the unofficial Slashdot digest for 2019-Apr-13 today archive

Paul Allen's Stratolaunch Finally Flies The World's Biggest Plane

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
"Stratolaunch, the aerospace venture founded by the late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, sent the world's biggest airplane into the air today for its first flight test," report GeekWire. The twin-fuselage plane, which incorporates parts from two Boeing 747 jumbo jets and has a world-record wingspan of 385 feet, took off from Mojave Air and Space Port in California for a flight that lasted two and a half hours. For more than seven years, Stratolaunch has been working with Mojave-based Scaled Composites on the project, which aims to use the plane as a flying launch pad for orbital-class rockets. The first flight test had been anticipated for months. "We finally did it," Stratolaunch CEO Jean Floyd said today during a briefing.

Stratolaunch's plane, which has been nicknamed Roc after a giant mythical bird, took off at 6:58 a.m. PT and went through a series of in-flight maneuvers, including roll doublets, yawing maneuvers, pushovers and pull-ups, steady heading side slips and simulated landing approach exercises. Stratolaunch said it reached a maximum speed of 189 mph and maximum altitude of 17,000 feet.... The plan ahead calls for further tests over the next 12 to 18 months, with the aim of getting the plane fully certified by the Federal Aviation Administration. Stratolaunch has already struck a deal to use Northrop Grumman's Pegasus XL rocket to send payloads weighing as much as 816 pounds (370 kilograms) to low Earth orbit...

Stratolaunch's air-launch system is designed to carry multiple rockets up to an altitude of about 40,000 feet, and then drop them into the air to fire up their rocket engines. The advantage of such a system is that it can take off from any runway that's long enough to accommodate the plane, fly around bad weather if need be, and launch a satellite into any orbital inclination.

Stratolaunch CEO Jean Floyd said their team had dedicated the flight to Paul Allen.

"[A]s the plane lifted gracefully from the runway, I did whisper a 'thank you' to Paul for allowing me to be part of this remarkable achievement."

Re:What's with the dual fuselages?

By AC-x • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

The original plan was to sling huge rockets in the middle, but the rockets are cancelled and so they're only launching the tiny Pegasus rockets now

Anyone know how they'll aim the rocket?

By Jeremi • Score: 3 • Thread

In my (admittedly layman's) understanding, one nice thing about launching from the ground is that you can keep your rocket aimed precisely straight-up at the moment of ignition (and hopefully thereafter as well, until it's time to deliberately modify the rocket's attitude).

Having the rocket strapped to (and then released from) an aircraft, on the other hand, introduces the possibility that when the rocket's engines ignite, the rocket will be pointing in some inappropriate direction and won't be able to re-orient itself "in time" (for whatever definition of "in time" applies in order for it to make it to its intended orbit).

Does anyone know the technique they plan to use to make sure their rockets are pointed in the right direction when they start producing thrust?

Re:Air Launch has no economic advantage

By quenda • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

the energy of 2.2lb (1kg) of payload at launch is approximately 275 kJ but to

Sorry, but you are doing the wrong maths. Rockets are not like cars, the important metric is delta-V, not energy.
Calculating kinetic energy to achieve orbit is a rookie error. - unless you happen to have a giant rail gun or space elevator.

This is why rocket "power" is always quoted in Newtons, not Watts.

Take a look at the Rocket Equation:
The maths is just simple algebra, no calculus needed - have fun!

Neither "energy" nor delta-V ( velocity/momentum) are the reason for air launch though.
It avoids problems of getting through the low, dense atmosphere, and you can have a more efficient rocket if it only has to operate in thinner air.

But Elon Musk stated that the total benefit amounted to 5% payload increase, so they scrapped the idea. Its easier to just build a 5% bigger rocket.

How well does it land in crosswinds?

By Michael Woodhams • Score: 3 • Thread

When an airplane lands in crosswinds (i.e. wind direction is not parallel to the runway) its nose is pointed at an angle to the runway. When it touches down, the plane needs to abruptly swivel so the nose is pointed down the runway, as now it is being directed by wheels rather than wind. In strong crosswinds, this operation looks really freaky. Here are crosswind landing videos.

Here we have a plane with landing gear much much further apart than any ordinary plane. I wonder whether this makes it harder to do that abrupt swivel? If so, the plane will have much greater restrictions on crosswind landings.

Flight video

By BlacKSacrificE • Score: 3 • Thread

For those wanting the unadulterated experience, including the slightly oddways landing.

Is The Linux Desktop In Trouble?

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
"I believe that, as Microsoft keeps moving Windows to a Desktop-as-a-Service model, Linux will be the last traditional PC desktop operating system standing," writes ZDNet contributing editor Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols.

"But that doesn't mean I'm blind to its problems." First, even Linus Torvalds is tired of the fragmentation in the Linux desktop. In a recent [December 2018] TFiR interview with Swapnil Bhartiya, Torvalds said, "Chromebooks and Android are the path toward the desktop." Why? Because we don't have a standardized Linux desktop. For example, better Linux desktops, such as Linux Mint, provide an easy way to install applications, but under the surface, there are half-a-dozen different ways to install programs. That makes life harder for developers. Torvalds wishes "we were better at having a standardized desktop that goes across the distributions."

Torvalds thinks there's been some progress. For software installation, he likes Flatpak. This software program, like its rival Snap, lets you install and maintain programs across different Linux distros. At the same time, this rivalry between Red Hat (which supports Flatpak) and Canonical (which backs Snap) bugs Torvalds. He's annoyed at how the "fragmentation of the different vendors have held the desktop back." None of the major Linux distributors -- Canonical, Red Hat, SUSE -- are really all that interested in supporting the Linux desktop. They all have them, but they're focused on servers, containers, the cloud, and the Internet of Things (IoT). That's, after all, is where the money is.

Linux desktop distros "tend to last for five or six years and then real life gets in the way of what's almost always a volunteer effort..." the article argues. "It is not easy building and supporting a Linux desktop. It comes with a lot of wear and tear on its developers with far too little reward."

His solution? Having a foundation create a common desktop for all Linux distros, so the Linux world could finally reap the benefits of standardization. "This would mean that many more Linux desktop developers could make a living from their work. That would improve the Linux desktop overall quality.

"It's a virtuous cycle, which would help everyone."

Well we were already there

By Casandro • Score: 3 • Thread

I mean the classical WIMP scheme does everything people want and designs have been refined fairly well on essentially every GUI out there. It's just that recent developments from all GUI makers (from Gnome to Windows) derive from that, putting design over usability.

