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.

Stet!, the Hot New Language Game

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
The game Stet!, a spinoff of the book "Dreyer's English," is an excellent way to prepare for a copy-editing test and pairs well with a gin-and-tonic. Mary Norris, writing for The New Yorker: Nerdsday fell on a Tuesday this year, and I invited a friend over for a doubleheader: a round of Stet!, the new language game based on "Dreyer's English," followed by an episode of Mark Allen's "That Word Chat," a homespun Zoom talk show for editors, lexicographers, linguists, and others of the inky tribe. My friend was Merrill Perlman, who writes the column "Language Corner" for the Columbia Journalism Review, where her biographical note says that she has "managed copy desks across the newsroom at the New York Times." Although retired from full-time journalism, she continues to teach and serves on the board of ACES: The Society for Editing. Nitpickers by profession, we ran into a problem right away. The instructions for Stet! suggest that you "play with three or more players" (is that redundant?), and we had been unable, during the pandemic, to scare up a third nerd. The game of Stet! comprises two packs of cards with sentences on them, fifty of them Grammar cards with indisputable errors (dangling modifiers, stinking apostrophes, and homonyms, like horde/hoard and reign/rein) and fifty of them Style cards, on which the sentences are correct but pedestrian, and the object is to improve the sentence without rewriting it. There are trick cards with no mistakes on them. You might suspect that there is something wrong with (spoiler alert) "Jackson Pollock" or "asafetida" or "farmers market," but these are red herrings.

If you believe that the sentence is perfect just as it is, you shout "Stet!," the proofreading term for "leave it alone" (from the Latin for "let it stand"), which is used by copy editors to protect an author's prose and by authors to protect their prose from copy editors. The game involves some role playing. If you use only the Grammar cards, the dealer is called the Copy Chief, as in "The Copy Chief shuffles the fifty Grammar cards." If you mix in the Style cards, the dealer is the Author, the players are Copy Editors (you can almost hear an author muttering, "Everyone is a copy editor"), and the deck is huge. I got the impression from the size of the cards, which are bigger than those in a tarot pack, that authors and copy editors have large, masculine hands. I personally wear a small-to-medium-sized disposable nitrile glove and could not riffle the deck with any kind of flair (or is it "flare"?). The sporting element in Stet! is slapping your hand on the carefully sanitized table when you spot the mistake or mistakes. Points are awarded based on the number of errors planted in a sentence. Most have just one, some have two, and there are a few three-pointers. Penalties are assessed for missing mistakes, but none for introducing an error, a cardinal sin in copy editing. (Perhaps the instructions could be refined to add a slap on the hand for this.) It takes five points to win a game, and the game goes fast. I won the first round handily, mostly because my opponent, the Copy Chief, kept forgetting to slap.

Apple Updates the iMac With New Intel Processors and a Better Webcam

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Apple is announcing updates for both the 27-inch and 21.5-inch iMacs. It's updating the processors inside to Intel's 10th Gen Comet Lake processors and also switching out the webcam to a higher-resolution 1080p HD sensor instead of the low-res 720p found in other Macs. From a report: SSDs are now standard across the line, and there will be a bunch of new configuration options -- including a "nano-texture" version with less reflective matte glass. The 27-inch iMac starts at $1,799, is available to order today, and will ship this week. The 21.5-inch iMac starts at $1,099 and will ship next week. Apple is also giving the iMac Pro a small spec bump, making the 10-core Intel chips the new baseline for $4,999 -- also shipping next week. (Oddly, the iMac Pro is not otherwise getting updated.)

This is not the major redesign that has been rumored (and hoped for), nor is it the first ARM-based Mac. Instead, the 2020 iMacs look identical to the last generation, including the large black bezel all the way around the screen and the big metal chin at the bottom. Apple says that, as it noted at WWDC, it intends to support Intel-based Macs for many years to come. The webcam might be the biggest day-to-day upgrade for most users. It's 1080p, but Apple says that the new T2 chip enables some new features beyond the improved resolution like tone mapping, exposure control, and face detection. Apple says the improved camera features will work in any videoconferencing app, not just FaceTime.

Gamers Will Be Able To Stream Microsoft's Xbox Games Pass Titles Starting Sept. 15

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Microsoft plans to make its Project xCloud streaming service for its Xbox Games Pass subscription service available to the public starting Sept. 15, following nearly a year of public testing. From a report: The company said the service, which allows people to play games over the internet in a similar way we stream Netflix movies today, will be included in its $14.99 per month Xbox Games Pass Ultimate service. That subscription, which launched last year, gives players access to more than 100 games on the Xbox and PC, as well as access to Microsoft's Xbox Live social network. Microsoft plans to offer the accompanying app for its service for tablets and phones powered by Google's Android software, using a Wi-Fi or cellular connection. The company also teased a partnership with Samsung, which will likely be announced at that tech giant's big Unpacked event on Aug. 5. The company declined to say when a version of its app will be made available for Apple iPhones and iPads powered by that company's iOS software. "It's our ambition to scale cloud gaming through Xbox Game Pass available on all devices," a Microsoft spokesman added.

