the unofficial Slashdot digest archive

Academy Leaves Door Open To Netflix After Tussle Over Oscars Eligibility Rules

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
The Academy of Motion Picture and Arts and Sciences has ruled that films from streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video will continue to be eligible to win Academy Awards. The Academy had considered changing Rule Two, which allowed any film to be eligible for an Academy Award as long as it had a seven-day run in a Los Angeles theater. From a report: That proposal, reportedly pushed by megadirector Steven Spielberg, would have made it difficult for streaming services such as Netflix to compete for the academy's big prizes by restricting eligibility to just films that got a significant run in theaters. Films that debuted online and only got a limited theatrical release simply would be out of luck. But when the academy's board of governors released its rules for next year's prize -- a book that runs to 35 pages, all told -- the would-be changes were not among them. "We support the theatrical experience as integral to the art of motion pictures, and this weighed heavily in our discussions," John Bailey, president of the academy, said in a statement released Tuesday night. "Our rules currently require theatrical exhibition, and also allow for a broad selection of films to be submitted for Oscars consideration." Further reading: Justice Department Warns Academy About Changing Oscar Rules To Exclude Streaming.

Facebook Sets Aside $3 Billion For a Potential FTC Fine

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from ABC News: Facebook is taking a $3 billion charge as a contingency against a possible fine by the Federal Trade Commission. The agency has been investigating Facebook, but has not announced any findings yet. The one-time charge slashes Facebook's first-quarter net income considerably, although revenue grew by 25% in the period. The FTC has been looking into whether Facebook is in violation of a 2011 agreement promising to protect user privacy.

The social network said Wednesday that its net income was 85 cents per share in the January-March period. Revenue grew 26 % to $15.08 billion from a year earlier. Excluding the charge, it earned $1.89 per share. Analysts polled by FactSet expected earnings of $1.62 per share and revenue of $14.98 billion. Facebook's monthly user base grew 8% to 2.38 billion.
According to The New York Times, Facebook says it's expected to be fined up to $5 billion for privacy violations, including improper handling of people's data involving Cambridge Analytica, as well as a major data breach.

Fines are ineffective...

By bobbied • Score: 3 • Thread

Paying fines is ineffective when you make more money in profit than it costs you to write the checks..

Facebook's problem is that they are falling out of favor due to their egregious privacy behavior in the quest for profit. Where they where once just a two bit company struggling to survive, now they are a huge multi-national company who's business model is based on tracking every thing they can about their "users" any way they can, then selling this information to companies who want to manipulate Facebook's users.

My guess is the fines will continue and money will keep flowing like water down the Mississippi river and where it comes from and goes will be just as clear.

What they need to do is put some personal responsibility on the line too. IF you allow the company to violate the law, then the company gets fined and you get criminal charges and possible jail time. This isn't going to stop until the people who control this have skin in the game. Otherwise, the fines are just a cost of doing business.

Some Amazon Sellers Are Paying $10,000 A Month To Trick Their Way To The Top

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Amazon's marketplace is so competitive that it has led to the emergence of a secretive, lucrative black market where agents peddle "black hat" services, sometimes obtained by bribing Amazon employees, that purportedly give marketplace sellers an advantage over their rivals, according to documents obtained by BuzzFeed News. These consultants charge up to $10,000 to manipulate rankings by rewriting URLs and programming bots to click on products, a report says. From the report: Other tactics to promote sellers' products include removing negative reviews from product pages and exploiting technical loopholes on Amazon's site to lift products' overall sales rankings. These services make it harder for Amazon sellers who abide by the company's terms of service to succeed in the marketplace, and sellers who rely on these tactics mislead customers and undermine trust in Amazon's products.

Never Buy From 3rd Party Sellers

By Marlin Schwanke • Score: 3 • Thread
Problem solved.

Re:Never Buy From 3rd Party Sellers

By TheGratefulNet • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

depends on which side you are on.

as a customer who has Prime, buying from amazon (not 3rd party) gives me great customer support, easy returns, pkgs that get lost are always credited without an argument and its worth the $100+ each year to get this level of support.

as an employee, I'd hate to work for amazon. I hear horror stories about it. being a vendor for them also must suck a lot (as it would to be a supplier for, say, walmart).

I often buy chinese electronics (maker parts and such) and when they work, great. when they fail to work, its an easy return. if they start to hate all the returns they get, this can be a self-correcting solution; japan used to really suck for quality and now they're at the top. same could happen with china; but we need to RETURN JUNK and not just eat the cost. when they get too many returns due to poor design, manuf or qa, then the'll learn how to properly sell to the international market.

AI Recruiters

By darkain • Score: 3 • Thread

We just had an article about AI Recruiters, and now this. Any company that relies upon "AI" (artificial incompetence?) for ranking things such as people or products will be gamed. Those that abuse the system will be successful, those that are honest will be lost forever. These companies are creating moral wastelands without any repercussions.

