Alterslash

the unofficial Slashdot digest archive

Abusing Symbolic Links Like It's 1999

Posted by timothyView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader writes with this snippet from James Forshaw's recent post at Google's Project Zero, which begins For the past couple of years I've been researching Windows elevation of privilege attacks. This might be escaping sandboxing or gaining system privileges. One of the techniques I've used multiple times is abusing the symbolic link facilities of the Windows operating system to redirect privileged code to create files or registry keys to escape the restrictive execution context. Symbolic links in themselves are not vulnerabilities, instead they're useful primitives for exploiting different classes of vulnerabilities such as resource planting or time-of-check time-of-use. Click through that link to see examples of this abuse in action, but also information about how the underlying risks have been (or can be) mitigated.

Germany Wants Facebook To Obey Its Rules About Holocaust Denial

Posted by timothyView on SlashDotShareable Link
Bruce66423 writes: In a classic example of the conflict of cultures bought about by the internet, Germany is trying to get Facebook to obey its rules about banning holocaust denial posts. From the linked Jerusalem Post article: [Justice Minister Heiko] Maas, who has accused Facebook of doing too little to thwart racist and hate posts on its social media platform, said that Germany has zero tolerance for such expression and expects the US-based company to be more vigilant. "One thing is clear: if Facebook wants to do business in Germany, then it must abide by German laws," Maas told Reuters. "It doesn't matter that we, because of historical reasons, have a stricter interpretation of freedom of speech than the United States does." "Holocaust denial and inciting racial hatred are crimes in Germany and it doesn't matter if they're posted on Facebook or uttered out in the public on the market square," he added. ... "There's no scope for misplaced tolerance towards internet users who spread racist propaganda. That's especially the case in light of our German history."

long history indeed

By NostalgiaForInfinity • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

"It doesn't matter that we, because of historical reasons, have a stricter interpretation of freedom of speech than the United States does."

True: Germany has limited freedom of speech for centuries. It didn't prevent the Nazi rise to power, and it arguably contributed to it.

Perhaps it's time for Germany to actually change its "interpretation of freedom of speech" instead of clinging on to what hasn't worked historically.

How about "no"?

By pla • Score: 3 • Thread
So a country that decided to throw its weight around to force its ideologies on a few million Jews (by killing them)...

...has decided to throw its weight around to force its ideologies on a few billion Facebook users (albeit without death resulting, for now)?

Nice!

Hate speech

By prefec2 • Score: 3, Interesting • Thread

Maas requests that Facebook obeys the law and deletes posts containing hate speech and calls for violence. Such shit is even illegal in the US. However, FB is unwilling to comply. They have no problem filtering naked breasts out (which would in most cases be no problem in Germany, but are a problem in the US for no apparent reason). BTW the hate speech going on in FB in Germany is written by Germans and in read by Germans and it is illegal in Germany, so it would be sufficient if FB would employ people able to read German and delete those posts. However, a company with $4 mrd. revenue is unable to do that? Really?

Recent events

By demon driver • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Maas' statement is to be seen in the light of recent events. Following a larger-than-usual wave of refugees, there has been a major outbreak of racist uproar in (mostly eastern) Germany, not only on the Net, but on the streets, too, with groups of neonazi extremists allied with so-called "concerned citizens" demonstrating, shouting hate and sometimes throwing stones or bottles in front of refugee hostels, and a new arson attack on a refugee hostel every other day (most of them, until now, having been empty at the time of the crime, with no refugees being hurt yet, but I fear that's just a matter of time). German government seems to very, very slowly notice that this comes as a result of a development both their domestic and foreign policies over the last 25 years have some responsibility for.

Laws Equal Legal Action

By wisnoskij • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
OK, if you have a law, than how about you take legal action against the people saying things you don't like then, Maas. Why should other people in other countries do your job for you?

Kristian von Bengston's New Goal: The Moon

Posted by timothyView on SlashDotShareable Link
Kristian von Bengtson, co-founder of DIY manned space program Copenhagen Suborbitals (which he left in 2014) writes with this pithy plug for his newest venture: "This year, we (a great crew) have been preparing for the next adventure with a mission plan going public Oct 1. Go sign up and join the project at moonspike.com." (You may want to check out our video inteview with von Bengston; he's a person who gets things done.)