Windows 10: HOSTS File Blocking Telemetry Is Now Flagged As a Risk

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
AmiMoJo writes: Starting at the end of July, Microsoft has begun detecting HOSTS files that block Windows 10 telemetry servers as a 'Severe' security risk. Windows 10 users are reporting that Windows Defender had started detectingmodified HOSTS files as a 'SettingsModifier:Win32/HostsFileHijack' threat. So it seems that Microsoft had recently updated their Microsoft Defender definitions to detect when their servers were added to the HOSTS file. Users who utilize HOSTS files to block Windows 10 telemetry suddenly caused them to see the HOSTS file hijack detection. Users who intentionally modify their HOSTS file can allow this 'threat,' but it may enable all HOSTS modifications, even malicious ones, going forward.


By K. S. Kyosuke • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
You mean it's even better, then.


By Ostracus • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

That blocks it for everyone dumbass.

You say that like it's a bad thing.

Awesome sauce

By DarkRookie2 • Score: 3 • Thread
It is not like they are using telemetry to fix or improve anything
Win 10 still runs poorly if on a mech drive. You still cannot search file extensions in Settings. Start Menu is still a mess.

perfect use case for pihole

By nimbius • Score: 3 • Thread will block telimetry safely and prevent defender from alerting to the condition.

Set up your local DNS home server.

By BAReFO0t • Score: 3 • Thread

That does its own resolution. (No forwarding. But caching.)
And have your home server's DNS announce it, so Windows automatically grabs it.
And block passing through DNS packets in your home server's firewall.
It is really not that hard.

The only asshole on the block (apart from MS) is DoH-using software, like browsers, which circumvent your DNS server and firewall AFAIK. (Though isn't that a nightmare for every business intranet?)
I guess you need to do deep packet inspection to block those in your firewall, in case the browser "forgets" your changed name resolution settings yet again.

Blizzard Workers Share Salaries In Revolt Over Wage Disparities

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Bloomberg: Employees at Blizzard Entertainment, a division of Activision Blizzard Inc., began circulating a spreadsheet on Friday to anonymously share salaries and recent pay increases, the latest example of rising tension in the video game industry over wage disparities and executive compensation. Blizzard, based in Irvine, California, makes popular games including Diablo and World of Warcraft. In 2019, after an internal survey revealed that more than half of Blizzard workers were unhappy with their compensation, the company told staff it would perform a study to ensure fair pay, according to people familiar with the situation. Blizzard implemented the results of that study last month, which led to an outcry on the company's internal Slack messaging boards. One employee then created a spreadsheet and encouraged staff to share their compensation information. The anonymous document, reviewed by Bloomberg News, contains dozens of purported Blizzard salaries and pay bumps. Most of the raises are below 10%, significantly less than Blizzard employees said they expected following the study. "Our goal has always been to ensure we compensate our employees fairly and competitively," Activision Blizzard spokeswoman Jessica Taylor said. "We are constantly reviewing compensation philosophies to better recognize the talent of our highest performers and keep us competitive in the industry, all with the aim of rewarding and investing more in top employees." This year, Blizzard top performers received a salary increase that was 20% more than in prior years, and more people got promotions, Taylor added. "Our overall salary investment is consistent with prior years," she also said.

Re:If you are unhappy with your pay...

By MooseTick • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

"If Blizzard has the standard employee contract which specifically prohibits talking about your pay"

In the US, it's illegal to prohibit employees from talking about pay.

Re:That's the problem

By omnichad • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

If the top performers got 20% more than in prior years

The increase was 20% more. So instead of a 2% raise, they get a 2.4% raise.

Re:If you are unhappy with your pay...

By Burdell • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

If you are fired shortly after sharing your salary info (and with no prior issues like poor performance reviews), you'd have a pretty good case for a lawsuit. If they fire a bunch of people that shared salary info, it'd probably get a class-action lawsuit (because then it's even more obvious).

Just because a state is at-will doesn't mean they can fire people for illegal employment contract clauses.

Re:Fun with numbers

By Puls4r • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
You don't penalize the skilled by bringing up the floor. Your system would work if there was a minimum wage that was a living wage. But we've moved to the point where a minimum wage isn't a living wage, and people with minimum wage skills are resigned to a life of poverty, homelessness, and nothing to look forward to. Ever.

If that's your goal, congratulations. Mission accomplished (tm). However, if you believe that everyone has the right to at least earn a living to eat and put a roof over their head, then you're going to need to move your goalposts.

If you're truly secure in your skillset and your self worth then you should find nothing frighting in letting everyone with lesser skills earn some kind of a living. Perhaps not BMW and 5th avenue livings, but maybe Pinto and Walmart living.

Re:If you are unhappy with your pay...

By DRJlaw • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

They don't have to legally enforce anything. They can still fire everyone. California is an at-will employment state. Outside of being fired specifically for being a member of a protected class, you can be fired for literally any other reason.

You're wrong. So wrong that you need to turn in your law license. Wait, you don't have one? I thought so.

California law says otherwise. Specifically,

Employment at will simply means that an employer cannot be sued for breach of an implied contract requiring a showing of good cause for termination. It does not mean that an employer may not be sued for other employment wrongs, such as discrimination, retaliation, violations of specific statutes (including those protecting whistle-blowers or employees who take family or medical leave) or for terminations that violate public poliÂcies set forth in statutes or regulations.

