Alterslash

the unofficial Slashdot digest
 

Contents

  1. America's TSA Begins Quietly Testing Facial Recognition Tech at 16 Airports
  2. FTX Subsidiary Plans Restarting Withdrawals in Japan, as US Requests Review of Fraud Allegations
  3. 2022's 'Earthshot Prizes' Recognize Five Innovative Responses to Climate Change
  4. Chinese Police are Using Cellphone Data to Track Down Protesters
  5. New CryWiper Data Wiper Targets Russian Courts, Mayor's Offices
  6. Apple Now Calling AR/VR Headset Operating System 'xrOS'
  7. Astronomers Say a New, Huge Satellite Is As Bright As the Brightest Stars
  8. Chess' $100 Million Showdown: Carlsen Moves To Dismiss Niemann Lawsuit Over Cheating Allegations
  9. Prime Video Replaces Netflix As No. 1 Streaming Service In US
  10. iPhone 14 Satellite Feature Saves Stranded Man In Alaska
  11. Tesla Delivers Its First Electric Semi Trucks
  12. Australia Says Law Making Facebook and Google Pay For News Has Worked
  13. Edward Snowden Receives Russian Passport
  14. Huawei Teases a Smartwatch With Built-In Wireless Earbuds
  15. FBI, CISA Say Cuba Ransomware Gang Extorted $60 Million From Victims This Year

Alterslash picks up to the best 5 comments from each of the day’s Slashdot stories, and presents them on a single page for easy reading.

America's TSA Begins Quietly Testing Facial Recognition Tech at 16 Airports

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotSkip
America's Transportation Security Administration "has been quietly testing controversial facial recognition technology for passenger screening at 16 major domestic airports — from Washington to Los Angeles," reports the Washington Post.

Their article adds that the agency "hopes to expand it across the United States as soon as next year."
Kiosks with cameras are doing a job that used to be completed by humans: checking the photos on travelers' IDs to make sure they're not impostors.... You step up to the travel document checker kiosk and stick your ID into a machine. Then you look into a camera for up to five seconds and the machine compares your live photo to the one it sees on your ID. They call this a "one to one" verification system, comparing one face to one ID. Even though the software is judging if you're an impostor, there's still a human agent there to make the final call (at least for now).

So how accurate is it? The TSA says it's been better at verifying IDs than the manual process. "This technology is definitely a security enhancement," said [TSA program manager Jason] Lim. "We are so far very satisfied with the performance of the machine's ability to conduct facial recognition accurately...." But the TSA hasn't actually released hard data about how often its system falsely identifies people, through incorrect positive or negative matches. Some of that might come to light next year when the TSA has to make its case to the Department of Homeland Security to convert airports all over the United States into facial recognition systems....

The TSA says it doesn't use facial recognition for law-enforcement purposes. It also says it minimizes holding on to our face data, so it isn't using the scans to build out a new national database of face IDs. "The scanning and match is made and immediately overwritten at the Travel Document Checker podium. We keep neither the live photo nor the photo of the ID," said Lim. But the TSA did acknowledge there are cases in which it holds on to the data for up to 24 months so its science and technology office can evaluate the system's effectiveness....

"None of this facial recognition technology is mandated," said Lim. "Those who do not feel comfortable will still have to present their ID — but they can tell the officer that they do not want their photo taken, and the officer will turn off the live camera." There are also supposed to be signs around informing you of your rights.
Here's the TSA's web page about the program. Thanks to long-time Slashdot reader SonicSpike for sharing the article.

FTX Subsidiary Plans Restarting Withdrawals in Japan, as US Requests Review of Fraud Allegations

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotSkip
"FTX Japan is looking to restart withdrawals," reports CoinDesk, "after a plan to return deposits was approved by its parent, the failed FTX exchange."

"If the plan works out, the collapsed crypto exchange's users in Japan might be some of the first customers to get their money back...."
In a notice posted on its website, FTX Japan said it was able to confirm with the company's bankruptcy lawyers in the U.S. that Japanese customers' funds "should not be part of FTX Japan's estate given how these assets are held and property interests under Japanese law." FTX Japan had been working on the plan to restart withdrawals for the last two weeks, and says it was approved by the FTX Trading management team....

"As part of the plan, we are incorporating controls, security audit, reconciliations and reviews to put in place a robust and secure process," the notice said.
Meanwhile, America's Department of Justice "has requested that an independent examiner be appointed to review 'substantial and serious allegations of fraud, dishonesty' and 'incompetence'," reports CNBC:
FTX's bankruptcy case demands an independent review, the Department of Justice said, because of allegations of fraud and dishonesty which could damage the entire crypto industry. Andrew Vara, the U.S. bankruptcy trustee for FTX's case, said Sam Bankman-Fried and his team mismanaged the company or potentially engaged in fraudulent conduct.

The DOJ is seeking an independent examiner to investigate what happened...
Former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti told CNBC that the move "shows a level of interest and attention that they're paying to this that should be troubling to Mr. Bankman-Fried."

2022's 'Earthshot Prizes' Recognize Five Innovative Responses to Climate Change

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotSkip
"Childhood friends in Oman who figured out how to turn carbon dioxide into rock are among five winners chosen for the Prince of Wales's prestigious Earthshot Prize," reports the BBC:
The annual awards were created by Prince William to fund projects that aim to save the planet. Each winner will receive £1m ($1.2m) to develop their innovation.... "I believe that the Earthshot solutions you have seen this evening prove we can overcome our planet's greatest challenges," Prince William said during the ceremony. "By supporting and scaling them we can change our future," he said.
1,500 projects were nominated, according to the event's web site. Here's the five winners:

Five prizes will be awarded each year until 2030.


Re: Half Earth

By chthon • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Probably better that conservatives don't reproduce either, because they are the biggest polluters and supporters of polluters.

