the unofficial Slashdot digest for 2018-Nov-08 today archive


  1. How Dad's Stresses Get Passed Along To Offspring
  2. Chinese News Agency Adds AI Anchors To Its Broadcast Team
  3. Micron Kicks Off Mass Production of 12Gb DRAM Chips
  4. Google Pledges To Overhaul Its Sexual Harassment Policy After Global Protests
  5. Cisco Removed Its Seventh Backdoor Account This Year, and That's a Good Thing
  6. Vulnerability Could Make DJI Drones a Spy In the Sky
  7. Robyn Denholm Takes Over the Reigns of Tesla From Elon Musk
  8. Sprint Is Throttling Microsoft's Skype Service, Study Finds
  9. David Attenborough To Present Netflix Nature Series 'Our Planet'
  10. Cord Cutting Accelerates as Pay TV Loses 1 Million Customers in Largest-Ever Quarterly Loss
  11. A Bug in Steam, Which Was Recently Patched, Could Have Given Users Access To Activation Key of Any Game
  12. Google Chrome Will Soon Warn Users About Web Pages With Unclear Mobile Billing Services
  13. Has the Love Affair With Driving Gotten Stuck in Traffic?
  14. A Third of Wikipedia Discussions Are Stuck in Forever Beefs
  15. Amazon's AbeBooks Backs Down After Booksellers Stage Global Protest
  16. Sundar Pichai of Google: 'Technology Doesn't Solve Humanity's Problems'
  17. To Keep Pace With Moore's Law, Chipmakers Turn to 'Chiplets'
  18. Some Windows 10 Pro Users Say Their PCs Are No Longer Activated And Are Been Prompted To Downgrade To Windows 10 Home
  19. China's Brightest Children Are Being Recruited To Develop AI 'Killer Bots'
  20. US Cyber Command Starts Uploading Foreign APT Malware To VirusTotal
  21. UK Renewable Energy Capacity Surpasses Fossil Fuels For First Time
  22. Facebook's Unsend Feature Will Give You 10 Minutes To Delete a Message
  23. Google Is Adding Android Support For Foldable Screens

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

How Dad's Stresses Get Passed Along To Offspring

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Scientific American: A stressed-out and traumatized father can leave scars in his children. New research suggests this happens because sperm "learn" paternal experiences via a mysterious mode of intercellular communication in which small blebs break off one cell and fuse with another. Carrying proteins, lipids and nucleic acids, these particles ejected from a cell act like a postal system that extends to all parts of the body, releasing little packages known as extracellular vesicles. Their contents seem carefully chosen. "The cargo inside the vesicle determines not just where it came from but where it's going and what it's doing when it gets there," says Tracy Bale, a neurobiologist at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. To probe the inheritance of such changes at the cellular level, Bale and co-workers performed a series of mouse experiments.

In one set of experiments [Jennifer Chan, a former PhD student that was part of the study] stressed a group of male mice, let them mate and looked at stress responses in the pups. The clincher was a set of in vitro fertilization -- like experiments in which she collected sperm from a male mouse that had never experienced induced stress. Half his sperm went into a lab dish with vesicles previously exposed to stress hormones. The other half was cultured with vesicles that had no contact with stress hormones. Chan injected sperm cells from each batch into eggs from a non-stressed female, then implanted the fertilized eggs -- zygotes -- into the same foster mom. The pups from non-stressed zygotes developed normally. Pups from stress-exposed zygotes, however, showed the same abnormal stress response as those whose dads had experienced stress before mating. That showed extracellular vesicles act as the conduit for transmitting paternal stress signals to the offspring, Chan says.


By Aighearach • Score: 3, Interesting • Thread

It seems like it might just be that adding the vesticles pollutes the petri dish environment in a harmful way.

I'd like to see this where a control was given different vesticles, instead of only controlling for "added" vs "not added."


By Xenx • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
The summary specifically mentioned that both groups had vesicles added. One group had stress hormones in the vesicles, one group didn't.

Lamarck's revenge

By blindseer • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Everything old is new again. Lamarck had his theory of evolution and Darwin had his, and for the longest time Darwin was thought to have cracked the code. I guess just like how Newton figured out physics on the macro scale there's more to be seen when one looks closely enough to see where the theory doesn't explain it all.

I recall seeing an interesting TED Talk from a man explaining how homosexuality was not genetic but epi-genetic. That is "epi-" meaning "above" or "beyond". Epi-genetics means that environmental factors placed upon the parents produce something very much like genetics on the child, as in inherent to their "code" or "being", that cannot be undone after the child is conceived. In this TED Talk the man used his son as an example of this in that the stress he and his wife had in their life produced a homosexual son because in prior times, and through many iterations of evolution taking place, there is a survival benefit of the clan or species in having homosexual men in times of stress. Things like war and famine might be where a "pause" in further offspring would be beneficial.

This fine article performed the experiment on mice and seemed a bit vague on the behavior they observed. If experiments like this can tell us more on human behaviors then there could be a lot on how we could improve society for the future. Since I already stepped on the landmine that there is a theory, not proven by the way but merely an educated guess by a man that seems convinced of the science, where stressed parents produce homosexual children then I feel like stepping on another will not be any worse.

There's the theory that a stressor that is thought to lower intelligence and raise tendencies to criminal behavior, that is children conceived out of marriage. Women being pregnant without the biological father around (or other male stand in) is stressed in a way that evidence shows might be epi-genetic. There's other possible reasons for this, like such stress in childhood upon the child will bring an adult that is aggressive and poorly educated and therefore likely to exhibit anti-social (or just plain criminal) behaviors. Or that women in such a situation will not have the time for breastfeeding (shown to be far healthier than formula), time for bedtime stories (shown to improve education later), or time for making a proper meal with any regularity. Children raised in a low stress environment tend to become well behaved adults.

Will reduced stress in society mean no more gays and criminals? Well, that would be an interesting theory to test. I don't know how we'd do that without getting into telling parents how to raise their children. Epi-genetics or not there's plenty of evidence on how a downward spiral in society can be broken by one generation of children raised in a healthy family structure. Lamarck may not have got it all right, but he wasn't all wrong either.

Re:Lamarck's revenge

By blindseer • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

It sounds like you are projecting some personal test onto other people.

It sounds like you are trying to read my mind and psychoanalyze me base on a few paragraphs.

It is hard to take you seriously when you combine these arguments as both can be subjective.

Then don't take me seriously. I'm merely pondering on where epi-genetic research might lead us.

If your argument is that there is some fictional place where everyone will just get along and everyone will be at the same "place" in society, then you need look no further then communism.

That's not my argument. My argument is that if stresses on the parents means poorly behaved children then it would be to our benefit to reduce stresses on parents.

I've been watching some interesting videos lately on how IQ correlates to financial and other success in life, as well as what factors contribute to IQ. The most recent video I saw was on "McNamara's Folly" or Project 100,000, by someone that wrote a book on this and who's name I don't recall right now. I don't have the link to the video as I found it on a different computer than I'm using right now but here's the Wikipedia page on that project:

Other videos I've seen were from Dr. Jordan Peterson where he describes how the US military has a large database of how people scored on their version of an IQ test and how well the people performed in their job. Dr. Peterson and others I've seen describe various possible contributing factors to IQ, and therefore future success. This simply fascinates me. There's some dispute on how genetics influence IQ, but no dispute that IQ is influenced by genetics. Maybe genetics contributes 80% to IQ, maybe only 50%. So, what contributes the rest? Can this be explained by epi-genetics? If so, then how much? Then comes the question of real importance, if epi-genetics influence future success then what should we do with this information?

I don't want everyone in the same place since that means, as you point out, communism where everyone has an equal share of the misery. I want people to reach their greatest potential. If stresses on the parents means lowered chances of success for the children then we, as a society/nation/species/community, should do what we can to lower this stress. If epi-genetics means nothing then we should still be excellent to each other but know that such efforts may not be rewarded in better behaved children. That is we'd be no better rewarded than we already know with things like well fed children leading to healthy adults, as opposed to malnourished children leading to adults being stunted in physical and mental development.

