the unofficial Slashdot digest archive

Possible Cellphone Link To Cancer Found In Rat Study

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from NBC News: A giant U.S. study meant to help decide whether cellphones cause cancer is coming back with confusing results. A report on the study, conducted in rats and mice, is not finished yet. But advocates pushing for more research got wind of the partial findings and the U.S. National Toxicology Program has released them early. They suggest that male rats exposed to constant, heavy doses of certain types of cellphone radiation develop brain and heart tumors. But female rats didn't, and even the rats that developed tumors lived longer than rats not exposed to the radiation. The National Toxicology Program, part of the National Institutes of Health, is still analyzing the findings. But John Bucher, associate director of the program, said the initial findings were so significant that the agency decided to release them. A 29-year-old study published earlier this month from Australia reassures us that cellphones are reasonably safe, and do not cause cancer.

SpaceX Successfully Lands A Falcon 9 Rocket At Sea For The Third Time

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader writes: SpaceX has successfully landed the first stage of its Falcon 9 rocket on a drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean for the third time in a row. The Verge reports: "It was the third time in a row the company has landed a rocket booster at sea, and the fourth time overall. The landing occurred a few minutes before the second stage of the Falcon 9 delivered the THAICOM-8 satellite to space, where it will make its way to geostationary geostationary transfer orbit (GTO). GTO is a high-elliptical orbit that is popular for satellites, sitting more than 20,000 miles above the Earth. The 3,100-kilogram satellite will spend 15 years improving television and data signals across Southeast Asia." The company landed its Falcon 9 rocket on a drone ship for the second time earlier this month. UPDATE 5/27/15: Frank249 writes in a comment: "Elon Musk just tweeted: 'Rocket landing speed was close to design max and used up contingency crush core, hence back and forth motion. Prob ok, but some risk of tipping.'" He went on to tweet: "Crush core is aluminum honeycomb for energy absorption in the telescoping actuator. Easy to replace (if Falcon makes it back to port)."


By Bender0x7D1 • Score: 3 • Thread

Congratulations to everyone at Space X who contributed to this awesome achievement! You have made space flight exciting again!

Bit of a hard landing

By frank249 • Score: 3 • Thread

Elon Musk just tweeted: 'Rocket landing speed was close to design max & used up contingency crush core, hence back & forth motion. Prob ok, but some risk of tipping.'

Very clear landing but a little hard

By JoshuaZ • Score: 3 • Thread

Elon's tweeted that the landing came down a bit hard but it shouldn't have done anything but impacted the crumple zones on the landing legs. Since the legs are replaced anyways, this shouldn't impact reusability. Right now, this is the fourth successful landing, and it looks like the basics of landing have been really worked out. Whether they can then actually reuse them is still in the air.

Also, there's been prior speculation that SpaceX was going to try to reuse the fairing which is the nose cone around the payload which helps protect the payload and keep it aerodynamic during the first part of the launch. If they can do fairing recover and reuse that would be another avenue for serious cost reduction. They mentioned fairing reuse as something they were working towards on the broadcast which is as far as I know the most prominent time they've mentioned it. So it looks like they are going to be trying to seriously do that. How much this all actually reduces cost remains to be seen.

Right now, even without reuse, SpaceX is substantially cheaper than every other company for the medium size payloads. (They aren't launching the really small ones and until the Falcon Heavy is set up they won't be able to launch the really big ones). So even without reuse they are having a substantial impact on the market. The other major players, ULA (which is a joint Boeing and Lockheed company) and Ariane (the big French rocket launcher who is currently the biggest rocket launch company) are both planning on reuse programs, but they are essentially playing catchup. ULA has a plan for just reusing the engines which may be interesting. Ariane has a similarly interesting idea but neither imagines reuse any earlier than 2020, by which point, SpaceX will have been doing full first stage reuse and probably even doing reuse for the Falcon Heavy and will be working on their next generation Raptor rockets. That's not to say that ULA and the others aren't doing interesting things - their ACES proposal is really neat, but in terms of reducing cost through reuse, SpaceX is way ahead of everyone else.

Model X Owner Files Lemon Law Suit Against Tesla, Claims Car Is Unsafe To Drive

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from BGR: When designing the Model X, Tesla went more than a little bit overboard in trying to trick out its crossover SUV with as many bells and whistles as possible. Not only did Tesla's overly ambitious development delay the launch of the Model X, it has arguably resulted in a noticeably higher number of quality control issues than we're accustomed to seeing. Hardly a controversial point, even Tesla CEO Elon Musk has conceded that the company was far too zealous when developing the Model X. While some customers with frustrating Model X issues have noted that Tesla has been quick to fix any problems, one Model X owner from California has had enough. According to the Courthouse News Service, via Teslarati, Barrett Lyon recently filed a Lemon Law claim against Tesla, arguing that the car's problems are unfixable and that it's ultimately unsafe to drive. In addition to finding that the front door would often slam shut on his leg, Lyon's suit details a slew of other problems, including Auto Pilot problems, touch screen freezes and more. A Tesla Model S owner, on the other hand, reported that his vehicle went rogue causing an accident all by itself.

