the unofficial Slashdot digest archive

Fedora 25 Beta Linux Distro Now Available For Raspberry Pi

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
Slashdot reader BrianFagioli writes: Fedora 25 Beta Workstation is now available for both the Raspberry Pi 2 and Raspberry Pi 3. In addition to the Workstation image, Fedora 25 Beta Server is available too. Owners of ARMv6-powered Pi models, such as the Pi Zero, are out of luck, as the operating system will not be made available for them.
Peter Robinson (from the Fedora release engineering team) writes, "The most asked question Iâ(TM)ve had for a number of years is around support of the Raspberry Pi. Itâ(TM)s also something Iâ(TM)ve been working towards for a very long time on my own time... The kernel supports all the drivers youâ(TM)d expect, like various USB WiFi dongles, etc. You can run whichever desktop you like or Docker/Kubernetes/Ceph/Gluster as a group of devices -- albeit it slowly over a single shared USB bus!"

US Police Consider Flying Drones Armed With Stun Guns

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
Slashdot reader Presto Vivace tipped us off to news reports that U.S. police officials are considering the use of flying drones to taser their suspects. From Digital Trends: Talks have recently taken place between police officials and Taser International, a company that makes stun guns and body cameras for use by law enforcement, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday. While no decision has yet been made on whether to strap stun guns to remotely controlled quadcopters, Taser spokesman Steve Tuttle said his team were discussing the idea with officials as part of broader talks about "various future concepts."

Tuttle told the Journal that such technology could be deployed in "high-risk scenarios such as terrorist barricades" to incapacitate the suspect rather than kill them outright... However, critics are likely to fear that such a plan would ultimately lead to the police loading up drones with guns and other weapons. Portland police department's Pete Simpson told the Journal that while a Taser drone could be useful in some circumstances, getting the public "to accept an unmanned vehicle that's got some sort of weapon on it might be a hurdle to overcome."

The article points out that there's already a police force in India with flying drones equipped with pepper spray.

Re:Make up your mind

By MrSteveSD • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
The problem is that rather than filling the non-lethal role they were originally intended for, these things often instead end up being misused. Tasers for example were initially introduced for use where lethal force would have otherwise been used. What happens then is that you get mission creep and before you know it, even unarmed passively-resisting protestors are viewed as fair-game. Taser-armed drones are likely to be no-exception.

yeah, right

By Trailer Trash • Score: 3 • Thread

Yeah, they'll be used for barricaded hostages and terrorists and such. Just like SWAT teams.

More NFL Players Attack Microsoft's $400M Surface Deal With The NFL

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader writes; "These tablets always malfunction," complained one NFL offensive lineman in January, foreshadowing a growing backlash to Microsoft's $400 million deal with the NFL to use Surface tablets. Friday the coach of the San Francisco 49ers and their controversial quarterback Colin Kaepernick both complained they've also experienced problems, with Kaepernick saying the screen freezes "every once in a while and they have to reboot it."

Friday Microsoft called their tablet "the center of the debate on the role of technology in the NFL," saying they deeply respect NFL teams "and the IT pro's who work tirelessly behind the scenes to help them succeed." It included quotes from NFL quarterbacks -- for example, "Every second counts and having Microsoft Surface technology on sidelines allows players and coaches to analyze what our opponents are trying to do in almost real time." But Yahoo Finance wrote that "The quotes read like they were written by the Microsoft public relations team," arguing that Microsoft's NFL deal "has been a disaster... The tablets failed to work during a crucial AFC Championship game last January -- again for the New England Patriots... sports media interpreted that the malfunction benefited the Broncos on the field, giving the team an unfair advantage -- the very last thing Microsoft's tablets, meant to aid coaches in their play calling, should be doing."

The NFL issued a statement calling Microsoft "an integral, strategic partner of the NFL," adding "Within our complex environment, many factors can affect the performance of a particular technology either related to or outside of our partner's solutions."

Product placement

By Silverhammer • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

It's a product placement, not an actual solution.The NFL is counting it as advertising revenue. Therefore, no one cares what the end users and support staff think about it.

Re:Product placement

By rudy_wayne • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

It's a product placement

Too bad most of the broadcasters covering the games refer to them as iPads.

Re:Product placement

By 93 Escort Wagon • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Too bad most of the broadcasters covering the games refer to them as iPads.

I was watching the playoff game where the Surfaces weren't responding... the television crew correctly referred to them as "Microsoft Surface" multiple times while discussing the problems.

In the end, it doesn't really matter if this is an innate problem with the Surface, or if it's a problem with the supporting network infrastructure. Microsoft obviously pictured this as a huge PR opportunity, so they should've considered the possible issues and taken steps to deal with them ahead of time. Certainly stadium wifi congestion has been a known issue for quite a while - why didn't Microsoft think about it?

Re:Why not use what's good enough for pilots?

By ark1 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
It's all about $$$, is Apple willing to shell $400m for such privilege?

Re:Product placement

By Dutch Gun • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

I'm going to guess that those who complain about them don't (or even can't) distinguish crashes or freezes from connectivity issues. This isn't really a new story, as these sorts of glitches have been happening on occasion since being introduced. Given that these things obviously rely on wireless info feeds, and (as you indicated) that such wireless or communication systems fail in stadiums on occasion, I'm not sure I'd be so quick to blame the hardware or software.

