the unofficial Slashdot digest for 2018-Sep-13 today archive


  1. Plan To Build a Genetic Noah's Ark Includes a Staggering 66,000 Species
  2. Australia's Great Barrier Reef Showing 'Signs of Recovery'
  3. MIT Is Building a Health-Tracking Sensor That Can See Through Walls
  4. Is Apple's 3D Touch a 'Huge Waste' of Engineering Talent?
  5. Limo Firm To Uber: You Misclassify Your Drivers As Contractors, Which Is Unfair
  6. Facebook Will Start Fact-Checking Pictures, Videos
  7. Windows, Linux Kodi Users Infected With Cryptomining Malware
  8. Auto, Tech Industries Urge Congress To Pass Self-Driving Legislation
  9. Leaked Video Shows Google Executives' Candid Reaction To Trump Victory
  10. Almost 'All Modern Computers' Affected By Cold Boot Attack, Researchers Warn
  11. Facebook Creates an AI-Based Tool To Automate Bug Fixes
  12. Mozilla Enables WebRender By Default On Firefox Nightly
  13. Senior Google Scientist Resigns Over 'Forfeiture of Our Values' in China
  14. Alphabet's Loon Balloons Just Beamed the Internet Across 620 Miles
  15. Apple Tries To Wipe AirPower From the History Books
  16. Jeff Bezos Announces $2 Billion Philanthropic Effort To Help Homeless Families and Start Preschools in Low-income Communities
  17. US Carriers Introduce Project Verify To Replace Individual App Passwords
  18. UK's GCHQ Intelligence Agency Violated Human Rights With Its Mass Surveillance Tactics, Top European Court Rules
  19. iPhoneXsMax, Now That's a Tongue Twister
  20. China Now the Most Prolific Contributor To Physical Sciences, Engineering, and Math
  21. Apple Moves the iPhone Away From Physical SIMs
  22. Boring Company Approved To Build Futuristic Garage That Would Connect To Underground Commuter Tunnel

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

Plan To Build a Genetic Noah's Ark Includes a Staggering 66,000 Species

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Gizmodo: An international consortium involving over 50 institutions has announced an ambitious project to assemble high-quality genome sequences of all 66,000 vertebrate species on Earth, including all mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish. With an estimated total cost of $600 million dollars, it's a project of biblical proportions. It's called the Vertebrate Genomes Project (VGP), and it's being organized by a consortium called Genome 10K, or G10K. As its name implies, this group had initially planned to sequence the genomes of at least 10,000 vertebrate species, but now, owing to tremendous advances and cost reductions in gene sequencing technologies, G10K has decided to up the ante, aiming to sequence both a male and female individual from each of the approximately 66,000 vertebrate species on Earth. Cofounders of the project announced the new goal yesterday at a press briefing held during the opening session of the 2018 Genome 10K conference, currently being held at Rockefeller University in New York City. The project will involve over 150 experts from 50 institutions in 12 countries.

"Biblical proportions"?

By sheramil • Score: 3 • Thread

Maybe they were thinking of the early Hollywood biblical film epics. They cost a lot of money, at the time.

Anyway, to get back to the cynicism, what's the bet this company decides they own those genetic sequences once they've sorted them out?

Re: What, no bugs or plants?

By pollarda • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
I have to wonder if they are also going to sequence the mitochondrial DNA. Mitochondrial DNA is often forgotten in these discussions but if you ever want to really clone something, is vitally important.

Re:"Biblical proportions"?

By WolfgangVL • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

I thought the very same thing, so I actually read the article.

From TFA

"The new sequences will be stored and made publically available at the Genome Ark database, a digital open-access library of genomes. Corporate sponsors DNAnexus and Amazon Web “have been instrumental in getting this project off the ground,” said Phillippy."

I'm certain there will be some catch on account of "corporate sponsors", but at face value, this actually looks pretty benevolent. I'm guessing the corporate dogs get some kind of "Right of patent" or the like on the inevitable research breakthroughs and discoveries that come of this.

Article also says it takes a week to sequence a single one, so we're talking 11,088,000 man hours (before setbacks, mistakes and equipment failures) with current technology, and it's worth pointing out that this is running in tandem with the Human Connectome Project, and possibly replicating the efforts of the Earth Biogenome Project.

While I'm all for a project like this, putting the complete genome of every vertebrate species on the planet into an open source project just for the lolz, this sounds way to good to be true.

Also, does putting the number 66k out there means we're finally past the whole "new species are being discovered everyday." phase of history?

Australia's Great Barrier Reef Showing 'Signs of Recovery'

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Australia's Great Barrier Reef appears to be showing signs of recovery after a massive coral bleaching event in 2016 and 2017. reports: The nonprofit Reef & Rainforest Research Centre has reported signs of recovery due to a milder 2017-18 summer, as well as cooperation among science, industry, and government in supporting the reef's recovery, according to the report issued on Wednesday by the Queensland State Government. The RRRC, in cooperation with the Association of Marine Park Tourism Operators, conducted detailed surveys at key tourism dive sites around the city of Cairns in 2016 and 2017 and says certain reefs that were strongly affected in the bleaching event are showing significant signs of improvement.

Coral bleaching occurs in multiple stages, according to RRRC Managing Director Sheriden Morris, ranging from the equivalent of a mild sunburn to coral mortality. "When a reef is reported as 'bleached' in the media, that often leaves out a critical detail on how severe that bleaching is, at what depth the bleaching has occurred and if it's going to cause permanent damage to the coral at that site," Morris said in the statement, adding that the Barrier Reef "has significant capacity to recover from health impacts like bleaching events." Reports that the entire reef is dead due to severe bleaching are "blatantly untrue," Morris said. Still, he warns that the recovery is "contingent on environmental conditions" and that the reef "may suffer further bleaching events as the climate continues to warm."

2014-2016 El Nino?

By LynnwoodRooster • Score: 3, Informative • Thread
LOTS of hot water from that super El Nino (largest since 1998), and the temperatures have dropped dramatically since then... Not really a surprise.

Of course they have to say that

By thegarbz • Score: 3 • Thread

The RRRC has been the recipient of many millions of dollars of government funding. Much of this has been sqandered on wasteful programs ranging from pointless sub and sub sub contracting of maintaining the reef to tour boat operators to the downright absurd such as installing giant fans underwater to mix the deep cold water with warm surface water and average everything out.

The RRRC is constantly at odds with scientists who study the reef and also have maintaining commercial tourism in their primary remit. It should come as no surprise that they are giving a rosy outlook despite what many scientists say.

Re:Fake news! Says noted ecologist.

By pslytely psycho • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
So full of shit. A few seconds produced hundreds of photos you claim don't exist. That alone invalidates everything else you falsely claim.

Plastic in the ocean:

Comparison photos of dead/living coral:

MIT Is Building a Health-Tracking Sensor That Can See Through Walls

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Rachel Metz reports via MIT Technology Review: Imagine a box, similar to a Wi-Fi router, that sits in your home and tracks all kinds of physiological signals as you move from room to room: breathing, heart rate, sleep, gait, and more. Dina Katabi, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at MIT, built this box in her lab. And in the not-so-distant future, she believes, it will be able to replace the array of expensive, bulky, uncomfortable gear we currently need to get clinical data about the body. Speaking at MIT Technology Review's EmTech conference in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on Wednesday, Katabi said the box she's been building for the last several years takes advantage of the fact that every time we move -- even if it's just a teeny, tiny bit, such as when we breathe -- we change the electromagnetic field surrounding us.

Her device transmits a low-power wireless signal throughout a space the size of a one- or two-bedroom apartment (even through walls), and the signal reflects off people's bodies. The device then uses machine learning to analyze those reflected signals and extract physiological data. So far, it has been installed in over 200 homes of both healthy people and those with conditions like Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, depression, and pulmonary diseases, she said. Katabi cofounded a startup called Emerald Innovations to commercialize the technology and has already made the device available to biotech and pharmaceutical companies for studies.

Wonderful device for prison-wardens

By mi • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

tracks all kinds of physiological signals ... : breathing, heart rate, sleep

Seems like a great device for watching the imprisoned... Who is really asleep, and who is faking it. Sigh...


