the unofficial Slashdot digest archive

Microsoft Lost a City Because They Used Wikipedia Data

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
"Microsoft can't tell North from South on Bing Maps," joked The Register, reporting that Microsoft's site had " misplaced Melbourne, the four-million-inhabitant capital of the Australian State of Victoria." Long-time Slashdot reader RockDoctor writes: Though they're trying to minimise it, the recent relocation of Melbourne Australia to the ocean east of Japan in Microsoft's flagship mapping application is blamed on someone having flipped a sign in the latitude given for the city's Wikipedia page. Which may or may not be true. But the simple stupidity of using a globally-editable data source for feeding a mapping and navigation system is ... "awesome" is (for once) an appropriate word.

Well, it's Bing, so at least no-one was actually using it.

"Bing's not alone in finding Australia hard to navigate," reports The Register. "In 2012 police warned not to use Apple Maps as it directed those seeking the rural Victorian town of Mildura into the middle of a desert."

Not totally true

By hcs_$reboot • Score: 4 • Thread

Well, it's Bing, so at least no-one was actually using it

Many people use Bing for porn.

Does anyone use Bing Maps

By rossdee • Score: 3 • Thread

Hopefully not taxi drivers in Victoria

Apples Fixes Three Zero Days Used In Targeted Attack

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
Trailrunner7 quotes a report from On The Wire: Apple has patched three critical vulnerabilities in iOS that were identified when an attacker targeted a human rights activist in the UAE with an exploit chain that used the bugs to attempt to remotely jailbreak and infect his iPhone. The vulnerabilities include two kernel flaws and one in WebKit and Apple released iOS 9.3.5 to fix them.

The attack that set off the investigation into the vulnerabilities targeted Ahmed Mansoor, an activist living in the UAE. Earlier this month, he received a text message that included a link to what was supposedly new information on human rights abuses. Suspicious, Manor forwarded the link to researchers at the University of Toronto's Citizen Lab, who recognized what they were looking at. "On August 10 and 11, 2016, Mansoor received SMS text messages on his iPhone promising ;new secrets' about detainees tortured in UAE jails if he clicked on an included link. Instead of clicking, Mansoor sent the messages to Citizen Lab researchers. We recognized the links as belonging to an exploit infrastructure connected to NSO Group, an Israel-based 'cyber war' company that sells Pegasus, a government-exclusive "lawful intercept" spyware product," Citizen Lab said in a new report on the attack and iOS flaws.

Re:How many can get updates from carriers!?

By TigerPlish • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Few. Any. Time. Soon. Give. It. Up.

That's not how iOS works. The carriers just carry. Apple provides the update -- to the user's device. The carrier has no say in it at all.

Or, are you implying that the carriers will refuse to carry the update? That would be selective blocking / filtering, and once that story breaks, well, it'll be pitchforks and torches against those carriers.

And, to cover any misunderstandings, if the phone has no carrier, it cannot transmit, either.

So... what was your point, again?

Japanese Government Plans Cyber Attack Institute

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Stack: The government of Japan will create an institute to train employees to counter cyber attacks. The institute, which will be operational early next year, will focus on preventing cyber attacks on electrical systems and other infrastructure. The training institute, which will operate as part of Japan's Information Technology Promotion Agency (IPA), is the first center for training in Japan to focus on preventing cyber attacks.

A government source said that the primary aims will be preventing a large-scale blackout during the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics in 2020, and stopping leaks of sensitive power plant designs. The source also stated that there is potential for a joint exercise in cyber awareness between the Japanese group and foreign cybersecurity engineers in the future.

better solution

By Gravis Zero • Score: 3 • Thread

what about just not hooking everything up to the internet? you know, controls that only work if you are standing there and press the button.

'Social Media ID, Please?' Proposed US Law Greeted With Anger

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
The U.S. government announced plans to require some foreign travelers to provide their social media account names when entering the country -- and in June requested comments. Now the plan is being called "ludicrous," an "all-around bad idea," "blatant overreach," "desperate, paranoid heavy-handedness," "preposterous," "appalling," and "un-American," reports Slashdot reader dcblogs: That's just a sampling of the outrage. Some 800 responded to the U.S. request for comments about a proposed rule affecting people traveling from "visa waiver" countries to the U.S., where a visa is not required. This includes most of Europe, Singapore, Chile, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand... In a little twist of irony, some critics said U.S. President Obama's proposal for foreign travelers is so bad, it must have been hatched by Donald Trump.
"Travelers will be asked to provide their Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+, and whatever other social ID you can imagine to U.S. authorities," reports Computer World. "It's technically an 'optional' request, but since it's the government asking, critics believe travelers will fear consequences if they ignore it..."

