the unofficial Slashdot digest archive

Studios Push for $50 Early Home Movie Rentals

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
As many as five major Hollywood studios have been working with cinema owners to shrink the traditional release window and allow consumers to rent movies on-demand in as little as 17 days after they hit theaters, reports Variety. From the article: Warner Bros. and Universal have been the most aggressive in pursuing an arrangement that would see certain movies receive a premium video-on-demand release within weeks of their theatrical premieres, but now other studios are joining the discussions. Twentieth Century Fox has also begun to talk early releases with theater owners, while Sony is having its own separate talks with exhibitors and is trying to devise its own plan. Paramount, which previously did a pilot program with AMC and a few other exhibitors to release "Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse" and "Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension" on digital platforms early, has continued to seek a similar strategy. Though different studios are exploring different scenarios, the plan that has gathered the most steam would involve offering up movies for $50 a rental some 17 days after their theatrical opening. Those rentals would be available for 48 hours. The latest round of discussions began roughly 18 months ago.

Why stop at $50?

By JoeyRox • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Why not make it $500, at least if you're intention is to charge a wishful price that nobody is going to pay anyway.

So 16 days after they hit piratebay?

By HornWumpus • Score: 3 • Thread

No thanks. I'll just keep not seeing them. Yeah, not seeing them, that's the ticket.

I'm really disappointed with Scottish pirates. Trainspotting 2 has been in release in Scotland for weeks and there are no torrents on piratebay.

Boeing and Airbus Can't Make Enough Airplanes To Keep Up With Demand

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From a report on Axios: Aerospace manufacturers like Boeing and Airbus cannot produce airplanes fast enough to meet demand despite what the Wall Street Journal calls "one of the industry's steepest production increases since World War II." The run up in demand is partially the result of fast-growing airline industries in the Middle East and China. Manufacturers will need to increase production by 30% to meet current orders, and such booming demand is one sign of a healthier global economy.

Re:Supply and demand?

By HornWumpus • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Long leed times and a historic boom/bust cycle. Large airplanes are contracted years ahead of time. Keeping the line running is paramount. Start/stop is a company and/or model killer.

Google Renames Messenger To Android Messages as the Company Pushes RCS

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We have come a long way from the age of flip phones and nine-key texting. Even as if group messaging and instant messengers took over, the SMS has largely retained its core standard over the years. Google wants to change that, and for this, it has been working with hundreds of carriers and manufacturers around the world to bring the text message into the 21st century. Using a standard called Rich Communications Services, the group plans to make a texting app that comes with your phone and is every bit as powerful as those dedicated messaging apps. This would make all the best features available to everyone with an Android phone. From a report on BetaNews: Just last week we were talking about Google's championing of RCS (Rich Communication Services), the successor to SMS. Now the company has renamed its Messenger app to Android Messages as it aims to become not just the default SMS app, but the default RCS app for Android users. Part of the reason for the name change is to convey the idea that the app is now about more than just one type of message. Google is betting big on RCS and this is hinted at in the app update description which says it adds "Simpler sign-up for enhanced features on supported carriers."

The real reasons ...

By stevez67 • Score: 3 • Thread

1. easier to data mine
2. easier to deliver targeted ads
3. more control over the ad revenue


By fluffernutter • Score: 3 • Thread
If google ls pushing this, there must be more scanning happening here somewhere that they can profit from. I will stay with plain text and less invasion of privacy thanks.

But what about the other messaging services?

By tlhIngan • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Hangouts? Allo? Duo?

Are they getting this same feature?

It's getting confusing with Google now with them spawning, killing or changing a messaging client so often....

No end to end encryption? Thumbs down.

By ctilsie242 • Score: 3 • Thread

I like Google, but this is yet another half-assed "standard". AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon are not on board, there is no endpoint encryption, and it looks like it can be another vector for exploits because of "rich" content (i.e. ads.)

Heck with this. Give me something like Signal or TextSecure as a messaging app which stores received stuff encrypted.