Applying For Your Next Job May Be an Automated Nightmare

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
merbs writes: If you think looking for a job is already daunting, anxiety-riddled, and unpleasant, just wait until the algorithms take over the hiring process. When they do, a newfangled 'digital recruiter' like VCV, which just received $1.7 million in early investment, hopes it will look something like this: First, a search bot will be used to scan CVs by the thousands, yours presumably among them. If it's picked out of the haystack, you will be contacted by a chatbot. Over SMS, the bot will set an appointment for a phone interview, which will be conducted by an automated system enabled by voice recognition AI. Next, the system will ask you, the applicant, to record video responses to a set of predetermined interview questions. Finally, the program can use facial recognition and predictive analytics to complete the screening, algorithmically determining whether the nervousness, mood, and behavior patterns you exhibit make you a fit for the company. If you pass all that, then you will be recommended for an in-person job interview.

[...] VCV, which did not respond to a request for comment, is far from alone here. A growing suite of startups is pitching AI-driven recruitment services, promising to save corporations millions of dollars throughout the hiring process by reducing overhead, to pluck more ideal candidates out of obscurity, and to reduce bias in the hiring process. Most offer little to no evidence of how they actually do so. VCV's much-larger competitor, HireVue, which has raked in a staggering $93 million in funding and is backed by top-tier Silicon Valley venture capital firms like Sequoia, is hocking many of the same services. It counts 700 companies as its clients, including, it says, Urban Outfitters, Intel, Honeywell, and Unilever. AllyO, which was founded in 2015, and "utilizes deep workflow conversational AI to fully automate end to end recruiting workflow" has $19 million in backing.

Re:It's already like this

By Shaitan • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

This is less about computers and more about the pseudo-science of psychology.

Only an MBA

By BankRobberMBA • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

PhD? I'm only an MBA and even I see that they missed 'synergy' and 'win-win'.

They're hocking their product? It's that bad?

By clovis • Score: 3 • Thread

VCV’s much-larger competitor, HireVue, which has raked in a staggering $93 million in funding and is backed by top-tier Silicon Valley venture capital firms like Sequoia, is hocking many of the same services.

I suspect the word they meant to use is "hawking".

Re:I'd like to see

By HornWumpus • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Eh, my game is to include the full job description/add in 2 point white on white text in the resume margin.

Which is different to how I would game an actual human or HR drone.


By thegreatbob • Score: 3 • Thread
Dear Firstname Lastname,
We would like to extend you an offer for the position of Server Error in '/' Application!
Compensation will be $. annually, with additional bonuses commensurate to performance.

Scientific Linux Distro is Being Discontinued; The Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and CERN Will Move To CentOS

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Scientific Linux, a 14-year-old operating system based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and which was maintained by some significant members of the scientific community such as The Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and CERN, is being discontinued. From a report: While current versions (6 and 7) will continue to be supported, future development has permanently ended, with the organizations instead turning to CentOS -- another distro based on RHEL. "Scientific Linux is driven by Fermilab's scientific mission and focused on the changing needs of experimental facilities. Fermilab is looking ahead to DUNE and other future international collaborations. One part of this is unifying our computing platform with collaborating labs and institutions," said James Amundson, Head of Scientific Computing Division, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.


By bobbied • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

CentOS is a clone of Red Hat Enterprise... They take the "up line vendor's" source code (which GNU license requires they release), remove the Red Hat copyrighted branding and patching stuff to build a clone. It generally installs and runs exactly like Red Hat Enterprise, just with different graphics and branding.

Generally it "computes" just as well as Red Hat, albeit with a bit of delay in the availability of patches and no paid support from Red Hat (though others surely offer similar services based on CentOS).

Scientific Linux and CentOS both RHEL

By perpenso • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
Scientific Linux is Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
CentOS is Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
Going CentOS is how you do RHEL without support fees.

Re: Scientific Linux and CentOS both RHEL

By thule • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Except that RedHat pays a LOT of important developers for the upstream work. Just look at who contributes to some of the projects we take for granted each day. You'll see RedHat employees in quite a few of them. RedHat bought Cygnus Solutions years ago. Cygnus was an important contributer to the gcc toolchain. RedHat continues that tradition. Not to mention the hip projects like Kubernetes (see ).

I don't mind handing over money to RedHat, because they contribute so much to opensource software.

Re:Scientific Linux and CentOS both RHEL

By GameboyRMH • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

I didn't understand the purpose of Scientific Linux for this reason, it seemed like a rebranded CentOS with a slightly different default package selection...not a difference worth maintaining another distro over.

Drivers Think Bikers Are Less Than Human, Survey Says

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Researchers have found an explanation for why many drivers act out toward cyclists: They are actually dehumanizing people who ride bikes, according to an April study by Australian researchers in the journal Transportation Research. From a report: And this dehumanization -- the belief that a group of people are less than human -- correlates to drivers' self-reported aggressive behavior. Since 2010, cyclist fatalities have increased by 25 percent in the US. A total of 777 bicyclists were killed in crashes with drivers in 2017, and 45,000 were injured from crashes in 2015. Data compiled by the League of American Bicyclists also suggests that, in some states, bicyclists are overrepresented in the number of traffic fatalities.

