Federal Smartphone Kill-Switch Legislation Proposed
But if it really is called the 'Smartphone Prevention Act', that would pretty much say everything needed about this government, wouldn't it?
Ask Slashdot: Life After N900?
is itself a major problem these days. I'm using a Droid 4 because it's one of the few with any kind of keyboard available. You may or may not like Android, but you can always put CyanogenMod on it, if you want to move further away from the carrier's grasping tentacles.
Ask Slashdot: Are There Any Good Reasons For DRM?
Look at how artists get paid today. The baseline assumption in your statement is that DRM prevents piracy, for which there is exactly zero evidence. So any way that an artist gets paid today is a way they get paid in a world without DRM.
Dealing With an Overly-Restrictive Intellectual Property Policy?
Some places (and I've worked at one) had policies that could be read as them owning anything I did while employed, but could also be read as just applying to things in their area of interest (video test equipment, as it happened). I talked to my boss about it when I came on and he assured me that in fact it was only intended to read as applying to things that were related in some way to their business - stuff that was totally unrelated they didn't care about.
Now that was verbal, not written, but I suggest that you start by asking the question, and see what they say.
Ask Slashdot: How To Deal With Refurbed Drives With Customer Data?
If it doesn't have the same diag partition, then NewEgg didn't do their usual refurb testing on it. Which means that there's a chance it's not in as good a shape as the others. So send it back and make them give you one that's been properly refurbed. There's no excuse for them not to have wiped the drive in the process of testing it before they resold it.
Distinguishing Encrypted Data From Random Data?
OK, I wanted to try to find out if there were encrypted data at some offset in a chunk of random data, I'd start with Knuth's tests for randomness. I'd break the thing up into decent sized chunks (1 meg or so) and run a bunch of different randomness tests on each chunk and on the whole data set and see if any patterns emerge.
The thing is, even if the encrypted data looks pretty random, it's likely to look DIFFERENT than the surrounding random data.
The worse problem is that if you have someone who's asking you if there is encrypted data, and they find some bogus pattern in the random noise, then you've got a problem because you can't prove that there ISN'T any data there. If you are being prosecuted in a normal US court, you might get away with this (if they can't prove that you've got anything encrypted, it may be hard to hold you in contempt trying to get you to give up the keys), but if you fall under the sway of some intelligence agency that doesn't like the look of you, it's not likely that they'll just let you go because you claim there isn't any data.
Verizon Changing Users Router Passwords
If you don't want them to access the router, change the bloody password. Like you should have done 3 years ago!
Sidestepping A-to-D Convertors For Town Government's Cable TV?
If the franchise agreement really says you get expanded basic in exchange for them getting the franchise, then I'd have a word with the township's lawyers. Depending on how the deal is stated, it's probably Comcast's problem to make this work, not yours. I suspect that if the town's lawyers had a word with Comcast's lawyers, then someone in Comcast's engineering department would sort things out right quick.
How Do You Get Users To Read Error Messages?
Nothing you can do will get the users to read the message. NOTHING. The best you can do is to make sure that the error will live in a log somewhere (with timestamps and perhaps screen shots if possible) so that you can figure out what they are talking about.
There's simply no way to force people to pay attention to error messages on the screen - they are focused on doing something, and the error dialog is in the way, so they dismiss it as fast as possible. Then they complain that it's not working.
There's just no way around it - they won't read, they don't read, and they can't be made to read. Give up trying to make them read, and instead find a way to get information in the absence of user assistance.
Murdoch-Microsoft Deal In the Works
No one is going to switch search tools because some particular newspaper is in Bing's index and not Google's. If Bing wants to get the traffic, all they have to do is return better results. Buying exclusive access to index the WSJ isn't going to help, because anyone who actually cares about what the WSJ has to say specifically will just go to the WSJ site, not to Bing.
This would be a waste of MS money, and would hurt the WSJ by having them be found less often (Bing isn't yet as popular as Google, as I understand things), thus getting them less hits and less notice. Unless Murdoch doesn't care about the WSJ's future, this is overall likely a bad move for him.
If Bing wants the traffic, they have to return better results. Eventually, that will translate into users, but it's not a quick thing.
This would be a stupid move on Microsoft's part, and probably a bad plan on Murdoch's part. That doesn't mean they won't go forward, but it's a dumb idea all around.
Is Working For the Gambling Industry a Black Mark?
I can't conceive of why working in the gambling industry would be a mark against you. It wouldn't make sense. You're either good at writing software or you aren't, it really doesn't matter what industry. The only possible downside is that it's not a large industry, so you probably can't make a lifetime out of working in the same industry. But so what? So far, in the last 17 years, I've worked in the medical equipment field (EEG monitors, blood pressure monitors), industrial non-medical ultrasound (one project in the fish farming industry, one in the lumber industry), the petroleum retail industry (credit card interfaces for gas stations), the cable TV industry (software for video on demand systems), the video test equipment industry (windows device drivers for custom cards) and then back to petroleum retail.
No one who wants to hire good software people is going to care. No one.
Null Character Hack Allows SSL Spoofing
All we have to do is get the CAs to pay attention to the certs they issue, correct?
Uh-oh. We're screwed.
Apple Says iPhone Jailbreaking Could Hurt Cell Towers
If jailbroken iPhones can hurt cell towers, then it's already too late, because there are already jailbroken iPhones. So how does making jailbreaks illegal help this problem? It doesn't.
Microsoft's Code Contribution Due To GPL Violation
I'm supposed to believe that Microsoft couldn't replace a couple of drivers with code of their own, and thus ended up open-sourcing a large codebase to comply with the GPL? Sorry, no.
Everything Microsoft does is about making money. They open sourced this code because they believe they can use that in some way to make a buck. End of story.
Encrypted But Searchable Online Storage?
Use an encrypted query to match against the encrypted text. The problem is, if the text is REALLY encrypted, then there shouldn't be enough information to do this - the encrypting of the original text should make it impossible to even match against it.
If it didn't, then an attacker who got hold of the encrypted text and some of your encrypted queries might well be able to mount an attack based on commonalities between the two.
EGM Magazine Shutting Down
I can't say I'm that surprised. I actually canceled a free subscription to EGM (they had a promotion a year or two back) because it just wasn't worth the paper it was printed on. Being a print publication (and the attendant information lags) was bad enough, but their staff wrote like a bunch of high-schoolers. If I'm going to bother to kill a tree, I at least want some decent writing.
Do Any Companies Power Down at Night?
While automatic updates are a good reason to leave machines on, they are also a good reason to leave machines off. At my last company (about 1-1.5 years ago) we got hit with a bad update to the AV software over a weekend. Any machine that was on did the update, re-scanned and trashed a bunch of files belonging to things like MS Office. Those machines (like mine) that weren't on over the weekend did not because the update got fixed before Monday morning.
Those of us who were shutdown over the weekend had to wait a few minutes (like always) for updates, but the machines that were on were hosed for half the day.
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