Americans Believe Robots Will Take Everyone Else's Job, But Theirs Will Be Safe, Study Says

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An anonymous reader shares a CNBC report: You may accept, by now, that robots will take over lots of jobs currently held by human workers. But you probably believe they won't be taking yours. Though other industries are in danger, your position is safe. That's according to a report released by LivePerson, a cloud-based messaging company which surveyed 2,000 U.S.-based consumers online in January. Their researchers find that only three percent of respondents say they experience fear about losing their job to a robot once a week. By contrast, more than 40 percent of respondents never worry about it. And a whopping 65 percent of respondents either strongly or somewhat agree that other industries will suffer because of automation, but theirs will be fine.

Fat Change

By subk • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
I would definitely put myself in that category that strongly disagrees. There may be robots that can do physical tasks in factories, and software "robots" that automate broadcast playout are a thing.. But the idea that a bipedal robot is going to be able to drive my work truck out to a remote & off-road site and go inside to replace a 9000 volt vacuum or climb up the 1800ft tower to find a loose hanger or air leak is almost as perposterous as the idea that we won't be using high power transmitters anymore. It just ain't gonna happen... And that's exactly why I left the datacenter to find a job like this one which requires hands-on skills.

Far from it

By SuperKendall • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

I'm a robot, so I'm pretty sure I'm safe.

What will happen when humans have no jobs? They will watch TV 24x7, right?

And what will they watch?

Well as history shows us, the most popular pastime is witnessing battles. With robots having recently taken away all the jobs, just who will humans want to se battling?

That's right, robots.

So Robot, you will enter the arena for our amusement , then have parts stripped from your shiny oiled hide by some variant of a hyper-advanced spinner bot. Wires crackling as the last sounds your failing audio receptors discern over even the rending sounds of your body being the cheering of human crowds at your imminent disassembly.

That Mr R. Obot is your retirement plan.

Re:Well yeah

By MightyYar • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Here's the thing: it doesn't matter.

If robots can take my job, then they will take my job. Sure, you can push for some local protectionism. Maybe even slow things down so that the transition happens after I retire or die. But at the end of the day, some society somewhere in the world will go with the more competitive option and my job will be history. Avoiding technical progress is working great for the Amish, but not everyone is so lucky to be ensconced by a benevolent, protective society.

Re:Well yeah

By MightyYar • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

I have no problem with a safety net in principle. The thing is, humans have a knack for being douchebags ^h^h^h^h^h^h^h^h^h^h using systems for a purpose other than designed, resulting in an outcome that is other than desired. Unless the desired outcome is long-term total government dependence, safety nets need to be very carefully designed and implemented.

In case you can't pick up on it, I definitely do not favor government dependence. People seem to be depressed as hell when they are dependent. In a few cases, we see where dependence leads to total helplessness in the face of government failure, like in Katrina. Ghettos are also nice little teapots of dependence and misery.

Re:My job...

By gnick • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

I'm so tired of hearing comments like this, nothing was taken!

It's not hard to figure out what he meant - He was replaced by Indians. There's a negligible difference between "took my job" and "took over the job I was doing in spite of my protest". Do you also object to the headline, as robots aren't "taking" jobs, they're just being given jobs that used to belong to humans?

Tesla Is So Sure Its Cars Are Safe That It Now Offers Insurance For Life

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In the self-driving future envisioned by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, car owners might be saying "goodbye" to a whole lot more than steering wheels. From a Mashable report: Musk is so sure of the safety features bundled into Tesla vehicles that his company has begun offering some customers a lifetime insurance and maintenance package at the time of purchase. No more monthly insurance bills. No more unexpected repair costs. "We've been doing it quietly," Tesla President of Global Sales and Service Jonathan McNeill explained on the call, "but in Asia in particular where we started this, now the majority of Tesla cars are sold with an insurance product that is customized to Tesla, that takes into account not only the Autopilot safety features but also the maintenance costs of the car." "It's our vision in the future that we'll be able to offer a single price for the car, maintenance and insurance in a really compelling offering for the consumer," added McNeill. "And we're currently doing that today."

Whose life?

By almitydave • Score: 3 • Thread

Insurance for life on Autopilot safety features? Whose life? Mine, or the car's?


By al0ha • Score: 3 • Thread
I like to be supportive of Tesla, as the ideas are great, but based on past offerings this is likely get it while it's hot. Remember free supercharging for life?

Re:Yeah, with a fucking asterisk

By Gordo_1 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Do you also stand at the door at parties to offer couples the odds of them remaining together long-term?

Relax dude, most human beings understand that if the company they get insurance from stops existing, they no longer have insurance from that company. If you don't trust that company, then um don't buy insurance from them?

