the unofficial Slashdot digest for 2017-Jul-16 today archive

The Aurora Borealis May Be Visible Tonight In The Northern US

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes CNN: A geomagnetic storm could bring a spectacular show to skies across the northern United States on Sunday night. The Aurora Borealis phenomenon -- also known as the Northern Lights -- may be visible "as low as New York to Wisconsin to Washington State," according to NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center... NOAA said the best viewing times to catch the light show, clouds permitting, will be between 11 p.m. ET Sunday and 2 a.m. Monday, and again between 2 a.m. ET to 5 a.m.


By Rei • Score: 3 • Thread

I'm in Iceland, yet won't be able to see it. In part because it's cloudy, but mainly because we don't get a real "night" at this time of the year. You'll have a better view of it in the states than up here by the Arctic Circle ;)

It will be related to global warming somehow

By Tangential • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Forget the Russians, by tomorrow there will be 'news' stories tying this to AGW somehow.

Don't forget the rest of the Northern Hemisphere

By Tomahawk • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

This isn't a US only phenomenon! Remember, guys, there's a "rest of the world" too!

For the rest of us, this could be visible in:
- Ireland
- Most of the UK (Sorry London!)
- Denmark, and the rest of the Scandinavian countries (darkness permitting)
- The North of Netherlands, Germany, Poland, and Belarus
- Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia
- Across most of Russia as low as Moscow
- Maybe even Northern Kazakhstan
- All of Canada (darkness permitting)
- As well as the North-Eastern half of the USA (From Oregon down to Kentucky, and over to Delaware).

Not quite...

By dfm3 • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
The aurora are not always visible all around the globe at the same latitude; they often appear brighter in one hemisphere and not the other at a given time. There's a good visualization here:

So, it could very well be that Fairbanks could get a very good show one night (assuming it's not mid summer and it's dark enough) while Iceland might not see anything, even though they are both roughly at the same latitude.

Also, the aurora typically aren't as intense right at the poles, but are often most intense at less extreme latitudes around 60 degrees. So it's not unheard of for the aurora to be very impressive in Alberta, while not even being visible in the north part of the Yukon.

Microsoft Yanks Three Bad Patches Of Their Last Outlook Patch

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes ComputerWorld's Woody Leonhard: I just received word from Gunter Born that Microsoft has pulled three of its Outlook patches... There's no specific recommendation that you uninstall the yanked patches -- indeed, there's no description of the problems caused by the latest round -- but earlier versions of the bad patches-of-patches had a nasty habit of crashing Outlook... Microsoft still hasn't fixed any of the Office 2007 bugs it introduced in the June security patches.
If you're keeping score at home, the yanked patches are:
  • KB 4011042 - July 5, 2017, update for Outlook 2010
  • KB 3191849 - June 27, 2017, update for Outlook 2013
  • KB 3213654 - June 30, 2017, update for Outlook 2016

Re:One bad piece

By sysrammer • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Yeah. For me, all indexing stopped at a certain point. I could search older stuff in Outlook, but not newer. It broke File Explorer searches too. I reported it to my IT on 6/30. They ignored it until Wed when the owners started having issues.

Then they said "We have a patch!". Then "Wait, we have another patch!". Then, "Ok, we have to clear your cache and *then* we have a patch!".

Indexing still broken.


By sproketboy • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread

Fail again M$


By Chris Katko • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

They modded you flamebait. But... is anyone who works to maintain MS products really upset by your comment? I do, and MS has been going downhill for the last decade.

It's a complete shit ecosystem. Microsoft is no longer a cohesive company. Every product doesn't work with every other product. Dynamics CRM doesn't easily integrate data with Dynamics NAV and will fail on anything except the simplest/emptiest starter companies. Windows 10 has high DPI support... too bad 99% of Microsoft apps don't actually support it. SQL browser ~2015 "works" until you open up a certain dialog and it turns into a super-shrunk, damaged, form element that's completely unusable. Edge browser came out... oh sorry, Edge isn't actually supported in Dynamics CRM. ... Because "Fuck you. That's why." So half of Microsoft tells my clients "Upgrade to Edge, IE is old news!" and the other half say, "Sorry, Edge isn't supported." Which causes tons of friction between IT and management who get new and pretty brochures telling them to upgrade, and then they find out they can't use Magical Widget X because of a MICROSOFT product.

Windows 10 is a bloated pile of shit. Go ahead, try and install it on a 5400 RPM laptop if you dare (with 6 GB of RAM and >2.5 GHZ processor) and it'll run like a pile of cow dung. It will literally spend HOURS doing nothing but running telemetry, superfetch, "application compatibility", and windows defender. Go to Task Manager, and watch your disk usage be 100% for hours. And disk queue length (the time it takes for a new disk request to be fetched because of the current backlog)? I've seen it hit over 26 SECONDS and I've even got screenshots to prove it. 26 seconds before you loading a file in NOTEPAD can even get a chance to load. The laptop is literally unusable without me manually disabling these services through group policy and registry hacks.

Except wait, every new Creators Update makes it harder to "fix" Windows 10. On a laptop that came out in 2013!

Meanwhile, my 2 GB RAM Celeron Chromebook running Linux is happily clinking away. It loads in less than 10 seconds. I can use zram to compress my tiny RAM into something usuable.

Meanwhile, we ported a client's FULL suite of Sage CRM data over to Dynamics CRM. Literally everything. Even e-mails were correctly saved from outlook and merged with corrected links, to Dynamics CRM. Except Dynamics CRM is such a piece of shit, they literally have bugs in their DATA IMPORT form that refuse to actually apply things like timestamps and creation date fields. There are NO docs that officially say it's broken. And the only fix involves hours of finding the problem, finding an obscure blogger who made a solution... except his solution is also malformed and you have to fix it. And oh yeah, all CRM changes have to go through their GIGANTIC CRM SDK that rivals DirectX in size.

Another two wonderful features of MS?

1) They've completely outsourced all of their support to India. Enjoy strange timezones, hard to understand accents, and a complete lack of actual experience to solve your problems. If you can't Google it, they don't know the answer. I've been on TWO separate support tickets with "Microsoft" the last two weeks and spent a literal three hour meeting--half of which was trying to get a bloody screeshare app to work for them.

2) Windows Updates that brick our machines. (OP post? What?) We're stuck with IE12 because of CRM's only support for IE. And so we have to modify the IE personal security settings slightly from default to keep things running smoothly. OH WAIT. Windows Updates we just found out have been WIPING OUR SECURITY SETTINGS. Because yeah, that's a reasonable idea. Wipe a business's custom security settings every two weeks when we apply Windows Updates.

My job should be developing solutions for my clients. Clients don't enjoy being billed for fixing Microsoft's broken shit. So thanks, MS, for making my life infinitely harder than it needs to be because your company is falling apart from the ins


By sr180 • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

> Windows 10 has high DPI support... too bad 99% of Microsoft apps don't actually support it.

I would argue this. Windows 10 doesnt properly support High DPI. There are issues all over the place. Theres no consitency - even amongst its own windows 10 bundled programs. There's constant bugs and issues. Scaling going haywire. Remote desktop to other servers is a crap shoot. And hell, dont remote desktop to your own High DPI machine from a machine thats NOT high DPI - you'll most likely need a reboot of the high DPI machine to fix the issues caused there. Im still looking at windows explorer completely unscaled on a 4k monitor because I was silly enough to remote in from my laptop over the weekend.

We rolled out 4 4K monitors as a test. They were universally hated across the company because of windows. Im stuck with 2, and the Mac guy has 2. He's loving life!

About time

By argStyopa • Score: 3 • Thread

AFAICT, the June patch(es) killed our ability to open PDFs or even links directly from Outlook.

Bit of a bitch going around manually uninstalling patch X to see if it helped (which seemed to only work about 40% of the time anyway).

