the unofficial Slashdot digest archive

Scientists Create Smart Labels To Tell You When To Throw Away Expired Food and Makeup

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
At the 254th National Meeting and Exposition of the American Chemical Society, researchers are presenting a low-cost, portable, paper-based sensor that can let you know when to toss food and cosmetics. The sensor can detect antioxidants in tea and wine, and be used to explore remote locations, such as the Amazon rainforest, in search of natural sources of antioxidants. "I've always been interested in developing technologies that are accessible to both industry and the general population," Silvana Andreescu, Ph.D., says. "My lab has built a versatile sensing platform that incorporates all the needed reagents for detection in a piece of paper. At the same time, it is adaptable to different targets, including food contaminants, antioxidants and free radicals that indicate spoilage." Phys.Org reports: What sets Andreescu's sensors apart from others, she says, are the nanostructures they use to catch and bind to compounds they're looking for. "Most people working on similar sensors use solutions that migrate on channels," Andreescu says. "We use stable, inorganic particles that are redox active. When they interact with the substances we want to detect, they change color, and the intensity of the change tells us how concentrated the analyte is." Additionally, because all of the reagents needed to operate the device are incorporated in the paper, users don't need to add anything other than the sample being tested. The American Chemical Society has published a video detailing the sensor. Their paper has been published in the journal Analyst.

And then, we could just have an expiry date....

By gweihir • Score: 3 • Thread

But apparently, we are now preparing for a population that becomes illiterate. Sure, expiry dates have some leeway, but people figure these out. Also, sensors can only tell when it is already bad and standard human sensors do a pretty good job of that as well.

Sounds like yet another product that nobody needs and that will just serve to create more garbage.

What about a sensor clothing?

By ClickOnThis • Score: 3 • Thread

They should put expiration dates on clothing so we men will know when they go out of style. -- Garry Shandling

Or maybe when they need laundering? :-J

Leading Chinese Bitcoin Miner Wants To Cash In On AI

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
hackingbear writes: Bitmain, the most influential company in the bitcoin economy by the sheer amount of processing power, or hash rate, that it controls, plans to unleash its bitcoin mining ASIC technology to AI applications. The company designed a new deep learning processor Sophon, named after a alien-made, proton-sized supercomputer in China's seminal science-fiction novel, The Three-Body Problem . The idea is to etch in silicon in some of the most common deep learning algorithms, thus greatly boosting efficiency. Users will be able to apply their own datasets and build their own models on these ASICs, allowing the resulting neural networks to generate results and learn from those results at a far quicker pace. The company hopes that thousands of Bitmain Sophon units soon could be training neural networks in vast data centers around the world.

Is it just me

By gweihir • Score: 3 • Thread

Or did anybody else find "The Three-Body Problem" pretty much unreadable? Maybe I just have the wrong cultural background to understand it.

Microsoft Outlines the Upgrade Procedures For Xbox One X

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: The easiest way to get all your games to the new system, as outlined by Microsoft Vice President Mike Ybarra, will be to just put them on an external USB hard drive and then plug that drive into the new console. "All your games are ready to play" immediately after this external hard drive move, he said, and user-specific settings can also be copied via external hard drive in the same way. If you don't have an external drive handy, "we're going to let you copy games and apps off your home network instead of having to manually move them or redownload them off the Internet," Ybarra said. It's unclear right now if Microsoft will mirror the PS4 Pro and allow this kind of system-to-system transfer using an Ethernet cable plugged directly into both consoles. For those who want to see as many pixels as possible as quickly as possible when they get their Xbox One X, Ybarra says you'll be able to download 4K updates for supported games before the Xbox One X is even available, then use those updates immediately after the system transfer. Microsoft also released a list of 118 current and upcoming games that will be optimized for the Xbox One X via updates, a big increase from the few dozens announced back at E3.

Xbox One X

By bigdavex • Score: 3 • Thread

What is that, 19 in pig Latin numerals?

Two Smart Moves

By LeftCoastThinker • Score: 3 • Thread

Two smart moves:

1. Make it easy for your customers to upgrade.

2. Don't bog down your gaming network as 20M users all try to re-download 5TB worth of games for their new system.

I own every system since the Atari 2600, but I have been primarily using my PS4 this generation, while I used my 360 primarily last generation. Microsoft made some huge miscalculations with the Xbone and I held off buying it for several years, and since it doesn't have many exclusives, it is mainly a pass through and 360 game player. Hopefully this is more indication of putting the customer first and giving gamers what gamers want first and foremost.

Sony could learn a thing or two in this regard, as well as backwards comparability so that the customer doesn't feel ripped off buying the same game twice...

Android O Is Now Officially Android Oreo

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Android O is now officially going by the name of Android Oreo. The operating system is available today via Google's Android Open Source Project. OTA rollout is expected to arrive first to Pixel and Nexus devices, with builds currently in carrier testing. The Verge reports: The use of an existing brand makes sense for Google here -- there aren't a ton of good "O" dessert foods out there, and Oreos are pretty much as universally beloved as a cookie can be. There's also precedent for the partnership, as Google had previously teamed up with Nestle and Hershey's to call Android 4.4 KitKat.

Hoped against hope

By puddingebola • Score: 3 • Thread
Hoped they'd go with Orangutan feces, but that's just me.

waiting for it....

By ganjadude • Score: 3 • Thread
thats racist!!!!

Does the World Need Polymaths?

