the unofficial Slashdot digest archive

NASA Inspector Says Agency Wasted $80 Million On An Inferior Spacesuit

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: When NASA began developing a rocket and spacecraft to return humans to the Moon a decade ago as part of the Constellation Program, the space agency started to think about the kinds of spacesuits astronauts would need in deep space and on the lunar surface. After this consideration, NASA awarded a $148 million contract to Oceaneering International, Inc. in 2009 to develop and produce such a spacesuit. However, President Obama canceled the Constellation program just a year later, in early 2010. Later that year, senior officials at the Johnson Space Center recommended canceling the Constellation spacesuit contract because the agency had its own engineers working on a new spacesuit and, well, NASA no longer had a clear need for deep-space spacesuits. However, the Houston officials were overruled by agency leaders at NASA's headquarters in Washington, DC. A new report released Wednesday by NASA Inspector General Paul Martin sharply criticizes this decision. "The continuation of this contract did not serve the best interests of the agency's spacesuit technology development efforts," the report states. In fact, the report found that NASA essentially squandered $80.6 million on the Oceaneering contract before it was finally ended last year.

Chinese, European Space Agencies In Talks To Build a Moon Base

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
ESA's Pal Hvistendahl has confirmed via Bloomberg that Chinese and European space agencies are talking with one another about plans to build a base on the moon. The discussions " involve working together to build a human-occupied 'moon village' from which both agencies can potentially launch Mars missions, conduct research, and possibly explore commercial mining and tourism projects," reports TechCrunch. From the report: China's upcoming projects in space include a mission to collect samples from the moon via an uncrewed craft by the end of this year, and to also launch an exploratory mission to the far side of the moon next year, with the similar aim of returning samples for study. The ESA's collaboration with China thus far include participating in the study of those returned samples, and potentially sending a European astronaut to the Chinese space station (which is currently unoccupied) at some future date.

Chinese-European partnership

By jandersen • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

There has been a slow, but steadily increasing approach between China and Europe for the last couple of decades, in many ways: trade agreements, Chinese interest in European education and scientific development, even what could be the first, tenuous signs of political alignment. One of the reasons, in my view, is simply that Europe isn't the US - America has for many years employed a very aggressive rhetoric against China, where Europe has been more moderate, and it does seem to have left a lasting impression. On that background, I don't think it is at all surprising that they will build a Moon base together. I think it is great that China shows leadership and determination in this hugely important area; sure, it stings a bit that we in the West aren't in the lead, but I'm sure the Chinese will allow America to take part, when they are ready to commit to it.

Popular Belief That Saturated Fat Clogs Up Arteries Is a Myth, Experts Say

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
schwit1 quotes a report from Irish Independent: The authors, led by Dr Aseem Malhotra, from Lister Hospital, Stevenage, wrote: "Despite popular belief among doctors and the public, the conceptual model of dietary saturated fat clogging a pipe is just plain wrong." Dr Malhotra and colleagues Professor Rita Redberg, from the University of California at San Francisco, and Pascal Meier from University Hospital Geneva in Switzerland and University College London, cited a "landmark" review of evidence that appeared to exonerate saturated fat. They said relative levels of "good" cholesterol, or high density lipoprotein (HDL), were a better predictor of heart disease risk than levels of low density lipoprotein (LDL), also known as "bad" cholesterol. High consumption of foods rich in saturated fat such as butter, cakes and fatty meat has been shown to increase blood levels of LDL. The experts wrote: "It is time to shift the public health message in the prevention and treatment of coronary artery disease away from measuring serum lipids (blood fats) and reducing dietary saturated fat. "Coronary artery disease is a chronic inflammatory disease and it can be reduced effectively by walking 22 minutes a day and eating real food." They pointed out that in clinical trials widening narrow arteries with stents -- stainless steel mesh devices -- failed to reduce the risk of heart attacks.

Re:I often think dietary "science" is a myth

By amiga3D • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Maybe just ignore all the crap and eat a balanced diet. Not too much of any one thing and exercise a little now and then. All things in moderation. My Grandfather ate lots of fats for his entire life and lived to be 90 in excellent health all but the last 3 years. Of course he worked his ass off farming so he burned that stuff up. He also ate lots of greens and everything else under the sun. If you sit on the couch eating potato chips and watching Ungrateful Bitches of Atlanta then sure, you're probably going to get heart disease and die.

Not this shit again...

By XSportSeeker • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

What's with Slashdot and the recent unbalanced biased snippets that are being posted all the time?
If you are going to publish a story about something, why not post both sides?

From the article:
Leading the the (sic) critics was Professor Alun Hughes, associate director of the Medical Research Council Unit for Lifelong Health and Ageing at University College London.

He said: "This editorial is muddled and adds to confusion on a contentious topic. The authors present no really new evidence, misrepresent some existing evidence, and fail to adequately acknowledge the limitations in the evidence that they use to support their point of view."
Dr Mike Knapton, associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation, said the claims about saturated fat were "unhelpful and misleading".

He added: "Decades of research have proved that a diet rich in saturated fat increases 'bad' LDL cholesterol in your blood, which puts you at greater risk of a heart attack or stroke."
Dr Amitava Banerjee, honorary consultant cardiologist at University College London, said: "Unfortunately, the authors have reported evidence simplistically and selectively".

