the unofficial Slashdot digest for 2018-Aug-09 today archive


  1. Windows 10 Enterprise Getting 'InPrivate Desktop' Sandboxed Execution Feature
  2. Chemists Discover How Blue Light Speeds Blindness
  3. Lawsuit Threat Shuts Down ROM Downloads On Major Emulation Site 'EmuParadise'
  4. Samsung Announces Galaxy Home Speaker With Bixby Smart Assistant
  5. Colorado Candidate For Governor Wants To Put His State On the Blockchain
  6. Baltimore Police Department Is Still Using Lotus Notes
  7. An Internal Note Shows Facebook Learned a Way To Target High Schoolers Through a Viral Polling App It Acquired Last Year: Report
  8. Tribune Terminates $3.9 Billion Merger With Rival Sinclair
  9. Hack Causes Pacemakers To Deliver Life-Threatening Shocks
  10. Artificial Intelligence is Coming for Hiring, and It Might Not Be That Bad
  11. Blockchain Hype May Have Peaked, But IBM is Still a Believer
  12. Airbus' Solar-Powered Zephyr Smashes Flight Duration Record on Maiden Outing
  13. US Scientist Who Edited Human Embryos With CRISPR Responds To Critics
  14. Intel Announces the 'World's Densest' SSD
  15. Warning Over 'Panic' Hacks on Cities
  16. VP Pence Lays Out Trump's Vision For Establishing a US Space Force
  17. Samsung Announces $1,000 Galaxy Note 9 Smartphone With Last-Gen Android Software Out-of-the-Box
  18. Amazon AI Researchers Release a Dataset of 400,000 Transliterated Names To Aid the Development of Natural-Language-Understanding Systems
  19. Amazon India Chief Tells Employees To Maintain 'Work-Life Harmony', No Emails and Phone Calls After Office Hours
  20. Google Bug Hunter Urges Apple To Change Its iOS Security Culture; Asks Tim Cook To Donate $2.45 Million To Amnesty For His Unpaid iPhone Bug Bounties
  21. YouTube Will Soon Pass Facebook As Second Biggest Website In US
  22. YouTube Will Soon Pass Facebook As Second Biggest Website In US
  23. NASA's Newest Spacecraft Will Fly Through the Sun's Scorching Hot Atmosphere
  24. Comcast Security Flaw Exposes Partial Addresses, Social Security Numbers of 26 Million Users

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

Windows 10 Enterprise Getting 'InPrivate Desktop' Sandboxed Execution Feature

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Bleeping Computer: A recent Windows 10 Insider Feedback Hub quest revealed that Microsoft is developing a new throwaway sandboxed desktop feature called "InPrivate Desktop." This feature will allow administrators to run untrusted executables in a secure sandbox without fear that it can make any changes to the operating system or system's files. This quest is no longer available in the Feedback Hub, but according to it's description, this feature is being targeted at Windows 10 Enterprise and requires at least 4 GB of RAM, 5 GB of free disk space, 2 CPU cores, and CPU virtualization enabled in the BIOS. It does not indicate if Hyper-V needs to be installed or not, but as the app requires admin privileges to install some features, it could be that Hyper-V will be enabled. "InPrivate Desktop (Preview) provides admins a way to launch a throwaway sandbox for secure, one-time execution of untrusted software," the Feedback Hub questions explains. "This is basically an in-box, speedy VM that is recycled when you close the app!"

Re: Seriously, though...

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Linux is a kernel. A.distribution is an operating system. Debian is certainly consistent across the versions, and so is SLED or RHEL. Linux is also consistent with itself in this regard, sometimes painfully so.

it's an administrator's job to know how to install and maintain software. Once a company decides to use a particular OS, it will be consistent across the company. Simple as that. The end user has to know only how to click on things and how to type in things, and that hasn't changed for a generation.

All the problems that you describe are certainly not corporate problems. They are problems of a distro-hopper who is not inclined to learn the concepts behind the technology.

Re:Seriously, though...

By GerryGilmore • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
OK, serious question - how exactly are you managing the ever-shifting versions and their environments from XP-specific apps to ever-migrating methods of app data exchange?
I'm serious - bad as Linux is, at least you have some modicum of control over your destiny vs just blindly following MS, n'est pas?

Re:Seriously, though...

By AmiMoJo • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Part of the reluctance to move to Linux is the lack of good developer tools.

Someone probably spewed coffee when they read that, but it's true. On Windows you can grab Visual Studio and build a GUI in WPF with a backend database incredibly easily. In C# there is a library for everything, but of course even if they work under Mono they won't have been tested properly. Need cloud? A couple of clicks and you are running on Azure.

Sure, Linux is great if you want to write C++ or Python and don't mind manually managing your Qt GUI and manually connecting your database to it. From a business perspective this makes no sense. They have to hire more expensive developers to do the same job more slowly.

It's easy to laugh at a deranged baboon screaming "developers developers developers" on stage, but the Microsoft development ecosystem is actually pretty good and not just because of Windows' popularity.

Re:Seriously, though...

By gravewax • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
That is the sort of zealotry and ignorant rhetoric that turns people away from the open source community, you do no one any favours with your blinkered approach to the world.

Chemists Discover How Blue Light Speeds Blindness

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Isao writes: It (apparently) has been known that blue light damages eyes and accelerates macular degeneration. A new article on may have identified how this happens. It seems that unlike other light colors, blue causes a necessary molecule (retinal) to permanently kill photoreceptor cells. "The researcher found that a molecule called alpha Tocopherol, a Vitamin E derivative and a natural antioxidant in the eye and body, stops the cells from dying," reports "However, as a person ages or the immune system is suppressed, people lose the ability to fight against the attack by retinal and blue light." The authors will continue their research and recommend filtering and blue-light reduction in the meantime. The study has been published in the journal Scientific Reports.

Re:We're in an old villa and use "Warm white" bulb

By Nethead • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Nice to see that someone is still messing with resistors that have bands. You must like the old cruft like I do. My issue is the focus now. Many many years ago I was able to solder a 40 pin flat pack without glasses. Now I'm lucky to find the damn iron without technological assistance.

Re:Blue light isn't the issue, getting old is...

By Greyfox • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
DMSO Tocopherol eyedrops a couple times a week? I suppose someone'll have to do a study on exactly how safe DMSO would be for eyeballs over long periods of time.

Re:Blue light isn't the issue, getting old is...

By mentil • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

No, no, you have to inject it directly into the eye twice daily. Good thing, I'm terrible at using eyedrops without blinking.

Amber colored glasses

By Solandri • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
The amber glasses used by shooters work by blocking blue light. The lens in your eye is a simple lens, so suffers from chromatic aberration. It does not focus the different colors of light onto the exact same spot. So what you see can be sharpened by blocking one end of the visible spectrum - red or blue. Your eyes are most sensitive to detail in green, less so in red, and suck at resolving blue. So blue light can be filtered out with very little effect on visual acuity (other than color accuracy). With less chromatic aberration, what you see appears slightly sharper.

Re:Blue light isn't the issue, getting old is...

By Khyber • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

That's from 2006, before I started designing and selling horticultural LED lighting, from the British Journal of Ophthalmology.

Lawsuit Threat Shuts Down ROM Downloads On Major Emulation Site 'EmuParadise'

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Following Nintendo's recent lawsuits against ROM sites LoveROMs and LoveRetro, a major ROM repository called EmuParadise announced it will preemptively cease providing downloadable versions of copyrighted classic games. While no lawsuits have been filed yet, the site's founder, MasJ, writes in an announcement post: "It's not worth it for us to risk potentially disastrous consequences. I cannot in good conscience risk the futures of our team members who have contributed to the site through the years. We run EmuParadise for the love of retro games and for you to be able to revisit those good times. Unfortunately, it's not possible right now to do so in a way that makes everyone happy and keeps us out of trouble." Ars Technica reports: EmuParadise will continue to operate as a repository for legal downloads of classic console emulators, as well as a database of information on thousands of classic games. "But you won't be able to get your games from here for now," as MasJ writes. Since founding EmuParadise in 2000, MasJ says EmuParadise has faced threatening letters, server shutdowns, and numerous DMCA takedown requests for individual games. Through it all, he says he was encouraged by "thousands of emails from people telling us how happy they've been to rediscover and even share their childhood with the next generations in their families."

Oh look, copyright holding culture hostage ...

By UnknownSoldier • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Many of these ROMs are no longer even sold -- the original developer and publisher are LONG gone from the market.

