Alterslash

the unofficial Slashdot digest for 2017-Dec-07 today archive

Contents

  1. The US Is Testing a Microwave Weapon To Stop North Korea's Missiles
  2. ISP Disclosures About Data Caps and Fees Eliminated By Net Neutrality Repeal
  3. Android 8.0 Oreo For Android Wear Released
  4. What It Looks Like When You Fry Your Eye In An Eclipse
  5. Bank of America Wins Patent For Crypto Exchange System
  6. Apple Has Ruined Its Podcasts App
  7. Tesla Could Be Hogging Batteries and Causing a Global Shortage, Says Report
  8. Volkswagen Executive Sentenced To Maximum Prison Term For His Role In Dieselgate
  9. Cryptocurrency Miners Are Using Old Tires to Power Their Rigs
  10. No One Makes a Living on Crowdfunding Website Patreon
  11. Inside Oracle's Cloak-and-dagger Political War With Google
  12. Google's Mobile Search Results Now Include Videos Of Celebrities Answering Your Questions
  13. Amazon Opens Registration For .BOT Domain Name
  14. Kaspersky To Close Washington Office But Expand Non-State Sales
  15. San Francisco To Restrict Goods Delivery Robots
  16. Bitcoin Nears $17,000 After Climbing About $4,000 in Less Than a Day
  17. Uber Paid 20-year-old Florida Man To Keep Data Breach Secret
  18. Keylogger Found On Nearly 5,500 WordPress Sites
  19. The Firestorm This Time: Why Los Angeles Is Burning
  20. Airlines Restrict 'Smart Luggage' Over Fire Hazards Posed By Batteries
  21. Jordan Peele To Executive Produce CBS 'The Twilight Zone' Reboot
  22. Earth Will Likely Be Much Warmer In 2100 Than We Anticipated, Scientists Warn

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

The US Is Testing a Microwave Weapon To Stop North Korea's Missiles

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Vox: According to an NBC News report, the weapon -- which is still under development -- could be put on a cruise missile and shot at an enemy country from a B-52 bomber. It's designed to use microwaves to target enemy military facilities and destroy electronic systems, like computers, that control their missiles. The weapon itself wouldn't damage the buildings or cause casualties. Air Force developers have been working with Boeing on the system since 2009. They're hoping to receive up to $200 million for more prototyping and testing in the latest defense bill. There's just one problem. It's not clear that the weapon is entirely ready for use -- and it's not clear that it would be any more effective than the powerful weapons the U.S. already possesses. The weapon, which has the gloriously military-style name of Counter-electronics High Power Microwave Advanced Missile Project, or CHAMP, isn't quite ready for action, but it could be soon. Two unnamed Air Force officials told NBC that the weapon could be ready for use in just a few days.

Re:Are North Korea using corn-based missiles?

By gtall • Score: 4 • Thread

There is no convincing the Norks the U.S. doesn't desire to own a poor country with nothing going for it. The intellectual giants running N. Korea only keep the threat of U.S. intervention alive so they can give the public a reason why they should stay in power and shouldn't be first up against the wall when the revolution comes.

Re:Thank God for North Korea

By drinkypoo • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

High energy ground based lasers, using adaptive optics to reduce atmospheric distortion, could reliably block North Korean missiles from hitting America. All the technology exists for this.

We already have laser planes which can shoot down a missile under ideal conditions. I'd be surprised if those haven't been improved since they were invented, to the point that they might even shoot down a sufficiently primitive missile in the real world.

Re:Are North Korea using corn-based missiles?

By ceoyoyo • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Diplomacy, open trade, and international organizations. It's not as sexy as nukes and special forces, but the current stability of the world (and it is in an unprecedented state of stability) is almost certainly due to those things.

Re:Are North Korea using corn-based missiles?

By kilfarsnar • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Diplomacy, open trade, and international organizations. It's not as sexy as nukes and special forces, but the current stability of the world (and it is in an unprecedented state of stability) is almost certainly due to those things.

What do diplomacy, open trade, and international organizations have to do with North Korea?

Only everything. There are no good military solutions to the conflict with North Korea. They all involve hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths. If you think that's acceptable, we should probably reconsider who the murderous psychopath is in this situation.

Re:You could just as easily credit nukes

By ceoyoyo • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Don't believe what the media tells you. The actual numbers say the world has less violence and is more stable today than it ever has been. It's been getting more so for a thousand years, even if you include the 20th century wars.

When you go country-by-country, the factors that emerge as contributing to stability, peace and prosperity are engagement with the international community and international trade ties. The trends were present well before nukes were invented. Nukes may explain why we haven't had any of the largest kinds of wars recently, but they really don't work as a good explanation on any other level, even limited to post 1945: all the nuclear powers have been involved in wars, and several of them aren't or weren't exactly what you'd call stable or peaceful.

ISP Disclosures About Data Caps and Fees Eliminated By Net Neutrality Repeal

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
In 2015, the Federal Communications Commission forced ISPs to be more transparent with customers about hidden fees and the consequences of exceeding data caps. Since the requirements were part of the net neutrality rules, they will be eliminated when the FCC votes to repeal the rules next week. Ars Technica reports: While FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is proposing to keep some of the commission's existing disclosure rules and to impose some new disclosure requirements, ISPs won't have to tell consumers exactly what everything will cost when they sign up for service. There have been two major versions of the FCC's transparency requirements: one created in 2010 with the first net neutrality rules, and an expanded version created in 2015. Both sets of transparency rules survived court challenges from the broadband industry. The 2010 requirement had ISPs disclose pricing, including "monthly prices, usage-based fees, and fees for early termination or additional network services." That somewhat vague requirement will survive Pai's net neutrality repeal. But Pai is proposing to eliminate the enhanced disclosure requirements that have been in place since 2015. Here are the disclosures that ISPs currently have to make -- but won't have to after the repeal:

-Price: the full monthly service charge. Any promotional rates should be clearly noted as such, specify the duration of the promotional period and the full monthly service charge the consumer will incur after the expiration of the promotional period.
-Other Fees: all additional one time and/or recurring fees and/or surcharges the consumer may incur either to initiate, maintain, or discontinue service, including the name, definition, and cost of each additional fee. These may include modem rental fees, installation fees, service charges, and early termination fees, among others.
-Data Caps and Allowances: any data caps or allowances that are a part of the plan the consumer is purchasing, as well as the consequences of exceeding the cap or allowance (e.g., additional charges, loss of service for the remainder of the billing cycle).

Pai's proposed net neutrality repeal says those requirements and others adopted in 2015 are too onerous for ISPs.

Re:Why do we stand it

By TimothyHollins • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

In Stockholm, Sweden, most apartments have somewhere 10-20 ISPs to choose from, with several different fiber nets available or within reach. Companies are not allowed to lock out the competition.
The standard price for an up/down line of 100Mbit/100Mbit is (with VAT) around $18 per month ($15 without VAT) , no installation fee. That's with no caps or overages.

While I don't know if the Swedish market can be directly translated into the American market, it does seem that opening up and lowering the barriers to entry would help with prices. That means regulating the crap out of the big corporations.

Too onerous?

By Bert64 • Score: 3 • Thread

It's too onerous to explain the fees, but not too onerous to charge them? How ridiculous is that?

2018 isn't a done deal

By duke_cheetah2003 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Here's an idea: when the Democrats inevitably win

If. A very big if. Roy Moore is a really big deal. If republicans can stomach a pedophile in their midst, they've obviously tossed the moral compass out the window. This could be a problem. It shows how desperate republicans and their supporters are. Dunno if you watch the news, but actual voters are saying to news folks, they literally would rather have Roy Moore despite his shortcomings over -any- democrat. This casting aside of morals is pretty alarming, and they're taking very effective tactics from Trump's campaign: Wage war against the media. Make it "US vs. THEM!" It's extremely unhealthy for our republic. And unfortunately, it's plucking just the right strings for the right. They could very well use these plays effectively in 2018 to crush the democrats again. We'll see, but after 2016, nothing is inevitable anymore. Nothing is for sure, not even outrage of this level.

Roy Moore is a very important character to watch. If he picks up the seat in Alabama, we're in for a bumpy 2018. And nothing will be for sure until the fat lady sings at the end of the elections in Nov 2018. If Roy loses to Doug, it's a good sign that the left is organized and getting out the vote. They'll need to keep that organization and zest alive for a whole year. Meanwhile, Trump is making all of us very very tired.

Re:I'd like to take thism moment to ask...

By silentcoder • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Let's say you're right. That doesn't change that on this issue at least a democratic wave would be a win for society. Now you can argue that this is only because dems are corrupted out to corporations whose interests in this regard happen to allign with our own - you may even be right, but you're STILL wrong to claim changing the majority party can't fix this issue completely.