By thedarb • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Tracking our cell locations, scanning our license plates, listening to us in our homes with smart speakers and tv's... and now you want to know what room I'm in and all my vitals all the time? Unless I'm already bed ridden and dying, no. Seriously!

Not buying it

By Snotnose • Score: 3 • Thread
You can see through walls in a 2 bedroom apartment, and can detect cellular issues in a human body. Yeah, could those iffy whatevers be, I dunno, a dirty shirt hanging off a door knob? Or my sleeping body on the other side of my 42" flatscreen?

One would hope Theranos would be a big enough warning signal, but evidently there are way too many stupid idiots with more money than I'll ever earn in a lifetime. Wish I was smart enough to swindle, err, get them to invest in my company. Which turns empty beer caps into gold. It's patented, but trust me it works. Send me money (I have enough beer caps hanging off my ceiling) and I'll make you rich. Rich I say, Rich beyond your wildest imagination! Just send money. But don't call it beer money.


By tquasar • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
Replaces the expensive, bulky (police) gear....currently needed to see into your home without a warrant. Beginning my Faraday project tomorrow. I appreciate the technology yet am concerned about other possible uses. Some good some not.

I find this development a bit creepy,

By jenningsthecat • Score: 3 • Thread

but I think it would be great for sleep studies. The non-sleep I got on that crappy little cot, while I was wired up and had a rubber band around by belly, was in no way representative of a typical night's sleep. I would expect better, more accurate results with less invasive equipment, and this development sounds as though it would help. We might even gain the ability to do sleep studies in the patient's home, resulting in results both more representative of a typical night's sleep, and less disruptive.

Is Apple's 3D Touch a 'Huge Waste' of Engineering Talent?

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Three years ago, Apple introduced 3D Touch for the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, a pressure-sensitive feature that uses capacitive sensors integrated into the smartphone's display to sense three degrees of pressure in a user's touch and respond differently based on the amount of pressure exerted. It's a neat idea as it has allowed users to interact with the user interface in a completely new way. Now, with the release of the new iPhone XR, Apple seems to be on the way to phasing it out. The Verge reports: While both the new iPhone XS and XS Max include 3D Touch, Apple has chosen not to include the feature on the iPhone XR. Yes, that phone is cheaper, and Apple had to strip out some features, but 3D Touch has been included on iPhones in that price range since it was introduced not too long ago, so this feels less like necessary cost savings and more like planned omission. There have always been a few core problems with 3D Touch. For one, its use often amounted to the right click of a mouse, which is funny coming from the company that famously refused to put a dedicated right button on its mice or trackpads. And selecting from those right click options was rarely faster or a substantially more useful way of getting something done than just tapping the button and manually navigating to where you needed to go. People also didn't know the feature was there. The iPhone did little to train users on 3D Touch. And even the people who knew it was there had no way to tell which icons supported it without just 3D pressing everything to see what happened.

Apple isn't entirely removing the concept of 3D Touch from the iPhone XR. Instead, the phone will include something Apple is calling Haptic Touch, which will make a click when you activate a button's secondary feature by pressing and holding it. But that replacement underscores just how useless 3D Touch has really become: it's not more than a very, very fancy long press. That's something phones have always been capable of. And despite the name, I've found long press features to be faster and easier to use than their 3D Touch equivalent. Instagram, for instance, lets you preview photos with a 3D Touch on the iPhone or a long press on Android. I find the Android version to be simpler and quicker.
Here's what Apple's marketing leader, Phil Schiller, had to say about the feature back in 2015 when it was first introduced: "'Engineering-wise, the hardware to build a display that does what [3D Touch] does is unbelievably hard,' says Schiller. 'And we're going to waste a whole year of engineering -- really, two -- at a tremendous amount of cost and investment in manufacturing if it doesn't do something that [people] are going to use. If it's just a demo feature and a month later nobody is really using it, this is a huge waste of engineering talent.'"

Is any R&D a waste?

By jellomizer • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

There are a lot of good ideas that just don’t catch on at the time. 3D Touch May be one of them. But the engineering talent and lessons learned are extremely valuable. And the principals may be used in the future.

Link to actual Verge article

By blahbooboo • Score: 3 • Thread

Weird, slashdot summary has no link to the actual Verge story....

Re:Brittle concept

By green1 • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Meanwhile every other touch vendor gets exactly the same functionality with a much easier to control, and far more intuitive method; long press.

What about the jack connector?

By hcs_$reboot • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
That's a 'Huge Waste' of Ergonomics Talent.


By garote • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

No. I have used both. The “long press” version is touchy and requires that I wait with my finger in place. The 3D touch version registers immediately. That savings in time and precision makes the feature worth it to me.

Limo Firm To Uber: You Misclassify Your Drivers As Contractors, Which Is Unfair

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: A Southern California limousine company sued Uber in federal court earlier this week, alleging violations of state unfair-competition laws. While a company suing Uber is not new, the proposed class-action lawsuit appears to rely on a recently decided California Supreme Court decision that makes it more difficult for companies to unilaterally declare their workers as contractors, which effectively deprives them of benefits that they would otherwise receive as employees.

In that case, known as Dynamex, the court came up with a three-part test to figure out whether companies can assert contractor status or not. The new case is called Diva Limousine v. Uber. Some legal experts say that the earlier decision in Dynamex may bolster an argument in this new case around unfair competition that has previously been difficult to win on in federal court. In short, Diva Limousine just might succeed where other federal lawsuits have failed.

As an engineer, I like contracting

By Sim9 • Score: 3, Interesting • Thread

I find it way preferable to take contract gigs than FTE (full time employee) gigs. Granted, the FTE gigs typically offer an order of magnitude more pay, but all that stock/equity is inevitably tied up in a year or more of service. But as a contractor, you get paid exactly for the hours you put it and can leave whenever you want. They may not let you go to the employee movie days, but I've always had the nicest bosses as a contractor (probably because they're good bosses, but they're also aware senior contractors can walk if treated very poorly).

Best of all, the IP agreements are actually sane because you're not an employee. I hate when FTE contracts try to claim all of your side projects as the company's inventions, sometimes even retroactively.

Anyway, I know that contracting isn't a good fit for everyone, but I hope this doesn't end make up making it harder for those who do like the contract lifestyle.

Degree of control

By FeelGood314 • Score: 3 • Thread
An employee has very little control of what they do. In Canada the measure of employee vs contractor considers:
who sets the hours
who sets the specific tasks and how they will be done
freedom to work for other people
who provides the office and equipment

Uber drivers have complete freedom in all those thing except the specific tasks (even then, they could chose the route). Most of the "contractors" I know in high tech fail all those tests.

Facebook Will Start Fact-Checking Pictures, Videos

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Facebook said Thursday that it will start fact-checking images and videos. "People share millions of photos and videos on Facebook every day. We know that this kind of sharing is particularly compelling because it's visual. That said, it also creates an easy opportunity for manipulation by bad actors," Facebook said in a blog post. CNBC reports: Edited photos and strong visuals were common among the posts by Russian agents attempting to interfere with the 2016 U.S. presidential election and other global elections, according to examples released by members of Congress. Facebook has been ramping up fact-checking efforts and third-party human reviewers in recent months in an effort to protect future elections from foreign interference. The company has already detected what it called "coordinated inauthentic behavior" ahead of the midterm elections in November.

"Many of our third-party fact-checking partners have expertise evaluating photos and videos and are trained in visual verification techniques, such as reverse image searching and analyzing image metadata, like when and where the photo or video was taken," Facebook said. "Fact-checkers are able to assess the truth or falsity of a photo or video by combining these skills with other journalistic practices, like using research from experts, academics or government agencies."


By RickyShade • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Will satire survive?

Facts Considered Harmful

By Kunedog • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Any unauthorized facts will be checked, and if found harmful to Democrats (and especially their midterm campaigns) will be promptly memory-holed.

Oh $hit...

By Bodhammer • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

"Fact-checkers are able to assess the truth or falsity of a photo or video by combining these skills with other journalistic practices, like using research from experts, academics or government agencies."

We are so fucked...


By Pseudonym • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

The current era, sadly, cannot be parodied.

