the unofficial Slashdot digest archive

Yahoo Insiders Believe Hackers Could Have Stolen Over 1 Billion Accounts

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Business Insider: The actual tally of stolen user accounts from the hack Yahoo experienced could be much larger than 500 million, according to a former Yahoo executive familiar with its security practices. The former Yahoo insider says the architecture of Yahoo's back-end systems is organized in such a way that the type of breach that was reported would have exposed a much larger group of user account information. To be sure, Yahoo has said that the breach affected at least 500 million users. But the former Yahoo exec estimated the number of accounts that could have potentially been stolen could be anywhere between 1 billion and 3 billion. According to this executive, all of Yahoo's products use one main user database, or UDB, to authenticate users. So people who log into products such as Yahoo Mail, Finance, or Sports all enter their usernames and passwords, which then goes to this one central place to ensure they are legitimate, allowing them access. That database is huge, the executive said. At the time of the hack in 2014, inside were credentials for roughly 700 million to 1 billion active users accessing Yahoo products every month, along with many other inactive accounts that hadn't been deleted. In late 2013, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer said the company had 800 million monthly active users globally. It currently has more than 1 billion.

Implication of Sabotage Adds Intrigue To SpaceX Investigation

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Washington Post: The long-running feud between Elon Musk's space company and its fierce competitor United Launch Alliance took a bizarre twist this month when a SpaceX employee visited its facilities at Cape Canaveral, Fla., and asked for access to the roof of one of ULA's buildings. About two weeks earlier, one of SpaceX's rockets blew up on a launchpad while it was awaiting an engine test. As part of the investigation, SpaceX officials had come across something suspicious they wanted to check out, according to three industry officials with knowledge of the episode. SpaceX had still images from video that appeared to show an odd shadow, then a white spot on the roof of a nearby building belonging to ULA, a joint venture between Lockheed Martin and Boeing. The SpaceX representative explained to the ULA officials on site that it was trying to run down all possible leads in what was a cordial, not accusatory, encounter, according to the industry sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the ongoing investigation. The building, which had been used to refurbish rocket motors known as the SMARF, is just more than a mile away from the launchpad and has a clear line of sight to it. A representative from ULA ultimately denied the SpaceX employee access to the roof and instead called Air Force investigators, who inspected the roof and didn't find anything connecting it to the rocket explosion, the officials said. This week, ten members of Congress sent a four-page letter to several government agencies about the SpaceX explosion, raising the question as to whether or not SpaceX should be leading the investigation. Elon Musk said the investigation into what went wrong is the company's "absolute top priority." He added, "We've eliminated all of the obvious possibilities for what occurred there. So what remains are the less probable answers." SpaceX aims to resume flights in November.

Grassy knoll?

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

The link to the SpaceX "evidence" is an alien conspiracy video. Anyway, I'm guessing SpaceX is implying ULA had a shooter on the building? A .50 anti-material rifle like a Barrett or a Tac-50 with a single HEIAP round could do the trick easily, space rockets are fragile little toys. Timed right it would look like a failure or the rocket and the chances of anyone finding any indication of what really happened after the resulting explosion would be pretty damn slim. Only things I could think of would be punctures opposite the force of the explosion and shell fragments (good luck finding those). Any residue from the shell would most likely be burned off (if you could find it to begin with).

But I don't think anyone with enough knowledge of rockets would be that stupid. If you didn't get it to explode immediately there's a good chance the damage would cause the rocket to veer off course. The range safety officer would initiate self-destruct or the rocket would finally explode at that point but either way you're putting other people and equipment at risk.

What is interesting is that SpaceX uses Pad 40 and ULA uses Pad 41 so taking out Pad 40 would not affect Pad 41 (insert ominous sound effect here).

Personally I'm now convinced it was aliens *cough*.

Re: Grassy knoll?

By K. S. Kyosuke • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
It turned out that the pad systems actually aren't independent so there were some potential issues (ultimately prevented only with a great deal of effort). Regarding the tanks, I believe they're an aluminum-lithium alloy, so I'm not sure a piece of it with a bullet hole would be even guaranteed to survive.

And I was modded down...

By Ecuador • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

The direction of their investigation was obvious from their previous release where they were talking about the breach in the helium system. They had a "large breach" that could not be explained, so what else fits the description better than a projectile? I was actually modded down for pointing that out (people saying you can't get within 8 miles of the launch etc), but, yeah, that's what they are looking at (among other things I assume). It is not that far-fetched I guess, I mean there are billions at stake here. And if you think about it, if you wanted to sabotage a rocket fueling would be the perfect time - low security compared to a launch (not to mention no bullet-time cameras etc rolling) and yet some activity that could be thought to be related to the cause.
I'm not saying it was certainly sabotage, but, regardless of what Giorgio Tsoukalos might tell you, it is much more probable than aliens ;)

I wouldn't put it past them

By ooloorie • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Lockheed Martin and Boeing

Given the amount of money at stake, I wouldn't put it past them to engage in a little bit of industrial sabotage.