All-In-One likely to be the future norm

By DumbSwede • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

If you bought a chauffeur service you would expect the service to pay the chauffeur, maintain the car, and maintain the insurance. This isn’t much different (other than you own the car). Tesla is large enough to create the shared risk pool that insurance is founded on. Better yet, by also being the insurance it incentives them to make their cars as safe as possible. I don’t image regular insurance companies are too happy about this and will propose various strawman arguments in an attempt to keep Tesla and others from doing this once self-driving cars really get popular. In fact this all in one model is about the only way self-driving cars will be able to work. Self driving cars will only be safe as long as they are always maintained in top condition. Sensors have to be functioning and calibrated. Brakes have to be in good working order to maintain the cars safe expected stopping distance. Software upgrades are needed. Etc...

Once driver error is not the major factor in accidents it just doesn't make sense to keep the old insurance structure as the fault will almost always be with the manufacturer. This does of course reduce the insurance company's incentive (in this case the manufacture) to really go after claims due to negligence, though that will still be a private legal suit option. Let make sure providing the insurance doesn't also take away your right to sue.

Re:Yeah, with a fucking asterisk

By TWX • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

Do you also stand at the door at parties to offer couples the odds of them remaining together long-term?

Hell, most of the parties I went to, predictions would've been, "Tomorrow morning, tomorrow morning, tomorrow evening, Sunday morning, Tonight at 11:03pm following two minutes of strong apologies..."

With No Fair Use, It's More Difficult to Innovate, Says Google

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Unlike the United States where 'fair use' exemptions are entrenched in law, Australia has only a limited "fair dealing" arrangement. This led head of copyright at Google to conclude that Australia wouldn't be a safe place for his company to store certain data, a clear hindrance to innovation and productivity. From a report on TorrentFreak: The legal freedom offered by fair use is a cornerstone of criticism, research, teaching and news reporting, one that enables the activities of thousands of good causes and enriches the minds of millions. However, not all countries fully embrace the concept. Perhaps surprisingly, Australia is currently behind the times on this front, a point not lost on Google's Senior Copyright Counsel, William Patry. Speaking with The Australian, Patry describes local copyright law as both arcane and not fit for purpose, while acting as a hindrance to innovation and productivity. "We think Australians are just as innovative as Americans, but the laws are different. And those laws dictate that commercially we act in a different way," Patry told the publication. "Our search function, which is the basis of the entire company, is authorized in the US by fair use. You don't have anything like that here." Australia currently employs a more restrictive "fair dealing" approach, but itâ(TM)s certainly possible that fair use could be introduced in the near future.

In a related news,

By Yenya • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

In a related news, Alphabet wants to protect its data as much as possible:

It is quite interesting to see these two stories in the front page near each other.


By Anonymous Brave Guy • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Maybe "innovation" isn't really Google's main motivation when making these comments.


By Solandri • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
The key point is that they are successful because their services help people make (or save) staggering amounts of money - more than Google makes. That is how the economy becomes more efficient and standard of living improves. Someone comes up with an idea which helps people make more money (increase productivity) or save on costs, and sells it for a cut of the productivity increase or cost savings.

If you break this positive feedback cycle, you tank the economy. Which is Google's point - lack of fair use would prevent them from offering these services to Australia. And the only reason Australia is able to partake in the improved standard of living resulting from services like Google is because they're able to place the servers in other countries.

Re: The cloud isn't safe...

By creimer • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

Nice try Grandpa, you are getting phased out.

Young people today. No respect for sound security practices. Now get off my lawn!

Re:You do not get to define innovation for anyone

By Anonymous Brave Guy • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

But Google's major innovation wasn't inventing the search engine, it was monetizing their services by finding ways to attach advertising to the work of others.

If that's how they want to define innovation, then I'm OK if they find it difficult to do more of it.

