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


  1. Plastc Swiped $9 Million From Backers, Now It Plans To File For Bankruptcy and Shut Down
  2. Canada Rules To Uphold Net Neutrality
  3. Apple Forces Recyclers To Shred All iPhones and MacBooks
  4. Subway Sues Canada Network Over Claim Its Chicken Is 50 Percent Soy
  5. Tesla Recalls 53,000 Model S, Model X Cars For Stuck Parking Brakes
  6. Google Home Now Recognizes Specific Users' Voices, Gains Support For Multiple Accounts
  7. FCC Takes First Step Toward Allowing More Broadcast TV Mergers
  8. Airbnb Fires Back, Accuses Hotel Industry Of Punishing the Middle-Class
  9. CC'ing the Boss on Email Makes Employees Feel Less Trusted, Study Finds
  10. China's First Cargo Spacecraft Launch a 'Crucial Step' To Space Station
  11. File System Improvements To the Windows Subsystem for Linux
  12. Amazon Cloud Chief Jabs Oracle: 'Customers Are Sick of It'
  13. Mastercard is Building Fingerprint Scanners Directly Into Its Cards
  14. Microsoft Says It Will Release Two Feature Updates Per Year For Windows 10, Office
  15. President Trump Misses 90-Day Deadline To Appoint a Cybersecurity Team After Alleged Russian Hacking
  16. Discovery May Help Decipher Ancient Inca String Code
  17. Wikipedia's 'Ban' of 'The Daily Mail' Didn't Really Happen
  18. The Biggest Time Suck at the Office Might Be Your Computer
  19. MIT No Longer Owns
  20. Microsoft To Shut Down Wunderlist, an App It Acquired Two Years Ago, In Favor Of Homegrown App To-Do
  21. Physicists Observe 'Negative Mass'
  22. China To Question Apple About Live-Streaming Apps On App Store That Violate Internet Regulations
  23. 95% Engineers in India Unfit For Software Development Jobs: Report
  24. No, Millennials Aren't a Bunch of Job-Hopping Flakes
  25. Qualcomm Collected Partial iPhone Royalties Despite Legal Battle With Apple
  26. South Indian Frog Oozes Molecule That Inexplicably Decimates Flu Viruses

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

Plastc Swiped $9 Million From Backers, Now It Plans To File For Bankruptcy and Shut Down

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Plastc announced today that it is planning to file for bankruptcy and will shut down on April 20, 2017, after raising more than $9 million through preorders and shipping to no backers. "Plastc launched in 2014 with the promise of shipping a single card that could digitally hold 20 credit or debit cards that a user could switch between," reports The Verge. From the report: With that, all backers' money is lost, and no Plastc cards will ship. Plastc announced the news on its website today along with the fact that all its employees have been laid off. Its customer care and social media channels have also been shut down. The company explains that it thought it would close $3.5 million in funding in February this year, but that fell through. Another possible investment deal of $6.75 million fell through, too. What's not clear is how more than $9 million wasn't sufficient to get backers their orders. Backers will likely have questions and want their money back, but with no one to turn to from Plastc, they'll likely be out the cash.

Re: How to copy?

By stephanruby • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

The chip does NOTHING in the USA except make the whole process take longer.

I agree with you, but just to clarify.

It's not the chip that makes the process take longer, it's the US regulation that comes with the US chip that makes the process take longer. And the American regulation requires that the chipped card checks the bank balance and do all the handshakes between multiple networks in real time before it allows the transaction to take place, hence the extra delay.

As opposed to Europe, where the European chipped card could work in a place with no phone reception and no network access, the balance would be kept on the card, and the balance would later be reconciled in a central ledger at the end of the day, or at the end of the week (I'm not sure which). But this of course made the card super fast to use.

In other words, let's say you have one thousand dollars in your checking account. In the US, a cloned card could effectively steal that $1,000 from you. But in Europe, let's say you have 1,000 Euros in your bank account, you make 1,000 clones, and you ask 1,000 criminals to all use the card at the same time by sending them the pin via text messages all at once, then it would mean that the bank could potentially lose 1,000,000 Euros by the time it adds up all the transactions of 1,000 Euros when it finally reconciles everything.

Of course, I'm skipping over some technical details, but that's basically the gist of it. Also, I should mention that it's much easier to crack one card in a couple of weeks and clone it 1,000 times than having to crack 1,000 separate cards to clone them once. And also, some chipped cards are allowed to be used without the pin, because not everything on a chipped card is encrypted, and that's ok for some businesses because they'll limit the amount of the transaction when the pin is not used, and also they can take other security measures, like video recording the person, or video recording the car of the person who used it, or something else entirely. And in the end, no system is perfect, and that's ok. A security system just needs to be difficult enough for criminals to crack and low reward enough to make the risk too high for most criminals to want to take.

Re:Annoying for small projects

By GeekWithAKnife • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

I think you got one thing wrong. The "cool new ecosystem" was not ruined by 'parasitoids' it was ruined by a lack of accountability.

Look at the Skully-AR1 funding on Kickstarter. This was a product with genuine potential, had working prototypes etc.

It's not that the founders were running out of ideas or their project was jeoperdised by scope creep or the like. They were blatantly using the money they got from backer for buying cars, last minute flight tickets to vegas, hotels, strip clubs and when the product did not arrive and there were delays they eventually filed for bankruptcy and made excuses.

Look at the shit they bought on campaign backers' money:

Rent for the brothers' personal apartments in the Marina
Security deposits for an apartment in Dogpatch used by the Wellers
Weekly apartment cleanings
Personal grocery bills for the Wellers
All restaurant meals for the brothers
Mitchell Weller's Dodge Viper, which was claimed for insurance following an accident, as well as the new Viper purchased by the company to replace it

Check here ->

On the back of that, at the time, I pulled out of a major indiegogo funding campaign because I no longer had faith in the model. When I signed up to to it it had a large "back out at any time" message on the page. After considering the matter of Skully I decided to back out and was confused as to how this is done from my backers page. I read the FAQ and it simply said that I go to my backers page and hit the "Refund order" button. So simple except THERE WAS NO REFUND button.

I asked and I was told that SOMETIMES there is no refund button and that funds have gone to the campaign owner. So I cannot get a refund from Indieggo because they do not have the money. I emailed the campaign owner and got no response for two months. As I had no other information to go on I researched the campaign, backer and related company and sent them letters threatening to sue as they are subject to EU law (Luckily because US law is really shit on these sort of things). After some haggling I got my funds -12% for various fees, 2% were to Indiegogo...and you know what I was lucky to get anything at all.

They have since clarified their refund policy further ->

Simply do not believe ANYTHING a campaign page says. It might very well say "hassle free refund." but really should say "limited refund options occassionally available, terms and conditions apply. If you believed this was honest and bought based on that assumption you're a sucker hahahaha"

Now ask Skully-AR1 backers if they got anything yet? Helemt? Refund? An apology? - There is ZERO accountability.

We MUST convince Indiegogo and Kickstarter - basically crowd funding in general to do more.

Firstly I would like FULL DISCLOSURE expense reports of backers money. There is NO excuse not to let backers of your porject know how you spent their money.
Secondly I want the crowd funding site to review sufficiently large projects, say over $1 million with a third party registered accountant to check this is not all BS.

Lastly, for blatant misuse of funds amounting to fraud I would like for Kickstarter/Indiegogo to sue these people to the ends of the Earth on backers behalf. I will pay good money, more than my original investment to make sure fraudsters are dealt with as harshly as possible.

Without any safety checks and so on I tell you now I will never ever back any product that has not been released and review or a has a money back guarantee I can trust.

Re:Normal practice in Corporate America

By kubajz • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
I am surprised you were seriously modded as "interesting", since I find a number of your claims dubious.

1. I am not sure about US banks, but in my country banks earn money by transforming the maturities and amounts of deposits and spreading around risks to give loans, as well as providing other services such as card payments. Competition forces them to work relatively efficiently.

2. In my country, people who do not display "due care" when acting as officers of a limited liability company can be sued.

3. I very much doubt that being publically dragged through the dirt for wasting $9m of customers' money will look good on their CVs, let alone help them get better jobs.

I do admit that sometimes scams and fraud happen but I do not share your conviction that the whole environment we live in is built on it alone.

Re:will shut down on April 20, 2017

By GrumpySteen • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

To be fair, /. got the story up within 24 hours, which is actually faster than average for them.

The company didn't announce their shutdown in advance, so nobody could have reported it before yesterday afternoon when the message went up on the site and all their social media shut down.

Re: How to copy?

By jittles • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

And the American regulation requires that the chipped card checks the bank balance and do all the handshakes between multiple networks in real time before it allows the transaction to take place, hence the extra delay.

That is not typically the reason for the delay. The fact of the matter is that the US region required online processing for EMV because at least 90% of the transactions in the US were already online only. There are some significant attacks against offline EMV that are entirely mitigated by online processing. There are no known attacks on Online EMV with card present. Even without a PIN, you cannot duplicate someone's card or skim it. You can steal someone's card and use it, but you cannot create a cloned copy of the card and use it.

The problem in the US is entirely with poor implementations. The most inexpensive terminals manually check a list of supported brands against the card's brand(s) one at a time. The brands have IDs that can be incredibly specific. A lot of the processors I've worked with want to manually add each and every ID to their configuration basically saying "I support North American MasterCard. I support Australian MasterCard. I support European MasterCard..." for basically every region in the world when they could just say "I support MasterCards of all types." So the card terminal sits there for a solid 10- 20 seconds just going through its list asking the card "Are you this brand?" Literally. Regulations in the US require you to support "US Common Debit" if you're going to allow debit transactions. There is literally one additional ID that is required to be supported in the US versus other regions. Furthermore, you'll find that transactions go online and receive approval in Europe somewhere on the order of 70+% percent of the time and are still faster than US transactions. I'm working on a project right now for a company halfway across the world from me and, when I have control of the terminal flow, I can run through the entire process from the US, 8000 miles, back to the US for issuer authorization, then back that 8000 miles to the processor and back to me in about 300-400ms. With a processor who lives in the same city, I can complete a transaction in 100-200ms on a slow day.

When I say that, I'm obviously excluding transactions that require prompts, but one where I have the terminal flow set to run the transaction from end to end the instant the card is inserted into the terminal with no further human interaction required.

