the unofficial Slashdot digest for 2018-Mar-08 today archive


  1. 132-Year-Old Science Experiment Washes Ashore In Australia
  2. Florida Lawmakers Approve Year-Round Daylight Saving Time
  3. Intel Launches Mainstream Optane SSD 800P Series Based On 3D Xpoint Memory
  4. Trump Promises Copyright Crackdown As DoJ Takes Aim At Streaming Pirates
  5. Windows 10 Is Finally Adding Tabs To File Explorer
  6. Qarnot Unveils a Cryptocurrency Heater For Your Home
  7. Elon Musk Sides With Trump On Trade With China, Citing 25 Percent Import Duty On American Cars
  8. 'Personal Drone' Crash Causes 335-Acre Wildfire In Coconino National Forest
  9. Bay Area Cities Consider Rideshare Tax On Uber, Lyft
  10. Firefox Quantum Leader Takes Over All Mozilla Products
  11. Slack Is Shutting Down Its IRC Gateway
  12. Comcast's Protected Browsing Is Blocking PayPal, Steam and TorrentFreak, Customers Say
  13. Scientists Prove That Truth is No Match For Fiction on Twitter
  14. Can the Most Contentious Piece of the Web Form the Basis of a New Standard? Inside Google's Plan To Make the Whole Web as Fast as AMP
  15. 'Iron Man' Director Jon Favreau Will Write And Produce a Live-Action 'Star Wars' TV Series For Disney's New Streaming Service
  16. Businesses Under Pressure To 'Consumerize' Logins
  17. Why Humans Learn Faster Than AI
  18. Vatican Invites Hackers To Fix Problems, Not Breach Security
  19. What Airbnb Did To New York City
  20. Trump's Meeting With The Video Game Industry To Talk Gun Violence Could Get Ugly
  21. McAfee Acquires VPN Provider TunnelBear
  22. Hardcoded Password Found in Cisco Software
  23. Amazon Launches a Low-Cost Version of Prime For Medicaid Recipients
  24. Adult Human Brains Do Not Produce New Neurons, Study Suggests
  25. NASA Spacecraft Reveals Jupiter's Interior In Unprecedented Detail

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

132-Year-Old Science Experiment Washes Ashore In Australia

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The New York Times (Warning: source may be paywalled; alternative source): A message in a bottle was tossed off the side of a German ship on June 12, 1886, as it sailed through the Indian Ocean, the date and location penned carefully in script on the scroll inside. In January, more than 131 years after the bottle was set adrift, an Australian woman walking on the beach noticed the thick, discolored glass of an old bottle poking through the sand. The bottle -- and the message -- had been found. It is believed to be the oldest known message in a bottle ever recovered. The woman, Tonya Illman, discovered the tokens from another era while walking on a beach near Wedge Island, in Western Australia.

The Illmans took their discovery to the Western Australian Museum, which verified that the bottle and the note date back to the 19th century. The museum contacted experts in the Netherlands and Germany for more information, and confirmed that the bottle had been dropped from a German vessel called the Paula. A search of German archives uncovered the Paula's original Meteorological Journal, and in a captain's entry from June 12, 1886, researchers discovered a reference to the bottle, thrown overboard as the ship was sailing from Cardiff, Wales, to Makassar, Indonesia. The date and the coordinates matched. The bottle had been tossed into the Indian Ocean from the ship as part of a decades-long experiment by the German Naval Observatory to understand ocean currents. Thousands of bottles were thrown into the ocean around the world from German ships between the 1860s and the 1930s, each with a form bearing the date and location where it had been tossed into the sea, the name of the ship, its home port and the travel route, the Western Australian Museum said.


By cold fjord • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

At least the bottle wasn't stuffed full of messages from the GNAA.

What do you have against the German Nautical Analytics Association?

Let me guess - you joined as part of a wave of applicants after some major oceanographic event, stormed off after some unintended insult, drifted off into other interests, didn't keep your dues current, and now you wind up here, complaining about them. I've heard that one before.

Re:How was it sealed?

By cold fjord • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

It seems likely the construction of the bottle had something to do with it.

Oldest message in a bottle found on Western Australia beach

Sand dunes in the area are quite mobile during storm events and heavy rain, so the bottle could have been subject to "cyclical periods of exposure" which could have led to the cork in the bottle drying out and becoming dislodged, "while the tightly rolled paper along with a quantity of sand remained inside preserved".

"The narrow 7mm bore of the bottle opening and thick glass would have assisted to buffer and preserve the paper from the effects of full exposure to the elements, providing a protective microenvironment favourable to the paper's long-term preservation," the report added.

Message in a bottle

By tquasar • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
Did anyone notify Sting?

Re:Message in a bottle

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

Sting was not notified, but they called The Police, who confirmed there was a message in a bottle, written to the world, but, thankfully was not an SOS.

Wonder what happened to my message.

By 140Mandak262Jamuna • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
Back in 1970s, in deep rural South India we did our science experiments. Filled a bottle half way with lime (not the fruit, calcium carbonate used for whitewash) add added tinfoil from cigarette packs cut into thin strips. Slip a balloon over the neck. Leave it in the Sun. After about six hours we have a hydrogen filled balloon. We used to attach messages to to it and let it fly. (Time to acknowledge my science master, Isaac Edward Sukumar. BSc, BEd. Greatest. Teacher. Ever. )

No one ever found and mailed these messages back. Not surprising, since most messages called into question the validity of the marriage of the parents of anyone finding the message.

But still, it counts as science, right?

Florida Lawmakers Approve Year-Round Daylight Saving Time

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
JustAnotherOldGuy writes: It seems like we're seeing a sudden outbreak of common sense from one of the most unlikely places. Florida might become the third state -- after Hawaii and Arizona -- to be done with the hassle of changing their clocks twice a year. Yesterday, the Senate overwhelmingly passed the Sunshine Protection Act in under one minute, with only two dissenters. The House had already passed it 103-11 last month. Now it has to be signed by Gov. Rick Scott. If Scott passes it, however, it still has to go through Congress before Florida has Daylight Savings Time all year long.

Time zones suck

By PopeRatzo • Score: 3 • Thread

They should just do away with time zones and make everyplace the same time. I don't like the fact that where I live Monday Night Football comes on at 5pm and Saturday Night Live starts at like 8:30. When I go online a 10pm to fuck around with my friends back in the Midwest or East Coast, they're all like, "Oh, we're sleeping because it's one in the morning." Fuck that.

Starting Sunday at 2am, the entire world has to go on Pacific Standard Time. No, make that, Pacific Daylight Time.

And put Saturday morning cartoons back on the networks. I mean, what the fuck is wrong with whoever decided to take cartoons off Saturday morning? Motherfucker, do I come over there and mess with your life?

Now excuse me, I gotta go get a refill and go pee. Save my spot.


By Darinbob • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

You know, I think the flat earthers are on to something here. Equal daylight for everyone!


By thegarbz • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Get up and go to work earlier so you can leave sooner

Oh look, a person of privilege. Guess what, the vast majority of people's lives don't work like that.

Re:Permanent daylight saving time...

By Athanasius • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

This would be the pure 'sensible' solution, yes. You change from needing to know what the offset is in order to cite the correct time to instead needing to know what the offset is in business hours instead, so no absolute difference in necessary mental gymnastics there. You gain being able to say "at 15:30" and everyone knowing what you mean.

Now try to get 7 billion (and counting) human beings to agree on doing that, and do so consistently. In the UK we've been officially decimal and metric for decades, yet even people younger than me (coming up on 46) will still cite weights in "stones and pounds" and small lengths in inches.

Re:Cluster fuck coming

By PrimaryConsult • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Puerto Rico is in Atlantic time, which matches Eastern Daylight time. So with this change, Florida and Puerto Rico would always be in the same time zone.
MA also wants to join Atlantic time. NYers when asked also want to stay in EDT permanently (aka join Atlantic time).

Let's make this real easy. Move all states that touch the Atlantic ocean to year-round Atlantic time. Sorted.

Intel Launches Mainstream Optane SSD 800P Series Based On 3D Xpoint Memory

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
MojoKid writes: Intel just launched a new family of consumer-targeted Optane solid state drives today, dubbed the Intel Optane SSD 800P. Unlike Intel Optane Memory sticks, which accelerate hybrid storage configurations with hard drives through intelligent data caching, or Intel's flagship Optane SSD 900P that's aimed squarely at hardcore enthusiasts with big budgets, these M.2 form factor Intel Optane 800P SSDs target the meat of the mobile and desktop markets, with higher capacities than Optane Memory but more affordable pricing than the 900P. In the benchmarks, the Optane SSD 800P series drives offered a mixed-bag of performance, with sequential transfers that top out at about 1.4GB/s, but with small file transfers, 4K random and mixed workloads, latency, and overall QoS looking strong. Intel will initially be offering two drives in the Optane SSD 800P series, with M.2 80mm 58GB and 118GB models. Suggested pricing for the drives is $129 for the 58GB capacity and $199 for the 118GB drive.

Re: Trash

By guruevi • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Careful there, not sure about these particular ones but Intel's current crop emaciates the Samsung even though on paper and synthetical benchmarks (IOPS and transfer rate) the Samsung does better.

Testing it myself, the Samsung does good until you transfer ~2-3GB and then it drops like a brick to the lower 1000s of IOPS instead of the 100,000 or more it gave you.

The problem there is that Samsung gives you a good RAM cache (backed up with huge capacitors on their DataCenter models) but once you request synced rates or exceed that cache, the controller lags behind. In the mean time, the Intel continues chugging along at 70-90k IOPS.

Is this finally the fix?

By slashmydots • Score: 3 • Thread
Here's the short version of SSD history for the last 2 years. Micron bought Elpida or whatever and now there are 2 manufacturers of flash chips instead of 3. Suddenly there's a giant shortage on DDR4, GDDR5, and all flash products that store data. WHAT A COINCIDENCE. I'm sure it's not price fixing and artificial shortages caused by the almost monopoly that some asshole Asian regulators allowed the be made by the merger. So Intel's kinda big. Do they have their own flash chip manufacturing plant so there's FINALLY a third competitor back in the market or are they just having one of those two crooked rackets make Optane chips?

