the unofficial Slashdot digest for 2019-Jan-10 today archive


  1. Shareholders Sue Alphabet's Board For Role In Allegedly Covering Up Sexual Misconduct By Senior Execs
  2. Procter and Gamble Unveils New Device That Aims To Remove Signs of Aging
  3. Software Patents Poised To Make a Comeback Under New Patent Office Rules
  4. Netflix Password Sharing May Soon Be Impossible Due To New AI Tracking
  5. Nest Competitor Ring Reportedly Gave Employees Full Access To Customers' Live Camera Feeds
  6. 15 Years After Announcing the 1GB SD Card, Lexar Unveils 1TB SD Card
  7. Amazon is Working on Game Streaming Service, Report Says
  8. Malware Found Preinstalled On Some Alcatel Smartphones
  9. Amazon Watchers Say the Company Has Accelerated Its Efforts To Sell Its Own Products -- and That's Worrying Regulators Around the World
  10. Ocean Warming is Accelerating Faster Than Thought, New Research Finds
  11. T-Mobile Begins Verifying Calls To Protect Against Spam
  12. Some Nevada Governments Are Using Blockchain For Public Records
  13. Linux systemd Affected by Memory Corruption Vulnerabilities, No Patches Yet
  14. Nvidia CEO Trashes AMD's New GPU: 'The Performance Is Lousy'
  15. Windows 7 Users Who Installed January Update Report Network Issues; Some Say the Update Has Also Incorrectly Flagged Their OS License as 'Not Genuine'
  16. Google Wins Round in Fight Against Global Right To Be Forgotten
  17. How Cartographers For the US Military Inadvertently Created a House of Horrors in South Africa
  18. Taking the Smarts Out of Smart TVs Would Make Them More Expensive
  19. So You Automated Your Coworkers Out of a Job
  20. AWS Launches Fully-Managed Document Database Service
  21. Blue Gems In Teeth Illuminate Women's Hidden Role In Medieval Manuscripts
  22. Wireless Tech Company Finds Way To Charge Drones In Flight

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

Shareholders Sue Alphabet's Board For Role In Allegedly Covering Up Sexual Misconduct By Senior Execs

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from CNBC: Attorneys in San Francisco representing an Alphabet shareholder are suing the board of directors for allegedly covering up sexual misconduct claims against top executives. The suit comes months after an explosive New York Times report detailed how Google shielded executives accused of sexual misconduct, either by keeping them on staff or allowing them amicable departures. For example, Google reportedly paid Android leader Andy Rubin a $90 million exit package, despite asking for his resignation after finding sexual misconduct claims against him credible.

The new lawsuit, filed in California's San Mateo County, asserts claims for breach of fiduciary duty, abuse of control, unjust enrichment, and waste of corporate assets. The attorneys say the lawsuit is the result of "an extensive original investigation into non-public evidence" and produced copies of internal Google minutes from board of directors meetings. "The Directors' wrongful conduct allowed the illegal conduct to proliferate and continue," the suit reads. "As such, members of Alphabet's Board were knowing and direct enablers of the sexual harassment and discrimination."

Humans are sexual creatures

By Jarwulf • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
apparently Silicon Valley and the Western world has to relearn the lessons all ancient cultures knew until the 20th century. Humans, at least normal humans are sexual creatures. You mix men and women, there will always be a very significant degree of inherent tension and drama as a result you can't get rid of. This tension and drama comes from the dynamics of intra and intersex competition and jockeying that is evolutionarily hardwired into us and is inherent for our survival. We've tried the 'humans are robots that can turn asexual at the flip of a switch' theory for decades or centuries if you count church, and it never works. Even at its strongest bastions (google and colleges) it backfires badly. Either you learn to live with this and stop taking every microaggression or flirt so seriously or you segregate the sexes and develop natural sex specific roles, like our forefathers have successful done for countless millennia.

Re:Humans are sexual creatures

By scdeimos • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
That's a whole load of crap. Responsible people act responsibly. Don't tar all of us with the "man is sexual creature" brush just because you can't keep your penis in your pants.

Re:Humans are sexual creatures

By serviscope_minor • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Humans are also creatures that eat. The desire to eat it way stronger tha nthe desire to have sex. If you put humans around a souce of food, they will start killing and eating it. o eally we should expect owrkplae cannibalism.

Or we should expect people to exert some self control. We'e not talking about someone starved of resouces here either. It'a guy woth 300,000,000. If he's that desperate for sex, he couls always wait until the end of the day and go hire a sex worker.

But no, you'e just an apologist. Clearly you don't think it's important becuase you're talking about "flirting and microaggeaaions". You have never bothered to read about what happened because you clearly don't think this is fundamantally important and it's all more or less equivalent.

Re:Humans are sexual creatures

By hairyfeet • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
I hate to break the news to ya Sparky but even one of the founders of the #metoo movement was caught paying off someone for sexually harassing them so its not just guys, in fact I've seen a lot more females pulling sexual no-nos the past few years than I've seen dudes.

Re:How does this happen?

By GameboyRMH • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Executives are capitalism's royalty, they live under special rules for the nobility rather than the iron law of wages like us peasants, it's that simple.

Procter and Gamble Unveils New Device That Aims To Remove Signs of Aging

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
In a video for the BBC, technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones uses Procter and Gamble's new device to maker him look younger. Called Opte, the device scans the skin and precisely applies tiny amounts of make-up to remove age spots, burst blood vessels and other blemishes. Opte has a camera in it that captures 200 frames per second and processes that data by looking at the difference of the color of your skin. It then sends it to a microprocessor and 120 thermal inkjet printers print the product directly on your skin. The company says it works with all skin colors via three different cartridges: light, medium, and dark. Procter and Gamble is planning to release the device in late 2019 or 2020.


By Ol Olsoc • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

My wife doesn't wear makeup. At all. She uses lip balm, but that's it.

The creation of this "expectation" that women will always wear makeup in public - it's an astonishing triumph of a vile and misogynistic industry. It's a global multi-billion-dollar business that should be attracting worldwide protests, boycotts and pickets. And yet - women not only accept it, they all but enforce it on each other.

And don't even get me started on cosmetic surgery.

Cool story bro. Why do you think that women are so weak that some evil patriarchy forces them to wear makeup?

When the real reason for makeup is two different things. The first is that in various species, one or the other sex is more decorated, more beautiful. Sometimes, as with many birds, the male is the gaudy and more beautiful sex. In humans, it's the opposite. Women through the ages have enjoyed decorating themselves. Jewelry is one item, clothing is another. Looking at men's fashions they have changed very little over the last century. Women's fashions are all over the map.

Makeup, which is not good or bad within itself, is another form of decorating. Where it becomes an issue is when women go overboard in order to hide their age. Just like this article. The reason they do this is that the male of the species is inherently attracted to women during their most fertile years. That's just the effects of evolution.

So the idea that makeup is something forced on women by the evil patriarchy is both silly and very demeaning to women, casting them as so weak that they can't even make up their minds.

They want to look younger than they are, and that's about it.

I know many men, and the ones I have talked about women's makeup do not like it at all - they consider it dishonest, and some like myself, simply love freckles - covering them up is unforgivable. So either start understanding that not everything wemen do is men's fault, especially when men don't like what they are doing.

Or you can get on over to Jezabel - you'll have agreement there.

I bet someone thinks its useful

By Roger W Moore • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

I think this is the most useless product I have ever heard of

Oh, come on. You know there is at least one guy in the US who is probably already on the phone with them asking if he can get it with an orange skin tone cartridge.

The printer's cheap

By VeryFluffyBunny • Score: 3 • Thread

The printer itself costs only $50 but the inkjet cartridges cost $1,500 each, & contain all 3 shades; light, medium, & dark. If one shade runs out the machine refuses to print anymore until you've replace the whole cartridge. Cartridges are digitally signed & can't be refilled & used again. Would actually be cheaper to hire a professional make-up artist, plus they'd make you look a lot better.

BTW, since IT & therefore /. is predominantly male, does it have a drag-queen mode?

Obligatory Dilbert

By ChrisMaple • Score: 3 • Thread


By Shotgun • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Umm? No. Just no.

My wife, and my ex-wife, both would not put on make-up or dress up if we were going out for lunch or hanging around the house. "Going out with the girls" would send them into hours of preening preparation.

Trying to blame make-up on misogyny is idiotic, and truly makes me wonder if you're actually married.

Software Patents Poised To Make a Comeback Under New Patent Office Rules

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Ben Klemens writes via Ars Technica: A landmark 2014 ruling by the Supreme Court called into question the validity of many software patents. In the wake of that ruling, countless broad software patents became invalid, dealing a blow to litigation-happy patent trolls nationwide. But this week the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) proposed new rules that would make it easier to patent software. If those rules take effect, it could take us back to the bad old days when it was easy to get broad software patents -- and to sue companies that accidentally infringe them.

The Federal Circuit Appeals Court is the nation's highest patent court below the Supreme Court, and it is notoriously patent friendly. Ever since the Supreme Court's 2014 ruling, known as Alice v. CLS Bank, the Federal Circuit has worked to blunt the ruling's impact. In a 2016 ruling called Enfish, the Federal Circuit ruling took a single sentence from the Supreme Court's 2014 ruling and used it as the legal foundation for approving more software patents. This legal theory, known as the "technical effects doctrine," holds that software that improves the functioning of a computer should be eligible for a patent. A version of this rule has long held sway in Europe, but it has only recently started to have an impact in U.S. law.

This week, the Patent Office published a new draft of the section on examining software and other potentially abstract ideas in its Manual of Patent Examination Procedure (MPEP). This is the official document that helps patent examiners understand and interpret relevant legal principles. The latest version, drawing on recent Federal Circuit rulings, includes far tighter restrictions on what may be excluded from patentability. This matters because there's significant evidence that the proliferation of software patents during the 1990s and 2000s had a detrimental impact on innovation -- precisely the opposite of how patents are supposed to work.


By StormReaver • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread

Every single judge in the ninth circuit that votes to ignore the Supreme Court needs to be impeached and removed from office. I would also be favorable to giving some of them jail time.

just move countries - well done USA - move out

By johnjones • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

dont have a office in the USA or bank account (you can still accept US dollars etc )

USA is the last place you want to pay tax's

If your selling software even a small amount do as the large corporate entities do and pay no tax... It's the American Corporate Way
vote with your dollars and tax then they might get the message...


