Alterslash

the unofficial Slashdot digest for 2018-Jan-13 today archive

Warren Buffett Predicts 'Bad Ending' for Cryptocurrencies

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
"97% of all bitcoins are held by 4% of addresses," reports Credit Suisse (in an article cited by Slashdot reader CaptainDork). And elsewhere this week, Warren Buffett told CNBC that speculation in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies "will have a bad ending," adding that looking out five years he'd gladly bet against all of the cryptocurrencies.

Meanwhile, CNBC senior analyst Ron Insana has his own skepticism: I am predisposed to view them as just speculative tokens in a cryptocurrency bubble that has inflated more quickly than any other in financial market history. Admittedly I'm green with envy for failing to foresee the explosive rally in the price of bitcoin when it was first brought to my attention several years ago. Having said that, there are many things I find quite ironic about how bitcoin and other "cryptos" are described. First, they are largely denominated, or discussed, in U.S. dollar terms... If the dollar is archaic, as the crypto-enthusiasts believe, why not speak only in crypto-terms...?

It's much easier to buy and sell dollars, stocks or commodities than it is to trade bitcoin and its brethren. The conversion of one crypto to another is relatively easy on these embryonic exchanges. But getting your digital wealth converted into cold hard cash is more problematic... And while the growth has been impressive, it remains very difficult to walk into any establishment and exchange a digital token for goods or services.

The article notes that the U.S. dollar still accounts for 65% of all global economic transactions, due to its status as the world's reserve currency, and concludes that "The adoption of cryptocurrencies as a global source of funds has a long way to go before staking a claim to the world's economy."

Re:Warren is right and wrong....

By sjames • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
The big argument for Bitcoin retaining any value was it's usefulness and eventual use as a daily means of exchanging value. Taking a week for a transaction to clear and stratospheric transaction costs negate that future use. Even a conference for Bitcoin isn't accepting bitcoin now!

Nobody is going to accept transaction costs of more than a few percent for small transactions and nobody is going to sell anything more expensive than a cup of coffee without using an escrow and waiting until the transfer to that escrow clears before they hand over the product or service. That pretty much kills it as a means of value exchange except as a last resort.

The final nail in the coffin, it is just as traceable as a credit card or bank transfer. The people who touted it as being as anonymous as cash have been proven wrong.

Given that, what is the new theory for it retaining any value at all? It IS a fiat currency. The bit of digital data and the whole blockchain carry no intrinsic value outside of the value exchange, just like any fiat currency. If that bit of data represents anything at all, it represents the burned coal that produced the power to run the mining machine. How valuable do you suppose already burned coal is?

Like most modern financial instruments, when the music stops, a very few will make some money and a bunch of people will find no chair.

Re:The Bitcoin challenge

By SirSlud • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

But if you were sane, you'd have cashed out by now. Or if it took nothing to get, you'd ride it until after it crashes. Basically, there's no alternate universe that proves you made X dollars by doing the other thing, so why bother? The only people I've known who've held alt coins told me how much they've made while they were still holding. I've yet to meet a single person who can show me the tens of thousands they made sitting in their bank accounts right now. (Not to say they don't exist, but people also win lotteries, doesn't mean I feel bad for not playing.)

Cryptocurrencies will evolve into something better

By LostMyBeaver • Score: 3 • Thread
Currently, Cryptocurrencies are a means of allowing gamblers to gamble. This is highly constructive and productive for the general markets for a few good reasons.

Volatility in trading is a major problem. Classically, gamblers (investors) have creatively attempted to carve out niches that have had devastating impacts on society. For example, the price of grain isn't driven by supply and demand. The price of grain is driven by commodity trading. This means that if the gamblers on the stock markets who actually do not care what the price of grain is for practical reasons can generate enough trading volume to increase volatility of the share for any period of time, then due to trends, the price of grain can either be artificially forced upwards or downwards causing mass disruption in the supply chain or the commodity cost.

Let me explain, people like Warren Buffet, Icann or others of their ilk invest in companies and people who they believe in with the interest of seeing a stable and predictable return based on the performance of the companies they invest in. As such, a company with an investor like Warren Buffet will issue shares and Warren Buffet will take an interest in the company. If the company performs badly, he will along with other investors alter the management structure of the company through actions of the shareholders and the board to improve the performance of the company or change the structure of the company to dissolve it gracefully to give the best return on the investment. What Warren does is theoretically a form of inside trading as he is directly profiting from influencing the performance of the company. But trading regulations are in place to force him to act generally ethically. So for example, he can't short sell the share if he knows the shareholder report will kill the share value. He would instead have to publicly announce his trades in time to prepare the market for his change in interest and generally provide a reason for it.

The majority of traders out there however act on trends.

This means that without any knowledge of the company, they buy and sell shares which weren't issued to them by the company, but instead buy and sell shares which were owned by others through open trading. They are not gambling on the performance of the company. They have no interest in the health of the company. Instead, they are gambling on the value of the share. Often times, their behavior hurts the companies far more than they help. See, a trader will buy and sell based on whether the stock is going up or down. In some cases, dividends can be used to convince the shareholders to take an invested interest in the performance of the company, but generally, the average trader will have no particular interest in the long term aspects of the firm. Many investors buy into a company simply long enough to reap the rewards of the dividend and then dispose of the share shortly after.

I can go on, but in general, trend traders which are basically nothing more than gamblers trying to sell high and buy low based on upwards and downward trends have major negative impacts on the shares. Consider the "Essential Phone" which was just another Android phone. The leaders of the company managed to hype the share so much that the market cap of the company reached a billion dollars long before it ever sold a single device. The people who hyped the share, even if it completely tanks will still manage to walk away with a lot of money on their pockets. Many people will lose their investments but several people, thanks to an amazing stir and incredible management of selling the share will walk away wealthier than ever and start their next venture.

Cryptocurrencies provide a new gamblers hotbed. Thanks to the insane volatility of coins and lack of regulation, buy low sell high is an easy game to play. People excited about upward trends can ride it out several times a week. If they can manage to shift money in and out of the currencies, they can produce amazing returns on investment. These people have

Re:Warren is right and wrong....

By tlhIngan • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

People will buy them just because they can't be printed like the dollar is to infinity.

In other words, stall out the economy.

You want to know why every country moved away from the gold standard? Because it turns out, your economy is limited by how much gold you can find. Find no gold? Well, you economy will stagnate (not a good thing). Find a ton of gold? Well, your economy booms (again, not a good thing).

Say you were paid 1 oz of gold a month for your work. Well, what happens if the company can't get you 1oz of gold? Let's say they can get half an ounce. So you work half the month. But you still have to pay for all your stuff - do you buy half a month's worth of food and starve half a month? Or do you have to search for short term work to make up the missing half an ounce? Perhaps next month, they have an ounce and a half, and let you work 50% more to get it - do you? This uncertainty is what screws up economies.