Not really a consumer product

By m.dillon • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

These are not really consumer products. Basically what you get out of an Optane drive is more durability (hence 10DWPB instead of 0.3DWPD @ 5 year warranty), and low latencies at low queue depths ( 10uS @ QD1 instead of 30uS+ @ QD1 for a NAND drive, random read).

But that's it. Everything else about Optane is non-competitive with NAND, at least so far. The price is ridiculous, the throughput at higher queue depths isn't really all that impressive.

No consumer is going to notice the lower latencies at low queue depths for the types of activities Intel advertises the product for (such as gaming), because all of those activities involve bulk reading and writing which NAND does very well, and most involve a certain degree of sequential reading or writing which modern NAND drives (such as the Samsungs) optimize very well. At higher queue depths the Intel advantage goes away entirely, so it wouldn't move the needle even for concurrent random server workloads.

Consumers for the most part never hit the actual durability limits of a NAND drive. For one, even with the lower durability the NAND drive is typically going to be double or triple the capacity of the Optane drive at the same price point, and for two, consumer use cases do not usually do 10 full drive writes per day over the life of the device or anything even close to that.

Basically, like the idiotic optane 'disk cache' Intel tried to hawk last year, this drive is a pretty bad fit as a consumer device. In this offering Intel at least put the proper durability that Optane is *supposed* to have in the specs. Around 8900TB... nothing to sneeze at when most NAND drives have durabilities in the 200-400TB range. There is something to be said for that, even without real-life integrity/retention data available yet. But... it's still just not a consumer-oriented device.


Re:What is Optane for?

By m.dillon • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Well, NVMe is a multi-queue spec. The best drivers and chipsets for it will assign a command and response queue to each cpu in the system. This allows for both lockless queuing operation as well as polling with no cross-cpu contamination. In this regard, NVMe is far, far superior to AHCI (aka SATA, which has only one queue for multiple targets) and SAS chipsets (which typically are not multi-queue).

At 10uS, though, interrupt overhead (with MSI-X vectoring per-cpu) still yields superior cpu-v-data performance. Interrupt overhead is only around ~1uS or so. Still, its getting close. At lower latencies polling will definitely be a win. But even at 10uS, interrupt driven operation still leaves the cpu with extra clocks to do other work in that it wouldn't have with polling.

Another problem is that NVMe chipsets generally don't have anywhere near the 1023+ queues supported by the spec. They usually come in at no more than 31 queues, which is not enough to assign one to each cpu thread on heftier systems. The chipset spec can support a lot more... in fact, many more MSI-X interrupts can be supported as well, but we just don't see it out in the field.

Most chipsets only offer 8 queues, which is near worthless on modern multi-core cpus.

nvme0: Model SAMSUNG_MZVPV128HDGM-00000 BaseSerial S1XVNYAGA03031 nscount=1
nvme0: Request 64/32 queues, Returns 8/8 queues, rw-sep map (8, 8)
nvme1: Model Samsung_SSD_960_EVO_250GB BaseSerial S3ESNX0J219064Y nscount=1
nvme1: Request 64/32 queues, Returns 8/8 queues, rw-sep map (8, 8)
nvme2: Model INTEL_SSDPEKKW256G7 BaseSerial BTPY64430Q5B256D nscount=1
nvme2: Request 64/32 queues, Returns 8/8 queues, rw-sep map (8, 8)
nvme3: Model TOSHIBA-RD400 BaseSerial Z6TS10AUTPEV nscount=1
nvme3: Request 64/32 queues, Returns 7/7 queues, rw-sep map (7, 7)
nvme4: Model WDC_WDS256G1X0C-00ENX0 BaseSerial 170369420988 nscount=1
nvme4: Request 64/32 queues, Returns 16/16 queues, rw-sep map (16, 16)
nvme5: Model BPX BaseSerial 8B7107720F0823024374 nscount=1
nvme5: Request 64/32 queues, Returns 7/7 queues, rw-sep map (7, 7)
nvme6: Model PLEXTOR_PX-256M8PeG BaseSerial P02652102851 nscount=1
nvme6: Request 64/32 queues, Returns 16/16 queues, rw-sep map (16, 16)

Eventually we'll start to see chipsets that implement closer to the queue limit in the spec, at which point we can theoretically assign a queue pair to every active user thread using the storage. But for now I would be happy if chipsets just gave us enough queues to implement two per cpu thread (for priority separation).

Also, Intel NVMe SSDs are *NORTORIOUSLY* bad in multi-queue configurations. Performance is far poorer than other vendors placed in the same configuration. I think this is rather ironic, actually. Intel markets low latency, but their chipsets can't handle it in the real-life configurations that NVMe was designed for.



By EETech1 • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Relative latencies:
Optane 100X
NAND 100,000X
Rust 10,000,000X

The same gains as going from HDD to SDD (1000X) are realized again going from SDD to Optane.

Probably one of those things, you don't know why you'd even need it, until you have it, then you won't want to live without it.
Or you're not demanding enough to even notice either way.

Trump Promises Copyright Crackdown As DoJ Takes Aim At Streaming Pirates

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from TorrentFreak: Yesterday, a panel discussion on the challenges associated with piracy from streaming media boxes took place on Capitol Hill. Hosted by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), "Unboxing the Piracy Threat of Streaming Media Boxes" (video) went ahead with some big name speakers in attendance, not least Neil Fried, Senior Vice President, Federal Advocacy and Regulatory Affairs at the MPAA. ITIF and various industry groups tweeted many interesting comments throughout the event. Kevin Madigan from Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property told the panel that torrent-based content "is becoming obsolete" in an on-demand digital environment that's switching to streaming-based piracy. "There's a criminal enterprise going on here that's stealing content and making a profit," Fried told those in attendance. "The piracy activity out there is bad, it's hurting a lot of economic activity & creators aren't being compensated for their work," he added.

And then, of course, we come to President Trump. Not usually that vocal on matters of intellectual property and piracy, yesterday -- perhaps coincidentally, perhaps not -- he suddenly delivered one of his "something is coming" tweets. "The U.S. is acting swiftly on Intellectual Property theft," Trump tweeted. "We cannot allow this to happen as it has for many years!" Given Trump's tendency to focus on problems overseas causing issues for companies back home, a comment by Kevin Madigan during the panel yesterday immediately comes to mind. "To combat piracy abroad, USTR needs to work with the creative industries to improve enforcement and target the source of pirated material," Madigan said.

No Money To Spare

By rtb61 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Let's be honest, regardless of the infinite greed of publishers and extreme desire on their part for extreme poseur status, there is no fucking money left in the economy to pay for their fucking delusions, it's called austerity morons, get fucking used to it. Right now their content and the psuedo celebrities are reaching all time lows in popularity mainly because of the collapse of the saturation advertising model, simply too many venues for advertising for too many products and dilution to insignificance for ads across all platforms. Austerity, people will not starve themselves to buy shitty content, the pseudo celebrities just look like any other egoistic blogger, in fact the pseudo celebrities are forced to act like typical youtubers ie (don't bother watching it through just get an idea of the content) because they and their message have become insignificant except for the most gullible believers.

So they crap on about copying content, as people go hungry, as the middle class is crapped on (the people with the real power), as the poorest a living on the streets, the insanity of insatiable greed, never ever having enough, not matter how many that greed kills.

Don't expect to sell high priced content to hungry people and expect those hungry people to hate egoistic poseur pseudo celebrities rubbing the poverty of the poor into the face of the poor, starve fuckers, I need my private jet.

Piracy helps sales

By malditaenvidia • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Yet the film and other entertainment industries keep posting record years in terms of profits. Piracy has been proven not only not to hurt, but help sales of video games.
If it can be played it can be copied, they're completely unequipped to deal with piracy, even with the net neutrality repeal in effect.

Re: Target the source.

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Be honest. There is only one type of video Trump wants to protect. And he is in it.


By Darinbob • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Actually one of the very first things they did after the US had nominal control of Baghdad, before realizing it was hard to do nation building than they thought, was to try and get the locally appointed legislature to pass some laws. Amongst the laws that the US was intent on pushing through quickly, was an agreement on copyright, patents, and other IP issues. Seriously, that was what they thought was high priority; before getting the country's infrastructure working again we had to make sure that Mickey Mouse was wasn't pirated.

Re:Copyright trolls are the problem

By • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

No, the problem is not "IP" itself but the fact that current "IP" law is uniquely designed to aid large corporations and harm the actual artists. The power relation between artist and large publishers are totally asymmetric. The fix: Bind copyright to the artists for 25 years, after which all works enter the public domain, and make sure that contract law is adjusted so that the artists can cancel any contract about their creation, i.e., they can temporarily transfer their creations to companies for marketing and monetization, but it is not possible to buy the copyright to some artwork and the artist can always cancel the contract and set up a new contract with another publisher.

That would be a pretty hefty change of contract law but it would solve the problem. The problem is that artists are forced to enter contracts that are not in their own interest (e.g. "360 contracts" in record industry), because they are already at the lowest end of the food chain. There is nothing wrong with protecting original artwork for 15 or 25 years. The problem is that right now the whole system is rigged 100% towards large corporations who exploit both artists and customers.

Patreon and alternative distribution channels have shown that people are perfectly willing to pay artists for their work. They just don't want to give their money to Time Warner so some fat old producer can literally fuck an aspiring new artist in his mansion before she gets a job.

Windows 10 Is Finally Adding Tabs To File Explorer

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Microsoft has released insider preview build 17618 that includes tabs in File Explorer as part of its Sets feature. Bleeping Computer reports: Windows 10 Sets is an upcoming feature where you can group documents and apps into one tabbed window that are related to the particular task at hand. This feature was released for testing to a small controlled group of insiders in Insider Preview Build 17063 and was subsequently removed after the test. With build 17618, Sets are back and with it come tabs in File Explorer. You can now open different folders in the same File Explorer window with each one having their own tabs. This way one File Explorer window can have a tab for the pictures folder, a tab for the documents folder, and a tab for your documents, which you can easily switch between. If you look closely, though, the Sets feature does more than just allow you to have different tabs for different folders, but also allows you to add applications as a tab in File Explorer. According to Microsoft, in addition to File Explorer, Notepad, Command Prompt, and Powershell are also getting tabbed support.

when will windows get a mc file manager

By FudRucker • Score: 3 • Thread
Midnight Commander in Linux is my favorite Go To file manager for doing all my heavy lifting, moving and unpacking source code, editing and viewing files, (has excellent syntax highlighting) i love mc.

when a good double pane file manager with an excellent built in text editor comes to windows post an article on slashdot, because windows explorer is so 1990's

Re:Just a reminder:

By Tony Isaac • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

ALL innovation is copying.

