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


  1. Scientists Find Physically Demanding Jobs Are Linked To Greater Risk of Early Death
  2. A Fleet of Sailing Robots Sets Out To Quantify the Oceans
  3. Tidal Is Reportedly Months Behind On Royalty Payments To Labels
  4. California Bypasses Science To Label Coffee a Carcinogen
  5. Amazon Threatens To Move Jobs Out of Seattle Over New Tax
  6. Twitter Will Start Hiding Tweets That 'Detract From the Conversation'
  7. YouTube Expands Music Credits: Makes It Easier To Identify the Song Featured in a Video
  8. OnePlus 6 Launched With 6.28-inch Display, Snapdragon 845 CPU, and Headphone Jack
  9. Cops Will Soon ID You Via Your Roof Rack
  10. Google Fixes Issue That Broke Millions of Web-Based Games in Chrome
  11. Senate Votes To Save Net Neutrality
  12. The SEC Created Its Own Scammy ICO To Teach Investors a Lesson
  13. Rollout of Windows 10 April Update Halted For Devices With Intel and Toshiba SSDs
  14. Hacker Breaches Securus, the Company That Helps Cops Track Phones Across the US
  15. Nobody Knows How Much Energy Bitcoin Is Using
  16. Twitter Delays Shutdown of Legacy APIs By 3 Months as it Launches a Replacement
  17. Sony Ends Production Of Physical Vita Games
  18. 'Bird Scooters Are Ruining Venice'
  19. Microsoft To Launch a Line of Lower-Cost Surface Tablets With 10-inch Displays By Second Half of 2018, Report Says
  20. Fedora-Based Linux Distro Korora Halts Development
  21. Researchers Create First Flying Wireless Robotic Insect
  22. Tesla Model X Breaks Electric Towing Record By Pulling Boeing 787
  23. Ecuador Spent $5 Million Protecting and Spying On Julian Assange, Says Report

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

Scientists Find Physically Demanding Jobs Are Linked To Greater Risk of Early Death

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Metro: Researchers in the Netherlands claim that a "physical activity paradox" exists, where exercise may only be good for you if it's done outside of your job. Manual laborers may be physically active all day but that doesn't actually help them. In fact, the research claims that it might actually increase their risk of dying early. "While we know leisure-time physical activity is good for you, we found that occupational physical activity has an 18% increased risk of early mortality for men," says Pieter Coenen, public health researcher at UV University medical centre in Amsterdam. "These men are dying earlier than those who are not physically active in their occupation."

He says that it's all down to the type of exercise you do in your spare time, versus occupational physical activity. When you choose to exercise, you can take rest periods when you want -- something that often may not be available to you if you're working on a building site (for example). The research combined results from 17 studies, dated between 1960 and 2010 -- looking at data on almost 200,000 people.
The study has been published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Correction of university name

By Jahid • Score: 3, Informative • Thread
The university in question is the "Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam" or "VU Amsterdam", so not "UV" as the summary now says. Specifically it's the "VU University Medical Center" (

Over training isn't what you think

By sjbe • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Ever heard of over-training? Imagine doing that every week for 20 years.

Having experienced over-training personally (I used to be a D1 college athlete) I can state with confidence that very few jobs even among physically demanding ones require the sort of output that would result in over-training symptoms. Stress injuries and wear and tear yes. Extreme fatigue even. But over training requires more output than most people ever will get to even in a physically demanding job. It requires exceeding your body's ability to recover. If you are able to do a job for 20 years you are not in an over-trained condition - you would be in the hospital LONG before then. I understand where you are going with your argument and you are quite right that some jobs can take a tremendous physical toll on the body so I can see what you mean. But rarely in the form of what might be called over-training if we are being technically correct. There are exceptions of course but they are the exceptions that prove the rule.

About the only people who come close who aren't poorly paid laborers are pro athletes. How many pro athletes can you think of who don't retire well before they turn 60?

Terrible analogy. Pro athletes typically retire for one of two reasons. 1) Wear and tear on the body including injuries or 2) Declining physical abilities due to age. A pro athlete is one of the very best in the world at their chosen sport and even the best and most fortunate of them aren't going to be able to play at the highest levels much beyond age 40 in any sport and some sports retirement comes much earlier. The reason is that while they might still be very good compared to you or me, their bodies simply cannot perform at the high level necessary to be among the very best in the world. They slow down physically and simply get passed by younger fresher athletes. Age does that to all of us sooner or later. In a skilled trades or other physically demanding jobs you do not need to be among the peak physical performers in the world to still be economically valuable to your company.

Where's #metoo on workplace injuries?

By Subm • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread

Here's another place men dominate in the workplace: on the job injuries and deaths. Where's the #metoo movement on equality there?

I don't know why men don't start a #metoo movement around injury and death prone jobs. And jobs that are migrant, outdoor, physically demanding, and other things that make them more grueling.


Clueless about combat

By sjbe • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Combat isn't a dangerous job these days with drones, body armor, and armored vehicles.

So says the anonymous coward who has never been anywhere near a real battlefield in his pathetic life. Probably played a lot of HALO though so he's bad ass and qualified to comment on how not dangerous combat is.

Pro-tip: Body armor won't save your ass from an artillery shell or a bomb. Most combat isn't done by drones. Armored vehicles aren't all that hard to kill along with their occupants.

Farmers, truck drivers, taxi drivers, and industrial workers are more likely to die on the job than an average military member.

You do realize that statement becomes wildly, ludicrously, (almost) humorously false during combat right? You know, the activity that the military is actually built and trained to do? Being in the military is mostly boring tedium but occasionally it becomes the most dangerous occupation imaginable.

Read the paper

By JBMcB • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

1. It's a meta-study, so they grabbed data from a variety of other studies, ie the data had to be "massaged" to get it to line up properly
2. It only found a difference in men, not women, which is odd
3. There were studies they rejected that showed there was no difference, or an inverse correlation
4. It found an 18% difference, which...
5. Isn't clear if it's significant or not, since they list their confidence interval but not their p-value.

So, yeah, not a slam-dunk finding here.

A Fleet of Sailing Robots Sets Out To Quantify the Oceans

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
pacopico writes: A start-up in California called Saildrone has built a fleet of robotic sailboats that are gathering tons of data about the oceans. The saildrones rely on a hard, carbon-fiber sail to catch wind, and solar panels to power all of their electronics and sensors. "Each drone carries at least $100,000 of electronics, batteries, and related gear," reports Businessweek. "Devices near the tip of the sail measure wind speed and direction, sunlight, air temperature and pressure, and humidity. Across the top of the drone's body, other electronics track wave height and period, carbon dioxide levels, and the strength of the Earth's magnetic field. Underwater, sensors monitor currents, dissolved oxygen levels, and water temperature, acidity, and salinity. Sonars and other acoustic instruments try to identify animal life." So far they've been used to find sharks, monitor fisheries, check on climate change and provide weather forecasts. Saildrone just raised $90 million to build a fleet of 1,000 drones, which it thinks will be enough to measure all of the world's oceans.

Alternate headline:

By roc97007 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

"Hundred thousand dollar pieces of equipment are just floating around free!"

Smugling opportinities?

By misnohmer • Score: 3 • Thread

Catch a drone, load it up with contraband, release it, catch it at the destination, retrieve your stuff.

Or, just build ones that look just like them - coastguard will likely ignore them (no humans on board to even as to stop and board).


By scdeimos • Score: 3 • Thread
From TFA:

"What's the definition of a sailor?" he [Richard Jenkins] asks while launching one of the drones off the Alameda dock. "A primitive organism for turning beer into urine."

While you are out there...

By Tulsa_Time • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Pick up all the plastic trash....

Re:Alternate headline:

By willy_me • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

More like 5k for each sensor. Check out Sea-Bird - they make the gold standard for many types of oceanographic sensors. They are very expensive and very good.

With traditional oceanographic measurements, the most expensive part of acquiring data is physically going to the location from where you want to acquire the measurement. The cost of the sensors is nothing in comparison. As a result, you have expensive, high quality sensors being the norm. With these autonomous boats there might be a push to reduce sensor costs because the sensors will make up a greater percentage of the total cost. Time will tell...

Tidal Is Reportedly Months Behind On Royalty Payments To Labels

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
According to a report from Dagens Naeringsliv, streaming service Tidal is " behind with payments directly to the three major international record companies." The claim is backed up by two executives from a label and its Sony-owned distributor. They say they have not seen royalty payments in over six months. The Verge reports: According to a translation by Music Business Worldwide, Sveinung Rindal, CEO of distribution company Phonofile (a Sony subsidiary), told the Norwegian paper, "It is correct that there are delays in payments from Tidal," while Frithjof Boye Hungnes, CEO of Propeller Recordings, confirmed, "We have not been paid since October ... People are talking about withdrawing [their music from Tidal]; I think there is a pretty upset mood." Last December, a separate report from the same newspaper said that Tidal was running out of money, suggesting that it only had about six months of working capital left. The news comes shortly after the service was accused of faking the streaming numbers for Kanye West and Beyonce. Tidal is denying any such wrongdoings, saying: "We have experienced negative stories about Tidal since its inception and we have done nothing but grow the business each year."

Not denying

By phantomfive • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Tidal is denying any such wrongdoings, saying: "We have experienced negative stories about Tidal since its inception and we have done nothing but grow the business each year."

That is exactly the opposite of a denial.

Re:Labels? What about

By youngone • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
I did a quick search and it looks like Jay Z owns Tidal, but he sold 33% to Sprint for $200 million.
I want to hate someone involved here, but am not sure who the bad guy is.

