the unofficial Slashdot digest for 2019-Jan-08 today archive


  1. AT&T Preps For New Layoffs Despite Billions In Tax Breaks and Regulatory Favors
  2. Deep Pacific Waters Are Cooling Down Due To Centuries-Ago Little Ice Age, New Study Suggests
  3. Canada's Bell Telecommunications Company Wants Permission To Gather, Track Customer Data
  4. Software Developer Tops List of U.S. News & World Report's Annual Best Jobs Rankings
  5. The Impossible Burger 2.0 Is a Plant-Based Beef Replacement That Uses Soy Instead Wheat Protein To Take On New Forms
  6. Google Removes 85 Adware Apps That Were Installed By Millions of Users
  7. DARPA Wants To Build an AI To Find the Patterns Hidden in Global Chaos
  8. Verizon Says It Won't Launch Fake 5G Icons Like AT&T Did
  9. Huawei Has Suspected Ties To Front Companies In Iran and Syria, New Documents Reveal
  10. Connecting Your Bank Account To an App is Now a $3-Billion Business
  11. Intel Demonstrates 10nm Ice Lake Processor, Promises PCs Will Ship With it Later this Year
  12. US Telcos Are Selling Access To Their Customers' Location Data, and That Data Reaches Bounty Hunters and Others Not Authorized To Possess It
  13. London's Heathrow Airport Halts Departures Over Drone Sighting
  14. Google's New SMS and Call Permission Policy is Crippling Apps Used by Millions
  15. Proceedings Start Against Portland State University Professor Whose Carefully Crafted Fiction Helped Expose the Rot Within Some Sectors of Modern Academia
  16. Digital Hoarding Can Make Us Feel Just as Stressed and Overwhelmed as Physical Clutter, Research Suggests
  17. IBM Tops 2018 Patent List as AI and Quantum Computing Gain Prominence
  18. Windows 10 Will Reserve 7GB of Your Computer's Storage in its Next Major Release So That Big Updates Don't Fail
  19. Pingdom Will Kill Its Free Website Monitoring Plan on February 6
  20. Coinbase Suspends Ethereum Classic (ETC) Trading After Double-Spend Attacks
  21. Politicians Cannot Block Social Media Foes, US Appeals Court Rules
  22. GitHub Free Users Now Get Unlimited Private Repositories
  23. LG Introduces Rollable OLED TV

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

AT&T Preps For New Layoffs Despite Billions In Tax Breaks and Regulatory Favors

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard: AT&T is preparing for yet another significant round of layoffs according to internal documents obtained by Motherboard. The staff reductions come despite billions in tax breaks and regulatory favors AT&T promised would dramatically boost both investment and job creation. A source at AT&T who asked to remain anonymous because they were not authorized to speak publicly told Motherboard that company leadership is planning what it's calling a "geographic rationalization" and employment "surplus" reduction that will consolidate some aspects of AT&T operations in 10 major operational hubs in New York, California, Texas, New Jersey, Washington State, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Missouri, and Washington, DC. A spokesperson for AT&T confirmed to Motherboard that it is planning to "adjust" its workforce.

While AT&T has yet to come up with a final, formal internal tally for this new round of looming layoffs, AT&T employees worry the staff reductions could prove to be significant, especially outside of these core areas. Managers are being briefed on the plans now, though AT&T isn't expected to formally announce the specifics until they're finalized later this month. The staff reductions were first announced in an internal memo sent to managers last Friday by Jeff McElfresh, President, Technology & Operations at AT&T. This news comes in the wake of AT&T receiving a $20 billion windfall last quarter courtesy of the Trump administration tax breaks. That's in addition to the friendlier environment AT&T finds itself in as a result of the Trump administration's assault on consumer protections ranging from net neutrality to broadband privacy guidelines.
"To win in this new world, we must continue to lower costs and keep getting faster, leaner, and more agile," McElfresh told employees. "This includes reductions in our organization, and others across the company, which will begin later this month and take place over several months."

Re:Nope. I meant those "basic" services, too.

By stealth_finger • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Move to other countries until you desire governance again. There are plenty of places you can find zero government intrusion into your life. Stop whining, get moving.

I hear Somalia is nice this time of year.

Nope, not actually the problem

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

The problem is that power will not let you complain about this. You will be a radical, a communist, a know-nothing idiot who wants us back in the stone age or to give all your wealth to you, you greedy bastard....

The rhetoric is force fed to society. Same reason why society is "too stupid" to stop falling for religious woo (see the new agism bollocks, replacing christianity for those who find society able to let them stop falling for *christianity*, just not for woo "explanations").

It isn't that society is TOO STUPID, it's that the power structure is forcing a propaganda war to stop you complaining.

So you will blame the left, the right, the immigrants, the managers, the patriarchy, the SJWs, the blacks, the chinese, ANYONE but those who are running the propaganda because in a capitalist society money means power, so you cannot fight those with money, you cannot BLAME those with money. So you have to blame it on some other identifiable group. ANY group.

And, having misdiagnosed the problem, any fixes done to that problem will not fix the actual issue, and so it spirals out of control and we "fall for it again".

Re:Just say "No" to Trump 2020.

By oh_my_080980980 • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
Umm, no it didn't, The Affordable Care Act required people to PURCHASE HEALTH INSURANCE. People still go bankrupt due to medical expenses. People still do not have access to affordable healthcare. Even with health insurance plans (which most of them have high deductibles) people still do not go to the doctor because they cannot afford it.

What AT&T is ( likely ) doing

By nehumanuscrede • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

This entire process is about the stupid amount of debt AT&T is now holding due to the recent buying spree it has been on as of late.

Here's a passage that isn't in the original story:

" It's critical for us to bring employees together to increase the pace of innovation and further develop the right skills in a more open, flexible and efficient work environment. Therefore, our collaboration zones and hub cities become even more integral. "

I read that as the whole " Office 2.0 " bullshit where your workspace is shared with everyone else. They like to claim " collaboration " but, in reality, they're just being cheap.

" further develop the right skills " is downright laughable as AT&T considers training an expense vs an investment. This is why you have the service you do because NO ONE is trained in how to do their job anymore so everyone basically wings it as best they can. Corporate will deny it, but ask any normal employee the last time they saw any standard / formal training* in regards to how to do their job and they will likely tell you Ed Whittacre was still the CEO.

*Some of you will question why this is needed, but remember new hardware arrives all the time. It's akin to being fluent in Cisco for years and they plop a Juniper down in front of you and say " make it work, we're shifting everything new over to Juniper ". When you put critical or customer traffic on this, it's rather important to know what you're doing. ( In my opinion anyway )

Another thing the original story is unaware of is the fact that AT&T is looking at all the real estate it owns ( and it's quite a bit ) to determine if any given building can be shut down and sold off. Basically, if the building doesn't contain enough critical infrastructure for serving the area it resides within, there's a good chance it's on the list. If it contains just a call center, there's a good chance it's already been sold. Their real estate is worth quite a bit and is probably the most efficient method of raising capitol needed to pay down that debt.

I say enough because there are several buildings that are already on the list to be vacated that DO contain systems that have to be moved before it can be sold. These buildings are basically regional locations where network connections across the State consolidate at the distribution layer. All of these connections have to be moved onto new architecture ( in progress ) and each location has a desired timeline for completion. We're talking hundreds and possibly thousands of sites that are fed from these locations that have to be moved. It will take a considerable amount of time ( several years ), money and people to complete.

The problem is, if they continue to slash headcount, they're not going to have enough people left to do the work required to meet those deadlines. As it stands today, with the current headcount, those deadlines are already in trouble. Telling them this tends to fall on deaf ears. Guess they'll figure it out when the deadlines come and go.

What tends to irk me most is:

They keep buying shit with money they don't have. ( DirecTv / Time Warner )
The money AT&T WASTED on the failed T-Mobile merger was ~$5B
The money AT&T wastes on stupid shit like " Stadium Naming Rights " and the like
An executives yearly bonus is more than a non-executive type makes their entire LIFE

Yet, laying people off is their go to answer for saving money :|

So ban stock buy backs

By rsilvergun • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
they're primarily used to boost the price so that the CEOs get a big paycheck since their bonuses are tied to (and often paid in) stock. This is _exactly_ why stock buy backs were illegal (until Reagan made them legal).

Folks like Liz Warren and Bernie Sanders would be happy to do this if we'd give them more left wing colleges in congress. But these are "Job killing regulations" right? Except that what's really killing jobs is that we let the ruling class gamble with all the money in the country and when they go bust they come out smelling like roses.

I don't think we can let them go bust, either. We're in a hostage situation and always will be without government oversight. We need new rules to protect jobs. To wit:

1. Ban Stock Buy backs.
2. Require public companies to have 50% employee representation on their board of directors or they don't get a charter (and the protections therein).
3. Bring back Glass-Stegal.
4. Undo Bush Jr's commodities market deregulation. Make folks who buy commodities take possession of them so they can't skim 10% off our food supply.

There's lots more. Liz Warren has a fairly comprehensive anti-corruption law she wants to enact.

