Alterslash

the unofficial Slashdot digest for 2018-Oct-10 today archive

Contents

  1. Newly Discovered Volcanic 'Lost World' Is a Haven For Marine Life
  2. Google Home Hub Is Nothing Like Other Google Smart Displays
  3. Microsoft Passes Acer To Become Top 5 PC Vendors In the US
  4. Magic Leap Expands Shipments of Its AR Headset To 48 US States
  5. Amazon Is Raising Some Workers' Pay Further, Adding Bonuses After Controversy
  6. Automated Warehouse In Tokyo Managed To Replace 90 Percent of Its Staff With Robots
  7. James Murdoch In Line To Replace Musk As Tesla Chairman, Says Report [Update]
  8. The Breach That Killed Google+ Wasn't a Breach At All
  9. Mozilla Challenges Educators To Integrate Ethics Into STEM
  10. WhatsApp Fixes Bug That Let Hackers Take Over App When Answering a Video Call
  11. Apple Plans To Give Away Original Content For Free To Device Owners as Part of New Digital TV Strategy, Report Says
  12. FBI Director on Whether Apple and Amazon Servers Had Chinese Spy Chips: 'Be Careful What You Read'
  13. State Attorneys Urge FCC To Combat Neighborhood Spoofing
  14. Apple Said To Have 'Dramatically Reduced' Multi-Billion-Dollar iPhone Repair Fraud in China
  15. BBC Had To Replace Live Broadcasts With Recorded Material on its TV News Channels For an Hour Today Because of a Technical Glitch
  16. More Than One Third of Music Consumers Still Pirate Music
  17. Amazon Scraps Secret AI Recruiting Tool That Showed Bias Against Women
  18. Amazon Patents New Alexa Feature That Knows When You're ill and Offers To Sell You Medicine
  19. New App Lets You 'Sue Anyone By Pressing a Button'
  20. Microsoft Joins Open Invention Network (OIN), Will Grant a Royalty-Free and Unrestricted License To Its Entire Patent Portfolio To All Other OIN Members
  21. Android Creator Is Building an AI Phone That Texts People for You, Report Says
  22. Google Appeals $5 Billion EU Fine In Android Case
  23. There Could Be Massive Shards of Ice Sticking Out of Jupiter's Moon Europa
  24. Internet Archive Launches a Commodore 64 Emulator

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

Newly Discovered Volcanic 'Lost World' Is a Haven For Marine Life

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Gizmodo: Australian scientists have discovered a previously unknown chain of volcanic seamounts near Tasmania. The area appears to be brimming with marine life, including a surprising number of whales who may be using the undersea volcanoes as a navigational tool. The volcanic chain was discovered by scientists from the Australian National University and CSIRO, Australia's national science agency, while on a 25-day mission aboard the research vessel Investigator to conduct detailed seafloor maps of the region. The undersea volcanoes are about 250 miles (400 kilometers) east of Tasmania, and they're quite deep.

The tallest of the seamounts extends 3,000 meters (9,800 feet) from the seafloor, so they're not tiny. It's hard to believe that something so large has gone undetected for so long, but our oceans are notoriously understudied. A mere 20 percent of Earth's oceans has been explored, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. [T]he seamounts appeared to serve as a kind of mid-ocean oasis for a host of marine organisms. In addition to finding copious amounts of plankton in the area, the researchers observed various seabirds and a surprising number of whales. The volcanic seamounts, the researchers say, are likely important stopping points for migratory animals, particularly whales, who rely on seafloor structures for navigation. The volcanoes are likely serving as important signposts as the whales travel from their winter breeding areas to summer feeding grounds, the researchers say.

Not really new...

By willy_me • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
The military will have already mapped this out. They need it mapped for sub navigation and underwater warfare. Thing is, these maps are considered secret so there is no sharing with the scientific community.

Re:Japanese Harpoon boats en-route to "study"

By BlueStrat • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Hopefully the Australian Navy protects this whale sanctuary from Japanese Whalers

Those Japanese whaling vessels might run into something they don't expect.

If you're a 35-ton Megalodon trying to stave off final extinction a little longer, where are you going to hang out? Any damned place you please, right? And why not hang out in an extremely deep, giant underwater bubble of warm-water paradise, filled with food and far from humans? Any smart Megalodon would be there, right?

That's why it should be christened the "Megalodonian Seamount"!

Tune in this time next week for the exciting conclusion titled "That Really Bites!" or "Honey, Did You Chum The Fish? Honey? Honey?"

Strat

Re:Not really new...

By nojayuk • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

I bet they have mapped out portions of the ocean, but it is portions of the ocean where the subs want to hide.

They map everywhere underwater on the off-chance that a blue-water sub could end up in that region sometime in the future. The idea is not to hide the sub among sea-bottom features but to allow the sonar operators to figure out exactly where the sub is by comparing what's below the sub to the maps without coming to the surface to get a GPS lock. Inertial navigation systems lose accuracy over time, the sea bottom shapes don't change quickly.

Google Home Hub Is Nothing Like Other Google Smart Displays

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
On Tuesday, Google announced the Google Home Hub, a 7-inch display that gives you visual information, making it easier to control smart home appliances and view photos and the weather. The unusual thing about it is that it doesn't run the smart display software that it introduced for third-party OEMs. Ars Technica explains: First, let's talk about what the third-party smart displays run. When Google created its smart display software, it also came up with a turnkey solution for OEMs. So far, we've seen Lenovo, LG, and Samsung's JBL all produce devices on the same basic platform. Just like with smartphones, these devices are all an extension of the Android/Qualcomm partnership -- they run Android Things on Qualcomm's SD624 Home Hub Platform. Android Things is Google's stripped-down version of Android that is purpose-built for IoT products, and the third-party smart displays are the first commercial devices to run the OS.

Unlike regular phone Android, Android Things is not customizable by third-parties. All Android Things devices use an OS image direct from Google, and Google centrally distributes updates to all Android Things devices for three years. Android Things doesn't really have an interface. It's designed to get a device up and running and show a single app, which on the smart displays is the Google Smart Display app. Qualcomm's "Home Hub" platform was purposely built to run Android Things and this Google Assistant software -- the SD624 is for smart displays, while the less powerful SDA212 is for speakers. When it came time to build the Google Home Hub, Google didn't use any of this.
After talking to Google's VP of product management, Diya Jolly, Ars Technica's Ron Amadeo discovered that the Home Hub is actually built on Google's Cast platform and uses an Amlogic chip instead of Qualcomm's SD624 Home Hub Platform.

When asked why Google was using a totally different platform from the third parties, Jolly told Amadeo, "There's no particular reason. We just felt we could bring the experience to bear with Cast, and the experiences are the same. We would have easily given the third-parties Cast if they wanted it, but I think most developers are comfortable using Android Things." Amadeo seems to think it has to do with the low price, as it undercuts the cheapest third-party Google smart display (Lenovo's 8-inch model) by fifty bucks.

Whats next?

By 110010001000 • Score: 3 • Thread
The next thing you will tell me is that Microsoft doesn't run Windows on their servers.

The lack of camera is annoying

By DigitAl56K • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

What I find really annoying about the Home Hub is the lack of a camera. It's a device that begs to be sued for video calls but can't be.

They say they did this for privacy reasons, but it's nothing a flip or slide cover wouldn't have solved equally well.

So many of Google's design decisions just leave you thinking, "ugh... why?!?" these days.

What a bad deal

By ptaff • Score: 3 • Thread

Android Things is not customizable by third-parties. All Android Things devices use an OS image direct from Google, and Google centrally distributes updates to all Android Things devices

In other words, Google will ship an always-online device that has a microphone, over which the user has no control, in exchange for $150.

Along with Echo, HomePod and other surveillance devices, I just can't wrap my head around the idea that some people want to be enslaved so bad they're ready to shell out money for it.

Will Android Things get updates?

By mrwireless • Score: 3 • Thread
The rule in my home is that I don't allow smart devices that
- Use wifi to communicate
- Connect to the same network as my laptop
- Connect to the 'cloud' (especially if this is the only way)

It's just too big of a security and privacy risk.

In fact, I'm currently working on a smart home system that is completely air-gapped. All the 'smart' devices form a separate network which is not connected to the internet. Wifi is used, but only to set it up and to connect a dedicated tablet to the controller in order to change settings or look at datavisualisations. The rest of the connections between devices use other standards.

Outside control is done via SMS, where only pre-defined phonenumbers can send commands (and the same modem provides the time).

Microsoft Passes Acer To Become Top 5 PC Vendors In the US

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
During the 3rd Quarter of 2018, Microsoft reportedly broke into the top five list of PC vendors in the U.S. for the first time, thanks to its line of Surface computers, laptops, and tablets. VentureBeat reports: Q3 2018 was flat; it did not continue the growth we saw in the previous quarter. Gartner estimates that worldwide PC shipments increased 0.1 percent to 67.2 million units while IDC counts a 0.9 percent decline to 67.4 million units. Gartner's top five vendors were Lenovo, HP, Dell, Apple, and Acer (in that order) while IDC's were Lenovo, HP, Dell, Acer, and Apple (also in that order). But Gartner also provides a U.S. breakdown every quarter, and Q3 2018 was the first time that Microsoft made an appearance, displacing Acer.

