Alterslash

the unofficial Slashdot digest archive
 

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 NIH Director On Why Americans Aren't Getting Healthier, Despite Medical Advances

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from NPR: It's Dr. Francis Collins' last few weeks as director of the National Institutes of Health after 12 years, serving under three presidents. Collins made his name doing the kind of biomedical research NIH is famous for, especially running The Human Genome Project, which fully sequenced the human genetic code. The focus on biomedicine and cures has helped him grow the agency's budget to over $40 billion a year and win allies in both political parties.

Still, in a broad sense, Americans' health hasn't improved much in those 12 years, especially compared with people in peer countries, and some have argued the agency hasn't done enough to try to turn these trends around. One recently retired NIH division director has quipped that one way to increase funding for this line of research would be if "out of every $100, $1 would be put into the 'Hey, how come nobody's healthy?' fund."

In a wide-ranging conversation, Collins answers NPR's questions as to why -- for all the taxpayer dollars going to NIH research -- there haven't been more gains when it comes to Americans' overall health. He also talks about how tribalism in American culture has fueled vaccine hesitancy, and he advises his successor on how to persevere on research of politically charged topics -- like guns and obesity and maternal health -- even if powerful lobbies might want that research not to get done.
In regard to Americans not getting healthier over the last 12 years, NPR asked Collins why there haven't been more gains and what role NIH should play in understanding these trends and trying to turn them around. Here's what he said: Well, sure, it does bother me. In many ways, the 28 years I have been at NIH have just been an amazing ride of discoveries upon discoveries. But you're right, we haven't seen that translate necessarily into advances. Let's be clear, there are some things that have happened that are pretty exciting. Cancer deaths are dropping every year by 1 or 2%. When you add that up over 20 years, cancer deaths are down by almost 25% from where they were at the turn of the century. And that's a consequence of all the hard work that's gone into developing therapeutics based on genomics, as well as immunotherapy that's made a big dent in an otherwise terrible disease.

But we've lost ground in other areas, and a lot of them are a function of the fact that we don't have a very healthy lifestyle in our nation. Particularly with obesity and diabetes, those risk factors have been getting worse instead of better. We haven't, apparently, come up with strategies to turn that around. On top of that, the other main reason for seeing a drop in life expectancy -- other than obesity and COVID -- is the opioid crisis. We at NIH are working as fast and as hard as we can to address that by trying to both identify better ways to prevent and treat drug addiction, but also to come up with treatments for chronic pain that are not addictive, because those 25 million people who suffer from chronic pain every day deserve something better than a drug that is going to be harmful.

In all of these instances, as a research enterprise -- because that's our mandate -- it feels like we're making great progress. But the implementation of those findings runs up against a whole lot of obstacles, in terms of the way in which our society operates, in terms of the fact that our health care system is clearly full of disparities, full of racial inequities. We're not -- at NIH -- able to reach out and fix that, but we can sure shine a bright light on it and we can try to come up with pilot interventions to see what would help.

Isn't it obvious?

By ugen • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Eat crap, drink tons of liquid sugar, barely move, live in houses made of cancer-causing materials.

Funny story - was in Sweden last week, went into one of those second hand clothing stores. They like "American style" clothes, and there was a pretty large rack of jeans. They use US sizing for jeans. It started at 24 and topped out at 34 (the largest size had precious few items).

Great advances yes...

By Infamous_Memory_129 • Score: 3, Informative • Thread
The issue is healthcare is simply too expensive. I'm middle class in Texas and even with new subsidies, we still can't afford healthcare. We could if we ate nothing but rice and beans but we are modest people and don't have a lot of discretionary monies. Yet if you are poor enough to be on food stamps, you are poor enough to get a free ride on healthcare as well. But guess what, you have to get a job and then you can afford rent and food, and guess what - then you don't qualify for healthcare benefits anymore either. Broken ass system.

Obvious problem is obvious

By zeeky boogy doog • Score: 3 • Thread
All the medical technology and pills in the world will not fix your health if your lifestyle is disastrously unhealthy. They can't fix the fact that the average American's daily exercise consists of waddling between the fridge and the couch a few times, and their average diet consists of disgustingly processed, nutrient-free, oil-slathered garbage whose only non-fat contents of note are chemicals deliberately added to suppress your body's satiety reflex and keep you eating more shit.

You're never going to look like the body models on instagram unless you're one of those fucking people who eats anything they want and still has never had to try and lose an ounce in their life, but there's a LONG space between that and being simply grossly fat that's not exactly difficult to inhabit.

Put down the goddamn soda and drink water. Have some pasta and lean fried meat with veggies, and spices rather than fat sauce, for dinner instead of inhaling half of a family size stuffed pizza by yourself. No bullshit about "b but I don't have time," given that the average American apparently spends more time watching TV every two days than all but the most dedicated jocks spend working out in a week. And speaking of that time, turn off the TV, close the laptop, put down the cell phone, and go for a walk outside. Or ride a bike. Chase a ball. Climb something. Don't just sit there all day.

