the unofficial Slashdot digest archive

Mobile Internet Goes Free, National For a Day In Cuba

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
More than 5 million cellphone users in Cuba received free internet on Tuesday, in an eight-hour test before the government launches sales of the service. The test marks the first time internet services were available nationwide. Reuters reports: Cuba is one of the Western Hemisphere's least connected countries. There are hundreds of Wi-Fi hotspots in Cuba but virtually no home penetration. Dissident blogger Yoani Sanchez, considered the country's social media pioneer, raved that she had directly sent a tweet from her mobile. In another tweet, she called the test a "citizen's victory." On the streets of Havana, mobile users said they were happy about the day of free internet, even as some complained that connectivity was notably slower than usual.

Hotspots currently charge about $1 an hour although monthly wages in Cuba average just $30. The government has not yet said how much most Cubans would pay for mobile internet, or when exactly sales of the service will begin. But [the state-run telecommunications monopoly ETECSA] is already charging companies and embassies $45 a month for four gigabytes. Analysts have said broader Web access will ultimately weaken government control over what information reaches people in a country where the state has a monopoly on the media.

SpaceX Reveals the Controls of Its Dragon Spacecraft For the First Time

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
On Monday, SpaceX let reporters take a look inside its Crew Dragon capsule for the first time, as well as hear from the four astronauts: Bob Behnken, Doug Hurley, Victor Glover and Mike Hopkins. Ars Technica writes about several pieces of hardware observed at the event in Hawthorne, California: During the event at SpaceX, engineers guided reporters through various displays. Outside, under a resplendent blue sky with the rolling hills of Palos Verdes in the distance, media was invited to crawl into a low-fidelity mockup of the crew Dragon spacecraft. This was a roomy vehicle, especially in comparison to NASA's current ride to the space station, a cramped Soyuz with a capacity of three. The Dragon will comfortably carry a normal complement of four for NASA, but seven seats can fit inside. On the second floor of its main factory, where astronauts have trained in recent years, SpaceX also showed off two simulators publicly for the first time. This marked the first time SpaceX has revealed details about the controls and the interior of its crewed spacecraft. The cockpit simulator demonstrated the controls that Dragon astronauts will have at their command. In comparison to the space shuttle and its more than 1,000 buttons, switches, and controls, the Dragon capsule has a modest array of three flat screens and two rows of buttons below.

These touch screens selectively display the necessary controls during flight and are the primary interface astronauts have with the vehicle. Below are two rows of manual buttons, 38 in total, that provide back-up control of the spacecraft. Many of the buttons are situated beneath clear panels, intended to never be used, because they are often the third option after the touch screens and ground control of the Dragon. One control stood out -- a large black and red handle in the middle of the console with "EJECT" printed in clear white letters above it. This initiates the launch escape system, which rapidly pulls the spacecraft away from the rocket in the case of an emergency during the ascent into space. It must be pulled, then twisted. Normally the flight computers would initiate such a maneuver, but the prominence of the escape system handle underlines its importance. Notably, after the vehicle reaches orbit, this control becomes "deadened," such that accidentally pulling it in space would do nothing.
CNBC has included several pictures of the Crew Dragon capsule mock-up in their report. CNN also has a first look video with text and quotes from the astronauts.


By Erik Hensema • Score: 3 • Thread

I have trouble operating touchscreens in a moving car. I wonder what it'll be to operate them atop a rocket pulling multiple g's.

Touch screens on space boats?

By WaffleMonster • Score: 3 • Thread

Three touch screens and lack of buttons... there are some physical knobs hard to tell from the images... overall looks painful.

High G' suite gloves and touch screens??

Lack of Options

By dohzer • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

the Dragon capsule has a modest array of three flat screens and two rows of buttons

People won't like being forced to use buttons. Either allow them to use their keyboard/mouse/gamepad of choice or the average consumer just isn't going to buy this thing.

Scientists Calculate the Speed of Death In Cells And It's 30 Micrometers Per Minute

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Live Science: Scientists found that death travels in unremitting waves through a cell, moving at a rate of 30 micrometers (one-thousandth of an inch) every minute, they report in a new study published Aug. 10 in the journal Science. That means, for instance, that a nerve cell, whose body can reach a size of 100 micrometers, could take as long as 3 minutes and 20 seconds to die. Apoptosis -- or programmed cell death -- is necessary for clearing our bodies of unnecessary or harmful cells, such as those that are infected by viruses. It also helps shape organs and other features in a developing fetus.

To figure this out, Ferrell and his team observed the process in one of the larger cells present in nature: egg cells of Xenopus laevis, or African clawed frogs. They filled test tubes with fluid from the eggs and triggered apoptosis, which they watched unfold by tagging involved proteins with fluorescent light. If they saw fluorescent light, it meant apoptosis was taking place. They found that the fluorescent light traveled through the test tubes at a constant speed. If apoptosis had carried on due to simple diffusion (the spreading of substances from an area of high concentration to one of low concentration), the process would have slowed down toward the end, according to the study. Since it didn't, the researchers concluded that the process they observed must be "trigger waves," which they likened to "the spread of a fire through a field." The caspases that are first activated, activate other molecules of caspases, which activate yet others, until the entire cell is destroyed.