Prosecutors Are Investigating Amazon's Treatment of Third-Party Sellers

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
According to Bloomberg, attorneys general from New York and California are partnering with the FTC to investigate Amazon's online marketplace, in what may be the beginnings of a formal antitrust enforcement action. From a report: The agencies are going to interview witnesses jointly on conference calls over the next few weeks. The news comes after intense questioning over Amazon's Marketplace practices during [last week's landmark Big Tech antitrust hearing]. Rep. Lucy McBath (D-GA) asked CEO Jeff Bezos whether its actions toward Marketplace sellers was a pattern of behavior. She played testimony from a third-party bookseller who believed Amazon had blocked their store, without providing an explanation why, effectively destroying her business. Bezos responded that "third-party sellers in aggregate are doing extremely well on Amazon."

The Marketplace platform allows third-party sellers to peddle their wares to Amazon's massive online customer base, accounting for more than half of all of the company's e-commerce sales. Marketplace products are often less expensive -- and sometimes of lower quality -- than other products sold on Amazon. But consumers don't always understand the difference between buying something from a third-party seller versus buying directly from Amazon or one of the company's private-label brands. Amazon's Marketplace has been in the spotlight over the past few months, following a bombshell report in The Wall Street Journal exposing how the e-commerce giant secretly used data it gathered from third-party sellers to launch its own branded products, a practice Amazon executives have denied in the past. At the hearing, Bezos said the company maintains a policy against using seller-specific data but said he could not guarantee that the policy had never been broken.

"We haven't beaten up THAT guy..."

By nagora • Score: 3, Funny • Thread

"So the jury MUST acquit."

It's a basic Chewbacca defence. <Something irrelevant> therefore I'm not guilty.

Bezos is a loon; best not to do business with loons, IMO.

America doesn't break up monopolies anymore.

By h33t l4x0r • Score: 3 • Thread
There's just too much corruption. Someone will get paid to back off and nothing will come of this.

Store visibility manipulation

By Spamalope • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
There is a new product I tried and found to be fantastic. High quality, great price and a new idea in the space.
When I recommended it to friends, we found within a few weeks the first party product could only be found on Amazon via a direct link. Knockoffs though... ships and sold by them... those were everywhere.

I'd have to say tactics like that are an abuse of power.

Astronauts Made Prank Calls From SpaceX Crew Dragon

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
PolygamousRanchKid shares a report from CNET: NASA's Doug Hurley and his crewmate Bob Behnken had a satellite phone at their disposal after splashdown on Sunday. At a press conference later that day, Hurley filled us in on what they did with their spare time as they floated around. "Five hours ago we were in a spaceship bobbing around making prank satellite phone calls to whoever we could get ahold of," Hurley said. "Which was kind of fun, by the way." Hurley suggested the satellite phone bill should go to SpaceX founder Elon Musk, who was sitting nearby. Hurley and Behnken didn't elaborate on the content of the prank calls, but here's hoping they tried to order a pizza for delivery to GO Navigator, the SpaceX recovery ship that fished them out of the water.

Re: The Good old days

By Registered Coward v2 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

When astronauts took their jobs seriously and acted like grown ups.I can't imagine Neil Armstrong doing this.

Human nature doesn't change; military personnel (yes, including pilots) have always done this kind of stuff. The real difference is that back in the day you just wouldn't hear about it.

Exactly. High stress environments use pranks as a way of coping. As long as they don't get out of hand and no one is hurt, it's all part of coping.

Musk is a known madlad

By Luckyo • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Knowing Musk, he'll might have a pizza delivery company actually have a delivery guy on the receiving ship. And he'll make sure that guy asks for a tip for that arduous delivery process.

Would make for another hilarious Musk internet meme.

Re: The Good old days

By PolygamousRanchKid • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Human nature doesn't change; military personnel (yes, including pilots) have always done this kind of stuff. The real difference is that back in the day you just wouldn't hear about it.

Back in the day, you could see it . . . live on TV . . . when Alan Shepard duffed some golf balls on the Moon.

Re: The Good old days

By Opportunist • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Oh please, the studio story is so fake, do you have a faint idea what technological miracles would have been necessary to film that at a sound stage?

It was way cheaper back then to just do it on location.

I know it wasn't in the procedure...

By bobbied • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

But we thought it was a good idea to make sure the phone was working. Yea, so we ordered doughnuts and coffee for mission control on Eleon's credit card... pizza for 200 for SpaceX headquarters... Yea, that was us too...

Now wait a second, no we did NOT order the dancers or the stack of dollar bills for the CEO's office, I swear..

Hey, but we DID verify the phone worked... So what's the problem, it was in the interest of safety and all.

In Wake of Apple Acquisition, Dark Sky Ends Android Support

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: As promised, popular weather app Dark Sky ended support for Android and Wear OS over the weekend. Android Dark Sky users report that the app is no longer working and that it presents the user with a message saying that the "app has shut down." The impending shutdown was first announced when Apple acquired the company in March of this year. Despite the end of support for the world's most popular mobile operating system, Dark Sky's developers wrote in a blog post announcing the acquisition that joining Apple means they could "reach far more people, with far more impact, than we ever could alone."

The Dark Sky Android app is not the only popular service on the chopping block as a result of the acquisition. Several app developers on both iOS and Android have used Dark Sky's API for weather data for a while now, but like Android support, that's going away. There's a little more time in that case, though: developers have until the end of next year to find and implement alternative data sources. When the acquisition was first announced, Dark Sky was slated to stop working on Android on July 1. That deadline was extended by one month, but it went into effect as planned on August 1. The Web version of Dark Sky was scheduled to end today, but Apple has extended that deadline, though embeds have been disabled. A new date for the Web shutdown has not been specified. That version will remain an option for Android users for now until it, too, stops working.

