By timothy from Slashdot's he-ain't-heavy-he's-a-hitchhiker-who-stalks-and-fines-me department
schwit1 writes "Oregon is moving ahead with a controversial plan to tax motorists based on the number of miles they drive as opposed to the amount of fuel they consume, raising myriad concerns about cost and privacy. The problem for lawmakers is that the existing per-gallon gas tax has hit a point of diminishing returns, as Americans drive less and vehicles become more fuel efficient. Economists and civil libertarians are concerned about the Oregon pilot project in large part because some mileage meters can track and record residents' every vehicular move. Rick Geddes, a Cornell University professor, said the basic device is okay because it is simply attached to a vehicle's computer, which cannot track locations. However, Geddes said privacy concerns could resurface should governments expand the program and use SmartPhone or apps to track movements and reward motorists who avoid congested roads and drive during off-peak hours. Mark Perry, a University of Michigan scholar, says the GPS or 'black box' system is 'particularly untenable.'"
Per-car tracking and taxation has been a long time coming in Oregon
, and it's not the only state
where such an idea's been floated.Read Replies (0)
By timothy from Slashdot's shifty-eyes-and-a-beard department
An anonymous reader writes "Security guru Bruce Schneier is, among other things, a world renowned cryptography expert, author of several popular books, and a second-order internet meme. He is also an outspoken critic of the NSA, in particular the massive NSA surveillance programs disclosed over the summer by Edward Snowden. Schneier has been involved in reviewing the leaked documents and has put in effort to determine which cryptosystems should still be considered safe. I'm a big fan of Bruce Schneier, but just to play devil's advocate, let's say, hypothetically, that Schneier is actually in cahoots with the NSA. Who better to reinstate public trust in weakened cryptosystems? As an exercise in security that Schneier himself may find interesting, what methods are available for proving (or at least affirming) that we can trust Bruce Schneier?"Read Replies (0)
By Soulskill from Slashdot's welcome-to-crazy-town department
cold fjord writes "An article at DailyTech begins, 'While many people scoffed at or failed to recognized the significance of Microsoft Corp.'s talk of a "unified" development path for Windows, Xbox, and Windows Phone, the real world ramifications of that approach are now becoming clear — and they're significant. A pre-order page from Dell for the Xbox One "accidentally" (and, it appears, officially) revealed that Windows 8.1 apps will run on the Xbox.'"
A Microsoft spokesperson told AllThingsD, 'The suggestion that all Windows 8 apps run on Xbox One is not accurate
," but they didn't deny that there would be some cross-compatibility. PCWorld's article has words of caution: "It would certainly be interesting if the full-blown Windows Store landed on Xbox One. But don't hold your breath for it to be there at the console's launch
, no matter what Dell's words vaguely imply."Read Replies (0)
Book Review: Minecraft
Posted by News Fetcher on October 21 '13 at 05:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's not-the-game,-the-book-about-the-game department
Nick Kolakowski writes"Markus 'Notch' Persson is the famous indie-game developer behind Minecraft, which is also the name of the new book about his life and work by Daniel Goldberg and Linus Larsson. (The effect is slightly odd, like naming the Steve Jobs biography iPhone.) Minecraft traces Persson’s development from an isolated young man building simple PC games in his bedroom, to a frustrated game developer who feels the software conglomerates are stifling his creativity, to a multimillionaire who's had some trouble coming to grips with his gamer-land fame. The Persson described in the book is an introvert's introvert, far more interested in coding than partying, although he does display flashes of entrepreneurial aggression that would make Steve Jobs or Jeff Bezos proud: at one point, he confesses that he wants to build a gaming behemoth on the scale of Valve."
Read below for the rest of Nick's review. Minecraft: The Unlikely Tale of Markus &lsquo;Notch&rsquo; Persson and the Game that Changed Everything
author Daniel Goldberg and Linus Larsson (translated by Jennifer Hawkins)
publisher Seven Stories Press
reviewer Nick Kolakowski
ISBN 1609805372 (ISBN-10); 978-1609805371 (ISBN-13)
summary Markus 'Notch' Persson's development from isolated coder to famous game developer.Read Replies (0)
By Soulskill from Slashdot's all-the-traffic-you-can-eat department
Daniel_Stuckey writes "Check out the Digital Attack Map. It was produced in a collaborative effort by Google Ideas and Arbor Networks to raise awareness about distributed denial of service attacks. You know, those malicious digital attempts to choke, or shutdown websites by sending them volumes of traffic far too large for them to handle. The map 'surfaces anonymous attack traffic data to let users explore historic trends and find reports of outages happening on a given day,' as its about page explains. Created using attack data from Arbor's 'ATLAS® global threat intelligence system,' this is the D.A.R.E. of DDoS — it's about the danger of having information streams cut off. Under the heading 'DDoS Attacks Matter,' Google and Arbor explain that 'sites covering elections are brought down to influence their outcome, media sites are attacked to censor stories, and businesses are taken offline by competitors looking for a leg up.'"
This comes alongside Google's announcement
of Project Shield
, the company's homegrown DDoS mitigation service.Read Replies (0)