Re:Metal Band Name

By igny • Score: 5, Funny • Thread
Or 2/666 furlongs per fortnight. Coincidence? I think not!

Verizon Nears 5G Launch Deals With Apple and Google: Bloomberg

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
In a statement Tuesday, Verizon announced deals making Apple and Google its first video providers for a 5G wireless service its planning to launch in four cities later this year. From the report: The home broadband service will debut in Los Angeles, Houston and Sacramento, California, as well as the newly announced fourth city of Indianapolis, Verizon said Tuesday in a statement. With the introduction, Verizon will provide 5G customers either a free Apple TV box or free subscription to Google's YouTube TV app for live television service, according to people familiar with the plan. After shelving its own online TV effort, New York-based Verizon decided to partner with the two technology giants for video content, a first step toward eventually competing nationally against internet and pay TV providers such as AT&T and Comcast Using fifth-generation wireless technology, Verizon plans to beam online services to home receivers, delivering speeds that match or exceed landline connections.

Wireless will exceed wired?

By iamhassi • Score: 3 • Thread
Wireless speeds will exceed wired? That seems unlikely.

Can they do it w/o metering?

By rsilvergun • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
otherwise it's not worth much. If it's $10/gigabyte or something silly like that then it's pointless.

WWV Shortwave Time Broadcasts May Be Slashed In 2019

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
New submitter SteveSgt writes: A forum thread on indicates that the shortwave time broadcasts by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) from stations WWV (Colorado) and WWVH (Hawaii) may be slashed in budget year 2019. [One of the proposed reductions includes "$6.3 million supporting fundamental measurement dissemination, including the shutdown of NIST radio stations in Colorado and Hawaii."] While the WWV broadcasts may seem like an anachronism to some Slashdotters, they remain a crucial component in many unexpected services, from over-the-air broadcasters and traffic signals, to medical devices, wall clocks, and wrist watches. The signals serve as standard beacons for radio propagation, and as a frequency reference for alignment of a broad range of communications equipment. It's easy to imagine that not even the NIST knows every service and device that could be impacted by this decision.

Most of those "self setting clocks" use WWVB...

By Ellis D. Tripp • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

on 60 kHz. The WWV/WWVH services being cut are on HF (2.5-25 MHz).

The loss of those frequencies will obsolete the older HF clocks, like the Heathkit GC-1000 "Most Accurate Clock" I have in my ham shack. As well as removing the other functions they provided besides time, such as precision frequency reference (zero beat a signal generator or receiver VFO against WWV's carrier, and you know it is exactly on frequency), and the various frequencies throughout the HF band provide useful propagation checks, as well.

Oh well, the $6M they save can pay off a lot of porn stars, or cover the security detail for a couple rounds of golf in Bedminster...

Re: WTF?

By msauve • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
"In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the militaryindustrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist."



By slyborg • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

This may surprise you, but GPS in-building penetration is zero. Whereas the longwave signals from WWV keep a clock I have in my basement synchronized. So yeah, GPS does a vastly better job at providing location, because that's what it's for, and pretty much is shit for providing cheap time sync.
Oh, and as of the 2012 budget, GPS operating costs were $2M ... *a day*.

The real issue here is that this is something that primarily provides a useful service for the little guy and doesn't have armies of lobbyists shilling it, so even if it cost $1.50/yr, let's cut it, because it's SOCIALISM.

Re:Irrelevant. Slashdot turned into Facebook? Nerd

By asackett • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

The fact that we're bankrupting and sacrificing ourselves with illegal, immoral wars to prop up Nixon's petrodollar while allowing our social institutions and infrastructure to decay is very relevant to the discussion. The fact that this grotesque irresponsibility is the driver of capitalism's collapse and American social decay is very, very relevant. Personally, I consider these to be the most relevant aspects of the discussion.

I would be ashamed of myself were I one given more to reaction than reflection.


By CronoCloud • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

The defense budget is a fraction the size of social services mostly which goes to fund deadbeats.

The big ticket entitlements are Social Security and Medicare, which supports those deadbeats known as Grandma and Grandpa and the deadbeat that is your cousin with Down Syndrome.

In general, the vast majority of those receiving government assistance are either: Elderly, disabled or children.

Such deadbeat parasites. Maybe we should just kill the lousy parasites and we can build a city where the great would not be constrained by the small...Rapture.

stop the foreign aliens coming in and abusing our welfare services.

The foreign aliens working their asses off in poultry processing factories in Arkansas? Or picking lettuce in California? Running small gardening/handyman/home fix-up services out of pick-up truck at Lowe's? Slaving away in restaurants and hotels and not getting paid fair wages because their employers threaten them?