On one side is the odious Jay Z and his stupid music service which seems have misreported the sales of the corporate shill Beyonce and the mentally unwell Kanye West, presumably in order to make them more money. (Although I am not sure how that would work).

On the other hand there is the music industry cartel who will be desperate for Tidal to fail, despite never coming up with an original thought themselves.

Maybe I will just continue to hate them all and also continue to withhold my money from all of them.

Swing and a miss

By GrandCow • Score: 3 • Thread
Looks like Tidal was a cash grab hoping to get acquired by a larger company before they ran out of income. I assume the manipulated numbers for Kanye and Beyonce were because they were getting restless that the offer of a buyout hadn't come as fast as was promised behind closed doors when Jay Z was looking for investors.

KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) July 30, 2016
"Apple give Jay his check for Tidal now and stop tying to act like you Steve"

Seems Kanye knew the plan from the start.


By tlhIngan • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Perhaps a little blurb about what Tidal is, why one would use it instead of Spotify, Google, Pandora, Amazon, etc.?

They stream supposedly lossless audio. Supposedly because you can pay for more expensive plans that give you lossy audio (go figure).

The idea behind it is somewhat sound - to offer high quality audio streaming. Instead of offering whatever those streams offer, you can stream losslessly encoded audio. Just like the maligned Pono store offered an easy way to buy lossless music.

Of course, it only appeals to those who can stand its much higher costs, so it's not something you'd use if you were listening on your phone.

It has a touch of audiophoolery to it, because you can pay even more for "MQA" audio (stands for "Master Quality Authenticated") which is supposedly a way to get "master studio quality audio" at lower bitrates (i.e., CD compatible). The trick is it's "backwards compatible" so you don't need an MQA player to listen to it, but one is preferred for "superior quality".

The quotes are because it's pretty much crap - while you do get smaller files, it's mostly because you're actually reducing sample rates and bit depth, so you're left with a 44.1k/16bit or a 48k/16bit stream run through an "MQA" encoder which performs noticeably worse than if you simply used FLAC.

Either way it's lossy, and even worse Meridian wants money from encoders, decoders and the like, and the wider audio community sees it as a poor half-assed way to "DRM" all music. "DRM" because the goal is not to protect rights, but rather, create a single monopoly standard getting everyone to pay Meridian for music.

They also offer DSD streams, for extra audiophoolery. (DSD is worse than PCM as s distribution format).

California Bypasses Science To Label Coffee a Carcinogen

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
travers_r writes: Superior Court Judge Elihu Berle affirmed last week that all coffee sold in California must come with a warning label stating that chemicals in coffee (acrylamide, a substance created naturally during the brewing process) are known to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm. But judges, journalists, and environmental advocates fail to recognize the critical difference between probably and certainly, which fuels the inaccurate belief that cancer is mostly caused by things in the environment. From a report at Undark: "IARC is one of the leading scientific bodies in the world, and it is also one of several expert panels on which California relies for scientific opinions in such cases. The IARC has concluded that while there is sufficient evidence to consider acrylamide carcinogenic in experimental animals, there is insufficient evidence for carcinogenicity in humans. Therefore, its overall evaluation is that 'acrylamide is probably carcinogenic to humans.'
Leading experts, in fact, believe that roughly two-thirds of all cancers are the result of mutations to DNA that are caused by natural bodily processes, not exposure to environmental chemicals. This is quite the opposite of the prevailing belief among the public that most cancers are caused by exogenous substances imposed on us by the products and technologies of the modern world. It's this belief -- this fear -- that prompted voters to pass Proposition 65 in 1986. It was a time when fear of hazardous waste and industrial chemicals was high, when chemophobia -- a blanket fear of anything having to do with the word 'chemicals' -- was being seared into the public's mind."

Re:Say what now?

By HornWumpus • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Do you live in CA?

I doubt it. The signs are EVERYWHERE. Post office, restaurants, bars, stores, businesses, offices, fire stations, city halls etc etc etc. Have been for years. I suppose it's possible you live in CA and have just been ignoring the signs for so long you no longer 'see them'.

Signs are cheap. How sure are you that you don't have something containing something on the ever growing list? Sure enough to bet your business against a $2 sign? That's one shitty pot ratio.

Re:Say what now?

By dgatwood • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

The threshold model is not a great model. After all, low-dose exposure to some carcinogens actually decreases cancer risk. For example, areas with higher background radiation have lower cancer risks than average.

But of course, the bigger problem is that, as currently interpreted, Prop 65 is an absolutely stupid law, because literally everything contains some substance that can cause cancer or reproductive harm. The idea behind Prop 65 — discouraging the use of materials that are known to significantly increase your risk of cancer (e.g. asbestos) and warning people when they might potentially be exposed to it is not entirely without merit. The problem is that the list of substances needs to be much shorter, and the minimum quantity needs to be much higher. Otherwise, it loses all meaning, just as it has.

And let you say, "No, not everything causes cancer or reproductive harm," I'll point out why you're wrong.

First, most foods contain iron. Iron is a required nutrient. If you don't take in enough iron, you will die. However, it also encourages the production of cancer-causing free radicals, so in large quantities, it causes cancer. Whoops.

Many other foods (e.g. bananas) contain potassium, again a required nutrient. A certain percentage of potassium is radioactive. If isolated, you could give someone a fatal dose of radiation poisoning with the potassium extracted from a sufficiently large number of bananas Again, in small quantities, it is beneficial, and in large quantities, it causes cancer. Not good at all.

But it gets better. Every food in existence, by definition, contains carbon, a certain percentage of which is radioactive. You literally cannot eat without consuming something that is at least slightly radioactive. Radiation is known to cause both cancer AND reproductive harm. So every restaurant, whether they serve coffee or not, technically must carry a Prop 65 warning, because they contain organic matter (not to mention any building with a hardwood floor, a wooden door, wooden tables or chairs, etc.)

But the best part of this story is that air contains oxygen, which catalyzes reactions. Oxidative stress is causally linked to cancer. So the freaking air we breathe causes cancer, and if it didn't we couldn't breathe it. So any environment with a breathable atmosphere is known to cause cancer, and any environment without one will kill you before you can reproduce, and thus causes reproductive harm.

In other words, Prop 65, as currently interpreted by the court system, is a complete and utter joke, and we just need to put up a big-ass sign at every highway entrance to the State of California that says "Warning: The entire State of California contains substances known to the State of California to cause cancer or reproductive harm" and be done with this silly little worthless hack job of a law once and for all.


By aberglas • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Life, a condition that will ultimately lead to death. ;-)

But is a life without coffee really a life at all, or is it merely an existence?

Re:Say what now?

By houghi • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

When I as a European was the first time in the US was all the writing I saw. Not just warning labels, but so much writing. So much that traffic became less safe, because you had to read so much. "No right turn" "No left turn for truck" "Only left turns between 8 and 10 if you are green vehicle."Keep right to turn left on the middle lane on Wednesday afternoon if it rains during summer season"

And then the message in the car mirrors "Images are inverted" or whatever is says.

People are treated as if they are a child and therefore react as if they are one. "But mom, you told me not to hit him. I'm not. He is hitting himself, See?"

Re:Say what now?

By datavirtue • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

So half the internet acclaims the virtues of Acrylamide, teaching us how to roast meat to browned perfection for the ultimate taste while the other half decries this wonderful gift of nature. Sounds like SJW madness. I think Trump slam-dunking the election has really set off a scare among the pussy hats of the world.

Amazon Threatens To Move Jobs Out of Seattle Over New Tax

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Guardian: Amazon has threatened to move jobs out of its hometown of Seattle after the city council introduced a new tax to try to address the homelessness crisis. The world's second-biggest company has warned that the "hostile" tax, which will charge firms $275 per worker a year to fund homelessness outreach services and affordable housing, "forces us to question our growth here."

Amazon, which is Seattle's biggest private sector employer with more than 40,000 staff in the city, had halted construction work on a 17-storey office tower in protest against the tax. Pressure from Amazon and other big employers, including Starbucks and Expedia, had forced councillors to reduce the tax from an initial proposal of $500 per worker. The tax will only effect companies making revenue of more than $20 million-a-year. The tax is expected to raise between $45 million and $49 million a year, of which about $10 million would come from Amazon. The company said it would restart building work on the tower but may sublease another new office block to reduce its tax bill.

Re:The logic is painfully twisted.

By steveha • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

And now that Seattle is asking Amazon to give a tiny percentage back to help the community that fostered them, they threaten to leave.

This argument would be more compelling if Seattle didn't already collect taxes from Amazon. Amazon already pays quite a lot in taxes. The Seattle city government basically said "We've decided we need even more money, you have money, so hand it over."

When even the extremely liberal Starbucks is complaining, maybe Seattle has gone too far.

Amazon doesn't like this, but it's really going to hurt low-margin businesses like fast food hamburger restaurants. The iconic local hamburger chain, Dick's Drive-in, will never open another location in Seattle, according to the founder's grandson Saul Spady.

"This is a tax on high-volume, low-margin businesses, like restaurants, and that's where it's going to put the most pain. And it's making restaurants like Dick's Drive-ins think really strongly about do we make our workforce more efficient, do we give less money to charity, or maybe we just don't be a business in Seattle."

Spady cites Denver's head tax equivalent, the Occupational Privilege Tax, saying, "If the nearest, largest head tax in the country is $50 and [Seattle's is] six times the nearest head tax, how is that a compromise?"

But at least Seattle didn't already do something crazy like pass a $15 per hour minimum wage law! Oh wait... yes they did.

If a city council giving orders truly leads to prosperity and happiness, then Seattle will be prosperous and happy. I fear it doesn't work that way.


