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


  1. Israeli Firm Tied To Tool That Uses WhatsApp Flaw To Spy On Activists
  2. California May Go Dark This Summer, and Most Aren't Ready
  3. Boost Mobile Says Hackers Broke into Customer Accounts
  4. Lenovo Unveils World's First Foldable PC, Coming In 2020
  5. Academics Improve SHA-1 Collision Attack, Make It Actually Dangerous
  6. Facebook Sues Analytics Firm Rankwave Over Data Misuse
  7. Twitter Bug Shared Location Data For Some iOS Users
  8. Drinking Six or More Coffees a Day Can Be Detrimental To Your Health, New Study Reveals
  9. A New Aerospace Company Enters the Race To Build Fastest Aircraft In the World
  10. Apple Announces New NFC Feature For iPhone: Special Tags That Trigger Apple Pay Purchases When Tapped
  11. Facebook Will Increase Pay For Its Contractors in North America
  12. Accused of 'Terrorism' For Putting Legal Materials Online
  13. California is Bringing Law and Order To Big Data. It Could Change the Internet in the US
  14. The Great Firewall of China Blocks Off Wikipedia
  15. Amazon, Eager For Drivers, Offers To Help Employees Quit To Start Delivery Businesses
  16. Supreme Court Says Apple Will Have To Face App Store Monopoly Lawsuit
  17. There is More CO2 in the Atmosphere Today Than Any Point Since the Evolution of Humans
  18. Hotstar, Disney's Indian Streaming Service, Sets New Global Record For Live Viewership
  19. Business Messaging Service Slack Says It's Going To Replace Email and is as Necessary as Electricity in Its Pitch To Investors
  20. Amazon is Rolling Out Machines To Automate Boxing Up Customer Orders
  21. 'I Bought Some Noise-Canceling Headphones. They Don't Cancel Noise'
  22. Is It Finally the Year of 'Linux on the Desktop' ?
  23. Boeing's New Plan: Replace Human Inspectors With Technology

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

Israeli Firm Tied To Tool That Uses WhatsApp Flaw To Spy On Activists

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The New York Times: An Israeli firm accused of supplying tools for spying on human-rights activists and journalists now faces claims that its technology can use a security hole in WhatsApp, the messaging app used by 1.5 billion people, to break into the digital communications of iPhone and Android phone users (Warning: source may be paywalled; alternative source). Security researchers said they had found so-called spyware -- designed to take advantage of the WhatsApp flaw -- that bears the characteristics of technology from the company, the NSO Group.

The spyware was used to break into the phone of a London lawyer who has been involved in lawsuits that accused the company of providing tools to hack the phones of Omar Abdulaziz, a Saudi dissident in Canada; a Qatari citizen; and a group of Mexican journalists and activists, the researchers said. There may have been other targets, they said. Digital attackers could use the vulnerability to insert malicious code and steal data from an Android phone or an iPhone simply by placing a WhatsApp call, even if the victim did not pick up the call. As WhatsApp's engineers examined the vulnerability, they concluded that it was similar to other tools from the NSO Group, because of its digital footprint.
WhatsApp engineers patched the vulnerability on Monday.

"WhatsApp encourages people to upgrade to the latest version of our app, as well as keep their mobile operating system up to date, to protect against potential targeted exploits designed to compromise information stored on mobile devices," the Facebook-owned company said in a statement.

It is just business

By Mr. Dollar Ton • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Israeli, American, European companies have been at the forefront of the good fight of the government to spy on its citizens since forever.

The only way to stop it is to use your voting power to limit your government's desire to spy by keeping it YOUR government.

I know, I know, this is hard work.

Details of the vulnerability?

By JaredOfEuropa • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
It’s a bit weird for this to affect both iOS and Android, though I suppose those versions share plenty of code. FTA:

described the flaw as: "A buffer overflow vulnerability in WhatsApp VOIP stack allowed remote code execution via specially crafted series of SRTCP packets sent to a target phone number.”

If that’s the case, what exactly would that remotely executed code be able to accomplish? On iOS at least the app is still sandboxed, so it wouldn’t get everything. But come to think of it, most people would have given it permission to access contacts and photos at least, as well as the WhatsApp messages themselves, which is bad enough especially in the context this vulnerability was used in. Does the vulnerability actually allow access to this data (and to what else)?

As for NSO, they are not one hair better than a blackhat selling zerodays to scumbag governments. The only difference is that they have a letterhead.


By DrYak • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

what exactly would that remotely executed code be able to accomplish? On iOS at least the app is still sandboxed, so it wouldn't get everything. But come to think of it, most people would have given it permission to access contacts and photos at least,

No further access needed, the sandbox is pretty much enough by itself:
The spying agency isn't interested in other application: they don't care about what dick picks these people are sexting around on Tinder.

as well as the WhatsApp messages themselves

Exactly, the spying agency is after what these people are trying to communicate within WhatsApp itself while relying on its botched implementation of OpenWhispers/Axolotl end-to-end encryption.
(SPOILER ALERT: WhatsApp isn't opensource, you don't control its code. The iOS it's running on isn't opensource either, you still don't have any control on its code. Thus applying OpenWhispers/Axolotl to WhatsApp doesn't actually make it a real end-to-end encrypt - as you don't control your end).

Re:It is just business

By blind biker • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Israeli, American, European companies have been at the forefront of the good fight of the government to spy on its citizens since forever.

It's a bit odd that you would omit China, the one that outclasses everyone else, by a large margin, when it comes to spying on its citizens.

California May Go Dark This Summer, and Most Aren't Ready

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
schwit1 quotes a report from Bloomberg: A plan by California's biggest utility to cut power on high-wind days during the onrushing wildfire season could plunge millions of residents into darkness. And most people aren't ready. The plan by PG&E comes after the bankrupt utility said a transmission line that snapped in windy weather probably started last year's Camp Fire, the deadliest in state history. While the plan may end one problem, it creates another as Californians seek ways to deal with what some fear could be days and days of blackouts. Some residents are turning to other power sources, a boon for home battery systems marketed by Sunrun, Tesla and Vivint Solar. But the numbers of those systems in use are relatively small when compared with PG&E's 5.4 million customers. Meanwhile, Governor Gavin Newsom said he's budgeting $75 million to help communities deal with the threat. PG&E said the city of Calistoga could have its service cut as many as 15 times this fire season, depending on how extreme the weather is. The utility also plans to set up dozens of so-called "resiliency centers," where backup generators can be brought in to run essential services.

"The utility aims to give at least two days warning about a shutoff and has embarked on a public awareness campaign including mailing letters to customers and is working to identify vulnerable residents," reports Bloomberg. "It also will be working to get power restored in a day after a shutoff, though its customers could be out for as many as five days."


By Highdude702 • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

This right here. If you look in the NEC, you will find charts for wire ampacity. It has a few columns. wire size, type(copper/aluminum) and freeair and bundled. The free air ampacity for any given wire is normally 2x that of the bundled/in conduit column. And long distance transmission lines are very high voltage and very high amperage. That's why they are for one so high and for two spaced so far apart. You can normally figure out the voltage range of the transmission wires by looking at height of poles and distance apart.

Source: I'm a 18 year electrician, and was on a fire crew that clear cut trees for HV transmission lines in middle nevada while in prison.

Re:Well, there's $75 mil available

By DarkOx • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

So how money from state coffers should go to paying for the things the utility would nominally have to do? If CA uses tax revenues to ensure PG&Es lines are secure will consumers see discounts on the transmission portion of the bill?

We are having a similar fight in North Western Virginia right now. Dominion wants to build a pipe line to carry natural gas to Richmond. Okay fine but people here don't live in Richmond; most folks whose land will be impacted don't have access to piped natural gas. They won't benefit. Should the state be using eminent domain to enable a private company to build a pipe line which they will privately enjoy the revenue (or at least reduced costs) from? Should the state be able to appropriate property on their behalf, oh sure they pay "market" rates but lets be honest about that too, those rates are determined by appraisers that work for the state, and they don't really consider the long term desirability impact to many of these resorts that previously could boast some of the largest unspoiled wilderness areas on the easy coast for hiking, hunting, camping etc...

I and a lot of other folks might feel differently if it was a "public" good being built like a road we could all use to travel more efficiently or that might reduce congestion on i-81 or something. However this won't help anyone except Domain and I suppose some folks down state might see lower natural gas and electricity rates; fat lot of good it does the people shouldering the cost though.

IMHO we are past the era of "rural electrification" we should deregulate and expect utilities to pay their own way make their own agreements with land owers etc. If they can't then we should be willing to let their market share be taken by technology like off grid solutions, other provides delivering energy by other means. Li batteries are pretty light maybe Tesla can start swapping them like propane canisters for home energy.