I've seen that, as an MMO developer, whenever an ISP has a problem, people immediately blame the developer for whatever lag or disconnectivity they're experiencing. I think it's human nature to blame the software or hardware sitting in front of them rather than some invisible infrastructure sitting in-between.

I'd agree though, that this is something that Microsoft should have considered. It was risky to push something like this when there was a chance for very public and visible failures like that, even if it's not necessarily Microsoft's fault. Moreover, I really dislike the NFL pushing tools like this on the teams. They should have an opportunity to use their choice of technology when it comes to tools used in course of the game (within reasonable limits, of course). This is nothing like "official coffee of the NFL". This is a tool that can actually make an impact on the game if it succeeds or fails.

Who Should We Blame For Friday's DDOS Attack?

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
"Wondering which IoT device types are part of the Mirai botnet causing trouble today? Brian Krebs has the list, tweeted Trend Micro's Eric Skinner Friday, sharing an early October link which identifies Panasonic, Samsung and Xerox printers, and lesser known makers of routers and cameras. An anonymous reader quotes Fortune: Part of the responsibility should also lie with lawmakers and regulators, who have failed to create a safety system to account for the Internet-of-Things era we are now living in. Finally, it's time for consumers to acknowledge they have a role in the attack too. By failing to secure the internet-connected devices, they are endangering not just themselves but the rest of the Internet as well.
If you're worried, Motherboard is pointing people to an online scanning tool from BullGuard (a U.K. anti-virus firm) which checks whether devices on your home network are listed in the Shodan search engine for unsecured IoT devices. But earlier this month, Brian Krebs pointed out the situation is exacerbated by the failure of many ISPs to implement the BCP38 security standard to filter spoofed traffic, "allowing systems on their networks to be leveraged in large-scale DDoS attacks..."

The Usual Suspects

By Fire_Wraith • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
So here we go through the pros and cons of each. This is not to rule any of them out, as I don't think you can at this point, but to lay it all out there.

Hacktivists (Specifically New World Hackers):
Pro - claimed responsibility. Anonymous/offshoots responsible for lots of past DDoS activity.
Cons - Several security firms called BS on the evidence, and cited past history of false claims of responsibility to boost DDoS for hire business. Also the complexity and sophistication make this unlikely.

Pro - probable originators of Mirai botnet, likely responsible for preceding DDoSes of Brian Krebs and OVH.
Con - No stated ransom demands (at least none reported) or other identifiable material benefit. Lacks a direct reason.

North Korea:
Pro - Past history of DDoS and malware attacks. Never claims responsibility. Suffers nothing if the internet goes down.
Cons - Attack only targeted the USA, not perennial NK targets of South Korea or Japan. If this was North Korea, why ignore those two?

Pro - contacts/influence in Russian cybercrime community. Possible interest in interference in US politics.
Con - No real rhyme or reason for doing so now. Widespread (as opposed to targeted) disruptions likely don't have any predictable impact to swaying the election.

Pro - Reports that many of the infected devices were Chinese in origin
Con - China normally steals your business secrets rather than DDoS you. Chinese devices weren't the only ones, too - bad security is everywhere.

US intelligence (NSA et al)
Pro - False flag?
Con - NSA wants to listen in on your data, not shut you off from communicating. Unlikely that there is anyone who supports Wikileaks/Assange/Anonymous/etc that would change their minds over this.

This is by no means a comprehensive list, just off the top of my head.

Re:Who should we blame?

By ArmoredDragon • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Regardless of who is behind it, it's about time that we treat DDoS as the censorship that it is. I'm sick of hacktivists trying to justify bringing down major websites just because they don't like whoever runs it, while at the same time talking about how they are pro democracy and pro free speech. DDoS is the opposite of both, no matter who the target is. People who justify it because they don't like Walmart or whoever are fucking hypocritical assholes.

Re:Not who... but what should we blame?

By msauve • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Oh, great. With IPV6, instead of only devices which punch their way through a NAT gateway using UPnP, every IOT device can be on the Internet. I'm sure that will help things tremendously. Unless, of course, you expect the same users who won't even change default passwords to learn about and configure firewalls.

Re:several people

By myowntrueself • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

ISPs that don't implement rfc2827
Vendors that don't ship secure devices
The people that did it

Egress filtering would be nice too. If the source address of packets coming out of your network is not in your address space, don't let it out.

The attackers

By Todd Knarr • Score: 3 • Thread

Ultimately, it's the groups that initiated the DDoS who are to blame. But others have to take some responsibility for failing to do what they could to mitigate the opportunities to initiate attacks:

1. ISPs could implement measures based on RFCs 3704 and 2827 that would make spoofed traffic difficult to impossible to generate.

2. Router makers could implement RFC 3704 and 2827 rules in their firewalls by default, could implement default rules that blocked access to external DNS to everything except the router (with the option for the user to allow some or all access), could provide a separate network for IoT devices that defaults to no Internet access and the user has to specifically authorize access per device, and could make randomized default passwords the standard for factory-default configurations.

3. IoT manufacturers could make randomized default passwords standard and design their devices to not require Internet access to configure.

4. Consumers could acknowledge that they're responsible for their own networks and routinely make use of the available tools to check on the health of their networks and the status of the devices on it.