His view was echoed by cardiologist Dr Gavin Sandercock, director of research at the University of Essex, who said: "This editorial is not founded on good evidence. There is no such thing as 'real food' - the authors don't define what it is so it's meaningless."

Here's another take:

Re:I often think dietary "science" is a myth

By whoever57 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

The medical fields is an extreme offender here though, probably dues to hugely inflated egos as additional problem.

I think it is due to misplaced beliefs by doctors that they have been trained as scientists and that they understand statistics.

News Flash!

By sims 2 • Score: 3 • Thread

Experts Are Crackpots, Experts Say.

Re: Lick my balls, MILLENIAL BeauHD

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Dir sir:

In which universe do you exist where fat and cholesterol are the same material?

42. And watch me be modded up for it too.

New Study Suggests Humans Lived In North America 130,000 Years Ago

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader writes: In 1992, archaeologists working a highway construction site in San Diego County found the partial skeleton of a mastodon, an elephant-like animal now extinct. Mastodon skeletons aren't so unusual, but there was other strange stuff with it. "The remains were in association with a number of sharply broken rocks and broken bones," says Tom Demere, a paleontologist at the San Diego Natural History Museum. He says the rocks showed clear marks of having been used as hammers and an anvil. And some of the mastodon bones as well as a tooth showed fractures characteristic of being whacked, apparently with those stones. It looked like the work of humans. Yet there were no cut marks on the bones showing that the animal was butchered for meat. Demere thinks these people were after something else. "The suggestion is that this site is strictly for breaking bone," Demere says, "to produce blank material, raw material to make bone tools or to extract marrow." Marrow is a rich source of fatty calories. The scientists knew they'd uncovered something rare. But they didn't realize just how rare for years, until they got a reliable date on how old the bones were by using a uranium-thorium dating technology that didn't exist in the 1990s. The bones were 130,000 years old. That's a jaw-dropping date, as other evidence shows that the earliest humans got to the Americas about 15,000 to 20,000 years ago. The study has been published in the journal Nature.


By Anonymous Coward • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Don't believe everything you read.

Especially if it is written in a thousands-years-old text of uncertain authorship, and makes important claims about reality without providing evidence.

Smithsonian Barbie

By pipingguy • Score: 5, Funny • Thread
Thank you for your latest submission to the Institute, labeled “211-D, layer seven, next to the clothesline post. Hominid skull.” We have given this specimen a careful and detailed examination, and regret to inform you that we disagree with your theory that it represents “conclusive proof of the presence of Early Man in Charleston County two million years ago.” Rather, it appears that what you have found is the head of a Barbie doll, of the variety one of our staff, who has small children, believes to be the “Malibu Barbie”. It is evident that you have given a great deal of thought to the analysis of this specimen, and you may be quite certain that those of us who are familiar with your prior work in the field were loathe to come to contradiction with your findings. However, we do feel that there are a number of physical attributes of the specimen which might have tipped you off to it’s modern origin:

1. The material is molded plastic. Ancient hominid remains are typically fossilized bone.
2. The cranial capacity of the specimen is approximately 9 cubic centimeters, well below the threshold of even the earliest identified proto-hominids.
3. The dentition pattern evident on the “skull” is more consistent with the common domesticated dog than it is with the “ravenous man-eating Pliocene clams” you speculate roamed the wetlands during that time. This latter finding is certainly one of the most intriguing hypotheses you have submitted in your history with this institution, but the evidence seems to weigh rather heavily against it. Without going into too much detail, let us say that:

A. The specimen looks like the head of a Barbie doll that a dog has chewed on.
B. Clams don’t have teeth.

Seas were much lower

By mi • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

The stupid humans crossed (what is now) Bering's Straits, started too many fires and melted too much ice. The ocean-levels rose and there was no way for them to walk back... The Shamanry was settled — it was all their fault.

This is why we can't have nice things

By Required Snark • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
Like mastodons.

If human beings, or our earlier ancestors, were killing mastodons 130,000 year ago without eating the meat, then it seems awfully likely that human/hominid hunting was an important factor in the eventual extinction of mastodons and other North American megafauna. Killing a big mammal like that for the bones/marrow implies a very effective predation capability and possible big environmental impact.

I don't believe it

By fox171171 • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
There is no way humans were living in California 130,000 years ago without draconian intellectual property laws and copyright. They would never have survived.

Hacking Group Is Charging German Companies $275 For 'DDoS Tests'

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader writes: "A group calling itself XMR Squad has spent all last week launching DDoS attacks against German businesses and then contacting the same companies to inform them they had to pay $275 for 'testing their DDoS protection systems,' reports Bleeping Computer. Attacks were reported against DHL, Hermes, AldiTalk, Freenet,, the State Bureau of Investigation Lower Saxony, and the website of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. The attack against DHL Germany was particularly effective as it shut down the company's business customer portal and all APIs, prompting eBay Germany to issue an alert regarding possible issues with packages sent via DHL. While the group advertised on Twitter that their location was in Russia, a German reporter who spoke with the group via telephone said "the caller had a slight accent, but spoke perfect German." Following the attention they got in Germany after the attacks, the group had its website and Twitter account taken down. Many mocked the group for failing to extract any payments from their targets. DDoS extortionists have been particularly active in Germany, among any other countries. Previously, groups named Stealth Ravens and Kadyrovtsy have also extorted German companies, using the same tactics perfected by groups like DD4BC and Armada Collective.