Windows, Linux Kodi Users Infected With Cryptomining Malware

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from ZDNet: Users of Kodi, a popular media player and platform designed for TVs and online streaming, have been the targets of a malware campaign, ZDNet has learned from cyber-security firm ESET. According to a report that will be published later today and shared with ZDNet in advance, the company's malware analysts have uncovered that at least three popular repositories of Kodi add-ons have been infected and helped spread a malware strain that secretly mined cryptocurrency on users' computers.

ESET researchers say they found malicious code hidden in some of the add-ons found on three add-on repositories known as Bubbles, Gaia, and XvBMC, all offline at the time of writing, after receiving copyright infringement complaints. Researchers said that some of the add-ons found on these repositories would contain malicious code that triggered the download of a second Kodi add-on, which, in turn, would contain code to fingerprint the user's OS and later install a cryptocurrency miner. While Kodi can run on various platforms, ESET says that the operators of this illicit cryptocurrency mining operation only delivered a miner for Windows and Linux users.
The crooks reportedly mined for Monero, infecting over 4,700 victims and generating over 62 Monero coins, worth today nearly $7,000.

Re:So Open source not great either

By Gavagai80 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

If you choose to install malware, you'll get malware. To get infected by this you have to go to one of three fly by night repositories of illegal plugins and choose to install a plugin that turns out to be doing a different kind of illegal activity than you expect (crypto mining instead of media piracy). It should not be a shock that dealers in illegal goods aren't always trustworthy -- it's like being shocked when your drug dealer steals from you.

Auto, Tech Industries Urge Congress To Pass Self-Driving Legislation

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
John Bozzella, president and CEO of Global Automakers (a trade association and lobby group of automobile manufacturers), said at an Axios event Thursday that it's "critically important" that Congress pass federal legislation on autonomous vehicles. A year ago, the House approved the Self Drive Act, but it has yet to be passed by the Senate. Axios adds: This delay is set against a growing fear in Washington, Silicon Valley and the auto industry that the U.S. will fall dangerously behind in autonomous vehicle standards and policies while China and Europe leap ahead. "My fear is we fall behind with the rest of the world," said, Congressman Robert Latta (R-Ohio), chairman of the Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection subcommittee. As breakthroughs are happening on the mechanical, computer and engineering levels with regard to autonomous vehicles, "time is running out" on moving policy forward, he added.

Authoritarian China as a Policy Model

By nickmalthus • Score: 3 • Thread
I am sure Silicon Valley would love nothing more than to enshrine their technologies in law and reap the royalties. Even better, ban all private ownership of cars except for the fleets they own and operate. I suppose they expect some type of return on their investment from all of the money they have spent on lobbyist. Regulations are for you, not for them.

First Real War: GPS Satellites Down

By BrendaEM • Score: 3 • Thread
We don't need driverless cars.

No liability + subsidies

By sphealey • Score: 3 • Thread

- - - - - - t's "critically important" that Congress pass federal legislation on autonomous vehicles. - - - - -

Let me guess what is "critically important" in this legislation:
1. Elimination of all liability on the part of the automakers for accidents involving self-driving cars
1a. Federal preemption of local and state criminal charges against automakers for accidents involving self-driving cars, including fatalities
2. Huge dollar subsidies to manufacturers of self-driving cars
3. Re-orientation of federal infrastructure spending toward self-driving cars
[ I would add 3a. at the expense of pedestrians and human-centered development, but I'd just be repeating 3 ]

Anything I missed?

I thought we banned killer robots

By WillAffleckUW • Score: 3 • Thread


Too soon?

Re:FAA software development standards!

By ThosLives • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

26262 is only functional safety though - it only covers "if some electronic part breaks, can the vehicle be made safe," and "have best processes to eliminate systematic errors been followed?"

Full autonomous driving has all those pitfalls of random hardware failure and systematic design errors, plus it has SOTIF - Safety of the Intended Function - concerns. Basically, are things safe (enough)when parts are not broken and if you had zero software bugs?

SOTIF is really hard, and we don't have time-test processes for it. Consider this: 26262 is based on around 50 years of aerospace and other industrial automation experience. We don't have that for SOTIF.

And yes, those that say ADAS level 5 is harder than aviation autopilot are correct: autopilot is essentially route following and very limited decision making in a highly controlled environment (autoland, for instance, is in a controlled airport with ILS...) it is not decision making and situational awareness in an uncontrolled environment which ADAS level 5 implies.

Leaked Video Shows Google Executives' Candid Reaction To Trump Victory

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
A number of Slashdot users have shared a leaked Google video from Breitbart, revealing the candid reactions of company executives to Donald Trump's unexpected victory in 2016. The Guardian summarizes: In an hour-long conversation, Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, chief executive Sundar Pichai, and executives Kent Walker, Ruth Porat and Eileen Noughton offered their reflections on the election, sought to reassure employees about issues such as immigration status and benefits for same-sex partners, and answered questions on topics ranging from filter bubbles and political polarization to encryption and net neutrality. The executives' reactions ranged from the emotional to the philosophical to the purely pragmatic. Porat appeared near tears in discussing her open support for Hillary Clinton and her father, who was a refugee. Walker discussed global political trends toward nationalism, populism and xenophobia. Pichai noted that the company was already "thoughtfully engaging" with Trump's transition team. While Breitbart argues the video shows evidence of Google's inherent bias against Republicans, Google says the executives are simply sharing their "personal views" and that it has no political bias. It does beg the question, should politics be discussed in the workplace? Longtime Slashdot reader emil writes in response to the video: [...] Disregarding the completely inappropriate expression of partisan views in the workplace, the video claims that "history is our side." These executives appear to have forgotten the incredible tumult in the distant past of the U.S. The last election was not an electoral tie that was thrown into the house of representatives (as was the election of 1800). The last election did not open a civil war as happened in 1861 when Lincoln took office. The last election did not open war with Great Britain, and will likely not precipitate a new set of proposed constitutional amendments to curb presidential power as did either of James Madison's terms in office (War of 1812, Hartford Convention). There may be a time for tears, and a time for hugs, but that time cannot be in the workplace. Most Fortune 500 employees took the news of the latest president elect with quiet perseverance in their professional settings regardless of their leanings, and it is time for Google to encourage the same. "At a regularly scheduled all-hands meeting, some Google employees and executives expressed their own personal views in the aftermath of a long and divisive election season," Google said in a statement. "For over 20 years, everyone at Google has been able to freely express their opinions at these meetings. Nothing was said at that meeting, or any other meeting, to suggest that any political bias ever influences the way we build or operate our products. To the contrary, our products are built for everyone, and we design them with extraordinary care to be a trustworthy source of information for everyone, without regard to political viewpoint."

Re:They tried so hard...

By GameboyRMH • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Conservatives are working hastily and efficiently to fix that...and also to thwart and ultimately dismantle democracy so that it doesn't come back to bite them in the ass.

Diversity of thought .

By Chas • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

"We want to encourage diversity of ideas."



Man they need an AWFUL big shovel for all that bullshit.

Damore never went public himself

By Spamalope • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
He never went public.

Others whose feelings are that gender is entirely a social construct and there is no psychological gender felt he is a heretic for proposing changes that'd make employment at google more attractive to people with a female mindset is a better way to attract women to google than the approach then in place. They started a whisper campaign against him and escalated that into a public shaming for wrong think. Much of that criticism accused him of writing things not contained in his memo anywhere. That was a smear campaign meant to create mob justice, which worked.

Re:Damore never went public himself

By serviscope_minor • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

He never went public

No but he kept showing it to more and more and more groups until he got the reaction he wanted. I recall watching an interview he gave on youtube (it was long and had a sympathetic interviewer, no I don't recall the URL this was probably over a year ago) with Damore describing the process.

One thing that stood out to me was he took his work to the "skeptics group". It received a rather chilly reception there for reasons I think were correct. Basically they didn't like his reasoning, but they didn't give him a very detaild point-by-point rebttal or "debate" him. He took that as bias and kept on showing it around until it got a reaction. Which it did eventually as we all know.

Much of that criticism accused him of writing things not contained in his memo anywhere.