Photographer Glimpses Larry Page's Flying Car Hovering In California (Maybe)

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
From Hollister, California -- population 40,000 -- comes a good update from the Mercury News on Larry Page's efforts to fund a flying car: Even from a few hundred yards away, the aircraft made a noise strikingly different from the roar of a typical plane. "It sounded like an electric motor running, just a high-pitched whine," said Steve Eggleston, assistant manager at an airplane-parts company with offices bordering the Hollister Municipal Airport tarmac. But it wasn't only the sound that caught the attention of Eggleston and his co-workers at DK Turbines. It was what the aircraft was doing. "What the heck's that?" saleswoman Brittany Rodriguez thought to herself. It's just hovering."

That, apparently, was a flying car, or perhaps a prototype of another sort of aircraft under development by a mysterious startup called of two reportedly funded by Google co-founder Larry Page to develop revolutionary forms of transportation... A Zee.Aero spokeswoman said the firm is "currently not discussing (its) plans publicly." However, a Zee.Aero patent issued in 2013 describes in some detail an aircraft capable of the hovering seen by people working at the airport. And the drawings showcase a vision of the future in which flying cars park in lots just like their terrestrial, less-evolved cousins.

Page has invested $100 million in Zee.Aero, which appears to have hired more than 100 aerospace engineers. But the article reports that apparently, in the small town where it's headquartered, "the first rule about Zee.Aero is you don't talk about Zee.Aero."


By rastos1 • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

It's cool. It's also going to be a while.

By mmell • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
I want flying cars as badly as any kid that grew up watching The Jetsons. Problem is, you can't let Joe Sixpack drive - regardless of what everyone saw in Star Wars.

So you do it with a local AI and sensors. Sorta like a self-driving car. Great. Let me know when it's bulletproof in a 2D environment and I'll consider the 3D version. Let's remember that a groundcar can reasonably be operated manually by most people. Letting untrained pilots fly higher than three feet off the ground will require the addition of a new category to the Darwin awards.

Too bad. I really wanted a flying car.


By PopeRatzo • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

If you read the fucking article, you'll see there's photos.

No, look again. there are not photos of anything flying.


By 93 Escort Wagon • Score: 3 • Thread

Avery Brooks is smiling.

'Picat' Programming Language Creators Surprised With A $10,000 Prize

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader writes: "I didn't even know they gave out prizes," said a Brooklyn College CS professor, remembering how he'd learned that a demo of the Picat programming language won a $10,000 grand prize last month at the NYC Media Lab Summit. Professor Neng-Fa Zhou created Picat with programmer Jonathan Fruhman, and along with graduate student Jie Mei they'd created a demo titled "The Picat Language and its Application to Games and AI Problems" to showcase the language's ability to solve combinatorial search problems, "including a common interface with CP, SAT, and MIP solvers."

Mie tells the Brooklyn College newspaper that Picat "is a multi-paradigm programming language aimed for general-purpose applications, which means theoretically it can be used for everything in life," and Zhou says he wants to continue making the language more useful in a variety of settings. "I want this to be successful, but not only academically... When you build something, you want people to use it. And this language has become a sensation in our community; other people have started using it."


By Gravis Zero • Score: 3 • Thread

Picat looks like what you get after Python eats Javascript and then vomits. I give it s/[stars]/1 star.

Researchers Predict Next-Gen Batteries Will Last 10 Times Longer

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
Lithium-metal electrodes could increase the storage capacity of batteries 10-fold, predict researchers at the University of Michigan, allowing electric cars to drive from New York to Denver without recharging. Using a $100 piece of technology, the team is now peeking inside charging batteries to study the formation of "dendrites," which consume liquid electrolytes and reduce capacity. Slashdot reader Eloking quotes New Atlas: Battery cells are normally tested through cycles of charge and discharge, testing the capacity and flow potential of the cells before being dissected. Dasgupta and his team...added a window to a lithium cell so that they could film the dendrites forming and deforming during charge and discharge cycles.
In a video interview they're reporting that dendrites can actually help a battery if they form a small, even "carpet" inside of the battery which "can keep more lithium in play." According to the article, "The future of lithium-ion batteries is limited, says University of Michigan researcher Neil Dasgupta, because the chemistry cannot be pushed much further than it already has. Next-generation lithium cells will likely use lithium air and lithium sulfur chemistries."

Is this for real

By Feral Nerd • Score: 3 • Thread
If this pans out (have my doubts), even if the capacity is only increased five fold, there will be two kinds of car companies, those that go electric and those who go the way of camera manufacturers who bet on film cameras being the future and waited too long to go digital.


By Rei • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Actually, that is a concern. Li-ion batteries don't have lithium metal in them unless something goes wrong. Lithium-air batteries always have lithium metal in them, by design.

In practice, you'll probably see a bit of the energy density given up in order to beef up the casing to prevent rupture/fire.

Thankfully, lithium-sulfur batteries don't use lithium metal, just lithium polysulfides. The max energy density isn't as high, but it's still quite good. They're already on the market, albeit in small quantities for applications that require the absolute highest rechargeable energy density (mainly aerospace).

Re:Oh Boy

By tsa • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

I remember when I was a young boy 40 years ago the batteries in my toys would last just an hour or so, and they would start to leak a very dirty brown liquid a few days after I had put them in my toys. Back then we hadn't even heard about rechargeable batteries, let alone Li-ion batteries. Nowadays I can play around with my Lego toys for a long time before my rechargeable, non-leaking batteries go flat. Li-ion batteries pack so much power into a small volume that they are able to explode all by themselves, or power a phone with the calculating capacities of a supercomputer from the 1990s for many hours on end. So reality doesn't support your claim that batteries haven't improved over the last 50 years.