"The idea is that if you don't see a group of people as fully human, then you're more likely to be aggressive toward them," said Narelle Haworth, a professor and director of the Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety at Queensland University of Technology, one of the authors of the study. The researchers asked 442 Australians, including those who identified as cyclists, to rank the average cyclist on a scale from ape to human. This ape-to-human diagram has been used in other studies, like this one from 2015, looking at the dehumanization of marginalized groups, such as Muslims and black people.

Re:Because the feeling is mutual?

By nitehawk214 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

I can pretty much guarantee that more than 94% of cars wait at a red light. Even if you limit it to "the first car at the light", since the second car can't go unless the first one does. Unless you are including legal right-on-red in that statistic, which is a given.

Unless you live in some crazy lawless place, where people just randomly blow through lights and there are no police to give them tickets?

Re:Humans are good at this...

By ahodgson • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

They block traffic. They run stop signs and red lights. They ride on sidewalks. They duck from the roads onto sidewalks and then ride across in pedestrian crosswalks. They don't stop for pedestrians (ever).

Lots of reasons to hate cyclists. Far far too many of them are assholes.


By cayenne8 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Fuck right off with your suggestion of not allowing bicyclists on any roads with speed limits higher than a bicyclists can maintain. Bicyclists are hard-pressed to maintain 15 mph. Lowest normal speed limit in the US is 25 mph. Non-highway speed limits are often 40-50 mph, and many roads don't have sidewalks. This would limit bicycles to maybe 5% of the roads in the US. Either play nice with cyclists or get off the fucking roads.

Well, it should be the other way around...bicycles on the roads are the "new comers".

I mean, let's face it...our modern roads are built for and paid for by the motorized vehicle operators.

The bikes trying to get in there, are not the primary reason for roads, and when they impede normal traffic flow of what these roads were designed and built for, then well....they need to accept that they are not welcome on them.

Again, I'm all for building out more bike lanes....when they can ride at their own safe, maintable speed, then they are safe.

But having fragile, hard to see, unprotected humans that can not sustain the speed limits on a road with motorized vehicles weighing at least 2000lbs and more, you're asking for limits.

The roads are there primarily for motorized vehicles, and the bicycles are secondary citizens....

Bicyclists would mix better with pedestrians than with motorized vehicles.

But no, it isn't fair to ask motorized vehicles to fuck off and get off the very roads that have been built for and paid for by them.


By Big Boss • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

It affects me because they aren't any more perfect than anyone else and I've actually witnessed an auto cyclist accident caused by it. The cyclist blew the red, missed seeing an oncoming vehicle, and got hit by said vehicle that saw them too late. Thankfully, no serious harm was done, but it could easily have gone the other way and I see articles about it happening about weekly in my area. If a car has a green light they have a reasonable expectation that the way will be clear. They SHOULD still be looking, but everyone misses things they don't expect to see once in a while. And someone running a red light is something that shouldn't be happening. I don't care if you are a car, cycle, skateboard, or pedestrian. The red light DOES apply to you. Creating an unsafe situation simply because you don't want to be bothered to stop is a dick move. The only exception to this should be when there is an event that has police controlling the intersection. Then drivers expect to be directed by the officers in a safe manner and it's obvious that something different is happening, so they are more aware of possible issues.

Re:Solution approach: God-like bicycles?

By bob4u2c • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Because then maybe we would see some of the crazy things people do on bicycles. Like ride between cars at stop lights, blow through stop lights and signs, jump from the curb to the street and back to get around stuff; and that is just all the stuff I've seen this week alone.

Seriously, I've seen some insane behavior and wonder why more people haven't been killed on bikes.

Now yes, there are people on bicycles that do obey all the laws and ride safely. However, considering you are in an exposed mode of transportation with no crumple zone (other that your head), going up against steal many multitudes larger than your mass; you'd think everyone on a bike would exercise a bit more caution when riding.

Hacker Can Monitor Cars And Kill Their Engines After Breaking Into GPS Tracking Apps

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Reader eatmorekix writes: A hacker broke into thousands of accounts belonging to users of two GPS tracker apps, giving him the ability to monitor the locations of tens of thousands of vehicles and even turn off the engines for some of them while they were in motion, Motherboard has learned. The hacker, who goes by the name L&M, told Motherboard he hacked into more than 7,000 iTrack accounts and more than 20,000 ProTrack accounts, two apps that companies use monitor and manage fleets of vehicles through GPS tracking devices. The hacker was able to track vehicles in a handful of countries around the world, including South Africa, Morocco, India, and the Philippines. On some cars, the software has the capability of remotely turning off the engines of vehicles that are stopped or are traveling 12 miles per hour or slower, according to the manufacturer of certain GPS tracking devices.