What's the goto weather app for android?

By schwit1 • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

I used to use Weather Underground, but it got bought by IBM. They redesigned it so badly that it's rating went from 4.6 to 3.0 in no time flat.

Go with the Pros

By swell • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

There are many 'weather services'. They may offer compelling perks of some kind. I don't know, I never see them. I do know that the weather girls on the local TV stations tend to be very attractive in an erotic way.

I check the weather at . This is the US government sponsored forecasting agency, NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). They have invested billions of dollars in computers, software and satellites so that we can have the best information available.

If your favorite weather source has similar resources then by all means, take advantage of that! If, instead, it is a typical internet resource that simply copies the NOAA data and adds commercial content and spyware, maybe you should reconsider.

Re: What's so special about this app?

By tysonedwards • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
Not new, but their claimed secret sauce was to leverage barometric pressure changes from end user devices as a predictor for rain before it starts as a supplement for traditional radar mapping. Anecdotally, their app was very accurate with those “will rain / snow within 2 minutes” as soon as you walk outside or are near an open window. Whereas when you are in an office building, you only get the general region alerts. Not that it matters anymore since their app no longer works.

Public information

By VeryFluffyBunny • Score: 3 • Thread

You do realise that weather & forecasts are public information gathered & analysed by the government paid for by the tax payer, don't you? All weather apps do is relay the info to you, inject advertising, & put up paywalls. You can just bookmark your favourite public weather page & some public weather services even have their own apps.

Please don't give these people your money for information that you've already paid for.

FAA Proposes Requiring Four Key Boeing 737 MAX Design Changes

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
The Federal Aviation Administration said on Monday that it is proposing requiring four key Boeing 737 MAX design changes to address safety issues seen in two crashes that killed 346 people and led to the plane's grounding in March 2019. Al Jazeera reports: The agency is issuing a proposed airworthiness directive to require updated flight-control software, revised display-processing software to generate alerts, revising certain flight-crew operating procedures, and changing the routing of some wiring bundles. The announcement is significant, but there are still other major steps, including finalizing pilot-training procedures, that must be completed before the 737 MAX can resume flights. The public has 45 days to comment on the changes, and it is still unclear if flights will resume before the end of 2020.

The FAA said in a separate 96-page report released on Monday that it "has preliminarily determined that Boeing's proposed changes to the 737 MAX design, flight crew procedures and maintenance procedures effectively mitigate the airplane-related safety issues" in the two fatal crashes. The airworthiness directive seeks to require Boeing changes. The FAA said the changes minimize "dependence on pilot action and the effect of any potential single failure."

Re:Would you approve the purchase of a 737 MAX?

By _merlin • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

The 737MAX made it impossible to disable auto trim without also disabling power trim, and aerodynamic loads made it impossible to counter the runaway trim using the hand trim wheels. The 737NG allows the pilots to disable auto trim without disabling power trim. The 737MAX has a lot of very irresponsible design choices.

Re:What about accountability for the deaths?

By tlhIngan • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Iâ(TM)m not flying on that death trap.

Good news! No one is flying!

Though, if you're really trying to say you're not going to fly in any plane with issues, you're not going to fly at all - every major model of plane has had some serious problem or other.

After all, the 787 had exploding batteries back when it was a new plane (when exploding batteries was a trendy thing among consumer elexctronics). Airbus has had issues with their fly-by-wire systems on many models. The Bombardier CSeries (now Airbus A220 series) has had exploding engine issues.

The 777 had mysterious engine power loss issues as well.

A lot of it is down to training - yes there was a line about the system but it was easily missed. The same kind of line missed that lead to SpaceShipOne (Virgin Galactic) going down a few years ago, except this time by skilled test pilots who also missed a single comment in a document that lead to the tragedy. (Yes,a simple software change would've fixed the issue too).

Heck, the plane I flew, a simple little Cessna 172 has had MANY issues over the years, I even experienced one that lead to a airworthiness directive in flight. (The biggest one was the seat rail locks - it was possible to adjust the seat but not have the locking pin go into the hole, resulting in the seat sliding all the way back during say, takeoff). My issue was related to the autopilot - it was possible to enable it accidentally and not know about it causing control issues. An AD was issued where the autopilot was fixed to sound when it's activated so accidentally turning it on wouldn't be a surprise (you can override the autopilot - that's how I kept going while I had someone else see what's wrong - the plane was flying, just the controls felt funny). And yes, I thought I broke something.

(And if you must know, the Cessna 172 is the most popular GA aircraft out there. Heck, during the pandemic, at one point there were more Cessna 172s in the air than 737s, realizing the 737 is the world's most popular aircraft).


By 6Yankee • Score: 3 • Thread

One of the things to come out of the Kegworth crash was that a theory-based differences course wasn't enough, and simulator time was needed. How quickly we forget.

Re:Who listen to FAA now?

By bobbied • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

From a regulation standpoint, it's a joke. Who on earth allow plane maker to self-certificate their products? They failed to listen and prevent crash even with warnings all over the sky.