Even all that aside, if you believe that both parties are equally corrupt - you really, really WANT a system where the opposition party controls at least one house on the hill, the best way to stem corruption (especially in this hyperpartisan era) is to make it so it's absolutely impossible to pass any law without a significant number of opposition politicians actually agreeing with it.

That was how Washington used to work - in fact as recently as 2010 it's how things worked. Reagan passed his tax reform as a bipartisan effort that took two years of cross-party negotiation.
Obamacare took two years of negotiation with loads of input and ammendments, public hearings, things added and removed by republicans - and quite a few republican votes in the end.

Then came the "lets make him a one-term president by actively blocking ANYTHING he wants to do - even if it's something we wanted to do ourselves for years" thing (it had sort of begun with Obama's election but only really picked up steam after the republicans 2010 midterm gains allowed them actually behave that way).

Now I chose those two examples quite deliberately. They came from opposite sides of the spectrum, based on completely opposite ideas of how things should be done - but in both cases they were done slowly, deliberately, in a negotiation process that ultimately got most of the opposition on-board.

Thus far this year, both those topics have been up again. Healthcare and taxes. In both cases republicans have tried to fly-by-night the legislation, keep it secret until the last possible moment, done all in their power to avoid any public debate or any chance for even their OWN politicians to know what's in the law before the vote. This is what happens when a party has full control of the government and no longer gives a damn.

What's worse - their approach seems to be that they think they'll be forgiven any horrible thing they do, just so long as they "fuck the liberals". No need to govern the COUNTRY, no need to try and make decisions that benefit their districts, their voters or even their base - their base will be happy as long as they fuck those annoying liberals over.

Somehow, since 2010 - being willing to negotiate a decent compromise bill and acknowledge you're there to serve the ENTIRE country went from "how the good politicians do things" to "an act of treason we will not tolerate in a republican", somehow liberals, democrats, progressives and whatever else you want to lump in there on the left went from "fellow Americans I disagree with" to "an enemy that must be destroyed by any means necessary" , somehow they aren't "real Americans" anymore, and any negotiation with them, any attempt to consider their views is seen as giving aid and comfort to the enemy.

That's a recipe for a government that is not only wholly disfunctional but utterly incapable and uninterested in ever doing anything for the people that elected them - as long as you promise to fuck the liberals over, your seat will be safe after all.

So yes, this is a terribly bad situation and one-of-a-kind one that America has never seen before. It is absolutely crucial for the survival of America that Washington be taught that this is not behavior the electorate will tolerate or reward, that democrats win by a fucking landslide in 2018 - to teach republicans that this approach to governance is bad for their own careers.

Yes, a major victory by the other side WILL fix the single biggest problem in American politics today - which has fuckall to do with corruption. Sure corruption is bad - but it's teenaged acne next to the cancer of "the opposition are the enemy" that republicans embrace today.

Re: I'd like to take thism moment to ask...

By silentcoder • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Your accusation actually makes no sense. How can you accuse the democrats of being unwilling to compromise and negotiate when the entire legislative approach of republicans have been to preclude the possibility? How do you negotiate on a bill when they won't let you read it? How do you offer ammendments or debate when the bills are secret until hours before the vote? Forget 2 years of negotiating major bills, Republicans refuse to offer 2 hours. Even most fellow Republicans don't get to know what they will be asked to vote on!

Android 8.0 Oreo For Android Wear Released

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
According to a Google developer, Android 8.0 Oreo is rolling out to Android Wear devices starting today. The developer said "timing is determined by each watch's manufacturer." 9to5Google notes that there are "no major redesigns with Oreo for the wearable platform," but there are some useful tweaks. From the report: There is a new option to disable touch-to-wake called "Touch lock" in Settings that Google positions as being useful in wet conditions. Google has added the ability to control the strength of vibrations for incoming notifications. Referred to as the "Vibration pattern," options include Normal, Long, and Double. Meanwhile, there is now a toggle to manually enable the "Battery saver," instead of having to wait until the device hits a low charge. This mode disables Vibration, Location services, Wi-Fi & mobile usage, Data & app updates, and the Always-on display. Meanwhile, the update includes notification channels for apps that should provide more granular user control. Google also shared that Wear is now available in seven new countries and languages: Belgium (Dutch), Czech Republic (Czech), El Salvador (Spanish), Honduras (Spanish), Nigeria (English), Paraguay (Spanish), and Portugal (Portuguese).

What It Looks Like When You Fry Your Eye In An Eclipse

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from NPR: Doctors in New York say a woman in her 20s came in three days after looking at the Aug. 21 eclipse without protective glasses. She had peeked several times, for about six seconds, when the sun was only partially covered by the moon. Four hours later, she started experiencing blurred and distorted vision and saw a central black spot in her left eye. The doctors studied her eyes with several different imaging technologies, described in the journal JAMA Ophthalmology, and were able to observe the damage at the cellular level.

"We were very surprised at how precisely concordant the imaged damage was with the crescent shape of the eclipse itself," noted Dr. Avnish Deobhakta, an assistant professor of ophthalmology at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai Icahn School of Medicine, in an email to NPR. He says this was the most severely injured patient they saw after the eclipse. All in all, 22 people came to their urgent care clinic with concerns about possible eclipse-related damage, and most of them complained of blurred vision. Of those, only three showed some degree of abnormality in the retina. Two of them had only mild changes, however, and their symptoms have gone away. The young woman described in this case report, at last check, still has not recovered normal vision.
For your viewing pleasure, The Verge has embedded several images of the woman's retinas in their report.

What Payne Said She Did . . .

By Kunedog • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
. . . according to CNN, anyway:
http://www.cnn.com/2017/12/07/...

Watching the celestial event outside her boyfriend's workplace, she noticed the changes around her, as it looked like dusk during the day. Payne looked up at the sun with her naked eye for a few seconds, but it was too bright.

She approached a woman nearby and asked whether she could borrow her glasses. The woman did not appear interested in viewing the eclipse and said she was "blind as a bat anyway." She told Payne she had borrowed them from a friend and agreed to let Payne use them.

Payne put on the glasses and looked up at the partial eclipse for 15 to 20 seconds. She didn't know what eclipse glasses were supposed to look like, but she remembered that the sun seemed particularly bright -- like looking at it with sunglasses on.

"But it didn't bother me, because I thought it would be a great experience to catch a solar eclipse the proper way," Payne told CNN.

She removed the glasses, returned them to the woman and left.

Six hours later, Payne noticed a weird dark spot in the center of her vision. She told her friends and family, but they told her to wait a day. After all, everyone had been outside looking up at the sun, and it was normal to feel "weird."

The next day, Payne lost vision in the center of her left eye.

So "a few seconds" is six, according to TFS. The borrowed glasses story sounds exactly like something someone would make up to shift blame from themselves, but we'll never know for sure. Besides, she admits she only sought glasses after staring at the sun bare-eyed proved "too bright."

So far, it's a nightmare, and sometimes it makes me very sad when I close my eyes and see it," Payne said. "It's embarrassing. People will assume I was just one of those people who stared blankly at the sun or didn't check the person with the glasses.

She is literally "one of those people," as she stared at the sun. She then borrowed glasses she couldn't verify as safe. I don't know what it means to "check the person with the glasses" but the fact that they were already blind might have been a red flag.

Re:Six seconds. Or maybe longer.

By RightwingNutjob • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
Save your flat-Earth conspiracy for another site, comrade. Everyone knows the world ended on December 21, 2012. The flat Earth we think we see if just a hologram to cover up the fact that the real flat Earth was destroyed by a stampede of cosmic elephants incited by one of them turtles a couple dozen levels down.

For those who didn't RTF JAMA A

By Solandri • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
The NPR article is incorrect. She only looked at the sun without glasses for a few seconds. She found that uncomfortable. A woman nearby had eclipse viewing glasses but wasn't viewing the eclipse because she said she was blind as a bat anyway. So she asked to borrow the glasses.

She then viewed the sun for 15-20 seconds through those glasses, which they suspect is when the damage occurred. The glasses were probably fakes which didn't block all the rays of the sun. So this isn't a story about an idiot staring at the sun without glasses and destroying her vision as the NPR article implies. It's a story about some evil person destroying someone else's vision for life just so they could make a quick buck.

(Though I suppose it's possible she really is an idiot and made the whole thing up to hide her embarrassment.)

Re:Ghoulish

By lordlod • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

A simple story that I think is an easier to understand explanation of the variety in risk tolerance.

I was fortunate enough to spend some time in Antarctica. Part of this time was minding a fuel hose about 10cm high, and I observed several groups of penguins negotiate the hose.