Re:Oh Boy

By TheRealMindChild • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
Things simply use less power these days. Long gone are the times you needed 2x D batteries to power a flashlight.

Re:Oh Boy

By Wookie Monster • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Batteries for Lego toys mostly power motors, not lights. Electric motor efficiency hasn't improved that much. 50 years ago, battery powered tools didn't exist at all because no battery could hold enough charge and still be portable.

AT&T Buys Time Warner For $85B. Is The Mass Media Consolidating?

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
Though regulators may not agree, "Time Warner and AT&T reps claim this is necessary just to compete," warns Mr D from 63. Reuters reports: The tie-up of AT&T Inc and Time Warner Inc, bringing together one of the country's largest wireless and pay TV providers and cable networks like HBO, CNN and TBS, could kick off a new round of industry consolidation amid massive changes in how people watch TV... Media content companies are having an increasingly difficult time as standalone entities, creating an opportunity for telecom, satellite and cable providers to make acquisitions, analysts say. Media firms face pressure to access distribution as more younger viewers cut their cable cords and watch their favorite shows on mobile devices. Distribution companies, meanwhile, see acquiring content as a way to diversify revenue.
The deal reflects "big changes in consumption of video particularly among millennials," according to one former FCC commissioner, and the article also reports that the deal "will face serious opposition." Massachusetts Democrat Edward Markey warned "we need more competition, not more consolidation... Less competition has historically resulted in fewer choices and higher prices for consumers..." And in a Saturday speech, Donald Trump called it " an example of the power structure I'm fighting...too much concentration of power in the hands of too few."

Re:Trump and Clinton

By amiga3D • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

I loved the dinner the other night where Trump and Clinton roasted each other. I thought the best line was the one where he said he enjoyed meeting the leaders of her campaign team Then he began pointing out the heads of ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN and the New York Times. Even the people that hated him laughed loudly.

Re:Trump and Clinton

By Mr D from 63 • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
Humor works best when there is truth behind it.


By ddillman • Score: 3 • Thread
What a dumb question. The mass media have been consolidating for DECADES.


By s.petry • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

One of many issues to solve corruption in the country is to de-monopolize the media. When they started letting moguls buy out huge chunks of media about 30 years ago we were warned that this would happen. Now you have actors and actresses repeating talking points and the AP is the single source of most "news". Investigative journalism has become a dangerous vigilante action instead of "Press" as it was defined and discussed at the time of the founding of the USA.

Lots of problems to work on in this country, and the abuse of monopoly is one.

Everything's consolidating

By rsilvergun • Score: 3 • Thread
this is the inevitable consequence of out of control wealth inequality. When you let the rich have all the money they've got very little left to spend it on besides conquest. This is how it was for humanity for thousands of years. The last 100 or so were a fluke brought on by the rapid advance of technology. Stop it now or you'll never see that 'fluke' again.

"Splat" of Schiaparelli Mars Lander Likely Found

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
Long-time Slashdot reader Tablizer quotes Space Flight Now: Views from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter released Friday show the crash site where Europe's experimental Schiaparelli lander fell to the red planet's surface from a height of several miles, leaving a distinct dark patch on the Martian landscape...The image from MRO's context camera shows two new features attributed to the Schiaparelli spacecraft, including a large dark scar spanning an estimated 50 feet (15 meters) by 130 feet (40 meters). Schiaparelli's ground team believes it is from the high-speed impact of the lander's main body... A little more than a half-mile (1 kilometer) to the south, a bright spot appears in the image, likely the 39-foot-diameter (12-meter) supersonic parachute and part of Schiaparelli's heat shield, which released from the lander just before ESA lost contact."

War Crimes!

By Areyoukiddingme • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Stop the orbital bombardment of Mars! White cis-gendered males are attempting to continue their colonial exploitation of indigenous peoples! They're trying to buy Olympus Mons for a handful of beads! #martianlivesmatter

Re:There's a little black splat

By mrsquid0 • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Someone needs to police this thread...

Re:Cost of loss?

By rasmusbr • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

How much did all of this mission cost? Does anyone realize how much food that money could have provided to those in need ON THIS PLANET?! We have no business looking off-planet until we learn to live in harmony with THIS planet.. and with each other.

If you take the budget of ESA and divide that number by the GDP of the EU (a slightly misleading calculation, but not grossly so) you find that the EU spends less than 0.04% of its GDP on space.

You also have to keep in mine that the European economy has a tremendous amount of over-capacity in terms of unemployed people and under-utilised infrastructure and machinery. Europe would not be able to increase its production of food and other goods by anywhere near 0.004% if we stopped spending money on space. We'd just have more unemployed scientists, engineers and factory workers.

Re:Cost of loss?

By CrimsonAvenger • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

How much did all of this mission cost?

In the neighborhood of $1.3 billion.

Does anyone realize how much food that money could have provided to those in need ON THIS PLANET?!

$1.3B would buy in the timezone of 300 million big macs. Which would be enough for every poor FAMILY in the world to get a Big Mac. Hardly a significant impact on world hunger.

Note that if ALL the money ever spent on space were spent on food instead, we'd be worse off. The weather satellites alone paid for the entire world's space exploration budgets in better harvests as a result of better weather prediction....

