the unofficial Slashdot digest for 2018-Dec-04 today archive


  1. Researchers Discover SplitSpectre, a New Spectre-like CPU Attack
  2. Japan's Final Pager Provider To End Its Service In 2019
  3. Apple Hit With Class Action Suit Over Lack of Dust Filters In Macbook, iMac
  4. The Secret Service Wants To Test Facial Recognition Around the White House
  5. NYC Votes To Set Minimum Pay For Uber, Lyft Drivers
  6. China Announces Punishments For Intellectual-Property Theft
  7. Hulu, AT&T To Test 'Pause Ads' In 2019, Automatically Playing Commercials When You Hit Pause
  8. Quora Data Breach Exposes 100 Million Users' Personal Info
  9. Microsoft Launches Visual Studio 2019 Preview 1 For Windows and Mac; Open-Sources WPF, Forms and WinUI
  10. Qualcomm Announces the Snapdragon 855 and Its New Under-display Fingerprint Sensor
  11. Kubernetes' First Major Security Hole Discovered
  12. Microsoft is Working On a New Iteration of Windows To Take On ChromeOS, Report Says
  13. House GOP Campaign Committee Says Its Emails Were Hacked During 2018 Campaign
  14. The New Word Processor Wars: A Fresh Crop of Productivity Apps Are Trying To Reinvent Our Workday
  15. 'YouTube Music is a Bad Product in Desperate Need of Improvement Before Anyone Will Care To Use It'
  16. Google Personalizes Search Results Even When You're Logged Out, a DuckDuckGo Study Finds
  17. China Set To Launch First-Ever Spacecraft to the Far Side of the Moon, Will Attempt To Grow Plant There
  18. Fortnite Dev Launches Epic Games Store That Takes Just 12% of Revenue
  19. Microsoft is Building a Chromium-powered Web Browser That Will Replace Edge on Windows 10: Report
  20. Will AWS Be Spun Off Into a Separate Company?
  21. Marriott's Breach Response Is So Bad, Security Experts Are Filling In the Gaps
  22. Google's DeepMind Predicts 3D Shapes of Proteins
  23. Sci-Hub 'Pirate Bay of Science' Blocked In Russia Over Medical Studies
  24. Nvidia Uses AI To Render Virtual Worlds In Real Time

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

Researchers Discover SplitSpectre, a New Spectre-like CPU Attack

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader writes from a report via ZDNet: Three academics from Northeastern University and three researchers from IBM Research have discovered a new variation of the Spectre CPU vulnerability that can be exploited via browser-based code. The vulnerability, which researchers codenamed SplitSpectre, is a variation of the original Spectre v1 vulnerability discovered last year and which became public in January 2018. The difference in SplitSpectre is not in what parts of a CPU's microarchitecture the flaw targets, but how the attack is carried out. Researchers say a SplitSpectre attack is both faster and easier to execute, improving an attacker's ability to recover code from targeted CPUs. The research team says they were successfully able to carry out a SplitSpectre attack against Intel Haswell and Skylake CPUs, and AMD Ryzen processors, via SpiderMonkey 52.7.4, Firefox's JavaScript engine. The good news is that existing Spectre mitigations would thwart the SplitSpectre attacks.

Missing Information

By Jane Q. Public • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
I presume that since mitigation measures for Spectre also work against Split Spectre, that CPUs (like mine) which aren't vulnerable to Spectre are also not vulnerable to Split Spectre?

I realize that it's a bit of speculation but it seems like a reasonable conclusion.

I know it might surprise some people but not all recent processors are vulnerable. For example, according to intel, in their i7 lineup only their 45nm and 32nm process chips are vulnerable.

They laughed

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Oh you, managed languages are safe.
Okay so they aren't, but sandboxes are safe.
Okay alright there are bugs, but virtual machines are safe.
So about thos' virtual machines...
Yeah fuck you, throw another layer on, what does it matter.

Re:Missing Information

By darkain • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Are you speculating whether or not you're vulnerable to speculation attacks..?

Re:jesus christ on a raft...

By Waffle Iron • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

time to dig out my old kim-1 and forth env.

Sorry, but security researchers have recently discovered that due fundamental architectural issues, a hypothetical malicious program could trivially access *all* of the data on any 6502-based system.

Re:Missing Information

By arth1 • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Intel has provided microcode updates for most CPU lines.

For odd definitions of "most". Out of the 221 processors Intel have microcode updates for, 49 have updates from 2018. The rest do not.

Japan's Final Pager Provider To End Its Service In 2019

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Tokyo Telemessage, Japan's last pager provider, has announced that it will end service to its 1,500 remaining users in September 2019. It will bring a national end to telecommunication beepers, 50 years after their introduction. The BBC reports: The once-popular devices are able to receive and show wireless messages. Users would then find a phone to call the sender back. Developed in the 1950s and 1960s, they grew in popularity in the 1980s. By 1996, Tokyo Telemessage had 1.2 million subscribers. However, the rise of mobile phones rendered the pager obsolete, and few remain worldwide. Emergency services, however, continue to use the reliable technology -- including in the UK.

Used to flood call with pagers.

By Blaede • Score: 3 • Thread

Pager companies would buy sequential blocks of numbers. So if I number xxx-xxx5 was a pager, good chance xxx-xxx4 and xxx-xxx6 were pagers too.

So I would these pagers, and enter the number of my target. All these pager owners would then call my target, who was mystified.

I came up with this when one day I dialed wrong, and a minute later the chick's insecure boyfriend *69 me back telling me not to ever call her. So I had about 20 guys call the number.

I wonder what ever happened. Maybe he killed the girlfriend in a jealous rage? Ed will never know.

Re:In the US?

By LordKronos • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

It's actually quite the opposite. Pagers have no guaranteed delivery, because they are a one way service. The pager does not ever communicate back to the tower (or at least the type most doctors carry don't). If the pager is out of range or has a poor signal at the moment the page is broadcast, you are SOL. On the other hand, SMS will at least hold the message until you connect and then make a best effort to get the message to you.

The advantage of pagers is that they work successfully off a much weaker signal and have much broader coverage. And even more importantly, a pager runs off a AA battery that is good for months and can be swapped out with an off the shelf battery in a matter of seconds. You can't say that about any phone.

Re:Used to flood call with pagers.

By slashdice • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
WTF? He tracked you down and instead of kicking your ass, had oral sex with you... then told you to never call his girlfriend again? That's totally fucked up.

Re:In the US?

By spaceyhackerlady • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

You can get a two-way pager if you want one. There are pagers that just send in the fact that they've received a message, that it was read, or ones that can compose a message and send it in.

I work for a paging company. Paging is very much a niche product, but a good niche product has always been a license to print money.


Re:Fake pagers

By jwhyche • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

With cell phones, you can no longer get out of meetings, but at least you can play Tetris while the boss drones on and on.

When I got my first smart phone I loaded a app called fake me out of here. I could give my phone a quick shake and a few minutes later it would ring like I had a incoming call. I used this app to get me out of conversations and meetings that I didn't want to be in. Checking google, I see there are several apps that do just that.

Apple Hit With Class Action Suit Over Lack of Dust Filters In Macbook, iMac

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
AmiMoJo shares a report from 9to5Mac: Apple is facing a new class action lawsuit claiming that it sells select iMac and MacBook models without needed dust filters. In turn, this causes issues such as display imprecations, slowing performance, and more, the lawsuit alleges. The iMac and MacBook lawsuit is being brought forward by law firm Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro, which is a class action litigation firm that has gone after Apple before. Most notably, the firm won the infamous $450 million ebooks pricing case against Apple. Since then, Hagens Berman has levied other suits at Apple, including one regarding the performance throttling of iPhones. Hagens Berman's latest lawsuit reads in part: "iMac and MacBook owners have reported dark smudges and spots on the interior of the screens of their desktop computers as well as excessive slowness and break downs of their computers related to the lack of filter on Apple computers. The computer intakes air to cool its components, but with no filter, dust gets trapped inside. This affects the screen and logic board of the computer, leading to dust stuck behind the screen and gummed up motherboards, causing the computer to run slow and/or overheat."

Hagens Berman says "Apple refuses to remedy the defect," instead forcing affected customers to pay "more than $500 to fix this screen defect, and even more if they wish to replace parts integral to the computer's sped and performance." "We believe Apple owes it to the purchasers of these premium, high-end computers to pay for the widespread defect, and we seek to represent iMac owners to recover their losses in costs to repair this defect, or for their loss of use of their computer."

Compressed air anyone?

By LostMyBeaver • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
Let's suppose for a moment that Apple includes an air filter in the laptops. Understand that we're not talking about a grill, a grill doesn't do much to stop dust. It would have to be an air filter.

To produce an air filter to block particulates from entering the laptop, the filter would itself gather the particulates. This would require making the filter itself able to be cleaned. For this it would require some form of removable grill. A removable grill will require either screw holes or some sort of novel slide and release mechanism to be machined or molded from similar materials as the laptop body.

The addition of said air filter will be of limited value if the filter can't allow air passage as well as block particulates. This means that there would have to be somewhat considerable surface area, low density, greater size, and/or a high power fan to assist with airflow as well as a corresponding power source to compensate for the additional draw.

To make an effective air filter will add additional cost, weight, etc...

The alternative is to facilitate effective use of compressed air through a directed nozzle.

If there's an airflow path for cooling within the laptop that allows air to pass through in the first place, this is the path dust is following to clog the system. Therefore a high power burst of air in the reverse direction will be suitable to remove or somewhat release the particles and eject what would likely be a suitable amount from the chassis or bury in places of less importance.

I believe if Apple loses this case, they should simply ship users a free can of compressed air with the correct nozzle for maximum effectiveness and future models should make it clear that compressed air is a suggested accessory on the side of the box.

I think the air filter would be a generally unwelcome addition to the system.

I also think that Apple needs to identify a means of suing this law firm for targeted frivolous law suits that don't actually represent the interests of the consumers but instead target companies who they believe they can exploit for large settlements.