Re:Guilty by omission?

By dAzED1 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
::blink:: Do you not realize, for some reason, that Slashdot is a social media site? And what, precisely, is it that you think makes google+, linkedin, facebook, twitter, or more or less most of the major social media sites..."childish?" Granted, I myself don't have accounts on any but google+, and only that because I've made a few reviews on maps,'s 2016. Calling the act of being social online "childish" makes you sound both 80, and out of touch. Especially when the complaint is being made on a social media site.

Re:Guilty by omission?

By Xian97 • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

This seems more to be a forum than social media to me. I don't have friends or follow anyone and post no media. Slashdot would only be considered social media in the very broadest sense. I post on a few forums but have no social media presence at all in what is generally understood to be such, like Twitter, Facebook, et al.

Re:The whole idea is stupid

By ShanghaiBill • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

They are not interested in looking at your posts. They are interested in looking at who your friends and connections are.

Tough luck if you don't do social media

By melting_clock • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

It would make it difficult for those of us without a facebook, twitter, instagram, linkedin or google+ account... Not having these social media account means you cannot provide them which could be interpreted as a refusal to supply account information... Maybe not by a sane person but the people that make and enforce these rules are another story. That could complicate entry to the US by appearing suspicious and have the typical effect of harming the innocent while doing nothing to improve safety and security.

I generally avoid social media because of privacy and security considerations. I do have memberships of many forums and discussion groups because they offer an acceptable level of privacy.

Re:You have no rights when applying for entry to a

By Drishmung • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

USA constitutional rights apply to citizens only.

No. You fail civics,

The Supreme Court has insisted for more than a century that foreign nationals living among us are "persons" within the meaning of the Constitution, and are protected by those rights that the Constitution does not expressly reserve to citizens. The Constitution expressly limits to citizens only the rights to vote and to run for federal elective office.

Here, have a little light reading.

Domino's Will Deliver Pizza By Drone and By Robot

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous Slashdot reader quotes CNN Money's report that "pizzas will soon be dropping from the heavens": Domino's demonstrated its ability to deliver food via a drone Thursday in New Zealand and plans to test actual deliveries to customers next month. "It doesn't add up to deliver a two kilogram package in a two-ton vehicle," said Scott Bush, a general manager for Domino's Pizza Enterprises, which is independent of the U.S. chain and operates in seven countries. "In Auckland, we have such massive traffic congestion it just makes sense to take to the airways."

A Domino's customer who requests a drone delivery will receive a notification when their delivery is approaching. After going outside and hitting a button on their smartphone, the drone will lower the food via a tether. Once the package is released, the drone pulls the tether back up and flies back to the Domino's store.

Robotics Trends has video from the flight, and reports that Domino's is also testing a pizza-delivering robot. Their Domino's Robotics Unit "has four wheels, is less than three feet tall, and has a heated compartment that can hold up to 10 pizzas. It can deliver pizzas within a 12.5-mile radius before needing to be recharged."

cold pizza

By kimvette • Score: 3 • Thread

Just what we need - pizzas delivered under a nice cooling fan! Did Dominoes decide their pizzas didn't suck enough - that they had to lower the bar further in their race against Pizza Hut for bragging rights for the "worst pizza ever?"

Nope, and missing the point

By DumbSwede • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

I know you are going for funny point mods, but the real advantage here to Dominos is that NO gratuity is expected at all. If the price is the same then they will sell far more pizzas as people won't have to worry about tipping enough, or being dressed well enough to greet a stranger at the door, or have the front living room clean enough as said pizza person casually stares past you as you fumble for your wallet. Just talking to a stranger is a task for some socially awkward people. It will be perceived as safer also. No one casing your home as they deliver pizza. When you factor in the energy and gas savings and once it is perfected I bet the per mile cost is 1/10th the amount with a delivery person.

Yes jobs will be lost. Drudge jobs we as a society shouldn't be expecting people to live by. As for students, their time is better spent studying than trying to pick a few extra bucks, because like it or not, the no skill jobs are going away. Even many skilled jobs are in peril. This will be an awkward 10-50 years as we learn to adapt society to a not-everyone-has-to-work society. Corny as Star Trek's 'we work to better ourselves' slogan is, the only non-dystopian future will have to be this way -- where you are not compensated for the work you provide, but by how well you prove you are constantly learning and helping society as a whole, and yes for same that will be a regular job kind of work, but for most it will be community service and continuing education.

