the unofficial Slashdot digest


  1. Barracuda Urges Replacing, Not Patching, Its Email Security Gateways
  2. Common Energy Drink Ingredient Taurine 'May Slow Aging Process'
  3. Man Sues OpenAI Claiming ChatGPT 'Hallucination' Said He Embezzled Money
  4. GM Announces It Will Also Adopt Tesla's NACS Connector, Joining Ford
  5. What Mark Zuckerberg Thinks About Apple's Vision Pro
  6. Google To Include Office Attendance In Performance Reviews
  7. Louisiana Passes Bill Banning Kids From the Internet Without Parental Consent
  8. Smart TV Industry Rocked By Alleged Patent Conspiracy From Chipmaker
  9. Meta Plans To Put AI Everywhere on Its Platforms
  10. Google Lifts Ban on Downloader App
  11. Google's Password Manager Gains Biometric Authentication on Desktop
  12. Apollo, Popular Reddit App, To Shut Down June 30 Following API Price Surge
  13. Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions at All-Time High, Study Finds
  14. Apple, Epic Ask US Appeals Court To Reconsider Its Antitrust Ruling
  15. iOS 17 Automatically Removes Tracking Parameters From Links You Click On

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.

Barracuda Urges Replacing, Not Patching, Its Email Security Gateways

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotSkip
An anonymous reader quotes a report from KrebsOnSecurity:
It's not often that a zero-day vulnerability causes a network security vendor to urge customers to physically remove and decommission an entire line of affected hardware -- as opposed to just applying software updates. But experts say that is exactly what transpired this week with Barracuda Networks, as the company struggled to combat a sprawling malware threat which appears to have undermined its email security appliances in such a fundamental way that they can no longer be safely updated with software fixes.

Campbell, Calif. based Barracuda said it hired incident response firm Mandiant on May 18 after receiving reports about unusual traffic originating from its Email Security Gateway (ESG) devices, which are designed to sit at the edge of an organization's network and scan all incoming and outgoing email for malware. On May 19, Barracuda identified that the malicious traffic was taking advantage of a previously unknown vulnerability in its ESG appliances, and on May 20 the company pushed a patch for the flaw to all affected appliances (CVE-2023-2868).

In its security advisory, Barracuda said the vulnerability existed in the Barracuda software component responsible for screening attachments for malware. More alarmingly, the company said it appears attackers first started exploiting the flaw in October 2022. But on June 6, Barracuda suddenly began urging its ESG customers to wholesale rip out and replace -- not patch -- affected appliances. "Impacted ESG appliances must be immediately replaced regardless of patch version level," the company's advisory warned. "Barracuda's recommendation at this time is full replacement of the impacted ESG." [...] In addition to replacing devices, Barracuda says ESG customers should also rotate any credentials connected to the appliance(s), and check for signs of compromise dating back to at least October 2022 using the network and endpoint indicators the company has released publicly.

Common Energy Drink Ingredient Taurine 'May Slow Aging Process'

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotSkip
Scientists are calling for a major clinical trial to investigate the potential benefits of taurine supplementation, a substance commonly found in energy drinks. Animal studies have shown that replenishing taurine levels to more youthful levels can slow down the aging process, improve health, and even extend lifespans in mice. The Guardian reports:
Prof Henning Wackerhage, a molecular exercise physiologist on the team at the Technical University of Munich, said a trial would compare how humans fared after taking daily taurine or placebo supplements. "It will probably be very difficult to look at whether they live longer, but at least we can check if they live healthier for longer, and that of course is the goal for medicine."

Yadav's team homed in on taurine as a potential driver of the ageing process in 2012 when an analysis of blood compounds found that levels of the amino acid dropped dramatically with age in mice, monkeys and humans. By the age of 60, taurine levels in a typical person slumped to one-third of that seen in five-year-olds, they found. The discovery prompted the team to test the impact of extra taurine on middle-aged mice. "Whatever we checked, taurine-supplemented mice were healthier and appeared younger than the control mice," Yadav said, noting they had denser bones, stronger muscles, better memory and younger looking immune systems. "Taurine made animals live healthier and longer lives by affecting all the major hallmarks of ageing." Beyond improving health, mice on taurine lived longer -- on average an extra 10% for males and 12% for females, amounting to an additional three to four months, the equivalent of seven or eight human years. A comparable dose for humans would be three to six grams a day.

The scientists next looked at whether boosting taurine benefited animals that were much closer biologically to humans. A six-month trial in middle-aged macaques found that a daily taurine pill appeared to boost health by preventing weight gain, lowering blood glucose and improving bone density and the immune system. Other evidence suggests taurine supplementation may have some effect in humans. Yadav and his team analysed medical data from 12,000 Europeans aged 60 and over. Those with higher taurine levels had less obesity, type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, and lower levels of inflammation. Strenuous sessions on an exercise bike were found to boost taurine levels, the researchers report in Science.