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Two hundred years ago, it was still possible for one person to be a leader in several different fields of inquiry. Today that is no longer the case. So is there a role in today's world for the polymath -- someone who knows a lot about a lot of things? From a report: Bobby Seagull's fist-pumping and natty dressing, and Eric Monkman's furrowed brow, flashing teeth, contorted facial expressions and vocal delivery -- like a fog horn with a hangover -- made these two young men the stars of the last University Challenge competition. [...] They're still recognised in the street. "People often ask me, do you intimidate people with your knowledge," says Monkman. "But the opposite is the case. I have wide knowledge but no deep expertise. I am intimidated by experts." Seagull, like Monkman, feels an intense pressure to specialise. They regard themselves as Jacks-of-all-Trades, without being master of one. "When I was young what I really wanted to do was know a lot about a lot," says Monkman. "Now I feel that if I want to make a novel contribution to society I need to know a great deal about one tiny thing." The belief that researchers need to specialise goes back at least two centuries. From the beginning of the 19th Century, research has primarily been the preserve of universities. Ever since, says Stefan Collini, Professor of Intellectual History and English Literature at Cambridge University, researchers have labels attached to them. "They're professor of this or that, and you get a much more self-conscious sense of the institutional divides between domains of knowledge."

Re:Yes, of course.

By rickb928 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Hm. Most of the STEM graduates I know are fascinating peoplw, creative problem solvers and artists in their media, be it metals, glass, electronics, plastics, whatever.

Most of the liberal arts majors I know are self absorbed know-it-alls, unable to look past their own interests.

But that's just my experience.

Define "Liberal Arts"

By s.petry • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

I majored in Math and Minored in Philosophy, at first. I ended up taking more Philosophy than I did Math and getting 2 degrees. Liberal Arts has morphed into something else today though. You can get a Liberal Arts degree without ever taking Ethics, Logic, or even more than an "Intro" class to Philosophy at most schools.

Re:Jacks-of-all-Trades original quotation

By ShanghaiBill • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

The most valuable people often have deep expertise in TWO fields, so you can apply the knowledge of one to the other. For instance, if you are very knowledgeable about both GPU programming and fluid dynamics, you are going to make a lot of money.

I struggle with this...

By friedmud • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

I'm in my 30s and have already had a large amount of success by having a little bit of math, computer science and engineering knowledge. I've received many awards for my work (even one from President Obama at the White House)... but I'm incredibly intimidated by my peers who all specialized in either math OR computer science OR engineering. While I'm always able to put the pieces together in a novel way... which solves interesting problems... I always feel out of my depth when it comes to conversation.

I'm currently back at school doing a PhD in yet another interdisciplinary field: Computational Science and Engineering. But this time I'm specializing in applying it to nuclear energy production. It feels good to specialize a bit and really learn something about _one_ field in particular. I still won't be the world's greatest nuclear engineer... but at least I can hold my own in conversations now.

In addition to just feeling like I don't know much I must admit that publishing is always difficult. Journals tend to be very specialized and deciding where to send my papers or even what audience to target can be tough.

That said: there are not too many generalists out there, so I know that my interdisciplinary skillset will always be valuable... you just have to push past that feeling of knowing "nothing"

Re:Jacks-of-all-Trades original quotation

By networkBoy • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

MBA / EE is a killer combo.
JD / EE is another one.

Meeting and Hotel Booking Provider's Data Found in Public Amazon S3 Bucket

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Leaks of personal and business information from unsecured Amazon S3 buckets are piling up. From a report: The latest belongs to Groupize, a Boston-area business that sells tools to manage small group meetings as well as a booking engine that handles hotel room-block reservations. Researchers at Kromtech Security found a publicly accessible bucket containing business and personal data, including contracts and agreements between hotels, customers and Groupize, Kromtech said. The data included some credit card payment authorization forms that contained full payment card information including expiration data and CVV code. The researchers said the database stored in S3 contained numerous folders, below; one called "documents" held close to 3,000 scanned contracts and agreements, while another called all_leads had more than 3,100 spreadsheets containing critical Groupize business data including earnings. There were 37 other folders in the bucket containing tens of thousands of files, most of them storing much more benign data.

Internet usage needs to be licensed.

By Nutria • Score: 3 • Thread

Not just that, but a license to manage every server you manage and/or create. It sure would cut down on stuff like this and IoT issues.

(Except that I'm certain that MSFT would use that as a technique for not licensing OSX and Linux users.)

