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Data Science Meets Sports Gambling: How Researchers Beat the Bookies

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
"A trio of data scientists developed a betting strategy to beat bookmakers at football games," writes austro. [The game Americans call soccer.] New Scientist reports: The team studied 10 years' worth of data on nearly half a million football matches and the associated odds offered by 32 bookmakers between January 2005 and June 2015. When they applied their strategy in a simulation, they made a return of 3.5 per cent. Making bets randomly resulted in a loss of 3.32 per cent. Then the team decided to try betting for real. They developed an online tool that would apply their odds-averaging formula to upcoming football matches. When a favorable opportunity arose, a member of the team would email Kaunitz and his wife, one of whom then placed a bet.

They kept this up for five months, placing $50 bets around 30 times a week. And they were winning. After five months the team had made a profit of $957.50 -- a return of 8.5 per cent. But their streak was cut short. Following a series of several small wins, the trio were surprised to find that their accounts had been limited, restricting how much they could bet to as little as $1.25. The gambling industry has long restricted players who appear to show an edge over the house, says Mark Griffiths at Nottingham Trent University, UK.

The paper "illustrates how the sports gambling industry compensates market inefficiencies with discriminatory practices against successful clients," adds austro, noting that the researchers posted a paper explaining their methodology on arxiv last week. "They also made the dataset and source code available on github. And best of all, they made an online publicly available dashboard that shows a live list of bet recommendations on football matches based on their strategy here or here for anyone to try."


By bradley13 • Score: 3 • Thread

Yet another reason not to gamble: the house cheats. Always. Win consistently against the house anywhere, and you will be asked to leave. Win too much off a slot machine, and it was "out of order".

The betting houses and casinos exist to take people's money. One should not forget this.

Google Offers $1,000 Bounties For Hacking Dropbox, Tinder, Snapchat, and Others

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes Mashable: Google, in collaboration with bug bounty platform HackerOne, has launched the Google Play Security Reward Program, which promises $1,000 to anyone who can identify security vulnerabilities in participating Google Play apps. Thirteen apps are currently participating, including Tinder, Duolingo, Dropbox, Snapchat, and Headspace... If you find a security vulnerability in one of the participating apps, you can report that vulnerability to the developer, and work with them to fix it. When the problem has been resolved, the Android Security team will pay you $1,000 as a reward, on top of any reward you get from the app developer. Google will be collecting data on the vulnerabilities and sharing it (anonymized) with other developers who may be exposed to the same problems. For HackerOne, it's about attracting more and better participants in bounty programs.

Not enough

By duke_cheetah2003 • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

This is not an acceptable 'reward' for the painstaking effort of analysis of any particular application for security flaws.

If you want to crowd source your QA, you're going to need to pay a much heftier bounty. I'm thinking 5 or 6 digits to make it worth someone's effort. And also, I think criminals will be paying a lot more than your piddly $1000 for juicy exploits. And as long as criminals pay more than you do, guess who's getting the sploits?

I personally think the entire concept of bounties and crowd sourcing your QA is utter stupidity and pretty frickin lazy and irresponsible. Hire a real QA department, pay some salaries for people to hunt this crap down, rather than paying one lucky fuck while every one else trying to find sploits gets zero. Total bullshit. Get a QA department.

Why Are We Still Using Passwords?

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
Here's some surprising news from the Akamia Edge conference. chicksdaddy writes: [E]xecutives at some of the U.S.'s leading corporations agreed that the much maligned password won't be abandoned any time soon, even as data breaches and follow-on attacks make passwords more susceptible than ever to abuse, the Security Ledger reports. "We reached the end of needing passwords maybe seven years ago, but we still use them," said Steve Winterfeld, Director of Cybersecurity, at clothing retailer Nordstrom. "They're still the primary layer of defense."

"It's hard to kill them," noted Shalini Mayor, who is a Senior Director at Visa Inc. "The question is what to replace them with." This, even though the cost of using passwords is high and getting higher, as sophisticated attacks attempt to compromise legitimate accounts using so-called "credential stuffing" techniques, which use automated password guessing attacks against web-based applications... Stronger and more reliable alternatives to passwords already exist, but the obstacles to using them are often prohibitive. Shalani Mayor said Visa is "looking at" biometric technologies like Apple's TouchID as a tool for making payments securely. Such technologies -- from fingerprint scans to facial and retinal scans -- promise more secure and reliable factors than alphanumeric passwords, the executives agreed. But customers often resist the technologies or find them error prone or too difficult to use.

Give up anonymity if it saves just one life

By elainerd • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Clearly we need to replace passwords with a chip or mark or tattoo in the palms of the hands and on the foreheads / retinas, etc. Then we need to make sure that people can't buy or sell without taking these marks on themselves. Naturally cash will have to be eliminated. This way we can control and identify what the people spend their money on and we can use this information to further oppress and bind them down into abject bondage and suffering. Yep, that's the ticket. No more anonymity, all must bow down and accept the will of Evil. Every citizen a slave.

  "A jackboot stamping on a human face forever"-Orwell or Huxley, i forget and am too lazy to search.

Steal all the biometric files

By jfdavis668 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Instead of breaking in and stealing passwords, break in and steal all the biometric files. Your fingerprint may be unique, but to identify you I have to have a copy. If someone steals that copy, you are now compromised in a way you can't correct. You can't change your fingerprint every 60 days.


By epyT-R • Score: 3 • Thread

1. They aren't tied to biometrics, which once compromised, aren't easily changed. Plus, many people find it instinctively invasive, possibly because of that reason. In contrast, passwords/x509 are easily changed when when compromised or forgotten.

2. Biometrics work as authenticators but not as authorizers.. Nothing stops someone from duplicating your biometric properties (pic of your fingerprints or irises/face) without your authorization. Not so with a password.

Sometimes the first impulse is right

By goombah99 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

think of them as a mutable biometric. it's biometric because its stored in your brain. It's mutable because you can change it. it can't actually be stolen from you if you don't give it up or write it down.

it's only when you go to transmit it that the problem occurs.

