the unofficial Slashdot digest for 2017-Jul-17 today archive


  1. Artificial Sweeteners Associated With Weight Gain, Heart Problems In Analysis of Data From 37 Studies
  2. $12 Billion In Private Student Loan Debt May Be Wiped Away By Missing Paperwork
  3. Windows 10 Creators Upgrade Cuts Support For Some Intel PCs Early
  4. Ask Slashdot: What Are Some Developer Secrets That Could Sink Your Business?
  5. Comcast Says Should Be Able To Create Internet Fast Lanes For Self-Driving Cars
  6. Trademarks Shows Amazon Has Sights On Meal-Kits, 'Single Cow Burgers' and Other Fast Food Options
  7. Man Blames Tesla Autopilot System For Rollover Crash, Then Recants
  8. US To Create the Independent US Cyber Command, Split Off From NSA
  9. Hacker Allegedly Steals $7.4 Million In Ethereum After Hijacking ICO
  10. Here's Elon Musk's Plan To Power the US on Solar Energy
  11. US Appeals Court Upholds Nondisclosure Rules For Surveillance Orders
  12. Porn Websites in UK Ordered To Introduce Age Checks From Next Year
  13. It's Trivially Easy to Hack into Anybody's Myspace Account
  14. Chipmakers Nvidia, AMD Ride Cryptocurrency Wave -- For Now
  15. 'Windows 10 Is Failing Us'
  16. Atari Is Back In the Hardware Business, Unveils Ataribox
  17. Media Player Classic Home Cinema (MPC-HC) for Windows Pushes What Could Be Its Last Update
  18. HTC Keyboard Ads Likely an Error, But Damage is Already Done
  19. Amazon May Unveil Its Own Messaging App
  20. American ISPS Are Now Fighting State Broadband Privacy Proposals
  21. New Interactive Basic Electronics Textbook Launched Online
  22. Ask Slashdot: What Are The Lesser-Known Roles Of The IT Department?
  23. George A. Romero, Martin Landau Both Died This Weekend

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

Artificial Sweeteners Associated With Weight Gain, Heart Problems In Analysis of Data From 37 Studies

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from NPR: The theory behind artificial sweeteners is simple: If you use them instead of sugar, you get the joy of sweet-tasting beverages and foods without the downer of extra calories, potential weight gain and related health issues. In practice, it's not so simple, as a review of the scientific evidence on non-nutritive sweeteners published Monday shows. After looking at two types of scientific research, the authors conclude that there is no solid evidence that sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose help people manage their weight. And observational data suggest that the people who regularly consume these sweeteners are also more likely to develop future health problems, though those studies can't say those problems are caused by the sweeteners.

The review, published Monday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, looked at 37 studies. Seven of them were randomized trials, covering about 1,000 people, and the rest were observational studies that tracked the health and habits of almost 406,000 people over time.

Re:no extra calories?

By arth1 • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

What I see is people jumping to conclusions that it's the artificial sweeteners that cause the problem, disregarding the simpler explanation of who the main consumers of artificial sweeteners are: People who overindulge, not taste seekers. When their problem of craving carbohydrates doesn't go away; they end up eating more to satisfy their craving. The fries and a Coke becomes two large fries and a Diet Coke.

So I think the parent isn't just a troll but an insightful troll.

Re: Seems flawed

By arth1 • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

And any fat you exercise away goes out in sweat or urine.

Much of it goes out your breath, actually. Both water and carbon dioxide are byproducts of the oxidations.

but wait, there is more

By transporter_ii • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

[T]he sweeteners appear to change the population of intestinal bacteria that direct metabolism, the conversion of food to energy or stored fuel. And this result suggests the connection might also exist in humans.


Re:no extra calories?

By bug_hunter • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Not a 100% confirmed thing by any means, but here are the citations you were after

Re:no extra calories?

By judoguy • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

your body will release insulin in anticipation of the food spiking your blood sugar.

That would take exactly one twenty-minute experiment to prove true/false.

Where's the citations? Anyone....?

Sort of. I participated in a class once that did something along these lines as a demonstration of insulin reaction (indirectly, using blood sugar as a metric) to selected foods. Several guinea pig class members, I was one, used a glucometer and recorded serum glucose levels then we ate a bit of three different foods. One guy ate 1/2 a Snickers candy bar, one of ate a plain rice cake and I ate some ham. We waited a bit, took another blood sugar sample. Waited a bit more and took a final blood sugar test. Then we reported on how we felt

The ham guy, me, had almost no change. The Snickers guy saw his blood sugar rise then drop below baseline, got some energy then crashed a little. The greatest reaction, by far, was the plain rice cake. That person had the greatest rise in blood sugar followed by a greater drop and actually got a little shaky.

The point of the experiment was to show some misconceptions. Everyone thought the rice cake was healthy and the candy bar and fatty ham was unhealthy.

Wrong, at least from an insulin flooding standpoint. The rice cake is pure sugar. Starch is just glucose chained together. It turns out that the candy bar, poor nutritionally as it was, had a milder effect because of the fat it contains. Fat seems to blunt the insulin response. Doesn't make the sugar any less, but moderates the insulin reaction. The rice cake hadn't that moderator so it produced the most dramatic reaction.

That's why restaurants like to start you off with bread while you're perusing the menu. It ain't just being hospitable. They want your blood sugar to be plummeting when you order.

$12 Billion In Private Student Loan Debt May Be Wiped Away By Missing Paperwork

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
New submitter cdreimer shares a report from The New York Times (Warning: source may be paywalled; alternate source): Tens of thousands of people who took out private loans to pay for college but have not been able to keep up payments may get their debts wiped away because critical paperwork is missing. The troubled loans, which total at least $5 billion, are at the center of a protracted legal dispute between the student borrowers and a group of creditors who have aggressively pursued them in court after they fell behind on payments. Judges have already dismissed dozens of lawsuits against former students, essentially wiping out their debt, because documents proving who owns the loans are missing. A review of court records by The New York Times shows that many other collection cases are deeply flawed, with incomplete ownership records and mass-produced documentation. Some of the problems playing out now in the $108 billion private student loan market are reminiscent of those that arose from the subprime mortgage crisis a decade ago, when billions of dollars in subprime mortgage loans were ruled uncollectable by courts because of missing or fake documentation. And like those troubled mortgages, private student loans -- which come with higher interest rates and fewer consumer protections than federal loans -- are often targeted at the most vulnerable borrowers, like those attending for-profit schools.

At the center of the storm is one of the nation's largest owners of private student loans, the National Collegiate Student Loan Trusts. It is struggling to prove in court that it has the legal paperwork showing ownership of its loans, which were originally made by banks and then sold to investors. National Collegiate is an umbrella name for 15 trusts that hold 800,000 private student loans, totaling $12 billion. More than $5 billion of that debt is in default, according to court filings.

Re:Too bad.

By volodymyrbiryuk • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Like the "real" people who own millons in offshore accounts paying their (tax) debt? These students learned from the best, found a loophole and got away with it. End of story.

Re:It's more complex

By Talderas • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

I thought you might be joking so I did a brief look. I'm not a tax accountant so it's a bit indecipherable to me this early in the morning but the IRS most definitely wants you to report it as income on the year the debt is canceled. I just can't tell if this debt cancellation is an exception to canceled debt. This looks to be a fairly brutal tax hit. The minimum that you would owe the IRS should be $3578.75 for the $31,000 and that's assuming no income (besides the debt cancellation) and the standard deduction. You'd pay 10% on $9,275 and 15% on $17,675. It definitely doesn't qualify as an exception to gross income because the debt isn't being cancelled as part of bankruptcy.

Re:cap studen loans / imcome based pay back with

By DarkOx • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Well there should not be many defaults, since student loans are not secured against collateral they have been made legally much harder to discharge in bankruptcy and related proceedings/actions.

I still say the problem is student loans are even a thing. College costs so much because the have a starry eyed clientele that is by and large unfamiliar with the amount of money involved. Many may have never even had a sum on the same order of magnitude their total debt will be when they finish school if they take the loan. A large portion have never even used credit before, other than borrowing $20 from mom!

Its a very abstract concept to them. They can't rationally judge if its better to pay a little less at South Harmon Institute of Technology, or go Harmon with its nicer dormitories, better food, and amazing sports complex. The market place is completely distorted by all the easy loan money running around.

If we stopped doing federal loans, and removed the bankruptcy protections, these collateralized loans would mostly disappear form the market place. Two things would happen, collage would get cheaper, and focus on core objectives. There is no point in having a fancy school students can't afford to attend. Many people would probably delay college until they had something to borrow against. I suspect this might also have a positive effect in terms of people having a better idea of what they want out of college.

Re:It's more complex

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

The court is saying the debt never existed, so it is not debt forgiveness. It should not be taxed unless the IRS is particularly cruel.

Re:Too bad.

By jeff4747 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

the parents can't even "fire" the teachers by moving their children to another school because the government decided the only schools allowed are the public schools.