Name the ship?

By A10Mechanic • Score: 3 • Thread
If he names the ship 'Alice' I'll consider a donation.

The View From 2015: Integrated Space Plan's 100-Year Plan

Posted by timothyView on SlashDotShareable Link
garyebickford writes: Wired Magazine has posted an article about the new 2015 version of the Integrated Space Plan, updated 14 years after the last version and descended directly from the original 1989 version. The original one was printed in the thousands, distributed by Rockwell, and appeared on walls throughout the space industry. One even hung behind the NASA administrator's desk. The new one is prettier, great for dorm room walls and classrooms, and Integrated Space Analytics, the company behind it, promises to expand their website into an up-to-date, live interactive tool. This is a great new beginning after over 30 years.

science fiction

By Iamthecheese • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
Until NASA's real, actual use-this-money budget comes in 20 year cycles it's just science fiction. Here is a chart of NASA's budget. I'm not going to say whether it's too much or too little in this comment, that's not the point. The big problem is NASA has no idea whether sequestration and budget games, the presidential fad this decade, or party politics is going to increase, eliminate, or do weird things with their budget. Maybe they'll have money for Orion or maybe the President will do away with it with the sweep of a pen. Maybe we can send up ten shuttles a month at a low cost per shuttle. Or maybe we'll have to cut that way, way back until the cost is hard to justify. From Mars to space stations to earth science the fad of the day dictates what NASA is building this year -- and worse, where it's building it.

There have been noises in the direction of stabilizing things and NASA is a fairly popular, if misunderstood, organization. But it's not enough. We need a NASA funding omnibus bill that sets NASA funds, be they generous or miserly, and NASA plans in stone.

Re:science fiction

By DanielRavenNest • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

I was one of the contributors to this plan, and one of the big misconceptions is that NASA is the only player in space. In reality, worldwide space industry was $323 billion in 2014, and NASA's $17.6 billion only represented 5.45%. Most of the 1250 active satellites in Earth orbit are commercial ones, and a lot of innovation is happening in that arena. For example, ion thrusters for boosting to synchronous orbit are standard procedure these days, using solar arrays 2.5 times as efficient as the ones powering the Space Station. SpaceX is working on recovering their first stage so it can be used again, while NASA is going backwards on the SLS solid boosters. In the Shuttle era the boosters were 2/3 re-used, on SLS they will be thrown away.

Ask Slashdot: Best Data Provider When Traveling In the US?

Posted by timothyView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader writes: I am visiting USA 3-4 times a year and I need a data service. I also need to keep my cell phone number, so swapping the SIM card in my phone is not an option. I have bought those 19.95$ phones in Best-Buy to get a local number, but those were voice only. So I have been thinking about getting a MiFi hotspot.

I have been looking at pre-paid plans from Verizon(only 700 LTE band for their pre-paid hotspot), AT&T, T-Mobile etc. perhaps to put in a MiFi hotspot or buy a hotspot from a provider, but have no idea which one to use, their reputation, real life coverage etc. It is clear that all data plans in the USA are really expensive, I get 100GB monthly traffic with my Scandinavian provider for the same price as 6-8 GB montly in the US, which I guess could be a problem with our Apple phones as they do not recognize a metered WiFi hotspot. But that is another issue. I travel all over but most of the time outside the big cities -- and my experience from roaming with my own phone and the cheap local phone so far tells me that coverage fluctuates wildly depending on the operator.

Not T-Mobile

By Guspaz • Score: 3 • Thread

When I visit the US, I use a Canadian provider known as Roam Mobility. They roam on T-Mobile's network, and the network seems to fall apart any time there are large crowds. Most of the time it worked OK, but when I went to Universal Studios or Anime Expo, I basically had no cell reception the entire time I was at either of those events/places.

My friends who were roaming on AT&T had no issues.

Best coverage

By Daemonik • Score: 3 • Thread

Verizon & AT&T will have the best average coverage throughout the US, especially the more rural areas. T-Mobile, Sprint and the various budget providers who piggyback on T-Mo & Sprint's networks work best in more urban areas, although there are always dead zones here and there too..