His memo was bad. I read it. The thing is if your work is clearly based on invalid prespposisions or picks a line of reasoning which reaches certain conclusions. You don't get a free pass on that simply because you didn't explicitly state those. In my person opinion (which acording to the groupthink here is wrong so I'll get silenced i.e. downmodded for it) the memo was not only excessively simplistic but relied on heavily cherry picked data.

It also didn't bring anything new which hasn't been hashed out very a thousand times before by substantially better writers with a better grasp of the literature. He waded into a known contentious topic both loudly (he KEPT on pushing his memo because he wanted a positive response) and very ill prepared. That's like taking a whack at a wasp nest with a baseball bat with no protective gear and standing around to watch the results.

So he got stung all over. Which was, to put it mildly, a bit predictable.

Money equals speech!

By Comboman • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
So NOW you're concerned about companies using their political influence? Where were you when conservative companies like Koch Industries were literally threatening to fire employees if they didn't vote Republican (which is somehow legal now due to the Citizens United). Google's reaction is fairly mild by comparison. It's entirely appropriate for a company to be concerned about how a new administration will affect their business and discuss it with their employees.

Almost 'All Modern Computers' Affected By Cold Boot Attack, Researchers Warn

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Security researchers have discovered a flaw with nearly all modern computers that allow potential hackers to steal sensitive information from your locked devices. CNET adds: The attack only takes about five minutes to pull off, if the hacker has physical access to the computer, F-Secure principal security consultant Olle Segerdahl said in a statement Thursday. Cold boot attacks can steal data on a computer's RAM, where sensitive information is briefly stored after a forced reboot. These attacks have been known since 2008, and most computers today have a safety measure where it removes the data stored on RAM to prevent hackers from stealing sensitive information. It's also not a common threat for the average person, since both access to the computer and special tools -- like a program on a USB stick -- are needed to carry out the attack. But Segerdahl and researchers from F-Secure said they've found a way to disable that safety measure and extract data using cold boot attacks. [Further reading: ZDNet] "It takes some extra steps compared to the classic cold boot attack, but it's effective against all the modern laptops we've tested," he said in a statement. Per F-Secure, there is no patch to address the new vulnerability just yet. For now, the firm recommends that you make tweaks to your system settings so that your computer automatically shuts down or hibernates instead of entering sleep mode when you close your screen.

Why did I bother reading this?

By zippo01 • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
If I have 5 min alone with system its mine. That is security the most basic security concept. "It only takes 5 min" I need less then that for most systems. Sigh. I dont understand how this is news.

Faster attack when you have physical access

By bob4u2c • Score: 3 • Thread
Pull the hard drive, take home and decrypt at will. No known software or hardware patches have been released to fix this issue.

Re: If they have physical access

By Comrade Ogilvy • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

Quadruple rot-13 for me. Just try to crack that!

Re:Faster attack when you have physical access

By iggymanz • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

can't break some of the encrypted filesystems, so instead I recommend on-site penetration of the system with operator who knows the password and the $1 wrench from a dollar store. We found there is no need for the $5 wrench.

Re: Physical access to PC

By kelemvor4 • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

It involves cooling the RAM chips with some kind of refrigerant spray. So yeah, you need the computer you do this with to be right in front of you and powered on and logged into at least once by some user with a key you want.

Full disk encryption is what this attack defeats. Full disk encryption is really ONLY useful to stop someone with physical control of the computer from accessing your data. Also, the details I read made this sound like a relatively easy attack to implement if you've prepped your work area reasonably. Consider that anyone doing this has already stolen a computer - perhaps by breaking into a home or business. Then they must have a computer with valuable enough data to bother going after it. They aren't going to be going after my pc, and probably not yours. Maybe a politician, banker, or someone with proprietary corporate secrets.. say a fortune 500 exec. For that kind of value as a target, this is a simple attack - compared to other attacks that might be used on high-value targets.

Facebook Creates an AI-Based Tool To Automate Bug Fixes

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Facebook is trying to speed up the time it takes to roll out new software updates and debug any issues in them with a new tool called SapFix that its engineers are building. From a report: SapFix, which is still under development, is designed to generate fixes automatically for specific bugs before sending them to human engineers for approval. Facebook, which announced the tool today ahead of its Scale conference in San Jose, California, for developers building large-scale systems and applications, calls SapFix an "AI hybrid tool." It uses artificial intelligence to automate the creation of fixes for bugs that have been identified by its software testing tool Sapienz, which is already being used in production. SapFix will eventually be able to operate independently from Sapienz, but for now it's still a proof-of-concept that relies on the latter tool to pinpoint bugs first of all. SapFix can fix bugs in a number of ways, depending on how complex they are, Facebook engineers Yue Jia, Ke Mao and Mark Harman wrote in a blog post announcing the tools. For simpler bugs, SapFix creates patches that revert the code submission that introduced them. In the case of more complicated bugs, SapFix uses a collection of "templated fixes" that were created by human engineers based on previous bug fixes.

Uh huh...

By mujadaddy • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
"Which is still under development"

What could possibly go right?

Mozilla Enables WebRender By Default On Firefox Nightly

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
RoccamOccam writes: WebRender, an experimental GPU-based renderer for web content, written in Rust, is now enabled by default for Firefox Nightly users on desktop Windows 10 with Nvidia GPUs. The announcement was made on the mailing list.

Lin Clark provides an excellent overview of WebRender and, states, "with WebRender, we want apps to run at a silky smooth 60 frames per second (FPS) or better no matter how big the display is or how much of the page is changing from frame to frame. And it works. Pages that chug along at 15 FPS in Chrome or today's Firefox run at 60 FPS with WebRender.

In describing the WebRender approach Clark, asks, "what if we removed this boundary between painting and compositing and just went back to painting every pixel on every frame? This may sound like a ridiculous idea, but it actually has some precedent. Modern day video games repaint every pixel, and they maintain 60 frames per second more reliably than browsers do. And they do it in an unexpected way instead of creating these invalidation rectangles and layers to minimize what they need to paint, they just repaint the whole screen."

60 FPS is great; any plans for ...

By UnknownSoldier • Score: 3 • Thread

Any plans to target 120 Hz?


By RoccamOccam • Score: 3 • Thread

Lin Clark provides an excellent overview of WebRender and, states, "with WebRender...."

I have no idea why I typed all of those commas.

Yay Mozilla

By Tough Love • Score: 3 • Thread

Firefox is my main browser for a lot of reasons, not just that Google doesn't dominate it. Great to see the Mozilla team leading the way on this, and it's a big validation for Rust. Any serious systems programmer ought to take a close look methinks.

You want 60fps

By DarkRookie • Score: 3 • Thread
Don't program for a web browser.
Or stop people from filling up their sites with bullshit JS and media.


By DontBeAMoran • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

Sure thing, buddy.

Could you quote some text please.

There you go.

Senior Google Scientist Resigns Over 'Forfeiture of Our Values' in China

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
A senior Google research scientist has quit the company in protest over its plan to launch a censored version of its search engine in China. The Intercept: Jack Poulson worked for Google's research and machine intelligence department, where he was focused on improving the accuracy of the company's search systems. In early August, Poulson raised concerns with his managers at Google after The Intercept revealed that the internet giant was secretly developing a Chinese search app for Android devices. The search system, code-named Dragonfly, was designed to remove content that China's authoritarian government views as sensitive, such as information about political dissidents, free speech, democracy, human rights, and peaceful protest. After entering into discussions with his bosses, Poulson decided in mid-August that he could no longer work for Google. He tendered his resignation and his last day at the company was August 31. He told The Intercept in an interview that he believes he is one of about five of the company's employees to resign over Dragonfly. He felt it was his "ethical responsibility to resign in protest of the forfeiture of our public human rights commitments," he said.

Re:Why is this uncommon?