And with that, I have solved half the medical problems in the entire developed world. You're welcome.

Huge 20-Year Study Shows Trickle-Down Is a Myth, Inequality Rampant

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Inequality has remained persistently high for decades, and a new report shows just how stark the divide is between the richest and poorest people on the planet. Insider reports: The 2022 World Inequality Report, a huge undertaking coordinated by economic and inequality experts Lucas Chancel, Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez, and Gabriel Zucman, was the product of four years of research and produced an unprecedented data set on just how wealth is distributed. "The world is marked by a very high level of income inequality and an extreme level of wealth inequality," the authors wrote. The data serves as a complete rebuke of the trickle-down economic theory, which posits that cutting taxes on the rich will "trickle down" to those below, with the cuts eventually benefiting everyone.

They argue in the new report that the last two decades of wealth data show that "inequality is a political choice, not an inevitability." For instance, when it comes to wealth, which accounts for the values of assets people hold, researchers found that the "poorest half of the global population barely owns any wealth at all." That bottom half owns just 2% of total wealth. That means that the top half of the world holds 98% of the world's wealth, and that gets even more concentrated the wealthier you get. Indeed, the richest 10% of the world's population hold 76%, or two-thirds of all wealth. That means the 517 million people who make up the top hold vastly more than the 2.5 billion who make up the bottom. The world's policy choices have led to wealth trickling up rather than down.

One group in particular has seen its share of global wealth swell. The report notes that "2020 marked the steepest increase in global billionaires' share of wealth on record." Broadly, the number of billionaires rose to a record-number in 2020, with Wealth-X finding that there are now over 3,000 members of the three-comma club. Billionaire gains are a well-documented trend: The left-leaning Institute for Policy Studies and Americans for Tax Fairness found that Americans added $2.1 trillion to their wealth during the pandemic, a 70% increase.
Some of the solutions that the authors propose to help alleviate this disparity center around taxation. "It would be completely unreasonable not to ask more to top wealth-holders in the future, especially in light of the social, developmental and environmental challenges ahead," they write.

That means expanding wealth taxes like property taxes to all different types of wealth, and to make taxes progressive -- meaning they increase with net worth.

More like 120 years

By OrangeTide • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

In 1896, Democratic presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan described the concept using the metaphor of a "leak" in his Cross of Gold speech:
“There are two ideas of government. There are those who believe that if you just legislate to make the well-to-do prosperous, that their prosperity will leak through on those below. The Democratic idea has been that if you legislate to make the masses prosperous their prosperity will find its way up and through every class that rests upon it.”

We've been cracking jokes on trickle down and supply-side economics for the entirety of the 20th century. Anyone who isn't laughing by now is either in on the joke or the next sucker.

Improve the standard of living of your workers and they'll take that prosperity and send it straight into the economy without even pausing to consider if they should shield it in a tax haven or save it in a bank. What a wealthy person does with a windfall is a far different story.

Just as one would expect the

By oldgraybeard • Score: 3 • Thread
"researchers are some of the leading minds on inequality" and they found "wait for it" inequality and trickle down economics does not work. Guess I will wait for their presentation on what does work.

Income inequality is not the problem. Here's proof

By GPS Pilot • Score: 3 • Thread

Income inequality (a.k.a. relative poverty) is not the problem.

Absolute poverty is the problem.

Here's a thought experiment that will prove it to you, if you're honest with yourself.

You are presented with a Magic Button. If you press it, every human being will see their income increase according to this formula:

      new_income = 300*previous_income + $200,000

That means a Somalian who was scraping by on $100 per year will now get $230,000 per year. If you press the button, you ELIMINATE absolute poverty everywhere on Earth.

It also means that if a person made $30 billion this year, their new income will be $9.0000002 trillion. If you press the button, you will MASSIVELY INCREASE INCOME INEQUALITY.

Would you refrain from pressing the button -- thereby dooming a billion people to continue to live in absolute poverty -- just because leftists have brainwashed each other into believing that income inequality is a problem?

Lots of people live comfortable lives, while living in relative poverty compared to Bill Gates. That's not a problem.

Income inequality / relative poverty is not the problem. Absolute poverty is the problem.

Re:20 Years

By crgrace • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Median inflation-adjusted income in the USA has not increased significantly since 1968.

https://dqydj.com/household-in...

They're measuring inequality? Or better lives?

By mveloso • Score: 3 • Thread

The summary makes it sound like they're judging trickle-down on the basis of reducing inequality. The original idea behind trickle-down was "a rising tide lifts all boats."

The question should be "are people's lives better," not "are the rich people richer than the poor people."

