the unofficial Slashdot digest for 2018-Apr-16 today archive


  1. Supreme Court Set To Hear Landmark Online Sales Tax Case
  2. Facebook Must Face Class-Action Lawsuit Over Facial Recognition, Says Judge
  3. Microsoft Built Its Own Custom Linux Kernel For Its New IoT Service
  4. New Child Protection Nonprofit Strikes Back At Sex-Negative Approach of FOSTA-SESTA
  5. Planet Fitness Evacuated After WiFi Network Named 'Remote Detonator' Causes Scare
  6. ReactOS 0.4.8 Released
  7. Coinbase Buys For Reported $100 Million, Adds Key Executive
  8. California Bill Would Restore, Strengthen Net Neutrality Protections
  9. Scientists Accidentally Create Mutant Enzyme That Eats Plastic Bottles
  10. T-Mobile To Pay $40 Million Over False Ring Tones on Rural US Calls
  11. Why New York City Stopped Building Subways
  12. Demand For Batteries Is Shrinking, Yet Prices Keep On Going and Going ... Up
  13. France is Building Its Own Encrypted Messaging Service To Ease Fears That Foreign Entities Could Spy on Private Conversations
  14. State-Sponsored Russian Hackers Actively Seeking To Hijack Essential Internet Hardware, US and UK Intelligence Agencies Say
  15. Former Senior VP of Apple Tony Fadell Says Company Needs To Tackle Smartphone Addiction
  16. Carbon Dioxide From Ships at Sea To Be Regulated For First Time
  17. US Bans American Companies From Selling To Chinese Electronics Maker ZTE
  18. Russia Begins Blocking Telegram Messenger
  19. Linus Torvalds Says Linux Kernel v5.0 'Should Be Meaningless'
  20. Hackers Stole a Casino's High-Roller Database Through a Thermometer in the Lobby Fish Tank
  21. Netflix Licensed Content Generates 80% of US Viewing, Study Finds
  22. Ola Wants a Million Electric Rides on India's Roads by 2021
  23. Linux 4.17 Kernel Offers Better Intel Power-Savings While Dropping Old CPUs

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

Supreme Court Set To Hear Landmark Online Sales Tax Case

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Gizmodo: On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in a case that could at least somewhat clarify Donald Trump's complaints about Amazon "not paying internet taxes." It will also decide if those cheap deals on NewEgg are going to be less of a steal. The case concerns the state of South Dakota versus online retailers Wayfront, NewEgg, and in a battle over whether or not state sales tax should apply to all online transactions in the U.S., regardless of where the customer or retailer is located. It promises to have an impact on the internet's competition with brick-and-mortar retailers, as well as continue to address the ongoing legal questions surrounding real-world borders in the borderless world of online.

Re:If they do it will be the death of

By Solandri • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
There are services small businesses can subscribe to which will provide a database of sales tax rates for different zip codes and addresses, which is updated regularly. It might affect a small mom and pop shop doing a few dozen interstate orders a month. But any business with a reasonable volume of interstate sales can easily cope with the patchwork mess of sales tax rates.

The problem is none of these services will indemnify the business against their screw ups. If their database gets a sales tax rate wrong, and the business ends up collecting insufficient sales tax for some of their transactions, the business has to pay for it, not the company providing the sales tax database.

What really needs to happen is for the government to set up a central database of these sales tax rates. The burden would then be upon state and local governments to update this database with any changes they make to their sales tax rates. Any business in the country could then query this database for each sale, and be guaranteed that they are charging the correct amount of sales tax. If there's ever any error in the database, then the fault lies with the state or local government which should've made sure their database entry was correct. And thus the penalty for such errors falls directly upon the party making the error. Not the crazy system we have right now where the penalty is passed on to businesses who have little to no capability to verify thousands of sales tax rates across the country.

Tax incidence

By sjbe • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

All of them (in practice). If you are rich, you don't pay sales taxes. You get tax credits and deductions for them. You are too poor to understand, or you'd already know that.

Well I'm an accountant and I'll disagree. Rich people pay sales tax too and it's easy to prove that they do. The difference is that sales tax amounts to a rounding error in their overall financial picture. A sales tax of 6% on groceries affects someone making $20K/year a LOT more than someone making $200K/year. Rich people don't get a special rich person discount at the grocery store or at the car dealership. In some they can run some expenses through a corporation which gets some deductions (not credits) but most of what they buy they pay sales tax on too, same as anyone else.

That's the stupidest argument ever. Yes, you aren't the first I've heard say that. If people, not corporations pay taxes, then my employer, a corporation, pays all my taxes, not any people.

Not only is that not a stupid argument, it's got a name and it's a well understood concept. It's called tax incidence and it's demonstrably correct. Let's use an example. If we tax gasoline sales the oil companies are going to be able to pass most or all of that cost to consumers so the party bearing the burden of that tax isn't the shareholders of the oil company but the car owners.

You should be in politics. Yes, that's an insult.

If you disagree with his argument fine but no need to be a dick about it.

Re:How about NO sales tax?

By tippen • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Exactly. If you really want to change the way people see taxes and the cost of government services, stop taking taxes out of everyone's paycheck before they get them and make them write a check each month.

It would be amazing the shift in public opinion once the cost of all those "free" things they get from the government became more visible.

Which location to use?

By mpercy • Score: 3 • Thread

In a brick-and-mortar case, we know the location to use for the transaction as the entire transaction occurs between people located within a single state and subject to the laws of they state they are all physically in. So the state can force a store to collect sales tax from its customers who come into the store and make purchases.

For an online purchase, it's not so clear?

Purchaser's location? What if the purchaser is in a hotel room far from home, maybe even out of the country? Or on an airplane?

Shipped-to address for the purchase or Purchaser's mailing address? I foresee a lot of Montana mailing addresses once someone in Montana realizes the business opportunity inherent in sales-tax avoidance arbitrage.

Purchaser's home address? What if the item is shipped elsewhere, e.g. a gift to an aunt in a 3rd state? And why would I tell anyone my home address instead of my mailing address?

Sender's address? Which one, the HQ? The warehouse? The fulfillment center?

Will states be able to force out-of-state brick-and-mortars to quiz customers and collect and remit use taxes on the assumption that their citizens temporarily in another state just bought something that they *should* have bought at home, thus depriving the home state of revenue?

Let's be equitable

By hierofalcon • Score: 3 • Thread

If states force online retailers to collect their sales tax - thus burdening the online retailer with knowing about all tax jurisdictions, having common descriptions of items country wide so you know what is even taxable and its particular rate on any given day then....

make all non-online retailers handle the sales tax rates the purchaser would pay at their home and remit them to their home states as well! You make a purchase, show your ID and then the sales tax rate will be whatever it would be for your home address. If you come from a state that is sensible and doesn't collect sales tax - you wouldn't have to pay it anywhere. If you come from a state that is nuts - then you're equally repressed everywhere in the United States you shop.

Seems fair to me. Your opinions will probably vary.

Facebook Must Face Class-Action Lawsuit Over Facial Recognition, Says Judge

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
U.S. District Judge James Donato ruled on Monday that Facebook must face a class-action lawsuit alleging that the social network unlawfully used a facial recognition process on photos without user permission. Donato ruled that a class-action was the most efficient way to resolve the dispute over facial templates. KFGO reports: Facebook said it was reviewing the ruling. "We continue to believe the case has no merit and will defend ourselves vigorously," the company said in a statement. Lawyers for the plaintiffs could not immediately be reached for comment. Facebook users sued in 2015, alleging violations of an Illinois state law about the privacy of biometric information. The class will consist of Facebook users in Illinois for whom Facebook created and stored facial recognition algorithms after June 7, 2011, Donato ruled. That is the date when Facebook launched "Tag Suggestions," a feature that suggests people to tag after a Facebook user uploads a photo. In the U.S. court system, certification of a class is typically a major hurdle that plaintiffs in proposed class actions need to overcome before reaching a possible settlement or trial.


By Aero77 • Score: 5, Funny • Thread
I look forward to my free years' worth of Facebook Premium (tm) as compensation. (/s)


By AmiMoJo • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

The EU has harmonized rules for personal data protection, which include a prohibition on the collection of biometric data without explicit permission from the subject. That includes facial recognition data.

So yes, in this case running that algorithm without the subject's permission is illegal.

Microsoft Built Its Own Custom Linux Kernel For Its New IoT Service

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
At a small press event in San Francisco, Microsoft today announced the launch of a secure end-to-end IoT product that focuses on microcontroller-based devices -- the kind of devices that use tiny and relatively low-powered microcontrollers (MCUs) for basic control or connectivity features. TechCrunch reports: At the core of Azure Sphere is a new class of certified MCUs. As Microsoft president and chief legal officer Brad Smith stressed in today's announcement, Microsoft will license these new Azure Sphere chips for free, in hopes to jump-start the Azure Sphere ecosystem. Because it's hard to secure a device you can't update or get telemetry from, it's no surprise that these devices will feature built-in connectivity. And with that connectivity, these devices can also connect to the Azure Sphere Security Service in the cloud. For the first time ever, Microsoft is launching a custom Linux kernel and distribution: the Azure Sphere OS. It's an update to the kind of real-time operating systems that today's MCUs often use.