Microsoft is still a far cry from the other players in the top 5, and its shipments were in fact only up slightly by 11,000 units, gaining just 0.1 percentage points (to 4.1 percent market share). Still, Dell and Apple were down, and the overall U.S. market was flat (down some 50,000 units) in Q3 2018, so in that context, Surface sales are doing just fine.

Of course

By DontBeAMoran • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

I don't know about the others, but if you follow Apple's hardware releases, there is a simple reason their sales are down.

- Four years since they barely updated the MacBook Air. Very old tech at today's prices. A minuscule CPU speed bump does not equal an update.

- Four years since they updated the Mac mini. Very old tech at today's prices. Can't even upgrade the RAM anymore. A downgrade from the 2012 models, so six years since the last real update.

- Three updates to a useless no-travel low profile keyboard that nobody asked for. This is the primary input method for a laptop and it got butchered because their industrial designer wanted to make the laptop one millimetre thinner. Also, they removed the function keys including the escape key for a stupid and expensive touch bar that, again, nobody asked for.

- Mac Pro trash that nobody asked for. Real pros are asking Apple to bring back the tower Mac Pro, we'll see in a few months if Apple really ditched pros to sell toy phones and tablets instead.

- Expensive Macbook that doesn't have enough ports to be of any use, ditched USB type A ports about five years too early. Very expensive for a low-power CPU.

After all that bullshit, I hope nobody at Apple is questioning why Mac sales are down.

I'm considering a Surface Laptop

By Hrrrg • Score: 3 • Thread

I'm considering buying a Surface Laptop, but I'm reluctant because they are full of glue and irreparable. (Per ifixit.com "The Surface Laptop is not a laptop. It’s a glue-filled monstrosity. There is nothing about it that is upgradable or long-lasting, and it literally can’t be opened without destroying it.")

My current laptop is 8 years old and runs well - i would expect my new laptop to be in use for a similar length of time... The reason I'm considering the surface laptop is they have a taller screen - their screen ratio is 3:2 rather than 16:9 that everyone else (except Apple) uses.

So I am torn... If I buy one, i will need to also buy an extended warranty of at least 4 years...

Re:Shipments

By arglebargle_xiv • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
As people have been pointing out since the Microsoft Mouse, MS do pretty good hardware. If only they'd stick to that, their strong point, rather than trying to do software as well, which they really aren't that good at.

Magic Leap Expands Shipments of Its AR Headset To 48 US States

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
At the company's first developer conference, Magic Leap announced they are opening orders of the Magic Leap One Creator's Edition headset to the 48 contiguous states of the USA. If you're in Hawaii or Alaska, no dice. TechCrunch reports: Previously, you had to be in Chicago, LA, Miami, NYC, San Francisco or Seattle in order to get your hands on it. Also, if you had previously ordered the headset in one of those cities, someone would come to you, drop it off and get you set up personally. That service is expanding to 50 cities, but you also don't need to have someone set it up for you in order to buy one now. It's worth reiterating that this thing costs $2,295. The company is doing a financing plan with Affirm so that interested buyers can spread the cost of the device over 24 months.

Amazon Is Raising Some Workers' Pay Further, Adding Bonuses After Controversy

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Bloomberg: Amazon is sweetening the pay for some of its longtime warehouse workers after employees criticized the loss of bonuses and stock awards as part of the company's pledge to boost all wages to at least $15 an hour. The world's largest online retailer grabbed headlines last week with its minimum-pay pledge -- followed by concerns from veteran workers who feared their compensation would actually decline because the company also eliminated bonuses and stock awards. Amazon said any workers already earning $15 would get raises of $1 per hour. Now, some of those employees are learning their hourly raises will actually be $1.25 an hour. Additionally, Amazon is introducing a new cash bonus of $1,500 to $3,000 for tenure milestones at five, 10, 15 and 20 years. Workers with good attendance in the month of December will also get a $100 bonus, according to the company. "All hourly Operations and Customer Service employees will see an increase in their total compensation as a result of this announcement," Amazon said in a statement. "The significant increase in hourly cash wages effective Nov. 1 more than compensates for the phase out of incentive pay and future (stock) grants."

Re:$3k !!!!!

By skam240 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

"This just shows the problem with creating a really high minimum wage. Everyone who was already making that amount will want a raise, too."

It's only a problem in the immediate context and really it's only a problem because clearly employees were being under paid, thus Amazon's raising their internal minimum wage. If employees were paid properly so this sudden adjustment didn't need to be made this wouldn't be a problem.

"I hope Amazon loves the results of their social experiment. It will only prove to them how over-employed they are and push for even more automation, like the Japanese warehouse that cut its employees by 90% after automating."

Of course Amazon's big problem right now is a labor shortage due to low unemployment. Make no mistake, this wage change has absolutely nothing to do with altruism, it has everything to do with making themselves competitive at their lowest levels with McDonald's.

That's not really a problem

By rsilvergun • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
it's a tactic management has used for decades to excuse poor pay. You keep a few better paid employees because it keeps everybody from organizing and demanding better pay. I saw this in the call centers in the late 90s/early 00s. Management would tell the existing employees how lucky they were because they started at $10/hr when the new guys started at $7. Nevermind that $10/hr wasn't enough to get by even back then.

Also before everyone piles in with the old "if you raise wages prices go up" nonsense, if that were true humanity could never progress as a species. We'd still be subsistence farmers and the big mac index wouldn't be a thing. Prices go up slower than wages when productivity goes up faster than wages. And productivity has been raising pretty much non stop if you focus on raw output (yes, an increasing number of low wage service employees replacing high paying manufacturing jobs means that measured productivity growth across the entire economy is flat, but we're still making more real goods with less people, see here).

Basically so long as you're making more stuff with less or even the same people you can raise wages without price inflation, because that's real wage growth. e.g. there's more stuff for everybody. Well, not since 2008 though. Since 2008 the more stuff part of the equation has gone to the top 1%....

Re:Clear solution

By saloomy • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Your sig says "debt is slavery". Are you suggesting those that accumulated debt are putting people into slavery? No one asked them to sign up for credit cards, car loans, home loans, or anything else. Slavery means "without consent". When you apply, sign, and shop, you consented.

Re:$1.25/hr raise!

By cyn1c77 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Oh hold me back! /s

That's an 8% raise for someone earning $15 an hour. Would you not like an 8% raise?

This is like...

By ytene • Score: 3 • Thread
... "Congratulations, peons!!! Your terms and conditions have just been upgraded from abject slavery to indentured servitude!"

Automated Warehouse In Tokyo Managed To Replace 90 Percent of Its Staff With Robots

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Japanese retailer Uniqlo in Tokyo's Ariake district has managed to cut 90% of its staff and replace them with robots that are capable of inspecting and sorting the clothing housed there. The automation also allows them to operate 24 hours a day. Quartz reports: The company recently remodeled the existing warehouse with an automated system created in partnership with Daifuku, a provider of material handling systems. Now that the system is running, the company revealed during a walkthrough of the new facility, Uniqlo has been able to cut staff at the warehouse by 90%. The Japan News described how the automation works: "The robotic system is designed to transfer products delivered to the warehouse by truck, read electronic tags attached to the products and confirm their stock numbers and other information. When shipping, the system wraps products placed on a conveyor belt in cardboard and attaches labels to them. Only a small portion of work at the warehouse needs to be done by employees, the company said."

The Tokyo warehouse is just a first step in a larger plan for Uniqlo's parent company, Fast Retailing. It has announced a strategic partnership with Daifuku with the goal of automating all Fast Retailing's brand warehouses in Japan and overseas. Uniqlo plans to invest 100 billion yen (about $887 million) in the project over an unspecified timeframe. (The Japan News reported that it costs about 1 billion to 10 billion yen to automate an existing warehouse.) Uniqlo believes the system will help it minimize storage costs and, importantly, deliver products faster around the world. The company has set a target of 3 trillion yen (about $26.6 billion) in annual revenue. Last year its revenue was about 1.86 trillion yen (pdf).

Re:Should we celebrate? Yes!

By crow • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Japan has chronic labor shortages due to low birth rates, high longevity, and strict immigration. The latest unemployment is 2.5%. Anything that frees up people to do other things in Japan is good for them.

Christmas rush 2019

By shayd2 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Will Amazon have this in place for next year's Christmas season?

Will Walmart have this in place for Summer 2019?

Will there be any (starter) job that is safe ?

Re: Should we celebrate? Yes!

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

When economic and cultural conditions destroy the incentives to have kids, and create incentives to avoid having kids, can we really say it is "their fault" for not having kids?

Who is at fault for making it so hard to make ends meet that people can't afford to have kids? Or for making the courtship process a legal minefield? Or for socially engineering people to to have completely ridiculous expectations?

Re: Should we celebrate? Yes!

By Kiuas • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Or for socially engineering people to to have completely ridiculous expectations?

Modern Japanese culture is a weird mix of ancient tradition and rapid post-world western influences. They work-culture westernized fast after the war, and since hard work has always been appreciated, Japan's economy boomed as people dedicated their time and careers to companies, working long days with little to no vacation time.

