Open Source

WRT54G Successor Falls Flat On Promises

Slashdot - 4 hours 59 min ago
New submitter JImbob0i0 writes: "Back in January, Linksys/Belkin made a big deal about their new router, the WRT1900AC, which they claimed was a successor to the venerable WRT54G, and how they were working with OpenWRT. They released it this week, but their promises have fallen far short. You need to apply patches (which don't apply cleanly) and compile yourself in order to get it to work... so long as you don't need wireless support. There has not been much response from Linksys on the mailing list to criticism of the improperly formatted patch dump and poor reviews as a result."

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Categories: Open Source, Technology

Google's Project Ara Could Bring PC-Like Hardware Ecosystem To Phones

Slashdot - 7 hours 3 min ago
An anonymous reader writes "Now that Google's modular phone effort, Project Ara, looks a bit less like vaporware, people are starting to figure out its implications for the future of cellphones. One fascinating possibility is that it could transform the cellphone purchasing process into something resembling desktop computer purchasing. Enthusiasts could search out the individual parts they like the best and assemble them into cellphone Voltron. People who just want a decent phone with no hassle could look at pre-built offerings — and not just from Apple, Samsung, and the like. It could open up a whole new group of phone 'manufacturers.' Of course, this comes with drawbacks, too — if you think fragmentation is bad now, imagine trying to support thousands of different hardware combinations."

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Categories: Open Source, Technology

BioWare Announces Dragon Age Inquisition</em> For October 7th

Slashdot - Tue, 04/22/2014 - 11:14pm
An anonymous reader writes "Today BioWare announced a new game in its popular Dragon Age RPG series titled Inquisition. The game will follow the story of an Inquisitor trying to rally the world against the magic-laden forces spewing from rifts opening to another place. The game's creative director, Mike Laidlaw, says players will be able to watch the world descend into chaos, and then deal with the burdens of power as they rally forces in opposition. BioWare is also taking the opportunity to fix all of the things they broke in Dragon Age 2: 'Top-down tactical view is back. Playable races are back. The game seems to have more of an emphasis on challenge thanks to non-regenerative health.' The game will launch on October 7th for the PC, PS3/4, and Xbox 360/One."

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Categories: Open Source, Technology

How Silk Road Bounced Back From Its Multimillion-Dollar Hack

Slashdot - Tue, 04/22/2014 - 10:16pm
Daniel_Stuckey writes: "Silk Road, the online marketplace notable for selling drugs and attempting to operate over Tor, was shut down last October. Its successor, Silk Road 2.0 survived for a few months before suffering a security breach. In total, an estimated $2.7 million worth of Bitcoin belonging to users and staff of the site was stolen. Some in the Silk Road community suspected that the hack might have involved staff members of the site itself, echoing scams on other sites. Project Black Flag closed down after its owner scampered with all of their customers' Bitcoin, and after that users of Sheep Marketplace had their funds stolen, in an incident that has never been conclusively proven as an inside job or otherwise. Many site owners would probably have given up at this point, and perhaps attempted to join another site, or start up a new one under a different alias. Why would you bother to pay back millions of dollars when you could just disappear into the digital ether? But Silk Road appears to be trying to rebuild, and to repay users' lost Bitcoins."

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Categories: Open Source, Technology

How Apple's Billion Dollar Sapphire Bet Will Pay Off

Slashdot - Tue, 04/22/2014 - 8:12pm
alphadogg writes: "Apple is making a billion dollar bet on sapphire as a strategic material for mobile devices such as the iPhone, iPad and perhaps an iWatch. Exactly what the company plans to do with the scratch-resistant crystal – and when – is still the subject of debate. Apple is creating its own supply chain devoted to producing and finishing synthetic sapphire crystal in unprecedented quantities. The new Mesa, Arizona plant, in a partnership with sapphire furnace maker GT Advanced Technologies, will make Apple one of the world's largest sapphire producers when it reaches full capacity, probably in late 2014. By doing so, Apple is assured of a very large amount of sapphire and insulates itself from the ups and downs of sapphire material pricing in the global market."

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Categories: Open Source, Technology

The US Public's Erratic Acceptance of Science

Slashdot - Tue, 04/22/2014 - 7:30pm
An anonymous reader writes "The U.S. general population is often the butt of jokes with regard to their understanding of science. A survey by the Associated Press now shows just how arbitrary and erratic the public's dissent can be. 'The good news is that more than 80 percent of those surveyed are strongly confident that smoking causes cancer; only four percent doubt it. Roughly 70 percent accepted that we have a genome and that mental illness is seated in the brain; about 20 percent were uncertain on these subjects, and the doubters were few. But things go downhill from there. Only about half of the people accepted that vaccines are safe and effective, with 15 percent doubting. And that's one of the controversial topics where the public did well. As for humanity's role in climate change, 33 percent accepted, 28 percent were unsure, and 37 percent fell in the doubter category. For a 4.5-billion-year-old Earth and a 13.8-billion-year-old Big Bang, acceptance was below 30 percent. Fully half of the public doubted the Big Bang (PDF).'"