Just in case you've not been paying attention... Boeing LOST the right to self certify. That's what this whole effort has been about since the groundings, the FAA going through the 737 MAX (and other aircraft)'s certifications to make sure all the rules where followed and everything is in order.

So it's no joke and Boeing doesn't currently have self-certification authority. They are subject to rigorous oversight by the FAA right now, something that is going to cost Boeing a lot of money to keep up and is unlikely to change anytime soon.

In fact, they've been going through the certification paper trails for a lot of Boeing aircraft, and have found a number of deficiencies in other aircraft's designs which are also being addressed.

So where I agree, Boeing dropped the ball here, I also see that the FAA did as well. Now everybody has "got religion" on this and for a while at least, things will be better. Eventually, the process will get corrupted again, people will get hurt and we will ask ourselves why we forgot the lessons we learned and why the decades of success lulled us into a false sense of security. It is the way of things.

Rebuke of wall street sociopathy

By Eravnrekaree • Score: 3 • Thread

Boeing is a good example of how Wall Street sociopathy, commoditization of workers, treating workers as expendable, and the obsession with shareholder profits destroys companies. Boeing gained its reputation through a culture of engineer focused excellence, building well designed products, high employee morale, and people who were proud of their company and felt a part of the family and highly valued. What has destroyed Boeing is very low morale, people feeling underappreciated, overworked and undervalued, and the overriding focus on short term profits. People no longer care about the company, its just a job, and therefore do not care as much about their work and do only as much as necessary.

This is a total rebuke of the "wall street way" of outsourcing, commoditization of people, profit obsession, greed, and basically what an=mounts to sociopathic, abusive behavior.

'Wakaresaseya': Private Agents Hired To End Relationships

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Christine Ro from the BBC writes about the private agents in Japan, called "wakaresaseya," that you can hire to seduce your spouse or their partner. From the report: The industry is still serving a niche market. One survey showed around 270 wakaresaseya agencies advertising online. Many are attached to private-detective firms, similar to private investigators in other countries (who can also become entangled in relationship dissolution). "Wakaresaseya service costs quite a lot of money," acknowledges [Yusuke Mochizuki, an agent of the "farewell shop" First Group], so clients tend to be well-off. Mochizuki, a former musician who has turned his lifelong interest in detective work into a career, says that he might charge 400,000 yen for a relatively straightforward case in which there's plenty of information about the target's activities, but more if the target is, for example, a recluse. Fees can go as high as 20 million yen if a client is a politician or a celebrity, requiring the highest level of secrecy. (While Mochizuki says that his firm has a high success rate, a consultancy that provides advice on the industry points out that potential clients should be sceptical of such claims, and prepared for possible failure.)

Although some features of the wakaresaseya industry are unique to Japan, similar services exist around the world. They may be less formalized honeytrap or con-artist arrangements, or they may be part of the private-investigations industry. Conventionally "the Western perspective was to sensationalize the industry and almost exoticise it. There's this false exoticisation of Japan that occurs in the West quite frequently." It's difficult to gain a full understanding of the people affected by the wakaresaseya industry, because according to Scott, "people are very reluctant to be seen as associated with it, let alone a victim of it." The industry has a seedy reputation.

As TV and radio producer Mai Nishiyama comments; "There's a market for everything in Japan." This includes a variety of relationship-based services like renting faux family members and the additional services offered by wakaresaseya firms, such as assistance with romantic reconciliation, separating a child from an unsuitable girlfriend or boyfriend or preventing revenge porn. Agents can also be hired to gather evidence that will help a wronged spouse collect consolation money, which is compensation for the dissolution of a relationship. Although the Yamagami International Law Office hasn't worked with wakaresaseya agents, lawyer Shogo Yamagami notes that some clients do work with private agents more generally to obtain evidence of adultery. The consolation payment system means that hiring wakaresaseya agents can be beneficial not just emotionally, but also in practical monetary terms.


By DogDude • Score: 3 • Thread
I think it's hilarious that these sorts of things really exist. I mean, it's sad, but the people paying for it, have already decided that they want out of the relationship, so it's not going to work, no matter what the other person does. So really, no harm no foul, as far as I'm concerned. I think it would be a fantastic business to run, though. That could be a blast.

News for nerds?

By backslashdot • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Ok, how is ending relationships relevant to slashdot nerds? Don't you have to be in one first?


By Alwin Henseler • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Reading the article hints at some reasons:

a) Apparently under Japanese law, it's not possible to get a divorce if only one side wants to end a marriage. At least no easy or straightforward way. Either you'd need mutual agreement (both partners want out), or there must be serious reasons like a partner's mental illness, infidelity, physical abuse, etc. If such a service provides proof that your partner is having an affair, you have ammo to use in court.

On a side note: imho that is a problem with the law itself. A marriage should continue as long as both partners want it so. But if that's no longer the case, that is: either partner wants out, that should be possible. Sure the law may provide for counseling, make sure you can't do it within a week after deciding to, etc. But in the end if either partner wants to end their marriage, that should be possible even if the other partner disagrees. Whatever the reason(s) for wanting out, people should not be forced to remain stuck in a marriage they no longer want to be in.

b) Jealousy. If your partner is having an affair, use such a service to have his/her partner seduced. Thus breaking up the affair, and partner (hopefully) returns to you.

One can debate the how or why, or whether there's any point to it. But either way, it's clear why some people would pay for services like this.

