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Ask Slashdot: What Should You Do If Someone's Trying To Steal Your Identity?

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
Long-time Slashdot reader shanen "just got the darnedest phone call..." The caller knew my name and the name of a bank that I've done business with, and obviously my phone number, but beyond that I have no idea what was going on... There is no problem with my account. She was quite clear about that, but she had no clear reason for calling. As I got more and more suspicious, she asked me to wait and she eventually transferred the call to a man, who claimed to be a manager at the bank, but the entire thing stinks to high heaven.

All I could think of was to suggest that I call him back, but he was apparently unable to provide a phone number that I could independently verify. Why not give me the bank's phone number that I could check on the Internet? One would think that I could then transfer to his extension. After almost nine minutes I just hung up, and now I realize that I have the caller's phone number, but that isn't definitive evidence of anything. A scammer might know that blocking the phone number would have made things more suspicious...

So what should I have done? Do you have any similar experiences to share? Or have I missed warnings about some new scam that's going around? Now I realize that they could start from names and phone numbers and just guess for the largest banks. Maybe I got suspicious too quickly, before she could start asking for the personal information she was really after?

The original submission also includes this question: "If it's an identity theft in progress, then I want to stop it and fast, but how can I tell what's going on?" So leave your own thoughts in the comments.

What should you do if you think someone is trying to steal your identity?

Change Your Name

By rtb61 • Score: 3 • Thread

Keep in mind, indentity theft is a lie put out by scummy credit card companies. The criminal is targeting the seller and not you, they scam the seller and not you, they misrepresent themselves and trick the seller into allowing that credit purchase. Reality is, as far as you are legally concerned, the seller is trying to defraud you, cheat you, steal money from you. By law, the seller is guilty of fraudulent credit charges until they can prove they were cheated. Hence the credit card company lie, who would accept credit card if the law was properly applied, so the BIG LIE. You are fully entitled to make legally claim against all individuals and companies who accepted the false indentity, who cheated you, how falsely applied charges against you. Expect nothing from corporate main stream media, they are fully 100% in support of the lie. Honestly, lawyer and police up and demand those who accepted the false identity be charged with credit fraud until they can prove in court they were cheated. It is not up to you to prove anything, they have to prove you authorised the payment and they can not, then they are charged with fraud, you do not have to prove someone falsely tricked them with your identity.

The alternate have a globally unique name and any attempt at false use stands out immediately. Your name can not be at two places at once. Really though, going nuts with the lawyer and target everyone who defrauded you by being greedy gullible idiots, pays the price of the harm THEY CAUSED YOU (the person who used your identity did nothing to you, they tricked the seller, well at least that is the sellers claim, by law they defrauded you and illegally applied false charges to your credit card.)

New Micro 3D Printing Technology Wins Prestigious NZ Engineering Award

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
Long-time Slashdot reader ClarkMills quotes New Zealand's Innovation Agency: New 3D printing technology creating highly detailed objects, smaller than a strand of human hair, has won the 2019 ENVI Engineering Innovation Award (Engineering New Zealand Awards). Micromaker3D, powered by breakthrough Laminated Resin Printing (LRP), makes it easy and more accessible to create detailed submillimetre structures for applications such as sensors, wearables, point-of-care diagnostics, micro-robotics or aerospace components.... LRP enables the printing of submillimetre structures with complex geometries of up to 100 per cent density, in extraordinary low-layer thicknesses and with imaging speeds as quick as one second per layer independent of complexity or density...

The judges saw MicroMaker3D as a gamechanger and believe it will spark many other innovations... The ENVI Engineering Innovation Award category is described as: "A breathtakingly clever engineering project or product that has solved an age-old problem or shifted from the 'always done this way' mentality...."

Callaghan Innovation is working to take the technology global, from the development and demonstration phase to commercial reality...

Lead engineer Neil Glasson points out that while a human hair is about 100 microns in width, "we're looking at five-micron resolution."

How it Works

By drinkypoo • Score: 3 • Thread

(Just in case you wanted any actual information... though it's still pretty vague on some points)

Laminated Resin Printing uses elements of microfabrication-based photolithography, reformatted for 3D printing.

Extreme resolution modern dry film photoresist resins are imaged a layer at a time, using a fast-ultraviolet projection system, activating a photoinitiator. After imaging, each section of the dry film is laminated to form a multilayer stack. The stack is then heat cured through a precisely controlled catalytic cross-linking reaction in the activated areas forming a structure fully polymerised across and between layers, with no need for adhesives.

The unpatterned resin provides support material for the printed structure. This means that if you can design it, you can print it. Overhangs, membranes and moving parts that make up microsensors are readily printed and well matched to the resin storage modulus. Unpolymerised resin is highly soluble and easily washed away.

Using a preformed 5-micron thick resist sheet defines Z resolution with a layer thickness tolerance of 125 nanometers. Because the resist is already dry, there is no shrinkage or distortion, meaning this resolution is genuine and highly repeatable. A 5-micron resolution is also obtained in both X and Y, defined by the pixel size from the projector at the print bed. The photoresists used are an industry standard material with excellent characteristics that enable them to withstand the harshest environments.

These processes are automated and housed in a UV-excluding, particulate free desktop machine.

Material: Dry film
Curing: UV projection (+ heat post-processing)
Print speed: 10 seconds per layer (3s patterning, 7s laminating)
Print density: Up to 100%
Ease of printing: High
Visual quality: High â" 5-micron voxel printing
Heat resistance: -60 to + 200C continuous operating temperature
Roll width: Up to 250 mm
Roll length: 100 m
Chemical compatibility: Excellent resistance to a wide range of solvents, acids, bases and harsh environments
Electrical resistivity: Highly insulating
Layer adhesion: Highly soluble uncrosslinked film
Support: Uncrosslinked prepolymer
Layer height: Customisable from 5um to 100um
Material method: Lamination
Storage modulus: 1-4 GPa at room temperature with wide operational range

Quantum Computer Made From Photons Achieves New Record

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
Slashdot reader hackingbear shared this article from Scientific American: In the race to create a quantum computer that can outperform a classical one, a method using particles of light (photons) has taken a promising step forward. Jian-Wei Pan and Chao-Yang Lu, both at the University of Science and Technology of China, and their colleagues improved a quantum computing technique called boson sampling to achieve a record 14 detected photons in its final results. Previous experiments were capped at only five detected photons. The increase in the number of the particles is small, but it amounts to a 6.5-billion-fold gain in "state space," or the number of ways in which a computer system can be configured. The larger the state space, the less likely a classical computer can perform the same calculation.

