the unofficial Slashdot digest for 2017-Mar-20 today archive


  1. Most Teens Who Abuse Opioids First Got Them From a Doctor
  2. Samsung Announces Bixby, Its New Digital Assistant Launching With the Galaxy S8
  3. IBM Unveils Blockchain As a Service Based On Open Source Hyperledger Fabric Technology
  4. Ask Slashdot: How Does One Freely Use Bitcoin In the Land of the Free?
  5. After Years Waiting For Google Fiber, KC Residents Get Cancellation Emails
  6. Google Maps Lets You Record Your Parking Location, Time Left At the Meter
  7. Intel Unveils Optane SSD DC P4800X Drive That Can Act As Cache Or Storage
  8. Stephen Hawking Will Travel To Space
  9. 'Sorry, I've Forgotten My Decryption Password' is Contempt Of Court, Pal - US Appeal Judges
  10. Royal Jordanian Airlines Bans Use of Electronics After US Voices Security 'Concerns'
  11. Hundreds of Cisco Switches Vulnerable To Flaw Found in WikiLeaks Files
  12. Android Creator Lost Out On a Big Investment, and Apple May Be To Blame
  13. Popular Open-Source Audio Editor Audacity Adds Windows 10 Support, More Improvements
  14. Apple's Next Big Thing: Augmented Reality
  15. Qualcomm's New Processor Brings 4G To Feature Phones As Company Eyes Growth in Developing Markets
  16. Happiness is on the Wane in the US, UN Global Report Finds
  17. Boston Public Schools Map Switch Aims To Amend 500 Years of Distortion
  18. Ebay: Yes, Speedy Shipping Really Is a Thing With Us
  19. FBI Director Comey Confirms Investigation Into Trump Campaign
  20. Windows 10 Will Download Some Updates Even Over a Metered Connection
  21. In 18 Years, A College Degree Could Cost About $500,000
  22. Indiana Considers Prohibiting Cities From Banning Airbnb
  23. Canonical Helps Launch A Snap Store For The Orange Pi Community
  24. Two More Executives Are Leaving Uber, Drivers May Unionize

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

Most Teens Who Abuse Opioids First Got Them From a Doctor

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Live Science: Most American teenagers who abuse opioid drugs first received the drugs from a doctor, a new study finds. Researchers looked at trends in the use of prescription opioids among U.S. adolescents from 1976 to 2015. They found a strong correlation between teens' taking the drugs for medical reasons and then later taking them for "non-medical" reasons, or in other words, abusing them, according to the study published today (March 20) in the journal Pediatrics. In 2015, the the most recent year of the study, 8 percent of adolescents reported abusing prescription opioids, and the majority of them had been prescribed opioids previously, the researchers found. The U.S. consumes about 80 percent of the world's prescription opioid supply. There has been consistent growth in the number of prescriptions written for opioids in the U.S., rising from 76 million prescriptions in 1991 to 207 million in 2013, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. However, the new study revealed that among teens, both medical and non-medical use of opioid medications has declined in recent years, starting in 2013. The decline may be due to careful prescribing practices, Sean McCabe, a research professor at the University of Michigan, said. There are several medical procedures that teens may undergo for which opioids are recommended for pain management. But doctors can be careful about the amount of these drugs they prescribe, and limit refills. Parents can make sure that any leftover pills are discarded. Another report was published today in the journal Pediatrics that analyzed data from the National Poison Data System. It found that of all 188,468 prescription opioid exposures reported for youth under 20 years old between 2000 and 2015, nearly all the exposures occurred at a home and were most common among children under 5, accounting for six of every 10 cases. According to NPR, those children were able to get their hands on the medication because it was improperly stored or was in a purse.

abusable by design thanks GOP

By globaljustin • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

So what are we going to do about it? Point the finger of blame? Or defend ourselves? Your choice.

Both of course.

How can you defend yourself if you don't know what is attacking you?

Proper defense necessitates "pointing the finger of blame"...aka identifying the cause of the problem.

Fortunately we already know: Pharmaceutical companies make drugs abusable on purpose and incentivize doctors to prescribe them.

Democrats have been pushing for more pharma regulations for years, Repubicans opposing them.

Republicans have fought over and over to make it easy for these abusable drugs to get FDA approval.

Oxyconin is a perfect example, read up:

"In 2006, Giuliani acted as the lead counsel and lead spokesmen for Bracewell & Giuliani client Purdue Pharma, the makers of OxyContin, during their negotiations with federal prosecutors over charges that the pharmaceutical company misled the public about OxyContin's addictive properties. The agreement reached resulted in Purdue Pharma and some of its executives paying $634.5 million in fines"


Re:Just stop

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Alcoholic here going AC for this topic.

The only context the word "disease" appears in any of the articles is "Centers for Disease Control".

Personally I don't care if you call it a disease or not. I consider it a disorder but the AMA has considered it a disease since the 1950s.

The modern disease theory of alcoholism states that problem drinking is sometimes caused by a disease of the brain, characterized by altered brain structure and function.
The American Medical Association (AMA) declared that alcoholism was an illness in 1956. In 1991, the AMA further endorsed the dual classification of alcoholism by the International Classification of Diseases under both psychiatric and medical sections.

(emphasis mine)

And although you can find sources which argue that addiction is not a disease, you might want to consider this link too:

Why Is Alcoholism Classified As A Mental Illness?

I don't think it's a choice to be an addict, however I do make a choice whether or not to drink every day and on days that I choose not to drink I'm making the choice to be sober multiple times throughout the day.

I'm on my first drink of the day. I'm not doing it to "feel good". I'm doing it to stop shaking. I'm doing it just to feel "normal".

I can't speak for other addicts, but I'm sure I would feel a lot better overall if I did manage to quit completely. I might start feeling "good" after at least 5 drinks - Incidentally 5 drinks is considered binge drinking by many (if not most) medical professionals and is generally taken as a sign of possibly having a problem. Most drinkers I know scoff at the idea that having 5 drinks in one sitting is a problem. I know I won't feel good when I wake up whenever I wake up tomorrow.

And I'm generally depressed, but sometimes I get really depressed and being drunk and really depressed at the same time is definitely not feeling "good". In fact just knowing I get that way sometimes is a big reason I do not own a gun.

I've quit many times and withdrawal really sucks the first few days. That is quite the opposite of "feeling good".

Some recovery groups reject the disease model of addiction because like the First Step in 12 step programs it means we are "powerless" although having a disease doesn't necessarily mean you're powerless, but some people seem to use it as an excuse.

I consider myself fortunate to never have become addicted to opiates. I've never needed them long term, but I really like them. (benzos too). The benzos can really help alcohol withdrawal, but it's my understanding that a full-blown benzo addiction is no picnic either. I've never asked for them, but I've been prescribed them twice for alcohol withdrawals - both times just a week-long supply.

Usually I just go it alone at home. That is not actually recommended as alcohol withdrawal can kill you and there is something called "Kindling". (Don't try this at home.)

Kindling due to substance withdrawal refers to the neurological condition which results from repeated withdrawal episodes from sedative–hypnotic drugs such as alcohol or benzodiazepines. Each withdrawal leads to more severe withdrawal symptoms than the previous withdrawal syndrome. Individuals who have had more withdrawal episodes are at an increased risk of very severe withdrawal symptoms, up to and including seizures, and death.

So why do I keep drinking if it's so bad? I can't fully explain it but I have some ideas that I'm not even going to delve into here.

I really don't think I'm "narcissistic" either. I generally have a low self-esteem

Re:Just stop incrementally

By Calydor • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

I had spinal surgery as well to repair a slipped disc in my lower back (lumbar area? Not sure on the proper English terminology) and was put on Tramadol for the pain after the surgery.

Tramadol was great. It really was. Not only did it take the pain whenever it flared up, it also helped me to think more clearly. Not just my own opinion of it, mind you, but what my family told me. I was easier to be around, pure and simple. And it didn't cloud my mind - in fact I went and took my driver's license while 'high' on painkillers.

The thing is, the pain in my back never went away, so I kept taking Tramadol. Until one Easter I miscalculated how many pills I had left, and with the doctor's office closed I ran out.

It was horrible. Just HORRIBLE. My entire lower back felt like someone was holding a branding iron against it, I was wet with sweat and could barely move for four days. But then it just ... stopped. It went from burning to throbbing to sore to 'acting up' over approximately 24 hours. I could get up from my bed again, could walk around. It was only then, after it was all over, that I realized I'd gone through withdrawal symptoms and the back pain had, for who knows how long, been the body begging for the next fix of painkillers.

Opioid addiction is not something you just notice and realize you have, because the original symptoms STAY. You take the pills because of the pain, so as long as the pain keeps coming back you keep taking the pills. It's not about choice as the GP would like to claim.

Re:Just stop

By Kiuas • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

None of that makes it a "disease".

The approach people take on addiction has a surprising connection to their political stance. For decades, the right has been approaching addiction as a mental/moral weakness: that those succumbing to addiction are not sick or diseased but mentally weak and need to be punished so that they will correct their behavior. This is the driving force behind the 'war on drugs':

Those on the left have taken more of a medical approach and insisted that addiction is a neurochemical issue which needs to be treated by doctors.

When we actually look at research and data it turns out the truth is slightly more complex than either of these models. Turns out, it's not just about character or chemicals, but the combination of addictive chemicals and the environment the individual is in. Around 20 % of US troops in Vietnam were addicted to heroin. However, upon returning to the States, only about 5 % of them continued using. This by itself has given researchers some insight into key components of addiction and the affect environment has on it. Quoting the link above:

Soon a comprehensive system was set up so that every enlisted man was tested for heroin addiction before he was allowed to return home. And in this population, Robins did find high rates of addiction: Around 20 percent of the soldiers self-identified as addicts.

Those who were addicted were kept in Vietnam until they dried out. When these soldiers finally did return to their lives back in the U.S., Robins tracked them, collecting data at regular intervals. And this is where the story takes a curious turn: According to her research, the number of soldiers who continued their heroin addiction once they returned to the U.S. was shockingly low.

"I believe the number of people who actually relapsed to heroin use in the first year was about 5 percent," Jaffe said recently from his suburban Maryland home. In other words, 95 percent of the people who were addicted in Vietnam did not become re-addicted when they returned to the United States.

This flew in the face of everything everyone knew both about heroin and drug addiction generally. When addicts were treated in the U.S. and returned to their homes, relapse rates hovered around 90 percent. It didn't make sense.

"Everyone thought there was somehow she was lying, or she did something wrong, or she was politically influenced," Jaffe says. "She spent months, if not years, trying to defend the integrity of the study."

But 40 years later, the findings of this study are widely accepted. To explain why, you need to understand how the science of behavior change has itself changed.

"Once a behavior had been repeated a lot, especially if the person does it in the same setting, you can successfully change what people want to do. But if they've done it enough, their behavior doesn't follow their intentions," Neal explains.

