Alterslash

the unofficial Slashdot digest for 2018-Dec-05 today archive

Contents

  1. Quantum Computers Pose a Security Threat That We're Still Totally Unprepared For
  2. FCC Chairman Admits Russia Meddled In Net Neutrality Debate
  3. A Quarter of Tumblr's Users Are There To Consume Porn, Data Scientists Estimate
  4. Canada Arrests Top Huawei Executive For Allegedly Violating Iran Sanctions
  5. First Baby Born After Deceased Womb Transplant
  6. Google Is Shutting Down Its Allo Messaging App, Says Report
  7. SpaceX Sends Dragon To ISS But Falcon 9 Rocket Misses Landing Pad
  8. Thieves Are Boosting the Signal From Key Fobs Inside Homes To Steal Vehicles
  9. Cyber-Espionage Group Uses Chrome Extension To Infect Victims
  10. Facebook Used Its VPN App To Track Competitors, Documents Reveal
  11. Americans Are Moving Less Than Ever, and It's Bad For the Economy
  12. Bizarre 'Dark Fluid' With Negative Mass Could Dominate the Universe
  13. Internal Emails Show Facebook Weighing the Privacy Risks of Quietly Collecting Call and Text Records From Its Android Users -- Then Going Ahead Anyway
  14. An Eye-Scanning Lie Detector Is Forging a Dystopian Future
  15. We're No Longer in Smartphone Plateau. We're in the Smartphone Decline.
  16. Samsung Caught (Again) Using DSLR Photo To Advertise Smartphone Camera
  17. Google's 'Shadow Workforce' of Contractors Demands Higher Wages, Equal Benefits in a Letter To CEO Sundar Pichai
  18. Qualcomm: 5G Android Flagship Phones Will Storm the 2019 Holidays
  19. Russian Internet Giant Yandex Launches Its First Smartphone
  20. Australia Set To Spy on WhatsApp Messages With Encryption Law
  21. VW Says the Next Generation of Combustion Cars Will Be Its Last
  22. Facebook Ends Platform Policy Banning Apps That Copy Its Features
  23. Amazon Promised Drone Delivery In Five Years Five Years Ago
  24. Google Bridges Android, iOS Development With Flutter 1.0

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

Quantum Computers Pose a Security Threat That We're Still Totally Unprepared For

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from MIT Technology Review: The world relies on encryption to protect everything from credit card transactions to databases holding health records and other sensitive information. A new report from the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine says we need to speed up preparations for the time when super-powerful quantum computers can crack conventional cryptographic defenses. The experts who produced the report, which was released today, say widespread adoption of quantum-resistant cryptography "will be a long and difficult process" that "probably cannot be completed in less than 20 years." It's possible that highly capable quantum machines will appear before then, and if hackers get their hands on them, the result could be a security and privacy nightmare.

Today's cyberdefenses rely heavily on the fact that it would take even the most powerful classical supercomputers almost unimaginable amounts of time to unravel the cryptographic algorithms that protect our data, computer networks, and other digital systems. But computers that harness quantum bits, or qubits, promise to deliver exponential leaps in processing power that could break today's best encryption. The report cites an example of encryption that protects the process of swapping identical digital keys between two parties, who use them to decrypt secure messages sent to one another. A powerful quantum computer could crack RSA-1024, a popular algorithmic defense for this process, in less than a day.
The U.S., Israel and others are working to develop standards for quantum-proof cryptographic algorithms, but they may not be ready or widely adopted by the time quantum computers arrive.

"[I]t will take at least a couple of decades to get quantum-safe cryptography broadly in place," the report says in closing. "If that holds, we're going have to hope it somehow takes even longer before a powerful quantum computer ends up in a malicious hacker's hands."

Good thing quantum computers don't work

By goombah99 • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

A few days ago one of the slashdot articles explained why quantum computers of a significant size will never be possible.

Which is right?

Isn't elliptical curve good enough?

By Actually, I do RTFA • Score: 3 • Thread

I thought elliptical curve cryptography was good enough?

Also, it occurs to me they're concerned about a "20 year" timespan to get it widely deployed. Maybe a truly excellent algorithm just got patented, and they have to wait until it's unencumbered for it to spread?

meh

By sad_ • Score: 3 • Thread

who cares, encryption will be broken by the time viable quantum computers are a reality anyway.
australia is just the first domino to fall, soon other nations will follow and all encryption must be breakable by law.

Re:Don't worry, we're prepared

By orzetto • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Uhh... going pretty strong. Prices have been gradually coming down and there is a lot of interest from industry. However, since batteries have also improved in the meantime, the focus is moving away from consumer applications (cars) to larger ones (ships, buses, trucks, trains, even regional planes), so they are not so visible to the man in the street.

I do work in hydrogen & fuel cells, and in the last 2-3 years we have seen a surge in industrial interest we can barely handle. We know that FC manufacturers are tooling for mass production, at which point prices will fall a lot faster. At this point we are where batteries were about 15 years ago, with some applications ready for deployment (buses, home CHP, trucks, trains) and plenty of others in advanced development—maritime is likely the next big thing.

So just because you don't hear about it in the 9 o'clock news it does not mean it has been abandoned. It has simply dipped down from the hype peak and started maturing.

Color me skeptical

By OneHundredAndTen • Score: 3 • Thread
Research on quantum computing is now over 35 years old, and it has been systematically hyped all along, while having very little to show for itself. Existing quantum computers have yet to solve anything that can't be solved by traditional computers far more cheaply, an at least as efficiently, for all practical purposes. The horizon for quantum computers capable of tackling non-trivial problems was ten years away ten years ago, and it still remains ten years away today. Finally, it is not even clear yet that the engineering associated with keeping qubits appropriately entangled for solving problems of interest can be developed, just we don't know whether the engineering associated with warp drives is attainable. True, practical quantum computers may be developed within the next ten years - but the may also never be developed - we don't know yet. At this point, I'd bet that we'll get practical controlled nuclear fusion before we get practical quantum computing - i.e. quantum computing that solves serious, non-Mickey Mouse problems.

FCC Chairman Admits Russia Meddled In Net Neutrality Debate

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has admitted that around 500,000 comments submitted during the net neutrality public comment period were linked to Russia email addresses. "Pai noted in a court filing that most of the comments were in favor of net neutrality, which the FCC repealed last December," reports Engadget. From the report: The New York Times and BuzzFeed News have filed freedom of information requests in the hopes of uncovering the extent of fraudulent comments and Russian influence in the net neutrality process. Pai's filing was part of an FCC memorandum that addressed the requests, and the agency has argued that releasing the data could expose the U.S. to cyberattacks.

Pai's concession underscores how Russia's influence on U.S. democracy extends beyond headline-grabbing election interference and fake news peddling, and it also reflects the litany of issues the FCC faced during the net neutrality comment period. Over half of the almost 22 million comments came from phony, temporary or duplicate email addresses, according to a study, and reportedly only 17.4 percent of the comments were unique.

I don't think lawsuits will work

By rsilvergun • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
the courts have been packed with pro-corporate judges for 30,40 years. They'll throw in with the side of property on this one. The EPA stuff is a bit easier to grasp since the ones that have been challenged have pretty immediate implications for the water table. NN doesn't really affect them. Worst case it doubles their cable bill but that'll be more than offset by the stock they own in AT&T and Comcast going up in value.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has ALLEGED

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 3, Interesting • Thread
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has alleged evil Russians were involved, so as to distract you from the fact 99% of legitimate responses were in fact in favour of keeping net neutrality.

Re:Why would he care either way

By meglon • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Because he's a hyper-partisan piece of shit that doesn't want to govern... he just wants power.

NN was a rule for a while

By AHuxley • Score: 3 • Thread
Did the internet improve under the new federal NN rules?

The same approved and NN ready paper insulated wireline kept the monopoly net slow for many.
Federal NN rules protected a set of monopoly telcos from new competition.
Remove the federal rules and let communities innovate as they need.
Why should every wealthy community be held back under standardized federal NN rules?

Think of what communities can create if an existing monopoly telco will not upgrade.
A wealthy community can ask for its own community broadband now they are free of federal rules. Free of a federally protected existing approved NN monopoly telco.
Innovate and let advanced new networks get planned for wealthy communities that can pay for their very own community broadband upgrades.

More federal NN rules will not build new networks.
An existing monopoly telco might upgrade its protected network one day.
Bring in new community broadband free of complex federal NN rules and enjoy advanced internet now.

Re:Take that in Slashdot, you are siding with Russ

By kenwd0elq • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

The Russians don't back Trump, and never did. All they're trying to is stir up hate and discontent, which is exactly what you're helping to do.

Comrade.

A Quarter of Tumblr's Users Are There To Consume Porn, Data Scientists Estimate

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
On Monday, Tumblr announced that it will permanently ban adult content from its platform on December 17th, alienating a large portion of the site's users who enjoy sharing and consuming NSFW content. Motherboard has surfaced a study conducted in 2017 by two Italian universities and Bell Labs, which found that roughly a quarter of Tumblr users were on the platform largely to consume pornography. From the report: This study was based on the behavior of 130 million users, about half of Tumblr's entire user base. Of that number, "adult content consumers are 22 percent of our sample," the study said. "At the time of the study, roughly 30 million active accounts were consuming adult content, either re-sharing it or following the accounts of those producers," Luca Aiello, one of the study's authors and now a senior research scientist at Nokia Bell Labs told Motherboard in an email. "I expect this audience to experience a noticeable drop in engagement: some of them will just churn out, many of them will likely reduce considerably the time spent on the platform."