Going from boom to bust dependent on how much you can mine turns out to destabilize economies. That's why every economy floats their currency (i.e., fiat). Economies in the past were fine - there was lots of gold easily available, and thus the economic output of a country wasn't really limited.

Bitcoin with its fixed supply seems like a great idea, but you then realize it's a static economy. It cannot grow. And economies need to grow. If you have a baby, you need money to pay for its needs. But in a static economy, you can't - you're stuck with what you're earning. You cannot earn more because the economy cannot support your added output - i.e., you work more, and are thus paid less per unit to keep your income the same, keeping the economy static.

As people join the economy (after all, there are people who don't use bitcoin), demand for bitcoins go up, creating an even worse situation - a deflationary one, where a bitcoin today is worth more tomorrow because more people want it. Or, put another way, you can put 8 hours of work today for me, but I won't ask you do that, because tomorrow, it will cost me less bitcoin for those same 8 hours because they're worth more. Deflationary economies can lead to complete economic stall - if you're getting richer by the day, why would you buy today what is cheaper tomorrow? (This is partly the reason why the Great Depression was as long and as hard as it was - yes, being on gold also hurts).

So inflation it is. But not too much - you destabilize the economy if there's too much - what was affordable today, is out of reach tomorrow (see hyperinflaction). You want to add just enough to match growth in the economy. In a trading world, you can benefit as well - print a bit more cash and devalue your currency making your country cheaper to buy from, hopefully increasing economic output (people are buying your stuff!), but don't grow too fast because then your currency goes up and people stop buying.

Bitcoin is like Wikipedia. Both are experiments that have or are going to show what everyone already knows, just taught to the next generation who always never sees history repeat itself. (Wikipedia is a great example of communism as government, and the whole "every animal is equal, but some are more equal than others" conclusion of Animal Farm).

The only good news is that Bitcoin is at least unlikely to affect the economy too badly, so it's only those heavily leveraged on it will suffer. So unlike the lessons we all had to learn during the Great Depression about economic growth, the actual scope of losses will likely just be a blip.

The BitCoin Religion?

By asylumx • Score: 3 • Thread
What is it about Bitcoin that makes people throw logic completely out the window? It's a really obvious bubble, and in many ways worse than most bubbles because there is literally nothing of value underneath it all. For example the housing bubble(s) (plural because it's pretty cyclical, seems like we're on the up-rise of another one now) -- at least when it pops, you have land & structures to show for it. Did you pay too much for that at the top of the bubble? Yes, but you can still turn those into income to help cut your losses. Stock bubbles -- same thing, history has shown that if you play the long game, the bubbles and their popping aren't really as devastating as they seem.

I'm not sure -- did people behave like this when the beanie baby craze was going on in the 90s? Did they react with insults and call you stupid if you tried to point out that it's a bubble? I knew lots of people who were in that bubble, and none of them are rich now -- do YOU know any beanie baby millionaires? Possibly the CEO of Ty...

So Bitcoin is obviously a pure speculation market and has no intrinsic value -- what scares me more is how defensive people get when you say that. Look at the above comments for examples, there are plenty!

My advice to BTC prospectors: Get out now. If you got into BTC early, great -- you should be able to turn that into a ton of spendable/investable cash! "But won't it cause a crash if everyone gets out now?" you ask -- possibly, but first of all it's better to be the cause of the crash by protecting yourself than the victim of the crash by waiting too long. Also, since 97% of BTC are held by a few people, the crash isn't likely unless those 4% start selling off, too...

Fake 'Inbound Missile' Alert Sent To Every Cellphone in Hawaii

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
"Somebody sent out a false emergency alert to all cell phones in Hawaii saying, 'BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL'," writes Slashdot reader flopwich, adding "Somebody's had better days at work." The Associated Press reports: In a conciliatory news conference later in the day, Hawaii officials apologized for the mistake and vowed to ensure it will never happen again. Hawaii Emergency Management Agency Administrator Vern Miyagi said the error happened when someone hit the wrong button. "We made a mistake," said Miyagi. For nearly 40 minutes, it seemed like the world was about to end in Hawaii, an island paradise already jittery over the threat of nuclear-tipped missiles from North Korea...

On the H-3, a major highway north of Honolulu, vehicles sat empty after drivers left them to run to a nearby tunnel after the alert showed up, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported. Workers at a golf club huddled in a kitchen fearing the worst... The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency tweeted there was no threat about 10 minutes after the initial alert, but that didn't reach people who aren't on the social media platform. A revised alert informing of the "false alarm" didn't reach cellphones until 38 minutes later, according to the time stamp on images people shared on social media.

Re:Why did it take 40 minutes to correct?

By rtb61 • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

In the history of forever, whenever bureaucracies fuck up - 'blame the new guy'. Someone thought it was a good idea and did it, likely for political reasons, it went down way worse than they thought and... So what was the follow up marketing meant to about, obviously stoking war fears, real war fears. Who was playing, drive war fears as an FCC distraction, make more War Industrial Complex funding more palatable, attack property values in Honolulu (Pearl Harbour is the number one target in the US and make no mistake but why force the reminder).

They had better show some images of this magic, make an entire city panic, cause harm and suffering and even death as people try to escape, button with no safety features, otherwise I just wont believe. They were going to try something on, they still might in the next few weeks, some kind of PR=B$ stunt to push an agenda.

Re:Inquiring minds want to know

By hey! • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Baby boomer here. I remember when they taught this shit in school. Stay in your house, away from windows, keep curtains drawn. Have a battery radio and fill up containers with drinking water.

There are multiple ways for a nuclear strike to kill you: ionizing radiation burn, pressure wave, thermal radiation burn, firestorm, and fallout. Each has its own characteristic radius within which you will probably die from it, but your chances are improved by being inside.

You car would be a bad idea for many reasons unless it is in a garage. If your car is outside it will get quickly covered with very hot short-lived radioactive fallout. The gamma rays will cut through your car like it wasn't even there. You want physical distance to cut down your radiation dose until the hottest isotopes decay. The area in which the fallout will kill you quickly actually begins to contract after only an hour or so, even though the fallout is spreading. The area in which short exposures to fallout represents a health risk starts to drop after a day.

Get inside, stay inside, listen on the radio for the all clear.

Re:Why did it take 40 minutes to correct?

