the unofficial Slashdot digest archive

Cervical Cancer Just Got Much Deadlier -- Because Scientists Fixed a Math Error

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Cervical cancer is 77 percent more deadly for black women and 44 percent more deadly for white women than previously thought, researchers report today in the journal Cancer. But the lethal boosts aren't from more women actually dying than before -- they're from scientists correcting their own calculation error. In the past, their estimates didn't account for women who had undergone hysterectomies -- which almost always removes the cervix, and with it the risk of getting cervical cancer. We don't include men in our calculation because they are not at risk for cervical cancer and by the same measure, we shouldn't include women who don't have a cervix," Anne F. Rositch, the study's lead author and an epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins told The New York Times. For the study, the researchers looked at national cervical cancer mortality data collected between 2000 to 2012. They also looked into national survey data on the prevalence of hysterectomies. Then, they used those figures to adjust the number of women at risk of dying of cervical cancer. The researchers found that black women have a mortality rate of 10.1 per 100,000. For white women, the rate is 4.7 per 100,000. Past estimates had those rates at 5.7 and 3.2, respectively. The new death rate for black women in the US is on par with that of developing countries. Though the new study wasn't designed to address racial disparities, experts speculate that the large difference reflects unequal access to preventative medicine and quality healthcare.

See? I always told everyone math kills!

By sinij • Score: 3 • Thread
See? I always told everyone math give you cancer! Now I finally have a proof.

Yes we can

By lucm • Score: 3 • Thread

The new death rate for black women in the US is on par with that of developing countries.

In other news, insurance companies make record profits since Obamacare

If it helps any . . .

By mmell • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Cervical cancer didn't become deadlier, we've just become slightly better informed.

Re: Why wasn't this caught in peer review?

By thesupraman • Score: 4 • Thread

More to the point.. Think critically for a moment what percentage of the dangle must be removed to make this much difference...
And then wonder... For just a moment.. If that many women really have their cervix removed..
Really.. do over 1/2 of the female population have their cervix removed? (Allowing for the fact that people don't have their hysterectomy young generally.. hence inflating the required number ) Really?
I am smelling a rat here.. And it's a big Smelly political/funding rat..

Sorry, but the math just didn't add up.. Not even close.

My suspicion is they are trying to inflate the number to avoid the embarrassing fact that cervical cancer gets much much more funding than prostate cancer, while having lower fatality rates..

Of course I will be labeled sexist for saying that.. Because men's lives matter less.. Apparently.
But you know what? I don't care. Because I believe in actual equality.. not advantage to the loudest.

Re:Vitamin D

By Imrik • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

The racial disparity they're talking about in this case is that white women are more likely to get a hysterectomy after they get cervical cancer than black women are. They aren't talking about the overall higher death rate among black women, which could be affected by vitamin D.

South Korea Developing 'Near-Supersonic' Train Similar To Hyperloop

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
The South Korean government plans to unveil a high-speed train that can travel at near-supersonic speeds capable of cutting a five hour journey to just 30 minutes. It's reminiscent of the Hyperloop, a proposed mode of passenger and freight transportation that propels a pod-like vehicle through a near-vacuum tube at more than airline speed. Huffington Post UK reports: According to the Korea Railroad Research Institute, it plans to unveil a "hyper tube" format train in the "not too distant" future. Speaking to the South China Morning Post, the government-owned organization said: "We hope to create an ultra-fast train, which will travel inside a state-of-the-art low-pressure tube at lightning speeds, in the not-too-distant future. To that end, we will cooperate with associated institutes as well as Hanyang University to check the viability of various related technologies called the hyper-tube format over the next three years." While this sounds very similar to the low-pressure concept designed initially by Tesla founder Elon Musk it seems as though the KRRI wants to go even further and create a system that will leave Hyperloop looking like a Hornby set. By throwing all their resources at the project, South Korea is hoping to skip past maglev, a still-new propulsion system that uses electromagnets to actually levitate trains above the air. While this removes some of the friction that comes with using conventional wheels, it still doesn't remove the brick wall of friction that is air itself. By building a low-pressure tube however and placing the train inside it you can effectively create a train that could travel at eye-watering speeds.

North Korea responds

By elrous0 • Score: 3 • Thread

Glorious Leader invent train that go light speed. ALL HAIL GLORIOUS LEADER!


By manu0601 • Score: 3 • Thread
It is surprising the project comes from a nation with a relatively small territory: the benefits are much smaller than if it happened in for instance Russia, China, or USA.

If they have this kind of money

By Snotnose • Score: 3 • Thread
They can fucking defend themselves against Best Korea. How many artillery guns and shells can you buy for this kind of money?

Much as I hate to say it, Trump is right maybe 1 time in 10.

Guess they found something

By jpellino • Score: 3 • Thread
to do with all those Galaxy Note 7 batteries.