Doing it wrong!

By Gravis Zero • Score: 3 • Thread

What you should be doing is actually selling a DDoS protection service and then have an IoT botnet that attacks targets that don't use your service! Do these idiots know nothing of capitalism? ;)

Will the High-Tech Cities of the Future Be Utterly Lonely?

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
adeelarshad82 writes from a report via The Week: The prospect of cities becoming sentient is "fast becoming the new reality," according to one paper. Take Tel Aviv for example, where everyone over the age of 13 can receive personalized data, such as traffic information, and can access free municipal Wi-Fi in 80 public zones. But in a future where robots sound and objects look increasingly sentient, we might be less inclined to seek out behaviors to abate our loneliness. Indeed, one recent study titled "Products as pals" finds that exposure to or interaction with anthropomorphic products -- which have characteristics of being alive -- partially satisfy our social needs, which means the human-like robots of tomorrow could kill our dwindling urge to be around other humans.

increased urbanization of world's population

By turkeydance • Score: 3 • Thread
will make it more crowded. lonely is a choice. " i identify as lonely "

People are a pain

By Baron_Yam • Score: 3 • Thread

They have their own worldview that doesn't have you at the center. They have their own competing needs and desires.

Give me a sufficiently complex AI that can be set to be as subservient as I like and I'd absolutely choose a factory build over Nature's own. And I can guarantee you I'm not alone in that.

AI (if we ever figure it out) is a serious danger to the continuation of our species, and not because it'll result in robots rising up against us. It will simply take our jobs and be our friend while we lay about not breeding new generations of ourselves.

Why would anybody live in a city?

By Snotnose • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
I'm in a suburb of San Diego. I have parks, recreation, low traffic (unless I want to get the Sorrento Valley from 7-9 or 4-6). I walk outside my door I have grass, landscaping, little traffic. I can ride my bike pretty much anywhere within my lung capacity.

I could move to downtown SD and walk to bars, restaurants, the harbor. Why would I want to? I outgrew bars 30 years ago. I can walk in parks here, drive to cheaper restaurants, and the harbor? Phfft. Kevin Faulconer seems hell bent on destroying Seaport Village, and they've already fucked up Anthony's beyond all repair.

Re:Why would anybody live in a city?

By JanneM • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Because cities have a lot of different kind of people, different kinds of shops, art spaces, restaurants, performances and so on. Suburbs are far more homogenous. They're like that bar in Blues Brothers that have "both Country and Western".

And cities are a lot more accessible; when you get older you may no longer be able to drive or get around easily, and you will certainly start to appreciate the closeness to various medical specialists, nursing facilities and emergency services.

One major trend here in Japan is that as the population grows older, so does the move into urban centers accelerate, and that's exactly for this reason. Baby boomers are selling their suburban homes and rural houses to get convenient, accessibility-adapted apartments in the city.

Re:Why would anybody live in a city?

By swell • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

I grew up in an idyllic suburban countryside on the banks of a river and lived a Huck Finn childhood. Everyone in our community knew everyone else. No bicycle had ever been stolen there, though it may have been left at the beach for a week. Nice for kids, but stifling and claustrophobic for me the adult.

Now I live in walking distance of the finest park in America's Finest City (urban San Diego) with the best zoo in America and a score of museums and other entertainments. I'm in walking distance of dozens of fancy night clubs, a dozen coffee shops, many restaurants, exotic grocery stores, huge farmers' market, yadda... There are at least hundreds of employers in walking distance- tech firms, medical, advertising, and retail of course. Artists, musicians, photographers, hackers & con men. I make an effort to drive the car and the motorcycle once a week to charge their batteries, but there's really no place to go.

But best is the people I meet every day. Not your typical bland Starbucks suburbanites but creative, risk taking individuals of every stripe, and OK, some homeless people but even they are a cut above the suburban homeless. I'm at the far end of 70 now and I need this stimulation or I'll be bored to tears.

Ask Slashdot: Are Accurate Software Development Time Predictions a Myth?

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
New submitter DuroSoft writes: For myself and the vast majority of people I have talked to, this is the case. Any attempts we make to estimate the amount of time software development tasks will take inevitably end in folly. Do you find you can make accurate estimates, or is it really the case, as the author, DuroSoft Technologies' CTO/Co-CEO Sam Johnson, suggests via Hacker Noon, that "writing and maintaining code can be seen as a fundamentally chaotic activity, subject to sudden, unpredictable gotchas that take up an inordinate amount of time" and that therefore attempting to make predictions in the first place is itself a waste of our valuable time?

Not just software.