If Apple asks me, I will participate in a class action suit against this law firm for intentionally misrepresenting me and driving up the costs of products I depend on through frivolous litigation "on my behalf".


By 93 Escort Wagon • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

I don't believe any of the laptops, tablets or even desktops I've ever owned have come with filter systems on the intakes.

Then why on earth are you wasting time talking to us? GET THEE TO A LAWYER!

Time is money, man!

Re: They forced Apple to stop slowing down iPhon

By ShanghaiBill • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Now Apple sales are plummeting

Apple's 3rd quarter revenues were up 17% over a year earlier. Profits were up 40%.

3rd Quarter results

Re: There is a real engineering problem here

By evanh • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

It's not either of those. Consumers never wanted it, reviewers never wanted it. It will impact not just the price tag but ergonomics, style, and weight. Not to mention flattening the battery faster too.

It has always been the domain of larger/heavier products. Suing over this is just another round of asshole mentality again. There's no shortage of that these days.

Makes no sense

By bradley13 • Score: 3 • Thread

First, the screen is a separate, sealed unit. There should be (and AFAIK is) no open connection between the air ducts and the screen.

Second, WTF do you want a filter? The air ducts suck in air, blow it over a heat exchanger and back out again. Who cares if there's dust in the air? It will generally just blow right back out.

A filter is just going to clog up and cause the machine to overheat. And joe-average user will never clean the damned thing.

The Secret Service Wants To Test Facial Recognition Around the White House

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
The Secret Service is planning to test facial recognition surveillance around the White House, "with the goal of identifying 'subjects of interest' who might pose a threat to the president," reports The Verge. The document with the plans was published by the American Civil Liberties Union, describing "a test that would compare closed circuit video footage of public White House spaces against a database of images -- in this case, featuring employees who volunteered to be tracked." From the report: The test was scheduled to begin on November 19th and to end on August 30th, 2019. While it's running, film footage with a facial match will be saved, then confirmed by human evaluators and eventually deleted. The document acknowledges that running facial recognition technology on unaware visitors could be invasive, but it notes that the White House complex is already a "highly monitored area" and people can choose to avoid visiting. We don't know whether the test is actually in operation, however. "For operational security purposes we do not comment on the means and methods of how we conduct our protective operations," a spokesperson told The Verge.

The ACLU says that the current test seems appropriately narrow, but that it "crosses an important line by opening the door to the mass, suspicionless scrutiny of Americans on public sidewalks" -- like the road outside the White House. (The program's technology is supposed to analyze faces up to 20 yards from the camera.) "Face recognition is one of the most dangerous biometrics from a privacy standpoint because it can so easily be expanded and abused -- including by being deployed on a mass scale without people's knowledge or permission."

Can't say I blame the Secret Service for this

By Rick Schumann • Score: 5, Funny • Thread
With someone like Trump in office, it must be at least 10 times harder to keep people out who would want to kill him.

Greatest Enthusiasm

By Sponge Bath • Score: 3 • Thread

Computer: I've got the greatest enthusiasm and confidence in the mission. [scans target]
Target: I reveal my Inmost Self unto my God: MAGA!
Computer: Sigh.

The White House is a honeypot for crazies

By PeeAitchPee • Score: 3 • Thread
If you think this is just because of Trump, you may want to look back at the number of incidents which actually occurred when Obama lived there, including an armed intruder jumping the fence and actually ENTERING THE BUILDING and a mentally ill woman getting shot to death with a baby in her car after panicking, ramming the east entrance, and fleeing. Seriously, knock it off with the partisan shit. I know about 45% of the readers on this site blame Trump, Republicans, and straight white men for the entirety of the world's evils, but nutters being attracted to the White House are a completely non-partisan phenomenon.

NYC Votes To Set Minimum Pay For Uber, Lyft Drivers

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: On Tuesday, New York City's Taxi and Limousine Commission voted to set a minimum pay rate for Uber, Lyft, and other on-demand ride-hailing drivers. The new rate will be set at $17.22 after expenses, or $26.51 per hour gross. New York is believed to be the first city in the nation to implement such a pay floor. Four months ago, the Big Apple also imposed a cap on the number of such vehicles in the city. The Independent Drivers Guild, a local affiliate of the Machinists Union, advocated for the change. Meanwhile, Uber has already put out a statement saying that increased driver earnings "will lead to higher than necessary fare increases" and that the new rules do not adequately take into account "incentives or bonuses forcing companies to raise rates even higher." "Today we brought desperately needed relief to 80,000 working families. All workers deserve the protection of a fair, livable wage and we are proud to be setting the new bar for contractor workers' rights in America," Jim Conigliaro, Jr., founder of the Independent Drivers Guild, said in a statement.

NY Uber and Lyft drivers

By BankRobberMBA • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

I have a good friend driving for both in NYC. He is driving a 4 or 5 year old car (he bought it I think 2.5 years ago). He makes about $50,000/year driving. He has a part time restaurant job, as well.

He bought the car specifically to drive for Uber (and later started Lyft). He has been paying extra on the car. It is nearly paid off now. The car has paid for itself, including all maintenance and insurance, and gas. The money left over paid part of his rent (he only rents a room, but still pays too much). The remainder of the rent and his other expenses are covered by the restaurant gig.

In another year he will have the car free and clear and will (probably*) still be making money with it. In the meantime, he has had use of the car for a couple of years. This is not negative money.

*: Don't get me started on Uber's long-term survivability.

Re:Higher than necessary pay incnreases?

By omnichad • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Limos don't follow taxi laws either. Calling it "ride sharing" doesn't help their case, but being a private hire vehicle not hailed from the street makes quite a bit of difference with the way most of the laws are written.

and why aren't uber/lyft taxi companies

By cats-paw • Score: 3 • Thread

Maybe somebody will finally explain to me why:

1 uber and lyft are, absolutely, taxi companies so why don't the cities simply slap the same regs on them as what are on taxis ?

2 ok, for some reason 1 doesn't apply. then taxi companies shouldn't exist.

uber/lyft are taxi companies, either regulate them as such or just do away with the idea of taxi regulation.

why do they keep treating them separately ??

Re: Why lie about this?

By j-beda • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

So unless they setup as an LLC, register a business name, and register for a DOT number that's on the vehicle, how can they write that off as a business expense. If they don't, they are NOT as business and are not employees of Uber / Lyft (well at least not historically in most places).

Standard "self-employed" IRS forms (Schedule C as I recall) allow one to account for business use of a car.

Here is what H&R block says about it:

To deduct vehicle expenses, you can use standard mileage or actual expenses. For either method, keep a log of the miles you drive for your business. Both methods allow self-employed tax deductions for tolls and parking fees.

If you use the standard mileage rate, you can only deduct the mileage at a standard rate. For 2017, the rate is $0.535.

Over the past few decades, with three different vehicles, of various ages (new through 14 years of age), I have had a couple of years where the actual expenses have come close to the standard mileage rate, but usually the standard rate is higher (and easier to track). Usually for me business use of the vehicle has been under 10% of the total use, which is much less than a ride sharing vehicle would be.

Re: Why lie about this?

By torkus • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Oh so silly. But let's work out the math here.

Even just taking the start of what you wrote: You drove for 1 hour, grossed $40, netted ~$20 and are ahead of the $17 minimum in TFA.

But also, that's the write-off which typically is higher than actual cost and DOES INCLUDE the vehicle cost/depreciation/fuel/etc. The whole point of that rate per mile is the actual, total cost to be driving the vehicle. Lets break that down a bit:

For 12k miles it's $545/month.
For 24k miles it's ~$1100
For 48K miles (typical for a full time uber/lyft driver) that's $2200
Now, $2200 is your IRS approved cost write-off. If your actual costs are lower, it's more money in your pocket. Working backwards from there:

4k miles / 25mpg * $3/gal fuel = $600. This depends on your vehicle and gas prices but uses current fuel and 2016 MPG numbers. A prius will be less.
$20k - average price for a 3 year old car or ~$400/month over 5 years - actual depreciation will be *less* than this of course
$200/month insurance - varies significantly by location, but even doubled this is easily viable.
That leaves a full $1000 a month for maintenance which is overkill so your tax deductions will net you ~30% back on whatever of this you don't spend. Conservatively, that's at least a few grand in your pocket per year.

So after working all that out, you're still making $40k per year including full depreciation of the vehicle in 5 years and all maintenance/fuel.

China Announces Punishments For Intellectual-Property Theft

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
China has announced an array of punishments that could restrict companies' access to borrowing and state-funding support over intellectual-property theft. The news comes after the G20 Summit in Argentina, where the Trump Administration agreed to hold off on tariff action for at least 90 days as they negotiate to resolve specific U.S. complaints. Bloomberg reports: China set out a total of 38 different punishments to be applied to IP violations, starting this month. The document, dated Nov. 21, was released Tuesday by the National Development and Reform Commission and signed by various government bodies, including the central bank and supreme court. China says violators would be banned from issuing bonds or other financing tools, and participating in government procurement. They would also be restricted from accessing government financial support, foreign trade, registering companies, auctioning land or trading properties. In addition, violators will be recorded on a list, and financial institutions will refer to that when lending or granting access to foreign exchange. Names will be posted on a government website. "This is an unprecedented regulation on IP violation in terms of the scope of the ministries and severity of the punishment," said Xu Xinming, a researcher at the Center for Intellectual Property Studies at China University of Political Science and Law. The newly announced punishments are "a security net of IP protection" targeting repeat offenders and other individuals who aren't in compliance with the law, he said.

Let me know when they actually enforce this

By jonwil • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

If the Chinese were genuinely serious about this, they would shut down (or blacklist/apply these new restrictions to) all the hundreds of factories producing bootlegs of everything from smartphones to LEGO bricks to golf clubs to handbags.

Who gets to decide?

