By EditorDavid from Slashdot's no-compete-clauses department
An anonymous reader quotes the Mercury News:
The rabble can't be trusted with self-driving cars, and only companies operating fleets of them should be able to use them in dense urban areas. So say Uber and Lyft, as signatories to a new list of transportation goals developed by a group of international non-governmental organizations and titled "Shared Mobility Principles for Livable Cities"... According to Principle No. 10, "Shared fleets can provide more affordable access to all, maximize public safety and emissions benefits, ensure that maintenance and software upgrades are managed by professionals..."
It's stated reason is to "actualize the promise of reductions in vehicles, parking, and congestion, in line with broader policy trends to reduce the use of personal cars in dense urban areas." But others remain suspicious.
Gizmodo complains that the proposal "doesn't exactly sound like the freedom-filled future sci-fi writers have been promising, now does it?" and concludes that Uber and Lyft "have a hot new idea for screwing over city-dwellers."Read Replies (0)
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's wisdom-of-crowds department
"Free/libre and 100% community backed version of XenServer," promises a new Kickstarter page, adding that "Our first prototype (and proof of concept) is already functional."
Currently, XenServer is a turnkey virtualization platform, distributed as a distribution (based on CentOS). It comes with a feature rich toolstack, called XAPI. The vast majority of XenServer code is Open Source.
But since XenServer 7.3, Citrix removed a lot of features from it. The goal of XCP-ng is to make a fully community backed version of XenServer, without any feature restrictions. We also aim to create a real ecosystem, not depending on one company only. Simple equation: the more we are, the healthier is the environment.
The campaign reached its fundraising goal within a few hours, reports long-time Slashdot reader NoOnesMessiah, and within three days they'd already raised four times the needed amount and began unlocking their stretch goals.Read Replies (0)
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's big-fizzles department
An anonymous reader writes:
Flat earther "Mad" Mike Hughes, who also bills himself as "the last great daredevil," promised Super Bowl-sized ratings for an event Saturday where he'd blast himself nearly half a mile into the sky on a homemade rocket. "We had 20 cameras on site today, ready for a full segment," explained the video-on-demand site Noize TV on their Facebook page. One newspaper described it as also being "an event which he hopes will get people to investigate the ideology which holds the earth is flat." But judging from online reactions, the event was just another disappointment.
Noize TV's Facebook post titled "The Launch!!! Finally" shows a picture of Mike standing beside his rocket -- but it's followed by a commenters saying things like "There was no launch. I doubt there will be," and the official Noize TV account saying "We thought he would press that button... He did not. And won't be doing so we are pretty certain."
And this morning Noize TV posted that "we will no longer cover non launches, only launches... It turns out non launches are not as funny as we anticipated."
One woman even posted that "I was there for awhile...police were there. Ambulance was there. 100 people that weren't supposed to be there was there..." And while there's rumors Mike might still try again another day, her ultimate verdict about the limo-driver-turned-daredevil was cynical. "He's all about getting seen rather than getting launched... My husband gave him $100 cash the last time he was going to launch...live and learn."Read Replies (0)
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's side-channel-hustles department
wiredmikey quotes SecurityWeek: Researchers have discovered more than 130 malware samples designed to exploit the recently disclosed Spectre and Meltdown CPU vulnerabilities. While a majority of the samples appear to be in the testing phase, we could soon start seeing attacks... On Wednesday, antivirus testing firm AV-TEST told SecurityWeek that it has obtained 139 samples from various sources, including researchers, testers and antivirus companies... Fortinet, which also analyzed many of the samples, confirmed that a majority of them were based on available proof of concept code. Andreas Marx, CEO of AV-TEST, believes different groups are working on the PoC exploits to determine if they can be used for some purpose. "Most likely, malicious purposes at some point," he said.Read Replies (0)
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's developing-negatives department
An anonymous reader shares an article from the security editor of ZDNet:
A year after photojournalists and filmmakers sent a critical letter to camera makers for failing to add a basic security feature to protect their work from searches and hacking, little progress has been made. The letter, sent in late 2016, called on camera makers to build encryption into their cameras after photojournalists said they face "a variety of threats..." Even when they're out in the field, collecting footage and documenting evidence, reporters have long argued that without encryption, police, the military, and border agents in countries where they work can examine and search their devices. "The consequences can be dire," the letter added.
Although iPhones and Android phones, computers, and instant messengers all come with encryption, camera makers have fallen behind. Not only does encryption protect reported work from prying eyes, it also protects sources -- many of whom put their lives at risk to expose corruption or wrongdoing... The lack of encryption means high-end camera makers are forcing their customers to choose between putting their sources at risk, or relying on encrypted, but less-capable devices, like iPhones.