Most involves making a new combination of previously existing constructions or works.

Even the iPhone copied features from previous phones and PDAs, it just refined them and made them cool.

You signed up for this

By Tenebrousedge • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

It's not necessary to have such large updates, or to reboot during updates. Microsoft explicitly and deliberately forced that upon the world, and have consequently been responsible for more wasted man-hours than really bear contemplation. This happened some decades ago, however, and it's generally widely known. So if you are choosing to run this software, you are signing up for the upgrade hassle, and various viruses, and (in the modern era) some degree of surveillance. If you are regretting that decision, you might seek alternatives. You're probably not going to get much sympathy for your problems, however.

Re:Just a reminder:

By paulpach • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Also, web browsers, which are at least theoretically the same thing.

This is not the same thing at all.

If you look at their video here:

You can see that they can have completely different applications in the tabs. In one tab you can have a word processor, in another a command prompt and in another a web browser, all in the same window.

Sure, it is obviously inspired by browsers, but this improves upon that by having more than just browsers together.

Neither my mac or my linux box can do that. There is innovation here.

Re: Just a reminder:

By Unkl_Shvelven • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
You could group multiple applications in a single, tabbed window in KDE4.

Qarnot Unveils a Cryptocurrency Heater For Your Home

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Qarnot, the French startup known for using Ryzen Pro processors to heat homes and offices for free, is unveiling a new computing heater specifically made for cryptocurrency mining. "The QC1 is a heater for your home that features a passive computer inside," reports TechCrunch. "And this computer is optimized for mining." From the report: The QC1 features two AMD GPUs (Sapphire Nitro+ Radeon RX580 with 8GB of VRAM) and is designed to mine Ethers by default. You can set it up in a few minutes by plugging an Ethernet cable and putting your Ethereum wallet address in the mobile app. You'll then gradually receive ethers on this address -- Qarnot doesn't receive any coin, you keep 100 percent of your cryptocurrencies. If you believe Litecoin or another cryptocurrency is the future, you can also access the computer and mine another cryptocurrency. It's a Linux server and you can access it directly. If your home is cold and you desperately need to turn on the heaters, the QC1 is going to turn on the two GPUs and mine at a 60 MH/s speed. There are also traditional heating conductors in case those two GPUs are not enough. Qarnot heaters don't have any hard drive and rely on passive heating. You won't hear any fan buzzing in the background. You can order the QC1 for $3,600 starting today -- you can also pay in bitcoins. The company hopes to sell hundreds of QC1 in the next year.

What's the power consumption

By guruevi • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

To know whether "$3600 + electric bill + BitCoin-conversion" (assuming this is only good for the winter months of 1, maybe 2 years) is better than just heating your house with gas or a heat pump we need to know what the consumption and bitcoin generation speeds.

My heating costs are about 3c/kWh and BTC is not worth my investment of time and money, but I know most people use gas or electric at much higher rates. Unless this optimized the rate of production, not sure if it's worth.


By ZorinLynx • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Only relatively warm climates use electricity for heating because the cost is just too high once you have to run the heat more than a few weeks out of the year.

That said, if you're going to mine anyway, might as well do it in the winter as the heat produced will be useful instead of wasted. It's definitely not "free heat" if you normally use gas or oil to heat your home, though.


By zmooc • Score: 3 • Thread

I don't see how a passive computer could heat your house. I'd suggest using an active computer.


By JustAnotherOldGuy • Score: 3 • Thread

Is it April 1st already?

Re: Trifecta!

By Wycliffe • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

The point of something like this is that if you need to heat your house anyways then the electricity is basically free and you can reach break even much sooner.

Elon Musk Sides With Trump On Trade With China, Citing 25 Percent Import Duty On American Cars

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Elon Musk believes China isn't playing fair in the car trade with the U.S. since it puts a 25 percent import duty on American cars, while the U.S. only does 2.5 percent for Chinese cars. "I am against import duties in general, but the current rules make things very difficult," Musk tweeted. "It's like competing in an Olympic race wearing lead shoes." CNBC reports: Tesla's Elon Musk is complaining to President Donald Trump about China's car tariffs. "Do you think the US & China should have equal & fair rules for cars? Meaning, same import duties, ownership constraints & other factors," Musk said on Twitter in response to a Trump tweet about trade with China. He added that no American car company is "allowed to own even 50% of their own factory" in the Asian country, but China's auto firms can own their companies in the U.S. Trump responded to Musk's tweets later at his steel and aluminum tariff press conference Thursday. "We are going to be doing a reciprocal tax program at some point, so that if China is going to charge us 25% or if India is going to charge us 75% and we charge them nothing ... We're going to be at those same numbers. It's called reciprocal, a mirror tax," Trump said after reading Musk's earlier tweets out loud.


By jmccue • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Lets see, someone who makes overly expensive electric cars wants to slap a tariff on cars made in China. Call me Capt. Obvious.

If I remember correctly China is pouring a lot into electric vehicles.


By HeckRuler • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

and by not having to comply with the same environmental standards that the US has to comply with.

I understand this sentiment, but it's really infeasible to try and balance. Plus, they ARE paying for it. One way or another. If a US company has to spend $5 million dealing with pollution, and a Chinese company can dump it out the back door, the Chinese company will have the advantage, no doubt. But there's no way we could expect Kenya to have the same standards that the EPA sets forth. The nation just isn't there yet. And China wasn't NEARLY as advanced in years past when these deals were set up. To an extent, their infrastructure is still pretty rickety, but they have the cash to at least try and fix it now. But even with developed nations, imposing trade deals on the basis of how their EPA equivalents operate isn't likely to work. Trade deals take years and last decades while environmental policy fluctuates each term. It got cut to the bone this time. It sucks. Anyway, I just don't think it's viable.

And, they're paying for it. China is hella polluted. To the point it's killing people. This is, essentially, the Chinese government abusing it's people to make a buck. It might make the nation more money, but the people are paying for it with their health. As a democracy over here, the people got pissed at that sort of shit and we formed the EPA way back during the hippy era under that notorious greeny weeny Nixon. China's abuse of it's peasantry for the good of the economy goes deeper too, and more directly results in the trade deficit. They suppress their currency. They used to keep it strictly pegged to the USD, but they've let it slip a bit. It artificially REDUCES China's buying power, and makes selling Chinese goods that much easier. Imagine if Trump came around and said "We're devaluing the USD, now it'll cost you twice as much to purchase anything abroad. But hey, if you export, you'll make twice as much." That's what China did. If you're exports, hey, goooood times. If you earn Chinese Renminbi, and want to travel or buy foreign goods.... sucks to be you.

Both of these are, in short, taxes. Not quite the same as a direct tax of cash out of their wallets, but a tax all the same.

Now.... when it comes to the US's policy towards this. We could:

A) Punish China and limit trade in an effort to get them to stop abusing their workers.

B) Buy the highly discounted goods that they're selling at discount at the cost to their citizenry

And you're advocating for option A. That's uncharacteristically altruistic considering the "America first" and "MAGA" slogans that side's been throwing about. Realize that prices will RISE for everyone and the only people that would benefit from this sort of trade war would be competitors to Chinese manufacturing, pretty much US manufacturing. If you work in manufacturing (or own a car manufacturer), sure, this is voting for the wallet. And I get that. The rest of us essentially have to pay for it though. Also, trade wars are not a zero sum game. Blocking trade (or restricting via tariffs) hurts BOTH sides more than either side was losing prior. A trade-war between giants is a godsend to the little manufacturing nations out there.


By GerryGilmore • Score: 3 • Thread take on "Free Trade" is that it should really be "Fair Trade" - i.e. a "level playing field". To that, I submit, are 3 aspects: 1) Democracy. A Democratic country should have a built-in bias of preferential treatment as opposed to, say, Communist dictatorships. 2) Wage equivalence. If you can offer workers at $10/day - and who have left those pesky kids who need time and so are left behind in villages - vs $10/hour, that is hardly a level playing field. 3) Environmental and Labor standards. Sure as God made little green apples, companies who can avoid the cost of dumping their effluent enjoy lower costs vs those civilized places that kinda place an importance on clean water enjoy a competitive advantage that we - as consumers - ignore because it's happening "over there". When Japan was flooding America with Toyotas in the 80s and 90s, I - as a proud American - bought them because 1) Japan is a democracy. 2) Their auto workers were (and still are!) making equivalent or better wages than American workers at their plants. 3) They have maintained very strict standards at all of their plants in Japan. China? Just the opposite.

The thing to remember

By MikeMo • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
While listening to all of the other countries and world-spanning corporations complain about tariffs, keep in mind that each and every one of those entities have their OWN best interests in mind. Not the world’s, and definitely not the US’s.

Re: Good

By Type44Q • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
This horseshit has been largely disproven.

'Personal Drone' Crash Causes 335-Acre Wildfire In Coconino National Forest

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
McGruber writes: A "personal drone" that crashed and burst into flames was the cause of the Kendrick Fire, a 335-acre fire in the Coconino National Forest in northern Arizona. Coconino National Forest spokesman George Jozens said that about 30 firefighters from the U.S. Forest Service and Summit Fire and Medical worked to quell the fire.

Well consider the source

By SuperKendall • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

A "personal drone" that crashed and burst into flames

Man, that's the last time I buy a used drone from a Hollywood special effects studio!

335 acres

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Just for the record, 335 acres is about 1/2 square mile. Not quite as big as it sounds. I'm not saying that makes it no big deal...just clarifying context.

Re:Well consider the source

By Pinky's Brain • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

The owner reported it :

"The operator reported the fire and was later cited for causing timber, trees, slash, brush, or grass to burn."

bashing of measurement standards is booooring

By OrangeTide • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

There is nothing inhernetly superior with the metric system over the US customary system. It's just numbers and names and you can standardize and be equally accurate with either. And while there are anachronism to this system, much of the obscure parts are considered obsolete and not normally used by people (including scientists and engineers who do still use the US system in industry). NOTE: UK / Imperial system is a related but not identical system.

What was a tremendous problem was when Europe had a different system in each country and sometimes different systems in different parts of the same country, and those systems are often using the same names to mean slightly different standards of measurements. Total freaking nightmare, and thank the gods (or Frenchmen) for its wide adoption.