This is a classic case of copyright holding culture hostage due to greed.

The fact that people WANT to download these old ROMs shows there is a demand, even if minor. The _financial_ value is INDEPENDENT of this.

Can we stop trying to make everything about money and just let people enjoy the classics already instead of copyright holding every fucking thing of culture hostage?

No one gives a fuck if some kid downloads a game that has been out of print for 20+ years except parasites, aka, lawyers.

See cat, see bag

By Neo-Rio-101 • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

See cat. See bag.
Notice how the cat is no longer in the bag.

In any case, I know there are private trackers out there for old games for emulators that have pretty much everything. They keep a very low profile because they follow the first rule of fight club.

Besides, most of this content is now floating about on thousands of pirate retropie boxes being flogged off on ebay

Re:Oh look, copyright holding culture hostage ...

By tepples • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Can we stop trying to make everything about money and just let people enjoy the classics already instead of copyright holding every fucking thing of culture hostage?

Apparently not. There are plenty of ways a government could fix this, but there isn't enough interest among voters to make this a ballot-deciding issue.

I've seen a few proposals that wouldn't appear to facially violate the Berne Convention's prohibition of formalities:

Property taxation
People who refer to copyrights as "intellectual property" would love this: Starting 28 years after first publication, require each owner of copyright in any published work that is not available under a free or reasonable uniform-royalty nonexclusive license to pay a recurring tax. This tax would fund libraries. Infringement of copyright in a work with substantially delinquent "intellectual property tax" is forgivable, as bringing suit for infringement would amount to confessing to tax evasion.
Eminent domain
The government assesses the fair market value of a published work's copyright, and if citizens pay this amount to the government, the government acquires a nonexclusive license to the work under a compulsory purchase.
Combining the two
The copyright owner assesses the value of a published work's copyright and periodically pays a percentage of this as tax. A copyright owner has an incentive to value its copyrights accurately: not too high in order to decrease tax liability but not too low in order to keep the work from entering the publ^W eminent domain.

Re:Oh look, copyright holding culture hostage ...

By Stormwatch • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Wrong. By default, every creative work belongs to all people, to be freely copied and redistributed. "Intellectual property" is a temporary privilege granted under the notion that it would lead to the production of more works that would eventually return to the public domain. But if the premise is incorrect, and intellectual property does not contribute to the public domain, it has failed its sole purpose and must be outright abolished.

TRIPS: Copyright holds commerce hostage

By tepples • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

To leave the Berne Convention, a country must first leave the World Trade Organization because the TRIPS agreement includes the terms of the Berne Convention. That would likely cause other countries to increase tariffs on that country's exports. Copyright thus holds not only culture but also commerce hostage.

Samsung Announces Galaxy Home Speaker With Bixby Smart Assistant

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
The smart assistant that nobody asked for will be the brains of a new speaker Samsung is launching later this year. The Galaxy Home speaker will rival Apple's HomePod, while standing apart from competitors like Amazon's Echo and Google's Home with a promise of higher-quality audio. The Verge reports: The Galaxy Home looks like a strange vase or statue that might go on a table in the corner of your home. It's wrapped in fabric and elevated by three stout metal legs. It has a flat top with control buttons on it for skipping tracks and changing the volume. The speaker is supposed to deliver surround sound-style audio using six built-in speakers and a subwoofer. It also includes eight far-field microphones for detecting voice input. You'll be able to say "Hi, Bixby" to activate Samsung's assistant and ask it to start playing music or a number of other tasks. Samsung indicated that it'd be able to do many of the same things Bixby can do on a phone. Samsung is expected to share more details about the product at a developer conference in early November.

I have a Bixby refrigerator

By ShanghaiBill • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

My wife bought a Bixby enabled Samsung refrigerator. It is difficult to voice activate, doesn't understand much, and is way worse than either Alexa or Google Home (she has both of those too).

It does include good speakers, so if you want your refrigerator to play nice music, you may like it.

Colorado Candidate For Governor Wants To Put His State On the Blockchain

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Gizmodo: The Democratic nominee for governor of Colorado, U.S. Representative Jared Polis, wants to add blockchain to the list of items voters consider this year. Polis currently represents Colorado's 2nd district in the House, and he won the Democratic gubernatorial nomination last month. He's held his seat in the House for about a decade and has been a fairly solid progressive. On Wednesday, Polis added a set of limited proposals regarding blockchain to his gubernatorial platform that at least give us an idea of what it means for a politician to campaign on blockchain. Polis told us he would like to resolve some of the "ambiguity" in federal rules, encourage fintech company investment, remove some licensing requirements for token securities, and exempt cryptocurrencies from state money transition laws. He says these companies are "trying to fit what they're doing into an obsolete, outdated, and often obsolete federal law."

Polis also wants to explore how blockchain could be used for voting security. Polis isn't ready to necessarily endorse moving all voting to the blockchain system. He likes paper ballots and told us, "this would be more how the information is generated and stored from those paper ballots rather than doing so in a centralized database it would be done across a distributed ledger." The congressman also thinks that blockchain could be used to streamline the process for storing public records and making them available to the public. "We're talking more about everything from Colorado contracts, expenditures, titles, a lot of the data-intensive aspects of state government can be more secure and more accessible through distributed ledgers," he said.

Seemed appropriate

By grasshoppa • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Re:Hmm ... titles

By Spazmania • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Blockchain for real-estate titles isn't stupid.

As a matter of fact, it is.Blockchain would be a terrible idea for real estate. Understand the two key things about it and you'll understand why:

First, Blockchain is used when there is no suitable central authority to rely on. Each change to a protected asset is cryptographically authenticated by equipment run by multiple organizations. The consensus of those authentications accepts the change. When a central authority like a government agency is readily available, there is no need for this technique. Indeed it's more expensive than using a single trusted central authority.

Second, Blockchain is intentionally irreversible. Once a change is published and accepted, it can never be removed or undone. In financial transactions, that's actually a bad thing. Combating fraud in financial transactions (such as real estate transactions) critically depends on reversing false changes.

An asset protected by Blockchain can only be changed by someone who has the key for the most recent change. When your key is stolen and used to publish a false change, that's no longer you... it's the thief. When your key is lost on a crashed hard drive, nobody can publish further changes to the asset. Ever again.

Exempt cryptocurrencies

By rsilvergun • Score: 3 • Thread
exempt cryptocurrencies from state money transition laws? I know it's legal to smoke there but, man, there comes a time when you need to slow down. On the plus side if he pulls it off I could see Colorado being the equivalent to incorporating in Delaware as far as shady crypto currency transactions go.

I'm waiting to see Colorado's reaction...

By h33t l4x0r • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
When they tally the votes and realize their new governor will be Pepe the frog.


By Frankie70 • Score: 3, Funny • Thread

Baltimore Police Department Is Still Using Lotus Notes

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
swm writes: The Baltimore police department is still using an antiquated (1996) case-management system based on Lotus notes. A recent technology assessment found "millions of records and roughly 150 databases built into the system, each designed to address different unit and personnel needs," reports Baltimore Sun. The report found that the "siloed nature of the Lotus Notes databases made it difficult for officers to match, verify or search for information. [...] Various systems may also contain 'conflicting information' about the same case, or may not reflect the most complete information."

"At the same time, detectives continue compiling and using paper case folders," the report stated. "Depending on the unit and the detective, the appropriate Lotus Notes database and/or hard copy case folder system may or may not be up-to-date, and the systems may or may not match." The consultant who is paid to maintain the system says that it is "working wonderfully for the police."
Despite these concerns that the assessment addressed, Baltimore's spending panel agreed to pay $176,800 to the consultant to help maintain the outdated system. The police department's chief spokesperson said in a statement Thursday that the agency will be moving away from Lotus Notes in the future. "However, until such time, we must manage and maintain the product that we currently use which is Lotus Notes," he said.

Is this a Microsoft Ad ?

By martiniturbide • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
Lotus Domino / Notes works fine and is supported by IBM.
1) Latest version is Domino 9.0.1 (server) and Notes 9.01 (Client) released on 2016 . Now you can use Domino apps on cloud and IBM Collaboration cloud for mail. There is no end of support for Lotus Notes 9.0 listed yet (
2) Notes 9.0.1 Fixpack 10IF3 was released on 2018/05/21
3) The article does not says which version of Lotus Notes are they using.
4) If you don't like using Lotus Notes, the same mail and nsf applications can be turned into web applications.
5) Domino applications are very easy to create and maintain.
6) Lotus Notes was designed by Ray Ozzie. Even Bill Gates said he was one the greatest software architects.
7) Microsoft has done a great job thrashing everybody that uses Lotus Notes, just like they did with OS/2 users.