Why use Linux? "With Azure Sphere, Microsoft is addressing an entirely new class of IoT devices, the MCU," Rob Lefferts, Microsoft's partner director for Windows enterprise and security told me at the event. "Windows IoT runs on microprocessor units (MPUs) which have at least 100x the power of the MCU. The Microsoft-secured Linux kernel used in the Azure Sphere IoT OS is shared under an OSS license so that silicon partners can rapidly enable new silicon innovations." And those partners are also very comfortable with taking an open-source release and integrating that with their products. To get the process started, MediaTek is producing the first set of these new MCUs. These are low-powered, single-core ARM-A7 systems that run at 500MHz and include WiFi connectivity as well as a number of other I/O options.

Re:Microsoft-secured Linux kernel

By phantomfive • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
Node.js is dead. Pay attention to Web Assembly, that is the future.

Re:Microsoft-secured Linux kernel

By LostMyBeaver • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
Ok... I'm going to bite.

I honestly have no problems with other platforms... except maybe Java... and that's because I simply feel completely disconnected from the platform when I'm using Java. I spent 30 more wasted minutes of my life yesterday trying to make WebStart... well web start. But it seems that Oracle seems to think making WebStart work in Chrome is a waste of time.

I have chosen C# and .NET for many reasons for my current project, I can honestly see no real downside to the platform. It is completely open, it's very often community driven. The tools are far more advanced than for any other platform. The performance isn't quite JavaScript (currently the fastest language out there for anything but static code) but I don't think it could ever be as slow as Python no matter how bad the .NET project messes up. .NET supports many different languages with integration between languages handled as a native feature of the .NET platform as opposed to the who SWIG lifestyle. It probably is the most versatile platform ever made for handling more than just one programming language. Sure, using the C ABI is pretty powerful too, but there has never been a standard for handling object oriented programming that way.

I also use .NET because it's lovely for coding on Mac and Linux.

I owned a Windows Phone for a while. It was pretty ok. I think it was extremely well made... with the exception of Microsoft making the stupid ass mistake of trying to force .NET down everyone's throat. No one wanted to rewrite their entire system to support Windows Phone. Even Apple didn't reach critical mass until they released ObjC++ allowing existing code bases to be ported to Mac pretty cleanly,

I never considered Silverlight an option for anything. I did however write the original port of Flash to Qt for the Qt Embedded platform on Linux. I never liked Flash either. I would rather just extend the web standards to support the features I was missing. I also don't like the video tag. With WebAssembly and WebGL, I can't imagine why any company would ever choose to try and standardize a codec when they could have supported a TPM for web kind of thing and simply supply their own. I'm pretty sure Netflix, HBO, YouTube and others will lose hundreds of millions a year by using Flash or the HTML5 video.

The only problem I could ever see to .NET was that people seem to dislike it because it's a Microsoft thing.

I'm heading to Microsoft Build next month because I feel that .NET is worth investing in. I expect it to be around for a while. I expect it to be supported for a while. I expect it to be constantly modernized for quite a while. I expect it remain one of the most open platforms for a while (permissive licensed only, no so called free GPL code). I am hoping to learn a lot of stuff there.

Oh.. my old bubble was the Qt bubble.

I guess you're in the Python bubble?

Re:How long will the battery last.

By religionofpeas • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

but real IoT devices live on a dirt cheap processor in a few kbytes, not Mbytes or GBytes and last for a year on a single battery.

Not if they are wifi-connected. That sucks power. Also, running a full TCP/IP stack with all the bells and whistles isn't going to work very well on a few kB. Sure, you can cram something in there that will work to some degree, but how is it going to withstand a well engineered attack for instance ?

2002 Business Case for Microsoft:Green envy &s

By NZheretic • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
Meanwhile back in 2002 from What's the Business Case for Microsoft and Open Source?

Re:Microsoft-secured Linux kernel

By fisted • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

that is the future

For the next how many weeks?

New Child Protection Nonprofit Strikes Back At Sex-Negative Approach of FOSTA-SESTA

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
qirtaiba writes: When the FOSTA-SESTA online sex trafficking bill passed last month, it sailed through Congress because there were no child protection organizations that stood against it, and because no member of Congress (with the brave exceptions of Ron Wyden and Rand Paul) wanted to face re-election having opposed a bill against sex trafficking, despite its manifest flaws. In the wake of the law's passage, its real targets -- not child sex traffickers, but adult sex workers and the internet platforms used by them -- have borne the brunt of its effects. Websites like the Erotic Review and Craigslist's personals section have either shut down entirely or for U.S. users, while has been seized, leaving many adult sex workers in physical and financial peril.

A new child protection organization, Prostasia Foundation, has just been announced, with the aim of taking a more sex-positive approach that would allow it to push back against laws that really target porn or sex work under the guise of being child protection laws. Instead, the organization promotes a research-based approach to the prevention of child sexual abuse before it happens. From the organization's press release: "Prostasia Director Jaylen MacLaren is a former child prostitute who used a website like this to screen her clients. She now recognizes those clients as abusers, but she does not blame the website for her suffering. 'I am committed to preventing child sexual abuse, but I don't believe that this should come at the cost of civil liberties and sexual freedom,' Jaylen said. 'I have found ways to express my sexuality in consensual and cathartic ways.'" Nerea Vega Lucio, a member of the group's Advisory Council, said, 'Child protection laws need to be informed by accurate and impartial research, and ensuring that policy makers have access to such research will be a top priority for Prostasia.'"

Re:I wish them luck

By jedidiah • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

> I don't think it's fair to conflate anti-prostitution with anti-sex.

The same people that are against prostitution are generally against many of the choices you would make about your own body. This goes for both political factions.

This strange confluence of fundies and feminists has been in force since the 80s when Gloria Steinem first picketed against porn.

Re:I don't know any SJW types

By Mashiki • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

SJW type and feminists at that. Remember the furor over dancers at a microsoft-GDC party? Yeah. Small group of whiners, but damage is done, people no longer employed. These are the same two groups that have been going hard after video games for the last few years, either trying to make claims that "sexuality cause men to become rapists" or "violent video games cause men to become serial killers." What should be bothering anyone old enough to remember Jack Thompson is that the left sjw/feminists have their own in Anita Sarkeesian, and where if it was o'l Jack they'd be rushing to fling attack articles. With Sarkeesian, they're nodding their heads and smiling while saying that she's absolutely right.

Remember the shit show over grid girls? All those feminists and sjws who screeched that a women should be able to work at any job they wanted? And....then pushed F1 to the point they basically fired dozens of women from well paying jobs that they wanted and enjoyed. Hope everyone is enjoying the regressive steps backwards and away from the sexual revolution now.

SJW's, Feminists, and what's left of religious conservatives still in that realm are all on the same side. It was feminists and SJW's pushing the #metoo stuff, it was a nearly dead sex-negative religiously back conservative group that got cosmopolitian removed from walmart. It's also not hard finding the number of people from the first two groups, pushing for censoring non-western games or even running campaigns to have games banned from sale in North America. DOAX3 was a good example, to the point where the made a developer believe there was *no* western market for it. Then there's crunchyroll censoring DanMachi Memoria Freese and really, I could keep going.

fake news??

By Reverend Green • Score: 3 • Thread

It's interesting that the director of this NGO, Jaylen MacLaren, has a very unique name. Yet Google seems to know nothing at all about her background.

Perhaps there NGO is some type of front group?

Re:I don't know any SJW types

By AmiMoJo • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Remember the furor over dancers at a microsoft-GDC party?

Did you understand the objections? It was a professional conference for game developers. Objecting to the dancers at that event is in no way incompatible with sex-positive feminism or support of legal, safe and regulated prostitution.

I've noticed one common aspect of arguments against SJWs is that they over-simplify and straw man the things they find objectionable. It's hard to tell if it is deliberate or if just some kind of premature "hot take". They often employ emotive language and imagery like "screeching" and hint at conspiracies.

If SJWs didn't exist then anti-SJWs would have to invent them... So they did.

Re:I don't know any SJW types

By gijoel • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
Which feminists would that be? Susie Bright, Nina Hartley, Rachel Kramer Bussel? BTW they're all sex positive feminists.

I'd also point out the Ron Paul often got into a lather about what people did with their unmentionables. Rand Paul like his father doesn't think women should be allowed to control their bodies. So you might want to take that log out of your eye now.

About those grid girls, people objected as they're thought to encourage morons to view women as objects and not you know people with their own tastes, values and desires. How about you run this little experiment for me. Go and get a job at a gay bar, wear stupidly tight shirts and hot pants. Clothes so tight that they look ready to snap. Work there for a month and tell me how it felt. Tell me how it felt when a drunk patron makes a pass at you, how it felt when they waived a tip in front of you as they asked you out on a date. Tell me how many times you got groped on an average shift, and then tell me how bad objectifying is. Besides what has F1 lost by getting rid of them? Are you there to watch the cars or the women. If the latter then why don't you save yourself a sunburn and go to a strip club.

Planet Fitness Evacuated After WiFi Network Named 'Remote Detonator' Causes Scare

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Windsor Star: A Michigan gym patron looking for a Wi-Fi connection found one named "remote detonator," prompting an evacuation and precautionary search of the facility by a bomb-sniffing dog. The Saginaw News reports nothing was found in the search Sunday at Planet Fitness in Saginaw Township, about 85 miles (140 kilometers) northwest of Detroit. Saginaw Township police Chief Donald Pussehl says the patron brought the Wi-Fi connection's name to the attention of a manager, who evacuated the building and called police. The gym was closed for about three hours as police responded. Pussehl says there's "no crime or threat," so no charges are expected. He notes people often have odd names for WiFi connections. Planet Fitness says the manager was following company procedure for when there's suspicion about a safety issue.

