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


  1. Type A Blood Converted To Universal Donor Blood With Help From Bacterial Enzyme
  2. AMD Unveils Zen 2 CPU Architecture, Navi GPU Architecture and a Slew of Products
  3. Steven Spielberg Is Writing a Horror Series That You Can Only Watch At Night
  4. Facebook Turned Off Search Features Used To Catch War Criminals, Child Predators, And Other Bad Actors
  5. Kim Dotcom In Final Bid To Halt Extradition
  6. Google Maps Will Tell You If Your Taxi Driver Is Veering Off Course To Rack Up a Higher Fare
  7. Supreme Court To Consider Racial Discrimination Case Against Comcast
  8. US Customs and Border Protection Says Traveler Photos and License Plate Images Stolen In Data Breach
  9. Huawei is Reportedly Asking App Developers To Publish on its AppGallery
  10. World's Largest Plant Survey Reveals Alarming Extinction Rate
  11. Audi Recalls Its First Electric Car for Battery Fire Risk
  12. NASA is Sending an Atomic Clock Into Deep Space
  13. Some Big Tech Firms Cut Employees' Access To Huawei, Muddying 5G Rollout
  14. Scottish Power To Build Vast Battery To Improve Wind Energy Supply
  15. Top Voting Machine Maker Reverses Position on Election Security, Promises Paper Ballots
  16. Opera, Brave, Vivaldi To Ignore Chrome's Anti-Ad-Blocker Changes, Despite Shared Codebase
  17. G20 Agrees To Push Ahead With Digital Tax
  18. Salesforce Bets on Big Data With $15.3 Billion Tableau Buy
  19. Disney's Video Streaming Service Hotstar Halts Support for Safari Browser
  20. Project Scarlett is the Next Xbox Console, Launching in Holiday 2020
  21. Interviews: For the 25th Birthday of FreeDOS, Ask Its Founder A Question
  22. A 'Premium' Firefox Is Coming This Fall

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

Type A Blood Converted To Universal Donor Blood With Help From Bacterial Enzyme

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Science Magazine: For a transfusion to be successful, the patient and donor blood types must be compatible. Now, researchers analyzing bacteria in the human gut have discovered that microbes there produce two enzymes that can convert the common type A into a more universally accepted type. If the process pans out, blood specialists suggest it could revolutionize blood donation and transfusion. To up the supply of universal blood, scientists have tried transforming the second most common blood, type A, by removing its "A-defining" antigens. But they've met with limited success, as the known enzymes that can strip the red blood cell of the offending sugars aren't efficient enough to do the job economically.

After 4 years of trying to improve on those enzymes, a team led by Stephen Withers, a chemical biologist at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver, Canada, decided to look for a better one among human gut bacteria. Some of these microbes latch onto the gut wall, where they "eat" the sugar-protein combos called mucins that line it. Mucins' sugars are similar to the type-defining ones on red blood cells. So UBC postdoc Peter Rahfeld collected a human stool sample and isolated its DNA, which in theory would include genes that encode the bacterial enzymes that digest mucins. Chopping this DNA up and loading different pieces into copies of the commonly used lab bacterium Escherichia coli, the researchers monitored whether any of the microbes subsequently produced proteins with the ability to remove A-defining sugars. At first, they didn't see anything promising. But when they tested two of the resulting enzymes at once -- adding them to substances that would glow if the sugars were removed -- the sugars came right off. The enzymes also worked their magic in human blood. Tiny amounts added to a unit of type A blood could get rid of the offending sugars, they found.
The findings have been reported today in the journal Nature Microbiology.

Mmmm... Fermented blood!

By Cyberax • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
LaCroix should start a new series of products: artisan fermented organic blood.

Big Discovery

By Only Time Will Tell • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
This would be a major leap in keeping blood supplies on hand for hospitals and emergencies. You wouldn't need to try and find Type O- (which is relatively rare) to supply in emergencies where doing a type match is unreasonable. I'm curious if this can strip Type A of CMV which would allow it to be given to premies, but at least you'd have a bigger pool of natural CMV negative to pull from than just those who are both Type O- and CMV-.

