Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


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! ×

Submission + - Surveillence story turns into a warning about employer monitoring

rtfa-troll writes: The story from yesterday about Google searches has turned into a warning about how work place surveillance could harm you. It turns out that Michele Catalano's husband's boss tipped off the police after finding "suspicious" searches including "pressure cooker bombs" in his old work computer's search history. Luckily for the Catalanos, who even allowed a search of their house when they probably didn't have to, it seems professional and friendly policemen supported by the FBI were called in and instead of them getting killed in a SWAT raid Catalano was merely talked to politely by some men in black cars who even mentioned to Catalano that 99 times out of 100 these tip-offs come to nothing. Perhaps a lesson to be a bit more careful about your privacy so that what you do on the internet remains between you and the professionals in the NSA in future? Best to use tor so that you can be sure they are the only ones listening in. Maybe also a good tip for what to look for if you want to get revenge on former team members who leave you with a pile of bad code?

Submission + - Microsoft Azure Cloud Storage Suffers Major Outage Over Expired SSL Certificate (threatpost.com)

Trailrunner7 writes: Microsoft's public cloud storage service suffered a global outage due to a lapsed security certificate.

Beginning around 4 p.m. EST, developers and other Azure customers began being blocked from accessing files.

"Storage is currently experiencing a worldwide outage impacting HTTPS operations (SSL traffic) due to an expired certificate," according to a message on the Windows Azure Service Dashboard that remained posted Friday night. "HTTP traffic is not impacted. We are validating the recovery options before implementing them. Further updates will be published to keep you apprised of the situation. We apologize for any inconvenience this causes our customers."


Submission + - Recycling a single software UI makes Windows 8 a productivity eating "monster" (useit.com)

rtfa-troll writes: Usability expert Jakob Nielsen has a detailed posting on Windows 8 Metro UI (sometimes called "Modern"). The article goes through the design mistakes which "strangles [the user's] productivity" and talks about the "Error-Prone Gestures" with "swipe ambiguity" included in Windows and discovered with only a limited level of usability testing. He then goes on to say that, whilst it is possible that 'Windows 9 will be "Metro Done Right"', "Windows 8 is Mr. Hyde: a monster that terrorizes poor office workers" and that the fundamental unsolvable problem is "the idea of recycling a single software UI for two very different classes of hardware devices." The saddest part of the article? Jakob is a well respected academic and when he previously criticised usability in iPad apps, one year later most of those apps had improved based on that feedback; reaction from Android was similar. In his criticism of Windows 8 he actually had to include a section "I Don't Hate Microsoft" through fear of being accused of being a "fanboy or a Microsoft hater". Will Microsoft listen or is it stuck in the echo chamber of it's online reputation managers?

Saudi Arabia Implements Electronic Tracking System For Women 591

dsinc writes "Denied the right to travel without consent from their male guardians and banned from driving, women in Saudi Arabia are now monitored by an electronic system that tracks any cross-border movements. Since last week, Saudi women's male guardians began receiving text messages on their phones informing them when women under their custody leave the country, even if they are travelling together. 'The authorities are using technology to monitor women,' said columnist Badriya al-Bishr, who criticised the 'state of slavery under which women are held' in the ultra-conservative kingdom. Women are not allowed to leave the kingdom without permission from their male guardian, who must give his consent by signing what is known as the 'yellow sheet' at the airport or border."

Submission + - Police raid home of 9-year-old Pirate Bay user, seize 'Winnie the Pooh' laptop (bgr.com) 1

zacharye writes: Copyright enforcement might be getting out of hand in Scandinavia. As anti-piracy groups and copyright owners continue to work with authorities to curtail piracy in the region, police this week raided the home of a 9-year-old suspect and confiscated her “Winnie the Pooh” laptop. TorrentFreak reports that the girl’s home was raided after local anti-piracy group CIAPC determined copyrighted files had been downloaded illegally at her residence. Her father, the Internet service account holder, was contacted by CIAPC, which demanded that he pay a 600 euro fine and sign a non-disclosure agreement to settle the matter. When the man did not comply, authorities raided his home and collected evidence, including his 9-year-old daughter’s notebook computer...

