Alterslash

the unofficial Slashdot digest archive

Is There Too Much New Programming On TV?

Posted by SoulskillView on SlashDotShareable Link
HughPickens.com writes: John Koblin writes in the NY Times that there's a crisis in television programming felt among executives, viewers and critics, and it's the result of one thing: There is simply too much on television. John Landgraf, chief executive of FX Networks, reported at the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour that the total number of original scripted series on TV in 2014 was 371. The total will surpass 400 in 2015. The glut, according to Landgraf, has presented "a huge challenge in finding compelling original stories and the level of talent needed to sustain those stories."

Michael Lombardo, president of programming at HBO, says it is harder than ever to build an audience for a show when viewers are confronted with so many choices and might click away at any moment. "I hear it all the time," says Lombardo. "People going, 'I can't commit to another show, and I don't have the time to emotionally commit to another show.' I hear that, and I'm aware of it, and I get it." Another complication is that shows not only compete against one another, but also against old series that live on in the archives of Amazon, Hulu or Netflix. So a new season of "Scandal," for example, is also competing against old series like "The Wire." "The amount of competition is just literally insane," says Landgraf.

Others point out that the explosion in programming has created more opportunity for shows with diverse casts and topics, such as "Jane the Virgin," "Transparent" and "Orange Is the New Black." Marti Noxon, the showrunner for Lifetime's "UnREAL" and Bravo's "Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce," says there has been a "sea change" in the last five years. "I couldn't have gotten those two shows on TV five years ago," says Noxon. "There was not enough opportunity for voices that speak to a smaller audience. Now many of these places are looking to reach some people — not all the people. That's opened up a tremendous opportunity for women and other people that have been left out of the conversation."

Donate some new scripts the Hollywood industries

By LostMonk • Score: 3 • Thread
Just donate some new scripts the Hollywood industries, they're plagued with sequels, reboots and lame, reworked, versions of anything that came out before 1986.

Too many of them aren't worth following

By DNS-and-BIND • Score: 3 • Thread

Remember Lost? The show where they would start with some interesting subplot, only to never revisit it in subsequent episodes? They just went on to some newer subplot.

That's what I feel about new TV shows. If I give in to the show and start watching regularly, I must know that they're going to treat me well. But doing that kind of crap is boring as fuck for writers (evidently) because they hate it and only want to start with a blank slate every episode. I've been burned too many times. Now, they have THE NERVE to complain that viewers won't engage? God damn, it's your own fucking fault, people.

I wouldn't know...

By Nemosoft Unv. • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread
I cut the cord a year ago. Didn't bother with Amazon, Netflix or Hulu. I listen mostly to the radio these days.

So glad I don't watch TV

By Billly Gates • Score: 3 • Thread

What a time waster. I know I am not alone either

from the red site

By Gravis Zero • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

already discussed this on the red site

Hilarious

Network producers think there's "too much on television" and people think "there's nothing to watch on television". Who is right? Well, how about we look at the rising trend of people cancelling their cable subscriptions.

Bullshit, there's another, more serious issue

There's not enough reason to commit to shows on american television because they're highly prone to cancellation. Why should I commit to a show if the network won't? I've seen too many shows run on for a long time (gotta milk that cash cow until it dies, apparently) and then get cancelled before concluding.

This damages the viewers' trust in future shows. Nobody wants to commit to anything because it's almost guaranteed to die instead of finish. What percentage of american television shows reach their conclusion? 1%? 3%? There's no reason to take the risk.

Meanwhile, in the rest of the world...

Interpretation

Here's the interpretation you should take away from this:
"We have lost all negotiating power since all these show creators can take their show so many other places. We can't resurrect old crap anymore for guaranteed income, but we're not risky enough to bet on new material. We even tried to lock as much content behind paywalls, but people just stop watching our stuff instead of paying us again to watch it any other way than when it airs. We actually have to do the job we've been claiming to do since cable was conceived. ...and it's HARD!"

Lack of Teacher Training Hampers UK Programming Education

Posted by SoulskillView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader writes: The UK government recently introduced a new computer curriculum to the school system in order to get more kids into programming. Unfortunately, they're running into a serious problem: one-third of the secondary schools tasked with teaching these programs have not spent any money training their teachers on the requisite knowledge and technology. The government has provided £4.5 million for this training, and a number of schools have spent their share and more. But it's clearly not filtering down to every school, and that harms the children enrolled in these schools.