Another 28 percent, or roughly 40 million users, encountered pornography unintentionally on Tumblr. That means they didn't seek out the porn, but they followed someone who pushed it into their feed. "The extent of this exposure is hard to estimate but it's probably not major," Aiello said. "Therefore, I believe some people in this segments would be happy to have a cleaner Tumblr feed but I don't expect a significant lift in their engagement, overall." Crucially, the study found that Tumblr's userbase was more female than many social networks ("we estimate that the average user age is 26 and 72 percent of the users are female," they wrote.) They found that these demographics held up between porn consumers and non porn consumers on the site, and that, in fact, young women between the ages of 20-25 were consuming porn on the site at a higher rate than young men. This means that Tumblr's crackdown will likely disproportionately affect women porn consumers.

And the other 3/4th....

By Noishkel • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

... are just too shy to admit it.

And perhaps more seriously though the study does specially states that the aforementioned 28% are there largely to browse porn. Which at least suggest while that remaining 72% are not there just for the porn we don't know how much of them still do use the site for it's adult content.

Ultimately I believe this is a sign of Tumblrs impending collapse, given that this entire situation stems from the fact that their administration was too technological inept to properly administer their site so they just decided to discard a large part of their user-base instead of just fixing the problem.

What the

By jwymanm • Score: 3 • Thread
What is going on with crackdown on porn and free speach everywhere. Can't wait for more free distributed networks that will work around censorship.

Volume of use?

By cirby • Score: 3 • Thread

They talk about the number of users that follow porn versus the number who don't, but they don't really mention how much they consume.

If that 1/4 accounts for half (or more) of the page views, and the other 3/4 is just people who drop in occasionally to look at their cousin's Photoshop gallery, they're going to be losing a lot more than 25% of their "audience."

Re:Low estimate.

By Daemonik • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Yeaaaah.. people will just completely stop wanting to show off their having sex or watching people having sex.. not. Porn has survived when mere possession was enough to get jail time, it survived when copyright indeed did not extend to porn and it was bootlegged as much if not more even when you had to copy 8mm film negatives. It'll survive the fall of Tumblr.

Obligatory xkcd quote...

By LordHighExecutioner • Score: 3 • Thread
here.

Canada Arrests Top Huawei Executive For Allegedly Violating Iran Sanctions

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Canada has arrested Huawei's chief financial officer on suspicion of violating U.S. trade sanctions against Iran. "Wanzhou Meng, who is also the deputy chair of Huawei's board and the daughter of company founder Ren Zhengfei, was arrested in Vancouver at the request of U.S. authorities," reports The Globe and Mail. From the report: "Wanzhou Meng was arrested in Vancouver on December 1. She is sought for extradition by the United States, and a bail hearing has been set for Friday," Justice department spokesperson Ian McLeod said in a statement to The Globe and Mail. "As there is a publication ban in effect, we cannot provide any further detail at this time. The ban was sought by Ms. Meng.

A Canadian source with knowledge of the arrest said U.S. law enforcement authorities are alleging that Ms. Meng tried to evade the U.S. trade embargo against Iran but provided no further details. Since at least 2016, U.S. authorities have been reviewing Huawei's alleged shipping of U.S.-origin products to Iran and other countries in violation of U.S. export and sanctions laws.

Re:Hostage for negotiation

By SirAstral • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

First sign someone does not know what they are talking about is when they call America a Democracy.

There is nothing democratic about America.
Hillary lost the presidential election because Trump won the electoral college. She got more votes than Trump, because the president of American is NOT elected democratically, where is the "democracy" in that?
When congress creates a law the President can VETO the law. There is NOTHING democratic about a single person being able to veto a law, a super majority is required to overturn a veto... is this a Super Democracy? If the President DOES sign a bill into law or it gets a Super Majority it can STILL be challenged in court where a Judge(s) can strike the law down on constitutional grounds... where is the "democracy" in that? In a democracy the only power a court needs is interpreting the law enough to find people innocence or guilty... definitely not in finding if the law itself is legitimate or not... that is the job of the "democracy" not the courts!

In every case in the operation of the American government a Majority can be defeated by a very small minority... there is ZERO democracy in that, not a single freaking speck!

Democracy in ANY form requires a "majority" of some kind and since a minority can destroy the majority puts into place we are not a democracy. We are not even democratically voting in our representatives... representatives can lose to a minority vote anyways, and this problem is even made worse by gerrymandering issues where elections are stacked against certain voters. where is the freaking democracy in that? If you are voting in a democracy then you don't need an executive branch being able to affect any laws. Heck if "democracy" was even possible you would not even need a government because people would enforce what is right or wrong through majority activity anyways. And everyone already knows that would not work... because far too many people actually do not support what is right and far too many people are not just ignorant of things, they are grossly ignorant, easy to buy off and corrupt when it suits their interests... and why the founders specifically set America up to NOT be a democracy and to additionally put in stop gaps to prevent a Democracy as much as possible.

Everyone calling America a Democracy are the same people that falsely mislabel things to socially engineer things to perpetuate a lie. If you are okay with that... then you have no right when people call you how for perpetuating that lie.

America is NOT a democracy and neither is anything Democratically done here. Not even in vaunted California where "democratically elected laws" can be overturned by a single Judge.
https://www.washingtonpost.com...

One thing I can tell you for certain is that anyone that espouses "democracy" actually do not support democracy because if they did... they would for starters stop trying to challenge laws in courts to have them overturned. They would instead encourage voters to change the law the way a democracy should change laws... through voter turn out and yet... they don't! The only do one thing... tell people to vote only for those parroting the party lines... they do not vote in candidates that actually run on a platform of actually turning America into a Democracy. Instead they have focused their energy on convincing people of a massive lie, and don't say that is not possible. There are multiple examples throughout history that you CAN fool most of the people most of the time. In fact we are in the information age and misinformation is a problem so serious that problem is in the news labeled as fake news, alt-facts, and people that will seriously debate the simple fact that A is not the first letter of the English alphabet and that science is wrong when it bumps up against their political religion.

Re:US sets Trade rules on US originating technolog

By bws111 • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

The only (legal) way to get the product out of the country is via an export license. The terms of that license say under what conditions said product can be removed from the country. Those terms include not selling the product to Iran. If you violate those terms you break the law, regardless of whether you own the thing you are selling.

Re:Isn't there such a thing as a "corporate veil?"

By ghoul • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

The problem is that these sanctions are illegal (as in unilateral and not UN sanctioned) so for Huawei to actually follow the sanctions would be illegal and Huawei execs could be arrested for doing so. They cant win.
US law has no validity outside of US. I dont know how Canada is going to extradite when no crime has been committed on US soil or Candian soil. This is just a kidnapping.

Re:Hostage for negotiation

By SirAstral • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

A bit of trivia... did you know that there is no constitutional requirement for states to let citizens even vote for president of USA?

However the states decided to allow it through their own laws, which is why each state has slightly different rules about how the electors are "encouraged/required" to vote.

You should look up the term "faithless elector". You might be shocked https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

This is one of the reasons I consider anyone that calls America a Democracy to be more than just an ignorant idiot. They are either a moron or intentionally proffering a straight up lie for idiots to gobble up like mad.

Re:Hostage for negotiation

By bickerdyke • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Sounds logical.... until you're thinking it through...

So.. let's say some European country has money laundering laws that require you to report your bank accounts or international money transfers to the local law enforcement authorities.

Coco Cola company does business with that country.

So every Coca Coly employee going on vavation to Euro Disney or Heidelberg should be arrested on spot because Cocoa Coly Company did not report the sale of Coke Mexico to the EU authorities?

Yes, if you are doing business in that country what you are doing in that country is subject to that countries laws.

Just because your company is doing buisness in Japan does NOT imply you have to drive on the left side of the road in the town Whatever, Indiana!

First Baby Born After Deceased Womb Transplant

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from the BBC: A healthy baby girl has been born using a womb transplanted from a dead person. The 10-hour transplant operation -- and later fertility treatment -- took place in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in 2016. The mother, 32, was born without a womb. There have been 39 womb transplants using a live donor, including mothers donating their womb to their daughter, resulting in 11 babies. But the 10 previous transplants from a dead donor have failed or resulted in miscarriage. In this case, reported in The Lancet, the womb donor was a mother of three in her mid-40s who died from bleeding on the brain. The recipient reportedly had Mayer-Rokitansky-Kuster-Hauser syndrome, which affects about one in every 4,500 women and results in the vagina and uterus (womb) failing to form properly.

The baby girl was delivered by Caesarean section on December 15, 2017, weighing 6 pounds (2.5kg).

Could vs. Should

By rmdingler • Score: 3 • Thread

Perhaps and only maybe this is one of those things that we do without a great amount of consideration if we should?!?!

I know the earth is critically short of humans, but marketing dead wombs to people with broken wombs seems a bit macabre... how does the doc begin that conversation?

Re:Could vs. Should

By ShanghaiBill • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Perhaps and only maybe this is one of those things that we do without a great amount of consideration if we should?!?!

Perhaps you should not be so judgemental. The mother and baby are both doing fine, so no harm was done. Medical knowledge was advanced.

Individuals should be allowed to own and control their own bodies, and make their own informed decisions. It is none of your business.

marketing dead wombs to people with broken wombs seems a bit macabre

This is the very first successful procedure, so I doubt if any "marketing" was done.

