the unofficial Slashdot digest

Scientists Develop "Paint" To Help Cool the Planet

Posted by samzenpus in Technology • View
AaronW writes Engineers at Stanford University have developed an ultrathin, multilayered, nanophotonic material that not only reflects heat away from buildings but also directs internal heat away using a system called "photonic radiative cooling." The coating is capable of reflecting away 97% of incoming sunlight and when combined with the photonic radiative cooling system it becomes cooler than the surrounding air by around 9F (5C). The material is designed to radiate heat into space at a precise frequency that allows it to pass through the atmosphere without warming it.

Google Should Be Broken Up, Say European MPs

Posted by samzenpus in Technology • View
An anonymous reader is one of many to send word that the European Parliament has voted 384 to 174 in favor of unbundling search engines from other commercial services in order to ensure competition. "The European Parliament has voted in favor of breaking Google up, as a solution to complaints that it favors is own services in search results. Politicians have no power to enforce a break-up, but the landmark vote sends a clear message to European regulators to get tough on the net giant. US politicians and trade bodies have voiced their dismay at the vote. The ultimate decision will rest with EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager. She has inherited the anti-competitive case lodged by Google's rivals in 2010. Google has around 90% market share for search in Europe. The Commission has never before ordered the break-up of any company, and many believe it is unlikely to do so now. But politicians are desperate to find a solution to the long-running anti-competitive dispute with Google."


By presidenteloco • Score: 3 • Thread

Why don't the Europeans start their own search and ad engine?

Oh, because they would lose?

What I don't understand here is Google does not have a monopoly on search services. They're just damn good at it and the market, with several other choices including Bing!, votes with its clicks. I'm not sure I see what's wrong with that.

While they're at it

By rossdee • Score: 3 • Thread

They could abolish the speed of light and make the internet go much faster.

Kim Dotcom Says Legal Fight Has Left Him Broke

Posted by timothy in YRO • View
mrspoonsi writes Kim Dotcom, the founder of the seized file-sharing site Megaupload, has declared himself "broke". The entrepreneur said he had spent $10m (£6.4m) on legal costs since being arrested in New Zealand in 2012 and accused of internet piracy. Mr Dotcom had employed a local law firm to fight the US's attempt to extradite him, but his defence team stepped down a fortnight ago without explaining why. Mr Dotcom said he would now represent himself at a bail hearing on Thursday. He denies charges of racketeering, conspiring to commit copyright infringement and money laundering. He told a conference in London, via a video link, that his lawyers had resigned because he had run out of money. "The [US authorities] have certainly managed to drain my resources and dehydrate me, and without lawyers I am defenceless," he said. "They used that opportunity to try and get my bail revoked and that's what I'm facing."

Justice is served!

By zentigger • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

If you can't actually beat 'em, just bankrupt 'em or drive 'em to suicide!

I love the modern concept of "justice"

Here's a plan

By Black Parrot • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Change you name to Kim Putin, and no one will mess with you.

Behind Apple's Sapphire Screen Debacle

Posted by timothy in Apple • View
Frankie70 (803801) writes Apple invested more than $1 billion in an effort to make sapphire one of iPhone 6's selling point. But the iPhone 6 was released without the sapphire screen. GT Advanced Technologies, the small company chosen to supply Apple with enormous quantities of cheap sapphire, declared bankruptcy a month later. Recent documents from GT's bankruptcy proceedings, and conversations with people familiar with operations at Apple and GT, provide several clues as to what went wrong. GT said that to save costs, Apple decided not to install backup power supplies, and multiple outages ruined whole batches of sapphire. The terms Apple negotiated committed GT to supplying a huge amount of sapphire, but put Apple under no obligation to buy it. In its bankruptcy documents, GT would later accuse Apple of using "bait-and-switch" tactics, and said the terms of the deal were "onerous and massively one-sided."

sounds like IBM / Micropolis

By dltaylor • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

IBM had used Micropolis drives back when 5MB was a common size. They insisted that Micropolis buy new production equipment to make the 40s in enough quantity to supply the projected PC demand, then IBM chose another vendor, leaving Micropolis with a lot of production capacity for which to pay, and no customer. Bye-Bye, Micropolis.