Without a major trial to demonstrate the safety or any benefits of taurine supplements, the scientists are not recommending people boost their intake through pills, energy drinks or dietary changes. Taurine is made naturally in the body and is found in meat and shellfish diets, but the healthiest diets are largely plant-based. Some energy drinks contain taurine, but the scientists warn they also contain other substances that may not be safe to consume at high levels.

Main ingredient in Ripobitan D

By SinGunner • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
In Japan, it's one of the major ingredients in a lot of energy drinks (which people suck down daily). Then again, they also frequently contain nicotine. Shit's weird over here.

Man Sues OpenAI Claiming ChatGPT 'Hallucination' Said He Embezzled Money

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotSkip
OpenAI is facing a defamation lawsuit filed by Mark Walters, who claims that the AI platform falsely accused him of embezzling money from a gun rights group in statements delivered to a journalist. The lawsuit argues that ChatGPT is guilty of libel and alleges that the AI system "hallucinated" and generated false information about Walters. The Register reports:
"While research and development of AI is worthwhile, it is irresponsible to unleash a system on the public that is known to make up 'facts' about people," his attorney John Monroe told The Register. According to the complaint, a journalist named Fred Riehl, while he was reporting on a court case, asked ChatGPT for a summary of accusations in a complaint, and provided ChatGPT with the URL of the real complaint for reference. (Here's the actual case [PDF] the reporter was trying to save time on reading for those curious.)

What makes the situation even odder is that the case Riehl was reporting on was actually filed by a group of several gun rights groups against Washington's Attorney General's office (accusing officials of "unconstitutional retaliation", among other things, while investigating the groups and their members) and had nothing at all to do with financial accounting claims. When Riehl asked for a summary, instead of returning accurate information, or so the case alleges, ChatGPT "hallucinated" that Mark Walters' name was attached to a criminal complaint -- and moreover, that it falsely accused him of embezzling money from The Second Amendment Foundation, one of the organizations suing the Washington Attorney General in the real complaint.

ChatGPT is known to "occasionally generate incorrect information" -- also known as hallucinations, as The Register has extensively reported. The AI platform has already been accused of writing obituaries for folks who are still alive, and in May this year, of making up fake legal citations pointing to non-existent prior cases. In the latter situation, a Texas judge said his court would strike any filing from an attorney who failed to certify either that they didn't use AI to prepare their legal docs, or that they had, but a human had checked them. [...] According to the complaint, Riehl contacted Alan Gottlieb, one of the plaintiffs in the actual Washington lawsuit, about ChatGPT's allegations concerning Walters, and Gottlieb confirmed that they were false. None of ChatGPT's statements concerning Walters are in the actual complaint.

The false answer ChatGPT gave Riehl alleged that Walters was treasurer and Chief Financial Officer of SAF and claimed he had "embezzled and misappropriated SAF's funds and assets." When Riehl asked ChatGPT to provide "the entire text of the complaint," it returned an entirely fabricated complaint, which bore "no resemblance to the actual complaint, including an erroneous case number." Walters is looking for damages and lawyers' fees. We have asked his attorney for comment. As for the amount of damages, the complaint says these will be determined at trial, if the case actually gets there.

GM Announces It Will Also Adopt Tesla's NACS Connector, Joining Ford

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotSkip
GM has confirmed that it will adopt Tesla's North American Charging Standard (NACS) for its future electric vehicles, following in the footsteps of Ford. Electrek reports:
This is likely the next step in a domino effect that should solidify NACS as the new charging standard for electric cars in North America. When Tesla announced last year that it opened up its proprietary charging connector to try to make it the industry standard in North America, we thought it might be too little too late, despite agreeing that Tesla's plug was a much superior design than the current CCS standard. However, we were proven wrong last month when Ford announced that it will integrate the NACS in its future electric vehicles.

GM CEO Mary Barra confirmed that General Motors will also adopt NACS with the help of Tesla in future electric vehicles. Barra made the announcement with Tesla CEO Elon Musk on Twitter. She said that the first vehicles with the plug will come in 2025 and like Ford, GM EV owners will all have access to Tesla's Supercharger network starting in 2024 with a CCS to NACS adapter. Like Ford, GM's Bara referenced the more efficient design of Tesla's connector and the "robustness" of Tesla's Supercharger network as reasons to adopt the standard.
Barra said in a statement: "Our vision of the all-electric future means producing millions of world-class EVs across categories and price points, while creating an ecosystem that will accelerate mass EV adoption. This collaboration is a key part of our strategy and an important next step in quickly expanding access to fast chargers for our customers. Not only will it help make the transition to electric vehicles more seamless for our customers, but it could help move the industry toward a single North American charging standard."