Two-Thirds of Americans Give Priority To Developing Alternative Energy Over Fossil Fuels

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Pew Research Center: A new Pew Research Center survey finds that 65% of Americans give priority to developing alternative energy sources, compared with 27% who would emphasize expanded production of fossil fuel sources. Support for concentrating on alternative energy is up slightly since December 2014. At that time, 60% said developing alternative energy sources was the more important priority. There continue to be wide political differences on energy priorities. While a 2016 Pew Research Center survey found large majorities of Democrats and Republicans supported expanding both wind and solar energy, the new survey shows that Democrats remain far more likely than Republicans to stress that developing alternative energy should take priority over developing fossil fuel sources. About eight-in-ten (81%) Democrats and independents who lean to the Democratic Party favor developing alternative sources instead of expanding production from fossil fuel sources. Republicans and Republican-leaning independents are closely divided: 45% say the more important priority should be developing alternative sources, while 44% say expanding production of oil, coal and natural gas should be given more priority. There also are differences in public priorities about energy by age. Americans under the age of 50 are especially likely to support alternative energy sources over expanding fossil fuels. About seven-in-ten (73%) of those ages 18 to 49 say developing alternative sources of energy should be the more important priority, while 22% say expanding production of fossil fuels should be the more important priority. Older adults are more divided in their views, though they also give more priority to alternatives. Among those 50 and older, 55% say alternative energy development is more important, while 34% say it's more important to expand production of fossil fuel energy sources.

I like alternative energy

By presidenteloco • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

but you apparently prefer "alternative facts", which, as Merriam-Webster corp. tweeted today, are not, you know, actually, facts.

Just as one easy counter-example, you can build a solar-panel-building factory in the sahara desert, converting local sand into silicon solar panels, using nothing but the energy from the sun to power the factory and the construction vehicles, after a short initial pre-sustainable bootstrapping period.

Also, the environmental cost of just shipping fossil fuels from producing country to consuming country currently dwarfs all of those environmental costs you mention, and that doesn't even count the environmental costs of burning said fossil fuels.

So one has to question the motivation behind your remarks. Are you a driver of an embarrassingly oversized "tru-u-oo-u-uck" used only for grocery hauling, or a paid fossil-fuel industry shill?

Re:Depends who pays

By Cyberax • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
Solar cells recoup their energy costs in about 5 years now and become CO2 negative even if coal was used as the primary source. Coal pollutes forever.

Re:Captain, that's illogical

By CaptainDork • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Apparently, they did:

Nearly 139 million Americans voted this year, according to the United States Elections Project. This sets a new overall record, surpassing the all-time high of 132 million Americans who voted in the 2008 contest between Barack Obama and John McCain.

But that total suggests that only 60% of the country's 232 million eligible voters actually voted this year.

Re:Contrast this with the incoming administration

By Layzej • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Saudi Arabia is modernizing their energy sector. Three years ago, Saudi Arabia announced a goal of building, by 2032, 41 gigawatts of solar capacity, slightly more than the world leader, Germany, has today. According to one estimate, that would be enough to meet about 20 percent of the kingdom’s projected electricity needs

Meanwhile USA is investing in ... Coal? This while Solar is closing in on price parity with the likes of coal — with full-cycle, unsubsidized costs of about 13 cents per kilowatthour, versus 12 cents for advanced coal plants

Hey, I have a tangential question . . .

By mmell • Score: 3 • Thread
Has anybody noticed that North-Central Oklahoma is averaging a couple (minor) earthquakes per day since large scale hydraulic fracture extraction (a.k.a., "fracking") started? That region of the US used to be seismically stable - rock solid, one might say.

I wonder if fracking will bring enough money into the region to pay for the damages which will be caused by the major earthquake which is now foreseeably coming their way?

Yahoo Sale To Verizon Delayed After Hack Disclosures

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
wiredmikey quotes a report from SecurityWeek: Yahoo said Monday that the closing of a $4.8 billion deal to sell its core internet assets to U.S. telecom titan Verizon has been delayed several months. A close originally set for this quarter has been pushed into next quarter, and has been thrown into doubt following disclosures of two huge data breaches. Yahoo announced in September that hackers in 2014 stole personal data from more than 500 million of its user accounts. It admitted another cyberattack in December, this one dating from 2013, affecting over a billion users. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has opened an investigation into whether Yahoo should have informed investors sooner about the two major data breaches.

Creaak... Creeeeeeeeek

By SeaFox • Score: 3 • Thread

Listen to that Tommy! You can actually hear the monstrous ship groan as the SS Verizon tries to do a turnabout and avoid that sand bar. Can they overcome corporate inertia and avoid this mess? Tune in next time to "Mergers on the High Seas!"