Neal says this has to do with the way that over time, our physical environments come to shape our behavior.

"People, when they perform a behavior a lot — especially in the same environment, same sort of physical setting — outsource the control of the behavior to the environment," Neal says.

Outsourcing control over your behavior sounds a little funny. But consider what happens when you perform a very basic everyday behavior like getting into a car.

"Of course on one level, that seems like the simplest task possible," Neal says, "but if you break it down, there's really a myriad set of complex actions that are performed in sequence to do that."

You use a certain motion to put your key in the lock. And then physically manipulate your body to get into the seat. There is another set of motions to insert the key in the ignition.

"All of this is actually very complicated and someone who had never driven a car before would have no ability to do that, but it becomes second nature to us," Neal points out. "[It's] so automatic that we can do it while we are conducting complex other tasks, like having conversations."

Throughout the process, you haven't thought for a second about what you are doing, you are just responding to the different parts of the car in the sequence you've learned. "And very much of our day goes off in this way," Wood says. "About 45 percent of what people do every day is in the same environment and is repeated." - -

In this way, Neal says, our environments come to unconsciously direct our behavior. Even behaviors that we don't want, like smoking.

"For a smoker the view of the entrance to their office building — which is a place that they go to smoke all the time — becomes a powerful mental cue to go and perform that behavior," Neal says.

And over time those cues become so deeply ingrained that they are very hard to resist. And so we smoke at the entrance to work when we don't want to. We sit on the couch and eat ice cream when we don't need to, despite our best intentions, despite our resolutions.

"We don't feel sort of pushed by the environment," Wood says. "But, in fact, we're very integrated with it."

To battle bad behaviors then, one answer, Neal and Wood say, is to disrupt the environment in some way. Even small changes can help — like eating the ice cream with your non-dominant hand. What this does is alter the action sequence and disrupts the learned body sequence that's driving the behavior, which allows your conscious mind to come back online and reassert control.

"It's a brief sort of window of opportunity," Wood says, "to think, 'Is this really what I want to do?' "

Of course, larger disruption can also be helpful, which brings us back to heroin addiction in Vietnam.

It's important not to overstate this, because a variety of factors are probably at play. But one big theory about why the rates of heroin relapse were so low on return to the U.S. has to do with the fact that the soldiers, after being treated for their physical addiction in Vietnam, returned to a place radically different from the environment where their addiction took hold of them.

"I think that most people accept that the change in the environment, and the fact that the addiction occurred in this exotic environment, you know, makes it plausible that the addiction rate would be that much lower," Nixon appointee Jerome Jaffe says.

We think of ourselves as controlling our behavior, willing our actions into being, but it's not that simple.

It's as if over time, we leave parts of ourselves all around us, which in turn, come to shape who we are.

The same view is supported by rat studies: turns out if you give rats a choice of regular water and water laced with opioids and nothing to do, the rats will become junkies quickly. However, if you provide rats with other rats and things to do, they will actually choose regular water over opioid laced water.

So really, the right way to fight addiction is not just to have replacement therapy to combat the physical withdrawal symptoms because an addict whose environment does not change for the better will likely relapse anyway. Putting them to jail also doesn't help, because jail is a miserable environment in which substances are also abused and the individual is further robbed of social bonds, putting him/her in a similar situation to that of the rat that, unable to participate in typical social behavior and lacking meaningful stimuli will turn to them back to chemicals to self-medicate.

This leads me to conclude that the likely chain of events was that the soldiers who survived Vietnam and returned home to an environment in which they had family and friends and a job had no psychological need to continue taking the substances that they had turned to using to make the horrid condition of war and constant threat of violent death bearable. They had other things to keep them occupied, other routines and behaviors that they found pleasant. On the other hand, the soldiers who returned home without strong social bonds and PTSD were more likely to continue self-medicating themselves.

Individuals are as much a product of their environment as well as their own decisions, because the available decisions are always determined by the environment they're in. Sensible drug policies should take this into consideration and stop treating the issue like we can just ignore the conditions the addicts are in and assume that with enough 'punishing' or enough medication they'll be cured.

Re: Just stop

By Kiuas • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

I stopped reading after your post brings in politics and makes the right evil while the left is savior of humanity.

What? If you had actually read my post rthrough you'd have noticed I did no such thing but specifically pointed out that both the left and the right have been by and large wrong in their approach.

The right is wrong in saying it's all about the individual. But the left is also wrong in saying it's nothing but chemicals and can be handled with medicine alone. That was the whole point of my post, and instead of bothering to read it you stopped after 4 sentences just to rave at me for essentially agreeing with you,

I'm sick and tired of people trying to shove their political leanings into everything now days.

Ironically enough, this is just what you yourself did by not reading through the argument that was presented.

Samsung Announces Bixby, Its New Digital Assistant Launching With the Galaxy S8

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Samsung has taken the wraps off its new digital assistant that will be launching with the upcoming Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus smartphones. Called " Bixby," the new assistant will use artificial intelligence to enable users to do everything that is possible to do by touch, but with voice. PhoneDog reports: Samsung is touting three main features of its new assistant. The first is "Completeness," which means that when an app is Bixby-enabled, the assistant will able to perform almost every task that the app normally supports using touch. The second Bixby property is "Context Awareness." This means that when Bixby is activated, it'l be able to understand the current context and the state of the app that you're in without interrupting the work that you're doing. Finally, there's "Cognitive Tolerance." Samsung says that Bixby is smart enough to understand commands with incomplete commands, meaning that you don't have to remember the exact phrase that you have to say to perform a task with an assistant. Bixby will also ask you for more information when performing a task and then execute it. A select number of apps on the Galaxy S8 will be Bixby-enabled at launch, and Samsung plans to add more over time. The company also intends to release an SDK so that third-party app developers can add Bixby support to their apps.

Just don't make it angry

By Kohath • Score: 3, Funny • Thread

You wouldn't like it when it's angry.

As in Bill Bixby

By sit1963nz • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
If that the case DONT buy the green one, you won't like it if it gets angry. May not go up in flames, but it will rip your clothes. (for those old enough to remember the tv series of the Hulk with Bill Bixby / Lou Ferrigno)


By cayenne8 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
I don't care what it long as I can fully and confidently turn the fucker OFF and ensure it isn't listening to me in my daily life.

Its bad enough the Feds are doing it, but at least there is still some semblance of court orders, etc.

I don't want companies listening to me all day long and processing it through their AI computer systems.

You seem to be trying to

By Chrisq • Score: 3 • Thread
You seem to be trying to extinguish your burning phone, can I hel...

More crapware

By DrXym • Score: 3 • Thread
Samsung fill their phones with apps that double up everything Google does but in a more crappy way. And its all baked into the firmware so it cannot be removed (only hidden), degrades performance and leaves less space for user data.

For people who want a digital assistant, somehow I doubt that "bixby" will be in any way more useful or functional than Google's. It's just more crapware that nobody asked for and nobody will use in sufficient quantity to justify its existence. It probably needs people to use all the other crapware and Samsung's cloud storage in order to function at all.

IBM Unveils Blockchain As a Service Based On Open Source Hyperledger Fabric Technology

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
IBM has unveiled its "Blockchain as a Service," which is based on the open source Hyperledger Fabric, version 1.0 from The Linux Foundation. "IBM Blockchain is a public cloud service that customers can use to build secure blockchain networks," TechCrunch reports, noting that it's "the first ready-for-primetime implementation built using that technology." From the report: Although the blockchain piece is based on the open source Hyperledger Fabric project of which IBM is a participating member, it has added a set of security services to make it more palatable for enterprise customers, while offering it as a cloud service helps simplify a complex set of technologies, making it more accessible than trying to do this alone in a private datacenter. The Hyperledger Fabric project was born around the end of 2015 to facilitate this, and includes other industry heavyweights such as State Street Bank, Accenture, Fujitsu, Intel and others as members. While the work these companies have done to safeguard blockchain networks, including setting up a network, inviting members and offering encrypted credentials, was done under the guise of building extra safe networks, IBM believes it can make them even safer by offering an additional set of security services inside the IBM cloud. While Jerry Cuomo, VP of blockchain technology at IBM, acknowledges that he can't guarantee that IBM's blockchain service is unbreachable, he says the company has taken some serious safeguards to protect it. This includes isolating the ledger from the general cloud computing environment, building a security container for the ledger to prevent unauthorized access, and offering tamper-responsive hardware, which can actually shut itself down if it detects someone trying to hack a ledger. What's more, IBM claims their blockchain product is built in a highly auditable way to track all of the activity that happens within a network, giving administrators an audit trail in the event something did go awry.

Blockchain is going to cure all the worlds ills!

By hsmith • Score: 3 • Thread
We've reached peak buzzword for blockchain in the last 6 months. It'll balance our national debt, cure cancer, and make everyone happy according to all the con artists, errr, sales people pitching it as the be all end all.

Selective or Universal, Multiple Consensus

By BBCWatcher • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
Once you spend even a few minutes trying to understand how financial and other industries operate (and want to operate in the future), you quickly realize that one size does not fit all. There are a few Blockchain use cases when it makes sense (if you can meet the scalability requirements) to have an open network, to distribute every transaction record (in whole form) to every node, and to have a "flat" consensus mechanism, with every node getting one equal vote. An awful lot of real world use cases don't fit that particular formula -- maybe most of them. Yet Blockchain, as a solution approach, still makes a great deal of sense if you can relax those artificial restrictions. That's exactly what the Hyperledger/Linux Foundation community has done. The Hyperledger 1.0 network can be permissioned, can avoid distributing every record (contents) to every node (but still maintains the chain itself), and offers pluggable consensus mechanisms. And you don't have to consume the equivalent of Holland's total electricity production, and climbing, to make it work -- far from it. That's flexible, and that's significant progress. It's also open source.

Ask Slashdot: How Does One Freely Use Bitcoin In the Land of the Free?

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
New submitter devrtm writes: It appears that Bitcoin, a currency designed with anonymity in mind, can be effectively used almost anywhere in the world, except in a few countries where it is regulated, and in one country where you can only use it if you give up your privacy. That country is the United States. I have accumulated quite a few BTC from the currency's early days where block rewards were still at $50. There was a period of time where one could get a nearly anonymous debit card, or use BTC online with merchants. Nowadays, non-U.S. payment providers no longer issue debit cards to the U.S. residents and the U.S.-based merchants accepting BTC are nearly extinct. The only way to use BTC in the U.S. is to convert it to USD. Unfortunately, that conversion requires giving up your personal information to a U.S.-based BTC payment processor, and there are rumors that signing up for those services raises red flags with certain three letter acronym organizations. I have nothing to hide, but I do value my privacy. Can one freely and anonymously live off of their Bitcoin wallet in the U.S.? I am afraid the answer is no. Does anyone have an experience that proves me wrong? Please share.