Good Cop, Have a Donut

By bestweasel • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

I'm cheered by Chief Pussehl's reaction. No SWAT team, no one got shot or arrested, he didn't call for new laws, he didn't even say it was a bad idea to call your wifi "Remote Detonator".

Shades of Ignignokt and Err

By ewhac • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
My mobile hotspot SSID is, "ERR:Buf overrun; restart WiFi".

Re:oh, the jokes....

By SuperKendall • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

If you didn't praise him for using a name from War-games, you should go to YOUR room without supper.

Tell him the cool people all know what he did and it was awesome.

What next?

By Todd Knarr • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

What next, evacuating an entire shopping mall because someone wrote "Bomb" on a sticky note and slapped it on a garbage can?

Re:WiFi names?

By Applehu Akbar • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Mine is GetOffMyLANKids.

ReactOS 0.4.8 Released

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
jeditobe shares a report from OSNews: With software specifically leaving NT5 behind, ReactOS is expanding its target to support NT6+ (Vista, Windows 8, Windows 10) software. Colin, Giannis and Mark are creating the needed logic in NTDLL and LDR for this purpose. Giannis has finished the side-by-side support and the implicit activation context, Colin has changed Kernel32 to accept software made for NT6+, and Mark keeps working on the shim compatibility layer. Although in a really greenish and experimental state, the new additions in 0.4.8 should start helping several software pieces created for Vista and upwards to start working in ReactOS. Microsoft coined the term backwards compatibility, ReactOS the forward compatibility one. Slashdot reader jeditobe adds: "A new tool similar to DrWatson32 has been created by Mark and added to 0.4.8, so now any application crashing will create a log file on the desktop. This crash dump details the list of modules and threads loaded, stack traces, hexdumps, and register state."

The announcement, general notes, tests, and changelog for the release can be found at their respective links. A less technical community changelog for ReactOS 0.4.8 is also available.

Status: pre-alpha

By steveha • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

I wish the ReactOS project success.

In the past I was not interested because it didn't even run on real hardware; you had to run it inside a virtual machine. Checking their web site it seems it does run on some real hardware now, but only some devices are supported. Actually that is great progress and I hope that it will attract more developers.

It's not that fun to work on a project when it's super primitive and everything is broken. When it works a bit and just needs a tweak here and there, more people will be interested in working on it. I hope that will be the case for ReactOS.

I would love to have a Windows-compatible system that doesn't phone home constantly and can run some of my favorite games. It will take a while but it's starting to look like they will get there.

Re:Status: pre-alpha

By FudRucker • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
i tried ReactOS back in late 2017 (a version or two back) and it was junk, and to think i dug out a spare harddrive and wiped the data off for it, that was an hour of my time trying to get ReactOS running i will never get back

Decided to try it; kersplat

By neilo_1701D • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

I've followed this project on-and-off for years, in much the same way I've followed AROS.

But what the heck; I downloaded the ISO and set up a VMWare VM for it to install into.

The install was painless and fast; much better that Windows in that respect.

Once the desktop was up, it struggled with some device drivers. No biggie; it can run without sound.

The big problem came when installing software. This is supposed to be Windows XP compatible, so I dug out my VB6 disks. I loaded disk 1, double-clicked Setup, and instant bluescreen. Ok, not good... I rebooted, and the system would get to "Loading personal settings" and that was it: frozen. I could now not get past this screen ever.

ReactOS is interesting and I'm sure the developers are having a blast. But as a piece of functional software and a WIndows replacement: not so much.



By Anonymous Coward • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

I tried a recent release and I was shocked at how far it's come since I first tried it many years ago. It's not perfect, but they've done an amazing job of getting the system to work with normal binaries in a reliable way. At least on the software I've tried.

The big problem though is that some required libraries can't be used as MS prohibits them from being used on other platforms, so .net programs can be an issue.

Coinbase Buys For Reported $100 Million, Adds Key Executive

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Digital currency exchange Coinbase announced today that it has acquired, a portal that allows people to make money by answering emails or completing other tasks. Coinbase did not disclose the terms of the deal but according to Recode, the offer was more than $100 million. As part of the acquisition, the crypto company will bring on Earn's founder and CEO Balaji Srinivasan as its first-ever chief technology officer. From the report: Srinivasan will act as "technological evangelist" for both the industry, and for Coinbase in his new role, the company said. "Balaji has become one of the most respected technologists in the crypto field and is considered one of the technology industry's few true originalists," Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong said in a blog post Monday. Srinivasan holds a BS, MS, and PhD in Electrical Engineering and an MS in Chemical Engineering from Stanford University, and has taught courses in data mining, stats, genomics, blockchain at his alma mater. He will also be responsible for recruiting more talent, an effort that the San Francisco-based company has beefed up in recent months.

California Bill Would Restore, Strengthen Net Neutrality Protections

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Mercury News: With the FCC order to repeal net neutrality rules set to take effect next week, a bill that would restore those regulations in California will get its first hearing Tuesday (Warning: source may be paywalled; alternative source). SB 822, written by State Sen. Scott D. Wiener, D-San Francisco, is backed by big names including Tom Wheeler, the Obama-appointed former Federal Communications Commission chairman who wrote the 2015 Open Internet Order. Wheeler is joined by former FCC commissioners Michael Copps and Gloria Tristani in advocating for SB 822, which would in some ways be stronger than the net neutrality rules put in place under President Obama's administration after more than a decade of legal and political wrangling. Those rules required equal treatment of all internet traffic, and prohibited the establishment of internet slow and fast lanes. Wiener's bill would also prohibit "zero rating," in which internet providers exempt certain content, sites and services from data caps. In addition, it would prohibit public agencies in the state from signing contracts with ISPs that violate net neutrality principles, and call for internet service providers to be transparent about their practices and offerings.

Re:You're welcome

By DCFusor • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
And FWIW as an actual conservative (rather than some alt-right wing nut) - I'm all for the kind of net neutrality Wheeler surprised us with. I'm old enough to remember all kinds of fearful comments about Wheeler here and on Ars (and Groklaw) because of his cable lobbyist background.
Seems some people need to remember that politics is the entertainment branch of the military industrial complex - on a good day.

The Bill is in Danger of Being Seriously Weakened

By Puk • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
A Senate committee recommended serious cuts to the bill:

And, of course, the ISPs have been fighting the bill _hard_:

If you're in CA and you support effective net neutrality legislation, let your local legislators know you want the original bill.

Re:You're welcome

By PopeRatzo • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Isn't California on the verge of going broke and taxing itself to death?

No. California has a big budget surplus.

Can't restore

By tomhath • Score: 3 • Thread
Neutrality was never in effect.

What's wrong with zero rating?

By viperidaenz • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

It's worked quite well in NZ before.

Currently we have zero rating available for mobile customers, you can buy a "socialiser" pack for your mobile plan, so Facebook et al. don't count towards your data caps.

Many many years ago I had a cable plan where NZ traffic was counted at 10%, so if you used local services (back in the day where DC++ was popular) and you effectively had 10x your data limit. Most local traffic between ISPs went through free peer exchanges while international traffic was costly for ISP's.

I'm sure there are ISP's that offer other zero rating plans for the likes of TV streaming.

I guess it would be different if an ISP had a monopoly in any area, but wholesale and retail has been split by with government regulation. Any ISP can serve any customer, whether it's via DSL or Fibre. It's only wireless ISP's that run their physical networks.

Scientists Accidentally Create Mutant Enzyme That Eats Plastic Bottles

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Scientists have created a mutant enzyme that breaks down plastic drinks bottles -- by accident. The breakthrough could help solve the global plastic pollution crisis by enabling for the first time the full recycling of bottles. From a report: The new research was spurred by the discovery in 2016 of the first bacterium that had naturally evolved to eat plastic, at a waste dump in Japan. Scientists have now revealed the detailed structure of the crucial enzyme produced by the bug. The international team then tweaked the enzyme to see how it had evolved, but tests showed they had inadvertently made the molecule even better at breaking down the PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic used for soft drink bottles. "What actually turned out was we improved the enzyme, which was a bit of a shock," said Prof John McGeehan, at the University of Portsmouth, UK, who led the research. "It's great and a real finding." The mutant enzyme takes a few days to start breaking down the plastic -- far faster than the centuries it takes in the oceans. But the researchers are optimistic this can be speeded up even further and become a viable large-scale process.

Re:Can't wait for this to get loose

By Applehu Akbar • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

It's fun to imagine the mayhem if it also eats vinyl

Hipsters sobbing as their precious record collections turn to grey goo and they have to start downloading music again, like Walmart shoppers.

Will it dissolve PET rocks?

By CaptainDork • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

Sorry, not sorry for exploiting low hanging fruit.

Re: Can't wait for this to get loose

By duke_cheetah2003 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Losing plastic would still be worth it.

Not really. We as a society are extremely dependent on this stuff. We use it for just about everything, from cars and machinery, to furnishings and toys, right down to medical tubing and syringes. We need our plastic, we don't have anything lined up to take its place in the modern world.