By sittingnut • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

person who resigned is virtue signaling. and covering up for google at same time, by acting as if this something new for the company
* google has been spying on everyone to make money for years. its how they make money.
* it has been sharing info with usa intelligence agencies.
* it actively helped usa's interfering political agenda's in other countries, for example actively helping and making apps for syria's mostly islamic terrorist opposition to assad. now just before a major military operation( with already heated propaganda claims and counter claims about chemical weapons) google is censoring regimes's media, only regime's not opposition's.
* conservatives and trump supporters claim they have been targeted by google through censorship, blocking, shadow banning , etc,. some have indeed been subjected to all that.
* google companies are now actively propping up visibility of legacy media, with their bias and establishment views, allegedly to combat "fake news".

Re:devil's advocate?

By drinkypoo • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

If I were to take a contrarian view of this, I would ask: "What is the difference between Google censoring search results based on the public security laws of China, versus Google censoring search results based on the copyright laws of the USA and EU?"

The difference is that in the USA it's legal to include as much of a copyrighted work as necessary for criticism or to otherwise make a point, but in China if you include information that the government doesn't want you to share, you get broken up for parts and your organs are sold to the highest bidder.

Re:Why is this uncommon?

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

As much as I despise virtue signalling, this, refreshingly, is not an example of it. The employee in question chose to quit his job rather than continue on in his position. He deliberately chose personal sacrifice/inconvenience in favor of his pet issue. Whether I agree or disagree with an activist on any particular issue, I can at least show some amount of respect to a person who is willing to put their money where their mouth is.

Virtue signalling, in contrast, is the act of shouting very loudly about an issue without actually doing anything about it. Look at me, I'm one of the Good Guys! I care soooooo deeply about Issue X! Those Bad Guys would never care as deeply as me! And so on.

Re: NSA spying and murderbot OS was ok though?

By c6gunner • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

You don't really believe all that nonsense, do you?

It's like you copy-pasted a couple paragraphs from an official KGB "news release".

Re:Came to say the same thing.

By PhrostyMcByte • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
Can you give some examples of videos they've removed that you believe should have been kept? I feel like I can't really give an opinion on it until I actually see the kinds of things they're removing.

Alphabet's Loon Balloons Just Beamed the Internet Across 620 Miles

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Loon, the former Google X project and now independent Alphabet company, has developed an antenna system that could create a far greater ground coverage than previously possible. From a report: According to Loon each of its balloons, from 20km (12.4 miles) above earth, can cover an area of about 80km (49.7 miles) in diameter and serve about 1,000 users on the ground using an LTE connection. However, Loon balloons need a backhaul connection from an access point on the ground and without that connection the balloons can't provide connectivity to users on the ground. But on Tuesday the company revealed it had sent data across a network of seven balloons from a single ground connection spanning a distance of 1,000 kilometers, or about 621 miles. It also achieved its longest ever point-to-point link, sending data between two balloons over a distance of 600km (373 miles). The tests were carried out across California and Nevada, with the balloons punting data packets between each other from "desert to mountains and back again", according to Loon.

HSMM-Mesh has been doing this for years

By bobbied • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

I'm sorry, this isn't some huge accomplishment.

Adhoc networking using HSMM-Mesh has been a reality on WRT54 hardware for YEARS. It can service multiple connection nodes, more than 1,000, including internet access if available to one or more nodes.

The flying of a GSM MSC/cell tower may be a bit less complex for the end user than having to have an HSMM-Mesh node to attach a network cable to but ham radio guys have been doing this on 2.4 GHz for years.

Also, flying a MSC/Cell Tower isn't all that unusual or novel either. We've been flying such things on fixed wing aircraft or in the back of trucks with crank up towers to provide emergency communications using cell phones for a long time too. Plus, flying HSMM-Mesh nodes on balloons has been done a lot too, to provide data network access to the balloon's GPS and cameras and run QSO's via data the data links.

Sorry Google, I'm not all that impressed..

Doesn't sound very practical

By Solandri • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

each of its balloons, from 20km (12.4 miles) above earth, can cover an area of about 80km (49.7 miles) in diameter and serve about 1,000 users on the ground using an LTE connection

80 km diameter = 40 km radius
A = pi*r^2
A = pi * (40 km)^2
A = 5024 km^2

That works out to only one user per every 5 square km. This is the reason cell towers are typically spaced 3-7 km apart in urban and suburban areas. You need them that close to support the typical density of users in a cell. Their actual range if you don't have many users is much larger. GSM is limited to 35 km because it uses timeslices - beyond that a phone's transmission would arrive in the next phone's timeslice. CDMA will work as far out as the phone and tower are able to "hear" each other, which is more likely to be limited by line of sight than by distance (a 30 m tower only gets you about 25 km range before it's blocked by the horizon).

It might be useful in developing countries which don't have many cellular users, but from what I understand even third world countries are rapidly deploying standard cellular networks since it's so much cheaper than stringing up wires. That leaves the only practical use in emergencies if you block regular people from being able to use it, only allowing emergency personnel's devices to connect.

This could change in the future as MIMO becomes more commonplace (it's included in the 5G standard. MIMO basically makes the signals and receivers directional, allowing multiple devices to use the same bandwidth without interfering with each other (too much).

Apple Tries To Wipe AirPower From the History Books

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
A year after unveiling the AirPower all-in-one wireless charger for the iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods, Apple has now erased all references to AirPower from its website. The company has yet to ship it. From a report: A year ago during the iPhone X unveiling Apple announced AirPower -- an all-in-one wireless charger for the iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods. The product never shipped, and today it seems that Apple has scrubbed almost all traces of it off its website. At the time of writing this is the only reference to AirPower I can find on Apple's website. So what happened to AirPower? Well, while only Apple really knows (and at the time of writing Apple hasn't responded to a request for information), it seems like the product was vaporware and that the promise of an all-in-one charger has died. I can't think off the top of my head of another product that Apple has announced at a major event and then failed to deliver, which suggests that some things are beyond the reach of even a company as powerful as Apple.

Went to the Apple Store for clarification

By elrous0 • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

When asked for comment on the AirPower's status, an Apple Store representative turned pale, swallowed his emergency cyanide pill, and yelled "Father Steve accept me!" before collapsing on the floor.

Probably because wireless charging inherently bad

By SuperKendall • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

I currently have an Apple phone and watch that support wireless charging.

I kind of liked the idea Apple had of a mat you could put multiple devices on, but wasn't really planning to buy it. Why? Because wireless charging is I think an inherently poor technology.

It's a lot slower than a wire. but the fundamental reason it really sucks is, THERE IS STILL A WIRE that goes to whatever wireless charging plate you have. I would way rather just have a small cable with me that I can plug into any USB slot, which are in quite a few places now, since I have to have a wire anyway.

The apple product in particular also did not seem very useful to me in that what I set stuff down by the bed at night I don't necessarily want everything flat. I have a stand I can leave the watch on to charge so it's at a nice angle to read, and even the phone I would prefer angled up so I could quickly glance to see in the morning if I have important messages waiting.

It is kind of funny to watch Apple stalinize a product though... it's like, dude, just admit it didn't work out!


By zioncat • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

A year after unveiling the AirPower all-in-one wireless charger for the iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods, Apple has now erased all references to AirPower from its website.

Really? I still can find it mentioned in these:
The future is here: iPhone X
iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus: A new generation of iPhone
Not to mention they still hosts the video of presentation that introduced AirPower and it still has Phil Schiller introducing it (@1:43:00 from apple special event September 12, 2017).

Either Apple is bad at searching their own website or this is a clickbaity article.

Jeff Bezos Announces $2 Billion Philanthropic Effort To Help Homeless Families and Start Preschools in Low-income Communities

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Rick Schumann writes: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and his wife MacKenzie on Thursday announced a $2 billion philanthropic effort aimed at helping homeless families and starting preschools in low-income communities. Bezos, believed to be the world's richest man, with a net worth of more than $160 billion, announced the new program on Twitter. "We're excited to announce the Bezos Day One Fund," he wrote. The fund will be split between the Day 1 Families Fund, which Bezos wrote will "issue annual leadership awards to organizations and civic groups doing compassionate, needle-moving work to provide shelter and hunger support to address the immediate needs of young families." The Day 1 Academies Fund "will launch and operate a network of high-quality, full-scholarship, Montessori-inspired preschools in underserved communities," Bezos said. Bezos said that the preschools will be directly operated by the organization and "use the same set of principles that have driven Amazon." "Most important among those will be genuine, intense customer obsession," Bezos wrote. "The child will be the customer." Bezos quoted the poet William Butler Yeats: "Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire."

