Alterslash

the unofficial Slashdot digest archive

After Republican Protest, Oregon's Climate Plan Dies

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Oregon's climate change bill that would cap carbon emissions and make polluters pay for their greenhouse gas production is dead, Senate President Peter Courtney, a Democrat, announced on the state Senate floor Tuesday morning. "As a walkout by Republican senators over the cap-and-trade bill entered its sixth day -- and in an apparent attempt to bring them back -- Courtney gave assurances that the bill would die in the Senate chamber," reports NPR. From the report: Republican Sen. Cliff Bentz said Tuesday morning he had only just heard of Courtney's announcement and that he had questions about its meaning. "The question becomes, 'What are they trying to do?' " said Bentz, who is believed to be staying in Idaho while the boycott plays out. "Are they trying to make some sort of arrangement? If they are suggesting they don't have the votes, what's the procedure they're going to use to kill the bill?" Sen. Tim Knopp, a Republican from Bend, Ore., echoed that confusion. "We need clarification. What does that mean?" Knopp said. "Does it mean it's dead until the 2020 session? Is the governor going to take it up in a special session?" Meanwhile, senators who backed the bill appeared livid and declined to speak to reporters on the floor. All 11 Republican senators fled the state last week to avoid voting on the bill. Gov. Kate Brown ordered the Oregon State Police to find the Senate Republicans and bring them back to the Capital in Salem for a vote, but none of the Republicans had been found. The New York Times explains what this fight is really about, what's actually in the bill, and how Oregon's bill compares to other state climate policies. Here's an excerpt from the report: Senate Republicans say the legislation would have a devastating effect on farmers, dairies and the state's struggling logging industry, among others. More than that, Republicans say, the bill represents an existential threat to rural life, and they want the residents of Oregon to decide on the proposal, not the Democrats who control the state's capital.

The highly debated bill would make Oregon one of several states to impose an emissions-trading program, a market-based approach to lowering greenhouse gas emissions. The bill would place limits on the amount of carbon dioxide that businesses could lawfully emit. By 2050, for instance, the bill would mandate an 80 percent reduction in emissions from 1990 levels. Some businesses would be required to buy credits for every ton of greenhouse gas they produce. Those credits would then be purchased at special auctions and traded among businesses. Over time, the state would make fewer credits available, ultimately forcing companies to pollute less. The plan, commonly known as cap-and-trade, is modeled after a California law. It is far more extensive than most. Oregon would become just the second state, after California, to require that businesses in every sector of the economy pay for the planet-warming greenhouse gases that they emit.

Re:Americans don't want to deal with global warmin

By jfdavis668 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
No, I think the problem is that they don't want to pay the government arbitrary amounts of money that won't be spent to actually help fix the problem.

This wasn't a protest

By rsilvergun • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
It was an armed insurrection with credible threats of violence. Damn the media for not doing their job and damn the governor for not calling out the national guard.

This is literally the end of rule of law. It's terrifying. We should all be freaking the hell out right about now.

Re: This wasn't a protest

By squiggleslash • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

He possibly didn't but there are major problems with your thesis. First of all, like all of these stupid analogies, you're ignoring the fact those opposed to Jim Crow were fighting injustice, while here Republicans are fighting to let the world burn.

The other is that the support that was given to those fighting racism in the deep south was conditional on the actions being non-violent. MLK may have been more militant than his reputation suggests, but he wasn't running around threatening to kill LEOs.

Shirking Job Responsibilities

By djbckr • Score: 3 • Thread
The people voted these politicians into office. It is their job to do what the people voted for them to do, and what they get paid for. Then they run away when there is an uncomfortable position to vote on? I wish I could do that in my job.

Mars Colonization Possible Through Sperm Bank In Space, Study Suggests

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Guardian: All-female astronaut crews could reproduce in space without the help of accompanying men, new research suggests. The study found that frozen samples of sperm exposed to microgravity retained similar characteristics to sperm samples kept on the ground, raising hopes that a sperm bank could one day be set up in space to help populate new worlds. This could prove interesting for female astronauts, amid reports that future missions to Mars may involve women-only space crews. Findings from the small preliminary study, involving sperm from 10 healthy donors, suggest that "the possibility of creating a human sperm bank outside of Earth" exists, according to the researchers.

One group of sperm samples used in the study had been exposed to microgravity with the help of a small aerobatic aircraft. The samples then underwent fertility screenings and were analyzed for concentration, motility and DNA fragmentation. No significant differences were detected between samples that had been given a ride and those that had stayed on the ground.

Re:is this a joke

By JaredOfEuropa • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
It's sensationalist reporting. The study merely points out that frozen sperm can survive in space. The reporter then makes the leap to all female mars colonies.

What

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

One group of sperm samples used in the study had been exposed to microgravity with the help of a small aerobatic aircraft.

They mounted a vial of sperm on a mini "Vomit Comet," went flying for a bit, and then compared it to a "ground-based" sample? Seriously?

They really didn't have the budget to fly it up to the ISS properly, did they?

I suppose this is better than getting a lab assistant to "simulate microgravity" via vigorous shaking...

Re:is this a joke

By SqueakyMouse • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

The reporter then makes the leap to all female mars colonies.

Well that's shattered my world view. I thought men were from mars and women were from venus.

Mars Needs Women

By Antique Geekmeister • Score: 3 • Thread

Please excuse me, someone had to say it from the 1967 movie.

Robots To Take 20 Million Jobs, Worsening Inequality, Study Finds

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
A new study by Oxford Economics, a private British-based research and consulting firm, says robots are expected to take over some 20 million manufacturing jobs worldwide by 2030, extending a trend of worsening social inequality while boosting overall economic output. "The forecast set to be released Wednesday highlights growing concerns that automation and robots, while offering economic benefits, are disproportionately killing low-skill jobs and aggravating social and economic stress," reports France 24. From the report: Robots have already taken over millions of manufacturing jobs and are now gaining in services, helped by advances in computer vision, speech recognition and machine learning, the study noted. In lower-skilled regions, job losses will be twice as high as those in higher-skilled regions, even in the same country, the study concluded. According to the latest study, the current wave of "robotization" is likely ultimately to boost productivity and economic growth, generating roughly as many new jobs as it destroys. At the high end of the forecast, the researchers see a $5 trillion "robotics dividend" for the global economy by 2030 from higher productivity.