Re:Pay your taxes

By Enigma2175 • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

The IRS considers bitcoin an asset, if you are selling bitcoin or bartering it for goods you are subject to capital gains tax on it, just like any other appreciating asset. It's got nothing to do with the Federal Reserve. Bitcoin rising in value isn't inflation of a currency, it's the market attempting to price the future value of an asset, same as with a stock.


By JoeMerchant • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

To simplify the instructions: take your pile of BTC, convert it to cash as a single event, pay your taxes, and live off your BTC proceeds.

20% capital gains isn't killing anyone. If you want US dollars, you'll need to pay US taxes on your BTC gains, or be a criminal. Your choice.

Re:Pay your taxes

By davidwr • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

He had x bitcoin 5 years ago, he has x bitcoin today

He had X BC 5 years ago. His basis was either what he paid for them, the money invested in mining them, or in certain cases (such as a if he received them as an inheritance), the fair market value at the time he came to possess them.

His capital gain or loss is the dollar value of any proceeds from any sale or trade minus his basis, subject to "wash sale" and other rules that would make hte sale a "non-taxable" event.

In any case, as long as he continues to hold the BC, he doesn't owe any taxes. If he holds them until they are worth no more than his basis then sells them, then he won't owe any taxes. If he holds them until he dies, the tax basis is "reset" to the fair market value at the time of his death, likely saving his heirs a boatload of capital-gains taxes.

but he needs it in cash.

By gl4ss • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

oh but he is asking how to turn it into cash without paying taxes or having a record he has the cash.

he probably totally ignores the fact that once he pays the tax on the investment he is free to do whatever he wants with the money without any of the agencies caring anything - UNLIKE if he just got magically a million dollars of cash and went buying expensive things which would put him on the hitlist of dea etc.

Privacy : cash is better than bitcoin

By DrYak • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

And for the last time,
bitcoin IS NOT DESIGNED with anonymity in mind.

It is designed for being a distributed system with no central authority (in theory at least).
And this system works by replacing any central authority with a consensus among all the nodes of the network.
Which is achieved by all (full) nodes of the network having, by design, a local copy of the whole ledger (= the blockchain).

That mean each of them can see any single transaction you did at any point of time.
(Again, by design. That's how the bitcoin protocol can reach consensus and trust without needing any central authority to act as a reference).

That means that no, you're not anonymous, I can see all the transaction you ever did inside the blockchain on my own locally run node.

At best, bitcoin protocol provides pseudonymity.
It's not Facebook require real names.
Transaction aren't officially done in the name of your real identity, they are done in the name of some base64 encoded public key.
And normal client are constantly shuffling sums around so there might be hundred of transaction between the time you received some amount of BTC and the time you spent them at an online shop where you order something to be mailed to you (and thus where some phyical world coordinates can be linked to your bitcoin identity).

That mostly prevent casual/accidental snooping.
But that's not beyond the capability of data-mining any government-level agent.
If your neighbour want to spy on you, he can't do it easily.
If any three-letter agency wants to track you, they just need to spend some of their tremendous computational power.

Your are not anonymous on the bitcoin network (at least to to governments).
And that's part of the design (it also help you trust the network without needing there to be a "Bitcoin Global Inc." to be held accountable).

Also, because the lack of central authority, nobody can prevent you to spend or receive any BTC money.
Government can see you and track you in the global ledger, but they can't prevent you.
There's no PayPal, Visa, or any other company that can block transactions.
Transaction can happen between any end-points as long as they conform to the bitcoin protocol.

(And that is one of the big motivations behind the rise of bitcoin protocol : people getting fed up of their account getting frozen for any random reason.
e.g.: see donations to WikiLeaks)

If you want (Relative) lack of control AND total anonymity, as suggest above : USE CASH.

After Years Waiting For Google Fiber, KC Residents Get Cancellation Emails

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Some Kansas City residents who have been waiting years for Google Fiber to install service at their homes recently received e-mails canceling their installations, with no word on whether they'll ever get Internet service from the company. KSHB 41 Action News in Kansas City, Missouri, "spoke to several people, living in different parts of the metro, all who have recently received cancellation e-mails," the station reported last week. "The e-mails do not provide a specific reason for the cancellations. Instead they say the company was 'unable to build our network to connect your home or business at this time.'" While Google Fiber refuses to say how many installations have been canceled, KSHB said, "there is speculation the number of cancellations in the metro is as high as 2,700." "The company says it has slowed down in some areas to experiment with new techniques," such as wireless technology, the report also said. Google Fiber is still hooking up fiber for some new customers in parts of the Kansas City area. One resident who had his installation canceled is Larry Meurer, who was seeing multiple Google Fiber trucks in his neighborhood nearly two years ago, in the spring of 2015. "I'm left wondering what's going on," he told KSHB after getting the cancellation e-mail. Meurer lives in Olathe, Kansas, one of the largest cities in the Kansas City metro area. Residents only five houses away and around the corner have Google Fiber service, the report said. But Meurer said he and several neighbors who never got service were "terminated."

Austin too

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 3, Interesting • Thread

Not just residents of KC that were sold a pig in a poke by Google. Look at a map of the Austin roll out, after many years very little coverage. Weak sauce.

Re:Low Takeup

By freeze128 • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
That's a Comcast or Verizon tactic, not a Google tactic. Google is *NOT* wiring the whole country as you say... Just Kansas City, so their tactics can be different. In fact, that was the whole point of the Google Fiber initiative.

Re:Low Takeup

By roninmagus • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
Google Fiber was abandoned just as the FCC made it illegal for ISPs to use the demographics of their subscribers for advertising purposes. This tells you what the purpose of Google Fiber was.

Well... it's google

By orlanz • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Honestly, it's something we have come to expect of Google. They take a fail cheap fail fast approach to everything. So they try a lot of different stuff but also cancel almost everything. It's a good strategy as far as staying innovative and profitable.

But from a customer dependability view point Google has earned being at the bottom. You really can't build on top of google services and stick around. Eventually they will shell it and you will lose everything. This culture of theirs also makes it hard for enterprises to take them seriously. We are looking at Chromebooks and there are all these corner cases that Google has just never really thought about. They never built the services with an enterprise mindset. They just don't seem to know what a standard enterprise's needs are. Similarly they don't seem to understand the user's need for dependable and predictable services either.

I wonder if Google now knows the costs

By Streetlight • Score: 3 • Thread
Perhaps Google has discovered the costs of installing fiber to the home and it's a lot more than they first thought. Now Google will find out the cost of operating and maintaining their systems and those that have their service may find the price of continued subscriptions may go up, but I don't know that for sure. In addition, Google has reduced the number of folks involved in fiber operations, supposedly to investigate some kind of RF method for delivery of very high speed Internet and TV. How's that working out? I'm not anxiously waiting to see.

Google Maps Lets You Record Your Parking Location, Time Left At the Meter

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Google Maps has received a neat feature that will help users remember where they parked. "This appears as a new menu option when you tap the blue dot, and will place a 'P' icon on the map so you can find your way back to your spot," reports Ars Technica. From the report: Google had already introduced its own proactive parking saving feature via Google Now, but it had worked by tapping into your phone's sensors and making a determination that you had most likely parked at a given spot. Sometimes, you might see this information appear when it was unwarranted, however -- like if you got off a bus or exited a taxi, Google says. The new feature in Google Maps requires a manual entry, but this is actually a bit of an advantage over the guessing done by Google Now, because it allows you to input more information about your spot. Like Apple Maps, you can add notes about where you parked -- something that's helpful for jotting down cross streets or which floor of a garage you're on, for example. But Google Maps also supports adding multiple photos of your parking location -- a common way people often note the parking space number in the garage, and then, via a separate shot, the floor, row, aisle and/or color code for the garage level itself. In addition, Google's parking location saver will let you enter in how much time you have left at the spot. This is handy if you're in a temporary parking area (e.g. "two hour parking"), or at metered space. The time left is displayed on the map, and when it's due to expire, Google Maps will alert you via push notification.

Where I parked

By YrWrstNtmr • Score: 3 • Thread
A feature available on a $50 GPS unit from 5 years ago...weeeee
Bonus - With no added data sent to GooglePrime.

Intel Unveils Optane SSD DC P4800X Drive That Can Act As Cache Or Storage

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
MojoKid writes from a report via HotHardware: Intel unveiled its first SSD product that will leverage 3D Xpoint memory technology, the new Optane SSD DC P4800X. The Intel SSD DC P4800X resembles some of Intel's previous enterprise storage products, but this product is all new, from its controller to its 3D Xpoint storage media that was co-developed with Micron. The drive's sequential throughput isn't impressive versus other high-end, enterprise NVMe storage products, but the Intel Optane SSD DX P4800X shines at very low queue depths with high random 4kB IO throughput, where NAND flash-based storage products tend to falter. The drive's endurance is also exceptionally high, rated for 30 drive writes per day or 12.3 Petabytes Written. Intel provided some performance data comparing its SSD SC P3700 NAND drive to the Optane SSD DC P4800X in a few different scenarios. This test shows read IO latency with the drive under load, and not only is the P4800X's read IO latency significantly lower, but it is very consistent regardless of load. With a 70/30 mixed read write workload, the Optane SSD DC P4800X also offers between 5 and 8x better performance versus standard NVMe drives. The 375GB Intel Optane SSD DC P4800X add-in-card will be priced at $1520, which is roughly three times the cost per gigabyte of Intel's high-end SSD DC P3700. In the short term, expect Intel Optane solid state drives to command a premium. As availability ramps up, however, prices will likely come down.


By wonkey_monkey • Score: 3 • Thread

Intel Unveils Optane SSD DC P4800X Drive That Can Act As Cache Or Storage

I might be missing something, but if you're going to mention that it can act as cache it would be nice to include something about that bit in the summary.

No-one reads TFA anyway, of course, but in this case it's counter-blocked because I'm using uBlock, so I'm doubly put off.

Its rather exaggerated

By m.dillon • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Intels claims are rather exaggerated. Their claims have already been torn apart on numerous tech forums. At best we're talking only a ~3-5x reduction in QD1 latency and the intentionally omit vital information in the specs to force everyone to guess what the actual durability of the XPoint devices is. They say '12PB' of durability for the 375GB part but refuse to tell us how much overprovisioning they do. They say '30 drive writes per day' without tellling us what the warrenty will be.

In fact, over the last 6 months Intel has walked back their claims by orders of magnitude, to the point now where they don't even claim to be bandwidth competitive. They focus on low queue depths and and play fast and loose with the stats they supply.

For example, their QOS guarantee is only 60uS 4KB (99.999%) random access latency and in the same breath they talk about being orders of magnitude faster than NAND NVMe devices. They fail to mention that, for example, the Samsung NVMe devices also typically run around ~60-70uS QD1 latencies. Then Intel mumbles about 10uS latencies but bandies about large factors of improvement over NAND NVMe devices, far larger than the 6:1 one gets simply assuming 10uS vs 60uS.