What we don't need is "disposable" plastic containers, these were an awful idea. Let's go back to glass. Sure it's heavier, but we can recycle it much easier and it's not such an annoyance in the wild.

If people would just use their brains, we could eliminate so much plastic waste. We've gone way off the deep-end with putting everything in "disposable" plastic containers.

Re: Can't wait for this to get loose

By freeze128 • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
It's an *ENZYME*, not bacteria. It isn't alive. It doesn't reproduce. It isn't a virus. It does not infect organisms to cause them to make more of itself. It just helps a particular chemical change to occur.

Re:Can't wait for this to get loose

By allcoolnameswheretak • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

My shiny, expensive LEGO collection!?! =-O


T-Mobile To Pay $40 Million Over False Ring Tones on Rural US Calls

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
David Shepardson, writing for Reuters: T-Mobile USA agreed on Monday to pay $40 million to resolve a government investigation that found it failed to correct problems with delivering calls in rural areas and inserted false ring tones in hundreds of millions of calls, the Federal Communications Commission said. T-Mobile, a unit of Deutsche Telekom, agreed to changes and acknowledged that it had injected false ring tones into hundreds of millions of long-distance rural calls, the FCC said, in violation of FCC rules.

False ring tones "cause callers to believe that the phone is ringing at the called party's premises when it is not," the FCC said, noting uncompleted calls "cause rural businesses to lose revenue, impede medical professionals from reaching patients in rural areas, cut families off from their relatives, and create the potential for dangerous delays in public safety communications."

Re:False ring tones?

By cogeek • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
From the article, it's when a cell phone is not in range of service but someone calling it still hears a ring tone as though it's ringing on the other end of the line, rather than a "that device is not available currently. Please try back later" message.

What a terrible summary

By MikeDataLink • Score: 3, Informative • Thread

From the article:

The FCC said false ring tones “cause callers to believe that the phone is ringing at the called party’s premises when it is not.” The agency added that uncompleted calls “cause rural businesses to lose revenue, impede medical professionals from reaching patients in rural areas, cut families off from their relatives, and create the potential for dangerous delays in public safety communications.”

TL;DR: They made your phone ring in the caller's ear, even though the call was probably not ringing at the receiver's end.

Tmobile... Not great out in the boondocks

By Virtucon • Score: 3 • Thread

I'm a tmobile customer and frankly this has annoyed me. I've been hit by it when I have to travel out into the remote expanses where I'm roaming or in a weak tmobile signal area. It does ring but no voicemail nothing, just ring ring ring.. It's annoying as fuck.

Now, I'm doubly pissed at tmobile but I'm also pissed that I'm not the one that'll be compensated for my trouble, it'll be the feds.. Why should they
pocket the loot if I'm the guy that's been wronged?

Routing tones...

By b0s0z0ku • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
Problem is that the US network doesn't use separate routing tones, so there would have to be silence while the device is looked for. Other countries have routing tones that sound like a fast "dah-dah-dah-dah-dah" when the phone is being located or the call is being switched, only changing to a ring tone (often sounds like BEEEEEP-BEEEEEEP) when the phone is actually ringing.

Re:False ring tones?

By omnichad • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Because you're fraudulently leading the person to believe that there's no problem with the T-mobile customer's signal/reception and that they are just not answering.

Why New York City Stopped Building Subways

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
New York City, which once saw an unprecedented infrastructure boom -- putting together iconic bridges, opulent railway terminals to build the then world's largest underground and rapid transit network in just 20 years -- has not built a single new subway line in more than seven decades. As New York's rapid transit system froze, cities across the globe expanded their networks. A closer inspection reveals that things have actually moved backward -- New York's rapid transit network is actually considerably smaller than it was during the Second World War, and due to this, today's six million daily riders are facing constant delays, infrastructure failures, and alarmingly crowded cars and platforms. This raises two questions: Why did New York abruptly stop building subways after the 1940s? And how did a construction standstill that started nearly 80 years ago lead to the present moment of transit crisis? The Atlantic's CityLab explores: Three broad lines of history provide an explanation. The first is the postwar lure of the suburbs and the automobile -- the embodiment of modernity in its day. The second is the interminable battles of control between the city and the private transit companies, and between the city and the state government. The third is the treadmill created by rising costs and the buildup of deferred maintenance -- an ever-expanding maintenance backlog that eventually consumed any funds made available for expansion.

To see exactly how and why New York's subway went off the rails requires going all the way back to the beginning. What follows is a 113-year timeline of the subway's history, organized by these three narratives (with the caveat that no history is fully complete).

At least NYC has something...

By natd • Score: 3, Interesting • Thread
Sydney, a fairly low density sprawl of some 5m people all trying to get to a single hub (on the east side) made a valiant start on a subway system in the late 1800's and then....stopped pretty much. Some original platforms and entire stations have never been used and some terminals were just meant to be a temporary 'breather'. I envy cities like Tokyo, London and indeed NYC for what seems to me the possibility to pick a destination in the city and 'just got there' pretty quickly in a way that's impossible in Sydney. Here, it's the total self-interest that has permeated both sides of politics. What's the point in a politician sticking their neck out for a 10+ year build when someone else might get the thanks down the line? That said, there is actually a decent new line being constructed now, but it's a drop in the ocean and no more seem to be in the planning, instead stupid light rails that are slower than walking in some cases, and certainly slower than a taxi or driving. Perhaps NYC has gone the same way, but at least you got a good start.

Re:Nothing about corruption?

By Higaran • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
Chicago still as a truly elevated system in places, and it's as old, but still is good, and gets upgraded regularly. I'm not saying that Chicago is not corrupt, because it totally is, everything you do needs a kick back to some politician or union, but we still manage to keep our trains running on a daily basis, and it's also 24/7, with free ride a couple of days a year.

Re: Nothing about corruption?

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Cause only techies building social media crap should opt for six figures salaries....?

Re:Nothing about corruption?

By aaarrrgggh • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

The bottom line is that you need to re-invest about 3-5% of the system replacement cost every year for maintenance and upkeep for real outcomes. When the money isn't spent on keeping the system operating at peak efficiency you build a funding deficit very quickly.

Not sure if NYC should invest more in expansion or if they need to create a 20-year maintenance master plan (which would likely require some expansion as part of the process). But, without doing something it is hard to imagine how traffic is going to get any better.

Re: Uh, no.

By PsychoSlashDot • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Did you really just blame that on Republicans?

You are a fucking moron if you think it lays at the feet of anyone except Democrats, who have been in complete control for 15 years, and 89% of the last century.

I know you're a troll, and I'm not American but I'd just like to point out that all you're illustrating is that the damage a Republican does in one year of power takes in excess of ten years of Democrat rule to repair.

Demand For Batteries Is Shrinking, Yet Prices Keep On Going and Going ... Up

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
schwit1 shares a report: Batteries on average cost 8.2% more than a year ago, while prices in the overall household-care segment rose only 1.8%, according to Nielsen. At a time when prices are stagnating on everything from toilet paper to diapers, such pricing power for a product that is increasingly obsolete has confounded shoppers [Editor's note: the link may be paywalled]. "As far as the prices go, you don't have a choice," said Samuel Hurly, a contractor from Mount Vernon, N.Y., as he scanned a Home Depot display of AAA batteries to power flashlights he uses on the job. Batteries ordered online take too long to arrive, Mr. Hurly said, and he finds cheaper, private-label options lose power too quickly.

Battery prices were more likely to fluctuate a few years ago, when Duracell was owned by consumer-products giant Procter & Gamble Co. and Energizer was part of Edgewell Personal Care Co. Those companies were more focused on their bigger, more profitable razor businesses -- Edgewell with Schick and P&G with Gillette. They would invest less in batteries, or slash prices to drive up volume, to compensate for weak sales in other units, said SunTrust analyst Bill Chappell. Energizer Holdings Inc. spun off from Edgewell in 2015, and Duracell broke apart from P&G a year later when it was acquired by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc.
schwit1 asks, "Both businesses have become more profit-focused since separating from their previous owners. Is the Energizer/Duracell duopoly ripe for disruption?"

Re:It was ripe for disruption a while ago

By Actually, I do RTFA • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

I don't buy anything that's not rechargable

I feel the exact opposite - I love AA devices. I want batteries to be replaceable and standard. I have rechargeable AA's. The batteries are obviously user-replacable. I can keep a bunch of them charged for quick swaps. I don't need to figure out which device needed to be charged, I just put the AAs in the charger from wherever they came from. I don't need to move the devices to near an outlet to charge them. And, in an emergency, I can just get a bunch of non-rechargable AAs from the store to run devices.

I'm clearly a large enough use case that it's driving single use batteries into a niche market.

I'm not sure that's really true. While the number of rechargable devices has exploded, most of those are things are replacing power cords, not AAs.

Re:Ripe for disruption

By PPH • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Please ask a Galaxy Note 7 user about LiON batteries.

Please ask Boeing.

Re:Ripe for disruption

By DontBeAMoran • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

And we also need a law stating these companies should also buy everyone a pony.

As long as we can pick both Fluttershy and Rarity, I'm fine with it.

Re:Ripe for disruption

By GameboyRMH • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

If only NiMH had the proper voltage - it has a lower voltage - 1.2v vs. 1.5v, so the more cells the device takes, the greater the undervoltage. It does work decently for low-power devices that only take 1 or 2 batteries such as clocks and TV remotes, but let's not kid ourselves.

