Alterslash

the unofficial Slashdot digest for 2018-Jul-28 today archive
 

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

Are There Dangers in a Cashless Society?

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
Slate asks why more businesses are refusing cash -- and investigates the downside. An anonymous reader quotes their report: Stores are eliminating cash registers and coin rolls in pursuit of what they say is a safer, more streamlined payment process -- and one that most of their customers want to use anyway. At Dos Toros, co-founder Leo Kremer said that more than half of the shop's customers used cash when its first location opened in Manhattan in 2009. By the beginning of this year, that number had fallen to just 15 percent. At that point, the various hassles of dealing with cash -- employee training, banking fees, armored-truck pickups, and the occasional robbery -- outweighed the cost of credit card fees on those transactions. The shift wound up being more or less revenue-neutral, Kremer said, but saved a lot of time and trouble. Dos Toros' New York locations have been fully cash-free since the winter.... "After talking to the team and absorbing the flow at the register, we felt like almost everyone who used cash had a card. It just hasn't been an issue...."

But it would be hard to find anyone more gung-ho about the abolition of cash than credit card companies. Last summer, for example, Visa announced a $10,000 reward to 50 businesses that would give up cash entirely. "What concerns me about a cashless future is how much it benefits Wall Street," Stacy Mitchell, co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, wrote to me in an email. "They can charge swipe fees of two to three percent not because that's what the service actually costs, but because they have monopoly power."

Citing services like Square and Apple Pay, the article notes that 4 in 10 purchases used to involve cash, but between 2011 and 2016 it dropped to just 3 in 10 purchases (according to the San Francisco Fed). Yet the article's author also presents this counter-argument. "In Shanghai, the venture capitalist Eric Li told me a story about trying to get his morning coffee the morning after a storm had knocked out the internet on his block.

"No one could buy coffee, because no one was carrying cash."

Re:Forget wall street, it benefits fascists

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

I'm confused. You said "Forget wall street, it benefits fascists". Who do you think is going to freeze the accounts? And do you think they'll only do it when the government asks, or also when it benefits them?

Re: Forget wall street, it benefits fascists

By phantomfive • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

I would love to see federal income tax reduced by 90% and if there are some things that still need to be done, let the local governments do it.

Look at this graph of federal government spending, and say what exactly are you going to cut? Even if you cut military spending to bare bones, you wouldn't succeed in closing the annual deficit. If you cut social security, you will be voted out of office. If you cut Medicare, you will be voted out of office. So what exactly are you planning on doing?

Re:Forget wall street, it benefits fascists

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

I think that you overestimate the quality of CCTV cameras of the sort typically installed in restaurants, shopping areas and other retail establishments. The typical business owner who decides to install cameras buys the cheapest piece of junk made in China cameras that he can find and then mounts them too high on the ceiling and too far away from the doors because he wants to "cover" as much area as possible with as few cameras as possible. The end result is video so grainy and poor that unless other information about a scene is available, from eye witnesses say, it's difficult or impossible to identify anyone based on the video alone. Did I also mention that these cameras really suck in low light conditions? These are the sorts of systems that you see a few hundred dollars at Costco. I suppose it's possible that bigger corporate stores invest in better cameras, but honestly that's not likely because again the video evidence is only there to corroborate other evidence. The chance that an unidentified stranger is going to be unmasked by careful analysis of the video recorded by these crappy cameras is laughable. The resolution is too low, the camera is too far away and the lighting sucks.

One exception to this rule: Casinos. These guys really do have ultra high resolution cameras that see well in low light with full coverage, telephoto zoom, years worth of recording capacity and expert analysis and advice on placement and analysis. Then again, they spent millions of dollars on their security systems whereas most other normal businesses did not because they cannot justify that level of expense.

Re: And this has happened

By tlhIngan • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

We're just paying a 3% fee to a 3rd party to make the payments for us.

There is an easy fix for this. Require the end user to pay the 3% fee. A few places do it but I believe it's against the rules of most major credit card companies. If more places gave a discount for cash, a lot more people would pay with cash. As it stands now, with credit card rewards, there is effectively a 1% or so discount for using a credit card.

First of all, cash isn't free to handle. If you're a small business, it might be close to free, but only because you don't have much of it. When you're handling a few thousands of dollars of cash daily, things get MUCH more interesting.

And it's easy to tell who's the "free" department - you can tell if a business simply turns off the register at the end of the day, or if they actually count the takes. If they don't count the takes, then in general they don't make enough cash (because it's not worth counting).

But once you do start raking in cash, you start to have to count it, which means you need to train employees how to handle cash. You need to tell them how to set up the register, how to ensure their takes are accurate, and how to sign off the register. This again is easy to see - when they run out of coins you note they always take a 410 roll of coins, but at the same time, they give the donator a $10 bill to equalize the transaction.(because every dollar has to be accounted for). And yes, when the register and cashbox do not agree, it's a very serious offense, minus some small percentage error (because people do realize short-changes and mistakes happen, but it shouldn't be more than a couple of bucks or so).

But you also have the problem - you have a few thousand dollars in cash now, and you have to deposit it at the bank. So someone has to go to the bank, wait in line, and make the deposit (which has to be counted, verified, etc). So that's someone's hour out of their day going to the bank, parking, lining up, etc., and hopefully not getting mugged or robbed along the way (another cost of handling cash). Or if you're lucky, you've got night depository permission so you can use those outside deposit boxes. But again, prime spot for being mugged (and it's after hours, too).

Hey, if you make enough money, perhaps you can call an armored car to take your cash for you to the bank, but that too is another cost for handling cash.

Oh, and let's not forget the whole robbery aspect - always a problem with cash-only businesses.

And finally, there's the problem of counterfeit bills. You might not think it, but large bills might be common - if you buy $50 worth of stuff, you would expect to get paid with $20 bills, $50 bills, and $100 bills. But $100 bills could be counterfeit, yet another cost (because counterfeit bills are non-redeemable, and it could've been changed with legitimate bills). Sure you can try to avoid taking in $50 or $100 bills, but if someone comes to you with $75 worth of purchase, they may not have $75 in smaller bills.

