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Google Backs Off Default Encryption on New Android Lollilop Devices

SlashDot - Tue, 03/03/2015 - 5:09am
An anonymous reader writes: Although Google announced in September 2014 that Android 5.0 Lollipop would require full-disk encryption by default in new cell phones, Ars Technica has found otherwise in recently-released 2nd-gen Moto E and Galaxy S6. It turns out, according to the latest version of the Android Compatibility Definition document (PDF), full-disk encryption is currently only "very strongly recommended" in anticipation of mandatory encryption requirements in the future. The moral of the story is: don't be lazy — check that your full-disk encryption is actually enabled.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek News

Google Backs Off Default Encryption on New Android Lollilop Devices

SlashDot - Tue, 03/03/2015 - 5:09am
An anonymous reader writes: Although Google announced in September 2014 that Android 5.0 Lollipop would require full-disk encryption by default in new cell phones, Ars Technica has found otherwise in recently-released 2nd-gen Moto E and Galaxy S6. It turns out, according to the latest version of the Android Compatibility Definition document (PDF), full-disk encryption is currently only "very strongly recommended" in anticipation of mandatory encryption requirements in the future. The moral of the story is: don't be lazy — check that your full-disk encryption is actually enabled.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Geek News

How a Kickstarter Project Can Massively Exceed Its Funding Goals and Still Fail

SlashDot - Tue, 03/03/2015 - 2:11am
An anonymous reader writes: In November, 2013, a Kickstarter project for a software-defined camera trigger scored £290,386 (~$450,000) in funding after asking for a mere £50,000. After almost a year of delays, they've now announced the project is dead. Their CEO has published a lengthy article about how such a successful funding round can still turn into a failed product. In short: budgeting. To get their software into a workable state, they ended up spending 940% of the amount they'd originally allocated to software development. Their protoyping went over budget, too, and they had to spend a fair bit in legal fees to fend off a major camera manufacturer complaining about their product's name. Still, they had more funding than they expected, and would have been able to deal with these costs. Unfortunately, the bill of materials for their final product clocked in way higher than they expected. They would have had to sell the device at about $350 each, when they were originally targeting a $99 price point. (And that figure assumes good sales — with a smaller production run, price per unit goes even higher.) The company is now going to refund the remaining money left over from its Kickstarter campaign — about 20% of the total. They're also open sourcing the software and sharing the PCB designs and schematics.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek News

How a Kickstarter Project Can Massively Exceed Its Funding Goals and Still Fail

SlashDot - Tue, 03/03/2015 - 2:11am
An anonymous reader writes: In November, 2013, a Kickstarter project for a software-defined camera trigger scored £290,386 (~$450,000) in funding after asking for a mere £50,000. After almost a year of delays, they've now announced the project is dead. Their CEO has published a lengthy article about how such a successful funding round can still turn into a failed product. In short: budgeting. To get their software into a workable state, they ended up spending 940% of the amount they'd originally allocated to software development. Their protoyping went over budget, too, and they had to spend a fair bit in legal fees to fend off a major camera manufacturer complaining about their product's name. Still, they had more funding than they expected, and would have been able to deal with these costs. Unfortunately, the bill of materials for their final product clocked in way higher than they expected. They would have had to sell the device at about $350 each, when they were originally targeting a $99 price point. (And that figure assumes good sales — with a smaller production run, price per unit goes even higher.) The company is now going to refund the remaining money left over from its Kickstarter campaign — about 20% of the total. They're also open sourcing the software and sharing the PCB designs and schematics.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Geek News

