the unofficial Slashdot digest


  1. The New US-China Proxy War Over Undersea Internet Cables
  2. Google Security Researchers Accuse CentOS of Failing to Backport Kernel Fixes
  3. Amazon Rejects Petition from 30,000 Workers Opposing Return-to-Office Mandate
  4. DoomLinux: the Distro That Loads Only Enough Software to Play DOOM
  5. FSF Honors Emacs Co-Maintainer, 'Replicant' Developer, and Videoconferencing Tool Jami
  6. TikTok Trackers Embedded in U.S. State-Government Websites, Review Finds
  7. Internet Archive Loses in Court. Judge Rules They Can't Scan and Lend eBooks
  8. OpenAI Admits ChatGPT Leaked Some Payment Data, Blames Open-Source Bug
  9. A Geometric Shape That Does Not Repeat Itself When Tiled
  10. Major Shake-Up Coming For Fermilab
  11. Natural History Museums Join Forces To Produce Global Digital Inventory
  12. Starlink Rival OneWeb Poised for Global Coverage After Weekend Launch
  13. United Airlines Reveals First eVTOL Passenger Route Starting In 2025
  14. Intel Co-Founder/Creator of 'Moore's Law' Gordon Moore Dies at Age 94
  15. Huawei Claims To Have Built Its Own 14nm Chip Design Suite

Alterslash picks up to the best 5 comments from each of the day’s Slashdot stories, and presents them on a single page for easy reading.

The New US-China Proxy War Over Undersea Internet Cables

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotSkip
400 undersea cables carry 95% of the world's international internet traffic, reports Reuters (citing figures from Washington-based telecommunications research firm TeleGeography).

But now there's "a growing proxy war between the United States and China over technologies that could determine who achieves economic and military dominance for decades to come."
In February, American subsea cable company SubCom LLC began laying a $600-million cable to transport data from Asia to Europe, via Africa and the Middle East, at super-fast speeds over 12,000 miles of fiber running along the seafloor. That cable is known as South East Asia-Middle East-Western Europe 6, or SeaMeWe-6 for short. It will connect a dozen countries as it snakes its way from Singapore to France, crossing three seas and the Indian Ocean on the way. It is slated to be finished in 2025.

It was a project that slipped through China's fingers....

The Singapore-to-France cable would have been HMN Tech's biggest such project to date, cementing it as the world's fastest-rising subsea cable builder, and extending the global reach of the three Chinese telecom firms that had intended to invest in it. But the U.S. government, concerned about the potential for Chinese spying on these sensitive communications cables, ran a successful campaign to flip the contract to SubCom through incentives and pressure on consortium members.... It's one of at least six private undersea cable deals in the Asia-Pacific region over the past four years where the U.S. government either intervened to keep HMN Tech from winning that business, or forced the rerouting or abandonment of cables that would have directly linked U.S. and Chinese territories....

Justin Sherman, a fellow at the Cyber Statecraft Initiative of the Atlantic Council, a Washington-based think tank, told Reuters that undersea cables were "a surveillance gold mine" for the world's intelligence agencies. "When we talk about U.S.-China tech competition, when we talk about espionage and the capture of data, submarine cables are involved in every aspect of those rising geopolitical tensions," Sherman said.

Google Security Researchers Accuse CentOS of Failing to Backport Kernel Fixes

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotSkip
An anonymous reader quotes Neowin:
Google Project Zero is a security team responsible for discovering security flaws in Google's own products as well as software developed by other vendors. Following discovery, the issues are privately reported to vendors and they are given 90 days to fix the reported problems before they are disclosed publicly.... Now, the security team has reported several flaws in CentOS' kernel.

As detailed in the technical document here, Google Project Zero's security researcher Jann Horn learned that kernel fixes made to stable trees are not backported to many enterprise versions of Linux. To validate this hypothesis, Horn compared the CentOS Stream 9 kernel to the stable linux-5.15.y stable tree.... As expected, it turned out that several kernel fixes have not been made deployed in older, but supported versions of CentOS Stream/RHEL. Horn further noted that for this case, Project Zero is giving a 90-day deadline to release a fix, but in the future, it may allot even stricter deadlines for missing backports....

Red Hat accepted all three bugs reported by Horn and assigned them CVE numbers. However, the company failed to fix these issues in the allotted 90-day timeline, and as such, these vulnerabilities are being made public by Google Project Zero.
Horn is urging better patch scheduling so "an attacker who wants to quickly find a nice memory corruption bug in CentOS/RHEL can't just find such bugs in the delta between upstream stable and your kernel."

Amazon Rejects Petition from 30,000 Workers Opposing Return-to-Office Mandate

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotSkip
An anonymous reader shares this report from the New York Post:
Disgruntled Amazon corporate employees are reportedly devastated after a top human resources executive shot down an internal petition that asked the tech giant's leaders to nix its return-to-office plan. Approximately 30,000 workers had signed a petition begging CEO Andy Jassy to cancel his directive that most employees work on site at least three days per week. The return-to-office plan is slated to take effect on May 1.

Beth Galetti, Amazon's HR chief, shot down the petition in a message to organizers obtained by Insider and signaled that the return-to-office plan will move forward as scheduled. "Given the large size of our workforce and our wide range of businesses and customers, we recognize this transition may take time, but we are confident it will result in long-term benefits to increasing our ability to deliver for our customers, bolstering our culture, and growing and developing employees," Galetti said in the memo....