Westerners don't often understand the kind of pressure this puts on the workers. They're still heavily career-oriented: you're not expected to go 'shopping around' for a job that you find suitable, you're expected to pick a company once you graduate and then dedicate yourself and your career to that company. Due to age old concepts of honor, resigning from a position is seen as disgraceful, it's a sign of personal failure, and stain on your reputation. Same actually goes for firing people. Weirdly enough, many Japanese companies don't want to fire people unless they absolutely have to, as that reflects badly on the company, so instead they often just move the person or persons to do something trivial, in the hopes that they'd one day resign themselves and take the shame off the company. But since this doesn't often happen, you've got people showing up to work in many large companies doing tasks they really don't want or need to be doing, but they keep doing it,

The same attitude largely permeates the entire Japanese society. Their legal system is (in)famous for having an over 99 % conviction rate. That's right, if your case ends up in court you're going to be found guilty with 99 % certainty. This is because the prosecutors abhoar the idea of defeat (again, dishonorable) so only cases where the evidence is extremely strong will even be taken up by the prosecutors. This also means that a lot of the crime that happens goes unsolved because neither the investigators nor the prosecutors want to take up cases that will end up in failures, thus tarnishing their reputation and honor.

And the same is true ont he social side of things. Something like a third of the Japanese under 30 are virgins. It's not because they don't have sexual drives (anyone who knows anything about the Japanese porn industry will know this) but because again, ancient traditions combined with the insane expectations of the work-life (company first, always company first) and little spare time has created a situation in which the Japanese don't have a dating culture. It's not really a custom for people to go out on a lot of dates to try and find a suitable partner, because again, going through several different partners without marrying them and settling down is a shameful thing. You're expected to pick a partner, marry them and setup a family. This creates immense social pressure, and many people simply opt to stay single because they lack the skills and the mechanisms to choose a partner, especially since the social norms in Japan are such that approaching a random stranger say at a bar for example is extremely unlikely to happen.

These are all generalizations obviously, I am not Japanese nor have I been there but I know people who've worked and lived there. Obviously not everyone conforms to the aforementioned ideals, but the general point I'm trying to make is that Japan, defeated by the US suffered a massive national disgrace, to which they responded by embracing the ideals of their victors with zeal and dedication of Bushido, and that has created a very prosperous economy with a high-standard of living, but it's come at the cost of the social lives and mental well-being of its inhabitants. Economies can change and adapt fast, but cultural conditioning set forth by thousands of years of customs and history doesn't.

All that matters is having single-minded purpose ( ichinen), in the here and now. Life is an ongoing succession of ‘one will’ at a time, each and every moment. A man who realizes this truth need not hurry to do, or seek, anything else

Re:Should we celebrate?

By Nidi62 • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

ShanghaiBill in Tokyo? Whaaaat?

He used to have a lower UID back when he was TokyoBill but sadly his work transferred him.

James Murdoch In Line To Replace Musk As Tesla Chairman, Says Report [Update]

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
21st Century Fox CEO James Murdoch is the lead candidate to replace Elon Musk as Tesla chairman, the Financial Times reported today. The company has until November 13 to appoint an independent chairman of the board, part of settlements reached last month between Tesla, Musk and U.S. regulators in the wake of Musk tweeting in August that he had secured funding to take the company private. Reuters reports: The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which said the statement was fraudulent, allowed the billionaire to retain his role as CEO while stripping him of his chairmanship and imposing a penalty of $20 million on each party. Murdoch, who is a nonexecutive director of Tesla, has signaled he wants the job, the report said. The son of Fox mogul Rupert Murdoch, he joined Tesla's board in July 2017 after years of work with media companies. He has no experience in manufacturing and has never led a company that makes cars or electric vehicles.

Murdoch currently serves on the boards of 21st Century Fox and News Corp. He stepped down from the board of Sky Plc on Tuesday following the completion of Comcast Corp's takeover of the broadcaster. Glass Lewis research director Courteney Keatinge said in a telephone interview on Wednesday that while Murdoch's departure from Sky could alleviate some concerns, the Tesla chairmanship would still require a big time commitment as the company faces pressures on many fronts.
Update: In a tweet late Wednesday, Musk said Financial Times' report was inaccurate.

Why do they think that

By mark-t • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

... Musk supposedly commited fraud. As far as I can understand he said one day that he had secured funding to make the company private. This spooked a lot of people, but there's no indication he was trying to lie about it.

Then, by my understanding, a whole shitpile of people basically begged him not to go through with it because it would be catatsrophically stupid.

In the aftermath of that social onslaught, Musk apparently had some sense knocked into him and so he announced he would not be making Tesla private This doesn't mean he necessarily ever lied, but had definitely spoken far too hastily, because it was not something that had apparently thought through.

But again.... how is any of this fraud?

Stupid as shit, sure.... and it's only fair there should be consequences for that, but fraud?

Fraud requires an intent, or at least a probable intent, to deceive, and I just didn't see that coming from him on this point. He had no incentive to deceive anyone about taking Tesla private... he had his reasons, and presumably they weren't good enough in the big picture to justify actually doing that. That just means he made a mistake, it doesn't mean he lied about it.

Again though, mistakes can reasonably have consequences, but hanging the term "fraud" on it is, I think, a pretty gross mischaracterization of what actually occurred.

Re:Why do they think that

By mspohr • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

He said he was "considering" taking the company private, "funding secured", "all that is needed is shareholder approval".
Shareholders told him they didn't approve so he dropped the plan before it even got to a vote.
The only uncertainty was the "funding secured" part. Depends on your definition of "secured". Supposedly the Saudis have been hounding him to buy the company for a few years. People assume the funding was from the Saudis and they have the money.

Re:Well, there goes Tesla

By DanDD • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

yes, the current state of affairs is re-volting, I am not amped about this. The potential for failure is high.

Re:RIP Tesla.

By Rei • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Musk has tweeted that the article is incorrect. Good. James Murdoch tries to paint himself as the "renegade son" who rejects his father's philosophy, while actually sharing a large chunk of it, and engaging in just as scummy tactics (see the BBC phone hacking scandal.... the resulting investigation of which basically declared James as unfit to manage a corporate board).

Re:Why do they think that

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

Even if the Saudi Sovereign Wealth Fund did tell Musk they wanted to buy, do you think they offered 420? Because otherwise it's like if Bill Gates keeps asking to buy my house. I cannot say "I have a solid deal to sell my house for a billion dollars." Him wanting to buy it and having that much money does not mean he wants to buy it at that price

Depends on your definition of "secured".

It's not a linguistic argument. When you claim funding is secured, and you are talking about a financial transaction, you are making a very specific claim. If it had been secured, Musk would have sat with the SEC in a room, showed them the documentation, and been done. He wouldn't have taken a plea for no reason.

The Breach That Killed Google+ Wasn't a Breach At All

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Verge: For months, Google has been trying to stay out of the way of the growing tech backlash, but yesterday, the dam finally broke with news of a bug in the rarely used Google+ network that exposed private information for as many as 500,000 users. Google found and fixed the bug back in March, around the same time the Cambridge Analytica story was heating up in earnest. [...] The vulnerability itself seems to have been relatively small in scope. The heart of the problem was a specific developer API that could be used to see non-public information. But crucially, there's no evidence that it actually was used to see private data, and given the thin user base, it's not clear how much non-public data there really was to see. The API was theoretically accessible to anyone who asked, but only 432 people actually applied for access (again, it's Google+), so it's plausible that none of them ever thought of using it this way.

The bigger problem for Google isn't the crime, but the cover-up. The vulnerability was fixed in March, but Google didn't come clean until seven months later when The Wall Street Journal got hold of some of the memos discussing the bug. [...] Part of the disconnect comes from the fact that, legally, Google is in the clear. There are lots of laws about reporting breaches -- primarily the GDPR but also a string of state-level bills -- but by that standard, what happened to Google+ wasn't technically a breach. Those laws are concerned with unauthorized access to user information, codifying the basic idea that if someone steals your credit card or phone number, you have a right to know about it. But Google just found that data was available to developers, not that any data was actually taken. With no clear data stolen, Google had no legal reporting requirements. As far as the lawyers were concerned, it wasn't a breach, and quietly fixing the problem was good enough.

Really?

By Chris Katko • Score: 3 • Thread

The company that thinks it's okay to censor US citizens, and now Chinese citizens, build weapons for the US government, track every citizen on the planet, also has no problem covering up leaks of... tracking every citizen on the planet?

Tim "Don't-be-Evil is was the stupidest rule ever." Cook

Color me surprised.

This is some mighty fine concern trolling

By rsilvergun • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
I like how they try to tie it to the Cambridge Analytics scandal to get a rise out of the community. Yes, Google is not required to report every bug they fix when no breach occurred. There's nothing wrong with that. As for for shutting down Google+, it was as good a time as any. If they're going to start having to worry about bad press over a dead product they're going to finish killing it.

This reads like a hit piece on google. I can't imagine why.

Inept Google

By mattyj • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Lost in all this discussion is the ineptitude of Google's engineers, security auditors, API designers, testers and who knows who else that would let something like this slip through unnoticed for so long. I no longer question Googel's ethics (they're bad) but more and more I'm questioning what kind of tech sweatshop they're running.

And what else is lurking out there that will (un?)intentionally give those of us pause that have already absolved ourselves of everything G.