I Mean

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

This is great. Now other people in need can benefit from Bezos' magnanimity, just like his warehouse employees do.

He makes $260 million every day

By rsilvergun • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread
This is about 8 days pay for him. That sounds like a lot (8 days pay for me is around $1800 bucks) but if I give $1800 to charity that's a big impact on my life. When you're pulling in $260 million a day it's hardly noticeable.

I'm fed up with ultra rich trying to buy us off with token charitable donation in the hopes we don't demand they take care of their workers. He can start by paying his employees enough that they're not living in the parking lot of his warehouses (excuse me, "fullfillment centers") and they can get off food stamps. Then let's see him give enough to charity that it actually impacts his quality of life.

As it stands I feel like we're being made to go begging to the rich for the basic things needed to run a country and a society...

Livable Wages

By sdinfoserv • Score: 3 • Thread
If Bezos paid his warehouse slaves a livable wage, there would many fewer poor. But then he wouldn't be worth $163B...
Think of it this way, you could give EVERY SINGLE AMAZON employee (all 563,000) a one time bonus of $177,500, and Bezos would still be worth $63 Billion dollars.
How much does a king need?


By TFlan91 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Amazon has 566,000 employees (source).

A cynic would say that is only a one time payout of ~$3,533 per employee. A realist would understand that only the bottom rungs of the income ladder should get this money, so let's redo the math:

Amazon has "125,000 full-time hourly associates in the U.S" (source).

Now it's a one time payout of $16,000!

A "warehouse associate" earns ~$13/hr (source).

That is a staggering (/s) $27,040 per year.

Does Bezos really think that the overhead of starting, yet another, charity and its administrative costs is cheaper than just giving his lowest level employees a decent living wage?

This announcement says, yes, he does think that. But you say, that's just stupid.

So a then you would say, who benefits?

The Day 1 Academies Fund "will launch and operate a network of high-quality, full-scholarship, Montessori-inspired preschools in underserved communities," Bezos said.

Bezos said that the preschools will be directly operated by the organization and "use the same set of principles that have driven Amazon."

"Most important among those will be genuine, intense customer obsession," Bezos wrote. "The child will be the customer."


"The child will be the customer."...

In the age of DeVos, Bezos is going to open private charter schools, for the youngest among us, and run them like a business, but the difference is that the "child will be the customer".

Smell something?

Would someone learn the likes and dislikes of these children and slowly build an "anonymized" ad profile for that child, following them throughout their life span, knowing exactly what products they are likely and not likely to buy?

Now the decision to pass over that wage increase and open a "charity" makes sense.

Re:Double-edge sword

By werepants • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

The first group is not something that "the rich" can solve, and they can't really solve the second either.

That's exactly what the second group of people need. An opportunity to find work and earn a living and a place to stay while finding and applying for job positions.

Actually, "the rich" can, or at least we as a society can. Utah has had a lot of success giving the homeless exactly this - basic housing while they get back on their feet. It's cheaper, on the whole, than the police, ER, and jail costs that we would otherwise incur. It's not a silver bullet (nothing ever is) but there are meaningful policy steps that we can take to improve the situation.

US Carriers Introduce Project Verify To Replace Individual App Passwords

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Four major US carriers -- AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon -- are joining forces to launch a single sign-on service for smartphones. From a report: The service, called Project Verify, authenticates app logins so that users don't need to memorize passwords for all their apps. The companies say their solution verifies users through their phone number, phone account type, SIM card details, IP address, and account tenure. Essentially, your phone serves as the verification method with details that are hard to spoof. Users have to manually grant apps permission to use Verify, and it works similarly to how you might log into some services through Gmail or Facebook instead of using a unique account password. Of course, these apps also have to choose to work with Verify, and the program hasn't listed any partners or when it intends to launch. The service can serve as your two-factor authentication method, too, instead of an emailed or texted code that can be intercepted. Users might not be totally safe if their phone is stolen. The Verify program automatically logs users in, so long as they have access to their phone's home screen and apps. More details on Krebs on Security blog.


By the_skywise • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
I'm going to go ahead and... uh... disagree with you there...
I'll stick with my password manager thankyouverymuch.
I'm sure 5 years from now Amazon and Google will join forces to help me secure my house by "securely" storing my digitial keys to my house and only unlocking it with my phone making me oh-so-much more secure.


By PopeRatzo • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Those helpful souls at AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon don't want to see you bothered by those troublesome passwords any more, so now they'll take care of all that for you.

Aren't they nice?

Social Engineering

By Luthair • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Haven't we already discovered that SMS was an insecure 2FA method because carrier customer service can trivially be convinced to switch someone's phone number to an arbitrary SIM. Wouldn't this attacker then be able to use their phone with Verify.

SIM Locked?

By Nkwe • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
So when your SIM card changes do does it count as new identity and do you have to re-authorize applications to use the new identity? The summary lists "SIM card details" as a factor, but doesn't specify if the changing of a SIM invalidates exiting identity / registrations with applications. This is important because without it, you still have the issues of social engineering attacks where the attacker calls up the phone company and says "I have lost my phone, can you activate my replacement phone with this new SIM?", granting the attacker access to your email, text messages which also grants the attacker access to your second factor and password reset procedures.

Setting aside the scary privacy and tracking implications of a common ID baked into the phone, if the identity is locked to the SIM, it would help alleviate the social engineering attacks and make your phone a viable second factor for security operations.

Law enforcment will love this ...

By fahrbot-bot • Score: 3 • Thread
Access to your phone grants access to all your accounts. Just great.

UK's GCHQ Intelligence Agency Violated Human Rights With Its Mass Surveillance Tactics, Top European Court Rules

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
GCHQ's methods in carrying out bulk interception of online communications violated privacy and failed to provide sufficient surveillance safeguards, the European court of human rights (ECHR) has ruled in a test case judgment. From a report: But the Strasbourg court found that GCHQ's regime for sharing sensitive digital intelligence with foreign governments was not illegal. It is the first major challenge to the legality of UK intelligence agencies intercepting private communications in bulk, following Edward Snowden's whistleblowing revelations. The long-awaited ruling is one of the most comprehensive assessments by the ECHR of the legality of the interception operations operated by UK intelligence agencies. The case was brought by a coalition of 14 human rights groups, privacy organisations and journalists, including Amnesty International, Liberty, Privacy International and Big Brother Watch. In a statement, published on Amnesty's website, Lucy Claridge, Amnesty International's Strategic Litigation Director, said, today's ruling "represents a significant step forward in the protection of privacy and freedom of expression worldwide. It sends a strong message to the UK Government that its use of extensive surveillance powers is abusive and runs against the very principles that it claims to be defending." He added: This is particularly important because of the threat that Government surveillance poses to those who work in human rights and investigative journalism, people who often risk their own lives to speak out. Three years ago, this same case forced the UK Government to admit GCHQ had been spying on Amnesty -- a clear sign that our work and the people we work alongside had been put at risk. The judges considered three aspects of digital surveillance: bulk interception of communications, intelligence sharing and obtaining of communications data from communications service providers. By a majority of five to two votes, the Strasbourg judges found that GCHQ's bulk interception regime violated article 8 of the European convention on human rights, which guarantees privacy, because there were said to be insufficient safeguards, and rules governing the selection of "related communications data" were deemed to be inadequate, The Guardian newspaper reported.

Commenting on the ruling, Snowden, wrote, "For five long years, governments have denied that global mass surveillance violates of your rights. And for five long years, we have chased them through the doors of every court. Today, we won. Don't thank me: thank all of those who never stopped fighting."

Re:well after bxexit the this court ruleing will b

By close_wait • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
The ECHR is not part of the EU infrastructure, and after Brexit the UK will still come under it, unless we separately decide to quit. Brexit removes the UK from the ECJ, which is a separate beastie.

Re:That's all nice and well

By hey! • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Well, after Brexit it won't even be a symbolic win. When Britain leaves the EU, it also leaves behind the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU.