A pack of twenty would waddle along and hit the obstacle of the hose. They walk up and down along it a bit to see if they can get around.

Then two penguins jump the hose and walk on.

The rest of the pack, observing that those two are ok quickly jump over and continue on their way.

Except for three, who hesitate for some reason. They walk up and down again, they get increasingly agitated as the pack gets further away. Two eventually jump over. The last is running up and down the line, freaking out at being left behind and eventually trips and falls over the hose. Picks itself up and sprints after the pack.

Penguins display the same basic behaviour when confronted with any obstacle, like a group of people playing tourist or jumping into leopard seal infested water.

I never saw one stupid enough to stare into the sun though.

Re:The Science of Magnifying Glass

By cyn1c77 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Perhaps she and those who did it should have tried to experiment with a magnifying glass before any attempt to stare at the sun. You might have tried this before when you were little.

If the magnifying glass started showing smoke on whatever it is focused in 6 seconds, staring at the sun at the time for the same duration could surely do the same to the eye.

What?!?!

You're saying that a 100-mm-diameter high-magnification lens has the same light gathering power as a 2-mm-diameter pupil?

Is this a new form of science?

Bank of America Wins Patent For Crypto Exchange System

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
New submitter psnyder shares a report from CoinDesk: [The patent] outlined a potential cryptocurrency exchange system that would convert one digital currency into another. Further, this system would be automated, establishing the exchange rate between the two currencies based on external data feeds. The patent describes a potential three-part system, where the first part would be a customer's account and the other two would be accounts owned by the business running the system. The user would store their chosen cryptocurrency through the customer account. The second account, referred to as a "float account," would act as a holding area for the cryptocurrency the customer is selling, while the third account, also a float account, would contain the equivalent amount of the cryptocurrency the customer is converting their funds to. That third account would then deposit the converted funds back into the original customer account for withdrawal. The proposed system would collect data from external information sources on cryptocurrency exchange rates, and use this data to establish its own optimal rate. The patent notes this service would be for enterprise-level customers, meaning that if the bank pursues this project, it would be offered to businesses.

Huh?

By Lab Rat Jason • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Did they just patent "Escrow, but on a computer"?

Re:Huh?

By campuscodi • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
From the description, pretty much.... but it's crypto-escrow, not regular escrow. Ya' know!?!

Prior Art

By zlives • Score: 3 • Thread

3 card monte

bank patents

By GodWasAnAlien • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

bank patents:

1998 - Banking on the internet
2006 - Banking on a phone
2017 - Banking on a blockchain
2025 - Banking on a quantum computer
2040 - Banking in your brain
2100 - Banking on non-electronic pieces of paper. using non-electronic ink writing devices

Apple Has Ruined Its Podcasts App

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Mike Pesca, host of Slate's daily podcast The Gist, writes about the recent interface changes to Apple's Podcasts app (condensed): Up until two months ago, the Apple Podcasts app was the only podcasting app I used. It gave me a nice, workable list of the shows I liked; let me know when those shows were updated; played the shows easily and without glitches; and offered the option of listening in double speed. I knew where everything was, and I thought of its shortcomings not as features the app was lacking but more like things one simply could not do with a podcast. If the Apple Podcast app wasn't great for sharing podcasts via email or text -- and it was not -- I told myself, "That just must be something that's hard for a podcast app to execute." I figured the best a podcasting app could do was to facilitate sharing the feed of a show, rather than the specific episode I was listening to. I never dared dream I could send a specific time within that episode. What sorcery is that? But sometime in the past few months, the Apple app began to fail me. Of my four basic requirements, three suffered. The list of the shows I listened to was now incomplete. There was no longer a number denoting how many episodes of each show I had on the app. The list of unplayed episodes had melded into the list of played episodes. I was offered the opportunity to browse my "Library," but access to any "card catalog" or "Dewey Decimal System" proved elusive. Apple kept pushing me toward my "recently updated" shows, but these weren't the offerings most useful to me every time I checked back in.

That's all

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 3, Informative • Thread

You think that's all the ruined. How about the Music App which has gone to hell since 8.3 was released. This is what pisses me off the most

New version = worse version

By Major_Disorder • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
For the past couple of years I have noticed that many pieces of software and websites are "improved" to the point where they become unusable.
Here is a useful hint. If you have an established popular product, web or software, and someone comes along suggesting a "refresh because it is getting stale" Fire them. have them escorted from premises as soon as possible. (With a few swift kicks if possible.) These people serve no useful purpose, and waste valuable oxygen. A refreshed, modern interface will NOT bring new users to your product, but the features that you thought were unimportant, and removed will drive some of your current users away.

Looking at you Slashdot.

Re:overcast

By Lab Rat Jason • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

I'm shocked by OPs statements... only because Apple's Podcast app has sucked for much longer than 6 months! Injecting ads into the middle of the podcast, failing to update if the app isn't running in the background (killing the app by swiping up means you won't know you have a new podcast until the app is restarted) and failing to download new podcasts when app clearly has permission to use wifi when the app is not active... these were all things that frustrated me to no end!

I switched to Overcast about a year ago and Podcasts are finally the awesomeness they should have always been.

I'm tempted here to launch into a tirade about how bad Apple Music is on the iPhone as well, but I'll leave that for another /. post.

Re:That's all

By sconeu • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

I once had shuffle turned on by accident.

I had to Google search how to turn off shuffle. The Music app is THAT bad.

This has been an ongoing trend for a decade.

By AbRASiON • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Windows, Google Applications, General applications, Android, iOS - UI developers and UI managers or UX or whatever they call themselves, they seem to get it right in one or two iterations and after that, for the most part they are *NO LONGER NEEDED* but management keep these huge teams on and they need to 'fiddle' to justify existence.

I've whined, easily 100 times across the internet about this, but people just endure it, they don't lose customers due to it, unless it's a particularly egregious screw up unfortunately.

We're looking at apps with flat colours, no dividing lines, no shading, weird animations, massive massive amounts of white space, no coloured icons, no *GODDAMN LABELLING OF ICONS*, etc. Many of those "gaudy!" things, help you easily identify what you're doing or about to do. While you may still get used to doing things with the app, I find often, I will hesitate for one fraction of a second, maybe even just .2 seconds when I'm clicking unlabeled, uncoloured icons, every.single.time, because my brain has to confirm it's right.
Problem is, when I do these functions thousands or tens of thousands of times a year, they're wasting my damn time.

and, boy, oh BOY am I glad I no longer work in first level technical support. I would be horrendously angry over the past 5-10 years, IMMENSELY so. Being able to describe the GREEN SQUARE icon on the left, in the BOX next to the RED CIRCLE ICON and the icon is LABELLED "GO" is vastly easier than:
"No, click the arrow, yes, it's ..white, like all the other icons, it's going from right to left, yeah it's kind of in the middle of nothing, it's up the top left, no the other top left, no really sir it IS there. You say it isn't? Can you describe what you see? Lots of white eh, any words? No words oh........ what icons are there? ... yes .. an odd shape ok put your mouse over it so we can get the tooltip name for it,......... oh you're on a touchscreen ....... ok ..well ummm "

Seriously these changes are mind-bogglingly bad for end users and first level support, but as we all know, saves them money having a translation team, doesn't it?

I loathe it.

Tesla Could Be Hogging Batteries and Causing a Global Shortage, Says Report

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
According to a report from the Korea news outlet ETNews, Tesla's solution to fixing a manufacturing bottleneck responsible for a $619 million loss last quarter could be causing a global battery shortage. Panasonic reportedly gave most of its cache of batteries in Japan to Tesla so that the automaker and Gigafactory 1 energy-storage company could keep up with its ambitious production schedule. Gizmodo reports: In early October, Tesla struggled with a "production bottleneck," but by the end of the month, Panasonic stated it would increase battery output at the Gigafactory, now that it understood the issues that led to the bottleneck and could automate some of the processes that had been done by hand. But this likely did not help Tesla fix any immediate shortage issues. ETNews claims that Panasonic is coping with the shortage by shipping batteries in from Japan. And many Japanese companies in need of cylinder batteries have turned to other suppliers like LG, Murata, and Samsung -- but those companies have not been able to meet the demands. Reportedly, companies that had contracts before 2017 aren't affected by the shortage, but several other manufacturers have not been able to place orders for batteries, and won't be able to order more batteries until the middle of next year.

Re: Environmental impact of this manufacturing

By ShanghaiBill • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

The Daily Mail caring about the environment?

They don't care. The whole point of the article is to promote environmental nihilism and apathy. If 16 ships pollute more than a billion cars, and wind turbines kill birds, and bicyclists run over endangered insects, then clearly everything is equally bad and nothing matters and readers can continue to drive their SUVs guilt free.

