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.

Vancouver Seaplane Company To Resume Test Flights With Electric Plane

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
A Vancouver seaplane company says its retro-fitted all electric airplane is set to take to the skies for more test flights this year, as it pushes forward with its plans to make commercial air travel cheaper and greener. reports: "There's no wavering in our confidence and determination and interest in getting this done," said Harbour Air CEO Greg McDougall. Founded by McDougall in 1982, Harbour Air uses small propeller planes to fly commercial flights between the Lower Mainland, Seattle, Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands and Whistler.

In the last few years it has turned its attention to becoming a leader in green urban mobility, which would do away with the need to burn fossil fuels for air travel. In December 2019, McDougall flew one of Harbour Air's planes, a more than 60-year-old DHC-2 de Havilland Beaver float plane, which had been outfitted with a Seattle-based company's electric propulsion system, for three minutes over Richmond B.C.

Harbour Air joined with Seattle-based company MagniX in early 2019 to design the e-plane's engine, which was powered by NASA-approved lithium-ion batteries that were also used on the International Space Station. At the time, based on the success of that inaugural flight, McDougall had hoped to be using the plane to fly passengers on its routes, such as between downtown Vancouver and downtown Victoria, by the end of this year. Now, that timeline has been pushed back at least one year due to the pandemic.

Google Says It May Have Found a Privacy-Friendly Substitute To Cookies

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Google says its new machine learning algorithms could replace cookie-based ad targeting without invading your privacy. Axios reports: Google has been testing a new API (a software interface) called Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC) that acts as an effective replacement signal for third-party cookies. The API exists as a browser extension within Google Chrome. The company said Monday that tests of FLoC to reach audiences show that advertisers can expect to see at least 95% of the conversions per dollar spent on ads when compared to cookie-based advertising. FLoC uses machine learning algorithms to analyze user data and then create a group of thousands of people based off of the sites that an individual visits. The data gathered locally from the browser is never shared. Instead, the data from the much wider cohort of thousands of people is shared, and that is then used to target ads.

It's a big deal that Google says it's close to coming up with a technology that will replace cookies, because one of the toughest parts of phasing cookies out of internet ad-targeting is that there hasn't been a great solution for what to replace them with. [...] Google has other proposals to replace cookies in the works, so it's not guaranteed that FLoC will be the answer, but the company said it's highly encouraged by what it has seen so far.

remove the marketing speak

By bloodhawk • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
So lets reword this "google has been feverishly researching ways to get around people blocking their privacy intrusions and have developed technology to track and identify users without the need of cookies to maintain their squirrel grip on your testicles for the advertising market in a fashion that prevents the users easy active blocking.

Re: So...

By Z00L00K • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

To present ads that they think are relevant but nobody cares about.

If I search for washing machines and vendors then I have already passed the threshold for when a washing machine ad is relevant. If it was 15 years since I bought a washing machine and I still live at the same address, then maybe it's time for the ads.

But ad providers are braindead that way and continues to serve useless ads after the purchase.

Even worse with animated ads or even with sound - they tell me that I shouldn't buy that because they waste money on excessive marketing.

That is the ANTITHESIS of 'privacy friendly' !!!

By Rick Schumann • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Oh look, a puppy!

If you read even just the summary and don't feel like your intelligence has been mortally insulted, then you either don't understand it, aren't paying attention, or have had your brain so thoroughly twisted by companies like Google that you don't even *realize* you're being taken for a fool.
What they're describing is doing an end-run around cookies, which at least you could delete, and admitting that they're going to scrape as much user data as they possibly can to target ads at you in a way that you can't even stop! Go fuck yourself, Google!

Advertisers are parasites

By euxneks • Score: 3 • Thread

Advertising is ruinous to the internet and society at large.

Advertising dollars are what has made websites race towards the lowest common denominator. Advertising has allowed "blogs" and other shitty "news" sites to succeed while true journalism dies a slow painful death.

Your privacy is a thing to be bought and sold for advertising money. A core essence of yourself, used as a currency for what? Funny pictures of celebrities? Easy access to conspiracy theories? You don't even get to control this currency. You are a commodity, like pigs. Like chattel. You have no value to advertisers except as a number in their web portals.

It's disgusting. I will always block any advertising if I can, and so should everyone else - I say this as someone who used to work in an advertising company. They are utterly contemptible and without merit, a dark, fetid stain of humanity. If you work in advertising, sabotage it. Destroy it. Do the world a favour.

Hacker Leaks Data of 2.28 Million Dating Site Users

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from ZDNet: A well-known hacker has leaked the details of more than 2.28 million users registered on, a dating website founded in 2014, ZDNet has learned this week from a security researcher. The dating site's data has been shared as a free download on a publicly accessible hacking forum known for its trade in hacked databases. The leaked data, a 1.2 GB file, appears to be a dump of the site's users database.