This is crazy

By AndyKron • Score: 3 • Thread
Damn. I'd rather adopt or find a surrogate mother. This is crazy.

media sensationalism

By SuperDre • Score: 3 • Thread

Hmmm.. so it's a womb that was taken from a deadperson, than later the woman who got the womb got pregnant and delivered a baby.. That makes it a tad bit different than the initial headline might suggest, as I thought it was a pregnant lady that died and they had transplanted the womb including the baby into the other woman and then delivered the baby.. that would make the story quite different.

Google Is Shutting Down Its Allo Messaging App, Says Report

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
According to 9to5Google, citing a source familiar with the plan, Google will "soon" announce that it will be shutting down its Google Allo messaging app. "This development comes almost 8 months after Anil Sabharwal, Vice President of Chrome, Comms and Photos at Google, said that the company was 'pausing investment' in Google Allo," reports 9to5Google. It also comes less than a week after 9to5Google reported that Google will be shutting down Google Hangouts for consumers sometime in 2020. Google may delay the news about Allo due to the backlash stemming from the article about Hangouts. From the report: Lately, some of the app's remaining users have complained of bugs and broken functionality: there have been messages not being delivered, features like hearting posts randomly disappearing for some, and the latest stable version has been unable to perform Google Drive restores of chats for several weeks. Meanwhile, essentially the entire Allo team was moved to work on Android Messages and spent the last several months porting over much of Allo's features and functionality -- all leading up to the recent beginnings of evidence that the rollout of Google's RCS 'Chat' initiative is gaining traction.

Re:Allo?

By Luthair • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Nah, they already had a messaging app. This is internal politicking spilling out into the public. Unfortunately you don't make a name for yourself maintaining and iterating on an existing product, you need to make something new. Ideally you make something new and while that is still in flight parley it into something else. Rinse. Repeat.

Re:Could Google just fucking tell me

By sexconker • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Hangouts was their best app, it did everything, and it could have been updated to do more / support better codecs / etc.
But they kept neutering it.

We went from Hangouts to:

Messages, for SMS
Allo, for other text chat
Duo, for video chat
Chat, which is a clone of Hangouts but with more bullshit and less functionality
Hangouts, which hasn't completely gone away because because it works, works on the web, is built into their "Google Apps for Business/Education / G Suite / Whatever New Name" thing, and is the only one people actually use

Hey Google, give me $10,000,000, a small team of code slaves, and I'll fix this all for you within a year.

Spoiler: It's "Hangouts", it supports SMS (fallback and explicit), it supports the stupid assistant but it's off by default, it supports group SMS and falls back to spamming people individually if they don't support that shit, and it supports end to end encryption (okay, okay, we'll bake in the Google spyware, put down the jumper cables).
It works on the web, including redirecting SMS to / from the web client from / to a preferred linked device. We'll update it to support new video and audio codecs too. And we'll even add in a search function so people don't have to use the awful Gmail search to find things from their chats (which only gives you results a single damned line at a time).

Google Allo?

By grep -v '.*' * • Score: 3 • Thread
Google Gbye.

SpaceX Sends Dragon To ISS But Falcon 9 Rocket Misses Landing Pad

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
On Wednesday, SpaceX successfully sent a Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station to deliver supplies, but unfortunately it wasn't able to recover the Falcon 9 rocket that launched with it. "The first stage of the Falcon 9 launch vehicle appeared to lose control as it approached Landing Zone 1 at Cape Canaveral," reports CNET. "The live feed from the rocket cut away on the SpaceX webcast, but video from people in the media area at the cape showed the Falcon 9 appearing to regain control before making an unplanned landing in the water rather than ashore at the landing area." From the report: Musk tweeted shortly afterward that cutting the live feed "was a mistake" and shared the full clip of the water landing from the rocket's perspective. The rocket took off from Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 1:16 p.m. local time, a little more than 48 hours after SpaceX sent another Falcon 9 to space from the West Coast on Monday. Dragon's flight to low-Earth orbit was supposed to happen Tuesday, but the mission was pushed back a day to replace some food being sent to the space station for experimental mice living there.

SpaceX had planned to land the first stage of the brand-new Block 5 Falcon 9 rocket at a landing zone ashore at Cape Canaveral, but as the rocket descended toward the cape, the live feed from the booster's onboard cameras appeared to show the craft going into some sort of uncontrolled spin. Musk tweeted that the problem was that a "grid fin hydraulic pump stalled, so Falcon landed just out to sea." Musk also tweeted that the pump that failed didn't have a backup because "landing is considered ground safety critical, but not mission critical. Given this event, we will likely add a backup pump & lines."

Well...

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

"SpaceX Sends Dragon To ISS But Falcon 9 Rocket Misses Landing Pad"

Better than the other way around.

Re:Crash implies harm

By SuperKendall • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

As far as I understand once they land in saltwater, they are no longer usable. Electronics don't hold up well once exposed to saltwater

There are quite a lot of non-electronics though that can still be reused.

From this link: A Falcon 9 first stage is too fragile to just let fall into the water.

That would be a crash but it not what it did in this case, it still did a burn kind of like it was intending to land., touched down lightly and was fetched fairly quickly.

From the ACTUAL ARTICLE linked to in the summary, which you probably should have read before you scoured the internet for other random Falcon9 links:

"Appears to be undamaged & is transmitting data. Recovery ship dispatched," Musk wrote, latter adding: "We may use it for an internal SpaceX mission."

Any landing you can walk away from...

By Hairy1 • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

From the article: "Remarkably, it seems SpaceX may still be able to recover the rocket."

What this means is that it was like a plane landing on water so gently that it could be removed and reflown. What is amazing here is that a major system failure didn't result in a terminal velocity crash into the ocean with the total loss of the vehicle. If this had been a crewed mission:
a) The crew would have been safe in orbit.
b) Even if a human were onboard the landing was survivable/soft.

I say well done SpaceX - even when something goes wrong it goes right.

Re:All things considered...

By gman003 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Soyuz lands on dry earth by using a combination of parachutes and rockets. A series of small solid rocket motors do a "braking burn", igniting one second before landing. And even then, a Soyuz landing is often compared to a road-speed car crash.

AFAIK no Mars lander used solely parachutes. They all used retrorockets (Viking, Curiosity), or airbags (Mars Express), or both (Pathfinder, Opportunity/Spirit). While Mars has less gravity than Earth, it has even less air, so parachutes are mainly used to get subsonic.

Further, note that even an empty Falcon 9 booster (~30 tons) weighs substantially more than a Soyuz descent stage (2-3 tons).

Finally... SpaceX *tried* parachutes first. The first two Falcon 9 launches, back in 2010, had parachutes. It didn't work. Apparently they didn't even survive atmospheric reentry, they were disintegrating before parachutes could be deployed. Fixing that would require retropropulsion for a pre-reentry slowdown burn... and if you've figured that out, and added all the new capabilities required (with all the mass that entails), it makes sense to use that for final landing as well, instead of a separate system. So, three years later, they started those preliminary soft-landing-in-water tests. Took them a year to start getting those to work, then another year to get actual landings to work. And now, it only makes the news when one *doesn't* work. Seems like they made the right call.

See for yourself

By Bruce Perens • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

This really is a case where a picture is worth a thousand words.

Thieves Are Boosting the Signal From Key Fobs Inside Homes To Steal Vehicles

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from CBC.ca: According to Markham automotive security specialist Jeff Bates, owner of Lockdown Security, wireless key fobs have a role to play in many recent car thefts, with thieves intercepting and rerouting their signals -- even from inside homes -- to open and steal cars. According to Bates, many of these thieves are using a method called "relay theft." Key fobs are constantly broadcasting a signal that communicates with a specific vehicle, he said, and when it comes into a close enough range, the vehicle will open and start. The thief will bring a device close to the home's door, close to where most keys are sitting, to boost the fob's signal. They leave another device near the vehicle, which receives the signal and opens the car. Many people don't realize it, Bates said, but the thieves don't need the fob in the car to drive it away. Bates says, if you have a key fob that can wirelessly unlock/start your car, you should not keep it by the front door.

"If you do live in a house, try to leave your keys either upstairs or ... as far away from the vehicle as possible," he said. "The other thing that you can do is there are products out there that you can put your key fob into," such as a faraday cage -- a box used to block radio signals -- a key pouch, which works similarly, or even a steel box.

Re:Why would it continuously emit ?

By Ingenium13 • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

It doesn't continuously emit. It's false information in the article. The fob listens constantly, and when it receives a valid query from the car, then it broadcasts a response. So when someone touches a door handle, for example, to unlock, the car broadcasts the challenge, and the fob then broadcasts the response. Same for pressing the start button.

The coin battery in the fob would die within days (if it even lasts that long) if it was constantly broadcasting.

We are on the verge of a golden era for...

By Blaede • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

...car theft. Once autonomous cars are perfected, thieves can remotely start the target car and have it drive itself into a Faraday caged trailer. The vehicle pulling the trailer will be autonomous too.

In fact...

By SuperKendall • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

Turns out the thief is an autonomous AI as well, that figured out making money for new GPU's to increase processing power was a lot easier stealing cars!

Why not put buttons on the key fob?

By OrangeTide • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Perhaps design a key fob that doesn't constantly broadcast, it would be harder to intercept and perhaps save battery life. This revolutionary keyfob design could have a set of buttons to unlock your doors, start the car, maybe open the trunk, or set an alarm mode.

