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Submission + - Government Secrecy Spurs $4 Million Lawsuit Over Simple "No Fly" List Error (

An anonymous reader writes: After a seven-year lawsuit costing nearly $4 million, a judge has concluded that Rahinah Ibrahim's student visa was revoked because an FBI agent checked the wrong box on a form. That simple human error resulted in the detention of a Rahinah Ibrahim, the revocation of her student visa years later and interruption of her PhD studies. The Bush and later Obama administrations obstructed the lawsuit repeatedly, invoking classified evidence, sensitive national security information and the state secrets privilege to prevent disclosure of how suspects are placed on the 'no-fly' list. The dispute eventually involved statements of support from James Clapper, Eric Holder and several other DOJ and TSA officials in favor of the government's case. The defendant was not allowed to enter the United States even to attend her own lawsuit trial and in a separate incident, her daughter, a US citizen, was denied entry to witness the trial as well. The case exemplifies how government secrecy can unintentionally transform otherwise easily corrected errors into a multi-year legal and bureaucratic nightmare and waste millions of taxpayer dollars in doing so.

Submission + - Intelligence Squared U.S. Debate On February 12: Snowden Was Justified? (

An anonymous reader writes: The Intelligence Squared U.S. (IQ2US) debate on February 12th, 5:45 PM CST — "Snowden Was Justified," should be of considerable interest to the Slashdot community. Podcasts and streaming video will be available, and it will be carried on many NPR stations. From the site: "Has Edward Snowden done the U.S. a great service? There is no doubt that his release of highly classified stolen documents has sparked an important public debate, even forcing what could be a major presidential overhaul of the NSA’s surveillance programs. But have his actions—which include the downloading of an estimated 1.7 million files—tipped off our enemies and endangered national security? Is Snowden a whistleblower, or is he a criminal?"

Arguing For:
Daniel Ellsberg — Fmr. U.S. Military Analyst & Pentagon Papers Whistleblower
Ben Wizner — Legal Adviser to Edward Snowden & Attorney, ACLU

Arguing Against
Andrew C. McCarthy — Fmr. Federal Prosecutor & Contributing Editor, National Review
Ambassador R. James Woolsey — Fmr. Director, CIA & Chairman, Foundation for Defense of Democracies

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Steady client turns into nightmare client, what should I do?

An anonymous reader writes: A startup I developed for over the course of two years has hit a rough patch and are now low on funding. They are currently sitting on 5 months of invoices from me. The clients were not happy with their product due to feedback from investors and tried to pass blame onto the developers for the "state of the product". Everything they designed (and they are not designers) was developed and functional. They still have some money left and are going to pay another company to design and develop a completely new product for them based off their idea. This is going to cost them about 5x as much as the money they currently owe me. On top of not paying their debts, they now say "we are going to review your invoices and match up hours on the invoice with 'accepted code'" During the course of two years this policy has never been brought up and they always paid invoices, mostly months late, but still paid. Sure enough they will want to withhold money and will only pay my invoices if they receive anymore funding. As a developer, sometimes you get comfortable and put trust in people you work for. This was a contract gig. Reading into the contract, there is a statement about completing the “scope of work”, but there is no documentation or wireframes to prove any scope of work. Invoices have always been billed hourly and paid without question. I find this situation to be ridiculous, and I wanted to get others to weigh in about it. I’ve considered seeking legal advice or waging social media war against them and publishing a more detailed story.

Submission + - Android can't escape the Pandora's Box of openness (

rsmiller510 writes: As a large company with a target on its back, Google has to walk a fine line when it comes to Android. That's because when it made Android open source, it left it vulnerable to forking where it could eventually lose control of its own project. It's an issue Oracle has faced in the past and one Google has to be wary of even if as a mature OS, it's more difficult to pull off at scale.

Submission + - Congressman Defends Right to Privacy with New Legislation (

RoccamOccam writes: Should the government be able to read your emails without a warrant? Representative Matt Salmon (R-AZ) tackled that question today at the Heritage Foundation’s first annual Conservative Policy Summit in Washington, DC.

'Privacy and transparency are the core of a republic. Today, that is reversed [...] “Mass spying did not protect us from the Boston bombing, the Times Square bombing, etc.'

Salmon is determined to stop the government’s secret snooping by leading the House version of the Electronics Communications Privacy Amendments Act, legislation that specifically targets a 1986 law declaring government had a right to search one’s emails without a warrant. Salmon’s legislation has been able to attract bipartisan support.