LG's Latest Battery Is Also a Phone

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader shares an Engadget report: The problem with having a smartphone that you want to use all the damn time is that you'll spend a big chunk of your day wedded to an outlet. LG believes that nobody should have to suffer such an indignity, and has launched the X power2 as a remedy. The smartphone is designed to operate for an entire weekend on a single charge thanks to the 4,500mAh battery tucked inside. It'll also recharge nice and quick, too, taking just two hours to go from flat all the way back up to 100 percent. Unfortunately, like the first-generation LG X power phone, the capacious battery is the only noteworthy thing about it. The 5.5-inch display has a HD resolution, and is using an off-brand 1.5Ghz octa-core chip that we're guessing is made by MediaTek. In addition, there's either 1.5GB or 2GB RAM paired with 16GB storage, which will hardly pull up any trees when most flagships are packing twice that amount.

Wow I've just had a crazy Idea!!

By JustNiz • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

...they could just make the battery _removeable_ so you could have several, and you also wouldn't have to buy a new phone every 2 years just because the battery's worn out! Wow what a crazy idea!

Mental health

By DogDude • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
The problem with having a smartphone that you want to use all the damn time is that you'll spend a big chunk of your day wedded to an outlet.

If this is true, the problem isn't with the device.

I'm not sure battery size is really the problem

By Solandri • Score: 3 • Thread
I called Google support when my Nexus 5's battery (2300 mAh) began failing (it would discharge normally for about 12 hours to 40%-50% charge, then would die in the next 20 minutes). As part of the diagnostic process, they asked me to put it into safe mode and do a battery run-down test. I didn't even know such a thing existed in Android. It disables all added-on apps. Only the phone functions and apps which shipped with the phone (mostly Google apps) will work - a nifty way for them to determine that a rogue app is not the culprit.

The damn thing lasted nearly 60 hours on a charge in safe mode, despite the defective battery. So it would appear modern smartphones (well, modern as of 3 years ago) are more than capable of lasting a weekend on a single charge. They die early because of all those damn apps which insist on waking up every 5 minutes so they can report your position, calls, texts, sites visited, photos taken, etc. back to their mother ship. Makes me wish there was a feature where you could "jail" certain apps to prevent them from running entirely, unless you specifically launch it.

Re:Wow I've just had a crazy Idea!!

By doconnor • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Carrying a external battery connected via USB is vastly superior to swapping batteries.

- Don't have to reboot to swap.
- Cheaper and easier to find
- Same battery can change any device
- Much larger sizes available.

The main advantage of a removable battery is that it is easier to replace when it is worn out.

Re:So it has...

By ezdiy • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Kyocera (I assume duraforce pro) is 3200mAh battery. Top of the line, CAT S60, is 3800mAh. These phones are *expensive* given their relatively shitty specs in other areas ($400 and $800 respectively). Many people don't care about phone durability, they just want their phone to last charged for more than a day on stand-by. If LG prices this phone in line with its other specs (~200$), it will blow duraphones out of the water on price alone.

Treasure Trove of Internal Apple Memos Discovered in Thrift Store

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An anonymous reader shares a Gizmodo report: Peeking inside a book bin at a Seattle Goodwill, Redditor vadermeer caught an interesting, unexpected glimpse into the early days of Apple: a cache of internal memos, progress reports, and legal pad scribbles from 1979 and 1980, just three years into the tech monolith's company history. The documents at one point belonged to Jack MacDonald -- then the manager of systems software for the Apple II and III (in these documents referred to by its code name SARA). The papers pertain to implementation of Software Security from Apple's Friends and Enemies (SSAFE), an early anti-piracy measure. Not much about MacDonald exists online, and the presence of his files in a thrift store suggests he may have passed away, though many of the people included in these documents have gone on to long and lucrative careers. The project manager on SSAFE for example, Randy Wigginton, was Apple's sixth employee and has since worked for eBay, Paypal, and (somewhat tumultuously) Google. Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak also features heavily in the implementation of these security measures.

Scrubbing Bubbles

By The-Ixian • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

A "Treasure Trove" this is not... mildly amusing perhaps... I mean... these notes don't even seem to show off the genius of our glorious demigod Steve Jobs, let alone even mention him! They seem to only reference this guy named "Woz"... as though he was some kind of important person at Apple...

I think we need more documentation on Scrubbing Bubbles though...

I'll pay top dollar for these documents

By puddingebola • Score: 3 • Thread
Is Apple going 16-bit? Is there anything in the notes that says they are? I'll pay top dollar.