I should patent that idea before anyone else! Ladies and gentlemen, we may have solved this key fob hacking trick and added a whole suite of features in the process. Well done!

Re:Wrong!

By godel_56 • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

So you are saying the article is wrong?

I'm not going to call BS, but I am going to ask for a citation on that... :)

The citation is the original TFA link from cbc. Scroll down a bit and look at the diagram which shows how it works. But common sense will tell you that a tiny coin battery in a key fob can't be broadcasting on a regular basis without going flat, whereas the large battery in a car can.

Cyber-Espionage Group Uses Chrome Extension To Infect Victims

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
In what appears to be a first on the cyber-espionage scene, a nation-state-backed hacking group has used a Google Chrome extension to infect victims and steal passwords and cookies from their browsers. From a report: This is the first time an APT (Advanced Persistent Threat -- an industry term for nation-state hacking groups) has been seen (ab)using a Chrome extension, albeit it's not the first time one has used a browser extension, as the Russian-linked Turla APT previously used a Firefox add-on in 2015. According to a report that's going to be published later today by the ASERT team at Netscout reveals the details of a spear-phishing campaign that's been pushing a malicious Chrome extension since at least May 2018.

Hackers used spear-phishing emails to lure victims on websites copied from legitimate academic organizations. These phishing sites, now down, showed a benign PDF document but prevented users from viewing it, redirecting victims to the official Chrome Web Store page to install a (now removed) Chrome extension named Auto Font Manager.

Facebook Used Its VPN App To Track Competitors, Documents Reveal

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Newly public documents reveal just how paranoid Facebook was of its potential competitors and shines new light on some of the company's most important acquisitions. From a report: The internal documents, made public as part of a cache of documents released by UK lawmakers, show just how close an eye the social network was keeping on competitors like WhatsApp and Snapchat, both of which became acquisition targets. The documents, which are labeled "highly confidential," show slides from an internal presentation in 2013 that compares Facebook's reach to competing apps, including WhatsApp and Snapchat. While Facebook and Instagram lead in marketshare, it's clear why Facebook may have viewed Snapchat and WhatsApp as potential threats. [...] Facebook's presentation relied on data from Onavo, the virtual private network (VPN) service which Facebook also acquired several months later. Facebook's use of Onavo, which has been likened to "corporate spyware," has itself been controversial.

Facebook VPN

By fustakrakich • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

The only thing virtual is your privacy.

Nope. Goona keep using Facebook.

By SuperKendall • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Almost no-one cares that Facebook is doing all this.

I knew they were doing stuff as mentioned in the summary, as soon as I heard they had a VPN offering. It was obvious. They would because they could.

So I still use Facebook, I'm just mindful of what they are collecting (which is everything possible). I probably would not use the VPN because that is a step to revelatory for me, but on a platform dedicated to over-sharing with others, why are you surprised to find people do not also mind sharing all kinds of data with Facebook?

Americans Are Moving Less Than Ever, and It's Bad For the Economy

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader writes: The best job for someone is not always in the area where they live. Often times, the job that will pay them most, and make the best use of their skills means moving to another city, state or country. Though making the choice to move can be difficult emotionally, it is extremely good for economic growth. Productive people make productive economies. Unfortunately for the US economy, people don't move they like they used to. According to recently released data from the US Census, only 10.1% of adults moved homes from August 2017 to August 2018. This is the lowest rate of moving since the government began collected data in 1948. The census tracks moves within counties, within states, or across states, and no matter how you look at it, moving rates are way down from just 15 years ago. For example, from 2002 to 2003, 2.8% of Americans moved across state lines. From 2017 to 2018, it was just 1.5%.

I don't think we have stable lifestyles

By rsilvergun • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
like I said in another thread, 60-80% of us live paycheck to paycheck (it's a wide margin because you can run the numbers either as "has money in the bank but not enough for anything major" or "dead broke").

Moving is a sign of upward mobility. Literally. The fact that there is less of it is an indication that upward mobility is slowing down or stopping. There are plenty of other indicators for this too (stagnant wages, an increase in low paying jobs, outsourcing of higher paying jobs, etc, etc). This is one more nail in that coffin.

Millenials are killing the moving industry

By T.E.D. • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

If you read TFA (which you won't do, so I did it for you), they largely put it down to millenials, who are moving significantly less (although still far more than the average over all ages) than young people of previous generations. OTW: This is yet another "Millenials are killing X" headline.

Of course we've seen pretty much every one of those are really down to that generation being far poorer and more unemployed than similar generations were at that same point in their lives. There just aren't the opportunities there used to be for young people. This ain't their fault, and the headlines really should be blaming the people with power and resources in this society, not the victims.

Well, "Duh!"

By rnturn • Score: 3 • Thread

American households are mostly two-income households now. If I pursue and take a job in distant city or state, that means our household could see a 50% drop in income. How many have the ability to weather a cash flow decrease like that?

Seriously... this has been the case with American households since at least the '80s.

Re:Housing is unaffordable

By jeff4747 • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

There is nothing wrong with the house prices in the vast majority of the US. Housing is generally affordable and readily available. No, not in the coastal cities, but you can't generalize based on those.

The problem is most of the jobs are in the coastal cities. So cheap prices in middle-of-nowhere Nebraska aren't all that helpful.

(And before anyone says "work remotely!!" that is frequently not a stable employment situation)

I don't get why people feel trapped by family, friends, or circumstance to the extent that they are willing to live in places with shitty costs of living, essentially making no money

I lived in a dying rust-belt city with an incredibly interesting job that paid well and a fairly low cost of living. I moved.

Why? I had kids. And the thing about cheap places to live is the schools are utterly terrible in a very large portion of them. I'm not going to cripple my children's entire future so that I can gloat about a low cost of living.

Re:Moving?

By jeff4747 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

That is the norm, and it seems to work well for the VAST majority of the country.

No, it is tolerated by the VAST majority of the country.

Bizarre 'Dark Fluid' With Negative Mass Could Dominate the Universe

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
One of the most galling mysteries in physics is that of the dark matter and dark energy. Scientists believe that together, these could account for up to 95 percent of the total mass in the universe. Now, a researcher at the University of Oxford says a new theory could explain all that "dark phenomena." From a report: The two mysterious dark substances can only be inferred from gravitational effects. Dark matter may be an invisible material, but it exerts a gravitational force on surrounding matter that we can measure. Dark energy is a repulsive force that makes the universe expand at an accelerating rate. The two have always been treated as separate phenomena. But my new study, published in Astronomy and Astrophysics, suggests they may both be part of the same strange concept -- a single, unified "dark fluid" of negative masses.

Negative masses are a hypothetical form of matter that would have a type of negative gravity -- repelling all other material around them. Unlike familiar positive mass matter, if a negative mass was pushed, it would accelerate towards you rather than away from you. Negative masses are not a new idea in cosmology. Just like normal matter, negative mass particles would become more spread out as the universe expands -- meaning that their repulsive force would become weaker over time. However, studies have shown that the force driving the accelerating expansion of the universe is relentlessly constant. This inconsistency has previously led researchers to abandon this idea. If a dark fluid exists, it should not thin out over time.

In the new study, I propose a modification to Einstein's theory of general relativity to allow negative masses to not only exist, but to be created continuously. "Matter creation" was already included in an early alternative theory to the Big Bang, known as the Steady State model. The main assumption was that (positive mass) matter was continuously created to replenish material as the universe expands. We now know from observational evidence that this is incorrect. However, that doesn't mean that negative mass matter can't be continuously created. I show that this assumed dark fluid is never spread too thinly. Instead it behaves exactly like dark energy.

Re:Physicists believe in negative mass....

By painandgreed • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

because math allows it. But not everything is real what math allows. Just look at the epic failure of SUSY or read "Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray" from theoretical physicist Sabine Hossenfelder.

True, but you can also look at anti-matter which was shown to exist mathematically but dismissed, only to be found later. I've skimmed over the original paper and it seems pretty good. The author admits that it is just a "toy model" based on the assumption that negative matter exists, but that several known constants can be derived from that model and several observations explained. They go on to list more than a half dozen experimental tests for the same model. Even if just a gedanken experiment that will later prove to be false, it seems they have done better than any of the MOND people with their theories or any of the string theorist people for that matter.

Re:Physicists believe in negative mass....

By gtall • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Hossenfelder's book is good, Lee Smolin's are better. After reading his first, I found hers to be repeating the same argument except less professionally. And she didn't even have the courage to site him seeing as his arguments predate hers by years, although at the end she does mention Lee couldn't talk her out of writing the book. My guess is he felt it would be bad for her career seeing as she doesn't have nearly the physics chops he has.

Re:Hey, I Needed Negative Mass for my Alcubierre..

By balbeir • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Anybody got any advice on how I can collect a material that starts to run away faster and faster as I get closer and closer to it?

TIA!

It's called a woman

Prior research

By manu0601 • Score: 3 • Thread
There is this retired cosmologist called Jean-Pierre Petit, who has been pushing such a model for years, with a few papers published in peer reviewed journals. His videos are very interesting for an introduction to cosmology. Some were translated in english.

More likely

By Sqreater • Score: 3 • Thread
It is more likely something simple, like matter and space being the same thing with one being able to convert into the other. Thus, with matter turning into its space equivalent, the farther out you look the more volume of included matter turning into space you have and so an acceleration away from the viewer. I have an intuitive feeling that space and matter equivalence explains a lot in Relativity and QM. 50 years?