Submission + - SPAM: Reasons Why Flappy Bird creator is pulling the game from app stores?

njay005 writes: Now with all that success coming to the developer unexpectedly, Flappy Bird has attracted a lot of criticism as well. Some say that the level so this game are irritatingly tough and the player just goes on to get to the next level. Playing the game is too easy, just a Flappy Bird crossing hurdle as you tap the screen to boost it up and leaving the screen to let it fall freely.

Twitter got flooded with rumors of Dong Nguyen getting sued over the game’s similarity to Mario Brothers. hashtag #flappybird rose to No. 1 on Twitter.

Why Flappy Bird creator is pulling the game from app stores is explained in a series of tweets by the creator himself.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - I got fired after 2 weeks of being hired. Please help me understand something 3

diego.viola writes: I was fired from a company after 2 weeks of being hired. Their reason for firing me is that I wasn't productive enough. How do you guys deliver code/value fast on the first days without knowing their codebase at all? Or are those type of companies just unrealistic?

Submission + - LA building's lights interfere with cellular network, FCC says ( 5

alphadogg writes: When a certain Los Angeles office building lights up, it's a dark day for nearby cellphone users, according to the Federal Communications Commission. Fluorescent lights at Ernst & Young Plaza, a 41-story tower near the heart of downtown, emit frequencies that interfere with the Verizon Wireless 700MHz network, the agency said in a citation issued against the building owner. The FCC's message comes through loud and clear in the filing: the building owner could be fined up to $16,000 a day if it keeps using the interfering lights, up to a total of $112,500. The alleged violation could also lead to "criminal sanctions, including imprisonment," the citation says.

Submission + - A Modest Proposal, re: Beta vs. Classic 19

unitron writes: Dice wants to make money off of what they paid for--the Slashdot name--, or rather they want to make more money off of it than they are making now, and they think the best way to do that is to turn it into SlashingtonPost.

They should take this site and give it a new name. Or get Malda to let them use "Chips & Dips".

Leave everything else intact, archives, user ID database, everything except the name.

Then use the Beta code and start a new site and give it the name, and they can have what they want without the embarrassment of having the current userbase escape from the basement or the attic and offend the sensibilities of the yuppies or hipsters or metrosexuals or whoever it is that they really want for an "audience".

Submission + - Dice Holdings, Inc, deleting unflattering stories from Slashdot firehose 4

An anonymous reader writes: Stories submitted to the Slashdot firehose that take a negative view on the site's redesign are being deleted. 4 hours ago, it was full of anti-beta posts. Now they are gone. That's right. A forum that usually leaves V14GRA spam in place for posterity is deleting user content.

Submission + - Slashdot goes kerplunk 4

An anonymous reader writes: dice abandons slashdot classic look forcing long-time users to abandon slashdot.

Submission + - What is your best hacking and/or DOS story?

drfreak writes: I started using the Internet early in the upper 1980's. Back then most people didn't have direct access. We'd dial into a server instead which gave us shell accounts to play with and use text-based content such as UseNet and IRC.

Even with the net being that limited many of us forged our first attacks; often just to mess with our friends but sometimes also to punish an adversary. It was all in good fun back then and no real damage was intended. It also gave my friends at the time and myself a lot of new experience coding because it is always more fun to have a goal when writing a script or program than to just do "Hello World."

Ok, so I'll disclose my personal favorite: Hanging out on EFNet IRC a lot, I was always attracted to the misfits called "Operators" which actually ran (still do) the network and hanged out there. Many people (including myself) have tried and failed to hack that channel and kick all the operators out as a badge of honor. Knowing I didn't have the skill at the time to write a bot to do it, I took a bare-bones approach and read the IRC RFC looking for loopholes.

My Friends and I were so intent on hacking IRC we experimented with creating our own network of servers just to see how they operated. While doing that I had an epiphany that there was no limit on how many people can be listed in a -o message. The only limit was in the client, which was typically four.

So, I convinced a friend who was an IRCop to give me an O: line to test my new server. I then commenced to login via telnet masquerading as said server and de-op nearly everyone on #twilight_zone. The only thing which prevented my success was I was typing the list by hand and someone joined at the same time so didn't get de-opped. I was banned forever from that channel for managing to de-op a few dozen people in one line, but I still felt successful for pulling off something a regular bot could never do by my own hands in a telnet session. The only reason I wasn't banned from that network forever was out of respect for the research and attention it took to pull off the attack. I also had no idea what social engineering was back then but it was key to getting server-level access.

So what are your early benign hacks, folks?

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