Chinese Police are Using Cellphone Data to Track Down Protesters

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotSkip
CNN reports on the aftermath of last weekend's protests against the Chinese government:
A protester told CNN they received a phone call Wednesday from a police officer, who revealed they were tracked because their cellphone signal was recorded in the vicinity of the protest site.... When they denied being there, the caller asked: "Then why did your cellphone number show up there?"

In China, all mobile phone users are required by law to register their real name and national identification number with telecom providers. The protester was also told to report to a police station for questioning and to sign a written record....

In Shanghai, where some of the boldest protests took place with crowds calling for Xi's removal on two consecutive nights, police searched residents' cellphones in the streets and in the subway for VPNs that can be used to circumvent China's internet firewall, or apps such as Twitter and Telegram, which though banned in the country have been used by protesters. Police also confiscated the cellphones of protesters under arrest, according to two protesters who spoke to CNN.

A protester who was arrested over the weekend said they were told to hand over their phone and password to the police as "evidence." They said they feared police would export the data on their phone after it was confiscated by officers, who told them they could pick it up a week later. Another protester said police returned their phone upon their release, but officers had deleted the photo album and removed the WeChat social media app.
One protester told CNN they successfully avoided being contacted by the police as of Thursady afternoon.

During the demonstration, they'd kept their phone in airplane mode.

We're not on a good path

By Miles_O'Toole • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

China is currently creating the most oppressive tech-driven surveillance state the world has ever seen. Unfortunately, rather than viewing their terrifying experiment as a lesson on the dangers of failure to regard personal privacy as a right, Free World governments and their corporate owners see China as a blueprint.

Re:Stingray or Chinese knockoff?

By drinkypoo • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

They don't need any such thing. The government controls the telcos, they can just ask them for the location data.

Tim Cook's Silence Speaks Volumes

By schwit1 • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

https://townhall.com/tipsheet/...

VAUGHN: Hi, Mr. Cook. Do you support the Chinese people's right to protest?

*TIM COOK SILENT*

VAUGHN: Do you have any reaction to the factory workers that were beaten and detained for protesting COVID lockdowns?

*TIM COOK SILENT*

VAUGHN: Do you regret restricting AirDrop access that protesters used to evade surveillance from the Chinese government?

*TIM COOK SILENT*

VAUGHN: Do you think it's problematic to do business with the Communist Chinese Party when they suppress human rights?

*TIM COOK SILENT*

Freedom of speech

By RobinH • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
Every generation has to learn this same lesson, and it's hard every time. Freedom of speech is painful and messy, but we have it for a reason. Yes it sucks that people can say factually untrue things and the government won't stop them. But there is no magical group of unbiased fairies that know the whole truth, only a few groups that think they do. Better to live with fake news than hand over control of what you hear to the government. Oh, and letting unregulated private organizations decide what's true (like social media and cable news) is just as dumb. At least broadcast news used to be pseudo-regulated by the fairness doctrine. We lost something valuable when we gave that up.

leave the phone on, but at home.

By PhantomHarlock • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

It would actually be less suspicious to leave the phone on but at your home rather than to place it in airplane mode. Although they are not likely searching for phones that suddenly stopped pinging in the wider area rather than just a geolocation report, but I wouldn't put it past them to do that if they wanted to be very thorough.

The main issue is that they also have cameras and facial recognition, which still requires additional steps to frustrate. The fact that they are protesting in such large numbers is the biggest help. Once it reaches a tipping point, individual safety actually increases.

New CryWiper Data Wiper Targets Russian Courts, Mayor's Offices

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotSkip
An anonymous reader quotes a report from BleepingComputer:
A previously undocumented data wiper named CryWiper is masquerading as ransomware, but in reality, destroys data beyond recovery in attacks against Russian mayor's offices and courts. CryWiper was first discovered by Kaspersky this fall, where they say the malware was used in an attack against a Russian organization. [...] CryWiper is a 64-bit Windows executable named 'browserupdate.exe' written in C++, configured to abuse many WinAPI function calls. Upon execution, it creates scheduled tasks to run every five minutes on the compromised machine.

Next, it contacts a command and control server (C2) with the name of the victim's machine. The C2 responds with either a "run" or "do not run" command, determining whether the wiper will activate or stay dormant. Kaspersky reports seeing execution delays of 4 days (345,600 seconds) in some cases, likely added in the code to help confuse the victim as to what caused the infection. CryWiper will stop critical processes related to MySQL, MS SQL database servers, MS Exchange email servers, and MS Active Directory web services to free locked data for destruction.

Next, the malware deletes shadow copies on the compromised machine to prevent the easy restoration of the wiped files. CryWiper also modifies the Windows Registry to prevent RDP connections, likely to hinder intervention and incident response from remote IT specialists. Finally, the wiper will corrupt all enumerated files except for ".exe", ".dll", "lnk", ".sys", ".msi", and its own ".CRY", while also skipping System, Windows, and Boot directories to prevent rendering the computer completely unusable. After this step, CryWiper will generate ransom notes named 'README.txt,' asking for 0.5 Bitcoin (approximately $8,000) in exchange for a decrypter. Unfortunately, this is a false promise, as the corrupted data cannot be restored.

Re:By "unfortunately" do you mean "fortunately?"

By Miles_O'Toole • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

I couldn't help but wonder if some family members of Russia's flourishing, state-supported malware community came home in body bags, which would probably engender some animus against the government that sent them off to be slaughtered in an ill-considered military adventure. Or perhaps a malware community member was one of those young Russian men recently called up to serve as cannon fodder in Putin's catastrophic invasion of Ukraine. It would be a lot harder to track down conscripts with government records deleted or in disarray.

Re:Closed source==Govt backdoors

By test321 • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Creating chaos in your enemy's country is very sound strategy. CIA specializes in this.

But the justice system of Russia is already in chaos. You only win if you re paying the judge *more* than the opponent, also you cannot win against anyone close to the circle of power, be it local or federal. A computer system is not of much use to them for this kind of justice system.