Re:This is what you get

By hey! • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

It actually wouldn't be so bad if those politicians were just pro-corporation. But what they are is pro-their-donors, which makes them pro status quo. It is in their interests to protect their donors against the entry of new competitors to the market.

Many years ago I was CTO in a small startup and every so often someone would come into my office and say, "Hey, listen to this. There's this patent..."

And I'd stop him right there. "STOP. This is going to be some bullshit patent where they took stuff people have been doing for years with LORAN, but do it with GPS instead or something like that."

"Well, yeah. So what they did was..."

And I'd have to stop him again. "STOP. I can't hear this. If this is something we're already doing and they find out, we'll have to negotiate a settlement. But if I've heard what this patent does, we'll have to negotiate while facing treble damages."

Software patent examiners were so bad, they frequently enabled trolls and entrenched players block new competitors from using long established practices in conjunction with commonplace new technologies. And they remained bad for so many years, not despite stifling new competition. If politicians were pro competition that problem would have been fixed immediately.

This made looking at patents an extremely risky for a working software engineer. That undermines the whole basis of the patent system, which isn't there to benefit only inventors. The patent system is at its root a deal: you the inventor get a limited time, government enforced monopoly on your invention in return for disclosing how the invention works. That disclosure means that at the conclusion of the patent the ideas go into the public domain as common knowledge.

Want a monopoly?

By Roodvlees • Score: 3 • Thread
Ask the government to terrorize your competitors.
Governments claim to oppose monopolies, yet they are the only way a real monopoly can be achieved.
The software world has been going so well with open source and lack of suffocation by government.
This is a major blow to improvements in the field.

Same purpose and same core problem

By sjbe • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Copyrights and patents do not overlap and serve different purposes.

The very fact that software can be both copyrighted and patented shows your argument to be incorrect as a practical matter. Furthermore the core purpose of both is to address the free rider problem. Copyright deals with it for documented creative works and patents are supposed to deal with it for tangible practical inventions but they are solving the same problem in two different domains with different practical requirements.

The existence of copyright does not mean that patents don't apply to software.

Obviously but one can make a very reasonable argument that because software is copyrighted, patents should not and need not apply to software. Software at its core is nothing more than a fancy math formula. It's instructions to a machine. I have yet to see any credible argument detailing how society benefits if we should allow patents on mathematical formulas or any other intangible idea like a business process.

Netflix Password Sharing May Soon Be Impossible Due To New AI Tracking

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Independent: A video software firm has come up with a way to prevent people from sharing their account details for Netflix and other streaming services with friends and family members. UK-based Synamedia unveiled the artificial intelligence software at the CES 2019 technology trade show in Las Vegas, claiming it could save the streaming industry billions of dollars over the next few years. The AI system developed by Synamedia uses machine learning to analyze account activity and recognize unusual patterns, such as account details being used in two locations within similar time periods. The idea is to spot instances of customers sharing their account credentials illegally and offering them a premium shared account service that will authorize a limited level of password sharing. The company said it is already carrying out trials with a number of pay-TV operators but did not reveal which ones.

Re:Simple solution: Charge per stream

By UnknownSoldier • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Which is bullshit. WHY does the location even matter if you are paying per stream???

If I travel outside the country I get hit by their bullshit geo-IP blocking. I'm *paying* for the fucking service but can't use it -- all because I'm out of the country??? WTF! (Yes, I know its because of the greed of the Content Creators who license their IP and not technically Netflix's fault but this is still bullshit.)

All these shenanigans do is just drive people to use proxies.

Re:Simple solution: Charge per stream

By scamper_22 • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Well let's go through all the business problems.

One of the biggest benefits of Netflix is it's simplicity. I never have to check the billing. It's the same price every month. I don't have to watch the usage like I do on other services or worry about a crazy number of packages.

So even if charging by stream would be rare, it's still that thing in the back of your mind. Like watching your internet usage cap. You also have to have more support with people calling in wondering when they used their 6th stream and disputing bills...

You also want to be careful about cutting people off just for streams. Maybe they really are on vacation and are watching netflix. Maybe you actually want some leeway for some general sharing. Like a kid going off to university using his 'home' parents account. You don't want to antoganize customers whose perception is they are legitimate.

AI is probably just a buzzword :P but if you can really get the data to determine those mass shared accounts where its beyond one household's or one family's general usage and then pursue those... more power to them.

Clickbait article.

By atrex • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

TFA is about a UK-based Synamedia firm that has developed this "AI software" to combat password sharing by geolocating account activity.

"The company said it is already carrying out trials with a number of pay-TV operators but did not reveal which ones."

It says nothing about an actual partnership with Netflix or any other provider other than that single statement near the end of the article.

Netflix account tiers already have different levels of simultaneous stream allowances (1, 2, and 4). As long as your levels never go above what you're paying for, there's no reason for them to give a damn if your "family" is in different locations. The writer of this article just shoved Netflix in the title line for clickbait.


By phalse phace • Score: 3 • Thread

Duplicate from a week ago.

Jan. 3, 2019: Video Services May Use AI To Crack Down on Password Sharing

Re:Let my ex take her profile with her

By mjwx • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

I still share my Netflix with my ex.

I don't really think this is there problem.

I spend a bit of time in developing nations, there are a fair few people reselling Nexflix logins. You can easily resell a 4 screen account to 15-20 people by sharing the password. They change the password each month to ensure that people still pay. I think these are the people Netflix is looking for.

Nest Competitor Ring Reportedly Gave Employees Full Access To Customers' Live Camera Feeds

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Amazon-owned Ring allowed employees to access customers' live camera feeds, according to a report from The Intercept. "Ring's engineers and executives have 'highly privileged access' to live camera feeds from customers' devices," reports 9to5Google. "This includes both doorbells facing the outside world, as well as cameras inside a person's home. A team tasked with annotating video to aid in object recognition captured 'people kissing, firing guns, and stealing.'" From the report: U.S. employees specifically had access to a video portal intended for technical support that reportedly allowed "unfiltered, round-the-clock live feeds from some customer cameras." What's surprising is how this support tool was apparently not restricted to only employees that dealt with customers. The Intercept notes that only a Ring customer's email address was required to access any live feed.

According to the report's sources, employees had a blase attitude to this potential privacy violation, but noted that they "never personally witnessed any egregious abuses." Meanwhile, a second group of Ring employees working on R&D in Ukraine had access to a folder housing "every video created by every Ring camera around the world." What's more, these employees had a "corresponding database that linked each specific video file to corresponding specific Ring customers." Also bothersome is Ring's reported stance towards encryption. Videos in that bucket were unencrypted due to the costs associated with implementation and "lost revenue opportunities due to restricted access."
In response to the report, Ring said: "We have strict policies in place for all our team members. We implement systems to restrict and audit access to information. We hold our team members to a high ethical standard and anyone in violation of our policies faces discipline, including termination and potential legal and criminal penalties. In addition, we have zero tolerance for abuse of our systems and if we find bad actors who have engaged in this behavior, we will take swift action against them."

Opps, they are selling the videos

By theCat • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

OP: Videos in that bucket were unencrypted due to the costs associated with implementation and "lost revenue opportunities due to restricted access."

Translation: They are selling the videos to 3rd-parties.



By zugmeister • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Funny, I always thought the phrases "authoritarian asshole" and "SJW cunt" belonged together.
Before you get upset, name me three SJW causes that don't attempt to assert control over others.

Re:Not just Nest

By JaredOfEuropa • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Done and done. I found having a doorbell with a camera in it is very useful (we don’t have Ring though), but you can be sure that sucker shares a separate VLAN with the other security cameras, with no access to the internet. And when we are at home, the indoor cameras have their power cut physically. Until we see CEOs in jail for such blatant unsafe practises, I’ll always double down on privacy measures when using IoT devices. And after that day... I’ll continue to do so. It is not hard to enjoy a little convenience without sacrificing or risking your privacy.


By JaredOfEuropa • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
To be fair, it sounds like Amazon had little to do with this snafu. Not malice, not a desire for customer data, but simple negligence combined with bone shattering stupidity. Even so I agree with your sentiment: connected products that belong to data mining firms like Amazon and Google are doubly tainted. A voice assistant would make a great addition to my smart home setup but I am not adding one until they can be run off the cloud.


By swillden • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

What did you think would happen?

That some (perhaps most) of these companies would cut corners and do the wrong thing was inevitable. But the implication of your question is that it's inevitable everywhere, which is not true. It's perfectly possible to construct a system so that no employees have access to the content other than those who need it to troubleshoot specific problems at customer request, and even those are closely audited and monitored. Yes, even the sysadmins can be disallowed access, through use of encryption and separation of responsibilities applied both to the system architecture and to the groups of administrators who manage different elements of the system.

I know this can be done because I've seen it done (and participated in doing it), including regular pen testing and ongoing security analysis to ensure it's tight and stays tight. It's not even that expensive to do on a large scale. It's challenging for startups to do well, but can be done even there; liberal use of cloud computing helps because it's easy to put the bulk data processing in a location where it's physically inaccessible to all of your employees, and logical access can easily be partitioned among admins. Appropriate use of encryption is essential, to ensure that no system in isolation (and therefore the managers of that system) has access to sensitive data in plaintext. Then you just need to carefully architect, control and audit the ways in which ciphertext and decryption keys can be brought together.

15 Years After Announcing the 1GB SD Card, Lexar Unveils 1TB SD Card

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Lexar has just unveiled the first commercially available 1-terabyte SD card. "Lexar's Professional 633x line of SDHC and SDXC UHS-I cards [...] is now listed for sale in capacities from 16GB all the way up to the flagship 1TB," reports The Verge. "That card claims read speeds of up to 95MB/s and write speeds of 70MB/s, though it's only rated as V30/U3, which guarantees sustained write performance of 30MB/s." Unfortunately, you'll pay a premium price of $499.99 for the new 1TB SD card, which is more than the cost of two 512GB cards. Still, the convenience may be worth it.