In the petition, which first surfaced last month, Amazon workers argued they are more productive and enjoy a better work-life balance in a remote work environment. The workers also asserted that the three-day-per-week requirement runs contrary to Amazon's stances on issues such as affordable housing, diversity and climate change.... Meanwhile, Jassy has argued that working more days on site will help build effective collaboration and "deliver for customers and the business."

Eat your own dogfood

By Opportunist • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Jassy, I believe you the second you sit down in the middle of that open floor plan.

Re:Good stuff

By Opportunist • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

The problem with this attitude is that the first ones to leave are also exactly the ones you cannot lose: The ones that can snap their fingers and get snatched up by another company because they have a skill set that's in high demand.

And you'll be stuck with the duds that can't just do that and have to grin and bear it.

Re:Eat your own dogfood

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

He literally has his own floor in the Seattle office that's blocked off by security. I know someone who accidentally ended up there when they were knew (big oops for security) and was basically interrogated for 2 hours by security over it. Nice welcome to the company.

The guy is an almighty hypocrite, he basically has his own high security penthouse on site.

The real driver for this is the mayor of Seattle has offered significant tax incentives for bringing people back to the office there to bring more business to Seattle town centre shops etc., so those workers in Seattle who are pissed off at the return mandate are refusing to use public transport, car pooling in and buying their dinner locally near their homes and bringing it in with them to make a point. Jassy's argument of "We need to help businesses local to the offices" falls flat when that necessarily means at the expense of businesses close to people's homes.

Amazon is going to have severe productivity issues; you don't piss off 1million workers to no effect. That's not how managing a company works.

He's trashing the company, Bezos for all his faults was a far more competent CEO. Amazon is really struggling under Jassy, but that's what you get when you make a literal mouth breather CEO of a company with 1.5million people in it.

Re:How to drive away the best employees?

By Opportunist • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

You'll find that the more successful companies are going to be those that cater to their prime assets, and that's gonna be good workers.

I don't know about you, but no matter who I talk to in my circle of friends, everyone is lamenting the lack of skilled workers. Everyone is hiring, everyone is searching, everyone is decrying that they have to hire unqualified people and get them up to speed because it's virtually impossible to even get anyone who knows his shit.

And it's never been easier than to attract good personnel than today. We're not the highest paying company in the field. Not by a longshot. But we offer an unparalleled work-life balance. Seriously, you name it, you'll get it. At this point it's pretty much "work whenever and wherever you want, what matters is your work gets done". There are of course some limitations, e.g. you should be present (or at least telepresent) for important meetings and certain tests can only be done on-site because they don't want to deliver a machine that costs a couple millions and should better not end up in the wrong hands to my garage, but that's the general situation. And the dress code is basically "it would be nice if at least the naughty parts are covered, if that's not asking too much". I remember when I started and asked for the dress code my boss (then boss-to-be) said "Uh... well, I'm wearing my Metallica t-shirt today, but if you don't have one that's fine".

And yes, that's a job perk younger generations want. We can be competitive without paying premium Euro, simply by having kick-ass social benefits and a very great attitude towards formality and work-life. Our higher-ups quickly realized "hey, it doesn't cost money and gives us top performer? Yeah, we want that!"

Re:Good stuff

By Opportunist • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

I, very unfortunately, HAVE first hand experience of exactly that. If you introduce an unfavorable atmosphere in a company, people will start to look for alternatives. I've seen this more than once. And the ones that are good at what they do, that have something to show for, that can demonstrate that they know their shit, they will find something else quickly. The duds who should be lucky that there was a company dumb enough to hire them won't.

DoomLinux: the Distro That Loads Only Enough Software to Play DOOM

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotSkip
Hackaday recently shared some thoughts on "purpose-built" distros:
Some examples are Kali for security testing, DragonOS for software-defined radio, or Hannah Montana Linux for certain music fans.

Anyone can roll their own Linux distribution with the right tools, including [Shadly], who recently created one which only loads enough software to launch the 1993 classic DOOM.... It loads the Linux kernel and the standard utilities via BusyBox, then runs fbDOOM, which is a port of the game specifically designed to run on the Linux framebuffer with minimal dependencies.
Their report includes video of the distro booting up and playing Doom.

"The entire distribution is placed into a bootable ISO file that can be placed on any bootable drive."

DOOM with no sound

By 93 Escort Wagon • Score: 3 • Thread

No music, no sound of gunfire or explosions (nor the "ka-chunk" of the switch when you finish the episode) - it just seems weird to me.

FSF Honors Emacs Co-Maintainer, 'Replicant' Developer, and Videoconferencing Tool Jami

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotSkip
The Free Software Foundation held their annual LibrePlanet conference last week — and announced that Eli Zaretskii, co-maintainer of GNU Emacs, won their "Advancement of Free Software" award. "He has been a contributor to Emacs for more than thirty years," notes the FSF announcement, "and as co-maintainer, coordinates the work of more than two hundred active contributors. During Zaretskii's tenure as co-maintainer, the Emacs development community has implemented several important new features, including native compilation of the editor's Emacs Lisp backbone into machine code."