I don't think it's worth chasing the "mobile user" as they will have Android (or IOS) anyhow. Getting rid of useful features in order to chase people who won't look at your product anyhow isn't worth it.

Re: Adapting it to YOUR needs is *the whole point*

By hazardPPP • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Windows is far and away the OS of choice for consumers and businesses. Why? Because anybody whose uses Windows at home knows how to use it at work. Repeat after me. The Linux user interface blows because itâ(TM)s not consistent.

Windows dominates because of technological lock-in. At one point it managed to grab by far the largest slice of the desktop market when it was young. The Linux desktop wasn't that much of a thing back then, it was too young and undeveloped to offer serious competition. Now everybody is used to Windows, and often has software that works only under Windows, hardware that works only under Windows, etc. It's a positive feedback loop, the fact that Linux desktops exist and actually work quite well on a variety of hardware (typing from a Linux distro right now) is a testament to the platform's resilience and capability.

The only OS seriously taking on Windows and thriving is one whose roots go further back than Windows, and which is made by a hardware manufacturer. Even that is a niche market and tied to only one hardware platform.

Meanwhile Linux has, via Android, become the Windows of the smartphone world. Due to the consistency of the user interface? Well, no, look at the differences between stock Android and the various manufacturer's flavours (Samsung, Xiaomi, Huawei LG, etc.), as well as the differences between Android versions (my phone recently upgraded to a new Android version and I flipped after realizing they moved around really important stuff, like where some settings I check and change often are, etc.). It's because Android grabbed the market while it was young. Windows too has changed its interface, Office at one point changed everything, yet Microsoft still dominates these markets...due to lock-in.


By thegarbz • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

(And another annoyance - Torvalds sees Snaps and Flatpaks as the "solution" to the package management/distro issue? Really? Yeah, let's just replicate the userland for each application you install to deal with what was a non-issue.)

Yes really. It's the natural end game for an entire system where libraries are maintained and update completely individually and programmers are forced code against a moving target. This shouldn't be a surprise. The whole point of a distribution, and what makes the maintaining of a distribution so difficult is the endless juggling of new versions of software and libraries and the inevitable incompatibilities between them.

If you want the most up to date software where you can happily install without any affect on your system what the vendor provides on they day of release then your only safe solution is a packaging system like Snaps or Flatpaks. The alternative is screwing with your system in ways the distribution maintainer doesn't expect.

The only time I've ever given up trying to repair a Linux system and flat out reinstalled the OS (aside from obvious malicious damage like deleting root recursively) was when someone years ago tried to get the latest version of some CCTV software on their Debian system. The distro version didn't support some feature so they added a repo for the current version, installed it, force updated some libraries, and by the time he was finished X stopped working, and the entire apt database was so screwed up that it was basically impossible to revert to a working system thanks to the library structure of Linux.

Snaps didn't get created in a vacuum. They are a solution to a real problem.

Re: Adapting it to YOUR needs is *the whole point*

By Computershack • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Windows is far and away the OS of choice for consumers and businesses. Why? Because anybody whose uses Windows at home knows how to use it at work. Repeat after me. The Linux user interface blows because itâ(TM)s not consistent.

Amen to that. In Windows CTRL-C and CTRL-P does Copy and Paste in everything. In Linux CTRL-C and CTRL-P does Copy and Paste in the desktop but switch to say CLI and you have to remember to use CTRL-SHIFT-C and CTRL-SHIFT-P and despite plenty of complaints about that over the years they still refuse to change it. Its little inconsistencies like that which get really annoying after a while.

Been there before

By sad_ • Score: 3 • Thread

There are already standard bodies for the linux desktop, that's

From their website:

"We also host discussion and development of specifications for interoperability. A full list is available at our specifications page.
These specifications mostly cover low-level desktop issues, such as identifying file types, launching applications, and exchanging data between applications and desktops. They are often called 'XDG' specifications, as an acronym for the Cross-Desktop Group."

the big DE's all follow these specifications.

I found this from the summary rather funny;

"Linus Torvalds is tired of the fragmentation in the Linux desktop. In a recent [December 2018] TFiR interview with Swapnil Bhartiya, Torvalds said, "Chromebooks and Android are the path toward the desktop.""

Chromebooks & Android are possibly even more fragmented then KDE vs Gnome!

Top US Congressman Says Silicon Valley's Self-Regulating Days 'Probably Should Be' Over

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
On the technology podcast Recode Decode, America's Speaker of the House, Democrat Nancy Pelosi, said that Silicon Valley's self-regulating days "probably should be" over. Recode reports: Pelosi said Silicon Valley is abusing the privilege of section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which says that internet companies are not responsible for what is posted on their platforms. "230 is a gift to them, and I don't think they are treating it with the respect that they should," she said. "And so I think that that could be a question mark and in jeopardy.... For the privilege of 230, there has to be a bigger sense of responsibility on it, and it is not out of the question that that could be removed."

Asked about Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren's proposal to break up Amazon, Google, and Facebook, Pelosi said she had not studied it closely. Instead, she more cautiously suggested that some agglomerations of power may be worth breaking up. "I know there could be some clear lines that we see in our community, of companies that maybe could be easily broken up without having any impact, one on the other," she said. "I'm a big believer in the antitrust laws, I think that's very important for us to have them and to use them, and to subject those who should be subjected to it. "

Re:Crybaby Republican can't be a nazi cuz TOS, aww

By dryriver • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
5 years from now you will not be able to do what you just did - post anonymously on a platform like Slashdot, because anonimity only has been made illegal. We'll see just whose inbred faggot ass goes crying to his mommy when that happens. =) THEEEEY TOOOK MYYYY ANOOONYYYMOUUUS COOOWARRRRD POOOSTIIING RIIIIIGHTSSS AWAAAAY !!!!! NOOOOOOOOOOOOO !!! WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA !!!

This isn't that hard.

By msauve • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
The issue was pretty well resolved decades ago with telcom - divide content/service providers from carriers. Current issues revolve around allowing the two to intermingle.

Re: Politician IQ needs raising first

By phantomfive • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
That kind of thing gives more power to lobbyists, because they don't retire, and continually gain experience in how to manipulate fresh politicians.

Re:They are moderating like mad

By cpt kangarooski • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

I personally agree that all of the major companies have long ago abandoned any pretense to being neutral platforms, and all should be excluded from 230 protections.

