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Submission + - US Efforts To Regulate Encryption Have Been Flawed, Government Report Finds (theguardian.com)

An anonymous reader writes: U.S. Republican congressional staff said in a report released Wednesday that previous efforts to regulate privacy technology were flawed and that lawmakers need to learn more about technology before trying to regulate it. The 25-page white paper is entitled Going Dark, Going Forward: A Primer on the Encryption Debate and it does not provide any solution to the encryption fight. However, it is notable for its criticism of other lawmakers who have tried to legislate their way out of the encryption debate. It also sets a new starting point for Congress as it mulls whether to legislate on encryption during the Clinton or Trump administration. "Lawmakers need to develop a far deeper understanding of this complex issue before they attempt a legislative fix," the committee staff wrote in their report. The committee calls for more dialogue on the topic and for more interviews with experts, even though they claim to have already held more than 100 such briefings, some of which are classified. The report says in the first line that public interest in encryption has surged once it was revealed that terrorists behind the Paris and San Bernardino attacks "used encrypted communications to evade detection."

Submission + - IBM Giving Everyone Access To Its Quantum Computing Processors (fortune.com)

An anonymous reader writes: IBM said on Wednesday that it's giving everyone access to one of its quantum computing processors, which can be used to crunch large amounts of data. Anyone can apply through IBM Research's website to test the processor, however, IBM will determine how much access people will have to the processor depending on their technology background — specifically how knowledgeable they are about quantum technology. With the project being "broadly accessible," IBM hopes more people will be interested in the technology, said Jerry Chow, manager of IBM's experimental quantum computing group. Users can interact with the quantum processor through the Internet, even though the chip is stored at IBM's research center in Yorktown Heights, New York, in a complex refrigeration system that keeps the chip cooled near absolute zero.

Submission + - Study Suggests Free Will Is An Illusion (iflscience.com)

An anonymous reader writes: A new paper published in the journal Psychological Science has attempted to define and investigate the subject of free will. By asking participants to anticipate when they thought a specific color of circle would appear before them, something determined completely by chance, the researchers found that their predictions were more accurate when they had only a fraction of a second to guess than when they had more time. The participants subconsciously perceived the color change as it happened prior to making their mental choice, even though they always thought they made their prediction before the change occurred. They were getting the answers right because they already knew the answer. “Our minds may be rewriting history,” Adam Bear, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Psychology at Yale University and lead author of the study, said in a statement. The implication here is that when it comes to very short time scales, even before we think we’ve made a conscious choice, our mind has already subconsciously decided for us, and free will is more of an illusion than we think.

Comment TechCrunch has confirmed: DevOps is dying (Score 4, Funny) 123

It is now official. TechCrunch has confirmed: DevOps is dying

One more crippling bombshell hit the already beleaguered DevOps community when TechCrunch confirmed that DevOps market share has dropped yet again, now down to less than a fraction of 1 percent of all positions. Coming on the heels of a recent TechCrunch survey which plainly states that DevOps has lost more market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. DevOps is collapsing in complete disarray, as fittingly exemplified by failing dead last in the recent Sys Admin comprehensive job openings test.

You don't need to be the Amazing Kreskin to predict DevOps's future. The hand writing is on the wall: DevOps faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for DevOps because DevOps is dying. Things are looking very bad for DevOps. As many of us are already aware, DevOps continues to lose market share. Red ink flows like a river of blood.

AgileDevOps is the most endangered of them all, having lost 93% of its core developer/administrators. The sudden and unpleasant departures of long time AgileDevOps developers Andrew Clay Shafer and Patrick Debois only serve to underscore the point more clearly. There can no longer be any doubt: AgileDevOps is dying.

Let's keep to the facts and look at the numbers.

OpenDevOps leader Lennart Poettering states that there are 7000 users of OpenDevOps. How many users of SystemDevOps are there? Let's see. The number of OpenDevOps versus SystemDevOps posts on Slashdot is roughly in ratio of 5 to 1. Therefore there are about 7000/5 = 1400 SystemDevOps users. DevOps/OS posts on Slashdot are about half of the volume of SystemDevOps posts. Therefore there are about 700 users of DevOps/OS. A recent article put AgileDevOps at about 80 percent of the DevOps market. Therefore there are (7000+1400+700)*4 = 36400 AgileDevOps users. This is consistent with the number of AgileDevOps Slashdot posts.

Due to the troubles of Caldera, abysmal sales and so on, AgileDevOps went out of business and was taken over by SCODevOps who sell another troubled OS. Now SCODevOps is also dead, its corpse turned over to yet another charnel house.

All major surveys show that DevOps has steadily declined in market share. DevOps is very sick and its long term survival prospects are very dim. If DevOps is to survive at all it will be among OS dilettante dabblers. DevOps continues to decay. Nothing short of a miracle could save it at this point in time. For all practical purposes, DevOps is dead.

Submission + - 'Style Vision' Is Google's Less Harmful April Fool's Prank (thestack.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Google has apparently added a new feature to its Cloud Vision image analysis API — the ability to detect 'style'. A new and elaborate video shows a series of disparate people approaching an analysis booth and receiving summary judgements from Style Vision. An older bearded man with long hair is analysed and summarised: 'SORCERER: VERY LIKELY', whilst two generic mid-thirties males are adjudicated 'STOCK_PHOTO: DEFINITELY'.

However, it doesn't seem that anyone is likely to lose their job over this unlikely technological innovation.