Citation required.

Parents can't even home school because if you aren't sending your children to a "school"

Citation required.

I'm sorry but the facts are facts. If you want an education then you have to pay for it.

Ditto. If you want public schools that provide an education, then you have to pay for it. So the next time someone tells you "it's the teacher's fault!!!!", ask them why we pay teachers so little (thus getting reducing teacher quality), and why they keep insisting on further cuts to education budgets.

Windows 10 Creators Upgrade Cuts Support For Some Intel PCs Early

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Windows PCs with Intel's Clover Trail Atom chips will not upgrade to the Windows 10 Creators Update, which could wind up being trouble in the future. PCWorld reports: Owners of some Windows 10 laptops and tablets are crashing into a worrying roadblock when they try to install the Windows 10 Creators Update. Windows Update initially says the notebooks are compatible with the upgrade, but fails to install it after downloading the setup files, instead displaying the following message: "Windows 10 is no longer supported on this PC. Uninstall this app now because it isn't compatible with Windows 10." That sounds ominous, but you don't need to uninstall your existing version of Windows 10, and there's no app to uninstall. Instead, the message means your PC's hardware isn't compatible with the Creators Update.

A recent ZDNet article thrust this issue into the spotlight, but Microsoft laid out details about the error in an April forum post. Microsoft won't let affected hardware install the Creators Update because "Icons and/or text throughout the Windows interface may not appear at all, or may appear as solid color blocks on some devices." Can I install the Windows 10 Creators Update? Nope. But you might be able to in the future, according to the April forum post. "Microsoft is working with our partners to provide compatible drivers for these processors. Until then, Windows Update will prevent devices containing one of the processors listed above from installing the Creators Update." [Devices with these Intel "Clover Trail" processors are impacted: Atom Z2760; Atom Z2520; Atom Z2560; Atom Z2580.]

Re:Sounds like...

By ls671 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Also, "lack of proper driver to display icons and text correctly" doesn't really sound like a serious excuse.

If I read this correctly...

By QuietLagoon • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
... if the customers had stayed with Windows 8 and fought off the egregiously aggressive Windows 10 updates, those customers would continue to receive updates through 2023. But because Microsoft hijacked their PCs and all-but-forced an upgrade to Windows 10, updates for the PCs will be shutdown very soon.

Welcome to the new Micro[screw the customer]soft.

Re:Sounds like...

By fuzzyfuzzyfungus • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
The fact that PowerVR-based Atoms have worthless driver support is Intel's fault: Microsoft's contribution to the debacle is creating a situation where upgrading the OS actually shortens the support window. If running Win8.1, these devices would get the pre "windows as a service" treatment; which in the case of 8.1 is mainstream support until 1/09/2018; extended support until 1/10/2023; if running Windows 10, a given major update gets only "at least 18 months"; after which you are potentially out of luck unless you can move to the next major update. And, since 'feature' and 'security' updates are now being aggregated; having a GPU with drivers that don't play nice with some aspect of WDDM means no security updates.

Intel's support for the PowerVR-based Atoms has always been shamefully bad; and they deserve full blame for that; but that doesn't change the fact that Microsoft's big push for Win10 upgrades...doesn't look so good...for hardware where it now(well after users made the choice, and without any way for them to know) means that Win10 devices will fall out of support faster than Win8.1 devices will.

It's also not a favorable anecdote for the 'Windows' glorious stable driver interface!' argument that always gets trotted out: It's not a huge surprise that an older part that always had shit support isn't getting shiny new drivers with WDDM 2.2 support; but Win10 1703 has apparently changed enough that those parts, which do have functioning drivers for earlier WDDM versions(probably 1.2 or 1.3; since they were introduced to support Win8; maybe 2.0 depending on how much polish they received for Win10) can't even continue to offer the features that they previously offered if you update to version 1703; while they did work in 1607.

That sort of stability an backward compatibility used to be something that Microsoft at least tried at and cared about; the change isn't a flattering one. Entirely in keeping with Microsoft's Apple-envy approach of late; but not a good thing.

Still crap

By martinX • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

"Uninstall this app now because it isn't compatible with Windows 10."

That sounds ominous, but you don't need to uninstall your existing version of Windows 10, and there's no app to uninstall. Instead, the message means your PC's hardware isn't compatible with the Creators Update.

And that's reason number eleventy billion why Windows is still crap. A simple message that is completely wrong. They can't even get that right.

Re:Sounds like...

By Kjella • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

That sort of stability an backward compatibility used to be something that Microsoft at least tried at and cared about; the change isn't a flattering one.

On the application side perhaps, the driver side has never been that way. Microsoft releases a new version of the OS, the manufacturer may or may not update their driver. Which if it was a shitty vendor often did not happen on products more than a few years old because they already have your money and want to sell you the shiny new stuff. But that was okay because you could just stay on your current Windows version and get 5+5 years of support from MS even though the manufacturer dropped the ball after two.

I thought it was bloody obvious what the consequences of "last version of Windows ever" and "the supported lifetime of the device" were, basically Windows will continually change and the hardware vendor has to keep up. If it doesn't, put it in the junk bin (or install Linux, but last I heard these PowerVR chips had even more terrible Linux support). Did you really think the plan was to continue to give you 10-15 years (manufacturer supporting version N+1, then 5+5 from Microsoft) of useful device life? Oh no, this is planned obsolescence at work.

Ask Slashdot: What Are Some Developer Secrets That Could Sink Your Business?

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
snydeq writes: In today's tech world, the developer is king -- and we know it. But if you're letting us reign over your app dev strategy, you might be in for some surprises, thanks to what we aren't saying, writes an anonymous developer in a roundup of developer secrets that could sink the business. "The truth is, we developers aren't always straight with you. We have a few secrets we like to keep for ourselves. The fact that we don't tell you everything is understandable. You're the boss, after all. Do you tell your boss everything? If you're the CEO, do you loop in the board on every decision? So don't be so surprised when we do it." What possible damaging programming dirt are you keeping the lid on? Some of the points the developer mentions in his/her report include: "Your technical debt is a lot bigger than you think," "We're infatuated with our own code," and "We'd rather build than maintain." If you can think of any others not mentioned in the report, we're all ears! This may be a good time to check the "Post Anonymously" box before you submit your comment.

"I'm working on it now..."

By corychristison • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

"I'm working on it now... Should be ready next week!"

*Alt+Tab back to Firefox with Slashdot open*

Germans get all the best fetish parties...

By TiggertheMad • Score: 5, Funny • Thread
Dev: "I lied on my resume; I said I worked for Google as a senior developer, but it was really a call center job with a company called 'Googe' that produces fake semen for German fetish parties." this product, is is available for import?

Re:The libraries we choose

By TheRaven64 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Uh, isn't that true of any native library? Most C and C++ libraries don't do anything you couldn't do yourself

You've selectively quoted him. The full complaint was:

many people use jQuery (which is a large CPU-heavy library) to do things that can be done in fewer lines of straight javascript

Why use a library and 10 lines of library calls to do something that you could do in 5 lines of code? You should use libraries when the cost of reimplementing the functionality is higher than the cost of using the library.

Re:We put everything in AWS

By TheRaven64 • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
It can be for cost savings if you have highly bursty workloads. If you need N machines for your peak loads but 0.1N machines most of the time, then something like AWS and only paying for 0.1N machines except during demand spikes is a lot cheaper than hosting N machines yourself. If you have a consistent workload, hosting your own machines is probably noticeably cheaper.

Re:Germans get all the best fetish parties...

By crtreece • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
Import? You can get it on amazon, multiple brands from multiple vendors. Bad Dragon, and others, make adult toys that shoot the stuff out. From the description
  • Resembles the look, feel, and scent of authentic semen
  • It is white, creamy, and musky
  • Non-staining, it stays slick and cleans up easily

Comcast Says Should Be Able To Create Internet Fast Lanes For Self-Driving Cars

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Verge: Comcast filed comments in support of the FCC's plan to kill the 2015 net neutrality rules today. And while pretty much everything in them is expected -- Comcast thinks the rules are burdensome and hurt investment, yet it says it generally supports the principles of net neutrality -- there's one telling new quirk that stands out in its phrasing: Comcast now says it's in support of a ban on "anticompetitive paid prioritization," which is really a way of saying paid prioritization should be allowed. "The commission also should bear in mind that a more flexible approach to prioritization may be warranted and may be beneficial to the public," Comcast says in its filing. The key qualification is "anticompetitive," which is a term that could be interpreted in a lot of different ways depending on who's defining it.

Comcast doesn't just see paid fast lanes being useful for medicine, however. It also thinks they might be fair to sell to automakers for use in autonomous vehicles. "Likewise, for autonomous vehicles that may require instantaneous data transmission, black letter prohibitions on paid prioritization may actually stifle innovation instead of encouraging it," the filing says. This makes Comcast's position pretty confusing. Comcast says it opposes prioritizing one website over another. It even suggests the commission adopt a "strong presumption against" agreements that benefit an ISP's own content over competitors' work, but it's not clear how benefiting one car company or telemedicine company over another is any different.