The REAL reason for the drone delivery...

By richrz • Score: 3, Informative • Thread
This drone program has now generated more PR/advertising than its cost x 100.

US Patients Battle EpiPen Prices And Regulations By Shopping Online

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
"The incredible increase in the cost of EpiPens, auto-injectors that can stop life-threatening emergencies caused by allergic reactions, has hit home on Capitol Hill," reports CNN. Slashdot reader Applehu Akbar reports that the argument "has now turned into civil war in the US Senate": One senator's daughter relies on Epi-Pen, while another senator's daughter is CEO of Mylan, the single company that is licensed to sell these injectors in the US. On the worldwide market there is no monopoly on these devices... Is it finally time to allow Americans to go online and fill their prescriptions on the world market?
Time reports some patients are ordering cheaper EpiPens from Canada and other countries online, "an act that the FDA says is technically illegal and potentially dangerous." But the FDA also has " a backlog of about 4,000 generic drugs" awaiting FDA approval, reports PRI, noting that in the meantime prices have also increased for drugs treating cancer, hepatitis C, and high cholesterol. In Australia, where the drug costs just $38, one news outlet reports that the U.S. " is the only developed nation on Earth which allows pharmaceutical companies to set their own prices."

Re:Epinephrine cost per dose in about 50 cents

By Dorianny • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
The biggest problem is that Medicare the largest insurer in the country is bared from both negotiating prices with Drug manufacturers as well as weighing its cost when considering approval of medication

Re:Logic Says It Should Be Legal

By jenningsthecat • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Many on the left love protectionism...except when they don't.

Many on the right hate protectionism...except when they don't.

Corporations just love having unfettered access to other markets for their products. They also love unrestricted access to supplies of (cheaper) materials and labour in other countries; but let their customers demand the same, and all of a sudden the hypocritical bastards lobby for protectionism, and start spreading FUD about the supposed dangers of products from other countries. Their idea of a 'free market' is really a 'captive market' - one that is kept captive by the legislation they buy, the lies they spread, and the dirty deals they strike with their counterparts in other countries.


By markdavis • Score: 3 • Thread

>"the U.S. "is the only developed nation on Earth which allows pharmaceutical companies to set their own prices."

There is nothing inherently wrong with a free market..... as long as the market really is free and isn't being controlled by unregulated monopolies. That is what we are seeing happen with things like the Epi-Pen. And in cases where patents are creating artificial monopolies, we have to examine if there should be regulation (as we rightfully regulate all other monopolies).

As for the backlog at the FDA for generics- that is just inexcusable.

Oh, and yes, I am one of the people that must have an Epi-Pen or risk losing my life if I accidentally eat a nut (which happened once and nearly did so). So yes, I have a horse in this race...

Re:Epinephrine cost per dose in about 50 cents

By JBMcB • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Several years ago Primatene Mist was removed from the market. Our health care system is now fully controlled by corporations that don't give a rat's ass if we live or die as long as their profits continue to skyrocket, at any cost.

Primatene Mist was banned by the FDA in 2011 because it contained CFCs.

Do you have evidence that Primatene wanted the FDA to pull their product off the market?

Re:Logic Says It Should Be Legal

By AthanasiusKircher • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

This isn't, by any definition whatsoever, a free market. This is in fact a government granted monopoly. You cannot have both a free market AND a monopoly in most cases. That said, I don't quite understand why we give i.e. patent holders, copyright holders, etc free reign on how, when, where, and how much they can charge for anything with the sky being the limit.

Since there seems to be a lot of confusion in the media about the real issue here, the EpiPen problem (1) has nothing to do with drug patents, and (2) has relatively little to do with patent protection in general.

Just to be clear, the drug here (epinephrine) has been around for many decades and is patent-free. You can easily get a dose of it for a few cents: hospitals directly inject the generic all the time. And the EpiPen is basically out of patent protection. There apparently is still an active patent for some aspect of the device, but the manufacturer settled a lawsuit already that would allow generic manufacture.

So what's the real problem here? There are two. The first is the FDA. Epipens fall under the category of both "drugs" and "medical devices" for approval purposes, and the byzantine set of processes necessary for approval take forever. They also require standards for effectiveness that are probably impossible to meet in this case, because of the high rate of EpiPen (and generic autoinjector) user error. There were supposedly 26 incidents of "incorrect dosage" from Auvi-Q before the recall, but none were actually confirmed and the devices involved did not seem to be malfunctioning. So why the wrong dose?

