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Comment Common problem (Score 2) 117

I've used hardware from several open source, and not really open source, hardware projects that have attracted a lot of clones. The biggest problem is that the clones are often not exactly the same as the official versions. Clone can have higher version numbers to mislead consumers into believing they are better than others. Even something as simple as different connectors catch people out.

Over time it can become a confusing mess for everyone involved, making support of every clone impractical. If you want to offer some help to clone buyers, limiting that support to a list of approved clones, that meet minimum requirements, is a way of avoiding insanity.

Comment Seems fair (Score 4, Insightful) 56

Gross negligence is accurate enough when a company allows data on 500 million customers to be hacked and then fails to notify those customers for 2 years. Choosing to keep this from customers achieves little more than proving the company cannot be trusted. This should have been handled better.

Fixing the problems, then disclosing the breach and taking immediate action to protect customers would be the action of a responsible and trustworthy company.

This is going to cost them customers and reduce the value of the company. Not an ideal situation for anyone about to buy it...

Submission + - Vandenberg Fire Threatens ULA, SpaceX Launches (latimes.com)

Bruce Perens writes: A fire at Vandenberg Air Force Base on the California coast, currently over 10,000 acres in size, has approached the pads used by SpaceX and United Launch Alliance. No structures have been damaged, but power lines have been destroyed. There is about 1000 feet of firebreak around each pad, but the presence of smoke and the absence of electrical power is potentially a problem for rockets, payloads, and ground-support equipment. The WorldView 4 satellite and a Delta 4, and a SpaceX Falcon 9 with at least 7 and potentially 11 Iridium satellites are known to be on site. Ground support equipment at the base constitutes the United States only access to polar orbit for large rockets without overflying populated areas. Liquid oxygen stored on the site may already have been released as a precaution or boiled off, and there are large supplies of rocket fuel, but these have so far not been at hazard.

The Soberanes fire near Big Sur, 180 miles farther South on the California coast, has gone on for two months, burning 185 square miles and costing over 200 Million dollars to fight with no end in sight. Obviously, it's dry out there.

Submission + - SPAM: Activity Trackers May Undermine Weight Loss Efforts

schwit1 writes: Wearable activity monitors can count your steps and track your movements, but they don’t, apparently, help you lose weight. In fact, you might lose more weight without them.

The fascinating finding comes from a study published today in JAMA that found dieting adults who wore activity monitors for 18 months lost significantly fewer pounds over that time than those who did not.

The results suggest that activity monitors may not change our behavior in the way we expected, and raise interesting questions about the tangled relationships between exercise, eating, our willpower and our waistlines.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - Ex-NSA Official: The Horse is Out of the Barn on Government Crypto Control

Trailrunner7 writes: Controlling the development and deployment of strong encryption may have once been a possibility for intelligence and law enforcement agencies, but those days have passed and will not return, current and former U.S. intelligence officials said Tuesday.

“The scar tissue from the 1990s makes it hard today to align these interests. We’ve spent a lot of time looking over our shoulders about what we did in the Nineties, a la the Clipper Chip, and too little time looking forward, Chris Inglis, former deputy director of the NSA and a visiting professor at the United States Naval Academy, said during a panel discussion at the CIA’s Conference on the Ethos and Profession of Intelligence Tuesday.

“If we allow this to be deferred to market forces then diverse markets will have a variety of responses. How do we achieve the and property as opposed to the or property? The horse is out of the barn if you say you absolutely want to control it.”

Submission + - Google Testing Software to Judge Hollywood and TV's Portrayal of Women 1