By jwhyche • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

My comcast internet service has been up and down for the past year. Every time I call to get it fixed I get the same song and dance. We are or have sent someone out to fix it and this is no longer a problem. Only to have it go down for a week or so later.

So, if they can't keep my fucking cable modem up a month or so, why the hell should I trust them with a automatic car?

Huh? That takes a special kind of stupid.

By dgatwood • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

No engineer in his/her right mind would ever even consider designing a self-driving car in such a way that it required instantaneous communication. There's too much potential for network failures even under ideal circumstances with a perfect signal, just from routing problems alone. And that's before you consider vehicles driving through tunnels, rain fade, spectrum congestion, deliberate interference, etc.

Basically, the FCC asked, as part of people's filings, to come up with ideas for innovation that would be made impossible without paid prioritization. As expected, Comcast tried, and as expected, failed.

Fundamentally, Internet service either works or it doesn't. If slowness causes something to fail, then the service doesn't work, and therefore the best that paid prioritization can do is give the customers the service that they paid for. If slowness does not cause something to fail, then paid prioritization serves no beneficial purpose.

Therefore, there is no plausible situation in which paid prioritization can possibly be beneficial to consumers. Period. At best, it can only increase the potential for consumer harm, and at worst, it is the direct cause of consumer harm.


By Lumpy • Score: 3 • Thread

Comcast cant deliver any of the bandwidth they promise. Their infrastructure is well over 10 years old and they REFUSE to upgrade it all over the place.
They can barely deliver 50mbps to customers regularly and reliably, they have ZERO chance of getting anything wireless working for self driving cars.

so when the brakes fail how long will I wait holdi

By Joe_Dragon • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

so when the brakes fail how long will I wait holding the line for jay (not his real name) to help me with an deep foreign accent?

Re:Already have 100 Gbps Internet3

By Joce640k • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread


And hands up who wants their automotive safety to depend on a Comcast Internet connection?

Trademarks Shows Amazon Has Sights On Meal-Kits, 'Single Cow Burgers' and Other Fast Food Options

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
The latest business Amazon may expand into is the business of meal-kits. According to TechCrunch, Amazon recently filed a trademark (serial number 87517760) for "We do the prep. You be the chef," which relates to a meal-kit service similar to the kind offered by Blue Apron and others. From the report: Amazon describes the service simply: "Prepared food kits composed of meat, poultry, fish, seafood, fruit and/or and vegetables and also including sauces or seasonings, ready for cooking and assembly as a meal; Frozen, prepared, and packaged meals consisting of meat, poultry, fish, seafood, fruit and/or vegetables; fruit salads and vegetable salads; soups and preparations for making soups." It turns out that, in fact, company in the last seven months had registered at least two other trademarks for slightly shorter versions of the same meal kit concept. Respectively, serial numbers 87418923 and 87256976 for "We prep. You cook" and "No-line meal kits," also relate to food-kit services along with marketing related to them. Amazon also has been quietly developing its own lines of pre-made food aimed at people searching for more quality ingredients. The company has, for example, around 10 trademarks filed related to the phrase "single cow burger."

Single Cow Burger

By dohzer • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

A.K.A. the "regular" size option in America.

Man Blames Tesla Autopilot System For Rollover Crash, Then Recants

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
According to AutoGuide, the driver of a Tesla is blaming the Autopilot system for a recent crash in Minnesota. "58-year old David Clark was approaching an intersection when he turned the Autopilot system on, causing the car to accelerate suddenly and veer off the road," reports AutoGuide. "The vehicle ended up on its roof in a marsh with all five occupants sustaining minor injuries." From the report: Tesla's Autopilot function is considered an SAE Level 2 autonomous system, meaning the car will accelerate and steer on its own, but the driver is expected to remain alert and intervene if necessary. In an emailed statement to Electrek, Tesla said it has yet to establish whether or not the Autopilot function was actually turned on at the time of the accident. The company also noted it is still the driver's responsibility to ensure the safe operation of the vehicle when Autopilot is engaged. AutoGuide's report was based off the information Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Office received and reported. Now, it appears the Tesla driver is claiming the self-driving Autopilot system wasn't responsible for the crash, despite what he initially told investigators. According to ABC News, Clark said he was confused in the moments after the crash. After discussing the crash with his fellow passengers, he now believes that he disengaged Autopilot by stepping on the accelerator before the crash. "I then remember looking up and seeing the sharp left turn which I was accelerating into. I believe we started to make the turn but then felt the car give way and lose its footing like we hit loose gravel," Clark wrote in the email.

Re:"The car will tattle on the driver."

By Pascoea • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

You've been driving this road for decades, so you know it's a long yellow light.

So you're saying, "I could have safely stopped for the yellow light, but since I know it's a long yellow I decided I could beat it." Along with all of the other "bad stuff" you mention, not driving defensively, poor hand placement, loud music, distracted driving, are all choices you make.

You may have done nothing wrong and couldn't have prevented the accident

Not doing any one of the 5 things you mentioned in your comment may or may not prevent the accident, but which one is going to look better on paper in front of a judge? Your argument is basically, if I get in an accident I don't want my car to tell the judge if I fucked up.

Re:This shouldn't be news

By PIBM • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

I once was t-boned in an intersection, during a snowstorm, while the other driver of that white car had shut off his lights to better see through the snow. He never saw the stop sign since his lights were off, and I had no way to see that someone was incoming. My car was totalled and thrown off the road.

I hit my head pretty hard on the window. Allegedly, I kind of removed the door to get out after the accident. While I do remember some things, not much, it appear that the cop asked me what I would do once he would let go of me. I replied that I would take my car and drive to meet my girlfriend. That's when he called an ambulance :)

Re:When will Tesla lose the name "Autopilot"?

By ShanghaiBill • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

The name "Autopilot" (while great) implies that nothing needs to be done by the driver

I have heard this said many many times by people that all have one thing in common: They don't own a Tesla, and have never driven one. So it doesn't matter if it is misleading to them, since they aren't actually using it. Likewise, it doesn't really matter if you misunderstand what a aircraft autopilot does if you aren't a pilot.

Meanwhile, for those of us that actually drive Teslas, there is no way that we are stupid enough to believe that it is "hands-off" just because of the name. Anyone that uses the system can see that it requires human interaction.

Re:I've said it before, and I'll say it again:

By Balthisar • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Autopilot is the best excuse for a driver getting into an accident that ever was invented. "No officer, it wasn't me! My car did it on its own!"

Any time I'm in my beater Expedition (it's only 2004), I have to remind myself that the cruise control is not adaptive. After being trained by Ford's stop-and-go ACC, it's really easy to be lulled into thinking that the truck will stop instead of rear-ending the car in front of me at a red light.

I'm an attentive driver under most circumstances. Seriously attentive, as in exclude the rest of the world attentive. Except when my car trains me not to be. If I can nearly fall into the spell, I wonder how dangerous the migration is going to be for other people who drive multiple cars, some of which without autonomous features?

Stepping on the gas seems logical

By houghi • Score: 3 • Thread

I said logical, not good.

When you see people driving into stores, they are almost always automatic cars. I believe the reason behind this is human behavior. We know that we need to press down the pedal if we want to stop, In a panic situation what I think is happening is that people have this instinct that they need to push down the pedal. They notice that they go faster, so they press down harder.
Then before people realize they are pushing down the wrong pedal, they hit something all the wile thinking they are doing the right thing. And as they go faster, they won't be calming down to realize the errors of their ways.

With a shift, the way to break is to first lift up your foot from the gas. That would already mean you will go slower. Next you need to press down the break. So going slower is a two-step process where the first is to move up your foot. And as taking your foot of the gas also means you will go slower, you will have a bit more time to correct your foot and press down the right pedal. And if you go faster (because you press down the wrong pedal) you will take off your foot and have time to get it right this time.

I can easily imagine that people press down the gas instead of the break. However the two step process would be safer compared to the one-step process. Just human nature. That does not mean automatic cars are less safe. They are just in these specific situation.

US To Create the Independent US Cyber Command, Split Off From NSA

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from PBS: After months of delay, the Trump administration is finalizing plans to revamp the nation's military command for defensive and offensive cyber operations in hopes of intensifying America's ability to wage cyberwar against the Islamic State group and other foes, according to U.S. officials. Under the plans, U.S. Cyber Command would eventually be split off from the intelligence-focused National Security Agency. The goal, they said, is to give U.S. Cyber Command more autonomy, freeing it from any constraints that stem from working alongside the NSA, which is responsible for monitoring and collecting telephone, internet and other intelligence data from around the world -- a responsibility that can sometimes clash with military operations against enemy forces. Making cyber an independent military command will put the fight in digital space on the same footing as more traditional realms of battle on land, in the air, at sea and in space. The move reflects the escalating threat of cyberattacks and intrusions from other nation states, terrorist groups and hackers, and comes as the U.S. faces ever-widening fears about Russian hacking following Moscow's efforts to meddle in the 2016 American election.

