Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Get HideMyAss! VPN, PC Mag's Top 10 VPNs of 2016 for 55% off for a Limited Time ×

Submission + - How Some ISPs Could Subvert Your Local Network Security (vortex.com)

Lauren Weinstein writes: You can see the problem. If your local net has typically lax security, and you don’t have your own firewall downstream of that ISP modem, the modem Wi-Fi security could be disabled remotely, your local network sucked dry late one night, and security restored by the morning. You might not even have a clue that any of this occurred.

Submission + - MH370 Pilot Flew a Suicide Route on His Home Simulator Closely Matching Final Fl (nymag.com) 1

schwit1 writes: Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 was likely steered into the sea intentionally, by its own captain, in a pre-planned mass murder-suicide, a new report reveals.

In an exclusive story posted online Friday, New York magazine says that the plane’s captain, Zaharie Ahmad Shah, “conducted a simulated flight deep into the remote southern Indian ocean less than a month before the plane vanished under uncannily similar circumstances.”

Submission + - North American city record of 46% wind power integration. (huffingtonpost.ca)

Socguy writes: The city of Summerside, Prince Edward Island, achieved the highest level of wind power integration in North America at 46%. It has achieved this remarkable feat through the creation and utilization of a smart grid that controls thermal storage in hot water heaters and furnaces within community homes.

Submission + - Pending bill would kill a big H-1B loophole (computerworld.com)

ErichTheRed writes: This isn't perfect, but it is the first attempt I've seen at removing the "body shop" loophole in the H-1B visa system. A bill has been introduced in Congress that would raise the minimum wage for an H-1B holder from $60K to $100K, and place limits on the body shop companies that employ mostly H-1B holders in a pass-through arrangement. Whether it's enough to stop the direct replacement of workers, or whether it will just accelerate offshoring, remains to be seen. But, I think removing the most blatant and most abused loopholes in the rules is a good start.

Submission + - WSJ reporter has phones seized by DHS at border (facebook.com)

v3rgEz writes: A Wall Street Journal reporter has shared her experienced of having her phones forcefully taken at the border — and how DHS insists that your right to privacy does not exist when reentering the United States. Indeed, she's not alone: Documents previously released under FOIA show that the DHS has a long standing policy of warrantless (and even motiveless) seizures at the border, essentially removing any traveler's right to privacy.

Submission + - "Indian Point' — Documentary On Problem-Plagued Nuclear Plants Is Out (huffingtonpost.com)

mdsolar writes: "Indian Point” is a film about the long problem-plagued Indian Point nuclear power plants that are “so, so risky — so close to New York City,” notes its director and producer Ivy Meeropol. “Times Square is 35 miles away.”

The plants constitute a disaster waiting to happen, threatening especially the lives of the 22 million people who live within 50 miles from them. “There is no way to evacuate—what I’ve learned about an evacuation plan is that there is none,” says Meeropol. The plants are “on two earthquake fault lines,” she notes. “And there is a natural gas pipeline right there that an earthquake could rupture.”

Meanwhile, both plants, located in Buchanan, New York along the Hudson River, are now essentially running without licenses. The federal government’s 40-year operating license for Indian Point 2 expired in 2013 and Indian Point 3’s license expired last year. Their owner, Entergy, is seeking to have them run for another 20 years—although nuclear plants were never seen as running for more than 40 years because of radioactivity embrittling metal parts and otherwise causing safety problems. (Indian Point 1 was opened in 1962 and closed in 1974, its emergency core cooling system deemed impossible to fix.)

Submission + - Almost Half of All TSA Employees Have Been Cited for Misconduct

schwit1 writes: Almost half of all TSA employees have been cited for misconduct, and the citations have increased by almost 30 percent since 2013.

Of the total allegations filed, 90.8 percent were against TSA officers, while 4.8 percent were filed against managers or administrators. Of the areas of misconduct, “Attendance & Leave” sees the highest number of offenders, while “Failure to Follow Instructions,” “Screening & Security,” “Neglect of Duty,” and “Disruptive Behavior” round out the top five.

It also appears that the TSA has been reducing the sanctions it has been giving out for this bad behavior.

Submission + - When is 'Unnecessary' Code Necessary? 1

theodp writes: Catching himself terminating statements with semicolons out of habit when none were needed, Rick Wicklin asks: Do you write unnecessary code? And while Wicklin tries to skip certain unnecessary statements, there are others that he finds, well, necessary. "Sometimes I include optional statements in my programs for clarity, readability, or to practice defensive programming," he explains. Wicklin's post is geared towards SAS programming, but the question of when to include technically-unnecessary code — e.g., variable declarations, superfluous punctuation, block constructs for single statements, values for optional parameters that are the defaults, debugging/validation statements, non-critical error handling, explicitly destroying objects that would otherwise be deleted on exit, labeled NEXT statements, full qualification of objects/methods, unneeded code from templates — is a language-agnostic one. So when-and-why do you find it necessary to include 'unnecessary' code in your programs? And are you tolerant of co-workers' unnecessary code choices, or do you sometimes go all Tabs-vs-Spaces (YouTube) on them?