I'm here to help

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 3, Funny • Thread

I'll take that dangerous un-fixable lemon of a Tesla off your hands. I'll even give you $300 for all the emotional trauma the car caused you.

Wearable 'Backpack PCs' Let You Experience High-End VR On The Go

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader writes: Powerful virtual reality headsets like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive require powerful PCs with beefy graphics cards to operate. That means you'll usually be tethered to a PC tower in your home. Well, HP and MSI have announced portable 'backpack PCs' designed to be used with high-end virtual reality headsets. These PC internals are built in a backpack enclosure powered by a large battery pack. The HP Omen X weighs less than 10 pounds and has a battery that's big enough to last for up to one hour of gameplay, but you do have the option of swapping out the batteries for uninterrupted VR. Specs include either an Intel Core i5 or i7 processor, up to 32GB of RAM, and at least an Nvidia GTX 970 or AMD R9 290 or higher. The MSI Backpack PC features an Intel Core i7 processor and Nvidia GTX 980 graphics, according to the company. The last of the backpack PC trio is the Zotac Mobile VR. The company hasn't released any specs of the product but the company did state in a blog post, "This mobile solution not only removes the bulk of connecting to the large traditional computer towers of old, but also allows the user to roam freely in VR with their undivided attention. This innovative solution includes a system powerful enough to drive VR, and a portable battery pack to keep you going." There is no pricing or availability information as of yet.


By bistromath007 • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
Can't wait to try "Get Hit by a Bus Simulator."

Amazon Built An Echo Simulator You Can Use In the Browser

Posted by manishsView on SlashDotShareable Link
Jordan Novet, writing for VentureBeat: Amazon today announced the availability of, a website that simulates the capabilities of the Amazon Echo speaker, which employs Amazon's Alexa voice assistant technology. The thing about Alexa is that many people who don't own the Echo -- or its smaller siblings, the Tap and the Echo Dot -- haven't been able to see what Alexa is capable of. The new tool -- which was inspired by the Alexa in the Browser application that Nexmo developer advocate Sam Machin came up with during a hackathon last year -- solves that problem. All you have to do is head to the website, sign in with your Amazon credentials, and start holding your mouse down over the microphone button to see what Alexa can do. It's nifty for anyone to use, but it's also potentially useful to developers. "Developers worldwide can use Echosim to experience Alexa," Amazon Alexa developer marketing manager Glenn Cameron wrote in a blog post.Interesting move, especially for people who either do not want to -- or can't -- purchase the device (unavailability being one reason). You will need to login with your Amazon account in order to test Echosim.

Flattened right out

By chuckugly • Score: 3 • Thread
The server is flatter than a pancake, the /. effect is still a thing I guess.

Someone In North Korea Is Hosting a Facebook Clone

Posted by manishsView on SlashDotShareable Link
Reporter Jason Koebler shares: Someone in North Korea appears to have created a Facebook clone, according to an internet analytics company that traced the site's DNS to the notoriously isolated country. The social network is an off-the-shelf Facebook clone called dolphinPHP.
Dyn Analytics researcher Doug Madory said that "very few websites resolve to the North Korean address space, and this one does."
From the screenshots in the article, the user interface, and other elements do look similar to that of Facebook.

Has someone already hacked it?

By SeaFox • Score: 3 • Thread

(referring to the ninja in the lower-left corner)


By jbmartin6 • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
North Korea again? What next, a story about North Korea forcing people to upgrade to Windows 10?

they can save so many resources...

By bkmoore • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
by getting people to spy on themselves.

Is this where all the fake pages are coming from?

By Applehu Akbar • Score: 3 • Thread

Every Facebook user has at some tie or another gotten that flurry of messages from people on their Friends list that they are getting requests to sign up again. Your Facebook age has been copied by a spammer who will then start selling magic diets and Florida real estate to everyone on your list. This scam is so common now that facebook has a special button for reporting it.