"onerous and massively one-sided."

By Black Parrot • Score: 3 • Thread

Uhm, you're supposed to notice this before you sign, not after you go bankrupt.

Re:Then don't sign the contract

By TheSunborn • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

I newer understood the "not installing a backup power supply for each furnace" situation.

Who owned and was responsible for the factory? The story has always been that GT produced Sapphire, and that apple maybe wanted to buy it.

So why did GT let apple control anything at all, about their factories?

From the article " after five months Apple demanded a major change in terms, requiring GT to supply the sapphire itself. In fact, Apple wanted GT to build the world’s largest factory to produce the stuff"

So If Apple wanted GT to supply the sapphire, why did they have any say in the day to day running of the factories. Sounds like GT gave far to much factory control to Apple for no reason at all.

Can see how this happened

By russotto • Score: 3 • Thread

The salespeople saw money. The business people, who would normally assess risk, got blinded by the prospect of making huge amounts of money. The engineers who could see disaster coming were not consulted or ignored.

Hardball negotiations not an effective strategy

By IcyHando'Death • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Not much sympathy for either party from me, as I'm sure both companies understood the nature of the contract. I wonder, though, how much it has cost Apple in sales and good will to be putting out a product without the top-of-the-line screen. Probably a lot more than they were trying to squeeze out of this deal with their ruthless negotiating tactics. This is the sort of thing Stephen Covey (7 Habits of Highly Effective People) was going on about when he advocated seeking out the win-win deal. If your partners don't prosper, it will always come back to hurt you.

Syrian Electronic Army Takes Credit For News Site Hacking

Posted by timothy in Politics • View
New submitter ddtmm writes The Syrian Electronic Army is claiming responsibility for the hacking of multiple news websites, including CBC News. Some users trying to access the CBC website reported seeing a pop-up message reading: "You've been hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA)." It appears the hack targeted a network used by many news organizations and businesses. A tweet from an account appearing to belong to the Syrian Electronic Army suggested the attacks were meant to coincide with the U.S. Thanksgiving on Thursday. The group claimed to have used the domain, a company that offers businesses a customer identity management platform, to hack into other sites via GoDaddy, its domain registrar. Gigya is "trusted by more than 700 leading brands," according to its website. The hacker or hackers redirected sites to the Syrian Electronic Army image that users saw. Gigya's operations team released a statement Thursday morning saying that it identified an issue with its domai registrar at 6:45 a.m. ET. The breach "resulted in the redirect of the domain for a subset of users," the company said. Among the websites known to be hacked so far are New York Times, Chicago Tribune, CNBC, PC World, Forbes, The Telegraph, Walmart and Facebook.

Apple and Amazon Launch Black Friday Price War

Posted by timothy in Hardware • View
An anonymous reader writes Forbes magazine points out that tablet computers are receiving some of the biggest discounts for this year's day-after-Thanksgiving sales. "With slowing growth in the tablet market and an increasing array of choices, some of the strongest bargains will come in that sector," they report, noting that Target is giving away a $140 gift card with purcahses of an iPad Air 2 (and a $100 gift card with the iPad Mini or first-generation iPad Air). But Amazon has already launched a counter-strike, posting big discounts online on Thanksgiving day for their entire line of Kindles, including a black-and-white Kindle for just $49, and their 6-inch color/high-definition HD6 for just $79.

All the Kindles are on sale...

By 93 Escort Wagon • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

For sufficiently loose definitions of "all".

The Kindle Voyage does not appear to be included in this sale, which is a shame.

Don't have to check my email

By ArsonSmith • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

for black Friday spam. just come to Slashdot.

I am dodging the draft this thanksgiving

By swschrad • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

let them war without me, I will be hanging Christmas lights and playing carols on my original iPod mini through fine 70s/80s stereo equipment.

Re:All the Kindles are on sale...

By ThatsMyNick • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Unless you have an e-ink android phone, you are missing out.

Re:All the Kindles are on sale...

By AuMatar • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Because I want to charge my e-reader once a month, not once a night.

Because I want to read my books and have my phone work at the end of the day.