By jezwel • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

You couldn't pay me enough to manage Lotus Notes.

I'd take USD$176,800 annually, same as this person.

We still have some Notes databases in use, though they're slowly being replaced. These systems typically have a bunch of group/user based security, workflow and notifications, so getting all that right can be a long process - all the simple stuff was done years ago.

I can totally see a case management system being band-aided across the decades as an entirely new system might still be more than the cost of maintenance and licensing.

Re:Lotus Notes is amazing.

By Nethead • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

I'm running 30,000 users all over the globe on IBM Domino (it hasn't been Lotus for two decades.) It is interesting but I must say there are some really cool things about it. Think of it this way, Exchange is a mail program that tries to be a database. Domino is a database program that tries to be a mail server. With Domino, email is just one way to use it. It's data replication between hosts over the WAN is like nothing Exchange could do. Domino was designed in the 90s when intermittent dial-up between hosts was the common solution. I have about 100 servers sitting in Tunisia, Brazil, Mexico, South Africa, all the EU, US and even Canada. They all talk together and share the same address book and master config.

So yes, now that we have been bought by another larger French aerospace company, we will be moving to some form of Exchange. It will still take years to get out from under all the applications so I'm sure I'm good until retirement in about 10 years.

But don't knock Domino until you have really looked at it. Did you know it runs on Unix and Linux? IBM supports it on the AS4000 so do you want to talk about uptime?

Lotus Notes gets a bad rep.

By kbg • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

I worked with Lotus Notes for many years and although its far from perfect it was actually maybe 30 years ahead of it's time. Most of the negative comes from people who don't understand what Lotus Notes is and/or think that the included email client is Lotus Notes. Which I agree was not very good and could have been improved drastically.

Lotus Notes is basically just a non relational database with a lot of build in core support for access control and replication. People are using NoSQL, Mongo and other non relational databasee and think that this is something new. This has been in Lotus Notes from the start. The Lotus Notes client software is basically just like the web browser is today with the app running completely in the browser.

What is great about Lotus Notes are the included features out of the box. It's basiaclly just a rapid application development software for data. The offline synchronizing and replication of data is amazing really. Because although you can implement replication in any system the replication system is built in and can handle replication for everything. So any system you build, automatically has data replication. The security is also built in with fine grained control to individual fields built in.

I could build for example a complete working CRM system in just one hour that had offline editing, replication and synchronization of data, fine grained access control, both fat client and web client enabled with zero code changes, Workflow integration, email integration, and much more. And this could be done without writing little or no code.

Re:Anyone report a robbery

By jellomizer • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

$178k for a consultant is a good deal. It would be difficult to hire a full time employee at that amount (Factoring in benefits).
It is probably the Union Employees making a fuss about ungodly consulting fees. But in truth Having this Legacy System running with a consultant keeping it running. Is probably the most financially prudent course of action that the department can do.

Replacement systems will cost millions to replace and support contracts will be much more then $178k a year. If they are going to replace a system, if they want to be financial prudent they should join up with other departments in that state and upgrade all of them. Because for most software the price would scale better with higher number of people using it.

Being that most programs are using under 10% of the system resources at the time, a single system can probably handle 3 or 4 times the load that are actually being used. So if the replacement system was bought and shared across multible departments they can split a lot of the costs and make it more financially responsible.

However at this moment, I wouldn't want my tax money going to an upgrade that will not offer any real benefit or cost savings. Just because what they have is on old software.

An Internal Note Shows Facebook Learned a Way To Target High Schoolers Through a Viral Polling App It Acquired Last Year: Report

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Facebook bought TBH last October and eventually shut it down, but an internal note, obtained by BuzzFeed News, shows that the company learned a way to target high schoolers through the viral polling app. From a report: When Facebook purchased TBH last October it got more than just a viral polling app that amassed 2.5 million daily users, mostly teens, a few months after launch. The social network also acquired a carefully honed growth strategy targeted toward high school kids. An internal document from Facebook, obtained by BuzzFeed News, shows TBH's leadership explaining a well-tested method the startup used to attract teens at individual high schools to download its app. The note provides a window into Facebook's growth-at-any-costs mentality and the company's efforts to keep a key demographic engaged as its popularity among teens declines and it simultaneously runs out of people in the connected world to bring to its platform. In the confidential memo, TBH's founders told their new colleagues of "a psychological trick" that they employed to acquire teenage users en masse -- a combination of scraping Instagram for high schoolers' accounts, playing to youthful curiosity, and taking advantage of class dismissal hours.

It took an acquisition?

By aaronb1138 • Score: 3 • Thread
Targeting a school at a time shouldn't have required acquiring another company to learn "this one neat trick". This is how advertisers and vendors have operated for decades towards high schools.

This is just more evidence of how tone deaf Silicon Valley and especially Facebook are to general social skills, just as they are towards privacy. Hell, the whole approach sounds like Marketing 101 case study examples. But gaining such knowledge requires studying and picking up a book.

Tribune Terminates $3.9 Billion Merger With Rival Sinclair

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
The merger that once seemed all but inevitable has fallen apart. According to The Wall Street Journal, Tribune Media has terminated its merger agreement with rival TV station-owner Sinclair Broadcast Group (Warning: source may be paywalled; alternative source). The company is also suing Sinclair for failing to make sufficient efforts to get their $3.9 billion deal approved by regulators. From the report: The suit, filed in Delaware Chancery Court, alleges that Sinclair breached the merger agreement by engaging in "unnecessarily aggressive and protracted negotiations" with regulators over their requirement that Sinclair divest stations in certain markets to obtain approval, Tribune said in a statement. The deal structures Sinclair proposed, which Tribune said were done to allow it to maintain control over stations, created risks for the deal in violation of the merger agreement. Tribune is seeking financial damages.

The collapse of the deal and lawsuit mark a stunning turn of events for a deal that when it was announced in April of 2016 seemed certain to receive regulatory approval. "Our merger cannot be completed within an acceptable time frame, if ever, Tribune Media Chief Executive Peter Kern said in a statement. "This uncertainty and delay would be detrimental to our company and our shareholders. Accordingly, we have exercised our right to terminate the merger agreement, and, by way of our lawsuit, intend to hold Sinclair accountable."
The merger hit the rocks last month when FCC commissioners voted to send the proposed sale to a judge. "FCC chairman Ajit Pai raised 'serious concerns' about Sinclair's selloff of 21 stations it had proposed in order to remain under station ownership limits post-merger," Engadget reported last month. "Had Sinclair declined to sell off some stations, its 173 broadcast stations in 81 markets, combined with Tribune's 42 stations in 33 markets would reach 72 percent of U.S. TV households."

Read the Lawsuit

By Trip Ericson • Score: 3 • Thread

If you haven't, you should read the text of the lawsuit that Tribune filed against Sinclair. I can only wonder what they were thinking.

That's fine with me

By divide overflow • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread
We don't need to expand the Sinclair propaganda network to 72 percent of the public and we don't need a bigger broadcast version of Fox News, so I'm fine with this deal falling apart.


By rsilvergun • Score: 3 • Thread
After what Sinclair has done with it's other purchases I'm happy to see one fall through. It's pretty clear that the owners of Sinclair use their media empire to push a specific ideology; one I think it's pretty obvious I don't agree with. They seem to be buying up virtually all media. Having one group own virtually all major media outlets can't possibly be a good thing for Democracy.

Re:Read the Lawsuit

By rtb61 • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Meh, the idiot box, like it's audience is dying of old age. Seems pretty normal infinite greed corporate approach though, nothing unusual, with psychopathic ego on full display. I am exposed to free to air TV once a week when I visit by eighty odd year old mother, I have not watched any for years, in my own home. One of the surprising changes it makes in your life, loud video advertisements have become extremely offensive to me, I can no longer tolerate them, if fact they put me right off the advertised product, rather than sell it to me. It seem you must need to be continually exposed to them, to adapt to and tolerate them.

Glad WGN was spared

By kamitchell • Score: 3, Informative • Thread

As a lifelong Chicagoan, I'm glad that the venerable WGN-TV and WGN AM 720 didn't fall to Sinclair. These stations are an invaluable source of independent, local news reporting.

Editorial at the Sun-Times says it well.