The EU is unique in the world in that an extensive array of explicitly enumerated human rights are protected constitutionally. In the US, human rights are protected by a patchwork of case law and SCOTUS ninth amendment based rulings. Example: Roe v Wade interpolates a woman's reproductive rights into the Bill of Rights. To some people this is common sense, to others it makes no sense. So the fundamental rights you enjoy as an American are subject to shifting court interpretations, which are the result of long term political campaigns to gain control of the court. The rights an American citizen enjoys, say to privacy, are a moving target, and more to the point a moveable target.

The main political force behind the Brexit movement was to escape from the restrictions of EU law, but this also includes EU human rights law which restricts the power of citizens to oppress each other, either directly or through the government. So while Brexit, does technically remove restrictions, whether your life will be more free depends on how well-placed you are.

Re:That's all nice and well

By drinkypoo • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

The win is not just "symbolic", although its benefits are limited.
Of course the court can do nothing to enforce its rulings.
BUT every time a judgment like this is handed down, one more layer of deception and hypocrisy is stripped away from those who like to claim that they operate a "democratic" government, that they "support human rights", and that they "love liberty".

That is a perfect definition of a symbolic victory.


By Martin S. • Score: 3 • Thread

... is a cornerstone of the tripartite democratic system, this judgement is a testament to strength. This would never happen in most countries, that is their weakness.

iPhoneXsMax, Now That's a Tongue Twister

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Veteran journalist Om Malik writes: iPhoneXsMax -- When I heard the name and saw it up on the stage, I shuddered. Apple's name for its newest, biggest iPhone made one [Microsoft employee] quip on Twitter: "And I thought we sucked at naming. #AppleEvent iPhone Xs Max September Refresh CTP1"

Microsoft and other technology companies were mocked by Apple veterans for their naming conventions. But now Apple is doing the same -- fighting hard to come up with names that are fighting Samsung, Huawei, and many others when it comes to being tongue twisters. It is pretty sad to see that a company that took pride in its ability to communicate clearly and succinctly about its products, the company that was able to name them with such elan and made them memorable, has come. iPhoneX(s)Max.

More important to complain about small improvement

By Camembert • Score: 3 • Thread
I find it rather petty to complain about the naming convention, Xs Plus would have been more logical to me, but Xs Max isn't really worse, just different.
The area that does disappoint me however (and I am a longtime generally happy Apple user), is that even by the incremental improvement standard set by the "s" phone releases, this one does seem a particularly timid nano-incremental improvement. Screen, camera and processing are a bit better, and I think that's about it. Nothing really fresh.
The Apple Watch v4, now that had an interesting and substantial innovation: the ECG/EKG function in a small device for general consumer use. Now that was cool and points to the future of the Apple watch becoming more and more a complete health monitor / coach.
Sadly, I didn't see anything fresh like that in the current new phones. The XR could be ok to replace my relatively old 6 Plus for price reasons, but I hope that my current phone holds out another year to see what the next generation brings.

Still better...

By SharpFang • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Still better if the manufacturer has too few words to compose names and uses them ALL. Especially when looking for the firmware for *your* model...

Sony Xperia Pro
Sony Xperia Mini
Sony Xperia Mini Pro
Sony Xperia X10 Mini
Sony Xperia X10 Pro
Sony Xperia X10 Mini Pro

Xiaomi Mi 5
Xiaomi Mi 5s
Xiaomi Mi 5s Plus
Xiaomi Mi 5X
Xiaomi Redmi 5
Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus
Xiaomi Redmi 5A
Xiaomi Note 5A
Xiaomi Redmi Note 5
Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro
Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 AI Dual Camera

Re: Stick a fork in Apple

By anegg • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
To each their own. I use my wired headphones all the time with my iPhone. Used to have a Bluetooth earpiece; switched to headphones because I prefer them. Better sound quality and no batteries to maintain. I have enough stuff to keep charged up; I need less not more. Oh... I also use the cigarette lighter in my car - to keep my freakin' phone charged up and to run my dedicated nav device (which works in places a phone-based nav doesn't). Used to use it to keep my Bluetooth earpiece charged up, but I switched to wired headphones that don't need battery maintenance. I want to simplify my life, not complicate it.


By Sloppy • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Shit, for that much money, I think I'm even entitled to some umlauts.

Why Does A Name Matter?

By WankerWeasel • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
I find myself saying the name of my phone a whole zero times daily. I'm far more concerned about things like the actual functionality of a phone than the name. If it does what I need it to do, they can name it whatever they like and it really doesn't matter one bit to me.

China Now the Most Prolific Contributor To Physical Sciences, Engineering, and Math

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Bloomberg: Thirty years ago in December, the modern exchange of scholars between the U.S. and China began. Since then, Chinese academics have become the most prolific global contributors to publications in physical sciences, engineering and math. Recent attempts by the U.S. to curtail academic collaboration are unlikely to change this trend. Qingnan Xie of Nanjing University of Science & Technology and Richard Freeman of Harvard University have studied China's contribution to global scientific output. They document a rapid expansion between 2000 and 2016, as the Chinese share of global publications in physical sciences, engineering and math quadrupled. By 2016, the Chinese share exceeded that of the U.S. Furthermore, the authors argue that these metrics -- which are based on the addresses of the authors -- understate China's impact. The data don't count papers written by Chinese researchers located in other countries with addresses outside China and exclude most papers written in Chinese publications. The researchers adjusted for both factors and conclude that Chinese academics now account for more than one-third of global publications in these scientific fields.

Re:Inevitable, really

By Archtech • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

I wonder how many contributors to this thread are aware that, until the 19th century, China and India were far and away the world's dominant economic powers?


By Anonymous Coward • Score: 4, Informative • Thread


By Mashiki • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

So where's it say that some form of religion is mandated by the state in the US? Right. Canada has a heavier influence of religion on it's state then the US, to the point that Catholics were guaranteed protected rights, including a fully functional and separate education system funded by general revenue taxes. And *is* mandated by the state and constitutional law that it must exist.

Re:But is it useful?

By hey! • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

We won't know and we can't know... yet. What really measure the impact of a paper's contribution is its citations. Check back in 5 years and rank countries by citations and you'll have a better idea.

Going by raw output volume, it shouldn't be surprising if China surpasses the US. Nearly one person in five alive lives in China. If you rank the top ten countries by science and tech research papers, it goes (or rather, went) US, China, Japan, Germany, UK, India, France, Italy, Korea, Canada. But if you rank those countries by per capita output, you get Canada, UK, US, Germany, France, Korea, Italy, China, India.

On a per capita basis, UK and Canada are very similar, as are the US, Germany, France, Korea, and Italy. China follows far behind that group, and India trails far behind China. That may be because many Indian scholars emigrate overseas, especially to the US. Similarly the US ranking is probably inflated by the large number of immigrant researchers here. As the US becomes less friendly to foreign students and researchers, we can expect our research output to fall both in quality and quantity.

US team wins First Place in Math Olympics

By mi • Score: 3 • Thread

America's top "mathletes" have won the first place once again this year in the international Math Olympiad.

The team's group picture, however, is as racist as it gets...

Apple Moves the iPhone Away From Physical SIMs

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
The new iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max will use eSIM technology to allow users to use two phone lines on a single device. You could have a work or personal number, or an American and Canadian number if you travel across the border frequently. The reprogrammable SIM card is "soldered onto the iPhone's motherboard directly," and measures just 6 millimeters by 5 millimeters," reports Ars Technica, citing From the report: These handsets will have a new "dual SIM dual standby" option, one of which will be a nano SIM. In other words, they will have two distinct phone numbers. (Chinese models will have two SIM slots instead of the eSIM option.) Since their debut in 1991, traditional, physical SIM cards have decreased dramatically in size. eSIMs have already been around for nearly a year, since they were introduced into the Apple Watch and Google Pixel 2, among other devices.

Re:And what if I need to change my number abroad?

By MachineShedFred • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

If your iPhone is carrier unlocked, you just eject the SIM and put in a new one. It sees that it was ejected and gives you a message saying there is no SIM present, and then when it sees the new one it attempts to activate.

Just like literally any other GSM phone ever. And this functionality has been in every single iPhone going back to the original HSPA+ 4GB model.