Joey Lopez, Senior Marketing Manager of Lexar, said in a statement: "Almost fifteen years ago, Lexar announced a 1GB SD card. Today, we are excited to announce 1TB of storage capacity in the same convenient form factor. As consumers continue to demand greater storage for their cameras, the combination of high-speed performance with a 1TB option now offers a solution for content creators who shoot large volumes of high-resolution images and 4K video."

Re:How long will you have to watch vacation pics..

By Kjella • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Well, a high-res file (40-50 MP) is typically around 50MB compressed RAW. So ~20000 photos. If you say maybe 3 seconds between each in a slide show that's ~60000 seconds so ~17 hours. Though honestly if you're doing photos you can just offload those any time you take a little break. I expect this will be used for extremely long continuous video shoots, like if you're doing 400 Mbps all-I like some cameras offer now you'll get ~6 hours. But let's be honest, you're either going to flee or strangle them in the end so just bail immediately.

Re:How long will you have to watch vacation pics..

By Shinobi • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Just like the 256GiB and 512GiB cards changed usage patterns for those of us who snap a lot of photos, so will this card. Like you say, you can take long high-quality recordings, and still fit a lot of still images.

For example, a few years back, I filled up multiple 128GiB cards with photos and recordings of the 6 Hours of Spa weekend(and let me tell you, trying to take good photos of cars going 250km/h or more is not easy, hence a lot of 15-20 image sequences etc). Just needing 1 card for the weekend will be nice.

Petyabyte in 15 years

By manu0601 • Score: 3 • Thread
Why takes the bet about petabyte in 2033?

Available for years on E-bay and Amazon

By goombah99 • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

What's the fuss. They have been selling 1TB cards on ebay and amazon for years now,.

I see a new online fad coming

By Applehu Akbar • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

In Europe, "slow TV" is a thing. You see a travel show that consists of a ride on a canal boat or a back-country bus that unfolds in full, as though you were there, with nothing left out. Some programs of this type have run for days, like the 132-hour voyage of a Hurtigruten ferry along the entire coast of Norway. People generally do not sit and watch the whole thing, but use shows like this as life background.

With SD cards of this capacity, it becomes possible for anyone to record extended life events in real time. On social media, watch for selfies to be replaced by "My Entire Week at Disney World" and "My Job at the Amazon Warehouse."

Amazon is Working on Game Streaming Service, Report Says

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Amazon is looking to get into game streaming, joining its tech titan contemporaries Microsoft and Google, according to a report from The Information. From a report: Amazon is reportedly developing its own game streaming service, and it is talking to publishers about distributing games on its platform. Citing "two people briefed on the plans," The Information reports that the service likely won't launch until next year at the earliest.

The Tightest DRM Leash & Choke Chain

By Kunedog • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
This is how I always explain streamed games to people who can't immediately see the horrible problems with it:

Imagine if the old Ubisoft always-on DRM were an inherent, unremoveable aspect of the game system rather than just something tacked on to a few individual games after the fact, such that Ubisoft couldn't even begrudgingly neuter it in a patch. Well, a streamed game is even worse than that would be.

The game doesn't even run locally. All you get is streaming video/audio and all the lag you'd expect (including controller lag), which is a recipe for disaster in North America. And any interruption in the connection that lasts more than a few tenths of a second is going to be behave like the equivalent of a "freeze" or "hang" that you'd NEVER tolerate in a properly local-hosted game. Not even the most twitchy DRM existing today has that problem.

Some people consider IPS monitors unsuitable for games requiring fast reflexes (i.e. FPSes) due to their double-digit response times. Internet latency is often worse and certainly more unpredictable than LCD monitor response time, and with streamed games it applies to audio and keyboard/controller/etc input too.

Then there are the bandwidth requirements.

Let's say you're lucky enough to have a 100mb/s connection. Why would you want to use it to transfer your game's video instead of, uh, a DVI cable, which is capable of 4 Gb/s? The people who developed DVI apparently understood that that 1920 x 1200 pixels w/ 24 bits/pixels @ 60Hz results in bandwidth well over 3 Gb/s. The people who developed streamed games seem very, very confused (at best).

Those of us who know anything about bandwidth and compression and (especially) latency can see the enormous technical obstacles facing a service like this, and startups like Onlive never did anything to explain how they intended to solve them. Instead, they did everything they could to lock out independent reviewers with NDAs and closed demonstrations. A friend of mine described it as the gaming equivalent of the perpetual motion scam, and IMO that's spot on (except that a streamed game service would still have the draconian DRM issues even if it worked perfectly).

Streamed games appear designed from the ground up to benefit the game publishers and fuck the customers, exactly what you'd expect from any DRM system.

P.S. Remember when Microsoft intended 24-hour XBox One check-ins, and gamers rejected that? How the fuck are mandatory check ins going to fly when measured in milliseconds?

Re:Misleading title

By PopeRatzo • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

For starters, even a $150 GPU can play most current titles at 1080p on 'high' settings.

You better take a look at the system requirements for some of the current AAA titles.

Unless one is buying AAA releases every month, it's likely that just buying games outright will be cheaper than this service.

OK, you misunderstand what the service does. You don't pay to get the games, you have to already own the games. They're yours. You just run them on nVidia's or Amazon's hardware in the cloud. Your Steam account fires up in the cloud and you can just play any game you own. Same with UPlay. Origin isn't part of this (I'm guessing they're going to end up offering their own service).

he best I can figure is that it's good for kids who has a Chromebook, doesn't have a console, wants to play not-mobile games, and wants to play all of the AAA titles back to back, but also is willing to pay $30-$50 a month to do so.

Thing is, we have no idea what the price point is going to be yet. If it's $20/month, it would be cheaper than upgrading my PC every 2 years. We just have to wait and see.

Also, it's not just going to be Chromebook users. I can play current AAA games that have not been released for OSX on an old Macbook Pro. Don't have to download the game, just fire it up. You can run Steam without having it installed on your computer. And everything runs on ultra.

Now, maybe I'm blessed by being relatively close to one of the servers. I've been playing games a long time and I really can't detect much in the way of lag. On a game like Witcher 3 or Far Cry 5 or Wolfenstein, or Prey, I doubt even a pro gamer would notice.

Malware Found Preinstalled On Some Alcatel Smartphones

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from ZDNet: A weather app that comes preinstalled on Alcatel smartphones contained malware that surreptitiously subscribed device owners to premium phone numbers behind their backs. The app, named "Weather Forecast-World Weather Accurate Radar," was developed by TCL Corporation, a Chinese electronics company that among other things owns the Alcatel, BlackBerry, and Palm brands. The app is one of the default apps that TCL installs on Alcatel smartphones, but it was also made available on the Play Store for all Android users --where it had been downloaded and installed more than ten million times. But at one point last year, both the app included on some Alcatel devices and the one that was available on the Play Store were compromised with malware. How the malware was added to the app is unclear. TCL has not responded to phone calls requesting comment made by ZDNet this week. The app reportedly harvested users' data and sent it to China. It collected geographic locations, email addresses, and IMEI codes, which it sent back to TCL.

Upstream, a UK-based mobile security firm, also found that "the malicious code hidden inside the app would also attempt to subscribe users to premium phone numbers that incurred large charges on users' phone bills," reports ZDNet. "All in all, the company says it detected and blocked over 27 million transaction attempts across seven markets, which would have created losses of around $1.5 million to phone owners if they hadn't been blocked."

Upstream notes that most of the behavior they've seen originated only from two types of smartphones: Pixi 4 and A3 Max models.

Unfortunately you just can't trust tech from China

By iCEBaLM • Score: 3 • Thread

- The government is authoritarian enough that it will meddle.
- There are no consumer protections for this kind of stuff in China
- You have no recourse if a Chinese company steals your data

Whereas in the west we have consumer protections for it, and a judicial system for recourse. That said, western governments can meddle too, however it's much harder for them to keep it secret.

Amazon Watchers Say the Company Has Accelerated Its Efforts To Sell Its Own Products -- and That's Worrying Regulators Around the World

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
By selling more products of its own, Amazon is becoming a competitor to the outside manufacturers it hosts on its platform -- and that's worrying regulators around the world. From a report: Governments have rarely tried to rein in Amazon's ambitions, allowing it to avoid most of the recent scrutiny directed at other large tech platforms. But the increased focus on Amazon's house-brand offerings suggests it may now be Amazon's turn. Driving the news: Amazon built a robust business as a participant in its own marketplace when it saw growth stall in stateside e-commerce, which is why holiday shoppers might have seen Amazon-owned brands like Happy Belly for food or Solimo for household goods when they browsed the site last year. It created more "private label" products, from its AmazonBasics line to brands for fashion and furniture, that are in-house versions of things others sell on the site. It struck deals with outside manufacturers to sell their products exclusively. Critics say Amazon uses its sales data to find fruitful areas where it can produce generic versions of already-popular products.

Re:How is this different...

By serviscope_minor • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Stop using common sense

Well clearly you're following you'e own advice.

Abusing market position, monopoly power, other scary words to justify our existence!!!

Yes that is a thing. And it's bad and histoy is replete with examples. Amazon has well over a 90% share in some sectors. What's reasonable for most companies is not reasonable for a company with a 90% market share.

Except instead of using common sense you're just "hurr derrr gubbmint is teh evul!!11!11oneelevenONE11!11"


Re:How is this different...

By XxtraLarGe • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Yes that is a thing. And it's bad and histoy is replete with examples. Amazon has well over a 90% share in some sectors. What's reasonable for most companies is not reasonable for a company with a 90% market share.

How about an 89% share? An 88% share? An 87% share? At what level is it reasonable, and how exactly do you determine that?

Except instead of using common sense you're just "hurr derrr gubbmint is teh evul!!11!11oneelevenONE11!11"

Common sense is allowing consenting adults to make their own decisions. Without interference from an obtrusive third party. Yes, that is a thing. And it's bad and history is replete with examples.

Re:How is this different...

By epine • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Hint: every business does this to the greatest extent possible.

And that's exactly why regulation exists: because business finds itself congenitally incapable of standing down before it crosses over some critical line that actually holds the system together.