By slack_justyb • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Oh, the US begins putting CCS into actual rule making Tesla suddenly realizes sitting on their charger for forever was a bad idea to wait more than ten years to actually open the charger up as a standard.. Like the entire reason the government initially went with CCS is because every other car maker was asking Tesla to OPEN IT UP,. But nah, Elon was under the impression he could license NACS Apple Thunderbolt style. When codification came forcing Tesla to suddenly add CCS at their stations (via their Magic Dock), "Oh wait! They can force me to do things?" And even better, it wasn't forcing. The US Government just told him they'd stop giving him subsidizes on his charge stations unless he brought in CCS.

That's American Competition! Why pay licensing fees when you can force the ass hat trying to extort folks to open up, otherwise he won't get Government cheese? In all aspects this whole affair explains Americanism at its best. Ford/GM et al. are greedy bastards not wanting to pay licensing, Tesla is a greedy bastard getting taxpayer money AND holding out so that they can also make a side hussle out of licensing out of shit that taxpayers funded, and the Government that's surprisingly not being greedy unless you attribute that to absolute greed for exerting their ability to control companies and accepting those nice bribes that convinced them to make CCS part of the standard. Oh then there's the taxpayers that'll still need to pony up $35k for an EV car. Don't get me wrong, the tool isn't the bad guy here. I love EVs. It's the players that make this a shit show.

What Mark Zuckerberg Thinks About Apple's Vision Pro

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotSkip
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Verge:
Mark Zuckerberg doesn't seem fazed by Apple's introduction of the Vision Pro. In a companywide meeting with Meta employees today that The Verge watched, the CEO said Apple's device didn't present any major breakthroughs in technology that Meta hadn't "already explored" and that its vision for how people will use the device is "not the one that I want." He also pointed to the fact that Meta's upcoming Quest 3 headset will be much cheaper, at $499 compared to the Vision Pro's $3,499 price tag, giving Meta the opening to reach a wider user base.

"I think that their announcement really showcases the difference in the values and the vision that our companies bring to this in a way that I think is really important," Zuckerberg told employees, who were gathered at the company's Menlo Park, California, headquarters for its first all-hands meeting since 2020. Zuckerberg said that the Quest is about "people interacting in new ways and feeling closer" while also "about being active and doing things." "By contrast, every demo that they showed was a person sitting on a couch by themself," he said of Apple's WWDC keynote earlier this week. "I mean, that could be the vision of the future of computing, but like, it's not the one that I want."

Mark knows what's what

By zmollusc • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Apple will fail because it doesn't have any real vision of the future. Putting all your money where your mouth is shows takes real genius. Metaverse will bury Apple once enough money has been invested in it to iron out the early bugs. We are all right behind you Mark, you handsome charismatic leader!

What do you expect him to say?

By sethmeisterg • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Did people really expect him to say "OMG it's amazing, we're fucked" or similar? These types of articles are just dumb.

Price point

By Morpeth • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

The laughable $3500 price point probably had Zuck breathing a sigh of relief, even Apple fanatics will have to pause at that price. I have an older (now) HTC Vive Pro, and while I like it, I can't see what Apple is offering, especially in terms of games and its walled garden, that would in anyway tempt me to drop that amount of cash (yes, I know it's more than just VR, it's AR too etc, but it's features don't particularly interest me). I'll probably get a new VR/AR headset at some point, but will stay in the $400-500 range.

Sidenote: while the Vision Pro no doubt is more comfortable than my Vive Pro, I still find I only want to wear it for short periods of time. I can't see doing an 8 hr day it -- I wonder about long term affects on vision and other unknowns with heavy continual use, I feel like I always need a bit of an adjustment time visually when leaving VR environments.

Re:Hey Zuck...

By bruce_the_moose • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

That statement is the sound of a man whistling past a cemetery.

It's cool but not that cool

By PhrostyMcByte • Score: 3 • Thread

A lot of people are comparing it to HoloLens due to the price, but it's more correct to compare it to a Quest which really puts the price disparity on display.

The HoloLens is built for a completely different application: it doesn't obstruct your view, giving you a natural ultra-wide FOV (even if the projected screen space is smaller) so you can use it in work places without knocking stuff around in your periphery

The Quest and Apple's headset both have a narrow scuba-goggles FOV and their AR is really meant for use in more controlled spaces.

The tech in it, compared to existing VR today, is all stuff that's either already been done or is a very obvious evolutionary improvement. It's cool but it's not $3500 cool -- I guess that describes a lot of Apple products, but this one seems especially egregious. In my mind this screams toy for tech workers with too much money.

