the unofficial Slashdot digest for 2017-Apr-11 today archive


  1. US Dismantles Forensic Science Commission
  2. Firefox To Let Users Control Memory Usage
  3. Scientists Prove Your Phone's PIN Can Be Stolen Using Its Gyroscope Data
  4. Alphabet Wants Its Lawsuit Against Uber To Play Out Publicly
  5. Chrome Now Uses Scroll Anchoring To Prevent Those Annoying Page Jumps
  6. Twitter Allegedly Deleting Negative Tweets About United Airlines' Passenger Abuse
  7. Canada Hid the Konami Code In Its Commemorative $10 Bill Launch
  8. Google Ruins the Assistant's Shopping List, Turns It Into a Big Google Express Ad
  9. Sir Tim Berners-Lee Lays Out Nightmare Scenario Where AI Runs the Financial World
  10. Facebook Has Reached Its Microsoft Bing Moment -- History Shows the Results Won't Be Pretty
  11. The Kodi Development Team Wants To Be Legitimate and Bring DRM To the Platform.
  12. As Streaming Booms, Songs Are Getting Faster and Shorter
  13. TV's Golden Age Is Anything But, Say Writers Preparing To Strike
  14. Qualcomm Says Apple Broke Contract, Hindered Performance of Its Chipsets
  15. Sorry America, Your Taxes Aren't High
  16. Microsoft Ends Support For Windows Vista; Begins To Roll Out Windows 10 Creators Update
  17. A Big Problem With AI: Even Its Creators Can't Explain How It Works
  18. Fitbit's New Smartwatch Has Been Plagued By Production Mishaps
  19. Why Do Airlines Overbook?
  20. Google Schools US Government About Gender Pay Gap
  21. 25 Percent of US Driving Could Be Done By Self-Driving Cars By 2030, Study Finds
  22. Boeing Expects To Save Millions In Dreamliner Costs Using 3D-Printed Titanium Parts
  23. Large Near-Earth Astroid Will Fly Past Earth On April 19

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

US Dismantles Forensic Science Commission

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
hondo77 writes a report via Washington Post: Thought the Trump Administration's war on science was just about climate change? Think again. "Attorney General Jeff Sessions will end a Justice Department partnership with independent scientists to raise forensic science standards and has suspended an expanded review of FBI testimony across several techniques that have come under question, saying a new strategy will be set by an in-house team of law enforcement advisers," reports Washington Post. The National Commission on Forensic Science, "jointly led by Justice and the Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has prompted several changes," including "new accrediting and ethical codes for forensic labs and practitioners" and the FBI abandoning "its four-decade-long practice of tracing bullets to a specific manufacturer's batch through chemical analyses after its method were scientifically debunked." "The availability of prompt and accurate forensic science analysis to our law enforcement officers and prosecutors is critical to integrity in law enforcement, reducing violent crime, and increasing public safety," Sessions said in the statement. "We applaud the professionalism of the National Commission on Forensic Science and look forward to building on the contributions it has made in this crucial field."

Re:Trump Advisor Carter Page - Russian Agent

By Imrik • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Don't leave the Democrats out of this grouping, they're just as much party/anti-Trump before country.

Re:Every little thing

By Rockoon • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
You said nothing for years while Obama was bombing Syria.

Now all of a sudden you think its, and I quote, "Unconstitutional and Unwise" to bomb Syria.

The other guy has it right. Your attitude is exactly why the Democrats got murdered last election.

You can sit there cherry picking all the things that you have an issue with on a daily basis, but that falls apart when you arent consistent. A politician can get away with some flip-flopping, but you guys are all over the place constantly.

Re:Trump Advisor Carter Page - Russian Agent

By jwhyche • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

There is no Russian control over the US government. I wish who ever kept modding this crap up would give it a rest.

Re: Trump Advisor Carter Page - Russian Agent

By PoopJuggler • Score: 5, Funny • Thread
Nice try, Putin.

We HAVE to start cutting programs...

By LynnwoodRooster • Score: 3 • Thread

Last fiscal year, the US Federal Government spent $1.423 trillion more than it brought in (source: US Department of Treasury). There are approximately 140 million taxpayers. This represents a DEFICIT spending $10,160 per taxpayer - spending above and beyond income. It is more than all the Federal Income tax paid! We would have to literally more than double the current Federal tax rate for all taxpayers to cover our deficit spending...

Or, we start cutting things that are outside the domain of the Federal Government, and scale back on spending. It's either increase revenue or cut spending - but it has to be done. We cannot keep blowing over $4 billion dollars a day in deficit spending (that is $29 per day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year, per taxpayer).

Firefox To Let Users Control Memory Usage

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from BleepingComputer: Mozilla engineers are working on a new section in the browser's preferences that will let users control the browser's performance. Work on this new section started last Friday when an issue was opened in the Firefox bug tracker. Right now, the Firefox UI team has proposed a basic sketch of the settings section and its controls. Firefox developers are now working to isolate or implement the code needed to control those settings [1, 2, 3]. According to the current version of the planned Performance settings section UI, users will be able to control if they use UI animations (to be added in a future Firefox version), if they use page prefetching (feature to preload links listed on a page), and how many "content" processes Firefox uses (Firefox currently supports two processes [one for the Firefox core and one for content], but this will expand to more starting v54).

I have no idea how much memory FF uses

By Snotnose • Score: 3, Interesting • Thread
Nor do I care. I switched to Chrome years ago because FF flat out got slow, so much so I decided "hmmm, FF, IE, or Chrome. Let's try Chrome".

Chrome was much faster. 2.5 years ago I got a new laptop with a much faster processor and a lot more RAM. I kept Chrome. It works, usually.

I fire up FF once a week. My supermarket website (Vons) doesn't work with Chrome (could be the add ons, don't really care). But until Chrome starts to suck I don't feel any need to return to FF as my daily browser.

TLDR; piss off your long term users, they turn into long term users of something else

GOOD direction

By markdavis • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

This is a very good step in the right direction. There are non-majority but very valid use cases where one might need to limit memory and especially CPU usage and threading when wanted. For example, on hosted or application servers that serve thin clients. Please give as much control to users and system administrators as possible.

This also holds just as important for single-user systems. One thing I hope they especially pay attention to is some way to quell the rampant misuse of local resources by websites that throw more and more meaningless "fancy" effects at us. Barely a site remains that doesn't fade in and out every single element, loads endlessly, creates tight busy loops, presents continuous animation for no real reason, etc. It just chews through CPU and on battery powered devices, it unnecessarily decimates stored power, it presents never ending barriers and distractions to getting to useful information on sites. Give us tools and settings to slow and limit such nonsense. Return control of our resources to us.

In the past, Firefox was all about CHOICE and CONFIGURABILITY. For years as Firefox has become "Chrome-ified" in look and mission, user choice has wrongfully and systematically removed in favor of "simplicity". Stop trying to be Chrome, it is not helping anyone!

Firefox stands as the only remaining main-stream, completely open source, multiplatform browser developed by a community model. Here is a last chance to prevent it from become totally obscure.... EMBRACE USER CONTROL. Differentiate yourself based on that. It is something Chrome sorely lacks. We need real choices and real competition, not a world left with one browser controlled by a single information overlord who lives based on tracking, capturing, and sharing information about us. Been there, done that.... Mozilla set us free once. Please be there to prevent us from sliding back into it again :)

Also how much memory each tab was using

By UpnAtom • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

A few years ago, Opera could also tell you how much memory each tab and extension was using. Ahhh the good old days.

Re:How about...

By rudy_wayne • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Unfortunately, back around the time of Firefox 4.0, the people in charge at Mozilla became infected with some sort of toxic brain worms. Since then, they have been on an all-out campaign to completely destroy Firefox, and if you look at the market share numbers, they're doing a wonderful job. The best, most popular browser is now battling Opera for the title of most irrelevant browser.

