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.

Google Makes Sharing Plus Codes Easier in a Push To Simplify Addressing System Globally

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Two years ago, Google open-sourced Plus Codes, a digital addressing system to help billions of people navigate to places that don't have clear addresses. The company said this week it is making it easier for anyone with an Android device to share its rendition of an address -- a six-digit alphanumeric code. From a report: Google Maps users on Android can now tap the blue dot that represents their current location to view and share their unique six-digit coordinate with friends. Anyone with the code can look it up on Google Maps or Google Search to get the precise location of the destination. The codes look like this: G6G4+CJ Delhi, India. Google says it divides the geographical surface of the world into tiled areas and attributes a unique six-letter code and the name of the city and country to each of them. More than 2 billion people on the planet either don't have an address or have an address that isn't easy to locate. This challenge is more prevalent in developed markets such as India where a street address could often be as long as a paragraph, and where people often rely on nearby landmarks to navigate their way.

Translation From VC-Backed PR Jargon To English of Magic Leap CEO Rony Abovitz's Statement That He's 'Stepping Down'

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
From a company-wide memo sent by Rony Abovitz, the founder of Magic Leap, which has raised nearly $3 billion from high-profile investors including Andreessen Horowitz, Google, AT&T, NTT DoCoMo, Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, JP Morgan, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers: As we've shared over the last several weeks, in order to set Magic Leap on a course for success, we have pivoted to focus on delivering a spatial computing platform for enterprise. Technology columnist John Gruber, translates: As nearly everyone has finally realized, our actual technology is nothing at all like what we promised, lied about for years, and sold gullible deep-pocketed investors on. Our con is falling apart at the seams, so we'll milk the last few dollars out of the only investors dumb enough to give us even more money, by repeating the word "enterprise" and doing that thing with our fingers like Obi-Wan Kenobi. Magic Leap's memo adds: We have closed significant new funding and have very positive momentum towards closing key strategic enterprise partnerships. Gruber, continues translation: You're not going to believe this but we somehow raised another $350 million. I know, right? Magic Leap: As the board and I planned the changes we made and what Magic Leap needs for this next focused phase, it became clear to us that a change in my role was a natural next step. Gruber: Everyone agrees the jig is up. Magic Leap: I discussed this with the board and we have agreed that now is the time to bring in a new CEO who can help us to commercialize our focused plan for spatial computing in enterprise. We have been actively recruiting candidates for this role and I look forward to sharing more soon. Gruber: Our Craigslist ad: "Florida company seeks Bernie Madoff type." Magic Leap: I have been leading Magic Leap since 2011 (starting in my garage). We have created a new field. A new medium. And together we have defined the future of computing. Gruber: No one will remember us or anything we've doneâ--âunless Netflix makes one of those documentaries like the Fyre Festival one. I love that movie. Which makes me think maybe we should change our Craigslist ad to "Billy McFarland type." Actually, when does he get out of prison?

Twitter Flags Trump and White House Tweets About Minneapolis Protests for 'Glorifying Violence'

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Twitter placed a notice on a tweet from President Trump, shielding it from view for breaking what the company said are its rules about glorifying violence [Editor's note: the link may be paywalled; alternative source]. From a report: Mr. Trump's tweet was a comment on the violent protests in Minnesota. The post can now only be seen after users click a box with a notice saying it violated Twitter's rules against encouraging violence, but it otherwise remains visible. "We've taken action in the interest of preventing others from being inspired to commit violent acts, but have kept the Tweet on Twitter because it is important that the public still be able to see the Tweet given its relevance to ongoing matters of public importance," Twitter said on its official communications account.

This is the first time such a step has been taken against a head of state for breaking Twitter's rules about glorifying violence, a company spokesman said. The company said users' ability to interact with the tweet will be limited, and that users can retweet it with comment, but not like, reply to, or otherwise retweet it. "...These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won't let that happen. Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!," Mr. Trump's tweet said.
The official account of the White House, which tweeted Trump's message, has been flagged as well.

Re:Context, please

By AmiMoJo • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Well a CNN reporter and crew got arrested this morning on live TV, so now it's a bigger issue than just black people rioting and might actually get the attention it needs. But probably not.

Thankfully your constitution was written for this.

By VendettaMF • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

What do you mean the gun nuts aren't all immediately out and ready to protect the nation from a wannabe murderous tyrannical dotard? Wasn't that the whole point?

Re:There is no defense for S230 anymore here

By PsychoSlashDot • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

You only assume Trump is threatening lethal force.

Stop, or I'll shoot... you with something non-lethal to subdue you without causing any lasting harm.

Sorry, but unless you expressly qualify your statement, the default when "shoot" is used as a verb conveys lethality.