I've been trying out a commercial off-the-shelf alkaline battery recharger, although by now I use them in so few things that I've hardly been able to see how effective the recharged batteries are compared to new ones. It does work, but you can only safely recharge the batteries a few times before they're likely to leak.

Re:Ripe for disruption

By Luckyo • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Problem being that that's not how AA standard works. Alkaline battery goes from 1,5V at full charge to about 0,8 as it is close to being empty. As a result, AA devices are commonly configured to accept any voltage in that range.

Modern NiMH stays at very stable 1,2V throughout the charge, making them actually better than alkaline in most usage scenarios. The only problem is that they tend to trip "at below 1,2V, alkaline is probably at about 1/3 charge left, so change the battery please". I have this issue with xbox 360 wireless controller, where my second gen, 5 year old eneloops will trip that after about 10 hours of usage, and then keep powering the controller for about 40 more hours before they need to be swapped.

Typical alkalines trip it after about 20 hours, and shut down about 10 hours after that.

France is Building Its Own Encrypted Messaging Service To Ease Fears That Foreign Entities Could Spy on Private Conversations

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
The French government is building its own encrypted messenger service to ease fears that foreign entities could spy on private conversations between top officials, the digital ministry said on Monday. From a report: None of the world's major encrypted messaging apps, including Facebook's WhatsApp and Telegram -- a favorite of President Emmanuel Macron -- are based in France, raising the risk of data breaches at servers outside the country.

About 20 officials and top civil servants are testing the new app which a state-employed developer has designed, a ministry spokeswoman said, with the aim that its use will become mandatory for the whole government by the summer. "We need to find a way to have an encrypted messaging service that is not encrypted by the United States or Russia," the spokeswoman said. "You start thinking about the potential breaches that could happen, as we saw with Facebook, so we should take the lead."

Re:Reinventing the wheel

By CaptSlaq • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
Per TFA, that sounds like what they may have done:

The French government’s encrypted app has been developed on the basis of free-to-use code found on the Internet and could be eventually made available to all citizens, the spokeswoman said. She declined to give the names of either the codes or the messaging service.

Re:Think about this....

By ctilsie242 • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

On the other hand, if a government creates a F/OSS app that has been vetted, isn't this a boon for pretty much anyone in the world? The German government is why GNU's Privacy Guard is still being updated, and France already funds VeraCrypt.


By Oswald McWeany • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

They seemed to build their end of the Channel Tunnel in the same length of time as it took the British to do their half. In the mean time you can't get a f---ing tunnel everyone knows needs building that goes 1/20th of the distance in the US because of politics, and it'll cost 10x as much if it ever gets built. So I'd say the French are fine actually with their 30 hour weeks - it seems fewer hours = more productive. Who knew?

I don't know about 30hours vs 40hour workweeks- but there have been studies that show increasing work hours per week does have diminishing returns up until a point where adding more hours does actually result in lower overall productivity.

There have also been studies that show that taking a lot of vacation actually increases productivity over the year than forcing people to go to work 50 weeks a year and only have 2 weeks vacation. America's stingy vacation policy actually negatively impacts productivity. If you want your workers to be more productive over a year- give them 6 weeks off not 2.

This is as it should be

By alispguru • Score: 3 • Thread

Anybody - a government, a group, an individual - who wants secure encrypted communications they trust can get them.

If you're just careful, you can download code from trusted sources, spin it up, and run your own servers.

If you're paranoid and have more resources, you can audit the code before using it.

if you're REALLY paranoid, you can go to the theory papers and write your own code.

Governments and law enforcement agencies have to stop dreaming about systems that are secure against everyone except them - that horse left the barn in the 1990's, never to return.

Conversations rocks

By Kludge • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Conversations, an XMPP client, now has OMEMO encryption built in. You can also use OpenPGP with it.
And it works many different hosting providers. I recently changed the XMPP host for my domain from one provider to another. France could just make certain that they have an XMPP service provider, and bam, they are done. Don't reinvent the wheel.

State-Sponsored Russian Hackers Actively Seeking To Hijack Essential Internet Hardware, US and UK Intelligence Agencies Say

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
State-sponsored Russian hackers are actively seeking to hijack essential internet hardware, US and UK intelligence agencies say. BBC reports: The UK's National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), the FBI and the US Department of Homeland Security issued a joint alert warning of a global campaign. The alert details methods used to take over essential network hardware. The attacks could be an attempt by Russia to gain a foothold for use in a future offensive, it said. "Russia is our most capable hostile adversary in cyber-space, so dealing with their attacks is a major priority for the National Cyber Security Centre and our US allies," said Ciaran Martin, head of the NCSC in a statement. The alert said attacks were aimed at routers and switches that directed traffic around the net. Compromised devices were used to look at data passing through them, so Russia could scoop up valuable intellectual property, business information and other intelligence.

Simple Solution

By darkain • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Write laws that prevent hardware manufacturers from putting security patches behind paid fees. In the enterprise space, this is far too common, under the guise of "service contracts" and is fucking ridiculous. Its just a way for large companies to milk more money from other large companies, and those smaller companies that cannot always afford to pay continual service contracts are the ones getting fucked over and exploited because of things like this. Seriously, it is sad that there is an actual community dedicated to pirating and distributing security patches from major enterprise hardware manufacturers.

Re:Blah Russia blah blah blah RUSSIA! Blah!

By Archtech • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

We already had a WWIII. It was called the Cold War.

Boy, do you have a nasty surprise coming!

The Cold War was worrying.

WWIII will *melt* you and set you on fire.

Re:What I say is...

By Alwin Barni • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Well, we do not assassinate our journalists for being critical of the government.

Re:What I say is...

By Holi • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
No offense, but regardless if there were any unethical or illegal acts there has been a Trump/Russia connection for a lot longer then Trump has had political ambitions.


By thunderclees • Score: 3, Interesting • Thread

"Russia is our most capable hostile adversary in cyber-space, so dealing with their attacks is a major priority for the National Cyber Security Centre and our US allies," said Ciaran Martin, head of the NCSC

Ciaran seems to have forgotten the tens of thousands of US trained crackers in the PRC

Former Senior VP of Apple Tony Fadell Says Company Needs To Tackle Smartphone Addiction

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
In an op-ed published on Wired, former SVP at Apple Tony Fadell argues that smartphone manufacturers -- Apple in particular -- need to do a better job of educating users about how often they use their mobile phones, and the resulting dangers that overuse might bring about. An excerpt: Take healthy eating as an analogy: we have advice from scientists and nutritionists on how much protein and carbohydrate we should include in our diet; we have standardised scales to measure our weight against; and we have norms for how much we should exercise. But when it comes to digital "nourishment", we don't know what a "vegetable", a "protein" or a "fat" is. What is "overweight" or "underweight"? What does a healthy, moderate digital life look like? I think that manufacturers and app developers need to take on this responsibility, before government regulators decide to step in -- as with nutritional labelling. Interestingly, we already have digital-detox clinics in the US. I have friends who have sent their children to them. But we need basic tools to help us before it comes to that. I believe that for Apple to maintain and even grow its customer base it can solve this problem at the platform level, by empowering users to understand more about how they use their devices. To do this, it should let people track their digital activity in detail and across all devices.

So brave. So brave....

By moehoward • Score: 3 • Thread

Oh, lord. These tech execs falling all over themselves to tell us how much they hate their own products.


Please just sell us more and let us decide for ourselves, instead of telling us "Your'e doing it wrong!" Shut up and give me more shiny things to play with.

Need parenting clinics

By CityZen • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread

If a child is "addicted" to mobile devices, it's an issue with parenting. Maybe the parent is "addicted" as well. In any case, trying to un-addict the child is like treating final-stage cancer, whereas promoting prevention measures (ie, teaching good parenting) would likely be much more successful.

Well that's an odd way of describing him...

By Anubis IV • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

I find it odd that he's referred to as "former SVP at Apple Tony Fadell" rather than by his most recent major stint as the "co-founder and former CEO of Nest who was forcibly ousted after squandering hundreds of millions of Google's dollars". It strikes me as a flagrant attempt by Wired to avoid undermining the credibility of the source who is giving them material that makes for a sensationalist headline.

To be fair, Fadell's prior work—both with founding Nest and prior to that at Apple with the iPod and iPhone—is outstanding, but, so far as I've seen, he really has rested on his laurels for the last few years as the worldhas passed him by, so I'm not sure why we should be listening to what he has to say now.

It's a bullshit comparison

By mysidia • Score: 3 • Thread

But when it comes to digital "nourishment", we don't know what a "vegetable", a "protein" or a "fat" is. What is "overweight" or "underweight"? What does a healthy, moderate digital life look like?

Sorry.... ALL that is nonsensical. What is unhealthy is when you have a habit that is (1) Beyond your Control, and (2) Causes harm or prevents you from pursuing goals.

"Using a smartphone" is not one thing ---- there are MANY different things you could be doing, some of the things you do could be productive, some of them less-so, some may sharpen some skills or abilities, some may be fairly useless such as exchanging funny cat memes on social media: on the other hand, some of the things you do on a smartphone could be highly critical to meeting your goals, for example personal development/app-based education or training, scheduling business meetings, business transactions performed on the phone: If your entire work/career/job can fit into things done on your phone then you could justify 8 hours, no problem.