By AHuxley • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
The US gov/mil needed to see what the US population would do in that state and all over the USA, globally given a simple cellphone message for a set time.
How would all diplomats in the USA react? Calls made, messages sent. Reactions in their embassy, communications used from their embassy out of the USA.
Spies been watched by the FBI all over the USA react in any way at all?
Do US survivalist have any national or global messaging system that was not yet under constant FBI/NSA/CIA watch?
What did average survivalist do? Drive out to their bug out location? Stay at work? Why? Did they know it was a test? Nice way to find out who they are and who got seen on CCTV, via cell phone tracking driving around in a very different way after the message :)
Did the message get repeated on unexpected and unknown communications networks? Totally new systems and unknown people who held back for just such a warning that had not been tracked by the NSA, CIA, GCHQ, FBI in the past?
Ham radio, cell phone, telephone numbers, IRC, forums, social media, changes to web sites, visits to strange web sites by many people? Different, direct messages to unexpected and new militia groups all over the US once thought to be isolated in their states?
Was the message a long conversation? A word? A number? Who passed it on locally deeper into the USA? Hops to different very networks all over the USA.
Such unexpected and urgent communications would have been a real time study for the FBI, NSA uncovering all kinds of survival and militia groups that stayed so well hidden for so long only to be detected USA wide by one simple message.
40 mins gave the study time to keep tracking all the people with "plans" all over the USA. Spies, embassy workers, US militia groups, cults, faith groups, dual citizens, survivalist, people in the US mil/gov/contractors, police might have done something very interesting for 40 mins.
Who stayed at their job in the US mil/gov/police? Who phoned their kin, strangers when they should not due to gov/mil secrecy? Who got a message and/or responded to someone they never had contact with in the past?
One message gave the FBI, US mil, police and NSA years of information on their workers, contractors, staff, special forces. Who made calls to tell people it was all a test...
Who stayed loyal to the US mil/gov and who was talking to people.
Now the US gov knows who will do what in time of war.

Not every cellphone. Only allegedly "smart" ones

By jabberw0k • Score: 3 • Thread
Feature phones like most flip-phones are not equipped with this protocol, so folks like me with a Samsung T-219 for example are blissfully unaware of all this silliness. At some point I gather the cell towers will require me to get a new device, but so far I can't find a new mobile telephone with real buttons, no web, and no camera; most confusing.

Re: I was there...

By hey! • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Nope. The radius of destructive effect rises as the 2/3 power of yield. That's because the energy is dissipated in a three dimensional volume, and you're calculating the radius of intersection of that volume with a two dimensional surface. TL;DR: 20x the yield equals 7x the destructive radius.

Anyhow you can look up on the expected fatal radius by bomb type and yield, and the immediately fatal thermal effects of the warhead NK tested for an unprotected individual would be less than 5 miles, although many closer would survive because of shelter. Honolulu is about 12 miles across. If you put the warhead in the geographic center of the city to maximize casualties a lot of people on either end will survive. A lot of them will be uninjured too. The 5 psi blast radius is only three miles, outside that radius even residential buildings will still stand and people shaded by them will likely escape uninjured if they can get inside before the fallout.

Is Finland's Universal Basic Income Trial Too Good To Be True?

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
It was one year ago that Finland began giving money to 2,000 unemployed people -- roughly $652 a month (€560 or £475). But have we learned anything about universal basic incomes? An anonymous reader quotes the Guardian: Amid this unprecedented media attention, the experts who devised the scheme are concerned it is being misrepresented. "It's not really what people are portraying it as," said Markus Kanerva, an applied social and behavioural sciences specialist working in the prime minister's office in Helsinki. "A full-scale universal income trial would need to study different target groups, not just the unemployed. It would have to test different basic income levels, look at local factors. This is really about seeing how a basic unconditional income affects the employment of unemployed people."

While UBI tends often to be associated with progressive politics, Finland's trial was launched -- at a cost of around €20m (£17.7m or $24.3 million) -- by a centre-right, austerity-focused government interested primarily in spending less on social security and bringing down Finland's stubborn 8%-plus unemployment rate. It has a very clear purpose: to see whether an unconditional income might incentivise people to take up paid work. Authorities believe it will shed light on whether unemployed Finns, as experts believe, are put off taking up a job by the fear that a higher marginal tax rate may leave them worse off. Many are also deterred by having to reapply for benefits after every casual or short-term contract... According to Kanerva, the core data the government is seeking -- on whether, and how, the job take-up of the 2,000 unemployed people in the trial differs from a 175,000-strong control group -- will be "robust, and usable in future economic modelling" when it is published in 2019.

Although the experiment may be impacted by all the hype it's generating, according to the Guardian. "One participant who hoped to start his own business with the help of the unconditional monthly payment complained that, after speaking to 140 TV crews and reporters from as far afield as Japan and Korea, he has simply not been able to find the time."

Re:DNC Hates middle class

By quantaman • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

So, the reason the individual income tax cut is not permanent is because the DNC voted against it? Had they gotten 9 DNC Senators on board the tax cut for workers would be perm?

Sounds like we need to boot out DNC that hates middle class workers and get the GOP another 9 seats at the least so we can make it perm for us.

Yea, its the GOP that did something for the workers that is evil, while the DNC that shit on us is our friends?
Fuck off.

So your plan is a massive corporate tax cut (without removing any of the corporate deductions) AND an individual tax cut when your country is already running a huge deficit?

When do you plan on paying down that deficit?

(and it's fun how you manage to blame the Democrats for the GOP's awful tax bill)

Re: Interesting you argue to vote Republican

By murdocj • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Of course it could be changed. Heck, the Constitution can be amended. But as it stands today, the Republicans have passed a gift for the ultra-rich, with some hand waving to fool the peasants. Wouldn't think that would work, but apparently it is.

Re:Trump takes our money. What's the difference?

By murdocj • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Excuse me. If we are running 3% growth right now, why do we need the tax cut?

Re:Yes. Yes it is.

By rtb61 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

How about this. Consider it a subsistence existence payment. The payment for denying the people the right to subsist by being a hunter gatherer. What right do you claim to be able starve people to death, by denying them a subsistence existence and killing them slowly in prison or fast with a bullet should they dare to attempt a hunter gatherer existence. By what right do you claim to be able to force slave labour or starvation and any claim on that right also provides a claim on the right for people to kill anyone who attempts to deny them a subsistence existence. A human being has a right to exist and the right is expressed by being able to exist to survive, not to be turned into a slave via threat of starvation, imprisonment until death or summary execution.

The simplest definition of capitalism, 'my capital worth is worth more than you life', in fact as many people as need to perish in order to preserve my capital value and that is the fact of capitalism, the legalisation of capital worth being greater than human worth.

Re:Yes. Yes it is.

By smallfries • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

The main flaw in that study (that I can find after a couple of minutes) is that the statistics are completely wrong. The median income figures used are *post-tax*. The swedish figures are ignoring the income used to pay for everything in the state:

* free healthcare.
* free education.
* paid parental leave.
* subsidized childcare.
* much much more.

The correct comparison is the gross income figures. In the swedish case somebody earning around the median level is paying about 25% in direct (visible) taxation, and about 65% in invisible employer contributions. I.e. If their headline (visible) salary is $40000, they receive about $30000 after tax, but their total tax ia about $30000 taking into account mandatory social contributions from their employer. Their actual gross salary is about $60000 and this study treats it as $30000.