Even if it was open to borderline interpretation, this is a president speaking, so - knowing the reach and impact of their words - there'd be clarification to avoid misinterpretation as a threat... unless that threat was the intention. Either way you look at it, it's clear what Trump meant to communicate. It always is, typos aside.

Re: Another day

By Joce640k • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Have you looked at his twitter feed


There's lots of hating on Twitter since they censored him. There's a new executive order to force them "uphold free speech".

There's some stuff about how how Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey needs to "get his act together and bring the City under control" (I'm guessing Trump doesn't like him),

There's some stuff hating on Obama and several other people.

Not a single mention of what happened in Minneapolis or what actions will be taken to prevent it ever happening again.

PS: Have you seen the video of what the cops did? That's murder, right there. If they weren't cops they'd be in jail right now. Plus the paramedics who just loaded him on a gurney without even checking if he had a pulse or not.

Re: Another day

By fortfive • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

You appear to be implying that Trumpâ(TM)s tweets could somehow alleviate ignorance, rather than exacerbate it. I defy you to provide some evidence of that.

Miss Your Office? Some Companies Are Building Virtual Replicas

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Wall Street Journal: Stay-home orders and the shuttering of workplaces have given corporate employees some respite from getting dragged into time-wasting water-cooler conversations. But some companies and their employees don't want to leave everything about the office behind, it turns out, and are replicating their offices in "SimCity"-like simulations online. File-transfer service WeTransfer BV opened its virtual space on May 1, almost seven weeks after closing its physical offices in New York, Los Angeles and Amsterdam as part of the global effort to slow the spread of the new coronavirus.

Graphics reminiscent of early "Tomb Raider" videogames depict a version of the company's Dutch headquarters, adapted to include pool tables, techno music and in-jokes such as a "memorial" library named for the very- much-alive chief creative officer. Staff roam around in the form of avatars such as robots and panda bears. Gordon Willoughby, the chief executive of WeTransfer, said the platform helps provide the social experience of office life in the way that Zoom calls and Slack have replaced business meetings and desk-side chats. That is particularly valuable for recent hires, he said. [...] Although clients can use Breakroom to create their office utopia, the platform also enables real-world elements such additional privileges for senior staff. In Sine Wave's own virtual world, senior members can lock the boardroom, which is located on top of a hill overlooking the rest of the office.

Brought to you by....

By cayenne8 • Score: 3 • Thread
....the you gotta be fucknig kidding me department.

Even if you put aside the stupidity of a low res virtual office with panda bear avatars people really miss the full "office experience"???

Geez....enjoy the freedom while you have it, eh?

Miss your office?

By t4eXanadu • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Uh, maybe the upper level management misses it because they can't exert their power in person, from which they likely derive all meaning. The rest of us, though? I don't think so.

Ancient Mass Extinction Tied To Ozone Loss, Warming Climate

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Iwastheone shares a report from Science Magazine: The end of the Devonian period, 359 million years ago, was an eventful time: Fish were inching out of the ocean, and fernlike forests were advancing on land. The world was recovering from a mass extinction 12 million years earlier, but the climate was still chaotic, swinging between hothouse conditions and freezes so deep that glaciers formed in the tropics. And then, just as the planet was warming from one of these ice ages, another extinction struck, seemingly without reason. Now, spores from fernlike plants, preserved in ancient lake sediments from eastern Greenland, suggest a culprit: The planet's protective ozone layer was suddenly stripped away, exposing surface life to a blast of mutation-causing ultraviolet (UV) radiation.

Just as the extinction set in, the spores became misshapen and dark, indicating DNA damage, John Marshall, a palynologist at the University of Southampton, and his co-authors say in a paper published in Science Advances. It's evidence, he says, that "all of the ozone protection is gone." Scientists have long believed -- at least before humanity became a force for extinction -- that there were just two ways to wipe out life on Earth: an asteroid strike or massive volcanic eruptions. But 2 years ago, researchers found evidence that in Earth's worst extinction -- the end-Permian, 252 million years ago -- volcanoes lofted Siberian salt deposits into the stratosphere, where they might have fed chemical reactions that obliterated the ozone layer and sterilized whole forests. Now, spores from the end-Devonian make a compelling case that, even without eruptions, a warming climate can deplete the ozone layer, says Lauren Sallan, a paleobiologist at the University of Pennsylvania. "Because the evidence is so strong, it will make people rethink other mass extinction events."

Great Dying

By t4eXanadu • Score: 3 • Thread

There was just a summary in Nature this week of research suggesting that the greatest mass extinction event in the history of the planet, The Great Dying, which led to the extinction of 90% or more of marine life and 70% of land species, was caused by Siberian volcanoes releasing tons of mercury for 300,000 years. This is based on mercury content of rocks from that era and computer simulations based on the mercury content of rocks of that age.

