the unofficial Slashdot digest archive

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

Judge Releases Redacted Lunar Lander Lawsuit From Bezos' Blue Origin Against NASA-SpaceX Contract

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
ytene writes: As reported by CNBC, the US Court of Federal Claims has released a redacted version of the lawsuit, filed by Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin, in a complaint against NASA. Earlier this year, the agency had awarded a $2.9 billion contract to SpaceX for the design and development of a lunar lander.

Although NASA has a long history of awarding contracts to promote innovation and competition, the Blue Origin suit seemed a little unusual given the company's current lack of launch experience (they have completed numerous successful tests, including a high-altitude "edge of space" flight for Bezos, his brother and guests, but have yet to place any vehicle in orbit, let alone establish a credible, commercial space flight presence).

As was also reported by CNBC, the Government Accountability Office conducted an investigation in to the initial Blue Origin complaint, after NASA suspended the process, but found no evidence that NASA awarded the contract incorrectly and denied the initial Blue Origin complaint.

'We Need Software Updates Forever'

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
The creator of the Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML) and founder of the first virtual reality startup, Mark Pesce, opines an IEEE Spectrum piece that we need software updates forever. Slashdot reader joshuark shares an excerpt from the article: Device makers are apt to drop support for old gadgets faster than the gadgets themselves wear out. Consumers have relied on the good graces of device makers to keep our gadget firmware and software secure and up-to-date. Doing so costs the manufacturer some of its profits. As a result, many of them are apt to drop support for old gadgets faster than the gadgets themselves wear out. This corporate stinginess consigns far too many of our devices to the trash heap before they have exhausted their usability. That's bad for consumers and bad for the planet. It needs to stop.

We have seen a global right-to-repair movement emerge from maker communities and start to influence public policy around such things as the availability of spare parts. I'd argue that there should be a parallel right-to-maintain movement. We should mandate that device manufacturers set aside a portion of the purchase price of a gadget to support ongoing software maintenance, forcing them to budget for a future they'd rather ignore. Or maybe they aren't ignoring the future so much as trying to manage it by speeding up product obsolescence, because it typically sparks another purchase.

Does this mean Sony and others should still be supporting products nearly two decades old, like my PSP? If that keeps them out of the landfill, I'd say yes: The benefits easily outweigh the costs. The devilish details come in decisions about who should bear those costs. But even if they fell wholly on the purchaser, consumers would, I suspect, be willing to pay a few dollars more for a gadget if that meant reliable access to software for it -- indefinitely. Yes, we all want shiny new toys -- and we'll have plenty of them -- but we shouldn't build that future atop the prematurely discarded remains of our electronic past.

Not just that...

By Ichijo • Score: 3 • Thread

...we also need a government-appointed advocate who will argue on our behalf that something really is a bug and needs to be fixed. Otherwise it's the consumer's word against the device manufacturer's, and who do you think usually wins that argument?

End of support must come with end of copyright

By fustakrakich • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

All unsupported software and hardware must be put into the public domain so it can be supported by other means.

Consumers aren't willing to shoulder the price

By Burdell • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

If you put two otherwise-equivalent doodads in front of a consumer, and tell them one will get driver updates for 10 more years than the other but also costs $1 more, the overwhelming majority will buy the cheaper one.

Consumer is not willing to pay

By jrumney • Score: 3 • Thread

If you have a right to maintain law that forces reputable manufacturers to budget for ongoing maintenance, prices will go up. Less reputable manufacturers will continue selling through ebay, aliexpress and other channels where they can fly under the radar of such regulations, and consumers will buy from them because they are cheaper. If you think otherwise, then you haven't been paying any attention to the downward spiral of consumer electronics for the past 30 odd years.


By The Evil Atheist • Score: 3 • Thread
Literally that's what is designed for - prevent TiVoization. There is no doubt that all these device manufacturers are using open source code, and there's no doubt that the source code they're using is BSD-like licensed. BSD-like licence supporters are literally supporting the right for these companies to leech off code that other people have spent time to develop and then cut off users from the freedom they themselves enjoyed from the free code.

Most of those companies make no money from the software, so there's no reason why they have to prevent people from being able to maintain their own devices.

'Jumping Gene' May Have Erased Tails In Humans and Other Apes

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
sciencehabit shares a report from Science Magazine: Mammals from mice to monkeys have tails. But humans and our cousins the great apes lack them. Now, researchers may have unearthed a simple genetic change that led to our abbreviated back end: an itinerant piece of DNA -- in a gene known as TBTX -- that leapt into a new chromosomal home and changed how great apes make a key developmental protein. The finding also suggests the genetic shift came with a less visible and more dangerous effect: a higher risk of birth defects involving the developing spinal cord.

