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Canada

Election Tech: In Canada, They Actually Count the Votes 500

Posted by timothy
from the foil-vs.-counterfoil dept.
Presto Vivace writes with this outline of what voting can look like while remaining countable and anonymous — and how it does look north of the U.S. border. "In Canada, they use hand-marked paper ballots, hand counted in public. Among other things, that process means that we can actually be sure who won. And if the elections of 2000 and 2008 are any guide, and the race stays as close as the pollsters sat it is, we might, on Wednesday, November 7, not be sure who won." Any Canadians among our readers who want to comment on this?"
Network

Judge Rules Sniffing Open Wi-Fi Networks Is Not Wiretapping 308

Posted by Soulskill
from the makes-you-a-bit-of-a-jerk-though dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Ars reports on a decision from a district judge in Illinois, who ruled that sniffing traffic on an unencrypted Wi-Fi network is not wiretapping. In the ruling, the judge points out an exception in the Wiretap Act which allows people to 'intercept or access an electronic communication made through an electronic communication system that is configured so that such electronic communication is readily accessible to the general public.' He concludes that 'the communications sent on an unencrypted Wi-Fi network are readily available to the general public.' Orin Kerr disagrees with the ruling, saying that the intent of the person setting up the network is important: 'No one suggests that unsecured wireless networks are set up with the goal that everyone on the network would be free to read the private communications of others.'"
China

Rhombus Tech A10 EOMA-68 CPU Card Schematics Completed 155

Posted by timothy
from the soon-for-the-carputer dept.
lkcl writes "Rhombus Tech's first CPU Card is nearing completion and availability: the schematics have been completed by Wits-Tech. Although it appears strange to be using a 1ghz Cortex A8 for the first CPU Card, the mass-volume price of the A10 was lower than other offerings. Not only does the A10 classify as 'good enough' (in combination with 1GB of RAM), Allwinner Tech is one of the very rare China-based SoC companies willing to collaborate with Software (Libre) developers without an enforced (GPL-violating) NDA in place. Overall, it's the very first step in the right direction for collaboration between Software (Libre) developers and mass-volume PRC Factories. There will be more (faster, better) EOMA-68 CPU Cards: this one is just the first."
Programming

Ask Slashdot: How Would You Fix the Linux Desktop? 1154

Posted by Soulskill
from the solid-color-rectangles dept.
itwbennett writes "Slashdot readers are familiar with the Torvalds/de Icaza slugfest over 'the lack of development in Linux desktop initiatives.' The problem with the Linux desktop boils down to this: We need more applications, and that means making it easier for developers to build them, says Brian Proffitt. 'It's easy to point at solutions like the Linux Standard Base, but that dog won't hunt, possibly because it's not in the commercial vendors' interests to create true cross-distro compatibility. United Linux or a similar consortium probably won't work, for the same reasons,' says Proffitt. So, we put it to the Slashdot community: How would you fix the Linux desktop?"
Businesses

Do Tech Entrepreneurs Need To Know How To Code? 202

Posted by timothy
from the what-servants-are-for dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Learning to write code has become something of a trendy thing to do. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has said he intends to learn code this year. Estonia has recently announced a scheme with the aim of getting every 6-year-old in the Baltic state to learn programming skills. The demand has spawned a number of start-ups offering coding lessons. General Assembly, which teaches off-line courses, has recently opened up in London and is recruiting ahead of a launch in Berlin. On-line education site Codecademy landed $10 million to expand from its home base in New York. Zach Simms, the 22-year-old co-founder, said in an earlier interview with The Wall Street Journal that not everyone has to learn to code, but everybody 'needs to learn the notions of algorithms, realizing what you can use code for.' But do they?"
Security