By reverse engineering ProTrack and iTrack's Android apps, L&M said he realized that all customers are given a default password of 123456 when they sign up. At that point, the hacker said he brute-forced 'millions of usernames' via the apps' API. Then, he said he wrote a script to attempt to login using those usernames and the default password. This allowed him to automatically break into thousands of accounts that were using the default password and extract data from them.

Password 123456

By DickBreath • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
> L&M said he realized that all customers are given a default password of 123456 when they sign up.

We know that only an idiot would use 12345 as a password, or luggage combination.

Good thing they used 123456 instead.

Default Passwords?

By Archangel Michael • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Okay, I'm mystified as to why default passwords are even used any more. There should be never any reason to have a generic default password these days. Even when setting up accounts, the very first thing ought to be "Change your Password" and prevent anyone from completing signups without at least setting up a new password.

Systems found having default passwords should be named and shamed forever.

The ability to cause mass crashes

By xack • Score: 3 • Thread
This could cause an incident that kills thousands of people. Security issues like this need to be closed as a measure of international security. Terrorists could use this at any time.

Sounds like Dealerships.

By bob4u2c • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

On some cars, the software has the capability of remotely turning off the engines of vehicles that are stopped or are traveling 12 miles per hour or slower, according to the manufacturer of certain GPS tracking devices.

Sounds a lot like what Dealerships do for risky car buyers

I had one on the last new car I bought (in cash), when I got home and noticed it I called the dealership and demanded they remove it. They first tried to assure me it was disabled and wouldn't cause any harm. I responded by saying it will cause less harm if its sitting on your desk instead of in my car. They finally agreed to remove it, and after 2 attempts with excuses like the mechanic that does that isn't in today, I finally said fine, I'll take it to a shop of my choosing and have them remove it. Then I guess I submit the bill to you? Oddly the guy that removes that stuff suddenly showed up to work 30 minutes later.

Most of these don't usually shut the engine off, they just prevent the car from being started after you turn the engine off, safer that way. The whole GPS thing is so they can send a tow truck to get back the car if you miss a payment.

My other car is almost 50 years old and I can draw the ignition and starter circuit for you on the back of a napkin; so good luck sneaking one of those in the mix. I can even point out the exact wires and what they do. If I ever had to hotwire my car I could do it with a few alligator clips in under 30seconds. But I'm not worried about anyone stealing it, nobody wants to drive a 50 year old stick shift car now a days, except me.

First 'Marsquake' Detected on Red Planet

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There are earthquakes and moonquakes, and now a NASA spacecraft has detected what's believed to be a "marsquake" on the Red Planet. From a report: The spacecraft picked up the faint trembling of Mars's surface on 6 April, 128 days after landing on the planet last November. The quake is the first to be detected on a planetary body other than Earth or Moon. The shaking was relatively weak, the French space agency CNES said on 23 April. The seismic energy it produced was similar to that of the moonquakes that Apollo astronauts measured in the late 1960s and early 1970s. "We thought Mars was probably going to be somewhere between Earth and the Moon" in terms of seismic activity, says Renee Weber, a planetary scientist at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. "It's still very early in the mission, but it's looking a bit more Moon-like than Earth-like," she says. It's not yet clear whether the shaking originated within Mars or was caused by a meteorite crashing into the planet's surface.

What's the mechanism?

By OneHundredAndTen • Score: 3 • Thread
Mars has no plate tectonics, I believe. What is causing the marsquakes? I imagine that meteorite impacts will contribute. What else?

Dubious claim

By Tablizer • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

The quake is the first to be detected on a planetary body other than Earth or Moon.

That may not be true.

The Viking 2 lander had a functioning seismometer that picked up signals. However, wind vibrations made it difficult to interpret the results. (Unfortunately, Viking 1's seismometer malfunctioned, making it hard to corroborate candidate large-scale quake signals.)

A better summary would be to say the new probe is the first to definitively detect quakes on another planet.

Sounds like California

By jfdavis668 • Score: 3 • Thread
Next thing you know they will ban plastic straws on Mars.

Car Rental Company Hertz Sues Accenture Over $32M Website Project

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Car rental giant Hertz is suing consultancy firm Accenture over a website redesign. From a report: The US corporation hired monster management consultancy firm Accenture in August 2016 to completely revamp its online presence. The new site was due to go live in December 2017. But a failure to get on top of things led to a delay to January 2018, and then a second delay to April 2018 which was then also missed, we're told. As Hertz endured the delays, it found itself immersed in a nightmare: a product and design that apparently didn't do half of what was specified and still wasn't finished. "By that point, Hertz no longer had any confidence that Accenture was capable of completing the project, and Hertz terminated Accenture," the car rental company complained in a lawsuit lodged against Accenture in New York this month.