The result was reported in a paper posted at the preprint server on October 22 and has yet to be peer-reviewed. But if it is confirmed, it would be an important milestone in the race for quantum-computational supremacy -- a fuzzy goalpost defined as the point where quantum computers outpace their best classical counterparts.... Pan and Lu argue in their paper that their technique is another possible route toward quantum supremacy... Part of the trouble is its limited utility. "A universal computer can solve any different type of problem," says Jonathan Dowling, a theoretical physicist at Louisiana State University, who was not involved with the research. "This can only solve one." But solving just one problem faster than a classical computer would count as a demonstration of quantum-computational supremacy...

Over the past few weeks, the race for quantum computational supremacy has reached a breakneck pace. Google's quantum computer performed an operation that its scientists claim would take a classical computer 10,000 years in just 200 seconds. IBM researchers, who are also working on a quantum computer, have expressed doubts, suggesting a classical computer could solve that problem in under three days... "Quantum supremacy is like a horse race where you don't know how fast your horse is, you don't know how fast anybody else's horse is, and some of the horses are goats," Jonathan Dowling, a theoretical physicist at Louisiana State University, says. But this result, he clarifies, is not a goat.

The idea under discussion

By JoshuaZ • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

The idea under discussion, quantum supremacy, is a bit subtle. Essentially the idea is that getting quantum computers to do a lot of the things we want quantum computers to be able to do that are apparently tough for classical computers, like factoring large numbers, requires large numbers of high quality qubits. Quantum supremacy instead focuses on just getting a quantum computer to do some sort of computation that we know is hard for a classical computer. This has two advantages. First, it doesn't require nearly as much fine tuned cooperation of qubits, and second this can then rely on much weaker computational complexity conjectures, which are substantially less weak than factoring being hard, and are things like the polynomial hierarchy not collapsing

It turns out that sampling problems, where one cares about distributions rather than specific calculations are a natural context for quantum supremacy. In this particular case, the particular class of problems is known as boson sampling due to Scott Aaronson and Alex Arkhipov. The idea is essentially that all one has is a bunch of photons with beam splitters and a few other very simple gadgets, but no actual interaction between photons, and one wants to know the output distribution. They showed that under very weak assumptions (not as weak as P != NP but only a tiny bit stronger), a classical computer cannot efficiently do this process. So if one can show that one really can do boson sampling efficiently one will have shown that quantum computers really can do at least some things that a classical computer cannot do efficiently.

Note that until very recently it looked like boson sampling was essentially out of the running for the first unambiguous quantum supremacy demonstration because of Google's recent work with random general quantum circuits. But this work seems to potentially put boson sampling back in as a serious contender.

China Covers Up Killing Of Prisoners To Continue Harvesting Organs For Transplant: New Report

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
"Despite repeated denials, China stands accused of a systematic cover-up to hide the continuing practice of forced organ harvesting and murder," reports Forbes' cybersecurity writer Zak Doffman: The practice, described as "state-run mass murder" and valued at $1 billion each year, has supposedly been outlawed in the country. But a new report, published on November 14 in the BMC Medical Ethics journal, refutes this, accusing China of a "systematic falsification and manipulation of official organ transplant datasets," as the killings continue.

In June, I reported on the China Tribunal in London, which found evidence of "forced organ harvesting" from Chinese prisoners, including Falun Gong practitioners and Uighur Muslims. The Tribunal's final judgment concluded that this "forced organ harvesting has been committed for years throughout China on a significant scale, [and] the tribunal has had no evidence that the significant infrastructure associated with China's transplantation industry has been dismantled..." With China's illegal organ transplant industry said to be worth $1 billion each year, the country is determined to deflect the international outcry that has intensified as details of the organ harvesting have come to light. But this latest report casts doubt over claims of reform, exposing a material delta between the estimated number of transplants and the state's official statistics. In short, a new system of voluntary donations has been operating alongside and not instead of forced extractions.

The giveaway, according to the report, is patterns in the data provided by China which are too neat to be genuine -- they were falsified.

In short, the article claims that China is "artificially manufacturing organ transplant donation data."

Not at all surprising.

By jcr • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Communists have never had any compunction about murdering any number of people for any reason, or no reason at all. They are utterly depraved.


Re:Not at all surprising.

By xlsior • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Communists have never had any compunction about murdering any number of people for any reason, or no reason at all. They are utterly depraved.


...As opposed to capitalists, who always just do it for the money?

/All generalizations are bad

Re:Not at all surprising.

By ShanghaiBill • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

"EU has recently started labeling Jewish made products"

For an "oldgraybeard", you should have a better bullsh*t detector.

The EU labels products made in Israeli settlements that are illegal under international law. That is not at all the same thing as labeling something "Jewish".

Re:Not at all surprising.

By ShanghaiBill • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

There are fewer than two billion people living in developed countries

They are developed because they are capitalist.

The poorest countries are socialist, ex-socialist, or practice tribal collectivism.

And even amont these poverty still exists.

Capitalism is far from perfect. It is just better than the alternatives.

Re:Not at all surprising.

By bjdevil66 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Generally speaking, the worst countries aren't communist or capitalist. It's those whose citizens 1) don't have a high quality, trusted, secular, public education system, 2) don't have a real choice in who rules them, and 3) do get their primary sources of wealth by mining/extracting them out of the ground.

Honorable metion: Having a government that doesn't serves its citizens first (over its own interests) - including telling its citizens the truth. (This kinda goes hand in hand with #2).

Thousands of Hacked Disney+ Accounts Are Already For Sale On Hacking Forums

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes ZDNet: Hackers didn't waste any time and have started hijacking Disney+ user accounts hours after the service launched. Many of these accounts are now being offered for free on hacking forums, or available for sale for prices varying from $3 to $11, a ZDNet investigation has discovered... Many users reported that hackers were accessing their accounts, logging them out of all devices, and then changing the account's email and password, effectively taking over the account and locking the previous owner out...

Two users who spoke with ZDNet on the condition we do not share their names admitted that they reused passwords. However, other users said online that they did not, and had used passwords unique for their Disney+ accounts. This suggests that in some cases hackers gained access to accounts by using email and password combos leaked at other sites, while in other cases the Disney+ credentials might have been obtained from users infected with keylogging or info-stealing malware.

The speed at which hackers have mobilized to monetize Disney+ accounts is astounding.

Extreme incompetence

By gweihir • Score: 3 • Thread

Apparently, they did not even invest into some actually competent penetration tests, let alone a competent security review. In addition, this was obviously implemented by much cheaper-than-possible coders that do not have the first clue about IT security.

It does not get much more incompetent than this.

I was thinking of signing up

By 93 Escort Wagon • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

But I may just hold off for a while... to make sure there isn't some fundamental weakness in Disney+' account management.

Although it might be an interesting experiment - load up a pre-paid credit card with a few bucks and use that to create an account, then see whether it gets taken over...


By Fly Swatter • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

The speed at which hackers have mobilized to monetize Disney+ accounts is astounding.

The incompetent security of Disney+ accounts is astounding.

