Alterslash

the unofficial Slashdot digest archive

You Are Still Watching a Staggering Amount Of TV Every Day

Posted by manishsView on SlashDotShareable Link
Peter Kafka, reporting for Recode: TV! It's cooked! Toast! Doneso. Ready for the fork. Except not yet, because Americans are still watching a ton of TV, every day. For some of them, it's the equivalent of a full-time job. The average American watches an astonishing 4.5 hours of TV a day, according to a new report from Nielsen. Add in DVR time, and that number gets up to 5 hours a day. That usage is shrinking over time -- a couple of years ago, Americans were averaging five hours and twenty-three minutes a day.Nielsen's data also shows that people are now consuming more content on their smartphone devices than ever. Compared to just 47 minutes usage in 2014, it is now up to one hour and 39 minutes.

DEC Tag?

By FunkSoulBrother • Score: 3 • Thread

What the heck does this have to do with the Digital Equipment Corporation?

.NET Core 1.0 Released, Now Officially Supported By Red Hat

Posted by manishsView on SlashDotShareable Link
Microsoft on Monday announced the release of .NET Core, the open source .NET runtime platform. Finally! (It was first announced in 2014). The company also released ASP.NET Core 1.0, the open-source version of Microsoft's Web development stack. ArsTechnica reports: Microsoft picked an unusual venue to announce the release: the Red Hat Summit. One of the purposes of .NET Core was to make Linux and OS X into first-class supported platforms, with .NET developers able to reach Windows, OS X, Linux, and (with Xamarin) iOS and Android, too. At the summit today, Red Hat announced that this release would be actively supported by the company on Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

Re:new MS? nothings changed.

By RightSaidFred99 • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
It always amuses me how out of touch people on Slashdot are. Go look at a job site for .NET jobs, or web developer jobs and then come back and blather about "who still uses .NET LOL!". It's really kind of embarrassing for you to know so little about the real world.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai's Quora Account Hacked

Posted by manishsView on SlashDotShareable Link
Google CEO Sundar Pichai is the latest high-profile victim of a hacking group called OurMine. Earlier today, the group managed to get hold of Pichai's Quota account, which in turn, gave them access to his Twitter feed as well. In a statement to The Next Web, the group said that their intention is to just test people's security, and that they never change the victim's passwords. Looking at the comments they left after hacking Pichai's account, it is also clear that OurMine is promoting its security services. The same group recently also hacked Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's Twitter and Pinterest accounts.

Sergey Brin: Don't Come To Silicon Valley To Start a Business

Posted by manishsView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader shares a Business Insider report: If you're itching to start a company out of a garage, then you shouldn't pick up and move to Silicon Valley, according to Google cofounder Sergey Brin. It's easier to start a company outside the Valley than in it, he said onstage at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit. "I know that sort of contradicts what everyone here has been saying," he said with a laugh. "During the boom cycles, the expectations around the costs -- real estate, salaries -- the expectations people and employees have ... it can be hard to make a scrappy initial business that's self-sustaining," he said. "Whereas in other parts of the world you might have an easier time for that."But he adds that Silicon Valley is good for scaling that opportunity.

Re:Google

By halivar • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

"But he adds that Silicon Valley is good for for scaling that opportunity."

Translation

By Bovius • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

"Do the riskiest part of starting a business somewhere else. Then, when it reaches maximum future potential, bring it to Silicon Valley so we can buy it out from under you for a song and make a ton of money."

location, location, location

By Thud457 • Score: 4 • Thread
payroll's a bitch when your employees have to be millionaires to afford their very own hovel.

Get out of his way

By PopeRatzo • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

It sounds like Sergey Brin is tired of having to wait in long lines at the In-and-Out Burger.

Other places are better

By DidgetMaster • Score: 3 • Thread
There are many places around the country (or the world) that have good talent and moderate to cheap living expenses. Those are the best places to get a tech business off the ground. You will probably have more trouble finding funding for your idea, but startup costs are much lower than in Silicon Valley. I am trying to start up my own business and it is a lot of trouble to find investors. It can be depressing to read about guys with great connections in SV who get $20 million in funding for some idea with a potential of about 10% of what you think your idea will do; yet you can't seem to get even seed funding of much smaller amounts. It drives you insane when someone gets $100 million in funding for a really bad idea that you know will crash and burn in just a year or two.