By ShanghaiBill • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

if they were that cheap, it would make a large difference in homelessness.

When I first moved to Silicon Valley, I could not afford a home, and I was "homeless". I lived in a van, which was worth about $10k, in my employer's parking lot. I had a gym membership, and took showers there. I got a $200 a month bonus for being "on call" and in the machine room within 5 minutes of notification.

I lived this way for two years. So sure, if housing was $10k, I would not have been homeless. But when people talk about "homelessness" they are not talking about people like me. I was employed, earning good money, and had a clear (but not immediate) path out of my situation.

Money can make a difference for short term homelessness, caused by a job loss or healthcare issue. These are often families with a single (usually female) parent. These people just need a roof over their head and some groceries till they get back on their feet. They don't have the mental issues and substance abuse problems.

For hardcore homeless, usually adult males, living on the street, with no steady income, often with mental health and substance abuse issues, even $10k is out of reach. Even shared housing doesn't work, since they are often belligerent and uncooperative. Homelessness is a difficult problem, and there are no simple solutions. Almost any idea you can imagine has been tried, and nothing has worked.


By rtb61 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Lets no lie, want to solve homelessness, it is all to easy, you just have to spend money. Social support should all be done on a federal basis and not by the state or local communities. Problem with states and local communities attempting it is, well, psychopaths, rather than trying to solve problems they just use law enforcers to drive people out and force them on other communities and on the tax base and social support services, overloading them, a real cunt act, no better way to put it.

So done on a federal basis, consider homelessness and mental disorder and pick those people up and put them in protected housing. Generally monitored and controlled one person studio style apartments, a controlled environment, where you can assist them with their problems or based upon their problems provide more controlled care and rehabilitation in an institution.

So the problem is solvable but be honest in the US, you don't want to really solve the problem, it feeds the ego of those better off to look down their noses at people in poverty, lets the better off pose before those in poverty, this kind of stuff is not a negative in the US economy, it is clearly seen an ego burnishing benefit. Poverty in the US because most Americans do not want it to end, they want to grind being a loser into the faces of the losers, that want the poseur opportunities and be honest, they want to do worse things than they already are.


By llamalad • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Having heard hundreds of stories from a mental health professional who works with the homeless in a "transitional housing" facility... the real problem doesn't seem to be lack of federal social programs for homelessness.

There are a significant number of clients with "successful exits," meaning the client finds permanent housing, subsidized or otherwise.

The sticky part is the ones who are unable or unwilling to work on actually getting permanent housing. In a lot of cases it seems to be mental health or substance abuse issues that keep them from succeeding at stuff like keeping a job or not smoking meth.

I'm about as socially liberal as you'll find, but having the window I have into that world I really, really, really think that throwing money at it addresses only a symptom -no income- as opposed to the fundamental problems from which long-term no income situations arise.

I don't have firm numbers around it, but anecdotally psychosis, PTSD, and drug addiction seem to be the main reasons for unsuccessful exits. So if you want to fix homelessness, let's see better social programs to address these underlying causes.


By ShanghaiBill • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

California is the biggest economy in the country and pays more taxes than they receive. They also have a homeless problem that a lot of states with less money don't have.

A big reason for California's large homeless population is the nice weather. If you are going to be sleeping in a park, Los Angeles is a lot better than Chicago.

Twitter Will Start Hiding Tweets That 'Detract From the Conversation'

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Yesterday, Twitter announced several new changes to quiet trolls and remove spam. According to Slate, the company "will begin hiding tweets from certain accounts in conversations and search results." In order to see them, you'll now have to scroll to the bottom of the conversation and click "Show more replies," or go into your search settings and choose "See everything." From the report: When Twitter's software decides that a certain user is "detract[ing] from the conversation," all of that user's tweets will be hidden from search results and public conversations until their reputation improves. And they won't know that they're being muted in this way; Twitter says it's still working on ways to notify people and help them get back into its good graces. In the meantime, their tweets will still be visible to their followers as usual and will still be able to be retweeted by others. They just won't show up in conversational threads or search results by default. The change will affect a very small fraction of users, explained Twitter's vice president of trust and safety, Del Harvey -- much less than 1 percent. Still, the company believes it could make a significant difference in the average user's experience. In early testing of the new feature, Twitter said it has seen a 4 percent drop in abuse reports in its search tool and an 8 percent drop in abuse reports in conversation threads.

Re:A stronger "silicon valley" ideological bubble

By drnb • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Do you realise you are doing pretty much exactly what you are criticising? "Silicon valley liberals" do this, think that etc. Exactly what you criticised your friends for doing with people in the industrial states.

You'd have a point if I were as mistaken about the nature of the consensus in silicon valley as they are about the nature of the consensus in the industrial states. Certainly there are individuals of various opinions but regional leanings are identifiable. Here is an unfordable truth for you to ponder, the partisan determination of offending posts by facebook, youtube, etc in recent history.

Can we please, everyone, stop doing this? Stop with the 'they did it first, so it justifies me doing it'?

No such argument was made. The simple argument is that twitter likely can not be trusted to make the determination on offending posts, no more than facebook or youtube, and local culture has a lot to do with this failing.

Re:The "uncomfortable" truth is trolling

By apoc.famine • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

No dude, they do not prove your point. Quite the opposite.

The "leftist" epithet is a very lame bit of virtue signaling on your part to try to both demean a strawman you've created to allow you to hate a large portion of the population and signal to "your tribe" that you're one of them.

It's flamebait through and through.

As much as you wish there were "leftists" out there to hate, the uncomfortable truth is that nobody is a "leftist". That's not a thing, nobody identifies as that, there isn't a "leftist" political party, and "leftist" doesn't have a creed or values.

So why would you talk about it like it's a thing? To stir up flames. I.E., to flamebait.

I've seen it many times - making up a strawman as a defensive reaction to avoid having to respond on the merits another group may have.

Re:The "uncomfortable" truth is trolling

By drnb • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Your use of 'leftist' drew the flamebait flag. It has nothing to do with the content and everything to do with form.

No, it has to do with the uncomfortable truth. If we were discussing an organization with strong rightward leaning and I used the term "fake news" would you have a problem? Are you denying that twitter is likely to have a very left leaning employee base? Are you denying we have seen similar leanings and bias when facebook and youtube recently attempted the removal of offending posts?

Again, my point is demonstrated. An uncomfortable truth is offensive to some. The uncomfortable truth is the leaning of various silicon valley companies.

But then, perhaps I'm a 'leftist' and my reaction is just a justification for not being able to deal with your uncomfortable idea.

A crack in the bubble. ;-)

Re:The Noisy 1%

By apoc.famine • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

One time on one forum that I kick myself forever for having forgotten, they did group shadowbanning for trolls. Big PSA not to feed the trolls, and then shadowbanned a whole lot of them.

What happened? The trolls essentially got their own forum, trolling each other, and it appeared to them that the PSA was amazingly effective. Normal users didn't reply to them, but other trolls did, and they did all sorts of trolling of each other. Because they still got replies, and didn't know who was shadowbanned and who wasn't, it took awhile for some of them to figure out what was going on. So underneath this quiet, sedate forum, a frothing troll fest was lurking, and if you were too much of a troll on the surface forums, you'd suddenly find yourself sucked into the cesspool.

The problem was that the cesspool was vastly more entertaining than the surface forums, which rather defeated the point.

Twitter is Dead

By Elias Israel • Score: 3 • Thread
With this and recent changes to their API access, Twitter has basically affirmed that it is meant for celebrities and big companies, and that everyone else should just talk to their *own* friends. The lack of viable answers for individuals and small companies, other than "shut up, create content for us, and pay us to tell anyone about it" is pathetic to the point of being corporate suicide. Close your account, Twitter is over.

YouTube Expands Music Credits: Makes It Easier To Identify the Song Featured in a Video

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Next time you hear a song featured in a YouTube video and you are not sure what it is called, or who made it, you can find out by clicking (or tapping) the "show more" button. From a report: YouTube has announced that the platform is expanding the credits available on videos featuring music. The new description feature, called "Music in this video," provides credits -- which includes artist, songwriter, label, and publisher -- on both music videos and fan-uploaded content that contains recorded music. This feature will also include a link to available official artist channels and official music videos. The expanded credits are made possible by Content ID, a YouTube system that uses copyright owners' information and a database of files to identify and manage content.

YouTube Sells Music

By HangingChad • Score: 3 • Thread

I don't think I've bought a song without previewing it on YouTube. I've found new songs previewing them on genre collections of music videos. YouTube sells music so helping identify songs is great for artists.

YouTube should move into direct sales. Click a tab to add a song to the cart.

Youtube is in the dark ages.

By AbRASiON • Score: 3 • Thread

They've been around long enough, there's so many lacking features.

Where is multi-channel audio for a start?
Why can't end users help contribute to subtitles?
Why isn't there multiple subtitle track options?
When will they offer multi-video streams? (diff camera angles for example on some videos)
When can there be chaptering added to videos?

That's off the top of my head in about 30 seconds. I regularly think of fairly decent features they could / should add to the platform.

This is google, they're utterly huge, I'd say they now put out, probably the most amount of video of any business on earth. Why is the platform not improving?

Their UI people just fiddle and break and ruin shit (google news) or they terminate perfectly good services.

They have stuffed up chat / sms / web based chat options for nearly 10 years now, failing to copy things they should copy, re-making t hings that didn't need to be remade, etc. Their chat platform is insanely incredibly mind boggingly short shortsightedly ridiculously bad! (I recall when Google chat was THE way to chat with most pals)

These guys sit on their laurels for things they should be fixing and they break things they should be leaving alone.

