the unofficial Slashdot digest archive

Lawsuits Threaten Infosec Research -- Just When We Need it Most

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
This year, two security reporters and one researcher will fight for their professional lives in court. Steve Ragan, senior staff writer at tech news site CSO, and Dan Goodin, security editor at Ars Technica, were last year named defendants in two separate lawsuits. The cases are different, but they have a common theme: they are being sued by the companies covered in articles they wrote. From a report: Although lawsuits targeting reporters, particularly on the security beat, are rare, legal threats are an occupational hazard that reporters are all too aware of -- from companies threatening to call an editor to demand a correction -- or else -- to a full-blown lawsuit. But the inevitable aftermath is a "chilling effect." White-hat hackers and security researchers hesitate to report vulnerabilities and weaknesses to technology firms for fear of facing legal retribution. With nation state attackers targeting elections and critical national security infrastructure on a near-daily basis, security research is needed more than ever.

The Car of the Future Will Sell Your Data

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Picture this: You're driving home from work, contemplating what to make for dinner, and as you idle at a red light near your neighborhood pizzeria, an ad offering $5 off a pepperoni pie pops up on your dashboard screen. Are you annoyed that your car's trying to sell you something, or pleasantly persuaded? From a report: Telenav, a company developing in-car advertising software, is betting you won't mind much. Car companies -- looking to earn some extra money -- hope so, too. Automakers have been installing wireless connections in vehicles and collecting data for decades. But the sheer volume of software and sensors in new vehicles, combined with artificial intelligence that can sift through data at ever-quickening speeds, means new services and revenue streams are quickly emerging. The big question for automakers now is whether they can profit off all the driver data they're capable of collecting without alienating consumers or risking backlash from Washington. "Carmakers recognize they're fighting a war over customer data," said Roger Lanctot, who works with automakers on data monetization as a consultant for Strategy Analytics. "Your driving behavior, location, has monetary value, not unlike your search activity."

This feature will be a non-starter for me

By sinij • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
This in car advertising feature will be non-starer for me. I will avoid buying cars equipped with one, if all cars go this way I will pull the fuse on infotaiment system.

One aspect people fail to consider is that if your car reports your location to advertisers, it also can be compelled to report your location to law enforcement, creditors, lawyers.

Bad example

By MitchDev • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

THe time for the pizza coupon is 15-20 minutes out from the pizza shop so you can order on your cell/smart phone and then pick it up rather than pulling over, ordering, and then sitting and waiting for the pizza.

Altho personally I find all this advertising abhorrent and am sick to death of constanly being advertised to. I tend to take the more annoying ads as as example of who NOT to do business with.

Oh, hell no!

By cvdwl • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Can we please just keep making cars that have NO built-in screens? If and when I need a navigator, I'll mount my phone, but I generally don't need a bright glowing rectangle blowing out my night vision.

I don't want to live in the future any more

By enjar • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
When I was a kid it seemed like it had so much promise. Nowadays it's just pretty much advertising.

Good luck

By sjbe • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

I will avoid buying cars equipped with one, if all cars go this way I will pull the fuse on infotaiment system.

Which in all likelihood will result in a car that does not start. I work with these sorts of system in my day job because my company provides wiring for them. These are (generally speaking) not well designed modular systems that can be easily disabled piecemeal. Car companies have virtually zero concept of modularity or security and all the systems tend to be tied into all the others WAY too closely. CAN bus is a hot mess. The way wiring is done in most vehicles would make the head of most slashdot readers explode with rage. It's the most scatterbrained ad-hoc thing you can imagine.

We just did a set of harnesses for a vehicle being prototyped right now and the notion that you could disable the infotainment system on that vehicle with no further problems is laughable. You'd basically have to reprogram the whole thing and possibly replace a lot of the ECUs which for all practical purposes would be nigh impossible.

One aspect people fail to consider is that if your car reports your location to advertisers, it also can be compelled to report your location to law enforcement, creditors, lawyers.

Yep. Scary ain't it?

FCC To Officially Rescind Net Neutrality Rules On Thursday

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Reuters: The U.S. Federal Communications Commission is expected to publish on Thursday its December order overturning the landmark Obama-era net neutrality rules, two sources briefed on the matter said Tuesday. The formal publication in the Federal Register, a government website, means state attorneys general and advocacy groups will be able to sue in a bid to block the order from taking effect. The Republican-led FCC in December voted 3-2 to overturn rules barring service providers from blocking, slowing access to or charging more for certain content. The White House Office of Management and Budget still must sign off on some aspects of the FCC reversal before it takes legal effect. Congressional aides say the publication will trigger a 60-legislative-day deadline for Congress to vote on whether to overturn the decision. U.S. Senate Democrats said in January they had the backing of 50 members of the 100-person chamber for repeal, leaving them just one vote short of a majority. The December FCC order will be made public on Wednesday and formally published on Thursday, the sources said.

First Post !

By speedlaw • Score: 3 • Thread
Something about gay black people, I think... or it is about goats being intimate....i've been here too long.