By burtosis • Score: 3 • Thread
If it was actually a meteorite impact. Now that would be funny.

Rosetta's 12-Year Mission Ends With Landing On Comet

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
sciencehabit writes: It was an unusual grand finale. The crowded European Space Agency (ESA) operations center in Darmstadt, Germany, waited in silence and then the signal from the descending Rosetta mission simply stopped at 1.19 pm local time showing that the spacecraft had, presumably, landed on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko some 40 minutes earlier, due to the time the signal takes to reach Earth. Mission controllers hugged each other; there was gentle applause from onlookers; and that was it. There were no last minute crises. Seven of Rosetta's instruments kept gathering data until the end. Holger Sierks, principal investigator of the 12-year mission's main camera, showed the gathered staff, officials, and journalists Rosetta's final picture: a rough gravelly surface with a few larger rocks covering an area 10 meters across. Earlier, it had snapped the interior of deep pits on the comet (shown above, from an altitude of 5.8 kilometers) that may show the building blocks it is made of. "It's very crude raw data but this will keep us busy," Sierks said. It is hoped that this last close-up data grab will help to clarify the many scientific questions raised by Rosetta.

Editing -- not copypasting

By SeaFox • Score: 3 • Thread

Earlier, it had snapped the interior of deep pits on the comet (shown above, from an altitude of 5.8 kilometers) that may show the building blocks it is made of.

It it too much to ask submissions be re-written to a point and not just blatant copying and pasting from the source?

Feds Go After Mylan For Scamming Medicaid Out of Millions On EpiPen Pricing

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Over the nine or so years that Mylan, Inc. has been selling -- and hiking the price -- of EpiPens, the drug company has been misclassifying the life-saving device and stiffing Medicaid out of full rebate payments, federal regulators told Ars. Under the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program, drug manufacturers, such as Mylan, can get their products covered by Medicaid if they agree to offer rebates to the government to offset costs. With a brand-name drug such as the EpiPen, which currently has no generic versions and has patent protection, Mylan was supposed to classify the drug as a "single source," or brand name drug. That would mean Mylan is required to offer Medicaid a rebate of 23.1 percent of the costs, plus an "inflation rebate" any time Mylan raises the price of the brand-name drug at a rate higher than inflation. Mylan has opted for such price increases -- a lot. Since Mylan bought the rights to EpiPen in 2007, it has raised the price on 15 separate occasions, bringing the current list price to $608 for a two-pack up from about $50 a pen in 2007. That's an increase of more than 500 percent, which easily beats inflation. But instead of classifying EpiPen as a "single source" drug, Mylan told regulators that it's a "non-innovator multiple source," or generic drug. Under that classification, Mylan is only required to offer a rebate of 13 percent and no inflation rebates. It's unclear how much money Mylan has skipped out on paying in total to state and federal governments. But according to the state health department of Minnesota, as reported by CNBC, the misclassification cost that state $4.3 million this year alone.

Re:Simple Solution

By pthisis • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

The drug, epinephrine, is generic. It is adrenaline, which your body produces naturally. There is no patent stopping generic injectors, but so far none have been approved by the FDA.

Yes, they have. Adrenaclick's been on the market (with FDA approval) for 5+ years, and costs like 1/4 what Epipen does.

Re:It's not innovative

By ArchieBunker • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

That CEO was basically given a degree because of her father's political ties.

Re:Simple Solution

By donaldm • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

The company claimed on official government forms for multiple years that the drug is a generic.

The drug, epinephrine, is generic. It is adrenaline, which your body produces naturally. There is no patent stopping generic injectors, but so far none have been approved by the FDA. Teva submitted an injector, but the FDA denied approval for reasons that are not clear.

The patent on epinephrine expired Sep 11, 2005. Basically, the Epipen is a mechanism for delivery of the drug which could easily be likened to a simple auto-injection procedure or as it was known during the Second World War a Syrette .

Yes, why don't we patent a device known for over 60 years, put a new coat of paint on it and (this is the most important part) wrap it up in legalese so that professional people who are supposedly peers have no idea what the new patent is about and get rich. It does help if a few palms are greased as well.

Re:It's not innovative

By pthisis • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

That list of problems with competitors fails to mention Impax's Adrenaclick, which has been FDA approved and sold in the US market freely since 2010; it's widely available (it's sold at Rite Aid, Walgreens, CVS, Walmart, Target, etc) and much cheaper than EpiPen.


By laurencetux • Score: 3 • Thread

these clowns should get crucified for basically holding the public hostage

1 RICO charges should be filed against the company and the execs (i think its called separately and corporately liable??)