UAE To Shift To Saturday-Sunday Weekend in Line With Global Markets

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
The United Arab Emirates will shift to a working week of four and half days with a Saturday-Sunday weekend from the start of next year to better align its economy with global markets, but private companies will be free to choose their own working week. From a report: The oil-producing Gulf state, the region's commercial, trade and tourism hub, currently has a Friday-Saturday weekend. From Jan. 1, however, the weekend will start on Friday afternoon, including for schools, a government circular said. "Each company, depending on the sector they operate in and what suits and serves their business best, can choose the weekend they decide for their employees," Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation Abdulrahman al-Awar told Reuters. Over the past year, the UAE has taken measures to make its economy more attractive to foreign investment and talent at a time of growing economic rivalry with Saudi Arabia.

Twitter Acquires, Shuts Down Would-Be Slack Rival Quill

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Twitter announced it has acquired Quill, a business-focused messaging service meant to compete against the likes of Slack. According to TechCrunch, "Quill is not making the cut in the acquisition: it will be winding down as an app" as Twitter works to incorporate many of its features into its own service. From the report: Quill notes in a brief announcement on its site that users will be "able to export your team message history until 1pm PST, Saturday, December 11th 2021, when we will be turning off our servers and deleting all data." It will issue refunds for all active teams. But the team and its IP are joining the flock: Specifically, Quill's people will be joining Twitter's Experience organization to work on messaging tools, specifically Twitter direct messages. Pettersson will be taking a role as product manager, reporting into the Conversations team under Oji Udezue, Twitter tells me.

DMs have long been a source of interest for Twitter observers, and some have wondered when and if Twitter would ever seek to develop them into a more standalone product (something that they've toyed with apparently) and possible business line. That would make some sense, given the huge boom we've seen in messaging apps in recent years, and the moves so many other open-ended social media platforms have made to boost their own direct messaging businesses. Now, with Twitter making more moves to diversify its business, maybe this could be an opportunity to rethink DMs too.

This calls for a class action

By stikves • Score: 3 • Thread

I'm pretty sure there is an arbitration cause, disclaimer rule, whatever in their contract. I don't care. It should not be legal to abruptly stop paid services only because you sold your company.

Except for emergencies (like bankruptcy), the obligations should pass on as well as assets. If you cannot so much that keep the servers alive... more than a week... you are a terrible company.

And should be sued severely for breach of contract.

Giant Study Finds Viagra Is Linked To Almost 70% Lower Risk of Alzheimer's

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
fahrbot-bot shares a report from ScienceAlert: Usage of the medication sildenafil -- better known to most as the brand-name drug Viagra -- is associated with dramatically reduced incidence of Alzheimer's disease, new research suggests. According to a study led by researchers at the Cleveland Clinic, taking sildenafil is tied to a nearly 70 percent lower risk of developing Alzheimer's compared to non-users. That's based on an analysis of health insurance claim data from over 7.2 million people, in which records showed that claimants who took the medication were much less likely to develop Alzheimer's over the next six years of follow up, compared to matched control patients who didn't use sildenafil.

It's important to note that observed associations like this -- even on a huge scale -- are not the same as proof of a causative effect. For example, it's possible that the people in the cohort who took sildenafil might have something else to thank for their improved chances of not developing Alzheimer's. Nonetheless, the researchers say the correlation shown here -- in addition to other indicators in the study -- is enough to identify sildenafil as a promising candidate drug for Alzheimer's disease, the viability of which can be explored in future randomized clinical trials designed to test whether causality does indeed exist.

Potential mechanism of action

By phantomfive • Score: 3 • Thread

Viagra is a vasodilator, it improves blood flow. So maybe improved blood flow in the brain helps wash out the plaques and salts in the brain.

This is all hypothetical, and more study is needed. A 70% reduction is notable, but it's more like an arrow pointing towards potential fruitful research, than an actual cure. A different study could come up with a different result.

Jumping to conclusions

By Dorianny • Score: 3 • Thread
A study linked the Gut microbiome to Autism and than it was recently discovered that their micriobiome is different because they tend to be picky eaters.

The Biogen plaque clearing drug for Alzimer's doesn't seem to do much at all. As it turns out the plaque is not the root cause or even a serious secondary contributor to the disease.

It is easy to find a link it is much harder to find the relationship.

Correlation is not causation...

By blahbooboo • Score: 3 • Thread
Despite the initial Slashdot comments that doctors will start prescribing Viagra to Alzheimer's patients, there are a lot of reasons this correlation could occur totally separate from Viagra. For example, people on Viagra might have been more active (i.e. exercise) in life than those without viagra, and exercise has been consistently shown to reduce the chance of dementia (and also to mitigate age associated mental decline).

Re:Correlation is not causation...

By kdataman • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

That is true, but in this case there was a second step toward validation:
"To further verify their findings, the team created model cells of Alzheimer's disease in the lab using stem cells and treated them with sildenafil. The drug not only increased brain cell growth but also decreased hyperphosphorylation of tau proteins, a process that usually leads to tangles."
Not proof, but more than simple correlation.