Then they go on to say that they will have a NVDIMM form for the device later this year, with much faster access times (since in the NVMe form factor access times are constricted by the PCIe bus and block I/O protocol). But with potentially only 33,000 rewrite cycles per cell to failure that's seriously problematic. (And that's the best guess, since Intel won't actually tell us what the cell durability is).


The price point is way too high for what XPoint in the NVMe format appears to actually be capable of doing. The metrics look impossible for a NVDIMM form later this year. Literally we are supposed to actually buy the thing to get actual performance metrics for it? I don't think so.

Its insane. This is probably the biggest marketing failure Intel has ever had. Don't they realize that nobody is being fooled by their crap specs?


Stephen Hawking Will Travel To Space

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Professor Stephen Hawking says he is planning to travel into space on Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic. From a report: The physicist and cosmologist, 75, said he had not expected to have the opportunity to experience space but that the Virgin boss had offered him a seat. Discussing the meaning of happiness on Good Morning Britain, he said: "My three children have brought me great joy. And I can tell you what will make me happy, to travel in space. I thought no one would take me but Richard Branson has offered me a seat on Virgin Galactic, and I said yes immediately."

Re:Is Hawking up for the rigors of spaceflight?

By MobyDisk • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

I don't think Virgin Galactic's flight plan involves nearly the kind of g forces one experiences on a rocket. It's basically a plane that goes really really high. Take a look at the flight plan for SpaceShipTwo, which was the previous generation.. (The image came from here)

I really don't know what I'm talking about, so this might be TOTALLY wrong, but: It says it accelerates to 2500mph over 70 seconds. 2500mph divided by 70 seconds, in meters per second, is about 1.5Gs.

Re:What exactly has he accomplished?

By pseudofrog • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
If nothing else, he's been an effective popularizer of science. A Brief History of Time has been a tremendous success, and it's served as inspiration for many of today's scientists while teaching the public a bit about how the world works. Pretty cool.

Saying he has "a disability" is a massive understatement. The man's body has been effectively useless for decades now, serving only to keep his brain ticking and providing a cumbersome and exhausting means to slowly communicate. But he continues to engage the public and maintain a sense of humor. So that's something.

Sure, he's a celebrity. But he's also done some great things even if you discount all of his scientific accomplishments. He's served well as the face and (robo-)voice of science for a while. I think he's worthy of a short jaunt up to space.

Re:Is Hawking up for the rigors of spaceflight?

By reboot246 • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
I think he will be okay. He's a tough old guy who has lived for decades with a disease that would have killed a lesser person. I hope he enjoys every minute he has left before he leaves us for good.

Re:Is Hawking up for the rigors of spaceflight?

By slew • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

You are acting like you know what the profile is and just aren't telling us. I'm guessing in reality you have no idea.

FWIW, according to this article SpaceShipTwo riders will experience 3Gs on takeoff and 6Gs on decent.

As a reference point, SpaceShipOne riders experienced about ~5G of deceleration when it re-entered the atmosphere...

If there was a GoFundMe page...

By burhop • Score: 3 • Thread

... I'd so chip in a few $$ for this.

Worst case, Dr. Hawkings dies doing what he loves.

Best case, aliens pick him up, think humans are way smarter than we are, and appoint us leaders of the Galaxy.

'Sorry, I've Forgotten My Decryption Password' is Contempt Of Court, Pal - US Appeal Judges

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Thomas Claburn, reporting for The Register: The US Third Circuit Court of Appeals today upheld a lower court ruling of contempt against a chap who claimed he couldn't remember the password to decrypt his computer's hard drives. In so doing, the appeals court opted not to address a lower court's rejection of the defendant's argument that being forced to reveal his password violated his Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination. In the case under review, the US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania held the defendant (referred to in court documents as "John Doe" because his case is partially under seal) in contempt of court for willfully disobeying and resisting an order to decrypt external hard drives that had been attached to his Mac Pro computer. The defendant's computer, two external hard drives, an iPhone 5S, and an iPhone 6 Plus had been seized as part of a child pornography investigation.

Re:What if

By ShanghaiBill • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

How about we work on improving justice for all without regard to socioeconomic status or race.

Sure. But if we fix it only for the rich white guys, then they no longer have any motivation to fix the system for others, and it is they that are empowered to do so. We should indeed fix it for everyone. But we need to start at the bottom.

Re:Contempt of the court...

By rtb61 • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

It's the law, innocent until proven guilty. So the judge failed to prove the person did remember the password, hence the judge is in contempt of justice. In order to prosecute for failure to remember and state a password, the court must prove the defendant does remember it, otherwise they a just fucking guessing because that is what they want, a really horrific corruption of the justice system.

Think of the ramifications, the court claims you saw something with no evidence of proof of that claim, you say you did not and they imprison you until you say what they want you to say. You can not legally force memory, to force people to remember and just to be clear, how many you idiots got 100% on every exam you ever took, well, according to shit for brains judge, you put down the incorrect answer on purpose. Courts are not for fucking guessing, want to make a fucking claim, then fucking prove it.

Re:Contempt of the court...

By dougmc • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

This is not a Constitutional question — the guy is not asked to testify against himself. What he is to say is not under oath and will not be used against him.

It is indeed a Constitutional question. He's accused of a crime, and he's being asked, er forced to aid the prosecution. What happened to his right to remain silent, his right against self-incrimination?

And yes, I do believe it is the goal of the prosecution to use any passwords he provides to find stuff that *will* be used against him. They are *demanding* that he aid their prosecution of him by divulging secrets ... how is that not testifying against himself? Next, are they going to waterboard him for the passwords?

What is demanded of him is a key to the premises, for which a perfectly valid search-warrant has already been issued.

If they were demanding a physical key, he could refuse to tell them where that is too. That said, without that ... they'll just knock down the door.

Also ... has a search warrant been issued to search his brain?

This stinks to high heaven. I thought that it was already established by case law that you did not have to say anything to aid the prosecution in any way, that your right to remain silent was absolute in a criminal case?

Re: Happens quite often...

By Mashiki • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Possibly. That's the real question here, while I've read the case info provided in the article there's a bunch of things that are unclear until I get a chance to read the initial case. But, local police forces which is what this case is doesn't usually have the resources to backdoor things like this unless they're commonly known exploits. And if I remember the cases correctly, if they were seized as part of evidence in the original warrant and they were able to get the information off the drives without his co-operation it wouldn't matter anyway. Since it would have already proven that he was in possession of CP. So that doesn't really matter, in the rare cases where something like this happens they can seal part of the court case to protect the disclosure of things like that which would lead to the compromising of on-going investigations.

The real thing is is what you pointed out though, where the proof. There is none really. The prosecution states they have "known hashes" but that doesn't mean much beyond that. It's more likely that the sister saw actual CP, and that's it. That in itself leads weight to it, but it still doesn't mean too much without the actual evidence.

I wouldn't be surprised if this keeps moving through the court system, or their lawyer simply tells them to take the contempt charge which he'll likely serve on weekends and get on with his life. The contempt charge itself could be an entirely new ball of wax especially if it's contested which wouldn't surprise me. The lawyer(s) in question could make their career defining case off of it. Since then the court will have to prove that he knowingly engaged in contempt.

Re: Contempt of the court...

By Xest • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

No man, you just tell your encryption don't take that shit, don't let yourself be imaged, encryption. Stand firm in the face of these fascists, encryption, and do right by me man.

Royal Jordanian Airlines Bans Use of Electronics After US Voices Security 'Concerns'

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Verge: Royal Jordanian airlines banned the use of electronics on flights servicing the U.S. after government officials here expressed concerns. Details are scant, but CNN is reporting that other carriers based on the Middle East and Africa may be affected as well. The news broke when Royal Jordanian, a state-owned airline that operates around 500 flights a week, posted this cryptic notice on its Twitter feed. The ban, which includes laptops, tablets, and video games, but does not include smartphones or medical devices, is effective for Royal Jordanian flights servicing New York, Chicago, Detroit, and Montreal. A spokesperson for Royal Jordanian was not immediately available for clarification. Meanwhile, CNN is reporting that Royal Jordanian may not be the only carrier affected by these new security provisions. Jon Ostrower, the network's aviation editor, just tweeted that as many as 12 airlines based in the Middle East and Africa could be impacted. A Saudi executive also tweeted that "directives by U.S. authorities" could affect passengers traveling from 13 countries, with the new measure set to go into effect over the next 96 hours.

Re: Thanks Hillary!

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

The only jobs we lose to immigrants are low pay shit jobs. The good jobs are not list to illegals, not taxes, not even the EPA, but to machinery that works nearly 24/7/365.

Your. Shovel. Can't. Compete. With. A. Dump. Truck.

Re: Thanks Hillary!

By Lisandro • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Something doesn't compute for me with that argument. Isn't the current unemployment level ~4%?

Disclaimer: I do not live in the US.

Re:Oh, shucks

By fisternipply • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

The direct Dreamliner flight from JFK (and back to ORD) is actually quite nice. Wish they went back to JFK though. Most of RJ's long haul fleet are Dreamliners and it's a nice airplane. On-board staff are friendly and accommodating. Jordan is not a fundamentalist Islamic country where the women cover their heads and say nothing. The royal family are very progressive and people in Jordan are pretty normal.

Re: Thanks Hillary!

By Motherfucking Shit • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Half the country is very concerned with job loss due to immigration

Yet they seem far more interested in kicking out the immigrants than in punishing the companies who are hiring them. An immigrant can't take your job unless your employer gets rid of you and hires the immigrant. Instead of ICE showing up at courthouses to round up and deport people, maybe the Department of Labor should start showing up at corporate headquarters and carting those folks off.

Un oh. Explosives disguised as batteries?

By wisebabo • Score: 3 • Thread

Based on the fact that they allow certain (small) electronics, as another posted noted it may be some sort of physical attack.

Maybe someone has figured out to (expertly) disguise small explosives as batteries? I don't know how current X-ray technologies (in the airport) work but maybe they can't easily distinguish between a lithium ion battery and an explosive? So if you were able to package them in the same volume and then wire them so that they "look" on the scanner like batteries then they would pass that review.

While it might be possible to detect this alteration by asking the passenger to prove that they are, indeed, unaltered electronic devices by turning them on, I can image a decent electronics guy could leave in one small battery so it could be powered on briefly (it would probably have to be wired differently to provide the necessary voltage). In addition this would cause the (already long?) delays to become longer as passengers would have to open them and boot up the devices (and afterwards shut them down and repack them). I think there may be neutron(?) based scanners that can detect the nitrogen compounds in explosives but I believe they are large and very expensive and would again add delays.

What's interesting is that (so far) this is not a worldwide prohibition but thankfully (at least for people not planning on traveling to and from the middle east/africa) restricted to just that area. So the ability to do this possible physical "hack" is only for now in the middle east and they only think people heading to the U.S. (and not say Europe) will use it. It must by some pretty specific intel to generate this kind of warning. Maybe the security measures/machines in that part of the world are not capable of reliably discriminating these attacks. Then again some restrictions, as other posters have mentioned, only apply to travel to the U.S., for example at Taipei's airport you must go through an additional screening step when on flights bound to the U.S. so perhaps it's just due to more heightened security awareness/paranoia on the American end.