2 the IRS should do a full bore forensic audit on the paperwork for the last 7 years

3 the company should be required to pay back every penny plus 25% of the increase

4 their entire patent portfolio should be wiped and they should be required to assist any company currently in the same or semi related market on building a duplicate (in fact those patents should become PD)

if this does cause the company to become bankrupt then the Execs should be bared from any medical business for the next 15 years (or just give them all a nice 10-20 in a not actually nice prison)

next up for the Full Roman Treatment the guys that make Naloxone/Narcan

Print-On-Demand Bone Could Quickly Mend Major Injuries

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
sciencehabit quotes a report from Science Magazine: If you shatter a bone in the future, a 3D printer and some special ink could be your best medicine. Researchers have created what they call "hyperelastic bone" that can be manufactured on demand and works almost as well as the real thing, at least in monkeys and rats. Though not ready to be implanted in humans, bioengineers are optimistic that the material could be a much-needed leap forward in quickly mending injuries ranging from bones wracked by cancer to broken skulls. Researchers at Northwestern University, Evanston, in Illinois are working on a hyperelastic bone, which is a type of scaffold made up of hydroxyapatite, a naturally occurring mineral that exists in our bones and teeth, and a biocompatible polymer called polycaprolactone, and a solvent. Hydroxyapatite provides strength and offers chemical cues to stem cells to create bone. The polycaprolactone polymer adds flexibility, and the solvent sticks the 3D-printed layers together as it evaporates during printing. The mixture is blended into an ink that is dispensed by the printer, layer by layer, into exact shapes matching the bone that needs to be replaced. The idea is, a patient would come in with a nasty broken bone -- say, a shattered jaw -- and instead of going through painful autograft surgeries or waiting for a custom scaffold to be manufactured, he or she could be x-rayed and a 3D-printed hyperelastic bone scaffold could be printed that same day.

Slashdot Stories

By Dan East • Score: 3 • Thread

First we have

New California Law Allows Test of Autonomous Shuttle With No Driver

Followed by

Print-On-Demand Bone Could Quickly Mend Major Injuries

I think I sense a theme.

Ya, but ...

By fahrbot-bot • Score: 3 • Thread

If you shatter a bone in the future, a 3D printer and some special ink could be your best medicine.

It will probably be an HP printer that requires genuine HP ink cartridges - so there's that.

Boned and can't get reboned.

Polycaprolacetone is really cool

By serviscope_minor • Score: 3 • Thread

You can buy polycaprolacetone (PCA) pretty readily. "Instamorph" is one brand, and you can also buy it from Alibaba by the metric tonne. It's a pretty decent thermoplastic, not all that dissimilar to ABS, but a little softer and more flexible.

The big thing is it melts at 60 degrees C and goes transparent when it's molten. It's also horrendously sticky when molten, especially to some plastics. It's fantastic stuff to keep around since you can use it to repair broken plastic items. If you have a small heat gun too, you can selectively rework and heat small areas.

New California Law Allows Test of Autonomous Shuttle With No Driver

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
If you live in California, you may soon start to see self-driving cars on the road with no operators to be seen. California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law on Thursday a bill that allows a self-driving vehicle with no operator inside to test on a public road. Currently, companies are legally able to test self-driving cars in California as long as the operators are located inside the vehicles when they are being tested. Fortune reports: The bill introduced by Democratic Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla allows testing in Contra Costa County northeast of San Francisco of the first full-autonomous vehicle without a steering wheel, brakes, accelerator or operator. New legislation was necessary because although driverless vehicles can be tested on private land like the office park, the shuttle will cross a public road on its loop through the campus. The new law means that two cube-like Easymile shuttles that travel no faster than 25 mph (40 kph) will be tested for a period of up to six months before being deployed and used by people. In an interview with Reuters in March, Bonilla said the "natural tension" between regulators concerned about safety and lawmakers trying to encourage innovation in their state necessitated a new bill. "They're risk averse and we're saying we need to open the door here and take steps (to innovate)," Bonilla said, calling the driverless shuttle project "a very wise first out-of-the-gate opportunity" to show how the technology could work safely.

What's the new DUI?

By Snotnose • Score: 3 • Thread
If some hacker somewhere inserts a virus, or otherwise gains control of my car, and my car gets into an accident, who is liable? Me, cuz I didn't keep my car fully patched? The car maker, cuz they didn't make patches available? The software vendor, cuz they had buggy software?

My guess is the lawyers will go after whomever has the deepest pockets that they think they can force to a settlement, liability be damned.