You idiot. The safe harbor of 47 USC 230 has nothing to do with being a neutral platform. In fact, the express goal was to encourage sites to remove 'unwholesome' content.

I think you need a brief history lesson:

Prior to the enactment of the safe harbor there were three applicable legal precedents. The first was the old rule that the publisher of defamatory content was responsible for it just as the author was, because they had the opportunity to review it and verify it. The second was Cubby, Inc. v Compuserve, Inc., 776 F.Supp. 135 (SDNY 1991), which held that online services that hosted defamatory content were not responsible for it if it was uploaded by the users without the knowledge or approval of the service. Basically, this gave sites protection so long as they didn't moderate. The third was Stratton Oakmont, Inc v. Prodigy Services, Co., 1995 WL 323710 (NY Sup. Ct. 1995) which held that if the online service moderated anything at all, then it was liable even for things that it approved, ignored, or had been in error about.

The result was predictable: the only two safe options were to 1) not moderate anything, which would lead to ads, spam, defamation, hate speech, etc. proliferating, or 2) not allow posting, which would prevent even benign users from having a voice.

At about the same time, Congress decided it wanted online services to take voluntary steps to remove porn from online. But none of the services were stupid enough to try, since they couldn't moderate everything perfectly, requiring them to either moderate nothing or not allow posting.

Exasperated, Congress gave the services protection -- if they moderated imperfectly it wouldn't be held against them, and as they couldn't compel moderation, it would be up to each site to determine how much or how little to do. Thus, a site could remove porn and spam and malware but allow users to talk with one another without careful policing of every single post.

Re:They are moderating like mad

By ShanghaiBill • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Then it gets flooded with actual Nazis. As in "blood and soil", Hitler did nothing wrong, genocide people based on genetics, real life fucking Nazis.

Even Nazis have a right to speak, and you have a right to disagree and speak back. That's what freedom means.

Ecuador Jails Swedish Programmer Over Alleged Ties To WikiLeaks

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes the Guardian: A judge in Ecuador has jailed a Swedish software developer whom authorities believe is a key member of WikiLeaks and close to Julian Assange, while prosecutors investigate charging him with hacking as part of an alleged plot to "destabilise" the country's government. Ola Bini, 36, was ordered to held in preventive detention on Saturday pending possible cyber-attack charges and his bank accounts were frozen. Prosecutors were examining dozens of hard drives and other material he had in his possession, according to local media reports...

On Thursday, Ecuador's interior minister, Maria Paula Romo, said they had identified a "key member of WikiLeaks" who was "close to Mr Julian Assange". Secret visitors' logs seen by the Guardian show that Bini was one of Assange's many visitors in Ecuador's embassy in Knightsbridge, west London.... Speaking to local media on Thursday, Romo said Ecuador was at risk of cyber attack, hinting Wikileaks could retaliate for the termination of Assange's asylum. She added the government did not want the country "to turn into an international [cyber] piracy centre"...

Last week, the government of president Lenin Moreno, 66, accused WikiLeaks of being involved in a campaign implicating Moreno and his family in corruption. Moreno, who has long expressed his unhappiness over Assange's asylum status, complained that "photos of my bedroom, what I eat and how my wife and daughters and friends dance" had been circulating on social media.

Value for the dollar!

By houstonbofh • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Boy, when Ecuador is bought, they sure go all in! The dollar really does go a long way there... And $4.2 of them even longer!

Ecuador Complains Julian Assange Was a Bad Housegust, Neglected His Pet Cat

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
The BBC reports that Ecuador's foreign minister Jose Valencia has been sharing complaints about Julian Assange's conduct during his stay in Ecuador's embassy -- for example, that Julian Assange "damaged the facilities by riding his skateboard and playing football, despite being told not to do so." Cleaning staff, Mr Valencia said, had described "improper hygienic conduct" throughout Assange's stay, an issue that a lawyer had attributed to "stomach problems". One unnamed senior Ecuadorean official told AP news agency that other issues included "weeks without a shower" and a "dental problem born of poor hygiene". Interior Minister Maria Paula Romo then complained that Assange had been allowed to do things like "put faeces on the walls of the embassy and other behaviours of that nature...."

Assange's stay at the embassy cost Ecuador some $6.5m (£5m) from 2012 to 2018, Mr Valencia said.

NPR reports that Julian Assange's cat also "arguably played a small role in Ecuador's decision to end its asylum agreement," citing remarks from Ecuador President Lenin Moreno: Moreno explained that Assange treated his hosts disrespectfully; late last year the embassy implemented a series of rules for Assange, including a requirement to be responsible for the "well-being, food, hygiene and proper care of your pet." If Assange didn't, the embassy threatened to put the cat in a shelter. In other words, it is likely that Assange didn't effectively clean up after his cat's own wiki-leaks...

The New Yorker reported in 2017 that Assange's interest in the cat was less as an animal lover and more as a master of his own brand. "Julian stared at the cat for about half an hour, trying to figure out how it could be useful, and then came up with this: Yeah, let's say it's from my children," the magazine quoted one of Assange's friends as saying. "For a time, he said it didn't have a name because there was a competition in Ecuador, with schoolchildren, on what to name him. Everything is P.R. -- everything."

Journalist James Ball, an early WikiLeaks employee (who left after three months) said Thursday on Twitter that he'd " genuinely offered to adopt" the cat -- but it was "reportedly given to a shelter by the Ecuadorian embassy ages ago."

Assange's legal team, however, tweeted in November that Assange had been outraged by embassy threats to send the cat to the pound, and asked his lawyers "to take his cat to safety. The cat is with Assange's family. They will be reunited in freedom."

Re:Don't believe it for a second

By squiggleslash • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

While the feces on walls thing is new, the not showering thing has been reported for several years.

Not that any of this has to do with whether Assange should be granted asylum or not (probably not, he was running from a rape investigation) or whether he should be being charged by the US as a party to Manning's "crimes" (probably not on that, no.) It suggests he's an asshole (but we already knew that about stuff that's actually important), I'm just saying that at least some of this, about the cat and the lack of personal hygene, is old news.

Also it's not even a wiki.


By jellomizer • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

From his rants and ravings, I expect this guy just isn't right in the head. Normally these "warriors of the norm" tend to have issues with basic common courtesy. Part of the outrage from what is considered normal for these people, because they just cannot understand normal conditions needed to live with other people.
Often, people who don't understand why people treat them poorly, they assume it is their fault, where it just may be them making others uncomfortable.