Re:Extreme incompetence

By slarabee • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
What would a penetration test have revealed? It would take some really really good odds before I would place money on these credentials having been sourced from a compromise of Disney+ infrastructure.

More likely:

1. Scammers are selling absolutely nothing that will work.

2. Disney+ consumers

  1. 2a. Reused credentials.
    2b. Choose the simplest most guessable credentials the Disney+ password policy would allow.
    2c. Created/used their account from a compromised system.
    2d. Were phished.

3. Disney got hacked. Very distant third place.


By stephanruby • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

...while in other cases the Disney+ credentials might have been obtained from users infected with keylogging or info-stealing malware.

This article must have been written by a Disney PR person because it does not even mention the possibility that Disney+ got hacked.

It reminds me of Uber claiming that many of its users were reusing passwords, that's why their accounts were hacked, when in fact, they knew the company itself had been hacked and they even paid off the hackers to keep quiet.

Consumer Reports Restores 'Recommended' Ratings to Both Tesla's Model 3 and Model S

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
"Consumer Reports has restored its coveted 'recommended' rating to the Tesla Model S and Model 3, because Tesla has made its cars more reliable," reports CNN: "The Tesla Model 3 struggled last year as the company made frequent design changes and ramped up production to meet demand," said Jake Fisher, senior director of auto testing at CR. "But as the production stabilized, we have seen improvements to the reliability of the Model 3 and S that now allow us to recommend both models."

Although Consumer Reports says the Models S and 3 need fewer repairs, it did have some bad news for Tesla, too: The Model X SUV continues to rank among the magazine's least reliable.

The Model S had lost its recommended status last year, CNN notes. And while initially giving Tesla's Model 3 a "recommended" rating in 2018, further reliability survey data from more Tesla owners had prompted Consumer Reports to remove it from its recommended list in February of this year.

The new ratings are just part of a good month for Tesla. Since reporting an unexpected profit last month, Tesla's stock price has shot up more than 40%.

I am not sure

By jfinke • Score: 3 • Thread
that anyone who is purchasing a Tesla is paying any attention to Consumer Reports.


By drinkypoo • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Other manufacturers do sometimes make improvements, but they also make mistakes... For example the Duramax 6.6 went to the Bosch CP4 injection pump in 2011 in order to improve emissions or performance or something, but it turned out to be fragile so they dropped it in 2015 in favor of a Denso pump. They also have had a tendency to break cranks, so they went to a heavier crank with superior metallurgy and larger journals in 2017. Ford used to get their light duty diesels from Navistar (nee International) and Navistar made them two lemons in a row (6.0 and 6.4) so Ford threw up their hands and made their own 6.7 V8 which is reportedly quite good.

The stuff that pisses me off is the facelifting which has gotten totally out of control. If it looks new then people believe it is new so they buy it. But it makes it hard to find body parts — especially front bumper covers, headlights and such, which are commonly damaged.

Re:I am not sure

By markdavis • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

>"We bought a Model X and its quite literally the best car we've ever owned."

Every car I have purchased has been the best car I have ever owned. I don't think that says too much. As we get older, we can afford better models, and all car technology improves each year making them generally more reliable, more comfortable, more convenient, and safer.

Something Strange Seems To Be Causing Distant Galaxies To Synchronize

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
pgmrdlm quotes Futurism: Massive Structures
Galaxies millions of light years away seem to be connected by an unseen network of massive intergalactic structures, which force them to synchronize in ways that can't be explained by existing astrophysics, Vice reports. The discoveries could force us to rethink our fundamental understanding of the universe.

"The observed coherence must have some relationship with large-scale structures, because it is impossible that the galaxies separated by six megaparsecs [roughly 20 million light years] directly interact with each other," Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute astronomer Hyeop Lee told the site.

There have been many instances of astronomers observing galaxies that seem to be connected and moving in sync with each other. A study by Lee, published in The Astrophysical Journal in October, found that hundreds of galaxies are rotating in exactly the same way, despite being millions of light years apart. And a separate study, published in the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics in 2014, found supermassive black holes aligning with each other, despite being billions of light years apart.

Re: Synchro(nicity)

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

No, that isn't why. Religious believers have founded nearly every branch of the sciences because nearly every branch of the sciences was founded long ago, during a time when nearly everyone was a believer.

There just weren't enough non-believers around to do much founding, you see. And in many places/times it was actually quite dangerous to "out" one's self as a non-believer.

Lastly, the sciences were founded before their benefits were realized. Such benefits include the widespread realization that old religious beliefs have very little foundation in fact, and therefore very little warrant for belief. Science has been a journey of discovery which has taken place over time, liberating many people from superstition. The original founders could not reap this benefit precisely because they were the original founders, and as such they were still believers for their entire lives.

Re: Synchro(nicity)

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

You argue in bad faith. Your question is a matter of opinion, not a matter of fact. You are too smart to be unaware of the difference, so you must be using sophistry to entrap.

Furthermore, it is a question about history, not a question about the natural world. The scientific method is used to build models of reality, not to prove specific historical facts, so it is an obvious mismatch.

You are deliberately using clever semantics to confuse, not to enlighten.

Re:Oh yes, so *I'm* the problem...

By gtall • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Ah, the old Rock Method of Argument:

Dolt: Find me a rock.

Girl: Okay, here's one.

Dolt: Nope, that's not the correct rock.

Girl: (snicker) will I know what is the correct rock?

Dolt: I'll tell you whether it is the correct rock.

Girl: You starched your shorts again, didn't you?

Re:If there's enough data...

By guruevi • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Apparently it is a bit more than that. I'm more favoring the theory that all these galaxies somehow influence each other. They were close enough at the time of the expansion of the Universe. It could also be the same result as the pendulum synchronicity experiment but at scale of the galaxy (after a while all pendulums that are connected through the same semi-rigid medium are going to be synchronized)

Reflection? Lensing?

By printman • Score: 3 • Thread

Reflection or lensing would explain this - rather than independent structures moving at the same time, we might be seeing the same thing from different angles.

How Google Interferes With Its Search Algorithms and Changes Your Results

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
Long-time Slashdot reader walterbyrd shared this report on "arguably the most powerful lines of computer code in the global economy," the Google algorithms that handle 3.8 million queries every single minute.

But though Google claims its algorithms are objective and autonomous, the Wall Street Journal reports Google "has increasingly re-engineered and interfered with search results to a far greater degree than the company and its executives have acknowledged": More than 100 interviews and the Journal's own testing of Google's search results reveal:

- Google made algorithmic changes to its search results that favor big businesses over smaller ones, and in at least one case made changes on behalf of a major advertiser, eBay Inc., contrary to its public position that it never takes that type of action. The company also boosts some major websites, such as Inc. and Facebook Inc., according to people familiar with the matter.

