the unofficial Slashdot digest for 2018-Apr-15 today archive

Europe Divided Over Robot 'Personhood'

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Politico Europe has an interesting piece which looks at the high-stakes debate between European lawmakers, legal experts and manufacturers over who should bear the ultimate responsibility for the actions by a machine: the machine itself or the humans who made them?. Two excerpts from the piece: The battle goes back to a paragraph of text, buried deep in a European Parliament report from early 2017, which suggests that self-learning robots could be granted "electronic personalities." Such a status could allow robots to be insured individually and be held liable for damages if they go rogue and start hurting people or damaging property.

Those pushing for such a legal change, including some manufacturers and their affiliates, say the proposal is common sense. Legal personhood would not make robots virtual people who can get married and benefit from human rights, they say; it would merely put them on par with corporations, which already have status as "legal persons," and are treated as such by courts around the world.

Just adapt laws for Pets

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

We are a loooooong way from a mobile/portable AI computing system that can fit in a robot.

True, but we already have a legal framework for a very similar situation that should be easy to adapt: pets. These are semi-intelligent things which certainly do not have any sort of personhood under law, are not allowed to marry, own property etc.

The first robots are not likely to be as smart as a dog so why not just adapt the laws we have for them? The owner has certain responsibilities but, unless they directly encouraged criminal behaviour, is not usually criminally liable for the dog e.g. if the dog bites someone the owner may have to pay damages but cannot be prosecuted for assault unless they commanded the dog to attack or they knew the dog was likely to attack and did nothing to stop it.

Since robots are made you would need to establish some safety requirements like easily accessible emergy off-buttons, voice commands, remote controls etc. This should be good enough to cope with most robots for the foreseeable future since, as you note, it is going to be a long time before we have to worry about robots marrying or even expressing genuine emotions.

Who has the money?

By cyn1c77 • Score: 3 • Thread

Interesting, but contrived dilemma.

Will the robot be the one getting paid for its services and retaining assets that can be sued? If so, we can consider debating this.

But if the company is getting paid for the robot's services and trying to push the legal responsibility onto the asset-less robot, than this is a complete farce.

Also, one would hope that the programming will contain a series of unalterable moral checks to prevent the robot from "learning" that it's OK to hurt people or property.

Re:Jumping the gun just a bit?

By michelcolman • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

I would like to point out a flaw in this logic.

Suppose a company can make a self driving car that demonstrably has 50% less accidents than human drivers. (I am not making any claims about existing technology from any particular company, just take this as an axiom that could be true at some point, now or in the future)

I hope we can all agree that it would be a good thing if we can reduce the number of accidents by half, right?

However, if the company is held responsible for each and every one of those remaining accidents, are they going to sell those cars? Probably not. This means we will keep having twice as many accidents as we could have.

Of course there must be some kind of incentive to force manufacturers to deliver good products, and aome kind of punishment for those who make crappy products. But sometimes you just have to be able to say "OK, accidents happen, nothing is perfect", If every death results in a multi million dollar claim, innovation stops and we'll be stuck with the current "you can use it but keep your hands on the wheel and be attentive at all times, you are still responsible" situation. Which is ridiculous and untenable in the long term.

We're just talking about insurance here. If AI failures are treated as generic accidents covered by insurance, and the number of accidents decreases, the insurance premiums will decrease as well and it's a win-win for everyone. Better performing AI will have a lower insurance premium and will therefore sell more cars. Also, official statistics will be kept about the safety records of different systems, and that will be a big part of the sales pitch. There's your incentive.

There's a reason why most software comes with "no warranty, implied or otherwise, including fitness for any particular purpose". Pretty much all software companies would go bankrupt if they were held responsible for every crash, every data corruption, etcetera. Sometimes you just have to accept "ok, they did their best, mistakes happen, the world is better off with this product than without it".

Two wrongs don't make a right

By Opportunist • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Just because you fucked up and let corporations be "persons" doesn't mean repeating this mistake is a good idea.


By Rick Schumann • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
We DO NOT HAVE real AI, all we have is PSEUDO-INTELLIGENCE, there is no 'person' inside that box, goddamnit! There is no 'consciousness', 'self-awareness', 'sentience', or any other trait/phenomenon we attribute to human beings inside these machines, they are just SOFTWARE. They are not people by any stretch of the imagination, stop anthropomorphizing them, this is not TV or the movies, that is all just FICTION, stop belieiving it's real!

Machines are machines and if they malfunction and hurt/kill someone, the MANUFACTURER is ultimately responsible, the MACHINE cannot by definition be 'held responsible' because it is just a MACHINE!

For fuck's sake stop this nonsense already!

Netflix CEO: Why Even $8 Billion Investment in Content Isn't Enough

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Netflix expects to spend about $8 billion on content this year. For Hollywood studios, that's a reasonable figure. But for Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, it's not enough. From a report: The company is competing against a range of traditional entertainment companies around the globe, and of course, against the need to work, sleep and do other things. Speaking at TED in Vancouver, Hastings noted that $8 billion is about what Disney spends. "That's spread globally," he said. "It's not as much as it sounds." Hastings noted that House of Cards wasn't really the company's first effort at original content. It had tried back in the days when it was still mailing out DVDs. "It didn't work out because we were sub-scale," he said.


By markdavis • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

>It had tried back in the days when it was still mailing out DVDs

Um, newsflash. The DVD/Bluray service has never ended. It is still quite popular, and the ONLY way to go if you want any choice in movies from Netflix (or if you have little or metered Internet).

"Iconic since 1998. Celebrate 20 years of movies in your mailbox with behind-the-scenes videos, great movie recommendations, fun trivia, and the chance to win."

Re:Not the money

By quantaman • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

How much do HBO invest because they've consistently produced watchable "content". Netflix, Disney... not really.

I don't know though their revenue is about $2 billion.

Note that HBO and Netflix have very different models, HBO is an add-on to an existing cable package. They aren't looking for mildly watchable content that's just good enough to temporarily distract you from the existential horror of your life after you finish dinner, they need to produce really high quality content so people who already have TV with a bunch of watchable content will go out of their way to purchase HBO with those awesome shows they want to see.

So they don't want 20 decent shows, they just need 5 or 6 great shows.

Netflix doesn't need amazing content, if people really needs something special they'll get HBO Go or go out to a movie. Netflix needs to make sure you never get bored, open your guide, and can't find anything interesting to watch.

Not telling the entire story ...

By UnknownSoldier • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

The astute reader may notice that Netflix carries less and less network shows / movies and continues to push "Netflix Originals" -- all in an order to minimize a key expense.

What expense?