Cord-Cutting Still Doesn't Beat the Cable Bundle

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
I'd like to cut the cord, writes Brian Barrett for Wired, then, the very instant I allow myself to picture what life looks like after that figurative snip, my reverie comes crashing down. From an article: Cutting the cord is absolutely right for some people. Lots of people, maybe. But it's not that cheap, and it's not that easy, and there's not much hope of improvement on either front any time soon. Not to turn this into a math experiment, but let's consider cost. Assuming you're looking for a cord replacement, not abandoning live television altogether, you're going to need a service that bundles together a handful of channels and blips them to your house over the internet. The cheapest way you can accomplish this is to pay Sling TV $20 per month, for which you get 29 channels. That sounds not so bad, and certainly less than your cable bill. But! Sling Orange limits you to a single stream. If you're in a household with others, you'll probably want Sling Blue, which offers multiple streams and 43 channels for $25 per month. But! Sling Orange and Sling Blue have different channel lineups (ESPN is on Orange, not Blue, while Orange lacks FX, Bravo and any locals). For full coverage, you can subscribe to both for $40. But! Have kids? You'll want the Kids Extra package for another $5 per month. Love ESPNU? Grab that $5 per month sports package. HBO? $15 per month, please. Presto, you're up to $65 per month. But! Don't forget the extra $5 for a cloud-based DVR. Plus the high-speed internet service that you need to keep your stream from buffering, which, by the way, it'll do anyway. That's not to pick on Sling TV, specifically. But paying $70 to quit cable feels like smoking a pack of Parliaments to quit Marlboro Lights. You run into similar situations across the board, whether it's a higher base rate, or a limited premium selection, or the absence of local programming altogether. It turns out, oddly enough, that things cost money, whether you access those things through traditional cable packages or through a modem provided to you by a traditional cable operator.

Re:Not a valid comparison

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

You can actually, you know, go outside if you're bored.

No, thank you.

I decided to finally try that, earlier today. I stepped outside, but the sun got really dark... it was pretty scary. It was obviously a sign I should hightail it back to the safety of my couch.

Re:Antenna is cheaper

By slashdot_commentator • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Any TV manufacturer that advertises a television flat screen will include an ATSC tuner; that is required by federal advertising laws.

A flat screen that does not have a built in ATSC tuner is a monitor or flat screen. They can be used to view "TV" programs, but that does not let vendors advertise them as TVs.

I cut the cord years ago

By pecosdave • Score: 3 • Thread

with the exception of one TV show that pre-dated my cord cutting. South Park. Long story short if you give up watching TV cord cutting is effective.

The only streaming service I had for quite a while was Amazon, not that I used it often, but because it came with Prime which I had for shipping. Technically during that era I had a dozen or so TV channels with the absolute bare minimum cable that came with the Internet connection, but considering I didn't even have the cable box plugged in most of the I didn't count it. I think half of those channels were in languages I didn't speak.

Then I got married. My wife brought her Netflix account along and South Park now requires Hulu to watch properly, all in all I've given a lot of time to evaluating the various streaming services over the past few years. That, and I'm watching TV shows again. My findings:

1. Netflix is where it is at. The best software for game consoles, the best interface, the best in reliability, and a great selection and the best originals.

2. Hulu is a reasonable substitute with a few alright original shows. They pissed me off early on because nearly everything I wanted to watch gave me a message about not being able to use my TV to watch it and they had commercials even if you paid. Those issues are a thing of the past, but I actually canceled my free trial account early over those issues early on. Again, my wife brought along an account so I gave it another shot. We got the more expensive no commercials tier which is now available and it's better than it was. We have problems with it dropping out occasionally like it just can't make due to lack of bandwidth. She likes to have Hulu around because apparently the best yoga videos are on there. We aren't paying for it right now - I think the plan is to pay for it during South Park season and let it go otherwise.

3. Amazon Prime. The interface is crappy - it's written for a 1080p widescreen and even if you're using an original Wii that didn't do 1080 or you're using a Playstation 3 in SD mode it is hard-coded to wide screen. You can't read hardly any of the text on an SD screen due to the crappy interface. Even when using a 1080 screen the interface - regardless of console - feels constrained and a little unintuitive. They have some reasonably good shows, not that I watch them. My coworkers have raved about how great The Man in the High Castle is. I'll go ahead and believe them, I don't have time for another show. That being said I'm going to make sure I watch The Tick. Their selection is reasonable at times, but feels lacking most of the time. The poor arrangement of their interface and their tactics of only giving one season free etc... Is all geared around getting you to shell out extra money. Used to all the Prime stuff was in one bucket, but they're beginning to introduce new buckets. Almost like they're cable and they want you to pay for the Horror channel now. I know for a fact some of the shows that were in the general bucket in the past were pulled out and put into the new specialized buckets. The juries still out on this being a good idea or not. I'm not messing with it for one, I can't stand using their software on my consoles because it's so crappy, I can't bring myself to care about their add-on buckets.

So, even though I don't give a rats ass about live TV at all I have lots of family that really wants local channels and channels in general. I've given a serious look at Playstation Vue but haven't subscribed, because as I said, I don't care about channels. I think if I were to have either of my parents/either of my parent in laws, or my grandmother move into me for whatever reason I would seriously consider at least giving Playstation Vue a go. It's cheaper than cable.

You're Doing It Wrong

By Bigjeff5 • Score: 3 • Thread

If what you want is cable, get cable. Don't expect to be able to replace cable with "internet" cable and save money.

You cut the cable when you are no longer interested in very many TV shows, and cable no longer fits with your media consumption habits.

If you watch regular TV shows all the time, like ESPN, Bravo, FX, HBO, etc., then what you want is a cable package. That's what they excel at. Get a whole bunch of shows produced for the masses*, you're just not going to beat the mass market model that is cable TV.

However a lot of people no longer fit that mold. In my case for example, I have a ~$60 cable package for literally one show that my roommate likes to watch. He's moving out, so I'm dropping cable completely, because 99% of my media consumption has nothing at all to do with Hollywood. I'm only interested in a handful of shows, and I'm more likely to look up sports clips than I am to sit down and watch ESPN, so I can drop the $60 a month cable bill and just spend $100 a year on full seasons of shows I like instead. There just aren't that many of them.