All European Scientific Articles To Be Freely Accessible By 2020

Posted by manishsView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader shares a report on EU2016: All scientific articles in Europe must be freely accessible as of 2020. EU member states want to achieve optimal reuse of research data. They are also looking into a European visa for foreign start-up founders. And, according to the new Innovation Principle, new European legislation must take account of its impact on innovation. These are the main outcomes of the meeting of the Competitiveness Council in Brussels on 27 May. Under the presidency of Netherlands State Secretary for Education, Culture and Science Sander Dekker, the EU ministers responsible for research and innovation decided unanimously to take these significant steps.Many questions remain unanswered. For instance, it is not clear whether the publishers would be forced to make their papers available for free or whether EU will only allow scientists who are happy to abide by the rules to publish papers. We should have more details on this soon.

Re:what a bunch of bullshit

By pijokela • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

It says on the article that the rules are supposed to cover parers written on taxpayer money. I'm sorry if this takes the edge off your righteous anger and rage.

Re:what a bunch of bullshit

By presidenteloco • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

So let me get this straight. You are a scientific researcher but you don't want to make your results publicly available?

How exactly is that science that you are doing?

Proper science (with the maximum chance of advancing correctly and rapidly, and the maximum benefit to humanity) is an inherently open information-sharing activity.

Are you working on bio-weapons science or something else really dangerous like that? If not, I don't see your motivation for hiding your results.

If you're doing science just for the money, you're doing it wrong.

This is awesome enlightened legislation

By presidenteloco • Score: 3 • Thread

They're blinding me with science!

How did actual politicians come up with something this wise and uncorrupted? It boggles the mind.

Not bad, but significant gray areas, side-effects

By raymorris • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

I support the intention behind this directive. There are, however, some gray areas and some unintended consequences.

>> publications on the results of research supported by public and public-private funds

> Nothing unclear about that.

It's not that bad, but there are significant gray areas. Here are a few:

A) Most importantly, most "publications on the results of research" that they intend to cover are financed by universities. Most universities get at least some government funding, if only 5% of their budget. So figure a school is privately funded 95%, and gets 5% of of it's budget from government grants for providing certain types of education. Is the institution barred from recouping some of the costs of the research? Maybe so, maybe not.

B) This one is complicated, but I have direct experience with it and the new rule seems to ban a system which has worked extremely well. The last place I worked was an "extension" office. Funding was very interesting. We had world-class experts and facilities in the fields we covered, and we did two different but related things with our experts and facilities. Companies like Boeing or Ford would pay us to do testing and research for them. In a year, we might get $80 million dollars in contracts and have $30 million in direct costs for those contracts. We'd spend $20 million on training programs, mostly having our experts train first responders. That leaves $30 million "profit" which we'd give to the state, since it was a state agency. The state would turn around and appropriate back $10 million for our facilities expenses. So in the end, our agency received NEGATIVE $20 million from the taxpayers. We paid the tax payers, from fund received for contracts and also provided free training for first responders). We were giving money TO taxpayers, not getting money from tax payers, right? (Which is awesome, IMHO.) Well, after we gave the taxpayers $30 million, they gave us back $10 million for our facilities costs, so on paper we received taxpayer funds. Does that mean that the testing we did for the private companies would have to be open to the public for free? it would seem so. Which would suck, because Boeing and Ford aren't wouldn't keep paying us $80 million to test their new ideas if the results are immediately available to their competitors. Those contracts had been paying for our public services, such as first responder training, as well as paying a "profit" to taxpayers, but seemingly that would no longer be allowed.

C) A more common scenario, given the exact wording used, might be the following. It says "publications on
the results of research which was funded ..." have to be open (not the research itself, but any publications discussing the results). So my boss asks me to write up an analysis of some new government data on cell phone use amongst college students and correlate it with our in in-house data, in order to make suggestions for our business strategy over the next 24 months. My analysis would be "on the results of" government research. Therefore we can't keep our analysis private?

Again, it's not necessarily a bad idea, but there are some issues, some gray areas and some areas that would be affected which might not be the intent of the supporters.

Native source

By goarilla • Score: 3 • Thread
There is more information on this local source:

- There will be an "Innovations deal". They will attempt to scrub current rules for "innovation impeding" laws.
- Evaluation of the last EU research program, claims that on average every Euro invested in Research created 11 Euro of wealth.
- The new EU research project (Horizons 2020) is the biggest ever with 70 billion euro.