Now, the laws changed here recently (Canada) where retailers can charge the extra 3%, but it turns out most don't. Not because they can't, but because they realize that most of their transactions are credit and debit (which incur a fixed fee at least), and they fear losing that business. (And yes, businesses that were formerly cash-only have gone into accepting debt and later on, credit cards did see an uptick in business - both in number of customers through, and increases in size of transactions).

And to be honest, the ones that do charge, I tended to shop there less - about the ones that did were computer stores and they always did "cash discounted" pricing. It was always annoying to have to plan a visit to the bank to do a cash withdrawal in order to shop there, and they eventually lost me out to online shopping where the credit prices were included AND I had to pay shipping. (Not having to find parking in some obscure neighbourhood was a bonus, too).

Re:Is this a trick question or something?

By houghi • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Next: Are there dangers in a cash only society?

The answer will still be the same: "yes, definitely".

118 All-Time Heat Records Set Around the Globe

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
"It's so hot, even parts of the Arctic are on fire," reports Vox, citing wildfires in Sweden, while Greece "has declared a state of emergency as raging forest fires have killed at least 81 people and injured more than 190."

But heat-related disasters are happening around the world. In Japan 86 people have been killed by heatstroke, while another 23,000 people have been hospitalized -- about half of them over the age of 65 -- in a heat wave forecast to continue for another two weeks. "Japan hit 106 degrees on Monday, its hottest temperature ever," reports the Associated Press, adding that "So far this month, at least 118 of these all-time heat records have been set or tied across the globe." An anonymous reader quotes their report. "We now have very strong evidence that global warming has already put a thumb on the scales, upping the odds of extremes like severe heat and heavy rainfall," Stanford University climate scientist Noah Diffenbaugh said. "We find that global warming has increased the odds of record-setting hot events over more than 80 percent of the planet, and has increased the odds of record-setting wet events at around half of the planet..."

"The world is becoming warmer and so heat waves like this are becoming more common," said Friederike Otto, deputy director of the Environmental Change Institute at the University of Oxford.

"Death Valley, California, has set three consecutive daily record-high temperatures of 127 degrees," reports the Washington Post, adding that "Sometimes, like right now in the Western U.S., it's too hot for airplanes to fly" because of heat-related changes in air density at high-altitude airports. In Europe, nuclear power plants in Finland, Sweden, and German were forced to cut electricity production because high temperatures heated the seawater needed to cool reactors.

In northern California 38,000 people fled their homes as an 80,900-acre wildfire spread through the Shasta-Trinity area. Reuters reports the wildfire was caused "by hot, dry weather and high winds" -- and that it's one of 89 large wildfires currently burning in 14 U.S. states.

Re:And we still hear how global warming is a hoax

By Plumpaquatsch • Score: 4 • Thread

But the longer you measure, and we haven't been measuring that long, you statistically expect new highs. That's just how the math works. You need wide-spread and decades-long measurements to make a conclusion.

You know jack shit about "how the math works". The easiest way to tell is that you obviously don't also expect new lows - funny, because the only new lows come from the likes of you, not from temperature.

Re:And we still hear how global warming is a hoax

By hcs_$reboot • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
Oh you know, the total mass of insects has fallen by nearly 80% in 40 years. Doesn't that figure ring a bell about something exceptional happening? Bet most people didn't even know that.

and yet....

By WindBourne • Score: 3 • Thread
Germany, Japan, China, India, and a number of 3rd world nations keep adding new coal plants, instead of focusing on AE.
Worse, so many will act like this is OK for all these nations.
We have trump in America, but in spite of him/GOP, our coal consumption and CO2 continues downward (though not as much).

Re:And we still hear how global warming is a hoax

By WindBourne • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
that is not the real problem. The real problem is that extremists on both sides are total idiots.
Far right screams that AGW is not happening,
while the far left, wants to give passes for all nations except for the west, esp. America. For some odd reason, they believe that by stopping ~1/4 of the emissions, while allowing other nations, esp China, to add to their emissions by more than what the west was doing, is OK. Add to that, most of the far left, continue to fight Nuke power. Yet, the ONLY nations that have low CO2 emissions are those with large hydro, geo-thermal, or Nukes. What they do not have, is large Wind/Solar.

Re:And we still hear how global warming is a hoax

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

Additionally, back in the 70's it was Global Cooling too

Not in the peer reviewed journals. But in pop-sci media.

Facebook Finally Discloses Pro-Brexit Ads

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
"The UK parliament has provided another telling glimpse behind the curtain of Facebook's unregulated ad platform by publishing data on scores of pro-Brexit adverts..." reports TechCrunch, adding that the 2016 ads "were run prior to Facebook having any disclosure rules for political ads. So there was no way for anyone other than each target recipient to know a particular ad existed or who it was being targeted at." An anonymous reader quotes their report: The targeting of the ads was carried out on Facebook's platform by AggregateIQ, a Canadian data firm that has been linked to Cambridge Analytica/SCL... [I]t's not clear how many ad impressions they racked up in all. But total impressions look very sizable. While some of what runs to many thousands of distinctly targeted ads which AIQ distributed via Facebook's platform are listed as only garnering between 0-999 impressions apiece, according to Facebook's data, others racked up far more views. Commonly listed ranges include 50,000 to 99,999 and 100,000 to 199,999 -- with even higher ranges like 2M-4.9M and 5M-9.9M also listed....

The publication of the Brexit ads is, above all, a reminder that online political advertising has been allowed to be a blackhole -- and at times a cesspit -- because cash-rich entities have been able to unaccountably exploit the obscurity of Facebook's systemically dark ad targeting tools for their own ends, and operate in a darkness where only Facebook had oversight (and wasn't exercising any), leaving the public no right of objection let alone reply, despite it being people's lives that are indelibly affected by political outcomes.... The company has been making some voluntary changes to offer a degree of political ad disclosure, as it seeks to stave off regulatory rule. Whether its changes -- which at best offer partial visibility -- will go far enough remains to be seen.

Earlier this month the UK's data watchdog released a report titled "Democracy disrupted?" in which the UK's Information Commissioner recommends an "ethical pause" of political advertising on social media to allow key players "to reflect on their responsibilities in respect to the use of personal data..." And this weekend an interim report from the House of Commons' media committee "said democracy is facing a crisis because the combination of data analysis and social media allows campaigns to target voters with messages of hate without their consent," according to the Associated Press.