If it s CIA, they are wasting their shots at an irrelevant target (that removes surprise and gives Russia time to ) just like Russia is wasting precision missiles hitting energy generators.

Apple Now Calling AR/VR Headset Operating System 'xrOS'

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotSkip
Apple has decided to call the software that will run on its upcoming AR/VR headset "xrOS," an update from the original "RealityOS or "rOS" naming the company was planning on, according to Bloomberg. MacRumors reports:
The name change comes as Apple begins to prepare for the launch of the headset, which is expected at some point in 2023. The headset will feature its own operating system, much like the Apple TV and the Apple Watch, and it will have a dedicated App Store. "XR" is meant to stand for extended reality, which pertains to both augmented and virtual reality. Rumors indicate that the headset Apple is working on will be "mixed reality" like the Microsoft HoloLens, supporting both augmented and virtual reality capabilities. Augmented reality augments what the user is seeing in the real world, while virtual reality is an entirely digital experience.

Apple internally referred to the headset's operating system as "rOS" during the development process, but Bloomberg suggests that xrOS is a less generic name that will allow the headset to stand out more. In addition to confirming the name change with unnamed Apple sources, Bloomberg also discovered that a shell company named Deep Dive LLC has been registering the xrOS name across several countries, and Apple could potentially be behind these filings. Apple often uses shell companies to try to secretly register for trademarks for upcoming products.

Jesus...

By reanjr • Score: 3, Funny • Thread

They finally got to the point of self satisfaction when they start calling their shit "Jesus OS"

X is lexigraphically almost identical to the Greek letter chi. R is almost identical to Greek letter rho.

Chi rho is used by Catholics and others as shorthand for Xristos (using Latin letter instead of Greek), or Jesus.

So, now they have a "Jesus OS" that gets pronounced "cross".

Astronomers Say a New, Huge Satellite Is As Bright As the Brightest Stars

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotSkip
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica:
Last month, a Texas-based company announced that it had successfully deployed the largest-ever commercial communications satellite in low-Earth orbit. This BlueWalker 3 demonstration satellite measures nearly 65 square meters, or about one-third the size of a tennis court. Designed and developed by AST SpaceMobile, the expansive BlueWalker 3 satellite is intended to demonstrate the ability of standard mobile phones to directly connect to the Internet via satellite. Large satellites are necessary to connect to mobile devices without a ground-based antenna. [...] Since BlueWalker3's launch in September, astronomers have been tracking the satellite, and their alarm was heightened following its antenna deployment last month. According to the International Astronomical Union, post-deployment measurements showed that BlueWalker 3 had an apparent visual magnitude of around 1 at its brightest, which is nearly as bright as Antares and Spica, the 15th and 16th brightest stars in the night sky.

For a few years, astronomers have been expressing concerns about megaconstellations, such as SpaceX's Starlink satellites. While these are more numerous -- there are more than 3,000 Starlink satellites in orbit -- they are much smaller and far less bright than the kinds of satellites AST plans to launch. Eventually, AST plans to launch a constellation of 168 large satellites to provide "substantial" global coverage, a company spokesperson said. Even one is enough for astronomers, however. "BlueWalker 3 is a big shift in the constellation satellite issue and should give us all reason to pause," said Piero Benvenuti, a director at the International Astronomical Union.

The organization of astronomers is also concerned about the potential for radio interference from these "cell phone towers in space." They will transmit strong radio waves at frequencies currently reserved for terrestrial cell phone communications but are not subject to the same radio quiet zone restrictions that ground-based cellular networks are. This could severely impact radio astronomy research -- which was used to discover cosmic microwave background radiation, for example -- as well as work in related fields. Astronomers currently build their radio astronomy observatories in remote areas, far from cell tower interference. They are worried that these large, radio-wave transmitting satellites will interfere in unpopulated areas.
"We are eager to use the newest technologies and strategies to mitigate possible impacts to astronomy," AST said in a statement to Ars. "We are actively working with industry experts on the latest innovations, including next-generation anti-reflective materials. We are also engaged with NASA and certain working groups within the astronomy community to participate in advanced industry solutions, including potential operational interventions."
AST is "committed to avoiding broadcasts inside or adjacent to the National Radio Quiet Zone in the United States [...] as well as additional radioastronomy locations," adds Ars.

Re:Huge antenna

By Lord Rust • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
You could cut the glare by painting satellites black, but there's a reason for the white color: Temperature control is a huge problem in space as vacuum is an excellent insulator. As your satellite slowly rotates, parts of it move from shade to sun and back. Sunlit sections can get quite hot (~100 C = 200 F) while parts in shade can fall to -170 C = -300 F! There are many ways to mitigate this problem. Making reflective/white helps. If you do not absorb sunlight, you will not get hot in space and you do not have to worry about thermal cycles.

As bright as the brightest stars

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

"According to the International Astronomical Union, post-deployment measurements showed that BlueWalker 3 had an apparent visual magnitude of around 1 at its brightest, which is nearly as bright as Antares and Spica, the 15th and 16th brightest stars in the night sky."

What? You can't be Sirius.

Dear/. Editors

By JoeRobe • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

The /. summary is a copy/paste of about 2/3 of the actual article linked to in the summary. Why not just paste the whole thing and not call it a summary? This is bringing the standard - nobody is actually summarizing anymore, just pasting a chunk of the article.

Can we get back to summaries actually being a small fraction of the original story? Maybe a maximum number of sentences, or 1 paragraph?

Ground observatories

By Voice of satan • Score: 3 • Thread

The next EELT will have an aperture of 39 meters and will weigh 2800 tonnes. It will have 15 times the resolving power of Hubble. 0.005 arcseconds. That means its images will have a precision no space telescope can match. There is no way of building such massive instruments in space or on the far side of the moon.

Besides the far side of the moon is baked in sunlight half of the time and would be unusable for space observations then. The EELT will have 320 nights of observations per year.