Hack Causes Pacemakers To Deliver Life-Threatening Shocks

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Life-saving pacemakers manufactured by Medtronic don't rely on encryption to safeguard firmware updates, a failing that makes it possible for hackers to remotely install malicious wares that threaten patients' lives, security researchers said Thursday. At the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas, researchers Billy Rios and Jonathan Butts said they first alerted medical device maker Medtronic to the hacking vulnerabilities in January 2017. So far, they said, the proof-of-concept attacks they developed still work. The duo on Thursday demonstrated one hack that compromised a CareLink 2090 programmer, a device doctors use to control pacemakers after they're implanted in patients. Because updates for the programmer aren't delivered over an encrypted HTTPS connection and firmware isn't digitally signed, the researchers were able to force it to run malicious firmware that would be hard for most doctors to detect. From there, the researchers said, the compromised machine could cause implanted pacemakers to make life-threatening changes in therapies, such as increasing the number of shocks delivered to patients. Rios and Butts were also able to use a $200 HackRF software-defined radio to hack a Medtronic-made insulin pump and make it withhold a scheduled dose of insulin. Medtronic has released a page that lists all the security advisories they have issued on the pacemakers and insulin pumps.

Jesus it shouldnt need firmware updates

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread

It's not a gizmo no one cares about, all the products in the 80/90s had plenty of testing before shipping with just one firmware that wasn't updateable. These updates make manufacturers lazy and sometimes they push out something worse than the one that preceded it.

No updates, much less need for security. I don't want stuff in me to use the internet in any fashion.

A complicated way of committing murder

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

Sure, you can hack a pacemaker and kill its wearer. You can also shoot him with a gun, poison him, bomb him, whatever. It is made even easier by the fact that people who wear pacemakers aren't usually at the peak of their shape.

But like they say in obligatory xkcd, most people aren't murderers.

Artificial Intelligence is Coming for Hiring, and It Might Not Be That Bad

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Even with all of its problems, AI is a step up from the notoriously biased recruiting process, a report argues. From the report: Artificial intelligence promises to make hiring an unbiased utopia. There's certainly plenty of room for improvement. Employee referrals, a process that tends to leave underrepresented groups out, still make up a bulk of companies' hires. Recruiters and hiring managers also bring their own biases to the process, studies have found, often choosing people with the "right-sounding" names and educational background. Across the pipeline, companies lack racial and gender diversity, with the ranks of underrepresented people thinning at the highest levels of the corporate ladder. "Identifying high-potential candidates is very subjective," said Alan Todd, CEO of CorpU, a technology platform for leadership development. "People pick who they like based on unconscious biases."

AI advocates argue the technology can eliminate some of these biases. Instead of relying on people's feelings to make hiring decisions, companies such as Entelo and use machine learning to detect the skills needed for certain jobs. The AI then matches candidates who have those skills with open positions. The companies claim not only to find better candidates, but also to pinpoint those who may have previously gone unrecognized in the traditional process.

Not a fix for diveristy

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread

There is no way that AI in the hiring process will fix the 'diversity problem.' Mainly because the problem largely doesn't exist and is mostly PC-thuggary.

I never hear about the diversity problem in nursing or preschool school teachers where men are effectively absent from the workforce, or how women want diversity in construction jobs or automotive repair.

The sexes are different. The races are different. The cultures are different. You will not get a equal mix of them.

Re:More applicants than jobs

By snapsnap • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Not really now since under Trump there is for the first time more job openings than workers.

I know for programmers, there have been more openings most places than available workers. We've had more job openings for programmers than employees(!) for around five years despite the fact we pay over 20% more than average. There just aren't enough workers.

Oh good lord

By cascadingstylesheet • Score: 3 • Thread
Truly unbiased hiring would not produce popular distributions of "underrepresented" groups - unless, of course, that is part of the criteria that it is given for success.

They'll get what they asked for.

By ma1wrbu5tr • Score: 3 • Thread
Instead of qualified applicants, they'll end up with people who can produce a good resume. Considering there are countless firms that will write one up for you at reasonable cost, almost anyone with a couple hundred bucks and the most basic knowledge will be able to get their foot in the door and "fake it til you make it". That is, unless you're over 40 and looking for a tech job.

Re:More applicants than jobs

By im_thatoneguy • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Yeah the trend definitely moved with Trump taking office. /Sarcasm

Blockchain Hype May Have Peaked, But IBM is Still a Believer

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Blockchain euphoria is giving way to blockchain fatigue: Despite the hype, only 1% of executives in a survey reported deploying the technology at their firms. And while corporate management remains bullish about distributed ledgers, mentions of "blockchain" are on the decline during earnings conference calls. But IBM, which has roots going back more than 100 years, still thinks the technology that underpins bitcoin has untapped potential. From a report: Blockchain is a kind of tamper-proof database for keeping track of just about anything. IBM has around 1,600 employees working on such projects, and is leading other technology companies in terms of headcount and investment, according to Marie Wieck, general manager for IBM Blockchain. The Armonk, New York-based company thinks promising uses include supply chains and finance. And while the public's love affair with blockchain is showing signs of dissipating, Wieck still thinks the technology could be as transformative for businesses processes as the internet has been for personal ones.

A tool is a tool ...

By fahrbot-bot • Score: 3 • Thread

I'm sure blockchain is a good and appropriate tool for some (many?) things, but it's not the best thing since sliced bread, nor can it be used to slice said bread.


By yodleboy • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

If IBM is on it, the hype is indeed dying. They will sell this to as many dupes as they can find willing to pay those billable hours for a failed "solution".

Re:A tool is a tool ...

By Aighearach • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

IBM sells cloud computing services, including hosting for hyperchain, the leading non-coin-related blockchain offering. The open source one that IBM released a couple years ago.

Airbus' Solar-Powered Zephyr Smashes Flight Duration Record on Maiden Outing

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
A solar-powered aircraft from the European aerospace giant Airbus has completed a maiden flight lasting 25 days, 23 hours, and 57 minutes. In doing so, the production model unmanned solar-powered aircraft set the record for the longest flight ever made by any aircraft. From a report: Originally built by British defence company Qinetiq and now owned by Airbus, the Zephyr aircraft is designed to soar through the stratosphere for months at a time by drawing on the power of the sun. It is similar to Facebook's now defunct Aquila aircraft in this sense, and is hoped to one day provide satellite-like services with the flexibility of an unmanned drone. The latest version of the Zephyr weighs just 75 kg (165 lb), but is able to carry up to five times its own weight. Flying above weather and other air traffic at 70,000 ft (21,300 m), the aircraft can be controlled from the ground and has the potential to carry all kinds of payloads, be they to collect high-resolution imagery, provide voice communications or, as was the idea with Aquila, beam internet service to underserved areas. [...] It took off from Arizona on the 11th of July and has only now come down to Earth, a total of 25 days, 23 hours and 57 minutes later. This was the first outing for the production model Zephyr S, and the team is already setting its sights on its next voyage.

It is not the longest

By mjdrzewi • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
It is not the longest flight ever, by any aircraft, by time. The record is over 64 days, 64:22:19:05 to be exact It looks like it has the unmanned record though. Still a cool achievement having a solar powered plane in the air for that long, and has potential as a satellite replacement.

Cheap Satellite with Catches.

By foxalopex • Score: 3 • Thread

There's potential for this to be an inexpensive communications repeater or used for satellite photography (google maps would probably love something like this to keep up to date land imagery). I don't see it being too useful for military because it's too light to have any real defence and it would probably be highly vulnerable to solar flare disruption events. (Probably fry and crash it).

US Scientist Who Edited Human Embryos With CRISPR Responds To Critics

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Facing criticism from fellow scientists, the researcher behind the world's largest effort to edit human embryos with CRISPR is vowing to continue his efforts to develop what he calls "IVF gene therapy." MIT Technology Review: Shoukhrat Mitalipov, of Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland, drew global headlines last August when he reported successfully repairing a genetic mutation in dozens of human embryos, which were later destroyed as part of the experiment. The laboratory findings on early-stage embryos, he said, had brought the eventual birth of the first genetically modified humans "much closer" to reality. The breakthrough drew wide attention, including from critics who quickly pounced, calling it biologically implausible and potentially the result of careless errors and artifacts. Today, those critics are getting an unusual hearing in the journal Nature, which is publishing two critiques of the Oregon research as well as a lengthy reply from Mitalipov and 31 of his coworkers in South Korea, China, and the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California. The scientific sparring centers on CRISPR's well-known tendency to introduce unseen damage into a cell's DNA.