Apple Denies FBI Had Access To UDIDs 104

Posted by samzenpus
from the not-our-fault dept.
First time accepted submitter WIn5t0n writes "Just a day after the alleged leak of 12million Apple UDID's, both Apple and FBI have denied the story that Anonymous, a global hacking community, gained access to the files by hacking into an FBI laptop through a Java vulnerability. Earlier this morning the FBI claimed that, even though the agent cited in Anonymous's story is an actual FBI operative, neither he nor anyone else in the agency has or has had access to Apple device information. This afternoon Apple followed up on the FBI's statement, with an unidentified Apple representative claiming that, 'The FBI has not requested this information from Apple, nor have we provided it to the FBI or any organization.' It should also be noted that while the hackers claim to have accessed 12 million UDID's, only 1 million were publicly released. The Apple representative who made the previous statements also said that, 'Apple has replaced the types of identifiers the hackers appear to have gotten and will be discontinuing their use.' Even though neither Anonymous nor the FBI/APPLE will admit where the data actually came from, it does appear that at least some of the leaked UDID's are legit and can be tied back to current, privately owned devices. So far no information besides the devices UDID, DevToken ID, and device name has been released, however the original hackers claimed that some devices were tied to details as exact as phone numbers and billing addresses."
Censorship

Why Apple Should Stop Censoring Apps 144

Posted by Soulskill
from the dept-line-redacted dept.
An anonymous reader writes "ReadWriteWeb makes the case that Apple should stop censoring submissions to the App Store. The company made headlines last week for banning an app showing the locations of drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia. The article says Apple should restrict its bans to apps that have terrible functionality or a poor UI, and 'get out of the business of censorship.' Quoting: 'Last year in Syria, antigovernment activists began using an iPhone app to disseminate news, maps, photos and videos about the conflict in a country that doesn't exactly rank highly for its press freedom. Mobile tech in the hands of Syrian dissidents proved enough of a nuisance that the government banned the iPhone in late 2011, presumably to quash content that the regime found, um, objectionable. This example raises a few questions. First, why are pins on a map more objectionable than photos and video clips from a war zone? Why does content that effectively agitates for one government to be overthrown make the cut, while content that may make another government look bad (depending on one's own perspective) doesn't? Is Apple taking sides in international conflicts? Perhaps more disturbing is the notion that, were Apple to apply these standards consistently, apps like the one used by Syrian dissidents — and perhaps some news apps — would be barred from the App Store as well.'"
Google

Oracle To Pay Google $1 Million For Lawyer Fees In Failed Patent Case 97

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the larry-ellison-still-owns-an-island dept.
eldavojohn writes "You may recall the news that Google would not be paying Oracle for Oracle's intellectual property claims against the search giant. Instead, Google requested $4.03 million for lawyer fees in the case. The judge denied some $2.9 million of those fees and instead settled on $1.13 million as an appropriate number for legal costs. Although this is relative peanuts to the two giants, Groklaw breaks the ruling down into more minute detail for anyone curious on what risks and repercussions are involved with patent trolling."
Virtualization

Xen-Based Secure OS Qubes Hits 1.0 175

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the subhurds-for-the-masses dept.
Orome1 writes "Joanna Rutkowska, CEO of Invisible Things Lab, today released version 1.0 of Qubes, a stable and reasonably secure desktop OS. It is the most secure option among the existing desktop operating systems — even more secure than Apple's iOS, which puts each application into its own sandbox and does not count on the user to make security decisions. Qubes will offer users the option of using disposable virtual machines for executing tasks they believe could harm their computer. These VMs will be lightweight, easily and extremely speedily created and booted, and would be just as easy to discard." First covered back in 2010. See some screenshots of the X11 part in action (and they say displaying clients from multiple "hosts" isn't useful...)
Printer

3D Printing On a Microscopic Scale 34

Posted by samzenpus
from the small-details dept.
cylonlover writes "Three-dimensional printers are popping up everywhere these days. Some are small enough to fit in a briefcase and others are large enough to print houses, but scientists at the Vienna University of Technology are going for the microscopic. Earlier this year, the university built a 3D printer that uses lasers to operate on a tiny scale. Now they're refining the technique to enable precise placement of a selected molecule in a three-dimensional material. This process, called '3D-photografting,' can potentially be used to create a 'lab on a chip' or artificially grow living tissue."
Mars

