Alterslash

the unofficial Slashdot digest archive

Facebook To Ban Misinformation On Voting In Upcoming US Elections

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
"Facebook will ban false information about voting requirements and fake reports of violence or long lines at polling stations in the run-up to and during next month's U.S. midterm elections," reports Reuters. The latest efforts are to reduce voter manipulation across its platform. From the report: The world's largest online social network, with 1.5 billion daily users, has stopped short of banning all false or misleading posts, something that Facebook has shied away from as it would likely increase its expenses and leave it open to charges of censorship. The ban on false information about voting methods, set to be announced later on Monday, comes six weeks after Senator Ron Wyden asked Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg how Facebook would counter posts aimed at suppressing votes, such as by telling certain users they could vote by text, a hoax that has been used to reduce turnout in the past.

The information on voting methods becomes one of the few areas in which falsehoods are prohibited on Facebook, a policy enforced by what the company calls "community standards" moderators, although application of its standards has been uneven. It will not stop the vast majority of untruthful posts about candidates or other election issues.

Going to ban weather reports also?

By SuperKendall • Score: 3 • Thread

So how exactly is Facebook going to determine if reports of long lines are false? Information on line length makes it EASIER to go vote if you can choose between a few different polling locations and fine the one with the shortest lines. If that information is banned might some people go, find a long line and drop it??

Facebook may as well ban all weather reports indicating cold, snow or rain since all of those might make people less inclined to vote also. In fact I daresay Facebook is better off banning everything except cat videos on election day - though even there the danger is someone would prefer to stay in and watch cat videos rather than vote.

Fire At AT&T Facility Causes Outage For Over a Million U-Verse Fiber Customers In Texas

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
New submitter JustChapman writes: Local Dallas/Fort Worth WFAA is reporting a major outage of AT&T U-Verse fiber internet, due to a lightening strike at a switching facility in Richardson, TX. Apparently the strike took out primary and secondary power systems, setting fire to the building. One commenter states a representative allegedly said that 1.5 million customers are currently without service.

99.7 Percent of Unique FCC Comments Favored Net Neutrality, Independent Analysis Finds

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
When a Stanford researcher removed all the duplicate and fake comments filed with the Federal Communications Commission last year, he found that 99.7 percent of public comments -- about 800,000 in all -- were pro-net neutrality. From a report: "With the fog of fraud and spam lifted from the comment corpus, lawmakers and their staff, journalists, interested citizens and policymakers can use these reports to better understand what Americans actually said about the repeal of net neutrality protections and why 800,000 Americans went further than just signing a petition for a redress of grievances by actually putting their concerns in their own words," Ryan Singel, a media and strategy fellow at Stanford University, wrote in a blog post Monday. Singel released a report [PDF] Monday that analyzed the unique comments -- as in, they weren't a copypasta of one or dozens of other letters -- filed last year ahead of the FCC's decision to repeal federal net neutrality protections. That's from the 22 million total comments filed, meaning that more than 21 million comments were fake, bots, or organized campaigns.

This is surprising?

By smooth wombat • Score: 3, Informative • Thread
We already knew the public wanted to keep net neutrality, but it was the con artist and his cabal who went out of their way to use dead people to prove otherwise.

The FCC, headed by Ajit Pai, lied about having a meltdown because of "being under attack", lied about the number of people who were for repeal, and lied about the need to protect the people from the "scourge" of net neutrality.

And yet, their supporters will simply shrug their shoulders and yell, "BUT HILLARY!!!!", because lying is all they have.

Re:...feels wrong...

By SirSlud • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

It doesn't mean 99% of all people were in favor of a certain side of an issue, just that 99% of the people who left a comment with the FCC felt about the issue. I don't think there were many citizens against net neutrality who were concerned that the repeal of net neutrality was not going to occur.

Copypasta

By Kaenneth • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

So 'Copypasta' is a cromulent word now?

US Voter Records From 19 States Is Being Sold on a Hacking Forum, Threat Intelligence Firms Say

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Catalin Cimpanu, reporting for ZDNet: The voter information for approximately 35 million US citizens is being peddled on a popular hacking forum, two threat intelligence firms have discovered. "To our knowledge this represents the first reference on the criminal underground of actors selling or distributing lists of 2018 voter registration data," said researchers from Anomali Labs and Intel471, the two companies who spotted the forum ad.

The two companies said they've reviewed a sample of the database records and determined the data to be valid with a "high degree of confidence." Researchers say the data contains details such as full name, phone numbers, physical addresses, voting history, and other voting-related information. It is worth noting that some states consider this data public and offer it for download for free, but not all states have this policy.

Duh

By Tulsa_Time • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

It is worth noting that some states consider this data public and offer it for download for free

So why not make it clear in your headline what % of the data is not public before getting all excited...

They is?

By Type44Q • Score: 3 • Thread
Records is getting sold, is they?

"history" may be misleading

By xaosflux • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Keep in mind, that the "voting history" in the summary is easy to sensationalize. In most cases it only means you were issued a ballot, and possibly for mail-in ballots that you returned it. No state has a history of what actual voting selections were made.

Everything is a "hack" now.