Like the NSA didn't have enough atonomy...

By evolutionary • Score: 3 • Thread
okay, the NSA violates the constitution against it's own citizens, as well as routinely breaks any number of laws, and they need MORE?!? The last thing any government department is less oversight. This sounds like someone attempt to get more data to somewhere in a space people like high lever officials (say Senators for example) are less likely (or able) to check up on things. Would be a lot easier to pipe data to..say..Russia.


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

Well, the head of the NSA refused to pledge loyalty to our current President, so...

Re:I'd be worried more about the OPM hack

By MightyMartian • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

"Widely debunked" by whom? We know the Russians did manage to break into some election systems in some states. We know that artfully timed email leaks probably had a significant effect on the election results, and we've seen the Russians trying similar stunts with recent European elections.

Just claiming "it's debunked" doesn't make the claims of Russian interference false. All it says is that you have willfully bought into a false narrative, and I'd be curious as to why you have bought into that narrative, considering we now know of at least three recent elections where the Russians were intentionally trying to give their preferred candidate the advantage.


By AHuxley • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
AC the "Julian Assange: 'A lot more material' coming on US elections" (July 27, 2016)
""Perhaps one day the source or sources will step forward and that might be an interesting moment some people may have egg on their faces. But to exclude certain actors is to make it easier to find out who our sources are,"" (15 December 2016)
"they were handed over to him at a D.C. park by an intermediary for 'disgusted' Democratic whistleblowers"
AC its more like the Pentagon Papers all over again. US domestic politics.


By youngone • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Well, the head of the NSA refused to pledge loyalty to our current President, so...

Which is a good thing, in the US no-one ever pledges loyalty to any individual. They might make a pledge to uphold the Constitution, but as far as I can tell the current President is the first to need personal loyalty from his officeholders.

Hacker Allegedly Steals $7.4 Million In Ethereum After Hijacking ICO

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader writes: An unknown hacker allegedly took over the website of an ethereum startup called Coindash, directing investors to send money to his or her own ethereum digital wallet, instead of the one controlled by Coindash. While Coindash noticed the hack almost immediately, the damage was done, and the hacker amassed more than $7 million in stolen cryptocurrency.

Why didn't I think of that...

By creimer • Score: 5, Funny • Thread
How do I hijack an icon file (*.ICO) to get $7.4M?

PGP Signed Message.

By 0100010001010011 • Score: 3 • Thread

No different than a hacker changing a mailing address to amass money sent to an address.

Why the hell did they not sign it with a PGP key to authenticate that they were who they said they were?

Re:Can it be invalidated?

By cunina • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Sure, but the precedent is very un-cryptocurrency. Reverting the transfer means that a central authority has the ability to invalidate transactions they don't like. Today it may be theft, but tomorrow it could be political contributions or purchases of "bad" items. It seems like that kind of thing would undermine the value of having a cryptocurrency in the first place.


By thegarbz • Score: 3 • Thread

Will only be worth $3.5million in 2 weeks anyway the way these currencies are going.

Crypto-money - what did you expect?

By GerryGilmore • Score: 3 • Thread
Some of my buddies were bemoaning not having bought some Bitcoin after one of its runups in price. I told them they'd be better off in Vegas. At least there you get free drinks while watching your money disappear.

Here's Elon Musk's Plan To Power the US on Solar Energy

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader shares an excerpt from Musk's keynote speech: Tesla CEO Elon Musk -- whose company makes electric cars and has a new solar roof panel division -- reminded more than 30 state governors at the National Governors Association meeting this weekend exactly how much real-estate is needed to make sure America can run totally on solar energy. "If you wanted to power the entire United States with solar panels, it would take a fairly small corner of Nevada or Texas or Utah; you only need about 100 miles by 100 miles of solar panels to power the entire United States," Musk said during his keynote conversation on Saturday at the event in Rhode Island. "The batteries you need to store the energy, so you have 24/7 power, is 1 mile by 1 mile. One square-mile." It's "a little square on the U.S. map, and then there's a little pixel inside there, and that's the size of the battery park that you need to support that. Real tiny."

Missing the point

By pz • Score: 3 • Thread

Many of these analyses are missing a basic, fundamental point and variations on that point: You don't have to do the full monty to get improvements.

1. Even if you only have solar farms and no batteries, that reduces the dependency on fossil fuel. For certain parts of the country, the times of maximum insolation correspond really quite well with maximum usage due to cooling and business / manufacturing needs, so no batteries needed, and the existing generating capacity can be scaled back to cover nights and days with less sun.

2. Battery capacity can be phased in (a corollary to point 1) and the system will still be useful.

3. Just because you can't do it all immediately and POOF have a sudden switchover to full solar doesn't mean it isn't a laudable goal to work in that direction. Moreover, because it will disrupt a fair chunk of the economy to switch over to solar, doing it gradually (on the scale of decades) makes sense.

4. Even if the goal is only to achieve 10% replacement of existing fuel-based generating capacity with solar, it's a good thing to do.

5. Our existing nuclear power plants have a finite lifetime and replacement capacity will need to come from somewhere.

6. Just because solar power doesn't make as much sense in certain parts of the country (primarily the more northern lattitudes) doesn't mean there is no value to deploying it where it does make sense.

7. Tesla is a battery manufacturer (among other things); chemical batteries aren't the only way to go for storage. Lithium batteries in particular might not even be a good way to go, given their limited lifetime and potential to catch fire as a failure mechanism.

8. Batteries alone (or some storage technology) without any solar power might be a good idea to allow scaling-back of peak generating capacity.

So, a national effort to improve the power infrastructure just might be a good idea, even if it isn't quite the pipe dream from the summary.


By bobbied • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

I disagree that the "tax credits" you are talking about are subsidies to the Oil Industry and are all that huge. These "Tax Credits" pale in comparison to such industries such as agriculture and the growing, fermenting corn for motor fuel. And WHY do we do these other things? To make food and fuel cheaper perhaps?

But again, we are not cutting the Oil Industry checks out of the government's checking account... In fact, the Oil Industry pays a boat load more than the "tax credits" in actual taxes, so they are a net plus to the nation's tax receipts... Then, if you look at motor fuel sales, boy howdy do the Oil Industry PAY there. What is the Federal Highway tax per gallon these days anyway? Who's paying that, if not the Oil Industry?


By bobbied • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

That's exactly the problem. Fossil fuels are not paying for the damage they do to health and the environment. They get to spew pollution and everybody else has to subsidize the damage. Fossil fuels shouldn't be allowed to free ride on everyone else.

So am I to assume that YOU don't have electricity in your house and don't depend on anything that uses it? After all, MOST of your daily supply of electrical power comes from fossil fuels. I also assume you Don't ride in a fossil fueled vehicle to work or buy goods (including food) transported by Truck, Train, or Aircraft? Don't have ANYTHING that's plastic rayon, or nylon in your home or in your wardrobe. No washer, dishwasher, clothes dryer, hair dryer, heating or cooling, no electric or kerosene lights, paraffin wax candles (only natural sources of wax, or whale oil for you to use as light sources)?

Oh, and you better just forget about buying almost ANY food out there, because we'd not have much food at all if it wasn't for Petrochemicals and the things like synthetic fertilizers they allow us to make.

And if you think Fossil Fuels are this big of a problem, I ask you to think about what happens if we just stop using them... Are you going to be the one picking which half of the world's population gets to die and which get's to suffer from malnutrition for their lives? Because THAT's where we are going to go if we do what I assume you are suggesting...


By bobbied • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

LOL.. That's from Tesla Power's PR campaign.

In case you haven't noticed, they haven't turned much of a profit yet and they are desperate to keep the stock price up to PE ratios that will make your nose bleed. They are just trying to forestall the inevitable stampede of sellers should it become apparent this whole idea isn't working out from the profit and loss perspective....Therefore, they and Tesla are hyping the stock (pump and dump kind of thing), which is what Musk is up to here. He's just trying to keep his fortune in Tesla Stock (that he couldn't sell if he wanted too) as high as he can, hoping beyond hope that eventually it turns a profit worthy of the stock price.

... with a little bit of nuclear

By blindseer • Score: 3 • Thread

Every time I hear people speak of a carbon free future they will mention wind, solar, hydro, and geothermal but add the caveat of something like "with a little bit of nuclear" as if to try to please the entirety of the crowd.

Musk is doing the same in his talks, he'll say that solar would work to meet our energy needs. Of course he'd say that, he's a salesman trying to sell his products. I ask, how much would it cost? Not just in dollars but in lives.

According to this study the safest energy source we have is nuclear power.

According to the EIA nuclear is very low cost in dollars too.