MIT Works On Mars Space Suit 71

Posted by samzenpus
from the new-uniforms dept.
An anonymous reader writes in with a story about MIT's work on space suits to be used by Mars astronauts. "When we send the first humans to Mars we will need to get the most scientific data in the smallest amount of time while not exhausting our astronauts in the process. Dava J. Newman has been working on a 'biosuit' that's designed to do just that....Dava’s suit would be a huge leap forward in terms of construction as well. They’ve enlisted the expertise of Dainese, an Italian manufacturer of motorcycle racing 'leathers'—leather and carbon-fiber suits designed to protect racers traveling at up to 200 mph. The suit would be a degree safer than current space suits. While a puncture or scrape in a traditional space suit would cause a dramatic decrease in pressure and would be traumatic, even deadly, the 'biosuit' could be patched with a high-tech ace bandage. The wearer would wrap it around the punctured area to stop the leak almost instantly. Pressure loss would be minimal and the astronaut would be able to continue working and finish his or her task. "
Crime

How Apple's Story Is Like Breaking Bad 288

Posted by samzenpus
from the holiday-news-cycle dept.
theodp writes "Over at CNN, Omar L. Gallaga explains how Apple's story is like Breaking Bad, the TV drama whose protagonist — high school chemistry teacher Walter White — decides to use his science skills to cook methamphetamine to provide for his family after being diagnosed with terminal cancer. Walter takes shocking, out-of-character risks but reinvents himself as a brilliant, feared meth chemist who grows more ambitious, ruthless and cocky with each victory. 'Like Steve Jobs,' writes Gallaga, 'Walter White's cancer awakens a panic in him to hurry up and leave a legacy through his work.' Gallaga continues: 'Like Walter White, it [Apple] has mixed the proper elements at just the right amounts to create highly pure, addictive products. The products have been made within secretive working conditions. The skill employed to design and manufacture them tends to make what competitors put out seem like cheaper, cloudier, less effective imitations.'"
Twitter

Twitter Based "Ted" System Warns of Earthquakes Earlier 64

Posted by samzenpus
from the whole-lotta-shaking-going-on dept.
hypnosec writes "A Twitter-based system managed to detect the earthquake off the Philippines before any other advanced spotting systems being used by Seismologists. The U.S. Geological Survey uses the micro-blogging site to quickly gather information about earthquakes around the globe through the use of a system — Twitter Earthquake Detection (TED) — which beat out USGS's own sensors on Friday when it came to detecting a 7.6 magnitude earthquake off the Philippine coast. The TED system gathers earthquake related messages (Tweets) in real time from Twitter. The system takes into consideration various parameters like place, time, keywords, and photographs of affected places where tremors have been detected. Online information posted by people — Tweets, in this case — can be picked up faster by researchers, compared to scientific alerts that may take up to 20 minutes."
Businesses

High Tech Companies Becoming Fools For the City 276

Posted by timothy
from the mass-transit-best-among-the-masses dept.
theodp writes "Drawn by amenities and talent, the WSJ reports that tech firms are saying goodbye to office parks and opting for cities. Pinterest, Zynga, Yelp, Square, Twitter, and Salesforce.com are some of the more notable tech companies who are taking up residence in San Francisco. New York City's Silicon Alley is now home to more than 500 new start-up companies like Kickstarter and Tumblr, not to mention the gigantic Google satellite in the old Port Authority Building. London, Seattle, and even downtown Las Vegas are also seeing infusions of techies. So, why are tech companies eschewing Silicon Valley and going all Fool for the City? 'Silicon Valley proper is soul-crushing suburban sprawl,' Paul Graham presciently explained in 2006. 'It has fabulous weather, which makes it significantly better than the soul-crushing sprawl of most other American cities. But a competitor that managed to avoid sprawl would have real leverage.'"
Patents

Apple Adds Samsung Galaxy SIII To Its Ban List 553

Posted by timothy
from the roll-call-of-infamy dept.
After its big win against Samsung, Apple named 8 Samsung products it wanted an injunction to ban from sale in the U.S. Apple wasn't content with that, though; USA Today reports on the state of the expanded list: "The new list of 21 products includes Samsung's flagship smartphone Galaxy S III as well as the Galaxy Note, another popular Android phone. If the court finds those devices are infringing Apple's patents and irreparably harming the U.S. company, it could temporarily halt sales in the U.S. market even before the trial begins."

I've never been canoeing before, but I imagine there must be just a few simple heuristics you have to remember... Yes, don't fall out, and don't hit rocks.

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