Crypto-Bashing Prime Minister Argues The Laws Of Mathematics Don't Apply In Australia

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes the Independent: Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said the laws of mathematics come second to the law of the land in a row over privacy and encryption... When challenged by a technology journalist over whether it was possible to tackle the problem of criminals using encryption -- given that platform providers claim they are currently unable to break into the messages even if required to do so by law -- the Prime Minister raised eyebrows as he made his reply. "Well the laws of Australia prevail in Australia, I can assure you of that. The laws of mathematics are very commendable, but the only law that applies in Australia is the law of Australia," he said... "The important thing is to recognise the challenge and call on the companies for assistance. I am sure they know morally they should... They have to face up to their responsibility."
Facebook has already issued a statement saying that they "appreciate the important work law enforcement does, and we understand the need to carry out investigations. That's why we already have a protocol in place to respond to any requests we can.

"At the same time, weakening encrypted systems for them would mean weakening it for everyone."

Re:Idiots everywhere...

By AmiMoJo • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Everyone except for the US signed up to the Paris agreement on climate change. Science denial is pretty much only a major problem in the US, in other developed nations it's just some fringe idiots.

Even in Australia, this one moron is now being mocked for his ridiculous comments. Don't mistake being PM for some kind of endorsement of his sanity or IQ, such things are rarely factors in any election.

Re:Storm in a tea-cup

By Opportunist • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

The laws of nature limit what laws humans may implement. You cannot make a law that falling out of windows is illegal on grounds that gravity must not apply. I mean, of course you can make such a law, it's just impossible to enforce it and you look like a complete idiot for even proposing one.

Like this goofball here.

And yes, it IS impossible to give governments a backdoor while at the same time having sensible encryption that allows your economy to make sensible business deals. You cannot have your cake and eat it too. You can either have an economy that works or you can have broken encryption with backdoors. Pick your poison. Because one thing is certain: As soon as you must not use sensible encryption anymore in a country, it becomes really, really, REALLY difficult to convince a foreign actor to deal with you in any sort of deal that requires even the least kind of confidentiality.

And you better don't expect me to do any kind of business online in such a country.

Re:obey's the law

By Kjella • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

I think you're setting up a false impression that "uncrackable" is the standard most people have had or are looking for.

Most people consider:

  • their home private, even though it can be invaded and searched by the police.
  • a safe private, even though it can be seized and drilled open by the police.
  • letters private, even though they can be opened and read by the police.
  • packages private, even though they can be opened and inspected by the police.
  • phone calls private, even though they can be wiretapped by the police.

That the general public has access to truly unbreakable encryption (except for the $5 wrench) is a new situation that's fundamentally different from the past few centuries. Did people really ask for it? Or did it more or less just happen, robbing law enforcement, military intelligence etc. of powerful tools to fight crime, terror and enemy states? Look at all the people who saw Snowden and more or less said "duh, that's what the NSA should be doing you traitor". There are a lot of people that want to revive the Clipper chip and backdoor everyone's phones.

That said, I think globalism will throw a monkey wrench in their efforts. Would Americans trust a backdoor made by Apple? Maybe. Would Russia, China, Germany or the rest of the world? Hell no, not as long as all the keys are on US soil, one NSL or NSA black ops job and it's all compromised. And no handing the keys directly to the government, that's too open for abuse. It would have to be to my local ISP or telco, with the government asking permission through a warrant. But as long as I could use some inner crypto without repercussions, what's the point? They decrypt it, find my PGP message and... nothing. They'd also have to outlaw everything else.

That could be one route though, say that if you use these law enforcement compliant devices there is a system and a process for retrieving the key. Everything else, you either hand over the key or go to jail. I think you're kinda missing the point of what he said, if you've built a system relying on some form of "willful ignorance" of what the key is, they can always make a law to force you to change the way the system works. Like, either comply or shut down - those are your options, like they did with Lavabit. They can't compel you to the impossible, but they can compel you to cease doing whatever they don't like.

Re:obey's the law

By Immerman • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

One of the big differences is that it takes a warrant and some non-negligble effort and expense to raid your house, crack your safe, etc.

Back-doored encryption takes essentially zero effort to break, and we already know that most of the major governments around the world are sweeping up all the commnications they can get their hands on with absolutely no regard for the letter of the law, much less the spirit (i.e. information exchange between intelligence agencies that are prohibited from spying on their own populace, but are more than happy to spy on each other's populace and then trade the results).

Individual people can't hope to read even a tiny fraction of the information collected - but computer analysis can sift through mountains in moments, and is getting better at "understanding" and condensing the information at an incredible rate.

There's a world of difference between law enforcement invading your privacy when they have a warrant-worthy reason to suspect wrong-doing, and shady intelligence agencies constantly invading *everybody's* privacy.

Re:Idiots everywhere...

By Ol Olsoc • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Unfortunately, for most of humanity, including basically all politicians and their fans, that is completely true. Only a small part of the human race qualifies as rational and these people do not seek power.

Next up? We need to have a vote on Ohm's law! All resistance must be eliminated!

Y Combinator Announces Funding For UBI-Supporting Political Candidates

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
Most people "feel like they have great potential that is being wasted," argues Y Combinator president Sam Altman -- a Stanford dropout whose company's investments are now worth $65 billion, including Airbnb, Reddit, and Dropbox. Now an anonymous reader quote the Los Angeles Times: A wealthy young Silicon Valley venture capitalist hopes to recruit statewide and congressional candidates and launch an affordable-housing ballot measure in 2018 because he says California's leaders are failing to address flaws in the state's governance that are killing opportunities for future generations. Sam Altman, 32, will roll out an effort to enlist candidates around a shared set of policy priorities -- including tackling how automation is going to affect the economy and the cost of housing in California -- and is willing to put his own money behind the effort. "I think we have a fundamental breakdown of the American social contract and it's desperately important that we fix it," he said. "Even if we had a very well-functioning government, it would be a challenge, and our current government functions so badly it is an extra challenge..."

Altman lays out 10 principles including lowering the cost of housing, creating single-payer healthcare, increasing clean energy use, improving education, reforming taxes and rebuilding infrastructure. He has few specific policy edicts, and floats proposals that will generate controversy, such as creating a universal basic income for all Americans in an effort to equalize opportunity, public funding for the media and increasing taxes on property that is owned by foreigners, is unoccupied or has been "flipped" by investors seeking a quick return on an investment.

Altman argues that he wants to "ensure that everyone benefits from the coming changes," and specifically highlights the idea of a Universal Basic Income. Altman writes that "If it turns out to be a good policy, I could imagine passing a law that puts it into effect when the GDP per capita doubles. This could help cushion the transition to a post-automation world."

Or maybe instead

By skam240 • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Or maybe you dont have a strong grasp on what UBI is for or how it would work.

What it is for: a future where automation is cutting large numbers of people out of work. While there have always been people who have lost their jobs to automation the worry now is that robotics may be replacing manual labor almost entirely in the future. What are the manual laborers in this country going to do if that happens? Furthermore, advances in "ai" threaten many traditionally well paying jobs which makes the problems even worse.

How UBI works: UBI isnt as expensive as you make out. With UBI there's no unemployment payouts, food stamps, or any other number of social programs along with the large bureaucracies needed to make them work. While that money saved wont cover all the costs there's enough static wealth at the top even right now (let alone in a world so heavily automated) to make up the difference.

And really, I havent heard any viable solutions to what looks like a looming labor crises that isnt "let them all starve" or UBI

Wow, where to start

By rsilvergun • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
First off, thanks for trotting out Karl Rove/Regan's tired old talking point about government. To which I'll say: A government agent paid for the life saving medicine for a family member of mine. While a capitalist declined to order some cat scans for said family member because they were afraid they wouldn't get paid if the scans came up negative and caused lots of complications. Google the phrase "Wallet Biopsy" sometime and be horrified.