- Google engineers regularly make behind-the-scenes adjustments to other information the company is increasingly layering on top of its basic search results. These features include auto-complete suggestions, boxes called "knowledge panels" and "featured snippets," and news results, which aren't subject to the same company policies limiting what engineers can remove or change.

- Despite publicly denying doing so, Google keeps blacklists to remove certain sites or prevent others from surfacing in certain types of results... Google employees and executives, including co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, have disagreed on how much to intervene on search results and to what extent. Employees can push for revisions in specific search results, including on topics such as vaccinations and autism.

- To evaluate its search results, Google employs thousands of low-paid contractors whose purpose the company says is to assess the quality of the algorithms' rankings. Even so, contractors said Google gave feedback to these workers to convey what it considered to be the correct ranking of results, and they revised their assessments accordingly, according to contractors interviewed by the Journal. The contractors' collective evaluations are then used to adjust algorithms.

The Journal's findings undercut one of Google's core defenses against global regulators worried about how it wields its immense power -- that the company doesn't exert editorial control over what it shows users.


By AmiMoJo • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

I think a lot of people mistake anti-SEO for political bias. For example one popular technique is to fine a particular phrase that isn't very popular and popularize it for political purposes. Then when someone searches for that phrase they heard used in a soundbite or on Facebook all they get are sites with one political bias, the one that popularized it.

Then Google notices it's just a synonym for some more common way of phrasing the issue and the advantage disappears, and people claim Google is politically biased and trying to help the other side.

DuckDuckGo uses Google for search results anyway so any actual political bias will be evident there too. As for bubbles, you should block cookies and site data for all sites to avoid that. Everyone should use a whitelist these days.


By Fly Swatter • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Google was good, now they filter out so much for you that it would be more useful to me just to go back to keyword searches, I actually found what I was looking for back then. Of course back then every site wasn't trying to game their algorithms.

Because user's needs change

By stikves • Score: 3 • Thread

The needs of users change over time, hence the search engines do change to reflect these.

For example, take a simple query like "Walmart". Previously if you just returned "" as the first result, everything was fine. Now, not so much.

Maybe you are looking for the local store. Then a maps result should be in the second place. If this is a mobile device, maybe it should even be first.

Maybe you are looking for Walmart stock information. Was it up, or down today? How many point? Why?

Maybe you are looking for a company profile. There comes the little info box on the right. All things, like CEO, incomes, number of stores could be listed.

Maybe you are looking for pharmacy hours.

Maybe there was a recent event in a store. Unfortunate that it is, there was a recent shooting. Even if the article might not have as many clicks as the other results, int that particular day it might be important.

And once you start bringing more relevant results to the first page, naturally some other older results are pushed down.

What matters first is satisfying the user's needs. They are the ones searching for the information.

[ disclaimer: I work at Google, but not at core search. This is my external observation as a user, and I see similar things at Bing, which I also use ].

Re:Broken beyond repair

By green1 • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

That's funny, when I search for a problem I'm having with google products google usually gives me dozens of pages of people having exactly the same problem for the past 5 or 6 years, and not a single person who has found a solution, or anyone at google who is willing to even acknowledge the issue.


By Fly Swatter • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
It's all downhill, remember when you could '+' and '-' words to require or exclude them in the results? Or using '.' between words you want to include in the same order. Now even quotes are randomly ignored.

They should use what they have now for the 'ok, google' users and put the usable search back for the rest of us. I think the problem might be they are trying to use the same algorithms for both use cases. 'power users' still exist google.

Debian Project Drafts General Resolution on Init-System Diversity

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
Debian "is heading toward a new general resolution to decide at what level init systems other than systemd should be supported," reports

"I'm absolutely convinced we've reached a point where in order to respect the people trying to get work done, we need to figure out where we are as a project," writes Debian project leader Sam Hartman. "We can either decide that this is work we want to facilitate, or work that we as a project decide is not important." reports: The immediate motivation for a reconsideration would appear to be the proposed addition of elogind, a standalone fork of the systemd-logind daemon, to Debian. Elogind would provide support for systemd's D-Bus-based login mechanism -- needed to support small projects like the GNOME desktop -- without the need for systemd itself. The addition of elogind has been controversial; it is a difficult package to integrate for a number of reasons. Much of the discussion has evidently been carried out away from the mailing lists, but some context on the problem can be found in this bug report. In short: merging elogind appears to be complex enough that it would be hard to justify in the absence of a strong commitment to the support of non-systemd init systems. It seems possible that this commitment no longer exists across the distribution as a whole; the purpose of a general resolution would be to determine whether that is the case or not.

Unsurprisingly, Debian developers have a variety of opinions on this issue. This response from Russ Allbery is worth reading in its entirety. He argues that the 2014 decision (of which he was a part) never really nailed down the project's position toward other init systems. That was a necessary compromise at the time, he said, but it is causing stress now: "while I feel somewhat vindicated by the fact that this didn't immediately fall apart and has sort of worked, I think it's becoming increasingly untenable".... Josh Triplett zeroed in on one of the issues that is testing the init-system peace now. There is, he said, an increasingly long list of features that are only available with systemd, and application developers want to use those features... The responses to this argument took a couple of different approaches. Ted Ts'o described those features as "the 'embrace, extend, and extinguish' phenomenon of systemd which caused so much fear and loathing."

There's much more information in's 1,600-word article -- but where do things stand now? Hartman posted a draft general resolution last week with three choices.

"It should be noted, though, that this is explicitly a draft," concludes "It is likely to evolve considerably before it reaches the point where the project will vote on it."

Re:Step in the right direction

By green1 • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

I suspect you are mistaken, this reeks strongly of a desire to formalize that exact previous stance so they can once and for all toss out any heretics who dare question the systemd gods. Right now they have no official policy, so some people still manage to question systemd. That won't do, and they're determined to fix that.

Say what you will about Systemd, but it has political connections like no other project short of the kernel itself (and possibly even better than those!)

Re: I'd rather ditch GNOME

By drinkypoo • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Gnome depends on X windows, which depends on a stable network,

Connections to local displays do not go through the TCP stack. If only you knew what a Unix socket was.

That makes sense

By raymorris • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Since the purpose of of init is to start services/processss on boot, it seems like it would make sense for init to monitor those processes and restart them if the screw up.

Until you think it through. 99% of the time if your web site is down, it's not because the httpd root PID no longer exists. It's because the drive is full or the database server can't be reached or you upgraded PHP and some code broke or any of 1,000 other things. Checking that the parent PID exists isn't what you need. You need to use something like Monit to check that the web site is up, that the mail server is delivering mail, etc. Those are very application specific things, it's not PID or process management.

A quick Google shows that one of the main questions people have about monitoring services and systemd is how to get Monit or another system designed for monitoring these applications to work again after systemd screws up the monitoring.