As opposed to Europe, where the European chipped card could work in a place with no phone reception and no network access, the balance would be kept on the card, and the balance would later be reconciled in a central ledger at the end of the day, or at the end of the week (I'm not sure which). But this of course made the card super fast to use.

They have not done this in Europe or anywhere else in a long time. I think the last card issued that behaved in this way was around 2007. Some of them haven't expired in their countries of origin and you still have to support this capability in some regions, but it's being phased out. You cannot trust a balance from an offline transaction. The terminals all have a transaction ceiling which, when hit, a transaction is forced to be processed online. In the US that limit, from a liability standpoint, is $0. For most European merchants, they use somewhere on the order of 20-40 pounds/euros/whatever. Basically a high enough limit that you can recharge your metro card. That limit is also based on the type of merchant as well. The majority of card fraud occurs at gas stations and the industry has completely different rules for unattended gas pumps.

And also, some chipped cards are allowed to be used without the pin, because not everything on a chipped card is encrypted, and that's ok for some businesses because they'll limit the amount of the transaction when the pin is not used

Canada Rules To Uphold Net Neutrality

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
According to a new ruling by Canada's telecommunications regulator, internet service providers should not be able to exempt certain types of content, such as streaming music or video, from counting toward a person's data cap. The ruling upholds net neutrality, which is the principle that all web services should be treated equally by providers. reports: "Rather than offering its subscribers selected content at different data usage prices, Internet service providers should be offering more data at lower prices," said Jean-Pierre Blais, chairman of the CRTC in a statement. "That way, subscribers can choose for themselves what content they want to consume." The decision stems from a 2015 complaint against the wireless carrier Videotron, which primarily operates in Quebec. Videotron launched a feature in August of that year, enabling customers to stream music from services such as Spotify and Google Play Music without it counting against a monthly data cap as a way to entice people to subscribe to Videotron's internet service. The decision means that Videotron cannot offer its unlimited music streaming plan to subscribers in its current form -- nor can other internet providers offer similar plans that zero-rate other types of internet content, such as video streaming or social media.

Re:fraud ISP = obama internet

By Anaerin • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
As much as your vitriol is deserved, this is all about CANADIAN Internet, not USA. Though it does have to be said, Canadian broadband is even worse than the US, but at least the CRTC is actually upholding their charter and doing what they're supposed to, rather than the FCCs... approach. As for taking 10-14 seconds to render, that could be related to slow DNS resolvers (try switching to Googles or OpenDNSs servers), Javascript issues (browser plugins blocking events), or just a slow/overloaded computer. Try using the network console (inside Developer tools in any modern browser) to see where the delays are. On my system, it seems the homepage takes over a second to download, and the main page CSS file is over 1.3MB (Which is just stupid), along with a crapton of js files that seem to take a long time to process.

Re:so if you have iptv from bell it will kill your

By Anaerin • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
No, because the IPTV is an Intranet service, on the ISP-local network, not an Internet service, hosted on the wider internet. So when you access your Bell IPTV, it doesn't go to the internet and doesn't add to your internet usage.


By Trailer Trash • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Please, please tell me why Google Play Music should be free while Bob's Music Shop down the street would cost to stream the exact same songs?

Because Google can store the music on servers on its own network and not rely on pulling data in from a peer.

This is why it probably makes sense to split such companies up into physical connection companies and content providers, since the physical connection companies have a built-in advantage for providing content.

Blame Canada

By Tough Love • Score: 3 • Thread

Or move there. The difference is starting to move into the embarrassing zone. Check your kevlar vest at the border, and oh, if you forgot to buy your travel medical it won't cost you $30k to get back home if you happen to break your leg running away from a moose.


By slazzy • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Because poor starving billion dollar corporations need help while Bob's music shop is making way too much money...

Apple Forces Recyclers To Shred All iPhones and MacBooks

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard: Apple released its Environmental Responsibility Report Wednesday, an annual grandstanding effort that the company uses to position itself as a progressive, environmentally friendly company. Behind the scenes, though, the company undermines attempts to prolong the lifespan of its products. Apple's new moonshot plan is to make iPhones and computers entirely out of recycled materials by putting pressure on the recycling industry to innovate. But documents obtained by Motherboard using Freedom of Information requests show that Apple's current practices prevent recyclers from doing the most environmentally friendly thing they could do: Salvage phones and computers from the scrap heap. Apple rejects current industry best practices by forcing the recyclers it works with to shred iPhones and MacBooks so they cannot be repaired or reused -- instead, they are turned into tiny shards of metal and glass. "Materials are manually and mechanically disassembled and shredded into commodity-sized fractions of metals, plastics, and glass," John Yeider, Apple's recycling program manager, wrote under a heading called "Takeback Program Report" in a 2013 report to Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. "All hard drives are shredded in confetti-sized pieces. The pieces are then sorted into commodities grade materials. After sorting, the materials are sold and used for production stock in new products. No reuse. No parts harvesting. No resale."

How dare recyclers recycle!

By radarskiy • Score: 3 • Thread

If the devices can be repaired or reused, people wouldn't be sending them to recyclers.

"Grandstanding effort" indeed, just not grandstanding by Apple.

I am going to stand up for Apple for once

By avandesande • Score: 3 • Thread
So let me get this straight, people turn stuff in to apple and and sends them to a recycler to have them recycled to for some contract price. Why in gods name would apple let them profiteer by reselling them instead? That would be nuts.

Not surprising in the least...

By XSportSeeker • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Anyone who thinks Apple cares about recycling is completely blind to what is really happening behind the scenes.

Not only Apple does not recycle crap, they also are actively spending money via lobbying to kill stuff like the right to repair bill which would help independent repair shops to fix iPhones, Macs and whatnot and prolong their lives.
The "official repair" Apple does usually ammounts to throwing away easily repairable units to force costumers to buy refurbished models or newer ones, and they are constantly pushing towards strategies to block independent repair efforts with stuff like error 53 and the more recent software blocking of fingerprint reader replacement on the iPhone 7.

With crap like eliminating "legacy ports" like the headphone jack due to them being "corageous", they've effectively pushed more bluetooth headsets and more dongles into the market which has even more toxic and non-recyclable materials that will be purchased in greater number and will be replaced or lost in a more constant rate, instead of regular headphones that requires less electronic parts.

But the company couldn't care less as long as they are making truckloads of money, which is something most corporations do anyways. It's just damn insulting that they keep trying to push this bullshit and that parts of the press swallow it whole. F*cking predatory company that keeps feeding on public misinformation.

It's known that there are no easy ways of disassembling and reusing old phones component parts to make new ones because it just costs too much more to recover whatever materials were used, but they have no qualms on feeding on regular costumers lack of knowledge on this to paint themselves as a good company that is trying to do "something" about it. Protip for those who don't know about this: it'll result in nothing, and they already know it. It's a token effort. There are no good ways of harvesting raw materials for eWaste to make new components in a financially viable manner, because if there was everyone would be doing it.

Currently, anyone that is well informed or an active part of the problem know full well that the best way of generating less waste is to use electronics for as long as possible. If smartphone companies really wanted to generate less electronic waste, they'd change release schedules and development time to force consumers to keep their damn phones for a longer period of time, plus do as much as possible to keep older units working instead of making them useless after a certain ammount of OS updates. Another way is to make the architecture more open and standardized so that electronics can be used in multiple ways - like old desktops and laptops that you can install some Linux distro and use as an HTPC or something. Of course, Apple stuff is the harderst type of hardware to do something like that.

The only thing Apple really has on their favor is that even older laptops and desktops retain some value in the used market, and some of it's users keeps their stuff even years after they purchased it. But make no mistake. If Apple could find a way to avoid that without a huge fanbase backlash, they would.

Re: User's need to take responsibility too.

By sudon't • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Not a direct replacement for an Apple product?
You're serious?
Only an Apple fanatic could think something like that, given that there are indeed direct replacements for every Apple product.

Name another product that can run OS X. The only other choices are Windows, which, Windows, or Linux, which isn't nearly as user-friendly. I have friends who use both of those systems - no thank you! Only OS X gives you a *nix system that is not only very stable and configurable, but incredibly easy to use. Android is a decent imitation of iOS, looks a lot like it, but the iPhone still kills it. I mean, why do you think Apple has fanatical users?

Hate on Apple all you want. I hate them, too. Always have. But no one can touch their products, even as they try to imitate them. That's just a fact. Whether they'll be able to keep this up with Jobs gone remains to be seen, but I am not about to start using Windows.

Re:User's need to take responsibility too.

By Dog-Cow • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Most users of Apple products that I know personally do not buy each new model. And the one that I know does, always sells his old one used. In fact, I can't think of anyone who would just give a working device to Apple when buying a new one. The resale value of Apple hardware almost always makes the bother of finding a buyer worth it.

Subway Sues Canada Network Over Claim Its Chicken Is 50 Percent Soy

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
jenningsthecat writes: As reported here back in February, the CBC, (Canada's national broadcaster), revealed DNA test results which indicated the chicken used in Subway Restaurants' sandwiches only contained about 50% chicken. Now, Subway is suing the public broadcaster for $210 million, because "its reputation and brand have taken a hit as a result of the CBC reports." The suit claims that "false statements [...] were published and republished, maliciously and without just cause or excuse, to a global audience, which has resulted in pecuniary loss to the plaintiffs."

Personally, my working assumption here is that the CBC report is substantially correct. It will be interesting to see how the case plays out -- but should this have happened at all? Regulatory agencies here in Canada seem to be pretty good when it comes to inspecting meat processing facilities. Should they also be testing the prepared foods served by major restaurant chains to ensure that claims regarding food content are true and accurate?

Done properly, no problem...

By XSportSeeker • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

I don't see why regulatory agencies shouldn't be able to test products.... IF they are doing it properly though.

Because if Subway is right on this one, and it sounds like they are, they have all the rights to sue CBC for it, and this isn't only to the benefit of Subway, but also to the benefit of the public.

Basically, if the ArsTechnica article is right, CBC used a bad method to jump into a conclusion and premeditated an article about it for some reason. That reason could be pure incompetence or perhaps something worse, but it certainly damaged the fast food chain reputation for no good reason.

Rebuilding that sort of reputation can be extremely costly, and the fast food chain could lose far more than 210 million for it. Unfounded rumors usually already cost far more than that for other fast food chains, a regulatory agency going out of it's way to publish something like that can be far more damaging.

We'll see how it goes.