How often and how long you can use a smartphone: depends on where you are in life, and what you hope to achieve.
Most of us have many responsibilities and things we need to get done every week and a limited number of hours per day to get things done, And if we're not productive enough and not getting the important things done because one activity is eating up all the available time, THEN that's a problem, and we need to make a change.

OTHERWISE it's a subjective choice --- how much of your entertainment/free time do you want to spend in an app. Maybe you're concerned about relationships and SmartPhone usage taking time away from that - Well, there's no exact formula for that..... Maybe you chose to stay single; do you really think going out to drink at random bars could be healthier than staying at home and playing a game? If you're in a relationship --- how much time you should spend focused on a significant other or friend or family per week; that's different for every relationship, and how fulfilling people want it to be, And nobody outside has the right to tell you what that balance has to be. Same goes for how much time you're staring at a little screen per week.

And books, too! And newspapers!

By ScentCone • Score: 3 • Thread
It's not THE PHONES. It's the services, information, data, tools, communication, maps and other things one gets to through that device that are the issue. People aren't addicted to their phones. They're addicted to their social contacts, to the news, to the novel they're reading, to the weather forecast, and such. Before those phones, they'd have been "addicted" to the AM radio while they were driving, they folded map they looked at, the printed novel they gazed at over lunch, the stock pages in the newspaper, the tabloid paper they picked up at the grocery store, and all of those other analogs.

How much novel reading or stock research is healthy? It's not the phones, just like it's not the guns, and not the spoons.

Carbon Dioxide From Ships at Sea To Be Regulated For First Time

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Carbon dioxide from ships at sea will be regulated for the first time following a historic agreement reached after two weeks of detailed talks in London. From a report: Shipping companies will halve their greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 under the plan, brokered by the International Maritime Organization and binding across its 170 member states. The agreement will require a revolution among ships, which are overwhelmingly fuelled by heavy oils at present. In future, they will have to not only be more energy-efficient, but also make use of cleaner energy, in the form of batteries supplying electricity, solar and wind electricity generation, and perhaps even a return to sail in some cases, or more controversially to nuclear power, as some warships already use.

Environmental campaigners said the plan was not enough given the urgency of tackling climate change, though they welcomed the deal, which has taken decades of work. Greenhouse gas emissions from shipping and aviation were omitted from the 1997 Kyoto protocol and have been excluded from regulations on carbon ever since, even though shipping is used for 80% of global trade. Although shipping accounts for only about 2% of global carbon emissions, it has been a cause of particular concern, both because of the increased need for transport under the globalising economy and because many ships use dirty, carbon-rich fuels such as heavy diesel, which would be banned in many countries from onshore transport.

Could have been stricter

By houghi • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

The original proposal was a lot stricter. They wanted to go all green. Three countries where against it, so a compromise was needed. Those countries where Saudi Arabia, Brazil an the USofA, because they said it would be too hard to do.
Countries that actually build ships ( yes, some are build in the US as well) had no problem with it.

Re:Just dump it in the US.

By jellomizer • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

No, But the ones in power are, and are too interested in keeping their political position then to actually stand up for what is right.

Re:Most-efficient means of transport...

By hey! • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

You go after the largest achievable net reductions.

Globally 50 million tons of airfreight cargo are carried. Container ships alone carry 1.7 billion tons of cargo annually, and bulk container ships like ore carriers and tankers carry even more than that. You're going to have to achieve huge net increases in airplane efficiency to equal a marginal improvement in ship efficiency, and it's not like people have been ignoring aircraft.

Re: But now how will we bring back coal powered sh

By bobbied • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Sailboats have actually advanced a long way in recent decades. A modern clipper ship would look quite different from the old ones.

The advantage to wind powered ships is that they don't need fuel! Think of the money the industry would save.

But they DO need fuel. They will need fuel to navigate though ports and shipping channels when the wind isn't favorable. They will also have power needs for the comfort of the crew and the operation of the ship. Maybe not as much fuel, but you are going to need some. The ships will be significantly more expensive to build, and only marginally less to operate.

The problem really the reliability of the wind and keeping up scheduled arrivals at ports where dock space is scheduled weeks in advance. You have to deliver cargo on time, or you are going to have a hard time staying in business. If you could operate in places where the wind is consistently blowing in favorable directions, it might work, but for large container ship operations, I seriously doubt it would pay (or they'd already be doing this).

Re:And nothing about sulfur?

By ArgonautThief • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Disclaimer: I work in the shipping industry (on the bulk cargo ship owning and operating side) so I'm obviously biased but I couldn't keep reading this post and comments that contain so much false info and general horse-shit without weighing in with a few points.

1) SOX is regulated in the industry. Vessels are limited to burning heavy fuel oil with a max sulphur content of 3.5% at sea and distillate fuels (LSMGO) with a max content of 0.1% in any Emissions Control Area (ECA). Presently there are ECAs around Europe, North America and, some parts of China. They also exist around any island territory of the US. By 2020 the sulphur content at sea will be limited to 0.5% and 0.01% in any ECA.

2) Some AC close to 1st post stated that shipping by sea is the least efficient most expensive method of transporting anything. Really? Shipping is the most efficient method of moving X product by Y tonne of GHG emitted per mile / nautical mile / kilometre. A quick Google search can provide you with dozens of formulas to support this. However for your ease of reference, a modern bulk carrier can move 30,000MT of product from Rotterdam to New York in 10 days and will consume roughly 139MT of HFO and 134MT of LSMGO to do so. I'd like to see someone do that with a plane / train / truck and calculate how much fuel they would burn to do so.

3) For many, many reasons, most of them admittedly self serving, any modern 1st class shipping company is already light years ahead of any government regulations in regards to reducing their carbon footprint, exposure to environmental damage etc.

Whilst the article points to regulations coming into effect, it hardly covers all the steps the industry has taken until now and general public knowledge on this industry is really lacking.

US Bans American Companies From Selling To Chinese Electronics Maker ZTE

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader shares a report: The U.S. Department of Commerce is banning American companies from selling components to leading Chinese telecom equipment maker ZTE Corp for seven years for violating the terms of a sanctions violation case, U.S. officials said on Monday. The Chinese company, which sells smartphones in the United States, pleaded guilty last year in federal court in Texas for conspiring to violate U.S. sanctions by illegally shipping U.S. goods and technology to Iran. It paid $890 million in fines and penalties, with an additional penalty of $300 million that could be imposed. As part of the agreement, Shenzhen-based ZTE Corp promised to dismiss four senior employees and discipline 35 others by either reducing their bonuses or reprimanding them, senior Commerce Department officials told Reuters. Update: The UK's cyber security watchdog has warned the UK telecoms sector not to use network equipment or services from Chinese supplier ZTE as it would have a "long term negative effect on the security of the UK."


By dlleigh • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

The enemy of your enemy is not always your friend.

Why is Iran still the bogy man

By aberglas • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread

Unlike China, there are real and freeish elections in Iran. There human rights are not nearly as bad as many of our friends. Sure, they are overseen by a religious right that most Iranians would love to remove. But they are certainly no worse than many of our other friends. (Same goes for Cuba.)

What is worse, picking on Iran just supports their religious right. It is counter productive.

And remember (if you ever knew) that Iran lost some 2 MILLION dead in the not so ancient war with Iraq, during which Hussein used plenty of chemical weapons. And we actively supported Hussein.

Re:Why is Iran still the bogy man

By alvinrod • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
We don't have a good reason for being enemies of Iran and in many ways they would make a better ally for us in the region than most other countries because they are among the more progressive countries in the Middle East and more likely to be supportive of Western ideals. A lot of it just comes down historical events putting us on the current path we're on, even if those are past and buried. People have long memories and there are just too many people on both sides that still harbor old hatreds (which may be completely valid) to be able to find a common ground to work from moving forward.

However it really boils down to us already being closely tied in with both Saudi Arabia and Israel. Saudi Arabia hates Iran for being the wrong type of Muslims and sees them as a challenger in terms of which country will be dominant in the region. Relations with Israel were seriously strained when the Ayatollahs came into power and declared Israel as an enemy of Islam and groups like Hezbollah were founded and have received some state support from Iran. Conceivably, the U.S. getting closer to Iran and democracy being restored would probably see the country relax their relationships in regards to Israel. They were actually quite cordial with one and other in the past and I don't think the average Iranian cares about hating Israel as much as the extreme religious sect that controls the country now does.

I don't think we could be allies of both Saudi Arabia and Iran at the same time now. Israel would be pragmatic enough to deal with Iran while relations are smoothed out, but I don't believe that the Saudi's would be. The two countries currently don't have any diplomatic relations following some recent events between them, and there are perhaps too many recent historical events between the two to expect any type of amelioration. It's easier for us to continue being allies with the Saudis even if it isn't in our long-term best interests to do so. The U.S. political system makes it incredibly difficult to change the status quo in a large way and no matter which party extends the olive branch, the other will denounce it purely for political reasons.

Re:Why is Iran still the bogy man

By hyades1 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

That you were modded down to -1 for this sensible, insightful comment speaks very poorly for who Slashdot is allowing to moderate these discussions. I know there is now a strong right wing presence here seeking to either take over or wreck the site. It looks like they're winning.

I expect this remark to join yours at -1 if the creeps with the fake accounts still have mod points left.