"Tech giants like Facebook, which operate in a largely unregulated environment, are complicit because they haven't done enough to protect personal information and remove harmful content, the committee said."

"has been linked"?

By superwiz • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Seriously, this "has been linked" nonsense has to end. Largest investment banks are "linked" to the SEC because the professionals who understand banking well-enough to regulate banks have a very high chance of having worked for some of the banks. The mathematicians and other analysts who work for data analysis companies do change jobs. And this produces links between different data analytics firms.

It doesn't matter that you don't like what one of them has done. All firms within all professions, which require narrow expertise, are linked because people switch jobs.

What's the alternative? Top experts at the top firms becoming unemployable? Shall we just revert to cast system? How would news organizations like it if it was done to them? They are doing it to everyone else.

Let's give it a try. CNN, which is linked to Fox News, has reported that blah, blah, blah.

Re:Kohath's credibility is in trouble.

By ArchieBunker • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Obama using social media in 2012? Groundbreaking and innovative https://www.theguardian.com/wo...

  Trump doing the same thing in 2016? Congressional hearings!

Re:And the BBC?

By mfearby • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

The BBC gave more air-time to Remainers than it did to Brexiteers, and its editorial line was unashamedly anti-Brexit. Just because you evidently disagreed with Nigel Farage, his participation as the token Brexit voice on air, rudely interrupting your daily stream of EU propaganda, doesn't even bring the BBC's coverage closer to a neutral stance (from its clear Remain bias). If another referendum were held soon on Brexit, the vote would be confirmed, and the margin only widened. Bring it on, I say. Pro-EU supporters need another lesson in democracy, I think.

Re:give it a rest

By Zumbs • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

What does 'SJW' have to do with this? If people all over the UK voted to exit the EU, a lot of these are also likely to be 'SJW's ... or is ACs claim that 'SJW' is actually just a bucket for 'people you don't like' (because you look to be a pro-Brexiter) actually an astute observation?

Disclaimer: I'm not a UK citizen, nor do I live there. So it is not up to me to decide on Brexit. I am, however, baffled at the incompetence of leading Tory politicians, regardless of their stance on Brexit.

Re:And the BBC?

By serviscope_minor • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

The BBC gave more air-time to Remainers than it did to Brexiteers, and its editorial line was unashamedly anti-Brexit.

I doubt the former. And it also uncritically repeated the Brexiter's outright lies, like the 350 million per week. The Brexit camp knew it was a lie, the BBC new it was a lie, but in the interests of "neutrality" they simply repeated the lie because that was what the Brexit campaign had.

Just because you evidently disagreed with Nigel Farage

Ah yes, pointing out obvious, well known lies is now merely "disagreeing". Right-o.

Pro-EU supporters need another lesson in democracy, I think.

That'll be why the exit campaign seems a little tied up in campaign fraud. Is that the lesson? That it doesn't matter if you win legally or not, the only thing that counts is winning?

Is that "brexit democracy"?

Nvidia, Western Digital Turn to Open Source RISC-V Processors

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes IEEE Spectrum: [W]hat's so compelling about RISC-V isn't the technology -- it's the economics. The instruction set is open source. Anyone can download it and design a chip based on the architecture without paying a fee. If you wanted to do that with ARM, you'd have to pay its developer, Arm Holding, a few million dollars for a license. If you wanted to use x86, you're out of luck because Intel licenses its instruction set only to Advanced Micro Devices. For manufacturers, the open-source approach could lower the risks associated with building custom chips.

Already, Nvidia and Western Digital Corp. have decided to use RISC-V in their own internally developed silicon. Western Digital's chief technology officer has said that in 2019 or 2020, the company will unveil a new RISC-V processor for the more than 1 billion cores the storage firm ships each year. Likewise, Nvidia is using RISC-V for a governing microcontroller that it places on the board to manage its massively multicore graphics processors.

Stealth CPUs

By nateman1352 • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

So RISC-V's market is going to be mostly in non-exposed, internal processors running secret unreplacable firmware doing unknown things our GPUs and SSDs... Kinda like the Intel ME and AMD PSP. Are we supposed to feel good about that?

I find it ironic that the first thing that comes out of an open CPU design is more of the closed systems that supposedly RISC-V was designed to discourage. I don't think we can blindly apply the same approach to open hardware that was taken for open software, the economics of hardware production is very different than the economics of distributing software on the Internet.

Re:Whatever happened to step changes?

By mangastudent • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

I thought risc was the way of the future when it first came out, yet Intel dominates with their fairly complex architecture. Why and are the problems solvable?

RISC really shined during a brief period where there was an extreme premium on getting every part of a CPU on a single die, and memory speeds weren't totally out of wack with CPU speeds. That favored its approach of the minimum number of transistors on a chip and using memory a bit more wastefully than older approaches grounded in the days when memory was both slow and very expensive, e.g. during the transition from core to DRAM.

Now, of course, we can put relative to those days an infinite number of transistors on a die, and memory speeds are again out of wack with CPU speeds. We've got plenty of main memory, but cache is still dear. To the point that pretty much any execution micro-optimization that causes your working set to exceed a level of caching ends up running slower. And Intel's IA-32 macro architecture didn't make any fatal mistakes like e.g. the VAX's so that it could be made to run quickly without insane effort.

Re: Why not others?

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Not necessarily.

Instruction set is far less important than toolchain in 2018.

In 1999 when I was working with ARM, Ericsson, Redhat, Opera and some others, we were investing very heavily in sorting out Linux on non-x86 processors. It was a disaster because so much of GCC, Linux, globe and binutils were optimized to death for x86.

We had our biggest challenge trying to make dynamic software (software with indeterminate memory requirements) operate on CPUs lacking an MMU. The web changed everything. Because none of the software vendors involved in the project could dictate the data sets to be consumed on the devices, we had serious memory fragmentationâ(TM)s issues. In a multi-process operating system that needed to support HTML in mail and in the web browser, Linux was suffering terribly on systems lacking MMUs.

We had a lot of other problems as well. GCC 2.91 was such a horrible codebase that had spaghetti everywhere in code generation because Stallman did such a painfully piss poor job in his design. Academics and companies everywhere had been spamming the codebase for years inserting AST reduction oriented optimizations which would be carried over to code generation. And since GCC didnâ(TM)t really have a maintainer in the sense that Linus maintains the kernel and CVS was also a nightmare, letâ(TM)s just say that GCC worked almost by accident.