Because I want to be able to read in sunlight.

Because my phone screen is too small and I don't want a tablet.

Riecoin Breaks World Record For Largest Prime Sextuplet, Twice

Posted by timothy in Science • View
An anonymous reader writes Last week, Riecoin – a project that doubles as decentralized virtual currency and a distributed computing system — quietly broke the record for the largest prime number sextuplet. This happened on November 17, 2014 at 19:50 GMT and the calculation took only 70 minutes using the massive distributed computing power of its network. This week the feat was outdone and the project beat its own record on November 24, 2014 at 20:28 GMT achieving numbers 654 digits long, 21 more than its previous record.


By kheldan • Score: 5, Funny • Thread
You learn something new every day! I always thought 'sextuplets' were what you called nymphomaniac twin sisters!


By mysidia • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

I always thought 'sextuplets' were what you called nymphomaniac twin sisters!

Twin is two. Sex is 6.

A sextuplet is a tight-nit group of 6; typically used to refer to the birth of 6 kids together.

In the case of primes; it is 6 primes found sequentially which are very close to each other, where the largest prime is within 16 units distance of the smallest of the 6 primes.

Slashdotted already?!

By Ken_g6 • Score: 3 • Thread

For a network with such "massive distributed computing power", that's some pathetic servers they've got there.

Edsac Goes Live, At UK's National Museum of Computing

Posted by timothy in Hardware • View
Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "Britain's National Museum of Computing has flipped the switch on the venerable Edsac computer. The arduous task of reconstructing the 1949 behemoth, fraught with little in terms of the original hardware or documentation, was brought to fruition on Wednesday. As project lead, Andrew Herbert, is quoted as saying, "We face the same challenges as those remarkable pioneers who succeeded in building a machine that transformed computing." A remarkably shaky video of the event, replete with excellent views of the floor at the videographer's feet, can be found here."

These guys rule

By hackertourist • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

The Colossus and Bombe replicas were amazing achievements, and they just keep going. Building complex machines with nothing but some photographs to go on.
Where's my 'we're not worthy' emoticon? _o_

Not working yet

By Animats • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

It's not finished yet. They have the clock and the delay line memory working, but it can't run programs.

Interviews: The Hampton Creek Team Answers Your Questions

Posted by samzenpus in Interviews • View
A few days ago you had a chance to ask the people at Hampton Creek about about their products and the science of food. Below you'll find the answers to your questions from a number of Hampton Creek employees.


By drinkypoo • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

so even if it is a little healthier, (eg no cholesterol in your mayo) that is a start.

So, is mayo without cholesterol actually healthier? Since we now know that eating cholesterol has little effect on your cholesterol levels, this seems a specious claim.

And why eggs? Theyâ(TM)re not very sustainable,

Eggs are not inherently sustainable or unsustainable. They could be raising these chickens on some kind of bugs, maybe you could find some that will eat algae. Instead they're raising them on unsustainable feed crops. That is a problem. Many of our means of food production should change substantially if we hope for them to be sustainable. That's not an indictment against eggs, though.

theyâ(TM)re not especially safe

Well, unless you cook them. Pasteurizing counts.

Iâ(TM)m sorry, what are the nutritional benefits of mayonnaises made with eggs?

The same as the nutritional benefits of eggs themselves. They're made of a readily digestible protein.

I care about food a lot (you can tell if you've seen pictures of me) and the eggs in mayo are the absolute last of my worries. It's the oil, which is usually some GMO crap (which means it's been absolutely hosed down with chemicals) and then the oil is processed with hexane, not all of which is successfully removed from the final product. That's a way bigger concern than the eggs could ever be for anyone who is not allergic to them, and who has not invented a moral quandary over whether they should eat eggs like every other omnivore on the planet, including birds. You can bet your ass that if we laid eggs, chickens would eat them.