More evidence that there are real differences

By JoshuaZ • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
This should be more evidence that there are real and substantial differences between the Democratic and Republican parties. Yes, there are a small number of Democrat senators who aren't in favor of net neutrality, and there are a small number of Republican senators who are in favor, but the vast majority of each group have taken positions exactly as expected. There are real differences between the major political parties.

Missed it by thaa-at much

By rmdingler • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Even though a Presidential veto and a Republican-dominated House would stand in the way of a 51 vote Senate rejection, the "one vote shy" premise is heartening on the surface... unless you consider these claims don't get held to any scrutiny.

The Democrats are saying, "Look we are trying!" while accepting campaign contributions as fast as the Republicans from ISPs.

It's Official!

By kenh • Score: 3 • Thread

It's the End of Days, queue Mass Hysteria - we'll look back on these days wistfully, with a tear in our eyes for the liberties lost when the FCC stopped it's nearly thousand day watch over a briefly Neutral Net...

Flixster Video Shuts Down

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
After being purchased by Fandango in 2016, Flixster Video is officially shutting down. The site has been sending users regular emails over the past several months about the shutdown, reports Android Police. Now, the site is no longer operational, and only points people to its mobile app, which can still be used for getting movie reviews and tickets. The Verge reports: Flixster first announced it was closing in 2016, after being acquired by Fandango along with subsidiary Rotten Tomatoes. That year, Fandango also bought video streaming service M-Go, later rebranding it under FandangoNow. Flixster Video, which let people access their UltraViolet movie collection, was not a part of that deal. The shutdown began with the service telling customers it would no longer be able to redeem digital codes on the site for video playback. Over the past few months, emails have been sent out encouraging people to migrate their Flixster accounts to Vudu and Movies Anywhere in order to make sure nothing was lost. The company says it's not too late for users to do so.

Anthony Scaramucci really needs to buy "Fandango"

By Hal_Porter • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Thus finally explaining the lyrics of "Bohemian Rhapsody"

Ultraviolet in the UK

By Radi0 • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread
Well, I think this well and truly kills Ultraviolet in the UK. TV streaming apps (Rakuten) stopped supporting Ultraviolet, followed by apps I could access using my Xbox (TalkTalk). Currently I can only access my collection using Flixster Video on my phone, which of course I can't cast to the TV. Once this goes, my ultraviolet collection is completely inaccessible, as the two services mentioned in the article, aren't available in the UK. Way to go, publishers, on persuading people of the benefits of legal digital ownership over piracy. (Of course, TFA shows an email addressed to 'US Customer', but I'm sure the UK isn't far behind)

Ultra-Violet isn't dead - it's migrated.

By pecosdave • Score: 3 • Thread

I redeemed every UltraViolet movie I ever got. Yes it was a bit of a confusing endeavor, and I wrote about it quite a bit. I would be upset if Ultraviolet were truly dead, I rarely use it to actually watch movies, but I like having them there in case there's a theoretical stuck somewhere but I still have bandwidth occasion, that's why I'm incredibly diligent about the kids movies.

All that's happened when you get down to it is Disney finally partnered up with all of the UltraViolet people, and then Amazon got in on it, Google was already working with Disney (I found that surprising). Now I can watch my Amazon, UltraViolet and Disney Movies Anywhere (keychest) stuff on YouTube. Or I can use my Vudu account and watch all that stuff on my parents BluRay player.

Flixster was just a single place to redeem codes, it's no big deal, the real big deal is the fact all the other places are working together now.

Barbie Will Be Used To Teach Kids To Code

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Mattel and Tynker are teaming up to launch seven new Barbie-themed coding lessons this coming summer. "The curriculum, aimed at teaching girls about computer programming, will also expose them to potential careers like becoming a veterinarian, astronaut, or robotics engineer," reports Engadget. "The larger goal is to introduce coding to 10 million kids by 2020." From the report: The Barbie programming curriculum has been designed for beginners grades K and up. It puts learners in career roles alongside Barbie as it introduces concepts gradually. It's not all just Barbie, of course, with a few different initiatives coming in 2018, including a Mattel code-a-thon and teacher outreach program as well as involvement in the Hour of Code in December.

"For close to 75 years, Mattel has taken a visionary approach to advancing play for kids around the world, most recently promoting computer programming and other STEM skills alongside iconic brands like Barbie, Hot Wheels and Monster High," said Tynker's Krishna Vedati in a statement. "We are very excited by this expanded partnership and the ambitious -- but achievable -- goal of teaching 10 million kids to learn to code by 2020 using Mattel brands."

"From the report"

By RightwingNutjob • Score: 3 • Thread
It's not a report. It's an article. A "reporter" may write the article, but unless it's a specially commissioned document and not one of many articles in a periodical publication, it isn't a "report."

BeauHD and msmash have been hitting the copy-paste just about every story and calling TFA a "report" for the past week or so.