By quantaman • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Read this and then say you are jumping for joy at the thought of consuming soy protein isolate and soy protein concentrate, hmm, i can imagine the taste and goodness of the high temperature acid bath. Soy protein isolate not a food any more, just the cheapest possible molecular chain you can get away with calling it food. If there was cheaper worse shit they could get away with calling food, they would. Personally I read that article and it sent a shudder down my spine and made me nauseas to think of some of the crap I have eaten. Here read about your 'food?' for a change If you think that shit is healthier than chicken, you are an idiot.

The Springer article was paywalled but didn't seem to mention anything about health (or taste).

The "Health Effects" section in the Wikipedia article starts like this:

A meta-analysis concluded soy protein is correlated with significant decreases in serum cholesterol, low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations.[41] High density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol did not change. Although there is only preclinical evidence for a possible mechanism, the meta-analysis report stated that soy phytoestrogens – the isoflavones, genistein and daidzein – may be involved in reducing serum cholesterol levels.[41]

In general "processed==bad" and "natural==good" isn't a bad rule-of-thumb to use for healthy eating.

But the moment you have proper evidence that a particular processed food is good, or a natural one bad, forget the default rule and use the evidence instead.

Re: Irrelevant Studies

By Aighearach • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Right, it sounds laughable because you used your biases to fill in assumed facts, instead of collecting actual facts.

The accusation is that the tests done in no way would have determined the amount of chicken or soy. This wasn't a legit type of DNA test.

The fact is that the results of the test do not match what was reported, at all, and what was reported is the same nonsense that people like you then repeat. And the low-information, semi-literate nature of the situation makes it impossible for Subway to fully mitigate the damage, which is why the liars who misrepresented the study are being asked to foot the bill for their lies.

Re: Ironically

By Maritz • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
Look up food babe. You'd love her. She shamelessly self-promotes by looking for ingredients that sound a bit science-y and then scaremongering them.

Re:Two studies

By arglebargle_xiv • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

They did two independent studies and both had the same result.

There's also a litte-known third study, done several years earlier, that confirms the results.

Tesla Recalls 53,000 Model S, Model X Cars For Stuck Parking Brakes

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Tesla has issued a voluntary recall for approximately 53,000 Model S and Model X cars, which may be susceptible to having stuck parking brakes. The company hasn't received any reports of the parking brake system failing, but decided to issue a recall for precautionary reasons. According to CNET, the recall affects 31,000 Model S and Model X cars in the U.S., "and all affected vehicles carry build dates between February and October 2016." From the report: The problem lies with the electric parking brakes that help secure the vehicles when placed in Park. The parking brakes contain a small gear that might fracture, which would prevent the parking brake from releasing. Thus, a car that enters Park may not be able to move again. This has no bearing on the vehicles' regular brakes, and Tesla has received no reports of the parking brake system failing to hold a car in place. Tesla estimates that about 2 percent of the vehicles recalled contain the improperly manufactured gear. It should be noted that the parking brake assembly is from a third-party supplier, as well.

Well there's your problem

By quonset • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

The problem lies with the electric parking brakes. . .

Funny, in all the decades I've driven, I've never had a single incident with a mechanical parking brake. Neither the one in the middle between the seats, or the one on the floor.

Considering his smarts, it sure seems dumb for Musk to reinvent the wheel, especially for something the end user has no control over whether it works or not. As I have said many times before, there's a reason mechanical light switches are still around. They work every time.

Only news because it's Tesla

By mykepredko • Score: 3 • Thread

Would this be of note if Toyota, Ford or VW issued a recal for this?

Parts from subcontractors are often not up to snuff - the problem is noted, a recall is issued and that's it.

This is only news because it's on a Tesla - I'm not a Musk fanboi but let's get a little perspective on the matter.

Wait, the brake never actuallty failed?

By Eloking • Score: 3 • Thread

Tesla has issued a voluntary recall for approximately 53,000 Model S and Model X cars, which may be susceptible to having stuck parking brakes. The company hasn't received any reports of the parking brake system failing, but decided to issue a recall for precautionary reasons.

Well, this is the first time I heard about this. Look like they never watched "Fight Club" and the X=A*B*C and if XCost of Requall, then you shouldn't do one.

Re:Well there's your problem

By ledow • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

1) It's a mechanical device under huge manual and braking stress. They break. They can't not break. Maybe you haven't seen it, maybe you just don't use the break or own enough cars or care enough to check.

2) I used to buy old cars. 5-10 years old. Until recently, I never bought new. I used to change car when they didn't pass the relevant tests, so I bought a lot of second-hand cars. Almost ALL of them had parking brake problems. From "it doesn't do anything" to "it needs a serious amount of adjusting" to it literally could not be released once activated.

3) My dad does all my repairs/maintenance as he worked in the trade for decades. Ask him if mechanical parking brakes never fail.

4) My new car, a year or so old now, has electric parking brakes. I distrusted them, like you. When my car was new, I took it to a couple of off-road locations to test lots of things (I'm not a boyracer, speed was NOT one of them, I'm literally talking about "Oh, I don't like that... how does that work if..." scenarios) - best way to get to know and trust a car is to actually activate these things in a safe place.

Electronic parking brake? Massively outperforms a mechanical one. I could not make it not activate on demand. I could not make it activate inadvertently (it appears the button/toggle that controls it has debouncing that's undergone a lot of testing to avoid inadvertent activation, but yet work whenever you need it to). And there's a reason I couldn't make it work inadvertently... the parking brake is not just a parking brake but your only non-hydraulic method of stopping the car in an emergency.

I deliberately read the latest car design requirements from the government and, at least in my country, the parking brake must still operate independently so it can be used in the car of a brake failure. I was worried they were obsoleting a safety backup, but in fact the requirements are much more stringent now than most of the old cars I used to drive.

And so I took it on a non-public road. And I poodled along and pressed the parking brake. Holy shit did it stop. Even on gravel. Okay, so I got braver and braver and asked it to stop me from faster and faster speeds (never going stupid, but still - on a motorway this might need me to stop the car before it hits a line of traffic, late, after I realise the normal brakes don't work).

HOLY SHIT. You have no idea how effective it is compared to a traditional cabled parking brake (no handbrake turns, for sure, because you just don't get time, but then I would never attempt that anyway). I only avoided whacking my head on the steering wheel each time because I knew it was coming after building up from the slower speeds (presumably airbags would kick in in a collision, I'm not testing that though!).

I tested the "auto-release when you drive". I couldn't make it release when I didn't want it to. Literally, you have to have enough driver-instructed forward motion that you would hear the brakes screech anyway if you did move and it deactivates a fraction of a second AFTER you're actually moving against the brake.

Hill starts? I actually worry now that with electric parking brakes, you never have to be able to do one properly. They make it that reliable and easy. I've literally never rolled back, not even an inch, unless you are absolutely 100% negligent and wait for the brake to release and then suddenly let get of everything and it still takes a second or two to roll back because the car has to have been moving forward to release the brake.

And if I hold the foot-brake for a few seconds while stationary, it knows that and just puts on the parking brake too. It doesn't do it while moving at even a tiny speed where you can barely see the wheels moving even if you're doing that by holding the normal brake. It knows the difference.

Someone put a lot of testing, thought and effort into my car's electric parking brake. I couldn't make it do things I didn't want, even when I was completely abusing the mechanism

Google Home Now Recognizes Specific Users' Voices, Gains Support For Multiple Accounts

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Google has issued a long-awaited feature for Google Home: support for multiple users. In an update rolling out today, up to six people will be able to connect their Google account to a Google Home, and the unit will try to distinguish each person's voice from the other users connected to the device. Therefore, each person will be able to get access to their schedule, playlists, and more. PhoneDog reports: Support for multiple users is rolling out in the U.S. now and will be available in the U.K. in the coming months. To know if the feature is available to you, launch the Google Home app and look for a card that says "Multi-user is available." You can also click the icon in the upper right corner, find your Google Home, and select "Link your account." From there, you'll train the Google Assistant to recognize your voice so that it knows it's you when you're talking and not the other people with connected accounts. You'll say "Ok Google" and "Hey Google" twice each.

One question

By 93 Escort Wagon • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

Is the "Burger King" user pre-installed?

FCC Takes First Step Toward Allowing More Broadcast TV Mergers

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Verge: In a divided vote today, the Federal Communications Commission took steps that could lead to more consolidation among TV broadcasters, reducing the number of sources of local news. Today's changes revolve around the media ownership cap -- a limit on how many households a TV or radio broadcaster is allowed to reach. The rules are meant to promote diversity of media ownership, giving consumers access to different content and viewpoints. The cap currently prevents a company from reaching no more than 39 percent of U.S. households with broadcast TV. Large broadcasters hate the cap because it prevents them from getting even bigger. And since Trump took office and Ajit Pai was named chairman of the FCC, they've been lobbying to have it revised. The FCC's vote today starts to do that. First, it reinstates a rule known as the "UHF discount," which lets broadcasters have a bigger reach in areas where they use a certain type of technology. And second, it starts plans to revisit and raise the media ownership cap.

Re:Turn off your televisions!

By quonset • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

I've watched two f1 races and that's it this month.

That's what I do miss after I cut the cord; F1, BBC (news and Dr. Who) and college football. Aside from those three items, I honestly can't think of anything else I miss by not having tv. What I do remember is constantly flipping through channels either trying to find something to watch, or avoiding commercials.

If ESPN would broadcast college football without one having to be subscribed to a cable company, I would be very happy.

This is definitely news

By nehumanuscrede • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

for the four people who still watch and trust anything on Television.

Been there. Didn't like it.

By kevmeister • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
I have a home in Indio, the largest city in the Coachella Valley of California. It's mostly known for Palm Springs and the Coachella Music and Arts Festival. It's high profile, but not large, Two companies own all of the local broadcast TV stations. One owns ABC, CBS, Fox, and Telmundo stations. The other has NBC and CW. I suspect that they own Univision, but I'm not quite sure.

That's it for diversity. We see the same news stories from the same reporters, often introduced by the same anchors. This is allowed because we are a "small market". The stations are all "low power" stations. I can watch the same news six times a day, if I really want to be bored.

I wonder if the two could soon be allowed to merge and reduce local coverage to one source. The new regulations might allow this. News coverage is already badly warped by mega-owners. How many subtly (of not subtly) news stories are ties to Disney movies on ABC stations? I see a LOT. How many commentaries are influenced and news stories perspectives "adjusted" for the corporate masters? I don't know, but I am sure it's a lot. This change is a very bad idea.