Teaching programming has no place in schools

By gweihir • Score: 3 • Thread

Most people cannot learn the required skills to any reasonable degree. At best this initiative will increase the number of really bad programmers. There are far too many of those already.

UK Schools

By ledow • Score: 3 • Thread

I work IT in UK schools, state and private - always have, never had any other job. I don't teach (officially, at least) but I deal with their needs and the teachers and the pupils every single day.

I can tell you that in 15 years, I have seen precisely two "ICT" teachers who actually know the first thing about computers. One was a former industrial-control specialist for a HUGE chain of supermarkets, the other was a COBOL programmer from IBM. Both were in the industry for 20+ years and then moved into teaching as a career slowdown at the end. In their teaching, precisely NOTHING of their skill is employed as the curriculum doesn't come close. In their extra-curricular activities, it comes out and provides added value but those are attended only by the geeks and nerds anyway (we proudly count ourselves among the geeks and nerds, and that's the point at which I do do some "teaching" myself).

Every other ICT teacher I've ever met isn't someone I'd trust in charge of a dozen computers. I've seen ones that have been forced into the position by the lure of cash for teaching a specialism or being "ICT Coordinator". It means zip. I've been asked by those people why I can't just give them full domain admin access as a solution to the bit of software they bought (without consultation) that only reads MP3 automatically working without a single button press with the dictation machines they bought (without consultation) which only write copy-protected WMA. And I've literally had to show these people how to copy/paste THOUSANDS of times.

Most UK ICT teacher are the same. In fact, both the above "skilled" teachers wouldn't refer to themselves as ICT teachers. They see that as "computing" while they see themselves as "computer scientists". They only ever go by the name of "Head of IT" or whatever, never "ICT".

This filters down to the kids, then back up to the careers they go into. I've dealt with IT managers and consultants that haven't heard of virtualisation, that have no concept of networking or routing, that have NEVER CODED A LINE IN THEIR LIFE. Not a batch file, bash script, not a cscript, not a PowerShell (that wasn't copy/pasted from an online tutorial), PHP, nothing.

IT teaching in the UK is absolute shit. I have removed posters from IT Suites that still clearly advertise the PC chassis as a "hard drive" (a misconception that is rife in the teaching world), produced by a major UK educational supplier OVER 20 YEARS AGO.

There are stars out there, of course. But they are the exception. And IT is the one subject that you can't just get your degree 20 years ago and then hope to keep current with even the basics for the rest of your life ahead of a bunch of teenagers.

Currently, out of those two people, one has left teaching again and gone back to office work to retire, sick of being used as a babysitter. The other is considering moving on because they were pseudo-IT-Manager too for many years and tired of being treated like a second-class teacher, so they are dropping all their non-job-description tasks (they've already apologised to me, who will inherit them all).

We don't have IT teachers in schools in the UK. We have people who are "good at computers". We have people who can teach office skills and computing and play with bits of Lego. We have people that Google iPad apps and then make themselves look cool by forcing everyone to use the latest buzzword app. That think that presentations, video, "blogging", etc. are the ultimate things you can ever do on a computer.

We certainly do not have coders in schools. I have written more lines of code in an average year, just for hobby projects, than all of the other teachers (apart from those two above) that I have ever met put together throughout their entire careers.

I'm sure there are rare exceptions. But that's because they are ALREADY coders and then become teachers. Training existing teachers to be able to code? Good luck! Maybe if you hired on the basis of the skills they possess rather than the endless paperwork they can file, and "lesson plans" they can submit a year in advance, maybe we'd get some kids out that can code past turning a couple of blinking lights on.

Seriously, most impressive coding I've seen from a kid ever was last year - and that's because he was so off-the-scale he was literally just sent to the IT department (not even teacher!) for stuff to do because he did all his work, all his extension work, and then sat bored for the rest of the lesson because the teachers didn't know what to do with him. We took him under our wing and he learned C and Linux in a few weeks, and was writing his own games before we even started doing that. Back in my day, that was me - I'm nothing special but it appears that kids like I was just don't exist nowadays except at the extreme upper boundary in the top private schools. Someone's seriously fucking up IT teaching somewhere. And you only need to look at the curriculum to find out where. Even the new curricula pushed to private schools are pretty worthless and one of those teachers above just threw it out when approached with it.

My brother was a FORTRAN programmer at university, straight-A, first-class student, etc. He went into teaching. He will not touch IT and the IT he sees makes him cringe, and even the technical side he has so many problems getting people to understand (no, not being able to save ANY settings whatsoever is not a good - or even secure - IT system) that he is constantly frustrated by it. He chooses to teach Maths instead, and I can't blame him. You can either teach Maths or not teach Maths. You can't teach Maths by rote and you can't fake your way in Maths for very long.