Just imagine if the banks had said to themselves, "you know, 0% down and picture of the person's dog isn't actually a viable credit check" before melting down the global economy in 2008. We wouldn't have had the meltdown, no-one would be talking about "too big to fail", and none of the terrible new regulations would have been required in the first place. But they can't and they didn't.

Before that we got the Sarbanes–Oxley Act entirely from Enron, thank you very much. Greatest extent possible, thy name was Enron.

And then we got Bernie Madoff because people somehow convinced the government that the regulations we actually had were too onerous to fully enforce, so when they got the letter "hey, the consistency of this guy's portfolio is mathematically improbable to an extreme level" (complete with twenty pages of detailed calculations) they did nothing much to investigate.

The sad, appalling truth is that the root cause of regulation is failure to regulate, because there's always some goddamn megalith that takes the "greatest extent possible" to its logical, local conclusion — which turns out to be its concomitant global demise.

Amazon is a corporation in the sumo sasquatch weight division. Once Amazon fully activates "maximum extent possible" in its business methods, it's going to leave a giant crater that was formerly a competitive, consumer economy. Jeff Bezos is widely regarded as an alpha-male apex predator, as thoroughly documented in The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon (2013) to name just one.

Behold the Apex Predator: "The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon" Review — 12 November 2013

In the book — and I don't mean this as a criticism — Bezos comes off as the lead character in an Ayn Rand novel: a real world John Galt or Hank Rearden, with an e-commerce twist.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the book is out that Rand rarely portrayed innate forbearance.

Re:How is this different...

By serviscope_minor • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

How about an 89% share? An 88% share? An 87% share? At what level is it reasonable,

What are you 12 or something? Have you really only just discovered that there can an entire continuum between something OK and something not OK? Clearly though you haven't realised that just because thee are unclear cases does not mean that some cases are not clear.

and how exactly do you determine that?

A court. That is literally their job.

Seriously? How do you not know that?

Common sense is allowing consenting adults to make their own decisions.

No it's not common sense to allow absolutely anything provided some people agree. That's not how any legal system works for entirely good reasons.

If nothing else concerns regulators about Amazon

By mysidia • Score: 3 • Thread

This should not "bother" regulators..... This is equivalent to what many large retailers do: even Walmart has their own "generic" brand of product.

This is providing a generic unbranded version against higher price named brand products. Sure it is competition against the name brand, but it is also an option that is friendly to customers' wallets ---- the public is better WITH this type of competition than not having this type of competition.

Competition is a good thing. What should bother regulators is not introducing and marketing their own alternatives, but complete exclusion.

For example: You can no longer purchase a Google Home from Amazon's store. Even if you explicitly search for the product -- it is simply no longer listed for sale, nor will they stock their store with it, nor fulfill, nor offer a sale.
The product is in high demand, but is excluded from being stocked and offered, solely because Amazon has their own horse in the game and wants retail customers to Not buy into Google's smart speaker platform.
That's not competition in Amazon's store though; thats excluding the competition from accessing Amazon's retail customers for no good reason other than they're competition.

Tell the regulators to worry about that --- Amazon marketing PREMIUM products and excluding competitors from being sold in their store; not "Generics" competition like AmazonBasics AA Batteries, and such.

Ocean Warming is Accelerating Faster Than Thought, New Research Finds

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Scientists say the warming of the world's oceans is accelerating more quickly than previously thought, a finding with dire implications for climate change given that almost all of the heat trapped by greenhouse gases ends up stored there. From a report: A new analysis, published Thursday in the journal Science, found that the oceans are heating up 40 percent faster on average than a United Nations panel estimated five years ago. The researchers also concluded that ocean temperatures have broken records for several straight years. "2018 is going to be the warmest year on record for the Earth's oceans," said Zeke Hausfather, an energy systems analyst at the independent climate research group Berkeley Earth and an author of the study. "As 2017 was the warmest year, and 2016 was the warmest year." As the planet has warmed, the oceans have provided a critical buffer, slowing the effects of climate change by absorbing 93 percent of the heat trapped by human greenhouse gas emissions. But the escalating water temperatures are already killing off marine ecosystems, raising sea levels and making hurricanes more destructive.

Re:Don't care. No one really does.

By Oswald McWeany • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Really, no one cares. It's a worry for worriers.

Nothing can be done about it anyway, at least within the bounds of the politically possible

That comment reminds me of the scene in Austin Powers where the steam roller ever so slowly moves towards a man who is screaming in terror rooted in spot instead of running away, despite having plenty of time.

It's not like we haven't known about Global Warming for decades now, but we haven't shifted policy an inch. There are things we can be doing, but we're like that man waving his arms around screaming as 1mph steam roller slowly inches towards him.

Re: Bipolar

By Layzej • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
Either the Slashdot summary:

"oceans are heating up 40 percent faster on average than a United Nations panel estimated five years ago."

or the papers abstract:

"Recent estimates of observed warming resemble those seen in models, indicating that models reliably project changes in OHC."

must be wrong...

Accelerating Faster Than Thought?

By Layzej • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

The paper notes that there are four new ocean heat content estimates and all have a larger OHC trend than the observations published in IPCC AR5.

But none of that says anything about acceleration. The paper does note that "All four recent studies show that the rate of ocean warming for the upper 2000 m has accelerated in the decades after 1991 to 0.55 to 0.68 W m^2", but far from "Accelerating Faster Than Thought", instead it notes "The recent OHC warming estimates are quite similar to the average of CMIP5 models, both for the late 1950s until present and during the 1971–2010 period highlighted in AR5"

The fault seems to be in the original NYT article. The line "The results converged at an estimate of ocean warming that was higher than the I.P.C.C. predicted and more in line with the climate models." seems especially confused since the paper referenced the same CMIP5 models that are referenced in IPCC AR5.


By Luckyo • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Do you even realise how dumb it is to claim that "model is correct" and then literally follow it up with "model was incorrect"? Because if it's warming faster or slower than model predicted, MODEL IS WRONG. Direction is irrelevant in this regard. Model's point is to predict the outcome. If outcome falls OUTSIDE the model, model is WRONG.

Re:Eco systems dying?

By hdyoung • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
Sigh. I can't tell if you're trolling, willfully ignorant, or just plain ignorant. This is a SUPER OLD question that's been answered thousands of times. I'm gonna make exactly one effort to explain it to you. Suspecting you're gonna reject it and come back at me with something inane, but here goes....

I'm gonna assume you're US and run on english units. So, your body temperature averages 98.6 on a good day, but sometimes it varies down a bit, and when you're really sick it shoots up to around 105 F. There's variance in your body temp. So, what happens if your average temp goes up by three degrees? For the sake of conversation, assume that you just add 3 to your temp all the time. That can't have a big effect, right? I mean, 3 degrees is absolutely nothing!

Well, actually, it has a huge effect effect. As in "you die fairly quickly" type of effect. If you're running at 98.6+3=101.3 degrees on average, you FEEL LIKE ABSOLUTE CRAP. Most of the time. It's like you have a constant minor flu. You have a hard time working, thinking, procreating, or doing anything else. Your body wears down really fast. You evolved to have a 98.6 body temp and 101.3 is not a good thing at all.

Furthermore, the first time you actually get sick, instead of hitting 105 (which you can recover from) you hit 108 (which kills you dead).

The bottom line: for most life, it's the increase at the extremes that makes the huge difference.

Same thing happens to ecosystems except they've been shown to be even more sensitive. In a green farmland area, the temp varies from some low to some high. During the hot summer, everything gets a bit brown but doesn't die out completely. However, there is a threshold temp at which a bunch of things will just flat-out die. A few degrees of increase in average temperature means that during some hot summer week, the temp goes above the threshold and kills a bunch of things instead of just making them go brown. The ecosystem then alters in terms of what grows back. Just a few die-offs like this will result in an alteration to desert, or some other ecosystem. In any case, it doesn't return to what it was before. Result: farmland becomes not-farmland.

I'm pretty sure you don't care about the environment for it's own sake, so let me put it this way. The human population depends on a fairly small number of "breadbasket" regions for a lot of its food. If a bunch of these become unproductive in a very short period of time, our civilization could get badly disrupted. Could we adapt? Yes. Might it be painful and worth avoiding? Probably.

T-Mobile Begins Verifying Calls To Protect Against Spam

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
T-Mobile is beginning to roll out support for call verification technology, which will confirm that a phone call is actually coming from the number listed on caller ID. From a report: Now, if one T-Mobile subscriber calls another T-Mobile subscriber, the person receiving the call will see a message saying "Caller Verified" if they have a supported phone. Unfortunately, there's only one supported phone -- Samsung Galaxy Note 9 -- for the time being. Call verification won't put a stop to spammy phone calls, but it will start to help people identify which calls are actually coming from real people. As anyone with a phone knows, spammers have relentlessly spoofed local phone numbers in recent years, making it appear that you're getting an incoming call from someone you may know. Call verification is meant to combat that.

T-mobile to T-mobile only?

By fred6666 • Score: 3 • Thread

so it will block spammers spoofing T-Mobile's numbers to call other T-Mobile's customers. But won't block all other spoofers. As much as I'd like this to be a good start, I can't see how it can be useful.

Existential crisis for voice calling

By sinij • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
I think excessive spam is existential crisis for voice calling. I no longer answer any calls from unknown numbers as chances of spam are near-certain. This has been going on for couple years, to the point that I permanently silenced voice call notifications on my phone - no vibrations, no ringing. Consequently, now it is much harder for legitimate callers to get through.

What about spam calls "from" my phone number?

By UnknownSoldier • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

It's disgusting that in this day and age we have to put up with spam calls that appear to be coming from the SAME bloody phone number as our phones!

I guess the telcos are more interested in money then respecting customer's time.

What can customers do to change the situation since the FCC appears to be doing fuck all about it ?

Re:Only one phone, and only TMo to TMo?

By Mousit • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Really? Why bother, TMo?

That limitation is temporary. I wish the summary had bothered to mention anything about the technical side of what T-Mobile's doing, because it's news for nerds after all.

What T-Mobile is implementing is a technical standard known as STIR/SHAKEN which is explicitly designed to prevent spoofed calls, among other things. Even the FCC itself (PDF) back in 2015/2016 was big on this particular framework for combating robocalls. So much so that one of the very, very few things Ajit Pai managed to do right for consumers was have the FCC require (PDF) that U.S. telecoms implement STIR/SHAKEN, and do so "without delay". Oh yeah, and they're required to interoperate.