We asked the same camera manufacturers if they plan to add encryption to their cameras -- and if not, why. The short answer: don't expect much any time soon.Read Replies (0)
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's recruiters-most-wanted department
Slashdot reader snydeq shared an article from CIO:
The IT talent gap is driving up demand for skilled IT pros, but for certain roles and skillsets, finding -- and signing -- the right candidate can feel a bit like trying to capture a unicorn... AI and data science jobs are at the top of the list, in part because they're relatively young technologies, and they're being introduced in all sorts of companies going through their digital transformation. At the same time, there are some surprises... The experts we talked with name-checked a laundry list of desirable skills and needed experience with emerging areas like cognitive computing, machine learning, data analytics, IoT and blockchain. But the true unicorns are candidates who can not only deepen their bench of tech skills but keep an eye on the bottom line.
The article also cites high demand for data privacy experts, penetration testers with a scientific mind-set, and adaptable developers (including DevOps engineers), as well as experts in robotics and cryptology. But everyone's experiencing the job market differently, so the original submission ends with a question for Slashdot readers.
"What hires are you having the most difficulty making these days?"Read Replies (0)
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's stores-vs-storage-media department
An anonymous reader quotes Complex magazine:
The future of physical music isn't looking good. According to Billboard, consumer electronics company Best Buy will no longer carry physical CDs and Target may be following suit in the near future. Best Buy notified music suppliers that they will cease selling CDs at stores beginning July 1. The move is sure to hurt the already declining sales of CDs as consumers are switching to streaming platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music, and Tidal in large numbers. CD sales have already dropped by a sizable 18.5 percent in the past year, Billboard reports.
Billboard also reports Target has given an "ultimatum" to music and video suppliers. "Currently, Target takes the inventory risk by agreeing to pay for any goods it is shipped within 60 days, and must pay to ship back unsold CDs for credit... Target has demanded to music suppliers that it wants CDs to be sold on what amounts to a consignment basis..."
"If the majors don't play ball and give in to the new sale terms, it could considerably hasten the phase down of the CD format."Read Replies (0)
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's 20th-birthday department
Coining the term "Open Source" was only the beginning. "That same month, the Open Source Initiative (OSI) was founded as a general educational and advocacy organization to raise awareness and adoption for the superiority of an open development process." That's the word from their newly-re-designed site OpenSource.net, which is now commemorating the 20th anniversary of the open source movement with an interactive timeline of milestones -- and announcements about much more.
"Celebrations will be held worldwide, in conjunction with the leading open source conferences, as well as standalone community-led events... Our anniversary website will support volunteer organizers to host events in their own cities. The OSI will provide small grants to these community-led events and promote them to the broader community." (There are already several t-shirt designs...)
A "Share Your Story" section explains that "As part of our mission, we want to promote the success stories of companies like yours that are investing in open source software and community in order to increase adoption and development even more broadly... We'll be sharing your stories with the community throughout the 2018 celebration. We'll also connect you with media outlets to share your story and participate in interviews."
And going forward, OpenSource.Net "will serve both as a community of practice and a mentorship program. The goal is to further promote adoption of open source software over the next twenty years as issues shift from open source's viability/value to issues around implementation and authentic participation. OpenSource.Net connects those that "get it" and "did it" with a global network of highly qualified peers across industries. Your experiences as an exemplar in the community will help others address common (or unique) issue.
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By EditorDavid from Slashdot's anxiety-plus-plus department
An anonymous reader writes:
On Monday Graydon Hoare, the original creator of the Rust programming language, posted some memories on Twitter. "25 years ago I got a job at a computer bookstore. We were allowed to borrow and read the books; so I read through all the language books, especially those with animals on the covers. 10 years ago I had a little language of my own printing hello world." And Monday he was posting a picture of O'Reilly Media's first edition of their new 622-page book Programming Rust: Fast, Safe Systems Development. Then he elaborated to his followers about what happened in between.
"I made a prototype, then my employer threw millions of dollars at it and hired dozens of researchers and programmers (and tireless interns, hi!) and a giant community of thousands of volunteers showed up and _then_ the book arrived. (After Jim and Jason wrote it and like a dozen people reviewed it and a dozen others edited it and an army of managers coordinated it and PLEASE DESIST IN THINKING THINGS ARE MADE BY SINGLE PEOPLE IT IS A VERY UNHEALTHY MYTH)." He writes that the nostaglic series of tweets was inspired because "I was just like a little tickled at the circle-of-life feeling of it all, reminiscing about sitting in a bookstore wondering if I'd ever get to work on cool stuff like this."
