the unofficial Slashdot digest archive

New York Attorney General Expands Inquiry Into Net Neutrality Comments

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
The New York attorney general subpoenaed more than a dozen telecommunications trade groups, lobbying contractors and Washington advocacy organizations on Tuesday, seeking to determine whether the groups sought to sway a critical federal decision on internet regulation last year by submitting millions of fraudulent public comments, according to a person with knowledge of the investigation. From a report: Some of the groups played a highly public role in last year's battle, when the Republican-appointed majority on the Federal Communications Commission voted to revoke a regulation issued under President Barack Obama that classified internet service providers as public utilities. The telecommunications industry bitterly opposed the rules -- which imposed what supporters call "net neutrality" on internet providers -- and enthusiastically backed their repeal under President Trump. The attorney general, Barbara D. Underwood, last year began investigating the source of more than 22 million public comments submitted to the F.C.C. during the battle. Millions of comments were provided using temporary or duplicate email addresses, others recycled identical phrases, and seven popular comments, repeated verbatim, accounted for millions more.

Re:Executive Branch powers

By bobbied • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

That is not what the New York AG is investigating. The investigation is into whether or not the anti-network neutrality comments involved fraud.

Why waste time with that? FCC comments are not some official polling device nor some way to throw a wet finger in the air and see what way the wind is blowing.

The FCC public comment process is for information gathering purposes only, nobody tabulates the pro/con counts at the FCC. What matters is the unique information or novel perspectives being presented in these comments, not the number of comments. Also, in this case, I'm told that the FCC public comment process isn't required to *remove* a regulation anyway. The only time the process is required is when enacting new ones.

The NY AG is wasting their time and NY's money.... And we all KNOW the reason and it has nothing to do at all with the FCC actions here.

Rolls-Royce Wants To Fill the Seas With Self-Sailing Ships

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An anonymous reader shares a report: "Helsinki VTS, thank you for permission to depart," the captain says over the radio. He checks with the Vessel Traffic Service to see if there's anything to be looking out for. Just one other big ship, but also lots of small boats, enjoying the calm water, which could be hazards. Not a problem for this captain -- he has a giant screen on the bridge, which overlays the environment around his vessel with an augmented reality view. He can navigate the Baltic Discoverer confidently out of Finland's Helsinki Port using the computer-enhanced vision of the world, with artificial intelligence spotting and labeling every other water user, the shore, and navigation markers.

This not-too-far-in-the-future vision comes from Rolls-Royce. (One iteration of it, anyway: The Rolls-Royce car company, the jet engine maker, and this marine-focused enterprise all have different corporate owners.) The view provided to the crew of the (fictional) Baltic Discoverer is an example of the company's Intelligent Awareness system, which mashes together data from sensors all over a vessel, to give its humans a better view of the world. But that's just the early part of the plan. Using cameras, lidar, and radar, Rolls wants to make completely autonomous ships. And it's already running trials around the world.

"Tugs, ferries, and short-sea transport, these are all classes of vessels that we believe would be suitable for completely autonomous operations, monitored by a land based crew, who get to go home every night," says Kevin Daffey, Rolls-Royce's director of marine engineering and technology. Suitable, because they all currently rely on humans who demand to be paid -- and can make costly mistakes. Over the past decade, there have been more than 1,000 total losses of large ships, and at least 70 percent of those resulted from human error. [...] Moreover, the economic case for automating shipping is clear: About 100,000 large vessels are currently sailing the world's oceans, and the amount of cargo they carry is projected to grow around 4 percent a year, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. Beyond preventing accidents, human-free ships could be 15 percent more efficient to run, because they don't need energy-gobbling life support systems, doing things like heating, cooking, and lugging drinking water along for the ride.

Good. Less problems for the pirates

By 140Mandak262Jamuna • Score: 3 • Thread
They dont have to deal with some captain who is armed.

Star Trek - The Ultimate Computer

By the_skywise • Score: 3 • Thread
Sheesh - I'm flashing back to Star Trek.
"DAYSTROM: You can't understand. You're frightened because you can't understand it. I'm going to show you. I'm going to show all of you. It takes four hundred thirty people to man a starship. With this, you don't need anyone. One machine can do all those things they send men out to do now. Men no longer need die in space or on some alien world. Men can live and go on to achieve greater things than fact-finding and dying for galactic space, which is neither ours to give or to take. They can't understand. We don't want to destroy life, we want to save it."

"KIRK: There are certain things men must do to remain men. Your computer would take that away.
DAYSTROM: There are other things a man like you might do. Or perhaps you object to the possible loss of prestige and ceremony accorded a starship captain. A computer can do your job and without all that.
KIRK: You'll have to prove that to me, Doctor.
DAYSTROM: That is what we're here for, isn't it, Captain? "

Facebook Plans Camera-Equipped TV Device, Report Says

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Facebook is developing hardware for the TV, news outlet Cheddar reported Tuesday. From the report: The world's largest social network is building a camera-equipped device that sits atop a TV and allows video calling along with entertainment services like Facebook's YouTube competitor, according to people familiar with the matter. The project, internally codenamed "Ripley," uses the same core technology as Facebook's recently announced Portal video chat device for the home. Portal begins shipping next month and uses A.I. to automatically detect and follow people as they move throughout the frame during a video call. Facebook currently plans to announce project Ripley in the spring of 2019, according to a person with direct knowledge of the project. But the device is still in development and the date could be changed.

Here comes the telescreen!

By Frank Malenfant • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
1984 was an instruction book after all.


By grasshoppa • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

When time comes for me to buy a new TV, if I can't find a non-smart, non-camera equipped TV then I'll forgo the purchase.

Too much nonsense in modern TVs, too much crap I'm being asked to pay for that I don't want.

What could go wrong?

By gander666 • Score: 3 • Thread
Srsly, what the actual fuck.


By Nidi62 • Score: 3 • Thread
Nuke it from orbit, it's the only way to be sure. And by "it", I mean all of Facebook.

