the unofficial Slashdot digest archive

Kim Dotcom Can Be Extradited, Rules A New Zealand Court

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
Kim Dotcom -- and Megaupload's programmers Mathias Ortmann and Bram van der Kolk, as well as its advertising manager Finn Batato -- could soon be in a U.S. courtroom. A New Zealand judge just ruled they can all be extradited to the U.S. An anonymous reader quotes Reuters: The Auckland High Court upheld the decision by a lower court in 2015 on 13 counts, including allegations of conspiracy to commit racketeering, copyright infringement, money laundering and wire fraud, although it described that decision as "flawed" in several areas. Dotcom's lawyer Ron Mansfield said in a statement the decision was "extremely disappointing" and that Dotcom would appeal to New Zealand's Court of Appeal.

U.S. authorities say Dotcom and three co-accused Megaupload executives cost film studios and record companies more than $500 million and generated more than $175 million by encouraging paying users to store and share copyrighted material. High Court judge Murray Gilbert said that there was no crime for copyright in New Zealand law that would justify extradition but that the Megaupload-founder could be sent to the United States to face allegations of fraud.

"I'm no longer getting extradited for copyright," Dotcom commented on Twitter. "We won on that. I'm now getting extradited for a law that doesn't even apply.

ZDNet: Linux 'Takes The World' While Windows Dominates The Desktop

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
ZDNet editor-in-chief Steve Ranger writes that desktop dominance is less important with today's cloud-based apps running independent of operating system, arguing that the desktop is now "just one computing platform among many." An anonymous reader quotes his report: Linux on the desktop has about a 2% market share today and is viewed by many as complicated and obscure. Meanwhile, Windows sails on serenely, currently running on 90% of PCs in use... That's probably OK because Linux won the smartphone war and is doing pretty well on the cloud and Internet of Things battlefields too.

There's a four-in-five chance that there's a Linux-powered smartphone in your pocket (Android is based on the Linux kernel) and plenty of IoT devices are Linux-powered too, even if you don't necessarily notice it. Devices like the Raspberry Pi, running a vast array of different flavours of Linux, are creating an enthusiastic community of makers and giving startups a low-cost way to power new types of devices. Much of the public cloud is running on Linux in one form or another, too; even Microsoft has warmed up to open-source software.


By rtb61 • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Here let me fix that for you and Yeah not so much any more and if you check you steam library you will find out exactly which Mac OS and Linux games you already own, just waiting to be downloaded and installed.

The desktop is a dying market except for power users, hobbyists, scientist. Business is making the shift to smart terminals and for less secure communication purposes simple disposable notebooks (no windows in site lust secure locked doors, nobody wants the employees wide open to the prying eyes of potential competitors who pay for M$ for access).

It could have been a shrinking market with windows but M$ killed that, so the desktop will become a shrinking market with Linux and of all companies, Apple, still a good solid professional market, pretty much back to its main professional market prior to consumer PCs which in reality when technology caught up is smart phones (fitted VR micro glasses for gaming), smart TVs, tablets for the smart TVs and disposable notebooks for communications (not gaming).

Whoops no gaming console, yep, pretty much no gaming console.

Can you say "move the goalposts" boys and girls?

By hairyfeet • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Because if Google's proprietary OSes that are more locked down than Windows ever was (say what you want about Windows but I can grab a windows laptop and inside of 10 minutes be booting into anything from BSD to Zorin OS, just try that on a Chromebook) now counts as "Linux" because it uses the kernel, which even the community acknowledges that "the kernel is not Linux"? Well sheeit, by that metric you could claim Linux "won" half a decade ago since all those cheapo locked down routers used by millions are using the Linux kernel as part of the embedded OS.

It certainly doesn't come anywhere close to being open or supporting the four freedoms so if this is what it takes to "win" I'd say "well what exactly did you "win" other than replacing one corporate master for another?

questinable desktop market share data and linux

By e**(i pi)-1 • Score: 3 • Thread
I wonder how the desktop market share data are obtained. From browser data? This is naive as many linux users change or randomize their user agent. It must be that since counting OS sales does not work. I use linux as my major operating system since 20 years. But there are still things I can only do on a commercial OS like Mac OS X: For example solid video editing, screen recording, Keynote, garage band, and serious gaming. But for most day to day operations, there is very little difference between OS X (when used as a Unix workstation) and linux. My desktops and workflows look almost identical. I guess, also windows could be configured today to behave like a unix workstation. But the loss of control which the the user over the OS (basic things like when and how to upgrade, or the look over the shoulder of the user) which happens today in windows makes it unfit for serious work. What would really be nice if virtualization would exist which allowed to run any OS X software on a linux box. It seems that installing OSX on a virtual box has not yet worked well. The few who have got it to work claim slow graphics, sound failures. I have not heard for example of a successful and solid Final cut run virtualized under linux. Parallels does a good job virtualizing windows on OSX.

MS plays the software patents game now

By quax • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Microsoft makes money of Open Source software by shaking down companies that deploy it. I.e. they weaponize their software patent portfolio.

That's how they make money from Android.

Recently, they received good press for their Azure patents protection offer, but it is not what it seems at first glance, their is nothing benign about it. It's just a dressed up protection racket.

And while moving their Quantum Computing software to github, gave them press that they "Open Sourced" it, nothing could be further from the truth.

They will try to get a stranglehold on the future of computing, just as they had it in the PC market. They just switched strategy, but this tiger won't change its stripes.

Linux Kernel 4.10 Officially Released With Virtual GPU Support

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
"Linus Torvalds announced today the general availability of the Linux 4.10 kernel series, which add a great number of improvements, new security features, and support for the newest hardware components," writes Softpedia. prisoninmate quotes their report: Linux kernel 4.10 has been in development for the past seven weeks, during which it received a total of seven Release Candidate snapshots that implemented all the changes that you'll soon be able to enjoy on your favorite Linux-based operating system... Prominent new features include virtual GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) support, new "perf c2c" tool that can be used for analysis of cacheline contention on NUMA systems, support for the L2/L3 caches of Intel processors (Intel Cache Allocation Technology), eBPF hooks for cgroups, hybrid block polling, and better writeback management. A new "perf sched timehist" feature has been added in Linux kernel 4.10 to provide detailed history of task scheduling, and there's experimental writeback cache and FAILFAST support for MD RAID5... Ubuntu 17.04 (Zesty Zapus) could be the first stable OS to ship with Linux 4.10.
It required 13,000 commits, plus over 1,200 merges, Linus wrote in the announcement, adding "On the whole, 4.10 didn't end up as small as it initially looked."

