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

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
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 The problem is feature creep not estimates (Score 1) 200

The real problem is poorly considered and expressed requirements and the resultant feature creep. This is failure of governance, not a short coming in developers. Those saying I double (or whatever) their programmers estimates need to look in mirror and recognise the failure is their own.

So no, I do not have any trouble giving accurate estimates, but then I refuse to give any until the requirements are well defined and understood by the team. I my experience this is norm now for most genuinely agile teams.

Comment News to Me... (Score 1) 164

Here in the San Francisco bay area, AT&T has been running an ad for the last couple months or so on one of those electronic billboards advertising gigabit fiber service. Well, if they're actually offering it somewhere on the peninsula, I have no idea where, because every time I check on their site, they claim it's not yet available in my area, despite the fact that I've seen their trucks running around the area apparently putting up new cabling of some sort. Google seems to have gotten bored with Google Fiber, so I'm not holding my breath for them anymore. In fact, the only ISP I know is offering gigabit fiber service in the bay area is Sonic.net, in a very slow, limited roll-out.

Comment Problem across the board (Score 1) 94

I find the majority of online tutorials are very naive with regard to development best practice and stack-overflow is one of the worst offenders for perpetuation this problem. It is a vicious circle. Simplistic solutions get upvoted while better answers take longer to prepare and comprehended by fewer people.

It is common to see answers presented than ignore the bigger picture, for example, a poor separation of concerns and high levels of coupling are the norm.

If you call this out your answer will often be downvoted or challenged based on the evidence from simple tutorials or that some-one has been gaming stack-overflow. While evidence such as being a Portland Pattern repository at C2 is ignored our outright dismissed.

Other tech areas that exhibit the same problem is Cucumber BDD (first person pronouns are endemic anti-pattern) and Selenium WebDriver tutorials, using highly qualified locators and conflating representation with the test code.

When you need to continuously re-coach development best practices to teams as a automation consultant it can get very tiresome very quickly.

Submission + - Twitter has a spam bot problem — and it's getting worse (zdnet.com)

An anonymous reader writes: A Romanian spammer is in part behind a sudden surge in fake Twitter followers in recent weeks. But it's not something Twitter seems to want to deal with.

Without a peep from the company (a spokesperson did not respond to our request for comment last week) we set out to find out more on our own. We kept a close eye on a few dozen of these bots over the past week, all of which were created with the same pattern of username (a random name and a few numbers) and were created within the space of an hour or so. In the end, the scheme looked like little more than a cheap shot to promote half-baked dating sites that ask for money to sign up, even though the hapless few who do probably have almost zero chance of getting lucky.

After further investigation, we learned that a Romanian spammer, Laurentiu Ciocoiu (perhaps a pseudonym), is in part behind the recent uptick in these spam bots.

Ciocoiu started earlier this year with his most recent campaign, setting up a complicated network of thousands of fake Twitter accounts that would almost always follow the same pattern: Each account would follow a few dozen legitimate accounts — such as high-profile, verified news publications and celebrities that are presented when the user first opens a Twitter account — and then fake accounts would follow the other fake accounts.

Submission + - MasterCard introduces cards with embedded fingerprint sensors (easytechsecurity.com)

awmhove writes: MasterCard has unveiled a payment card with a fingerprint sensor embedded. It’s currently being tested in South Africa and hopes to be rolled out to the rest of the world by the end of 2017. This will depend on the results of additional trials in Europe and Asia Pacific, to be effected in the coming months.

The biometric cards are not thicker than standard debit or credit cards, but they have a built-in fingerprint sensor that is located in the corner. This offers a new, convenient way to authorise your in-person transactions. Instead of signing a paper receipt or entering your PIN while struggling to cover up the number pad, you simply place your thumb on your card to prove your identity.

Submission + - A battery made of molten metals (mit.edu) 2

Z00L00K writes: This story came out a while ago, but didn't seem to surface:

A novel rechargeable battery developed at MIT could one day play a critical role in the massive expansion of solar generation needed to mitigate climate change by midcentury. Designed to store energy on the electric grid, the high-capacity battery consists of molten metals that naturally separate to form two electrodes in layers on either side of the molten salt electrolyte between them. Tests with cells made of low-cost, Earth-abundant materials confirm that the liquid battery operates efficiently without losing significant capacity or mechanically degrading — common problems in today’s batteries with solid electrodes. The MIT researchers have already demonstrated a simple, low-cost process for manufacturing prototypes of their battery, and future plans call for field tests on small-scale power grids that include intermittent generating sources such as solar and wind.