So right now the Note9 is the first phone to support it. Others will follow. I'm sure Apple devices will get it quickly, probably with iOS 13 this year. And to respond to your specific complaint, it's "only TMo to TMo" right now because they're the first to implement the framework. Once the other telcos get their STIR/SHAKEN setups going, calls between networks should also be able to be verified.

And just for funsies, here's a full hour-long (!) video on the framework and how it works, as well its status in various countries, not just the U.S.

Some Nevada Governments Are Using Blockchain For Public Records

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Some northern Nevada counties are using blockchain, the online ledger best known for helping secure virtual currencies such as bitcoin, to store digital versions of government records like birth and marriage certificates. From a report: The Reno Gazette-Journal reports that as of December in Washoe County, about 950 couples had received secure digital marriage certificates to home computers and smartphones since the program debuted in April 2018. The newspaper found that Elko County is trying similar technology for certified digital birth certificates. Phil Dhingra at San Francisco-based Titan Seal said the Washoe County digital marriage certificate program uses the Ethereum blockchain because it has computing power that makes it hard to hack. He said he believes the number of digital certificates per year in the United States could at least match the billions of paper records that get a certificate or embossed seal of some kind.

Re:Worst idea ever

By ShanghaiBill • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

No reason to use a blockchain here. A blockchain is great because it is a public database without the need of a trusted entity.

If you consider the government to be, and always remain, a "trusted entity", then you are correct. If you think that corruption is possible, and public records may be destroyed or altered someday, then a blockchain makes that more difficult.

The tradeoff is, it is extremely inefficient.

Blockchains are not inherently inefficient. Cryptocurrencies are designed to be inefficient to throttle the generation of new coins. But there is no reason for a county clerk to use the same algorithm.

That was premeture

By sdinfoserv • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
"Hard to hack"... well, ummm...apparently not...
Additionally, there's hsitory:
1- Parity Freeze Hack : 512K ETH
2- Party multisig wallet Hack : 150K ETH solen
3-The DAO hack: 15% of ALL in circulation stolen
Stop calling this nonsense secure......

Re:That was premeture

By sdinfoserv • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
and 1 more nugget O fact..... a study last year found 0% success rate for ANY blockchain project.

Re: Energy

By jythie • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
Keep in mind, one thing blockchains provide is a historical audit trail. Even if the single authorized writer can change values, all the previous inserts and changes are still examinable. This actually makes it a pretty good tool for public records since you can both see what currently is and what it looked like at every historical point.

Re: Energy

By ceoyoyo • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

The audit trail is provided by making the list public. You can make any list public and then anyone who has a copy can check whether you changed something.

Hash trees/lists make integrity checking quicker, and revision a bit harder. If I want to change an earlier entry in a regular list I just do it. If I want to change an earlier entry in a hash list I have to recalculate and update the hashes from that point forward.

Linux systemd Affected by Memory Corruption Vulnerabilities, No Patches Yet

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Major Linux distributions are vulnerable to three bugs in systemd, a Linux initialization system and service manager in widespread use, California-based security company Qualys said late yesterday. From a report: The bugs exist in 'journald' service, tasked with collecting and storing log data, and they can be exploited to obtain root privileges on the target machine or to leak information. No patches exist at the moment. Discovered by researchers at Qualys, the flaws are two memory corruption vulnerabilities (stack buffer overflow - CVE-2018-16864, and allocation of memory without limits - CVE-2018-16865) and one out-of-bounds error (CVE-2018-16866). They were able to obtain local root shell on both x86 and x64 machines by exploiting CVE-2018-16865 and CVE-2018-16866. The exploit worked faster on the x86 platform, achieving its purpose in ten minutes; on x64, though, the exploit took 70 minutes to complete. Qualys is planning on publishing the proof-of-concept exploit code in the near future, but they did provide details on how they were able to take advantage of the flaws.

Re:Thats what you get for running systemd

By lgw • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

You have unit filed which indicate after target they are a part

Well, that made about as much sense as I'd expect from a defense of systemd.

Re:Thats what you get for running systemd

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

The developers weren't thinking about hostile input when they were writing code

You'd think, by this point in time, Poettering would be very familiar with hostile input - heck, just look at most of the systemd discussions here on Slashdot!

Can this be the straw

By sremick • Score: 3 • Thread

...that broke the camel's back? FINALLY? PLEASE?????

Can the idiotic pro-systemd folks finally admit they were wrong, abandon the whole misguided concept, and start the process of moving back to unix philosophies and architecture? The world dropped xfree86 fast as a hat, pretty much spun on a dime and moved to let that happen w/ systemd as well.

Or, better yet, just shift support en masse behind FreeBSD and get the hardware and desktop environment and app support back up there like it used to be. Honestly, that'd be the better path and the end result so much better.

Probably too much to hope for...

the unix philosophy

By doom • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

I come not to praise systemd, and certainly not to praise Poettering or RedHat...

But these anti-systemd rants would be more impressive if you guys had showed any signs of thinking through what you're saying about The Unix Way and all that jazz.

Yes, sometimes decentralized, small encapsulated components are a win, but sometimes monolithic designs where the pieces can talk to each other easily are a win-- You might notice that when Linus Torvalds was asked about this he made some rather mild comments about how some aspects of linux, like the graphic display environment has always been more monolithic.

Arguably, the initial reason perl was a big deal is it took a bunch of features from the shell programming world and stuck them all inside of one process-- you can do lash-ups of shell, awk, sed and so on, or you can just write a perl script and pretty frequently the perl script is really and truly a better option.

And take a look at some of the classic shell utilities some time. Look at the docs for things like "find", "tar", etc... do they really look to you like something that's designed to just do "one thing"?

You guys who keep intoning "the unix philosophy" over-and-over might want to stop and think about the way things really get done with unix.

But then, none of this is a defense of systemd, or the way systemd was put over...

Re:Systemd: Conflict of interest?

By Etcetera • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Have you ever looked at some bash startup scripts? Its difficult to analyse compared to the declarative style. Bash scripts are a much more serious support issue compared to the simplicity of systemd declarative unit files.

Shell, and scripting generally in shell languages, is a key component of all *nix systems. Yes, it's possible to write horrible shell code in an init script, but that's largely the fault of the *author*. Most init scripts are simple; except for whatever custom logic is needed uniquely for this daemon, the rest is boilerplate.

I'd submit that if you can't understand this code, you're not ready to operate or administer a *nix system at the command line or service management debugging level.

Nvidia CEO Trashes AMD's New GPU: 'The Performance Is Lousy'

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader shares a report: Yesterday, AMD announced a new graphics card, the $700 Radeon VII, based on its second-generation Vega architecture. The GPU is the first one available to consumers based on the 7nm process. Smaller processes tend to be faster and more energy efficient, which means it could theoretically be faster than GPUs with larger processes, like the first generation Vega GPU (14nm) or Nvidia's RTX 20-series (12nm). I say "could," because so far Nvidia's RTX 20-series has been speedy in our benchmarks. From the $1,000+ 2080 Ti down to $350 2060 announced Sunday, support ray tracing. This complex technology allows you to trace a point of light from a source to a surface in a digital environment. What it means in practice is video games with hyperrealistic reflections and shadows.

It's impressive technology, and Nvidia has touted it as the primary reason to upgrade from previous generation GPUs. AMD's GPUs, notably, do not support it. And at a round table Gizmodo attended with Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang he jokingly dismissed AMD's Tuesday announcement, claiming the announcement itself was "underwhelming" and that his company's 2080 would "crush" the Radeon VII in benchmarks. "The performance is lousy," he said of the rival product. When asked to comment about these slights, AMD CEO Lisa Su told a collection of reporters, "I would probably suggest he hasn't seen it." When pressed about his comments, especially his touting of ray tracing she said, "I'm not gonna get into it tit for tat that's just not my style."

Also cost half as much as the nvidia "flag ship".

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

"Their 700USD product is SHIT compared to our twice as expensive product!" - nVidia PR dude.

Nvidia CEO Trash Talks AMD's New GPU

By Gravis Zero • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Ask a CEO of a public company about a corporate competitor and they are going to trash talk them without any substance.

Even TFA opens with this admission:

Yesterday I spent two hours listening to the CEOs of rival companies talk trash about each other.

And they ask for details about his trash talk it all fizzled out.

When pressed about his comments, especially his touting of ray tracing she said, “I’m not gonna get into it tit for tat that’s just not my style.”

This is the kind of crap you would read in a Hollywood gossip rag with a twist.


By tsa • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

It's not what it used to be when Commander Taco was still in place. Back then the tech world was more exciting, with new technologies constantly emerging, and MS the evil villain of the computer scene whom everybody loved to hate. Facebook is an amateur compared to the shenanigans MS pulled back then, and came away with. The articles just were more interesting back then. The /. crowd has changed too. Back then we had really intelligent discussions by smart people in the comments. Nowadays I sometimes think I got lost on a Trump loving, climate chenge denying site paid by the fossil fuel industry. Or there's just a bunch of selfrighteous wankers telling each other how stupid they are. No fun.

I'm much more on Ars than /. now because Ars has the better articles, more interesting comments and /. often is just a copy of the Ars website with a different layout an less in-depth conversations.


By rogoshen1 • Score: 4 • Thread

I don't know man; facebook seems to be an evil of several orders of magnitude worse than MS. MS wanted to control the desktop market - through any means necessary -- but they mostly stopped there. They didn't really get into the pervasive surveillance that modern web companies are involved with.

Basically FB wants to monetize and track every single living person on this planet. That's way worse than anything MS ever did in their heyday.

Forget Intel/AMD/NVIDIA

By DMJC • Score: 3 • Thread
When can I get a P1 166Mhz on a laptop motherboard with a Voodoo 2, Realtek 8129 LAN port and Soundblaster 16 Audio. That's all I want. Give me a nice 13" DOS/Win98SE gaming laptop for under $500 AUD.