Re:Excellent

By Viol8 • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

" those people will move on to other jobs."

Oh really? Which ones exactly? I get tired of hearing this BS. Not everyone is college educated, some people need low skilled jobs or they end up unemployed and/or involved in crime. Only a naive fool thinks everyone will be involved in some high brow or creative endeavour when manual jobs go.

Re:Robots don't take anyone's jobs.

By Viol8 • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

"employees previously doing mundane (or even dangerous) tasks can be retrained to do something more rewarding to both them and the company."

Such as? If someone only has the ability to gut chickens or fill boxes and all the robots have taken the manual jobs what will you retrain them as exactly? If they could do service, people or tech jobs they already would be. Christ, people like you are so fucking out of touch its scary.

Re:On the other hand...

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

This argument is repeated alot, and it is a fallacy of epic proportions.

Imagine a venn diagram with the two circles "tasks a robot can do" and "tasks a human can do". Of the three resulting fields, two are growing and one is shrinking. If the human only tasks keep getting fewer, why would would anyone assume that its all gonna work itself out?

Whats even worse, the "robots" are improving very fast, much faster than us humans. Take the crossover field from the previous venn diagram(the tasks both bots and humans can do) and split it into another one with the parts "tasks that robots do better", "equal" and "tasks wich humans do better". Again you get two fields that are growing and one that is shrinking.

Humans current strategy of competing via cheaper price is not sustainable, because the bots keep getting better AND cheaper.

Summary from the authors

By ISayWeOnlyToBePolite • Score: 3 • Thread

Oxford Economics who wrote the paper has a better summary http://resources.oxfordeconomi...
(also with link to download the full report, if you fill out their form).

Re:Excellent

By MitchDev • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Especially when we reach that tipping point we're rapidly approaching where housing and food cost so much and jobs that cover those expenses are fewer and fewer and suddenly those robots are bulding cars. TVs, etc that no one can afford to buy. Sales plummet and factories close, problem worsens....

US Tech Companies Sidestep a Trump Ban, To Keep Selling To Huawei

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The New York Times: A number of the United States' biggest chip makers have sold millions of dollars of products to Huawei despite a Trump administration ban (alternative source) on the sale of American technology to the Chinese telecommunications giant, according to four people with knowledge of the sales. Since the Commerce Department enacted the ban in May, American companies including Intel and Micron have found ways to sell technology to Huawei, said the people, who spoke on the condition they not be named because they were not authorized to disclose the sales. The components began to flow to Huawei about three weeks ago, the people said. Goods produced by American companies overseas are not always considered American-made, and the suppliers are taking advantage of this. The sales will help Huawei continue to sell products such as smartphones and servers.

Karma in the future

By hackingbear • Score: 3 • Thread

Under the current nationalistic populistic US public sentiment, American companies wouldn't speak up or else they will be attacked by the US legal system which has been hijacked by the headline-grabbing politicians in the name of national security as their election tool. But you can be sure they will quietly move their R&D away from the US especially now that the rest of the world can see the true face of the US and will no longer believe American political marketing tricks (a.k.a. American values.) At the same time, the US government helps remove American hi-tech industry's first mover advantage / monopoly by clearing out high-end technology products from the Chinese market and substantially lower the barriers for Chinese tech companies.

In the not so distance future, not only Americans won't get back blue-collar manufacturing jobs as those may be migrated to Vietnam or other lower cost countries (not sure why Americans like such low class jobs anyway,) we will all lose hi-tech engineering jobs to China and elsewhere faster than ever.

His fine clothing

By PopeRatzo • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Everyone on the world, from the leaders of foreign countries to corporate CEOs, are aware that there is now a weak degenerate in the White House. Lines are forming to take advantage. Some will just wait him out, and some will use this opportunity for mischief.

Companies exist to do business?

By gweihir • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

It does not speak very well of the "master of the deal" that he apparently does not know this...

Re:Companies exist to do business?

By h33t l4x0r • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
Sure it does, he's just going to wait until the right time to make a terrific deal and reverse policy. It's called showmanship. Stay tuned, folks.

Re:It always amazed me that I could get a whole PC

By AmiMoJo • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

It's no better in the west. Manufacturers will substitute parts if they think they can, even when you specify specific ones. A few years back I had a few thousand boards fail because a British manufacturer named after a mythical bird decided that they could save a few quid on a particularly expensive Panasonic capacitor by using fakes. They admitted what they did too, because they were hoping we could come up with a solution that didn't involve re-working thousands of sensitive PCBs.

The best way to deal with this issue is to buy genuine components yourself and them ship them to the manufacturer. Or find a manufacturer you trust - I've got a good relationship with Seeed Studio in China.

Smartphones and Fitness Trackers Are Being Used To Gauge Employee Performance

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
A new system to assess the performance of employees is claimed to be more objective and thus more accurate by utilizing smartphones and fitness trackers. New Atlas reports: The passive system incorporates an app known as PhoneAgent, which was developed by Prof. Andrew Campbell at New Hampshire's Dartmouth College. Using the smartphone's own sensors, that app continuously monitors factors such as the worker's phone usage, physical activity level, geographical location, and the ambient light levels of their environment. PhoneAgent is also Bluetooth-linked to a fitness bracelet worn by the employee, which transmits data including their heart functions, sleep quality, stress levels, and calorie consumption. Additionally, Bluetooth locational beacons in the person's home and workplace monitor how much time they spend at each place, and how often they leave their workstation.

All of the phone, bracelet and beacon data is transmitted to a cloud-based server, where it's processed via machine-learning algorithms that were "trained" on the habits of people already known to be high- or low-level performers. When tested on 750 workers across the U.S. over a one-year period, the system was reportedly able to distinguish between individuals' performance levels (in a variety of industries) with an accuracy of 80 percent. That number should rise as the system is developed further.

Re:You are going to get that app installed how...?