Deep Pacific Waters Are Cooling Down Due To Centuries-Ago Little Ice Age, New Study Suggests

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
schwit1 quotes a report from The Inquisitr: Most of the world's waters may be warming as a result of climate change, but a new study shows that the deepest parts of the Pacific Ocean still appear to be cooling down hundreds of years after the period in history known as the "Little Ice Age." According to a report from Science Daily, a team of researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI) and Harvard University discovered that there has been a "lag" of a few centuries in terms of temperature change in the deep Pacific. This part of the ocean, the report stressed, is still seemingly cooling and adjusting to the temperature drops of the Little Ice Age while the rest of the Pacific gets warmer as a result of modern factors.

"These waters are so old and haven't been near the surface in so long, they still 'remember' what was going on hundreds of years ago when Europe experienced some of its coldest winters in history," commented WHOI physical oceanographer Jake Gebbie, lead author of the new study. As documented in a paper that was published Friday in the journal Science, the researchers created a model simulating how the deep Pacific's temperature might react to changes in climate on the surface, then compared the data from the model against two historical sources. These sources included ocean temperature data taken in the 1870s by scientists aboard the HMS Challenger and temperatures gathered over a century later, through the World Ocean Circulation Experiment in the 1990s. Based on how these comparisons aligned, the researchers found that warming was present in most parts of the world's oceans and consistent with the current trend of climate change. The only exception was the deep Pacific, where temperatures were cooling at around 1.25 miles (two kilometers) deep. This suggested that long-ago changes in surface climate, such as those that took place during the Little Ice Age, could still have an influence on the effect of climate change in modern times.

Re:Pepridge Farm Remembers

By jwhyche • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

This is the worst pseudo-science since Trump shut down the EPA for generating most of it.

An this the exact kind of crap that you keep saying about any study that doesn't agree with your views on what should be. If a study doesn't support your ridged views on climate change is fake science or pseudo science. It has gotten so bad that you throw this label at a study, such at this one, that doesn't in any way refute man made climate change in any way.

All this study shows is that an event that happened hundreds years ago can still have an effect on the climate today. That just goes to show how complex the climate is and how much we actually don't know about it. This study in no way refutes any affect that man made effect will have on the climate.

Re:Don't worry

By ShanghaiBill • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

There is no type of proof that cannot be warped into the Global Warming Armageddon myth.

"Proof" is a mathematical concept. In science, there is only evidence.

The evidence is that the very deepest ocean water, in the Marianas, Philippine, and Bougainville trenches, is getting colder. A plausible hypothesis is the one made in TFA: A lag of Antarctic bottom water from the Little Ice Age, because of the deep basins in the Southern Ocean.

This is supported by models, and (most importantly) is falsifiable: If the hypothesis is correct, the water in the southern basins should be getting warmer. Surface waters should also be warming. Only the extreme depths should be getting colder.

If you have an alternative hypothesis, then please tell us, and explain how it can be falsified.

Other "contradictory" evidence, such as expanding sea ice around Antarctica, is also best explained within the context of global warming: As air temperatures rise, they hold more moisture, which means more snowfall onto the ice pack. So the ice pack is expanding even as measured air temperatures rise. Notably, this is NOT happening in the Arctic, since temperatures there are already higher. The northern ice pack has shrunk by over a million square miles. Feel free to post an alternative falsifiable hypothesis.

Re:Where is the heat going?

By ShanghaiBill • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

If the water is cooling then ...

The water is NOT cooling. Warmer water is being displaced by colder/saltier/denser water flowing in from further south.

This is called thermohaline circulation, and it is a well know phenomena.

Re:Pepridge Farm Remembers

By jwhyche • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Bull. You saw an opportunity to bash Trump and you took it. That is all there was to that.

Re:Don't worry

By stealth_finger • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Seriously, stop this game where you pretend there's no scientific consensus

I didn't. There's no consensus on what feedbacks are important, or how large they might be. Here's another one for you that will show how ignorant we are: there is no consensus on how much the atmosphere warms the earth compared to if it weren't there. We know to within ~10 degrees, but that's a huge margin of error. Look it up.

So the obvious solution is to do nothing and everything will be all fine forever? You talk like the earth gives a shit if we're on it or not and will always balance for us. Spoiler alert, it won't. Regardless of the causes we can see the average global temperature is going up and that's bad for us so were trying to do something about it.

Canada's Bell Telecommunications Company Wants Permission To Gather, Track Customer Data

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Bell Canada is asking customers for permission to track everything they do with their home and mobile phones, internet, television, apps or any other services they get through Bell or its affiliates. "In return, Bell says it will provide advertising and promotions that are more 'tailored' to their needs and preferences," reports From the report: "Tailored marketing means Bell will be able to customize advertising based on participant account information and service usage patterns, similar to the ways that companies like Google and others have been doing for some time," the company says in recent notices to customers. If given permission, Bell will collect information about its customers' age, gender, billing addresses, and the specific tablet, television or other devices used to access Bell services. It will also collect the "number of messages sent and received, voice minutes, user data consumption and type of connectivity when downloading or streaming." "Bell's marketing partners will not receive the personal information of program participants; we just deliver the offers relevant to the program participants on their behalf," the company assures customers. Teresa Scassa, who teaches law at the University of Ottawa and holds the Canada Research Chair in Information Law and Policy, says Bell customers who opt into Bell's new program could be giving away commercially valuable personal information with little to no compensation for increased risks to their privacy and security. "Here's a company that's taking every shred of personal information about me, from all kinds of activities that I engage in, and they're monetizing it. What do I get in return? Better ads? Really? That's it? What about better prices?"

Toronto-based consultant Charlie Wilton, whose firm has advised Bell and Rogers in the past, says: "I mean, in a perfect world, they would give you discounts or they would give you points or things that consumers would more tangibly want, rather than just the elimination of a pain point -- which is what they're offering right now."


By Livius • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Bell Canada ranks up there with anyone else in the world for most evil corporation.

Oh Bell

By ceoyoyo • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

I have a friend who used to do marketing for a provincial lottery commission. Her job was literally to make people want to gamble more. We've all got to justify what we do, so it was improving the experience so people got the best value for their entertainment dollar.

When you repeat your justifications enough you start to believe them. The ad industry has told itself so many times that people *like* personalized ads that they think it's true. Bell is about to learn that it's not. I actually called them up recently and told them that they are, under no circumstances, to call me with any marketing whatsoever. This was after they rang me while I was travelling internationally. I answered because I thought it might be important. Nope.

I have to hand it to Google though. They've got this personalized ad thing down perfectly. I had never seen an ad on YouTube until I saw it under someone else's account. Google appears to have figured out that when I see an ad I go elsewhere.

Re:You get a VPN and you get a VPN

By dryeo • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

I'll add for all the Canadians, that we have until Jan 11th to make submissions on the future of the Internet.
One place to start is here, ran by Openmedia,


By ChoGGi • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Whoever rated this troll must not be from Canada.

Typically Canadian

By Opportunist • Score: 3 • Thread

They ask politely.

Anyone else would have just done it.

Software Developer Tops List of U.S. News & World Report's Annual Best Jobs Rankings

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
According to U.S. News and World Report's annual best jobs rankings, software developer is the top pick for the new year. "The publication's Best Jobs of 2019 list takes seven factors into account, including median salary, employment rate and stress level," reports USA Today. "The median salary for a software developer is $101,790, and the unemployment rate is 1.9 percent, according to the most recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics." From the report: Though software developers have neither the highest median salary nor lowest unemployment rate on the U.S. News Best Jobs of 2019 list, the position's projected increase in demand -- roughly 30 percent between 2016 and 2026 -- and average stress levels helped it land the top spot, said Rebecca Koenig, careers reporter at U.S. News and World Report. "Unlike some other jobs that do pretty well on the list, which are very demanding, software developer tends not to be a really stressful profession," Koenig said. Here are the Top 10, in order:

1. Software Developer
2. Statistician
3. Physician assistant
4. Dentist
5. (tie) Orthodontist
6. (tie) Nurse anesthetist
7. Nurse practitioner
8. Pediatrician
9. (tie) Obstetrician and gynecologist
9. (tie) Oral and maxillofacial surgeon
9. (tie) Prosthodontist
9. (tie) Physician

Software developer is too broad

By 140Mandak262Jamuna • Score: 3 • Thread
Includes web developers and SQL technicians.

Among the software developers the better paid ones are the ones with some skill like PhD in computational geometry or machine learning or robotics or something and the software, usually C++, acts as a force multiplier.

I guess they didn't consider ageism...

By spagthorpe • Score: 3 • Thread

You can be a productive doctor until you're six feet under. A software engineer over 40 is considered used up by a lot of companies, and it only gets worse as you get older. Obviously not in all cases, but I hear about it a lot in the industry. When I was working in hospitals, I never heard anything similar from the staff there.

Re:software developer tends not to be a stressful.

By swillden • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

The big problem with software development is it has no direct future. If you don't move into management-esque positions, your career will plateau early. It can be decent money, don't get me wrong, but it's a poor ticket to a bigger and better future.

"Old" developers are typically not very welcomed. The reasons are a long and winding topic, and there are exceptions, but the bottom line is the software biz is not kind to "age".