Does this mean...

By Zontar The Mindless • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

...that we'll finally get a Nouveau driver that isn't a crash-prone piece of crap?

vGPU seems cool

By Kjella • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Looks like you can get near-native performance even though you're sharing hardware. With this maybe instead of a dual boot PC you can have a dual VM PC, one runs Linux and the other Windows and both at near native performance and you don't have to dedicate a graphics card. That sounds like a real gateway drug, use Linux for the desktop and the games that run on it but be able to switch to your Wintendo and play that one must-have game your friends want. That said right now it looks like an an Intel tech, did anyone see anything about AMD/nVidia support? Because sharing that Intel iGPU wasn't really what I'm looking for....

Re: Backported to 2.6?

By corychristison • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Running 4.9 on 4 physical machines in my home. And also running 4.9 on over a dozen VMs in a datacenter without systemd.

There are a few distributions that don't push it down your throat. There are even a few others that offer (optional) alternative kernels and init systems.

Personally I use funtoo.

Take a look at for more.

Re: vGPU seems cool

By dknj • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

there is definitely support for nvidia

Vgpu seems very very cool. Now how can we turn this into something commercially viable?


Virtual gpu?

By Kohath • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Can someone link to a concise discussion of what this does and some use cases? Thanks.

Serious Computer Glitches Can Be Caused By Cosmic Rays

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
The Los Alamos National Lab wrote in 2012 that "For over 20 years the military, the commercial aerospace industry, and the computer industry have known that high-energy neutrons streaming through our atmosphere can cause computer errors." Now an anonymous reader quotes Computerworld: When your computer crashes or phone freezes, don't be so quick to blame the manufacturer. Cosmic rays -- or rather the electrically charged particles they generate -- may be your real foe. While harmless to living organisms, a small number of these particles have enough energy to interfere with the operation of the microelectronic circuitry in our personal devices... particles alter an individual bit of data stored in a chip's memory. Consequences can be as trivial as altering a single pixel in a photograph or as serious as bringing down a passenger jet.

A "single-event upset" was also blamed for an electronic voting error in Schaerbeekm, Belgium, back in 2003. A bit flip in the electronic voting machine added 4,096 extra votes to one candidate. The issue was noticed only because the machine gave the candidate more votes than were possible. "This is a really big problem, but it is mostly invisible to the public," said Bharat Bhuva. Bhuva is a member of Vanderbilt University's Radiation Effects Research Group, established in 1987 to study the effects of radiation on electronic systems.

Cisco has been researching cosmic radiation since 2001, and in September briefly cited cosmic rays as a possible explanation for partial data losses that customer's were experiencing with their ASR 9000 routers.


By Bruce Perens • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

This is why ECC is used to protect memory and data busses. At least on the good stuff :-) . One of the issues is die shrink. As the minimum detail slze of the IC process gets smaller, the potential for radiation to flip a bit gets higher.

Silicon-on-sapphire is the main way to implement silicon-on-insulator, which is more protective of radiation bit flips and less likely to latch-up. But since these have historically been required only for space satellites, they have been horribly expensive. Imagine running an entire IC fabrication just to make a few chips. As there are more applications for rad-hard chips, the price could fall.

Re:Why not blame the manufacturer?

By DontBeAMoran • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

There's something you can do about it. It's very easy, but you won't like it.

Make every component in triplicate. Everything in the CPU, everything in the RAM, everything in storage, etc. If the three aren't equal, go with the value shared by two of them and rewrite the different one with that value.


By Gravis Zero • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

When your computer crashes or phone freezes, don't be so quick to blame the manufacturer.

If my computer crashes or phone freezes, it's almost certainly the fault of the person who released the software without properly debugging it. Cosmic rays are very low on the list of reasons why your device has malfunctioned.


By gravewax • Score: 3 • Thread
Your phone or computer crash is thousands of times (if not millions) more likely to have been caused by the manufacturer/coders error or fault than cosmic rays. Anyone that decides to consider cosmic rays as a more likely answer deserves to continue to experience their issues.

Re:Why not blame the manufacturer?

By unrtst • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Another obvious countermeasure is to use ECC memory ...

The problem is not that there is nothing that manufacturers can do, but that consumers aren't willing to pay the extra cost. Would you be willing to pay an extra $100 for your phone ...

ECC memory is not that much more expensive. It's been a few years since I built the desktop I'm using, but I included 16gb of ECC memory (4x 4gb DDR3 ECC KVR1333D3E9SK2/8G). At the time, I think it was around $60. The equivalent normal memory was only a couple bucks cheaper. If Samsung started using ECC memory in all their phones, the cost would be nearly the same with the volume they would be ordering/making.

FWIW, I did try to do the same comparison just now on newegg and, while it's a bit of a mess, the situation is nearly the same today:
$34 : Kingston 4GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM ECC Unbuffered DDR3 1333 Server Memory Model KVR13LE9S8/4
$52 : Kingston 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Memory Model KVR16N11S8K2/8

More expensive? Yes.
$100 more? Nowhere near that much.

Google Discloses An Unpatched Windows Bug (Again)

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader writes: "For the second time in three months, Google engineers have disclosed a bug in the Windows OS without Microsoft having released a fix before Google's announcement," reports BleepingComputer. "The bug in question affects the Windows GDI (Graphics Device Interface) (gdi32.dll)..." According to Google, the issue allows an attacker to read the content of the user's memory using malicious EMF files. The bad news is that the EMF file can be hidden in other documents, such as DOCX, and can be exploited via Office, IE, or Office Online, among many.