Mice carrying both copies of the shortened gene didn't survive, but those with one long and one short version were born with a variety of tail lengths -- from none at all to nearly normal. That suggests the shorter version of the gene interferes with tail development. Because the genetically altered mice had a mix of tail lengths, other genes must be working together to eliminate all tail development in apes and humans, but the ape-specific change "was likely a critical event" about 25 million years ago as great apes diverged from other simians.

The genetically modified mice also had unusually high levels of neural tube problems, defects in the developing spinal cord. Such birth defects, which produce spina bifida, where the spinal cord doesn't close, and anencephaly, where parts of the brain and skull are missing, are fairly common in humans, affecting as many as one in 1,000 newborns. "We apparently paid a cost for the loss of the tail, and we still feel the echoes," says one author. "We must have had a clear benefit for losing the tail, whether it was improved locomotion or something else."
The researchers reported their findings in a preprint posted last week on bioRxiv.

"...humans and our cousins the great apes..."?

By Tatarize • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Humans are great apes. All the great apes, humans included, lack tails.

Next question

By Baron_Yam • Score: 3 • Thread

After 25 million years of evolution... is the change reversible with today's human genome, and if so would it reduce those spinal defect odds?

Because I'd be happy if my kids had tails that we then cut off after birth. If that's the cost of a huge cut in the rate of spinal problems, hack away at that DNA. At least until we figure out how to suppress the tail AND prevent the developmental issues.

And yes, I know we're nowhere near that level of genetic engineering yet, I'm just having fun daydreaming here.

Percent Brain usage

By gurps_npc • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Tails are one more limb that takes brain usage. Brains are energy intensive organs, they use a lot of calories. Neurons are expensive, that is why we don't have any real competition for intelligence.

Humans gave up a ton of muscles to pay for our big brains. Particularly jaw muscles - the other apes brains are smaller in part because they have huge jaw muscles and larger bones in their head. We dropped all that bone and muscle, replaced it with a frontal lobe.

I bet we lost the tails and redirected all the neurons related to controlling it to higher thought.

TikTokers Are Trading Stocks By Copying What Members of Congress Do

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
TikTok users are watching financial disclosures of sitting members of Congress to help them determine which stocks to invest in. NPR reports: Among a certain community of individual investors on TikTok, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's stock trading disclosures are a treasure trove. "Shouts out to Nancy Pelosi, the stock market's biggest whale," said user 'ceowatchlist.' Another said, "I've come to the conclusion that Nancy Pelosi is a psychic," while adding that she is the "queen of investing." "She knew," declared Chris Josephs, analyzing a particular trade in Pelosi's financial disclosures. "And you would have known if you had followed her portfolio." Last year, Josephs noticed that the trades, actually made by Pelosi's investor husband and merely disclosed by the speaker, were performing well.

Josephs is the co-founder of a company called Iris, which shows other people's stock trades. In the past year and a half, he has been taking advantage of a law called the Stock Act, which requires lawmakers to disclose stock trades and those of their spouses within 45 days. Now on Josephs' social investing platform, you can get a push notification every time Pelosi's stock trading disclosures are released. He is personally investing when he sees which stocks are picked: "I'm at the point where if you can't beat them, join them," Josephs told NPR, adding that if he sees trades on her disclosures, "I typically do buy... the next one she does, I'm going to buy."
The report notes that Senate and House members have already filed more than 4,000 financial trading disclosures this year, with at least $315 million of stocks and bonds bought or sold. "That's according to Tim Carambat, who in 2020 created and now maintains two public databases of lawmaker financial transactions -- House Stock Watcher and Senate Stock Watcher," reports NPR. "He says there is a significant following for his work," reports NPR.

Any scheme makes money in a bull market

By ranton • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

The S&P 500 has returned 17.7% annually with dividends reinvested over the past 5 years. This is the time where everyone with a pulse can come up with schemes to only buy stocks from companies whose CEO is born in February and still make a hefty return. Then it all comes to an end once some sanity is returned to the market. I have no insight into when that will be, other than it is guaranteed to happen eventually.

Self fulfilling prophesies...

By Trump One • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

The problem with copy-catting someone is that it creates self fulfilling upward movement as everybody else piles in after the first mover has already acquired her shares.