I mentioned the TED Talk on a possible link of epi-genetics to homosexuality as something this article reminded me about and shows possible effects on humans. Homosexual tendencies are "bad" in that the species cannot propagate with these tendencies. If homosexual behavior is genetic then one could assume that it is unlikely to have survived to today. This then leads one to think about how it might propagate, since a genetic trait that's counter to propagating the species should fade in time. There must be something beneficial to this, and there must be a mechanism for it to exist in following generations. This is perhaps no different than anti-social behavior (or rather what we define today as such) being beneficial to the species. There's little doubt that stressed parents lead to aggressive children, what might be left unexplained is the mechanism behind it. A stressed parent might need aggressive children since war is a stressor and aggressive people tend to be more successful in war. There's now another layer to the nature vs. nurture debate and it's called epi-genetics.

Re:Lamarck's revenge

By The Evil Atheist • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Lamarck is wrong and epigenetic does not salvage Lamarck in any way. What Darwin's Theory is not about is where sources of variation come from, but how they persist. Epigenetic traits do not last more than a few generations and cannot contribute to speciation. It is still the genes that are selected on.

The rest of what you write is just dribble. Part obvious - raise children well, who would have thought - and part nonsense, "therefore epi-genetics and evolution".

Chinese News Agency Adds AI Anchors To Its Broadcast Team

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Two AI anchors are joining China's state-run news agency Xinhua. "The two anchors, one that speaks in English and another in Chinese, have the likeness of some of Xinhua's human anchors, but their voices, facial expressions and mouth movements are synthesized and animated using deep learning techniques," reports Engadget. From the report: "AI anchors have officially become members of the Xinhua News Agency reporting team," the agency said. "They will work with other anchors to bring you authoritative, timely and accurate news information in both Chinese and English." China's South China Morning Post reports that the AI anchors are available through Xinhua's English and Chinese apps, its TV webpage and its WeChat public account. The technology behind the anchors is being provided by search engine company Sogou.

Xinhua says its AI anchors can deliver the news with the "same effect" as that of human reporters. But if you watch the video, that isn't exactly true. It's pretty clear you're watching a non-human anchor as the mouth movements and facial expressions aren't quite human-like, and the voice can come off as a little robotic.

Nothing to see here, folks. Really. NOTHING to see

By hyades1 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

When we communicate, we pick up a lot of information about the other person through body language, including, to some extent, whether they're comfortable with what they're saying. Not today or tomorrow, but in the not-too-distant future, I suspect it will be possible to analyze video of a person (like a news reader) and determine with a reasonable degree of accuracy whether they actually believe what they're telling you.

Of course, if your only source of information is a glorified cartoon whose every word, gesture and twitch is controlled by its owner, you can be lied to on a level that surely has totalitarians drooling like a hungry dog at a barbecue.

Re:My thoughts

By ShanghaiBill • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

something so horrible that if it ever reached the news, the newsreader might refuse to report it.

Has there ever been a government so odious that they were unable to find people to carry out their policies?

The Nazis had little difficulty recruiting people for the totenkopf and einsatzgruppen, so I doubt if the CCP has trouble finding news anchors.

Trump may have difficulty attracting top talent, but that is because of his habit of throwing loyal subordinates under the bus, rather than any moral objection to his policies.

Less than perfect

By twebb72 • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Heres some feedback to help penetrate the American market:

  • The shot should contain at least 3-5 people
  • Each person should be different news rooms
  • The audio track should overlay all 6 people talking at once
  • At the end, cut to Trump calling it 'fake news'

Max Headroom

By goombah99 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Does no one recall Max Headroom?

Micron Kicks Off Mass Production of 12Gb DRAM Chips

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Micron is now producing its first LPDDR4X memory devices using its second-generation 10nm-class process technology. "The new memory devices offer standard LPDDR4X data transfer rates of up to 4.266 Gbps per pin and consumes less power than earlier LPDDR4 chips," reports AnandTech. From the report: Micron's LPDDR4X devices are made using the company's 1Y-nm fabrication tech and feature a 12 Gb capacity. The manufacturer says that its LPDDR4X memory chips consume 10% less power when compared to its LPDDR4-4266 products; this is because they feature a lower output driver voltage (I/O VDDQ), which the LPDDR4X standard reduces by 45%, from 1.1 V to 0.6 V. Micron's 12 Gb (1.5 GB) LPDDR4X devices feature a slightly lower capacity than competing 16 Gb (2 GB) LPDDR4X offerings, but they are also cheaper to manufacture. As a result, Micron can offer lower-cost quad-die 64-bit LPDDR4X-4266 packages with a 48 Gb (6 GB) capacity and a 34.1 GB/s bandwidth than some of its competitors.

What is "1Y-nm" ... here's an article

By NothingWasAvailable • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

As someone who worked in semi-conductor CAD, 1Y-nm confused me.

I found an article in EE Times that explains is using 19 nm to 10 nm as three nodes at 1X, 1Y, 1Z, with X, Y, and Z to be defined later.

Re:What is "1Y-nm" ... here's an article

By NothingWasAvailable • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Sounds interesting but...

By Hallux-F-Sinister • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

I’m holding out for LVPQDR5Z99 chips. The more letters and numbers it has, the more awesome it is, right? Why in 2018 are people settling for only DOUBLE data rate (DDR,) we should hold out at least for triple data rate (TDR) as a minimum!

Honestly... are they seriously going to keep jamming more letters and numbers onto things?

Re:Sounds interesting but...

By rrohbeck • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

I'm rather partial to the LPXDRWTFBBQ product family.

Re:DDR4-4266 Speeds?

By Gabe Ghearing • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

This is LPDDR; Intel and AMD don’t support it. Intel announced support in CannonLake that was supposed to ship in 2016... and still isn’t available to consumers.

LPDDR4 has been standard on ARM devices(phones/tablets) for quite a few years.

4266 is the highest rated LPDDR4 chips in the LPDDR4 spec. Even the Galaxy S9 only uses LPDDR4-3732 (1866MHz).

Maybe Apple’s new iPads use LPDDR-4266.

Google Pledges To Overhaul Its Sexual Harassment Policy After Global Protests

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
In an email to staff on Thursday, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said the company would overhaul its sexual harassment policies, "meeting some of the demands of employees who organized historic walkouts across the globe," the Guardian reports. "Pichai said Google would end forced arbitration of sexual miconduct claims, revamp its investigations process, share data on harassment claims and outcomes, and provide new support systems for people who come forward. From the report: Some critics, however, said the commitments were inadequate, failed to address pay disparities, and ignored demands to improve the rights of temporary employees and contractors. Pichai said Google would now make arbitration "optional for individual sexual harassment and sexual assault claims," but noted that employees could still choose to keep their claims confidential. [...] Pichai also said Google would disclose trends about investigations and disciplinary actions and would create "one dedicated site" that included "live support" for people with complaints. Google would now also offer "extra care and resources" to employees, including counseling and "career support" and a "support person," the CEO added.

No one laughs at Mike Pence anymore

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread

Never be alone with or have a one-on-one conversation with any woman who is not your wife. Don't even look at them, lest you be accused of "eye rape". Be the most boring man in the world and they'll leave you alone. Do all your socializing and flirting with women who don't even know what industry you work in. (No big loss -- an a Slashdot reader, your job title is probably something women would dismiss as "loser nerd")

If you're a key person, e.g. the guy who codes the search algos or the guy who invented Android, you have less to worry about. You'll either get a huge severance check or start a new company that eats Google's lunch.

Re:Why is this something for companies to solve?

By Hognoxious • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

As you sew, so shall you reap

ITYM rip.

Orthogonal to the left/right divide... new norms?

By ka9dgx • Score: 3 • Thread

It struck me as very odd to see how supportive the CEO of Google was of this walkout.... most of the left/right world just sees it as caving in to snowflake pressure, or the workers bringing about positive change through collective action.... but I have a different theory.

Normally, the hands of management are bound by lots of rules, shareholder pressure, the SEC, etc... I'm sure the CEO was aware of the issues, but too bound up by the rules and social pressures from above (shareholders, the 0.001%, etc) to effectively deal with it.

if the workers happen to "organize" a strike demanding something that the CEO would like to do, but can't.... you get the aforementioned weird reaction. Moral dilemma on the part of the CEO is solved, workers are happy that they have some power, and shareholder blame gets deflected safely away from management.

I expect this to happen more, as it might be a new corporate cultural norm.

Re:Why is this something for companies to solve?

By AmiMoJo • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Or maybe because HR or your boss quietly asking that you please stop doing X is better for everyone involved than launching an immediate forensic investigation and hauling you into court to defend against a criminal conviction.

And in any case, it's often not a crime, it's a civil employment issue.

Re:Why is this something for companies to solve?