Compared to Europe, the US is still pretty empty, population wise, so a lot of rural areas just aren't worth investing in the network spectrum to cover unfortunately.

Verizon

By jtownatpunk.net • Score: 3 • Thread

I traveled the US for a year from 2013 to 2014 and my [unlimited] LTE service from Verizon was better than any WiFi service I got from resorts and hotels except at three locations For the first half of the trip, I tethered through my Galaxy Nexus phone. For the second half, I used a Galaxy S5. My switch to the S5 happened around the time Verizon started rolling out XLTE in major cities and the speed increase was noticeable. I got up to 80 megs down and 40 up near Atlanta. Verizon's expensive but they have the best coverage. I've also used T-Mobile and AT&T but T-Mobile's coverage was miserable and AT&T couldn't reliably deliver data.

Systemd Absorbs "su" Command Functionality

Posted by timothyView on SlashDotShareable Link
jones_supa writes: With a pull request systemd now supports a su command functional and can create privileged sessions that are fully isolated from the original session. The su command is seen as bad because what it is supposed to do is ambiguous. On one hand it's supposed to open a new session and change a number of execution context parameters, and on the other it's supposed to inherit a lot concepts from the originating session. Lennart Poettering's long story short: "`su` is really a broken concept. It will given you kind of a shell, and it's fine to use it for that, but it's not a full login, and shouldn't be mistaken for one." The replacement command provided by systemd is machinectl shell.

Fully isolated?

By PPH • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
I just skimmed TFA (Pottering's rambling really don't make much

sense anyway). By "fully isolated", it sounds like machinectl breaks the audit trail that su has always supported (not being 'fully isolated' by design). Many *NIX systems are configured to prohibit root logins from anything other than the system console. And the reason that su doesn't do a 'full login' either as root or another user is to maintain the audit trail of who (which system user) is actually running what.

Lennart, this UNIX/Linus stuff appears to be way over your head. Sure, it seems neat for lots of gamers who can't be bothered with security and just want all the machine cycles for rendering FPS games. Perhaps you'd be better off playing with an XBox.

Re:Bullshit

By phantomfive • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
ok, I just spent my morning researching the problem, and why the feature got built, starting from here (linked to in the article). Essentially, the timeline goes like this:

1) On Linux, the su command uses PAM to manage logins (that's probably ok).
2) systemd wrote their own version of PAM (because containers)
3) Unlike normal su, the systemd-pam su doesn't transfer over all environment variables, which led to:
4) A bug filed by a user, that the XDG_RUNTIME_DIR variable wasn't being maintained when su was run.
5) Lennart said that's because su is confusing, and he wouldn't fix it.
6) The user asked for a feature request to be added to machinectl, that would retain that environment variable
7) Lennart said, "sure, no problem." (Which shows why systemd is gaining usage, when people want a feature, he adds it)

It's important to note that there isn't a conspiracy here to destroy su. The process would more accurately be called "design by feature accretion," which doesn't really make you feel better, but it's not malice.

Re:BSD is looking better all the time

By ezakimak • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

OpenRC++

openrc init scripts are fairly straight forward.
Coupled with gentoo's baselayout, and the config file layout is fairly normalized also.

Re:Bullshit

By bytesex • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

The problem is at step 5): su isn't confusing. It's a lame excuse to get your way.

Re:What path have we chosen?

By rl117 • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

I can't speak for any distribution, after quitting as a Debian developer some months back, for several reasons one of which was systemd. But speaking for myself, it was quite clear during the several years of "debate" (i.e. flamewars) over systemd that this was the inevitable outcome. The debate over replacing the "init system" was a complete red herring; systemd knows no boundaries and continues to expand its tentacles over the system as it subsumes more and more components. My problem with this is that once a distribution has adopted systemd, they have to basically just accept whatever crap is shovelled out in the subsequent systemd releases--it's all or nothing and once you're on the train you can't get off it. This was absolutely obvious years ago. Quality software engineering and a solid base system walked out of the door when systemd arrived; I certainly did.