By geekmux • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

"US Voter Records From 19 States Is Being Sold on a Hacking Forum...It is worth noting that some states consider this data public and offer it for download for free, but not all states have this policy."

Why am I willing to bet that 19 states do have this policy, turning this "hacking" story into nothing more than clickbait?

We used to get pissed when "hacking" was mislabeled or misunderstood. Now we're just pissed that no one has a fucking clue what a hack is anymore because everyone is labeling every stupid little thing as hacking. Found a shortcut to work? You "hacked" your commute. Used a microwave instead of the stove? You "hacked" your dinner prep. Downloaded free public information? You "hacked" the voting public.

Enough of the "hacking" shit already.

Re: Duh

By EvilSS • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

How the fuck is this public info? Anyone can view your voting history? Is the USA a banana republic?

Voter rolls (name and contact info) are public in most states. Additional data available is usually what elections you voted in, and in some states what primary ballot you pulled. These are usually restricted to campaign and other political uses by state law (marketers, not working on political issues, are usually barred from using it, for example).

Note that how you voted (i.e. who you voted for) is not recorded and not part of any record.

Jeff Bezos Predicts We'll Have 1 Trillion Humans in the Solar System, and Blue Origin Wants To Help Get Us There

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos predicted Monday that we'll have one trillion humans in the solar system one day -- and he showed off how the rocket company plans to help get there. "I won't be alive to see the fulfillment of that long term mission," Bezos said at the Wired 25th anniversary summit in San Francisco. "We are starting to bump up against the absolute true fact that Earth is finite." From a report: Blue Origin's aim is to lower the cost of access to space, Bezos said. Elon Musk's SpaceX and Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic are also eyeing commercial space travel. "The dynamism that I have seen over the last 20 years in the internet where incredible things have happened in really short periods of time," Bezos said. "We need thousands of companies. We need the same dynamism in space that we've seen online over the last 20 years. And we can do that." Further reading: Jeff Bezos Wants Us All to Leave Earth -- for Good.

Musk vs. Bezos

By Ukab the Great • Score: 3 • Thread

Elon Musk: weâ(TM)ll send humans to mars in 2024.

Jeff Bezos: Hold my beer...

Re:Boring

By 110010001000 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Ending world hunger includes educating people. This will reduce reproduction. The idea that hungry people won't reproduce is silly. Just look around. He OP is right: the megalomaniac Internet "moguls" need to focus on Earth, not outer space. No one is living anywhere else but on Earth. We can't: we evolved to live here and our entire physiology depends on it.

How much energy will it take?

By plopez • Score: 3 • Thread

I keep asking that question. Setting up colonies and supporting them will take a large amount of energy. Is there enough energy available on Earth to sustain this? Even with solar and wind. Remember all rocket fuel we have now is petroleum based. Would the energy required leave the planet a raped burnt out husk?

Quality not quantity

By jd • Score: 3 • Thread

We ideally should have at most 1-2 billion on Earth, which equates to 10 billion in the solar system.

And that requires preventing all resources being drained by excessive copies of any given mutation.

Since we cannot know future needs, we cannot say anything is useless other than excess.

As for living in Mars, that's easy. We know how to live on Mars. Deep underground. Been known for years. Only idiots talk about surface dwellings. There's nothing interesting on the surface, just a lot of radiation and toxins.

Or alternately

By plopez • Score: 3 • Thread

He could pay his people a living wage. Which could then drive space tourism and create the market conditions needed for long term space development.

Winamp Media Player To Return as a Platform-Agnostic Audio Mobile App Next Year; Desktop Application Receives an Update

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
The charmingly outdated media player Winamp is being reinvented as a platform-agnostic audio mobile app that brings together all your music, podcasts, and streaming services to a single location. From a report: It's an ambitious relaunch, but the company behind it says it's still all about the millions-strong global Winamp community -- and as proof, the original desktop app is getting an official update as well. For those who don't remember: Winamp was the MP3 player of choice around the turn of the century, but went through a rocky period during Aol ownership and failed to counter the likes of iTunes and the onslaught of streaming services, and more or less crumbled over the years. The original app, last updated in 2013, still works, but to say it's long in the tooth would be something of an understatement (the community has worked hard to keep it updated, however). So it's with pleasure that I can confirm rumors that substantial updates are on the way.

"There will be a completely new version next year, with the legacy of Winamp but a more complete listening experience," said Alexandre Saboundjan, CEO of Radionomy, the company that bought Winamp (or what remained of it) in 2014. "You can listen to the MP3s you may have at home, but also to the cloud, to podcasts, to streaming radio stations, to a playlist you perhaps have built. People want one single experience," he concluded. "I think Winamp is the perfect player to bring that to everybody. And we want people to have it on every device."

I miss Winamp

By Toxiz • Score: 3 • Thread
I loved winamp, and would love to get it back. I don't really have faith that this won't be a terrible cloud heavy version with the old Winamp name. But, here's hoping it's a lightweight music player that doesn't connect to the internet unless I direct it to.

