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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 13 declined, 11 accepted (24 total, 45.83% accepted)

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Submission + - Where Do You Get Your News From?

wjcofkc writes: This election season has been a stark reminder of the bought and paid for media bias that runs rampant throughout American corporate news outlets. I have long found Fox News to be a great source of comedy entertainment with CNN being a lifeboat of sanity. The massive and unabashedly lopsided reporting of this election cycles primaries has sunk my CNN boat. I was really loving the U.S. online edition of Al Jazeera, but that of course tanked. I could keep commenting on the major outlets, but this is not a review. I am a big fan of The Young Turks, but the scope of what they report on is limited. So I ask, from what source, sources, and or aggregates do you get your news?

Submission + - ISIS Makes Direct Threats Against Mark Zuckerberg And Jack Dorsey (cnet.com)

wjcofkc writes: A group of ISIS supporters has threatened to take down Facebook and Twitter — as well as their leaders. In a 25-minute propaganda video released by a group calling itself "the sons of the Caliphate army." photographs of both technology leaders are riddled with bullets. The video was spotted by Votive, deep web analysts on the social media service Telegram, which is used by ISIS. The threats are being made over the two companies efforts to seek out and remove terrorist related content on the respective platforms. The group is quoted as saying, “If you close one account we will take 10 in return and soon your names will be erased after we delete your sites, Allah willing, and will know that we say is true.”

I was unable to find the video itself, but it must be lurking out there somewhere. If you can find it, please post a link. Judging from the nature of the whining and who's source it purports to be from, I am half temped to call this out as a prank in poor taste. You be the judge.

Submission + - Linux and the Home Recording Studio

wjcofkc writes: There are a few areas where Linux specializes above and beyond as a mature platform over other areas. Very near the top of that list is audio recording and mixing software. Somewhere between IT jobs I found myself spending 2 1/2 years employed pretty deeply in the local music industry. It was a fantastic experience. Left and right I saw people using very expensive proprietary software. I never saw anything that a similar Linux counterpart, or a suite of Open Source counterparts could not do. Needless to say, I preached the good word. Unfortunately, I never exploited any opportunities to provide a demo. One thing concerned me. If you have a full DAW setup, it's not just software, there is always some sort of hardware interface of varying complexity involved and playing through an amp into a microphone connected to a computer is not an acceptable way to record. I recently purchased a Lexicon Alpha 2-Channel Desktop Recording Studio interface based on vague mentions that it might work with Linux. After plugging it in for the first time, I fired up Audacity and Ardour. The device was available to select as an interface with zero configuration and it works perfectly. My question to the music geeks among us: what is your take on the state of Open Source pro audio software and what successes and fails have you had with studio hardware?

Submission + - The Death of Slashdot. Long Live Slashdot? 27

wjcofkc writes: I have been an almost daily active member of this community since September 1997. Most of those days I visit many times. I've seen Slashdot's ups and downs, it's triumphs and epic missteps. If you are not posting AC, I recognize you by your handle and can often recall your previous posts. I can tell when you signed up over the last eighteen years by your ID (disclaimer: I once had a three digit id but didn't post for a long time). This place has a personality, even a personhood made up of it's members and there is nothing else quite like it. Alas, nothing last forever, especially on the internet, and Slashdot already stands out as having existing for an unusually long time. When Dice purchased Slashdot I was very leery about it's future. As it turns out, while Dice added elements we did not want, they did not outright take away anything that makes this place what it is, such as the editorial staff. When a company purchases a company or part of a company they do so in order that they might use those assets to generate revenue. For whatever reason, Dice could not work this out in a meaningful enough way and so now we have new overlords. This means the new management does think they can squeeze a worthy chunk of change out of SlashdotMedia. But at what cost to us? It seems likely that the Slashdot component of SlashdotMedia has never generated any stable and meaningful revenue stream, at least not from a strictly capitalist standpoint. Correct me if I am wrong. The new management has made such very poor decisions and moves to try and make it so, that for the first time I really truly believe we are seeing the end of Slashdot. On day one of the acquisition, the entire editorial staff except for Timothy was let go. Now, whether he quit or was fired, he is gone too. Now today, we have seen a paid post converted into a regular story. A paid post by itself doesn't generate much without clicks, and no one here is clicking on paid posts, so the solution seems to be to make paid posts look like real stories to generate clicks. This is disastrous. I can see paid posts under the veil of real stories coming to dominate this site. When all else fails, this place will be shut down without warning. One day, likely soon, you will wake up, head to Slashdot, and it won't be here. If there is anything under the domain, it will still not be Slashdot. So is it possible to survive this as a community and build something new that serves as the old? I don't have an answer, only that question. If nothing can be done to preserve and continue what we have here, we may as well say our goodbyes while we still can.