I wonder

By RobinH • Score: 3 • Thread
Since this medication became common, and is generally prescribed to men, have we seen a decrease in Alzheimer's incidence among men without a commensurate decrease in incidence among women? That would be another interesting datapoint.

Ubisoft Becomes First Major Gaming Company To Launch In-Game NFTs

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Decrypt: Today, the publisher behind Assassin's Creed and Just Dance revealed Ubisoft Quartz, a platform that lets players earn and purchase in-game items that are tokenized as NFTs on the Tezos blockchain. Quartz will launch first in the PC version of Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Breakpoint, the latest online game in the long-running tactical shooter series. Quartz will launch in beta on December 9 in the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Brazil, and Australia. Ghost Recon Breakpoint players who have reached XP level 5 in the game can access the NFT drops. Ubisoft's release says that players must be at least 18 years old to create a Tezos wallet for use with the game.

Ubisoft is referring to its NFT drops as "Digits" and plans to release free NFTs for early adopters on December 9, 12, and 15, with further drops planned for 2022. An infographic shows items such as weapon skins and unique armor and apparel, along with a message that teases future initiatives: "This is just the beginning" [...] Much of Ubisoft's announcement today highlights the difference in environmental impact between the proof-of-stake Tezos blockchain and the energy-intensive Bitcoin. Tezos claims that a single transaction on its network uses "more than 2 million times less energy" than Bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency. It also suggests that a single Tezos transaction uses about as much energy as a 30-second streaming video, whereas a Bitcoin transaction is estimated to measure up to the environmental impact of a full, uninterrupted year of streaming video footage.

Please

By argStyopa • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

I'm asking the entire world: PLEASE, please stop buying these.

This is fucking insane, that someone gives you a meaningless token claiming you uniquely 'own' this piece of digitalia which generally anyone can look at, you can't prove you are the only holder, and ultimately it's some quavering ones and zeros held in a memory bank somewhere.

This is stupider than spending real dollars buying Star Citizen ships for a game that has eaten what, $300 million over 10+ years and will likely never launch.
This is stupider than spending real dollars buying property in a virtual world where space is literally infinite and could vanish any moment.

Every time you pay money for an NFT, you are doing perhaps the stupidest thing imaginable - not just wasting your money, you are incentivizing people to continue to sell this stupid shit.

Look, it's your money, you can waste it however you like.

But for the rest of us, I'd propose anyone spending $0.01+ on an NFT should be forever banned from ever receiving any amount of public $ assistance, ever.

Missouri Planned To Thank 'Hacker' Journalist Before Governor Accused Him of Crimes

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
UnknowingFool writes: Two days before Missouri governor Michael Parson (R) accused a newspaper reporter, Josh Renaud, of "hacking" for reporting about a fixed flaw in a state website, the state government of Missouri was planning to publicly thank Renaud for alerting them of the flaw, emails show in a public records request. Two days later, however, the Governor publicly accused Renaud of crimes. Also in the request, emails show that a day before the article was published the state's cybersecurity specialist informed other state officials that "this incident is not an actual network intrusion." [Instead, the state's database was "misconfigured," which "allowed open source tools to be used to query data that should not be public."]

St Louis Dispatch reporter, Josh Renaud, had discovered that the state's website was exposing the Social Security Numbers of teachers and other school employees in the HTML code of the state's site. He informed the state who fixed the flaw, and he delayed publishing the article until after the flaw was fixed. The article was published on October 14. The same day, Governor Parson accused Renaud of cyber crimes. A week later, Parson doubled down after criticism.

Missouri

By Retired Chemist • Score: 3 • Thread
I live in Missouri. Our governor is a total embarrassment and a total idiot. This should make him good presidential material, which is probably his ambition.

Not too surprising

By quonset • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Missouri is the same state, with the same governor, who commissioned a study to see if mask mandates work. The study showed yes, wearing a mask does reduce infections. The governor or Missouri quashed the study, never revealing it to the public.

To top things off, the AG of Missouri has now ordered schools and health departments to cease all covid orders or face prosecution.

So yeah, not surprising the right-wing cultists would attack someone who provided them with factual information. Wouldn't want to look bad, now would we?

Re:Killing the messenger is not a good tactic.

By ls671 • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Doing intrusion detection on my systems, I often realize that some servers not belonging to us in my own city have been hijacked. I also find obviously hacked email accounts and other stuff.

I never report anything since I am afraid that what happened to that guy might happen to me. I realize this is sad but I'd rather be safe than sorry.

Re:Missouri

By TopherC • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

It's the "doubled-down after criticism" part that gets me. Have you ever worked with someone who does that? I have, and each time it was a disaster. It must be some kind of ultra-self-empowerment ideology, pitched as advice for management: Every problem can be boiled down to an issue of perception, and the self-made man owns all of their problems. Thus being wrong is personal failure, a weakness. I don't know, but something like that anyway. Trump is an archetype of this mentality, but of course it's not just him.