This effects local TV stations

By rsilvergun • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
and like it or not millions of people get their news from those and choose how they vote based on that news. You should be utterly, balls to the walls terrified of this. Billionaires are going to sweep in and buy out the last vestiges of independent news. They're then going to subtlety manipulate people.

Here's a prefect example: The stories about North Korea's "Super Mighty" strike. The phrase Super Mighty in English sounds childish. It's meant to diminish the perceived threat from North Korea. The word "strike" is to make sure you know they're still a danger. In other words: You're being told it's just like Iraq. A weak enemy that'll roll over when we move in.

That's the kind of propaganda that'll be everywhere, not just on the major Cable networks. And that will suck, hard. Because dumb poor people will see it and vote you (and your draft age kids) into a war.

Old rules prevent creating new networks

By Ungrounded Lightning • Score: 3 • Thread

The old rules prevent anybody (with enough money) from buying an outlet in each of the bulk of the markets and setting up a new network. (That would be doable even by parties of relatively modest means, because there are a lot of little stations that are hanging on by their fingernails which might be available cheap.) They're limited to directly reaching about a third of the potential viewers (and partnering with other owners if they want to reach more).

Meanwhile, they don't keep someone from buying up essentially all the outlets in a particular area (since taking over more of the stations doesn't add any more potential viewers).

Both of those reduce diversity - the first nationally, the second within regions.

Seems to me that eliminating the rule would fix the first one and increase the diversity of opinion available to viewers.

(Meanwhile, if the FCC wants to prohibit something to try to increase diversity, they could limit the number of outlets within each region a single party could own. That would also free up some outlets for new wholly-owned network builders, too.)

Airbnb Fires Back, Accuses Hotel Industry Of Punishing the Middle-Class

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
According to a legal documents, the American Hotel and Lodging Association (lobbying group for hotels in the U.S.) kicked off a plan last year to fight back Airbnb and other home-sharing services with a $5.6 million annual budget. Airbnb has responded to the revelation. From a report: The company's head of policy, Christopher Lehane, accused hoteliers of price-gouging customers and called their fight against Airbnb a "campaign to punish the middle-class" in a letter. It's only the latest salvo in a long fight between Airbnb and the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA), which believes the startup is cutting into its business. [...] In a letter to the AHLA, Airbnb accused the group of trying to hurt middle-class property owners. The Airbnb head of policy argued that "we ought to be able to agree that the middle-class family that shares their home while traveling is not a commercial operator running a business." In its minutes, the AHLA alleged that many of the listings on Airbnb are operated by commercial entities. Lehane also accused the AHLA of being inconsistent on homesharing. He said the group's board meeting showed support for "the rights of property owners to occasionally rent out a room or their home."


By Anonymous Coward • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

AirBNB is causing property investors to buy up condos/homes with the pure intention of putting them up on AirBNB. This is driving up home prices by causing an artificial inventory shortage where entire blocks of cities don't have a resident, only AirBNB renters.

This hurts the middle class.

[Source: Harvard Law & Policy Review -]

We're AirBnB hosts

By cptdondo • Score: 3 • Thread

And yes we have overhead. We pay ourselves. We pay for the space, the utilities, replacement sheets, towels, soap, etc.

But the bottom line we make a tidy profit at the end of the month on a nice apartment. Why else would you stay in business?

I support restrictions. AirBnB owner occupied, and limited to a few rooms. Many cities have this already.

It really is a problem where cities don't have effective laws regulating bed and breakfasts as opposed to hotels.

Middle class screwed either way.

By extranatural • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
I live in a city where rental properties are hastily being converted to Airbnb rentals at an alarming rate.

Many middle class folks, myself included have been recipients of no-fault evictions as landlords rush to cash in on the short-term rental craze.

At least in my city, Airbnb drives up the price of property, making the dream of home ownership an increasingly distant fantasy for many in the middle class.

Sure when I travel, I can more easily afford a room for a night, but I'm a lot more concerned with the affordability of a the property I have to rent longterm. One day I hope to afford a mortgage, but I don't know how that will happen if every property gets converted in to an ad-hoc hotel.

Now if you happen to be one of the lucky middle-class people who already owns 1 or more properties, you might be able to make a little money with Airbnb, but for the most part Airbnb is doing nothing to help the middle class.


By fluffernutter • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
How is keeping residential areas residential punishing the middle class? Don't the middle class have homes that would benefit from not having a loud party next to them every weekend?


By vux984 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Why can't the middle class also buy up condos/homes and put them on AirBNB?

Get a clue... the middle class lacks the free money to buy an extra house just to rent out. Many in the middle class are often themselves renting because they don't have the free money to buy even a house for themselves, nevermind a spare one to rent out... meanwhile they are being evicted from those rentals so the owner can rent it by the day more lucratively on sites like airbnb.

Your solution to them being kicked out their rental to make room for airbnb, is to buy 2 houses; so that they too can benefit from airbnb!

"Let them eat cake!" am i right?

CC'ing the Boss on Email Makes Employees Feel Less Trusted, Study Finds

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Do you ever loop your boss when having a conversation with a colleague when his or her presence in the thread wasn't really necessary? Turns out, many people do this, and your colleague doesn't find it helpful at all. From an article: My collaborators and I conducted a series of six studies (a combination of experiments and surveys) to see how cc'ing influences organizational trust. While our findings are preliminary and our academic paper is still under review, a first important finding was that the more often you include a supervisor on emails to coworkers, the less trusted those coworkers feel (alternative link). In our experimental studies, in which 594 working adults participated, people read a scenario where they had to imagine that their coworker always, sometimes, or almost never copied the supervisor when emailing them. Participants were then required to respond to items assessing how trusted they would feel by their colleague. ("In this work situation, I would feel that my colleague would trust my 'competence,' 'integrity,' and 'benevolence.'") It was consistently shown that the condition in which the supervisor was "always" included by cc made the recipient of the email feel trusted significantly less than recipients who were randomly allocated to the "sometimes" or "almost never" condition. Organizational surveys of 345 employees replicated this effect by demonstrating that the more often employees perceived that a coworker copied their supervisor, the less they felt trusted by that coworker. To make matters worse, my findings indicated that when the supervisor was copied in often, employees felt less trusted, and this feeling automatically led them to infer that the organizational culture must be low in trust overall, fostering a culture of fear and low psychological safety.

How Khan Academy handles email transparency

By Paul Fernhout • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
"Every team has two email addresses: one for team members and one for the team's "blackhole." [For example: ] and
    The -team@ address is for emailing all members of the team. When you send email to analytics-team@, you expect everyone on the analytics team to read it. Subscribing to analytics-team@ means analytics-related email will land in your priority inbox as soon as it's sent, and you're expected to read it.
    The -blackhole@ address is for anything else that has anything to do with analytics. When you CC:analytics-blackhole@, you don't expect subscribers to immediately read it. Subscribing to analytics-blackhole@ means you'll receive analytics-related email, but it'll get filtered out of your inbox and you're not expected to read it unless you feel like it. ... Anybody in the org can join any of these email lists. analytics-team@ is usually just team members, but analytics-blackhole@ has all sorts of lookie-loo subscribers who're interested in analytics happenings."

The approach was derived from how Stripe does it:

So, given the original story, maybe this transparency approach has an extra side effect (perhaps unintended) of maintaining trust in an organization by avoiding the "directly CC-ing the boss" effect?

It's not quite BCCing the whole company -- like Tesen joked -- as it is more organized. But essentially the whole company could in theory read (almost) anything with that approach.


By networkBoy • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Funny aside (names obviously changed)

Had a co worker Bob L Smith his email was bob.l.smith@
HR Legal had a Bob L Smith who was bob.smith@

My co-worker got so many of these emails it was sad. He actually ended up having to go through HRLegal confidentiality training as that was the only legal way he could receive these e-mails, which he would then FWD and cc back the sender.

Among the interesting ones:
* co-workers were dating, caught in conference room gettin it on.
* porno (with one of the admins co-staring) being shown in conf room on projector at lunch; said admin was *not* part of the group watching.
* boss punched subordinate in face in meeting that got very heated, subordinate proceeded to joint lock boss, tear shoulder, and choke him out with a rear naked choke.

mind blowing, and made my dept. feel rather boring.


By Anonymous Coward • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

The fact that you listed those interesting cases indicates that the "HR Legal confidentiality training" didn't work.

you know...

By buddyglass • Score: 4 • Thread
If people would pay attention and respond to emails without my/their boss CC'd then I wouldn't feel the need to CC him/her. Do your job and I don't have to go over your/our head(s).

Researchers found phase transition of H2O at 0 C

By gotan • Score: 3 • Thread

Researchers found out that H2O, commonly known as "Water", surprisingly undergoes a phase transition at zero degrees Celsius under normal atmospheric pressure.

The paper is still under review, but our experimental studies on 594 samples of the substance found that liquid H2O becomes solid when cooled below this temperature. The presence of the solid state was confirmed by probing (poking) the substance with a sophisticated testing device (finger).

By testing with different temperature ranges, including randomized temperatures, it was confirmed that the transition happens at or close to zero degrees Celsius.

China's First Cargo Spacecraft Launch a 'Crucial Step' To Space Station

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Earlier today, China launched its first unmanned cargo spacecraft on a mission to dock with the country's space station, marking further progress in the ambitious Chinese space program. Chinese state media Xinhua described the event as a " crucial step for China's plan to have an operational space station by 2020." From a report: The Tianzhou-1 took off from the Wenchang Space Launch Center in China's southern Hainan province, on track to dock with the orbiting space lab Tiangong-2. The launch was the latest in a series of major announcements by the Chinese space program, which celebrated its longest-ever space mission in November.

International Space Station

By ghoul • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

I think it would be better for the US Space program to let the Chinese join the ISS as they have requested many times instead of forcing them to build everything independently. Once they have the infrastructure built out then they wont be interested in coming in to be a part of the ISS. Now that China is helping Trump on North Korea it may be time to stop freezing them out

Re:International Space Station

By DontBeAMoran • Score: 4 • Thread

If not, then in the future other countries might very well join the Chinese space station and China might ban the USA from joining.