Binutils was ugly too. Even today, binutils is not nearly what it should be. This is still a point of clear superiority for Microsoft. If for no other reason than that Microsoft made it a standard requirement of Windows DLL files to explicitly describe entry points which would permit far more intelligent linkers to be written.

Of course any language that actually needs a compile time linker in 2018 is a piece of crap by design. Most C/C++ code would be substantially better if all the source files were included from a single source file which then would be compiled and linked with clear entry point definitions by GCC or CLang instead of using a linker which lacks an AST.

So, the year is 2018 and both GCC and LLVM are highly retargetable. Binutils works much better than ever. Most JITs are well designed and easily portable. .NET Core run on x86, x64, ARM, ARM64, and apparently one of Microsoftâ(TM)s own CPU designs. Java runs everywhere. Oh and Mono can run pretty much anywhere a C compiler is available.

If you want to make a new CPU design, you need to port code generators and binutils to the new CPU and then porting Linux is pretty straight forward. Most of the platform native code in Linux these days is a single directory and that directory can be very lightweight. The DEC Alpha directory is ridiculously easy to port as itâ(TM)s mostly C code tweaked to produce good code. Alternatively, thereâ(TM)s the ZPU project which worked pretty well and is almost all C.

Last, you need to make a first stage bootloader and porting some UEFI code is easier than youâ(TM)d think.

Once those things are done, compiling Fedora or Ubuntu for the platform is pretty easy.

Iâ(TM)ve seen and end to end new CPU bootstrap on modern Debian by 5 developers in a month. It took a small team a year to implement optimizations since the CPU was an extremely different architecture, but it was done by a robot dink $10 a year company.

Now enter RISC V or other CPUs which already have a toolchain... there is no value in using ARM anymore since those toolchain are already stable and the platforms are also stable. They have some disadvantages, for example, theyâ(TM)re designed mostly for FPGA which means that design decisions have been made based on structure or LUs. Multipliers are probably based on stacked 9 but pyramid multipliers and dividers are probably suboptimal. As NVidia and others get their hands on it, they will contribute better ASIC blocks because they have the skill set required and also have more than enough of their own IP for those things... like reduced gate d

Re:Stealth CPUs

By ledow • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Not being funny - but almost every chip you've ever used could have secret unreplaceable firmware and you'd know nothing about it.

This has been true throughout the history of computing, really. Sure, we know now that the Z80 was okay but we had no way of sensibly telling back then and it was all we could use.

Has anyone ever decapped a 386? What about those old AMI BIOS chips, sure we know what firmware can load onto them, but how do we know that's all that's in that chip and there isn't a secret ROM activated under certain conditions? We don't, until the chip is dead and out of the market, and even then we may never know.

Sorry, but "open" hardware of any significant specification is a fallacy... because you cannot verify it without an awful lot of very expensive equipment, even if it operates as if it were a RISC-V processor. Anything could be tapping into that core specification and leaking or acting on data secretly and you'd never know - it would just look and work like RISC-V chips all do to all outside appearances.

Honestly, if you think that nVidia using RISC-V is a bad thing, and isn't going to boost RISC-V adoption, reputation and development, or that your system is somehow going to avoid all such avenues of compromise, you're so wrong that it's laughable.

In fact, if anything, such code makes it incredibly easy to modify such a thing, use its name AND get away with it because nobody will ever check and/or ever be able to sue, that doing that to some big-name chip manufacturer.

Re:Why not SPARC?

By Anne Thwacks • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
Because sane people do not wish to be on the same planet as Larry Ellison.

Massachusetts Proposes Public Shaming of Net Neutrality Violators

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes CNET: Massachusetts plans to protect net neutrality by naming and shaming internet service providers that don't adhere to open internet principles. Lawmakers in the state Senate have proposed a bill (S2160) that would create an "internet service provider registry" to track whether broadband and wireless providers adhere to policies that keep the internet open and neutral.
Motherboard reports: In the wake of the FCC's repeal of net neutrality, more than half the states in the union are considering their own, state-level net neutrality rules. Some states are tackling the problem with legislation (California, Oregon, Washington), while others (like Montana) are signing executive orders banning state agencies from doing business with ISPs that behave anti-competitively... when the FCC repealed net neutrality, it included a provision attempting to "pre-empt" (read: ban) states from protecting consumers. As a result, large ISPs have threatened to sue any states that stand up for consumer welfare, and at least one ISP (Charter Spectrum) has tried to use the repeal to wiggle out of state lawsuits for terrible broadband. Charter's efforts on that front have failed, and the the FCC's authority to tell states what to do has been highly contested.

Still, Massachusetts thought it might be a better idea to try and publicly shame ISPs into behaving.

Re:Thank you

By rudy_wayne • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

You can "name and shame" all you want. So what? In most parts of the U.S. you have only one choice for an Internet Service Provider.

Even if you're lucky have have two choices, they are both run by corrupt assholes who couldn't care less what you think of them.

And to access this registry...

By flacco • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

...simply send a stamped self-addressed envelope to:

Internet Bad Guys
PO Box 14153
Boston, MA

Re:Shame? Really?

By Plus1Entropy • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

I agree. Trump is not the cause, he is a symptom.

He's like a big orange brain tumor that metastasized from rectal cancer.

FCC Logic

By Sydin • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

"The FCC doesn't have the authority to enforce net neutrality, so we will repeal our rules. Also the FCC DOES have the authority to interfere with states rights and preempt them from enforcing net neutrality on their own."

What a fucking joke. Pai is the transparent corporate stooge we all thought Wheeler would be.

Re:Shame? Really?

By fafalone • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Who the hell modded this insightful? I'm against their thought policing but to think those two issues are even remotely related shows a profound misunderstanding of what net neutrality is and why it should be enforced. You're talking about website TOS versus near-monopoly wireline service to access websites. Conflating these is moronic.