One Twitter user then asked him if Rust was about dragging C++ hackers halfway to machine learning, to which Hoare replied "Not dragging, more like throwing C/C++ folks (including myself) a life raft wrt. safety... Basically I've an anxious, pessimist personality; most systems I try to build are a reflection of how terrifying software-as-it-is-made feels to me. I'm seeking peace and security amid a nightmare of chaos. I want to help programmers sleep well, worry less."Read Replies (0)
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's 20th-anniversaries department
Today is the 20th anniversary of the phrase "open source software," which was coined by the executive director of the Foresight Institute, a nonprofit think tank focused on nanotech and artificial intelligence. The phrase first entered the world on February 3rd, 1998.
Christine Peterson writes:
Of course, there are a number of accounts of the coining of the term, for example by Eric Raymond and Richard Stallman, yet this is mine, written on January 2, 2006. It has never been published, until today. The introduction of the term "open source software" was a deliberate effort to make this field of endeavor more understandable to newcomers and to business, which was viewed as necessary to its spread to a broader community of users... Interest in free software was starting to grow outside the programming community, and it was increasingly clear that an opportunity was coming to change the world... [W]e discussed the need for a new term due to the confusion factor. The argument was as follows: those new to the term "free software" assume it is referring to the price. Oldtimers must then launch into an explanation, usually given as follows: "We mean free as in freedom, not free as in beer." At this point, a discussion on software has turned into one about the price of an alcoholic beverage...
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By EditorDavid from Slashdot's making-bank department
An anonymous reader quotes CNN:
The Federal Reserve has dropped the hammer on Wells Fargo, [handing] down unprecedented punishment late Friday for what it called the bank's "widespread consumer abuses," including its notorious creation of millions of fake customer accounts. Wells Fargo won't be allowed to get any bigger than it was at the end of last year -- $2 trillion in assets -- until the Fed is satisfied that it has cleaned up its act. Under pressure from the Fed, the bank agreed to remove three people from the board of directors by April and a fourth by the end of the year. It is the first time the Federal Reserve has imposed a cap on the entire assets of a financial institution, according to a Fed official. "We cannot tolerate pervasive and persistent misconduct at any bank," outgoing Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen said in a statement. Friday was her last day on the job....
Wells Fargo admitted that its workers responded to wildly unrealistic sales goals by creating as many as 3.5 million fake accounts. The bank has also said it forced up to 570,000 customers into unneeded auto insurance... About 20,000 of those customers had their cars wrongfully repossessed in part due to these unwanted insurance charges. In August, Wells Fargo was sued by small business owners who say the bank used deceptive language to dupe mom-and-pop businesses into paying "massive early termination fees." The company was in the headlines again in October for charging about 110,000 mortgage borrowers undue fees.
One U.S. congressman argued that the harsh penalty "demonstrates that we have the tools to rein in Wall Street -- if our regulators have the guts to use them."
Wells Fargo has also spent $3.3 billion on legal bills in just the last three months of 2017.Read Replies (0)
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's how-low-can-you-go department
More drama is unfolding in the ultra-competitive retro arcade gaming scene... Billy Mitchell, the arcade legend who appeared as a central character opposite Steve Wiebe in the documentary The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters, has been accused of cheating his way into the record books for high scores in Donkey Kong. As a result, he's now been stripped of his 1.062 million score on the Donkey Kong Forums...
The legitimacy of his score was called into question by Donkey Kong high score judge Jeremy "Xelnia" Young laid out a body of evidence that seems to prove Mitchell recorded several of his high scores on the open source arcade emulator MAME, though he claimed his scores were obtained on an original arcade cabinet, and therefore were not subject to same strict authentication requirements. "It's possible they were recorded in one shot," Young says, but "Given the play style in Billy's videos, it's more likely that vanilla MAME's INP recording feature was abused."
Twin Galaxies recently threw out the 35-year-old record for the Atari 2600 game Dragster, and has now said they're "in the process of fully reviewing the compelling evidence provided by Jeremy Young."Read Replies (0)
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's wrong-numbers department
An anonymous reader brings more updates about the 'Swat' call that led to a fatal police shooting:
The gamer who dared another gamer to send police officers to his home had offered the address where he used to live, until his family was evicted in 2016. While he may also be charged for the fatal shooting that followed, the victim's family has now sued the city of Wichita as well as its police officers, with their attorney saying the city "is trying to put all the blame on the young man in California who placed the swatting call. But let's be clear: the swatter did not shoot the bullet that killed Andy Finch. That was an officer working under the direction of the Wichita Police Department."