This is the dirty secret of this whole autoinjector business -- people actually screw up using them quite a bit. (The second issue.) The most common user errors: (1) forget to take safety cap off, (2) use wrong end, (3) don't inject for adequate time (usually recommended for 10 seconds). You introduce a slightly different procedure (with another cap, oh gosh!) and that makes alternatives like Adrenaclick even more likely to be misused.

This whole discussion in the media, to my mind, has been highjacked by people who want to draw attention to the high prices of drugs in the U.S. And that's a very noble goal, because it is ridiculous.

But in this particular case, there is a simple, viable, CHEAP alternative -- a syringe with epinephrine. The primary objections are that people could draw up the wrong dose in a panic or whatever -- but this is solved simply. Have your syringe prefilled by a doctor, nurse, or pharmacist. You'll also hear misinformed doctors saying, "But it isn't guaranteed to be sterile" or "it will degrade." Again, we have research on this issue -- see here and here. Basically, as long as the syringe is stored in darkness (e.g., in a simple tube or something), it's sterile and stable for at least 3 months.

And guess what -- you don't have any of those annoying problems with people screwing up using their autoinjectors. (1) forgot to take safety cap off? Nope -- you actually see the drug go in, so if there's some sort of safety put on the needle to prevent accidental discharge, it'll be clear if you didn't take it off. (2) Used the wrong end? Nope -- even a 4-year-old knows which end of the syringe has to go in. (3) Don't inject long enough? Nope -- again, you see the stuff go in. You push the needle until the pre-measured dose is completely out.

Giving yourself or someone else an injection is not rocket science, and with pre-filled syringes it's probably less error-prone than "autoinjectors." And here's the best part: the total cost is probably about $5 for one (including the syringe and the pre-filling to correct dose). If you were willing to buy syringes and a larger bottle of epinephrine yourself, you could make it even cheaper, but we're already down to $20/year with replacements every 3 months.

Emergency medical teams in a number of places around the U.S. are already using this method, and many just have made up a simple kit to store the syringes in. There's a one-time cost for a case or something, and then you're set.

The fact that this alternative is not being part of the discussion in most media discussions is completely irresponsible. I don't really understand why. I can understand some kids thought too young to use a syringe correctly, but in that case they really should have the EpiPen administered by someone else to avoid the problems mentioned above. If you're competent enough to use an EpiPen, you can be trained in 5 minutes to use a syringe correctly... and perhaps even with less rate of error, since it's very clear if it has been injected completely and correctly (unlike with the EpiPen).

About the only rationale I can figure for avoiding the syringe issue is people's fear of needles, or maybe some sort of hysterical rationale that teaching kids to use needles might lead them to drug use or some nonsense. Otherwise, I cannot explain why the clear $5 alternative isn't more widely publicized right now.

Linus Loves GPL, But Hates GPL Lawsuits

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
Long-time Slashdot reader sfcrazy writes: During LinuxCon, Torvalds was full of praise for GNU GPL: "The GPL ensures that nobody is ever going to take advantage of your code. It will remain free and nobody can take that away from you. I think that's a big deal for community management... FSF [Free Software Foundation] and I don't have a loving relationship, but I love GPL v2. I really think the license has been one of the defining factors in the success of Linux because it enforced that you have to give back, which meant that the fragmentation has never been something that has been viable from a technical standpoint."

And he thinks the BSD license is bad for everyone: "Over the years, I've become convinced that the BSD license is great for code you don't care about," Torvalds said.

But Linus also addressed the issue of enforcing the GPL on the Linux foundation mailing list when someone proposed a discussion of it at Linuxcon. "I think the whole GPL enforcement issue is absolutely something that should be discussed, but it should be discussed with the working title 'Lawyers: poisonous to openness, poisonous to community, poisonous to projects'... quite apart from the risk of loss in a court, the real risk is something that happens whether you win or lose, and in fact whether you go to court or just threaten: the loss of community, and in particular exactly the kind of community that can (and does) help. You lose your friends."

Oh yawn...

By QuietLagoon • Score: 3 • Thread

he thinks the BSD license is bad for everyone:

I happen to like using the BSD license for my code.

I wrote the code, so what right does Torvalds have in telling me what to do with my code?

Re:The problem with GPL

By NotInHere • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

The only restriction the GPL imposes is to prevent you to take away freedom. Thus, the GPL is only "non-free" to those who want to restrict or remove freedom.

Well there is one exception of course, its compatibility with other copyleft licenses. See the whole ZFS license debacle. But that's a negative side effect, and not what the GPL was designed for (however precisely what the CDDL was designed for, but thats a different story).