H1B Barbie

By Templer421 • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

California Barbie has to train H1B Barbie so she can take California Barbies job back to India.

how about

By Tsolias • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread
a barbie coal miner? plumber? garbage collector? mechanic? truck driver?
not good argument?
how about this: stop raising your children based on your inferiority complexes
someone might say "Hey stupid, they are teaching kids something useful!" Well, they don't. Programming is a métier. It's the same as plumbing, wood crafting, smithing, e.t.c.. It's like teaching your kid to be an employee. Why don't they make barbie teach kids physics? math? astronomy? chemistry? literature? music? Because there's an inferiority complex and they feel that little girls' whole purpose from now on is to mimic/copy/compete nerd boys who suffer their whole life with their anti-social occupation and habits.

Barbie will be used ...

By houghi • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

to make more money for Mattell.

Hope this attempt is better than the 2010 book...

By stair69 • Score: 3, Interesting • Thread The "Barbie: I can be a computer engineer" book showed her having to ask the boys in her class to code a game for her because she wasn't able to! Not a great message for her fans.

Researchers Develop Online Game That Teaches Players How To Spread Misinformation

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Guardian: Cambridge researchers have built an online game, simply titled Bad News, in which players compete to become "a disinformation and fake news tycoon." By shedding light on the shady practices, they hope the game will "vaccinate" the public, and make people immune to the spread of untruths. Players of the fake news game must amass virtual Twitter followers by distorting the truth, planting falsehoods, dividing the united, and deflecting attention when rumbled. All the while, they must maintain credibility in the eyes of their audience. The game distills the art of undermining the truth into six key strategies. Once a player has demonstrated a knack for each, they are rewarded with a badge. In one round, players can opt to impersonate the president of the United States and fire off a tweet from a fake account. It declares war on North Korea complete with a #KimJongDone hashtag. At every step, players are asked if they are happy with their actions or feel, perhaps, the twinge of shame, an emotion that leads to the swift reminder that "if you want to become a master of disinformation, you've got to lose the goody two-shoes attitude." The work is due to be published in the Journal of Risk Research.

Soooo ...

By c6gunner • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

They reinvented twitter?

The people playing this game...

By StevenMaurer • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

...aren't the ones who need "vaccination".

Re:Soooo ...

By K. S. Kyosuke • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
With learning feedback, improving your disinformation skills. What could possibly go wrong?

Re: People are too stupid

By Falos • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

"If you're not reading news, you're uninformed.
If you're reading news, you're misinformed."

I assume the message is to make your own determinations from aggregate data, to not simply parrot like a mental human centipede.

Ironically, a Retweet does exactly that.

Monopoly was created like this, and failed

By aberglas • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

The original game was created by anti-monopolist Elizabeth Magie to awaken people to the danger of uncontrolled capitalism -- in the game money always goes to money. But the effect was exactly the opposite, it encouraged capitalistic thinking.

This game should be called "the Joy of Fake News".

Incidentally, I wish the SJWs would never have coined the term, and would stop using it. Trump et. al. has done an excellent job of turning it around to mean anything they disagree with.

Judge Rules AT&T Can't See Trump White House Communications About Time Warner Merger

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
The judge presiding over the Justice Department's attempt to block the AT&T-Time Warner merger has ruled that the White House's private communications on the merger will not be released. The Verge reports: When the department said in November that it would sue to block the mega-merger, thoughts immediately turned to the White House. President Trump has made no secret of his disdain for CNN, and some watchers questioned whether the White House's hand was present, guiding the Justice Department as a way to exact revenge on the Time Warner-owned property. The Justice Department has denied any wrongdoing, and said it is only looking to block the merger on the grounds that it is anti-competitive. But to prove the theory, AT&T and Time Warner requested communications between the Justice Department and White House that could have shown the department was engaging in "selective enforcement." In today's decision, the judge on the case said the companies had fallen "far short" of the legal bar required to receive the documents.

Which means it is just going to happen again

By JoshuaZ • Score: 3 • Thread
This seems very close to a blank check to the White House to engage in selective enforcement of anti-trust rules whenever they please. This ruling says that it is close to impossible to establish a clear line of political influence even when the circumstantial evidence for political retribution influencing it is pretty heavy. I'm in general in favor of stronger enforcement of anti-trust laws, but not if it is going to be done in a capricious fashion for political and personal goals.

Best we can hope for

By PopeRatzo • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

The merger between AT&T and Time-Warner should be blocked. This is a case of the president doing the right thing for corrupt reasons, which I suppose we should take as a win.

But ultimately, I suspect the merger will go forward. AT&T and Time-Warner simply have better lawyers than the Trump administration.


By MrKaos • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

More courts need to step in line or get out of the way via impeachment if necessary.

The one best reason not to impeach Trump is named Mike Pence. Last person you want as president is a right-wing fundamentalist fascist Christian controlling all of the nukes.

Re:Come on dude, shush it ... here's why ...

By JoshuaZ • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

And you thinking the merger would be good just because of "Trump" does not speak well of your ability to think.

Hmm? Absolutely nowhere did I say that. The merger is unambiguously bad. But I really, really also don't want a precedent where the President (whether Trump or anyone else) can easily use selective enforcement anti-trust law for political goals. We're in a situation where there's really no good result. The best case scenario would have been that the White House turned over everything relevant and it became clear from the documentation that there was no inappropriate influence, and then the merger gets blocked. But in order for that to happen, that material needs to become available.