By trout007 • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

I realize everyone's body is different but I have done quite a few experiments trying to figure out what to eat. For 2 months I ate 3-4 eggs a day for breakfast. I really like eggs but by the end I was getting tired. I have always had high LDL (150-170 range). Eating the eggs had zero effect over 2 months. What had worked for me is what you are suggesting. I try to get the majority of my calories from good quality natural fats. The Plant based ones are coconut oil, olive oil, and palm oil. These are actual oils you can get out of plants just by grinding and squeezing. I also get some from nuts and avocados. I avoid the ones you talk about that require chemicals to extract them from the plant before being mostly removed'. The animal fats are mostly heavy cream, butter, and to a less degree from meats. As a 40 year old man I went from 215 to 175 and have kept this weight off for over 2 years.

As for my cardiovascular health indicators everything improved with this way of eating with the exception of LDL which is still where it was. But HDL has increased and Triglycerides have gone way down as well as blood glucose levels. Plus I feel as good as I did when I was 20 where I felt like crap through most of my late 20's and 30's.

Again this is a one person experiment and I don't know if I'll die from a heart attack when I'm 60 but I'll take how I feel over contradictory theories proposed by the pharmaceutical industry.

Re:I’m sorry, what are the nutritional benef

By pushing-robot • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Hellman's has lower carbohydrates.

0g per serving vs. 1g per serving. Margin of error stuff, and dwarfed by the bread you're probably spreading it on.

constant vitriol...extreme hatred...tirades...insulting manner

You appear to view the world through a private perspective.

Uber's Android App Caught Reporting Data Back Without Permission

Posted by timothy in YRO • View
Zothecula writes Security researcher GironSec has pulled Uber's Android app apart and discovered that it's sending a huge amount of personal data back to base – including your call logs, what apps you've got installed, whether your phone is vulnerable to certain malware, whether your phone is rooted, and your SMS and MMS logs, which it explicitly doesn't have permission to do. It's the latest in a series of big-time missteps for a company whose core business model is, frankly, illegal in most of its markets as well.

Re:Why is Android allowing Uber to access the info

By oogoliegoogolie • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Probably because android has all-or-nothing, non-granular permissions where you have to grant the app access to everything it requests, or else it's 'no app for you!'
If the app wants to access to your contacts, accounts, phone history, photos, camera, messaging, mail, you give it access or you don't get to install it.

It's a stupid, dumb, and poorly thought out implementation and google should (?) know better.

Re:Why is Android allowing Uber to access the info

By taustin • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Google is evil since they allow this without doing anything about it.

Not sure why uber is being singled out, because many, many apps do the same exact invasion of privacy.

Not really. Google actively wants this crap because they are an advertising company, and their entire business model depends on destroying all privacy everywhere (except for the privacy of their proprietary database of your private information). If they put in real security for privacy settings for other people's apps, then Google can't track you either.

Re: XPosed and XPrivacy will lie for you!

By Karlt1 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

And BTW, iPhone Apps are not any better about this stuff like phoning home and spying on you unless they are rooted and modified. It is just that the greater openness of Android platform ersus iOS makes it easier to spot. But that also means that there are more and better countermeasures.

IOS doesn't allow any app to have most of those permissions. Even in case like Contacts (as of iOS 8), there is a new API that allows the user to select the contact within the app using an OS provided picker and the app only has access to the contact the user chose.

You can also turn off permissions granularly once an app is installed.

Re:It DOES have permission

By m.dillon • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

No, in fact the vast majority of people who run an IOS app on an Apple device who see a permission request pop up that they don't like, say 'No', and the app continues to run just fine.

Even better, the apps on IOS tend not to request absurd permissions in the first place because they know those pop-ups will annoy their customers enough to either say 'no' anyway or not use the app in the first place. Its a black blotch for an IOS app to request permissions that it does not need, and Apple customers call them on it in the reviews.

Whereas with android, everything is quiet and silent and people run apps without really understanding what data they are giving away, EVEN if they have read the manifest... so app writers can get away with almost anything and consumer privacy on android is poorer for it.


Re:Why is Android allowing Uber to access the info

By whoever57 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Linux security doesn't isolate process disk data from each other, anybody can read any part of the disk under the same user, which in practice is all apps a user use because they all run under the user's account.

Apparently you are not familiar with SELinux.