Unfortunately, IT is the EXACT opposite in the eyes of the average UK school. I've seen people with zero qualifications, industry experience or the first idea about how to use a computer being in charge of directing entire schools about how they should be teaching IT.

Until you fix that, the kids are fucked unless they pay for a private education or take it up themselves.

Persistent Cyber Spies Try To Impersonate Security Researchers

Posted by SoulskillView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader writes: Rocket Kitten, a cyber espionage group that mostly targets individuals in the Middle East, has been spotted attempting to impersonate security researchers. "We feel fairly certain that Rocket Kitten's prime targets are not companies and political organizations as entire bodies but individuals that operate in strategically interesting fields such as diplomacy, foreign policy research, and defense-related businesses. We believe the espionage factor and political context make their attacks unique and very different from traditional targeted attacks," researchers noted in a recently published new paper (PDF).

Cyber Spies!

By QilessQi • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

Rocket Kitten, a cyber espionage group that mostly targets individuals in the Middle East...

Obligatory XKCD: http://xkcd.com/1573/

Dirty Farm Air May Ward Off Asthma In Children

Posted by SoulskillView on SlashDotShareable Link
sciencehabit writes: For researchers trying to untangle the roots of the current epidemic of asthma, one observation is especially intriguing: Children who grow up on dairy farms are much less likely than the average child to develop the respiratory disease. Now, a European team studying mice has homed in on a possible explanation: Bits of bacteria found in farm dust trigger an inflammatory response in the animals' lungs that later protects them from asthma. An enzyme involved in this defense is sometimes disabled in people with asthma, suggesting that treatments inspired by this molecule could ward off the condition in people.

Makes sense

By RogueWarrior65 • Score: 3 • Thread

When you consider that the small pox vaccine originated from cow pox and current society's obsession with anti-bacterial everything.

And stay out of the silo!

By AndyKron • Score: 3 • Thread
And stay out of the silo!

Re:Makes sense

By Trepidity • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

There's quite a bit of writing about this, generally termed the hygiene hypothesis. Some is based on good research, some not.

Re:Makes sense

By Oligonicella • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Don't attach too much but don't downplay their contribution either. Remember Jim FIxx the author of The Complete Book of Running. Heart attack while jogging at 52. Genetics and microbial exposure are part of your health makup.
.

Report: Google Will Return To China

Posted by SoulskillView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader writes: Google famously withdrew from mainland China in 2010 after fending off a series of cyberattacks from local sources. Now, according to a (paywalled) report from The Information, the company is working on plans to return. "As part of the deal Google is looking to strike, Google would follow the country's laws and block apps that the government objects to, one person told The Information." They're also seeking approval for a Chinese version of Google Play.

Re:Folding@Home

By ShanghaiBill • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Seriously though the blockade should stand.

Leaving China was a mistake. Google's departure accomplished nothing. Google should be in China, to offer people an alternative, even if it is imperfect.

Today's doodle links to Godwin

By paiute • Score: 3 • Thread
Google also announced that they were taking their new time machine back a few years to get into the German market, promising Mr. Hitler that they would block any Jewish-related content.

Re:Well jeeze! C'mon...

By bob_super • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

"money has no smell" Old proverb

Only Google could go to China

By turkeydance • Score: 3 • Thread
old Vulcan paraphrase

Play Store? What's the point

By thegarbz • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Unfortunately the ship has sailed for Google. The App store model relies on a monopoly on the phones. China is a country where everyone has an Android phone and none of them come with the Play Store. Instead there are many alternate stores catering specifically to the Chinese market with Chinese apps. Why would you want an app store to enter the market which no one can understand?

Toyota To Spend $50 Million On Self-Driving Car Tech

Posted by SoulskillView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader writes: Toyota is the latest automaker to see which way the wind is blowing; they've committed $50 million over the next five years to build research centers for self-driving car technology. They'll be working with both Stanford and MIT, and their immediate goal is to "eliminate traffic casualties." "Research at MIT will focus on 'advanced architectures' that will let cars perceive, understand, and interpret their surroundings. ... The folks at Stanford will concentrate on computer vision and machine learning. ... It will also work on human behavior analysis, both for pedestrians outside the car and the people 'at the wheel.'" Toyota's efforts will be led by Gill Pratt, who ran DARPA's Robotics Challenge.