Seems easy.

By jd • Score: 3 • Thread

Russia needs hard currency and has satellite killers. This seems very resolvable.

Chess' $100 Million Showdown: Carlsen Moves To Dismiss Niemann Lawsuit Over Cheating Allegations

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotSkip
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Forbes:
Lawyers representing Norwegian World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen and online chess platform Chess.com asked a federal judge Friday to toss a $100 million lawsuit filed by chess grandmaster Hans Niemann in October, which marked a dramatic escalation of tensions over cheating allegations levied against the 19-year-old American. The motion to dismiss argued the teenager spent years "trying to curate a reputation as the bad boy of chess" and "now wants to cash in by blaming others" after the allegations derailed his chess career.

Niemann acknowledged he cheated during a handful of matches as a young teen but an October report from Chess.com determined he "likely cheated" more than 100 times in online chess matches, after Carlsen released a statement in September saying Niemann "has cheated more -- and more recently -- than he has publicly admitted." Niemann stated in his defamation lawsuit the claims are a conspiracy from the chess community's establishment to smear him after he defeated Carlsen -- the five-time defending world champion -- during a tournament in St. Louis on September 4. The teen claimed the alleged conspiracy was an attempt to save Carlsen, 32, from reputational damage after Chess.com agreed to purchase his "Play Magnus" app for $83 million in August.

Friday's motion stated all of Niemann's claims are without merit, arguing he has not disproved the cheating allegations or offered evidence to back up his conspiracy assertion. The lawsuit, filed in the Eastern District of Missouri, also named Chess.com executive Daniel Rensch and a website streaming partner, Hikaru Nakamura, as defendants. "Niemann now seeks to shift blame to reigning World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen and others, claiming a wholly implausible conspiracy to defame and boycott Niemann that somehow damaged his already dubious reputation to the tune of $100 million," the motion to dismiss states.

The pathology of cheaters

By flashflood • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Being an accomplished cheater takes practice. A successful cheater is devious, skilful, and experienced.

People who cheat as adults probably do not start cheating as adults - much the same as more serious criminal offending often has its roots in childhood behaviours and related traumas.

People think that children grow-out of behaviours, but in fact, unless corrected, children turn into adults that have grown-in to behaviours that tend to become more problematic over time.

The trigger for cheating in childhood may be inability to accept losing (usually related to stunted emotions), excessive parental pressure to win at all costs, or a variety of other factors (or more likely a combination of such). Thus, we can see that cheating is usually related to complex psychopathology that is easy to view in simple terms by those who are not themselves cheats. Such psychopathology tends to be deep-seated and not amenable to change.

Whilst it is not fair to say, "once a cheat, always a cheat", neither is it wise to assume that a cheater has been reformed.

Re:"the bad boy of chess"

By TwistedGreen • Score: 5, Funny • Thread
"I came here to drink milk and kick ass. And I've just finished my milk." -Maurice Moss

Re:Burden of proof?

By timeOday • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
The burden of proof is on the party making a demand for $100M, and one of the conditions is that "The Published Information Is Demonstrably False."

So, sure, if chess.com were suing Niemann for cheating, they would need solid proof of his cheating. But since it's Niemann suing them for defamation, he must prove their allegation is demonstrably false to get a judgment against them. So, it's pretty hard to shut people up by threatening a defamation suit against them. Only 10% of plaintiffs end up winning defamation cases.

Re:Burden of proof?

By Budenny • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Yes to this. And Niemann will have to prove actual malice. That is, he is going to have to prove that the statement is not a reasonable opinion based on the evidence available to the speaker, but was expressed in order to damage.

I would be very surprised if he can show that. If you go through the grandmaster studies and commentary available on youtube, where they go through a couple of games move by move, you see (assuming you can understand the analysis) that Niemann from time to time makes moves which are typical of modern computer programs but which no human player would consider.

The reason why the strongest programs nowadays are way outside the reach of even the strongest humans is this, that they (so to speak) see what is on the board in a different way.

If you play through games, maybe simultaneous exhibition games, where a grandmaster is playing an A player, you will see the GM making moves that no A player would see. If you have nothing else than the score you will still be able to say which player is which. And you will be able to say that one of the two is not just a slightly stronger A player than the other.

I have no idea whether Niemann has cheated in tournament play, but I am certain, based on the GM analysis in the youtube clips, that a reasonable person having looked at the evidence could come to the view that he has. That is a very long way from proof of course, its probably not evidence which would justify any action by the chess bodies, but its probably enough to defeat the claim of actual malice.

The youtube material is here:

https://www.youtube.com/result...

Re:Burden of proof?

By Budenny • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

"...the younger player has picked up chess moves and play style from the computers he's spent so much time with...."

There is no such thing, especially there is no such thing as style. Its a case of seeing. Its not style or moves that can be learned. Its moves that make no apparent sense but which the engines select.

The case against him is that in some games the correlation of his moves with what the chess engines pick is close to 100%.

Now you could say, that just means he is very strong. But the problem is, no other GM comes even close to that. Fisher at his best, around 70%. Kasparov and others similar.

Once would not be suspicious. A run of them, starting suddenly, means there is something needing explanation. Its not proof. But its if you like a case for investigation, its real evidence that people will argue about and come to conclusions from.

I am not saying he is guilty. I am saying that the defense argument will be, this is the evidence, I have looked at this, and my conclusion is cheating. The argument then hangs on the status of this statement, not on the facts of the cheating.

The plaintiff then has to show that this conclusion was negligent or worse. I think, given the evidence, and its worth working through the youtube games to satisfy yourself of this, that argument will fail. Reasonable and competent observers may differ on their conclusions. But the conclusion that the evidence indicates cheating, while quite possibly wrong, is not going to be so totally lacking in rational motivation that it must be due to bad faith, negligence etc. Its going to be, I looked at it carefully, there is evidence, here it is, and this is what I think it shows.