When you look at this this way, then you see that things like finger prints or retina have the same problems and worse. they are not mutable, they can be taken from you without you knowing it, and the transmission layer is still vulnerable

Nearly always, your first solution to a problem is the best one. Not always of course or there would be no need to research and study. But people have been using passwords for milennia because they are an effective tool that works from giving something to the sentry, to logging into google.

The answers

By Okian Warrior • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

The answers are pretty obvious.

Firstly, we still use them because there's no reasonable replacement. Duh.

Secondly, there's no reasonable replacement because of the way our computers work.

Passwords are essentially information held in a system outside the computer (your head), that can be used for verification. The problem is that humans aren't really good at remembering passwords, and we need so many of them, and they are infrequently needed.

All attempts at using computers to solve this issue have run afoul of the "general purpose computer" problem: because our computers do not address security properly, we cannot guarantee what software is running on the local hardware. We cannot guarantee the security of passwords held on the computer, or in an encrypted file, because it's so easy to download and run malware. No one keeps track of all the things run on the computer, and we can't even trust the people who supposedly *do* keep track.

One reasonable solution is to use hardware specific to the purpose that's *not* a general purpose computer.

If you had a piece of hardware - a thumb drive, for example - that was *not* general purpose and could not download and execute code, then that could be made pretty secure. It could hold a person's private key, have functions to encrypt, decrypt, and sign documents, and also pass out the public key. It could also download and install new keys, with the understanding that the base functions could not be changed.

There's some details involved: you need a way to securely backup the data, and you need a way to securely recover the data in various situations. Mostly, you need to save the data somewhere safe and write down a master password (one, a PIN of sorts) somewhere else.

The Mooltipass is pretty close. It generates strong passwords for each web site registration, and will fill in the fields for you when you go to log in.

That's not the complete solution, however. It should *encrypt* the password with the user's private key and the site's public key so that no one can view it(*), or even better use a zero-knowledge authentication process.

If we could somehow begin using a fixed-program computer - say, something the size of a credit-card calculator that requires a pin and that holds the information for *all* the cards in your wallet - we could get away from passwords.

We would also have a single point on which we could put *all* our effort to make secure.

Hypothetically, that one card would reduce credit card fraud to near zero. When you use the card you enter your PIN on the keypad, and the card generates a ShopSafe number tied to your credit account, valid for one purchase.

Take a look at the badges at high-tech conferences these days. It seems like the hardware shouldn't be that hard or expensive.

Could this be the next killer product from Apple? A hand-held thingy that's secure and ultra-convenient, that you use for payments (IRL and online) and password entry?

(*) Yes, ssh is not absolutely secure. Did you think all those cert authorities in your browser have been properly vetted?

Code School Fined $375K Over Employment Claims and Licensing Issues

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes Ars Technica: [O]ne of the most prominent institutions, New York's Flatiron School, will be shelling out $375,000 to settle charges brought by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's office. The AG said the school operated for a period without the proper educational license, and it improperly marketed both its job placement rates and the salaries of its graduates. New York regulators didn't find any inaccuracies in Flatiron's "outcomes report," a document the company is proud of. However, the Attorney General's office found that certain statements made on Flatiron's website didn't constitute "clear and conspicuous" disclosure.

For instance, Flatiron claimed that 98.5 percent of graduates were employed within 180 days of graduation. However, only by carefully reading the outcomes report would one find that the rate included not just full-time employees, but apprentices, contract workers, and freelancers. Some of the freelancers worked for less than 12 weeks. The school also reported an average salary of $74,447 but didn't mention on its website that the average salary claim only applied to graduates who achieved full-time employment. That group comprised only 58 percent of classroom graduates and 39 percent of those who took online courses.

The school's courses last 12 to 16 weeks, and cost between $12,000 and $15,000, according to a statement from the attorney general's office [PDF]. (Or $1,500 a month for an onine coding class). Eligible graduate can claim their share of the $375,000 by filing a complaint within the next thee months.

Sounds like...

By nospam007 • Score: 3 • Thread

...Trump 'university'.

Taking advantage of the desperate

By elrous0 • Score: 3 • Thread

When you're unemployed, you get desperate. And desperate people often will let their guard down in their desperation. You also quickly discover that there is a whole industry of trade schools, bootcamps, etc. happy to exploit that desperation with all kinds of bullshit promises.

I had the misfortune of being unemployed for a while not too long ago. And while I found few real jobs available (most job postings are complete BS, for those who don't know), I found no shortage of schools promising to GET me a job. They trade on success stories of people who went through their course and had great job offers thrown at them as soon as they graduated. Of course, most of those success stories are complete BS too, but when you're desperate you really WANT to believe that you've finally found your answer. I came very close to letting myself get taken advantage of more than a few times, in sheer desperation. And I'm normally a pretty hardcore skeptic in normal circumstances.

In short, if it were up to me I wouldn't just fine schools like this. I would send their administrators to prison for a long, long time. They've done one of the lowest of the low things a human can do--exploit the weakest and most vulnerable of their fellow men for a quick buck.

Friendlier GPL-Enforcement Permission Proposed By Linux Kernel Developers

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
The former Executive Director of the Free Software Foundation -- and Slashdot user #41121 -- contacted Slashdot with this announcement. bkuhn -- now president of the Software Freedom Conservancy -- writes: Software Freedom Conservancy, home of the GPL Compliance Project for Linux Developers, publicly applauded today the proposal of the Linux Kernel Enforcement Statement, which adds a per-copyright-holder-opt-in additional permission to the termination provisions of Linux's GPLv2-only license.
It apparently addresses a developer who "made claims based on ambiguities in the GPL-2.0 that no one in our community has ever considered part of compliance," according to a statement from some of the kernel developers who drafted the statement. While the kernel community has always supported enforcement efforts to bring companies into compliance, we have never even considered enforcement for the purpose of extracting monetary gain... [W]e are aware of activity that has resulted in payments of at least a few million Euros. We are also aware that these actions, which have continued for at least four years, have threatened the confidence in our ecosystem. Because of this, and to help clarify what the majority of Linux kernel community members feel is the correct way to enforce our license, the Technical Advisory Board of the Linux Foundation has worked together with lawyers in our community, individual developers, and many companies that participate in the development of, and rely on Linux, to draft a Kernel Enforcement Statement to help address both this specific issue we are facing today, and to help prevent any future issues like this from happening again. It adopts the same termination provisions we are all familiar with from GPL-3.0 as an Additional Permission giving companies confidence that they will have time to come into compliance if a failure is identified.

