By EditorDavid from Slashdot's clean-Slate department
Long-time Slashdot reader robot5x writes: I'm a fan of online privacy and, where possible, don't automatically permit cookies and tend to set Ghostery to block all trackers in my browser. This rarely causes a problem -- I have lots of subscriptions to various sites which require me to login and have only rarely encountered minor issues. Recently I had a present of a Slate Plus membership. I really like their content and was keen on supporting it financially. Activating it from the email they sent required me to first register as a user. I clicked on the icon, and nothing happened. Ghostery picked up 7 trackers which I had blocked.
Assuming that one of these was the cause, I activated each in turn and reloaded. None of them made any difference, except a single tracker from JanRain. Accepting this tracker let everything work perfectly. Reading more about JanRain though -- and particularly its interaction with Adobe analytics (which it also tries to load) -- I discovered that they wanted to "create a holistic view of your business by collecting, analyzing and reporting all customer interactions. To derive the most actionable insights, you must link your customers' actions with who they are and what their interests are. Janrain bridges the gap by connecting demographic and psychographic data, collected through traditional and social login, with Adobe's behavioral data, so you understand the whole customer journey". I do not want them to do any of this, and don't think I should have to. Interactions with Slate's 'support' were excruciating and -- while they at least didn't ask me to restart my computer -- they actually ended up saying that allowing these trackers is tied to their login process and I have to either accept or get a refund.
Robot 5x asks: Is it unacceptable to have to accept being tracked as a paying customer for new sites? "Or am I just being a big baby?"Read Replies (0)
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's better-than-one department
HughPickens.com writes: Tucows began as a software downloads site nearly 25 years ago and has since evolved beyond that early core business and into domain names, mobile phone service and symmetrical gigabit fiber Internet in select towns and cities in the US. Now Tucows has announced that as a gesture of goodwill, Tucows has banned deceptive ads, hidden download buttons, pop-ups, flypaper, toolbars and other such Internet nastiness from the the nearly 40,000 software titles it hosts for users on it's download sites. "On the Tucows downloads site today, you'll find no flashing ads. No toolbars. No pop-ups," says CEO Elliot Noss. "You might see a few plugs for other Tucows services, but nothing too egregious and certainly not anything that's pretending to be a download button." With Tucows' success in domain names, mobile phone service (Ting) and fiber Internet (Ting Internet), Tucows' revenue from downloads has become less relevant when looking at the balance sheet. "We don't lightly walk away from opportunities or revenue," says Noss. "In the end, though, we'd rather have the Tucows name associated with good; with a belief in the power of the Internet to affect positive change. An ad-heavy site that packages browser toolbars along with every download isn't something we want people to think of when they hear 'Tucows,'."Read Replies (0)
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's moment-of-silence department
New submitter loren writes: It is with much sadness that I report that legendary sound designer Jory K. Prum, who worked on more than 120 video game titles, passed away April 22, 2016, at age 41, from injuries suffered in a March traffic accident. (Disclaimer: I am a long time friend of Jory and his family.) Here are some personal recollections from family, friends and colleagues... Also, a list of his game credits are on MobyGames. This post doesn't do him justice, but I found news of his loss conspicuously absent on Slashdot.
Back in 2006 a Slashdot article about the game Bone apparently drew a comment from Jory himself ("Funny, I'm recording the dialog for Bone 2 right as I read this!") and in 2004 the same account weighed in on an article about long hours at Electronic Arts. Wikipedia also reports that in 2001 Jory created a voice for Pixar's Oscar-winning short "For the Birds," and in 2014 recovered the aging audio for the classic point-and-click adventure game Grim Fandango.Read Replies (0)
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's legacy-code department
Slashdot reader RockDoctor brings an update on a project to build Babbage's Analytical Engine:
Between 1822 and 1847, Charles Babbage worked on a number of designs for general-purpose programmable computing engines, some parts of which were built during his lifetime and after.
Since 2011 a group under the name of "Plan-28" have been working towards building a full version of the machine known as the Analytical Engine. (The group's name refers to the series of Babbage's plans which they are working to -- versions 1 to 27 obviously having problems.) This week, they've released some updates on progress on their blog. Significant progress includes working on the machine's "internal microcode" (in today's terminology; remember, this is a machine of brass cogs and punched cards!) [and] archive work to bring the Science Museum's material into a releasable form (the material is already scanned, but the metadata is causing eyestrain). "One of the difficulties in understanding the designs is the need to reverse engineer logical function from mechanical drawings of mechanisms -- this without textual explanation of purpose or intention..." Progress is slow, but real.
