the unofficial Slashdot digest for 2019-Feb-12 today archive


  1. Eating Processed Foods Tied To Shorter Life, Study Suggests
  2. Publishers Chafe At Apple's Terms For 'Netflix For News' Subscription Service As It Demands a 50 Percent Revenue Cut
  3. Activision Blizzard Cuts 8% of Jobs Amid 'Record Results In 2018'
  4. KDE Plasma 5.15 Released
  5. California Will Not Complete $77 Billion High-Speed Rail Project
  6. Ask Slashdot: Is It Ethical To Purchase Electronics Products Made In China?
  7. Facebook Glitch Lets You Search For Pictures of Your Female Friends, But Not Your Male Ones
  8. Researchers Use Intel SGX To Put Malware Beyond the Reach of Antivirus Software
  9. Square CEO Jack Dorsey Says Bitcoin's Lightning Is Coming To Cash App
  10. Hackers Wipe US Servers of Email Provider VFEmail
  11. Ubisoft And Mozilla Announce AI Coding Assistant Clever-Commit
  12. 'You've Won $72 Million and a Mercedes Benz': Phone Scammer Gets 6 Years in Prison After He Made the Mistake of Calling William Webster, Ex-FBI and CIA Director
  13. In China, Some Teachers Are Using AI To Grade Homework
  14. IBM Says Watson AI Services Will Now Work on Any Cloud
  15. Samsung's Android Browser Hits 1 Billion Downloads, More Than Firefox and Opera Combined
  16. Apple Fails To Block Porn and Gambling 'Enterprise' Apps
  17. Lufthansa Sues Passenger Who Missed His Flight in an Apparent Bid To Clamp Down on 'Hidden City' Trick
  18. Tinder-Style App For Cows Tries To Help the Meat Market
  19. Xiaomi's Popular Electric Scooter M365 Can Be Hacked To Speed Up or Stop
  20. IBM's AI Loses To a Human Debater
  21. What It's Like To Work Inside Apple's 'Black Site'
  22. Reddit Users Are the Least Valuable of Any Social Network
  23. New iPhones To Stick With Lightning Over USB-C, Include Slow-Charging 5W USB-A Charger In Box

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

Eating Processed Foods Tied To Shorter Life, Study Suggests

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The New York Times: The study, in JAMA Internal Medicine, tracked diet and health over eight years in more than 44,000 French men and women. Their average age was 58 at the start. About 29 percent of their energy intake was ultraprocessed foods. Such foods include instant noodles and soups, breakfast cereals, energy bars and drinks, chicken nuggets and many other ready-made meals and packaged snacks containing numerous ingredients and manufactured using industrial processes. There were 602 deaths over the course of the study, mostly from cancer and cardiovascular disease. Even after adjusting for many health, socioeconomic and behavioral characteristics, including scores on a scale of compliance with a healthy diet, the study found that for every 10 percent increase in ultraprocessed food consumption, there was a 14 percent increase in the risk of death (Warning: source may be paywalled; alternative source). The authors suggest that high-temperature processing may form contaminants, that additives may be carcinogenic, and that the packaging of prepared foods can lead to contamination.

Re:LOL industrial processes

By TechyImmigrant • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

The extra salt alone is enough to kill people.

Nobody really knows why "processed foods" cause harm. Studies on salt itself say too much salt affects some people negatively, but not all. Salt sensitivity can usually be detected with specific tests. And lower-processed foods are often also salty. Being heavily processed by itself doesn't mean it automatically has more salt.

As the intro hinted, the exact cause is only speculation at this point. Further studies would be needed to isolate the offending trait(s). Candidate factors include but are not limited to:

* More alleged salt
* More MSG
* More alleged oil/fat
* Less fiber and "roughage"
* Longer cooking period
* More preservatives and "odd" chemicals
* More frying
* On the shelf longer
* Less of certain vitamins and minerals

There are well researched mechanisms:

1) The increased GIP/GLP-1 ratio from finely processed foods (as in chopped up or pureed) promoting insulin resistance.
2) The low F/N ratio fats (aka seed oils) used in western food preparation, impairing satiety signaling by impairing RET.
3) The absence of DHA and EPA, so the body keeps up the hunger till it gets enough. Eat that fatty fishy to feel full quicker.

The strawmen you list are the domain of uninformed speculation.

Deficiency disorders?

By steveha • Score: 3 • Thread

I really wonder how many of the maladies of old age are actually deficiency disorders.

Vitamins were discovered when someone figured out that people going months without eating Vitamin C got sick. Someone empirically figured out that eating citrus fruit staved off scurvy and that led to the discovery of Vitamin C. Other vitamins are also important but take longer before a deficiency makes you sick.

Natural food has all kinds of stuff in it and I wonder if some of it is healthy in really subtle ways that take a very long time to show up.

Also, processed foods lack fiber, and you need some in your diet, to help your body control cholesterols.

Finally, omega 3: I read a book called Fats That Heal, Fats That Kill that claims that omega 3 fatty acids are essential to health but at least 95% of people in North America don't get enough of it. Omega 3 is not found in processed foods, because omega 3 oils go rancid very quickly. Before processed foods, everyone got omega 3 naturally (for example, by eating fish or eating meat from grass-fed cattle) but these days people get very little, and get other kinds of oils instead. Since your body is made from what you eat, if you don't eat enough omega 3, your body has to use the other oils and it doesn't work as well. The book claims that while our bodies can't make omega 3, our bodies can convert it from one form to another; so it would suffice to eat only fish oil or only flax oil or whatever and trust the body to convert DHA to GLA or whatever.

My wife and I buy flax oil blend and use it to make salad dressing; it's a painless way to add omega 3 to your diet.

Simple salad dressing recipe:
3-4 tablespoons of oil (flax oil, or olive oil)
1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar (or any other vinegar you like)
sea salt to taste
black pepper to taste

We measure into a convenient cup, then whisk with a small wire whisk. It's fast and easy. We have figured out how many cranks of the pepper mill or how many twists of the sea salt grinder measure out the amount we like so it's a quick grind-and-count, no need to use measuring spoons for the salt and pepper.

Sometimes we put in some tomato paste; you can buy tomato paste in a tube, and it's a handy way to add just a little bit when making just enough dressing for a couple of salads. Or garlic powder or any other spice that suits your taste. It's easy to tweak the recipe. We don't bother buying pre-made salad dressing anymore.

We used to buy omega-3 chocolate truffles. They were expensive but were a tasty way to add omega-3 to our diets. Sadly the manufacturer no longer makes them... I think they were too expensive and didn't sell fast enough.

Re: LOL industrial processes

By Hognoxious • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

It is in Glasgow.


By timematters • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

You are so, so arrogant...

They are not stupid. They are aware of those correlations, and accounted for them. From the abstract:

"Ultraprocessed foods consumption was associated with younger age (45-64 years, mean [SE] proportion of food in weight, 14.50% [0.04%]; P.001), lower income (€1200/mo, 15.58% [0.11%]; P.001), lower educational level (no diploma or primary school, 15.50% [0.16%]; P.001), living alone (15.02% [0.07%]; P.001), higher body mass index (calculated as weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared; 30, 15.98% [0.11%]; P.001), and lower physical activity level (15.56% [0.08%]; P.001). A total of 602 deaths (1.4%) occurred during follow-up. After adjustment for a range of confounding factors, an increase in the proportion of ultraprocessed foods consumed was associated with a higher risk of all-cause mortality"

Re: LOL industrial processes

By stealth_finger • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

If you heat it up in the microwave, you get very little nitrosamines.

Yeah but then you've got a whole different set of problems, chiefly being what the fuck happened to me that I think it's acceptable to microwave bacon? Fucking philistines man.

Publishers Chafe At Apple's Terms For 'Netflix For News' Subscription Service As It Demands a 50 Percent Revenue Cut

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Zorro shares a report from The Wall Street Journal: Apple's plan to create a subscription service for news is running into resistance from major publishers over the tech giant's proposed financial terms (Warning: source may be paywalled; alternative source), according to people familiar with the situation, complicating an initiative that is part of the company's efforts to offset slowing iPhone sales. In its pitch to some news organizations, the Cupertino, Calif., company has said it would keep about half of the subscription revenue from the service, the people said. The service, described by industry executives as a "Netflix for news," would allow users to read an unlimited amount of content from participating publishers for a monthly fee. It is expected to launch later this year as a paid tier of the Apple News app, the people said. The rest of the revenue would go into a pool that would be divided among publishers according to the amount of time users spend engaged with their articles, the people said. Representatives from Apple have told publishers that the subscription service could be priced at about $10 a month, similar to Apple's streaming music service, but the final price could change, some of the people said.