[...] Mitalipov remains intent on proving that CRISPR can work safely on embryos. In an interview, Mitalipov said he believes it will take five to 10 years before the process is ready to attempt in an IVF center. The revolutionary medical technology being pursued is a way to adjust an embryo's DNA to remove disease risks. It is sometimes called germline gene editing because any DNA fixes a baby is born with would then be passed down to future generations through that person's germ cells, the egg or sperm. For its initial research, the Oregon team recruited women around Portland and paid them $5,000 each to undergo an egg retrieval. With those eggs the team created more than 160 embryos for CRISPR experiments. Mitalipov said his Oregon center continues to obtain eggs in an ongoing effort to confirm his results and extend them in new directions.

Re:I have an announcement to make as well

By Jeremiah Cornelius • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Doctor Victor Frankenstein Addresses Panicked Slovenian Village

"Listen to me! My creation is to better understand life itself."

Re:so wrong on many levels

By ShanghaiBill • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

God will not be happy.

The gods are still pissed about Prometheus giving us fire.

Every significant advance in human history has been accompanied by moral nattering by naysayers.

An important point to keep in mind...

By morethanapapercert • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
From the summary (this being Slashdot, I can't be bothered to actually read TFA), the criticism is all based on the researchers methodology and statistical rigour when analysing the resultant data. Not the ethics or morality of such experiments. For the record, I have no ethical problem with experiments of this nature, provided the embryos are terminated before a certain point in their development. In my opinion, that is before the sixth week, so that the spinal cord and brain haven't properly developed yet. In my opinion, it is our brains that make us human and until the developing collection of cells has developed a brain complex enough to react to stimuli, it isn't a human being.

That being the case, I think this is crucial research with enormous potential for good (as with any new tech, balanced by potential for harm). One of my children has a severe genetic defect, once that confines him to a wheelchair and will condemn him to a slow, lingering death sometime in his twenties. CRISPR is the leading candidate for treating his condition, but the odds are that it won't be ready for clinical use in time to save his life. His defect can already be detected in vivo and fixing it in in vitro is an important step before treating embryos in vivo that are intended to be brought to term. Saying we're five years away from clinical use of this technology and technique is the same as saying we are five years away from eliminating a whole host of crippling genetic defects.

I do understand and share the concerns about designer babies, eugenics and unknown long term effects of such medically unnecessary tinkering. But given the parsimonious approach the medical profession has to using new techniques, I think we'll see a well established track record of treating birth defects long before the industry embraces those techniques for selecting desirable traits.

Re:so wrong on many levels

By HeckRuler • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

oh shit, don't let him see what we've done to dogs.

We Are So Perfect

By Jim Sadler • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
Considering the mess that most people are already just why would anyone not want the species to be altered? When you read our history books what you see is war, invasions, thefts. rapes and all manner of crime and depravity. And now we have a scientists that hopes to make a few adjustments.

Intel Announces the 'World's Densest' SSD

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Intel has unveiled its new 3D NAND solid-state drive (SSD) "ruler" form factor storage for data-center servers. From a report: The chip giant first set out this form factor a year ago, based on the Enterprise & Datacenter Storage Form Factor (EDSFF) standard for server makers to cut cooling costs and offer a more efficient format than SSDs in the classic 2.5 inch size. Intel describes the new ruler-shaped Intel SSD DC P4500, which is 12 inches by 1.5 inches, and a third of an inch thick, as the world's densest SSD. Server makers can jam up to one petabyte (PB) -- or a thousand terabytes (TB) -- of data into 1U server racks by lining up 32 of these 32TB Intel rulers together. So, instead of the decades-old 2.5-inch square SSD drives inherited from and designed for disk-based storage, Intel now has long and skinny sticks, thanks to flash. The new shape allows it to optimize SSD storage density, cooling, and power for data centers.

How meny pci-e lanes and will AMD cpus work better

By Joe_Dragon • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

How many pci-e lanes per card? and will AMD cpus work better then intel due to having more lanes to work with?

Now with ceph I want to have 5-9 smaller ones per node + 10G (or more networking)

Changing the way storage is delivered.

By GregMmm • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

This could be a real changer for data center deployments. There is not reason why we have the 2.5" form factor anymore. There's no more spinning disks inside. So if storage is still in a rack, utilize the depth of the 1U system better. Blade centers or dedicated storage arrays. Also, why not have disks plugging in the front and back of the 1U system.

This might not catch on, but being first in line is a good place to be. Wow, Intel still has some engineers, who haven't been let go, who can imagine something new.

Re:Changing the way storage is delivered.

By Junta • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Note that it actually quite common now to have drives that go into the front and the back. For these 12" long suckers, that's unlikely and having that volume of NAND chips all front serviceable without a tray would be one point of these things. 12" is however a bit *too* long for reasonable 1U servers. 6" depth might have been a pretty sweet spot, not much longer than 3.5" drives. As such this form factor pretty much requires the design of the server to be focused on the storage to the exclusion of other concerns.

Re:How meny pci-e lanes and will AMD cpus work bet

By ctilsie242 • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

One good thing about it is the length gives significantly more surface area for cooling than a 2.5" form factor does. With more of the server chassis in contact with the SSD, it can mean better heat removal, which definitely will help with component life.

Hopefully there will be half-length form factors for workstations.

as "reliable" as 1.92TB Intel® SSD DC S4500?

By citizenr • Score: 3 • Thread

and when I say reliable I mean half dead after few months, rest in the process of dying.

Warning Over 'Panic' Hacks on Cities

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Security flaws have been found in major city infrastructure such as flood defences, radiation detection and traffic monitoring systems. A team of researchers found 17 vulnerabilities, eight of which it described as "critical." From a report: The researchers warned of so-called "panic attacks," where an attacker could manipulate emergency systems to create chaos in communities. The specific flaws uncovered by the team have been patched. "If someone, supervillain or not, were to abuse vulnerabilities like the ones we documented in smart city systems, the effects could range from inconvenient to catastrophic," wrote Daniel Crowley, from IBM's cyber research division, X-Force Red. "While no evidence exists that such attacks have taken place, we have found vulnerable systems in major cities in the US, Europe and elsewhere." The team plans to explain the vulnerabilities at Black Hat -- a cyber-security conference -- on Thursday.

the 2013 zombie eas hack

By Joe_Dragon • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

People are stupid, "leaders" are no exception

By gweihir • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Almost all IT security these days is "cheaper than possible" because the people in charge are not able to do risk management. Until there are "reference catastrophes" of sufficient magnitude, they will mistakenly believe they are safe and do nothing. Then they will find out that decades of mismanagement are not easy to fix. It is always the same story. It is always utterly stupid. It is always completely obvious to actual experts what is going on, but nobody listens to them.

The leadership we have on all levels is not modern, educated, enlightened. It is cave men (and the occasional cave-woman) dressed in suits, full of themselves, greedy, corrupt and utterly incompetent and unsuitable to fill their core responsibilities.

Every building fire alarm has a security flaw

By mea2214 • Score: 3 • Thread
Anyone is authorized to pull it even if there isn't a fire.

VP Pence Lays Out Trump's Vision For Establishing a US Space Force

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday laid out details for President Donald Trump's proposed new branch of the U.S. military responsible for protecting national security in outer space. From a report: In a speech at the Pentagon, Pence said the new Space Force would be established by 2020. "As President Trump has said, in his words, it is not enough to merely have an American presence in space -- we must have American dominance in space. And so we will," Pence said. "Space is, in his words, a war-fighting domain just like land and air and sea." He added, "History proves that peace only comes through strength, and in the realm of outer space, the United States Space Force will be that strength in the years ahead." The Space Force would ultimately become the sixth branch of the U.S. Armed Forces and would be equal to the other five, Pence said. The Department of Defense has prepared a report laying out the phases of creating the new branch, which will ultimately have to be reviewed and approved by Congress.

Only if it involves WMDs

By Theaetetus • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

It only happens if the US issues formal notice that it is withdrawing from the Outer Space Treaty. The Outer Space Treaty forbids weapons of mass destruction anywhere above the Earth, to include installations on other celestial bodies. Warmongers like to try to claim this only forbids nuclear bombs, and therefore allows kinetic bombardment. This is some bullshit of the highest order. A megaton explosion is mass destruction regardless of how it was initiated.