By pgmrdlm • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
Have you EVER done any research on what you just said?

Scroll down to where it says "Cost Differentials", read the following breakdowns of cost differences by topic. Then get back to us.


By Doke • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
That is an excellent article about the much higher costs of building underground high voltage transmission lines. It doesn't address the higher ongoing costs due to lower efficency. Underground lines incur more electrical loss, requiring the power company to generate more electricity for the same amount reaching the customers.

A traditional three wire, three phase, AC transmission line, will have inductive loss between the lines and to the surrounding earth. We reduce that with larger spacing. However to match the efficiency of an aerial transmission line, the tunnel would have to be several meters in diameter. That really drives up the cost.

A newer DC transmission line only requires one wire. It has a high capacitance to ground. In use, that mostly helps smooth transitions. During maintenance, it needs to be drained. However, you need very expensive electronic switching gear at each end. There is no cheap DC equivalent of the transformer. A DC line also needs an even higher voltage, or a three times bigger conductor, to carry the same amount of power. That higher voltage makes the insulation break down even faster. The more complicated switching gear breaks down more often then a traditional transformer.

Serious advice

By Miamicanes • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

If you live in that area & have natural gas available... spend the extra cash & get a natural-gas generator, or a diesel generator with tank large enough to hold a week's worth of fuel.

As someone who spent almost 4 weeks without power after Hurricane Wilma, and 8 days after Irma, I can tell you... regular gas generators SUCK. a 6.5kW generator running 2 window AC units (central AC is too big), refrigerator, and the usual lights & appliances (excluding the dryer... too big) burns through 10-20 gallons PER DAY, and gets expensive REALLY fast. They also need constant maintenance to avoid having the (unleaded) gas turn into varnish in the tank. Did I mention spending hours in line to buy gas, and driving home with a de-facto bomb in the trunk?

Seriously, get one that burns natural gas, LPG, or diesel. You'll be glad you did. And if it's LPG... you NEED a large buried tank. Grill-sized tanks are NOT adequate, and will BANKRUPT you (and only run the generator for 3-7 hours, max).

Also, if blackouts will be common, spend the extra for a proper subpanel & cut-over switch. A large generator has two 120v "legs", each of which need to draw approximately equal amounts of power. If one leg is drawing 3000W & the other is drawing 50, your generator works HARDER than if it has two equal 2000W loads.

To a generator, inductive loads (motors, electronics, etc) "look" like a much bigger load than a resistive (stove, incandescent light, etc) load of the same nominal wattage. And things like compressors (AC, refrigerator) draw about twice as much power when starting.

Finally... forget about trying to use a UPS with a generator. It almost NEVER works, due to the stupid way most UPS'es judge the quality of line power. You'll just end up with the UPS thrashing between battery & generator power until the battery finally dies. This applies to nearly ALL generators & UPSes, including "enterprise" ones.

Boost Mobile Says Hackers Broke into Customer Accounts

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Boost Mobile is informing customers of a data breach nearly two months after it happened. " experienced unauthorized online account activity in which an unauthorized person accessed your account through your Boost phone number and PIN code," said the notification. "The Boost Mobile fraud team discovered the incident and was able to implement a permanent solution to prevent similar unauthorized account activity." TechCrunch reports: It's not known exactly how the hackers obtained customer PINs -- or how many Boost customers are affected. The company also notified the California attorney general, which companies are required to do if more than 500 people in the state are affected by the same security incident. Boost Mobile reportedly had 15 million customers in 2018.

The hackers used those phone numbers and account PINs to break into customer accounts using the company's website, said the notification. These codes can be used to alter account settings. Hackers can automate account logins using lists of exposed usernames and passwords -- or in this case phone numbers and PIN codes -- in what's known as a credential stuffing attack. Boost said it has sent to affected customers a text with a temporary PIN.

Lenovo Unveils World's First Foldable PC, Coming In 2020

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
At its Accelerate 2019 event in Orlando today, Lenovo previewed "the world's first foldable PC." While we don't know the name, price tag, or ship date, we do know that the foldable PC will be part of Lenovo's flagship ThinkPad X1 line and that it will arrive in 2020. VentureBeat reports: Lenovo backs up its "the world's first foldable PC" claim by saying it looked at laptops sold by major PC manufacturers this month. None shipped more than "1 million units worldwide annually" with foldable screens. Apparently Lenovo is hoping to ship at least 1 million units of its new foldable PC in the first year.

We don't know much about the device yet, and that's on purpose. Tom Butler, Lenovo's ThinkPad marketing director, did say that the company has been working on the device for "several years" with partners Intel, Microsoft and LG. He confirmed that those three have been part of the project from the very beginning. Intel chips and Windows will be powering the foldable ThinkPad. LG is responsible for manufacturing the screen, the highlight of the device. It's a 13.3-inch single OLED 2K display with a 4:3 aspect ratio. It's also a touchscreen and will support pen input. When folded in half, the width of the device is reduced by 50%, as you might expect.


By mschaffer • Score: 3 • Thread

I see that Lenovo has the courage to remove the keyboard from a laptop, or at least that's what the rendering looks like.

I wonder if it will have a keyboard option, otherwise, why group it with the Thinkpads?

Hopefully it goes better than Samsung's foldable phone.

WTF- this is "news"?

By JustAnotherOldGuy • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

"we don't know the name, price tag, or ship date"

Oh wow, sounds awesome, tell me more.

Close but no cigar

By wolfheart111 • Score: 3 • Thread
WE want holographic displays... like in star wars... this just doesn't do it for me... sorry.


By Locke2005 • Score: 3 • Thread
EVERY PC is foldable, if you use enough force! This is just the first one they expect to still work after being folded... at least for a little while.

Keyboard Issue

By foxalopex • Score: 3 • Thread

This might actually be a bad idea, you can't touch type on a screen which kills productivity. There's been examples of screens that are completely flat such as a laser projection keyboard but no one likes using those because you can't feel where the keys are.

Academics Improve SHA-1 Collision Attack, Make It Actually Dangerous

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader writes: "Attacks on the SHA-1 hashing algorithm just got a lot more dangerous last week with the discovery of the first-ever 'chosen-prefix collision attack,' a more practical version of the SHA-1 collision attack first carried out by Google two years ago," reports ZDNet. Google's original research allowed attackers to force duplicates for specific files, but this process was often at random. A new SHA-1 collision attack variation (a chosen-prefix attack) detailed last week allows attackers to choose what SHA-1-signed files or data streams they want to forge on demand, making SHA-1 an attack that is now practical in the real world, albeit at a price tag of $100,000 per collision.

Re:I Am Disappoint

By swillden • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

My disappointment is that having realized that SHA has a significant weakness, they chose to simply multiply it with SHA-256. They are knowingly kicking the can down the road. It is only a question of time and computing power before SHA-256 is as worthless as SHA-1 is today.

The SHA-2 family of hashes, including SHA-256, is not closely related to SHA-1. There's no reason to think that a break of SHA-1 means anything about SHA-256.

But, just in case, the SHA-3 family has already been selected and standardized, and it takes a very different approach from any of the previous algorithms.

The problem here is gonna be Git

By Hizonner • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

People are going to be obsessing over TLS and dedicated crypto format problems that are already mostly fixed, but the real problem is that Git uses SHA-1 for everything, not just signatures but any kind of unique commit identification. You can't just recompute all those hashes, and if there's a migration plan it can't be very far along. And a Git commit is a long-lived object, so you have plenty of time to find your collision.

Like the software supply chain wasn't already enough of a problem...

Re:The problem here is gonna be Git

By hankwang • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Linus Torvalds didn't see it as a big problem in the previous collision demonstration. Summary here: (it links to the mailing list).

Just producing a collision with an existing git object is not enough. It also needs to have valid git headers and be compileable. And if you succeed in that, git, during a fetch/pull, will not overwrite a commit that already exists with the same hash. The attacker would need to corrupt all cloned repositories as well.

I'm realhashbreaker, here is my take

By realhashbreaker • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
I'm Marc Stevens, realhashbreaker, one of the lead researchers that introduced the first chosen-prefix collision attack for MD5 as well as for SHA-1, and found the first practical SHA-1 collision. Here's my take:

1. Our SHAttered research (CRYPTO2017) demonstrated the first, and still only, SHA-1 collision. It is directly based on my 2^61-cost attack in EUROCRYPT2013. Besides other improvements SHAttered used GPUs at higher cost (2^64.7) but at much greater effectivity, making it practical.

2. This research is only an improvement for a more difficult and costlier collision attack for 'chosen-prefix collisions'. The first chosen-prefix collision attack on SHA-1, see my EUROCRYPT2013 paper, costs 2^77 SHA-1 calls which they improve to 2^66.9 SHA-1 calls in theory, it has not been executed yet.