By Opportunist • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Works just the other way around, too. Do I want to work in an environment where I have to wonder and worry what I can or cannot say, no matter how innocent, because some self proclaimed Cardinal Richelieu made it his or her mission to collect 6 lines from everyone to hang them for?

Cisco Removed Its Seventh Backdoor Account This Year, and That's a Good Thing

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from ZDNet: Cisco, the world's leading provider of top networking equipment and enterprise software, has released today 15 security updates, including a fix for an issue that can be described as a backdoor account. This latest patch marks the seventh time this year when Cisco has removed a backdoor account from one of its products. Five of the seven backdoor accounts were discovered by Cisco's internal testers, with only CVE-2018-0329 and this month's CVE-2018-15439 being found by external security researchers. The company has been intentionally and regularly combing the source code of all of its software since December 2015, when it started a massive internal audit. Cisco started that process after security researchers found what looked to be an intentional backdoor in the source code of ScreenOS, the operating system of Juniper, one of Cisco's rivals.

Juniper suffered a massive reputational damage following the 2015 revelation, and this may secretly be the reason why Cisco has avoided using the term "backdoor account" all year for the seven "backdoor account" issues. Instead, Cisco opted for more complex wordings such as "undocumented, static user credentials for the default administrative account," or "the affected software enables a privileged user account without notifying administrators of the system." It is true that using such phrasings might make Cisco look disingenuous, but let's not forget that Cisco has been ferreting these backdoor accounts mainly on its own, and has been trying to fix them without scaring customers or impacting its own stock price along the way.


By LaughingRadish • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Would someone care to explain how these backdoors got in the code in the first place?

Warranty of merchantability, fitness for purpose

By raymorris • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

The relevant legal term is "warranty of merchantability". It's an implied warranty that manufacturers cannot (successfully) disclaim. The warranty of merchantability essentially guarantees that the item is fit to sell. It doesn't guarantee the quality is better than cheaper brands, but it does warrant that the product is fit for the marketplace - that it properly suits the needs of some purchasers.

I haven't done a deep dive on these particular Cisco accounts yet since I'm off work this week. At first blush, Cisco probably has a legal obligation to provide an update to fix this issue at no charge. Because it was never fit for sale, that needs to be fixed. If they choose to fix it with an update that also provides new features that's fine, but using the magic words "warranty of merchantability", preferably in a letter that sounds like it was written by a lawyer, should get you updates at no charge.

In addition, Cisco provides a LOT of documentation about which of its products are suited for which purposes, and how to configure them for different purposes. I've read literally thousands of pages from Cisco myself. By stating, in writing, that this particular product is suited for this particular purpose, Cisco may have also created a "warranty of fitness for a particular purpose". When they say in writing that a particular ASA is designed to function as a VPN gateway for enterprises with 1,000-5,000 employees, that may legally create a warranty that it is in fact somewhat suitable for the purpose claimed. If these security issues make it not suitable for the advertised purpose, Cisco needs to fix that at no charge.

Cisco isn't flying with the angels.

By Excelcia • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Backdoors don't just magically appear on their own. Someone at Cisco had to put them there. Someone at Cisco had to be told to put them there. It is impossible that Cisco didn't know these backdoors were there.

Exactly. And as per Snowden's revelations years ago. Cisco was pointed to as purposefully backdooring its products at the behest of the NSA years ago, and today they are suddenly on the side of the angels because they have graciously patched out a few of them?

Meanwhile, what has the NSA already installed on those systems through those backdoors? If they are getting patched out now, it's only because Cisco's keepers don't need it any more.

Seven Accounts?

By Weirsbaski • Score: 3 • Thread
Cisco removed seven backdoor accounts, huh? How many more are in there?

That's not rhetorical- I'd really like to know.


By AmiMoJo • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Most seem to be simple support backdoors. Customers losing passwords and guys arriving on-site without the right info is a big problem for support, so they like backdoors.

For support security is the enemy, it's something that makes their job harder. The customers don't really care about it, they just want stuff to work.

Vulnerability Could Make DJI Drones a Spy In the Sky

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
wiredmikey writes from a report via SecurityWeek: A vulnerability in systems operated by Da Jiang Innovations (DJI) -- the world's largest drone manufacturer -- allowed anybody in the world to have full access to a drone user's DJI account. A successful attacker would be able to obtain cloud-based flight records, stored photographs, user PII including credit card details -- and a real-time view from the drone's camera and microphone. Check Point Researchers (who discovered and reported the vulnerability) told SecurityWeek, "The vulnerability is a unique opportunity for malicious actors to gain priceless information -- you have an eye in the sky. Organizations are moving towards automated flights, sometimes with dozens of drones patrolling across sensitive facilities. With this vulnerability you could take over the accounts and see and hear everything that the drones see or hear. This is a huge opportunity for malicious actors."

Not secure

By youngone • Score: 3 • Thread
I was given a DJI Spark as a present, and found it can't be flown without creating a DJI account.
My first assumption was that any data I created would be insecure in some form.
I don't use mine as anything other than a toy, and you shouldn't either.

Re:Not secure

By FrankSchwab • Score: 4 • Thread

How about that the app you need to install on your phone creates multiple, always-connected links to Chinese servers even when you're not flying?

Re:Not secure

By H-S.he29 • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

I got the DJI Spark about a year ago (also "for free") and while the hardware seems pretty good, I expected much more from the software department, considering they are the 'largest drone manufacturer'.

Not only it requires the DJI account, as you mentioned, but it also needs a smartphone to work properly: I have an old-ish device with not enough RAM to run their app reliably, so I thought I would use my tablet instead.

Nope. In order to use the app, you must be connected to the drone using WiFi. But before you can take off, the app demands Internet connection to update the no-fly zone or something. So you switch networks and return to the app.. only to find out it refuses to proceed because the drone is now disconnected. No shit, Sherlock! Maybe download it to the tablet first, no?

A few weeks later, I forgot my password and went for a reset. The password reset page I ended up on did not bear any resemblance to the DJI website and there was no indication it was even in any way affiliated with DJI. Also not something that instills a lot of confidence in me.

Really, I can't say the reported vulnerability comes to me as a surprise..

(Although I eventually managed to get the drone working, controlling it using touch screen is really quite underwhelming experience, compared to a proper RC transmitter. While they do offer a proprietary (model-specific) RC controller, I didn't feel like spending money on something that a) becomes useless to me if I fly into a wall and b) can simply stop working at any time if they feel like it, since it STILL requires the smartphone app (and thus mandatory updates).

On the bright side, the whole experience was a great reminder to avoid all those "smart" and "always connected" devices like the plague.)

Robyn Denholm Takes Over the Reigns of Tesla From Elon Musk

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
azcoyote shares a report from Reuters: Tesla director Robyn Denholm, a telecoms executive who has worked for Toyota, has been promoted to chairwoman of the electric car company, tasked with regulating billionaire Elon Musk's regime after months of turbulence. An Australian accountant, Denholm is currently finance chief at telecoms firm Telstra and replaces Musk after he was forced to relinquish the role as part of a deal to head off charges of fraud by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

While she will resign from Telstra to take the role full-time, some analysts expressed concern that she may not be clearly enough removed from Musk to rein in the billionaire's public outbursts and bring more order to Tesla. Denholm, 55, has been an independent director of Tesla since 2014 and the head of its audit committee. She was paid almost $5 million, mainly in stock options, by the company last year, making her the highest remunerated of its board members.
"I personally hope Denholm renames it Reynholm Industries," Slashdot reader azcoyote adds.

Re:Reins already

By mkoenecke • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
Thank you. That (along with "lose" always being spelled with an extra "o" - where in the world did that come from?) is one of my pet peeves. It's "free rein," not "free reign!"* Even though the latter does, at least, make a certain amount of sense. * No, I do not care how many Google hits each particular spelling gets. The original expression is "free rein," and refers to allowing a horse to go wherever it wants.

Re:Reynholm Industries

By bakes • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

I don't think any explanation would help if you can't even click on the link.

Re:"Takes Over the Reigns of Tesla"

By sexconker • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Plus there are deep pockets than want low latency intercontinental bandwidth that only a LEO network can achieve (fiber is much slower than vacuum.)

Typical glass fiber gets you about 0.7c. The BEST case scenario is going half way around the planet.

About 12450 miles on the ground, or the equivalent of 17785 miles at full c.
About 13706 miles at a 400 mile high orbit, + 400 miles up from Earth and 400 back down = 14506, assuming full c.