Apple Investigating Issue With AirPods Randomly Disconnecting During Calls

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
According to MacRumors, Apple is investigating multiple reports from iPhone owners of AirPods randomly disconnecting and reconnecting during calls. While the issue doesn't appear to be widespread, it appears to be a big enough problem to attract Apple's attention. One of the main reasons why the AirPods were so late to the market was because Apple needed more time to ensure the earpieces had reliable connectivity. Specifically, they were delayed to ensure both earpieces receive audio at the same time. MacRumors reports: A MacRumors forum thread and a long thread on Apple's Support Communities website have been generated by AirPods users who are regularly experiencing Bluetooth connection dropouts during phone calls, despite the fact that the wireless earphones almost never lose their connection when used to listen to music or anything else. MacRumors forum member protobiont wrote: "I've had this happen on two phone calls today. I am talking and suddenly the audio switches to the phone, I hear the Airpod connect tones and the audio switches back. This will repeat itself a few times, which is quite distracting during a phone call." At present, the issue appears to be limited to iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus devices, with several users reporting no such problems after upgrading to an iPhone 7. MacRumors was also unable to replicate the problem on Apple's latest handset. Initial reports suggested the dropout issue only occurs if users also have an Apple Watch paired to their iPhone, but MacRumors was able to replicate the problem with a Fitbit Blaze, suggesting a more general conflict when other Bluetooth devices are also connected. Unpairing and then repairing the AirPods does not appear to solve the problem, neither does rebooting nor resetting the iPhone. Until Apple offers a solution, users are advised to use only one AirPod for conducting calls, as the dropouts only seem to occur when both earpieces are in use.

Re:They shouldn't haven been released

By sexconker • Score: 4 • Thread

The only one who should be fired for this is the chief clown Tim Cook.
He should be fired for the shitty sales of the iPhone 7 and MBP. as well. Shitty is a relative term here, FYI.

Apple's latest generation of shit has been a failure in the eyes of the media, the industry, the public, and the shareholders. The current batch of iThings only serve as a reminder that Jobs is dead and what Apple without Jobs was. (For the record, I think Apple with Jobs was shit through and through, but I won't deny that people bought ever-increasing quantities of whatever turd he held on a stage..)


By HockeyPuck • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

This is an IRQ conflict... they should move the headset to COM1 and the cellular modem to COM3.

paying customers, beta testing

By bmimatt • Score: 3 • Thread
Just like Microsoft did in the 90's and 00's (and possibly still does now), Apple now uses paying customers to do the last round of testing for them. After they purchase the iGadgets. The recent MBP/iPhone port removal shenanigans will sure keep me riding my hardware to their last breath.


By fluffernutter • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
I have a pair of headphones that I thought were pretty decent. Then I forgot an audio cable one day and went into bluetooth mode. Most of the nuance of the music disappeared. Gone were all the fine texture of the instruments. I honestly couldn't listen to it and switched to an audiobook. Maybe the new bluetooth is better but not currently economical compared to wires.

wireless isn't a replacement

By globaljustin • Score: 3 • Thread

Apple is so far up it's ass on this whole "it's all wireless in the future and the future is now" bullshit...

Bluetooth is great, but battery life and size are often fatally problematic to the notion of "just get bluetooth headphones" is some kind of universal solution rendering headphones with cords (btw the headphone jack is also a *universally compatible data port*) obsolete and somehow justifying Apple's design strategy and marketing on these products.

Let me address this now, people will definitely comment, "But I have used bluetooth headphones for years and the battery life and sound quality are sufficient"...that's great, but it's not evidence that proves this is a good design decision.

Bluetooth headphones are caught between wanting to be as small as possible, have longer battery life, and not teathering them for convenience somehow (b/c then might as well use a cord!). It's what happens when you let marketing drive design, an obtuse impass where no solution is right. Wireless headphones with 8 hours of battery life is not enough for many, many users. For many various reasons. It really is noteworthy that the smaller they get the more they would benefit from cords, which are the whole thing they attempt to avoid.

We are far, far away from wireless headphones being a de facto replacement for wired headphones such that we can just discard the headphone port.

Ransomware Infects All St Louis Public Library Computers

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Guardian: Libraries in St Louis have been bought to a standstill after computers in all the city's libraries were infected with ransomware, a particularly virulent form of computer virus used to extort money from victims. Hackers are demanding $35,000 (£28,000) to restore the system after the cyberattack, which affected 700 computers across the Missouri city's 16 public libraries. The hackers demanded the money in electronic currency bitcoin, but, as CNN reports, the authority has refused to pay for a code that would unlock the machines. As a result, the library authority has said it will wipe its entire computer system and rebuild it from scratch, a solution that may take weeks. On Friday, St Louis public library announced it had managed to regain control of its servers, with tech staff continuing to work to restore borrowing services. The 16 libraries have all remained open, but computers continue to be off limits to the public. Spokeswoman Jen Hatton told CNN that the attack had hit the city's schoolchildren and its poor worst, as many do not have access to the internet at home. "For many [...] we're their only access to the internet," she said. "Some of them have a smartphone, but they don't have a data plan. They come in and use the wifi." As well as causing the loans system to seize up, preventing borrowers from checking out or returning books, the attack froze all computers, leaving no one able to access the four million items that should be available through the service. The system is believed to have been infected through a centralized computer server, and staff emails have also been frozen by the virus. The FBI has been called in to investigate.

Re:Reading between the lines...

By Rick Schumann • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Being a public library, it's not like they have to have backups for every single computer either. Most if not all of their workstations, including especially the ones intended for public access, would just be paved over with a standard image, and pretty much also for employee workstations. Only their server(s) would really be affected, right? So long as they have backup(s) they'd be fine.