Another concern for some publishers is that they likely wouldn't get access to subscriber data, including credit-card information and email addresses, the people said. Credit-card information and email addresses are crucial for news organizations that seek to build their own customer databases and market their products to readers. Digital subscriptions are powering growth at big publishers including the Times, whose basic monthly subscription costs $15, the Post, which charges $10, and the Journal, which charges $39. Some of those companies are skeptical about giving up too much control to Apple, or cannibalizing their existing subscriptions to sign up lower-revenue Apple users, according to people familiar with the matter.

Walled garden

By AHuxley • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread
Welcome to the city.
50% to set up shop. Protected by the city walls.

Free speech is a sin.
Curation of news can happen.
No Taiwan flag. No Tiananmen square.
Nothing that is offensive to a Communist party.

Why ?

By speedlaw • Score: 3 • Thread
Don't get it. I can read all day. I subscribe to two major papers. Why pay Apple ?

Re:How ironic

By LynnwoodRooster • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Wait, what? I mean, all the news sources have to do is hire and pay the staff, cover travel and investigation costs, spend months investigating, write, edit, vet and generate the content, format it, deliver it. Apple has the heavy lifting of putting that news into a supersized RSS feed. CLEARLY they are being generous with the news sources, if anything!


Re: users too...

By Mattcelt • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

I haven't watched American "news" in over a decade. Journalistic integrity has flown the coop. I don't agree with much, but Trump is right about "fake news" - only he doesn't go far enough. It is almost ALL fake these days.

The "news" doesn't report facts any longer; it sensationalises events.

I don't want their "news". I want facts and honest analysis. I am not apathetic; I am disenfranchised. Yet somehow these cunts persist.

I'm afraid I have to agree more with GP's oligarch statement.


By thomn8r • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Another concern for some publishers is that they likely wouldn't get access to subscriber data, including credit-card information and email addresses


Activision Blizzard Cuts 8% of Jobs Amid 'Record Results In 2018'

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
On an earnings call this afternoon, publisher Activision Blizzard said that it would be eliminating 8% of its staff. "In 2018, Activision Blizzard had roughly 9,600 employees, which would mean nearly 800 people are now out of work," reports Kotaku. "This afternoon, the mega-publisher began notifying those who are being laid off across its various organizations, which include Activision, Blizzard, and King." From the report: On the earnings call, Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick told investors that the company had "once again achieved record results in 2018" but that the company would be consolidating and restructuring because of missed expectations for 2018 and lowered expectations for 2019. The company said it would be cutting mainly non-game-development departments and bolstering its development staff for franchises like Call of Duty and Diablo. Development sources from across the industry told Kotaku this afternoon that the layoffs have affected Activision publishing, Blizzard, King, and some of Activision's studios, including High Moon. At Blizzard, the layoffs appear to only have affected non-game-development departments, such as publishing and esports, both of which were expected to be hit hard. "Over the last few years, many of our non-development teams expanded to support various needs," Blizzard president J. Allen Brack said in a note to staff. "Currently staffing levels on some teams are out of proportion with our current release slate. This means we need to scale down some areas of our organization. I'm sorry to share that we will be parting ways with some of our colleagues in the U.S. today. In our regional offices, we anticipate similar evaluations, subject to local requirements."

Thankfully, the letter promised "a comprehensive severance package," continued health benefits, career coaching, and job placement assistance as well as profit-sharing bonuses for the previous year to those who are being laid off at Blizzard. "There's no way to make this transition easy for impacted employees, but we are doing what we can to support our colleagues," Brack wrote.

Non-dev = commodity human

By xxxJonBoyxxx • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
>> the layoffs appear to only have affected non-game-development departments

Good news from the perspective of a Slashdot citizen: tech skills continue to keep us out of the pool of commodity humans.

They're prepping for the recession

By rsilvergun • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
that everyone knows is coming. It's so frustrating because we know a recession is coming and we're doing jack squat to stop it. Just more layoffs to keep the stock prices high and maybe another round of tax cuts.

It's not even like we don't know what to do: Regulate Wall Street so they can't gamble with our money (and make no mistake, it's out money since they're "too big to fail"), pump some money into the supply side (Tax Cuts for people who actually spend money, e.g. the working class, and the "Green New Deal"), increase the minimum wage and lift those stupid bloody tariffs. It doesn't do good to put tariffs on China when they can just build their stuff in Mexico and ship it here duty free (lord I shouldn't have to explain that).

And where the hell is the media in all this? Why the hell aren't they calling the current Admin out for doing nothing to stop the recession?

Re:It's been a record year for blunders

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

It's not just a realistic budget and profit expectation that's needed - what's needed is some risk. They almost all play it safe, and just iterate the same-old-same-old now with better graphics.

Trust that you've got good people, (that is, if you haven't laid them all off) and let them try something new. A lot of the tries will be flops, but if you can find that big new thing, you're going to make bank. No, it's not a sure thing. But FFS, you're just laying people off left and right anyway. Might as well take a risk to have a break-out hit in the process.

If I was in the business, I think I'd rather try something crazy innovative and get laid off when it didn't work out than grind out another clone of a decade old game only to get laid off anyway.

And if you're just trying to milk your stock incentives, you've got enough name recognition and money to risk having to take your golden parachute and go cry on your yacht for 6 months before getting hired somewhere else. Take a risk and shoot for a giant payout! I mean, if you're the C* of a major gaming company, you absolutely do not have anything to lose. At least nothing that you're going to miss.

Re:What about the dividends?

By kenh • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

The "little people" are the 800 or so people being let go as "redundant" to the company needs, and are getting a period of free healthcare coverage, a generous severance package, and their profit-sharing bonus from last year.

Short of keeping the employees in no-show jobs, they are doing the right thing by "the little people" IMHO.

and an 8% increase in it's dividend, coincidence?

By rjejr • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Besides announcing the the 8% increase in their stock dividend they also announced a $1.5B, that's billion with a B, stock buyback. That's enough money to pay 1,500 employees, if those employees made $1 million per year. Sickening.

KDE Plasma 5.15 Released

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
jrepin writes: Today, KDE launched Plasma 5.15, the first stable release of the popular desktop environment in 2019. For this release the Plasma team has focused on hunting down and removing all the paper cuts that slow you down. Plasma 5.15 brings a number of changes to the configuration interfaces, including more options for complex network configurations. Many icons have been added or redesigned to make them clearer. Integration with third-party technologies like GTK and Firefox has been improved substantially. Discover, Plasma's software and add-on installer, has received tons of improvements to help you stay up-to-date and find the tools you need to get your tasks done. For a more detailed list of features/changes, you can browse the full Plasma 5.15 changelog.

Better but still glitchy

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 3, Interesting • Thread

KDE has improved drastically from the KDE 4 shitshow, but it still feels unfinished and glitchy.

Also, while again things have improved, the multi-monitor experience in particular still feels half-baked. It has a fancy new prompt when it detects new monitors.. and it shows up _sometimes_, and works _sometimes_, but then other times it doesn't. Also trying to get a panel on each monitor feels like boxing with your computer. You want it on the left screen, it _insists_ on being on the right. You finally trick it into being on the right, you reboot, and it's back on the left.. or on the top maybe.

Also SDDM sends Microsoft-y chills down my spine even more so than their application chooser. I mean KDE was always the "Windows clone", but yeesh. This isn't even subtle.

Re:Better but still glitchy

By Anrego • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

It's not even just plasma. The xfce4 panel is the only thing I've ever found to sanely handle my multi-monitor setup, and even then only just. I currently run it with openbox, and that's been my basic setup for the last several years.
At the insistence of a few people, I recently gave plasma a try (within the last month), and yeah, while much better than KDE4, it's still not there. I think I'm ready to accept a well integrated desktop environment into my life and wouldn't mind changing my workflow a little if everything mostly just work and I could tweak the little things that I really care about. Despite giving it a few weeks however, I just couldn't warm up to it. No one big thing, just a lot of little things that made the experience feel like it was still an unpolished pre-release.

kdid kthey kfix kthe kbug kwhere...

By apparently • Score: 3, Funny • Thread
kevery kfucking kapplication's kname kstarts kwith ka kk?

California Will Not Complete $77 Billion High-Speed Rail Project

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Reuters: California Governor Gavin Newsom said on Tuesday the state will not complete a $77.3 billion planned high-speed rail project, but will finish a smaller section of the line. "The project, as currently planned, would cost too much and take too long. There's been too little oversight and not enough transparency," Newsom said in his first State of the State Address Tuesday to lawmakers. "Right now, there simply isn't a path to get from Sacramento to San Diego, let alone from San Francisco to (Los Angeles). I wish there were," he said. Newsom said the state will complete a 110-mile (177 km) high-speed rail link between Merced and Bakersfield. In March 2018, the state forecast the costs had jumped by $13 billion to $77 billion and warned that the costs could be as much as $98.1 billion.