As you note, the OST only outlaws WMDs in space, but low size kinetic or energy weapons - i.e. satellite destroyers - are not banned. And yes, taking out an enemy's GPS satellites would be a terrible idea due to the Kessler Syndrome it would lead to, but it's not explicitly or implicitly against the treaty.

Similarly, you could put armed guards on your station or moon base without violating the OST.

Re: You idiots.

By jythie • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
This was only true when conquest was cheaper than trade. This pretty much ended with the late industrial revolution, which is why today you only really see war of conquest in the most impoverished regions.

Re:What about the deep see force.

By apoc.famine • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Want to know how I can tell you haven't had many repeat sexual partners....?

Re:You idiots.

By AmiMoJo • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Bollocks. You can't hide nukes in orbit. The US already has anti-sat weapons too.

This would be a major escalation of it happened.

Re:What about the deep see force.

By Insanity Defense • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

1984 - "Excess" productivity transferred to continuous war so the "lower classes" can be kept poor and down trodden rather than getting an increased share in worldly goods. Nationalism cranked up to keep them accepting their poverty from the resulting continuous war.

It wasn't ALL Big Brother.

Samsung Announces $1,000 Galaxy Note 9 Smartphone With Last-Gen Android Software Out-of-the-Box

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
The Galaxy Note 9 touts a slightly larger 6.4-inch end-to-end screen, a 4,000mAh battery that promises "all-day" use, and a minimum 128GB of storage -- there's also a 512GB version that, with 512GB microSD cards, can give you a full terabyte of space. It runs Android 8.1 Oreo -- not Android Pie, which Google and Essential rolled out to some of their devices earlier this month. Engadget: Samsung is also bringing over welcome improvements from the Galaxy S9 family, including stereo speakers and the variable aperture f/1.5-2.4 primary camera (there's a second camera on the back, of course). This year, though, the most conspicuous change revolves around the S Pen. This is Samsung's first S Pen to incorporate Bluetooth, and that lets you do a whole lot more than doodle on the screen. You can use it as a remote control for selfies and presentations, and Samsung is providing a toolkit to let app developers use the pen for their own purposes. And no, you don't need to load it with batteries or plug it into a charger -- it'll top up just by staying in your phone. The base model of the Note 9, featuring 128GB of storage and 6GB of RAM, is priced at $999. The other variant will set you back by $1,250. Preorders begin on August 10th, and the phone will be available on August 24th at all major carriers or direct (and unlocked) from Samsung. CNET writes about the camera sensors on the new handset: The Galaxy Note 9 keeps the same hardware setup as the Galaxy S9 Plus. That is, dual 12-megapixel cameras on the back, one of them that automatically changes aperture when it detects the need for a low-light shot. (Samsung calls this dual aperture, and it's also on both S9 phones.) There's also an 8-megapixel front-facing camera for your selfies. What's different is AI software that analyzes the scene and quickly detects if you're shooting a flower, food, a dog, a person. There are 20 options the Note 9's been trained on, including snowflakes, cityscapes, fire, you get it. Then, the camera optimizes white balance, saturation and contrast to make photos pop.

Re:Brand new phone, but OS isn't up to date

By MightyYar • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

I wish Windows laptops still shipped with 7.


By cascadingstylesheet • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
I won't even buy a desktop computer for $1000.

Re:Brand new phone, but OS isn't up to date

By known_coward_69 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

because phones have a 2-3 development and testing time frame and by the time the Note 9 began field tests it was too late to have it ship with pie or wait for pie and delay the testing


By kiviQr • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
$20k rollex shows time the same way $20 timex does. To some people it is disposable income to some it is a choice what to do with it (invest, travel, etc.).

Re:Brand new phone, but OS isn't up to date

By Kjella • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

I wish Windows laptops still shipped with 7.

I wish Microsoft would make an home edition of Win10 Enterprise LTSB and for that they'd pretty much just have to disable domain support. No Edge, no Microsoft Store, no Cortana, ability to turn off all telemetry, 5+5 years of normal/extended support and optional version upgrades every 2-3 years. Seriously, it's 2018 and operating systems are pretty mature technology that don't need upgrades every six months. They have actually improved things under the hood quite a bit since 2009, it's just the "extras" that are killing the appeal. With Chrome/VLC/Steam etc. I don't need Microsoft's tools, I just need something that runs Windows software.

Amazon AI Researchers Release a Dataset of 400,000 Transliterated Names To Aid the Development of Natural-Language-Understanding Systems

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
New submitter georgecarlyle76 writes: Amazon AI researchers have publicly released a dataset of almost 400,000 transliterated names, to aid the development of natural-language-understanding systems that can search across databases that use different scripts. They describe the dataset's creation in a paper [PDF] they're presenting at COLING, together with experiments using the dataset to train different types of machine learning models.

Not the usual NN/ML hype paper

By isj • Score: 3 • Thread

The paper is informative. They point out the obvious problems (translation from scripts/orthography missing vowels, but also that many names are actually quite rare. In their dataset 73% of the names only occur once.

They also compare the results with traditional hardcoded rules, and find that neural networks may not be better.So kudos for including non-positive results in the paper.

Amazon India Chief Tells Employees To Maintain 'Work-Life Harmony', No Emails and Phone Calls After Office Hours

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader shares a report: Amazon gets trashed on the international stage pretty often for its inhumane work conditions in its warehouses. However, it seems the Indian arm of the company is trying to do better, at least according to the latest announcement from Country Head Amit Agarwal. According to Business Standard, in an email to senior staff members this week, Agarwal has reportedly asked employees to leave themselves enough time to spend at home, and maintain a healthy "work-life harmony." He's told employees to stop taking calls and emails after hours, and specifically that, "No business decision should be made between 6 pm and 8 am." It's still unclear whether this decision comes from Agarwal or from the company's global leadership. Likely the latter, considering there's been no such chatter for US employees. It'll also be interesting to see how long this plan will hold, given the sheer size of the e-commerce portal. In the email, Agarwal also said that responding to emails while on vacation is "not cool."

Holiday emails

By Rik Sweeney • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

"Responding to emails while on vacation is not cool."

Sent from my sun lounger in Cancun.

Re:Holiday emails

By ranton • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Responding to emails while on vacation is not cool.

I have generally found that occasionally checking in while on vacation helps me schedule more vacations more freely. Otherwise it is harder to find a week where my wife and I can both take time off. The majority of vacations I never respond to a single email, but being able to leave during a busy time in a project knowing my team can handle anything because I am available just in case makes the whole process of taking a vacation far less stressful.

Or perhaps you could just say I am too indoctrinated into corporate life.

Re:the US really needs more of the EU labor laws /

By houghi • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

That would be laws for the people, by the people and thus socialist/communist. That would be unchristian to do. So not happening.

(Yeah, this logic has more holes than a Swiss cheese, but Switserland is not in the EU, so no probnlems there.)

"Former", not "Latter"

By Green Mountain Bot • Score: 3 • Thread

It's still unclear whether this decision comes from Agarwal or from the company's global leadership. Likely the former, considering there's been no such chatter for US employees.

"Former" refers to the first of two earlier mentioned list items (Agarwal, in this case), while "latter" refers to the second (global leadership, in this case). If it were the latter, that would suggest there would be "chatter for US employees".

Google Bug Hunter Urges Apple To Change Its iOS Security Culture; Asks Tim Cook To Donate $2.45 Million To Amnesty For His Unpaid iPhone Bug Bounties

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secwatcher writes: Prolific Google bug hunter Ian Beer ripped into Apple on Wednesday, urging the iPhone maker to change its culture when it comes to iOS security. The Verge: "Their focus is on the design of the system and not on exploitation. Please, we need to stop just spot-fixing bugs and learn from them, and act on that," he told a packed audience. Per Beer, Apple researchers are not trying to find the root cause of the problems. "Why is this bug here? How is it being used? How did we miss it earlier? What process problems need to be addressed so we could [have] found it earlier? Who had access to this code and reviewed it and why, for whatever reason, didn't they report it?" He said the company suffers from an all-too-common affliction of patching an iOS bug, but not fixing the systemic roots that contribute to the vulnerability. In a provocative call to Apple's CEO Tim Cook, Beer directly challenged him to donate $2.45 million to Amnesty International -- roughly the equivalence of bug bounty earnings for Beer's 30-plus discovered iOS vulnerabilities.

He missed surprise

By malchus842 • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread
Apple does have a well-thought-out security design. Maybe there are things wrong with it, but to say they 'just fix bugs' and don't think about overall security ignores the truth. But I suppose that's what you get when you're click-seeking. See: Can we find holes in that? I'm sure. But they do have a plan. And that's the public one. I'd wager there's an even more detailed internal one.

