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Submission + - Hash indexes are faster than Btree indexes? (blogspot.in)

amitkapila writes: PostgreSQL supports Hash Index from a long time, but they are not much used in production mainly because they are not durable. Now, with the next version of PostgreSQL, they will be durable. The immediate question is how do they perform as compared to Btree indexes. This blog has tried to answer that question.

Submission + - Firefox 52 forces pulseaudio, dev claims that telemetry is essential (mozilla.org) 3

jbernardo writes: While trying to justify breaking audio on firefox for several linux users by making it depend on pulseaudio (and not even mentioning it in the release notes), Anthony Jones, who claims, among other proud achievements, to be "responsible for bringing Widevine DRM to Linux, Windows and Mac OSX", informs users that disabling telemetry will have consequences — "Telemetry informs our decisions. Turning it off is not without disadvantage."
The latest one is, as documented on the mentioned bug, that firefox no long has audio unless you have pulseaudio installed. Many bug reporters suggest that firefox telemetry is disabled by default on many distributions, and also that power users, who are the ones more likely to remove pulseaudio, are also the ones more likely to disable telemetry.
As for the pulseaudio dependence, apparently there was a "public" discussion on google groups, and it can be seen that the decision was indeed based on telemetry.
So, if for any reason you still use firefox, and want to have some hope it won't be broken for you in the future, enable all the spyware/telemetry.

Submission + - Physicist declassifies rescued nuclear test films (llnl.gov)

Eloking writes: The U.S. conducted 210 atmospheric nuclear tests between 1945 and 1962, with multiple cameras capturing each event at around 2,400 frames per second. But in the decades since, around 10,000 of these films sat idle, scattered across the country in high-security vaults. Not only were they gathering dust, the film material itself was slowly decomposing, bringing the data they contained to the brink of being lost forever.

For the past five years, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) weapon physicist Greg Spriggs and a crack team of film experts, archivists and software developers have been on a mission to hunt down, scan, reanalyze and declassify these decomposing films. The goals are to preserve the films' content before it's lost forever, and provide better data to the post-testing-era scientists who use computer codes to help certify that the aging U.S. nuclear deterrent remains safe, secure and effective. To date, the team has located around 6,500 of the estimated 10,000 films created during atmospheric testing. Around 4,200 films have been scanned, 400 to 500 have been reanalyzed and around 750 have been declassified. An initial set of these declassified films — tests conducted by LLNL — were published today in an LLNL YouTube playlist (link is external).

Submission + - Critical Information for Aviators Bogged Down In 'Ridiculous' 1920s NOTAM System 2

Freshly Exhumed writes: Mark Zee of OpsGroup, an entity that provides airlines and aircraft operators worldwide with critical flight information, has had enough of the NOTAM system of critical information notices to aviators, decrying that it has become 'absolutely ridiculous. We communicate the most critical flight information, using a system invented in 1920, with a format unchanged since 1924, burying essential information that will lose a pilot their job, an airline their aircraft, and passengers their lives, in a mountain of unreadable, irrelevant bullshit.'

Submission + - Samsung Leaking Customer Information (medium.com)

mlauzon writes: Matt Metzger wrote an article on Medium.com about Samsung leaking private information, Samsung says it's up to their shipping partner to take care of the problem. Here is a little bit of the article:

'About four months ago, I ordered a new TV directly from Samsung’s online store. A few days later, I received a tracking link via email.'

Submission + - Albert Einstein, as described by CIA psychics (muckrock.com)

v3rgEz writes: In 1988, as part of the CIA's ongoing research into weaponized ESP, CIA psychics were tasked with identifying a photo of a famous individual inside of an opaque folder. That individual was Albert Einstein. The individual the psychics came up with was off, but not that far off: A moody hippie pharmacist named Alfer Aferman. Read the documents, released under FOIA, at MuckRock.