14506 / 17785 = Just 18.5% savings for the BEST case scenario, assuming no additional delay getting stuff up and down beyond the 400 mile distance, and assuming the satellite network and transmission up to it and down from it all occur at full c. The average case is only 14% savings. And that's only on transmission time, not processing time. 18 ms savings going halfway around the world.

Do you really want that 18 ms savings? The smarter, cheaper, and easierthing to do is to use terrestrial radio links. Alternatively, for short distances or long straight runs you can use more expensive hollow core fiber (still much cheaper than a swarm of satellites, however).

hmm. Hopevully, no real changes

By WindBourne • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
Telstra has the same reputation as Comcast, Century Link, etc. IOW, they are a junk company. While Tesla has issues, they continually address them, and make things better. The Customer Service that we have had at Littleton (and denver's) service center has blown away what my wife got from Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Honda, and Toyota. The thought of cvustomer service becoming WORSE than these is bothersome.

Re:That's not much of a change

By squiggleslash • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

There's a precedent for this and it suggests this could be outrageously successful. Christian Bale played a character called "Bateman" in American Psycho. He then played "Batman" in some very popular DC movies in the late 2000s and early 2010s. Again, same name with letters (well, a letter) removed.

On this basis, I'd say someone going from Telstra to Tesla could be very successful, as long as the moving of the "L" doesn't upset anything.

Sprint Is Throttling Microsoft's Skype Service, Study Finds

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Fortune: Sprint has been slowing traffic to Microsoft's internet-based video chat service Skype, according to new findings from an ongoing study by Northeastern University and the University of Massachusetts. Among leading U.S. carriers, Sprint was the only one to throttle Skype, the study found. The throttling was detected in 34 percent of 1,968 full tests -- defined as those in which a user ran two tests in a row -- conducted between Jan. 18 and Oct. 15. It happened regularly, and was spread geographically across the U.S. Android phone users were more affected than owners of Apple Inc.'s iPhones. The finding is particularly troubling because Skype relies on Sprint's wireless internet network, but the app also provides a communication tool that competes with Sprint's calling services, the researcher added. "If you are a telephony provider and you provide IP services over that network, then you shouldn't be able to limit the service offered by another telephony provider that runs over the internet," David Choffnes, one of the researchers who developed the app used to conduct the survey, said. "From a pure common sense competition view, it seems directly anti-competitive."

Neutrality of networks!

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

Wow, it's almost like there should be some sort of regulation to prevent a carrier from discriminating against traffic or services. You know, to enforce then neutrality of networks or something like that. Maybe we should all contact the FCC to suggest this:)

Re: Well

By tysonedwards • Score: 5, Funny • Thread
If only there were a law that forced telecommunications services to be regarded as a common carrier and as such treat said transit as neutrally, we wouldnâ(TM)t be having this discussion.

Re:They get what they want

By youngone • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
The free market probably would fix this.
Fortunately for you Americans, your government has been paid by the ISPs to never have to deal with a free market ever again.
Oh, and you also have to subsidise their network upgrades.
It's a way of keeping profits private while socialising the expenses.

Re:They get what they want

By dryeo • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

That's how the market works. Businesses are free to buy what they can afford, including government rules to help their bottom line.
At that it is probably inevitable in a market as the market rewards the most efficient, and it is more efficient to buy laws then to actually produce a better product.
In theory democracy could counteract this, but you need a functioning democracy.

David Attenborough To Present Netflix Nature Series 'Our Planet'

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Renowned British naturalist David Attenborough is lending his voice to "Our Planet," Netflix's big-budget wildlife series. From a report: The 92-year-old broadcaster has been synonymous with the BBC's natural history output for decades but will now provide the voiceover for Netflix's eight-part series "Our Planet", which will be released in April. "'Our Planet' will take viewers on a spectacular journey of discovery showcasing the beauty and fragility of our natural world," Attenborough said as the series was announced on Thursday. "Today we have become the greatest threat to the health of our home but there's still time for us to address the challenges we've created if we act now. We need the world to pay attention."

In other news

By packrat0x • Score: 3 • Thread

Renowned British naturalist David Attenborough is still alive! He's 92 and doing voice work.

Fragile nature

By manu0601 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

the beauty and fragility of our natural world

This is a misconception in my opinion. Nature is strong and resilient, but the ecosystem that supports human life is the fragile part. Once our pollution will have the earth unsuitable for our own life, nature will carry on without us.

Re:Fragile nature

By rogoshen1 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

To paraphrase the Matrix:
"There are levels of survival we're willing to accept"

I think you have it exactly backwards; we might kill off every single wild animal and make the earth a horrible hellscape that rivals Giedi Prime -- but human beings will find a way to scrape by.

Re:In other news

By Xest • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

I met him two years ago, he's still moving around fine, and is as animated as ever when he's talking about the things he loves, but he said the biggest problem is that his memory is beginning to go a little bit, and this can sometimes mean he has to do more re-tries when he has to when recording as he's forgetting lines more than he used to.

I think this is why we're seeing more released from him now than we have for the last decade. He did Blue Planet 2 last year, Planet Earth 2 the year before, Dynasties starting this weekend, and now this newly announced show as well. He seems to be getting as much in whilst he still can and I think that highlights how much he generally loves doing this kind of work and releasing this kind of show.

Perhaps one of the most interesting things I found about him is how humble he is, I met him in the North of the UK, and there was no luxurious transport - he took public transport just like anyone else. I figure being lucky enough to get a train seat next to him could well be one of the most interesting 2 hour train journeys someone might have. In this respect you could also argue he really does practice what he preaches, as taking mass transport like a train is certainly much less polluting than getting someone to drive you which I'm sure he'd have no problem doing if he wanted to be driven around.

So fair play to the guy, even if you're not a fan of him he's at least hard working, motivated, and genuinely practices what he preaches when the option is available, and I don't think you can really fault that; at least he didn't take a helicopter, private jet, or have a private chauffeur drive him.

Cord Cutting Accelerates as Pay TV Loses 1 Million Customers in Largest-Ever Quarterly Loss

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Cable and satellite TV providers lost about 1.1 million subscribers during the July to September period, the largest quarterly loss ever -- and the first time the industry lost more than 1 million subscribers in a quarter, according to media and telecommunications research firm MoffettNathanson. From a report: After Dish Network reported its third-quarter earnings this week, the New York-headquartered research firm tallied up the publicly reported subscriber losses to arrive at the finding. Dish lost 341,000 subscribers in the third quarter, compared to adding 16,000 in the same period a year ago. Overall, Dish lost 367,000 satellite subscribers but added 26,000 Sling TV subscribers, the company said. Rich Greenfield, a media and technology analyst with financial services firm BTIG in New York, arrived at a similar conclusion and called it "the third-worst quarter in industry history and worst since Q2 2016."

Re:Content Owner Suicide

By DickBreath • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
Advertising is partly to blame.

Advertising kills every medium that it has ever come into contact with. And now the web too.

Just think about Cable TV. It's partly the cable channel's fault, and partly advertising.

Originally the premise of cable was that you wouldn't get ads because you were paying. Yeah, right.

But the ads weren't too long or too bad. Those were the daze.

By the 1990s at least the ads paid for good cable content. Good documentaries. Good entertainment. Etc.

Then came: Reality TV.

Reality TV is cheap to make. Entertaining, at first, purely because of shock value. But it gets old quick. If you don't watch Reality TV then your alternative is reruns of old cable TV content, and "marathons" of reruns.

Then the content got shorter and the ads got longer. Oh, and remember when the volume level of ads was twice that of the content?

Now you get all ads, punctuated by some content that is probably not worth watching, and then when the long string of ads are over, there are bugs, and animated characters crawling and walking out right over the top of the content you're trying to watch!

Gee, and they wonder why people are cutting the cable TV cord?

Re:Cutting Netflix / Amazon Prime

By davebarnes • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Reading books. Mostly, paper ones.

Re:Still about the last mile

By jeff4747 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Ya might wanna google "Natural Monopoly" before thinking you can deregulate your way out of the last mile problem.

Over the air is growing, in addition to streaming

By Optic7 • Score: 3 • Thread

In case you haven't been following the news on this, at the same time that some cable networks have been folding in the last couple of years, new over the air broadcast networks and channels have been appearing.

Sure, it varies by local broadcast market, but look for this to accelerate and expand as ATSC 3.0 rolls out. The growth of streaming will also accelerate with the roll out of 5G.