As a scientist-turned-engineer, I'm wrong a lot. If I'm not making mistakes. identifying, and then correcting them, then I must not be in a productive mode. Doubling-down on my own mistakes would be self-destructive.

Is this "being wrong is only a problem of perception" BS something taught in ivy league business admin programs, or is it charlatan self-help advice? Where does this come from?

Re:Missouri

By RazorSharp • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Is this "being wrong is only a problem of perception" BS something taught in ivy league business admin programs, or is it charlatan self-help advice? Where does this come from?

It's much more simple than that. They have a con artist mentality. "Con" is short for "confidence," meaning that the scheme requires confident bullshit.

You might be an engineer who designs things to work, but the people responsible for selling whatever it is you design probably have this mentality. I've noticed that people who really enjoy sales want to feel like they just conned someone when the sale is complete, so even when they don't have to they treat the customer like a mark.

To put it more simply: Why are all car salesmen scumbags? Because scumbags are the type of people who enjoy selling cars.

Intel Is Taking Its Self-Driving Company Mobileye Public In 2022

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Intel announced that it will take public its self-driving technology company Mobileye, the Israeli company it acquired for $15.3 billion in 2017. The Verge reports: The chipmaker said that by listing Mobileye's shares on the stock market, it hopes to unlock more value for Intel's shareholders. Intel will remain the majority shareholder in Mobileye. In a statement, Intel heralded its acquisition of the company as a noteworthy success, noting that Mobileye's revenue in 2021 was 40 percent higher than the previous year. An IPO "provides the best opportunity to build on Mobileye's track record for innovation and unlock value for shareholders," Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger said.

Founded in Jerusalem in 1999 by Amnon Shashua and Ziv Aviram, the company develops systems and chips to help vehicles navigate autonomously and provide warnings for collisions. Tesla originally used Mobileye chips for its Autopilot system but severed ties with the company after a fatal accident where Tesla claims Mobileye's technology was unable to distinguish between a laterally crossing truck and the sky behind it. Its EyeQ4 chip is currently used in the NIO ES6 and ES8, Nissan's ProPilot 2.0, VW's Travel Assistant in the Passat and Golf, the Ford Mustang Mach-E, as well as the F-150 truck.

Mobileye is currently working on four different products that offer varying levels of automation, including an advanced driver assist system (ADAS) that it currently supplies to 25 companies and a "premium" ADAS that will launch with Zeekr, an electric vehicle brand owned by China's Geely. Neither ADAS system will include lidar, the sensor that uses lasers to determine the real-time location of objects on the road. Mobileye's other two products will use lidar and are more advanced in their automation technology. [...] Mobileye also aspires to operate its own robotaxis [...].

Ya, but ...

By fahrbot-bot • Score: 3 • Thread

Intel Is Taking Its Self-Driving Company Mobileye Public in 2022

If it's a self-driving company, wouldn't it take itself public? Duh.

The CIA Is Deep Into Cryptocurrency, Director Reveals

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard: There's a long-running conspiracy theory among a small number of cryptocurrency enthusiasts that Bitcoin's anonymous inventor, Satoshi Nakamoto, was actually the CIA or another three-lettered agency. That fringe theory is having a fresh day in the sun after CIA Director William Burns said on Monday that the intelligence agency has "a number of different projects focused on cryptocurrency" on the go. Burns made his comments at the tail end of a talk at the Wall Street Journal's CEO Summit. After discussing everything from the possible Russian invasion of Ukraine to the challenges of space, someone in the audience asked if the agency is on top of cryptocurrencies, which are currently at the center of the ransomware epidemic that U.S. officials are attempting to get a handle on and stamp out.

Here's what Burns said: "'This is something I inherited. My predecessor had started this, but had set in motion a number of different projects focused on cryptocurrency and trying to look at second- and third-order consequences as well and helping with our colleagues in other parts of the U.S. government to provide solid intelligence on what we're seeing as well.'" Cryptocurrencies "could have enormous impact on everything from ransomware attacks, as you mentioned, because one of the ways of getting at ransomware attacks and deterring them is to be able to get at the financial networks that so many of those criminal networks use and that gets right at the issue of digital currencies as well," Burns said.

The whole thing is a CIA op, isn't it

By mobby_6kl • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

The whole thing is a CIA op, isn't it? All the goat NFTs are just a way to fill their slush fund and then use that to fund mind control rays and whatever else they're doing nowadays.

Blatantly a good idea for CIA to do this

By gurps_npc • Score: 3 • Thread

1) It can make them cash, off books. They love this.
2) It lets them pay criminals. They love this.
3) If they run enough miners, they can probably track people that think crypto is not trackable. They love this.
4) They need to know enough to counter other's uses of crypto. They need that.

So basically crypto is right in their bailiwick, as well as most other intelligence agencies.