By larryjoe • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

So, the Chinese government has laid out punishments to be meted out by the Chinese government. However, the real meat of the any punishment depends on who gets to determine guilt and mete out punishment. I assume that the Chinese government would reserve that right for themselves, as would any sovereign nation. If so, can we expect any change from the current situation? If the US government determines that Huawei is guilty of stealing IP, would the Chinese government even bother to consider any punishments, or would they bog down any investigation in bureaucratic maneuvering or assign blame to individual scapegoats instead of the accused Chinese companies.

Re:China Announces Punishments For Intellectual-Pr

By Freischutz • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Here's hoping the IP non-sense will end soon. We're all just wasting time and resources fighting a losing battle otherwise.

Not holding my breath, you can try to convince us all day long that creating IP is a cost free exercise but it isn't. So instead of pontificating about how IP rights are the work of Satan and information yearns to be free, can you come up with any concrete proposals for a mechanism by which people can recoup the money they sank into IP creation? Something besides donations and collecting the imaginary goodwill dollars they get from all the people pirating their work? ... because at some point in some way, in a world where you are completely free to profit off of anybody else's IP without compensating them for it, the IP creator still has to pay the bills for it to be worthwhile for him/her to bother.

Catch 22 for engineers

By hackingbear • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Your grandma may have told you: be careful what you wish for.

1. If the claim of Chinese intellectual property violation is not exaggerated and that it will be fixed soon, then that would give American companies more incentives to do more research and development in China, tapping low cost engineers and other college graduates, instead of hiring expensive U.S. engineers.
2. China already files more patents than any other countries. The natural trend would be that there will be more patent trolls suing everyone including American companies, just like those opening up offices in East Texas.
3. once China enforce harder, their hi-tech industry will only become more competitive.

Eventually what happened was that, as China’s domestic copyright industries found themselves competing with cheap knock-offs of foreign goods, they pressed the Chinese government to fortify the IP enforcement process on its own. (To put this in perspective, this is also what happened a century earlier in the US, which until 1890 failed to protect foreign works, and then waited yet another century before joining the major international copyright treaty.)

Re:I'm sure the anti-Trumpers...

By LostMyBeaver • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
Dude... I'm not sure if I count in your definition as anti-Trump. I am against any person who believes they belong in that office... especially the ones who try really hard to get there.

Let's take the commitment made by China as with most of the other "commitments" Trump has forced out of China so far.

"We promise to consider doing this...."

"We promise to consider doing that...."

"Now that we've completely collapsed the entire American soy bean market value, we promise to buy some at pennies on the dollar but we don't really need them that badly since we bought out South America's supply and they agreed to plant more."

Let's also consider that my company and its customers are cancelling or placing on "indefinite hold" billions of dollars in American purchases as we look for non-American suppliers because we don't trust the volatility of the American dollar or the American tariff system. So, if we commit to "buying American", we can't be sure that our 5+ year commitments are safe since they can easily inflate by 10-25% at any time due to increased American import costs as well as lack of stability of the dollar. We are also holding off on stateside investments since the dollar could rebound 10% with no hope of recovery at any time. So... put simply... it will probably be 2-3 years before we buy American again and by then we'll have established suppliers outside. If American companies are willing to operate in Euros instead and therefore assuming the fiscal risks themselves, we may reconsider, but this would likely hurt them and then we are worried about the health of the companies we're committing to.

Since Trump came in, the DHS and Treasury has made it particularly difficult to invoice American companies. If we can't sell to the US, we can't buy from the US. This means that we need to be able to rent people and equipment to the US. As a company attempting to invoice a US company, it is required to fill out tax forms that provide information to prove that you're not laundering money. This is because the US doesn't trust their own companies or foreign companies to operate fairly. If you refuse to or are simply unable to fill out these forms, the American company is required to withhold 30% of your payment and pay it to the US government instead. This may sound like no big deal, but to properly fill out these forms requires that you're invoicing at least $25,000 to justify the cost of employing an international tax lawyer to handle the process. So, the solution is to open a shell corporation in the US, then buy bonds in Apple and then take a loan from Apple in Europe... which in turn is money laundering. But it's legal money laundering.

I'd be remiss if I didn't explain that we always had to file these forms in the past as well. It's simply that with the added trade restrictions since Trump took over, it's much worse. The form used to be something you could fill out yourself. Now it requires actual accountants and tax attorneys.

Now, let me approach the specific topic at hand.

IP Theft.

The Chinese have now declared that there are lots of possible punishments for IP theft. This is a big issue.

1) The commitment doesn't define what IP theft means. It doesn't state whether US patents are recognized in the consideration.
2) It doesn't declare how IP theft is identified. Is it something that is reported? Is it something they have to discover themselves?
3) It doesn't specify where the burden of proof lies. Is this a guilty until proven innocent or vise versa environment?
4) It doesn't specify whether IP theft claims can be filed remotely.
5) It doesn't specify whether simply making something similar is actually IP theft

I can go on. It basically says "We will treat IP theft badly" but what's more important is that China recognizes less than 1% of all claims made regarding IP theft as actually being IP theft. It's not like you can just say "China stole my thing". There's been a rough total of 2 big cases ever filed regarding IP the

Hulu, AT&T To Test 'Pause Ads' In 2019, Automatically Playing Commercials When You Hit Pause

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from MacRumors: Streaming TV services offered by companies like Hulu and AT&T are testing the waters for a new type of advertising called "pause ads." The idea behind pause ads is that instead of facing forced commercial breaks at specified interludes, users would be more accepting of ads that play when they choose to pause a show for a bit while they do something else. Hulu says it plans to launch pause ads in 2019, but not much else was given in the way of details regarding which of its numerous streaming plans will include the new type of commercial. The plan likely to see pause ads is Hulu With Limited Commercials, which interjects a few ads throughout a show's runtime, similar to live TV, but again this hasn't been confirmed.

AT&T cited similar interest in pause ads, stating that it also plans to launch technology in 2019 that plays a video when a user pauses a TV show. For both companies, it's unclear exactly how long these ads will run for, and if you'll be able to immediately cancel them out by simply hitting the play button and resuming your TV show. According to Hulu vice president and head of advertising platforms Jeremy Helfand, pause ads will not be home to longform advertisements, but will instead focus on commercials where advertisers "have seconds" to deliver a message effectively. Over the next three years, Hulu expects "more than half" of its advertising revenue to come from these so-called non-disruptive experiences.

Re:Obviously Hulu and AT&T do not respect view

By jwhyche • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

You want to know something funny? I was actually looking for an excuse to cancel Hulu last night. I was flipping through hulu last night noting there was nothing on there I wanted to watch. The only reason I didn't cancel it was because I wanted to finish out Lastman Standing.

Amazing how things can change in 24 hours.

Re:Seems great until...

By reboot246 • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
The other half of the time I hit pause I'm on my way to the bathroom. If they want to play ads while I'm taking a shit, that's okay with me. I'm not interested in anything they're selling anyway.

Re:Obviously Hulu and AT&T do not respect view

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

If you can afford it, please do the world a favor and keep your subscription for another couple of months, until the feature goes live. If you cancel now, you're part of the baseline cancellation numbers. If you cancel after this goes into effect, you're part of the "cancelled after X" cohort. If that cohort is big enough, compared to the baseline, they'll walk it back.

So, cancelling now makes this feature look more popular to statistics than if you never cancelled.

We know this works because Hulu tried making iDevices not output video over HDMI. They saw higher cancellation raters among people who "upgraded" to that client. It was so bad, they rolled back that "feature", and HDMI output works again.

Re:Not watching those shows

By markdavis • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

>"I'm not going back to watching ads ever."


They need to realize this and QUICKLY. I am fine with manually zooming through ads, sometimes even stopping on one to see what it is. But I will NEVER submit to forced ads, nor "pause ads".

And when I freeze/pause something it might be because:

1) I need silence
2) I need no visual distraction for a moment
3) I want to examine something ON THE SCREEN
4) I am leaving momentarily

An "ad" there is totally unacceptable for the first three.... and those happen A LOT.

keep fucking your revenue stream

By TheGratefulNet • Score: 3 • Thread

keep it up, guys.

it just shows me, continually, that the pirate bay is the only way I'm going to consume media, from now on.

the so-called proper sources want to annoy you, to NO END. literally, no end; the war on your sanity has no end. marketing and sales people have no souls.

and so, I've given up even trying to 'play by the rules'.

you'll get no money from me. enjoy your advertising-filled world. I want no part of it and I'll use all the tech I can to filter your bullshit from my view.

Quora Data Breach Exposes 100 Million Users' Personal Info

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
schwit1 shares a report from CBS News: Information sharing website Quora has announced a data breach which has exposed "approximately 100 million users'" personal data. The company said in a statement released Monday that it discovered the "unauthorized access to one of our systems by a malicious third party," on Friday. Chief Executive Adam D'Angelo wrote in the blog post that Quora had alerted law enforcement authorities and was "working rapidly to investigate the situation further and take the appropriate steps to prevent such incidents in the future." D'Angelo said Quora was working to alert the affected users of the site, whose names, email addresses and encrypted passwords, and public content such as their questions, answers and comments, were exposed through the breach. Those users would be required to reset their passwords, D'Angelo said.

The site annoyingly makes you create an account

By ZorinLynx • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Even if you're not going to contribute anything, you're forced to create an account to keep browsing. I wonder how many of those 100 million accounts are throwaways used to browse the site. I know mine is!

Websites shouldn't force read-only users to create accounts. Not only is it annoying, but it wastes resources on your servers and now you have more accounts to potentially get hacked.

Another data breach

By BringsApples • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
So many data breaches lately, makes me wonder if eventually everyone's data will be worthless. And then what??? Most of the propellant of today's society has to do with gathering personal data. If personal data turns out to be worthless, we're talking a shit-storm of problems for a society that's built around it.


By The Grim Reefer • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Information sharing website Quora has announced a data breach

TFS says it's an information sharing site.

It wasn’t really a breach.

By Hallux-F-Sinister • Score: 3 • Thread

Someone just went on Quora, and asked the community, “what would it be like if a file containing all of Quora’s user data were on my computer?” and one of the moderators answered.