That said, we could do much better than the metric system. Celcius is a particularly unfortunate unit.

Real context about Arizona fires

By az-saguaro • Score: 3 • Thread

Above, Anonymous Coward wrote "Just for the record, 335 acres is about 1/2 square mile. Not quite as big as it sounds. I'm not saying that makes it no big deal...just clarifying context."

So, as someone who lives in Arizona, allow me to clarify context.

This is a hot and dry State, and 15 years of drought has created a lot of dry brush, aka "fuel" in our forests and chaparral and grasslands and deserts. This is also an outdoor activities State, and people camping and hiking can do dangerous things with campfires and other tools and toys. Also, as suburban settlement pushes farther into rural areas, not only does ignition risk go up, but risks of injury, death, and lost property also increase. You might have seen last year's movie "Only the Brave" about the Yarnell Hill fire in 2013. That was a relatively small fire, only 8500 acres, in which 19 firefighters were killed.

Here are some numbers:

Year _ Number of fires _ Acres Burnt
2004 _ 2,602 _ 219,900
2005 _ 4,027 _ 975,456
2006 _ 3,274 _ 177,427
2007 _ 2,240 _ 101,381
2008 _ 1,850 _ 85,496
2009 _ 2,371 _ 263,358
2010 _ 1,517 _ 74,445
2011 _ 1,969 _ 1,036,935
2012 _ 1,684 _ 216,090
2013 _ 1,449 _ 100,836

Fire Name _ Year _ County _ Acres Burnt _ Structures Lost _ Human Deaths _ Cause

Dude _ 1990 _ Coconino _ 28,000 _ 63 _ 6 _ lightning
Rattlesnake _ 1994 _ Cochise _ 25,000 _ 0 _ 0 _ lightning
Rio _ 1995 _ Maricopa _ 23,000 _ 0 _ 0 _ lightning
Lone _ 1996 _ Maricopa _ 61,300 _ 0 _ 0 _ human
Pumpkin _ 2000 _ Coconino _ 14,760 _ 0 _ 0 _ lightning
Rodeo–Chediski _ 2002 _ Coconino _ 468,638 _ 426 _ 0 _ human
Aspen _ 2003 _ Pima-Pinal _ 84,750 _ >325 _ 0 _ human
Willow _ 2004 _ Gila _ 119,500 _ 0 _ 0 _ lightning
Nuttall-Gibson _ 2004 _ Graham _ 30,000 _ 0 _ 0 _ lightning
Cave Creek _ 2005 _ Maricopa-Yavapai _ 243,950 _ 11+ _ 0 _ lightning
Florida _ 2005 _ Santa Cruz _ 23,183 _ 0 _ 0 _ lightning
Schultz _ 2005 _ Coconino _ 15,075 _ 0 _ 0 _ human
Horseshoe 2011 _ Cochise _ 222,954 _ 23 0 _ 0 _ human
Monument _ 2011 _ Cochise _ 30,526 _ 64 _ 0 _ human
Wallow _ 2011 _ Apache-Graham-Greenlee-Navajo _ 538,049 _ 72 _ 0 _ human
Gladiator _ 2012 _ Yavapai _ 16,240 _ 6 _ 0 _ human
Yarnell Hill _ 2013 _ Yavapai _ 8,500 _ 129 _ 19 _ lightning
Slide _ 2014 _ Coconino _ 21,227 _ 0 _ 0 _ human

[ ]

Many fires are small, but they cost time, effort, risk, and dollars to prevent growing into huge conflagrations. Fire prevention and containment is serious business here in Arizona. Counties regularly issue prohibitions about not only campfires, but even about burning wood in urban fireplaces. Human caused fires are on the increase, and latest numbers from the State are that ninety percent, 90%, of Arizona wildfires are man made, some deliberately, but mostly inadvertent, some honest accidents, and many just plain stupid acts by idiots. Penalties vary but can be costly in terms of dollars and time in jail. In other areas that are more temperate, rainy, and wetland, wildfire risk may not be so severe, but here in Arizona, playing with motorized ignitable toys in forested areas is a genuine threat, even for just "small" fires.

Bay Area Cities Consider Rideshare Tax On Uber, Lyft

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: A local city council member is beginning to float the idea of taxing ridehailing companies like Uber and Lyft as a possible way to raise millions of dollars and help pay for local public transportation and infrastructure improvements. If the effort is successful, Oakland could become the first city in California -- Uber and Lyft's home state -- to impose such a tax. However, it's not clear whether Oakland or any other city in the Golden State has the authority to do so under current state rules. Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan told the East Bay Express that she wants the city council to put forward a ballot measure that would tax such rides. A similar proposal in nearby San Francisco, projecting a fee of $0.20 to $1 per ride, would allow the city to collect an estimated $12.5 to $62.5 million annually. However, an October 2017 city analysis noted that San Francisco "cannot initiate locally without state authorizing legislation" and that the fee "may disproportionately impact lower-income households."

Tax them as taxis

By DogDude • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Why not just regulate and tax them as taxi services... since they *are* taxi services? I understand times change, but Uber and Lyft are really no different than taxis, other than the drivers get paid shit.

Re:This is backwards.

By tsqr • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

you shouldn't have to tax people who choose not to use mass transit to pay costs for people that do.

Sure. Now, substitute members from the following list for "mass transit" in that statement, and see how it works out.

  • public schools
  • libraries
  • police and fire departments
  • social services

Firefox Quantum Leader Takes Over All Mozilla Products

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
CNET reports: Mozilla launched the faster Quantum version of its Firefox browser last fall in a bid to restore the nonprofit's reach and influence. Now, the leader of that effort has been promoted to oversee all Mozilla products. Mark Mayo, formerly senior vice president of Firefox, is now Mozilla's chief product officer, CNET has learned. That means he's taking over more projects, including the Pocket tool and mobile app. Pocket lets people save websites they'd like to revisit, but Mozilla also plans to use the resulting data to help recommend interesting or useful sites to Firefox users. In addition, Mozilla has promoted Denelle Dixon, formerly head of business and legal work, to chief operations officer. She's overseen an effort to diversify Mozilla revenue sources, including through the Pocket acquisition in February 2017.

Re:So we're getting the person who added Pocket to

By Zaiff Urgulbunger • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
Quantum is awesome. You are wrong! ;-)

Honestly, I've given FF a hard time over recent releases but Quantum really does seem like a huge improvement... I find it waaaay more responsive.


By imidan • Score: 3 • Thread
Just please don't fuck up Thunderbird. It could probably use a few updates here and there, but it's been basically done and stable for years now, I've got my plugins that just keep on working right, and most importantly I can send and receive mail using SMTP, POP, and IMAP. I worry about the day they decide to "improve" Thunderbird with a major overhaul.

Re:Old add ons

By Luckyo • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Extensions that are relevant to many are not getting ported. New API is not able to support them in the form and functionality that they were supported on the old one.

Those of us on ESR waiting for quantum castration of this version are actively looking for replacement browser. There aren't that many choices unfortunately. But if one has to accept crippling limitations of webextensions, one may as well move to chromium-derivative browsers.

Re:Another Mozilla story.

By Luckyo • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Pale Moon had its own "fuck your addons, we know better" addon apocalypse event. They nuked all jetpack based addons, and then moved to a completely new engine. As a result, many addons no longer work, and of those that do, many gets few if any updates, as browser's own dev team members have to mess with code by hand to make each addon work on it.

Waterfox is a major question mark. They are extremely dependent on mozilla for delivering their browser. With Mozilla having dropped XUL, how they plan on supporting it is a big unknown.

Mozilla suite

By malditaenvidia • Score: 3 • Thread
Can we have the mozilla suite back, please? This "lightweight" firebird/fox side project clearly was a terrible idea. Or at least revive the old Opera.

Slack Is Shutting Down Its IRC Gateway

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Slack, a team collaboration communication service, has updated its IRC support page to note that it is ending support for IRC on its platform: Unfortunately, support for gateways is ending. Starting on May 15th, it will no longer be possible to connect to Slack using the IRC and XMPP gateways. In another support page, which requires you to log in to one of your Slack groups, the company elaborates: As Slack has evolved over the years, we've built features and capabilities -- like Shared Channels, Threads, and emoji reactions (to name a few) -- that the IRC and XMPP gateways aren't able to handle. Our priority is to provide a secure and high-quality experience across all platforms, and so the time has come to close the gateways.

Please note that the gateways will be closed according to the following schedule: March 6, 2018: No longer available to newly-created workspaces; April 3, 2018: Removed from workspaces where they're not in use; May 15, 2018: Closed for all remaining workspaces.

Is it still a resource hog?

By tlhIngan • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

One of the big reasons to use the gateway was simple - the web client, the node.js "app" and all that were resource hogs. Probably one of the few chat things that needs an i7 with 32GB of RAM just to use it.

Had one project where I was forced to use it, and was so dismayed when it seemed to consume half of one processor core and a ton of RAM. OF course, the IRC client takes 0% most of the time and barely any memory at all

It doesn't have to be this way, since Discord offers similar features, and yet happily consumes barely any processor and memory.

I just wonder....

By Parker Lewis • Score: 3 • Thread
... if Slack is not based on XMPP itself.


By Mike Van Pelt • Score: 3 • Thread

crap crap crapity crap.

Dang slack app is a wretched reeking steaming pile. Getting stuck with slack has been tolerable with the XMPP gateway. Bleah.

I want information density. Text, that I can relegate to one side of the screen. Not a whole page taken up with pretty-pretty whitespace and formatting diddlypoo.

Slack Mismanagement

By jwymanm • Score: 3 • Thread
Slack is progressively getting to be a company that is just going down the corporate toilet. Discord is eating its lunch but I don't think Slack even knows what its lunch is anymore. It doesn't give a crap about 99% of the market.. it keeps getting smaller and smaller and yet more and more resource intensive. No developments have helped it and it is hell bent on alienating its own usage by not changing archaic price models or anything. Total crap.

Since when do Electron apps not hog RAM.

By tepples • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Discord offers similar features, and yet happily consumes barely any processor and memory.

Since when? Discord's downloadable client is an Electron application, and last time I tried it (on Debian), its three Chromium processes combined took 365 MB. Skype's downloadable client for Linux also uses Electron and also takes hundreds of megabytes of RAM.