And since there seems to be no end of companies who will give Mozilla hundreds of millions of dollars, for nothing, no matter how badly Firefox sucks, it seems unlikely that anything will change.

Fortunately, thanks to Firefox being open source, there are forks, such as Palemoon, that retain the good features that Mozilla eliminated and avoid the useless crap and pointless changes that Mozilla seems to love so much.

Re:How about...

By Merk42 • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

...there are forks, such as Palemoon, that retain the good features that Mozilla eliminated and avoid the useless crap and pointless changes that Mozilla seems to love so much.

But since Palemoon has an even smaller marketshare, it is, by your logic, worse than Firefox.

Scientists Prove Your Phone's PIN Can Be Stolen Using Its Gyroscope Data

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
A team of scientists at Newcastle University in the UK managed to reveal a user's phone PIN code using its gyroscope data. "In one test, the team cracked a passcode with 70 percent accuracy," reports Digital Trends. "By the fifth attempt, the accuracy had gone up to 100 percent." From the report: It takes a lot of data, to be sure. The Guardian notes users had to type 50 known PINs five times before the researchers' algorithm learned how they held a phone when typing each particular number. But it highlights the danger of malicious apps that gain access to a device's sensors without requesting permission. The risk extends beyond PIN codes. In total, the team identified 25 different smartphone sensors which could expose compromising user information. Worse still, only a small number -- such as the camera and GPS -- ask the user's permission before granting access to that data. It's precise enough to track behavior. Using an "orientation" and "emotion trace" data, the researchers were able to determine what part of a web page a user was clicking on and what they were typing. The paper has been published in International Journal of Information Security.

It was a inside job!

By LesFerg • Score: 3 • Thread

So they are saying that if a malicious compromising app is already installed and running on your phone, then your phone could be compromised?
Were they on salary while determining this?

Old tech ...

By Misagon • Score: 3 • Thread

Long before touch-screens with capacitative sensing became commonplace there were some touch-screens systems that used a gyroscope as its sensor to sense how much the screen rocked when a user touched it.
It was very crude and inaccurate compared to other approaches but it could be mounted to most regular CRT computer monitors.

Unfortunately I have sold off my computer magazines from the early '90s so I can't look up the name of the manufacturer.

I kinda have to call bullshit on this

By Snotnose • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
If I'm a researcher entering a PIN multiple times I'm in a chair hunched over the phone. Me? I'm in my La-Z-Boy. I'm on the toilet. I'm in bed. I'm in the kitchen cooking. I'm at a red light getting a message. I'm in the grocery store unlocking my shopping list.

You really wanna tell me my gyroscope is in the same position in all these scenarios?

Simpler method

By religionofpeas • Score: 3 • Thread

Just make an app that occasionally shows a fake unlock screen, and just capture the touches.

Alphabet Wants Its Lawsuit Against Uber To Play Out Publicly

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Recode: The company filed an opposition request late last night to Uber's motion for arbitration. If the case went to arbitration, an alternate form for dispute resolution, it would remain in private. Alphabet self-driving subsidiary Waymo "has not consented to arbitrate this dispute with Uber," the new filing said, "and Waymo cannot be coerced into arbitration simply because the trade secrets that Uber stole and that Uber is using in Uber's self-driving cars happen to come from former Waymo employees. That is not the law." Alphabet alleges that its proprietary self-driving technology is being used by the ride-hailing company illegally. The Google parent company claims that Uber's self-driving head at the center of the case, Anthony Levandowski, stole 14,000 files from Alphabet, where he worked on self-driving technology before leaving to launch autonomous truck startup Otto. Uber acquired Otto in August. Alphabet alleged the files Levandowski stole include designs for Alphabet's lidar -- light detection and ranging -- technology. Lidar is a key component to most self-driving systems. Legal arguments aside, there are questions surrounding what might motivate each company's position on openness of proceedings. Alphabet's opposition suggested Uber is seeking to delay proceedings, including a hearing on an injunction Alphabet wants against Uber and to prevent public access to proceedings. "Uber does not like what the public is learning through this litigation about Uber's illegal and unfair competition," the latest filing said.

Remember kids

By Dunbal • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Arbitration is just for suckers like you. Corporations will force you to agree to arbitration and drop your right to sue. But for them it's jury trials all the way.

Re:Between Uber and Google, so..

By ShanghaiBill • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

I mean come on, who would go to work for a company after which you can't work in the same fucking field that you are an expert in?

Non-compete agreements are not enforceable in California. This dispute is not about non-compete agreements. It is about theft of trade secrets.

Chrome Now Uses Scroll Anchoring To Prevent Those Annoying Page Jumps

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Google has updated its Chrome browser to fix the annoying page jumps that occur when pages are loading. While developers want pages to load the actual content of a page before additional ads and images appear, "the problem is that if you've already scrolled down, your page resets when some off-screen ad loads and you're suddenly looking at a completely different part of the page," reports TechCrunch. From the report: The latest versions of Chrome (56+) do their best to prevent these jumps with the help of a feature called scroll anchoring. Google tested scroll anchoring in the Chrome beta versions for the last year and now it's on by default. Google says the feature currently prevents almost three jumps per page view -- and, over time, that number will likely increase.

Bout Damn time

By tempest69 • Score: 3 • Thread
I've gotten so irritated at the damn next button being replaced with some damn link to crap. I've just started blacklisting every damn site I get sent to unfairly. But they keep changing the names of the same basic garbage.

Re:Most efficient native way to block ads

By 110010001000 • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
Sounds cool. Where is the source?


By superwiz • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
I am on Chrome 57 and I still the jumps on Slashdot whenever the IBM ad loads. I can see why Google would be concerned. I blacklisted a lot of the ad sites just because of what they did to the screen. I am sure a lot of others did the same. If people blacklist ads, this hits Google's bottom line directly.

Google, fixing problems they cause

By Actually, I do RTFA • Score: 3 • Thread

This jumping is because of how Google uses "first render" timing to affect pagerank. They forced developers to use stupid workarounds, and now they are solving the problem caused by the stupid workaround.

The best solution for this madness is

By Artem Tashkinov • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

uBlock Origin.

I stopped using Adblock+ long ago, because it makes all my web browsers consume more RAM, than when running without it.

Twitter Allegedly Deleting Negative Tweets About United Airlines' Passenger Abuse

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
New submitter dooode writes: As you would have read, United just had another Nazi moment where they had to "re-accommodate" a customer using some (not so gentle) force. The social web seems to have been taken by a storm by this incident. But suddenly people are noticing their tweets are being deleted -- some of them merely status questions. Does twitter make money (read bribes) to delete negative tweets? What do you feel about it? The Next Web adds that "some of the allegedly deleted tweets did not directly mention the incident with the forcibly removed passenger." On the flip side, "some of the initial tweets exposing United Airlines' abusive treatment of passengers are still very much present and actively being reshared on the platform." It's possible that the "allegedly deleted tweets" initially appeared as replies to now-deleted tweets, but TNW says they contacted several users who rejected that premise, "claiming the missing posts were standard tweets."

Re:They asked nicely, he refused

By aussie_a • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

And negroes should sit in the back of the bus or hop off the bus and quietly complain afterwards. Polite requests have always worked in the past after all.

Have been saving the stream since the start.

By suso • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

I've been saving the stream of "united" tweets since Apr 10 15:32. At this point I have close to 4 million tweets saved and over 700MB of data. I may have the deleted tweets, but definitely not if they don't have the word united in them.

I think some users may be confused. I can see in the data that @Jay_Beecher's earliest tweet about united was April 10th 18:12, which seems to be the one he is thinking was deleted. But that tweet is here. If he thinks its gone because he is looking at his normal tweet timeline, then he doesn't understand how Twitter's interface works. It doesn't show tweets that start with an @. Other people I checked (TalkIBC, iknowimbitter, seem to be equally confused.