Just because

By kenh • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Just because you can imagine that a crime has occurred, doesn't mean you get to breech Executive Privlege and are owed transcripts of communications you only imagine exists.

If the lawyers demanding transcripts of any/all communication between the White House and DOJ had anything stronger than a 'belief' that something illegal 'may' have happened, they might get what they are asking for.

I seem to recall the previous administration refused to share communications between the White House and DOJ regarding the "Fast 'n Furious" gun-running fiasco when Congress asked for it - remember, Eric Holder was found in contempt of Congress in that case? I'm sure your outrage then, when people's actual lives were lost, not the prospect of possibly higher cable bills...

Samsung To Cut OLED Production Due To Poor iPhone X Sales

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Samsung's panel-making division, Samsung Display, is reportedly reducing OLED panel production at its South Chungcheong plant due to lower than expected iPhone X sales. According to Nikkei Asian Review, Samsung now plans to cover 20 million or fewer iPhone X devices for the quarter ending in March, a large decrease from the expected 45 to 50 million units. CNET reports: Apple sold 77.3 million iPhones in the quarter ending in January, down by 1 percent on the previous year. The $1,000 price tag on the iPhone X was blamed for the volume shortfall -- but also contributed to the company making record-breaking profits. Samsung did not respond to CNET's request for comment.

Re:thousand dollar phones

By sexconker • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Do you touch your wife more often or your phone? it's a pretty intimate device. No sense in living with one you don't love.

More people shake my hand than shake my dick. I can assure you that shaking my hand is not the more intimate experience.

actual story

By goombah99 • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

A story out of Japan on Friday stated that "Other smartphone makers, who Samsung had hoped would incorporate OLED panels, have been slow to make the transition due to their expense and are sticking to liquid crystal displays."" Apparently that reality doesn't sell stories, so the Nikkei Asian Review decided to just throw in Apple as being Samsung's problem to make the story a mover.

Smartphone sales fell in China overall in Q4 and yet Apple was able to buck the trend with the iPhone X being the number one smartphone around the world. In fact Kantar reported that iPhone X sales in Urban China were staggering.

During Tim Cook's summary for the holiday quarter he noted: "Our growth was broad based and a key driver was iPhone which generated it's highest revenue ever. iPhone X was the best selling smartphone in the world in the December quarter according to Canalys and it has been our best selling phone every week since it launched."

In late January Patently Apple posted a report titled "Apple to end Samsung's exclusive OLED contract and Shift to a new L-Shaped Battery with Increased Capacity." In that report we also noted that China's BOE and Sharp were vying for Apple's OLED business.

Yet despite Samsung overestimating OLED display demand, the Nikkei Asian Review's report adds: "To make matters worse, Chinese OLED panel makers are expanding production capacity, heating up the price competition even more."

Re:thousand dollar phones

By starless • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

How many things do you hold in your hand and look at 50 times a day? something that tactile and consuming of your senses, intellect, time and lifestyle is something you should be getting the best possible tool for. It

Hmmm... yes.., well... perhaps I'd better not admit to that in public...

Re:iPhone X best selling smartphone in the world

By dgatwood • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Maybe the market analyst folks expected the sales of the iPhone X to be way higher than reported . . . ?

As long as Apple doesn't break down sales by product, we'll never know what the sales numbers actually are.

That's what happens when you don't give investors the information they need: They make things up. And different groups make up numbers in different ways to suit their own interests. And the company's stock suffers. Apple used to provide a lot more data. Then at some point in 2005 or so, their product categories got a lot bigger to the point of being almost meaningless. They really should go back to that level of detail.

Nikkei not so good

By MikeMo • Score: 3 • Thread
It would be wise to note that Nikkei Asian News is usually pretty full of sh*t when it comes to Apple’s supply chain. One might even surmise that they try to manipulate the stock.

Venezuela Launches Oil-Backed Cryptocurrency

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Venezuela has launched a cryptocurrency backed by oil in an attempt to bypass tough economic sanctions imposed by the U.S. government. "The 'Petro' is intended to bolster the country's crumbling economy, which has been suffering from hyperinflation and devaluation for years," reports the BBC. "Venezuela claims it is the world's first sovereign cryptocurrency." From the report: Critics say the move is a desperate attempt by Caracas to raise cash at a time when Venezuela lacks the ability to repay its $150 billion of foreign debt. Opposition leaders said the sale constitutes an illegal issuing of debt, while the US Treasury Department warned it may violate sanctions imposed last year. The government says the currency aims to circumvent US sanctions on the economy. President Nicolas Maduro has said each tokens will be backed by a barrel of Venezuelan crude. The Latin American country has the world's largest proven oil reserves. A total of 100 million Petros will be sold, with an initial value set at $60, based on the price of a barrel of Venezuelan crude in mid-January. The official website published a guide to setting up a virtual wallet in which to hold the cryptocurrency, but did not provide a link for actually doing so on Tuesday.

Re: Venezuela is an interesting country...