The result of a cowardly society.

By BAReFO0t • Score: 3 • Thread

A shame society instead of a blame society.

Same reason our (Abrahamic) religious go force the world in to their delusion with terror, while their religious try to remove themselves from the world (Nirvana) with fire, for example.

It is not in any way better.

It's like a Demolition Man society, and we are the sewer dwellers going into the other extreme. When really, we should merge and find a sane balanced middle ground.

Trump Fires TVA Chair, Cites Hiring of Foreign Workers

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
schwit1 writes: President Trump announced the removal of Tennessee Valley Authority's chair James Thompson and board member Richard Howoth and called for the removal of their CEO Bill Johnson. This was in response to the company laying off employees and hiring H1-B visa holders. [TVA announced it would outsource 20% of its technology jobs to companies based in foreign countries, which could cause more than 200 highly skilled American tech workers in Tennessee to lose their jobs to foreign workers, according to the White House.] During the round table discussion, it was announced the company is willing to reverse course and rehire previously laid off employees. The president also said he would not ban the TikTok app if Microsoft or another company bought it before September 15th. "The TVA is a federally owned corporation created in 1933 to provide flood control, electricity generation, fertilizer manufacturing and economic development to the Tennessee Valley, a region that was hard hit by the Great Depression," reports The Associated Press. "The region covers most of Tennessee and parts of Alabama, Mississippi and Kentucky as well as small sections of Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia."

Trump said the new chief executive officer must "[put] the interests of Americans first," adding: "The new CEO must be paid no more than $500,000 a year. We want the TVA to take action on this immediately. [...] Let this serve as a warning to any federally appointed board: If you betray American workers, you will hear two words: 'You're fired.'"

The announcement was made as Trump signed an executive order to require all federal agencies to complete an internal audit to prove they are not replacing qualified American workers with people from other countries. According to the White House, the order will help prevent federal agencies from unfairly replacing American workers with lower cost foreign labor.

he only do it for advert

By aepervius • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
If he really was cracking down on foreigner being hired , he would crack down on himself first. Mar a lago has a lot of foreign worker.
that's one year ago but you can find plenty all over the timeover many of his properties/hotels.

Re: So, Why were you fired?

By Cyberax • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Functionally, the effect was the same, but I think that what the TVA did was legal. I am more doubtful that what the outsourcing company did was legal.

It's completely legal. H1b allows companies to hire workers who will work on contracts with third-parties. This is incidentally the most abused part of H1b, exploited fully by shitty consultancies like Tata.

Re:This would be awesome news...

By magusxxx • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Just keep telling yourself..."Even a broken clock is right twice a day."

Then question why it took him until his polls were sinking into the swamp he didn't drain but fill before doing this.

Re:This would be awesome news...

By Cederic • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

. Why it the world would the parent commenter give him kudos for the 1 good thing he does

Because in a sane world they'd assess the policy and not the person behind it.

Something that half of America is fundamentally incapable of doing for the past four years.

Re: So, Why were you fired?

By jythie • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
In this case, they got his attention via TV ads.

PS4 Gamepads Won't Work For PS5 Games, Sony Says

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: You won't be able to use Sony's DualShock 4 or other third-party PS4 gamepads to play PlayStation 5 games, Sony confirmed in a blog post today. Those older gamepads will still work with "supported PS4 games" running on the PS5, Sony said, and PS5 software will work with "specialty peripherals" designed for the PS4 -- including "officially licensed racing wheels, arcade sticks, and flight sticks." Those caveats highlight the fact that there's no technical limitation or communication protocol mismatch stopping the upcoming hardware from communicating with legacy controllers.

But Sony says it "believe[s] that PS5 games should take advantage of the new capabilities and features we're bringing to the platform, including the features of DualSense wireless controller." Those features include what Sony is calling "haptic feedback and dynamic trigger effects" and a built-in microphone (last month, Geoff Keighley hosted what is, thus far, the only public hands-on impressions of these new controller features). The DualSense compatibility decision casts Sony in contrast to Microsoft, which is promising that "your Xbox One gaming accessories come into the future with you, too" with the coming Xbox Series X. While that promise doesn't extend to the defunct Kinect camera, it does include specialty pads like the Xbox Elite Controller and Xbox Adaptive Controller. "We believe that your investments in gaming should move with you into the next generation," Microsoft wrote in a blog post last month. PlayStation Move controllers -- first released in 2010 for use with the PS3—will continue to work with PlayStation VR games on the PS5, Sony said. The PS4's existing PlayStation Camera accessory will also work on the PS5, though it will require an adaptor that Sony says it will be providing to users for free.

Seems like another missed opportunity

By scdeimos • Score: 3 • Thread
Since Sony is releasing new PS5 DualSense controllers and requiring PS5-specific games to use them and not work with PS4 controllers... why didn't they also upgrade the PlayStation Move controllers to include analog sticks? Hasn't everybody, including official Sony-owned development houses, been asking for that since they were released in 2010?

Sony and controllers

By stikves • Score: 3 • Thread

They seem to be keen on developing very similar but ever so slightly different controllers each generation. Overall the progress might be a good thing, however for most games we don't care if that is a start button or the menu one as long as it is the one right next to the middle PS logo, or share vs back, etc. 99% of the games would work fine, and more than half of the last percent will use the extra functionality just for gimmicks.

