the unofficial Slashdot digest for 2017-Dec-06 today archive


  1. Victims of Mystery Attacks In Cuba Left With Anomalies In Brain Tissue
  2. Judge Dismisses Lawsuit That Claims Google Paid Female Employees Less Than Male Colleagues
  3. Warrantless Surveillance Can Continue Even If Law Expires, Officials Say
  4. ReactOS 0.4.7 Released
  5. FCC Chair Ajit Pai Falsely Claims Killing Net Neutrality Will Help Sick and Disabled People
  6. AMD Quietly Made Some Radeon RX 560 Graphics Cards Worse
  7. Ask Slashdot: How Do I Explain Copyright To My Kids?
  8. EU Urges Internet Companies To Do More To Remove Extremist Content
  9. Apple Issues Security Updates for MacOS, iOS, TvOS, WatchOS, and Safari
  10. NiceHash Hacked, $62 Million of Bitcoin May Be Stolen
  11. Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Boosts CPU and GPU Performance, Delivers 4K HDR Capture, 3x Faster AI Processing
  12. AI Can Beat Humans Only One Game At a Time
  13. Google's DeepMind AI Becomes a Superhuman Chess Player In a Few Hours
  14. Inside Baidu's Bid To Lead the AI Revolution
  15. Steam Ends Support For Bitcoin
  16. Facebook and YouTube Are Full of Pirated Video Streams of Live NFL Games
  17. Air Pollution Harm To Unborn Babies May Be Global Health Catastrophe, Warn Doctors
  18. 'Bitcoin Could Cost Us Our Clean-Energy Future'
  19. The International Space Station is Super Germy
  20. Facebook Tops List of Best Places To Work -- Again
  21. Yahoo Sues Mozilla For Breach of Contract -- So Mozilla Counter Sues Yahoo
  22. Amazon Prime Video App Launches on Apple TV
  23. 'We Could Fund a Universal Basic Income With the Data We Give Away To Facebook and Google'
  24. New Evidence Points To Icy Plate Tectonics On Europa
  25. Google Wants Progressive Web Apps To Replace Chrome Apps

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

Victims of Mystery Attacks In Cuba Left With Anomalies In Brain Tissue

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: American victims of mysterious attacks in Cuba have abnormalities in their brains' white matter, according to new medical testing reported by the Associated Press. But, so far, it's unclear how or if the white-matter anomalies seen in the victims relate to their symptoms. White matter is made up of dense nerve fibers that connect neurons in different areas of the brain, forming networks. It gets its name from the light-colored electrical insulation, myelin, that coats the fibers. Overall, the tissue is essential for rapidly transmitting brain signals critical for learning and cognitive function.

In August, U.S. authorities first acknowledged that American diplomats and their spouses stationed in Havana, Cuba, had been the targets of puzzling attacks for months. The attacks were carried out by unknown agents and for unknown reasons, using a completely baffling weaponry. The attacks were sometimes marked by bizarrely targeted and piercing noises or vibrations, but other times they were completely imperceptible. Victims complained of a range of symptoms, including dizziness, nausea, headaches, balance problems, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), nosebleeds, difficulty concentrating and recalling words, permanent hearing loss, and speech and vision problems. Doctors have also identified mild brain injuries, including swelling and concussion. U.S. officials now report that 24 Americans were injured in the attacks but wouldn't comment on how many showed abnormalities in their white matter.


By Rei • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

There was zero precedent for people being killed by bullets until the gun was invented and used to shoot people.

In many ways, what is described strongly resembles ultrasound except that ultrasound reflects from density gradients (and thus, for example, the skull). A signal with multiple carriers however sounds like a more interesting possibility, as then you can get harmonics between the two waves at frequencies which are much better transmitted into the body. You'd also get second and third and so forth harmonics, which is exactly the sort of pattern you see in the embassy recording believed to be of the attack.

But that's just a hypothesis.

Re:Plausible explanation: microwave guns

By Rei • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

There is no actual recording of the sound. What the AP released is just a synthesized simulation of what it might sound like to a victim under attack.

That's not at how the AP described it.

The Associated Press has obtained a recording of what some U.S. Embassy workers heard in Havana in a series of unnerving incidents later deemed to be deliberate attacks.

The recordings from Havana have been sent for analysis to the U.S. Navy, which has advanced capabilities for analyzing acoustic signals, and to the intelligence services, the AP has learned.

Yet the AP has reviewed several recordings from Havana taken under different circumstances, and all have variations of the same high-pitched sound. Individuals who have heard the noise in Havana confirm the recordings are generally consistent with what they heard.

“That’s the sound,” one of them said.

The recording being released by the AP has been digitally enhanced to increase volume and reduce background noise, but has not been otherwise altered.

Anyway, I wouldn't be surprised at all if the US figures out exactly how the attack works, but don't disclose the fact. If the US says "We've confirmed it and have reproduced a weapon which causes these symptoms", then every government on Earth will attempt to do the same.

Re:Microwave auditory effect device?

By Rei • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Wow, that article is eerily similar to what's been described.

This one uses the so-called "microwave auditory effect": a beam of microwaves is turned into sound by the interaction with your head. Nobody else can hear it unless they are in the beam as well.

There are health risks, he notes. But the biggest issue from the microwave weapon is not the radiation. It's the risk of brain damage from the high-intensity shockwave created by the microwave pulse.

But if it does prove hazardous, that does not mean an end to weapons research in this area: a device that delivered a lethal shockwave inside the target's skull might make an effective death ray.

Such a device had apparently already been built and tested by the US. The interesting thing to me is that the sound comes from a shockwave of the beam interacting with the body of whoever is in the beam; it's not a hallucinatory effect of the brain damage. That would mean that interactions with other objects (including microphones) in the path of the beam could also result in recordable sound, which would explain the recordings that are being analyzed.

Re:Crazy to bring Trump into this at all

By meglon • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
I'm not so sure Trump is the most corrupt candidate in history, but if you say so. Unless you meant Hillary... in which case i'll remind you: 14+ years of republican driven investigations into the Clintons = 0 indictments.... meanwhile, less than a year of investigations into Trump and we already have 2 indictments, and 2 guilty pleas.. and that's with republicans controlling the house, senate, and the presidency, and we have a Trump tweet just a few days ago admitting to obstructing justice.

I'd suggest you pull your head out of your ass and take a look at reality, but you've shown in the past you're not capable of that.

I wouldn't rule out mass hysteria ...

By Qbertino • Score: 3 • Thread

... entirely. Mass hysteria has effects that can be bizarr and creepy to the utmost extent. And as far as we know, nobody is fully immune to it. For one, mass hysteria does spread similar to a disease. Because you need to meet people who have fallen prone to the hysteria for it to spread. Or you need to be primed by some detailed description of it in an environment that emphasises the fact that the effects have a "real" cause.

That scientist find "alterations in brain tissue" could be simply because they were looking for them.

Note: I'm not ruling out some sort of weapon, but right now mass hysteria seems more plausible to me. The story has all the ingredients.

Judge Dismisses Lawsuit That Claims Google Paid Female Employees Less Than Male Colleagues

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
A California judge has rejected a class action claim against Google for alleged gender inequity. In September, three female Google employees filed a lawsuit against Google, claiming the search giant "engaged in systemic and pervasive pay and promotion discrimination." They sought class action status on behalf of women who have worked at Google in California for the past four years. CNN reports: This week, a judge rejected their request to make the suit a class action. A judge ruled that the class was "overbroad," stating that it "does not purport to distinguish between female employees who may have valid claims against Google based upon its alleged conduct from those who do not." Jim Finberg, the lawyer representing the plaintiffs, said his clients plan to file an amended complaint seeking class action certification. He said it will address the court's ruling and make "clear that Google violates the California Equal Pay Act throughout California and throughout the class period by paying women less than men for substantially equal work in nearly every job classification."

Do that adjustment, if you want and also the oppos

By raymorris • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

If you want to adjust for whatever you think the value of diversity is, fine - if you're the boss and you think it'll help your team be more effective, cool.

ALSO recognize there are other effects, if you want to the best performance. At my last job, my department shared a wing of the building with the accounting department. The accounting department was mostly women, including the CFO. My department was mostly men. In my department, we socialized by "giving each shit" - basically insulting each other, as male friends and co-workers do. We enjoyed some competition and it helped us do a better job. My boss, who was female, got along well in the culture of our department too - a culture that followed traditionally masculine norms.

The accounting department, mostly females, functioned differently. They didn't "give each shit" to socialize, rather they complimented each other, including "where did you get those great shoes?" That worked for them. The department of women had a way of working together based on how women normally interact, and it worked well.

My current job was similar. We had a good team, who helped each other a lot. We were learning a lot from each other. Then our team was combined with a team from another country, with a different culture. That has made daily Scrums, code reviews, and generally getting things done MUCH harder because in their culture you don't criticize someone's work and you definitely don't ever ask for help. We have to be very careful about learning from each other now because if you point out a different way to do something, somebody is going to get offended - it's insulting, in their culture. Don't offer to help when you have free time and relevant expertise - that means you're implying they are stupid or incompetent. The other team may have been doing great work using whatever social norms they used, but forced diversity has a real cost to our team. Just before combining with the other team, we also hired a guy from another country, with another set of norms about how team members should interact. It makes things tricky. Part of my job is training my team mates on some things. It's really hard to train the one guy who comes from another culture, because I don't understand how to relate to him, how to approach him.

Diversity has some benefits, and it has some costs. My boss at the last job wasn't a girlie girl. She enjoyed "hanging out with the guys", so it was a natural fit. The soft, sensitive guy who worked in accounting with the ladies my have been a natural fit too. Forcing "diversity", especially one man on a team of women or one woman in a team of men has some costs. I never thought about gender when I hired but if I'm ever in a position where I *have* to think about, I'd much rather have a fully balanced team of four women and four men than have only one "odd man out" in a team where everyone else is the opposite gender or culture, leading to one person not fitting in with how the team works.

Just FYI, thinking back over who I've hired, I've hired probably 65% women, 35% men, mostly because I hired for people working under my direct daily supervision and I'm an alpha, dominate personality. In other words, there was no question I was the boss and the leader. A nice, caring boss maybe, but very much the boss. I generally want things to be done my way. At least, learn my way and start by doing it my way,
then make changes only after you fully understand how I do it and why I do it that way. On average, more women are comfortable working in that type of than men. Men *generally tend* to want roles with more autonomy than what I hired for. The men generally didn't stick around as long as the women.

Re:Next step

By cerberusss • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

I'm no social justice warrior at all, but this is incredibly generalizing. It just completely depends on the people involved. It sounds like you had a bad experience once, and then assumed it's the same everywhere.

It's not. I've worked with women in teams that resulted in an unpleasant work environment. And I've worked with women in teams that resulted in a great project.

Re:Next step

By djinn6 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

I said nothing of the sort. I said a different perspective, which derives primarily from different life experience. Would you seriously try to argue that women and men have the same life experiences? No innate difference at all is required to have a different way of seeing the world.

If that perspective leads to making different decisions (better decisions, as you claim), then there are behavioral differences between the genders. That behavior could translate to better team dynamics, but it could also translate to worse individual performance. You've simply discounted the negative possibility because... well, I don't know. Plus, you didn't provide a source for your claim.

As it happens, I believe there is ample evidence, both in common experience and in formal studies, that there are innate differences between men and women, in the sense of slightly different statistical distributions of abilities. Individual variation absolutely dwarfs these statistical biases, though, so there's no whatsoever point in applying gender stereotypes to evaluate a given individual.

No disagreement here.

Different pay absolutely could and should be justified by different productivity. That said, my experience in the field of software engineering, is that if there's a systematic difference in productivity it's in favor of women. I suspect that's not a result of inherently greater capability in female engineers, but of various selection biases against them, which collectively mean that a woman has to be better than her male peers to be perceived to be as good.