Freedom of the code, not the coder

By Atmchicago • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
The point of the GPL is to make the code free, not the coders. When starting, you're free to choose the GPL or not, and thus the GPL never revokes that initial freedom from you. GPL code can never be reverted to a less free state, whereas code under other licenses, such as BSD, can.

"Ensures" is going a bit far

By wonkey_monkey • Score: 3 • Thread

The GPL ensures that nobody is ever going to take advantage of your code.

Is that like how laws against murder ensure that no-one ever gets murdered?

The license is useless Linus....

By iCEBaLM • Score: 3 • Thread

... unless you can, and do, enforce it.

BitTorrent Cases Filed By Malibu Media Will Proceed, Rules Judge

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
Long-time Slashdot reader NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: In the federal court for the Eastern District of New York, where all Malibu Media cases have been stayed for the past year, the Court has lifted the stay and denied the motion to quash in the lead case, thus permitting all 84 cases to move forward.

In his 28-page decision (PDF), Magistrate Judge Steven I. Locke accepted the representations of Malibu's expert, one Michael Patzer from a company called Excipio, that in detecting BitTorrent infringement he relies on "direct detection" rather than "indirect detection", and that it is "not possible" for there to be misidentification.

Re:It only takes one...

By bmo • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Other courts have said that an IP address is not a person.

This is why a lot of other cases haven't advanced. Blindly suing people that might not even exist angers courts (Prenda).

>84 john does

"you're making too much work for the court with nonsense" is what's going to happen.

>reasonable doubt

In civil cases, it's preponderance of the evidence a lesser standard.


Re:Not possible

By Anubis IV • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

WTF does "direct detection" even fucking mean?

Having read most of the ruling, it apparently means, "We connected directly to the IP address and received our copyrighted material from them", as opposed to, "We took it on faith that any IP address listed by the BitTorrent tracker is serving up our copyrighted material." The terminology comes from a 2008 University of Washington paper that discussed the fact that indirect identification (i.e. relying on the tracker), which was what was primarily in use at the time, was woefully insufficient.

From what I can gather, the ruling basically says that the case can move forward. It doesn't assign guilt, it doesn't say that an IP address = a particular person, and it doesn't deny the possibility that there are ways to spoof IP addresses. It simply says that Verizon has provided enough evidence for the case to move forward with further discovery that would help them to uncover those facts, should any of them be at play.

IANAL, so I may be misreading things, but that's roughly what I got out of what I read.

Re:Not possible

By SlaveToTheGrind • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

The summary gloms together several parts of a fairly complex story to make a soundbite that sounds outrageous on the surface but really isn't.

TL;DR: John Doe pointed to an academic paper saying that most BitTorrent user identification used a less reliable method rather than a more reliable method; Malibu's expert said he used the more reliable method and made it even more reliable by actually receiving bits of Malibu's content from John Doe's IP address; judge said, "nice try, John Doe, but since Malibu isn't using the method you presented the paper to cast doubt on, you've cast doubt on nothing."

1. John Doe argues that Malibu shouldn't be allowed to subpoena Verizon at all because the fact that his IP address was part of a torrent swarm isn't proof that John Doe was actually sharing Malibu's content.
2. John Doe presents as evidence a University of Washington paper that discusses two methods, one which the authors say is unreliable and allows spoofing of IP addresses (just connecting to the tracker and pulling the list of IP addresses associated with the torrent) and one which they say is more conclusive (directly connecting to a given IP address and exchanging data with its BitTorrent client).
3. Malibu's expert testified that he used the method the author of the papers said was more conclusive, and that directly connecting to John Doe's IP address and receiving pieces of one of Malibu's films proved that John Doe's IP address wasn't being spoofed [this was where he used the "not possible" language].
4. The judge said: "Because Excipio employs the exact method that the University of Washington Paper recommends to identify copyright infringers, Defendant’s argument that “the common approach for identifying infringing users in the popular BitTorrent file sharing network is inconclusive” lacks merit."

The real story

By NewYorkCountryLawyer • Score: 3 • Thread
The real story is that defendant didn't have his own expert to counter Patzer's BS

New SWEET32 Crypto Attacks Speed Up Deprecation of 3DES, Blowfish

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
Researchers "have devised a new way to decrypt secret cookies which could leave your passwords vulnerable to theft," reports Digital Trends. Slashdot reader msm1267 writes: New attacks revealed today against 64-bit block ciphers push cryptographic ciphers such as Triple-DES (3DES) and Blowfish closer to extinction. The attacks, known as SWEET32, allow for the recovery of authentication cookies from HTTPS traffic protected by 3DES, and BasicAUTH credentials from OpenVPN traffic protected by default by Blowfish.