Games Workshop At 40: How They Brought D&D To Britain

SlashDot - Tue, 03/03/2015 - 12:07am
An anonymous reader writes: Following on the fortieth anniversary of Dungeons & Dragons last year, another formative influence on modern gaming is celebrating its fortieth birthday: Games Workshop. Playing at the World covers the story of how the founders, Ian Livingstone and Steve Jackson (not the other Steve Jackson), started out as subscribers to the 1960s British gaming zine Albion playing Diplomacy by mail and (in Ian's case) publishing silly cartoons. When Albion folded at the beginning of 1975, Livingstone and Jackson formed Games Workshop with its own zine Owl & Weasel as a way to bring "progressive games" (as in "progressive rock") to the UK. Shortly thereafter, when they discovered Dungeons & Dragons, fantasy and role-playing games became their focus. After Owl & Weasel grew up into White Dwarf in 1977, its famous "Fiend Factory" column ended up populating the D&D Fiend Folio. And in the 1980s, of course, they brought us Warhammer and their retail stories brought stylish miniatures to many a needful gamer. Happy birthday to Games Workshop!

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek News

Games Workshop At 40: How They Brought D&D To Britain

SlashDot - Tue, 03/03/2015 - 12:07am
An anonymous reader writes: Following on the fortieth anniversary of Dungeons & Dragons last year, another formative influence on modern gaming is celebrating its fortieth birthday: Games Workshop. Playing at the World covers the story of how the founders, Ian Livingstone and Steve Jackson (not the other Steve Jackson), started out as subscribers to the 1960s British gaming zine Albion playing Diplomacy by mail and (in Ian's case) publishing silly cartoons. When Albion folded at the beginning of 1975, Livingstone and Jackson formed Games Workshop with its own zine Owl & Weasel as a way to bring "progressive games" (as in "progressive rock") to the UK. Shortly thereafter, when they discovered Dungeons & Dragons, fantasy and role-playing games became their focus. After Owl & Weasel grew up into White Dwarf in 1977, its famous "Fiend Factory" column ended up populating the D&D Fiend Folio. And in the 1980s, of course, they brought us Warhammer and their retail stories brought stylish miniatures to many a needful gamer. Happy birthday to Games Workshop!

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Geek News

Astronomers Find an Old-Looking Galaxy In the Early Universe

SlashDot - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 10:05pm
schwit1 tips news that a team of astronomers has studied one of the most distant galaxies ever observed and found puzzling results. The light we're seeing from this galaxy comes from roughly 700 million years after the Big Bang, so on the cosmic scale, it's quite young. But the galaxy appears much older than astronomers expected. Their paper was published today in Nature. At this age it would be expected to display a lack of heavier chemical elements — anything heavier than hydrogen and helium, defined in astronomy as metals. These are produced in the bellies of stars and scattered far and wide once the stars explode or otherwise perish. This process needs to be repeated for many stellar generations to produce a significant abundance of the heavier elements such as carbon, oxygen and nitrogen. Surprisingly, the galaxy A1689-zD1 seemed to be emitting a lot of radiation in the far infrared, indicating that it had already produced many of its stars and significant quantities of metals, and revealed that it not only contained dust, but had a dust-to-gas ratio that was similar to that of much more mature galaxies.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek News

Astronomers Find an Old-Looking Galaxy In the Early Universe

SlashDot - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 10:05pm
schwit1 tips news that a team of astronomers has studied one of the most distant galaxies ever observed and found puzzling results. The light we're seeing from this galaxy comes from roughly 700 million years after the Big Bang, so on the cosmic scale, it's quite young. But the galaxy appears much older than astronomers expected. Their paper was published today in Nature. At this age it would be expected to display a lack of heavier chemical elements — anything heavier than hydrogen and helium, defined in astronomy as metals. These are produced in the bellies of stars and scattered far and wide once the stars explode or otherwise perish. This process needs to be repeated for many stellar generations to produce a significant abundance of the heavier elements such as carbon, oxygen and nitrogen. Surprisingly, the galaxy A1689-zD1 seemed to be emitting a lot of radiation in the far infrared, indicating that it had already produced many of its stars and significant quantities of metals, and revealed that it not only contained dust, but had a dust-to-gas ratio that was similar to that of much more mature galaxies.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Geek News