Stephen Hawking Warns That AI and 'Superhumans' Could Wipe Humanity; Says There's No God in Posthumous Book

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Stephen Hawking says artificial intelligence will eventually become so advanced it will "outperform humans." The renowned physicist who died in March warns of both rises in advanced artificial intelligence and genetically-enhanced "superhumans" in a book published Tuesday. Hawking also weighed in on god, and aliens. From a report: According to an excerpt of the book "Brief Answers to the Big Questions" published by the U.K.'s Sunday Times, Hawking wrote AI could prove "huge" to humanity so long as restrictions are in place to control how quickly it grows. "While primitive forms of artificial intelligence developed so far have proved very useful, I fear the consequences of creating something that can match or surpass humans," Hawking wrote. "Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn't compete and would be superseded." Hawking wrote about a need for serious research to explore what impact AI would have on humanity, from the workplace to the military, where he expressed concerns about sophisticated weapons systems "that can choose and eliminate their own targets." Hawking also wrote about advances to manipulating DNA, or what he calls "self-designed evolution. Early advances involving the gene-editing tool CRISPR include alerting DNA to create "low-fat" pigs. CNN: "There is no God. No one directs the universe," he writes in "Brief Answers to the Big Questions." "For centuries, it was believed that disabled people like me were living under a curse that was inflicted by God," he adds. "I prefer to think that everything can be explained another way, by the laws of nature."

"There are forms of intelligent life out there," he writes. "We need to be wary of answering back until we have developed a bit further." And he leaves open the possibility of other phenomena. "Travel back in time can't be ruled out according to our present understanding," he says. He also predicts that "within the next hundred years we will be able to travel to anywhere in the Solar System."

Re:Atheism is pessimism

By Camel Pilot • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Ironically, from theology came medical care. Without God, the law survival of the fittest is taken to its most extreme interpretation, and there are no cripples, not for long anyway, until they are sacrificed or abandoned as unwanteds.

Medical care is sourced in empathy - a common trait in humans.

Many religions and ideas of God interpret the sick and disadvantage of being cursed by God as noted in the summary above. For example, the The Hindu's have their caste system and the Christians a notion of the "elect" and "reprobates".

Sadly, yet another typical ignorant atheist

By UnknownSoldier • Score: 3, Interesting • Thread

I'll probably get modded down but there are two important questions he should of asked before he died:

* ALL the Laws of Physics just "magically" emerged from where again? Or

* They have ALWAYS existed???

That is, WHY is the speed of light 299,792,458 m / s. Has it ALWAYS been this? If so, WHY? If not, WHY?

Either way, that requires no more, or any less, faith then your standard theist. Atheists LOVE to pretend that their F word is Faith -- but faith is NOT a dirty word -- only blind faith is. EVERYONE has Faith -- otherwise what sustains your beliefs in the first place???

Sadly Hawkins got caught up in the Fallacy of Duality:

* Atheist, noun, a spiritual blind man arguing color doesn't exist,
* Theist, noun, a spiritual monochromatic man arguing that ONLY his color exists.

The fundamental problem is that Atheism is based on ignorance. i.e. I have no belief. Ergo, I have no knowledge. Great! How does this LACK of knowledge help you to live a better life??? How does it help you to have compassion for your fellow man or animal?

As a mystic I can say Hawkins was 100% wrong about The Source. He will find out just how ignorant he was about meta-reality when he realizes his consciousness is INDEPENDENT of his physical body -- which he could of learnt if he actually LISTENED to anyone who has had an OBE. Sadly, he COMPLETELY missed the point about religion. He should of ditched man-made religion and focused on transcendent spirituality instead.


* Religion: one man preaching another what he SHOULD do to understand The Source,
* Spirituality: one man teaching another what he COULD do to understand The Source.

Hawkins also should have stuck to Physics where he can PROVE his claims otherwise he doesn't know what the fuck he is talking about W.R.T. Meta-Physics.

Scientist: Awesome work for making Science accessible to the public!
Atheist: Doesn't have a fucking clue about meta-reality.

The ENTIRE reason you even exist is to learn HOW to have better relationships.
There is nothing more important then them. Your character is the only thing you can take with you when you die.

Not an AI expert

By Artem Tashkinov • Score: 3 • Thread

Even though he's considered a renowned physicist I still wouldn't pay too much attention to his sentiments about AI. You know that's what science is: you don't opine about the things which are not even remotely related to your field of research unless you want to make a fool of yourself.

Also, during the past years of his life he kept fear mongering about AI to the point where you just couldn't take any longer. We still know what intelligence is; we don't know how close we are to inventing artificial intelligence; and our intelligence algorithms easily trip over after being fed terabytes of data. One thing is certain: that's not how natural intelligence works.

I'm a lot more interested in what Jeff Hawkins is about to reveal - and if it's not some bluff given that experts from DeepMind couldn't understand anything then we are on the verge of some significant breakthroughs.


By PhotoGuy • Score: 3 • Thread

Interesting that, if I recall correctly, his "Brief History of Time" and other published works mentioned that it allowed for the possibility of a God.

He leaves stating there's no God to be published post-humously.

Hedging his bets? Or just avoiding controversy while alive?

Re:Stephan Hawking was not ...

By kilfarsnar • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Being an atheist is an evidence-based worldview. This obviously isn't your wheelhouse either, and nobody has perfected AI or even come anywhere close. Thanks for your boar tits though, tasty.

Being Agnostic is an evidence-based world view. You cannot prove a negative and therefore cannot prove that god does not exist. The most science has to say about god is that there is no scientific evidence for its existence. There also used to be no evidence for germs or atoms. The best we can say is that we don't know.

Whether or not we are living in a simulation is a hot topic today. If we are, it implies that there is a reality outside our own, and beings that inhabit it to run the simulation. Perhaps when we die here, we exit the simulation and re-enter the other reality. Well, does that sound familiar?

I'm not saying the God of the Bible is necessarily real or described accurately in that book. I am saying that foreclosing the possibility of a greater, unseen intelligence or consciousness existing outside of, or in concert with, our observed reality is not scientific.