Honestly just... ugh. Please can someone come along and compete?

Ongoing problem ...

By jc42 • Score: 3 • Thread
My question would be whether they'll help solve an ongoing problem for performers: It can be very difficult to learn who wrote a tune or song, who owns the rights to it, etc. The "business" sources for this info are often incomplete, or just wrong. To see the problem, try searching for the composer of songs. You tend to get links to sites that say things of the form "[Song Title] by [Person]". But when you investigate, you find that "by" usually means "performed by" or "recorded by". They rarely distinguish this from "composed by", and very rarely is the actual composer mentioned. The main problem is that song and tune titles are often different, and over the years different songs/tunes have been written with the same (or very similar) titles. If they were written in different countries, it can be very difficult to straighten out the mess. Sometimes a title belongs to dozens (or hundreds) of different musical works. A slightly less important problem is that several composers may have the same name. One of the fun conversations I've had with a number of publishers is asking them how I can figure out which tunes (or songs) they own the publishing rights to. When they say I can look up the titles in their indexes, I have to point out what they certainly know, that most of those titles are not unique to them, and other companies have published different works with the same titles. Their final answer is always the same: All I have to do is buy a copy of every (musical) publication in their catalog. Yeah, and when I've done that for every publisher in every country, and bought a new house big enough to hold them all, I'll have the info. But I'll have a slight problem: Each answer will be inside millions of printed books, which will take me years to search for each title. But this does get across why the system is so messed up and unusable: Publishers (and composers) have a financial interest in making the information difficult to find. The only way that's actually workable is to publish your own version of a musical work, and wait until someone sues you. This has some subtle problems of its own, of course, but it's what maximizes the actual publishers' incomes. ;-) Somehow, I sorta doubt that youtube will ever figure out how to put correct composer info with every song in every video. Or even in a minority subset of them. They certainly won't get the correct names from many of the people making the videos; they'll just get "by [Performer Name]".

OnePlus 6 Launched With 6.28-inch Display, Snapdragon 845 CPU, and Headphone Jack

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
OnePlus has launched their newest flagship smartphone today at an event in London. The OnePlus 6, as it is called, features a 6.28-inch 2280x1080 display with 19:9 aspect ratio and notch, Snapdragon 845 octa-core processor with up to 8GB of RAM, 16- and 20-megapixel rear-facing cameras, 3,330mAh battery, 3.5mm headphone jack, and Android 8.1 Oreo running out of the box with support for Android P coming soon. Strangely, the phone features a glass build construction but no support for wireless charging. OnePlus claims the glass back will be better for transmitting radio waves, but it's likely included in preparation for the OnePlus 6T, which will likely launch several months later and include wireless charging. PhoneDog reports: Around on the back of the OnePlus 6 is a vertically stacked dual rear camera setup that's now in the center of the phone for symmetry. There's a 16MP camera with Sony IMX 519 sensor, f/1.7 aperture, and support for optical image stabilization and electronic image stabilization, as well as a 20MP camera with Sony IMD 376K sensor and f/1.7 aperture. Also included are portrait mode and slow-motion 480fps video capture features.

The body of the OnePlus 6 is made of Gorilla Glass 5, which OnePlus says will be better for transmitting radio waves. Rounding out the OP6's spec list is a 16MP front-facing camera, NFC, Bluetooth 5.0, USB-C, an alert slider, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. On the security side of things, there's a rear fingerprint reader and face unlock, and when it comes to wireless capabilities, the OnePlus 6 supports 40 global LTE bands as well as 4x4 MIMO for speeds up to 1Gbps.
The OnePlus 6 will be available on May 22 with the following prices: 6GB/64GB: $529; 8GB/128GB: $579; 8GB/256GB: $629.

OnePlus did surveys...

By green1 • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

Glass back, notch, horrible aspect ratio.
So basically, everything people said they didn't want in the surveys that OnePlus did before the launch.

Good work guys!

Glass back

By green1 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

As long as there any phones out there that do not have a glass back I will never buy a phone with a glass back. Why on Earth would you make the most fragile material known to man an integral part of your case? Glass is a stupid idea for a back, only marginally better is metal because they're always polished to the point where you can't hold the device. We need to get back to reasonable materials on phones. a good textured back in a premium plastic style would avoid the need for a case on most of these phones, would look better, and be more durable.

There's only one reason manufacturers use glass backs on their phones, and that's to try to get you to buy more phones when you can't hold on to your existing one because it's so slippery you drop it and inevitably shatter the back of the phone.

"Never settle"

By WaffleMonster • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

No MicroSD slot.
No removable battery.
No IPS display.
Ridiculous price.

No sale.

This is the deal breaker for me...

By bogaboga • Score: 3 • Thread

The body of the OnePlus 6 is made of Gorilla Glass 5...

Why would anyone buy a glass phone? Please do not start me on the so called Gorilla Glass. I find that this glass breaks too; sometimes very easily.

For that reason, I will not touch this phone at all. Never!

Are they trustworthy?

By amorsen • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

I own a OnePlus, and I doubt my next phone will be OnePlus. They have had a number of security breaches lately, which eroded some of my trust.

The stunt they pulled with the code made to send the contents of the clipboard to a third party is just too much. Their excuse that it was only code intended for the Chinese market is terrible -- if this is what they do to bend to Chinese surveillance, how can anyone trust them? Is there any evidence that other vendors are equally uncaring about human rights?

Anyway, I'm hoping that the next Pixel device is reasonably affordable. Otherwise it may be OnePlus plus a custom ROM and hope that the modem chip isn't backdoored.

(Apart from that the OnePlus phones that I've had have been pretty bad for actual phone calls. I can barely hear the other side, and they get echo from my side. However, phone calls are way down on my priority list for a cell "phone")

Cops Will Soon ID You Via Your Roof Rack

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: On Tuesday, one of the largest license plate reader (LPR) manufacturers, ELSAG, announced a major upgrade to "allow investigators to search by color, seven body types, 34 makes, and nine visual descriptors in addition to the standard plate number, location, and time." Such a vast expansion of the tech now means that evading such scans will be even more difficult.

"Using advanced computer vision software, ELSAG ALPR data can now be processed to include the vehicle's make, type -- sedan, SUV, hatchback, pickup, minivan, van, box truck -- and general color -- red, blue, green, white and yellow," ELSAG continued. "The solution actively recognizes the 34 most-common vehicle brands on US roads." Plus, the company says, the software is now able to visually identity things like a "roof rack, spare tire, bumper sticker, or a ride-sharing company decal."


By ebcdic • Score: 3 • Thread

What's LPR?


By ichthus • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Plus, the company says, the software is now able to visually identity things like ... bumper sticker

If you RTFA, Subarus are not supported. Interestingly, the system is only able to support up to 10 bumper stickers.

Off they come

By martinX • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

Better take the roof racks off my Harley then.


By GrBear • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Actually, it's ALPR, and it stands for Automatic License Plate Recognition. We've sold several systems to police forces in Canada, including ELSAG's products.

Recognition is not 100% accurate though, especially in Canada with our more often than not dirty plates, and those funky polar bear shaped plates from the Northwest Territories, and Alberta's non-reflective plates.

They're great for patrolling parking lots where the officer can drive up and down the rows of vehicles looking for outstanding warrants and stolen vehicles automatically.

Bumper Sticker

By PPH • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

I Support'); DROP TABLE Vehicles;--

Google Fixes Issue That Broke Millions of Web-Based Games in Chrome

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Google this week rolled out an update to Chrome to patch a bug that had rendered millions of web-based games useless. From a report: The bug was introduced in mid-April when Google launched Chrome 66. One of this release's features was its ability to block web pages with auto-playing audio. [...] Not all games were affected the same. For some HTML5 games, users could re-enable audio by interacting with the game's canvas via a click-to-play interaction. Unfortunately, older games and those that weren't coded with such policy remained irrevocably broken, no matter what Chrome options users tried to modify in their settings sections. [...] With today's release of Chrome for Desktop v66.0.3359.181, Google has now fixed this issue, but only temporarily. John Pallett, a product manager at Google, admitted that Google "didn't do a good job of communicating the impact of the new autoplay policy to developers using the Web Audio API." He said, for this reason, the current version of Chrome, v66, will no longer automatically mute Web Audio objects.


By llamalad • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

There are *millions* of web-based games? Millions?


By Luthair • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Clickbait hyperbole, but then what would one expect from a site which no doubt purely by coincidence only ever has its articles submitted anonymously?

Senate Votes To Save Net Neutrality

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
In a monumental decision that will resonate through election season, the U.S. Senate on Wednesday voted to reinstate the net neutrality protections the Federal Communications Commission decided to repeal late last year. From a report: For months, procedural red tape has delayed the full implementation of the FCC's decision to drop Title II protections that prevent internet service providers from blocking or throttling online content. Last week, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai confirmed that the repeal of the 2015 Open Internet Order would go into effect on June 11. But Democrats put forth a resolution to use its power under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to review new regulations by federal agencies through an expedited legislative process. All 49 Democrats in the Senate supported the effort to undo the FCC's vote. Republicans, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, John Kennedy of Louisiana and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska crossed party lines to support the measure. Further reading: ArsTechnica.

I know it's not popular to say this

By rsilvergun • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
but I don't think the Republican party is redeemable. The Democrats at least have the Bernie wing and Liz Warren. I can't name one person on the Republican side that seems to have American interests at heart unless you count some of the warhawks push for US Hegemony at all costs (John Bolton I'm looking at you). The Republicans have gone too far down the rabbit hole of accepting corporate cash.