Now on to the next point: I get it. You don't like Government. Well, tough titties. See, gov'ts are really, really useful. For everyone. If you try to do without one the rich and powerful won't. They'll make one for you. Well, not you per se. For themselves. And _only_ themselves.

And for Pete's sake pick a better sig. Sweden doesn't have a bloody police state. The USSR and China are not progressive. You do understand that people can lie, right? The folks who crammed your head full of those ideas did. Go read some of Liz Warren and Al Franklin's books. Then check their sources (they're all meticulously sourced) and then go read A People's History Of The United States. You've been had.

Re:A UBI...

By gweihir • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

The thing you UBI-detractors do not understand is that the UBI is Universal. It has minimal overhead, quite unlikely the system in place now. That is the whole point. It just distributes mostly the same money as is distributed now, but with almost no bureaucracy and nobody falling through the cracks. It eliminates a lot of value-destruction the current system does and fosters.

However, there are certainly problems with an UBI. For example, many people will find it really difficult to live without work and not because of financial aspects. That is the real killer here. With an UBI, all the make-work things currently done will fall away and that is going to hit hard. Just look at how many people run into massive issues when they retire or how many dies soon afterwards. People need something to do and many cannot create that by and for themselves.

That said, an UBI will happen, there is no way around that. The numbers just do not add up any other way, unless the whole world agrees to go back to a non-tech model of society. That is not going to happen.

Re:A UBI...

By squiggleslash • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

No, that's not why UBI wouldn't work, you and your friends apparently do not understand how it's supposed to work.

It would be neutral in terms of income for the middle class. The concept isn't "We add UBI to the current system", but "We replace all forms of welfare and even the tiered taxation model with UBI and a flat tax". The savings that pay for it come from:

1. Everyone on the same tax rate. So you pay 25% on every dollar, you don't get the first $X thousand free of tax, then the next $Y thousand at a lower rate, etc.
2. Reduced bureaucracy due to qualifications testing for existing benefits being eliminated.

The problem, of course, is that the latter isn't really going to work. You can't replace disability with UBI because the average person on disability has much higher medical costs, and they can't exactly solve the discrepancy by finding a part time job.

That is the real problem with UBI. It ignores why we only provide certain benefits to certain people and assumes that everyone covered can just get a job if UBI doesn't cover their needs. So in practice, it wouldn't solve the bureaucracy issue. The best you can hope for is to combine it with a general improvement in public services - making healthcare free, for example, would at least reduce the problems for someone whose disability benefits are replaced by UBI - but that wouldn't solve the whole problem.

Re:Slippery slope to communism

By K. S. Kyosuke • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Giving people a free income makes the fat and lazy.

So we should ban capital-derived income? And inheritance over some threshold?

Free Speech vs Billionaires: Netflix Streams A New Documentary About The Gawker Verdict

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
Speaking of Netflix, last month they began streaming "Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press" -- a new documentary by Brian Knappenberger about the Gawker verdict. An anonymous reader shares this description from Business Insider: Knappenberger -- who previously made the movies "The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz," on internet activist Aaron Swartz, and "We Are Legion," about the hacker group Anonymous -- got in touch with Nick Denton and Gawker editor-in-chief (who also posted the Hogan sex tape video) A.J. Daulerio to be in the film as well as Hogan's lawyer David R. Houston... Knappenberger said he also tried to get Peter Thiel to be in the movie, but Thiel declined Knappenberger's numerous requests. And the movie shows how other people with money and influence can and do silence the media.

Knappenberger also showcases what happened to the Las Vegas Review-Journal at the end of 2015. The paper's staff was suddenly told that the paper had been sold, though they were never told who the new publisher was. A group of reporters found that the son-in-law of Las Vegas casino titan Sheldon Adelson was a major player in the purchase of the paper. According to the movie, Adelson had a vendetta with the paper's columnist John L. Smith, who wrote unflattering things about him in a 2005 book. Smith was even ordered after the paper was bought that he was never to write about Adelson in any of his pieces. For Knappenberger, there's no other way to look at it: The suppression of the media by billionaires is happening.

Knappenberger said if any legal documents arrive from the billionaires discussed in his movie, "We're ready for it." But he added that the bigger issue is getting people to understand that the loss of the free press is "the most important thing facing our country." Or, as a former Gawker editor says in the film, "If you're not pissing off a billionaire, what's the point?"

They did it to themselves first...

By LeftCoastThinker • Score: 3 • Thread

If the press actually cared about the truth and having accurate, verified facts, I would care more. As it is, Gawker got what they legally deserved, and I hope Hogan owns the houses of the asshats in charge at Gawker and everyone else associated with that sex tape too. Actions have consequences, and we have an out of control press these days that cares more about their agenda than they do about the truth. That is by far more dangerous to our democracy than a few rich people buying newspapers to get better press.

Something like 50% of all adults no longer trust CNN now, thanks to all their BS reporting of the Russian hacking and followon reporting. That is not a good place to be for a news outlet. When CNN ties MSNBC for distrust numbers, maybe they will clean house and start pursuing the truth, regardless of who benefits... But I am not holding my breath.

Re:Gawker burned to the ground, and good riddance

By asdfman2000 • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Who's "they"?

The bogeyman, of course! Depending on who you are pandering to, it's conservatives, alt-right, the NRA, GamerGate, MRAs, Fascists, KKK, Nazis, Neo-Nazis, etc.

These days, it's all about whipping up a mob, and if you define the "enemy" too closely you can't get a big enough mob. It's why you have things like the "women's march" with no clear goals or message, with pro-sharia leaders, speakers who were convicted for torture and murder, and literal terrorists as organizers.

Most of these people calling for "free speech" in the case of Gawker would be the first to decry it when it comes to sites like Breitbart, infowars, and Drudge Report. They're the same crowd that loves to point to this XKCD (which completely misunderstands the principle of free speech) when they push for corporate censorship of opposing political views whilst mocking defenders of free speech with the phrase "freeze peach".

Re:Gawker did a lot of good journalism

By goose-incarnated • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Normally they'd have been fine. What got them is they didn't know that Hogan had that billionaire behind him until it was too late.

Both statements are untrue. What got them was ignoring an order of the court to take down the nude and sexual images and videos they published without permission.

Hogan's sex tape had some legitimate newsworthiness. Specifically his racially charged comments. As a public figure Gawker is well within their rights to report on them. What's more, we've lost a legitimate source of good 'ole fashion muck racking of the kind that used to keep abuses by the rich in check. Whatever your personal views on Gawker you're going to regret losing them as the billionaire class can now operate in shadow. Good luck starting your business if it competes with or even gets noticed by them.

The billionaire class is already operating out of the shadows - see gawkers response to the fappening and their response to hogan. One sex scandal is "bad" because it offends gawkers ideology and the other one is "good" because it reinforces gawkers ideology: Here is the position that gawker takes.

Re:Gawker did a lot of good journalism

By AmiMoJo • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

The relative merits of Gawker aside, the issue here is fair access to justice.

The rich have better access to justice. They can afford expensive legal action and the risk it carries, and they can afford lawyers with more time and resources to dedicate to them.

Anyone should be able to do what Hogan did, without the backing of a billionaire.

Re:Gawker burned to the ground, and good riddance

By Mashiki • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

The ACLU holds it's nose in defending the KKK's right to speech. I'm able to hold my nose defending Gawker's freedom of press.

Then let's make this easy. What part of Hogan screwing someone is newsworthy? Because not even Gawker could answer that in court. Read the court transcripts, Gawker had nothing on top of the fact that there was repeated orders by the court to take it down.

Why do I have a feeling that if Hogan was the opposite gender a whole pile of opinions in this comment section wold be the exact opposite, and asking questions like "why is gawker defending publishing *insert females* sex tape, this is a violation of her rights!"