3. This new research paper directly recycles almost the entire SHAttered collision attack, except, as is usual, it modifies the first and last few steps to turn the 'identical-prefix collision' into a 'chosen-prefix collison' and uses an improved strategy for the sequence of 'near-collision attacks'.

4. Using similar analysis in previous papers on the cost of SHA-1 collision attacks, their attack would cost 2^2.2 more than SHAttered, so 2^2.2 x $110K = about $500K.

5. Their claim of less than $100K is based on as-of-yet undisclosed improvements, and has not stand up to peer review yet. I am very sceptical that they can claim a cost lower than the SHAttered attack on which they rely on (see below). Historically, there have been quite a few erroneous claims of new low complexities to break SHA-1, and these have not stand up to academic peer-review.

Re: good use of 100k

By Tom • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Does anyone still use SHA-1? It was deprecated back in 2005.


Even though I've been writing into security and crypto policies for around a decade that SHA-1 should be considered insecure, there is a lot of software out there using it without a way to change the crypto algorithm. Wherever we put that above rule into place, we've had to grandfather in or allow exceptions for numerous applications.

Yes, SHA-1 is very much still in use.

Facebook Sues Analytics Firm Rankwave Over Data Misuse

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Facebook revealed last Friday that it has filed a lawsuit alleging South Korean analytics firm Rankwave abused its developer platform's data, and has refused to cooperate with a mandatory compliance audit and request to delete the data. TechCrunch reports: Facebook's lawsuit centers around Rankwave offering to help businesses build a Facebook authorization step into their apps so they can pass all the user data to Rankwave, which then analyzes biographic and behavioral traits to supply user contact info and ad targeting assistance to the business. Rankwave also apparently misused data sucked in by its own consumer app for checking your social media "influencer score." That app could pull data about your Facebook activity such as location checkins, determine that you've checked into a baseball stadium, and then Rankwave could help its clients target you with ads for baseball tickets.

The use of a seemingly fun app to slurp up user data and repurpose it for other business goals is strikingly similar to how Cambridge Analytica's personality quiz app tempted millions of users to provide data about themselves and their friends. TechCrunch has attained a copy of the lawsuit that alleges that Rankwave misused Facebook data outside of the apps where it was collected, purposefully delayed responding to a cease-and-desist order, claimed it didn't violate Facebook policy, lied about not using its apps since 2018 when they were accessed in April 2019, and then refused to comply with a mandatory audit of its data practices. Facebook Platform data is not supposed to be repurposed for other business goals, only for the developer to improve their app's user experience.

Twitter Bug Shared Location Data For Some iOS Users

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Twitter today disclosed a bug in its platform that impacted the privacy of some its iOS app's users. From a report: "We have discovered that we were inadvertently collecting and sharing iOS location data with one of our trusted partners in certain circumstances," Twitter said. The company said the bug only occurred on its iOS app where users added a second Twitter account on their phones. If they allowed Twitter access to precise location data in one account, then that setting was applied to both accounts managed via the iOS app. This meant the app sent precise location data to Twitter, which then made it available to "a trusted partner during an advertising process known as real-time bidding," even for accounts users didn't agree to share such info.

Drinking Six or More Coffees a Day Can Be Detrimental To Your Health, New Study Reveals

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
While the pros and cons of drinking coffee have been debated for decades, new research from the University of South Australia reveals that drinking six or more coffees a day can be detrimental to your health, increasing your risk of heart disease by up to 22 percent. From a report: In Australia, one in six people are affected by cardiovascular disease. It is a major cause of death with one person dying from the disease every 12 minutes. According to the World Health Organization, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death, yet one of the most preventable. Investigating the association of long-term coffee consumption and cardiovascular disease, UniSA researchers Dr Ang Zhou and Professor Elina Hypponen of the Australian Centre for Precision Health say their research confirms the point at which excess caffeine can cause high blood pressure, a precursor to heart disease.

This is the first time an upper limit has been placed on safe coffee consumption and cardiovascular health. "Coffee is the most commonly consumed stimulant in the world -- it wakes us up, boosts our energy and helps us focus -- but people are always asking 'How much caffeine is too much?'," Prof Hypponen says. "Most people would agree that if you drink a lot of coffee, you might feel jittery, irritable or perhaps even nauseous -- that's because caffeine helps your body work faster and harder, but it is also likely to suggest that you may have reached your limit for the time being.

Correlation is not causation

By Mostly a lurker • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

It is well known that too little sleep increases your risk of heart disease. I can well imagine that heavy coffee drinkers, on average, get too little sleep. Quite likely, that is what the research is really showing.

Re:Correlation is not causation

By dgatwood • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

That's exactly what I was thinking. How did they control for sleep?

That said, I'm not sure they needed to. The actual abstract doesn't suggest that this was even their goal. If I read that correctly, the goal was to test whether a particular gene variation that causes people to metabolize caffeine more poorly has an effect on the increased cardiovascular risk associated with high-dose caffeine intake. They found that it did not have any impact.

Studying that doesn't require controlling for sleep, because it isn't likely to differ significantly between the people in the study who have that gene and the people who don't. So I'd imagine that didn't even come up.

Of course, we can't really have any meaningful discussion on the article as a whole, because we can't actually read the article unless we want to pay forty-five bucks for access to the closed-access journal it was published in, so I'm just going to assume that there are no interesting conclusions beyond what's covered in the abstract, and we'll call it a day.

Thank god I only drink espresso

By WillAffleckUW • Score: 3 • Thread

Only four double shots of espresso a day, I should be fine.

Re:Correlation is not causation

By Obfuscant • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Quite likely, that is what the research is really showing.

Reading the actual paper, it is clear this is a correlation, not a causation, study, regarding caffeine intake and not "coffee". They link the intake of caffeine to high blood pressure and then to CVD, so it isn't even a direct link.

I drink lots of caffeine every day. I have no problem either sleeping or with high blood pressure. This article is just another justification for money spent doing a scientific study -- calamity can be prevented if you change how you live, says PhD.

Study design INCAPABLE of showing what is claimed

By mamba-mamba • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

A prospective study such as this one is INCAPABLE of showing what the article headline claimed.

What it showed is an association or correlation between coffee consumption and cardio-vascular disease (CVD). But in order to show what is claimed (that coffee consumption increases risk of CVD), it would be necessary to do a controlled study where participants are randomized into two groups, and one group is given coffee while the other is not. Otherwise there could be many explanations for the correlation.

Furthermore, risk of CVD is the wrong thing to look at in the first place. They should be looking at all-cause mortality, because, for all we know, coffee consumption could reduce risk of stroke or cancer, counteracting the increased risk (if any) of CVD.

I have been watching studies on coffee and caffeine for decades now, and there has never been a study able to link coffee consumption to any increase in mortality. The only thing we know for sure is that it can disrupt sleep, and that quitting can cause withdrawal symptoms. The results in this study are definitely not convincing enough to change the status quo, in my opinion.

A New Aerospace Company Enters the Race To Build Fastest Aircraft In the World

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: On Monday, a U.S.-based company named Hermeus announced plans to develop an aircraft that will travel at speeds of up to Mach 5. Such an aircraft would cut travel time from New York to Paris from more than 7 hours to 1.5 hours. Hermeus said it has raised an initial round of funding led by Khosla Ventures, but it declined to specify the amount. This funding will allow Hermeus to develop a propulsion demonstrator and other initial technologies needed to make its supersonic aircraft a reality, Skyler Shuford, the company's chief operating officer, told Ars.

The announcement follows three years after another company, Boom Supersonic, declared its own intentions to develop faster-than-sound aircraft. As of January 2019, Boom had raised more than $140 million toward development of its Overture airliner, envisioned to travel at Mach 2.2, which is about 10 percent faster than the Concorde traveled. Officials with Boom Supersonic have said its planes could be ready for commercial service in the mid-2020s, and they added that Virgin Group and Japan Airlines have preordered a combined 30 airplanes.

Re:White Elephant

By frank_adrian314159 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

This will be another luxury item that the rich will indulge themselves in. The market has shown that for these sorts of goods, as long as they are branded and limited (read "keep the peasants out") correctly, the price points can be quite high and people will still happily pay.

Re:White Elephant

By rgmoore • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

The Concorde's big problem was that it came at the wrong time. It was a luxury good created at the end of a long period of expanding middle class prosperity and heavy taxation of the rich. Now we have the opposite situation; the ultra-rich are getting richer at the expense of the rest of us. It's the perfect time to be focusing on things that will benefit the ultra-wealthy.

Re:White Elephant

By timeOday • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
There are vastly more rich people in the world than there used to be. In 1980, the MSRP of a Lamborghini Countach was $41,000 which adjusted for inflation would be $127K. Today the Aventador starts at $417K.