Heck, SysVInit could watch a pid, so if you really find that valuable (because you don't have any monitoring for your web site?), you could do that with SysVInit too.

> Let's not turn every discussion into a joke. When I talk about the useful features of systemd,

I apologise, but when you start talking about how many different features systemd has, it's hard to discuss that without systemd sounding like a joke. It's like discussing how Trump has elevated the office of president and made it an inspiration to the nation again - how do you respond to that in a way that doesn't come across as ridicule? In my view, systemd is a clown when it comes to adding more and more shit, so it's difficult to discuss that without pointing out the big red nose.

Re:systemd hate is disinformation

By DeHackEd • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
Well udev is part of systemd today (it wasn't always so), so that's a wash.

Predictability in NIC names already existed. In the past distros would write rules to fix names of NICs once initially assigned. The first one detected would be eth0, but then a udev rule is saved so that this exact NIC (by MAC address) will forever be eth0, and any future cards become eth1, etc even if eth0 is later removed. And you have the option of manually editing the file, though I rarely did.

The new system is SUPPOSED to detect if a NIC is onboard, or in a PCI slot, and give it a name suitable to that. But even that is hit and miss. Sometimes dual-port NICs don't appear as 2 NICs but like SR-IOV subordinates of each other, which is wrong. Sometimes the motherboard onboard NICs are not properly recognized as such (I presume this is a BIOS error) and get labelled as being in add-on slots. Hell I've applied a BIOS update and seen PCI slots get relabelled; this didn't affect a NIC specifically but I saw the relabelling happen.

And finally, different motherboards will have different identifiers for their slots. Is the physical port I want to use on my addon card enp5s0, or enp94s0f1 ? It depends on the motherboard and I constantly need to check what it is for this machine.

So I've traded one consistent naming scheme which depends on the order of cards being detected over the machine's life, with one which depends on the BIOS naming scheme and how the NIC vendor labels their ports. I choose option 1.

Any just to make one thing clear, every single one of these things has happened to me personally and is not "I heard that this happens". Yes, I hate systemd, and it's not just joining the bandwagon - it's personal slights that have caused it.

Re:Debian user here

By Etcetera • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

One of the core principles of systemd has always been compatibility with sysv init scripts. So actually it does work fine. In fact systemd will happily defer to the init script if it can't find a systemd unit for the service you're asking for.

Hardly. sysv-init scripts are entirely relegated to second-class (as was the intent all along). In fact, they're not even handled directly in the core any more, but via a shim... and this is deemed a feature.
* The support for SysV and LSB init scripts has been removed
                    from the systemd daemon itself. Instead, it is now
                    implemented as a generator that creates native systemd units
                    from these scripts when needed. This enables us to remove a
                    substantial amount of legacy code from PID 1, following the
                    fact that many distributions only ship a very small number
                    of LSB/SysV init scripts nowadays.

Pointless Work Meetings 'Really a Form of Therapy'

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from the BBC: Meetings at work should be seen as a form of "therapy" rather than about decision-making, say researchers. Academics from the University of Malmo in Sweden say meetings provide an outlet for people at work to show off their status or to express frustration. Professor Patrik Hall says they are becoming increasingly frequent -- as more managerial and "strategy" jobs generate more meetings. But he says despite there being more meetings "few decisions are made." Prof Hall has investigated an apparent contradiction in how people can have a low opinion of work meetings, yet their numbers keep increasing.

The political scientist says the rise in meetings reflects changes in the workforce -- with fewer people doing and making things and an increase in those involved in "meetings-intense" roles such as strategists, advisers, consultants and managers. "People don't do concrete things any more," he says. Instead he says there has been a rise of managerial roles, which are often not very well defined, and where "the hierarchy is not that clear." [...] Meetings can "arouse feelings of meaninglessness," he says. But he argues that is often missing their point. Once in a meeting -- particularly long ones -- their function can become "almost therapeutic."
Prof Hall goes on to suggest booking rooms for shorter periods, as he says meetings will expand to fill whatever time is given to them. He also says that "equality" of participants is important, otherwise a "power struggle" will emerge when the meetings are dominated by different levels of status.

Agreed - but it's something bigger

By ErichTheRed • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

We're not too far removed from a time when workers would turn up at the factory, or their mid-level corporate job, and physically do something for 8 hours, then go home. The factory worker would do his bit on the assembly line, and the paper-processor would take a basket of work, perform their process on it, and send it on to the next paper-processor.

Increasingly, office jobs have shifted to being all about strategy, planning, "digital transformation", etc. Most of the "work" part of work is automated away or sent offshore. I can definitely see why some people would want to use meetings to fill in the time...they just feel like they should be doing -something-. Not everyone is wired the same way, yet we've told a whole 2 generations of people that the only hope of a fulfilling life in the US and Europe is to go to college, get some generic management degree, and take their place in the corporate world. I can imagine people who have a desire to produce something are having a tough time justifying their life choices. My job is a mix of planning, design and R&D stuff for infrastructure, and I know I'm much happier working in our lab trying something out rather than doing Yet Another PowerPoint or having Yet Another Discussion.

Taking it to an extreme, think of all the management "consultants" and how satisfied they must be with their work. I can't imagine being 24 or 25, fresh out of business school, being dressed up in an identical Accenture suit and sent to give the exact same digital transformation presentation to a bunch of bored executives 50 weeks in a row. That would be a job that requires therapy, even if it pays well. :-)


By apoc.famine • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

The problem is most meetings are poorly run.
They need agendas to be followed and attention to time.

Indeed. I've fortunately worked myself into a position where I can say no to a lot of meetings. The #1 reason I say no is because they lack an agenda and a competent moderator.

I almost always go to meetings run by IT, because they plan and run them like a sprint. The agenda is out a week before the meeting, the necessary participants are identified and listed on the agenda, the agenda has a rough time for each item, and there's a backlog of topics ordered by importance if we have extra time. The guy who runs them smiles the whole time but is a fascist dictator for the agenda. 1 minute over the estimated time and he's already adding the topic as the first item for the next meeting so we can move on. 2 minutes over and he's already at "Ok, we need to table this discussion at this time and move on."

Those meetings are so incredibly productive that I actually feel guilty missing them, even if I only have 5 minutes of my stuff on the agenda. At the worst I've got a great window into how my stuff fits into the rest of IT's workload, and where their pain points are. That's really helpful when it comes to advocating for what I need, and trying to creatively figure out how to get them the capacity to handle it. Due to these meetings I have solved other department's problems just to free up IT to work on mine.

I often refuse meetings with an outside vendor because they email a list of topics consisting of 3 bullet points the day before, random people seem to be in charge, and it's 90% shit that's either pointless ramble or could have been an email followed up with 10% "we need you to make a decision on the spot". My answer to that is that I'll get back to them, and I'll need more information. If you want a decision from me, send me that shit a week ago and I'll make sure the right people have been consulted and our position is clear.