Just thought it was relevant so I'm sharing it.

See: https://pubs.geoscienceworld.o...

Gamma ray burst?

By MBGMorden • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

I'm sure they've done more research than me, but a sudden disappearance of the ozone layer to me seems like a strong possibility of a gamma-ray burst.

Vulcan Is Closing 'The Living Computers: Museum + Labs' In Seattle

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Flexagon writes: Buried in the news of several closures by Vulcan, a venture by the late Paul Allen, is that Seattle's Living Computers museum is among the closures, along with Seattle's Cinerama movie theater.

"Two museums under the Vulcan wing, closed because of the pandemic, will also remain shuttered: the Living Computers: Museum + Labs and the Flying Heritage & Combat Armor Museum," reports The Seattle Times. "For both, the Vulcan statement said, the coming months will be a time to evaluate 'if, how and when to reopen.' The Living Computers: Museum + Labs, described on Vulcan's website as 'the world's largest collection of fully restored supercomputers, mainframes, minicomputers and more,' opened in Sodo in 2012 and was expanded in 2016. Its offerings included not only selections from Allen's vast personal collection, but hands-on exhibits on virtual reality, self-driving cars, robotics, and computer-generated art and music."

his sister is destroying his legacy

By WindBourne • Score: 5 • Thread
Seriously, this is sad. Paul was a great guy and well loved in Seattle ( provided the contrast to Gates ). Now, his sister is going through and gutting item after item that she does not like.

Inevitable I think

By Sqreater • Score: 3 • Thread
History is being created at a torrid pace today and it buries the past very quickly. It would have closed anyway probably. The present is hard enough to keep up with now.

Not Living Computers

By Errol backfiring • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

And here I was thinking they had a room full of people who did calculations with pen and paper, from the day before automated calculating devices were used.

In the beginning, the top floor of a factory was often the drawing room or the calculation room. If there was a need to do matrix calculus, they would pass each term to two people (to check the results) in a classroom-like setting.

When I see the term "living computer", I think of these calculation rooms, not of the machines that came afterwards.

Also, not everything had to be done with calculus. For a two-dimensional stress calculation in a lattice construction, you would draw a Cremona diagram, and do the calculation graphically. One aeronautical student showed that the graphical results done on a pre-WW-II aircraft done with Cremona diagrams were about as accurate as the same calculations done with Finite Elements in the days of computers.

Uber Destroys Thousands of Bikes and Scooters

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from the BBC: Uber is destroying thousands of electric bikes and scooters, after selling its Jump business to Lime. Videos of its red bikes being crushed at a recycling centre were shared on social media, angering cycling advocates. Uber said it had decided to destroy thousands of its older-model vehicles due to maintenance, liability and safety concerns.

In 2018, Uber said it would focus more on its electric bike and scooter business than on cars. But on May 7 this year, Uber announced a deal that saw Lime take over the Jump bike business. As part of the deal, Uber invested $170 million in Lime, while Lime acquired "tens of thousands" of Uber's Jump bikes -- and the associated intellectual property. Lime's chief executive Wayne Ting has said he prefers the design of Uber's bikes and will deploy more of them in the future. However, there were also "tens of thousands" of older-model bikes that Lime did not inherit as part of the deal. Videos shared on Twitter show the bikes arriving at a recycling facility in North Carolina to be destroyed.
"We explored donating the remaining, older-model bikes," Uber said in a statement. "But given many significant issues -- including maintenance, liability, safety concerns, and a lack of consumer-grade charging equipment -- we decided the best approach was to responsibly recycle them."

The decision to destroy these bikes comes amid a national bike shortage. "We have never seen anything like this in a very long time," said Dave Nghiem at College Park Bicycles in College Park, MD. "We have never locked down half the planet like this so they can't do their jobs to build bikes. So, no one has been building bikes for three months. If no one is building bikes, there's no bikes on the continent," said Dave.

Kurt of Bike Share Museum seems to think it is all about killing Jump, "destroying every bike they can, and slowly taking Lime down in the process." He adds: "We also can't emphasize enough how disgusting it is for UBER to scrap 20,000 bicycles in the midst of an unprecedented pandemic where bicycles have literally become an object of survival. Heavy as they are, these could be transportation for the many who have been brought to financial ruin during COVID-19."

Good news

By Presence Eternal • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Donated food has been granted strong protections from liability. If being two decades old can be called 'news'.

It's the world we live in

By RitchCraft • Score: 3 • Thread
If people were not so damn sue happy and quick to place blame on others this wouldn't happen. I don't blame them for destroying the bikes although it is unfortunate. Imagine the law suits from all the parents of little Johnnies falling off his free donated bike. Worse yet some idiot(s) trying to hop them up by rewiring the electronics and batteries and having those LiON batteries explode under their butts. Their fault but here come the lawyers.