I've had people dispute the numbers on nuclear power safety by claiming those numbers did not include large scale accidents like Chernobyl. As far as I can tell the numbers not only include Chernobyl but also expected reduced lifespan from the survivors. Chernobyl is also largely irrelevant, no one builds nuclear power like that any more and no one would be foolish enough to do so in the future.

People then tend to dispute the solar death numbers by claiming that trip and fall deaths "don't count" for some reason. These are still people dead from the construction and maintenance of solar power, even if it's because people failed to follow the safety rules and paid with their lives for it. By this metric we could say Chernobyl deaths "don't count" because they failed to adhere to proper safety protocols and many died as a result. Dead is dead, and if we are honest about the deaths then nuclear is much safer than even solar.

Then there is the carbon footprint, the whole reason we are having this discussion.

Nuclear power has nearly half the carbon output per energy produced than solar photovoltaic power. Concentrated solar thermal power has a lower carbon footprint than nuclear but that is not what Musk is selling, likely because those cannot be put on the roof of your house and because at current estimates it would cost double what PV does.

I look at the math and I found that Musk has it backwards. The future isn't solar "with a little bit of nuclear", it's nuclear with a little bit of solar.

US Appeals Court Upholds Nondisclosure Rules For Surveillance Orders

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader shares a report: A U.S. federal appeals court on Monday upheld nondisclosure rules that allow the FBI to secretly issue surveillance orders for customer data to communications firms, a ruling that dealt a blow to privacy advocates. A unanimous three-judge panel on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco sided with a lower court ruling in finding that rules permitting the FBI to send national security letters under gag orders are appropriate and do not violate the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution's free speech protections. Content distribution firm CloudFlare and phone network operator CREDO Mobile had sued the government in order to notify customers of five national security letters received between 2011 and 2013.


By XXongo • Score: 3 • Thread
The link seems to go to an article on net neutrality. Correct link is here:

Violation of Canadian and EU rights

By WillAffleckUW • Score: 3, Funny • Thread

Just a note that this is still (as upheld by the Canadian Supreme Court and the EU) a violation of their citizens rights to privacy worldwide.

Besides, everyone knows the US is the sick man of NATO. Can't even afford healthcare for their citizens. Sad.

A gag order should require a warrant from a judge

By schwit1 • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
National security letters serve the same functions as a warrant but do not require judicial(disinterested party) oversight. A gag order is too large a step to permit one branch/agency to decide.

Re:A gag order should require a warrant from a jud

By kbonin • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Remember, Congress has stated that a term mandated by the Constitution has being only for a "limited period" is perfectly acceptable to set at "forever minus a day"; given such abuse of discretion I'm just shocked, shocked I say that the 9th Circuit decided once again the Constitution means the opposite of what it says. Because its a "living document", and living things can change their mind, right?

Lots of things make sense

By Cajun Hell • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Non-disclosure rules make a lot of sense.

You make a case for why the first amendment is a bad idea and ought to be repealed. I understand. Gun control advocates make a pretty good case for why the right to bear arms should be infringed. I'm sure people in law ernforcement can give some excellent reasons why the 4-6 amendments really ought to go, as they're making their jobs harder and you less safe.

For every amendment in the Bill of Rights, I bet you can make some pretty damn good arguments for why we would be better off without that amendment limiting the power of government. Think of the tax money we're wasting on military bases when we could just force homeowners to quarter soldiers.

Yet, for whatever reason, these damn amendments, which limit the power of our government (WTF, how can that possibly be a good idea if you're trying to make a good government), are still on the books! Why haven't we repealed the Bill of Rights yet? Wouldn't it be easier and more efficient, if we could eliminate all these things which waste the courts' time? Wouldn't this case have been handled much more quickly, if the appeals could have just explained, "The government can do anything it wants, so therefore of course this law is legal"?

All I can think of, is that some weirdos in the past placed these seemingly-arbitrary limits on the powers of government, because they had a totally different idea of what makes sense. Were they trying to optimize some other value? Could it be that they thought there might be more important things than worrying about whether or not a suspected criminal might find out that someone suspects? I can't imagine what.

It's all so mysterious! As Yangs, I think we ought to just stick to memorizing our holy words, and get rid of all these silly constraints on effective governance.

Porn Websites in UK Ordered To Introduce Age Checks From Next Year

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Reader dryriver shares an article: A nine-month countdown to the introduction of compulsory age checks on online pornography seen from the UK has begun. The April 2018 goal to protect under-18s was revealed as digital minister Matt Hancock signed the commencement order for the Digital Economy Act, which introduces the requirement. But details as to how the scheme will work have yet to be finalised. Experts who advised ministers said the targeted date seemed "unrealistic". The act also sets out other new laws including punishing the use of bots to snatch up scores of concert tickets, and mandating the provision of subtitles on catch-up TV. The age-check requirement applies to any website or other online platform that provides pornography "on a commercial basis" to people in the UK. It allows a regulator to fine any business that refuses to comply and to ask third-party payment services to withdraw support. The watchdog will also be able to force internet providers to block access to non-compliant services.

Slipper slope

By grumpy_old_grandpa • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

The slippery slope of censorship and surveillance in the UK is continuing at a disturbingly predictable path. The ISP level blocking mechanisms are already implemented and in production. Now it's just a matter of adding more sites, and control more of what citizens are allow to watch. Theresa May wants government back-doors in social network and communication apps. Not revealing your encryption key and password can land you in jail for years.

First they filtered child molestation.
Then they came for the pirate sites.
Then they blocked communication of terrorists.
Then it was any mature content.

Next? Opposing political opinions? Full ban on naked body images of any kind? All encrypted communication blocked and illegal without a back-door?


By gweihir • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

Up next: UK Internet to be separated from the "pool of filth" that the worldwide Internet is. To be replaced by "clean, healthy and non-degenerate UK contents". Also, UK borders to be closed in both direction and to be secured by mine-fields and auto-guns (know-how comes from former GDR experts) to protect UK people from wandering into dangerous rest-of-the world areas.

This means a great firewall of UK I presume?

By tomxor • Score: 3 • Thread

This kind of ignorant policy making is annoying because for it to actually work at all the following must be true:

Implement a global white list for all of the internet (AKA absolute censorship and 1x10^-9999999% of sites available)

Of course what they will actually do is approach it through legislation which will do about fuck all because UK !== internet... but a small piece of me wants them to attempt absolute censorship so the idiots in parliament can see first hand what a bunch of fucking pillocks they all are as they realise it would mean self destruction of the UK economy. Don't meddle with what you don't understand... oh wait that's basically the definition of politics, yes this shit makes me very cynical.

Re:With the added bonus

By Xest • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

To be fair last time we had a hardline fundamentalist Christian like Theresa May able to do shit like this called Jacqui Smith it was her husband's porn habits that got leaked.

It was quite funny watching her fall to her husband's secret porn viewing habits which he paid for using her parliamentary expenses as she waged a crusade against porn.

If she had any sense she'd have claimed it as research into ease of access, but thankfully like most hardline religious zealots she was astoundingly dumb, though for whatever reason the BBC seems to randomly help her with her crusade by giving her air time about the topic now and then.

But really this is the type of shit we're going to get more of thanks to Brexit - many leading Brexiteers are also hardline fundamentalist Christians like May, and without the European Courts to protect us against their particularly vile brand of fascism it'll be a free ride for them on issues like this. That's why the Rees-Moggs of the world and such are so desperate to prevent May falling and to avoid any kind of compromise.

Re:And in other news

By mjwx • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Sales of US based VPN's to people in the UK double in a matter of weeks.

The US?

With their crazy laws, insane president and that extradition treaty... Hell no, I'll just use the same Norwegian end point I use to access torrent sites.

Our conservative government may be batshit insane but the US's makes our government look well and truly grounded in reality.

It's Trivially Easy to Hack into Anybody's Myspace Account

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
If you are one of the almost half a billion people who at some point used to be on Myspace, the hottest social network of the early 2000s, you should know that almost anyone can hack into your account. From a report: Myspace offers a mechanism to recover an account for people who have lost access to their old associated email address. A security researcher has discovered that it's relatively easy to abuse this mechanism to hack into anyone's account. All a wannabe hacker needs is the target's full name, username, and date of birth. Security researcher Leigh-Anne Galloway disclosed the vulnerability on Monday. She says she informed Myspace about the vulnerability almost three months ago and the site hasn't acknowledged or fixed it.


By Anonymous Coward • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

That site still exists?

Next Breaking story!

By 140Mandak262Jamuna • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
The locomotives of Lake Chamberlain Logging and Paper Company, Maine have absolutely no security and they are sitting there in the jungle clearing for any one to come in ride away (after raising steam and laying the railroad)

The same thing will happen with your Facebook page

By cyn1c77 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

in 10 years. Keep that in mind as you post on it.

What will Zuckerberg do with all that information when he is getting desperate?

Hey Beavis...