Granted it's a questionable statistic. Let's try again. The global inflation-adjusted GDP has roughly tripled since 1980, and the share of global income of the top 1% has increased from 16% to 21% in the same time.

Also, "The Forbes 400's total value in 2013 is $2 trillion, five times the inflation-adjusted total of the list back in 1982."


Small, Light Grey Elephant

By Roger W Moore • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
The problem with Concord was that it was designed at a time when fuel was incredibly cheap but was only ready to fly after OPEC massively increased prices. It also produced such a huge sonic boom that it could only ever fly supersonic over oceans. This limited its use to a very small subset of routes and meant that there was no interest in solving the fuel efficiency problem.

We now have the technology to build far more efficient supersonic aircraft which generate a far smaller shockwave. This should make a new supersonic aircraft far more sensible than Concord ever was. That does not mean that it might not turn out to still be a white elephant but even if it does it should not be as big or as white as Concord was and perhaps it might even turn out to be successful.

Technology? Economics?

By joe_frisch • Score: 3 • Thread

Even supersonic aircraft don't seem to be economical viable. A hypersonic aircraft is almost certain to be less efficient (max lift / drag decreases with increasing mach number), and much more expensive due to the exotic materials required for the air frame and engines. Its not clear that a sub-orbital ballistic rocket isn't a better technology overall at these speeds.

All that aside, one of the things that killed the Concord is that in a lot of ways a very large comfortable seat / cabin on a subsonic airliner is better than a cramped seat on a supersonic one. Time zone changes limit the places where a supersonic plane really provides significant value, especially when the multi-hour end effects on the travel are included. Often its better to have an overnight cabin of the sort on Emirates and work and sleep for the trip.

Don't get me wrong - a hypersonic plane sounds awesome - but there are not a lot of people who could afford it (I certainly couldn't), and at a not much higher price point private jets offer a lot of advantages.

Apple Announces New NFC Feature For iPhone: Special Tags That Trigger Apple Pay Purchases When Tapped

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Apple's VP of Apple Pay, Jennifer Bailey, announced new NFC tags that will let iPhone users make purchases simply by tapping their phones against the stickers, without the need to download a special app first. "The company is partnering with Bird scooters, Bonobos clothing store, and PayByPhone parking meters for the initial rollout," reports 9to5Mac. From the report: Apple also announced that inside the Wallet app, users will soon be able to sign up for loyalty cards in one tap, presumably presented to users as recommendations when they make eligible purchases. Right now, physical Apple Pay transactions require bulky terminals like those you find at retail store checkouts. With the new support, an iPhone will know how to read a specially-encoded NFC tag (that can be as inert as a sticker) and automatically show the Apple Pay purchase interface when a user holds their device near it. No third-party apps or other set up required.

The obvious example is a user can ad-hoc top up their miles on a hired electric scooter simply by tapping their phone or watch to a NFC sticker on the bike. For Bonobos, it will enable simpler self-service shopping with the ability to place NFC tags directly onto clothing rails. The new Apple Pay features will be rolling out later this year, presumably with more partners onboard now that the news is public. This is yet another step towards Apple's goal of replacing the wallet.

Re:There's absolutely no way this will be misused

By swimboy • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

I'm sure it will work just like every other ApplePay transaction, requiring active approval from the user before completing the transaction.

Facebook Will Increase Pay For Its Contractors in North America

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Facebook will increase the hourly pay rate for thousands of contract workers across the United States, the company said today. From a report: Its base rate for contractors will rise from $15 an hour to $18, with slightly higher raises in cities with higher costs of living. The changes will go into effect by the middle of next year, the company said, and it will explore bringing similar raises to other sites around the world. The move comes after reporting from The Verge and others on the long-term impact of working as a contract moderator for Facebook, which has left some workers with symptoms of post-traumatic stress. Workers in larger metropolitan areas will get raises as well: from $18 to $20 an hour in Seattle and from $20 to $22 an hour in the Bay Area, New York City, and Washington, DC.

Accused of 'Terrorism' For Putting Legal Materials Online

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Carl Malamud believes in open access to government records, and he has spent more than a decade putting them online. You might think states would welcome the help. From a report: But when Mr. Malamud's group posted the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, the state sued for copyright infringement. Providing public access to the state's laws and related legal materials, Georgia's lawyers said, was part of a "strategy of terrorism." A federal appeals court ruled against the state, which has asked the Supreme Court to step in. On Friday, in an unusual move, Mr. Malamud's group, Public.Resource.Org, also urged the court to hear the dispute, saying that the question of who owns the law is an urgent one, as about 20 other states have claimed that parts of similar annotated codes are copyrighted.

The issue, the group said, is whether citizens can have access to "the raw materials of our democracy." The case, Georgia v. Public.Resource.Org, No. 18-1150, concerns the 54 volumes of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, which contain state statutes and related materials. The state, through a legal publisher, makes the statutes themselves available online, and it has said it does not object to Mr. Malamud doing the same thing. But people who want to see other materials in the books, the state says, must pay the publisher.

Then why is the State suing

By rsilvergun • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
and not the law firm that supposedly owns the copyrights? If the State didn't buy the copyright then aren't they without standing in the case?

And speaking of not reading:

“When you go to a statute, you see the language of the statute, but that doesn’t necessarily tell you the meaning,” she said. “You go to the annotations, which leads you to the court decisions, where the judges actually tell you what the words mean.”

In ruling for Mr. Malamud, the appeals court made a similar point.

The annotations clearly have authoritative weight in explicating and establishing the meaning and effect of Georgia’s laws,” Judge Stanley Marcus wrote for a unanimous three-judge panel of the court, the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, in Atlanta. “Georgia’s courts have cited to the annotations as authoritative sources on statutory meaning and legislative intent.”

Emphasis added by me, but I think you get the point. The annotations have the practical effect of amending the law. The Georgia and the other states know this and they are actively using copyright to hide portions of the law.

You don't understand how American law works

By rsilvergun • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
precedent (e.g. how a previous judge rules) can radically change how a law works. This isn't about presenting a case differently, it would be more about not realizing a case could and should be presented in the first place.

The example given is sodomy laws. It's still illegal in Georgia but the law was declared unconstitutional when applied to consenting adults. That's a pretty obvious example (which is why the article used it) but there's tons of grey area in law and no shortage of "activist" judges or laws written intentionally vague.

Hell, right now every State in the South is putting obviously unconstitutional abortion laws on the books in the hopes of getting before the SCOTUS and overturning Roe v. Wade. Don't underestimate the power of those annotations. They have legal force. They shape laws. And for a badly written law they _are_ the law.

Re: We need improvements!

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

I believe the point being made was that the media didn't care when Obama lied. There was no "misleading statements" tally running at WaPo for the last president.

Yes we should hold Trump accountable. We should hold everyone accountable.

In practice the media only cares about "repubtards" being held responsible, to use your word. That is a serious problem. That is why Trump was elected in the first place. Enough people were sick of being ignored they were willing to burn the whole place down...not unlike Danerys and her forces last night come to think of it.

The way things are going, the way "repubtard" gets +1 and a direct quote from Obama which is a known lie gets -1 moderation, the way the media puts anything right of Bernie Sanders (I'd vote for him again) to the coals means Trump has a really good chance of a second term. This hatred from the left, this projection, blame, whataboutism needs to stop before the whole party implodes again!

Welcome to King's Landing I guess.

Re:Do people here read?

By richardtallent • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Many times, "annotations" merely mean footnotes, links to related court cases, etc. They are theoretically copyrightable, assuming they meet the standard. This, in and of itself, is not a problem for publishers like PublicResource.

However, in the case of the CGA, part of the issue is that the "annotations" also include the *titles of the sections*. A set of laws without headings at major junction points of the law is basically useless for navigation. FindLaw (owned by Thomson Reuters), for example, also publishes the Code of Georgia, but in unannotated form, so once you get below a "Chapter" in the regulation, you're essentially just looking at a table of contents of numbers. This is the *only* state in the US that includes section titles in the "annotated" content.

Also, the *unannotated* code is not available from the State of Georgia, and the "official" code linked from the State is the *annotated* code, which is hosted by LexisNexis and hidden behind their spider-hostile web site. (California, New York, and Tennessee also have their official publications of laws outsourced to LN or WestLaw.)

Part of my job is maintaining a company-wide system that consumes and analyzes statutes and regulations from hundreds of jurisdictions (from countries down to villages). We look for changes, assign metadata, and use the database to do work for our clients (we don't compete with the "official" publishers). Sites like LexisNexis and WestLaw are purposefully designed to make my job difficult, because they are trying their best to monopolize and monetize publication of public domain laws. They use these annotation copyright claims, along with anti-spider technology and ludicrous TOS, to create virtual fences against anyone else publishing the same laws, annotated or not.