Based on the data I have, I don't think Twitter deleted any tweets.

Re:Clearly hate speech

By AmiMoJo • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Before condemning Twitter for oppressing your sacred tweets, perhaps we should establish if they did actually delete them or not. So far we have some claims from some dubious accounts that tweets went missing, but no actual evidence. No tweet ID numbers, no archived copies, no orphaned responses to the missing tweets... When tweets are deleted, it doesn't kill of replies to them, it just breaks the reply chain and you can easily see what happened.

I'm calling bullshit on this one until someone produces some actual evidence. If you don't need proof then let's have a conversation about how Slashdot deletes "controversial" posts and how awful that is, because even though I have no evidence I swear it really happened!


By Ihlosi • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
It was NOT over booked, they wanted seats to transports staff.

Yes. They could have acknowledged their screw-up and raised the sum they were offering (their last offer was, what, $800?), provided an alternative means of transportation, or whatever.

Yeah, that may have appeared expensive, but I hope that it will appear cheap compared to the costs of this case.

Re:They asked nicely, he refused

By Ihlosi • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
They should have held a quick auction. $500 for the first person who will give up their seat. No takers? $600.. $700. etc.. If it takes $8000, so be it.

As fas as I heard, they actually did that, but stopped at $800.

Which was probably a bad move, because at that point, people are waiting for the psychologically important threshold of $1000 being crossed.

Canada Hid the Konami Code In Its Commemorative $10 Bill Launch

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
The Bank of Canada has hid a "Konami Code" Easter egg on its website celebrating their new $10 bank note. The Konami Code is a cheat code that appears in many Konami video games, allowing players to press a sequence of buttons on their game controller to enable the cheat. "The Bank of Canada's web team thought the Konami code [ Easter egg] was a fun way to celebrate Canada's 150th anniversary of Confederation," Bank of Canada spokeswoman Josianne Menard told CTV news. Engadget reports: On top of being laden with anti-counterfeiting tech that makes it extremely difficult to copy (holograms, raised ink, color-changing images and polymer materials), the new ten is a who's who and what's what of Canadian history. It features Canada's founding Prime Minister John A. MacDonald, Agnes Macphail, first woman parliamentarian, and Indigenous peoples pioneer James Gladstone, known in his Blackfoot language as Akay-na-muka. It also shows Canada's prairies, the coastal mountains of British Columbia, the Canadian Shield, Atlantic coast, northern lights, Metis Assomption Sash, maple leaf and much more (no poutine, though). All of that is squeezed on the 152.4 x 69.85 mm note -- that's exactly 6 x 2.75 inches, because Canada uses the metric system but probably still buys its printing presses from the U.S. The Konami code is in keeping with Canada's tradition of doing cute, pop-culture things with its history.

The L'Assomption sash pattern is not Metis

By Quietti • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
The l'Assomption sash pattern was brought by Acadians to the town of L'Assomption QC when they were deported from Acadia by the Brits. It was indeed widely adopted by the Metis later on. In modern times, that particular pattern, know as lightning and flames, has become the emblem of the Lanaudière region.


By darkain • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

I was actually much more impressed with their 3d rendering of the $10 bill on their web site than with the code being there. Their renderer at first I thought was just a nifty spinning flat texture, pretty simple. But if you spin it faster, force is applied to the bill and it starts to bend. A little less simple, but it visually and feels quite nice. Plus the rendering of the holographic material actually looks quite nice on the page, too.

Google Ruins the Assistant's Shopping List, Turns It Into a Big Google Express Ad

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: The Google Assistant, Google's voice assistant that powers the Google app on Android phones, tablets, and Google Home, has just gotten a major downgrade. In a move reminiscent of all the forced and user-hostile Google+ integrations, Google has gutted the Google Assistant's shopping list functionality in order to turn it into a big advertisement for Google's shopping site, Google Express. The shopping list has been a major feature of the Google Assistant. You can say "Add milk to my shopping list," and the Google Assistant would dutifully store this information somewhere. The shopping list used to live in Google Keep. Keep is Google's primary note-taking app, making it a natural home for the shopping list with lots of useful tools and management options. Now the shopping list lives in Google Express. Express is an online shopping site, and it has no business becoming a dedicated place to store a shopping list that probably has nothing to do with Google's online marketplace. Since Google Express is an online shopping site (and, again, has no business having a note-taking app grafted onto it), the move from Keep to Google Express means the Assistant's shopping list functionality loses the following features: Being able to reorder items with drag and drop; Reminders; Adding images to the shopping list; Adding voice recordings to the shopping list; Real time collaboration with other users (Express has sharing, but you can't see other people as they type -- you have to refresh.); Android Wear integration; Desktop keyboard shortcuts; Checkbox management: deleting all checked items, unchecking all items, hiding checkboxes. Alternatively, the move from Keep to Google Express means the Assistant shopping list gains the following features: Google Express advertising next to every list item; Google Express advertising at the bottom of the page.

Google has too many redundant projects

By MobyDisk • Score: 3 • Thread

Google and Microsoft both have the problem that they have multiple nearly identical services within one company. They periodically retire one service and add another, inevitably losing or breaking some feature. Just recently, my phone lost what I think was "Google Assistant" and now it uses "Google Home" - which is the same thing with fewer features. For example, it used to work from any screen so I could tell it "OK Google, dial {phone number I see on the screen}" or "OK Google, search for {thing I see on screen}" It also can't identify songs. It even has a special message where it tells me that feature isn't supported yet. That was a strange response since that was the first indication I had that the program I was using had been replaced.

Suggestion: Alternative technology

By Alain Williams • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Piece of paper held onto the fridge with a magnet.

Works for me.

Re:Suggestion: Alternative technology

By hawguy • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Piece of paper held onto the fridge with a magnet.

Works for me.

I used to use that piece of paper once.... problem is that it never left the 'fridge, so when I went to the store, I'd have to try to guess what I wrote on the list.

Now I use Google Keep and share the shopping list with my spouse, so either one of us can edit the list, and when either of us goes to the store we have access to it.

Google is for search and gmail.

By CptLoRes • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread
Everything else that is Google I don't touch. Exactly because of stuff like this. So as long as they don't mess with gmail, frankly I don't care.

My brain switched off half way through the summary

By blackpaw • Score: 3 • Thread

And for once, not a fault of the editors - that is a truly ridiculous collection of buzzwords and "services", but they seem necessary.

Sir Tim Berners-Lee Lays Out Nightmare Scenario Where AI Runs the Financial World

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
The architect of the world wide web Sir Tim Berners-Lee has talked about some of his concerns for the internet over the coming years, including a nightmarish scenario where artificial intelligence (AI) could become the new 'masters of the universe' by creating and running their own companies. From an article: Masters of the universe is a reference to Tom Wolfe's 1987 novel The Bonfire of the Vanities, regarding the men (and they were men) who started racking up multi-million dollar salaries and a great deal of influence from their finance roles on Wall Street and in London during the computerised trading boom pre-Black Monday. Berners-Lee said, "So when AI starts to make decisions such as who gets a mortgage, that's a big one. Or which companies to acquire and when AI starts creating its own companies, creating holding companies, generating new versions of itself to run these companies. So you have survival of the fittest going on between these AI companies until you reach the point where you wonder if it becomes possible to understand how to ensure they are being fair, and how do you describe to a computer what that means anyway?"

Re:Chinese Wall

By KiloByte • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

The AI likely would have Chinese walls built into them to prevent collusion and insider trading.

Ha ha ha. Hahahahahaha. Well played, sir.

Re:As opposed to ...

By king neckbeard • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
How is that scenario different from the humans? It seems that they were not programmed with negative consequences, and they are NOT learning either.