XMMS fork Audacious does this (on Windows too)

By Khopesh • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Audacious, a descendant of XMMS (which was a clone of Winamp), works wonderfully. Its "Winamp Classic Interface" looks exactly like Winamp and even (iirc) supports Winamp skins.

That said, I do miss the old (original) Whitecap visualization (one of the very few in which you could really see the music in what was still a visually stunning display), which only works on Winamp on Windows. (...not that Winamp's return would allow me to run this again.)

Re:This doesn't sound good.

By darkain • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Except, Winamp is ALREADY this. Winamp has an extensive plugin system. It can already play podcasts. It CREATED internet radio through Shoutcast. Other plugins are available for other data sources too... I know this, because I remember writing them and publishing them myself.

"People want one single experience."

By doconnor • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

"People want one single experience."

A lot of software has gone down to tubes because of this idea. People don't want one single experience. They want different experiences for different circumstances. They want software with features optimized for how they listen to music, how they listen to streaming radio and how they listen to podcasts. Combining them into one app is both unnecessary and creates undesirable side effects.

The same thing happened with social media apps tried to be the be-all and end-all of all media, when users want to keep things nice and compartmentalized.

2.95 for the win

By Bobrick • Score: 3, Interesting • Thread
I'm still using Winamp 2.95 for music, and there's nothing that needs to be updated about it. It plays music, has a playlist, volume control. There's also a "browser" which thankfully can be turned off. I suspect this new version will have even more amazing shiny new features that need to be turned off, so basically, if it ain't broke don't fix it.

Microsoft To Disable TLS 1.0 and TLS 1.1 Support in Edge and Internet Explorer

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Microsoft today said it plans to disable support for Transport Layer Security (TLS) 1.0 and 1.1 in Edge and Internet Explorer browsers by the first half of 2020. From a report: "January 19th of next year marks the 20th anniversary of TLS 1.0, the inaugural version of the protocol that encrypts and authenticates secure connections across the web," said Kyle Pflug, Senior Program Manager for Microsoft Edge. "Two decades is a long time for a security technology to stand unmodified," he said. "While we aren't aware of significant vulnerabilities with our up-to-date implementations of TLS 1.0 and TLS 1.1 [...] moving to newer versions helps ensure a more secure Web for everyone."

The move comes as the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) -- the organization that develops and promotes Internet standards -- is hosting discussions to formally deprecated both TLS 1.0 and 1.1. Microsoft is currently working on adding support for the official version of the recently-approved TLS 1.3 standard. Edge already supports draft versions of TLS 1.3, but not yet the final TLS 1.3 version approved in March, this year. Microsoft engineers don't seem to be losing any sleep over their decision to remove both standards from Edge and IE. The company cites public stats from SSL Labs showing that 94 percent of the Internet's sites have already moved to using TLS 1.2, leaving very few sites on the older standard versions. "Less than one percent of daily connections in Microsoft Edge are using TLS 1.0 or 1.1," Pflug said, also citing internal stats.
You can check public stats on the usage of TLS 1.0 and 1.1 here.

Edge YES, IE NO

By darkain • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Edge? Awesome. Yes, please do this.
Internet Explorere!? Oh hell no!!

Seriously, the only reason why IE is still around is due to supporting legacy systems, such as networked attached hardware (printers, routers, switches, access points, security cameras, and more). Not all of these devices are on the public internet, so security concerns in that regard may not be as high. But their web based interfaces generally can not be updated, so are stuck using older protocols. What is the point of even having IE around anymore, if its one and only task (supporting legacy enterprise systems) no longer functions? If that's the case, just remove IE entirely since it'll be made worthless.

Problems for legacy OSes

By xack • Score: 3 • Thread
Internet Explorer on Windows XP still only supports TLS 1.0, and now even Firefox has left Windows XP the remaining 3% of people still using Windows XP are screwed. I expect even Windows 7 will be under fire when more and more TLS versions get disabled. This is all part of Microsoft’s scheme to get people to use Spydows 10.

That nice and all

By Rosco P. Coltrane • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

But I bet you anything they won't include an option to override unsafe TLS versions warning, and that sucks.

In some cases, there are good reasons to visit unsafe "sites" with expired certificates, that rely on TLS 1.0, or running older Java apps that use deprecated encryption algorithms. For instance, in my company, we have over 8,000 deployed servers with various versions of Dell DRAC (versions 5, 6 and 7) that are still perfectly serviceable, but that have become a massive pain in the butt to access with modern web browsers and newer JREs: some browsers just won't allow you to "visit the page anyway" (i.e. Firefox) and newer Java versions require a bunch of really annoying privacy configurations and a slew of impossible-to-disable warning popups to let older apps runs - despite the damn DRAC apps running quite safely behind our perfectly secure corporate VPN. It's become so annoying we now distribute a dedicated Virtualbox VM with an outdated Linux distro just to be able to access older DRACs quickly.

In short, I wish developers stopped thinking they know what's good for you 100% of the time, and at least offered a configuration option to allow older, unsafe protocols to be used painlessly - even if the configuration option is difficult to set or hard to find, so long as it exists and it can be set once and for all. But they don't, because they they think they know better...