Google To Include Office Attendance In Performance Reviews

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotSkip
Google is implementing stricter measures to enforce office attendance, including tracking badge data, confronting employees who don't come in as required, and factoring attendance into performance reviews. CNBC reports:
Google's chief people officer, Fiona Cicconi, wrote an email to employees at the end of the day on Wednesday, which included doubling down on office attendance, reasoning that "there's just no substitute for coming together in person." "Of course, not everyone believes in 'magical hallway conversations,' but there's no question that working together in the same room makes a positive difference," Cicconi's email read. "Many of the products we unveiled at I/O and Google Marketing Live last month were conceived, developed and built by teams working side by side."

Her note said the company will start including their three days per week as a part of their performance reviews and teams will start sending reminders to workers "who are consistently absent from the office." Cicconi even asked already-approved remote workers to reconsider. "For those who are remote and who live near a Google office, we hope you'll consider switching to a hybrid work schedule. Our offices are where you'll be most connected to Google's community." A separate internal document showed that already-approved remote workers may be subject to reevaluation if the company determines "material changes in business need, role, team, structure or location."

In the U.S., the company will periodically track whether employees are adhering to the office attendance policy using badge data, and executives are currently reviewing local requirements to implement in other countries, one of the documents states. If workers don't follow the policy after an extended period of time, human resources will reach out about "next steps." Going forward, Cicconi said, new fully remote work will only be granted "by exception only."
In a statement to CNBC, Google spokesperson Ryan Lamont said, "our hybrid approach is designed to incorporate the best of being together in person with the benefits of working from home for part of the week. Now that we're more than a year into this way of working, we're formally integrating this approach into all of our workplace policies."
Lamont added that the badge data viewed by company leaders is aggregate data and not individualized.

Our productivity is through the roof

By Arethan • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

and we're 100% remote and hybrid. Some people are going to the office once a week, but most people in my team don't bother. We just get more shit done when we aren't being constantly disturbed by random crap and 'hallway magic'. Every team is different, and some may work better in person, but assuming they will all work better in person is a bit presumptuous, perhaps even arrogant.

Oh well, Google can make all the dumb top-down decisions it wants. It's their company to run how they like.
Really it just makes me not want to consider working there when their talent hunters are slinging their siren songs into my inbox.
I hope it works out for them. They had a nice search engine.

Jumped the Shark

By gurps_npc • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Old joke about a guy looking for keys under a street light. Cop comes over and helps. After a while, cop says "Where where you when you lost them?" guy points to a dark area 40 ft away and says "No way I could see them there, but at least there is a chance I could here."

Two ways a company can reward employees - those that do well on things they can easily measure (i.e. attendance) and those that actually help the company make a profit even if it is not obvious.

When you start rewarding people for that which can be measured easily rather than actually contributing, people spend less time contributing and more time getting a good measure.

Management et. al. want you to attend meetings because it helps THEM look good and possibly contribute to the company. It almost never helps the attendees contribute to the company more than if the management talked with the employees at the employees convenience.

Management does not have to make a company worse, but when they do not want to work as hard as you do, they become the joke that everyone makes fun of.

Post hoc, ergo propter hoc fallacy

By dskoll • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Many of the products we unveiled at I/O and Google Marketing Live last month were conceived, developed and built by teams whose members ate ketchup at least once a week.

So now your ketchup consumption will be monitored. Three tablespoons a week or your performance review suffers.

Re:The benefits you only notice when they are gone

By Opportunist • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

It's lovely for you because you're an extrovert.

I'm not.

Everything you list there as a "job perk" sounds like torture to me. Essentially, my pay would have to go up CONSIDERABLY to put up with and endure the stuff you "enjoy".

PIP PIP Hooray!

By wyattstorch516 • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread
Google looking to reduce headcount without paying severance. The golden age of the FAANGs is drawing to a close. Probably be a while before the replacements show up.

Louisiana Passes Bill Banning Kids From the Internet Without Parental Consent

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotSkip
Louisiana lawmakers have passed a bill that would prohibit minors from creating their own social media accounts without parental consent, potentially impacting popular platforms like Instagram and online games such as Roblox and Fortnite. The Verge reports:
The bill, HB61, would ban "interactive computer services" from allowing people under 18 to sign up for their own accounts without parental consent. The bill's definition of online services is extremely broad, seemingly barring minors from creating social media accounts on sites like Instagram, accessing popular online games like Roblox and Fortnite, or even registering for an email address. The bill also goes as far as allowing parents to cancel the terms of service contracts their children entered into when signing up for existing accounts.