At what point does this age problem kick in? I'm 50 and not seeing it. I have coworkers in their 60s and they're not seeing it. Heck, I know one guy in his early 70s who just likes to work and doesn't want to retire. He's independently wealthy at this point, having been through a couple of successful startups, so he tends to work for a year or two (at a premium salary, given his incredible depth and breadth of experience) and then take a year off.

From what I can see, software development is about as close to a pure merit-based industry as I've seen. If you can write good code, nobody much cares what you look like, how you dress (well, clothing is generally mandatory), the color of your hair, etc.

The one issue I have seen is that software devs who have accumulated only one or two years of experience in 20 years of work, meaning they've spent the whole time doing the same things over and over again, find it hard to get a job because they want to be paid like a 20-year veteran, but aren't any more effective than someone a couple years out of school.

Re:I guess they didn't consider ageism...

By MrKaos • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

A software engineer over 40 is considered used up by a lot of companies, and it only gets worse as you get older.

This meme is created to pit older developers against younger developers and drive down salary costs. It's a pretty ugly thing to have to consider at the beginning of your career, at 25, that you only have 15 years left - so most people don't because who would start a career in software development knowing that?

I think companies are starting to realize that this attitude simply shrinks the availability of software developers. In the meantime more experienced developers find their way into better shops or work on their own business.


By Thelasko • Score: 3 • Thread
The must have forgotten to include work hours as a factor in this analysis. A lot of those medical professions have terrible hours. Although advancements in medicine have improved things, obstetricians don't usually get to schedule when children are born.

The Impossible Burger 2.0 Is a Plant-Based Beef Replacement That Uses Soy Instead Wheat Protein To Take On New Forms

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Popular Science: During a press event at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Impossible Foods showed off its new plant-based ground beef replacement by offering a selection of foods from traditional sliders to the ambitious tartare. Thanks to a change in formula, the new Impossible Burger 2.0 goes beyond simple patties and aims to take on ground beef with every recipe, from lasagna to tacos. The first tastes are very promising. Back in 2016, the original Impossible Burger debuted as a veggie burger that could almost pass as beef. Its meaty secret was a molecule called heme, which contains iron and is largely responsible for the flavors we associate with cooked flesh. But, according to Impossible CEO Pat Brown, it requires a protein to bind it. The original Impossible Burger used wheat protein, which worked, but had some drawbacks. First, it meant the Impossible Burger wasn't gluten-free, but it also put some limitations on the meat's form factor. The wheat worked for burger patties that stayed in a relatively static shape, but it couldn't crumble or take on other shapes -- like meatballs -- without losing its integrity. The solution was a switch to soy.

The resulting Impossible Burger 2.0 product has 14 grams of fat and 240 calories in a single quarter-pound serving (whether it's a patty, ball, or glob of tartare). Impossible also claims that the Burger 2.0 has the same amount of bioavailable iron and protein as its cow-derived cousin. According to Brown, the levels of amino acids are "at least on-par" with typical ground beef and, in some cases, exceed what real meat can offer.
As for taste, Popular Science's Stan Horaczek says "it works best as a burger with a thin patty so you don't get a whole mouthful of soy at once, but once you introduce a bun and some toppings, you might not even notice the differences with real beef."

The Impossible Burger 2.0 will be served at a few restaurants starting this week, with a wider roll out starting on February 8 when it will be available to all U.S. restaurants through food distributors. It's also planning to have its products in some U.S. supermarkets by later this year.

Re:I'd eat vat grown or irradiated beef before thi

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

I concur. The two I've had were in the $10-$15 range for just a burger. (The $15 One was in CA, so knock off like $5 for the rest of the country.) Too expensive to replace fast food burgers, but I did think it was tastier than any fast food burger I'd ever had. There's a revolution there, for sure. All it's going to take is one major chain to roll it out, and then it's going to be cheaper and better than the average fast food burger. And healthier.

As someone who loves to cook, and who's killed, dressed, and cooked my own meat, I was not expecting to really like that burger. But I liked it. A lot. I just needed non-fake cheese on it, because fake cheese is unforgivable.


By n3r0.m4dski11z • Score: 3 • Thread

Most people here are just fear mongering with half remembered urban legends. As someone who tries a lot of different vegetarian burgers, there are some good ones, and bad ones. But most, you cant tell its vegetarian, because of the toppings and bun. The fancy stuff always overshadows the meat, or soy or bean or what have you.

There is also a decent approximation of lean ground round available in the supermarket around here for your chillis and your tacos. The flavours and textures of the meal also depends on how you cook it. Cast iron pans can be used for browning to a similar texture of meat, and when cooking on a bbq, generally it requires less cooking time so you dont dry vege stuff out.

People make a big deal about what they eat, but as long as its healthy it doesn't really matter the cuisine type to me personally. Its all just food, not something to base your life around.

Re:I'd eat vat grown or irradiated beef before thi

By _merlin • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

In Australia we manage to eat grass-fed beef. We don't need to subsidise corn and we get along fine. US agricultural subsidies just make the industry horribly inefficient and wasteful.

Re:Estrogen !

By AmiMoJo • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

This myth comes from a study done in the 30s on sheep. From there it turned into the great Soyboy panic of 2018.

Basically it's nonsense, the stuff in soy has no effect on human males manliness or testosterone levels or man-boobs.

This video explains it in detail, with references for everything:


By AmiMoJo • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

If you developed man boobs within a week you should get that checked out by a doctor. Seriously, normally men don't develop man boobs in a week from eating a heavy soy diet. Something else is going on.

Google Removes 85 Adware Apps That Were Installed By Millions of Users

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Google has removed 85 Android apps from the official Play Store that security researchers from Trend Micro deemed to contain a common strain of adware. "The 85 apps had been downloaded over nine million times, and one app, in particular, named 'Easy Universal TV Remote,' was downloaded over five million times," reports ZDNet. From the report: While the apps were uploaded on the Play Store from different developer accounts and were signed by different digital certificates, they exhibited similar behaviors and shared the same code, researchers said in a report published today. But besides similarities in their source code, the apps were also visually identical, and were all of the same types, being either games or apps that let users play videos or control their TVs remotely.

The first time users ran any of the apps, they would proceed to show fullscreen ads in different steps, asking and reasking users to press various buttons to continue. If the user was persistent and stayed with the app until it reached a menu page, every menu button push would trigger yet another fullscreen ad, over and over again until the app would suddenly crash, hiding its original app icon. But despite the crash, unbeknownst to the user, the app would continue to run in the phone's background, showing new fullscreen ads ever 15 or 30 minutes, generating profits for the fraudsters until users either removed the apps or reset devices to factory settings as a last resort.
You can view a list of the 85 adware apps via this PDF file.

Weren't the 'stores' supposed to protect us?

By WoodstockJeff • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Doesn't seem to be working very well...

DARPA Wants To Build an AI To Find the Patterns Hidden in Global Chaos

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
A new program at DARPA is aimed at creating a machine learning system that can sift through the innumerable events and pieces of media generated every day and identify any threads of connection or narrative in them. It's called KAIROS: Knowledge-directed Artificial Intelligence Reasoning Over Schemas. From a report: "Schema" in this case has a very specific meaning. It's the idea of a basic process humans use to understand the world around them by creating little stories of interlinked events. For instance when you buy something at a store, you know that you generally walk into the store, select an item, bring it to the cashier, who scans it, then you pay in some way, and then leave the store. This "buying something" process is a schema we all recognize, and could of course have schemas within it (selecting a product; payment process) or be part of another schema (gift giving; home cooking).

Although these are easily imagined inside our heads, they're surprisingly difficult to define formally in such a way that a computer system would be able to understand. They're familiar to us from long use and understanding, but they're not immediately obvious or rule-bound, like how an apple will fall downwards from a tree at a constant acceleration. And the more data there are, the more difficult it is to define. Buying something is comparatively simple, but how do you create a schema for recognizing a cold war, or a bear market? That's what DARPA wants to look into.

This is a marketing question

By xxxJonBoyxxx • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
>> a machine learning system that can sift through the innumerable events and pieces of media generated every day and identify any threads of connection or narrative in them.

This sound like a marketing question. As in, "how well are the talking points from various agencies and political groups represented in the media." There are communications firms that perform this type of analysis today on the messages they try to get out into the public (e.g., "this statistic we created - that's just a little bit off the official one so we can track it - has been republished in 228 news stories in the past 6 months").

Re:Freakonomics at a grand scale

By jcheezem • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Not freakonomics but psychohistory.

Ah, there is no silver bullet...

By bobbied • Score: 3 • Thread

Fredrick Brooks was absolutely correct. There is no silver bullet in programming.

I think the problem described above "buy something" has an analog in the Object Oriented programming mind set, where the process of buying something can be defined in more and more detail... So you abstract "Buy something".... "In a store" or "online"... "Using a credit card"..... Just like we abstracted "Vehicle" which is "A Car" has "an engine" and the like.

Brooks was right, programming takes effort and AI isn't the answer.