Microsoft Launches Visual Studio 2019 Preview 1 For Windows and Mac; Open-Sources WPF, Forms and WinUI

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader writes: At its Microsoft Connect(); 2018 virtual event today, Microsoft announced the initial public preview of Visual Studio 2019 -- you can download it now for Windows and Mac. Separately, .NET Core 2.2 has hit general availability and .NET Core 3.0 Preview 1 is also available today.

At the event today, Microsoft also made some open-source announcements, as is now common at the company's developer shindigs. Microsoft open-sourced three popular Windows UX frameworks on GitHub: Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), Windows Forms, and Windows UI XAML Library (WinUI). Additionally, Microsoft announced the expansion of the .NET Foundation's membership model.

Mixed feelings

By AmiMoJo • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

WPF is actually great, probably the best GUI framework I've come across so far. I'd love to see cross platform support - being able to create say a .NET app with WPF UI that can run under Windows and Mono would be fantastic.

On the other hand can we please slow down with the Visual Studio updates. Do we really need a new version every two years?

Notes and caveats

By Daltorak • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

A lot of people around here don't keep up with Microsoft technology, so here's a few notes and caveats:

1. The Windows and Mac versions of Visual Studio 2019 are completely separate products built from different code bases. They share compilers and .NET Core stuff, and a lot of work is going into making the editors feel the same. But you can't actually use Visual Studio for Mac to work on classic Win32 / .NET Framework applications.

2. Windows Forms and WPF are also Windows-only technology, and that isn't changing even though they'll work with .NET Core 3. There are way too many hooks and dependencies on Windows-specific technology (e.g. DirectX, text rendering, themes, handles) for these to be made into cross-platform applications without major rearchitecting work. In other words, don't wait up for them to produce a competitor to Qt....

3. The source code for Windows Forms and WPF have actually been available as "reference source" for more than a decade, so there are no real surprises to be discovered here.

4. All three libraries are being hosted on Github and are licensed under MIT. These aren't mirrors -- the teams at Microsoft will actually be doing their everyday work in the open on Github. Unfortunately, the full commit history didn't come along for the ride.

5. One of the nice little improvements here is the ability to package your own version of Windows Forms with your app, instead of relying on whatever is installed with the system. .NET Core doesn't (currently) support static linking so it'll still have to exist as a DLL file beside the EXE.

Re:Mixed feelings

By OzPeter • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

On the other hand can we please slow down with the Visual Studio updates. Do we really need a new version every two years?

Pro-tip .. you don't have to upgrade to a new version of VS when it comes out, unless .. gasp .. you want to use the new features or fixes

Qualcomm Announces the Snapdragon 855 and Its New Under-display Fingerprint Sensor

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Qualcomm announced its new flagship 855 mobile platform today. While the company didn't release all of the details yet, it stressed that the 855 is "the world's first commercial mobile platform supporting multi-gigabit 5G." From a report: The 855 also features a new multi-core AI engine that promises up to 3x better AI performance compared to its previous mobile platform, as well as specialized computer vision silicon for enhanced computational photography (think something akin to Google's Night Light) and video capture. The company also briefly noted that the new platform has been optimized for gaming. The product name for this is "Snapdragon Elite Gaming," but details remain sparse. Qualcomm also continues to bet on AR (or "extended reality" as the company brands it).

I'm thinking...

By BringsApples • Score: 3 • Thread

Qualcomm announced its new flagship 855 mobile platform today.

I'm thinking, "Cool!"

The 855 also features a new multi-core AI engine...

I'm thinking, "Not cool"

Re:Qualcomm Sucks Balls

By sexconker • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Modern Android is Google "apps and services" (spyware) on top of Java (but don't call it Java or else we'll get sued - we wrote a compatible API from scratch and just reused the signatures, OKAY?), on top of Linux on top of shitty Qualcomm SoCs that, for some reason, require a support contract for the OEM / Google / carrier to update the Linux OS or system services running on top of it, jammed into a case with inadequate heatsinks and no way to cool the thing so it overheats and throttles almost instantly.

And if you get an Android device that isn't a Nexus^W Pixel, you ALSO get spyware/bloatware installed by the OEM. And if you get it through your carrier you ALSO get their shit injected too.

Android needs to be scrapped at this point.

1: Ditch the Java approach. I don't care if you don't call it Java. I don't care if your JVM is better than Oracle's / IBM's / whatever. Ditch Java. Run native.

0: Did the last bit above scare you? It should have! Secure your fucking shit and that means isolating processes properly and giving users transparent control over applications! Notice how I labeled this one 0 and not 1?

2a: Tell Qualcomm to fuck off. If their shit doesn't come with 5 years of firmware/driver support for the SoC and various other bits they produce, screw em. Samsung is eager to step forward and will commit to updates if for no other reason than the fact that their phones run their shit (in certain markets). Alternatively, Intel is always desperate for a shot at entering the mobile market, and Google can outright buy almost whatever ARM design / designer it wants.

2b: Tell OEMs to fuck off. Android is already locked down hard and tight (Android is NOT AOSP), and OEMs have to sign away their souls to get the latest version or to market their shit as the first "Android <Stupid Dessert Name>" device or to include the Play Store & Google's apps and services. Tell them they need 5 years of timely security updates or they can fuck right on off to the Kindle Phone landfill. Tell them that all bloatware and modifications have to be fully uninstallable by users.

2c: Tell carriers to fuck off. No preinstalled bloatware at ALL! If a user wants whatever shitty carrier app you're trying to infect them with, let them download it from the store. Also tell carriers to fuck off regarding updates. Updates should come from , not the carrier. If OEMs want to provide updates for their specific shit (their app that supports 22 cameras or their butthole scanner or whatever else) let them push it via the store. If they need a lower level firmware/driver update to support that specific shit, let them submit it to Google for review, certification, and inclusion via (like WHQL,but actually review them and do so in a timely manner).

3: Give users control. Users should be able to manually install apps, drivers, firmware, and updates from anywehre if they accept the risks. Maybe Google's slow at approving an update for your phone's 22 camera shit. Maybe we're 10 years in the future and is dead / incomplete / hostile . Users should be able to flash custom images. Users should be able to get root access. Users should be able to perform a FULL backup and restore with or without root access. Users should not have to look for hacks or exploits to do what they want with their hardware or figure out how to not blow e-fuses. Samsung Knox and Google Safety Net can fuck right off. If I root my phone, I can't use the app for my bank. Yet I can do everything that app does, and more, from the browser by going to my bank's website and logging in.

Don't worry! Fuchsia will save us all!!

Kubernetes' First Major Security Hole Discovered

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Kubernetes has become the most popular cloud container orchestration system by far, so it was only a matter of time until its first major security hole was discovered. And the bug, CVE-2018-1002105, aka the Kubernetes privilege escalation flaw, is a doozy. It's a CVSS 9.8 critical security hole. From a report: With a specially crafted network request, any user can establish a connection through the Kubernetes application programming interface (API) server to a backend server. Once established, an attacker can send arbitrary requests over the network connection directly to that backend. Adding insult to injury, these requests are authenticated with the Kubernetes API server's Transport Layer Security (TLS) credentials. Can you say root? I knew you could. Worse still, "In default configurations, all users (authenticated and unauthenticated) are allowed to perform discovery API calls that allow this escalation." So, yes, anyone who knows about this hole can take command of your Kubernetes cluster.

I'll give it a try.

By fahrbot-bot • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Can you say root? I knew you could.

"Groot" -- Damn it! So close...

Inside the firewall

By phantomfive • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

So, yes, anyone who knows about this hole can take command of your Kubernetes cluster.

My understanding is this is only exploitable by people who have access to Kubernetes anyway. Your firewall should not be routing any traffic from the general internet to the Kubernetes api. So this is a good opportunity to check to make sure your firewall is configured correctly, but if you are vulnerable to outside threats, the problems run deeper than a single vuln you'll want to look seriously at your processes and make sure they are security focused. (Or make them more security focused than they are now).


By IPoopInCreimersMouth • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
How is this the first? Back in 2016 it had a CVE rated as a 10.0. Steven J Vaughn seems to fail at basic arithmetic.

Re:Inside the firewall

By Shaitan • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

You are vulnerable to inside threats. In a small org it may not be a factor but when you get to enterprise environments you have segregated permissions. I think Edward Snowden is a hero but that aside, he is a poster child of why you are supposed to have everyone locked down into just the access they need.


By sexconker • Score: 3 • Thread

I'd rather have 12 isolated VMs than 1 VM with 12 containers, or any amalgamation adding up to 12 containers.
Storage is cheap. Memory isn't, but a minimal Linux install to support your software stack isn't exactly a big overhead in that regard.
The only real benefit it brings is having fewer servers (physical or virtual) to manage/update, but you'll still have at least one, so either deal with it or script it.

Microsoft is Working On a New Iteration of Windows To Take On ChromeOS, Report Says

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Petri's Brad Sams writes: For more than a year, we have been hearing about Windows Core OS and how it is a modern version of Windows. As Microsoft continues to build out the platform, it's time to take a look at what the secret project actually includes and how the company is positioning the platform. In Microsoft's feverish attempts to shove out insider builds at an impressive rate, the company doesn't always do a great job at scrubbing the finer details from the builds. Because of this, and some help from a couple insiders, I have been able to piece together what Lite is and where it's headed.

Microsoft is working on a new version of Windows that may not actually be Windows. It's currently called Lite, based on documentation found in the latest build, and I can confirm that this version of the OS is targeting Chromebooks. In fact, there are markings all over the latest release of the insider builds and SDK that help us understand where this OS is headed. If you have heard this before, it should sound a lot like Windows 10 S and RT; Windows 10 Lite only runs PWAs and UWP apps and strips out everything else. This is finally a truly a lightweight version of Windows that isn't only in the name. This is not a version of the OS that will run in the enterprise or even small business environments and I don't think you will be able to 'buy' the OS either; OEM only may be the way forward.