Tech Companies To Lobby For Immigrant 'Dreamers' To Remain In US

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Reuters: Nearly two dozen major companies in technology and other industries are planning to launch a coalition to demand legislation that would allow young, illegal immigrants a path to permanent residency, according to documents seen by Reuters. The Coalition for the American Dream intends to ask Congress to pass bipartisan legislation this year that would allow these immigrants, often referred to as "Dreamers," to continue working in the United States, the documents said. Alphabet Inc's Google, Microsoft Corp, Inc, Facebook Inc, Intel Corp, Uber Technologies Inc, IBM Corp, Marriott International Inc and other top U.S. companies are listed as members, one of the documents shows. The push for this legislation comes after President Donald Trump's September decision to allow the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to expire in March. That program, established by former President Barack Obama in 2012, allows approximately 900,000 illegal immigrants to obtain work permits. Some 800 companies signed a letter to Congressional leaders after Trump's decision, calling for legislation protecting Dreamers. That effort was spearheaded by a pro-immigration reform group Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg co-founded in 2013 called

Amnesty? What about people in the pipeline now?

By mveloso • Score: 3 • Thread

As a note, why should these people hop in front of all the other people that are legally trying to get into the US? Are we going to penalize those who followed the laws?

USA has an employer problem not immigration

By FeelGood314 • Score: 3 • Thread
90% of the illegals crossing into the USA are doing so because it is so easy to get a job in the USA. In the Bay area, every morning at 4am you will see school buses (likely the same ones that take your kids to school 2 hours later), busing in workers to do yard work, cleaning and other manual labor. They aren't getting paid minimum wage, they all seem to look a bit Latino and aren't speaking English. hmm. The USA's laws about illegal migrants are not about keeping them out, it is about keeping their wages down and making sure they don't use any government services. If the USA wanted to end 90% of the illegal migrants they could just grant the migrants the right to a $30/hr wage and then enforce it by going after the employers. It would solve the illegal migrant problem over night. It would be total chaos for months as businesses that relied on $2/hr wages collapsed but most of those companies are total leaches anyway (I'm talking about the high water usage farming in the California in particular).

Jail for you in Mexico

By gabrieltss • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

My great grandfather came to this country from Canada via Germany LEGALLY! I have his original naturalization papers to PROVE IT! My family did it legally - THEY need to as well!

If you go to Mexico Illegally - you get thrown in a Mexican JAIL! They don't give you a free ride, they don't have anyone there saying "oh we should give them a path to citizenship". Mexico has been doing the EXACT same things we are on THEIR southern border to stop illegals from South America coming into their country.

Why don't the Liberal/Progressives in this country go shake their fists and yell and scream in Mexico over the same stuff? I'll tell you why - they would end up in a Mexican jail, or with their heads chipped off by a machete, or shot in the head. They are nothing but loud mouth wusses!!

It is a FEDERAL offense to be in this country illegally - I don't care WHAT country you are from! It's a CRIME! If I rob a bank, that's a FEDERAL crime, I will go to JAIL! They should be sent packing back to whatever country they are here illegally from - PERIOD - End of story!

Re:Yes they are.

By Chas • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Immigration reform is NOT "open borders".
That's uncontrolled immigration. And that's what's being fought right now.

People point to 100+ years ago. Forgetting that "free country" also meant you were FREE TO STARVE.
Nowadays, there's a massive, EXPENSIVE social infrastructure. And that infrastructure simply CANNOT withstand uncontrolled immigration.

The US does NOT owe the rest of the world a living, or even a better lifestyle.

If people want to immigrate here, DO IT THE RIGHT WAY OR STAY HOME!

Re:Yes they are.

By epyT-R • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Yeah, so we can become like Malmo, Sweden and adopt the crazy policies in Germany? I'll pass.

Borders and sane immigration policy help keep the peace between cultures with conflicting value systems. When there's mass immigration because one of those systems is markedly inferior, the migrating culture ends up bringing those same problems to the new host country.

Tim Cook Confirms the Mac Mini Isn't Dead

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Apple has refreshed just about every Mac product within the last couple of years -- except for the Mac Mini. Naturally, this has left many analysts questioning whether or not the company would be phasing out the Mini to focus more on its mobile devices. A MacRumors reader decided to email Apple CEO Tim Cook to get an update on the Mac mini and he received a response. Cook said it was "not time to share any details," but he confirmed that the Mac mini will be an important part of the company's product lineup in the future. MacRumors reports: Cook's response echoes a similar statement from Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller, who commented on the Mac mini when Apple's plans for a new Mac Pro were unveiled. "The Mac mini is an important product in our lineup and we weren't bringing it up because it's more of a mix of consumer with some pro use," he said. Positioned as a "bring your own peripherals" machine that comes without a mouse, keyboard, or display, the Mac mini is Apple's most affordable desktop machine. The current version is woefully outdated though, and continues to use Haswell processors and integrated Intel HD 5000/Intel Iris Graphics. It's not clear when Apple will introduce a new Mac mini, and aside from a single rumor hinting at a new high-end Mac mini with a redesign that "won't be so mini anymore," we've heard no rumors about work on a possible Mac mini refresh.

Weasel words

By damn_registrars • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
I wouldn't take that reply to mean that it is dead or not. This isn't because we're dealing with Apple it's because we're dealing with a company. By comparison if Chevrolet announced this afternoon that they are canceling the Camaro again, Chevy fans would be up in arms over the brand abandoning them. If they instead coyly said they were "committed" to it and then gradually reduced production over the next few years until dropping it entirely by 2020 they could say it was "market pressures" and "consumer demand", without there having been any company plans for it before then.