theodp writes: Aside from it being hosted in a town without a movie theater, the 2016 Bentonville Film Festival was also unusual in that it required all entrants to submit "film scripts and downloadable versions of the film" for judgment by "the team at Google and USC", apparently part of a larger Google-funded research project with USC Engineering "to develop a computer science tool that could quickly and efficiently assess how women are represented in films" (an award for "Highest Diversity Score" was awarded at the film fest, fittingly to the film 'Tested'). Fest reports noted that representatives of Google and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy appeared in a "Reel vs. Real Diversity" panel presentation at the fest, where the importance of diversity and science to President Obama was discussed, and the lack of qualified people to fill 500,000 U.S. tech jobs was blamed in part on how STEM careers have been presented in film and television. White House Visitor Records show that in the weeks leading up to the festival, representatives of the Bentonville Film Fest and Google met at the White House with scores of female educators, advocates, and activists from universities and nonprofits, as well as execs from the toy, game, film, television, print, and retail industry. In a 2015 report on a Google-sponsored USC Viterbi School of Engineering MacGuyver-themed event to promote women in engineering, USC reported that President Obama was kept briefed on efforts to challenge media's stereotypical portrayals of women. As for its own track record, Google recently updated its Diversity page, boasting that "21% of new hires in 2015 were women in tech, compared to 19% of our current population," although its most recently posted EEO-1 report showing actual headcount is still from a pay period in 2014.

Submission + - Young grads in India aim to land a robot on the moon. (thehindu.com)

GillBates0 writes: Team Indus (http://www.teamindus.in/) is one of the 16 remaining from the 29 that had entered the $30 million Google Lunar XPrize (GLXP: http://lunar.xprize.org/) competition. It plans to use ISRO’s (http://www.isro.gov.in/) workhorse — the polar satellite launch vehicle (PSLV) to send the spacecraft to the moon. Among it's rivals are – Israeli non-profit organisation SpaceIL and US-based start-up Moon Express. An official designated as ‘Skywalker’, said that such space missions used to be limited to extremely elite people and PhDs in the past. That stereotype is now breaking. “I was just a college student a couple of years ago and now I am working on an actual space mission, how cool is that,” said Karan Vaish, 23, who is helping the team to design the lunar rover. Eighty per cent of the team is reported to be less than five years out of college (http://www.thehindu.com/business/Industry/young-grads-aim-to-land-a-robot-on-the-moon/article9043063.ece?w=alauto).

Submission + - The Unintended Consequence of Congress's Ban on Designer Babies (technologyreview.com)

schwit1 writes: By tucking two crucial sentences inside a federal spending bill last year, the U.S. Congress effectively banned the human testing of gene-editing techniques that could produce genetically modified babies. But the provision, which is up for renewal this year, has also flustered proponents of a promising technique that could help mothers avoid passing certain devastating genetic disorders to their children.

The language in the bill is a clear reference to the use of techniques like CRISPR to modify the human germline (see “Engineering the Perfect Baby”). Most scientists agree that testing germline editing in humans is irresponsible at this point. But regulators have decided that the description also fits mitochondrial replacement therapy, which entails removing the nucleus from a human egg and transplanting it into one from a different person to prevent the transmission of debilitating or even deadly mitochondrial disorders to children.

Submission + - EPA spills again in Colorado (washingtonexaminer.com)

schwit1 writes: The Environmental Protection is admitting to a spill from a treatment plant it set up after it dumped 3 million gallons of toxic wastewater into a Colorado river last year.

The EPA said Thursday night that the spill happened on Tuesday, and officials are still attempting to determine how much and what metals were contained in the sludgy discharge, according to the Associated Press.

Submission + - The court that rules the world (buzzfeed.com) 1

schwit1 writes: Imagine a private, global super court that empowers corporations to bend countries to their will.

Say a nation tries to prosecute a corrupt CEO or ban dangerous pollution. Imagine that a company could turn to this super court and sue the whole country for daring to interfere with its profits, demanding hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars as retribution.

Imagine that this court is so powerful that nations often must heed its rulings as if they came from their own supreme courts, with no meaningful way to appeal. That it operates unconstrained by precedent or any significant public oversight, often keeping its proceedings and sometimes even its decisions secret. That the people who decide its cases are largely elite Western corporate attorneys who have a vested interest in expanding the court’s authority because they profit from it directly, arguing cases one day and then sitting in judgment another. That some of them half-jokingly refer to themselves as “The Club” or “The Mafia.”

And imagine that the penalties this court has imposed have been so crushing — and its decisions so unpredictable — that some nations dare not risk a trial, responding to the mere threat of a lawsuit by offering vast concessions, such as rolling back their own laws or even wiping away the punishments of convicted criminals.