LA To Become First In US To Install Subway Body Scanners

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Los Angeles officials announced Tuesday that the city's subway will become the first mass transit system in the U.S. to install body scanners that screen passengers for weapons and explosives. "The deployment of the portable scanners, which project waves to do full-body screenings of passengers walking through a station without slowing them down, will happen in the coming months, said Alex Wiggins, who runs the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority's law enforcement division," reports the Associated Press reports: The machines scan for metallic and non-metallic objects on a person's body, can detect suspicious items from 30 feet (9 meters) away and have the capability of scanning more than 2,000 passengers per hour. On Tuesday, Pekoske and other officials demonstrated the new machines, which are being purchased from Thruvision, which is headquartered in the United Kingdom. In addition to the Thruvision scanners, the agency is also planning to purchase other body scanners -- which resemble white television cameras on tripods -- that have the ability to move around and hone in on specific people and angles, Wiggins said. Signs will be posted at stations warning passengers they are subject to body scanner screening. The screening process is voluntary, Wiggins said, but customers who choose not be screened won't be able to ride on the subway.

"Waves," huh?

By pots • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
The Thruevision website says that it's a passive camera which operates in the 250 GHz range. That's infrared. No safety concerns, thankfully, and judging from the pictures no privacy concerns either. They're basically just like pictures from a visible-spectrum camera, only monochromatic and blurry. I'm not sure how this is supposed to be useful...

Does anyone know how this is supposed to work? Maybe a gun or a bomb or other large object would be colder than the rest of your body? So it would show up as a cold spot?


By b0s0z0ku • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
This is a passive camera that captures THz (IR) radiation emitted by human bodies. It doesn't produce any radiation, only captures it.

Re:Would this hold up in court?

By AHuxley • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
That is the idea of why its been set that way and everyone is scanned. Random stops of people who are criminals are difficult to present as "random".
The need for some type of reasonable and articulable suspicion is removed when everyone is scanned.
Scan everyone and that later legal question is stopped. Its not the police selecting any random person. Everyone gets a scan thats equal before the law.


By UnknownSoldier • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread


As as bad as the cognitive dissonance of voluntary compliance.

Huh? Is it voluntary or compulsive?


Re:What About Bikes, Scooters and Skateboards

By mea2214 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

How is this really going to work?

Here's an excerpt from TFA:

“I guess it is a good, precautionary thing,” Andrea Kirsh said, a 22-year-old student from Corvallis, Oregon, who was traveling through Los Angeles’ Union Station on Tuesday. “It makes me feel safe. As a civilian I think we often don’t know what to look for or what we would be looking for.”

It works because it makes Andrea feel safe. That's what security theater is all about.

A Community-Run ISP Is the Highest Rated Broadband Company In America

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard: A new survey by Consumer Reports once again highlights how consumers are responding positively to [community-run broadband networks]. The organization surveyed 176,000 Consumer Reports readers on their experience with their pay TV and broadband providers, and found that the lion's share of Americans remain completely disgusted with most large, incumbent operators. The full ratings are paywalled but available here to those with a Consumer Reports subscription. All the usual suspects including Comcast, Charter (Spectrum), AT&T, Verizon, and Optimum once again fell toward the bottom of the barrel in terms of overall satisfaction, reliability, and value, largely mirroring similar studies from the American Customer Satisfaction Index.

One of the lone bright spots for broadband providers was Chattanooga's EPB, a city-owned and utility operated broadband provider we profiled several years back as an example of community broadband done well. The outfit, which Comcast attempted unsuccessfully to sue into oblivion, was the only ISP included in the study that received positive ratings for value. "EPB was the top internet service provider in our telecom ratings two times in the past three years," Christopher Raymond, electronics editor at Consumer Reports told Motherboard. "Consumer Reports members have given it high marks for not only reliability and speed, but also overall value -- and that's a rare distinction in an arena dominated by the major cable companies," he said.

Community, commune, communism.

By The Evil Atheist • Score: 5, Funny • Thread
Can't have communities in charge of stuff. That's communism, that is. And the community making people who use the community's resources pay their part of it is violence, I tell ya. Violence. How dare communities not provide things for free(loaders)?

Gee, no kidding?

By p51d007 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
A LOCALLY run, COMMUNITY based ISP, where those that run it, LIVE in the community, are ACCOUNTABLE to the community, actually runs it correctly? Shiver-me-timbers! Wish more cities would do this and kick out the mega-corp-don't-care ISP's.

Re:Easy when someone else is footing the bill

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

We've been paying hundreds of billions to the telecoms through a Universal Subscriber Fee for decades, and NO ONE (except the telecom shareholders) has ever gotten anything for that money.

Google Fiber was ranked second...

By Lothsahn • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Google Fiber was actually ranked second. I'm not surprised by that at all. Their customer service has been fantastic, as has the internet and TV. The two times I've had an issue, they had metrics to show exactly what was wrong from their end and their support rep understood the problem and could interact directly with the engineers.

On the other hand, Comcast required more than 3 calls to bury the outside cable line after it was replaced (it was supposed to be buried automatically with a second crew after the tech left, but he didn't file the right paperwork), and when I called customer service, one representative told me he was going to "reset my modem to resolve the issue". Yeah, apparently resetting modems can bury cable lines underground now, folks...

California Officials Admit To Using License Plate Readers To Monitor Welfare Recipients

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
According to a report from the Sacramento Bee, officials in Sacramento County have been accessing license plate reader data to track welfare recipients suspected of fraud. The practice dates back to 2016. Gizmodo reports: Sacramento County Department of Human Assistance Director Ann Edwards confirmed to the paper that welfare fraud investigators working under the DHA have used the data for two years on a "case-by-case" basis. Edwards said the DHA pays about $5,000 annually for access to the database. Abbreviated LPR, license plate readers are essentially cameras that upload photographs to a searchable database of images of license plates. If a driver passed by an LPR four times throughout a city, an officer with access would know where and at what time of day. Anyone with access to that data could use it track where someone drove and when, provided they were scanned by the LPR.