Google To Step Up Smartphone Wars With Release Of Own Handset

Posted by manishsView on SlashDotShareable Link
According to a report by The Telegraph, Google is working on its first Google-branded smartphone, and plans to release it by the end of 2016. Unlike the Nexus program, in which Google mandates the design and specifications of the phone, but leaves the manufacturing aspect to its handpicked OEM, the new supposed phone will be built from the scratch by Google. From the report: The technology giant is in discussions with mobile operators about releasing a Google-branded phone that will extend the company's move into hardware, sources familiar with the discussions told The Telegraph. [...] The new device, which will be released by the end of the year according to a senior source, will see Google take more control over design, manufacturing and software.NYMag questions company's reported move: It's an unsurprising rumor to hear: Google CEO Sundar Pichai has publicly commented on the company's emphasis on phones, and Motorola's Rick Osterloh was hired earlier this year to head up a new hardware division. And there's also the much discussed Google Ara, a modular phone which lets you swap out pieces like a camera or speakers and is slated for release in 2017. But Google is already working with hardware companies like LG and Huawei on the Nexus line of phones, which are made to the company's exact design specifications but are manufactured by third parties. It's hard to see how Google could take more control over design or software than it already does with Nexus, and while the company is likely eager to move into the manufacturing space, the timeline for Ara hasn't changed, and it seems unlikely that this new mystery Google phone is going to jump in front and actually become available to the public by year's end.

WTF?

By Zak3056 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

I'm convinced that Google, as an entity is absolutely insane and should probably be heavily medicated. They bougth Motorola to move into smartphones, but sold them, because they couldn't integrate them (IIRC there were culture issues) so when they move back into mobile, they hire a Moto guy as CEO? I'm at a loss.

Re:Finally an Android smartphone that won't suck

By Yvan256 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Google's new but soon to be discontinued something...

Re:WTF?

By binarylarry • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

No, Google bought Motorola for patents to shake at dick heads like Microsoft and Apple.

Google SpyPhone

By JustAnotherOldGuy • Score: 3 • Thread

Introducing the Google SpyPhone, now with 50% more data-mining ability!

We don't just connect you to the world, we paw through everything you do and say and track everywhere you go in order to monetize you better!

Free yourself from the constraints of bothersome privacy with the new Google SpyPhone!

Re:whining

By SScorpio • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Needing to swap in a second battery in the middle of the day isn't the issue. The problem is that batteries lose their capacity after a year or two. Being able to swap in a new battery and have the same battery life from when you first got the phone can put off that upgrade for another year or two. I can see why manufacturers don't want user replaceable batteries though.

Amazon Unveils Inspire Online Education Service For Teachers and Schools

Posted by manishsView on SlashDotShareable Link
Amazon on Monday launched a new site called Amazon Inspire where K-12 teachers and schools can upload and access unlimited education and classroom resources such as videos, tests, projects, games, lesson plans with their peers across the country for free of charge. In a statement, the company said, "Our ultimate goal is for every teacher in every single subject to benefit from Amazon Inspire. When they walk into a classroom, we want every teacher to benefit from the collective knowledge, the collective insights and the experience of every single one of their peers." GeekWire reports: It's the latest in a series of moves by Amazon in the education technology market. The company acquired the TenMarks online math startup in 2014, and separately markets e-books and tablets for teachers and school districts. The company describes the project as an outgrowth of its involvement in the U.S. Department of Education's GoOpen initiative. Amazon also provides technical resources and support for the department's Learning Registry open database.

And the money for this is coming from where?

By creimer • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
It's easier for school districts to find money to build a new football field than pay for school supplies, smaller classroom sizes or computers to access unlimited content.

Google Ponders About a Chromebook Pro

Posted by manishsView on SlashDotShareable Link
Google is currently surveying people about what a Chromebook Pro should be like. VentureBeat's report cites two people who recently shared the development on a forum. One user was asked the question, " How would you think a Chromebook Pro is different than a Chromebook?" whereas the other user was asked, "what a Chromebook Pro should be like in [his/her] opinion and what type of people would want to use it." From the report: The word "Pro" would imply a high-end laptop running Chrome OS, just like, say, the MacBook Pro or the Surface Pro 4. But there are many other companies -- Asus, Dell, HP, and Samsung, among others -- that make Chromebooks, along with Google. It isn't clear from these survey questions if Google is thinking about making a Chromebook Pro itself, just as it has made high-end Chromebook Pixel laptops, or if Google is just wondering how consumers would perceive a Chromebook Pro made by a third party. Meanwhile, Google last month published a job posting entitled "Quality Engineer, Chromebook Pixel," suggesting that a third generation of that device could be on the way.Chromebooks are becoming increasingly popular. They outsold Mac for the first time in the United States earlier this year. The majority of the Chromebooks available today, however, pack in entry-level specifications, giving users very limited choice. Though we have seen devices like Chromebook Pixel, a range of high-end Chromebooks could entice even more customers.

Re:"Pro"

By TheRaven64 • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
How about 'runs the Chrome web apps on infrastructure that my company controls instead of Google?' If you want people to trust it for work, then it has to not be sending all of their commercially sensitive data to a third party.

Create?

By BlackHawk-666 • Score: 3 • Thread

Do the people who use a Chromebook create anything or are they simply consuming web content? If they are consumers, there is literally no reason to create a Pro version of the device.

If they actually create lasting useful content that has meaning, then perhaps there is a reason to have a Pro version of the device. I'm doubtful.

full Ubuntu

By ooloorie • Score: 3 • Thread

Google is currently surveying people about what a Chromebook Pro should be like.