Facebook 'Messenger Day' Is the Chat App's New Snapchat Stories Clone

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from TechCrunch: Facebook is stealing the Stories format and invading countries where Snapchat isn't popular yet. Today in Poland it launched "Messenger Day," which lets people share illustrated filter-enhanced photos and videos that disappear in 24 hours, just like on Snapchat. Much of the feature works exactly like Snapchat Stories, with the ability to draw or add text to images. Facebook's one big innovation with Messenger Day is the use of graphic filters as suggestions for what to share, instead of just to celebrate holidays and events or to show off your location like with Snapchat's geofilters. At the top of the Messenger thread list, users see a row of tiles representing "My Day" and friends' Days they can watch, but there are also prompts like "I'm Feeling," "Who's Up For?" and "I'm Doing." Tapping on these tiles provides a range of filters "I'm feeling [...] so blue" with raindrops and a bubbly blue font, "I'm feeling [...] blessed" with a glorious gold sparkly font, "Who's up for [...] road trip" with a cute car zooming past, or "Who's up for [...] Let's grab drinks" with illustrated beer mugs and bottles that cover the screen. This feature allows people to share visually appealing images even if they aren't great artists or especially creative. These prompts could also spur usage when people are bored, sparking their imagination. Messenger is already an app people use all day with close friends, so it could end up a better home for the Stories format than cramming it into Facebook's core app, which the company tested as "Quick Updates" and scrapped.


By dohzer • Score: 3 • Thread

I quit Snapchat when they added ads.
Surely the FB version will have them too.
No interest.

New US 'Secret' Clearance Unit Hires Firm Linked To 2014 Hacks

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Reuters: A U.S. government bureau set up to do "secret" and "top secret" security clearance investigations has turned for help to a private company whose login credentials were used in hack attacks that looted the personal data of 22 million current and former federal employees, U.S. officials said on Friday. Their confirmation of the hiring of KeyPoint Government Solutions by the new National Background Investigations Bureau (NBIB) comes just days ahead of the bureau's official opening, scheduled for next week. Its creation was spurred, in part, by the same hacks of the Office of Personnel Management that have been linked to the credentials of KeyPoint, one of four companies hired by the bureau. The officials asked not to be named when discussing sensitive information. A spokesman for OPM said the agency in the past has said in public statements and in congressional testimony that a KeyPoint contractor's stolen credentials were used by hackers to gain access to government personnel and security investigations records in two major OPM computer breaches. Both breaches occurred in 2014, but were not discovered until April 2015, according to investigators. One U.S. official familiar with the hiring of KeyPoint said personnel records were hacked in 2014 from KeyPoint and, at some point, its login credentials were stolen. But no evidence proves, the official said, that the KeyPoint credentials used by the OPM hackers were stolen in the 2014 KeyPoint hack. OPM officials said on Thursday one aim for NBIB is to reduce processing time for "top secret" clearances to 80 days from 170 days and for "secret" clearances to 40 days from 120 days.

I'm confused

By networkBoy • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

did they just spin up a new government branch because of the OPM leak and said new branch just contracted with the same company responsible for the OPM breach?

Yo dawg, I heard you liked government in your breaches, so I added government to your government breaches.

USB-IF Publishes Audio Over USB Type-C Specifications

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from AnandTech: The USB Implementers Forum this week published the USB Audio Device Class 3.0 (direct download) specification, which standardizes audio over USB Type-C interface. The new spec enables hardware makers to eliminate traditional 3.5mm mini-jacks from their devices and use USB-C ports to connect headsets and other audio equipment. Makers of peripherals can also build their audio solutions, which use USB-C instead of traditional analog connectors. Developers of the standard hope that elimination of mini-jacks will help to make devices slimmer, smarter and less power hungry. As reported, the USB Audio Device Class 3.0 specification supports both analog and digital audio. Analog audio is easy to implement and it does not impact data transfers and other functionality of USB-C cables since it uses the two secondary bus (SBU) pins. The USB ADC 3.0 defines minimum interoperability across analog and digital devices in order to avoid confusion of end-users because of incompatibility. In fact, all ADC 3.0-compliant hosts should support the so-called headset adapter devices, which allow to connect analog headsets to USB-C. However, digital audio is one of the primary reasons why companies like Intel wanted to develop the USB-C audio tech on the first place, hence, expect them to promote it. According to the USB ADC 3.0 standard, digital USB-C headphones will feature special multi-function processing units (MPUs), which will, to a large degree, define the feature set and quality of headsets. The MPUs will handle host and sink synchronization (this is a key challenge for digital USB audio), digital-to-analog conversion, low-latency active noise cancellation, acoustic echo canceling, equalization, microphone automatic gain control, volume control and others. Such chips will also contain programmable amplifiers and pre-amplifiers, which are currently located inside devices. Besides, USB ADC 3.0-compatible MPUs will also support USB Audio Type-III and Type-IV formats (the latest compressed formats), but will retain compatibility with formats supported by ADC 1.0 and 2.0. Finally, among the mandated things set to be supported by USB-C Audio devices are new Power Domains (allows devices to put certain domains in sleep mode when not in use) as well as BADD (basic audio device definition) 3.0 features for saving power and simplified discovery and management of various audio equipment (each type of devices has its own BADD profile).