The content of this file includes a wealth of information that users provided when they set up profiles on the MeetMindful site and mobile apps. Some of the most sensitive data points included in the file include: Real names; Email addresses; City, state, and ZIP details; Body details; Dating preferences; Marital status; Birth dates; Latitude and longitude; IP addresses; Bcrypt-hashed account passwords; Facebook user IDs; and Facebook authentication tokens. Messages exchanged by users were not included in the leaked file; however, this does not make the entire incident less sensitive.
The data leak, which is still available for download, was released by a threat actor who goes by the name of ShinyHunters. They also were responsible for leaking the details of millions of users registered on Teespring.

Statistics Show...

By 00Monkey • Score: 3 • Thread

2 million men and .28 million women, who are mostly employed by the site, as user base.

Browser Makers Launch New Project For Writing Documentation For Web APIs

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
A coalition of tech companies announced today the launch of Open Web Docs, a new initiative to help write documentation for Web APIs, JavaScript, and other web tooling and platforms. From a report: The new project does not view itself as a replacement for MDN Web Docs, a website hosted by Mozilla, where all browser makers agreed to move the official Web API documentation back in October 2017, and stop developing their own, often diverging, documentation sites. Instead, in a press release and FAQ today, the Open Web Docs team said their role is to fund, coordinate, and contribute to MDN Docs going forward. The new initiative comes after Mozilla laid off 250 employees last summer, including many of its MDN Web Docs staff. Open Web Docs comes to fill this void and provide the labor force needed to continue updating the MDN Web Docs portal.

Apple Watch Series 7 Rumored To Feature Blood Glucose Monitoring

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
According to Korea's ETNews, Apple is expected to feature blood glucose monitoring via an optical sensor in the Apple Watch Series 7. MacRumors reports: The report, which mainly focuses on the blood glucose capabilities of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4, explains that Apple is intending to bring blood glucose monitoring to the upcoming Apple Watch Series 7 using a non-invasive optical sensor. Measuring blood glucose levels, also known as blood sugar levels, is vital to managing conditions such as diabetes. Normally, measuring blood glucose requires testing a drop of blood in a blood sugar meter or using an implanted continuous glucose monitor (CGM). The ability to observe any major increases or decreases in blood glucose may raise awareness of a potential health condition or simply help to improve a user's diet.

Apple is said to have secured patents around blood glucose monitoring, and the company is now purportedly "focusing on securing reliability and stability prior to commercialization of the technology." The Apple-designed optical sensor is believed to be a skin-top continuous monitoring solution that does not require an implant. [...] The Apple Watch Series 7 is expected to arrive later this year, but there have been few rumors around what the new models may feature. While there have been reports of microLED displays and solid-state buttons with haptic feedback for the Apple Watch, these are not directly expected for the Apple Watch Series 7.

I'm interested

By flatulus • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
I've had ZERO interest in smartwatches. But if I could get continuous glucose monitoring (linked to an app in my iPhone), I would probably bite.

There are already a couple of score zero AC posts above mine carping about how lame the idea is. Here's my situation. I'm a type 2 diabetic, diagnosed 27 years ago. I had a difficult time maintaining blood sugar until my endrocinologist finally put me on an insulin pump. Realistically the pump, as such, is of little benefit. But the associated continuous glucose monitoring is a godsend! If I could get that without having to poke a hole in my skin once a week and carry a "puck" around on my flank, it would be awesome.

As for accuracy, well the CGM associated with my pump is horrible. It is off by as much as 40% as often as several times a week. And on the blood sample, I can take 2 or 3 readings back to back and get 10% variance in a space of a minute or two. None of this glucose monitoring is all that accurate in my experience. But it's damn helpful to know my blood sugar has climbed above 200 when I wasn't looking. Even if it's a false positive, an alarm from a monitor when it's outside the acceptable range catches my attention and I can do the finger prick to confirm.

I'm approaching Medicare, and from what I've been told, my diabetes isn't severe enough for me to qualify for an insulin pump. Without the pump, my CGM is worthless. So if I'm gonna ditch the pump, I'd really like to have an affordable (even if shitty accuracy) CGM and a smart watch sounds like a pretty good deal.

Pyston 2.1 Is Blowing Past Python 3 Performance

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Camel Pilot writes: Pyston 2.1, a closed-source but faster and highly-compatible implementation of the Python programming language, significantly outperforms Python 3 in a variety of benchmarks. All the system details and benchmarks in full can be found over on

Fastest tricycle in the world!

By Jeremi • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

I'm not sure that "I need the best performance possible" is a good fit with "I want to implement this in Python". Better to use a compiled language for the high-performance routines, instead?

Lacking comparison against pypy and cython

By ffkom • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
The CPython interpreter is known not to be the fastest possibility to execute Python code. If performance is of importance, a comparison to the much faster pypy or cython would be much more relevant.

Microsoft VB and C# compiler is open

By raymorris • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Microsoft's compiler for C# is open.
It's part of the .Net Core repo.

C# is an ECMA standard, like JavaScript, and is also an ISP standard.

You'll also find the Visual Basic toolchain there.

Microsoft Basic ended a couple decades ago.
They've open sourced one of many versions.

As to the Borland product, that does seem to be closed.
I think they switched to Delphi about 25 years ago.
Delphi was based on Turbo Pascal, which I think was based on Object Pascal, which was based on Pascal.