By AnotherBlackHat • Score: 3 • Thread

Performance predictions have an optimistic bias.
It's known as the planning fallacy
It amazes me how people who should really know better fall for this.
For example, if the last time you did it, it took 3 weeks, a good prediction is that this time it's going to take 3 weeks.
Yet most people will predict less than 3 weeks - even if you point out the planning fallacy to them before hand.
I can almost here the rationalizing; "It's not going to take 3 weeks again, because we aren't going to make the same mistakes again."

But it's far, far, worse than just an inability to predict accurately.
Frequently schedules are determined by need rather than reality. As in, we need this done by Tuesday - make the schedule accordingly.

preexisting malaise

By epine • Score: 3 • Thread

What he wrote:

UPDATE: as a direct result of "the views espoused in my engineering article on Medium" I have been terminated from my contracting position at my current employer.

What's he's hoping people read:

UPDATE: solely as a result of "the views espoused in my engineering article on Medium" I have been terminated from my contracting position at my current employer.

Unfortunately, version 1.0 typically falls under the thick veil of he said, she said.

Here's the exact point where he wanders off into the weeds:

Its intractability comes not from incompetency or from a lack of discipline, ...

It doesn't take a 4-Sigmund review to spot the out-of-school litigation here. No one in a state of conflict appreciates the lateral spread of subtext.

I know estimation is often used as a management bully club, and I've had some pretty dark thoughts about some indivisuals who have chosen to behave that way, but sorry, I'm just not feeling the sympathy in this instance.

Solved problem

By Orgasmatron • Score: 3 • Thread

This is one of his blog posts that is almost an infomercial for his product, but he does describe the concept well enough that you could roll your own if you wanted to.

Re:I Have No Trouble Making Accurate and Precise..

By scdeimos • Score: 4 • Thread

Yes, this. Good management knows that you know your trade and accepts your estimates. Bad management thinks they know better and try to negotiate on estimates.

Over the years I've found that feature development, particularly adding to existing systems, will get better estimates if we're allowed a spike to review the affected areas up front - this is when you discover unexpected dependencies or just sheer awful spaghetti. When you're not allowed to do this up front is when you come across the unexpected gotchas that blow out the best estimate you could provide at the time.

The solution

By Kazoo the Clown • Score: 3 • Thread
The solution is not to *impose* a schedule, but let the developers who are going to do the work make the estimate, and don't argue their estimate down. Others who have suggested multiplying by some factor might be a good idea as well-- but unless the developer has his own credibility on the line for the estimate, he won't put in the extra work to try to make up for a schedule overrun.

British Cops Will Scan Every Fan's Face At the Champions League Final

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Using a new facial recognition surveillance system, British police will scan every fan's face at the UEFA Champions League on June 3rd and compare them to a police database of some 500,000 "persons of interest." "According to a government tender issued by South Wales Police, the system will be deployed during the day of the game in Cardiff's main train station, as well as in and around the Principality Stadium situated in the heart of Cardiff's central retail district." From the report: Cameras will potentially be scanning the faces of an estimated 170,000 visitors plus the many more thousands of people in the vicinity of the bustling Saturday evening city center on match day, June 3. Captured images will then be compared in real time to 500,000 custody images stored in the police information and records management system alerting police to any "persons of interest," according to the tender. The security operation will build on previous police use of Automated Facial Recognition, or AFR technology by London's Metropolitan Police during 2016's Notting Hill Carnival.

We need enforced standards

By Baron_Yam • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

The American definition of 'Person of Interest' is someone who has not been formally accused or charged with a crime, which means they don't have enough evidence yet. If you don't have enough to charge a person, you shouldn't have enough to run public facial recognition scans for them.

If you're ready to arrest them on sight, that's enough for me. That's a good standard.

But what about everyone else? Do you really think the cops won't keep every face they capture, for comparison against future images from security cameras? Do you think they won't start analyzing who shows up where and the correlation with criminal activity to create lists of suspects?

They cast this net as far and wide as the technology permits unless and until they're reined in by law. Given enough cameras and enough processing power, they'd gladly follow every citizen all day long, because it'd make their job much easier.

The public needs to decide just how much privacy they're willing to sacrifice in the name of security, and get their legislative representatives to give that decision the force of law... or the cops will take all their privacy without even blinking. Not because they're evil, but because their job is to catch bad guys, not consider the moral and philosophical issues of the tools and methods they use to catch them.

Fairly easy to defeat

By WillAffleckUW • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Face dazzle paint in team colors, reversible pattern hoodie and scarf, fake nose and or eyebrows (team colors).

Hit ratio drops from 50 percent false positive to below threshold.

Basically, if it worked during WW II, it still works. That's how inaccurate facial recognition actually is. It's even worse for women than for men.

An amazing probability of failure

By davecb • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

They have 170,000 * 500,000 faces, for a total of 85,000,000,000 comparisons. If you have a 99% chance of sucess (ie, NOT identifying grandma as a wanted terrorist), then a 1% failure rate will give you 850,000,000 wrong comparisons.

In tests with football-crowd-sized sets of people, the very best recognizers hit 80% and the worst were below 20% accurate. See

How many people will be pulled out of line, I wonder, before the police notice that the're getting an larger number of false positives than they were prepared to handle? I wonder if it will identify everyone who shows up as a terrorist (:-))

[The German federal security service noticed this many years ago, when they tried to scan airports with a former employer's product]

Britain is the surveillance capital of the West

By UpnAtom • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Theresa May passed what Snowden called "the most extreme surveillance in the history of western democracy. It goes further than many autocracies."