Remember when people laughed at ChromeOS?

By jfdavis668 • Score: 3 • Thread
Everyone just thought it was a netbook replacement. It's come a long way.

Windows RT

By GoJays • Score: 3 • Thread
It was already released and it was called Windows RT.

Re:Ah yes, the perpetual follower

By squiggleslash • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

The joke is they're going to where ChromeOS is thought to be, not where it is now. It was originally a "secure" OS that you couldn't install software on that wasn't NaCl or HTML5. Now you can install Android apps and can - albeit this is not production ready in my opinion - install arbitrary GNU/Linux applications (yeah, sudo apt-get install libreoffice works, add your own repos, compile your own applications, etc.)

(What it is good at right now, perhaps better at than Windows, is web development. Install VSCode and Atom in your Penguin container, and then install whatever web stacks you want in custom containers running whatever LXD compatible operating system you want. So all of a sudden there's interest in high end Chromebooks.)

So Windows is going to be locked down, while Chromebooks look, within the next year or two, to become general purpose computers you can do whatever you want with.

And I'd make a guess that Locked Down Windows will still be less secure than ChromeOS. Because the amount of work needed to add the level of sandboxing and integrity checking needed to make Windows as secure is going to be very, very, high.

(The other question though is "What's the point?" Who is going to want to use locked down Windows? Nobody uses it because they like Edge, or because they're easy to administer, we all use it because of the extensive software base and the implications that has in terms of everyone being able to swap files with one another. Without the ability to install arbitrary software, Windows becomes a difficult to maintain unreliable unstable insecure operating system with quirks everyone hates.)

Will is be free (as in beer)?

By Zaiff Urgulbunger • Score: 3 • Thread
It needs to be free (as in beer at least) otherwise why bother. I can't understand how they can charge for Windows now. Charging for support I get, but otherwise... nope.

Re:Ah yes, the perpetual follower

By LinuxIsGarbage • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

The big thing that makes computers anemic is the web. Load a modern browser up and it's taking 500MB RAM.

Then there's the webpages. Content hasn't changed, but they've become bloated. From a recent post of mine:

If you're reading a news article (for example), requirements haven't really changed since print. You want some text, and a few images. Text is very bandwidth efficient, and the pictures you usually only glance at are 2.5"x1.5" and don't need to be super high res. Even if you have an 8k phone, you're scrolling by. Click to load a larger picture.

But webpages include bundled custom fonts you don't care about, 93 tracking JavaScript plugins for social media sites and ads, 15 JavaScript frameworks where a fraction of the framework is used, 16k resolution stock images, and videos that you don't care about that start playing.

House GOP Campaign Committee Says Its Emails Were Hacked During 2018 Campaign

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
The National Republican Congressional Committee was hacked this election cycle, it admitted Tuesday afternoon. From a report: "The NRCC can confirm that it was the victim of a cyber intrusion by an unknown entity. The cybersecurity of the Committee's data is paramount, and upon learning of the intrusion, the NRCC immediately launched an internal investigation and notified the FBI, which is now investigating the matter," NRCC spokesman Ian Prior said in a statement.

"To protect the integrity of that investigation, the NRCC will offer no further comment on the incident." The major breach included thousands of emails from four senior aides, according to Politico, which first reported the hacks. An outside vendor noticed and alerted the committee in April. The committee then launched an internal investigation and alerted the FBI.

Re:I'm Canadian and even I know the Republicans ar

By Zontar_Thing_From_Ve • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

The evil ones. Admit they were hacked my ass, they're just drumming up conspiricy theories to attack the democrats.

Even worse, because of this I'm now expecting Trump any day to put forth the theory that this somehow means that the Democrats did not actually win the House in the recent election and the Republican victory was stolen. I live in a red state and if he does this, yes, lots of people here will believe it.

Re:Not to worry.

By PopeRatzo • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

That assumes, of course, that Wikileaks has even received copies of the e-mails from whoever stole them.

No, the hacked GOP emails won't go to Wikileaks. They are being kept in a big zip file named, "Saudi/Putin Insurance Policy (1)" on a server in Chechnya that's running a pirated version of Windows NT Server 4.0.

Re: And yet no leaks showing rigged primaries

By sexconker • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Texas is one of the few states in the nation that can actually survive on its own.

Re: And yet no leaks showing rigged primaries

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Are you out of your mind, the President just sent the military to protect Texas from 5,000 job and safety seeking terrorists. How is that the ability to survive on its own.

Re: Not to worry.

By jd • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

No, they shouldn't. Interfering in an election nearly caused Britain to pull out of the Vienna Convention. Think, for once in your life, about something other than point scoring at home. The collapse of the Vienna Convention would be devastating worldwide.

The New Word Processor Wars: A Fresh Crop of Productivity Apps Are Trying To Reinvent Our Workday

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Nearly 30 years after Microsoft Office came on the scene, it's in the DNA of just about every productivity app. Even if you use Google's G Suite or Apple's iWork, you're still following the Microsoft model. But that way of thinking about work has gotten a little dusty, and new apps offering a different approach to getting things done are popping up by the day. GeekWire: There's a new war on over the way we work, and the old "office suite" is being reinvented around rapid-fire discussion threads, quick sharing and light, simple interfaces where all the work happens inside a single window. In recent years, the buzzwords in tech have been "AI" and "mobile." Today, you can add "collaboration" to that list -- these days, everybody wants to build Slack-like communication into their apps.

For notes and docs, there's Quip, Notejoy, Slite, Zenkit, Notion and Agenda. For spreadsheets, there's Bellevue, Wash.-based Smartsheet, as well as Airtable, Coda and, although it's a very different take on the spreadsheet, Trello. The list goes on seemingly ad infinitum, largely thanks to the relative ease with which developers can launch software in the cloud. "Work has totally changed," said Aaron Levie, the co-founder and CEO of Box, the online storage company that is building its strategy around unifying data and messaging from a dizzying mix of cloud apps. "Employees were lucky to have two, three, five modern applications in the 90s. Now they have almost unlimited ways of being productive."

Re:Never heard of 'em

By ceoyoyo • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

You don't understand. A modern economy is composed of a few percent of people who actually do the work, and the rest who "organize," "supervise," "plan," "administer," or similar. You may be part of the former, but if the majority concentrates too hard they might figure out that their purpose is to add to the N in the phrase "I have N people under me."

Re:WordPerfect Function Keys

By NormalVisual • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

It sounds like you want to have stable function key access for all the features, which was one of the awesome features of WordPerfect.

And one of the others was "Reveal Codes". It made child's play of figuring out what unprintable dreck was screwing up your document.

Re:If only you'd spend your time productively...

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

Excel lets you do far more dangerous macro programming that the others don't support. That's awesome for people who want to think that they're being more productive burying business logic in fragile, hidden macros than if they were to actually code it up correctly.

Pretty much what everyone "has" to have Excel for are things that could be done better, faster, and more robustly in something like Python or R with proper comments and a CVS. And which could thus be properly backed up.

Excel provides tools to half-ass this analysis work, and if you're a spreadsheet warrior to begin with, it's hard to resist that lure. A bit of googling later, and you've now got a nice cut-and-paste macro to do something. However, lacking any real exposure to proper programming, there's going to be no comments, no CVS, and the code that does this is hidden in a spreadsheet in such a way that a casual user may not even know it's there.

Let this nasty habit pick up steam, and a few years later you end up with someone dependent on fragile, unbacked-up Excel macros, and it all goes to shit when they leave or the spreadsheet gets corrupted. Or another version of Excel comes out. Or someone accidentally deletes the macro, or changes the structure of the spreadsheet.

Enough with the unproductive ADD crap!

By King_TJ • Score: 3 • Thread

I'm sorry, but the traditional word processor design hasn't "gotten dusty" at all. It's been a pretty established framework for decades because writers need an application that works that way!

This push to make everything "collaborative" with chat clients and ability for a whole group to add sidebar notes to everything creates a big distraction. A good document needs to be focused on by the person writing it. It can be reviewed after that, and marked up as needed with suggested corrections. But the editor doing the proofreading should ALSO be doing that by him/herself, while he/she can give it the undivided attention it deserves.

I remember when a lot of people considered it a "feature" when a word processor would take over the whole screen with almost nothing but the text being typed. Writers appreciated that lack of distraction or temptation to click around on menus to try out various features, rather than concentrating on the work at hand.

I find that even doing regular computer support or troubleshooting, the multiple IM client options just raise my stress levels and make things take twice as long to get completed. People keep barging in, asking for updates on where you're at with something, or for some information on why X or Y is down. I can't see how it would benefit anyone trying to write some technical documentation or anything else, having a whole group constantly interacting and suggesting things while you're trying to concentrate?

Only 1 format is future proof

By grumpy-cowboy • Score: 3 • Thread
Text files. I trying to use simple text files the more I can (my personal files are 95% text files). Then I export it to PDF, ODF, ... if required.

I try to use only future proof (25+ years) file formats : text (org-mode, Markdown, LaTeX, ...), PDF, PNG, ...

This quote resume the way I treat MY data (don't remember where I read it) : I'm using apps against data, not housing my data in an app.

'YouTube Music is a Bad Product in Desperate Need of Improvement Before Anyone Will Care To Use It'

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Andrew Martonik, writing for AndroidCentral: YouTube Music as a service has been around for about three years now, though it really only existed in earnest once the revamped version of the YouTube Music app and dedicated website, as we know it today, launched in May. Whether you look at it as three years or just six months old, one thing is clear: YouTube Music isn't finished yet, is filled with issues and is incredibly frustrating to use on a daily basis considering it costs the industry-standard $10 per month.

YouTube Music is so unfinished and lacking features that I question whether Google has any intentions of following through with its vision of replacing Google Play Music entirely. Put simply, I can't believe Google thinks anyone will pay $10 per month for it when all signs point to Google itself not caring about YouTube Music's success. YouTube Music effectively doesn't work with Google Home. [...] YouTube Music also still doesn't work with Android Auto, which is just as inexcusable as not working with Google Home.