How about running a full Ubuntu system, while still supporting all Chrome and Android apps?

I returned a nice new Acer Chromebook 14

By yayoubetcha • Score: 3 • Thread

The Acer Chromebook 14 inch is a nice $269 Chromebook, but I returned it because I could not boot off the USB.

I really liked this cheap computer: 14 inch 1080p IPS matte display. 3.5 pounds. No fan. Aluminum body, Quad core celeron (N3160) . 4GB RAM. 32GB flash. USB 3 ports. It felt and looked like a $800+ Ultrabook.

I got it to run XFCE via Crouton which was easy, but I really wanted to boot off a USB flash drive. I tried everything, and there's even an announcement on the developer screen saying "having trouble booting USB? try entering 'enable_usb_boot' ". Nothing. Endless forums and articles ended in failure.

So, the "pro" version of Chromebook should behave like a normal BIOS or EFI x86 PC. It should allow for booting via USB, and the installation of whatever I want to put on the damn machine.

BTW, if you like a Chromebook or are okay with running Linux via Crouton, this is a nice machine.

100% libre laptop, please

By xororand • Score: 3 • Thread

I find it puzzling that not a single vendor goes to market a laptop with a fully free as in freedom software stack, including the initializing program or BIOS.
Programmable components apart from the CPU, say hard drive controllers or 4G modems, should be isolated with an IOMMU.
The last laptops that don't tread on your freedom are from 2008: https://libreboot.org/docs/hcl...

Is this problem too hard for corporations with billions of R&D money at their disposal?
Are they forbidden to develop hardware that doesn't subjugate the user's freedom by 3 letter agencies?
Or, is it simply that most people do not care?

Woman Wins $10,000 Lawsuit Against Microsoft Over Windows 10 Upgrades

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader shares this story from the Seattle Times: A few days after Microsoft released Windows 10 to the public last year, Teri Goldstein's computer started trying to download and install the new operating system. The update, which she says she didn't authorize, failed. Instead, the computer she uses to run her Sausalito, California, travel-agency business slowed to a crawl. It would crash, she says, and be unusable for days at a time. "I had never heard of Windows 10," Goldstein said. "Nobody ever asked me if I wanted to update."

When outreach to Microsoft's customer support didn't fix the issue, Goldstein took the software giant to court, seeking compensation for lost wages and the cost of a new computer. She won. Last month, Microsoft dropped an appeal and Goldstein collected a $10,000 judgment from the company.

Microsoft denies any wrongdoing, and says they only halted their appeal to avoid the cost of further litigation.

Re:Cue the lawsuits.

By mysidia • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

It's not funny, that's actually what the new Windows 10 Upgrade dialog looks like, happened to me personally.

An important thing is they removed the "Decline" option AND wrote the software so it could continue if you do not accept.

You cannot "automatically" be committed to a new contract or agreement, you have not explicitly agreed with.

The courts do the right thing to throw that out.

Re:Won't someone think of the finances?

By tripleevenfall • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Microsoft made nearly $100,000,000,000 last year. It's the equivalent of someone who makes $50,000 a year spending 50 cents.

There's no point in tying up legal resources over such a small amount when you've secured a cheap settlement and no acknowledgement of any wrongdoing.

Remember the Ford Pinto?

By IWantMoreSpamPlease • Score: 3 • Thread

Ford execs decided it was cheaper to let people burn, and pay the cost in court, than it was to fix the issue.

The memo cost them a lot of goodwill, but they are still around.

MS is probably looking that memo over right now thinking the same thing.
Cost to pay pissed off citizens is cheaper than fixing Win10, so....

Re:Cue the lawsuits.

By omnichad • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

just take it to your chosen techie

This doesn't happen anywhere close to 100% of the time. As often as not, they will buy another computer - especially if it's an early Windows 7 PC (which is where the upgrade fails most often). That's why I say is near enough to bricked for consumers.

Re:lol

By cayenne8 • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Fighting a traffic ticket is almost always not worth it even if you were falsely accused, which the end result is essentially a system that stops no government at any level from running amok in order to generate "revenue".

Actually, that's not entirely true....

For example, if you get a speeding ticket in New Orleans, it is ALWAYS advantageous to show up to set a court date, and not pay automatically even IF you are guilty as hell.

What you do is set your date, then show up at date, and before the trial, the traffic DA will bring all the folks back and offer you a "plea deal", in which the charge will be dropped down to a non-moving violation charge, which will keep it off your insurance driving record, and you just pay a fine.

They are only interested in the revenue, but it is nice to not get your insurance involved.

Check with your city as that I'm sure things vary widely, but I am of the understanding that this is more common than not....

New 'Civilization' Game Will Be Sold To Schools As An Educational Tool

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader writes: In the fall of 2017, a special version of Civilization V will be made available for schools to use as an educational tool. "CivilizationEDU will provide students with the opportunity to think critically and create historical events, consider and evaluate the geographical ramifications of their economic and technological decisions, and to engage in systems thinking and experiment with the causal/correlative relationships between military, technology, political and socioeconomic development," announced Take-Two Interactive Software.