Before this, airports were making 3D models of flyers' faces without their knowledge or permission, and attaching such to their passport records. This happens if you go through the 'inbound' e-passport aisle. I saw this with my own eyes at Bristol Airport before a security guard shouted at me. There is no law against such data collection.

I don't know if you can get a ticket with cash but otherwise you can bet these facial/3D scans will be added to a GCHQ database.

Pirate Site Blockades Violate Free Speech, Mexico's Supreme Court Rules

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
New submitter happyfeet2000 quotes a report from TorrentFreak: Broad pirate sites blockades are disproportional, Mexico's Supreme Court of Justice has ruled. The government can't order ISPs to block websites that link to copyright-infringing material because that would also restrict access to legitimate content and violate the public's freedom of expression. The ruling is a win for local ISP Alestra, which successfully protested the government's blocking efforts. Alestra was ordered to block access to the website by the government's Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI). The website targeted a Mexican audience and offered music downloads, some of which were shared without permission. "The ISP was not pleased with the order and appealed it in court," reports TorrentFreak. "Among other things, the defense argued that the order was too broad, as it also restricted access to music that might not be infringing." The Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation heard the case and ruled that the government's order is indeed disproportional.


By amiga3D • Score: 3 • Thread

Who knew that logic and common sense could win out? Congratulations to the brave ISP that defended it's rights.

Re: Justice

By ArmoredDragon • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

No, what happened here is that the drug cartels didn't care one way or another how this rolling went, so normal judicial processes were followed for once.

FCC Announces Plan To Reverse Title II Net Neutrality

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Verge: The Federal Communications Commission is cracking open the net neutrality debate again with a proposal to undo the 2015 rules that implemented net neutrality with Title II classification. FCC chairman Ajit Pai called the rules "heavy handed" and said their implementation was "all about politics." He argued that they hurt investment and said that small internet providers don't have "the means or the margins" to withstand the regulatory onslaught. "Earlier today I shared with my fellow commissioners a proposal to reverse the mistake of Title II and return to the light touch framework that served us so well during the Clinton administration, Bush administration, and first six years of the Obama administration," Pai said today. His proposal will do three things: first, it'll reclassify internet providers as Title I information services; second, it'll prevent the FCC from adapting any net neutrality rules to practices that internet providers haven't thought up yet; and third, it'll open questions about what to do with several key net neutrality rules -- like no blocking or throttling of apps and websites -- that were implemented in 2015. Pai will publish the full text of his proposal tomorrow, and it will be voted on by the FCC on May 18th.

Re:What to talk about

By presidenteloco • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

No. F**k it. Internet pipes in your country are like the road network or the telephone network. It should be considered public infrastructure with egalitarian access.
It's pretty F'ing simple.

Getting rid of net neutrality regulations is like saying "It's ok. Just set up your highway robbery checkpoint in the middle of the on-ramp to the highway, but make sure to let your business partners limos through without paying the ransom."


By macsimcon • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

How soon? Are you kidding? We already pay more for Internet than any other industrialized country, and some second world countries:

Here's the truth that other countries have already figured out: when the government provides a service, it's cheaper. When private companies provide the same service, it's much more expensive, because they have to make a profit. And while it might have once been true that private industry could do a task better than the government, now private industry has realized that doing a poor job yields higher profit, so we end up getting worse services for more money when private industry provides them.

The federal government should provide all funds for education, for Internet access, and for healthcare. We can start paying for it by cutting the Department of Defense by 10% every couple of years, and eliminating corporate welfare. No more privatized intelligence, no more privatization of military services, no more military, intelligence, or security "contractors".

And eliminate DHS, what a fucking waste of money.

If that's not enough money, let's return to a top marginal rate of 91%. It worked great in the 50s, and the economy was booming.

This has everything to do with Trump

By rsilvergun • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
and the Republican party. We elected someone who took, as a pillar of his campaign, the notion that the free market can and would sort all this out. We gave him a Congress of 60% like minded individuals.

Yes, I'm well aware of the campaign donations and who's paying them. But that doesn't change the fact that the Republican party takes as a basic ideological concept the notion that government interference with the market is inherently bad. If you're going to accept that as a truism then you're going to have to follow it to it's logical conclusion, which is that Net Neutrality stifles competition, innovation and raises prices by constraining how ISPs run their business.

What I'm saying is that Net Neutrality is incompatible with one of the basic tenants of the Republican party. If you agree with Net Neutrality you disagree with the Republican party. Maybe not individuals, but with the party's ideals.

Re:It's not just money

By quonset • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

obama wanted single payer. what we got, 'obamacare', is actually modeled after 'romneycare'.. a republican created fuck-up put in place in Massachusetts

Actually, what we got was based on, and followed very closely, the proposal put forth by the Heritage Foundation in 1989.

As the above article shows, there were two key parts:

1) All citizens should be guaranteed universal access to health care

2) Mandate all households obtain adequate insurance

And this article goes into more depth about how Republicans like Bob Dole and Newt Gingrich were pushing for mandated health insurance which required people, not employers, to buy insurance.