Re:I thought DARPA was smarter than this

By Wycliffe • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

They're either buying into the same marketing and media hype for the half-assed excuse for AI everyone keeps trotting out, or they've got something nobody else has, meaning general AI. The latter is highly unlikely, if they did we wouldn't be hearing about it at all.

If they had general AI, they wouldn't need to build a super computer powered expert system just to tell whether someone is buying something. This is a complete waste of time. You have a better chance of reaching the moon by building longer and longer ladders than you do reaching general intelligence by hardcoding facts.

Verizon Says It Won't Launch Fake 5G Icons Like AT&T Did

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Verizon and T-Mobile are calling out AT&T for starting a shady marketing tactic that labeled its 4G network as a 5G network. "In an open letter, in which AT&T is not named directly, Verizon says in part 'the potential to over-hype and under-deliver on the 5G promise is a temptation that the wireless industry must resist,'" reports TechCrunch. Meanwhile, T-Mobile directly called out AT&T, tweeting a short video of someone putting a sticky note reading "9G" on top of their iPhone's LTE icon. The Verge reports: The promise comes right as AT&T has started to roll out updates doing exactly that: changing the "LTE" icon in the corner of select phones into an icon reading "5G E." One might assume that a "5G E" connection is the same thing as a "5G" connection, but it's not. AT&T is just pretending that the faster portions of its LTE network are 5G and is trying to get a head start on the 5G marketing race by branding it "5G Evolution." T-Mobile isn't happy about the marketing nonsense either. Its CTO, Neville Ray, wrote that AT&T was "duping customers."

Verizon says it's "calling on the broad wireless industry to commit to labeling something 5G only if new device hardware is connecting to the network using new radio technology to deliver new capabilities" (emphasis Verizon's). Kyle Malady, Verizon's chief technical officer, says Verizon will lead by example and that "a clear, consistent, and simple understanding of 5G" is needed so consumers don't have to "maneuver through marketing double-speak or technical specifications." Malady says Verizon will "not call our 4G network a 5G network if customers don't experience a performance or capability upgrade that only 5G can deliver." But that isn't the same thing as saying "we won't label our network 5G unless it's 5G." In fact, if you turn that sentence into a positive statement, it says "we will only call our 4G network a 5G network if it delivers a 5G-like experience."
The Verge notes that Verizon "has also been misleading about its jump into 5G." Last year, Big Red bragged about launching the "world's first commercial 5G service," even though "it wasn't mobile; it was home internet service that just happened to be delivered wirelessly during the final stretch to a subscriber's home; and it didn't use the global 5G standard -- it used a rival 5G standard created by Verizon."

"5G" means nothing

By fred6666 • Score: 3 • Thread

the problem would be solved if we switched to a more meaningful terminology such as:

-LTE network
-2 Gbps cellular network

clearly false advertising

By arbiter1 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Having phone saying its "5g" when phones hardware can't do that is false advertising as phone has hardware it doesn't have.


By fbobraga • Score: 3 • Thread
... as usual

Re:clearly false advertising

By msauve • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
"Having phone saying its "5g" when phones hardware can't do that is false advertising as phone has hardware it doesn't have."

That would be like selling "unlimited" service to someone, and then limiting it when they exceed a threshold. Or selling a "$40/mo" service, then adding fees which make it $60.

Huawei Has Suspected Ties To Front Companies In Iran and Syria, New Documents Reveal

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Reuters: The U.S. case against the chief financial officer of China's Huawei Technologies, who was arrested in Canada last month, centers on the company's suspected ties to two obscure companies. One is a telecom equipment seller that operated in Tehran; the other is that firm's owner, a holding company registered in Mauritius. U.S. authorities allege CFO Meng Wanzhou deceived international banks into clearing transactions with Iran by claiming the two companies were independent of Huawei, when in fact Huawei controlled them. Huawei has maintained the two are independent: equipment seller Skycom Tech Co Ltd and shell company Canicula Holdings Ltd. But corporate filings and other documents found by Reuters in Iran and Syria show that Huawei, the world's largest supplier of telecommunications network equipment, is more closely linked to both firms than previously known.

The documents reveal that a high-level Huawei executive appears to have been appointed Skycom's Iran manager. They also show that at least three Chinese-named individuals had signing rights for both Huawei and Skycom bank accounts in Iran. Reuters also discovered that a Middle Eastern lawyer said Huawei conducted operations in Syria through Canicula. Huawei, U.S. authorities assert, retained control of Skycom, using it to sell telecom equipment to Iran and move money out via the international banking system. As a result of the deception, U.S. authorities say, banks unwittingly cleared hundreds of millions of dollars of transactions that potentially violated economic sanctions Washington had in place at the time against doing business with Iran.

The Chinese communist party

By WCMI92 • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread

Is the real owner here. Any company that does business with China is subsidizing one of the most evil governments of all time. The ChiCom government is responsible for the mass murder of millions.

Re:This is something to be proud of in China

By times05 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

If China wants to do something that's perfectly legal for them, US law doesn't "trump" it, even if that happens to be US president's name.

If it's any consolation, US retains the right to be salty about it, maybe break some agreements or something with China, but common.... we all know agreements with US aren't worth the ink or paper they're written with/on, as evidenced by their breaking of agreement with Iran anyway.

Ermagerd, international corp sells internationally

By Uberbah • Score: 3 • Thread

Just imagine if this critical eye was aimed at, say, American arms dealers. Or the Bush and Clinton families. Or all the high profile politicians like Howard Dean and Tom Ridge who have been PR flacks for groups on the State Department's list as terrorists:

Re:This is something to be proud of in China

By tlhIngan • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

If China wants to do something that's perfectly legal for them, US law doesn't "trump" it, even if that happens to be US president's name.

Depends on the technology licenses. If that equipment contained any US export controlled technology, then yes heads will roll.

After all, ZTE was basically given the death sentence by being barred from buying US technology for re-selling the technology to restricted countries. At least, until the President was handed some half billion dollars of "investment" and China granting them rare and valuable trademark protection. Not just one, but several more later on.

Re:This is something to be proud of in China

By WindBourne • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
This was not about America telling them that they were under sanctions.
This was about Huawei buying American parts after promising to NOT sell them to a number of nations, including Iran/Syria.
Then they turned around and have worked hard to hide the fact that they are not just selling the parts to Iran, but working with them and syria, etc to use it against the west.

Connecting Your Bank Account To an App is Now a $3-Billion Business

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
When you link your checking account to Venmo or use it to buy bitcoin, a startup called Plaid is likely facilitating the connection with your bank. You punch in your user name and password; Plaid checks those credentials with the financial institution and, if they're accurate, passes banking information back to the app. That's it. From a report: This kind of software has been around for decades. But in the last year, Plaid has captured investors' attention. The San Francisco startup was the subject of a bidding war among venture capitalists and at least one tech company, ultimately resulting in a $250-million investment last month. That money will partly go toward the acquisition of one of its biggest competitors. Plaid announced Tuesday it was buying New York-based Quovo Inc. The deal could be worth about $200 million after performance bonuses, said three people familiar with the transaction, who asked not to be identified because terms of the deal were private.

Since starting Plaid in 2012, Zach Perret has sold the startup's nine lines of code to some of the most popular finance apps. Robo-advisor startup Betterment, cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase Inc., PayPal Holdings Inc.'s Venmo and stock-trading app Robinhood Markets Inc. have all used Plaid. Meanwhile, Quovo specializes in wealth management and brokerages. "This represents the merging of two complementary but both very important businesses," said Perret, Plaid's chief executive. Plaid is now valued at roughly $3 billion.

Paypal is enough

By DarkRookie2 • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
Its the only thing that is link to my bank account. It can stay that way.

Impressive valuation

By jrumney • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

You punch in your user name and password; Plaid checks those credentials with the financial institution and, if they're accurate, passes banking information back to the app.

I know there is a big dark market for these things, but a $3 billion valuation for a MITM exploit still seems a bit steep to me.

Re:You deserve better !

By jrumney • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
Australia has a similar service called POLi (formerly Centricom). All major banks warn against using it, as it is basically operating as a phishing site to get your internet banking credentials and log onto your internet banking on your behalf to make payments on your behalf and give the retailer instant verification that the payment has been made.

These days any transfer made is instant anyway, so the retailer can get the verification from their own bank without this security nightmare. Banks are now officially setting up their own consumer payment system where you can register a phone number to accept payments to your account, which will result in an SMS to your phone informing you of successful transactions. So the lifespan of these third party security risk solutions is hopefully coming to an end. With the banks' apps integrated into Android and iOS payment APIs, the app side of making payments should be taken care of too.

Re:I would never....

By ichimunki • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

I would. I'm probably being a bit rose-colored glasses about it, but if my bank puts out an app that I can load on my phone, I'm happy to use it. What I'm not remotely happy to do is give my username/password information to anyone other than the institution that issued the account. I mean, think about it... even my bank shouldn't actually know what my password is. They should have taken the password I gave them, salted it, hashed it 10-20 times, and stored the resulting hash in the database for future reference. This has been widely known as best practice for well over a decade now. They should have absolutely no way to recover the actual password I used based on their stored information. And so, as if to thumb my nose at security best practices, I'm going to simply hand not only my username, but actual password, over to some stranger? Just so I can use some dumb app on my phone? No way in hell.