File System Improvements To the Windows Subsystem for Linux

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader shares a new article published on MSDN: In the latest Windows Insider build, the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) now allows you to manually mount Windows drives using the DrvFs file system. Previously, WSL would automatically mount all fixed NTFS drives when you launch Bash, but there was no support for mounting additional storage like removable drives or network locations. Now, not only can you manually mount any drives on your system, we've also added support for other file systems such as FAT, as well as mounting network locations. This enables you to access any drive, including removable USB sticks or CDs, and any network location you can reach in Windows all from within WSL.

Re:What is it?

By brianerst • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

It's basically an Ubuntu (?) distribution that runs within Windows - not as an emulation / WM but as a subsystem that converts the Linux ABI into Windows calls. A very large chunk of the user space Linux stuff will run in Windows now.

Re:Any chance we can port this out

By tlhIngan • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

It probably translates all the Linux calls into Windows calls straight into Windows' NTFS driver. So, probably not useful for what you're thinking.

Indeed that's what it is.

WSL is effectively "GNU/kWindows" where Linux ELF binaries can run on the Windows kernel using the Linux kernel personality that translates Linux calls into Windows NT Kernel calls and where security, filesystems, etc are handled by the Windows kernel as expected.

There's no linux code actually in the system (other than perhaps headers translating the syscall numbers into actual system calls). Likewise, networking is done via Windows NDIS networking, as well as all the other kernel services. Several times I had to sit down and figure out what was actually happening - I had to add an /etc/hosts entry and i needed to figure out how it worked. (Hint: WSL is a kernel layer, so what happens is glibc will look at /etc/hosts, so I should edit the ubuntu /etc/hosts, not the Windows one. The Windows one is used by the Win32 resolver, while the Ubuntu one is used by glibc, and the tools I was using use glibc).

Re:Linux is sadly becoming irrelevant.

By LVSlushdat • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Man, you ARE delusional.. Linux is the ONLY OS that doesn't treat *your* data as belonging to either Microsoft or Apple.. I used/supported Windows for 20 years as a sysadmin but when I retired I decided I was DONE with anything MS.. And after seeing what a nightmare shitfest Windows 10 is, I thank my lucky stars that something like Linux exists..

Re:Linux is sadly becoming irrelevant.

By chipschap • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

It still doesn't offer a desktop environment that's as pleasant to use as Windows .../p>

I wouldn't characterize the Windows desktop environment as "pleasant to use" in any way, shape or form. I realize it's a matter of individual taste, but I've heard very few people (other than someone on the MS payroll) describe Windows as pleasant.

Now, I don't know that I'd describe the various Linux desktops as necesarily "pleasant" but I would describe many as highly usable and an enabler in getting work done. I wouldn't describe Windows in such a way, either.

Re:What is it?

By OrangeTide • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Oh my, how you youngsters so quickly forget the Halloween documents.

Amazon Cloud Chief Jabs Oracle: 'Customers Are Sick of It'

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
It's no secret that Amazon and Oracle don't see eye to eye. But things are far from improving, it appears. From a report: On Wednesday, two months after Oracle co-CEO Mark Hurd called Amazon's cloud infrastructure "old" and claimed his company was gaining share, Amazon Web Services chief Andy Jassy slammed Oracle for locking customers into painfully long and expensive contracts. "People are very sensitive about being locked in given the experience they've had the last 10 to 15 years," Jassy said on Wednesday on stage at Amazon's AWS Summit in San Francisco. "When you look at cloud, it's nothing like being locked into Oracle." Jassy was addressing a cultural shift in the way technology is bought and sold. No longer does the process involve the purchase of heavy proprietary software with multi-year contracts that include annual maintenance fees. Now, Jassy says, it's about choice and ease of use, including letting clients turn things off if they're not working.


By ranton • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Me: I don't want your clouds, why should I waste my bandwidth and endure slow access times when I can store my files and my backups locally?

If you're storing your files and backups locally, then you don't really have "backups", you just another copy of data that will be lost in the fire/flood/tornado, whatever.

When I read his comment I can't tell if he was mocking anti-cloud IT folk or actually is one. It's too hard to tell.

Bring it on!

By Tablizer • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

I like the fight: competition in action. I wish telecoms would bash each other over forced bundling, lousy reliability, lousy customer service, etc. etc. etc. etc.

Of course they're sick of it

By DeplorableCodeMonkey • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Oracle is such an entrenched, parasitic, rent-seeking corporate shit pile compared to most of the industry that they make even staunchly conservative capitalists tempted for a split second to raise the sickle and hammer after dealing with them.

Mainframe on cloud?

By Blaskowicz • Score: 3 • Thread

Speaking of old, why not hook up a mainframe to the "cloud"? It's all built around I/O, partitioning and billing the user anyway.
Let's have a single computer datacenter. We can achieve the classic vision of one computer per continent.

I believe curious people might try to use it. I know there are emulators and a freeware IBM OS version from before I was born, so it is certain that millions of people never had the chance to try doing something, anything at all with a mainframe.

I have a pitch for it : "The state of the art in NoSQL and consolidation."


By Gumbercules!! • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Frankly, if my city gets Nuked, the viability of my business is probably going to be somewhat in question, in any case. My ability to recover my up to date accounts receivable data will probably be more than a little redundant, when all of those debtors have been vaporised, money is worthless and, if by some miracle I'm not dead or dying of radiation sickness, I still have access to an electricity grid, to run my computers.

If you're running anything smaller than a country and "nuclear war" is in your contingency plans, you're probably focusing on the wrong concerns.

Mastercard is Building Fingerprint Scanners Directly Into Its Cards

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Mastercard said on Thursday it's beginning trials of its "next-generation biometric card" in South Africa. In addition to the standard chip and pin, the new cards have a built-in fingerprint reader that the user can use to authenticate every purchase. From a report: Impressively, the new card is no thicker or larger than your current credit and debit cards.

Re:Your machete, don't leave home without it.

By avandesande • Score: 5, Funny • Thread
If you arm just got chopped off and you are worried about changing the authentication scheme for your credit card you have bigger problems.

One day they'll discover the folly....

By Bugler412 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
One day they'll discover the folly of using biometrics for authentication or authorization, but then it will be too late. Let's all tie everything to a password that we can never change right? Great idea! Sigh

Re:About time

By drdread66 • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

A friend of mine works for one of the companies involved in the Mastercard pilot. As I understand it, their card is powered by the chip reader, which already supplies power to the EMV chip.


By nnet • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
In unrelated news, Lloyd's Of London sees spike in finger insurance.

Data Collection, not security

By evolutionary • Score: 3 • Thread
Okay, it's amazing how many "mickey's" the public has been swallowing in the name of "security" be it national or individual. This is basically a way of fingerprinting everyone in a private database. We all know of ways this can be bypassed (you can lift finger prints from anything someone has touched (doorknob, glass, whatever), so the only one who benefits are private corporations who want to sell that data, and governments who want to obtain it by buying it. We are treating the public as criminals by default or worse...cattle with a brand that is pre-applied. That will be one card I will not use. guess cash is king again for those of us who believe we should formally convicted of something before we have biometric data collection by agencies.

Microsoft Says It Will Release Two Feature Updates Per Year For Windows 10, Office

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Microsoft is making a few changes to how it will service Windows, Office 365 ProPlus and System Center Configuration Manager. From a report: Announced today, Microsoft will be releasing two feature updates a year for Windows 10 in March in September and with each release, System Center Configuration Manager will support this new aligned update model for Office 365 ProPlus and Windows 10, making both easier to deploy and keep up to date. This is a big change for Microsoft as Windows will now be on a more predictable pattern for major updates and by aligning it with Office 365 Pro Plus, this should make these two platforms easier to service from an IT Pro perspective. The big news here is also that Microsoft is announcing when Redstone 3 is targeted for release. The company is looking at a September release window but it is worth pointing out that they traditionally release the month after the code is completed.

Re:And it...

By DickBreath • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
Microsoft is trying to be more like Linux now. Windows Subsystem for Linux to (poorly) run native Linux binaries on Windows. SQL Server on Linux. Haven't you heard? Microsoft Loves Linux, and Sharks Love Fish too.

Now Microsoft will have two yearly releases -- like Ubuntu has. I wonder if Microsoft will next introduce an LTS version of Windows.

Reading Between the Lines

By sexconker • Score: 3 • Thread

System Center Configuration Manager will support this new aligned update model

What does this mean, exactly?

SCCM has never needed to "support" an update model. Updates are published, WSUS picks them up, SCCM sees them in WSUS, and SCCM evaluates any ADRs you have set up (or you manually download updates, add them to groups, and deploy them). Later, you get a report about how compliance for a specific Patch Tuesday Software Update Group has fallen below your threshold of 99% (SCCM doesn't let you generate a report that expects 100% of your clients be up to date) because SCCM constantly forgets about a client's status for a deployment and never properly removes all the expired/superseded updates.

Will I need to update the MDT & AIK every 6 months? Will I need to update SCCM every 6 months? If so, how long will SCCM 2012 (non R2) be "supported" for whatever versions of "Windows 10"?
Setting up SCCM is a nightmare and a half and I am not going to fucking upend it every 6 months. The transition to 2012 SP2 broke all custom reports and the onyl fix was manually replication the new, unnecessary, and asinine SID translation layer they added to all the standard reports.

Good move on their part

By ErichTheRed • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

One of the things that "IT Pros" as Microsoft calls us have been complaining about is the unpredictable nature of updates to Windows 10 and Office. It sounds like this is a nod to the fact that not everyone is using cutting-edge software that updates at the same pace, or using common consumer applications. Corporate IT is still very different from consumer IT. Most places have started modernizing, but the reality is that big companies aren't ever going to be going at the same pace as web startups delivering a consumer phone app.

Large companies and niche users of Windows still need to deal with compatibility problems, and knowing that Microsoft isn't going to change the way the OS works randomly from month to month gives IT groups time to test applications. You might say that only LUDDITES use desktop software and that everyone is using Apps! But, even though Apps! are becoming more prevalent, companies aren't ditching every single desktop application. Some have been running for ages and don't really need Appifying, or require significant costs to Appify. Before Windows 10, Windows was all about backward compatibility and a stable platform. That changed as they were chasing the mobile phone market, but maybe they're seeing that they have to cater both the consumer and corporate user now.

If Microsoft really plans to not make money on client OS licensing for upgraded versions anymore, maybe this is also an attempt to rein in the constant stream of new feature development they must be doing. Adding features just for fun at a rapid pace is a recipe for security vulnerabilities...developers don't want to be bothered with writing something secure when something functional will do.