California planned to build a 520-mile system in the first phase that would allow trains to travel at speeds of up to 220 miles per hour in the traffic-choked state from Los Angeles to San Francisco and begin full operations by 2033. Newsom said he would not give up entirely on the effort. "Abandoning high-speed rail entirely means we will have wasted billions of dollars with nothing but broken promises and lawsuits to show for it," he said. "And by the way, I am not interested in sending $3.5 billion in federal funding that was allocated to this project back to Donald Trump."

Re:China wins again!

By mentil • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

Wow, they're both unemployed AND farmers? I bet their farm cats are simultaneously alive and dead, and if you strap a slice of toast with PB to their backs, they spin like a dynamo in midair to power the nation's electrical grid.

Re:As the old bullshitting faggot goes on forever.

By AmiMoJo • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Except that California is one of the wealthiest states with the highest wages, where as the poorer ones where most people are making under $50k are the ones that vote Republican, i.e. for tax and benefit cuts.

Maybe it should "go back to Donald Trump"

By melted • Score: 3 • Thread

He seems to know how to get shit done for half the budget of the Democrats.

Re:As the old bullshitting faggot goes on forever.

By MMC Monster • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

The idea that the 1% has all the power is a myth. The IRS tax stats are freely available for anyone to see and analyze. The 1% (everyone making approx $500k per year or more) only accounts for 19% of total income in the U.S. The vast majority of economic power in the U.S. (64% of all income) rests with those making $50k-$500k per year.

Who care about income? Wealth is where the power is.

The top 1% in net worth in the U.S. hold 40% of the nation's wealth. The bottom 50% in net worth of the U.S. population combined hold 1% of the nation's wealth.

Source: (First paragraph and first chart.)

And this is exactly why...

By erp_consultant • Score: 3 • Thread

California is going bankrupt. I knew this thing was doomed to failure right from the beginning and have called it out on here many times only to be ridiculed by these big project rail supporters.

Doesn't really bode well for the Green New Deal now does it?

Ask Slashdot: Is It Ethical To Purchase Electronics Products Made In China?

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
dryriver writes: A lot of people seem to think it's O.K. to buy electronics made in China. We get to buy products considerably cheaper than we otherwise would, and China by all accounts is growing, developing, and modernizing as a nation due to all the cool stuff they now make for the world. There is only one problem with that reasoning. 21st Century China has an atrocious human rights record, and almost all human rights watchdogs report that China is becoming more and more repressive each year. Freedom House put it this way in 2018: "It's worth noting that, in its attitude toward political dissent, the Chinese Communist Party has proven much harsher than the old Soviet regime of the Brezhnev era. Modern Chinese sentences are longer, the prospects for early release are far worse, and the Chinese authorities are generally unmoved by pleas for leniency from foreign diplomats." Basically, consumer dollars from around the world are not gradually creating a gentler, freer, more prosperous and more modern China at all. They are making the Chinese Communist Party richer, stronger, bolder and more aggressive and repressive in every respect. To the question: knowing what the human rights situation is in China, and that consumer dollars and euros flowing into the country from abroad is making things worse, not better, is it at all ethical to buy electronics or IT products manufactured in China?


By Anonymous Coward • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

So as the USA pays minimal wage that is below an actual living wage, the rest of the world should put on a tariffs on goods from the USA.
is that what your telling us?

recent change

By hdyoung • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Up until fairly recently, the strategy worked. We allowed them into the world of modern trade and commerce and bought their stuff. Overall, the country became more open and more modern. The strategy helped to pull about half a billion people out of poverty. Yes, we had to tolerate a highly flawed Chinese government with a bad human rights record and a lot of dodgy Chinese business practices, but nothing worse than we've tolerated from a dozen other countries we regularly do business with. Overall, the benefits were enormous.

Then something changed. China started backsliding. The most obvious symptom of this is Xi Jingping, who has actively pulled the country back towards autocracy, but there's a long list of things that suggest our "do business with them and they'll improve" strategy isn't working any more. A lot of foreign policy types are concluding that a change is needed. I've read that even most pro-Chinese economists in the West have concluded that China is sliding backwards. The carrot isn't working any more, so governments are trying a bit of stick instead. They're not going to have much luck expanding their overseas businesses for the next decade or two.

Re:The luxury of asking that question..

By Darinbob • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Well, the cars sold in the US are typically made from parts coming from several countries, with components assembled in several countries, and generally only final assembly counting as to which country it is made in. Some Japanese cars are mostly made in the US or even have final assembly in the US.

My experience at companies that make products is that very often overseas contract manufacturers are used when there are lots of them to be made, but local US manufacturers are used to make small lots of products such as for early testing or limited runs. And then there's often some sort of local in-house manufacturing step, such as final assembly, installation of software, customization, etc. The US manufacturers are convenient because they're close and you can easily visit them when there's a problem or you need a quick turnaround, but the cost is significantly higher.

Often the difference isn't necessarily about labor costs. Most of these manufacturers are automated and most of the labor comes from setting things up. The traditional assembly line that wants an unskilled worker is relatively rare.


By swillden • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

However, China has proven that a totalitarian communist system can incorporate a lot of capitalism and just keep on oppressing.

I think China has proven that a totalitarian communist system can incorporate a lot of capitalism and just keep on oppressing for a while. Xi Jinping has been seriously cracking down, true, but I think it's still too soon to count out the rising middle class. The problem is that for capitalism to work you have to give people a fair degree of economic freedom, and that makes them begin to expect quite a bit of social freedom as well.

How long will it take? That's hard to say. Chinese culture is quite different from Western culture, and especially American culture. We have a streak of independence and disrespect for authority that they largely lack (or flip it around, they have a respect for social good and authority that we lack). So it's a given that China will never mirror us. But I think they're going to move much further in that direction and that totalitarian control will be shaken off, due to capitalism.


By AmiMoJo • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Nothing will happen any time soon because for most Chinese people things are improving rapidly, and they are are happy about it. I've seen the house where my wife grew up - it's made of stone, no windows, no plumbing... And now her mother lives in a seven story mansion, as do most of her old neighbours.

The Communist Party knows that things will have to keep changing though, if they want to avoid the firing squad forever. It will be interesting to see which direction they go with it. In some ways Hong Kong is an experiment for them, to see what the mainland's future could be like.

Facebook Glitch Lets You Search For Pictures of Your Female Friends, But Not Your Male Ones

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Belgian security researcher Inti De Ceukelaire has found an unusual glitch in Facebook's search function. Facebook lets you search for photos of your female friends, but refuses to let you look up pictures of your male friends. The Next Web has managed to replicate the glitch across several Facebook accounts. "When you type 'photos of my female friends' into the search bar, Facebook will return a seemingly-random selection of photos from your female friends," reports TNW. From the report: Switching out "female" with "male" returns something completely different. Instead of pictures of friends from within your social network, you're instead shown a selection of pictures from across the social network. In our experience, these came from accounts and groups we did not follow. Facebook will also ask if you meant to type "female," assuming you mistyped your query.

If you're feeling an overwhelming sense of deja vu, you're not alone. The predecessor to Facebook was a deeply unsavory site called Facemash that allowed Harvard University students to rate their female colleagues based on perceived physical attractiveness. It's a far cry from the now-hugely popular social network site, used by millennials and grandparents alike. Facebook has desperately tried to shed this deeply questionable part of its history for something more saccharine and innocuous. [...] The main difference though is that this is almost certainly an innocent mistake, rather than the product of dorm-room shenanigans.


By mark-t • Score: 3 • Thread

While I can understand wanting to look for photos of friends, what possible reason could someone have for only wanting to see pics of their male friends or female friends? If they have someone in mind, they can search for pictures of that person.

But I can think of precisely zero cases where I would want to discriminate which photos I wanted to see of my friends based on their gender.

So am I out to lunch here? Can someone explain why this should actually even be a thing?

There is different functionality here

By Dan East • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

I just spent some time testing this. I see two things going on. One is that the frequent search terms are definitely biased towards searching for female photos. This may be legit and simply represents what people search for most.
Here are the search suggestions when I type "photos of my":
photos of my female friends
photos of my friends
photos of my female friends in bikinis
photos of my boyfriend
photos of my girlfriend
photos of my female friends this month
photos of my friends from this month
photos of my wife

There is, however, most certainly an actual difference in the functionality between searching for "photos of my female friends" and "photos of my male friends". When I search for the female friends, I see a search result box titled in bold text "Photos of my female friends" and it does indeed contain pictures of my female friends. Beneath this box is another result box titled just "Photos" with random posted photos (4 of the 6 are of females, but not from my friends).