Lawyers have a strange way of thought...

By Cochonou • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
But crucially, there's no evidence that it actually was used to see private data, and given the thin user base, it's not clear how much non-public data there really was to see. The API was theoretically accessible to anyone who asked, but only 432 people actually applied for access (again, it's Google+), so it's plausible that none of them ever thought of using it this way.
As far as the lawyers were concerned, it wasn't a breach, and quietly fixing the problem was good enough.


In this particular case, it seems they would need to provide evidence that no data was accessed, rather than saying that they see no evidence that data was accessed.

I'm going to miss Google+

By sremick • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

It always frustrated me how "cool" it became to dig on Google+. Journalists, podcasts, etc... it seemed once it caught on that "we all hate Google+ now" it seemed everyone was falling over themselves to make fun of Google+, but without any real substantial reason other than it was the popular thing to do.

The truth is, there was a LOT about Google+ that was better than Facebook. The Circles thing was extremely smart and useful. Nevermind that the average user is too fucking stupid and/or lazy to bother to learn or make use of it... that doesn't make the feature any less good. It's a failing of the userbase, not the service.

Honestly one of the real things that killed Google+ early on was the lack of any sort of events feature. This is BIG on Facebook, and in fact many users maintain a FB profile for no other reason than to be notified and invited to events. These people don't post nor read posts. For whatever reason, Google refused to add events into Google+ and this was a huge reason why people who dipped their toes into it early on became disenchanted and never came back. It couldn't replace FB if it lacked a major feature of FB that they cared about.

Even to this day though Google+ has had the advantage of being a community with far less BS, trolling and spam than Facebook. The signal-to-noise ratio for the Google+ communities I participate in is exponentially better than anything on Facebook. This will be a great loss.

Mozilla Challenges Educators To Integrate Ethics Into STEM

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Today, Mozilla, along with Omidyar Network, Schmidt Futures, and Craig Newmark Philanthropies, is launching a competition for professors and educators to effectively integrate ethics into computer science education at the undergraduate level. From a report: The context, called the Responsible Computer Science Challenge, will award up to $3.5 million over the next two years to proposals focused on how to make ethics relevant to young technologists. "You can't take an ethics course from 50 or even 25 years ago and drop it in the middle of a computer science program and expect it to grab people or be particularly applicable," Mitchell Baker, the founder and chairwoman of the Mozilla Foundation, said. "We are looking to encourage ways of teaching ethics that make sense in a computer science program, that make sense today, and that make sense in understanding questions of data."

Actual Link?

By cervesaebraciator • Score: 3 • Thread
I think that this was meant to be the actual link. Or, better still, you could just go to the announcement.

Re:Ethics?

By Tsolias • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

no, the guy who lost his job because he had a different opinion.
It didn't have anything to do with his job, he just happened to have other likes and dislikes when he got home.
and to top that, we watch all day long those SJW idiots on twitter explicitly saying "opinions my own, not my employer's",
guess what, if your opinion doesn't fit their mentality, your opinion gets dragged into your work environment, either you like it or not.
The best part about this shit show is that mozzarella won't exist in a few years.

Re:Who's Ethics?

By ShanghaiBill • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

The Mozilla Foundation raises money from donors who believe they are funding free software development. Then Mozilla spends that money instead on this ideological crusade, and other nonsense such as sponsoring a surfing contest.

Is this money diversion and mission creep ethical?

My opinion:
1. Mozilla has way more money than they need for their core mission.
2. Mozilla should not be lecturing anyone on ethics.

Re:Ethics?

By Crashmarik • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Brendan supported the wrong ethics.

Well not if you actually believe in evolution instead of just hating people that don't. Which is the problem with so much of the SJW agenda, it isn't positive or reasoned it's just people that have a desperate need to give the middle finger to anyone that resembles their parents.

Re:Who's Ethics?

By Archangel Michael • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

I'm pretty sure a lot of people won't accept my ethical values. They might agree with some, and not others. I can assure you that my ethics and morals are relatively tame, but none the less, I'm pretty sure many wouldn't want me teaching my version of ethics to young adults.

It is much easier to scream about Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, Bigotry than it is to form a coherent code of ethics that has deliberative rational thought behind it (even if you disagree with my rationale).

The issue remains whose ethics are we talking about? I'm sure that plenty of people thought Nazism was ethical, or thinking socialism is ethical today. I happen to despise leftist ethics, because they are almost universally opposed to individual liberty in some degree. Lefitsts think they are ethical as they groupthink their way towards tyranny.

WhatsApp Fixes Bug That Let Hackers Take Over App When Answering a Video Call

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
WhatsApp developers have fixed a bug in the Android and iOS versions of the WhatsApp mobile app that allowed hackers to take over the application when users answered an incoming video call. From a report: Natalie Silvanovich, a security researcher with Google's Project Zero security research team, discovered the WhatsApp vulnerability at the end of August. She described the vulnerability as a "memory corruption bug in WhatsApp's non-WebRTC video conferencing implementation." "Heap corruption can occur when the WhatsApp mobile application receives a malformed RTP packet," Silvanovich said in a bug report. "This issue can occur when a WhatsApp user accepts a call from a malicious peer." It is unclear how popular the video feature is on WhatsApp, which is used by more than 1.2 billion users. But in July, the company said users were spending over two billion minutes on calls (including voice) each day.

G'Bye Landlines

By Arzaboa • Score: 3 • Thread

There will be a day, not so long in the future, where people drop land lines completely, for a system that can not be spoofed, and that is encrypted end-to-end. AT&T and the like better pay attention or that business will end up in the trash heap of history.

--
Mr. Watson — Come here — I want to see you - Alexander Graham Bell

Apple Plans To Give Away Original Content For Free To Device Owners as Part of New Digital TV Strategy, Report Says

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Apple is planning a new digital video service that will provide original content free to its device owners, CNBC reported Wednesday. From the report: Apple is preparing a new digital video service that will marry original content and subscription services from legacy media companies, according to people familiar with the matter. Owners of Apple devices, such as the iPhone, iPad and Apple TV will find the still-in-the-works service in the pre-installed "TV" application, said the people, who asked not to be named because the details of the project are private. The product will include Apple-owned content, which will be free to Apple device owners, and subscription "channels" which will allow customers to sign up for online-only services, such as those from HBO and Starz. Apple plans to debut the revamped app early next year, the people said. As Bloomberg reported in May, the subscription channels will essentially copy Amazon's Prime Video Channel Subscriptions. Customers will be able to access all of their content from within the TV app so they won't need to download individual apps from multiple media providers.

uTorrent is my 'TV App'

By HornWumpus • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread

Fuck walled gardens.

Just cant wait

By oldgraybeard • Score: 3 • Thread
I am thinking they will be shows along these lines, here are your 2 free episodes each of Bridezilla, Love the Wedding Dress, 14 Kids and Counting, Madam Secretary. My wife will love it.
No need to say, we don't watch TV together very often.

Just my 2 cents ;)

Re:The more things change the more they stay the s

By Wycliffe • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

So it's the over-the-air network TV model all over again.
The content was free then if I had the hardware ( TV and Rabbit ears)

No, the content was ad supported not free and you could get the hardware from anyone or even build it yourself with enough know how.

This on the other hand is an attempt at vendor lock-in. Basically, like Amazon and Netflix, if they can have some Apple exclusive hits then they are hoping that it will encourage people to own an Apple device. What Apple doesn't seem to realize is that even at $8/month there is a limit to the number of services a person is going to subscribe to and the more fragmented it becomes, the more likely people are just going to start pirating the shows they don't have access to especially if you have to have a multi hundred dollar device in order to access the show you want to watch.

I really hope...

By JDShewey • Score: 5, Funny • Thread
...it is a new U2 album!

Re:apple needs apple TV with atsc 3.0 + usb/esata.

By Wycliffe • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

apple needs apple TV with atsc 3.0 + usb/esata storage add on ports also needs gig-e. They all ready have Dolby Atmos

local storage is need for DVR + buffering / local downloading of shows from Amazon and Netflix etc. As lots of people don't really have the bandwidth to live stream 4K or higher.

Who cares about 4K? Most people don't yet have the equipment needed to fully do 4k anyways. I pay for the Netflix SD plan because I don't even see an advantage of paying the $2/month extra for the HD plan. 4k is way overrated. The only reason to buy a 4k TV is as a cheap way to get a large desktop for your pc. People can barely tell the difference and even if you can tell the difference, does it really affect the enjoyment of the show?

FBI Director on Whether Apple and Amazon Servers Had Chinese Spy Chips: 'Be Careful What You Read'

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During a hearing in front of the Senate Homeland Security Committee on Wednesday, FBI Director Christopher Wray told senators to " be careful what you read," when asked about a recent story involving spy chips from China being secretly embedded into servers owned by Apple, Amazon and other big companies. From a report: Senator Ron Johnson, R-Wis., chairman of the committee, asked Wray when his agency found out about the chips that server manufacturer Super Micro implanted into server hardware, as reported last week by Bloomberg Businessweek. "I would say to the newspaper article or, I mean, the magazine article, I would say be careful what you read," Wray replied. "Especially in this context." Johnson called on Wray to speak to the accuracy of the story, telling the FBI director that, "We don't want false information out there." Wray said he couldn't offer much detail because the agency has a policy of not confirming or denying that an investigation is underway. "I do want to be careful that my comment not be construed as inferring or implying, I should say, that there is an investigation," Wray said. "We take very seriously our obligation to notify victims when they've been targeted."