Tldr: the study is deliberately using the wrong income figure to make a false comparison.

'Science Fiction Writers of America' Accuse Internet Archive of Piracy

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader writes: The "Open Library" project of the nonprofit Internet Archive has been scanning books and offering "loans" of DRM-protected versions for e-readers (which expire after the loan period expires). This week the Legal Affairs Committe of the Science Fiction Writers of America issued a new "Infringement Alert" on the practice, complaining that "an unreadable copy of the book is saved on users' devices...and can be made readable by stripping DRM protection."

The objection, argues SFWA President Cat Rambo, is that "writers' work is being scanned in and put up for access without notifying them... it is up to the individual writer whether or not their work should be made available in this way." But the infringement alert takes the criticism even further. "We suspect that this is the world's largest ongoing project of unremunerated digital distribution of entire in-copyright books."

The Digital Reader blog points out one great irony. " The program initially launched in 2007. It has been running for ten years, and the SFWA only just now noticed." They add that SFWA's tardiness "leaves critical legal issues unresolved."

"Remember, Google won the Google Books case, and had its scanning activities legalized as fair use ex post facto... [I]n fact the Internet Archive has a stronger case than Google did; the latter had a commercial interest in its scans, while the Internet Archive is a non-profit out to serve the public good."

Re:This is what ALL libraries do

By west • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

To the contrary - my wife receives an annual payment from the government to compensate her for the possible loss of royalties that libraries might bring. Given that libraries also *buy* the book they lend, I've yet to meet an author who wasn't enthusiastically pro-library.

This is like saying that because I don't like the idea of being robbed by you, I should hate the idea of paying taxes. Ludicrous on every level.

It's just a Library service

By rahvin112 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

My own local library does something similar. There is and should be nothing wrong with offering books for loan regardless of format at long as the copy is legitimately purchased. Publishers have hated Libraries since they started and they want to use "electronic" as an attempt to license the book instead of buying it.

The courts will shoot this down, there is a long legal history for Library's loaning books being perfectly legal all the way back into english common law, to rules in the writers favor this the supreme court would need to undo 200 years of precedent. They generally don't do that for anything but the most extreme of situations.

Libraries exist, they loan books, whether they are digital or paper and it's all perfectly legal.

Re:Fair use doesn't work like TFA thinks...

By TheReaperD • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

I don't know about how many people here agree with me but, going after an organization whose only purpose is to preserve knowledge for future generations for free really rubs me the wrong way, regardless of the legalities; especially 10 years after the fact.

Re:Fair use doesn't work like TFA thinks...

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

In this case, the Internet Archive doesn't have either of those copyright-relevant factors on its side.

That's because the Internet Archive doesn't need them.

For one, section 108 "h" of the copyright act gives libraries the power to scan and make available copies of books.
The Internet Archive is a legally registered and recognized US library based out of California.

For two, regarding any possible stripped DRM, the Internet Archive is explicitly listed *by name* in the DMCA laws as being exempted.

This was added to the DMCA laws back in 2003, and while this is up for review every 3 years, I haven't heard anything about that exemption being removed the last time it came up for a vote in 2015.
There will be another round of DMCA exception reviews coming up later this year, so if it is going to change it will still be a number of months in the future before that happens. But as of right now it is specifically legal for the Internet Archive to be doing this.

Re:Can we please get writer's names

By Megol • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Good for you. I ignore anyone that complains over things like this.

Japanese Console Market Grows For the First Time In 11 Years

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
According to Famitsu, hardware sales in Japan experienced a huge spike in 2017 compared to the previous year. In 2016, Japanese hardware sales were 117.05 billion yen ($1.05 billion), while in 2017, they jumped to 202.37 billion yen ($1.81 billion). Kotaku reports: Software sales also increased: in 2016, they were 182.4 billion yen ($1.63 billion) and the following year, they were 189.3 billion yen ($1.69 billion). A big part of this increase is due to the Nintendo Switch's brisk hardware sales. The PS4 has also continued to churn out steady numbers. The last time the Japanese gaming market saw an uptick was in 2006, when the Nintendo DS Lite, the Nintendo Wii, the PS3 launched.

Stack Overflow Stats Reveal 'the Brutal Lifecycle of JavaScript Frameworks'

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
A developer on the Internal Tools team at Stack Overflow reveals some new statistics from their 'Trends' tool: JavaScript UI frameworks and libraries work in cycles. Every six months or so, a new one pops up, claiming that it has revolutionized UI development. Thousands of developers adopt it into their new projects, blog posts are written, Stack Overflow questions are asked and answered, and then a newer (and even more revolutionary) framework pops up to usurp the throne...

There appears to be a quick ascent, as the framework gains popularity and then a slightly less quick but steady decline as developers adopt newer technologies. These lifecycles only last a couple of years. Starting around 2011, there seems to be major adoption of a couple of competing frameworks: Backbone, Knockout, and Ember. Questions about these tags appear to grow until around 2013 and have been in steady decline since, at about the same time as AngularJS started growing. The latest startup is the Vue.js framework, which has shown quick adoption, as it is one of the fastest growing tags on Stack Overflow. Only time can tell how long this growth will last.

"Let's be honest," the post concludes. "The size of a developer community certainly counts; it contributes to a thriving open source environment, and makes it easier to find help on Stack Overflow."

Vue

By richardtallent • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

I started using Vue this year. I evaluated React but I just couldn't enjoy the JSX syntax. Angular 2 had just come out and I found it to be far too obtuse, too far from "the metal." I briefly experimented with Riot, but it was losing IE11 compatibility too fast.

Vue hit the sweet spot for me -- the ramp-up was easy, the code and API have a small but powerful footprint, it works well either interpreted in-browser or compiled via webpack, the Chrome dev tools are great, and I didn't have to learn the entire ecosystem (Vue, Vuex, Axios, etc.) to become productive. Coding single-file components reminds me of the good old days of writing server-side ASP.NET controls -- markup and script are separate, the lifestyle is simple to grok. The framework just does one thing--it handles the DOM update/manipulation details, allowing me to focus on behavior and state. I also like that the vast majority of my Vue code isn't really "vue," it's just plain HTML and JavaScript, so whatever comes next (web components, etc.), the transition will be much less painful than if I were using a more opinionated framework.

Wrong interpretation

By tomxor • Score: 3 • Thread

It says it right there on the Y axis of their graph: "% of stack overflow questions that month"... When you don't know how to X in framework Y? you google, and probably land on stack overflow if the question exists; you don't post another question. This metric doesn't equate to popularity it equates primarily to question saturation and secondly to popularity in terms of uptake (less questions asked by advanced users).