I think the defining moment for me was when those Parkland shooting victims called Mark Rubio out on the NRA donations and he counted it by saying anyone should be able to "Buy Into" him; not realizing (caring?) that if I'm "buying in" to a politician then he's not really serving me...

Re:Not Anything Actually

By youngone • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
It seems a shame that if you don't like the Republican on offer your only realistic option to replace him is a Democrat.
Some of us live in democracies. We might even have the option of 5 or 6 different parties.
Some of those parties may not even sell us out for corporate money.

It's nice.

Re:Everything that's wrong with U.S. politics

By Pete Smoot • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Sure. That's why they should have tried to pass a bill under the previous President. Oh wait, that would have been DOA in Congress too.

This, and things like the Iran Nuke deal, underscore how shaky it is to bypass Congress and administer "with a pen and a phone". Anything done unilaterally by one administration can just as quickly be undone by the next, as we're now seeing. If a President wants to accomplish something lasting, he or she needs to get Congress to go along with it and pass some legislation. Otherwise, your legacy is built on a foundation of sand.

Yay Founding Fathers for making it harder to implement controversial policies without getting broad support. That's not sarcasm, this is why we have separate branches.

In this case, I'm happy with current outcome. The Net Neutrality regulations were a bad solution to a non-problem. I'm sure there are other cases where I'll be less glad policy is flip-flopping every four to eight years.

Re:Gesture is great but toothless, at this point

By Anubis IV • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

This isn't a law, it's an Act of Congress (enabled by an existing law). The President has as much legal right to veto it as you or I do.

Aside from the parenthetical statement, pretty much everything you said is factually incorrect.

TL;DR: Yes, it is a law; no, it is not an Act of Congress; no, being an Act of Congress isn't to the exclusion of being a law; and yes, the President can veto it.

Getting into the specifics...
1) The House hasn't voted on it yet, so it's not a law yet if we want to get technical, but it will be if it successfully goes through the rest of the political process, the same as any other law that began in Congress. As such, it's fair to colloquially refer to it as a "law" (e.g. "The Senate passed a law"), just as you might with a bill or whatnot (more on the "whatnot" in a minute), even though those aren't technically laws yet either.

2) By that same token, it's not an Act of Congress yet either, since it needs to pass both chambers of Congress to be an Act of Congress.

3) Of note, laws are Acts of Congress, so saying, "This isn't a law, it's an Act of Congress" makes about as much sense as saying that an orange isn't an orange because it's a fruit. The one isn't to the exclusion of the other.

4) What passed today was technically an accelerated joint resolution per the Congressional Review Act (the "existing law" you referred to). Joint resolutions are basically just bills by another name, so far as you and I are concerned. Both are used to pass laws using virtually identical procedures. They get used in different situations, but otherwise the only everyday difference is that bills create laws known as Acts (e.g. Congressional Review Act), whereas joint resolutions create laws known as Resolutions (e.g. Iraq Resolution). Again, both of them create laws.

5) As with bills, the President absolutely can veto this, since joint resolutions cross his desk the same as bills do after they pass both chambers of Congress with a simple majority (with one notable exception: a joint resolution to amend the US Constitution does not cross the President's desk). Should he veto it, Congress can override him with a 2/3 supermajority of both chambers, again, the same as with bills.

Re:Not Save... Authorize...

By PopeRatzo • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Let a few states pass laws that say they will not do business with ISPs that are not Neutral and problem solved...

In other words, you're expecting California to save your asses. Again.

The SEC Created Its Own Scammy ICO To Teach Investors a Lesson

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
In its latest effort to fend off cryptocurrency scams, the Securities and Exchange Commission launched its own fake initial coin offering website today called the Howey Coin to warn people against fraudulent cryptocurrencies. From a report: The name is a tongue-in-cheek reference to the Howey Test that the SEC uses to determine whether an investment is a security, which the Commission would therefore have legal jurisdiction over. Click 'Buy Coins Now' on the Howey Coins site and you'll be redirected to an SEC page that states: "We created the bogus site as an educational tool to alert investors to possible fraud involving digital assets like crypto-currencies and coin offerings." It even has a white paper [PDF].

J Walter Weatherman

By sexconker • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

This guy's arm just came off!

And THAT'S why... you don't invest in fucking scam coins.

Re:Fake Mining Resources = Fake Hosting Resources?

By jellomizer • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

I don't think Slashdot can bring down a Raspberry Pi running a web server. It just isn't as big as it use to be.

Isn't this creating bogus data?

By shaitand • Score: 3 • Thread
This is going to result in clicks that aren't from people who bought into the site wanting to buy coins. That's a bunch of bogus data and hits artificially supporting the SEC's stand. Just watch, later they'll come out with numbers for how many people tried to buy coins from their bogus ICO site and almost all the hits will be from people rubbernecking after reading an article such as this.

I don't know why I bother, but ...

By raymorris • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Here's the thing - individually hand-crafted items are really expensive. You couldn't afford to buy even a fraction of the stuff you buy, if everything was still made the way it was made in the 18th century. Especially if it were carried on tiny little boats rather than huge container ships. Most of what you have, you can have only because of tools, factories, machines - stuff that increases productivity, expensive stuff. Multi-million dollar items like ships and factories are needed in order to produce your TV, your clothes, and everything you that a serf in 1818 didn't have. Foundries, fiber optic networks, etc are all the goose the lays the golden egg for society, the reason you don't pick cotton for $3 / day.

Shifting gears a little, when were young you may or may not have been taught that saving up is a really good idea, because shit happens. If you have a car, you'll have car problems. You can either scramble to come up with the money to fix it AFTER it breaks, maybe via a pawn shop, or you can put a $10 aside each paycheck BEFORE the car breaks and not get fucked over by a pawn shop. "I can't afford to save $10 of my paycheck", some say. But you CAN afford to pay a lot more than that to a pawn shop? Maybe when your car breaks down you'll use a pay day lender, because you can afford to pay back twice as much? If you're broke, you REALLY can't afford to not aside a few bucks for when shit happens.

You know what other kind of shit happens? If you keep living, you will get old. Really old. Putting a few dollars aside from each check so you have it when you're old is a really friggin good idea too.

So we have a need for really expensive things which produce other good stuff, expensive things like factories, power plants, steel mills, trains, ships etc. Those things are called "capital goods". In order for you to get cool shit, we need a bunch of money to buy capital goods (things like motorcycle factories). Also we have a bunch of people saving up money for when shit happens, and saving up more money for when they get old. Pretty much everyone who both a) isn't stupid and b) was raised by someone who had a clue, is saving some money aside. So there is a shitload of money sitting around being saved up.

Here's a great idea. Instead of having that saved money sitting around getting moldy until you retire in 30 years, why don't we use that saved money to build useful stuff like factories, trains, foundries, power plants, and other things that produce good stuff for everyone? That way everyone can get more good stuff, cheaper. Seem like *maybe* a good idea?

There are two alternatives to buying capital goods with savings. You can have a society without any capital goods, a primitive, tribal society. Or you can have a society in which very few very, very wealthy people can afford to personally buy ships, build factories, etc.

So I assume we don't want only Donald Trump getting any benefit from machinery and stuff, while the rest of us live as serfs, picking cotton buy hand. Okay, cool - give me the money you've saved so I can go build a factory. What? You don't want to hand over your money? But if you do, everybody, society as a whole, will be a lot better off. We can buy a $2 million combine harvester instead of all of us picking peanuts one-by-hand, by hand. Yeah, most people don't want to hand over their savings for the betterment of society.

Okay how about this. If you let us use the $500 you have saved, if you want it back a year from now we'll give you back $550. If you don't end up needing it until you retire, we'll pay you back $3,300. Sound better? You put in $500 now toward buying capital goods, you get $3,300 back later. That's a lot better deal for you, a deal that most people will take, if they've been saving at all.

That's investment, that's capitalism. Saving up for a rainy day like your grandma told you too, then pooling those savings to get useful stuff that makes life better for everyone. That's why we're not subsistence farmers in the US, because we invested and bought machines and other capital goods.

A or An?

By Tough Love • Score: 3 • Thread

An SEC page? Doesn't sit right. Personally, I pronounce it "sehk", so "a SEC page". Tough one.

Rollout of Windows 10 April Update Halted For Devices With Intel and Toshiba SSDs

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Catalin Cimpanu, writing for BleepingComputer: Microsoft has halted the deployment of the Windows 10 April 2018 Update for computers using certain types of Intel and Toshiba solid state drives (SSDs). The Redmond-based OS maker took this decision following multiple user reports about the Windows 10 April 2018 Update not working properly on devices using: Intel SSD 600p Series, Intel SSD Pro 6000p Series, Toshiba XG4 Series, Toshiba XG5 Series, and Toshiba BG3 Series.

The Intel and Toshiba issues appear to be different. More specifically, Windows PCs using Intel SSDs would often crash and enter a UEFI screen after reboot, while users of Toshiba SSDs reported lower battery life and SSD drives becoming very hot.

Re:Fix the Intel HD graphics driver, too

By omnichad • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Again, don't they have people check things like that before they release the update?

Of course they do. The Home and Pro users. They haven't rolled this out to Enterprise customers yet.

Scaring words: we've got some updates for your PC

By rastos1 • Score: 4, Funny • Thread


We've got some updates for your PC

This might take several minutes.

The PC may reboot several times.

I love the vagueness of the messages ;-)

Re:Fix the Intel HD graphics driver, too

By AmiMoJo • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

We need a new law to cover damage done by updates. Everything gets updates these days, from phones to cars. The potential for problems is high.