Windows 7 Users Who Installed January Update Report Network Issues; Some Say the Update Has Also Incorrectly Flagged Their OS License as 'Not Genuine'

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Some Windows 7 admins are feeling the pain of Microsoft's latest updates in this week's Patch Tuesday releases. From a report: Users who've installed this Tuesday's KB4480970 cumulative January update have been complaining of network connectivity issues on those devices based on a network that uses the SMBv2 file sharing protocol. Microsoft released its update to fix several identified vulnerabilities, including a remote execution flaw in PowerShell and to add robustness against side-channel attacks like those targeting the Meltdown and Spectre flaws. But a number of users immediately complained of networking issues, with Microsoft confirming there are now three known problems with the January patch. The other issues comprise an authentication error, and a file-sharing issue affecting some user accounts. ZDNet adds: Regarding the 'Not Genuine' Windows 7 error, Microsoft confirms that "some users are reporting the KMS Activation error, 'Not Genuine', 0xc004f200 on Windows 7 devices". "We are aware of this incident and are presently investigating it. We will provide an update when available," writes Microsoft on both KB4480960 and KB4480970.

Remote Desktop Dead

By WankerWeasel • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
Experienced this issue with remote desktop which the update killed. Found others were experiencing the same. Uninstall the update and remote desktop works again.

Any fix for slow SMB?

By snapsnap • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

I copied a 2 GB file, and it took nearly threee weeks. It finally completed and the md5sum checked out, but that's ridiculous. I don't need to access our Windows file share often, but some of my coworkers do. It's driving them nuts.

Re:Any fix for slow SMB?

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
I don't want to start a holy war here, but what is the deal with you Win10 fanatics? I've been sitting here at my freelance gig in front of a Windows Box (a G5 Dual 2.5Ghz Machine w/ 100 GIG of RAM) for about 3 weeks now while it attempts to copy a 2GB file from one folder on the SMB to another folder. 3 weeks. At home, on my Pentium Pro 200 running Slackware 1.0, which by all standards should be a lot slower than this Win10 machine, the same operation would take about 2 minutes. If that.

In addition, during this file transfer, Explorer will not work. And everything else has ground to a halt. Even vi is straining to keep up as I type this.

I won't bore you with the laundry list of other problems that I've encountered while working on various Windows installs, but suffice it to say there have been many, not the least of which is I've never seen a Win10 that has run faster than its Android counterpart, despite the Arm's faster chip architecture. My 486/66 with 8 megs of ram runs faster than this 2.5 Ghz Dual machine at times. From a productivity standpoint, I don't get how people can claim that the Win10 machine is a superior machine

Win addicts, flame me if you'd like, but I'd rather hear some intelligent reasons why anyone would choose to use a Windows machine over other faster, cheaper, more stable systems.

I hope they have fix by the time I boot up windows

By Revek • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

Should happen sometime in the next six months.

Re:Remote Desktop Dead

By WankerWeasel • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
KB4480970 on Windows 7 Professional. Kept getting a message that the connection couldn't be made and it may be because the password expired. Happened when attempting to connect to it from 2 difference devices (another desktop and a smartphone) which both were able to connect to it previously. Heck, I used Remote Desktop to install the update on the remote computer and after the restart to finish the install, it would no longer connect. Had to get out a keyboard and mouse to attach to it, login, and uninstall KB4480970. Now it works fine again.

Google Wins Round in Fight Against Global Right To Be Forgotten

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Google shouldn't have to apply the so-called right to be forgotten globally, an adviser to the EU's top court said in a boost for the U.S. giant's fight with a French privacy regulator over where to draw the line between privacy and freedom of speech. From a report: While backing Google's stance, Advocate General Maciej Szpunar of the EU Court of Justice said that search engine operators must take every measure available to remove access to links to outdated or irrelevant information about a person on request. The Luxembourg-based court follows such advice in a majority of its final rulings, which normally come a few months after the opinions.

Google has been fighting efforts led by France's privacy watchdog to globalize the right to be forgotten, which was created by the EU court in a landmark ruling in 2014, without defining how, when and where search engine operators should remove links. This has triggered a wave of legal challenges. The Alphabet unit currently removes such links EU-wide and since 2016 it also restricts access to such information on non-EU Google sites when accessed from the EU country where the person concerned by the information is located -- referred to as geo-blocking. This approach was backed by Szpunar.

One of the dumbest laws

By jwymanm • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Do you have the right to be forgotten in books? In movies? In news stories? In schools? In songs? Since the history of man.. What the hell is EU thinking. This shouldn't even be a thing.

Legislation with unintended side effects

By bradley13 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

The "right to be forgotten" is typical of legislation where no one thought about the side effects.

First, it only applies to particular search engines. There is no general applicability. In particular, the source information remains online - it just can't be found through Google or Bing.

Second, in attempting to have this right applied globally, EU courts are setting an excellent precedent to have other countries determine what content EU citizens can see. After all, if censorship flows in one direction, it will flow in the other. Does the EU really want Saudia Arabia determining what web content is allowable in the EU?

The road to hell is paved with good intentions...

Re:One of the dumbest laws

By SysPig • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

We do not live in a binary world. Shades of grey exist everywhere, and this is no exception. The debate should be over where to draw the line, and who gets to draw it - not whether it should exist at all.

Let's take the examples you provide. Which of them allows millions of devices, operated by billions of people or with complete autonomy, to access everything associated with your name in seconds? Even this information is not equal to your examples. The source of much of it is near impossible to determine, the accuracy far more suspect and in many cases it's impossible to change that which is in error.

You know what else has existed in nearly the entire history of man? Privacy by obscurity. The fact that information could have been accessed doesn't mean it was. There was never a need to codify such things, as the level of current intrusion couldn't possibly have been predicted by anyone until relatively recent times - after which, it was too late.

Contrary to settled law and practice

By davecb • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

In most of the world, if a court says to, for example, "seal" someone's juvenile records, it doesn't expect newspapers to erase them from their archives, but merely to not cite (old form of "link to") them in current publications. Changing to that would be a huge change in settled law, and would cause angry litigation over censorship.

in the original Spanish case, Mario Costeja González specifically asked for the old, obsolete articles to be added to the site's ROBOTS.TXT file, which is the modern equivalent.

As I submitted to the Canadian privacy commission, this is what sites in Canada should do, is within the powers of the commissioner to order, and has no special cost to innocent third parties such as Google.

Canadian legal sites like CanLII (the Canadian Legal Information Institute) already do this. See https://leaflessca.wordpress.c...


Re:The Right to Rewrite History

By ShanghaiBill • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

One solution to the sex offender registry is MORE information, rather than less. One guy may be on the list for raping a four year old. Another guy may be on it for urinating in a public park. Perhaps we should distinguish between these.

A man in my neighborhood is on the list for having sex with his wife. At the time he was 18 and she was 15. Her parents disapproved of the relationship, and called the police. He accepted a plea bargain without understanding the consequences. They got married when she turned 18. Their son and my son are best friends. He must stay 300 yards from any school, can't go to PTA meetings, and has never met his son's teachers. Branding this guy for life is idiotic, since he is no danger to anyone, but that doesn't mean that the registry should be abolished for real predators.

How Cartographers For the US Military Inadvertently Created a House of Horrors in South Africa

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Kashmir Hill, reporting at Gizmodo: The visitors started coming in 2013. The first one who came and refused to leave until he was let inside was a private investigator named Roderick. He was looking for an abducted girl, and he was convinced she was in the house. John S. and his mother Ann live in the house, which is in Pretoria, the administrative capital of South Africa and next to Johannesburg. They had not abducted anyone, so they called the police and asked for an officer to come over. Roderick and the officer went through the home room by room, looking into cupboards and under beds for the missing girl. Roderick claimed to have used a "professional" tracking device "that could not be wrong," but the girl wasn't there. This was not an unusual occurrence. John, 39, and Ann, 73, were accustomed to strangers turning up at their door accusing them of crimes; the visitors would usually pull up maps on their smartphones that pointed at John and Ann's backyard as a hotbed of criminal activity.

[...] The outline of this story might sound familiar to you if you've heard about this home in Atlanta, or read about this farm in Kansas, and it is, in fact, similar: John and Ann, too, are victims of bad digital mapping. There is a crucial difference though: This time it happened on a global scale, and the U.S. government played a key role. [...] Technologist Dhruv Mehrotra crawled MaxMind's free database for me and plotted the locations that showed up most frequently. Unfortunately, John and Ann's house must have just missed MaxMind's cut-off for remediation. Theirs was the 104th most popular location in the database, with over a million IP addresses mapped to it.

Company claims 50Km accuracy half the time

By raymorris • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

The company claims that about half the time, it is accurate to within 50 Km.

Re:So, in sum

By amicusNYCL • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

That seems like fairly thin gruel for Slashdot's "U.S. sux" article du jour.

You just have to dig a little deeper for the meat.

"It's almost with religious zeal that these people come, thinking their goodies are in my yard," John told me. "The Apple customers seem to be the worst."

ah HA! You thought was "U.S. sux", but is "Apple sux" instead! Bamboozled again.

Clearly this homeowner is just an Android zealot, because those are the only people who ever criticize Apple users. I've learned this fact right here on Slashdot.

Re: Why has no one sued MaxMind into bankruptcy?

By Dragonslicer • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

A point is one dimension, an ares is two.

One dimension would be a line, not a point. Ares, being a god, is in an entirely different dimension.

Re:Disable SSID on your routers

By tlhIngan • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

According to TFA, this was caused by stolen devices being in areas without a cell signal, and falling back on WiFi access point geolocation. Further, the area in question has very few access points, so phones can potentially pick up these residential access points from thousands of feet away. Then they are geolocated to the exact position of the access point.

A solution is to disable SSID on your home router(s) so that these data-grabbing sniffers won't see it and try to geolocate off of it.

No, this was the result of bad IP geolocation information. Basically the guy's house happened to be where they said "South Africa" was because that's the best area they could get for an IP.

Anyhow, WiFi geolocation (more accurate than GPS, actually) doesn't care about SSID. It only uses MAC addresses that are transmitted in the beacon packets. All any device has to do is switch channels and listen to capture the AP MAC addresses and signal strength. Send that information to Google and you'll get back a pretty good location. Same goes for cell towers - the modem will scan for available cell towers, note their IDs (this includes all cell towers in all bands it can receive, including ones that you don't have service for) and do the same thing.