Why does the ESA have a worse record of landing?

By SuperKendall • Score: 3 • Thread

First of all, I don't see much mention that they still have a new satellite in orbit around Mars so the mission is at least partly successful.

But with a string of failures to land on Mars from the ESA, and a string of successes from NASA you have to start to wonder - what is it that is lacking in the ESA program that is not able to get landings right? Is it just different approaches to the problems of landing that are not panning out over a few attempts? Is it some kind of engineering process failure that they just are not accounting for some possibilities? I was wondering if anyone had any insight.

I wish the ESA the best of luck and really want to se them succeed, as the more craft studying mars the better (though they are all a handful of beans in comparison to the first human to land and study there).

A British Supercomputer Can Predict Winter Weather a Year In Advance

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
The national weather service of the U.K. claims it can now predict the weather up to a year in advance. An anonymous reader quotes The Stack: The development has been made possible thanks to supercomputer technology granted by the UK Government in 2014. The £97 million high-performance computing facility has allowed researchers to increase the resolution of climate models and to test the retrospective skill of forecasts over a 35-year period starting from 1980... The forecasters claim that new supercomputer-powered techniques have helped them develop a system to accurately predict North Atlantic Oscillation -- the climatic phenomenon which heavily impacts winters in the U.K.
The researchers apparently tested their supercomputer on 36 years worth of data, and reported proudly that they could predict winter weather a year in advance -- with 62% accuracy.


By phantomfive • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
No, not at all, because doing what you described is incorporating brand new data every year.

They kept adjusting the algorithm over and over until they got the right answer from 1980 onwards. The huge risk with that method is overfitting, and if you develop an algorithm this way, it's important to also show that you've managed to avoid overfitting.

You can do the same thing with stock market data: adjust it until you get nearly 90% correct returns on a test interval, then you will find that the next year, the model is completely wrong because of overfit. Even if you incorporate the next years data, you will still get incorrect results because the nature of the stock market is chaotic and also random.

Really ?

By ctrl-alt-canc • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
Arnold in one of his textbooxs demonstrated that, to make a weather prediction one month in advance, you need to measure pressure, temperature, wind speed and humidity with at least five significative decimals. He used sound mathematical methods based upon a theorem by Poincaré. With all the respect for technical skills and competence of people at Met Office, I trust more what Arnold demonstrated using nothing but paper and pencil. Good math is never overcome by brute force computation.

Re:No it can't

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

I call BS on the headline. Let the damn thing prove it can do it before we claim it can. And doing regression model tweaking doesn't prove anything.

Why? Predicting the winter weather in Britain is pretty simple. This little program will get it right about 90% of the time:

#include <stdio.h>
#include <string.h>
#include <time.h>
#include <unistd.h>

int main()
char date[32];
time_t rawtime;

time (&rawtime);
struct tm *timeinfo = localtime (&rawtime);
strftime(date, sizeof(date)-1, "%d.%m.%y_%H:%M:%S", timeinfo);

printf("[%s] Weather prediction: Precipitation\n", date);

Re:62% is fail

By religionofpeas • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
That's only true if there are two types of weather to choose from.

Re:Really ?

By ctrl-alt-canc • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
When quoting Arnold I have been a little incorrect, since five figures of precision in the measurement of physical variables actually give you a two months forecast. But I studied this about thirty years ago...
If you want to estimate the error, if n is the number of months of the forecast and eps is the measurement precision, the error is given by:
10^(2.5n) times epsilon. As you can see the error rapidly increases, although the formula I transcribed from Arnold's textbook is quite rough (toroidal Earth, steady flux and negligible viscosity). Not a bad approximation for estimating trade winds flux, however.
People at MET probably took care of the propagation of numerical errors in the calculation, by increasing the grid density and maybe setting up a system capable of working with quadruple precision. However the problem again is the needed precision of input data, that increases exponentially with the time forecasted.

Amazon May Handle 30% Of All US Retail Sales

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes USA Today: Amazon's yearly sales account for about 15% of total U.S. consumer online sales, according to the company's statements and the Department of Commerce. But the Seattle e-commerce company may actually be handling double that amount -- 20% to 30% of all U.S. retail goods sold online -- thanks to the volume of sales it transacts for third parties on its website and app. Only a portion of those sales add to its revenue.

"The punchline is that Amazon's twice as big as people give them credit for, because there's this iceberg under the surface, but you only see the tip," said Scot Wingo, executive chairman of Channel Advisor, an e-commerce software company that works with thousands of online sellers. When third-party sales are taken into account, Amazon's share of what U.S. shoppers spend online could be as high as $125 billion yearly...

Amazon's share will grow even larger when they can offer two-hour deliveries, warns one analyst, while another puts it more succinctly. "Amazon's just going to slowly grab more and more of your wallet."

inebriated hillbillies

By geoskd • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Amazon's just going to slowly grab more and more of your wallet

As long as their competition continues to not "get it" Amazon is going to continue to grow. I go to amazon because I can buy absolutely anything there, and it will be cheaper there than anywhere else. Amazons third party sales thing is absolutely brilliant as it brings more products to amazon, and brings more customers to the site.

Fuck Retail

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Literally every time I go into a store there are less goods on the shelf. More cheap plastic crap. Lack of organization. Most shops stocking exactly the same good fro the same suppliers and more or less the same prices. Overpriced prices.