"We are incredibly proud to lend one of our industry's most beloved series to educators to use as a resource to inspire and engage students further..." said the company's CEO. "I can't think of a better interactive experience to help challenge and shape the minds of tomorrow's leaders."

Special lesson plans will be created around the game, and as an alternative to standardized tests teachers will have access to a dashboard showing each student's progress. Of course, this begs an important question: Are educational videogames a good idea?

Eh, yes and no.

By fuzzyfuzzyfungus • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
I'm not terribly convinced that Civilization(for all its virtues as a game; though IV was better than V unless recent expansions have fixed it) is a particularly good choice: it is 'history themed'; but fundamentally designed around being a fun game; and basically a god game: everything your civilization does is under your direct control, and aside from some minor background noise random events, you are basically the only thing driving your entire civilization. Every tech you research, every building you commission, every unit you muster and personally move around. There's really no emergent behavior, no 'society' that you have to deal with, even the constraints on what is logistically and socially possible are pretty light(compare to, say, Europa Universalis, where 'just send in the troops and conquer them, idiot.' tends to lead to decades or centuries of heightened rebellion risks and uprisings, even more so if you have ethnic and religious differences to deal with).

That said, while Civ seems like a poor candidate, "computer games" are really just the fun-optimized end of 'simulations' and 'models'; and those are clearly useful tools, for education and elsewhere.

Gandhi

By mccalli • Score: 5, Funny • Thread
The next generation is going to grow up with a very different view of Gandhi...

THe most important game

By ADRA • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

The most important game in my childhood was very educational. It was leasure sui.. you know what? Video games are bad and stuff!

Tribalism

By zifn4b • Score: 3 • Thread

I can't think of a better way to learn the concepts of tribalism and the emergent behavior associated with it. Of course, getting humans to see that at the roots of many concepts is tribalism: nationalism, religion, war, resources and how that's been at the heart of most human activity since early civilization is another thing. We sort of thing we're somehow distanced from that in this time but it's still going on. We don't have to look much farther than politics or getting together on Sunday to support our teams to see it in our living rooms. Perhaps promoting awareness of such things could cause evolution in our socioeconomic systems?

Civilization: a fun game modeled after a real game with significant consequences.

Am I the only one that thinks that "gentlemen" lining up in front of each other with muskets and shooting each other until only one side is left standing amidst bloody corpses is bizarre, disturbing and horrifying?

Re:WTF is happening

By GrumpySteen • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

The trick is to get kids to understand that history isnt just a series of rote dates to remember (In fact knowing the exact date napoleon was born or whatever is pretty uninteresting to historians) , but a big story with processes that motored it along that we can learn from.

Yeah, no. The trick is to get TEACHERS to understand that history isn't just a series of rote dates and names to remember. The bulk of most history tests is exactly that, so any kid that doesn't do the rote memorization and regurgitation will fail.

Wisconsin's Prison-Sentencing Algorithm Challenged in Court

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
"Do you want a computer to help decide a convict's fate?" asks Engadget, telling the story of a Wisconsin convict who "claims that the justice system relied too heavily on its COMPAS algorithm to determine the likelihood of repeat offenses and sentenced him to six years in prison." Sentencing algorithms have apparently been in use for 10 years. His attorneys claim that the code is "full of holes," including secret criteria and generic decisions that aren't as individually tailored as they have to be. For instance, they'll skew predictions based on your gender or age -- how does that reflect the actual offender...?

[T]he court challenge could force Wisconsin and other states to think about the weight they give to algorithms. While they do hold the promise of both preventing repeat offenses and avoiding excessive sentences for low-threat criminals, the American Civil Liberties Union is worried that they can amplify biases or make mistakes based on imperfect law enforcement data.

The biggest issue seems to be a lack of transparency, which makes it impossible to determine whether convicts actually are receiving fair sentences.

Re:Statistics

By NotInHere • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

like how insurance premiums work.

That *is* skewing predictions based on gender and age.

If a computer program deduces from the fact that you are male that you will live a shorter time, and this makes women receiving lower payments due to them being more likely to live longer.

As this discriminated against women, this practice was swiftly forbidden by the EU. It probably wouldn't have been forbidden if it discriminated against men, but that's another issue. It was actual gender based discrimination.

If you let a computer program take factors like skin color or religion into account, that computer program will arrive at similar conclusions that humans arrived:

* blacks do more crimes per thousand people than white people
* highly educated people do less crimes than less educated people
* More muslims commit terrorist attacks than non-muslims

This doesn't mean that black people are ape-like, or that less educated people are automatically criminals. It usually just is a correlation, which doesn't imply causation. If you took a black person, and remove them from all the racist and discriminatory influences, AND the lower social status (that has been caused by lots of discrimination before), then won't end up with a higher crime likeliness than if you took a "normal" white person. Its probably even more caused by the social status than discrimination.