Expect major changes in the TV industry over the next 5 years.

OTA digital is the way to go

By Socguy • Score: 3 • Thread
Cable sucks. At one point, you could mindlessly flip through channels till you found something that sparked your interest. That no longer works since each channel take so long to load. Channels also got greedy. They applied for and received layers of subchannels which were subsequently filled with inane crap nobody wanted but were forced to purchase because the desirable content keeps being locked away further and further up the chain. End result: Hundreds of channels that are utter crap blocking you from the few shows of interest.

For anyone out there who hasn't got the newsflash: OTA digital works great. You get your local channels for free and there's a good chance that the picture quality is better than cable. You can build your own OTA antenna, (instructions all over the internet) or just buy one from the dollar store. If you're feeling particularly rich, Best Buy has them for anywhere from $20-$100. Even if you have no intention of cancelling cable, you should still get one for those times the cable is out.

A Bug in Steam, Which Was Recently Patched, Could Have Given Users Access To Activation Key of Any Game

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Ukrainian vulnerability researcher has found a bug that would have allowed him to download all the activation keys (also known as CD keys) made available through the Steam gaming platform, for any game, ever. From a report: Discovered by Artem Moskowsky, the bug resided in Steamworks, a platform that Valve runs to help developers with building and publishing games via its Steam gaming client. Moskowsky found the bug in a Steam web API located at This is the API that lets game developers or affiliates retrieve CD keys made available to Steam users so their customers can activate a game installed via the Steam client. This API is accessible using a regular Steam account and takes several parameters, but the ones most relevant are appid (representing the game), keyid (representing the identifier of a set of CD keys), and keycount (representing the number of CD keys that Steam needs to return inside a CD key set).

No thanks to free stuff

By kaoshin • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Even if all Steam games were available for free, I would still pay, because I want to continue to support what they are doing for gaming on Linux. I do take advantage of a lot of the sales they run though.

Did he get any keys as a reward?

By Only Time Will Tell • Score: 3 • Thread
I wonder if Steam tossed any free keys his way for the heads up about this hole. I did see he got $20K for this effort, which would buy a lot of games of Civilization!

Google Chrome Will Soon Warn Users About Web Pages With Unclear Mobile Billing Services

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Google is introducing a small but important update to its Chrome browser, one designed to prevent consumers from being swindled by underhanded or unclear mobile subscription services. From a report: Some web pages invite visitors to input their mobile phone number in order to subscribe to some kind of service, such as a mobile game, but it's not always clear how much they will be charged or even if that they are being charged at all. This is enabled by a service known as carrier billing, something that allows users to bypass more laborious subscription methods by having a fee charged directly to their mobile phone bill. [...] Starting from December 2018 with the launch of Chrome 71, Google's browser on mobile and desktop, as well as in Android WebView, will display a warning if it detects that there is insufficient mobile subscription information available to the user.


By cascadingstylesheet • Score: 3, Interesting • Thread
I'm all for security, but this is getting almost comically fine grained.

How about ...

By PPH • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

... we just don't allow the common carriers to do billing for third parties. Want to use dial-a-porn? Fine. Call and enter your credit card number. No more of this $5.99/minute charging through the phone company. There are far too many scams (telemarketing) that will never go away until the telecoms are no longer allowed to be silent partners in the deals.

I'm with Google on this. But I suspect that their motive might be to drive these web services to their own billing platform.

Re:How about ...

By squiggleslash • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

With DCB, you enter your phone number, and then you get a confirmation on your phone, and are then prompted for a PIN.

Is that how you think it works? Because that's not how it works. As someone who suffered continuous fraud for several months until T-Mobile was persuaded to block these things (which it still couldn't do properly, it decided to block shortcodes too, which means I don't get text notifications from my bank when my credit card is compromised), I can tell you we never had any communication at all between us and the company stealing money from us.

And two other differences:

1. Credit card companies can and do pro-actively watch for fraud. We never saw T-Mo do the same thing.
2. T-Mobile refused to remove the charges directly, telling us we had to work with the company fraudulantly billing us.

It isn't more secure, it's stupidly insecure, and it should be banned. There's no reason whatsoever for this feature to exist, and if this country had any accountability, the execs who came up with this scheme would be in prison.

Could be worse

By Locke2005 • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
My ex got hit by the scam where this company sent her a text message, then because she received the message, they started billing her $9.99/month for the "service" of receiving that text message. Problem is, her account was on autopay and she never even opened her bills, so it wasn't until I looked at her bill 6 months later that she found out. Not sure why that scam wasn't illegal.


By Locke2005 • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
Why don't the carriers give me the option of disabling Direct Carrier Billing for my account? In fact, why don't they give me the option of disabling equipment purchase plans? More than once people have order hardware billed to my phone number! (No, I didn't have to actually pay for it, but it took a lot of work on my behalf to fix it.)

Has the Love Affair With Driving Gotten Stuck in Traffic?

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America's love affair with the automobile and those dreams of roaring off on open highways are on the wane as the nation grapples with too much stop-and-go traffic and too many hours spent behind the steering wheel. From a report: Those findings are contained in a report to be released Thursday by Arity, a technology research spinoff created two years ago by Allstate Insurance. Arity underscored the growing disillusionment by using an illustration: Americans, on average, spend more time in their cars -- mostly driving to and from work -- than they receive in vacation time. Arity researchers said most people average 321 hours in the car each year and get 120 hours of vacation [Editor's note: the link may be paywalled; an alternative source was not immediately available.]. "To me, that really crystallizes the issue," said Lisa Jillson, who leads Arity's research and design department. "I get a certain amount of vacation time, and I spend almost three times that in my car just getting back and forth to a job."

Her research showed a notable difference between millennials and baby boomers. Unhappiness with driving becomes more pronounced, with 59 percent of millennials saying they'd "rather spend time doing more productive tasks than driving," while only 45 percent of baby boomers make that same statement.

Re:Work close to where you live as a priority

By danbert8 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

There is some truth to that. As you build more capacity, traffic in that spot gets worse, but traffic *in general* gets better. The traffic on the main throughfare gets worse, but the traffic on the side streets and alternate routes improves. The key is to expand multiple roads and not just the one.

Re: Work close to where you live as a priority

By MightyYar • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

No need to argue, we have data!

Re:I hate cars

By dasunt • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

governments like (gas) tax revenue.

Gas tax comes nowhere near to paying for the cost of building and maintaining our streets and roads.

Re:Work close to where you live as a priority

By PPH • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Cities plan for growth, and when it stops happening, bad things happen

Ponzi planned for growth.

Many perfectly viable businesses have upper limits on growth and seem to succeed without it. My dentist, for one example.

Re:I hate cars

By tlhIngan • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Why do we live like this?

Because, on the whole, people like cars and governments like (gas) tax revenue.

Public transit takes both of those things away. Electric cars help with the pollution, but costs government the gas tax revenues, hence the sometimes "innovative" proposals you are starting to hear about how to tax electric car owners for their utilization of road infrastructure.

Still, in practically every city, outside of the places where there is simply no possible way to increase road capacity, people will prefer increased road capacity to any public transport solution.

Actually, you can thank General Motors for the love of cars.

Because back in the early 20th century, public transit in North America was actually.... extremely good. In any town or city, bit or small, you could get around using public transit. between horse drawn carriages to street cars it was a completely normal way to travel. Not just New York, or San Francisco, but any twon in any state.

Of course, the Model T brought cars into the mix, but not by much - they were relatively finicky things and you still had to contend with a lot of pedestrian traffic everywhere.

What replaced the street car was buses, which were considered high tech and advanced (since they didn't require rails). This did lead to the failure of many streetcar companies, since people flocked the novel bus that could go more places (and did) over the street car.

General Motors came along and basically decided to buy out all the failing street car companies. They didn't replace them, just bought them up, shut them down and left it as things were. Advertised the heck out of cars giving freedom (we're still talking early 20th century here) and there you go. After the second world war, the car became the status symbol and everyone bought into it, the interstate system was developed and so on. Plus, cities spread out into suburbs designed for cars and you end up with what we have today.

Hard to imagine, but at one time, the USA had a better public transportation system than Europe. Even today it still doesn't quite match what we had back then.

American car culture was literally developed from advertising - just like how weddings were transformed by a few De Beers ads insisting you must have a diamond ring.