If an update made your car undriveable you would take it back to the dealer and drive a rental at their expense until it was fixed. Somehow Microsoft just gets away with it though.

Re:Fix the Intel HD graphics driver, too

By AmiMoJo • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Security updates are already covered for the lifetime of the product under UK law. If the device becomes unfit for purpose because of unpatched vulnerabilities you can get a partial refund based on how long you have owned it.

Hacker Breaches Securus, the Company That Helps Cops Track Phones Across the US

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Securus, the company which tracks nearly any phone across the US for cops with minimal oversight, has been hacked, Motherboard reported Wednesday. From the report: The hacker has provided some of the stolen data to Motherboard, including usernames and poorly secured passwords for thousands of Securus' law enforcement customers. Although it's not clear how many of these customers are using Securus's phone geolocation service, the news still signals the incredibly lax security of a company that is granting law enforcement exceptional power to surveill individuals. "Location aggregators are -- from the point of view of adversarial intelligence agencies -- one of the juiciest hacking targets imaginable," Thomas Rid, a professor of strategic studies at Johns Hopkins University, told Motherboard in an online chat.

Re:Am I in the list?

By SeaFox • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

How does someone find out if they are in the list and being watched?

The list is of Securus' law enforcement customers, not individual citizens. And there is no "list of people being watched" here. The data is already being collected on everyone, it's just a matter of if a Securus customer made any requests about you. Without more info on how one uses the service, it's hard to tell if there is a record of who was tracked.


By jwymanm • Score: 5, Funny • Thread
= Security + Circus

FFS, isn't enough enough already?

By Rick Schumann • Score: 3 • Thread

Data breaches, Woody, data breaches everywhere!

Come on people, isn't enough enough already?

1. Companies like this 'Securus' shouldn't exist in the first place.
2. ALL companies that handle personally identifiable/sensitive data should have properly secured systems 100% of the time, no excuses.
3. Nobody's phone location data should be revealed unless there is a valid warrant.

When is this bullshit going to stop? As-is, you can't connect anything to the Internet without exposing yourself to massive amounts of risk of being hacked into either by criminals or the government, you can't carry a smartphone around for the same reasons (only worse), and it's getting to the point where even your bank isn't a safe place to keep your moeny because they're getting hacked, too. What do we do about all this? What is the way forward? How do we fix this?

Shit like this is why I don't have a smartphone, and why I pay cash for everything I buy in person: to reduce my exposure to this sort of risk. Neither I nor any one of us should have to do that.

Not IF, but WHEN...

By zarmanto • Score: 3 • Thread

Security vulnerabilities are a fact of life, and most people in any kind of a technology job are aware of that. It's not if you're going to be hacked, but when, and by who. And in fact, it's not these highly publicized breaches that we really need to worry about; rather, it's the breaches that nobody ever finds out that probably keeps the security experts awake at night. So if some well-meaning script-kiddie stumbled his way into Securus, than what that really tells us, is that someone with nefarious intent has almost certainly already exploited the same weakness well prior to this. Nobody found out about that hack* for two reasons: 1) The "real" hackers covered their tracks and didn't get caught, and 2) they didn't notify the press with childlike glee of their successful hack of a highly sought after target... rather, they used the vulnerability to collect as much data as possible, and hid any strategically useful data that they discovered under a rock, to be sold to the highest bidder on the black market.

* Mind you... "that hack" could just as easily have been "those hacks"... and we likely still wouldn't know it happened, nor how extensive the damage was, until it's too late to fix anything.

Encryption backdoors

By HeckRuler • Score: 3 • Thread

Now tell me with a straight face that the FBI's suggestion to use a third-party key management system that they could go to with a warrant would be secure. Go on, let me hear it.

Nobody Knows How Much Energy Bitcoin Is Using

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
dmoberhaus writes: A new report published in 'Joule' today claims Bitcoin may use up to 0.5% of the world's energy by the end of this year. We often hear about how bad Bitcoin is for the environment -- it already uses the same amount of energy as the country of Ireland -- but these numbers are usually just the /minimum/ amount of energy the network must be using. The actual amount of energy used by the Bitcoin network is likely substantially higher, but getting an accurate reading on that energy level is hard. The only researcher trying to quantify Bitcoin's energy use spoke to Motherboard about opening Bitcoin's 'black box.'

Re:But how much energy is used by traditional fiat

By Waffle Iron • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

$1B out of the global GDP OF $84 trillion is only .0011% of overall economic activity. Assuming that energy consumption of most economic activities is roughly proportional to cost, you've only accounted for 1/420th of Bitcoin's energy use.

And don't forget that the US dollar is used for orders of magnitude more total transaction value than Bitcoin. Even if you add in the energy use of the portion of the global banking industry that deals specifically with fiat currencies, here is simply no way that they use anywhere near the amount of energy per unit of value transacted as Bitcoin does.

Re:But how much energy is used by traditional fiat

By Solandri • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
Traditional currency has a financial incentive to reduce transaction costs. If the transaction costs are too high, people will simply stop using the currency. They will instead use a different currency or resort to bartering to reduce their costs. Over the centuries, this has driven the per-transaction cost down to cents or fractions of a cent.
  • A dollar bill costs about 5 cents to make. and will last a bit more than 5 years (older bills would last less than 2 years). Higher denominations are about 10 cents to make (more anti-counterfeiting measures). If you average them across all denominations, it works out to about 1.5 cents per $1. So the cost of producing the bill amortized per transaction is on the order of hundredths or thousandths of a cent.
  • A store owner carrying a bag of the store's receipts for the day to the bank, if he's carrying say $1000 in revenue to a bank 2.5 miles away, that's 5 miles at a IRS-estimated vehicle cost rate of 55 cents/mile, or $2.75 for the round trip. And the cost to carry the bag to the bank is then 0.275 cents per dollar. If that revenue is from 50 transactions ($20 per transaction), that works out to a cost of 5.5 cents per transaction. (I'm deliberately erring on the high side to favor bitcoin. Most businesses I know choose a bank which is much closer. And $1000 revenue per day is about as low as a small business gets.)

How does bitcoin compare?

  • Production energy costs are very close to the value of the bitcoin generated. So call it 80 cents per dollar. Nearly two orders of magnitude higher than paper currency.
  • Bitcoin deliberately imposes a high energy cost in each transaction. So high that many online stores have stopped accepting bitcoin because the costs have reached several dollars per transaction.

Basically, bitcoin's problem is that it replaced gold's natural scarcity with artificial scarcity produced by imposing a high energy cost to generation and transaction. Consequently, its production and transaction costs are roughly two orders of magnitude higher than traditional currencies. Mathematically, it (blockchain) is a brilliant concept. But it's obvious its developers had little practical knowledge of both monetary economics and day-to-day business economics.

Cryptocurrency is CANCEROUS

By Rick Schumann • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
There may have been all of 15 minutes right at the beginning that it wasn't cancerous, but after that it was cancer 24/7/365. Just kill it all off and make it go away.

Those in Cash houses, shouldn't throw stones.

By geekmux • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Should we talk about how much energy is wasted building and maintaining heavily fortified bank buildings that warehouse large stacks of colorful paper? Or why the US is still minting fucking pennies?

When comparing standard currency to cryptocurrency, traditional proprietors of legal tender have zero room to talk about overhead or waste. At least bitcoin doesn't have to exist as physical tender, and we've done fucking nothing to minimize or eliminate the massive burden of printing and minting cash, regardless of the popularity of electronic transactions. The US Mint spends billions every year just in metals and materials costs.

Re:Those in Cash houses, shouldn't throw stones.

By American AC in Paris • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Should we talk about how much energy is wasted building and maintaining heavily fortified bank buildings that warehouse large stacks of colorful paper? Or why the US is still minting fucking pennies?

Oh, hey, I agree! Minting pennies is stupid, and we should stop doing it! Paper money is also pretty limited in its utility, and we should try to find ways to minimize it! We could probably find lots of ways to make fiat currency more energy efficient overall, and we should!

We can find and implement these efficiencies this without causing the collapse of the entire currency. We can find ways to make classical fiat money more energy efficient. Energy costs are not intrinsic to the value of fiat currency. All it takes is political will--tough, sure, but far from impossible.

Bitcoin, on the other hand, is defined by energy cost. We literally can not make Bitcoin more energy efficient.

Bitcoin is designed to require maximal energy usage. So long as the energy cost of mining a block is lower than the value of that block, it's worth it to spend the energy. So long as the number of nodes increases, the energy cost per transaction will increase. So long as the length of the blockchain increases, the energy cost per transaction will increase.

In other words: so long as Bitcoin continues to be a viable currency, its energy costs will only increase.

The only way to make Bitcoin more energy efficient is to fork it to a model that doesn't tie value to energy costs. Good luck convincing the world of Bitcoin to do that. You'd have an easier time killing the quarter, let alone the penny.

Twitter Delays Shutdown of Legacy APIs By 3 Months as it Launches a Replacement

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Twitter said on Wednesday that it will be giving developers more time to adjust to its API platform overhaul, which has affected some apps' ability to continue operating in the same fashion. From a report: The company clarified this morning, along with news of the general availability of its Account Activity API, that it will be delaying the shutdown of some of its legacy APIs by three months' time. That is, APIs originally slated for a June 19, 2018 shutdown -- including Site Streams, User Streams, and legacy Direct Message Endpoints -- will now be deprecated on Wednesday, August 16, 2018.