If everybody copies Pelosi, she can't help but make gains on just about anything. Simply buy low, file the purchase announcement, and then sell off as all the lemmings buy in. Those lemmings end up holding the bag and won't have a clue until she files her sell announcement, up to 45 days afterwards.

FDA Authorizes Pfizer Booster Shots For Older and At-Risk Americans

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
After weeks of internal strife at the Food and Drug Administration, the agency on Wednesday authorized people over 65 who had received Pfizer-BioNTech's coronavirus vaccine to get a booster shot at least six months after their second injection. The New York Times reports: The F.D.A. also authorized booster shots for adult Pfizer-BioNTech recipients who are at high risk of becoming severely ill with Covid-19 or are at risk of serious complications from the disease due to frequent exposure to the coronavirus at their jobs. The authorization sets up what is likely to be a staggered campaign to deliver the shots, starting with the most vulnerable Americans. It opens the way for possibly tens of millions of vaccinated people to receive boosters at pharmacies, health clinics, doctors' offices and elsewhere. Roughly 22 million Americans are at least six months past their second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About half of them are 65 and older. Millions of Americans who received the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are still waiting to learn whether they, too, can get boosters.

The F.D.A.'s decision will be followed as soon as Thursday by a recommendation from the C.D.C., which issues guidance on vaccine policy for clinicians and public health officials throughout the United States. An advisory committee of the C.D.C. is now in the midst of a two-day meeting on the issue. But even if the C.D.C. takes a different stance, health care providers are now authorized to offer third shots to Pfizer-BioNTech recipients who meet the F.D.A.'s eligibility criteria. The ruling followed weeks of internal disagreement at the F.D.A., where some vaccine regulators openly challenged the idea of offering booster shots to the general population. Public health experts and state officials have criticized what they said were confusing public messages from the Biden administration about who should be eligible for a booster shot and when.

Other than being Something

By RightwingNutjob • Score: 3 • Thread

And we all know that we have to Do there any reason to believe this move will unclog the ICUs...given that the ICUs are conspicuously clogged with unvaccinated people?

There's probably no harm in getting a booster (unless you happen to treat the stuff like heroin and go in for a hit every day or so) but again, is it going to help in any real way?


Re:there is a risk of harm of the third shot

By OrangeTide • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Outcomes for vaccine caused myocarditis and pericarditis are generally good, but warrants some tests and observation. After the immune response and fever subside it is unlikely that myocarditis or pericarditis will persist.
For mild cases they resolve themselves and a patient may be offered little more than an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory and recommend bed rest.

These complications occur with many vaccines in a very small number of people. It's not a COVID-19 or mRNA vaccine specific problem. What is important is that healthcare professionals and parents weigh the risks appropriately together. Parents thinking their child will have a heart attack from a vaccine is not weighing risks, even the drive to the doctor's office was statistically more significant. What is important is that everyone recognizes that complications are possible and act quickly in the rare even that they do occur.

Having your kid on an EKG and getting chest X-ray or echocardiograms is terrifying for parents, but for most families your hospital trip will be over in a few hours. You'll go home and maybe a few rough nights where you're propping your child up with pillows because it hurts to lay down but they can't get comfortable sleeping sitting up. Still beats weeks with COVID-19. Or, God forbid, days or weeks in the hospital your child is probably isolated and you cannot visit them and they can't even talk on the phone because they are on a ventilator. Sorry for the nightmare fuel, reality is painful.

Re:Healthcare Workers

By F.Ultra • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

No always, it has been since 1986 when the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act was put into law. It was introduced due to lawsuits being filed en masse for something that the vaccine was not responsible for and the number of lawsuits made vaccine no longer be profitable in the US and the manufacturers thought about no longer supply vaccines in the US.

In the 1970s and 1980s, a controversy erupted related to the question of whether the whole-cell pertussis component caused permanent brain injury known as pertussis vaccine encephalopathy, in rare cases. No studies showed a causal connection, and later studies showed no connection of any type between the DPT vaccine and permanent brain injury. The alleged vaccine-induced brain damage proved to be an unrelated condition, infantile epilepsy. In 1990, the Journal of the American Medical Association called the connection a "myth" and "nonsense". However, before that point, criticism of the studies showing no connection and a few well-publicized anecdotal reports of permanent disability that were blamed on the DPT vaccine gave rise to 1970s anti-DPT movements.

