We are sorry to see you leave - Beta is different and we value the time you took to try it out. Before you decide to go, please take a look at some value-adds for Beta and learn more about it. Thank you for reading Slashdot, and for making the site better!
belmolis (702863) writes "The state of Nevada is demanding $10K for a man to see the school records of his four children. They claim that the state's database is not designed to produce reports on individual students. The fee is based on the claim that doing so will take 120 hours of programmer time. Is their system really so strangely designed or this an attempt to avoid providing the information? In any case, it would seem that the query would only have to be written once and could then be used for any other parent's request, so the cost should arguably be amortized over multiple requests." Link to Original Source top
Obamacare Signup Site Works only in Internet Explorer
belmolis writes "Here in Canada we have an old-fashioned paper ballot voting system that by all accounts works very well. We get results quickly and without fraud. Nonetheless, Elections Canada wants to test on-line voting. Is it worth trying to fix a system that isn't broken?" Link to Original Source top
belmolis (702863) writes "Algeria is reported to be shutting down ISPs and deleting Facebook accounts in an effort to prevent anti-government protests from escalating as they did in Egypt. Is it likely that they are deleting FB accounts? Unless Facebook is cooperating, this would either require hacking FB to obtain administrator privileges or cracking the password of each account they wish to delete." Link to Original Source top
belmolis writes "The National Association of Broadcasters is reported to be lobbying Congress to require the inclusion of FM radio receivers in all cell phones. No public benefit from this requirement is mentioned — this appears to be a pure cash grab by the broadcasters and their friends at the RIAA, with whom they have already reached an agreement regarding royalties. The FM chips apparently only cost $1, but they do take up space and add weight, and FM antennas will presumably make phones bulkier than necessary." top
belmolis writes "Vancouver police recently shot and killed a man whom they claim was advancing aggressively. Bystander Adam Smolcic says that he recorded the incident on his cell phone and contradicts the police account. He reports that shortly after the incident, a police officer took his phone and examined it for several minutes. When he returned it, the video was gone. The British Columbia Civil Liberties Association reports that the three data recovery firms that it has had examine the phone have been unable to recover the video or to confirm or deny whether it was ever present.
How difficult is it to recover a freshly erased video from a cell phone? Should it be possible to tell whether it was present but erased?" top
belmolis writes "Freshmeat has recently undergone a major revision. Most people seem to like the new look, but the functionality is arguably worse. Complaints include the elimination of both raw statistics (subscriptions and hits) and derived statistics (popularity and vitality), the replacement of ratings with an unexplained up-and-down voting system, the need to click several times to obtain information, the invisibility of URLs, the use of fixed-width pages, and the replacement of trove categories with tags. So what do you think? Is the new Freshmeat better or worse? Has it traded functionality for eye candy? What's good, what's bad?" Link to Original Source top
belmolis writes "If the CIA is right to attribute recent blackouts to cyberwarfare (Slashdot story),
cyberwarfare is no longer science fiction but reality. In a recent op-ed piece and a detailed scholarly paper, legal scholar Duncan Hollis raises the question of whether existing international law is adequate for regulating cyberwarfare. He concludes that it is not:
Translating existing rules into the IO context produces extensive uncertainty, risking unintentional escalations of conflict where forces have differing interpretations of what is permissible. Alternatively, such uncertainty may discourage the use of IO even if it might produce less harm than traditional means of warfare. Beyond uncertainty, the existing legal framework is insufficient and overly complex. Existing rules have little to say about the non-state actors that will be at the center of future conflicts. And where the laws of war do not apply, even by analogy, an overwhelmingly complex set of other international and foreign law rules purport to govern IO.