American corporate culture in action

By thegarbz • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

This liability concern is laughably American. Those bikes are in many orders of magnitude better condition that what much of the rest of the world would acceptably use and more importantly *sell*. Hell I bought a second hand bike for cheap in the Netherlands that flat out had no working brakes. The extent of the "liability"? Store owner said, "don't ride this until you get it fixed".

Re:Good news

By hairyfeet • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

And one jury filled with people too stupid to get out of jury duty can blow that to shit friend. I'll give you a personal example...had a relative whose psoriasis was just horrid, looked like you poured boiling oil on the poor guy but then came a miracle drug that just made it disappear, the catch? It caused flipper babies. He had to watch an hour long video in the presence of a doctor explaining the risk, had to answer a bunch of questions to make sure he understood the risks, and sign a contract saying he would not try having kids for five years after taking the drug...wanna guess what happened to that drug?

Yup two sluts took the drug, promptly ignored everything, got knocked up and when they had flipper babies sued the company. Jury completely ignored all the contracts and videos and awarded them an assload of money and drug company now only sells it in Asia. Bless his heart his pharmacist heard it was gonna be pulled and bought every bottle he could find in North and South America so he was able to take it for nearly 4 years after it was pulled but now he is back on disability and looks like a burn victim, all thanks to two raging thundercunts who cared more about getting the D than destroying the life of a child and 12 people too damn dumb to get out of jury duty.

So you can bitch about the company trashing the bikes all you want but if I was them I'd have done the same, because in the USA you can't have nice things without some lawyer figuring out a way to fuck you for it.

Makes sense

By orlanz • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

People are jumping to unnecessarily negative conclusions. Believe it or not, this is just the lowest cost, most efficient method of closing this topic out.

Donating, giving away, etc takes up resources, requires on going budgets, and has a lot of unknowns. The liability issues can be mostly mitigated but still adds costs in vetting what must be disposed vs donated. At a 20k volume, the logistics alone wouldn't be offset by the residual value for tax write off.

The easiest thing for a company to do is to just dump it on an e-cycle 3rd party and wash their hands of it. That 3rd party has the volume and expertise to assess the various options and see if resale, donation, or destruction is the most cost effective path. Clearly they chose destruction.

Other items like used cellphones & cars have an after market logistics chain that is well supported by a consumer base to absorb the volume of end of life devices. But these things, like keyboard & mice, do not.

Germany Calls In Russian Envoy Over Hack Attack

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
In response to a cyberattack on the German Parliament in 2015, Germany wants to impose a European travel ban and asset freeze on those responsible. Reuters reports: Russia has rejected allegations that its military intelligence was behind the cyber attack after media reported that data had been stolen, including emails from Chancellor Angela Merkel's constituency office. State Secretary Miguel Berger told the ambassador that the government would call for the EU's cyber sanctions mechanism to be invoked against those responsible for the attack, said the German ministry in a statement. The EU last year approved a system to freeze hackers' assets in the bloc and banning them from entry.

Federal prosecutors issued an arrest warrant on May 5 for Russian national Dmitry Badin over the attack and the German ministry said there was credible evidence that he was part of the GRU military intelligence service at the time of the attack. "The arrest warrant against Mr Badin was issued on the basis of the strong suspicion that the accused conspired with other hitherto anonymous persons to carry out intelligence activities against Germany on behalf of the secret service of a foreign power," said the ministry. In a statement on Wednesday, the Russian embassy in Berlin said German officials so far had not been able to present facts to underpin the accusations against Moscow.

Will come to nothing

By vinn01 • Score: 3 • Thread

Germany can't present the facts that underpin the accusations without burning their cyberintelligence methods. No way Germany does that.
  I suppose Germany hopes to get a media trial since they can't get a court trial. I doubt Russia cares what German press says. Nothing will come of this accusation.


By kot-begemot-uk • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Can someone with actual knowledge on the subject explain how one state proves another state is behind a specific hacking incident? .

Disclaimer: I used to work in a CERT and I actually worked in Internet security when it was not fancy and was not politicised (20 years ago).

The answer to your question is that In 99% of the cases it does not. In 99% of the cases it is attribution on the basis of "we have seen this malware used by X". This is completely and utterly bogus because once malware has been captured, it can be subverted, reverse engineered, repurposed and put to use by whoever captured it. Iran has used a Stuxnet derivative to go after other gulf countries. Russia uses NSA exploits from the EternalBlue toolkit. Everyone is using UEFI exploits and UEFI malware originally designed by the Italians. On top of that, there is a gazillion of crime syndicates which get their copies of state actor malware with a few months after it has been put to use. Some of them actually make it and sell it to nation states. Others get it as a result it being made in Kleptocracies like Russia where the authors moonshine on the side for criminal gangs. And last, but not least, criminal gangs also capture malware which has been put to use, reverse engineer it and repurpose it for themselves.