Re:Do people here read?

By pslytely psycho • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
No, but the state should. The law was created within the states legal structure, paid for by the citizenry. Therefore access to the law and all underlying information, annotations and interpretations should be made available at no charge to said taxpayer. After all, they already paid for it in the salaries and perks of the state representatives.

If I am subject to the law, and ignorance of it is not an excuse, then I should have the unfettered right to all information regarding that law without financial burden. If the law requires copyrighted material to understand, then either the copyright should be invalidated or the law should.

California is Bringing Law and Order To Big Data. It Could Change the Internet in the US

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California is embarking on a new era of privacy on the internet, and Xavier Becerra can't stop thinking about the failed debut of Obamacare. From a report: Back in 2013, Becerra, then a Democratic congressman from Los Angeles, watched as technical problems with the website marred the rollout of President Barack Obama's signature law, delaying sign-ups for health insurance and denting the public's faith in the new offering. Now, as California's attorney general, Becerra is worried that a similarly halting start awaits the California Consumer Privacy Act, a far-reaching law that would put some of the world's strictest rules on how tech companies -- many of which call the state home -- handle and collect user data.

The rest of the country is watching closely. No other state has attempted such an ambitious privacy law, and since before the dawn of the internet, Congress hasn't either. The law has numerous parts. It forces companies to reveal what data they collect. It gives users the right to delete that data and prevent its sale. And it will likely restrict how data can be used for online ads. Becerra, whose office will be responsible for enforcing the law when it goes into effect Jan. 1, 2020, said he might not have enough staff to carry out the job, and that as a result the law could collapse under its own weight.

Expect the data cartel lobbyists to descend on DC

By schwit1 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Facebook, Google, et al will have their high priced lobbyists in the US Congress crafting a bipartisan law that prohibits states from doing exactly what California is trying to do.

"Might not have enough staff"

By RogueWarrior65 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Make no mistake, this isn't about YOUR privacy. This is about increasing this asshat's headcount.

Re: if there is one thing i learned in my youth

By jeff4747 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

The war on drugs was a PR loss, not an actual one

Only if you think the War on Drugs was supposed to reduce drug use.

The War on (some) Drugs was designed to "other" particular groups in the US, and maintain the political power of those enforcing drug laws. And those efforts have been massively successful.

Re:Inform the user?

By AmiMoJo • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

This is very easy to prevent in law. Look at GDPR, it requires explicit opt-in, freely given permission for every covered data use, and crucially the request must be made in plain and easy to understand language.

Re:I'm conflicted about this.

By IcyWolfy • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Which is why in Europe, IP Addresses are now considered Personally Identifying Information (PII), that is subject to GDPR, Opt-Out Regulations, and Right to Removal regulations.

I work with multi-national companies, and the first thing we do, is ensure there are no IP Address logs anywhere.
They are the first stripped in any requests, and never logged.

Security Logs do have some highly restricted access to IP addresses for abuse. As far as I know, they are only kept on a rolling 30min window, and we make better use of trend analysis tools, to focus on the "immediate" access and abuse, and adjust from there. For day to short-term analysis, IP addresses are Geo-Located to a city (Metro-Region specifically), and we operate on that anonymised, aggregated data set rather than on actual IP addresses.

The Great Firewall of China Blocks Off Wikipedia

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China is known for its censorship of certain websites. The country went the extra mile by blocking Wikipedia in April. From a report: Multiple reports confirm China blocked Wikipedia across all language URLs sometime in late April. The country is using DNS injections to prevent its citizens from accessing the online encyclopedia, according to a report from the Open Observatory of Network Interference on May 4.


By Tablizer • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

So they can't see this.

Well, that's a billion less

By mandark1967 • Score: 3 • Thread
emails from Jimbo asking for donations


By imperious_rex • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Or this.

Or this.

Amazon, Eager For Drivers, Offers To Help Employees Quit To Start Delivery Businesses

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Amazon, which is racing to deliver packages faster, is turning to its employees with a proposition: Quit your job and we'll help you start a business delivering Amazon packages. From a report: The offer, announced Monday, comes as Amazon seeks to speed up its shipping time from two days to one for its Prime members. The company sees the new incentive as a way to get more packages delivered to shoppers' doorsteps faster. Amazon says it will cover up to $10,000 in startup costs for employees who are accepted into the program and leave their jobs. The company says it will also pay them three months' worth of their salary. The offer is open to most part-time and full-time Amazon employees, including warehouse workers who pack and ship orders.

Great idea

By Nidi62 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Quit your job working for that you can take on additional debt (because buying/leasing a delivery van is going to cost more than 10k, plus the commercial insurance for the van, the business license, business insurance, accounting, etc) and still basically work for us. Genius!

Pay and they will come.

By fluffernutter • Score: 3 • Thread
Why have corporations forgotten that they have all the control they need to attract workers; pay what the job is worth to them and they will come. It's very simple.

Re:Great idea

By Reaper9889 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Its worse than that: They are saying basically, "while we are experts at delivery, we could not make this profitable, hence, we would like you to take all the risk"

Just another carrot for dung

By Tyr07 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Man that's transparent. They're trying to use the hook of being self employed, but when you measure the actual cost and in your money pocket, it's less than what Amazon pays you. Basically they want you to go contract, it'll save Amazon a ton of money in benefits, regulations, overtime laws and the rest.

They don't have to pay any employee portions of taxes, medical etc. It's completely on you, and they don't have to follow shift laws either that way. They just go either do it or we don't pay you, this is a contract position. They're hoping a bunch of naieve people take the bait, because companies that know the costs and charge for them are more expensive than they want to pay.

For some really clever self starters, they may take off to a degree, and find other suckers to work for them, playing man in the middle, so amazon pays less, they take their cut, and those who work for them get paid even less. Then amazon isn't "evil" because they're not the one suckering people in to poor positions.

"Oh we didn't know our delivery contractors were doing this, bad them, bad" while Amazon's earning skyrocket.

Re:Too bad their drivers suck

By CohibaVancouver • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Lately most of my packages have been delivered by their inhouse delivery service and my god, it shows.

Vancouver, Canada checking in.

Couldn't agree more. Their in-house delivery is terrible.

What's even more annoying is when you try to complain to Amazon they're just trained to eagerly and cheerfully refund your money. No, Amazon, I don't want a refund. I just want my damn stuff. Preferably delivered by a courier who knows what the hell they're dong.

Supreme Court Says Apple Will Have To Face App Store Monopoly Lawsuit

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A group of iPhone owners accusing Apple of violating US antitrust rules because of its App Store monopoly can sue the company, the Supreme Court ruled Monday. From a report: The Supreme Court upheld the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals' decision in Apple v. Pepper, agreeing in a 5-4 decision that Apple app buyers could sue the company for allegedly driving up prices. "Apple's line-drawing does not make a lot of sense, other than as a way to gerrymander Apple out of this and similar lawsuits," wrote Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Apple had claimed that iOS users were technically buying apps from developers, while developers themselves were Apple's App Store customers. According to an earlier legal doctrine known as Illinois Brick, "indirect purchasers" of a product don't have the standing to file antitrust cases. But in today's decision, the Supreme Court determined that this logic doesn't apply to Apple.

Re:I think apple is in the right

By timholman • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

You knew going in, if you buy an iPhone, you have to use the apple app store. You bought one anyway, then want to sue them to change it to the way you like? There has always been alternative companies and phones with the same features, it just wasn't an iPhone. You could easily get the same features with another company.

I consider the Apple walled garden a feature, not a bug. In fact, its existence is one of the reasons I bought an iPad for my mother, and got rid of her Windows PC. It is impossible for her to be tricked into downloading malware. That has saved me more hours of effort than I can guess at.

Open to the door to sideloaded iOS apps, and you'll have criminals drooling the world over. Just wait until the "your PC is infected" scammers switch to "your iPad / iPhone is infected" phone calls. Whatever it takes to walk users through the sideloading process, they'll do it. The Apple ecosystem is too lucrative a target for it not to happen.

Re:The problem with Apple's behavior is

By Ceseuron • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

I'm actually fine with Apple not allowing an alternative on iPhone and consider the "walled garden" everyone whines about a feature, not a problem. I switched back to iPhone 8 Plus after leaving Apple back when I had an iPhone 3GS. I stuck with Android for many years and several different phones and I experienced firsthand the dramatic drop in the quality of Android phones from Samsung, HTC, LG, and so forth. Phones went from being innovative and streamlined to overpricd bricks filled with preloaded crapware that would barely last a year before needing replacement and Google tracking every aspect of your phone usage along the way. I went from being able to take a brand new Android out of the box and using it to having to go through the process of rooting the phone just so I could uninstall worthless junk that was otherwise not removable. The Facebook app is not a "system app" and users should be able to completely remove it from an Android phone, not just "disable" it. I recall a similar app called Yahoo Yellow Pages and Gas Prices that was also not removable on my old Galaxy Note 4 without rooting the phone. I don't care what sort of contract an app developer entered into with the phone manufacturer, if I don't want the app on the phone I should be able to completely remove it. Offering up a paltry "disable" feature is not sufficient. I should not have to root a phone just to remove preloaded garbage.