How do you know you're not simply biased against men? Perhaps others have an accurate assessment of those women, while you perceived them to be more productive because of your bias.

Basically, there is almost no reason whatsoever to expect that slight differences in distribution of ability (and they really are slight) would cause the large differences in employee population that we see and every reason to expect that the differences we see are a result of bias. Note that bias need not be intentional to be real. In fact it's easy to construct plausible scenarios in when everyone is trying hard to be completely meritocratic and the result is completely unmeritocratic.

Then perhaps hiring (and promotions) should not take into gender account at all. Make it so that the gender (or in fact any other physical trait) could not be determined, e.g. instead of in-person interviews, do only IM interviews. Why doesn't any software company do this? Oh right, because it would skew their numbers even further towards men and the so-called feminists would have a fit.

...the recent paucity of women in software engineering...

I'd like to see a source for that. A quick look suggests the opposite is happening.

The clear implication is that the rare women with the talent and interest for the job would be significantly more valuable to a company, precisely because of their rarity.

No. Women are not collectibles, rareness does not equate to value. Men of similar talent should be recruited just as aggressively.

And in any case, if you pursue them because of their gender, then you are already a sexist, because you presume their ability is tied to whether their genitals exist inside or outside their body.

divide & conquer

By Reverend Green • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

If they scream loudly enough and often enough about a non-existent problem - remember in almost all US megacorps, there is codified systemic employment bias against men - then we will forget about the real problems in the workplace.

Workers upset that wages are stagnant while cost of living is skyrocketing? "He looked at me the wrong way! Reeeeeeeeeee!"

Workers angry that their jobs are being offshored while executives sit back and collect handsome bonuses? "He said 'hi' to me, I feel harassed. Burn the witch! Reeeeeeeeeee!"

Workers demoralized because the entire management of the company went to the same three elitist private schools, and public school grads don't have a snowball's chance in hell of getting promoted? "Misogyny! Microaggressions! Literally Hitler! Reeeeeeeeeee!"

Re: #MeeToo Crowd will appeal until

By The Cynical Critic • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
I've seen people post that article as proof that Damore was wrong, but all it really does is try to belittle the effect of all the scientifically proven gender differences Damore brought up in his memo. It doesn't disprove anything Damore actually brought up in the the memo, the author merely belittles every single fact Damore uses to explain why the status quo is what it is and why trying to change it will come with numerous ill effects for the organisation and the people working for it.

Seriously, when all you can do is try belittle someone else's points rather than actually disprove any of them it goes to show that you don't actually have a leg to stand on. You're merely reflexively disagreeing with someone, refusing to admit you're wrong when you know you are.

Warrantless Surveillance Can Continue Even If Law Expires, Officials Say

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
According to a New York Times report citing American officials, the Trump administration has decided that the National Security Agency and the FBI can lawfully keep operating their warrantless surveillance program even if Congress fails to extend the law authorizing it before an expiration date of New Year's Eve. The Verge reports: The White House believes the Patriot Act's surveillance provisions won't expire until four months into 2018. Lawyers point to a one-year certification that was granted on April 26th of last year. If that certification is taken as a legal authorization for the FISA court overall -- as White House lawyers suggest -- then Congress will have another four months to work out the details of reauthorization. There are already several proposals for Patriot Act reauthorization in the Senate, which focus the Section 702 provisions that authorize certain types of NSA surveillance. Some of the proposals would close the backdoor search loophole that allows for warrantless surveillance of U.S. citizens, although a recent House proposal would leave it in place. But with Congress largely focused on tax cuts and the looming debt ceiling fight, it's unlikely the differences could be reconciled before the end of the year.

The Patriot Act

By e3m4n • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Turning citizens into suspects since 2002.

The PATRIOT act is not a law.

By jcr • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

It is forbidden by the fourth and fifth amendments to the constitution. Any official exercising any of these usurped powers violates their oath.


FISA Court

By AHuxley • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Thats one busy rubber stamp approving all the warrant applications.

Re:The PATRIOT act is not a law.

By Ungrounded Lightning • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

The PATRIOT act is not a law. It is forbidden by the fourth and fifth amendments to the constitution. Any official exercising any of these usurped powers violates their oath.


Unfortunately, until the Supreme Court has ruled that way, it can be used to harm you just as effectively as if it were a law. B-b

Law? There is no law.

By DontBeAMoran • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

...the Trump administration has decided that the National Security Agency and the FBI can lawfully keep operating their warrantless surveillance program even if Congress fails to extend the law...

So, the government can "decide" to say they're still within the law even if the law doesn't exist.

How different is that from the old USSR or post-WW2 Germany, exactly?

ReactOS 0.4.7 Released

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
jeditobe writes: OSNews reports that the latest version of ReactOS has been released: "ReactOS 0.4.7 has been released, and it contains a ton of fixes, improvements, and new features. Judging by the screenshots, ReactOS 0.4.7 can run Opera, Firefox, and Mozilla all at once, which is good news for those among us who want to use ReactOS on a more daily basis. There's also a new application manager which, as the name implies, makes it easier to install and uninstall applications, similar to how package managers on Linux work. On a lower level, ReactOS can now deal with Ext2, Ext3, Ext4, BtrFS, ReiserFS, FFS, and NFS partitions." General notes, tests, and changelog for the release can be found at their respective links. A less technical community changelog for ReactOS 0.4.7 is also available. ISO images are ready at the ReactOS Download page.

Re: First post!!!

By r00t_of_all_evils • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
"How far it has come?!" Well seeing as when I started following it it was only a text mode command prompt and today it's a graphic system that can use Windows hardware drivers and actually run a lot of programs that were made for Windows XP, yeah, I would say it's come far and would also say they are making good progress on their goal. It initially started out to clone Windows NT but if you've even skimmed any of the material there you'd know that they're chasing a moving goal. As times change and technology advances, their goals advance with them. Yes, they do use a lot of WINE code, but what's wrong with that? It works and it saves them a shit ton of work having to implement it all themselves, plus when they do make changes to WINE they send the changes back upstream to the WINE project which helps to advance it as well. I fail to see where the real failure is here.


By SeaFox • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

ReactOS 0.4.7 can run Opera, Firefox, and Mozilla all at once...

I'm intrigued by this executable named simply "Mozilla", and wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

Re:I donated to this project

By ledow • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Not a chance.

It's 20+ years behind in some areas and nowhere near being any kind of replacement for anything.

The domain stuff... literally years away for any level of completeness or reliability despite being "worked on" since 2009 and before then. Hell, you can only just about trust Samba to run as a secondary. I wouldn't want to be in charge of a Samba-only AD tree (which still needs Windows tools to manage it!). And then you may as well just use Samba and the various OS clients that let you integrate to the AD tree for authentication anyway, and who cares what OS it's on?

ReactOS is nothing more than a toy, you couldn't do anything serious with it, and you couldn't even use it as a desktop replacement even if you were willing to make all kinds of compromises.

There's no way that people are going to look at Windows 10 and ReactOS and decide to run ReactOS instead. It would be less hassle just to move everything to Raspberry Pi, that's how incomplete things are.

ReactOS needed huge amounts of development over 10 years ago, it's not received it in the meantime. Even Wine is pretty much dead in practical terms, and yet that's had tons more developer time spent on it, and nobody would use either in earnest or in preference to just running a different OS entirely.

FreeDOS was a success, but it took 25 years to get the equivalent of DOS up and running and it's still an incredibly niche product - nobody is going to be running DOS as an OS like they used to, not in this day and age. BIOS-reset disks to make closed-source firmware update tools not require an MS-DOS licence? Sure. Desktop OS again? Never.

ReactOS is a much more complex task and hasn't come anywhere near close, and is suffering an even worse fate because of that.

If you could have had the current state of ReactOS, back when Windows 2000 was appearing, then you might have had the impetus to compete and make it viable. Coming to this point 20 years too late means that they can never do anything but play catch-up. It's a toy, an "emulation" almost, a niche OS. It's never going to be able to do anything useful, certainly not to mainstream computer users.

Hell, it doesn't even have full Win16/Win32 compatibility yet, and they are already dead and buried for the most part.

People's time would be better spent either running "real" Windows in a VM (and hence development effort into QEmu, Xen, etc.) or moving whatever ancient-Windows-thing they want to use to something else entirely.

As far as I see, ReactOS is like making a Win3.1/WinNT emulator, even if that's not technically accurate. And Wine does a much better job of that (and that's even less technically accurate). And the uses of such are vanishingly small anyway.

If you want a non-Windows desktop replacement, I would suggest investing into the Linux DE's and distros. Nowadays there's no reason to be running Windows.

I speak as someone who used a Linux desktop exclusively for 10 years (while managing Windows networks with thousands of clients for a living), who licensed Crossover Office for many of those years, who still uses only LibreOffice for every document, and who has 50:50 split of Linux:Windows VM's even in my workplace (where I manage all the IT). I quite get wanting independence of Windows, but ReactOS isn't it.

Currently I'm on Windows 7 (because it came with the machine) with VMWare and dozens of VMs to allow me to do "real work" on the same machine without having to faff about. I deploy 8.1 in work (made to look identical to 7, have no problems with it at all). I trialled 10 and decided against it for now, but there's no reason I couldn't put the same changes into 10 and make it look like 7 against and carry on regardless. I write cross-platform software in C that works on all the major OS.

But with that kind of competition, ReactOS has no place at all and won't without literal decades more of developer investment.

Great work!

By HalAtWork • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread

Congratulations ReactOS Team!

Re:I donated to this project

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

The domain stuff...

End users don't need or care about that. Most Windows users aren't joined to a domain.

Even Wine is pretty much dead in practical terms

It is? Funny, because the Wine that I use gets updated often and is so good that I have a hard time finding stuff that won't work on it. Hell, in many instances Wine is MORE compatible with more Windows software than Windows itself.

FreeDOS was a success, but it took 25 years to get the equivalent of DOS up and running

No it didn't. FreeDOS was at parity with MS-DOS ages ago and has long since surpassed it.

they can never do anything but play catch-up

ReactOS doesn't need to play catch up. It just has to be good enough. For most people, that's Windows XP compatibility.

I think perhaps you should stop worrying about what other people are doing. You seem awfully controlling and insecure. Maybe you should try doing something productive instead of sitting around whining like a petulant child.

FCC Chair Ajit Pai Falsely Claims Killing Net Neutrality Will Help Sick and Disabled People

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard: One popular claim by the telecom sector is that net neutrality rules are somehow preventing people who are sick or disabled from gaining access to essential medical services they need to survive. Verizon, for example, has been trying to argue since at least 2014 that the FCC's net neutrality rules' ban on paid prioritization (which prevents ISPs from letting deep-pocketed content companies buy their way to a distinct network performance advantage over smaller competitors) harms the hearing impaired. That's much to the chagrin of groups that actually represent those constituents, who have consistently and repeatedly stated that this claim simply isn't true. Comcast lobbyists have also repeated this patently-false claim in their attempt to lift the FCC ban on unfair paid prioritization deals.

The claim that net neutrality rules hurt the sick also popped up in a recent facts-optional fact sheet the agency has been circulating to try and justify the agency's Orwellian-named "Restoring Internet Freedom" net neutrality repeal. In the FCC's current rules, the FCC was careful to distinguish between "Broadband Internet Access Services (BIAS)," which is general internet traffic like browsing, e-mail or app data and "Non-BIAS data services," which are often given prioritized, isolated capacity to ensure lower latency, better speed, and greater reliability. VoIP services, pacemakers, energy meters and all telemedicine applications fall under this category and are exempt from the rules. Despite the fact that the FCC's net neutrality rules clearly exempt medical services from the ban on uncompetitive paid prioritization, FCC boss Ajit Pai has consistently tried to claim otherwise. He did so again last week during a speech in which he attempted to defend his agency from the massive backlash to its assault on net neutrality.
"By ending the outright ban on paid prioritization, we hope to make it easier for consumers to benefit from services that need prioritization -- such as latency-sensitive telemedicine," Pai said. "By replacing an outright ban with a robust transparency requirement and FTC-led consumer protection, we will enable these services to come into being and help seniors."