As for muslims, its simply caused because there is no powerful christian group that radicalizes christians to commit terror attacks. If you take the radicals out, the average muslim is as peace-loving as the average christian or jew.

Denying the existence of these correlations to protect from discrimination is wrong. This is just fuel for people who claim that the existence is denied because people want to "cover up" something, or because people are too dumb, usual criticism by people like trump. It is also wrong though to do actual discrimination, like israel does it, or trump proposes.

Re:Yes please

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Most of the algo's used are "privately developed", and thus not released because that would involve revealing "business critical information" (which obviously trumps the interests of the person being sentenced on the basis of it). Because the primary aim is to provide private entities with contracts/work/govt money.

Re:Yes please

By cdrudge • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

My compiler says that criminal.attractive is undefined. Can you post the code for that property so that the system knows what attractive is.

Also, I think criminal.gender is deprecated. These days, I think you're suppose to use criminal.birthGender or criminal.identifiedGender.

Re:Yes please

By mrchaotica • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

You missed the "... || criminal.wealthAndPower == high" clause.

Also, you did a bitwise and instead of a logical one.

Original article I read on the subject

By JonahsDad • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
Living in Wisconsin, I remembered reading about this last month. Here's the article from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

http://www.jsonline.com/news/c...

They rely on cookies to limit the number of articles that you read. Unlike similar sites, they don't block you if you block cookies.

Drivers Prefer Autonomous Cars That Don't Kill Them

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
"A new study shows that most people prefer that self-driving cars be programmed to save the most people in the event of an accident, even if it kills the driver," reports Information Week. " Unless they are the drivers." Slashdot reader MojoKid quotes an article from Hot Hardware about the new study, which was published by Science magazine. So if there is just one passenger aboard a car, and the lives of 10 pedestrians are at stake, the survey participants were perfectly fine with a self-driving car "killing" its passenger to save many more lives in return. But on the flip side, these same participants said that if they were shopping for a car to purchase or were a passenger, they would prefer to be within a vehicle that would protect their lives by any means necessary. Participants also balked at the notion of the government stepping in to regulate the "morality brain" of self-driving cars.
The article warns about a future where "a harsh AI reality may whittle the worth of our very existence down to simple, unemotional percentages in a computer's brain." MIT's Media Lab is now letting users judge for themselves, in a free online game called "Moral Machine" simulating the difficult decisions that might someday have to be made by an autonomous self-driving car.

Re:News at 5...

By Charcharodon • Score: 5, Funny • Thread
Better yet program the cars to hunt for such things. Jaywalking is a crime, the car should aim for people like that. Use the crosswalk next time dumbass.

Maybe program them to go after smokers and kids skateboarding in skateboarding free zones....just give them the entire government employee roster of major departments: IRS, EPA, Congress, etc.

Re: News at 5...

By anarcobra • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
> should be as simple as stop the car before hitting something
So much this.
I have a really hard time thinking of any realistic situation where killing you will save 10 people.
What? Ten people are just standing out in the street and the only other option is to drive off a cliff?
Fuck them. Why are they in the middle of the road?
Just hit the brakes and hope for the best.
Since it's an automatic car it shouldn't be driving fast in a zone with pedestrians anyway, and people shouldn't be walking on highways.

The Trolley Problem

By coldsalmon • Score: 3 • Thread

This is the same as the Trolley Problem, a famous philosophical dilemma, first proposed in 1967: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...
Basically, a runaway trolley is going to kill five people. You can either do nothing and let the trolley kill them, or pull a lever to switch it to another track on which it will kill only one person. There are many variations, including one in which you push a fat man onto the tracks to stop the trolley. Philosophers have written a LOT about it. Here are some humorous variations:
http://existentialcomics.com/c...
https://xkcd.com/1455/
http://www.mcsweeneys.net/arti...

Re: It's a liability issue

By hey! • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Ultimately the Three Laws were a literary device. Asimov was tired of stories where robots run amok, so he made up rules that would, on the face of it, make robots running amok seem impossible. He then used these rules to make superior robots-run-amok stories.

What makes those stories interesting is that they're all about how our simplistic reasoning leads us to dismiss real possibilities too quickly. Most people simply assume things work they way they were designed to work, but smart people realize that purposes can be gamed as long as the letter of the rules aren't broken. It is true that Asimov introduced a 0th Law, but the other laws remain in effect; robots in his stories are conflicted. In Jeff Vintar's screenplay the 0th law simply overrides the other laws; the lower priority rules are in effect nullified, which doesn't happen in Asimov's stories. The screenplay was a bog-standard robots run amok story with a little Asimovian window dressing thrown in, nowhere as good as anything Asimov did. Because Jeff Vintar isn't anywhere near as smart as Isaac Asimov.

But then again, neither am I, and probably not you either.

I very much doubt Asimov thought that people would ever build something like the Three Laws into technology in such a fundamental way; that was just a literary device that enabled him to display his astounding cleverness. I don't think it'll ever happen either, for the simple reason that killing people will be a driving for in the adoption of autonomous robot technology.