We all know JS frameworks come and go quickly compared to other languages but this analysis is the height of numerology... if you're going to do some statistics be objective.

Been true for a long time.

By HeckRuler • Score: 3 • Thread

I saw this writing on the wall WAAAAY back in 2004. I thought to myself "Man, web-dev tech is in constant turmoil. I've got on option about which tech I'm going to learn. Do I learn something that will be useless in 4 years or do I learn something that will be around forever." And long story short, I'm an embedded SW engineer working on Satellites in the one true language that's absolutely perfect for every application ever.... C.

Re:What does this say about Javascript?

By plopez • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Obscure code is bad code. If you can't do it simpler you;
1) are using the wrong tools
2) Don't know what you are doing
3) don't understand the first thing about programming, which is 90% of the cost of a program is maintenance
4) trying to be clever, which is stupid

I hereby sentence you to 5 years maintnce programming on code produced by clueless programmers like yourself.
(odds are in 6 months you won't be able to fix you own code.)

StackovweOverflow Javascript

By cstacy • Score: 5, Funny • Thread
try{
    // Try something wrong here
}
catch(e){
    var xcb="http://stackoverflow.com/search?q=[js]+"+e.message;
    window.open(xcb, '_blank');
}

// https://github.com/gautamkrishnar/tcso/blob/master/javascript/tcso.js

Intel Unveils 'Breakthrough' 49 Qubit Quantum Computer

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
Long-time Slashdot reader cold fjord writes: Extremetech reports, "At CES 2018 this week, Intel's CEO Brian Krzanich declared the company's new 49-qubit quantum computer represented a step towards "quantum supremacy." A 49 qubit system is a major advance for Intel, which just demonstrated a 17-qubit system two months ago. Intel's working with the Netherlands-based Qutech on this project, and expanding the number of qubits is key to creating quantum computers that can deliver real-world results... "Qubits are tremendously fragile," Intel wrote in October. "Any noise or unintended observation of them can cause data loss. This fragility requires them to operate at about 20 millikelvin -- 250 times colder than deep space." This is also why we won't be seeing quantum computers in anyone's house at any point."
Krzanich also thanked the industry for "coming together" to address the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities. "The collaboration among so many companies to address this industry-wide issue across several different processor architectures has been truly remarkable."

Quantum computing

By burtosis • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
This article reminded me it's about time I gave my kids the talk.

Re:Huge breakthrough

By 110010001000 • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
Clearly you have never met me.

640 qubits.

By Blaede • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

640 qubits ought to be enough for anyone.

Re:Huge breakthrough

By 110010001000 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
That explains why I am so uncertain if my wifi is going to work or not...

Need 2 more dimensions ...

By CaptainDork • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

“And this is how you shall make it: The length of the CPU shall be 300 qubits, its width 50 qubits, and its height 30 qubits.” (Genesis 6:15)

Peter Thiel Is Now Bidding on Gawker.com

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader writes: Its official. "Venture capitalist Peter Thiel has made an offer for Gawker," reports Reuters, adding that the potential acquisition "would let him take down stories regarding his personal life that are still available on the website, and remove the scope for further litigation between him and Gawker." It was Thiel's 2016 lawsuit which bankrupted the site, prompting a Washington Post blogger to write that Thiel "killed Gawker once. Now it looks like he may kill it again."

Elsewhere the Washington Post argues the whole episode "highlighted the immense legal risk borne by news outlets already facing a precarious financial reality in the digital age." The Post's blogger describes Thiel as "a billionaire leveraging his wealth to obliterate a media outlet...as part of a personal vendetta."

Last month former Gawker staffers attempted to crowdfund the purchase and relaunch of Gawker.com as a nonprofit media organization. But their 1,496 backers only pledged $89,844, far short of the campaign's $500,000 target.

Re:Gawk would not remove pictures of a rape

By GameboyRMH • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Gawker was the site with a writer who ruined a woman for posting an insensitive but harmless joke on Twitter [nytimes.com].

Gawker is a trash rag but none of their writers made that woman write a racist joke through an account tied to her real name. She deserved any consequences she happened to attract.

Re:Maybe...

By GameboyRMH • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

If you were paying the ACLU and EFF most of the costs of pursuing specific lawsuits at your request, I'd say they're kind of your lawsuits.

I've got Karma to burn

By rsilvergun • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
so here I go again defending Gawker. Gawker did a lot of real journalism and used the muck raking to pay for it. A tradition that's as old as journalism itself. Thiel didn't shut them down because he was outed as gay, he shut them down because they kept reporting on his shady business deals. And their mistake wasn't ignoring the court order. That gets done all the time in their line of work. Their mistake was not realizing that Hogan was backed by Thiel for the express purpose of shutting them down.

What we have here is a pretty scary precedent. We have a billionaire using his money and the legal system to shut down somebody critical of him. If anyone honestly believes that'll end well for us working stiffs then they haven't been paying attention to the last 300 years of labor relations...

Re:Merits of case had nothing to do with Thiel

By GameboyRMH • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

All you can really argue is that Thiel allowed Bollea to have good representation and make a good case and see things to the end.

I would argue that Thiel's patronage altered the proceedings of the case, turning down settlements and dragging out the trial as long as possible to bleed Gawker dry.

Gawker the liberal rag

By p51d007 • Score: 3 • Thread
"Mostly" read by liberals, antifa, BLM, socialist, progressives...ie: the ones that think everything should be FREE...so, it's no wonder they didn't have any people funding a potential "relaunch". They are ok with spending OTHER peoples money, but NOT their own. "Last month former Gawker staffers attempted to crowdfund the purchase and relaunch of Gawker.com as a nonprofit media organization. But their 1,496 backers only pledged $89,844, far short of the campaign's $500,000 target."

Will Facial Recognition in China Lead To Total Surveillance?

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
schwit1 shares a new Washington Post article about China's police and security state -- including the facial recognition cameras allow access to apartment buildings. "If I am carrying shopping bags in both hands, I just have to look ahead and the door swings open," one 40-year-old woman tells the Post. "And my 5-year-old daughter can just look up at the camera and get in. It's good for kids because they often lose their keys." But for the police, the cameras that replaced the residents' old entry cards serve quite a different purpose. Now they can see who's coming and going, and by combining artificial intelligence with a huge national bank of photos, the system in this pilot project should enable police to identify what one police report, shared with The Washington Post, called the "bad guys" who once might have slipped by... Banks, airports, hotels and even public toilets are all trying to verify people's identities by analyzing their faces. But the police and security state have been the most enthusiastic about embracing this new technology.

The pilot in Chongqing forms one tiny part of an ambitious plan, known as "Xue Liang," which can be translated as "Sharp Eyes." The intent is to connect the security cameras that already scan roads, shopping malls and transport hubs with private cameras on compounds and buildings, and integrate them into one nationwide surveillance and data-sharing platform... At the back end, these efforts merge with a vast database of information on every citizen, a "Police Cloud" that aims to scoop up such data as criminal and medical records, travel bookings, online purchase and even social media comments -- and link it to everyone's identity card and face.