Re:Lying Liars Lie, Film at 11.

By chromaexcursion • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Every civilized country on earth has national health care.
Except the US.
The US ranks below Costa Rica in health care.
We're about to fall below Cuba.

your other claims are specious.

I think

By nehumanuscrede • Score: 3 • Thread

dropping a safe on this man from a great height would do the US a lot more good than harm.

Assuming the safe could even penetrate his aura of self righteousness . . .

Do we even make a safe that big ?

Re:NN keeps monopoly networks in place

By sjames • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

But they need not do it by creating fast lanes and slow lanes. They need not do anything like deep packet inspection. Simple fair queuing will take care of it.

In other words, throttling to contracted bandwidth can be done in a neutral manner just fine.

Re:I hope this does not spread world wide!

By pots • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

In most countries corruption is illegal. In America, it is not.

Ha ha, no. In America it just isn't corruption if it isn't explicitly bribery with a clear quid pro quo agreement between the two parties. In America we have our own definitions for lots of words, some people call that "American exceptionalism."

it is fine, as the highly controversial Citizens United ruling said in 2010, for wealthy campaign contributors to expect that their dollars will buy “ingratiation or access” in governor’s mansions and statehouses

Re:Lying Liars Lie, Film at 11.

By sjames • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

I kept my doctor. I see no death panels. The issue was debated ad-nausium. I would have liked to see the ACA go much further, but the GOP wasn't open to anything that might cut the insurance companies out of the picture, or even weaken their position.

Meanwhile, the GOP has wasted many MONTHS since Trump came into office trying to come up with something better and have failed time after time. You can't blame the Dems, the Rs control House, Senate, and the Oval office. The only 'solutions' they could come up with were so vile that even parts of the GOP couldn't hold their noses hard enough to pass it.

Now they're trying so hard to pull a fast one with the tax bill they totally forgot to renew the Patriot (traitor) act.

But look out! Something truly despicable must be brewing in D.C. since Trump needlessly dumped a 55 gallon drum of gasoline on the dumpster fire that is Israeli-Palestinian relations as a diversion.

It's time to wake up and smell the coffee!

AMD Quietly Made Some Radeon RX 560 Graphics Cards Worse

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Brad Chacos: When the Radeon RX 560 launched in April it was the only RX 500-series card with a meaningful under-the-hood tech boost compared to the RX 400-series. The graphics processor in the older RX 460 cards packed 14 compute units and 896 stream processors; the upgraded Radeon RX 560 bumped that to 16 CUs and 1,024 SPs. Now, some -- but not all -- of the Radeon RX 560s you'll find online have specs that match the older 460 cards, and sometimes run at lower clock speeds to boot. AMD's Radeon RX 560 page was also quietly altered to include the new configurations at some point, discovered. The last snapshot of the page by the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine occurred on July 7 and only lists the full-fat 16 CU version of the card, so the introduction of the nerfed 896 SP model likely occurred some time after that. Sifting through all of the available Radeon RX 560s on Newegg this morning reveals a fairly even split between the two configurations, all of which are being sold under the same RX 560 name. In a statement, AMD acknowledged the existence of 14 Compute Unit (896 stream processors) and 16 Compute Unit (1024 stream processor) versions of the Radeon RX 560. "We introduced the 14CU version this summer to provide AIBs and the market with more RX 500 series options. It's come to our attention that on certain AIB and etail websites there's no clear delineation between the two variants. We're taking immediate steps to remedy this: we're working with all AIB and channel partners to make sure the product descriptions and names clarify the CU count, so that gamers and consumers know exactly what they're buying. We apologize for the confusion this may have caused."

So... yield problems, in other words.

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread

Reading between the lines, one suspects that they have yield problems on the new GPUs and are having to fudge the specs to meet capacity.

False apology

By quonset • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

We're taking immediate steps to remedy this: we're working with all AIB and channel partners to make sure the product descriptions and names clarify the CU count, so that gamers and consumers know exactly what they're buying. We apologize for the confusion this may have caused.

AMD is only apologizing because they were found out. It's the same story with any company who tries to pull a fast one on consumers and is found out. Then, and only then, are steps taken to remedy the situation. Not before while they were duping their customers. Only afterwards when they were called out for their shenanigans.


By Zanderama • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
How can AMD blame their partners for not being clear on labelling, after AMD's own website was quietly changed with no reference to the different configurations. Surely if AMD "just" wanted to introduce more 5-series cards they could have called this the 555 or something. I guess they're hoping to release a 660 at some time and then say "wow, look at the improvement over the previous (nerfed) 560".

Worse than it sounds

By velinion • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
This is actually worse than it sounds. The RX 560 is identical to the RX 460, except the RX560 has an extra two compute units and a modest clock bump. Selling a "RX 560 with two compute units disabled" is really just selling RX 460 units with a RX560 name. AMDs alterations to the description of the RX560 on their own website show this to be a deliberate move (check the wayback machine ) My guess? They had some 460s that they couldn't sell, so they bumped the clocks a bit and re-defined what a 560 was in the hopes of moving them as "better" cards.

Ask Slashdot: How Do I Explain Copyright To My Kids?

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
orgelspieler writes: My son paid for a copy of a novel on his iPad. When his school made it against the rules to bring iPads, he wanted to get the same book on his Kindle. I tried to explain that the format of his eBook was not readily convertible to the Kindle. So he tried to go on his schools online library app. He checked it out just fine, but ironically, the offline reading function only works on the now-disallowed iPads. Rather than paying Amazon $7 for a book I already own, and he has already checked out from the library, I found a bootleg PDF online. I tried to explain that he could just read that, but he freaked out. "That's illegal, Dad!" I tried to explain format shifting, and the injustice of the current copyright framework in America. Even when he did his own research, stumbling across EFF's website on fair use, he still would not believe me.

Have any of you fellow Slashdotters figured out a good way to navigate the moral, legal, and technological issues of copyright law, as it relates to the next generation of nerds? Interestingly, my boy seems OK with playing old video games on the Wayback Machine, so I don't think it's a lost cause.

Re:You need to figure out something else first

By berj • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Paper books aren't definitively better, not by a long shot.

When I want to read paper books on my 1 month vacation to a remote island in the south pacific I have to lug them around with me. They take up space and add weight even when I'm done with them.

With digital books I can bring my entire library with me on my iPad and read whatever and whenever I want. And if I manage to find good Wifi somewhere I can even buy more books.

I've done trips both ways (lugging paper books around and downloading a ton of reading material to my iPad) and the latter is infinitely more preferable.

Aside from some special books I like to keep in my collection, I've transferred my entire library to digital and I couldn't be happier. I think the big "a ha" moment came for me shortly after I bought a kindle a decade ago. I ended up getting stuck in an airport overnight after a missed connection. Everything was closed. I was able to buy a book right on the spot to read while I waited for the first flight of the morning.

With rare exceptions I haven't bought a paper book since.

a constructive civics lesson

By Goldsmith • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

I was raised in a (professionally) political family. That meant that as a kid, I understood that it was my parents' job to write or change laws. Laws can change. Some laws are bad. Some laws used to be good, and now aren't. Most of the rules and laws we actually interact with are local. Many more people work on local laws than state or national laws. That's a good place to start.

Next, morality. Your son has good moral instincts. Don't discourage that! Generally, you shouldn't do anything you don't want other people knowing about. If you have to keep it secret to keep being who you want to be, don't do it.

Finally, breaking the rules. Sometimes you find you need to break a rule. You know that something is right, and you don't care what society or the law says about it. In that case, you need to be ready to accept the consequences.

In this case, what are the consequences of violating copyright laws? What are the consequences of violating the school rules? Why are you more willing to violate a federal law than a school rule? (As a parent, I know that my child will be punished for me breaking a school rule. In that situation, I'm also happy to try to take any consequences myself.) These are good lessons on how society actually works.

My best advice to you is that you have your strongest voice as a citizen in local government, which includes your school. Teach your child to engage in a productive way with government by example. Don't simply accept what the government is telling you to do. That's not how our system is supposed to work. The solution here is to get your school to change their rules. Start with a teacher, then the principle, then up from there.

Re:Start with the US Constitution

By Subm • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Then follow up with The Right to Read by Richard Stallman for how it's evolving.

There is only one way to reach kids...

By Wescotte • Score: 3 • Thread

You have to talk to their in their own language.

Dad, why is copyright . . . ?

By PMuse • Score: 3 • Thread

My children are at this same age, asking similar questions.

To 'explain copyright', first you will need to know your own goal.

Are you trying to teach your son how to comply with the law? Or, are you trying to teach your son how to recognize when a bad law is being used to make society poorer?

EU Urges Internet Companies To Do More To Remove Extremist Content

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Internet groups such as Facebook, Google's YouTube and Twitter need to do more to stem the proliferation of extremist content on their platforms, the European Commission said after a meeting on Wednesday. From a report: Social media companies have significantly boosted their resources to take down violent and extremist content as soon as possible in response to growing political pressure from European governments, particularly those hit by militant attacks in recent years. But Julian King, EU security commissioner, said that while a lot of progress had been made, additional efforts were needed. "We are not there yet. We are two years down the road of this journey: to reach our final destination we now need to speed up our work," King said in his closing speech at the third meeting of the EU Internet Forum, which brings together the Commission, EU member states, law enforcement and technology companies. The EU has said it will come forward with legislation next year if it is not satisfied with progress made by tech companies in removing extremist content, while a German online hate speech law comes into effect on Jan. 1.


By execthis • Score: 3 • Thread

What is extremist? Another shit word that is deliberately indeterminate.

Not wanting your country - your homeland - invaded by third-world savages is not extremist: It's extremely natural and healthy.

Destination censorship

By AHuxley • Score: 3, Informative • Thread
Remember how well that spying and reporting worked out for all the Communist parties in 1980's Eastern Europe?

Why is the EU and NATO doing everything it can to become the Stasi and Warsaw Pact?
Why the need for SJW EU wide to use censorship on people reporting on the news in their EU communities?

Big corporations and big EU government working together to ban people talking about wanting to exit the EU?
From talking about the results of mass illegal immigration into the EU?

So now the EU is going to spy on chats and comments? Report users to the police?
Ban users accounts and conduct interviews at users place of work for comments online?

People of faith and in cults don't trust mobile phones. They have a holy book of war and secure place deep in no go areas to communicate during worship.
Undercover police are of no use in closed communities. The cell phone is not able to be turned into a live mic 24/7.
Any random recording will need translation. Guess who the new translator is loyal too? Their faith not the security services.
A book of war, barracks and a command and control structure hidden in plain sight as decades of "religious" practice deep in the EU.
The NSA tried collect it all. Went back 4 hops from every one of interests. Global collect it all is great for no bid funding and contractor over time.

If the police forces in Europe want to win learn from the UK mil, GCHQ, special forces and Royal Ulster Constabulary Special Branch.
Keep mission secret and never talk to the police, lawyers, media, courts, telco's about methods.
Define the enemy. Find out who is funding them. Find out where they have their support structure. Set up a new loyal police force to win.
Track back the funding and stop it. The UK had to stop Irish support from within the USA reaching the UK. The UK operated in the USA until all US funding and political support stopped flowing to Ireland.
Be more skilled than any other nations intelligence service and stop all the funding.
Create a file on every interesting person. Then offer the interesting person a deal when alone. Sell out and become and informant. Not interested? Special forces move in.
Keep doing that until most of the interesting people are informants.
Also remember the people of faith will be doing decades of and generational counter surveillance on the EU, police, mil.
They will try use the cover of virtue signalling political leadership opening the once secure police and security forces up to new "citizens"
No background information is not a pathway to join the police, mil.
The new citizens will remain loyal to their faith and collect all the information they can from any job in the gov, police, mil.