Another issue I had with Android phones was the excessive tracking and permissions needed by apps. Sure you got the "freedom" to install whatever you wanted, if you didn't mind that the app wanted access to your contacts, your location (Network and GPS), access to your phone's sensors, camera, and microphone, etc. Even Google's built-in apps demand permissions far in excess of what's necessary. On my last LG Android phone, I blocked access to location, phone sensors, camera, and microphone for the built-in Gmail app and from then on the app would pop up a dialog every few seconds insisting that an email app needed these types of permissions. An email app does not need access to the phone sensors, microphone, or location. Period. Full stop. This is another major issue I have that drove me back to Apple. Sure you get all this supposed freedom to install whatever you want, but there's very little policing of the Android app store and for every one honest Android developer who's just out to make something useful or entertaining, there's a dozen other developers shoveling ad infested, spying junkware onto the Android app store. If Google did a better job of policing the app store and removing apps/banning developers that demand permissions that aren't related to the app's core functionality or purpose, I'd consider going back to Android. Until Google cleans up their act and stops treating the user and their personal information as a commodity to be sold to the highest bidder and Android phones return to their former quality, I'm going to enjoy the view in Apple's walled garden.

Re:Apple doesn't decide the prices.

By dgatwood • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

But if you want to compare costs, Apple's also providing the OS and frameworks that make these apps possible in the first place, and providing a securable platform, which is something that Android will never deliver.

The cost of the platform is built into the price of the hardware. The cost of purchases should reflect the cost of selling software, which is mostly disconnected from what you're talking about. At best, you could say that the app review process makes the platform safer, and justifies the cost, but either way, the problem with that argument is that developers don't have the option of deciding for themselves whether the cost is justified or not. They are simply forced to pay that cost if they want to reach customers on the iOS platform, which is what makes it likely to be an illegal tying agreement.

If I ship an app on iOS, I'm starting with the benefit of tens of thousands of man-hours of work that I didn't have to fund up-front. 30% cut of whatever price I choose? That's a bargain.

If you ship an app on any platform, you start with the benefit of tens of thousands of man-hours that you didn't have to fund up front. And other platforms don't demand 30%. So that's really not a bargain. It's an act of desperation by developers who have to be on iOS, and have no other option for avoiding the fees.

Gerrymandering vs. Redistricting

By tomhath • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

When Republicans to it, it's called Gerrymandering and it's bad.

When Democrats do it, it's called Redistricting and it's good.

Same with vote harvesting.

Re: Too bad

By doubledown00 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

I'm glad you and the modded down troll agree.

No one is stopping Apple from keeping their AppStore. How is opening up more stores going to hurt? If you want the trust and security stick to the Apple store. If you are more advanced and want to branch out, why not. I don't see the harm in competition here. Unless you are an Apple shill.

Open the Google store and search for something simple like a calculator app or a voice recorder. Go ahead. Admire the hundreds of results.
Now pick one that won't inject any spyware or adware or otherwise harm your phone. And because very little is vetted by Google, you have no clue what you're actually getting.

Oh but I forgot, you're an "advanced" user. You have some magical power *other* than shit for brains and the ability to leap logical fallacies in a single post.

There is More CO2 in the Atmosphere Today Than Any Point Since the Evolution of Humans

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According to data from the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii, the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is over 415 parts per million (ppm), far higher than at any point in the last 800,000 years, since before the evolution of homo sapiens. From a report: Holthaus spotted the new high on Sunday when it was tweeted out by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, which measures daily CO2 rates at Mauna Loa along with scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Measurements have been ongoing since the program was started in 1958 by the late Charles David Keeling, for whom the Keeling Curve, a graph of increasing CO2 concentration in the atmosphere, is named. "This is the first time in human history our planet's atmosphere has had more than 415ppm CO2," Holthaus said in a widely shared tweet. "Not just in recorded history, not just since the invention of agriculture 10,000 years ago. Since before modern humans existed millions of years ago," added Holthaus.


By stevegee58 • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread
95% of the last 10,000 years the earth was warmer than it is now.
90% of the time since creation the earth was warmer than it is now.
We're at one of the lowest levels of CO2 in earth's history.
During the Andean-Saharan ice age CO2 was 1100% higher than now.

Uh oh Huston we have a problem...

By foxalopex • Score: 3 • Thread

Great, so that means we're going to end up changing the climate into something that our species has never experienced. Hopefully we're going to be comfortable with that because it's the equivalent of experimenting with the climate controls on your spacesuit while you're out in space with it

Arithmetic denial

By Mike Van Pelt • Score: 3 • Thread

Once again, mention "Nuclear" and the arithmetic deniers start in a chorus of denying arithmetic, pretending to believe that industrial/technological civilization can survive on power only on sunny days when the wind is blowing.

"I am not so much pro-nuclear as I am pro-arithmetic." -- Stuart Brand.


By slack_justyb • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

95% of the last 10,000 years the earth was warmer than it is now.

This is outright false

90% of the time since creation the earth was warmer than it is now.

This is questionable, because it really depends on where you are drawing the line of "creation". If you mean it in the most absolute terms, than yeah, but that's mostly because the planet was a giant ball of fire for a large amount of time.

We're at one of the lowest levels of CO2 in earth's history.

Again, depends on what you are using as a measuring stick (see ball of molten metal in space point I previously mentioned). But that aside, the more alarming thing isn't the absolute value of CO2, it's the amount of increase in CO2. The rate of increase is fast. It took the Earth around 120 centuries to go from -4C back to 0C on the last ice age. We've done +1.5C in about 2 centuries, with the vast majority of that +1.5C increase happening in the last 0.5 centuries.

During the Andean-Saharan ice age CO2 was 1100% higher than now.

Yeah and the ice ace falls within the standard Quaternary glaciation as we understand it. So the forces of cooling would have easily out weighed the forces of warming contributed by CO2. However, we are currently not within one of those cycles, so I fail to understand why you believe the same process that lead to a cooling there would be applicable here? Just because you have a ton of CO2 does not always mean global warming. Likewise, just because you are in a glaciation period doesn't mean your CO2 is incredibly small. Funny how things can be independent variables of each other. So that said, there's not any known counter-balance to our current emptying of CO2 into the atmosphere leading to a warming, I wonder which force cooling versus warming will win out since warming is currently unopposed as we currently understand it?

Drill, burn and be happy

By AndyKron • Score: 3 • Thread
No problem. God would never let his special people hurt themselves. This must be fake news.

Hotstar, Disney's Indian Streaming Service, Sets New Global Record For Live Viewership

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Indian video streaming giant Hotstar, owned by Disney, today set a new global benchmark for the number of people an OTT service can draw to a live event. From a report: Some 18.6 million users simultaneously tuned into Hotstar's website and app to watch the deciding game of the 12th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket tournament. The streaming giant, which competes with Netflix and Amazon in India, broke its own "global best" 10.3 million concurrent views milestone that it had set last year. Hotstar topped the 10 million concurrent viewership mark a number of times during this year's 51-day IPL season. More than 12.7 million viewers huddled to watch an earlier game in the tournament, a spokesperson for the four-year-old service said. In mid-April, Hotstar said that the cricket series had already garnered a 267 million overall viewership, creating a new record for the streamer. (Last year's IPL had clocked a 202 million overall viewership.) These figures coming out of India, the fastest-growing internet market, are astounding to say the least. In comparison, a 2012 live stream of skydiver Felix Baumgartner jumping from near-space to the Earth's surface, remains the most concurrently viewed video on YouTube. It amassed about 8 million concurrent viewers.

Don't be so judgemental

By sjbe • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Wow..that many people for cricket....really?

Absolutely. Cricket is wildly popular in India and a few other places. A few million people in country with a population over a billion watching the country's most popular sport is hardly shocking. It's not like there is something special about the sports we play here that make them inherently more or less entertaining than cricket,

OH well, guess they see something more in it than I do, but to each their own.

I'm sure your hobbies are just of as little interest to a lot of people in India. Same with mine. I'm not a cricket fan myself but it's easy to understand how it might be popular with the right demographic. The rest of the world thinks the US is weird for not being utterly obsessed with what they call football and we call soccer.