Submission + - Smartphones Q3 Final Numbers & Mobile OSs in future (blogs.com) 2

An anonymous reader writes: Tommi Ahonen's latest numbers for the top ten smartphone vendors and top OSs are up. Android's dominates with seven of the top nine vendors profitably delivering Android which confirms our recent story whilst even escluding the iPhone5 Apple does fine as the only profitable non-Android vendor.

The coming battle for third position, involving Blackberry (4.3%) , Bada (3%) and Tizen (arriving in January) is the most fascinating. RIM has managed to almost stabilize, with enterprise customers "willing to keep buying some Blackberries" even now and so BB10 has a real chance of winning this, making Blackberry development suddenly interesting again. At the same time Tommi reports that Samsung's Tizen is very ready to substitute for Bada, and has multiple big backers which might also drive it to overtake BlackBerry.

Finally in the smaller/more obscure category, Meego has gone into "hibernation" with practically no sales to be expected until Sailfish arrives, and Symbian (2.0%), whilst "really on its last legs", has for now overtaken Windows again which peaked at 3% then collapsed back to 1.9% after the abandonment of WP7 devices. Mobile operators, who previously feared that Skype would take over their billing relationships, will almost certainly give a big sigh of relief.

We discussed Gartner's Android numbers recently and Samsung's Android phone success a bit before that.


Submission + - The Three Pillars of Nokia Strategy - Have All Failed. (blogs.com) 1

An anonymous reader writes: When all 3 legs of your 3-legged strategy fail, what do you do? You rush — run run run — to change your total strategy. But what would a madman do? — Read Tommi Ahonen's new article to find out. Is the Nokia board either asleep at the wheel, or incompetent, or in collusion with the incompetent CEO? Tommi gives full details, not just of how Nokia's Windows phone strategy has failed, but how this has spread to other parts of the companies technology and the "Elop Effect" has single-handedly destroyed [...] Europe's biggest tech giant" and leaves us only with the question: Why is Nokia's board failing to act?

We've discussed Tommi's articles before where he was correctly predicting Windows phones market failure at a point where others were claiming that "the Lumia line is, in fact, selling quite nicely"

Comment Re:Mobile losers club? (Score 1) 200

Acutally, you both have already forgotten Symbian (Take a look at the the table!)

The symbian share is falling much faster than Nokia's WP 7 sales are growing.

This and Windows Mobile. Windows Phone is effectively an inheritor from both systems and should be inheriting the combined market share. It's rediculous to look at just Windows Phone's share alone ignoring the fact that there is already an established channel to market and set of shops and distributors which should be pushing the phones at the same rate as the models they are replacing.


Submission + - Samsung biggest (smart)phone manufacturer. (blogs.com)

rtfa-troll writes: Tomi Ahonen reports that Samsung has become the largest manufacturer of smartphones (overtaking Apple) and of mobile phones (overtaking Nokia). During the first quarter of 2012 Samsung sold 93.5 million phones with 44.5 million (48%) of those smartphones. Apple would still lead on "smart mobile devices" with 52 million sales including iPads but not iPods. The last time the lead in mobile phone changed was in 14 years ago, in 1998, when Nokia overtook Ericsson. Ericsson never recovered and began leaving the mobile phone market three years later creating Sony Ericsson, later Sony Mobile. It looks like the mobile phone market is going to be brutal with Apple and Samsung crushing everybody else except possibly HTC which is still rising and Motorola (which has Google to look after it).

Submission + - Aviation security: Bruce Schneier V. Kip Hawley (TSA Boss) (economist.com)

Fluffeh writes: "A nice summary, brings word that Bruce Schneier has been debating with Kip Hawley, who is the boss of the TSA over at the Economist. Bruce has been providing facts, analysis and some amazing statistics into the debate and it makes for very educating reading — and it has the benefit of being a debate, so the TSA is compelled to respond.