I'll read any gods-be-damned thing I want, asshole

By Rick Schumann • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Don't tell me or anyone else what we should and should not read.
Now, that being said, if you want to tell people to think carefully about the validity of what they read, then that's something else entirely.

Re:The FBI seems to be part of the problem

By gtall • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

What the fuck are you talking about? There's no credible information the Chinese did squat with those boards the way it's been reported. They may be up to other things but that's not what is being claimed.

Our Most Likely Options

By painandgreed • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

What could be going on?

1) Everything is exactly as Bloomberg states and the Chinese have performed a supply line hack on American industry. - The strong denials from all public sources that might confirm this, including to the public and stockholders, would seem to indicates that a serious investigation is going on and the government is ordering everybody to deny hard if not out lie to preserve it. However, why keep it secret it the cat's out of the bag? China, and anybody involved, would already know and be taking steps to cover their tracks. Seems the proper response by law enforcement to break the news and step up public investigation ASAP.

2) Bloomberg's editors and writers are just misinterpreting whatever happened to Apple that they say was a compromised driver caught in the lab coming from a variety of sources who don't really have that good of info. - Bad stain on Bloomberg's reputation and failure of their editors to preserve the brand. Will no doubt hurt their operation when things come to light as their business is acting as a reliable source of business news.

3) The authors of the article are fabricating the article either from a collection of unrelated sources, or whole of cloth and selling it to Bloomberg, perhaps not expecting the attention it's getting. - A worse stain on Bloomberg as their editors still fell for it, but pretty much ruin for the author's careers as journalists in the future.

4) Bloomberg and the authors are in cahoots to create a fictitious story that can't be confirmed or denied in order to manipulate the markets, push international policy, and/or create fear of China. - This might actually spell doom for Bloomberg, or might not. There are plenty of "news sources" that could get away with such things and nobody would even blink if it was proved to be true. Perhaps Bloomberg thinks they can get sales and get away with it at the same time. I'm sure some people have played harder and faster with more on the line and the end result would depend on how trustworthy the public actually takes Bloomberg to be to begin with. It would also probably be straying into legal territory it it turned out toe be manufactured, cause the people involved to lose their jobs, and maybe do jail time.

4)Somebody has manufactured the story and fed it to Bloomberg's authors in order to manipulate the markets, push international policy, create fear of China, hurt Bloomberg's reputation, or any combination of these. - Now we're practically back into spook territory. There are certainly people who would like to do any number of things, but to have the scale to do beyond simply option #2 would take resources and also probably venture into legal territory for acting against Bloomberg, the companies involved, China, etc.

Re:Can't confirm or deny an investigation

By PPH • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

The Chinese chips are right next to the NSA chips, which are immediately below the Russian vacuum tubes.

Breadcrumbs

By GrBear • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

I don't know if these "magic" chips are installed or not.. buuut..

If they were, you'd think that someone would have noticed the extra traffic on their network going through, or trying to get through, their firewalls. Unless these chips are packed with every known vulnerability of bypassing corporate firewalls, they would leave a very suspicious trail of evidence to their use.

State Attorneys Urge FCC To Combat Neighborhood Spoofing

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Attorneys general from 35 states are urging the Federal Communications Commission to allow telephone companies to block illegally manipulated calls that appear to come from consumers' neighborhoods. From a report: The rule change could help reduce "spoofed" calls from numbers with the same area code as the consumer, or even calls from the consumer's own number. Combating junk marketing calls has been a top consumer protection priority for FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. The FCC last November adopted a set of robocall rules that allowed telephone companies to proactively block calls from invalid, unassigned or unused numbers. The agency then sought public comments on empowering telephone companies further. The attorneys general want to the FCC to create new rules specifically targeting neighborhood spoofing, they said in comments filed Oct. 9 with the agency.

Re:Why not block all unverified POTS spoofing?

By SoonerSkeene • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
I work in an inbound-only call center (tech support for web host). If we call a client back, we spoof our number so the number they see on their caller ID is the same toll free number they called to reach us in the first place. We used to not do this, and every outbound call looked like it came from somewhere in Colorado (we're in Oklahoma), so it helped our customers in more than one way. First, they recognize it's us calling them back about their ticket, and two, they can call the number they saw on caller ID and reach us again. Previously the Colorado local number they saw went nowhere, it was just some bulk trunk line owned by Verizon and leased by our call ACD routing cloud software company. I'd argue it was worse for our clients when we couldn't spoof. They had no idea who was calling them, they get dead-air if they tried to call it back. Having said that, I'm sick of death of getting these "looks local" telemarketing recorded sales pitches, so much that I essentially treat phone calls like email now: safe senders only. If you aren't in my address book head of time, my phone doesn't even ring anymore. It's insane. I must get 3 a day.

Re:Why not block all unverified POTS spoofing?

By mentil • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

How about an update to caller ID so that it shows both the true originating number, and the potentially-spoofed number? Worst case scenario you have to make 2 calls to succeed in calling someone back, but you'd always know what number to make a complaint about to the FCC/phone company.

Re:Why not block all unverified POTS spoofing?

By EvilSS • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
The problem isn't the spoofing itself, that's not going away, it can't. Companies don't have 1:1 physical lines to extensions, and the numbers assigned to the physical lines usually don't route since they are never actually used in the company phone system. The problem is the phone company systems allow the customer to set any number they want, not just numbers assigned to them. That's the part that needs to change. They need to force the phone companies to start to apply some damn security to the process and prevent assigning numbers not assigned to the customer from being used. Yes it's going to cost money so they won't do it by themselves. They also need to require VOIP companies with outbound calling gateways in the US to log outbound calls and assign to the customer making the calls. Make them financially liable if the customer can't be identified.

Re:Why not block all unverified POTS spoofing?

By Strider- • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

I run a (small) phone system, and you're absolutely right. We have 23 outbound lines (gotta love the PRI), and 100 DIDs (in our case, the whole 24xx block). When I generate an outbound call over the PRI, I can technically set the outbound number to whatever I want. The PSTN should reject that call if the ANI I generate is from a block that is not assigned to my PRI.

Re:Why not block all unverified POTS spoofing?

By tlhIngan • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Or just get rid of spoofing. What valid reason is there to spoof a number? The ONLY reason is so the person can't call you back directly and has to go to a central answering service. Companies love that, but that is their problem.

Lots of valid reasons to spoof.

1) Business - making outgoing calls uses a trunk line that doesn't necessarily result in a callable number. Instead, you spoof it so you can give the DID or main line number of company so the person being called can call back. Calling trunk lines does absolutely nothing (dead air, or it rings forever).

2) Call centers - they may handle dozens or hundreds of customers and may need to call you back. It would be nice if the number shown is the company you called, right? I mean, if you called Apple and they said they'd call you back, the number should be the Apple number you called, rather than some random call center number. If you're in urgent need of support and get "Unknown number" calls, you might ignore them, not realizing they're your support call being returned.

3) VoIP. Again, trunk lines. Be nice if someone was using VoIP for their phone that when they called out, their number showed up, right? Better than some random phone number of the trunk line that was used to complete the call to POTS. And since that number changes, it would make using VoIP almost impossible if no one picked up because of all the strange numbers they were getting. (It still happens where you get all 0's or something Then again, it's only VoIP - I mean, who uses it?

What should happen instead is the phone company filters what numbers can be spoofed. There's no reason for a business to spoof numbers that it doesn't own, and call centers already "own" the number used to reach it so they can spoof that. They should not be able to spoof random arbitrary numbers. VoIP providers have pools of numbers as well which can be used to limit their available spoof numbers.

Of course, if you really want to get rid of scammers, ban VoIP. That's it - that's the only way they can call from India and do their scams.

But of course, VoIP is too valuable and too "high tech" and modern. Perhaps we can ban spoofing VoIP, so every VoIP call shows up as 000-000-0000.which could be your friend with Vonage or Skype or other program, or an Indian scammer. After all, it's not our fault people use VoIP, right?

Apple Said To Have 'Dramatically Reduced' Multi-Billion-Dollar iPhone Repair Fraud in China

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From a report: Within the past four years, Apple has managed to "dramatically reduce" the rate of iPhone-related repair fraud in its retail stores in China, according to The Information's Wayne Ma. The report is based on interviews with more than a dozen former Apple employees who spoke on condition of anonymity. In 2013, Apple is said to have discovered a highly sophisticated fraud scheme in which organized thieves would buy or steal iPhones, remove valuable components like the processor or logic board, swap in fake components, and return the "broken" iPhones to receive replacements they could resell. From the report: "Thieves would stand outside stores with suitcases full of iPhones with some of the original components stripped out and replaced with inferior parts, two of the people said. The fraudsters would hire people to pretend to be customers to return them, each taking a device to stand in line at the Genius Bar, the people said. Once the phones were swapped, the actors would pass the new phones to the fraudsters and get paid for their time, the people said."

No wonder!!!