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Categories: Open Source, Technology

Groove Basin: Quest For the Ultimate Music Player

Slashdot - Tue, 04/22/2014 - 6:47pm
An anonymous reader writes "Andrew Kelley was a big fan of the Amarok open source music player. But a few years ago, its shortcomings were becoming more annoying and the software's development path no longer matched with the new features he wanted. So he did what any enterprising hacker would do: he started work on a replacement. Three and a half years later, his project, Groove Basin, has evolved into a solid music player, and it's still under active development. Kelley has now posted a write-up of his development process, talking about what problems he encountered, how he solved them, and how he ended up contributing code to libav."

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Categories: Open Source, Technology

Parents' Privacy Concerns Kill 'Personalized Learning' Initiative

Slashdot - Tue, 04/22/2014 - 6:05pm
theodp writes: "You may recall that inBloom is a data initiative that sought to personalize learning. GeekWire's Tricia Duryee now reports that inBloom, which was backed by $100 million from The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and others, is closing up shop after parents worried that its database technology was violating their children's privacy. According to NY Times coverage (reg.), the inBloom database tracked 400 different data fields about students — including family relationships ('foster parent' or 'father's significant other') and reasons for enrollment changes ('withdrawn due to illness' or 'leaving school as a victim of a serious violent incident') — that parents objected to, prompting some schools to recoil from the venture. In a statement, inBloom CEO Iwan Streichenberger said that personalized learning was still an emerging concept, and complained that the venture had been 'the subject of mischaracterizations and a lightning rod for misdirected criticism.' He added, 'It is a shame that the progress of this important innovation has been stalled because of generalized public concerns about data misuse, even though inBloom has world-class security and privacy protections that have raised the bar for school districts and the industry as a whole.' [Although it was still apparently vulnerable to Heartbleed.] Gates still has a couple of irons left in the data-driven personalized learning fire via his ties to Code.org, which seeks 7 years of participating K-12 students' data, and Khan Academy, which recently attracted scrutiny over its data-privacy policies."

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Categories: Open Source, Technology

Awkward Moment Seal Wants to Help You Express Your Profound Shame

Wired - Top Stories - Tue, 04/22/2014 - 5:50pm
Meet Awkward Moment Seal—your new favorite meme for sharing your shame on the internet.






Categories: Open Source, Technology

Next-Gen Thunderbolt: Twice as Fast, But a Different Connector

Slashdot - Tue, 04/22/2014 - 5:12pm
Details have leaked about the next iteration of Intel's Thunderbolt connector. The good news: bandwidth will double, going up to about 40Gbps from its current 20. Power usage will drop by half, and it'll support PCI-e 3.0. The bad news: it uses a redesigned connector, and will rely on adapters for backward compatibility. From the article: "Doubling the available bandwidth will enable next-generation Thunderbolt controllers to drive two 4K displays simultaneously, where current controllers can only drive one. The new controllers will allegedly be compatible with a variety of other protocols as well, including DisplayPort 1.2, USB 3.0, and HDMI 2.0. Intel will offer two different versions of the controller—a version that uses four PCI Express lanes to drive two Thunderbolt ports and an "LP" (presumably "Low Power") version that uses two PCI Express lanes to drive one port."

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Categories: Open Source, Technology

Apple Fixes Major SSL Bug In OS X, iOS

Slashdot - Tue, 04/22/2014 - 4:30pm
Trailrunner7 writes: "Apple has fixed a serious security flaw present in many versions of both iOS and OS X and could allow an attacker to intercept data on SSL connections. The bug is one of many the company fixed Tuesday in its two main operating systems, and several of the other vulnerabilities have serious consequences as well, including the ability to bypass memory protections and run arbitrary code. The most severe of the vulnerabilities patched in iOS 7.1.1 and OSX Mountain Lion and Mavericks is an issue with the secure transport component of the operating systems. If an attacker was in a man-in-the-middle position on a user's network, he might be able to intercept supposedly secure traffic or change the connection's properties."

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Categories: Open Source, Technology

Why a Netflix-Killer Will Be AT&T’s Smartest Move Yet

Wired - Top Stories - Tue, 04/22/2014 - 4:01pm
AT&T is getting into the online television business, a move that could threaten its own cable business, while simultaneously securing AT&T's future.