By Daemonik • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
I'm sure it will be bundled with the insurance company's "health monitoring" app that gives you coupons and such the more data you give it (identifying yourself as a health risk or not) and then buying the data back. They can claim "they" aren't monitoring their employees yet benefit from the data in the first place.

How unethical

By gweihir • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Personally, I think that any scientist involved in this should be stripped of their titles and get a lifelong ban on working in this field or any other as a scientist again. If this is not gross unethical conduct, then I do not know what is.

Just go all the way

By jrumney • Score: 3 • Thread
Why not go straight to pre-employment DNA tests to sort out the traits that the employers want? We all know that this is where it is heading, and the technology I am sure is ready for it. The rest of us can be trained to fight in the upcoming alien invasions.

Statistics

By currently_awake • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
1-The accuracy of statistical analysis drops when measuring outliers. Your best worker might very well read as low on this. 2-If companies outsource this to a company specializing in this, your track record might follow you to your next job (who use the same metrics company). It might even be used to evaluate you FOR that next job.

Re:Welcome to the Machine

By avandesande • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
You=NaN

Feel better now?

Lightyear One Debuts As the First Long-Range Solar-Powered Electric Car

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
The new Lightyear One is a prototype electric car from a Netherlands startup that gets all it needs to run from the sun. It features a sleek, driver-friendly design and also boasts a range of 450 miles on a single charge. TechCrunch reports: The startup says that it has already sold "over a hundred vehicles" even though this isn't yet ready to hit the road, but Lightyear is aiming to begin production by 2021, with reservations available for 500 additional units for the initial release. You do have to pay around $136,000 USD to secure a reservation, however.

Lightyear One isn't just a plug-in electric with some solar sells on the roof: Instead it's designed from the ground up to maximize performance from a smaller-than-typical battery that can directly grab sun from a roof and hood covered with 16 square feet of solar cells, embedded in safety glass designed with passenger wellbeing in mind. The car can also take power directly from regular outlets and existing charging stations for a quick top-up, and again because it's optimized to be lightweight and power efficient, you can actually get around 250 miles on just one night of charging from a standard (European) 230V outlet.

Total BS

By 110010001000 • Score: 3 • Thread

I didn't even bother to read anything about it, but with current solar cell technology this is a total scam. You cannot generate meaningful energy with the surface area on a car.

Re:Waste of money

By taiwanjohn • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Robert Llewellyn just posted an episode of Fully Charged about this car. They don't discuss the particular type of solar cells used, but they say the peak output of the array is about 1.25kw, which will charge the car at a rate of about 10~12km per hour, up to about 50~70km total on a sunny day.

BTW, something not mention in the summary above is that the core of this company is a team that won the famous Solar Challenge a few years ago in Australia.

YouTube Looks To Demonetization As Punishments For Major Creators, But It Doesn't Work

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
YouTube is looking to send a message to content creators who step out of line by disabling ads on videos that infringe on the site's policies. The punishment is meant to revoke a key source of income, presenting a strong incentive for users to change their behavior. But, as Julia Alexander writes via The Verge, many creators make money through other platforms, rendering YouTube's punishment largely ineffective. From the report: Selling merchandise and subscriptions through other platforms isn't just a way for creators to make more money, it's also a way for creators to insulate themselves from YouTube's ever-mercurial rules and algorithms. And it means that if a creator's ads are cut off for whatever reason, they'll still have a source of revenue. Taking away a channel's ability to run ads is supposed to send a message that YouTube is punishing creators who severely step out of line. The company stated as much in a June 5th blog post, reiterating that channels repeatedly brushing up "against our hate speech policies will be suspended from the YouTube Partner program, meaning they can't run ads on their channel." Creators also won't be able to use alternative monetization techniques like Super Chat or channel memberships, according to YouTube.

For up-and-coming YouTubers reliant on that revenue, it can pose a huge problem. Many people just entering YouTube's Partner Program, a threshold that signifies a creator can start earning ad revenue, may rely on that advertising money as they start their career. Channels that face day-to-day monetization issues, one of the biggest issues within the community, are struggling to understand what works and what doesn't. But for larger creators, who still keep their ability to reach a huge number of subscribers, the punishment doesn't necessarily accomplish YouTube's goals.
"YouTube isn't likely to ban high-profile channels, either," Alexander writes. "If a channel's content is borderline, meaning that it doesn't violate YouTube's rules but is considered harmful, moderators will allow videos to remain up. Demonetizing a channel's videos allows YouTube to appear to have taken a strong action, even if that action isn't always effective."

Explicit lyrics stamp

By Archfeld • Score: 3, Interesting • Thread

This is kind of like when the record industry and the conservative politician's wives marked records with explicit lyric tags and it doubled their circulation. Alice Cooper to this day claims that those tags made his career. AC/DC albums sales went through the roof following their inclusion in that list as well.

Re:Not punishing creators for wrongthink...

By alvinrod • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Quite frankly that's their business choice. I don't believe a business is obligated to give anyone a platform and should have a right to refuse to do business with anyone that they so choose. If they want to turn customers away, they're only making it easier for their competition to gain a foothold.

If you really think what they're doing is wrong, quit using their products and services. Hit them in the pocketbook and maybe they'll start to pay attention.

Funny outcome

By PrimaryConsult • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

By demonetizing "wrongthink", those channels have become more pleasant to watch (for those without adblock) than "correctthink". Also you can see how much these demonetized people make via Patreon and the like - a lot more than Youtube ever gave them.

I whitelisted Youtube from adblock because I wanted to support the creators I watch, and the demonetization effect has been remarkable - watching "official" channels has a bunch of ads, sometimes even ads to watch an ad (i.e. movie or game trailers). Howto videos get interrupted mid-explanation with loud obnoxious nonsense. But commentary? Hours of uninterrupted viewing. And because ad-free subtly conveys quality or a premium nature (HBO and Netflix versus broadcast TV and basic Hulu), they might inadvertently be responsible for shifting public perception of these channels exactly opposite of their intention.

Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act

By Noishkel • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
There's already a law on the books that could possibly solve the issue entirely with this sort of politically and ideologically based censorship. Its the Communications Decency Act of 1996. Specially section 230. The basic gist of it is that an internet service provider must either be legally be a publisher or a platform so that can not be held legally liable for that is on their platform. This is a legal protection actually for the providers themselves so that if someone is doing something illegal on their platform they can not be held legally responsible. But as you can probably surmises most of the Big Tech companies have been operating as both a platform and a provider with impunity for years. It only really became a problem when they decided to start suppressing or banning content that was not illegal, but simply content that Big Tech found objectionable.

Re:Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act

By Mashiki • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

In other words they can censor anything they like according to their own or the user's preferences, and it doesn't affect their status as a publisher or common carrier.

And you just happened to miss subsections A, B, and C(1) along the way, fail to take it in context. Fail to understand that "good samaritan" protections are only granted to a "interactive computer service" if they uphold neutrality - as tested under case law.

Damn brilliant I tell you. Just think of the savings if lawyers could skip preambles, inclusion clauses and opening sections of acts - not forgetting act preambles either.

Two-Thirds of American Employees Regret Their College Degrees

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from CBS News: A college education is still considered a pathway to higher lifetime earnings and gainful employment for Americans. Nevertheless, two-thirds of employees report having regrets when it comes to their advanced degrees, according to a PayScale survey of 248,000 respondents this past spring that was released Tuesday. Student loan debt, which has ballooned to nearly $1.6 trillion nationwide in 2019, was the No. 1 regret among workers with college degrees. About 27% of survey respondents listed student loans as their top misgiving, PayScale said. College debt was followed by chosen area of study (12%) as a top regret for employees, though this varied greatly by major. Other regrets include poor networking, school choice, too many degrees, time spent completing education and academic underachievement. "Those with science, technology, engineering and math majors, who are typically more likely to enjoy higher salaries, reported more satisfaction with their degrees," the report adds. "About 42% of engineering grads and 35% of computer science grads said they had no regrets."

Those with the most regrets include humanities majors, who are least likely to earn higher pay post-graduation. "About 75% of humanities majors said they regretted their college education," report says. "About 73% of graduates who studied social sciences, physical and life sciences, and art also said the same." Somewhere in the middle were 66% of business graduates, 67% of health sciences graduates and 68% of math graduates who said they regretted their education.

Re: Perhaps money isn't the only consideration

By rmdingler • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Yes indeed. Regret, anyway, is just a soul-eater.

The only thing you can change about the past is how you feel about it.

Re:No, gov't subsidized student loans

By alvinrod • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Unfortunately your argument is just clever use of statistics to misrepresent the truth. If college enrollment were stable, then yes state funding would be down. However, over the last several decades we've been pushing more and more kids to enroll in college which means that although state spending per student has decreased, the overall amount of money being spent by states has increased and the tax payers got sick of the rising costs. Since the 1960's the number of students enrolled in college essentially tripled by the late 2000s even though the total population hadn't even doubled and the median age increased by almost 10 years over that span. State spending is less per student, but the overall amount being spent by states has drastically increased and is even slowly creeping back up towards pre-recision levels when enrollment (and spending) was at an all time high.

Also, the "education" that these kids are receiving isn't always valuable. Here we see that two-thirds aren't satisfied with what they got or think that it was a bad value. Sure your art history degree might have been loads of fun, but the number of jobs that actually require one are so tiny that your odds of getting one are practically none. Look at all of the people still trying to get journalism degrees even as media companies are shedding jobs left and right. Look at some of the universities that have come under scrutiny in recent years like Evergreen or more recently Oberlin where the college claimed in court that they cut ties with the bakery over concerns that their own students would throw tantrums. Some of these universities sound more like poorly run daycare centers for children trapped in adult bodies. Add in the for profit universities that mainly prey on people who couldn't graduate high school or get accepted to a state school but can still get loan money and it's pretty easy to see that the value of a college education isn't quite what it once was.

Stop the government from subsidizing whatever anyone wants and the market will quickly correct the problem because private investors don't want to finance useless degrees from pricy institutions. You're not going to see a shortage of doctors, etc. because those are actually valuable and a good investment. Instead what you won't see loads of people getting business or history degrees that are of no use to them, and those people will be better off because they're still going to be able to get the same jobs they already occupy now that don't require a college degree only instead of being massively in debt, they'll be able to afford a home and a family. They'll have more money to spend into the local economy. And that doesn't preclude them from getting a degree later once they have a better idea what they want to do with their life or what would actually be beneficial to them.

Re:No, gov't subsidized student loans

By markdavis • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

>"don't make it worse, and I wish we could kill this myth immediately. Here are four links to prove otherwise:"

Interesting, but I don't think that proves that one of the problems with expensive education is government interference. It worked out quite well for a very long time before, and it slowly started reacting to increased money thrown at it and unnecessarily increased demand. Simple supply-and-demand economics explains a large part of the price increases, and government incentives are a large part of it. That last link wants to explain that tuition went up by the same amount state assistance went down- but his own data doesn't support that, it doesn't address how tuition assistance through government-backed loans artificially pushes up demand/supply.

I watched as the Fed pushed incentives for electronic medical records systems. You know what happened? The pricing of EMR software went up exactly the amount of the incentives (far beyond inflation and at a time when such pricing should have been going down), and then continued going up beyond that.

I can post links, too:
https://www.heartland.org/news...
https://www.forbes.com/sites/p...
https://www.cato.org/publicati...
https://thescholarshipsystem.c...
https://www.usnews.com/opinion...

So no, nothing I said in my posting was a myth.

>"The problem is we don't value the next generation. We've become extremely short sighted."

Certainly agree with you there. But that starts at home with values and family, something that has been steadily falling apart since the 60's. One can't value the next generation when everyone is a "victim" and demanding the government to try and solve all their problems. Saving, honesty, hard work, short and long-term planning, self-reliance, responsibility, morality, investing, learning, freedom, ownership... These are things that had been the foundation of the country and based in the family, tight community, and, yes, even religion. School was there to help with reinforcement but also with facts and skills. All three have been evaporating.