Zaretskii was honored with a recorded message from the original author/principal maintainer of GNU Emacs back in 1985, Richard Stallman:
"For many years, I was the principal maintainer of GNU Emacs, but then others came along to do the work, and I haven't been heavily involved in Emacs development for many, many years. Nowadays, our principal maintainer of Emacs is extremely diligent and conscientious and has brought about a renaissance in new features and new packages added to Emacs, and the result is very impressive. So I'm happy to give the Free Software Award to Eli Zaretskii, principal maintainer of GNU Emacs. Thank you for your work."

In his recorded acceptance of the award, Zaretskii said, "The truth is my contribution to free software in general and to Emacs development in particular is quite modest, certainly compared to those who won this award before me.... And even my modest achievement as the Emacs developer and lately the co-maintainer would have been impossible without all the other contributors and the Emacs community as a whole. No significant free software project can be developed, maintained, and led forward without participation and support of its members. And Emacs is no exception."
Their award for Outstanding New Free Software Contributor went to Tad (SkewedZeppelin), the chief developer of DivestOS, a fork of Android which removes many proprietary binaries "and which puts freedom, security, and device longevity as its main concerns," according to the FSF's announcement. "Tad has also contributed to the Replicant distribution of Android, a project fiscally sponsored by the FSF."

And their award for Project of Social Benefit went to GNU Jami, a free software videoconferencing tool "that is fully decentralized and encrypted, allowing thousands around the world to communicate in both freedom and security. In contrast to proprietary conferencing programs like Zoom, which are nonfree software, Jami is an official GNU package licensed under the GNU GPLv3+."

TikTok Trackers Embedded in U.S. State-Government Websites, Review Finds

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotSkip
Toronto-based Feroot Security "found that so-called tracking pixels from the TikTok parent company were present in 30 U.S. state-government websites across 27 states," reports the Wall Street Journal, "including some where the app has been banned from state networks and devices." The review was performed in January and February.
The presence of that code means that U.S. state governments around the country are inadvertently participating in a data-collection effort for a foreign-owned company, one that senior Biden administration officials and lawmakers of both parties have said could be harmful to U.S. national security and the privacy of Americans.

Administrators who manage government websites use such pixels to help measure the effectiveness of advertising they have purchased on TikTok.... The presence of the TikTok tracking code on government websites underlines the challenge for those who deem the China-owned app a potential data-security threat. Lawmakers in both parties are considering a nationwide ban, but simply uprooting the app from U.S. smartphones wouldn't stop all data-tracking activities....

Feroot found that the average website it studied had more than 13 embedded pixels. Google's were far and away the most common, with 92% of websites examined having some sort of Google tracking pixel embedded. About 50% of the websites the firm examined had Microsoft Corp. or Facebook pixels. TikTok had a presence in less than 10% of sites examined.

Is it just me

By drinkypoo • Score: 3, Interesting • Thread

Is it just me or are the tracking pixels way less interesting than the app?

China can buy the same pixel tracking data from any number of vendors. But the TikTok app has, for example, been caught sniffing clipboards even after they were caught previously and promised to stop. And more relevantly, they algorithmically present content like everybody else does — is that really who we want making those recommendations to children?

I recognize there's a real freedom of speech issue here, but it's also complicated.

Inadvertently? I think not.

By gweihir • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Tracking pixels do not place themselves inside a web-page. They are either deliberately placed or they come with some library or framework and the developer did not care and did not check for them. They are _not_ hard to find.

Re:Here's a side question

By e065c8515d206cb0e190 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Whataboutism. False equivalence. All of that in the FP. Congratulations.

Internet Archive Loses in Court. Judge Rules They Can't Scan and Lend eBooks

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotSkip
The Verge reports:
A federal judge has ruled against the Internet Archive in Hachette v. Internet Archive, a lawsuit brought against it by four book publishers, deciding that the website does not have the right to scan books and lend them out like a library. Judge John G. Koeltl decided that the Internet Archive had done nothing more than create "derivative works," and so would have needed authorization from the books' copyright holders — the publishers — before lending them out through its National Emergency Library program. The Internet Archive says it will appeal.
The decision was "a blow to all libraries and the communities we serve," argued Chris Freeland, the director of Open Libraries at the Internet Archive. In a blog post he argued the decision "impacts libraries across the U.S. who rely on controlled digital lending to connect their patrons with books online.
It hurts authors by saying that unfair licensing models are the only way their books can be read online. And it holds back access to information in the digital age, harming all readers, everywhere.
The Verge adds that the judge rejected "fair use" arguments which had previously protected a 2014 digital book preservation project by Google Books and HathiTrust:
Koetl wrote that any "alleged benefits" from the Internet Archive's library "cannot outweigh the market harm to the publishers," declaring that "there is nothing transformative about [Internet Archive's] copying and unauthorized lending," and that copying these books doesn't provide "criticism, commentary, or information about them." He notes that the Google Books use was found "transformative" because it created a searchable database instead of simply publishing copies of books on the internet.

Koetl also dismissed arguments that the Internet Archive might theoretically have helped publishers sell more copies of their books, saying there was no direct evidence, and that it was "irrelevant" that the Internet Archive had purchased its own copies of the books before making copies for its online audience. According to data obtained during the trial, the Internet Archive currently hosts around 70,000 e-book "borrows" a day.
Thanks to long-time Slashdot reader esme for sharing the news.

Re:Are the authors still alive

By Joce640k • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

So if an author and their family spend several years living in poverty while writing a masterpiece that would have brought them a well-earned reward, and the author is then unlucky enough to fall under a bus the day after publication, you think all the expected economic benefit of writing and publishing that book should immediately disappear for the author's estate?