One of the secrets of the cable / streaming industry is that license costs continue to go up. In turn this gets passed onto the consumer.

So when Netflix says Disney spends $8 Billion --- is that to _produce_ content or to _license_ content? And is that ALL media such as TV Shows AND Movies, or strictly JUST TV shows? And is that JUST Disney or does that include ALL of its subsidiaries ?

Content cost are spiraling out of control.
i.e. The ten episodes of the first season of Westworld were reportedly produced on a budget of approximately $100 million.

Assuming that the $8 Billion Disney spends is solely to create content for TV shows -- that might seem like is a drop in the bucket compared to the budget of a few "blockbuster" movies. Here is a list of All the Disney films -- and here is a snippet of 2017 / 2018 movies:

719. 2017 Dangal (Disney India)
720. 2017 Beauty and the Beast (PG)
721. 2017 Born in China (Disneynature) (G)
722. 2017 Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 (Marvel) (PG-13)
723. 2017 Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (PG-13)
724. 2017 Cars 3 (Pixar) (G)
725. 2017 Jagga Jasoos (Disney India)
726. 2017 Thor: Ragnarok (Marvel) (PG-13)
727. 2017 Coco (Pixar) (PG)
728. 2017 Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Lucasfilm) (PG-13)
729. 2018 Black Panther (Marvel) (PG-13)
730. 2018 A Wrinkle in Time (PG)

Let's actually tally the budget -- assuming Disney foot the bill for all of its 2017 movies ...

* Dangal, $11 million USD
* Beauty and the Beast, budget $160 million USD
* Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2, budget $200 million USD
* Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, budget $230 million
* Cars 3, budget $175 million USD
* Thor: Ragnarok, budget $180 million USD
* Coco, budget ???
* Star Wars: The Last Jedi, budget $200 million USD
* Black Panther, budget $200 million USD
* A Wrinkle in Time, budget $100 million USD

... so around $1,156 million for Movies in 2017.

Ergo it looks like $8 Billion was for BOTH movies AND TV Shows.

What's really stupid is that the cable industry STILL relies on the inaccurate, archaic Nielsen ratings. Via the STB / DVR boxes they already have (relatively) accurate metrics of what people are watching but for some reason continue to use an idiotic Nielsen rating to bargain licensing costs -- because they aren't in the content creation business -- only the content licensing business.

Since Netflix is in the process of migrating from strictly licensing content to producing content this $8 Billion figure shouldn't be a surprise.

What I DO find surprising is that since Netflix can tell _exactly_ which shows are popular -- one would think they would use this "hard data" to lower licensing costs to carry multiple network shows. Instead we get few and fewer selections each year it seems. Has anyone tracked the quantity of content available on Netflix over the years?

Re:If Netflix

By JDeane • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

About to cancel my subscription to Netflix and probably not for the reason or reasons most would...

It's that damned auto play preview music and video clip every show plays if you move just so much as look at a picture for a moment...

For like the first 10 minutes I thought it was cool, then I got mildly annoyed with it, then I looked for a way to turn it off.. Now I signed up for Direct TV Now and Amazon and maybe I will switch to Hulu... But really Netflix needs to have that optional.

Re:Too bad

By AmiMoJo • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

You can always find someone who thinks everything is shit, but actually Netflix has produced some really good stuff over the years.

Some of the Marvel stuff is great. Jessica Jones season 1 was some of the best TV of the last decade. Daredevil was pretty good, even The Punisher was quite enjoyable. Shame The Defenders sucked.

Other stuff generally regarded as very good:

- The Crown
- Stranger Things
- Black Mirror
- Star Trek Discovery
- Altered Carbon
- House of Cards
- The Foreigner
- Better Call Saul
- Making a Murderer
- Orphan Black
- The Expanse
- Sense8
- Master of None
- Glow

There is a lot more, especially if you don't mind subtitles.

The Scientific Paper Is Obsolete

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
James Somers, writing for The Atlantic: The scientific paper -- the actual form of it -- was one of the enabling inventions of modernity. Before it was developed in the 1600s, results were communicated privately in letters, ephemerally in lectures, or all at once in books. There was no public forum for incremental advances. By making room for reports of single experiments or minor technical advances, journals made the chaos of science accretive. Scientists from that point forward became like the social insects: They made their progress steadily, as a buzzing mass.

The earliest papers were in some ways more readable than papers are today. They were less specialized, more direct, shorter, and far less formal. Calculus had only just been invented. Entire data sets could fit in a table on a single page. What little "computation" contributed to the results was done by hand and could be verified in the same way.

The more sophisticated science becomes, the harder it is to communicate results. Papers today are longer than ever and full of jargon and symbols. They depend on chains of computer programs that generate data, and clean up data, and plot data, and run statistical models on data. These programs tend to be both so sloppily written and so central to the results that it's contributed to a replication crisis, or put another way, a failure of the paper to perform its most basic task: to report what you've actually discovered, clearly enough that someone else can discover it for themselves.

I just use the MIT random paper generator

By Proudrooster • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

MIT Random Paper Generator for computer science papers

Mathgen for Math Papers

Seriously, does anyone even read the paper anymore? I read the abstract and possibly the method.

At the end of the day, it is just an academic echo chamber where every paper references each other and none of it is very earth shattering. You should read the dissertations that don't make it into journals, those are really sad. For example, "Analysis of Socioeconomic Status and Student Achievement", or in other words, "Poor kids don't get good grades.", most papers could classified as Ric Romero papers where the outcome is obvious or in some cases statistically insignificant such that more papers need to be written with new experimental methods.

But for those of your writing papers, I leave you with my favorite research design song.

Re:Science is obsolete

By GuB-42 • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

More seriously, we are in a world where very few people can understand how reality works.

Anyone with a high school level of scientific background can understand Newtonian mechanics, most people have trouble with special relativity but with the right mindset, it is not that hard. General relativity and quantum mechanics pretty much require years of specialized studies, and these are what form the basis of reality as we know it today. Mastery in these fields are a requirement in order to go further.
As for our understanding of nature, we know the physics of throwing rocks very well, no need to do more research about that. The unsolved problems involve crazy accurate measurements, scales that are well beyond human, or complicated interactions.

Read journal articles

By SeattleLawGuy • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

We are now in an era where only very few people actually need to know how reality works. The rest of us can become brand managers and youtube content creators.

There's an acceptance of this. It's unusual for someone to read a journal article before, say, junior year of undergrad. A lot of people probably graduate without reading one at all. Many of them will never pick one up in later life.