Now, when I search for "photos of my male friends" it does not have a results box that says "Photos of my male friends" at all, and instead only has the generic "Photos" box with photos from random posts (and two have men in them along with females, and one is only of a female - however none is of just a male).

So there is definitely a difference in actual functionality here, at least from my account as a male. It was implemented to function in this way.

SJW Compliant

By labnet • Score: 3 • Thread

Thank you for reporting this bug to our Social Justice Enforcement Service.
We have identified the programmer(s) who realized this inappropriate interface and have sent them to one of our 3 global reduction centers.
In future, all search terms relating to any gender will return non gendered results.



By drinkypoo • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Yeah, right. "Glitch..."

Well, it is a glitch. Only Zuckerberg is supposed to have access to that functionality.

string matching substring

By spatley • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

'male' is a substring of 'female' any search for the string 'female' would not match 'male' but a search for the string 'male' would match 'female'

It couldn't be that simple could it?

Researchers Use Intel SGX To Put Malware Beyond the Reach of Antivirus Software

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader shares an excerpt from an Ars Technica report: Researchers have found a way to run malicious code on systems with Intel processors in such a way that the malware can't be analyzed or identified by antivirus software, using the processor's own features to protect the bad code. As well as making malware in general harder to examine, bad actors could use this protection to, for example, write ransomware applications that never disclose their encryption keys in readable memory, making it substantially harder to recover from attacks. The research, performed at Graz University of Technology by Michael Schwarz, Samuel Weiser, and Daniel Gruss (one of the researchers behind last year's Spectre attack), uses a feature that Intel introduced with its Skylake processors called SGX ("Software Guard eXtensions"). SGX enables programs to carve out enclaves where both the code and the data the code works with are protected to ensure their confidentiality (nothing else on the system can spy on them) and integrity (any tampering with the code or data can be detected). The contents of an enclave are transparently encrypted every time they're written to RAM and decrypted upon being read. The processor governs access to the enclave memory: any attempt to access the enclave's memory from code outside the enclave is blocked; the decryption and encryption only occurs for the code within the enclave.

SGX has been promoted as a solution to a range of security concerns when a developer wants to protect code, data, or both, from prying eyes. For example, an SGX enclave running on a cloud platform could be used to run custom proprietary algorithms, such that even the cloud provider cannot determine what the algorithms are doing. On a client computer, the SGX enclave could be used in a similar way to enforce DRM (digital rights management) restrictions; the decryption process and decryption keys that the DRM used could be held within the enclave, making them unreadable to the rest of the system. There are biometric products on the market that use SGX enclaves for processing the biometric data and securely storing it such that it can't be tampered with. SGX has been designed for this particular threat model: the enclave is trusted and contains something sensitive, but everything else (the application, the operating system, and even the hypervisor) is potentially hostile. While there have been attacks on this threat model (for example, improperly written SGX enclaves can be vulnerable to timing attacks or Meltdown-style attacks), it appears to be robust as long as certain best practices are followed.

Re:Starforce for the win

By zlives • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

Johnny mnemonic called, and he knows kungfu

Old news, newly discovered

By WoodstockJeff • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Doing a search on how to disable SGX, I found an article on how this can be used to write secure botnets... dated 2014. It's taken this long to publicly announce that this is a "bad thing"?

Re:Computing industry

By dryriver • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
That is because the investor capital that powers the computing industry today comes from feckless investors who don't give a crap whether computing goes downhill or uphill. People keep talking about "Intel, AMD, Apple, Nvidia, Microsoft". It is the ANONYMOUS investors who SUPPLY the MONEY that keeps these supposed powerhouses humming that DO NOT CARE what quality of computing gear or software is provided to the end customer. These guys want to put 5 Billion in, and get 15 Billion out 3 years later. Producing IT stuff that "actually works well" is not something they care about, because it is more expensive and cuts into profits. Then there is also the "sociopathic bevavior disorder" that frequently comes with having a lot of cash-slash-power. Its probably lots of fun for these investors to a) sell shit products to the end user and b) make a lot of extra profit BY VIRTUE of selling shit products to the end user. You eat shit while they buy another hotel chain or budget airline. Seriously, it is the completely INVISIBLE and UNACCOUNTABLE investors behind big IT that call the shots, not product engineers at Intel, Apple, or Microsoft. Name 1 computing science graduate you know who would have afflicted the attrocity that was Windows 8/10 on an end user of their own volition. It is the investors BEHIND the companies that are calling the shots in the 21st Century, not people with CS or EE degrees that actually CARE what they give the end user.

Re:Starforce for the win

By dryriver • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
Johnny Mnemonic can't make phonecalls right now, because a Windows 10 forced update related reboot-loop has rendered him incapacitated. He is lying facedown in the street thinking "Strawberries! I smell Strawberries!"

Too bad the headline isn't reversed

By Nkwe • Score: 3 • Thread
"Researchers Use Intel SGX To Put Malware Beyond the Reach of Antivirus Software" actually sounds pretty cool from a technical point of view. Terrifying, but also cool. It would have been way cooler if the headline was "Researchers use Intel SGX to Put Operating Systems and their Associated Software Beyond the Reach of Malware" or even better, "Operating System Vendors use Intel SGX to Protect their Users from Malware"

Square CEO Jack Dorsey Says Bitcoin's Lightning Is Coming To Cash App

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An anonymous reader shares a report: A bitcoin scaling solution called the lightning network may soon come to Square's Cash App for mobile payments. Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey, an investor in the bitcoin-oriented startup Lightning Labs, recently announced during an interview with podcaster Stephan Livera that there are plans to integrate the scaling technology with Square's mobile app. "It's not an 'if,' it's more of a 'when,' and how do we make sure that we're getting the speed that we need and the efficiency," Dorsey told Livera, adding: "We don't think it stops at buying and selling [bitcoin]. We do want to help make happen the currency aspect."

Twiiter? Square? Bitcoin? Sign me up!

By DogDude • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
Boy, if there's anything that says "privacy, reliability, efficiency, and security", it's "Twitter", "Square", and "Bitcoin". Sign me up! I've got money to waste!

Hackers Wipe US Servers of Email Provider VFEmail

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Hackers have breached the severs of email provider and wiped the data from all its US servers, destroying all US customers' data in the process. From a report: The attack took place yesterday, February 11, and was detected after the company's site and webmail client went down without notice. "At this time, the attacker has formatted all the disks on every server," the company said yesterday. "Every VM is lost. Every file server is lost, every backup server is lost. This was more than a multi-password via SSH exploit, and there was no ransom. Just attack and destroy," VFEmail said. The company's staff is now working to recover user emails, but as things stand right now, all data for US customers appears to have been deleted for good and gone into /dev/null.

Re:No backup can be a feature

By Aighearach • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

It would seem more practical to just limit the stored backups to the last n copies, like you do with rotated log files.

If it can only come back for two weeks or something, that is sufficient for most use cases.

Just recover it?

By DontBeAMoran • Score: 3 • Thread things stand right now, all data for US customers appears to have been deleted for good...

Damn, talk about annoying.

...and gone into /dev/null.

Oh! So they do know where the data ended up. Just restore it! You know, like in the movies?

Re:There were NO offsite backups?????

By rickb928 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

It *is* a PITA to put a tape in your bag, open up the fireproof safe at home, throw it in, get the *correct* one out, put it in your bag, and remember the next day to put that where it needs to be. And repeat. /s

I did that for years. And I slept a little better.

Re:There were NO offsite backups?????

By rickb928 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Once you're in the front door, you're going through the system. Only offline backups can be trusted to 'be there'.

And no offline copies of the VM environment? I think of those as especially precious. DO I want to rebuild those from scratch? Nope.

Just do a restore from Wikileaks.

By jfdavis668 • Score: 3 • Thread
I'm sure they have a recent copy.

Ubisoft And Mozilla Announce AI Coding Assistant Clever-Commit

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Video game publisher Ubisoft is working with Mozilla to develop an AI coding assistant called Clever-Commit, head of Ubisoft La Forge Yves Jacquier announced during DICE Summit 2019 on Tuesday. From a report: Clever-Commit reportedly helps programmers evaluate whether or not a code change will introduce a new bug by learning from past bugs and fixes. The prototype, called Commit-Assistant, was tested using data collected during game development, Ubisoft said, and it's already contributing to some major AAA titles. The publisher is also working on integrating it into other brands. "Working with Mozilla on Clever-Commit allows us to support other programming languages and increase the overall performances of the technology. Using this tech in our games and Firefox will allow developers to be more productive as they can spend more time creating the next feature rather than fixing bugs. Ultimately, this will allow us to create even better experiences for our gamers and increase the frequency of our game updates," said Mathieu Nayrolles, technical architect, data scientist, and member of the Technological Group at Ubisoft Montreal.

Son of Clippy!