Re:The Mac Is Dead

By Opportunist • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

No, it needs a new desktop.

The price of a Mac is at least partly justified by its hassle-free ecosystem. At least that's what it HAD. And yes, people are willing to pay a premium for the promise that their computer will "just work". This does unfortunately also require a single-supplier model to ensure that all components are up to the task, for you'll certainly find someone willing to cut corners (pardon the pun) and deliver a cheaper, crappier knockoff that does not work 100% of the time but only 90%, which isn't good enough if you want "just works".

But their computers just went stale, this isn't "tried and forged in the fire of time", this is just "tired and to be fired in time".

Re:They aren't dead, they're on life support

By rl117 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
These models don't need to be "best sellers". They need to fill niches which are not filled by any of their other models. Apple don't have a powerful and expandable system for high-end usage; none of their current offerings are good for that. Something that you can fill full of storage, GPUs and other PCI-E boards and do some serious stuff with. We'd buy them for work if they were available; we used to have several G5 towers. We also had several Xserves; if we could buy a current rackmount system we would. The mini is a desktop without a built-in display like the imac; I'd buy one if they made it a decent spec. At work, we develop cross-platform software and struggle greatly with Mac hardware. We need CI systems and would use a rackmount of pro tower for this if one was available. We use a couple of minis on a rack shelf, but they are miserable for CPU, storage and remote management. We use MacBook pros for personal use, but they are also woeful; they are handily beaten by a Dell a quarter of the price. I spend most of my time using Linux for development as a result; you can develop on a much more capable system: huge amount of storage, and as much CPU and memory as you like, plus a decent keyboard. Apple have badly dropped the ball here. They should be making high end systems to showcase the very best they have to offer. It doesn't matter about dedicating massive engineering resources to it; a tower is a tower, and it's not a fashion statement unlike their other models. I care more about what's inside the box.

Intel NUC

By crow • Score: 3 • Thread

We wanted a Mac Mini, so we bought an Intel NUC and turned it into a Hackintosh. It works great. We ended up spending almost the same amount of money, but the result was something vastly more powerful.

There are a few shortcomings, though, so if you're thinking of taking this route, you should do your research on the process and limitations first.

Don't go by what Tim says, go by what he does

By Whatsmynickname • Score: 3 • Thread
Went to an Apple store recently while waiting for the wife. A year or so ago they had at least four tables or more of MacBook Pros, MacBooks, and iMacs. A few days ago? Only one table out of about twenty had a couple of iMacs and Macbook Pros. Literally the whole store had nothing but iPhones and various tablets. It was like I walked into an AT&T store. Apple is pushing mobile devices, they apparently don't give a rats butt about desktops or laptops.

The US Government Keeps Spectacularly Underestimating Solar Energy Installation

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Michael J. Coren reports via Quartz: Every two years, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), America's official source for energy statistics, issues 10-year projections about how much solar, wind and conventional energy the future holds for the U.S. Every two years, since the mid-1990s, the EIA's projections turn out to be wrong. Last year, they proved spectacularly wrong. The Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental advocacy group, and Statista recently teamed up to analyze the EIA's predictions for energy usage and production. They found that the EIA's 10-year estimates between 2006 to 2016 systematically understated the share of wind, solar and gas. Solar capacity, in particular, was a whopping 4,813% more in 2016 than the EIA had predicted in 2006 it would be. To be fair, there is a caveat here: The prediction in 2006 was that 10 years hence the U.S. would be generating just 0.8 gigawatts (GW) of solar energy. With such a low baseline figure, any increase will look huge in percentage terms. Nonetheless, there is an unmistakable trend in the data: The EIA regularly underestimates the growth in renewables but overestimates U.S. fossil-fuel consumption, which some critics see as an attempt to boost the oil and gas industry.

Trump is fixing this

By MoarSauce123 • Score: 3 • Thread
Trump will force more dirty coal to be burnt so that the projections are correct.

Re:That title (of original article) is not accurat

By MrL0G1C • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Making a mistake once is nothing.
Making a mistake twice, wake up call.
Making a mistake three times, hey idiot what are you doing?
Making a mistake 4, 5, 6 etc times, we are now getting into very deliberate territory and this is confirmed by the fact that other organisations had projected the increases in renewables much more accurately by recognising that the growth in renewables was logarithmic and not linear.

So either the EIA are complete brain-dead morons who no-one should listen to or they are deliberately misleading people. Take your pick.

Me&others predicted exponential PV; bigger pic

By Paul Fernhout • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Me from 2000:
Me from 2004:
Me from 2008:

Or me from 2011:
"The greatest threat facing the USA is the irony inherent in our current defense posture, like for example planning to use nuclear energy embodied in missiles to fight over oil fields that nuclear energy could replace. This irony arises in part because the USAâ(TM)s current security logic is still based on essentially 19th century and earlier (second millennium) thinking that becomes inappropriate applied to 21st century (third millennium) technological threats and opportunities. That situation represents a systematic intelligence failure of the highest magnitude. There remains time to correct this failure, but time grows short as various exponential trends continue."

Frankly, I've spent almost twenty years on Slashdot arguing with many posters who disregarded solar energy (and other renewables, as well as energy efficiency); example of me debating that from 2013:

See also Amory Lovins and the Rocky Mountain Institute's work, including from 1982.

Or John Todd and the (now defunct/spunoff) New Alchemy Institute.
"The New Alchemy Institute was a research center that did pioneering investigation into organic agriculture, aquaculture, and bioshelter design between 1969 and 1991. It was founded by John Todd, Nancy Jack Todd, and William McLarney. Its purpose was to research human support systems of food, water, and shelter and to completely rethink how these systems were designed."

And Home Power magazine.

Solar energy has been more and more effective in ever broader niche uses which drove its growth for decades (as Home Power magazine and others predicted years ago) -- from satellites, to calculators, to homes ten miles off-grid, to generator replacements for temporary traffic lights, to one mile-off-grid homes, to on-grid homes. Finally now that grid parity has been widely reached and it is becoming foolish in most places to install anything but solar PV for electricity generation, now everyone wakes up to what has been going on. Although even now their remain deniers here and there (as in that slashdot post linked above).