Google Told To Expand Right To Be Forgotten

Posted by timothy in Search • View
mpicpp writes with this news from the BBC: Google is under fresh pressure to expand the 'right to be forgotten' to its international .com search tool. A panel of EU data protection watchdogs said the move was necessary to prevent the law from being circumvented. Google currently de-lists results that appear in the European versions of its search engines, but not the international one. The panel said it would advise member states' data protection agencies of its view in new guidelines. However, a link is provided at the bottom right-hand corner of the screen offering an option to switch to the international .com version. This link does not appear if the users attempted to go to a regional version in the first place. Even so, it means it is possible for people in Europe to easily opt out of the censored lists.

Arranging forgetfulness In Soviet Russia

By mi • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

The Stalin-era edition of Soviet Encyclopedia — a monumental collection of large volumes not unlike Britannica — once had a large article (full of praises, of course) about Lavrenty Beria. When Stalin died, Beria lost to others and was promptly shot.

To erase the memory of those praises, all owners of the encyclopedia (there weren't that many) were required to cut out the article about him — and replace it with an article about Bering Strait. True story...

Revisionism of history

By RandCraw • Score: 3 • Thread

Editing the historical record sounds awfully like hiding your past. Why isn't this like pretending the Holocaust or Stalins purges just never happened? Wouldn't IBM like to assert (without contradiction) that it never assisted the Nazis in the Death Camps?

This is an initiative only a corporate tool could love.

Google should just pull out of these countries

By mysidia • Score: 3 • Thread

Outsource their Advertising business to a subsidiary that has no control of what search results appear on the page.

Let that subsidiary do all business in Europe; let the search company not do any business in Europe.

And then the search company can simply ignore all requests to control search results as out of jurisdiction.

This is not about revisionism or censorship !

By aepervius • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
This is NOT revisionism or censorship. The fact we got to be forgotten is a something we enjoyed for most of our history. Until google and search engine came along, then it went out of the window. Think about it : if you were published as having pissed on the US flag in 1970, chance is that it will be obscure and be forgotten a few weeks, month , years later. Today it will haunt you forvever. It was not censorship or revisionism it was the simple fact that people forgot, people are not machine. machine never forget unless you force them.

We enjoyed being forgotten until google came along. This is not about imposing a "new" right, this is about enjoying what we the previous generation has as a freedom. This is about reclaiming what search engine stole from us. As I already said multiple time on slashdot, a society which do not forget , helped by a seaerch engine, is a pathologic society which does not forgive, and ruins potentially lifes forever.

As for the accusation of revisionism and censorship : this is the exact reason why the search engine are asked to remove stuff, and NOT the original publication. Because then the information is still reachable by the same OLD fashioned way we did before : old fashioned research.


By Animats • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

"He who controls the present controls the past. He who controls the past controls the future." - Orwell, 1984

Windows 10 To Feature Native Support For MKV and FLAC

Posted by timothy in News • View
jones_supa writes Windows Media Player is going to become a more useful media player for those who want to play geeky file formats. Microsoft has earlier confirmed that Windows 10 will come with native support for Matroska Video, but the company now talks about also adding FLAC support. Microsoft's Gabriel Aul posted a teaser screenshot in Twitter showing support for this particular format. It can be expected to arrive in a future update for people running the Windows 10 Technical Preview. Not many GUI changes seem to be happening around Media Player, but work is done under the hood.

Re:Rather late

By Lunix Nutcase • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

This is support out of the box. WMP supports both with the proper Directshow filters.

Re:Rather late

By Lunix Nutcase • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

ABX testing shows otherwise. Even when done with professional audio engineers.

Re:Rather late

By moronoxyd • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Nope, I use high quality VBR MP3 for my music because a) it sounds great, b) it's supported on everything and c) it takes a lot less storage space. FLAC is for idiots who think they have superhuman hearing.

No. FLAC is for idiots who don't see any reason to throw away some information that might be of use later (say when mixing, postprocession etc. the music) just because it saves a little space on a insanely cheap hard drive.

High quality MP3s sound good enough, I agree. But when I store something, I store it in the best quality possible, even if I don't need that quality right now in everyday use. Things change, and I might need it later on.