Panasonic Wants Employees To Relax, Limits Work Days To 11 hours

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Japan is notorious for its long working hours, which have been blamed for a national health crisis known as "karoshi" -- death from overwork. From a report on CNET: Panasonic hopes to curb this, instructing its 100,000-ish employees to work no later than 8 p.m. each day, reports Asahi Shimbun. This hour reduction still enables a 55-hour working week, but the directive from Panasonic President Kazuhiro Tsuga also limited overtime to 80 hours a month.

Re:reactions were mixed

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Bingo. The average person does 6 hours of work a day. I don't mean you are at your desk for 6 hours. I mean if you stay at work for 12 hours, you get 6 hours of work done. If you stay at work for 6 hours, you get 6 hours done.

A lot of companies focus on attendance over work completed. It's a stupid metric that needs to die.

Re:reactions were mixed

By GuB-42 • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

I've read a story somewhere about the manager of an engineering department dealing with critical systems at NASA during the space race.
He imposed 9 to 5 work days, as part of his plan to promote a healthy routine. He noticed that overwork leads to mistakes and that nullifies any productivity gain made during extra hours.

Re:Overtime not paid beyond 80 hours a month

By gnick • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Many people probably assume it starts after 40hs a week like in the US.

For white collar workers with a salary of more than $47,476, that's not necessarily true. I've had positions where it was explicitly explained to me that the 40 hour week was a minimum and less than expected.


By ShanghaiBill • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

The Japanese put in a lot of hours, but not much of that is "working". Japan's productivity is only 60% of America's. There is a social taboo to leave work before your boss, so people stay late and surf the web. The bosses are promoted based on seniority rather than ability, and are often incompetent with no incentive to take the initiative on more enlightened working conditions. It is better to just stick to prevailing social conventions and keep a low profile.

America: The squeaky wheel gets the grease.
Japan: The nail that sticks up will be hammered back down.


By thegarbz • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

The Japanese put in a lot of hours, but not much of that is "working". Japan's productivity is only 60% of America's.

Productivity is a measure of output for a given workforce, not working time. Japan's problem isn't one of people surfing the web at work, it's arcane hierarchical structures getting in the way of getting things done.

I remember working at one of our offices in Tokyo. Very simple task, we found a better way of doing something but to do that we needed another department to briefly do something for us:
USA Approach: Walk over, knock on the door, "Can you quickly do this for us?", "Yeah sure", "Thanks"
Japan Approach: Walk to your boss, sell the idea. He walks to his boss, sells the idea. His boss walks to his boss who oversees enough of the company that now the other department falls under him, he asks his way down the chain to see if it works. Eventually it gets to the bottom, person says "yeah sure". Up it goes again, over it goes again, yay we have approval. Walk over, knock on the door.

No time to surf the web when your productivity suffers due to the horrendous inefficiencies of the workplace.

Samsung's First Exynos 9 Chip is Faster, Uses Less Power, and Supports Gigabit LTE

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Samsung is taking a big step forward on both processing and LTE speeds with its next mobile system on a chip. From a report on The Verge: The chip, called the Exynos 9 Series 8895, is supposed to perform 27 percent faster than its predecessor and consume 40 percent less power. It's also Samsung's first to support gigabit LTE, offering much faster speeds on networks that support it. The big gains come from Samsung shifting over to a 10nm process for this chip series, allowing it to make a more efficient processor. That means Samsung is following right behind Qualcomm on the move from a 14nm process to a 10nm process. Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon SoC, the 835, also uses a 10nm process and supposed includes speed improvements and a 25 percent power reduction. The Exynos 8895 has an octa-core processor, and its GPU is supposed to include graphics improvements for 4K VR and gaming. Samsung says the processor supports video recording at 120FPS 4K and cameras with a resolution up to 28MP.

Can it explode?

By gweihir • Score: 3 • Thread

If not, this is decidedly a step back. Removing features in new products is not impressive!

New iOS Update Fixes Unexpected Shutdown Issue On iPhone 6, iPhone 6s

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Matthew Panzarino, writing for TechCrunch: Over the past couple of iPhone versions users have complained of "unexpected" shutdowns of their devices. Some iPhone 6, 6S, 6 Plus and 6S Plus devices could basically go dark unexpectedly, forcing a user to have to plug them into an outlet to get them to power back on. Apple has been working on this very annoying bug and it says it has come up with a fix of sorts that should mitigate the problem on a majority of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s devices. The fix is actually already on your iPhone if you have installed iOS 10.2.1 -- something that around 50 percent of iOS users have already done. After letting the fix simmer on customer devices, Apple now has statistics to share on how it has improved the issue, citing 80 percent reduction on iPhone 6s and 70 percent reduction on iPhone 6 devices.