By zifn4b • Score: 3 • Thread
Beavis: Yea?
Butthead: He used his real date of birth on his MySpace account
Beavis: What a dumbass, heh heh.
Butthead: Heh heh heh heh heh heh. What's MySpace?

Chipmakers Nvidia, AMD Ride Cryptocurrency Wave -- For Now

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
During California's Gold Rush, it was often the sellers of pickaxes and shovels who made the most money. In the frenzy to get rich quick from cryptocurrencies, some investors are calling computer chipmakers the modern-day equivalent. From a report: Shares of Nvidia and Advanced Micro Devices have gained at least 14 percent since the beginning of June, spurred in part by about a 10-fold boom from April to June in a market, known as ethereum, for a currency that can be used to buy computing power over the internet. What's the link between ethereum and these Silicon Valley chipmakers? It lies in the really powerful graphics processors, designed to make computer games more realistic, that are also needed to gain access to encrypted digital currencies. Nvidia and AMD have rallied in the last month and a half even as investors have ignored chip stocks leaving the benchmark Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index up about 1 percent. Nvidia has gained 14 percent and AMD rallied 27 percent. While some of that has come from optimism around new products for other markets, analysts are projecting that sales related to cryptocurrencies will result in a spike in revenue for both companies. Even so, investors shouldn't bank on a lasting impact from the cryptocurrency boom, said Stacy Rasgon, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. "This has happened before," Rasgon said. "It lasted about a quarter." [...] Like bitcoin, ethereum is an attempt by an online community to create an economy that doesn't rely on government-backed currencies. Unlike bitcoin, it's focused solely on offering decentralized computing and storage services. Those seeking to use these services -- and speculators looking for a quick profit by creating and then selling ether -- have seized on graphics cards, which excel at performing multiple simple calculations in parallel, as a faster way to claim the blocks of code that act as the currency of the ethereum market. Demand from ethereum miners has created temporary shortages of some of the graphics cards, according to analysts, who cite sold-out products at online retailers. Estimates of additional sales from this demand run as high as $875 million, according to RBC Capital Markets analyst Mitch Steves. That would roughly equal AMD's total sales from graphics chips last year, or half of Nvidia's quarterly sales of those components. But Steves and other analysts are also quick to warn that the market opportunity could fizzle out.

Power companies love this shit too

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

What's not to love about people intentionally burning as much electricity as they can to get nothing useful done?

Ethereum bubble may be bursting.

By Athanasius • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
It seemed strange to read this /. story given I'd read the following earlier in the day:


By Khashishi • Score: 3, Interesting • Thread

AFAIK, all cryptocurrencies are not scalable. You have to verify all transactions against an ever-growing blockchain which contains all transactions. Race type collisions will become more and more frequent with more people in the system. Eventually, it will come to a grinding halt, or people will move on to other things. Maybe there's a solution, but it doesn't exist yet. The founders certainly know that it can't last, so it's basically a Ponzi scheme.

'Windows 10 Is Failing Us'

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Reader BrianFagioli writes: While Windows 10 is arguably successful from a market share perspective, it is still failing in one big way -- the user experience. Windows 8.x was an absolute disaster, and Microsoft's latest is certainly better than that, but it is still not an enjoyable experience. Before the company tries to add new features (and misses deadlines) like Timeline and Cloud Clipboard, it should focus more on improving the existing user experience. Right now it is failing us and things are not getting better. Even the third-party solutions that aim to turn this spying off aren't 100-percent successful. Unless you unplug from the internet entirely, you can't stop Windows from phoning home to Microsoft. This is a shame, as some consumers are being made to feel violated when using their own computer. Another issue that I can't believe hasn't been resolved is having two locations for system settings. Seriously, Microsoft? We still have "Settings" and "Control Panel" Live Tiles are still worthless, and it is time for Microsoft to kill them. Nobody opens an app launcher and stares at the icons for information. It is distracting and pointless. If I want the weather, I'll open a weather app and see it -- not stare at the icon for the information. It sort of made sense in the Windows 8.x era since you were presented with a full screen of app icons more often, but with a more traditional start-button design in Windows 10, it is time to retire it. Another example: Microsoft doesn't force you to use Edge and Bing entirely, but it still does force you. Cortana is a hot mess, but if you opt to use her, she will only open things in Edge. Searches are Bing-only. In other words, the virtual assistant ignores your default browser settings. Why? Not for the user's benefit. Sadly, the Windows Store is a garbage dump -- many of the "legit" apps are total trash.


By zlives • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

they don't have to spend cash on advertising, i already moved to MacOS with a win7 VM. i am sure i am not alone.


By Anonymous Brave Guy • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

That's not entirely fair. Among other visible changes, Windows 7 had much better support for later hardware than Windows XP, faster boot times, and UI improvements like the task bar and jump list arrangement and the various preview-like features. It also introduced new networking protocols, security features, performance improvements and other internal or developer-facing benefits. The cost was a loss of compatibility with some older hardware because of the changes in the driver model, but overall it was a significant win for most users.

The sad thing is that reportedly Windows 10 would bring many similar incremental improvements in terms of better hardware support, improved security, and so on. It's just that the costs in terms of reliability, security, privacy and usability are so much higher that many potential users just aren't interested.


By s1d3track3D • Score: 5, Funny • Thread
So to summarize, Microsoft continues to dominate the market and release the same quality software we have come to expect...

Windows 7 will be my last

By hambone142 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

I'm running Windows 7. Windows 8 was an abomination and Windows 10 isn't any better.

Unless Microsoft starts giving a damn about their customers and reverts back to a usable OS, I'll stay on Win7 until it's unusable and migrate to Linux Mint.

I've already done it on one of my machines to get used to it and it works fine.

So long, Microsoft.

Re:Getting the Basics Right...

By ShakaUVM • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

You want to talk regressions - if I move a single icon on my desktop, all the icons on the left hand side leap downwards by four icon places. If I save anything to desktop, they all move.

This is after updating to the latest Win10 on my gaming box. Before, if I turned my monitor off and on again it would reset all the icons on the desktop. There are huge threads of people having the same problems.

You can't make this shit up - desktop icons have not been a problem since the Win95 days.

Atari Is Back In the Hardware Business, Unveils Ataribox

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Reader MojoKid writes: Atari CEO Fred Chesnais confirmed the company was working on a brand new console back in June this year at E3, but today the company has officially unveiled the product. The new Ataribox console draws on some of the classic styling of the original Atari 2600 console but with a modernized flare, though still sporting that tasty wood grain front panel. Atari is also looking to make the Ataribox a bit more user-friendly and expandable than its Nintendo rivals through the addition of an SD card slot and four USB ports (in addition the requisite HDMI port). The new console will be based on PC component technologies but will be available with a number of classic games to let you bask in the early days of console gaming. However, Atari will also be bringing what is being billed as "current content" to the console as well. So, we can expect to see brand new licensed games for the Ataribox, although it's hard to say, given just its size to go on, what sort of horsepower is lurking under the Ataribox's hood. "We know you are hungry for more details; on specs, games, pricing, timing," said Atari in a statement sent via email. "We're not teasing you intentionally; we want to get this right, so we've opted to share things step by step as we bring this to life, and to listen closely to the Atari community feedback as we do so."

Will it run full emulators? or the crap pay ones?

By Joe_Dragon • Score: 3 • Thread

Will it run full emulators? or the crap pay ones?

Let you load your own roms?

Missing a few features...

By creimer • Score: 3 • Thread
I don't see a cartridge slot or nine-pin connectors for joysticks.

Only Atari in name

By elrous0 • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

The company calling itself Atari today has no real connection to the real Atari of old, except in name. For all intents and purposes, the real Atari went out of business in 1984. The name has changed hands many times since.

They should partner with Valve

By rsilvergun • Score: 3 • Thread
Make it a Steam Box. Otherwise what's the point of x86? I guess the could run Windows but the cost would probably be to high.

Atari ST

By should_be_linear • Score: 3 • Thread
I would love to see PC designed in Atari ST or Amiga style, meaning as a slightly enlarged keyboard, with good performance for both gaming AND tinkering (i7, 1080 Ti, 32 GB RAM, SSD 500 GB), good price (1000$). I really loved being able to carry my computer around, attach it to TV, and play with my friends anywhere, not being attached to some stupid desk with stupid tower under the desk and all the stupid cables, speakers and whatnot.

Media Player Classic Home Cinema (MPC-HC) for Windows Pushes What Could Be Its Last Update

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Popular open-source media player for Windows, Media Player Classic Home Cinema -- or MPC-HC, has issued what it says could be the last update the app ever receives. The team writes: v1.7.13, the latest, and probably the last release of our project... For quite a few months now, or even years, the number of active developers has been decreasing and has inevitably reached zero. This, unfortunately, means that the project is officially dead and this release would be the last one. ... Unless some people step up that is. So, if someone's willing to really contribute and has C/C++ experience, let me know on IRC or via e-mail. Otherwise, all things come to an end and life goes on. It's been a nice journey and I'm personally pretty overwhelmed having to write this post.