Re:Rather late

By moronoxyd • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Hard drives are cheap. Ripping all my CDs once as FLAC means that I don't have to shuffle through 700+ CDs to find the one I'm looking for.
Also, some of my older CDs were already unreadable or hard to read. Having a backup in original quality is important.

I buy music online in FLAC or WAV format from:
and others

Or I download legally for free in FLAC format from

Re:Rather late

By Lord Apathy • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

VBR mp3's are very good, but it isn't FLAC. You don't need superhuman hearing to hear the difference, especially very dynamic music sounds better in FLAC. Hearing the difference becomes easier the better your audio equipment is.

There is another reason to keep your master music source in lossless format. Future recoding. Mp3 are excellent for every day use. I honestly can't tell the difference between high quality mp3's and the original sources.

What people don't realize is that mp3's are on the way out. That is a close to 30 year old format. AAC is the rising star but like mp3 it is a lossy format. So what happens when mp3 is no longer supported? You recode them to the new format.

Recoding mp3 to aac really isn't that big a deal. I can't tell the difference between high quality mp3 to high quality aac recode. But what happens 4 or 5 generations down the road if you keep recoding with lossy formats? Your music sounds like shit eventually.

Flac allows you to keep a master backup in perfect condition to go back to with the recodes. And if your recoding for space on your master source that is bullshit. 3 TB harddrives are around a 150 bucks. That will store a life time of music even in flac format.

Wikipedia's "Complicated" Relationship With Net Neutrality

Posted by samzenpus in News • View writes Brian Fung writes in the Washington Post that Wikipedia has been a little hesitant to weigh in on net neutrality, the idea that all Web traffic should be treated equally by Internet service providers such as Comcast or Time Warner Cable. That's because the folks behind Wikipedia actually see a non-neutral Internet as one way to spread information cheaply to users in developing countries. With Wikipedia Zero, users in places like Pakistan and Malaysia can browse the site without it counting it counting against the data caps on their cellphones or tablets. This preferential treatment for Wikipedia's site helps those who can't afford to pay for pricey data — but it sets the precedent for deals that cut against the net neutrality principle. "We believe in net neutrality in America," says Gayle Karen Young adding that Wikipedia Zero requires a different perspective elsewhere. "Partnering with telecom companies in the near term, it blurs the net neutrality line in those areas. It fulfills our overall mission, though, which is providing free knowledge."

Facebook and Google also operate programs internationally that are exempted from users' data caps — a tactic known somewhat cryptically as "zero rating". Facebook in particular has made "Facebook Zero" not just a sales pitch in developing markets but also part of an initiative to expand access "to the two thirds of the world's population that doesn't have it." But a surprising decision in Chile shows what happens when policies of neutrality are applied without nuance. Chile recently put an end to the practice, widespread in developing countries, of big companies "zero-rating" access to their services. "That might seem perverse," says Glyn Moody, "since it means that Chilean mobile users must now pay to access those services, but it is nonetheless exactly what governments that have mandated net neutrality need to do."

Re:Waiving data charges is fine with net neutralit

By jbolden • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

No it is not fine with net-neutrality. Setting up one class of users (non-profits) as opposed to other sets of users is violating the core idea of it. Sorry you cant have it both ways. Either all packets are equal (which is frankly stupid given that people want QoS) or some packets are privileged for X reason. Then we have debates about reasons.

Re: Good

By GameboyRMH • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

This. Wikipedia needs to drop this idea and embrace net neutrality. Getting their own service exempted from data caps is a very short-term aid to spreading knowledge at best. Their strategy is more self-serving than noble.

All Good Laws Have Costs

By Bob9113 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Every good law has counterpoints. Traffic signals prevent me from driving through the intersection even when there are no other cars there. Assault laws mean you can't punch someone who talks on their phone at the movies. The right to a trial means we can't just execute people we know are guilty.

One of the other examples I've been hearing lately is about Citizen's United. They say overturning it or passing contradictory legislation could hamper Steven Colbert, or limit the ACLU or EFF. Well, yes, it might. But that would be better, overall, than what we have now.

The goal is not to have laws that capture every nuance. Government is a blunt weapon that must operate in a non-discriminatory fashion. Special cases exist that show the friction in every law. The objective is not for every special case to be efficient, but for the law overall to be efficient.