In the United States, low profit margins and an increase in vaccine-related lawsuits led many manufacturers to stop producing the DPT vaccine by the early 1980s. By 1985, vaccine manufacturers had difficulty obtaining liability insurance. The price of DPT vaccine skyrocketed, leading providers to curtail purchases, limiting availability. Only one company was still manufacturing pertussis vaccine in the US by the end of 1985. Because of this, Congress passed the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (NCVIA) in 1986, establishing a federal no-fault system to compensate victims of injury caused by mandated vaccines

So basically, it was anti-vaxxers back in the day that forced the government to react in a way that the anti-vaxxers now use as an argument for why vaccines are bad...

First RISC-V Computer Chip Lands At the European Processor Initiative

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Register: The European Processor Initiative (EPI) has run the successful first test of its RISC-V-based European Processor Accelerator (EPAC), touting it as the initial step towards homegrown supercomputing hardware. EPI, launched back in 2018, aims to increase the independence of Europe's supercomputing industry from foreign technology companies. At its heart is the adoption of the free and open-source RISC-V instruction set architecture for the development and production of high-performance chips within Europe's borders. The project's latest milestone is the delivery of 143 samples of EPAC chips, accelerators designed for high-performance computing applications and built around the free and open-source RISC-V instruction set architecture. Designed to prove the processor's design, the 22nm test chips -- fabbed at GlobalFoundries, the not-terribly-European semiconductor manufacturer spun out of AMD back in 2009 -- have passed initial testing, running a bare-metal "hello, world" program as proof of life.

It's a rapid turnaround. The EPAC design was proven on FPGA in March and the project announced silicon tape-out for the test chips in June -- hitting a 26.97mm2 area with 14 million placeable instances, equivalent to 93 million gates, including 991 memory instances. While the FPGA variant, which implemented a subset of the functions of the full EPAC design, was shown booting a Linux operating system, the physical test chips have so far only been tested with basic bare-metal workloads -- leaving plenty of work to be done.
Earlier today, the UK government released its 10-year plan to make the country a global "artificial intelligence superpower," seeking to rival the likes of the U.S. and China. "The so-called 'National Artificial Intelligence Strategy' is designed to boost the use of AI among the nation's businesses, attract international investment into British AI companies and develop the next generation of homegrown tech talent," reports CNBC.

Robinhood Will Start Testing Crypto Wallets Next Month

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Robinhood plans to start a cryptocurrency wallet next month, the company announced on Wednesday. Engadget reports: The tool will allow you to send and receive digital currencies, as well as trade them and move them off the app. If you want to take part in the test, you'll need to join a waitlist. Robinhood plans to trial the feature with a small number of users first before expanding availability to more people gradually.

The company told The Verge it expects everyone will have access to their own wallet sometime in 2022. In the meantime, you can see progress on the wallet by following Robinhood's Twitter account and blog. The company promised to share whatever feedback early users provide on the product with the community. Initially, the wallet will support Bitcoin, Ethereum and even Dogecoin. The wallet will use a custodial system, which means Robinhood will manage the keys you need to unlock it. That said, you'll have the option to move your cryptocurrencies to other platforms should you so choose.

The Fed Is Evaluating Whether To Launch a Digital Currency and In What Form

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from CNBC: The Federal Reserve is pushing ahead with its study into whether to implement its own digital currency and will be releasing a paper on the issue shortly, Chairman Jerome Powell said Wednesday. No decision has been made on the matter yet, he added, and said the Fed does not feel pressured to do something quickly as other nations move forward with their own projects. "I think it's important that we get to a place where we can make an informed decision about this and do so expeditiously," Powell said at his post-meeting news conference. "I don't think we're behind. I think it's more important to do this right than to do it fast." Powell added that the Fed is "working proactively to evaluate whether to issue a CBDC, and if so in what form."

The Boston Fed has taken point on the project, joining with MIT in an initiative on whether the central bank should establish its own digital coin targeted at making the payments system more effective. Fed Governor Lael Brainard has been a strong advocate of the effort, though several other officials, including Vice Chair for Supervision Randal Quarles, have cast doubts. Advocates such as Brainard say a central bank digital currency's benefits include getting payments quickly to people in times of crisis and also providing services to the unbanked. "We think it's really important that the central bank maintain a stable currency and payments system for the public's benefit. That's one of our jobs," he said. He noted the "transformational innovation" in the area of digital payments and said the Fed is continuing to do work on the matter, including its own FedNow system expected to go online in 2023. The test for a CBDC, he said, is "are there clear and tangible benefits that outweigh any costs and risks."