By XXongo • Score: 3 • Thread
So, it's like Clippy, but for programmers!


By The1stImmortal • Score: 3 • Thread
Sadly, it doesn't look like this "Clever Commit" stuff is open source. That's disappointing from Mozilla - partnering with a game publisher with a poor customer relations track record, and using proprietary technology as an integral part of its development like this.

There does seem to be a paper but no actual code. In fact, the way the Mozilla blog is worded ( - it looks like Clever Commit is Ubisoft's technology, not even Mozilla's.

Not happy.

'You've Won $72 Million and a Mercedes Benz': Phone Scammer Gets 6 Years in Prison After He Made the Mistake of Calling William Webster, Ex-FBI and CIA Director

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Reader McGruber writes: The Washington Post has an amusing story about phone scammer Keniel A. Thomas, who made the mistake of calling William H. Webster. Thomas told 90-year-old Webster that he had won $72 million and a new Mercedes Benz in the Mega Millions lottery, but that he needed to send $50,000 in taxes and fees to get his money. Thomas also told Webster he'd done his research on the top winner. "You're a great man," the scammer cajoled. "You was a judge, you was an attorney, you was a basketball player, you were in the U.S. Navy, homeland security. I know everything about you. I even seen your photograph, and I seen your precious wife."

Thomas's research didn't turn up everything. He didn't learn that the man he was calling was the former director of the FBI and the CIA, the only person ever to hold both jobs. And he didn't know that Webster would call him back the next day with the FBI listening in. Thomas was arrested in late 2017, after he landed in New York on a flight from Jamaica. He pleaded guilty in October and faced a prison term of 33 to 41 months under federal sentencing guidelines. But with Webster and his wife in the courtroom, Chief U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell on Friday added another 2 years to Thomas's sentence, giving him nearly six years to serve. Howell said that the scam qualified as "organized criminal activity" and that Thomas posed "a threat to a family member of the victim."

Re: The moral of the story

By Antony T Curtis • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

The usual argument against stopping spoofing is that the average person won't answer the calls from a cold caller telemarketers.
Sadly, organisations like the Direct Marketers Association have more political clout than consumer protection advocates

Re:Wait! WHAT?

By msauve • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
"This is a scam?"

Why yes, yes it is. We're supposed to have equal justice, but obviously unless you're a former FBI director, the system doesn't give a shit about you.

As a prole, try getting any law enforcement to take action on a scam where you haven't already lost a million bucks. Ain't gonna happen. But, if you're part of the government elite, they'll organize a SWAT team to help you out just because you got a phone call.

Re: The moral of the story

By ShanghaiBill • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

The usual argument against stopping spoofing is that the average person won't answer the calls from a cold caller telemarketers.

That should not be a problem. If a telemarketer with a call center in India or the Philippines wants to spoof an American number, that is fine. But they need to own both the originating number and the spoofed number, and it needs to be traceable back to them, so they can be held accountable for illegal behavior.

But spoofing to random numbers in local prefixes, inflicting blowback on the innocent people that own those numbers, and misleading the call targets, should be illegal. It is unconscionable that we allow the telecoms to get away with this behavior.

Re:Wait! WHAT?

By drinkypoo • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

If a student says you put glue on their chair and you get away with it that is one thing but the system is completely broken if you get away with putting glue on the principal's chair.

The system is completely broken if putting glue on the principal's chair carries a heavier punishment than putting it on a fellow student's. Crap like that is why schools have a culture of bullying.

Re:The moral of the story

By rtb61 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

I fully support rehabilitation over punishment but then technically, all sentences should be minimum sentences and if you have not rehabilitated and show now signs of it, you should never be let go. So prison more studio apartments because we aren't total arseholes but you never get set free.

It is not learning your lesson, how to fake rehabilitation for early release, it is hard line full psychological evaluation to ensure very, very low rates of recidivism. In fact correctional services officers should face evaluation and possible penalty for releasing a person who latter commits a crime and certainly the government should pay for the harm caused by a citizen released who was not rehabilitated.

I fully support a 100% rehabilitative system, with all that it implies and that correctional facilities, staffed by professional college degree correctional services officers and run by trained psychiatrists, who properly medically seek to rehabilitate their patients unstable failed citizens and not treat them like prisoners to be punished and turned into worse criminals.

In China, Some Teachers Are Using AI To Grade Homework

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A Beijing-based online education start-up has developed an artificial intelligence-powered maths app that can check children's arithmetic problems through the simple snap of a photo. Based on the image and its internal database, the app automatically checks whether the answers are right or wrong. From a report: Known as Xiaoyuan Kousuan, the free app launched by the Tencent Holdings-backed online education firm Yuanfudao, has gained increasing popularity in China since its launch a year ago and claims to have checked an average of 70 million arithmetic problems per day, saving users around 40,000 hours of time in total. Yuanfudao is also trying to build the country's biggest education-related database generated from the everyday experiences of real students. Using this, the six-year-old company -- which has a long line of big-name investors including Warburg Pincus, IDG Capital and Matrix Partners China -- aims to reinvent how children are taught in China. "By checking nearly 100 million problems every day, we have developed a deep understanding of the kind of mistakes students make when facing certain problems," said Li Xin, co-founder of Yuanfudao -- which means "ape tutor" in Chinese -- in a recent interview. "The data gathered through the app can serve as a pillar for us to provide better online education courses."

Will test scores count towards social media scores

By bobstreo • Score: 3 • Thread

because if it does, this WILL go on your permanent record.

Re:Good idea

By ceoyoyo • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

They specifically state "arithmetic."

Most modern mathematicians use proof checkers though. Proofs take creativity to write, but the biggest obstacle to a computer checking if they're correct is usually typing them in.

Today this may be newsworthy...

By ffkom • Score: 3 • Thread
... but not too far in the future, AI in some hospital will decide which children will live or die, and people will shrug and consider this perfectly normal.

Re:Will test scores count towards social media sco

By ffkom • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Even if test scores are not relevant for the Chinese "social scores", you can bet they already go on permanent record.

In France

By lorinc • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

In France, we use a staircase. Grades are between 0 and 20 points, 0 being the lowest and 20 the best. You then have to decide whether copies landing on the first step get 0 or 20 points and grade the others accordingly. If you have a big enough staircase, you can even grade at half point precision!

IBM Says Watson AI Services Will Now Work on Any Cloud

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IBM announced on Tuesday that some of its Watson AI services will now work on rival cloud computing providers as it seeks to win over customers that want greater flexibility in how they store and analyze data. From a report: The announcement builds on IBM's moves to position its services as compatible with nearly any form of computer infrastructure a customer wants to operate. Other efforts include a pending acquisition of open-source software company Red Hat for $34 billion. With the change, companies will be able to use Watson AI tools such as Watson Assistant, which can help them develop conversational services such as a virtual customer service agent, in mobile apps hosted on Amazon and Microsoft as well as IBM servers.

Samsung's Android Browser Hits 1 Billion Downloads, More Than Firefox and Opera Combined

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An anonymous reader shares a report: Samsung's mobile internet browser, if you ask its users, is pretty great. A lot of folks even say it's better than Chrome. That appreciation has manifested in the app hitting a very exclusive Play Store milestone: Samsung Internet Browser now has more than one billion installs. That impressive figure puts the browser's install base ahead of those of Firefox and Opera combined. Now, there are a couple of caveats here: for one, Samsung's browser comes pre-loaded on Samsung devices, of which each activation counts as an "install." What's more, both Firefox's and Opera's Play Store listings report that each browser has "100,000,000+" installs, which, because of the somewhat silly way figures are reported on Android's app marketplace, means their combined installs total anywhere between 200 million and 999,999,998. Still, though, Samsung's browser is on more devices than the both of 'em.

Samsung pre-installations counts ....

By JasterBobaMereel • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

I have this installed, as I have a Samsung phone - number of times I have used it ... once ...

Waterfox for Android

By ArhcAngel • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
I prefer Waterfox since it allows me to use the same add-ons I use on the desktop. I tried the Samsung browser when I had a Samsung device and it was meh. I'm sure it being pre-installed on all Samsung devices is skewing its actual "user" base.

"install" is still a verb.

By mr_mischief • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

The word "install" is a verb. The noun is "installation". You install something. The something in a state of having been installed is an installation.

You invite someone with an invitation. A judge passes judgment. Someone passing judgment when one shouldn't is being judgmental.

News for nerds, parts of speech that matter.

It doesn't count

By roc97007 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Installing a browser by default on a popular platform, and then claiming it's the most installed browser, is a tad disingenuous. It's like Microsoft claiming that IE was the most installed browser on PCs, even if a great number of people only ever used it to download Firefox or Chrome.

I have a Note 9 that came with Samsung's browser, which almost certainly counts as an install, even though I use the Adblock browser exclusively.