A neverending task

By nehumanuscrede • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

This is due to the definition of " extremist content " changing depending on who is currently in charge and where in the world you may reside.

An ever shifting target is nigh impossible to hit.

Re:They usually mean anything that promotes violen

By rtb61 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

You regulate facts and you protect opinion and that is the way it works. What the EU is up too is clutching at straws because of the mess they have made in allowing mass immigration of cultures that most emphatically do not want to assimilate, they want to dominate, to control, they come from autocratic cultures, where they strong are fully entitled to dominate and control the weak. So now they have a real problem because those autocrat culture types are waking up the independent types and a real culture clash is forming or has formed and is now getting worse. Any kind of false flag trigger could set of the migrants to start willy nilly killing existing citizens in large numbers, a huge problem and one that will hang over their heads, until those who have no desire to assimilate are removed.

Look at Sweden, it really demonstrates the reality of the problem of denial. They pretended to welcome in people in the past but they where never really welcomed, never really integrated, sort of just dumped in a region and politicians would turn up every now and again to provide lip service and no action. Any comment about this was systematically attacked and quite ruthlessly by the government, who felt if you just kept it silenced, kept it tamped down, it would just simple evaporate away. In reality it just festered and got worse and worse and in the most spectacularly blindly stupid fashion, after believing their own bullshit, they decide to pour massive amounts of fuel onto the existing fire. Swedes like to pretend they accept and integrate migrants but it ain't true, they are rejected and isolated within the country and having more makes it much worse, but the Swedes like the PR and got trapped in it, they are right fucked now. The Germans in the most stupid fashion then attempted to out do this stupidity and have now created a problem for the entire EU. I am not a racist but make no mistake I am a culturalist and have no shame in being so, fuck shitty cultures, isolate and kept them at a distance, a well protected distance, fuck wasting time, capital and our citizens lives on trying and failing to change their cultures and the only reason it happens in reality is so that multi-national corporations can steal resources from those ugly cultures.

Re:Extremist Content

By Hal_Porter • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Censorship, nominally aimed at protecting people from a problem, always ends up being used to shut down discussion of the problem.

Apple Issues Security Updates for MacOS, iOS, TvOS, WatchOS, and Safari

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Catalin Cimpanu, writing for BleepingComputer: Over the course of the last four days, Apple has released updates to address security issues for several products, such as macOS High Sierra, Safari, watchOS, tvOS, and iOS. The most relevant security update is the one to macOS, as it also permanently fixes the bug that allowed attackers to access macOS root accounts without having to type a password. Apple issued a patch for the bug the next day after it was discovered, but because the patch was delivered as an out-of-band update that did not alter the macOS version number, when users from older macOS versions updated to 10.13.1 (the vulnerable version), the bug was still present. With today's update, the patch for the bug -- now known as "IAmRoot" (CVE-2017-13872) -- has received a permanent fix. All users who upgrade to macOS High Sierra 10.13.2 are safe.

Apple fuck-nuggets broke the boot process AGAIN

By Windrip • Score: 3 • Thread

Try to avoid this update if possible.
The previous High Sierra update failed when trying to start the window manager. I was able to recover by starting in single user mode and immediately exiting, which started the window manager.
With this update, the Apple fuck-nuggets have broken that work-around.
I have a macbook pro w/ 15" screen for sale.

NiceHash Hacked, $62 Million of Bitcoin May Be Stolen

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
New submitter Chir breaks the news to us that the NiceHash crypto-mining marketplace has been hacked. The crypto mining pool broke the news on Reddit, where users suggest that as many as 4,736.42 BTC -- an amount worth more than $62 million at current prices -- has been stolen. The NiceHash team is urging users to change their online passwords as a result of the breach and theft.

Re:The users are amazing

By war4peace • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Well I "lost" 125 dollars there, but in reality I lost about 50 bucks which was how much the electricity bill for the miner will cost me.
If this would have happened Saturday, my losses would have been zero.

No biggie, only now I have to find another simple to use miner.

Re: I had $10 mined there

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

On NiceHash, you mine hashes that are in turn sold to others for the purpose of minting new coins (and/or more sophisticated/creative purposes). NiceHash automatically selects an in-demand and valuable hash type for your system to calculate so that you can send the results back to NiceHash for sale, and you get rewarded on a regular schedule for your recent calculations. NiceHash won't assign your GPU/CPU to calculate hashes for Bitcoin, because that wouldn't pay. It will assign you hash types associated with hot altcoins, similar to what you'll see at the top of the chart a on whattomine.

Grabs bucket of popcorn

By quonset • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

Sits back and laughs at the comedy show.

Re:Let me be the first but not the last to say...

By CreamyG31337 • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

When mining for them, you can let it collect earned BTC payments in a virtual wallet until you 'withdraw' it, paying a fixed transaction fee that is the lowest once you have 0.15 of BTC -- about $2000.
Alternatively, you can let them pay a real external wallet directly, but you have to pay extra fees, will be paid less often, and some of the stats on their web page don't work as well. They talk about sending 1000 BTC or so every Friday which is probably to external wallets only.
They also accept bitcoin payments to purchase hashing power. Hopefully, they have just lost a wallet for handling some types of transactions and they have a lot more BTC offline somewhere to cover their internal wallets they pretty much force you to use.

Bitcoin is not for amateurs

By Orgasmatron • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Back when bitcoin went over a dollar for the first time, I noticed that people were unusually willing to steal it. For your own personal safety, you should absolutely not draw attention to your possession of bitcoin. If you do, you will be targeted. Not just drivebys and portscans, but actual they-are-after-me targeted.

If you are unable to create distance between your identity and your identity as a bitcoin holder, like if you are doing a public project involving bitcoin, you absolutely positively must not let your security be amateur shit.

The first thing you must do is establish ironclad multilayer operational security. If you don't know what that is, or don't know what it means in a bitcoin project, stop - you are not tall enough for this ride. That is actually intended to be a bit less offensive than it sounds at first. It just means that you are too young (inexperienced) to have good odds.

There is no reason to have 10 bitcoins in an online wallet, much less 4600. Those keys should be printed on paper in a N-of-M scheme and distributed to the people who will be authorizing transactions.

Yes, people should be processing transactions of that size, not computers. Ideally, the never-online signing computer software would print out the candidate transaction in a format that puts the recipient addresses and amounts in the exact same location as the request sheet so that you can visually diff the two (hold them up to a strong light to make sure they are the same) before unlocking the key and passing it on to the next signing agent.

Never-online? Yup, there should be no electronic communication between the computer that occasionally has the signing keys decrypted in memory and the rest of the world. There are Free (and free) options for generating barcodes and QR codes and hardware scanners that can read them as keyboard input or virtual character device input. Generate the payment online, print it as a QR code. Scan it on the signing computer. Verify the transaction (human job!) Scan the key, type the passphrase to decrypt it. The signing computer can then print the signed or partially signed transaction as another QR code that you can take back to the online computer for sending (or sending to the next signer).

If your security plan is not at least this good, you should under no circumstances be handing bitcoin that doesn't wholly belong to you and that you aren't willing to lose.

On the other hand, it seems like millions of dollars of bitcoins get stolen from fools every few months and no one seems to care, so maybe I'm wrong and the level of "security" seen in the field is exactly right.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Boosts CPU and GPU Performance, Delivers 4K HDR Capture, 3x Faster AI Processing

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
MojoKid writes: Qualcomm provided a deep-dive view today of its Snapdragon 845 mobile processor platform that it recently announced, highlighting key advancements in what the company is referring to as a completely new silicon design. The new chip now employs a Kyro 385 CPU with four high performance cores at 2.8GHz (25 percent faster than the previous gen Snapdragon 835) and four "efficiency" cores operating at 1.7GHz. The new chip also includes the new Spectra 280 image signal processor (ISP). Compared to its predecessor, the image signal processor (ISP) in the Snapdragon 845 promises a 64x uplift in the ability to capture high dynamic range (HDR) color information for 4K HDR video capture and playback. The chip's new Adreno 630 GPU promises a 30 percent boost in gaming performance compared to its predecessor, along with room-scale VR/AR experiences that support 6 degrees of freedom along with simultaneous localization and mapping, or SLAM. Finally, the new SoC platform incorporates Qualcomm's second-generation gigabit LTE modem: the Snapdragon X20. This Cat 18 modem supports peak download speeds of 1.2Gbps along with 5x carrier aggregation, 4x4 MIMO, and Dual SIM-Dual VoLTE. Qualcomm says that the first Snapdragon 845 processors will begin shipping in production devices in early 2018.

Early 2018.

By AbRASiON • Score: 3 • Thread

"Qualcomm says that the first Snapdragon 845 processors will begin shipping in production devices in early 2018."

Translation: The Galaxy S9 will have this CPU.
A shame that Samsung have 'pulled an Apple' and decided flexibility is out the window.
They've basically stopped making their top end phones, with a flat screen anymore at all. It's all curved rubbish. Plus they've ditched the home button :/

I bet they copy Apple and remove the headphone jack too. Used to love their stuff (had 5 of their phones now) but I think I'm done with them.

AI Can Beat Humans Only One Game At a Time

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader shares a report: Despite all of the potential for artificial intelligence to solve our most vexing problems, it's still in a primitive state, according to a new report by Stanford University. But a separate paper, this one by Alphabet's DeepMind, suggests again that it has made some of its best progress in the narrow realm of games. Why it matters: Those advances are important, but life isn't a game. AI progress outside of these areas has been harder to define and track. "The most important thing for AI is to go from exceptional promise to use in actual everyday life," Martial Hebert, director of the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, tells Axios.

Primitive AI could prevent Dupes on Slashdot.

By RedK • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Just sayin'.

I disagree

By Baron_Yam • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

>life isn't a game

It can certainly be treated as one; the goal is to have the longest uninterrupted chemical reaction (I'm at around 4 billion years, personally). You can narrow that down to a 'minigame' where the goal is for an organism to successfully replicate (I'm losing there, since I've only managed replacement at 2.0 children and generally you want some redundancy just to be sure). And that game can also be divided into a number of mini-minigames.

A game is a contest with rules, goals, and a scoring system. In chess it's to checkmate your opponent and avoid being checkmated using a variety of pieces that move in certain ways on a limited checkered surface. In life it's a bit more complicated, but that doesn't mean treating it like a game is a flawed strategy.

Google's DeepMind AI Becomes a Superhuman Chess Player In a Few Hours

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Verge: In a new paper published this week, DeepMind describes how a descendant of the AI program that first conquered the board game Go has taught itself to play a number of other games at a superhuman level. After eight hours of self-play, the program bested the AI that first beat the human world Go champion; and after four hours of training, it beat the current world champion chess-playing program, Stockfish. Then for a victory lap, it trained for just two hours and polished off one of the world's best shogi-playing programs named Elmo (shogi being a Japanese version of chess that's played on a bigger board). One of the key advances here is that the new AI program, named AlphaZero, wasn't specifically designed to play any of these games. In each case, it was given some basic rules (like how knights move in chess, and so on) but was programmed with no other strategies or tactics. It simply got better by playing itself over and over again at an accelerated pace -- a method of training AI known as "reinforcement learning."

Re:Strange game

By Killall -9 Bash • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
I for one welcome 99% unemployment.

Super Human?