Submission + - SPAM: Why Your Dad's 30-Year-Old Stereo System Sounds Better Than Your New One

schwit1 writes: The receiver engineers have to devote the lion’s share of their design skills and budget to making the features work. Every year receiver manufacturers pay out more and more money (in the form of royalties and licensing fees) to Apple, Audyssey, Bluetooth, HD Radio, XM-Sirius, Dolby, DTS and other companies, and those dollars consume an ever bigger chunk of the design budget. The engineers have to make do with whatever is left to make the receiver sound good.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Physicists Find That as Clocks Get More Precise, Time Gets More Fuzzy (sciencealert.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Time is weird – in spite of what we think, the Universe doesn't have a master clock to run by, making it possible for us to experience time differently depending on how we're moving or how much gravity is pulling on us.

Now physicists have combined two grand theories of physics to conclude not only is time not universally consistent, any clock we use to measure it will blur the flow of time in its surrounding space.

Submission + - Millions of Smart Meters May Over-Inflate Readings by up to 600% (bleepingcomputer.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Lab tests carried out by Dutch scientists have shown that some of today's "smart" electrical meters may give out false readings that in some cases can be 582% higher than actual energy consumption.The study involved several tests conducted on nine different brands of "smart" meters, also referred to in the industry as "static energy meters." Researchers also used one electromechanical meter for reference. Experiments went on for six months, with individual tests lasting at least one week, and sometimes several weeks. Researchers tried to reproduce regular household energy consumption patterns and connected the smart meters to various power-consuming appliances found in regular homes, such as energy saving light bulbs, heaters, LED bulbs, and dimmers. Test results varied wildly, with some meters reporting errors way above their disclosed range, going from -32% to +582%. The results of the study also matched numbers posted on an online forum by a disgruntled Dutchman complaining about high energy bills.

Researchers blamed all the issues on the design of some smart meters, and, ironically, electrical devices with energy-saving features. The latter devices, researchers say, introduced a large amount of noise in electrical current waveforms, which disrupt the smart meter sensors tasked with recording power consumption. Since the research only covered smart meters commonly installed in Dutch homes, researchers say that around 750,000 smart meters deployed around the Netherlands may be giving out false readings. Worldwide, the numbers of possibly faulty smart meters could be in the millions, if not more.

Submission + - Why Don't Mobile OSs offer a Kill Code? 1

gordo3000 writes: Given all the recent headlines about border patrol getting up close and personal with phones, I've been wondering why phone manufacturers don't offer a second emergency pin that you can enter and it wipes all private information on the phone?

In theory, it should be pretty easy to just input a different pin (or unlock pattern) that opens up a factory reset screen on the phone and in the background begins deleting all personal information. I'd expect that same code could also lock out the USB port until it is finished deleting the data, to help prevent many of the tools they now have to copy out everything on your phone.

This nicely prevents you from having to back up and wipe your phone before every trip but leaves you with a safety measure if you get harassed at the border.

So slashdot, what say you?

Submission + - SPAM: The race for autonomous cars is over. Silicon Valley lost.

schwit1 writes: Up until very recently the talk in Silicon Valley was about how the tech industry was going to broom Detroit into the dustbin of history. Companies such as Apple, Google, and Uber — so the thinking went -were going to out run, out gun, and out innovate the automakers. Today that talk is starting to fade. There's a dawning realization that maybe there's a good reason why the traditional car companies have been around for more than a century.

Last year Apple laid off most of the engineers it hired to design its own car. Google (now Waymo) stopped talking about making its own car. And Uber, despite its sky high market valuation, is still a long, long way from ever making any money, much less making its own autonomous cars.

To paraphrase Elon Musk, Silicon Valley is learning that "Making rockets is hard, but making cars is really hard." People outside of the auto industry tend to have a shallow understanding of how complex the business really is. They think all you have to do is design a car and start making it. But most startups never make it past the concept car stage because the move to mass production proves too daunting.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - SPAM: A.T.F. Filled Secret Bank Account With Millions From Shadowy Cigarette Sales

schwit1 writes: “Working from an office suite behind a Burger King in southern Virginia, operatives used a web of shadowy cigarette sales to funnel tens of millions of dollars into a secret bank account. They weren’t known smugglers, but rather agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The operation, not authorized under Justice Department rules, gave agents an off-the-books way to finance undercover investigations and pay informants without the usual cumbersome paperwork and close oversight, according to court records and people close to the operation.”

Laws and rules are for the little people.

Link to Original Source

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