I'm all for Audio over USB-C

By Namarrgon • Score: 3 • Thread

It opens a lot of possibilities. Standardised docks, single-connection car charging+audio, powered Bluetooth receivers, that sort of thing. It's a great option to add to our toolset.

But only as an option - not if it means removing the headphone jack too. If it catches on, everyone starts using USB headphones and audio jacks fall out of favour, then we can talk, but it's insane to remove such a popular connector while it's still so wisely-used.

Re:Developers of the standard hope....

By jenningsthecat • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

"Developers of the standard hope that elimination of mini-jacks will help to make devices slimmer, smarter and less power hungry."

Less power hungry? Sounds like bullshit. Could someone explain how?

Because of the lack of a 3.5mm standard jack, more users will choose NOT to play music on their devices. This results in less usage of the audio amplifiers that feed signal to earbuds and headphones, resulting in less power use overall. ;-)

Re:Apple slides in for the win...

By cheesybagel • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Innovative my ass. Nokia and Sony Ericsson were combining everything in the same port years before: Pop-Port, FastPort.

And guess what it sucked and having a separate 3.5mm audio jack was considered a huge improvement.

Back then it was considered to be a way to force people to buy their accessories and a cash grab. Now Apple calls it "courage". Hah.

Re:Thin sucks

By anegg • Score: 5, Funny • Thread
Yes, an already-paired Bluetooth connection is easy to set up. Too easy. My wife pulls up in her car next to mine, and all of a sudden I can't hear my phone call anymore, because my phone has paired automatically with the Navigation system in her car and stolen the audio input/output away from my phone. Ok, it doesn't happen that often. But its annoying when it does. My 3.5mm jack never does that.

List of formats that the specifications allow

By NotInHere • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

No mention of vorbis, flac, alac or opus. Great, isn't it?

MPEG-1_Layer2/3 or MPEG-2_NOEXT

Newsweek Website Attacked After Report On Trump, Cuban Embargo

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
After Newsweek published a report titled " How Donald Trump's Company Violated The United States Embargo Against Cuba," the site found itself on the receiving end of a "massive" denial-of-service attack that managed to shut down the site for several hours. TPM reports: Editor-In-Chief Jim Impoco noted that the attack came as the story earned national attention. "Last night we were on the receiving end of what our IT chief called a 'massive' DoS (denial of service) attack," Impoco wrote in an email to TPM. "The site was down most of last evening, at a time when Kurt Eichenwald's story detailing how Donald Trump's company broke the law by violating the U.S. trade embargo against Cuba was being covered extensively by prominent cable news programs. Our IT team is still investigating the hack." Later Friday afternoon, Impoco emailed TPM that in an initial investigation, the "main" IP addresses linked to the attack were found to be Russian. It should be noted that it is possible to fake an IP address. "As with any DDoS attack, there are lots of IP addresses, but the main ones are Russian, though that in itself does not prove anything," he wrote. "We are still investigating." Eichenwald tweeted Friday morning: "News: The reason ppl couldnt read #TrumpInCuba piece late yesterday is that hackers launched a major attack on Newsweek after it was posted."

Re:The nature of the Trump-fans is pretty obvious

By Tough Love • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Eventually I installed cameras and caught the motherfuckers, who got fined and harassed by the cops...

Your troll would have come across as more credible if you had managed to avoid the temptation to feed your ego with that embellishment. Harassed you say, golly.

Re:The nature of the Trump-fans is pretty obvious

By ooloorie • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Because authoritarians follow charismatic leaders...

Authoritarians follow leaders advocating authoritarian policies, like Hillary does.

Just saying repeating what someone else says doesn't make it true, no matter where you claim your loyalties lie (or in this case loyalties you disclaim).

Honey, I've been saying that Hillary is a lying, authoritarian, corrupt, incompetent bitch since long before Trump even entered the race.

Re:Putin has Trump's back...

By swalve • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Nope. All we are being asked to believe is that he is a petty, vain man with lots of money. That explains just about everything.

Re:The nature of the Trump-fans is pretty obvious

By Tough Love • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Trump, the best president that money can buy. The best. 100 percent.

Re:The nature of the Trump-fans is pretty obvious

By swalve • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
They are the same idiots who fell for the tea party. They are the conservative version of occupy wall street. Petulent simpletons falling for the myth of the simple solution.