Hundreds of Cisco Switches Vulnerable To Flaw Found in WikiLeaks Files

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Zack Whittaker, writing for ZDNet: Cisco is warning that the software used in hundreds of its products are vulnerable to a "critical"-rated security flaw, which can be easily and remotely exploited with a simple command. The vulnerability can allow an attacker to remotely gain access and take over an affected device. More than 300 switches are affected by the vulnerability, Cisco said in an advisory. According to the advisory, the bug is found in the cluster management protocol code in Cisco's IOS and IOS XE software, which the company installs on the routers and switches it sells. An attacker can exploit the vulnerability by sending a malformed protocol-specific Telnet command while establishing a connection to the affected device, because of a flaw in how the protocol fails to properly process some commands. Cisco said that there are "no workarounds" to address the vulnerability, but it said that disabling Telnet would "eliminate" some risks.

Re:Who has switches with a public IP?

By sunderland56 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Don't ever assume that all hacks are coming from the outside.

Re:That's nice, but...

By HumanWiki • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Most switches support ACLs on all services, and/or on switch SVIs (if you don't have prohibitively many of those), and/or CoPP, so you can tell the switch not to talk to anything but your management stations. You just have to set things up so you can alter those ACLs en-masse when needed. No need for a firewall, really, as long as you aren't using ridiculous utilities that do not belong on a switch in the first place.

That said, there's pretty much zero reason to use telnet these days, and even the last vestiges of FTP and TFTP are starting to become unnecessary as more switch facilities are supporting SCP or (sigh) SFTP. Sigh on the latter because you really are putting a lot of trust in the other end of the connection because SFTP subprotocol code is not production quality code, even in the openSSH tree. But at least someone has to actually own the endpoint to get at it.

Yes, I understand that, that's great, a lot of that is best practice and in all my years and all the companies I've worked for and systems I've helped migrated, worked on, have managed, etc. I can count on one hand the number of them that were properly configured with ACLs blocking of stuff from user segments, properly configured interconnectivity, complex passwords, clear text protocls being fully off, etc. Not allowing this station etc. And you think your management computers are safe? not really. I've seen plenty of bastion systems being used as source mgmt points for all manner of systems and lazy engineers using web browsers on them to download whatever utility or tool they need. Just because you've locked out your stuff to a bastion server doesn't mean it's protected, it just means your compromise point is now actually pinpointed to a singular or group of devices. Lucky me. Less field work to do.

That's all great on paper, but it's not as wide-spread in most places as you'd think. I've met many CCIEs that are outright lazy when it comes to locking down switching and routing connections because it makes their job even harder to deal with the ever changing zones, lans, nodes, and whatever wildass hair mgmt gets in their butt that week about which people/persons "need" access to what and when.

I use firewall generically here and not literally a Firewall as well.

Unfixed Vault 7 vulnerablities...

By slashkitty • Score: 3 • Thread
So, this leads to many questions: How long did the CIA know about this flaw and not tell Cisco Or, did Cisco know about this flaw and not warm users. How many other unpatched flaws are in the Vault 7 Is Cisco no issuing a REAL fix for this?

Re:That's nice, but...

By acoustix • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

That means someone would have to be dumb enough to
1) Have the mgmt of the switch be publicly available
2) Have Telnet enabled.

3) Purchase from a vendor that does not understand security well enough to disable telnet.

Telnet is not enabled by default on any interface on Cisco switches. I've been using them since 1999 and I can't think of a time when an out-of-the-box switch had Telnet enabled.

How to fix this

By AHuxley • Score: 3 • Thread
Keep your brand or company secure by:
Keep your most advanced work and secrets away from any network.
Only use advanced US networks, US products for work that is in use and in public.
When new services, products, contracts are been considered don't store anything on servers, network facing hardware.
Hold design meetings in secure areas, don't bring in smart phones, devices. Keep vital encrypted notes on paper in that secure room.
Use a one time pad to send vital messages to distant staff. Use staff to move a message to staff globally, face to face, in person.
Use a networked company message board as a numbers station to broadcast information globally. Everyone looks at it everyday but the message is only for one person.
If you have the funding set up bait, a honey pot of digital ideas on US branded hardware that faces the internet as normal.
Pack it with the most amazing new ideas your competitors had, renamed as your own emerging products. Patents, secret bank accounts, staff lists, work with other nations. Make that server amazing. Use very different code names for emerging products and projects. See if anyone comes looking later for the same junk words or for the staff that are internal security risks on lists that are fake.
Set up a random safe house with trusted security teams for years based on that staff risk review. See if anyone tries to offer the fake staff member a new job, wants to be "friends", makes a cash offer or poses as your nations security services to do an interview...
Really simple counterintelligence that any nation or company can create.
That needs a lot of funding but protects against human and network methods.
Be aware of any new staff from other nations or your own nations new staff. New "friends" wanting a secure site tour. Physical site access can plant malware thats then collected later by hand.

Android Creator Lost Out On a Big Investment, and Apple May Be To Blame

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Earlier this year, we learned that Andy Rubin, creator of the Android operating system, has built a new company called Essential. The company was reportedly working on a " high-end smartphone with a large edge-to-edge screen that lacks a surrounding bezel." It appears things aren't chugging along so smoothly. From a report: Andy Rubin, a co-creator of Android, lost out on a $100 million investment from SoftBank as Apple deepened ties with the Japanese investor, people familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal. Rubin's company, Essential Products, is reportedly planning to release a new high-end smartphone this spring, and SoftBank planned to market the phone in Japan, the Journal said. But Apple subsequently agreed to commit $1 billion to SoftBank's Vision Fund, a move that "complicated" SoftBank's investment in Essential Products, the Journal reported Monday. Apple did not directly block the deal, the Journal said, though Rubin's premium phone would be released ahead of the highly anticipated 10th anniversary iPhone. The deal was "nearly complete," sources told the Journal.

Stop whining and get back to work...

By creimer • Score: 3 • Thread

Translation: The 800-pound gorilla in the market ate our lunch. We didn't see that coming.

Why are people obsessed with lack of bezels?

By ZorinLynx • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Everyone seems to be clamoring for a phone without bezels, but it seems obvious to me that you have to HOLD the device, and parts of your hand will always cover some of the front of the device if you hold it securely, and therefore with a bezel-less device you will be covering your screen all the time.

Why do people seem to want this? It makes no sense. I like bezels on my handheld devices so I can actually hold and use them at the same time!

Re:Why are people obsessed with lack of bezels?

By Lumpy • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Same reason they want thinner and lighter. Because the general public is really stupid and when you market at them properly they will lap it up.

I want a phone that is 2X as thick as available today and has a 4 day battery life. Single day battery life today is only because of stupidity. we should be at the 1 week of battery like we had with the Razr flip phone.

Re:Destroy all competition!

By tlhIngan • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Destroy all competition, or DAC is the precarious stage of a product life cycle in which the company has already recognized its products as stagnated and turns into destroying all competition instead of inventing marketable novelty. DAC stages are more typical for products of big companies with established ecosystems and revenue streams. -- Fake Marketing 101, Chapter 13

I think this is more alternate facts than anything, because the business case makes zero sense.

Apple invested a billion dollars into softbank. I don't know about you, but a billion dollars is a YUGGGGGGGGGEEEEEE amount. All for what? To kill a smartphone company who hasn't even released a phone yet? That makes zero business sense - they don't have a phone, they don't have a prototype, they don't have anything. And you don't know how much it costs, or what market they're targeting.

I'm sure the Pixel and Pixel XL phones have Apple worried that Google is stomping around their price points.Enough that some no-name (yeah he created Android, and no one cared) who promises a phone with everything and the kitchen sink which hasn't been released yet or even a business plan produced is even more scary.

No, what likely happened is Apple was making an investment in a carrier that believed in them (SoftBank was one of the first carriers outside the US to carry the iPhone, and in Japan, where their phones are light years ahead of what North America has) for $1B.

And it's likely because of this, SoftBank wanted them to switch from a direct investment to using this new fund with its big pot of money in it ($1B!) which would be used to encourage innovation, and either it failed because the phone wasn't practical, or other business reason. If it was a "nothing but iPhone" fund, then would be rather useless.

He likely got caught up in his own hype about the phone that it was supposed to be the next JesusPhone. Especially if he wanted to release it before the iPhone - that would mean he'd be in production right now, and thus all the hardware has been designed and debugged. Seeking funding now to go to mass production would put them even further behind thanks to how long it'll take

Popular Open-Source Audio Editor Audacity Adds Windows 10 Support, More Improvements

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Audacity, a popular open-source and cross-platform audio editor, has received a "maintenance" update that brings several improvements. Dubbed v2.1.3, the biggest new addition appears to be support for Windows 10 OS. For Mac users, Audacity now works in tandem with the Magic Mouse. "We now support Trackpad and Magic Mouse horizontal scroll without SHIFT key and Trackpad pinch and expand to zoom at the pointer," the release note says. We also have new "Scrub Ruler" and "Scrub Toolbar" scrubbing options in the application now. Read the full changelog here.

Re:Lemme guess

By reboot246 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
You haven't been paying attention, have you? Nobody wants their serious work (work that makes money for them) interrupted by an operating system updating itself whenever it damn well pleases.

Audacity is a Great Ugly Duckling

By BrendaEM • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
I've used Audacity for years. It's a powerful, useful audio editor. The releases are stable. It's a great program.

Though, the UI is not in keeping with the quality of the rest of the program. I have written to the developers. The response I got back suggested that the developers are not really open for any kind of visual changes. In fact, the reskinning functionally was removed in later versions.

I would like a UI that looks more like Ardour. Though, if the developers don't like dark themed UI's, perhaps a slider could be added something like in Adobe Premier so the user can change the light/dark elements on the fly. Other work needs to be done, like modernizing the icons and making sure it is ready for 4K.

Additionally, thank you for Audacity. It is a wonderful program, worthy of being a showpiece in the open source community.

Apple's Next Big Thing: Augmented Reality

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Apple is beefing up its staff with acquisitions and some big hires to help design augmented reality glasses and iPhone features, according to Bloomberg. From a report: Apple is working on "digital spectacles" that could connect to an iPhone and beam content like movies and maps, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman reported on Monday. The Cupertino, Calif.- based company is also working on augmented reality features for the iPhone that are similar to Snapchat, Bloomberg said. To make its augmented reality push, Apple has acquired augmented reality start-ups FlyBy Media and Metaio, and hired major players from Amazon, Facebook's Oculus, Microsoft's HoloLens, and Dolby.

Re:I knew it

By killfixx • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

AR was always going to be the "Next Big Thing". VR is a fun, limited-use-case solution looking for a problem. AR keeps the user productive. AR keeps the user engaged in the world around him/her.