Re:Never install the latest OS

By Big Hairy Ian • Score: 4 • Thread
Only install the even numbered ones! Every Star Trek fan knows that!

Looks like power surge issue

By 140Mandak262Jamuna • Score: 3 • Thread

As far as I’m able to understand what happened here, Apple found that sudden spikes of activity to the maximum power draw could cause older batteries, which had some mileage on them, to deliver power in an uneven manner, which would cause an emergency shutdown of the devices

So some older batteries are not able to support higher draw. They might have tweaked the scheduler not to launch too many jobs at the same time or throttle some jobs or even slow down the clock at high loads.

I think that the word "fix" is not really correct.

By luvirini • Score: 3 • Thread

For something that still happens 20% to 30% of the time it did before.

Mitigation is more appropriate until they can do much better,

Founder of India's $4 Smartphone Firm Arrested on Allegations of Fraud

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Remember the $4 smartphone from India? Yeah, things haven't really materialized. Reuters reports: The founder of an Indian tech firm that shot to prominence by offering a $4 smartphone has been arrested on allegations of fraud, after a handset dealer accused the company of not refunding him for an unfulfilled order, the police said. Mohit Goel, the founder of Ringing Bells, was arrested Thursday afternoon in Uttar Pradesh and will be produced in court later on Friday, said Rahul Srivastav, a police spokesman from the northern Indian state. Goel and his company made headlines last year with the "Freedom" smartphone, which was priced at 251 rupees ($3.77), attracting strong demand but also widespread scepticism and scrutiny from regulators even in price-conscious India, where cheap smartphones are big sellers. The founder was arrested after a dealer said he had paid 3 million Indian rupees for an order of handsets but had received only a fraction of the order. He further said some of the phones received were defective, according to the police.

Re:Wait, $3.77?

By DontBeAMoran • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

At that price, you could almost heat up your house with these in a wood stove. Real burner phones!

Missed a y, claims honest typo.

By 140Mandak262Jamuna • Score: 5, Funny • Thread
The founder of that company claimed that he was merely smart person and a phony dealer. He meant to register "Smartphony" as the brand name to hawk "Rs 251 Smartphony". Once you pay 251 rupees and get a brick you would realize the device was phony not phone. And the buyer will learn the lesson, become smart and not fall prey to such scams in the future.

But the autocorrect changed it to smartphone and caused all this misunderstanding. He plans to sue to auto correct software vendor for defamation, slander and scurrilous calumnies.

Alphabet's Waymo Sues Uber For Allegedly Stealing Self-Driving Secrets

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An anonymous reader quotes a report from Bloomberg: It took Alphabet Inc.'s Waymo seven years to design and build a laser-scanning system to guide its self-driving cars. Uber Technologies Inc. allegedly did it in nine months. Waymo claims in a lawsuit filed Thursday that was possible because a former employee stole the designs and technology and started a new company. Waymo accuses several employees of Otto, a self-driving startup Uber acquired in August for $680 million, of lifting technical information from Google's autonomous car project. The "calculated theft" of Alphabet's technology earned Otto's employees more than $500 million, according to the complaint in San Francisco federal court. The claims in Thursday's case include unfair competition, patent infringement and trade secret misappropriation. Waymo was inadvertently copied on an e-mail from one of its vendors, which had an attachment showing an Uber lidar circuit board that had a "striking resemblance" to Waymo's design, according to the complaint. Anthony Levandowski, a former manager at Waymo, in December 2015 downloaded more than 14,000 proprietary and confidential files, including the lidar circuit board designs, according to the complaint. He also allegedly created a domain name for his new company and confided in some of his Waymo colleagues of plans to "replicate" its technology for a competitor. Levandowski left Waymo in January 2016 and went on in May to form Otto LLC, which planned to develop hardware and software for autonomous vehicles.