By sentiblue • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
So for a long time I kinda didn't like how Apple would disable iPhones because they were not repaired by authorized dealers or by Apple itself. I thought Apple was trying to monopolize the repair works to itself... Now that I read this article, I see what kind of battle they've been trying to fight.

Cut Out the Middle Man?

By Kunedog • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Apple is said to have discovered a highly sophisticated fraud scheme in which organized thieves would buy or steal iPhones, remove valuable components like the processor or logic board, swap in fake components, and return the "broken" iPhones to receive replacements they could resell.

How about simply selling the bought/stolen iphones instead? I don't understand the scam, unless they are removing enough parts over time to occasionally construct a whole iphone. And even then I don't understand.

Is this just propaganda pushing a narrative to justify Apple locking out third-party repair services?

Re:20+% still pretty horrible

By ShanghaiBill • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

I wonder where all the parts they are ripping out of the insides end up?

A lot of them end up in fake iPhones, using either knock-off cases, or cases stolen from the Apple factory in Shenzhen.

In any area frequented by gullible foreigners, you can find people selling iPhones on street corners. They often work just well enough to turn on and run a demo to "show that they work".

The sellers are rotated to different street corners every few hours, so when you go back later to demand your money back, it is not the same person, and they will claim (correctly) that they have never seen you before.

Not all Chinese fakes are like this. For instance, the fake Rolex watches work very well. I bought my wife a fake LV handbag that seems stitch by stitch identical to the real thing. She has no idea that it isn't real.

Re:Cut Out the Middle Man?

By SethJohnson • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

I don't understand the scam, unless they are removing enough parts over time to occasionally construct a whole iphone.

Once you've had your phone repaired, you'll see that there is a spectrum of quality in the replacement parts that can be used by the repair shop. The parts cost scales with the quality. Two big dollar items that are frequently replaced are screens and batteries.

In this scenario, the fraudster is buying a brand-new phone. Then taking out the top-shelf battery and screen and replacing them both with sub-par components. The fraudster is then commissioning a straw man to return the phone to the store, receiving a brand-new phone which is then sold to recoup the initial cash outlay for the original purchase of the phone. The fraudster is then selling the screen and battery as OEM-quality replacement parts to repair shops. This last part is where the ??? profit exists.

Louiss Rossman voiced different opinion on that

By NuclearCat • Score: 3 • Thread
I suggest to watch, here voice of well known repair professional
https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

BBC Had To Replace Live Broadcasts With Recorded Material on its TV News Channels For an Hour Today Because of a Technical Glitch

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The BBC had to replace live broadcasts with recorded material on its TV news channels for about an hour on Wednesday following a technical glitch. BBC News reports: The News at Six was also presented from the BBC's Millbank studio instead of its usual home of New Broadcasting House. The issue affected OpenMedia, a new computer system rolled out across BBC News outlets over the past six months. OpenMedia supplier Annova has been helping to investigate the fault. Engineers believe they have now addressed the problem. BBC News Home Editor Mark Easton shared on social media that he was rushing across London to the Millbank studio.

Maybe that explains it... but maybe not

By 93 Escort Wagon • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

I tuned in and saw this rather tall, thin guy reading the news from a desk on the beach for some reason. The newsreader said “and now for something completely different”, then they shifted to coverage of some bizarre event where people attempted to summarize Proust.

More Than One Third of Music Consumers Still Pirate Music

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More than one-third of global music listeners are still pirating music, according to a new report by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI). From a report: While the massive rise in legal streaming platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music and Tidal was thought to have stemmed illegal consumption, 38% of listeners continue to acquire music through illegal means. The most popular form of copyright infringement is stream-ripping (32%): using easily available software to record the audio from sites like YouTube at a low-quality bit rate. Downloads through "cyberlocker" file hosting services or P2P software like BitTorrent came second (23%), with acquisition via search engines in third place (17%).

Moving the bar

By MightyYar • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

What kind of fools do they think we are? We've been taping stuff off of the radio since before I was born in the 70s. Now we listen to music through YouTube and "tape" off of that instead. Only in the mind of an IP lawyer is there some kind of moral distinction here. I'll do this until it is technically infeasible to do so, and I'll sleep just fine at night.

Yet they still make money hand over fist

By Rick Schumann • Score: 3 • Thread
They're not in the least hurting for money but of course they have to have all the money. Then when they have everything so locked-down and monopolized they'll just raise the prices on everything, or worse: they'll try to convince everyone that paying every month forever for 'streaming' is somehow better. Yeah well fuck them no wonder people still pirate music.

Re:In other news

By commodore64_love • Score: 4 • Thread

Also: A lot of people will buy "Greatest Hits" compilations of music they heard when they were children and teens.... mainly for nostalgia (or because they think current music sucks). IOW the record companies lose money today on pirating kids, but they make it up later, when they sell these adults old hits from 20-30 years ago.

People pay for music?

By HornWumpus • Score: 3 • Thread

Pay for music? WTF?

Piracy

By darkain • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Piracy is easier than dealing with DRM. End of story.

Amazon Scraps Secret AI Recruiting Tool That Showed Bias Against Women

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Jeffrey Dastin, reporting for Reuters: Amazon's machine-learning specialists uncovered a big problem: their new recruiting engine did not like women. The team had been building computer programs since 2014 to review job applicants' resumes with the aim of mechanizing the search for top talent, five people familiar with the effort told Reuters. Automation has been key to Amazon's e-commerce dominance, be it inside warehouses or driving pricing decisions. The company's experimental hiring tool used artificial intelligence to give job candidates scores ranging from one to five stars -- much like shoppers rate products on Amazon, some of the people said. "Everyone wanted this holy grail," one of the people said. "They literally wanted it to be an engine where I'm going to give you 100 resumes, it will spit out the top five, and we'll hire those." But by 2015, the company realized its new system was not rating candidates for software developer jobs and other technical posts in a gender-neutral way. That is because Amazon's computer models were trained to vet applicants by observing patterns in resumes submitted to the company over a 10-year period. Most came from men, a reflection of male dominance across the tech industry.

[...] Amazon edited the programs to make them neutral to these particular terms. But that was no guarantee that the machines would not devise other ways of sorting candidates that could prove discriminatory, the people said. The Seattle company ultimately disbanded the team by the start of last year because executives lost hope for the project, according to the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Re:Is this news?

By jellomizer • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

The problem it isn't Empirical data, It is incomplete data.

Right now If I were to look at my desk, and feed it to an AI. All Electronic Devices are Made with Black Plastic, and Coffee vessels are Navy Blue. If I expose it to an beige keyboard that is in the storeroom. It would say that it isn't an Electronic Device. If I Took out my White Mug, from the shelf, it wouldn't think I could use it for coffee.

Incomplete data, isn't Empirical Data.

Re:AI really can't replace everything.

By rogoshen1 • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

there's a huge gender imbalance in nursing and primary education as well; when will society get around to 'fixing' that?

Balancing your dataset is basic. Not the problem.

By recrudescence • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

The claim that "the industry is dominated by men and therefore we couldn't train this in a gender-neutral way" is totally bogus from a machine-learning perspective. All that is needed to eliminate a bias arising from dataset imbalance is to balance the dataset.

More likely they realised that when using dispassionate criteria for optimal hiring, it would become very likely they'd not get the desired "Women > Men" politically correct outcome for all sorts of statistically valid reasons, and figured such optimal hiring was not worth its salt against all the money lost from lawsuits and bad PR in a time of a politically tense climate favouring women.

I completely agree with their choice, and would do the same. No need to feed oil to the fire

Well...

By DontBeAMoran • Score: 3 • Thread

The A.I. doesn't care about being politically correct.
Maybe the A.I. has computed something we're not aware of.

Unfortunately, people will force political correctness into the A.I. and we'll never learn the truth. /sarcasm (or is it?)

Re:AI really can't replace everything.

By tlhIngan • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

there's a huge gender imbalance in nursing and primary education as well; when will society get around to 'fixing' that?

They are being fixed. There are programs by nurse's unions on hiring more male nurses, and there are programs for teachers as well in increasing the number of male teachers teaching elementary school.

Don't assume that because you don't know about it it's not a big deal. There are programs for increasing the proportion of females in trades (construction, welding, etc) run by various trades organizations, and plenty of pilot groups also aimed at increasing the gross under representation of women in the cockpit. (Funny enough, the same complaints show up as well when special women-only events aimed at getting girls interested in aviation.). Oh yeah, many of these organizations are also trying to get under-represented minorities in as well.

And yes, all these groups recognize it's not just diversity that's a good thing, but having people to "stick together". Male nurses are very valuable when dealing with obstinate male patients who are sexist, for example. As are older doctors for those patients who cannot fathom being treated by a doctor who's younger than their kids.

Amazon Patents New Alexa Feature That Knows When You're ill and Offers To Sell You Medicine

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Amazon has patented a new version of its virtual assistant Alexa which can automatically detect when you're ill and offer to sell you medicine. From a report: The proposed feature would analyse speech and identify other signs of illness or emotion. One example given in the patent is a woman coughing and sniffling while she speaks to her Amazon Echo device. Alexa first suggests some chicken soup to cure her cold, and then offers to order cough drops on Amazon. If Amazon were to introduce this technology, it could compete with a service planned by the NHS. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said earlier this year that the NHS was working on making information from its NHS Choices online service available through Alexa. Amazon's system, however, doesn't need to ask people whether they're ill -- it would just know automatically by analyzing their speech. Adverts for sore throat products could be automatically played to people who sound like they have a sore throat, Amazon's patent suggests.