We need to regulate this practice of giving third parties your username/password with your bank to use an app like Mint or whatever into oblivion-- with all the hackings of places like Target and Experian I'm actually sort of shocked that one of these third party backends hasn't been hacked (or more likely it has been, but keeping that fact secret is highly lucrative to the hackers, so we just haven't heard about it). Mostly what I understand these backends do with your login behind the scenes is a lot of screen-scraping to get your info. Last time I checked, it's not like there is an open format/API that financial companies are required to use to allow third party apps to access your data for you. I'm sure some banks have developed "relationships" with the Quickens of the world, but I'm guessing that many more have not, and it's probably still firmly in the pay-to-play realm, rather than an open standard that anyone can partake in.

You do what?!

By zdzichu • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

You give your credentials to some third party and it tries them? Like, you break your contract with the bank and forgo all your rights to complain on fraudalent charges? Check the ToS of you bank – all of them make sharing your credentials a "game over" situation for account owner.
Almost every single bank provide and API for external parties to initiate payments (in this situation authorisation is processed by Bank). Pay-by-link is standard in all banks, and OpenAPI (PSD2) will force rest of them to comply.
But if you share you credentials, you are lost.

Intel Demonstrates 10nm Ice Lake Processor, Promises PCs Will Ship With it Later this Year

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Intel announced a major rethink of its chip design back in December, just before it finally delivers 10nm chips for PCs and laptops. At CES 2019 this week, Intel is demonstrating its first Ice Lake 10nm processor that's based on its new Sunny Cove microarchitecture. From a report: Intel is building in Thunderbolt 3, Wi-Fi 6, and DL Boost (deep learning boost) into these Ice Lake chips for laptops and PCs to take advantage of. Intel is now promising that PC makers will have devices with Ice Lake processors on shelves by the end of 2019. At its CES keynote today, Intel demonstrated ODM systems from Pegatron and Wistron, and Dell even joined Intel on stage to show off an Ice Lake-powered XPS laptop that will be available later this year. Dell didn't show the device powered on, but it appeared to be a 2-in-1 device that looked similar to the XPS 13. Intel is also looking to the future, too. The chip giant is planning to use Foveros 3D chip stacking technology to build future chips, a method that allows Intel's chip designers to stack extra processing power on top of an already-assembled chip die. These "chiplets" can be stacked atop one another to form a processor that includes graphics, AI processing, and more.

Still vulnerable to Spectre and Meltdown?

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread

Come back when your crap a actually works.

Re:Why would you put wifi on the CPU.

By jellomizer • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Overall reduce size of your technology, and power consumption. I don't like the idea of integrated everything chips myself. But they are advantages in integrated.


By 110010001000 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
"Dell didn't show the device powered on"

Wow. Real impressive.

Intel ME

By jmccue • Score: 3 • Thread

Does it still have "ME" ? If so can it be fully disabled ? If disabled can it be validated ?

If not, "Thanks but no thanks"

US Telcos Are Selling Access To Their Customers' Location Data, and That Data Reaches Bounty Hunters and Others Not Authorized To Possess It

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
T-Mobile, Sprint, and AT&T are selling access to their customers' location data, and that data is ending up in the hands of bounty hunters and others not authorized to possess it, letting them track most phones in the country, an investigation by news outlet Motherboard has found. From the report: Nervously, I gave a bounty hunter a phone number. He had offered to geolocate a phone for me, using a shady, overlooked service intended not for the cops, but for private individuals and businesses. Armed with just the number and a few hundred dollars, he said he could find the current location of most phones in the United States. The bounty hunter sent the number to his own contact, who would track the phone. The contact responded with a screenshot of Google Maps, containing a blue circle indicating the phone's current location, approximate to a few hundred metres. [...] The bounty hunter did this all without deploying a hacking tool or having any previous knowledge of the phone's whereabouts. Instead, the tracking tool relies on real-time location data sold to bounty hunters that ultimately originated from the telcos themselves, including T-Mobile, AT&T, and Sprint, a Motherboard investigation has found. These surveillance capabilities are sometimes sold through word-of-mouth networks.

[...] Motherboard's investigation shows just how exposed mobile networks and the data they generate are, leaving them open to surveillance by ordinary citizens, stalkers, and criminals, and comes as media and policy makers are paying more attention than ever to how location and other sensitive data is collected and sold. The investigation also shows that a wide variety of companies can access cell phone location data, and that the information trickles down from cell phone providers to a wide array of smaller players, who don't necessarily have the correct safeguards in place to protect that data.
"Blade Runner, the iconic sci-fi movie, is set in 2019. And here we are: there's an unregulated black market where bounty-hunters can buy information about where we are, in real time, over time, and come after us. You don't need to be a replicant to be scared of the consequences," Thomas Rid, professor of strategic studies at Johns Hopkins University, told Motherboard.

Ron Wyden, a senator from Oregon, said in a statement, "This is a nightmare for national security and the personal safety of anyone with a phone."

Re: I'm not surprised.

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Political Rivals, or anyone ever thinking of running for office or holding a public office or with a modicum of influence or power (journalists included).

Just think of the dirt that can be used for influence if money doesnt talk.

Re:I'm not surprised.

By nehumanuscrede • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

How about your boss ?
You know, that day you called in sick so you could go to the ballgame instead ?

How about your insurance company ?
Let's take a look at where you've been eating for the past year. . . .

Re:I'm not surprised.

By farble1670 • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

Sidenote: I installed Life360, an Android location and overall helpful app for my (now-ex) girlfriend so we could easily locate each other. I talked to her beforehand

Needing to know each others' location at any time is at least one of the contributing problems.

Re:I'm not surprised.

By ShanghaiBill • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

They think it means a professional kidnapper, like Boba Fett.

Bullcrap. Boba Fett was working within the legal jurisdiction of the Empire. He was just as legitimate as any other bounty hunter.

Easy Manipulation

By forkfail • Score: 3 • Thread

If nothing else, this article shows how easy it is to manipulate people's views.

Had this article been about how anyone, such as a connected stalker, could for a few hundred dollars, track your location through your phone, there would have been almost universal outrage in the comments.

But because it is framed in terms of bounty hunters catching bad guys, there are an awful lot of comments in support of this capability. Even if it is illegal and can be used by anyone with the dollars to buy the services.

Does not give hope for the future.

London's Heathrow Airport Halts Departures Over Drone Sighting

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
London's Heathrow Airport halted departures on Tuesday after a report of a drone sighting, less than a month after a similar event crippled operations at a major U.K. airport. From a report: "We are currently responding to a drone sighting at Heathrow and are working closely with the Met Police to prevent any threat to operational safety," a spokesperson for the airport said. "As a precautionary measure, we have stopped departures while we investigate. We apologise to passengers for any inconvenience this may cause."

This is just stage 1:

By sheramil • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Stage 2 involves deploying drones that somewhat resemble pigeons.

Stage 3 is where the relevant authorities discover they can't tell the drones from the pigeons, and all air traffic is halted, permanently. The pigeons win.

Re: DDOS: Drone Denial of Service

By ShanghaiBill • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

You don't even need the drones. Just claim you saw one. You can even phone it in anonymously.

news from inside the shoe event horizon

By Thud457 • Score: 3 • Thread
The actual problem is that Heathrow is having problems with its supplier of lemon-soaked paper napkins.

They just don't want to unnecessarily alarm people with talk about the incipient collapse of civilization.

Re:Is that all that it takes?

By ISayWeOnlyToBePolite • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

I'm thinking they need to invest in the technology to quickly and safely shoot these out of the sky and resume operations. I'm also thinking most of them would cause less damage to a jet than a goose strike would.

Some tests have been made with drone and aircraft collisions https://www.aerospacetestingin...
“The bird did more apparent damage to the leading edge of the wing, but the Phantom penetrated deeper into the wing and damaged the main spar, which the bird did not do,”

Re:Is that all that it takes?

By Drethon • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

A drone sucked into a jet engine is no small problem.

So is multiple 15 pound fleshy objects:

I see a bunch of geese eating on the lawn of our airport right now, should we shut down the airport? I guess they are making the assumption that a drone flown near an airport is done with malice, whereas a goose probably doesn't have any malice toward a typical airliner. Still, is the risk really any different?

Just my bent $0.02.

Google's New SMS and Call Permission Policy is Crippling Apps Used by Millions

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Ryne Hager, writing for AndroidPolice: Late last year, Google decided it was time to crack down on apps requesting SMS and call log permissions. Ostensibly, exceptions would be granted for categories including backups and automation, but as of now, there are still gaps which cover legitimate use cases. While some popular apps like Tasker have successfully secured exemptions, others like Cerberus have not. Instead, they've decided to strip out those permissions or risk facing the wrath of Google's upcoming January 9th banhammer, killing associated functionality and disappointing millions of long-time users to adhere to the Play Store's new policy.

The Play Console support page for the applicable set of permissions notifies developers that they can submit what is effectively an application for an exemption, categories for which are listed on the same page. (And that list of exceptions has grown since the original announcement.) Nonetheless, a further set of prohibitions are also included in the form itself, which explicitly preclude support for phone security/device location apps like Cerberus.