Its within the limits of things you can say without being defamatory.

It will be a fine line. A direct accusation of cheating on a specific occasion might fall into defamatory. But the general statement that one thinks the pattern of evidence suggests, even shows, cheating, that I don't think will.

Prime Video Replaces Netflix As No. 1 Streaming Service In US

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotSkip
Prime Video has supplanted Netflix as the No. 1 subscription streaming outlet in the U.S. in an annual ranking compiled by research firm Parks Associates. Deadline reports:
The company didn't disclose its methodology for how it isolates the number of Prime Video subscribers, a metric long cloaked in secrecy due to Amazon's general reluctance to disclose statistics about its Prime business. Still, Parks has been a reputable tracker of the streaming space for more than a decade. For many years in the 2010s, its rankings looked consistent, with the former "Big 3" of Netflix, Prime Video and Hulu sharing the top three spots, always with Netflix at the top. Today, the rankings are much more fragmented given how many new players have entered the scene. The list reflects total subscribers through September 2022, via the OTT Video Market Tracker, a Parks offering described by the firm as "an exhaustive analysis of market trends and profiles of the nearly 100 over-the-top video service providers in the U.S. and Canada."

Amazon said last year it has more than 200 million Prime members, with Prime Video among the program's benefits. Several weeks ago, the company also recently said The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power has been viewed by more than 100 million Prime subscribers worldwide. [...] Netflix, meanwhile, has hit a plateau in the U.S., even shedding a small amount of subscribers over recent quarters. The company reported 73.4 million subscribers in the U.S. and Canada as of September 30, up 100,000 from the previous quarter but below levels in 2021 and earlier this year.

On a global basis, of course, Netflix continues to lead the field with a bit more than 223 million subscribers. Disney has been hot on its heels, with Disney+ now at 164.2 million and the company overall reaching 235.7 million across Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+. The rest of the 2022 chart looks relatively similar to the 2021 edition, though NBCUniversal's Peacock broke through to take the No. 10 spot as Showtime dropped out of the picture.

Netflix is Shit

By theshowmecanuck • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Netflix has succumbed to what I call Novell Syndrome, as did Blackberry and others like them. Novell got so full of themselves as network software providers they didn't think anyone would be able to catch them up. So they ignored requests by customers to make life easier, preferring to keep it difficult thinking they could control the market by their exclusivity. Their hubris brought them crumbling down. Netflix somehow still thinks that because they were first they can still drive things. They still keep making 'let's see what shit will stick to the wall when we throw it' kind of bullshit shows, failing to recognize it is almost all shit. They fail to realize people only watched it because it was the only thing around. Instead of airing curated content, you know stuff that people evaluated before paying to have it made, they have just kept on as always. Other services have been providing better content. For the price of Netflix, I can have several others that actually have way more shows worth watching. Even in Canada, the volume of shows that Prime has is smaller than Netflix, but the volume of worthwhile shows is higher. And with their add-ons, even more. I get better selection by far on Prime, than I do with Netflix, for the same price. And whenever some other service has a show that I can binge the series, I will sign up for a month. But day to day, I only want to pay for one service. Otherwise I end up paying as much as cable if I pay for a whole bunch. Anyway, Netflix is shit.

Total bullshit metric

By SoonerPet • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
When their video service comes free with the Prime membership that subscriber count means nothing. I've been a Prime member for over a decade and have literally watched 2 videos through them. It's just not on my radar and I have no interest in it. I already have Netflix and others, so Amazon video comes in 4th or 5th place in relevance to me. I'm sure there are millions of similar Prime subscribers who have never even used any of the video feature, but mainly care about the shipping and other Prime benefits. By this logic, every single T-mobile subscriber could also be counted as a Netflix and AppleTV sub as well since they come free with most of their plans now, whether you use that benefit or not.

Re: poor measurement.

By jeek • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Prime and slime?

Re:Total bullshit metric

By quantaman • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Then you lose. But you sound proud of it. Prime has a lot of great shows. More than Netflix, easily. Netflix just makes a lot of shows, but all of them, all of them, are shit.

Prime might have more quality shows but the UI is brutal.

They spent almost half a billion on the first season of Rings of Power, but then they posted the other LOTR movies with broken subtitles. Another show I tried watching while working out was almost unwatchable because the subtitles randomly lagged 1-2 seconds and missed sets of dialogue.

And I'm sure there's good shows on there, somewhere, but the only thing I ever see recommended/promoted is their in-house shows (no better than Netflix's shows) or crappy low budget action films.

They've clearly spent a lot of money on it, but Amazon seems to lack the organizational focus to make it a polished product.

Prime is much better value

By iamacat • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

I literally just notice basics running short at home and place a free shipping order in less than a minute. Plus during pandemic Amazon quite possibly literally saved my life by letting me minimize my infection risk until severity reducing vaccines were available and dominant variants became less deadly. So on top of that, I get lots of things to watch for grand total of $139/year. Video only service has a very high bar to compete.

iPhone 14 Satellite Feature Saves Stranded Man In Alaska

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotSkip
Apple's iPhone 14 Emergency SOS via Satellite Feature was put to the test in Alaska yesterday, when a man became stranded in a rural area. MacRumors reports:
In the early hours of the morning on December 1, Alaska State Troopers received an alert that a man traveling by snow machine from Noorvik to Kotzebue had become stranded. The man was in a cold, remote location with no connectivity, and he activated the Emergency SOS via satellite feature on his iPhone 14 to alert authorities to his predicament. Apple's Emergency Response Center worked with local search and rescue teams and the Northwest Arctic Borough Search and Rescue Coordinator to send out volunteer searchers directly to the GPS coordinates that were relayed to Apple using the emergency function.