"Bullshit Jobs"

By Archtech • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

It's explained in David Graeber's book, "Bullshit Jobs". The meetings are, indeed, therapy - but only for the big swingin' dicks.

Just like emperors of old, today's "executives" often have deep personal feelings of insecurity and feel better when surrounded by crowds of yes-employees. The only reason they don't have robed and turbaned lackeys waving ostrich feathers to cool their fevered brows is that they are also terrified of ridicule.

As a low-level employee who wasted many of the best hours of my life in such meetings, I can testify that it was most unwise for anyone but a big cheese to speak. If you were lucky, you would be completely ignored. Otherwise, whatever you said would be written down and added to your HR zapiska for later use against you.

How to handle meetings...

By PSVMOrnot • Score: 3 • Thread

as someone who does the work.

I've worked at a number of companies over the years, and found that there are organisations which know how to have meetings, and those who do not.

When you are in an organisation which does not know how to run a meeting... you're lucky to get an average of two hours a day of useful work done. Your days get gradually taken over by meetings with no clear purpose, attended by people who have been invited for no clear reason. Typically the person with the least information talks the most, and after wasting an hour (or two) no useful outcome is reached. This is where projects go to die. Any successful projects are usually due to someone getting sufficiently annoyed and skunk-works-ing the project, presenting it as a fait acompli. Alternatively, by someone on the project team sacrificing them selves to the meetings to shield the rest of their team.

When you're in an organisation which knows how to run meetings, then you get stuff done. Meetings are limited, and when they happen they have a clear purpose; typically either to share information, or to agree on a decision. There is this marvelous thing called an agenda, which gets circulated in advance to all attendees, along with what the desired outputs of the meeting are, and any preparation you need to do before attending. This lets people decide whether they need to attend or not. The person who has the information to share is the one to do the talking. The more important you are, the more of your time is spent listening to gather information to make the required decisions.

So, to fulfill the promise in this posts title:

  1. Avoid meetings: If you're in a good organisation, they'll understand. If you are not, then do whatever you have to;
    • - Draw straws in your team to see which one of you to sacrifice
    • - Block out time when you are unavailable, e.g.: due to prior commitments (work is a prior commitment, right?)
    • - Collate all the meetings you can't avoid into one or two chunks to minimise lost time.
    • - Make people aware of how much time is wasted in meetings, and how much it threatens the success of the project.
    • - Try to turn it into a one-on-one call; these are much easier to make useful.
    • - Try to take it to email.
  2. Make meetings useful: If you can't avoid a meeting, or worse yet, you have to schedule one, then make sure it is at least going to be useful.
    • - Make sure meetings have an Agenda, clearly listing the topics you need to discuss.
    • - Make sure meetings have a clear expected outcome.
    • - Make sure all the required information readily at hand.
    • - Send all that information out to people before hand. Sometimes you may be able to resolve things without the meeting this way.
    • - Make sure the absolute minimum number of people are involved.
    • - Run the meeting like a tyrant if you have to.
      • If people start to ramble, cut them off. This saves time, and also serves as a way to make sure that everyone who needs to talk has chance to. (Particularly those who would otherwise have trouble speaking up, inclusivity bonus!).
      • If people get off topic, tell them to take it to another meeting. You are here to achieve the expected outcomes and that is it.
      • Be polite about it if you can, but do remember: they're being incredibly rude wasting every ones time, don't let that go unchallenged. Nice and good are not the same thing.

    That is what I've figured out so far. If you've got ideas on how to survive in meeting land, please post them; I'm always looking to learn.

I spend my life in meetings...

By Faizdog • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

I am a little conflicted about this. Seems like the author is trying to justify time spent in meetings which serve little purpose at first glance. I would say that is besides the purpose, and justifies busy work. They do not have enough real work to do, so need the meetings to feel useful and not bored.

I have very little respect for this. Maybe that is because I pretty much spend all my day (more than 8 hours) in a continuous block of meetings, and every bit of time is precious. Now sure some of them are inefficient and could be better managed, and yes a 20 minute discussion often expands to fill the fully scheduled 30 min block of time (more and more however we are saying letâ(TM)s end early and get some time back). But I would say the totally useless meetings where I go âoewhy the hell am I hereâ are pretty infrequent, and even there I can just fire up my laptop and tune things out, keeping an ear open.

Some context: The title does not matter, but I am a manager-of-managers and do virtually no hands-on work anymore; I have about 50 people plus 10 to 15 contractors rolling up to me. It takes a lot of coordination and planning to keep our projects aligned together with interdependencies figured out and tracked, and with activities outside of my area but within my larger group, etc. A lot of time is spent in mundane but critical activities like budget planning, resource allocation, HR matters (people conflicts, etc), 1:1 check-ins with my directs (who themselves are line managers).

A lot of time is spent managing sideways and upwards, handling the politics and shielding my team from the corporate sh*t. Someone has to deal with it, otherwise it will flow down. Our (very large 70,000 employee multi-national) company has a very consensus driven culture (given the different countries, cultures and people who work here), and often coordination with a lot of stakeholders is required to get things moving, or on track.

I also make time to do (periodic but not frequent) skip level meetings and check in either 1:1 or in groups with people in my team. Could be a chat, discussion about career progression, or once a quarter a particular project team might present an update on their work to me, and do a deep dive allowing me to poke and prod, and learn. Not only does it keep me plugged in with my team, but they appreciate the opportunity to present, and get time with their bosses boss, or higher. I really enjoy these.

Also there is the regular hiring activity, particularly in a growth phase, and OMG does hiring take time. Interviewing, as well as job requisition negotiations, budgets, time with HR, etc. Sometimes with regular attrition, a team might end up reporting directly to me while I search for their new leader, and that increases my workload and meetings.

Often times new, large multi-million dollar initiatives, do not just get kicked off in one meeting, a bunch of meetings, or even half/full/multi-day workshops are required to figure things out, align different groups, plan, etc, and then get it really moving.

And then, while I do not normally micromanage and instead delegate to the team leads who report into me, there is sometimes a crisis, or a project is very behind schedule, or someone else in the company is pissed with one of my teams, or something, and for a few days or weeks I have to dive deeper and engage with a particular project team on a more intense and frequent level until the problem gets sorted out. That adds meetings.

For all these reasons, and more, I spend all my working day in meetings. My situation may be very different from the one presented, but I have no patience for truly useless or waste-of-time meetings. If I find myself in one, I try to excuse myself after some time. I do not entertain future meeting requests from those people. If I found out someone in my org was spending time in meetings like this, that would get focused on pretty quickly, and I would ask their line manager if the person was using their time effectively. We have a lot of work to do with a backlog of tasks, and do not have a lot of bandwidth that is just free.