A possible risk

By Ungrounded Lightning • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

One possible risk concerns me.

The treated blood will almost certainly contain some of the enzymes in question. Injecting it might provoke an immune reaction to them, and thus to the bacterial that produce them. This might knock down their concentration in the gut.

The description of the bacterium sounds like a. muciniphila. Lowered concentrations of it in the intestines is associated with a host of pathologies: Obesity, type 2 diabeties, ...

AMD Unveils Zen 2 CPU Architecture, Navi GPU Architecture and a Slew of Products

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
MojoKid writes: AMD let loose today with a number of high profile launches at the E3 2019 Expo in Los Angeles, CA. The company disclosed its full Zen 2 Ryzen 3000 series microarchitecture, which AMD claims offers an IPC uplift of 15% generation over generation, thanks to better branch prediction, higher integer throughput, and reduced effective latency to memory. Zen 2 also significantly beefs up floating point throughput with double the FP performance of the previous generation. AMD also announced a 16-core/32-thread variant, dubbed Ryzen 3950X, that drops at $750 -- a full $950 cheaper than a similar spec 16-core Intel Core i9-9960X. On the graphics side, AMD's RDNA architecture in Navi will power the company's new Radeon RX 5700 series, which is said to offer competitive performance to NVIDIA's GeForce RTX 2070 and 2060 series. The Navi-based GPU at the heart of the upcoming Radeon RX 5700 series is manufactured on TSMC's 7nm process node and features GDDR6 memory, along with PCI Express 4.0 interface support. Versus AMD's previous generation GCN (Graphics Core Next) architecture, RDNA delivers more than 50% better performance-per-watt and 25% better overall performance. Greater than 50% of that improvement comes from architecture optimizations according to AMD; the GPU also gets a boost from its 7nm process and frequency gains. Radeon RX 5700 and 5700 XT cards will be available in market on July 7th, along with AMD Ryzen 3000 chips, but pricing hasn't been established yet for the Radeon GPUs.

Rocking my first AMD card since the 1650x

By rsilvergun • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
An RX 580. Pretty solid, but I'll admit to a few crashes in Far Cry 3 and there's some known bugs with anti-aliasing in Assassin's Creed 4. Still, it's been overall pretty solid and I paid $100 bucks used for it. I'm also surprised how well older games run on it. I played through Psychonauts on it and a good chunk of Sonic & Sega All Stars Racing Transformed.

AMD seems to have gotten their act together with drivers, at least as much as nVidia. If they can get power consumption under control they might finally get back some market share.

AMD killing it lately

By samwichse • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Remember when AMD was stuck on Bulldozer and related cores? Intel does, because they basically didn't advance for that entire period.

Now AMD is back and killing it and Intel is scrambling again. Competition is heating up and I got to buy a 4-core 8-thread chip that draws peanuts at idle and 65w all-out for $150, AND it includes graphics equivalent to the low end discreet market.

I missed this rapid progress these last 5 years. Fuck you Intel for riding "good enough" forever.


By gweihir • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

When you consider that Intel gets much of its performance advantage from an insecure architecture and asks much higher prices, not really. But what can you expect from an AC shill.

Re:Spectres fixes?

By gweihir • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

They were much less susceptible than Intel already before, i.e. attack execution is much, much harder. They have some fixes in there now (before was just better architecture). Whether the result is a "complete" fix, i.e. the attack is either not doable anymore or so much effort that it does not make sense to use it, or whether they just made it even harder is unclear. AFAIK, most of the Spectre-class attacks were only ever demonstrated on Intel and some may have been practically infeasible on AMD even before.

As AMD has now a superior DC offering, I expect people will try to overcome the higher hurdles to see whether the attacks work or not. But this may take a while. These attacks are all hard pretty to do, even the easier ones on Intel.

Re:Spectre fixes?

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

It's not the speculation which is the problem, it's what you're allowed to do with it. Intel's problem was that they executed code speculatively before even checking if you were allowed to perform the action, and then tried to win the race to remove the result ex post facto before anyone could read it. IOW, they let you read and copy all the secrets and then tried to shoot you and destroy the copies before you could get away or hand over the information to someone else.