The man was rescued successfully and there were no injuries. The area where he was located is remote and on the fringes of where satellite connectivity is available. Apple says that satellite connectivity might not work in places above 62 degrees latitude, such as northern parts of Canada and Alaska, and Noorvik and Kotzebue are close to 69 degrees latitude. Troopers who helped with the rescue were "impressed with the accuracy and completeness of information included in the initial alert," with the Emergency SOS via Satellite feature designed to ask several questions ahead of when an alert is sent out to expedite rescue missions.

Good!

By Arethan • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

It's about time we started to solve the 'no service' problem in respect to contacting emergency response teams. Too many people needlessly die because cell signals are terrible masters when things go pear shaped in the wilderness.

I'm glad Apple stepped up to (finally) close the emergency service connectivity gap. There have been alternate solution proposals, but this one makes a lot of sense as a consumer-facing product.

Re:Good!

By Arethan • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

At a basal level, I do agree with you here -- I was raised old school, so I tend to take my own wilderness jaunts quite seriously. The modern masses are generally dumbfucks when it comes to bear-season style problems (ie, we have bear season, so there are less bears, so dumbfucks usually die less in the woods).

However, the population is steadily growing, and the pro-nature campaigns are putting more and more people into the wilderness without sufficient survival training. So we have a choice - supplement existing consumer tech with useful lifesaving features, or let the fools die and hope the rest of the masses don't just scroll over their death-story lesson, because the latest Taytay ticketing fiasco is obviously a "more important" use of their reading time.

Hm. When I put it exactly like that, it does seem difficult.

Re: Good!

By fermion • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
They needlessly die because they choose to take a risk where rescue is impractical. It is not the responsibility of society to reduce risk to zero. This tool provides another means that we as a compassionate society can help people who get in over their heads

The nice thing for Apple is we will only hear success stories. The failed rescues will just be rotting or frozen corpses.

Re:Good!

By Tom • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

That's great if you go out routinely.

This is a consumer-grade solution aimed at people who didn't expect to be in an emergency. Either because they're morons, or because they found themselves in a situation unexpectedly. Like breaking down in the middle of nowhere when you were just passing through.

Re:Good!

By thegarbz • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

It's about time we started to solve the 'no service' problem in respect to contacting emergency response teams. Too many people needlessly die because cell signals are terrible masters when things go pear shaped in the wilderness.

There is no 'no service' problem. There is only people who needlessly die because they go somewhere unprepared and ill-equipped. Apple didn't invent satellite emergency beacons. They only packaged them in a more fragile device marketed at people who prefer to spend money on shiny toys rather than on basic emergency equipment. Proper gear isn't expensive and is built to actually last, unlike say the battery of an iPhone in Alaskan weather.

Alternate headline: "Apple lowers quality of the gene pool and denies man Darwin award."

Tesla Delivers Its First Electric Semi Trucks

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotSkip
Electrek recaps yesterday's Tesla's Semi Delivery Event in Nevada:
As expected, Tesla delivered the first electric trucks to PepsiCo, a long-time reservation holder, and held a presentation to reveal more details about the production version of the Tesla Semi. There wasn't any big surprise during the presentation. Tesla basically delivered on its original promises made in 2017 when it first unveiled the prototypes of the Tesla Semi. Despite the lack of major changes, it's still a big moment since the electric truck has the potential to change the trucking industry for good by eliminating emissions and significantly reducing costs.

In terms of the technology powering the truck, things have changed since the original prototypes, but not in any major ways. Tesla is now using a tri-motor drivetrain that is basically the same as in the Model S and Model X Plaid. Dan Priestley, Tesla Semi Program manager, explained that Tesla is using one of the motors for cruising speed geared toward peak efficiency at highway speeds and the two other motors are used for torque when accelerating in order to create a smooth driving experience never seen in a class 8 truck before. To prove the capacity, Tesla shared a very impressive video of a Tesla Semi loaded at 82,000 lb. passing a diesel truck at 6% incline on the Donner Pass as if it's nothing:

Tesla promised a range of 500 miles with a full load five years ago, and it delivered on the promise. Tesla shared data on a 500-mile trip with a full load of just under 82,000 lb. total with the tractor. It started out in the Bay Area with a 97% state of charge and ended up in San Diego with still 4% charge. Tesla reiterated that it can achieve a less-than-2 kWh-per-mile efficiency, which means that trucking companies can achieve up to $70,000 in fuel savings per year depending on their cost of electricity. Once the battery pack is depleted after 500 miles or so, you can expect blazing-fast charging thanks to the new 1-megawatt charging technology developed by Tesla. The automaker also said it will make it to the Cybertruck.
In an updated article, Electrek's Fred Lambert says Musk confirmed Tesla Semi's efficiency at 1.7 kWh per mile, "which means it has a roughly 900 kWh battery pack."

Tesla didn't reveal the weight of the actual truck or the price. "In 2017, Tesla said the trucks would be $150,000, $180,000, and $200,000, depending on the model, but those prices are expected to have changed over the last five years," reports Lambert.

Think I'd ratther have a Kenworth T680E

By caseih • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Trucks have always been very modular in north America. You can get just about any engine/transmission/axle configuration you want. So it makes sense that when it comes to electric semis, the incumbents (Kenworth, Peterbilt, Freightliner, International, Volvo, etc) actually far better placed to make electric trucks than Tesla is. And they have. You can order electric trucks right now (delivery in a year or more like every other brand new truck even diesel).

I'm really not sure who Tesla's market is, really, other than PepsiCo for the cult factor. The market for electric semis, especially class 8, really isn't that big and fleet buyers are the likely short-term market. Independent guys (who make up the majority of long-haul trucking) working for trucking companies are not likely to find electric practical just yet. I don't see Tesla ever recouping the cost of making this truck. Whereas Freightliner, Kenworth, etc can recoup it quite a bit faster, since they aren't designing some kind of one-of-a-kind integrated unit. Maybe they can't get quite the range of Tesla, but that will improve with time (plus they are available now).

Definitely if I want an electric truck (and I will in the future), it's going to be a well-known, established company that is going to be here in 10 or 20 years, which I cannot say about Tesla's truck division.