Hackers Claim to Have 427 Million Myspace Passwords

Posted by manishsView on SlashDotShareable Link
Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai, reporting for Motherboard: There's an oft-repeated adage in the world of cybersecurity: There are two types of companies, those that have been hacked, and those that don't yet know they have been hacked. MySpace, the social media behemoth that was, is apparently in the second category. The same hacker who was selling the data of more than 164 million LinkedIn users last week now claims to have 360 million emails and passwords of MySpace users, which would be one of the largest leaks of passwords ever. And it looks like the data is being circulated in the underground by other hackers as well. It's unclear when the data was stolen from MySpace, but both the hacker, who's known as Peace, and one of the operators of LeakedSource, a paid hacked data search engine that also claims to have the credentials, said it's from a past, unreported, breach.


By Anonymous Coward • Score: 3, Funny • Thread

Can they tell me what mine is?

Blast From The Past

By Frosty Piss • Score: 3 • Thread

Hackers Claim to Have 427 Million Myspace Passwords...

And yet nothing of value was lost.

Seriously, anyone uses MySpace anymore?

Don't believe it

By gurps_npc • Score: 3 • Thread

Seriously, you expect me to believe there are still over 400 million Myspace accounts left?

I mean really. Next you will be telling me there are unpaid women on Ashley Madison.

Re:Blast From The Past

By Art Challenor • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
MySpace, Facebook, What'sApp, etc. if there really are 400 million, a useful percentage will be the same across different sites. Might as well throw them against banking sites and see what you get.

North Korea Linked to the SWIFT Bank Hacks

Posted by manishsView on SlashDotShareable Link
North Korea could be behind the recent string of digital attacks on Asian banks, says Symantec. The cyber security firms notes that the attacks could be traced as far back as October 2015, two months prior to the earliest known incident. As you may recall, hackers stole around $80M from Bangladesh's central bank in March, and a similar attack was seen at a Vietnamese bank earlier this month. Symantec says that it has found evidence that distinctive malware that was used in both the hacks had strong commonalities with the 2014 Sony Picture breaches. Security firm FireEye also investigated the matter. From a Bloomberg report: Investigators are examining possible computer breaches at as many as 12 banks linked to Swift's global payments network that have irregularities similar to those in the theft of $81 million from the Bangladesh central bank, according to a person familiar with the probe. FireEye, the security firm hired by the Bangladesh bank, has been contacted by the other banks, most of which are in Southeast Asia, because of signs that hackers may have breached their networks, the person said. They include banks in the Philippines and New Zealand but not in Western Europe or the United States. There is no indication of whether money was taken.


By Anonymous Coward • Score: 3, Funny • Thread

So you're telling me that an attack originates in a country with almost ZERO internet connectivity, and it took this long to track?

Roll back?

By Frosty Piss • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Since this is all electronic - no one walked out of any bank with 80 million in a suitcase - there must be a trail. This trail certainly doesn't end at the Band of Kim Jong Un. Why is it not possible to say, "Well... This transaction was fraudulent. Let's reverse it!"

The money went someplace, and the movement of 80 million would certainly leave traces.

I'm sure I'm totally ignorant of how such a thing, in the world of electronic money transfers between banks and governments, could not be backed up.

Gigabit Internet With No Data Caps May Be Coming To Rural America

Posted by manishsView on SlashDotShareable Link
Jon Brodkin, writing for Ars Technica: The Federal Communications Commission is making another $2.15 billion available for rural broadband projects, and it's trying to direct at least some of that money toward building services with gigabit download speeds and unlimited data. The FCC voted for the funding Wednesday (PDF) and released the full details yesterday (PDF). The money, $215 million a year for 10 years, will be distributed to Internet providers through a reverse auction in which bidders will commit to providing specific performance levels. Bidders can obtain money by proposing projects meeting requirements in any of four performance tiers. There's a minimum performance tier that includes speeds of at least 10Mbps downstream and 1Mbps upstream, with at least 150GB of data provided each month. A "baseline" performance tier requires 25Mbps/3Mbps speeds and at least 150GB a month, though the data allotment minimum could rise based on an FCC metric that determines what typical broadband consumers use per month.

The government tried this already

By zerofoo • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

We never learn from our mistakes:

Our country and government should not give the telecoms a dime until they do what they say they will to the satisfaction of the auditors and regulators. Promises are worthless.

How it will be done.

By 140Mandak262Jamuna • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
1 First all the private companies will get the money. Allocate it as bonuses and rewards to all the top executives.

2. Throw a little money into astro turf organization to protest.

3. Astro turf will denounce it as Big Government, Obamanet, over reach and argue for the program to be axed.

4. Some law makers will be persuaded by the lobbyists to fake concern and axe the program.

5. The companies will blame the funding cut to renege on all promises

Lather, rinse and repeat.

Re:sure, let's DOUBLE DOWN on STUPID!

By Nethemas the Great • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
I'm not sure where you got that statistic from but I can tell you that nearly all of rural America has a median family income half that.