In response, OpenSSL is expected to remove 3DES from its default bulid in 1.1.0, and lower its designation from High to Medium 1.0.2 and 1.0.1. OpenVPN, meanwhile, is expected to release a new version as well with a warning about Blowfish and new configuration advice protecting against the SWEET32 attacks. The researchers behind SWEET32 said this is a practical attack because collisions begin after a relatively short amount of data is introduced. By luring a victim to a malicious site, the attacker can inject JavaScript into the browser that forces the victim to connect over and over to a site they're authenticated to. The attacker can then collect enough of that traffic -- from a connection that is kept alive for a long period of time -- to recover the session cookie.

ReactOS 0.4.2 Released: Supports Linux Filesystems, .NET Applications, and Doom 3

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
Continuing its rapid release cycle, ReactOS has unveiled version 0.4.2 of its free "open-source binary-compatible Windows re-implementation." Slashdot reader jeditobe reports that this new version can now read and write various Linux/Unix file systems like Btrfs and ext (and can read ReiserFS and UFS), and also runs applications like Thunderbird and 7-Zip. ReactOS 0.4.2 also features Cygwin support, .NET 2.0 and 4.0 application support, among other updated packages and revised external dependencies such as Wine and UniATA. The team also worked to improve overall user experience...

ReactOS is free. You can boot your desktop or laptop from it. It looks like Windows (a 10-year-old version, anyway), so you already know how to use it. And it'll run some Windows and DOS applications, maybe including DOS games that regular 64-bit Windows can no longer touch.
These videos even show ReactOS running Elder Scrolls: Skyrim and Doom 3.

Re: Yes, but...

By Stormwatch • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

ReactOS is not Unix-like, silly. It is NT-like.

Re:It's tainted

By jfdavis668 • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
Um, since Microsoft doesn't release it's code, there is no way you determine that is was copied. Also, since Microsoft doesn't release it's code, there is no way to copy it. If the APIs are the same, of course. They are trying to create software that runs Windows programs that call Windows APIs. They would have to be the same. The law suit would fall into the same category as SCO vs IBM over Unix code in Linux.

You already know

By markdavis • Score: 3 • Thread

>"It looks like Windows (a 10-year-old version, anyway), so you already know how to use it."

Really? What if you have been using Linux pretty much exclusively for a few decades? :)

LOOKS good, but what can it do?

By blind biker • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

I would be so very grateful to the ReactOS community if I could run Office (2007 is fine), Zotero and some version of SolidWorks on it. I don't even dare to install ReactOS to try, as the disappointment would be crushing. Basically, I hope to not be forced to install Windows 10.

Still not very functional

By ourlovecanlastforeve • Score: 3 • Thread

This is a cute project but it still doesn't do anything.

It can't even run applications installed through its own application manager.

When I installed Firefox using the built in application manager, the OS froze, then after a reset it wouldn't boot.

Cybercriminals Select Insiders To Attack Telecom Providers

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Help Net Security: Cybercriminals are using insiders to gain access to telecommunications networks and subscriber data, according to Kaspersky Lab. In addition, these criminals are also recruiting disillusioned employees through underground channels and blackmailing staff using compromising information gathered from open sources...

According to Kaspersky Lab researchers, if an attack on a cellular service provider is planned, criminals will seek out employees who can provide fast track access to subscriber and company data or SIM card duplication/illegal reissuing. If the target is an Internet service provider, the attackers will try to identify the employees who can enable network mapping and man-in-the-middle attacks.

Thanks to H1Bs

By nehumanuscrede • Score: 3 • Thread

It won't even cost that much to bribe an insider.

A native worker is expensive, but an offshore type who is brought in to replace the expensive folks. . . . not so much.

Start offering the folks who make $20 / day $50,000 and watch how fast your networks fall.

HAARP Holds Open House To Dispel Rumors Of Mind Control

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous Slashdot reader writes: HAARP -- the former Air Force/Navy/DARPA research program in Alaska -- will host an open house Saturday where "We hope to show people that it is not capable of mind control and not capable of weather control and all the other things it's been accused of..." said Sue Mitchell, spokesperson for the geophysical institute at the University of Alaska. "We hope that people will be able to see the actual science of it." HAARP, which was turned over to The University of Alaska last August, has been blamed for poor crop yields in Russia, with conspiracy theorists also warning of "a super weapon capable of mind control or weather control, with enough juice to trigger hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes."