There is, however less than 1% of the cases where the malware is BRAND NEW and whoever captures it has managed to trace successfully to origin.

All in all, you need to read the announcements. If the announcement mentions any "known malware previously used", just bin it. This is someone fishing for "red under our bed" pocket money from the "forever war fund".

ACLU Accuses Clearview AI of Privacy 'Nightmare Scenario'

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
The American Civil Liberties Union on Thursday sued the facial recognition start-up Clearview AI (alternative source), which claims to have helped hundreds of law enforcement agencies use online photos to solve crimes, accusing the company of "unlawful, privacy-destroying surveillance activities." The New York Times reports: In a suit filed in Illinois, the A.C.L.U. said that Clearview violated a state law that forbids companies from using a resident's fingerprints or face scans without consent. Under the law, residents have the right to sue companies for up to $5,000 per privacy violation. "The bottom line is that, if left unchecked, Clearview's product is going to end privacy as we know it," said Nathan Freed Wessler, a lawyer at the A.C.L.U., "and we're taking the company to court to prevent that from happening."

The suit, filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County, adds to the growing backlash against Clearview since January, when The New York Times reported that the company had amassed a database of more than three billion photos across the internet, including from Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Venmo. This trove of photos enables anyone with the Clearview app to match a person to their online photos and find links back to the sites where the images originated. People in New York and Vermont have also filed suits in against the company in recent months, and the state attorneys general of Vermont and New Jersey have ordered Clearview to stop collecting residents' photos. According to the A.C.L.U. suit, "Clearview has set out to do what many companies have intentionally avoided out of ethical concerns: create a mass database of billions of face prints of people, including millions of Illinoisans, entirely unbeknownst to those people, and offer paid access to that database to private and governmental actors worldwide." The company's business model, the complaint said, "appears to embody the nightmare scenario" of a "private company capturing untold quantities of biometric data for purposes of surveillance and tracking without notice to the individuals affected, much less their consent."

Re:Consent to use photos

By Anubis IV • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

What about those of us who get captured in photos but didn’t consent to Facebook’s terms? Moreover, in the case of Illinoisans they have to give explicit consent to have their biometrics used. Facebook didn’t have that permission (hence separate suits against them), so they certainly didn’t have permission to give it to others.

Google Sued by Arizona Over Location Data and Alleged Consumer Fraud

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Google has been hit by a lawsuit filed by Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, alleging the search giant deceived its users in order to collect location data from their phones. From a report: The company generates the vast majority of its revenue through its massive advertising operation, which is buttressed by personal information Google collects when people use its products. But users were "lulled into a false sense of security" because Google led users to believe they disabled settings for location data gathering, when they were still turned on, Brnovich wrote on Twitter. "Google collects detailed information about its users, including their physical locations, to target users for advertising," Brnovich wrote. "Often, this is done without the users' consent or knowledge." The lawsuit seeks damages, but the amount is unclear. Brnovich's office didn't respond to a request for comment.

My Android v7.1.1 has location turned off but, ...

By schwit1 • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Under options/developer options/running services/Google Play services is a service named LocationPersistentService

Stop it and it comes back.

Google is lying.

"Maps won't work unless you enable ..."

By Ungrounded Lightning • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

I use my cellphone as a phone and little else. When AT&T killed 2G, after months of warning and pestering us to upgrade our phones, just before the shutoff they finally gave me and my wife free LG10 smatphones rather than have us leave their network.

As they were initially configured they burned a lot of power and got warm even when in the holster. So after the AT&T guy found that a couple pieces of the gaming bloatware had gone feral and killed them, I went through the menus and disabled a bunch of the bloatware I wasn't using. (And I never accepted the browser license because Chrome's license includes Adobe's, which has anti reverse-engineering boilerplate that escalates into an effective non-compete and looks like it could become an issue career-wise.)

So I went through and disabled as much of the bloatware as I thought was necessary. I left google maps live but disabled its access to nav info (and pretty much everything else), intending to use it for maps but not real-time navigation.

Since then my phone, roughly once a day, pops up a notifier to the effect of:

Enable Google Play services.
Maps won't work unless you enable Poogle Play services.

But the maps tool still does a map just fine.

I've been assuming this is related to a hidden path that Google uses to track your location and that the notifier text was deceptive.

Re:"Maps won't work unless you enable ..."

By _merlin • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

From KitKat onwards you can't disable Google Play Services at all. A bunch of features that were previously provided by the OS were moved into Play Services to make it easier for Google to update them (and mine data from them). Now if you want to avoid Play Services you need to use something like LineageOS with a re-implementation of Play Services like micro-G.