Re:sure, let's DOUBLE DOWN on STUPID!

By dgatwood • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Even better would be to just kill this subsidy program entirely. Median farm income in America is over $80k, about 30% higher than the overall median. Why should poor people be taxed to subsidize other people that are better off?

That covers the farm owners, but what about all the other people who work on the farm?

Besides, you don't seem to comprehend the scale here. Areas defined as "highly rural" have fewer than 7 people per square mile. So at most two or three houses per square mile, and possibly not even one house per square mile. Urban areas have over 1,000 people per square mile. We subsidize services for people who make twice as much money as others because otherwise their Internet connections would cost potentially three orders of magnitude more, and even that's potentially an underestimate. That $200 setup fee suddenly becomes a $20,000 setup fee.

Competition vs monopoly in the market.

By Archfeld • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

without some form of subsidy, the greedy private carriers will NEVER develop the tech, or expend the cost to wire/beam just a few locals in a small farm town in the middle of nowhere America. I agree we should just require cable/internet services to be open and do away with utility protections. I happen to live in an area that has a couple of cable options, as well as satellite services, and the cost/service benefit is HUGE. When Astound/Wave came to town Comcast/Xfinity cut their cost and upped their data caps within a month to compete because they HAD to.

Why Are We Spending Billions and Tons of Fossil Fuel On Search of Lost Planes?

Posted by manishsView on SlashDotShareable Link
Reader Max_W asks: After days of massive search finally, "Report: Signals detected from EgyptAir Flight 804 in Mediterranean"

Why not record GPS/GLONASS track constantly into a text file on say twenty flash USB drives enclosed into orange styrofoam with the serial aircraft number on it? In case of an accident, these waterproof USB flash drives are released outside overboard. Certainly the text file is encrypted.

Such a floating USB flash drive would cost maximum a hundred USD even if equipped with a tiny LED lamp; while an aircraft costs millions, and a search may costs billions let alone thousands of tons of burned fossil fuel.

Re:Numerous bits of ignorance.

By Strider- • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Both Iridium and Orbcomm are truly global systems. Iridium satellites are in 86.9 degree orbits, and with 66 of them in active service, they provide pole to pole coverage. In fact, some of the early phones had a firmware bug that would cause them to get all confused in polar regions because they had so many satellites to choose from, and Iridium only allows hand-off between satellites going in the same general direction. Not a problem in most of the world, but at the poles, yes.

The only place where there may be issues with Iridium is over China, but that's due to licensing and legal restrictions placed by the government there, not due to any technical reason.

What you're probably thinking about is Globalstar, which is not global in reach. With Globalstar, your handset/earth station must be within single-hop distance to one of their earth-based gateways (Ie the satellite must be able to see you and a gateway at the same time). This means there is a large coverage gap in the mid pacific ocean.

Because Iridium uses inter-satellite links, all civilian traffic downlinks through their gateway in Tempe Arizona, and DoD downlinks through an earth station in Hawaii. If you make an Iridium to Iridium call, there is a good chance that it will get routed directly through the satellite constellation and never go through Tempe (or Hawaii).

Why not just record all flight data to an iPhone?

By tekrat • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Why not just record all flight data to an iPhone? And then when the plane crashes, you use "Find my iPhone" and boom!, you've located the crash site.

it's the people

By sdinfoserv • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
We're not looking for planes - we're looking for people.


By Dins • Score: 5, Funny • Thread
That's it! We mount small planes under the planes, complete with their own black boxes. It's planes all the way down!

Think they haven't been trying to solve this?

By tipo159 • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

After AF447 and then again after MH370, the people who deal with stuff for a living have been discussing this. Well, not this kinda lame proposal, but the problem that it is trying to solve.

Here is a GAO report on the topic.

As far as the "fossil fuel" wasted on the search, a) as noted elsewhere, you want to search for survivors (JAL123, a 747, crashed into the side of a mountain and there were 4 survivors) and b) even if you know exactly where the plane went down, the fuel used to search is small compared to the fuel spent on recovery.