Comcast's Protected Browsing Is Blocking PayPal, Steam and TorrentFreak, Customers Say

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Comcast's Xfinity internet customers have been reporting multiple websites, including PayPal, Steam, and TorrentFreak have been getting blocked by the ISP's "protected browsing" setting. From a report: The "protected browsing" setting is designed to "reduce the risk of accessing known sources of malware, spyware, and phishing for all devices connected to your home network." This, in general, isn't a bad thing. It's similar to Google Chrome's security settings that warn you when you have an insecure connection. But it's odd that Xfinity's security setting would be blocking perfectly harmless sites like PayPal. Multiple consumers have been reporting on Comcast's forums and elsewhere that they've been blocked while trying to access sites that many people use every day. After posting about it on the forums, one user who said they couldn't access PayPal said the problem with that particular site had been fixed. Further reading: Comcast's Protected Browsing Blocks TorrentFreak as "Suspicious" Site (TorrentFreak).

My 2 Cents

By DaMattster • Score: 3 • Thread
This is what happens when you turn to ISPs to solve the problems of the internet; more problems are created. There are plenty of ways to do this for yourself that can be found for a simple Google search. One of the problems with America is that we've stopped using the critical thinking skills that evolution gave us. You need not be a power user to search for solutions. In a former career, I was a System Admin so I simply setup an OpenBSD-based firewall/gateway/proxy out of a spare computer to replace the hunk of garbage my ISP gave me. I've created a list of all of the allowed websites and that's it.

Paypal is harmless?

By dkone • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Read about some of the things Paypal does. I don't think I would put them in the harmless category.

No Problems Here

By CodeHog • Score: 3 • Thread
Steam is in nearly constant use in my house and never had an issue accessing PayPal. The price I pay them for access is horrible but in general I don't have Internet access issues through Comcast.

Scientists Prove That Truth is No Match For Fiction on Twitter

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Researchers find fake news reaches users up to 20 times faster than factual content -- and real users are more likely to spread it than bots. From a report: "Falsehood flies, and the truth comes limping after it," wrote Jonathan Swift in 1710. Now a group of scientists say they have found evidence Swift was right -- at least when it comes to Twitter. In the paper, published in the journal Science, three MIT researchers describe an analysis of a vast amount of Twitter data: more than 125,000 stories, tweeted more than 4.5 million times in total, all categorised as being true or false by at least one of six independent fact-checking organisations. The findings make for unhappy reading. "Falsehood diffused significantly farther, faster, deeper and more broadly than the truth in all categories of information," they write, "and the effects were more pronounced for false political news than for false news about terrorism, natural disasters, science, urban legends or financial information."

How much further? "Whereas the truth rarely diffused to more than 1,000 people, the top 1% of false-news cascades routinely diffused to between 1,000 and 100,000 people," they write. In other words, true facts don't get retweeted, while too-good-to-be-true claims are viral gold. How much faster? "It took the truth about six times as long as falsehood to reach 1,500 people, and 20 times as long as falsehood to reach a cascade depth of 10" -- meaning that it was retweeted 10 times sequentially (so, for example, B reads A's feed and retweets a tweet, and C then reads B's feed and retweets the same tweet, all the way to J).

Re:Twitter is not journalism

By harrkev • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Wow, praising CNN?

I remember when the report about Russian meddling first came out a month or two ago.

Both Fox and CBS (the only two others that I checked) included the fact that the Russians appeared to also support Bernie. CNN, for whatever reason, chose to omit this fact.

Then there was that time when CNN reported a Trump e-mail as being from September 4th instead of September 14th, which took the story from "Illegal" to "who cares." Yes, they had to correct it, but the damage was done.

Then, there was the time that CNN had to "insert" a word into one of Trump's quotes in order to make him seem racist. Yeah, that is the height of honesty.

But if you believe their bias, then you don't see it as a bias.


By jbmartin6 • Score: 3 • Thread
It's just a sort of natural selection. The fake news which appeals to people's prejudices and desires is more appealing, and thus more likely to get forwarded. I'll bet there is tons of fake stuff which dies on the vine. Also, a lot of fake news is designed to specifically have that appeal, hence the term "clickbait." Meanwhile the truth is often quite prosaic, and doesn't often have that "zing" quality of proving us right all along.

Scientists don't prove

By WinstonWolfIT • Score: 3 • Thread

Scientists observe. Mathematicians prove.

Truth is like poetry

By PPH • Score: 3 • Thread

And most people hate poetry.

--The Big Short

Re:Twitter is not journalism

By penandpaper • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Mark Hertling is an activist with an agenda yet they do not mention this (#vetsforgunreform). He maybe experienced being in the military but he is pushing a particular agenda and purposefully obfuscates information to push that agenda. As demonstrated by the poor handling and mentor-ship of the CNN presenter (seriously that opening with the guy flaccidly shooting the gun is ridiculous under that kind of mentor).

Blurs the line between civilian and military weapons. That is what they are doing when they talk about the looks and appearance. If I put spoiler on my car, racing stripes, and racing numbers does that make it a race car? Yet, black plastic is supposed to be more dangerous like the M-4?

In the 1950's Colt did market the AR-15 to the military which was a basis for the M4 but that doesn't mean the rifles are the same nor does it mean that their looks mean they functionally the same. The AR-15 is just like any number of civilian semi-automatic rifles.

"a defining characteristic of the AR-15 is the speed and power of the bullet." .. Absolute non-sense. the speed and power of the bullet are defining characteristics of the bullet, not the rifle. Any rifle with that caliber will have the same speed and power regardless what it looks like. You can get most gun models in different calibers.

@1:05 "now those are single shots. If I wanted to fire this on full semi-automatic all I do is keep firing.". There is no such thing as "full semi-automatic". All he means is that he is pulling the trigger faster. 1 trigger pull == 1 bullet. Any semi-automatic can be fired faster if you pull the trigger faster. There is only one firing mode the AR-15 has. His "switching" is him operating the weapon differently. Semi-automatic. "Full semi-automatic" is a blatant misinformation designed to misinform laymen.

"this weapon in the wrong hands can be more dangerous than most weapons because of its capability to do a lot of damage in a short period of time and is irreversible". Why? Because he can pull the trigger faster? Because it looks scary? Because of the bullet it shoots? It isn't more dangerous than any other semi automatic gun in the market. Name a gun whose damage can be reversed. Name a gun that is semi automatic that can't fire faster if you pull the trigger faster. The AR-15 isn't unique or special from any other weapon. Not the caliber of bullet. Not the speed at which you can fire it. Not the damage it can do. That is nature for every gun for every caliber ever made.

I have to wonder if it is stupidity or malice that they got so much wrong in a 2 minute segment. They are pushing an agenda using misinformation and ignorance.

Can the Most Contentious Piece of the Web Form the Basis of a New Standard? Inside Google's Plan To Make the Whole Web as Fast as AMP

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Dieter Bohn, writing for The Verge: In a blog post today, Google is announcing that it's formally embarking on a project to convince the group in charge of web standards to adopt technology inspired by its Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) framework. In theory, it would mean that virtually any webpage could gain the same benefits as AMP: near-instantaneous loading, distribution on multiple platforms, and (critically) more prominent placement on Google properties. This is important, a little tricky to understand, and critical to how the web and Google interact in the future. In many ways, Google's success or failure in this endeavor will play a major role in shaping how the web works on your phone.

[...] By creating AMP, Google blithely walked right into the center of a thicket comprised of developers concerned about the future of the web. Publishers are worried about ceding too much control of their distribution to gigantic tech companies, and all of the above are worried that Google is not so much a steward of the web but rather its nefarious puppet master. The whole situation is slightly frustrating to David Besbris, VP of search engineering at Google. Earlier this week, I went to Mountain View to talk with Besbris and Malte Ubl, engineering lead for AMP. "This is honestly a fairly altruistic project from our perspective," says Besbris. "It wasn't like we invented AMP because we wanted to control everything, like people assume," he says. Instead, he argues, go back and look at how dire the state of the mobile web was a few years ago, before AMP's inception.

AMP was the last straw for me

By dristoph • Score: 3 • Thread

What do you mean I can't turn it off? Sure I can.

DuckDuckGo became my default browser on mobile. Before long, I switched to it on desktop as well, ditching Chrome for Firefox in the same step. And my primary email is now at ProtonMail. The Gmail account I've had since the year Gmail was announced is slowly withering away, getting fewer and fewer emails that actually matter. Before long I'll completely switch over and "delete" the Gmail account's contents (which I know they'll keep archived, as well as the data about me they've harvested from it over the years; I'll just consider it their last middle finger to me as I leave their services forever, and a lasting reminder of why I left).

I know it's a drop in the bucket, but honestly it feels pretty good personally, and well worth the very minor pain of switching over.

Re:AMP is horrible

By Northdot • Score: 4 • Thread

Couldn't agree more.

I also switched to DDG on my phone due to dislike of the AMP UI, since there is no way to tell google not to serve you AMP pages.

For Google Benefit

By sit1963nz • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
This is all to drive the web in directions that Benefit Google , anything else is incidental.

Don't Work on AMP

By brian.stinar • Score: 3 • Thread

I don't think this is a good idea. As someone that owns a software company, I tell my clients when they have terrible ideas that we shouldn't do them. If they insist, without a good explanation, there are other people that are happy to work on stupid crap with disastrous long term consequences.

I have zero desire to work on accelerated mobile pages, and I think the performance benefits associated with them are far outweighed by the crappy solution of bizarre existing standards, caching problems, and all the other issues that have nothing to significantly offer my clients.

I am not writing content for the New York Times, or helping them with their infrastructure, so my perspective may be somewhat limited.

Not good.

By jd • Score: 3 • Thread

I'd rather see a move away from Google controlling the web. They already control HTTP/2.

The first question that needs to be asked is whether you want presentation to be controlled or for presentation to be guided.

If the former, if you want the page creator to be able to dictate how the page looks, then you want to be able to define windows on the display where a window contains fixed information (in which case use DVI) or it contains input, in which case you're running a client-side script - which should probably be byte-encoded. How about a language that uses bytecoding and is system independent? I know one, it begins with the letter J and sounds like coffee. All you need is to have the output be recognized as HTML and you can get rid of insecure crap.