Police Could Charge Data Center Operators In the Largest Child Porn Bust Ever

SlashDot - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 8:11pm
sarahnaomi sends this report from Motherboard: Canadian police say they've uncovered a massive online file sharing network for exploitative material that could involve up to 7,500 users in nearly 100 countries worldwide. But unlike past investigations into the distribution of child porn, which typically involve targeting suspects individually, police have instead seized over 1.2 petabytes of data ... from a data center responsible for storing the material, and may even attempt to lay criminal charges against its operators, too. "What we are alleging is occurring is that there are individuals and organizations that are profiting from the storage and the exchange of child sexual exploitation material," Scott Tod, Deputy Commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), told Motherboard at a conference late last month, after speaking to a crowd of defense specialists. "They store it and they provide a secure website that you can log into, much like people do with illegal online gaming sites."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek News

Police Could Charge Data Center Operators In the Largest Child Porn Bust Ever

SlashDot - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 8:11pm
sarahnaomi sends this report from Motherboard: Canadian police say they've uncovered a massive online file sharing network for exploitative material that could involve up to 7,500 users in nearly 100 countries worldwide. But unlike past investigations into the distribution of child porn, which typically involve targeting suspects individually, police have instead seized over 1.2 petabytes of data ... from a data center responsible for storing the material, and may even attempt to lay criminal charges against its operators, too. "What we are alleging is occurring is that there are individuals and organizations that are profiting from the storage and the exchange of child sexual exploitation material," Scott Tod, Deputy Commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), told Motherboard at a conference late last month, after speaking to a crowd of defense specialists. "They store it and they provide a secure website that you can log into, much like people do with illegal online gaming sites."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Geek News

Ask Slashdot: Which Classic OOP Compiled Language: Objective-C Or C++?

SlashDot - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 7:28pm
Qbertino writes: I've been trying to pick up a classic, object-oriented, compiled language since the early 90s, but have never gotten around to it. C++ was always on my radar, but I'm a little torn to-and-fro with Objective-C. Objective-C is the obvious choice if you also want to make money developing for Mac OS X, but for the stuff I want to do, both languages would suffice on all platforms. I do want to start out on x86 Linux, though, and also use it as my main development platform. Yes, I know quite a few other languages, but I want to get into a widespread compiled language that has good ties into FOSS. Both Objective-C and C++ fit that bill. What do you recommend? How do these two programming languages compare with each other, and how easy is cross-platform development in either? (Primarily GUI-free, "headless" applications.)

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Geek News

New Seagate Shingled Hard Drive Teardown

SlashDot - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 6:46pm
New submitter Peter Desnoyers writes: Shingled Magnetic Recording (SMR) drives are starting to hit the market, promising larger drives without heroic (and expensive) measures such as helium fill, but at a cost — data can no longer be over-written in place, requiring SSD-like algorithms to handle random writes. At the USENIX File and Storage Technologies conference in February, researchers from Northeastern University (disclaimer — I'm one of them) dissected shingled drive performance both figuratively and literally, using both micro-benchmarks and a window cut in the drive to uncover the secrets of Seagate's first line of publicly-available SMR drives. TL;DR: It's a pretty good desktop drive — with write cache enabled (the default for non-server setups) and an intermittent workload it performs quite well, handling bursts of random writes (up to a few tens of GB total) far faster than a conventional drive — but only if it has long powered-on idle periods for garbage collection. Reads and large writes run at about the same speed as on a conventional drive, and at $280 it costs less than a pair of decent 4TB drives. For heavily-loaded server applications, though, you might want to wait for the next generation. Here are a couple videos (in 16x slow motion) showing the drive in action — sequential read after deliberately fragmenting the drive, and a few thousand random writes.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Geek News

Provide feedback on the issue credit attribution user interface

Drupal - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 6:10pm

With the help of a few key community members, we have been hard at work creating an interface for users to attribute their work in the issue queues to a customer or employer. (#2288727: [meta] Provide credit to organizations / customers who contribute to Drupal issues)

This is an important step in beginning to collect information about the contributions that organizations make in the Drupal ecosystem. Dries has talked about this need in detail in his blog post A method for giving credit to organizations that contribute code to Open Source. Since the original vision laid out in that post, which focused on commit credits, we have expanded the scope to include any contribution in the issue queues.