The facility's 180 high-frequency antennas -- spread across 33 acres -- will be made available for public tours, and there will also be interactive displays and an unmanned aircraft 'petting zoo'. The Alaska Dispatch News describes it as "one of the world's few centers for high-power and high-frequency study of the ionosphere... important because radio waves used for communication and navigation reflect back to Earth, allowing long-distance, short-wave broadcasting."

And surprise surprise...

By hey! • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Nobody who visited the site remembers seeing anything suspicious...

Quotes from visitors:

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

"This facility is only used to research the ionosphere and help with global communications. Also they had great pizza and the petting zoo was fun."
- John from Juno

"This facility is only used to research the ionosphere and help with global communications. Also they had great pizza and the petting zoo was fun."
- Mary from Anchorage

"This facility is only used to research the ionosphere and help with global communications. Also they had great pizza and the petting zoo was fun."
- Ryan from Kodiak

"This facility is only used to research the ionosphere and help with global communications. Also they had great pizza and the petting zoo was fun."
- Mike from Fairbanks

Very sad

By JustAnotherOldGuy • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

"We hope to show people that it is not capable of mind control and not capable of weather control and all the other things it's been accused of..." said Sue Mitchell

How sad that so many Americans could seriously believe in this bullshit, but that's what happens when you're fed a steady diet of FOX News and a constant drumbeat of right-wing conspiracy theories.

That one of our preeminent research facilities would be compelled to hold an open house to show that they're not involved in "mind control" is a sad and embarrassing commentary on the state of this country.

It's research...

By beheaderaswp • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

I can confirm as an amateur radio operator- it's a research project. We've heard it's signals on the air, and frankly it;s the only thing it could be doing. No encoding, transmit response pattern- it was trying to map the propagation patterns in the ionosphere.

But there is a punchline: WSPRnet does the same thing for free. Really.

Re:What exactly about Mind Control is unscientific

By chadenright • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
We are complex machines about which we almost have sufficient understanding to consistently do simple maintenance and repair operations which typically rely primarily on the machine's self-repair mechanisms. We do have the ability to turn these machines off, but we are then unable to turn them back on.

While we have observed that the operations of these machines is sometimes affected by their environment, the difference between the scope of what we know and can do at this time vs "mind control" is the difference between saying, "gee, this computer doesn't run as well when it's really warm out" vs saying "I'm going to write a piece of software for this computer".

It is true that various entities -have- tried various mind control and behavior control experiments before, but the simple fact of the matter is that it's something we have consistently failed to accomplish for decades. For example, look at drug rehab programs. The relapse rate for drug rehab programs is between 40 and 60 percent. If we were actually able to program someone's mind, this would be a prime candidate for reeducation.

Eavesdropping On Tinder: Researcher Demonstrates Man-in-the-Middle Attacks

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous Slashdot reader writes: Security expert Anthony Zboralski posted on HERT a social engineering attack for Tinder that lets you perform a man-in-the-middle attack against unsuspecting users. Zboralski says, "Not only we can eavesdrop on the conversation of two strangers, we can also change their reality." The attack can easily be extended to SMS, Whatsapp, iMessage and voice.
"At some point people exchange phone numbers and the Tinder convo stops. That's not a problem..." Zboralski explains, suggesting more ways to continue the man-in-the-middle exploits..

His article drew a response from Tinder, arguing they "employ several manual and automated mechanisms" to deter fake and duplicate profiles. But while they're looking for ways to improve, "ultimately, it is unrealistic for any company to positively validate the real-world identity of millions of users while maintaining the commonly expected level of usability."


By FrankHaynes • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Would a man-in-the-middle attack on Tinder amount to a 3-way?

White House Is Planning To Let More Foreign Entrepreneurs Work In the US

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Peter Hudson writes from a report via Recode: "After failing to get Congress to pass a 'startup visa' as part of broad immigration reform, the Obama administration is moving ahead with an alternative that would allow overseas entrepreneurs to live in the U.S. for up to five years to help build a company," reports Recode. "Already speaking out in favor of the new rules is PayPal co-founder Max Levchin: 'I believe that the most promising entrepreneurs from around the world should have the same opportunity I had -- the chance to deliver on their potential, here in America.' Levchin moved to the U.S. from the Soviet Union in 1991." There are three conditions that need to be met in order to be eligible to work in the U.S. under the new rule: the foreigner would have to own at least 15 percent of a U.S.-based startup, the foreigner would need to have a central role in the startup's operations, and the startup would need to have "potential for rapid business growth and job creation." The third requirement could be met by having at least $100,000 in government grants or $345,000 invested from U.S. venture investors. "Under [the International Entrepreneur Rule (PDF)] being formally proposed on Friday, the Department of Homeland Security would be empowered to use its existing authority to allow entrepreneurs to legally work in the country for two years, possibly followed by a one-time three-year extension," reports Recode. "While the public will have 45 days to comment, the rules aren't subject to congressional approval."