If you want guided output, then you absolutely do not care if it's a mobile device or not. The author of the page has no business knowing or caring what browser you use or what display you use. They deliver information and your device handles the presentation. This means you get rid of CSS because you as the author should have no say in such things. The user gets to control it all.

Those are your options.

'Iron Man' Director Jon Favreau Will Write And Produce a Live-Action 'Star Wars' TV Series For Disney's New Streaming Service

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
From a report: Jon Favreau is going from "Avengers" blockbusters to a galaxy far, far away. The director, actor, producer and writer will take on a Star Wars starring role by helming a series destined for Disney's new streaming video service. While Favreau is multi-talented, his focus will be on producing and writing the unnamed show. Favreau is a bonafide Star Wars fan who voiced a character in the animated "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" and also has appearance in the upcoming "Solo: A Star Wars Story."In a statement, Favreau said, "If you told me at 11 years old that I would be getting to tell stories in the Star Wars universe, I wouldn't have believed you. I can't wait to embark upon this exciting adventure."

No thanks.

By RyanFenton • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

I liked the first three Star Wars movies. Fun, clever writing for the era they were filmed in, explored ideas in a way that made sense for their circumstance without cheap drama, considering their inspiration of old serial films. Ewoks were annoying, but they didn't take up much time.

The prequels sucked. Basically they upped the cheap drama, placed an extra-whacky Ewok-equivalent front and center, and replaced the ideas with empty aphorisms and ... midiclorians.

The recent follow up movies suffered many of the same problems - cheap drama followed by ANGRY cheap drama, and that modern-sci-fi variant of stretching all ideas out into teases for franchises. Lots of spinning wheels, nothing to really take with you.

The whole point of stories is that they are shared dreams. I'm not seeing anything worth while being explored for the past several decades of this franchise with those dreams.

Well, at least with the films. Tie Fighter the game, and the old RPG KOTOR were really fascinating in their take on ideas they explored - but I'm not seeing any real follow up on that stuff. Just more empty drama with the recent games/multiplayer things.

If I see someone paste clips on youtube, I'll take a peek, but no a-priori fascination off the bat.

Ryan Fenton

Nope.. not even for Star Wars

By rtkluttz • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Will I be nickel and dimed by every movie studio and TV channel separately. I'm a cord cutter. I will use ONE service and one service only and it will be the one that has the most content and the one that most liberally allows me to use devices, apps and operating systems that don't track my every movement. That or I'll either do without or pirate. It's their choice. DRM has gone beyond a way to police content, it is now forced as a way to force you to use entire content delivery systems that they control.


By MightyMartian • Score: 3 • Thread

If Favreau is given some independence, this might not be bad. He's actually made some pretty darned good films over the years in a number of different genres. Elf is one of my favorite Christmas films (not to mention one of the few Will Farrell vehicles I actually enjoy), and Zathura was a pretty worthy semi-sequel to Jumanji. My problems with Iron Man are more to do with the fact that I never particularly liked the character, but it was a well made film.

Re:Boycott Star Wars

By Applehu Akbar • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

When white men learn from other cultures, it's called "appropriation." When they design something new and useful that other cultures adopt, it's "colonialism."

It's a pity it's live action

By schweini • Score: 3 • Thread
After having dismissed the Clone Wars and Rebels animated series for looking very childish, I have finally come around to binge-watching them, and I think they are great!

The Star Wars universe lends itself beautifully to TV series, because there are a gadzillion of little back-stories to tell and flesh out. It really makes the universe come alive even more.

That being said, the animation style takes some getting used to, but I didn't even notice it after a couple of episodes in. But something that does constantly cross my mind is "I bet they couldn't have done this battle sequence, or space combat sequence if it were live-action, so lucky us that they decided to do it in animation!"
So, a live-action tv-series will have to cut back on effects and complexity quite a lot. I would prefer them to go animated, again.

Businesses Under Pressure To 'Consumerize' Logins

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Almost two-thirds (64 percent) of IT leaders say their security teams are considering implementing consumer-grade access to cloud services for employees. From a report: According to the 2018 Identity and Access Management Index from digital security company Gemalto 54 percent of respondents believe that the authentication methods they implement in their businesses are not as good compared to those found on popular sites including Amazon and Facebook. Authentication methods applied in the consumer world can be applied to secure access to enterprise resources 70 percent of IT professionals believe. But despite this, 92 percent of IT leaders express concern about employees reusing personal credentials for work. This comes as 61 percent admit they are still not implementing two-factor authentication to allow access to their network, potentially leaving themselves vulnerable to cyber criminals.

Long overdue

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
We need Equifax grade security in the businessplace.

Re:please translate

By Actually, I do RTFA • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Will someone please translate this for me?

IT Professionals are considering using OpenID for access to internal tools, as opposed to rolling their own system. Major benefit, Google/Facebook handles authentication issues, maintenance of 2-factor authentication, etc. Major cost, dependency on Google/Facebook

Just more offloading of responsibility

By ErichTheRed • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

I'm involved in a big cloudification project and there is absolutely pressure to use consumer-grade identity services instead of your own. It's part of the massive responsibility offload that's happening. "Oh, the cloud will do that." "Oh, this SaaS product Just Works (TM)". While this is true in many cases, I highly doubt an IT department in any sort of established company is going to want Facebook to be the _default_ identity provider. I can see a use case where you have essentially "throwaway" users who work for a week or so then disappear...but if your workers generate documents and need access to shared resources, do you really want Facebook or Google knowing what they do with their IDs when logged on?

As it is now, Amazon, Google, Facebook and Microsoft may very well end up the 4 biggest "keepers of identity" at least in the consumer space. Tech has a way of running in cycles though. I saw a very interesting article a while back that wrote out what I was thinking...everyone is assumed to be a "digital native" and tech genius just because they grew up with the Internet and the smartphone, but the reality is that people actually know way less than they had to in the past. If something isn't more than a few taps and swipes away, most born-on-the-smartphone users are lost.

You're hired!

By Cajun Hell • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

You're hired, congratulations. Here's a W-4 to fill out. Give it to Julie when you're done and she'll also need to photocopy your driver's license.

Oh, and you'll need to choose an authentication provider. If you choose Blue Cross for your logins, you get 3% off your first month of health insurance premiums, but if you choose Facebook, you get three months of free TV service. I think Google doesn't have a deal right now, but if you already have an account there, it might be more convenient. Bank of America is a good option too, but the terms are that you have to carry your phone, running their app, everywhere and they'll penalize you with failed logins if you ever turn it off, so don't do that or we'll have no choice to fire you because you have to be able to log in. Subway's login system gets you loyalty points good for lunch purchases; that's a popular one. Southwest gets you a frequent flyer mile with every login. And I'm sure you saw in the news, our PR division said we had to cancel our NRA login agreement but the legislature is probably going to make us undo that in a few weeks.

Yeesh, not that hard...

By b0s0z0ku • Score: 3 • Thread
Yeesh, not all that hard. (1) Implement a good (SSL-based?) VPN (2) Put anything sensitive behind it for outside access (3) Assuming you're not using 2FA, require a certificate that's additionally encrypted with a strong password to connect (4) Set up clients to limit connection time. (5) Audit logins regularly

Why Humans Learn Faster Than AI

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
What is it about human learning that allows us to perform so well with relatively little experience? MIT Technology Review: Today we get an answer of sorts thanks to the work of Rachit Dubey and colleagues at the University of California, Berkeley. They have studied the way humans interact with video games to find out what kind of prior knowledge we rely on to make sense of them. It turns out that humans use a wealth of background knowledge whenever we take on a new game. And this makes the games significantly easier to play. But faced with games that make no use of this knowledge, humans flounder, whereas machines plod along in exactly the same way. Take a look at the computer game shown here. This game is based on a classic called Montezuma's Revenge, originally released for the Atari 8-bit computer in 1984. There is no manual and no instructions; you aren't even told which "sprite" you control. And you get feedback only if you successfully finish the game.

Would you be able to do so? How long would it take? You can try it at this website. In all likelihood, the game will take you about a minute, and in the process you'll probably make about 3,000 keyboard actions. That's what Dubey and co found when they gave the game to 40 workers from Amazon's crowdsourcing site Mechanical Turk, who were offered $1 to finish it. "This is not overly surprising as one could easily guess that the game's goal is to move the robot sprite towards the princess by stepping on the brick-like objects and using ladders to reach the higher platforms while avoiding the angry pink and the fire objects," the researchers say. By contrast, the game is hard for machines: many standard deep-learning algorithms couldn't solve it at all, because there is no way for an algorithm to evaluate progress inside the game when feedback comes only from finishing.

"Culture" bias

By itamblyn • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
IQ tests and the like suffer from cultural bias. So do these games. As an English speaking human who has been exposed to pop culture and movies, I know that movement from left-right is normal, the hero saves the princess (which is a problem and another discussion). I wasn't born with this bias. I learned it. It is silly to initialize a neural networks with random weights (as if it was just born) and then declare it learns slower than a human. Let a computer create a game where a normal human cultural bias don't apply and have an infant play. Then we will see a more accurate comparison.

Who expected anything else?

By Kjella • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

This is like handing a chess set to an isolated Amazon tribe and only tell them "sorry, invalid game" until they make a valid checkmate. They'd probably never even find the opening position, much less make any correct moves and certainly not how to mate. They'd just randomly do things until they got bored or made up their own game. There's no reason a machine should expect "getting to the top" to be a valid objective without a whole lot of insight into the human condition and "because it's there".

Vatican Invites Hackers To Fix Problems, Not Breach Security

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
From a report: Computer hackers with a heart are descending on the Vatican to help tackle pressing problems particularly dear to Pope Francis, including how to better provide resources for migrants and encourage solidarity for the poor. The "Vatican Hackathon," an around-the-clock computer programming marathon, starts Thursday in the Vatican, with the full support of the pope, several Vatican offices and student volunteers from Harvard and MIT. Organizers stressed that no firewalls will be breached or acts of computer piracy committed.

Jesus was a hacker.

By Comboman • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
Think about it: unruly beard, no girlfriend, lived with his mom til he was 30.

Original sense of hacking

By SirGarlon • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
Thank you, Vatican, for using the word "hacking" in the original sense as hackers themselves defined it. Before the mainstream press appropriated it and turned it into a perjorative.