"According to a bug report filed by Google's Project Zero team, the bug was initially part of a larger collection of issues discovered in March 2016, and fixed in June 2016, via Microsoft's security bulletin MS16-074. Mateusz Jurczyk, the Google engineer who found the first bugs, says the MS16-074 patches were insufficient, and some of the issues he reported continued to remain vulnerable." He later resubmitted the bugs in November 2016. The 90-days deadline for fixing the bugs expired last week, and the Google researcher disclosed the bug to the public after Microsoft delayed February's security updates to next month's Patch Tuesday, for March 15.

Microsoft has described Google's announcements of unpatched Windows bugs as " disappointing".


By wbr1 • Score: 5, Funny • Thread
The correct verbiage now is as follows:

So-called tech company releases fake news. SAD!

Re:Wrong Headline

By moronoxyd • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Microsoft was first informed about these bugs in June 2016. That is a lot more than 90 days. They didn't manage to fix all the bugs and basically got an extension when Google resubmitted the still open bugs in November. Yet they still didn't manage to fix the bugs.

Re: Control vs. Security

By ArmoredDragon • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

How is Google being a dick? They're following common industry practices. Public disclosure does two things:

- Deadlines put pressure on the software vendor to patch their shit sooner rather than later (without a deadline, or an unenforced deadline, they tend to just sit on bugs for a long time.)
- If the software vendor fails to patch their product, then at least the end users can come up with their own countermeasures (i.e. adding IDS signatures, switching to different software, suspending services, creating workarounds, etc) before some rogue actor takes advantage of them.

If Google didn't stick to these timelines, and/or delayed them on a whim, then there may as well be none.

'Disappointing', eh?

By fuzzyfuzzyfungus • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
So, yet another exploit in GDI; an initial attempt at a fix that didn't actually work; a second attempt that was delayed a month(along with a reasonably juicy SMB issue; and probably some other stuff); and the disclosure is the 'disappointing' part? How eminently plausible.


By fuzzyfuzzyfungus • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
You can definitely embed Windows Metafile images in LibreOffice on Windows; but I'm not entirely sure if that is enough to make it vulnerable. WMF is dangerous because it is basically a package of GDI function calls, which might be good for efficiency or compactness; but has led to a number of creative and executable things being shoehorned in(as in this case; and repeatedly over the years).

However, there are several image handling libraries that can render or convert WMF images without access to GDI; so in those cases GDI bugs wouldn't be a problem(though you probably have other things to worry about).

This Libreoffice VCL documentation suggests that LibreOffice uses its own VCL WMF filters; but I sure wouldn't bet anything remotely important on that without testing it first; or knowing rather more about how LibreOffice is put together.

Some Recyclers Give Up On Recycling Old Monitors And TVs

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader writes: "In many cases, your old TV isn't recycled at all and is instead abandoned in a warehouse somewhere, left for society to deal with sometime in the future," reports Motherboard, describing the problem of old cathode-ray televisions and computer monitors with "a net negative recycling value" (since their component parts don't cover the cost of dismantling them). An estimated 705 million CRT TVs were sold in the U.S. since 1980, and many now sit in television graveyards, "an environmental and economic disaster with no clear solution." As much as 100,000 tons of potentially hazardous waste are stockpiled in two Ohio warehouses of the now-insolvent recycler Closed Loop, plus "at least 25,000 tons of glass and unprocessed CRTs in Arizona...much of it is sitting in a mountainous pile outside one of the warehouses."
One EPA report found 23,000 tons of lead-containing CRT glass abandoned in four different states just in 2013.

Producer responsible for end of life recycling

By felixrising • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
Similar to the End of Life Vehicles Directive in the EU, Similar to the German End-of-Life Vehicles Act of 2002 (extended from a similar law in 1997). Manufacturers are responsible for recycling their vehicle at the vehicles end of life, this means manufacturers design their cars to be more easily recycled and means any overhead costs are built into the cost of the car up-front. There is no good reason that this shouldn't be the case for any larger or common products, why should the cost of recycling be deferred until the product has reached end of life, no consumer will pay more money to have their product recycled *after* it is useless.

Re:Isn't glass pretty inert..?

By nbauman • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Glass is water-soluble. That's why supply houses sell distilled water in plastic jugs.

That's why the F.D.A. recommends against using lead glass containers for long-term storage.

Re:That's why I pay to recycle monitors

By nbauman • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Besides, even a warehouse full of dead monitors that will basically just sit forever is still a way better scenario than having them polluting a landfill.

Landfills are designed to hold pollution for a long time. If they follow current environmental regulations, they're in a clay pit which is impermeable to any significant leakage. When they're filled, they're covered with a clay top which keeps the rain out. The main goal for leaded glass is to make sure they don't wind up in the drinking water. There are Roman trash heaps which have lasted undisturbed for 2,000 years.

There aren't too many warehouses that have survived 100 years.

Re:That's why I pay to recycle monitors

By nbauman • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

As TFA says, half of them go to abandoned warehouses in the US. The other half go to Africa and India where low-paid, unprotected workers burn off the insulation and plastic parts to get the copper. I've seen articles about this in the New Scientist and elsewhere.

Re:Just get volunteer help

By PPH • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

vacuum tubes arent a perfect vacuum.

But a CRT isn't a typical vacuum tube. They only work by steering a straight beam of electrons to the phosphor. Any gas molecules will scatter those electrons and defocus the beam. So CRTs do in fact have very high vacuums inside them.

Self-Driving Car Speed Race Ends With A Crash

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader writes: On a professional track in Buenos Aires, fans watched the first Formula E auto race with self-driving electric cars. "Roborace's two test vehicles battled it out on the circuit at a reasonably quick 115MPH," reports Engadget, "but one of the cars crashed after it took a turn too aggressively. The racing league was quick to tout the safety advantages of crashing autonomous cars ('no drivers were harmed'), but it's clear that the tech is still rough around the edges." Electrek is reporting that the cars "still have a cabin for a driver but neither car's cabin was occupied during the event." The ultimate goal is to have several teams racing the exact same self-driving car, while letting each team customize its car's driving software.
An Argentinian journalist shared footage of the race cars on Twitter, and apparently at one point a dog wandered out in front of an oncoming race car. But the real question is how the fans are going to feel about watching a speed race between cars with no drivers?

or Driverless racing

By s.petry • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

People watch racing because there is risk of a crash with humans in the cockpit. People drive in professional racing because there is a risk to themselves. Those things translate into money, jobs, technological advancements in vehicles (performance and safety). Take away the human element and it's like sitting and watching airplanes fly. Interesting for a few visits, but no sustainable market and not really entertaining. Put up a bar and bleacher stand, and it would be mostly empty.