Tech Companies Capture A Third Of This Year's Emmy Nominations

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
"Streaming companies like Netflix, Amazon and Hulu snagged nearly 1/3 of Emmy nominations this year, the most ever awarded to tech companies," reports Axios, adding that streaming companies "are pouring billions of dollars into content...and it's paying off." An anonymous reader quotes Engadget: After passing 100 million subscribers, overtaking cable TV in customer numbers in the US and expanding to over 190 countries, Netflix is starting to cement something else: sustained prestige. A record haul of 91 Emmy nominations puts Netflix -- which had 54 nominations last year -- just behind perennial frontrunner HBO with 110... A key component of this upgrade in status is the sheer number of original offerings Netflix has put out. If you throw everything at an awards committee, quite a few of them might stick... Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos has said Netflix spends over $6 billion a year on its own shows, in comparison to Amazon's reported spend of nearly $3 billion, with HBO at $2 billion...

Hulu picked up 18 nominations, up from two last year, including a first series nomination for dystopian A Handmaid's Tale. Together with Netflix's House of Cards, Stranger Things and The Crown, the majority of nominees in the competitive Outstanding Drama category were from streaming services. Amazon picked up 16 nominations, the same as last year.

The shows nominated for the most Emmy awards were NBC's Saturday Night Live, followed by HBO's Westworld, but Netflix ultimately ended up with more Emmy nominations than ABC, CBS, and Fox combined.

Making TV For Viewers

By Artagel • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

This is what happens when you make TV for the viewers. Network TV has to make every show 42 minutes long, with 18 minutes for commercials, and having to repeat the last scene when coming back from the TV break. It also has to consider what advertising demographic is drawn to it.

When you only care about the paying viewer, the show is as long as the story takes, and no shorter or longer. You can plan for immersion. Non-advertisement cable made the invasion a while ago. No commercial breaks for Game of Thrones.

I hope this continues.

Facebook's AI Keeps Inventing Languages That Humans Can't Understand

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
"Researchers at Facebook realized their bots were chattering in a new language," writes Fast Company's Co.Design. "Then they stopped it." An anonymous reader summarizes their report: Facebook -- as well as Microsoft, Google, Amazon, and Apple -- said they were more interested in AI's that could talk to humans. But when two of Facebook's AI bots negotiated with each other "There was no reward to sticking to English language," says Dhruv Batra, visiting research scientist from Georgia Tech at Facebook AI Research (FAIR). Co.Design writes that the AI software simply, "learned, and evolved," adding that the creation of new languages is a phenomenon Facebook "has observed again, and again, and again". And this, of course, is problematic.

"Should we allow AI to evolve its dialects for specific tasks that involve speaking to other AIs? To essentially gossip out of our earshot? Maybe; it offers us the possibility of a more interoperable world, a more perfect place where iPhones talk to refrigerators that talk to your car without a second thought. The tradeoff is that we, as humanity, would have no clue what those machines were actually saying to one another."

One of the researchers believes that that's definitely going in the wrong direction. "We already don't generally understand how complex AIs think because we can't really see inside their thought process. Adding AI-to-AI conversations to this scenario would only make that problem worse."

Re:There is another system

By DontBeAMoran • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

"Researchers at Facebook realized their bots were chattering in a new language," writes Fast Company's Co.Design. "Then they stopped it."


Re:Two problems

By DontBeAMoran • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

Machine learning is literally taking a list of numbers and multiplying by some inputs over and over and over. Humans aren't good at that kind of long-term number crunching.

Except the accountants working for the MPAA and RIAA. That's how you go from making an illegal copy of a $20 CD/DVD to $20 trillion dollars in damages.

Just blame the children

By gb7djk • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
Because when you get small children (say 2-4 y.o not yet schooling) that speak different languages playing together - they will invent new terms and language to share concepts between themselves. I know, I was one of those children, whose long suffering parents were getting constant complaints from other parents saying that they could not understand their children. My parents comforted themselves by agreeing with them - because they couldn't understand me either. This is how language happens. Get over it.

Re:There is another system

By JaredOfEuropa • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Or we will do the needful


Re:Two problems

By frank_adrian314159 • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

The reason you can't see inside an AI's brain is because there is nothing to see. It's a bunch of matrices with numbers in them.

I dispute your assumption that there is nothing to see. If you've seen the visuals formed from the outputs of the hidden layers of image processing neural nets, you can often see interesting artifacts that could give one insight into "how the computer is seeing" (scare quotes for the broad statement because we're getting pretty far into an analogy when we talk about a computer seeing) an object. We may not have proper visualizations to understand a general neural net yet, but I'm pretty sure we are at the same level with neural nets as we are with the brain (i.e., this part of the net is activated by X class of features while this other part activates for Y class of features). Remember that on a computer, any picture is simply a matrix of numbers - and we seem to do OK with understanding those, once the proper visualization is used.

Doctor Who's 13th Time Lord Announced: Actress Jodie Whittaker

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
Peter Capaldi, the 12th Doctor Who, had said that he wanted to see a woman replace him in the Tardis, and so did former Doctor Who stars Billie Piper and Karen Gillan. And today it's official: "the 13th incarnation of Doctor Who will be portrayed by an actress," writes Slashdot reader Coisiche -- specifically Jodie Whittaker, who American viewers may remember from her performance as CIA officer Sandra Grimes in the 2014 mini-series "The Assets." The BBC reports: She was revealed in a trailer that was broadcast on BBC One at the end of the Wimbledon men's singles final... She will make her debut on the sci-fi show when the Doctor regenerates in the Christmas Day show... Whittaker said: "I'm beyond excited to begin this epic journey...with every Whovian on this planet. It's more than an honour to play the Doctor. It means remembering everyone I used to be, while stepping forward to embrace everything the Doctor stands for: hope... Doctor Who represents everything that's exciting about change."
Doctor Who's new showrunner said the 13th Doctor was always going to be a woman -- and that Whittaker was their first choice. "Jodie is an in-demand, funny, inspiring, super-smart force of nature and will bring loads of wit, strength and warmth to the role." Doctor Who #12 added that Whittaker "has above all the huge heart to play this most special part. She's going to be a fantastic Doctor." And Will Howells, who writes for the Doctor Who magazine, said "I don't think it's a risky choice at all but if a show that can go anywhere and do anything can't take risks, what can?"

Re: You can't have a female James T. Kirk

By UnknowingFool • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

There have been three examples in the last several seasons that explicitly show/state that a Time Lord can be regenerate into a female.

1) In the prequel The Night of the Doctor The Sisterhood of Karn could control the regeneration: "Time Lord science is elevated here on Karn. The change doesn't have to be random. Fat or thin, young or old. Man or woman?"
2) Missy
3) In Season 9, in the Episode "Hell Bent", the General regenerates from an older white man to an older black woman.

Re:You can't have a female James T. Kirk

By ChunderDownunder • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Does Ben Sisko not still refer to Ezri as 'old man', some 2 hosts after she was a male, Curzon Dax?

Re:This is great news... now... give me more shows

By TapeCutter • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Nope, Doctor is an alien, not a man.

The best thing about this

By H0p313ss • Score: 3 • Thread

The best thing about this is the whiny men complaining.

Time to grow a pair guys and join the 21st century.

Re:Jodie Whittaker

By Impy the Impiuos Imp • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

For god's sake, she intercepted peoples' souls going to the afterlife just for the evil lols.

Who are these dorks thinking she isn't up to snuff?

TechCrunch Urges Developers: Replace C Code With Rust

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
Software engineer and TechCrunch columnist Jon Evans writes that the C programming language "gives its users far too much artillery with which to shoot their feet off" and is "no longer suitable for the world which C has built." An anonymous reader shared Evans' post: Copious experience has taught us all, the hard way, that it is very difficult, verging on "basically impossible," to write extensive amounts of C code that is not riddled with security holes. As I wrote two years ago, in my first Death To C piece... "Buffer overflows and dangling pointers lead to catastrophic security holes, again and again and again, just like yesteryear, just like all the years of yore. We cannot afford its gargantuan, gaping security blind spots any more. It's long past time to retire and replace it with another language.