Microsoft's Get Windows 10 App, KB 3035583, Reappears

Posted by manishsView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader shares an InfoWorld article: Once again, Microsoft has unleashed the GWX Kraken, with no explanation and no description. The latest KB 3035583 appears as a "Recommended" optional patch for Windows 7 and 8.1. Those with Automatic Update turned on and "Give me recommended updates the same way I receive important updates" checked -- the default settings -- will see the patch as a checked, optional update, and it will be installed the next time Automatic Update runs. If you previously hid KB 3035583, it's now unhidden. I'm sure there are a dozen people on earth who still have Auto Updates turned on, "Recommended updates" checked, and who haven't yet accepted Microsoft's kind invitation for a free copy of Windows 10. This one's for them. In late March 2015, Microsoft released the first version of KB 3035583. Described as "Update enables additional capabilities for Windows Update notifications in Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 SP1," the patch immediately raised eyebrows. In April of last year, a German researcher named Gerard Himmelein, writing at, figured out that Microsoft was sneaking a Windows 10 upgrader onto Win7 and 8.1 machines. Life for Win7 and 8.1 customers since then has degenerated into Win10 whack-a-mole.In some other news, Chinese news outlet Xinhua reports that plenty of users in China are unhappy about Microsoft's push to get them to mandatorily upgrade their Windows OS. "The company has abused its dominant market position and broken the market order for fair play," Xinhua quoted Zhao Zhanling, a legal adviser with the Internet Society of China, as saying.

Re:M$ Sales at it's finest...

By silanea • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

[...] A week later she's telling me how Windows 10 is just as good or perhaps even a bit better and easier to use than Windows 8 and she's glad she upgraded.

Well, going from 8 to 10 is indeed an upgrade. Going from 7 to 10 is better than going from 7 to 8. Better as in "being deported to Siberia instead of Auschwitz" better.

Re:Bad marketing

By thegarbz • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Every report I've seen about that has had methodology I've used to show Ubuntu, Fedora, et al sends your personal information all over the god damned world

Yes. Ubuntu sends relevant information required for the updating of the system. Microsoft sends personally harvested information for the purposes of marketing disguised as "customer improvement program". I actually really like Windows 10, but I am not even going to remotely defend this behaviour. At least with Ubuntu you can turn all the damn things off, with MS you're not given a choice.

Mine warns me like 2 days before it does it, and tells me it's scheduled for like 3am 2 days later. It lets me delay that stuff to a date and time of my choosing, and will put the updates in when I reboot if I finish up early and decide I can restart at that time.

A time of your choosing is sugarcoating a way of saying sometime during that night it will reboot. It will do so regardless if a program is blocking and will do so regardless of what you think your own update policy should be. Furthermore good luck to you if your computer is asleep for a few days and then you need to use it for a presentation only to sit there and have it go through it's update when you turn it on. My choice my arse. I like the ability for auto updates. I like that auto is the system default. I like that Windows 10 silently does it without much user gripe. Not giving someone the choice is indefensible.

You sent me a link to Windows 10 installing itself as a new operating system and moving the previous OS to a C:\windows.old directory.

Keep reading. In the process it SILENTLY removes software that isn't compatible. It doesn't give you the option to not upgrade, or warn you. It just does. This is indefensible especially given this is MS removing something that people paid money for. Do they now get a refund?

Is Google Chrome immune from Microsoft setting its home page to Bing?

Oh I'm glad you mentioned this, especially since every update seems to set Edge back to the default browser, and regardless of what you set your default browser too if you search via Cortana it'll open up in Edge.

Windows 10 is a great solid OS, but some of the design decision mentioned here aren't just a letdown, they are the kind of thing that you can only come up with when smoking weed with MBAs. Speaking of weed, if you think that 2/3rds of what was posted above doesn't affect the vast majority of users then maybe you should let your own THC levels drop a bit before posting.

Re:It's Nadella and his arrogance

By Junior J. Junior III • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

I for one can't wait to ruin Microsoft by settling for a coupon for $10 off Windows 11.

Elementary OS

By fluffernutter • Score: 3 • Thread
I've been trying out Elementary OS and it seems pretty spectacular so far. Much smother then any linux I have seen in awhile. Just thought I would mention it.

Re:As if people didn't hate M$ enough already!

By thegarbz • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

You and 1.2% of the user base.

Normally I would agree with this sentiment. But Windows 10 is only being adopted at a marginally faster rate than Windows 7.
And Windows 10 is free.
And Windows 10 upgrades are so easy people are doing it by accident.
And Microsoft is using every dirty trick it can to make those numbers better.

Given that colossal failure evident in the statistics I think you may actually find more than 1.2% of users have had enough of MS's shit.

Slashdot Asks: Would You Pay For Android Updates?