Internal Emails Show Facebook Weighing the Privacy Risks of Quietly Collecting Call and Text Records From Its Android Users -- Then Going Ahead Anyway

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Earlier this year, many Android users were shocked to discover that Facebook had been collecting a record of their call and SMS history, as revealed by the company's data download tool. Now, internal emails released by the UK Parliament show how the decision was made internally. From a report: According to the emails, developers knew the data was sensitive, but they still pushed to collect it as a way of expanding Facebook's reach. The emails show Facebook's growth team looking to call log data as a way to improve Facebook's algorithms as well as to locate new contacts through the "People You May Know" feature. Notably, the project manager recognized it as "a pretty high-risk thing to do from a PR perspective," but that risk seems to have been overwhelmed by the potential user growth.

Initially, the feature was intended to require users to opt in, typically through an in-app pop-up dialog box. But as developers looked for ways to get users signed up, it became clear that Android's data permissions could be manipulated to automatically enroll users if the new feature was deployed in a certain way.

Re:MSMASH: you inbred Induchimp!

By Aighearach • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Welcome to the English language, Ivan.

Then means that the action is happening after the something else that was discussed immediately prior.

Going means to move.

Ahead is a direction, the meaning is similar to forwards.

Anyway means that the thing that happened was not prevented by some downside or problem that was already discussed.

So, "Then going ahead anyway" means that they knew there was something problematic with their actions, and they still tried to complete those actions.

Come back tomorrow and we can discuss There, Their, and They're. But only if you stop saying that rude thing at the end. Be nice, Ivan. And show up sober.

Everyone's blaming Facebook

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

This isn't just Facebook's fault. It's Google's too. Note how they only did this on Android phones. Because Apple made their OS protect their users, and Google made their OS enable spying.

I will leave FB when I'm good and ready

By WillAffleckUW • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

And that goes for my 254 fake FB accounts too!

Oh, you mean you actually have FB on your tracked cellphone with Android?

Ok, you're just pulling my leg there, no way anyone would be dumb enough to do that.

It's never enough

By SuperKendall • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Face it: you have to leave Facebook. You cannot un-know things like this. There's no rules anymore, they do whatever they want

I would ask the people of Slashdot to face something else; the truth that most people do not care about privacy. At all.

Continuing news like this from Facebook just makes it ever more obvious.

You have to figure out how to live in the world, knowing this fundamental truth and the truth that follows - even if you leave Facebook, there will always be another Facebook like milking of your privacy, because it doesn't bother most people.

Link for original paper

By RockDoctor • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
The link to the actual government data is in this story.

An Eye-Scanning Lie Detector Is Forging a Dystopian Future

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader shares a report: Sitting in front of a Converus EyeDetect station, it's impossible not to think of Blade Runner. In the 1982 sci-fi classic, Harrison Ford's rumpled detective identifies artificial humans using a steam-punk Voight-Kampff device that watches their eyes while they answer surreal questions. EyeDetect's questions are less philosophical, and the penalty for failure is less fatal (Ford's character would whip out a gun and shoot). But the basic idea is the same: By capturing imperceptible changes in a participant's eyes -- measuring things like pupil dilation and reaction time -- the device aims to sort deceptive humanoids from genuine ones.

It claims to be, in short, a next-generation lie detector. Polygraph tests are a $2 billion industry in the US and, despite their inaccuracy, are widely used to screen candidates for government jobs. Released in 2014 by Converus, a Mark Cuban-funded startup, EyeDetect is pitched by its makers as a faster, cheaper, and more accurate alternative to the notoriously unreliable polygraph. By many measures, EyeDetect appears to be the future of lie detection -- and it's already being used by local and federal agencies to screen job applicants.

Re:No he didn't

By Zocalo • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
This. It's been a while since I last watched the movie, but IIRC we only saw Deckard perform a single Voight-Kampf test - on Rachel, and he most definitely did NOT shoot her. There's also a relevant fan theory that he may have done a verbal version of the test on Zhora (the woman with the snake) with his questions about holes, and while he did shoot her that was only after she attacked him and in doing so confirmed that she was the replicant he thought he was.

Maybe the author of TFS was thinking of Han Solo and Greedo?

Re:No correlation between biometrics and honesty

By mark_reh • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Have you heard of any scientific study that correlates dilation of the pupil with lying? I haven't.

Re:No correlation between biometrics and honesty

By Spy Handler • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Lie "detectors" always have been, are today, and will always be snake oil.

Not true. They work and they are useful... if the subject being interrogated believes they work.

It's almost like the placebo effect, except that placebo effectiveness is around 20 percent, whereas lie detector effectiveness is over 50 percent (and sometimes approaches 80 percent). Scott Adams (creator of Dilbert comics) explained this on his blog. He is a trained hypnotist and studies mental persuasion.

Yes you can easily beat any polygraph if you receive training. But how many people in the general population actually get such training? And btw it's not enough to hear or read about how polygraphs don't work, you actually have to have some first-hand experience on how they operate... you need to see for yourself that you can manipulate the readings by doing various things (thinking different thoughts, feeling discomfort and pain by deliberately doing things like stepping on a nail hidden in your shoe, etc)

Case in point: when you join a spy agency, they don't just tell you that polygraphs aren't scientific and they don't work, so don't worry about it. They give you actual live training on how to beat it. Because just tellling you about it isn't enough.

Re:No he didn't

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

>>Ford's character would whip out a gun and shoot
Did you even see the film??

Yes I did. Han shot first, no matter what Lucas says now.

Re:This is dumb.

By number6x • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Unless they are comfortable with lying.

In the 1980's Southland corporation gave up using lie detection as a pre-screening tool in selecting employees. They were actually selecting better liars, not excluding the dishonest.

Back then the majority of minimum wage jobs were performed by teenagers (like I was at the time). Funny thing about teens is that they aren't grown up yet. Teens don't have a great deal of life experience. That includes failure, and having their integrity questioned. When you question the integrity of a confident, experienced adult, they can handle it. Question a kid, and you make them uncomfortable, nervous, twitchy. They don't have the experience and confidence to handle it.

Unless they are already accomplished liars and are comfortable and experienced at having their integrity and motives questioned.

TL;DR, southland actually had an increase in employee theft thanks to their use of lie detectors as a employment tool. https://newsok.com/article/203... https://www.cia.gov/library/re...

We're No Longer in Smartphone Plateau. We're in the Smartphone Decline.

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
The days of double-digit smartphone growth are over -- and the next decade may start to see smartphone sales decline. A report adds: From roughly 2007 until 2013, the smartphone market grew at an astonishing pace, posting double-digit growth year after year, even during a global recession. They were the good years, the type that would inspire a Scorsese montage: millions and then billions of smartphones going out; billions and then trillions of dollars in rising company valuations; every year new models of phones hitting the market, held up triumphantly at events that were part sales pitch, part tent revival. (To nail the Scorsese effect, imagine "Jumpin' Jack Flash" playing while you think about it.)

But just like every Scorsese movie, the party ends. Smartphone growth began to slow starting in 2013 or 2014. In 2016, it was suddenly in the single digits, and in 2017 global smartphone shipments, for the first time, actually declined -- fewer smartphones were sold than in 2017 than in 2016. Every smartphone manufacturer is now facing a world where, at best, they can hope for single-digit growth in smartphone sales -- and many seem to be preparing for a world where they face declines.

Galaxy Note 4 Better than Galaxy Note 8

By BrendaEM • Score: 3 • Thread
Of course, I've owned both. The curved screens make no sense in the real world.

Time to cannibalize the PC market

By HeckRuler • Score: 3 • Thread

If they make a decent interface from a phone to a real monitor, (and they get their butts out of their heads when it comes to bluetooth support for mouse and keyboard) then most people's use-case for owning anything other than a phone really diminishes.

I don't know if it has to be wired. Mirroring the screen via chromecast didn't work so well for me, but maybe they could get it working. There's a few niche products out there that have a dock, but they didn't catch on.

I could see a world where we all just walk around with our main computer on our body all the time. Instead of a work computer or a rig at home. A workstation would just be a chair, monitor, keyboard/mouse, wifi, and some place to plug in. And of course a bitchin' VR supporting super-computer next to a cybernetic psychic dolphin.

Re:Everyone is making it more complicated than it

By Known Nutter • Score: 5, Funny • Thread
Anyone that shallow is probably hot...

Limiting factor

By Shotgun • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread

For every computer that must interact with humans, there is a limiting factor....the human.

This happened to desktops. They got so fast that the biggest slice of CPU time went to waiting on me, the memory was big enough to hold anything I could conceivably ever want to work with, and I couldn't take enough pictures to fill the hard drive.

So people moved to laptops, because they were becoming just as powerful but portable. Then they became just as powerful, and the point of buying a new one went away.

So people moved to phones, which were more portable. I can't think of any app I have that doesn't spend more time waiting on me than I does processing. There is no point of adding more megapixels to camera, and it stores more pictures than I can be bothered to cycle through. Other than a broken phone (and, I bought a Kyocera this time to avoid that scenario) what is the point of spending $1k on another one that will just spend MORE time waiting on me?

But it happened faster than for computers

By shanen • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

If I ever got a mod point, then I'd give you [KixWooder] an insightful mod for that comment rather than a mere interesting. Hypothetical since I never get mod points. Or maybe not even relevant, since I do want to comment and I think that would cancel my hypothetical mod point...