As of publication, it's unclear how the state plans to enforce these new rules, but it calls on state entities to review the bill and provide feedback before it would go into effect. The Louisiana State Legislature passed the bill unanimously on Tuesday, sending it to Gov. John Bel Edwards' desk for final approval. The ban would go into effect August 1st of next year if he chooses to sign it.
"We are hopeful that Governor Edwards will veto this bill. It violates First Amendment rights, takes away parental rights for their families and requires massive data collection on all Louisiana citizens," NetChoice vice president and general counsel Carl Szabo said in a statement Thursday.
"It's true that Big Tech's advertising model hurts kids and teens," Fight for the Future said in a call for people to tell their elected officials not to pass online age restrictions. "But age-gating all social media, for anyone under 18? That won't solve the problem, and it's a direct attack on millions of young people's First Amendment rights."

Further reading: Congress Shocked To Discover 10 Year Olds Check the 'I'm Over 18' Box Online [Not The Onion]

Kids' rights != adults' rights

By PseudoThink • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Kids are legally required (and forced) to be in school for several hours per day a for a majority of the year, for most of their youth. They are limited from drinking, marrying, and a host of other things. I'm not advocating for this, but not all of these limits are unreasonable, and given the recent statements like from the surgeon general and APA about social media use, I think it's not unreasonable to consider this type of limitation as well.

This honestly made me laugh hysterically.

By nightflameauto • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Parents having to be parents? GTFO! Every time I've said that parents need to take some responsibility for what their children do on the computer I've been told that it's impossible, can't happen, there's too much pressure. Now there's a law essentially saying parents need to take responsibility for their children? I can't wait for the public backlash on this shit. Parents won't stand for it. There will be blood in the streets before they take responsibility for the people they've brought into the world and actually try to keep track of them.

But at least the outrage will be delicious.

Re: Were kids ever held to ToC contracts?

By cpt kangarooski • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

In general children can enter into contracts but they can usually void the entire contract at will until they reach their majority. There are some exceptions, but the result is that no one wants to enter into contracts with them because as soon as it's inconvenient for the kid, they'll void it which can leave the other party in a fix.

Social Media != Internet

By evanh • Score: 3 • Thread

Title is dramatically misleading. I initially laughed until I read the content and thought it's not a bad idea. But really, the better solution is just ban all social media from the Internet entirely.

Re:Hope the kids sue the state when they grow up

By schwit1 • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Nobody is being 'deprived'. The kids can still have access IF a parent is involved. Why is that a bad thing?

BTW, kids and social media are not a good mix.

Smart TV Industry Rocked By Alleged Patent Conspiracy From Chipmaker

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotSkip
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica:
During the pandemic, the demand for smart TVs dwindled as the supply chain for critical TV components became unreliable and consumers began tightening up on frivolous spending. Amid this smart TV demand slump, one of the world's top TV chipmakers, Taiwan-based Realtek, was hit with multiple meritless lawsuits by an alleged patent troll, Future Link Systems. These actions, Realtek said, drained its resources, made Realtek appear unreliable as a TV-chip supplier, and created "the harmful illusion of supply chain uncertainties in an already constrained industry." Determined to defend its reputation and maintain its dominant place in the market, Realtek filed a lawsuit (PDF) this week in a US district court in California. In it, the TV chipmaker alleged that Future Link launched "an unprecedented and unseemly conspiracy" with the world's leading TV-chip supplier, Taiwan-based MediaTek, and was allegedly paid a "bounty" to file frivolous patent infringement claims intended to drive Realtek out of the TV-chip market.

The scheme allegedly worked like this: Future Link "intentionally and knowingly" asked a US district court in Texas and the US International Trade Commission "for injunctions prohibiting importation of Realtek TV Chips and devices containing the same into the United States," Realtek alleged. This allowed MediaTek to reap the benefits of diminished competition in that market, Realtek claimed. Today, Reuters reported that MediaTek has officially responded to Realtek's allegations, vowing to defend itself against the lawsuit and claiming that MediaTek will supply evidence to dispute Realtek's claims.

Realtek's lawsuit seeks a jury trial to fight back against MediaTek and Future Link, as well as IPValue Management, which the complaint said owns and operates Future Link. The TV chipmaker alleged that defendants violated unfair competition laws in California, as well as federal laws. Any damages won from the lawsuit will be donated to charity, Realtek said. Realtek's complaint likens MediaTek to "robber barons of the Industrial Age," allegedly seeking to destroy competition and secure a monopoly in the TV-chip market. "With this action, Realtek seeks to stop a modern robber baron and its hired henchmen, protect itself from ongoing injury, and guard against the destruction of competition in the critical semiconductor industry by holding defendants accountable for their conspiracy," the complaint said.


By Opportunist • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Sell me a dumb TV then. I'm not picky.

I can attach my own tools to view various streams, that way I can also thwart any snooping you might want to engage in if I am dumb enough to attach your TV to a way to access the internet.


By Luckyo • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Problem is, most people can't. They lack know how to do so.