Re:He missed surprise

By Jaime2 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Guy who found more than 30 iOS bugs says he sees a pattern that indicates Apple is failing at the fundamentals. Guy with access to a PDF say he's wrong. Guess who has the stronger case?

Software security condundrum

By jellomizer • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

You have software that took months/years to plan and develop.
A problem is found.
You need to Fix it Fast, before it goes out to the wild.
It will need to be tested to make sure it doesn't break compatibility or break something else.

If asked to change the infrastructure for every time there is a bug. The fix will take years to get out, and a new infrastructure will introduce new flaws untested.

A security first design of software made in the 1980's would just have a password login and permissions on what the user could see and do.
1990's Memory checking and limitation to prevent buffer overflow
2000's Memory randomization and removing from an ask to allow to don't allow, and you will need to do extra work to allow.
2010's Application Sand-boxing, Full Encryption, tiered design, redundant checking...

iOS being a product of the 2000's Is actually stronger then some other systems, but it has a lot of once good practices which are now bad practices in-place. But there hasn't been a massive iOS outbreak of security issues. Like with Windows a decade ago. Makes me figure that the current patching routine is still good enough.

Will they need an architectural redesign in the future. Probably. Like when Apple moved from MacOS (Classic) to OS X. They will need to upgrade iOS to a new system at some point just to stay current.

Re:He missed surprise

By bill_mcgonigle • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

No, you're talking about something completely different. Back when Apple was working on the 5S, and they developed the whole Secure Enclave architecture, it did have some really good engineers working out good security for system. What this guy's talking about is the past few years where they have the iOS bugs that have been identified, patched, and then in the next go-round we find out that they only patched the extremely specific bug, on one line. The next exploit is a few lines down, the same darn thing, in a slightly different way. The most likely explanation for this is that they lost the talent that was working there, making the system good. Why would top people stay when Apple doesn't innovative any more? It's clear from the results that they lost their performance engineering people, for about four major iOS releases, with only iOS 11 having any kind of decent performance again. Now that they are going into the thought police business, good luck getting anyone worth their salt to work there.

Re:From Google?

By TheFakeTimCook • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

You can buy a device that unlocks the supposedly super secure iPhone. Every time they update the iPhone software and hardware, the device gets updated very quickly. That strongly suggests that he is right, Apple just fix each bug as they find it and don't fix the underlying flaws.

On the other hand, no such box exists for Google Pixel phones, for example.


It strongly suggests that that device maker is being helped with Industrial Espionage.

YouTube Will Soon Pass Facebook As Second Biggest Website In US

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
According to a new study from market research firm SimilarWeb, Facebook may cede its runner-up position to YouTube in the next two to three months. Currently, the top five most-visited websites in the U.S. are Google, Facebook, YouTube, Yahoo and Amazon, in that order. However, Facebook's monthly page visits are declining rapidly, from 8.5 billion to 4.7 billion in the last two years, which could shake up that order. CNBC reports: YouTube, which is owned by Google parent Alphabet, has seen increased traffic, the study said. The app has also experienced in increase in viewership. Yahoo is also poised to lose its position in the ranking. Amazon has already surpassed Yahoo during big spending months, including December 2017 and July 2018, when the e-commerce giant held its annual Prime Day. The study projects that Amazon will take over Yahoo's ranking in the next two to three months. However, none of the bottom four of the top five comes close to Google. Although it has seen some decline in website traffic thanks to app use and voice search, it saw approximately 15 billion visits in July 2018, the study said. The others were all below 5 billion, according to the report.

Re:British TV

By Oswald McWeany • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Am I the only one wondering why a British TV series was having production work done in the US?

A lot of American film has work done in British studios. A lot of British film has work done in American studios. The industry has been internationalized for decades. Americans have been using Pinewood studios since the early days of TV and the British have been taking advantage of expertise in Hollywood- if you pay attention to closing credits; lots of Hollywood blockbusters have European centres involved. It's nothing new.

No difference between this and the physical world.

By MasseKid • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
A company has something stolen from it. They traces it to a storage locker, proves to a judge it is in the storage locker, and requests information on the owner so they can purse legal action. This is all this case is. The fact the storage locker is digital and the goods are digital doesn't matter.

Re:Good luck with that

By AmiMoJo • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

They were trying to revamp the show because it was getting stale. The standard method for doing that is to change showrunner and writing team (check) and introduce some new elements (check).

What's strange is why it's such a big deal to people. The Doctor is an alien, largely sexless and uninterested in relationships... The biggest change will be how other people react to her, rather than anything she does I think.

It's not even a new idea, we had all this decades ago in Star Trek with Trill characters. And they often did focus on their relationships. Maybe it's because the internet was less of a thing back then, but I don't remember the backlash against it at the time. It was just an interesting idea to be explored. The spin off idea is probably a non-starter just because the BBC doesn't have the money and the main series is in need to saving anyway.

Perhaps you can explain, what is lost or lessened by having a female doctor?

Re:Good luck with that

By JackieBrown • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

I don't get why you don't find it strange and how you can't see the political angle of it. It wasn't until the master changed to a woman that changing of sex was even a possibility. That is with 50 years plus of Doctor Who history. The idea that it's not a new simply because he is an alien is bogus. We were told he was a father. For a sexless species, you'd think they'd have a more gender neutral term or simply said he was a parent.

And if it's no big deal, then why would the characters in the show react any different to the Doctor as a woman than any other new Who?

Re:BBC can suck a BBC

By Oswald McWeany • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Feminism and other political nonsense have also infected the show. I hate when politics infect a show. I groan every time I get slapped in the face with political correctness, feminism, etc. It destroys the show.

Feminism: the belief that women should be treated equal to men.

So you're saying if a woman is treated equal to a man on a show it destroys the show? A show is only worth watching if women are treated like crap? OK... whatever floats your boat.

YouTube Will Soon Pass Facebook As Second Biggest Website In US

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
According to a new study from market research firm SimilarWeb, Facebook may cede its runner-up position to YouTube in the next two to three months. Currently, the top five most-visited websites in the U.S. are Google, Facebook, YouTube, Yahoo and Amazon, in that order. However, Facebook's monthly page visits are declining rapidly, from 8.5 billion to 4.7 billion in the last two years, which could shake up that order. CNBC reports: YouTube, which is owned by Google parent Alphabet, has seen increased traffic, the study said. The app has also experienced in increase in viewership. Yahoo is also poised to lose its position in the ranking. Amazon has already surpassed Yahoo during big spending months, including December 2017 and July 2018, when the e-commerce giant held its annual Prime Day. The study projects that Amazon will take over Yahoo's ranking in the next two to three months. However, none of the bottom four of the top five comes close to Google. Although it has seen some decline in website traffic thanks to app use and voice search, it saw approximately 15 billion visits in July 2018, the study said. The others were all below 5 billion, according to the report.

They buried the lede...

By cervesaebraciator • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Yahoo still exists?

Re:They buried the lede...

By Virtex • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Yahoo still exists. When you visit one of their pages, it makes about 10 million GET requests from their server to pump up their page view count, assuming they count every GET request as a page view (this is corporate America - OF COURSE they count every request as a page view).

What does views mean?

By Oswald McWeany • Score: 3 • Thread

What does views mean:

Is this every time the page is viewed- or every time a request is made to one of their servers? If I don't go to facebook (I don't have an account), but websites I click on send back data of my movement around the web to feed my shadow profile, is that counting a visit to facebook?

If so, it is no surprise that the top sites are mainly advertising websites. If I go to a forum and someone has embedded a you tube video, but I don't watch it, is that counted as a view?

Re:Facebook is a declining WEBSITE rising APP

By sanf780 • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
YouTube has also a mobile application and a Smart TV application (in whichever variant it is) that people use too. The push to mobile might not be as strong as what Facebook does. I have seen people even use YouTube app as a music streaming application recently. I wonder if the main reason why Facebook is dropping to third position is due to people not being engaged into Facebook as in years past.


By xonen • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Facebook has become noise. And they did it themselves.

They send e-mails so frequently that it resulted in me ignoring them all. Any page is filled up with ads. Real interesting things rarely get posted.

I check fb maybe once every 2 weeks. I might actually browse it a bit when i'm bored, but last time i did that was months ago.

The only good usage of fb these days is to get in contact with companies. Companies that choose to ignore e-mails and phone calls (or just promise yes and do no) - for whatever reason it works better if the request or issue is made public on fb. It's a modern name-and-shame game.