So much to say, but this seems to be

By oldgraybeard • Score: 3 • Thread
the most pertinent "closed-source"! Thus I won't use it or care, if I don't have to. And I don't have to ;)

Re:as long as it's compatible with Python 3

By AleRunner • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

It's "highly compatible" which means that it's not "fully compatible" which means you are going to hit something really weird and difficult when you try to port back. Fighting with weird compilers and their bugs can be some of the nastiest stuff going.

The real python people have PyPy which kind of has the same problem but isn't closed and looks like it has better benchmarks than piston, just from a brief compare of the line size on probably completely unrelated and incomparable benchmarks. I'd trust PyPy much more than a closed implementation. Also, if you do end up being forced to migrate back there's likely to be a bunch of other people with the same problem so you won't have to do it alone.

Renewable Energy Production Beat Fossil Fuels in Europe

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Renewable energy became the biggest source of electricity in the European Union in 2020, beating fossil fuels for the first time. Germany and Spain also hit that milestone individually last year -- so did the UK, which officially left the EU in January 2020. From a report: Renewables powered 38 percent of electricity in the EU last year, according to a report released today by energy think tanks Ember and Agora Energiewende. That gives renewable energy a narrow lead over fossil fuel-fired generation, which accounted for 37 percent of Europe's electricity. The remaining quarter comes from nuclear energy.

The rise of renewables is good news for the health of the planet. Still, renewable energy will need to grow at an even faster rate to stave off a future with more climate change-induced disasters. "Renewables overtaking fossils is an important milestone in Europe's clean energy transition. However, let's not be complacent," Patrick Graichen, director of Agora Energiewende, said in a statement. "Post-pandemic recovery [programs] need to go hand-in-hand with accelerated climate action."

Turns out the fossil fuel guys were liars

By dmay34 • Score: 3 • Thread

Huh. Turns out the fossil fuel guys were liars the whole time. Who would'a thunk. Remember when they said that you can't run an economy on renewables? That was a lie the whole time. Turns out you can, just fine.


By dmay34 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Governments around the world literally fight wars to secure fossil fuel reserves. Governments spend trillions of dollars every year subsidizing fossil fuels.

Don't talk to me about money from the state.

Base Load is a myth

By spun • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

It's just a line of propaganda cooked up by the fossil fuel industry.

In short, energy experts agree: modern energy grids do not need "fissile and nuclear" (Assuming you mean fossil not fissile) to provide stable electricity. Only the fossil fuel industry and its shills continue to push this outdated idea. We have plenty of energy storage technologies that, combined with renewables, are still cheaper than nuclear or fossil fuels.


By stabiesoft • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
Probably yes we would have. What would we have spent to keep nuke's out of SA, Iran and Iraq? How much did we/do we spend on our nuke arsenal against Russia? How much do we spend to keep NK at bay? How much do we spend to keep an outpost in Germany? And I am pretty sure it would be a very weak argument the German base is for the ME oil? How much do we spend protecting Israel, and no that is not oil talking, that is religion. Maintaining the biggest military on earth is expensive, and we do it so we have the biggest club. Although China is nipping at our heals.

AMC Raises $917 Million To Weather 'Dark Coronavirus-Impacted Winter'

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Variety: AMC Theatres, the world's largest cinema chain, has raised $917 million in new equity and debt capital, the company said on Monday. "This increased liquidity should allow the company to make it through this dark coronavirus-impacted winter," the company said, adding that its "financial runway has been extended deep into 2021." AMC has raised the finances from Dec. 14, 2020. Of the $917 million, AMC has raised $506 million of equity, from the issuance of 164.7 million new common shares, along with the previously announced securing of $100 million of additional first-lien debt and the concurrent issuance of 22 million new common shares to convert $100 million of second-lien debt into equity.

In addition, the company has executed commitment letters for $411 million of incremental debt capital in place through mid-2023, unless repaid before then, through the upsizing and refinancing of its European revolving credit facility. The chain says that it presumes that it will continue to make progress in its ongoing dialogue with theater landlords about the amounts and timing of owed theater lease payments, and is hopeful that the ongoing vaccination push will result in an increase in cinema attendance.
As a result, AMC shares soared 36% in premarket trade Monday.

AMC soon learns people don't really like theaters

By dmay34 • Score: 3 • Thread

There are three kinds of people that actually like movie theaters:

Hard Core film buffs
Movie Producers
Shareholders of Movie theater companies

Combined this group consists of 0.00001% of consumers. Literally everyone else would love to just have the option to pay to stream new movies at home.

The real issue is culture.

By RyanFenton • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Once this lasts long enough - the culture shifts.

The very idea of movies doesn't really have to be going into a dark room with lots of people to watch a piece of fabric with light shining on it.

The home experience has a LOT of advantages to it.

Movie theaters have been shifting into less and less of a cultural touchstone, a real shared experience for a long time.

Of course, it started largely as a way to get air conditioning (first places to use it in most places) - and even before the pandemic, it was largely a throwback to an earlier mindset of watching things.

I can't help but think that we might be able to explore better forms of shared content after this pandemic, if we stop making content with big screens and the first market for our shared premium passive entertainment.