It's not immediately clear how travel patterns might reveal welfare fraud. As noted by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, welfare fraud is statistically speaking, extremely rare. In 2012, the DHA found only 500 cases of fraud among Sacramento's 193,000 recipients. Following an inquiry from the EFF, the DHA has instituted a privacy policy (one that didn't exist before their initial inquiry) requiring investigators to justify each request for LPR data. The Sacramento Bee reports the DHA accessed the data over a thousand times in two years.

Re:welfare fraud rates

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

To be more precise, there are more people looking for welfare cheats than there are policing Wall Street.

You can follow the money two ways, follow the pennies, or follow the millions/billions.

But white guys stealing old ladies pensions is just good ol' American Capitalism.

Good lord, but are our values f'd up or what.

Re:welfare fraud rates

By LynnwoodRooster • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
How about the actual article:

Since June 2016, when the county started using ALPR data, investigators discovered fraud had occurred in about 13,000 of the 35,412 fraud referrals they investigated, or about 37 percent of the time, the DHA said.

I think BeauHD is putting on his liberal bias glasses when he edited up the summary. DHA says 13,000 confirmed cases of fraud in just 2 years. A far cry from 500...

Can be Used for Good...

By BBF_BBF • Score: 3 • Thread
I can see how LPR data can be used to correlate charges on a SNAP debit card with location of the registered receipient. However, IMHO it should not be used without a warrant, so should not be used for "fishing expeditions".

Re:welfare fraud rates

By SlaveToTheGrind • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

does it make financial sense to spend a significant number of man-hours trying to uncover those non-obvious instances of welfare fraud?

It's more than just dollars spent vs. dollars recovered for the cases you find -- you have to factor in the deterrent effect you get from noisily making examples of the ones you find and thus increasing the known risk of playing the system.

They had warrants right?

By rsilvergun • Score: 3 • Thread

Slashdot Asks: Did You Have a Shared Family Computer Growing Up?

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
theodp writes: "Long before phone addiction panic gripped the masses and before screen time became a facet of our wellness and digital detoxes," begins Katie Reid's article, How the Shared Family Computer Protected Us from Our Worst Selves, "there was one good and wise piece of technology that served our families. Maybe it was in the family room or in the kitchen. It could have been a Mac or PC. Chances are it had a totally mesmerizing screensaver. It was the shared family desktop." She continues: "I can still see the Dell I grew up using as clear as day, like I just connected to NetZero yesterday. It sat in my eldest sister's room, which was just off the kitchen. Depending on when you peeked into the room, you might have found my dad playing Solitaire, my sister downloading songs from Napster, or me playing Wheel of Fortune or writing my name in Microsoft Paint. The rules for using the family desktop were pretty simple: homework trumped games; Dad trumped all. Like the other shared equipment in our house, its usefulness was focused and direct: it was a tool that the whole family used, and it was our portal to the wild, weird, wonderful internet. As such, we adored it." Did you have a shared family computer growing up? Can you relate to any of the experiences Katie mentioned in her article? Please share your thoughts in a comment below.

No, I had my own

By filesiteguy • Score: 3 • Thread
My TRS-80 model I was in my room. I spent hours learning to program on it and playing games before the Apple II came out. That had a modem and I was able to connect to BBSs and Compuserve. Then I went downhill.

I love that BBSes are still mentioned

By EmagGeek • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

I ran a large BBS in upstate New York with tons of door games, file areas, message boards, and FIDOnet. It all started with our Tandy 1000 PC that had two floppy drives and no hard drive. In 1988 I managed to trade some stuff I had for an ENORMOUS hard drive - 40 MEGAbytes, that miraculously worked in the Tandy. IIRC it was a Miniscribe 8450. The actuator made the coolest sounds.

g=c800:5 and a few keystrokes later, I had space for my first BBS. I ran a piece of software called Phoenix RCS at first, but transitioned to WWIV later as the BBS grew. I ended up on Wildcat, because all the BBSes in that time ended up on Wildcat. I had 4 incoming lines at the height of it all in 1989, but pared it back to two as the 90s rolled around and BBSes started falling off in popularity. I finally pulled the plug in 1994 when I was only getting a few calls per day and there was clearly no more interest in BBSing in the area.

I often think about setting up a terminal BBS again, but it's just not the same without... that sounds.... screeeeeeeeeeeee .. beeeeeee .ksshhhhhhhhhh... CONNECT 2400

Those were an incredibly fun and enriching 6 years though, and I met some of the coolest people. I will always have fond memories of growing up in the BBS age. You young whipper snappers are really missing out on the earliest dawn of the age of communication and data. I would encourage you to see the BBS documentary. It's a great watch.

I hope this has been a fun, reminiscent story for a lot of you slashdotters. Take care.