Why just China?

By aglider • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Worldwide!

Re:Yay self-driving cars!

By Rick Schumann • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
I see that, and you see that, and we both get lumped in with the tinfoil-hat crowd, told we're dangerously paranoid, told "that'll never happen" by the shills and the deniers, told "SDCs will save lives" (i.e. trading security and 'safety' for freedom, yet again), told "humans aren't capable of driving a car so we need machines to do it for us" (which is a flat-out lie), and so on. Meanwhile the technology is half-baked at best, the security of the software running them will be half-assed and full of holes, and as you allude to, SDCs will not only be capble of being tracked in realtime via an always-on radio link, but will be capable of being taken control of remotely at any time, with no manual override possible by the occupant. This will be even more true for Level 5 SDCs, which won't have any controls for a human driver (and fuck that, I *would* rather walk than step into one of those four-wheeled nightmare machines) so you'll literally have ZERO control over the machine, it'll do whatever it wants to do (or whatever who is actually in control wants it to do) and you'll have ZERO say over any of it. Needless to say (at least for anyone who can actually think these things through) any decent hacker will be able to hack these vehicles and take control just as if they were the police or the government; do I really need to ennumerate all the things criminal hackers could do to you with this ability?

Know what really disturbs me the most? How some people envision being able to put their kids in some Level 5 SDC (no controls at all) by themselves and send them off to Grandma's house or wherever. *SHUDDER* So far as I'm concerned you may as well just put a gun to their little heads and pull the trigger, it'd be a faster and less painful way to go.

I'd rather walk. Or perhaps I'll go back to riding a motorcycle full-time, like I used to when I was in my 20's. No way in hell I'll ever have a SDC or even ride in one. Me driving or human driver or nothing, thanks anyway.

Islamic women

By Big Bipper • Score: 5, Funny • Thread
Maybe the Islamic Women who wear Burkas ( full face covering ) are actually ahead of the times. Maybe we'll all be wearing them in the future to preserve our privacy.

Re:3000 years of recorded Chinese history

By FrankSchwab • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

The whole point of a book like "1984" is to explore what happens to society when Government has this level of surveillance and control. When you can't curse the "great leader" in your home without someone or something hearing you and reporting you; when you can't discuss government with your neighbors without your words being reported; when you can't gather with like-minded people to discuss ways to change the government (either within the rules, or outside them) without being arrested as a danger; when the government can identify every person in a demonstration, the age-old remedy of revolution becomes unimaginable, and society freezes into rigid authoritarianism with no viable hope to break free.

And if you believe that China is the only government teetering on the edge of this chasm, you haven't been paying attention.

Re:Islamic women

By Bradmont • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
As of last August, Facebook could recognise you with 83% accuracy when your face was not visible in photos. Covering your face won't matter. https://www.privateinternetacc...

Many US States Propose Their Own Laws Protecting Net Neutrality

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes the New York Times: Lawmakers in at least six states, including California and New York, have introduced bills in recent weeks that would forbid internet providers to block or slow down sites or online services. Legislators in several other states, including North Carolina and Illinois, are weighing similar action... By passing their own law, the state lawmakers say, they would ensure that consumers would find the content of the choice, maintain a diversity of voices online and protect businesses from having to pay fees to reach users.

And they might even have an effect beyond their states. California's strict auto-emissions standards, for example, have been followed by a dozen other states, giving California major sway over the auto industry. "There tends to be a follow-on effect, particularly when something happens in a big state like California," said Harold Feld, a senior vice president at a nonprofit consumer group, Public Knowledge, that supports net-neutrality efforts by the states. Bills have also been introduced in Massachusetts, Nebraska, Rhode Island and Washington.

In addition, a representative in Alaska's legislature has also pre-filed legislation requiring the state's ISPs to practice net neutrality, which will be introduced when the state legislature resumes on January 16th.

"The recent FCC decision eliminating net neutrality was a mistake that favors the big internet providers and those who want to restrict the kinds of information a free-thinking Alaskan can access," representative Scott Kawasaki told a local news station. "That is not the Alaskan way, and I am hopeful my colleagues in the House and Senate will agree..."

The Independent also notes that Europe " is still strongly committed" to net neutrality.

Fuck Ajit Pai

By Nick • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Fuck Ajit Pai.

Work around the problem

By jader3rd • Score: 3 • Thread
The FCC ruled that no states can create laws to enforce Net Neutrality. While it would be nice to have a head on attack work, I fear that it may not. So instead the states should make life difficult for ISP found violating New Neutrality. Say a law like "If the ISP is caught violating Net Neutrality, that ISP is banned from advertising" or something like that.

Municipal broadband/WiFi

By iamacat • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

I see Comcast cable dangling over my backyard, suspended on utility poles I pay for with my tax money. I don't see any reason to allow that if they get frisky. How about my town does competitive bidding to get a backbone hookup and maintain local routers and wires? If Comcast wins fine, but Silicon Valley has lots of startups who would love to land a big gig.

Nothing is wrong with speed lanes

By SuperKendall • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Speed lanes are a good idea and what people want:

1) People pay more money for a service.
2) ISP's upgrade network to provide service
3) Network is better overall, customer has higher service, person who does not want to pay as much has the same service as before, possibly cheaper or faster over time as early adopters pay to build out network.

slowing down a competitors content.

This is the bad one but who are "competitors"? It's not like my Comcast network is going to block AT&T traffic, what is even the point. If an ISP starts throttling some site the FCC will step in and stop them.

So basically, sure Comcast, by all means block netflix

This is the problem I have with network neutrality adherents; they are generally batshit insane, as we see here.

If Comcast blocked or slowed Netflix, they would lose around 90% of their customers and certainly be fined by the FCC and probably have a few facilities torched by angry mobs.

It's not even like Netflix is a competitor to Comcast: the content is nearly orthogonal. In fact if you think about it Netflix is a huge, huge draw for getting faster cable internet over various other network options; Netflix is helping Comcast earn a TON of money. ESPECIALLY SO if they introduce speed lanes for Netflix specific customers that want reliable 4k content... at this point Netflix is a parter to ISP's, in no way a competitor.

Re:Work around the problem

By Entrope • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

"[W]hether the FCC can govern intrastate commerce" is not a very accurate description of the question before the Supreme Court, or that court's decision. That case was an extremely narrow ruling on whether two particular sections of the federal law establishing the FCC gave the FCC authority to preempt state rules on depreciation schedules for equipment where both the FCC and the state had jurisdiction over setting telecom rates.

Contrast that to the rulings in Wickard and is progeny, through Gonzales v. Raich (2005), where federal law can govern even intrastate activities as long as the local effects are part of an overarching scheme of national regulation.