Being such an outsider is probably what drives him to do what he does, but it is also putting him into additional trouble. He was a guest of the Ecuador government, he seemed to think that the government is an unbreakable ally, not realizing that governments are just a group of people, the same groups of people he has a hard time dealing with.

Viewpoint by a law professor ...

By kbahey • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

This is a opinion piece by a US law professor: How likely is an Assange conviction in the USA.

The thing that Assange will be extradited for, is the password thing with Manning. The professor says this is no different than a journalist setting up a drop point for information.

Never the less, Assange will be convicted, and most likely new charges will magically appear once he is on US soil.

The issue here is not whether Assange has bad personal hygiene, or whether he is a self serving narcissist. The issue is freedom of the press in Western democracies, and the willingness to make an example out of him to deter others.

bbc read slashdot

By Cederic • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

After I finally heard the BBC reporting on the radio this morning that Wikileaks have advised that the cat is ok.

No mention of how Assange is doing, but at least they finally covered the important aspect of the story.


By hdyoung • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Yes, a fair bit of it is spin, misinformation and gaslighting, and the US clearly got Ecuador to come over to it's side on the matter. I have no illusions about my own country. Initially, the US was doing everything in it's power to screw with him from any angle that it could, then for a few years they were content to keep him bottled up, but eventually decided to end the game and bring him in.

That being said, there's been enough coverage get a clear picture of him beyond the hype - he's a controlling megalomaniac who thought that he could hold his own playing power-geo-politics in the same arena as the US and Russia. The man thought that he could go toe-to-toe with a frikkin superpower. Talk about delusions of grandeur.

Wikileaks was a noble idea at the very start but it quickly got corrupted, and Assange himself is mostly to blame. If you're going to run a clean free-information clearinghouse, then you treat all submitted information the same and release it all in the same matter. Assange wasn't doing this. He was releasing some info, holding other info back, and timing the releases in order to settle scores and make points with whomever he chose. Sorry, you don't get to do that and simultaneously claim victimhood or nobility. Well, you can, but anyone with (IQ>90) isn't gonna buy it.

Flat Earther Now Wants to Launch His Homemade Rocket Into Space

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
At a flat-earth conference in May, Mad Mike Hughes will announce details of " an Antarctic expedition with the goal of reaching the edge of the prove once and for all that this Earth is flat." But before that, he's heading for outer space.

An anonymous reader quotes PhillyVoice: If you recognize the name Mad Mike Hughes, it's likely because he strapped himself into a rocket last March and traveled three-tenths of a mile into the heavens in the name of Flat Earth awareness. (See for yourself!) Well, nearly a year to the date after that momentous achievement, the limousine-driving daredevil and gubernatorial candidate has announced he's building upon the lessons learned last year and pushing the limits even further...

We caught up with him Thursday afternoon on the phone from California where he was "putting decals on the rocket right now!" Before any sort of Antarctica excursion, he's planning for a May 9 launch either in New Mexico "or the middle of the ocean if the government tries to stop me..." He hopes to reach the Kármán line, some 62.8 miles above Earth where space begins. "That way, we'll see what shape this rock really is," he said.

"More people will watch this than those who watched the fake moon landing. It will be an incredible, incredible event. People will see what I'm seeing for three hours up there and back and they'll be able to make up their own minds.... I'm the only guy capable of actually proving what shape this rock is, and that's by going up into space to do it."

The Science Channel is now filming Hughes' progress. (Here's a slick trailer for an upcoming documentary called "Rocketman".)

And Hughes says he's also claimed the legal entities that famous people are operating under, including Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, and Warren Buffett, putting these powerful people in a precarious position because now "they can't even exist..."

"I have a lot of court cases going on."

Ooooh, it is round...

By Stolpskott • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

So, he goes up to space, sees that the edge of the world is not a straight line, and that the earth curves. So to maintain his "flat earth" delusion, he will come back and announce that the earth is actually a flat plate?
Aside from the fact that I would *never* wish harm on another human being, I really hope that when he lands, he does not land on his head. There is probably not much inside it to be damaged, but it might leave a sizeable crater.

A fail will not change their beliefs

By fbobraga • Score: 3 • Thread
I recommend this documentary:

Re:Why not a balloon?

By Immerman • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

I think it's more a matter of a DIY rocket enthusiast catering to flat-earthers in order to fund his hobby. Fools and their money and all that.

Re:An antarctic expedition?

By jwhyche • Score: 4 • Thread

Antarctic doesn't suffer dumbasses lightly. Odds are he will wonder off in to the wilderness down there and we won't hear from him again till the spring thaw. A little math shows that should be a 100 million years, give or take.

I tell you there is money to be made off these fools. If we can just get pictures of the turtle then we are gold.

Re:An antarctic expedition?

By jwhyche • Score: 4 • Thread

Humm... The world is flat and I can constructed a computer model to prove it. All I need us a dual socket threadripper 2990WX with 256 GB RAM, 32 TB of SSD, and Quad RTX 2080Ti's.

Amazon and Google Fight Bill That Prohibits Secretly Recording You

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes Vice: On Wednesday, the Illinois State Senate passed the Keep Internet Devices Safe Act, a bill that would ban manufacturers of devices that can record audio from doing so remotely without disclosing it to the customer. But after lobbying from trade associations that represent the interests of Google, Amazon -- makers of the microphone-enabled Google Home and Alexa smart speakers, respectively -- and Microsoft, among other companies, the interests of big tech won out... In its current, neutered form, the bill provides exclusive authority to the Attorney General to enforce the Act, which means regular citizens won't be able to bring forward a case regarding tech giants recording them in their homes.
Ars Technica notes the move comes after Amazon admitted thousands of their employees listen to Alexa recordings -- "something not mentioned in Echo's terms of service or FAQ pages."

Vice points out that sometimes those recordings are shared "even after users opt out of having their data used in the program."

That is not already illegal?

By gweihir • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Because in any sane legal system, it is.

Did they at least call ii the "Big Brother" Act?