When I commit to a system such as a Linux distribution like Debian, I'm making an investment of my time and effort to use it. I do want to be able to rely on future releases being sane and not too radical a departure from previous releases--I am after all basing my work and livelihood upon it. With systemd, I don't know what I'm going to get with future versions and being able to rely on the distribution being usable and reliable in the future is now an unknown. That's why I got off this particular train before the jessie release. After 18 years, that wasn't an easy decision to make, but I still think it was the right one. And yes, I'm one of the people who moved to FreeBSD. Not because I wanted to move from Debian after having invested so much into it personally, but because I was forced to by this stupidity. And FreeBSD is a good solid dose of sanity.

GNOME To Start Using Codenames

Posted by timothyView on SlashDotShareable Link
prisoninmate writes: A discussion between GNOME developers and users during the annual GUADEC conference lead to potential code names for the desktop environment, starting with the upcoming September release, GNOME 3.18, which might be dubbed Gothenburg. They decided to codename the September releases after the city where the GUADEC conference took place, as explained above, and the March releases after the city where the GNOME.Asia Summit will take place.

Yay

By ArchieBunker • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

So glad they sorted out all the other issues and devoted time to what really matters.

changeling, starring angelina jolie, will continue

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Switching to codenames seems unnecessary. Version 3 was completely unrecognizable as Gnome already.

Could be worse, Fesora 19, Schroding"er's Release

By Antique Geekmeister • Score: 3 • Thread

It could have been worse. Fedora 19 was the "Schrödinger's Cat" release, and it broke number of software installation tools . Many old scripts in bash, ruby, or perl would read "/etc/issue.net" or "/etc/fedora-release", and now had to parse the Unicode content with a single quote and two text words embedded in the text. For many old, simply written shell scripts, in particular, it broke them _very_ badly.

For many of us, Fedora 19 was known as the "Bobby Tables" release. ( https://xkcd.com/327/ )

Because version numbers were simple...

By Chris Mattern • Score: 3 • Thread

...and easy to understand. Obviously they have no place in GNOME.

In Hawaii, a 6-Person Crew Begins a Year-Long Mars Isolation Experiment

Posted by timothyView on SlashDotShareable Link
The BBC reports that six volunteers have begun a planned year-long stint "without fresh air, fresh food or privacy" in a NASA simulation of what life might be like for a group of Mars colonists. The volunteers are to spend the next 12 months in the dome (11 meters in diameter, 6 meters high), except for space-suited out-of-dome excursions, where they will eat space-style meals, sleep on tiny cots, and keep up a science schedule. The current mission is the fourth (and longest yet) from the Hawai'i Space Exploration Analog and Simulation; you can read more about this mission's crew here.

Because this will be unlike Biosphere 2 how?

By tlambert • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Because this will be unlike Biosphere 2 how?

http://wunc.org/post/what-less...

They should have done it under water, if they insisted on Hawaii instead of Antarctica, which would have been a better choice (or at altitude on K2 or Everest, as long as it was a non-permanent installation). There's too much temptation to cheat, there's no real danger, and we already know that curing concrete will eat all your CO2 if you are stupid and don't seal it.

The only good choice fora Hawaii location other than "under water" would be "Inside a large SO2 cloud near a volcano, so that breathing the external atmosphere would get you dead".

Re:What has happened to Slashdot?!

By Chris Mattern • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Don't post as AC. Your limits are gone.

Post per day limits are gone. Limits to how fast you can post (sucks for short messages when you're a good typist) and how soon you can make another post are still in place.

Re:Just look at the stats of prison inmates?

By swb • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

You might make an argument that a significant difference exists between inmates in a prison and highly tested, analyzed and trained astronauts with regard to their psychological makeup not to mention willingness and motivation to be confined.

I do think that long term encapsulation is probably psychologically burdensome at best and perhaps damaging to even the best possible astronauts.

Which makes me wonder how much NASA has thought about the psychopharmacology of space travel. There might be some benefit to some kind of sedating anti-depressant for stages of a long voyage that required just routine status checks and basic routine maintenance duties.

Re:Because this will be unlike Biosphere 2 how?

By hey! • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

To answer your question, smaller habitat, no experiment at maintaining atmospheric composition, outside excursions in "space suits" etc. Its not very much like Biosphere II.

As for why not under the sea or Antarctica I can give at least three reasons. (1) cost of building, transporting and maintaining the habitat; (2) all the support and research personnel live in Hawaii, above water; (3) the research objectives don't require putting the experiment in a dangerous or inaccessible place.