I think we can do a LOT better without the big screen as the first stop, and the basis of our judgments of movies.

Ryan Fenton


By mckwant • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

That's a lot of real estate. Events off the top of my head, let's say rights get worked out, and they take up the entire week to keep the arithmetic simple:

Film (10):
2 Star Wars
maybe 4-6 other major releases/yr, let's be generous, call it 6.

TV (7):
GoT or similar, maybe, but there's no zeitgeist any more to drive enough volume.
Reality Shows: Bachelor, and the like. Let's say 6 (Kardashians? Project Runway? NBA Wives? RPDR? Out of my element here...)

Sports (7):
March Madness
Super Bowl
College FB Championship
College FB Bowls (NYear's Day, anyway)
World Series, maybe?
Maaaybe two others, but I can't think what they would be.

Retro/Revival (8):
LOTR/Hobbit marathons
I'd have to ask my daughter, but Insurgent/Hunger Games/Twilight/...? Summer film festival type stuff (West Side Story, et al). Again, let's guess 6 total.

That's 32 weekends filled, only 20 to go. eSports, maybe cosplay, virtual gaming conventions, but I don't know that you'd have national audiences for that.

God help you during the summer.

Re:AMC soon learns people don't really like theate

By LatencyKills • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
I'm going to push back a little. I'm not a film buff, nor a stockholder, nor a producer, and sometimes I just like to actually go to a movie with a group of friends. We'll often pair it with dinner. There's a theater near here that does both - serves pretty good pub-ish food during the movie. It might only be 5-10 movies a year, but it is in the rotation of our regular group-of-people activities.

Myopia Correcting 'Smart Glasses' From Japan To Be Sold in Asia

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Can a pair of unique spectacles banish nearsightedness without surgical intervention? Japan's Kubota Pharmaceutical Holdings says its wearable device can do just that, and it plans to start releasing the product in Asia, where many people grapple with myopia. From a report: The device, which the company calls Kubota Glasses or smart glasses, is still being tested. It projects an image from the lens of the unit onto the wearer's retina to correct the refractive error that causes nearsightedness. Wearing the device 60 to 90 minutes a day corrects myopia according to the Japanese company.

Kubota Pharmaceutical has not disclosed additional details on how the device works. Through further clinical trials, it is trying to determine how long the effect lasts after the user wears the device, and how many days in total the user must wear the device to achieve a permanent correction for nearsightedness. Myopia is often results from the cornea and the retina in the eye being too far apart. This inhibits the proper focusing of light as it enters the eye and causes distant objects to look blurry. Asian are prone to nearsightedness. Of people aged 20 and under, 96% of South Koreans, 95% of Japanese, 87% of Hong Kongers, 85% of Taiwanese and 82% of Singaporeans are affected by the condition, according to Kubota.

Re:This "works" by the placebo effect...

By nwaack • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
My vision is pretty crummy and I need to wear glasses practically every second I'm awake. If this improved my vision I'd know as soon as I put my regular glasses on because the prescription would be off and my vision would be fuzzy. If it didn't work everything would look like it normally does when I'm wearing glasses. That is most definitely not the placebo effect.

Whaddya mean, correction?

By tchdab1 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

My old school lenses "correct" my myopia. From the description, these apparently claim to cure it. Big difference.

Re:older adults

By Joce640k • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

But, I"m skeptical how wearing special glasses can help a physical eye defect....?

Your eyes use muscles to focus and change the shape of the eyeball. These glasses give them a workout.

It corrects myopia? Great!

By fahrbot-bot • Score: 3 • Thread

Let's send them to all our politicians.

In other news

By XB-70 • Score: 3 • Thread
A monkey flew out of my butt.

Twitter Launches 'Birdwatch,' a Forum To Combat Misinformation

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Twitter unveiled a feature Monday meant to bolster its efforts to combat misinformation and disinformation by tapping users in a fashion similar to Wikipedia to flag potentially misleading tweets. From a report: The new system allows users to discuss and provide context to tweets they believe are misleading or false. The project, titled Birdwatch, is a standalone section of Twitter that will at first only be available to a small set of users, largely on a first-come, first-served basis. Priority will not be provided to high-profile people or traditional fact-checkers, but users will have to use an account tied to a real phone number and email address.

"Birdwatch allows people to identify information in Tweets they believe is misleading or false, and write notes that provide informative context," Twitter Vice President of Product Keith Coleman wrote in a press release. "We believe this approach has the potential to respond quickly when misleading information spreads, adding context that people trust and find valuable." While Birdwatch will initially be cordoned off to a separate section of Twitter, the company said "eventually we aim to make notes visible directly on Tweets for the global Twitter audience, when there is consensus from a broad and diverse set of contributors."


By sound+vision • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

I dunno, it was notoriously reliable for decades, one of the jewels of the early internet all the way back to the days of Netscape Navigator. Strange, and entirely coincidental I'm sure, that shitting on Snopes was a pastime that spontaneously emerged in 2016. "Political"? I suppose, to the extent that objective reality is a hindrance to certain politicians.