Sometimes you walk into a store (strangely usually toy stores for some reason) and they are Old School. Shelfs brimming with colorful, well priced products, filling you with an irresistible urge to just fucking buy. I have to walk past the Lego Isle to get to the games section of the local Toy Store, and it is DIFFICULT to resist temptation and I don't even own lego anymore. But that's really the last bastion of the retail I remember.

Head down to most stores on the high street and they're stocked like some estate sale of a deceased 90 year old. Retail assistants who don't know shit. Absentee owners. Chuggers everywhere. Decor and construction like a cheap TV set. Yes this even happens in malls now. Every store knows they have nothing to offer you but their 15% mark-up. People used to spend ALL DAY at the mall. That would be like a punishment now.

I fucking hate buying online. I hate the risk. I hate the delay. I hate returns. But fuck it retail is doing jack shit for me these days.

Re:Headline bait and switch

By GrumpySteen • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

It's a bigger difference than most people will probably assume. Online retail sales in the US were around $300 billion last year while retail sales at brick and mortar stores in the US were around $4 trillion. Online is only 7% of the total.

Re:Monopolies are bad

By kimvette • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Brick & Mortar businesses' response has been to cut back selection. Just TRY to find good precision screwdrivers locally, for example. Sears, Home Depot, Lowes, smaller hardware chains, etc - no dice. Frys has some decent sets but they're not here in the northeast so they aren't an option.

Appliances such as mixer stands - you'll find 5qt and under KitchenAid mixers with the weak motor and plastic gear case at many stores, but most don't stock the 6qt and larger models with the stronger motor and transmission with metal gears. Soo. I'm going to Amazon for that.

Monitors - Worst Buy is the only local authorized reseller for the ROG Swift monitor but no stores I've been to stock it. I went to Amazon for those. I'll be buying another through Amazon. Why do the Worst Buy "ship to store" for free shipping when I have to go pick it up, whereas ordering from Amazon gets me free shipping to my door, with better customer service?

Klipsch speakers - I can't get the Reference Series at local authorized retailers, even at the "Mangolia" outlets at Best Buy. They stock plenty of the Synergy line (which isn't bad, but isn't great), so again, I've been turning to online retailers for Reference-series speakers.

That's just a small handful of examples but I could list so many more. I try to shop local, but when the stores stick to carrying low-end crap I'm forced to shop online. It seems like retailers only want to sell low-end items that need replacing after six months to a year rather than higher end product lines that actually last.

VeraCrypt Security Audit Reveals Many Flaws, Some Already Patched

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
Orome1 quotes Help Net Security: VeraCrypt, the free, open source disk encryption software based on TrueCrypt, has been audited by experts from cybersecurity company Quarkslab. The researchers found 8 critical, 3 medium, and 15 low-severity vulnerabilities, and some of them have already been addressed in version 1.19 of the software, which was released on the same day as the audit report [which has mitigations for the still-unpatched vulnerabilities].
Anyone want to share their experiences with VeraCrypt? Two Quarkslab engineers spent more than a month on the audit, which was funded (and requested) by the non-profit Open Source Technology Improvement Fund "to evaluate the security of the features brought by VeraCrypt since the publication of the audit results on TrueCrypt 7.1a conducted by the Open Crypto Audit Project." Their report concludes that VeraCrypt's security "is improving which is a good thing for people who want to use a disk encryption software," adding that its main developer "was very positive along the audit, answering all questions, raising issues, discussing findings constructively..."

Re: Should we be using TrueCrypt 7.1a instead?

By gweihir • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

The length of the list of vulnerabilities is completely irrelevant. What matters is whether they are a risk in the specific deployment scenario. Security cannot be estimated without understanding.

Re:Needs improvement

By ledow • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

I'd be MUCH more worried if said audit produced nothing at all.

The fact that the flaws are mostly in the new bootloader code - new, untested, complicated - is EXACTLY right. You don't need to use that bootloader, and TrueCrypt NEVER had that kind of bootloader (so the choice is nothing or VeraCrypt in that instance).

There is nothing to suggest that the people behind TrueCrypt were any better - their audit turned up stuff too, and that was YEARS and YEARS after their first releases. VeraCrypt code hasn't had even have that amount of time to catch up.

So I don't see a problem. I've used both. TrueCrypt is going to stop working eventually - whether that's because UEFI bootloaders become ubiquitous, which is what MS are pushing for, or some other reason.

Where security is concerned, better a project that people are actively working on (i.e. looking for, and fixing, flaws) than something that was once secure stagnating because nobody is coding on it. Take OpenSSL and OpenOffice as the prime examples of this lately.

Re:Should we be using TrueCrypt 7.1a instead?

By Kjella • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

I would like this answer too, please, someone...

If you have system encryption enabled (traditional BIOS, no UEFI support) and you have a strong passphrase and you are the only user and you're not worried that anyone can physically tamper with your system boot or rescue disc - in which case they might just as well use a key logger - then there's no critical issues.

There are several nice to haves that make weak passwords stronger by increasing iterations, close various attacks that other users/processes can do and cleaning up better if you only use containers. The ugliest is probably a privilege escalation attack, malicious software can use the TrueCrypt driver to escalate to admin but if malware is running on your machine you probably have big problems anyway.