Why?

By jtownatpunk.net • Score: 3 • Thread

I thought they already had this covered with unsecured floor mats or something.

THIS I'm OK with.

By kheldan • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Technology is supposed to help people, not replace people. Technology in your car that helps you be a better driver is a good thing. I have been, and will remain of the opinion that attempting to replace human drivers, literally preventing them from actually operating the vehicle, is a bad thing. What Toyota is aiming for, if implemented well, will be a good thing.

Re:THIS I'm OK with.

By ShanghaiBill • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Technology is supposed to help people, not replace people.

When you make a phone call, do you still call the operator, and ask her to switch the wires on the punchboard?

Snowden: Clinton's Private Email Server Is a 'Problem'

Posted by SoulskillView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader points out comments from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden in a new interview with Al Jazeera about Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while she was the U.S. Secretary of State. Snowden said, "Anyone who has the clearances that the Secretary of State has or the director of any top level agency has knows how classified information should be handled. When the unclassified systems of the United States government — which has a full time information security staff — regularly get hacked, the idea that someone keeping a private server ... is completely ridiculous." While Snowden didn't feel he had enough information to say Clinton's actions were a threat to national security, he did say that less prominent government employees would have probably been prosecuted for doing the same thing. For her part, Clinton said she used the private server out of convenience: "I was not thinking a lot when I got in. There was so much work to be done. We had so many problems around the world. I didn't really stop and think what kind of email system will there be."

Re:total bullshit?

By Dutch Gun • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

but since there was no rule against what she was doing

No, that's the problem. There were not only rules, but there were laws against what she was doing. Had you or I broken those laws, then ignored a federal order to turn over those e-mails and wiped our e-mail server instead, we'd be sitting in an iron cage right now.

Re:And she wants to be President!Bullshit..

By subk • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
I think she knew *exactly* what she wanted in an email server. This is classic "double speak"

Key facts

By Tablizer • Score: 3 • Thread

Here are some key facts that many people get wrong. If you have evidence they are incorrect, feel free to provide alternative evidence.

1. She claimed she did not knowingly send or receive classified info through her server. It's quite possible somebody ELSE sent her classified info when they should not have, and didn't label it properly. Whose "fault" that is, well, we will wait and see.

2. The "office" server she should have been using was NOT designed for classified material either. (There was a separate system(s) for that.) Thus, her home server being more of a secrecy risk than the regular office server is a questionable claim.

3. Messages that were deemed to have classified info were either mostly or entirely re-classified after the fact. The scope of this is still under investigation.

4. Using a home server was NOT illegal at the time, as long as a copy of each work message came from/to a gov't server, which would typically be the case. (So far they have not found a non-copied work message that I know of.)

5. She has admitted twice that her "home server" decision was a poor decision.

6. Jeb also has "email problems" such that if the two face off in the final election, the email issue is mostly a wash.

Re:Not to overplay the "ironic" label, but...

By towermac • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

What is this history of public service? She had a Senate seat that was given to her, simply as preparation to be President. As if she's from New York, or anywhere near it...

Well, she did make a 10,000% profit in commodities in six months, and giant profits on Arkansas land deals while her husband was Governor. I'll grant those feats are pretty impressive. Not as impressive as a 'charity' foundation that rakes in many millions from overseas billionaires while she is simultaneously Secretary of State. What public service, exactly, has that charity funded by the way?

That's what I see in the 'public record' AC. What do you see?

Re:total bullshit?

By multimediavt • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

bush isnt in power and isnt seeking power. i hated bush (my post history shows as much) but move on hillary can do damage still, bush cant

Yes, let's move on for a war criminal wanted for crimes against humanity and focus on a mail server that was receiving non-classified email as much as a state state.gov address would have received the same emails as a non-classified email server. Clinton's "crimes" are a tempest in a teapot compared to what Bush & Co. are charged with. I have no love for Hillary and she will NEVER receive a vote from me EVER, but Snowden was a contract sysadmin NOT a security analyst for the CIA! There are more competent and experienced people that have already said that the worst thing that could happen to Clinton is a reprimand, not prosecution, and no, I'm not doing your homework for you, you can go look it up your damn self. Y'all watch too much Fox "News" and the rest of the propaganda channels.