Now someday when we have an actual habitat design along with all the actual support systems we plan to send to Mars, a trial on top of a super high mountain would make sense as a kind of Mars analog. But we don't have such stuff to test so we don't need the Mars analog with all the expense and complication.

It would be tolerable ...

By PPH • Score: 3 • Thread

... if the support staff didn't keep leaving and saying "Surf's up, brah" through the intercom on their way out.

A Courtroom Victory For Microsoft In Cellphone-Related Patent Suit

Posted by timothyView on SlashDotShareable Link
Mark Wilson writes: Microsoft has been cleared of patent infringement by the US International Trade Commission. The case dates back to 2007 when InterDigital Inc claimed Microsoft infringed its patents, and there were calls for a ban on the import of handsets. InterDigital Inc has been battling in court for eight years, initially trying to claim royalties on phones made by Nokia, now transferred to Microsoft. As well as blocking the call for an import ban, the ITC stated that Microsoft did not infringe patents relating to the way mobiles make calls. In short Microsoft is in the clear and InterDigital's rights have not been violated.

Not on the order of a Sophie's Choice, but...

By rmdingler • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
It's like some of our recent national election choices...

Do you root for Microsoft or the patent troll?

Arro Taxi App Arrives In NYC As 'Best Hope' Against Uber

Posted by timothyView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader writes with a report at The Stack that "New York City cabs have begun testing a new app-based taxi system in an attempt to win back customers lost to Uber and Lyft." The app is called Arro, and is being trialled in about 7,000 New York cabs. It sticks with metered prices, rather than the demand-based price increases that Uber institutes for times of peak demand. With so many cabs on the road already, the makers boast that Arro will outpace Uber soon. At least based on my limited experience with each, real competition with Uber or Lyft would require some seminars on good customer service.

Re: Hope for whom... the customer?

By fluffernutter • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
Because ten years down the road after Uber puts taxis out of business, there is no longer any incentive to remain clean or maintained. Now everyone is stuck with a crappy service more reminiscent of why regulations were put in place in the beginning.

Re: Hope for whom... the customer?

By fluffernutter • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
You are very confused about how competition works in the real world. No company ever comes in spending more, whether it be on cleanliness or safety. Regulation is the only way to prevent a race to the bottom.

Re: I suggest we confuse the primary Uber benefits

By BasilBrush • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Of course it can be gamed. Uber is the gamification of taxi services. Everything is intended to be gamed. And the easiest way of gaming the driver ratings? By actually giving a good service and being polite. It costs nothing.

Of course be an asshole to real customers and pay accomplices to rate you. But that would cost you money. Poor gaming strategy.

Re:Pointless

By Antique Geekmeister • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

> The whole reason I use Uber is to find a driver with a clean car, clean clothes, good local language, good knowledge of the city, good driving skills, sane metering device, known rates and acceptable behavior.

I've been dealing with those services in an urban are lately. Good luck with "driving skills", "local language", and "knowledge of the city". I've nothing personal against Lyft or Uber's attempts to modernize and improve cab services, but they _are_ cab services. And as their numbers grow, they're running into the same problems with more employees and less skilled drivers that the cab companies do. The "real cab companies" should have been willing to invest in this approach a decade ago when cell phones and geo-locatoin first started becoming useful about 10 years ago.

I can tell you how the story ends

By SuperKendall • Score: 3 • Thread

After the app is released, people will flock to the cab app during peak hours because of the cheaper pricing.

That also means there will be few cabs to be found... the cabs they do find will still be the same old foul NYC cabs we all know and .

So the end user experience for most people will be cheaper cabs they can't have, vs. Uber cars they can - with the unreliable access to cabs demonstrated, people will just go back to uber and ignore the cab app exists.

People forget that surge pricing exists not just for drivers, but also passengers. You may not like the pricing but you do like having a ride available on demand...