Packard Bell Navigator

By Monster_user • Score: 3 • Thread
Yep. First family computer was a Packard Bell, it came with the Packard Bell Navigator GUI. I remember playing Chex Quest on it. A few years later I got my own personal computer, a used IBM of some sort, running Windows 95 if I remember correctly. Some time after that I got my first Macintosh. At one point I had a PC running Linux, a PC running Windows, and a Macintosh running side by side. I think that was around the time I got a Diamond Monster 3D II branded, 3DFX Voodoo 2 graphics card.


By CrimsonAvenger • Score: 3 • Thread

When I was growing, up?

I was grown up and going to college before the first PC saw the light of day.

I did share a comp with my wife after college, for a few years.

Re:Remembered the shared family TV?

By Darinbob • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

"The picture looks great, now just hold it there and don't move for an hour!"

Tinder Founders Sue Dating App's Owners For At Least $2 Billion

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from TechCrunch: A group of Tinder founders and executives has filed a lawsuit against parent company Match Group and its controlling shareholder IAC. The plaintiffs in the suit include Tinder co-founders Sean Rad, Justin Mateen and Jonathan Badeen -- Badeen still works at Tinder, as do plaintiffs James Kim (the company's vice president of finance) and Rosette Pambakian (its vice president of marketing and communications). The suit alleges that IAC and Match Group manipulated financial data in order to create "a fake lowball valuation" (to quote the plaintiffs' press release), then stripped Rad, Mateen, Badeen and others of their stock options. It points to the removal of Rad as CEO, as well as other management changes, as moves designed "to allow Defendants to control the valuation of Tinder and deprive Tinder optionholders of their right to participate in the company's future success."

The lawsuit also alleges that Greg Blatt, the Match CEO who became CEO of Tinder, groped and sexually harassed Pambakian at the company's 2016 holiday party, supposedly leading the company to "whitewash" his actions long enough for him to complete the valuation of Tinder and its merger with Match Group, and then to announce his departure. In response, the plaintiffs are asking for "compensatory damages in an amount to be determined at trial, but not less than $2,000,000,000."
IAC and Match Group issued a statement denying the allegations: "...Match Group and the plaintiffs went through a rigorous, contractually-defined valuation process involving two independent global investment banks, and Mr. Rad and his merry band of plaintiffs did not like the outcome. Mr. Rad (who was dismissed from the Company a year ago) and Mr. Mateen (who has not been with the Company in years) may not like the fact that Tinder has experienced enormous success following their respective departures, but sour grapes alone do not a lawsuit make. Mr. Rad has a rich history of outlandish public statements, and this lawsuit contains just another series of them. We look forward to defending our position in court."

Vaping Can Damage Vital Immune System Cells, Researchers Find

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Vaping can damage vital immune system cells and may be more harmful than previously thought, a study suggests. Researchers found e-cigarette vapour disabled important immune cells in the lung and boosted inflammation. From a report: The researchers "caution against the widely held opinion that e-cigarettes are safe." However, Public Health England advises they are much less harmful than smoking and people should not hesitate to use them as an aid to giving up cigarettes. The small experimental study, led by Prof David Thickett, at the University of Birmingham, is published online in the journal Thorax. Previous studies have focused on the chemical composition of e-cigarette liquid before it is vaped. In this study, the researchers devised a mechanical procedure to mimic vaping in the laboratory, using lung tissue samples provided by eight non-smokers. They found vapour caused inflammation and impaired the activity of alveolar macrophages, cells that remove potentially damaging dust particles, bacteria and allergens.

oh did they?

By Kwirl • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
What vaping devices did they test? What materials were the coils built of? What type of cotton was used? Was it a VG or PG mix? I mean I realize that they ran these tests for 48 whole hours, but really, who pays for this garbage to get published? a 48 hour research study is about as reliable as using flatulence to measure climate change.

Just a drug delivery device

By Rick Schumann • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread
Know what's the best and most pleasant thing to inhale into your lungs? CLEAN AIR. Knock all this shit off and stop damaging yourselves, people.

Re:Just a drug delivery device

By sjames • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

A coffee cup could also be considered a drug delivery device, so what?


By YouGotTobeKidding • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
Im sorry but this is pure FUD. From the study... they didnt use a vaporizer. They took healthy cells and BATHED it in a PG/VG + nic solution (aka ejuice). Sorry but that is not a legit way of study. Vapers dont snort ejuice. They vaporize it. Inhale the vapor and EXHALE. Usually in short 2-3 second bursts.

Bath healthy cells in water and there will be damage too.

All for science and finding out how to make vaping safer... but FFS study it and do legit science. Not paid for shilling.

Re:To quote Mr. Burns: Excellent!

By swb • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Are you really bothered by the fact that people might be doing something vaguely harmful to themselves, or is it some other stylistic aspect of "vapers" that you don't like?

I mean, I watch people consume known toxin ethyl alcohol all the time and despite their occasionally destructive and violent behavior, I don't get quite as angry as you seem to be at vapers.

I don't really care about vapers, it looks fairly silly in practice but I can't think of a reason to be mad at them. But boy, a lot of people seem to heap hate on vapers.