Cough drops

By nospam007 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

I's prefer if Alexa phone my boss to tell him I can't come in for a couple of days for national health reasons.

Psst.. hey bud, wanna buy some pills?

By kimgkimg • Score: 3 • Thread
So Alexa is now a drug dealer? What's next? Pimp daddy?

This sounds awful

By Lab Rat Jason • Score: 3 • Thread

This sounds just awful. Alexa is going to pimp cough drops to me all day long, despite the fact that I already have two bags of them sitting in the cabinet? Or the fact that I've already got a case of chicken soup in the pantry? If I'm vegan, is Alexa still going to pimp the chicken soup, or is it going to push some BS homeopathic remedy instead? I just don't get paying large sums of money to get a device that just peppers me with ads.

Re:Psst.. hey bud, wanna buy some pills?

By Oswald McWeany • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

How do you know if someone "sounds horny", though?

They speak with a male's voice.

New App Lets You 'Sue Anyone By Pressing a Button'

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Jason Koebler writes: Do Not Pay, a free service that launched in the iOS App store today, uses artificial intelligence to help people win up to $25,000 in small claims court. It's the latest project from 21-year-old Stanford senior Joshua Browder, whose service previously allowed people to fight parking tickets or sue Equifax; now, the app has streamlined the process. It's the "first ever service to sue anyone (in all 3,000 counties in 50 states) by pressing a button."

Re:Bummer - won't work

By nospam007 • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

"Unfortunately my iPhone is a 4s and it needs iOS 11.0. How can I sue anyone if I can't even afford to upgrade my 4s? Truly the system is stacked against people like me"

1. Buy an iPhone XS.
2. Sue Apple
3. Return Xs
4. Profit

Was this really needed?

By anegg • Score: 3 • Thread

Does the United States really need a service that makes suing people easier? Automation that removes "natural" limits of process rates (like the time/effort to file a suit) often cause disruption in other parts of the system that haven't evolved to handle the load that can be presented once the "natural" limit is removed. Or perhaps this was the intent?

Re:With great power...

By DarkOx • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

So its basically TruboTax for small claims cases. 1993 called and they'd like their definition of amazing back.

Re:I'm sure this won't be abused

By Drethon • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

The Sovereign Citizen movement is going to love this.

Can I use the app to sue the app?

This is the App for me.

By commodore64_love • Score: 4 • Thread

I'm so tired of businesses thinking they can screw-over customers & get away with it. I'd also like to sue the telemarketer that keeps calling my cellphone every day, even though I told them "Put me on you Do Not Call list". Per US Law if they continue calling, then they can be fined in small claims.

Microsoft Joins Open Invention Network (OIN), Will Grant a Royalty-Free and Unrestricted License To Its Entire Patent Portfolio To All Other OIN Members

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Microsoft said Wednesday it had joined the Open Invention Network (OIN), an open-source patent consortium. As part of it, the company has essentially agreed to grant a royalty-free and unrestricted license to its entire patent portfolio to all other OIN members. From the press release: By joining OIN, Microsoft is demonstrating its commitment to open source software (OSS) and innovation through collaborative development. With more than 2,650 members [Editor's note: the members include Google, IBM, Red Hat, and SUSE], including numerous Fortune 500 enterprises, OIN is the largest patent non-aggression community in history and represents a core set of community values related to open source licensing, which has become the norm. "Open source development continues to expand into new products and markets to create unrivaled levels of innovation. Through its participation in OIN, Microsoft is explicitly acknowledging the importance of open source software to its future growth," said Keith Bergelt, CEO of Open Invention Network. "Microsoft's participation in OIN adds to our strong community, which through its breadth and depth has reduced patent risk in core technologies, and unequivocally signals for all companies who are using OSS but have yet to join OIN that the litmus test for authentic behavior in the OSS community includes OIN participation."

Erich Andersen, Corporate Vice President and Chief IP Counsel at Microsoft, said, "Microsoft sees open source as a key innovation engine, and for the past several years we have increased our involvement in, and contributions to, the open source community. We believe the protection OIN offers the open source community helps increase global contributions to and adoption of open source technologies. We are honored to stand with OIN as an active participant in its program to protect against patent aggression in core Linux and other important OSS technologies."
Further reading: Why Microsoft may be relinquishing billions in Android patent royalties.

Re:I don't understand

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

It's most likely because their useful patents life is coming to an end. Remember Patents only last 17 years, what was 17 years ago? Windows 2000/Windows ME. Take note of the compatibility level of ReactOS and WINE.

At some point, very soon, the OSS community will be able to re-implement Windows XP's API's, and damn near everything but games needs only XP level compatibility to work. Games still need the extended DirectX API, but XP is DirectX9 at most, which covers basically every non-64bit windows game.

So Microsoft might be looking at trying to stem some blood loss should a "Windows XP compatible OS" come out of nowhere. Good god there's multi-billion dollar multi-national enterprise businesses that would love to stop having to upgrade Windows versions, and if ReactOS could fill that with a look-and-feel on top of compatibility, Microsoft will be the first on a long list of software vendors to see their "subscription bullshit" revenue streams start to be eroded.

The entire reason enterprises prefer subscription schemes is because it makes it less of a pain in the ass to track how many copies of AutoCAD, Adobe CC and MS Office you have. You simply pay for X many licenses of the machines you actually have, rather than paying once for the software, and then having to throw the entire machine out, software and all, because you can't transfer the license, or the obstacle to transferring the license costs a few hundred dollars in some technicians time.

Re:Interesting but...

By alvinrod • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
Perhaps it is because as they continue to transition towards selling subscriptions to their software and the like, it doesn't hurt them to join, especially if it means that they get free use of all of the IBM patents that might be useful in expanding into other service areas without having to worry about litigation. Perhaps these companies are waking up to the fact that the billion dollar lawsuits over technology patents drag on for years, often to a point where the technology isn't even relevant and that the only people who actually get anything after the smoke clears are the lawyers. Those are two easy guesses, but not necessarily good.

After doing some additional reading, I'm not even sure if the summary is correct. If you look at the OIN website it just talks about Linux. The do have a list of all of their owned patents which does include some that were developed by Microsoft. Perhaps they tossed a few out there as a show of goodwill, but I'm not certain that this gives every member royalty-free licenses to all of Microsoft's (or other member companies) patents.

membership is likely revocable

By 4wdloop • Score: 3 • Thread

...so what happens to all tech that now depended on them? There must be some future protection, right? How does it work?

The Business Environment has changed

By PineHall • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
I agree with what you are saying, however I think the business environment has changed, not so much Microsoft. Microsoft has always been about maximizing profits. Twenty years ago they were the big 800 lb gorilla. They did what they wanted to make more money. Today they are competing in a field of equals and they are trying to remain relevant with the new computing paradigms. So now they have to behave nicely to maximize profits. They decided that joining OIN was worth more than the royalties they would have collected from OIN members. I believe they will still try to collect royalties from non-OIN companies. It is all about the money.

Linux and ExFat?

By jonwil • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Does this mean Linux can now support ExFat? (the new file system that replaced Fat32 as standard for things like memory cards)

Android Creator Is Building an AI Phone That Texts People for You, Report Says

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Andy Rubin, the creator of Android operating system, is not giving up on his Essential company. The consumer electronics startup is putting most projects aside to focus on development of a new kind of phone that will try to mimic the user and automatically respond to messages on their behalf, Bloomberg reported Wednesday, citing people familiar with the plans. From the report: The company paused development of a planned home speaker, months after canceling a different smartphone that had been in the works, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the details are private. Sales of an earlier phone were disappointing, and the company is abandoning the effort partly because the product is too similar to others on the market. Essential had considered selling itself this year after a series of setbacks.

The design of the new mobile device isn't like a standard smartphone. It would have a small screen and require users to interact mainly using voice commands, in concert with Essential's artificial-intelligence software. The idea is for the product to book appointments or respond to emails and text messages on its own, according to the people familiar with the plans. Users would also be able to make phone calls from the planned device.

Yeah, no

By cascadingstylesheet • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Um, yeah, no.

Call from whoever: "do you authorize us to finalize your loan with such and such terms?"

AI phone, at my phone number, mimicking my voice perfectly: "Sure, go ahead!"

Or worse:

"Honey, did that dress I was wearing yesterday make me look fat?"

AI phone, at my phone number, mimicking my voice perfectly: "I don't have enough information to decide that."

Bad idea

By ameyer17 • Score: 3 • Thread

If it's anything like my experience with my Google Homes, it'll be just smart enough to keep around but dumb enough to be infuriating a significant portion of the time.

Re:Make me a robot

By stealth_finger • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

That lives my entire for me, why don't you.

Looks like you've already had your entire.

So...

By LordHighExecutioner • Score: 3 • Thread
...two AI phone can go on forever talking and messaging each other until either the batteries or the phone subscription expire ?!?