In New Study, HIV Prevention Pill Truvada Is 100% Effective

Posted by SoulskillView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader writes: A study published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases details the recent trial of a drug named Truvada, which researchers think might excel at preventing HIV infections (abstract). The scientists administered the drug to 657 people at high risk for contracting HIV, including users of injected drugs. At the end of the study, every single subject was still free of the virus. This is encouraging news in the fight against AIDS, though it shouldn't be taken to mean the drug is perfectly effective. Since researchers can't ethically expose people to HIV, we don't know for sure that any of the subjects were definitely saved by the drug. Other studies have also had to be stopped because it was clear subjects who were on a placebo were suffering from noticeably higher rates of infection. Leaders in the fight against AIDS say this new study closes a "critical gap" in existing research by demonstrating that Truvada can work in real-world health programs.

Re:Good.

By es330td • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
I have psoriatic arthritis, an auto-immune condition that is effectively the opposite of HIV. Instead of a weak immune system, mine is so jacked up it causes harm to my own body (it does mean I never get the flu and rarely ever have colds.) I have to use Humira to keep it at bay, and if I don't I will be crippled sooner, at a cost of nearly $3K a month. No conspiracy to it and I am sure it is profitable for the company. I am probably in the same boat as a person protected from AIDS by this drug; taking it is the difference between life and an early, miserable death.

Re:Good.

By ArmoredDragon • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

My guess is similar to how the virus that causes chickenpox (varicella) remains in your body permanently even after your symptoms are gone. Usually that's areas where there's no blood but there is fluidic tissue that provides homeostasis that it can survive in. For example, spinal fluid, brain tissue, etc.

Given that HIV is a really small virus (that is, smaller than most viruses) I'm sure there are plenty of areas that it can reside in.

Re:Well that's half informative

By Solandri • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
At a 9% incidence rate (p=0.09), a 95% confidence interval would be 1.96 * sqrt( p*(1-p) / n ) = 1.96 * sqrt(.09*.91/388) = 0.02847, or 2.8%.

So you would have expected 35 +/- 11 cases.

A 99% confidence interval would be 3.7%, or 35 +/- 14.5 cases. So these are very promising results. Though converting 657 people to 388 person-years may be a bit suspect. Maybe HIV isn't detectable in some people after just a half year post-infection? And I'm not sure how the fact that a person can only be infected once skews the distribution (e.g. a sample of 2 people for 100 person-years has a maximum of 2 infections, while a sample of 200 people for 100 person-years has a maximum of 200 infections.)

Re:Good.

By horm • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
Obviously, the solution is to contract HIV and see if the two balance each other out.

Re:How long?

By slew • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

People don't become resistant. Viruses become resistant. And that only happens AFTER infection, in the replication process. Prevent infection and you prevent the development of resistant strains. Treat HIV-positive people so they do not transmit their virus - a significant body of research and experience shows that HIV-positive people with undetectable viral loads simply do not transmit the virus - and give HIV-negative people effective tools for prevention, and resistance is a non-issue.

AFAIK, there are already commonly observed HIV mutations resistant to the these type of nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors: M184V, M204V/I/S, L80V/I, V173L and L180M... Apparently, most of these mutations make HIV less virulent, but still able to reproduce. This is why these treatments are primarily aimed for PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis, or basically given to a high risk patient) because you are inherently less likely to get infected with these weaker mutated strains.

It also somewhat targeted at PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis, e.g., if you fear you have been recently exposed like you got raped or your partner fessed up about something), but not yet ill. Unfortunately, with the PEP regimen, if you have been exposed to a resistant strain, this NRTIs may not work as well (in the PrEP case the drug is already circulating in you blood when you are exposed), but of course given there is nothing else to do now, it's better to try these classes of drugs than do nothing. The only PEP cases that has been shown to be highly effective with these drugs is when HIV researchers get accidental needle sticks at work and of course they start take the drug immediately after exposure (not a few days later)...

For someone already with full blown HIV infection, they will currently need a cocktail of drugs to keep the virus at bay, these all-in-one pills like Truvada are not gonna do it for them... HIV is known to hide out and replicate/mutate outside the reach of the drugs we currently have and these NRTIs only attack one part of the problem.

Bugzilla Breached, Private Vulnerability Data Stolen

Posted by SoulskillView on SlashDotShareable Link
darthcamaro writes: Mozilla today publicly announced that secured areas of bugzilla, where non-public zero days are stored, were accessed by an attacker. The attacker got access to as many as 185 security bugs before they were made public. They say, "We believe they used that information to attack Firefox users." The whole hack raises the issue of Mozilla's own security, since it was a user password that was stolen and the bugzilla accounts weren't using two-factor authentication. According to Mozilla's FAQ about the breach (PDF), "The earliest confirmed instance of unauthorized access dates to September 2014. There are some indications that the attacker may have had access since September 2013."