Immediately? No.

After a certain time? Yes.

And it should be a much shorter time than the time established in Mickey Mouse protection act.

The Internet Archive suspeded restrictions

By teg • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Engadget has more details. Of particular importance:

Before March 2020, the Internet Archive’s Open Library program operated under what’s known as a controlled digital lending system, meaning there was often a waitlist to borrow a book from its collection..

However, when the pandemic hit, The Internet Archive decided to launch the “National Emergency Library” during the early days of the pandemic where it lifted the restrictions of controlled digital lending. IOW, they no longer only lent according to the number of physical volumes they had.

If this angle is correct, it's hardly surprising that the publishers reacted.

Re:Are the authors still alive

By bill_mcgonigle • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

He's obviously referring to "author's life plus 75 years".

Seven years was the original deal. Read Sam Clemens's take on it.

Re: So! It is official!

By too2late • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
Their lending model works like this. They purchase a paper copy of the book, scan it to digital format, and then lend out the digital copy to one person at a time. Their argument is that this is no different than lending out the paper copy that they legally own to one person at a time. It is not as cut and dry as you make it out to be.

Re:Are the authors still alive

By slack_justyb • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

So if an author and their family spend several years living in poverty

That would be a failure of society for allowing such. People should not have to go into "poverty" just to pursue an interest. Children should not go hungry, people should not be evicted from their homes, and families should not live on the streets for the simple fact that a person wishes to pursue their interest. The society that you are putting forth as the one which we should derive a lesson from is a barbaric society that simply should not, and fortunately for the United States, does not exist. The world we live in is able to extract great wealth and advancement unlike any other age of man ever to have existed, that we have not completely stamped out poverty is not because people wish to chase after their dreams, it is because there exists a subset of mankind that wishes to own everything and leave nothing else for their fellow man. These publishers enshrine this mentality that impoverishes humanity, allows darkness and despair for those who wish to dream to endure, and continues the very ideal that one must go into complete destitution in order to somehow succeed. You sir, have bought hook, line, and sinker the bullshit these companies have fed you and like a good mongrel have regurgitated it on command.

The idea of publishing books within a copyright-based legal framework is that if a book is successful then you can enjoy the economic rewards

But this is hardly the case. Why do we have fifteenth edition of calculus books? Why do we have anti-consumer bullshit like online codes to unlock more information from the book that can only be used once online? Why do we have publishing companies that place great legal burden on book resalers? This is because the publishers take and authors must write. The J. K. Rowling's of the world are such because they are rare. We don't regularly talk about these mega million authors because it's not a regular thing. Publishers pay pittance to the authors that write the books. Whatever economic reward you think there is, it is a lie sold to you. They point out look at this J. K. Rowling, look at this George R.R. Martin, and tell you that "YOU TOO COULD BE THIS PERSON!!" Only that is not the case, 99% chance you will be someone who writes a book and sees "economic reward" similar to a junior data analysis at a investment bank. And then only for a few years, then you will have your publisher indicate to you that they need a new version of your book or they need new material. Otherwise they'll toss you onto the reduced royalties that will pay you roughly the wage of most grocery store managers. Again, your statement here is based in fiction that these companies have sold to you.

That's the incentive that makes it worth investing the time and taking the risk of creating the work in the first place.

Clearly you have never written a book. There are tens of millions of books written every year. No person thinks they're winning the lotto and being the next Stephenie Meyer. This is like asking anyone who programs why they just don't write an app and retire on the profit they gain. It's a absolutely naive statement you have made here.

If you take away that reward at the worst possible time if an author is unlucky but others who have sacrificed to help the book get created are still with us then you're not living up to your side of the bargain

Clearly you've not seen legal disputes between estates and publishers. That bargain is only as good as the family can produce lawyers, if they were impoverish to begin with, that publisher is absolutely going to run them over. What are they going to do? Sue? They need money to hire a lawyer that will put up a good enough defense against their team of lawyers.

Your comment is woefully uninformed of the realities in this world and full of corporate boot licking platitudes. There's no part of what you have

OpenAI Admits ChatGPT Leaked Some Payment Data, Blames Open-Source Bug

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotSkip
OpenAI took ChatGPT offline earlier this week "due to a bug in an open-source library which allowed some users to see titles from another active user's chat history," according to an OpenAI blog post. "It's also possible that the first message of a newly-created conversation was visible in someone else's chat history if both users were active around the same time....

"Upon deeper investigation, we also discovered that the same bug may have caused the unintentional visibility of payment-related information of 1.2% of the ChatGPT Plus subscribers who were active during a specific nine-hour window."
In the hours before we took ChatGPT offline on Monday, it was possible for some users to see another active user's first and last name, email address, payment address, the last four digits (only) of a credit card number, and credit card expiration date. Full credit card numbers were not exposed at any time.

We believe the number of users whose data was actually revealed to someone else is extremely low. To access this information, a ChatGPT Plus subscriber would have needed to do one of the following:

- Open a subscription confirmation email sent on Monday, March 20, between 1 a.m. and 10 a.m. Pacific time. Due to the bug, some subscription confirmation emails generated during that window were sent to the wrong users. These emails contained the last four digits of another user's credit card number, but full credit card numbers did not appear. It's possible that a small number of subscription confirmation emails might have been incorrectly addressed prior to March 20, although we have not confirmed any instances of this.