AMD CPUs first check if the operation is permissible before it executes.

Steven Spielberg Is Writing a Horror Series That You Can Only Watch At Night

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Spielberg's After Dark horror series will only be able to be streamed when it's dark outside. It'll be available exclusively on Quibi (short for "Quick Bites"), a new streaming platform dedicated to short-form video, created by former Disney executive Jeffrey Katzenberg and former HP CEO Meg Whitman. Variety reports: Spielberg had an unusual request however: He wanted viewers to only be able to watch the program after midnight. Given that phones can track where it is at the moment -- and keep tabs on when the sun rises and sets in its area -- Katzenberg and Whitman challenged their engineers to come up with an idea for how to view the show when it's spooky out. The result: A clock will appear on phones, ticking down until sun sets in wherever that user is, until it's completely gone. Then the clock starts ticking again to when the sun comes back up -- and the show will disappear until the next night. According to the report, Quibi is planning for an April 2020 launch, and is "hoping to trigger a 'third generation of film narrative,' following movies and TV."

"At launch, Quibi will offer a two-week free trial period, and have eight 'super premium' productions (which Katzenberg still called 'movies') ready to view," reports Variety. "After that, there will be 26 more 'lighthouse' (read: signature projects) productions that will roll out, every other Monday, for the first year."

Steven Spielberg doesn’t decide when I watch

By Hallux-F-Sinister • Score: 3, Informative • Thread

Nor shit.

If he and his army of flying monkeys figures out a way to make it impossible to watch something when I want to watch it, guess what I won’t be watching?

Also, since I can watch very nearly any fucking thing else... I don’t see this as any kind of loss. Spielberg is using a “gimmick,” perhaps hoping curiosity will gin up some kind of enthusiasm for his little project. I think it will backfire because I already don’t give a fuck about whatever it is and I’m still writing a post about how I don’t give a fuck and I barely give enough of a fuck about not giving a fuck to finish writing this sentence.

Whew... thought I might run completely out of giveafuck before I got to the end of

Too late. Out of giveafuck.

Re:Katzenberg AND Whitman?

By JustAnotherOldGuy • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

For me it's the exact opposite. Stuff that would have made me creep out no longer bothers me, and I haven't seen a movie in years and years that gives me the slightest feeling of unease.

Maybe I'm just burnt out on that stuff, but for me there's no such thing as a "scary movie" anymore.

Re:I still have a VCR

By Provocateur • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

Well, your VCR clock shows 12:00, so you're already halfway there, Einstein!

Simpsons did it

By jbmartin6 • Score: 3 • Thread
When I was a kid, we could only watch The Simpsons at 8 PM Sunday night. Can you kids imagine that? Crazy right? I don't recall what technology they used to keep us from watching it at other times. My Dad had a server somewhere in the house and he only let us watch shows on some dumb box that only had three shows on it.

Re: many people have a job, schameelburg

By K. S. Kyosuke • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
I have; it's time divisible only by 1 and itself.

Facebook Turned Off Search Features Used To Catch War Criminals, Child Predators, And Other Bad Actors

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
The human rights and war crimes community is up in arms over Facebook's decision to turn off a set of advanced features in its graph search product, which is "a way to receive an answer to a specific query on Facebook, such as 'people in Nebraska who like Metallica,'" reports BuzzFeed News. "Using graph search, it's possible to find public -- and only public -- content that's not easily accessed via keyword search." The decision, which was not announced publicly, was likely made in an effort to limit data scandals and improve privacy. From the report: When Mark Zuckerberg personally introduced graph search in early 2013, he billed it as equal in importance to Facebook's News Feed and profile timeline. On launch day, the company also published a post offering journalists tips on how to use graph search. Over the years, graph search became a valuable tool for investigators, police officers, and journalists. At the same time, social media became a key source for uncovering war crimes, disinformation campaigns, child exploitation, and other crimes and abuses.