John Conway: All Play and No Work For a Genius

Posted by timothyView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader points out Quanta's spotlight piece on mathematician John Conway, whose best known mathematical contribution is probably his "Game of Life," which has inspired many a screensaver and more than a few computer science careers. From the article: Based at Princeton University, though he found fame at Cambridge (as a student and professor from 1957 to 1987), John Horton Conway, 77, claims never to have worked a day in his life. Instead, he purports to have frittered away reams and reams of time playing. Yet he is Princeton's John von Neumann Professor in Applied and Computational Mathematics (now emeritus). He's a fellow of the Royal Society. And he is roundly praised as a genius. "The word 'genius' gets misused an awful lot," said Persi Diaconis, a mathematician at Stanford University. "John Conway is a genius. And the thing about John is he'll think about anything. He has a real sense of whimsy. You can't put him in a mathematical box."

A character indeed

By vix86 • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
John Conway is a genius. And the thing about John is he'll think about anything. He has a real sense of whimsy. You can't put him in a mathematical box.

I came to the same conclusion about him as well after having seen him in some of the Numberphile videos on youtube.

How Close Are We, Really, To Nuclear Fusion?

Posted by timothyView on SlashDotShareable Link
StartsWithABang writes: The ultimate dream when it comes to clean, green, safe, abundant energy is nuclear fusion. The same process that powers the core of the Sun could also power everything on Earth millions of times over, if only we could figure out how to reach that breakeven point. Right now, we have three different candidates for doing so: inertial confinement, magnetic confinement, and magnetized target fusion. Recent advances have all three looking promising in various ways, making one wonder why we don't spend more resources towards achieving the holy grail of energy.

Re:Mission accomplished

By kilodelta • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
You do realize that there are proposal to build an orbital solar capture satellite. It'd be very cool to do that by the way.

$30 billion away

By kellymcdonald78 • Score: 3 • Thread
About $30 billion away. When the predictions of fusion being 20 years away were made, they were based on there being an adiquately funded research program. Since then we've spent less than what was projected as the "fusion never" scenario, which lo and behold is what we've got. Even ITER took 20 years just to figure out who was going to pay for it (first proposed in 1985)

Re:Mission accomplished

By multimediavt • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
There are also proposals to put a large solar array several square kilometers in area in the Sahara Desert that could generate power for the entire planet. Then there's the Gobi Desert where it could also be done, the Mojave already has some solar concentrator sites with more planned (if they can fix the bird frying problem). So, there are ways for us to generate the electricity that we will need for a long time from renewable sources. I don't discard or disparage nuclear fusion research because it is also important going forward, but we do have other practical ways of generating electricity from natural phenomena, wind and tidal being two others that are coming along a lot faster than better fission and currently non-existent fusion reactors.

Re: Mission accomplished

By NoOneInParticular • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Germany provides about between 6 and 7% of its total net electricity with solar. It's southernmost city (Munich) has the lattitude of St. John in Newfoundland. And yes, there is snow.

Re: Mission accomplished

By haruchai • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Are you that incapable of thinking or reading or just that lazy?
I mentioned weather forecasting - stand the panels up before the snow starts falling if its going to be heavy or do it after its going to be light.

"Think outside the box" - take your own advice. Or if you need to generate heat, put some batteries in the box.

Every method of power generation has downsides. Do gas pumps work without electricity these days? After Hurricane Sandy, there were quite a few New Jersey residents who got more quickly back to functioning even though the grid was in horrible shape.
Why?? Because they had.....wait for it.....SOLAR PANELS. Some of the unprepared folks with generators couldn't get fuel.

No system is perfect and just because you find flaws that make it unattractive personally doesn't make it worthless.
"Heating is the same problem, when it is - 30 and snowing" - I've lived in a few places with severe winters.
There's usually VERY FEW times where you have temps that low AND lots of snow.

Kenya's iHub Creates Accelerator Program For Tech-Hardware Entrepreneurs

Posted by timothyView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader writes: The iHub in Nairobi has long been at the epicentre of tech developments in Africa, and has been lauded by both Barack Obama and Satya Nadella in recent weeks. It currently has about 3000 software devs registered as members, but since last year has been building a makerspace for hardware entrepreneurs, too. Gearbox, as its called, it's just launched its first incubation program with the backing of Village Capital, offering $100,000 in investment opportunities for 12 entrepreneurs through a three month program. According to the organisers, it's the first of its kind on the continent. (It's certainly not the first hackerspace in Africa, though -- even in 2012, there were quite a few.)