I had the PS Vita for example. It has a unique touch back side. That alone makes many PS Vita games incompatible with other platforms (including PS Vita TV version), even though the touch functionality is actually cumbersome in games.

We already have invested heavily in PS4 along with many good controllers. In fact they work really well even on Steam/PC games. Why force rebuy when it would be better to allow piecemeal upgrades during these hard times?

Re: Damn you 2020

By e3m4n • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Dear Diary June 30th 2020 Edition:

In January, Australia caught on fire. I donâ(TM)t even know if that fire was put out, because we straight up almost went to war with Iran. We might actually still be almost at war with them. I donâ(TM)t know, because Jen Aniston and Brad Pitt spoke to one another at an awards show and everyone flipped out, but then Netflix released Cheers and everyone fell in love with Jerry, but then there was thing happening in China, then Prince Harry and Megan peaced out of the Royal family, and there was the whole impeachment trial, and then corona virus showed up in the US âoeofficially,â but then Kobe died and UK peaced out of the European Union. And someone had a great idea to stand up all the brooms which is really how all of this might have started.

In February, Iowa crapped itself with the caucus results and the president was acquitted and the Speaker of the House took ten years to rip up a speech, but then WHO decided to give this virus a name COVID-19, which confused some really important people in charge of, like, our lives, into thinking there were 18 other versions before it, but then Harvey Weinstein was found guilty, and Americans started asking if Corona beer was safe to drink, and everyone on Facebook became a doctor who just knew the flu like killed way more people than COVID 1 through 18.

In March, shit hit the fan. First Tom Brady left the Patriots and then Warren dropped out of the presidential race and Sanders was like Bernie or bust, but then Italy shut its whole ass down, and then COVID Not 1 through 18 officially become what everyone already realized, a pandemic and then a nationwide state of emergency was declared in US, but it didnâ(TM)t really change anything, so everyone was confused or thought it was still just a flu, but then COVID Not 18 was like yaâ(TM)ll not taking me seriously? Iâ(TM)m gonna infect the one celebrity everyone loves and totally infected Tom Hanks, but then the DOW took a shit on itself, and most of us still donâ(TM)t understand why the stock market is so important or even a thing, but then we were all introduced to Tiger King. (Carol totally killed her husband), and Netflix was like youâ(TM)re welcome, and we all realized there was no way we were washing our hands enough in the first place because all of our hands are now dry and gross.

In April, Bernie finally busted himself out of the presidential race, but then NYC became the set of The Walking Dead and we learn that no one has face masks, ventilators, or toilet paper, or THE GOD DAMN SWIFTER WET JET LIQUID. Everyone downloaded Zoom which may be where all the hackers are now hanging out but then Kim Jong-Un died, but then he came back to life⦠or did he? Who knows, because then the Pentagon released videos of UFOs, and we were like man, itâ(TM)s only Aprilâ¦.

In May, the biblical end times kicked off historical locust swarms and then we learned of murder hornets and realized that 2020 was the start of the Hunger Games but people forgot to let us know, but then people legit protested lockdown measures with AR-15s, and then sports events were cancelled everywhere, Everyone finished the end of Netflix and now had nothing new to watch on TV. But then people all over America finally reached a breaking point with race issues and violence. There were protests in every city, but then people totes forgot about the pandemic called COVID Not One Through 18. Media struggled with how to focus on two important things at once, but then people in general struggle to focus on more than one important thing, and a dead whale was found in the middle of the Amazon rain forest after monkeys stole COVID 1 Through 19 from a lab and ran off with them, and either in May or April (no one is keeping track of time now) that a giant asteroid narrowly missed earth.

In June, science and common sense just got thrown straight out the window and somehow wearing masks became a political thing, but then a whole lot of people

Re: Sony and controllers

By ToasterMonkey • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

They seem to?

This has only been going since about the entire history of gaming consoles with few exceptions. It should surprise no one. It is expected, you open a new game console box and a shiny new controller pops out. The new launch show off new controller features. The feel of the new controller is at least half the experience of buying a new system.

Dad, can we get a Super Nintendo??
Sorry Jimmy, your game collection won't run on it and we'd have to buy all new accessories, maybe next Christmas.
Awe shucks. - Every kid in 1990, 1991, 1992, etc. and it's the same story for all the rest of them.

AI-Generated Text Is the Scariest Deepfake of All

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader shares a report: In the future, deepfake videos and audiofakes may well be used to create distinct, sensational moments that commandeer a press cycle, or to distract from some other, more organic scandal. But undetectable textfakes -- masked as regular chatter on Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, and the like -- have the potential to be far more subtle, far more prevalent, and far more sinister. The ability to manufacture a majority opinion, or create a fake-commenter arms race -- with minimal potential for detection -- would enable sophisticated, extensive influence campaigns. Pervasive generated text has the potential to warp our social communication ecosystem: algorithmically generated content receives algorithmically generated responses, which feeds into algorithmically mediated curation systems that surface information based on engagement.

Our trust in each other is fragmenting, and polarization is increasingly prevalent. As synthetic media of all types -- text, video, photo, and audio -- increases in prevalence, and as detection becomes more of a challenge, we will find it increasingly difficult to trust the content that we see. It may not be so simple to adapt, as we did to Photoshop, by using social pressure to moderate the extent of these tools' use and accepting that the media surrounding us is not quite as it seems. This time around, we'll also have to learn to be much more critical consumers of online content, evaluating the substance on its merits rather than its prevalence.