Re:To get more lunatics, I suppose

By DogDude • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
anyone who voluntarily moves to the US to found a company must be out of his mind.

As opposed to where else, Mr. Wizard? I can't think of a better, easier place to start a business in the entire world than in the US.


By BradMajors • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Paying a subcontractor $345,000 for 5 years of work is undercutting American wage rates.

Re:How does it work now for foreign owners?

By Pulzar • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Are there rules in place now that prevent foreign investors from owning equity stakes in US companies (outside of sectors with existing statutory limits)?

No, you can invest as much as you want, but you can't work in US. That's the difference. Entrepreneurs want to start a company and do the work, and not simply invest in it.

A funny (and common, especially among Canadians who have summer homes in Florida) example -- you can buy a house in US and rent it out and earn money from it. But, you can't come over and do any maintenance work on your rental property -- you have to pay someone to do it.

Obviously, it's hard to enforce, but that's the law.

Re:To get more lunatics, I suppose

By Pulzar • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

As opposed to where else, Mr. Wizard? I can't think of a better, easier place to start a business in the entire world than in the US.

Exactly. People who haven't lived and worked in at least a couple of other countries don't realize how much better the opportunities to start something are here compared to most of the world... even with all the crap going on.

Foreign Entrepreneurs == Staffing Companies

By walterbyrd • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Mostly Indians who hire only Indian visa workers. They call themselves "technology companies" and brag about all the jobs they create.

Floating Solar Device Boils Water Without Mirrors

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Researchers from MIT and the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, led by George Ni, describe a prototype design that boils water under ambient sunlight. Central to their floating solar device is a "selective absorber" -- a material that both absorbs the solar portion of the electromagnetic spectrum well and emits little back as infrared heat energy. For this, the researchers turn to a blue-black commercial coating commonly used in solar photovoltaic panels. The rest of the puzzle involves further minimizing heat loss from that absorber, either through convection of the air above it or conduction of heat into the water below the floating prototype. The construction of the device is surprisingly simple. At the bottom, there is a thick, 10-centimeter-diameter puck of polystyrene foam. That insulates the heating action from the water and makes the whole thing float. A cotton wick occupies a hole drilled through the foam, which is splayed and pinned down by a square of thin fabric on the top side. This ensures that the collected solar heat is being focused into a minute volume of water. The selective absorber coats a disc of copper that sits on top of the fabric. Slots cut in the copper allow water vapor from the wick to pass through. And the crowning piece of this technological achievement? Bubble wrap. It insulates the top side of the absorber, with slots cut through the plastic to let the water vapor out. Tests in the lab and on the MIT roof showed that, under ambient sunlight, the absorber warmed up to 100 degrees Celsius in about five minutes and started making steam. That's a first. The study has been published in two separate Nature articles: " Steam by thermal concentration" and " Steam generation under one sun enabled by a floating structure with thermal concentration."

Useful for desalination plants?

By Jorgensen • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Can this be used in desalination plants? If so, it could provide fresh water - would make a big difference all around the world!

Re:Steam generation under one sun

By drakyri • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
A lot of similar systems use solar concentrators involving a concentrating lens or reflector, increasing the amount of illumination on the area of interest. It's conventional to refer to the amount of illumination in terms of multiples of normal solar radiation - so 2 suns, 10 suns, etc.

Re:Useful for desalination plants?

By hey! • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

I should think not -- at least not in the way you're probably thinking.

The device consists of a wicking layer topped by a light-absorbing layer. This boils water, which produces more or less pure steam. It also leaves the minerals from the water in the wicking layer. If you take distilled water directly away from the device and replace it with fresh seawater, those minerals will build up until the layer is no longer absorbent. On the other hand if all you want is the heat, you run the steam-distilled water through a heat exchanger and return it to the wicking layer, reconstituting the original water.

So it'd probably wouldn't work to use this directly as a steam distiller. However you could use the heat you collect to run a separate steam distiller. That would be very inefficient, but the thing about "renewables" is that conversion efficiency is less important than low installation and operation cost, because you're not paying for your feedstock of energy; any sunshine you don't use would have been wasted anyway. So while it seems physically possible to use this device to power a desalinization plant, whether it makes economic sense depends on whether this is actually the cheapest way to run a plant.