The problem is the devices last pinged some tracker from an IP and that was last that device was heard of, and that IP had only country level resolution.

(The US database of countries contains latitudes and longitudes that are often returned when you look up a country to get a specific location, and a lot of these IP geolocation companies use it without realizing the radius of uncertainty is "country" and not "city block").

Re:Why has no one sued MaxMind into bankruptcy?

By mejustme • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Is the database populated with falsely precise coordinates?

No. The locations are the center of a circle. The size of the radius -- which is yet another field in the database -- then determines the precision. But some users (some web sites, some apps, etc) look at the center of the circle, place a pin at that location, and then forget to indicate that the radius is hundreds or thousands of km.

Here is an example from the MaxMind database when I look up a Google address,

{ "city" : { "names" : { "en" : "Fresno" } },
      "continent" : { "code" : "NA", "names" : { "en" : "North America" } },
      "country" : { "iso_code" : "US", "names" : { "en" : "United States" } },
      "location" : { "accuracy_radius" : 200,
                                      "latitude" : 36.6055,
                                      "longitude" : -119.752,
                                      "time_zone" : "America/Los_Angeles" },
      "postal" : { "code" : "93725" },
      "subdivisions" : [ { "iso_code" : "CA", "names" : { "en" : "California" } } ]

Note the "accuracy_radius" field, which is in km. But if you ignore that field and only look at latitude and longitude, you have a single pin on a map, incorrectly making it look like an IP address maps to a specific house or business, while it should map to a large circle with a 200 km (124 miles) radius.

Taking the Smarts Out of Smart TVs Would Make Them More Expensive

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
In a wide-ranging interview, Nilay Patel of The Verge speaks with Bill Baxter, chief technology officer of Vizio, about what the company thinks of some TV vendors adding support for Apple's AirPlay 2, and other things. A remarkable exchange on the business of data collection and selling: Nilay Patel: I guess I have a philosophical question. You guys are committed to low price points and you often beat the industry at those price points. Can you hit those price points without the additional data collection that TV does if you don't have an ad business or a data business on top of the TV?
Bill Baxter: So that's a great question. Actually, we should have a beer and have a long, long chat about that. So look, it's not just about data collection. It's about post-purchase monetization of the TV. This is a cutthroat industry. It's a 6-percent margin industry, right? I mean, you know it's pretty ruthless. You could say it's self-inflicted, or you could say there's a greater strategy going on here, and there is. The greater strategy is I really don't need to make money off of the TV. I need to cover my cost.

And then I need to make money off those TVs. They live in households for 6.9 years -- the average lifetime of a Vizio TV is 6.9 years. You would probably be amazed at the number of people come up to me saying, "I love Vizio TVs, I have one" and it's 11 years old. I'm like, "Dude, that's not even full HD, that's 720p." But they do last a long time and our strategy -- you've seen this with all of our software upgrades including AirPlay 2 and HomeKit -- is that we want to make things backward compatible to those TVs. So we're continuing to invest in those older TVs to bring them up to feature level comparison with the new TVs when there's no hardware limitation that would otherwise prevent that.

And the reason why we do that is there are ways to monetize that TV and data is one, but not only the only one. It's sort of like a business of singles and doubles, it's not home runs, right? You make a little money here, a little money there. You sell some movies, you sell some TV shows, you sell some ads, you know. It's not really that different than The Verge website.

Patel: One sort of Verge-nerd meme that I hear in our comments or on Twitter is "I just want a dumb TV. I just want a panel with no smarts and I'll figure it out on my own." But it sounds like that lifetime monetization problem would prevent you from just making a dumb panel that you can sell to somebody.
Baxter: Well, it wouldn't prevent us, to be honest with you. What it would do is, we'd collect a little bit more margin at retail to offset it. Again, it may be an aspirational goal to not have high margins on our TV business because I can make it up downstream. On the other hand, I'm actually aggregating that monetization across a large number of users, some of which opt out. It's a blended revenue model where, in the end, Vizio succeeds, but you know, it's not wholly dependent on things like data collection.

1 W at standby can mean $1/yr

By tepples • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Why are you rebooting your TV so often? It will sit in standby forever, instantly ready to come on.

A TV unplugged from mains does not draw vampire power. Let's say you've used a Kill A Watt meter to determine that each of your devices draws 1 watt on standby. Over a year, each device draws 8.766 kWh, and at $0.114 per kWh, that's a dollar per device per year. Multiply that by all the devices you leave on standby, and consider how much you could save by switching off the outlet when the device is not in use.

Re:So how much?

By guruevi • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

A TON of people are not setting up their WiFi on those people, not because they care about data sharing but because they simply don't know how or understand why.

Many people in my family ask me to come hook up their Roku Stick when they just bought a TV with a Roku app built-in and in some cases they end up giving up completely when it involves buying and setting up another router or extender to get signal in their bedrooms.

Of the people that buy smart TV's, I wouldn't be surprised if many don't ever get setup correctly, hence why most come pre-loaded with ads even before you connect to the network.

Re:So how much?

By tsa • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Android is Google so you can be sure it harvests the hell out of your watching habits.

Most of us would pay the extra for a dumb TV

By Jason1729 • Score: 3 • Thread
I just bought a 75" TV last week. I chose a Sony because it's the only major brand that didn't include on-screen advertising. I figured I was overpaying $200-400 compared to Samsun or Visio, but showing ads is a hard deal-breaker for me.

This is also the first Sony product I've bought since the rootkit fiasco.

I absolutely would have paid another $500 above what I did for a dumb version of the same TV. I was seriously considering buying a commercial display but it was about 3 times the price, that was just too far to go.

6.9 years?

By p51d007 • Score: 3 • Thread
I remember when I worked in a television repair shop in the late 70's, as everything was transitioning out of vacuum tubes to solid state tv's, we would ROUTINELY repair 10-15 year old TV's, replace the HUGE & heavy glass CRT's. My parents had a Zenith 19" color tv that lasted almost 25 years, and their 25" Zenith console TV lasted over 20.

So You Automated Your Coworkers Out of a Job

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
merbs writes: Automation is too often presented as a faceless, monolithic phenomenon -- but it's a human finger that ultimately pulls the trigger. Someone has to initiate the process that automates a task or mechanizes a production line. To write or procure the program that makes a department or a job redundant. And that's not always an executive, or upper-, or even middle management -- in fact, it's very often not. Sometimes it's a junior employee, or a developer, even an intern.

In a series of interviews with coders, technicians, and engineers who've automated their colleagues out of work -- or, in one case, been put in a position where they'd have to do so and decided to quit instead -- I've attempted to produce a snapshot of life on the messy front lines of modern automation. (Some names have been changed to protect the identities of the automators.) We've heard plenty of forecasting about the many jobs slated to be erased, and we've seen the impacts on the communities that have lost livelihoods at the hands of automation, but we haven't had many close up looks at how all this unfolds in the office or the factory floor.

What do you do with the people out of work?

By rsilvergun • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
I keep hearing that the only solution is to come up with new jobs for them, but there doesn't seem to be much of anything. When I was a kid it was coding and then the H1-Bs and outsourcing took those jobs. Then it was biotech, but those jobs never really materialized in mass (and you need a 4-6 year degree to get them).

I keep saying this on Automation threads, but there was close to 80 years of strife and unemployment following the industrial revolution before WWI & II came alone (the largest government backed guaranteed jobs programs in history, which I could take the credit for that observation but it was Rob Reich who made it). We blew up most of Europe & Asia and killed tens of millions of working age males. The 20th century equivalent of Aztec sacrifice to cull the population.

Are we gonna do that gain? If not what are we doing to do with all these people? Look at the American Indian reservations before the Casinos if you want to see what life is like for people who aren't needed by anyone. Do we want large masses living like that? If not do we have a solution besides "Wait 80 years for a technological revolution to employ everyone"?

Re:any job that can be automated

By DarkOx • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

^^THIS^^ its the fundamental problem with the 'you are a collaborator' in the labor vs capital argument. If *I* don't do it management will find someone who will (and probably with little difficulty). There is not resisting this from the front lines anyway.

There really is no resisting this from the political lines either. One way or another is going to happen because even if we outlawed certain types of automation or chose to forbid certain industries from automating, some other nation would choose not to do so and our industry would simply get wiped out.

There is no choosing people over productivity. If you don't chose productivity you get no products and the people suffer anyway. We must find solutions that allow people to retain their value by moving into new roles.

Well, Great employees are gold

By rsilvergun • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
folks who can do cryptography, AI math, complex mechanical and electrical engineering, etc.

The key here is these are highly skilled and creative people. They're not just workers, they're creators. When you've got people literally making new things for your business yeah, they're gonna be worth while.

This is not to say you can't make money off good employees. But you're going to run into margins at some point. Like the classic pizza example of economics. That first slice is great, and second might even be better, by the third you're pretty much done and you're probably not gonna make it to the crust on #4. Diminishing returns.

The key here is your good employees are "doers". They aren't making new things for you and opening up new markets, they're just servicing the existing markets.

Most of us are "Doers". Some of them are even very, very good at it. But there just aren't that many "creators". Especially in STEM fields. If there were we'd already have flying electric cars and no disease. You're expectations are too high, which sadly is pretty common among small business employers. You want the world, but you don't want to have to pay for it.

Re:Must be tough for prospective parents

By ichimunki • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
If all the jobs are automated, and no one has any jobs, who will buy the stuff the machines produce?

And there ain't no replacement jobs

By whitroth • Score: 3 • Thread

Not for a living wage.

I wonder how the idiots who think this is all wonderful will feel when *they* are automated out of a job. Esp. when their job was "automated" by idiots.[1]

In the late seventies and early eighties, there was a lot of blather about how, although factory jobs were being automated and going away, the "information economy" will provide more and better jobs.

These days, there's no blather about anything, because there are no zillions of jobs, other than low-level healthcare assistants who get paid, and treated, like crap.

Ever notice that if you lay people off, they don't buy anywhere near as much as they did before? Can't imagine why....

But those who think it all ought to be automated should be 110% on board with a basic income paid to everyone.[2]

1. Like the idiot "you can check in on the pad" at my doctor's... which is too stupid to tell me "I don't see you scheduled for today", the way the person did, when someone handled me.

