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Submission + - ORWL Open and secure computer Not So Open.

Dr. Crash writes: ORWL (the open-sourced physically secure computer) crowdsourced on CrowdSupply has revealed their licensing model.... which isn't closed, but not much better.
* Schematics only "rendered" — as PDF, impeding mechanized analysis for holes. "Source" (i.e. Cadence files) requires an NDA
* PCB layouts are available only as Gerber files. "Source" (i.e. Allegra files) again requires an NDA
* Mechanical CAD files and BIOS: Only via NDA.
Is it just me, or does it strike other readers that for a computer that's supposed to be open-sourced and inspectable, releasing only the equivalent of "assembly code" (PDFs of the schematic, Gerber files) and requiring an NDA for the BIOS and mechanical security just doesn't cut it? in particular, revealing only the PDF'ed schematics and the Gerbers make it essentially impossible to improve the device, and without the BIOS being inspectable, the security of the whole system is completely compromised.

Read the release info yourself at:

Submission + - "Shit I cannot believe we had to fucking write this month" (

The ed17 writes: Stories from people filling Wikipedia's gender gap: "This month in systemic bias, we had to write a whole bunch of shit that should have been written forever ago and generally made the world a better place. Go read these articles and learn about some badass people."

Comment Re:Meanwhile... (Score 1) 111

I am not a lawyer, but if someone used LaBeouf's video to sell shoes, I imagine they would in fact be liable to Nike.

In this case the trademark statement covers "Electronic transmission and streaming of video games via global and local computer networks; streaming of audio, visual, and audiovisual material via global and local computer networks", which does sound like it could cover Let's Play videos as we know them. That would depend of course on how exactly Sony uses the mark.

Submission + - Prison Hack Show Attorney-Client Privilege Violation (

Advocatus Diaboli writes: "An enormous cache of phone records obtained by The Intercept reveals a major breach of security at Securus Technologies, a leading provider of phone services inside the nation’s prisons and jails. The materials — leaked via SecureDrop by an anonymous hacker who believes that Securus is violating the constitutional rights of inmates — comprise over 70 million records of phone calls, placed by prisoners to at least 37 states, in addition to links to downloadable recordings of the calls. The calls span a nearly two-and-a-half year period, beginning in December 2011 and ending in the spring of 2014."

"Particularly notable within the vast trove of phone records are what appear to be at least 14,000 recorded conversations between inmates and attorneys, a strong indication that at least some of the recordings are likely confidential and privileged legal communications — calls that never should have been recorded in the first place. The recording of legally protected attorney-client communications — and the storage of those recordings — potentially offends constitutional protections, including the right to effective assistance of counsel and of access to the courts."

Submission + - Bjarne Stroustrup announces the C++ Core Guidelines

alphabetsoup writes: At CppCon this year, Bjarne Stroustrup announced the C++ Core Guidelines. The guidelines are designed to help programmers write safe-by-default C++ with no run-time overhead. Compilers will statically check the code to ensure no violations. A library is available now, with a static checking tool to follow in October.

Here is the video of the talk, and here are the slides.The guidelines themselves are here.

Submission + - Turns out the Periodic Table is a perfect Quantum Truth Table (

szczys writes: Here's a chance to actually apply some of that Quantum Mechanics theory to something you'll understand. Will Sweatman walks through the four quantum numbers and how they are represented. It's just an abstract set of simple rules until you start trying all combinations. The resulting truth table — the set of every iteration — justifies the elements and their locations on the periodic table.

Submission + - Lessig's Equal Citizens: "Why we need technical people to take on corruption" (

Funksaw writes: An article in "Equal Citizens," Lawrence Lessig's Medium-based blog dealing with issues of institutional corruption in democratic politics, explains why, specifically, the reform movement needs (more) people with technical minds and technical skills.

FTA: "What we need are more people willing to look at the laws of this country based on their function. And when I use the word “function,” I mean very specifically the same sense that a computer programmer means it. (Because lord knows, government isn’t functioning by any other definition.)...

It’s not just that big money politics is being injected [like a code injection] into the function of democracy. It’s also that the function of democracy can be warped by an injection. Stopping the injection of money into our democratic function still leaves the function vulnerable to the same—or similar—injection attack.... We need people who can solve the problems of politics like a programmer solves problems in computer code, because a democratic system with vulnerabilities is a democratic system that can fail or be made to fail.

The article was authored by the technical adviser to the New Hampshire Rebellion and Mayday.US, two of Lessig's major reform projects.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Is it true that software performance is not important anymore? ( 6

DidgetMaster writes: Naturally, everyone wants faster hardware and software; but if you had to choose between two software packages, how much emphasis do you place on speed?

I am building a new kind of general-purpose data management system that uses new data objects that I invented. It has some cool new features that other systems lack, but speed is one of its primary selling points. It was originally designed to replace file systems for managing unstructured data; but it handles structured data so well that I think it can replace relational databases and NoSQL solutions too. It also has distributed architecture to compete with Hadoop and other distributed systems. It is able to find things thousands of times faster than a file system and is more than twice as fast as MySQL at basic table operations in my testing without needing an index. (See for a demo video)

As I approach potential investors for funding, I have had more than one person say "speed is no longer important". They seem to think that everything can be solved with faster hardware or distributed processing. I am "old school" and think that speed is VERY important. Not only is time important, but better algorithms require less hardware (and thus less power and cooling) too. Am I the only one who still thinks this way?

Submission + - Why IBM Watson's Applicaiton to Medicine is Going Slowly (

fluxgate writes: Brandon Keim writes in IEEE Spectrum magazine about why IBM's efforts to apply its Watson machine-intelligence technology to medicine has been going slowly. Despite appearances, progress has been good. It's just that the problem is really, really hard. (Disclaimer: I'm an editor at IEEE Spectrum.)

Submission + - Scientists have paper on gender bias rejected because they're both women ( writes: A paper co-authored by researcher fellow Dr. Fiona Ingleby and evolutionary biologist Dr. Megan Head — on how gender differences affect the experiences that PhD students have when moving into post-doctoral work — was rejected by peer-reviewed PLoS One journal because they didn’t ask a man for help.

A (male) peer reviewer for the journal suggested that the scientists find male co-authors, to prevent “ideologically biased assumptions.” The same reviewer also provided his own ironically biased advice, when explaining that women may have fewer articles published because men's papers "are indeed of a better quality, on average", "just as, on average, male doctoral students can probably run a mile race a bit faster".

Submission + - The Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015 -- H.R.1301 (

sharkbiter writes: The Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015 — H.R.1301 — has been introduced in the US House of Representatives. The measure would direct the FCC to extend its rules relating to reasonable accommodation of Amateur Service communications to private land use restrictions. US Rep Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) introduced the bill on March 4 with 12 original co-sponsors from both sides of the aisle — seven Republicans and five Democrats.

HR 1301 would require the FCC to amend its Part 97 Amateur Service rules to apply the three-part test of the PRB-1 federal pre-emption policy to include homeowners' association regulations and deed restrictions, often referred to as "covenants, conditions, and restrictions" (CC&Rs). At present, PRB-1 only applies to state and local zoning laws and ordinances. The FCC has been reluctant to extend the same legal protections to include such private land-use agreements without direction from Congress.

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