Re:Environmental impact of this manufacturing

By Aighearach • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Cobalt is mostly a byproduct of open pit copper and nickel mining, and little mining is done specifically to extract cobalt.

While true, there is more to the story. 15% of US cobalt production is already from recycling. Also there is the Idaho Cobalt Project (ICP) that already has permits for a primary-source cobalt mine in Idaho, which should go online imminently. It is owned by a Canadian mining company. They're expecting 1500 tons/yr for 12.5 years.

The most important thing though is that cobalt is totally recoverable, in the future most of it will come from recycling.

Re:Tesla's Cobalt Conundrum

By Aighearach • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

According to this Canadian mining company about to start operation of a primary cobalt mine in the US, 58% of world cobalt production was from DR Congo in 2015.

http://www.ecobalt.com/assets/...

Before offering corrections, it is important to understand what the words mean within their context. In the context of industrial supply, where the mines are is what they are talking about when discussing the locations of a resource.

For example, it doesn't prove them wrong to point out that there is a lot of cobalt on Venus.

Re:Tesla's Cobalt Conundrum

By Rei • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

I did not say "most currently mined cobalt", because currently mined cobalt simply will not support battery production scaleup. I said "most cobalt", period. You have to look at where additional cobalt for batteries is going to be coming from. And it's not going to be coming from the Congo. Yes, part of the supply will come from expansions to major Congo mines, but most is going to come from new cobalt projects and from adding cobalt recovery to the tailings of existing mines.

It's nothing at all analogous to "cobalt on Venus". As was explicitly stated: "Cobalt, however, is found in significant consequence everywhere that nickel, copper, and many other commonly mined metals are."

Re: Business 101

By MachineShedFred • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Monopolistic? Don't be an idiot. It's basic supply and demand. And, Tesla has a monopoly on exactly nothing, except maybe a trade secret on generating fanboy hype. Neither does Panasonic.

There is simply not enough battery manufacturing to meet the current demand. So Tesla is locking up the supply they need by working with their manufacturing partner in a very legal and straightforward way that hundreds of businesses have done to obtain the materials they need, for basically all of history. And guess what? If demand is greater than supply, some other company can either outbid Tesla for the supply, or wait for more manufacturing to be built to increase the available supply. Just like any other product or material in any other market, ever.

Oh, I forgot - we are talking about Tesla, so OMG evil! Bad! Almost as bad as Apple, because reasons!

Volkswagen Executive Sentenced To Maximum Prison Term For His Role In Dieselgate

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: On Wednesday, a U.S. District judge in Detroit sentenced Oliver Schmidt, a former Volkswagen executive, to seven years in prison for his role in the Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal of 2015. Schmidt was also ordered to pay a criminal penalty of $400,000, according to a U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) press release. The prison term and the fine together represent the maximum sentence that Schmidt could have received under the plea deal he signed in August. Schmidt, a German citizen who lived in Detroit as an emissions compliance executive for VW, was arrested in Miami on vacation last January. In August, he pleaded guilty to conspiracy and to making a false statement under the Clean Air Act. Schmidt's plea deal stated that the former executive could face up to seven years in prison and between $40,000 and $400,000 in fines.

Last week, Schmidt's attorneys made a last-minute bid requesting a lighter sentence for Schmidt: 40 months of supervised release and a $100,000 fine. Schmidt also wrote a letter to the judge, which surfaced over the weekend, in which the executive said he felt "misused" by his own company and claimed that higher-ranked VW executives coached him on a script to help him lie to a California Air Resources Board (CARB) official. Instead, Schmidt was sentenced to the maximum penalties outlined in the plea deal. Only one other VW employee has been sentenced in connection with the emissions scandal: former engineer James Liang, who received 40 months in prison and two years of supervised release as the result of his plea deal. Although six other VW Group executives have been indicted, none is in U.S. custody.

Germans Aren't Quite As "Decent" As They Seem

By dryriver • Score: 3 • Thread
Germany, and by extension Europe, has over the last decades tried very hard to project an image of a decent, honest, open, rule-bound democracy with integrity, good laws, yada yada yada. Listening to the Germans and Europeans in general, you'd think that its always the U.S. Corporations that are doing horrible things in the name of profit. This has been used very, very successfully to mask the fact that German and other powerful European companies are incredibly aggressive when it comes to making money/profit, especially in developing world markets where they are very strong, and there are no rules for them to play by. Its not just German companies either. The French, Belgians, Dutch and so forth aren't any better. If there is money to be grabbed, they'll grab it, decency and rules be damned. So its not just VW and the other automakers that are doing this sort of stuff. This is a system problem in a European Union that seems "super decent" image-wise, but is anything but in reality. Also, there is no way the German and other European governments didn't know this kind of cheating was happening. They knew, but turned a blind eye to it until there was no hiding it anymore.

Re:This caused massive environmental damage

By ttsai • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

How much environmental damage did this cause? Quantify it. If you're going to assert that he should be killed for his crime, you should be able to identify exactly what his crime was.

This seems like a silly argument. Sort of like telling the traffic court judge that you didn't kill anyone or cause any property damage, so the running the red light ticket should be dismissed. And asking for quantification of the damage? How many significant digits would you require?

The US government isn't the bad guy here. It's mostly on the Volkswagen top executives that asked the scapegoats to lie to protect the higher-ups. Note that the lying was never intended to protect the company but only the executives. It's also somewhat on the scapegoats who agreed to lie even though it was disingenuous of them to believe that they had anything positive to gain by breaking the law.

Germany and the EU

By 110010001000 • Score: 3 • Thread
Notice Germany and the EU hasn't done a damn thing. And no, "fines" don't count. These people all have plenty of money. Shame on the EU.

What about 3 tons SUVs?

By Max_W • Score: 3 • Thread
2500 - 3000 kg SUV emits more CO2 that a 1300 kg Volkswagen due to the Newton's second law of motion: F = m*a, i.e. Force (fuel) = mass * acceleration

Personal observation

By argStyopa • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

A co-worker of mine used to be in senior management at VW DE (left more than a decade ago), and he said that the whole thing was utterly unsurprising to him. He said the US management was the worst cross between lickspittle toadies focused only on their personal ladder-climbing and soulless used car salesman willing to say anything regardless of facts.

Cryptocurrency Miners Are Using Old Tires to Power Their Rigs

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Christopher Malmo, writing for Motherboard: An entrepreneurial cryptocurrency mining company has just announced an unusual deal: it has partnered with a tire-based waste-to-energy company in the United States to power its mining computers. Standard American Mining and PRTI, a tire "thermal demanufacturing" company based in North Carolina, are powering graphics cards-based mining equipment to earn a range of alternative cryptocurrencies like Ethereum. Basically, they take used tires and heat them to a precise temperature, resulting in components like steel (from belted tires), carbon black, and a burnable fuel. That fuel is the energy source driving turbines to make electricity, which powers an onsite cryptocurrency mining farm. Taking advantage of an underutilized electricity source to run computers isn't groundbreaking, but the unusual set-up shows that cryptocurrency mining is now profitable enough to justify finding quite unconventional sources of cheap or new energy generation.

Where the rubber meets the...

By ZenShadow • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

...Silk Road?

Yeah, I got nothing.

The very definition ...

By PPH • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

... of dirty money.

Hyperspeculation

By ClickOnThis • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

We can blame this on hyperspeculation in the value of cryptocurrencies. When these currencies become insanely valuable, it becomes profitable to get energy to mine them from insane sources.

Recall hyperinflation of the German Mark in the 1920s. At one point its value was so low that it made more sense to burn the notes than to use them to buy firewood. How long before it becomes profitable to burn actual bank notes to make electricity to mine bitcoin?

All hail the Springfield Tire Fire!

By tlambert • Score: 3 • Thread

All hail the Springfield Tire Fire!

Cryptocurrency embiggens us all! They're the most cromulent currency!

My counterproposal...

By denzacar • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

...is a #cryptocurrency called #AwesomCoin which would be powered by labor of small children harvested from impoverished villages.
Preferably working in a combination of coal and uranium mines - and oil rigs. Oil is needed cause uranium won't burn as easily on its own.
Also, where possible, whale and dolphin fat would be added to the mix - for flavoring.

From time to time, in order to increase the value of #AwesomCoin through magic, some of the children would be offered as human sacrifices to Kali, Quetzalcoatl, Beelzebub, Donald Trump and Santa.
Not necessarily in that order.
#AwesomCoin mining facilities would be built on a large swat of land presently used as rain forests, in cooperation with Russian and South American criminal cartels and oligarchies.