It means they can be duped more easily. When was the last time someone you know who disagreed with the existence of global warming picked up a journal article by a climate scientist? When was the last time someone who hates charter schools read through a journal article on charter schools by an economist? Most of us almost unknowingly adopt the positions we hear praised that sound reasonable without looking at data, and people who have *never* looked at data barely even have that option open to them.

If you don't read an article every once in a while, or if you don't know how, you're just trusting that whoever sounds best is right.

Maybe they are. They sound reasonable, after all. But it turns out that what sounds reasonable often isn't. The truth isn't about who sounds best to us.

Not everything is as simple as a rule book

By Falconnan • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

I think the problem is misidentified in your comment, but in the details. The data publication is part of the peer review and publication process. It allows another specialist in the field to go over your study and its results, and attempt to replicate them. It also allows for discussion of conclusions. The "Abstract" is supposed to be the basic, plain language breakdown, including the conclusions. However, while you're right about the societal issue, there's a deeper one: All of the relatively easy science has been done. The questions are getting more complex. We're looking to more subtle phenomena to find more secrets of the way reality works.

The observations of physical phenomena that allow computers to work far exceeds the time of Newton (believed by many to be the last time one human could know the sum total of accumulated knowledge about nature). Fields are specialized, and "jargon/technobabble" are the layman's epithets for a field's shorthand that he/she doesn't get. Yes, we could likely simplify the law. Knowledge is not so readily boiled down. No one bats an eye at the odd uses of common words you find in the skilled trades, but everyone loses their shit when a scientist falls back on terms with precise meanings within their own fields.

NOTE: It was once common practice to include an attempt at a layperson's digest with a lot of papers, or at least publish it alongside the paper. This has gone away, which is a shame. However, when every such digest turns into Dunning-Kruger effect demonstration with the public, I would think it gets old. But a lot of the science being done now is beyond the limits of common understanding. Quantum computing, block chains, AMPS firewalls... It's hard to try to break that stuff down for the masses when the Flat Earthers are gaining ground!

Fair, functional, simple - pick two

By sjbe • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

But when the tax code for ordinary citizens (I'm not even talking corporations) is so complicated that IRS employees who are answering questions from the public can't understand it, perhaps it's gotten more complicated than it needs to be.

Oh there is no question that you can overdo the complexity. But most of the unnecessary complexity of our tax code comes from politicians using it to fund their pet social policies inappropriately. For example whether you are married or single should have ZERO impact on your taxes. If the government wants to address that, the tax code is not the proper place to do it. If the government wants to subsidize something, just do so directly. Using taxes to do it is inefficient and adds needless complexity to the tax code. So we get heaping mounds of complexity where none needs to exist.

That said, some of that complexity is necessary. If we are going to have an income tax (whether we should is a separate question) you have to define income and that is surprisingly difficult to do in a way that doesn't have loopholes you can drive a semi through. I'm an accountant so I should know. There also is the question of fairness which is more of a social question than a technical one but it's also hard to have a tax code that is fair, functional, and simple. (no - plans like a flat tax fail that test though I understand the appeal) As HL Menken said "there is always a well-known solution to every human problem — neat, plausible, and wrong."

The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Innovation

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Abstract of a paper [PDF] which was originally published last month: Artificial intelligence may greatly increase the efficiency of the existing economy. But it may have an even larger impact by serving as a new general-purpose "method of invention" that can reshape the nature of the innovation process and the organization of R&D. We distinguish between automation-oriented applications such as robotics and the potential for recent developments in "deep learning" to serve as a general-purpose method of invention, finding strong evidence of a "shift" in the importance of application-oriented learning research since 2009.

We suggest that this is likely to lead to a significant substitution away from more routinized labor-intensive research towards research that takes advantage of the interplay between passively generated large datasets and enhanced prediction algorithms. At the same time, the potential commercial rewards from mastering this mode of research are likely to usher in a period of racing, driven by powerful incentives for individual companies to acquire and control critical large datasets and application-specific algorithms. We suggest that policies which encourage transparency and sharing of core datasets across both public and private actors may be critical tools for stimulating research productivity and innovation-oriented competition going forward.

No good outcomes for 99%

By sinij • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
No matter what you think, we won't end up with people working less and living better. We will end up with 1% exclusively benefiting from all the increases in productivity and 99% getting hit by even higher unemployment because even conspicuous consumption by 1% has a limit.

The Scientific Paper Is Obsolete

By manu0601 • Score: 3 • Thread

We suggest that this is likely to lead to a significant substitution away from more routinized labor-intensive research towards research that takes advantage of the interplay between passively generated large datasets and enhanced prediction algorithms.

It is cruel to have this (AI generated?) stuff just after another story telling "Papers today are longer than ever and full of jargon and symbols"

Intel SPI Flash Flaw Lets Attackers Alter or Delete BIOS/UEFI Firmware

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Catalin Cimpanu, writing for BleepingComputer: Intel has addressed a vulnerability in the configuration of several CPU series that allow an attacker to alter the behavior of the chip's SPI Flash memory -- a mandatory component used during the boot-up process [1, 2, 3]. According to Lenovo, who recently deployed the Intel fixes, "the configuration of the system firmware device (SPI flash) could allow an attacker to block BIOS/UEFI updates, or to selectively erase or corrupt portions of the firmware." Lenovo engineers say "this would most likely result in a visible malfunction, but could in rare circumstances result in arbitrary code execution."


By Anonymous Coward • Score: 3, Funny • Thread

Wait, where's the slick marketing name for the vulnerability? Where's the logo? The website?

Re:Not another..

By gweihir • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Industry-wide patching it is. And now that security researchers are finally looking at hardware again, expect more of these. For one thing is sure: Intel has been doing an exceptionally bad job the last decade or so, possibly because they believed to have won the game.

Applied the Fix

By DaMattster • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
It is always hairy when you apply a firmware fix but I am pleased to say that Lenovo's update for the ThinkCentre M70 works just fine. Although, it took a while to apply and power cycled 3 times. At one point I almost said, "Fuck! It bricked."

Found out the hard way by Ubuntu last year

By zdzichu • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

The problem was uncovered by Ubuntu last year:
It was so grave they had to pull down released version and patch the workaround.

How the Quakers Became Unlikely Economic Innovators by Inventing the Price Tag

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Belying its simplicity and ubiquity, the price tag is a surprisingly recent economic development, Aeon magazine writes. For centuries, haggling was the norm, ultimately developing into a system that required clerks and shopkeepers to train as negotiators. In the mid-19th century, however, Quakers in the US began to believe that charging people different amounts for the same item was immoral, so they started using price tags at their stores to counter the ills of haggling. And, as this short video from NPR's Planet Money explains, by taking a moral stand, the Quakers inadvertently revealed an inefficiency in the old economic system and became improbable pricing pioneers, changing commerce and history with one simple innovation.