*Mozilla* Bugzilla breached. Not all bugzillas

By Da w00t • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
Please update the article title, JFC.

A return to priorities?

By SeaFox • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread

Gee Mozilla. Better get to work fixing those 185 vulnerabilities now, instead of sitting on them while you work on copying Chrome's look and feel or think of new unrelated tech ventures to get involved in.

Re:Lol

By bob_super • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Noscript + adblock + ghostery + gestures + faviconizetab + tabmixplus + Not_from_Google + Not_from_Apple + Not_from_MS + ...

Flip side: Higher priority bugs remain unfixed

By davidwr • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

The most interesting aspect of this, in my opinion, is that once the vulnerabilities were known to not be private anymore, the vendor (Mozilla in this case) immediately fixed all of them

A better way of saying what really happened:

... is that once the vulnerabilities were known to not be private anymore, the vendor ... was forced to pull resources from more severe but still-believed-to-be-undisclosed bugs to get these patched, resulting in delays in getting those more-severe bugs fixed.

Re:Interesting Data Point

By radarskiy • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

"it makes vendors lazy about fixing them"

You cannot say this without knowing what they were doing instead of fixing these particular bugs. They may have correctly triaged the undisclosed bugs in terms of importance until disclosure forced less important bugs to a higher urgency.

Brady Forrest Talks About Building a Hardware Startup (Video)

Posted by RoblimoView on SlashDotShareable Link
Brady Forrest is co-author of The Hardware Startup: Building Your Product, Business, and Brand. He has extensive experience building both products and startups, including staffing, financing, and marketing. If you are thinking or dreaming about doing a startup, you should not only watch the video to "meet" Brady, but read the transcript for more info than the video covers.

20+ Chinese Android Smartphones Models Come With Pre-Installed Malware

Posted by SoulskillView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader writes: Security researchers from G DATA have published research (PDF) into Android phones produced in China, which found that a large number of devices ship with pre-installed malware and spyware. Affected models include the Xiaomi MI3, Huawei G510, Lenovo S860, Alps A24, Alps 809T, Alps H9001, Alps 2206, Alps PrimuxZeta, Alps N3, Alps ZP100, Alps 709, Alps GQ2002, Alps N9389, Android P8, ConCorde SmartPhone6500, DJC touchtalk, ITOUCH, NoName S806i, SESONN N9500, SESONN P8, Xido X1111, Star N9500, Star N8000 and IceFox Razor. The researchers do not believe the manufacturers are responsible for the malware; rather, they suspect middlemen within distribution channels. "According to G DATA, the contamination of these smartphones is done by hiding malware as add-on code in legitimate apps. Since users don't usually interact with the malware and the add-on runs in the app's background, unless using a mobile antivirus solution, these infections are rarely discovered."

Re:Where are the phone sold that have malware?

By AmiMoJo • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

I seem to recall phones in the US and Europe being pre-loaded with spyware too. Carrier IQ, Apple's location data collection back in the day...

Ban the phones

By AndyKron • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread
All phones from China should be banned.

so called researchers

By frovingslosh • Score: 3 • Thread

The researchers do not believe the manufacturers are responsible for the malware

Perhaps these "researchers" could get their act together and be more sure about their conclusion. If the "apps" in question are installed after manufacturing then they are easy to spot and can be uninstalled, and in such a case they likely (but not certainly) were added in the distribution channel. If, on the other hand, they are in the ROM itself then they can only be "disabled" and not uninstalled and it is extremely likely that the manufacturers put them there (most likely knowingly but there is a slim chance it was out of ignorance). Simply saying that they do not believe the manufacturers were not responsible with explaining why they say that is completely bogus.

Re:Where are the phone sold that have malware?

By ColdWetDog • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

I would be surprised if malware was an issue in the US or Europe.

This research was done by an American company. I doubt if they flew to South America to get their test samples.

Reporter: "C'mon boss - send me to Rio. I really need to research the cell phone market. Really."
Boss: "You're going to Cleveland."

One benefit of buying a name brand...

By FlyHelicopters • Score: 3, Interesting • Thread

One benefit of buying a name brand from a trusted source...

Buy an iPhone from an Apple store and your chances of having malware on it are more or less zero...

Buy a Samsung Galaxy from the Samsung store in the mall, likewise, almost no chance of a problem...