Can we get better naming for the windows 10 update

By Joe_Dragon • Score: 3 • Thread

Can we get better naming for the windows 10 updates like windows 10.1 10.2 10.3 or even windows 10 sp1 sp2 sp3

better idea

By fred6666 • Score: 3 • Thread

Strip windows to the minimum and move applications (Paint, Edge, ...) to the Windows store or whatever they use as a replacement for apt-get.

And also cleanup the mess that is c:\windows\winsxs (often dozens of gigabytes for no reason)

President Trump Misses 90-Day Deadline To Appoint a Cybersecurity Team After Alleged Russian Hacking

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
From a report: President-elect Donald Trump was very clear: "I will appoint a team to give me a plan within 90 days of taking office," he said in January, after getting a U.S. intelligence assessment of Russian interference in last year's elections and promising to address cybersecurity. Thursday, Trump hits his 90-day mark. There is no team, there is no plan, and there is no clear answer from the White House on who would even be working on what. It's the latest deadline Trump's set and missed -- from the press conference he said his wife would hold last fall to answer questions about her original immigration process to the plan to defeat ISIS that he'd said would come within his first 30 days in office. Since his inauguration, Trump's issued a few tweets and promises to get to the bottom of Russian hacking -- and accusations of surveillance of Americans, himself included, by the Obama administration.

Re: series of tubes

By GameboyRMH • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Yeah, "series of tubes" wasn't a a bad analogy in itself, but there were many terrible analogies and hilarious falsehoods in the rest of the infamous rant surrounding it.

So what?

By kenh • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Show of hands, who was sitting on their hands, waiting for the incoming administration to ramp up a cyber security team to help democrats secure their private, non-government email servers? In providing guidance to geniuses like Jpn Podesta to NOT use 'password' as the password on your work GMAIL account?

Seriously, Democrats ignored warnings from FBI that they were being targeted by hackers, the Republicans heeded the warning, with predictable results in both cases.


By JWW • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Well the team and the evidence exist in the same state.

i.e. they don't

Re: So...

By tipo159 • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Obama had both houses of congress with a supermajority in the senate. So no, he lied.

Obama had a supermajority for a month or so around July-August, 2009 (when Al Franken finally got confirmed to his seat) from Sep 2009 (when Ted Kennedy's replacement was sworn in) until Feb 2010 (when Scott Brown was sworn in to replace Kennedy's replacement).

90 days isn't up yet.

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 3, Funny • Thread

Trump meant 90 _working_ days. Once you take off weekends, Mar-a-largo holidays, golf days and campaigning for 2020 days he is up to about day 12 now.

You will see that in his first 100 days (working days) he will have done more than any President has done in their whole term. Of course he may never get to 100 days if he isn't re-elected in 2020.

Discovery May Help Decipher Ancient Inca String Code

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
A discovery made in a remote mountain village high in the Peruvian Andes suggests that the ancient Inca used accounting devices made of knotted, colored strings for more than accounting. From a report on National Geographic: The devices, called khipus (pronounced kee-poos), used combinations of knots to represent numbers and were used to inventory stores of corn, beans, and other provisions. Spanish accounts from colonial times claim that Inca khipus also encoded history, biographies, and letters, but researchers have yet to decipher any non-numerical meaning in the cords and knots. Now a pair of khipus protected by Andean elders since colonial times may offer fresh clues for understanding how more elaborate versions of the devices could have stored and relayed information. "What we found is a series of complex color combinations between the cords," says Sabine Hyland, professor of anthropology at University of St Andrews in Scotland and a National Geographic Explorer. "The cords have 14 different colors that allow for 95 unique cord patterns. That number is within the range of symbols in logosyllabic writing systems." Hyland theorizes that specific combinations of colored strings and knots may have represented syllables or words.

Not this again

By 93 Escort Wagon • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Look, for the last time - it's not "ancient Incan code".

It's just very well-obfuscated perl.

Fund my Kickstarter for a new type of keyboard!

By Billy the Mountain • Score: 3 • Thread
It uses different colored strings that you pretend to tie into knots. (Note, I have abandoned my previous Dial Keyboard idea)

So you are telling us...

By toonces33 • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

That the Inca came up with string theory?

Wikipedia's 'Ban' of 'The Daily Mail' Didn't Really Happen

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Earlier this year, The Guardian reported that editors at Wikipedia had " voted to ban the Daily Mail as a source for the website," calling the publication "generally unreliable." Two months later, not only previous Daily Mail citations on Wikipedia pages are still alive, several new ones have also appeared since. So what's going on? The Outline has the story: There are no rules on Wikipedia, just guidelines. Of Wikipedia's five "pillars," the fifth is that there are no firm rules. There is no formal hierarchy either, though the most dedicated volunteers can apply to become administrators with extra powers after being approved by existing admins. But even they don't say what goes on the site. If there's a dispute or a debate, editors post a "request for comment," asking whoever is interested to have their say. The various points are tallied up by an editor and co-signed by four more after a month, but it's not a vote as in a democracy. Instead, the aim is to reach consensus of opinion, and if that's not possible, to weigh the arguments and pick the side that's most compelling. There was no vote to ban the Daily Mail because Wikipedia editors don't vote. (emphasis ours.) So what happened? The article adds: In this case, an editor submitted a broader request for comment about its [the Daily Mail's] general reliability. Seventy-seven editors participated in the discussion and two thirds supported prohibiting the Daily Mail as a source, with one editor and four co-signing editors (more than usual) chosen among administrators declaring that a consensus, though further discussion continued on a separate noticeboard, alongside complaints that the debate should have been better advertised. Though it's discouraged, the Daily Mail can be (and still is) cited. An editor I met at a recent London "Wikimeet" said he'd used the Daily Mail as a source in the last week, as it was the only source available for the subject he was writing about.

Notability would ban that subject in the 1st place

By tepples • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

An editor I met at a recent London "Wikimeet" said he'd used the Daily Mail as a source in the last week, as it was the only source available for the subject he was writing about.

According to Wikipedia's notability guideline, if no reliable sources can be found about a subject, any article about it would fail Wikipedia's verifiability policy. For this reason, the subject shouldn't have an article in the first place. That's what Wikipedia means by "non-notable": there is no way to make a verifiable article about the subject.

Give me a break

By Jiro • Score: 3 • Thread

Wikipedia has things which by pretty much anyone else's definition are rules, but Wikipedia officially calls some of them "guidelines". Wikipedia does things which by pretty much everyone else's definition are votes, but Wikipedia doesn't officially call them votes because they are not followed 100% of the time (even though they are followed often enough that other people would call them votes).

Claiming that the story is wrong because they weren't really rules or votes is just privileging Wikipedia-terminology over real-world terminology. It's like claiming that a story about small and large drinks at Starbucks is wrong because they're really Short and Grande drinks, not small and large at all.

Re:Fake newsception

By serviscope_minor • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

It's ironic that the Guardian is pointing the finger at someone else as unreliable or fake news.

Only if you live in a black-and-white world where everything is absolutely wrong all the time or absolutely right all the time. Back in the real world, certain news media outlets, which not perfect are a lot more reliable than certain other news media outlets.

To equate them all is as wrong as the news stories you are decrying.

The Biggest Time Suck at the Office Might Be Your Computer

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Sharing personal anecdotes and recent studies, a new report on Bloomberg blames outdated computers, decade-old operating systems and ageing equipments for being one of the biggest hurdles that prevents people from doing actual work in their offices. From the article: Slow, outdated computers and intermittent internet connections demoralize workers, a survey of 6,000 European workers said. Half of U.K. employees said creaking computers were "restrictive and limiting," and 38 percent said modern technology would make them more motivated, according to the survey, commissioned by electronics company Sharp. Scott's (a 25-year-old researcher who works at an insurance firm) PC runs the relatively up-to-date Windows 8 operating system, but his computer sometimes struggles to handle large spreadsheets and multiple documents open simultaneously, slowing him down. Others are in a worse spot. One in every eight business laptops and desktops worldwide still run Windows XP, which was introduced in 2001. [...] Some businesses can't help using old hardware or operating systems, because they use specialized software that also hasn't been brought up-to-date.

McAfee! = SlowCafee

By Tablizer • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

McAfee slows and jams up lots of stuff at our org.

The cyber security team has used very aggressive McAfee settings. The security manager gets awards for security, but there is no anti-award for jamming productivity to counter. Thus, his incentive is to crank McAfee to 11. Productivity is somebody else's problem.

For example, McAfee is set to On Access scanning on every desktop and server, meaning it scans almost every file accessed. Java "compressed" files, such as JAR's take forever to de-compress and scan, often more than 2 minutes. Thus, anything that uses Java as its engine is almost useless.

One can request such files be white-listed on a case-by-case basis, but the security team is too bogged down to get to them in a timely manner, and they often use a narrow interpretation "to be safe" such that they miss some files, requiring multiple rounds of requests to get such apps use-able.

McAfee's scan logs don't give enough info to be useful for up-front white-listing. Most users stopped bothering and just avoid using Java-based apps, paying for the more expensive alternatives. They blame Java instead of McAfee because they don't know the difference. (Arguably it could be said that large compressed libraries are a bad idea on Java's part. I hope they rid that feature. Or McAfee could make its scanners more Java-friendly.)

On a more general level, performance consultants have looked at our slow systems and concluded we should get PC's with SSD's instead of disks. But there's (allegedly) no budget for that, so even new PC's are disk-based and McAfee and On Access scanning gradually eats them up over time as typical Windows time-bloat piles up. Thus, we go through PC's faster, and in the end DON'T save money by using disks (productivity aside).

And lately they install more security doo-dads from other companies. They don't talk much about them to keep them stealthy. Those just add slugs on top of snails.

We joke we don't get hacked because our slow systems make the hackers fall asleep waiting for response. Security through Snoozativity.

I guess I shouldn't entirely blame the fastidious security manager because breaches could cause real havoc at our org. But, resources are not allocated to deal with the downsides of such fastidious cyber security. That's the top boss's fault.

My entire day!

By Tony Isaac • Score: 3 • Thread

Never mind time suck, I spend my entire day, every day, sitting in front of a computer! Please, take it away, so I can get something done!

Wait, I'm a programmer, that might not work so well.