Researchers Ask Federal Court To Unseal Years of Surveillance Records

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Two lawyers and legal researchers based at Stanford University have formally asked a federal court in San Francisco to unseal numerous records of surveillance-related cases, as a way to better understand how authorities seek such powers from judges. This courthouse is responsible for the entire Northern District of California, which includes the region where tech companies such as Twitter, Apple, and Google, are based. According to the petition, Jennifer Granick and Riana Pfefferkorn were partly inspired by a number of high-profile privacy cases that have unfolded in recent years, ranging from Lavabit to Apple's battle with the Department of Justice. In their 45-page petition, they specifically say that they don't need all sealed surveillance records, simply those that should have been unsealed -- which, unfortunately, doesn't always happen automatically. The researchers wrote in their Wednesday filing: "Most surveillance orders are sealed, however. Therefore, the public does not have a strong understanding of what technical assistance courts may order private entities to provide to law enforcement. There are at least 70 cases, many under seal, in which courts have mandated that Apple and Google unlock mobile phones and potentially many more. The Lavabit district court may not be the only court to have ordered companies to turn over private encryption keys to law enforcement based on novel interpretations of law. Courts today may be granting orders forcing private companies to turn on microphones or cameras in cars, laptops, mobile phones, smart TVs, or other audio- and video-enabled Internet-connected devices in order to conduct wiretapping or visual surveillance. This pervasive sealing cripples public discussion of whether these judicial orders are lawful and appropriate."

No duh.

By Narcocide • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread

This pervasive sealing cripples public discussion of whether these judicial orders are lawful and appropriate.

Well of course it does. This is because they know very well that the orders are neither lawful nor appropriate. Furthermore they consider their ability to continue undermining national security a process that is vital to national security. So in order to maintain security, they must keep violating our security and must not allow public discourse to reach an informed consensus about what even constitutes security.


And that's not even touching on the privacy issues. Does anyone actually even need this shit unsealed to see the blatantly obvious logical flaw in the reasoning behind it being sealed in the first place?

does this Trump the Russians?

By turkeydance • Score: 3 • Thread
or maybe a Hillary to far to climb? it's Friday and that's all i've got.

Aw how cute...

By ad454 • Score: 3 • Thread

Some lawyers and researchers at Stanford still think that the USA is a democracy which follows the rule of law, especially for its surveillance apparatus and unaccountable agencies (CIA, NSA, Homeland Security, ...).

I do hope that no one bursts their bubble, it would be like telling small children that there is no Santa.

Yahoo Open Sources a Deep Learning Model For Classifying Pornographic Images

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
New submitter OWCareers writes: Yahoo today announced its latest open-source release: a model that can figure out if images are specifically pornographic in nature. The system uses a type of artificial intelligence called deep learning, which involves training artificial neural networks on lots of data (like dirty images) and getting them to make inferences about new data. The model that's now available on GitHub under a BSD 2-Clause license comes pre-trained, so users only have to fine-tune it if they so choose. The model works with the widely used Caffe open source deep learning framework. The team trained the model using its now open source CaffeOnSpark system.
The new model could be interesting to look at for developers maintaining applications like Instagram and Pinterest that are keen to minimize smut. Search engine operators like Google and Microsoft might also want to check out what's under the hood here.
The tool gives images a score between 0 to 1 on how NSFW the pictures look. The official blog post from Yahoo outlines several examples.


By ArtemaOne • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
My guess is that since they purchased Tumblr, they're facing the fact that it is one of the biggest nude image collections ever. For years I've joked with my wife about scrolling: funny image, social justice post, kitten, woman receiving anal, puppy dog, web comic, nude woman, kitten

Great for organizing a collection

By Snotnose • Score: 4 • Thread
If it can tell various types of porn apart then it can categorize, um, my friend's collection he keeps meaning to organize.


By ShanghaiBill • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

As usual, Yahoo is missing the market. Rather than a binary porn/not-porn, there would be a MUCH bigger market for a porn classifier that could help people find what they like. If their DL-NN is based on RBMs they could even use it in generative mode to create porn to individual tastes.

Going for a perfect score

By watermark • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

New challenge, find an image that gives a perfect 1 score

DeepWetDream anyone?

By PacoSuarez • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
You can feed an image to this network and use backpropagation to compute the gradient of the NSFW score with respect to the pixel values in the input. A few steps of gradient ascent/descent and you'll get a spiced up/down version of the original image. I believe this is roughly what DeepDream does. The results could be hilarious. It is very possible that Yahoo has inadvertently created an open-source porn generator.

Any takers?

Amazon Marketplace Shoppers Slam the Spam

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Spammy follow-up email messages are turning off Amazon Marketplace shoppers. Shoppers who buy from Amazon's Marketplace typically like the convenience and prices. But many are also unhappy about the barrage of emails that sellers send them after the purchase, notes Fortune. It adds: Sellers deluge often inboxes with requests for product reviews, inquiries about how the process went, and sales pitches for more stuff. Considering the comments on social media, feedback from friends and family, and in posts in's customer service forum over the past two years, this problem is not getting any better. There appears to be no way to opt out of this email flood, which is odd, given Amazon's self-professed zeal for great customer service. One shopper in Amazon's customer forum thread posted a response from an Amazon service representative that apologized for the notifications and noted that the feedback had been forwarded to the company's "investigations team."