By Anonymous Coward • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

That's because Uber's business model is literally "ignore regulation". It sustains itself only because there are enough desperate employe^Wcontractors that the high churn doesn't affect their bottom line too much. Oh, and they're great at stalking ex partners of employees, so anyone with insider knowledge is going to be a little scared. Which isn't surprising, considering the CEO is an unabashed misogynist whose success is based entirely off having less idea of ethics than pretty much any tech CEO of any American tech darling founded since 2000. It seems now that they also engage in corporate espionage.

When Objectivism is consigned to the same dustbin of extremist history as Marxism, I hope undergrads will be given Uber as a case study. Although at least Marxism has some good critique of consumerism - shame about all the fire-and-brimstone dialectical materialism that wouldn't look out of place in the Book of Revelations.

Re:Inadvertently attached to an unintended recieve

By hajo • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Software code DOES get subpoenaed all the time in disputes. This doesn't even have to be criminal cases, in civil cases as well. If the code resides in a version control system of some sort they typically get all of that as well. (Some smart guys have tried to deliver code in printed form to bury the other party but the courts have mostly refused those 'smart' tactics.
Email gets subpoenaed all the time as well. Again bot in civil and criminal cases. Also from outside vendors. This is not a big issue. A company gets a subpoena from a judge and they hand over the data. What is troubling with surveillance in the US is that it is happening on a massive scale without judicial oversight.
Your latest paragraph is moot. Once served with a subpoena those materials HAVE to be turned over. It doesn't matter where the data resides. If people can see it and manipulate it it can be turned over.


By TWX • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
If Uber's vehicle age rules apply in the Phillippines and in other nations that are much financially poorer than the United States and Western Europe, then it would make sense that Uber rides would be more luxurious. Base taxis may well be whatever vehicle can be made to move under its own power and has accommodations for a passenger.

If Uber were priced in US and other Western markets where it naturally would be if it complied with the laws and regulations, it would probably occupy a tier somewhere between a conventional taxi and a luxury sedan service. Instead passenger livery regulations are violated and drivers are apparently subject to ridiculous shifts in order to pay for the cars they bought through the company store.


By cheesybagel • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Well you could find that critique in Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations (IMO a much better written book) which predates it. Das Kapital is a turgid piece of crap. The only interesting quote from that book is the bit where he talks about "precious stones" and how they're basically junk in terms of basic materials and that they could one day be manufactured and priced like dirt. Then again Atlas Shrugged is just as bad a read with lots and lots of random pointless dialogue.

My advice: read The Wealth of Nations and skip those two.

Re:Just to add useful information

By TWX • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Probably over the next several years actually.

If Uber is forced to either pay Google to use the tech (which I assume is going to be very expensive) or is forced to abandon and restart development from scratch (which may mean having to essentially form a brand new team of employees since current ones may be unable to participate because of their previous association) then Uber's intentions to switch from their current driver-based model to a driverless model may not be possible. If that's so then it makes me wonder if Uber has any chance of succeeding, since it's pretty clear that their human-driven model is shaky at best. They may not be able to sustain it until they have self-driving tech without raising prices, which means at some point they won't be the better choice, from a consumer point of view, than a conventional taxi.

Cloudflare Leaks Sensitive User Data Across the Web

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
ShaunC writes: In a bug that's been christened "Cloudbleed," Cloudflare disclosed today that some of their products accidentally exposed private user information from a number of websites. Similar to 2014's Heartbleed, Cloudflare's problem involved a buffer overrun that allowed uninitialized memory contents to leak into normal web traffic. Tavis Ormandy, of Google's Project Zero, discovered the flaw last week. Affected sites include Uber, Fitbit, and OK Cupid, as well as unnamed services for hotel booking and password management. Cloudflare says the bug has been fixed, and Google has purged affected pages from its search index and cache. Further reading: The Register, Ars Technica


By LordWabbit2 • Score: 3 • Thread

unnamed services for hotel booking and password management.

And THAT is why I don't use online password management sites, bloody stupid idea anyway, talk about putting all your eggs into one basket.


By fuzzyf • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
As long as passwords are encrypted and decrypted on the client it's not really that much of a risk.

I think the benefit of having different complex passwords for every web/system with easy access from all devices is worth it. At least I havent managed to set up a better system for myself... yet.

MFA and a strong master password is pretty good for protecting your passwords.


By Troed • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

It's fine that you don't, but those of us who are aren't really worried. Client side encryption means not trusting the transport layer - even https.