Hertz is suing for the $32m it paid Accenture in fees to get to that aborted stage, and it wants more millions to cover the cost of fixing the mess. "Accenture never delivered a functional website or mobile app," Hertz claimed. Accenture told El Reg on Tuesday this week it believes Hertz's lawsuit is "without merit."

Holy crap - $32 million?!

By ripvlan • Score: 3 • Thread

For $32 million I'd do it, including starting a company to get'r done. Heck, I'd take $30 million.

I can see how this happened (I used to work at GE). Hertz thought they could outsource the whole thing and didn't put anyone in charge of it. They probably didn't look for demos or do any acceptance testing as they went. No driving the consultants. If anyone was in charge I'll bet the B-team at Hertz so they willingly accepted delays. At GE I saw fairly large outsource projects managed by 1 or 2 people. 1 was a technical manager who had his normal day jobs to manage, and the 2nd person was a junior engineer who a) had a day job b) would raise interesting "that doesn't work" issues and nobody would listen. On smaller jobs 1 person would fill both roles. Why Hertz went $32mm before pulling the plug is fascinating, hopefully a few people at Hertz have been reassigned or "decided to pursue other opportunities."

Gosh, If I divided that in half (16mm) and then divided that by $120,000 (a terrific salary) - I could hire 133 people (for a year). Of course not everyone makes $120k. A staff of 50 people over 2 or 3 years is easily supported by that money. $16mm for operating costs + $16mm for 50 people 3 years.

$32mm and it wasn't done. omg

Re:Libertarian point of view [Re:Accenture]

By Solandri • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

I've personally been in a similar boat during a recession and it's not pleasant. Not a lot of alternatives during recessions. It's my opinion that unions and regulations offer a safety net to make the road of life less bumpy. True, you may not fly as high during good times, but won't crash as hard during the bad times.

If you're working on your own, you're responsible for yourself. That means building up a big enough nest egg to get you through recessions and tough times. If you fail to do that, the fault is not with the system. What's that saying? A failure to plan ahead on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part.

If you're self-employed and find yourself living paycheck-to-paycheck (so to speak) so that you can't build up a nest egg, then maybe being self-employed isn't your thing. Maybe the best thing for you is to go back to being an employee, and the stability that having a constant guaranteed monthly income provides. There's nothing wrong with that. Some people just aren't cut out for working for themselves. But don't try to pass off your inability as evidence of a problem with the system.

The Libertarian philosophy is that some people work best for themselves, some work best as employees, and (for the more broad-minded) some work best with a heavily-structured union or government labor program. And it's up to each individual to figure out which works best for them (just like it's up to every employer to figure out which of these people they want to hire). The Liberal philosophy is that everyone needs a heavily-structured union/government labor program. People who hold single-minded philosophies like that tend to assume those apposed to them also hold single-minded philosophies, resulting in people like you mistakenly thinking Libertarians think everyone should work for themselves.

In a nutshell, the Libertarian viewpoint is to allow everything to be tried, so people can figure out for themselves what works best - everything from contract work to unions. They only get upset when you start passing laws prohibiting or favoring certain ways of working.

Libertarians would probably counter that a rough and tumble life strengthens discipline and weeds out "loser" genetics from the population.

It's not about weeding out. It's about freedom for everyone to find what works best for themselves. A freedom that's lost when you mandate that everyone do things your way, because your experience is that that way worked best for you, therefore (leap of unsubstantiated logic) it must be best for everyone.

Re: consultants

By jwhyche • Score: 4 • Thread

Consulting Motto

"If you're not a part of the solution, there's good money to be made in prolonging the problem."

Sounds like someone as Accenture was taking that to heart.

Praise Avis

By sexconker • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

This is why the Krill worship Avis.

Re:$32 million?

By jbengt • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

The level of corruption and incompetence required to blow this is hard to fathom.

What do you expect from a company spun off from Enron's accountant.

Chalking Tires To Enforce Parking Rules is Unconstitutional, Court Finds

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Reader schwit1 writes: Marking your tires with chalk is trespassing, not law enforcement, the federal appeals panel said in a Michigan case. U.S. Circuit Judge Bernice Bouie Donald wrote that when drivers pull into parking spaces, "the city commences its search on vehicles that are parked legally, without probable cause or even so much as 'individualized suspicion of wrongdoing' -- the touchstone of the reasonableness standard." Moreover, overstaying your welcome at a parking space doesn't cause "injury or ongoing harm to the community," she wrote, meaning the city is wrong to argue that parking enforcement is part of its "community caretaking" responsibility, potentially justifying a search without a warrant. In fact, she wrote, "there has been a trespass in this case because the City made intentional physical contact with Taylor's vehicle." Further reading: A court ruling 'chalking' illegal could make way for more privacy-invasive tech.

Re:Already obsolete...