By Maxo-Texas • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

That's been my experience with Snopes as well. It's truthful and has low bias.
The people I encountered who disliked it referred to other sources like "The Epoch Times", "Newsmax", "AON", "Brietbart", "Fox News-Hannity" as trustworthy and unbiased.

Fox News isn't bad for actual news with news anchors. But the fox opinion shows are actively dishonest and massively biassed- often contradicting reality or behaving in a blatantly hypocritical way.

I'll continue to trust Snopes until I find evidence to the contrary.

I also like the BBC and the Economist for low bias, honest reporting.

Watch out for "Allsides." They are trying to slip in as a bias validation site. So far seem accurate but I'm very suspicious of them.

Media matters bias check is having some sketchy ads lately.

MSNBC is supposedly left bias but they sneak in a lot of pro-wealthy propaganda when you pay attention. As when anchors literally said "we can't cut taxes on the job creators". The fact is- wealthy people mostly invest their money overseas and don't create jobs here. Corporations are efficiency engines that destroy jobs.

If you want jobs- you want small businesses. Easiest way to help small business creation is national health care.


By Chameleon Man • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
Snopes operates off of the assumption that if a claim is made, it is false until proven true or corroborated evidence is present, which anyone can apply. This goes for either side. Right wingers like to say fact checkers are biased, but I have yet to see a right wing fact checker that follows this formula.

Re:Provide informative context?

By fahrbot-bot • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

The phrase "polishing a turd" comes to mind.

You might want to talk with The Mythbusters about that ...

Provide better education for all

By Joe2020 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Misinformation is not a cause, it's a symptom of a lack of education. People want to believe and learn. Not everyone finds school easy. Some find it important to make money early in life due to their circumstances, and so they feed their curiosity and need for learning with whatever they find later in life. To combat misinformation does one need to start at providing better, free and accessible education for all. A better welfare and healthcare system, and a minimum wage further help to keep people interested in education.

Enabling people to learn as much as they like early in life goes a long way at combating misinformation. Exploitation of lower classes by elites for being dumb and by keeping them dumb, because of the power that comes with knowledge, can only plant the seeds for a revolution. Wanting to patch the problem of misinformation by chasing after the symptoms will at best delay it. To feed people intentionally with misinformation and then watch riots grow makes a mockery of society and its lack of education.

Corporations shouldn't play the role of a substitute teacher. They've already become a substitute for the press, which gets undermined by politics and no longer is a free press. Instead, when one sees value in separating the powers of a government into branches, then one should see the same value in separating other powers and not leave it to corporations to incorporate them all. People deserve education as much as they deserve protection, rights, justice and a vote.

GameStop Stock Jumps To New Record

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
GameStop shares surged to a record Monday, before pulling back and giving up much of their gains, the latest sign that frenetic trading by individual investors is leading to outsize stock-market moves. From a report: Class A shares of the Texas-based games retailer surged as much as 145% to $159.18 in morning trading, before reversing course and briefly turning lower. By midday, the stock was up 27% at $82.55, up more than 330% in 2021. The rapid swings prompted the New York Stock Exchange to briefly halt trading multiple times. The rally has been fueled by individual investors, encouraging each other on social media to pile into GameStop shares and options. The buying pressure has led money managers to switch out of substantial bets that the stock would fall, analysts said. This resulted in a short squeeze, in which rising prices prompt investors to buy back shares they had sold short to cut their losses, pushing the stock higher still.

The company has become a high-profile battleground between bullish chatroom-driven day traders, especially on online platform Reddit, and hedge fund short sellers, who have been betting against the stock. GameStop has been the most-actively traded stock by customers of Fidelity Investments in recent sessions, with buy orders outnumbering sell orders by more than four-to-one, according to the brokerage. "We broke it. We broke GME at open," one Reddit user wrote Monday after the NYSE halted trading, referring to GameStop's stock-market ticker. The tussle over the company, with a modest market value of about $5 billion at Friday's close and four years of declining sales, exemplifies the increased sway of retail investors. Many poured into the market during the coronavirus lockdown, congregating on online platforms to swap trading ideas and to boast about winning bets.
From last week: Gaming the System: How GameStop Stock Surged 1,500% In Nine Months.

Pump and dump

By sinij • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
There is absolutely nothing that would justify such valuations.

This is just great

By alvinrod • Score: 3 • Thread

The rally has been fueled by individual investors, encouraging each other on social media to pile into GameStop shares and options. The buying pressure has led money managers to switch out of substantial bets that the stock would fall, analysts said. This resulted in a short squeeze, in which rising prices prompt investors to buy back shares they had sold short to cut their losses, pushing the stock higher still.

So it's a bunch of clueless idiots with money trying to dupe other clueless idiots with money into buying an awful stock in order to try and pull of some kind of pump and dump and a whole host of other idiots throwing their hats into the ring for good measure?

This all just seems like a nice test of a fool and his money.