Google Launches Android Studio 4.0 With Motion Editor, Build Analyzer, and Java 8 APIs

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from VentureBeat: Google today launched Android Studio 4.0, the latest version of its integrated development environment (IDE). Android Studio 4.0 is supposed to help developers "code smarter, build faster, and design apps." Version 4.0 includes a new Motion Editor, a Build Analyzer, and Java 8 language APIs. Google also overhauled the CPU Profiler user interface and improved the Layout Inspector. [In the article] you'll find Android Studio 4.0 features broken down by category: design, develop, and build. The new version also includes the usual performance improvements and bug fixes on top of the new features (full release notes). Google didn't share its plans for the next version. Normally we'd get hints at the company's I/O developer conference, but 2020 is a weird year.

Re:Why haven't they added support for Go yet?

By bill_mcgonigle • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

YouTube Says China-Linked Comment Deletions Weren't Caused By Outside Parties

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
YouTube sparked widespread speculation about its moderation policies this week after it admitted to accidentally deleting comments that contained phrases critical of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Today, the company told The Verge that the issue was not the result of outside interference -- an explanation for the error floated by many. The Verge reports: The phrases that triggered automatic deletion included "communist bandit" and "50-cent party," a slang term for internet users paid to defend the CCP. Some speculated that an outside group, perhaps connected to the CCP, manipulated YouTube's automated filters by repeatedly reporting these phrases, causing the algorithm to tag them as offensive. Speaking to The Verge, YouTube spokesperson Alex Joseph denied that this happened and said that, contrary to popular belief, YouTube never removes comments only on the basis of user reports.

"This was not the result of outside interference, and we only remove content when our enforcement system determines it violates our Community Guidelines, not solely because it's flagged by users," said Joseph. "This was an error with our enforcement systems and we have rolled out a fix."

Re:Not even denying it anymore

By lgw • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

So Google admits it has CCP operatives within the company. Wow!

Every large tech company does. I'm no fan of Google, but this is hardly an embarrassing admission. If you're recruiting engineers from China, and why wouldn't you if you're shopping overseas for cheap talent at all, then some percentage of them will be government agents. Even a government like China's has its grass-root loyalists, who sincerely believe the government is great.

What Google should be embarrassed by is the failure of the system of checks and balances that's supposed to keep crap code in general from being checked in. What went wrong there? There's no way people are checking in changes to something like YouTube without a code review, so why wasn't this caught? It's possible that this was part of an innocuous change made by one agent, code reviewed by another, and no one else bothered to look at it.

But I rather think this was a change to data, rather than code, that was done without the rigor of a code review. Every giant embarrassing cloud failure I've seen close up, from Amazon breaking S3 and DynamoDB, to Microsoft firewalling off all its customers from its servers, to some equally embarassing stuff on my own team, all of them weren't code changes. They were something else - a change to a network setting, or a commonplace administrative runbook, or a routine key rotation, that went horribly wrong because the general-purpose change-control system is no where near as good as a code review at spotting bugs. And someone doing it on purpose? Easiest thing in the world to slip into a routine change control doc without anyone asking questions.

Re: Not even denying it anymore

By NewtonsLaw • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

That's what having carrier status is all about and that's what safe-haven requires. You must take down illegal material (deemed by law to be objectionable or breaching copyright/trademark) but you can't start editing on the basis that the posts are not aligned with your own ideologies or beliefs -- that turns you into a publisher with all the resulting liabilities that publishers face.

They openly hired a CCP VP for Chief of AI

By Nocturrne • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Google hired Li Fei Fei as Chief of AI - she is a known member of the communist party of China. Now, she is on the board at Twitter, just in time to check the "accuracy" of Trump's lovely tweets. This is just the tiniest part of the tip of the iceberg of Chinese CCP members in active positions in US tech companies.

Who care inside or outside?

By LaughingRadish • Score: 3 • Thread

I can see at least four ways this was accomplished:
1) automated or semi-automated complaints by CCP against their targets.
2) CCP operatives working for Youtube and/or Google did this on their own.
3) CCP operatives managed to convince non CCP-linked people working for Youtube/Google to do this.
4) CCP operatives broke into Youtube servers and added their own censorship code.

I don't see how this could possibly be an accident. In any case, there is something very seriously wrong, possibly criminally.

I call bullshit

By rossz • Score: 3 • Thread

The claim, "YouTube never removes comments only on the basis of user reports" is simply not believable. When this was happening, I posted a comment with the triggering words on a video about a CCP aircraft carrier. In under a minute my comment was deleted. My posting history said I never even posted the comment. There is no way in hell it could have happened that fast if it required a human complaint and a human followup, therefore the only plausible explanation is there is automatic deletion code that triggers on key words and phrases without human intervention. I'm not the only person to test this. I did it as a followup to someone else's post that it was happening. The other person had reported equally fast deletions.