=== The bigger picture: general exponential trends across multiple technologies

As I noted in the 2000 post I made, the same exponential changes in technological capacity that drive cheaper PV also apply in other areas -- even for cheaper nuclear energy (whether from uranium, thorium or hot/cold fusion). But for the same reasons most people ignored the PV trends, most people ignore these other trends.

Here is a proposal I sent to DARPA in 1999 to try to deal with the consequences of exponential technological growth (including(as we see with North Korea recently increased capacity globally for making WMDs):
"I agree with Hans Moravec on several points; one of them is the implications of this chart:

Re:That title (of original article) is not accurat

By MrL0G1C • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

", it's getting to the point that in some places they are already cheaper without subsidies than old energy with subsidies."

It won't be long before both wind and solar energy costs half of what fossil fuel energy costs. Is that so difficult to understand? I'm talking renewables without subsidies here.

Production or capacity?

By LynnwoodRooster • Score: 3 • Thread

The Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental advocacy group, and Statista recently teamed up to analyze the EIA's predictions for energy usage and production. They found that the EIA's 10-year estimates between 2006 to 2016 systematically understated the share of wind, solar and gas. Solar capacity, in particular, was a whopping 4,813% more in 2016 than the EIA had predicted in 2006 it would be.

I see that capacity word in there. Solar generation is less than 1% of total US power generation (lagging behind biomass, and not even 7% of all renewables). Methinks protesting about errors in estimates about capacity, rather than looking at the accuracy of projections of generation, is a big red herring. My bank account has the capacity to hold hundreds of billions of dollars! Unfortunately, the generation side isn't quite so endowed with zeros...

Body Camera Study Shows No Effect On Police Use of Force Or Citizen Complaints

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from NPR: Having police officers wear little cameras seems to have no discernible impact on citizen complaints or officers' use of force, at least in the nation's capital. That's the conclusion of a study performed as Washington, D.C., rolled out its huge camera program. The city has one of the largest forces in the country, with some 2,600 officers now wearing cameras on their collars or shirts. In the wake of high-profile shootings, many police departments have been rapidly adopting body-worn cameras, despite a dearth of solid research on how the technology can change policing. "We need science, rather than our speculations about it, to try to answer and understand what impacts the cameras are having," says David Yokum, director of the Lab @ DC. His group worked with local police officials to make sure that cameras were handed out in a way that let the researchers carefully compare officers who were randomly assigned to get cameras with those who were not. The study ran from June 2015 to last December. It's to be expected that these cameras might have little impact on the behavior of police officers in Washington, D.C., he says, because this particular force went through about a decade of federal oversight to help improve the department.

Re:Privatize the Police

By serviscope_minor • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

That's what I don't get about this conspiracy theory of a private police and prison industry putting people in prison to make money. Everyone in prison must have a trial, often before a jury. If people want to see this system short circuited then demand everyone be put before a jury. Even if there is a claim of a judge being paid off then the jury should stop this short.

I have a couple of questions for you.

1. Which country has the largest proportion of private prisons?

2. Which country puts most more of its citizens in prison than any other country?

If your answer is "USA" then congratulations you win. You are about 7 times as likely to be thrown in gaol in the land of the free than in China.

There are many wonderful things about America (like e.g. NM) but your justice system isn't one of them. And until you collectively stop believing you're the best at everything and look at the cold hard facts it will not improve.

Predetermined conclusion?

By blindseer • Score: 3 • Thread

I have to wonder about anything from a government agency looking after another government agency. I do believe that we need government agencies keeping an eye on other government agencies, but I won't place too much trust in such reports without something backing it up. What we have is an agency created by the mayor to do what they claim to be independent and scientific observations on other city agencies. Just how much corruption, abuse, fraud, and so forth is such an agency willing to find? If they find something wrong then the mayor looks bad, and I'm pretty sure these people have an innate tendency to not bite the hand that feeds them.

So they claim to do a scientific and statistical analysis of the data they collect. Well, statistics can tell you anything if tortured enough. So they discovered no decrease in complaints of misconduct against the police after body cameras were deployed. There's so many things that can be veiled in this conclusion. Perhaps a lot of police misconduct simply went unreported. Were the cameras always on when they should have been? Was there any punishment of officers based on the footage from these cameras?

If the city of DC wants to keep crime down then I'd like to see them do a study on their weapons laws. They had what was an effective ban on the ownership of firearms struck down a decade ago, and the ban on issuing concealed carry licenses struck down in the courts fairly recently. The DC government seems to think that keeping firearms from the city was an effective crime control method. Did they do a study on that? I suspect that they did but they didn't like the results so they kept it to themselves.

I'll have some faith in this government department actually doing their job of keeping the government in check when they release a report that is critical of how the government is performing.

Re:Of course not

By GuB-42 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

For instance the first time I ever got pulled over, my back window was frosted up and I was on a street with a lot of streetlights. The cops decided to pull me over for nothing (they literally never gave me any reason for pulling me over whatsoever, I just looked suspicious to them for some reason) and I didn't see the lights, I pulled over immediately after they hit the siren but they both came up and pointed their guns at my face.

The most likely explantation is that they were looking for a potentially dangerous criminal and your vehicle matched their info. They couldn't give you the reason because they didn't want to reveal details about their investigation.
I did get pulled over once for apparently no reason. Later, I learned that there was a kidnapping in the area. No guns though, but no frost on the rear window either.

This or they were acting like cowboys for no good reason. But don't jump to conclusions.

Re:Not surprising

By Mr D from 63 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
If 'bad behavior' is only attributable to a small percentage of cops to begin with, then you would expect little change on average from using cameras.

Re:Not surprising

By squiggleslash • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

And, you know, that's fine. If cameras don't deter bad behavior, so be it. But in that case, FFS, use the footage, both against criminals who otherwise benefit from the ambiguity the lack of footage would bring, and against bad cops.

Cameras aren't just about deterring bad behavior, they're also about being able to reliably deal with he said/she said situations where there are severe consequences for believing one party over the other.