The thing is, major brands such as those have a reputation to care about. The cheap off brands don't.

Likewise, I feel comfortable buying a Microsoft Lumia from a known source, update it to the lastest version of Windows, make sure security software is installed, only install apps from the MS app store, you should generally be good to go.

There is value in trusted computing. I know a lot of people like to jailbreak, or side load apps, but there is a risk in doing so.

While my iPhone is locked down... it is worth noting... that it is locked down... I can generally use it with confidence. My desktop Windows PC? Less so, one has to be much more careful with that.

Now I know what some people say, "Apple is tracking you", or "MS is tracking you". Yea, but I don't care, neither company is out to steal my info or crash my computer or hold me hostage. Neither company is going to steal my CC info or hack my passwords. They can track me all they like, in return they give me a lot of free software and updates.

MIT Simplifies Design Process For 3D Printing

Posted by SoulskillView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader writes: New software out of MIT and the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya in Israel takes CAD files and automatically builds visual models that users can alter with simple, visual sliders. It works by computing myriad design variations before a user asks for them. When the CAD file is loaded, the software runs through a host of size variations on various properties of the object, evaluating whether the changes would work in a 3D printer, and doing the necessary math to plan tool routes. When a user moves one of the sliders, it switches the design along these pre-computer values. "The system automatically weeds out all the parameter values that lead to unprintable or unstable designs, so the sliders are restricted to valid designs. Moving one of the sliders — changing the height of the shoe's heel, say, or the width of the mug's base — sweeps through visual depictions of the associated geometries."

There are two big drawbacks: first, it requires a lot of up-front processing power to compute the variations on an object. Second, resolution for changes is fixed if you want quick results — changing the design for a pair of 3D-printed shoes from size 8 to size 9 might be instantaneous, but asking for a shoe that's a quarter of a millimeter longer than a size 8 would take several minutes to process. But for scrolling through the pre-computed design changes, the software can present "in real time what would take hours to calculate with a CAD program," and without the requisite experience with CAD.

Enough

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread

Enough with the 3D printing crap. It is junk. No one needs more cheap plastic junk.

Solar Windows Could Help Power Buildings

Posted by SoulskillView on SlashDotShareable Link
Lucas123 writes: Several companies are now beginning to roll out translucent photovoltaic films or solar cells embedded in windows that can supplement a significant amount of energy in the buildings where they're used. SolarWindow Technologies, for example, is preparing to launch a transparent product made with organic PVs, while another company, Solaria, is cutting solar cells into thin strips and embedding them in windows. Both companies admit their products can't produce the 20% efficiency ratings of today's best rooftop solar panels, but they say that's not their objective. Instead, the companies are looking to take advantage of millions of skyscraper windows that today are simply unused real estate for renewable energy. One company is aiming at supplementing 20% to 30% of a skyscrapers power requirements. Meanwhile, universities are also jumping into the solar window arena. Oxford University has spun off a PV window company that produces semi-transparent solar cells made of semi-transparent perovskite oxide that has achieved a 20% solar energy efficiency.

Re:Multiple layers?

By preaction • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

You're also no mathematician

This is kind of a trope

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 3, Interesting • Thread

Cities don't have anywhere near the solar density necessary to make a dent in their consumption. There's just barely enough in a neighborhood, but when you get to multi-story density, it's a hopeless gesture.

It gets even worse when you use thin-films which have waaaay less efficiency than crystalline panels.

And it gets even worse when you mount them on vertical surfaces like skyscraper windows.

And it gets even worse when you have thousands of distributed pieces of small electronics that all must be maintained, managed and the energy combined.

I loooove solar and I can tell you it's just NOT WORTH IT. Make a big field outside the city and send the power in. Everything is a waste of time or just for show.

A lot of people have emotional feelings like, "but it's all just going to waste in the city." But use your head: It's all just going to waste out in the desert too. So be wise and put efficient, dense PV where there's lots of sun. Don't put inefficient PV distributed around where there's weak sun.

It's like trying to write a letter with twenty light pencils. Just use one dark pencil.

Re:Multiple layers?

By GungaDan • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

More than 5 layers would be unsafe, since the windows would then be operating at 120% efficiency and arcing sweet, free electricity all over the place.