Re:Always pointing at hardware

By ewibble • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Sorry it is bloat, I don't care how crappy your laptop is if it can't run a spreadsheet or two well. Excel 2.0 was released in 1987 that is 30 years ago, the speed even your cheapest computer is well over 1000 times faster (I am being very conservative here, and excluding multi core) they had what memory measured in kilobytes not Gigabytes, and yet people still have problems running a few spreadsheets.

Healthcare has been hit hard by this.

By uncoveror • Score: 3 • Thread
I work at a help desk for a hospital and Physician's office network in Cincinnati, Ohio. Technology, as a boat anchor stopping people in their tracks, is especially bad in healthcare. The network here behaves like two cans and a string, especially since they piled on it with thin clients that have n internal storage and zero clients that are really just dumb terminals. Also, many full-fledged PCs are really showing their age. On top of that, most people who have to use the computers are intimidated by them, especially when dealing with Epic, an electronic medical records software that is obscenely complicated and unwieldy, but has somehow become the industry standard. There are also other software packages that complicate tasks that used to be simple. Even people like janitors and cooks who need supervisors to dial the help desk for them are expected to use the computers to due tasks like check their now paperless pay stubs, and sign off on performance reviews. It seems computers have been simply thrown at problems they are not the right tool to solve, and created problems that did not previously exist. This is at a system that some magazine named the most wired in the region, or maybe it was the most wired in the industry. This distinction does not seem award worthy from my perspective.

Specialized software stops upgrades?

By scdeimos • Score: 3 • Thread

Some businesses can't help using old hardware or operating systems, because they use specialized software that also hasn't been brought up-to-date.

Nonsense! Virtualize that crap and run everything else on shiny new hardware. I'm sure there are still brain-dead banking applications that require ActiveX controls to run in MS-IE 5.5 or 6.x but that shouldn't stop everything else in the world from progressing.

MIT No Longer Owns

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader shares: MIT no longer owns That's a very big block of scarce IPv4 addresses that have become available again. One block inside this /8, more specifically, was transferred to Amazon.

Re: But Why?

By NotInHere • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Oblig xkcd

Re:But Why?

By cant_get_a_good_nick • Score: 5, Informative • Thread and could be combined to (or if you prefer). 15 and 16 can't be combined. Do it in binary and it will be more obvious.


By Carewolf • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Because IPv4 addresses are valuable ($10 range currently) Having 16.7 Million of them is a nice chunk of change, letting 65K of them go for free seems to be a breach of fiduciary responsibility by someone.

They are not resellable like that, what they have is not property just a reserved allocation, and one that can be revoked if they start treating it as resellable property.


By sootman • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

I have, like, TONS of 192.168.x.x addresses and I only use a few. How can I sell the rest?


By petermgreen • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

The legal status of legacy allocations has never been especially clear. They were allocated before the RIRs even existed and long before anyone thought IP addreses would have any value.

In any case after arguing about it for years most of the major RIRs (ARIN, RIPE and APNIC) have allowed sale of IP addresses subject to some conditions. They have concluded that making IPv4 addresses a marketable commodity is the least-bad way to manage the post-exhaustion era.

I guess that MIT probablly cut a deal with ARIN allowing them to carve up the block into smaller sub-blocks (allowing them to sell the unused sub-blocks while keeping the used ones) in exchange for agreeing to ARIN taking a role in the address space's management.

Microsoft To Shut Down Wunderlist, an App It Acquired Two Years Ago, In Favor Of Homegrown App To-Do

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
From a report on TechCrunch: Microsoft acquired the popular mobile to do list application Wunderlist back in 2015, and now it's preparing users for its eventual demise with the release of its new application "To-Do," it announced this week. The new app was built by the team behind Wunderlist, and will bring in the favorite elements of that app in the months ahead, Microsoft insists. The company also added that it won't shut down Wunderlist until it's confident that it has "incorporated the best of Wunderlist into To-Do." In case you're hoping Wunderlist will get some sort of reprieve, Microsoft makes its forthcoming demise pretty clear. Stating its plans in black-and-white: "we will retire Wunderlist," it says in a blog post. In the meantime, Microsoft is encouraging Wunderlist users to make the switch by offering an importer that will bring in your lists and to-dos from Wunderlist into To-Do, where those items will now be available in other Microsoft products, like Exchange and Outlook.

To do list

By Big Hairy Ian • Score: 3 • Thread

1. Write pointless App

2. Get bought out by M$

3. Get paid to rewrite pointless App for M$

4. Profit

Microsoft... bought a ToDo list app...

By the_skywise • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

Microsoft... bought a company... to program a ToDo list...

Microsoft spent upwards of 100 million dollars... to get a ToDo list app...

Microsoft has this product called Outlook that, at one time, had a ToDo list built in...
Microsoft built Outlook to compete with Lotus Notes which had... a ToDo list built in...
Microsoft already HAS ToDo list functionality in their OneNote product - designed for the Windows 10 ecosystem and is already cloud based.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is why MBAs SUCK! "I need a ToDo list app to fulfill market segment XJ27- go buy this popular one and integrate it with Windows 10", "But sir we have a ToDo list app built into our OneNote product"
"Don't be a fool - that's for taking notes, not a ToDo list app. Apps are appy apps."
"But you told us to get rid of the ToDo list in Outlook to cut costs on developers?!"
"Don't bother me with trivialities."

Physicists Observe 'Negative Mass'

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Physicists have created a fluid with "negative mass," which accelerates towards you when pushed. From a report on BBC: In the everyday world, when an object is pushed, it accelerates in the same direction as the force applied to it; this relationship is described by Isaac Newton's Second Law of Motion. But in theory, matter can have negative mass in the same sense that an electric charge can be positive or negative. Prof Peter Engels, from Washington State University (WSU), and colleagues cooled rubidium atoms to just above the temperature of absolute zero (close to -273C), creating what's known as a Bose-Einstein condensate. In this state, particles move extremely slowly, and following behaviour predicted by quantum mechanics, acting like waves. They also synchronise and move together in what's known as a superfluid, which flows without losing energy.

yea, right

By frovingslosh • Score: 3 • Thread
Take a group of atoms, remove heat, and suddenly they change from having positive mass to negative mass. Children, what have we been telling you about critical thinking and not buying into obvious bullshit?


By Baloroth • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

This sounds actually groundbreaking. Does anyone have more details? Were the authors trying to generate negative mass or was this an unexpected side effect? Obviously this is going to require some replication, but I'm excited.

That's because the headline is some of the worst sensationalistic tabloid journalism level garbage I've ever read. They did not observe "negative mass". They created a system wherein, under specific circumstances, part of the system behaved as if it mathematically had negative mass. Note that the entire system and every part of it individually still has positive mass: however, because of the way the system interacts with itself, when you do very specific things to it, parts of it can act (when taking very specific behavior) as if they had negative mass.

The headline and summary are the equivalent of saying "man travels through space safely without spacesuit on!", without mentioning he's inside a spaceship.


By TeknoHog • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
Yup, this sounds just like the reports of negative temperature. There, the distribution of particles was governed by a term like B*c*T, where B = external magnetic field strength and T = temperature. The field was suddenly reversed, but the particles didn't change their configuration immediately. The system looked like B*c*T for a while, but the field was now -B. So if you wrote the term as (-B)*c*(-T), it looked like the long-term equilibrium state at field -B and temperature -T. Of course, the system wasn't at equilibrium, so the math didn't really apply.


By Baloroth • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Negative temperatures are actually a pretty well-defined and real thing, but that's just because of the way we define "temperature" in thermodynamics, which is not always exactly the same as what we think of as temperature in everyday life. The short explanation is that temperature (T) is the rate of change of energy (E) with respect to entropy (S) (in math: T=dE/dS). If I have a system that is bounded from above in energy (i.e. a maximum energy the system can reach), I can get negative temperatures. Simple example: let's say I have a system of particles, each of which can be in two states, a state with more energy, and a state with less energy. The entropy is the number of different states the *entire* system can be in, so if the system is in a minimum energy state (i.e. every particle is in the lower energy state) I have a minimum entropy system (every particle in the same state means I only have 1 possible state for the entire system). Likewise, in a *maximum* energy state, all the particles are also in the same state (the higher energy state), so I also have minimum entropy. Maximum entropy occurs when the energy is right in the middle between these: half the particles are in the higher energy state, half are in the lower energy state, so the entire system has the most possible configurations. So, if the system is in that state, and I add a bit of energy to it, I decrease the entropy (as there are fewer particles in the lower energy state and therefore fewer possible configurations). That means dE/dS is negative (since S goes down, so dS is negative, while dE is positive), so you get negative temperature.

In every day life, systems typically aren't bound from above, and also any particles in higher energy states like that will fall into lower energy states and release energy (this is exactly how a laser works, incidentally), so you only get negative temperature in carefully constructed systems.

The negative mass term in this case, however, is a negative effective mass (not a real mass) term that occurs in a group velocity (which is not the real velocity of particles in the system) dispersion relationship. Not to say the results aren't interesting: they are, they're just... well, not really negative mass at all.

Let me correct that headline

By caffeinated_bunsen • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
No They Didn't, You Bloody Idiots

Reporters at the BBC discovered today that reporting on scientific experiments without basic background knowledge can result in wildly inaccurate headlines. The reporters' usual technique of absentmindedly skimming someone else's account of an event, copying a few juicy-sounding words, and filling in the rest with fluff turned out to completely misrepresent the actual science.

When asked for comment, a BBC spokesman said, "Piss off, egghead. You clicked on it, didn't you? Mission fucking accomplished on our end."

China To Question Apple About Live-Streaming Apps On App Store That Violate Internet Regulations

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Three Chinese government agencies are planning to tell Apple to "tighten up checks" on live-streaming software offered on its app store, which can be used to violate internet regulation in the country. "Law enforcement officers had already met with Apple representatives over live-streaming services, [ state news agency Xinhua reported], but did not provide details of the meetings," reports The Guardian. From the report: The inquiry appears to be focused on third-party apps available for download through Apple's online marketplace. The company did not respond to requests for comment. China operates the world's largest internet censorship regime, blocking a host of foreign websites including Google, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, but the authorities have struggled to control an explosion in popularity of live-streaming video apps. As part of the inquiry into live-streaming, three Chinese websites --, and -- were already found to have violated internet regulations, and had broadcast content that violated Chinese law, including providing "pornographic content," the Xinhua report said. Pornography is banned in China. The three sites were told to increase oversight of live-broadcasting services, user registration and "the handling of tips-offs." Two of the websites, and, were under formal investigation and may have their cases transferred to the police for criminal prosecutions, the Xinhua report said. Casting a wide net, the regulations state that apps cannot "engage in activities prohibited by laws and regulations such as endangering national security, disrupting social order and violating the legitimate rights and interests of others."