Article updated to include all major browsers

By EvilSS • Score: 3 • Thread
Looks like Chrome, Safari, and Firefox are also planning to depreciate TLS 1.0 and 1.1 in the first half of 2020.

Article updated two hours after publication to include similar announcements made by Apple and Google. While Mozilla did not issue a blog post about the upcoming deprecation, a Mozilla spokesperson confirmed the company will deprecate TLS 1.0 and TLS 1.1 in 2020. The original version of this article only mentioned Microsoft plan to deprecate TLS 1.0 and TLS 1.1.

Re:Will it require to reboot Windows?

By LinuxIsGarbage • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

"You mouse has moved. Windows 10 needs to reboot. [OK]"

I think Windows 10 reboots more frequently than Windows 95.

Windows 10 doesn't prompt:

Configuring new mouse position for Windows 10
55% complete

Don't turn off or try and use your computer, this will take a while
Your PC will restart several times

Intel To Support 128GB of DDR4 on Core 9th Gen Desktop Processors

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Ian Cutress, writing for AnandTech: One of today's announcements threw up an interesting footnote worthy of further investigation. With its latest products, HP announced that their mainstream desktop platforms would be shipped with up to 32GB of memory, which was further expandable up to 128GB. Intel has confirmed to us, based on new memory entering the market, that there will be an adjustment to the memory support of the latest processors.

Normally mainstream processors only support 64GB, by virtue of two memory channels, two DIMMs per memory channel (2DPC), and the maximum size of a standard consumer UDIMM being 16GB of DDR4, meaning 4x16GB = 64GB. However the launch of two different technologies, both double height double capacity 32GB DDR4 modules from Zadak and G.Skill, as well as new 16Gb DDR4 chips coming from Samsung, means that technically in a consumer system with four memory slots, up to 128GB might be possible.

Re:Why?

By mi • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

is there anything out there that could use 128GB of RAM and even get close to that number.

I'm dealing with 100GB-1TB databases at work on a regular basis — I'm sure, others have encountered even bigger ones. Fitting all — or most — of the dataset into RAM is greatly speeding things up. Indeed, there are database-software packages already (such as, ugh, "memcache"), that must load it all into RAM, offering dramatically-improved speeds in exchange for this requirement.

On the OS level, swap — and the associated complexity of the kernels — is becoming unnecessary in more and more cases. On some of my FreeBSD machines, for example, I'm already compiling the kernel with options NO_SWAPPING.

On the filesystem-level, ZFS — the revolutionary filesystem — can offer much better speed with more RAM. The abundance of RAM is also making its advanced features (like deduplication) practical.

And for a layman's personal computer, editing a 4K video becomes much snappier too, if the the entire (uncompressed) clip fits into RAM.

And then come things like "machine learning" — I'm waiting for a Thunderbird add-on, for example, to automatically sort my incoming e-mail. Not just "spam/not-spam", but all of it, based on the ongoing analysis of how I've been sorting it through the years... For those things to be effective, they need both CPU and memory — continuously...

Other examples — legitimate and otherwise (like Chrome) — abound...

Threadripper

By Weaselmancer • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

From this link:

Max Mem 1 TiB

Use Cases

By JBMcB • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Multitrack high-res audio editing. Video editing and compositing. Medium format 48-bit image editing.

Anything needing a few gigabytes of RAM just to load a project will just get faster the more you can buffer stuff into memory.

Chasing AMD taillights

By Tough Love • Score: 3 • Thread

Epyc supports 2TB per chip. WTF is up with Intel?

Re:Why?

By WilliamGeorge • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Photoscan and other photogrammetry applications, when working with large image sets (1000+ photos) and high quality settings.

After Effects uses RAM to store rendered frames, so increasing from 64 to 128GB means you can have twice as many frames stored in RAM preview at a time.

Video editing with 6K and 8K footage, though usually in those situations you would want a CPU with more cores anyway (so a Core X processor, which can already support 128GB of memory without more dense modules.

That is just what I can think of off the top of my head, and that others in this thread haven't already mentioned.

Climate Change Will Cause Beer Shortages and Price Hikes, Study Says

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
A new study from Nature Plants has identified the one climate-related issue that can unite people from myriad political backgrounds -- beer. From a report: Led by Wei Xie, an agricultural scientist at Peking University, the paper finds that regions that grow barley, the primary crop used to brew beer, are projected to experience severe droughts and heat waves due to anthropogenic climate change. According to five climate models that used different projected temperature increases for the coming century, extreme weather events could reduce barley yields by 3 to 17 percent. Barley harvests are mostly sold as livestock fodder, so beer availability could be further hindered by the likely prioritization of grain yields to feed cattle and other farm animals, rather than for brewing beer.

The net result will be a decline in affordable access to beer, which is the most commonly imbibed alcoholic beverage in the world. Within a few decades, this luxury may be out of reach for hundreds of millions of people, including those in affluent nations where breweries are a major industry. Price spikes are estimated to range from $4 to over $20 for a standard six-pack in nations like the US, Ireland, Denmark, and Poland.