Cudos Google

By Dorianny • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
Sorry but collection of sensitive data for profit, is a much bigger concern than a few legitimate apps being broken. Now, if only we could do something about Google's data-mining

Re:It's not for the users benefit

By iamgnat • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Users just need the ability to approve this on a per- app basis, not censorship.

I've been an Android user since about the end of 6 and it has always had that ability on my phones (Nexus 6P and Pixel 3 XL). You have to go out of the way to change the permissions though so it would be nice if it would pop up the list for you to verify the first time you run it after an install or update.

What pisses me off is the apps that refuse to work at all if they don't have a specific permission even if you don't use the related feature. For example I have a heart monitor that requires microphone permission so you can record notes, but it also allows you to write simple text notes too. If you don't give it permission to use the microphone it refuses to work at all. I've run into plenty of others too, but that's the only one where my answer couldn't simply be to delete the app.

Deja vu

By sootman • Score: 3 • Thread

Remember when Windows came out, and it had tons of shitty security assumptions and bad default settings in place, and then MS had to spend decades cleaning up that mess? Good times.

In the early 2000s, Google should have been smart enough to know that "by default, just let anyone do anything" was a bad place to start.

Re:I don't see any reason!...

By habig • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
How bout an app that uses SMS as a remote control channel for when you lose your phone? This handy app: is about to get neutered. According to the forums, the author is doing all the right things with respect to applying for exemptions, and is going to get whacked anyway. If an app with this one's long history of good work gets blasted, any indie author is toast.

SMS Retriever API

By Todd Knarr • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

So why can't Cerberus use the SMS Retriever API for their functionality? For what they're doing they don't need to see every SMS message or call log entry on the device, they just need to see and respond to the single SMS message sent by their servers which is exactly what the Retriever API is designed for. It requires a loop, it'd be nice if there was a way for an app to register a permanent retriever so that loop wasn't necessary, but it shouldn't require a half-decent Android developer more than a day or two to code up the functionality needed. All these devs are doing is throwing a hissy fit instead of acknowledging why Google found these restrictions necessary and working within them (or working with Google to implement just the functionality needed). I suddenly feel a need to research any app or company complaining about this to see exactly why they're so upset about losing access to a data stream that it doesn't seem they should care about in the first place.

Proceedings Start Against Portland State University Professor Whose Carefully Crafted Fiction Helped Expose the Rot Within Some Sectors of Modern Academia

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Peter Boghossian, an assistant professor of philosophy at Portland State University in Oregon, led a trio of scholars last year who submitted to leading publications what they called "intentionally broken" papers on gender, race and sexuality. Several of those absurd pieces were published. Portland State University has now started disciplinary proceedings against Boghossian. From a report: The Oregon university's institutional review board concluded that Boghossian's participation in the elaborate hoax had violated Portland State's ethical guidelines, according to documents Boghossian posted online. The university is considering a further charge that he had falsified data, the documents indicate. Last month Portland State's vice president for research and graduate studies, Mark R. McLellan, ordered Boghossian to undergo training on human-subjects research as a condition for getting further studies approved. In addition, McLellan said he had referred the matter to the president and provost because Boghossian's behavior "raises ethical issues of concern."

Re: Thou Shalt not Expose...

By GameboyRMH • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Do you have any credible dataset that suggests otherwise, or is it just unsupported assertions and cherry-picked incidents that this data has to compete with? So far it seems that all the data available - as incomplete as it is - says that these "free speech" incidents are vanishingly rare and mostly aimed at leftist speakers/professors.

The art of thinking

By Evtim • Score: 3 • Thread

I read carefully all replies so far.
None of the critics has any idea whatsoever what was done, why, how, and most importantly, why.
In order to think about anything you need data.
So why don't you start with listening to those two

The second is an interview with the very people who did it. Just hear how the reviewers were encouraging them to make the papers even more radical (untruthful). And how the most ridiculous paper actually won an award.

All of you here who criticize those brave and insightful people are useful idiots with tiny balls and even tinier brains.

You are also nasty and dangerous.

Re: Thou Shalt not Expose...

By zugmeister • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
Let me clarify your carefully edited summation:
"a guy was making up data for papers and submitting them to journals" to show how horribly wrong the peer review / vetting process of these journals has gotten. He is now being retaliated against for showing the flaws in the system.
This is not about punishing a wrongdoer, this is about punishing a whistleblower.
That's a bad thing.

Re: Thou Shalt not Expose...

By Shadow of Eternity • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

"Stories of the far left's violence, antisemitism, and intolerance are a lie" - Says the Far Left.


By Sarten-X • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

"Social science" is nothing more than ... attempt to ... explain away ... group differences.

Yep. Chemistry is also an attempt to explain away alchemy, and physics is nothing more than an attempt to explain away God's miraculous creation.

Different demographics have different traits. This is known and pretty widely accepted across social science. However, what's very much not accepted is that the traits are intrinsic and inseparable to the demographic. For example, it isn't a natural law that having dark skin makes someone more likely to be a criminal, but it is a fact that 33% of the "adult male African-American" demographic has a felony conviction. What social sciences try to understand is why. Speaking naively, it could be genetics, or unequal laws, or unequal socioeconomic dynamics, unequal enforcement, or even a bias in the accounting process.

A social scientist, then, would design a study to test for a given factor such as race, controlling other variables. Assemble a cohort of adult Caucasian males, selected so the other factors (legal jurisdiction, wealth, age, etc.) match that of the sampled African-American population. Then survey the test group and the control group, and see if race does actually make a difference.

I'll give away the not-so-surprising ending: Intrinsic differences in groups usually play an extremely small role, to the point where it becomes statistically difficult to figure out exactly how little they matter. The vast majority of social science studies end up finding no difference between any (human) groups once socioeconomic and cultural factors are controlled.

Coincidentally, that's also the bulk of the work done in social science, which is why it gets a reputation for being useless and politicized. However, that in turn is mostly because it's far easier to test a widely-varying characteristic like ethnicity than it is to, for example, ask a city to change its laws for a year "for science".

Digital Hoarding Can Make Us Feel Just as Stressed and Overwhelmed as Physical Clutter, Research Suggests

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Emerging research on digital hoarding -- a reluctance to get rid of the digital clutter we accumulate through our work and personal lives -- suggests that it can make us feel just as stressed and overwhelmed as physical clutter. From a report: Not to mention the cybersecurity problems it can cause for individuals and businesses and the way it makes finding that one email you need sometimes seem impossible. The term digital hoarding was first used in 2015 in a paper about a man in the Netherlands who took several thousand digital photos each day and spent hours processing them. "He never used or looked at the pictures he had saved, but was convinced that they would be of use in the future," wrote the authors.

In a study published earlier this year Neave and his colleagues asked 45 people about how they deal with emails, photos, and other files. The reasons people gave for hanging on to their digital effects varied -- including pure laziness, thinking something might come in handy, anxiety over the idea of deleting anything and even wanting "ammunition" against someone. The team has used those responses to develop a questionnaire to assess digital hoarding behaviours in the workplace, and have tested it with 203 people who use computers as part of their job. Their findings show that email appears to be a particular problem: among participants, the average inbox had 102 unread and 331 read emails.

Pokemon Go clutter

By TomR teh Pirate • Score: 3 • Thread
Yes, I still play. It's interesting to see other players who get trapped in a sort of hoarding mentality with extra toons that don't actually have any meta-game practicality. I think the publisher actually relies on this to sell coins so that players will buy more bag space.

One major difference

By Waffle Iron • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

With physical hoarding, the burden is often eventually shifted onto family or friends. They are stuck with the expense and effort of a major clean-out if the hoarder ever dies or becomes incapacitated.

With digital hoarding, everything that was accumulated often fits into a shirt pocket. While it may stress out the actual hoarder, those who inherit it could easily dispose of it if they choose.


By Ormy • Score: 3 • Thread

1.) Digital space is cheaper than physical space.

2.) The cost of digital space is decreasing with time because it's practically infinite.

3.) The cost of physical space is increasing with time because it's finite.

4.) Search functions are excellent, if you tag things correctly and/or use the right search terms, finding one email in millions takes seconds. Much easier than searching for things in physical space (which is why warehouses have digital records of where everything is).

Therefore no need to worry about digital hoarding. Everyone stop stressing. Problem solved, go home, get off my lawn.

It is not hoarding, it is cost management.

By Monster_user • Score: 3 • Thread
Having thousands to millions of emails isn't about digital hoarding. It is being overwhelmed by the sheer volume of unimportant, irrelevant, expired, and useless spam, and simply being unable to manage it.

Say you get a bill in your email. That bill needs to be retained for a certain period of time in order to retain the latest contact/support information, balance the checkbook, and account for any errors with the billing agency or bank. Simply deleting that bill assumes perfection and/or inerrancy on the part of third parties.

Let those bills grow for some time, and suddenly you've got an entire folder of bills, intermingled with data breach notifications and administrative emails, etc. There may be an email or two which you need to "Pin" to the folder to prevent its deletion. And then do a "Sweep" or automated cleanup of other items to prevent clutter. Mail hasn't been that advanced until recently, and most mail services are still not that advanced. (Is GMail capable of all of those things?)