The move raised even more concern in the human rights and investigative journalism communities because Facebook appeared to thwart attempts to find workarounds. Henk van Ess, an investigator and trainer who works with Bellingcat, operates a tool that uses graph search to enable powerful searches of public content. After Facebook turned off some searches, he was able to find workarounds -- until the company blocked them. "I patched my tools 5 times and each time, after 2 hrs, the tools were crippled by FB," he wrote in a Twitter direct message. "Other toolmakers experienced the same." Van Ess now requires people to request permission from him to use his tool; he says he's been flooded with requests from people pursuing investigations "involving human rights abuses, war crimes, terrorism, extremism, white collar crime ... corruption, disinformation campaigns, environmental crimes, cybercrime -- the list just keeps on going."
A Facebook spokesperson said in a statement to BuzzFeed News: "The vast majority of people on Facebook search using keywords, a factor which led us to pause some aspects of graph search and focus more on improving keyword search. We are working closely with researchers to make sure they have the tools they need to use our platform."

Loaded headline

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Alternate headline: Facebook turned off search feature used by oppressive governments and shadowy organizations to unmask dissidents, amass databases for political targeting, and otherwise surveil people who are too stupid to set the right privacy settings on their accounts.

How are they supposed to find war criminals...

By Nova Express • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread

...when there are so many conservatives left unbanned, so many examples of WrongThink that need to be suppressed, so many Social Justice Warriors that need to be appeased?

Re:War criminals and pedobears

By rmdingler • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Too often, evidence is manipulated to reinforce confirmation bias. We see it in political and religious belief sets, and we'd be remiss to imagine it doesn't exist in the persecution of the most easily reviled.


By peppepz • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
This feature was a privacy abomination. Criminals have to be catched by judicially-sanctioned investigation, not by indiscriminate mass surveillance. Since the information collected was "public", anyway, whoever used this feature to access it can still obtain it easily, can't them?

Kim Dotcom In Final Bid To Halt Extradition

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from the BBC: Controversial internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom has begun a final appeal to halt his extradition from New Zealand to the U.S. on copyright-related charges. The FBI claims Mr Dotcom's Megaupload site earned millions of dollars by facilitating illegal file-sharing. But his lawyers told New Zealand's Supreme Court on Monday it was never meant to encourage copyright breaches. Mr Dotcom, who denies the charges, could face a lengthy jail term in the U.S. if extradited and found guilty.

Mathias Ortmann, Bram van der Kolk and Finn Batatom -- all former Megaupload executives -- stand accused of the same charges, which include conspiracy to commit racketeering, copyright infringement, money laundering and wire fraud. The US Department of Justice has been trying to extradite the men since 2012, and in 2015 a New Zealand district court said it would permit the move. The defendants have since lodged unsuccessful appeals at the High Court and Court of Appeal, leading to a final push this week at the Supreme Court.
"In 2005 I created a website that allowed people to upload files to the cloud. At the time only small files could be attached to emails. Megaupload allowed users to email a link to a file. That's it," Dotcom wrote on Twitter yesterday. "In 2019 the NZ Supreme Court decides if I should be extradited for this 'crime.'"

FBI doesn't like end-to-end encryption

By VeryFluffyBunny • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
The FBI are going after Kim Dotcom because Mega offers end-to-end encryption to all its users: All the data on Mega servers is encrypted, the users have the keys, not Mega, & so users' data can't be searched without getting a specific, i.e. legal, court order. The FBI doesn't like having to go through lawful channels to search through people's stuff.

Re:FBI doesn't like end-to-end encryption

By Aighearach • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

No, what is alleged here is that Mega was actually paying kickbacks to the biggest infringers, and they continued to pay it even in cases where they knew about infringement. There are a whole bunch of specific actions that they took in order to help, many of which are alleged to show knowledge and intent to contribute to copyright infringement.

If DotCom is guilty, then Google is 10X as guilty

By walterbyrd • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

There is all kinds of copyrighted material on youtube. Some of it has been there for ten years, and has millions of views. Most of it has no ads.