By Grog6 • Score: 3 • Thread

"Someone to claim us, someone to follow
Someone to shame us, some brave Apollo
Someone to fool us, someone like you" - Bowie

âoeBig Brother is Watching You.â

âoeWar is peace.
Freedom is slavery.
Ignorance is strength.â

âoeThe best books... are those that tell you what you know already.â

âoeNow I will tell you the answer to my question. It is this. The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from the oligarchies of the past in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just around the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now you begin to understand me.â
â George Orwell, 1984

Truth isn't Truth. - Rudy Giuliani, speaking of Trump's Lies to America

Doesn't make sense

By jetkust • Score: 3 • Thread
Didn't they already consent to being recorded by buying a device that's entire purpose is to record them?

And so, of the four US political parties ...

By CaptainDork • Score: 3 • Thread

... comprised of Republicans, Democrats, Evangelical Christians and Capitalists, chalk one up for that last one.

Re:Doesn't make sense

By pauljlucas • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Didn't they already consent to being recorded by buying a device that's entire purpose is to record them?

No. It's right there in the summary (emphasis mine):

... the move comes after Amazon admitted thousands of their employees listen to Alexa recordings -- "something not mentioned in Echo's terms of service or FAQ pages."

There's a difference between Amazon recording you for the purpose of Alexa (a computer program) listening to those recordings and employees (humans) listening to those recordings --- the latter is not disclosed.

George Lucas Actually Consulted For The Script Of 'Star War: Episode IX'

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
The teaser trailer for Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker has been viewed 13,665,350 times since its release Friday.

Collider reminds us that while George Lucas oversaw the original Star Wars trilogy and worked on its prequel trilogy, the final three movies in the franchise had moved ahead without direct involvement from the 74-year-old director: To recap, Lucas sold Lucasfilm to Disney in 2012, setting Kathleen Kennedy as the new head of Lucasfilm and handing over his treatments for Episode VII, Episode VIII, and Episode IX -- the final three films in his Skywalker saga. Kennedy and J.J. Abrams reportedly threw out much of what Lucas handed over (much to the Star Wars director's chagrin) in favor of charting their own path, and Lucas has been pretty mum on the new direction of Star Wars under Disney thus far -- save for high praise heaped on Rogue One and a visit to the set of Solo after Ron Howard took over the director's chair.

But it appears everything has come full circle, as Abrams revealed at Star Wars Celebration in an interview with IGN that when he signed on to direct Star Wars 9, he consulted Lucas before beginning work on the script. "This movie had a very, very specific challenge, which was to take eight films and give an ending to three trilogies, and so we had to look at, what is the bigger story? We had conversations amongst ourselves, we met with George Lucas before writing the script," Abrams revealed...

Having seen the Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker trailer, this makes sense. The film looks to be leaning heavily on the original trilogy given the inclusion of that medal, the Death Star, and of course the return of Emperor Palpatine. And given Abrams' comments here, it sounds like he was very strongly thinking about Star Wars 9 as a conclusion to the entire Star Wars saga.

After that conclusion, Disney CEO Bob Iger says, "There are movies in development, but we have not announced them. We will take a pause, some time, and reset because the Skywalker saga comes to an end with this ninth movie.

" There will be other Stars Wars movies, but there will be a bit of a hiatus."


By kackle • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Wait, there's a FOURTH Star Wars movie?

That's not Palatine laughing at the end

By OzPeter • Score: 3 • Thread

It's Lando laughing while flying the Millennium Falcon as he mows down a surprise return of Jar Jar .. well that's what I am hoping for!

Lucas’ sage advice

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

“We can fix it in post.

Even post-release.”

I bet that there will be SW X, XI, XII and so on..

By kiviQr • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
...Disney did not buy it to sit on it but to make loads of $$$.

Star Wars post-Palpatine reboot

By CanEHdian • Score: 3 • Thread

Whatever happened after the 2nd Death Star blew up should be rebooted. There never was a 'first order' that was able to amass an army without anyone knowing about it. Or that weird weaponry.

I can believe an Imperial Remnant. I can believe the Emperor lying about the entire fleet being there. I can even believe task forces (a dreadnought with several Star Destroyers and auxiliary vessels) being sent on secretive missions and being too far away to recall. But I believe NONE of that First Order stuff they're trying to push down our throats.

Hopefully Disney will sell the franchise and we'll see a reboot.

Is Microsoft Quietly Lobbying Against Right-To-Repair Legislation?

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
Microsoft "has been quietly lobbying against Right to Repair legislation, which would prevent Microsoft from penalizing customers when they open up their devices," claims MSPoweruser: Jeff Morris, Democratic member of the [Washington state] House of Representatives claims Microsoft has blocked legislation from being passed despite strong bipartisan support. In an interview on iFixit's Repair Radio [YouTube], Rep. Jeff Morris said that "word on the street" was that Microsoft, "marshalled forces to keep the bill from moving out of the House Rules committee." He claimed "there was a tax proposal here ... to pay for STEM education," and that "in exchange for Microsoft support[ing that tax,] having Right to Repair die..." was a condition, as well as another privacy policy Microsoft wanted to advance.
The state representative hedged that "I can't confirm or deny this, because I have not seen a smoking gun."

But he also told his interviewer that to paint a discouraging picture of the landscape after passage of the bill, "Microsoft was going around telling our members that they wouldn't sell Surface Tablets in Washington any longer."

Wrong definition

By omnichad • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

which would prevent Microsoft from penalizing customers when they open up their devices

That's not right to repair. That's settled case law under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. Right to repair is about availability of parts and documentation.

No, of course not

By NoNonAlphaCharsHere • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
The company that brought us the BSA and their reign of terror would NEVER stoop so low as to prevent consumers from doing whatever they want with the property they paid for.

Not much of a threat.

By Pezbian • Score: 3 • Thread

"I'm going to take my ball and go home!" is only a threat if the ball isn't flat and somehow infected with herpes.

GNU GPLv3 At the Heart of the Black Hole Image

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
arnieswap quotes TFIR's report on the black hole image: Free and Open Source software was at the heart of this image. The team used three different imaging software libraries to achieve the feat. Out of the three, two were fully open source libraries. The source code of the software is publicly available on GitHub.

Richard M Stallman, the founder of the GNU Project will be glad to see that both libraries (Sparselab and ehtim) are released under GNU GPL v3. Yes, you read it right – GNU GPL v3.

Free Software Won?

By martiniturbide • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
Maybe free software already won the "software wars", now I think there should be a fight against the "close source cloud".