By TheWanderingHermit • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

One of the Testimonies of the Religious Society of Friends (Friends, to Quakers, but most people call them Quakers) is equality. Another is honesty and others include integrity, truth, and simplicity. Friends believe in doing their best, in other words, not doing shipshod work. If they have an item they have produced for sale, say, for example, a chair, then, as part of their belief in integrity, they will have put their best work and used quality material in making that chair.

With that in mind, at one point, and I don't know if this started with just one Friends' Meeting or how it spread, but the consensus was that if you've worked diligently on a chair and one person comes into your shop and offers you $10 for that chair, but the fair value (considering labor and materials) is $5, then it's being dishonest and acting without integrity to take the additional $5 because that person was not a good negotiator. It's taking advantage of their lack of time or inability to negotiate. On the other hand, if a Friend has put in conscientious work and has to make a choice between selling it for $3 or not selling it, that's not fair to them.

The consensus, for a while, had been on a fair price for a fair amount of work and materials. From there, it wasn't far to go to reach a conclusion that if $5 is a fair price for that chair, then, barring changes in costs for materials (or maybe labor or cost of living), then gaining more or accepting less through dickering is less than fair, to either the shop owner or the customer.

While I know many will say, "Well, if they don't take all they can get for it, they're idiots!" If your focus is on the accumulation of wealth and possessions, then, from that point of view, that may be true. But if your intent in life is not material, but on personal improvement, growth, and following your spiritual beliefs, than there is much more to be gained from turning down the extra money offered than there is in accepting it. Friends are big on fair gains as opposed to grabbing what you can when you can. (Which is why they don't gamble and generally are quite careful in selecting what stocks they will invest in.)

Remember, this may not seem moral or immoral to you or others. That's okay. For Friends, their concern is in doing what they believe is right.


By careysub • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

One key to this innovation is to really try to understand the motivation from a personal level. The existing practice required the Quaker store owner to try to haggle with the customer for every transaction - which consists in some sense of an effort of two parties to deceive each other about what one is willing to pay or accept. And the Quakers greatly emphasized strict personal honesty - so this was a frequent unpleasant experience that they wanted removed.

Additionally in a close knit community different people paying different prices is a source of social tension. Shop owners no doubt experienced customers - people of the community they knew - wanting the same price some other person of the community that they knew received. If this happens very often the temptation to simply set the same price in practice becomes strong. And if you do that why not just write it down and save the owner some time, and halt unwanted attempts to haggle.

Talk of "axioms" is irrelevant (and it should be noted that axioms are by their nature arbitrary). Although such an argument could appeal to a modern urban intellectual individualist, it would have appeared bizarre to an 18th Century close knit community devoted to personal moral improvement.

Interestingly the Quakers were also one the prime originators of the anti-slavery movement. Before the mid-18th century the notion that slavery might be intrinsically immoral was an extreme fringe notion. Slavery was generally accepted socially, legally, and religiously.

Double Glazing sales

By iTrawl • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

The Double Glazing sales industry (in the UK) brought haggling back with vengeance. They insist that can't give you a quote without sending a sales guy into your home because apparently you're unable to take half assed measurements at the same level as that the sales person who does the same and says a surveyor will have to come and measure things precisely anyway. And once in, they pull discounts out of their butts, and if you send them off they'll call you with even more discounts on top of "those are all the discounts available mate" that you got already.

In my specific case, the list price went down from 9K to 3K after all the discounts and a customer retention discount (i.e. I canceled on them shortly after taking their offer). How is that even possible?!


By TheWanderingHermit • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

You're thinking from your point of view, not the point of view of most Friends.

Regarding paying extra for a rush, remember this was in the 1700s. Yes, it's possible that someone could say, "I need a chair now and I'll pay $10." If they had a chair in stock, it would be the same to the shop owner as someone who was not in a hurry to get it. If they said, "I need a chair by tomorrow and I'll pay extra," likely the response (in that era) would be something like, "Friend, I wouldst be glad to make a chair for the as soon as I can, but I would not be able to complete it by tomorrow." On the other hand, if he could do it and it was something he could do easily, he would still do it without an extra charge. It's not likely he would stay up, for example an extra several hours, to get a chair done for a "rush" order.

As to the "true value," yes, that depends on what people are willing to pay for it, but Friends would have been making products that people can use. Furniture, tools, maybe simple toys, but not something like a fancy high end chair with extra features. A shopkeeper or tradesman would know what the value of his product or labor was. They'd know what was going on in the market and whether people were paying $5 for a chair or not. This was at a time when people weren't dealing with newer models or new features and products that were unknown quantities that are riskier to sell. These shops and businesses would generally be shy of taking risks, so they'd be staying with a proven market.

While this led to the idea of set prices (and price tags), yes, a lot has happened since this practice started and much of it has nothing to do with Friendly views or values, but with greed or profit.

(And it's worth noting that while accumulation of material wealth was not a Friend's goal, that many Friends did well in commerce because they had a reputation for fairness, quality, and integrity. Much of their income would often be saved up because of their simple lifestyle.)

Re: Immoral?

By ArmoredDragon • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Found another Marxist (even if you think you aren't, your ideas are borrowed directly from concepts created by Marx, which makes you one by definition, if not by your own identity.)

Perhaps it's because the rich most often obtain their wealth not from hard work but through pricing differences on stocks and the borrowing of money to others

Ah yes, it's another "I know how to become rich, it's easy, just do X. I just don't do it because it's immoral!"

If trading stocks makes you rich, then go do it, and then tell me how it works out for you. (Pro tip: Even the best actively managed funds underperform compared to index funds because their fund managers aren't oracles, and day traders are rarely rich, so keep that in mind before you toss your savings away once the trading bell rings tomorrow.) Even if you do the smart thing and go long on investments, your chances of being rich aren't that great either, unless you've already got a lot of knowledge behind you that you can use to tell you whether something is a good investment or a horrible one (pro tip: Most are horrible, even the ones that look really promising tend to be bad.)

If the lending money makes you rich, then I have to ask: Where on earth do you obtain this money that you can lend out? Furthermore, how do you know whether the borrower will pay you back? If the borrower refuses to pay, then how do you recover your losses (and yes, it WILL be a loss for you, even if you manage to get all the principal amount back from them.) And given you're supposed to get rich form this, then how long does it take for that to happen, and with what amount of money are you starting?