There will be three parts to the release of this feature on Drupal.org.

Comment Attribution

First, we needed a way that contributors could attribute their work to an organization—either their employer, their customer or both. (#2340363: Add issue comment attribution) We would like to have feedback through the comment on the issue. Here is an animated example of the comment attribution user interface:

This new field on every issue comment lets the user attribute their work to organizations per comment. Our team is also very excited to introduce a new interface framework for inline editing of entity fields on Drupal.org. There are so many great ways we could use this for easier in place editing of metadata.

Once this comment attribution user interface is deployed, we’ll see how it is used, helping us build the next step.

Interface for Maintainers to Award Issue Credits

The next step will be a method for maintainers to award credit for the intended attribution. (#2369159: Extend crediting UI to include organizations & customers) Allowing maintainers to commit or award the credit for the issue accomplishes two important goals: we incentivise completion and we reduce gaming of the credit system.

By placing credits on issues—rather than commit mentions—we opened up the ability to recognize contributions outside of code. Patch reviews, comments on architectural decisions, wireframes and mockups, and general design feedback are all valuable contributions to the issue queues. Maintainers will now be able to reward those helpful behaviors.

Highlighting Organizations that Contribute

After a couple of months of collecting issue credit data, we will be able to begin using that data to highlight contributing organizations—giving them “trust currency” as Dries put it so well.

Issue credits are not the only contribution we will be tracking. We are already tracking how organizations give back financially through our supporting partner and membership programs. We track organizations that sponsor DrupalCons—and we’d like to start tracking how organizations help build camps.

Next Steps

If feedback goes well, our Drupal.org engineering team is planning to release the comment attribution feature on March 12th.

The user interface for maintainers to award credit should be available for comment in the coming week. Work on that issue has already started at #2369159: Extend crediting UI to include organizations & customers.

Let us know what you think!

Front page news: Drupal News
Categories: Drupal

Marissa Mayer On Turning Around Yahoo

SlashDot - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 6:03pm
An anonymous reader writes For the 20th anniversary of Yahoo, Marissa Mayer discusses how she's trying to reinvent the company. In a wide-ranging interview, Mayer shares her vision for fixing the company's past mistakes, including a major investment in mobile and a new ad platform. Yet she's been dogged by critics who see her as an imperious micromanager, who criticize her $1.1 billion purchase of Tumblr, and who fault her for moving too slowly. The company's executives explain that the business could only return to health after she first halted Yahoo's brain drain and went big on mobile. As one Yahoo employee summarized Mayer's thinking: "First people, then apps."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Geek News

Google Prepares To Enter Wireless Market As an MVNO

SlashDot - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 5:20pm
jfruh writes Google is getting into the wireless connectivity business, but that doesn't mean you'll be able to use them as your wireless connectivity provider any time soon. The company isn't building its own cell network, but will rather be a "mobile virtual network operator" offering services over existing networks. Google says it won't be a full-service mobile network in competition with existing carriers; instead, the MVNO will offer a platform through which it can experiment with new services for Android smartphones.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Geek News