But if my nightly habit were to sit down in front of a TV and watch a couple hours of TV, then cutting cable is almost certainly not going to be better in almost any way.

*I'm not disparaging shows produced for the masses. That's how they can afford to create large amounts of high quality content. It's just economics.

Article assumes too much

By Nick • Score: 3 • Thread
Cut the cord years ago. We use an antenna and receive about 60 channels. It was a $10 one-time investment. We recently discovered (a probably still ongoing) coupon code on Slick Deals last week for one month trial (auto-renew of course) DirectTV streaming service. We now have 70 live channels on that Roku app. We've watched it maybe three times in the week and just get entirely overwhelmed. Granted, we live in a large metropolitan area with lots of stations broadcasting nearby, and we only really watch the stations that play the "classic" TV shows (oldies and ones running during fellow Gen-Xers' childhoods) and mostly watch one of 5 PBS stations anyway. But still, looking at all these channels and knowing you can only watch one at a time seems like such a huge waste. This package would be like $80/month or so - no way we're going to let it auto-renew.

Driverless Cars Need a Lot More Than Software, Ford CTO Says

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
In an interview, Ken Washington, Ford's Chief Technical Officer, shared company's views on how autonomy will change car design. From an article: The biggest influence will be how the cars are bought, sold and used: "You would design those vehicles differently depending on what business model (is being used). We're working through that business model question right now," he said. The biggest misconceptions about autonomous capabilities is that it's only about software: "People are imagining that the act of doing software for autonomy is all you need to do and then you can just bolt it to the car," he said. "I don't think it's possible to describe what an autonomous vehicle is going to look like," he added.

Actually... you need both software and hardware.

By Mysticalfruit • Score: 3 • Thread
That lot more than software is hardware.

Re:Business model...

By clodney • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Shitty 'self driving cars' will fail spectacularly in the marketplace once people truly understand the reality of them: your real freedom taken away, as you're strapped into some machine that you have zero real control over.

I for one will be very happy to have a machine do the driving for me. I already use adaptive cruise control and traffic jam assist on my commute, and I would happily turn over the drudgery of driving to a machine. I derive no joy from driving, though I know many people who do, and I don't begrudge them that.

But I question the common perception that self driving cars are going to lead huge drops in car ownership. Right now my golf clubs and gym bag are in my car, and my sunglasses, and my bike rack, and my music collection. And compared to the amount of crap I see in other peoples vechicles, I am the model of tidiness. Music can migrate to my phone, and I can carry my sunglasses easily enough, but how do I call for a car that has a bike rack that fits a recumbent bike? I can take my golf clubs in an uber type car to work, then to the course, then back home, but that is a bunch of schlepping that is easier when I can just leave my clubs in the trunk. What about child seats? Will parents have to provide their own car seats, or count on calling a car that has one or more available?

None of these things is a showstopper, but if I am already spending money to own my car, why wouldn't I spend money to own my self driving car, that already has my stuff in it? I can see two car families turning into one car families, but I suspect many people will still want to own their own vehicle.

Re:The technology simply isn't safe enough yet

By green1 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

The guy who had "no fault of his own" drove his car in to the side of a semi-truck. That is the very definition of his fault. He didn't apply the brakes, didn't swerve, he drove straight in to the side of a truck.

And don't claim it was the car's fault. The car was not self driving, you can't buy a self driving car at this point, nobody claimed the car could drive itself, and he had to agree to, and ignore, many warnings that it could not before operating it.

In response to that incident, Musk did the horribly irresponsible, and illegal, thing, by reaching in to people's previously bought and paid for vehicles without their permission and removing functionality.

Musk never said that the system in place on that vehicle needed a few more tweaks to achieve self driving, he said that the system on that car was never meant for self driving, and never advertised as such. He also said that future models of the car would include self driving by using different hardware and software. That's not "minor tweaks"

Of course that said, the system on that "insanely dangerous" vehicle, is already several times safer than your average driver, so even that would be a step in the right direction.

Unfortunately idiots like you are costing people lives every day by holding back these sorts of advances because people die (even if fewer than would die without them) And worse yet, people like Elon are listening to idiots like you and doing stupid things in response to make their products more dangerous than they were before stupid people complained.

Re:maybe not a Ford vehicle

By green1 • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

If you take a model S, and add cross traffic and rear radars, it will have the hardware to be 100% self driving. (Don't believe Tesla when they take your money for "full self driving" without those basic necessities, they're flat out lying as they have done so often in the past)

Beyond that though, there's a LOT of software work to be done, and I really don't know how far away that is. There are just so many edge cases in driving that I'm not confident that we'll get to 100% self driving with zero driver input under any circumstances for a very long time (and that's what you need if you want to get out of the car at work and send the car to pick your kid up at school without you)

Ford though is talking about the next stage, once self driving is around, you won't want what the Model S offers. sitting facing forward with a steering wheel in your lap and with the primary entertainment display off to the side and out of your line of sight will be awkward and unnecessary. Thing is, that's talking about what a self driving car CAN be, not what a self driving car MUST be, these are 2 very different things, and I don't think Ford understands that. Too many people think that you must have complete revolution, instead of simple evolution. The first fully self driving cars will be just like today's cars, but with radar, lidar, and cameras mounted on them, plus some pretty powerful computers and software. They'll evolve from there to include more vehicle to vehicle communication, and to change the interior away from a driving focus, and towards an entertainment focus, but none of that will happen instantly, nor does it need to.