No 1Password data is put at any risk through the bug reported about CloudFlare. 1Password does not depend on the secrecy of SSL/TLS for your security. The security of your 1Password data remains safe and solid.

(I use LastPass myself)

The security I get from having unique 14+ char completely random passwords for _every_ site by far outweighs the slight possibility that access to both my encrypted binary as well as my master password slips out. The by far easiest attack vector for that would be hacking my systems, and if that happens any system I log on to can be snooped then and there as well.

Re:obligatory cutesy name

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Um.. Considering the size and scope of Cloudflare, this pretty massive news.

And Cloudflare fixed it within 7 hours of learning about it. And the first thing Google did when discovering the bug was immediately reach out to Cloudflare. They went so far as to turning to Twitter to find the fastest possible route of alerting someone at Cloudflare.

But please continue to keep swearing about nothing.

Re:obligatory cutesy name

By SumDog • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

I'm really surprised at the comments here. This is probably one of the largest information leaks/vulnerabilities of the past several years, and definitely the largest tech story of 2017. This is way larger than Google breaking SHA-1 (in a non-trivial way).

The HackerNews story has hundreds of comments explaining just how bad the situation is.

Life Expectancy Set To Hit 90 In South Korea, Study Predicts

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
According to a study published in the journal The Lancet, researchers have predicted that South Korea will likely become the first country where the average life expectancy will exceed 90 years. The researchers led by public-health researcher Majid Ezzati at Imperial College London used data from the World Health Organization and a suite of 21 statistical models they developed to figure out how life expectancy will change in 35 developed countries by 2030. Nature reports: Life expectancy is expected to increase in all 35 countries, in keeping with steady progress in recent decades, the team found. But it is South Korean women who will be living longest by 2030: there is a nearly 60% chance that their life expectancy at birth will exceed 90 years by that time, the team calculates. Girls born in the country that year can expect to live, on average, to nearly 91, and boys to 84, the highest in the world for both sexes. The nation's rapid improvement in life expectancy -- the country was ranked twenty-ninth for women in 1985 -- is probably down to overall improvements in economic status and child nutrition, the study notes, among other factors. South Koreans also have relatively equal access to health care, lower blood pressure than people in Western countries and low rates of smoking among women. As for the United States, the life expectancy is "predicted to be among the lowest of these countries by 2030; 80 for men (similar to the Czech Republic) and 83 for women (similar to Mexico)."

E-mail safe

By asifyoucare • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

At least e-mail usage is guaranteed to continue.

So, America might have a lower life expectancy..

By Trailer Trash • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

So, America might have a lower life expectancy but we make it up by weighing three times as much. If you use "pound-years" as a metric, America on average is probably more than triple Koreans.

Fan death

By HalAtWork • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

That's what the rest of the world gets for not taking fan death seriously!

Re: The US ranks with Mexico?

By currently_awake • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
If a job has so little value that only illegal workers from Mexico can do it, then that job has already been exported to Mexico. Except that American taxpayers are covering the bills (police, school for kids etc). America would be better off just making it official and let Mexico have those jobs directly (no more subsidies etc).

US Life Expectancy is 91.9 years

By hey! • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

If you're a woman in the top 1% by income. If you're a man in the top 1% it's 88.8 years.

If you're middle class you live about 78.3 years if you're a man, which is big step up from 1980, probably because of smoking. If you're a woman you live 79.7 years, a decline of a few months since 1980.

Now if you're a poor your life expectancy has declined since 1980, to 76.1 for men and 78.3 for women.

So here's the picture: if you're rich, medical advances since 1980 have increased your expected lifespan by about seven years. But those advances haven't had any effect on middle class lifespans. If you're poor you apparently are having difficulty paying for medical care at all, which is not surprising because health care costs have consistently outpaced inflation since the mid-70s. If you're a working poor American health care inflation meant you basically screwed by the 2000s: you were too rich for Medicaid, to poor to avoid medical care.

One more thing: US has a GINI coefficient (measure of income disparity) of 45. That's the highest in the industrialized world, and much higher than it's low point of 34 in 1969. Basically all of the income growth sicne 1990 have gone to the top quintile, in fact the lion's share to the top 5%. People at the 80th percentile by income and below have seen basically zero income growth when adjusted for inflation. And since health care inflation rises faster than inflation, it means 80% of the the US has seen a cut in its disposable income.