The attorney points out that the 911 caller in California provided a description of the house which didn't match the actual house in Kansas, adding "How can Wichita police department officers not be trained to deal with this type of situation...? Prank calls are not new," according to CBS News. "The lawsuit cites FBI crime statistics showing Wichita has a ratio of one shooting death for every 120 officers -- a number that is 11 times greater than the national ratio and 12 times greater than the ratio in Chicago."
Meanwhle, Kansas lawmakers have introduced a new bill proposing a penalty of 10 to 40 years in prison if a swatting call ends in a person's death, which would also cause the offense to be prosecuted as murder.
One lawmaker argues that the bill is necessary because under the current system if a person phones in a swat call, "there's really no consequence for his actions."Read Replies (0)
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's I-see-what-you-did-there department
A European data privacy law goes into effect in May, but it's already having far reaching consequences, especially when it comes to publicly available WHOIS data. Motherboard spoke to a domain registrar, ICANN and some security researchers about how anticipation of the EU privacy laws implementation has already gutted WHOIS data, why this is dangerous and what the future of WHOIS looks like.
ICANN requires registars to make data on their customers publicly available -- but registrars would be more than happy to stop, according to Tim Chen, the CEO of a WHOIS data analytics firm. Besides hiding their customer lists, it would also address complaints about spammers harvesting email addresses. So registars like GoDaddy "are taking this opportunity to see how far they can push things."
But the article has some sympathy for ICANN. "On the one hand, the organization is under pressure from law enforcement officials and security researchers who depend on WHOIS data to investigate possible crimes or mitigate devastating malware attacks. On the other hand, the organization must also accomodate laws like the GDPR that are the only bulwark against the wholesale of individuals' data by internet giants like Google and Facebook." In 2014 ICANN suggested a "gated" registry that would only authorize access to people who identified themselves and their purpose for accessing the data. But progress has been slow, according to the article, which adds "It's uncertain when ICANN will have a finalized protocol for a next generation version of WHOIS, but an overhaul of this nearly 30-year-old protocol is long overdue.
"The notion that individual data should require a requester to also provide their own data is both equitable and intuitive -- the only remaining question is how to make it work."Read Replies (0)
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's aloha department
This week Hawaii finally fired the employee who issued a false missile alert warning to the entire state, while the head of the state's emergency management agency resigned, another official quit, and a fourth was suspended over the incident. But new details also emerged about the incident:
After alerting workers on the wrong shift, the night supervisor "had started the drill by calling the day shift warning officers, who had not been told there was to be an exercise, and pretending to be U.S. Pacific Command," reports the Guardian, citing the FCC's investigation. The investigation confirmed that his script for the drill included the phrase "this is not a drill" (though it also began and ended with the words "exercise, exercise, exercise.")
The New York Daily News reports that the warning officer missed those words "because someone in the office picked up the receiver instead of hitting the speaker." And he insists that "I'm really not to blame in this. It was a system failure. And I did what I was trained to do. I can't say that I would do anything differently based on what I saw and heard." His lawyer adds that "The place was a circus and they got their scapegoat... All that was missing were clowns and balloons."
The fired worker now plans to sue the state of Hawaii for defamation, and possibly also for libel and slander, according to his lawyer, "because they lied about what happened." He also says that his client has already received numerous death threats.
Washington Post audience editor says the incident happened "because Hawaii rewards incompetence," noting the employee behind the missile alert "had a history of performance problems and had been 'a source of concern,'" adding that the FCC reported that previously the employee "has confused real life events and drills on at least two separate occasions."Read Replies (0)
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's hot-products department
An anonymous reader quotes Reuters:
A handful of tweets and four days later, Silicon Valley billionaire Elon Musk has closed orders for his latest novelty product, after selling 20,000 flamethrowers at $500 a piece. "Guaranteed to liven up any party!" was Musk's tagline for a sale which raised $10 million for his high-speed tunnel venture The Boring Company... "When the zombie apocalypse happens, you'll be glad you bought a flamethrower," he tweeted last Saturday. "Works against hordes of the undead or your money back!"
The fundraising comes as Tesla "struggles" meet its production commitments, notes the article, adding that analysts are wondering if the car manufacturer will eventually need billions more in funding.
By Wednesday Musk had sold out his entire suppy of flamethrowers, though "Apparently, some customs agencies are saying they won't allow shipment of anything called a 'Flamethrower'," Musk tweeted Friday night, adding "To solve this, we are renaming it 'Not a Flamethrower'."
"Or maybe 'Temperature Enhancement Device.'"Read Replies (0)