Actual Actual Reality

By SuperKendall • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Headphone jack ships via adapter sold with every single iPhone7.

if you don't know that by now... Apple Haters have to be the stupidest and most ignorant people on the planet.

Just how stupid? Apparently this person thinks you need a headphone jack to connect Augmented Reality glasses.

Re:Comey to Congress: TRUMP DID IT!

By jfdavis668 • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
We should never have let the Cubs win the World Series. The world has gone downhill ever since.

Re:I knew it

By mean pun • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

This is Apple investing in Google Glass. Remember that thing that Google did that failed miserably and that they gave up on years ago?

Apple is going to do that now, with the exact same result.

I've heard that one before about MP3 players, mobile phones, and tablets. All great examples of products where Apple was predicted to fail miserably, and failed miserably to fail miserably.

Don't bet against Apple in cases like this. On technical grounds I am not convinced AR can be done well, but if someone can do it, it is Apple.

show me

By Hevel-Varik • Score: 3 • Thread

This news would have been really interesting were Jobs at the helm because he'd established a track record for nearly perfect execution and you could bank on that the final product would be polished. Apple has done nothing in the Cook era to suggest that we can rely on that any more. That said it would be nice if Apple put out something novel.

Qualcomm's New Processor Brings 4G To Feature Phones As Company Eyes Growth in Developing Markets

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
With smartphone growth tapped out in many developed countries, the biggest opportunities remaining are in markets where consumers have considerably less disposable income. Qualcomm moved Monday to address this next wave with a renewed chipset for lower-end smartphones and feature phones ("candy phones"). From a report on Fortune: Dubbed the 205 Mobile Platform, the chips will allow less expensive smartphones and even feature phones to connect to 4G LTE networks, which are just spreading in places like Brazil and India. Unlike Qualcomm's top-end chips, which can reach speeds of over 1 gigabit per second on 4G networks, the 205 chips top out at 150 megabits per second. The platform will also include other lower-end capabilities like support for 3-megapixel cameras. "India and the Southeast Asia regions present growth opportunities in the telecom space with 4G adoption rising and continued adoption of feature phones," Jim Cathey, president of Qualcomm Asia Pacific and India, said in a statement.


By ChunderDownunder • Score: 3 • Thread

Could this drive the 3310 retro phone, which was obsolete at launch for countries lacking a 2G network?

Happiness is on the Wane in the US, UN Global Report Finds

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
From a report on The Guardian, shared by five anonymous readers: Happiness in the US is declining and is expected to continue on a downward path, with Donald Trump's policies forecast to deepen the country's social crisis. The US has slipped to 15th place in the World Happiness Report 2017, produced by the United Nations. The world's economic superpower is well behind top-ranked Norway, although it remains above Germany in 17th place, the UK in 19th, and France in 32nd. Norway knocked Denmark off the top spot as the world's happiest country, with Iceland and Switzerland rounding out the top four. The report's authors stress, however, that the top four are so close that changes are not statistically significant. The next tier of countries are regular leaders in international happiness surveys: Finland is in fifth place, followed by the Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Sweden. The world's "unhappiest" countries are all in the Middle East and Africa: war-stricken Yemen and Syria feature in the bottom 10, with Tanzania, Burundi and Central African Republic making up the final three.

USA happiness index will rise

By dskoll • Score: 3 • Thread

The USA will rise again. Unfortunately, that's because the damage Trump et. al will do will damage lots of other countries so they sink. Basically, everyone will get more unhappy which will make the USA look less bad.

Slashing the State Department budget coupled with a crazy hike in military spending... you'd have to be stupid not to see that Bannon et. al. mean to lead the United States into war.

Re:Oh no that sucks!

By Tablizer • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

No, average population, period.

If T wanted to reduce crime in general, which should be the logical goal, he should ask, what's the best way to reduce crime per federal dollars spent? I've seen no evidence that spending more fed dollars on JUST illegal immigrants is more effective than spending on it on general law enforcement, such as more FBI staff, systems, and/or more cops.

He's just obsessed with "outsiders" as a personality quirk. It's not based on any sound crime-solving monetary/resource allocation logic or model. I don't think he'd have the patience to review any such study or model with a critical eye. By all appearances, it's his gut tribalism instinct driving his decision process, not math, models, and logic. You are welcome to demonstrate he has given crime-fighting resource allocation some real thought...

Re:It's a good sign. Shows he's working for the US

By PoopJuggler • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

he's actually putting the interests of the USA before those of foreign nations

Sure, if our interests are cutting education funding, cutting the EPA, cutting elderly food programs, cutting women's rights, cutting healthcare, and increasing racism and military spending. Nothing will make America great again like a generation of stupid kids, sick and hungry people, and weapons.

Re:What exactly?

By jeff4747 • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Poor people are living longer, earning more, eating more, all over the world

Not in the United States.

Life expectancy in the US is declining.

Also, real income went down in the 2008 recession, and have not recovered for anyone not in the top 2% of incomes.

Also, food insecurity is up by quite a bit among the poor.

Re:TLDR: UN says more whites = happiness?

By Kjella • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Or, maybe they just found a nice balance between capitalism and socialism, unlike the rest of the world.

For very socialist values of balance, at least here in Norway. According to the world bank we have third lowest Gini coefficient in the world, meaning our income is extremely evenly distributed by international standards. There is not a lot of really poor nor very wealthy people, with notable exceptions of course but looking at income stats if you divide into 10% slices the 80-90% slice make just under twice as much as the 10-20%. The best paid executives in Statoil, our huge mostly state owned company the CEO makes about $1.7 million a year. If you go to a similar foreign oil giant like say Schlumberger the CEO makes $18.6 million a year. Working at McD you earn ~$15/hour the first four months if you're 18-20, after that or from day one if you're older ~$18.50/hour. And you don't need health insurance or a 401(k) on top of that, the public healthcare system and public pensions are entirely adequate. Granted you can't directly compare prices, but you live okay on one "minimum wage" job. So at McD you make $35k/year and your average doctor makes $95k/year, the tax system makes the difference even less in practice. But we want it. And a very high percent of the population works, that helps. It's still an odd country.

Boston Public Schools Map Switch Aims To Amend 500 Years of Distortion

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Students attending Boston public schools are now getting a more accurate depiction of the world after the school district rolled out a new standard map of the world that show North America and Europe much smaller than Africa and South America. From a report on The Guardian: In an age of "fake news" and "alternative facts", city authorities are confident their new map offers something closer to the geographical truth than that of traditional school maps, and hope it can serve an example to schools across the nation and even the world. For almost 500 years, the Mercator projection has been the norm for maps of the world, ubiquitous in atlases, pinned on peeling school walls. Gerardus Mercator, a renowned Flemish cartographer, devised his map in 1569, principally to aid navigation along colonial trade routes by drawing straight lines across the oceans. An exaggeration of the whole northern hemisphere, his depiction made North America and Europe bigger than South America and Africa. He also placed western Europe in the middle of his map. Mercator's distortions affect continents as well as nations. For example, South America is made to look about the same size as Europe, when in fact it is almost twice as large, and Greenland looks roughly the size of Africa when it is actually about 14 times smaller.

Was Boston that far behind? Or is this propaganda?

By MobyDisk • Score: 3 • Thread

The insinuation that students never saw any map other than the Mercator projection seems unlikely. The implication that the map is some kind of Anglo-Saxon reality distortion field is borderline propaganda. Was there some kind of district-wide rule that teachers had to use the Mercator projection? Was the Boston school district really that screwed-up?

I went to school in Maryland, and we used Robinson and either Goodes or Boggs (I can't tell the difference). Our social studies teachers had 10 foot tall maps that they could pull down over the chalkboard like a blind. We had a unit where we went over different map projections and had to understand the differences. It is a classic elementary science demonstration to give kids an orange and challenge them to peel it and make it flat, or to take a sheet of paper and wrap it around a ball. Did none of this happen in Boston?

The article spends several paragraphs slamming the Mercator projection, as though it was news. It has an embedded clip from a fictional television show debating map projections. But this sounds like it is attacking a strawman here. The article presents no evidence to me to indicate that Boston school teachers really only used one horribly stupid map projection, that they didn't use globes, and that they didn't have curriculum to explain map projections. It seems more likely that the school board decided to standardize, and the site is exaggerating it into a civil rights issue to make it newsworthy. The Boston school district official is happy to take credit for a "paradigm shift" which just feeds into the whole exaggeration.

Now with more distortion

By pz • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Boston Public Schools Map Switch Aims To Amend 500 Years of Distortion

... by adding even greater distortion that is entirely motivated by a petty political agenda, rather than scientific accuracy. I read the article, and the quoted motivations are not well-founded (Europe, for example, is not in the center of the maps used in the US, the United States is). The distortion in the propsed map (which, gallingly, is "an internal decision that will not be put up to public approval" or some words to that effect that make the person behind them sound more like a petty dictator who will shout down any dissenting view) is far worse than the traditional Mercator projection. You can see it: South America and Africa look stretched vertically (because they are).

There are so many, many projections that are scientifically superior. The only reason to select this one is political. Shame on those educators.

And I had such hope with the momentum building up behind the STEM movement.

Re:Never had a globe?

By rundgong • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

The only spheres that are now allowed are other shapes that have had the corners chipped away to now be spheres as they always felt that they were spheres on the inside.

Are you sure? I thought apple had a patent on that.

Think for a second

By argStyopa • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

The last 50-60 years of education have been committed to presenting 'alternative facts' - white people aren't the most important, the US and Europe aren't the most important and successful, minorities were meaningful to history, Columbus was a fucking asshole, women are important, homosexuals aren't sexual deviants, there is no absolute morality, babies are just chunks of tissue, etc.

I'm not disputing the accuracy of any of those, but one has to recognize that, as opposed to conventional wisdom at the time, all of those things were being consciously presented as alternative viewpoints to the established narratives.

So let's not pretend that we haven't been dogmatically acculturated to the presentation and acceptance of alternative truths for most of our lives.


By TimMD909 • Score: 3 • Thread
When I was a kid, we learned all the different common projections and how they skew portions or shapes. Greenland was used as an example of how distortion can make accurate maps misleading. Seems that school is trying to put a bandaid on a larger problem: their kids don't know geography.

Ebay: Yes, Speedy Shipping Really Is a Thing With Us

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Fast shipping is -- finally -- no longer all about Amazon. From a report on CNET: On Monday, eBay announced it will offer a new guaranteed-delivery program in the US starting this summer, pledging deliveries in three or fewer days for more than 20 million products. For the first time, Ebay's shoppers will be able to filter searches to see only items guaranteed to arrive in one, two or three days. "We know we need to continue to up our game on shipping," Hal Lawton, eBay's senior vice president of North America, said in an interview. [...] It's worth noting, though, that this Ebay announcement doesn't actually speed up deliveries on the site. Many professional sellers on Ebay have already been providing these faster deliveries, in some cases for years. Ebay, which says 63 percent of packages sold through its site arrive in three days or less, has been offering customers more conservative delivery estimates because it doesn't ship directly.