- In ChatGPT, click on "My account," then "Manage my subscription" between 1 a.m. and 10 a.m. Pacific time on Monday, March 20. During this window, another active ChatGPT Plus user's first and last name, email address, payment address, the last four digits (only) of a credit card number, and credit card expiration date might have been visible. It's possible that this also could have occurred prior to March 20, although we have not confirmed any instances of this.

We have reached out to notify affected users that their payment information may have been exposed. We are confident that there is no ongoing risk to users' data. Everyone at OpenAI is committed to protecting our users' privacy and keeping their data safe. It's a responsibility we take incredibly seriously. Unfortunately, this week we fell short of that commitment, and of our users' expectations. We apologize again to our users and to the entire ChatGPT community and will work diligently to rebuild trust.

The bug was discovered in the Redis client open-source library, redis-py. As soon as we identified the bug, we reached out to the Redis maintainers with a patch to resolve the issue.
"The bug is now patched. We were able to restore both the ChatGPT service and, later, its chat history feature, with the exception of a few hours of history."

Oooh no you do *not* get to play the unintended

By gTsiros • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

... victim.

Your *program* leaked the information. Not a third-party. Your program. Yours.

"But but it could also be intel sidechannel embedded arm processor undocumented zero day not my fault"

yeah. Tough shit. Welcome to the club. You tried making money off of something demonstrably uncontrollable and downright atrocious.

Computers suck. Deal with it or take up knitting.

Re:One bug or another

By shanen • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

And never a liability to pay for!

Or hasn't anyone explained to you how the EULA works? (I score that as one of Microsoft's two earned points. The other was marketing upstream from the victims AKA users.)

Then again, I might be even more hopelessly confused than usual. I don't understand "tays" in your context. Please clarify?

I'm finding it increasingly difficult to believe technology can solve more problems than it creates. Take the example of network-propagated misinformation. (Kind of a dual of the main problem of this story, which is about the malicious propagation of valid information.) I used to think that disinformation could best be addressed, possibly even solved, by "knowing your sources". My tag for that idea was MEPR, standing for Multidimensional Earned Public Reputation. Short summary is that a low credibility source would have a low MEPR and low visibility. Only sources that earned high MEPRs would potentially have high visibility, though people could still consider the various dimensions and no identity would be able to create the equivalent of a Christmas Tree Packet...

As far as I know, there are no websites that implement strong MEPR systems. Probably Funny joke there is that Slashdot's moderation system might be the closest approach to MEPR in the real world. (For example, almost no ACs.) At least I've been unable to find a better one, and I've been searching for years. But maybe you have a URL to hurl my way?

But now? I think ChatGPT (with or without bugs) might be the perfect tool to automate MEPR inflation for sock puppets. That includes linking to real persons to prevent isolating the networks of circle-jerking sock puppets.

Y'all have a real nice day. Y'ear?

(And I do think this story has high potential for Funny. Too bad I can't write funny, eh?)

A Geometric Shape That Does Not Repeat Itself When Tiled

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotSkip
IHTFISP shares a report from Phys.Org:
A quartet of mathematicians from Yorkshire University, the University of Cambridge, the University of Waterloo and the University of Arkansas has discovered a 2D geometric shape that does not repeat itself when tiled. David Smith, Joseph Samuel Myers, Craig Kaplan and Chaim Goodman-Strauss have written a paper describing how they discovered the unique shape and possible uses for it. Their full paper is available on the arXiv preprint server. [...]

The shape has 13 sides and the team refers to it simply as "the hat." They found it by first paring down possibilities using a computer and then by studying the resulting smaller sets by hand. Once they had what they believed was a good possibility, they tested it using a combinatorial software program -- and followed that up by proving the shape was aperiodic using a geometric incommensurability argument. The researchers close by suggesting that the most likely application of the hat is in the arts.

Quicker summary

By isj • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Think Penrose tiles. But done with a single shape.

DIY nightmare

By Powercntrl • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

As someone who has laid flooring tile a few times, let me be the first to say: I'd hate to have to grout that.

Re:DIY nightmare

By Excelcia • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

I'd hate to have to grout that.

That's not the only problem. You would need special software to lay it, because it not only has the ability to have no repeating section, it also has the ability to make it so you can't add onto it any more. You could easily be laying tiles and have them fit nicely, only to find that you've created a design that doesn't actually work. Imagine getting 2/3rds of a room done, and discovering because of the way you permuted it ten tiles in you can't go any further. A shape like this that admits infinite many tilings that work, also admits infinite that don't.

Heat Shielding?

By bill_mcgonigle • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Thermal tiles on a reentry vehicle with no stress line patterns?

Can this be tessellated into a geodesic dome? I might have to relearn that math. A single-shape construction system would be nice if we're going to colonize planets and stuff.

Still very similar

By Dwedit • Score: 3 • Thread

Might not be a true 100% repeating pattern, but it looks extremely similar, and maybe close enough to count as such.

Here is one placed on top of another at an offset position at 50% transparency:

Major Shake-Up Coming For Fermilab

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotSkip
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Science Magazine:
In an unusual move, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has quietly begun a new competition for the contract to run the United States's sole dedicated particle physics laboratory. Announced in January, the rebid comes 1 year after Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), which is managed in part by the University of Chicago (UChicago), failed an annual DOE performance review and 9 months after it named a new director. DOE would not comment, but observers say its frustrations include cost increases and delays in a gargantuan new neutrino experiment.