Re:Pump and dump

By Train0987 • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

They just added a more concise article:

Rule #1: Wall Street Always Wins

By TheCowSaysMoo • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Rule #2: If Wall Street loses, please see Rule #1

To add a little perspective here, GameStop's market cap ($4.53B) is 0.19% of Apple's market cap ($2.34T). Put into layman's terms, Wall Street taking a loss on their short position of GameStop is the equivalent of you dropping a penny on the sidewalk and not stopping to pick it up.

On the other hand, Reddit users taking a loss on purchasing a $4 stock at 1900% markup... that's going to hurt the wallets of some people who don't understand Rule #1.

To think Wall Street's going to live or die by their short position of GameStop is foolish, to put it lightly.


By FeelGood314 • Score: 3 • Thread
GameStop is dead. I think almost everyone on slashdot sees that their business plan is out of date. A bunch of people looked at game stop's business plan and figured there is no way the company was going to recover and that GameStop's share price was over valued. They borrowed the stock and sold it with the intention of buying it back later. Lots of others looked at the short position and jumped in. Now the first group of shorts borrowed X shares maybe 60% of the shares outstanding (guessing) and sold these X shares. The people who bought the shares then loaned them out again and they were sold again. Likely back to many of the same people who bought them the first time. And then those shares where loaned out again. So the same shares have been borrowed and loaned out multiple times. This leads to the ridiculous position that 141% of GameStop shares are loaned out. It is quite possible that a few investors now own more than 100% of the stock. The borrowers now have to pay pack the shares they borrowed and the people who bought the shares can now "squeeze" the borrowers for a significant amount. Now this becomes a game of chicken. Those that hold the shares are seeing the price shoot up but as soon as someone sells the borrowers buy the share, give it back to the person they borrowed it from, that person will then likely immediately sell again. So a single share sold might then get immediately resold 3, 4 or 5 times. Remember if you loaned shares out you can't sell them until the person you loaned the shares to pays you back. There are now a lot of people who own a significant (like 141% of) amount of GameStop shares and they want to sell. They want to realize their profit but they can't because they loaned them out, but wait, less they borrow shares from someone else to short. They do this with no risk (well unless someone defaults) Which eventually starts to happen. So after 6 weeks of this It might be that 130% of the shorts actually own the shares but have loaned them out to essentially themselves. You can see where this ends. When the squeeze ends the price is going to fall very fast and everyone knows it, so they all will want to sell even faster. There are a few people with short positions that will lose a lot of money but over all the big losers will be those still holding GameStop shares when this is all over.

Dutch COVID-19 Patient Data Sold on the Criminal Underground

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Dutch police arrested two individuals late last week for allegedly selling data from the Dutch health ministry's COVID-19 systems on the criminal underground. From a report: The arrests came after an investigation by RTL Nieuws reporter Daniel Verlaan who discovered ads for Dutch citizen data online, advertised on instant messaging apps like Telegram, Snapchat, and Wickr. The ads consisted of photos of computer screens listing data of one or more Dutch citizens. The reporter said he tracked down the screengrabs to two IT systems used by the Dutch Municipal Health Service (GGD) -- namely CoronIT, which contains details about Dutch citizens who took a COVID-19 test, and HPzone Light, one of the DDG's contact-tracing systems. Verlaan said the data had been sold online for months for prices ranging from $36 to $60 per person. Buyers would receive details such as home addresses, emails, telephone numbers, dates of birth, and a person's BSN identifier (Dutch social security number).

They were warned months ago...

By Halueth • Score: 3, Informative • Thread
And they were warned something like this would happen if you allow unrestricted access on 16 September last year.

Google Workers To Form Global Union Alliance

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Google employees from across the globe are forming a union alliance, weeks after more than 200 workers at the search engine giant and other units of parent company Alphabet formed a labor union for U.S. and Canadian offices. From a report: Alpha Global was formed in coordination with UNI Global Union, a union federation that represents about 20 million workers globally, and includes unions from countries such as the United States, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, and the UK, UNI Global Union said.

Re:I'm delighted!

By alvinrod • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
If they legitimately want to form a union to engage in some kind of collective bargaining I don't see why that's anyone else's business or why we should get to decide if that's in their best interest or not.

I don't believe that all unions automatically provide more benefits than they cost, but that's an issue specific to a particular union and not an inherent problem with the concept itself. It's obvious that it changes the lower dynamics and why companies would be opposed to that in a general sense, but the management of Google probably doesn't care what the workers think or do as long as they keep making money and no one rocks the boat too much. Not everyone who wants to form or join a union is some kind of deranged new age communist.

Re:Encourage leftwing activism

By ceoyoyo • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

The big issue with unions for skilled employees is that they treat labour as a commodity, by design.

I was at a university that unionized the research associates. Everybody got put on a pay scale, with a highest rung and a set promotion schedule. So the highest paid RAs all quit. HR was happy because they replaced all the expensive cogs with cheaper cogs. Professors were unhappy because those high paid RAs represented most of the knowledge in their labs, and they couldn't offer competitive salaries to recruit anybody equivalent to replace them.

Unnionizing to what end?

By ArhcAngel • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Unions were needed in the early twentieth century because too many companies were exploiting workers and not providing safe workplaces. Unionizing gave the workers a united front with similar power to fight. The Department of Labor and OSHA have largely made this redundant and most of the large unions today have become the very organizations doing the exploiting.