In other words, Republicans got exactly what they wanted, and they're pissed.

Re:This has everything to do with Trump

By Dragonslicer • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

What I'm saying is that Net Neutrality is incompatible with one of the basic tenants of the Republican party. If you agree with Net Neutrality you disagree with the Republican party. Maybe not individuals, but with the party's ideals.

And here I was thinking that having competitive markets was one of those basic tenets.

Most Millennials Have an Unrealistic View of Their Retirement Prospects, Analysts Say

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
From a blog post on research firm HSBC: HSBC calls for millennials to wake up to living and working longer, as research finds only 1 in 10 expects to work past 65. Most millennials have an unrealistic view of their retirement prospects according to a new report from HSBC. The latest report in The Future of Retirement series, Shifting sands, finds that on average millennials expect to retire younger than other working age generations. Millennials expect to retire at 59, two years younger than the working age average of 61. The survey of over 18,000 people in 16 countries finds that only 10 percent of millennials expect to continue working after 65 -- even as their generation faces unprecedented financial pressures and state retirement ages continue to rise around the world. This is despite 59 percent of millennials agreeing they will live much longer and will need to support themselves for longer than previous generations.

Re:Save 30%, retire early

By Moof123 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Saving crap piles of money makes dealing with ALL of those issues much easier, they are not reasons to avoid savings. Money in the bank gives you options if you get sick, or family has a disaster. Living paycheck to paycheck makes minor medical or job problems an instant emergency. Not being able to keep your job because you get sick without large savings can be quickly ruinous.

Becoming financially independent and retiring early gives you more time to cook healthy food and exercise more, not to mention huge reductions health destroying stress. Chances of major illnesses can be reduced greatly as a result.

I've already been through a year long unemployment episode, and never want to be at the whim of an employer for my livelihood again.

Re:Unrealistic for you, maybe

By XXongo • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

You're all hot to point out that the Constitution requires the government to provide for the common defense. But you seem to want to gloss right over the promote the general welfare part. Why is that, do you suppose?

See my other post in this thread about the General Welfare clause. You have to take that as it was meant when means more of the welfare of the UNION of the states, and the ability of the Feds to lay taxation for that purpose.

No, it doesn't.

Where the hell do you get these bullshit interpretations?

The meaning of the "welfare" in 1787 meant health and prosperity. Of the people. You know, that "we the people" thing? People.


By Quirkz • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

I hear you. Fresh out of college, I figured I was smart and impressive enough to find a way to retire by 50. Preferably by becoming a world-famous novelist in the next few years, or a dot-com millionaire by the turn of the millennium. Basis: nothing but wishful thinking, and the belief that I sure as hell couldn't keep doing this work crud five days a week for half a century. (Oh yeah, I can also distinctly remember telling my brother, "I really think I'm meant to win the lottery. I know the odds are against it, but it should happen to me.")

By 35, married, dual income, no kids, I had a plan, based on actual, mathematical evidence (if with some optimistic assumptions) that I could retire at 60, with a paid-off house and a decent retirement fund.

In my mid-forties with kids and a spouse that stays home, past one really terrible financial mistake with a house, plus several minor financial setbacks at work, I'm now looking at 65, more likely. I still have my doubts about the sanity or feasibility of doing this work crud five days a week for a few decades, but at least I've now worked almost half of the mandatory time, so there's that.

Re:Unrealistic for you, maybe

By dywolf • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Well, that provide for general welfare, has to be taken in the meaning of the day, not as "welfare" as we think of it today. Basically general welfare as used in the constitution was defined as the overall state of wellbeing of the nation as a whole.

Then so does "provide for the defense", which "in the meaning of the day" most certainly DID NOT mean the permanent standing military of the size and scope that we have today.

Basically your argument is shit.

Most *people* don't have a realistic view.

By Kazoo the Clown • Score: 3 • Thread
The problem is, a "realistic view" is nearly impossible. You can't predict how long you are going to live, how much medical care you are going to need, and what might happen to social services such as Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid, and consequently, how much money is "enough."

GE Fixing Bug in Software After Warning About Power Grid Hacks

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
General Electric said on Wednesday it is fixing a bug in software used to control the flow of electricity in a utility's power systems after researchers found that hackers could shut down parts of an electric grid. From a report: The vulnerability could enable attackers to gain remote control of GE protection relays, enabling them to "disconnect sectors of the power grid at will," according to an abstract posted late last week on the Black Hat security conference website. Protection relays are circuit breakers that utilities program to open and halt power transmission when dangerous conditions surface.

Re:And these breakers are connected to the network

By DickBreath • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
If air gaps are not possible, then at least change which port Telnet is running on.

Re:And these breakers are connected to the network

By darkain • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

That simply isn't ideal anymore. When a critical situation happens, say an earthquake, how long does it take to deploy a person to a breaker unit to manually change its state? They NEED to be networked in today's age to have the level of agility needed to handle a situation.