Probably the most interesting part about VeraCrypt is the potential for UEFI boot but apparently there's no way to secure erase the keyboard buffer, all you can do is reset it (which they didn't do, but do now) and hope the driver actually overwrites it. But if you can dump the entire UEFI memory area it might still be there. Hopefully legacy BIOS mode will be around for a while longer, in this case simpler is safer.

Illusion of secure encryption on an insecure OS

By ffkom • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread
Veracrypt may provide decent cryptographic functionality, but given that its main audience is Windows and Mac users, the two huge security holes they cannot fix are called "MicroSoft" and "Apple". You can make Veracrypt as secure and error-free as you want, as long as it has to expose the decrypted data to some commercial, closed-source operating system that phones home like crazy to provide its manufacturer with valuable data, there is no actual security. Not to mention the backdoors builtin for certain 3-letter-agencies.

Re:Illusion of secure encryption on an insecure OS

By jbn-o • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Indeed; there are many reasons not to do business with Apple and many reasons to never use proprietary, user-subjugating software. Contrary to one of the follow-ups to the parent post, this has everything to do with TrueCrypt, VeraCrypt, and any other free software to which one entrusts their sensitive information. There's nothing these programs can do to fix the real problem. The user has to switch operating systems to a fully free software, user-respecting OS and install only free software on top of that to do the best we can do to avoid the aforementioned problems. So while nobody can blame these free software programs for leaked keys, passphrases, and other leaked information there's no reason to trust the underlying proprietary software these free programs rely on to do everything they do when running on non-free OSes.

American 'Vigilante Hacker' Defaces Russian Ministry's Website

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous Slashdot reader quotes CNN Money: An American vigilante hacker -- who calls himself "The Jester" -- has defaced the website of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in retaliation for attacks on American targets... "Comrades! We interrupt regular scheduled Russian Foreign Affairs Website programming to bring you the following important message," he wrote. "Knock it off. You may be able to push around nations around you, but this is America. Nobody is impressed."
In early 2015, CNN Money profiled The Jester as " the vigilante who hacks jihadists," noting he's a former U.S. soldier who now "single-handedly taken down dozens of websites that, he deems, support jihadist propaganda and recruitment efforts. He stopped counting at 179." That article argues that "the fact that he hasn't yet been hunted down and arrested says a lot about federal prosecutors and the FBI. Several cybersecurity experts see it as tacit approval."

"In an exclusive interview with CNNMoney this weekend, Jester said he chose to attack Russia out of frustration for the massive DNS cyberattack that knocked out a portion of the internet in the United States on Friday... 'I'm not gonna sit around watching these f----rs laughing at us.'"

State Sponsored vs Rogue Agent?

By 0100010001010011 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

So when a Russian, allegedly, does it to the DNC it's because Putin.

When an American does it to Russia it's "Oh, look at that vigilante that we don't condone at all".

Re: "Tacit approval"? My nose!

By Entrope • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Martha Stewart went to federal prison for much less than Hillary Clinton and her cronies did, and with much less firm evidence against Stewart. Clinton benefited from a grotesque double standard that you have to be mindless not to see.

Re:Funny, but meh

By dunkelfalke • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Russian efforts are small potatoes compared to that.

Re:Funny, but meh

By Zontar The Mindless • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

How about the Arizona Republic, then, whose publisher and staff are receiving death threats because it endorsed Clinton?


By MightyMartian • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

There's a certain kind of conservative, and even some Libertarians, who seem to have an unhealthy admiration for autocrats, at least when they believe said autocrats would remake society in a way they approve of. I imagine there are people on the Left of similar temperament, but in general, I find this "strong man" fetishism to be a right wing/Libertarian phenomena. I once had a very hard right social conservative telling me how what the West needs is a few Francisco Francos to set things right, and in general seemed to have considerable disdain for democracy, or at least democracy with a universal franchise.

Dyn Executive Responds To Friday's DDOS Attack

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
"It is said that eternal vigilance is the price of liberty...We must continue to work together to make the internet a more resilient place to work, play and communicate," wrote Dyn's Chief Strategy Officer in a Saturday blog post. An anonymous reader reports: Dyn CSO Kyle York says they're still investigating Friday's attack, "conducting a thorough root cause and forensic analysis" while "carefully monitoring" for any additional attacks. In a section titled "What We Know," he describes "a sophisticated attack across multiple attack vectors and internet source of the traffic for the attacks were devices infected by the Mirai botnet. We observed 10s of millions of discrete IP addresses associated with the Mirai botnet that were part of the attack." But he warns that "we are unlikely to share all details of the attack and our mitigation efforts to preserve future defenses."

He posted a timeline of the attacks (7:00 EST and 12:00 EST), adding "While there was a third attack attempted, we were able to successfully mitigate it without customer impact... We practice and prepare for scenarios like this on a regular basis, and we run constantly evolving playbooks and work with mitigation partners to address scenarios like these." He predicts Friday's attack will be seen as "historic," and acknowledges his staff's efforts to fight the attack as well as the support received from "the technology community, from the operations teams of the world's top internet companies, to law enforcement and the standards community, to our competition and vendors... On behalf of Dyn, I'd like to extend our sincere thanks and appreciation to the entire internet infrastructure community for their ongoing show of support."

Online businesses may have lost up to $110 million in sales and revenue, according to the CEO of Dynatrace, who tells CNN more than half of the 150 websites they monitor were affected.

Lost business?

By Z00L00K • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Is that really lost business or was it just a delay in the interaction for the customers?