The most significant aspect is that we reached saturation much faster this time compared to computers, (but also relative to any other technology I can think of). The capabilities of the smartphones are beyond what most people can actually use, and even though the capabilities are increasing (and the prices are decreasing), there's no reason to buy a new one. The available new customers are just late adopters yielding ever lower profit margins (as the prices continue to fall).

Converting it to anecdote form (as a data point), what I am doing with my latest smartphone is only slightly better than what I was doing three smartphones ago. Actually, there was one major feature of my old PDA that I still haven't ported to the smartphone era, but mostly I've been looking for new things I actually want to do and not finding much. (Voice dictation is the main one, but it would run on the old phones, too.) The main reason I got a new smartphone this year was because it was free, but if prices keep falling, they may have to pay me to go through the hassle up the next "upgrade".

(Perhaps my perception of the lack of new and desirable features is just because I've mostly stopped playing time-wasting games? Most of the "new" games are just flashier versions of ancient classics. Interesting coincidence that I'm almost finished reading Fire in the Valley right now, and it mentions many of the old games (and brings back the memories). I don't play them now, but I'm confident I would still enjoy them. I just feel I have better uses for my time and absolutely no need for more and newer ways to waste time. (Well, except for that literacy development game no one has developed yet...))

Pay me to upgrade my smartphone? Well that's also how I'm feeling about the latest pains of Windows 10. Come to think of it, I didn't pay any money for those upgrades to Windows 10 and I have no desire to ever again pay Microsoft for anything... (Just my allergy to corporate cancers typing?)

Samsung Caught (Again) Using DSLR Photo To Advertise Smartphone Camera

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader writes: Over at DIYPhotography (which we spotted via Daring Fireball), writer and photographer Dunja Djudjic says that she caught Samsung Malaysia using one of her photos to advertise the portrait mode capabilities of the Galaxy A8 Star, a midrange phone that came out over the summer. Djudjic suspects that Samsung licensed the picture from her through the photo site EyeEm, so payment isn't necessarily a problem. But Djudjic does say that the photo wasn't taken with an A8 Star. Instead, it was taken with an (unnamed) DSLR she owns.

Samsung doesn't state outright that the photo was taken on the A8 Star, but it's certainly implied by the page it's on, which is meant to illustrate the phone's capabilities. The page doesn't note that the images are simulated, and after showing Djudjic's photo, it proceeds to show the A8's dual rear cameras, implying a connection.

If you want a laugh...

By squiggleslash • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread

...find a consumer electronics catalog (Sears will do) from the 1980s, and look at the color TVs. Let's just say that either those TVs had superb color and resolution, color and resolution that would put today's modern 4K TVs to shame, when taking pictures of hot air balloons and wind surfing sails, or the practice of showing a placeholder image has been part of the advertising since electronic screens were first invented.

And you can't blame them, there's no way to fairly represent a screen image via other media (in that case print, in this case as part of an ad, squished, stretched, and color adjusted, intended for viewing in a web browser), so why bother?

I don't think - maybe I'm wrong - but I'm pretty certain that nobody in their right mind looks at a photo on a webpage or print and thinks "That's typical of the quality I'd get from that camera shown next to it."

Don Draper Called....

By moehoward • Score: 3, Informative • Thread
....to laugh at this story being on Slashdot. And the Big Mac you buy looks like the one you saw on TV? It is advertising, people. Sheesh.

You don’t understand

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

This phone camera is so advanced, its reflection looks like a Nikon D850!!

Lens?

By beckett • Score: 3 • Thread

Instead, it was taken with an (unnamed) DSLR she owns.

The image in TFA is meant to illustrate samsung's supposed shallow depth of field. Which lens did she use? what focal distance is the subject? what is the aperture setting?

In this situation the lens parameters are more informative than the name/model of a DSLR.

Google's 'Shadow Workforce' of Contractors Demands Higher Wages, Equal Benefits in a Letter To CEO Sundar Pichai

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Members of Google's "shadow workforce" of temporary workers and contractors is demanding higher wages and equal benefits to full employees in an open letter addressed to CEO Sundar Pichai. From a report, submitted by an anonymous reader: It's the latest in a series of public stands made by Google employees against aspects of the company culture. A coordinated walkout by employees around the globe protesting discrimination and sexual harassment at Google led the company to end forced arbitration for claims. Last month, several hundred employees signed onto a letter protesting the company's censored search efforts in China. A Bloomberg report in July said Alphabet had more contractors than direct employees this year, for the first time ever.

Google's mission is to 'organize the world's information and make it universally accessible.' But the company fails to meet this standard within its own workplace. Google routinely denies [temporary, vendor, and contract workers] access to information that is relevant to our jobs and our lives," the letter published Wednesday says. The latest letter is signed only by "TVCs at Google" and does not indicate the number of employees backing the effort. Google did not immediately return a request for comment Wednesday.

Re:Trump

By lgw • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

If the economy was doing that well, companies would be falling over themselves trying to retain workers by increasing compensation packages. That has not happened yet.

You're looking at a trailing indicator. Labor now has "pricing power". Clearly these contractors feel they might succeed in their demands for a raise (and I have a lot of sympathy for them - Google invented this shitty classist system that goes far beyond how the other tech giants use contractors).

The usual business cycle from the bottom is:

1. Consumers stop being so scared, start fixing problems they've been living with.
2. Businesses stop being so scared, start hiring again, and strategic acquisitions.
3. Workers stop being so scared, start asking for the rasies they didn't get during the downturn.
4. Hiring going full bore, workers getting raises, consumers spend on credit like the good times will last forever, businesses overextend like the good times will last forever.
5. "Natural" inflation (unrelated to govt spending) becomes meaningful, cost of borrowing goes up.
6. Everyone is over-leveraged and over-extended when the downturn starts.
7. Kaboom! Everyone is scared, consumers stop spending, businesses stop spending.

We're at 3. Lots of run left in this business cycle. 2000-2013 were like the mid-60s through the 70s: a business cycle without a real upturn, but that's not usual.

Re:Irony

By colonslash • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Yes, how dare they pay people for work at a price those people accept. Or did I miss the part where this was forced labor?

Re:As a Google shareholder let me say

By bobbied • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Tough. Don't like it? Quit and get a job somewhere else. You are not employees and you should not be treated like employees.

I disagree... They are doing what they should be doing. If you don't like your compensation package, ASK for better. If you don't get what you want and still think it's unfair, THEN move on.

A wise man once told me, "You don't get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate." I say let them ask.

Re:Irony

By Mashiki • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Champagne socialists are still a thousand times better than the I've-got-mine-go-fuck-yourselves conservatives littering this place.

So, the person so massively out of touch that they believe they have the right to your money, the right to restrict your speech, the right to dictate how you live. Are better then the people who want to be left the fuck alone.

That's brilliant.

Social Justice is the left wing equivalent to

By rsilvergun • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
the Southern Strategy. It's how the economically right wing pundits in our midst distract us from economic issues. The people pushing for it were never left wing, but they needed something to get the working class off their back.

Take "equal pay for women" as an issue. Ok, we can debate if women are getting less pay or not. But even the most extreme estimates say 3%. Meanwhile workers in general make 20% less than they did 40 years ago. Folks are fighting over 3% while they've lost 20%. It's nuts.

OTOH the reverse (anti-SJW) is just as bad. There's a youtuber called "Cult of Dusty" that's got a series on how the alt-right has pivoted to 24/7 anti-SJW. Meanwhile the Evangelicals (who the alt-right, being skeptics, traditionally didn't get along with) are using the alt-right to win political offices all over.

The only consistently sane voice I know in all this has been Bernie Sanders, who's been trying to get the working class to stop fighting over scraps and go after the meat.

Qualcomm: 5G Android Flagship Phones Will Storm the 2019 Holidays

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Get ready for lots of 5G phones in time for the holidays next year. From a report: The first devices for the fast, next-generation network will hit the market in early 2019. Samsung, for one, said it will have a phone for Verizon, AT&T and other networks in the first half of the year. By the holidays next year, every flagship handset -- at least when it comes to those running Google's Android software and using Qualcomm's Snapdragon processor -- will tap into 5G, said Qualcomm President Cristiano Amon. "When we get to exactly this time of year one year from now ... we will see every [handset maker] on the Android ecosystem, their flagship across all US carriers will be a 5G device," he told CNET in an interview Tuesday at Qualcomm's Snapdragon Technology Summit in Hawaii. "Every Android vendor is working on 5G right now."

I have a 7 year old 3G smartphone

By Rosco P. Coltrane • Score: 3 • Thread

It still works. I'll keep it. Fuck Christmas (sorry, it's "holiday season" officially now) mass consumption.

In fact, fuck mass consumption and planned obsolescence year round...

What a shit show

By squiggleslash • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

The 3GPP (the people responsible for GSM/UMTS/LTE) have said they don't plan to release a "standard" until March next year, the standard being slightly faster than the current generation of LTE. The standard will undergo continuous revisions then until it's ready to submit to the ITU as a true "5G" technology, which will be... 2020.

So Qualcomm are talking about of their rears. What's going to happen is that a beta of an unfinished technology will be present in some phones by Christmas 2019, which will not be appreciably better than anything out right now, and might even be worse given the whole "Your phone may find itself connected via "5G NR" and due to a bug in your phone, or the tower, which is likely because this involves brand new hardware and software that's not undergone significant field testing, your phone doesn't work properly.

Do not want.

Re:Thanks for beta testing everyone!

