By Soulskill from Slashdot's now-only-incredibly-profitable-instead-of-ridiculously-profitable department
sends news that Verizon has agreed to pay $90 million
(PDF), and Sprint another $68 million
(PDF), to settle claims that they placed unauthorized charges on their customers's bills
. The process, known as "cramming," has already cost T-Mobile
settlements in the tens of millions as well. Most of the settlement money will go towards setting up refund programs, but Verizon and Sprint will be able to keep 30% and 35% of the fees they collected, respectively. In response to the news, both companies issued vague statements about "putting customers first." They are now banned from charging for premium text message services and must set up systems to ensure informed consent for third-party charges.Read Replies (0)
By Soulskill from Slashdot's not-enough-oxidation department
An anonymous reader sends an article taking a harsh look at Rust, the language created by Mozilla Research
, and arguing that despite all the flaws of C and C++, the two older languages are likely to remain in heavy use for a long time to come. Here are a few of the arguments: "[W]hat actually makes Rust safe, by the way? To put it simple, this is a language with a built-in code analyzer and it's a pretty tough one: it can catch all the bugs typical of C++ and dealing not only with memory management, but multithreading as well. Pass a reference to an assignable object through a pipe to another thread and then try to use this reference yourself - the program just will refuse to compile. And that's really cool. But C++ too hasn't stood still during the last 30 years, and plenty of both static and dynamic analyzers supporting it have been released during this time."
Further, "Like many of new languages, Rust is walking the path of simplification. I can generally understand why it doesn't have a decent inheritance and exceptions, but the fact itself that someone is making decisions for me regarding things like that makes me feel somewhat displeased. C++ doesn't restrict programmers regarding what they can or cannot use." And finally, "I can't but remind you for one more time that the source of troubles is usually in humans, not technology . If your C++ code is not good enough or Java code is painfully slow, it's not because the technology is bad - it's because you haven't learned how to use it right. That way, you won't be satisfied with Rust either, but just for some other reasons."Read Replies (0)
By Soulskill from Slashdot's trying-to-print-a-better-stock-price department
sends an update on MakerBot, one of the most well known names in the 3D-printing industry. After its acquisition by Stratasys
in 2013, defective parts
plagued the company's printers in 2014. MakerBot co-founder and CEO Bre Pettis stepped down, and the company laid off
20% of its employees. The new CEO, Jonathan Jaglom, is now talking about how they're rebuilding MakerBot
, and where we can expect it to go in the future. "The 39-year-old, Swiss-born Jaglom says that his priorities since taking over have been to dedicate more attention to customer support, to address the remaining fallout from the extruder problem, and to reorient the company to target its Replicators to the professional and educational markets."
Jaglom also envisions a sort of "iTunes for 3D printing," where people can easily buy designs online and print them out at home. He says, "I'll be sitting at home. Maybe something broke; maybe my glasses. Maybe I want to reprint it and I'll go to Oakley, Ray Ban, whatever, Philippe Starck in this case, download the file, pay $3.49 for it, and print it at home. And then you will have to go to your Kinko's or your Fab Labs, your local 3D printing, if you want it in metal or plastics you can't have at home."Read Replies (0)
By Soulskill from Slashdot's digital-is-different department
writes with news of a ruling in U.S. District Court that the seizure and search of a man's laptop without a warrant while he was in an airport during an international border crossing was not justified
. According to Judge Amy Jackson's ruling
(PDF), the defendant was already the subject of an investigation when officials used his international flight as a pretext for rifling through his laptop. The government argued that a laptop was simply a "container," and thus subject to warrantless searches to protect the homeland. But the judge said the search "was supported by so little suspicion of ongoing or imminent criminal activity, and was so invasive of Kim's privacy and so disconnected from not only the considerations underlying the breadth of the government's authority to search at the border, but also the border itself, that it was unreasonable."
She also noted that laptop searches may require more stringent legal support, since they are capable of holding much more private information than a box or duffel bag. And while a routine search involves a quick look through a container, this search was quite different: "[T]he agents created an identical image of Kim's entire computer hard drive and gave themselves unlimited time to search the tens of thousands of documents, images, and emails it contained, using an extensive list of search terms, and with the assistance of two forensic software programs that organized, expedited, and facilitated the task."Read Replies (0)
By timothy from Slashdot's way-out-there-man department
writes: It's no secret that Internet Explorer has always been criticized for its poor security, so with the Edge web browser (previously known as Spartan), Microsoft is trying to tackle this problem more effectively and make sure that users consider it at least as good as Chrome and Firefox. In a blog post, Microsoft details the security enhancements available in Edge, pointing out that most of the changes it made to the new browser makes it much more secure than Internet Explorer. There is more protection against trickery, app containers are used as the sandbox mechanism, and protection against memory corruption is better. A great news to many is that old unsecure plugin interfaces are not supported at all: VML, VBScript, Toolbars, BHOs, and ActiveX are all nuked from the orbit.Read Replies (0)
By timothy from Slashdot's millions-to-slam department
writes with this excerpt from Hot Hardware: We learned this weekend that AOL's dial-up business still has over 2 million customers who pay on average just under $21 per month for service. Regardless of how strange that seems to those of us that salivate over the prospects of gigabit Internet, folks are still clinging to 56k modems are adding millions to AOL's bottom line. However, also recall that AOL has a massive digital advertising platform with a heavy focus on the mobile sector and also owns a wealth of popular web destinations including Engadget, TechCrunch, and The Huffington Post. With this in mind, it shouldn't be too surprising that Verizon has offered AOL a marriage proposal. Verizon is acquiring AOL for an estimated $50 per share, which brings the total value of the transaction to $4.4 billion.
Here are stories from The New York Times
, NBC News
, and NPR
on the proposed sale, which it's worth noting isn't yet final, and is subject to regulatory approval.Read Replies (0)