Surely an inadvertent target

By Ed Tice • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
If they are just machines for public web browsing, there i3s no data to ransom. Just reinitialize them. Firefox works great on Linux BTW and you have a much smaller attack surface.

I'm Angry

By DaMattster • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
It takes a special kind of asshole to attack a library; a place where people go to learn and access the internet. Why go after one of the poorest resources and attack those that have the least to give? Go after the fucking fortune 500 companies but not a fucking library. One only hopes that anonymous could turn the tables on these slimy thieves.

Re: Why do people keep using Windows?

By TWX • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
That's not really it at all.

Decision-makers at the top of organizations love Windows. They love Microsoft. They love all of the pretty graphs and charts and menus that make it look easy to administer a system or network. The problem is, they often start to think that they actually know how to do just that once they've been through the marketing experience meetings where the people from the vendor with a lot of knowledge make it look so simple, or else they hire people that do a very convincing job of sounding like they know what they're doing but don't. Worst, those people (either the bosses or the ignorant hirees) may be convinced that they know what they're doing far beyond reality.

Now, I will give it this much, sometimes the GUI tools can be useful. It's much easier to plot how network traffic is being passed among multiple interfaces to the WAN or to the ISP across multiple NAT firewalls with a GUI graph than it is on a text console. On the other hand, actually figuring out what's going on is often a function of the console, rather than of the GUI.

Kudos to the St. Louis libraries!

By mmell • Score: 3 • Thread
First - paying ransomware is not too far removed from negotiating with terrorists (IMHO, YMMV). If a ransomware scammer manages to kidnap your data, paying him or her only encourages more such attacks. Being given a big middle-finger (along with the bad press it generates) will only leave these data kidnappers to hide their involvement and hope they never get caught.

Second - St. Louis' libraries almost certainly can't afford to pay even one of these mutts. Libraries were once magnificent places where people went to read and borrow dead-tree media (a.k.a., books, although periodicals and reference works were also available there). While libraries have become the one publicly available free-as-in-beer places to get internet access, their core mission of providing free access to reference, literary and other materials was not directly impacted by this. One could still walk into a library, look up a desired text in the card catalog and physically access a nearly exploit-proof repository of knowledge and information. They don't have budgets for IT security which would prove to be exceedingly difficult to provide on hundreds of publicly accessible computers, nor do they have a mandate to provide electronic services.

Third - and this ties back to second - libraries in general don't have a budget for public IT. They can't afford the expertise to implement FOSS when the vast majority of the people who will maintain and use the provided services are not trained to use it. Even on their web presence, ease of implementation (which probably contributed to this problem) equals lower TCO for them.

Yahoo Faces SEC Probe Over Data Breaches

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
New submitter Linorgese quotes a report from The Wall Street Journal (Warning: paywalled; alternate source): U.S. authorities are investigating whether Yahoo Inc.'s two massive data breaches should have been reported sooner to investors, according to people familiar with the matter, in what could prove to be a major test in defining when a company is required to disclose a hack. Last month, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said it had begun an investigation into a 2013 data breach that involved more than 1 billion users' accounts. That followed Yahoo's disclosure that a 2014 intrusion involved about 500 million accounts. As part of its investigation, the SEC last month requested documents from Yahoo, the Journal said, citing persons familiar with the situation. The agency has been seeking a model case for cybersecurity rules it issued in 2011, legal experts told the Journal. In a November 2016 SEC filing, Yahoo noted that it was cooperating with the SEC, Federal Trade Commission and other federal, state, and foreign governmental officials and agencies including "a number of State Attorneys General, and the U.S. Attorney's office for the Southern District of New York." When Yahoo reported the 2014 breach it said that evidence linked it to a state-sponsored attacker. It has not announced a suspected responsibility for the larger 2013 intrusion, but the company has said it does not believe the two breaches are linked.

Re:Marissa Mayer apparently has only one talent

By Ziest • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

How Marissa Mayer looks in a miniskirt is irrelevant. I used to work at Yahoo and I can tell you from experience that Marissa's number 1 talent is talking, she is really in love with the sound of her own voice, and NOT FUCKING LISTENING TO A SINGLE WORD ANYONE HAS TO SAY. She pushed the revamp of Yahoo's mail interface, then bitched because almost no one inside was not using it. In fact the internal usage dropped like a stone. Multiple people told her that the revamp sucked but did she listen? Fuck no. The sad thing is she is going to walk away from the smoking crater formally know as Yahoo with a metric ton of money in her pocket.