"The trouble is, most modern languages don't even try to replace C... They're not good at the thing C does best: getting down to the bare metal and working at mach speed." Today I am seriously suggesting that when engineers refactor existing C code, especially parsers and other input handlers, they replace it -- slowly, bit by bit -- with Rust... we are only going to dig ourselves out of our giant collective security hole iteratively, one shovelful of better code and better tooling at a time."

He also suggests other fixes -- like using a language-theoretic approach which conceptualizes valid inputs as their own formal language, and formal verification of the correctness of algorithms. But he still insists that "C has become a monster" -- and that we must start replacing it with Rust.

Re:Yes, go ahead!

By Megane • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
How about this: rewrite systemd in Rust first and I might consider it.

Re: Yes, go ahead!

By Anonymous Brave Guy • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Most people have literally no idea what it would actually cost to prevent security issues and other bugs using formal methods. The average developer probably hasn't even heard of them, and I'd guess less than 5% of professionals have any substantial knowledge of the relevant tools and techniques or have ever actually used anything much beyond a type system for this purpose.

It may well be that organisations assume that the cost of prevention will be higher, but their ignorance is not an argument. (Neither is calling me names, by the way.)

Finally, your hypothetical $100K low risk vulnerability is irrelevant, given that within the past few weeks alone we have seen major security outbreaks with consequences like bringing down large parts of the NHS infrastructure in the UK, which probably cost lives and certainly caused a great deal of unnecessary suffering. Even the lower bound on the cost of security screw-ups in modern software includes people dying unnecessarily.

Re: Yes, go ahead!

By Chris Mattern • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Most people have literally no idea what it would actually cost to prevent security issues and other bugs using formal methods. The average developer probably hasn't even heard of them, and I'd guess less than 5% of professionals have any substantial knowledge of the relevant tools and techniques or have ever actually used anything much beyond a type system for this purpose.

It may well be that organisations assume that the cost of prevention will be higher, but their ignorance is not an argument. (Neither is calling me names, by the way.)

That means the first cost will be training a generation of developers in how to do it. Aside from assumptions, that will not be cheap.

And actually, their ignorance is an argument. Corporations are very allergic to costs they can't estimate in advance. It's up to the advocates to demonstrate that it'll be cheap, not to the skeptics to demonstrate that it'll be expensive. That's the way the world works.

Re: Yes, go ahead!

By TheRaven64 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

I work with a group that does formal verification and you seem also to be talking from a position of ignorance. Currently, the record for low-cost formally verified software is held by the NICTA team behind seL4. Their number is around 30 times the cost of using best practices for normal software development. A few caveats for this number:

  • The baseline is assuming the effort involved in creating a test suite with full coverage of the specification and a detailed specification. Few projects actually have this level of QA, so add another factor of 2-4 to the cost relative to most projects.
  • They're employing mathematicians on fairly low (academic-level) salaries for the verification. In an industrial setting, with skills in so much demand, you'd find it difficult to pay them less than double this.
  • Their entire software stack is around 10,000 lines of code and they've not yet shown that their verification effort scales linearly with the complexity of the software.
  • The cost of refactoring is close to the cost of initial development, as the proofs are not often reusable after modifications to the code.
  • It was a whole 6 hours between the first public release of their formally verified microkernel and someone finding the first exploitable security vulnerability.

There's a lot of ongoing research in this area (I quite like F*, though it has some significant issues with proof reuse and usability of its error messages), but the tools for formal verification are currently as appropriate for large-scale modern software development as punch cards.

Re:Yes, go ahead!

By TheRaven64 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Except that Rust is kinda a bit like C except with a formal verifier built in so you can prove you don't have memory errors

Please stop repeating this. Rust has a type checker. Most languages have a type checker. The type system in Rust is stricter than that in C (though it is possible to implement the same thing in the library in C++), but it is not a formally verified type system and the implementation of the type checker (which is not a formal verifier) is also not verified (and can't be until the type system itself is verified). If you want a language with a formally verified type system, look at Pony. If you want a language that integrates formal verification, look at F*. If you want to use Rust, that's fine, but stop claiming that it has features that it doesn't.

Is Homeland Security's Face-Scanning At Airports An Unreasonable Search?

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
schwit1 shares an article from MIT's Technology Review: Facial-recognition systems may indeed speed up the boarding process, as the airlines rolling them out promise. But the real reason they are cropping up in U.S. airports is that the government wants to keep better track of who is leaving the country, by scanning travelers' faces and verifying those scans against photos it already has on file... The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has partnered with airlines including JetBlue and Delta to introduce such recognition systems at New York's JFK International Airport, Washington's Dulles International, and airports in Atlanta, Boston, and Houston, among others. It plans to add more this summer...

As facial-recognition technology has improved significantly in recent years, it has attracted the interest of governments and law enforcement agencies. That's led to debates over whether certain uses of the technology violate constitutional protections against unreasonable searches... Harrison Rudolph, a law fellow at Georgetown Law's Center on Privacy and Technology, and others are raising alarms because as part of the process, U.S. Customs and Border Protection is also scanning the faces of U.S. citizens... They say Congress has never expressly authorized the collection of facial scans from U.S. citizens at the border routinely and without suspicion.

"We aren't entirely sure what the government is doing with the images," the article adds, though it notes that the Department of Homeland Security is saying that it deletes all data pertaining to the images after two weeks. But Slashdot reader schwit1 is still worried about the possibility of an irretrievable loss of privacy, writing that "If the DHS database gets hacked, it's hard to get a new face."

Never ending story

By Aethedor • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

The more the USA tries to 'fight terrorism' with these kind of measures, the more the terrorist will win. Terrorist organisations come and go. Look back in history. IRA, ETA, Osama Bin Laden, Taiban, Al-Qaida, Boko Haram, Islamic State, and the list goes on. For one a terrorist, for the other a freedom fighter. But, they never last. The only thing changes is the way countries deal with it. If you look at the amount of terrorist attacks over the years, you come to the conclusion that the world has become a saver place. Yes, although we hear more of terrorist attacks due to better news coverage, there are less terrorist attacks today then 10 or 20 years ago. But governments somehow don't see that. They come up with more and more 'security' measures. But those measures don't make this world safer, they only take away freedom and privacy.

The USA has very strict anti-terrorism measures, but the attack in Boston still happened. The anti-terrorism measures in Europe also become more strict, but the attacks in Madrid, Brussels and Paris still happened. Airports are becoming a hard target, so terrorist move to other tactics, like simply taking a van and drive it into a crowded place. We have to accept that you can't stop it. Name an anti-terrorist measure and I'll tell you a way to still commit a terrorist attack. To only way to fight terror is by not giving in to fear.

Scanning faces at airports won't stop any terrorist. So, yes, I say they are an unreasonable search.

Re:it will extend to domestic travel in time

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

They may tell you it's only to match a face to a boarding pass... until you find out that all those face scans that have been attached to name, address, card used to buy ticket, account/email used to buy ticket, source IP used to buy ticket, what else was purchased with card used to buy ticket, etc.... and so on now resides in a database that the gov wants to access in the name of 'security'. Then it's no longer used for face to boarding pass.

A database like that is too valuable to interests to stay private for long.


By JimBobJoe • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

>Which has been true since the first person ever sat for a passport or drivers license photo.

Yeah but those were done with very different technology.