Re:Chinese Wall

By reanjr • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

There's no guarantee an AI will be auditable. Lots of AIs are too complicated to understand how they work.

Don't think so

By jediborg • Score: 3 • Thread
You think the billionaire Warren Buffet is gonna let some AI run ANY of his fortune 500 companies? If a CEO takes a bold new strategy that Warren thinks is questionable, the CEO can explain why he is making this decision. We know 'deep learning' algorithms biggest problem is how its a black box. Programmers can't easily figure out why it made the decision it did. If the CEO's bold new strategy fails, he can be fired and a new one brought on. What if the AI fails? Do i fire the programmers? Purchase a new CEO AI from a competitor?

Yeah i don't think so. The only reason high frequency trading machines exist now is because investors understand these machines one advantage over humans is speed. They also don't allow HFTM to have control of billions of dollars for investment, usually limiting its pool of funds it works with in order to limit risk. The HFTM owners have also 'gamed' the system to a certain extent. If a bug causes an algorithm to go haywire and negatively affect the market, the transactions can be 'rolled back' so the investor doesn't loose all their cash.

No one in the financial world right now is ready to put AI in control of billions of capital, thousands of employees, and dozens of production chains in the sole hands of an unaccountable AI with no personal vested interest in the business. More likely? In a few years we get a personal assistant like Alexa that can provide suggestions to CEO's on what new business decisions would be the best course of action. The AI will augment, not replace.

Re:Ah, yes...

By ShanghaiBill • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

The one in 2010 was attributed to HFT bots."

The "flash crash" was attributed to HFT bots in the immediate aftermath. A fuller investigation determined that they were not the cause, and when HFT programs were disabled, that actually made the crash worse because of reduced liquidity. Programmed trading may have been a cause, but HFT != programmed trading.

It is for this reason that I propose a random small amount of time (say, 30 sec to 2 min?) be added to all trades.

What "problem" are you trying to solve?
HFT algorithms reduce transaction costs and reduce prices for everyone else.
Your "solution" will increase costs, and provide no benefit to the "little guy" (who doesn't have direct access to the market in the first place), since HFTs will just wait until the last microsecond before the window closes to place their trade.
A bigger problem is that most transactions (by volume) don't even happen in the public markets.
They happen in unregulated and opaque dark pools, and your "solution" will just make that even worse.

Facebook Has Reached Its Microsoft Bing Moment -- History Shows the Results Won't Be Pretty

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
As we noted recently, Facebook continues to duplicate every core feature that rival app Snapchat adds to its service. A new report, which cites multiple Facebook employees, sheds more light into how Facebook operates. The company, the report claims, created a "Teens Team" to figure out how to grab teenagers back from Snapchat, and has been up front about its tactics within the company: The internal mantra among some groups is "don't be too proud to copy." Matt Rosoff, an editor at CNBC says this whole tactics by Facebook is nothing new in the tech industry. From the article: Flash back to the early 2000s, when Microsoft was the undisputed king of the tech industry, with two unassailable monopolies -- operating systems and productivity apps for personal computers. It faced a lot of competitors, but the one that scared it the most was Google, which was in a completely different business. Google didn't start by creating alternatives to Windows and Office, although it did so later. Instead, it created a suite of online services -- first search, followed by email and maps -- that threatened the entire purpose of a personal computer. Why rely on Microsoft software running locally when you could get so much done with web apps? Microsoft's response? Trying to build the exact same service that made Google famous -- a search engine, first known as MSN Search, later rebranded to Bing. Eleven years later, Bing is a small minority player in search, with less than 10 percent market share on the desktop and less than 1 percent in mobile.

Re:Waste of time

By Penguinisto • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

...and by then they'll be using something else (maybe).

When I was a teenager, BBS (and if you were lucky and your parents had a uni account, IRC and NNTP) was about as close as you could get to a social network.

But, old people stuff aside, look at progression here: NNTP, IRC, basic web forums, ICQ groups, PHPNuke forums, MySpace, Facebook, Snapchat, ...?
(or similar, YMMV.)

Odds are perfect someone else may come out with yet another means to communicate in groups by the time today's teenagers are old enough to drink.

Re:Did I miss the boat?

By Carewolf • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

So I still don't have a facebook account.... can I stop wondering do I or don't I?

If you don't have a facebook account, facebook still has an account on you. Opening the account is the only way to get control of privacy settings to limit what facebook publishes of personal data on you.

Re:Anyone remember Zynga?

By jellomizer • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

No not really. There are also many instances where copying a competitors product became widely successful.
VisiCalc to Lotus 123 to Excel
WordPerfect to Word
MySpace to Facebook
I can keep going but There are many companies who just happens to get their version at the right time and market to the right group of people to make their obvious copy the more successful product.

Re:Thank god!

By FatdogHaiku • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

I use Diaspora, which has the added advantage of being nice and quiet. Peace and quiet is so soothing...

My friends and I all switched to Diaspora,
but then we just went our separate ways...

Re:Did I miss the boat?

By irrational_design • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

According to my teenagers and their friends it already has imploded. They simply don't use it anymore. They've move on to other social media platforms. If you are cool, you don't use facebook.

The Kodi Development Team Wants To Be Legitimate and Bring DRM To the Platform.

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
New submitter pecosdave writes: The XBMC/ Kodi development team has taken a lot of heat over the years, mostly due to third-party developers introducing piracy plugins to the platform. In many cases, cheap Android computers are often sold with these plugins pre-installed with the Kodi or XBMC name attached to them -- something that caused Amazon to ban sales of such devices. The Kodi team is not happy about this, and has taken the fight to the sellers. The Kodi team is now trying to work with rights holders to introduce DRM and legitimate plugins to the platform. Is this the first step towards creating a true one-stop do it yourself Linux entertainment system?

Napster Approach

By Luthair • Score: 5, Funny • Thread
worked great, Napster became the most dominant platform for legitimate music downloads.

Re: The Beauty of Open Source

By ichthus • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
No, no. Believe it. They just watch Big Buck Bunny, over and over again.

Re:Plex wont...

By Troed • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

sidetracked: For that same reason I use Emby, not Plex. Really happy with it as well.

(But of course every screen has Kodi running on it. Emby's only used for mobile and web access from outside the local network)

Re:DIY? No, more like DOA

By ScienceofSpock • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

LOL, "what an idiot you are" is not an argument

Re:Please respect us

By CanEHdian • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
The problem is when "legitimate" devices can only run Kodi add-ons that have been signed by the MPA(A)/local chapter. And yes, that means the ones that don't have that "feature" are therefore automatically in the "illegitimate" category. Because the only reason you'd want one of those is "because of piracy". And that makes the circle round again.

As Streaming Booms, Songs Are Getting Faster and Shorter

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader shares a report: A new study finds that pop songs are getting faster as listeners' attention spans diminish. Instrumental openings to songs have shrunk dramatically over the past three decades and, to a lesser extent, the average tempo of hit singles has been speeding up, the research found. Hubert Leveille Gauvin, a doctoral student in music theory at the Ohio State University, analyzed the year-end top 10 on the US Billboard chart between 1986 and 2015. In 1986, it took roughly 23 seconds before the voice began on the average hit song. In 2015, vocals came in after about five seconds, a drop of 78%, he found. In a study published in Musicae Scientiae, the Journal of the European Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music, Leveille Gauvin linked the trend to the rapid rise of Spotify and other streaming sites that give listeners instant access to millions of songs. "It makes sense that if the environment is so competitive, artists would want to try to grab your attention as quickly as possible," he told AFP.

Re:The moral of the story is that

By imidan • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
I used WinAmp for many years, and I still have no idea what that means.