Mathematicians Solve Age-Old Spaghetti Mystery

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
If you happen to have a box of spaghetti in your pantry, try this experiment: Pull out a single spaghetti stick and hold it at both ends. Now bend it until it breaks. How many fragments did you make? If the answer is three or more, pull out another stick and try again. Can you break the noodle in two? If not, you're in very good company. From a report: The spaghetti challenge has flummoxed even the likes of famed physicist Richard Feynman '39, who once spent a good portion of an evening breaking pasta and looking for a theoretical explanation for why the sticks refused to snap in two. Feynman's kitchen experiment remained unresolved until 2005, when physicists from France pieced together a theory to describe the forces at work when spaghetti -- and any long, thin rod -- is bent. They found that when a stick is bent evenly from both ends, it will break near the center, where it is most curved. This initial break triggers a "snap-back" effect and a bending wave, or vibration, that further fractures the stick. Their theory, which won the 2006 Ig Nobel Prize, seemed to solve Feynman's puzzle. But a question remained: Could spaghetti ever be coerced to break in two?

The answer, according to a new MIT study, is yes -- with a twist. In a paper published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers report that they have found a way to break spaghetti in two, by both bending and twisting the dry noodles. They carried out experiments with hundreds of spaghetti sticks, bending and twisting them with an apparatus they built specifically for the task. The team found that if a stick is twisted past a certain critical degree, then slowly bent in half, it will, against all odds, break in two. The researchers say the results may have applications beyond culinary curiosities, such as enhancing the understanding of crack formation and how to control fractures in other rod-like materials such as multifiber structures, engineered nanotubes, or even microtubules in cells.

Wrong paper

By damn_registrars • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
The link doesn't even go to the right journal - it goes to a paper in Nature when it says it is a PNAS paper - and the paper doesn't have anything to do with bending any kind of rod. The correct paper is Controlling fracture cascades through twisting and quenching.

Frosti pasto

By Hognoxious • Score: 3 • Thread

Did they try doing it underwater, or burying it in sand? That might damp the wave.

Smarter Every Day covered 3 piece breaks in slo-mo

By Solandri • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
Smarter Every Day covered spaghetti snapping into 3 pieces. Had to go all the way up to 250,000 fps to see what was happening.

I make my spaghetti by hand you insensitive clod!

By WillAffleckUW • Score: 3 • Thread

Real people roll their own.

Dough you knot understand?

The solution is obvious

By 93 Escort Wagon • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

I always get two perfect halves when I do the following - it's easy.

1) bind the spaghetti together into a tight bundle, using a couple rubber bands. Be sure both rubber bands are fairly close to the center of the bundle.
2) Run the bundle through a band saw.

Intel Discloses Three More Chip Flaws

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Intel on Tuesday disclosed three more possible flaws in some of its microprocessors that can be exploited to gain access to certain data from computer memory. From a report: Its commonly used Core and Xeon processors were among the products that were affected, the company said. "We are not aware of reports that any of these methods have been used in real-world exploits, but this further underscores the need for everyone to adhere to security best practices," the company said in a blog post. Intel also released updates to address the issue and said new updates coupled those released earlier in the year will reduce the risk for users, including personal computer clients and data centres. In January, the company came under scrutiny after security researchers disclosed flaws that they said could let hackers steal sensitive information from nearly every modern computing device containing chips from Intel, Advanced Micro Devices and ARM.

Intel Down, AMD Up

By The New Guy 2.0 • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Intel seems to be having problems again, while AMD is rolling out 2nd Gen Ryzen Threadrippers this week. AMD's got the high-end processor market all to itself, while Intel is revealing that they were never that good as they advertised.

Intel could have had a monopoly if they didn't make the Pentium bug math error. Computers are supposed to be "perfect" at computations, but the Intel bug threw some court cases in the wrong direction. I'm not sure they can be trusted anymore.

Now AMD is rolling out processor changes that were discussed here on Slashdot years ago, and they're off in the speed races and higher core limits. (Intel maxes out at about 6, new Threadripers offer 32 hyperthreaded cores that simulate 64 processors.)

Intel better go back to the drawing boards... they're behind in a game they used to always win.

AMD fans should remember...

By SeaFox • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread

The lack of disclosed vulnerabilities does not mean vulnerabilities do not exist.
To think "no news is good news" is not that far from "Security through Obscurity".

Re:Cue the Intel apologists

By thegarbz • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Yeah, Intel. Everyone. Including the folks who have done the worst job of adhering to security best practices... Intel.

Wow, hyperbole much? I've yet to see an Intel flaw expose millions of online accounts, spread credit cards and social security numbers, bring down industry through crippling bugs that were exploited.

Perspective man, you desperately need some.

This is an INTEL ONLY problem

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

A brief history...

Intel followed the very successful Pentium 3 design with Netburst, a radical new architecture that used a VERY long pipeline in the chase for a 10GHz (eventually) clock. It was terrible, but Intel paid outlets at the time, like Slashdot, to promote it as the second coming of chr-st.

Meanwhile AMD was using its newly aquired team of CPU architects to build the world's first 64-bit compatible x86 chip, and the world's first true dual core x64 chip. And it was fantastic.