Matlab is doing fine for now, but future uncertain

By cerberusss • Score: 3 • Thread

I've worked at a national institute in Europe and worked on software for reading out infrared cameras for space-observing satellites. Everywhere around me, both scientists and engineers, were replacing (or trying to replace) Matlab and other commercial software with Python. There were some Fortran holdouts, but these were also migrating to Python. Software engineers used C++ for the core, but these were little nuggets that shoved data from custom electronics to ethernet, and then Python would pick up the packets.

For some specific stuff, especially electronics engineers were not replacing Matlab. For instance to model electromotors. Mechanical engineers likewise. I never knew what they were using, but open source was not used anywhere at our institute. But the rest: Python, NumPy and SciPy.

you read it right – GNU GPL v3

By manu0601 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

you read it right – GNU GPL v3

Why is it remarkable? Is it because it is weird since the G of GPL already means GNU?

China's Largest Image Provider Suspends Site After Falsely Claiming Copyright On 'Black Hole' Photo

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes Reuters: China's largest stock images provider, Visual China Group, shut its website and apologized on Friday after it falsely claimed copyright of images such as the first photo of a black hole and China's national flag. The company, which partners with U.S. photo agency Getty Images, said in a post on its official Weibo account the incident revealed its weak management and that it was cooperating with authorities investigating the matter. Shares in the company slumped by the maximum 10 percent allowed. The topic "Visual China apologises" was among the most-read items on China's Twitter-like Weibo platform on Friday, with over 250 million views...

The country's leaders have pledged to do more to protect intellectual property rights amid complaints by the United States and other key trading partners about the theft of such assets. Elliot Papageorgiou, the Shanghai-based head of the IP practice at law firm Clyde & Co., said Visual China's use of the black hole image was embarrassing due to the photo's high profile. "It comes at an inconvenient time because China is trying hard to get recognition for some positive steps it is taking to protect intellectual property," he said.

The company had claimed to have received authorization for using the photo -- though not for commercial purposes -- from the European Southern Observatory. But today the government-owned China Daily newspaper notes that "The European Southern Observatory, responding to questions from the National Business Daily in an email, said Visual China never contacted it for any purpose regarding the image. It said Visual China did not need to ask for authorization to reproduce the image provided the credit was clear and visible, but 'the behavior of using the so-called authorization as a copyright to sell the image in China and profit from it is illegal...'"

"The official accounts of many large companies, including Baidu, Phoenix News Media, major retailer Suning and Qihoo 360, an internet security company, also left comments about having found their logos on Visual China with a copyright claim."


By Travelsonic • Score: 3 • Thread
Stock photo sites have their uses, but I can't help but get the vibe that they absolutely need some form of control placed upon them - especially with some of the shit Getty et-all does.

Give and take

By Solandri • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
This is a long-standing flaw in copyright law (and related laws like the DMCA). The law outlines penalties for violating copyright, but none for overreaching copyright claims. For a protective law to work, there has to be penalties for abusing that protection. You can call the police for protection if your house is being burglarized. But if you call them too often when there's no burglar, they'll charge you with filing a false police report to make you stop.

I'm shocked, shocked.

By fuzzyfuzzyfungus • Score: 3 • Thread
I, for one, am utterly shocked that a Getty associated company would be up to something rampantly sleazy. The fact that a Chinese outfit has started to move away from just ignoring copyright in favor of attempting to abuse it is incrementally more novel, though also not terribly surprising.

It's funny how the people who attempt to outright seize control of the creative works of others are always so enthusiastic about insisting that the ones who make clandestine copies but don't even try to dispute ownership are the 'pirates'.

New York City Orders Mandatory Measles Vaccinations in Brooklyn

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
"New York City officials on Tuesday declared a public health emergency and ordered mandatory measles vaccinations" in an area where most of the state's 285 measles cases have occurred. The Washington Post reports: New York's mandatory vaccination order in four Brooklyn zip codes is by far the toughest action to date by state or local officials, as the disease's tally grows to 465 cases in 19 states. Officials there and elsewhere have sought to bar unvaccinated children from schools and other public places but have had limited success... The mandate orders all unvaccinated people in four zip codes to receive inoculations, including children as young as 6 months. Anyone who resists faces a misdemeanor charge and could be fined up to $1,000.
Long-time Slashdot reader Major Blud shares a BBC report that under the order, "any person living in the affected areas who has not been vaccinated must be immunised within 48 hours."

Re:That's an Unamerican sentiment

By drewsup • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Most of the Jewish people there are natural born citizens . They do lead an insular lifestyle, but last I heard, that is not illegal.
You need to be more careful, your Nazi armband was showing just a bit there...

Re: end the nonsense

By ClickOnThis • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Calm down. From the article:

There are no strictures against vaccines in the Jewish religion and the overwhelming majority of American Jews are vaccinated. The reasons for the explosion of cases among members of insular, ultra-orthodox communities has more to do with their frequent contacts with Israel, which is undergoing its own measles crisis, combined with their insularity and general mistrust of government, say health officials.

In addition, a misinformation campaign, including phone calls, voice mails and pamphlets has targeted the community, say health officials and immunization advocates. One widely distributed booklet not only cites various rabbis questioning the obligation to vaccinate children, but also advances anecdotes and statistics in an attempt to connect vaccinations to physical harm and death.

[bold emphasis mine]

Re:end the nonsense

By Chris Mattern • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

....aaand if the vaccines work so well, then all those who aren't the anti-vaxxers will be perfectly safe, right?


1. There are about 5% or less of those vaccinated for whom it doesn't "take". There's no easy way to test for this.

2. There are those who legitimately can't be vaccinated. Those who have compromised immune systems. For some vaccines, those who are too young.

3. Vaccines hold out the promise of completely eradicating a disease, like we did smallpox. Anti-vaxxer are working to ensure reservoirs of diseases remain in existence.

I think herd immunity is bullshit...

No, it's not. It's amazing how many people think herd immunity is some sort of mystical concept, when it's really very simple and straightforward If almost everyone in a community is immune, then there is no one the few who are not can catch the disease from. It's just that simple.

Re:end the nonsense

By AK Marc • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

I think herd immunity is bullshit.

Do you believe in Smallpox?

Do you believe that there was ever a point in time where 100% of the planet was vaccinated? If you aren't sure, the answer is "no".

Smallpox is proof of herd immunity. Enough people were vaccinated that there were no vulnerable people to be infected, so the disease died off. That's the goal for all disease, but some people work extraordinarily to see that disease persist.