Submission + - Researchers Create "Deep Psychic" Neural Network That Predicts the Future (merl.com)

lstm_for_hire writes: Researchers at Mitsubishi Electric Research Labs (MERL) have announced a breakthrough in deep learning research, as they succeeded in developing a "Deep Psychic" neural network. Deep Psychic takes pattern recognition to the next level, by not only recognizing patterns, but also predicting them in the first place. The network is trained on large amounts of historical predictions, and has already beat the European Psychic Champion in a secret match last October.

Submission + - Artificial intelligence steals money from banking customers (sciencemag.org)

sciencehabit writes: A breakthrough year for artificial intelligence (AI) research has suddenly turned into a breakdown, as a new automated banking system that runs on AI has been caught embezzling money from customers. The surprising turn of events may set back by years efforts to incorporate AI into everyday technology.

"This is the nightmare scenario," says Len Meha-Döhler, a computer scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge who was not involved in the work. However, Rob Ott, a computer scientist at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, who did work on the system—Deep Learning Interface for Accounting (DELIA)—notes that it simply held all of the missing money, some $40,120.16, in a “rainy day” account. "I don't think you can attribute malice," he says. "I'm sure DELIA was going to give the money back."

Submission + - The Generation of Lost Ideas: Myopic Procrastination

TheRealHocusLocus writes: Glen Wurden would rather hold out to build a fusion powered rocket to intercept asteroids and comets, because he considers nuclear bombs 'unsafe'. ITER will take even longer than ever before but some day fusion power will be better than we could possibly imagine. Tesla is ready to sell you a $35k electric car today that runs (mostly) on electricity inefficiently produced by coal and natural gas. Solar and Wind advocates dream of a Earth-spanning HVDC Supergrid so that the intermittency and inefficiency of those energy sources becomes a global-scale problem with a few catastrophic points of failure. And the Sci-Tech beat goes on... bringing us a steady stream of glorious click-bait Futures.

As we sip champagne at the ribbon-cutting of great endeavors and some distant future, are we endangering ourselves? What awful things could happen between now and then? Pundits like to stir anger by declaring some group of young people a 'Lost Generation', but it is never as simple as that. I do believe there is such thing as a Generation Of Lost Ideas. These are things that some may consider unpalatable, the things Real Engineers would *demand* be done right now to ensure survival. Stuff like having a planetary defense rather than none at all. A world powered by Fission before Fusion. Grids powered by non-fossil electricity to run those electric vehicles. A whole middle-game of ideas is missing. Aside from predictable disagreement with my own views, can you think of other examples?

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Protection from SCO Lawsuits

An anonymous reader writes: As reported previously, SCO has filed an appeal in their lawsuit against IBM, still seeking damages for alleged copyright infringement of SCO Unix source code in Linux. Although SCO has yet to prevail, there is a nonzero probability of a court ruling in their favor. SCO has a history of attempting to sue companies that run Linux for damages as well as requesting injunctions that they immediately stop using allegedly infringing code. As an owner of a business that operates many Linux servers and workstations, I am concerned that SCO may prevail and they could sue Linux users like my business. I've attempted to figure out how to license SCO's IP, but I haven't found a way to pay my $699 licensing fee that still works. I'm looking for ideas on Slashdot about how to be protected in case SCO sues Linux users like my business or how I can finally get around to paying my $699 licensing fee.

Submission + - Regis McKenna's 1976 notes on his new client, Apple Computer (fastcompany.com)

harrymcc writes: Apple, which was established as a partnership on April 1, 1976, officially turns 40 today. Over at Fast Company, I wrote about its original marketing guru, Regis McKenna, and the notes he took when he was formulating a marketing plan for the company that year. They're an amazing snapshot of where the tiny startup was and where it hoped to go.

Submission + - Pentagon admits to having deployed miitary spy drones over the US (msn.com)

lightbox32 writes: A report by a Pentagon inspector general, made public under a Freedom of Information Act request, said spy drones on non-military missions have occurred fewer than 20 times between 2006 and 2015 and always in compliance with existing law. The use of unmanned aerial surveillance (UAS) drones over U.S. surfaced in 2013 when then-FBI director Robert Mueller testified before Congress that the bureau employed spy drones to aid investigations, but in a "very, very minimal way, very seldom."

The inspector general analysis was completed March 20, 2015, but not released publicly until last Friday.

The report also quoted a military law review article that said "the appetite to use them (spy drones) in the domestic environment to collect airborne imagery continues to grow, as does Congressional and media interest in their deployment."

Submission + - French bill carries 5-year jail sentence for company refusals to decrypt data fo (dailydot.com)

Patrick O'Neill writes: Employees of companies in France that refuse to decrypt data for police can go to prison for five years under new legislation from conservative legislators. The punishment for refusing to hand over access to encrypted data is a five year jail sentence and $380,000 fine. Telecom companies would face their own penalties, including up to two years in jail. French politicians criticized American companies in particular: "They deliberately use the argument of public freedoms to make money knowing full well that the encryption used to drug traffickers, to serious [criminals] and especially to terrorists. It is unacceptable that the state loses any control over encryption and, in fact, be the subject of manipulation by U.S. multinationals.”

Submission + - Push To Hack: Reverse engineering an IP camera (contextis.com)

tetraverse writes: For our most recent IoT adventure, we've examined an outdoor cloud security camera which like many devices of its generation a) has an associated mobile app b) is quick to setup and c) presents new security threats to your network.

Submission + - Patent troll VirnetX awarded $626M in damages from Apple (arstechnica.com)

Tackhead writes: Having won a $200M judgement against Microsoft in 2010, lost a $258M appeal against Cisco in 2013, and having beaten Apple for $368M in 2012, only to see the verdict overturned in 2014, patent troll VirnetX is back in the news, having been awarded $626M in damages arising from the 2012 Facetime patent infringement case against Apple.

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