Submission + - EPA's gasoline efficiency tests are garbage

schwit1 writes: The tests the EPA uses to establish the fuel efficiency of cars are unreliable, and likely provide no valid information at all about the fuel efficiency of the cars tested.

The law requiring cars to meet these fuel efficiency tests was written in the 1970s, and specifically sets standards based on the technology then. Worse,

[T]he EPA doesn’t know exactly how its CAFE testing correlates with actual results, because it has never done a comprehensive study of real-world fuel economy. Nor does anyone else. The best available data comes from consumers who report it to the DOT—hardly a scientific sampling.

Other than that, everything is fine. Companies are forced to spend billions on this regulation, the costs of which they immediately pass on to consumers, all based on fantasy and a badly-written law. Gee, I’m sure glad we never tried this with healthcare!

Submission + - How the Internet Helps Sex Workers Keep Customers Honest

HughPickens.com writes: Mid-range prostitution is a relatively new market, enabled by technology. Before the internet, it was hard for escorts to find customers: They had to either walk the streets searching for customers, rely on word-of-mouth, or work with agencies. The internet changed all that as Allison Schrager writes at Quartz that if you work at Goldman Sachs in NYC and you want to tie up a woman and then have sex with her, you'll first have to talk to Rita. Rita will "insist on calling your office, speaking to the switchboard operator, and being patched through to your desk. Then she will want to check out your profile on the company website and LinkedIn. She’ll demand you send her message from your work email, and require a scan of either your passport or driver’s license."

Though some escorts rely on sex work-specific sites that maintain “bad date” lists of potentially dangerous clients, others make use of more mainstream sources to gather information about and verify the identities of potential johns. Rita is addressing a problem that every business, both legal and illegal, has. Before the internet, more commerce occurred locally—customers knew their merchants or service providers and went back to them repeatedly. As technology has expanded our transactional networks, it must also offer new ways of building trust and reputation. "The lesson here is that, while you’d think all the technological options for finding customers would make Rita’s job as a madam obsolete, it has actually made her services more critical," says Schrager. "One step ahead of the mainstream economy, Rita’s thriving business shows that some jobs won’t disappear. They just need to be recast in a way that capitalizes on what made them valuable in the first place."

Submission + - Solution for Twitter's 140-char. limit: Pay for extra characters? (networkworld.com)

Miche67 writes: Twitter users want more than 140 characters, and Twitter needs revenue. The solution, says Fredric Paul, is to charge users for more characters.

He doesn't propose a simple flat fee, but a formula based on number of followers you have and the number of additional characters you want:

The first 140 characters are free, so if Twitter were to charge, say, a hundredth of a cent per extra character, a 150-character tweet from a person with 1,000 followers would cost (10 x $.0001) x 1,000 = one thin dime. A good deal, right?

Now, let’s look at this in the real world. What if Donald Trump just absolutely had to post something 150 characters long? He has 9.83 million followers, so it would cost him a little more: (10 x $.0001) x 9,830,000 = $9,830. That’s a lot of money, but he’s rich and it might be worth it to him. Hillary Clinton has “only” 7.44 million followers, so the same tweet (not that the two would ever send out identical tweets) would cost her just $7,440. A bargain, right?

Paul says the plan "preserves the sanctity of the 140-character limit" while at the same time empowers users who are willing to pay for the privilege.

Submission + - Clinton Statistically Has 945 Ways to Win the Presidency, Trump 72

HughPickens.com writes: Josh Katz has an interesting statistical analysis of the presidential race at the NYT that concludes that Hillary Clinton has about a 76% chance of winning the presidency, about the same probability that an NBA player will hit a free throw. To forecast each party’s chance of winning the presidency, the model calculates win probabilities for each state using a state’s past election results and national polling. But the most interesting part of the analysis is an interactive tree diagram (at the bottom of the page) that shows the paths to victory for each candidate depending on the results from the most important swing states and what would be required to compensate for a states' loss. Clinton starts out with 186 electoral votes from solidly Democratic states while Trump starts out with 149. What's left are the toss-ups states- states whose electoral votes could potentially be in play.

As it turns out Florida is the big prize. If Clinton wins Florida, Trump's only path to victory involves winning Pennsylvania, Ohio, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, Arizona, Iowa, Nevada, and New Hampshire. Although Florida is a state that tilted just slightly to the right of the country in previous elections, Republicans might not be able to keep up with Florida’s demographic shift any longer. Here’s the unsurprising reason: Trump has alienated Hispanic voters, making the last decade of demographic shifts even more potent. According to estimates, Trump is losing among Hispanic voters in Florida by a 30-point margin, up from Romney’s 22-point deficit in similar estimates of 2012. Without Florida, the Republican path to the presidency gets very rocky.

Slashdot Top Deals

The trouble with being poor is that it takes up all your time.

Working...