In studying history, I see more and more patterns indicating that as the government gets larger, the family role and involvement gets smaller and smaller. I know you like to always post about "the rest of the world", but the USA was not founded or intended to be like the rest of the world. With increased freedom comes an increased need for responsibility and accountability.

Re:There are vanishingly few of those

By markdavis • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

>"In total there were 2000 women's studies grads last year out of 2,000,000 total graduates. That's .01% for God's sake. And that's actually way up. Art history is equally few and far between. "

But when you add all of them up and add in other relatively non-marketable/high-unemployment degrees (anthropology, archeology, film, philosophy, ethnic studies, religious studies, liberal arts, music, physical fitness, commercial graphics, history, English, literature, culinary, fashion, communications, architecture, sociology, international studies, undergrad psychology, creative writing, and so many more) it becomes very, very significant.

That is not to say those fields are useless or without value. But society just doesn't have much need for so many. So it should be no surprise that such grads can't find work in their "chosen" field. It isn't enough to just like the subject. In most obscure fields of study, you either need to go rich and/or with lots of connections, which is rare, or you have to be REALLY REALLY good at it (which very few are).

Like most any other investment, if banks looked at your college risk of "investment", it is likely they would stop issuing loans for non-marketable degrees, or price such loans accordingly. Exactly like they would do with a house you might plan to buy or business you would like to open/finance. Degree demand would fall, competition would increase, defaults on loans would plummet, everyone would save money. But there is no incentive for banks to do any such things with GUARANTEED LOANS- quite the opposite, they loan out HUGE amounts for any degree, the more the better.... and that is because of government.

It is a utopian dream that you can be "anything you want to be," it doesn't fit with reality. And if your parents/family and teachers and high school guidance counselors don't let you know this, colleges and government certainly will not. Kids need to be grounded in reality and try to find *marketable* options that can BEST meet their abilities and interests and current/future wallets.

Really bad summary of research

By ET3D • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

I wonder what kind of education the CBS news reporter had.

The report from PayScale's site is here: https://www.payscale.com/data/...

People were asked to pick their biggest educational regret. 66% of respondent picked one. Options included things like "academic underachievement" and "poor networking".

Summing that up as "two thirds of Americans regret their college degrees" is idiotic. Few of the options suggest that people regret their education, only that they think that some things could have been done better.

Spotify Wants a Refund On Overpaid Royalties To US Songwriters, Report Says

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Spotify is reportedly seeking a refund for overpayments made to songwriters and publishers last year, according to a report from Music Business Worldwide. CNET reports: Last year, a royalty rate-setting panel in the U.S., called the Copyright Royalty Board, ruled that a particular kind of royalty paid to songwriters and publishers should rise 44% or more for 2018 through 2022. The board finalized that rate -- called a mechanical royalty -- earlier this year. Then streaming services like Spotify, Amazon, Google and Pandora appealed the payment increases in March. Now Spotify is saying it paid too much last year and wants a refund, according to Music Business Worldwide.

The CRB rules say the annual streaming royalty rate for US songwriters and publishers between 2018 and 2022 should be set by choosing the highest outcome of three different models, with one model based on a flat fee per subscriber, Consequence of Sound noted. But Spotify's student discount and family plan bundles add a layer of complexity. The Copyright Royalty Board's rules say a family plan is be worth 1.5 subscribers per month and a student plan is equal to half a subscriber per month. The family plan lets six people subscribe for $15 a month, while students pay $5 a month. (A regular subscriber pays $10.) The argument by Spotify seems to be that it didn't take some subscribers into account and overpaid publishers. It's not seeking the 2018 money back immediately, but "offered to extend the recoupment period" until the end of 2019, according to Music Business Worldwide.

San Francisco Becomes First US City To Ban Sale of E-Cigarettes

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
San Francisco voted to ban e-cigarettes in the first legislation of its kind in the United States. The Guardian reports: Supervisors approved a measure banning the sale and distribution of e-cigarettes in an effort to curb the rise of youth vaping. The measure will now go for final approval to San Francisco Mayor London Breed, who said she will sign the legislation, and stores in the city will be required to remove e-cigarettes from their shelves. After decades of decline in youth cigarette smoking, the rise of vaping has led to a major boost in nicotine use for people under the age of 21.

Re:What's the point if you don't ban regular cigs?

By CrimsonAvenger • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

The point is that they'll have to go back to smoking regular cigarettes and less of a chance of quitting.

Oh, nonsense!

What they'll do is buy their e-cigs outside SanFran. Not like it's all that hard to get outside the city limits. I foresee a bright future for stores just outside the city limits....

Good news for certain vape shops

By guacamole • Score: 3 • Thread

It's going to be a windfall for the shops located at the perimeter of the city borders.

Re:What's the point if you don't ban regular cigs?

By JBMcB • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

"Kids these days" have nothing to go back to, they've only ever just vaped. 'Real' cigs are not cool, daddy-o.

The irony is that in SF it's easier to get weed anyway, so toke up, kiddies!

So you think the kids who are hooked on nicotine are just going to quit cold turkey - 'cause regular cigarettes aren't cool? Your brain doesn't care what's cool, it want's it's nicotine.

Ban crap on the sidewalks

By peterofoz • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
San Francisco is an international joke. They worry about small stuff like e-cigs and companies with employee cafeterias, but have an enormous homeless, vagrant, drug, mental health and feces problem.

Re:What's the point if you don't ban regular cigs?

By war4peace • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

We were talking about SALE ban, not USAGE ban.
Different things.

Now, on-topic: whenever I hear about some regulatory body applying or thinking about applying some sort of ban on X, I am looking at who would benefit from that, and in most cases the answer is simple: competition. In this case, it's not about youth vaping or health benefits, it's all about the tobacco industry having successfully lobbied against e-cigarettes.

Why do you think all e-cig products coming from the tobacco industry are shit? They're shit on purpose, so that smokers would try them out, realize they're shit and go straight back to traditional smoking.

In this case, tobacco industry won.