No matter how much lies Slashdot et al were paid to say about Netburst, its hopelessness was obvious from day one (who would have guessed an ultra-long-pipeline stunk for this type of application). So after a few generations, Intel went back to the Pentium 3 design, crossed it with AMD's best patents (legal cos of a croos patent agreement between Intel and AMD), and made the Core 2 which today continues as the improved 'core' architecture in Intel's Slylake etc.

What we did not know at the time was that Intel removed hardware memory access tests that a multi-core and or multi-threaded architecture that shares memory resourses must use. These tests are supposed to take the form of "lock and key" where a thread has a 'key' (id number) that must be tested in a 'lock' for any shared memory access. No lock and key means MUCH faster memory access and higher clocks/lower power- curiously EXACTLY those benefits seen over AMD til the release of AMD's Zen (but even then Intel keeps the clock advantage).

Yes today's Intel parts, at best get 5Ghz while AMD's Zen+ is at 4.3 GHz cos of that 'illegal' (in computer science terms) Intel CHEATING. And that cheating is why Intel suffers from the terrible unstoppable exploits that Zen does not.

Buy Intel and you are buying broken by design. Buy AMD's Ryzen and you are getting 'best of class' unless that buggy 0.7 GHz really matters to you.

Tiday Intel compounds its cheating with buying the review methodology used to benchmark AMD products. So AMD just launched a 32-core 64-thread processor and Intel paid the usual suspects to bench only using programs known to use 8-cores or less. Whereas you or I would then run FOUR instances of the benchmark at the same time to actually stress the 32-cores, not one of the review sites even attempted this.

Actually the Linux reviews were different since so many key Linux apps scale to any number of threads. They, of course, showed AMD's new threadripper to be a monster. But the bought and paid for Windows 10 reviews sites all 'wondered' who would want a 32-core part, given that "no windows user ever does more than one thing at a time on their computer". This is Intel's dirty money in play.

PS I use the AMD 8-core 1700 in windows. It is jaw-droppingly awesome. Unlike Intel, you can just have everything working at the same time (and I came from Intel systems where one heavy app means you must close down other heavy apps first). Evey bad word currently said about AMD is financially sponsored by Intel's gigantic PR fund.

I was there Gandalf

By epine • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Intel could have had a monopoly if they didn't make the Pentium bug math error.

Computers are supposed to be "perfect" at computations, but the Intel bug threw some court cases in the wrong direction. I'm not sure they can be trusted anymore.

Good lord, you can't be serious. The road to silicon nirvana is paved with errata sheets. (And always has been.)

Furthermore, the division bug is a terrible example to bolster your cause, because the algorithm was correct in the first place, and the implementation of the algorithm in digital logic was correct in the first place, and then they dropped a very small stitch in the transfer to silicon layout. Had the stitch been any larger, they would have easily caught it during silicon validation. Hint: on randomized inputs, the bug is only triggered about once in 9 billion cases.

Achieving 100% test coverage for all 3.1 million transistors is non-trivial, especially given the processing power available in 1990 three years before the Pentium was first released (what with cheap-ass PC memory costing $60,000/GB in 1990 dollars; double that for server-grade ECC).

The only shitty thing Intel did in this chapter was try to sweep it under the run after the horse bolted the barn.

And the truth of this is that back then, not a lot of software used the FP unit (most people had previously saved a few bucks by purchasing the 486SX castrato, which lacked the hardware floating point unit altogether, and most development shops pretty much assumed this was the defacto situation on the ground, so integer math was almost always preferred).

It really was true that 90% of the people purchasing these chips were at low risk of any real consequence (the two-frame bump in the night right as you're closing in for the money shot in Falcon 3.0 possibly excepted—Falcon 3.0 was legendary for actually using the hardware floating point unit to actually compute a (mildly degraded) military-calibre flight model back in the 486 era (when nothing else did). The accurate inertial momentum effects when rolling hard simply blew everyone's mind. It was so good, you almost felt it through your feet (if you had been wise enough to invest in the 486DX).

Poof! VERTIGO! VERTIGO! as the conspicuous fourth wall universally present in every kinetic 3-space simulator up until then suddenly vanished without a trace.

There was just no way to point this recall at only those who needed it (proof of a previous 486DX purchase order would have been a not-bad fence; hard to believe if you had previously purchased the 486SX that just now you suddenly gave a shit, though wankers are gonna wank).

So it's either pay to recall 9 processors causing a problem for every 1 processor that really needs to be replaced (at an enormous, globally unproductive expense), or panic and do a fatally stupid PR snow job. Intel picked door #2.

"Daddy, daddy, where does CO2 come from?"

"Well, son, it comes from flushing $500 million worth of almost perfectly good CPUs down the crapper practically unused, and then baking up a fresh set."

Guess what? I'm old as fuck, and still sharp as a tack. So if your asbestos underpants are in any kind of mild disrepair, I'd stick to spinning mythical stories about the 1970s or the 1960s, if I were you.

(Hint: I was already reading the 8008 data sheet to pass the time in my grade eight literature classroom. I would have had to mow my weekends to smithereens to actual own one at the price back in the day—not the very first version from 1972—but right around the time they came up with a simplified version reducing the number of mandatory voltage supplies from -12, +12, +5 to just +5. So even the mid-seventies are not quite free and clear for mythical reconstruction, wherever my lawn is found.)