What Airbnb Did To New York City

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader shares a report: There are two kinds of horror stories about Airbnb. When the home-sharing platform first appeared, the initial cautionary tales tended to emphasize extreme guest (and occasionally host) misbehavior. But as the now decade-old service matured and the number of rental properties proliferated dramatically, a second genre emerged, one that focused on what the service was doing to the larger community: Airbnb was raising rents and taking housing off the rental market. It was supercharging gentrification while discriminating against guests and hosts of color. And as commercial operators took over, it was transforming from a way to help homeowners occasionally rent out an extra room into a purveyor of creepy, makeshift hotels.

Several studies have looked into these claims; some focused on just one issue at a time, or measured Airbnb-linked trends across wide swaths of the country. But a recent report by David Wachsmuth, a professor of Urban Planning at McGill University, zeroes in on New York City in an effort to answer the question of exactly what home sharing is doing to the city. [...] Their conclusion: Most of those rumors are true. Wachsmuth found reason to believe that Airbnb has indeed raised rents, removed housing from the rental market, and fueled gentrification -- at least in New York City. "

That is not the main reason

By SuperKendall • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

ABnB works because ad-hoc rooms are cheaper than standard hotel rooms.

The reason it works is for lots of reasons, that is the last of them. I have often paid more for an AirBnB unit than I would have for the nearest hotel.

Often you can find AirBnB units closer to where you want to be than most hotels, or in a more desirable location.

AirBNB units will generally have kitchens and washing machines, both of which may be very hard to find at any price just looking at hotels.

AirBNB units being housing, are often more secure than hotels and I don't have to worry about an entire staff with keycards being able to access my room, or being targeted by thieves because they know tourists stay at hotels.

Do we need to reduce regulation on hotels so they can better compete with ABnB?

That would help but I would still prefer an AirBnB unit if I could get one, over a hotel. Unfortunately because of restrictive regulation, most AirBnB units I've tried getting in large cities (mainly SF and NYC) have always been canceled so I can't take that risk anymore. In smaller markets they have been great though and really been much nicer than hotels.

and there was a practical shortage of hotels which drove prices too high?

One last note on this, it does not have to be a shortage of rooms or hotels - the last year or two the Apple Developer conference (WWDC) was in San Fransisco, the hotels decided to collude on higher prices - by that I mean 2-4x above normal rates for that time of year, because they knew they had a captive market for people who wanted to be around Moscone. I'm not 100% sure but it could be a reason Apple finally moved the conference to San Jose.

Rent is the AirBnB of ownership

By Pfhorrest • Score: 3 • Thread

I say this every time, but it's worth repeating: all this bad stuff AirBnB does to the rental market, the existence of a rental market at all does to the housing market overall. Owners prefer AirBnB over long term rental which makes long term rental unaffordable. Owners also prefer rental of any kind over sale which makes homeownership unaffordable. Imagine a world where all you can find is ridiculously overpriced temporary housing at AirBnB rates? We live in a world like that already, where all you can find is ridiculously overpriced housing at rental rates.

Ban rent, and watch housing become more affordable.

(NB that interest is merely rent on money, so that's got to go too or else it's just the banks instead of the landlords who end up owning the world. Rent and interest, collectively "usury", the fee for a use, are the central failing of capitalism, the mechanism by which wealth concentrates exponentially, undermining the promise of a free market with parasitism by the capital-owners).

Re:Fix it with some careful regulation

By alvinrod • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
Rent control doesn't solve the problem because it actively discourages new development, which when you have a growing population leads to housing shortages. Legislating something doesn't alter reality or prohibition would have worked, there would be no litter in parks, and Wall Street would never do anything someone finds unscrupulous.

You also get plenty of cases where people who don't need rent control housing occupy it (and hold on to it) because it's cheaper. You also see even worse examples like the Congressman who was renting four separate rent-controlled apartments at the same time.

There are various schools of economics and they often squabble over policies and correct courses of action for many things, but rent control is not one of them.

Re: Fix it with some careful regulation

By spongman • Score: 4 • Thread

This is what San franciscodid. It's removing even more units from the rental market.

Valid for the entire sharing economy

By XSportSeeker • Score: 3 • Thread

Get a popular service, find a way to go around regulations, taxation and obstables put in place to stop overgrowth and abuses, find a way to skip welfare and minimum wage/conditions for workers to make a living with it, and sell it as a new paradigm.

There is no easy route or shortcut for this people. If you are paying less to stay somewhere, paying less for transportation, paying less for services in general, someone is paying more. And there will be consequences for that.

It's no coincidence that some workers on those sectors are living in conditions reminiscent to the Industrial Revolution era. Crazy hours not enough to even make a living.

And yes, I fully agree that regulations are far from perfect, that they often don't do what they are supposed to, and that they frequently compose of abuse themselves for business owners... but skipping them away or going around them will eventually have predicted consequences.

Trump's Meeting With The Video Game Industry To Talk Gun Violence Could Get Ugly

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Anonymous readers share a report: President Trump is set to pit the video game industry against some of its harshest critics at a White House meeting on Thursday that's designed to explore the link between violent games [Editor's note: the Washington Post article may be paywalled], guns and tragedies such as last month's shooting in Parkland, Fla. Following the attack at Marjory Stoneman High School, which left 17 students dead, Trump has said violent games are "shaping young people's thoughts." The president has proposed that "we have to do something about maybe what they're seeing and how they're seeing it." Trump has invited video game executives like Robert Altman, the CEO of ZeniMax, the parent company for games such as Fallout; Strauss Zelnick, the chief executive of Take Two Interactive, which is known for Grand Theft Auto, and Michael Gallagher, the leader of the Entertainment Software Association, a Washington-focused lobbying organization for the industry.

Three people familiar with the White House's planning, but not authorized to speak on the record, confirmed those invitees. A spokeswoman for the White House declined to share a full list of participants on Wednesday. ESA confirmed its attendance this week, but the others did not respond to questions. Opposite of them are expected to be some of the video-game industry's toughest critics, including Brent Bozell, the founder of the Parents Television Council, and Rep. Vicky Hartzler, a Republican from Missouri, the three people said. After another shooting -- the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. -- they each called on government to focus its attention on violent media rather than just pursuing new gun restrictions.

Re:Why shouldn't Trump think that way?

By PopeRatzo • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

So, what you said is accurate if you refer to semi-automatic, rather than fully automatic rifles. This terminology distinction isn't a nit.

True. Semi-automatic rifles can kill tons of school kids, whereas fully automatic rifles can kill shit tons of school kids.

It's an important distinction to make if you really need to kill a shit-ton of school kids and simple tons of school kids just won't do.

Re:The debate should focus on realism in games.

By PopeRatzo • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

The effect of such games cannot be viewed outside the context of single-parent families, SSRI use, general lack of faith in society, and the failure of our civilization to have any kind of meaningful social order.

Don't forget the breakdown of institutions like marriage.

We should expect social order to break down when Biblical marriage (which is defined as a marriage between a man, his third wife and a porn star with a non-disclosure agreement) is under attack.

Re:Depends on if anyone is allowed to bring facts

By Rakarra • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

The studies are only "lacking" because they didn't come to the conclusion that the Family Research Council wanted to here.

Re:Depends on if anyone is allowed to bring facts

By Rakarra • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

I am still astonished that people who refer to "Crooked Hillary" voted for Trump with a straight face.

People who say "Crooked Hillary" all the time might not have voted for Trump.
They might not even be eligible to vote in US elections.

Re:Why shouldn't Trump think that way?

By Rakarra • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Remember, kids--stepping outside the libtard echo chamber is "flamebait" around here. These days, Slashdot is like Fark with a slightly more technical slant.

When you start using 'libtard', and also say uber-cynical content-free nonsense like assault nails and how blue states will probably require background checks for them, yeah, that's -1, Flamebait. It's needlessly antagonistic and stupid to boot, so quit crying.

McAfee Acquires VPN Provider TunnelBear

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
McAfee announced that it has acquired Canada-based virtual private network (VPN) company TunnelBear. From a report: Founded in 2011, Toronto-based TunnelBear has gained a solid reputation for its fun, cross-platform VPN app that uses quirky bear-burrowing animations to bring online privacy to the masses. The company claims around 20 million people have used its service across mobile and desktop, while a few months back it branched out into password management with the launch of the standalone RememBear app. [...] That TunnelBear has sold to a major brand such as McAfee won't be greeted warmly by many of the product's existing users. However, with significantly more resources now at its disposal, TunnelBear should be in a good position to absorb any losses that result from the transfer of ownership.


By ChodaBoyUSA • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
RIP TunnelBear VPN. I won't touch ANYTHING with the name McAfee on it.

Get ready for the bundle!

By sabbede • Score: 3 • Thread
Because it won't be long before you're accidentally installing it along with McAfee Security Scan and TrueKey when you just want Adobe Reader.

The real question to ask:

By Kokuyo • Score: 3 • Thread

Will Linus Tech Tips drop TunnelBear as a sponsor or won't they?

Re:The real question to ask:

By EvilSS • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
Only if they stop paying him.

Hardcoded Password Found in Cisco Software

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Cisco released 22 security advisories yesterday, including two alerts for critical fixes, one of them for a hardcoded password that can give attackers full control over a vulnerable system. From a report: The hardcoded password issue affects Cisco's Prime Collaboration Provisioning (PCP), a software application that can be used for the remote installation and maintenance of other Cisco voice and video products. Cisco PCP is often installed on Linux servers. Cisco says that an attacker could exploit this vulnerability (CVE-2018-0141) by connecting to the affected system via Secure Shell (SSH) using the hardcoded password. The flaw can be exploited only by local attackers, and it also grants access to a low-privileged user account. In spite of this, Cisco has classified the issue as "critical." Although this vulnerability has a Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) Base score of 5.9, which is normally assigned a Security Impact Rating (SIR) of Medium, there are extenuating circumstances that allow an attacker to elevate privileges to root. For these reasons, the SIR has been set to Critical.

Pedantic nazi strikes!

By 140Mandak262Jamuna • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Although this vulnerability has a Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) Base score of 5.9, which is normally assigned a Security Impact Rating (SIR) of Medium, there are extenuating circumstances that allow an attacker to elevate privileges to root. For these reasons, the SIR has been set to Critical.

Emphasis mine.

Extenuating circumstances will reduce the amount of guilt. Here escalating local user privileges to root is not extenuating circumstances. Perhaps aggravating circumstances would fit this sentence better.

