many different ways privacy is difficult to secure these days, but almost all of the answers focused on encrypting internet traffic. But what can you do about your image being captured by friends and strangers' cameras (not to mention drones, police cameras, security cameras, etc.)? How about when your personal data is stored by banks and healthcare companies and their IT department sucks? Heck; off-the-shelf tech can see you through your walls. Airport security sniffs your skin. There are countless other ways info on you can be collected that has nothing to do with your internet hygiene. Forget the NSA; how do you protect your privacy from all these others? Can you?

Submission + - Are London skycrapers melting cars? (

sfcrazy writes: Can reflection from buildings be so intense that it melt cars? A Jaguar XJ owner accesses one such London skycraper for damaging his luxury car. Martin Lindsay said that had a two-hour long meeting and he parked his car on Eastcheap in the afternoon. When he came back, only after two hours, he found that his car was ‘melting’. He could smell melting plastic and the damage was clearly visible.

Submission + - MS: Windows Phone 8 WiFi Vulnerable, Cannot Be Patched

Freshly Exhumed writes: Microsoft advises that a cryptographic problem in the PEAP-MS-CHAPv2 protocol used in Windows Phone 8 to provide WPA2 authentication allows a victim’s encrypted domain credentials to be collected by an attacker posing as a typical WiFi access point. Redmond further states that this problem cannot be patched, although a set of manually entered configuration changes involving root certificates on all WP8 phones and on WiFi access points will apparently address the issue. WP7.8 phones are likewise vulnerable.

Submission + - Post Office Proposes Special Rate for Mailing DVDs (

An anonymous reader writes: The United States Postal Service is seeking to implement a special postage rate for companies such as Netflix, GameFly and Blockbuster, which send DVDs to their customers and then receive them back. This proposal for special rates for two-way mailers of optical disks follows a protracted legal complaint from GameFly, which argued that Netflix was receiving special handling by the Postal Service while paying a cheaper postage rate.

Feed Google News Sci Tech: Invasive Crazy Ants Are Displacing Fire Ants, Researchers Find - University of T (

Science World Report

Invasive Crazy Ants Are Displacing Fire Ants, Researchers Find
University of Texas at Austin News
Invasive “crazy ants” are displacing fire ants in areas across the southeastern United States, according to researchers at The University of Texas at Austin. It's the latest in a history of ant invasions from the southern hemisphere and may prove to have dramatic ...
Alien 'crazy ants' invading southern USLos Angeles Times
'Crazy ants' a threat in southern USCNN International
Crazy ants are invading parts of the US, including HoustonHouston Chronicle World News-Science Recorder
all 22 news articles

Submission + - Former Amazon cloud engineer spills to Reddit audience (

Brandon Butler writes: Amazon is usually pretty hush-hush about the internal workings of its cloud. But, an anonymous engineer recently did a Reddit IAmA and spilled the beans about the company's cloud and what it's like to work there.

Some highlights:
-Amazon uses a lot of secreet sauce in both hardware and software, including multiple flavors of "Amazon Linux"
-Pay and benefits aren't that great, but having AWS on the resume is worth it
-How VPCs work and what the best way to deal with "noisy neighbors" is

Read the full IAmA post here

And a summary here

Submission + - An orbital solar death ray idea from WWII (

ceview writes: So from an old forgotten article in Life Magazine that as reported in " US Army technical experts came up with the astonishing fact that German scientists had seriously planned to build a “sun gun".
A giant orbital mirror that would focus light on targets below and burn or boil away whatever was in the way.

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