This system is already in place, operating behind closed doors in office buildings and conference rooms in cities around the world. Known as investor-state dispute settlement, or ISDS, it is written into a vast network of treaties that govern international trade and investment, including NAFTA and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which Congress must soon decide whether to ratify.

Submission + - Nova Scotia wind turbine speeds out of control, collapses (theweathernetwork.com)

An anonymous reader writes: This large wind turbine failed on August 17. Before the 80-metre-tall wind turbine buckled and toppled over, Enercon officials confirm that workers were told to leave, the Toronto Star reports. In addition to their towering height, the turbines have a blade length of 40 metres, the CBC notes.

Fortunately the turbines operate in a wooded area away from residents, so no one was injured. An evacuation protocol was also put in place.

Enercon and Nova Scotia's provincial government are conducting investigations to determine if there were any safety violations at the time of the incident.

Another 10 turbines in the area remain in operation, unaffected by the collapse. The cause of the collapse remains unknown.

Submission + - Retailers bending refund policies for unhappy No Man's Sky players. (tweaktown.com)

thegarbz writes: As was covered previously on Slashdot the very hyped up game No Man's Sky was released with to a lot of negative reviews about game crashing bugs and poor interface choices. Now that plays have had more time to play the game it has become clear that many of the features hyped by developers are not present in the game, and users quickly started describing the game as "boring".

Now, likely due to misleading advertising, Steam has begun allowing refunds for No Man's Sky regardless of playtime, and there are reports of players getting refunds on the Play Station Network as well despite Sony's strict no refund policy.

Submission + - India successfully tests scramjet rocket engine (indiatimes.com)

knwny writes: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Sunday successfully tested its own scramjet — an engine that takes atmospheric oxygen to burn engine fuel — a senior ISRO official said.
According to an official statement, "The mission was successful. Two scramjet engines were tested during the flight. The scramjet engines were ignited 55 seconds into the rocket's flight. The engines were tested for six seconds."

Submission + - Where does paid/on-demand Cloud SaaS make sense

kwelch007 writes: Here's my scoop: I work for a multi-national corp...we have Private distributed everything, everywhere. No secret. But, for personal use (I also DJ on the weekends,) I carry a few personally owned HD's (6TB worth of legally licensed music.) I've got more music than I could ever use, and it's not well organized. This weekend, while doing a gig, one of those drives failed. Yes, I know I could have set up redundancy, but I'm physically moving this stuff all the time. It's gonna break, and it did (I lost 1.8TB of music.) Fortunately, I had the forethought to subscribe to a cloud service which had a very similar collection and was able to access it via LTE (US.)
My questions is, when dealing with non-owned yet publicly available data, does it make sense to just legally cache that data from the cloud rather than actually "owning" rights to that data? I think this could go further to "Subscribed Applications" as Cloud deployment becomes more prevalent.
At the moment, I'm thinking so, but this is today...5 years ago would be a different story I think. Please give me your thoughts.

Submission + - SPAM: Security breaches rise at UK nuclear sites

mdsolar writes: THE police force charged with guarding UK nuclear power plants has admitted to a substantial increase in the number of breaches of security last year.

There were 21 separate incidents involving stolen or lost smart phones and identity cards, up from 13 the previous year.

In one case a Blackberry was taken in a “domestic burglary”, and in another a SIM card was “accidently thrown in disposal chute at home address.” Emails containing sensitive information, including an armoury access code and personal data, were sent in breach of security protocols.

“Terrorists must be delighted with this catalogue of cock-ups,” said Dr Richard Dixon, director of Friends of the Earth Scotland.

“It seems you just have to follow some nuclear police around for a while and they'll drop their pass in a car park, leave a work phone on the train or accidentally send secret info through Google mail. It would be laughable if it wasn’t about the safety of some of the most dangerous sites in the UK.”

The revelations uncovered by the Sunday Herald have been condemned as well as prompting alarm from campaigners and politicians. They point out that there have recently been concerns about Chinese state companies stealing nuclear industry secrets.

Link to Original Source

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