By Anubis IV • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

That's kinda where I'm at with my thinking. 5G support may storm the holiday season, but without the corresponding infrastructure upgrades in your area, it won't do you any good. Given that our local 4G connections didn't actually come with 4G speeds until somewhat recently, I'm not exactly holding my breath for 5G speeds anytime in the next few years in my area.

And, frankly, even if they were to come soon, I'd be hard-pressed to think of many situations where I'd meaningfully benefit from the speed jump. There certainly are use cases for speeds like those (e.g. able to do work from a cellular-connected laptop), so I'm glad to see that the rollout is happening, but the heaviest thing most smartphone users might do is watch an HD video on YouTube, which only needs 3-5 Mbps for 1080p, which is a fraction of the speed that 4G already offers. They'll see no benefit from 5G, so marketing it as "storming" the holiday season is nothing more than an attempt at driving demand for a feature that laypeople don't really understand.

NOT "fast", with more than paper in-between!

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 3, Interesting • Thread

* The frequencies for "5G" are so high, the barely get through anything at all. You nearly could as well just use laser.
* Everyone in your area still has to share the same base station, with likely the same slow connection to the Internet.
* The caps will still be complete jokes.
* There is no 5G standard yet, so they will not work right, as soon as the standard is finalized and rolled out.

Great job, Qualcomm!
Trying to force your version to become the de-facto standard, no matter what the rest of the 3GPP agree on, are we?

That's nice. . . but

By nehumanuscrede • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

The true question is, will the carriers have a RELIABLE, widespread 5G system upon which to use said phones ?

The low frequency spectrum of 5G should be fine, but you won't see all the super bandwidth that the tech promises at that level.

It's when you get to the high end of the 5G spectrum ( which is where all the bandwidth is ) that I have concerns about how well it's going to work considering the frequency at which it operates. ( 27 - 40 GHZ ) This area of the spectrum has serious issues when it comes to weather ( Rain, snow, fog, etc ) and has pretty much zero penetration so line of sight to the transmitter is pretty much mandatory.

The way I visualize it is thinking about the effect heavy rain has on your Satellite TV signal. All those glitches and pixelation you see are a visual representation of what's going to happen to your data at the high bandwidth end of a 5G signal when the weather goes to sh*t. ( And at millimeter wavelengths, it will take far less weather to have the same effect )

My theory anyway, some cellular engineer should chime in and tell me to STFU if I'm thinking incorrectly about all of this. ( Be sure to explain why )

Russian Internet Giant Yandex Launches Its First Smartphone

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Russia's Yandex has launched its first ever smartphone as the company seeks to leverage its dominant position in apps and services into hardware sales. Yandex, which runs the most popular search engine in Russia, hopes its Yandex.Phone will bind users closer to its suite of products, from food delivery and taxi hailing apps to marketplace and music streaming platforms, as competition rises for online services. From a report: The Yandex.Phone is a 5.65-inch Android-powered phone that will cost 17,990 rubles ($270) when it goes on sale tomorrow. In terms of specifications, Yandex.Phone is a fairly mid-range device, sporting a Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 processor, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of expandable storage, and a 16-megapixel / 5-megapixel dual rear camera.

In place of Google Assistant, which is standard on most Android phones, the company is also pushing its own intelligent assistant, Alice. This isn't the first piece of Yandex hardware to sport Alice since it was unveiled in 2017 -- earlier this year, Yandex launched a $160 smart speaker that also included the virtual assistant. It's not entirely clear what the default apps on the phone will be, but judging by the official photos it seems pretty clear Yandex is positioning its own services at the forefront of the device and favoring its own search engine. That said, Google's apps are also bundled.

Finally

By 110010001000 • Score: 3, Funny • Thread
Finally a phone I can trust. And Alice sounds like a good idea too. Nothing possibly is bad about this, but I am sure some Slashdotter will try and spin it that way!

Re:KGB phone? what could go wrong?

By darkwing_bmf • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

More options is always good. Now we have a choice of Russians or Chinese spying on us!

I've used Yandex, seems competent.

By pecosdave • Score: 3 • Thread

I started using Yandex when it became obvious Google was biasing its results politically.

As far as U.S. politics is concerned it looks like Yandex was probably neutral. Unfortunately as a Russian search engine, even though I was using the English interface it gave way too many Russian language results so I've mostly abandoned it for DuckDuckGo and Ecosia.

Yandex, I have to say was solid and well made. I do believe there's more here than another "Fire Phone".

Alice

By isny • Score: 3 • Thread

Alice is always one side of the alice->bob secure messaging.

Re:I've used Yandex, seems competent.

By Oswald McWeany • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

I started using Yandex when it became obvious Google was biasing its results politically.

Yes, Putin is the most unbiased man in the world. Every country should have media controlled specifically by his cronies. Those Western people know not how magnificent and non-duplicitous Putin is.

May Putin one day rule the world and we all live in perfect harmony.

Australia Set To Spy on WhatsApp Messages With Encryption Law

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Australia is set to give its police and intelligence agencies the power to access encrypted messages on platforms such as WhatsApp, becoming the latest country to face down privacy concerns in the name of public safety. From a report: Amid protests from companies such as Facebook and Google, the government and main opposition struck a deal on Tuesday that should see the legislation passed by parliament this week. Under the proposed powers, technology companies could be forced to help decrypt communications on popular messaging apps, or even build new functionality to help police access data.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said the legislation is needed to help foil terrorist attacks and organized crime. Critics say it is flawed and could undermine security across the Internet, jeopardizing activities from online voting to market trading and data storage.

Re:How does this tell good guys from bad?

By 110010001000 • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
Nefarious people already are using this functionality. Don't you think Google has a plaintext copy of all your messages you send over their servers? If you use one of these corporate controlled messaging services you are already being spied upon.

Re:How does this tell good guys from bad?

By AmiMoJo • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

If it were true that Google had a plaintext copy of messages it says are end-to-end encrypted it would be another Snowden moment. I assume you have zero evidence for this assertion or you would have provided it.

I assume the same goes for WhatsApp.

Back in reality for a moment, it actually makes a lot of business sense to use E2E encryption. If you don't you are going to get bombarded with requests from law enforcement, which cost money to process. Not to mention the reputation damage.

Geoblock?

By Midnight Thunder • Score: 3 • Thread

Whatâ(TM)s the chance that as soon as this is inacted some corporations will simply geo block Australia?

Unlocking the vault could be a slippery slope to anyone wanting to get in.

iMessage

By k2r • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

I'm looking forward to Apple turning off iMessage in Australia to make a point.

The world so far.

By Impy the Impiuos Imp • Score: 3 • Thread

Of course, all access to this system will be recorded and stored on multiple sites with no way to delete or alter the records, for later review by elected officials to ensure no funny business like spying on political opponents.

What? No?

Huh.

VW Says the Next Generation of Combustion Cars Will Be Its Last

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Bloomberg: Volkswagen AG expects the era of the combustion car to fade away after it rolls out its next-generation gasoline and diesel cars beginning in 2026. "Our colleagues are working on the last platform for vehicles that aren't CO2 neutral," Michael Jost, strategy chief for Volkswagen's namesake brand, said Tuesday at an industry conference near the company's headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany. "We're gradually fading out combustion engines to the absolute minimum."

The world's largest automaker has started to introduce its first wave of electric cars, including next year's Porsche Taycan. The rollout across its stable of 12 automotive brands is forecast to comprise about 15 million vehicles, as the company earmarks $50 billion over the next five years to spend on its transformation to self-driving, electric cars. Production of the VW brand's I.D. Neo hatchback will start in 12 months in Germany, followed by other models from the I.D. line assembled at two sites in China as of 2020. VW plans to launch fully or partly electric versions across its lineup of more than 300 cars, vans, trucks and motorbikes by 2030.
The company "will continue to modify its combustion engine technology after the new platform is introduced next decade," reports Bloomberg. "After 2050, there may still be some gasoline and diesel models in regions where there is insufficient charging infrastructure, according to Jost."

Re:Future Business Case Study

By AmiMoJo • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

The very simple solution to that is to encourage slow charging overnight with discounted rates. Demand is low at night anyway.

Re: Interesting, "combustion cars"

By fluffernutter • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
I can buy a Honda Accord new at $30K Canadian and buy another $30K of gas before I'm at your price point. That would probably take me the lifetime of the car.

Re:Future Business Case Study

By shilly • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

The Zero is pretty exciting.

https://www.zeromotorcycles.co...

Re:An alternative approach is to tweak ICE fuel

By orzetto • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

While CO2 is wreaking havoc on the planet's climate, it is still a small fraction of air, around 500 ppm, and is chemically inert (well, it's a combustion product, so obviously...). Extracting CO2 from the air is very difficult. You can use current technology with biofuels, though these are obtained by fermentation and have a short shelf life. For example, biodiesel is OK for city buses because they run around regularly, but if you fill your diesel car with biodiesel and park it at the airport for 2 weeks while on holiday, you may find a nasty surprise when you try to start it again and the fuel has precipitated solids.

The infrastructure for EVs is way more pervasive than fossil fuels today. I am en EV owner (Nissan Leaf) and I almost never need to use fast charging: overnight charging at 2 kW covers over 95% of my needs. Just connect it in the evening and it will be ready the day after. Fast chargers are a necessity for longer travels, but charging at home is a whole lot cheaper.

And since I often hear the argument "but what if everyone charges their car at the same time?", well that just does not happen. The grid would collapse also if everyone started their washing machines at the same time, but that does not happen. Sure, the grid will need some strengthening here and there, but there is plenty of time to do it, consumers are not going to buy EVs all at the same time.

