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Comment Re:I believe this violates the Outer Space Treaty (Score 1) 256

Exactly. The described mode of operation does not really compute. Transition from wing-lift atmospheric flight to orbit requires A LOT of additional energy, so the plane taking off from a runway and then boosting itself to orbit does not seem physically possible. Launching a smaller orbital vehicle from a large carrier plane is another matter... but this would simply be an airborne ballistic/orbital launch, something much different from X-37B that stays in orbit for months and actually more similar to recent American commercial attempts (cf. the White Knight).

Submission + - New Stagefright Exploit Puts Millions Of Android Devices At Risk (

itwbennett writes: NorthBit, based in Herzliya, Israel, has found a new weakness in Stagefright, Android's mediaserver and multimedia library. Dubbed Metaphor, the attack is effective against devices running Android versions 2.2 through 4.0 and 5.0 and 5.1, NorthBit said. The attack is an extension of other ones developed for CVE-2015-3864, a remote code execution vulnerability which has been patched twice by Google. NorthBit published a video of a successful attack, which requires a bit of social engineering.

Submission + - Malware found in popular Android anti-virus featured on Google Play (

An anonymous reader writes: Doctor Web security researchers examined a new Adware trojan after it had been spotted in firmware of about 40 popular low-end smartphones and in several applications developed by well-known companies. This Trojan, which was named Android.Gmobi.1, is designed as SDK platform usually used by mobile device manufacturers or by software developers to expand functionality of Android applications. In particular, this module is able to remotely update the operating system, collect information including the GPS or mobile network coordinates and geolocation, display notifications (including advertising ones), and make mobile payments. Doctor Web specialists found that this SDK has already arrived on almost 40 mobile devices. In addition, the Trojan also compromised such Google Play apps as Trend Micro Dr.Safety, Dr.Booster, and Asus WebStorage.

Submission + - The Future of the Pale Moon browser (

AmiMoJo writes: Pale Moon is a web browser based on Firefox 24, with extensive modifications. One of the main appeals is that its developers refused to integrate changes to the browser that take away functionality from it. This can be something as mundane as a browser setting in the preference or the refusal to drop support for full themes or implement the not-so-new Australis interface. A recent discussion on the official Pale Moon forum indicates that the team considers to create a new browser product that they plan to develop alongside Pale Moon for the time being until it is stable enough to replace the aging browser. The main idea here is to use a newer version of Firefox's code base, but without sacrificing the user interface or the majority of features that make Pale Moon different from Firefox. The step would resolve several issues the team is facing mid- to long-term not only compatibility wise with new web technologies but also with Mozilla planning to integrate major changes to Firefox (multi-process, WebExtensions, Servo).

Comment Re:Tough problem (Score 1) 271

Perhaps in the Land of the Free, but it isn't necessarily so in all of the world. Relatively small labor regulations like in Europe, e.g. forcing a one- or two-month termination period, can do wonders simply by forcing the directors to think in terms longer than the next week to quarter end.

I have worked in several European offices of both US and European software companies and this small thing does wonders to both workplace atmosphere and relative balance of power. And it does not really significantly hamper the company, contrary to what MBA types will keep telling you - it is bullshit that multimillion corporations are today forced to reorient at a day's notice.

Comment Re:I did a contract there briefly (Score 1) 166

Binary deltas do not solve the problem of HAVING TO RECOMPILE everything that uses the fixed library. On the oher hand, when a shared library is updated itself, everything that uses it, including closed-source third-party software, suddenly gets the benefit.

As for updated libraries breaking stuff, I honestly don't remember such case, and I have been using Linux as a sole workstation OS for well over 10 years now. Anyway, there are dynamic linker vars like LD_PRELOAD and LD_LIBRARY_PATH/LIBPATH that can be easily employed in such a case.

Moreover, how do you imagine "fully portable, self-contained binaries" for GUI programs? Statically linking half of X11 and GNOME/KDE/ into each calculator program? Well...

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Can some of us get together and rebuild this community? 21

wbr1 writes: It seems abundantly clear now that Dice and the SlashBeta designers do not care one whit about the community here. They do not care about rolling in crapware into sourceforge installers. In short, the only thing that talks to them is money and stupid ideas.

Granted, it takes cash to run sites like these, but they were fine before. The question is, do some of you here want to band together, get whatever is available of slashcode and rebuild this community somewhere else? We can try to make it as it once was, a haven of geeky knowledge and frosty piss, delivered free of charge in a clean community moderated format.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: What's a safe way to name files for sorting? 5

Keybounce writes: I plan on using numbers in filenames to make sure that things sort properly. I'm aware that some systems will sort as 9_file.txt, 10_file.txt, 11_file.txt; while others will do 1_file, 10_file, 11_file, 2_file.

But I'm curious about other things. Is 0 always going to sort below 1, or will it sort after 9 in some locales / languages / operating systems? Are A-Z guaranteed to exist and be usable everywhere?

At the moment, I'm planning on sticking to three digit numbers, from 111 to 999, at the front, and not use any 0's; while I'm pretty certain that will work, I'm told that this is excessive and unwarranted; that I'm being paranoid.

So how much freedom do I have in getting filenames that are sortable in a dependable way, for all locales, for Linux, Macintosh, and Windows? (And does this still work if I expand to other platforms?)

If it makes a difference, this will be in a java-based system.

Submission + - Dice, what are you getting by butchering Slashdot ? 2

Taco Cowboy writes: Before I register my account with /. I frequented it for almost 3 weeks. If I were to register the first time I visited /. my account number would be in the triple digits.

That said, I want to ask Dice why they are so eager to kill off Slashdot.

Is there a secret buyer somewhere waiting to grab this domain, Dice ? Just tell us. There are those amongst us who can afford to pay for the domain. What we want is to have a Slashdot that we know, that we can use, that we can continue to share information with all others.

Please stop all your destructive plans for Slashdot, Dice.

Comment Re:Mr Krugman is an Economist not to be dismissed (Score 3, Informative) 540

That is... not true, at least for Poland. I happen to live there, you see, and health insurance does not expire with unemployement benefits. It is tied to unemployed *status*, not benefits, and as long as a person is registered as unemployed, they have their health insurance paid by the State, whether they are still eligible for the benefts or not.

Comment Re:Are we focusing too much on Mars? (Score 2) 212

A very successful Saturn orbiter mission, Cassini, has been going on for years. Numerous moon flybys, lots of interesting data, pretty pics as well.

Beyond that, the main problem is cost. Uranus is four times farther away from the Sun than Jupiter, Neptune is six times farther away. Travel by direct transfer requires burning lots of fuel in Earth orbit, which makes it very expensive. Using gravity assist requires lots of time, and a long mission requires employing personnel and devoting resources for many years, which is also expensive. Not to mention that the probe must survive ten or twenty years in space and only then perform the actual mission, which makes the design expensive as well.

The singular pair of Voyager missions was only possible thanks to very lucky arrangement of planets at that time. Unfortunately, this won't repeat any time soon.

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