Submission + - Wall Street IT Engineer Hacks Employer to See If He'll Be Fired (bleepingcomputer.com)

An anonymous reader writes: A Wall Street engineer was arrested for planting credentials-logging malware on his company's servers. According to an FBI affidavit, the engineer used these credentials to log into fellow employees' accounts. The engineer claims he did so only because he heard rumors of an acquisition and wanted to make sure he wouldn't be let go.

In reality, the employer did look at archived email inboxes, but he also stole encryption keys needed to access the protected source code of his employer's trading platform and trading algorithms. Using his access to the company's Unix network (which he gained after a promotion last year), the employee then rerouted traffic through backup servers in order to avoid the company's traffic monitoring solution and steal the company's source code.

The employee was caught after he kept intruding and disconnecting another employee's RDP session. The employee understood someone hacked his account and logged the attacker's unique identifier. Showing his total lack of understanding for how technology, logging and legal investigations work, the employee admitted via email to a fellow employee that he installed malware on the servers and hacked other employees.

Submission + - Subway Fights Back - In Court, Of Course

jenningsthecat writes: As reported here back in February, the CBC, (Canada's national broadcaster), revealed DNA test results which indicated the chicken used in Subway Restaurants' sandwiches only contained about 50% chicken. Now, Subway is suing the public broadcaster for $210 million, because "its reputation and brand have taken a hit as a result of the CBC reports". The suit claims that "false statements ... were published and republished, maliciously and without just cause or excuse, to a global audience, which has resulted in pecuniary loss to the plaintiffs".

Personally, my working assumption here is that the CBC report is substantially correct. It will be interesting to see how the case plays out — but should this have happened at all? Regulatory agencies here in Canada seem to be pretty good when it comes to inspecting meat processing facilities. Should they also be testing the prepared foods served by major restaurant chains, to ensure that claims regarding food content are true and accurate?

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: What Are Good Books On Inventing, Innovating And Doing R&D?

dryriver writes: I've signed up to a project that involves inventing new ways to do things and also performing the technology R&D required to make these new ways a reality. So, dear Slashdotters — are there any good books on inventing, innovating or doing R&D? Books that describe different ways to approach inventing/R&D? Books on managing a team effort to invent, innovate and research? Or even good books about the history of past inventions — how they were created, why they were created, how and why the succeeded or failed in the real world? Thanks!

Submission + - What a Trip: First Evidence for Higher State of Consciousness Found (neurosciencenews.com)

baalcat writes: Researchers observe a sustained increase in neural signal diversity in people under the influence of psychedelics.

Scientific evidence of a ‘higher’ state of consciousness has been found in a study led by the University of Sussex.

Neuroscientists observed a sustained increase in neural signal diversity – a measure of the complexity of brain activity – of people under the influence of psychedelic drugs, compared with when they were in a normal waking state.

The diversity of brain signals provides a mathematical index of the level of consciousness. For example, people who are awake have been shown to have more diverse neural activity using this scale than those who are asleep.

This, however, is the first study to show brain-signal diversity that is higher than baseline, that is higher than in someone who is simply ‘awake and aware’. Previous studies have tended to focus on lowered states of consciousness, such as sleep, anaesthesia, or the so-called ‘vegetative’ state.

Submission + - Physicists detect whiff of new particle at the Large Hadron Collider (sciencemag.org)

sciencehabit writes: For decades, particle physicists have yearned for physics beyond their tried-and-true standard model. Now, they are finding signs of something unexpected at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world’s biggest atom smasher at CERN, the European particle physics laboratory near Geneva, Switzerland. The hints come not from the LHC’s two large detectors, which have yielded no new particles since they bagged the last missing piece of the standard model, the Higgs boson, in 2012, but from a smaller detector, called LHCb, that precisely measures the decays of familiar particles.

The latest signal involves deviations in the decays of particles called B mesons—weak evidence on its own. But together with other hints, it could point to new particles lying on the high-energy horizon. “This has never happened before, to observe a set of coherent deviations that could be explained in a very economical way with one single new physics contribution,” says Joaquim Matias, a theorist at the Autonomous University of Barcelona in Spain.

Slashdot Top Deals

The amount of time between slipping on the peel and landing on the pavement is precisely 1 bananosecond.

Working...