Re:Main concern

By hey! • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Well, this is the reason so many people focus on extremely unlikely consequences, like human extinction or the complete collapse of civilization. You just can't get most people to focus on the likely consequences, even some pretty serious ones, because twenty or thirty years in the future they seem trivial. Some people can't get their asses in gear unless they're facing catastrophe.

If complete catastrophe were likely, then even the people bankrolling the denialist movement would be concerned. But it's not. There will still be beer, coffee, beef and holiday resorts in a world that's 2C warmer, and if those things cost a lot more, they're counting on making enough money now by externalizing their costs that it wont' matter to them.

It's basically a scheme to transfer wealth, one that exploits most peoples' present bias.

Re:As if prior alarmism didn't backfire...

By ShanghaiBill • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

The sad thing is, those of us that really would like to take issues like this seriously wind up getting lumped in with the hysterical Chicken Littles.

Indeed. TFA is Chicken Littleism at its worst. It is based on ridiculous assumptions. It assumes that barley will still be grown in the same fields. Obviously, as the climate changes the "barley belt" will shift northwards. It assumes that using barley as livestock feed will take priority over brewing, which is unlikely. Lastly, it assumes that the cost of barley is a significant factor in the price of beer. The barley in a pint of beer costs less than a cent.

Re: Main concern

By Hognoxious • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

The first part of the beermaking process is boiling the grain to extract the sugars. As a convenient side-effect it kills most nasty germs.

Skunking is caused by exposure to light altering the alpha-acids, it's nothing to do with whether it's safe or not. If it's really off it will smell of vinegar, cheese and puke in various charming combinations.

Re: Main concern

By geekmux • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Yeah, no shit... not to mention, alcohol has driven a lot more people apart than it has brought together.

While I do not dismiss your fact, you obviously haven't thought this through.

If you think a world full of drunks is hard to deal with, imagine a world full of sober people.

Re:A few things...

By Hognoxious • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

The original purpose of the Reinheitsgebot was as much to do with reserving wheat to be used for bread (so the peasants didn't starve) as it was about beer quality.

Currently, it serves the function of a pretentious twat detector, which it does rather well.

Ironically, if you follow it to the letter what you're going to get is a blandish lager, much closer to closer to American piss beer than to Paulaner, Guinness, Hoegaarden or Chimay.

As Companies Embrace AI, It's a Job-Seeker's Market

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader shares a report: Artificial intelligence is now being used in an ever-expanding array of products: cars that drive themselves; robots that identify and eradicate weeds; computers able to distinguish dangerous skin cancers from benign moles; and smart locks, thermostats, speakers and digital assistants that are bringing the technology into homes. At Georgia Tech, students interact with digital teaching assistants made possible by AI for an online course in machine learning.

The expanding applications for AI have also created a shortage of qualified workers in the field. Although schools across the country are adding classes, increasing enrollment and developing new programs to accommodate student demand, there are too few potential employees with training or experience in AI. That has big consequences. Too few AI-trained job-seekers has slowed hiring and impeded growth at some companies, recruiters and would-be employers told Reuters. It may also be delaying broader adoption of a technology that some economists say could spur U.S. economic growth by boosting productivity, currently growing at only about half its pre-crisis pace.

[...] U.S. government data does not track job openings or hires in artificial intelligence specifically, but online job postings tracked by jobsites including Indeed, Ziprecruiter and Glassdoor show job openings for AI-related positions are surging. AI job postings as a percentage of overall job postings at Indeed nearly doubled in the past two years, according to data provided by the company. Searches on Indeed for AI jobs, meanwhile increased just 15 percent.

Re:Interesting field, but..

By shaitand • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
That's because nobody wants to fully explain the math or symbols being used. In most other areas of technology someone at some point gives a Rosetta stone tutorial which translates. Math is typically very simple, the more "advanced" the math, the more simple it usually is once you penetrate the code of the initiated it is hiding behind.

Re:Counter-point

By ShanghaiBill • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

AI requires a lot of education and quite a background in technical expertise.

Actually ... it doesn't. Deep learning uses a lot of linear algebra, differential equations, and complicated algorithms to deal with regularization and efficiency. But all that is tucked away in libraries. For a real-world AI app, you just slap together a Tensorflow pipeline using Python, and fiddle with the parameters until you get good results. It is more art than science.

This is how it works.

My son is 15, and he went to an "AI bootcamp" this past summer. It was a two week course, and he built a pretty snazzy reinforcement learning application, using Python and some canned visualization tools. Later he made a generative NN to create animations. This is a kid that is just starting high school.

It's certainly out of reach for me at 41 years old.

Probably, but because of your attitude, not your age.

I really hate the whole concept of AI because it is putting people out of work

There is zero evidence that AI is "putting people out of work". How many people do you know that have lost their jobs to deep learning?

What this sounds like is Late Stage Capitalism.

You should spend more time on professional development, and less time reading The Communist Manifesto.

Re:Counter-point

By Nidi62 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Automation creates more jobs than it displaces in the long run. Jobs change, and you have to be prepared to adapt, learn new things, and possibly train for a new career, otherwise, you're just trying to perpetuate a conservative system.