One Year After Data Breach, Equifax Goes Unpunished

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
"It's been a year since Equifax doxed the nation of America through carelessness, deception and greed, lying about it and stalling while the problem got worse and worse," writes Cory Doctorow. Equifax's new CSO says they've spent over $200 million on security upgrades, in work being overseen by auditor from eight different states. An anonymous reader quotes Doctorow's response: This all sounds very good and all, but it's still monumentally unfair. The penalty for Equifax's recklessness should have been the corporate death penalty: charter revoked, company shut down, assets sold to competitors... The fact that Equifax's investors and execs kept all the money they made by risking all America with shoddy security, and that no one went to jail for a monumental act of corporate recklessness, is a moral hazard, virtually guaranteeing that Equifax's competitors will not take the care they owe to the people on whom they have amassed nonconsensual, potentially life-destroying dossiers.
Equifax's CEO and several top officials did leave the company, notes Government Technology -- but that's about it. Thus far, no financial punishment has been imposed on Equifax itself. Despite contentious hearings, no Congressional action has been taken. A few months later, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau tabled action against the company. And while the Federal Trade Commission said it opened an investigation into the Equifax breach in September, the agency has since named as chief of its consumer protection division a lawyer who has represented Equifax. This past week, Equifax asked a federal judge to reject the claims from 46 banks and credit unions for payment of damages because of the massive data breach. The companies claimed that Equifax owes them for all the costs they incurred protecting data after the breach was revealed, costs that could easily run into many millions of dollars....

Equifax had revenue of $876.9 million during the second quarter of 2018, up 2 percent from the same quarter of last year, officials said.

Re:GDPR and credit agencies

By Presence Eternal • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

What one might do is freeze their credit with Equifax, and only Equifax. That would prevent them from profiting off of you. If a creditor wants to check you, they can use Experian or TransUnion. If the creditor demands Equifax, then you have a choice to make.

Re:Not News

By Marlin Schwanke • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Corporations haven't been accountable for anything in this country for years, because those in power (yes, Democrats AND Republicans) are in their pockets. If you want to see what happens when Government actually tries to strike back at corporations with these assholes in power, look no further than the CFPB, which has had its power castrated and is currently in the process of being de facto dismantled because it ruffled too many powerful feathers by actually punishing a company (Wells Fargo) for breaking the law.

What would have been news is if Equifax or its top brass received any actual meaningful punishment.

Try to remember that it was Democrats that created the CFPB in the first place and Republicans that are dismantling it. Every time the Republicans get the White House they gut the regulatory agencies, from the EPA to the SEC. There are corrupt Democrats but establishment Republicans are the worst.

Have no fear

By rsilvergun • Score: 3 • Thread
fellow /.ers. The free market will punish them any minute now. Yep. Any. Minute. Now.

Good question. The answer is

By raymorris • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

You bring up some good questions. With a little investigation, you can discover that the CEO did not order the network security tech "be careless about how you configure the zones on the ASA". The CEO doesn't know what an ASA is, and the tech has never met the CEO. So it gets rather complicated.

When there is a specific law related to an overt act, such as dumping toxic waste somewhere, you may be able to follow the chain of command and figure out who knew what and who authorized what. The problem at Equifax was mostly not be careful on general. There was no one item that they did or failed to do which caused the breach. Their security just generally sucked all around, they were sloppy. Notice "they" is plural. Even if they had updated the application that was actually used in the breach, the bad guys would have just used one of their other security holes. Anyway, no boss sent out a memo saying "be sure to be sloppy about updating software".

So I don't think you can pin this on one person, or a few people. What you CAN do is identify who profited from their decision to be sloppy, to not invest in security. That would the shareholders. They can be penalized by taking the money that they inappropriately got by failing to pay for proper security, and perhaps more. The way you get money back from the shareholders is by fining the company.

Re:GDPR and credit agencies

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

It'll still depend somewhat on national implementation of GDPR quite how many rights you have in this area, as some countries tend to gold-plate the legislation.

I work for a CRA, and we've put a substantial amount of effort into ensuring GDPR compliance, what scares me the most though is that the corporate attitude was to get us compliant at all costs, but that our client's compliance was their own problem. I disagreed with this, I believe we had an obligation to at least let them know what they needed to do to be compliant with our software. It irks me that we're compliant but we knowingly allow clients to use the data in a non-compliant way.

So make no mistake, here in my country a large number of financial services organisations are currently NOT compliant.

To be clear though, CRAs have always had exceptions under data protection law, much as with law enforcement. This is because they tend to support anti-crime activities such as fraud prevention and detection and use their data for those purposes. It's a tough one because you could argue private companies shouldn't do this and such anti-fraud measures should be publicly run, but let's be clear, this is one area where free market competition is a good thing - having companies play each other off at providing better and better fraud prevention and detection is far better than the stagnation you'd get from a publicly run version.

Mostly you don't have a contract with a CRA though, typically you interact with them indirectly through your credit card provider, mortgage provider, and so on and so forth. Where you do have rights under GDPR is with these guys - you can demand they cease processing your data, you can demand to see what information they have on you, and so on and so forth. That only extends to the point of provisioning a service to you however, you cannot for example demand a credit card supplier delete all data on you if you still owe them for credit card debt. You can also request that financial services organisations don't send your data to a credit reference agency, and that they don't run a credit check on you, but they may simply refuse to accept you as a client in this case.

The biggest benefit of GDPR IMO is in breach reporting - it's now a legal obligation to let you know if your data has been stolen, this means Equifax's handling of this breach would now be outright illegal under GDPR, because they not only didn't let people know, but kept it secret for a while. GDPR requires that you inform affected people as soon as you're aware of a breach - if you don't know which of your customers explicitly were affected you have to notify the minimal possible pool that could potentially have been affected, which might be your entire client base if you don't have sufficient auditing.

So mostly you're not going to get much more ammo against CRA's with GDPR, but it does at least enforce much higher standards on us, which IMO is a good thing. I know we're widely hated as organisations, but some of us working in such agencies do at least have morals and do our best to keep these organisations as honest as we can - I have refused to allow my team to implement certain things because I've found them to be morally reprehensible on a number of occasions. Similarly I've written extensive documents detailing ethical, and sometimes legal problems surrounding existing software and passed it upto the directors to get the product killed, as when made aware of such issues they can't practically continue provisioning said software. You may question why I'm still even employed there given the problems I cause, but in a strange way even the directors accept when called out on bad stuff that I'm only keeping them honest in the way they publicly profess the organisation to be, I get a strange type of respect for helping keep the corner of the company I'm in charge of development for true to it's publicly professed ideals - a kind of love/hate relationship. Make no mistake, I don't buy the bullshit the companies spreads about how we're a public good, but I do at least do my bit to try and keep at least the CRA I work for firmly on the right side of the grey lines, I suspect if I didn't, we'd be just like Equifax showed itself to be.