Submission + - The State of Desktop Linux in the Slashdot Community (postimg.org)

wjcofkc writes: I remember when slashdot was announced on Chips and Dips. Those were the pioneering days of Linux, and Slashdoters were braving a figurative Oregon trail. A lot has changed since then. Linux is all around more user friendly in terms of both hardware compatibility and intuitive ease of use for new, non technical users courtesy of advanced and mature desktop environments. Myself as someone who, despite my misleading ID number, has been here nearly every day since day one, recognizes everyone here, and further recognize that this community stands unique in being a true haven for geeks and hackers, but more importantly the brilliant minds that cannot always be associated with terms such as "hacker" or "geek". It is of course the brilliance of our meta-moderation system that (largely) maintains balance. One of the things that attracts a crowd like ours to Linux is not just the philosophy of Openness, but the extreme ability to modify whatever part of the system you want to until it does what you want it to that naturally comes with being Open Source, until you are satisfied with some functionality. For me, the most important thing to be found here is extreme modularity, which I will come back to. I am curious, have most slashdotters found themselves content to be resigned to distributions such as Mint (just an example) while finding the default environment good enough to not bother with any substantial modifications? This of course goes for any DE. As for myself, I have always had a bit of dissatisfaction here and there with the modern desktop environments. This turns back to my reference to modularity. I am currently running an installation of Ubuntu 14.04 that I have absolutely and completely gutted of all things Ubuntu to the furthest extent that the system is still stable. I am running OpenBox with Lxpanel and Cardapio as a menu and panel across the bottom and have heavily customize the Openbox right click menu. Across the top I am running Plank from elementary OS in a fill alignment. I removed all terminal emulators except xterm and installed Terminology as my default terminal (I spend a lot of time in a terminal). I have removed all standard Ubuntu applications and replaced them with my preferred counterparts, for example Dolphin in place of Nautilus and Kate for Gedit. I use ARandR to configure my displays and Feh to set my wallpaper. All of this and more is glued together by about half a dozen scripts. For the fun of it, I even made my own Plymouth theme to reflect my pretend disto. Screenshot linked to in original source link. Out of view is a panel that slides out from the left containing all thing sysadmin\control panel type items. I did not do this just for the fun of it, although it was fun, I did it out of a need to create an environment right for me. After all these years, I think I have finally just about nailed it. Except that I am considering integrating tiling functionality. Is there anyone else left going to any length to create an environment that suits their style perfectly? If so, what to you have going on?

Submission + - Researchers identify 'tipping point' between quantum and classical worlds (rdmag.com)

wjcofkc writes: If we are ever to fully harness the power of light for use in optical devices, it is necessary to understand photons — the fundamental unit of light. Achieving such understanding, however, is easier said than done. That's because the physical behavior of photons — similar to electrons and other sub-atomic particles — is characterized not by classical physics, but by quantum mechanics.

Now, in a study published in Physical Review Letters, scientists from Bar-Ilan University have observed the point at which classical and quantum behavior converge. Using a fiber-based nonlinear process, the researchers were able to observe how, and under what conditions, "classical" physical behavior emerges from the quantum world.

Submission + - Georgia Law Allows Guns in Bars and School Zones

wjcofkc writes: CNN reports Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal has signed into law a vast bill that will allow guns in some bars, churches, school zones, government buildings and certain parts of airports. GeorgiaCarry, which lobbied for the bill, calls it "meaningful pro-gun legislation," while the main opposing group, Americans for Responsible Solutions, calls the bill "extremism in action."

Submission + - Mozilla's New Anti-Gay Marriage CEO Sparks Firefox Developer Boycott

wjcofkc writes: betanews is reporting that Mozilla's new CEO, Brendan Eich, supported Proposition 8, a measure to ban gay marriage in the state of California, even donating $1,000 to the cause, "Sadly, the new CEO of Mozilla, Brendan Eich, who was appointed today, allegedly donated $1,000 to support a ban on gay marriage. Two developers, Hampton Catlin and his husband Michael, are boycotting Mozilla as a result."

While this article only discusses a boycott by two developers, the outrage over Mozilla's choice in selecting a new CEO is bound to boil over. As word is only just now spreading, the boycott is bound to grow. With this issue being so sensitive, the question is: how will Mozilla's shareholders react to the inevitable backlash? In the last few hours I have seen this come up in tech communities across the web. The reaction? A mass purging of Mozilla software.

Submission + - Ars Technica and Cisco Provide Another Example of Bad Security Reporting

wjcofkc writes: It was recently reported by Cisco, Ars Technica, and reported on Slashdot that Linux based web servers running the 2.6 series were being attacked and infected with Javascript intended to allow attackers to serve up a variety of malicious content to the visitor. White Fir Design begs to differ, pointing out that the websites are not even all running Linux, much less the Linux 2.6 Kernel.