By jellomizer • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread

Reinforcement Learning systems have a tenancies of creating "Superstition" artifacts, were actions that may not create a net positive or negative are used over when the net outcome is positive. It often creates less than ideal outcome, but still it works. So this could mean a really long chess game with non-strategic moves, as the most optimal path, may not be enforced correctly.

Re:Super Human?

By Baron_Yam • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

>, were actions that may not create a net positive or negative are used over when the net outcome is positive.

Which is still a net improvement over humans, who may stick with actions that are actually net negative despite proof if they initially miscategorized them as positive.

What they should get the AI to do to minimize such artifacts is have a meta-analysis going where the positive associations are re-evaluated whenever the overall victory is judged to not be at stake in the event the action was correctly evaluated in the first place.

Because we understand progress

By fyngyrz • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Why would you expect 99% unemployment? This AI will never be able to: [optimism redacted]

No, not this one. Not even the next one. The one after that? Or after that?

Eventually, they will. The question is simply how long will that be. Right now, the ML pace continues to accelerate. Soon, they'll be stacking one skill upon another. The skill to walk. The skill to understand plumbing joints and leaks. The skill to know home construction. Etc.

It's coming. That whole "will never be able to" business... that's not going to pan out for anyone.

And next:

By forkfail • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

The world's gonna be an... interesting... place once someone merges this sort of code with virus code.

Inside Baidu's Bid To Lead the AI Revolution

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
mirandakatz writes: China's search giant missed mobile: As WeChat and Alibaba deftly transformed their companies to suit mobile, Baidu stayed stuck in browser mode. It can't afford to make that mistake with the AI revolution -- and, as Jessi Hempel writes at Backchannel, it just might have an edge in its bid to come out on top. There's huge governmental support for AI in China, including a plan to make the country the world leader in AI by 2030, and it has double the number of people online than America does -- AKA vast quantities of raw data. Hempel traveled to Beijing to chronicle this tenuous moment in Baidu's history, and has delivered a deep look at Baidu's AI be on AI, speaking with key leaders including CEO Robin Li and COO Qi Lu. She writes that 'Robin Li is doubling down on a future beyond 2017. In that future, Baidu is not a series of products, but rather an engine that belongs inside everything -- an engine that powers Baidu back to dominance in China, and possibly far beyond.'

Not to mention...

By SuperKendall • Score: 4 • Thread

.. in addition to the larger online population, the huge state-sanctioned lack of respect for user privacy that should let Baidu collect even *more* tasty data from everyone!

Steam Ends Support For Bitcoin

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Valve is ending support for Steam purchases made with bitcoin, the company said today, citing "high fees and volatility" in the value of the cryptocurrency. In a statement, it said: "In the past few months we've seen an increase in the volatility in the value of Bitcoin and a significant increase in the fees to process transactions on the Bitcoin network," Valve said in a post on Steam. "For example, transaction fees that are charged to the customer by the Bitcoin network have skyrocketed this year, topping out at close to $20 a transaction last week (compared to roughly $0.20 when we initially enabled Bitcoin). Unfortunately, Valve has no control over the amount of the fee. These fees result in unreasonably high costs for purchasing games when paying with Bitcoin. The high transaction fees cause even greater problems when the value of Bitcoin itself drops dramatically."

Re:Valve are not fools

By Captain Splendid • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
1) Nerds complaining in a supersonic whine and 2) None whatsoever.

Re:Bitcoin is stupid.

By Smidge204 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

The only people pushing tulip comparisons are bank shills like Chase CEO.

You're right, it's a dumb comparison.

Bitcoins are more like Beanie Babies.

Failing as a Currency

By Thelasko • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Currency should have a stable value compared to the rest of the goods in the marketplace. We typically see currencies fail due to rapid inflation. Where the currency loses value rapidly compared to the rest of the goods in the marketplace. This may be the first time we see a currency fail due to rapid deflation.


By kiminator • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Bitcoin miners perform the processing required to process transactions. When a bitcoin transaction is submitted, it is submitted along with a "bid" for how much the person is willing to pay for the transaction. Miners then prioritize incoming transactions based upon how much is bid. If the bid is too low, it will end up at the end of a long queue and might take hours to finish (if ever).

The optimal bid amount, then, is determined by the computing power of the Bitcoin network combined with how much processing power it actually takes to process each transaction and how many transactions there are. Right now, bids above about 150 Satoshis per byte (which works out to just under $5 per transaction on average at current prices) finish relatively quickly (typically under 30 minutes). Bids below that take an increasingly long time to commit.

This high transaction cost is a function of the poor scaling of the Bitcoin algorithm to large numbers of transactions. It's one reason among many why I think Bitcoins are an absolutely abysmal medium of exchange, and why I question the entire concept of a blockchain-based currency system.


By vossman77 • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Based on my limited understanding, the block size is fixed at 1MB and each transaction is around 226 bytes. A block occurs every 20 minutes, so bitcoin can only have about 232 transactions per minute, and transactions are (some how) prioritized by age and fee. It is well known the miners will flood the transaction back log to increase the fees, because the miners claim the additional fees.

SegWit, which went into effect in August (?), I think was supposed to reduce the transaction size, but keep the block size the same. SegWit also allows some sort of Lightning Network, which is basically a service that will confirm transaction off of the block chain faster for a higher fee. The Bitcoin Cash people rejected this as being too proprietary and hence their fork.

The fork Bitcoin2X a.k.a. SegWit2X increased the block size to 2MB.

I am not sure what Bitcoin Cash did, but as stated they rejected SegWit, and must have increased the block size, but they are handling the increased transaction volume fine.

AFAIK, all other Bitcoin forks (Gold, Platinum) are money grabbing schemes.

Facebook and YouTube Are Full of Pirated Video Streams of Live NFL Games

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Pirated video streams of televised National Football League games are widespread on Facebook and on Google's YouTube service, CNBC has found. From a report: Using technology from these internet giants, thousands of football fans were able to watch long segments of many contests free of charge during the league's Week 13 schedule of games last Thursday and Sunday. Dozens of these video streams, pirated from CBS and NBC broadcasts, featured ads from well-known national brands interspersed with game action. This online activity comes as the league struggles with declining ratings that have been blamed variously on player protests during the national anthem and revelations about former players suffering from a brain disease caused by concussions. Yet this illegal distribution of NFL content may also be crimping the league's viewer numbers.

Re:Facts with long-leap conclusions

By amicusNYCL • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

This is exactly why I watch less football. I can't find an option that will let me stream whatever live games I want. There are all kinds of packages I *could* buy, but they don't want to sell me what I actually want. If you go to the NFL's site you can see hey, watch all 256 games! But they're not live. OK fine, here's some live games but the one you want to watch isn't available because it's "out of market", whatever the fuck that's supposed to mean to me. Or here, every game live, for only 4 times as much as you want to pay and part of an entire cable TV package. I don't know why they don't understand that the old model of licensing specific games to specific networks is now costing them money if they are giving out exclusive deals so the games can only be shown in that one place. So, in my house, if Kodi is up for the job then we find a stream, and it not then I don't watch or just listen to the radio. Once they figure out that it might be a good idea to sell me what I want to buy then I'm happy to spend the money. Otherwise if I really, really need to watch that game I'll just go out to somewhere showing it. Either way, the NFL is leaving my money on the table.

Re:Free TV

By Wycliffe • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

No. When you steam it, people in the home city may watch your stream rather than pay money to attend the game. You're taking money directly away from the team you're trying to watch.

But again, this is why piracy exists. You are trying to dictate how people buy your product. Just sell the product and let the people decide. People go to the game because they enjoy the experience. People stay home and watch the game because they enjoy that experience. There is some overlap of people who might stay home because it is cheaper but, again, that should be their choice. Some people enjoy going to the game, some people enjoy watching it at home, and some people enjoy a mix. I live in a college town where everyone can go to the local game and everyone can watch every game on TV for free. Most games are still sold out. The blackout that the NFL does is stupid. Plenty of people will still want to go to the games even if they can watch it for free at home and the only thing the blackout does is piss off their most important fans which are the local ones nearby.

Re:They should be happy

By Baron_Yam • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

>The fact that anyone watches a game drag on for four hours or longer is amazing.

I went to a football game once, and ever since I have understood why pre-game tailgate parties are so popular.

How anyone other than the players could maintain interest for the whole game while sober is a mystery to me.

Re:Facts with long-leap conclusions

By habig • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

This is exactly why I watch less football. I can't find an option that will let me stream whatever live games I want. There are all kinds of packages I *could* buy, but they don't want to sell me what I actually want.

This! I used to be able to subscribe to audio of games on for ~$25-$30 a season. Living "out of market", I can't listen on the radio while doing whatever else consumes a Sunday afternoon. I used to be able to hand over some $$ to the nfl and listen to my team's radio guys over the internet.

But, they stopped that service. Now, if you want the radio, you have to pay $100 or more for a package of recorded TV broadcasts. I have no interest in watching the game later, it's live sports. So, they don't get my $30 anymore because they more than tripled the price and added in something completely worthless to me in exchange.

Oh I dunno....

By erp_consultant • Score: 3 • Thread

Maybe it's because:

1) Nobody knows what a catch is anymore. It seems like every single catch or non-catch is analyzed to death. Catching the football is a fundamental part of the game. Someone needs to figure out what constitutes a catch and be done with it.

2) Nobody seems to know what a fair tackle is. In the Steelers-Bengals game on Monday George Iloka gets a one game suspension for flattening Antonio Brown in the end zone. It was a hard hit but he was trying to prevent a touchdown. Rob Gronkowski goes all WWE on a guy with a flying elbow drop to the back of the head when the play was already over and the player was on the ground. Both of them get a one game suspension. In one case it's a football play, in the other case it's a bonehead intent to injure play. It seems to me that Gronk should have got a 2 game suspension and Iloka maybe a fine, it anything. Again, tackling is a fundamental part of the game. Somebody needs to figure out what is fair and what is not.

3) Will someone just go ahead and sign Colin Kapernick? You might not agree with his politics or the whole kneeling thing but he's probably as good as at least half the starting quarterbacks playing right now. The longer this blackballing of Kapernick drags out the worse it looks for the NFL. Sign him. If he can't play then cut him but enough of the blackballing.

Air Pollution Harm To Unborn Babies May Be Global Health Catastrophe, Warn Doctors

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Air pollution significantly increases the risk of low birth weight in babies, leading to lifelong damage to health, according to a large new study. From a report: The research was conducted in London, UK, but its implications for many millions of women in cities around the world with far worse air pollution are "something approaching a public health catastrophe," the doctors involved said. Globally, two billion children -- 90% of all children -- are exposed to air pollution above World Health Organization guidelines. A Unicef study also published on Wednesday found that 17 million babies suffer air six times more toxic than the guidelines. The team said that there are no reliable ways for women in cities to avoid chronic exposure to air pollution during pregnancy and called for urgent action from governments to cut pollution from vehicles and other sources.

Re:Total malarkey

By DontBeAMoran • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

We just offshored all the manufacturing industries to China and closed them down in the USA and Europe. Problem solved, once and for all.

But we all share the same pl-


Re:fake news!

By JaredOfEuropa • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Air pollution in 1st world cities is much, much, much less of a problem than it used to be 20, 50 or even 100 years ago. The main reason is the switch from wood and coal to electricity and gas for cooking and heating (something that hasn't happened in many 3rd world cities, and still a major contributor to pollution there). The decline in power generation from coal has also helped.

As for cars, modern vehicles emit a lot less particulates than old ones. Despite an increase in car ownership and usage, cars aren't even the number one contributor to particulates anymore in many places. If you want to improve air quality, in most cases it isn't cars that should be addressed first. The problem is not flat earthers denying the impact their vehicles have, but environmentalists tilting at the same old windmills instead of tackling actual major sources of air pollution. Though to be fair, in certain cities, older cars and especially 2 stroke mopeds certainly are part of the problem. And I'm speaking of particulate and carcinogenic emissions only of course, not greenhouse gases.