Can Hoover Dam Become a Giant $3B Battery?

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power wants to spend $3 billion to pump back the water that's flowing through Hoover Dam -- so it can flow through again later, during periods of peak energy demand. This generates a net profit for the dam's operators -- the pumping stations are powered by cheap solar and wind energy, while the dams are currently operating at just 20% of their capacity. An anonymous reader quotes Clean Technica: The problem is that California has so much renewable energy available now, thanks in large measure to aggressive state mandated policies, that much of it is "constrained." That's utility industry speak for having to give it away or simply let it go to waste. In some cases, utilities in California actually pay other utility companies to take the excess electricity off their hands.

Why not store it all in some of Elon Musk's grid scale batteries? Simply put, pumped hydroelectric storage is cheaper than battery storage, at least for now. Lazard, the financial advisory and asset management firm, estimates utility scale lithium-ion batteries cost 26 cents per kilowatt-hour compared with 15 cents for pumped hydro storage. "Hoover Dam is ideal for this," Kelly Sanders, an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Southern California tells the New York Times. "It's a gigantic plant. We don't have anything on the horizon as far as batteries of that magnitude."

Perfect solution: Boil the ocean

By goombah99 • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Use the waste heat from bitcoin mining to boil the ocean. the covection will carry water up into the hills providing rain to prevent fires and the ground water will end up in lake mead where it can be used to make electricity to power the mining systems

Re:Well sort of, but you're missing a key point

By sjames • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

They got the cost right, but it's a cost for capacity not a cost added on to each KWh delivered.

Battery cheaper by time they finish

By RhettLivingston • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

When looking at something of this scale, you can't use today's prices. I found several estimates of the rate of decline of cost in battery storage over the next few years and even the conservative ones put it at 70% of today's prices in 5 years. Since pumped storage is a very mature technology, it is unlikely to experience any decline.

The 15 vs 26 cent comparison in the article amounts to pumped storage being roughly 60% of the cost of battery storage right now. So, in roughly 7 years, the two should cross. And that doesn't take into account the likelihood of big advancements in utility scale flow battery storage which is likely going to replace lithium because it is not an application that cares about density or weight of the battery system so much as cost.

The likelihood of a project of this magnitude gaining all of its approvals and being completed in 7 years is slim to none.

This is just an attempt to slip some more billions into the old-money major construction industry.

It would be better to build much smaller scale projects with batteries placed closer to demand points. They would start coming online much sooner and each year the new projects can adapt to the latest, most cost-effective technologies. If you spread that same $3 billion over 15 years of battery buildout, the cost of the ones you're building near the end will be much less than that 15 cent per kWH mark and balance out the cost of today's expenditures. In addition, you'll be providing service within the first year. Mega projects always get eaten up by increased costs due to delays. A battery approach actually ends up having a decreased cost with delays.

Re:Interesting idea

By Goldsmith • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

The Colorado River has many dams. Not very far down the river from Hoover Dam is Davis Dam and Lake Mohave. By pumping water from Lake Mohave to Lake Mead (behind Hoover Dam), they would be releasing the same amount of water while storing excess solar power.

This is a very unusual situation. You have two large reservoir forming dams next to each other on a large river cutting through a desert with great solar power generating potential.

Re:Well sort of, but you're missing a key point

By blindseer • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

I've got a Chevy Citation that I'm going to use to run your stupid face over with. Go to wikipedo if you want.

I did go to Wikipedia, that's how I found the citation I gave in my previous post. I'm curious how you came to believe nuclear to be orders of magnitude more expensive than wind and solar. I must have missed what you saw on Wikipedia. Help me out and point to where you found what you believe you found.

You really are a useless cunt aren't you.

That may also be true, but I'd like a citation on that as well.

Opera Browser Raises $115 Million In Its Stock Market Debut

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes CNET: Opera, an underdog in a browser market dominated by Google's Chrome, raised $115 million in an initial public offering Friday. The company sold 9.6 million American depositary shares at $12 each, the high end of the $10-to-$12 range it expected for the IPO. When the stock started trading more broadly at about 7:30 a.m. PT, it rose as high as 28 percent above that before settling in at a 10 percent rise, to $13.24, during midday trading.... In fact, Opera raised a big notch more, because at the same time as the IPO, it also secured a $60 million private funding round from Tospring Technology, also known as Bitmain, which makes Bitcoin mining computers, IDG Capital Fund and IDG Capital Investors. And the financial firms underwriting the IPO had an option to release another 15 percent of shares -- 1.44 million. "It gets us roughly up to $190 million," Chief Financial Officer Frode Jacobsen said....

In the first three months of 2018, Opera reported net income of $6.6 million on revenue of $39.4 million. The company makes money through partnerships with search engines, including Google and Yandex, that pay for search traffic it sends their way and through advertising deals like promoting websites on the browser's bookmarking, or speed dial, page. Opera has 264 million monthly active users on smartphones and 57 million on personal computers, Opera said in regulatory filings. Starting in 2017, it built an AI-powered news service into its browser and now offers it as a standalone app called Opera News. That has 90 million monthly users. The news app and service has been responsible for the turnaround in Opera's recent financial fortunes, Jacobsen said.

just a friendly reminder..

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

opera is not a norweigan company anymore. they may still have an office there, but opera software and the browser is 95% chinese-owned. their owners have a shady reputation, at best... and that's on top of their government also having a piece of the action.

Use that money to revive Presto

By xack • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
We need a fourth browser engine outside of webkit/blink, gecko and edge. Use your money to put Presto back into prime time and reduce dependence on Google.

Re:Well, now that it's publicly traded...

By SeaFox • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

...it's sure to be only a matter of time before the product goes down the drain...

Really? You had the golden opportunity here for an opera pun, and you didn't take it.

...it's sure to be only a matter of time before the fat lady has sung for this product

...the curtain will fall for Opera soon, the way things are going.

...will this be Opera's swan song?