Re:FBI doesn't like end-to-end encryption

By drinkypoo • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

It's really much more like firearms manufacturers acting surprised when military-style weapons are used to shoot humans. It works for them, why not Mega?

Google Maps Will Tell You If Your Taxi Driver Is Veering Off Course To Rack Up a Higher Fare

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Google Maps is rolling out a new feature that will tell you if your taxi driver goes off-route in an attempt to rack up a higher fare. Sure, you could always use Google Maps to pick the shortest route possible, but the newest feature does the work for you. BGR reports: The feature is especially useful in cities you don't know, but also at home, allowing you to get live updates on your route. Google Maps will send an alert to your phone every time you're off-route by 500 meters, xda-developers explains. Moreover, your route will not be rerouted automatically, which is what happens when deviating from your route while using Google Maps for regular navigation. That's because the feature will help you stick to your chosen route rather than continuously adapting it.

Once you start receiving the alerts, you should notify the driver that you're aware of the changes he or she made, and ask to revert to the shortest route possible. It's unlikely they'll try to cheat again once it's clear you're keeping tabs on the journey. And don't believe them when they say that traffic is the reason for the detour unless you can verify it with Google Maps, which should give you an idea of what traffic to expect on your route. It's unclear whether the feature will be available in other markets or when it'll launch. You'll want to be on the lookout for new Maps buttons that says Stay safer and Get off-route alerts in the navigation menu to take advantage of it.

Taxi go bamslam

By AndyKron • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
So the driver is going to get all scared and never do it again when you tell him he's going the wrong way? Hey, I got this one covered, watch this video and see what REALLY happens!

Not generally a problem.

By mark-t • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

It's been my observation that a cab driver will typically make more money by getting more fares per unit of time than he or she will by making any single fare take somewhat more time than it should.

It stands to reason that they would want to generally try and get you to where they need to take you as quickly as possible so they can hopefully get another fare nearby.

Re: Avoiding traffic?

By aaronb1138 • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
Can't trust Google routes when they constantly try to put me through $4+ in tolls to save a half mile and maybe 1 minute on a 15 minute drive. My time is valuable, but not whore me to the toll company at $250/hr valuable.

Re:Not generally a problem.

By fafalone • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
Several times I've had to say something to indicate 'I'm not a fucking tourist so knock it off' to NYC cabs. Usually because they'd turn onto a packed minor crosstown street in Manhattan instead of just going to a faster moving major one. And the traffic on Google maps seems to have no basis in reality for anything less than 'Nobody moving anywhere whole area is gridlock' and then it doesn't much matter.

I commend google

By cdsparrow • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

On figuring out how to get people without cars (or taking mass transport or walking, etc) to use navigation and still supply all that yummy data, lol.

Supreme Court To Consider Racial Discrimination Case Against Comcast

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
The Supreme Court will consider whether a black television producer can pursue racial discrimination claims against Comcast for declining to carry his programming channels on its cable system (Warning: source paywalled; alternative source). The Wall Street Journal reports: The Comcast case stems from the cable operator's decision not to carry Pets.TV, Recipes.TV and other channels from Entertainment Studios Networks Inc. The Los Angeles company is solely owned by Byron Allen, who gained celebrity as co-host of "Real People," a 1980s reality show. Comcast has carried channels owned mostly or substantially by African-Americans, such as Magic Johnson's Aspire and Sean "Diddy" Combs's music channel, Revolt TV, as well as Black Entertainment Television, whose African-American founder, Robert Johnson, sold to Viacom in 2001.

The suit, filed under Reconstruction-era law affording "the same right" to contract "as is enjoyed by white citizens," alleges, however, that Comcast discriminated against "100% African American" owned media such as Entertainment Studios. A federal appeals court in San Francisco allowed the suit to proceed. "If discriminatory intent plays any role in a defendant's decision not to contract with a plaintiff, even if it is merely one factor and not the sole cause of the decision, then that plaintiff has not enjoyed the same right as a white citizen," Judge Milan Smith wrote for the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Comcast denies the allegations and says it was concerned the Entertainment Studios programming wouldn't draw enough of an audience to justify allotting it bandwidth. The cable operator argues that federal law requires the plaintiff to show that he or she would have gotten the contract absent racial bias.