Ex-Chair of FCC Broadband Committee Gets Five Years In Prison For Fraud

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: The former head of FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee (BDAC) was sentenced to five years in prison for defrauding investors. Elizabeth Ann Pierce was CEO of Quintillion, an Alaskan telecom company, when she lied to two investment firms in New York in order to raise $270 million to build a fiber network. She also defrauded two individual investors out of $365,000 and used a large chunk of that money for personal expenses. Pierce, 55, pleaded guilty and last week was given the five-year prison sentence in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman announced. Pierce was also "ordered to forfeit $896,698.00 and all of her interests in Quintillion and a property in Texas." She will also be subject to a restitution order to compensate her victims "at a later date." Pierce landed the top sot on Pai's broadband advisory committee in April 2017. "But she left Quintillion in July 2017 as her scheme unraveled, and she resigned from the FCC advisory panel," reports Ars. "Pai appointed a new chair for his committee two months later; he thanked Pierce for her service, saying she did 'an excellent job' chairing the committee and 'wish[ed] her all the best in her future endeavors.'"

According to Berman's announcement, Pierce forged contracts in order to raise $270 million from investors.

If she just structured it differently

By rsilvergun • Score: 3 • Thread
it would be legal. If anyone's wondering why guys like Mitt Rhomney spend a fortune getting and advanced education it's to learn how to do stuff like this legally. Also it's to get the kind of connections that let you get away with stuff like this (and let you know who you can and can't scam).

Brownie, you're doing a heckuva job

By epine • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Brownie, you're doing a heckuva job vetting your advisory committees.

What "Brownie" Regrets — 28 August 2015

The former FEMA head talks about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, whether he really did a "heckuva job," and why it's "bullshit" to suggest the response was affected by race.
...
So we walk into that briefing and we're standing there, it's the typical photo op, I'm talking to the president about what we're going to see and the press pool is there, and Gov. Riley, who I'd known for years even when he was a congressman, made a simple comment, and said, "Mr. President, I want you to know that I think FEMA is doing a great job in Alabama."

And the president, because he and I had a good working relationship, the president just took that cue and, as is his style, immediately kind of slapped me in the gut like he would do and said, "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job."

And I was like, at that instant, [I knew] the media was going to jump all over that, because I knew that we weren't doing a good job in Louisiana.

And we can debate who was and wasn't doing a good job, but I knew things weren't working in New Orleans, and he was looking as if he didn't have a clue what was going on.

Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose.

Re:How can this be?

By Livius • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

Bonuses are for defrauding *customers*, not actual people like investors.

Shame it wasn't Ajit Pai

By NerdENerd • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
Reading the first sentence made think that piece of turd Ajit Pai had been jailed. Shame it wasn't.

Re:Partisan Schadenfreude

By ClickOnThis • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Yup plenty of people went to jail or were fired during Obama's reign of terror.

"Reign of terror"? Whatever.

Over the course of history, it is not uncommon for members of the Executive, the Congress, or the Judiciary, to be convicted of crimes. But during Obama's tenure, only one was in the Executive Branch.

And that was over the course of 8 years. Per the article, Michael Flynn went to jail for lying to the FBI in the first year of Trump's presidency. Also, the Mueller investigation obtained guilty pleas and convictions for 6 people associated with the Trump election campaign. We'll see what else happens in the next year and a half.

Of course the lefties here turn a blind eye to corruption, fraud, greed, and outright criminal activity when it's a leftie bloke in office.

You haven't been paying attention to the calls for resignations from the Democratic Party that have occurred for many of its own members who have had evidence of wrongdoings uncovered. People like Rod Blagojevich, Anthony Weiner, Al Franken, and so on. But on the other side of the aisle? They do whatever they can to neutralize the effect of wrongdoings, so that "their guy" can get elected to the senate, or to the governorship, or appointed to the Supreme Court.

Or a sheila.

Investigation of Clinton re Benghazi: 0 indictments.
Investigation of Clinton re e-mail server: 0 indictments.
Investigation by Robert Muller (R) of Russian interference in the 2016 election: 34 indictments, 5 guilty pleas, one conviction at trial, one prosecution ongoing.

US Government Announces Nationwide Crackdown on Robocallers

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
The US government announced a nationwide crackdown on illegal robocalls on Tuesday, targeting companies and individuals who have collectively placed over 1 billion unwanted calls for financial schemes and other services, according to the Federal Trade Commission. From a report: The crackdown involves nearly 100 cases, five of which are criminal enforcement actions. They were brought by the FTC, Justice Department, 15 states and a slew of local authorities. It marks the latest effort by regulators to battle back the tide of unwanted and illegal calls from telemarketers and scammers. Some of those targeted by the action were a major source of robocalls. Derek Jason Bartoli, a Florida man who allegedly developed, sold and used a form of software that allows millions of calls to be placed in quick succession, was responsible for 57 million calls to US phone numbers over six months in 2017, according to a federal complaint. [...] The joint action includes the states of Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia.

Interesting Federal End-Run

By damn_registrars • Score: 3 • Thread
People were constantly hoping that FCC (Communications Commission) chair Ajit Pai would do something about this. Now we see the FTC (Trade Commission) is doing something instead. I guess the FCC was too busy rallying the troops to approve as many telecom mergers as possible and couldn't be bothered with doing their jobs?

Carpet Cleaning

By crow • Score: 3 • Thread

"Hi, this is Ray your local carpet cleaner..." (calling from forged caller ID number from the same area code and prefix)

Please find and exterminate Ray. He's the worst and most persistent one so far.

Yawn

By markdavis • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

>"The crackdown involves nearly 100 cases, five of which are criminal enforcement actions"

Yawn. Drop in the "lip service" bucket to me. I guess we shall see, but I am not hopeful. Need:

1) Criminal penalties, not civil.
2) Easy reporting by consumers/victims.
3) No more fake caller ID.
4) No loopholes for "government" or "political" calls or anything else.
5) No more "opt-out" schemes, should be opt-in to any automated call services, with instant "opt-out" later, during call.

If you WANT any automated calls (some can be useful), they need to be affirmative opt-in ONLY. I consider anything else as spam. Just giving your number to a company should never establish an automatic "OK" to be on some call list.