Software Developer Creates Personal Cryptocurrency

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
mirandakatz writes: If you want to pick Evan Prodromou's brain -- as many people often do -- you'll have to pay him. And not just a consulting fee: You'll have to pay him in his own personal cryptocurrency, dubbed Evancoin. Currently, 20 days after his Initial Coin Offering, a single Evancoin is worth $45. As Prodromou tells Scott Rosenberg at Backchannel, "I'm not above a stunt! But in this case I'm really serious about exploring how cryptocurrency is changing what we can do with money and how we think about it. Money is this sort of consensual hallucination, and I wanted to experiment around that." The story goes on to explain what, exactly, goes into creating a personal cryptocurrency, and whether Evancoin could becoming a phenomenon that spreads.

Fancy Bartering

By 0100010001010011 • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

I now take payments in goats and manual labor.

Scrip is a thing already

By Sarten-X • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

This is a common practice already, but now with added buzzword-compliance.

For decades, organizations have issued scrips of various kinds. From gift certificates and coupons to the ubiquitous gift cards exchanged today, there's always some new way to get customers to invest in your product before they buy it. This guy now has his own scrip currency, with the gimmick of being a "cryptocurrency" so people can generate their own, essentially paying him in their time and recognition of his brand instead of an actual recognized currency.

Re:Scrip is a thing already

By FrankHaynes • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Let's see: we've gone from a single unified web browser that can run almost any application to a single app per site, multiplied by the number of sites desiring their own lock-in.

So in that world, making a currency that can only be spent on one vendor matches up perfectly. I guess I'll market a "wallet" to store each and every different currency for all the different vendors who mine their own.

Elon Musk Begins Digging a Hyperloop Tunnel In Maryland

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Elon Musk has been granted permission by Maryland to start digging tunnels for his hyperoop transit system that he wants to build between New York and Washington. "Hogan administration officials said Thursday the state has issued a conditional utility permit to let Musk's tunneling firm, The Boring Co., dig a 10.3-mile tunnel beneath the state-owned portion of the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, between the Baltimore city line and Maryland 175 in Hanover," reports Baltimore Sun. From the report: It would be the first portion of the underground system that Musk says could eventually ferry passengers from Washington to New York, with stops in Baltimore and Philadelphia, in just 29 minutes. Maryland's approval is the first step of many needed to complete the multibillion-dollar project. Gov. Larry Hogan toured a site in Hanover that aides said could become an entry point for the hyperloop. The state does not plan to contribute to the cost of the project, aides said. Administration officials said they will treat the hyperloop like a utility, and permitted it in the same way the state allows electric companies to burrow beneath public rights-of-way. It was not immediately clear Thursday what environmental review or other permitting procedures must be completed before the company breaks ground.


By Rei • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

So many people making the same joke.

Okay, let's try to add something to the conversation. Here's what we know about the ideas behind Boring Company so far. First, the tangential aspect: the non-Hyperloop car sleds. Tunnel costs are almost linearly proportional to cross section. By having cars on sleds you don't need any lane margin around the vehicles and can use a much smaller (and thus cheaper) tunnel. Also by moving them at very high speeds you have a much higher throughput, and by computer control, you can space them closely (getting even higher throughput).

However, as for the boring itself: the rate at which a TBM bores is proportional to how fast the head is rotated. In hard rock boring they generally also spend a large portion of the time stopped; a new casing segment is set up to both support the walls and for the TBM to push off of. During downtime, maintenance tasks such as replacing cutting disks are conducted.

When you read through literature on the topic, you find that the answer to "how fast can you X?" or "Is it possible to Y" are frequently "We don't know - contractors are payed to complete a given task and generally have little incentive to experiment with new approaches." Boring company seeks to focus on all of them at once. First off, the cutting disks: if the TBM rotates too quickly, the disks heat too much and their (already short) lifetime is greatly reduced. Boring Company is looking to do three things: one, use more advanced alloys (cost more to replace, but nothing compared to the cost savings of faster boring); two, use active cooling on the cutting disks; and three, have them hot swappable so the TBM doesn't have to be stopped. All of these things together in theory should allow the TBM to be run many times faster (so long as everything else associated with the excavation is also correspondingly sped up). It's also being modified to not need to stop for casing; downtimes are only to be for when something is physically broken or there are issues with the geology that need to be dealt with.

Many of the complicating issues with boring, such as unpredictable geology, unmapped buried hardware in urban areas, etc, Boring Company's approach will not eliminate. But the goal (whether they can reach it or not) is to ensure that when they are boring, they're doing so very quickly.

Not likely

By dcooper_db9 • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
The Inter-County Connector intersects with the BWI Parkway about five miles away. Getting that highway built took fifty years, got hung up for years on environmental studies and the Federal Government withheld funding. The state house is dominated by Democrats and Hogan is a Republican. Oh, and the Feds won't approve it's construction into DC? I doubt this is going to get done with little more than a few utility permits. Good luck though.


By swillden • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Well, I don't think it would be acceptable to say that the passengers will be fine unless there's a huge rupture and they're right next to it, in which case everyone could be killed.

Making a huge rupture in a 1" thick steel tube will require a large quantity of explosives. Such a quantity of explosives won't harm a bus full of passengers unless they're right next to it, in which case everyone could be killed. We don't take that as an argument for eliminating buses.

putting it underground seems to solve a bunch of other problems too.

At the expense of creating a bunch of other ones. Engineering is all about tradeoffs. Boring will make sense primarily in densely-populated areas. Elsewhere, the original elevated tube design will be better, I think.

Re:Abandoned Tunnels

By lucm • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

It's fun and rewarding to be a bird of ill omen, no? Sit there like a know-it-all and piss on people who are trying to make things happen?

Not so long ago "electric car" meant a shitty golf cart that reached maybe 15mph. Now we have access to electric cars that do the driving for you and can do 0-60mph in 3 sec. Also not so long ago, sending shit to space was obscenely expensive and was mostly a one-way trip for the rocket; now there's reusable rockets and the cost of sending shit to space is 4x lower than what the NASA or Air Force used to pay.