A Third of Wikipedia Discussions Are Stuck in Forever Beefs

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An anonymous reader shares a report: Wikipedia, the internet's encyclopedia, is run entirely by volunteers -- people who spend large swaths of their personal time making sure the information that hundreds of millions of people access every day stays accurate and up-to-date. Of those volunteers, 77 percent of Wikipedia articles are written by just one percent of Wikipedia editors. As such, tensions tend to get a little high, because these editors are often highly invested. They've been arguing about corn for nearly a decade, for example, and there's a long-running edit war about the meaning of neuroticism.

When editors disagree about an edit to be made on a Wikipedia article, they start by discussing it on the article's Talk page. When that doesn't result in a decision, they can open a Request for Comment (RfC). From there, any editor can choose a side or discuss the merits of whatever edit is up for discussion, and -- in theory -- come to an agreement. Or at least, some kind of decision about how to make the edit. But a new study by MIT researchers found that as many as one-third of RfC disputes go unresolved, often abandoned out of frustration or exhaustion. The most common sticking points were chalked up to inexperience, inattention from experience editors, and just plain petty bickering.

Re:Would an ignore feature work?

By UnknownSoldier • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

> What they really need are a few judges who weigh the arguments and ...

Yes, for some (most?) topics that would work quite well !
i.e. If you have a PhD you get to judge the quality of accuracy.

For other topics who determines who gets to judge? Popularity probably isn't a good measuring stick on most cases except in the case of niche cases. For example, on the topic of multiplayer games you probably DO want to listen to YouTube streamers who constantly play and stream the game.
e.g. If you play Starcraft 2 you've probably watched PiG, Winter, etc streamers give tips & info.

Some topics are purely subjective and based on opinion -- there is no authority on the matter -- there is no way to reconcile differences. Although since that is the current way Wikipedia works right now so at least we would have *some* improvements.

Re: Emotions cloud objectivity, and you don't real

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

No, we are talking about Wikipedia.

I've never seen anyone who is a science attacker ever advance even a remotely feasible or effective alternative. No, obviously faith in God isn't an alternative because faith doesn't teach you about the natural world - honest theologians admit that.

Re:Would an ignore feature work?

By Medievalist • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

i.e. If you have a PhD you get to judge the quality of accuracy.

Although I've known more than a few brilliant and competent PhDs, some of the most egregiously ignorant people I have ever known - not stupid, but instead purposely and proudly uninformed - also hold doctorates.

The finger pointing at the moon is not the moon; the paper certifying expertise does not grant or even prove it.

Re:Battle of the bored

By Xylantiel • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Isn't this just him rejecting your patch as incomplete? It's not like you are required to edit one section at a time. Why couldn't you just open the full page for editing and then copy your edit from the page history and add the references then submitted it all together? It sounds like you are complaining that someone else didn't want to keep track of your edits for you. Since your edit stays in the page history, that doesn't really seem so strange to just revert it until the citation is added with it. Nominally you saying you just haven't had time to add the citation makes in even less likely that someone would want to put on the "citation needed" tag. Since you have the citation on hand, it should just go on in or be left out.

This seems like the real problem with wikipedia, there is not such a good system for "proposing" edits without them going live. There are guidelines for handling this process, but my impression is that they are ad-hoc so they are not uniform among different topics.

What is the problem?

By jbmartin6 • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
"They" have been arguing about corn for a decade. As in, some agree and some don't that the title should be "maize" since "corn" has other meanings in some countries. TFS seems to think that the ultimate goal is 100% agreement. That's not the point of Wikipedia. It's not perfect, and it cannot be because people have different preferences. Is it a valuable resource available to all? Yes.

Amazon's AbeBooks Backs Down After Booksellers Stage Global Protest

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An "extraordinary and unprecedented" global protest from antiquarian booksellers has forced the Amazon-owned secondhand marketplace AbeBooks to backtrack on its decision to pull out of several countries. From a report: AbeBooks had told bookshops in countries including Hungary, the Czech Republic, South Korea and Russia that it would no longer support them from 30 November, citing migration to a new payment service provider as the reason for the withdrawal. The move prompted almost 600 booksellers in 27 countries to pull more than 3.5m titles from Abebooks' site, putting them on "vacation" as they cited the motto of the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers, "Amor librorum nos unit" (love of books unites us). On Wednesday, president of ILAB Sally Burdon met AbeBooks chief executive Arkady Vitrouk to discuss the decision. It was agreed that booksellers in the four affected countries would be able to trade under current conditions until 31 December, with a solution to allow them to use the website indefinitely to follow.

Was pleased to be involved in this...

By rootrot • Score: 3 • Thread

As a rare book dealer and ABAA/ILAB member, I was pleased and impressed with both how many in the trade joined this and how quickly it came together. I was more impressed to see how quickly ABE backed off...
Little things can matter...

Sundar Pichai of Google: 'Technology Doesn't Solve Humanity's Problems'

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In a wide-ranging interview with The New York Times, Google CEO Sundar Pichai has addressed some of the recent tensions within the company and those that the entire industry appears to be grappling with. From the story: Question: An estimated 20,000 Googlers participated in a sexual harassment protest this month. What's your message to employees right now?
Pichai: People are walking out because they want us to improve and they want us to show we can do better. We're acknowledging and understanding we clearly got some things wrong. And we have been running the company very differently for a while now. But going through a process like that, you learn a lot. For example, we have established channels by which people can report issues. But those processes are much harder on the people going through it than we had realized.

Question: Do you worry that Silicon Valley is suffering from groupthink and losing its edge?
Pichai: There is nothing inherent that says Silicon Valley will always be the most innovative place in the world. There is no God-given right to be that way. But I feel confident that right now, as we speak, there are quietly people in the Valley working on some stuff which we will later look back on in 10 years and feel was very profound. We feel we're on the cusp of technologies, just like the internet before.

Question: Do you still feel like Silicon Valley has retained that idealism that struck you when you arrived here?
Pichai: There's still that optimism. But the optimism is tempered by a sense of deliberation. Things have changed quite a bit. You know, we deliberate about things a lot more, and we are more thoughtful about what we do. But there's a deeper thing here, which is: Technology doesn't solve humanity's problems. It was always naive to think so. Technology is an enabler, but humanity has to deal with humanity's problems. I think we're both over-reliant on technology as a way to solve things and probably, at this moment, over-indexing on technology as a source of all problems, too.
Further reading: After Paying Off Men Accused of Sexual Harassment, Google Says It Will Meet Many of the Protesters' Demands.

Not all, not yet.

By HeckRuler • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

But there's a deeper thing here, which is: Technology doesn't solve humanity's problems. It was always naive to think so. Technology is an enabler, but humanity has to deal with humanity's problems. I think we're both over-reliant on technology as a way to solve things and probably, at this moment, over-indexing on technology as a source of all problems, too.

It won't solve all our problems. But we've made the blind see, the lame walk, fed the world, cured a lot of cancer, fought off a lot of diseases, empowered billions, and unless we have some sort of additional advances things look pretty damn grim when it comes to global warming.

You are working on self-driving cars. "1.3 million people die in road crashes each year. An additional 20-50 million are injured or disabled". This is a problem. You are working on solving it. That justifies the investment, all the work, and your fucking stock price.

You want non-discriminatory hiring practices that truly adhere to being an equal opportunity employer? Automate it. Remove discriminatory factors and strive for a meritocracy that's blind to race, religion, or creed. If the process for raising complaints is painful, fix it. Streamlining and automating HR sounds like something you could sell.

You are a technology company. Act like it.

Technology doesn't solve ALL of humanity's problems. Yet.

Technology evolves faster than humans

By Rick Schumann • Score: 3 • Thread
Our technology has evolved many orders of magnitude faster than our species evolves, especially the hardwiring in our brains. In many ways we'd benefit from slowing down our technological progress (and even backing it up) until the human species can catch up to it. Unfortunately nature may do that for us and in the harshest way possible.


By petes_PoV • Score: 3 • Thread

Technology doesn't solve humanity's problems

It does, technology has solved many of the world's biggest problems. However, once it solves a problem then there is no longer a problem, so it doesn't appear that technology has done anything.

But take mass transportation as an example. The inability to move millions of people and millions of tons of goods never seemed like a problem before it was possible. Nobody ever thought "Hmmmm, I wish there was a way to get 50 million people a year to visit other countries" or "I wonder how we could possibly move a quarter of a million tons of crude oil across the world?" . Not until the means to do so was delivered. Then after that, the problem disappeared.