Please wait a moment before posting

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

My popcorn isn't ready yet.

race-baiting, entitled idiot

By slashmydots • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
All channel owners and company owners care about in the media world is money and money doesn't have a skin color. They don't care if the creators are purple. If the show looks like it will make money, they run it. If it doesn't, they don't. The money is so tight and the choice of shows so important, EVERY channel owner and operator sees past race automatically. This is just another entitled hollywood wannabe who thinks their creative product is God's gift to the planet who listens to all the "all white people are evil" and "black people are always victims" BS floating around on the internet and this is the result. I hope this idiot loses all their money in court and goes bankrupt. They deserve it for playing the victim.

Those channels are junk

By jonsmirl • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

I watched those channels for about five minutes before deleting them from my guide. They just endlessly loop things that look like YouTube videos. This is not about race, the channels are useless. I'd be pissed at Comcast if they added them to my bill.

Co-host a show that airs on 200+ radio stations

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 3, Interesting • Thread

I co-host a major syndicated radio show that airs on 200+ radio stations and while I'm not black the show is minority run and has a VERY libertarian slant. In fact it is the biggest libertarian radio show on the planet. It's marketed that way at that. A bunch of the co-hosts are LGBQT (maybe 4/9) and every co-host is a libertarian. The radio stations the shows air on are pretty much all "conservative" or "liberal" talk stations. There isn't a "libertarian" station out there. If a libertarian show which is a minority by definition (we're talking about maybe 3% of the population here) can get its content aired on over 200 conservative and liberal radio stations I have a hard time believing this is an issue of Comcast discriminating based on race. Particularly given that they have other black or majority-black owned channels. If you said you were into dog sex or a pedophile or something then maybe I'd believe that you were actually discriminated against. But the majority of minorities with political clout (ie of any real size) today don't see the kinda of bigotry and racism that once existed. As a gay man I will say I've encountered it maybe once in my life as an adult. I may not be flamboyant, but I've been out and open about my sexuality for 8-10ish years now. I will say there are still nut jobs down south, but it's not anywhere near as bad as it once was. Even 10 years ago it was much worse. I am also speaking from the perspective that my partner's mother disowned him (she was born and lives in the heart of the bible belt).

Re: race-baiting, entitled idiot

By Obfuscant • Score: 5 • Thread

If cable companies needed to choose the best shows or be out of business, then every single cable company would be out of business.

You're confused about the correct definition of "best" in this context.

"Best" is not "most critically acclaimed". It is also not "highest production values." It is also not "well acted" nor "well written". It is also not "highest production costs".

"Best" in this context is "keeps people watching the advertising." That's all. It does have a negative correlation with "production costs" since higher costs reduce the profits from advertising.

If Comcast thought that they could recoup the costs of transmission of any video network, and greater than any channel they have to replace to carry it, they would. Period.

I was involved in a cable decision to carry The Family Channel way back when it was Pat Robertson's prime medium. You know, "The 700 Club". The regulators were almost unanimously against allowing the channel to be added. The cable company really wanted it. They knew it would make money. In fact, they knew they would get money both from the local advertising they could add ("local avails") but from the payment from TFC to carry the channel in the first place. Money won over every other concern.

US Customs and Border Protection Says Traveler Photos and License Plate Images Stolen In Data Breach

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from TechCrunch: U.S. Customs and Border Protection has confirmed a data breach has exposed the photos of travelers and vehicles traveling in and out of the United States. The photos were stolen from a subcontractor's network through a "malicious cyberattack," a CBP spokesperson told TechCrunch in an email. "CBP learned that a subcontractor, in violation of CBP policies and without CBP's authorization or knowledge, had transferred copies of license plate images and traveler images collected by CBP to the subcontractor's company network," said an agency statement. "Initial information indicates that the subcontractor violated mandatory security and privacy protocols outlined in their contract," the statement read. he agency first learned of the breach on May 31. When asked, a spokesperson for CBP didn't say how many photos were taken in the breach or if U.S. citizens were affected. The agency also didn't name the subcontractor. The database that the agency maintains includes traveler images, as well as passport and visa photos. Congress has been notified and the CBP said it is "closely monitoring" CBP-related work by the subcontractor.