Ancestry Taps AI To Sift Through Millions of Obituaries

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Algorithms identified death notices in old newspaper pages, then another set of algorithms pulled names and other key details into a searchable database. From a report: Ancestry used artificial intelligence to extract obituary details hidden in a half-billion digitized newspaper pages dating back to 1690, data invaluable for customers building their family trees. The family history and consumer-genomics company, based in Lehi, Utah, began the project in late 2017 and introduced the new functionality last month. Through its subsidiary, the company had a trove of newspaper pages, including obituaries -- but it said that manually finding and importing those death notices to in a form that was usable for customers would likely have taken years. Instead, Ancestry tasked its 24-person data-science team with having technology pinpoint and make sense of the data. The team trained machine-learning algorithms to recognize obituary content in those 525 million newspaper pages. It then trained another set of algorithms to detect and index key facts from the obituaries, such as names of the deceased's spouse and children, birth dates, birthplaces and more.

Ancestry, which has about 3.5 million subscribers, now offers about 262 million obituaries, up from roughly 40 million two years ago. Its database includes about a billion names associated with obituaries, including names of the deceased and their relatives. Besides analyzing the trove of old newspaper pages, the algorithms were also applied to online obituaries coming into Ancestry's database, making them more searchable. Before the AI overhaul, the roughly 40 million obituaries on were searchable only by the name of the deceased. That meant a search for "Mary R. Smith," for instance, would yield obituaries only for people with that name -- not other obituaries that mentioned that name as a sibling or child.

Some newspapers & websites let you post obits

By drainbramage • Score: 3 • Thread
It's time to salt the earth, 6 feet under:
Sally Short, a long-time City resident, died June 12th of an unknown illness.
Sally taught Witchcraft at Salem University along with her close friend Hilary Clinton.
Sally enjoyed good food and socializing with demons. She could light up a room, I mean really.
Because of that many of her acquaintances died of smoke inhalation. Really, a small price to pay.
She is survived by her niece, Tabitha Stevens and several goats, all of whom live in hiding.

'Algorithms Are Like Convex Mirrors That Refract Human Biases'

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Emil Protalinski, writing for VentureBeat: At the Movethedial Global Summit in Toronto yesterday, I listened intently to a talk titled "No polite fictions: What AI reveals about humanity." Kathryn Hume, Borealis AI's director of product, listed a bunch of AI and algorithmic failures -- we've seen plenty of that. But it was how Hume described algorithms that really stood out to me. "Algorithms are like convex mirrors that refract human biases, but do it in a pretty blunt way," Hume said. "They don't permit polite fictions like those that we often sustain our society with." I really like this analogy. It's probably the best one I've heard so far, because it doesn't end there. Later in her talk, Hume took it further, after discussing an algorithm biased against black people used to predict future criminals in the U.S.

"These systems don't permit polite fictions," Hume said. "They're actually a mirror that can enable us to directly observe what might be wrong in society so that we can fix it. But we need to be careful, because if we don't design these systems well, all that they're going to do is encode what's in the data and potentially amplify the prejudices that exist in society today." If an algorithm is designed poorly or -- as almost anyone in AI will tell you nowadays -- if your data is inherently biased, the result will be too. Chances are you've heard this so often it's been hammered into your brain.


By h33t l4x0r • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
It's called GIGO. You train with institutionalized racist data and you get a racist algorithm. It's pretty fucking obvious.


By Rockoon • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Sorry, but the data IS the correct model.

What you are really arguing is that some saintly person should develop a model that defies the data, that in spite of the data, that the saint is right.

If you argue for better data, thats ones thing, but thats not what you are doing. You are arguing for a better model, that somehow isnt built on the data.

The data continues to not lie.


By Sique • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Data is lying. Pretending that it is not is living in a fantasy world.

There is for instance selection bias. Which data you gather depends heavily on the way you gather data. If you fish with a net with meshes 4 inches wide in a lake, you will not catch any fish smaller than 4 inches. If you use the caught fish to find out the average size of fish in that lake, the data lies to you.

And if you uncritically use the data to train an AI, the AI will show all the biases that went into designing the ways to gather the data, and how to interpret it. AI is a magnifying glass of our way to gather data and to make sense of it. Nothing more and nothing less.


By SuricouRaven • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Even deleting the 'non-PC attributes' isn't as easy as it might seem. Sure, you can carefully omit the 'race' field from your criminals records before feeding them into the predict-o-matic - but there are a lot of attributes that correlate with criminality. The algorithm will swiftly work out that people in certain parts of town are more likely to commit crimes, and that people on low family income are more likely to commit crimes, and that people or poor educational attainment are more likely to commit crimes... and we just run again into the most fundamental problem: We want to enjoy all the benefits that prejudice allows, declaring people are guilty or innocent based on statistical correlations, while hiding the dirty business away inside a machine-learning black box so we can pretend these correlations are objective and not feel guilty about locking people away in prison for years based on where they happen to live or how much money their parents make.

Says it and doesn't say it

By cascadingstylesheet • Score: 3 • Thread

"They don't permit polite fictions like those that we often sustain our society with."

Well, and that's the "problem". Except the taboos are so strong that she can't say that the polite fictions are that certain groups aren't more criminal, that it's all due to bias, and so forth.

Analyzing data does cut through the polite fictions, but she can't even say what those polite fictions are. That does trigger a lot of cognitive dissonance and thrashing about.

Google Chrome Experiment Crashes Browser Tabs, Impacts Companies Worldwide

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
A Google Chrome experiment has gone horribly wrong this week and ended up crashing browsers on thousands, if not more, enterprise networks for nearly two days. From a report: The issue first appeared on Wednesday, November 13. It didn't impact all Chrome users, but only Chrome browsers running on Windows Server "terminal server" setups -- a very common setup in enterprise networks According to hundreds of reports, users said that Chrome tabs were going blank, all of a sudden, in what's called a "White Screen of Death" (WSOD) error. The issue was no joke. System administrators at many companies reported that hundreds and thousands of employees couldn't use Chrome to access the internet, as the active browser tab kept going blank while working. In tightly controlled enterprise environments, many employees didn't have the option to change browsers and were left unable to do their jobs. Similarly, system administrators couldn't just replace Chrome with another browser right away.

Chrome Browser for enterprise

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread
Shouldn't they have been using Chrome Browser for enterprise with policies to prevent Chrome experiment from being inflicted on users?

Re:Chrome Browser for enterprise

By sodul • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

If you read the bug report thread many were using the enterprise edition. Unfortunately Google reserves the right to push many flags that are not explicitly in the control of the admins such as revoking ssl certs.

> However, some components are exempt from this policy: updates to any component that does not contain executable code, or does not significantly alter the behavior of the browser, or is critical for its security will not be disabled.