Alex Joseph is a liar. Plain and simple. He's clearly trying to cover something up. Whether it was rogue employee who injected the deletion code or youtube is China's bitch is the question. The former can be forgiven, but shows a clear lack of internal controls on important code. The latter shows a business who has sold out our country to foreign agents.

NSA Warns of Ongoing Russian Hacking Campaign Against US Systems

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
The U.S. National Security Agency on Thursday warned government partners and private companies about a Russian hacking operation that uses a special intrusion technique to target operating systems often used by industrial firms to manage computer infrastructure. Reuters reports: "This is a vulnerability that is being actively exploited, that's why we're bringing this notification out," said Doug Cress, chief of the cybersecurity collaboration center and directorate at NSA. "We really want... the broader cybersecurity community to take this seriously." Cress declined to discuss which business sectors had been most affected, how many organizations were compromised using the Russian technique, or whether the cyber espionage operation targeted a specific geographic region.

The NSA said the hacking activity was tied directly to a specific unit within Russia's Main Intelligence Directorate, also known as the GRU, named the Main Center for Special Technologies. The cybersecurity research community refers to this same hacking group as "Sandworm," and has previously connected it to disruptive cyberattacks against Ukrainian electric production facilities. A security alert published by the NSA on Thursday explains how hackers with GRU, Russia's military intelligence, are leveraging a software vulnerability in Exim, a mail transfer agent common on Unix-based operating systems, such as Linux. The vulnerability was patched last year, but some users have not updated their systems to close the security gap.

A $350 'Anti-5G' Device Is Just a 128MB USB Stick, Teardown Finds

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Believers of 5G conspiracy theories have apparently been buying a $350 anti-5G USB key that -- not surprisingly -- appears to just be a regular USB stick with only 128MB of storage. As noted by the BBC today, the "5GBioShield" USB stick "was recommended by a member of Glastonbury Town Council's 5G Advisory Committee, which has called for an inquiry into 5G." The company that sells 5GBioShield claims it "is the result of the most advanced technology currently available for balancing and prevention of the devastating effects caused by non-natural electric waves, particularly (but not limited to) 5G, for all biological life forms." The product's website charges 283 British pounds for a single 5GBioShield, which converts to nearly $350. That's what it costs to get "protection for your home and family, thanks to the wearable holographic nano-layer catalyser, which can be worn or placed near to a smartphone or any other electrical, radiation or EMF emitting device." The USB stick apparently doesn't need to be plugged in to anything to work its magic. "It is always ON and working -- that's why we used quantum nano-layer technology," the company says in an FAQ.

But what does the 5GBioShield actually consist of? The BBC pointed to a recent teardown by security company Pen Test Partners, which found that the device is just a USB stick with 128MB of storage. The company wrote: "When plugged in to our test machine we may have missed the bubble of 'quantum holographic catalyzer technology' appearing. The stick comes loaded with a 25 page PDF version of the material from 5GBioShield's website. It included a Q&A of distances for the "bubble" and how to know if it is working. It's an "always on" system apparently, is always working, powered or not, so no visual checks needed. A review of the stick's properties revealed nothing more than what you'd expect from a regular 128MB USB key. We weren't even sure that 128s are still in production!"
The report says that the London Trading Standards has launched a probe to investigate this product.

How will the company defend itself? BioShield Distribution Director Anna Grochowalska told the BBC, "We are in possession of a great deal of technical information, with plenty of back-up historical research," and "we are not authorized to fully disclose all this sensitive information to third parties, for obvious reasons."

Re: It's not a jammer, it's a shield

By robbak • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

quantum nano-layer technology

That's the holographic sticker. Nanometer thick layer of aluminum deposited on it, and these diffraction holograms do use quantum effects.

The rest of it is saying it will protect you from any non-existent things that exist.

expands the field effect from 4m radius to 20m + radius when plugged into an USB wall charger or a computer.

That is to say, the blue light comes on and you can see it from further away.

Well, they had to do something with the box of old 128Mb decorative USB sticks they found in the back of the cupboard.

Re:It's not a jammer, it's a shield

By PopeRatzo • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

I was thinking there is no way this is not satire. Just some comic playing a funny one. I mean, have people read the website? It is amazingly funny.

Don't assume it's a joke. I'm old enough to remember a certain degenerate political leader suggesting the injection of disinfectant to "knock out" the coronavirus from your lungs "in one minute".

I know you think I'm making this up, but it was recorded on video:

But it saves the 5G

By thewolfkin • Score: 3 • Thread

How will the company defend itself?