A Look At the World's First Virtual Reality Theme Park

Posted by timothyView on SlashDotShareable Link
redletterdave writes: The Void is the first company to create a virtual reality theme park, where virtual experiences are layered on top of physical, real world environments. Tech Insider was the first media outlet to visit The Void's headquarters in Utah, filming the company's first creations. These experiences are still far from final, but the footage is impressive and entertaining. This is not Lazer Tag.

wow...

By steak • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

I could swear I was playing virtual skeeball.

LARP?

By myrdos2 • Score: 3 • Thread

This might be the technology we need to bring LARPing out of the realm of 'extremely geeky'. Also, I bet the US military is going to want to get its hands on this one for training purposes. Or murder mystery theater when you're a participant in the actual spooky mansion? Or a Star Trek bridge simulator!

I'll be pretty excited when one of these comes to my city... just as long as the RealDoll people have to use a different room than everyone else.

Croatian Party Advocates Government Adoption of Open Source

Posted by timothyView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader writes: Earlier this year, Croatian political party Sustainable Development of Croatia (ORaH) published a new policy that encourages the government to pursue open source solutions, addresses the dangers of vendor lock-in, and insists on open document standards. Best of all, they did it the open source way. In this article on Opensource.com, Croatian startup founder Josip Almasi highlights some of the policy's implications, as well as why it could matter in the upcoming election.

Re:They have no money

By Opportunist • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

You're one of those people who'd watch Jesus walk over water and go "Some messiah he is, can't even swim".

Why not?

By Ol Olsoc • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
If you need a specific program, maybe you need a lock-in.

For that computer.

But hell, for open source software, and for the programs that most people use - I gotta tell ya. Libre is actually better than MS office.

I have several computers, all running Libre office. Macs, PC's, and Linux. No lock in.

And it is compatible no matter the platform. I can take a file between the Mac and the PC and the Linux machine, it it's the same. Microsoft Office can't even go between Windows and OS X without glitches. And no Linux at all. Pah - it's the outlier now. The biggest thing MS Office has going for it is it's feature bloat.

Open source as being cheaper? Hell I use a lot of that stuff because its better.

Simple Economic Sense

By rtb61 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

With the huge negative impact imports have on an economy, it makes simple economic sense to avoid them where ever possible and to actively strive to promote local industry. Using free open source software makes sense. Creating government policy to make use of government university to administer, host and contribute to free open source software also makes sense. Ensuring that all business and people have equal access to government means ensuring no single corporation can dominate, control of suspend that access.

This especially in light of Windows 10 where M$ has made a huge grab for power over countries computer infrastructure, a ludicrously over the top grab for power, although it seems like they really do not realise how far they have stepped over the line. Imagine Windows 10 in your governments administrative offices, imagine windows 10 in your hospitals, imagine windows 10 in your children's school, always watching, always collecting data, logging keystrokes, recording conversations, accessing files. It almost seems like a subconscious act of corporate suicide.

Twice nothing is still nothing.

By westlake • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Sustainable Development of Croatia (ORaH) has two members in the Croatian parliament, neither of whom won their elections as ORaH candidates.

The party was formed in 2013. Its leader is a former Minister of Environmental Protection and Nature and Social Democratic Party MP Mirela Holy. She won the seat in the Sabor as a member of Social Democratic Party from which she left after some disagreements over party leadership. On 23 July 2015 it was announced that an independent MP Mladen Novak is joining ORaH. He is a former Croatian Labourists --- Labour Party member who left the party after it started negotiating to join Kukuriku coalition.

Sustainable Development of Croatia

Between January 1990, when political parties were legalized in Croatia, and March 2015, 264 political parties were registered, out of which 118 have since been struck from the register.

Social Democrats 61 seats. [Center-left]
Croatian Democratic Union 44 seats. [Center-right]
Croatian Labourists - Labour 6 seats.

List of political parties in Croatia

It is their process that is interesting

By Reemi • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

The main point of the article is not about using open source, it is about HOW they created such a policy.

From the article:
First, it was published on the party's website so that everyone could read and comment on it by email. It's common practice for the party: publish, discuss, and acknowledge comments as accepted, rejected, or just as comments. In one year ORaH published more than 30 policies that way.