So really, it's all market-speak. Nothing to see here.

Can you remove it from a Samsung phone?

By mschaffer • Score: 3 • Thread
How many people not using Samsung phones have installed this? That would be a far more interesting number.

Apple Fails To Block Porn and Gambling 'Enterprise' Apps

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Facebook and Google were far from the only developers openly abusing Apple's Enterprise Certificate program meant for companies offering employee-only apps. A TechCrunch investigation uncovered a dozen hardcore pornography apps and a dozen real-money gambling apps that escaped Apple's oversight. From the report: The developers passed Apple's weak Enterprise Certificate screening process or piggybacked on a legitimate approval, allowing them to sidestep the App Store and Cupertino's traditional safeguards designed to keep iOS family friendly. Without proper oversight, they were able to operate these vice apps that blatantly flaunt Apple's content policies. The situation shows further evidence that Apple has been neglecting its responsibility to police the Enterprise Certificate program, leading to its exploitation to circumvent App Store rules and forbidden categories.

Porn wants to be free

By PopeRatzo • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

Mr Cook, tear down this wall.

Who the hell needs a dedicated app to watch porn?

By nuckfuts • Score: 3 • Thread
I have an app called Safari on my iPhone. There is quite a bit of porn accessible with it.

Apple doesn't police enterprise apps

By Dog-Cow • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

I've worked for a company that uses an enterprise account for internal testing. Apps signed with enterprise profiles are never seen by Apple.

aw triggered prudes are so cute

By iggymanz • Score: 3 • Thread

Real humans like vices that upset me, waaaah!!!!

Just think, email, browser, movie player, picture viewer, document viewer can be used FOR PORN. or TO ARRANGE GAMBLING OPPORTUNITIES. Why does Apple and google allow these perversions?

Re:Microsoft fails to stop porn and gambling apps

By ceoyoyo • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

"As a tech guy, I would love my Phone, to be able to install any App I want."

It can. You just have to compile or sign it yourself. Apple used to charge $99 a year for that ability, but it's been free for a while.

Lufthansa Sues Passenger Who Missed His Flight in an Apparent Bid To Clamp Down on 'Hidden City' Trick

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Airline Lufthansa has sued a passenger, who didn't show up for the last leg of his ticketed journey, in an apparent bid to clamp down on "hidden city" trick. From a report: The practice involves passengers leaving their journey at a layover point, instead of making a final connection. For instance, someone flying from New York to San Francisco could book a cheaper trip from New York to Lake Tahoe with a layover in San Francisco and get off there, without bothering to take the last leg of the flight. According to a court document, an unnamed male passenger booked a return flight from Oslo to Seattle, which had a layover in Frankfurt. The passenger used all legs of the outbound flight, but did not catch the Frankfurt to Oslo return flight. He instead flew on a separate Lufthansa reservation from Frankfurt to Berlin. The report adds that a Berlin district court dismissed the case in December last year, but the airline company is now appealing that verdict. Worth noting here that United Airlines has also tried its luck on this front -- to no dice.

Re:Seems like they don't have a "leg" to stand on

By Idarubicin • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

because A) your luggage B) where did we lose this person C) we now have to delay the flight to make sure our count is correct. D) is there a security risk to the plane.

A) your luggage This trick doesn't work with checked bags, since airlines tend to check bags through to the final destination. Hidden-city travel is a strictly carry-on-only tactic.

B) where did we lose this person They know where they lost you, since they scanned your boarding pass when you boarded the first flight, and they didn't scan your boarding pass at the gate for the connecting flight.

C) we now have to delay the flight to make sure our count is correct This is the only potentially obnoxious consequence--some airlines may delay a flight by a few minutes to allow a "lost" passenger to get to the gate. But if an airline has a takeoff slot they're not going to give it up to recover one wayward traveller. And they do a headcount of passengers on board before every flight anyway--if it matches the count they get from the scanned boarding passes, they're good to go.

D) is there a security risk to the plane Nope. They know that you and your carry-on were on the first plane, but that makes you no more dangerous to that aircraft than any other passenger. They know that you're not on the second plane, since you and your carry-on never boarded. They know you don't have a checked bag in the hold.

Star Alliance

By Misagon • Score: 3 • Thread

Lufthansa who are doing this in Germany, and United Airlines who tried this in the USA are both members of the Star Alliance.
They share programs, procedures and booking system with each other while not competing on the same routes, even though several of them both land and take off in the Germany.
Lufthansa is therefore not suing for creating precedence just for itself, but on behalf of all of its members.

So, if you'd want to boycott Lufthansa and/or United Airlines for this stunt, then you would probably want to boycott all of them.
Besides those two mentioned, they are:
Adria Airways, Aegean Airlines, Air Canada, Air India, Air New Zealand, All Nippon Airways, Asiana Airlines, Austrian Airlines. Avianca, Brussels Airlines, Copa Airlines, Croatia Airlines, EgyptAir, Ethiopian Airlines, EVA Air, LOT Polish Airlines, Scandinavian Airlines, Shenzhen Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, Swiss International Air Lines, TAP Air Portugal, Thai Airways and Turkish Airlines.

Re:This has always been stupid

By DamnRogue • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Years ago I had a friend flying to visit family in the UK. The cheapest available ticket flew Atlanta > Houston > Atlanta > London. The airline absolutely insisted that he fly Atlanta > Houston > Atlanta instead of getting on in the middle.

Stupidity all around.

The Happy Meal Analogy

By Macdude • Score: 3 • Thread

Let's look at a Happy Meal Analogy:
At McWendKing a burder is $5, fries $3 and soft drink $4. They also sell a Happy Meal (burder, fries and soft-drink) for $7. So I buy a Happy Meal, eat the burder and fries but leave the soft-drink cup on the pick up counter -- then the restaurant sues me for not filing my cup up at the fountain.

Re:Seems like they don't have a "leg" to stand on

By Solandri • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

The airlines are presumably hoping for some sort of regulatory capture to distort the market

It's not regulatory capture which distorts the market. It's a quasi-monopoly. The places I've seen this behavior (missing a leg of a flight) benefit passengers most is at airports where one airline dominates - a hub. Back when Northwest was still around, Detroit was one of their hubs. Something like 80% of all the flights in and out of Detroit were Northwest. That reduced competition meant that Northwest had undue influence over the pricing for tickets in and out of Detroit. They exploited that to charge excessively high prices for tickets starting and ending in Detroit.

But because Detroit was their hub, that meant a ton of flights between other cities made stopovers in Detroit to change planes. The other cities had plenty of competition so their fares were priced a lot closer to the airline's cost. That's what creates the opportunity for people to book flights between different cities at a lower price, and get off at Detroit (missing the last leg). So it's not strictly arbitrage per se, it's just bypassing the airline's quasi-monopoly pricing at a particular airport. (Higher pricing at airports with competition are usually due to fees charged by the different airports. e.g. Flights to/from Los Angeles International are cheaper than to/from Burbank, Long Beach, Ontario, or Orange County because the same agency operates all those airports but charges the lowest fees for LAX.)

I used a similar tactic to visit my sister for free when she was at the University of Michigan, and I was in Boston. Whenever I flew home to visit my parents in California, I'd book a flight with a layover in Detroit, and deliberately maximize the layover time (which gave me about 4 hours there). My sister would meet me at the airport, we'd go out and have a meal together and talk and catch up, and I'd take any presents she wanted me to bring my parents.

Tinder-Style App For Cows Tries To Help the Meat Market

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So you think the dating scene is like a meat market? Well, wait till you hear about the latest matchmaking app. From a report: Following the example of Tinder, UK farming start-up Hectare has launched its own equivalent for livestock and called it Tudder. The app features data profiles of animals from 42,000 UK farms in an effort to help farmers find the perfect breeding partner for their cattle. Farmers can view pictures of bulls or cows and swipe right to show interest. Hectare Agritech, which also runs online grain marketplace Graindex, says its aim is "reinventing farm trading - and making farmers' lives easier". It says it has raised more than $3.8 million from investors and organisations, including grant funding from government schemes, while tennis player Andy Murray is listed as one of its investors.

I hear there's a Bible Belt version coming out

By hyades1 • Score: 3 • Thread

It's a version of the app customized for rednecks. They're going to call it either Tinbred or Tsister.

The high tech farm industry.

By jellomizer • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

We all love to laugh at the farming industry, we picture rednecks with their pickup trucks, and their guns, just doing heavy labor.
However the farming industry is rather high tech, there is a lot more technology that goes on then a lot of silicon valley companies.
A lot of the Big Data, AI, Automation and Robotics technology that we are seeing going out to the normal public, have often been implemented in farms for years.

Being that these places need a lot of land to operate, they are often in remote locations, so tools like this article states, is a useful too to farmers to help cordenate their livestock with others.