Google To Charge Smartphone Makers For Google Play in Europe

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Google will charge smartphone makers a licensing fee for using its popular Google Play app store and also allow them to use rival versions of its Android mobile operating system to comply with an EU antitrust order, it said Tuesday. From a report: Google, an Alphabet subsidiary, announced the changes on Tuesday, three months after the European Commission handed it a landmark 4.34 billion euro ($5 billion) fine for using its popular Android mobile operating system to hinder rivals. The company said the licensing fees will offset revenue lost as a result of its compliance efforts. "Since the pre-installation of Google Search and Chrome together with our other apps helped us fund the development and free distribution of Android, we will introduce a new paid licensing agreement for smartphones and tablets shipped into the EEA," Hiroshi Lockheimer, senior vice president for platforms and ecosystems, said in a blog. In a blog post, Lockheimer wrote: Second, device manufacturers will be able to license the Google mobile application suite separately from the Google Search App or the Chrome browser. Since the pre-installation of Google Search and Chrome together with our other apps helped us fund the development and free distribution of Android, we will introduce a new paid licensing agreement for smartphones and tablets shipped into the EEA. Android will remain free and open source. Third, we will offer separate licenses to the Google Search app and to Chrome.

We'll also offer new commercial agreements to partners for the non-exclusive pre-installation and placement of Google Search and Chrome. As before, competing apps may be pre-installed alongside ours. These new licensing options will come into effect on October 29, 2018, for all new smartphones and tablets launched in the EEA.

Works for me

By rsilvergun • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
You'll pay $10-$20 bucks more for an Android but get privacy and consumer options.

It might be less. You can be Microsoft will be happy to pay a handset manufacturer to make Bing the default. That said, I can run alternatives to google services on my phone and, well, I don't. Not because I can't but because their software tends to be the best, at least for low end phones like my old LG Note.


By Jogar the Barbarian • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

EEA stands for European Economic Area, in case anyone [else] is curious.

Wuddabout Apple?

By yayoubetcha • Score: 3 • Thread

So, I know the EU says Google requiring vendors to use Google Play was an antitrust issue. The thing I never understood is Apple does not even allow it's operating system or "app store" to on other hardware (via license to other mfgs). To me, Apple is more guilty of antitrust than Google.

What am I missing?

Re: Wuddabout Apple?

By Aristos Mazer • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
If I understand EU refs right, Apple markets a complete device. When you buy it, thatâ(TM)s what you get. Google markets an OS to other companies and was applying rules that reached beyond first sale to those companies and bound what those companies could offer their customers. Itâ(TM)s fine to sell a closed device. Itâ(TM)s not fine to sell part of a device that comes with strings that affect the rest of the device.

Sounds like Google is offended

By zarmanto • Score: 3 • Thread

Seems to me that Google is basically saying, "You don't like free?!? FINE! -- then we'll just charge you for everything!" and then sticking their middle finger up at the EU courts.

I mean, I'm not saying that Google is right necessarily... but that's certainly how their response reads, to my mind.

Chrome 70 Won't Ship With a Patch For Autoplay-Blocking Web Audio API Which Broke Web Apps and Games Earlier This Year

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An anonymous reader shares a report: Earlier this year, Google made a seemingly crowd-pleasing tweak to its Chrome browser and created a crisis for web game developers. Its May release of Chrome 66 muted sites that played sound automatically, saving internet users from the plague of annoying auto-playing videos. But the new system also broke the audio of games and web art designed for the old audio standard -- including hugely popular games like QWOP, clever experiments like the Infinite Jukebox, and even projects officially showcased by Google. After a backlash over the summer, Google kept blocking autoplay for basic video and audio, but it pushed the change for games and web applications to a later version. That browser version, Chrome 70, is on the verge of full release -- but the new, autoplay-blocking Web Audio API isn't part of it yet. Google communications manager Ivy Choi tells The Verge that Chrome will start learning the sites where users commonly play audio, so it can tailor its settings to their preferences. The actual blocking won't start until Chrome 71, which is due in December.

Please tell Google quit breaking web APIs

By mysidia • Score: 3 • Thread

Dear Google: You don't get to change web standards randomly. The purpose of having a standard is there's a Stable Specification that developers write their applications against, and specifications stay the same and don't get willy-nilly changes until a new major version is ready, and the application sets a flag that it is ready to use the new version of the standard; your browser should be compliant and not suddenly change from developer expectations... stop coming up with random updates (planned or not) that make your browser start randomly doing weird stuff that breaks shit.

I'm all for muting annoying auto-plays, but you need to treat it like the PopUp blocker: Alert the user that your software has done something weird to stop a likely annoyance, and let the user easily override it for the site or disable AutoAudio blocking entirely.

Bullshit ...

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread

Its May release of Chrome 66 muted sites that played sound automatically, saving internet users from the plague of annoying auto-playing videos

Muting them is a start, but not good enough.

Not downloading or playing the fecking things would be actually saving internet users from this shit.

Muting it still wastes my bandwidth, CPU, and time as I pause the damned thing.

And, no, I don't give a fuck about people who make shit with autoplay videos they think is useful, your autoplay garbage has no value to me, and I don't want my browser to show it.

Re:What keeps me in Firefox

By dgatwood • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

What I really want is the ability to blacklist sites from which I never want to hear audio. CNN, I'm looking at you.

Chinese Phone Maker Huawei Launches Mate 20 Pro Featuring In-Screen Fingerprint Sensor, Two-Way Wireless Charging, 3 Rear Cameras and 4,200mAh Battery

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Huawei's new Mate 20 Pro has a massive screen, three cameras on the back and a fingerprint scanner embedded in the display. From a report: The new top-end phone from the Chinese firm aims to secure its place at the top of the market alongside Samsung, having recently beaten Apple to become the second-largest smartphone manufacturer in August. The Mate 20 Pro follows Huawei's tried and trusted format for its Mate series: a huge 6.39in QHD+ OLED screen, big 4,200mAh battery and powerful new Huawei Kirin 980 processor -- Huawei's first to be produced at 7 nanometres, matching Apple's latest A12 chip in the 2018 iPhones.

New for this year is an infrared 3D facial recognition system, similar to that used by Apple for its Face ID in the iPhone XS, and one of the first fingerprint scanners embedded in the screen that is widely available in the UK, removing the need for a fingerprint scanner on the back or a chin on the front. The Mate 20 Pro is water resistant to IP68 standards and has a sleek new design reminiscent of Samsung's S-series phones, with curved glass on the front and back. The back also has an new pattern etched into the glass, which is smooth to the touch but ridged when running your nail over it.