The people who expect a full self driving revolution don't tend to be happy with the slow evolution that actually could get us there, and therefore these people are holding back progress.

Re:Does anybody remember the Pinto?

By brianerst • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

That's not actually the whole story. Ford had written a cost-benefit analysis of changing fuel systems across all cars, not just Pintos, as part of a presentation to NHTSA about moving to a 30mph fixed-barrier standard. The standards were rapidly shifting during the development of the Pinto - there was no rear-collision standard at all when the design began and the original proposal was a 20 mph moving-barrier standard, which Ford supported and designed the Pinto around.

The NHTSA then solicited opinions on a future change to a 30mph fixed-barrier standard, which was the reason Ford provided that analysis. The Pinto was one of dozens of vehicles which would be affected by such a change. Mother Jones magazine got the report and turned it into a series of stories about the Pinto being a death trap. The NHTSA then tested the Pinto using non-standard methods (different levels of gasoline, the use of a "bullet" car instead of a barrier that was designed to ram under the gas tank, and a 35mph speed that had never been discussed). Based on a set of tests that were designed specifically to cause a gas leak and exceeded any standards even being discussed, the car was recalled.

Pretty much any station wagon or hatchback of the era would have failed that test. I'm glad that we now have even more stringent tests but it's clear that this was a rigged test and a media generated controversy rather than specifically nefarious company wrongdoing. Every applicable standard of the time was met - it just couldn't pass a test specifically designed to make it fail.

Supreme Court Asked To Nullify the Google Trademark

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Is the term "google" too generic and therefore unworthy of its trademark protection? That's the question before the US Supreme Court. From a report: What's before the Supreme Court is a trademark lawsuit that Google already defeated in a lower court. The lawsuit claims that Google should no longer be trademarked because the word "google" is synonymous to the public with the term "search the Internet." "There is no single word other than google that conveys the action of searching the Internet using any search engine," according to the petition to the Supreme Court. It's perhaps one of the most consequential trademark case before the justices since they ruled in June that offensive trademarks must be allowed. The Google trademark dispute dates to 2012 when a man named Chris Gillespie registered 763 domain names that combined "google" with other words and phrase, including ""

I prefer to use...

By 93 Escort Wagon • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

The privacy-preserving search engine, DuckDuckGoogle.

this seems a little circular

By argStyopa • Score: 3 • Thread

Google - by itself, as a word - implies nothing about internet search.
Ostensibly, it's a number ( in fact it's a homonym of googol, coined to mean 10^100).

If the summary is correct, essentially they're arguing that Google's market success means they lose their trademark ala generification like kleenex, xerox, etc. But it doesn't make any sense at all to assert "There is no single word other than google that conveys the action of searching the Internet using any search engine" without intrinsically crediting the entity Google with the credit for it meaning that.

It seems like a pretty arbitrary taking to simply de-list their owned trademark by government fiat, PARTICULARLY when it's not like they're abusing it.

Dan Parisi Defense

By t0qer • Score: 3 • Thread

We used to love Dan Pirisi here on slashdot. The guy made a habit out of registering things he didn't like with "Sucks" at the end of it.

His case was hard fought and he won with the defense of registering a domain name with "sucks" in it is a criticism of the companies being featured. Good story from the early days of slashdot/the internet.

Coke, Dumpster, Escalator, Kerosene

By OrangeTide • Score: 3 • Thread

So should Coca-cola Company lose their trademark because a bunch of Georgians erroneously call all soft drinks "coke" ?

Sure, sometimes trademarks become genericized. And sometimes the trademark is lost, and other times the courts decide that the trademarks are still valid. Usually the newer the trademark the less likely it is to be lost, probably because modern courts are corporation-friendly.


By dottrap • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

Good thing they changed their name to Alphabet. They'll never have any problems with that.

Intel Launches 8th Generation Core CPUs

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Reader joshtops writes: Today Intel is launching its new 8th Generation family of processors, starting with four CPUs for the 15W mobile family. There are two elements that make the launch of these 8th Gen processors different. First is that the 8th Gen is at a high enough level, running basically the same microarchitecture as the 7th Gen. But the key element is that, at the same price and power where a user would get a dual core i5-U or i7-U in their laptop, Intel will now be bumping those product lines up to quad-cores with hyperthreading. This gives a 100% gain in cores and 100% gain in threads. Obviously nothing is for free, so despite Intel stating that they've made minor tweaks to the microarchitecture and manufacturing to get better performing silicon, the base frequencies are down slightly. Turbo modes are still high, ensuring a similar user experience in most computing tasks. Memory support is similar -- DDR4 and LPDDR3 are supported, but not LPDDR4 -- although DDR4 moves up to DDR4-2400 from DDR4-2133. Another change from 7th Gen to 8th Gen will be in the graphics. Intel is upgrading the nomenclature of the integrated graphics from HD 620 to UHD 620, indicating that the silicon is suited for 4K playback and processing.

Flailing in failure.

By Gravis Zero • Score: 3, Funny • Thread

Intel has lost the crown for performance, never had the crown for being low power and has even discarded all attempt to enter the IoT market. It seems like all these releases are Intel's attempt at throwing everything at the wall and hoping something sticks. Meanwhile, I wonder how much cash they are doling out to prevent people from selling systems with AMD chips.