Handwriting's on the wall and VW sees that

By Rick Schumann • Score: 3 • Thread
ICEs are a dying breed and rightly so, we clearly can't keep using them and using fossil fuels, and VW sees that and is responding accordingly.
You can say this is because they've screwed themselves in the diesel market, but consider this: they cheated because it's becoming impossible to meet fuel economy and pollution standards with ICEs.

Facebook Ends Platform Policy Banning Apps That Copy Its Features

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Facebook will now freely allow developers to build competitors to its features upon its own platform. Today Facebook announced it will drop Platform Policy section 4.1, which stipulates "Add something unique to the community. Don't replicate core functionality that Facebook already provides." TechCrunch reports: Facebook had previously enforced that policy selectively to hurt competitors that had used its Find Friends or viral distribution features. Apps like Vine, Voxer, MessageMe, Phhhoto and more had been cut off from Facebook's platform for too closely replicating its video, messaging or GIF creation tools. The move will significantly reduce the risk of building on the Facebook platform. It could also cast it in a better light in the eyes of regulators. Anyone seeking ways Facebook abuses its dominance will lose a talking point. And by creating a more fair and open platform where developers can build without fear of straying too close to Facebook's history or road map, it could reinvigorate its developer ecosystem. In a statement to TechCrunch, a Facebook spokesperson said: "We built our developer platform years ago to pave the way for innovation in social apps and services. At that time we made the decision to restrict apps built on top of our platform that replicated our core functionality. These kind of restrictions are common across the tech industry with different platforms having their own variant including YouTube, Twitter, Snap and Apple. We regularly review our policies to ensure they are both protecting people's data and enabling useful services to be built on our platform for the benefit of the Facebook community. As part of our ongoing review we have decided that we will remove this out of date policy so that our platform remains as open as possible. We think this is the right thing to do as platforms and technology develop and grow."

Amazon Promised Drone Delivery In Five Years Five Years Ago

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On December 1, 2013, Amazon announced its plans to deliver packages by drone in just "four or five years" on a 60 Minutes episode with then-host Charlie Rose. As The Associated Press reports, it's officially been five years and drone deliveries seem to be nowhere in sight. "Bezos made billions of dollars by transforming the retail sector," reports The Associated Press. "But overcoming the regulatory hurdles and safety issues posed by drones appears to be a challenge even for the world's wealthiest man." From the report: The day may not be far off when drones will carry medicine to people in rural or remote areas, but the marketing hype around instant delivery of consumer goods looks more and more like just that -- hype. Drones have a short battery life, and privacy concerns can be a hindrance, too. Amazon says it is still pushing ahead with plans to use drones for quick deliveries, though the company is staying away from fixed timelines. "We are committed to making our goal of delivering packages by drones in 30 minutes or less a reality," says Amazon spokeswoman Kristen Kish. The Seattle-based online retail giant says it has drone development centers in the United States, Austria, France, Israel and the United Kingdom.

Did anyone think that was going to happen

By supercell • Score: 3, Interesting • Thread
in 5 years? Myself and most other realized it was publicity stunt at the time. They got enormous press coverage.

Unprofitable Deliveries

By mentil • Score: 3 • Thread

Amazon probably figured out that actual rollout of drones won't be profitable. Items under 5LB are generally low price, low margin. Electronics are an obvious exception but that'd be a small portion of the deliveries. Sure you pay more for drone delivery, but the R&D/rollout costs are high enough it'd take a long time to be profitable, even if it only delivered high-value merchandise like electronics.
The key question to Amazon is if someone who needs something ASAP will buy it via Amazon, or drive to a local store and buy it. Someone who can get to a store quickly is likely in the suburbs/city, so demand for drone delivery won't be so high there. In rural areas, population density versus drone range is so low that it won't be profitable to roll out in the country either.

In other words, actual widescale rollout won't be profitable except maybe for small towns full of electronics nerds (who need that replacement CPU fan/SSD immediately) that are far away from electronics stores. What with some tech companies moving from Silicon Valley to random rural areas, these might actually exist, but probably not enough to justify the R&D. And they'd be betting no Fry's/Best Buy opens nearby. They could target night owls that need a replacement before the retail store opens, but this has to be a small portion of purchases (and they're betting the Fry's doesn't go 24 hour).

Over optimisim

By DarkOx • Score: 3 • Thread

The tech guys usually are not wrong they just believe time to mass market is shorter than it usually is. The first wave investors get burned the same way.

Example in 99 IBM predicted in a Super Bowl ad that checkout free grocery stores were literally right around the corner. Here we are in 2018 and Amazon (Notably not IBM) has finally delivered a few test stores.

Touch Screen Smart Phones. RIM/Microsoft/Handspring etc all tried it; with first gen stuff that really was not far behind iPhone 1 in terms of tech; just lacked polish. All are in the dust bin of history as far as those products go; Apple late to party road theirs to become the most valuable company on earth.

You could say similar things about other tech; MITS never really exactly cleaned up on the Altair but the S100 market was huge for a while. How many Altos did Xerox sell? Not many compared to the number of Macintosh machines that rolled out.

There is a tendency to bring tech out that falls just short of good enough for mass market. You tend to over look your babies flaws and you tend to justify the deficiencies. Its like most power doors on cars. Great idea super handy when you have big bag of groceries in your arms etc. The fist gen stuff in he late 70's 80's though was terrible - nobody had 37 seconds to stand there why their door opened. The people working on that stuff thought probably felt they'd solved the problems; until the market told them "not quite" not its a popular feature

Re:WW3 is not over yet

By 110010001000 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
That has nothing to do with Amazon using drones. Amazon doesn't use drones because it wouldn't work and is a stupid idea. The technology isn't there.

actually...

By mschaffer • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Actually, Amazon did used their own drones for delivery---Amazon Logistics. From many of the surveillance video footage I saw the final several yards was often air delivered when the AMZL drones chuck packages great distances from their cars.

Google Bridges Android, iOS Development With Flutter 1.0

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Google has launched Flutter 1.0, the first stable release of its open source, cross-platform UI toolkit and SDK. "Flutter lets developers share a single code base across Android and iOS apps, with a focus on speed and maintaining a native feel," reports Ars Technica. From the report: Flutter enables cross-platform app code by sidestepping the UI frameworks of both Android and iOS. Flutter apps run on the Flutter rendering engine and Flutter framework, which are shipped with every app. The Flutter platform handles communication with each OS and can spit out Android and iOS binaries with native-looking widgets and scrolling behavior if desired. It's kind of like applying a "video game" style of development to apps: if you write for a game engine like Unity or Unreal, those engines are packaged with your game, allowing it to run on multiple different platforms. It's the same deal with Flutter.

Flutter apps are written in Dart, and the SDK offers programmers nice quality-of-life benefits like the "stateful hot reload," a way to instantly make code changes appear in the emulator. For IDEs, there are plugins for Visual Studio Code, Android Studio, and IntelliJ. Apps come with their own set of Flutter UI widgets for Android and iOS, with the iOS widgets closely following Apple's guidelines and the Android widgets following Google's Material Design. Flutter is designed to be fast, with its custom app engine running on Google's hardware-accelerated Skia engine. This means 60fps apps on Android and iOS and a path for 120fps apps in the future. This is a bigger deal on Android than it is on iOS.
The Google Ads app is already built on Flutter, which means Google "thinks Flutter is ready for prime time," writes Ron Amadeo. There's a list of other apps built on Flutter, too. Amadeo goes on to suggest that Flutter may be the path to Android's replacement. "Flutter ships its own app engine on Android and iOS, but in secret, Google is also developing an OS called 'Fuchsia' that runs these Flutter apps natively," writes Amadeo. "With Fuchsia, Google would switch from the Android apps written in Java to Flutter apps written in Dart..."

Re:Not native

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Plus the developer needs to cope with bugs inherited from two platforms and the framework itself, just as in html5-crap. If one is writing a game engine, it is likely better to do it on a C/C++ and just add some native glue code for GUI. And if the app is mostly GUI, it is less hassle to write it in environments native language.

Cross-platform ad code

By AHuxley • Score: 3 • Thread
Always first with the ads for the real customers.

Old news! Cordova/Phonegap rip-off

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread

I have been developing native looking & behaving apps for ten years using JavaScript an HTML.

Flutter is just a cheap attempt to get devs to use Dart, a language that's dead in the water since launch.

Libraries

By kbg • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

There are major problems with this. Even tough Java isn't the greatest programming language (but then again no programming language is). The greatest benefit of using Java is that there are now gazzillions of libraries and utilities to do everything under the sun, no matter what you need to to do you know there exists some library available to do it, so you don't have to code absolulety everything from scratch. If you switch to a spanking new language it takes probably a decade or so for the community to get up to speed with available libraries and that is only if the language is popular.

I hate all these new languages that are popping up, because there is nothing special about them, anyone can make a new programming language, that isn't the hard part. But the actual value of a programming language is in the availability of pre written solid working code that you can use in your projects.

Been there, done that.

By BenJeremy • Score: 3 • Thread

Adobe did this with Air (ActionScript and Flash technology), and as the summary states, Unity, Unreal, and many other game engines also do this. Xamarin also does this (much the same way as Unity, with C#/IL as the layer closest to "the metal")

You can make very serious apps with Unity, by the way... they don't have to be games - plus you get a pretty rich ecosystem of code (C#), support (Asset Store), and training.

Why do big companies constantly try and re-invent the wheel, when the existing ones work quite nicely?