Hell, look at the robot warrior events, which are cool but don't make money for any duration of time.

If they are doing this to build safety, no spectators needed. IMHO, bit whoop. Sarcastiball anyone?

Will it be entertaining?

By steveha • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

I think in the early days, these races might be entertaining.

I can imagine that eventually some kind of optimum strategy may evolve and all the teams use it, and then the cars will all do the same thing and the race will be boring. But in the early days, with people trying different strategies, stuff might happen that is interesting to watch.

I remember back at my first job, we found some kind of game where you wrote a program to control a robot tank in the game, and the whole game was to have matches between people's programs. The programming language was simple and there were APIs for things like "throw out a radar ping", "turn tank", "rotate turret", "fire gun", "check to see if tank is damaged", etc. There were many different strategies available: you could write a tank that never checked if it was being damaged, but just drove around crazily all the time to be hard to lock onto; you could write a tank that, when it got a ping, would try to lock onto that tank and follow it and keep shooting it until it was dead; you could try to write a balanced tank that would check if it was damaged and evade if so, try to figure out where other tanks were and just send shots in that general direction, etc. We had great fun with it for a while, and then one of the developers (not me, sadly) wrote a tank program that was dramatically more effective than all the others. The fun died away when it became "watch Rich's tank destroy your tank and all the others".

The question is whether Rich's program was actually optimum in some sense (did the best possible according to the simple simulation rules) or whether we could have beaten it if we had been more clever. I'm not sure. I wish I had copies of the source code to all the bots from back then, now that I have a lot more experience in software development and I might get more out of the game.

This was years ago and I couldn't tell you what game it was exactly, but there are plenty of programming games around.

Re:Will it be entertaining?

By drinkypoo • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

I can imagine that eventually some kind of optimum strategy may evolve and all the teams use it, and then the cars will all do the same thing and the race will be boring.

If you all use the same safe strategy then nobody ever overtakes and there's no race at all, just cars driving in a circle. Essentially like F1 at its worst, but then... even worse. So at worst, everyone would use the same unsafe strategy, and it would basically just be betting on effectively random chance. Whose tires are just .001% better, who drives over a pebble and who doesn't. But more likely, every team would try to find places they could optimize, identifying different places and ways to push for just a little more speed. This will result in crashes, which frankly are interesting. They should build cars designed to be crashed cheaply. That will permit the maximum learning to occur in the shortest period of time, which makes the sport most interesting to automakers who have to take something home to justify their investment.


By bigwheel • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

I'm waiting for an autonomous demolition derby. That might be interesting.

Re:Totally disagree

By vlad30 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
What makes Robot Wars and Battlebots interesting is the rules and limits placed on the bots. the builders have to decide how much to sacrifice armour for weapons and manoeuvrability in the weight limit and how to design a weapon in those limits. and when bot builders all go for the same winning design they modify the rules the following year. e.g. when wedge bots became popular hazards were put into the arena. And none of the bots carry an armour piercing explosive round something that would be on a real battlebot designed for warfare. The same has occurred in car racing involving human drivers and the same will occur in e-racing

Krebs: 'Men Who Sent SWAT Team, Heroin to My Home Sentenced'

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes KrebsOnSecurity: On Thursday, a Ukrainian man who hatched a plan in 2013 to send heroin to my home and then call the cops when the drugs arrived was sentenced to 41 months in prison for unrelated cybercrime charges. Separately, a 19-year-old American who admitted to being part of a hacker group that sent a heavily-armed police force to my home in 2013 was sentenced to three years probation.

Sergey Vovnenko, a.k.a. "Fly," "Flycracker" and "MUXACC1," pleaded guilty last year to aggravated identity theft and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Prosecutors said Vovnenko operated a network of more than 13,000 hacked computers, using them to harvest credit card numbers and other sensitive information... A judge in New Jersey sentenced Vovnenko to 41 months in prison, three years of supervised released and ordered him to pay restitution of $83,368.

Separately, a judge in Washington, D.C. handed down a sentence of three year's probation to Eric Taylor, a hacker probably better known by his handle "Cosmo the God." Taylor was among several men involved in making a false report to my local police department at the time about a supposed hostage situation at our Virginia home. In response, a heavily-armed police force surrounded my home and put me in handcuffs at gunpoint before the police realized it was all a dangerous hoax known as "swatting"... Taylor and his co-conspirators were able to dox so many celebrities and public officials because they hacked a Russian identity theft service called ssndob[dot]ru. That service in turn relied upon compromised user accounts at data broker giant LexisNexis to pull personal and financial data on millions of Americans.

Reckless endangerment

By raymorris • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

The offender wasn't *trying* to kill Krebs. So not attempted murder.

  Krebs didn't die, so not manslaughter.

The offender did act in a way to create a dangerous situation with no regard for the fact that Krebs, other people in his home, or police officers could be seriously injured. That neatly matches the definition of "reckless endangerment".

Had someone actually died, it would match the definition of "depraved-heart murder", which is second-degree homicide in many states. Depraved-heart murder is killing someone through actions not actually *intended* to kill them, but by reckless disregard for their safety.

Will of the People

By PopeRatzo • Score: 3 • Thread

On Thursday, a Ukrainian man who hatched a plan in 2013 to send heroin to my home and then call the cops when the drugs arrived was sentenced to 41 months in prison for unrelated cybercrime charges. Separately, a 19-year-old American who admitted to being part of a hacker group that sent a heavily-armed police force to my home in 2013 was sentenced to three years probation.

Sergey Vovnenko, a.k.a. "Fly," "Flycracker" and "MUXACC1," pleaded guilty last year to aggravated identity theft and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Prosecutors said Vovnenko operated a network of more than 13,000 hacked computers, using them to harvest credit card numbers and other sensitive information... A judge in New Jersey sentenced Vovnenko to 41 months in prison, three years of supervised released and ordered him to pay restitution of $83,368.