Don't bother answering though: Becoming rich is actually a property of the individual (hence why people who win hundreds of millions in the lottery typically end up poor within a decade) so people don't get rich this way. If they do, there's a lot more that has to occur well before then.

to avoid the wealth to merely horde their assets

And this is why you don't understand anything about what makes a rich person, and that what you're saying is just a collection of regurgitated talking points. If you don't understand what I mean by this, then consider my point proven.

because the earnings were not at all in proportion to the effort.

This is perhaps the most bullshit concept of our time. Why do I say this? Because people (yourself included) espouse this all the time, and yet wouldn't ever dare follow it (and yes, that includes you as well.) This is derived from Marx's labor theory of value, which is that all labor is worth exactly the same, no matter what it is for. So this means that performing brain surgery is worth the same hourly wage as digging a ditch with a pickax. Another interesting property is that Manifest der Kommunistischen Partei is worth far less than Mein Kampf if Marxists applied that theory objectively.

In fact, it's rarely in proportion to the economic good or social good either

...according to some rules you just made up...

I'm unaware of anyone who in the long-term has a negative tax rate even with tax credits

Actually this is pretty easy to do; your effective income just has to be at or below the lowest 35% of income earners, and your net tax burden is less than zero in pretty much every circumstance. If you don't know anybody who has been this way their whole life, then you've only seen and known affluence.

Former FBI Director James Comey Reveals How Apple and Google's Encryption Efforts Drove Him 'Crazy'

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader shares a report: In his explosive new book, A Higher Loyalty, fired FBI director James Comey denounces President Trump as "untethered to the truth" and likens him to a "mob boss," but he also touches on other topics during his decades-long career in law enforcement -- including his strong objection to the tech industry's encryption efforts. When Apple and Google announced in 2014 that they would be moving their mobile devices to default encryption, by emphasizing that making them immune to judicial orders was good for society, "it drove me crazy," he writes. He goes on to lament the lack of "true listening" between tech and law enforcement, saying that "the leaders of the tech companies don't see the darkness the FBI sees," such as terrorism and organized crime.

He writes, "I found it appalling that the tech types couldn't see this. I would frequently joke with the FBI 'Going Dark' team assigned to seek solutions, 'Of course the Silicon Valley types don't see the darkness -- they live where it's sunny all the time and everybody is rich and smart." But Comey understood it was an unbelievably difficult issue and that public safety had to be balanced with privacy concerns.


By Voyager529 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Oh, this chestnut again. Let's review what actually happened...

Apple ignored a Federal warrant requiring them to assist in accessing a phone used by a dead terrorist.

No, they didn't. They provided law enforcement with the data they had - iCloud data, keychain contents...whatever data they actually-had, they handed over. What the government wanted was for Apple to write a firmware update that would enable the FBI to brute force the passcode requirement and push it to the phone. The reason there was all kinds of fanfare was because the FBI was trying to compel Apple to write software that didn't exist, for the sake of reducing security that everybody, everywhere, ever, knew was not going to be used in just this one singular case.

They claimed it would cost them to much money and tie up too many resources.

Well, yes. Writing software takes time and money, from intelligent humans. Apple doesn't have a central database of passcodes camping out on a Macbook in Tim Cook's office in Cupertino that they were simply refusing to query.

They claimed their security was so good that even they might not be able to retrieve any data from the phone.

Well, if Apple wrote firmware that worked well enough on their test unit, but ended up failing on the phone of interest for whatever reason, would the FBI have been okay with that? Or would Apple have been liable for obstruction of justice? Only a fool would give any form of guarantee.

They used the entire episode to showcase their commitment to a users privacy.

The way this is written, it sounds like it's intended to be derogatory...but I really don't see a downside to such a commitment.

In other words they used their actions to sell more devices.

You have a dizzying intellect. People want phones that are secure. The FBI indicates they are having trouble unlocking the phone. The FBI brings the issue to the court of public opinion. Apple affirms that their devices are so secure, the FBI has to compel them to write software that doesn't exist in order to maybe-kinda-sorta get access to it. People trust Apple more, and buy more phones as a result due to their security. Welcome to how capitalism is supposed to work.

And a couple of days later they ended up getting a big kick in the nuts as a third party proved Apples vaunted security technology was complete bullshit.

Well, that's quite a leap there. Third parties have *always* managed to find a vulnerability in iOS. Take a look at the history of jailbreaking; time and time again iOS has fallen given enough poking and prodding. If an Israeli company managed to successfully exploit a vulnerability as a last ditch effort, that's far different than Apple using their software developers and their signing keys to write software they did not want to write, at the behest of their own government officials, who would have ended up using the incident to cement into case law the ability of the FBI to require work to be done by private companies in order to meet their own ends.

Now, if you want to take it one step come the last thing we heard from the case was that the Israeli company unlocked the phone? If there was any useful data at all on that phone, you KNOW the FBI would have been shouting from the rooftops how they arrested a dozen more terrorists because of what was on the phone, and how Apple got in the way. Instead, we heard nothing thereafter. If Apple was full of it with respect to their security argument, then the FBI was ten times worse and they never owned up to being wrong.

But hey, everyone has Graykey now, so you win.

Don't worry, we see the darkness

By Opportunist • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

But we are also capable of something you apparently cannot do: See beyond our own needs. Which is scary considering that your job is to put yourself into the boots of criminals so you understand how they think which allows you to catch them more easily.

We know that catching terrorists is harder when there is encryption. But flawed encryption means that terrorists will use perfect encryption while your industry, having to obey the law, has to use faulty one which can easily be cracked, not only by you but also by, say, North Korea. Which is certainly interesting in case of, say, a company developing new and more efficient means of enriching nuclear material.

Apparently you can't think this far. It's not that hard, really. In other words, I rarely agree with Trump, but firing you was one of his more sensible moves. We don't need ignorant people who are unfit for their job in critical positions.


By SoftwareArtist • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

public safety had to be balanced with privacy concerns

In some ways he's right about this: there are situations where you really do need to balance one against the other. And that's the whole problem. The FBI, NSA, etc. decided it was up to them where to strike the balance, which of course meant giving themselves as much power as possible. And since they knew a lot of rabble rousing citizens wouldn't agree with their decisions, they went to huge lengths to hide what they were doing (and are still doing). If you keep your actions secret, you don't have to worry about anyone criticizing you.

By doing that, they betrayed democracy. If a balance has to be struck between safety and privacy, it's up to the people to decide where to strike it. Not the police. Not the government. And the people can only make that decision through a fully informed public debate. The FBI and NSA didn't want a public debate, so they just did what they wanted and slapped "top secret" on everything to keep the people from finding out. By doing that, they made themselves into the bad guys. And they will remain the bad guys until they come clean about everything they have done, and accept that it's up to the people, not up to themselves, to decide where to strike the balance.