On the back is a new version of Huawei's award-winning triple camera system using a 40-megapixel standard camera, an 8-megapixel telephoto camera with a 3x optical zoom and new for this year is a 20-megapixel ultra-wide angle camera, replacing the monochrome sensor used on the P20 Pro.
The Mate 20 Pro runs EMUI 9, which is based on Android 9 Pie. The variant with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage is available for 899 Euro starting today.

About huawei

By Luckyo • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Fun part I recently ran into with Huawei phone that friend was using. You can't install VLC on them any more through play store. You have to get APK package from elsewhere.

Apparently, Huawei has some out of spec handling of battery management that interferes with many apps, and VLC folks just had enough. So keep that in mind if you want to get one:

Re:2-way wireless charging

By Mascot • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

I base this guess off of nothing but an image and a headline that said something like "friend charging" that I didn't click on, but it might be the ability to charge one phone with another. So if you have 80% battery and your friend's phone is about to die, you can put them on top of one another and yours can charge his.

Camera behind screen

By ljw1004 • Score: 3 • Thread

I hope manufacturers will start putting front-facing cameras behind the screen, roughly in the center of the phone or 2/3 of the way up. That way when (1) in video calls we'll be able to look at the people we're speaking with and they'll see our eyes actually looking at them, and (2) when we take selfie photos and are checking out how we look, our eyes will be looking at the camera.

I read about an Apple patent for this back in 2009 but it doesn't look like there's been any development since then.

And... it uses a proprietary storage card

By fahrbot-bot • Score: 3 • Thread
Not mentioned in TFA or TFS, but mentioned here:

The new handsets are the first to take NM Card, a Huawei-made design that offers the capacity and performance of microSD in a card the size of a Nano SIM.

The problem, you might have surmised, is that you're buying what's currently a vendor-exclusive technology. You can't just run to any store and pick up an NM Card when your built-in storage fills up. It's unclear how Huawei will price these cards, for that matter. And however reasonable the price might be, you're likely locking yourself into using Huawei phones if you want to use that extra storage with any future phones.

Another no headphone jack

By AbRASiON • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Sorry, don't subscribe to the arguments supporting the ability to work around this design flaw.

It's not hard to keep, it's really not ruining phones keeping it. I will not purchase a phone without it.


Slack Doesn't Have End-to-End Encryption Because Your Boss Doesn't Want It

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Business communications service Slack, which has more than three million paying customers, offers a bouquet of features that has made it popular (so popular that is worth as much as $9 billion), but it lacks a crucial feature that some of its rivals don't: end-to-end encryption. It's a feature that numerous users have asked Slack to add to the service. Citing a former employee of Slack and the company's chief information security officer, news outlet Motherboard reported Tuesday that the rationale behind not including end-to-end encryption is very simple: bosses around the world don't want it. From the report: Work communication service Slack has decided against the idea of having end-to-end encryption due to the priorities of its paying customers (rather than those who use a free version of the service.) Slack is not a traditional messaging program -- it's designed for businesses and workplaces that may want or need to read employee messages -- but the decision still highlights why some platforms may not want to jump into end-to-end encryption. End-to-end is increasingly popular as it can protect communications against from interception and surveillance. "It wasn't a priority for exec [executives], because it wasn't something paying customers cared about," a former Slack employee told Motherboard earlier this year.

Wrong way around

By Drethon • Score: 3 • Thread

I think you mean my boss doesn't want slack because it doesn't have end to end encryption... We recently switched from Jabber to Skype because Jabber keeps IM history and that is considered a security risk. So instead we get to deal with hit or miss desktop sharing and file transfers, and often not being able to properly connect to the servers any given morning. I think the issue is mostly with our IT, not Skype, but I do know Jabber was dead stable for years. ...not biased at all.

Re:This makes no sense

By jeff4747 • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

It's not trivial, but I don't buy that unencrypted communications are the alternative for the reasons they state.

The client-server communications are encrypted. The reason it isn't end-to-end encryption is the server decrypts the messages before encrypting them for the recipient's connection and sending them on.

Basically, they do what you propose. But that isn't end-to-end because the server (aka "centalizing their archival") can read the contents of the messages.

Re:hindsight is 20/20

By jeff4747 • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Alternatively, you could realize not having end-to-end encryption is not the same as not having encryption.

The client-server communications are encrypted. You just can't send a DM that the server can not read. At least, not directly through Slack.

Huge difference between "want" and "care"...

By zarmanto • Score: 3 • Thread

There is a huge difference between "bosses around the world don't want it," and "it wasn't something paying customers cared about." (emphasis added for clarity) The former implies (as observed in the quoted summary in the parent thread) that bosses may be actively seeking to eavesdrop; the latter implies that bosses don't care either way, as long as they don't have to pay extra for encryption.

Clearly, the concerns of the actual end-users is that perhaps the former is more likely the case... which probably tends to drive those end-users to other platforms (those which do enable encryption) for any of their more casual interactions. And obviously, when you default to an "unofficial" platform in this fashion, you're not particularly likely to bother going back to the "official" platform just to conduct business with those same people -- except when you're forced. And we all know what happens when you try to force someone to do something that they don't want to do; they pretend to do it, or they only do it just barely enough to get the boss off of their back.

End result: ironically, those "paying" customers may stop paying, if Slack can't actually convince the end-users to use the tool properly... which I would suggest makes this a potentially self-defeating scenario.

Why would you listen to bosses?

By king neckbeard • Score: 3 • Thread
Why would you listen to bosses on technical implementation details? They rarely have any idea, which is why they hire people who do.

Apple 'Deeply Apologetic' Over Account Hacks in China

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Apple has issued an apology over the hacking of some Chinese accounts in phishing scams, almost a week after it emerged that stolen Apple IDs had been used to swipe customer funds. From a report: In its English statement Tuesday, Apple said it found "a small number of our users' accounts" had been accessed through phishing scams. "We are deeply apologetic about the inconvenience caused to our customers by these phishing scams," Apple said in its Chinese statement. The incident came to light last week when Chinese mobile-payment giants Alipay and WeChat Pay said some customers had lost money. The victims of the scams, Apple said Tuesday, hadn't enabled so-called two-factor authentication -- a setting that requires a user to log in with a password and a freshly-generated code to verify their identity.

Sorry for what?