Even electric trucks have to be fully safetied every year, and they all require maintenance checking oil levels in the diffs, looking for leaks, making sure the lights all work, etc. I can take a Kenworth T680E to my normal mechanic and with the exception of the the electric drive train itself and batteries, he can work on it like any other truck, even of any other brand. Tesla, who knows!? It would be a very expensive gamble for an independent driver.

Re:Cringe inducing at 4% range left.

By rsilvergun • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
Don't know many truckers do you? Those rules are routinely broken. You're probably wondering how they're broken now that there's electric monitoring. The answer is nobody checks the books. Buddy of mine tried to be a truck driver who followed the rules. Didn't last very long before they stopped giving him runs. The one thing they did do was arrange for the government inspectors to always check his books since his books were always correct. It was the one thing the company found him useful for but not enough to keep him around. Normally they just alternate which driver is going to have to follow the rules this week because the government inspector is going to check their books.

The level of regulatory capture in the trucking industry is insane.

Re:Cringe inducing at 4% range left.

By Kernel Kurtz • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

Having fast acceleration doesn't matter at all if it takes forever to recharge from using it.

Oh come on, who doesn't want a semi with ludicrous mode? :-)

Re:Payload? payload?

By Octorian • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

To be fair, I also heart a point that having to plan trips around "where can I charge this thing" was really annoying, because it added a significant point of worry to things like holiday trips to Lapland. Whereas for an ICE powered car, you just toss a couple of jerrycans of fuel in the back just in case if you are really going far north for a couple of weeks with no plans of popping back to civilization for food and fuel and you're good.

In every single discussion thread, there's inevitably one of these... Someone who thinks EVs will never be viable until they can handle the use case of driving a cannonball run for 8 hours into some unelectrified shack in the middle of nowhere, with a truck bed full of supplies, and be ready to drive back to civilization after the weekend.

By all means, just buy that rusty old pickup truck you really want and be done with it. The vast majority of society really does not need to be held back from progress to support the occasional hunting cabin trip in flyover country.

Re:Think I'd ratther have a Kenworth T680E

By Octorian • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

So looking up the T680E, it apparently has an operating range of 150 miles and takes 3.3 hours to recharge, only mentioning the charging standards use for fast-charging cars.

If Tesla claimed those specs for their semi, everyone would be laughing them out of the room. Unless I'm missing something.

Australia Says Law Making Facebook and Google Pay For News Has Worked

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotSkip
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Reuters:
An Australian law giving the government power to make internet giants Facebook owner Meta and Alphabet's Google negotiate content supply deals with media outlets has largely worked, a government report said. But the law, which took effect in March 2021 after talks with the big tech firms led to a brief shutdown of Facebook news feeds in the country, may need to be extended to other online platforms, the review said.

Since the News Media Bargaining Code (PDF) took effect, the tech firms had inked more than 30 deals with media outlets compensating them for content which generated clicks and advertising dollars, said the Treasury department report, published late Thursday. "At least some of these agreements have enabled news businesses to, in particular, employ additional journalists and make other valuable investments to assist their operations," said the report. "While views on the success or otherwise of the Code will invariably differ, we consider it is reasonable to conclude that the Code has been a success to date."

The report mostly recommended that the government consider new methods of assessing the administration and effectiveness of the law, and did not suggest changing the law itself. But it did note the law lacked "a formal mechanism to extend the Code to other platforms", and suggested the government order the competition regulator, which led the design of the law, to "prepare reports on this question."
Google director of government affairs and public policy in Australia Lucinda Longcroft said the company had "furthered our significant contribution to the Australian news industry" by signing deals representing 200 mastheads across the country and "the majority of these outlets are regional or local."

Perspective from an Australian...

By flashflood • Score: 3, Interesting • Thread

As an Australian, and with many friends who work in the media industry, I can verify that this scheme has worked well.

It hasn't reversed the shrinkage in the news industry, but it does appear to have arrested it.

If you cut off the oxygen, everything sudden works

By guruevi • Score: 3 • Thread

So basically both Facebook and Google threatened or actually did shut down news services, when those threats were realized the legacy media came to the table. Sounds a bit of a pyrrhic victory to me that the government is claiming.

Digging a bit deeper, it seems like Google requires companies to sign up for Google News Showcase and will only pay Australian publishers for stories when the Google editors select them. Works okay for bigger companies, but smaller companies are complaining they can't seem to join or afford it, because the deals are veiled in utmost secrecy and only apply to the biggest stories from the big names.

I'm sure Facebook has worked out something similar where basically the money is going into a specific channel that Facebook wants it to go to.

Edward Snowden Receives Russian Passport

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotSkip
Beerismydad shares a report from the Associated Press:
Former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, who fled prosecution after revealing highly classified surveillance programs, has received a Russian passport and taken the citizenship oath, Russian news agencies quoted his lawyer as saying Friday. Lawyer Anatoly Kucherena was reported as saying that Snowden got the passport and took the oath on Thursday, about three months after Russian President Vladimir Putin granted him citizenship.

The reports did not specify whether Snowden has renounced his U.S. citizenship. The United States revoked his passport in 2013, leading to Snowden being stranded in a Moscow airport for weeks after arriving from Hong Kong, aiming to reach Ecuador. Russia eventually granted him permanent residency. He married American Lindsay Mills in 2017 and the couple has two children.
Further reading: Should the U.S. Pardon Edward Snowden?

Re:Dude

By quantaman • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

You had enough of US surveillance, and went to Russia? That's like moving to Alaska because Florida is too cold.

His original plan on was to go to Ecuador, but the US cancelled his passport and he got grounded in Russia.

Once you're a politically valuable individual stuck in Russia... well he's lucky he didn't fall out a window.