Last year marked the bicentennial of Ada Lovelace, who wrote programs for the Analytical Engine and it's predecessor, the Difference Engine, and whose position as "the world's first programmer" is celebrated in the name of the programming language Ada.Read Replies (0)
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's which-side-are-you-on? department
An anonymous reader writes:
Today comic book stores around the world celebrate "Free Comic Book Day," offering free comic books to anyone who pays them a visit. Celebrating its 15th anniversary, the event is offering 50 free titles this year, including Doctor Who, Serenity, The Simpsons, Love and Rockets, and a brand new comic from Stan Lee. Marvel is giving away both an Avengers/Civil War comic and a separate one featuring Captain America, and there's also comics with Grumpy Cat, The Tick, and even a Street fighter V comic.
But the Los Angeles Times notes there's different opinions about whether the event creates repeat business (though one comic shop owner told them "as far as that one day goes, it's a great day.") Another store owner says he even stopped participating temporarily because "It's just the hyenas looking for free stuff," while a third described it instead as a way to give back to the community of comic book readers.Read Replies (0)
By manishs from Slashdot's false-alarm department
Hundreds of millions of email login credentials -- affecting Gmail, Yahoo, Mail.ru (Russia's most popular email service), and Hotmail among other websites -- were being traded earlier this week in Russia's criminal underground. According to a report on Ars Technica, Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, and Mail.ru have now assured that the vast majority of leaked credentials are invalid. For instance, "More than 98% of the Google account credentials in this research turned out to be bogus," Google said. Dan Goodin reports: What has been clear all along to anyone paying attention is that the plaintext credentials recovered by Hold Security almost certainly didn't come from hacks on the e-mail providers. Instead, they most likely were collected by hackers who hit dozens, hundreds or thousands of third-party Web services over the years and dumped the account databases into a single list.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's be-afraid-very-afraid department
An anonymous reader writes: Microsoft's user identity management systems, made up by Microsoft Account (formerly Live ID, for home users) and Azure Active Directory (for its cloud/corporate services), see over 13 billion user logins per day, with 1.3 billion for AAD. The company says that over 10 million (per day) of these login attempts are cyber-attacks, which the company is able to detect. This information comes via Microsoft's most recent Security Intelligence Report, which also reveals details about a new cyber-espionage group named Platinum and that hackers are still using the same vulnerability (CVE-2010-2568) even today, which was used in the Stuxnet attacks. According to Pew Research Center, there's an increasingly growing fear among Americans about cyberattacks. In fact, it's the second most feared entity to them, the first being ISIS.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's greater-good department
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Guardian: The whistleblower behind the Panama Papers broke their silence on Friday to explain in detail how the injustices of offshore tax havens drove them to the biggest data leak in history. The source, whose identity and gender remain a secret, denied being a spy. The whistleblower said the leak of 11.5m documents from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca had triggered a "new, encouraging global debate," thanks to the publication last month of stories by an international consortium of newspapers, including the Guardian. The source gave Suddeutsche Zeitung leaked documents from Mossack Fonseca's internal database in real time installments. The papers included details of the beneficial owners of offshore companies, passport copies, and emails. The source said they decided to act after understanding the "scale of the injustices" the documents described. Mossack Fonseca denies wrongdoing and says its operations in Panama and elsewhere are "beyond reproach." Intriguingly, the source said they originally offered the documents to "several major media outlets." Editors reviewed the Panama Papers but in the end "chose not to cover them," they alleged. It is unclear which media organizations declined the material. The anonymous whistleblower also approached WikiLeaks -- again without success. "Even WikiLeaks didn't answer its tip line repeatedly," the source complained, adding: "The media has failed." The source used the name "John Doe" when they approached Germany's Suddeutsche Zeitung newspaper.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's exponential-growth department
Year-over-year the 3D printing industry has grown by as much as 30%. Now, it's set to triple in revenue over the next four years, according to a new report. For comparison, this year the industry will reach nearly $7.3 billion, and by 2020, it is expected to reach nearly $21 billion. Published by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) and the United Parcel Service (UPS), the study, called "3D Printing: The Next Revolution in Industrial Manufacturing," revealed that the two biggest industries representing a combined 40% of the growth are consumer electronics and automotive. Medical devices will represent about 15% of the growth. North America and Europe will account for more than 68% of the 3D printing market revenue, while the Asia Pacific market will account for about 27% of sales. Here's an impressive stat: 3D printing represents only 0.04% of the global manufacturing market right now. However, if 3D printing captures 5% of global manufacturing capacity, which researcher firm Wohlers Associates believes it will, the industry would be worth a staggering $640 billion. "This is a market ripe for disruption," the report said. "Technology adopters that move beyond prototyping to use 3D printing in supporting and streamlining production can achieve new manufacturing efficiencies. Plus, there is an enormous opportunity for companies that get it right."Read Replies (0)