Security through legalese

By DigitAl56K • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

the subcontractor violated mandatory security and privacy protocols outlined in their contract,

Okay, and since when was legalese a good security measure, except for recourse after the fact?

Good thing I don't travel!

By fustakrakich • Score: 3, Interesting • Thread

Really, these "leaks" are getting too numerous to count.

For your own safety, just assume that everything has been breached, and since nothing will ever be done about it, just go with the flow. What choice do you have?

Why surveillance is bad and unconstitutional

By WillAffleckUW • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

This just points out how bad and unconstitutional such surveillance of American citizens is, and why it should never have happened in the first place.

Oh, and stop quartering troops inside the electronic devices in my home.

Re:Good thing I don't travel!

By cdsparrow • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

I would imagine there are very few people alive who haven't been part of some data breach at this point. Even if you never willingly submit data to anyone, they probably have a ghost profile on you, so that gets stolen along with the rest of people who did opt in for the rapage.

Should anyone bother to ask?

By Hallux-F-Sinister • Score: 3 • Thread

WTF was that data doing on some fucking contractors’ ‘networks?

Huawei is Reportedly Asking App Developers To Publish on its AppGallery

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Huawei is reportedly inviting Google Play Store developers to publish apps for the Huawei EMUI AppGallery, a month after it was reported that future Android handsets from the Chinese group won't support Google Play Store. From a report: An anonymous developer on Monday showed the email to XDA Developers, with Huawei apparently sending out invitations to join AppGallery and saying it has 270 million monthly active users across 350 million phones, and a community of 560,000 developers. "In order to guarantee a smooth usage of your app for our users, Huawei is committed to provide you with full support, to help you publish your app into AppGallery," the emailed invitation reportedly says. It also offers access to join the Huawei Developer portal for free, XDA Developers reported.

Hint, Huawei users

By Rosco P. Coltrane • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread


Google and Huawei can fuck right off with their monetizing stores.

Be careful.

By msauve • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
If you're a US developer, doing so may bring down the wrath of the feds. I can guarantee 99.99% that lawyer'ing up will cost more than whatever profit you'd get from your app. Same may apply in some other countries. IANAL.

World's Largest Plant Survey Reveals Alarming Extinction Rate

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
The world's seed-bearing plants have been disappearing at a rate of nearly 3 species a year since 1900 -- which is up to 500 times higher than would be expected as a result of natural forces alone, according to the largest survey yet of plant extinctions. From a report: The project looked at more than 330,000 species and found that plants on islands and in the tropics were the most likely to be declared extinct. Trees, shrubs and other woody perennials had the highest probability of disappearing regardless of where they were located. The results were published on 10 June in Nature Ecology & Evolution. The study provides valuable hard evidence that will help with conservation efforts, says Stuart Pimm, a conservation scientist at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. The survey included more plant species by an order of magnitude than any other study, he says. "Its results are enormously significant."

The work stems from a database compiled by botanist Rafael Govaerts at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, in London. Govaerts started the database in 1988 to track the status of every known plant species. As part of that project, he mined the scientific literature and created a list of seed-bearing plant species that were ruled extinct, and noted which species scientists had deemed to be extinct but were later rediscovered. In 2015, Govaerts teamed up with plant evolutionary biologist Aelys Humphreys at Stockholm University in Sweden and others to analyse the data. They compared extinction rates across different regions and characteristics such as whether the plants were annuals that regrow from seed each year or perennials that endure year after year. The researchers found that about 1,234 species had been reported extinct since the publication of Carl Linnaeus's compendium of plant species, Species Plantarum, in 1753. But more than half of those species were either rediscovered or reclassified as another living species, meaning 571 are still presumed extinct.