Same could be said for YT itself

By IWantMoreSpamPlease • Score: 3 • Thread

Why do I have recommendations in my feed, that have absolutely nothing to do with anything I've ever watched, ever before?

YT is a mess....christ only knows how bad YT music is...

Google is gonna get sued over the ads.

By t0qer • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

I use good old youtube for listening to music in my car during my morning commutes. Using the google assistant, I say, "OK Google, youtube Chemical Brothers" and I used to get chemical brothers playback starting flawlessly on my drive without looking at my phone.

Last 6 months or so YT has employed strategies to curb this kind of use. Routinely the "Youtube Music" add with "FREE TRIAL MONTH" pops up and won't go away until I physically look for the "No thanks" button. That sort of distraction can lead to an accident. They've also employed the "Are you still listening?" and "Autoplayback paused" Luckily the latter 2 can be skipped by pressing a button on my bluetooth radio transmitter.

Who the honest fuck cares?

By nightfire-unique • Score: 3 • Thread

Spotify is great. Why would anyone use anything made by Google if there are alternatives?

Good news is Google will most likely fold Music in another year or two, and the question will be moot.

Re:Stop me if you've heard this one before

By jwymanm • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
I know, Google is a joke. You can't enjoy any of their products without having the thought in your mind it'll be gone tomorrow on some asshole VP's whim. None of them appear to eat their own dog food either. They probably all have fucking iphones under the table playing their Apple music. Because who the fuck in their right mind (and this is coming from someone who only uses Android/Youtube Music) will stick with/pay for a service that is going to abruptly end or get worse. They only care about their pressure behind the scenes AI gathering usage and user opinion. They don't give a damn about what people even think anymore.

I pay the $10/mo for the sweetner - no ads on YT

By FryingLizard • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread

main reason I use it is b/c it gets the whole family YT without the ads (as a side-perk), which I value very much b/c my 8-yr old is a YT fiend on her ipad and I prefer her un-brainwashed by commercials.
Off topic but...
Her personal choice (I monitor her YT history) is to watch endless home-made vids created by other 8-12 year olds, which - while occasionally annoying to overhear - are harmless kid silliness and much richer creatively than the hours of garbage-grade mass produced kid cartoons my generation watched on broadcast TV.
At one point I put netflix on her ipad and took it off two days later b/c she started binge-watching entire series of crap (sound familiar? ;-) - on YT that doesn't happen b/c - like anyone - she can't resist the random links and ends up watching quite a variety of stuff.
The "Annoying Orange" channel tho. Damn. Aptly named. That's fine tho; kids are meant to like some things that irritate their parents. ;-)

Google Personalizes Search Results Even When You're Logged Out, a DuckDuckGo Study Finds

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
According to a new study conducted by Google competitor DuckDuckGo, it does not seem possible to avoid personalization when using Google search, even by logging out of your Google account and using the private browsing "incognito" mode. From a report: DuckDuckGo conducted the study in June of this year, at the height of the US midterm election season. It did so with the ostensible goal of confirming whether Google's search results exacerbate ideological bubbles by feeding you only information you've signaled you want to consume via past behavior and the data collected about you. It's not clear whether that question can be reliably answered with these findings, and it's also obvious DuckDuckGo is a biased source with something to gain by pointing out how flawed Google's approach may be. But the study's findings are nonetheless interesting because they highlight just how much variance there are in Google search results, even when controlling for factors like location.

It's rather obvious if you use incognito mode

By Solandri • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
Except for my email (which runs on a browser in a virtual machine), I browse completely in incognito mode. I notice searches start to become biased depending on what else I've searched for or browsed in that tab. The fact that the suggested search terms (which pop up as you type in your search request) seemed to "know" what I was browsing recently was a pretty big clue what was going on. Closing the tab and running the search again in a new tab clears this up and reverts the search to its default (which sometimes means different search results compared to the old tab)

Re:Not surprising

By cascadingstylesheet • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

That's nothing. One day I was just thinking about something that I not normally think about. Later that day I looked up the YouTube main page and there was a movie about what I thought about in the Recommended section.

Oh yeah? That's nothing ... YouTube shows me things even before I think about them!

Re:Not surprising

By Waffle Iron • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

It happens on this site, too.

I look at one story, and most of the posts are trolls about APK, immanent Trump incarceration, and giant swastikas.

Then I open an article on a completely different topic, and what do I see? The very same posts about APK, immanent Trump incarceration, and giant swastikas.

It's downright creepy.

They even do this down to the micro-level, randomly inserting "â(TM)" into people's posts on my browser, no matter what the topic. I assume that they're targeted promotions for this trademarked "â" product. I don't know where they got the idea that I was interested in â.

Probabilistic demographic targeting

By Theaetetus • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
From the DDG study:

Second, search results can change by location, such as the inclusion of local news articles. We controlled for this factor by checking all links by hand for this possibility, comparing them to the city and state of the volunteer. We saw very few local links for gun control (1 organic link, 1 news infobox link) and immigration (0), though more for vaccinations (15 organic links, 4 news infobox links).

To control for these local links, we replaced all of them with the same placeholder — for organic links and "Local Source" for infoboxes — in all of our analysis. This adjustment means two users whose results only differed by a different local domain in the same slot would not count as different. Interestingly, this adjustment didn't affect overall variation significantly.

Unfortunately, that doesn't really control for location, because the targeting doesn't work the way they think it does. Google doesn't just include local news stories, but, even for (especially for?) logged out users, they apply targeting based on what your local demographics are like and the search history results of your neighbors. Live in a big city? Even if you're logged out, you'll get a different set of results than if you live in a small rural town. This is true even with a completely wiped history or brand new computer. The justification is that you probably have many similarities with people around you... if they're all searching for snow blowers because there's a storm coming, you probably are interested in one too. It's not even close to 100% accurate, but it's not inaccurate either - it's the same basis used for decades for selecting markets for television commercials, too: using a small group of consumers for whom they have highly accurate information, they extrapolate out to the larger market.

Does this mean you're not really logged out, and Google is secretly tracking you? No, no more than you're being tracked when some broadcaster decides to show certain commercials during a sitcom as opposed to others. They're just making an educated case, and while the result looks the same - pseudo-personalized content - the process is different.

Too much of a good thing is bad.

By hey! • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Online news sucks specifically because it is excessively tailored for you.

One of the lost pleasures of 50 years ago is reading the paper; modern papers are ghosts of their former selves. A newspaper was a carefully curated collection of informative articles designed to appeal to a broad variety of people in a geographic area. Yes, they had ideological focuses, but narrow that focus too far and circulation would drop. Because newspapers desired the largest possible audience within a restricted geographic area, items in them had to stand up to critical scrutiny from a number of points of view.

Since there were no smartphones, when you had a little down time you'd read a bit further into the paper until you were scraping the bottom of the barrel. I'd start with the front page, go to the science section and work my way down until I was reading the sports page. And when you finished reading you'd be just a tiny bit different than when you started, because you'd been exposed to unfamiliar issues and viewpoints.

That feeling of having your mind expanded is what I miss. You can spend a few hours reading online news but when you're done you won't be any different than when you started. While you're reading you may be entertained, provoked, and pandered to, but in the end the algorithm isn't there to inform you. It's there to pigeonhole you so you can be bundled for sale.

China Set To Launch First-Ever Spacecraft to the Far Side of the Moon, Will Attempt To Grow Plant There

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
AmiMoJo writes: Later this week, China plans to launch its Chang'e-4 spacecraft to the far side of the lunar surface. The aim is to land a rover on the dark side of the moon for the first time. Blocked from direct communication with the Earth, the lander and rover will depend on China's Queqiao communication satellite launched in May. If the landing is successful, the mission's main job will be to investigate this side of the lunar surface, which is peppered with many small craters. The lander will also conduct the first radio astronomy experiments from the far side of the Moon -- and the first investigations to see whether plants will grow in the low-gravity lunar environment.

The ultimate goal of the China National Space Administration (CNSA) is to create a Moon base for future human exploration there, although it has not announced when that might happen. Chang'e-4 will be the country's second craft to 'soft' land on the lunar surface, following Chang'e-3's touchdown in 2013.

Re:On the dark side?

By BringsApples • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
Actually, the dark side of the moon gets more sunlight than the side that faces Earth.

Re:On the dark side?

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

The "dark" side of the moon is the one that's tidally locked to point away from the earth. It gets the same amount of direct sunlight (although less total light, because it doesn't get reflected earth light.) It has more small craters because it gets hit more often (although the earth doesn't shield it that much) by meteorites.

TL;DR dark meaning unknown or mysterious, not dim.

Re:On the dark side?

By CHK6 • Score: 5, Funny • Thread
Well the dark side of the moon is more juicy and tender. Where are the white side of the moon is more dry.


By TimMD909 • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
Hopefully this will start a new space race, and focus the US on kicking ass in space. We're the only ones to successfully land on Mars, but we shouldn't get lazy and stop boldly going where... Dammit. ST:TNG marathon is what I'll be doing now.

Re:On the dark side?

By ShanghaiBill • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Being that, from time to time, the Earth blocks light from the sun to the moon (a lunar eclipse), the other side gets more light.

I don't think so. Lunar eclipses occur so infrequently that the total amount of light blocked is inconsequential.

Meanwhile, the nearside gets "earthshine": reflected sunlight from the earth. The earth is much bigger than the moon, and the albedo of earth's clouds is much higher than lunar regolith, so earthshine on the moon is much brighter than moonshine on the earth.

Ergo, the nearside gets more light.

Fortnite Dev Launches Epic Games Store That Takes Just 12% of Revenue

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
The 30/70 revenue-sharing split that turned into something of an industry standard is on the ropes. From a report: Epic Games, the developer responsible for the Fortnite phenomenon, is launching its own game store. And like with its asset store for developers, Epic is planning to take a 12-percent cut of revenues. This will leave 88 percent for the people who actually make the games. "As a developer ourselves, we have always wanted a platform with great economics that connects us directly with our players," Sweeney explained in a statement. "Thanks to the success of Fortnite, we now have this and are ready to share it with other developers."