FBI Is Probing Sundance Cyberattack That Forced Box Office To Close

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Over the weekend, the Sundance Film Festival was hacked. "Sundance Film Festival has been subject to a cyberattack, causing network outages that have shut down our box office," said a spokesperson for the festival. "No further information about the attack is available at this time, but our team is working hard to get our system back up and running as soon as possible. All screenings will still take place as planned." According to The Hollywood Reporter, the FBI is now investigating the hack and is working with Sundance officials to identify the culprit. From their report: Although the festival was able to get its ticketing systems back online within an hour of the Saturday breach, multiple other denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks on Sundance's IT infrastructure followed. A DDoS attack works by flooding the bandwidth or resources of a targeted server. A Sundance Film Festival rep offers the following statement: "The FBI is reviewing the case. At this point, we do not have any reason to believe the cyberattack was targeted towards a specific film. No artist or customer information was compromised." At the time of the hack, the festival offered little in the way of explanation of what happened, but hinted that filmmakers at the annual celebration of independent cinema may have been the target. One producer of a Sundance documentary critical of the Russian government believes his film could have played a role in the attack. "There's been speculation that our film may have sparked retribution," Icarus consulting producer Doug Blush tells THR. "It does not paint a flattering picture of [president Vladimir] Putin." Icarus, which made its world premiere at the festival the day before the hack, centers on a Russian doctor who oversaw and then spoke out about Russia's widespread state-sponsored sports doping. The Bryan Fogel-helmed film, which is being pitched to distributors, has played throughout the weekend in Park City at screenings for both press-and-industry and the public. Icarus isn't the only Sundance film that could antagonize the Russian government and Putin. Evgeny Afineevsky's Cries From Syria -- one of several docs tackling the war-torn nation -- also takes a critical look at Putin and Russia's military intervention in Syria. Cries From Syria made its world premiere at Sundance on Sunday, the day after the initial box-office cyberattack.


By TechyImmigrant • Score: 3 • Thread

I though Brian Krebs beat all the DDOSers with his marvelous reporting.

I don't buy it.

By Jack Zombie • Score: 3 • Thread

We already know that the US intel community released a report where they lied about Russian hacking of the US elections.

So, why should I believe, again without proof, that the attack was from the Russian state?

It makes no sense. They wanted to bury the stories critical of Putin? Then they wouldn't hack Sundance; Streisand effect. But it makes sense in the continuing context of the US intel community trying to frame Russia to build the case with the public for a later war against them.

It just screams of setup; I have no reason to have confidence in the Hollywood Reporter's claims.

Foxconn Considers $7 Billion Screen Factory In US, Which Could Create Up To 50,000 Jobs

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Foxconn, the Taiwanese contract manufacturing company best known for its partnership with Apple, has said that it is mulling a $7 billion investment in U.S. manufacturing that could create between 30,000 and 50,000 jobs. According to The Wall Street Journal, Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou says the company is talking with the state of Pennsylvania among others about getting the land and electricity subsidies it would need to build a factory. "If U.S. state governments are willing to provide these terms, and we calculate and it is cheaper than shipping from China or Japan, then why wouldn't Sharp build a factory in the U.S.?" said Gou. The factory would build flat-panel screens under the Sharp name -- Foxconn bought Sharp around this time last year for $5.1 billion. Sharp President Tai Jeng-wu hinted in October of 2016 that U.S. manufacturing could be a possibility for Sharp, and he also indicated that Apple could begin using OLED display panels in future iPhones. Apple currently uses OLED in the Apple Watch and in the new MacBook Pro's Touch Bar, but otherwise it hasn't pushed to adopt the technology as some Android phone manufacturers have.

Re: Sad to see Trump...

By PoopJuggler • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Except taking taxpayer money in subsidies and creating minimum wage assembly line jobs which will probably be replaced with automation within the decade does nothing except funnel even more money up the capitalist pyramid to the top. All that subsidy money should be spent on education for those workers so they can get better-than-minimum wage jobs. There's no benefit to the lower class if you're just keeping them enslaved as factory workers, you're just enabling the upper class.


By bobbied • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

I used to think conservatives were against welfare.

Depends on what you mean by welfare..... Free handouts for no purpose but to pay off one's supporters or buy votes? No, generally don't support that.... Free food and healthcare for abled bodied people who refuse to take responsibility? No, don't support that either and neither do most of my republican friends.

Supporting those who cannot work though no fault of their own and cannot support themselves? I'm good with that kind of welfare. Tax abatements and incentives to bring businesses and associated jobs from overseas? Depending on the business, I can see that being a good thing too and if you call THAT welfare, then I guess republicans are for that kind of welfare.

Re:Sad to see Trump...

By LordKronos • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

And if Obama and Democrats in congress push a health care plan directly modeled on Mitt Romney's Massachusetts health care plan (a plan which was considered a success by most Republicans), Republicans will be against it. This is not a new phenomenon, and it is not unique to one party or one president.

Re: Sad to see Trump...

By ShanghaiBill • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Foxconn first announced that they were "considering" building a factory in Harrisburg in 2013. So far they have moved this many shovels of dirt: 0.

So now they are rehashing the announcement three days after Trump's inauguration, getting lots of good press, and venting the steam from protectionism, while still uncommitted to actually doing anything. Politically, this is brilliant.

Re:Sad to see Trump...

By arglebargle_xiv • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

It's all about the money, as any corporation is always about.

Thus the more accurate restatement of the headline, "Foxconn indicates it would be willing to build factory in the US in exchange for massive tax breaks and government subsidies". They know which way the wind is blowing, and how to milk it for maximum gain.