Google Appeals $5 Billion EU Fine In Android Case

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Wall Street Journal: Alphabet's Google on Tuesday said it filed an appeal of the European Union's $4.97 billion antitrust fine (Warning: source may be paywalled; alternative source) for allegedly abusing the dominance of its Android operating system for mobile phones. But Google said it has no plans to ask for so-called interim measures to pause application of the decision. Without further action, Google will have to meet a deadline at the end of October to end the behavior the EU says is anticompetitive or face additional fines of up to 5% of average daily global revenue for each day it doesn't comply. Google had promised that it would appeal the decision when the European Commission, the bloc's antitrust regulator, delivered it in mid-July. The commission said that Google broke the block's competition laws in part by strong-arming phone makers that use its free Android operating system to pre-install its namesake search engine, from which the company makes the bulk of its advertising revenue.

In the Android case, the European Commission has ordered Google to stop making phone manufacturers pre-install its search app and the Chrome web browser if they want to pre-install Google's Play store, which is the main way to download Android apps. The bloc also ordered Google to end restrictions that discourage manufacturers from selling devices that run unofficial versions of Android. It contends both restrictions illegally constrained competing search engines and operating systems. Google has argued that Android, which is free for manufacturers to use, has increased competition among smartphone makers, lowering prices for consumers. The company has said the allegation that it stymied competing apps is false because manufacturers typically install many rival apps on Android devices, and consumers can easily download others.

Additional requirements when the system is free?

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

The bloc also ordered Google to end restrictions that discourage manufacturers from selling devices that run unofficial versions of Android.

So you make a free, open source system and the antitrust laws bring additional requirements on you? Google may very well say "OK, it's all proprietary from now on, go fuck yourself. No unofficial versions of Android at all, are you happy now?". Why would they have to put up with this absurdity when say Microsoft has never been bothered with it?

Is that what the incompetent bureaucrats are aiming for? After all, even the parliament approved a stupid copyright law recently, the EU is really making some big mistakes these days.

How exctly?

By Ol Olsoc • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread
Is there a monopoly or a trust when you don't have to use Android devices?

Re:How exctly?

By AmiMoJo • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

The specific issue is the bundling. Manufacturers can install their own app stores, and many do, but they need the Play Store or it's not Android and doesn't get updates from Google. And if they have the Play Store then Google requires them to install Google Search and Chrome and make them the defaults.

Re:M% anti trust case

By organgtool • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

It is not Microsoft's fault that no computer maker offers a Linux-ready machine, at least not that I've heard rumors of.

Oh yes it most certainly is. I'm not sure how their OEM licensing policy works now but at one point they prohibited OEM sellers from selling machines with no OS because they claimed that people would just use that option and pirate Windows. Dell eventually got around that by shipping computers with FreeDOS but for a while it made it difficult for Linux users to avoid paying the "Windows Tax". Microsoft's OEM policy also prevented OEM sellers from selling machines that were configured to dual-boot. That single-handedly killed any chance of success for BeOS and significantly reduced adoption of Linux. Any OEM sellers that violated these terms risked having their ability to sell OEM Windows licenses stripped which would mean that they would have to buy full-priced licenses. That alone would make their machines so expensive it would be almost suicide to even attempt angering the Microsoft gods.

Re:How exctly?

By swillden • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Manufacturers can install their own app stores, and many do, but they need the Play Store or it's not Android and doesn't get updates from Google.

This isn't correct.

Any device that passes the Android Compliance Test Suite (CTS) and complies with the Compliance Definition Document (CDD) is "Android". Also, all Google updates go into AOSP, into both the master branch and backported into the relevant dessert release branches. This is true for all devices that use AOSP, whether CTS/CDD compliant or not.

In order to put the Play Store on their device, device makers have to pass an additional test suite (GTS) and comply with additional contractual agreements, which currently includes the pre-installation of Google apps. That's highly desirable because the Play Store is really important to consumers, but it is not necessary for a device to be "Android", nor to get updates.

There Could Be Massive Shards of Ice Sticking Out of Jupiter's Moon Europa

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According to a report published in the journal Nature Geoscience, Jupiter's Moon Europa may be home to a forest of tall, jagged ice spikes, which may complicate future missions looking for possible alien microbes. ScienceAlert reports: Few moons in the Solar System are as intriguing as Jupiter's moon Europa. A global ocean of salt water almost certainly surrounds the moon - and it holds more water than any ocean on Earth. Above this immense sea, where surface temperatures dip to minus 300 degrees Fahrenheit (-184 degrees Celsius), a crust of water ice forms a shell. Astronomers predict that Jupiter, which bombards the moon with intense radiation, causes the entire moon to groan with gravity's tug. Europa's liquid water is a tempting target for future missions looking for possible alien microbes. But before a future lander can search for microscopic ET, the probe might have to contend with a forest of tall, jagged ice spikes. Their research suggests Europa is an icy hedgehog world, covered in ice formations rarely found on Earth. On our planet, ice takes several forms, as varied as needle ice, rime, parking lot slush and more exotic lumps.

Re:LOL .. almost best headline ever ...

By stealth_finger • Score: 5, Funny • Thread
Because Uranus is too gassy XD

Deathmatch

By kackle • Score: 3 • Thread
"...exotic lumps."

And I have my new deathmatch name.

Re:Except Europa

By Hognoxious • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Europe _spins_, with a period of roughly 3.55 Earth days.

Don't believe everything Nigel Farage says.

We were told about this...

By dasunt • Score: 3 • Thread
"All these worlds are yours except Europa. Attempt no landings here."

Re:Except Europa

By Alwin Barni • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

you would think that with all the video and images they show of europa, this wouldn't be a "might" or "scientists think". is everything nasa shows bullshit?

No, just it's worth to read descriptions under the images, they say if it's an artist impression or an actual photo.

For now humankind landed on (except Earth): Moon, Venus, Mars, asteroid Ryugu, asteroid Itokawa, comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko and Saturn moon Titan, there were a few impactors, which I did not count, so any other pictures are taken from orbit sometimes just by flying by with a great speed, which makes any detail surface features not visible.

So any images of exoplanets, black holes or any surface except the mentioned above are artists impressions. There is a project though to take an image of a black hole's event horizon.

Internet Archive Launches a Commodore 64 Emulator

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The Internet Archive has launched a free, browser-based Commodore 64 Emulator with over 10,500 programs that are "working and tested for at least booting properly." Interestingly, the emulator comes just before the launch of Commodore's own C64 Mini. "It's based off the VICE emulator version 3.2, which is a triumph of engineering," adds HardOCP.

Arnold's archive

By Aethedor • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
I don't know of any game that this archive doesn't have. C64 forever! :)

Jeri Ellsworth

By Xenna • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Didn't she create something like the C64 mini as long ago as 2004?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

Commodore's Own?

By JPeMu • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
Although I do find the C64 Mini an interesting project, is it really accurate to call it "Commodore's own"? Their Indiegogo page actually seems to confirm that:

"Disclaimer – Retro Games Ltd, THEC64(tm) are in no way associated with Commodore Holdings B.V. THEC64(tm) have not been prepared, approved, or licensed by Commodore Holdings B.V in any way and are not licensed to use the Commodore(R) name or 'Chicken Head' logo. The Commodore Roms, BIOS and THEC64(tm) form factor are officially licensed from Cloanto https://cloanto.com/"

As far as I was aware only the software is licensed, and it's nothing to do with Commodore Holdings B.V. who own the Commodore brand name?

Re:Memories

By AmiMoJo • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

The C64 is one of the most interesting machines ever made. The hardware was powerful but needed a lot of skill to get the most from. You can see this by comparing early and late C64 games; the difference is incredible, you wouldn't think they were the same machine.

The sound chip, for example, could produce some amazing output but had to be programmed directly. Musicians were coders as well, and of course as well as figuring out how to make the chip produce those sounds they had to fit it all within the limited memory and CPU power available. An interesting bit of trivia, the C64 was where the iconic "fake chord" was invented, where two or three notes are played in quick succession on a single channel to make up for the lack of greater polyphony.

The CPU was 8 bit and ran at 1MHz. But it had to share the memory bus with the video chip, so it couldn't make use of every cycle, and of course there were no caches or anything like that. It had a few tricks like the zero page, which gave it 256 fairly fast register-like bytes of RAM to play with. Compilers were expensive and almost exclusively had to run on more powerful machines for cross-compilation, so most software was written in BASIC or assembler.

All sorts of tricks were developed to make the most of this limited CPU power. For example, "speed code" is where instead of storing data separately in RAM it's directly inserted into the machine code instructions as immediate operands.

The video hardware was also very hackable, with all sorts of tricks possible to produce effects that were way beyond what the designers imagined. The Amiga took this to another level, but the C64 was better understood at an earlier stage. People reverse engineered it completely, understanding the internal workings of the video chip and being able to write code that made full use of every available memory access slot. That's something that didn't really happen with the Amiga until emulators started to make it easier, although some people came close.

The C64 was probably the pinnacle of 8 bit home computers.

Lemon64.com has a C64 music player

By commodore64_love • Score: 3 • Thread

You can sit at work & listen to classic SIDtunes that used to play in videogames or demos. There are also music emulators you can download for classic Nintendo, Sega, Playstation consoles & integrate with Winamp

.