Later you buy one thing online, and suddenly you have inadvertently subscribed to 50 publications which email frequently. (Plus paper catalogs by snail mail apparently,...) Which you then have to manage which ones you have unsubscribed to while sorting and deleting them to prevent deletion of legitimate mail in your Inbox (like a first warranty renewal notification for a product, or an insurance bill from a new provider, or account theft alerts/purchase notifications you weren't expecting etc...).

Let that cycle repeat itself for all online activity, which is intertwined with a significant portion of our daily lives, and email becomes a task which requires a full time secretary position to maintain. Training email is now possible, but it is not a simple task. Then put all of that on the general populace who can't even change their Facebook diary postings from "Everyone/Public" to Friends or a private group, etc,...

It ain't hoarding, its giving up!

Re:331 read emails?

By nine-times • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

I don't think it's just the cost of storage or the cost of finding a particular thing, but also the psychology of seeing a bunch of junk, not knowing what it is, and not knowing if there's some problem lurking in that mess.

Like, ok, sure, it might not be too bad to find a particular email you're actively looking for. But how confident are you that you have a grasp of what information exists in your mailbox? How sure are you that you didn't miss an important email at some point, or forgot to respond to an email chain you were on?

Maybe you're extremely organized and you're fine. Or maybe you think you're fine, but the psychological stress is impacting you, but you're not consciously aware of it.

I'm pretty organized, but I've realized that it still stresses me out. I don't even remember all of the accounts I've signed up for over the past few decades. A while ago, I spent a few days trying to clear some of those out and shut them down. Still, there could be some old Dropbox account out there with a bunch of personal information that I signed up for with one of my old alternate addresses, and I might have just forgotten about it. Currently I have 4 different email accounts and 4 different online storage accounts, each for a different reason, but I think it adds to my stress level that I can't keep track of where all of my information is.

IBM Tops 2018 Patent List as AI and Quantum Computing Gain Prominence

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
IBM earned a record 9,100 U.S. patents in 2018, marking the 26th year in a row the Armonk, New York-based company has been the top recipient. From a report: Samsung was second with 5,850 patents while tech giants Apple and Microsoft also appeared in the top ten, according to a list compiled by research service IFI Claims. IBM's latest patent haul, which topped the 9,043 it received last year, includes a growing number of inventions related to artificial intelligence and quantum computing, which many people see as critical technologies of the future.


By 110010001000 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
You mean "paid for". At this point, patents mean nothing except you paid the fee.


By ClickOnThis • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

I'm guessing you never wrote a patent before. I have. So have several family members. It's work. Believe me, once it's granted, you feel like you earned it.


By WolfgangVL • Score: 3 • Thread

A single entity can receive 25 patents a day... for a year.

It seems like there should be at least a 24 hour cooldown before your next submittal.

Or a patent tax?

I don't know, but 9100/year seems excessive.

Windows 10 Will Reserve 7GB of Your Computer's Storage in its Next Major Release So That Big Updates Don't Fail

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
In the next major release of Windows 10, Microsoft will reserve 7GB of your device's storage to resolve a Windows 10 bug thrown up by Windows Update not checking whether a PC has enough storage space before launching after big updates. From a report: As Microsoft warned ahead of the Windows 10 October 2018 Update, systems that don't have enough space to install Microsoft's 'quality updates' or new versions of the OS will see an error message explaining there is insufficient storage space. That happens because Windows doesn't check if a device has enough space before initializing. Microsoft's current solution is for users to manually delete unnecessary temporary files and temporarily move important files like photos and videos to external storage devices to make enough space for the update. This problem is more acute for devices with little storage capacity, such as many of the cheap 32GB flash-drive PCs on the market today.

Re: No they won't

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Worst yo-mamma joke. Ever.

Made up "facts"

By sjbe • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

For example, Windows 7 ran OK on a regular hard drive. Windows 10 -needs- a SSD to be able to function.

Don't know where you got this made up fact. I'm typing this on a PC that has Windows 10 and does not have an SSD and it runs just fine. (well... as fine as Windows ever runs)

The minimum size has grown as well, where W10 pretty much needs 120+ gigs of space with all the Market and user installed shoverware, and that's before adding relevant apps.

More bullshit. I'll agree it's pretty bloated but it demonstrably does not require that much space. If you have that much shovel-ware installed, switch PC vendors. On the machine I'm running right now Windows takes about 45GB of space. You can argue that's still too much and I'd probably agree with you but it's 1/3 of what you are claiming.

If you want to bash Windows there are plenty of opportunities that do not require making up nonsense.

Re:No they won't

By Immerman • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

And so it has been. The Linux desktop has been thriving, it just hasn't gained dramatic market share, persistently hovering around the same tiny fraction as MacOS, for reasons that have very little to do with the Linux desktop itself.

Re:No they won't

By 110010001000 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
You don't know what they are sending! The system, the source code, is CLOSED. It could be sending a log of every website you ever visited, every keystroke, every document you have. You have no idea. And the data they collect can change at any time.

Re:No they won't

By harperska • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Linux model:
download the OS
install/setup/configure the OS
Configure the OS
Configure the OS again
Break something
Google which config file might control the weird behavior you are seeing.
Search message boards for a possible solution
Wade through countless 'me too' posts to see if anybody actually has a fix
Try a solution someone gave for a problem that looks like it might be similar to yours
Try a different proposed solution because the first one only made things worse
Break something else
Give up
Reinstall the OS

Pingdom Will Kill Its Free Website Monitoring Plan on February 6

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Pingdom, a popular website monitoring and performance management service, will soon stop welcoming non-paying users. In an email sent to users today, Pingdom announced that it will be ending its free tier on February 6. From a report: The move, which has unsurprisingly upset many users, comes five years after Pingdom was acquired by SolarWinds, an Austin, Texas-based firm. In its email, Pingdom said it intends to focus its resources and investment on the next phase of its product development. Founded in 2007, Pingdom attracted over 500,000 users from 200 countries in seven years, before it was acquired. Several major companies, including Google, Spotify, Microsoft, Twitter, Slack, Evernote, Mailchimp, Github, Square, Instagram, and others became its clients.

No surprise

By Kernel Kurtz • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

SolarWinds really crippled their free version of Kiwi Syslog Server recently too. Would not be at all surprised if it goes away as well.

Left them long ago

By dclxv • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
We left Pingdom long ago in favor of Uptime Robot ( Their free service is great and their paid service is perfect for our limited needs as a web hosting provider.


By Herkum01 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

I don't understand the obsession with not offering a limited free product. I liked Pingdom, it has numerous quirks that I would not have over looked if they were asking for me to pay to use.

Coinbase Suspends Ethereum Classic (ETC) Trading After Double-Spend Attacks

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Cryptocurrency trading portal Coinbase delisted the Ethereum Classic (ETC) currency Monday after detecting a series of double-spend attacks over the last three days. From a report: In layman terms, double-spend attacks are when a malicious actor gains the majority computational power inside a blockchain, which they then use to enforce unauthorized transactions over legitimate ones. According to a security alert published today by Coinbase security engineer Mark Nesbitt, this is exactly what's been happening on the Ethereum Classic blockchain for the past three days, since January 5. Nesbitt says that a malicious actor has carried out 11 (at the time of writing) double-spend attacks during which he moved funds from legitimate accounts to their own. [...] According to Crypto51, it only costs $5,029 to rent enough computing powerto overwhelm the ETC blockchain with your own miners and gain 51 percent hashing power to carry out a double-spend attack.

Re:This is why we can't have nice things.

By klubar • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Tell me again why bitcoin is so much more secure than the traditional banking system.

Re:This is why we can't have nice things.

By Sarten-X • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Because it's distributed, so a bad guy would have to have huge computing resources to overwhelm the good guys! That'll be so expensive it won't be worth the cost.

Oh, wait...


By sdinfoserv • Score: 3 • Thread
When a physical bank is robbed, everyone who has dollars in their pockets still has whole dollars. The theft had zero effect on the value of your pocket or what you can buy. When a crypto-currency exchange gets hacked (aka robbed), the value of what you own can tumble. Plus, add in the shear insecurity of crypto-currency, and you have the reasons why it's a complete failure and nonsense.


By Drethon • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

When a physical bank is robbed, everyone who has dollars in their pockets still has whole dollars. The theft had zero effect on the value of your pocket or what you can buy. When a crypto-currency exchange gets hacked (aka robbed), the value of what you own can tumble. Plus, add in the shear insecurity of crypto-currency, and you have the reasons why it's a complete failure and nonsense.

These days when a physical bank is robbed, they have insurance backing up their virtual dollars, as well as tracking that can get back stolen (digital) money in many cases (from what I've been told, not an expert). So while the government can track your transactions through banks, the bank also provides more security. All depends on what you value most.

Re:This is why we can't have nice things.

By Oswald McWeany • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

And one is also expected to trust at least half of those controlling the computing resources... not sure I trust a fraction of that number.