For HVAC, makes sense, but may lose on aesthetics

By Koreantoast • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
As the article noted, the double benefit of this system is not just the token energy it generates but the ability to better control HVAC costs by reducing the amount of heat that goes in through the windows, reducing demands on air conditioning in the summer. That being said, based on the pictures, this system is not pretty: the lines running through the translucent cells are rather annoying to look at and could be shot down by builders for the aesthetics alone. It would be better if they could deploy this as some sort of window shade that can be retracted to allow for unobstructed views (looking at the photos of the sample setup, it reminds me of the translucent shades used in a lot of newer offices), but I don't think this technology is there.

Forgetting something

By CanadianMacFan • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

The article talks about changing all the south facing windows in the office towers. It sounds great but in the city there's usually another tall building across the street blocking the sun so there's not much point in changing all of the windows. Maybe the ones near the top that does get the sun. I could see it being of more use in less dense areas but not in city centers.

$415 Million Settlement Approved In Tech Worker Anti-Poaching Case

Posted by SoulskillView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader writes: Adobe, Apple, Google, and Intel have been embroiled in a high-profile court case accusing them of creating anti-poaching agreements in an attempt to keep tech industry salaries under control. Now, Judge Lucy Koh has ruled that the $415 million settlement against the tech giants is fair, and will stand. Koh also cut in half the amount awarded to the attorneys in the case. The lawsuit was a class-action originally joined by about 64,000 workers. Other companies were involved with the case, and reached settlements earlier, and a few members of the class action may opt out of any settlement. But the remaining members will only get something in the vicinity of $6,000 apiece for the damage done to their earnings.

Re:Before you go off the deep end..

By fustakrakich • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

It's an attempt to balance the scales. Add up all the capital each side has. The one with the most wins. Thousands of workers have to pool resources to add up to one CEO. What is unfortunate is the the workers 'CEO' (union boss) is just as corrupt as any corporate/government boss. Every institution falls into the same trap.

Re:"Only"

By mysidia • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Also.... the class that damages are awarded to should include All workers of a similar calibre in the industry: not just those that the anti-poaching applied to.

Due to the economics involved. IF such and such position was poached, then I could have applied to it, Or the economic effects across the country might be such that my salary at another company would be higher than it was.

So if the settlement is 415 million,

By hey! • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

... we can assume that the company's ill-gotten gains are at least in the five billion range.

Re:Before you go off the deep end..

By sjames • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

That's like asking where is the law that keeps preschoolers from beating up heavyweight boxers.

Just "Being Evil"

By crunchygranola • Score: 3 • Thread

Yep, Sergei and Larry have learned that being evil can fatten their billions oh so sweetly. The fine is only a light tax on the takings.

But, hey! It was cool slogan when they were just breaking into the market.

Some Uber Ride Data Publicly Accessible Through Google

Posted by SoulskillView on SlashDotShareable Link
itwbennett writes: On Thursday, ZDNet reported that Uber ride data had leaked into Google search results. Zach Minors confirms in this article that a "site-specific Google search for trip.uber.com produced dozens of links to Uber rides that have been completed and cancelled, in countries around the world including the U.S., England, Russia, France and Mexico. Each link leads to a Web site with a map showing the ride's route, with the pickup and destination tagged with markers. A card on the page also shows the first name of the rider and driver, along the driver's photo, make and model of the car, and license plate number." However, what appeared to be a privacy red flag was not a "data leak," according to an Uber spokeswoman: "We have found that all these links have been deliberately shared publicly by riders. Protection of user data is critically important to us and we are always looking for ways to make it even more secure."

Ashley Madison correlation?

By KatchooNJ • Score: 3 • Thread

Quick! Someone match up this data with the Ashley Madison data to find out what correlates.

Not an issue.

By OverlordQ • Score: 3 • Thread

However, what appeared to be a privacy red flag was not a "data leak," according to an Uber spokeswoman: "We have found that all these links have been deliberately shared publicly by riders. Protection of user data is critically important to us and we are always looking for ways to make it even more secure."

That's why all the links are 404s now, since it totally wasn't an issue.

Re:Not an issue.

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

It likely wasn't clear to Uber's users that these pages would be linked somewhere public, given the reasons the company states for these pages' existence.

Let's say I'm setting up a trip, and I'm offered a chance to send a link to someone so they can follow my progress. I would expect that link to be provided only to that individual, probably over email - NOT included on some page anyone can find by clicking around Uber's website. Yet that apparently is exactly what Uber was doing... putting it on such a page.

Now anyone familiar with Uber's security track record won't be surprised they are doing this; but still this falls on the shoulders of the company, not the users, regardless of Uber's attempts to deflect the blame.