Posted by manishsView on SlashDotShareable Link
It's no secret that most Android OEMs could do better when it comes to seeding out updates for their existing devices. A report on Bloomberg earlier this week claimed that Google plans to publicly name and shame the OEMs who are too slow at updating their devices. An HTC executive who didn't want to be identified told Slashdot on Thursday that it is not the right way to approach the problem. But that's only one part of the problem. The other issue is that almost every Android OEM partner -- including Google itself -- only provides support to their devices for 18-24 months. Vlad Savov of The Verge in a column today urges Android OEMs to perhaps charge its users if that is what it takes for them to offer support to their devices for a longer period of time and in a timely manner. He writes: I've been one of the many people dissatisfied with the state of Android software updates, however I can't in good conscience direct my wrath at the people manufacturing the devices. Price and spec competition is so intense right now that there's literally no option to disengage: everyone's been sucked into the whirlpool of razor-thin profit margins, and nobody can afford the luxury of dedicating too many resources to after-sales care. The question that's been bugging me lately is, if we value Android updates as highly as we say we do, why don't we pay for them? The situation can't be fixed by manufacturers -- most of them are barely breaking even -- or by Google, which is doing its best to improve things but ultimately relies on carriers and device makers to get the job done. Carriers will most certainly not be the solution, given how they presently constitute most of the problem (just ask AT&T Galaxy S6 owners) -- so like it or not, the best chance for substantial change comes from us, the users. What I'm proposing is a simple crowdfunding operation. I'm skeptical about this, because I don't think it is in an OEM's best interest to serve its existing users for long -- how else they will convince customers to purchase their new devices? A newer software version is after all one of the ultimate selling points of a new phone. So I don't think an OEM will take up on such an offer. What do you folks think?

Vlad Savov is an idiot.

By Comboman • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
Let me re-write his ramblings from The Verge for a different industry to demonstrate how ridiculous they are:


"I've been one of the many people dissatisfied with the state of auto industry recalls, however I can't in good conscience direct my wrath at the people manufacturing the devices. Price and spec competition is so intense right now that there's literally no option to disengage: everyone's been sucked into the whirlpool of razor-thin profit margins, and nobody can afford the luxury of dedicating too many resources to after-sales care. The question that's been bugging me lately is, if we value airbag recalls as highly as we say we do, why don't we pay for them? The situation can't be fixed by manufacturers -- most of them are barely breaking even -- or by Takata, which is doing its best to improve things but ultimately relies on automakers to get the job done. Dealers will most certainly not be the solution, given how they presently constitute most of the problem -- so like it or not, the best chance for substantial change comes from us, the drivers. What I'm proposing is a simple crowdfunding operation."

Re:I'll pay for a Nexus

By Noryungi • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Only for a couple of years. Google has itself has abandoned eg. Nexus 7, which was sold two years ago. Only a fool will buy anything new again from a vendor, who has just pulled the plug from the model one has currently..

That is totally new to me, since I own a Nexus 5 (not a Nexus 5x, mind you, the original Nexus 5) and a Nexus 7 and both were updated a couple of weeks ago to Android 6.0.1, Security patch level May 2016.

I have noticed the updates for the Nexus 7 lag a bit behind the Nexus 5, but usually not much more than 10 days.

Make of that what you will.

Exactly right

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

I realize that the logiphobic are going to have a problem with what I'm about to write, so if you have an aversion to logic and reason just skip to the next post.

Hopefully the kids in Hockey helmets are gone now.

Upgrading does not fix security holes, it replaces them. I have been working in IT Security for over 30 years and I have never seen an update that magically fixes everything. I have seen plenty that fix a particular problem but expose another, and sometimes more than one. Risk mitigation is the name of the game, and not doing everything you are told can be quite productive.

If you never connect to public wifi you don't have the same risk footprint as someone who does. If you don't use your phones web browser why do you need it patched exactly? Believe it or not, plenty of people use their smartphone as a phone and ignore the smart. Good for them by the way.

Fear mongering works on the weak minded, but there are people who don't fit that description.

Re:Umm no.

By Shawn Willden • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Even Microsoft can make an OS that doesn't require the manufacturer's blessing to install updates. Google needs to fix the OS, not the OEMS.

(Google Android engineer here)

I wish that were possible. The fact is that the same thing that makes the Android ecosystem so powerful -- the fact that it *is* an ecosystem, based on open source code -- means that OEMs can heavily customize Android on their devices, and Google has little control over what they do. Google can't safely update devices running code to which it doesn't even have source, even if there weren't other technical and business obstacles. Google's only real lever is the Play store, which is what motivates OEMs to care about passing the compliance test suite, but even that can't be pushed too hard or OEMs will simply set up their own. Maybe in alliance with Amazon, who already has one.

IMO, though, users paying for updates is the wrong answer. The right answer is for OEMs to be pushed into publishing formal support policies, as Google has done for Nexus devices, and for users to consider those policies and be willing to pay a little more for devices with better support. I'm willing to pay a little more for a car with a better warranty, for example.