Re:And what if I need to change my number abroad?

By xjerky • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
Same here. I used my unlocked iPhone SE on T-Mobile for 18 months, then joined my gf's Verizon plan. All that was needed was a Sim pop. Not even a reboot. I'll say that for visual voicemail to work again, Verizon had do something. Didn't need to hook it up to a PC , though.

Re:And what if I need to change my number abroad?

By registrations_suck • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Why? I don't ask that in a condescending manner, I genuinely want to know.

So that I can have my work # and data plan in the same phone as my personal # and data plan, instead of carrying around two phones.

Yes - you can play games with forwarding and Google voice and whatever else - not nearly the same.

Re:And what if I need to change my number abroad?

By rickb928 • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

" Even an unlocked phone, you can't take out an AT&T card and swap in a Sprint card and just turn it back on and have it work"

Wrong. I'll assume you're not deliberately lying.

When my M8 finally started failing I got an Amazon BLU R1HD, and it was adequate. It was unlocked.

I dropped my T-Mobile SIM in it, no problems. Later, I got a FreedomPOP SIM for my daughter, and worked with it for a week to understand what it would do. I dropped it into the BLU, it worked, NO PROBLEM.

How do you suppose people, as they discuss earlier in this thread, swap out their US SIM for a 'foreign SIM' when travelling, if their unlocked phone was still locked to the carrier?

You, my friend, have conflated locked/unlocked with carrier compatibility. Unless it's LTE, or includes an essentially universal radio, a Sprint phone is physically incompatible with AT&T and AT&T phones similarly. Until LTE permitted a more or less universally compatible voice/data networking scheme, AT&T, using GSM, was incompatible with Sprint, using any of the various flavors of CDMA. Verizon v. AT&T also, and T-Mobile using GSM similarly compatible with AT&T but not Verizon/Sprint, though AT&T and TMO both played games with software to annoy customers back when carriers thought phone lock-in was a thing, though back then 'unlocked' was a fever dream travelling subscribers suffered from in their first-class seats. This all goes back to the old wireline v. non-wireline, or Cell A v. Cell B of NAMPS and then TDMA/CDMA. For a little while I had a Siemens S46 demon phone from hell, that tried to straddle TDMA and GSM, with marginal success. LTE today can permit phones to work on any network, but only in LTE modes, if it's all correct.

It wasn't the lock/unlock status that prevented you from using an AT&T phone on Sprint's network, it was the actual network. And ti need nto happend with a recently manufactured phone.

We'll leave the whole Sprint/Motorola/Nextel/iDEN fiasco on the floor where it belongs.

Re:And what if I need to change my number abroad?

By Viol8 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Meanwhile other manufacturers solve that problem by providing 2 SIM slots.

Boring Company Approved To Build Futuristic Garage That Would Connect To Underground Commuter Tunnel

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
On Tuesday night, the Hawthorne City Council gave Elon Musk's Boring Company the green light to build a prototype for a new garage that would connect passenger cars to the entrepreneur's envisioned underground hyperloop. The Mercury News reports: Musk's Boring Company recently bought a private residence abutting the one-mile underground tunnel it already built beneath 120th Street between Hawthorne Boulevard and Prairie Avenue near SpaceX. The garage at the residence would connect to the tunnel. But as part of its approval, the company agreed not to open the test elevator to the public or to have cars move in and out of the garage from the street. Cars would enter the tunnel from the SpaceX campus, move through the tunnel and on to the garage and then back to SpaceX, so the test process would not create additional traffic on the street. The company wants to show that it can utilize an elevator and short tunnel spur for developing a high-speed underground public transportation system. It plans to rent the house as well.

As sketched out in public documents, a car would drive onto a "skate" that connects to a hyperloop track, such as the ones being developed by two private companies and recently featured in the collegiate Hyperloop Competition at SpaceX. The company also on Tuesday earned approval for a separate short spur from its existing tunnel in order to remove a boring machine that it first intended to leave in the ground. Originally, the company planned to bore a two-mile length of tunnel, but as company representative Jane Labanowski explained to the City Council, they identified an opportunity to remove its expensive cutter head. So, it now plans to reduce the tunnel length to just one mile and extricate it from another piece of property the company recently purchased.

Re:Hopefully soon, more info about this aspect

By Rei • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Indeed - "feeder tunnels" and onramps/offramps are an explicit part of their plan. That's a relatively straightforward part - just more boring, at depth. It's the vertical access shafts that they've not talked much about, and which seem to be the trickiest part. So here's to hoping for more info about their approach here.

How 'bout that hyperloop

By guruevi • Score: 3 • Thread

By now we should've had a fully working 100 mile prototype, all we have is a 1/10 scale model that runs a few hundred feet and takes hours and hours to start.

I think Elon is 'quietly' retiring the failed enterprise.

Re:Passenger cars in a hyperloop tunnel?

By Rei • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

OMG, a car caught fire - quick, get breathless overcoverage of it! Wait, you already did? Good!

There's one car fire in the US for every 20 million miles driven and one fatality per 85 million miles.

Teslas have been driven 9 billion miles. This should correspond to 450 fires and 106 deaths.

Where are they?

Concerning fires, here's a list of Tesla fires between 1 January 2013 and 11 March 2018, which is the vast majority of Tesla miles. The total count? 14. Vs. an expected 450.

Concerning fatalities, three months ago an anti-Tesla Twitter account added up the number of deaths in Teslas and arrived at 34. Note that many of these occurred in other countries like China that have a much higher road fatality rate than the US. It's still a third of the expected number for US-only driving of that many miles.

Let's look at the newest Teslas, shall we - the Model 3? So far there have been no fatalities and no reports of fires in customer cars (there was one Model 3 found up for scrap that had been gutted by fire, but it was "Location: Fremont" with 1 mile on the odometer, so clearly something that happened at the factory. Also, the fire damage was heaviest on the bumper, where it had melted the alumium - but hadn't managed to do so over the pack itself. So it's not clear that a battery fire was actually involved). But how many miles have been driven for this rate of "0/1 fires and 0 deaths"?

Lacking specific numbers, the best we can do is estimate. The average driver drives around 12k miles per year. Owners of new cars put significantly more miles on them during their first year, and particularly first few months because - obviously - it's a new car that they bought because they wanted to drive it. Bloomberg says there were around 25k made in the past month (0-1m ago), 19k in the previous month (1-2m ago), then 13,5k (2-3m ago), then 9k (3-4m ago), the 9k (4-5m ago), then 6,5k (5-6m ago), and 9k earlier than that. So around 19k*(30k/12)*0,5 + 13,5k*(30k/12)*1,5 + 9k*(26k/12)*2,5 + 9k*(23k/12)*3,5 + 6,5k*(21k/12)*4,5 + 9k*(18k/12)*6 = ~315M miles. Meaning if they were gasoline cars we should expect 16 fires and 3 1/2 deaths. Where are they?

Re:Passenger cars in a hyperloop tunnel?

By Rei • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

I mean, I assume you're equally diligent about reporting fires in gasoline cars, right? I totally remember your coverage of, say, the million BMWs that were recalled in 2017 due to over 40 parked cars - not cars involved in accidents, but parked cars - spontaneously bursting into flames, right? That's just up to 2017. And they keep getting more fires and keep issuing more recalls this year. The BMW fires have been particularly prolific in South Korea, where 11 burst into flames in July alone.

Want something more recent? Just seven days ago, Ford recalled two million trucks due to fire risks. GM's last major fire-related recall was a couple years, their *third attempt* to fix a problem that was causing cars - often ones that were parked - to burst into flames. Also seven days ago a million Priuses were recalled due to a fire risk in the wiring harness. Need I keep going? Remember here that we're not talking about fires in these cars from crashes - we're talking only the subset of fires that occur during normal use. Fires in gasoline cars during crashes are effectively a problem flagged "WONTFIX" by the NHTSA.

Re:Hopefully soon, more info about this aspect

By mlyle • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Assuming uniform loading for capacity factors is erroneous. People take more trips at 8AM than at 3AM or 2PM. Adding more station density out at the edges of San Jose doesn't help capacity in the downtown at rush, too.