I recently ran into this issue with my parents, where what seemed like a tiny and mostly irrelevant problem they had with tech was utterly crushing to them. They genuinely thought they'd have to replace an expensive device because of it. A fix took a minute once I diagnosed the problem in about five minutes on google. And after I talked them through it, I talked to them about technology in general, trying to understand why it felt like such a major problem to them.

One question in particular hit home really hard. My mom didn't even realize that her favorite browser firefox... didn't just come preinstalled with every TV and windows PC. She was genuinely confused when I told her it wasn't, and asked me how anyone would know how to get it then.

This is the level of understanding of this sort of technology among normal, non-IT people.

Smart TVs are dead

By nospam007 • Score: 3 • Thread

Welcome the AI TVs.

They know what you want to watch, even if your don't know it, it knows even better than a Smart TV which ads to show you ALL THE TIME.

Forum shopping

By quonset • Score: 3 • Thread

Future Link "intentionally and knowingly" asked a US district court in Texas

Texas district courts are widely known to rubber-stamp most anything that comes their way from plaintiffs. Doesn't matter what it is, if you filed, they agree with you.

This case is another such example.


By Luckyo • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

My mom could plan test firing of a 200MW rated power plant and create documentation for it that would fit multiple national requirements of the kind that would make your average IT nerd go "what is this? I don't understand what any of these things mean?"

Without people like her, there would be no need for people like us, because we all need electricity to do what we do, and it's people like her that spent their entire working lives building that for us.

But that is a realm of strictly documented, tested and validated things. It's not a realm of modern IT, where it's all about "just google it and then wing it".

Meta Plans To Put AI Everywhere on Its Platforms

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotSkip
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced a plan to employees on Thursday that will see it put generative AI text, image and video generators into its flagship products, such as Facebook and Instagram. From a report:
At an all-hands meeting with workers on Thursday, Zuckerberg announced a range of technologies at various stages of development, with some for internal use but many designed directly for consumers. One, for example, will allow customers to use a text prompt to modify their own photos and share them in Instagram Stories.

Another will bring AI agents with different personalities and capabilities to help or entertain. That's focused initially for use in Messenger and WhatsApp. The company is also hosting an internal hackathon in July focused on generative AI.

In days of old

By dsgrntlxmply • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
Back in the Veet Nam era we claimed that ARPA funded artificial Intelligence research, due to a demonstrated deficiency of the natural product. Little has changed in 50 years.


By narcc • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

What value does he think this will add?

Zuck is scrambling. The VR thing didn't work out, so he's off to the next fad!

Google Lifts Ban on Downloader App

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotSkip
Google has reversed the suspension of an Android TV app that was hit with a copyright complaint simply because it is able to load a pirate website that can also be loaded in any standard web browser. From a report:
The Downloader app, which combines a web browser with a file manager, is back in the Google Play Store after an absence of nearly three weeks. As we previously reported, Google suspended the app based on a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) complaint from several Israeli TV companies that said the app "allows users to view the infamous copyright infringing website known as SDAROT." But that same website could be viewed on any standard browser, including Google's own Chrome app.

"The app was removed on May 19th due to the DMCA takedown request," developer Elias Saba wrote in a blog post today. "Instead of recognizing the absurdity of the claim that a web browser is somehow liable for all the unauthorized use of copyrighted content on the Internet, Google took a backseat and denied my appeal to have the app reinstated." The free app has been downloaded over 5 million times on Google Play and is available on the Amazon app store for devices such as Fire TVs. In addition to the rejected appeal, Saba filed a DMCA counter notification with Google. That "started a 10-business-day countdown for the [TV companies'] law firm to file legal actions against me," Saba wrote today. "Due to the app being removed on a Friday and the Memorial Day holiday, 10 business days had elapsed with no word from the law firm on June 6th and I contacted Google to have the app reinstated."

Google's Password Manager Gains Biometric Authentication on Desktop

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotSkip
Google's aiming to make it easier to use and secure passwords -- at least, for users of the Password Manager tool built into its Chrome browser. From a report:
Today, the tech giant announced that Password Manager, which generates unique passwords and autofills them across platforms, will soon gain biometric authentication on PC. (Android and iOS have had biometric authentication for some time.) When enabled, it'll require an additional layer of security, like fingerprint recognition or facial recognition, before Chrome autofills passwords.

Exactly which types of biometrics are available in Password Manager on desktop will depend on the hardware attached to the PC, of course (e.g. a fingerprint reader), as well as whether the PC's operating system supports it. Beyond "soon," Google didn't say when to expect the feature to arrive.

Does this solve a problem?

By Derec01 • Score: 3 • Thread

I understand that this will likely bring the general level of password management up for most people, but I struggle to see why an already conscientious user would want this.