By ArmoredDragon • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Venezuela has the second highest homicide rate in the world. Just how much of those killings do you think weren't firearm related? If most of them weren't, that doesn't help the pro gun control crowd at all, and in fact works very much against their argument.

Re: Venezuela is an interesting country...

By alvinrod • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Also the general legal lack of civilian access to firearms means that they're incapable of overthrowing their terribly corrupt and authoritarian government. I wonder if Venezuela will devolve into North Korea levels of destitution.

At least people have been relatively free to flee into neighboring countries, but neighboring countries are starting to clamp down on that because it's becoming unmanageable. Colombia is reported to have had 300,000 migrants in the last 6 months on top of those who fled previously. Brazil has probably seen similar numbers.

Don't speculate...

By jopsen • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
Look it up, a search for "gun" on
Finds quotes like:

The rise of murders in Venezuela following the Chávez presidency has also been attributed by experts to the corruption of Venezuelan authorities, poor gun control and a poor judiciary system.


According to Alessio Bruni of the United Nations Committee against Torture, "a typical problem of the prison system is gun violence, nearly circulating freely within prisons, causing hundreds and hundreds of people killed every year"

Outlawing guns without a proper judicial system is hard. And outlawing guns when they are readily available from the US is very hard.

I think it's fair to say that the ease of access to guns in the US causes a LOT of murders in south America. Where do you think Mexican cartels gets their guns from?

Also what is with the obsession of framing everything as a pro/con gun regulation argument. We know sane regulation of firearms limits the amount of damage a single person can cause... Fixing schools, education, mental healthcare, prisons, criminal justice, poverty, and running an trustworthy police force all contribute to reduction of violence, along with sane gun regulation.

The added upside to gun regulation is that it also protects neighboring countries, who currently suffer from illegal weapons import from the US.

Re:What is it really?

By ShanghaiBill • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Is the issuer worthy of trust regarding the exchange of these coins with oil at some undetermined time in the future?

Yes. Venezuela is trustworthy, and for good reason. They have huge overseas assets. They own Citgo, a refinery in the US. They own their own tankers, since many other shippers avoid shipping Venezuelan oil because of sanctions. These overseas assets can be seized in a debt default, which would shut off Venezuela's lifeline of oil revenue.

They may let their own people starve, but they will not default on international debt. If you bought Venezuela's dollar denominated bonds a year ago, you would now have a fantastic ROI.

Here is an article that explains it better than I did.

Re:US sanctions

By Enigma2175 • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

You can read Trump's executive order or Obama's executive order yourself, but basically it boils down to human rights abuses, muzzling the press, violently suppressing your political opponents, etc. Not necessarily a threat, just "quit being such a dictatorship!"

New Data Shows Netflix's Number of Movies Has Gone Down By Thousands of Titles Since 2010

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Business Insider: If you thought Netflix's movie selection had been lacking lately, you're right. The streaming service's amount of movies has dipped by over 2,000 titles since 2010, while its number of TV shows has nearly tripled. Third-party Netflix search engine Flixable compiled data that shows a dramatic shift in Netflix's priorities in recent years. In 2010, Netflix had 530 TV shows compared to 6,755 movies. Now, in 2018, the amount of TV shows has nearly tripled to 1,569, and the amount of movies offered has decreased to 4,010. It's no secret that Netflix has focused more on TV shows and less on movies in recent years, but now we have a visual representation of just how significant that focus has become.

Not just streaming

By markdavis • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

This isn't just streaming. I use disc service also and now have over a dozen moves waiting in my queue with "Unknown" as the availability. Some for over a YEAR NOW. Most aren't even obscure, like Matrix Revolutions and Gladiator. Really? Some dork broke/lost/stole a disc and now Netflix won't even replace it with at least one copy???


By Anonymous Coward • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread

Disney would have to offer more than Netflix and cheaper for me to consider them. I like Netflix and I am totally against the way the movie cartels are trying to recreate the very thing I hated and the very thing Netflix disrupted - packaged silos of content requiring multiple channels for huge subscription rates. I've got a mortgage, I need a new car and many other things I need to spend my money on before I go into this frivolous bullshit and make multimillionaires, who pander to social causes without helping, richer. The entertainment industry is a fucking parasite of professional liars and perverts. Fuck them.

Re:Not just streaming

By Mousit • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

This isn't just streaming. I use disc service also and now have over a dozen moves waiting in my queue with "Unknown" as the availability.

I currently have about 80 movies in the "Unknown" availability section, and you're right, plenty of them are not in any way small or obscure. Several of them have literally been "Unknown" for over five years. I even have one that was released in 2005 and it's still unknown availability.

However, it's even worse than that. Since the beginning of 2018 (almost on the dot, Jan 1st), even the movies that ARE in the supposedly-available part of the disc queue, they all list as "Short wait" on my queue, rather than actually available to ship immediately.

I don't know what Netflix's definition of a "short" wait is, but I haven't received any of those since the start of the year. It reached the point that, if I wanted to actually GET any disc service I'm fucking paying for (yeah, even if they don't ship you anything, you still pay), I had to review my streaming queue and add all those movies to my disc queue too. Wouldn't you know, streamable movies are all available for immediate-ship as discs too. No "short wait" on any of those.