It's a numbers game too

By quietwalker • Score: 3 • Thread

One of the reasons why songs are getting shorter is due to the way digital record sales accounting is being done. If you can make an album with 30 songs, all 2 minutes long, it counts more towards your sales than 15 songs at 4 minutes a pop. When you have services that count as streaming albums (Rather than individual songs), this makes it really easy to add some numbers. If the artists are paid per song, it's just a good financial choice.

Not only that, streaming songs counts towards RIAA platinum record qualifications. It takes 1500 streams from an album to equal 1 an album 'sale'. Make them all short songs, you'll get more digital oompf per album. You could stick 40 short songs on an album, and you see artists doing that sort of thing already.

I gave it up

By avandesande • Score: 3 • Thread
Gave up popular music about 5 years ago and listen to mostly classical. People are still puzzling over Bach 300 years later....

Alternate hypothesis

By tomhath • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

"It makes sense that if the environment is so competitive, artists would want to try to grab your attention as quickly as possible,"

There aren't any instrumentals because most "artists" today can't play a musical instrument or even sing. Concerts are just a backtrack with someone dancing around and lip-synching.

It's the DJs!

By ScienceofSpock • Score: 3 • Thread

I think this probably has more to do with dj/dance culture than streaming. DJ's mix songs of the same/similar tempo to create long sets where kids can dance continuously for extended periods of time. Songs with long or off-tempo intros and outros are not conducive to that, and even if they are, will often have the intro and outro cut to get to the "good stuff", ie. the beat they can mix into their set. Even if the DJ/Dance culture isn't directly influencing artists to shorten their intros, the DJ remixes then enter the pop music ecosystem, and skew the data directly.

TV's Golden Age Is Anything But, Say Writers Preparing To Strike

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
The world's largest media companies returned to the negotiating table Monday with Hollywood screenwriters, seeking to avert a strike that could cost the entertainment industry billions of dollars and take popular TV shows off the air indefinitely. From a report on Bloomberg: Hollywood is bracing for the worst-case scenario after the Writers Guild of America warned advertisers and investors of the financial fallout and said members will most likely walk out May 2 if the new round of talks fail. Major TV programmers, such as NBC and CBS' flagship network, are scanning their slates of upcoming shows to determine which ones can air without guild writers. Negotiators on both sides are counting on cooler heads to prevail as they seek to avoid a repeat of the 100-day work stoppage in 2007-08 that cost the entertainment industry more than $2 billion, according to Milken Institute estimates. Yet the entertainment business, specifically TV, has undergone myriad changes that are creating new sticking points since the last strike almost a decade ago, and the writers say they haven't benefited.

Re: Who cares....its almost summer rerun time anyw

By negRo_slim • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Who cares if any if it ever comes back? So much to see and do in this world the last thing worthy of consideration is whether these glorified advertising vectors air with 20 minutes of "new" content. Listen to podcasts, read a book, watch the thousands and thousands of hours of already released content, play the latest vidya, watch YouTube, go to the park, fly a kite, take a picture every day, play with your kids, tend to a garden, learn something new, volunteer somewhere, go talk to your neighbor, go fishing, go bird watching, lose ten pounds, write the next great app, call your mom, get high, change your own oil, ask your significant other how they feel, go watch the ballet, go protest something in front if city hall, better yet run for mayor, get a penpal, pick up litter, listen to the radio, go geocaching, write a short story, hell write a book, paint a picture, ride a bike, clean your ears, pet you pet, learn origami, shitpost on slashdot. But for the love of God don't worry about television.

who cares

By Revek • Score: 3 • Thread

I'm not trolling but I couldn't care less about it. If they strike and shows don't get made it will have little or no impact on my time. Its all just empty filler where you're real life should go.

Re:Who cares....its almost summer rerun time anywa

By WrongMonkey • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
The big difference is that Netflix and Amazon don't rely on advertisers that expect an established release schedule for new material. If writers go on strike for a month or two, then Netflix and Amazon can postpone production for a month or two and suffer no loss real losses. If ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, etc. don't release new programs for a month or two, they lose revenue from those adverts.

Re:Umm, okay...

By penandpaper • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

The ads are absolute cancer. I never realized how bad TV ads were until I would visit the in-laws and sit down to watch whatever was on to pass the evening by. Holy shit. They hit all the right buttons to get my attention or to get me to stare at the screen and I felt stupid after a set of commercials. I don't know what it is but I know I don't want it in my life.

So what?

By JustAnotherOldGuy • Score: 3 • Thread

Go ahead and strike, we don't really give a shit.

Doctors, firefighters, police, people that build and fix things...if they go on strike, we care. They actually do things that matter.

But a bunch of Hollywood script writers threatening to go on strike? Who gives a fuck?

Qualcomm Says Apple Broke Contract, Hindered Performance of Its Chipsets

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Qualcomm has filed a 139-page rebuttal of a lawsuit lodged by Apple in January in which the US chipmaker counterclaimed that the iPhone giant was "misrepresenting facts and making false statements." From a report on ArsTechnica: It alleged that Apple had "breached" and "mischaracterized" deals it had in place with Qualcomm and accused the Tim Cook-run firm of interfering with the chipmaker's "long-standing agreements" with iPhone and iPad manufacturers, such as Foxconn. In a statement, Qualcomm said, "Apple effectively chose to limit the performance of the Qualcomm-based iPhones by not taking advantage of the full potential speed of which Qualcomm's modems are capable. Apple's actions were intended to prevent consumers from realizing that iPhones containing Qualcomm chipsets performed far better than iPhones containing chipsets supplied by Intel."

It's the CPU-flavors thing all over again

By Jeremi • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Anyone remember the article from a year or two ago, when it was discovered that Apple was sourcing CPUs for its phones from two different manufacturers, and the phones containing CPUs from one source performed marginally better than the phones contain CPUs from the other source?

There was a big to-do, with people trying to figure out which iPhones were "the good ones", and people who had received (or thought they had received) the slower version were complaining and debating whether they ought to return their "inferior" iPhone in order to get one of the "better" ones.

Of course it turned out the difference wasn't really noticeable unless you were specifically benchmarking for it, but the fact that it was detectable at all produced a big (well, medium-sized) scandal and a headache for Apple.

Given that, I'm not at all surprised that Apple now aims for uniform performance across all units of a given model, rather than for best-possible-performance on any given OEM chipset. Uniformity makes everyone happy, whereas an optimal performance will go unnoticed by the people who have it and the people who don't will be pissed off.

Re:Wait wot? What about the Nexus 4?

By Garfong • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Because despite the terrible summary, the claim isn't about Apple hindering the performance of its chips. It's about Apple claiming there's no discernible difference between Intel & Qualcomm iPhones. The section about hindering performance is a couple of paragraphs of background in a multi-hundred page document, but for some reason the press has latched onto it.

Sorry America, Your Taxes Aren't High

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Americans generally feel they're being over-taxed, especially around this time of the year. But is that really true? An article on Bloomberg investigates: The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development analyzed how 35 countries tax wage-earners, making it possible to compare tax burdens across the world's biggest economies. Each year, the OECD measures what it calls the "tax wedge," the gap between what a worker gets paid and what they actually spend or save. Included are income taxes, payroll taxes, and any tax credits or rebates that supplement worker income. Excluded are the countless other ways that governments levy taxes, such as sales and value-added taxes, property taxes, and taxes on investment income and gains. Guess who came out at the top of the list? No. Not the U.S. At the top are Belgium and France, while workers in Chile and New Zealand are taxed the least. America is in the bottom third.

Re:Taxes are for dummies

By squiggleslash • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

When you're living paycheck to paycheck, no, it is impractical to increase your 401k contributions.

I swear the average Slashdotter is a son of Trump or something - or at any rate has never experienced low incomes. Back in 1995, I actually got to the point that I couldn't eat for two days because I'd literally completely run out of money and food. I wasn't living extravagantly - a tiny black and white TV getting its signal via the antenna was my major entertainment, for example. No car. Cheap junk furniture.