The only way to not believe in reality is to simply be delusional. That invalidates your opinion as well as most of your (incorrect) facts.

Re:Alcohol-related deaths down

By SlaveToTheGrind • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

I think you may be mixing up percentage driving under the influence with percentage involved in fatal crashes. From the study in the first link in your Google search:

The proportion of persons driving under the influence of alcohol is estimated at 2.1% (95% CI: 1.4–2.8) and under the influence of cannabis at 3.4% (2.9%-3.9%). Drivers under the influence of alcohol are 17.8 times (12.1–26.1) more likely to be responsible for a fatal accident , and the proportion of fatal accidents which would be prevented if no drivers ever exceeded the legal limit for alcohol is estimated at 27.7% (26.0%-29.4%). Drivers under the influence of cannabis multiply their risk of being responsible for causing a fatal accident by 1.65 (1.16–2.34) , and the proportion of fatal accidents which would be prevented if no drivers ever drove under the influence of cannabis is estimated at 4.2% (3.7%-4.8%).

Are Phone-Addicted Drivers More Dangerous Than Drunk Drivers?

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
After crunching data on 4.5 billion miles of driving, road-safety analytics company Zendrive concludes there's a new threat which just last year claimed the lives of 6,227 pedestrians: drivers "under the influence of a smartphone."

The study points out that drunk driving fatalities peak after midnight, while distracted driving happens all day, conluding that distracted driving is now a bigger threat than drunk driving. schwit1 shares this report from Axios: "Phone addicts are the new drunk drivers," Zendrive concludes bluntly in its annual distracted driving study. The big picture: The continued increase in unsafe driving comes despite stricter laws in many states, as well as years of massive ad campaigns from groups ranging from cell phone carriers to orthopedic surgeons. "They hide in plain sight, blatantly staring at their phones while driving down the road," Zendrive says in the study.

And it's a growing problem. Over just the past year, Zendrive, which analyzes driver behavior for fleets and insurers, said the number of hardcore phone addicts doubled, now accounting for one in 12 drivers. If the current trend continues, that number will be one in five by 2022.

The report concludes drivers are 10 percent more distracted this year than last -- and that phone addicts have their eyes off the road for 28% of their drive. Yet when asked to describe their driving, 93% of phone addicts said they believed they were "safe" -- or "extremely safe" -- drivers.

One even insisted that they never texted while driving, "but I like to FaceTime my friends while driving since it makes time go by faster."

Prediction: We're in the 1960s again on this

By bjdevil66 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Except instead of willful ignorance on drunk driving ("Get off our backs - everybody does it, and it's not that dangerous,"), it's the selfish "phone drunks".

Like drunk drivers, they're really easy to spot. They subconsciously drive a little slower while (in any lane). They fade in and out of their lanes - especially on freeway curves. They do it with extra good posture (perhaps they think that helps them navigate safely?) The worst ones are the ones holding their phones up in front of their faces and talking at them, trying to watch the road with peripheral vision - with no shame.

After a few more high profile deaths and political pressure, and a few of those "after school special" movies about cell phone driving killing children, we'll see an overly strict set of punitive laws that nail cellphone users while they drive (by the 2030s).

Maybe driverless technology will finally be the real solution for those who have to be able to "to FaceTime my friends while driving since it makes time go by faster." (Oh man... And least she was honest. And yeah, $100 says it was a she (under 25). Most dudes would never admit to that, and only someone that young would be that vain and foolish about life...)

Not Just Dangerous

By kackle • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
Sometimes dangerous, but frequently "in the way". I can tell a phone user as I approach from behind before I can directly see them using it: He's the one who's driving slower than everyone else, weaving out of the lane, or who doesn't see that the light has turned green, causing others to get caught by the red light - basically wasting everyone's time due to their selfish habit.

Fed up one day, I held the horn at one before she finally looked up at me (ignoring horns, really?). I pretended to text in midair so she could see me - she flipped me off... At least I know she can use more than her thumbs.

Re:No.... because phones can be used hands-free

By DCFusor • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
You are wrong about this, sorry. There's a huge difference between a hands-free phone and someone in the vehicle, whose own life is at stake and who has at least a little situational awareness. A sales droid pretending to be in his office while actually at a dangerous intersection can't say "hold on a sec" - while with a passenger, there is simply no need for that. When driving around with some of my employees, they even developed a system to help the driver at dangerous spots, say turning left across traffic at a nearly blind intersection. The person in the passenger set would monitor traffic coming from that direction and say "green, green green" or "red red red" - idea borrowed from one of the hotshots movies - as it was his own butt on the line if the driver missed a suddenly appearing car from that direction while trying to also look the other way.
I have a car with a built in hands-free phone. I learned this quickly, the person on the other end can't see you and doesn't know when to shut up, at the very least, or why you might suddenly need to pay full attention. I quit using it other than to order pizza from a custom place I'd be passing on my way home.

Re:Yes Stand at a busy corner and watch

By Christopher Fritz • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

I won't even cross when there are cars in the right-hand lane at a corner unless the driver has fully stopped at the corner and looked right at me (so I know they know I am there). This even applies to when I have the signal light to cross (as opposed to no traffic lights), because I could be stepping out into the street and still have someone speed up to the corner, slow a little, then turn and pass right in front of me.

Plenty of people slow down as they reach the corner, while looking at the phone by their lap, glance up to the left to ensure there's no oncoming traffic, then look back down and make their right-turn without looking for pedestrians. Since I don't drive, I get in a lot of walking, and see this all the time.


By Anonymous Coward • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

What is there to gain by "briefly looking" that just can't wait until later? What's the likelihood of reading a text that requires immediate action on your part? And if it does, then the 'look' isn't so brief anymore. Isn't it better to just remain alert and observant at intersections even if it's extremely boring; what's the harm in that?

Hackers Publish Personal Data On Thousands of US Police Officers, Federal Agents

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from TechCrunch: A hacker group has breached several FBI-affiliated websites and uploaded their contents to the web, including dozens of files containing the personal information of thousands of federal agents and law enforcement officers, TechCrunch has learned. The hackers breached three sites associated with the FBI National Academy Association, a coalition of different chapters across the U.S. promoting federal and law enforcement leadership and training located at the FBI training academy in Quantico, VA. The hackers exploited flaws on at least three of the organization's chapter websites -- which we're not naming -- and downloaded the contents of each web server. The hackers then put the data up for download on their own website, which we're also not naming nor linking to given the sensitivity of the data. The spreadsheets contained about 4,000 unique records after duplicates were removed, including member names, a mix of personal and government email addresses, job titles, phone numbers and their postal addresses. The FBINAA could not be reached for comment outside of business hours. If we hear back, we'll update. "We hacked more than 1,000 sites," said the hacker. "Now we are structuring all the data, and soon they will be sold. I think something else will publish from the list of hacked government sites." When asked if they were worried that the files they put up for download would put federal agents and law enforcement at risk, the hacker said: "Probably, yes." The hacker claimed to have "over a million data" [sic] on employees across several U.S. federal agencies and public service organizations.