Sony Ends Production Of Physical Vita Games

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Sony is ending physical production of Vita games, news outlet Kotaku reports. Although the hardware manufacturer says digital distribution will continue, this move will mark the end of physical cards for the maligned portable game system, Kotaku added. From a report: Sony's American and European branches "plan to end all Vita GameCard production by close of fiscal year 2018," the company told developers today in a message obtained by Kotaku. The message asks that all Vita product code requests be submitted by June 28, 2018, and that final purchase orders be entered by February 15, 2019. Sony's 2018 fiscal year will end on March 31, 2019.


By pecosdave • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

They didn't hoard that one to themselves, had they done so we would probably be running HD-DVD right now.

'Bird Scooters Are Ruining Venice'

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Nate Jackson, writing for LA Times: Although I would like to avoid them, I have no choice but to consider them because I live in Venice, which is where the first Bird (electric scooters) hatched and where the flock is thickest. Bird's founder and CEO, Travis VanderZanden, says, "We won"t be happy till there are more Birds than cars," so I guess I am supposed to get used to it. [...] Suddenly, almost daily, I have some near-collision with a Bird scooter rider -- he who sees nothing but the phone in his hand, thinks of nothing but the next text, and hears nothing but whatever music he has chosen to pump through the white inserts protruding from his wasted ears. He who, despite all that, is still traveling up to 15 mph on the street or sidewalk.

Aside from road safety, which has been discussed thoroughly in this and other papers, Bird is also tearing away at the fabric of our Westside society. In Venice and Santa Monica, where Bird is centralized, thousands of people live on the streets, which helps explain the scooter's popularity. With a press of a throttle button, one can be whizzing along, leaving it all in a blur. Bird calls this solving the "first/last mile" problem. Problem? Is it a problem for a twentysomething to walk a single mile? To most residents, Venice itself is the solution: The weather is perfect, the ocean is a stone's throw away and each block has something interesting to see. But to walk through Venice is to understand that human misery exists just outside the frame of your Instagram feed.

Venice? Not Venice, Italy.

By Futurepower(R) • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Venice? Why not avoid confusion for 99% of human society and say, Venice, California in the title? Most people in the world don't know Venice, California exists.

Venice, California is a small town of 40,885 people heavily affected by the extreme pollution and extreme traffic jams in the Los Angeles area. The Los Angeles metropolitan area has 18.68 million people.

Venice, Italy is a world-famous city that began soon after 400 CE. The metropolitan area has 2.6 million people.

Re:Rude summary

By steveha • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

I just skimmed your summery and my IQ dropped with 7 whole points. I can not imagine what the whole articlke would do to me. Well not after reading your summery anyway.

I read the whole thing.

My mind is going. I can feel it. I can feel it. My mind is going. There is no question about it.

Daisy, daisy, give me your answer true...

Re: Venice

By Alypius • Score: 5, Funny • Thread
afoul or afowl?

Re: Venice

By jellomizer • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

From my understanding Italy in general has bad drivers, especially in urban areas. Combined with Italian view of law, compared to English Law that most of us are accustom to. Makes it difficult to get people to change their ways. Police will stop someone who is being dangerous or causing problems. But if they are currently being safe, but doing a behavior that can be potentially dangerous they will not stop them.

Re: Venice

By Chris Mattern • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Since this is modded up as "Interesting", I'm going to assume that the parent is not making a joke and point out that it's the wrong Venice. Nothing to do with Italians, and that's why it's in the LA Times.

Microsoft To Launch a Line of Lower-Cost Surface Tablets With 10-inch Displays By Second Half of 2018, Report Says

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Microsoft plans to launch a line of lower-cost Surface tablets as soon as the second half of 2018, Bloomberg reported Wednesday. These devices should help Microsoft improve its market share in the iPad-led hybrid machines market, the outlet noted. From the report: Microsoft has tried this before. The software giant kicked off its consumer-oriented hardware push in 2012 with the launch of the original Surface RT. At the time, it was priced starting at $499. After the tablets didn't resonate with consumers and product reviewers, Microsoft pivoted to the more-expensive Surface Pro, a line which has gained steam and likely contributed to demand for a pro-oriented iPad, which Apple launched in 2015.

The new tablets will feature 10-inch screens -- around the same size as a standard iPad, but smaller than the 12-inch screens used on the Surface Pro laptop line. The new Surfaces, priced about $400, will have rounded edges like an iPad, differing from the squared off corners of current models. They'll also include USB-C connectivity, a first for Surface tablets, a new charging and syncing standard being used by some of the latest smartphones. The tablets are expected to be about 20 percent lighter than the high-end models, but will have around four hours fewer of battery life. (The current Surface Pro can last 13.5 hours on a single charge.)

They're still doing this?

By squiggleslash • Score: 3 • Thread

I would have expected Microsoft to pack it in by now. They've been at this mobile Windows thing since the 1990s (in a box somewhere I have a clamshell WinCE HPC running one of the earliest versions of WinCE - nice system actually, but...) and virtually everyone has made a success of it who's tried, except them. Apple (twice!) Google. Palm. Even Atari! (No, seriously, they came up with a pocket PC that was a runaway success, you may remember it from Terminator 2, John Connor uses it briefly to hack an ATM...) ATARI! You know, the company that made one of the first games consoles and then pretty much failed at everything since, but for a brief six month window in the early 1990s they had a hit on their hands which... uh, they fucked up like everything else.

And now they're at it again.

Maybe if they can get Windows 10 to run Android apps, like ChromeOS, they might stand a chance.

Re:They're still doing this?

By rogoshen1 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Billions upon billions of dollars in the war chest, and nothing to really spend it on. So invest a few billion in mobile, why not?

They might pull an xbox type win out of it, or lose a few billion. Either way, they aren't materially impacted.

"on a single charge"

By cacheMan • Score: 3 • Thread

Why is the singleness of the charge always noted?

The current Surface Pro can last 40.5 hours on a triple charge.

Another half-arsed compromise?

By Misagon • Score: 3 • Thread

I suspect that this will be yet another half-arsed compromise â" neither a good tablet nor a good laptop PC.

While much of Windows supports touch, even five years since Windows 8, many tasks in the operating system still require a precise pointing device such as a mouse, touch-pad or stylus. For instance, try selecting and copying more than one file at once! Sorry, can't do. Your fingers are too fat!

I also suspect that the mentioned USB-C port is going to be the only port on the device, like on most 8-inch and 10-inch Windows tablets today ... so you can't connect that mouse without an adaptor.
And as usual with Windows, you won't be able to use that port for file transfer to/from a real PC either as you would with a real tablet running Android or iOS.

What the headline should read:

By Rick Schumann • Score: 3 • Thread
"Microsoft to try to convince people that their half-assed piece of shit Windows tablets are somehow better than an iPad"
..and I don't even own any Apple products nor do I care to.

Fedora-Based Linux Distro Korora Halts Development

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Korora, a Fedora-based Linux distro, halted its development this month, BetaNews' Brian Fagioli spotted Wednesday. The announcement would irk many, as Korora consistently received positive feedback from critics and users alike. News outlet ZDNet once described Korora as "Fedora++", while Slashdot readers, too, spoke highly of the distro.

At the same time, the announcement should come as little surprise to anyone who has been tracking Korora's work. In a blog post, Korora team wrote: Korora for the forseeable future is not going to be able to march in cadence with the Fedora releases. In addition to that, for the immediate future there will be no updates to the Korora distribution. Our team is infinitesimal (currently 1 developer and 2 community managers) compared to many other distributions, we don't have the luxury of being able to dedicate the amount of time we would like to spend on the project and still satisfy our real life obligations. So we are taking a little sabbatical to avoid complete burn out and rejuvenate ourselves and our passion for Korora/Fedora and wider open source efforts. The team had expressed similar concerns earlier this year: For the past few years Korora has released a new version in line with each Fedora version. That means that approximately twice a year we prepare, test and create 5 different ISO versions. This is as well as, among other things, developing new projects, supporting existing releases and planning the future versions. As each team member has different skills some tasks, such as development, can only be done by one person. All this is done in our spare time along side our job, family and personal responsibilities. For a very small team, currently 3 people plus the occasional input from others, this is a lot of work. It means that often Korora has to take a back seat when real life intrudes. This isn't the first time Korora had to abruptly pause its development. In 2007, Christopher Smart, who kickstarted Korora (at the time based on Gentoo Linux), had discontinued the project -- only to revive it three years later.

How many more distros do we need?

By OneHundredAndTen • Score: 3 • Thread
This may be a significant loss to the community, but I doubt it. How many Linux distros can one choose from? Scores, for sure. Maybe hundreds? How many of those accomplish something that is not already accomplished by many other distros? How many of them do something original? The vast majority of them seem to be based on one of Fedora, Debian or Ubuntu. What do they do that their parents don't? If you are going to come up with your own Linux distro, at the very least be original. While I am all for variety and choice, this proliferation of that really are little more than me-too is preposterous.

"Many"? LOLZ

By iggymanz • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

never even heard of this little distro, and I admin hundreds of linux boxes of various distros in multiple locations for a living

seriously, little "distros" (ooo look, we took this other's distros menu and made it pretty, and threw in packages x, y and z) sprout and die like weeds, who cares?