So it is a rather dumb statement. Just like we don't have a "problem" now on how to get 10,000 people a year to The Moon and back. It will become possible - and then easy - to do. And once it does, that will be because technology enabled the solution. But right now, no-one considers our inability to do that to be a "problem".

Re: Huh?

By PopeRatzo • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

*Citation needed*

I would think by now you guys would know better than to challenge me.

"Inscribed pottery shards from the Middle Kingdom of Egypt (2000–1800 BCE), found near ancient Thebes (now Luxor, Egypt), list three human genders: tai (male), st ("sekhet") and hmt (female).

"In ancient Assyria, there were homosexual and transgender cult prostitutes, who took part in public processions, singing, dancing, wearing costumes, sometimes wearing women's clothes and carrying female symbols, even at times performing the act of giving birth.[9]

In ancient India, Hijra are a caste of third-gender, or transgender group who live a feminine role. Hijra may be born male or intersex, and some may have been born female.[10] Hijras have a recorded history in the Indian subcontinent from antiquity onwards as suggested by the Kama Sutra period.

In Persia, poets such as Sa'di, Hafiz, and Jami wrote poems replete with homoerotic allusions, including sex with transgender young women or males enacting transgender roles exemplified by the köçeks and the bacchás, and Sufi spiritual practices."

Google is Doomed.

By AftanGustur • Score: 3 • Thread
The moment Google caved in to the first demands of the SJW, the company was doomed.

Once you have let that Genie out of the bottle, the is no turning back.

To Keep Pace With Moore's Law, Chipmakers Turn to 'Chiplets'

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As chipmakers struggle to keep up with Moore's law, they are increasingly looking for alternatives to boost computers' performance. "We're seeing Moore's law slowing," says Mark Papermaster, chief technology officer at chip designer AMD. "You're still getting more density but it costs more and takes longer. It's a fundamental change." Wired has a feature story which looks at those alternatives and the progress chipmakers have been able to make with them so far. From a report: AMD's Papermaster is part of an industry-wide effort around a new doctrine of chip design that Intel, AMD, and the Pentagon all say can help keep computers improving at the pace Moore's law has conditioned society to expect. The new approach comes with a snappy name: chiplets. You can think of them as something like high-tech Lego blocks. Instead of carving new processors from silicon as single chips, semiconductor companies assemble them from multiple smaller pieces of silicon -- known as chiplets. "I think the whole industry is going to be moving in this direction," Papermaster says. Ramune Nagisetty, a senior principal engineer at Intel, agrees. She calls it "an evolution of Moore's law."

Chip chiefs say chiplets will enable their silicon architects to ship more powerful processors more quickly. One reason is that it's quicker to mix and match modular pieces linked by short data connections than to painstakingly graft and redesign them into a single new chip. That makes it easier to serve customer demand, for example for chips customized to machine learning, says Nagisetty. New artificial-intelligence-powered services such as Google's Duplex bot that makes phone calls are enabled in part by chips specialized for running AI algorithms.

Chiplets also provide a way to minimize the challenges of building with cutting-edge transistor technology. The latest, greatest, and smallest transistors are also the trickiest and most expensive to design and manufacture with. In processors made up of chiplets, that cutting-edge technology can be reserved for the pieces of a design where the investment will most pay off. Other chiplets can be made using more reliable, established, and cheaper techniques. Smaller pieces of silicon are also inherently less prone to manufacturing defects.

What's old is new again

By Waffle Iron • Score: 3 • Thread

Looks like they've reinvented the IBM 3081 mainframe from 40 years ago:

The elimination of a layer of packaging was achieved through the development of the Thermal Conduction Module (TCM), a flat ceramic module containing about 30,000 logic circuits on up to 118 chips.


By enriquevagu • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

You are correct. It was never a law.

Actually, it was a self-fulfilling prophecy. Since Moore's "Law" provided a reference point for the evolution of transistor density, all designers knew where they needed to get, or otherwise their competitors would surpass them.

FPGA chiplets too?

By ctilsie242 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

I wouldn't mind seeing both ASIC chiplets, dedicated for a specific task, like AES array shifting, RSA exponentiation and multiplication, and other tasks a computer commonly does. From there, it would be nice to have FPGAs for most anything else. This can easily allow a hypervisor to run x86 code as well as ARM. Done right, this could also improve security between VMs.

Of course, if someone wants to grind cryptocurrency, next to dedicated ASIC boards, FPGAs are not bad.

Re:Bicycle reinvented

By bluefoxlucid • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

I've wanted a generic coprocessor architecture for a few months now. Imagine if you could stick a chip on your board and it could access the on-board video port (DVI, HDMI), a range of RAM exposed as RAM (it requests address and data), and so forth. Instead of on-CPU graphics, you have a chip that provides that. The same chip can provide things like encryption, encoding, and artificial neural networks.

These things aren't extended CPU instructions as with an FPU. They're actual separate microcomputers. An ANN chip has a completely-different architecture with memory local to the neuron's logic unit instead of in a memory bank. A GPU runs its own program against a memory space.

You don't need a huge riser and ports exposed on the card's edge. You can just plug into the board, get power and an addressing bus, and get appropriate output ports like display and DMA. You can provide multiple functions on one chip. Just make it a chip socket and make it standard.

This works for things that have to run a process on input and output, or on large bulk data. It doesn't work for things that are just extended CPU instructions, like SIMD. Transfer back and forth between processing units and the hop through the memory controller creates too much latency.

You can use a four-wire (RX,TX) LVDS memory bus, too: instead of 64 data lines and 32 addressing lines (1TB physical addressing), you can use two TX and two RX and use a packet protocol. Modern GPUs use 128-byte cache lines (seriously!). You can specify a protocol that sets memory unit size, offset, and then issues READ requests. If you want, your memory controller (on the expansion chip) could send an instruction packet {SET SIZE 512}, {READ 390625}, {READ 390626}, .... The return packet on RX would be the data. CPU's memory controller would carry out the memory read and stream the data to the RX pins.

The memory unit size is just a number of bytes. No trading off number of pins for maximum addressable RAM. There are odd reasons we use parallel buses for RAM, and it's not because parallel is faster; it's because building all of that stuff into DRAM is expensive and power-hungry. Since a coprocessor goes through a memory controller on a CPU, it's cheap there. Latency isn't as much of an issue as sheer bandwidth in this application.

Imagine it. Just pop a graphics chip on your motherboard. 12V supply that can feed 100W. If you need bigger than that, then you buy a 16-lane PCI-Express card.


By Joce640k • Score: 4 • Thread

Yep, it's just a name that was given to an observation.

There's lot's of things called "XXX's law" that aren't physical laws of the universe. Get over it.

Some Windows 10 Pro Users Say Their PCs Are No Longer Activated And Are Been Prompted To Downgrade To Windows 10 Home

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
If you're having trouble activating your Windows 10 Pro computer today, you're not alone. Forums and social media networks are getting flooded with complaints from users who say their machines have automatically become deactivated. Users say they are having trouble connecting with Microsoft's activation servers, with some saying they are being prompted to downgrade to Windows 10 Home. According to Microsoft Answers, the company is working to resolve the issue. Only users who had upgraded their computers to Windows 10 by using product keys of Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 appear to be impacted.

Re:lol why do you people put up with this shit

By courteaudotbiz • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Sounds like I'm gonna have to ditch Red Hat / CentOS. Love KDE Plasma.

Re: Interesting...

By sjames • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

"Rights management" software is intrinsically bad software.

Good software is designed in such a way that it runs if at all possible. If a file is missing and it can still do something useful, it still runs. If a permission is wrong, gives the user a chance to change it or save the file somewhere else. If a non-fatal error comes up, keep going. Where possible, re-try. If something isn't ready, sleep for a bit and try again.

Rights management is the opposite of that. It has failure on a hair trigger. It looks for the slightest excuse to fail if anything at all isn't exactly right. It checks for things that aren't necessary to run. It is by it's very nature BAD software.

Re: lol why do you people put up with this shit

By courteaudotbiz • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

And, you know, more or less run the Internet.

Not only 96.5% of web servers and 85% of cloud services, but also > 85% of all phones.

But not desktop computers though. Which account for what, 45% of web browsing activity, wher Linux has approx 1.5% of the market.

Re: Interesting...

By tepples • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

However, the market has decided that it's easier to fund the development of bad software than good software. How could one go about changing that?