Submission + - Radio Shack to Close 20% of Locations

wjcofkc writes: The decline of Radio Shack has been painful to watch, and now CNN Money reports that they will be closing 1,100 of their stores, totaling 20% of their brick and mortar presence. Radio Shack has also publicly admitted its current stores are out of date and in need of a massive overhaul. But the number one culprit has been a continuous slide in sales down a steep slope in the area mobile device sales. A few years ago, in a bid to expand it's customer base, Radio Shack made a bid to return to it's roots as a hobbyist electronic components retailer. Apparently the extra traffic hasn't been enough to make up for their failings. The article mentions that some of their stiffest competition is coming from online retailers. The big question is, in order to ensure their survival, would Radio Shack be better off continuing to phase out their brick and mortar presence while making substantial efforts to expand as an exclusively online retailer?

Submission + - Supernova secrets seen in X-rays

wjcofkc writes: CNN reports that astronomers using NASA's NuSTAR telescope have for the first time mapped deep within the radioactive material from a supernova. The light from the originating star, Cassiopeia A, located about 11,000 light-years away and having had about eight time the mass of our sun, first reached Earth about 350 years ago. But that does not mean there still isn't a lot to study. Scientists using the NuSTAR, which stands for Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, launched in June 2012 and consisting of an instrument with two telescopes that focus high energy X-ray light, were able to peer deep within the cataclysmic aftermath. While there is currently no model for how the process of a supernova works, the findings in the study are a big step forward. "Until we had NuSTAR, we couldn't see down to the core of the explosion," Brian Grefenstette, lead author and research scientist at the California Institute of Technology, said at a news conference Wednesday.

There is a fairly good amount of detail in this article, and if your not opposed to flash, a fascinating simulation of their findings about halfway down.

Submission + - Yahoo Advertising Serves Up Malware for Thousands

wjcofkc writes: CNN and CNET News report that thousands of users have been affected by malicious advertisements served by ads.yahoo.com. The attack, which lasted several days, exploited vulnerabilities in Java and installed malware. The Netherlands based Fox-IT estimates that the infection rate was at about 27,000 infections per hour. In response to the breach in security, Yahoo issued the following statement, "At Yahoo, we take the safety and privacy of our users seriously. We recently identified an ad designed to spread malware to some of our users. We immediately removed it and will continue to monitor and block any ads being used for this activity." While the source of the attack remains unknown, Fox-IT says it appears to be "financially motivated." For an in depth analysis of the attack, check out this Fox-IT blog post. The Washington Post cites this incident as an reminder that Java has become and Internet security menace.

Submission + - In Air Display and Interface Technology: A Big Step Forward (cnn.com)

wjcofkc writes: Interactive displays projected into the air in the spirit of Iron Man have been heralded as the next step in visual technology. Yet many obstacles remain. According to Russian designer Max Kamanin, creator of Displair, many the problems have now been largely cracked.

With this attempt at refining the technology, the image is created inside a layer of dry fog which is composed of ultra-fine water droplets so small they lack moisture. Three-dimensional projections are then created using infrared sensors. The projected screen currently responds intuitively to 1,500 hand movements, many of which are similar to those used on mobile devices, such as pinch and zoom. The most immediate applications include advertising and medicine, with the latter offering a more hygienic alternative to touchscreens.

The most immediate objection from home and office computer users is that they don't want to be waving their hands around all day, and while such questions as "What happens when I turn on a fan?" are not answered here, just imagine a future with a projected keyboard and trackpad that use puff-air haptic feedback with the option of reaching right into the screen whenever it applies to the application at hand — and applications that take advantage of such a technology would no doubt come along. Better yet, imagine for yourself in the comments. As always, pictures speak a thousand words, so don't neglect the articles gallery.

Submission + - Using Multi-Photon Lasers to Treat Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Disease 1

wjcofkc writes: Degenerative brain disorders such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's are among the most insidious and feared diseases a person may have to face. Recently, researchers have discovered a multi-photon laser technique that makes it possible to distinguish aggregations of the proteins believed to cause the diseases, while differentiating from the the well-functioning proteins. In theory, removing the protein aggregates can cure the disease."

"Nobody has talked about using only light to treat these diseases until now. This is a totally new approach and we believe that this might become a breakthrough in the research of diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. We have found a totally new way of discovering these structures using just laser light," says Piotr Hanczyc at Chalmers University of Technology.

Submission + - Lasers Light the Way Towards a Cure for Some Degenerative Brain Diseases

wjcofkc writes: Degenerative brain disorders such Alzheimer's and Parkinson's are among the most insidious and feared diseases a person may have to face, and the emotional toll on the loved ones of those afflicted are as prolonged and devastating as the disease itself. Now, researchers have discovered a multi-photon laser technique that makes it possible to distinguish aggregations of the proteins believed to cause the diseases, while differentiating from the the well-functioning proteins. In theory, removing the protein aggregates can cure the disease."

"Nobody has talked about using only light to treat these diseases until now. This is a totally new approach and we believe that this might become a breakthrough in the research of diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. We have found a totally new way of discovering these structures using just laser light," says Piotr Hanczyc at Chalmers University of Technology.

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"Necessity is the mother of invention" is a silly proverb. "Necessity is the mother of futile dodges" is much nearer the truth. -- Alfred North Whitehead

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