Re:So, in fewer words

By rock_climbing_guy • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
Amen to this. I remember years ago when AMD was considered a joke and they suddenly burst onto the scene with their "Athlon" line of processors.

Prior to this, Intel would charge north of $1000 for their top-of-the-line CPUs and AMD forced them to sell for more competitive prices.

Re:Lies, damn lies, and benchmarks

By alvinrod • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
On the other hand, the turbo is faster so unless you're really pegging that single core for a prolonged period of time, the new chip is going to have a small performance edge. Also, the bigger L3 cache will probably be helpful in certain applications.

Moore's Law over, according to Slashdot

By rbrander • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

"Obviously, nothing is free" [so speed had to go down to pay for other improvements].

I assure you, sir, that in the past, we got stuff for free all the time. Basically, every new generation had more complex circuitry (oh, man, that jump from 16-bit to 32!) with more instructions and a drop in cycles/operation, **A*N*D** the chip ran faster.

The curve has been bending for some time, of course - I read these things because I got a high-end i7 in 2013 that had come out in 2012, (i7-3930K CPU @ 3.20GHz) and I'm still not sure if I would *notice* the speedup if I bought a 2017 system to replace it. A gamer friend tells me I will notice, but only if I get the latest thing in RAM and the latest thing in SSD disks, each on the latest thing in buses. All of that together will not double the performance of my early-2013 purchase, and "double" used to be every couple of years.

But, anyway, it was that "of course" that got to me. It means that the psychology has changed; the lack of automatic silicon progress has been accepted at a deep level, and people are planning around an era of Limits To Growth. "Moores Law" as a *social* era, has ended. We no longer expect next year's progress to solve this year's problems. We'll have to make some Hard Choices, give up something, to solve a resource lack.


By XSportSeeker • Score: 3 • Thread

I honestly would've liked to see Intel keeping Atom development going to see next generations to Cherry Trail... low powered small PCs seemed to have a good future there if only Atom kept going for some more years. To Treat Online Abuse as Seriously as Hate Crime in Real Life

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
The UK's Crown Prosecution Service has pledged to tackle online abuse with the same seriousness as it does hate crimes committed in the flesh. From a report: Following public concern about the increasing amount of racist, anti-religious, homophobic and transphobic attacks on social media, the CPS has today published a new set of policy documents on hate crime. This includes revised legal guidance for prosecutors on how they should make decisions on criminal charges and handle cases in court. The rules officially put online abuse on the same level as offline hate crimes -- defined as an action motivated by hostility or prejudice -- like shouting abuse at someone face-to-face. They commit the CPS to prosecuting complaints about online material "with the same robust and proactive approach used with online offending." Prosecutors are told to consider the effect on the wider community and whether to identify both the originators and the "amplifiers or disseminators."

Re:Good, nazis need to pay

By Mashiki • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Nazi speech is not political, it is hate crime. And remember, while religions are protected - even muslim, yet, ISIS speech won't be protected.

And now we get to see how easy it is to label something a hate crime. "You said so." And now to restrict, to censor, to hide, to let it fester. To show people "yes, we really are being persecuted. Join us because we do have answers ye downtrodden!" Living in Canada and having seen "hate crime" law in action, where the CHRC(Canadian Human Rights Commission) manufactured evidence to go after political opponents, this is why the censoring of non-harmful speech is so dangerous. It's one of the reasons that Section 13 of the CHRC was revoked.

Re:Good, nazis need to pay

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Since when did being Neo-Nazi get downgraded to merely a "political opinion"?

Since the alt-left started calling people nazis over any deviation from feminism and identity politics.

Re:Good, nazis need to pay

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

That is total bullshit. No one is saying every Republican is a Nazi.

Sorry, you are being too reasonable.

Plenty of the "Alt-Left" on Twitter think all Republicans are Nazis - there is even a hash tag - #RepublicansAreNazis

And more besides the hash tag:

And a writer at The Guardian says Republicans do "the bidding of white supremacists"

So, QED, your statement is untrue. Plenty call *all* Republicans Nazis.

Re:Good, nazis need to pay

By Opportunist • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

When there is only two sides to choose from, and I don't want to choose the side that wants to silence those that disagree, you will end up with very, very odd bedfellows...

Re: Good, nazis need to pay

By mi • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

An imaginary group said all that, eh?

Let's play a game. You name a group and/or a prominent person, who did not endorse/vote for Hillary Clinton, and I'll find a group and/or a prominent person denouncing him/them as a "Nazi".

How the Voyager Golden Record Was Made

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Fascinating article on The New Yorker about how the Voyager Golden Record was made: The Voyagers' scientific mission will end when their plutonium-238 thermoelectric power generators fail, around the year 2030. After that, the two craft will drift endlessly among the stars of our galaxy -- unless someone or something encounters them someday. With this prospect in mind, each was fitted with a copy of what has come to be called the Golden Record. Etched in copper, plated with gold, and sealed in aluminum cases, the records are expected to remain intelligible for more than a billion years, making them the longest-lasting objects ever crafted by human hands. We don't know enough about extraterrestrial life, if it even exists, to state with any confidence whether the records will ever be found. They were a gift, proffered without hope of return. I became friends with Carl Sagan, the astronomer who oversaw the creation of the Golden Record, in 1972. He'd sometimes stop by my place in New York, a high-ceilinged West Side apartment perched up amid Norway maples like a tree house, and we'd listen to records. Lots of great music was being released in those days, and there was something fascinating about LP technology itself. A diamond danced along the undulations of a groove, vibrating an attached crystal, which generated a flow of electricity that was amplified and sent to the speakers. At no point in this process was it possible to say with assurance just how much information the record contained or how accurately a given stereo had translated it. The open-endedness of the medium seemed akin to the process of scientific exploration: there was always more to learn.