Last mile providers colluding with incumbents to provide preferential access to consumers harms competition in content. Competition is good in the long run, even for the things we like that may appear to be harmed in the short run. There are natural limitations to competition on carriage, we should not extend those competition limitations to making discriminatory deals with content providers.

Re:Waiving data charges is fine with net neutralit

By dgatwood • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Yeah, but nobody talking about net neutrality wants all packets to be equal. They want all destinations to be equal, i.e. they want traffic from Netflix to have roughly the same likelihood of reaching its destination as traffic from the cable company's VOD service.

Subsidizing traffic doesn't violate net neutrality, because it doesn't affect the delivery of data, only the cost to the end user. Even if the Internet were regulated in precisely the same way as telephone, subsidized traffic would still be allowed, because it is fundamentally no different than a 1-800 number or a collect call.

So using that as an excuse to argue against net neutrality represents a very fundamental misunderstanding about what net neutrality is about. It isn't about preventing content delivery companies from using the tools at their disposal to deliver content better and faster; it's primarily about preventing content delivery companies who also own last-mile infrastructure from having an unfair competitive advantage over content delivery companies that don't.

Re:This seems different

By danbob999 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
The problem is that cellular data is not free. Spectrum, towers, antenna cost money. If a provider allows Wikipedia for free, then it will raise costs for the rest of the Internet. The provider is not going to loose money just to please Wikipedia. Therefore yes, it violates net neutrality.

Australia Elaborates On a New Drift Model To Find MH370

Posted by samzenpus in Technology • View
hcs_$reboot writes Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 disappeared on Saturday, 8 March 2014, while flying from Malaysia to Beijing with 239 people on board. And 8 months later, after millions of dollars invested in a gigantic search operation, there is still no sign of the aircraft. Now, Australia is developing a new model to predict where the debris of the missing MH370 could wash up. Authorities had initially predicted that the plane's wreckage could drift and come ashore on Indonesia's West Sumatra island after about 4 months of Flight MH370's disappearance. "We are currently working... to see if we can get an updated drift model for a much wider area where there might be possibilities of debris washing ashore," search co-ordinator Peter Foley told reporters in Perth.


By AmiMoJo • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

We want to know what happened so that we can prevent it happening again.

Re:beyond the realm of plausibility

By ledow • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Nobody spotted several passenger jets veering off course and crashing / smashing into towers until it was too late. And they weren't even trying to hide. And that was over heavily-monitored US airspace.

The world is bigger than you think and the kind of idiots that go into the Australian outback with no water, or onto the high seas because they've cruised around the Med on a jetksi are exactly the kind of people that don't realise the scale of the problem.

You're looking for a needle that had zero communication and was over international waters for hours before anyone noticed, that moves at several hundred miles per hour, through international airspace where it's not tracked until it comes in range of a nation state, in a haystack that's basically bottomless without the latest technology, which is still mostly unexplored, which moves and shifts and covering areas more vast than some entire continents. It's quite possible we've actually scanned right over the top of the crash site and not even known.

Conspiracy theories are fun, but sadly usually destroyed by reality. The "every nation is watching everything everywhere" mantra is precisely what you're led to believe so you feel "safe" - strangely conspiracy theorists are the first ones to jump on and believe such things (along with the "acres of datacentres listening to every call" junk) and then want to claim the government is incompetent and left gaping holes in their plans in the next breath.

Fact is, once a plane leaves airspace and the immediate neighbourhood, nobody cares. Military systems are looking for entirely different things to air traffic control. And planes crash and change course all the time. We lose ships all the time too - especially if they've been hijacked by pirates.

The only thing mysterious is the exact details of why it went, not why it veered off course or can't be found now.

Search expanding oceanographic knowledge

By wired_parrot • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

While they may never find what happened to MH370, the search for it is leading to detailed mapping of an area of the ocean floor that was little explored. And now we're getting better mathematical models of the ocean currents. So while I know there's been a lot of criticism of continuing what seems like a fruitless search, the money isn't being wasted.