#AwesomCoin would be combined with an app where one could purchase and kill real life kittens through a variety of means - from sitting on them until they are crushed to throwing them against an oncoming train (other methods to be added).

No One Makes a Living on Crowdfunding Website Patreon

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Brent Knepper, writing for The Outline (condensed): Patreon is basically a payments processor designed like a social network. Every creator sets up a profile where they fill out a prompt about what they're making: "Oliver Babish is creating cooking videos," or "Hannah Alexander is creating Art and Costume Designs inspired by pop culture and Art Nouveau." Patreon encourages creators to provide a description of themselves and their work and strongly suggests uploading a video. [...] Today, successful Patreon creators include Chapo Trap House, a lefty podcast with 19,837 patrons at the time of writing paying $88,074 a month; the new commentator and YouTuber Philip DeFranco (13,823 patrons paying an amount that is undisclosed, but is enough to put him in the top 20 creators on the site); and the gaming YouTuber Nerd (4,494 patrons, $8,003 per month). But despite the revolutionary rhetoric, the success stories, and the goodwill that Patreon has generated, the numbers tell a different story. Patreon now has 79,420 creators, according to Tom Boruta, a developer who tracks Patreon statistics under the name Graphtreon. Patreon lets creators hide the amount of money they are actually making, although the number of patrons is still public. Boruta's numbers are based on the roughly 80 percent of creators who publicly share what they earn. Of those creators, only 1,393 -- 2 percent -- make the equivalent of federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, or $1,160 a month, in October 2017. Worse, if we change it to $15 per hour, a minimum wage slowly being adopted by states, that's only .8 percent of all creators. In this small network designed to save struggling creatives, the money has still concentrated at the top.

Re:Raising prices

By JesseMcDonald • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

The part that is causing outrage is "patrons will pay for each individual pledge". If you pledge $40/mo. to one artist you'll pay $1.50/mo. in fees (not unreasonable), but if you make 40 $1 pledges then you'll pay $15.16/mo in fees. In the latter case, combined with their 5% cut on the recipient's side, Patreon is keeping almost 40% of the amount payed by donors. This change effectively makes small pledges unworkable, which is a problem for those Patreon users who rely on small pledges from many different patrons. As for the costs, Patreon doesn't do a separate transaction per pledge; they combine all the pledges together into a single transaction. Their processing costs are thus the same whether the donations go to one pledge or many.

Re:Some thoughts from an online content creator

By JesseMcDonald • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Frankly, their fees are far better than any other site, even with the recent changes. You keep 95%? that's the fairest site of them all.

With the new 2.9% + $0.35 per pledge fees they're rolling out for donors, it's more like you keep ~69% of each nominally-$1 pledge. (Actual cost payed by donor $1.37, of which you receive $0.95.) Larger pledges result in a better ratio, naturally, up to about 92.3% in the best case.

Those fees might be reasonable on a per-transfer basis, where a transfer is $15 or more and can be used to fund multiple pledges, but not for each individual pledge. Especially since the only difference in the cost to Patreon between one $40 pledge and 40 $1 pledges is some entries in a database.

Re:FAR worse that that..

By damnbunni • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

They aggregate it and charge you once for ALL your charges for the entire month.

So if you back eight people at a dollar per content upload, and they upload three things each that month, instead of charging $24, they will now charge $32.88 - in one transaction, on the first of the month.

This really screws over people who back lots of creators at low levels.

Re:Slow news day?

By eclectro • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

No. What you have now are left leaning "social justice warriors" calling *all* conservatives and anybody who has voted Republican "alt-right". Not just the Nazi's and the KKK racists.

Thus, they truly believe that any conservative talk is therefore "hate speech" and needs to be censored if at all possible. Many believe that violence is justified in order to silence the so called hate speech, and why antifa has in the past on both youtube and Patreon websites.

Youtube has evolved itself into a socialist/feminist monoculture internally which will demonetize or put in limited state anything that it disagrees with politically. It's what resulted in James Damore's firing.

I find it interesting that when Youtube started the "limited state" censorship, they censored a Nazi video, then they censored political videos from youtube user Black Pidgeon Speaks that was critical of Islam before they censored a bunch more Nazi videos. Do your research.

I'm who they're talking about

By slashmydots • Score: 3 • Thread
So I have 30k subs on youtube, 12 million views, and also a Patreon that hovers around $500/mo. Youtube has come in around $1000-1500 per month in ad revenues lately. That's just barely enough to get by after I also make a not so predictable amount of money on T-shirt sales and also why I started a fairly successful 2nd channel. You need to diversify and Patreon wasn't meant to 100% prop up someone's income. I've heard of cosplayers and artists and web comic creators use it almost exclusively but even they sell shirts and have adsense ads on their websites. I don't think anyone legitimately intends to use it as their sole income in the first place.

Inside Oracle's Cloak-and-dagger Political War With Google

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
schwit1 shares a Recode report: The story that appeared in Quartz this November seemed shocking enough on its own: Google had quietly tracked the location of its Android users, even those who had turned off such monitoring on their smartphones. But missing from the news site's report was another eyebrow-raising detail: Some of its evidence, while accurate, appears to have been furnished by one of Google's fiercest foes: Oracle. For the past year, the software and cloud computing giant has mounted a cloak-and-dagger, take-no-prisoners lobbying campaign against Google, perhaps hoping to cause the company intense political and financial pain at a time when the two tech giants are also warring in federal court over allegations of stolen computer code. Since 2010, Oracle has accused Google of copying Java and using key portions of it in the making of Android. Google, for its part, has fought those claims vigorously. More recently, though, their standoff has intensified. And as a sign of the worsening rift between them, this summer Oracle tried to sell reporters on a story about the privacy pitfalls of Android, two sources confirmed to Recode.

Re:Ah the Oracle gameplan 101

By rahvin112 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

While Java is still widely used, it is a far cry to Java a decade or so ago.

People are free to disagree with me, but the widespread teaching and use of Java is only still happening because of Android.

Were Android to abandon Java many teaching programs would move away from teaching Java at all and in probably less than a year the only place Java would still be relevant would be in the enterprise tool markets where over time Python and other languages would start to take over as they have already begun to erode Java's dominance in this area.

Java is a language that is losing relevance every day but being propped up by it's use in Android.

Copying Java?

By PPH • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

That's sort of like peeking at the exam paper of the dumbest kid in class.

Come on google, Hit them hard

By 140Mandak262Jamuna • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Develop a database product that is 10 times faster than Oracle using MapReduce, and make it perfectly backward compatible with existing Oracle database. Oracle destroyed Sun, destroyed Java, destroyed PeopleSoft.... It is the worse company than even Microsoft.

Awesome

By nightfire-unique • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Hopefully this three-way battle between Google, Amazon and Oracle will result in an opening a new mobile competitor can squeeze into. Android desperately needs some legitimate competition.

PostgreSQL

By Tablizer • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

All Google has to do is invest R&D into PostgreSQL (including UI's and documentation), and maybe some marketing. It could trigger a big drop in new Oracle sales, and knock the company into a panicky death spiral as investors flee. Novell redux.

Google's Mobile Search Results Now Include Videos Of Celebrities Answering Your Questions

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Google is testing a new feature that will allow celebrities and other notable figures to answer users' search queries directly in the form of "selfie" videos posted in the Google Search results. From a report: The company says this program is initially being piloted on mobile with a handful of people for now, including Priyanka Chopra, Will Ferrell, Tracee Ellis Ross, Gina Rodriguez, Kenan Thompson, Allison Williams, Nick Jonas, Mark Wahlberg, James Franco, Seth MacFarlane, Jonathan Yeo and Dominique Ansel. Of course, the celebs aren't answering users' queries in real-time. Instead, Google has had them pre-record their videos in response to what it already knows are some of fans' most-asked questions typed into the Google search box.

Depends on who's delivering the answer

By dasgoober • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

"What is fellatio?"

Video search results?

By QuietLagoon • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Wow, I get to hear a celeb drone on and on, taking twenty times longer to convey the answer to me than it would take for me to read the answer. Sign me up! :)

RTFA

By cogeek • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
All you panic button hitting doomsdayers that are terrified this will ruin your precious Google search, go RTFA. It's celebrities posting videos answering the most common questions they get asked about themselves. It's canned video, not interactive and it won't answer any and every question you ask it with a celebrity. It's celebrities promoting themselves no different than they do on Twitter. This won't affect the average Google user in the slightest.