Is it really so bad

By tsa • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

I keep wondering when I read things like this: is it really so much worse than it was in the 1970s? OK, some places where economic growth has exploded recently may be much much dirtier now than they were then. But I went to London a few times in the late 1980s, and back then the city stank of exhaust fumes. Nowadays that is not the case anymore. I live in the Netherlands and I saw the big rivers getting cleaner, sensitive animals like salmon and beaver being reintroduced successfully, and the air in Amsterdam definitely improved. So I wonder: how come we hear more and more warnings like this? I can think of a few causes: fearmongery, increased knowledge about the impact of exhaust gases on your health, or maybe the planet as a whole really got a lot dirtier. But what is it really?

Re: I'm committed to clean air and water

By bluefoxlucid • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

A premature birth is only viable because it contains not only fully-formed organs, but a fully self-supporting system. That system may be insufficient and, depending on who you ask, viability may include viability if hooked up to a support machine rather than just viability to survive without care.

this is a blastocyst.

Generally, abortions occur prior to 9 weeks. Beyond 9 weeks, you need surgical abortion; up to that point, you can have a drug-induced abortion. At about 9 weeks, the heart finishes dividing into chambers; internal organs are roughed-out, but nowhere near developed. Even the neural tube has only just curled up to take the place of the brain and started differentiating into scaffolding, not yet becoming an actual brain.

Viability is generally agreed upon at 24 weeks, although the low-point number is 20 weeks. Interestingly enough, premature infants seem to not have active default-mode neural networks (basic brain function) until around 30 weeks. In simple terms, a fetus isn't capable of being aware until around 25-30 weeks, although we think they can respond to (but possibly not experience) pain around 20-24.

The 20-24 week delineation avoids the upper end of the extreme, landing before the brain is capable of maybe being aware. The 9-week medical abortion limit is well before brain formation.

Remember as well: you're a person, being a sum of your experiences and your ability to think, reason, and engage in self-preservation responses. A fetus doesn't have a stress response and so no display of self-preservation behavior. It's rather conservative to consider an infant a "person" even at birth; yet we have this wonderful option to identify a missed menstrual cycle (at 4 weeks), test for pregnancy, and perform a drug-induced abortion (by 9 weeks), far before one would seriously begin to wonder if it's perhaps a living being and not just a blob of tissue. 24-week abortions may be legal in many places, but they're horrendously-stressful on the mother (surgery) and generally-unpleasant, so it's easy to encourage people to make that decision early.

Depending on your mood, one lump of cells could either be dumpster fodder or a human child we spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to save.

Surprisingly, my parents were vocally against abortion until my mom got pregnant again--then they had an abortion a few weeks later. They seem to have forgotten this since then. Mood seems to vary.

India & China

By QuadEddie • Score: 3, Interesting • Thread
In the past year, Iâ(TM)ve read stories about while towns in China getting cancer due to pollution, toxic foam floating around in India, and serious birth defects in humans and animals in both of those countries. The problem is orders of magnitude larger there than in the US. Because of this, China and India are great test beds for human evolution because those are the places with the highest levels of environmental pressures. We could see species adaptions there that donâ(TM)t exist anywhere else.

'Bitcoin Could Cost Us Our Clean-Energy Future'

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader shares an article: Bitcoin wasn't intended to be an investment instrument. Its creators envisioned it as a replacement for money itself -- a decentralized, secure, anonymous method for transferring value between people. But what they might not have accounted for is how much of an energy suck the computer network behind bitcoin could one day become. Simply put, bitcoin is slowing the effort to achieve a rapid transition away from fossil fuels. What's more, this is just the beginning. Given its rapidly growing climate footprint, bitcoin is a malignant development, and it's getting worse. Digital financial transactions come with a real-world price: The tremendous growth of cryptocurrencies has created an exponential demand for computing power. As bitcoin grows, the math problems computers must solve to make more bitcoin (a process called "mining") get more and more difficult -- a wrinkle designed to control the currency's supply. Today, each bitcoin transaction requires the same amount of energy used to power nine homes in the U.S. for one day. And miners are constantly installing more and faster computers. Already, the aggregate computing power of the bitcoin network is nearly 100,000 times larger than the world's 500 fastest supercomputers combined. The total energy use of this web of hardware is huge -- an estimated 31 terawatt-hours per year. More than 150 individual countries in the world consume less energy annually. And that power-hungry network is currently increasing its energy use every day by about 450 gigawatt-hours, roughly the same amount of electricity the entire country of Haiti uses in a year.

Re:Is there a way to do real work?

By networkBoy • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Heat pumps have a sharp fall-off in efficiency outside of their designed temp range. I have a heat pump based HVAC and in the coldest days of winter it is unable to heat the house, because the outside air is the same temp or colder than the evaporator coil temp, leading to liquid freon hitting the compressor. Since that is a BadThing(tm) the heat pump shuts off. Resistive heaters (labeled as supplemental heat on the thermostat) then kick on. At that point mining BTC is no different from an efficiency standpoint.

Now, there are still better ways to heat, in my case I fire up the wood burning stove and use that, but still, heat pumps are not the be all end all in wide swing climates (I have the opposite problem in the hottest summer days, unable to condense the vapor back to a liquid very well).

Re:Is there a way to do real work?

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Currently 1 BTC requires about $5,000 in electricity to mine and there are 4 million bitcoins left to mine. So the electricity cost to mine these 4 MM coins is $20 fucking billion dollars. If that is not stupid, I don't know what is.

The cost to mine could actually be higher as the number of coins left to mine drop.


By mujadaddy • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
I actually linked my cited source, which is the source of the "house-days" measurement.


By jwhyche • Score: 4 • Thread


Normally I would try to justify my comment, but I think my statement covers it just fine.

Transaction Fees

By Dwedit • Score: 3 • Thread

With transaction fees over $20, there is no reason to use Bitcoin for anything other than speculation.

The International Space Station is Super Germy

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Thousands of species have colonized the International Space Station -- and only one of them is Homo sapiens. From a report: According to a new study in the journal PeerJ, the interior surfaces of the 17-year-old, 250-mile-high, airtight space station harbor at least 1,000 and perhaps more than 4,000 microbe species (Editor's note: the link could be paywalled; alternative source ) -- a finding that is actually "reassuring," according to co-author David Coil. "Diversity is generally associated with a healthy ecosystem," said the University of California at Davis microbiologist. A varied population of microscopic inhabitants is probably a signature of a healthy spacecraft, he added. And as humanity considers even longer ventures in space -- such as an 18-month voyage to Mars -- scientists must understand who these microbes are. The samples for Coil's paper were collected in 2014 as part of the citizen science program Project MERCCURI. The initiative, conceived by a group of National Football League and National Basketball Association cheerleaders who are also scientists and engineers, involved swabbing down dozens of professional sports stadiums, identifying the microbes in the samples, and sending those species to the ISS to see whether they would thrive. (Bacillus aryabhatti, collected from a practice football field used by the Oakland Raiders, grew fastest.)


By Dan East • Score: 3 • Thread

So was Mir.

Re:Missing contact data

By Virtucon • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

All along we thought there was a shortage of women for STEM professions, there's not they've just decided to become cheerleaders. Now if we only had a way to convey this knowledge? A calendar perhaps? A Sports Illustrated special edition?

Facebook Tops List of Best Places To Work -- Again

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
From a report: If you work at Facebook, count yourself pretty lucky. And not just for the free meals, on-site health care or new-parent benefits. But those things probably factor into the social-networking giant being named the best place to work in 2018 by jobs site Glassdoor. And it's probably been a good experience for a while, seeing how this is the third year in a row Facebook has been atop Glassdoor's list of 100 best places to work. If you don't work at Facebook, there might still be hope for you. Glassdoor said there were 40 newcomers on this year's list, including video game maker Blizzard Entertainment (at No. 28 on the list) and wireless carrier T-Mobile (No. 79). There are also three veterans that have made the list every year since it was introduced 10 years ago, including management-consulting firm Bain & Company (No. 2), search giant Google (No. 5) and Apple (No. 84).

Re:I get to censor people! WHEE!!!

By b0s0z0ku • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

(a) FB HQ is not in San Francisco, it's in Menlo Park, closer to San Jose.
(b) California's residents are fairly centrist. There's just less religious nutbaggery as far as wanting to control what science people learn in school (birth control, sex ed, etc).
(c) California would do well as the world's (7th?) largest economy if Calexit happens (don't Conservatives want CA out, already?). They'd probably even make a free-trade pact with Mexico just to annoy the Trumpites.


By Bert64 • Score: 3 • Thread

Wether a place is good to work at or not depends on your personal circumstances - what job do you do, who are your immediate colleagues and manager, how far do you have to commute to work etc. I've seen many companies were certain departments were treated like kings, while other people doing different jobs are treated like dirt.

You learn what works

By rcharbon • Score: 3 • Thread
Back in the day, when I worked at a Serious Company that took these things Seriously, we employees learned to give everything the top rating. That cut down on the inevitable bullshit that followed the survey, as management attempted to force us to fix whatever scored badly.

Re:It's a company town, Joe...

By AmiMoJo • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

UK legal minimum is 5 weeks, and most of Europe is similar. 3 weeks is a joke, not nearly enough.

Re:It's a company town, Joe...

By AmiMoJo • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

The cost of living in the US is a joke. And by living we include healthcare.

Yahoo Sues Mozilla For Breach of Contract -- So Mozilla Counter Sues Yahoo

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Mark Wilson writes: Mozilla and Yahoo have started a legal spat about the deal that existed between the two companies regarding the use of the Yahoo search engine in the Firefox browser. On December 1, Yahoo fired the first shot filing a complaint that alleges Mozilla breached a contract that existed between the two companies by terminating the arrangement early. In a counter complaint, Mozilla says that it was not only justified in terminating the contract early, but that Yahoo Holdings and Oath still have a bill that needs to be settled.

Re: Pissing War

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Is the CEO of Yahoo or the CEO of Mozilla trolling Slashdot?

The ghost of Marissa Mayer strikes again. When Mozilla signed their contract with Yahoo, she put in a clause that gives Mozilla the right to walk away from the deal at any time if they don't like whoever aquires Yahoo -- AND -- Yahoo would still have to pay Mozilla $375 Million a year till 2019.

I'm guessing that Yahoo's new corporate overlords at Verizon aren't happy about this.

Mozi//a for the Win!

By CHK6 • Score: 3, Interesting • Thread
This is great PR for Mozilla and bad PR for Yahoo. I am so rooting for Mozilla all around. I was a die-hard Mosiac fan, then Netscape until the end, and then Firefox. When Chrome came out, Mozilla Foundation was already overreaching into areas not suited well for them and they took their eye off the ball. Now under the new vision and direction of Mozilla Foundation with Firefox I am thrilled to "come home." Chrome is just as creepy as IE and Edge. It so feels like an Amazon phone. I do not trust Opera and Vivaldi is a wrapper for Chromium.

As for Yahoo, so lame, so lame. Take a page from Mozilla and get back to what made you good from the start.

Re: SCO lawyers

By DickBreath • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
Point by point.