Yours Sincerely,

Friendly neighborhood pedantic nazi.

Hardcoded passwords

By execthts • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
So in 2018 we're still seeing hardcoded passwords in enterprise products?

Re:Calm down folks, it's not that bad....

By 110010001000 • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
Yeah, good point. It isn't bad that an enterprise networking company left a hardcoded password in their products in 2018. Thanks for the reality check.

Re:Hardcoded passwords

By postbigbang • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

No one will fall on their sword.

Not the coder.

Not the team leader.

Not QA.

Not the development lead.

Not the product manager.

Not the code review staff.

Have a nice day. Fast and loose means shareholder return.

Amazon Launches a Low-Cost Version of Prime For Medicaid Recipients

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from TechCrunch: Amazon announced this morning it will offer a low-cost version of its Prime membership program to qualifying recipients of Medicaid. The program will bring the cost of Prime down from the usual $12.99 per month to about half that, at $5.99 per month, while still offering the full range of Prime perks, including free, two-day shipping on millions of products, Prime Video, Prime Music, Prime Photos, Prime Reading, Prime Now, Audible Channels, and more. The new program is an expansion on Amazon's discounted Prime service for customers on government assistance, launched in June 2017. For the same price of $5.99 per month, Amazon offers Prime memberships to any U.S. customer with a valid EBT card -- the card that's used to disburse funds for assistance programs like Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and Women, Infants, and Children Nutrition Program (WIC). Now that same benefit is arriving for recipients of Medicaid, the public assistance program providing medical coverage to low-income Americans. To qualify for the discount, customers must have a valid EBT or Medicaid card, the retailer says.

Thanks Amazon

By 110010001000 • Score: 3 • Thread
$6x12 = $72. That saves me $27 a year. You are spending those billions in tax savings wisely! See THIS is what trickle down economics looks like! It trickled all over me.


By Gavagai80 • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

It's simply "here's a group of people we can be sure aren't willing to pay our full price, so we'll offer them a lower price and hope some buy." They don't have to offer the lower price to everyone who can't afford their full price, because this isn't a charity, it's business strategy.

Re:Embrace, Extend, Extinguish

By fuzzyfuzzyfungus • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
I think the chip on your shoulder is warping your perspective. Amazon isn't interested in punishment or your sense of victimized moral superiority.

It's an economic commonplace that price discrimination is in the seller's interest if they can accurately assess the willingness to pay and demand elasticity of their various customers. Doing so perfectly is generally impossible; but more and less granular attempts market segmentation are ubiquitous.

Here, Amazon has a very convenient market segmentation signal neatly implemented for them: a collection of poor customers, presumably less likely to purchase Prime at full price, with eligibility standards and enforcement provided by the state or the feds; and (at least in the case of WIC EBT, not sure about medicaid) a purchasing mechanism built in that is quite similar to other payment cards in terms of processing. What's not to like, from Amazon's perspective?

Should we establish a Department of Virtuous Labor to enact regulations to prevent market actors from doing things, even voluntarily and in their economic interests, that might result in lower prices for filthy poors, to avoid this moral outrage?

Adult Human Brains Do Not Produce New Neurons, Study Suggests

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Rich Haridy reports via New Atlas: New research from scientists at UC San Francisco is challenging half a century of conventional wisdom by suggesting the human brain may cease producing new neurons beyond childhood. While the divisive study may prove a blow to some research aimed at birthing new neurons to battle neurodegenerative disorders, it offers a new perspective on how the human brain can adapt in later life without such a capability. The team generated its data by studying brain specimens of 59 subjects, from babies to the elderly. The strategy was to look for the presence of young neurons or dividing cells by using certain antibodies that bind to those cells of interest. The focus was on the hippocampus region of the brain, known to be crucial for memory, and a comprehensively studied area previously suggested to be a key location for neurogenesis. The results were fairly comprehensive. Young or immature neurons were identified in plentiful volumes in prenatal and newborn samples but the rate consistently declined over childhood. The oldest sample that immature neurons were found in was 13 years of age, and adult samples displayed no evidence of new neurons. The study has been published in the journal Nature.

Re:Thats' science!

By religionofpeas • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Actually, the studies were not done with eggs, but with high amounts of isolated cholesterol. And the cholesterol wasn't given to humans but to rabbits. Rabbits, who don't usually eat eggs or meat as part of their diet, are very bad at handling high amounts of cholesterol.


By DontBeAMoran • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Childhood = build the internet
Adulthood = route around damage, like the internet


By macklin01 • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

There's a big difference between growth of cells (they get bigger) and proliferation of cells (they divide to create new cells), and so it's important to be careful. (I've been working on modeling both cell growth and cell division for a good while, mostly in cancer and a little in tissue engineering and synthetic biology. e.g., here.)

I looked at the study. They stained for Ki-67, the gold standard immunohistochemical marker for cell division. Cells that are actively cycling--in late G1, S, G2, and M phase, and a smidgen of G1 phase after division because Ki67 protein doesn't instantaneously degrade--stain positive for this marker. In particular, it is a nuclear marker, so the stain is localized to the cell nucleus, and the stain is very definitive. It's one of the easiest immunostains to do image processing on, because you can do nuclear segmentation, then analyze the colors in the segmented nuclei to see if they stained positive or negative for Ki-67.

And that Ki-67 marker was virtually non-existent in the region of interest in all the samples above 13 years old. See Figure 2. This is *the* universal gold standard marker for cell division used across pathology and experimental biology. So yes, the study indeed found no proliferating cells in the GCL. And then they used this "young neuronal cell" marker (DCX+PSA-NCAM+ cells) to further confirm what they already saw in Ki67.

Also, the Nature link is the *summary* of the paper, and not the actual paper. It's pretty common for the big journals to ask for a non-involved scientist in the same field to write a summary and commentary when a potentially controversial or significant paper comes out. Here's the actual paper.

Re:50 Years?

By K. S. Kyosuke • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Almost. There's apparently no "low utilization percentage".


By macklin01 • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

No problem, and thanks for reading and replying.

I was confused on that, too, and neurobiology is pretty far from my regular work. Part of the problem is that there's a lot going on here: plasticity and differentiation (cell adaptations, transformations from one phenotype to another, differentiation, etc.), cell proliferation, tuning of connections, etc. It's a messy area with lots of new and sometimes contradictory data coming out.

From what I understand, there's a lot of plasticity in the brain as an adult: far more than was originally appreciated. I thought that we "knew" there were no new brain cells, and then we "knew" there were, and now we may "know" there aren't. That's the nature of evolving science, as others point out. And imprecise science communication--and imprecise English--doesn't help, either. Even biologists can get tripped up: we talk about tumor growth and cancer cell population growth, but we really primarily are talking about cell division there.

And there are all sorts of neat surprises. It was found that glial cells (a type of brain cell responsible for maintaining brain structure) can transdifferentiate into endothelial cells (which make blood vessels). See this PNAS paper and this one. This has all sorts of implications for gliomas and other brain cancers. And God only knows what other surprises are waiting to be found.

I suppose that's another reason they looked at the "new neuronal cell" marker: to see whether other cells could become new neuronal cells by transdifferentiation or other plastic processes. Biology is weird. :-)

NASA Spacecraft Reveals Jupiter's Interior In Unprecedented Detail

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
NASA's Juno spacecraft has revealed that Jupiter's iconic striped bands, caused by immensely powerful winds, extend to a depth of about 3,000km below the surface. The findings also provide a partial answer to the question of whether the planet has a core, "showing that the inner 96% of the planet rotates 'as a solid body,' even though technically it is composed of an extraordinarily dense mixture of hydrogen and helium gas," reports The Guardian. From the report: The findings are published in four separate papers in the journal Nature, describing the planet's gravitational field (surprisingly asymmetrical), atmospheric flows, interior composition and polar cyclones. A crucial question was whether the bands on Jupiter, caused by air currents that are five times as strong as the most powerful hurricanes on Earth, were a "weather" phenomenon comparable to the Earth's jet streams or part of a deep-seated convection system. Juno's latest observations point to the latter, showing the jets continued to around 3,000km beneath the surface -- deep enough to cause ripples and asymmetries in the planet's gravitational field that were perceptible to detectors on the spacecraft. On Earth, the atmosphere represents about a millionth of the mass of the whole planet. The latest work suggests that on Jupiter the figure is closer to 1%. The new findings, based on extremely sensitive gravitational measurements, also begin to paint a picture of the internal structure of the planet.


By war4peace • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

These articles are among the best on Slashdot. With me not following Astronomy-related news closely, but having an interest in Astronomy, they're always very welcome and nice surprises.


By backslashdot • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

JunoCAM, which is a seriously downgraded camera system (there is barely a zoom on the lens), almost wasn't even included on this mission since NASA felt visual observations were unnecessary and wouldn't provide anything useful scientifically. Just imagine we could have had even better visuals than this if a larger more sophisticated camera was included. Oh well.

Oblig post: Disappointed it was Jupiter's interior

By SeaFox • Score: 3 • Thread

I was hoping to see inside Uranus.
OKAY! It's been posted. Sorry folks, you're too late to make the joke now.

Re:Oblig post: Disappointed it was Jupiter's inter

By MrKaos • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

I was hoping to see inside Uranus. . . . . . . OKAY! It's been posted. Sorry folks, you're too late to make the joke now.

I don't know why you think that is a joke. It's called the Advanced NASA Atmospheric Lithographic Lidar Probe and it was designed to update us about the aerosols in Uranus.

Last I heard they were figuring out just how many instruments they can include to explore Uranus and the rings around it. First the rings and then and deep as they can go for as long as there is battery power remaining to keep all of the instruments going before it is crushed by the pressure of the most concentrated source of methane in the solar system. That's right, there is a lot of methane in Uranus.

If you're laughing now, you can just stop it - you're being juvenile. Exploring Uranus is a serious undertaking that many people are committed to and clever jokes about "hoping to see inside Uranus" are just unsophisticated. We're better than that here.


By Anonymous Coward • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

For general information, the surface is said (by consensus) to be the depth at which the atmospheric pressure is the same as that at sea level on Earth. There is no adjustment for gravity nor temperature. That is, it is pressure and not density. I mention this since it isn't obvious what "surface" means when applied to gas giants (or stars, for that matter - although stars have a completely different (and incompatible) definition for their "surface".)