By ooloorie • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Comey is the one who brought up the emails a week or two before the election

Yes, and he has personally stated why. He didn't do it to hurt Clinton, he did it because he assumed she was going to win and thought it would help her to deal with this before her coronation.

Comey was a major reason why Clinton lost the election. She was leading by a wide margin before Comey stuck his oar in.

Hillary lost because she was a lying, incompetent, corrupt psychopath with no charisma, no political skills, and no redeeming qualities: she caused life-long Democrats like myself to leave the party in disgust.

Polls showed her leading all the way until election day; the polls were simply wrong. Probably a lot of people who hated her hung up on pollsters, like I did. Why help these people manipulate me?

Everybody's Fault But Mine

By CanHasDIY • Score: 3 • Thread

^ The memoirs of James Comey

Microsoft Windows 10 Gains Linux/WSL Console Copy and Paste Functionality

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
BrianFagioli writes: For better or worse, the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) initiative seems to be moving full steam ahead. There are some very respectable distributions available in the Microsoft Store, such as Debian, Ubuntu, and Kali to name a few. Not to mention, Microsoft is trying to encourage even more maintainers to submit their distros with a new tool.

Apparently, some Windows 10 users have been clamoring for the ability to copy and paste both from and to WSL consoles -- a reasonable request. Well, as of Insider Build 17643, this is finally possible.

'As of Windows 10 Insider build #17643, you can copy/paste text from/to Linux/WSL Consoles!!! We know that this is a feature MANY of you have been waiting for -- our sincerest thanks for your patience and continued support while we untangled the Console's internals, allowing us to implement this feature. To ensure that we don't break any existing behaviors, you'll need to enable the 'Use Ctrl+Shift+C/V as Copy/Paste' option in the Console 'Options' properties page,' says Rich Turner, Microsoft.

What's the point?

By fred911 • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

And, why would you want to run a high performance OS virtualized on a bloated OS when you can virtualize the bloated OS on top of the high performance OS that has provided this ability for years?


Re:Why does the WSL exist?

By Mascot • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

I can't answer for anyone else but, while I have no interest in running a full Linux desktop at this time, I do like some of the tools available in the Linux terminal.

I did, in the past, try to run Linux as my main desktop, it failed miserably (don't get me started). I tried booting into it for the few tools that I preferred on the platform, it proved to be much too cumbersome to be worth it. Getting easy access to them from within Windows in a fashion that is not Cygwin, is all good in my book.

So, to answer your question, I guess WSL exists for people like me.

Re:How long before...

By Rob Y. • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

The endgame is to marginalize desktop Linux as much as possible. This WSL thing is not desktop linux at all - it's a way to make sure linux back-end developers run Windows on their desktops instead of using desktop linux as the only way to bring their development environment with them.

And maybe, just maybe, that's enough for today's Microsoft. Sure, they'd love to lock down the hardware farther - and they may well try to do it. But they don't need to. Back-end Linux is no longer a threat to them - if only because they've already lost that battle. These days they'd rather you pay them to run Linux for you on their Azure cloud than worry about the fact that you're not using Windows for back-end development. But anything that marginalizes the Windows desktop stands a chance of harming the cash cow that makes the rest of their business work. So, Chromebooks are definitely a threat. Android, again, was a threat up until the moment that Microsoft conceded they'd lost that battle too. The biggest difference between today's Microsoft and Ballmer's is that they're capable of admitting loss and have figured out how to thrive anyway.

Re:How long before...

By modmans2ndcoming • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

The end game is to provide access to the tools developers like to use. They don't give a shit about "marginalizing Linux on the desktop" The Desktop isn't even a market they are interested in anymore.

WSL isn't Linux; it's Linux disto tools on Windows

By ancientt • Score: 3 • Thread

There seems to be a common misunderstanding that WSL is running a Linux kernel. It isn't. WSL is still running on the Windows kernel. People think of popular Linux distributions as being Linux, but they're only Linux because of the kernel, not because of the tools they're bundling to create a distribution. When you switch to a BSD or Mach kernel using the same tools, you're no longer using Linux, regardless of the programs you're running. That's what WSL is too. It's a distribution's bundled tools running on a different kernel, in this case the Windows kernel.

It'd make more sense to call it Ubuntu on Windows. Really though, it makes more sense for MS to call it "Linux" because that's what people think of when they hear the word. Otherwise you'd have "GNU on Windows" and spend all your time explaining you're talking about running a Linux distribution on Windows without using actual Linux. It's like insisting people use the original meaning of the word "hacker." If you use the word to mean what it really means, then people won't understand what you mean.

I know this post is pretty much off topic, but a lot of people still seem misled by the term and I hope at to help clear up the misconceptions for a couple people.

Microsoft Engineer Charged In Reveton Ransomware Case

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader writes: A Microsoft network engineer is facing federal charges in Florida for allegedly helping launder money obtained from victims of the Reventon ransomware. Florida investigators say that between October 2012 and March 2013, Uadiale worked with a UK citizen going online by the moniker K!NG. The latter would distribute and infect victims with the Reveton ransomware, while Uadiale would collect payments and send the money to K!NG, in the UK. Investigators tracked down Uadiale because this happened before Bitcoin became popular with ransomware authors and they used the now-defunct Liberty Reserve digital currency to move funds. Authorities from 18 countries seized and shut down Liberty Reserve servers in May 2013.

Why ?? why ??

By martiniturbide • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
It kind of sucks that the company get named on the headline when an employee does something evil.

he was tracked down

By tomhath • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Investigators tracked down Uadiale because this happened before Bitcoin became popular

No, they tracked him down because he was committing a crime. Whether or not it would have been easier to track him down if he'd used bitcoin is another question.

Re: Really

By c6gunner • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

I don't like Windows either, but I hardly consider it ransomware. Just install Ubuntu which is free.

I'm not permitted to use Linux at work, so it certainly feels like I'm being held hostage.

Elite scammer

By lucm • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

At least he took it a step further than email scams

The accused is Raymond Uadiale, 41, a naturalized US citizen of Nigerian descent

Pentagon Reports 2000% Increase in Russia Trolls Since Friday

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader shares a report: Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said in Saturday's briefing that there has been a "2,000% increase in Russian trolls in the last 24 hours," following the coordinated strike against Syria on Friday night.

Re:Yeah, Slashdot has become wildly 'conservative'

By TheGratefulNet • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread


I'm very liberal and when I post my strong dislike for the R's that are ruining things for all of us, I get modded down very unrealistically, compared to how slash used to be (note, I do have a low enough number to know what slash used to be like in the early days).