AT&T Offering Day Pass For International Travelers

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Starting Friday, AT&T customers who travel abroad can sign up for a new International Day Pass plan. Instead of paying by the minute, message or megabyte, the plan lets you pay a $10-a-day flat free so you can talk and text "all you want" and also access your data plan as though you're in the states. From a report: AT&T said the new plan is available for customers traveling to more than 100 countries listed here. To use the new plan, customers just need to add it once and it will automatically kick in each time they travel to a supported country, until it's removed.


By EndlessNameless • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

The only thing more overpriced than this plan is their regular international rates.

ATT is garbage. Fortunately for them, their largest competitor is also garbage so they stay in business.


By magarity • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Ain't competition great - T-Mobile has been including this in for no extra per day cost for a while now.

Local simcard

By jolyonr • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

And this is why people who travel a lot use local simcards and do all their communication on WhatsApp these days.,

Last time I needed a simcard when in a foreign country it cost me $5, gave me 1GB of data and lasted two weeks.

Re: Local simcard

By corychristison • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

I'm Canadian. The last time I was in the US I bought a prepaid SIM from Roam Mobility.

Cost $5 (CAD) per day while in the US. You preload it by setting which days you expect to be in the US, and prepay for it prior to your trip.

Each day added 1GB of data to the "pool" of usable Data while traveling + unlimited calling and sms/mms.

I was in the US for 6 days, so it cost me $30 and gave me 6GB of Data. The area I was in had LTE, so it was actually quite useful.

It's not the cheapest, but one of the better deals available without too much hassle. My carrier offers the same thing as AT&T, but for Canadians travelling to the US. Cost is also $10/day. Activate it by sending a text message to a special number.

I suspect they prey on people who don't buy unlocked devices, or know how to unlock their devices, essentially forcing their clients to have to pay those prices.

its been said.

By nimbius • Score: 3 • Thread
T-Mobile already offers this. once you land in a foreign country you get a courtesy text reminding you that your data plan still works without any surcharge or tariff. Youre also reminded that your text messages remain free, and your voice rate is now very competitively priced.

smh. amazing ATT considers this worth advertising at all.

Google Voice Receives First Update in Five Years

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Google Voice hasn't seen a lot of love or attention since it launched with some fanfare in 2009, but surprisingly Google wants people to know that it still cares about the communication app. In a new sprawling release -- the first of its kind in years -- Google has revamped all versions of its Voice app and site with a clean, modern look, new features, and, perhaps the best news of all, the promise of regular updates. From a report: Google is finally adding two features Google Voice users have long missed out on: MMS support for photo messaging and group chats. Previously workarounds were required to send and receive picture messages, and group chats were flat out not possible.

A small consolation

By J. T. MacLeod • Score: 3 • Thread

I fear that Google is giving their Voice app some attention because they are actively trying to kill Hangouts.

With my instant messaging and SMS converged in one app and accessible via the web, I have been living in the future for a while. I am going to miss the future.

Re:Welcome to 2014

By Anaerin • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Sure, except that Google is (slowly) killing Hangouts, thanks to Allo and Duo: - As goeth the API, so goeth the service.

Fi / GV / Obi

By Tokolosh • Score: 3 • Thread

Please let me know when I can use all these with the same number on a Google Apps account.

GV, Hangouts, Allo, Google+, Messenger, Android - it's all a hot mess.

Still missing....

By Lumpy • Score: 3 • Thread

Call filtering based on a search expression.

I want ALL calls that start with 800* to go to voicemail without exception and never ring the phone. I can do this with Asterisk. Why the hell cant I do this with google Voice? I know it is absolutely capable of doing it.

Voice vs Allo vs Hangouts?

By ripvlan • Score: 3 • Thread

I'm still confused. How does this new Voice update integrate for fit with they new Allo? Allo is their new Text app. Wait - I thought Hangout was the new messaging and communication platform. No no -- wait there's an update for Voice. This should tie it all together...right?!

Whatever. I've had voice for many many years and it hasn't changed. I figured it was dead and stopped using it. It is still my public phone# (I use the PBX feature) but I've gone 99% native with iMessaging and find myself using FB Messenger a bit more too. But Hangout yeah never.

Allo was DOA. What is it?! How does it fit? Have you tried it - if not I'll wait... back yet? Did you try chatting with your G+ friends? Can't find them b/c they're on Hangout?! How about SMS? Totally bogus -- looks like a spam message on the recipient end. yeah what is it?!

Alexa and Google Assistant Have a Problem: People Aren't Sticking With Voice Apps They Try

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Amazon Echo and Google Home were the breakaway hits of the holiday shopping season. But both devices -- and the voice technologies that power them -- have some major hurdles to overcome if they want to keep both consumers and software developers engaged. From a report on Recode: That's one of the big takeaways from a new report that an industry startup, VoiceLabs, released on Monday. For starters, 69 percent of the 7,000-plus Alexa "Skills" -- voice apps, if you will -- have zero or one customer review, signaling low usage. What's more, when developers for Alexa and its competitor, Google Assistant, do get someone to enable a voice app, there's only a 3 percent chance, on average, that the person will be an active user by week 2, according to the report. (There are outliers that have week 2 retention rates of more than 20 percent.) For comparison's sake, Android and iOS apps have average retention rates of 13 percent and 11 percent, respectively, one week after first use. "There are lots of [voice] apps out there, but they are zombie apps," VoiceLabs co-founder Adam Marchick said in an interview.