Assumed our company key got disabled, wasted morn

By jbridges • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

I wasted a few hours on this insanity this morning.

My final solution (tried many options) was to use some tools from Ratborus.

KMS Clean to remove my existing key, and then W10 Digital Activation with KMS38 option.

It now says:
Windows(R), Professional edition:
    Volume activation will expire 1/18/2038

Now where do I send an Invoice to Microsoft for wasting my morning on this BS?

If you need a copy of KMS Tools Portable, it's here

The password is part of the filename, so for the latest version:

The password is 1234567890987654321

China's Brightest Children Are Being Recruited To Develop AI 'Killer Bots'

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
A group of some of China's smartest students have been recruited straight from high school to begin training as the world's youngest AI weapons scientists. Local media reports: The 27 boys and four girls, all aged 18 and under, were selected for the four-year "experimental programme for intelligent weapons systems" at the Beijing Institute of Technology (BIT) from more than 5,000 candidates, the school said on its website. The BIT is one of the country's top weapons research institutes, and the launch of the new programme is evidence of the weight it places on the development of AI technology for military use. China is in competition with the United States and other nations in the race to develop deadly AI applications -- from nuclear submarines with self-learning chips to microscopic robots that can crawl into human blood vessels.

Oh no, again?

By drafalski • Score: 3 • Thread

Shit editors.

By Highdude702 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Shit editors don't even check the last 10 stories to make sure what they are posting doesn't already have 100+ comments ON THE FRONT PAGE.


By cascadingstylesheet • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Sort of an Ender's Game ...

Meawhile in the U.S.

By andydread • Score: 3 • Thread
Workers at tech companies refuse to help their country defend themselves against these advancements because of a knee-jerk reaction of hating the military.

US Cyber Command Starts Uploading Foreign APT Malware To VirusTotal

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
The Cyber National Mission Force (CNMF), a subordinate unit of US Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM), set in motion a new initiative this week through which the DOD would share malware samples it discovered on its networks with the broader cybersecurity community. From a report: The CNMF kicked off this new project by creating an account on VirusTotal, an online file scanning service that also doubles as an online malware repository, and by uploading two malware samples.

Very good

By • Score: 3 • Thread

Now if every other country uploads foreign APT malware, too, then maybe even the NSA tools will be detected.

UK Renewable Energy Capacity Surpasses Fossil Fuels For First Time

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Guardian: The capacity of renewable energy has overtaken that of fossil fuels in the UK for the first time, in a milestone that experts said would have been unthinkable a few years ago. In the past five years, the amount of renewable capacity has tripled while fossil fuels' has fallen by one-third, as power stations reached the end of their life or became uneconomic. The result is that between July and September, the capacity of wind, solar, biomass and hydropower reached 41.9 gigawatts, exceeding the 41.2GW capacity of coal, gas and oil-fired power plants.

Imperial College London, which compiled the figures, said the rate at which renewables had been built in the past few years was greater than the "dash for gas" in the 1990s. However, the amount of power from fossil fuels was still greater over the quarter, at about 40% of electricity generation compared with 28% for renewable sources. In total, 57% of electricity generation was low carbon over the period, produced either by renewables or nuclear power stations. In terms of installed capacity, wind is the biggest source of renewables at more than 20GW, followed by solar spread across nearly 1m rooftops and in fields. Biomass is third.

So what?

By sjbe • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

I don't know how much time you've spent offshore, but sea spray is highly corrosive and requires constant maintenance to keep things made of metal and carbon fiber and fiberglass from literally falling apart in a matter of a few years.

Got any more off topic strawmen you'd like to eviscerate? Yes they require maintenance. So what? You think coal or gas plants require no maintenance? Those boilers don't magically run without some serious upkeep. Maintenance is a cost for every form of power generation. Nuclear plants have huge maintenance costs. At the end of the day the maintenance is just one factor among many in determining the economic viability. Increased maintenance is (often more than) offset buy not having to buy any fuel stocks.

Re:Good progress but renewable capacity is tricky

By Spirilis • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

If I had a dollar for every time someone suggests OMG EV battery storage for the grid....

You nailed the problems on the head. Using an EV to supply battery back to the grid is like loaning out your car to the general public... You had better be paid princely for the "miles" they put on your vehicle, in this case, the charge-discharge cycles put on the battery.

Most vehicles are not wired to allow this at residential level - the J1772 standard doesn't allow the vehicle to pump inverted AC power out, although that would be a neat trick (and probably feasible in future cars). The crutch required with current tech would be some expensive DC Fast Charge-based inverter you plug into at night which can go bidirectional at the request of the grid - charge the EV over DC when appropriate and pull DC from the vehicle, invert and feed into a grid-tie system much like solar or wind.

The next best thing may be load trimming, which eMotorWorks has in the form of JuiceNet - juicenet compatible J1772 chargers can trim the available current as needed to create a large-scale electrical load shedding system.


By dj245 • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Found it:

And my comment:

A GBP1bn wind-farm.

"It can generate 659 megawatts"

Current price paid on the energy markets per megawatt-hour: GBP65.36 (Source: - year ahead electricity price for 2018)

GBP1bn will therefore take 1,000,000,000 / 65.36 =

15,299,877 hours to pay back, at full generative capacity. 15,299,877 hours = 637,495 days = 1,746 years.

So... if this windfarm is able to run at full capacity, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, until the year 3764, without any further ongoing costs, then it might just pay back the amount it cost to build.

You forgot to divide by the 659 MW, which changes things to a 2.65 year payback at 100% capacity factor. At a more realistic capacity factor, the payback period is probably between 5 and 7 years. That's on par for most power plants. The maintenance will start to really hit at the 8-10 year mark though, and may make continued operation nonviable without subsidies.

Re:Is anyone surprised by this?

By jbengt • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
And then, to refine kerosene from oil, they had to remove the volatile, explosive components, like gasoline, which they dumped into the river, killing plants, fish, amphibians, and the animals that fed on them.

Biomass is a fucking scam

By Pinky's Brain • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

It mostly just means burning wood in old coal plants for massive subsidies. It's a complete dead end. Hideously expensive, unscaleable, with massive transport costs burning lots of fossil fuel.

It's only the subsidies which make it profitable, subsidies which should be targeted at something not so utterly retarded and destructive ... but then relying on government on the scale of the EU not being utterly retarded and destructive is a lost cause.

Facebook's Unsend Feature Will Give You 10 Minutes To Delete a Message

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Earlier this year, Mark Zuckerberg came under fire after he and other executives removed their Facebook messages from several recipients' inboxes. The move led many to question whether the company would give other users the option to unsend messages. According to Twitter user @MattNavarra, the answer is yes. The feature has been listed as "coming soon" in the release notes for version 191.0 of Messenger's iOS client. The Verge reports: Facebook Messenger will soon allow you to delete sent messages up to 10 minutes after you've originally sent them. Compared to the hour Facebook gives you to delete an erroneous WhatsApp message, 10 minutes doesn't give you too much time to correct yourself. But it's a lot better than having your mistakes preserved eternally.

New idea

By bmimatt • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
How about we give FB 4 minutes to stop and think about itself?
Should help everyone.

More and more "wrong messages" will be sent

By aglider • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

People is already sending messages without reading and thinking.
This "feature" will give users a false perception and they will rely on it to be more and more careless.
There's no message sent by error. They are all sent by carelessness.

I'm gonna just call "Shenanigans" now...

By Timothy2.0 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
"10 minutes doesn't give you too much time to correct yourself. But it's a lot better than having your mistakes preserved eternally."

You can bet your ass they'll be preserved eternally, they may just not be *public*.

so presumably

By rossdee • Score: 3 • Thread

then the message won't reach the recipient for 10 minutes at least.

or have they actually invented a time maxhine

cue Cher: If I could turn back time

Google Is Adding Android Support For Foldable Screens

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
At its Android Developer Summit today, Google detailed plans to bake support for folding phones into the mobile operating system. One of the first Android phones to hit the market with a foldable display looks to be from Samsung with a launch date of "early next year." TechCrunch reports: "You can think of the device as both a phone and a tablet," Android VP of Engineering Dave Burke explained. "Broadly, there are two variants -- two-screen devices and one-screen devices. When folded, it looks like a phone, fitting in your pocket or purse. The defining feature for this form factor is something we call screen continuity."

Among the additions here is the ability to flag the app to respond to the screen as it folds and unfolds -- the effect would likely be similar to the response of applications as handsets switch between portrait and landscape modes.