By ceoyoyo • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

I had a reason to look up the parking laws in a previous city I lived in. They specified that in limited-time spots, the limit applied per spot, per day. So in your example, if you were parked in a 15 minute spot for more than 15 minutes, in the same day, you would have broken the parking bylaw.

It's rarely enforced that way, but I imagine the law is written that way specifically to address the "but I left and came back" excuse.

Re:This will be struck down.

By sjames • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

It's not that complicated really. The guy with the notepad has no practical ability to database his results and cross compare with everyone else's results to reconstruct the daily habits of each car in the lot. Sure, it's technically possible, but it would be a labor intensive and time consuming task.

The automated readers would have no such difficulty. If we could trust that they would NEVER be mis-used in such a manner by ANYONE, it would be fine, but we can't.

When we can stop various law enforcement from going on massive fishing trips and then parallel constructing evidence, THEN we can have nice things.


By DaveV1.0 • Score: 3 • Thread
This judge needs to be removed from the bench.


By Darinbob • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

No, not really. Reporting on this story a town said that the amount they receive from parking tickets is less than the salary of the person who went and did the ticketing. The point isn't to make money, the point is to make sure the parking space are for those doing shopping and not those just wanting to park all day. Since they'll probably have to replace this with parking meters then they'll probably make more money from that but have fewer shoppers because of the cost.

good ruling but not for a good reason.

By Anil • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Of all the reasons to say chalking shouldn't be allowed, 'illegal search' is not one I would have even considered. I figured chalking could have been defeated legally based on the fact that it doesn't seem to really be proof of anything beyond that there is a chalk mark on your car put there at some time by some one (too many false-positive scenarios), at best it is only an indication of suspicion.

Microsoft Blocks Windows 10 May 2019 Update on PCs That Use USB Storage or SD Cards

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Microsoft has published a support document today warning Windows 10 users that the impending May 2019 Update may not install on their systems if they use external USB storage devices or SD cards. From a report: The OS maker cited problems with "inappropriate drive reassignment" as the main reason for blocking the May 2019 Update. "Inappropriate drive reassignment can occur on eligible computers that have an external USB device or SD memory card attached during the installation of the May 2019 update," the company said. "For this reason, these computers are currently blocked from receiving the May 2019 Update."


By Berkyjay • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

A way to block automatic updates.

Re:DOS drive assignments

By UnknownSoldier • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

The sad part is that drive letters exist because they copied it from the shit OS called CP/M. In typical MS fashion bought Quick-and-Dirty DOS (QDOS) for $50,000 and renamed it MS-DOS!

Even my Apple 2 used volume names AND the forward slash as a path separator for floppies with ProDOS in 1983!

What a dumb fucking stupid fucking company

By bigmacx • Score: 3 • Thread

Are you fucking serious? Have a USB key, cannot install Windows Updates. Who the fuck didn't test that?

I'm so glad I only use Windows 8.1 anywhere I can and Windows 10 only where I have to. Yeah, they'll sunset Windows 8.1 updates eventually, but hopefully by then we're finally able to swear off Windows for good. I'm only on Windows for games anymore.


Re:I hope they fix the keyboard

By PPH • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

wouldn't break something as important as the keyboard

Just who do they think they are? Apple?

Re:DOS drive assignments

By thereddaikon • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

The fact that Windows has standard drive names isn't strange or "wrong". *nix has sda1 after all. Having standard volume names, drive letters or otherwise, is a good thing. The problem, like most annoying and persistent issues with Windows is that the implementation dates all the way back to the DOS and in this case the CP/M days and hasn't changed because of backwards compatibility. The good of course is that I can be reasonably sure that a lot of old shit will just work because Win32 is a stable API (stable in that it doesn't change). The bad is that I'm stuck with any limitations or bugs associated with those old systems.

Contrast with Linux userland which not only varies in massive ways between distributions but also can vary between releases. This breaks things and sometimes they don't get fixed. So pick your poison I guess.

iFixit's Galaxy Fold Teardown Reveals Its Biggest Design Flaw

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader shares a report: Following up on its post speculating on the possible causes of the various screen breakages we've seen on review units, iFixit's teardown analysis seems to reveal a fundamental design tradeoff Samsung had to make -- one that may have doomed the phone. It seems as though Samsung focused quite a bit on ensuring the mechanics of the hinge would be a sturdy and dependable mechanism for folding and unfolding a screen. Yet for whatever reason, the Galaxy Fold does not have enough protection against the ingress of debris. And because that screen is so incredibly delicate (as any OLED is if it's not protected by something like Gorilla Glass), that was a significant risk.

We still can't know the full reasoning behind Samsung's decision to delay the launch of the phone, but this debris/bulge problem feels much more fundamental than the fact that the protective layer on the top looks like a screen protector that should be peeled off (but, again, should not be as that breaks the screen as well). The bulk of the rest of the reviewers who had broken screens tried to remove that layer -- a natural inclination since the review unit packaging didn't have any warning on it.