I already use a password manager with strong passwords for most sites and applications. What happens if I die? What happens if the fingerprint reader dies at an inopportune moment? Right now I can just share the password with my family or put it in a safe deposit box. And sure, I can set up *their* fingerprints as well, but this all seems like a lot more steps to achieve about the same security I have now.

Apollo, Popular Reddit App, To Shut Down June 30 Following API Price Surge

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotSkip
Popular Reddit app Apollo, which recently warned that social firm's API price hike would cost the developer $20 million a year for access, announced today that it's shutting shop:
In order to avoid incurring charges I will delete Apollo's API token on the evening of June 30th PST. Until that point, Apollo should continue to operate as it has, but after that date attempts to connect to the Reddit API will fail. I will put up an explainer in the app prior to that which will go live at that date. I will also provide a tool to export any local data you have in Apollo, such as filters or favorites.
In short, the Apollo app developer said, "Reddit's recent decisions and actions have unfortunately made it impossible for Apollo to continue."

just an idea

By TheSimkin • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Instead of just deleting the api token what if you set it up so users can supply their own tokens? This way users will cover their own api usage costs while being able to use your tools.

Unsustainable business model

By Rosco P. Coltrane • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Reddit, Youtube, Twitter... They've all been haemorraging money for years, if not decades now. The problem is, if they try to monetize their user base, they'll kill it. If they don't, they'll kill themselves.

Damned if they do, damned if they don't.

They all started with the idea of grabbing as much presence as possible as fast as possible to reach a critical mass of monetizable users, and now they realize the users are addicted to free and aren't monetizable. Worse, the younger ones have never known anything else, so they're even more unlikely to fork over any money.

If I was an investor in any of those companies, I'd pull the plug. It's high time.

Re:Unsustainable business model

By Sitnalta • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Reddit is killing themselves. They've been sitting around with a thumb up their ass instead of developing the official app (or even having one) or adding QoL features to the site. 3rd party developers should have been bought out/hired ages ago, instead they were asleep at the wheel. Now the actual adults from wall street are walking up the driveway and they're clumsily trying to hide their bongs and porn mags while desperately fanning out the marijuana smoke.

Re:Still, why not try...

By mfh • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

It's going to cost $20mil a year to run Apollo with the current API pricing. It's not sustainable. Reddit is killing themselves like Digg did.

Re:Still, why not try...

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

You should read the blog post linked in the summary, it's all explained.

$20 a month wouldn't cover costs.
Reddit's API costs are $40/user/month, then the $2k/month developer account cost would spread out to another $25/user.

Then if he wants to *get* 65/month, you have to add in apple's in-app subscription fee, another $13 (it's still 20%, right?)

So he would have to charge $78/month to cover costs and make nothing.
This also assumes all 50k users would remain paying customers at that rate.
If only half keep the app, double the costs to $156/month to each user.

Also he tried working out a deal with reddit, numerous ones. Reddit ghosted him.
Reddit also refuses to budge on the 30 day deadline. They won't give him time to change the app and get the update pushed to the app store before the $2million/month fees begin.

You're asking him to eat $2m/month in fees to "work out a deal" with a company that refuses to respond to him, instead of eating $125k once in current subscription refunds.
That's just unsound business.

Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions at All-Time High, Study Finds

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotSkip
Greenhouse gas emissions have reached an all-time high, threatening to push the world into "unprecedented" levels of global heating, scientists have warned. From a report:
The world is rapidly running out of "carbon budget," the amount of carbon dioxide that can be poured into the atmosphere if we are to stay within the vital threshold of 1.5C above pre-industrial temperatures, according to a study published in the journal Earth System Science Data on Thursday.

Only about 250bn tonnes of carbon dioxide can now be emitted, to avoid the accumulation of CO2 in the atmosphere that would raise temperatures by 1.5C. That is down from 500bn tonnes just a few years ago, and at current annual rates of greenhouse gas emissions, of about 54bn tonnes a year over the past decade, it would run out well before the end of this decade. Prof Piers Forster, the director of the Priestley Centre for Climate Futures at the University of Leeds, and lead author of the paper, said: "This is the critical decade for climate change. Decisions made now will have an impact on how much temperatures will rise and the degree and severity of impacts we will see as a result."

Re:And yetâ¦

By Brain-Fu • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

China is the worlds worst polluter. It doubles the United States. source

Russia is number 4 on the list, for what that's worth.

So it appears that this problem has little to do with which economic model a country chooses.

Re:And yetâ¦

By ArchieBunker • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Didn’t help that billionaires spent decades convincing rednecks that it’s fake.

Re:And yetâ¦

By skam240 • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Except the US is actually making decent headway on curbing greenhouse gasses where as China is still rapidly increasing its output . Sure we could be doing better but its hard to create the political will to do more over here when everything we do is effectively canceled out by India, China, and the rest of the developing world.