Erroneous 'Spam' Flag Affected 102 npm Packages

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
There was some trouble last weekend at the world's largest package repository. An anonymous reader quotes the official npm blog: On Saturday, January 6, 2018, we incorrectly removed the user floatdrop and blocked the discovery and download of all 102 of their packages on the public npm Registry. Some of those packages were highly depended on, such as require-from-string, and removal disrupted many users' installations... Within 60 seconds, it became clear that floatdrop was not a spammer -- and that their packages were in heavy use in the npm ecosystem. The staffer notified colleagues and we re-activated the user and began restoring the packages to circulation immediately. Most of the packages were restored quickly, because the restoration was a matter of unsetting the deleted tombstones in our database, while also restoring package data tarballs and package metadata documents. However, during the time between discovery and restoration, other npm users published a number of new packages that used the names of deleted packages. We locked this down once we discovered it, but cleaning up the overpublished packages and inspecting their contents took additional time...

In cases where the npm staff accepts a user's request to delete a package, we publish a replacement package by the same name -- a security placeholder. This both alerts those who had depended on it that the original package is no longer available and prevents others from publishing new code using that package name. At the time of Saturday's incident, however, we did not have a policy to publish placeholders for packages that were deleted if they were spam. This made it possible for other users to publish new versions of eleven of the removed packages. After a thorough examination of the replacement packages' contents, we have confirmed that none was malicious or harmful. Ten were exact replacements of the code that had just been removed, while the eleventh contained strings of text from the Bible -- and its publisher immediately contacted npm to advise us of its publication.

They're now implementing a 24-hour cooldown on republication of any deleted package names -- and are also updating their review process. "As a general rule, the npm Registry is and ought to be immutable, just like other package registries such as RubyGems and crates.io... However, there are legitimate cases for removing a package once it has been published. In a typical week, most of the npm support team's work is devoted to handling user requests for package deletion, which is more common than you might expect. Many people publish test packages then ask to have them deprecated or deleted. There also is a steady flow of requests to remove packages that contain contain private code that users have published inadvertently or inappropriately."

Re:What a clusterfuck

By Just Some Guy • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Eh, I don't care about that so much. If it's the idiom in your language to let someone else write every little function like that, and that's just how it is in that ecosystem, then so be it. I wouldn't want to work that way, but everyone has their preferences.

But if you're going to foster an ecosystem where everyone's going to use the same "leftpad", then you damn well better make sure that:

  • Once I've added "leftpad-4.5.6" to my dependencies, it's not going away unless there's a critical security flaw,
  • That today's "leftpad-4.5.6" is the same one I downloaded yesterday, and
  • That "leftpad-4.5.7" comes from the same author who released 4.5.6 and not Boris in St. Petersburg.

If you can't guarantee all three of those conditions, I want nothing to do with it. And again, pretty much everyone else offers these guarantees. This isn't just some greybeard rant about an ideal world no one has ever lived in before.

Re:What?

By Hal_Porter • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

npm is "NodeJS package manager". NodeJS is run by sloppy hippies. Being sloppy hippies they deleted a user and that user's packages without checking if other packages used them. Because they're sloppy hippies.

Funny video mocking NodeJS zealots

By Hal_Porter • Score: 3 • Thread

Node.js Is Bad Ass Rock Star Tech

any idea what's in your dependencies?

By neaorin • Score: 3, Informative • Thread

I’m harvesting credit card numbers and passwords from your site. Here’s how.

Re:What?

By _xeno_ • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

This seems as good a place to leave my NPM story. Or I could just link to the bug.

The short version is if you use NPM to install dependencies, it will install your dependencies and whatever they depend on. If you run it again, it will install your dependencies and then DELETE anything they depend on.

Why would you repeat the install? Well, if your dependencies change (e.g., you update a dependency or add a new one), you would then repeat the install to get the new dependencies. Except you can't do this without blowing away the entire existing install due to this bug.

It gets somewhat worse - starting in NPM 5, they introduced a lock file. Anyone familiar with other package managers should know what a lock file is and why they're important. If the lock file exists, it will never install indirect dependencies (probably).

Basically, if anyone doubted that NPM was run by sloppy idiots, note that both bugs are still open and have been for months.

Interviewing the Interviewer

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Terry Gross, NPR's The Fresh Air host, on the art of the Q&A: "People are always projecting things. They're hearing things that weren't said or projecting meaning that was not intended and, perhaps, not even implied. I've gotten both insults and compliments for interviews I've never done. What can you do? There's no way of controlling what people think. I do have a bullshit detector and it's something I'll use, but I do think I try and be empathetic to everyone I interview," said Terry Gross.

Astute

By DaMattster • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Say what you will about Terry Gross, but she is an astute observer and has a breadth of knowledge about human psychology from the sheer number of years that she has spent interviewing and studying people. I find her personally overbearing and a little annoying but I will give her the credit she is due. However, I do like it when her bullshit-o-meter hits critical mass and she can no longer hold back. People need a good solid dose of reality at times.

Re:The nerd connection

By hey! • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Terry Gross is probably the best in the world at what she does. I find that interesting. How did she get that way? Well it turns out that fear of not being good enough is at least part of what makes her good at her job. I find that interesting too.

How did she end up doing what she does? She failed at something else (being a writer). That's something that resonates in tech.

And she talks about making the trolls angry.

But ultimately being exposed to different information than you're used to isn't tantamount to an injury. It's good for you, just like reading an article on technology would be good for someone who mainly reads about public affairs, or art history.

Re:The nerd connection

By quonset • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

But ultimately being exposed to different information than you're used to isn't tantamount to an injury. It's good for you,

Which is why Republicans are continually trying to kill NPR. It exposes people to different ideas, different points of view, different lifestyles, different people. That can't be allowed to happen.

Imagine the chaos which would ensue if people could get information about what was happening not only in their country, but around the world, and not be told what to think.

Re:Why the quotes?

By MightyYar • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

It's the best of the "two sides to every story" echo chamber. But as your comment reinforces, we are stuck in a two party mentality and getting a slick spokesman from the Democrat and Republican parties to comment on your show does not illuminate a path to the truth. I listen to NPR all the time, but their bias is sufficient to make me chuckle. Some of the in-depth shows on NPR are excellent - to some extent the news shows are limited by their format. Terry Gross, on topic, once did an interview with Bill O'Reilly. Now, he is a tremendous asshole - but her interview was immediately combative and he ended up walking off the set. During the interview, O'Reilly pointed out that she had just interviewed Al Franken - a fellow political entertainer - and he was given a softball interview. Listening to the Franken interview, it is true - it was a lovefest. I still listen to her and respect her, but her political bias is obvious.