Some concerns even have been raised that if the Fed does not act more aggressively, the dollar's position as the global reserve currency could be challenged. Powell noted the dollar's position in the world and said the Fed is "in a good place" to make a decision on whether to implement its own digital currency. He expressed some concern about the regulatory landscape and said the Fed likely will need congressional permission should it decide to proceed. "Where the public's money is concerned, we need to make sure that appropriate regulatory protections are in place, and today there really are not in some cases," Powell said.

We're not behind

By phantomfive • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

"I don't think we're behind. I think it's more important to do this right than to do it fast."

I think at this point, being behind is being ahead.
It's more important to not issue a digital currency right now.

Not to be pedantic, but

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

Aren't all of the world's currencies digital these days? I mean most people don't have paper money under their mattress or in a vault at the bank anymore, and most transactions don't involve transferring wads of cash in armored trucks. It's all number stored somewhere, added and substracted in sync between networked computers.

I assume they mean cryptocurrency, which leave me wondering why on Earth the Fed wants a distributed ledger, since they're the center of the current centralized financial system and they already own the current centralized ledger.

I can only assume they feel the need to get onboard the cryptocurrency bullshit train to nip all the ones they don't control / regulate in the bud.

Trying to muddy the water.

By BlueCoder • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

The point of crypto is to keep it out of the control of any government or any other power. It's designed so that if you wanted to destroy a crypto you would have to invest so much that once you had control you would only be burning your own money if you tried to sabotage it. From the start it has a built in inflation rate as well a presumed expectation of people loosing their passwords. Governments can't control a crypto currency unless it's designed for them to control which would make it the equivalent of cash so why even bother except it would be digital transactions which could be more easily tracked by computers.

I don't get why people even bother with bitcoin as there are more private coins out there. I think the more tracked ecoins out there the more governments hope you trip up and associate accounts by accident. It's the same theme as why governments don't want people to get in the habbit of encrypting all their communications and using good crypto hygiene.

Apple CEO Tim Cook in Leaked Memo: 'We Are Doing Everything in Our Power' To Identify Leakers

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Apple CEO Tim Cook has warned employees about leaking company information. Cook's memo: Dear Team,

It was great to connect with you at the global employee meeting on Friday. There was much to celebrate, from our remarkable new product line-up to our values driven work around climate change, racial equity, and privacy. It was a good opportunity to reflect on our many accomplishments and to have a discussion about what's been on your mind.

I'm writing today because I've heard from so many of you were incredibly frustrated to see the contents of the meeting leak to reporters. This comes after a product launch in which most of the details of our announcements were also leaked to the press.

I want you to know that I share your frustration. These opportunities to connect as a team are really important. But they only work if we can trust that the content will stay within Apple. I want to reassure you that we are doing everything in our power to identify those who leaked. As you know, we do not tolerate disclosures of confidential information, whether it's product IP or the details of a confidential meeting. We know that the leakers constitute a small number of people. We also know that people who leak confidential information do not belong here.

As we look forward, I want to thank you for all you've done to make our products a reality and all you will do to get them into customers' hands. Yesterday we released iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and watchOS 8, and Friday marks the moment when we share some of our incredible new products with the world. There's nothing better than that. We'll continue to measure our contributions in the lives we change, the connections we foster, and the work we do to leave the world a better place.

Wow, oh wow

By • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
They really think devices for people leave a better world.

I have an apple device, don't get me wrong, and it works, so thanks Apple, good job, well done, thanks again

But a better world means something completely different entirely.

Careful what you paste

By slack_justyb • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

I'd be careful about wholesale copy+paste of any email. People who they think are leaking they add to a different BCC list than everyone else. And sometimes it's multiple BCC lists. Small difference in the email indicate which BCC list leaked. Like changing "It was great to connect with you" to "I want you to know it was great to connect with you" and "I felt that it was great to connect with you". And so on. Once they see the copy+paste text, they start getting a better idea of who is doing the leaking.


By sjames • Score: 3 • Thread

There is now exclusive footage of the investigation.

Re:Boo freakin' hoo

By istartedi • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

I hate to defend Apple, but not divulging internal company documents, and being subject to termination and perhaps even getting sued for it is SOP. Heck, when I was a friggin' delivery driver before I got my degree, we had a guy abscond with the client list and take it to another company. I don't think he got sued but it was obviously a "last day" move. After that I have no idea what happened to him, but I have a feeling it wasn't really all that great at the new company for him. After all, "he did it to them, he'd do it to us."

So anyway, it's not like they're selling missile plans to the USSR, but it's also not something you do if you want to sleep well and continue your career.

Apple isn't doing anything any other normal company would do in this situation, and I don't blame them one bit.