Unionizing because the company you work for engages in work you disapprove of is about as Un-American as you can get. You aren't being mistreated or exploited at Google AFAICT. Go find a company that adheres to your values and apply there. OH Wait! They won't pay you six figures and give you all those perks. Never mind.

Re:I'm delighted!

By jeff4747 • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Of course, every individual is free to associate with any group they choose. The problem is "closed shops", which impose union rules, and union dues, on every employee as a condition of employment, whether they want to participate in this association or not. This sort of policy robs both the employee and the employer of the freedom to make their own decisions.

And doing the opposite creates a free rider problem, where non-union employees get the benefits of union efforts.

It's not like the working hours and holidays negotiated by the union are only available to the union employees.

They pretend to be "progressive", all while advocating for keeping the same jobs at the same pay, forever,

Unions negotiate pay increases regularly. They also negotiate a process for employees to receive promotions.

Unions will also let you fire people if they're incompetent. You just have to actually show they're incompetent.

Workers are expected to make managerial decisions about when the company needs to downsize

No, unions negotiate an employee selection algorithm that will be used in the event of downsizing. They don't actually say "We're going to downsize now". (Unless the union has negotiated to put a representative in the company's management structure, in which case that person is management and makes managerial decisions).

Yes, forced unionization is nothing but a bundle of contradictions.

Only if your only experience with unions is places like alt-right Facebook pages and corporate PR. It turns out the caricature is not the same as reality.

those corrupt unions

By sdinfoserv • Score: 3 • Thread
It’s funny to read through all these posts hacking on unions, calling the socialists or “lefties” as your health insurance goes higher and higher each year, you’re “expected” to put in 60+ hours per week, you have no option for any pension, you say “thank you sir, may I have another” for your 3% annual – meanwhile C’levels make 500x what you do, they send your jobs overseas to sweatshops in the name of “profit” where your replacements destroy the environment in companies that have no environmental, wage and hour, intellectual property and few human rights laws so keep it up. It only makes you look ignorant.

Apple Hit With Another European Class Action Over Throttled iPhones

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
A third class action lawsuit has been filed in Europe against Apple seeking compensation -- for what Italy's Altroconsumo consumer protection agency dubs "planned obsolescence" of a number of iPhone 6 models. From a report: The action relates to performance throttling Apple applied several years ago to affected iPhones when the health of the device's battery had deteriorated -- doing so without clearly informing users. It later apologized. The class action suit in Italy is seeking $72.8 million in compensation -- based on at least $72.8 in average compensation per iPhone owner. Affected devices named in the suit are the iPhone 6, 6S, 6 Plus and 6S Plus, per a press release put out by the umbrella consumer organization, Euroconsumers, which counts Altroconsumo a a member. The suit is the third to be filed in the region over the issue -- following suits filed in Belgium and Spain last month. A fourth -- in Portugal -- is slated to be filed shortly.

Re:Wilful ignorance

By ytene • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Respectfully, it wasn't that at all.

The issues was that Apple had designed and built a phone in which the battery deteriorated at an accelerated rate - well inside the reasonable lifespan of the product - yet Apple said and did nothing. Instead, they issued software updates to try and mask the problem by altering the performance of the product.

There were numerous remedies that Apple could have attempted. They could have come clean. They could have design a phone which made battery replacement an easy and cost-effective piece of maintenance.

Apple chose to not do those things. Indeed, it was only when overwhelming, incontrovertible evidence was produced via testing, that they finally admitted something they have previously denied doing.

Personally, I do not agree with the proposed remedy in this instance. I think a better solution would be to compel Apple to replace batteries in any iPhone [or iPad or iPod or similar device] for a nominal fee - and perhaps to ensure that the "nominal fee" is set fairly, limit what Apple could charge to a maximum of something in the range of 5-15% of the original purchase cost of the product. [Wild guess on those percentages, just trying to illustrate the point].

It isn't all that easy to come up with meaningful non-technology analogies to think about Apple's conduct here. One example might be: imagine a car manufacturer selling a car with a claimed top speed or acceleration from standstill to say 60mph. The company discover that the vehicle's engine degrades with time so that after 3-4 years of daily use, it can only reach 70, 80% of the original top speed. Imagine if the company solved this "problem" by downloading a software fix to the dashboard of every vehicle from that model range which re-calibrated the speedometer to mask the problem. Can you imagine how owners would react?

I really don't want to see Apple unduly harmed by the sanction that they will attract from what they did. But I'd love to see the EU issue rulings to require Apple to maintain the performance of the devices they sell, to make those devices easier to repair and maintain. You have to remember that part of the reason that Apple don't want to make it easy to repair devices is to force you to buy a new handset/laptop/tablet/etc. on a regular basis.

So there's absolutely direct consumer harm from their practices. People were buying all-new handsets when a simple battery swap could have solved the problem.

We just need to find a way of keeping corporations honest. And remember - maintaining a recycling an existing handset is far better for the environment. Fitting a new battery to a phone or tablet should have a much lower impact on the environment compared with buying an all-new device.