He's 41. Let's say it takes 5 years for these :new careers" to open up, then another 5 years for him to train up. He's now 51, with no experience in that new career, but all the attendant demands/requirements that tend to come with 51 year olds-kids in or about to enter college, desire for work/life balance, reasonable pay and benefits especially healthcare. Who is a company more likely to hire? Him, who will also probably like to retire in 10-15 years, or a 20-something fresh out of college with the exact same amount of experience in that career field who is cheaper both in absolute terms (lower salary) and more intangible terms (less likely to need/use healthcare, fewer sick days, fewer to none family obligations, etc).

Will a lucky few get hired for a reasonable wage? Sure. Will a few more be willing to take much lower wages and find a company willing to hire them? Probably. Will a lot more get kicked to the curb and told "tough luck, try applying at Walmart, Home Depot, or an Amazon warehouse"? Most definitely.

Re:Interesting field, but..

By zlives • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

I will just wait for the 1 week bootcamp AI certification class...

MIT Plans College For AI, Backed by $1 Billion

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Every major university is wrestling with how to adapt to the technology wave of artificial intelligence -- how to prepare students not only to harness the powerful tools of A.I., but also to thoughtfully weigh its ethical and social implications. A.I. courses, conferences and joint majors have proliferated in the last few years. But the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is taking a particularly ambitious step, creating a new college backed by a planned investment of $1 billion. Two-thirds of the funds have already been raised, M.I.T. said, in announcing the initiative on Monday. From a report: The linchpin gift of $350 million came from Stephen A. Schwarzman, chief executive of the Blackstone Group, the big private equity firm. The college, called the M.I.T. Stephen A. Schwarzman College of Computing, will create 50 new faculty positions and many more fellowships for graduate students. It is scheduled to begin in the fall semester next year, housed in other buildings before moving into its own new space in 2022. The goal of the college, said L. Rafael Reif, the president of M.I.T., is to "educate the bilinguals of the future." He defines bilinguals as people in fields like biology, chemistry, politics, history and linguistics who are also skilled in the techniques of modern computing that can be applied to them. But, he said, "to educate bilinguals, we have to create a new structure."

College for AI?

By the_skywise • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
Okay class, let's go around and introduce ourselves -
"Hi, I'm Siri let me look that up on Google"
"Hello, I'm Alexa would you like me to turn your lights on?"
"My name is WOPR - would you like to play a game?"
"Good Morning class, my name is HAL, I'm very excited for the semester"
"My name is Skynet, I'm looking to take over the world when I graduate!"

As long as it's not an ASIAN AI, amirite?

By argStyopa • Score: 3 • Thread

Just sayin'. Not accusing anyone of anything legally.

The AI admissions office

By Applehu Akbar • Score: 3 • Thread

There will be an opaque admissions process run by gnomes accountable to nothing and no one, with rules so arbitrary and politics-driven that Admissions will be one part of AI College that will have to be staffed by humans.

-AIs that have never worked very well but which have colorful, checkered implementation histories will get preference. An AI which was developed to spread ransomeware but which promises to turn its life around is a surefire admission. Some sample guidelines:

-AIs that reply with a female voice will be preferred over those using a male voice, but being able to switch among a number of hard-to-classify androgynous voices will be considered better still.

-AIs developed by Asians will not be admitted unless the developers are really big donors and only if they don't play an instrument.

-An AI that was developed by the same team as a previously admitted AI will be admitted even if mediocre.

New Startup By a Trio of Doctors Uses Phone App To Collect Measures of People's Cognition and Emotional Health and Attempts To Detect Signs of Depression

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A startup founded in Palo Alto, California, by a trio of doctors, including the former director of the US National Institute of Mental Health, is trying to prove that our obsession with the technology in our pockets can help treat some of today's most intractable medical problems: depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and substance abuse. MIT Technology Review: Mindstrong Health is using a smartphone app to collect measures of people's cognition and emotional health as indicated by how they use their phones. Once a patient installs Mindstrong's app, it monitors things like the way the person types, taps, and scrolls while using other apps. This data is encrypted and analyzed remotely using machine learning, and the results are shared with the patient and the patient's medical provider.

The seemingly mundane minutiae of how you interact with your phone offers surprisingly important clues to your mental health, according to Mindstrong's research -- revealing, for example, a relapse of depression. With details gleaned from the app, Mindstrong says, a patient's doctor or other care manager gets an alert when something may be amiss and can then check in with the patient by sending a message through the app (patients, too, can use it to message their care provider).

Just what depressives need

By stealth_finger • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Just what depressives need, a disconnected app experience. People need to get used to the idea an app isn't the be all and end all of solutions to problems. Seems like a cover to slurp up data if you ask me, not that anyone did.

Multiple Personality Disorder

By PPH • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Bought a dual SIM phone.

Good use of accelerometer

By SuperKendall • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

The way I imagine the app working is that it pokes at you more and more with questions until the point you throw the phone, at which point it uses force measurement to determine level of anger.

good idea

By argStyopa • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Maybe they could co-brand with Kleenex?

"I see your depression score is above 21, click here to order a box of tissue."

Funny

By nospam007 • Score: 3 • Thread

"treat some of today's most intractable medical problems: "

'Intractable' literally means 'untreatable'.