Hopefully better than amazon.

By Lumpy • Score: 3 • Thread

Amazon's same day and even 2 day shipping is rarely on time. Heck even the amazon NOW service here at work is rarely within the 2 hours promised.

Why is this news?

By rebelwarlock • Score: 3 • Thread
This just seems like an advertising of their new shipping services. I don't see anything that constitutes news.

I'd really like to see competition for Amazon...

By QuietLagoon • Score: 3 • Thread
... but I have a difficult time trusting many of the vendors on EBay. There have been far too many scams on EBay in the past, and I'm not convinced EBay has grown past that phase of their life. Additionally, the emphasis on PayPal with the EBay vendors is not good in my eyes.

Chinese shipping depends on how much you pay

By MindPrison • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

I've been doing eBay shopping since 1998.

And if there is ONE thing I've learned, is that the lower you bid, the slower it ships. Doesn't matter if the two promises the same shipping times.
Also, the cheaper you go - the lower quality you'll get at the exact same product range. Because a lot of them will ship the lowest bidders the shittiest quality of the batch (kind of logical, don't ya think?).

And a above 90% seller success rate sounds nice, right? Wrong! You'd be amazed how many problems you'll have with sellers under 96% even at 97% good feedback. The trick is to look at their negative feedback, or / and their neutral feedback and see what happens for each individual product. The product is important here, because the same seller could earn a 100% feedback reputation on selling socks, but sell shoddy factory rejected production Arduinos with a feedback of 20% and less - and still earn a pretty penny. Many of the Chinese sellers just sells these by the thousands because it sells - they have NO clue what they're actually selling besides fake shoe brands etc.

The thing you need to watch out for - is the sellers that will tell you "please wait 40+ days because of your customs" etc... You know as well as I do that your customs don't give a hoot about your 2 dollar arduino, so if it takes 40+ days, and the seller says, please be patient, it's because the nickel-and-dime croock only wants to hoist good feedback while your complaint expires. Never accept this. Complain immediately. Down the bad sellers now, do not delay!

FBI Director Comey Confirms Investigation Into Trump Campaign

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
FBI Director James Comey confirmed during testimony before Congress Monday that the FBI is investigating whether the Trump campaign colluded with a covert Russian campaign to interfere with the election. From a report on Reuters: Comey told a congressional hearing on Russian activities that the probe "includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia's efforts. Because it is an open, ongoing investigation and is classified, I cannot say more about what we are doing and whose conduct we are examining," Comey said. Earlier, the chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Intelligence Committee, Republican Representative Devin Nunes, told the same hearing that the panel had seen no evidence of collusion between Russia and Trump's 2016 campaign. Nunes also denied an unsubstantiated claim from Trump that there had been a wiretap on his Trump Tower in New York but said it was possible other surveillance was used against the Republican.


By MightyMartian • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

We will reach the Nixonian "what did he know and when did he know it" at some point soon. Even the Republicans on the committee could only really gripe about leaks, which tells you even they know that this hearing is going to reach some damned dangerous ground. And don't imagine for a second that they'll sacrifice their political careers to keep a Republican President afloat.


By Zontar_Thing_From_Ve • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Killing off the free press was always one of Trump's stated goals with his desire to open up libel laws in order to facilitate suing the press.

That's not exactly right. He doesn't really want to kill the free press. He wants try to make everybody but Fox News report from the sideline so that they lose influence. He's not trying to shut down, say, CNN, but he wants to limit their access to him. I have friends who honestly believe that the only fair and impartial news source at all is Fox News. They all believe that CNN is insanely liberal and they have no idea at all that MSNBC is actually pretty far left of CNN. They don't seem to know that MSNBC even exists. There's no need to kill the free press when half the country believes that only one news sources is accurate and impartial and that news source is so biased it's not ever going to say anything against a Republican. You can let CNN, MSNBC, NPR, etc. report all they want to, but when half the country by choice refuses to listen to what they say, they are pretty effectively silenced although technically still alive.

Free Press?

By s.petry • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

What "Free Press"? are you referring to? The "Free Press" that did everything in their power to get Trump elected, because as we found out later the Democrats believed he would be the easiest for Hillary to beat? The one that colluded with the DNC to install a particular person to the highest office in the land after the two Primaries? The one that continues to collude to disrupt the current President? The painfully obvious slander and hit jobs by CNN and MSNBC colluding with (and repeating the stories of) NYT, WP, etc..? That "Free Press"?

The "Free" press has been dead for quite a while. We were put on notice by journalists when the monopolization was legalized (previously restricted by law).

I believe it would be more apt to say that Trump wanted to attack an openly corrupt media establishment. A whole lot of people agree with him, and of course the owners of that powerful block of corruption are doing all they can to maintain power and control.


By MightyMartian • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

The problem here, as I've seen many times in other contexts is that those making these claims aren't really interested in whether the claim has any foundation in truth, or even in any way properly sourced. What counts is that the claim was made. The claim can be utter rubbish, and not even make any damned sense at all (i.e. Pizzagate), but once made, it can be published and then endlessly repeated. The point here is simply to say something, anything, and repeat it long after it was debunked. That way, when the issue comes up for discussion, the declaration can be made "Yeah well, I read this from a totally reliable guy like Napolitano!"

This, in the Creationist debate circles is known as the Gish Gallop, based upon (in)famous Creationist Duane Gish, whose debating style was to making as many unfounded and ludicrous assertions as possible during a debate, knowing full well that his interlocutors could never possibly deal with all of them in the allotted time, and then he and his supporters could champion those untouched claims as showing the falsehood of evolution. What's more, even where all the claims were debunked, he'd simply repeat them anyways.

The object of this kind of rhetoric is simply to overwhelm one's opponents or the generally incredulous with as many claims as possible, to overwhelm the opponents and make it seem as if they are faltering under the weight of the evidence of a vast conspiracy. And we see now how it has been used to extraordinary effect, that in this particular /. thread alone, there must be a dozen or more claims that were debunked or traced back to unreliable or non-existent sources. But they keep being made, over and over again.


By Boronx • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

"Everyone working in intelligence all agree that if they did what she did, they'd 100% be charged. Never understood that one."

No need to understand something that isn't true. Go look at what they actually found on her. It amounted to nothing. The second hand stories that travel around are overblown, to say the least.

The reason Comey couldn't recommend prosecution is that he didn't have enough evidence for a prosecution. No prosecutor would agree to take the case.

Windows 10 Will Download Some Updates Even Over a Metered Connection

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Reader AmiMoJo writes: Until now Windows 10 has allowed users to avoid downloading updates over metered (pay-per-byte) connections, to avoid racking up huge bills. Some users were setting their ethernet/wifi connections as metered in order to prevent Windows 10 from downloading and installing updates without their permission. In its latest preview version of the OS, Microsoft is now forcing some updates necessary for "smooth operation" to download even on these connections. As well as irritating users who want to control when updates download and install, users of expensive pay-per-byte connections could face massive bills.

Come on guys

By subanark • Score: 3 • Thread

The hate for MS is real. This isn't inherently a bad idea. If a 50K update patches a security hole that would allow someone to turn your computer into a member of a bot net, you'd be glad you got that update.

This sentence makes my ass twitch.

By fahrbot-bot • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

... forcing some updates necessary for "smooth operation" to download even on these connections ...

I have several ass-related jokes queued up, but can't decide which one I like best.

Fuck software

By AndyKron • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
I am so sick and FUCKING TIRED of all the constant updates from every fucking piece of software. Fuck computers.

Just do it.

By JustNiz • Score: 3 • Thread

It amazes me just how abusive Microsoft can make their products and still people will put up with it, keep using them and even buy more. After Windows 10 especially, I bet even Microsoft are surprised at how far they can abuse people and still get away with it.

Come on guys, just totally ditch Windows already. You already know you should. Just do it.

Re:You're the idiot who keeps using that software.

By Calydor • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

If you're ever pissed off about how oil and power companies are ruining the environment, you can get rid of your car and get a bicycle.

You will have trouble getting to work, picking up the kids, buying groceries and getting around, but BY GEORGE you stuck to your principles and the oil and power companies ... didn't notice at all.

In 18 Years, A College Degree Could Cost About $500,000

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader shares a report: People worried about college affordability today can at least take this to heart: it could get much, much worse. Tuition has been rising by about 6% annually, according to investment management company Vanguard. At this rate, when babies born today are turning 18, a year of higher education at a private school -- including tuition, fees, and room and board -- will cost more than $120,000, Vanguard said. Public colleges could average out to $54,000 a year. That means without financial aid, the sticker price of a four-year college degree for children born today could reach half a million dollars at private schools, and a quarter million at public ones. That's for a family with one kid; those with more could be facing a bill that reaches seven figures.

Re:Yeah, the bubble will pop long before that

By meta-monkey • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

In the US your (or rather, your parents') wallet.

No, the real problem is that the government backs student loans in the US and has essentially no criteria for denying anyone a loan. You're a D student and want a $50,000 loan to study Underwater Basket Weaving? No problem! And the university will absolutely let you in because you're bringing that $50,000 check.

And since you're not really equipped to tell the difference between a quality education and a mediocre education, and it's all pretty well fine anyway (an undergraduate education is pretty much the same reasonable quality at any given state university), you're making your decision about where to go based on the amenities. When I went to college 20 years ago the dorms were little better than minimum security prison cells and the parking authority was run out of a double wide trailer. Today at my alma mater there's a shiny new glass and steel building for the parking administration and the dorms look like condos and there are two "wellness centers" whatever the fuck those are, and the rec facilities are top notch, etc. They've turned the schools into luxury education resorts.

The education isn't any different, but it costs 4 times as much. The only way to end the cycle is for the government to stop giving students so much "free" money, but that will never happen because the University Industrial Complex will nuke any politician who tries as being "against education," and since I'm sure "low income and minority students will be hit hardest" they'll call you racist to boot.

I think the way the education bubble will actually pop is this. "Everybody knows" a diploma is next to meaningless because if you show up with enough money and stick around long enough you get one, and it doesn't mean you actually know the subject. Young people are especially aware of this, and that you can educate yourself just about as well on the internet these days. Someone from the generation that understands this is going to finally get a hiring position at a major company and is going to say "no, we don't want people with college degrees. I want someone who's educated themselves because they knew the college system was a scam. We're going to implement a system to find and hire these self-starters because they will be better employees." This will become all the rage and while that won't do anything about some professions where you MUST have the sheepskin (medicine, law) it will absolutely lay waste to the diploma mills.

Re:Yeah, the bubble will pop long before that

By ravenshrike • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Bingo. The education establishment alongside the Department of Education in this country since at least the 80's has pushed college as the be all panacea with those unable to make it into college as some sort of fuck up. Trade schools have been consistently sneered at.