Because it's annoying

By XXongo • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
And they're really annoying when people around you are using them.

It's one thing when everybody you see is bent over their phone tapping away and ignoring everything else in the world. But it's a lot worse when they're talking at their phones.

"An overhang in productive capacity"

By popo • Score: 3 • Thread

If you want to know what the precursor to deflation in a sector, or the broader economy is, it's referred to by economists as an "overhang in productive capacity".

It's when there's more productiion than demand. And .. it's bad. Really bad.

It's an indication that an industry or a society has jumped the shark, and investment has crossed the line into mal-investment by exceeding consumer demand.

That's where we are now.

We have too many app developers. Too many coders. Too many UX designers. Too many entrepreneurs seeking first-mover advantage on new platforms.

Along comes the Echo and *bang*... there's a glut before there was ever a "thing".

Historically and mathematically speaking what comes next is a withering of said capacity. It's not going to be fun.


By Weirsbaski • Score: 5, Funny • Thread
My car uses voice-recognition to pick songs on the MP3 player. One time I told it to play "When I First Kissed You", and it started playing "Two Steps From Hell".

I think my car is going through a bad break-up with the Chevy down the block.

Re:The problem is what you consider useful

By mrchaotica • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Wake me up when there's software that runs on my own local server and can do all that without telling Amazon or Google all about my shopping preferences, schedule, movie preferences, lights, heat, and level of fitness.

Re:Because it's annoying

By HiThere • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

Sorry, but people talk to their phones, their cars, etc. all the time. Hell, they even talk to light switches "Why won't you turn on you stupid switch!".

China Cracks Down On International VPN Usage

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader writes: China's government has announced a 14-month crackdown on the use of unauthorised Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), commonly used by visitors and native activists, amongst others, to communicate with the world beyond the Great Firewall of China. Sunday's announcement [Chinese] from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology reiterated regulations first outlined in 2002, but which have since been subject to sparse, selective or lenient enforcement. The new announcement promises a 'clean up' regarding the VPN situation in China, beginning immediately and running until March of 2018.

Another reason to avoid business trips to China

By Ritz_Just_Ritz • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

When I used to go to China, I often found that access to sites I need to use to do my work were blocked in whole or in part. Without setting up a vpn, I can't do my work. And even then, it was always a cat and mouse game as the connections were randomly terminated.

So now I just avoid going there at all if I can help it.


Re:OpenVPN port tcp/443

By v1 • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

It's actually not all that difficult to spot vpn traffic. Run some DPI and just simply look at the size of the packets being exchanged. L2TP/IPSEC/etc will all have very regular size exchanges that virtually uniquely identify them. Doesn't matter how you encrypt or tunnel it if you don't change the payload sizes.

It's like saying "You can't block my bittorrent client if I just change my port!" Actually, yes we can. And we do. Quiet easily actually.

I haven't looked closely into TOR to see if it pads with random size data, (betting they DO) but that's what they need to do with vpn to seriously defend against traffic analysis.

Even with that, it's still not bulletproof, but it dramatically increases the work and false positives on the detection side of the fence.

Re:So... SSH and HTTPS tunnels then?

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Guess we'll have to switch to SSH and HTTPS tunnels

Yes, but you can't win that game.

If that would ever become popular, it too can be blocked. Also that is beyond the ability of the average person to do. If they "solve" the problem for 99.9% of the population, that's what matters.

The end game is bigger and bigger swaths of the open internet being blocked, until what's left is a white list of approved web destinations, with maybe some special exceptions being made for companies, exceptions not available to the average person.

The internet once held the promise of freedom for all. Now it holds the chains of oppression for all. With each passing year we have seen more and more control, monitoring, and lockdown, not just in China, but all over the world. Some of that was imposed externally, like from the Chinese government, and some we freely signed up for by re-centralizing the decentralized network handed to us by its creators. It is simply too succulent a target for those who would be your masters to ignore.

Governments want it for power over the population. Corporations want it so you are locked into their portals. People want it because in mass they are stupid and cheerfully walk into their own cages.

We are not winning the war on internet freedom. We are losing it, badly. It is more heavily censored, controlled, and monitored than at any time in its history, and that shows no signs of slowing down.

Captcha: prevails.

Re:I wonder if the realize...

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

The quicker my generation dies, the better.

Dunno how you are, but I may be similar (late 57 here).

So yeah, most of our gen are technical ignoramuses, I'll agree with that. But I disagree it's any better among the younger folks, and in fact in some ways it's worse. Our generation built a free and open internet, on open standards and open protocols. You wanted to run your own IRC or XMPP server, go ahead. It was not a locked down internet. It took the younger set like Zuckerberg to destroy that ethos. And not just him, but masses of people have eschewed those open standards in favor of golden jails like Instagram and Facebook that facilitate centralized censorship and control.