Re:Wow, oh wow

By ShanghaiBill • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Are you trying to argue that correlation is causation?

Prosperity follows cell phone adoption. So cell phones appear to cause prosperity more than the other way around.

Some countries with autocratic regimes that banned or restricted cell phones experienced significant economic growth when policies were liberalized.

There are obvious mechanisms for the causation. Farmers can see crop prices online, chose what to plant more wisely, and demand better prices from wholesalers. Families can access health information. Since most online information is textual, there are obvious benefits to literacy, so families send their kids to school.

Cell Phones Linked to Literacy, Prosperity

How the Smartphone has Impacted Economic Development

Microsoft Debuts Surface Duo 2 Dual-Screen Android Phone With Larger Displays and 5G

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
At Microsoft's Surface event today, the company announced its Surface Duo 2 dual-screen Android smartphone, featuring a trio of new cameras, a faster processor, larger displays, and support for 5G. The company also unveiled a successor to the Surface Book line of laptops, the Surface Laptop Studio, as well as the Surface Pro 8. From a report: The first-generation of the Duo made a splash thanks to its unique design. While the original Duo had no exterior screen at all, the Duo 2 now has a sliver of screen called the Glance Bar that peeks out from where its displays come together and provides you with the time and notifications when the Duo is closed. Microsoft has seemingly addressed a number of the original Duo's shortcomings with its Duo 2. One of the biggest issues with the first-generation version was its lack of any truly capable camera. [...] This time around, Microsoft has outfitted the Surface Duo 2 with a trio of external cameras. Like Apple's iPhone and Samsung's Galaxy line of smartphones, the Duo 2 gets a wide-angle camera, an ultra-wide angle camera, and a telephoto camera. There's also a dedicated night photography mode, 2x optical zoom with the telephoto lens, and the ability to record 4K video at 60 frames per second.

As for the occasionally sluggish performance, the Duo 2 should have that sorted out. This time around, Microsoft has dropped Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon 888 processor into the Duo 2, which means the phone should run as smoothly and quickly as any of the leading smartphones on the market. What's more, the Duo 2 gets 8GB of RAM and 128GB, 256GB, or 512GB of storage. On top of that, the Surface Duo 2 gets 5G connectivity, something that was conspicuously absent from the first-generation Duo.

The Duo 2 also gets two larger displays this time around. Rather than two 5.1-inch panels, the Duo 2 gets two 5.3-inch screens that open up to an 8.3-inch display that you can use to move your apps across or as a single canvas for more expansive apps. [...] The gist of the Surface Duo 2 is that two screens are better than one. To that end, Microsoft has combined two panels with a hinge to make an Android-powered device that lets you not only use both displays at the same time, but also seamlessly move apps and content between them. That capability will cost you a pricey $1,499 when the Duo 2 hits store shelves. It's available for pre-order today.


By jsicolo • Score: 3 • Thread

Sharing a (failed) product I once worked on

By OrangeTide • Score: 3 • Thread

A dual-screen tablet powered by Tegra. Screens were multitouch and pen, so you could highlight books or take notes with either hand. Could fold and unfold a full 360 degree. Of course the Kno's screen are 14 inch and the whole apparatus was quite heavy. And even if we made it to market (just barely), I think Microsoft was the wiser one at the time to have killed off their dual-screen Courier.

So I have to ask: what's changed between 2011 and 2021 ? Why was a dual screen not viable then, but now a room full of people making six and seven figures at Microsoft think this is a good idea?

Facebook Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer To Step Down

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Facebook Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer, a 13-year veteran who oversees the social network's work in artificial intelligence, virtual reality and the blockchain, will step down next year. From a report: Another longtime Facebook executive, Andrew Bosworth, will take over as CTO, according to an internal message on Wednesday from Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg. Schroepfer's move marks the most significant departure from the company in years and follows the recent exits of several other top executives. Known as "Schrep," Schroepfer joined Facebook in 2008 and has been CTO since 2013, reporting to Zuckerberg. He sits atop many of Facebook's most ambitious organizations -- including groups that the social network is depending on for future growth -- such as engineering, infrastructure, augmented reality and VR, and the blockchain and finance unit. His desk sits next to Zuckerberg's and operating chief Sheryl Sandberg's at Facebook headquarters.