Could be worse...

By jxander • Score: 3 • Thread

Overstock is so much worse. It's insane

I bought one or two things over there a couple months ago, and received a barrage of emails daily. An absolute unmitigated shitstorm of spam. And they came from several different addresses (domains?), and were assigned to several different mailing lists, so marking one as spam and/or unsubscribing wouldn't stop the deluge.

I think it's mostly under control now, but what a mess that was...

Re:akin to....

By tlhIngan • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

It must be a uniquely American thing to equate massive levels of attention with good service. As a Brit now living in the US, all the unwanted interruptions you get when you're just trying to enjoy a slow, peaceful restaurant meal really took some getting used to.

I swear servers actually wait for you to fill your mouth before they comes over and ask "Is everything OK" every 30 seconds.... and whats with the rush to clear plates from the table? especially even before everyone at the table has finished eating? That's considered the height of bad manners in pretty much every other country I've ever lived in or visited.

Well, it's American to not spend hours on a meal, actually. I know, I traveled to Italy and had many great meals, and spent a couple of hours or more at the restaurant. That was fine, I was on holidays and was enjoying the leisurely experience.

Back home, well, things are a bit more rushed, so having efficiency really helps. I don't want to have to look for a waiter to call over so I can have my glass refilled. Just like I don't want to have to wait 10 minutes to get a waiter to get me my bill. (Yes, I like it when they automatically come and refill my glass, as well as print me out my bill and leave it at the table. Of course, if they hover around waiting for me to pay it, that's another thing, but if they drop it off and let me deal with it when I'm able, I'm happier.

Having to get the attention of a waiter can be the most annoying thing ever.

Some time back. . .

By Salgak1 • Score: 3 • Thread

. . . . I had a Marketplace Seller who sent me a request for Feedback for 8 consecutive days.

I gave them feedback: One Star, titled "Adequate Item, but seller spams for feedback"

Amazon sent me a nastygram saying my review wasn't "helpful". . .

Have not left a review for a Marketplace item since, , ,

Re:Funny thing is

By DRJlaw • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

If I receive another from the same vendor, I go to Amazon and give them a one-star review. If you do this too (and I hope you do) then do NOT mention the spam as a reason for the bad review. If you do that, Amazon will remove the review, since reviews must be about the product and not the company selling it. So just make something up instead.

You blockhead. They do that because, I assume, you are reviewing THE PRODUCT through a PRODUCT REVIEW. Your review will appear under THE PRODUCT listing on Amazon, which is used by both Amazon, that Marketplace vendor, and all the other Marketplace vendors.

You honestly haven't figured this out yet? Despite the fact that when you search for the product it displays an Amazon purchase link (usually) and things like "24 new from $XXX.XX" and "5 used from $XX.XX"?

You want to go to your order history, click on the order, and magically there will appear a button labeled "Seller Feedback." Seller feedback is expressly supposed to be about the company selling it, so I'm not going to buy any cover-your-*ss follow-up that claims that you were referring to that button.

Hint: there's also a "Package feedback" button that you can use to complain about Amazon's packaging for the Amazon warehouse-fulfilled orders, which might actually provide feedback to the people who packaged the order.

Stop polluting the product reviews with made up issues because you can't be bothered to figure out how to review a vendor properly.

Frustrated by the emails

By Cheviot • Score: 3 • Thread

I get a lot of these. I buy used books on Amazon, all at least graded "good" or better. In Amazon's description, Good means the book includes a dust cover. About a quarter of the books I order arrive with no dust cover and they get a one-star review and an explanation why.

Then the e-mails start. The seller wants to give me a discount to make things right. I explain that I've already wasted as much time on the order as I'm going to and it's well worth whatever discount that they might give me to let people know that they messed up.
Next up is the full refund offer email. I reply, asking if they even read my email. I explain that they're wasting even more of my time and I'm even less inclined to remove my review now as I was before.
Occasionally at this point I get the begging email. What can we do to make this right? Let us know and we'll do it. I reply that if I hear from them again, I'll order from them again and give that item a one-star review too.

That shuts them up.

Salesforce Pushes Regulators To Block Microsoft's LinkedIn Deal

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Salesforce is urging the European Union to take a closer look at Microsoft's takeover of LinkedIn as EU regulators ask questions on how the software giant could use AI to exploit data from LinkedIn's professionals. Chief Legal Officer Burke Norton said Salesforce plans to tell European and U.S. antitrust officials it has concerns about the acquisition. From a CNN report: "Microsoft's proposed acquisition of LinkedIn threatens the future of innovation and competition," Burke Norton, chief legal officer at Salesforce, said in a statement. "By gaining ownership of LinkedIn's unique dataset of over 450 million professionals in more than 200 countries, Microsoft will be able to deny competitors access to that data, and in doing so obtain an unfair competitive advantage. [...] We intend to work closely with regulators, lawmakers and other stakeholders to make the case that this merger is anticompetitive," he added. The European Commission is reaching out to multiple companies as part of a review of the pending acquisition. Salesforce's comments came in response to this, according to Chi Hea Cho, a spokeswoman for Salesforce.