CIA Backed rugpull

By kyoko21 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Think about it... with all the talk of rug pulls and cryptos being used for money laundering, why not lure criminals into the crypto space through the promises of cleaning your money through alt-coins only to get suckered into rug pulls that's setup by the CIA. Sure, there will be collateral damage, but in a way, collateral damages have always been considered as acceptable losses in the eyes of these operatives because this is all done for the sake of the country at large.

"People will lose their lives, savings will be wiped, and people will get hurt. At the end of the, however, I do this because I believe in my country and I am a patriot."

Pretty sure someone have uttered those phrases before, or something very close to it...

Darpa Funded Researchers Accidentally Create the World's First Warp Bubble

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Reeses writes: The Debrief just reported that DARPA just "accidentally" created the world's first warp bubble. From the article:

Warp drive pioneer and former NASA warp drive specialist Dr. Harold G "Sonny" White has reported the successful manifestation of an actual, real-world "Warp Bubble." And, according to White, this first of its kind breakthrough by his Limitless Space Institute (LSI) team sets a new starting point for those trying to manufacture a full-sized, warp-capable spacecraft.

There's also a video of the announcement, The Very First Warp-Bubble Created by DARPA Funded Team.

Re:Unlikely

By ceoyoyo • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

It sounds like someone simulated a Casimir cavity that produced an annular energy density distribution, and made some comments about that being vaguely the same shape you need for an Alcubierre warp drive.

From the paper: "these numerical analysis results were observed to be qualitatively quite similar to a two-dimensional representation of energy density requirements for the Alcubierre warp metric."

Mix in White's enthusiasm for speculative ideas and a credulous reporter and you have "OMG world's first warp bubble!"

Re:Unlikely

By MacMann • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

So wake me when we launch the Enterprise.

Just checking...

Enterprise was transferred to the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York City, where it has been on display since July 2012.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

Yep, it's still sitting on terra firma. So, nothing to see here.

Re:Do you WANT a Terran Empire?

By JBeretta • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Because Americans getting access to warp drive technology while barely warding off a fascist takeover (for now) seems like a good way to get a Terran Empire...

You're delusional if you think that a bunch of morons storming into the capitol building was almost a "coup".

There really is a lot of truth to the statement: Lefties are idiots.

What? You think all of our 4-star generals were gonna start taking orders from the "new" government. Jesus H.... I hope you remember to chew when you eat..

Zephram Cochrane is born in 9 years.

By argStyopa • Score: 3 • Thread

Good thing we finally got started on this stuff.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

Re:Do you WANT a Terran Empire?

By schweini • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
It's not the bunch of idiots storming the capitol that are the coup.
It;s the fact that about half the population and of the government doesn't see anything wrong with that, and defends what happens, with the support of one of the biggest media empires. THAT is the coup, away from being a normal, functioning country.
Would it really be so hard for the people and media to say "yea, I support Trump, but what those idiots did in January was too much and wrong!"?

The World's Relentless Demand for Chips Turns Deadly in Malaysia

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Before this year, no one worried too much about the global supply chain, beyond specialists in the field. The role of developing nations like Malaysia or the Philippines warranted little attention. From a report: But the coronavirus outbreak has been a wake-up call for chief executives, prime ministers and consumers around the world, as shortages disrupted production of everything from iPhones and F-150 pickups to Nike sneakers. The tragedy in Muar shows the little-understood human cost of keeping supply chains running in a pandemic. While politicians in Washington and Paris urge suppliers to step up production of semiconductors and government officials in countries like Malaysia give special exemptions to powerful corporations, employees like Hani put their lives at risk.

The duty of the government is to look after the workers' interest more than the country's or the companies' interest," said Zaid Ibrahim, a former law minister in Malaysia. "Of the three -- the government, companies and workers -- the most vulnerable are the workers. I wish we could have avoided these tragedies." Malaysia is a case study in the conflict between people and profit. The government spent decades attracting foreign investment and diversifying its economy beyond rubber and tin. The country now accounts for 13% of the world's chip testing and packaging, a key step in producing the semiconductors that go into automobiles, smartphones and other devices. Some 575,000 people were employed in the electrical and electronics industry in 2020, working with global chipmakers such as STMicro, Infineon Technologies AG, Intel Corp. and Renesas Electronics.

Re:Did something happen?

By Rayfield k. • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Running it through an archive service usually works. Here: https://archive.md/pNI4a

What relentless demand? What tragedy?

By Striek • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

This is a new low, even for Slashdot.

TFS provides no useful summary of what the title is referring to, and then only a paywalled link. This is what Slashdot loves to refer to as "Crap journalism", FFS.

Wow. Just... wow. Most useless editors ever right now I think.

Archived copy

By ArchieBunker • Score: 3 • Thread

For all the complainers. https://archive.md/pNI4a

Summary

By Petersko • Score: 3 • Thread

They didn't lock down the facility when covid hit, and there was an outbreak in the workers. At least 20 died. So toss them in with nearly every meat packing facility in North America, and (I'm pretty sure) many thousands of other manufacturing facilities around the world.