"I don't think it's surprising at all given the department's evaluation of [Fermilab's] performance," says James Decker, a physicist and consultant with Decker, Garman, Sullivan & Associates, LLC, who served as principal deputy director of DOE's Office of Science from 1973 to 2007. Although Fermilab passed its 2022 performance evaluation, the one for fiscal year 2021 was "one of the most scathing I have seen," Decker says.

DOE has already solicited letters of interest and will issue a request for formal proposals this summer. It intends to award the new contract by the end of the next fiscal year, 30 September 2024, and transfer control of the lab, which employs 2100 staff and has an annual budget of $614 million, on January 1, 2025. UChicago hopes to win the contract again, says Paul Alivisatos, president of the university, who is also chair of FRA's board of directors and a former director of DOE's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. "We absolutely will be bidding to continue." [...] How many parties will bid on the contract remains unclear. Managing the lab requires very specific technical expertise but pays $5 million per year, at most. "I don't think that there are too many organizations that could really compete for this contract," Decker says. If just UChicago or URA bid on the new contract, they'll need a new partner, multiple observers say, perhaps one with expertise in huge construction projects. DOE is sure to insist that something changes.

Elon'll fix it

By haruchai • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

1) Put the galaxy's greatest ever genius in charge
2) Make his takeover a PPV reality series at $8/mth

first woman

By groobly • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

"...first woman to hold the position." Scientists don't always make the best administrators. In fact, the opposite is usually the case. Choosing scientists to be administrators based on sex seems like it might have some pitfalls.

Re: Outsource to China?

By NateFromMich • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
You forgot virus gain of function experiments.

Project based science doesn't work well

By joe_frisch • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
When labs are bidding to build very large (>10 years scale) projects, there is a strong pressure for each lab claim an unrealistically low cost in order to win the contract. Then, by the time the real project cost becomes apparent, the original management team has moved on. Labs that don't do this are unlikely to win the contract in the first place.

Its easy to make the early stages of the project look successful, management pushes the technically challenging parts of the project out, so they can claim completion of WBS items and appear to be on-budget, on-schedule for years, even when they are actually far behind.

When the projects are highly technical, it can be very difficult for reviewers to accurately evaluate the proposal and budgets. (I've been on both sides of the table on big project reviews for DOE accelerator projects).

IMHO the entire idea of project-based funding is broken for science projects. Better to have annual budgets that the labs can spend as they with, with backward looking reviews to see that the funds were spent effectively.

Re:first woman

By jalvarez13 • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

"Choosing scientists to be administrators based on sex seems like it might have some pitfalls.

Well, the fact that 100% of her predecessors were male could also be seen as a result of a process that was incredibly gender biased.

Natural History Museums Join Forces To Produce Global Digital Inventory

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotSkip
Dozens of the world's largest natural history museums revealed on Thursday a survey of everything in their collections. The global inventory is made up of 1.1 billion objects that range from dinosaur skulls to pollen grains to mosquitoes. The New York Times reports:
The survey's organizers, who described the effort in the journal Science, said they hoped the survey would help museums join forces to answer pressing questions, such as how quickly species are becoming extinct and how climate change is altering the natural world. "It gives us intelligence now to start thinking about things that museums can do together that we wouldn't have conceived of before," said Kirk Johnson, the director of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington and one of the leaders of the project. "It's the argument for networking the global museum."

Scientists had created smaller inventory databases before. But the new effort, which included 73 museums in 28 countries, was unparalleled, experts said. The survey revealed important gaps in the world's collections. Relatively few objects come from the regions around the earth's poles, which are especially vulnerable to the impact of global warming, for example. Insects, the most diverse group of animal species, were also underrepresented.

"The analysis is at a global scale that no one else has managed," said Emily Meineke, an entomologist at the University of California, Davis, who was not involved in the survey. Dr. Meineke said that this survey of large institutions also laid the groundwork for surveys of smaller ones, which might hold even more surprises. "Once these methods are applied down the line to smaller collections, the results are likely to give us a truer picture of biodiversity globally," she said.


By Ol Olsoc • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
The state of the world has always been one that has some shakiness between those who desire knowledge, and those for whom it is a threat, creating a knowledge inventory base that is the equivalent of the Svalbard seed repository is a tremendous and good task. Everyone gets a copy, and some are hidden away for possible future need.

I wonder why

By Phaid • Score: 3 • Thread

They didn't use blockchain?

Starlink Rival OneWeb Poised for Global Coverage After Weekend Launch

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotSkip
British satellite company OneWeb is gearing up for the launch of its final batch of internet satellites, completing a constellation in low Earth orbit despite some hiccups along the way. Gizmodo reports:
India's heaviest launch vehicle LVM-3 will carry 36 OneWeb satellites, with liftoff slated for Sunday at 11:30 p.m. ET, according to OneWeb. The launch will take place at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, India, marking OneWeb's second deployment from India. You can watch the launch at the livestream [here].

OneWeb has been building an internet constellation in low Earth orbit since 2020, and it currently consists of 579 functioning satellites, according to statistics kept by Harvard-Smithsonian astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell. The addition of 36 new units will raise the population of the constellation to 615, completing the first orbital shell. The company had originally planned on building a 648-unit constellation, but it says this final launch will cap it off and allow for global coverage.

Re:Awwww ... competiton

By backslashdot • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Elon stole their idea when they went to him for launch services. Reference:

Note: Oneweb changed their name from WorldVu.