Sour grape

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
Great topic!

Mhmm Sure...

By nickberry • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread
These fuckboys at salesforce are just pissed off they couldn't afford the premium Microsoft paid.... Salesforce would do the same exact thing they're accusing Microsoft of doing if they had bought LinkedIn.

And this is why...

By CCarrot • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

...I'm not on LinkedIn.

By gaining ownership of LinkedIn's unique dataset of over 450 million professionals in more than 200 countries, Microsoft will be able to deny competitors access to that data, and in doing so obtain an unfair competitive advantage

That 'data' is the career info and personal details on millions of hopeful job seekers, and they'll use it for what, exactly? "Oh, looks like Johnson just got a raise, time to start throwing ads for luxury vehicles at him!" Or "Smith is on mat leave, start spamming her with childhood educational assistance program ads!"

I did sign up for an account once about a decade ago...and deleted it after about a week. The sheer volume of bullshit that I got spammed with was unbelievable. It took quite some time to stem the flow again (pretty much had to pretend I died for a couple of years...). For a service advertised as 'for professionals', they sure act anything but.

Who wants what out of LinkedIn

By Dracos • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

SalesForce might actually want LinkedIn as a business unit.

However, I think MS is only in it for the user data, as with Skype and, to a degree, Mojang. MS is desperate to get user data like Apple and Google has. But MS has no idea how to build a community or connect with consumers, so they have to collect user data by either surreptitious means (Win10) or by buying it through business acquisitions.

Everyone is missing the point...

By creimer • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Microsoft, Salesforce and Oracle are competing for the next artificial intelligence (AI) system, which requires large data sets to train properly. LinkedIn and Twitter have large data sets.

The Smog-Sucking Tower Has Arrived in China

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Jamie Fullerton, reporting for Motherboard: Daan Roosegaarde reached into the pocket of his suit jacket, pulled out a plastic bag filled with black powder, and waved it around. "This is Beijing smog," Roosegaarde said, before gesturing to the seven-metre tall, gently humming metal tower we are stood next to in the Chinese capital's art district, 798. "We collected it from the tower yesterday. Incredibly disgusting." Dutch designer Roosegaarde's smog souvenir may be disgusting, but it's the byproduct of an invention that he has touted as a potential alleviator of China's pollution problems. His "smog-free tower" sucks air, filters it with ion technology, with Roosegaarde having explained: "By charging the Smog Free Tower with a small positive current, an electrode will send positive ions into the air. These ions will attach themselves to fine dust particles. A negatively charged surface -- the counter electrode -- will then draw the positive ions in, together with the fine dust particles. The fine dust "is collected together with the ions and stored inside of the tower." With the dust collected, the tower then spews out cleaner air through vents, creating a "bubble" in the area surrounding it that contains, according to Roosegaarde, up to 70 percent fewer pollution particles than the pre-cleaned air.

Re:Net Negative

By Verdatum • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
You know another word for that ozone released at low levels? Smog. A better title for this article would be "Smog-Sucking Tower that Doesn't Suck Smog, Just a Little Bit of Particulate...Oh, Also, it Creates Smog".

Re:If only we could stop the creation of smog...

By ShanghaiBill • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

If only we could stop the creation of smog in the first place.

The towers are just a silly stunt. Nobody really thinks that outdoor filters are a realistic solution. Filtering makes sense for enclosed areas, like homes and offices, but not outdoors. Beijing has been cracking down on burning trash and has banned coal for cooking/heating, and China has started imposing smog controls on cars. But diesel engines are common in China, and there are many many two-stroke gasoline engines on scooters and motorcycles. Those are not easy problems to fix. A good first step would be to promote electric scooters, with more convenient charging stations. That would not work in a hilly city like Chongqing, but should help in flat cities like Beijing or Shanghai.

Its called a precipitator.

By Revek • Score: 3 • Thread

Its a standard anti pollution device on boilers and large kilns. Its something that uses a lot of electricity and the power companies will shut them off at night alot if they can get away with it.

Use the useless by-product for something-

By WolfgangVL • Score: 3 • Thread

Rockefeller style.

Re:If only we could stop the creation of smog...

By HornWumpus • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Don't forget the new coal fired power plants to run the towers.

Electrostatic stack scrubbers are exactly the same thing, but fitted to the smokestacks.