Business Messaging Service Slack Says It's Going To Replace Email and is as Necessary as Electricity in Its Pitch To Investors

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Business messaging service Slack briefed investors on Monday, as the company expects to go public with a direct listing on the New York Stock Exchange later this year. From a report: The service, which primarily caters to businesses, said it has more than 10 million users as of January. Stewart Butterfield, co-founder and CEO of Slack, made the case to investors that replacing email with Slack changes the way employees of a company communicate. "This shift is inevitable. We believe every organization will switch to Slack or something like it," Butterfield said in a presentation. He also pitched Slack as a software-focused company that believes the world is "only at the beginning" of its reliance on software. In that essence, Butterfield likened Slack as eventually becoming a utility, similar to the internet or electricity.

slack observations

By citylivin • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Yeah we have been using slack as a corporate communications tool for the last few years. here are my observations:

1) management types and workaholics LOVE slack, because they can get instant communication with whatever idle thought they have. Are you the type of person who likes to feel important by being CONSTANTLY NOTIFIED of things? well then slack is great for your workflow!

2) "slacker" employees love slack. Its like facebook, but you actually look like you are doing work. After all, it is a sanctioned work tool, unlike all the other social platforms. Many people have slack open all day, just chatting. I doubt even half of it is work related based on the chat histories i catch glimpses of.

3) People who actually have to do work that requires more concentration than collaboration HATE slack. It interrupts your flow if you dont turn notifications off. If you do turn them off, slack will helpfully email you, bothering you there, that you are not checking your slack enough. Fun.

4) You can put slack on your phone! so you can work all the time! and your boss can instantly reach you with whatever garbage he dreams up while drunk at 1130pm on a saturday night. yay work life balance!

In conclusion, its great for people for whom email is not annoying and instant enough. You know, the people that send you 4 emails about the same thing, 3 minutes apart and if you dont respond in the next 15 minutes, come by to talk to you about them.

Its great for social employees to pretend to be working while chatting. It IS just a slick mIRC client after all...
Everyone else, finds it a distraction that we all have to now put up with to appease the workaholics and chatterboxes. Is it here to stay? probably, until the next fad rolls in. Maybe one where you can play games instead of doing actual work.

Everything that you can do in slack, you can do in email. So I have never personally seen the point. The ads that they have in magazines always stress how FAST it is to connect with people over email. But the best part of email is that you can let it sit there and read it on your own schedule. This is the "problem" that slack endeavors to fix, making us all into neurotics that cant stay on the same task for more than 5 minutes.


By gtall • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

The security implications aside, email is a nice way to communicate. You send a note, go off and do something and if you get a response, you can either pick it up at the mail beep, or if you turned your mailer off to get some peace, the next day.

Slack, near as I can make out, is for people with the attention span of gnat who simply cannot believe they aren't in a meeting to fill any dead air with their intellectual musings they think are such gems that everyone should enjoy them.

It's a shame we cannot use social media masquerading as "business tools" for a game of whack-a-mole. Hell, we could even make it an electronic game. Turn the game on during lunch and when the mole bounces, representing some precious note, bounces around your screen and you get to shoot a electronic pistol at it. When you hit the bouncing meme, a note gets sent back to the sender explaining in precise terms what you thought of them...and that their message will remain unread until the day after eternity.

Re: BeauHD is a pedophile

By ComputerGeek01 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

To be honest, your situation is entirely your own fault. Macbooks are great for people who don't actually need to use their computer, like your grandmother. If you're trying to use Macs in a managed business environment then you're going to be spending a great deal of your paycheck on booze as a result.

Slack is not an email replacement

By mysidia • Score: 3 • Thread

To be clear... We still need some kinds of Private, Length, Non-interruptable communications -- Documents, Etc.

It is more than just being able to send and receive them, But it is also about BEING ABLE TO ORGANIZE communications.

Last I check.... Slack is just a searchable timeline. You can't DRAG and DROP a conversation into a Folder and make a summarized thread object with a Subject line .

Subject Line Change

By GoTeam • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
I've been using Exchange since the Exchange 2000 days. I've done upgrades from that version all the way up to Exchange 2013 (which will soon migrate to Exchange 2016). The biggest problems I've ever had with Exchange have been during the version migrations. The problems you're describing sound more like someone didn't know what they were doing when they deployed it. I've run DAG clusters in 2010 and 2013 without any of the issues you listed. I'm not absolving Microsoft of their various sins with Exchange (which are still many), but when you run into constant issues with "Enterprise" (yes, I laughed to myself when I said that) level software, it might be time to talk to (or replace) the person(s) responsible for the configuration.

Amazon is Rolling Out Machines To Automate Boxing Up Customer Orders

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Amazon is rolling out machines to automate a job held by thousands of its workers: boxing up customer orders. From a report: The company started adding technology to a handful of warehouses in recent years, which scans goods coming down a conveyor belt and envelopes them seconds later in boxes custom-built for each item, two people who worked on the project told Reuters. Amazon has considered installing two machines at dozens more warehouses, removing at least 24 roles at each one, these people said. These facilities typically employ more than 2,000 people. That would amount to more than 1,300 cuts across 55 U.S. fulfillment centers for standard-sized inventory. Amazon would expect to recover the costs in under two years, at $1 million per machine plus operational expenses, they said. The plan, previously unreported, shows how Amazon is pushing to reduce labor and boost profits as automation of the most common warehouse task -- picking up an item -- is still beyond its reach.

Re:Couldn't be worse than today, could it?

By jbmartin6 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Sometimes accepting a sub optimal solution to a narrowly defined problem in order to save time or some other resource elsewhere is the better solution in a wider sense. Automation isn't going to change that.

At last!

By Impy the Impiuos Imp • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Finally! We can get rid of all those jobs people have been bitching about. The human condition improves!

I am ready for my downmod, Mr. DeMille

Somthing from 02/05/2019

By houghi • Score: 3 • Thread

Amazon Dismisses Idea Automation Will Eliminate All Its Warehouse Jobs Soon

That took longer than I thought it would take. Obviously they where not lying as they said the words All, so if even one stays, it is ok and 'soon' wich is a relative measurement.

I worked in an Amazon sorting center.

By Locke2005 • Score: 3 • Thread
All the work is done BY HAND by people people looking at address codes and scanning with handheld barcode scanners (they can't even color code or sha;e code the address codes; they are all printed in monochrome text. Here's the fun part: they have metal slides for the packages to slide down to the conveyor belts. Ferrous metal slides. Amazon ships a lot of speakers with huge electromagnets on them... which of course get stuck to the side of the slides, so they have these long poles used to clear the slides! I could never figure out why they didn't use robots, but apparently hiring people without skills for $12/hour sorting jobs helps with their diversity statistics.

Re:There's still job losses

By RhettLivingston • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Amazon can only claim that automation won't take jobs for another 10 years because they expect their business to increase fast enough to counter their efficiency gains.

But that does not count the jobs lost at other employers due to Amazon using their efficiency gains to increase business.

The effect of automation must be measured across industry to avoid these inaccuracies. Some would say that the production of the automation equipment offset that to a degree, but often that equipment is an import - so limiting the measurement to American jobs could lose that offset.

'I Bought Some Noise-Canceling Headphones. They Don't Cancel Noise'

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
"Many are seduced by the idea that they can listen in silence," complains ZDNet columnist Chris Matyszczyk.

"This doesn't seem to be true," he writes, describing a typical experience with some $279.95 Beats Studio3 wireless over-ear headphones: I could still hear so much of what was going on beyond the soccer match or movie upon which my headphones were supposed to be focused. This wasn't noise-canceling. It was noise-dulling... I did a little research. This noise-canceling thing is a splendid hype. The technology works best on quashing -- somewhat -- low-frequency sounds. The more high-pitched elements of life -- human speech, babies on planes, high-revving engines, the Darkness in concert -- get a little flattening at best, once you don your headphones. Door bells, a glass being dropped on the floor, a dog barking -- all these sounds were slightly dulled by my headphones, but still perfectly audible.

I'm not suggesting Beats is solely responsible for the promise of noise-canceling being overblown. I understand it's the same with all other headphones of the genre. It's like a self-driving car that actually needs you to check it's not about to kill you....

Yes, if I wear my Beats for a couple of hours and then take them off, I feel like I'm returning from some sort of purgatorial netherworld. But these things are supposed to cancel noise. You know, like you cancel a subscription or an air ticket. When I decide to cancel my flight from San Francisco to New York, I don't expect to still have to fly to Boise, Idaho.

Re:As Every Review Says

By AmiMoJo • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

A blender has limits, it can't blend any arbitrary object. In fact there is an entire YouTube channel dedicated to determining what can and cannot be blended.

I think most people buying a blender will not be surprised to learn that they cannot use it to blend a house brick, for example.

"Cancelling" does not imply perfect operation. Just like cleaning liquid does not imply that it can remove any and all contamination perfectly. A sharpening stone does not turn the blade of your knife into a Sinclair molecule chain etc.