Categories: Open Source, Technology

NIST Removes Dual_EC_DRBG From Random Number Generator Recommendations

Slashdot - Tue, 04/22/2014 - 3:49pm
hypnosec writes: "National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has removed the much-criticized Dual_EC_DRBG (Dual Elliptic Curve Deterministic Random Bit Generator) from its draft guidance on random number generators following a period of public comment and review. The revised document retains three of the four previously available options for generating pseudorandom bits required to create secure cryptographic keys for encrypting data. NIST recommends that people using Dual_EC_DRBG should transition to one of the other three recommended algorithms as quickly as possible."

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Categories: Open Source, Technology

NASA’s Developing a Stylish New Spacesuit for Mars

Wired - Top Stories - Tue, 04/22/2014 - 3:45pm
The Z-2 Spacesuit is a $4.4 million dollar planetary exploration suit designed for walking the surface of Mars.






Categories: Open Source, Technology

Drop Everything: The Final Episode of The IT Crowd Is Now on Hulu

Wired - Top Stories - Tue, 04/22/2014 - 3:45pm
Attention, internet: Stop everything you're doing and get yourselves to Hulu right now to enjoy the final episode of The IT Crowd, which just dropped on the streaming service today.






Categories: Open Source, Technology

Lytro Illum Light-Field Camera Lets You Refocus Pictures Later

Slashdot - Tue, 04/22/2014 - 3:07pm
Iddo Genuth writes "Earlier today Lytro introduced a new light-field camera called Illum. This is the second camera with this innovative refocusing technology from the California based company founded in 2006. The new camera is a more advanced version of the first camera introduced in 2012. It has a much larger sensor with four times the resolution (Lytro still uses the term megarays instead of megapixels), a much larger and longer zoom lens with a f/2 constant aperture and of course the ability to refocus after you take a picture (the new Illum can refocus on many more points in the image compared to the older version). Users will also have more control of the camera, a larger screen, and the ability to create regular JPEG images or videos made from the refocused images they capture."

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Categories: Open Source, Technology

Ask Slashdot: How Can We Create a Culture of Secure Behavior?

Slashdot - Tue, 04/22/2014 - 2:24pm
An anonymous reader writes "Despite the high news coverage that large breaches receive, and despite tales told by their friends about losing their laptops for a few days while a malware infection is cleared up, employees generally believe they are immune to security risks. They think those types of things happen to other, less careful people. Training users how to properly create and store strong passwords, and putting measures in place that tell individuals the password they've created is 'weak' can help change behavior. But how do we embed this training in our culture?"

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Categories: Open Source, Technology

A Map of Every Nuke-Scale Asteroid Strike From the Last Decade

Wired - Top Stories - Tue, 04/22/2014 - 1:56pm
Though dinosaur-killing impacts are rare, large asteroids routinely hit the Earth. In the visualization above, you can see the location of 26 space rocks that slammed into our planet between 2000 and 2013, each releasing the energy of our most powerful nuclear weapons.






Categories: Open Source, Technology

AT&amp;T's Gigabit Smokescreen

Slashdot - Tue, 04/22/2014 - 1:42pm
Yesterday AT&T announced it would examine 100 cities and municipalities in the U.S., including 21 metropolitan areas, for introduction of gigabit fiber. Taken on its face, the announcement is the company's response to Google Fiber. But many were quick to note AT&T has promised nothing. Karl Bode at DSLReports went so far as to call AT&T's announcement a giant bluff. "Ever since Google Fiber came on the scene, AT&T's response has been highly theatrical in nature. What AT&T would have the press and public believe is that they're engaged in a massive new deployment of fiber to the home service. What's actually happening is that AT&T is upgrading a few high-end developments where fiber was already in the ground (these users were previously capped at DSL speeds) and pretending it's a serious expansion of fixed-line broadband. It's not. At the same time AT&T is promising a massive expansion in fixed line broadband, they're telling investors they aren't spending much money on the initiative, because they aren't. AT&T's focus is on more profitable wireless. 'Gigapower' is a show pony designed to help the company pretend they're not being outmaneuvered in their core business by a search engine company."

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Categories: Open Source, Technology

Beautiful Interactive Map of Barcelona Digs Into Rich Architectural History

Wired - Top Stories - Tue, 04/22/2014 - 1:41pm
Barcelona is one of Europe's most vibrant cities. Tourists flock here for the superb restaurants, lively nightlife, and a chance to check out the stunningly creative architecture of Antoni Gaudí. But the city's historical and cultural roots run deep, and a new interactive map aims to make it easier for visitors and locals alike to explore the city's landmarks.






Categories: Open Source, Technology