Re:Never buy Release 1.0 of anything

By green1 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Considering the current state of the art in storage devices... probably something that degrades to unreadable before it leaves our solar system.
"progress" has not been good in the "improve longevity" part of data storage.

Obvious answer who will find them

By burtosis • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
Given they have historical value they will for sure be recovered by humans, and relatively soon. We know where they are and people will probably use thier return to demonstrate thier capabilities even if there isn't a finnancial reason. If I had to bet I'd say less than 500 years. By then we could send craft far faster and further making voyager less relevant.

Re:Obvious answer who will find them

By bobbied • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

So... You think we are going to get such speeds soon? Right now, the best we can manage it likely about 1/2 C using ion engines (unmanned one way trip, no stopping at destination). The limiting factor is how much propellant we can actually get onto a craft along with a nuclear reactor big enough to power things. Also, the most efficient ion engines use Xenon which is in pretty limited supply.

I'm not seeing any promising space propulsion technologies that will get something useful going any faster myself.

Hard to know what we might invent in 500 years, but if you are working on any kind of propellant based system you will be limited by nozzle velocities and the weight of the propellant. Assuming you can get 90% of C nozzle velocities, you are going to have a problem getting any useful load going 50% C while keeping enough propellant to stop when you get there. If you want a two way trip, just the propellant weight will increase exponentially.

50 % C is simply not fast enough, assuming we could actually get to that speed...

The book was better...

By MrLogic17 • Score: 3 • Thread

...than the blog post.

Released in the 1978, "Murmurs of Earth: The Voyager Interstellar Record" is a great book with most of the record's images and a bunch of cool info. I have a copy - very fun reading.

(Posted as FYI for those who didn't know)

Re:Never buy Release 1.0 of anything

By Rei • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

It should be immediately obvious to anyone who examined it under any sort of microscope (regardless of their sensory inputs) that there's analog data encoded there on the grooves. They shouldn't even need "instructions" to recognize that and digitize the data. A spectral analysis should show variations in frequencies, with all sorts of clustering. Regardless of what senses they perceive through, they should be able to map it to one or more of them - either as 1d data, or in 2d as a spectrogram. Enough analysis should allow them to determine that most of the audio is acoustic vibrations, so they'd map it to whatever method they best use when studying or perceiving acoustic vibrations.

Analysis of the the image section should readily show that there are 115 distinct groupings, each comprised of 3 similar patterns of 512 separate signals, and that each separate signal is correlated with but subtly different to the one before it. This should suggest 115 groupings of 2-axis data measured over 3 related but distinct parameters. Which they can then map to whatever they use best to perceive 2-axis or 3-axis data. Again, further analysis should be able to figure out analogues of certain images to natural phenomenon that they recognize (for example, images of planets and moons, or the solar spectrum diagram). This would then let them figure out that the images represent optical data on specific frequencies of light in the visual spectrum, which they could then map to however they best prefer to represent light in that spectrum.

In short, I have no doubt that they could properly "read" the records. It's more a question of how much they could actually understand of the content. The silhouettes look to be particularly confusing. And even "natural place" images could be highly deceptive - for example, this island. If they knew nothing of trees, that might be percieved as a type of aa lava on top two dissimilar layered volcanic or sedimentary features.

Apple Looks For Exceptional Engineer With a Secret Job Posting

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader writes: A hidden Apple website that hosts a job description and invitation to apply for an important position has recently been discovered. The posting describes a role that should be filled by a "talented engineer" who will develop a critical infrastructure component for the company's ecosystem. Discovered late yesterday by ZDNet's Zach Whittaker, the secret posting was found at (now pulled). The posting stated how critical the role is, the scale of the work, key qualifications, and a description of the type of employee Apple is looking for. In the "How Critical?" section Apple says that the engineer will be working on developing infrastructure that will deal with millions of drives, tens of thousands of servers, and Exabytes of data.

Of course it's pulled already

By andyring • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Because I just applied and was accepted, so none of the rest of you need apply!

Oh, and possibly Frist Psot!

"Secret postings" are becoming more common

By xxxJonBoyxxx • Score: 3 • Thread
I think this is at least the third "secret posting" I've heard about recently. I'm also thinking about the:
- "Searches for Python leads to Google job application" thing (
- "IT job postings for Hillary Clinton's campaign in campaign site source code" thing (

I worry that these kind of "secret postings" might violate some "equal opportunity" regulations, but they do seem like a clever idea.

Not a job "YOU" can get

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Anyone who thinks they didn't already have someone lined up for this position and were just semi-posting it for legal reasons has no idea how the job market really works.

H1B1 visa application

By lkcl • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

if it's a "secret" and highly specialist skillset it's likely to be for an H1B1 visa application "conform with the advertising in the USA so you can prove there were no applicants suitable" compliance. of course that is now completely messed up as they would be deluged with applicants by now...

secret posting can be used to hire 1HB's and get a

By Joe_Dragon • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

secret posting can be used to hire 1HB's and get around rules about having to post the job.

