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Submission + - Russian Security Service: Spies Planted Malware On Critical Infrastructure (

itwbennett writes: Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) said Saturday that the country's critical infrastructure was targeted by customized malware delivered as an email attachment. Lucian Constantin reports that, according to the FSB, 'networks at some 20 organizations in Russia — including scientific and military institutions, defense contractors, and public authorities — were found to be infected with the malware.'

Submission + - Jill Stein Pledges to Grant Edward Snowden a Full Pardon (

An anonymous reader writes: Edward Snowden, America’s #1 fugitive, would not only get a full pardon under a Jill Stein administration, but would get a promotion to one of the highest levels of government.

“[Snowden] has done an incredible service to our country at great cost to himself for having to live away from his family, his friends, his job, his network, to basically live as an expatriate,” Stein said during a livestreamed town hall with supporters on her Facebook page.

“I would say not only bring Snowden back, but bring him into my administration as a member of the Cabinet, because we need people who are part of our national security administration who are really, very patriotic,” Stein continued. “If we’re really going to protect American security, we also have to protect our Constitutional rights, and that includes our right to privacy.”

Comment Re:Why does the FBI director have such a long term (Score 2) 99

The Director's term is long in order to make the position less political. The Director has a lot of power; so it would be very bad if the Director was strongly partisan. Making the Director's term longer than the maximum term of a president (2*4 years) provides a strong incentive to the president (who appoints the Director) to appoint someone who will be negligibly partisan.

Comment From the Wall Street Journal.... (Score 1) 240

Bekow is an exert from “Ending Philanthropy as We Know It”, Wall Street Journal.

... the purposes of the company are clearly philanthropic, to advance “human potential” and promote “equality,” rather than earn money for its owners. However, it will not just make grants to nonprofits, as foundations typically do. The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative will also own stakes in for-profit businesses in fields like education and health care, which its owners believe will help achieve their philanthropic goals.

Some have criticized traditional foundations and other charities for not having “a bottom line,” a readily available measure of success that would enable donors to determine whether their gifts were doing any good. A variety of surrogate approaches have been proposed to judge the effectiveness of philanthropy, such as elaborate cost-benefit analyses. But these tend to be costly and controversial, and they have attracted limited interest.

What Mr. Zuckerberg and others are proposing instead is to harness the profit motive on behalf of their philanthropic goals. This is often referred to as a “double bottom-line” approach: The companies in which the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative invests will have to show both a financial return in order to be sustainable and a social one—for example, increased numbers of lives saved or children finishing school—in order to obtain additional funding. And at least in theory, those companies that are unsuccessful would in time go out of business, unlike traditional charities, which can keep going, even if they are not very effective at their work, as long as they are good at raising money from donors.

The approach Mr. Zuckerberg is taking has several advantages. One is that if he had created a foundation, American tax laws would have required him to sell most of the Facebook stock he gave it. But by using the stock to fund a limited-liability company, he can keep control over as much of it as he wants (though he may sell some to make grants or investments).


... the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative represents the most significant effort so far to take a new approach to the kinds of problems with which philanthropy has long struggled. ....

Comment Re:There is a risk! (Score 5, Informative) 125

Human-dinosaur sex is technically a form of anal rape

You are obviously male and confused. Essentially all the human-dinosaur sex fantasies are of male dinosaurs having regular (especially vaginal) sex with female people. The novels of those fantasies are hardly ever bought by men.

Comment Re:Give me a raise (Score 1) 327

As an analogy, in a NBA basketball team, the coach is essentially a manager; yet the star players earn more money than the coach and are considered to be more important. Similarly, I know of sales teams where the top salespeople, whose earnings are based on commissions, earn far more than their managers. Nothing like this happens with programmers though, AFAIK.

Comment Also in The Register (Score 5, Interesting) 492

There is another (I believe better) article about this in The Register: “Donald Trump dumps on Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg”. Some quotes from Trump, extracted from the article, are below.

We graduate two times more Americans with STEM degrees each year than find STEM jobs, yet as much as two-thirds of entry-level hiring for IT jobs is accomplished through the H-1B program. More than half of H-1B visas are issued for the program's lowest allowable wage level, and more than eighty percent for its bottom two. Raising the prevailing wage paid to H-1Bs will force companies to give these coveted entry-level jobs to the existing domestic pool of unemployed native and immigrant workers in the U.S., instead of flying in cheaper workers from overseas. This will improve the number of black, Hispanic and female workers in Silicon Valley who have been passed over in favor of the H-1B program.

Mark Zuckerberg’s personal Senator, Marco Rubio, has a bill to triple H-1Bs that would decimate women and minorities.

Comment Re:This is the NSA's fault (Score 1) 173

If the NSA spent their time making the cyber defenses of this country stronger instead of making it weaker with compromised encryption, rampant back doors, etc., there's a good chance this data breach would not have happened.

That is an extremely important point. The NSA is charged with protection of U.S. government communications and information systems against penetration and network warfare. Thus, the SF86 breach is a clear failure of the NSA. Had the NSA kept its focus on what it is supposed to be doing, the breach might well never have happened. Instead, though, the NSA has shifted its focus to activities that are illegal, unconstitutional, and seriously harmful.

This is further strong evidence that the top people at the NSA should be wholesale removed.

Comment Koomey's law (Score 4, Interesting) 101

Moore's law is sort of a mangled version of Koomey's law. Koomey's law states that the number of computations per joule of energy dissipated has been doubling every 1.6 years. It appears to have been operative since the late 1940s: longer than Moore's law. Moreover, Koomey's law has the appeal of being defined in terms of basic physics, rather than technological artefacts. Hence, I prefer Koomey's law, even though Moore's law is far more famous.

There is another interesting aspect to Koomey's law: it hints at an answer to the question "for how long can this continue?" The hinted answer is "until 2050", because by 2050 computations will require so little energy that they will face a fundamental thermodynamic constraint—Landauer's principle. The only way to avoid that constraint is with reversible computing.

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