In our generation there were two categories: technically literate people, and people who were not using technology so were not having adverse impact upon its evolution. In the current generation there are two categories: technically literate people, and people who are technically clueless but ARE having an adverse impact on its evolution. Sadly, in both generations the technically clueless outnumber the technically aware by magnitudes, but in our generation the clueless weren't changing the direction with their choices, since they weren't involved at all.

Find a better VPN

By AHuxley • Score: 3 • Thread
A few of the better VPN providers might not have as many issues.
Due to skill and cash flow they can try to avoid deep packet inspection.
The deep packet inspection is looking for any use of an encrypted VPN protocol.
Deep packet inspection is the result of a few vendors that sell into China. Deep packet inspection can be understood.
Any quality VPN provider could look at what deep packet inspection is sold to China and then protect its VPN users.

When Their Shifts End, Uber Drivers Set Up Camp in Parking Lots Across the US

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
A feature report on Bloomberg today illustrates the lives of several Uber drivers, who find shelter in car parking at nights when it's too pricey and tiring to go home. An excerpt from the story: In Chicago, Walter Laquian Howard sleeps most nights at the "Uber Terminal." "I left my job thinking this would work, and it's getting harder and harder," Howard said. "They have to understand that some of us have decided to make this a full-time career." Howard has been parking and sleeping at the 7-Eleven four to five nights a week since March 2015, when he began leasing a car from Uber and needed to work more hours to make his minimum payments. Now that it's gotten cold, he wakes up every three hours to turn on the heater. He's rarely alone. Most nights, two to three other ride-hailing drivers sleep in cars parked next to his. It's safe, he said, and the employees let the drivers use the restroom. Howard has gotten to know the convenience store's staff -- Daddy-O and Uncle Mike -- over the past two years while driving for this global ride-hailing gargantuan, valued at $69 billion. "These guys have become my extended family," said Howard, 53. "It's my second home. We have this joke that I'm the resident. I keep asking them: 'Hey, did my mail come in yet?'"


By PrimaryConsult • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

I'll take a third choice: instead of a social safety net (or even raising the minimum wage), spend that money on low-skill government jobs that no one is doing, with no cap on hires. Pay the $15 minimum. Cleaning litter, landscaping highway medians, cleaning train stations and trains. Oh wait, never going to happen, for two reasons:
The right: that's expansion of government! They're taking more of our tax money!
The left: If they don't want to do those jobs they shouldn't have to just to live!

Never mind the benefit of overall wage / working condition improvements to all jobs across the board. The power of "My crappy office job is so terrible that pulling weeds along the highway for $15/hour and benefits is appealing, and I can get that job tomorrow" would set standards naturally without needing legislation.


By jeff4747 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

There are about 1.5 STEM graduates for every entry-level STEM job opening in the US.

Even making the "right" choice and getting an education is no guarantee of a successful future. No matter how much parents push it as a magic bullet.

Re:I don't even like Uber but

By fiannaFailMan • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

It IS a company's job to pay a living wage to its workers. We had this discussion during the civil war. Slavery is now illegal. It's a moral issue. In any case there's also the economic argument that impoverishing the middle class (who drive economic growth through consumption) is a bit of a silly idea.


By Pfhorrest • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

I mean, when did burger flipping become a "real job" instead of something teens did in high school?

When jobs on that pay scale became the only kinds of jobs that an enormous fraction of the populous can get (and having a job working for someone else became necessary for survival because everything everywhere is owned by someone else so you either work for whoever will hire you or die).


By AK Marc • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Find me a union contract that wasn't signed by management. Every complaint on unions could be levied on the executives that signed the contracts. Unions were a reaction to the abuses by employers. The employers brought about every "evil" of unions themselves. Then blame the victims.

Oracle Lays Off More Than 1,000 Employees

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader writes: According to the Mercury News, Oracle is laying off approximately 450 employees in its Santa Clara hardware systems division. Reports at The Layoff, a discussion board for technology business firings, claim about 1,800 employees company-wide are being pink-slipped. Oracle claims the company isn't closing the Santa Clara facility with this reduction in force. Instead, "Oracle is refocusing its Hardware Systems business, and for that reason, has decided to lay off certain of its employees in the Hardware Systems Division."


By Anonymous Coward • Score: 3, Funny • Thread
Thanks, Trump!


By ShanghaiBill • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Oracle is less and less a software company and becoming more about making sales, then gouging their clients.

That has been true for 30 years. I remember making an inquiry in the early 1990s, and instead of giving me technical specs, they started badgering me for the name of the "decision maker". When I finally relented and gave them the name of my (non-technical) boss, they ignored me, and started calling him using pushy tactics that would make a door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesman proud.

Re:If Only...

By jfdavis668 • Score: 5, Funny • Thread
They should have bought Borland, too. Oracle Delphi could have predicted this.

Oracle, what a joke.

By Jack9 • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

It's a known quantity. Oracle rep lie sell their substandard product with shitty support, piecemeal features, and a huge bill. You deserve what you get. Almost as bad as contracting with IBM, but not quite. IBM has decent support.

Is Trump taking credit for this one too

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread

This one combined with Microsoft's layoffs has already cancelled out the few hundred jobs Trump was so proud of keeping in the US a few weeks. Maybe the Oracle employees can get a job at Carrier.