Re:Well shit

By cascadingstylesheet • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Capitalism in a nutshell. If you want competition you have to accept egregious amounts of redundancy.

Redundancy which, frustrating though this may be to some, makes things better, not worse.

See Soviet era stores vs. American stores of the same era.

Re:Well shit

By Luckyo • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

It would be great if this becomes even more of a thing. Competition drives prices down and cracks down on oppressive policies of the monopolist, such as steam's recent moral panic issues that had it ban and unban developers with ebb and flow of pressure.

Oh joy

By DrXym • Score: 3 • Thread
Yet another company with a fat monolithic, app store that wants to sit on my PC and devices. Steam/Valve, Ubisoft, EA, Microsoft, GOG, Blizzard etc.

I know this is a wild and crazy concept, but how about building a federated system where people are free to buy their games from multiple sources without being trapped in a vertical slice? Games for Windows was more or less that concept, but it seems to have been forgotten about and really it needs to be revisited.

Re:Oh joy

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

This one only charge 12% for third-party developers. The others charge 30%. This is a huge motion. I only hope Steam, Apple, etc. follow them down to 12%, and Epic doesn't drift up to 30% after they get some market share.

Re:Fortnite limited scope

By darkain • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

It isn't just Fortnite. This is Epic Games, who creates the Unreal engine, one of the most popular game engines in the entire industry (and thus the engine's market place as well). They also make the Unreal series of games and Gears series of games. They have a long history in the industry, not just Fortnite. I think ~20 year success is enough establishment to take them seriously on what they know and what they do.

Microsoft is Building a Chromium-powered Web Browser That Will Replace Edge on Windows 10: Report

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Microsoft is throwing in the towel with Edge and is building a new web browser for Windows 10, this time powered by Chromium, news blog Windows Central reported Monday. From the report: Microsoft's Edge web browser has seen little success since its debut on Windows 10 back in 2015. Built from the ground up with a new rendering engine known as EdgeHTML, Microsoft Edge was designed to be fast, lightweight, and secure, but launched with a plethora of issues which resulted in users rejecting it early on. Edge has since struggled to gain any traction, thanks to its continued instability and lack of mindshare, from users and web developers.

Because of this, I'm told that Microsoft is throwing in the towel with EdgeHTML and is instead building a new web browser powered by Chromium, a rendering engine first popularized by Google's Chrome browser. Codenamed Anaheim, this new web browser for Windows 10 will replace Edge as the default browser on the platform. It's unknown at this time if Anaheim will use the Edge brand or a new brand, or if the user interface between Edge and Anaheim is different. One thing is for sure, however; EdgeHTML in Windows 10's default browser is dead.

Re:Won the war failed the objectives.

By DontBeAMoran • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Then Firefox grew where it started to be too big, that is where Google Chrome came in (at around the same time Safari came in for Apple also based on WebKit)

I don't know which parallel Universe you come from, but Safari pre-dates Chrome by more than five years. Also, Google used WebKit, Apple's fork of KHTML, until Chrome version 27. Starting with Chrome 28, it used Blink as its rendering engine which is Google's fork of WebKit.
January 7, 2003, at Macworld San Francisco, Steve Jobs announced that Apple had developed its own web browser, called Safari. It was based on Apple's internal fork of the KHTML rendering engine, called WebKit.[9] The company released the first beta version, available only for Mac OS X, later
The browser was first publicly released on September 2, 2008 for Windows XP and later, with 43 supported languages, officially a beta version,[33] and as a stable public release on December 11, 2008.

Re:Won the war failed the objectives.

By Junta • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

While it may have been ill-advised, realistically netscape was screwed by the gigantic disadvantage of having to be downloaded in a time when 57 kbit was the typical internet bandwidth.

So they suffered from two things:
-Microsoft bundling it into the OS meant that *everyone* had a serviceable browser
-Netscape did not manage to overcome this through getting the OEMs to bundle their alternative (Hardware vendors wouldn't do this without getting paid to do so, and MS stood there with always deeper incentives for OEMs to *not* bundle Netscape).

There's no amount of doing the technology part of the browser better that could have saved them.

Re:Windows will run on a Linux kernel too

By rl117 • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
Linux has "POSIX.1e DRAFT" ACLs. They are functional, but limited, and based upon an unratified and abandoned draft standard. Other Unix sytems, like Solaris, IllumOS and FreeBSD, implemented NFSv4 ACLs which are both a ratified published standard and are compatible with both POSIX.1e DRAFT and Windows ACLs. (They are a superset of both.) If you're using NFSv4 ACLs they are modifiable and queryable from the command-line with get/setfacl and they are also modifiable and queryable from the Windows security/permissions property pages in the explorer (if exported via Samba or NFSv4). The whole ACL situation is limited by the fact that Linux hasn't implemented NFSv4 ACLs in the VFS. Yet filesystems like ZFS and NFSv4 use them, but they are hidden and inaccessible on Linux. If Linux implemented them, we would have pretty comprehensive and interoperable ACL support between all the major platforms.

Re:Won the war failed the objectives.

By Pfhorrest • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

This security problem brought in a new lightweight browser called Firefox. Which supported the standards much better then IE, was faster and didn't use the stuff that allowed people to break into the computer. Then Firefox grew where it started to be too big, that is where Google Chrome came in (at around the same time Safari came in for Apple also based on WebKit)

A couple important missing bits to note in your history here:

- Firefox is powered by Mozilla which was also the core of Netscape Navigator, so Firefox was basically the revenge of Netscape.

- WebKit was created by Apple (as a fork of the KHTML renderer from KDE) specifically to power Safari (all of the OSX/OpenStep/NeXTSTEP libraries are named something-Kit), and then Google adopted that for Chrome, so Safari isn't really just a side note, Safari is essentially the ancestor of Chrome.

Re:Won the war failed the objectives.

By im_thatoneguy • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

You missed a third thing:

Netscape sucked. A lot. Everybody talks about 'standards' but Netscape was as guilty of being non-standards based as IE at the time. In fact a lot of the DHTML stuff that IE pioneered ended up forming the basis of quite a few technologies.

Also I'm just going to point out that CSS Box mode from IE is making a large resurgence because it was always arguably the more sane model.

IE vs Firefox or Opera was a completely different landscape than IE vs Netscape. IE vs Netscape was two incredibly proprietary non-standard browsers competing in the wild west. I switched to IE not because it was bundled but because I was so fed up with Netscape's poor technology.

Once it died and was resurrected as firefox while Microsoft abandoned IE development, Firefox started offering compelling technological advantages to switch but at the time Netscape was bad. That's what I think most people forget. They remember the Firefox vs IE days and just back project their memories of Firefox onto Netscape when that was far from the case.

Will AWS Be Spun Off Into a Separate Company?

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Ammalgam writes from a report via Business Insider: A credible business school professor who correctly predicted that Amazon would buy Whole Foods now says an AWS spinoff is inevitable. Marketing guru Scott Galloway said Monday at Business Insider's IGNITION conference. The move will also help the company placate regulators who are starting to scrutinize its anticompetitive practices, said Scott Galloway, a professor at New York University's Stern School of Business. After the e-commerce giant spins it off, Amazon Web Services (AWS) "will be one of 10 most valuable companies in the world," he said. "The question then becomes, what happens to the old retail-side of Amazon," Galloway added.

Amazon will decide to split off AWS, because it makes a lot of sense and market forces will dictate it, Galloway said. Cloud computing is one of the most important trends taking place in the technology industry, but there's no simple way for investors to profit off it. The three biggest cloud services -- AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud -- are all part of much bigger companies whose results only partially reflect their cloud businesses. As the biggest of the bunch, AWS would be a natural to become its own standalone business, he said. And it could be a huge windfall for Amazon shareholders. Depending on how it would be valued and the multiple to earnings that the market would assign to it, AWS by itself could be see a valuation of anywhere from $70 billion to $600 billion, he said. What do you think? Is this possible?

Propping up Retail Side

By Only Time Will Tell • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
I'm not entirely sure Amazon can spin out AWS given it largely backfills the losses on the retail side. Without the cloud cash cow to cover it, Amazon will have to cut back on a lot of its experimentation (drones, cashless stores, Alexa, etc.) and focus on trying to drive down costs to beat their slim margins.

The only money making part of Amazon

By 140Mandak262Jamuna • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
The AWS is the only money making part of Amazon. If it is spun off, rest of Amazon will collapse.

Since Amazon retail competes with so many sectors and has announced it is going to get into banking, pharmacy, etc, many other companies loathe to use AWS. They are worried AWS would be able to hack in and peek into their data. Even if the data is really secure and secret, they hate giving money to a competitor. So if it is spun off, it might gain more customers and become even more profitable. But rest of Amazon has great brand name and loyalty, but very small profit potential. Its main appeal is low cost. So it can't raise prices all that easily.

Re:'huge windfall for Amazon shareholder'

By Oswald McWeany • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Only an investment banker would think like that./p>

When it comes to share prices- they're the only ones that matter. A share's value has more to do with how much investment bankers think a business is worth (or will be worth) than it has to do with what that company is actually worth on paper.

Not anytime soon

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

Bezos has never done things to be "a huge windfall for Amazon shareholders". He's been running the whole company at almost zero retained profit, dumping cash into expansion at every opportunity. He's never really cared about shareholders like that. Why would he suddenly change now?

Investing in Amazon is like investing in a startup. You know all the cash is going to grow, and you hope it becomes super-profitable later. Which is kinda cool that he's been able to maintain that for decades.

Not any time soon

By sjbe • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

A credible business school professor who correctly predicted that Amazon would buy Whole Foods now says an AWS spinoff is inevitable.

Just because he guessed right once doesn't mean he'll guess right again. And I don't think Bezos gives a shit what short term windfall shareholders might want.