If shop's not available one day I'll wait a day or two to place my order. It's only if stuff is offline for a long period that it's really lost business because then I probably have gone elsewhere.

Re:We Were Attacked!

By sithlord2 • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
>> 7. People realise that running their own DNS is more resilient?

LOL! You think so? Let's say your own DNS infrastructure is a victim of this attack with the same magnitude. Are you able to handle this?

There is a easy solution: Don't make your DNS a single point of failure. Make sure your DNS records are mirrored on two different DNS providers, and make sure you list all IP addresses of both providers' DNS servers in your registrar's settings.

That's what we did. We have our DNS records on Dyn and another provider. We barely were impacted.

Feds Walk Into a Building, Demand Everyone's Fingerprints To Open Phones

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous Slashdot reader quotes the Daily Herald: Investigators in Lancaster, California, were granted a search warrant last May with a scope that allowed them to force anyone inside the premises at the time of search to open up their phones via fingerprint recognition, Forbes reported Sunday. The government argued that this did not violate the citizens' Fifth Amendment protection against self incrimination because no actual passcode was handed over to authorities...

"I was frankly a bit shocked," said Andrew Crocker, a staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, when he learned about the scope of search warrant. "As far as I know, this warrant application was unprecedented"... He also described requiring phones to be unlocked via fingerprint, which does not technically count as handing over a self-incriminating password, as a "clever end-run" around constitutional rights.

Re:Immediately turn phone off

By AmiMoJo • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

If your turn your phone off/reboot the moment the police turn up it means you can't film them with it. So you have to choose between filing and risking them grabbing it, or protecting your privacy.

Phones need a panic button. Say tap the power button three times quickly and it goes into a locked down mode where it records video as long as you hold the volume button down, and the moment you let go it reboots and all data is safety encrypted.

Kinda sucks that we need to use suicide bomber tactics now.

Re:Hold down power button and ...

By peragrin • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Where do you think tyrants cone from? They are always immature little boys with no sense if actual fairness of empathy.

Want to know why it took a thousand plus year from the fall if time to rebuild society? It was because the average ruler started in their twenties and life expantacy dropped.

They were hormonal teenagers. It wasn't until si with progressed and life expectancy got longer that more mature thoughts started happening.

Would you give a teenager a nuke? That is what will happen when people vote for trump.

I always said Republicans would rather vote for Hitler and allow gas chambers next to their homes rather than see Hillary in office. It looks like that is what will happen. Why gas chambers? 70% of illegals in the USA fly here, to round up and deport 11 million you need to build concentration camps to hold them, while you file the paperwork to deport and allocate money for return airfares. Deporting that many would take a decade. It is why Ronald Reagan went the cheap route and granted citizenship.

This borders on being a general warrant

By reboot246 • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
The one thing the Founders wanted to guard against was general warrants. This warrant gets pretty close to being one. It was limited to a specific building, but next time it could be limited to a specific block, or even a specific city or county. I think they're building precedent for doing such things. If they get away with this one, then what's to stop them from going further?

Re:Hold down power button and ...

By AthanasiusKircher • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Donald Trump is an anti tyrant. He's more like a little boy who has no idea what to do or how to do it.

Actually, I'm pretty sure Donald Trump has "ideas" about "what to do." He's pretty famous for them. They may be wacky or unrealistic or even impossible, but he has ideas. Some of which could have major political ramifications if he even attempts to follow through.

Anyhow, I think you may not realize that "tyrants" in world history take many forms. Relatively few of them throughout history started out as clear "twirling the mustache" evil dudes who had a Machiavellian plan to become a "tyrant." Much more common are situations where you take a somewhat average guy, put him in a leadership position, create some tough choices, and watch him choose the bad ones. A lot of "tyrants" throughout history very gradually slipped into tyranny, often with the support of the public along the way, cheered along by their fears and promises of "security" from a well-meaning leader.

You know what prevents that sort of thing? Knowledge. Knowledge of history. Knowledge of politics. Realizations that paths others have taken before have led to badness. History has shown again and again that the most ignorant "nice" folks who end up leadership positions can turn out to be the worst... they don't know any better, so they can be swayed into all sorts of bad acts.

And Donald Trump doesn't even have that "niceness" to go along with his ignorance.

In some ways having a child who doesn't understand politics at the top of what is shown to be an institutionalised assault on the rights of all may actually be a good thing.

Maybe. Or it could be even a faster track to a dictatorship. The problem is that it's completely unpredictable.

None of this should be viewed as an argument in favor of Clinton, who is also a terrible candidate. But acting like things are likely to be better because Trump is an "outsider" and less corrupt (at least by the political establishment) is just not a safe bet.

PSA: on "fingerprint scanners"

By Yosho • Score: 3 • Thread

I see a lot of people here who are repeating the "why would you use fingerprints for authentication when your fingerprints can just be lifted off of any nearby surface?!" line, which is ignorant of how fingerprint scanners in modern cell phones actually work. Read up on it a bit:

The short version is that no, the police will not be able to fool your phone's fingerprint scanner by using a print collected off of something else you've touched. Modern scanners do not record visual images of your fingerprint and match against that; they measure either changes in capacitance associated with the ridges of your finger touching the phone or your finger's response to an ultrasonic pulse. Both forms are incredible hard to fool with a prosthetic (and probably won't even work if your finger has been severed, although I don't know if anybody's tested that).