Amazon Opens Registration For .BOT Domain Name

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Amazon began accepting registration requests for .BOT domain name from the public this week as the e-commerce giant comes to realize the potential of the top level domain name it secured rights for two years ago. For now, Amazon is keeping the registration for .BOT domains limited. "Creators with published bots who use Amazon Lex, Microsoft Bot Framework and Dialogflow can validate a bot and register a .BOT domain name," the company said, noting that the limited registration phase would end on March 30, 2018. At the time of registration, Amazon requires users to sign into their Amazon account and validate their published bot.

R2D2

By Zorro • Score: 3 • Thread

Dot BOT.

Perfect!

By fishscene • Score: 3 • Thread
I can the entire *.bot domain and won't have to worry as much about spyware and the ability of bots to use spyware.

Kaspersky To Close Washington Office But Expand Non-State Sales

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader shares a report: A Russian software-maker, whose products are banned for use in federal information systems by the U.S. government, is seeking to remain in the North American market and prove its products have no hidden capabilities. Kaspersky Lab Inc. will close its Washington D.C. office that was selling to the government and will keep working with non-federal customers in the U.S. via its remaining offices in the country, vice-president Anton Shingarev said in an interview in Moscow. The company also committed in October to open its product's source code to an independent third-party review and plans to open new offices in Chicago, Los Angeles and Toronto next year. "This allows independent experts to verify that our software has no hidden functionality, that it doesn't send your files to third parties, doesn't spy on you and fully complies with the end-user agreement," Shingarev said. The U.S. banned government use of Kaspersky software in September, citing founder Eugene Kaspersky's alleged ties to Russian intelligence and the possibility its products could function as "malicious actors" to compromise federal information systems. The move caused concern about the company's products in other markets, including the U.K.

Why not?

By Arzaboa • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

I have yet to see a compelling argument as to why I wouldn't use their product as a regular citizen. They do nothing different than any other anti-virus product when it comes to handling files. The only thing different than most is that their home country is Russia. Its not like the U.S. government doesn't have the exact same powers to subpoena a U.S. companies data, that the Russian government doesn't have to do to their own companies.

--
"I didn't do it" - B. Simpson

Fopreign or Domestic

By r_naked • Score: 3, Informative • Thread

I can understand the government not wanting another government spying on them, but as an individual, if I am going to have a government spying on me, I would rather that it be a foreign one.

Re:Why not?

By Arzaboa • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

I had never seen or heard that Putin ran Kapersky Labs. Turn this around and why would the Chinese use a U.S. companies anti-virus? After all, the U.S. wants a free Tibet.

And again, when it comes to my personal info, wouldn't it be better to have a foreign government see my dirty laundry than the one that could prosecute me? (For the lawyers.... this is all supposition)

Thank you for your interesting point of view though, which is why I asked the question. Why not?

--
"I didn't do it" - B. Simpson

Exact opposite feels for me

By GrBear • Score: 3 • Thread

I went out of my way yesterday to buy Kaspersky AV since the US and EU decided to vilify them. Because screw 3 letter agencies.

Personally,

By Junior Samples • Score: 3 • Thread

I'm more concerned over the US government sanctioned Intel ME Backdoors contained in many of Intel's X86 processors.

San Francisco To Restrict Goods Delivery Robots

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
San Francisco officials have voted to restrict where delivery robots can go in the city, in a blow for the burgeoning industry. From a report: Start-ups will have to get permits to use such bots, which will be restricted to less crowded urban areas. Opponents are concerned about the safety of pedestrians, particularly elderly people and children. Walk San Francisco, a group that campaigns for pedestrian safety, wanted a complete ban. A range of companies have begun trialling small robots that can deliver food and other goods. They use sensors and lasers in a similar way to self-driving cars in order to navigate their routes. Robotics company Marble - which describes its machines as "friendly, neighbourhood robots" - began testing in San Francisco earlier this year.

Well no surprise here...

By yodleboy • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

California, and SF in particular never came across something they couldn't restrict. Except wildfires apparently.

Just keep them off the sidewalks

By mspohr • Score: 3 • Thread

Having a bunch of motorized wheeled vehicles driving around on the sidewalks is a bad idea. Even if they don't hit anyone, they will create congestion and confusion.
Confine them to the streets.

Illegal Aliens

By beachmike • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread
If San Francisco really cared about public safety, they would ban illegal aliens instead of welcoming them as an illegal "sanctuary city." But NO, technological innovation such as delivery robots are what these liberal/progressive knuckleheads are focused on.

Re:Well no surprise here...

By Waffle Iron • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

What the fuck are you talking about? The Dutch bought New York for some glass beads and a couple blankets. Maybe the Indians should have asked for a little more, but it was perfectly legal.

No, what the Dutch bought was access to New York.

What happened is like if you went to Disney World and bought a day pass, then claimed that your ticket was a deed to the land and forcibly took over the whole park.

Orly?

By slashmydots • Score: 3 • Thread
San Francisco? What if the robot is a transsexual gluten free vegetarian carbon neutral robot with a hipster beanie on its head and also has cupholders for Starbucks drinks?

Bitcoin Nears $17,000 After Climbing About $4,000 in Less Than a Day

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
As economists attempt to make sense of Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency rocketed above $17,000 for the first time moments ago, adding about $4,000 to its price in fewer than 24 hours. Security reporter Brian Krebs tweeted on Thursday, "Closing in on $17k per bitcoin now (mind you, it was almost at $16k less than an hour ago. This is totally fine." Late Wednesday, finance author Ben Carlson wrote: Bitcoin has achieved something I've always wanted to see in the stock mkt - a reverse 1987 (20% gain in a single day)

What don't people understand?

By BlueCoder • Score: 3 • Thread

There is no basis for the inflated price. It's like junk bonds now; no rational thinking. I wouldn't be surprised if a government was behind it. The price will obvious self destruct and go down below market at witch time I probably will buy some for shits and giggles. I wouldn't be surprised if it went down to $200 per coin. The true value of bitcoin is in the number of people that hold onto them and won't sell them.

I just cashed in

By dhaen • Score: 3 • Thread
I had some residual left in Bitcoin from early 2016 (note I use the singular). I'd forgotten about this until the recent boom publicity and realised that just like Tulip Fever, it is based on nothing and may not climb much further. Anyway, I'm a happy bunny with the payout (x34). It will probably climb a bit further but many will lose in the crash.

Short?

By trevc • Score: 3 • Thread
Is it possible to short bitcoin so I can make money when it does crash?

Re:More important quote from Krebs

By LynnwoodRooster • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
I pay ~$14 ($100 HKD) to wire any amount of money, anywhere, and it is guaranteed/confirmed within 1 business day. That's not frictionless? Log in on my phone, enter the amount, enter the recipient's account, and push a button. Done.

What is the intrinsic value of bitcoin?

By sizzzzlerz • Score: 3 • Thread

Companies typically have tangible assests and sales to support their stock prices. What is supporting bitcoin's valuation. I suppose one could argue that it's price is whatever somebody is willing to pay for it but that seems awfully close to being a Ponzi scheme. This feels like the dot com bubble that blew up at the beginning of the century when internet companies had ridiculously high prices without having any sales. Pets.com anyone?

Uber Paid 20-year-old Florida Man To Keep Data Breach Secret

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
A 20-year-old Florida man was responsible for the large data breach at Uber last year and he was paid by the company to destroy the data through a so-called "bug bounty" program, three people familiar with the events have told Reuters. From the report: Uber announced on Nov. 21 that the personal data of 57 million users, including 600,000 drivers in the United States, were stolen in a breach that occurred in October 2016, and that it paid the hacker $100,000 to destroy the information. But the company did not reveal any information about the hacker or how it paid him the money. Uber made the payment last year through a program designed to reward security researchers who report flaws in a company's software, these people said. Uber's bug bounty service -- as such a program is known in the industry -- is hosted by a company called HackerOne, which offers its platform to a number of tech companies.

Breach?

By Bert64 • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

If this guy was the only one who accessed the data, and he did so under a bug bounty program for which he got paid (and presumably signed an nda) then it's not really a breach at all?

The data was basically accessed by a paid contractor who's under NDA, business as usual and happens all the time.

Re:Doesn't sound like they got their money's worth

By geekmux • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Considering we're now talking about the breach they paid to keep secret.

The revenue generated from operating for months without the public knowing about a breach likely made it worth it.

If unethical behavior is proven to be profitable in the face of pathetic slap-on-the-wrist fines, then unethical behavior will be the default behavior. This is the reason we're seeing such a dismantling of ethics in large business today. When doing the wrong thing is worth it, don't expect people to do the right thing.

Sounds like they paid a ransom that went sideways.

By Last_Available_Usern • Score: 3 • Thread
Seems like they used a rather legit way of paying a ransom to get him to sweep it under the rug. At least, that's how it appears to me.

Florida Man has many talents

By Ayano • Score: 3 • Thread
Sorry, I couldn't resist.