We may never find what happened to that aircraft, but we will have expanded our oceanographic knowledge of that area immensely.

Re:beyond the realm of plausibility

By lgw • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

strangely conspiracy theorists are the first ones to jump on and believe such things (along with the "acres of datacentres listening to every call" junk)

Hey, welcome back to civilization, how did your 2 years without the internet go? While you were away, you missed some news (it was everywhere): turns out the US government was actually recording every voice call in a datacenter somewhere, and a lot more too! I know; crazy, huh? The truth was actually more extreme than the conspiracy theorists feared.

Re:beyond the realm of plausibility

By lgw • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

no, dumbledork. There's not that much tape production.

Citation fucking provided

"This is voice, not metadata." "In the initial deployment, collection systems are recording "every single" conversation nationwide."

UK Announces Hybrid Work/Study Undergraduate Program To Fill Digital Gap

Posted by samzenpus in News • View
An anonymous reader writes The UK's Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey today revealed a new scheme where undergraduates will be able to avoid student fees and student loans by working for companies for three years whilst simultaneously undertaking academic studies with participating universities, resulting in a degree at the end of their successful involvement in the scheme. The British government will fund two-thirds of the cost of tuition and the host employer the remainder. The "Digital Apprenticeship" scheme will remunerate students at an unspecified level of pay, and though details are currently sketchy, is reported to obviate the need for student loans. The initiative is targeting the skills gap in the digital sector, particularly in the field of web-development and technical analysis.

Re:I'm torn

By pr0nbot • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

I disagree. Churning out a Wordpress brochure site requires some non-zero level of IT skills, but it's not the same level as, say, designing a data processing algorithm to run on MapReduce.

Now you have two problems

By namgge • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

So, you're an employer who is short of skilled labour. You sign up to a scheme that requires the skilled personnel you do have, let's call her Nellie, to spend a significant fraction of her time training a school-leaver who's been told to sit next to her for three years. After three years the apprentice says 'Thanks for all the help, I've just been offered a nice job with another company.'. Only a C-level executive would think that this is going to work out well.

This sort of scheme has been tried before in the UK. For example, when there was a shortage of physics and maths teachers in schools a decade or so ago. Long story short, it was paying early career physics and maths teachers a bit more that fixed the problem.

Re:Another way to get cheap labour

By Half-pint HAL • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

It's also about people learning useful skills. Lots of universities are teaching web design using dreamweaver! The university curriculums are too slow to reflect the latest tech in an industry that changes completely every year. It might not be the perfect solution with regards to pay, but it's certainly a step towards graduates coming out of uni with useful skills.

And yet this is actually the industry's fault -- for two decades, they've been complaining that universities aren't teaching practical tools that have commercial use. As soon as a university tries to fill that demand, they find that whatever tool they're using is the "wrong" one, and they've drained a lot of value out of the curriculum by teaching vendor-specific rather than generalisable skills. The industry should stop trying to tell unis what to teach, and be prepared to put new grads through additional tools-specific training.

Re:Why the subsidy?

By Half-pint HAL • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

I'm struggling to understand why this particular group of students should have such a heavily government subsidised education when they claim they can't afford it for the rest of us..

Isn't it obvious? We've got a general election in 6 months, and the guys currently in charge want to still be in charge in a year's time, so they want to be seen as the guys who did something to address the problem of unaffordable tuition fees, instead of the guys who caused the problem within months of the last election.

As for why computers, it's simply a way to give their regressive, exclusionist tactics an illusion of "progressivity". This is "real world" stuff rather than "ivory towers", so it's "economy". Yay for the world's oldest democracy.

What happens if you just make 'em work

By rsilvergun • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
Nellie keeps doing her job and the Apprentice gets their work. If the Apprentice can't keep up you fire them for incompetence and suddenly they have $20k in tuition bills for what they've used so far (gotta make sure if they get lazy they pay it all back, after all we can't give stuff away for free). Suddenly the dynamics change. The Student will work 60, 70, 80 hours a week because if he doesn't perform they're on the hook for tens of thousands of dollars plus no degree. It's kinda like what they do with H1-Bs. It puts the employer in a tremendous position of power which history tells us they'll abuse.