While a spinoff is certainly a possibility, I don't think it will happen any time soon. Part of the reason Amazon was able to make that business work is because it makes use of excess capacity on servers they already had to buy for other purposes. There also is something of a dog-fooding component to the business where Amazon learns what works and what doesn't on their own business which has some obvious utility. Now AWS has become kind of its own thing rather than a way to just use excess servers but there still is a lot of benefit to them to have both under the same roof.

I do think that AWS will be a huge business and possibly eventually much bigger than their retail operations. But for the near future I think there is much too much synergy between them to justify a spinoff.

Marriott's Breach Response Is So Bad, Security Experts Are Filling In the Gaps

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from TechCrunch: Last Friday, Marriott sent out millions of emails warning of a massive data breach -- some 500 million guest reservations had been stolen from its Starwood database. One problem: the email sender's domain didn't look like it came from Marriott at all. Marriott sent its notification email from "," which is registered to a third party firm, CSC, on behalf of the hotel chain giant. But there was little else to suggest the email was at all legitimate -- the domain doesn't load or have an identifying HTTPS certificate. In fact, there's no easy way to check that the domain is real, except a buried note on Marriott's data breach notification site that confirms the domain as legitimate. But what makes matters worse is that the email is easily spoofable.

Many others have sounded the alarm on Marriott's lackluster data breach response. Security expert Troy Hunt, who founded data breach notification site Have I Been Pwned, posted a long tweet thread on the hotel chain giant's use of the problematic domain. As it happens, the domain dates back at least to the start of this year when Marriott used the domain to ask its users to update their passwords. Williams isn't the only one who's resorted to defending Marriott customers from cybercriminals. Nick Carr, who works at security giant FireEye, registered the similarly named "" on the day of the Marriott breach. "Please watch where you click," he wrote on the site. "Hopefully this is one less site used to confuse victims." Had Marriott just sent the email from its own domain, it wouldn't be an issue.

notification on a different domain

By Doke • Score: 3 • Thread
Their data breach notification site is also on a different domain, I know Kroll, but many people would simply see that it's a different domain name, and assume it was a scam.

Internal messaging system is the key

By ctilsie242 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

What I've seen banks, even the local power company, is to have an internal messaging system. This way, any E-mails at most will alert you to log in (also warning to manually type in the URL, and not click on a link) and check your messages, with a warning that anything else is likely a phishing attempt.

Plus, because everything is handled via the internal system, there is more control, which is a help when it comes for GDPR/PCI-DSS/HIPAA/FERPA/whatever compliance, as messages never leave the site.

Wrong tool for the job

By apoc.famine • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

posted a long tweet thread...

Huh. It's almost like twitter is one of the worst ways to communicate complicated things. Too bad there aren't any places on the internet where one can post long-form information and have a discussion about it. Guess we'll just have to break everything into 30 different tweets.

Re:Wrong tool for the job

By nwaack • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Twitter is one of the worst ways to communicate, period. It should be destroyed in fire.

CSC registered it is a STRONG clue

By mysidia • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Just because an advanced user has difficulty vetting the domain doesn't mean there's something wrong with it.

There's no "official" universally accepted criteria for authenticating a domain belongs to the company whose name is claimed on the domain, and even the use of a basic TLS certificate is not foolproof; However, CSC Being a corporate-only registrar that is used by most of the largest internet brands in the US has a very HIGH PRICE to engage their services, let alone register a domain ----- unless a state actor is involved or an additional major breach of CSC themself; the probability of a phishing domain getting registered through CSC AND also with DNS hosted by CSC seems extremely remote --- particularly when you look at the second positive indicator.

Registration is mature --- the domain has been registered for 4 years created in August 2014. That would mean its been dormant or used for purposes not detected as phishing for an extremely long term: generally when a domain name is used for phishing abuse takedown procedures get initiated immediately, and most often the domain is shutdown by its registrar within days.

COULD the breach notification be faked? Yes, In theory. So just be cautious if you receive an e-mail to not provide personal information after clicking on a link in the message. Close the browser window and visit the company's website. Open a ticket with support if the breach notice implies you need to do something, and you can't find a way to do it on their website --- ultimately a company's call-in support should be able to confirm the message is real or not and assist.

Google's DeepMind Predicts 3D Shapes of Proteins

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Google's DeepMind is using an AI program, called AlphaFold, to predict the 3D shapes of proteins, the fundamental molecules of life. "DeepMind set its sights on protein folding after its AlphaGo program famously beat Lee Sedol, a champion Go player, in 2016," reports The Guardian. The company says "It's never been about cracking Go or Atari, it's about developing algorithms for problems exactly like protein folding." From the report: DeepMind entered AlphaFold into the Critical Assessment of Structure Prediction (CASP) competition, a biannual protein-folding olympics that attracts research groups from around the world. The aim of the competition is to predict the structures of proteins from lists of their amino acids which are sent to teams every few days over several months. The structures of these proteins have recently been cracked by laborious and costly traditional methods, but not made public. The team that submits the most accurate predictions wins. On its first foray into the competition, AlphaFold topped a table of 98 entrants, predicting the most accurate structure for 25 out of 43 proteins, compared with three out of 43 for the second placed team in the same category.

To build AlphaFold, DeepMind trained a neural network on thousands of known proteins until it could predict 3D structures from amino acids alone. Given a new protein to work on, AlphaFold uses the neural network to predict the distances between pairs of amino acids, and the angles between the chemical bonds that connect them. In a second step, AlphaFold tweaks the draft structure to find the most energy-efficient arrangement. The program took a fortnight to predict its first protein structures, but now rattles them out in a couple of hours.

They took our jobs!

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 3, Interesting • Thread

DeepMind is moving out of the realm of curiosity (games) to things that employ people with a high degree of specialization. Google's team of 10 people produced a better result with 2 years of work than the entire academic field has been able to produce in the last 30. Granted, they had prior work to inform them. Anyway, this is interesting because this kind of development can put the PhD's in my lab out of a job - and they thought the truck drivers would be first to get automated!

Sci-Hub 'Pirate Bay of Science' Blocked In Russia Over Medical Studies

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
UK academic publisher Springer Nature has filed a complaint against Sci-Hub, a site that provides open access to scientific research papers. "The Moscow City Court was told that Sci-Hub is infringing the company's copyrights and should, therefore, be subjected to blocking," reports TorrentFreak. "Listing 'bulletproof' hosting company Quasi Networks and U.S.-based CloudFlare as facilitating access to the site, Springer Nature complained that three specific works were being made available illegally by Sci-Hub." From the report: As the above table obtained from the Court shows, the research papers cover topics of interest to the medical community in the spheres of heart and brain health -- Effect of glucose-lowering therapies on heart failure, Nitric oxide signaling in cardiovascular health and disease, and Lactate in the brain: from metabolic end-product to signaling molecule. These would ordinarily sit behind paywalls but thanks to Sci-Hub, their contents are available for everyone to absorb for free. It's a situation that's unacceptable to Springer Nature and the Moscow City Court was sympathetic to the company's complaints. As a result, several Sci-Hub and Library Genesis domains (,,,,, and are now being rendered inaccessible by Russian Internet Service Providers.


By religionofpeas • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Effect of glucose-lowering therapies on heart failure

This study seemed interesting, so I downloaded the paper from sci-hub to check it, but disappointingly it only talks about using drugs to lower glucose, rather than the obvious therapy of removing glucose and starches from the diet.

Of all the times

By ChromeAeonuim • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Of all the times for Russia to enforce another country's copyright laws, this was an odd choice. A lot of students in less financially sound countries don't have access to the latest publications, which are kept paywalled behind exorbitant fees, so they need Sci-Hub. What other choices do they have, pull $40 out their ass to skim a paper, a paper what was paid for by some country's tax payers which the journals now profit off of, that may or may not even be relevant to what they're looking for? Then do that again a hundred times over? Get real.

I notice that the second paper has an author at University of Louvain in Belgium and the third at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, so clearly, tax payer dollars already went into the listed works. I'm all for copyright laws protecting the rights of artists, writers, musicians, and the like, but the situation in scientific publications is just ridiculous. The journals are just using all the means they can to hold onto their bygone cash cow, to everyone else's detriment.

Re:Open access?!?

By MrMr • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
I will give one good argument for your 'should'. Quoting from the last Nature Reviews paper in the list above:
Research in P.J.M.'s laboratory has been supported over the years by the Swiss National Science Foundation, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST; Saudi Arabia), the University of Lausanne (UNIL; Switzerland), École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL; Switzerland), Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois (CHUV; Switzerland), the National Centre for Competence in Research (NCCR) Synapsy and the Préfargier Foundation
Clearly Nature is paywalling, at least partially, publicly funded research results.

Nvidia Uses AI To Render Virtual Worlds In Real Time

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Nvidia is using artificial intelligence to draw new worlds without using traditional modeling techniques or graphics rendering engines. "This new technology uses an AI deep neural network to analyze existing videos and then apply the visual elements to new 3D environments," reports Tom's Hardware. From the report: Nvidia claims this new technology could provide a revolutionary step forward in creating 3D worlds because the AI models are trained from video to automatically render buildings, trees, vehicles, and objects into new 3D worlds, instead of requiring the normal painstaking process of modeling the scene elements. But the project is still a work in progress. As we can see from [this image], which was generated in real time on a Nvidia Titan V graphics card using its Tensor cores, the rendered scene isn't as crisp as we would expect in real life, and it isn't as clear as we would expect with a normal modeled scene in a 3D environment. However, the result is much more impressive when we see the real-time output in [this YouTube video]. The key here is speed: The AI generates these scenes in real time.

Thanks for making me feel stupid!!

By MarkTina • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Whenever I see someone creating things like this it makes me realise how dumb I am in comparison! :-)

Re:Thanks for making me feel stupid!!

By 110010001000 • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
We all were thinking that too. Man, Mark Tina is so dumb compared to this.