I'm comfortable now, but it recently opened my eyes when I looked at the Wikipedia page of a city near where I live and found the median household income there is barely $20,000 a year. That, adjusted for inflation, is less than what I was earning in 1995 (ignoring inflation it's slightly higher.) That's household income - as in multiple people are trying to live from that money. I don't know how they do it, but I can pretty much guarantee they're not putting money into 401ks.

Re:Taxes are for dummies

By chipschap • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

What the study REALLY missed is what you get in return for your taxes.

For instance, Scandanavian taxes are not exactly low, but there is quite a lot of service provided.

I'd put forth the proposition that on a value basis, U.S. taxes are high.

Taxation is theft

By Eric Mann • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread
Taxation is Theft, if you like socialism so much, I'll pay for your plane ticket to N. Korea.

Sorry, don't buy this argument

By Chris Mattern • Score: 3 • Thread

You can't excuse something bad by pointing out it's worse elsewhere. Tell me, would you buy excusing Jim Crow by saying it was better than slavery? Not to say that taxation is as bad as those things, but it's the same argument.

More New York communist crap

By computational super • Score: 3 • Thread
Just because taxes could be higher, and just because they are even higher for somebody else, doesn't mean they aren't high.

Microsoft Ends Support For Windows Vista; Begins To Roll Out Windows 10 Creators Update

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
On Tuesday, Microsoft began the roll out of Windows 10 Creators Update, the latest update of the company's desktop operating system. Incidentally, today is also the day Windows Vista, a decade-old OS as well as some parts of Office 2007 hit end of life. Earlier this month we asked Slashdot readers if they would be upgrading their computers to Windows 10 Creators Update. Many people answered with a resounding no.

Do I have a choice?

By Ostrich25 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
I somehow suspect that Windows won't exactly give me the option to say 'no' to this update.

Can the update work on a Dell system?

By creimer • Score: 3 • Thread
Does it seem like Dell systems have a problem installing the Windows 10 Anniversary update? I had to do a clean install on my own Dell laptop. A friend's Dell desktop can't install the Anniversary update and may require a clean install.

Old Vista laptop or PC to ZFS HOWTO

By Wolfrider • Score: 4 • Thread

--If you have an old Vista rig that has a 64-bit CPU, at least 1-2GB RAM and would like to make it more useful... Turn it into a ZFS+Samba file server

A Big Problem With AI: Even Its Creators Can't Explain How It Works

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Last year an experimental vehicle, developed by researchers at the chip maker Nvidia was unlike anything demonstrated by Google, Tesla, or General Motors. The car didn't follow a single instruction provided by an engineer or programmer. Instead, it relied entirely on an algorithm that had taught itself to drive by watching a human do it. Getting a car to drive this way was an impressive feat. But it's also a bit unsettling, since it isn't completely clear how the car makes its decisions, argues an article on MIT Technology Review. From the article: The mysterious mind of this vehicle points to a looming issue with artificial intelligence. The car's underlying AI technology, known as deep learning, has proved very powerful at solving problems in recent years, and it has been widely deployed for tasks like image captioning, voice recognition, and language translation. There is now hope that the same techniques will be able to diagnose deadly diseases, make million-dollar trading decisions, and do countless other things to transform whole industries. But this won't happen -- or shouldn't happen -- unless we find ways of making techniques like deep learning more understandable to their creators and accountable to their users. Otherwise it will be hard to predict when failures might occur -- and it's inevitable they will. That's one reason Nvidia's car is still experimental.

Bad thought process

By Baron_Yam • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

>There is now hope that the same techniques will be able to diagnose deadly diseases, make million-dollar trading decisions, and do countless other things to transform whole industries. But this won't happen -- or shouldn't happen -- unless we find ways of making techniques like deep learning more understandable to their creators and accountable to their users.

While I care about understanding the system so it can be improved (hopefully before a problem occurs), ultimately all that matters is that it produces statistically better results than a human.

If a machine kills someone (and we don't even know why) 1% of the time, but a human doing the same job would mess up and kill 3% of people (but we'd understand why)... I'll take ignorance.

Re:Okay, but someone wrote the algorithm

By Oswald McWeany • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Yea, the last president was so great he got chemical weapons out of Syria.

He did prevent them using Chemical Weapons... whilst he was president. Which was his goal.

Then Trump came along and said he wasn't going to intervene in any military action in Syria. They saw it as a green light to do despicable things and Trump had to respond militarily to stop them.

If Trump wasn't President, and if he hadn't said he was going to be soft on Syria, the chemical attack probably would never have happened.


By multi io • Score: 3 • Thread
There are people (commonly called "parents") who have created one or more natural intelligences and can't explain how those work either. Nobody seems to care too much.

Re:Okay, but someone wrote the algorithm

By sexconker • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Uh, it's simple. Freeze it (disable the feedback loop that lets it modify itself) and test in on a bunch of new data, a bunch of garbage data, etc., and watch it.
If you want to methodically define its behavior you just need to look at the damn thing. Getting any useful info out of that will be an issue though. You may find out that somewhere deep in your neural net it's looking for a seemingly random pattern of contrast or checking against some strange distance/angle. Without tracing its entire training history you won't know why. But you can see that it's checking for that shit and then test it by giving it data that varies a lot on the things it checks, and try to suss out what impact that has in real-world use. No, it's not easy. But it's absolutely knowable and testable.

Re:How does brain work?

By religionofpeas • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

I can copy a Windows install disk, and create a working copy without understanding how it works.

Understanding is not necessarily a requirement for producing a working copy.

If they could they'd do that already.

One problem with that approach is that human brain is simply too big for our current hardware.

Fitbit's New Smartwatch Has Been Plagued By Production Mishaps

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
JP Mangalindan, reporting for Yahoo Finance: Fitbit's first "proper" smartwatch and first-ever pair of bluetooth headphones are due out this fall after a series of production mishaps delayed the project, Yahoo Finance has learned. The fitness tracker company's smartwatch project has been a troubled one. Production problems have forced Fitbit to push an original spring launch to this fall, according to two sources familiar with the matter. "In one of the more final prototypes, the GPS wasn't working because the antennae wasn't in the right place," one of those sources told Yahoo Finance. "They had to go back to the drawing board to redesign the product so the GPS got a strong signal." Fitbit's design team also ran into problems making its smartwatch fully waterproof, even though that's a key design element for the Apple Watch Series 2. Indeed, it's still unclear as of the publication of this article whether the device will launch with the waterproof feature.

There are people still working at "Yahoo Finance"?

By xxxJonBoyxxx • Score: 3 • Thread
>> Yahoo Finance has learned

I didn't know that was still a thing.


By Anonymous Coward • Score: 3, Interesting • Thread

They bought Pebble, so what's the problem producing a working smartwatch ?

I had one

By religionofpeas • Score: 3 • Thread

I had a fitbit for a few months, but the heart rate monitor was bad (too high, too low, or not displaying at all), and the band started to come loose from the actual watch part. Total piece of crap.

Re:FitBit? What? They're still in business? How?

By bluefoxlucid • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Recently, they tore down the sleep application for anyone who doesn't have a new Charge 2 or Blaze. With one of only three types of new trackers, you get Sleep Stages; with everything else, they've removed interactive graphs, sleep latency, sleep efficiency, total time in bed, and so forth. You also can't switch to the Sensitive tracker after a bad night, which is more-accurate for detecting wake events (meaning you want it Sensitive if you wake up a lot so it doesn't detect wake as sleep, and Normal if you sleep well so it doesn't detect sleep as wake). They put back a few statistics after everyone got pissed.