And now people like this are in charge of our elections.

Re:The real problem

By Procrasti • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Every single one of the problems you cite about drugs is due to their prohibition, or at the very least exacerbated by it.

Exactly the same things happened during alcohol prohibition, but for some reason you people are too stupid to see the correlation and instead continue to think that doing more and harder of the same will get you different results.

Re: 3 years probation

By lgw • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

I agree that American police break down doors in far too many instances when they shouldn't, but you need to quit being so dramatic. They got a credible report of a hostage situation - they SHOULD roll up armed

The correct response to a reported hostage situation is absolutely not to have a bunch of over-armed thugs in mall-ninja gear kick down the door. The correct response is a negotiator, a sniper, some normal cops in vests, and patience. You know, how SWAT teams worked before the cops starting playing soldier.

Re: SWATing needs serious consequences

By jeff4747 • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

Yeah, imagine doing something like dressing up as a Native American and looting a ship in a harbor....

New Free O'Reilly Ebook: 'Open Source In Brazil'

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader writes: Andy Oram, who's been an editor at O'Reilly since 1992, has written a new free report about how open source software is everywhere in Brazil. The country's IT industry is booming in Brazil -- still Latin America's most vibrant economy -- with open source software popular in both startups and in cloud infrastructure. Oram attributes this partly to the government's support of open source software, which over the last 15 years has built public awareness about its power and potential. And says the Brazil now has a thriving open source community, and several free software movements. Even small towns have hacker spaces for collaboration and training, and the country has several free software movements.

Re:Not really "free".

By fredan • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
Here's the link: or or


MS to the "rescue" again

By markdavis • Score: 3 • Thread

Looks like Microsoft is up to their old tricks and maybe O'Reilly didn't publish fast enough:

They have to work really hard to step in and mess things up for countries trying to break free (or for those who DID break free) from proprietary MS products. Brazil has a lot of corruption, so this seems to fit right in :(

Used Cars Can Still Be Controlled By Their Previous Owners' Apps

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
An IBM security researcher recently discovered something interesting about smart cars. An anonymous reader quotes CNN: Charles Henderson sold his car several years ago, but he still knows exactly where it is, and can control it from his phone... "The car is really smart, but it's not smart enough to know who its owner is, so it's not smart enough to know it's been resold," Henderson told CNNTech. "There's nothing on the dashboard that tells you 'the following people have access to the car.'" This isn't an isolated problem. Henderson tested four major auto manufacturers, and found they all have apps that allow previous owners to access them from a mobile device. At the RSA security conference in San Francisco on Friday, Henderson explained how people can still retain control of connected cars even after they resell them.

Manufacturers create apps to control smart cars -- you can use your phone to unlock the car, honk the horn and find out the exact location of your vehicle. Henderson removed his personal information from services in the car before selling it back to the dealership, but he was still able to control the car through a mobile app for years. That's because only the dealership that originally sold the car can see who has access and manually remove someone from the app.

It's also something to consider when buying used IoT devices -- or a smart home equipped with internet-enabled devices.

Re:Growing Pains

By grahamsz • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Rental companies too. I'm surprised by how many rentals I get where people have not only left their phone pairs, but have often synced their entire contact list. I'm disappointed that rental companies don't reset, never crossed my mind that dealers would be so inept.

User data can also be left behind

By microcars • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

My wife leased a BMW X3 that was a "demo" with 6K miles.
I found that the dealer had not bothered to wipe any info stored in the car's nav/entertainment system.
The nav had all the previous destinations stored.
The radio buttons had been pre-programmed to dial certain numbers and they were still active.
Previous users music was still loaded in memory.
I had to purge all this myself and now have to do it again when she turns in the car because I can't trust the dealer to do it.
I doubt that anyone else really pays attention to this. When I brought it up to the dealer at the first Service interval they just sort of shrugged it off.

Oh, and when we were being "introduced" to the car's tech, the dealer showed my wife how to download their "app".
This consisted of going to a BMW web page and then saving the web page to the Home Screen as a shortcut icon.
When I said that was not an "app", the tech guy just gave me a look.

Re:dealership only sales and service coming soon?

By Rick Schumann • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
I do not currently own a vehicle that has so many bells-and-whistles that there is GPS, or wireless anything in it (it's a light pickup truck with a 5-speed stick, and I like it that way), but if-and-when I have to replace it, and discover I (somehow) have no option but to get something with all those extras, Job One will be to identify and short to Ground all the GPS and wireless antennas -- except the one for the radio, of course. No one should be able to remotely control any vehicle I'm driving for any reason, ever. I'd consider that to be a gigantic security hole and a safety hazard.

Re:Just don't buy them.

By JustNiz • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

>>The only known crack on that which was taken care of quickly.

At least read the articles before you show your ignorance.It was 3 different attacks.

>> YOU are welcome to try and steal our Tesla.
Sorry but I don't like them. you can keep it.

>> a cocksucker like you
Thanks for continually reemphasizing your own intellectual shortcomings. Or perhaps you are compensating for something else.

Re:Bigger problem on rental cars

By drinkypoo • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Why the flying hell do cars not have a Rental setting that wipes all data with the press of a single button?!

Actually, many of these infotainment systems do have a factory reset function. You might have to tunnel into the settings to find it, but it is often there.

A Source Code Typo Allowed An Attacker To Steal $592,000 In Cryptocurrency

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader writes: "A typo in the Zerocoin source code allowed an attacker to steal 370,000 Zerocoin, which is about $592,000 at today's price," reports BleepingComputer. According to the Zcoin team, one extra character left inside Zerocoin's source code was the cause of the bug. The hacker exploited the bugs for weeks, by initiating a transaction and receiving the money many times over.

"According to the Zcoin team, the attacker (or attackers) was very sophisticated and took great care to hide his tracks," reports the site. "They say the attacker created numerous accounts at Zerocoin exchanges and spread transactions across several weeks so that traders wouldn't notice the uneven transactions volume... The Zcoin team says they worked with various exchanges to attempt and identify the attacker but to no avail. Out of the 370,000 Zerocoin he stole, the attacker has already sold 350,000. The Zcoin team estimates the attacker made a net profit of 410 Bitcoin ($437,000)."