Answer to the problem, Don't use them.

By GregMmm • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread

Here's an idea. Everyone has the power to turn them off. Instead of listening to twitter, facebook, or reddit, try listening to the persons around you. Your family, neighbors, and friends, in person.

You don't need these services. Do they really make your life better?

yup we're screwed

By marcle • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Yet another restatement of the problem of social media. It isn't just fringe elements coming together, it's bad actors gaming the system and producing outsized effects with minimal effort.

Just imagine the propaganda, oops I mean marketing possibilities!

Problems with GPT-3

By phantomfive • Score: 5, Funny • Thread
There are a few problems with the GPT-3 AI the article is referring to:

1) It has no understanding of context.
2) It can't stay on topic.
3) It doesn't even understand topic sentences.
4) It doesn't understand anything, it picks words interpolating what it has seen before.
4) It is barely coherent, sometimes producing sentences that don't even parse.

So a typical forum poster. Carry on.

Re:AI battling deepfake commentators

By burtosis • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
xkcd has a few tips on this

Garmin Reportedly Paid Millions To Obtain Decryption Key, Resolve Recent Ransomware Attack

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Garmin has reportedly paid a ransom to receive a decryption key to recover its files, after they were hit by the WastedLocker Ransomware last month. Digital Trends reports: [BleepingComputer] found that the attackers used the WastedLocker Ransomware and reported that they demanded $10 million as a ransom. Now, it also uncovered that Garmin is using a decryption key to regain access to its files, suggesting that the company may have paid that ransom demand or some other amount. The WastedLocker software uses encryption which has no known weaknesses, so the assumption is that to break it, the company must have paid the attackers for the decryption key. [...] The company reassured customers that no customer data was stolen, and that no payment information from the Garmin Pay payment system was accessed or stolen either.

On Twitter, the company announced last week, "We are happy to report that many of the systems and services affected by the recent outage, including Garmin Connect, are returning to operation. Some features still have temporary limitations while all of the data is being processed."

Re:A bargain at twice the price...

By AvitarX • Score: 5, Funny • Thread
Probably as easy as deciding not to worry about backups.

incompetent and yet they know the data is safe

By bloodhawk • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
"The company reassured customers that no customer data was stolen, and that no payment information from the Garmin Pay payment system was accessed or stolen either." how can a company so incompetent in managing their IT make any such statement with certainty?

Terrible trend

By mi • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Bush Senior's Foundation just cowered similarly.

This is a terrible trend, that finances criminals enabling them to target more and more victims... I'd go as far as to suggest, this makes them an accessory, however unwilling, to future crimes by the same assholes...

Re:Terrible trend

By mi • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

That wasn't exactly the same thing.

Of course, it was. They surrendered to the criminals' demand — paying them money to avoid additional harm.

The Bush Center paid to have the criminals destroy and not leak the personal information of donors.

Distinction without difference. Criminals were still rewarded for their crimes, making new crimes more likely.

Chinese Games Will Force Players To Use Their Real Names

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
The Chinese government will soon require video game users to log in with their real names. According to the South China Morning Post, the government is rolling out a state-run authentication system that will ask game makers to join the system in batches. From the report: The plan has been in the works for some time, with the government pushing for tighter controls based on the argument that it needs to protect minors. In 2019, the State Administration of Press and Publications (SAPP), the body in charge of regulating games, introduced new limits on how much time and money minors can spend on games. Anyone under 18 years old is limited to 90 minutes on weekdays and three hours on holidays. To enforce these limits, players are required to to give out their real names which can be checked against ID numbers. Tencent and NetEase, the country's two largest gaming companies, got a jump on these plans by introducing their own verification systems.

For now, not much is known about how the national verification system will work or whether it will resemble the independent systems already in place. In some cases, the private systems have introduced some stringent controls. In Honour of Kings, the immensely popular Tencent game known as Arena of Valor overseas, the verification system includes a facial recognition scan. China also has other rules governing what games are even allowed in the country. One requirement is for game publishers to submit games for content and monetisation review before they can be legally distributed in China.

My Chinese Name

By bobstreo • Score: 3 • Thread

is Long White Dong.

Dibs on LeeRoy Jenkins

By olsmeister • Score: 3, Funny • Thread
That one will go quickly.

Re:Next slashdot

By UnknownSoldier • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

But The Orville's Majority Rule could never foreshadow China's shitty credit system! China would never ban a number or anything else so idiotic! /s

Re:Unintended consequences

By Neo-Rio-101 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

I think it's more a move to prevent online game chatter turning into a meeting and planning rooms to take over the CCP.

Next thing you know, a player in Beijing saying "Taiwan #1" over PUBG teamchat results in the Chinese police breaking his door down.

Prepare for murder. Lots of it.

By BAReFO0t • Score: 3 • Thread

Statistically, there's probably around 5000 people on the planet, with the motivation and means to murder you for anything you might say. (Example: "I like puppies!")

With real IDs, the only thing stopping them from doing so, falls away.

Prepare for lots and lots of bloody real-world hate-crime.

Then again, given China's government, what's the difference to what the government has been doing all along anyway... I wonder if they will coin the term "vigilante re-educators" for this. ;)