Billions can attack a network target

By PeterM from Berkeley • Score: 3 • Thread

If your asset is attached to the network, literally billions of people could potentially attack it, from anywhere on the world. Not only that, but they can unleash automated attacks upon your asset from other Internet targets they've previously compromised.

If your asset is on its own network, or is non-networked, that cuts down on the number of possible attackers tremendously.

So, critical infrastructure should NOT be on the Internet, or at least not without a correspondingly LARGE investment in security commensurate to the risk.


Adidas Creates Trainers Made From Plastic Ocean Debris in Bid To End Pollution

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Adidas is building on its previous commitment to turn plastic pollution into high-performance products. Next month, the German sportswear will begin selling three new editions of its popular UltraBoost shoe, all made from plastic debris found in the ocean. From a report: Helping to achieve its goal of creating one million pairs of the Ultra Boost style, Parley for the Oceans will produce trainers made from recycled ocean waste. Made up of 11 reused plastic bottles in each pair, the Ultra Boost' laces, lining and sock lining covers will be made of other recycled products, making for an environmentally-friendly high-performance product.

Wonder how much they'll cost?

By adosch • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Can't wait to see that $120 price tag on ocean plastic shoes from $0.50 worth of drinking bottles. This changes everything.

Good thing I still wear Converse All-Stars.

Sneakers. Repeat after me

By RightwingNutjob • Score: 3 • Thread
Sneakers. Msmash really is a brain-dead little thing that can't understand that American websites need to have content in American English.

Always thought

By Kabukiwookie • Score: 3 • Thread
That Adidas trainers were rubbish.


By superwiz • Score: 3 • Thread
"Trainers" is British slang. It is not used in any part of the largest country in which English is the majority language. If you want to use a region-neutral word, go with "athletic shoes". But the most commonly-used and universally understood colloquialism is sneakers. I promise you that "trainers" is not just something that sounds British in the US. This isn't like "coke" vs "pop" vs "soda". "Trainers" will make majority of Americans reach for a dictionary, find out that it's a British usage, and then wonder why the hell was the editor publishing this for international audience not fired yet.

Energy Star Program For Homes And Appliances Is On Trump's Chopping Block

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Appliance manufacturers and home builders are in Washington, D.C., today to celebrate a popular energy efficiency program, even as it's slated for elimination in President Trump's proposed budget. NPR adds: You probably know the program's little blue label with the star -- the Environmental Protection Agency says 90 percent of U.S. households do. [...] The 25-year-old Energy Star program appears to be targeted simply because it's run by the federal government. It's one of 50 EPA programs that would be axed under Trump's budget plan, which would shrink the agency's funding by more than 30 percent. Critics of Energy Star say the government should get involved in the marketplace only when absolutely necessary. But that argument doesn't hold sway for the program's legions of supporters, which span nonprofits, companies and trade groups.

Government done right

By Shotgun • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

This is the type of government program I like to see. The government is not mandating which appliance to buy. They are making a measuring stick available, and mandating that you can't lie about it. The "founding father's" made the central government responsible for setting weights and measures for a good reason. A fair market is impossible without agreed upon measures.

I wish they'd taken the same approach with the FDA. Instead of saying, "Drug X may not be sold", or "Drug Y may only be used for this specific application.", technology would have advanced much quicker and cheaper if they published a registry saying, "We have determined that Drug X has shown efficacy for this application." I'd still need my doctor, but he (and the army of bureaucrats blocking him) wouldn't be the gateway to which drug I could buy.

If Trump wants to cut the budget, make the FDA follow the Energy Star Program. Make the Dept of Education an advisory board ("We have studied the problem, and found these remedies work in those situations. Now, localities can more intelligently work out your own education programs.").

Re:Can globalisation help ?

By unimacs • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
Except that big manufacturers don't sell all of their products in all markets and I find it highly unlikely that manufactures would put EU energy efficiency labels on products sold in the US since there would be no incentive for them to do so.

They will happily sell products in the US that don't meet EU standards and products in Thailand that don't meet US standards.

And yes, I am one of those people that considers Energy Star ratings when I make a purchase. What you'll generally find is that products with better Energy Star ratings are also of better quality than similar products with lower ratings. They're not just more energy efficient.

European vacuum cleaners, regulatory consequences

By caseih • Score: 3 • Thread

All regulations have unintended consequences. And the best intentions sometimes backfire. For example, take the new European standard for electrical consumption of vacuum cleaners. In essence they've now banned the larger models. But it's not going to save any electricity. Now with smaller models that can't create as much vacuum and thus induce a much smaller CFM of air flow. Hence they work less efficiently and more slowly. So any electrical efficiency gains are offset by the poorer performance overall, requiring longer use and just as much electricity. Besides that, even if all things were equal, the greater electrical use (and subsequent CO2 generation) from the bigger vacuums probably can't even be quantified for most people since vacuum cleaners are used so infrequently compared to computers, lights, heating, and other electrical devices.

This is, in my mind, a clear example of well-intentioned Energy Star -like programs and regulations that just don't apply well to many things and shouldn't. And this is why people, including trump supporters, get so upset with government interference in their lives. Most people I know aren't stupid. If they buy a new freezer, they do want to save money and energy by buying the newer, more efficient models. I think this would continue even without Energy Star, should it ever disappear entirely.