Re:Opera users, chime in.

By CrashNBrn • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Opera used to be a Norwegian company with Norwegian developers and an active responsive community.
Within the last 5 years, Opera ASA fired all of their Norwegian developers, outsourced to the Czech Republic and sold to a Chinese Consortium.
There is little to no reason to continue supporting a closed source non-European "chromium."

If closed source isn't an issue, then you might as well be using Opera's spiritual successor, Vivaldi -- created by the original founder of Opera (Jon von Tetzchner), whom also hired many of the fired Norwegian Opera dev's.

'World View' Wants To Send You To the Stratosphere in a Balloon

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
pacopico writes: First World View hung Google SVP Alan Eustace at the end of a balloon and then dropped him 135,908 feet back to Earth. Then, it sent a KFC chicken sandwich to the edge of space. Now, World View has figured out how to get high-altitude balloons to sail winds in the stratosphere and travel for thousands of miles. They're being used to take detailed pictures of the Earth, send communications to far off places and learn more about the weather.

This strange company was founded by two people who lived in Biosphere 2, and they say they're doing all this balloon work to get people to think differently about the planet. In a few years, they plan to send people up to the edge of space in a capsule and let them hang out for a couple hours, while they sip cocktails and reflect on life or something like that.

The flights would cost $75,000 per person -- the money from KFC is already being used to build new software (along with sensors, and of course, durable balloons). Bloomberg Businessweek reports: Since the Zinger, it's conducted more than 50 flights, primarily for the U.S. government, and kept its balloons up in the air for many days at a time. "People want us to do things like sit over the Red Sea and Indian Ocean and look for pirates," says Taber MacCallum, co-founder and chief technology officer. The company plans to start flying for commercial clients early next year. "Basically, our mission is to take over the stratosphere," he says.
Interestingly, Elon Musk also asked MacCallum's first company to design a greenhouse for Mars.

I have an idea

By slashmydots • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Can we all pitch in like $5 to pay some flat Earth idiot to go on this thing?

For Better or Worse, YouTube Now Adapts to Multiple Aspect Ratios

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
Slashdot reader Lauren Weinstein writes: YouTube very quietly made a very cool and rather major improvement in their video players today... YouTube is now adjusting the YT player size to match videos' native aspect ratios. This is a big deal, and very much welcome.
YouTube provided some before-and-after screenshots Friday, and acknowledged that "We launched this update on mobile awhile back (both Android and iOS) so this change also aligns the desktop and mobile viewing experiences."

Gizmodo writes: Until now YouTube forced all videos into a 16:9 ratio by windowboxing them, meaning surround them with black vertical or horizontal bars like the old days of watching widescreen movies on VHS. In that sense, this isn't a huge change -- white space instead of black -- although the location of player controls moves to fit the video's size...

The aspect adjustments are apparently automatic, retroactive to all uploaded video, and if there's a way to turn the feature off in Creator Studio it's non-obvious... Update 7/27/18 7:48pm: A YouTube spokesperson has since clarified to Gizmodo that currently there is no way to disable this feature.

Re:Why for better or worse?

By TechyImmigrant • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

I'm curious about the headline. Why would adjusting to different aspect ratios be a bad thing? Is there a downside to having videos adjust to aspect ratio?

Because adjusting the aspect ratio to fill a space necessarily involves chopping off part of the picture. Adjusting the aspect ratio by filling in excess space with black bars does not.

Vertical video rubbish.

By Going_Digital • Score: 5, Funny • Thread
They should have just told anyone trying to upload a vertical video that they are an idiot and they should learn how to hold their phone.

Sign of the end times

By OrangeTide • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Because we're doomed once society accepts portrait videos as OK.

How can I browse comments without losing video?

By bogaboga • Score: 3 • Thread

For me and as far as the desktop version of YouTube is concerned, I would rather be able to scroll through comments or even related video without losing visual of a playing video.

Is this possible at all, or through an extension or hack?

Re:Why for better or worse?

By DarkVader • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

From the article, that's not at all what's happening. It's adapting the window shape to the content, so a 4:3 video gets a 4:3 player box, and a 16:9 video gets a 16:9 player box.

I would assume you still get black bars if you fullscreen it and the video aspect ratio doesn't match your monitor's aspect ratio. But it's absolutely the correct behavior if it's playing in a window to adjust that window to the source aspect ratio.

German State Plans To Migrate 13,000 Workstations From Linux to Windows

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes ZDNet: The German state of Lower Saxony is set to follow Munich in migrating thousands of official computers away from Linux to Microsoft's Windows. As initially reported by Heise, the state's tax authority has 13,000 workstations running OpenSuse -- which it adopted in 2006 in a well-received migration from Solaris -- that it now wants to migrate to a "current version" of Windows, presumably Windows 10.

The authority reasons that many of its field workers and telephone support services already use Windows, so standardisation makes sense. An upgrade of some kind would in any case be necessary soon, as the PCs are running OpenSuse versions 12.2 and 13.2, neither of which is supported anymore.

According to the Lower Saxony's draft budget, €5.9m is set aside for the migration in the coming year, with a further €7m annually over the following years; it's not yet clear how many years the migration would take... Munich's shift away from LiMux -- the city's own Ubuntu-based distribution -- is expected to cost more than €50m overall, involving the deployment of around 29,000 Windows-based computers.

Re:POTUS declares EU as fiend

By PolygamousRanchKid • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

If EU is not a friend anymore according to Trump, why does the EU allow USA software in their administration?

Snarky answer:

. . . probably because the EU is thinking long term, and that in six years, Trump won't be POTUS anymore.

And then everyone will pretend to be friends again.

Realistic answer:

. . . probably for the same reason that the US government is using software from SAP, produced in Germany, an enemy state of the US in the current government's eyes.

Re:Shame

By Phics • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

An excellent question, but unfortunately organizations don't always have the luxury of selecting software that isn't. Different industries have different software requirements that often bind their hands with respect to OS choice. For example, healthcare require specific features in an EMR, and there may not be enough of a selection out there in that specialized field to allow for the luxury of selecting Linux, at least not in a simplified way... and part of the reason for this, is, even if you could run such clients on Linux, (with the help of Mono or other tech), the proprietary support from some of these companies would not allow for it. It becomes too much of a hassle, and nobody in these industries care much for starting a "holy war" over an ecosystem that they don't invest much heart or soul into. In healthcare, for example, patient care is all that matters, and whether that happens in Linux or Windows is typically a very minor concern.