By argStyopa • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

2009 "75% chance that the entire north polar ice cap, during some of the summer months, could be completely ice-free within the next five to seven years"

1970 "The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years [by 1980].â

2000: "Children won't know what snow is"

2008 "Arctic will be ice-free by 2018"

Kilimanjaro will be snow free when, again?

Re:Not up to us now

By sfcat • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
That's only for Uranium, there is a lot more Thorium. You get 25x the power from the same mass of Thorium and because there is 4x as much that's 100x more suply. So there is approximately 500,000 years worth of Thorium fuel (and that's the entire energy use of humanity). Even better several 10s of 1000s of years worth of it is already mined.

Apple, Epic Ask US Appeals Court To Reconsider Its Antitrust Ruling

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotSkip
Apple and "Fortnite" maker Epic Games have both asked a U.S. appeals court to reconsider its April ruling in an antitrust case that could force Apple to change payment practices in its App Store. From a report:
Apple and Epic, in separate court filings, mounted challenges to a ruling by a three-judge panel of the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Lawyers for the two companies said the panel should rehear the case or the court should convene "en banc," as an 11-judge panel, to reconsider the dispute. The April three-judge ruling upheld a 2021 order in California federal court in Epic's lawsuit which accused Apple of unlawfully requiring software developers to pay up to 30% in commissions on consumers' in-app purchases.

The trial judge found that Apple violated a California state unfair competition law, but not U.S. antitrust provisions. Apple's new filingchallenged a nationwide injunction over conduct Apple said was "procompetitive and does not violate the antitrust laws." Epic's 9th Circuit filing argued that its claims against Apple directly implicate the "core purpose" of U.S. antitrust law to foster competition. Epic also argued that the appeals court did not conduct a "rigorous" balancing between asserted asserted consumer benefits and anticompetitive effects of Apple's practices.

Apple: Be Evil.

By OfMiceAndMenus • Score: 4 • Thread
Apple calling their double-dipping into subscription and in-app transactions in addition to dev account charges and app store listing fees "Procompetitive" is fucking ludicrously hilariously evil and false.

iOS 17 Automatically Removes Tracking Parameters From Links You Click On

Posted by msmashView on SlashDot
iOS 17 and macOS Sonoma include even more privacy-preserving features while browsing the web. From a report:
Link Tracking Protection is a new feature automatically activated in Mail, Messages, and Safari in Private Browsing mode. It detects user-identifiable tracking parameters in link URLs, and automatically removes them.

Adding tracking parameters to links is one way advertisers and analytics firms try to track user activity across websites. Rather than storing third-party cookies, a tracking identifier is simply added to the end of the page URL. This would circumvent Safari's standard intelligent tracking prevention features that block cross-site cookies and other methods of session storage. Navigating to that URL allows an analytics or advertising service at the destination to read the URL, extract those same unique parameters, and associate it with their backend user profile to serve personalized ads.

Re:Leading to an arms race

By registrations_suck • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

That's fine. If websites and want self-identify as a place that someone doesn't want to do business with, I don't see the problem.

Personally, I don't care if websites track me. I'm not all that interesting. If they can think they can get something insightful from anything I'm doing, have at it.

Re:Leading to an arms race

By tysonedwards • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
Not only affecting "tracking data". For example, on my server metrics panel it strips out the "deviceAlias" field which is a request to the server to "please request logs for, which I have named webServer". I am supportive of blocking the bad guys, but still needs some tuning to avoid collateral damage for not-really-a-tracker requests.

Re:Leading to an arms race

By squiggleslash • Score: 4 • Thread

Soon you will see sites that refuse to load if tracking "drm" is removed.

No you won't, you'll just see the parameters renamed, incorporated into the URI path, or in other ways made difficult to remove without Apple basically researching every single website out there to determine how it tracks its users. There are so many ways to pass this information from web page to web page to website to web page that it's not even funny, and the only way to prevent that is to lock things down so tightly nothing outside of Wikipedia will work any more.

This doesn't require blocking. Just a tiny bit more work by the ad tracking companies.

Re:So, useless for tracking plus landing page hash

By squiggleslash • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

That's not what the GP meant by a hash.

Basically it's a blob that the intermediate website will look up or decode to determine (1) who clicked and (2) what website to redirect to. Think 'tinyurl' but for tracking.

Time saver

By krisbrowne42 • Score: 3 • Thread
Anytime I share a link, I trim out the UTM and other junk parameters myself... This is a Good Thing for users, and if ad companies want to escalate with Apple they'll find they're targeting a much better funded opponent. What I really expect is for some coalition of ad folks to try to bring this to Congress as an anti-competitive action and force Apple to roll it back.