We posted the job and got very few USC's and the ones that we did got failed at X stage. (we all ready had an H1B ready to go and just needed make it look like we tried for an USC)

The Windows App Store is Full of Pirate Streaming Apps

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Ernesto Van der Sar, reporting for TorrentFreak: When we were browsing through the "top free" apps in the Windows Store, our attention was drawn to several applications that promoted "free movies" including various Hollywood blockbusters such as "Wonder Woman," "Spider-Man: Homecoming," and "The Mummy." Initially, we assumed that a pirate app may have slipped past Microsoft's screening process. However, the 'problem' doesn't appear to be isolated. There are dozens of similar apps in the official store that promise potential users free movies, most with rave reviews. Most of the applications work on multiple platforms including PC, mobile, and the Xbox. They are pretty easy to use and rely on the familiar grid-based streaming interface most sites and services use. Pick a movie or TV-show, click the play button, and off you go. The sheer number of piracy apps in the Windows Store, using names such as "Free Movies HD," "Free Movies Online 2020," and "FreeFlix HQ," came as a surprise to us. In particular, because the developers make no attempt to hide their activities, quite the opposite.

I find it surprising

By sgrover • Score: 5, Funny • Thread
That the term "blockbuster" and "The Mummy" appeared in the same sentence together. That movie received much hype from the studious but absolutely none from anyone else. To be honest I forgot it existed. Maybe it's mentioned in the pirating apps because that is the only way anyone would ever want to see it?? hmm..

because the developers make no attempt to hide...

By drewsup • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

I beg to differ, they hid them in the best place possible, the MS App store! Guaranteed to not be seen by anyone!
I would have posted this on my Lumia 635, but as the browser keeps crashing, as it's ALWAYS done, had to post my Mint laptop.

Re:The what? "Windows Store"?

By Bert64 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Piracy has always been microsoft's biggest ally...
They may pay lip service to anti-piracy efforts, but were it not for piracy microsoft wouldn't be in the position they are in today. Microsoft depend on lock-in and inertia, and a huge proportion of those users who are locked in got that way with pirate versions.

If you couldn't pirate windows or its applications, then millions of users would have found something else that they could obtain for free, which would likely have resulted in millions more linux users. Many users can't or won't pay for software, and in eastern europe, asia and africa pretty much all software is pirated.

If there were that many active linux users, there would be very little (if any) windows specific software out there, it would be much easier for users in the west to switch away from windows and many would do so. windows if it still existed at all would end up as an expensive niche brand, rather like osx is, running on expensive niche hardware.

Re: The what? "Windows Store"?

By slazzy • Score: 5, Funny • Thread
All 3 zune users love it, apparently it "plays for sure!"

Re:The what? "Windows Store"?

By Ksevio • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
I went there once. I was using the new calculator and wanted to report how much it sucked, so I tried the feedback button. Then windows told me it didn't know how to handle it and told me to check the app store. The app store couldn't find anything to do either, so I eventually found the windows 7 calculator from a 3rd party source

Microsoft Speech Recognition Now As Accurate As Professional Transcribers

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes TechCrunch: Microsoft announced today that its conversational speech recognition system has reached a 5.1% error rate, its lowest so far. This surpasses the 5.9% error rate reached last year by a group of researchers from Microsoft Artificial Intelligence and Research and puts its accuracy on par with professional human transcribers who have advantages like the ability to listen to text several times. Both studies transcribed recordings from the Switchboard corpus, a collection of about 2,400 telephone conversations that have been used by researchers to test speech recognition systems since the early 1990s. The new study was performed by a group of researchers at Microsoft AI and Research with the goal of achieving the same level of accuracy as a group of human transcribers who were able to listen to what they were transcribing several times, access its conversational context and work with other transcribers.

Re:Laughable Hype

By Luthair • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

3) How much background noise? Are these from people calling from cell phones. Or a LAN line.

Why does it matter? If it doesn't function in a standard operating environment then it isn't doing as claimed. What would you say to a watch maker who claimed their product was unscratchable but testing consisted of rubbing it with microfibre cloth?

On the down side

By fahrbot-bot • Score: 3 • Thread

It still showed up at the South Park "Save Films from their Directors" club for the wrong reason when it heard, "Free Hat".

(For those that aren't South Park followers...)

Cartman writes "Free Hat" on the advertising poster in the belief that freebies are necessary to attract people. However, the crowd mistakenly thinks the rally is to free Hat McCullough, a convicted baby killer they believe was innocent.

Now thinking that "Free Hat" would be a great name of one of those Windows App Store pirate streaming apps ...

Re:Laughable Hype

By pr0fessor • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

3.... I've tried various voice recognition software over the years and can say they are getting much better but if there is any background noise forget it.

I quit trying to use siri because when I get in the car and ask siri for directions if my wife is with me I get siri saying "I couldn't find, 102 why the fuck street don't you type in the address like a regular shut up person damn it.

Re:Errors are not Errors

By hord • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

I'm not a statistician but it's possible that once you can prove that the neural network can produce answers at a success rate higher than humans you would be introducing error by allowing humans to review it. I'm not saying it shouldn't be done but this is one of the weird questions that people will have to ask on a case-by-case basis as these technologies are applied to real problems.

Hype, more hype, and maybe outright lies

By Rick Schumann • Score: 3 • Thread
If you believe Microsoft without independent verification from an otherwise uninterested third-party who has no investment in the outcome, then you're a fool.