Apart that, the initial goal of 'get in touch with your friends' seem to be less the case and less fb's mission. Well, i use messenger if someone else wishes so. Personally i prefer e-mail over any messenger.

NASA's Newest Spacecraft Will Fly Through the Sun's Scorching Hot Atmosphere

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
In T-minus three days, NASA will launch a car-sized spacecraft to investigate our Sun's scorching hot atmosphere. "The vehicle is the Parker Solar Probe, and it's set to launch at 3:33AM ET on Saturday, August 11th, from Cape Canaveral, Florida. "It'll be riding on a Delta IV Heavy rocket made by the United Launch Alliance, which will send the probe zooming toward the inner Solar System," reports The Verge. "Just six weeks after launch, Parker will do a flyby of Venus to alter its route slightly, and then six weeks later, the vehicle will be in the corona. Over the course of seven years, Parker will do 24 orbits around the star, as well as six more Venus flybys so that it can get even closer to the Sun's surface over time." From the report: NASA has long wanted to send a vehicle to the Sun's atmosphere, but such a mission has been considered impossible until the last few decades. This region of space, known as the corona, is filled with tiny, energetic particles that can reach above 3 million degrees Fahrenheit. Any vehicle that ventures near this region must have sophisticated protection to keep from melting. But thanks to advancements in carbon manufacturing and other key areas of engineering, NASA has been able to create a vehicle with a state-of-the-art heat shield and other crucial cooling systems. The result: the spacecraft will stay at room temperature in some of the hottest places in the Solar System.

The Sun's corona is actually 300 times hotter than the surface of the Sun, and no one understands why. The region gets so hot that chunks of the corona actually accelerate and break away from the immense pull of the Sun at supersonic speeds. These so-called solar winds shoot highly energized particles out in all directions, which then slam into surrounding planets. Parker is tasked with investigating the mechanics of the breakaway effect and why the atmosphere is so much hotter than its source.

Re:Delta IV

By oneiros27 • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Because it's been planned for YEARS.

You don't build a satellite, then get the lowest bidder. You have to figure out where you want the spacecraft, then which launch vehicles are powerful enough to get something around the weight you estimate into the proper place. Then you have all of the fiddly bits to make sure it's small enough and light enough so you can still reach the right orbit.

(disclaimer: I used to work for the Solar Data Analysis Center)

STEREO's launch was almost delayed (even further than it already was because of the strike + spy satellites cutting in line) because they had to swap to a heavier battery for the self destruct of the second stage ... JPL managed to find an alternate orbit that they could achieve with the extra weight that would still let the mission have a chance at accomplishing its goals.

Re:What i want to know

By jellomizer • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

1. Size: This is a car sized device. the electronics they need to keep cool is probably a small box.
2. Lifespan: Your AC probably works well for a couple of years then become unreliable. There is no chance of us trying to get this device back. The system will work for a while and will die.
3. Environment: Water, Dirt, Dust, Bugs, Hair. will get into your AC system and muck it up. vs operating in a vacuum.
4. Cost: If you want you 12x12x8 foot room to have reliable AC you probably will need to spend millions of dollars in latest material tech to retrofit it. Or just pay a fraction of that total cost, with getting your AC Fixed every few years. I am not sure why you think a satellite cooling system is cheap?

Compared to most things standard Air Conditioning is Simple, Reliable and Cheap.
You can build one yourself with an icebox, a small pump, some metal piping (copper is probably easiest) and a room fan. You can probably fix your yourself with some quick searching. However it is probably cheaper and easier just to replace a home unit. Or replace a part.



By MightyYar • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Right, because 2 million K or C is soooooo much more accessible than 3 million F. It just means "really really hot". They are giving us one significant digit in a 7-place number.

Re:Room Temperature?

By Nidi62 • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

If we have the technology to keep part of it at room temperature, then we should have sent actual astronauts instead.

And I am sure you are the first to volunteer to shoot around the sun at 450,000 mph for 7 years in a craft that will most likely be sent spiraling into the Sun once the mission is complete. Oh, yeah, and because the heat shield is only on one side of the craft, any error in attitude means the craft melts and you die a horribly painful but probably pretty quick death.


By JBMcB • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

The heat from the sun is almost entirely radiant. The only particles leaving the sun are helium atoms, which are really hot but they don't transfer a lot of heat. So, basically, you cover the probe in a whole bunch of very reflective foil and that's enough to keep the thing cool enough. If you look at the pictures, there's a big heat shield on one end (probably foil-covered ceramic) and the rest is covered in foil.

Comcast Security Flaw Exposes Partial Addresses, Social Security Numbers of 26 Million Users

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
olsmeister writes: A security flaw in the Comcast Xfinity online portal exposed social security numbers and partial home addresses of more than 26.5 million subscribers, according to security researcher Ryan Stevenson. Comcast says the flaws have already been patched and that it currently has no reason to believe that the flaws were ever exploited. BuzzFeed reports of the two vulnerabilities: One of the flaws could be exploited by going to an "in-home authentication" page where customers can pay their bills without signing in. The portal asked customers to verify their account by choosing from one of four partial home addresses it suggested, if the device was (or seemed like it was) connected to the customer's home network. If a hacker obtained a customer's IP address and spoofed Comcast using an "X-forwarded-for" technique, they could repeatedly refresh this login page to reveal the customer's location. That's because each time the page refreshed, three addresses would change, while one address, the correct address, remained the same. Eventually, the page would show the first digit of the street number and first three letters of the correct street name, while asterisks hid the remaining characters. A hacker could then use IP lookup websites to determine the city, state, and postal code of the partial address.

In the second vulnerability that Stevenson discovered, a sign-up page through the website for Comcast's Authorized Dealers (sales agents stationed at non-Comcast retail locations) revealed the last four digits of customers' Social Security numbers. Armed with just a customer's billing address, a hacker could brute-force (in other words, repeatedly try random four-digit combinations until the correct combination is guessed) the last four digits of a customer's Social Security number. Because the login page did not limit the number of attempts, hackers could use a program that runs until the correct Social Security number is inputted into the form.
After learning of these vulnerabilities, Comcast disabled in-home authentication and put a strict rate limit on the portal. Here's what a Comcast spokesperson had to say about the matter: "We quickly investigated these issues and within hours we blocked both vulnerabilities, eliminating the ability to conduct the actions described by these researchers. We take our customers' security very seriously, and we have no reason to believe these vulnerabilities were ever used against Comcast customers outside of the research described in this report."

Re:Full Location

By Epsillon • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
Why do they need an SSN in the first place? If I'm completely honest, we have to bear some of the responsibility for these breaches of security by idly allowing any and all personal information to be collected by any old munchkin. An ISP does not need your SSN, date of birth or anything else beyond your address and payment details.

For web forms that will not enable the Next button without information they don't need, I usually fake it. That fake data goes into my password manager as a third level of security that only I know.

Re:Full Location

By ShanghaiBill • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Why do they need an SSN in the first place?

Better question: Why do we pretend that SSNs are "secret"?

They are already semi-public, and generally used as a "citizenship number". There have been so many breaches that nearly every SSN has be leaked multiple times. Why not just go all the way, and make SSNs fully public? Then people could just write it on an envelope, and the USPS would deliver the letter to your current address.

If companies want something for authentication, they would have to use something sensible instead.

Need consequences with teeth

By sjbe • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

A security flaw in the Comcast Xfinity online portal exposed social security numbers and partial home addresses of more than 26.5 million subscribers

So my beef with this isn't that a security flaw happened. I expect that to happen from time to time even though I think the consequences for it aren't nearly severe enough currently. The problem I have is that Comcast is storing Social Security Numbers in the first place. They have absolutely zero need to store this information. Yes I'm aware that lots of companies do it and for the most part they don't need it either. But let's ignore that and say they do need/want to store my SSN. Then there should be consequences with serious teeth for security failures regarding sensitive information about me. We have these leaks in part because there are effectively zero consequences for mismanagement of sensitive customer data. The companies simply don't have to care very much. Failure to keep this data secure should result in heavy fines and odious government oversight. It should be ugly enough to make them think seriously about what data they really ought to be storing and how they go about it and what best practices to use. Companies that act responsibly should be free to go about their business but those that can't or won't handle sensitive data responsibly should be very afraid.


By fedos • Score: 3 • Thread
Our social security numbers have already been leaked by half a dozen negligent organizations.