By Tx • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

According to wikipedia, Apple confirmed in December 2016 that some iPhone 6S models manufactured in September and October 2015 had suffered from a battery manufacturing defect. The company stated that this defect was not a safety concern, but that it could diminish capacity, and cause shutdowns to "protect [the device's] electronic components".. So in at least a proportion of cases, the battery degradation was due to a defect. So the question is did Apple deploy the throttling fix to avoid having to replace defective batteries? If so, that's pretty shady.

Re:Wilful ignorance

By alvinrod • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

The issues was that Apple had designed and built a phone in which the battery deteriorated at an accelerated rate - well inside the reasonable lifespan of the product - yet Apple said and did nothing.

Please show me where this was ever established. I suspect you have exactly zero basis for this claim outside of your imagination or similarly unsubstantiated claims from someone else. You're essentially accusing them of taking deliberate steps to produce an inferior product. I'm sure you're familiar with the saying about extraordinary claims.

I used to dream that my Android phone throttled

By xpiotr • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
So my old Android phone did NOT throttle,
but instead when the battery got weak,
it rebooted randomly when it needed peak performance, and the battery couldn't deliver,
and then it rebooted, and lit up the screen with the company logo in black and white background
causing it reboot again... and again...
until battery run out or that I branched it to a charger
I used to dream of throttling my phone, would have saved many situations.

Re:Wilful ignorance

By edwdig • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Speaking as someone that had an iPhone 6S, you're flat out wrong here.

I got mine in late November the year they launched. I was having random shutdowns the following months. The pattern was clear - use he phone outdoors in temperatures near freezing and the battery won't be able to keep up. I had many occasions where I'd walk outside in the winter, using my phone for directions, and you'd see the remaining battery rapidly drop, and the phone would shut off. You'd go from 70% to 0% in minutes. Once I got the phone inside the house, it would start working again within minutes, with a charge right about what it said before the rapid decilne.

All batteries output less power when they get cold. The phone couldn't compensate for that, and it was very easy to draw more power than the battery could provide. If you tried hard enough, or had some battery wear, you could have similar issues in warm weather too, but the issue was at its worst in cold weather.

I had this problem constantly. It went away once they introduced the throttling. That throttling was such a welcome change. I never even noticed the slowdown. I just noticed my phone didn't shut itself off when I needed it.

More Than 260 Airports At Risk of Getting Submerged Due To Sea Level Rise, Coastal Flooding: Study

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Flights at hundreds of airports worldwide are in danger of being disrupted by rising sea levels, according to a new study. From a report: More than 260 airports around the globe are currently at risk of coastal flooding, and dozens could be below mean sea level by the turn of the century, the research published in the journal Climate Risk Management found. Hundreds more could be in danger depending on the amount of sea level rise driven by global warming between now and 2100. Airports in Asia and the Pacific topped the list. Researchers looked at several different factors to come up with the rankings, including the likelihood of flooding from extreme sea levels, flood protection and the impact on flights. They found that up to one-fifth of air travel routes could be affected.

Re:so what?

By l0ungeb0y • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Half a century notice is more than enough.

Just like we had 50 years notice about how in the 2020s we'd see climate change that would make vast swaths of the planet uninhabitable, combined with sea level rise, global droughts, famine and pandemics that would destabilize if not outright collapse civilization, and we totally took care of that

So long as we allow Corporations to prioritize short term profits over human lives, we will continue to stay on course to take civilization right over a fucking cliff. It's time that the UN started treating Corporate polluters as eco-terrorists, but we all know that money, wealth and power is all that matters So 1 year, 50 years or a hundred makes no difference at all because nothing meaningful will be done so long as governments and the people worship the almighty dollar

Obvious solution

By cellocgw • Score: 3 • Thread

Update the engines and flight control systems for the Spruce Goose, and airports under water suddenly are a feature, not a bug.

Re:sea level rise isn't

By Geoffrey.landis • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Continental drift happens on the order of ~1inch per year. Sea level rise happens on the order of ~3mm per year. (If you can't convert inches and mm in your head, then Google is one click away.)

But if you can't understand the difference between the x-y axis and the z axis, Google probably won't help.

Re:8.2 FEET!

By Compuser • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

It is often very hard to detect exponential rise early on. The trend does not look linear but it takes a lot of squinting to see that. Just like with a virus, at first it looks minor then it explodes. You see the same thing with stock bubbles - at first it looks like a healthy appreciation then it suddenly goes into tulip mania mode.
The issue is that in some cases, like in the case of a stock market, we do not understand all the driving forces so bubbles are hard to predict early. In the case of viruses and climate change we do know the causal relationships and can catch these exponential rises quite early. At that point, ignorant uneducated people who do know understand the underlying science have a hard time seeing any problem but that does not mean the problem is absent.

Re:8.2 FEET!

By Compuser • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Just a bit more info:

About 15,000 years ago lots of ice melted. We got about 100 ft rise in sea level out of that within about 1000 years, or a rate of about 10ft in 100 years. If you want to argue that global ice melt will cause a lesser effect now then you might need some evidence indeed. That's an extraordinary claim.