Re:Linux is the worst

By jonesy16 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

You must not be using an enterprise version then. RedHat charges $299 per workstation license, per year, if you want support, $179 if you want to do it yourself. You can get the desktop version with no support, but you're still going to pay $49 / yr. Windows 10 is $84 / yr in comparison. So if you're going to compare apples to apples by comparing the pricing of enterprise licensing with support, then you're not really any better off in either camp.

Re:Shame

By Tough Love • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Who benefits by replacing inherently secure Linux with malware magnet Windows? Russia does most certainly. And just need to coopt as few as one official, a few weeks of over-the-paunch sex should do it, easier than winning at Russian roulette.

Re:LOL

By Tough Love • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

This is the graph that should worry Microsoft.

New Richter-Like Scale Is Here To Measure Alien Signals

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Guardian: Scientists have now created their own Richter-like scale [for measuring alien signals] to explain whether a finding is a damp squib or has truly seismic implications. The new scale allows scientists to rate interesting signals detected in searches for extraterrestrial intelligence from 0 to 10, where 0 is nothing to get excited about and 10 is equivalent to "an alien space probe orbiting the Earth or an alien shaking your hand," said Duncan Forgan, who worked on the project, at the University of St Andrews Centre for Exoplanet Science. Known as Rio 2.0, the scale is a proposed upgrade of an existing Rio scale that is already used by the alien-hunting community. It assigns scores to Seti ("search for extraterrestrial intelligence") signals by taking into account both the potential implications of the signal and the likelihood that it is genuine, rather than down to natural or human-made phenomena. Under the proposals, scientists could issue their own Rio scale number for any interesting signals they detect, but so could fellow academics who review their work for publication. The rating system is also being made available to the public. The scientists detailed the new Rio scale in the International Journal of Astrobiology.

Canadian Malls Are Using Facial Recognition To Track Shoppers' Age, Gender Without Consent

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
At least two malls in Calgary are using facial recognition technology to track shoppers' ages and genders without first obtaining their consent. "A visitor to Chinook Center in south Calgary spotted a browser window that had seemingly accidentally been left open on one of the mall's directories, exposing facial-recognition software that was running in the background of the digital map," reports CBC.ca. "They took a photo and posted it to the social networking site Reddit on Tuesday." From the report: The mall's parent company, Cadillac Fairview, said the software, which they began using in June, counts people who use the directory and predicts their approximate age and gender, but does not record or store any photos or video from the directory cameras. Cadillac Fairview said the software is also used at Market Mall in northwest Calgary, and other malls nationwide. Cadillac Fairview said currently the only data they collect is the number of shoppers and their approximate age and gender, but most facial recognition software can be easily adapted to collect additional data points, according to privacy advocates. Under Alberta's Personal Information Privacy Act, people need to be notified their private information is being collected, but as the mall isn't actually saving the recordings, what they're doing is legal. It's not known how many other Calgary-area malls are using the same or similar software and if they are recording the data.

Re:mall rats

By PolygamousRanchKid • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

mall rats can be detected easily :) i like that because they (mall rats) are annoying

The system is part of the mall's directories. Mall rats don't use mall directories, since they have a sixth sense enabling them to navigate the mall like a maze to take them to places where they can be most annoying.

The system identifies the age and gender of the user. This system is of great use in these Internet days, since nobody seems to be quite sure of their age or gender.

Nothing wrong with this

By davide marney • Score: 3 • Thread

Society long ago accepted that any public space is under surveillance. They've had video cameras in shopping malls since there WERE shopping malls. I don't see how this is any different. In fact, even less invasive than the video cameras, since they don't save any personally-recognizable data.

Re:Legal vs ethical

By Mashiki • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Since this is being used for demographics information, and in turn sold/given to a 3rd party to determine who's buying/visiting/etc. It's automatically illegal in Canada under the privacy act, which requires informed consent from the individual.

You can file a complaint here.

Re:Legal vs ethical

By Baloroth • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

It took me five seconds to find that the relevant act summary states "[u]nder PIPEDA, personal information includes any factual or subjective information, recorded or not, about an identifiable individual" (emphasis mine). If they delete the pictures and don't guess an individuals identity, the information collected is not about an identifiable individual.

An Open Source, DIY Spacesuit Is About To Get Its First Life Or Death Test

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
dmoberhaus writes: Pacific Spaceflight is a small group of volunteers that has spent the last decade developing an open source, DIY spacesuit in their members' living rooms. This fall its creator will fly to over 60,000 feet in a hot air balloon, known as the Armstrong Limit, the point at which exposed body fluids will boil away if not protected in a pressured vessel. [A post on Medium provides a] deep dive into the story of Pacific Spaceflight and how to build your own spacesuit. Here is an excerpt from the report: There are two main types of spacesuits: Intravehicular activity (IVA) suits worn inside spacecraft, and those worn outside for extravehicular activities (EVA). IVA spacesuits are mostly there as a backup in case of an emergency, like the sudden loss of pressure in a spacecraft. This makes them inherently simpler since they don't have to account for things like radiation exposure and the gloves can just be rubber gloves similar to those you might use to wash your dishes. [...] Smith's first suits were made by modifying old scuba diving suits to fit his needs. Yet as he became more familiar with pressure suit design and his own requirements, he started to assemble everything from scratch. These days, he and the other Pacific Spaceflight volunteers cut their own fabric and pretty much make everything on their own or repurpose common household items as necessary (Smith said one of the few things the group can't make on its own is the suit's zippers). Smith will release the designs of the spacesuit as an open source blueprint once the suit is perfected and properly tested. The final version will reportedly cost less than $1,000 of materials to build.

Have Space Suit—Will Travel

By nospam007 • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

Beware the wormfaces!

Re:2018 DARWIN Award Nominee

By PolygamousRanchKid • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Do you give that to Tesla* drivers too? Because no matter how many tests have been done on any safety critical equipment in the end there will always be a "life or death" test.

The most dangerous part of a Tesla is the loose nut behind the steering wheel.

(* selected for impact, replace with whatever brand of car you want.

ditto.