Re:Doesn't sound like they got their money's worth

By klingens • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

No it was simple extortion in a way the parties involved can claim it isn't extortion.

Uber has a bug bounty program.
Guy hacks Uber and steals customer's data.
Uber then pays the guy to destroy data instead of selling it on some black market.
So that Uber isn't seen as paying ransom, they pay a bug bounty instead. Also the money being declared "bug bounty" clears the guy of being an extortionist or hacker, so the guy is in the clear regarding the CFAA (Computer Fraud and Abuse Act) and the unlawful hacking is retroactively legitimized.

Keylogger Found On Nearly 5,500 WordPress Sites

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader writes: Nearly 5,500 WordPress sites are infected with a malicious script that logs keystrokes and sometimes loads an in-browser cryptocurrency miner. The malicious script is being loaded from the "cloudflare.solutions" domain, which is not affiliated with Cloudflare in any way, and logs anything that users type inside form fields as soon as the user switches away from an input field. The script is included on both the sites' frontends and backends, meaning it can steal both admin account credentials and credit card data from WP sites running e-commerce stores. According to site source code search engine PublicWWW, there are 5,496 sites running this keylogger. The attacker has been active since April.

This is why we need cryptographic authentication

By bluefoxlucid • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

We need to switch to cryptographic authentication. FIDO U2F makes a lot of this moot.

With some software put in place at the CRAs, they could use FIDO devices to prevent opening new accounts. If you go into a bank with ID (Driver's ID, passport) and a FIDO device, the bank has done the best identification of you it can. Plug the key into a USB port in a computer, have the bank authorize trust establishment, and you generate 3 new key pairs--one for each CRA. The CRAs get the public key; the private key stays on your FIDO device. If it gets lost or stolen, call your bank, voice-verify, and they can cancel the trusts: your credit cards still work, but you can't open any new credit accounts until you physically enter a bank.

Credit cards? Your computer should have an EVM reader. Google accepts FIDO U2F authentication; Google Wallet (or Verified by Visa) could readily authenticate you before accepting a transaction, providing EVM--cryptographic credit card transacting.

Social Security? Walk into a DMV, Social Security building, or other Government building. They all federate trust. Generate a pile of new keys for all the Government service providers.

The weakest link is really any Internet provider to whom you authenticate, since you'll need a method of recovery. Anyone handling credit card transactions should use the CRAs as a secondary: if you can authorize a credit check, you're probably you.

You can lose personally identifiable information, but you can't lose authentication--not for any broad window, and not over the Internet.

Use NoScript. It works the best (eve n in FF57)

By DrYak • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Some of the most popular extensions are those that help prevent JavaScript from being used maliciously, and these kinds of extensions were among the ones to suffer the worst breakage, due to being so intricately tied to the operation of the browser.

Regarding ads:
uBlock Origin - was WebExtension compatible in advance, well before the release of FF57 (I use that one)
uBlock - was WebExtension compatible in advance, well before the release of FF57
AdBlock Plus - was WebExtension compatible in advance, well before the release of FF57

Regarding trackers:
FSF's Prvacy Badger - was WebExtension compatible in advance, well before the release of FF57 (I use that one)

Regarding script blocking :
uMatrix - was WebExtension compatible in advance, well before the release of FF57
NoScript - well Giogio Maone was a tiny bit in a hurry, but slill manage to make it compatible within a couple of days after the release of FF57. Still kudos to him for having managed it. (I use that one)

etc.

Well what was you point ?

Yup, maybe that weird specific no widely known extension that 3 other people beside you use, and whose authors have abandoned for the last 10 year, maybe that extension broke for you in FF57.

Meanwhile, all the major security extension were transitioned more or less on time. Partly on the grounds of Mozilla crew members closely collaborating with extension authors, to make sure that their WebExtensions interface provides all the necessary API to make the functionality possible.

So I would suggest that you stop bitching about the change of API by spitting the same copy-pasta whining on each remotely relevant /. news story, and instead spend your time and effort switching to extensions with a tiny bit more active developers and a little bit more active community than whatever rare precious gem you were using up until now.

While there have been efforts to port some of these extensions to Firefox's new WebExtensions model, in some cases it has proven to be impossible to replicate the existing functionality because WebExtensions is so, for a lack of a better word, crippled.

Which is why Mozilla devs have actively reached out to authors of popular XUL extensions to see how they could make them still work once transitioning to the WebExtensions API.
All the major security extensions worth mentioning have more or less finished transitioning, despite some of them not working on the Google's Chrome spin of WebExtensions.

So I'm now wondering how many Firefox users are now browsing without any kind of protection from malicious JavaScript code. I'm thinking it could be a far higher number than we might expect

I'm thinking it's only the stupider ones among them like you, who can't even put some though into the selection of security tools they'll use.

Next time, pick an extension with an author that is still alive and a number of users which exceeds your direct family.

Reaction faces...

By DrYak • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Random users :
"OOH MY GOD !!! NO !!!! ALL MY PRECIOUS PASSWORDS!!!!"

Users of password managers :
"Phew !... at least they didn't log these".

Users of NoScript (and other such popular script blocking extensions) :
"...yeah... whatever...."

---

Bonus:

Users of links/elinks/lynx, curl/wget and straight telnet :
"Bwaaah.... we're left out of the fun once again!..."

Re:Not surprising

By bluefoxlucid • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

This is why my Wordpress site runs Wordfence and uses Google Authenticator. At least I have 2FA and everything thrown at it gets run through an analysis engine to detect known exploits (and attack patterns) before it gets passed onto Wordpress. Updating the plug-ins and theme also helps. It also runs inside a Docker container, without write access to the Wordpress core (just plug-ins, themes, and uploads).

It's nice software, but you need a security product dedicated to protecting that one piece of software if you're going to use it. Plus running as a Congressional candidate with an IT security background and getting hacked would be embarrassing.

The Firestorm This Time: Why Los Angeles Is Burning

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
The Thomas Fire spread through the hills above Ventura, in the northern greater Los Angeles megalopolis, with the speed of a hurricane. Driven by 50 mph Santa Ana winds -- bone-dry katabatic air moving at freeway speeds out of the Mojave desert -- the fire transformed overnight from a 5,000-acre burn in a charming chaparral-lined canyon to an inferno the size of Orlando, Florida, that only stopped spreading because it reached the Pacific. Several readers have shared a Wired report: Tens of thousands of people evacuated their homes in Ventura; 150 buildings burned and thousands more along the hillside and into downtown are threatened. That isn't the only part of Southern California on fire. The hills above Valencia, where Interstate 5 drops down out of the hills into the city, are burning. Same for a hillside of the San Gabriel Mountains, overlooking the San Fernando Valley. And the same, too, near the Mount Wilson Observatory, and on a hillside overlooking Interstate 405 -- the flames in view of the Getty Center and destroying homes in the rich-people neighborhoods of Bel-Air and Holmby Hills. And it's all horribly normal. [...] Before humans, wildfires happened maybe once or twice a century, long enough for fire-adapted plant species like chapparal to build up a bank of seeds that could come back after a burn. Now, with fires more frequent, native plants can't keep up. Exotic weeds take root. Fires don't burn like this in Northern California. That's one of the things that makes the island on the land an island. Most wildfires in the Sierra Nevadas and northern boreal forests are slower, smaller, and more easily put out, relative to the south. Trees buffer the wind and burn less easily than undergrowth. Keeley says northern mountains and forests are "flammability-limited ecosystems," where fires only get big if the climate allows it -- higher temperatures and dryer conditions providing more fuel. Climate change makes fires there more frequent and more severe.

Same Thing as Every California Wildfire

By eepok • Score: 3 • Thread
Every big stretch of wildfires are caused by the same thing:

1. High winds
2. Low humidity
3. Unmanaged brush
4. Either a lightning storm or (more likely) some human doing something stupid (camp/bonfire, trash burning, arson, cigarette, etc.)

This year was particularly bad for both Northern and Southern California because this past winter's rain was so significant that it almost completely erased the multi-year drought. That means lots and lots of greenery growing in the spring and waiting to burn throughout the summer and fall.

Left out the other stuff.

By gurps_npc • Score: 3 • Thread

1) We have been ignoring the fire risk for a long time. Specifically we have stopped all small fires before they get anywhere, which means there are a lot fuel wood stocked up. The smarter thing to do is to let small fires become controlled medium sized fires during the WET season, rather than the dry season when they become huge.

2) We have been putting houses in stupid locations and not requiring appropriate fire prevention measures. There is nothing wrong with building a house in the middle of fire zones. But make it a bunker out of concrete. Yes, it won't look the same as a normal house, so freaking what? A good architect can make a concrete, fire-proof home still look good. Yes it costs more. But less than double, which is what most people will pay.