YouTube Tests Video Downloads for Your Desktop Browser

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
YouTube is testing an official way to download videos on your desktop web browser. From a report: If you want to see if you're eligible for the test, which runs through October 19th, check out YouTube's experimental features page, which lists tests available for Premium subscribers. If you're opted-in and on a supported browser ("the latest versions of Chrome, Edge, or Opera," according to Google), when you're watching a video, you should see an option to download the video under the player. When you click it, YouTube will download the video, which you can then watch from the Downloads section that's accessible from the hamburger menu on the left side of the screen.

What is there to "test"?

By Joce640k • Score: 3 • Thread

What is there to "test"?

They provide us we a download link, we click it, the file downloads.


This is not a true download

By ZorinLynx • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

This is only downloading the video to your browser's local storage. You can still only view it on YouTube's site, and if the video is taken down on YT you can't watch it anymore.

A true download would be an actual file that you can keep and view outside YouTube. But of course they'd never make that available because downloading your own copy of things is verboten on the modern streaming Internet.

Of course there's plenty of third-party tools to download YouTube videos. Remember, if you like it, download it. If you've been on YouTube a while and look at your favorites list there's a good chance much of the older stuff is already gone.

Re:This is not a true download

By TheGratefulNet • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

youtube-dl is the tool to use.

do not trust the network. the network is not your friend.

local storage FTW.


By MikeDataLink • Score: 3 • Thread

This is not a download! This just adds it to a local cache inside your browsers temporary files. Allows you to watch offline just like Netflix save.

But you have no access to the file or to save it or copy it anywhere else.

Great for flaky internet connections

By williamyf • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Be it in rural parts of the USoA and europe, or third world countries like mine.

An official way to "download now-watch latter" videos in youtube, amazon, Crackle, Plex, plutoTV, animeonegay or crunchyroll would be fantastic.

Hope this experiment is sucessfull, so it catches on to sites beyond youtube and browsers beyond chrome

PS: Yes, I am well aware of alternatives, like Youtube-dl or video download helper, but the non-technical people would be better served by an officially sanctioned option.

Google Finally Shifting To 'Upstream First' Linux Kernel Approach For Android Features

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Phoronix reports: Google's Android had been notorious for all of its downstream patches carried by the mobile operating system as well as various vendor/device kernel trees while in recent years more of that code has been upstreamed. Google has also been shifting to the Android Generic Kernel Image (GKI) as the basis for all their product kernels to further reduce the fragmentation. Looking ahead, Google is now talking of an "upstream first" approach for pushing new kernel features into mainline Linux before deploying them on Android. Google's Todd Kjos talked today during Linux Plumbers Conference (LPC2021) around their Generic Kernel Image initiative. With Android 12 and their Linux 5.10 based GKI image they have further cut down the fragmentation to the extent that it's "nearly eliminated."

With the Android 12 GKI, most of the vendor/OEM kernel features have now either been upstreamed into the Linux kernel, isolated to vendor modules/hooks, or merged into the Android Common Kernel. They are making good progress on the GKI front and also ensuring vendors adapt to the new approach to cut down on the kernel mess. But perhaps most exciting is their outlook for 2023 to 2024 for further reducing technical debt. They are going to pursue an "upstream first development model for new features" in making sure new code first lands into the mainline Linux kernel rather than aiming straight for lodging within the Android source tree.

Take the power away from the vendors

By klipclop • Score: 3 • Thread
Hopefully Google can figure out how to do this while taking away the keys from hw vendors. The only input vendors should have is when they internally test updates before pushing it downstream to the end user devices. Kinda ridiculous Google is more than a decade into Android and just being developed.

Upstream is the only way

By orbitalia • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

I have just come out of working with Android Automotive for the last 6 years and being the first to deploy it in a real car (whilst also working on lots of other very large OSS platforms previously)
Upstream is the only way, our SOC vendor was having to manage 500+ patches against android and linux which was an awful lot to manage everytime upstream changed.
I see the price of being able to use OSS is to be a good citizen and upstream those patches you have which will also benefit your by reducing your maintenance burden, and as stated in the article keep down fragmentation.

That said, Android will be changing to Fuchsia soon right so Linux will be a dead end for Android soon.

UK Publishes 10-Year Plan To Become 'AI Superpower,' Seeking To Rival US and China

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
New submitter iarlakd writes: The U.K. government on Wednesday released its 10-year plan to make the country a global "artificial intelligence superpower," seeking to rival the likes of the U.S. and China. The so-called "National Artificial Intelligence Strategy" is designed to boost the use of AI among the nation's businesses, attract international investment into British AI companies and develop the next generation of homegrown tech talent. "Today we're laying the foundations for the next ten years' growth with a strategy to help us seize the potential of artificial intelligence and play a leading role in shaping the way the world governs it," Chris Philp, a minister of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, said in a statement. The National AI Strategy includes a number of programs, reports and initiatives. Among them, a new National AI Research and Innovation program will be launched as part of an effort to improve coordination and collaboration between the country's researchers. Elsewhere, another program will specifically aim to support AI development outside London and Southeast England, where much of the nation's AI efforts are currently concentrated.