The timing of this right at the start of the year makes me feel like this was something deliberate, their latest attempt to sabotage the disc service to justify ending it. I mean I can see a lot of people having that thought, "Why pay for disc service when all I'm receiving are movies I could just stream anyway?" I don't know if it's different for anyone else, but I sure can't get any non-streamable movies in the last two months.

Re:Not just streaming

By swb • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

I would guess that Netflix has closed a lot of distribution centers for discs and has drastically changed their disc acquisition and replacement rates, which results in a smaller number of discs available to remaining disc customers.

IMHO, the dream was the entire movie universe was available -- you were no longer limited by the local stores limited inventory. Now I guess that's over.

Who would have tought

By fred6666 • Score: 3 • Thread

Let me predict the future again. Netflix will raise prices, and offer crappier content. This will happen as long as they win more market share. If they become a dominant player, they will be just as ugly as cable and satellite.

Slashdot Asks: Which Smart Speaker Do You Prefer?

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Every tech company wants to produce a smart speaker these days. Earlier this month, Apple finally launched the HomePod, a smart speaker that uses Siri to answer basic questions and play music via Apple Music. In December, Google released their premium Google Home Max speaker that uses the Google Assistant and Google's wealth of knowledge to play music, answer questions, set reminders, and so on. It may be the most advanced smart speaker on the market as it has the hardware capable of playing high fidelity audio, and a digital assistant that can perform over one million actions. There is, however, no denying the appeal of the Amazon Echo, which is powered by the Alexa digital assistant. Since it first made its debut in late 2014, it has had more time to develop its skill set. Amazon says Alexa controls "tens of millions of devices," including Windows 10 PCs.

A new report from The Guardian, citing the industry site MusicAlly, says that Spotify is working on a line of "category defining" hardware products "akin to Pebble Watch, Amazon Echo, and Snap Spectacles." The streaming music company has posted an ad for a senior product manager to "define the product requirements for internet connected hardware [and] the software that powers it." With Spotify looking to launch a smart speaker in the not-too-distant-future, the decision to purchase a smart speaker has become all the more difficult. Do you own a smart speaker? If so, which device do you own and why? Do you see a clear winner, or can they all satisfy your basic needs?

Re:Alexa, obviously.

By KiloByte • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Your purchase history is yours to share. Every conversation you have, too -- that's your choice. But please, do warn me when/if I visit your house, so I know that no talk is private there.

Re:I'm a fan of NdGT

By El Cubano • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Ok, I'm going to need someone to explain this to me. (posting anonymously cuz I hate admitting I'm an idiot)

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) [wn]: speaker n 1: someone who expresses in language; someone who talks (especially someone who delivers a public speech or someone especially garrulous); "the speaker at commencement"; "an utterer of useful maxims" [syn: {speaker}, {talker}, {utterer}, {verbalizer}, {verbaliser}]

"Smart speaker" -> someone who speaks publicly and is also intelligent. Neil deGrass Tyson is wellknown for both his intelligence and for his public speaking.

I know that the headline was asking about the new gadgets for the home, but I was feeling snarky and decided to take advantage of the word sense ambiguity to be a little bit funny.


By PopeRatzo • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Did you just admit to being a foreign spy?

Yes. I am a double-naught spy, and an agent in the service of my homeland, San Marino. You don't realize it, but we meddled in your last election by placing subversive classified ads in the back of your Local Shopper.

Re:I like my dumb speakers

By Anubis IV • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

I too prefer dumb speakers, but for different reasons than you:
1) For the sound quality, they're almost assuredly cheaper.
2) In the tech industry's timescale, they essentially never become obsolete.

Most of the smart speakers either sound like crap or else sound far worse than comparably priced dumb speakers. Even if you buy into the HomePod hype, unless you're hopelessly technologically illiterate or you have no way to fit a stereo set in your home, why pay $350 for a device that simulates stereo when you can have actual stereo from better speakers for the same price? Toss in a wireless receiver with a wired output and you'll have better wireless compatibility than what the HomePod has, without any of the lock-in to AirPlay or Apple's ecosystem.

On the other side, my parents have had the same speakers since before I was born (34 years ago). The speakers still work just fine. The dumb speakers I have today will—barring an accident—still be working just fine when the kid I have on the way is as old as I am today. Even if the world were to switch entirely to wireless or those wireless protocols were to change, I could simply swap out the aforementioned wireless receiver with a different one. Meanwhile, if I had bought into the HomePod or Alexa or whatever, I'd have to scrap the entire speaker to get on the new protocol.

No thanks.

If nothing else, the ones that are staking their name on sound quality at least need to give me a line in jack. Until then, so far as I'm concerned, they're smart accessories, not smart speakers.

Why is this on Slashdot?

By thegarbz • Score: 3 • Thread

This is the type of question you'd ask on a news for nerds site. A tech site where people would be interested in having gadgets.

Slashdot hasn't been that since back when Linux got USB support. That was the pinnacle of all technological advancement. It's now a site for dissing all mobile phones, being proud of keeping your old battery replaceable phone working, celebrating Apple supporting ancient iPhones, praising laptops that are 7+ years old, questioning why anyone would wear a watch, and wondering why wireless headphones even exist.