That said, if the market likes the idea of paid updates (which I doubt), that's cool. Maybe OEMs can give their code to third parties who sell "extended update policies" for users who wish to buy them. A one-time fee or subscription might be more palatable than paying for each update.

Re:Exactly right

By geek • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Whoever has been paying you for 30 years should ask for their money back. You're a moron of the worst kind.

Facebook Begins Tracking Non-Users Around the Internet

Posted by manishsView on SlashDotShareable Link
Amar Toor, reporting for The Verge: Facebook will now display ads to web users who are not members of its social network, the company announced Thursday, in a bid to significantly expand its online ad network. As The Wall Street Journal reports, Facebook will use cookies, "like" buttons, and other plug-ins embedded on third-party sites to track members and non-members alike (Editor's note: link swapped with a non-paywall source). The company says it will be able to better target non-Facebook users and serve relevant ads to them, though its practices have come under criticism from regulators in Europe over privacy concerns. Facebook began displaying a banner notification at the top of its News Feed for users in Europe today, alerting them to its use of cookies as mandated under an EU directive.Mark Wilson of BetaNews adds that Facebook has outlined these changes in its cookies policy page. As part of which, the company is now allowing Facebook users to opt-out of the ad scheme by making changes to their Facebook settings. For users that don't have a Facebook account, they can opt-out through Digital Advertising Alliance in the United States and Canada, and the European Interactive Digital Adverting Alliance in Europe.

Opt Out Policy?

By Archangel Michael • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Fuck YOU Facebook.

So, to Opt out of being tracked by you, I have to go to yet another place (which is not obvious) and sign up to not be tracked. Fuck you world which allows this shit to be acceptable.

1) Use Tor
2) Use Incognito Mode
3) Time to block cookies, delete cookies, and so on.

Did I mention ... FUCK YOU FACEBOOK!

We've become Idiocracy

By Sir_Eptishous • Score: 3 • Thread
When the wealth created by companies like Google, and FB(eventually?) is based upon advertising.
Advertising?!? Really?

Industrial Age
Information Age
Advertising Age

Privacy Badger

By ssam • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
Everyone here is already using Privacy Badger ( ) or similar right?

Re:Digital Advertising Alliance

By AmiMoJo • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Don't bother, it's a trap. The "opt out" works by setting a cookie on your computer. If you care at all about stopping tracking, you already block such cookies anyway.

Privacy Badger and uBlock Origin are much, much more effective. Since they can't offer a way to opt in, the nuke-it-from-orbit option is the only one left.

Re:Digital Advertising Alliance

By Sloppy • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Anything worth doing, is worth doing while geekily obsessing over all the details.

China Unveils 'Straddling Bus' Design To Beat Traffic Jams

Posted by manishsView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader writes: A Beijing company has unveiled spectacularly futuristic designs for a pollution-busting, elevated bus capable of gliding over the nightmarish mega-jams for which urban China has become notorious. The "straddling bus," which owes more to Blade Runner than China's car-clogged highways, is supported by two legs that run along rails laid along the roadside. Those legs allow the Transit Explore Bus, or TEB's giant frame to glide high above the gridlock at speeds of up to 60km per hour. Equally, vehicles that are less than two metres high will be able to drive freely underneath the bus, even when it is stationary. "The biggest advantage is that the bus will save lots of road space," Song Youzhou, the project's chief engineer, told Xinhua, China's official news agency. Song claimed his buses, capable of transporting up to 1,400 commuters, could be produced for 20% of the price of an underground train and rolled out far more quickly since the supporting infrastructure was relatively simple. One TEB could replace 40 conventional buses, he said.You can watch the concept video here. Interestingly a very similar -- if not the exact same -- concept has come out of China before. Not sure what kind of developments have been made in the six years since then.

Re:2 meters high.

By Errol backfiring • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Not even my bike fits under that bus. And although a Whike is quite high, it is road legal and conforms to the traffic sizes (which are based on a firetruck where I live). 2 meters is way too low to be able to pass regular traffic. The first van or truck would stop the bus dead in its tracks.

Re:Um, moving walls?

By Livius • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

It's not meant to replace regular surface buses, it's meant to replace building a hugely expensive subway line.

Re:Um, moving walls?

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

When there's too many straddling buses and they get backed up, then they'll make an even wider stradling bus stradling bus. That's why they're leaving the third lane.

Re:Um, moving walls?

By Captain Splendid • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
It's straddle buses all the way down.

Re:2 meters high.

By wonkey_monkey • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Probably need guardrails too, to prevent people from driving into the sides of the bus.

Other videos I've seen have shown it running on raised rails that run all along either side of the ride.