Re:Interesting Federal End-Run

By DickBreath • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
The FCC will hire a company to automatically call each and every single American to inform and assure them that the FCC is working hard to end robo calls.

Hopefully they will call several times per month to give us progress updates.

Good luck with that!

By duke_cheetah2003 • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Unless the US Government is planning on invading, sanctioning, or otherwise doing unpleasant things to several third world countries (I'm looking at you India), this is nothing but hot politician air. They can't do anything. They know they can't. We know they can't.

There is nothing we can do, as long as foreign counties can spoof the ANS with impunity.

You'd have better luck playing whack-a-mole. I'm not saying we just turn a blind eye to this crap, but there is literally nothing short of punishing an entire country for this behavior we could do. And that's not going to happen.

Stick to real solutions. Deploy the AI's to talk to these phone scammers and waste their time. https://jollyrogertelephone.co... probably has more effect that US Government ever could. Only by making this activity unprofitable will it ever cease. Trying to foil them in any other way is a complete waste of time.

A secondary method of taking a real fight to the telemarketers is supporting YouTubers who spend their time with these scammers, so the rest of us don't have to. Kitboga and others, they need your support. Give 'em a buck or two.

New Silex Malware is Bricking IoT Devices, Has Scary Plans

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
A new strain of malware is wiping the firmware of IoT devices in attacks reminiscent of the old BrickerBot malware that destroyed millions of devices back in 2017. From a report: Named Silex, this malware began operating earlier today, about three-four hours before this article's publication. The malware had bricked around 350 devices when this reporter began investigating its operations, and the number quickly spiked to 2,000 wiped devices by the time we published, an hour later. Attacks are still ongoing, and according to an interview with the malware's creator, they are about to intensify in the coming days. According to Akamai researcher Larry Cashdollar, who first spotted the malware earlier today, Silex works by trashing an IoT device's storage, dropping firewall rules, removing the network configuration, and then halting the device. It's as destructive as it can get without actually frying the IoT device's circuits. To recover, victims must manually reinstall the device's firmware, a task too complicated for the majority of device owners.

Excellent

By duke_cheetah2003 • Score: 3 • Thread

Malware wrecks insecure devices. The internet is made a better place.

Thank you!

What devices?

By SuperKendall • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

I skimmed the actual article, and still don't understand what devices are actually at risk - I mean, it seems like by now there are quite a lot of IOT devices. Is it lightbulbs? Toasters? Garage door controllers? What the heck is at risk here?

Thankfully I have a cloud of TWI (ThingsWtihoutInternet) so I'm not really sweating over this, but I'm still curious...

Iffy reporting.

By SuricouRaven • Score: 3 • Thread

1. Reporter discovers new attack when it's barely even begun, with under a thousand devices compromised.
2. Article does not list any details of affected devices, other than saying that it's a default credential attack.
3. Reporter, in no time at all, is able to track the author, establish contact, confirm identity and carry out an interview.

The malware doesn't appear to even be self-replicating. It's nothing but a script that searches for vulnerable devices, logs in, and runs some bash commands intended to trash everything.

Re:What devices?

By dissy • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

I skimmed the actual article, and still don't understand what devices are actually at risk

Anything running telnet that gives a bash shell using root passwords in the DPL for various IOT devices on the market.

From the article:

"It's using known default credentials for IoT devices to log in and kill the system
It's doing this by writing random data from /dev/random to any mounted storage it finds.
I see in the binary it's calling fdisk -l which will list all disk partitions, It then writes random data from /dev/random to any partitions it discovers.

It's then deleting network configurations, [...] also, it's [running] rm -rf / which will delete anything it has missed.

It also flushes all iptables entries adding one that DROPS all connections. Then halting or rebooting the device

It's targeting any Unix-like system with default login credentials
The binary I captured targets ARM devices. I noticed it also had a Bash shell version available to download which would target any architecture running a Unix like OS.

This also means Silex will trash Linux servers if they have Telnet ports open and if they're secured with poor or widely-used credentials."

Re:I suppose this is doing the Internet a favor

By Zocalo • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Realistically, given the amount of IoT scanning/exploiting going on and that Silex is currently only targetting Telnet (not sure if that's just port 23, or other IoT obfuscation favourites like 2323), any devices that are vulnerable to Silex at present are probably *already* part of a Mirai/Satori/whatever family botnet. In that light, the odds are pretty high that Silex isn't just removing vulnerable devices from the Internet, it's actually removing *compromised* devices from the Internet.

Toys 'R' Us, Back From the Dead, Will Open US Stores in 2019

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Maybe American kids will only have to live through one Christmas without Toys "R" Us. About a year after shuttering U.S. operations, the remnant of the defunct toy chain is set to return this holiday season by opening about a half dozen U.S. stores and an e-commerce site, according to a report. From the report: Richard Barry, a former Toys "R" Us executive who is now CEO of new entity Tru Kids, has been pitching his vision to reincarnate the chain to toymakers, including at an industry conference this week, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans aren't public. The stores are slated to be about 10,000-square feet, roughly a third of the size of the brand's big-box outlets that closed last year, the people said. The locations will also have more experiences, like play areas. The startup costs could be minimized with a consignment inventory model in which toymakers ship goods but don't get paid until consumers buy them, some of the people said.

Re:Consignment inventory?

By Oswald McWeany • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Sounds risky as hell for the suppliers. Good on Toys R Us for bringing back the toy stores of old. I don't think they will last that long or do especially well as that type of brick and mortar ship has sailed.

Too expensive. When everyone from Walmart to Target, Amazon to ebay and almost everywhere else offers the same toys for less money, it was always going to be hard to survive. If they come back with premium prices they're going to shut down again.

Get it? Tru Kids == (T)oys (R) (U)s Kids

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread

Get it? Tru Kids == (T)oys (R) (U)s Kids

Shedding Pensions and higher paid employees

By rsilvergun • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
without having to pay much or at all in severance. That would be my guess. It's why Hostess crashed and burned. You shut down the legal entity and reform it, easy peasy. General Motors did it too. Bud of mine lost a few hundred in stock to it. Wish I could've done it back in 2008.