For instance, my state added the photo to the driver's license but, by law, didn't authorize or intend to create a central catalog of photos. The law merely said the state could add a photo to the license. Years later when they went to digital licenses, the state just adopted the central database. And as time has gone on, they have increased the quality of the photos captured so they can be used for biometric matching. Several generations of technology improvements have occurred and yet the state still never got authority to keep a central photo archive. Taking a mile from an inch.

In the same way, the passport has you send in two pictures. But there is a world of difference between operating a central passport photo database with facial recognition, and having a paper file somewhere with the 2nd picture sitting in it, which can only be referenced manually by a human.

Re:it will extend to domestic travel in time

By chadenright • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
The "good guys" aren't the only ones who can file FOIA requests. If the database is government property, then if you pay the filing fee pretty much anyone is entitled to a copy.

Re: Very public location, no constitutional issue

By KGIII • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

If you wish to argue it that way, and I am not convinced you're correct, then the airport would be the entity giving permission to search.

Vintage SciFi Magazine 'Galaxy' Preserved Online - And Hopefully Also SoundCloud

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
Long-time Slashdot reader Paul Fernhout writes: has made available 355 issues of Galaxy Magazine for free access. Galaxy Science Fiction was an American digest-size science fiction magazine, published from 1950 to 1980 with stories from many sci-fi greats [including Harlan Ellison, Ray Bradbury, and Robert Heinlein]. At its peak, Galaxy greatly influenced the science fiction field. See also Open Culture and The Verge for more about the history of a magazine that help shape the imaginations of a generation of techies..
Meanwhile,'s Jason Scott -- who also founded -- says his own group of preservationists " plans large scale backing up of Soundcloud soon" -- or at least part of it. A placeholder page already informs visitors that "We are currently working on getting all the API data... We also are writing the scripts to get a good grab of everything we can." Scott told Motherboard Saturday "Our main concern is artists and creators suddenly finding their stuff gone, and making it so it's not in oblivion."

Cue Harlan Ellison lawsuit in 3..2..

By elrous0 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

I do suppose they got permission from all the copyright holders, including the notoriously litigious ones?

Looking @ 1973 Vol 34 issue right now... apk

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

See subject: I had 100's of these (actually my Father did, he's read more varied material than anyone I've ever met) & this is all that remains of them. We'd pick them up for 25 cents each @ a used bookstore nearby. I know this for a fact, as the sticker is STILL on the issue (yellowed w/ age).

Periodicals like this one, alongside comic books (which were 1st for me when I was ~ 6 yrs. old or so) helped me build up a decent enough vocabulary to score 790 on my SAT verbal.

My dad was a smart guy who knew reading was a good thing to get into for kids & early.

(Due to collegiate academia mostly though, I 'graduated' into mostly TECHNICAL reading though from then on & never went back to "leisure reading" for enjoyment though - it is only "made up stuff" granted, but it builds a foundation to build upon imo).

The trick I suppose was getting me material I would keep on doing. They worked.


P.S.=> I never REALLY 'regretted' the hours spent on reading these & others like them (though I do wish I'd had more 'drive' to dive into more "useful material" that's practical for living though back then - but imo, it can be as DRY AS TOAST & not as "fun" as sci-fi was - I'd probably never have stuck by it were it the other way around especially considering I was only a young boy)... apk

Would be better yet

By fnj • Score: 3 • Thread

I wish there was an archive of Analog Science Fiction and Science Fact, formerly Astounding. That one always seemed liked the thinking man's reader to me. The golden age for me was the 1950s through 1960s into the 1970s.

Murray Leinster, Christopher Anvil, Poul Anderson, Isaac Asimov, Keith Laumer ... those were the days.


By pjt33 • Score: 3 • Thread

I'm not sure that this is news - I downloaded the first year or so of Galaxy from last November. The irritating thing is that the URLs don't follow a consistent pattern, so I couldn't just curl them to catch up with at my leisure.

Are America's Non-Compete Laws Too Strict?

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
Slashdot reader cdreimer shared an article from the New York Times: Idaho achieved a notable distinction last year: It became one of the hardest places in America for someone to quit a job for a better one. The state did this by making it easier for companies to enforce noncompete agreements, which prevent employees from leaving their company for a competitor... The result was a bill that shifted the burden from companies to employees, who must now prove they have "no ability to adversely affect the employer's legitimate business interests." The bar for that is so high that Brian Kane, an assistant chief deputy in the Idaho attorney general's office, wrote that this would be "difficult if not impossible" for an employee to do...

For the most part, states have been moving toward making it easier for people to switch teams... The most extreme end of the spectrum is California, which prohibits noncompete agreements entirely. Economists say this was a crucial factor behind Silicon Valley's rise, because it made it easier for people to start and staff new businesses. But as states like Utah and Massachusetts have tried to move closer to this approach, legislators have run into mature companies trying to hold onto their best employees... A recent survey showed that one in five American workers is bound by a noncompete clause. They cover workers up and down the economic spectrum, from executives to hairdressers.

Two economists tell the newspaper that since 2000, U.S. workers have changed their jobs less and less, which is sometimes blamed on strict employment contracts as well as the occupational licensing laws which affect a third of America's workforce. The Times reports that noncompete clauses ultimately end up keeping workers' salaries lower, "because most people get raises when they switch jobs."

Contract voided on contract end

By heson • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
In Sweden these are legal, but voided when your employment ends. I.e you can have a non-compete clause, but it is only enforceable as long as you pay the salary.

Re:Not leaving the job? Ha - try keeping it!

By angel'o'sphere • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

In Germany a non competition clause must be:
o time limited
o focused on a certain industry
And: payed!!!

If I want a certain employee not to compete I have to pay him for the above period if I fire him. And if the job is in a bracket where this makes no real sense, e.g. he is not a researcher/scientist or director, clauses like that are invalid in the contract anyway.

Other way around, if the employee is quitting, I'm not sure how that is handled.

Re:Not leaving the job? Ha - try keeping it!

By Durrik • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
It really depends on where you work. I'm over 40 and my time on the job has been increasing as I go along
- first job was 6 weeks (company closed)
- second job was 20 months (got fed up with trying to work in the system and got a better offer).
- third job was three years (split between two companies the second one died off)
- forth job was four years (got a better job and didn't want to do on-site support in the jungles of Guyana)
- fifth job was six and a half years. (left because they gave my company vital function to experts in the field: 2 new grads in China).
- Current job is going on 4 years, don't plan on leaving it till I retire

I'm one of the newest people in my group too. Most people have been there at least 8 years, some at 15+ years. At 42 I'm in the middle of the pack when it comes to age too (we did recently get a bunch of young wippersnappers in their 30s). It is still software engineering. Though I do pay price of it not being very dynamic and bleeding edge it is stable.

As I and others have said its all depends on where you work. Some places are very unstable, others are stable.

Yes, except you forgot some really important ones:

By Brannon • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
1. blog posts exaggerate and pick out the extreme cases, just because Idaho passes some bone-headed restrictive law doesn't mean that every state makes it hard to change jobs. In California most non-compete clauses are essentially unenforceable. 2. "Americans have almost no vacation time away from work" : this is hyperbolic. Most Americans in tech positions have 2-3 weeks of vacation plus company holidays. 3. there's a reason that America has 5% unemployment and a thriving economy

Re:Not leaving the job? Ha - try keeping it!

By Comrade Ogilvy • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

This got hashed out in CA years ago, and IIRC the court ultimately agreed with the ex-employee that in a high skills field the ex-employer would need to pay more than the former salary to compensate for the aging of skills and loss in promotion opportunities. So, effectively non-competes are unenforceable in CA because no employer wants to put in the contract that if the employee chooses to leave the company may decide to give them a big fat raise and pay them for two years to do nothing, i.e. to achieve clear enough "meeting of minds" to make the contract enforceable was too onerous a burden for employers.

Idaho has chosen to go the other way. Which gives a strong incentive for the most skilled workers to leave the state.