What's new here?

By BringsApples • Score: 3 • Thread
Men have been using Tinder to showcase their meat for years now.

Re:I hear there's a Bible Belt version coming out

By quintus_horatius • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Hectare Agritech, which also runs online grain marketplace Graindex

Missed opportunity for Graindr

Xiaomi's Popular Electric Scooter M365 Can Be Hacked To Speed Up or Stop

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The fleets of electric scooters that have inundated cities are alarming enough as is. Now add cybersercurity concerns to the list: Researchers from the mobile security firm Zimperium are warning that Xiaomi's popular M365 scooter model has a worrying bug. From a report: The flaw could allow an attacker to remotely take over any of the scooters to control crucial things like, ahem, acceleration and braking. Rani Idan, Zimperium's director of software research, says he found and was able to exploit the flaw within hours of assessing the M365's security. His analysis found that the scooters contain three software components: battery management, firmware that coordinates between hardware and software, and a Bluetooth module that lets users communicate with their scooter via a smartphone app. The latter leaves the devices woefully exposed.

Idan quickly found that he could connect to the scooter via Bluetooth without being asked to enter a password or otherwise authenticate. From there, he could go a step further and install firmware on the scooter without the system checking that this new software was an official, trusted Xiaomi update. This means that an attacker could easily put malware on a scooter, giving herself full command over it. "I was able to control any of the scooter features without authentication and install malicious firmware," Idan says. "An attacker could brake suddenly, or accelerate a person into traffic, or whatever the worst case scenario you can imagine."

Re: Bluetooth....?

By Type44Q • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

Why the fuck does a scooter need Bluetooth,

They needed a killer feature and the 'buttplug built into the seat' idea - a safety feature to keep you on the scooter - was determined to be too ahead of its time...

Whatever worst case scenario I can imagine?

By wolrahnaes • Score: 3 • Thread

"An attacker could brake suddenly, or accelerate a person into traffic, or whatever the worst case scenario you can imagine."

I don't know, I can imagine some pretty amazing sequences of events that would be best described as "Rube Goldberg Final Destination directed by Michael Bay" but I'd be willing to bet that in reality "accelerate a person into traffic" is as bad as it'd ever get, and even that would assume the person somehow never thought to let go of the scooter. Everything else that's actually likely basically amounts to "make scooter rider fall down".

IBM's AI Loses To a Human Debater

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
The subject under debate was whether the government should subsidize preschools. But the real question was whether a machine called IBM Debater could out-argue a top-ranked human debater. The answer, on Monday night, was no. CNET: Harish Natarajan, the grand finalist at the 2016 World Debating Championships, swayed more among an audience of hundreds toward his point of view than the AI-powered IBM Debater did toward its. Humans, at least those equipped with with degrees from Oxford and Cambridge universities, can still prevail when it comes to the subtleties of knowledge, persuasion and argument. It wasn't a momentous headline victory like we saw when IBM's Deep Blue computers beat the best human chess player in 1997 or Google's AlphaGo vanquish the world's best human players of the ancient game of Go in 2017. But IBM still showed that artificial intelligence can be useful in situations where there's ambiguity and debate, not just a simple score to judge who won a game. "What really struck me is the potential value of IBM Debater when [combined] with a human being," Natarajan said after the debate. IBM's AI was able to dig through mountains of information and offer useful context for that knowledge, he said.

Possible bias?

By sheramil • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

The victory was decided by the audience, who knew they were listening to a machine, and they may have been biased against it for that reason. A couple of people may even have had a bias for the machine's argument for that reason.

Re:Possible bias?

By stevegee58 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Ben Shapiro and Jordan Peterson would have both "lost" in the judgement of any Left Coast audience.

We're so screwed

By fortythirteen • Score: 3 • Thread
Now they're building AI to construct persuasive arguments for any given position? It's amazing to watch the next millennia's caste system slowly come into fruition.


By Nidi62 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

When dealing with people, numbers are not the end all, be all. There are times when the quantitatively correct solution may not necessarily be the qualitatively correct one. Say for example there is a disease that can be treated through regular yet painful treatments at the cost of $1 million. There is a cure for the disease, with a one-time application that costs $1.5 million. Quantitatively the treatment course is the best option as it it cheaper. However, qualitatively, the cure is the best option as it reduces suffering.

For a more real world example, let's looks at the Titanic sinking and the classic "women and children first". From a purely quantitative point of view, it would have more optimal to prioritize men and women of economical or child-bearing productive age as they have the most benefit to society, then the children, and finally the elderly. However, no one would accept that solution as the most optimal one, neither then nor now.

Re: So universities determine intelligence?

By steveb3210 • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Plenty of state schools and the like also have world class professors.... At UMass I took AI with Andrew Barto who's co-authored the go-to text book for machine learning.

I took discrete math with Neil Immerman who proved NL=CoNL.

I took Abstract Algebra with Arunas Rudvalis who discovered one of the finite simple groups.

Not exactly intellectual slouches!

What It's Like To Work Inside Apple's 'Black Site'

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader shares an excerpt from a Bloomberg report: Apple's new campus in Cupertino, California, is a symbol of how the company views itself as an employer: simultaneously inspiring its workers with its magnificent scale while coddling them with its four-story cafe and 100,000-square-foot fitness center. But one group of Apple contractors finds another building, six miles away on Hammerwood Avenue in Sunnyvale, to be a more apt symbol. This building is as bland as the main Apple campus is striking. From the outside, there appears to be a reception area, but it's unstaffed, which makes sense given that people working in this satellite office -- mostly employees of Apple contractors working on Apple Maps -- use the back door. Workers say managers instructed them to walk several blocks away before calling for a ride home. Several people who worked here say it's widely referred to within Apple as a "black site," as in a covert ops facility.

Inside the building, say former workers, they came to expect the vending machines to be understocked, and to have to wait in line to use the men's bathrooms. Architectural surprise and delight wasn't a priority here; after all, the contract workers at Hammerwood almost all leave after their assignments of 12 to 15 months are up. It's not uncommon for workers not to make it that long. According to 14 current and former contractors employed by Apex Systems, a firm that staffs the building as well as other Apple mapping offices, they operated under the constant threat of termination. "It was made pretty plain to us that we were at-will employees and they would fire us at any time," says one former Hammerwood contractor, who, like most of the workers interviewed for this story, spoke on condition of anonymity because he signed a nondisclosure agreement with Apex. "There was a culture of fear among the contractors which I got infected by and probably spread."
Apex manages the workers it hires -- not Apple. "Following an inquiry from Bloomberg News, the company says, it conducted a surprise audit of the Hammerwood facility and found a work environment consistent with other Apple locations," reports Bloomberg.

"Like we do with other suppliers, we will work with Apex to review their management systems, including recruiting and termination protocols, to ensure the terms and conditions of employment are transparent and clearly communicated to workers in advance," an Apple spokesperson says in a statement.

Re:What's the story here?

By QuietLagoon • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

... An Apple contractor has a building that isn't as spiffy as the main Apple HQ? ..

"not as spiffy" seems to be an attempt to downplay the working conditions. As such, your message has confirmed how bad they are.

Bigger company = more mediocrity

By Quakeulf • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
This follows the rule of equilibrium in thermodynamics. Always have something in contrast to even out the rest. It comes naturally, and is why I would rather go out kicking and screaming than work for big tech.

Piece of cake compared to ...

By Qbertino • Score: 3 • Thread

... assembling iPhones somewhere in WangTang where killing yourself seems to be an attractive option.

Re:And we wonder why Apple Maps has problems.

By ctilsie242 • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

In some cases, contractors don't make that much more than the FTEs. I have seen places where management deliberately pits contractors versus the FTEs, where the FTEs are told that their jobs can be replaced at any time by the contractors, and the contractors are told how awesome the cool benefits the FTEs get, like the gym and such... which they will never get to see unless they become FTEs.

In my experience, in general you are never told how long your gig will be. Of course, when your gig ends, you will never be told face to face. Your badge just stops working in the door, and your stuff on your desk is either packed up and at the front desk... or is likely at a local pawn shop. If lucky, you might be asked to drive to the contractor office, just for them to demand your badge and stuff there.

Your best defense as a contractor? Five things:

First, you make sure your "fuck you" fund is kept at at least a year's salary. This is NOT an IRA, and not a savings. This is a fund whose goal is to keep your rent/mortgage paid, food on the table, your vehicle out of repossession, and you relatively sane. This way, when you get laid off, you can take time and get a "real" job, and not wind up taking another contract job out of desperation.

The second thing: As a contractor, always keep your LinkedIn profile up to date, your resume up to date, keep contacts going, go to various business events, keep a GitHub public repository full of goodies that show your stuff, and keep a job hunt going at a low level. That way, when some company has a good FTE position, you can leave the craziness of the contractor world behind for some stability.