In what world did the submitter and more importantly the editor who approved the submission think they'd get any kind of a positive response to this question on THIS site.

The Swype Smartphone Keyboard Is Dead

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
XDA Developers is reporting that one of the pioneers in swipe-gestures in mobile keyboard apps, Swype, is dead. Swype's owner, Nuance Communications, has confirmed that they are discontinuing Swype for Android and iOS. From the report: In a post made on Reddit earlier today, a user claims that they reached out to Nuance support with an issue and received the following message: "However, we are sad to announce that Swype+Dragon for Android has faced end of development. Here is a statement from Swype Product Team: 'Nuance will no longer be updating the Swype+Dragon keyboard for Android. We're sorry to leave the direct-to-consumer keyboard business, but this change is necessary to allow us to concentrate on developing our AI solutions for sale directly to businesses.' We hope you enjoyed using Swype, we sure enjoyed working with the Swype community."

Curious, we went looking online and discovered a Zendesk article from Nuance that announced the iOS version of the app would be discontinued as well. In order to confirm this, we also reached out to Nuance PR and they confirmed that development of Swype+Dragon for Android has indeed been discontinued.

Maybe the coiuldn't fidn a market...

By Excelcia • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Maybe they couldn't find an under-the-table market for all the tracking data they had. Swype is notorious for activating your GPS and calling home with it, ostensibly to determine if it should load "regional words" into the dictionary, however the frequency it did it was staggeringly more often than required for the stated reason. It was obvious they were doing something with that data, because they switched from a pay-for-the-app to a free app where you just paid for the keyboard skins. No one is shelling out real money for a keyboard skin, so it's pretty clear their funding was from elsewhere.

I would be sad

By viperidaenz • Score: 3 • Thread

Since I paid for Swype years many years ago but I stopped using it over a year ago as GBoard is now a better keyboard.

It started to get annoying since they ashed Dragon with it. I don't want to talk to my phone. I don't want my phone to record sound when I accidentally touch a button I can't remove and send it to their servers. They made it impossible to get rid of the feature and it ended up wasting space on the keyboard.

Ex swype user here,..

By AbRASiON • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

People ditched it because it slowly got worse and worse.

The first few revisions seemed to identify my swipes pretty well, then they slowly got worse

Also one of the absolute KEY features (tricks?) is to delete suggestions you'll never use. I slowly but surely remove idiotic suggestions for words I never used, making it more and more accurate.
Then, every couple of updates, somehow the dictionary would be updated and all my damn deletions would be re added.
THAT was what finally got me off it. If I could just have a swype style keyboard which remembered my poor vocabulary, it would be vastly more accurate.

Re:Proprietary software is not sustainable

By Bruce Perens • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
You can take up an Open Source project that's been abandoned. You can even cut and paste from the useful stuff. You can't get at a proprietary one that's locked up, or more likely bitrotted.

Once necessary, now what's the point

By thegarbz • Score: 3 • Thread

Swype was revolutionary. ... And then it became a standard feature of Google's own keyboard. What once was the first app to install on Android, very quickly became a completely pointless one. I'm not surprised. Gboard is a far better keyboard, especially if you have to type multiple languages.

Jeff Bezos Shares Video of 10,000-Year Clock Project

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from CNET: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos shared a video on Tuesday of his latest project: a giant clock designed to keep time for 10,000 years. Buried deep in a west Texas mountain, the project is in partnership with San Francisco-based group The Long Now Foundation, which grew out of an idea for a 10,000 year clock that co-founder Danny Hillis proposed back in the '90s. Now, the 500-foot tall mechanical wonder is finally undergoing installation. Bezos is fronting the cash for the $42 million project, saying on the project's website that the clock is "designed to be a symbol, an icon for long-term thinking." The clock is powered by a large weight hanging on a gear, built out of materials durable enough to keep time for 10 millennia. Bezos isn't the only noteworthy name on the clock project. Musician Brian Eno and writers Kevin Kelly and Stewart Brand are also involved in the clock's construction. The team has spent the last few years creating parts for the clock and drilling through the mountain to store the pieces. You can read Bezos's account of that and view photos of the progress here.

Clock already useful

By SuperKendall • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

The Clock is already illuminating with stark clarity the further decline of Slashdot into a realm of howling luddite monkeys.

Ironically prooabiy many of the same people complaining about the clock are the same ones that complain modern electronics are no longer durable.

If anyone wants to know the deeper reasoning behind why the clock exists, read the book "The Clock Of The Long Now: Time and Responsibility".


By Locke2005 • Score: 3 • Thread
Sure, but does it adjust for DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME???

Are they going to add a math filled with avout?

By enjar • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
The concent of Saunt Bezos?

It's a front

By kaatochacha • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

For Jeff Bezos' Lex Luthor lair.