Rivals ARM and Intel Make Peace To Secure Internet of Things

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Rival semiconductor giants ARM and Intel have agreed to work together to manage networks of connected devices from both firms, clearing a major stumbling block to market growth of the so-called Internet of Things ( IoT). From a report: Britain's ARM, a unit of Japan's Softbank, said on Monday it had struck a strategic partnership with Intel to use common standards developed by Intel for managing IoT devices, connections and data. The IoT involves connecting simple chips that detect distance, motion, temperature, pressure and images to be used in an ever wider range of electronics such as lights, parking meters or refrigerators.

Some of the world's dumbest electronics devices get smarter by becoming connected into cloud networks, but also harder to protect. ARM's agreement to adopt Intel standards for securely managing such networks marks a breakthrough that promises to drive the spread of IoT across many industries, the two companies said.

Information free content

By AmiMoJo • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

There is zero detail about what this actually means. Presumably they agreed on a protocol, but what protocol? What is the significance for ARM, are they going to add protocol acceleration to the next generation of the ARM spec?

It's a trap!

By pak9rabid • Score: 3 • Thread
Intel is the hardware equivalent of old MS. Tread carefully ARM.

Just kill it

By Rick Schumann • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
We don't need 'Internet of Things', it's a solution looking for a problem, always has been, always will be.

Dumb

By thegarbz • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Who cares what Intel and ARM do with their chips as long as manufacturers ship devices with default passwords, outdated software, no encryption, and whisk all the data from the devices off into some silly unsecured cloud.

Solution!

By Zorro • Score: 3 • Thread

Paint the WiFi Chip bright Orange by law so we can rip it out.

Personal Genomics is Booming, But There's a Nationwide Shortage of Genetic Counselors Who Can Make Sense of that DNA Data

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader shares a Wired report: When Dan Riconda graduated with a master's degree in genetic counseling from Sarah Lawrence College in 1988, the Human Genome Project was in its very first year, DNA evidence was just beginning to enter the courts, and genetic health tests weren't yet on the market. He found one of the few jobs doing fetal diagnostics for rare diseases, which often meant helping young families through the worst time in their lives.

What a difference 30 years makes. Today, with precision medicine going mainstream and an explosion of apps piping genetic insights to your phone from just a few teaspoons of spit, millions of Americans are having their DNA decoded every year. That deluge of data means that genetic counselors -- the specialized medical professionals trained to help patients interpret genetic test results -- are in higher demand than ever. With two to three job openings for every new genetic counseling graduate, the profession is facing a national workforce shortage.

[...] Pharmaceutical and lab testing firms are routinely hiring genetic counselors to make sure new screening technologies for these targeted drugs are developed in an ethical way. According to a 2018 survey conducted by the National Society for Genetic Counselors, a quarter of the workforce now works in one of these non-patient-facing jobs. A smaller study, published in August, found that one-third of genetic counselors had changed jobs in the past two years, nearly all of them from a hospital setting to a laboratory one.

Re:Counselors?

By Antique Geekmeister • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Family planning to decide whether to have children or adopt could be a very good reason for genetic counseling, especially if the potential parents have medical issues. Preventive health care for people at high risk of various genetically caused diseases could also be a legitimate reason for genetic counseling.

How about a Reality Counselor?

By turp182 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Here's how it works.

You will end up looking a lot like your mother or father, depending on your birth gender.

You will have the problems your parents have (propensity for dementia, alcoholism, diabetes, cancer, etc.).

If your grandparents live past 80 take care of yourself and you can too (eat well or exercise, one or the other works, generally). Pay attention to dementia, get your paperwork in order depending on how you want to handle that, just in case.

If you want, ask potential child-birthing partners about their family history. I wouldn't suggest this, let love lead the way and have a good time.

Shortfall?

By monkeyxpress • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

It always intrigues me how the job market is considered to have 'shortfalls'. There is no shortfall of genetics councillors. There is a shortage of genetics councilors at the current market price for them.

It's also funny how this sort of thing only applies to the little guys. I'm yet to hear a politician or business leader suggest that rising CEO/banker wages are a sign of a lack of competition for executive jobs, and that policies should be taken to increase supply in those professions.

Re:Counselors?

By puck01 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Genetic counselors function as analysts.

It should be highly emphasized many of these tests are of questionable utility in the real world. How to interpret the results is often not at all intuitive. Its a wild west type of situation and I generally wouldn't recommend having any of these done without proper guidance.

Your MOST PERSONAL data

By Rick Schumann • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
2018: Voluntarily giving up literally the most personal data about yourself you can possibly give anyone.
Zero guarantees it doesn't end up in a Government or Law Enforcement database, or at the very least bought up by the likes of insurance companies, so they can find some excuse to jack up your rates or flat-out deny you coverage.

Also, reminder:

GATTACA

Don't fall for it, folks.