I don't know why it makes a difference that it's a chip factory.

Yet ANOTHER terrible headline with a paywall

By hoofie • Score: 3 • Thread

For the love of god can the clowns who now edit this site stop posting paywall articles with poor headlines.

Seriously - a high school newsletter would be better than this.

Verizon Once Again Expands Its Snoopvertising Ambitions

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Karl Bode, reporting for TechDirt: Back in 2008, Verizon proclaimed that we didn't need additional consumer privacy protections (or opt in requirements, or net neutrality rules) because consumers would keep the company honest. "The extensive oversight provided by literally hundreds of thousands of sophisticated online users would help ensure effective enforcement of good practices and protect consumers," Verizon said at the time.

Six years later and Verizon found itself at the heart of a massive privacy scandal after it began covertly injecting unique user-tracking headers into wireless data packets. The technology allowed Verizon to track users all over the internet, and the company neither bothered to inform users it would happen, or gave users any way to opt out. It took security researchers two years before security researchers even realized what Verizon was doing. Verizon ultimately received a $1.35 million fine from the FCC (a tiny portion of what Verizon made off the program), but still uses the same tech (albeit with functioning opt-out) today.

A few years later and it's not clear Verizon has actually learned all that much. The company last week began expanding its data collection and monetization once again, this time via a new "Verizon Custom Experience" the company says will help it "personalize our communications with you, give you more relevant product and service recommendations, and develop plans, services and offers that are more appealing to you." In reality that means Verizon is expanding the collection of data on the websites you visit, the people you communicate with, and the apps you use.

Full text of the announcement email

By Netdoctor • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Full text of the email I just got. I hit the roof when I read this:

Introducing Verizon Custom Experience.
It’s your experience, tailored to your interests.

Hi ,

At Verizon, we believe being America’s most reliable network comes with a responsibility to safeguard and protect your information. Your privacy is important to us, and we want to let you know about a new choice you have regarding how we use your information.

We’d like to introduce Verizon Custom Experience, a program designed to provide you more personalized experiences with Verizon. You will be part of Custom Experience unless you opt out.

How it works

The program uses information about websites you visit and apps you use on your mobile device to help us better understand your interests. This helps us personalize our communications with you, give you more relevant product and service recommendations, and develop plans, services and offers that are more appealing to you.

To be very clear, this information is used only by Verizon; we do not sell this information to others for them to use for their own advertising.

You’re in control

You will be part of Custom Experience unless you opt out. You can opt out at any time on the My Verizon site or your My Verizon app by accessing privacy preferences.

More information is available in our program FAQs.

Good grief

By zeeky boogy doog • Score: 3 • Thread
If the fine for violating the law is less than the profit made by doing so, companies (and individuals) will simply do so and write it off as an operating expense.

And don't image for a nanosecond that the people writing the laws don't know that.

Airplane Landings at Risk of Delays on FAA Move To Ease 5G Risk

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Airliners, private planes and helicopters may have to limit landings in low-visibility conditions and follow other restrictions under a government directive to ensure safe operations once a new band of 5G mobile-phone service starts in January. From a report: The Federal Aviation Administration on Tuesday issued two orders laying out potential flight restrictions that could cause severe restrictions at major airports during bad weather.

"The FAA is working closely with the Federal Communications Commission and wireless companies, and has made progress toward safely implementing the 5G expansion," the FAA said in a statement. "We are confident with ongoing collaboration we will reach this shared goal." The agency said in a press release that it believes "the expansion of 5G and aviation will safely co-exist" and stopped short of specific restrictions. But the two airworthiness directives lay the groundwork for what could be severe limitations across the nation's aviation system if the regulator believes the signals -- from a part of the spectrum called the "C-Band" that the mobile carriers have procured to expand their service -- threaten safety.

Re:Quiet zone!

By PPH • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

I don't think this is a 5-G/ILS interference problem. ILS operates at or below 335 MHz. C-Band is 4 GHz.

There is a system that operates close to 5G frequencies: The Radio Altimeter (RA). The RA is an essential part of the Ground Proximity Warning System (GPWS) and is used outside of the final approach paths that ILS is necessary for. So 5G C-band would have to be restricted pretty much everywhere.

Face it. Ajit Pai sold off spectrum that he probably had no business messing with. All to satisfy his corporate overlords. The sooner we realize this and reverse those decisions, the less harm will be done to everyone else.

Good

By backslashdot • Score: 3 • Thread

The last thing I wanna do is catch Covid when my plane is landing.