Please directly link ifixit

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

The folding bit is the design flaw

By nospam007 • Score: 3 • Thread

Not the missing gorilla glass.

Chrome 74 Arrives With Less Motion Sickness, New JavaScript Features

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from VentureBeat: Google today launched Chrome 74 for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS. The release includes support for a reduced motion media query, private class fields, feature policy improvements, and more developer features. You can update to the latest version now using Chrome's built-in updater or download it directly from

Motion sickness in the browser is a real thing. Android provides an accessibility option to reduce motion whenever possible, as shown above in the âoeremove animationsâ setting. Chrome is now taking that a step further so websites can limit motion sickness when viewing parallax scrolling, zooming, and other motion effects. Chrome 74 introduces prefers-reduced-motion (part of Media Queries Level 5) that allows websites to honor when an operating system is set to limit motion effects. This might not seem like a big deal today, but it could be very useful if websites start abusing motion effects.
Check out the full changelog for more information on this release.

Chrome 74! Now with less vomiting!

By stevegee58 • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
Hooray! I may switch back from Firefox!

Blink tag

By TimMD909 • Score: 3 • Thread
'... but it could be very useful if websites start abusing motion effects.' so you're saying any day now?

Re:Vector animation is smaller than video

By GrumpySteen • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

A document consisting of text and vector images with mild animation can appear more attractive to the majority of readers than a completely static document.

True, but the logical conclusion of that is the clickbait, pop-up hell that advertisers keep trying to turn the web into.

Appealing to the lowest common denominator in order to get more views is not the path to developing worthwhile content. Sometimes it's better if things don't appeal to the widest audience.

Tesla Plans To Launch a Robotaxi Network In 2020

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Iwastheone shares a report from TechCrunch: Tesla expects to launch the first robotaxis as part of broader vision for an autonomous ride-sharing network in 2020, CEO Elon Musk said during the company's Autonomy Day. "I feel very confident predicting that there will be autonomous robotaxis from Tesla next year -- not in all jurisdictions because we won't have regulatory approval everywhere" Musk said without detailing what regulations he was referring to. He added that he is confident the company will have regulatory approval somewhere next year. Tesla will enable owners to add their properly equipped vehicles to its own ride-sharing app, which will have a similar business model to Uber or Airbnb. Tesla will take 25 percent to 30 percent of the revenue from those rides, Musk said. In places where there aren't enough people to share their cars, Tesla would provide a dedicated fleet of robotaxis. Musk also said at the event that all new Tesla vehicles are now produced with its custom full self-driving computer chip. The remaining step for Tesla's full self-driving mode to work is the software, "which Musk says will be 'feature complete' and at a reliability level that we could consider that no one needs to pay attention, by the middle of next year," reports TechCrunch.

Tesla may be onto something

By engun • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Fundamentally, their case for being ahead of the pack rests on 5 pillars.

1. Lidar and high precision mapping doesn't really help towards a generalized solution to the problem. I think they are probably correct here.
2. They have a special purpose accelerator specifically designed for this problem, with redundancy built-in at every level, and the necessary performance for the task. This is a tossup for me, and mostly only matters from a power consumption perspective.
3. They are not trying to explicitly program rules, as this is an intractable problem. Instead, they want to interrogate the fleet to provide high-quality data so that the neural network can train itself. This again, seems like a sound principle to work on.
4. They have the infrastructure (i.e. the fleet + software) to gather high quality data to feed the network. Large volumes of similar data alone is not enough, as you run into the overfitting/sparse data problem. They've built out the software infrastructure to gather a diversity of high-quality examples so that the neural net can learn in a very generalised way.
5. Don't under-estimate exponentials.

The fourth and fifth are still the biggest stumbling blocks IMO. The number of bizarre cases are so many, it's not clear to what extent even that kind of infrastructure can gather sufficient data to solve the problem. However, one thing that is clear is that, at least, they do have no. 4, whereas the competition is not even close, which gives them a significant leg up. As for Elon's predictions on the timeline, he seems to be relying heavily on no. 5, but it's also not clear whether skynet is actually learning at a geometric rate, and to what extent no. 4 will scale to allow it. Considering the rate at which auto-pilot is reported to be improving, they are probably expecting a good outcome.

It does work on all roads and all weather.

By SuperKendall • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

It doesn't work on all roads, it doesn't work in all weather, and it needs a safety driver.

If you watched the event video you'd know that Tesla's approach, with the sensors they have, does work on all roads and in all weather.

Indeed one of the problems they have with LIDAR only solutions is exactly that - t does't work in all weather, other sensors are important besides just visual.

They are very, very close to being able to not have any driver, and the way they train they have large amounts of real-world performance data to show regulators that they can drive as well as, or better than any human - even from cars that have not turned on Autopilot, it's still running the models for self driving and evaluating deviations from actual driving.