By beernutmark • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
I don't think steal is the right word in this context. The article doesn't state that anyone else lost their coins. More accurately would be "created", "unauthorized-mining", or perhaps most accurately "counterfeited"

Move along, please, nothing to see here...

By 140Mandak262Jamuna • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
They are not disclosing what that extra character was or even which language the code was written. As a coder I was interested in finding how it could have happened. But as it stands, it is a puff piece.

One char can make big different in performance and correctness. The greatest one character code change I made and got stunning performance improvement was adding an &. It took significant effort to find it, because instrumenting the entire executable for profilers was just out of the question. But once found it was trivial. The caller was passing a std::map by value. The answers were correct and the scaling effects were not visible till the map grew to big sizes. I expected to something along these lines.

Bug Bounty

By Registered Coward v2 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Seems like he collected an ~500k$ bug bounty. The interesting part is "Zero Coin is a project to fix a major weakness in Bitcoin: the lack of privacy guarantees we take for granted in using credit cards and cash. Our goal is to build a cryptocurrency where your neighbors, friends and enemies can’t see what you bought or for how much" per Zero Coin. It seems they succeeded in their goal and were hoist by their own petard. Of course, had they recovered the funds then ZeroCoin would have failed at its purpose. I wonder who took the loss.

== vs =, | vs ||, variable/pointer dereference

By raymorris • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

> A one character bug? Really?

Sure, I've seen many single-character bugs, and created a few. I imagine MOST experienced programmers have done this at least once:

if (a = b) {

When they meant:
if (a == b) {

Every language I can think of has a common single-character bug. Many Microsoft SQL users routinely leave off the semicolon which terminates a statement. Sometimes that results in buggy behavior right away, sometimes not until two years later when a change is made to the *proceeding* statement.

> What about the tests?

This is crypto-currency, the hot new thing tests are for old fogeys who still use dollars. Get with the times, young programmers are Agile, they don't plan and test their work, they release early and often. They release the Minimum Viable Product (minimum piece of shit they can get away with for a moment), it's illegal now to even think about corner cases and make code robust.

attacker has already sold 350,000

By frovingslosh • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

the attacker has already sold 350,000

By which we mean he has already moved it into other accounts that he likely controls.

Alaska Gets 'Artificial Aurora' As HAARP Antenna Array Listens Again

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
Freshly Exhumed quotes Hackaday: The famous HAARP antenna array is to be brought back into service for experiments by the University of Alaska. Built in the 1990s for the US Air Force's High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program, the array is a 40-acre site containing a phased array of 180 high-frequency antennas and their associated high-power transmitters. Its purpose is to conduct research on charged particles in the upper atmosphere, but that hasn't stopped an array of bizarre conspiracy theories.
A university space physics researcher will actually create an artificial aurora starting Sunday (and continuing through Wednesday) to study how yjr atmosphere affects satellite-to-ground communications, and "observers throughout Alaska will have an opportunity to photograph the phenomenon," according to the University. "Under the right conditions, people can also listen to HAARP radio transmissions from virtually anywhere in the world using an inexpensive shortwave radio."

Basic Physics

By JBMcB • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

It seems most conspiracy theories of this sort involve a lack of understanding of basic physics. Usually it involves assuming that, because light and sound and radio energy all travel in waves that they all behave the same. I see the term "frequencies" thrown around a lot, even when describing non-oscillating direct current circuits and static electricity.

HF radio...

By msauve • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
It you want to try to listen to the radio broadcast mentioned, here's the info:

HAARP will transmit a sequence of tones and music using amplitude modulation (AM) on two different radio frequencies (2.7 MHz and 3.3 MHz) in a sort of reproduction of this so-called Luxembourg Effect. If conditions are sufficient and you tune-in to one frequency or the other, you will hear tones and music from both frequencies. The tones and music have been specifically composed to take advantage of the Luxembourg effect.

The Luxembourg broadcast will begin as early as 6 p.m. on 19 and 20 February Alaska Standard Time (AKST) and conclude by 6:40 p.m. In Coordinate Universal Time (UTC), the broadcasts will begin as early as 03:00 on 20 and 21 February and conclude by 03:40. Tune in to 2.7 MHz or 3.3 MHz (2700 KHz or 3300 KHz), or both! The program is approximately 10 minutes in duration and will repeat until 6:40 p.m. AKST or 03:40 UTC.

Re:A VLF maser?

By jasnw • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
And this is how the tin-foil-hat crowd gets its facts, from vague recollections of things that aren't really pertinent to the situation. The VLF signals generated by HAARP during various experiments were of such low power that you needed really sensitive receivers and some signals-processing skills to detect them. At no point was anything remotely close to a Terawatt of power generated.

Fans Choose A New Football Team's Plays With Their Smartphones

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
A new arena-league football team plays on a 50-yard field and uses a mobile app that allows fans to vote on the team's next play. An anonymous reader writes: Slate describes a receiver tackled for a short gain after the audience instructed the quarterback to throw a quick pass -- as "shouts and cheers exploded from the stands, with phones raised triumphantly in the air." The quarterback is informed of the chosen plays through an earphone in his helmet, and after one touchdown, one of the players even thanked a fan in the seats for picking a good play. "Then noses immediately returned to screens...the coach and QB were antsy, peering upward, waiting for the fans' next call as the play clock ticked down again..." The team eventually lost 78-47, but to at least make things more interactive, the players all have their Twitter handles sewn on the backs of their jerseys.
Fans can also be "virtual general managers" for a small fee, dialing in to a weekly phone call to give feedback to the team's president, and fans also selected the team's head coach from online resumes and some YouTube videos of interviews. In fact, the article says the fans even picked the team's name, with the name "Screaming Eagles" finally winning out over "Teamy McTeamface" and "Spaghetti Monsters."

It's a game

By tomhath • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
Kudos for getting the fans involved, but I'm waiting for this in ice hockey -- "Throw your gloves down! Pull his jersey off! Punch him in the shoulder pads!"

Re: Don't get on my bad side...

By bondsbw • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

This is why the ability to direct activities should require users to have a stake in the team or at least in the outcome of the game.