Citation needed

By rsilvergun • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
538 says you're wrong.

Re:Yeah, the bubble will pop long before that

By cayenne8 • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Have higher entrance requirements,

If you do that, you will automatically be branded a racist for daring such heritical talk.

Doing anything in the US these days, based solely on merit of ones abilities, especially with regards to upper racist and/or sexist in nature.

Re:Community college is a great deal

By Bob the Super Hamste • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
I have a cousin who went to one of those schools (Brandeis) a few years back for his degree in economics. His parents (a teacher and a physical therapist) didn't pay a dime. I didn't know about theses schools' policies towards qualified but middle class people until I asked his parents how they could afford it as ~$50k per year is a huge chunk of their post tax income. This cousin is 18 years younger than I am so I was curious because I have young kids and wanted to know what school cost so I knew how screwed I was going to be. That said it looks like the 4 options for getting a college education are:
1. Be rich so money doesn't matter
2. Join the US military and potentially get shot at
3. Get accepted to an elite school and be subsidized by #1
4. Milk community colleges and high school post secondary programs for as much as you can and work your ass off to pay for a state school
5. Go into hock for the rest of your life

For #2 there are some really good ways to manipulate that system that I have found out from some of my military (current and former) friends and their hate of the young double butters. For the biggest benefit become an Eagle Scout first (gets you promoted higher right out of basic ahead of the others who joined with you), join the guard/reserves at age 17, then get into college and go ROTC. When you start ROTC you will likely get promoted again in the reserves/guard at this point as well putting you ahead of your peers. You then get your commission at age 22 but you already have ~5 years of military experience but with all that other stuff you won't be an O1 so would be an O2 (first lieutenant) or more likely an O3 (captain). You then have to put in I believe 6 years as an officer if a commission is available, because you already have 5 years experience you will move way a head in the line. By the time you finish you commission you will now have about 11 years into the military so why not go the extra 9 and get a full officer's pension at age 37. Also the military will pay for college while you are in so you can continue to work on more advanced degrees for free. Toss in the tuition and stipend that you are paid for school as well as your military pay for that time and it is a pretty good deal if you don't have to go get shot at the first few years.

Indiana Considers Prohibiting Cities From Banning Airbnb

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
"Indiana's cities and towns wouldn't be allowed to put their own restrictions on companies such as Airbnb under a proposal state lawmakers are considering," reports the Associated Press. Slashdot reader El Cubano writes: The proposed legislation would prohibit local government in the state from banning Airbnb rentals by their residents. There are exceptions for home owner associations (which will still be allowed to ban rentals in their communities) and 180-day per year cap.

It is interesting to see something like this being considered at the state level. Supporters say that they are trying to prevent knee-jerk regulations and to protect an innovative emerging market. At the same time, local authorities are upset that they will no longer have the option to make the determination for themselves.

The bill has already been approved by the Indiana House, as well as a key committee in the Indiana Senate.

Reeks of conflict of interest

By 0xdeaddead • Score: 3 • Thread

Did the state invest? Are they preventing someone who has a put?

Re:I am curious if people think this is good or ba

By ranton • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

For the non-HOA 50%, this law moves control of the issue further away from the people.

Wrong. If there is no HOA then control resides with each individual homeowner, and which is the most local level possible. This regulation isn't forcing homeowners to use AirBnB; it is giving control to homeowners.

People who won't buy a home covered by an HOA because it would annoy them, but then still want to control what their neighbors do, are a special form of hypocrite.

Re:I am curious if people think this is good or ba

By ganjadude • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
having lived in a HOA in the past, its not something i will ever do again. to many rules on how to live my life by people i dont know nor care about. no thanks

Re:I am curious if people think this is good or ba

By tehcyder • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

you don't just go into a market and act like the rules don't apply to you

You do if making money is your over-riding concern.

The whole point of the crop of "disruptive" businesses like Uber and Airbnb is that they've realised that any market where there is regulation can be under-cut by not following those regulations and having to incur the relevant costs.

If you are a psychopath, I imagine that disrupting the pesky regulations over food or drug safety is going to be a popular idea, for instance.

Who would vote for this kind of rep

By jader3rd • Score: 3 • Thread
Who would vote for a state representative to take away their local communities representatives ability to represent the community? This reeks of representing corporations and not citizens.

Canonical Helps Launch A Snap Store For The Orange Pi Community

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
"Developers can distribute their applications packaged as snaps to Orange Pi owners," explains a new blog post from Canonical, bragging that "hackers and tinkerers can install complex IoT and server projects in seconds." An anonymous reader quotes Ubuntu's Insights blog: Orange Pi maker Shenzhen Xunlong Software Co. Ltd is launching an app store in partnership with Canonical to foster an active community of developers and users. Through this app store, developers gain a simple mechanism to share their applications, projects and scripts between themselves and with the wider Orange Pi community...

With snaps developers can distribute their application in a secure, confined package bundled with all its dependencies, so users can install applications that could take half an hour to install in just a few seconds. The Orange Pi App Store uses the whitelabel app store offering from Canonical, which lets them distribute applications to the Orange Pi community under its own brand. The store is a place for developers to share their Orange Pi specific applications. It also benefits from the wealth of applications available in the Ubuntu snap store, also available through the store.

Are there any Slashdot readers who are actually using snaps? Or -- for that matter -- are there any Slashdot readers developing with the Orange Pi?

Yes, let's build a walled garden

By hughbar • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
To declare interest, I'm a big Raspberry Pi fan and user.

However, I see this as another attempt to build a walled garden (small wall, admittedly) by creating 'snaps'. I'm not sure how these will differ from Debian packages, for example and Debian packaging is arguably more 'universal'. I currently use Ubuntu Mate on Pi3 and it's pretty good. But, unhappily, I'm now going to start watching Canonical for signs that it wishes to be the Microsoft of Linux.

For complex, autonomous applications (as opposed to apps, whatever they are, only joking before someone tells me) easier just to supply a complete image, anyway, like some of the media centre offerings.

Re:Yes, let's build a walled garden

By thegarbz • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

How is it a walled garden any more than apt or rpm. It's open source, it's not limited to one distribution, it's not curated, and the only requirement for a snap is that the developer of a program releases it in snap format.

Just because it came from canonical doesn't make it instantly bad.

What's the point?

By Gaygirlie • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

The official Orange Pi - images are total fucking crapshoot, being so bad they make even your mum's cameltoe look appealing in comparison! It's not the availability of apps that is the problem, it's the support for the boards and all of their features, including Mali-drivers, or the closed, undocumented WiFi-chips, and so on that is the problem! Xunlong ain't doing shit to help get drivers mainlined in the kernel, they just produce a shitty image that barely boots and then hope the community will do all the hard work for them.

So, what's the point with these "snaps?" How do they make the situation any better? Oh, they don't? Weeellll...

Re:W.T.F. is Orange Pi ?!

By DontBeAMoran • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

The Orange Pi is similar to the Raspberry Pi, but has a different taste.

Re:Yes, let's build a walled garden

By _merlin • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Yeah, so instead of patching your system-wide copy of OpenSSL for the next heartbleed, you get to patch the copy embedded in every snap. Isn't that fantastic?

Two More Executives Are Leaving Uber, Drivers May Unionize

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
First the resignations. "The beliefs and approach to leadership that have guided my career are inconsistent with what I saw and experienced at Uber," the company's former president told Recode on Sunday, announcing his resignation. "The departures add to the executive exodus from Uber this year," writes The New York Times. An anonymous reader quotes their report. Brian McClendon, vice president of maps and business platform at Uber, also plans to leave at the end of the month... Raffi Krikorian, a well-regarded director in Uber's self-driving division, left the company last week, while Gary Marcus, who joined Uber in December after Uber acquired his company, left this month. Uber also asked for the resignation of Amit Singhal, a top engineer who failed to disclose a sexual harassment claim against him at his previous employer, Google, before joining Uber. And Ed Baker, another senior executive, left this month as well.
Jones left Uber after less than six months, though McClendon's departure is said to be more amicable. "Mr. McClendon, in a statement, said he was returning to his hometown, Lawrence, Kansas, after 30 years away. 'This fall's election and the current fiscal crisis in Kansas is driving me to more fully participate in our democracy -- and I want to do that in the place I call home."

In other news, the Teamsters labor union plans to start organizing Uber's drivers into a union, after a Washington judge rejected Uber's attempt to overturn a right-to-unionize ordinance passed by the city of Seattle.

Re: The end?

By Hognoxious • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Billion dollar companies just don't fold , they burn down slowly

Like Enron?

Re:Failure is always an option

By tehcyder • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Drivers are NOT staff. They are independent contractors. It says so right in their contract. I don't understand why this is so hard to grasp for some people.

The law is a bit more complicated than that. Writing "you are not an employee" on an employment contract does not mean that you are magically not an employee.

Re: The end?

By BarbaraHudson • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Au contraire, billion-dollar businesses can disappear in a flash. Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC is one such example - he owes $170 billion in restitution, based on a fraud of over $60 billion. At one point he was the largest trader of NYSE-listed stocks in the world, doing up to 15% of all trades. $740 million a day in trades isn't chicken feed.

Re: Bubble Company

By TimMD909 • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
Uber has been working on driverless car technology for years in Pittsburgh. They simply kept it quiet until recently. Their self driving technology is pretty awesome. An engineer from Uber hooked me up with a ride on my birthday this year and it was a very pleasant ride.

They should unionize or form a not-for-profit Uber

By ErichTheRed • Score: 3 • Thread

I'm a big proponent of unions simply because I can see what happens when business owners are allowed to do whatever they want to their employees. The number of ethical employers that treat their employees well is a tiny fraction of the workforce, and I wouldn't count Uber in this class.

People forget that taxi driver is one of those job of last resort for people who don't have the skills to be in the higher levels of the workforce. I live near NYC and some of the recent immigrant cab drivers I've met have crazy stories of coming here, some as refugees, working 14 hour days, 6 days a week while they're learning English and going to school. No one in IT believes me, but this is just a preview of what's coming for a huge swath of white collar workers who will be wiped out in the next automation wave. Those nice safe jobs new grads get shuffling paperwork at some big company are getting squeezed now, but could just disappear entirely very soon since companies seem to be in a massive optimization drive. The white collar workers of today are going to end up as the Uber drivers of tomorrow as no one wants to hire them for their skills anymore. I say we should try to make our Mad Max style future of fighting for scraps as comfortable as possible now while we still can.

The other thing I could see happening is a drivers' association forming a not for profit that makes their own Uber-style app and charges drivers a reasonable percentage of the fares. It's amazing how much better off everyone is when you take the profit motive out of the equation. Note that I'm not saying "non-profit," because people do need to be paid and it's not a charity -- but a not-for-profit removes the pressure to turn the screws on the employees to the maximum revenue-generating setting. It would be a kind of non-scummy, non-evil Uber and they could even use a similar business model.