I will say his story was a bit weird since his original plan was to stay in Hong Kong, which isn't that much better. Though if you're looking for a place that won't extradite you to the US there's not a lot of good options*

* Unrelated, but I feel like that "Offshore Protection" company is designed to help a crook every step of the way from laundering money, to hiding assets, to disappearing when the authorities show up!

You can tell the American idiots from the comments

By theshowmecanuck • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Snowden let people know what the world should know about American surveillance. He went to Russia because if he stayed in America he would have been put in jail for doing what is right. It says more about America that the guy can only remain relatively free in a country with one of the shittiest governments in the world, than it does about him.

Re:Dude

By test321 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

His original plan on was to go to Ecuador, but the US cancelled his passport and he got grounded in Russia.

he was grounded but only got stranded because Russia understood him as valuable. If he was inconvenient, Russia would have issued a 1954 Convention travel document https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... precisely intended for when a foreign citizen cannot obtain a passport from their country of origin, to let him get out of Russia and avoid possible diplomatic inconveniences.

Re: First comes citizenship then comes mobilizatio

By pitch2cv • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Even the TL;DR appeared too long? "The reports did not specify whether Snowden has renounced his U.S. citizenship"

All we know is that he got stranded in Moscow on his way to Ecuador: the U.S. had withdrawn his passport. So the Ecuadorian president flew over personally to pick him up, but then EU, violating all diplomatic immunity rules, did closed its airspace for that presidential airplane. Didn't Austria even ground the aircraft?

Later, Snowden asked for asylum in a bunch of EU countries, to which none responded. So yea he was stuck in Moscow. Properly stuck. Even after bringing to light how the US were tapping Germany PM's Merkel's comma, after bringing to light how GCHQ using NSA malware had taken over Belgacom's backbone (which connects much of EU including Swift and NATO), even then no EU memberstate did not grant Snowden asylum.
Belgium nor Germany didn't even formally complain or take sanctions against the UK for subverting an ally's comms: https://theintercept.com/2018/...
That's how independent from the US we are here in the EU.

Re: First comes citizenship then comes mobilizati

By Slashythenkilly • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
If you are attempting voice your opinion to Edward Snowden, well best of luck. He is a better patriot than you will ever be and sacrificed his entire livelyhood (maybe his life) for what he believed in. He didnt sell anything to any company or a foreign government for an attempt to profit- he gave it to an independent media source to release to the general public at their discretion because he believed as Americans, it was our right to know how far and how deep we our lives were being intruded on (illegally I might add). Read Permanent Record, then make your case.

Huawei Teases a Smartwatch With Built-In Wireless Earbuds

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotSkip
Huawei has confirmed the existence of a smartwatch it's working on featuring a pair of built-in wireless earbuds. "Huawei's account on Chinese Twitter-like site Weibo announced the existence of the device on Wednesday and promised all would be revealed on December 2," reports The Register. "But Huawei has since postponed its Winter 2022 consumer kit launch for unexplained reasons." You can view a teaser video on YouTube. The Verge adds:
As the name suggests, the Huawei Watch Buds are a pair of earbuds concealed within a smartwatch that looks similar to the Huawei Watch 3. Details are a little sparse so there's no word yet on what kind of performance or battery life you can expect from either of the products, but the watch itself does appear to be running HarmonyOS.

The earbuds don't seem to resemble any previous Huawei products, sporting a bare-bones black and silver design. While the concept feels more than a little gimmicky, it could be a neat solution for runners and other sporty folks who don't want to carry a separate earbud case during a workout. (If they don't mind the extra bulk on their wrists.) [...] Addressing the elephant in the room, it's unlikely that you'll be able to buy this wacky gadget in the US anyway, regardless of its legitimacy. Huawei products have been effectively banned in the country since the company was placed on the Commerce Department's Bureau of Industry and Security Entity list in 2019.

Huawei isn't a real company

By schwit1 • Score: 3 • Thread

They are a foreign intelligence agency masquerading as a business, and they are under no pressure to EVER make money.

Their only job is to get a footprint that they can use as leverage and for intelligence.

Crypto AG was similar
https://www.theguardian.com/us...

FBI, CISA Say Cuba Ransomware Gang Extorted $60 Million From Victims This Year

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDot
An anonymous reader quotes a report from TechCrunch:
The Cuba ransomware gang extorted more than $60 million in ransom payments from victims between December 2021 and August 2022, a joint advisory from CISA and the FBI has warned. The latest advisory is a follow-up to a flash alert (PDF) released by the FBI in December 2021, which revealed that the gang had earned close to $44 million in ransom payments after attacks on more than 49 entities in five critical infrastructure sectors in the United States. Since, the Cuba ransomware gang has brought in an additional $60 million from attacks against 100 organizations globally, almost half of the $145 million it demanded in ransom payments from these victims. "Since the release of the December 2021 FBI Flash, the number of U.S. entities compromised by Cuba ransomware has doubled, with ransoms demanded and paid on the increase," the two federal agencies said on Thursday.

Cuba ransomware actors, which have been active since 2019, continue to target U.S. entities in critical infrastructure, including financial services, government facilities, healthcare and public health, critical manufacturing and information technology. [...] FBI and CISA added that the ransomware gang has modified its tactics, techniques and procedures since the start of the year and has been linked to the RomCom malware, a custom remote access trojan for command and control, and the Industrial Spy ransomware. The advisory notes that the group -- which cybersecurity company Profero previously linked to Russian-speaking hackers -- typically extorts victims by threatening to leak stolen data. While this data was typically leaked on Cuba's dark web leak site, it began selling stolen data on Industrial Spy's online market in May this year. CISA and the FBI are urging at-risk organizations to prioritize patching known exploited vulnerabilities, to train employees to spot and report phishing attacks and to enable and enforce phishing-resistant multi-factor authentication.

ban paying the ransom

By bloodhawk • Score: 3 • Thread
how about doing something far simpler and more practical, make it fucking illegal to pay the hackers. If you take away the monetary incentive it will do exponentially more than any security campaign (though that is still needed).