Invite large numbers of random people with no stake to vote on things, and you will inevitably get Teamy McTeamface.


By nospam007 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Somebody found a way to get money from millions of armchair coaches.

I applaud you, Sir.

the mob and betting!

By Joe_Dragon • Score: 3 • Thread

the mob and betting! seems like a way for games to be fixed.

Finally, something to do

By trawg • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Something for people watching American football to do in between the vast amounts of waiting to see people actually playing football.

Apparently the latest Superbowl had only 16 minutes of the ball being in play.

I used to enjoy watching the game - and I see this as an Australian who never grew up watching it. I am not sure if I just finally lost patience with the downtime or if it actually changed and they started ad-stuffing like crazy.

Techdirt Asks Judge To Dismiss Another Lawsuit By That Guy Who Didn't Invent Email

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
Three months ago Shiva Ayyadurai won a $750,000 settlement from Gawker (after they'd already gone bankrupt). He'd argued Gawker defamed him by mocking Ayyadurai's claim he'd invented email, and now he's also suing Techdirt founder Michael Masnick -- who is not bankrupt, and is fighting back. Long-time Slashdot reader walterbyrd quotes Ars Technica: In his motion, Masnick claims that Ayyadurai "is seeking to use the muzzle of a defamation action to silence those who question his claim to historical fame." He continues, "The 14 articles and 84 allegedly defamatory statements catalogued in the complaint all say essentially the same thing: that Defendants believe that because the critical elements of electronic mail were developed long before Ayyadurai's 1978 computer program, his claim to be the 'inventor of e-mail' is false"...

The motion skims the history of e-mail and points out that the well-known fields of e-mail messages, like "to," "from," "cc," "subject," "message," and "bcc," were used in ARPANET e-mail messages for years before Ayyadurai made his "EMAIL" program. Ayyadurai focuses on statements calling him a "fake," a "liar," or a "fraud" putting forth "bogus" claims. Masnick counters that such phrases are "rhetorical hyperbole" meant to express opinions and reminds the court that "[t]he law provides no redress for harsh name-calling."

The motion calls the lawsuit "a misbegotten effort to stifle historical debate, silence criticism, and chill others from continuing to question Ayyadurai's grandiose claims." Ray Tomlinson has been dead for less than a year, but in this fascinating 1998 article recalled testing the early email protocols in 1971, remembering that "Most likely the first message was QWERTYIOP."


By OldHawk777 • Score: 3 • Thread

My first eMail was in the 1980s prior to DNS. name1986@IPv4

Re:Shiva Ayyadurai is a fraud.

By hey! • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Well, it's possible that he's mildly delusional, as most of us are about beliefs about ourselves that we hold dear.

It strikes me that Ayyadurai is in a legal catch-22 situation. Let's suppose for a moment he did "invent" email. That would make him a public figure, and the legal standard used to establish defamation is "actual malice. That's a difficult standard to meet.

I assume Ayyadurai's complaint are claims that he is a "fake" or a "liar". Suppose some random shmoe is interviewing for a job, and you tell the interviewer that he's a "liar". That is defamation, unless you have actual reason to believe he is a liar. But if you say the same thing about a politician running for office, it's NOT defamation unless you have actual reason to believe he is NOT a liar. That's because the politician is a public figure.

It seems to me nearly impossible to defame someone by calling him a liar in the context of his claiming to invent anything. His very demand to be recognized for his achievement makes him a public figure, whether that claim is true or not.

A kook and snake oil vendor

By 140Mandak262Jamuna • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
One look at his website , it is clear this guy is a simple kook, hawking "ginger can cure cancer" or "yoga improves your SAT score" stuff. His claim to fame rests on the "inventor of email" and that claim is his meal ticket.

He cleverly won against a bankrupt company, which probably did not show up in court. He does not really have to win against TechDirt or anyone. He has already acquired enough blind followers who would shut out contradictory information, who are in the alternative facts realm. So he is in a no lose proposition. Win, he gets money and more credence. Lose, he would go back to "how big companies in big bad USA had stolen his invention and used high power and money to shut out a poor Indian immigrant". Either way his meal ticket is safe.

So he is going sue me now? For defaming his character?

Re:Prior art

By MightyMartian • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Ray Tomlinson invented email if you're going to pick any single person who developed the email system we know today. Ayyadurai developed some dead end email system years after the header formats were developed for Arpanet email. Ayyadurai can try to sue people all he wants but a series of RFCs beginning with RFC 561 in 1973 laid out the Arpanet email system that we still use today (though the transmission protocols have evolved since the mid-70s). That's the most frustrating part of this fruitcake's claims, since one can delve into the RFCs from the early 70s onward and see how the Internet email system evolved as new features and logic were added.

Re:Shiva Ayyadurai is a fraud.

By MightyMartian • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

His all argument is basically based on semantics. Basically, when he was a teenager, he wrote a program called "EMAIL", and that was the first messaging system called "EMAIL", except that it wasn't, previous systems had been referred to as "e-mail". At any rate, he then asserts that because his system was called "email" and he can't find anyone who called previous systems "email", that not only is he the first to develop a messaging system with that name, but apparently the first to develop a messaging system with those features. It's a semantic wordplay feeding into a conflation fallacy, because the features of his program already existed by 1975-76.

He's a kind of IP troll save that he's bereft of any actual IP. At this point he really is a kook in the classic vein, trying to salvage a reputation he never really had.

Slashdot Asks: Are Remote Software Teams More Productive?

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
A recruiter with 20 years of experience recently reported on the research into whether remote software teams perform better. One study of 10,000 coding sessions concluded it takes 10-15 minutes for a programmer to resume work after an interruption. Another study actually suggests unsupervised workers are more productive, and the founders of the collaboration tool Basecamp argue the bigger danger is burnout when motivated employees overwork themselves. mikeatTB shares his favorite part of the article: One interesting take on the issues is raised by ThoughtWorks' Martin Fowler: Individuals are more productive in a co-located environment, but remote teams are often more productive than co-located teams. This is because a remote team has the advantage of hiring without geographic boundaries, and that enables employers to assemble world-class groups.
The article shares some interesting anecdotes from remote workers, but I'd be interested to hear from Slashdot's readers. Leave your own experiences in the comments, and tell us what you think. Are remote software teams more productive?