SCO was wrong. In too many ways to count. The court ruled in September 2007 that the copyright on "SCO's" code actually belonged to Novell. Novell had already released SCO's copyright claims earlier against IBM. The "code that is in Linux" is actually IBM's own home grown code. IBM wrote a filesystem called JFS for AIX, an implementation of Unix. Later IBM ported the JFS filesystem to OS/2. Later, IBM ported the OS/2 version of JFS to Linux. SCO claims that the JFS for AIX becomes AT&T copyrighted code because AT&T owned Unix. AT&T publicly claimed this was not the case, that if IBM or others wrote their own code and linked with licensed Unix, that they continued to own their own copyright on their own code. Therefore SCO claim against IBM is barred by promisary estoppel. (eg, you can't claim something publicly, as AT&T did, let others take business actions based on that promise, and then go back on it -- as SCO which claims to be AT&T's successor in the copyright interest in Unix.) The court ruled that SCO is NOT the successor in interest to the Unix copyright but Novell is. So SCO simply doesn't have standing to even bring the 2003 lawsuit. It took a separate trial (by Judge Alsup!) to positively confirm the ruling in Judge Kimball's court that ownership of the Unix copyrights belong to Novell, not SCO.

It is SCO that kept moving the goalposts, not open source community. SCO ammended it's complaint. Then again. And again. It tried to morph it's case into "methods and concepts" instead of copyright. It was SCO claiming that "code doesn't count" but rather "methods and concepts". The "methods and concepts" was a huge laughingstock on Y! SCOX stock boards for several years.

It was not IBM that kept dragging the case out, it was SCO. Clear back in 2003, IBM demanded SCO to produce the evidence of what SCO was claiming. If copyrighted code was in Linux, then produce exactly what Files, Versions and Lines of code that identify exactly what code SCO is suing over. SCO wouldn't IBM kept moving the court about this, and the court had to ORDER, THREE TIMES for SCO to produce some actual evidence. The third and final order was for SCO to disclose all allegedly misused materials by the FINAL deadline of Dec 22, 2005. SCO reluctantly produced a huge pile of hand waving and obfuscation. The magistrate threw 2/3 of this out without the primary trial judge even seeing it. The magistrate judge commented about the remaining 1/3 along the lines of: well, technically this is allowed but really? Is this trivial nonsense what you are claiming? (parphrased)

IBM tried to speed up the case by dropping IBM's four patent counterclaims. I forget which year that was in, maybe about 2005. But it was clearly SCO that kept dragging this out. Meanwhile SCO kept claiming very loudly and publicly that SCO was anxious for it's day in court. Finally, after several devastating rulings from the court, SCO was due to get it's day in court on a Monday. In 2007. I think it was Sept 17. On the Friday afternoon before the court date, SCO abruptly declared bankruptcy. Even though SCO was not actually insolvent. (what? bankruptcy fraud?) Then by gaming the bankruptcy court, SCO kept this farce alive for over ten years to this very day. The zombie corpse of this farcical fraud is still alive to this very day, stuck in appeals. But it looks like the end is near. SCO trolls are obviously still haunting various online forums.

SCO has done nothing but abuse the legal system with this farce.

I am only pointing out the highlights above. The tip of the iceberg. There is much, MUCH more beneath the surface for anyone who spent years following this outrageous nonsense.

Insanely bad contract for Yahoo

By Dan East • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

The contract contained a nearly insane provision that if Yahoo was sold (which Marissa Mayer did not think would happen), that Mozilla had the right to no longer use the Yahoo search engine AND Yahoo had to continue paying Mozilla $375 million per year through 2019! So Yahoo is suing in hopes that they can at least no longer have to pay Mozilla since they aren't even using Yahoo anymore. Yet another testament to the brilliant business acumen of Marissa Mayer.

So essentially Mozilla is double-dipping here, and getting paid by both Yahoo and Google to use Google's search engine.

Re: SCO lawyers

By deviated_prevert • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

SCO was right, though. Their copyrighted source code is in Linux. The problem is that the open source community kept moving the goalposts, claiming that the code doesn't count. Meanwhile, IBM's lawyers dragged the case out excessively to bankrupt SCO. It was quite an abuse of the legal system.

Comical revisionist history on slashdot. A wonderful take on what happened indeed! You should work to the POTUS he is very high on this kind of take on the facts. As was HITLER!! SCO DID FUCK ALL TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE LINUX KERNEL on the contrary they tried desperately to prove there was use of proprietary secret header files from their version of a Unix kernel, which in reality was under copyright with Novell. Anyone who codes knows what actually occurred is complete and utter bullshit, because a header is not the fucking code and given the c programming involved in making a construct work inevitably there will be code with the same syntax and even variable names. The linux kernel is not a cut and paste monster which was just quickly cloned from Unix source code it is a reverse engineered opensource masterpiece that has made diverse competition in the home audio, television, entertainment device, IOT device and cell phone market possible.

The price we now pay for the linux kernel's existence it is the fact that you can go out and by cheap electronic devices that work extremely well. This rapid development to a main stream mainstay of our daily life as consumers of Samsung, LG, Sony, and all the other brands that have come to rely upon the linux kernel in one form or another is the thing that gave Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer night sweats and they were right in fearing linux, the penguins they are everywhere!!!!! MUWHAHAHAAHAA give me a fish or I will eat you sucker!

I am in an extremely good mood today and feel like burning some karma up on a useless anon coward who tries to engage in revisionist history.

Amazon Prime Video App Launches on Apple TV

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Six months after Apple chief executive Tim Cook said Amazon's Prime Video service would be coming to Apple TV, the much anticipated on-demand video streaming service has arrived on tvOS. Similar to other versions of Amazon Prime Video, the Apple TV app allows Prime subscribers to sign into their accounts and watch Amazon Prime exclusive TV series, as well as browse a collection of movies.

Roku in Canada

By smallmj • Score: 3 • Thread

And yet we still can't watch Amazon Prime Video on the Roku in Canada, even though the service launched about a year ago.

Re:Oh boy...

By mccalli • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
But...using two devices to get to your films is a pain. I have iTunes-bought stuff, I have a Fire stick, and I have ripped stuff. I just wanted one device to access all three - previously couldn't get that, now I can.

Re:Oh boy...

By cirby • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Apple has sold something like 25 million AppleTVs.

Odds are pretty good that a lot of those people have Amazon Prime, too.

'We Could Fund a Universal Basic Income With the Data We Give Away To Facebook and Google'

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Tristan Greene reports via The Next Web: A universal basic income (UBI), wherein government provides a monthly stipend so citizens can afford a home and basic necessities, is something experts believe would directly address the issue of unemployment and poverty, and possibly even eliminate hundreds of other welfare programs. It may also be the only real solution to the impending automation bonanza. According to AI expert Steve Fuller, the problem is, giving people money when they lose jobs won't fix the issue, it's a temporary solution and we need permanent ones. Sounds fair, and he even has some ideas on how to accomplish this end: "We could hold Google and Facebook and all those big multinationals accountable; we could make sure that people, like those who are currently 'voluntarily' contributing their data to pump up companies' profits, are given something that is adequate to support their livelihoods in exchange."

It's an interesting idea, but difficult to imagine it's implementation. If the government isn't assigning a specific stipend value, we'll have to be compensated individually by companies. One way to do this, is by emulating the old coal mining company scrip scams of early last century. Employees working for companies would be paid in currency only redeemable at the company store. This basically created a system where a company could tax its own workers for profit. Google, for example, could use a system like that and say "opt-in for $10 worth of Google Play music for free," if they wanted to. Which doesn't help pay the bills when machines replace you at work, but at least you'll be able to voice search for your favorite songs. Another idea is to charge companies an automation tax, but again there's concerns as to how this would be implemented. A solution that combines government oversight with a tax on AI companies -- a UBI funded by the dividends of our data -- may be the best option. To be blunt: we should make Google, Microsoft, Facebook and other such AI companies pay for it with a simple data tax.

Re:This may sort itself out

By Kjella • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

The only reason for UBI is to pay useless people enough money that they can afford enough drugs to get so stoned that the don't bother going out to commit crimes, because that's cheaper than a bigger police force.

I think your attitude is pretty representative of what people think of unemployed today, if you're not working there's something wrong with you. You have physical health problems, mental health problems, alcohol problems, drug problems, attitude problems or something that keeps you from holding a job. But the reality is that in a depression you don't have to be any of those, if you don't have a stellar resume or inside connections there's a thousand people trying get the same jobs and from society's point of view it's like a giant game of musical chairs, if there's a lot fewer jobs than workers somebody's going home empty-handed. Take something like Greece with >25% unemployment and >50% youth unemployment, you think one in two are just addicts looking to get stoned?

I'm not sure the automation doomsday scenarios are correct, we have an incredible creativity in creating new services. But that's roughly what they claim, that it'll be like a global, permanent depression for workers. Burger flipper? We have a burger flipping machine for that. Taxi driver? We have a self-driving car for that. There won't be enough chairs to go around and many will be like brain surgeons and rocket scientists, jobs that'll be totally out of reach for many people. So what do you do when you've looked everywhere, tried everything but nobody wants to hire you and you can't make rent? Live in the gutter? Let your kids live in the gutter? It's no wonder that even good people turn to crime and prostitution if they get really desperate.

I don't think living on just UBI would be pretty, unless you think playing WoW all day and eating Ramen noodles is what life is all about. Maybe for total slackers but they're probably the kind of employees every employer wants to get rid of anyway, it's more like a last resort so good people don't have to hit rock bottom. Who knows, maybe it'll help the hood rat problem too but that'd just be a bonus. I have seen some documentaries where it seems seems like a shitty life peddling drugs on a street corner or doing petty crime, but they don't really have any alternatives because they got shit education and shit work history and a criminal record and probably couldn't get a job at McDonald's if they tried. If they could simply stop, maybe some more actually would.

Re:Government is a coercive organization

By Dread_ed • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

If you are a Republican you trust corporations more than government. If you are a Democrat you trust government more than corporations.

If you aren't an idiot you don't trust either of them. You realize the people who occupy the high positions in both are part of the same class. Nor do you trust those people who are partisan, as they are obviously deeply flawed and compromised in their ability to dispassionately observe reality.

The system that works best is when The People know the dangers of government and corporations getting in bed together, and understand the closer government and corporations get, the more closely the collective system resembles fascism. The historical kind of fascism mind you, not the hysterical kind of fascism.

Re: Government is a coercive organization

By rgbatduke • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

According to reality, the "people" who make less than $200,000 a year "are" less than 10% of the government. The other 90% is made up of a comparatively few corporations, PACs, and people who work for those corporations and make over $200,000 a year. That's about how campaign money falls out. It costs around $11,000,000 to run for Senate, on average. Well over $100,000,000 to run for president. It costs a bit less than $2,000,000 to run for the House of Representatives. The oligarchs who own and manage (at a high level) the large, often multinational corporations that contribute tha vast bulk of this money have de facto veto power over who gets to run in the first place. By the time the "choice" is presented to the voters, it is reduced to the Whore of Babylon vs the Antichrist -- we the actual people are a loser either way, and no matter who wins, their soul will be owned by the people that bought and paid for their campaign an who they KNOW will have to continue their support for them to hold on to power.

That's the interesting thing. You see, the Constitution doesn't identify "the corporation" as a political entity at all. Unsurprisingly, as "corporations" in the modern sense almost didn't exist in America at the time and there wasn't that much by way of "old money" oligarchy in a country that had just thrown OFF the overseas monarch and his oligarchs that ran it immediately before. They also had no concept of the modern "political campaign" with its ever shifting base of paid advertisement, rumor, fake news, sly innuendo, attack ads, sound bites, billboards, and massively printed and distributed posters. They would have been shocked by the idea that someone running for president would target just a handful of "battleground" states for the bulk of their campaign activity and spending on the basis of pre-election "elections" by a tiny fraction of the people plus statistical extrapolations, neglecting to even show their face in dozens of other states full of the very people they would represent but that were supposedly "solidly" behind one candidate or the other.