App stores are evil

By WaffleMonster • Score: 3 • Thread

This is a great example of what happens when hardware and OS vendors control software your allowed to use.

Of course China is going to leverage this to get their way as will everyone else globally with sufficient financial or political interest. When you allow so much power to be aggregated into the hands of so few this is the natural predictable result.

95% Engineers in India Unfit For Software Development Jobs: Report

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader shares a report: Talent shortage is acute in the IT and data science ecosystem in India with a survey claiming that 95 percent of engineers in the country are not fit to take up software development jobs. According to a study by employability assessment company Aspiring Minds, only 4.77 percent candidates can write the correct logic for a programme -- a minimum requirement for any programming job. Over 36,000 engineering students form IT related branches of over 500 colleges took Automata -- a Machine Learning based assessment of software development skills -- and over 2/3 could not even write code that compiles.

Re:My experience...

By Opportunist • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

But of course I'll train them! I'll go into every detail informing them about the Slebit and Nifdit adjustments that we do in the Sedurok Environment, so we can easily interface from there with the INKFUUL. That's the technology you're familiar with, right? I mean, you don't want me to tell my current and your future boss that you don't understand what I'm talking about here, do you?

Re: My experience...

By Frosty Piss • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

When asked about it he said the spec didn't say it needed to check buffer sizes or not crash if not used in the exact way that the manual specified, with no room for error.

I don't see a problem with this. You want specific levels of error handling? Put it in the spec.

Re:I have a dream

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

I remember when I first worked with colleagues from India in the 90's.

They were all IIT 1% ers, the very cream of the crop, and it was terrifying to me that a country with a billion people who were freakin geniuses would out-compete Americans in every job field.

Since then I have learned that America was receiving their very, very, very best, and that India had pretty much gone down the path that the Japanese had with their pilots in WW2, which is to say, they expended their very best without cycling them back to train new pilots (or engineers in the case of India)

This has resulted in a decidedly lower quality of engineers in recent generations.

India should do with their Engineers, what the US did with their pilots in WW2, which is to pull the best pilots out of front-line positions and bring them back to the states to train the next generation of pilots to be at least as good as they are.

Re: Engineers?

By HornWumpus • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Both mechanical, electrical and software systems are developed to higher standards to be 'man rated'. Not every bit of code needs to be that well tested.

Engineers understand the difference, software developers might not.

Re: My experience...

By Orgasmatron • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

That's a good way to get into specification-paralysis: assume that the programmers have absolutely no idea what is reasonable and specify everything down to the absolute smallest detail. Might as well just write it yourself if you are going to assume that your programmer is exactly as dumb as the compiler.

No, Millennials Aren't a Bunch of Job-Hopping Flakes

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
From a report: Today, Pew researchers published findings that refute yet another stereotype about millennials that actual millennials find infuriating: the idea that they're job-hopping more often than other generations. According to Pew's analysis of recent government data, "college-educated millennials are sticking with their jobs longer than their Gen X counterparts."

Two things

By dfm3 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
There are two factors at play here. One, employers these days no longer offer as many incentives that lead to employee retention, and instead treat them as a disposable "human resource" to be squeezed in the eternal quest to maximize profit. It's virtually impossible to find an employer with a pension plan any more, and even benefits such as retirement and health insurance are becoming increasingly rare.

All of those benefits were taken for granted 30 years ago. When I was growing up in the 80's, the assumption was that you go to college, get a degree, then immediately get hired by a company and start building your retirement savings and pension while slowly working your way up the corporate ladder within the organization. These days, that's not as common. The baby boomers had those things, and lived under the assumption that each generation would be a little more well off than the last. Thus we were all told that if we worked just a little harder, we'd be more successful at the American dream.

Second, the loss of benefits and the downward trend of wages meant that more of us in the gen-x/pre-millenial generation spent years trying to delude ourselves that those types of job benefits were "just around the corner" and that our current job was just a stepping stone to the career that would give us job security and retirement savings. Now the reality of the new economy has set in and the benefits are vanishing, and most millennials have realized that in many cases the job they have is as good as it's going to get. Switching employers is also getting harder because there is so much competition these days; an opening that at one time would get 20-30 applicants now receives hundreds of applications from people looking for that elusive career.

Gen X was the same

By known_coward_69 • Score: 3 • Thread

I think we even pioneered it. Late 90's up to around 2001 and then starting in 2003 people were spending 6 months to a year at a job and then looking for something else

Gen-X don't leave their jobs, the jobs leave them

By substance2003 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
As a Gen-Xer myself, I wasn't leaving my jobs, most of the time, the jobs were contracts or would end.
We didn't have stability like our parents before us or expect a wage hike without moving to another company.
Do the number separate the ones leaving vs those being let go?
My current position is the 1st in my career where I have made it past 5 years of service non-stop. I did work before in another field where I lasted more than 4 years but would end up on unemployment insurance every year for 3 months worth time more or less depending on production needs.

Re:Gen X are even greater job-hopping flakes!

By jeff4747 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

My parents were in careers where you could reasonably be expected to work in the same company all your life

Your (our) parents worked for companies that cared about employees. Layoffs were a last resort. New technology? Time to send some employees to get some training on that technology. And so on. The result was loyal employees, low hiring costs and massive institutional memory which made the company far more effective in the long run.

Then the long run became less important. Executive compensation moved from primarily salary with some bonuses/options to primarily bonuses/options with some salary. A big layoff would result in a large pile of cash because of how it could goose one quarter's results, even if it hurt the company in the long run. "Personnel" was replaced with "Human Resources". Training budgets became "waste" instead of a good investment. Same with the "R" in R&D. Employees were now lazy moochers taking away from the bottom line, instead of the people who actually create that bottom line.

Employees responded to this in the entirely logical way: if the company doesn't give a damn about the employees, the employees aren't going to give a damn about the company. And changing jobs every 3-5 years brought in larger raises than staying put.

Moving back to the old paradigm would require a massive philosophical change in the executive suite. So it's not going to happen any time soon.

Awful Stats

By avandesande • Score: 3 • Thread
First of all, I don't subscribe to any of the millennial bashing as generalizing this way is pointless. OTOH 2000 was the peak of the internet go-go years and job availability/mobility was very high. 2016 not so much....

Qualcomm Collected Partial iPhone Royalties Despite Legal Battle With Apple

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From a report: Qualcomm continued to collect some royalties for Apple's use of its wireless technology in iPhones last year despite dueling lawsuits between the two mobile giants, cheering Qualcomm investors who feared that the payments had entirely dried up. Qualcomm said on Wednesday that Apple's contract manufacturers including Foxconn paid royalties, although they withheld around $1 billion from the undisclosed total amount due. The amount withheld equaled the amount Qualcomm withheld from Apple last year under a separate agreement to cooperate on mobile technology that has since expired.

South Indian Frog Oozes Molecule That Inexplicably Decimates Flu Viruses

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: From the slimy backs of a South Indian frog comes a new way to blast influenza viruses. A compound in the frog's mucus -- long known to have germ-killing properties -- can latch onto flu virus particles and cause them to burst apart, researchers report in Immunity. The peptide is a potent and precise killer, able to demolish a whole class of flu viruses while leaving other viruses and cells unharmed. But scientists don't know exactly how it pulls off the viral eviscerations. No other antiviral peptide of its ilk seems to work the same way. The study authors, led by researchers at Emory University, note that the peptide appears uniquely nontoxic -- something that can't be said of many other frog-based compounds. Thus, the peptide on its own holds promise of being a potential therapy someday. But simply figuring out how it works could move researchers closer to a vaccine or therapy that could take out all flus, ditching the need for yearly vaccinations for each season's flavor of flu.


By Opportunist • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Which could be enough. Not to mention that decimate has gained a different meaning beyond "killing every tenth", with a more colloquial use it usually means "kills a portion of them" without going into detail how many.

Antibiotics don't kill all bacteria either. That's why antibacterial soap, cleaning and laundry agents usually hurt more than they help, since they only kill the germs that are susceptible to antibacterial treatment, leaving the "superbugs" unharmed. Essentially what you do that way is breed them by playing natural selection, culling the weak ones to give the stronger ones more room and food to expand into.

Why antibiotics work well in humans is that we have an immune system that doesn't care whether the bacteria are resistent to antibacterial treatment. What our immune system cares about is numbers. If too many bacteria come, it gets overwhelmed, at least for a time, and we get sick. If antibiotics kill off the majority of bacteria, the immune system can easily deal with what's left.

Re:I have always wondered...

By EvilSS • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
Antibodies, like all proteins, are pretty complex molecules. The binding sites in particular are very tricky. They need to be designed to bind properly to the target AND ONLY THE TARGET protein. This involves balancing physical geometry and electrical charges to match up with the target protein to get a correct fit and strong binding. This needs to happen at the atomic level, using amino acid building blocks. We don't even fully understand how our bodies do it yet. Think of it this way: we are still working towards building our first commercial, very basic nano machines. Our bodies (and all life for that matter) are filled with them. These machines, such as enzymes, are capable of doing amazing things, like building and re-arranging molecules at the atomic level. Each one customized to do a very specific task. We can hijack biology and genetics to make some of the things we want but as far as our technology goes, we are way, way behind nature.

Right now our best option is to identify existing antibodies and isolate the genetic material the organism used to create it and using that to create GMOs to reproduce it.


By ravenshrike • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Having RTFA, it completely destroys all H1 flu viruses. None of the other types.

This may seem off topic,

By jenningsthecat • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

but this sounds to me like an additional call to, as a species, get our environmental practices under control and stop 'instinctifying' flora and fauna at a breakneck pace. With findings like this, I have to wonder how many illness-treating, disease-defeating compounds we may have sent into oblivion by killing off the plants, animals, and insects which produced them.

Big Pharma...

By Poingggg • Score: 3 • Thread

And Big Pharma will have this patented (to never be seen again) in 3..2..1...

Anything that can really heal any illness is not profitable, it kills its own market. It's much more profitable to make products that fight symptoms of diseases, and preferably have some side effects of their own for which other stuff can be sold.
Don't ever think Big Pharma wants you to be(come) healthy!