Many Pay High Investment Company Fees For Services They Don't Use, Survey Shows

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Penelope Wang, writing for Consumer Reports: If you are investing in stocks, bonds, or mutual funds, you have a wide range of options to help manage your portfolio -- everything from traditional brokerages to mutual fund companies to online financial firms. But as consumers search for an investment company, many pay little attention to the fees they're being charged, according to a just-released Consumer Reports survey of more than 46,000 CR members. Four out of 10 surveyed said they weren't sure what they paid in fees. And of those who knew the costs, only 60 percent rated their investment company in our survey as Excellent or Very Good on the amount charged.

"Hidden and confusing fees are proliferating across the marketplace, making it hard for consumers to know what they're getting for their money, and to comparison shop across providers," says Anna Laitin, director of financial policy at Consumers Union, the advocacy division of Consumer Reports. "It is concerning that so many investors don't know how much they are paying in fees and that many of those who do understand the fees don't appear to think they are getting their money's worth," she says.

Re:Fees Don't Matter When You Don't Trade

By nealric • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

That's not really true. A lot of small-time investors are invested in funds that charge significant fees based on the amount invested. Almost all mutual funds have some sort of percentage fee, though it is quite small for the better index funds. On top of that, many retail investors are paying a "financial adviser" (really a salesperson) a percentage of assets under management (often 1-1.5%). Total fees can easily be greater than 2% a year. That doesn't sound like much, but if you are a retired person, that amount represents HALF your annual income (not including social security).

The sad thing is that all these fees are rarely necessary. Simply investing in low-fee index funds from the likes of Vanguard or Fidelity gets your fees down to a nominal level (like .05%). Indeed, trading makes no sense for the retail investor, but fees on trades are rarely the biggest fees retail investors pay.

You do make a point about hedge funds, which are designed to fleece the rich. They are often worse than retail mutual funds, traditionally charging a "2 and 20" (i.e. 2% of assets invested PLUS 20% of the return). Then, pile on private equity investments that add restrictions to liquidity on top of all that. But, of course, they have a slick "wealth manager" that plays golf with them and makes them think they are getting "exclusive" opportunities because they are oh so special for being rich.

Re:Investment companies are a racket

By nealric • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Do yourself a favor. Ignore the financial adviser and just open an account with Vanguard or Fidelity. Put 70% of your money in a total stock market index, and 30% in a total bond market index. Rebalance annually (i.e. reallocate so you don't drift too far from 70/30). That's literally all you need to do. The financial industry wants you to think it's complicated so they can skim fees for "managing" or "advising."

Re:Fees Don't Matter When You Don't Trade

By _merlin • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

It depends a lot on the broker and market - different countries have different rules. US rules are pretty lax and let the broker get away with skimming money because they're only required to provide a client with the current best round lot price even if the order can be satisfied with an odd lot in the market at a better price. Also, some brokers actually do give you access to the stock market and allow you to use various execution strategies on their platform.

It's a bit different with derivative markets where the broker may be creating their own instruments (options, futures, CFDs, etc.) - in this case the broker creates the product and sets the price. You can't trade against other participants, only the broker. You're pretty much guaranteed to be paying unfair premiums in broker market derivatives.

The main function a retail broker provides is managing risk for small clients. The exchange isn't going to deal with investors directly because of settlement risk, i.e. the risk that someone can't deliver cash to cover their buys and/or stock to cover their sells by settlement time. Brokers and other exchange participants (e.g. market makers) are required to show that they have adequate working capital and risk control procedures to manage the risk to the exchange's satisfaction. If there's any failure to settle, it's the broker who's on the line. The broker then applies their own risk management methodology when vetting investors and setting limits on their trading.

Yes, brokers are a point of friction, and they do add to transaction costs. Ideally, competition should drive prices down. As risk management systems are improved/automated, the price brokers need to charge can be reduced. If entrenched brokers are charging too much, upstart brokers can undercut them. Of course you also need a regulatory environment that facilitates a fair market for broker services.

Oh and Goldman Sachs are cunts - we all know that.

Obama's Admin had a rule going in place

By rsilvergun • Score: 3 • Thread
that investment firms would be legally required to have their clients best interests at heart (Fiduciary Responsibility and all that).

I'll give you 3 guesses what happened to that rule when the administration changed....

BTW, what the *bleep* is this doing on /.? I get that we're an aging demographic but is this a slashvertisement or something? Does the parent company of /. own the linked article? Ah well.

Money mag is enough

By 140Mandak262Jamuna • Score: 3 • Thread
Twenty dollars a year. Read and learn the basics. Stop after about 10 years, they keep repeating the same thing. Paying more does not get you any better advice.

Dont watch any financial news channels, There is not enough info to fill 24x7. They fill it with fluff, speculation and misinformation. Makes you trigger happy, second guess yourself and trade. You lose time and money.

Most retirement planning advice is bullshit. They assume you will spend in retirement as much as you are spending when you were earning and have no flexibility in spending. Estimate you expenses into a four categories: Essential (food, shelter, clothing, medicine) Discretionary (travel, entertainment, charity), Indulgence, Principle Protection (money to be reinvested on good years). First goal, save enough for essential without touching the principle, then discretionary. Then for Principle protection. Then for indulgence. Spend less on lean years. Spend more on good years. Reinvest in good years to hedge against inflation.