Re:Why is Iran still the bogy man

By hyades1 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

The government of the day might support anti-American causes, but US actions are doing a lot more to punish Iranians most likely to support First World views while leaving the shit-for-brains Ayatollahs unaffected.

The main reason why Iran is now a power in the Middle East is that Bush Junior, who as of January 2017 became the second stupidest President in American history, decided to get rid of Saddam Hussein and thereby eliminate the biggest check on the Ayatollahs' ambitions.

Iran is still America's best hope for a relatively secular counterweight to the real exporters of Middle East terror...their good friends the Saudis. A whole older generation still remember what it was like before the religious fanatics took over. And some of the really old ones remember what Iran was like before America installed the Shah.

Russia Begins Blocking Telegram Messenger

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Russia's state telecommunications regulator said on Monday it had begun blocking access to Telegram messenger after the company refused to comply with an order to give Russian state security access to its users' secret messages (encryption keys). From a report: The watchdog, Roskomnadzor, said in a statement on its website that it had sent telecoms operators a notification about blocking access to Telegram inside Russia. The service, set up by a Russian entrepreneur, has more than 200 million global users and is ranked as the world's ninth most popular mobile messaging app.

On the plus side...

By Oswald McWeany • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

On the plus side, if they block people from using messaging devices, that's fewer people they have to kill when people use the messaging devices to report on news that Russia finds embarrassing.

RIP Borodin.

Kind of like product endorsement

By TheZeitgeist • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
When Russian security services ban your product because encryption too good, isn't that like seal of approval for the encryption?

The more you tighten your grip ...

By schwit1 • Score: 3 • Thread

This seems counterproductive. The conflict is making more people aware of Russian snooping which will only push more non-secure users to use a secure messaging app.

Is there an equivalent of the Streisand effect for this situation?


By Artem Tashkinov • Score: 3 • Thread

It's a weird situation really. Whatsapp/Facebook messenger and Viber, which are no less popular in this country, are not blocked which begs the question whether these three instant messengers shared their encryption keys with the authorities.

Also, to understand what this country really is, read for instance this. It's a mafia/authoritarian state where money rules and there's no law for those who have no money. Don't even get me started on health care, education and science - which are either semi-dead or completely dead, depending on your point of view.

Linus Torvalds Says Linux Kernel v5.0 'Should Be Meaningless'

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader shares a report: Following the release of Linux kernel 4.16, Linus Torvalds has said that the next kernel will be version 5.0. Or maybe it won't, because version numbers are meaningless. The announcement -- of sorts -- came in Torvalds' message over the weekend about the first release candidate for version 4.17. He warns that it is not "shaping up to be a particularly big release" and questions whether it even matters what version number is slapped on the final release. He says that "v5.0 will happen some day. And it should be meaningless. You have been warned." That's not to say that Linux kernel v5.0 -- or whatever it ends up being called -- will not be significant. With the removal of old architecture and other bits of tidying up, with v4.17 RC1 there were more lines of code removed than added: something described as "probably a first. Ever. In the history of the universe. Or at least kernel releases."

What's in a number, what's in a name?

By Opportunist • Score: 3 • Thread

People put way to much emphasis on labels. While you might expect to break more compatibility on a major number than on a minor, i.e. I'd probably be more wary to install a 5.0 than a 4.22, it's been shown time and time again that it doesn't really matter. Why the urge to have a major number anyway? I'd be calling it 5.0 if something huge changed.

With most software it's mostly a marketing game. We change major numbers so we can charge you again. But with the transition to SaaS, this practice will even change for CSS, why FOSS felt the urge to play the game in the first place is beyond me.

Re:I can haz frist post!

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Once Linus is no longer maintaining the kernel (or has died), you will miss him more than you miss Steve Jobs.

Look, we all know where this is going

By johannesg • Score: 3 • Thread

As demonstrated by both Apple (with their OS X, but no OS XI) and Microsoft (with their Windows 10, but no Windows 11), ten is just the highest number an OS can have. Linus is just preparing for the day when Linux, too, reaches its final version number.

semantic versioning

By ooloorie • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

This is how Semantic Versioning ought to work:

Given a version number MAJOR.MINOR.PATCH, increment the:

MAJOR version when you make incompatible API changes,
MINOR version when you add functionality in a backwards-compatible manner, and
PATCH version when you make backwards-compatible bug fixes.
Additional labels for pre-release and build metadata are available as extensions to the MAJOR.MINOR.PATCH format.

So, while Linux kernel version numbers may be meaningless, it would perhaps be better if they were actually meaningful.

Moving away from point releases

By IGnatius T Foobar • Score: 3 • Thread
Isn't the whole world moving away from point releases? Perhaps the Linux kernel still needs development and stable tracks, but the whole idea of a "major release" followed by a bunch of "point releases" is an artifact of the days when software came in a box with a CD in it, or (for us old greybeards) on a magnetic tape. Rolling releases with whole numbers (like 50123 rather than 5.0.123) are where it's all going now.

Hackers Stole a Casino's High-Roller Database Through a Thermometer in the Lobby Fish Tank

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
From a report: Nicole Eagan, the CEO of cybersecurity company Darktrace, told the WSJ CEO Council in London on Thursday: "There's a lot of internet of things devices, everything from thermostats, refrigeration systems, HVAC [air conditioning] systems, to people who bring in their Alexa devices into the offices. There's just a lot of IoT. It expands the attack surface and most of this isn't covered by traditional defenses."

Eagan gave one memorable anecdote about a case Darktrace worked on where an unnamed casino was hacked via a thermometer in a lobby aquarium. "The attackers used that to get a foothold in the network. They then found the high-roller database and then pulled that back across the network, out the thermostat, and up to the cloud," she said.

IoT devices not on their own VLAN?

By Archon • Score: 3 • Thread

Why the hell should a fish tank thermometer have any sort of network access to where customer data is stored? Their IT staff should be re-vetted for competence.

Re:Internet Of Things

By Opportunist • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

The manufacturer doesn't even have to go out of business. As "always online" software has shown us again and again, all that's required is the manufacturer not wanting you to use it anymore.

Re:Network Separation (Partial report from vendor)

By Archangel Michael • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

VPN link isn't the same as network isolation. Network isolation means you can't get from there to here. That's why you have multiple firewalls, networks routers and DMZ and so on between IOT devices and your critical infrastructure.

Here at my work, we have a VPN tunnel that takes us right into critical networks. It makes me cringe as we have no control over it. I've mentioned it a number of times, but someone (one guy) insists he can't do his job without it. It is bullshit, because he and I have the same duties, and I manage. But the boss says "leave it up, he needs it", and i cry bullshit every time.

It is convenience for security. Or as the boss calls it "usability", because convenience sounds bad.

Re:Network Separation (Partial report from vendor)

By MightyMartian • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

This... so much this. It isn't security if you're only thinking about risk in one dimension. Yeah great, you get a segregated network, you isolate your critical network resources, but, um, you allow anonymous users on your network to access your file store?

My operating theory is to assume that everything can fail, so you secure your network, but assume someone somehow is going to get through anyways, so you'd better use ipsec to encrypt the traffic in case someone manages to hook something on to an open RJ45. But, for chrissakes, also imagine internal threats, such as maybe you don't want the kid in the mail room gaining access to the company's financial records.

This really is more a story about total incompetence. Why do I think this casino had a share "S:" and it's just wide open.

Stealing the list? Meh.

By GameboyRMH • Score: 3 • Thread

Now modifying the list, THAT'S where the fun's at!

I wonder how many weeks of free luxuries they would lavish you with before they notice that you aren't gambling :D

Netflix Licensed Content Generates 80% of US Viewing, Study Finds

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Netflix is spending a pretty penny on original entertainment -- but while that stuff grabs most of the headlines, it's actually licensed titles like TV show reruns that still form the core of the company's streaming business. From a report: That's according to a data analysis from 7Park Data, which found that 80% of Netflix U.S. viewing is from licensed content with 20% from original shows like "House of Cards" or "Stranger Things." The firm also found that 42% of Netflix subscribers watch mostly licensed content (95% or more of their total streaming). Just 18% of Netflix's U.S. streaming customers are "originals dominant," whose viewing comprises 40%-100% of originals, according to 7Park. The data is for the 12-month period that ended September 2017.

Re:On the other side of the coin:

By Oswald McWeany • Score: 2 • Thread

They aren't sacrificing anything. The studios they license content from are pulling content or increasing the the licensing terms to exorbitant amounts as they try to capitalize on Netflix's success or are terrified of it cannibalizing theirs...which in some areas it is. Netflix's OC of the Marvel characters was unexpectedly a huge hit. Which may explain why Disney is taking all of their content and rolling out their own competing streaming service.