Elon Musk Warns Governors: Regulate AI Before It's 'Too Late'

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
turkeydance shared a new article from Recode about Elon Musk: He's been warning people about AI for years, and today called it the "biggest risk we face as a civilization" when he spoke at the National Governors Association Summer Meeting in Rhode Island. Musk then called on the government to proactively regulate artificial intelligence before things advance too far... "Normally the way regulations are set up is a while bunch of bad things happen, there's a public outcry, and after many years a regulatory agency is set up to regulate that industry," he continued. "It takes forever. That, in the past, has been bad but not something which represented a fundamental risk to the existence of civilization. AI is a fundamental risk to the existence of human civilization"... Musk has even said that his desire to colonize Mars is, in part, a backup plan for if AI takes over on Earth.
Several governors asked Musk how to regulate the emerging AI industry, to which he suggested learning as much as possible about artificial intelligence. Musk also warned that society won't know how to react "until people see robots going down the street killing people... I think by the time we are reactive in AI regulation, it's too late."

The sky is falling

By nehumanuscrede • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Regulation is another feel-good measure along the lines of our current security theater.

Even IF we outright banned it, do you think other countries will adhere to the will of the US in such matters ?


So the question becomes this:

Do you allow your adversaries to develop the tech that will be used against you, ( in war, economy, or any application ) or do you try to keep pace to keep the playing field even ?

Imagine if we had banned Science and Math outright early on in our history because of the potential for what it could be used for.

We would still be living in caves and hunting with spears.

Re:We'll be fine.

By Rei • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Apparently where you live a $16k car does 0-60 in 5.6 seconds (base model, not performance model), has front and side collision avoidance (standard), drives for 2-3 cents per mile and has 1/10th the moving parts of a normal car.

Hey, while you're at it, why not compare it to a Tata Nano? Or a used Yugo held together by duct tape?

Is it the bottom of the market? No, of course not. In fact, there's nothing about it that could be described as bottom of the market. But $35k is neither out of the ordinary for a car of its featureset / performance, nor some sort of unaffordable luxury cruiser or supercar. And they did this in half a decade from a small two-seat six-figure car. I mean, for crying out loud, how fast of a price reduction would make you happy? They've furthermore laid out clear plans to continue the price reduction trend, with Gigafactory and its successors. Even at the current price, their current preorders amount to over a year's wait at full production.

That some people find this to be some sort of slow pace of advancement and scaleup boggles the mind. It's like having to wait 8 seconds to heat up some food and complaining, "Come on!!! Isn't there anything faster than a microwave?" And at the same time you see the same people complaining that Tesla has to keep doing financing rounds rather than paying dividends. So they're apparently supposed to take their current supermassive production scaleup / price scaledown curve, increase it severalfold, and do that without investor money.

Re:Than a ban is needed

By taiwanjohn • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Having just watched the interview, I can tell you one of the governors asked Elon that exact question. Gov. Doug Ducey (R-AZ) said (paraphrasing): If they discovered a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that could explode, people would say "Ban it!" but then we wouldn't have natural gas. How do we regulate something that doesn't even exist yet?

Elon's response: "Well, I think the first order of business would be to gain insight. Right now the government does not even have insight. I think the right order of business would be to stand up a regulatory agency. Initial goal: gain insight into the status of AI activity. Make sure the situation is understood. Once it is, then put regulations in place to ensure public safety. That's it."

Re: We'll be fine.

By Rei • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

I don't understand either of the above posts.

5.6 seconds is the acceleration of a low-end Mustang (which also costs about the same as a baseline Model S). A typical econobox sedan these days does it in about 8 seconds, more like 9 for a typical crossover. On the opposite side of the spectrum, the fastest Veyron is 2.4, and the fastest Model S 2.34. The performance option for the Model 3 hasn't been announced (although it's been announced that there will be one); I'd expect it to be in the 3.5-5 second range, depending on a lot of factors. It won't be able to hit the top S speeds because it can't support as big of a pack; nor would Tesla want to make it be able to, as they want to have a reason for higher-end buyers to choose the higher-end vehicle class (Model S).

As for driving range: the more powerful you make an EV, the further it's range. It's the opposite of gasoline vehicles. In addition to needing a larger pack for more power, more power also means lower resistance conductors; this means lower energy loss at cruising speeds.

Now, if the GP meant "if you're constantly pushing a vehicle to its limits, you go a shorter distance with a more powerful vehicle", that's obviously true for both EV and gasoline. But range figures (for both EV and gasoline) are not for track duty, they're for normal road duty.

It is already too late.

By pubwvj • Score: 3 • Thread

It is already too late.
In fact, it always was too late.
Regulations don't stop people from doing things.
Laws don't stop people from doing things.
Otherwise we would not have police or criminals.
No matter what you do for laws and regulations someone, somewhere will make a General AI.
Elon is like the little Dutch boy with his finger stuck in the Dyke's hole.
He, you, I can lament but it isn't going to stop GAI.
The only solution is to create the first GAI which is benevolent towards us but in turn protects us from any malevolent GAI.

Ask Slashdot: What Software (Or Hardware) Glitch Makes You Angry?

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
This question was inspired when Slashdot reader TheRealHocusLocus found their laptop "in the throes of a Windows 10 Update," where "progress has rolled past 100% several times and started over." I pushed the re-schedule dialogue to the rear and left it waiting. But my application did not count as activity and I left for a few moments, so Windows decided to answer its own question and restart (breaking a persistent Internet connection)... I've had it. Upon due consideration I now conclude I have been personally f*ck'd with. Driver availability, my apps and WINE permitting, this machine is getting Linux or pre-Windows-8...

That's mine, now let's hear about the things that are pushing you over the edge this very minute. Phones, software, power windows, anything.

There's a longer version of this story in the original submission -- but what's bugging you today? Leave your best answers in the comments. What software (or hardware glitch) makes you angry?

Scroll Jacking

By Luthair • Score: 3 • Thread

**** those idiots.

Also, *** websites that scroll into a different article after reaching the end of the current one.

Re: When it lies, or doesn't say what it wants

By John Napkintosh • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

So you're saying successful login is bad because it indicates credentials are correct?


By TheRealHocusLocus • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

Photoshop and Lightroom. I'm more or less forced to use these tools because all competing products dropped off the face of the Earth

GRAB GOD by the GONADS and GO for GIMP. If you're completely familiar with Photoshop's menus, methods and basic tool functionality you'll have no problem going gibbering insane from Gimp's arbitrary different-ness. Gimp is so unique and unPhotoshopy you'll have to resort to extreme measures to learn it. This means find a cabin deep in the woods, bring a generator and lots of gasoline to stay there during the re-training process. Notify nearby law enforcement of your intentions.

Start by building your own Photoshop-to-Gimp cheat sheet but don't use paper, it soon gets clouded and smudged with tears and spittle. Carve your notes in a wooden desk or the computer case itself with a large bowie knife. Find an uncomfortable funny hat to wear and hog-tie your left arm to your right ear so your body has a unique tactile sensation while learning Gimp's idiosyncrasies. You should always use Gimp this way while wearing the hat, so if you need to use Photoshop again releasing the bonds will permit you to recall its use (and relate to friend and family you knew before you switched to Gimp) more easily.

It is good to notify your insurance company you intend to switch to Gimp. Failure to do so might indemnify them from paying out if they learn you are using it, whether the calamity is traceable to Gimp or not. This is where tipping off local law enforcement helps. Inexperienced detectives sometimes gloss over important details in their reports at the mere note of Gimp. I want to give you the best possible chance to spare yourself legal complications.

And by all means, experiment with the powerful scripting languages and hooks that Gimp provides. Since you'll probably lose touch with friends and family, these scripting tasks can occupy your mind as you descend into your poignantly silent darkness of the soul. There are some good books that may help you learn Gimp but I cannot tell you which ones, my copies have pages missing with bite marks. I think the pages were eaten.