United Airlines Reveals First eVTOL Passenger Route Starting In 2025

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotSkip
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica:
In 2025, United Airlines will fly an air taxi service between the downtown Vertiport Chicago and O'Hare International Airport, using electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft it is purchasing from Archer Aviation. The Archer Midnight eVTOL aircraft will complete the route in about 10 minutes; according to local resident and Ars Managing Editor Eric Bangeman, that journey by car can take over an hour due to road construction. "Both Archer and United are committed to decarbonizing air travel and leveraging innovative technologies to deliver on the promise of the electrification of the aviation industry," said Michael Leskinen, president of United Airlines Ventures. "Once operational, we're excited to offer our customers a more sustainable, convenient, and cost-effective mode of transportation during their commutes to the airport."

If Chicago works out, United plans to add other airport-to-city "trunk routes," with "branch" routes between different communities coming later. The Archer Midnight has a range of 100 miles (160 km) and a top speed of 150 mph (241 km/h). If approved by the FAA, the Chicago air shuttle would be the first commercial eVTOL service to begin operating in North America. Asked about the cost, an Archer spokesperson told the Chicago Sun-Times that the company hopes to make the service competitive with Uber Black, so it will be roughly $100 for the trip.

Similarities to the Bell V-280

By CaptQuark • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

The concept drawing looks a little like the military's replacement for the V-22 Osprey -- the Bell Helicopter's V-280 Valor.

It has rotatable drive blades that tilt forward to supply thrust for normal fixed-wing flight. With six motors supplying forward thrust, it should still have enough power to maintain lift even if one motor has problems.

If the cost is the same as a using a limo or ride share, I would love to get to the airport in just 10 minutes. The disadvantage to the limo service is I would still need to get to the Vertiport, but that might be easier than getting to O'Hare with traffic.

Or just take the train...

By An Ominous Cow Erred • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Modernise the train coonnections -- they're already there, and it won't take much more than 10 minutes and be a heck of a lot cheaper for the volume.

Re:Or just take the train...

By mobby_6kl • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

Modernise the train coonnections -- they're already there, and it won't take much more than 10 minutes and be a heck of a lot cheaper for the volume

Sorry, that sounds like communism!

Re:Slower than a helicopter

By gavron • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Bit of a shame as a vtol it's still slower than a helicopter which go around 200 mph ...

Helicopters cruise at 160 knots (around 160MPH).

I'm a current FAA commercial rotorcraft pilot, and helicopters don't go 200mph (174 knots). The tiltrotors aren't helicopters, and the V-22 Osprey and V-280 demonstrate those faster speeds in fixed-wing prop-plane mode, not VTOL/SVTOL helicopter mode. SImilarly, experimental aircraft with a pusher motor like the X2 are a hybrid, but lack sufficient lift to cary a bunch of VIPs cross-town.

If you include military aircraft, here are the top 18 speed demons in the helicopter world
You'll note that maximum speed on some exceeds 200MPH but only momentaritly. Cruise speed is 180MPH (156kts).

Some science:
This is a result of two aerodynamic factors. One is disemmetry of lift, where the blade advancing into the wind generates much more lift than the retreating blade. This is usally compensated for in Russian and Chinese helicopters by coaxial counter-rotating main rotors. This works but results in more turbulence and less power at the main rotor because the rotors interfere with each other's airflow.

The second factor is that going faster and faster, the outer edge of the leading blade approaches the speed of sound while the inner part is below that. Crossing that sound barrier mid-blade would likely lead to blade shatter. No test pilot has made such a flight. Sci-fi wise, Airworlf would "disengage its rotor" and use a rocket engine ("give me turbos, Dom") to blast from airspeed+rotor-edge-speed sonic+retreating-blade-edge-speed. It's sci fi, but during such an "event" the rotors would be "disengaged" meaning no lift, no thrust, and no controls. Fun show though.

There are other factors (the aircraft shape through the air, crabbing to reduce drag but lower efficience and speed, etc.) but disymmetry of lift is the hudle yet to be overcome.

NEVERTHELESS, what if this eVTOL thing DID go 200MPH or even 250MPH? What difference does it make on a 10 minute run --assuming instantaneous ground to max airspeed and the reverse on setdown -- 10 min @ 150MPH = 4Min. 10 min @ 200MPH = 3 Min. Time to board and put small carryon case, find seat, sit down, sorry no drink or lav service, seat belt briefing because airlines seat belt laws were created when seat belts in vehicles were a dealer option -- WELL ABOVE THE ENTIRE FLIGHT TIME.

The point of this futuristic wish eVTOL is to avoid exiting the sterile area, hailing a ride, getting through crosstown traffic, rescreening through security theater, and going to the gate. That's where the true time savings is. 3min or 4min for travel, nobody cares.

Intel Co-Founder/Creator of 'Moore's Law' Gordon Moore Dies at Age 94

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotSkip
Intel announced Friday that Gordon Moore, Intel's co-founder, has died at the age of 94:
Moore and his longtime colleague Robert Noyce founded Intel in July 1968. Moore initially served as executive vice president until 1975, when he became president. In 1979, Moore was named chairman of the board and chief executive officer, posts he held until 1987, when he gave up the CEO position and continued as chairman. In 1997, Moore became chairman emeritus, stepping down in 2006.