Every budget is a sacrifice. If you spend more creating original content, obviously you aren't spending that money on existing content. It very well might be true that providers are yanking content away or raising costs; but it's also true that Netflix is no longer as willing to spend as much on non-original content and their budget has been redirected. It's quite astonishing the lack of variety on Netflix compared to 10 years ago. It used to be if you remembered a show you once watched (or failed to watch but wanted to), you could look it up on Netflix and it was almost guaranteed to be there. Nowadays it is almost guaranteed not to be.

minus 4, troll)

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 0 • Thread
brilliant plan keed to be Kreskin can# reaaly ask of How is the GNAA a full-time GNAA your spare time continues toChew

Re:On the other side of the coin:

By ArhcAngel • Score: 2 • Thread
The problem with that is each content provider now wants to be paid directly. Meaning a show I was getting on Netflix is on another service which wants my ~$10 a month for access to their entire lineup when all I want is the one show they used to license to Netflix. If I watch 10 shows in total I am now paying over $100 month which was what cable cutting was supposed to prevent. I foresee a backlash in the near future where content providers will learn (they won't actually learn they'll just blame pirates) they have cut off their nose to spite their face. Paramount is already flaunting this with their Star Trek pre-sequel. I doubt it is doing as well as they claim and I'm not about to subscribe just for one show.

Re:OK, but what does Netflix Original mean?

By Carewolf • Score: 2 • Thread

for example....?

I saw it in Denmark when visiting. An old series for a local Danish tv-station was on Netflix marketed as Netflix original. It even still had the original TV station's logo in the corner (because old crappy content).

I don't see stuff that old regularly, but for content with "Netflix Original" moniker that Netflix had no part in producing, there is a small subset of a few hundred of them here:

These television shows, even though Netflix lists them as Netflix originals, are shows that have been aired in different countries, and Netflix has bought exclusive distribution rights to stream them in other various countries. They may be available on Netflix in their home territory and other markets where Netflix does not have the first run license, without the Netflix Original label, some time after their first-run airing on their original broadcaster.

Re:OK, but what does Netflix Original mean?

By Carewolf • Score: 2 • Thread

Lying seems a bit over-used in such a case. Parsing.

Are you claiming it the term is correct or that they are not aware they using it incorrectly?

It is not a big lie, but it is a lie.

Ola Wants a Million Electric Rides on India's Roads by 2021

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Ride-hailing company Ola, Uber's fiercest Indian competitor, wants to roll out 10,000 electric three-wheeled rickshaws within a year and a million battery-powered vehicles by 2021. From a report: The startup run by ANI Technologies said it's in policy discussions with several state governments, and is talking with potential partners from automakers to battery producers. It aims to build out an existing pilot project in the central Indian city of Nagpur, where Ola's first EVs have already traveled more than 4 million kilometers. Ola's ambitions dovetail with the Indian government's objectives. Prime Minster Narendra Modi plans to significantly increase the number of new energy vehicles on the road. The power ministry in March said Modi had directed senior ministers to ensure that by 2030 most vehicles in India would be powered by electricity.

Have some actual information Ola not doing well

By Crashmarik • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Insight: Ola's sputtering India electric vehicle trial a red flag for Modi plan

Clean energy stories on Slashdot aren't dog whistles, they're electrodes planted in the pleasure centers of the gullible.

That's easy, build it and they will come

By blindseer • Score: 3 • Thread

If the powers that be want more people to buy electric vehicles then build an electric vehicle that people would want to buy. It's really that simple.

But it's not that simple, is it? Because building an electric vehicle that people would want to buy is hard.

People don't burn petroleum because they want to pollute the air. They burn this stuff because that's how we get the lifestyle we all enjoy. There's no easy answer to this. Providing subsidies to buy electric vehicles are great for the people that get the subsidies, nut not necessarily for those that have to pay the taxes to fund them. These electric vehicle subsidies are a tax on the poor so the wealthy can buy a new electric vehicle. I believe that to be ethically problematic.

There's already quite the social and economic incentives to building and developing electric vehicles. People already buy electric vehicles as a social statement. People buy electric cars because they have advantages over those that burn hydrocarbons. We shouldn't have to pay people to buy them. If we want to see more people buy them then make them more awesome than they already are. Those that cannot do with anything less than a gasoline burner wouldn't buy an electric car if you paid them to. So, stop trying to pay people to buy electric cars.

Here's another problem, all electric vehicles do is transfer where the energy comes from. People will still need energy. We know how to synthesize hydrocarbons from electricity. This process is even more efficient if there's some heat added, such as that from burning wood or nuclear fission which are low carbon energy sources used to make electricity from heat already. Wherever this energy comes from for the electricity to charge these electric cars can also be used to synthesize hydrocarbons. Synthesizing hydrocarbons closes the carbon loop on burning those hydrocarbons, we won't be releasing more carbon into the environment from long separated off reservoirs deep in the earth. We can take the carbon from the air and water, make fuel from it, and when it's burned it goes into the air again for more fuel later. It's as carbon neutral as any electric car.

Synthetic fuels means no one needs a new car subsidy, even old cars become "green". Electricity capacity would have to be increased to compensate, but that would also be the case with electric vehicles. I'm not saying we should stop making electric vehicles. I'm saying that synthetic fuels needs development too. That's not going to happen if they have to compete with subsidized electric vehicles. The government is playing favorites in the market, and that's never good in the long run.

Re:Have some actual information Ola not doing well

By blindseer • Score: 4 • Thread

From the article linked in parent:

Getting infrastructure built in the world's biggest democracy where a not-in-my-backyard culture proliferates is a barrier for a lot of businesses in India. And it is proving to be the same for charging stations - Ola was forced to close one in Nagpur last year after protests by residents angered by traffic jams caused by drivers. It took more than five months to get government clearances to begin operating another station.

Seems they want to blame this on democracy. Well, what's the solution then? Remove just "a little bit" of democracy? I have a problem with that. It's never "a little bit".

Maybe what they need is a government that can properly plan the roads and other infrastructure so the people won't complain. This is not something that can be forced by government. People have to want the electric cars. Paying people to take them, when there isn't sufficient infrastructure to support them, is going to create a distaste for them in the future. Traffic jams around charging stations is a symptom of a problem, not the problem itself. Had they allowed this to develop more naturally with market forces then this would not have happened. What they have now is perhaps an entire generation with a bad experience with electric vehicles, because they forced them on the market too soon.

The electric car industry may have just shot itself in the foot, and it may take decades before people lose the memory of this experience.

Good job! You may have just stalled the electric car industry in India by 20 years!

What ? In India?

By 140Mandak262Jamuna • Score: 3 • Thread
There is a reason India leads the world in UPS and battery backups.

Indian homes use truck batteries and inverters to power their home during their periodic, regular, announced and un announced power cuts. Indian grid is woefully inadequate to handle charging loads of so many battery cars.

I read a piece on Karachi, Pakistan, (I know Pakistan is a different country, not a province of India) where families gets into their air-conditioned cars and drive around aimlessly to escape the mid day heat when the scheduled power cut kicks in. I am sure that is common in India too.

It could take a while for battery cars to take hold in India. Capital is very expensive in India. But the government is likely to encourage it. India is self sufficient in dirty coal, but needs to import oil for petrol and diesel. From balance of trade and foreign exchange perspectives, they really would like pure electric cars to take hold.

Linux 4.17 Kernel Offers Better Intel Power-Savings While Dropping Old CPUs

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader writes: Linus Torvalds has released Linux 4.17-rc1. This kernel comes with a significant amount of new capabilities as outlined by the Linux 4.17 feature overview. Among the new features are AMDGPU WattMan support, Intel HDCP support, Vega 12 GPU enablement, NVIDIA Xavier SoC support, removal of obsolete CPU architectures, and even better support for the original Macintosh PowerBook 100 series. Phoronix testing has also revealed measurable power savings improvements and better power efficiency on Intel hardware. The kernel is expected to be stabilized by June.

Re: The irony...

By Z00L00K • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

The 68k is kind of baseline for that tree, and relatively simple even for people without specialized knowledge, so it may stick around for a while. It's harder to maintain more complex architectures where you need instruction order and cache management to think about as well.

If you're using it, let us know

By raymorris • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Typically old hardware isn't dropped if we know someone is using it. Of course there are exceptions when a stack gets a major rewrite. If there is discussion about dropping support for something you use, just let us know on lkml.

Re:It's still double-digit processor speeds, keep

By nateman1352 • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

I'm curious what's considered an "obsolete CPU architecture" if a Powerbook 100 is still supported.

The full list of dropped CPUs is Blackfin, CRIS, FRV, M32R, Metag, MN10300, Score, and Tile. Also under consideration are Unicore32 and Hexagon, but they are not officially gone yet. Apparently this change removes about half a million lines of code, a substantial reduction in complexity. I had never heard of any of these before and I suspect most other people haven't either, so I don't think they will be missed.

Power Hogging is my biggest issue with Linux ...

By Qbertino • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

... these days. Even before flakey audio and bluetooth management.

Seriously. Every other OS get's an easy 8 hours out of todays regular portable hardware, only Linux barely scrapes 4 hours. I'm a big Linux and FOSS fan but this is a problem that is really annoying and needs fixing ASAP. Windows, macOS and even Chrome have been on top of this for the better part of a decade and the Linux kernel still wastes gobs of energy. Unacceptable. This update is a step in the right direction. I hope it continues that way. Thumbs up for the kernel crew.

Re:"instead of fixing it, drop the architecture"

By Sique • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

things like Power4, Blackfin, M32R etc.

Which are all newer than the motorola 68000 in the powerbook 100.

"Newer" has nothing to do with "less obsolete". There is a link in TFA, describing eight dropped architectures as "without active users". POWER4 was dropped because POWER4 support is broken since two years already and no fix or rework available (and apparently no urge to fix it).

So yes, a newer architecture can be obsolete when an older one is still alive and kicking.