Putting Stickers On Your Laptop is Probably a Bad Security Idea

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
From border crossings to hacking conferences, that Bitcoin or political sticker may be worth leaving on a case at home. From a report: Plenty of hackers, journalists, and technologists love to cover their laptop in all manner of stickers. Maybe one shows off their employer, another flaunts that local cryptoparty they attended, or others may display the laptop owner's interest in Bitcoin. That's all well and good, but a laptop lid full of stickers also arguably provides something of a red flag to authorities or hackers who may want to access sensitive information stored on that computer, or otherwise cause the owner hassle.

"Conferences, border crossing[s], airports, public places -- stickers will/can get you targeted for opposition research, industrial espionage, legal or investigative scrutiny," Matt Mitchell, director of digital safety and privacy for technology and activism group Tactical Tech, told Motherboard in an online chat. Mitchell said political stickers, for instance, can land you in secondary search or result in being detained while crossing a border. In one case, Mitchell said a hacker friend ended up missing a flight over stickers.

Part of security is stealth.

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

And much of stealth is just blending in. This isn't really anything new. One key to not getting robbed is to not wear all this flashy stuff that identifies you as someone worthy of being robbed. Who's the pick-pocket going to target, the guy with the $20,000 Rolex, or the guy with the $20 Timex?

Similarly, If you're doing things governments don't like, you'd far smarter just blending in rather than sticking out. People have this odd idea that they need to TELL EVERYONE who they are. Be Proud, Be Loud! Get over yourself. You can still make changes in the world and not have to stick out like a sore thumb.

Re:Not all bad

By Waffle Iron • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

No, but you can make your own out of some old-fashioned shiny clear Scotch tape.

Re:Mine has..

By mspohr • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

You seem to fail to understand that "the authorities" have more guns and bigger guns and more people and jails. It's cute that you want to display your bravado but that will only get you targeted and will not end well.

Re:And by all means, if you are going to ....

By TheDarkener • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Yes, yes! Please express yourself! Be unique. Put the SAME DAMN sports team sticker on your car as everyone else in your city. What kind of coffee mug do you own? Yeti?! Me too brother, me too! How many people are in your family? How many pets? Oh, I can just look at the back window of your vehicle. Haha, I have the same sticker on mine. Aw look, you know someone that died, so you put a memorial sticker on the back of your car. I know someone that died too... where did you get that?! I need one, so I can be unique and expressive too. Where do your kids go to school? Are you proud of them? That is unique sentiment amongst parents. Salt Life? What is that? Please tell me all about it. I like your Honda... thanks for putting the giant Honda logo sticker on the back window, it makes me not have to look at the other 8 logos that the factory put on it.

I hate all of that shit too, but I hate oppression even more.

Re:This is why

By arglebargle_xiv • Score: 5, Funny • Thread
I put this sticker on my laptop. Two times now security theatre performers have gingerly handed it back to me, and wiped their hands afterwards with sanitiser.

Hackers Can Falsify Patient Vitals

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Hackers can falsify patients' vitals by emulating data sent from medical equipment clients to central monitoring systems, a McAfee security researcher revealed over the weekend at the DEF CON 26 security conference. BleepingComputer: The research, available here, takes advantage of a weak communications protocol used by some patient monitoring equipment to send data to a central monitoring station. McAfee security researcher Douglas McKee says he was able to reverse engineer this protocol, create a device that emulates patients vitals, and send incorrect information to a central monitoring station. This attack required physical access to the patient, as the attacker needed to disconnect the patient monitoring client and replace it with his own device that feeds incorrect patient vitals to the central station monitored by medical professionals. But McKee also devised another method of feeding central monitoring stations without needing to disconnect the patient monitoring client.

Really bad

By 110010001000 • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
"This attack required physical access to the patient, as the attacker needed to disconnect the patient monitoring client and replace it with his own device that feeds incorrect patient vitals to the central station monitored by medical professionals"

How do I get a job as a "Security Researcher"?

I think I'll be able to avoid panic over this

By ValentineMSmith • Score: 3 • Thread

And this, kids, is why no network admin with the brains G_d gave your average cockroach allows unauthenticated computers on a network. Granted, some of these older units still use serial connections up to an aggregator, but TFA mentioned ARP spoofing. I accidentally shut down half a basement at a hospital at one point by plugging my laptop into a port in the training room. The ports on that network switch were locked to specific MAC addresses, and would actually shut down if a network adapter with any other MAC address than the designated one were plugged in. It was somewhat embarrassing.

And it's also one of the reasons why every reasonable EMR requires that human eyes look at the data before adding it to the database. Yes, you could fudge factor vitals readings to a certain extent, but the human body is a collection of systems that have really nice feedback loops to maintain equilibrium. If you see a change in one measurement, there will almost always be a corresponding change in one or more others. So, it's not enough to change an SpO2 reading. You not only need to know what the clinically valid ranges are for an SpO2 reading, but what changing SpO2 will do for respiration and pulse rate. And then you get to add additional factors (like COPD) into the mix.

So, all in all, this would take someone with some level of medical training, a specific goal in mind, an almost criminally stupid network admin, and active cooperation from the patient to make it work.