Already been done...

By sdinfoserv • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
4000 records, small potatoes. The OPM hack did the same thing on a much larger scale 4 years ago. Back in 2015 the Federal Office of Personnel Management had their UN-ENCRYPTED files taken containing every single current and past Federal employee, and everyone who had ever applied for a top secret clearance. Over 21M people's personal information was taken, where as this was only 4000 unique records... .

Oh, the irony ...

By timholman • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

This incident (among many others) should be kept in mind when the FBI and other federal law enforcement agencies insist on backdoor keys for smartphone and computer encryption.

Federal agencies that can't their own data secure certainly won't be able to keep yours secure.

I suspect this is just the start. . .

By Salgak1 • Score: 3 • Thread

Assange's "Deadman Switch" clicked last night (and you have to love the file dates. . .)

And the "insurance torrents" are all back up:

Re:People abusing positions of power

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Police cannot just tap a family members phone. The paranoid crap on here is not even close to how things actually work. It takes a near act of god to get a Title III wiretap. The Justice dept has to sign off and all other possible investigative methods must be exhausted.

LMFAO, yes all cops play by the book. Same for the people working in the telecoms companies, nobody has ever misused their position.

A million data [sic] --- ?

By DavenH • Score: 3 • Thread
Why 'sic' when it's grammatically correct?

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings To Depart Facebook Board of Directors

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings will not be nominated for re-election at the company's 2019 annual stockholders meetings, Facebook said on Friday. CNBC reports: Hastings has served on the board of the social media company since 2011. The company said it will also not be re-nominating Erskine Bowles the president emeritus of the University of North Carolina, and it will instead nominate Peggy Alford, PayPal senior vice president of core markets. The addition of Alford, an African-American woman, comes as Facebook and other Silicon Valley companies strive for the inclusion of more women and minorities in their boards and throughout their workforces.

Hastings departure had been talked about for some time due to Facebook's growing interest in video services, according to Andrew Ross Sorkin. In 2017, Facebook launched Watch, its video streaming service, and last year, the company released IGTV, its Instagram video streaming app. Hastings' departure comes about three years after he got into a tussle with fellow board member Peter Thiel over their political leanings. In an August 2016 email, Hastings told Thiel that he planned to dock his performance review over his endorsement of then Republican Presidential-nominee Donald Trump, according to a New York Times report.

Merit Considered Harmful

By Kunedog • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

The addition of Alford, an African-American woman, comes as Facebook and other Silicon Valley companies strive for the inclusion of more women and minorities in their boards and throughout their workforces.

Nothing says "We don't care about qualifications or achievement" more than "striving" to promote job candidates based on two attributes they were born with.


By LostMyAccount • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

My guess is she's better than you think. It's probably a real job with real responsibilities that has a really high income. And if she was half-smart, she'd also know that a black female executive who's actually good at her job is worth a giant pay premium to many companies for the black and female part.

It seems kind of ironic, but so many companies need/want to virtue signal their ethnically diverse makeup that they're fairly desperate to retain and promote female, and especially black female, executives, and will pay premiums to keep the ones that are average-or-better in their positions.

My wife (who isn't black) actually squeezed more money out of her employer for this reason. Her boss actually told her that female executive recruiting and retention was a big deal to global management ("You're actually on a high-value, high achievers list at corporate in Dublin."), and despite getting a bunch of unrequested deferred compensation thrown at her, she also asked for a big raise and they didn't even negotiate, they just gave it to her.

My guess is Peggy Alford doesn't give a shit whether some right wing cranks think she's only where she's at because she's female or black, she's too busy cashing checks and figuring out her new company-supplied Mercedes.

Baby With DNA From Three People Born In Greece

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
A baby with DNA from three people has been born in Greece following a controversial fertility treatment. "The doctors behind the treatment, from Greece and Spain, say it marks a historic advance -- it is the first time an in vitro fertilization (IVF) technique involving DNA from three people has been used with the aim of addressing fertility problems," reports The Guardian. From the report: The experimental IVF treatment, known as mitochondrial donation, involves using an egg from the mother, sperm from the father and another egg from a female donor. The vast majority of a person's genes -- about 99.8% -- are found on the 23 pairs of chromosomes that sit inside the nucleus in each cell in the body, and in the IVF procedure this DNA comes from the two parents. However, a tiny proportion of genetic material also resides in a cell's mitochondria, small structures that act as the cell's batteries and float around freely in the cell body. In mitochondrial donation, the mother's mitochondria are removed from her egg and replaced by a donor's.

The treatment was originally developed as a treatment that could prevent women with debilitating or even fatal mitochondrial diseases from passing them on to their children. The doctors behind the latest treatment claim that mitochondria also play a role in successful pregnancy and suggest that the technique could be applied more broadly as a fertility treatment. The 32-year old woman in the latest case had previously undergone four unsuccessful rounds of IVF.

Re:Human population is increase

By Calydor • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Well they NEED to genetically engineer a working class that can survive a 996 workweek.

why some couples do not have children

By lkcl • Score: 3 • Thread

sadly, there are reasons why some couples cannot have children: i know of a couple that had infertility treatment, and the result was that their child was born severely handicapped.

i suspect that nature has some form of "checksum" that detects if there is damage to the DNA. in speaking with an expert from the Cambridge Genome Project over ten years ago, what they described to me was that human DNA expresses something very close to a Turing Machine, *including* a byte-code-like "machine language".

when i showed this same person the beautiful pictures of 3D mandelbrot sets that were discovered several years ago and published here on slashdot, he responded, "but those are exactly like the pictures i see under my microscope, every day!"

so it is not outside the realm of possibility that DNA expresses a fully-functioning biological computer, complete with checksum capability. this is why messing with that - trying to bypass the safeguards - through any kind of genetic manipulation - is so incredibly dangerous.