By pointing out that selling $0.50 flash drives for $350 will stop idiots from knocking down 5G towers.. or regular towers they think are 5G

Re: It's not a jammer, it's a shield

By AleRunner • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
Trust me (and you can see my posting history to know how trustworthy I am) nobody has died of 5G triggered COVID-19 whilst wearing one of these devices. This record is even better than the record of tiger protection rocks in Europe. There is absolutely no need to block the signals of 5G in order to avoid COVID-19. For every COVID-19 causing 5G signal this device would broadcast a counter signal which would shield you completely from all of the COVID-19 causing effects of that 5G signal.

Non-solution to a non-problem

By fintux • Score: 3 • Thread
Meanwhile, I have a USB device for keeping pink elephants away. Seems to work perfectly, and only cost me $2000! I'm sure this device also ensures the 5G networks will not cause the claimed harms.

The Most Powerful Raspberry Pi Now Has 8GB of RAM

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
The Raspberry Pi Foundation has doubled the maximum amount of RAM available in the Raspberry Pi 4 to 8GB with a new device it's selling for $75. An anonymous reader writes: To take advantage of the RAM increase, the foundation is also releasing a new 64-bit version of its operating system in early beta. The new Raspberry Pi 4 is otherwise identical to the device that was announced in June last year, meaning it has the same ARM-based CPU, and HDMI, USB 3, and Ethernet ports. 8GB is a lot of RAM considering the Raspberry Pi's size and price. It's the same as many flagship smartphones released this year, and enough for an entry-level gaming PC. The Raspberry Pi Foundation says the additional memory should be useful for compiling large pieces of software, running heavy server workloads, or maybe just having more browser tabs open at once. We're sure that it won't take long for the community to come up with many interesting uses.

A little disapointed with the 4 overall, it's ok.

By AbRASiON • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

I picked one up because I can't damn well help myself.

The good? Well it's faster, with more memory, has a modern power plug (USB-C) and they fixed some shortcomings with USB and network, if I recall.

The bad?
Well the drivers for the GPU - I don't know much about linux bot what I've read, it's STILL not fully working using a modern driver, I don't know the term but the GPU driver isn't supported in the kernel yet, something like that. So if you use it for say, Kodi (LibreElec) it's /marginally/ faster than a Pi3.
Despite the benchmarks of the raw processor being astoundingly better than Pi3, if you upgrade to the 4 hoping to get the UI slick and smooth in Kodi? Not going to happen for a while yet (apparently, it will... the unit is nearly a year old already)

The USB-C power issue - it's finally fixed, mind you, good luck identifying which model you've purchased in stock - only sure fire way to avoid it, buy an 8GB. It's not too bad an issue, since my cable worked (I have the 'bad' model)

The processor doesn't support any cryptography acceleration. This is pretty big for people wanting to get fancy with the Pi with things like OpenSense and PfSense - the unit will be significantly worse at these functions, despite the fact (apparently?) crypto modules in hardware are fairly common nowadays and when the unit was designed. Don't quote me but I even read the processor in the Pi comes in a Crypto capable edition they didn't opt for - for cents more (something, along those lines)

The unit doesn't do HDMI 2.1 (that's fair, I guess)
The unit doesn't do AV1 (that's also entirely fair)

If you're wanting an EXCELLENT 1080p HTPC machine, the Pi 3B+ and Pi4 are great at this. No question, LibreElec is a masterpiece of reliable code. It's frustrating the UI is about 20->35 fps instead of 60 on the Pi4 but honestly once the video is playing, even the Pi3B regular is great.

Furthermore, the Pi4 should never ever have launched with 1GB. I get they wanna keep costs down but please guys, move forward, 2GB should've been the minimum from the Get-Go (I believe the 1GB is now retired for the 2GB)

I estimate, the Pi5 will not come out for a solid 3+ years. My hope is the Pi 5 has AV1 decoder, HDMI2.1, 2 or 4GB minimum and Crypto hardware. In about 3 years, that may be feasable in the $35 to $50 price range. We'll see. It would make an astoundingly good machine. The Pi4 is starting to creep up in price. $75 US you can start to buy some semi-decent used real hardware for that money.

Re:We're getting closer

By perpenso • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
Pi Zero W, $10 normally, sometimes on sale for $5. 512MB RAM, sort of equivalent to Pi2.


By drinkypoo • Score: 3 • Thread

A Pi with real memory is a real desktop. I'm getting one.

If it gets any more expensive...

By • Score: 3 • Thread
...they'll need to put an Apple logo on it.

Re:Any other uses for this?

By AmiMoJo • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

I was always a bit disappointed with the lack of real peripherals on the GPIO. You can bit bang but real hardware is much nicer and lower overhead.

For a product I designed using Pi Compute Modules I just had a separate microcontroller that did all the lower level stuff and power management for the system, with the Pi running apps.