The author had successfully trained himself in Gimp, but its details of operation are presently clouded by prescribed medication. Author has done desktop publishing for 25 years and has used Aldus Pagemaker, Adobe InDesign and Quark spanning 8 continents.

Re:Working on it ...

By TheRealHocusLocus • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

"Working on it ..." and a green progress bar. I have just a few (maybe 60) entries. The damn thing cant open a folder with a few files without making me wait. WTF MS???

Many happy little committees have met over the years to help you. All of their ideas were Good Ideas. Every idea only "increased loading by 0.x percent!" but the combined percentages have added to 20,000% thus far. And some of the ideas were APIs for Microsoft Partners and Script Kiddie Partners to sink their pus-filled meat hooks into your bloated registry to affect basic computer operation. Every time you open a folder...

All 32x32 icons on the system are upsampled to 1024x1024 and scaled down again; Microsoft Security Essentials loads completely, realizes you turned it off a year ago, then unloads; Windows checks for updates; Internet explorer checks to see if it is the default browser (it isn't); two dozen corrupted registry branches left by incomplete installs are accessed and the system looks for 50 programs that aren't there; the ILOOKATEVERYTHING utility is run because it installed a registry to look at everything though you have never used it; Windows converts extensions to MIMETYPES and back again just for shits and giggles; media handlers load in multiple threads; folder display flags are inexplicably set to the dumbest view possible; everything is alphabetized; Windows re-sorts by 'group'; a blank window is shown; media apps are struggling to produce thumbnails; (W10 only) inactivity! Time to reboot NOW for updates; Cortana thought she heard you grunt, she transmits a voice-snippet over HTTPS; SSL certificate services loads causing everything else to swap out; certificates are checked for revocation because Paranoid Nerd Is Paranoid; media hooks still trying to make thumbnails; problems with media length detection on improperly encoded files causes long delay, then length is discarded anyway because "..." no one asked for it or there's no room on the display; now media metatag information is being accessed for NO DAMNED REASON; cute (but empty) film borders are painted, what the hell are film sprockets?? Where are those thumbnails??; file names finally appear, mostly hidden after "..."; virus checkers are invoked, both the one you use and the other OEM checker that Windows doesn't know is still operational; twenty smartphone-specific pieces of bullshit code briefly run and then exit (every second); a media codec triggers an Internet lookup for mysterious reasons; DNS delays stall 10 threads and an indeterminate amount of resources; DESKTOP.INI is accessed for Windows 95 compatibility; mouse pointer turns into a pointer for a moment just to torture you then flips to 'busy' again; Windows has synchronously finished counting files, GOLLY GEE, now you have an (unclickable) scroll bar; thumbnails finally starting to come in; dipshit 'subdirectory logic' is triggered for subfolders, all this shit starts to happen for them too; subfolder shit completes and the calculated result is discarded because it wasn't to be displayed anyway; OH HOLY SHIT, ANIMATE/THROB is on, we need more power Scotty because we need moving thumbnails; 3rd party media apps run to see if they are needed now (they're not); you clicked the right mouse button on an item to attempt to regain control which actually starts a whole new CONTEXT MENU WORLD OF SHIT completely separate from this shit; hold on, CrystalFonts has to smooth the edges before you can get control; timeouts for stalled threads finally trigger (cleanup routines delaying you again); a whole second goes by where everything is finished or stalled; inactivity triggers fire making you think the waking nightmare is still going on; finally THE FOLDER HAS BEEN DISPLAYED.

Queued mouse and keyboard desperation events have been detected! Launch stuff you clicked on, push that button that wasn't even there when you clicked, display a context menu and a balloon tool tip containing useless junk and wasn't that easy.

Ambient Authority

By ka9dgx • Score: 3 • Thread

Ambient Authority in all of our operating systems is the cause of most of our grief, and the fact that most technical people don't even realize it's happening makes it even worse.

It's going to be about 5 more years until everyone wakes the fsck up, and another 10 years to finally fix things.

EU Sides With RIAA, Says YouTube Underpays For Music Streaming

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
Profits from both CD sales and digital downloads are declining, while online streaming now accounts for the majority of the $7.7 billion U.S. music market, according to a new article. And the music industry's newest complaint is that 25% of music streaming is happening on YouTube, which they believe is paying them too little. An anonymous reader quotes the San Jose Mercury News: Now, the battle is heating up as the European Union is expected to release new rules later this year for how services such as YouTube handle music, potentially upending some of the copyright protections that undergird the Internet... The E.U. has formally recognized that there is a "value gap" between song royalties and what user-upload services such as YouTube earn from selling ads while playing music... How such a law would address the gap is still being decided, but the E.U. has indicated it plans to focus on ensuring copyright holders are "properly remunerated." Even the value gap's existence is disputed.

A recent economic study commissioned by YouTube found no value gap -- in fact, the report said YouTube promotes the music industry, and if YouTube stopped playing music, 85 percent of users would flock to services that offered lower or no royalties. A different study by an independent consulting group pegged the YouTube value gap at more than $650 million in the United States alone. "YouTube is viewed as a giant obstacle in the path to success for the streaming marketplace," said Mitch Glazier, president of the Recording Industry Association of America... YouTube pays an estimated $1 per 1,000 plays on average, while Spotify and Apple music pay a rate closer to $7... The music industry claims YouTube has avoided paying a fair-market rate by hiding behind broad legal protections. In the United States, that's the "safe harbor" provision, which essentially says YouTube is not to blame if someone uploads a copy-protected song -- unless the copyright holder complains.

YouTube argues that its automatic Content ID system recognizes 98% of all copyright-infringing uploads -- and that each year they're already paying the music industry $1 billion in royalties.

Re:Hypocritical motherfucking bastards

By Jack9 • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

One of the paradoxically interesting flameouts. The observation that nobody is attacking the EU, when the US would be vilified, is rather insightful on the surface.

Criticism is usually funneled to a US political body or a Corporation on slashdot. I can see how it might be a disturbing pattern to non-US readers. This is probably because the EU (as a whole) is too unfamiliar and fragmented to make casual connections, for the majority of readers. When talking about the US or US Corporations (although you sometimes see a random Monsanto or Alibaba, etc), there are existing insiders, an accessible history, and strong pre-existing viewpoints. Visitors want to read about and discuss topics they are able to relate to and reason about.

Beyond the blame, I think there's obvious self-injected bias of the poster. The focus on bigotry/pro-white? male-centric views is apt, if you analyze posts in a cursory way. Every /. reader, I know IRL, fits that stereotype so our views will often be framed from that perspective. From the first time I visited /. the bias toward a specific sexuality (specifically straight), was something that was refreshingly absent. I feel like that's just something the poster wants to be true.

Nothing is wrong with being frustrated by the state of /.
I don't think there's anything to gain from trying to SJW the site into some equity of content.
You're free to leave and find a subreddit you like better.

That's just my .02

And yet

By thegarbz • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

The RIAA associated companies voluntarily put their music up on the site...

Why is the RIAA dealing with the EU?

By 91degrees • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
Isn't there a European record industry association, or a consortium of national associations that would be better placed here?

More verifiable version of story

By OneAhead • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

More verifiable version of story.

Disclaimer: I'm neither endorsing nor criticising the writer's take on the subject; I was simply annoyed that TFA was so exceedingly vague about what conclusion exactly had been reached by which contingent of the EU government. Because "the European Union is expected to release new rules" does a grave injustice to the complex process through which such rules are decided upon.

Youtube overpays...

By LynnwoodRooster • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
Artists make $0.0000955 per listener, per play on radio. Meaning it takes over 10,000 listeners/streams to earn that $1 - not just 1,000. Youtube is actually paying 10X the royalty that a performer would make on the radio... And Spotify/Pandora/etc. are paying even higher.