By sloth jr • Score: 3 • Thread
If Apple provided the ability for two-factor authentication, and customers didn't use it, and they got phished - what exactly is Apple apologizing for? PEBKAC?

Sony Tries Using Blockchain Tech For Next-Gen DRM

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Sony announced Monday that it's using blockchain technology for digital rights management (DRM), "starting with written educational materials under the Sony Global Education arm of the business," reports Engadget. "This new blockchain system is built on Sony's pre-existing DRM tools, which keep track of the distribution of copyrighted materials, but will have advantages that come with blockchain's inherent security." From the report: Because of the nature of blockchain, which tracks digital transactions in records that are particularly difficult to forge or otherwise tamper with, its application as a DRM tool makes sense and may also help creators keep tabs on their content. Currently, it's up to creators themselves (or the companies they create for) to monitor their contents' rights management. Sony's system could take over the heavy lifting of DRM. The way blockchain works allows Sony to track its content from creation through sharing. This means that users of the blockchain DRM tool will be able to see -- and verify -- who created a piece of work and when. Sony Global Education is the current focus of the DRM tool, but going forward, the company hints that the rest of its media -- including entertainment like music, movies, and virtual reality content -- may be protected the same way.

Re:Blockchain BS

By arth1 • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

Where blockchain really shines is when you want a system whereby no individual parties are trusted.

That makes sense then - no-one trusts Sony, after all.

Re:What value added?

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

But that makes zero sense. If they wanted, if there is real incentive, it is going to be trivial for some pirates to spin up a ton of servers to quickly perform a 51% attack. Or do you think sony is just going to spend millions of dollars having hash farms sitting there hashing away just in case a pirate attacks?

And more importantly, in the event the pirates successfully pull off a 51% attack, then what? Is everyone just going to roll over and say "well, the majority of hashing power has voted" and just give up on the ? No, they are going to say "well, that's not really valid anymore, so lets just ignore it and go with what sony says is legit". And now you've just invalidated the entire point of having a blockchain. "We can't trust anyone, so we'll trust the blockchain collectively...until we decide we can't trust the blockchain, at which point we'll just trust the entity we didn't want to simply trust at the beginning".

If you give up on your principles as soon as they are inconvenient, they weren't really principles to begin with. Likewise if you can stop trusting the blockchain as soon as you think it is compromised, it was never really trusted to begin with.

So what happens to analog hole and re-encoding?

By 140Mandak262Jamuna • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
Whatever data is embedded in the created media file needs to survive going through a re-encoding process. For music is ridiculously simple to take a high quality analog output and to re-encode it. For digital, there is supposedly some mild protection in HDMI to stop casual pirating boot legging. But one can always buy a legitimate devices or hack a recorder to identify itself as a TV and download the stream for processing. It can be re-encoded with controlled biases and that can thwart any steganography in the video stream or picture files.

It is very hard to stop pirating. Pirating and boot legging is rampant in India. One film director was bemoaning that he got a congratulatory call from Dubai on his new movie on the day of the release. The company had not even begun movie distribution talks with any Dubai distributor at that time. But Bollywood thrives, they know they are going to get the money in the first week and that is all. Then the content is essentially public domain. People take clips and interpolate with some politician's speech and create funny sequences. They play the sound track and record themselves lip synching (called dub-mash) and redistribute. No one pays any royalty or digital rights. Even if a dub-mash goes viral it does not top the charts because it gets immediately boot legged into hundred you tube videos and the viewer count gets fragmented.

Through it all it some how thrives and makes some money for the creators.

Re:Blockchain BS

By postbigbang • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

It's more about transactional integrity. Blockchain is more trivial to code and execute than you might think.

If one takes a vetted (!!) inventory of music and film and media and whatever, and wants to bank it among a group of producers, artists, media companies, and consumers, this method can work to achieve a transaction history of who owns what with what stipulations, and it's wickedly difficult to game.

Not that DRM works. Rather, this is transactional integrity for the lawyers and apps that will be used to assert "rights".

IMHO, it's folly and a waste of money, but rights protection is a mantra in the media business. I allows Wall Street to believe that there is asset protection, therefore stock value and price. In actuality, that's the real "customer" for this blockchain effort. And that's the charade's target: share price.

Re:What value added?

By mysidia • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

I guess the idea is media creators could create a public blockchain describing their works and every playerID or userCode license that has an authorization to disseminate their work. The description of a work could actually contain enough information about various watermarks and identifying features of their works to identify both legitimate copies and Identify decent-quality rogue copies containing an identical picture or more than 30 seconds or so of audio or video: then in order to disseminate ANY work, a compliant playing device would be required to maintain an online connection and take steps to identify what work is being played --- then in order to play a work identified as matching a protected one: the player would be required to login, userId, and apply for a player hardware Id Lease containing the player hardwareId and the manufacturer+hardware IDs of the monitor and every device in the viewing chain (May require submitting a payment); wait for a short-lived Play authorization to appear on the blockchain, and maintain an internet connection to (1) Verify every 60 seconds that the play authorization is still valid for this content, and (2) The player has to transmit all the blockchain records to the HDCP display monitor, digital sound, and every device in the chain, so.... (3) The HDCP monitor also verifies the "play authorization".

The DRM could be combined with a proprietary audo/video encoding package: which would be protected by a patent,
and in order to enforce the DRM policies -- licensing the patent to decode would require that all decoders made available
be only "Compliant players". After every 3 or 4 years, there would be a new encoding/decoding package with a new patent,
and a mandatory online instant update for Compliant Players to remain compliant and be able to continue playing content
that involves removing the hardware's capability to decode media packages that are more than 2 versions behind --
and media leases can no longer be issued for older versions of the media to ensure by the time patent expires - nothing in consumers' hands can play that format anymore.

Medtronic Locks Down Vulnerable Pacemaker Programming Kit Due To Cybersecurity Concerns

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
AmiMoJo shares a report from The Register: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is advising health professionals to keep an eye on some of the equipment they use to monitor pacemakers and other heart implants. The watchdog's alert this week comes after Irish medical device maker Medtronic said it will lock some of its equipment out of its software update service, meaning the hardware can't download and install new code from its servers. That may seem counterintuitive, however, it turns out security vulnerabilities in its technology that it had previously thought could only be exploited locally could actually be exploited via its software update network. Malicious updates could be pushed to Medtronic devices by hackers intercepting and tampering with the equipment's internet connections -- the machines would not verify they were actually downloading legit Medtronic firmware -- and so the biz has cut them off.