But "unlimited" is quite specific, so screw those guys.

Re:As Every Review Says

By Baloroth • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

But they do cancel noise. They just don't cancel all of it. I don't get why that's hard to understand. They're not called for e.g. noise attenuating because they don't really attenuate noise (or not especially so, all closed back headphones attenuate some): attenuation and cancellation are different physical processes. Noise cancellation is the process of actively applying a phase-shifted waveform that (to some degree) matches and cancels the incoming noise. Calling it noise "cancelling" is a bit of a marketing gimmick, sure, but it's not misleading to anyone who's paid any attention to the technology in the past 20 years, or even just tried the things on in the store for 5 minutes (though some of the new offerings from Bose and especially Sony are really really good).

pilot here

By deadweight • Score: 3 • Thread
No one with 1/4 of a brain ever thought "noise cancelling" was the same as 100% soundproof. What they do accomplish is significantly reducing low frequency noise. The headphone shell and insulation are effective proportionally to frequency. Running at cruise RPM - say 2200-2400 RPM, there is a lot of low frequency prop, engine, and airframe noise that really gets old on a long flight. The noise cancelling does a really good job eliminating that.

Re:Lol... Bose. Of all things ...

By jwhyche • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Noise cancelling headphones are meant to cancel out repetitive predictive sound. When I was flying my Bose noise cancelling headphones worked pretty good to filter out engine noise. But in the office the only way I could figure out how to use them filter out noisy coworkers was to beat them to death with the headphones.

I gave up on noise canceling headphones years ago

By GWBasic • Score: 3 • Thread

I gave up on noise canceling headphones years ago. Recently, I bought some good ear muffs for hearing protection while I mow the lawn. They just happened to include a bluetooth headset, which happened to have excellent quality.

They're so good, I use them when I fly, and even when I'm in an office situation. A lot of people will start talking to me, and I can't hear them at all if the music is at a normal volume. It's surprising that a $50 ear protection can outperform a high-priced set of bluetooth noise canceling headphones, but sometimes simpler is better.

Is It Finally the Year of 'Linux on the Desktop' ?

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
"2019 is truly, finally shaping up to be the year of Linux on the desktop," writes PC World's senior editor, adding "Laptops, too!" But most people won't know it. That's because the bones of the open-source operating system kernel will soon be baked into Windows 10 and Chrome OS, as Microsoft and Google revealed at their respective developer conferences this week... Between lurking in Windows 10 and Chrome OS, and the tiny portion of actual Linux distro installs, pretty much any PC you pick up will run a Linux kernel and Linux software. Macs won't, but it's based on a Unix-like BSD system that already runs many Linux apps with relative ease (hence Apple's popularity with developers).

You have to wonder where that leaves proper Linux distributions like Ubuntu and Linux Mint, though. They already suffer from a minuscule user share, and developers may shift toward Windows and Chrome if the Linux kernels in those operating systems get the same job done. Could this fruit wind up poisonous over the long term? We'll have to see. That said, Linux is healthier than ever. The major distros are far more polished than they used to be, with far fewer hardware woes than installs of yesteryear. You can even get your game on relatively well thanks to Valve's Proton technology, which gets many (but not all) Steam games working on Linux systems. And hey, Linux is free.

Normal users may never be aware of it, but 2019 may finally be the year of Linux on the desktop -- just not Linux operating systems on the desktop.

Re:The problem is that, do you want it?

By tigersha • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Oh God, now every Linux freak is going to switch to Windows get away from systemd! Someone at Microsoft was utterly brilliant.

Re:Stupid level: Over 9000

By jwhyche • Score: 4 • Thread

I have a linux VM on my Mac, I use it nice or twice a week.

I bet you have a windows vm on that mac too. I've never seen a mac owner that didn't have one. All the mac heads that I know when they have to get real work done is "first load windows in a vm."

Re:Stupid level: Over 9000

By hackertourist • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Don't spout nonsense. Plenty of real work gets done in Mac OS. The programs in my Windows VM are ones I use once a year to interface with oddball hardware (satnav, temperature/CO2 recorder) and service manuals for my cars.

Re: No

By JustAnotherOldGuy • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

They want something that's usable right out of the box.

I switched full-time to Linux Mint on January 1st this year and have no complaints. Everything just worked- scanners, printers, wifi, webcams, Bluetooth dongles, etc.

Are there some downsides to Linux? Sure. Are there downsides to Windows? OH HELL YES.

For me, one of the best parts of Linux is not having to reboot all the damn time for every little thing.

You install stuff and *boom* there it is, no reboot required.
You update the system and just keep on going, no reboot required.
You uninstall stuff and *boom* it's gone, no reboot required.

That, to me, is invaluable.

Re: No

By serviscope_minor • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

I could level the same point at you: you've moulded yourself around the issues of other platforms such that you don't see them day to day. As an occasional visitor to Windows, and a weekly (not daily) user of Macs, for me, Linux is the system that works most smoothly and work fewest problems day to day.

I don't use Linux because I feel compelled to tinker day to day. I use it because it's the easiest system to use.

Boeing's New Plan: Replace Human Inspectors With Technology

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
"Boeing is pushing ahead on a plan to cut about 900 inspectors, replacing their jobs with technology improvements at its Seattle area factories, despite being under fire for software flaws in the 737 Max and quality issues in its other aircraft," reports USA Today.

"The union has raised an outcry, calling it a 'bad decision' that will 'eliminate the second set of eyes on thousands of work packages' in its newsletter to members." Some 451 inspectors will be transferred to other jobs this year, and about the same number next year, out of a total of about 3,000 at its commercial aircraft operations in the Seattle area, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, Local 751, has told its members.... When it comes to paring its inspection staff on the West Coast, Boeing says the "QA Transformation Plan" won't undermine safety. Substituting technology gains, it says, will increase quality and effect only "stable" procedures, those in which there is a low probability of mistakes.

For instance, Boeing says when it is bringing out a new aircraft with wings made out of composites, there is equipment now that can do the inspections more thoroughly than humans. Once the inspection equipment has verified that it can do the job -- with humans overseeing the process -- traditional inspectors can be redeployed to other tasks. "As we identify and reduce second-layer inspections for stable processes, quality assurance professionals will be redeployed and take on new roles such as leading and supporting efforts to prevent defects and rework," Boeing said in a statement. It adds that it is working to try to convince regulators and others that the changes "will not jeopardize our quality, but will, in fact, lead to higher levels."

So far, the Federal Aviation Administration hasn't given the plan a ringing endorsement... And skeptics are emerging. Ralph Nader, the consumer advocate who lost a niece when the Ethiopian Airlines jet crashed and who believes the 737 Max design is fatally flawed, is leery of substituting machines for people when it comes to quality. "They still haven't learned the lesson that risky automation does not replicate experienced human intelligence," he said. "There is no comparison. There is all kinds of human intuition that can't be translated into computer code."

Eliminating make-work?

By bradley13 • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

This has zero to do with the 737-Max problems, which were an engineering (or management) problem.

My experience with unions in this sector is that they are all about creating/preserving unnecessary jobs. The most egregious example: I was working with a colleague to install an automation system in a plant. The plant workers had already installed the wiring to the items our system was going to control, but we wanted to check that each of the wires was actually connected, and to the correct device. So we're going from point to point in the plant, to send a signal along the wire to another colleague back at the computer system. Fine, only...consider the team we were travelling around the plant with, all jobs dictated by the union:

- The supervisor, who knew where all the devices were physically located (necessary).

- The guy who turned the screws to open the junction boxes, so we could access the wires (unnecessary)

- The guy who attached jumper cables to the wires (unnecessary)

- The guy who pushed the button to send the signal (unnecessary)

- The shift supervisor, who made sure we followed all the union rules (unnecessary)

That was my first experience with unions, but not the last...


By darkain • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread

Who inspects the inspector bots?

Re: Don't forget

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

I'd probably think they need _more_, not less inspectors. Not to mention, inspectors can use the whistleblowing hotline (which Boeing inspectors did, indeed, use for the case of the sensors) whereas an algorithm... well... you tell me.

Re:Tech is used in tech to automate inspections

By Z00L00K • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Tech still lacks the imagination "what could possibly go wrong".

Even if you have a weld that checks out perfectly on X-rays you may discover that it isn't good from other perspectives. You may be able to weld two materials that aren't having similar properties, but it may be a stress point between the two materials where they join. This might be fine if you never expose it to varying temperatures, but as soon as there are temperature variations the material may buckle, bend or crack.

Re:Eliminating make-work?

By tomhath • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

I've seen the same thing at trade shows. You need to pay an electrician to plug a monitor into an electrical outlet, minimum billed time 15 minutes. To plug a monitor's cord into a wall socket. It has nothing to do with safety.