Re:Changes on a whim, surprise surprise

By Retired ICS • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Actually this is a Google thing that has been infecting everyone. Prior to Windows 10, Microsoft Updates *never* changed a setting that the user had set. Unfortunately this "experiments" thing is also a part of Firefox, but at least in Firefox you can turn it off to prevent Mozilla from making random changes to your configuration. With Microsoft you just have to get used to it and write software to make sure that things stay as you set them (the worst offender being the Microsoft Firewall, which will adjust itself at every turn to allow all sorts of stupid little Microsoft shits (like the Calculator) receive unsolicited incoming connections from the Internet).

Re:Chrome Browser for enterprise

By Carewolf • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Shouldn't they have been using Chrome Browser for enterprise with policies to prevent Chrome experiment from being inflicted on users?

You shouldn't be using spyware in enterprise anyway.

Re:Chrome Browser for enterprise

By mrbester • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

"Hey, we're a multi-billion dollar company, but can't be bothered to test our software properly. If you could just roll out this beta to your internal corporate network and test it for us that would be aces. TIA luv da Goog"

Yeah. Bollocks to that.

Web Summit Cancels Next Year's Rise, One of Asia's Largest Tech Conferences, Over Tension in Hong Kong

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
The ongoing tension in Hong Kong between the government and pro-democracy protesters continues to spill into the tech domain. From a report: Rise, which is among the largest tech conferences in Asia, will not run next year as planned due to "the ongoing situation in Hong Kong," according to Web Summit, the Ireland-based company that organizes the show. The organizer said it is postponing the sixth edition of its annual conference, which is held in Hong Kong, to March 2021 from March 2020. Web Summit, which hosts similar large-scale conferences in other parts of the world, made the announcement today in an email to previous attendees. A spokesperson confirmed the veracity of the email to TechCrunch. "Over recent months, we have been monitoring the ongoing situation in Hong Kong. Our number one concern is the wellbeing, safety, and security of attendees at our events," it said in a statement. "Given the uncertainty of the situation by early 2020 and after consulting with experts and advisories, we have decided to postpone RISE until 2021."

Postpone a year?

By Empiric • Score: 3 • Thread
I doubt the 70'th year of Chinese Communist Party oppression will change its nature for the 71'st.

Seems an alternate solution is proposed.

Something I've been saying a lot online lately

By Plugh • Score: 3 • Thread
Every chance I get, actually. Because f--k the surveillance state, big brother, china, the nsa, and every other grubbing wanna-be that thinks I can't manage my own information input online. Unfortunately, Slashdot, bless its heart, in almost 2020 still the cannot print Chinese characters properly, apparently. So, you get a pic link instead


Sounds like another useless event anyways

By 0xdeaddead • Score: 3 • Thread

Nothing of value was lost.

We don't need more virute signaling valley people in Hong Kong, thanks, kindly fuck off, we're full.

Most Americans Think They're Being Constantly Tracked, Study Finds

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from MIT Technology Review: More than 60% of Americans think it's impossible to go through daily life without being tracked by companies or the government, according to a new Pew Research study. It's not just that Americans (correctly) think companies are collecting their data. They don't like it. About 69% of Americans are skeptical that companies will use their private information in a way they're comfortable with, while 79% don't believe that companies will come clean if they misuse the information. When it comes to who they trust, there are differences by race. About 73% of black Americans, for instance, are at least a little worried about what law enforcement knows about them, compared with 56% of white Americans. But among all respondents, more than 80% were concerned about what social-media sites and advertisers might know. Despite these concerns, more than 80% of Americans feel they have no control over how their information is collected.


By markdavis • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

>"More than 60% of Americans think it's impossible to go through daily life without being tracked by companies or the government"

And they would be almost correct. It *is* impossible to go through daily life without being tracked, unless you pay for everything in cash, use an open-source-based computer WITH all the apps optimized to prevent spying AND without using any sign-in "services" (such as Google, Amazon, Facebook, etc), and you don't have a powered-on cell phone on you, don't order anything online, and don't have a car/vehicle model that spies on you, and you don't put some stupid-ass "cloud-based" crap in your house (like Ring, or Nest, or whatever), and you protect your identity with any transaction. Soon you will have to wear a hoodie everywhere, too. It is almost possible, but nobody will do all that is required to prevent it- some of the stuff is easy and even advisable, other stuff is extremely inconvenient.

And as we have already seen, the average person will quickly/gladly/gratefully trade their freedom and privacy for security (or the illusion thereof), convenience, and lower cost. But worse, they will also trade OTHER PEOPLE'S freedom and privacy for "security" through government intervention. There is a balance- where the balance should be is hard to say, but the lines were certainly crossed a long time ago. When freedom of speech, freedom from unreasonable search and seizure, and gun rights are under constant attack, you know the problem is already extremely serious.

Most Americans Think They're Being Tracked..

By JeremyWH • Score: 3, Funny • Thread
Revealed by data from mind probes

Social Cooling - data driven chilling effects

By mrwireless • Score: 3 • Thread

This is step 2 in the proces towards Social Cooling.

Step 3 is that people will apply self-censorship in order to 'look good', which means we will see large scale data-driven chilling effects.

Cambridge Analytica showed us how all kinds of parties try to influence us nowadays. But I believe that influence is small compared to the power of self-censorship.

While we may see self-censorship as an unwanted side effect, in China they are actively steering towards this.

Re:Reasonable expectation of privacy?

By Kjella • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Since many privacy laws depend on a Reasonable Expectation of Privacy, does this mean if people no longer expect privacy they lose it

Probably, but people generally still expect privacy in bathrooms, bedrooms, phone calls, private homes etc. so the threshold for when the police needs a warrant hasn't moved that much. The difference is all the rest, like if someone kept a record of you from the moment you walked out the door and in all publish establishments to the doorstep of other private spaces most would consider that an invasion of privacy. Like "Here's a record of you arriving alone at the pub. Here's a record of you two leaving the pub. Here's a record of you two taking a taxi back to your place. Here's a record of the other person leaving in the morning." If you've ceased to have any privacy in the public space a whole lot can be inferred about what's going on in private.

And you could of course say that in theory any police stakeout could have recorded that information, which is true but scale, precision and completeness matter. For example, it's probably no big deal if I see one person entering or leaving a military base. But if I had a complete log of everyone coming and going at every base and knew at any time exactly how many people were on staff right and could forecast and detect anomalies based on past patterns the military would probably not be too happy. And that's before we start talking about the data you're willingly sending out of private activities and spaces...

Re: Cards

By DogDude • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
That's 100% false. My company takes credit cards, and for $25/month, we can get all of that information from our merchant provider. They give out a discounted subscription to which shows you where your customers shop and where they live and where they go before and after they go to your business and what else they spend money on. And that's a cheap-o service for the smallest businesses. You want to guess what data the big guys buy?