During his lifetime, Moore also dedicated his focus and energy to philanthropy, particularly environmental conservation, science and patient care improvements. Along with his wife of 72 years, he established the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, which has donated more than $5.1 billion to charitable causes since its founding in 2000....

"Though he never aspired to be a household name, Gordon's vision and his life's work enabled the phenomenal innovation and technological developments that shape our everyday lives," said foundation president Harvey Fineberg. "Yet those historic achievements are only part of his legacy. His and Betty's generosity as philanthropists will shape the world for generations to come."

Pat Gelsinger, Intel CEO, said, "Gordon Moore defined the technology industry through his insight and vision. He was instrumental in revealing the power of transistors, and inspired technologists and entrepreneurs across the decades. We at Intel remain inspired by Moore's Law and intend to pursue it until the periodic table is exhausted...."

Prior to establishing Intel, Moore and Noyce participated in the founding of Fairchild Semiconductor, where they played central roles in the first commercial production of diffused silicon transistors and later the world's first commercially viable integrated circuits. The two had previously worked together under William Shockley, the co-inventor of the transistor and founder of Shockley Semiconductor, which was the first semiconductor company established in what would become Silicon Valley.

Never became a household name

By Powercntrl • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

But nevertheless, he still had a profound impact on the world. This great man was content to let his work speak for itself.

There's a certain "tech leader" today who would do well to follow Moore's example. I mean the being humble part, obviously (not the passing away).

Hold on a second

By 93 Escort Wagon • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Has Netcraft confirmed this?

Maybe not 100% with Moore's Law

By l810c • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

But just dang was he closer than most predictions since the 1960's

Re:Moore's Law is dead

By narcc • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Philosophical? Gordon Moore just died. Moore's law, in contrast, has been dead for years.

We know it's dead because we get stupid articles here ever few months arguing about how it really still holds true provided that we use some completely different metric, look at it from the side while squinting, and wish really hard.

History will remember the Founders of Intel

By 93 Escort Wagon • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Robert Noyce, Gordon Moore, and Elon Musk.

Huawei Claims To Have Built Its Own 14nm Chip Design Suite

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDot
Huawei has reportedly completed work on electronic design automation (EDA) tools for laying out and making chips down to 14nm process nodes. The Register reports:
Chinese media said the platform is one of 78 being developed by the telecoms equipment giant to replace American and European chip design toolkits that have become subject to export controls by the US and others. Huawei's EDA platform was reportedly revealed by rotating Chairman Xu Zhijun during a meeting in February, and later confirmed by media in China. [...] Huawei's focus on EDA software for 14nm and larger chips reflects the current state of China's semiconductor industry. State-backed foundry operator SMIC currently possesses the ability to produce 14nm chips at scale, although there have been some reports the company has had success developing a 7nm process node.

Today, the EDA market is largely controlled by three companies: California-based Synopsys and Cadence, as well as Germany's Siemens. According to the industry watchers at TrendForce, these three companies account for roughly 75 percent of the EDA market. And this poses a problem for Chinese chipmakers and foundries, which have steadily found themselves cut off from these tools. Synopsys and Cadence's EDA tech is already subject to several of these export controls, which were stiffened by the US Commerce Department last summer to include state-of-the-art gate-all-around (GAA) transistors. This January, the White House also reportedly stopped issuing export licenses to companies supplying the likes of Huawei.

This is particularly troublesome for Huawei, foundry operator SMIC, and memory vendor YMTC to name a few on the US Entity List, a roster of companies Uncle Sam would prefer you not to do business with. It leaves them unable to access recent and latest technologies, at the very least. So the development of a homegrown EDA platform for 14nm chips serves as insurance in case broader access to Western production platforms is cut off entirely.

Borrowed tech

By Sarusa • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

I'm sure they have, using tech they've espionaged from the US, Taiwan, and Europe. Like their space program is the finest in NASA and ESA tech.

They're bad at R&D, but excellent production engineers, can certainly make some improvements to it once they've five-fingered the basics - at this point they're arguably ahead of everyone at practical quantum communications.

Re:Borrowed tech

By ShanghaiBill • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

The EDA software is the easy part.

Let's see them build their own EUV steppers.

It is quite simple, really

By Canberra1 • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
China has plenty of talented engineers who can write compilers. That is easy. A lot of that fancy banned software has 'include and import' of others building blocks - introducing incompatibilities and integration module testing issues. This is harder. Then they have a parameters of contamination and litho bleed - lines are not always as sharp. This is trial and error or even guesswork. But thanks to tunneling microscopes, they can soon work of how far behind they are, and reduce bad guesses. Now given that there are known flaws and backdoors in many purchased modules, China will do well to write their own. I suspect trial and error on round gates is still in its infancy (cant be copied, as it does not yet exist). The upshot is China has to some some expensive R&D and pump out larger dies - but pay zero royalties to nobody. The outcome will be a glut, and a price war, and banning low priced imports on good-enough product. One is confident that China will find an export market in developing price conscious markets.


By Moof123 • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

If you have ever suffered using Cadence software, any sort of solid competition is desperately welcomed. Cadence is like the Borg, buying up various competitor products and lashing it onto their Frankenstein’s monster of a product with a heap of badly written Skill code written by their Indian software group . The real insult are the rapacious pricing they impose as you are forced to use beta level software in perpetuity, and their jerk support that gaslights you every time you try to pin them down (talking about you Klaus C.).