Re:The nerd connection

By kencurry • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
Sometimes she roots out weird stuff and tech you would never have guessed. I remember her interview with a Dr. so & so who wrote a bio on Kellogg family. their story had weird religion & social engineering, but also very science oriented. Legit nutrition science for cereals as a quick breakfast for children back when that was not a simple thing. I learned a lot on that interview. So, yeah, there is good nerdy tech in her interviews, but it's surrounded by thoughts and stories of the artists, scientists, people etc.

Adult Themed VR Game Leaks Data On Thousands

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
chicksdaddy writes from The Security Ledger: Somebody deserves a spanking after personal information on thousands of users of an adult virtual reality game were exposed to security researchers in the UK by a balky application. Researchers at the firm Digital Interruption on Tuesday warned that an adult-themed virtual reality application, SinVR, exposes the names, email and other personal information via an insecure desktop application -- a potentially embarrassing security lapse. The company decided to go public with the information after being frustrated in multiple efforts to responsibly disclose the vulnerability to parent company inVR, Inc., Digital Interruption researcher and founder Jahmel Harris told The Security Ledger. Jahmel estimated that more than 19,000 records were leaked by the application, but did not have an exact count.

SinVR is a sex-themed virtual reality game that allows players to navigate in various adult-themed environments and interact with virtual characters in common pornographic themes including BDSM, cosplay, naughty teacher, and so on. The company discovered the data after reverse-engineering the SinVR desktop application and noticing a function named "downloadallcustomers." That function called a web service that returned thousands of SinVR customer records including email addresses, user names, computer PC names and so on. Passwords and credit card details were not part of the data dump, Harris said.

Naughty teacher?

By 110010001000 • Score: 3 • Thread
Is the naughty teacher theme the one where they teach Evolution?

Shocker!

By demonlapin • Score: 3 • Thread
Porn VR game has bad security? Who knew?

"Balky"

By Anne Thwacks • Score: 3 • Thread
What does that mean? its not English, so you can't blame the spelling corrector, and bulky my be true, but is not relevant here.

Cryptocurrency Exchange Kraken Suddenly Goes Dark For Two Days

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes the San Francisco Chronicle: One of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges was down more than 40 hours this week, causing clients to freak out... San Francisco's Kraken went offline at 9 p.m. on Wednesday for maintenance that was initially scheduled to last two hours, plus an additional two to three hours for withdrawals, according to an announcement on the company's website. "We are still working to resolve the issues that we have identified and our team is working around the clock to ensure a smooth upgrade," according to a status update on Kraken's website posted early Friday. "This means it may still take several hours before we can relaunch." Shortly after noon, the company said it was "still working to track down an elusive bug which is holding up launch." It promised customers "a substantial amount of free trading" after the problem was resolved. In previous updates, Kraken mentioned it is working on "unexpected and delicate issues" and assured clients their funds were secure, adding that "Yes, this is our new record for downtime since we launched in 2013. No, we're not proud of it."
It's 53 hours after the downtime began, and their web page is still showing the same announcement.

"Kraken is presently offline for maintenance."

Re: Most Interesting Coder

By Reverend Green • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Sounds like you're doing it the Agile (tm) way!

Re: Way to keep fucking up the market

By Reverend Green • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

PHB: How long have you been working with Crypto(tm)?

Devops nerd: cryptocurrency processing is not especially different from other workloads, and benefits from the same modern best practices.

PHB: get out of here, nerd. Next!

Wannabe: Hi! I love Agile(tm)! I'm willing to sell my soul for cheap!!

PHB: Awesome! How long have you been working with Crypto(tm)?

Wannabe: I've been doing CRYPTO for five years! I'm CRYPTO Certified(tm)!

PHB: double awesome! Now a technical question: describe the basics of how to set up a resilient production environment for a web application.

Wannabe: huh? What's resilient mean??

PHB: I don't know either! You're hired!

Re:Not So Bad: It's 99.5% Service Availability!

By Antique Geekmeister • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Citibank was deeply involved in the subprime morgage crisis, and had to pay fines of roughly 7 billion dollars. If you think that major banks are immune from large scale theft, I'm afraid you'll need to rethink that.

Re:FUD

By Cederic • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Or it could be something like "Shit, we just fried the drive controllers, the RAID array is toast, where are the backups? What do you mean it takes three days to ship them back, build new arrays and restore the data? Get on with it!"

If you're not running fully resilient (and that's expensive, so most people don't) then it's quite easy to lose a couple of days.

The blockchain tells me

By perpenso • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

It's 2AM And do you know where your BTC is?

Yes, the blockchain tells me. ;-)

French Songwriter Kiesza Composes First Mainstream Music Album Co-Written With AI

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
dryriver shares a report from the BBC, highlighting "a new album that features everything from cowboy sci-fi to Europop." What's special about the album -- Hello World by Canadian singer Kiesza -- is that it's the first full-length mainstream music album co-written with the help of artificial intelligence. You can judge the quality for yourself: First, view the single "Hellow Shadow" with Canadian singer Kiesza. Next, the BBC story, which seems to think that the album is actually rather good: "Benoit Carre has written songs for some of France's biggest stars: from Johnny Halliday -- the French Elvis, who died last year -- to chanteuse Francoise Hardy. But this month, the 47-year-old is releasing an album with a collaborator he could never have dreamt of working with. It's not a singer, or rapper. It's not even really a musician. It's called Flow Machines, and it is, arguably, the world's most advanced artificially-intelligent music program. For musicians, there's been one good thing about these projects so far: the music they've produced has been easy to dismiss, generic and uninspiring -- hardly likely to challenge Bob Dylan in the songwriting department. But Carre's album, Hello World, is different for the simple reason that it's good. Released under the name SKYGGE (Danish for shadow), it features everything from sci-fi cowboy ballads to Europop, and unlike most AI music, if you heard it on the radio, you wouldn't think something had gone horribly wrong. Flow Machines, developed at Sony's Computer Science Laboratories in Paris, does indeed write original melodies, Carre adds. It also suggests the chords and sounds to play them with. But Carre says a human is always needed to stitch the songs together, give them structure and emotion. Without people, its songs would be a bit rubbish. "There were many people involved in this," he says, listing the likes of Belgian house producer Stromae and Canadian pop star Kiesza. "They gave their soul, their enthusiasm. I think that's the most important point of the album, in a way -- that it's a very human one.'"

Re: AI? Really?

By thinkwaitfast • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
http://tones.wolfram.com/gener... This has been around 20 years and claims a lot of things

The Original Submission Title Was Different

By dryriver • Score: 3 • Thread
I submitted as "French Songwriter Composes Album With AI, Result As Bad As Today's Pop Music". The songwriter is Frenchman Carre. Canadian singer Kiesza just sings vocals on the album. The submission and submitted text was rewritten by the Slashdot editors and is now slightly misleading - Kiesza is not French and not the composer of this album.