Photo First: Light Captured As Both Particle and Wave

SlashDot - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 4:36pm
mpicpp sends word that scientists have succeeded in capturing the first-ever snapshot of the dual behavior of light. "It's one of those enduring Zen koans of science that we've all grown up with: Light behaves as both a particle and a wave—at the same time. Einstein taught us that, so we're all generally on board, but to actually understand what it means would require several Ph.D.s and a thorough understanding of quantum physics. What's more, scientists have never been able to devise an experiment that documents light behaving as both a wave and a particle simultaneously. Until now. That's the contention of a team of Swiss and American researchers, who say they've succeeded in capturing the first-ever snapshot of light's dual behavior. Using an advanced electron microscope – one of only two on the planet – at the EPFL labs in Switzerland, the team has generated a kind of quantum photograph of light behaving as both a particle and a wave. The experiment involves firing laser light at a microscopic metallic nanowire, causing light to travel — as a wave — back and forth along the wire. When waves traveling in opposite directions meet, they form a "standing wave" that emits light itself — as particles. By shooting a stream of electrons close to the nanowire, the researchers were able to capture an image that simultaneously demonstrates both the wave-nature and particle-nature of light. 'This experiment demonstrates that, for the first time ever, we can film quantum mechanics — and its paradoxical nature — directly,' says lead researcher Fabrizio Carbone of EPFL, on the lab's project page. The study is to be officially published this week in the journal Nature Communications."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Geek News

Blackphone 2 Caters To the Enterprise, the Security-Minded and the Paranoid

SlashDot - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 3:52pm
Mark Wilson writes While much of the news coming out of MWC 2015 has been dominated by Microsoft's Lumia 640, the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, and tablets from Sony, there's always room for something a little different. Following on from the security-focused Blackphone, Silent Circle used the Barcelona event to announce the follow-up — the Blackphone 2. The privacy-centric company has been working on the "world's first enterprise privacy platform" for some time now and the second generation Blackphone. As you would expect, there's a faster processor than before -- an 8-core beast -- as well as an upgraded 3GB RAM, a larger 5.5 inch screen and a bigger battery than before. Blackphone 2 has a $600 price tag and will be unleashed in July.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Geek News

NASA's Spitzer Team Releases Highest-resolution View of the Full Galactic Plane

SlashDot - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 3:30pm
StartsWithABang writes From our vantage point within the Milky Way, most of our 200-400 billion stars are obscured by the dust lanes present within. But thanks to its views in infrared light, the Spitzer Space Telescope can glimpse not only all of the stars and the dust simultaneously, it can do it at an alarming resolution. Recently, NASA has put together a 360 panorama of more than 2,000,000 Spitzer images taken from 2003-2014, and one astrophysicist has gone and stitched them together into a single, 180,000-pixel-long viewable experience that shows less than 3% of the sky, but nearly 50% of its stars.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Geek News

Unreal Engine 4 Is Now Free

SlashDot - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 3:09pm
jones_supa writes In 2014, Epic Games took the step of making Unreal Engine 4 available to everyone by subscription for $19 per month. Today, this general-purpose game engine is available to everyone for free. This includes future updates, the full C++ source code of the engine, documentation, and all sorts of bonus material. You can download the engine and use it for everything from game development, education, architecture, and visualization to VR, film and animation. The business scheme that Epic set in the beginning, remains the same: when you ship a commercial game or application, you pay a 5% royalty on gross revenue after the first $3,000 per product, per quarter. Epic strived to create a simple and fair arrangement in which they succeed only when your product succeeds.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categories: Geek News

Doomsday Vault: First Tree Samples Arrive At Underground Seed Store

SlashDot - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 2:26pm
An anonymous reader writes "The Svalbard Global Seed Vault, built into an Arctic mountain, received its first delivery of tree seeds. Opened in 2008, the vault is designed to withstand all natural and human disasters. From the article: "The 'doomsday' vault built into an Arctic mountain, which stores seeds for food crops in case of a natural disaster, has received its first delivery of tree samples. Norway spruce and Scots pine seeds have arrived at the frozen vault, which is located on Svalbard, an archipelago owned by and north of Norway. The organizations behind the vault hope to bring more seeds from outside of the Nordic countries. The Svalbard Global Seed Vault will now look after the samples and use them to monitor how natural forests change. They will also keep them as back-ups, in case any of the species are lost, and to see how the forests change during breeding."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








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