They've been hostile to users about this change, albeit with a velvet tongue. Lots of lip service, blaming the user, and telling the user the features that vanished are either things they said they wanted to go away or things they don't need. Anyone who points out support is unhelpful is removed for being "inflammatory"--this frequently includes people who point out that support seems to have no idea what's happening, and misses people who claim Fitbit just hires retards and high-school drop-outs for support; Fitbit is basically removing any posts criticizing their staff, and plenty of posts criticizing their business, although with the massive flood it's been arbitrary due to the PR nightmare that is just deleting every dissenting voice. They're at least not complete morons.

Why Do Airlines Overbook?

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
From a report on BBC: A common overbooking problem on a United Airlines flight on Sunday ended with a man being bloodied and dragged from his seat and an already troubled airline earning more bad press. How did it all go so wrong? Overbooking on flights happens all the time. Empty seats cost airlines money, so they offset the number of passengers who miss flights by selling too many tickets. In this case, the problem arose because United decided at the last minute to fly four members of staff to a connection point and needed to bump four passengers to make way for them. When there's an overbooking issue the first step is to offer an inducement to the passengers to take a later flight. [...] Of the 613 million people who flew on major US carriers in 2015, 46,000 were involuntarily denied boarding, according to data from the Department of Transportation -- less than 0.008%.

Overbooking is not even the problem

By thewolfkin • Score: 3 • Thread

The problem with what happened with United wasn't overbooking. It was how they handled overbooking. They could have taken the seats at the gate for their people and decided who wouldn't board at the gate. But instead they let everyone board, let everyone sit down and THEN pulled out the "we need your seats" thing. THAT's the problem.

Or more specifically A problem because dragging someone out of the plane by their arms is ridiculous. He's not a sack of wheat. There were three dudes there and they couldn't grab his feet?

And that doesn't even touch the extreme escalation of violence visited upon a Doctor who had purchased a ticket and was already seated.

No they did many many things wrong on this flight but overbooking doesn't even come close to being one of the major ones.

Re:Is anyone asking the real question here?

By wbr1 • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
The real question is why we let corporations use the government to enforece rules they set. In this case whe have a company using jackbooted thugs, paid for by your taxes, to abuse your peer. This is just another illustration of where power really lies. This is not a democracy. It is a corporate oligarchy.

Re:Is anyone asking the real question here?

By Luthair • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
They didn't get 3 volunteers - United is wording it in a misleading way by saying "voluntarily left" the other 3 people did not volunteer, they were told to leave but left without being dragged out.

New fare class

By orgelspieler • Score: 3 • Thread
United is proud to offer their new Thunderdome fare class. They divide the cost of one ticket among as many people who dare book it, and then the prospective passengers fight to the death in a steel cage on the tarmac. On the positive side, if you do not get a seat on the plane, they will still allow your remains on the cargo hold as long as you submitted a notarized certificate to United's corporate office three days in advance.

Re:Why do airlines overbook?

By amicusNYCL • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

No one except airlines WANTS THEM TO OVERBOOK, because the only entity that overbooking benefits is the carrier. Overbooking does not benefit the customer (no, overbooking does not "help them keep fares low", competition does). The obvious solution in this case was to continue offering higher and higher incentives until they reached the point where people were willing to give up their seats. Dragging a bloody paying passenger off the plane is going to end up costing them far more than just raising the offer until they got enough volunteers.

In this case overbooking wasn't even necessarily the case. The plane was fully loaded when 4 employees showed up and told the gate agent that they needed to be on that plane, because it was the last plane to their destination that day. They weren't booked for the flight, they just showed up and said they needed to be on it. Overbooking doesn't even apply to this case. The problem is how United handled the situation, by deciding to call in the police and drag a paying customer off the plane instead of just offering whatever it took to get 4 people to agree.

This whole whine session is silly.

I'd like to see if you still feel that way if you decide that getting to your destination is worth more than $800 to you and instead the police come on board, bloody your mouth, and drag you off the plane.

Google Schools US Government About Gender Pay Gap

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Google wants the US government to know that it takes gender pay equity very seriously -- and is baffled by the contention that a gap exists at the tech giant. From a report: In responding to allegations lodged by the US Department of Labor that Google systematically pays its female employees less than it pays men, the search giant said in a blog post that employee gender doesn't factor into compensation decisions. Google described the process that it arrives at suggested compensation as "extremely scientific and robust," relying on the employee's role, job level and location, as well as recent performance ratings. What isn't considered in determining pay is whether the employee is male or female -- that information is masked out to those making the compensation decisions, Eileen Naughton, Google vice president for People Operations, explained in the post late Tuesday. "The analysts who calculate the suggested amounts do not have access to employees' gender data," Naughton wrote. "An employee's manager has limited discretion to adjust the suggested amount, providing they cite a legitimate adjustment rationale.

Re:Common Sense calling - Women have babies

By Zemran • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
It does not matter how they feel, what matters is their career. If you break from your client group your career progress stops. That is a fact of life. It is plain stupid to think it is discrimination, it is your choice.

but, muh wage gap-

By Gravis Zero • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

press the button!

Re:Common Sense calling - Women have babies

By Zemran • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
If you look at it objectively the men are unfairly discriminated against as it would totally destroy a man's career if he took as much time off. I can speak from some experience as I was a male single parent but I went into teaching at that point as it was the only way to remain working and get the support I needed. If I had stayed in the private sector I would quite simply have been sacked.

Just another case

By gizmo2199 • Score: 3 • Thread

Just another case of feelz before realz!

Re:Pay gap is real, but exaggerated

By Baron_Yam • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

>Men are dumb enough to fall into the trap of the 60-hour work week with no life balance and women seem to not be.

As a middle-aged career man, I'm marginally qualified to respond to this with authority.

I WANTED to work those hours at the expense of outside life. I ENJOYED it. A young man is full of enthusiasm and competitiveness. The chance to succeed at something I was told couldn't be done, the challenge of proving I was the best... that was worth more than my paycheque to me.

Of course I slowed down a bit with time, and now I have a nice, strong dividing line between work and personal life, but I don't regret those early years at all. They were extremely satisfying.

Maybe that's testosterone, and maybe that's why women don't have that experience as a general rule, but so what? You couldn't have made me slow down and smell the roses and even if you had, it would have LOWERED my perceived quality of life at the time.

So from some people's point of view I gave up a decade of my personal life in return for a significant career advancement. I'm OK with that.

More importantly, *any woman can choose to do the same thing*. If they don't, *that is also their right*.

25 Percent of US Driving Could Be Done By Self-Driving Cars By 2030, Study Finds

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from TechCrunch: Self-driving still seems to be a ways off from active public use on regular roads, but once it arrives, it could ramp very quickly, according to a new study by the Boston Consulting Group. The study found that by 2030, up to a quarter of driving miles in the U.S. could be handled by self-driving electric vehicles operating in shared service fleets in cities, due mostly to considerable cost savings for urban drivers. The big change BCG sees is a result of the rise in interest in autonomous technologies, paired with the increased electrification of vehicles. There's also more pressure on cities to come up with alternate transportation solutions that address increasing congestion. All of that added together could drive reduction in costs by up to 60 percent for drivers who opt into using shared self-driving services vs. owning and operating their own cars.

Re:Its called mass transit

By MrLogic17 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

>, it pays for itself because of increase in population density that occurs as a result.

You say that like it's a good thing.

Pooled driving? Already exists.

By MrLogic17 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

We already have pooled driving and shared cars. It's called a taxi.
The only thing a self-driving vehicle does is take out the cost of the human driver. That's it.

People also carpool. That's been around forever.

Self-driving vehicles will change a lot of things: delivery trucks will go cross-country without sleep breaks, off-site parking will be more practical, highway deaths will drop like crazy - but nothing about city traffic will fundamentally change.

Re:Its called mass transit

By squiggleslash • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

It is. People living there receive more services, and businesses located there get more custom. And nobody's forced to use a mode of transportation they dislike - you're allowed to walk, you can take a bus or train, or you can drive. It's a win-win for everyone.