3) Oh yeah, and stop counting fire smoke from intentionally set preventative fires as 'pollution' while saying that smoke from natural forest fires doesn't count because it isn't man made.

Re:The priesthood has spoken

By PPH • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

A lot of the fire problem has to do with the sorts of people moving onto the land. In the past, land like this would probably have been used as ranch land. And the people responsible for it would have allowed fires to burn through it occasionally. Now, it's the hipsters. And just look at all that beautiful desert scrub growing right up to my back door!

We have the same problem (to a lesser degree due to rainfall) where I live. We used to clear brush annually and burn it. But now the eco-whackos have put a stop to that. So be prepared for a ten year cycle of fire ripping through the canyon, burning all your houses to the ground.

Re:The priesthood has spoken

By rrohbeck • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Munich Re has a chart with weather/flood related insurance claims versus other (usually geophysical like earthquakes.) The first category has increased 4x relative to the second over the last few decades.

Re:True

By Gravis Zero • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

There were never wildfires before climate change was discovered.

The is real problem is that we're been putting out the wildfires for over a hundred years when burning is part of the natural cycle of life for the ecosystem. As a result there are many millions of dead and dry trees just waiting for a spark. However, climate change is exacerbating the issue by causing more extreme weather (longer droughts and more extreme downpours) which ultimately kill more plants and turn them into fuel for the fire. Climate change definitely isn't the cause of these giant wildfires but it is making it worse.

Airlines Restrict 'Smart Luggage' Over Fire Hazards Posed By Batteries

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from NPR: Airlines including American, Delta and Alaska have announced restrictions on so-called smart luggage because the lithium-ion batteries found in many of these suitcases pose a fire risk. "Beginning Jan. 15, customers who travel with a smart bag must be able to remove the battery in case the bag has to be checked at any point in the customer's journey. If the battery cannot be removed, the bag will not be allowed," American said in a statement on Friday. The same day, Delta and Alaska announced similar policies on their flights.

American's policy dictates that if the bag is carry-on size, passengers can take the luggage onboard, so long as the battery can be removed if needed. If passengers need to check the bag, the battery must be removed and carried onboard. But if the bag has a non-removable battery, it can't be checked or carried on. An FAA spokesman told The Washington Post that the airlines' policies are "consistent with our guidance that lithium-ion batteries should not be carried in the cargo hold."

Re: Battery type

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

This is why I use that hosts file tool fromAPK on my smart luggage. Kernel level speed and great protection to keep my luggage running at peak efficiency! My luggage has never been more secure!

Discworld Luggage

By Roger W Moore • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

WTF is "smart luggage"?

It seems to be an implementation of Discworld's "The Luggage" but with wheels not legs and hopefully without the homicidal tendencies...although perhaps that's why it needs to be banned.

Make requirement for Tablets and Phones

By prasadsurve • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
Can they make same requirement for Tablets and Phones so that manufacturers bring back removable batteries?

Suggestion: Aircraft Ejector Chute

By WheezyJoe • Score: 3 • Thread

There's too many battery things to just prohibit them all. Prohibit them from the luggage compartment, but for the cabin, have aircraft include a small airlock so cabin crew can take your self-destructing phone or tablet or shoe-bomb and just chuck the thing overboard. Include disposable heat-resistant bags with little self-deploying parachutes to quickly distance it from the aircraft and so that some unlucky sod doesn't get killed when the flaming thing hits the ground.

Jordan Peele To Executive Produce CBS 'The Twilight Zone' Reboot

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
A couple of weeks ago, CBS CEO Leslie Moonves revealed that the network was planning to reboot the classic fantasy science-fiction TV series "The Twilight Zone." Few details about the show were available at that time, but we have now learned that Jordan Peele, director of the mystery/thriller Get Out, will co-executive produce the show. Engadget reports: The show will be produced by CBS Television Studios, with Simon Kinberg, Marco Ramirez, Win Rosenfeld and Audrey Chon also executive producing. Peele, Kinberg and Ramirez will collaborate on the premiere episode. "Too many times this year it's felt we were living in a twilight zone, and I can't think of a better moment to reintroduce it to modern audiences," Peele said in a statement.

What?

By Jiro • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Twilight Zone is an episodic series with no continuing storyline. How in the world is it possible to "reboot" that?

Black Mirror

By sad_ • Score: 3 • Thread

no mention about Black Mirror, but i suspect the success of that show also has something to do with the return (ofcourse, you don't mention the competition).
i know BM and TZ are not the same, but a lot of similarities are there and is targets pretty much the same crowd.

Nope...not PAYING to watch it

By p51d007 • Score: 3 • Thread
Put it on "free" TV....CBS...you ain't Netflix by a long shot.

This should be genius...

By cavis • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

The first episode will star Jayqwellin, D-Nice, and Ay-Ay-Ron.

When it comes to Peele

By 93 Escort Wagon • Score: 3 • Thread

I prefer Emma to Jordan.

Earth Will Likely Be Much Warmer In 2100 Than We Anticipated, Scientists Warn

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
According to a new analysis of the most realistic climate models to date, global temperature rise by 2100 could be 15 percent higher than the highest projections from the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). What this means is that cuts in greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide (CO2) will have to be even greater than expected to meet the Paris climate target of keeping global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius. Motherboard reports: The world is a long way from making sufficient emission reductions to meet the Paris climate targets to begin with -- nevermind cutting out another 15 percent. But there's some good news, too. Both rich and poor countries have begun to move away from coal and oil, the two biggest CO2 sources, according to many energy analysts. Patrick Brown is a researcher at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Pasadena, California, a co-author of the study published Wednesday in Nature. "Our results imply 15 percent less cumulative emissions than previously calculated [are needed] in order to stay below 2 degrees Celsius," he told me. Brown and co-authors focused on finding out what future warming might be, using only the climate models that best replicate observations over the last 15-20 years. On a business-as-usual emissions trajectory, they found that the mean global temperature rise would be 4.8 degrees Celsius by 2100, compared to the IPCC estimate of 4.3 degrees Celsius. The latter estimate is considered catastrophic for our planet, and would lead to sea level rise of over 30 feet, potentially putting the homes of 600 million people underwater.

Re: uh oh

By EndlessNameless • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

I am comparing actual data to their dire predictions made 20 years ago and calling them on their shit. And, I will be the denier.

The IPCC has done exactly this for years. The real outcomes have typically fallen in the "expected" to "bad" ranges, occasionally approaching the "worst case scenario" outcomes.

The data have always fallen on the "bad" end of the scale. In fact, they've put some effort into figuring out why things like ice melt and sea rise consistently end up worse than the predicted mid-range. You may see some improbable claims on occasion, but overall the climate shift has exceeded predictions. Comparing old predictions to new data has consistently shown one thing: the level of alarm is justified, and perhaps it should be higher.

When the expectations are bad outcomes and you consistently meet or exceed those expectations, you need to change what you're doing.

Re: uh oh

By c6gunner • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

lol. Wait, so if you have more storms, but by some fluke none of them actually hit land, then you actually have fewer storms?

Hilarious!

Re: uh oh

By MightyMartian • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

CO2's properties are well known. What you've just written is pure bullshit.

Re: uh oh

By LynnwoodRooster • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

The trend over the last 20 to 25 years is definitely down. Not just for those that land (which tend to also follow the, for lack of a better word, trend), but for all, even those which dissipate over the ocean.

As far as Antarctica, what study shows the mass of snow and ice is not accumulating? it's gaining - not losing. In every single study you'll find that covers the entire continent (not just cherry-picked little areas).

Re: uh oh

By riverat1 • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

I had a similar experience but from a physical chemistry perspective. When you look at the IR+RAMAN spectra for CO2 and H2O it becomes clear that there is absolutely no amount of CO2 that will cause significant warming (the peaks from CO2 are already highly saturated, meaning adding more isn't going to make it any warmer--like having 50 washrags stacked on your chest and trying to get warm by stacking 50 more directly on top of them, where H2O is like a blanket).

Any observed warming can be easily explained with water vapor concentrations, which have also been increasing. The method to deal with that kind of warming doesn't involve shutting down all industry in the world and instituting global communism. In fact, since H2O is in such a tight equilibrium that warming can be fixed in a few days if it becomes bad enough that we have to do it.

You might want to read these articles about why your "CO2 is saturated" argument is wrong:

A saturated gassy argument

A saturated gassy argument - Part II

Also, I'm curious how you think we can fix the warming in a few days by doing something about water vapor? With over 70% of the planet covered by water I don't see any way of significantly affecting the level of water vapor in the atmosphere.