Senate Confirms FCC Chair Rosenworcel To Another Term, Narrowly Avoiding a Republican Majority

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
The Senate voted 68-31 to confirm Federal Communications Commission Chair Jessica Rosenworcel, the first woman to hold that title, to another five-year term, narrowly avoiding a Republican majority at the agency once her current term was set to expire at the end of the year. From a report: Rosenworcel gained the support of key Republicans, including Senate Commerce Committee Ranking Member Roger Wicker, R-Miss. President Joe Biden waited a historically long period to nominate Rosenworcel as well as former FCC official Gigi Sohn to a commissioner role. That prolonged period threatened to temporarily give the two Republicans on the commission a majority, since Rosenworcel would have had to leave the commission at the New Year if she was not confirmed to another term by then. While the role of acting chair, which sets the agenda for the agency, would go to the remaining Democrat on the commission until a permanent chair could be confirmed, the agency would likely not have been able to push forward anything but the most bipartisan of measures. Even with Rosenworcel's confirmation, the commission is set to remain stalemated on more controversial issues until a fifth commissioner is confirmed. Biden has signaled a desire to return to the net neutrality rules adopted by the FCC during the Obama administration, which were later repealed by the agency under former President Donald Trump. Republicans on the commission have continued to signal opposition to reclassifying broadband providers under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934, which the industry has argued would unfairly open the possibility of price regulation of their services. Companies subject to the reclassification included internet service providers like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast, parent company of CNBC owner NBCUniversal.

Who cares about Dem or GOP labels

By bjdevil66 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

"Narrowly avoiding a Republican majority" - That's a fallacious sucker's viewpoint.

Give me someone that actually listens to both sides of ALL types (Dem vs. GOP, corporations vs. citizens vs. government, etc.) and does what's best for the long-term for the people in all walks of life.

Is that inefficient? Yes. Tough to get things done? Definitely. But inefficient progress is far superior to whiplashes between policy changes by those in power. And it keeps those in power in check.

The Republican party wields power

By rsilvergun • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread
in a way the Democrats consistently refuse to. The old "They go low, we go high". It's how the got a SCOTUS majority and it's why Roe v Wade is on the chopping block now (with full criminalization up next, up to and including more of this). Gov Desantis in Florida just denied licenses to places where unaccompanied minors are housed when they arrive here illegally. Whatever else you think about immigration that's not the way to go about it. But again, they wield power.

"Narrowly avoiding a Republican majority"

By cascadingstylesheet • Score: 3 • Thread

Um ... thank goodness, I guess I'm supposed to say?

Is this Slashdot, or Slate?

An Amazon Server Outage is Causing Problems for Alexa, Ring, Disney Plus, and Others

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Problems with some of the Amazon Web Services cloud servers are causing slow loading or failures for significant chunks of the internet. From a report: The company's widespread network of data centers powers many of the things you interact with online, so as we've seen in previous AWS outage incidents, any problem can have massive ripple effects. People started noticing problems at around 10:45AM ET. There are reports of outages for Disney Plus streaming, as well as games like PUBG, League of Legends, and Valorant. We've also noticed some problems accessing Amazon.com, as well as other Amazon products like the Alexa AI assistant, Kindle ebooks, Amazon Music, or Ring security cameras. The DownDetector list of services with spikes in their outage reports runs off nearly any recognizable name: Tinder, Roku, Coinbase, both Cash App and Venmo, and the list goes on.

Re:Single point of failure..?

By Drew M. • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Has Amazon become a single point of failure..?

AWS has only one availability zone down right now, US-EAST-1. With proper redundant design across multiple availability zones, this outage isn't an issue. All it does it show us the companies who are bad at reliability engineering.

cloud fall down go boom

By drwho • Score: 3 • Thread

rainy day cloud everywhere, blue skies, no cloud in sight...oh when will the storm roll in.

Re:We are affected too...

By sentiblue • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
I understand that only US-east1 is down and we do have service in Sydney, US-east2, US-west* as well. But for us this is having devastating/catastrophic consequences because lots of APIs reside in Virginia. We rely heavily on AWS automations and this is a big problem. As far as AWS concerns, if their US-EAST-1 region is down, it has a global impact regardless if their customers have redundancy.

Push notifications via SNS were broken

By bustinbrains • Score: 3 • Thread

If there's one positive thing to come out of this: Amazon SNS is broken when these types of outages occur. That means push notifications for many apps get broken as a result. Quieter phones and computers = happiness for most users.

Some queued notifications have started showing up, so it's soon back to the useless deluge of push notifications.

Re:Single point of failure..?

By outz • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Has Amazon become a single point of failure..?

AWS has only one availability zone down right now, US-EAST-1. With proper redundant design across multiple availability zones, this outage isn't an issue. All it does it show us the companies who are bad at reliability engineering.

US-EAST-1 is a REGION. AWS's global services were down. The global service outage (api/s3/cf/r53 etc) affected all regions.
Even if you had a hot/hot setup that spanned from EAST-1 to WEST-2 it would have had issues because it's a global service outage. There would be nothing routing your traffic between regions, cause it's a global services outage...

If it's anyone's fault for not having a proper redundant design it's AWS... they're too dependent on EAST-1.