I think this is ethically easy and simple

By Sloppy • Score: 3 • Thread

A computer should serve its owner's interests with absolute priority over the interests of all other parties. Period. If it's my computer -- my agent -- then I am #1. By default (without my interaction) it should allow a million children to slowly burn to death if it means that I get to skip an ad. (That's a ludicrous example, but if people want to explore the edge cases of the policy I'm advocating, then there you go.)

You're going to find that this strongly favors protecting other people anyway. The "someone must die, pick who" scenario is extremely rare to the point of non-existent, compared to the routine "avoid having any collision at all, so that no damage or injury happens" scenario. (Stop smoking before you drive yourself crazy with fear of being hit in the head by a meteorite!)

That's not a global policy; that's just the policy for my computer. I don't mean I'm more important than you; I mean that to my computer I am more important that you. And your computer should serve you, too!

Religious Hacker Defaces 111 Escort Sites

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader shares this article from Softpedia: A religiously-motivated Moroccan hacker has defaced 111 different web sites promoting escort services since last summer as part of an ongoing protest against the industry. "In January, the hacker defaced 79 escort websites," writes Softpedia. "His actions didn't go unnoticed, and on some online forums where escorts and webmasters of these websites met, his name was brought up in discussions and used to drive each other in implementing better Web security. While some webmasters did their job, some didn't. During the past days, the hacker has been busy defacing a new set of escort websites... Most of these websites bare ElSurveillance's defacement message even today... Most of the websites are from the UK."
His newest round of attacks replace the sites with a pro-Palestine message and a quote from the quran, though in January Softpedia reported the attacker was also stealing data from some of the sites about their users' accounts.

Re:Muslim or Christian Evangelical ?

By ProzacPatient • Score: 4 • Thread

I expect to get modded out of existence but here it goes:

True, however the churches that claim to follow Christ (Matthew 24:4, 5; 10-12) share blame and guilt for the atrocities committed by the state by involving themselves in politics, promoting nationalism and advocating violent wars against even fellow believers rather than; telling everyone that these things are wrong, looking to the kingdom of God (Daniel 2:44, Matthew 6:10, 33) to solve mankind's problems and teaching the political neutrality (John 18:36) and brotherly love (John 13:34, 35) that Christ taught.

Re:Huh.

By Evtim • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

More like Onan -nymous in this case

Re: Huh.

By Type44Q • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

you might be surprised (or not?) by which countries generate most searches for "animal sex porn" on Google Trends.

Ha! That reminds me... I seem to recall bestiality being legal in two U.S. States: New Mexico and Oregon... though I believe in Oregon you have to prove it didn't cause distress to the animal... the cross-species equivalent to consensual sex, I suppose you could call it.

Re: Huh.

By Applehu Akbar • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

"Ha! That reminds me... I seem to recall bestiality being legal in two U.S. States: New Mexico and Oregon"

Don't these guys understand that neigh means neigh?

"Religious" hacker?

By mcgrew • Score: 3 • Thread

What religion? Devil worshiper? Money worshiper? Hindu? Christian? What if that Muslim were an atheist who also did it because he hated hookers?

I swear, you FSM worshipers are worse fanatics than an Alabama Christian evangelist.

Fools, all. BTW, Christians consider the guy's actions sinful.

Google and Facebook May Be Suppressing 'Extremist' Speech With Copyright Scanners

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes this article from The Verge: The systems that automatically enforce copyright laws on the internet may be expanding to block unfavorable speech. Reuters reports that Facebook, Google, and other companies are exploring automated removal of extremist content, and could be repurposing copyright takedown methods to identify and suppress it. It's unclear where the lines have been drawn, but the systems are likely targeted at radical messages on social networks from enemies of European powers and the United States. Leaders in the US and Europe have increasingly decried radical extremism on the internet and have attempted to enlist internet companies in a fight to suppress it.

Many of those companies have been receptive to the idea and already have procedures to block violent and hateful content. Neither Facebook and Google would confirm automation of these efforts to Reuters, which relied on two anonymous sources who are "familiar with the process"... The secret identification and automated blocking of extremist speech would raise new, serious questions about the cooperation of private corporations with censorious governmental interests.

Reuters calls it "a major step forward for internet companies that are eager to eradicate violent propaganda from their sites and are under pressure to do so from governments around the world as attacks by extremists proliferate, from Syria to Belgium and the United States." They also report that the move follows pressure from an anti-extremism group "founded by, among others, Frances Townsend, who advised former president George W. Bush on homeland security, and Mark Wallace, who was deputy campaign manager for the Bush 2004 re-election campaign."

Re:This is why

By epyT-R • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Nope. It's the ones who want to ban and censor everything that use fear mongering to justify their actions. Really, they just want to silence criticism of their own positions, whatever they are.

Enemies of [The West]

By wisnoskij • Score: 3 • Thread

So really this is not about certain speech, this is about the international companies Google and Facebook picking sides in some sort of cold war that is apparently starting up right this minute between the West and presumably the Asian, Slavic, and Middle Eastern governments.