They could start by

By Revek • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
Putting food on the table for its citizens.

The current bunch of numpties

By John Allsup • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Can't even deliver food on the shelves at the moment. They (current UK govt) are good at making promises, and bad at fulfilling them.

The UK is going to suffer from 10 years

By thegarbz • Score: 3 • Thread

of economic chaos. Right now there are supply problems for all products and materials. Food is rotting in farms, industry is failing to get materials, store shelves are empty, companies are shutting down under the weight of decimated export income, and their big saving grace of being a "global UK" and making trade deals with the world has resulted in them getting screwed by every country they've attempted to partner with and their two saving graces are a country that this week showed no interest in them (the USA), and a trading block curiously around the Pacific Ocean, which is no where near the UK.

AI you say? Sure why not. Nothing else has worked.

it'll all be fine

By SkonkersBeDonkers • Score: 3 • Thread

I mean it's not like the UK/British Empire has ever done anything that serves their imperialistic desires and ended up plunging the world into global conflict, right?


By youngone • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
The UK is run by a bunch of public school idiots who only have rhetoric because they have no real clue about anything.

Let's Encrypt's Root Certificate is About To Expire, and It Might Break Your Devices

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
One of the largest providers of HTTPS certificates, Let's Encrypt, will stop using an older root certificate next week -- meaning you might need to upgrade your devices to prevent them from breaking. From a report: Let's Encrypt, a free-to-use nonprofit, issues certificates that encrypt the connections between your devices and the wider internet, ensuring that nobody can intercept and steal your data in transit. Millions of websites alone rely on Let's Encrypt.

But, as warned by security researcher Scott Helme, the root certificate that Let's Encrypt currently uses -- the IdentTrust DST Root CA X3 -- will expire on September 30. After this, computers, devices and web clients -- such as browsers -- will no longer trust certificates that have been issued by this certificate authority. For the overwhelming majority of website users, there is nothing to worry about and September 30 will be business as usual. Older devices, however, could run into some trouble, much like they did when the AddTrust External CA Root expired back in May. Stripe, Red Hat and Roku all suffered outages as a result.

TLS is a timebomb

By narcc • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Some older devices can be easily updated, but far too many can't or can't without involving the vendor.

Just one more thing to consider when thinking about 'right to repair'...

Re:TLS is a timebomb

By ChrisC1234 • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Also another downside to the idea of "encrypt everything".

No one has told me why I should trust Any Cert?

By jellomizer • Score: 3 • Thread

Back in the olden days, getting a Cert was a few hundred bucks, but it also came with a lot of work where they actually verified that you were who you said you were.
They have gotten lax over the times, so a Cert from an authority can be just as much as a scam, as a Self made Cert. As well a Self made Cert doesn't make the encryption any less effective.

It is somewhat useful with a man in the middle type of hack, however that makes a very detailed type of hack, wither even a cert may fail if the order of operations don't go exactly as planned.

Re:TLS is a timebomb

By bws111 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Certificates do not provide encryption. What they do is provide a method of saying that the server you just connected to has a private key which someone you supposedly trust (the CA) says belongs to that server. If you don't verify that connection, it doesn't matter how strong encryption you use, because whatever you connected to can decrypt the traffic.

Yes, you could use something like a QR code to enter that information into your device. But how do you know the QR code itself is authentic? Even if you do use something like a QR code, that would probably at most be providing the 'root' certificate of your bank's own CA. Your bank isn't going to be giving you QR codes for every one of the dozens or hundreds of servers you might connect to when you go to ''. All you've done is replaced a few trusted CAs with potentially very many CAs, depending on how many sites you connect to. And, to top it off, you get to manage all that instead of your browser provider.

Somewhere along the line you have to trust something. Sure, you may trust a QR code you get from your bank, but what about all the other places you want to securely connect to? How do you manage all that stuff (on every device you have)? How do you make sure you (and everyone else) delete something that is no longer valid (maybe your banks private key was compromised somehow)?

CAs are a tradeoff. No, they don't provide perfect verification. But they are easy to use, and the average person doesn't have to do anything to benefit from the verification they provide.