Maybe it's good enough?

By foxalopex • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

I have to admit I've used MPC-HC for many many years now, in fact I'm using an old out of date version. I wonder if basically it's "good enough" that it doesn't need further development? There's products like "PuTTY" which essentially don't update for ages because the open source product fulfills it's function. Unless the product needs more fancy features which often risks breaking things. Time will tell I suppose.

If it works

By ArchieBunker • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Why keep working on something that works as intended?

Thank you!

By hyades1 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

The people who created and updated this software deserve a huge "Thank You" from people who used it for years, including me. I mostly use VideoLAN now, but still have MPC on my computers, where it has lived happily since Day 1 (and will continue). It has always done exactly what it promised without gobbling a lot of resources and without trying to make itself the star of the show. The best thing about it is that the developers never fell into the "bloatware" trap.

So whatever happens, thank you Kacper Michajlow, XhmikosR, Goran Dzaferi and JellyFrog (still listed as "Active People"), and many now listed as inactive who contributed in the past.

People forget that when Media Player Classic came along, it was at a time when Microsoft seemed determined to force non-tech users to use Media Player, which was becoming more bloated, invasive and greedy with every update. MPC was a breath of fresh air.

I'm not surprised

By thegarbz • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

MPC-HC has been incredibly feature complete for a long time. I mean the list of fixes, changes, and features look impressive with each release but frankly I'm running a 3 year out of date version on my desktop and compared to my laptop running something very recent ... errr.... the buttons look a bit different...?

For the longest time it has truly excelled at it's core feature: The ability to play videos via a small footprint media player.

Oh behalf of the many users: Thanks for your hard efforts over the years, and thanks for not turning it into a steaming turd as much of the rest of the world seems to embrace change for changes sake. I see the abandoning of this project after its long stability in design and core purpose as part of its success story.

Re:This is why not to use open source

By danomac • Score: 4 • Thread

Good luck with that, considering more and more userspace applications have systemd as a hard dependency.

HTC Keyboard Ads Likely an Error, But Damage is Already Done

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader shares a report: Ads in the stock keyboard app on a flagship smartphone added quietly via an app update, which then asks you to pay to remove them. You'd be hard pressed to come up with a more comically villainous thing for a phone manufacturer, or app developer, to pull on its users. Yet that's what's been happening to some HTC phone owners over the past day. HTC 10 owners seem to be worst affected (we're not seeing it on the newer U11 for what it's worth), with the ad bar taking up a good chunk of screen real estate. There's understandable outrage among HTC owners whose phones have started coughing up ads every time they open the keyboard. The consensus, obviously, is that this is not an OK place for ads to be appearing. In a statement, HTC said it was an error, and a fix is underway.

Re:Stick with the iPhone

By LVSlushdat • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

THAT, friends, is why you root the shit out of Android and then use an app like AdAway, which uses the /etc/hosts file to block ads, which is why root is required. I tried other adblockers that didnt use the hosts file and none worked worth a damn.. Before I rooted my phone, it was endless ads in EVERYthing, and of course, this crap was eating up my data like mad, for which I pay for what I use (am on Once I rooted and installed AdAway, no more ads, and my data consumption went down signifcantly...

Re:Stick with the iPhone

By Dishevel • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

I have no ads anywhere other than in browser on sites that have them. Maybe it is because I choose decent apps and pay for them. Instead of downloading every piece of shit freeware on the face of the planet and then complaining about it.

Re:An error

By pop ebp • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
I believe it was an error. Although HTC does deserve part of the blame.
You see, the "stock keyboard" was actually a third-party app, which is ad-supported by default.
The HTC version is supposed to be a special ad-free version, but somehow during the latest update the app developers pushed the ad-supported version to HTC devices as well.

If anything, this demonstrates the dangers of bundling apps that you don't directly control.
And who's to say the ad-free version doesn't still track the user or collect personal information? If it wants it could collect all your passwords too!
It was really poor judgement on HTC's part to use such an app for a sensitive component like the stock keyboard.

Re:Stick with the iPhone

By aaronb1138 • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
On Samsung phones, you can leverage Knox to get device administration without root. Adhell notably uses Knox and in addition to ad-blocking, it also allows freezing of preinstalled crapware.

All of that said, obtrusive ads should be subject to similar laws as the "do no call" list. A $500 fine for each infraction of a "do not advertise" list would go a long way.

Re:Stick with the iPhone

By sexconker • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

THAT, friends, is why you root the shit out of Android and then use an app like AdAway, which uses the /etc/hosts file to block ads, which is why root is required. I tried other adblockers that didnt use the hosts file and none worked worth a damn.. Before I rooted my phone, it was endless ads in EVERYthing, and of course, this crap was eating up my data like mad, for which I pay for what I use (am on Once I rooted and installed AdAway, no more ads, and my data consumption went down signifcantly...

The problem with this is you lose access to a ton of apps that rely on "SafetyNet". Everything from Pokemon GO to AndroidPay to SnapChat uses SafetyNet and will refuse to run if it can detect that your system image has been modified or if it can detect that you have root access. (In SnapChat's case it only does this when you want to log in, so you can disable root, log in, then root again.) More and more apps are using SafetyNet, and it's fucking awful. It's a cat and mouse game to get root and still pass SafetyNet.

Amazon May Unveil Its Own Messaging App

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
The messaging app field is as hot as ever with Apple, Facebook and Google (among others) slugging it out... and Amazon appears to want in on the action. From a report: AFTVnews claims to have customer survey info revealing that Amazon is working on Anytime, a messaging app for Android, iOS and the desktop that promises a few twists on the usual formula. It has mainstays like message encryption, video, voice and (of course) stickers, but it reportedly has a few hooks that would make it easy to sign up and participate in group chats. You would only need a name to reach out to someone, for one thing -- no WhatsApp-style dependence on phone numbers here. You only have to use Twitter-style @ mentions to bring people into conversations or share photos, and you can color-code chats to identify the most important ones. Naturally, there are app-like functions (such as group music listening and food ordering) and promises of chatting with businesses for shopping or customer service.

And in a year ...

By John Jorsett • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
will we be hearing that Amazon is going to be selling our names and chat contents to third parties for advertising purposes?

Another messaging app...

By GuB-42 • Score: 3 • Thread

Obligatory XKCD :

Re:Let's hope it's not the no-Linux AppData bomb

By stealth_finger • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

If there's no Linux version

Of course there will no no linux version. Not nearly enough people to advertise to and the ones that there are will say 'fuck this shit'


By DontBeAMoran • Score: 3 • Thread

We are still getting fucking iframe banners with a static position at the top that covers 33% of our display.

Slashdot is fucking broke, you annoy us with shit like this and you wonder why you are losing readers. Fucking imbeciles.

Please don't

By slashdice • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
Amazon's consumer facing software is awful. I assume they outsource it to the cheapest Indian body shop they can find.

American ISPS Are Now Fighting State Broadband Privacy Proposals

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
The EFF complains that "the very companies who spent millions of dollars lobbying in D.C. to repeal our federal broadband privacy rights are now fighting state attempts to protect consumers because they supposedly prefer a federal rule." The EFF urges Californians to phone their state senator ahead of a crucial back-to-back committee hearings on Tuesday. An anonymous reader writes: "Congress stole your online privacy. Let's seize it back," begins an email that the EFF is sending to California supporters. It warns that "Big Telecom has massive amounts of money to spend on an army of lobbyists. But if Internet users from across California unite with one voice, we can defeat their misinformation campaign... Don't let the big ISPs coopt our privacy."

The EFF's site points out that more than 83% of Americans support the privacy regulations which were repealed in March by the U.S. Congress, according to a new poll released last week. That's even more than the 77% of Americans who support keeping current net neutrality protections in place, according to the same poll. The EFF now hopes that California's newly-proposed legislation could become a model for privacy-protecting laws in other states. And back in Silicon Valley, the San Jose Mercury News writes that California "has an obligation to take a lead in establishing the basic privacy rights of consumers using the Internet. Beyond being the right thing to do for the whole country, building trust in tech products is an essential long-term business strategy for the industry that was born in this region."

The EFF has also compiled an interesting list of past instances where ISPs have already tried to exploit the personal information of their customers for profit.

Your data is a revenue stream

By zifn4b • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
Of course they would fight this. Selling your data is a revenue stream and it's very popular these days.

Re:More EFF Scaremongering for Profit

By chefmonkey • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

If this were true, they would have pushed for the privacy rules to be clarified rather than repealed.

This is very much a case of "you shat that bed, now you get to lie in it." Zero sympathy for the carriers here.

Re:Privacy is dead, move on

By squiggleslash • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

He means that he'll doubleclick on the icon for Trumpet Winsock, click on the "Dial" button, beep-boop-beep-boop-boop-beep-boop (pause) hmmmmbeepitybeewhoooooshcracklewhooosh (silence) and then a few seconds later, Eudora will suddenly report he has one new mail message. How do they know??! HOW DO THEY KNOW?!!!