Re:If you want the best, you enable remote employe

By antdude • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Yes especially for far away people and those can't be mobile like me (disabled).

Re:Your milage may vary

By R3d M3rcury • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

I personally am much more suited to working in office and can never get anything done at home [...]

I'm the same way. My solution was simple: Go get an office.

There are lots of options for people who don't want to work from home. Personally, I went for the "Executive Suite." I get an office with a window and decent Internet for a little less than $600 per month. There's also a community kitchen and photocopier. It came with a desk and chair--nothing fancy--but I'm not paying extra for them (i.e. I didn't rent a furnished office, they were left by the previous tenant). Needless to say, the company provides the computer and router. I can sit and video chat or IM anyone I need to get ahold of.

Other options are your local coffee shop or co-working type places. While the company I work for doesn't assist me in paying for the space, some will. Also, as I understand it, I can write off my rent on my income taxes.

While the commute from the bedroom to the spare bedroom or living room sounds cool, I like keeping them separate. But my office is about 4 miles from where I live. I can bike, drive, or even walk!

Re:Your milage may vary

By djinn6 • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
Just setup an always-on VC at the office, then tell everyone to log in to it during work hours. This is exactly the same as having them all in the same room. And as a added bonus, you avoid a major disease vector that could put the entire team out of commission. Don't give them excuses to not be on: buy them headsets, mic's, additional screens, and if necessary, internet. No matter how you cut the cost, it's still going to be cheaper than renting a bigger office and equipping them with $1000 desks and chairs.

The rest of the problems you mentioned are not problems with distributed work. Someone (presumably the manager) should know what their people are working on and tell them to stop working on obsolete stuff. If that guy can't figure that out without constantly looking over people's shoulders, then the higher-ups need to find themselves a better manager.

The only real problem I've seen with a distributed team is timezone differences, but you can avoid that by hiring on the same side of the globe.

Re:Your milage may vary

By Cytotoxic • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

This was exactly my reaction. It entirely depends on the people involved and the job to be done.

The most productive programmer I ever worked with was remote for more than half the time we worked together. She'd have her kids running around in the background while we were collaborating. But as I'd describe an idea I had for solving some tricky multi-system, multi-business problem you'd here the clickety-clack of a keyboard mixed with the sounds of preschool children playing. And usually by the time I had finished explaining the idea to the team she'd say, "you mean something like this" and post a preliminary version of the solution I was describing.

She was crazy fast - both mentally and with her keyboard skills. So you could work with her being anywhere. And in her particular case, I think she was better remote... because she didn't have to do the office dance and chat in the breakroom or any of the other stuff that wasn't really her thing. She could just build amazing stuff.

On the other hand, I have worked with guys who needed their hand held in order to get their best work. Not just someone looking to make sure they were working instead of goofing off, but also a team concept to make sure they kept moving in the right direction. There are a lot of programmers who get excited about an idea they have and can go off on a tangent. I've had several guys who would, if left to their own devices, build a really cool bit of code that doesn't actually address the issue at hand. Because they lost sight of the forest and got way too interested in the trees. For these sort of folks, having a team in the same room is a big help. Because they are going to say "hey, check this out" before they get too far down the wrong path. Whereas they might work for 5 hours on the wrong thing before saying anything if they were remote.

One thing scrum is good for. Defined responisibilt

By raymorris • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

> also if the management and the rest of the team is willing to make the effort to communicate and coordinate.

If you're the only person working remotely in a company where everyone else is in the office 9-5, I could see that being a problem. If a lot of people work remotely, even working from home two days per week, everyone figures out how to make that work.

In my professional career of almost 20 years I've only worked at a few different companies, but all did remote dev and ops work succesfully. In one company *most* people came to the office most days. Other people lived a thousand miles from the office. In all the other companies most people did not come in the office. I had one guy working for me and for months at a time I didn't know or care where in the world he was at the time.

Currently, I work at a place with scrums three times per week. That pretty well solves the communication issues. I'm not a big fan of Agile and Scrum overall, but it does facilitate communication. This company also has offices all over the world - I think that happened before people starting working remote a lot. Because different teams were already in different countries, all meetings include video conferencing by default. The whole infrastructure and everything is built on the assumption that people may be working from different locations. Therefore it doesn't matter if that location is our UK office or your house - either way I'm working with someone who isn't here in Dallas. Because I'm in Dallas, I *can* go into the office (other co-workers can't), but that requires sitting in traffic. Simply working from home instead of sitting in traffic saves an hour a day of unproductive time.

The company before this one, each person had a well-defined role. Each system had an "owner", someone responsible for that system. I developed amd maintained our online learning system (ecampus), someone else was responsible for the courses hosted on that ecampus, etc. That reduced the need for constant communication and coordination because you didn't have many chefs working on the same stew.

Before that, I worked at a very small company which at one point didn't have any two employees in the same city - we were all remote. At that company we used a ticket system for small jobs, larger jobs werw clearly assigned to one person, thereby reducing the need for constant communication.

As you said, it also depends on the individuals involved, some people are better at remote work than others. A big part of that is a few things you can learn (and teach). A company considering making changes to their remote work policy should consider a short training session for remote workers. Mainly covering these two items:

Set up a seperate work area, away from the normal distractions of the home. In my case, my office is the only thing upstairs, other than some storage and a guest bedroom. I go upstairs to work, I go downstairs to go home. There's never any confusion of whether I'm at work (upstairs) or at home (downstairs). If necessary, the office can be in one corner of a room, but it should be a defined place and with as few household distractions as possible.

Set and keep defined work hours. If I'm downstairs at 10:00 AM, I'm late for work. My wife needs me to do something around the house? I'll do that after 5:00, after work. Similarly, after 5:00 I'm at home with my family - I don't make it a habit to ignore my family at work all evening.

After doing this many years and establishing habits, I can *occasionally* work late in the evening or take care of a household issue during the day, just as people who drive to the office to work occasionally stay late. 90% of the time, though, I keep my work space and work time seperate from my home space and home time. Confusing the two leads to many of the problems people have working from home.