If an international company is going to pick a side and fire the opening salvo, it really should be under governmental and democratic oversight. We, the people of the US and Europe should have a say in who our enemies are and when, if, and how we start going after them.

Re:This is why

By swb • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

We spend most of our time in privately owned spaces -- malls, web sites and so on. They may have the private property right to suppress speech, but it feels like increasingly repressive corporate rule.

It's especially repugnant when ostensibly private spaces like shopping malls, built with public money, restrict speech. They *are* the public square now, and if you can't climb your soapbox there, nobody will see your message and you might as well stay at home.

Re:Extremism

By rickb928 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

This is the problem. What is 'extremist'?

I suspect that if defined by the alleged victims, it will be at least the opinions of those they disagree with.

And it becomes censorship.

Besides the whole censorship problem..

By Z80a • Score: 3 • Thread

This is just sweeping the problem under the rug, instead of you know, solving it.
All they will achieve is to push the extremists to less known and encrypted places, and make em a lot harder to watch for or infiltrate.

Is The Future Of Television Watching on Fast-Forward?

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
The average American watches three hours of TV each day, and researchers have found that most people already prefer listening to accelerated speech. "After watching accelerated video on my computer for a few months, live television began to seem excruciatingly slow..." writes the Washington Post's Jeff Guo. "Movie theaters feel suffocating. I need to be able to fast-forward and rewind and accelerate and slow down, to be able to parcel my attention where it's needed..." Slashdot reader HughPickens.com distills some interesting points from Guo's article: You can play DVDs and iTunes purchases at whatever tempo you like, and a Google engineer has written a popular Chrome extension that accelerates most other Web videos, including on Netflix, Vimeo and Amazon Prime. Over 100,000 people have downloaded that plug-in, and the reviews are ecstatic. "Oh my God! I regret all the wasted time I've lived before finding this gem!!" one user wrote.

According to Guo speeding up video is more than an efficiency hack. "I quickly discovered that acceleration makes viewing more pleasurable. "Modern Family" played at twice the speed is far funnier -- the jokes come faster and they seem to hit harder. I get less frustrated at shows that want to waste my time with filler plots or gratuitous violence. The faster pace makes it easier to appreciate the flow of the plot and the structure of the scenes."

Guo writes that "I've come to believe this is the future of how we will appreciate television and movies. We will interrogate videos in new ways using our powers of time manipulation... we will all be watching on our own terms." Will this eventually become much more common? How many Slashdot readers are already watching speeded-up videos?

If you focus on quality rather than quantity...

By golgotha007 • Score: 3 • Thread

...you might learn something new about yourself.

Re:Whatever happened to Andre the Giant's posse?

By Dutch Gun • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Happiness is slavery.

Fans of closed platforms like iOS and game consoles would agree.

Do you realize that just a hundred and fifty years we abolished actual slavery, fighting an incredibly bloody war in the process, where one person could own another person as actually property? Yes, I like open platforms too, but damn, if my Xbox gets all tyranical-like, I can throw it in the garbage and stop paying Microsoft $60 a year. Let's not get carried away with hyperbole.

The Walking Dead - needs a speed up

By bungo • Score: 3 • Thread

I had some time in hospital, so I bought the first 4 seasons of The Walking dead and watched them through.

I watched the first season in real time, that was ok. For the second season, things just went too slowly, so I watched it on 2x.

After that, I watched all of the remaining series in 2x. Far better pacing. I know that the show likes to set the atmosphere and be slow, but it was too slow for me. At 2x speed, it was perfect.

Occasionally, I had to go back and watch a scene in normal speed again, but that wasn't too often.

Re:Modern Family

By dwillden • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Or the Documentaries and reality TV shows that rehash everything covered to that point after every commercial break.

Re: most people already prefer listening to accele

By Jhon • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

" Instead I just fast-forward through the predictable boring scenes -- skip 5 minutes of scenic driving here, 2 minutes of overhead establishing shot there, 10 minutes of chopsocky fight scene, upwards of 15 minutes of characters agonizing over some trivial emotional trainwreck that doesn't advance the plot... I can easily see a movie or TV episode in half the production time just by skipping past the filler scenes that I don't care about."

Isn't that akin to looking at a piece of art, say the Mona Lisa, but at postage stamp size?

Don't get me wrong -- you are entitled to watch a movie any way you want. I'll continue watching TV/Movies as they were intended rather than some self-imposed cliff's notes version.

BTW, I feel the same way about books. I have what I call a few "useless superpowers". One of which is an ability to read incredibly fast. I have found that if I slow down my reading to that of the spoken word I ENJOY the material much much more. Passages which would MAYBE get me to smile reading at full speed will get a loud belly laugh. The downside is I finish a book in 20 hours vs. 30 mins -- I can live with that. It's about ENJOYING the material -- not how fast I can get through it.