And IoT will be much more secure... right

By Mathinker • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

We're talking a device which when it malfunctions, kills (or could kill) someone. And still the manufacturer didn't get the basics of security correct: using signed software updates.

How can we believe that IoT devices, which are manufactured with much less profit overhead, will be more secure? (Unless somehow regulated -- which also didn't for for those FDA-approved pacemakers).

How does it improve security?

By enriquevagu • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread

The original company stops making updates available.
Before that, a hacker could impersonate the update server (probably using a MITM attack) so the device received a hacked firmware, not the legit one. But if no hacking occurs, the device receives a legit update.
After the change, if a hacker impersonates the (unavailable) update server, the device can only find the hacked firmware, never the legit one.
How is this exactly improving security?

Security not even an agenda item

By ArhcAngel • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
I worked for a competitor to Medtronics that manufactured pacemakers in the 90s. The "state of the art" communication with the IC was an antenna that used PWM to talk. As long as you knew the handshake you could program it however you wanted. But if you wanted to be malicious you didn't even need to go to that much trouble. Many remember the signs posted in convenient stores that had microwave ovens because the stray noise from them could literally wipe out the programming on a pacemaker.

How is this not a solved problem

By cciechad • Score: 3 • Thread
Sign the code with a private key and compare a hash. Secure devices have been doing this for some time.

Google's CEO Says Tests of Censored Chinese Search Engine Have Been Very Promising

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
At Wired's 25th anniversary summit, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said the company's internal tests developing a censored search engine in China have been very promising. Pichai is strengthening his commitment on the controversial search engine, codenamed Project Dragonfly, saying the potential to expose the world to more information is guiding Google's push into China. "We are compelled by our mission [to] provide information to everyone, and [China is] 20 percent of the world's population." Wired reports: Pichai was careful to emphasize that this was a decision that weighs heavy on the company. "People don't understand fully, but you're always balancing a set of values," in every new country, he said. Those values include providing access to information, freedom of expression, and user privacy. "But we also follow the rule of law in every country," he said. This is a reversal of a decision from about eight years, when Google pulled its search engine, which was also censored, from the Chinese market. Pichai said the time had come to reevaluate that choice. "It's a wonderful, innovative market. We wanted to learn what it would look like if we were in China, so that's what we built internally," Pichai said. "Given how important the market is and how many users there are," he added, "we feel obliged to think hard about this problem and take a longer-term view." In response to the company's decision to back out of a project with the Department of Defense, nicknamed Project Maven, to build AI and facial recognition technology, and the employee concerns surrounding it, Pichai said: "Throughout Google's history, we've given our employees a lot of voice and say. But we don't run the company by holding referendums. It's an important input. We take it seriously." On the issue of Maven, however, "it's more also the debate within the AI Community around how you perceive our work in the area."

Google's values - pro-China, anti-America?

By sabbede • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
How is it Google's "values" don't matter for crap when it comes to making money in China, but prevent it from helping the US military? Did nobody tell them that they're an American company? Why are they so eager to do business with a dictatorship that openly seeks to crush the US, while refusing to do business with the Department of Defense?

China is an oppressive dictatorship that uses censorship to control its people. America is a democracy that values free and open information. Google values free and open information. Who is that Google wants to help and who is it that Google refuses to help?

This is f'd up.

Re:well google

By houghi • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

"Hans ... are we the baddies?"

Dragonfly - Sergey Brin's Yacht's Name

By sasparillascott • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Sergey Brin, one of the founder's of Google, was one of the main forces that pushed Google to leave China before. He has a Yacht named Dragonfly. Pichai has named this project to go back into China Dragonfly - from the outside it looks like a right in your face middle finger to Brin and what he said.

The market there is already saturated for search engines, so its not like Google is going to make alot of money - but the moral standing Google has for not being there is valuable which the Google CEO doesn't seem to comprehend. Pichai is doing great for the stock price, but seems to have no moral compass other than do what makes the most money right now - its as if Scrooge is running the place. He does need to go - but the shareholders are loving this no concern for moral issues type of management style (Facebook style really), so no.

Re:F Google, use DuckDuckGo

By Mashiki • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Presumably DDG pays Google for the use of their search API anyway.

No, they actually don't.

DDG's business model is to sell ads on its platform, so you have to trust that they won't use those to spy on you or infect your machine with malware. Unfortunately they seem to be using the Bing and Amazon ad networks.

They use bing, and curate the ads served. Something fundamentally different, remember when companies had their own ad hosts and only allowed specific ads? Yeah...those were the days before giant ad networks spewing malware. Oh, the other way is via affiliate links aka you click on a product they get a cut. They also don't follow you around the internet like a crazy ex that just can't seem to let go.

Re:F Google, use DuckDuckGo

By AmiMoJo • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

I tried their example of searching for "car", which they claim does not track you. I can't post the URL of the advert as plain text due to the lameness filter, so you will have to hover over the following:

ad link

So we have a bounce through, who do track you, "" which is part of the DoubleClick network, a unique "ad_provider" ID and what looks like a number of other IDs. Also, it's HTTP, not even HTTPS, so now your ISP/employer has that data too.

Finally, the link that you claim says they curate ads actually says

By default, when you sign up for a Bing Ads account, your ads should automatically enter rotation into all of Bing's distribution channels including DuckDuckGo.

In other words they throw up whatever Bing deems to be okay.

'Hyperalarming' Study Shows Massive Insect Loss

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Washington Post: Insects around the world are in a crisis, according to a small but growing number of long-term studies showing dramatic declines in invertebrate populations. A new report suggests that the problem is more widespread than scientists realized. Huge numbers of bugs have been lost in a pristine national forest in Puerto Rico (Warning: source may be paywalled; alternative source), the study found, and the forest's insect-eating animals have gone missing, too. The latest report, published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows that this startling loss of insect abundance extends to the Americas. The study's authors implicate climate change in the loss of tropical invertebrates.