2. You're worried about my BI coming out of your taxes? Why - you're not working either. They'd be coming out of Bill Gates' taxes, and Warren Buffet's taxes, and Sen. Mitch McConnell's taxes, and Apples, and Microsoft's, and....

AWS Launches Fully-Managed Document Database Service

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from ZDNet: Amazon Web Services (AWS) has announced a fully-managed document database service, building the Amazon DocumentDB (with MongoDB compatibility) to support existing MongoDB workloads. The cloud giant said developers can use the same MongoDB application code, drivers, and tools as they currently do to run, manage, and scale workloads on Amazon DocumentDB. Amazon DocumentDB uses an SSD-based storage layer, with 6x replication across three separate Availability Zones. This means that Amazon DocumentDB can failover from a primary to a replica within 30 seconds, and supports MongoDB replica set emulation so applications can handle failover quickly. Each MongoDB database contains a set of collections -- similar to a relational database table -- with each collection containing a set of documents in BSON format. Amazon DocumentDB is compatible with version 3.6 of MongoDB and storage can be scaled from 10 GB up to 64 TB in increments of 10 GB. The new offering implements the MongoDB 3.6 API that allows customers to use their existing MongoDB drivers and tools with Amazon DocumentDB. In a separate report, TechCrunch's Frederic Lardinois says AWS is " giving open source the middle finger" by "taking the best open-source projects and re-using and re-branding them without always giving back to those communities."

"The wrinkle here is that MongoDB was one of the first companies that aimed to put a stop to this by re-licensing its open-source tools under a new license that explicitly stated that companies that wanted to do this had to buy a commercial license," Frederic writes. "Since then, others have followed."

"Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so it's not surprising that Amazon would try to capitalize on the popularity and momentum of MongoDB's document model," MongoDB CEO and president Dev Ittycheria told us. "However, developers are technically savvy enough to distinguish between the real thing and a poor imitation. MongoDB will continue to outperform any impersonations in the market."


By sjbe • Score: 3 • Thread

"However, developers are technically savvy enough to distinguish between the real thing and a poor imitation. MongoDB will continue to outperform any impersonations in the market."

This is what CEOs always say just before they are about to get ass-raped by those very same "imitators" they are bashing. I have no knowledge of the MongoDB product at all but I have a hard time believing that it has any special sauce that Amazon cannot at least in theory replicate and/or improve upon to the point that users will no longer care about the differences. Not saying that will happen but there isn't anything preventing it from happening either.

Re:Never understood the BSD argument

By Luthair • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
The argument is that they shouldn't be restricted with what they can do with it as that takes away freedom.

Re:Never understood the BSD argument

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

This is exactly what the BSD people were on about when they insisted on the "freedom" to take the code and make it proprietary.

I've always been puzzled by that "logic". BSD people argue that they aren't free unless they can do anything with the software including making it no longer free. That seems to be a self defeating argument. It's sort of analogous to the question of whether an omnipotent god has the ability to make itself no longer omnipotent. I don't have any problem with someone favoring a BSD style license for their code but to call it "free" seems illogical or at least misleading to me because it inevitably will become not-free even if it starts that way.

You seem to presume that using BSD code in a non-open source manner makes the original code non-open source.


"Do what you want with this" doesn't do a damn thing to the original code - it's still out there, and it's still free for anyone else to do with as they please.

BSD's "Do what you want with this" is certainly a lot more free than "If you do anything with this, you have to give everything you do back to us".

Re:Never understood the BSD argument

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

I've always been puzzled by that "logic". BSD people argue that they aren't free unless they can do anything with the software including making it no longer free.

Well, that is free ... as in free utterly without restrictions.

You can't make the core thing not free, but you can freely take it and put it into your commercial product.

There are situations where the GPL or similar license works, and there are places where the BSD model works. I've worked on products which had some BSD stuff in it (the Berkley DB stuff). I've also used LGPL stuff.

I don't have any problem with someone favoring a BSD style license for their code but to call it "free" seems illogical or at least misleading to me because it inevitably will become not-free even if it starts that way.

The initial recipient is free to do whatever they want, and there is no obligation to pass that along to someone else. As in when you get it, you are 100% free to do what you wish, and don't have any obligations to anybody else.

GPL is 'free' in the sense that you can do anything you want with it as long as it fits what the GPL says you can do, but you are still restricted by the GPL.

It's just a different philosophy that says "this is stuff we want people to have and use as they see fit, and we don't put any obligations on what you do with it later".

The GPL says "you are free up to the point of the terms of the license", the BSD license says "you are free to do whatever you want to do with it".

Blue Gems In Teeth Illuminate Women's Hidden Role In Medieval Manuscripts

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
brindafella writes: The jaw bone of a woman who died around 1000-1200 AD has specks of precious lapis lazuli (mineral) in the plaque of her teeth. This indicates that this woman would have licked the brush used in preparing precious illuminated manuscripts at the women's monastery in Dalheim in western Germany. The study by researchers from German-based Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History and Britain's University of York showed that women, as well as men, were part of the production of the valuable manuscripts. "The researchers said this challenged long-held beliefs that women had played little role in the European Middle Ages in producing literary and written texts which came largely from religious institutions," reports the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. "Researcher Christina Warinner said this finding from the 11th century was unprecedented in showing more women were literate, educated and encouraged to read at that time."


By Freischutz • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Uhhh... no. The church regularly cracked down on education and what they called ‘feral latin’ among the clergy. Bishops and commissions of scholarly monks conducted regular visitations in parishes to judge and report the state of affairs.

They had to crack down on it because it existed. And of course they were 100% uncorruptable and diligent, like all clergy everywhere are renowned as being.

Plus, lapis lazuli was imported from Afghanistan and was at times more valuable than gold so this woman was an illustrator of some very high end texts. What is important about this discovery is more than anything else that it constitutes proof of the fact that women, presumably nuns, as well as monks were involved in the production of the most splendid manuscripts of the time because nobody except a first rate illustrator would have something as obscenely expensive as lapis lazuli in their dental plaque.

Sure. None of which has any bearing on literacy.

It has a bearing on what TFA is about, I.e. that women were involved in the creation of some of the most exclusive illustrated manuscripts of the period, real masretmaster pieces like the Codex Aureus made for the emperor himself. When the radiator grill costs its weight in gold and the car the the grill is going into costs the yearly revenue of a whole county you do not let just any hack handle the assembly work. TFA made no claims about having proven that medieval women were literate. It has been well documented that women were literate since very ancient times. The literacy issue is a straw man you created. Also, I have read period documents written by clergy involved in visitations during the Middle Ages and these people took their work really seriously. Your completely unsubstantiated claim they all were corrupt is unfair. Ecclesiastical corruption did happen but it also regularly led to reform movements within the church and demands for reform among the civilian population. The biggest manifestation of this being the Protestant reformation.


By arglebargle_xiv • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Speaking of Chinese and copying, I've seen (fake) western antiques produced in China by people who were obviously unfamiliar with the western alphabet, in that they copied shapes of letters in things like latin inscriptions without knowing what the letters were. The result was sort of a Chinese tattoo fail in reverse.

So yeah, you could get people copying manuscripts who had little or no education, as long as they had good artistic skills. My guess as to why they had women do it is that they're better at precision work, which is why they were employed as recently as a few decades ago to do things like string ferrite core memory, and a few decades before that to paint watch dials.

Re:Again women's contribution is being minimized.

By Antique Geekmeister • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Pray excuse me. I meant "prioress art".

I cannot _believe_ I failed to make that pun.

Re: Literate?

By Shaitan • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

"Most people still could not"

I'm extremely skeptical about the implication that people know more about how cars work on average than people in the 70's, 80's, and even 90's... when everyone knew about and worked on cars or their dicks would fall off.

Re:Again women's contribution is being minimized.

By pjt33 • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Sorry to spoil your chronology, but she postdates Harald Bluetooth.

Wireless Tech Company Finds Way To Charge Drones In Flight

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Global Energy Transmission (GET) co-founder William Kallamn says his wireless tech company has found a way to create a "power cloud" that can charge a drone while it's in flight. "The system comprises a ground-based power station with a frame of wires positioned in a roughly circular shape," reports Futurism. "When turned on, this creates an electromagnetic field in the air near the station. A drone equipped with a special antennae charges by flying into the range of the power cloud." From the report: Eight minutes of charge time translates to 30 minutes of flight. One of GET's power stations and two customized drones, each capable of carrying 7 kilograms (15.4 pounds), currently costs $120,000. It's hard to overstate the potential for drones to change our world, but for seemingly every positive use for the machines (package delivery, search and rescue operations), there's a negative one to consider (military weaponry, citizen surveillance). So, sure, a drone that never needs to land would be amazingly beneficial for moviemaking and sports coverage -- two uses Kallman notes in [an interview with entertainment vlogger David Fordham] -- but it's hard to imagine military or government officials wouldn't be highly interested in GET's drone charging tech as well.

Recharge While Hovering

By mentil • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Shouldn't the inverse square law mean that the further the drone is from the power station, the slower it'd charge? The '8 minutes of charging for 30 minutes of airtime' depends completely on battery tech, weight of the drone, and how far it is off the ground. I suspect that recharging faster than it discharges requires the drone to hover a few feet over the power station, in which case it'd be faster to land and plug in. This would hardly enable it to remain high up in the air while recharging at a significant rate. Using beamforming to zap it with microwaves might be more effective.

To paraphrase South Park...

By technosaurus • Score: 3 • Thread
Tesla's did it. Tesla's did it.

Just let's hope

By no-body • Score: 3 • Thread
that those "wireless" thingies don't go the glyphosate way. Strong interests pushing potential damages under the carpet because ... and at the end, there is damage to health.

Re:Recharge While Hovering

By Barny • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

It's even better, the further it is away the lower the efficiency of the charger. The guy basically built a way to piss power into the wind and sometimes top off the batteries of his drone.

Re:Time efficiency

By Joce640k • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Yep. A $5 inductive charger would do it.

And ... why would you hover when charging? That's wasted power (8 minutes of flight time)

Nothing about this passes the sniff test.