IT is not conservative; slash is mostly IT based and yet the R's come here in storm and mod things down in a pretty organized manner.

I'd say there are definitely paid shills and trolls here and have been over about 10 years, now.

I dont' really care; since I realize that this place has long been invaded and ruined. I still speak my mind and the message still does get out. but it is a shame that the invasion of social media has mostly ruined it, as a true communication medium.

Re:Yeah, Slashdot has become wildly 'conservative'

By bazorg • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

It can't be easy to be make a living as a pro-Trump comedian. The man is a parody of our times.

Re:Good gravy

By Ol Olsoc • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

I predict a 3000% increase in Rickrolling.

And I predict a 4000% increase in Pentagon trolls.

Or are we not supposed to acknowledge the fact that the US gov't pays people and wages propaganda wars on the Internet?

So can you give me some links to the "Pentagon trolls? Are they like the Russian Trolls? Looking forward to your defense of your thesis and how you identified them as trolls from the Pentagon.

Re: Yeah, Slashdot has become wildly 'conservative

By tinkerton • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

You're on to us. Actually the Russian trolls are the only commenters left on this site. And bots of course. It's a honeypot site for the occasional visitor who strays onto the site. I spend most of the time quarrelling with myself under different ids in the hope I manage to trap a visitor. It's a lot of work.

Re: Oh no

By sycodon • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

"Trolls" and "Russian" are merely the latest in the long list of throw away invectives used to dismiss someone with a different opinion.

Both sides do this, although in the last year, "Russian" has moved to the top of invectives, replacing, "Racist!". But only by a small margin.

Lawmakers Call FBI's 'Going Dark' Narrative 'Highly Questionable' After Motherboard Shows Cops Can Easily Hack iPhones

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Joseph Cox, reporting for Motherboard: This week, Motherboard showed that law enforcement agencies across the country, including a part of the State Department, have bought GrayKey, a relatively cheap technology that can unlock fully up-to-date iPhones. That revelation, cryptographers and technologists said, undermined the FBI's renewed push for backdoors in consumer encryption products. Citing Motherboard's work, on Friday US lawmakers sent a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray, doubting the FBI's narrative around 'going dark', where law enforcement officials say they are increasingly unable to obtain evidence related to crimes due to encryption. Politico was first to report the letter. "According to your testimony and public statements, the FBI encountered 7,800 devices last year that it could not access due to encryption," the letter, signed by 5 Democrat and 5 Republican n House lawmakers, reads. "However, in light of the availability of unlocking tools developed by third-parties and the OIG report's findings that the Bureau was uninterested in seeking available third-party options, these statistics appear highly questionable," it adds, referring to a recent report from the Justice Department's Office of the Inspector General. That report found the FBI barely explored its technical options for accessing the San Bernardino iPhone before trying to compel Apple to unlock the device. The lawmaker's letter points to Motherboard's report that the State Department spent around $15,000 on a GrayKey.

Quoting Monty Python...

By K. S. Kyosuke • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

However, in light of the availability of unlocking tools developed by third-parties and the OIG report's findings that the Bureau was uninterested in seeking available third-party options, these statistics appear highly questionable"

FBI: "I wish to plead incompetence."

Independent verification Greykey works?

By david.emery • Score: 3 • Thread

Anyone seen 'proof' this GrayKey thing actually works?

Re:It's not easy being the good guys

By NormalVisual • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

The freedoms we enjoy are quite precious, and the sacrifices made to preserve them do not all occur on the field of battle

Which also means that we as a society have to deal with the fallout from such rights. For instance, the fact that it's legal to buy and sell alcohol means that people WILL die as a result of drunk driving, regardless of the laws against that particular act. You can't have one without the other, and if you truly stand for freedom, you accept that. We can take other steps to prevent those deaths, but they'll always be an inherent cost of preserving that right.


By markdavis • Score: 3 • Thread

>"That revelation, cryptographers and technologists said, undermined the FBI's renewed push for backdoors in consumer encryption products."

To me, it is completely irrelevant whether they can or can't unlock consumer devices. The PRINCIPLE remains the same- the government does not and should not have a "right" to ruin security in the name of "safety". I don't care how inconvenient it this makes it for them to do their job. The statements about not necessarily needing it due to hacking products shouldn't distract from the real thing at stake here- personal privacy and freedom.

There simply is no way to have have it both ways. When you have "back doors" in encryption, there will be no security/privacy anymore.

Re:So, the FBI is lying?

By BlueStrat • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

I'd call them more incompetent than anything else. They received tips about the Florida school shooter including his name and what he was going to do and they did nothing. Typical big government.

After the "Fast & Furious" fiasco where the ATF were attempting to illegally allow straw-purchasers from Mexican drug cartels to buy and smuggle US weapons into Mexico to "give ammo" to the gun-control lobby, it would not surprise me at all to learn of covert 'stand-down' orders regarding the Parkland shooter (especially considering the bizarre behavior/non-action of LEOs at the scene on top of a plethora of ignored warnings beforehand), and authorities at high levels in government responsible for deliberately and intentionally allowing those children to die to advance the gun-control agenda.

It's strange, because gun-related homicides over the last 25 years are down over 50% and gun violence victimization is down over 75%. School shootings are also way down, with the '90s being the worst.

The US government is rapidly coming to more-resemble a hostile occupying force than a peaceful domestic government in place by the will of the people it governs.


Researchers Find Genetic Cause For Alzheimer's, Possible Method To Reverse It

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
schwit1 quotes UPI: Scientists at an independent biomedical research institution have reported a monumental breakthrough: The cause of the primary genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's disease, and a possible cure for the disease. Researchers at Gladstone Institutes in San Francisco identified the primary genetic risk factor for the disease, a gene called apoE4... Their findings were published this week in the journal Nature Medicine... By treating human apoE4 neurons with a structure corrector, it eliminated the signs of Alzheimer's disease, restored normal function to the cells and improved cell survival.
The study's senior investigator says he's already working with a San Francisco pharmaceutical startup to develop the approach and move towards clinical trials, adding that "we are working to accelerate the timeline as much as possible."

cure Alzheimers

By e**(i pi)-1 • Score: 3 • Thread
Rise of the Planet of the Apes .... (John Lithgow's character got that treatment)

Re: old news

By alvinrod • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
It still matters not one bit. Unless the main cause of death becomes accidents with near complete and instant fatality, eventually a person gets sick and needs expensive medical care. Instead of big pharma selling you meds for Alzheimers, they sell you meds for something else.