What the fuck more do you need to be amazed by that guy.


By michelcolman • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Rocket scientists (way above your level of expertise) used to say landing rockets vertically and reusing them afterwards was never going to work, for all sorts of reasons that an idiot like Musk obviously wouldn't know about. And landing them on barges in the ocean, come on, you've got to be kidding, that's totally ridiculous, nobody would even think of attempting that. Elon Musk is a fool. (That last phrase is a literal quote from a conversation I personally had with an ESA rocket scientist).

Also, making an electric car that people actually want to buy? Just a few years ago almost all engineers in the automobile industry (including, and especially those with well over 35 years of experience) would have told you that was impossible too. Let alone cars that would outperform the fastest supercars while having 5 seats and plenty of room for luggage. You've got to be kidding, that's a totally impossible thing to even attempt. Elon Musk is a fool, it will never work, nobody will ever buy them.

And setting up huge battery installations to make reusable energy viable for countries that were historically suffering from frequent outages? That will never work either, for all sorts of reasons that an idiot like Musk wouldn't know about. Any electrical engineer with well over 35 years of experience can tell you that, but never mind them.

Meanwhile, Elon Musk, effectively not minding those "experts", and unhindered by any "knowledge" on any of these subjects, is on track for a 50% market share in rocket launches in 2018, with more and more of those using actual reused boosters. The last 18 landings were all successful, including some very high energy ones. His Tesla Model S and X are a huge success, and model 3 has almost 500,000 preorders (yes, I know it's delayed a bit on its agressive rollout schedule, but not nearly as much as previous models, months rather than years). O, and that solar battery installation in South Australia seems to be coming together just fine, with another huge installation in Puerto Rico on the way.

Maybe it's time for some of these dinosaurs with well over 35 years of experience to retire if all they can do is say "ok, maybe you got lucky on that first thing we said couldn't be done, but you definitely cannot do this other thing... ok, maybe you got lucky there too, but this third thing, that's definitely impossible... o, wait...". Seriously, you lost all credibility.

Vungle CEO Arrested For Child Rape and Attempted Murder

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Freshly Exhumed writes: Axios is working to get details about a revelation on a government website that Vungle CEO Zain Jaffer is facing charges at the Maple Street Correctional Center in Redwood City, California of attempted murder, a lewd act on a child, oral copulation of a person under 14, child abuse, assault with a deadly weapon and battery upon an officer and emergency personnel. Vungle is self-described on its website as "the leading in-app video advertising platform for performance marketers," and was founded by Jaffer in 2011. Vungle has since issued a statement: "While we do not have any information that is not in the public record at this point, these are extremely serious allegations, and we are shocked beyond words. While these are only preliminary charges, they are obviously so serious that it led to the immediate removal of Mr. Jaffer from any operational responsibility at the company. The company stressed that this matter has nothing to do with Mr. Jaffer's former role at the company." Axios notes that "the San Francisco-based company has raised over $25 million in VC funding from firms like Google Ventures, Thomvest Ventures, Crosslink Capital, SoftTech VC and 500 Startups."

the worst

By lucm • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

The list of felony charges includes assault with a deadly weapon, child abuse, lewd act upon a child and oral copulation of a person under 10.

This gonna look good on his linkedin

Details TFS left out

By DeplorableCodeMonkey • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

The CEO of a mobile ad startup has been arrested and charged with sexually abusing his three-year-old son and one-year-old daughter and three other felonies.


Re:Trampling Civil Rights

By Darinbob • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

How do you ensure that the general public treats him as a normal citizen, do you forbid the press from reporting on any crime? Also criminal law has a higher standard of proof than the general public will accept. If the person is found not guilty over a technicality, you can't expect the company keep him on as a CEO, or even a janitor. "Innocent until proven guilty" is a legal principle, it is not a law that can be enforced on the general public.

Google Says 64 Percent of Chrome Traffic On Android Now Protected With HTTPS, 75 Percent On Mac, 66 Percent On Windows

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from TechCrunch: Google's push to make the web more secure by flagging sites using insecure HTTP connections appears to be working. The company announced today that 64 percent of Chrome traffic on Android is now protected, up 42 percent from a year ago. In addition, over 75 percent of Chrome traffic on both ChromeOS and Mac is now protected, up from 60 percent on Mac and 67 percent on ChromeOS a year ago. Windows traffic is up to 66 percent from 51 percent. Google also notes that 71 of the top 100 websites now use HTTPS by default, up from 37 percent a year ago. In the U.S., HTTPS usage in Chrome is up from 59 percent to 73 percent. Combined, these metrics paint a picture of fairly rapid progress in the switchover to HTTPS. This is something that Google has been heavily pushing by flagging and pressuring sites that hadn't yet adopted HTTPS.

Re:Is this to control who is allowed a Web site?

By swillden • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

why should a cat meme site need https for example

To protect the users of the cat meme site from malicious parties on the network between their browser and the cat meme site. I don't mean to keep the cat memes secret, obviously that doesn't matter much. The purpose is to ensure that the code executed by the user's browser is the code sent by the cat meme site, not something else intended to exploit browser vulnerabilities to hijack the user's computer.

For lots of sites we could use a TLS cipher suite that doesn't actually encrypt anything. It's the authenticity and integrity properties of TLS that are valuable for every site. Encryption only matters for some.

That's interesting?

By hcs_$reboot • Score: 3 • Thread
That's interesting because, at first glance, the http(s) traffic has nothing to do with the user's computer OS, would it be a Mac or Windows. On average, Windows users tend to visit less secure websites than Mac users. OTOH, people usually don't really choose a website based on if it's https or not - except if it's for a payment, login, or subscription. Or would Windows users be a bit less security sensitive than Mac users, when it comes to performing these private transactions?

Re:Well done!

By arth1 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Despite Google's other not so nice activities, I gotta give them a thumbs-up here. Getting the web to transition away from HTTP to HTTPS is fantastic. There's no reason for skimping on your web server anymore, encryption is easy and even crappy virutal machines can serve up HTTPS without issue. Good job Google.