Besides that, if you really want to change things, a carbon tax is better than efficiency regulations. If the true cost of energy is passed on to consumers you can bet they'll make different choices and drive demand for energy-efficient devices. Rather than set fuel efficiency targets, tax a vehicle's registration based on its fuel consumption. Lets people have the freedom to drive an old, less-efficient vehicle if they wish, as long as they are willing to pay for it.

Sure direct regulation is easier for the government, but it's not always the best way. And it always has unintended consequences and leads to regulatory capture of the market by a few large companies.

Update: Testing EnergyStar by GAO resulted in:

By Okian Warrior • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

GAO submitted a few non-existant products to test the EnergyStar program. Some notable results:

Gas-Powered Alarm Clock:
Product description indicated the clock is the size of a small generator and is powered by gasoline.

Product was approved by Energy Star without a review of the company Web site or questions of the claimed efficiencies.

Geothermal Heat Pump:
Energy use data reported was more efficient than any product listed as certified on the Energy Star Web site at the time of submission.

High-energy efficiency data was not questioned by Energy Star.

Product is eligible for federal tax credits and state rebate programs.

Computer Monitor

Product was approved by Energy Star within 30 minutes of submission.

Private firms contacted GAO’s fictitious firm to purchase products based on participation in the Energy Star program.


Self-certified product was submitted, qualified, and listed on the Energy Star Web site within 24 hours.

Product is eligible for federal tax credits and state rebates.

Re:Another outrage article

By ShanghaiBill • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

The Energy Star program costs almost nothing. There are zero government employees actually testing products. Instead, it is done on the "honor system" where manufacturers can voluntarily test their own products and then use the official label. Compliance is enforced by consumer groups and competitors rather than proactive government action. 3rd party testing has shown that this all works pretty well.

It is cost-effective, non-coercive, and works. So it makes sense to eliminate it since it doesn't fit the right-wing narrative of bloated and ineffective government. We can use the money saved to buy another windshield wiper for the F-35.

Mylan's Epic EpiPen Price Hike Wasn't About Greed -- It's Worse, Lawsuit Claims

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Mylan engaged in a campaign to squash a rival to its EpiPen allergy treatment and artificially inflate the price of the drug to maintain a market monopoly, French drugmaker Sanofi said in a lawsuit. From a report: With the lofty prices and near-monopoly over the market, Mylan could dangle deep discounts to drug suppliers -- with the condition that they turn their backs on Sanofi's Auvi-Q -- the lawsuit alleges. Suppliers wouldn't dare ditch EpiPens, the most popular auto-injector. And with the high prices, the rebates wouldn't put a dent in Mylan's hefty profits, Sanofi speculates. Coupled with a smear campaign and other underhanded practices, Mylan effectively pushed Sanofi out of the US epinephrine auto-injector market, Sanofi alleges. The lawsuit, filed Monday in a federal court in New Jersey, seeks damages under US Antitrust laws.


By fluffernutter • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
Don't worry, the market will take care of it. it was about greed?

By harrkev • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Don't forget that the CEO of Mylan is the daughter of a Democratic Senator. it was about greed?

By ShanghaiBill • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Should be? How about is be?

No. According to the FTC: "Exclusive dealing or requirements contracts between manufacturers and retailers are common and are generally lawful." The FTC also says: "Most exclusive dealing contracts are beneficial because they encourage marketing support for the manufacturer's brand.", which is, of course, total bullcrap.

Under current law, exclusivity agreements are only illegal in very narrow circumstances, and it falls on their competitor (Sanofi in this case) to sue for relief at their own expense.


By ghoul • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

It just may not take care of it in a way you like. As far as the market is concerned all kids with allergies dying because of no epipen and hence the gene pool being cleansed of allergy genes is a valid outcome.
So is the parents of such kids burning down Mylan and killing everyone on its board of directors (The market has no conscience)

That is why we do not let unregulated markets play by themselves. Capitalism needs a tincture of socialism otherwise its just as bad as Communism just in different ways.

yet more peanut panic and profiteering

By xeno • Score: 3 • Thread
Sigh... It's sad to watch the "peanut panic" crowd -- the people who claim all sorts of wild stats about allergy deaths unsupported by evidence -- and the companies that make money by giving them a soapbox. This US/UK-centered phenomenon is a cultural and economic situation, not a medical one. According to the Centers for Disease Control/CDC researchers and American Medical Association/AMA's actual reputable scientists (not med mfr salespeople), the verified death rate from the relevant allergens has been consistent for 50+ years, as long as they've been keeping statistics. No significant rise.

What *has* happened is the massive thousand-fold rise in the number of people *diagnosed* with *some* anaphalactic reaction to peanuts and a zillion other irritants. When more people get *informed* there is a risk, the risk gets wildly exaggerated because of medical liability to any medical provider that does not address the completely-consistent-not-rising remote possibility of fatal reaction. And that translates into sales of expensive epi-pens from the company that conveniently funded the first and oft-cited major study into peanut allergy. And keeps funding other shoddy whitepapers on the topic. And keeps raising prices.

These guys are thieves. Those people are fools. Nothing new under the sun.