Researchers Create First Flying Wireless Robotic Insect

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from New Atlas: You might remember RoboBee, an insect-sized robot that flies by flapping its wings. Unfortunately, though, it has to be hard-wired to a power source. Well, one of RoboBee's creators has now helped develop RoboFly, which flies without a tether. Slightly heavier than a toothpick, RoboFly was designed by a team at the University of Washington -- one member of that team, assistant professor Sawyer Fuller, was also part of the Harvard University team that first created RoboBee. That flying robot receives its power via a wire attached to an external power source, as an onboard battery would simply be too heavy to allow the tiny craft to fly. Instead of a wire or a battery, RoboFly is powered by a laser. That laser shines on a photovoltaic cell, which is mounted on top of the robot. On its own, that cell converts the laser light to just seven volts of electricity, so a built-in circuit boosts that to the 240 volts needed to flap the wings. That circuit also contains a microcontroller, which tells the robot when and how to flap its wings -- on RoboBee, that sort of "thinking" is handled via a tether-linked external controller. The robot can be seen in action here.

This is definitely not a first

By MobyDisk • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Not to poo-poo their work, but this is definitely not a first. A quick google search reveals several:

I also remember a DARPA project to create a flying insect with a camera, that was powered entirely by ambient wi-fi. It would fly a bit, then spend hours charging, then fly a bit more.

Volts? Just volts? How about POWER?

By bobbied • Score: 3 • Thread

Sorry but the electronic engineer in me wonders how much POWER this arrangement creates and that requires we know the current... Knowing how many volts is like knowing how tall a building is you need to put a weight on top of, but not how heavy the weight is.

Then the whole, we convert it to 240 volts to flap the wings, part is amusing too. How is this technical detail relevant to the coolness of what you accomplished? It's not hard to push 7V to 240V as there are off the shelf devices that do this with quite high power efficiencies... But there I go again with that power thing..

Watch out for the assassin bugs

By Chrisq • Score: 3 • Thread
Combine one of these with the ability to squirt a few drops of nerve agent.....


By radarskiy • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

"Fluttering wings hard enough to momentarily leave the ground is impressive, yes. But don't spoil it by trying to call it flying."

Fluttering wings hard enough to leave the ground is the actual definition of flying.

Researchers weren't first; ...

By CaptainDork • Score: 3 • Thread

... evolution did this long ago.

Tesla Model X Breaks Electric Towing Record By Pulling Boeing 787

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
A Tesla Model X has set the world record for heaviest tow by electric production passenger vehicle when it pulled a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner at the Melbourne Airport in Australia. The video can be viewed on YouTube. Inverse reports: As probably expected, the plane far exceeds the Model X's recommended tow limit of around 5,000 pounds. In fact, the weight of the unloaded 787 with a minimal amount of fuel came closer to around 300,000 pounds. The airline pulled the Dreamliner around 1,000 feet down the tarmac. The stunt was part of a wider campaign around Qantas' new work with Tesla, which involves offering high-powered chargers at its Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide facilities as well as offsetting miles for Tesla drivers that are also frequent flyer members.

Re:People Pulling Train Car

By jellomizer • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

We see this type of stunt all the time. Often with Pickup Truck commercials. But this plays to Tesla's marketing strategy, of Showing their all electric cars to be just as powerful if not more so, then the best gasoline cars in their classification.

Which is opposed to other electric car makers who show off these cars as just Electric, but nothing really exciting about them, and rather lack luster in comparison of other cars in their class.

The stunt of pulling a 747 or a freight train... When using a flat surface and properly conditioned low friction wheels. Just needs enough energy to get past the static friction, then energy to account to the existing friction. Now if the Testla would be able to accelerate the plane from 0 to 15mph in 10 seconds that would be impressive.

the real trick will be ...

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

The vehicle pulling Tesla into financial viability

Re: Should be useful for most drivers...

By YrWrstNtmr • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
and I wouldn't stand a chance if I attempted to pull sixty times my vehicle's curb weight.

USAF, we used to push or pull F-16 or F-15, by hand. 4 guys, 30,000 lbs of aircraft. Not far, and zero grade. But it was done.
You do the math.

Re:People Pulling Train Car

By Luthair • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
People have pulled planes, in fact the record is a guy pulling one weighing 418,000 lbs. Seems hard to know why we'd care about a car doing it.

MUCH easier with electric motor drive.

By Ungrounded Lightning • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

The truck industry has *long* done stunts like this to 'prove' how much better than their ratings they are.

Towing enormous loads from a dead stop (on a level surface) is much easier with an electric motor drive vehicle than with one powered by a combustion engine.

An electric motor (absent some pathology in the power supply to it) produces maximum torque at stall. This is ideal for gradually accelerating enormous weights on low-friction level surfaces. (Also great for sprint races, and getting started from a dead stop in general.)

An internal combustion engine has no torque at its output shaft if it's not running. You need some mechanism for driving the stopped wheels from the must-keep-turning engine.

Clutches are a friction brake (with a SMALL length of of spring, so you can recycle most of the energy initially lost to pushing torque through a shaft-speed difference IF you get moving right away.) Try to tow an enormous weight from dead-stop and most of the energy goes to heat the clutch - which quickly fries unless you only engage it in pulses.

Transmissions with torque converters are better. But get moving quickly (in a very low gear, because much of that energy is still turning into heat in the transmission fluid.

Electric motors make heat, too. But only in proportion to the (square of) the torque they produce. So it's the same heat they'd make if they were accelerating the car with the same torque, which they're able to dump quite nicely. Also: They aren't stuck absorbing a LARGE amount of heat because of the minimum speed of the engine shaft. Their controller can apply enough current to get the torque, but this results in much lower voltage (and thus much less total energy) when they're not turning (no back-EMF from the moving motor also acting like a generator to oppose the incoming current). So max torque and only enough HP/watts to produce it.

Ecuador Spent $5 Million Protecting and Spying On Julian Assange, Says Report

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Citing reports from The Guardian and Focus Ecuador, The Verge reports that Ecuador's intelligence program spent at least $5 million "on an elaborate security and surveillance network around WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange." The intelligence program was known as "Operator Hotel," which began as "Operation Guest" when Assange took refuge in Ecuador's UK embassy in 2012. From the report: Operation Hotel has allegedly covered expenses like installing CCTV cameras and hiring a security team to "secretly film and monitor all activity in the embassy," including Assange's daily activities, moods, and interactions with staff and visitors. The Guardian estimates Ecuadorian intelligence agency Senain has spent at least $5 million on Assange-related operations, based on documents they reviewed. The report details attempts to improve Assange's public image and potentially smuggle him out of the embassy if he was threatened. But it also writes that relations between Assange and Ecuador have badly deteriorated over the past several years. In 2014, Assange allegedly breached the embassy's network security, reading confidential diplomatic material and setting up his own secret communications network.

Re: How much did they spend...

By ledow • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Agreed... as someone who's lived all their life in the UK, and travelled quite a bit, I can safely say that the UK is no worse than any other civilised place I've been to.

Plus, I don't get regarded like an idiot that can't cross the road unsupervised.

Plus, literally, I do not feel in fear of government one iota (except from a "what stupid thing are they doing now" viewpoint, but that's universal).

Strange that people complaining they live freer lives than other countries that they've never been to also think they have to sustain a household armoury in order to do so.

(P.S. The last time I was questioned in any official capacity, or had any interaction with official law enforcement bodies, was while entering the United States for a brief holiday... honestly, I've never been asked so many obtuse, unrelated, obscure questions and I hear they're going to start asking for social media details? Oh... unless you count the policeman who came to my daughter's school fair and let the kids press the siren button)

Re: How much did they spend...

By Xest • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

I had it in Canada of all fucking places.

I think it's really just a symptom of the universal truth that the role of customs officer across the globe is the sort of role that has a high likelihood of attracting the odd dickhead who failed at everything they wanted to do in life (like becoming a police officer) and so had to settle for what little power tripping they could do at a checkpoint on a national border instead.

I've always found US customs officers decent, and UK customs officers nice on my return (albeit a little fucking dense), I've found Canadian customs officers to be universally complete arseholes in Ottawa and Montreal, but usually pretty nice in Toronto and Vancouver. Across the rest of the globe it's always been a mixed bag - nice and laid back in the Caribbean, corrupt and dodgy in Egypt for example.

Personally I wouldn't judge a country by it's customs officers because the high likelihood of down and out power trippers is bound to be at odds with the norm.

Re:Fuck him, I had to spend $200

By captbollocks • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Er, actually they selectively publish what people send them, usually to suit whatever PR strategy they are using at the moment.

Yes, the information was compromised already, but now I am stuck with my personal information (not to mention the 10,000s of others) on WikiLeaks for anyone to get hold of it.

Re:Skepticism required

By squiggleslash • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
You missed something somewhere. What about The Guardian's wish to credit Focus Ecuador makes the story possibly "disinformation"? Or alternatively what about The Guardian being British and the Verge being American makes it that? (If this is some kind of weird ass smear about The Guardian, well, you do know The Guardian is one of the only independent media outlets in the world, right? It's owned by a self-contained trust that exists solely to publish The Guardian and related newspapers, and the trust itself is run by journalists. It has its biases but it's not in any way establishment or government controlled - hell, they've had MI-5 enter their offices and smash their computers in the past, and were one of the first newspapers to raise the profile of Wikileaks, and assisted them for a time.)

Phrasing is everything, in "news" stories...

By zarmanto • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

... allegedly breached the embassy's network security, reading confidential diplomatic material and setting up his own secret communications network. ...

Rough translation: Assange found that little placard with the WiFi password written on it for all to freely use, discovered an open share on one of the embassy's network-connected computers (but probably didn't find anything particularly interesting on it) and then he casually turned on his VPN to tunnel through the embassy firewall and log into Wikileaks.

It feels to me like certain high profile personalities in the media (like Assange, but certainly not limited to him) are all-too-often treated like they possess some sort of super-intelligence, and can do shockingly amazing things with computers. The reality is likely to be underwhelming most of the time, when you break down the colorful but vague terminology into layman's terms.