Re:Supply Chain

By UnknowingFool • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
Er what? Toys R Us was the victim of a leveraged buyout by a private equity companies It was not their choice but as a publicly traded company, there’s little they could have done unless they had mounds of money to go private or buyback a lot of their shares. After the LBO, it was saddled with debt ($1.86B) and any profit when to pay off the private equity companies first with little money for capital improvements.

Buyout

By JBMcB • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Er what? Toys R Us was the victim of a leveraged buyout by a private equity companies It was not their choice but as a publicly traded company, there’s little they could have done unless they had mounds of money to go private or buyback a lot of their shares.

Yeah, that's a more detailed picture of what happened. You're leaving the part out where the company was tanking hard when they were bought out, which is why they were bought out. The guy they brought in to fix the company in 2001 spent a ton of money that did nothing to help the bottom line, like a $35 million flagship store in Times Square. The buyout just postponed the inevitable at that point.

Oracle Dyn DNS Services Shutting Down in 2020

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Oracle has sent the following email to customers of DYN service: Since Oracle acquired Dyn in 2016 (and subsequently acquired Zenedge), the engineering teams have been working diligently to integrate Dyn;s products and network into the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. With the completion of this upgrade to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. Oracle is announcing the end-of-life for the free Standard DNS service in favor of the enhanced, paid subscription version on the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure platform. On May 31, 2020, the 'EOL Date', the Standard DNS will be retired and will no longer be available. The following capabilities are not currently supported in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure DNS: Webhop (HTTP redirect), Dynamic DNS, Zone transfer to external nameservers, and DNSSEC.

What does Oracle stand for?

By LilBlackKittie • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

One
Real
Ass-hole
Called
Larry
Ellison

I got a different email

By PCM2 • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

The email I received this morning is different. It says this:

Dear Customer,

Since Oracle acquired Dyn in 2016 and subsequently acquired Zenedge. The engineering teams have been working diligently to integrate Dyn’s products and network into the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure platform. A majority of Dyn products have now been integrated and upgraded on the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.

Accordingly, DynDNS Pro/Remote Access is decoupling from the Dyn brand and business unit this summer, and will remain a business unit within Oracle.

Your organization has the right to access and use DynDNS Pro/Remote Access. This product will continue to be available from Oracle without any disruption of service and no action is required on your part at this time.

Additional Resources
Blog Post

We look forward to supporting you on our new platform.

(Emphasis mine.)

Basically I got grandfathered into the "Pro" tier, with a lifetime subscription. I bet a bunch of Slashdotters were. I logged into the Oracle Dyn site just now and it still says I have a DynDNS Pro subscription, expiration date: never. (It actually says that.)

So kudos to the original DynDNS crew for staying true to their word about "lifetime accounts."

P.S. I wanted to post a longer explanation but Slashdot's filters inexplicably won't let me, so you'll just have to guess some of the details -- or maybe someone else will chime in.

Re:Is this only free accounts?

By PCM2 • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

I got the same email (see above in the thread). Basically, in the early days of the free service, if you donated some amount of money, you were guaranteed "lifetime access" to the service, no matter what happened. When they rolled out a paid model, they grandfathered in all those old donors. Everyone was still a lifetime member. Looks like that's carrying over to Oracle, too, because I've never paid Oracle a dime, yet my account says my expiration date is "never."

Re:Home Router DNS

By alexo • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

I have flushed Tomato firmware on my router and use dns-o-matic as my DDNS service.
I configured dns-o-matic with the following free(*) DDNS services:
        afraid.org
        ChangeIP
        deSEC
        DNSexit
        DuckDNS
        dyndns.berlin
        dynu
        Night Owl DDNS
        No-IP
        nsupdate.info

(*) No-IP nags once a month, the others just work.

Currently, I have a CNAME record that maps example.mydomain.tld to mydomain.duckdns.org.
Should DuckDNS go down, I will change the record to point to one of the others (I already had to do it twice when my previous DDNS providers of choice stopped working). If OpenDNS stops providing the dns-o-matic service, I will reconfigure the router to use one (or more) of the services above directly.

Easy peasy.

Good luck with that

By Voyager529 • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Which is why I don't buy any router that cannot run OpenWRT or DD-WRT...

That's getting more and more difficult. Some routers will support it, but you lose access to simultaneous dual band or some such because most of the 802.11ac chipsets aren't being manufactured in ways that lend themselves to OSS development. Linksys had that AC1200 router for a while that was great, but there was never a Tomato release for it and Linksys discontinued it pretty quickly. The AC3200 is also DD-WRT supported, but at $300, it's not for the faint of wallet.

Meanwhile, for pretty much the rest of the Linksys line, locked bootloaders have been becoming a standard. Asus is already pretty much there, and while I haven't tried to flash a Netgear router of late, they look like they're playing games with the revision numbers that they don't exactly advertise. Haven't touched a D-Link router in years, TP-Link was the first to do the whole locked bootloader crap, and the crappy routers doled out by Verizon, Comcast, Cox, Spectrum, and Altice don't even count as routers if DDNS updating is something cared about. Tenda has a handful that will support DD-WRT or Tomato, but your wi-fi signal will be hobbled because the generic drivers do the job, but don't do some of the advanced stuff that gives better performance. The FSF only lists their sole certified router as unavailable, which is unsurprising because it had 10/100 Ethernet and single band 802.11n. It's getting to the point where, if you want to run a router distribution worth a damn, you'll need an x86 computer and multiple NICs.

As for me, I've been pretty happy with the Ubiquiti EdgeRouter Lite, along with a bank of Raspberry Pi units doing assorted little things, including DDNS updating. It's annoying that these things need to be offloaded from my router (Tomato does reverse proxying natively!), but now I can use basically any router with port forwards if I really wanted.

As to the original topic at hand of how to update one's DDNS, that functionality is pretty ubiquitous. Most DVRs and NAS units have many options, including Dyn, No-IP, Afraid.org, and Namecheap. Most of those services also have desktop clients, and even if none of those are options, there are plenty of tutorials for every major DDNS service to be updated by a RasPi Zero.