Bradford Lister, a biologist at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York, has been studying rain forest insects in Puerto Rico since the 1970s. "We went down in '76, '77 expressly to measure the resources: the insects and the insectivores in the rain forest, the birds, the frogs, the lizards," Lister said. He came back nearly 40 years later, with his colleague Andrés García, an ecologist at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. What the scientists did not see on their return troubled them. "Boy, it was immediately obvious when we went into that forest," Lister said. Fewer birds flitted overhead. The butterflies, once abundant, had all but vanished. García and Lister once again measured the forest's insects and other invertebrates, a group called arthropods that includes spiders and centipedes. The researchers trapped arthropods on the ground in plates covered in a sticky glue, and raised several more plates about three feet into the canopy. The researchers also swept nets over the brush hundreds of times, collecting the critters that crawled through the vegetation. Each technique revealed the biomass (the dry weight of all the captured invertebrates) had significantly decreased from 1976 to the present day. The sweep sample biomass decreased to a fourth or an eighth of what it had been. Between January 1977 and January 2013, the catch rate in the sticky ground traps fell 60-fold.
The study also found a 30-percent drop in anole lizards, which eat arthropods. Some anole species have disappeared entirely from the interior forest. Another research team captured insect-eating frogs and birds in 1990 and 2005, and found a 50 percent decrease in the number of captures. The authors attribute this decline to the changing climate.

Re: Fake news

By jd • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Not really. Those doctors will be frankly terrified by the news. Maybe you'll understand why, maybe not. If you don't, and are interested, ask. If you aren't interested, I can't help.

However, expect people including people you know and care about to die of malaria and other tropical diseases in higher latitudes in very large numbers over the coming decades.

And that's not good news.

Re:Another lazy Republican pretends to know better

By tbannist • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

So what's different this time? I mean, the Medieval Warm Period, the Roman Warm Period, the Minoan Warm Period - all were hotter and longer than the current burst.

Well, the evidence suggests that you're probably wrong about the Medieval Warm Period, the Roman Warm Period and the Minoan Warm Period being hotter and longer than the current warming.

I guess modern insects and mammals are just too wimpy...

Or, I guess you could ignore the evidence and invent your own explanations...

Not very new, unfortunately

By LordHighExecutioner • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
It has been reported before, I think also here on slashdot. It would be interesting to estimate if the missing insects (their body is made of carbon and other elements) had a significant role as a carbon sink. A back-on-the-envelope calculation gives me roughly 1% or less of the world CO2 production, but I am not very expert in this field.

authors say climate change - hahaha

By iggymanz • Score: 3 • Thread

what idiots, jumping on the "it's all climate change" bandwagon.

destroying forests for farmland with pesticides and herbicides is the cause.

Is There ANYTHING Climate Change Can't Do?

By Zorro • Score: 3 • Thread

No need to worry CLIMATE CHANGE can do everything!

Lost your car keys? CLIMATE CHANGE!

Icy roads on the way to work CLIMATE CHANGE!

Hurricane in Florida Cli...oh sorry that was SUPER TRUMP!

The Full Photoshop CC Is Coming To the iPad In 2019

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
The "real version" of Photoshop is coming to the iPad next year, complete with a user interface similar to the desktop application and all the main tools. Ars Technica reports: Photoshop for iPad has a user interface structured similarly to the desktop application. It is immediately familiar to users of the application but tuned for touch screens, with larger targets and adaptations for the tablet as well as gestures to streamline workflows. Both touch and pencil input are supported. The interface is somewhat simpler than the desktop version, and although the same Photoshop code is running under the hood to ensure there's no loss of fidelity, not every feature will be available in the mobile version. The first release will contain the main tools while Adobe plans to add more in the future. Cloud syncing is a key element of Photoshop on iPad. Edits made on the iPad will be synchronized transparently with the desktop -- no conversions or import/export process to go through. Using a feature not available in the iPad version should then be as simple as hitting save and then opening the file on the desktop, picking up where you left off. Adobe is also reportedly building a tablet painting app called Project Gemini, which "simulates real brushes, paints, and materials as well as the interactions between them," reports Ars. "It combines raster graphics, vector drawing, and the Photoshop engine into a single application designed for artwork and illustration."

Very cool

By rnmartinez • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
Glad to see this option for iPad users, although I have been very happy with Affinity Photo (great photoshop replacement) and Designer (great illustrator replacement so far). Maybe these aren't as feature rich as Adobe, but a one time purhcase of $30 each has made my life a lot easier.

Come on, be real - $10/month

By SuperKendall • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

You can easily complain about CC (I do) without fabricating things like cost.

I pay $10/month (not $99) and that includes 100GB of storage along with access to the photographic apps (photography plan).

Even for the Full CC suite of apps PLUS Adobe Stock, you are only talking $83/month.

Of course, to me that storage seems so laughably small I would only use it for projects I would then move out of the adobe cloud again. But it's not $100/month as you are absurdly claiming.

Re:$100/month would be absurd. $6,000 for 5 years

By damnbunni • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Quite a few artists work on tablets. Most of the ones I know use a Surface, but some use an iPad with other drawing apps.

The advantage of a tablet is that they can hold it any which way, in any comfortable position to draw in. They use the versions with a proper stylus, with thousands of levels of pressure sensitivity.

They get basically the same functionality as a Wacom Cintiq at lower total cost, and it's much more portable.

Re:$100/month would be absurd. $6,000 for 5 years

By magusxxx • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

*gasp* You said the 'W' word!

Wacom is still the industry standard for this type of stuff. And I think Apple is going to try and close the gap.

Start off with an iPad version to get the kinks out. Then go full steam ahead and come out with a line of touch screen monitors to directly compete with Wacom.

Several years ago an Apple patent was released for a touch screen monitor. And the design made it so you could slide your iPad into the back of the monitor for recharging and syncing.