As It Searches For Suspects, The FBI May Be Looking At You

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
schwit1 quotes the MIT Technology Review: The FBI has access to nearly 412 million photos in its facial recognition system—perhaps including the one on your driver's license. But according to a new government watchdog report, the bureau doesn't know how error-prone the system is, or whether it enhances or hinders investigations.

Since 2011, the bureau has quietly been using this system to compare new images, such as those taken from surveillance cameras, against a large set of photos to look for a match. That set of existing images is not limited to the FBI's own database, which includes some 30 million photos. The bureau also has access to face recognition systems used by law enforcement agencies in 16 different states, and it can tap into databases from the Department of State and the Department of Defense. And it is in negotiations with 18 other states to be able to search their databases, too...

Adding to the privacy concerns is another finding in the GAO report: that the FBI has not properly determined how often its system makes errors and has not "taken steps to determine whether face recognition systems used by external partners, such as states and federal agencies, are sufficiently accurate" to support investigations.

Maybe in a flying pig's eye

By shanen • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Maybe the FBI and various other authoritarian people are watching us?

Maybe in a flying pig's eye, but maybe there's a solution?

Too many people are deluding themselves with such notions as "It's okay since I would never do anything wrong."

WRONG. You certainly will do plenty of things wrong, and the police don't believe there is such a thing as an innocent mistake. If they watch you closely enough, they have you by the balls, which they've already been watching, to boot.

That's just the stick side of our loss of privacy. Of course no one is perfect, and everyone makes mistakes. There are plenty of laws on the books and if the police want you badly enough and have enough data on you, then they will get you. Not just the police, however. Criminals, too, without even commenting on the other similarities.

The carrot side of privacy loss is actually worse. By knowing your interests, tastes, and even your strengths, you can be manipulated and twisted. Maybe it's relatively harmless like buying the "right" toothpaste or a worthless certificate from Trump University, but there aren't any limits. Considering monetary threats, there's always debt slavery, which is how a lot of kids feel about their student loans. If you're a threat to the authorities, the question is what sort of sex crime you can be seduced with... Or maybe the biggest threat is to your most precious and limited resource, your short time on earth? As today's google sees it, based on their massive amounts of personal information you have so foolishly entrusted to the google, "All your attention are belong to us."

Solution? Oh yeah, I was mumbling about a solution, wasn't I?

KEEP YOUR OWN PERSONAL INFORMATION. Just make it illegal to keep anyone's personal information without that person's permission. The information can exist, but it has to be stored where and how the person wants it to be stored, and anyone who wants to look at it needs to ask nicely and then delete the copy of the information as soon as the purpose of the asking has been satisfied.

Oh wait. Can pig's fly?

the law and the courts can be bullshit

By FudRucker • Score: 3 • Thread
what about fingerprints, they can be used to arrest someone, but fingerprints are inadmissible in court because fingerprints are not accurate enough to prove if the person is guilty, i bet there are similarities with the human face too, i seen people that looked alike close enough that if i seen two people that looked alike but after knowing them i could tell the difference and then i dont see them for 10 years or more and then see them again i could not be able to tell them apart, unless there was some signature feature i did not forget like a noticeable chipped or crooked tooth when they smile or a tattoo or scar, or a mole

thinking you have rights is now a crime

By frovingslosh • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
What the fuck are you bitching about? We're the FBI, we don't give a damn if a few innocent people get swept up in our investigations. And if they can't afford a really good lawyer then they won't be innocent by time we are done with them anyway. Get over yourselves, this is America. You have no rights any more.

Whoah, really?

By JustAnotherOldGuy • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

You mean if you do fuzzy searches for matches among 412 million records you might get false positives? Shocking.

The bad part comes later, when some of those "matches" might have some other tenuous but invalid connections to other data points that happen through sheer chance to link to whatever crime is being investigated.

Example: If your face coincidentally happens to match on 10 out of 14 of their probable data points or indices, AND you also happen to have (for example) visited the same store as the real perpetrator within a certain time frame (another data point), guess who's going to become elevated to the status of a prime suspect? You, that's who.

And once they get a hit that matches like this, tunnel-vision sets in and they spend the rest of their time "proving" it was you, whether it was or not. And good luck proving it wasn't you- you might be able to do so, but it's gonna cost you. It might end up costing you your home, job, spouse, etc etc, not to mention the contents of your bank account. Defense attorneys aren't cheap.

Once they (mistakenly) decide it's you that committed some crime, enormous resources are brought into play to "prove" your guilt, and good luck standing up to them or coming out unscathed.

I'm all for using technology to solve crimes but "push button proof" often morphs into lazy investigations and miscarriages of justice. But why should the authorities care? It's not going to be them spending years in prison. They'll go home and sleep in their own bed tonight while you're being strip-searched on your way to jail.

Re:Police body-cams

By PopeRatzo • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

And remember Trump isn't running for King he is running for an office that has clearly defined limits to ensure a President cannot dictate policy.

Hillary's running for the same office.

And please, for the sake of all that's holy, learn how to use paragraphs.