Tesla's approach of having a vast fleet of cars contributing to real world training is in fact the only way self driving cars will be able to work on all roads, and all weather... I don't think the camera/LIDAR debate is as clear as he makes it but there's some visual data LIDAR does not give you so he might be right there.

Re:It does work on all roads and all weather.

By mentil • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Almost having full self-driving is like almost reaching orbit: eventually it'll crash and burn.

Link to the source

By zmooc • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Come on slashdot, just link to the actual source. It is this 3 hour long super in-depth must-watch talk full of interesting details by some technical people people from Tesla:

(fast forward the first hour; it is some promotional screensaver)

Spoiler: it is awesome. And confidence inspiring. They are absolutely going to pull this off.

Re:Baby steps

By Luthair • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
You forgot to mention happily cruising into concrete barriers on the highway. Recall that also highways are the easiest place to drive: everyone is going in the same direction and there aren't intersections or pedestrians.

Scientists Develop Self-Propelling Phoenix Aircraft That Inhales Air

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
dryriver writes: The BBC reports on a 50ft long and only 120kg heavy blimp-like UAV aircraft that is designed to fly at 70,000 feet, is entirely solar powered, uses variable-buoyancy for propulsion, and can essentially stay airborne in a self-powered way until it experiences mechanical or electrical failure. The Phoenix varies its buoyancy continuously using a helium-filled fuselage that also has an interior air sack that works a bit like a lung. It can inhale air and compress it on demand, making the aircraft temporarily heavier than air, and expel the inhaled air through a nozzle at the back of the aircraft, making the aircraft lighter than air again, creating some extra forward propulsion in the process.

The Phoenix -- which is a simple, cheap-to-build aircraft that its designers describe as "almost a disposable aircraft" -- could one day act as a satellite replacement flying at 70,000 feet. It may also be used for surveillance purposes or to release micro-satellites into earth orbit. The Phoenix has already completed short test-flights of 120m inside the hangar it was built in. This YouTube video shows just how gently the Phoenix rises into the air, hovers in place, and lands again. Unlike drones that need to land, refuel and then take to the skies again, the Phoenix may stay in the air for very long periods of time, landing only for periodic maintenance of its electrical and mechanical components.

Re:Not Orbit

By necro81 • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Clearly the micro-sats would need their own propulsion, but that would be much less that would be required from ground level.

That is a common misconception: that once you get to high altitude, you are practically in orbit. Being in orbit requires velocity, and velocity requires a huge energy input - much more than just getting up to 10s of kilometers of elevation.

A different slashdot commenter has summed it up as the 6-6-6 rule: Mach 6 at 60,000 ft altitude is a whopping 6% of the way to orbit.

Let's say you are aiming for low earth orbit: altitude 300 km and velocity about 7.72 km/sec. The potential energy for reaching orbital altitude is approximately m * g * h, or mass * 3e6 [J/kg]. The kinetic energy is 1/2 * m * v^2, or approximately mass * 3e7 [J/kg]. In other words, you have to put in 10x as much energy getting the object up to orbit velocity as you do in raising it to orbit altitude.

Re: Not Orbit

By hey! • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Not terribly practical. Most of the energy of achieving low Earth orbit is in reaching orbital velocity -- roughly 10x the speed of a high speed rifle bullet. There are advantages to designing an orbital launch vehicle that starts above most of the atmosphere. You can use a vacuum optimized rocket nozzle design and don't have to overcome aerodynamic resistance. But there's a proven solution to getting an orbital launch vehicle over most the atmosphere -- a first stage, which now can be reusable.

It's *conceivable* that an airship platform might be advantageous to a reusable first stage, certainly from an environmental point of view, but it's only likely to be competitive if it were somehow operating on a massive scale. That makes it an interesting engineering problem, but not something that will be pragmatic in our lifetimes.

There was also a company about a decade ago that was pursuing an airship to orbit scheme. The idea was to have a huge stratospheric balloon platform from which superlight airships could be launch; the airships would use buoyancy to achieve altitudes sufficient to employ ion thrusters, and then spend days or even weeks to achieve LEO. They had a DoD contract, but I suspect the military was more interested in the balloon platform than in the airship to orbit scheme.

Why helium

By Applehu Akbar • Score: 3 • Thread

In this unmanned application, why the need to use increasingly scarce helium? Hydrogen is cheaper and would work even better.

Of courage, you wouldn’t want to call it the Phoenix if it used hydrogen.

Station keeping

By goombah99 • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

If you launched enough of these you could saturate the sky and not really need to worry about stationkeeping as a new one would drift in to a cell as other's exited on average and maintained in that equilibrium with just a little extra effort.

This would make a grea way to show ads for pepsi, or to allow facebook to stream videos direct to your cell phone form orbit while the visually track what you are doing.

Re: Not Orbit

By ceoyoyo • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

The rocket equation says no.

A conventional rocket has to accelerate its fuel and its payload. A projectile system just has to accelerate the payload.