Re:Well of course

By hord • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Theories never take into account human irrationality or the desire for inefficient outcomes. It's always assumed that pure, utilitarian goals are the norm and that actors are infallible or immediately held accountable for poor performance. Reality reflects none of these assumptions and any theory that only attempts to explain the world through simple maximums and minimums cannot be correct by definition because it complete erases individual preference and experience.

What does "ISPS" stand for?

By sootman • Score: 3 • Thread

... because the plural of "ISP" is ISPs.

New Interactive Basic Electronics Textbook Launched Online

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
Long-time Slashdot reader compumike writes: The group that first brought schematics and circuit simulation to the browser has now released the first few chapters of Ultimate Electronics: Practical Circuit Design and Analysis, an interactive online textbook for people learning electronics. The materials released today cover about half of a first semester undergraduate electronics course.

Re:Looks more like intermediate to me

By backslashdot • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

No, that is exactly where it must start. I'm sorry but designing anything more useful than an LED chaser or blinking WS2812 lights requires mathematics.


By Anonymous Coward • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

[Disclaimer] I just skimmed it, I really should be doing something else.

That said, it looks well-organized and done with attention to detail. Kudos for tackling the hard stuff right on -- and to the beginners out there: don't fear to take that first step. It will pay off.

Totally kudos for being *really* usable without javascript. See, I'm the usual anti-javascript whiner around here[1]. Now I understand that the embedded simulations won't work for a javascript-challenged browser, that's OK; moreover, for me the formulae look TeXy -- I understand that they look much nicer to javascript-friendlier browsers, courtesy of (guessing here, didn't look) MathJax, but the thing is I'm fluent enough in TeX (you gotta, if you don't "do" javascript, right?) and TeX is a *much* nicer fallback than (gasp!) MathML or whatever.

It's not often that you can see these days someone going the extra mile to have their pages "degrade" gracefully. *Very* gracefully: the book still looks & feels gorgeous to us ascets.

Kudos, overall.

[1] Yes, I'm one of those folks who learnt as a child to not put everything I find on the street into his mouth.

Re:Looks more like intermediate to me

By Harold Halloway • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

I agree that a firm understanding of maths is vital for an understanding of electronics. The way that it is presented though looks to me as though the course would be best presented in a classroom environment. It is perfectly possible to present the maths and the practical aspects side-by-side; dumping Large Asymptotic Approximations on the unsuspecting student as chapter 1, part 1 is not the way to do it for a lot of people.

Re:Looks more like intermediate to me

By AmiMoJo • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Designing complex circuits does require maths, but not on the level this thing starts out with.

Of much more practical use would be to learn about all the basic component types. Maths wise all you really need is V=IR and you can design a huge number of useful circuits, from power supplies to complex digital systems. Throw in a little theory about op-amp operation, which is really basic maths, and you can do a whole lot of analogue stuff too.

This is a beginners course. Lot of people learn by doing, in fact it's much more common than people who learn by reading alone. That's why most books start with practical examples and measuring stuff.

Re:Looks more like intermediate to me

By Plus1Entropy • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

I'm an Electrical Engineer and I don't have a clue what Large Asymptotic Approximation is. After reading the chapter here I can say that yes these techniques are used, but generally on fairly complex or advanced circuits, usually containing active elements.

Such approximations are necessary when a full closed-form solution is prohibitively complicated and the error in the approximation is sufficiently small. So yeah, definitely not an introductory technique.

Ask Slashdot: What Are The Lesser-Known Roles Of The IT Department?

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
chadenright writes: On the same day that I was hired into a new IT position, my new employer also bought a pair of $1,500 conference phones from a third-party vendor, which turned out to be defective; I've spent a chunk of the last two weeks arguing with the vendor. During the process I've learned that, as the IT guy, I'm also the antibody of the corporation and my job is to prevent not just malware and viruses but also junk hardware from entering my business's system. As a software engineer who is new to the IT side of things, I have to ask, what else have you learned about IT?
What fresh hell has this software engineer gotten themselves into? Leave your best answers in the comments. What are the lesser-known roles of the IT department?

Re:IT is a black hole

By Anon-Admin • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Last time I was told "IT is just a cost center" I looked at the VP and asked where he heard that. When he responded with "Accounting" I pointed out that accounting was a cost center as well, heck even your management position is a cost center. I don't understand what IT being a cost center has to do with anything as everyone not in sales is a cost center.

Re:If you thought enterprise IT was just software

By dbIII • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

you volunteer to take on this other role and demonstrate your mastery and then you negotiate compensation for it

For a job on a fixed wage?
You seem a little bit out of touch so perhaps should not be so critical.

I.T. Hell

By acoustix • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

In addition to handling all software and hardware installation and support we are supposedly supposed to know every employee's role so that we can do their jobs for them. It never ceases to amaze me how many people think it's my job to do a vlookup or setup fuel routing solutions. Apparently we don't require our employees to know a damn thing, just push it to the I.T. department to get it a company with 1,000+ employees and an I.T. staff of 5.

Notice I didn't say that we purchase software. No no....that would mean that we're involved in that process. Instead some other department purchases the software and then notifies IT after the fact. It doesn't matter if it will work with existing hardware/software because the software salesman said it will work just fine. And salesmen never lie.

Some days I think I would rather flip burgers for a living.

Re:If you thought enterprise IT was just software

By Anon-Admin • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Having worked in IT for over 30 years and having worked for Fortune 100 companies, I have never see it work this way.

I have seen C-Level executives come in with a great new idea about how they were going to save the company millions by changing everybody's desktop to BYOD. Thus eliminating the need for the company to buy, maintain, and repair desktop systems. That lasted all of 30 days before security and legal come down on him.

In today's corporate IT environment we have to meet regulations. They may be something as simple as SOX or as complex as GxP. In those regulatory environments having an open network where everyone can bring in any piece of equipment and plug it is becomes a major problem. As such there are policies in place, there is training, there are physical restrictions, and there are software enforced restrictions.

I am currently working for a rather large Aerospace company that was recently acquired by another company. The new management seem to have problems understanding that having everyone on one network is an issue. The new company has locations in China, Taiwan, and Korea. The company they bought handles government contracts from everyday items to items that are classified. It is a violation of federal law to have foreign nationals on our network because of the government contracts we have.

So, from a management point of view I am sure that having everyone able to bring in whatever they want and connect it sounds great. however in the real world IT and IT Security are the ones that have to, not only manage them, but they also work to mitigate the legal risk. Some of the more important jobs in IT, is to protect the company's digital assets. Including understanding the laws, regulations, requirements, and licensing of the products the company uses.

Re: If you thought enterprise IT was just software

By KGIII • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

A power chord? You gonna be a rock star?

George A. Romero, Martin Landau Both Died This Weekend

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
This weekend the world lost two familiar faces from the world of fantasy, horror and science fiction films -- director George A. Romero and actor Martin Landau. An anonymous reader writes: Bronx-born director Romero started his career with a segment for Mister Rogers' Neighborhood about tonsilectomies, but is best remembered for his influential zombie movies Night of the Living Dead (1968), Dawn of the Dead (1978), Day of the Dead (1985), and Land of the Dead (2005), as well as the 1982 horror film Creepshow (written by Stephen King). In 1998 Romero also directed a zombie-themed ad for Resident Evil 2, and later even wrote a rejected script for the first Resident Evil movie. In 2004 Romero began work on a zombie video game City of the Dead, which was ultimately never finished. Romero appears as himself in the zombie section of Call of Duty: Black Ops, and in 2014 Marvel comics launched Empire of the Dead, a 15-issue title written by Romero.

Martin Landau began his career playing a gunfighter in the third episode of The Twilight Zone, and a time-travelling astronaut in the sixth episode of The Outer Limits. Soon he was starring as master of disguise Rollin Hand on Mission: Impossible -- which ran from 1966 to 1973 -- and on Space: 1999, which ran from 1975 to 1977. At the age of 66 Landau finally won an Oscar for his portrayal of Bela Lugosi in Tim Burton's 1994 film Ed Wood. In 2012 Landau also provided the voice of the science teacher in Burton's Frankenweenie, and had an uncredited role in the director's 1999 movie Sleepy Hollow as one of the early victims of the headless horseman. Landau was also in the 1998 X-Files movie (playing the doctor who tips off Mulder that there's something suspicious in the morgue).

Slashdot reader schwit1 remembers that Landau began his career playing a sadistic henchman in Alfred Hitchcock's North by Northwest (who appears in the climactic final scene on Mt. Rushmore) -- and that Landau famously turned down the role of Mr. Spock on Star Trek.

Rest In Peace

By ma1wrbu5tr • Score: 5, Funny • Thread
Rest in Peace if you can, George.

Space 1999

By Roger W Moore • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
Farewell Commander Koenig.

I hear George begins directing new movie next week

By Maxo-Texas • Score: 4, Funny • Thread