Unless and until we muzzle the oligarchy that effectively controls the US electoral process from the ground up by the simple expedient of contributing money equally to BOTH candidates in many races -- if they avoid vocalizing things like the need to muzzle the non-constitutional oligarchy itself, if they both appear equally compliant and smart enough to understand what will happen if they ever vote to alter the situation -- we'll continue to have politicians effectively sell their votes on things like net neutrality for the contributions from the big telecoms and their executives. In North Carolina (where I live) for example, Burr got around $600,000 of his last election budget from households that make under $200,000. He got around $1,200,000 from communications companies and their top executives. Hmmm, you can talk about "votes" all you want, but money talks, bullshit walks, and telecommunications paid for almost 10% of his campaign, twice as much as he raised from the ordinary voters in the state combined.

Plutocracy, oligarchy, the recreation of a de facto feudal "nobility" in the form of the very rich (Koch Brothers, Bill Gates, etc) who control the jobs and livelihood of millions of voters with their billions of dollars -- they are not our forefather's democracy. Either we the people wake up and smell the shit in our Starbucks (metaphorically speaking) and alter from the ground up the way elections are funded and run -- banning outright ALL forms of corporate support for candidates, eliminating lobbying (all forms, the good, the bad, the ugly), eliminating PACs, maybe eliminating the need to obtain campaign contributions altogether -- something that is ENTIRELY within our capabilities in the Internet age -- or we will continue to yield complete control over who emerges as candidates to be voted on in the first place as well as the length and strength of the campaigns they run to the wealthy few at the expense of the ordinary American.

Re:That's a straw man argument.

By rgbatduke • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Well said, sir! No mod points today, though, sorry, as I'm already commenting and don't do the AC swaparoo to do both.

I always liked it as a sound bite "Taxes buy me civilization", much as the liberty I give up -- such as the freedom to kill my neighbor, steal his sheep, and rape his daughter if I'm stronger than he is and can get away with it -- buys me freedom from murdering, raping, sheep rustlers in turn who just happen to be stronger than I am or who have a few more friends.

It is surprising how quickly the religious principles of the rabid libertarian evaporate, though, when confronted with the plain old bad luck of life that nobody ever insures against. Having any sort of public health care system is an insult to democracy and the freedom to die a pauper if you actually get sick -- right up to the day they have a single "accident" and find out the hard way that the emergency room, surgery, and two weeks in the ICU plus two weeks on the wards of the neighborhood hospital has left them backrupt and -- if it were not for the corrupt bankruptcy laws and social support network -- would leave them living under an overpass somewhere and panhandling on corners. Then you have things like Ayn Rand, the poster child for libertarianism, using medicare/medicaid when (after a lifetime of smoking and NOT buying insurance or saving money) she gets cancer.

What it really comes down to is a mix of spite and the kind of world you want to live in. If you want to live in a world dominated by the wealthy, the strong, and the ambitious, where the poor, the weak, the sickly, and the stupid are left to struggle, starve, and die young, by all means, rant on about the evils of taxes and the virtue of selfishness. Just remember that the real Midas Mulligans of the world, when confronted with an upstart who tries to start a bank to compete, hire some unemployed layabouts and have them pitch bottles of gasoline in through your new bank's windows, kidnap your children, and leave you notes pinned to your gutted Alsatian suggesting that you might want to sell out at 10 cents on the dollar to Mr. Mulligan. Or, in the case of the energy oligarchs, lean on the government so that they send in the army to take by force the right of way of a long oil pipeline.

Taxes do indeed buy me civilization, but the real problem with our current system is that "democracy" has been completely undermined by the absurdly wealthy who own the very restaurant where the menu of "column A and column B" is presented to the voters. It doesn't matter. Vote for either side. They all belong to the rich and powerful either way, or they wouldn't be on the menu in the first place.

Re:Government is a coercive organization

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

The crime rate isn't that great in the larger cites but the UK, Italy, Germany, France, and Spain aren't in the top 100 lowest crime rates either.
Obviously I talk about violent crime. Not about shoplifting.
When was the last robbery in Germany that involved a weapon (knife or a stick ... most certainly not a gun)? It is December 6th now ... definitely not this year. And I can not remember a case last year.

I'm not really sure what education situation you are talking
Weapon controls at the school entrance.
Low level education.
Long ways to school.
No way for kids to walk to school (because of laws that directly forbid it - or to long distances)
No free universities.
On top of that absurd "tenures" for universities. Or call it colleges.
And then "rules" like this: Not sure if that is true, it sounds absurd or at least bizarre from an european point of view.

In basically all European countries education to the level where a pupil graduates and can go to an university: is free
Going to an university is free beyond a kind of $100 fee for re-registering every semester.
On top of that you can get a state given credit to pay your expenses (rent, energy etc.) in case your parents can not pay for you (in some countries, like scandinavia you get the credit regardless of your parents situation)
You are automatically in healthcare till age of 25 or 27 (or so), payed by your parents employer and your parents (and if they had no kids, they would pay the same price anyway).

Sure, if you prefer you can pay for private education in private schools and private universities. If you extend the typical study time of about 4 - 5 years it might be a fee of about $500 per semester is due (in public universities).

New Evidence Points To Icy Plate Tectonics On Europa

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
According to new research published today in Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, Europa has what it takes to support plate tectonics. "Using computer models, a team lead by Brown University planetary scientist Brandon Johnson was able to demonstrate the physical feasibility of icy plates driving deep into the icy interior in a processes similar to what's seen on Earth," reports Gizmodo. "Excitingly, this same process could be delivering important minerals to the ocean below, heightening the moon's status a potentially habitable world." From the report: Europa has surface features reminiscent of Earth's mid-ocean ridges. For astronomers, this hinted at geological processes akin to subduction zones, where, on Earth, tectonic plates slide underneath another, sinking deep into the planet's interior. Several years ago, researchers Simon Kattenhorn and Louise Prockter posited this explanation when they noticed that a 20,000 square-kilometer (7,722 square-mile) chunk of ice had mysteriously disappeared from Europa's surface. Their explanation was that Europa's surface, like a gigantic jigsaw puzzle, is composed of tectonic plates, and that occasionally a plate of ice will sink beneath the other into warmer layers below. But this observational evidence of extension and spreading needed to be supported by geophysical reality. To that end, Johnson's team ran a computer simulation to see if it was possible for ice to sink in this way.

On our planet, subduction is primarily driven by differences in temperature between a descending slab and the surrounding mantle. Dense crustal material features a negative buoyancy that drives it down into the mantle. The Brown University scientists figured a similar thing happens on Europa, but with ice. In the case of Europa, the researchers surmised that the moon has two frozen layers -- an outer lid of very cold ice that sits above a layer of slightly warmer convecting ice. Their models showed that subduction is indeed possible in this alien environment, but only if the outer shell contains varying amounts of salt. This added ingredient provides the necessary density differences for a slab to conduct.

Silly idea to name a moon like a continent

By gotan • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

The first picture that came to my mind were some giant ice sheets covering Europe doing some strange kind of tectonics.

Btw. I'm German, in which both items are spelled "Europa", and it took a few seconds to remember the moon and that the continent would be spelled "Europe" in English.

Of course in terms of Greek mythology it all makes perfect sense ...


By Rei • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Well, then, since you feel qualified to weigh in on the amount of rocky mass recycled from the icy crust, off the top of your head you should be able to tell us the mass flux from impactors and space dust at Europa. What is it?

Because I guarantee you, people who study these things don't need to google it.

Tidal Forces

By Ayano • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
I always anticipated this. Tidal forces affect liquids far more than rock or hot pressurized rock (mantle). I mean IO doesn't have anywhere near the amount of water that Europa does and it's being torn and scewed by these immense forces.

I don't see how this makes it more habitable however as large glacial tectonic forces, while similar is appearance to regulr tectonics don't seem to make life any easier on the surface. If anything it makes it more difficult to establish any kind of surface base given how quickly the ice can shift compared to normal mantle based tectonics.


By Dorianny • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
The earliest claimed fossilized lifeforms on earth are as old as old as 4.28 billion years old. it suggests an almost instantaneous emergence of life after oceans formed 4.4 billion years ago. Obviously Europa doesn't have the same conditions as early earth but perhaps the Abiogenesis is simply slower instead of impossible under those conditions and Europa has had plenty of time. We just don't know


By necro81 • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Where from? The amounts of rock minerals from space dust and organics from reactions on the surface are probably minute.

Io is right next door (so to speak), and spews forth a lot of material from its volcanoes. Some of that material makes it into the Jovian space between the moons. Jupiter's magnetic field is a transport mechanism.

Also: we know that tons - literally, tons - of extraplanetary material rains down on the Earth each day. Jupiter, being as massive as it is, probably sucks up a lot more. Europa is a small target, but is traveling through this inward flux of material and is sure to pick some up.

Google Wants Progressive Web Apps To Replace Chrome Apps

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Android Police: The Chrome Web Store originally launched in 2010, and serves a hub for installing apps, extensions, and themes packaged for Chrome. Over a year ago, Google announced that it would phase out Chrome apps on Windows, Mac, and Linux in 2018. Today, the company sent out an email to developers with additional information, as well as news about future Progressive Web App support. The existing schedule is mostly still in place -- Chrome apps on the Web Store will no longer be discoverable for Mac, Windows, and Linux users. In fact, if you visit the store right now on anything but a Chromebook, the Apps page is gone. Google originally planned to remove app support on all platforms (except Chrome OS) entirely by Q1 2018, but Google has decided to transition to Progressive Web Apps:

"The Chrome team is now working to enable Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) to be installed on the desktop. Once this functionality ships (roughly targeting mid-2018), users will be able to install web apps to the desktop and launch them via icons and shortcuts; similar to the way that Chrome Apps can be installed today. In order to enable a more seamless transition from Chrome Apps to the web, Chrome will not fully remove support for Chrome Apps on Windows, Mac or Linux until after Desktop PWA installability becomes available in 2018. Timelines are still rough, but this will be a number of months later than the originally planned deprecation timeline of 'early 2018.' We also recognize that Desktop PWAs will not replace all Chrome App capabilities. We have been investigating ways to simplify the transition for developers that depend on exclusive Chrome App APIs, and will continue to focus on this -- in particular the Sockets, HID and Serial APIs."

WTF is Progressive Web Apps?

By UnknownSoldier • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

And how are they different from normal web apps?

Re:WTF is Progressive Web Apps?

By Z80a • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

They ask you for your preferred pronouns before running and have fonts adapted for reading with problem glasses.


By Gravis Zero • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread

I can't wait to transition to PWAs so that one day they can tell me it will stop functioning at the end of the month and all my related data will be deleted. This is much better than the garbage applications that keep working even when you are offline. Honestly, how do they expect to spy on my entire life without internet connectivity?! ;)

Re:This is why I don't use develop using Google te

By bickerdyke • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

There is a 99.9% chance that your "web app" was either nothing more than a glorified bookmark that registered an icon in your start menu and did nothing more than redirecting to a regular website. If you actually used javascript running locally, local storage, or other webapp features, that was basically only thenew fancy HTML5 stuff to begin with and that won't go away either, You mostly have to do a boilerplate update.

Re:WTF is Progressive Web Apps?

By AmiMoJo • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

They are web sites that are installable and can run like native apps.

They are an interesting idea because they bring mobile app style sandboxing and permissions to desktop apps. Since the app it basically HTML, CSS and Javascript there are very mature sandboxes available to run them in, and in fact you have a choice of sandbox from your favourite browser vendor, opening up the possibility of extreme levels of control and in-app ad-blocking.

There are limits to what these apps can do, so they are mostly suited to highly networked stuff like cloud services, advanced web site interfaces like the Twitter and Facebook apps on mobile, messenger clients etc.

Microsoft are in trouble because these compete with their failed Metro apps on Windows, and make Windows itself kind of irrelevant because now the browser is the OS and the cloud is the disk. Obviously /.ers are not going to be happy with that.