The third thing: Get some certificates. Tech co-workers don't care, but showing you have a Sec+ helps you for government work. A RHCE, MCSE, or CCIE will get you past the HR firewall in most companies.

The fourth thing: You generally don't get any vacation time. Make sure you have a vacation fund where you can just take some time off. This will keep you from burning out. Burnout is common as a contractor, and it will kill your career.

The fifth thing: Start looking for a FTE job eventually, or else you get branded as a "contractor only" person. Someone to be hired and fired and who isn't worth paying a full time salary too. Having contract jobs, especially if they are short term, is bad for the resume after a while, as you get viewed as disposable, or the first person on the list to get the axe.

Re:What's the story here?

By QuietLagoon • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

...AA contractor. Not Apple.. ...

I didn't miss that point at all. Using contractors is a way Apple keeps costs low while being able to point to all the happy workers in its doughnut. It's like outsourcing to China, but in the US.

Reddit Users Are the Least Valuable of Any Social Network

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Reddit's latest funding round values its users at a lower price than any other social network. "The company announced Monday it had raised $300 million in its Series D investment round at a valuation of $3 billion," reports CNBC. "CNBC previously reported the company's annual revenue topped $100 million, according to sources familiar with the matter, and at 330 million monthly active users (MAUs), this would make Reddit's average revenue per user (ARPU) about $0.30." From the report: That estimate would make Reddit's ARPU significantly lower than other social networks, even those with similar MAUs. Twitter, for example, reported 321 MAUs for its latest quarterly report, and with annual revenue of about $3.04 billion in 2018, that would make its ARPU about $9.48. Facebook reported 2.32 billion MAUs in its latest report and ARPU of $7.37. Snap does not report global MAUs, but reported $2.09 ARPU in its latest quarterly report.

Pinterest, which has yet to go public but is preparing for an IPO this year, says on its website it has 250 million monthly users. Pinterest declined to comment on their revenue, but a September article in The New York Times said the company was on track to top $700 million in revenue for 2018. That would bring its ARPU to about $2.80. While Reddit's value per user is much lower than its peers, it is betting its access to a valuable demographic will appeal to advertisers and potentially even draw their dollars from larger rivals like Facebook and Google. The company said half of its MAUs are between the ages of 18 and 24.

Re:Least Valuable out of These Five Companies

By JaredOfEuropa • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
Perhaps Reddit is less inclined to peddle its users’ privacy for profit. After all that’s where all of these companies derive their “value” from.

Reddit isn't about selling out it users

By Darren Hiebert • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
Reddit users and their personal aren't being exploited for profit like other social networks. Simple as that. Reddit is a social network made to serve the users; not to serve the users as a dish to someone else. If others do not see Reddit users as a high commodity, all the better!

Re:Least Valuable out of These Five Companies

By PolygamousRanchKid • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Wasn't Slashdot's value written down to $0?

That would be an underachievement for Slashdot users if we were merely valued at $0.

I would hope that advertisers see us as a highly negative value.

In other words, advertising to us actually hurts their product sales.

Re:bad numbers

By Anonymous Brave Guy • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

I assume all of the big online companies would count that way. At least it's objective, and it's likely to give bigger numbers than any plausible alternatives I can think of.

I'm more interested in this:

While Reddit's value per user is much lower than its peers, it is betting its access to a valuable demographic will appeal to advertisers and potentially even draw their dollars from larger rivals like Facebook and Google. The company said half of its MAUs are between the ages of 18 and 24.

There is a reason that today's young adults are referred to as "Generation Me" in marketing circles and that the phrase "entitlement culture" is heard so often. As someone who has worked in this field, it's not particularly surprising to me that a business where so many of its users are young adults also has much lower revenue per user. If I were starting a new business today, the 18-24s would be literally the last age range I would want as my target market. They have little money, they tend to care more about experiences than possessions, and when they do spend they are heavily fashion-driven and quick to change. What is surprising is that Reddit reportedly thinks this is a valuable demographic.

Re:Least Valuable out of These Five Companies

By supremebob • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

I would think that Slashdot's eyeballs are pretty valuable, as most of us are probably 40+ year old IT workers with six figure salaries.

Compare that to Reddit, where most of their customers are broke college students sharing dumb memes with each other and downvoting everyone that disagrees with them.

Sure, most of us here are smart enough to use ad blockers, but it seems that Slashdot has found ways around that and snuck in enough sponsored content to keep them afloat.

New iPhones To Stick With Lightning Over USB-C, Include Slow-Charging 5W USB-A Charger In Box

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
For those hoping the next iPhone would ditch the Lightning port in favor of the more versatile USB-C port, you'll surely be disappointed by the latest rumor. "Japanese site Macotakara says that not only will the 2019 iPhone use Lightning, Apple will also continue to bundle the same 5W charger and USB-A to Lightning cable in the box," reports 9to5Mac. "This is seen as a cost saving measure. It seems that customers wanting faster iPhone charge times will still have to buy accessories, like the 12W iPad charger." From the report: The site explains that Lightning port is not going anywhere and Apple is resistant to changing the included accessories to maintain production costs. Apple can benefit from huge economies of scale by selling the same accessories for many generation. As such, Apple apparently will keep bundling Lightning EarPods, Lightning to USB-A cable, and the 5W USB power adaptor, with the 2019 iPhone lineup. This is disappointing as Apple began shipping an 18W USB-C charger with its iPad Pro line last fall, and many expected that accessory to become an iPhone standard too. Even if the iPhone keeps the Lightning port, Lightning can support fast-charging over the USB Type-C protocol. It's not clear if the cost savings of this decision would be passed on to consumers with lower cost 2019 iPhone pricing.

Re:bend over.

By JaredOfEuropa • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
As an Apple user I have to agree that there are not many compelling reasons left to upgrade. With many of the older models, Apple brought something exciting that was worth having: good performance upgrades, a convenient and secure (compared to the competition) fingerprint scanner, nice designs, better cameras... not necessarily being ahead of Android competitors, but still good reasons to get a new phone if you prefer iOS like I do. But the last few years have brought very little that I want. The phones are the same except for one new larger model, though they make 'em out of different material since the iPhone 7 IIRC, so trying to hold on to the newer ones feels like trying to hold a very thin wet bar of soap.

Moving to a standard USB-C connector would be nice though. Not enough reason in itself to upgrade the phone, but it would help. Now just be brave, end the thinness war, add a physical home button again with fingerprint scanner, give us a bezel instead of a notch, or just drop the front-facing camera completely (along with the inane face unlock) and add a small screen to the back of the phone for taking selfies. A lot of the recent stuff they have done such as the notch, dropping the headphone jack, face unlock, all feel like they are rather clumsy workarounds.

maintain production costs

By sad_ • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

"...Apple is resistant to changing the included accessories to maintain production costs."

understandable, they barely make a profit with selling price they're asking for those phones.

Re: The 5W charger is a joke

By stealth_finger • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Why would anyone want OS updates for 5 years and no Google watching your every move?

The people who want OS updates and no apple owning them?

$1200 for an upgraded 6S plus

By LostMyBeaver • Score: 3 • Thread
Give the exact same phone as the 6S plus with a longer battery and a faster CPU and I'll buy it before it ships. But no headphone jack and no touch ID is a deal breaker. I'm simply no wasting money on a phone which removes features. iPhone 6S Plus was the best phone Apple ever made. I'll keep repairing the one I have until Apple makes a legitimate replacement.

Face ID - nice feature, but doesn't actually add convenience.
Wireless charging - useless feature since I can't charge while watching the phone. The charger needs a cable anyway.
Edge to edge screen - means I can't use a protective cover to avoid breaking the glass and still be able to reach all parts of the screen. Also, holding the phone from the sides becomes difficult as it interferes with the text.
Swiping gestures to replace the home - means you have to swipe either side of the phone. If I use the phone right handed, I can manage this, but left handed, I end up dropping it all the time.

I upgraded from the iPhone X 256GB to the iPhone 6S plus and it was the biggest upgrade I ever made on a phone.


By sjbe • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

The site explains that Lightning port is not going anywhere and Apple is resistant to changing the included accessories to maintain production costs.

Just remember Apple is claiming to be eco-friendly while producing hundreds of millions of unnecessary, proprietary, and redundant connectors instead of using an industry standard USB-C cable that would accomplish exactly the same purpose AND waste less in the process. Not to mention that USB-C can transfer data faster (480Mbps vs 10Gbps), transfer more power (12W vs 100W), be double ended, and work with other devices.

When Lightning was introduced it was an improvement over the truly awful microUSB connectors. USB-C has eliminated any reason for Lightning to continue to exist other than profit seeking and vendor lock in.