Re:Not going to happen.

By queazocotal • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

I have various health issues.
I cannot legally drive.
A self driving vehicle would be enormously freeing.

You mean Taxi's

By sdinfoserv • Score: 3 • Thread
" self-driving electric vehicles operating in shared service fleets in cities", that's a description for electric, autonomous taxi's.
Taxi's are here now and under used. Electric vehicles are here now, but the range sucks and they're not practical for 1/2 the country. Try using a battery vehicle in Minneapolis in January - nope.
Once self driving cars are widely available and "safe", which could be (c) 2030, traffic will double. All these prognosticators ignore American / human nature. We like to drive alone. If you have a vehicle that drives you to work, why pay the high cost of city parking when you can send it home, have it go pick up the kids after school, have it get groceries (Walmart is already planning for this eventuality), release it into a revenue earning driving system (send it to work for you in Uber while you're at work), have it go run any number of errands for you- but it still has to come back to get you after work. Now instead of 2 runs (1 to work, 1 home) there are 4 runs + errands all of which will effectively double+ traffic in cities. Sounds like more of a problem than a solution.

Boeing Expects To Save Millions In Dreamliner Costs Using 3D-Printed Titanium Parts

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
According to Reuters, Boeing has hired Norsk Titanium AS to print titanium parts for its 787 Dreamliner, paving the way to cost savings of $2 million to $3 million for each plane. The 3D-printed metal parts will replace pieces made with more expensive traditional manufacturing, thus making the 787 more profitable. From the report: Strong, lightweight titanium alloy is seven times more costly than aluminum, and accounts for about $17 million of the cost of a $265 million Dreamliner, industry sources say. Boeing has been trying to reduce titanium costs on the 787, which requires more of the metal than other models because of its carbon-fiber composite fuselage and wings. Titanium also is used extensively on Airbus Group SE's rival A350 jet. Norsk worked with Boeing for more than a year to design four 787 parts and obtain Federal Aviation Administration certification for them, Chip Yates, Norsk Titanium's vice president of marketing, said. Norsk expects the U.S. regulatory agency will approve the material properties and production process for the parts later this year, which would "open up the floodgates" and allow Norsk to print thousands of different parts for each Dreamliner, without each part requiring separate FAA approval, Yates said. Norsk said that initially it will print in Norway, but is building up a 67,000-square-foot (6,220-square-meter) facility in Plattsburgh in upstate New York, where it aims to have nine printers running by year-end.

Re:Sounds dangerous

By 50000BTU_barbecue • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Shit, better tell Boeing before the first takeoff. I bet they never thought of that. Milled parts aren't strong enough either, that's why they're casted and heat-treated in all kinds of ways... Every heard of single-crystal turbine blades?

So the 3D printed part is just a "blank" that gets toasted. It's probably easier to get all the holes in there that way.

Planes vs. cars

By DrYak • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Is Titanium conventional casting production that expensive?

Making the mold itself, into which the parts are cast, is expensive.
When you're building cars by the hundreds everyday, it's totally worth using cast metal for the various pieces of equipement. You have a big upfront cost making the mold, but then you have hundreds of thousands of parts to divide the cost.

When you're only building a plane per month or so, making a unique piece that is only needed once per product will be damned expensive by traditional methods :
- casting will get more expensive (again, the mold it self is the most expensive part, not the parts cast into it - less parts produced means, less parts to divide production cost, means higher end cost)
- hiring machinists to build it is also expensive.

Suddenly laser-sintering the part becomes attractive.

And that's what these 3D production technique excel at : custom low volume parts.
- Traditionally, that means it help innovation (when experimenting with a few new parts)
- But at also means it's useful for something which is produced at extremely low volume and requires highly customized parts (air planes, rockets, etc.)

Re:3d Printing Profitable

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Titanium scraps can be recycled, although there is a cost in doing so. I think an additional reason is 3D printing may allow parts to be created with less titanium. They can have hollow areas or achieve shapes that milling can't.

My concern would be in part strength. AFAIK, 3D printed metal is typically weaker than forged and milled metal. Maybe things have progressed or these particular parts don't need "full titanium" strength.

Re:Sounds dangerous

By religionofpeas • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

SpaceX is also planning to replace the aluminium grid fins by titanium. The aluminium ones have to be replaced after each landing, because they get so hot during descent that it damages the metal. The titanium ones will be more expensive to make, but that cost can be spread out over multiple uses. Plus they save labor cost from not having to replace them.

Re:3d Printing Profitable

By dj245 • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Titanium scraps can be recycled, although there is a cost in doing so. I think an additional reason is 3D printing may allow parts to be created with less titanium. They can have hollow areas or achieve shapes that milling can't.

My concern would be in part strength. AFAIK, 3D printed metal is typically weaker than forged and milled metal. Maybe things have progressed or these particular parts don't need "full titanium" strength.

Titanium is also a pain in the butt to machine. We figure 2-3x more machining cost compared to the same part made of 403/420/422 stainless.

This part of the article is particularly informative-
General Electric Co is already printing metal fuel nozzles for aircraft engines. But Norsk and Boeing said the titanium parts are the first printed structural components designed to bear the stress of an airframe in flight.

Gas turbine fuel nozzles are a very complicated shape and have relatively thin walls. In other words, a nightmare to machine conventionally. They have to withstand very high temperatures, but mechanical stress is low. Additive manufacturing makes a lot of sense for these parts.

Load bearing parts, on the other hand, will have higher mechanical stress, and traditionally this is where additive manufacturing is vastly inferior to traditional manufacturing. It may also prove much more difficult to inspect the parts. You can 3d print a beautiful part with a complex hollow or honeycomb shape designed to keep material costs to the absolute minimum, but how do you inspect it? Magnetic particle Nondestructive examination (NDE) is not viable, since titanium isn't magnetic. Ultrasonic NDE inspection doesn't do well with complex shapes due to all the odd reflections generated. Dye Penetrant NDE will only find surface defects. The only other reasonable option is Xray NDE, which is fine for some parts, but very difficult if the geometry is too complex.

With a conventionally manufactured part, you normally inspect the billet or bar before starting machining. With additive manufactured load bearing parts, there is no easy inspection method, either during manufacture or in-service, for complex geometries.

Large Near-Earth Astroid Will Fly Past Earth On April 19

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
William Robinson quotes a report from Phys.Org: A relatively large (650 meters) near-Earth asteroid discovered nearly three years ago will fly safely past Earth on April 19 at a distance of about 1.1 million miles (1.8 million kilometers), or about 4.6 times the distance from Earth to the moon. The asteroid will approach Earth from the direction of the sun and will become visible in the night sky after April 19. It is predicted to brighten to about magnitude 11, when it could be visible in small optical telescopes for one or two nights. For comparison, Chelyabinsk meteor was 20m. Small asteroids pass within this distance of Earth several times each week, but this upcoming close approach is the closest by any known asteroid of this size, or larger, since asteroid Toutatis , a 3.1-mile (five-kilometer) asteroid, which approached within about four lunar distances in September 2004. The April 19 encounter provides an outstanding opportunity to study this asteroid, and astronomers plan to observe it with telescopes around the world to learn as much about it as possible.

Re:"visible in small optical telescopes"

By BlackPignouf • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Are you just trolling? Meteors, as in "shooting stars", are obviously perfectly visible with the naked eye. It's actually much easier without a telescope because they're bright enough, happen kinda randomly and sweep a large part of the sky.

If you're talking about asteroids, then you're right that you'd need a telescope to see them. You also can see the bright ones with a wide-angle camera and a long time exposure.

Headline written by an imbecile?

By fnj • Score: 4 • Thread

Mother of god, let's have some elementary proofreading of headlines.