And "trust" is your only option- it's all you can do, you can't rely on law enforcement to protect you eCoins. Because eCoins are not backed by government or insured by governments, governments are less inclined to help you get your money back if stolen by thieves and hackers.

Politicians Cannot Block Social Media Foes, US Appeals Court Rules

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Reuters: A federal appeals court said on Monday a Virginia politician violated the Constitution by temporarily blocking a critic from her Facebook page, a decision that could affect President Donald Trump's appeal from a similar ruling in New York. In a 3-0 decision, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Phyllis Randall, chair of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, violated the First Amendment free speech rights of Brian Davison by banning him for 12 hours from her "Chair Phyllis J. Randall" page.

The ban came after Davison had attended a 2016 town hall meeting, and then under his Facebook profile "Virginia SGP" accused school board members and their relatives of corruption and conflicts of interest. Randall had also removed her original post and all comments, including Davison's. Circuit Judge James Wynn rejected Randall's argument that her Facebook page was a private website, saying the "interactive component" was a public forum and that she engaged in illegal viewpoint discrimination. Davison's speech "occupies the core of the protection afforded by the First Amendment," Wynn wrote.

Multiple levels of blocking

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Here's what I find interesting about this:

Facebook itself blocks people. It does it in a blanket fashion based on its terms of service, and it does it in a specific fashion if you do something they don't like and they decide you need to be stepped on. This has exactly the same chilling effect on political speech.

So there are people being prevented / forbidden from interacting on, or even reading, their politician's pages by Facebook, but here the court says the politician can't do that, because it is a 1st amendment issue. Will the courts say that Facebook can't do that either? Facebook is part of the mechanism that presents the information and facilitates the interaction – it doesn't seem like much of a leap from this ruling to telling Facebook it can't shut its doors on people (or telling politicians they can't use Facebook, because it's a limited speech forum.)

I wonder if, eventually, the courts will see the same argument, basically that Facebook has become a public forum and doesn't have the right to step on people's ability to interact with their politicians there.

On the one hand, Facebook is a private enterprise; but on the other, it's being used as a political pulpit, and that combination creates the lack of free access when people are prevented/forbidden to use the platform.

Re:Free speech versus privacy

By Nidi62 • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Does free speech give me the right to go into private meetings? How about a politician's home? They are not being blocked from expressing themselves, but being blocked from expressing themselves in a specific place. The question is are the online accounts private or public places. If the answer is online is a public place, then there is little privacy online.

If the page is being used as an extension of her office, or to encourage public participation or engagement, or is open for view or comment to the general public, then it is a public space. As such, as an elected official, she has no right to remove someone from that space as long as they are not causing a disturbance or acting in a disruptive manner, no matter what the message is (as long as it is germane to the topic being discussed or her position as an elected official). If you are holding a public meeting and I am given the floor and politely and professionally say something you don't like you have no right or recourse to remove me, just as she doesn't with her Facebook page.

Re: Multiple levels of blocking

By Zero__Kelvin • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
You don't seem to understand that the two situations are radically different. This is about the *government* and making sure it cannot infring upon free speech. The first amendment is about limiting the *government* from interference. Facebook is a private entity and is well within the law having entered a conctrual agreement with the user that they may do so via those terms of service to which you referred.

Re: "Trolls"

By DarkOx • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

I am sorry but no you are the idiot. Trump might be lot of things but there is NOTHING to suggest he would condone mass murder. There is nothing to suggest that anything like what was possible in 1930s Germany could be effected in 21st Century America even if someone had the intent to do so.

You sir are deranged, and utterly lacking in perspective.

Re:What about the courts?

By sycodon • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

And even that standard is stupid.

The press is invited to the briefings. Only a limited number of the press get passes. You can bet there is no objective evaluation of who gets the passes and who doesn't. It's all going to be subjective, although admittedly carried out in a context of "tradition"...i.e. ABC has ALWAYS had a pass, etc.

I think the courts have generally over stepped their bounds with regards to the Executive Branch. One could argue that the Courts have no jurisdiction what-so-ever in this kind of matter because of the separation of powers.

GitHub Free Users Now Get Unlimited Private Repositories

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
GitHub has always offered free accounts, but users were forced to make their code public. To get private repositories, you had to pay. Now, as TechCrunch reports, "Free GitHub users now get unlimited private projects with up to three collaborators." From the report: The amount of collaborators is really the only limitation here and there's no change to how the service handles public repositories, which can still have unlimited collaborators. This feels like a sign of goodwill on behalf of Microsoft, which closed its acquisition of GitHub last October, with former Xamarin CEO Nat Friedman taking over as GitHub's CEO.

Talking about teams, GitHub also today announced that it is changing the name of the GitHub Developer suite to 'GitHub Pro.' The company says it's doing so in order to "help developers better identify the tools they need." But what's maybe even more important is that GitHub Business Cloud and GitHub Enterprise (now called Enterprise Cloud and Enterprise Server) have become one and are now sold under the 'GitHub Enterprise' label and feature per-user pricing.
In response, GitLab CEO Sid Sijbrandij said: "GitHub today announced the launch of free private repositories with up to three collaborators. GitLab has offered unlimited collaborators on private repositories since the beginning. We believe Microsoft is focusing more on generating revenue with Azure and less on charging for DevOps software. At GitLab, we believe in a multi-cloud future where organizations use multiple public cloud platforms."

A move to win users from bitbucket

By m.alessandrini • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Bitbucket is the place you go if you want a free private git repository on the cloud, so this is simply competition, not goodwill.

Re:A move to win users from bitbucket

By h33t l4x0r • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Bitbucket is such a turd though. I welcome this change in a big way.

LG Introduces Rollable OLED TV

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
One of the 2019 TV models LG outlined at its CES press conference today was the LG Signature OLED TV R (65R9), which has a display that can roll up and disappear into its base when you're not using it. "LG calls the TV ' a revolutionary innovation that helps address the very human need for an aesthetically pleasing environment' and says it is 'redefining space' to offer unprecedented levels of 'immersion' and 'a new level of space integration,'" reports Ars Technica. From the report: LG says to expect picture quality on par with its just-announced 2019 4K OLED lineup. That means 120Hz and AI image processing using LG's new Alpha 9 Gen 2 CPU. The TV's base -- the same one it rolls into -- houses a 4.2-channel, 100-watt soundbar with Dolby Atmos support. Additionally, the TV doesn't have to scroll all the way in. As seen in one of the images at the start of this article, it can fold down to what LG calls "Line View." This has five modes: music, clock, frame, mood, and home dashboard. Music offers an interface for playing music from the base. Clock shows the time, date, and weather. Frame displays a scrolling line of photos streamed from your smartphone, which is the mode in the photo above. The mood mode is for aesthetics, and home dashboard will allow access to some of LG's usual TV software features. No price has been announced yet, but TechCrunch reports that it could cost more than the 8K TV LG announced last week, which will compete directly with Samsung's $15,000 8K offering. LG says the Signature OLED TV R will be available for purchase in the second half of the year.

Re:What, again?

By jrumney • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
The innovation this time around is that they now have a screensaver of Banksy's Girl with Red Balloon that displays as it rolls up, so you can pretend you are in an auction house, in case you get sick of pretending you are at the end of an upside down 1970's slide show.


By Ecuador • Score: 3 • Thread

"the very human need" of seeing the wall behind the TV? The only case I could see this being true is if you somehow had a really ugly TV...?
Another solution in search of a problem.
We are waiting for rollable/foldable screens on mobile devices*. Give us that. It is nice to have a big screen with you to consume media, but a mobile device that doesn't fit your pocket is no good. Work on that, don't try to hide a perfectly fine TV.
Unless the master plan is for buyers of this thing to fund R&D for foldable mobile phones? I'd be fine with that.

*Personally, I'd prefer a slide out full keyboard, which is feasible with current tech (my ancient N900 was doing it great), but it seems I won't be getting that hence I'll have to settle with the foldable screen which has a greater appeal...

Re:What, again?

By mapkinase • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

>This time, we're looking at a full-featured, 65-inch TV that's actually coming to market this year.

Now all the billions of people who had watch their movies on plastic roll-up screens with their ancient projectors can jump in to the new exciting inventions.

about time

By sad_ • Score: 3 • Thread

i used to roll up my newspaper to smash flies and other insects, but since i don't get any newspapers anymore i've been looking for another good replacement.

Re:The TV no one asked for

By rickb928 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Projection isn't yet as wonderful to view as OLED screens.

OLED screens that simply 'go away' have huge appeal. First, they let you have that wall back. For other things. Second, it's practical to deliver a rollable 200 inch screen, while a fixed 200 inch screen might not fit through your door, and would be pretty fragile. I know, nobody needs a 200 inch screen. Nobody needs an 80 inch screen either. And the minimized mode is excellent.

No one asked for Walkman cassette players. OR CDs. DVDs. Nope. Especially Walkman players, that was a market Sony created. There were maybe 100 skaters like me that strapped an underdash cassette player to a bundle of NiCd batteries, put on those Pro-4AA cans to isolate us from the real world, and limped around like we were cool. Sony figured something out that really didn't exist, and it was 'damn, i need that'. Out of nowhere. Rollable screens will be the same thing. Just not Sony.