Printer Makers Are Crippling Cheap Ink Cartridges Via Bogus 'Security Updates'

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard: Printer maker Epson is under fire this month from activist groups after a software update prevented customers from using cheaper, third party ink cartridges. It's just the latest salvo in a decades-long effort by printer manufacturers to block consumer choice, often by disguising printer downgrades as essential product improvements. For several decades now printer manufacturers have lured consumers into an arguably-terrible deal: shell out a modest sum for a mediocre printer, then pay an arm and a leg for replacement printer cartridges that cost relatively-little to actually produce.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation now says that Epson has been engaged in the same behavior. The group says it recently learned that in late 2016 or early 2017, Epson issued a "poison pill" software update that effectively downgraded user printers to block third party cartridges, but disguised the software update as a meaningful improvement. The EFF has subsequently sent a letter to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, arguing that Epson's lack of transparency can easily be seen as "misleading and deceptive" under Texas consumer protection laws. "When restricted to Epson's own cartridges, customers must pay Epson's higher prices, while losing the added convenience of third party alternatives, such as refillable cartridges and continuous ink supply systems," the complaint notes. "This artificial restriction of third party ink options also suppresses a competitive ink market and has reportedly caused some manufacturers of refillable cartridges and continuous ink supply systems to exit the market."

Re:Apparently photo printers...

By UnknownSoldier • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

> I have been told laser printers make inferior picture prints.

As someone who has BOTH a color laser printer and inkjet that is indeed TRUE.

* Laser printers are awesome for text but OK for photographs,
* Inkjet printers are OK for text (slightly blurry) but phenomenal for portraits, and HDR photographs.

One of the many standard "litmus test images" are the ones listed on the defunct Outback Print

From 3+ feet away you can't tell the difference between an inkjet and color laser on "natural" images. (i.e. non test patterns.) But closer then 3 feet and you start to notice the flaws of color laser printers -- especially gradients that have artifacts. Not Mach Banding but error dot diffusion patterns due to the small size of toner color laser printers basically "print" in a halftone pattern.

> I doubt professional industry-grade printing firms print their photos on inkjet printers.

That's because they care more about cost then quality.

> see no reason why laser printer pigments would have to be inferior.

I take it you don't do much (any?) printing of HDR photos. Here is a primer (pardon the pun.)

First, color laser printers only have the standard 4 color CYMK toners. This means the gamut is not quite as large as inkjets's dyes and pigments.

Second, in Canon printers the large black "PGI" cartridge are pigments which is used when printing text. The remaining color tanks may be dye based inks which tend to have smaller particles than the pigment based inks. See Canon PGI vs CLI for more details.

Third, inkjets tend to have more dyes then just the standard 4 color CYMK inks. For example, the Canon Pixma PRO-1 is a 12 pigment system. Why 12?

5 are dedicated for black and white printing:
* LGY (Light Gray)
* GY (Grey)
* DGY (Dark Grey)
* MBK (Matte Black)
* PBK (Photo Black)

Remaining 7 are for colors:
* C (Cyan)
* Y (Yellow)
* M (Magenta)
* R (Red)
* PC (Photo Cyan)
* PM (Phtoto Magenta)
* CO (Chroma Optimizer)

If you want the best quality the type of printer inkjet vs color laser matters due to printing technology. i.e. For every day use a color laser printer is more then good enough but if you want quality portraits nothing beats an inkjet.

Re:Printing as a service and dry toner

By UnknownSoldier • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

> For mothers and mothers-in-law, I recommend mid-level color laser printers.

As someone who has BOTH a color laser printer and inkjet I'll second that.

Canon's color laser printer, the imageCLASS LBP612CDW at $184, is more then "good enough" for most people.

From 3+ feet away you probably can't tell the difference between an inkjet and color laser on "natural" images. (i.e. non test patterns.) But closer then 3 feet and you start to notice the flaws of color laser printers -- especially gradients that have artifacts. If you are printing portraits or HDR photography then the inkjet produces the superior quality -- no contest.

i.e. One of the many standard "litmus test images" are the ones listed on the defunct Outback Print such as this PrinterEvaluationImage_V002_aRGB.jpg


For 99% of people, yeah, they probably don't need their own inkjet but for the other 1% I wouldn't agree with that statement at all.

e.g. If you have a 10-bit/channel color monitor then you probably care about color consistency / correction across the entire pipeline. Especially with Canon's printers having 8, 10, and 12 ink systems now.

It all depends on the quality you want and at what price point.

Re:Why no open source printer hardware...?

By viperidaenz • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Perhaps you should read about how a laser printer works. The laser never hits the toner.
It's used to dissipate the static charge on the drum so it only picks up toner in the correct place to print the image.
The only heating that occurs is the drum that fuses the toner to the paper. That only melts the toner, it doesn't vaporise it.

Ink jet printers on the other do vaporise ink in some types.
HP used to brag that the instantaneous temperature inside the print head heats up hotter than the surface of the Sun. It's called "thermal drop-on-demand" . Canon, HP and Lexmark use it.

Re:Printing as a service and dry toner

By tlhIngan • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

This is exactly right. For the few documents I actually infrequently need to print, I have a brother color laser printer I got off of Amazon for ~$300. It's bulky, but the toner isn't going anywhere, it connects via wifi, and doubles as a copier/scanner.

In the event I need photos printed and they have to look nice, I'll just use Costco/Walgreens/CVS, they probably have better printers than I would have anyway.

Exactly. I use the color laser at work for things that need a splash of color. My home printer is black and white,, and it serves me just fine. The only time I needed to print photos, I used a photo printing service.

And the likes of Costco and such don't use crappy inkjet printers. No, they use real photo printers on real photo paper. Basically the same kind of machine that used to generate prints from 35mm film has been adapted for the digital world (they have a very high resolution CRT screen that images the photo paper).

For photos, they are simply stunning and come with your pick of matte or gloss photo paper. And photo paper means it doesn't run at the slightest hint of water.

Inkjet printers are junk. I wouldn't print photos on them - it costs under 50 cents for a 4x6 print from the store. Better than paying $30 for a pack of 10 inkjet printer photo paper and all the special inks.

A change in Point of Sale Law

By Alain Williams • Score: 3 • Thread

is needed which mandates display of: (a) ability to use third party parts; (b) ability to use third party repair shops. This should apply to any product that has an expected life of more than one month. The minimum prominence of the display (size, positioning, etc) should be specified. This should also apply to marketing, including web sites.

Once consumers start to notice this they will start to make buying decisions on this information. This will make manufacturers change. It might mean that it costs more to buy a printer, but cost over a few years should go down.

IT product review/comparison web sites could help with the problem today: Include these 2 data points in every review/comparison.

What the printer manufacturers are doing is just the same as John Deere does with tractors.