You're too quick go give them credit. Follow the money trail. HTTPS and SPDY makes it far easier to ensure that ads are transmitted, and to whom. That HTTPS largely defeats anonymous proxy caching and other techniques that makes counting ad impressions harder is why Google pursues it; security is how they sell it, despite it being slower, to a high degree defeats bandwidth saving techniques, and requires extra resources on both server and client endpoints.

There's little reason why publicly available non-controversial information should be encrypted, and that makes up the majority of the web. Snooping traffic generally doesn't happen mid-transfer, but at the end point, by companies like Google and their partners. HTTPS does nothing to prevent that.

Re:That's interesting?

By arth1 • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Look for the simplest solutions. Like Mac users visiting shopping sites more. i.e. a correlation between being a consumerist and using a Mac.

Now stop breaking https

By mattr • Score: 3 • Thread

Now we just need public wifi to stop breaking https!

Arkansas Will Pay Up To $1,000 Cash To Kids Who Pass AP Computer Science A Exam

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
theodp writes: The State of Arkansas will be handing out cash to high school students who pass an Advanced Placement test in computer science. "The purpose of the incentive program is to increase the number of qualifying scores (3, 4, or 5) on Advanced Placement Computer Science A exams," explained a press release for the Arkansas Advanced Placement Computer Science A Incentive Program (only 87 Arkansas public school students passed the AP CS A exam in 2016, according to College Board data). Gov. Asa Hutchinson added, "The Arkansas Department of Education's incentive for high scores on the AP Computer Science A exam is a terrific way to reward our students for their hard work in school. The real payoff for their hard work, of course, is when they show their excellent transcripts to potential employers who offer good salaries for their skills." The tiered monetary awards call for public school students receiving a top score of 5 on the AP CS A exam to receive $1,000, with another $250 going to their schools. Scores of 4 will earn students $750 and schools $150, while a score of 3 will result in a $250 payday for students and $50 for their schools. The program evokes memories of the College Board's Google-funded AP STEM Access program, which rewarded AP STEM teachers with a $100 gift card for each student who received a 3, 4, or 5 on an AP exam. credits were also offered later by tech-bankrolled and Google to teachers who got their students coding.


By zlives • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

you could just fucking pay the teachers to teach and not pass a fucking test.

Said it before and I'll say it again

By rsilvergun • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
bring back the jobs and us parents will bring back our kids. End the H1-B program for a start and we'll talk. Until then all my kids are going into medical. Not that they're not trying to bring in cheap labor there too, but the Doctor's Union (aka the AMA, yes, it's a Union) knows better than too allow too much of that crap.


By rmdingler • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Wouldn't it be great if we lived in a society that valued teachers above all professions, or shite, at least above coaches? The best of the best would teach the next generation, and it would be an honor to do so.

We're not as advanced as we like to believe, as evidenced by how earlier, more primitive societies valued healers high enough within their social hierarchies that it was unnecessary to gouge the patients for the life-saving treatments they administered.

Maybe, we just have our priorities all assed up...

Body Camera Giant Wants Police To Collect Your Videos Too

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
tedlistens shares a report from Fast Company: Axon, the police supplier formerly known as Taser and now a leading maker of police body cameras, has also charged into police software with a service that allows police to manage and eventually analyze increasingly large caches of video, like a Dropbox for cops. Now it wants to add the public's video to the mix. An online tool called Citizen, set to launch later this year, will allow police to solicit the public for photos or video in the aftermath of suspected crimes and ingest them into Axon's online data platform. Todd Basche, Axon's executive vice president for worldwide products, said the tool was designed after the company conducted surveys of police customers and the public and found that potentially valuable evidence was not being collected. "They all pointed us to the need to collect evidence that's out there in the community."

[But] systems like Citizen still raise new privacy and policy questions, and could test the limits of already brittle police-community relations. Would Citizen, for instance, also be useful for gathering civilian evidence of incidents of police misconduct or brutality? [And how would ingesting citizen video into online police databases, like Axon's, allow police to mine it later for suspicious activity, in a sort of dragnet fashion?] "It all depends," says one observer, "on how agencies use the tool."

Analyze this!

By Kulfaangaren! • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
They are soo going to be swamped by cat videos and cute kitten pictures :)

Embrace it

By SuperKendall • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

It's not like there are not scores of public CCTV's already which they can pull from.

I see only a tiny risk to privacy, while at the same time large jump in the ability for investigators to figure out what really happened during a crime.

The video going in through a public portal is even better because that is another layer of tracked data you have to overcome to scrub it in the case of police wrongdoing they want to cover up.

Should be an easy way to submit dash cam video.

By gfxguy • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

I catch at least two or three or more people doing the absolute dumbest, unsafe things on my dash cam every week. The only reason I even got it was because someone turned left from a center lane and hit my car (going straight, in a straight lane) and then denied they were trying to turn to the police, making me liable for my deduction.

So I'm not talking about people speeding or on their phones or anything, I'm talking about people using turn lanes to pass people and not even slowing down to make right turns on red in front of on-coming traffic. I actually am looking forward to the days of either 100% self driving cars, or everybody having dash cams.

Quality control

By shuz • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

My first reaction to this story is what will prevent fraud? It has already been proven that editing video and audio is possible to significantly change the story of what has been captured. It might be trivial to add an object to a video such as gun or another bystander that didn't exist. Something to cause confusion or doubt in a court case. Computers can be used to rearrange voice and even learn a voice and be able to make up sounds that didn't exist.

I would hope that appropriate protections exist to prevent this kind of fraud on a body camera. However there is nothing to prevent that from a public video without further expert analysis to somehow prove that the public video is authentic. I think I like the idea, but it will need a lot of authenticity and security considerations.

Security and planting evidence

By teasea • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

I'm wondering how they would secure against altered video that implicates the innocent or exonerates the guilty if they are not pulling the video directly from the source. It would break the chain of custody for the evidence. Even if only used in the investigation, the ease with which that investigation could be led off track makes me leery. That and the company proposing it.