Re:Rich people and their wasteful whims

By sphealey • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

That $42 million didn't just evaporate - it was spent on things. Probably including a lot of engineering, performed by mechanical engineers with salaries in the 60-80k USD range, and machinists with pay rates in the (yearly equivalent) 30-120k range. Also construction workers, similarly in the 30-120k range. And restaurant workers, truck drivers, titanium refiners, etc. All of whom are going to spend that money or invest it in relatively short-term family investments. All in all not a bad way of expanding the economy by some multiple of $42 million (eeeek! fractional reserves! call for the Bitcoin(tm)!) by merely using some otherwise useless markers out of Bezos' account.

Uber CEO Sees Commercialization of Flying Taxis in 5-10 Years

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said on Tuesday he can see commercialization of the Uber Air flying taxi service happening within five to 10 years. From a report: The U.S. ride-hailing app maker has said it expects flying vehicles to eventually become an affordable method of mass transportation.

CEO sees Uber our of business in 5-10 years

By DogDude • Score: 3 • Thread
This CEO sees Uber as bankrupt in 5-10 years.

Re:CEO sees Uber our of business in 5-10 years

By HornWumpus • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

But first the IPO.


By Rick Schumann • Score: 4 • Thread
This is just attention-whoring from Uber.

Translate that!

By Notabadguy • Score: 3 • Thread


Uber CEO sees opportunity for sound bytes in the press.

Uber. Uber. Uberuberuber. Uber. Let's talk about Uber. UBER. Cows say UBER. UBER says the cows. UUUUUUUBER. Uber luddites.

Nice try

By edi_guy • Score: 3 • Thread
This Khosrowshahi guy really is trying hard to get into the Bezos/Musk club. Problem is outside of the current Uber implementation they are all vaporware. The 'for real' self driving cars, the ones you can put your kids into alone to go to school, are several years away, too far in the future to be able to save the Uber business model which is bleeding $4 billion in losses a year. With about $12 billion in cash including Softbank money they are running out of runway faster than the tech is moving.

As far as flying taxis, yes there are proofs of concept on this, one person super lightweight vehicles, that can fly short distances. But the energy it takes to power these is quite high. The noise is ridiculous, the areas available for take-off/landing are unavailable in the cities where this is supposed to make sense. And I assume the tech will need to be much better in the 3D environment than the 2D one. It will not ever be mass transportation.

Also, it only takes one of these to set the whole process back decades.

Samsung Starts Mass Producing an SSD With Monstrous 30.72TB Capacity

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Brian Fagioli, writing for BetaNews: Samsung says it is mass producing a solid state drive with monstrous capacity. The "PM1643," as it is called, offers an insane 30.72TB of storage space! This is achieved by using 32 x 1TB NAND flash. "Samsung reached the new capacity and performance enhancements through several technology progressions in the design of its controller, DRAM packaging and associated software. Included in these advancements is a highly efficient controller architecture that integrates nine controllers from the previous high-capacity SSD lineup into a single package, enabling a greater amount of space within the SSD to be used for storage. The PM1643 drive also applies Through Silicon Via (TSV) technology to interconnect 8Gb DDR4 chips, creating 10 4GB TSV DRAM packages, totaling 40GB of DRAM. This marks the first time that TSV-applied DRAM has been used in an SSD," says Samsung.

Only $25,000

By 110010001000 • Score: 3 • Thread
I got a quote for these. Only $28k. Pretty good job by Samsung. The 16TB previous gen are about $11k.

Re:RPM of drive?

By Freultwah • Score: 5, Funny • Thread
As SSD means "Super Spinning Disk", it probably goes to at least 30k.

Re:Just rolls off the tongue

By WilliamGeorge • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

"PM1643, why aren't you at your post? PM1643, do you copy?"


By Nostalgia4Infinity • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

In my experience running IT for a large department the cost saved in not having to replace drives, and worse, restore data is worth the cost of SSDs, probably just in labor costs but also the additional peace of mind.

"For most corporate workloads, the acquisition cost of flash storage is still significantly greater than for HDD storage. However, when operating costs are factored in, the TCO for SSDs may actually already be lower than for equivalent HDD arrays. Use of SSDs reduces data center costs for power, cooling, floor space, rack space, and maintenance. And as SSD purchase prices continue to fall, the TCO disparity can only grow greater over time."


By dgatwood • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

The extrapolated cost of this 30TB drive is less than the burdened monthly cost of a single engineer.

And if your company is small enough that a single 30 TB SSD is enough to meet your entire storage needs, then you probably aren't big enough to be so desperate for speed that you would buy a 30 TB SSD. I'm expecting most of these will be used for the most frequently accessed data for companies that are Google-scale, not companies whose total data capacity needs are rivaled only by my home RAID array. :-)

Furthermore, if disk I/O is your bottleneck, then moving your DB from HDD to SDD is likely to give you far more speedup than fiddling with your schema.

But "fiddling with your schema" so that tables that get hit frequently are indexed on SSDs or DRAM drives (and, if necessary, stored in their entirety on those drives) means you get most of the speed win without the expense of storing your *entire* data collection on an SSD. The more you can separate out the frequently accessed data from the rarely accessed data, the easier it is to keep your costs sane. And the bigger your total storage needs, the more that design decision matters.