"He wants us to trust that a 400-ml bottle of liquid is dangerous, but transferring it to four 100-ml bottles magically makes it safe. He wants us to trust that the butter knives given to first-class passengers are nevertheless too dangerous to be taken through a security checkpoint. He wants us to trust that there’s a reason to confiscate a cupcake (Las Vegas), a 3-inch plastic toy gun (London Gatwick), a purse with an embroidered gun on it (Norfolk, VA), a T-shirt with a picture of a gun on it (London Heathrow) and a plastic lightsaber that’s really a flashlight with a long cone on top (Dallas/Fort Worth).""

Comment Re:Techno navel-gazing (Score 1) 119

On the list of things keeping children in poor countries from getting an education, lack of laptops is way towards the bottom.

The thing which is missing is access to information and various tools. A computer is a good and cheap way to deliver information when textbooks aren't available and is a good and cheap way to deliver tools such as calculators; word puzzles and so on when those aren't available. These aren't really that much available in a standard base OS install that you would see, but OLPC provides a custom environment where they are available.

You'd get far more bang for your buck with desktops.

I suggest you have a look at the OLPC FAQ, which explains this stuff. Desktops require large amounts of continuous power, which just isn't available in the environment these places are designed for. Laptops with batteries and low power usage just work better here. These students often simply don't have a space where they could put a desktop anyway.

And most of all, every time I read about OLPC, it's always about the tech and the specs, not how it actually helps kids. That strikes me as techno navel-gazing at its worst.

You are reading about OLPC on Slashdot "techno navel-gazing at its worst" is our hobby. Perhaps you should go and read about this from the people who are actually doing it.

Until I actually read or see a story that details the benefits to real children (and please, feel free to send those links), I'll keep assuming that this is first and foremost about people finding ways to make themselves feel good about what they do.

The OLPC has a stories page on their front page. That's probably a good place to start. Beyond that they have a bunch of mailing lists where you will be able to find a whole load of stories. However, be aware that there probably hasn't been much reason to direct detailed information towards those like yourself who aren't involved or volunteering so you will find that you have to dig through all the individual country level lists in different languages. These seem to be more active than the top level ones.

Comment Re:Idiotic (Score 2) 119

Then sell it with no support whatsoever.

For very good reasons, most consumer protection laws don't allow this. If the customer says the system was broken when deliered you have to replace it. At that point, you need to provide enough support to find the power switch otherwise your costs will rocket. At that point, you are providing support no matter what.


Submission + - Bug gives away China proxies behind APT (secureworks.com) 1

An anonymous reader writes: Breaches in major companies and governments worldwide by APTs have been linked back to servers in China. Joe Stewart at Dell SecureWorks reports that the team there found a bug which can be used to get much closer to the origin of these APTs. Snort signatures are included in the article.

"Advanced persistent threat" is a recent security term used either as an excuse for security failures for a type of attack or for a specific group of attackers often linked with China.

Now a bug was found in the APT's software. This can give away the fact of the attack and the address of the final proxy in the chain of proxies hiding the APT's origin. The snort signatures in the article can be use to identify these attacks but only if done quickly. The bug will probably soon be fixed.

All of the destination servers found by the attacker do actually turn out to be in China and belong to major ISPs there. I guess we'll have to wait for the results of the Chinese government's investigation to know who it really was. These might be false flag operations, but that should be easy to prove when Chinese investigators share the info from the end servers with the companies that have been hacked.

Submission + - Nokia overtaken by HTC; Moodies downrates. (wsj.com)

An anonymous reader writes: HTC's market valuation has overtaken Nokia's for a time according to the Wall Street Journal which made HTC the third highest valued mobile company after Apple and Samsung. The article goes on to state that this shows the power of Android which may even end up dominating Nokia's current feature phone market. This news comes on the back of Nokia's downrating by Moodies together with a warning of more to come which will make the vast R&D spend Nokia needs for WP7 even more difficult to finance.

As we remember from the Nokia Microsoft deal, Nokia is allowed to customize WP7 in ways that HTC is not. HTC's position with Microsoft is clearly humiliating so a number of analysts have been asking if Microsoft's other partners are going to review their WP7 involvement.

Slashdot Top Deals

All science is either physics or stamp collecting. -- Ernest Rutherford