By ceoyoyo • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

You're correct. The paper is about a cell culture model for Alzheimer's. The authors point out that lots of potential treatments seem to work on mouse models but fail miserably in humans. So they created a cell culture model using stem-cell derived human neurons. They show that neurons that express ApoE4 have various Alzheimer's-like features, and that these can be reversed by gene editing to flip the ApoE4 to another variant, or through the use of a structure-correcting drug.

The paper is really about the cell culture model, which is very important, but it's not a new drug, and it's a long way from being an actual human.

apoE4 gene not the only cause of Alzheimer's

By RNLockwood • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

It's first required to detect the apoE gene and whether there are one or two copies to provide a provisional diagnosis, I guess that's not really a problem but the article doesn't say. I would guess that when patients reach some age or perhaps at birth the genetic test would be prescribed by physicians as a matter of course. What's the normal function of the gene?

Having one copy of the apoE gene doubles and two copies multiplies by 12 the chance of contracting Alzheimer's according to the article, which implies that there are other causes of Alzheimer's and also implies that having the gene doesn't predict with any certainty that carrier will exhibit symptoms if he or she lives long enough. Never-the-less this approach appears to have great promise, probably too late to help me (I'm not yet exhibiting symptoms though despite what my detractors may allege!)

Re: old news

By thomst • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

alvinrod shrugged dismissively:

It hardly matters. Old people will eventually spend all of that money on some other medical condition. Unless you have a cure for old age in general, people will still have to face that after decades, their bodies are getting worn down. That means spending more and more money to keep it afloat or just accepting death.

"It hardly matters" to you - for the moment.

Wait until someone you care about develops Alzheimer's (this, of course, assumes you care about anyone other than yourself), and you have to deal with their progressive mental deterioration on a personal level. I can tell you from my personal experience that watching my mother steadily turn into a frightened, confused, paranoid sketch of herself, conversing with whom eventually became little more than an exercise in listening to a skipping record - constantly getting lost before she reached the end of a sentence, repeating the same "news" several dozen times in a half-hour phone call - was profoundly heart-rending.

To focus exclusively on the financial cost of the disease (and you are completely off-base even there, since Alzheimer's can require up to a decade or so of residential, supervised care before it becomes fatal in and of itself) and completely ignore the human one is profoundly callous, at best.

I'm not going to say, "I hope it happens to someone you love," because I wouldn't wish Alzheimer's on anyone. But I surely am tempted ...

Is It Time To Stop Using Social Media?

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
Slashdot reader Nicola Hahn writes: Bulk data collection isn't the work of a couple of bad apples. Corporate social media is largely predicated on stockpiling and mining user information. As Zuckerberg explained to lawmakers, it's their business model...

While Zuckerberg has offered public apologias, spurring genuine regulation will probably be left to the public. Having said that, confronting an economic sector which makes up one of the country's largest political lobbying blocks might not be a tenable path in the short term.

The best immediate option for netizens may be to opt out of social media entirely.

The original submission links to this call-to-action from Counterpunch: Take personal responsibility for your own social life. Go back to engaging flesh and blood people without tech companies serving as an intermediary. Eschew the narcissistic impulse to broadcast the excruciating minutiae of your life to the world. Refuse to accept the mandate that you must participate in social media in order to participate in society. Reclaim your autonomy.

Re:It's time to user smaller specific social media

By gravewax • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
You seem to have failed to learn your lesson from all the breaches and data collection. there is no such thing as too expensive, Business 101 is if the data is hard or expensive to gather then it is much more valuable and can be sold at a much higher cost. The only answer is for your data not be out there.

Re:Wrong question; You shouldn't have used it at a

By DontBeAMoran • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Modern life has become reliant on those services.

Says who? I've never used those services in the first place.

People are too busy, they aren't going to post everything to five different networks and your personal email address.

The question is, why are you posting everything? Stop broadcasting your life online!

Go back to regular forums, there's still millions of them all over the place, targeting specific topics. If I visit a DIY arcade cabinets forum, the worst thing that can happen is that I see ads related to arcade hardware, which I might be interested in because I visit that kind of website.

It's time to stop using certain features, surely.

By hey! • Score: 3 • Thread

It's pretty much impossible NOT to reveal your social connections using social media, but it's the combination of insight into the nodes in that graph with the network that gives people with that data power over you.

So any kind of game, app or quiz where you reveal things about yourself or personal preferences is a bad thing. Forwarding and commenting on political news is probably a bad thing -- not in itself, but combined with the analytical power a social connection graph provides; it's one thing to exercise your free speech, it's another to contribute to a the greatest political surveillance network in history.

You might want to think twice about face tagging and geotagging your photographs too -- going by the Categorical Imperative. If enough people do that they've got a covert body tracking network.

People use social media because they serve a useful purpose, but they aren't aware of the unintended consequences; exploiting unintended consequences is those companies' entire business model.

Re:It's time to user smaller specific social media

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

Would not work.

If I organize an Aikido seminar with a famous teacher I expect about 100 - 120 guests.

For that I have my FB account and simply post into my timeline the event details or organize an "FB Event" , where people can click "join", "maybe", "no".

To reach all my audience I would need to do that on every majour platform. And hence: I would be on all majour platforms. Sooner or later people would migrate to the more prominent one(s).

E.g. classmates from school gather on platform A
Ex military on platform B
Family on Platform C, except for your spoces parents who refuse ;D

And so it goes on. In the end everyone is on several platforms. I'm on several platforms anyway, because I don't use FB for business, but linkedin and XING.

It is the same with messaging Apps ... I use 4 regularly and have probably 4 more installed (and that does not include FB messenger ... I only use it if I need to sent a reply, but that I usually do via the web site)

Re:It's time to user smaller specific social media

By Rob Y. • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

But Google is just as bad but not as obvious as is any other social media. You are the product.

I don't know what you mean by 'not as obvious', but no Google is not just as bad. And it just confuses the issue to insist that they are. The problem with Facebook isn't that they have your info - it's the way they use it. Including sharing it with 3rd parties, sharing stuff they told you only your friends could ever see, and allowing 3rd parties to target you directly based on the info they got from Facebook.

Google has your info and uses it to run their business. Which is plenty intrusive, but still consists of showing you advertisements that they think you'll click on. That's a devil's bargain that you might not like, but it's not what Facebook does - which is to use your info any damn way they can think of as well as selling it to others. It's possible to use Google's search service in incognito mode and not give them any personal info - and they can still make money off of you in that mode. Of course, once you sign on to Gmail, you're in the matrix. But at least it's possible. Facebook doesn't have the luxury of a business model that can exist without your info - but that doesn't mean they couldn't run a successful business without compromising it. They just choose not to.