A map of plant extinctions produced by the team shows that flora in areas of high biodiversity and burgeoning human populations, such as Madagascar, the Brazilian rainforests, India and South Africa, are most at risk. Humphreys says that the rates of extinction in the tropics is beyond what researchers expect, even when they account for the increased diversity of species in those habitats. And islands are particularly sensitive because they are likely to contain species found nowhere else in the world and are especially susceptible to environmental changes, says Humphreys.

Re:How many new species naturally evolve each year

By Freischutz • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Humans like to catalog and keep everything in a zoo, but mother nature purges the weak.

Smells like FUD

Mother Nature purges the stupid as well, creatures like upright walking hairless primates who don't understand what the wholesale destruction of biodiversity really means.

history will not be kind

By hdyoung • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
This won't make us extinct, but the world will wind up very different and probably not nearly as nice as it is now. Centuries from now, historians will document that scientists understood we were clearly causing the mass extinction, but humanity as a whole was unable to summon the will and organization to mitigate it. Translation: our animal instincts to consume every available resource as fast as possible overrode our ability to plan ahead.

Re:Natural forces alone??

By Sumus Semper Una • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

So, homo sapiens sapiens is not considered "natural"?

The species is. Its tools and their effects are not considered natural, no.

Why not?

Because, by definition, anything created by human beings is artificial. Artificial and natural are mutually exclusive terms. If your question is, "why not call things made by human beings natural and do away with the word 'artificial,'" well that's because it's very useful to be able to distinguish between the categories. They have very different properties. If I tell you I have an artificial leg, you can be 100% certain it is not the leg I was born with. That would have been my natural leg.

Or take how it is used in the summary: "The world's seed-bearing plants have been disappearing at a rate of nearly 3 species a year since 1900 -- which is up to 500 times higher than would be expected as a result of natural forces alone." Because we know the definition of natural, this is clearly stipulating that without human intervention we would expect to see a 500 times lower rate of seed-bearing plants disappearing. You can argue whether you think that is true or whether it matters or whether it's a good thing or a bad thing, but arguing that humans are doing it *and* it's natural completely ignores the definition of the word.

Is this one wrong, too?

By LynnwoodRooster • Score: 3 • Thread

A few months ago, we were told that a study in Puerto Rico showed an "alarming rate of extinction" of insects and frogs. Problem is, the study was wrong. So how about some independent eyes on this one first (not just "peer reviewed" which means essentially nothing these days), before we go all hyper OMGTHEWORLDISENDING! on it...

Also curious why the editors here didn't post that paper showing things aren't that bad? Maybe because they want to sell the gloom-and-doom scenario because - angst sells?

Re:Is this one wrong, too?

By Tyler Durden • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
The authors reply to your linked article that claims that theirs was wrong here. As you are so convinced they have been proven wrong, can you give your detailed analysis as to how you became so sure?

It should also be noted that it is only a portion of a much larger article that addresses the extinctions of insect species found here.

Audi Recalls Its First Electric Car for Battery Fire Risk

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Volkswagen AG luxury brand Audi is recalling its first all-electric vehicle due to the risk of a battery fire. From a report: The company issued a voluntary recall of approximately 540 E-Tron SUV models sold in the U.S. because of a risk that moisture can seep into the battery cell through a wiring harness glitch, spokesman Mark Dahncke said. The company isn't aware of any fires or injuries because of the flaw, which affects a total of 1,644 models, he said. The E-Tron, which went on sale in the U.S. in April, is Audi's first fully-electric car and one in a wave of contenders from traditional automakers looking to challenge Tesla's dominance of the segment. While electric vehicles are no more prone to accidents or fires than gasoline-powered cars -- and might be less so, according the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration -- the lithium-ion battery technology that powers them is still evolving, and there is no consensus on safe system design.

Re:The weakpoint is

By King_TJ • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Ultimately, I agree. But I bought a Tesla anyway, and haven't regretted it a bit. Mind you, I went with a low mileage used one, rather than pay quite THAT much money out for a vehicle. The nice thing about Tesla is they've been selling battery powered cars since 2008 or so (first Roadster), and the Model S since 2012. So there's some history now to predict how they're holding up.

In the case of the very first Roadsters? They're starting to find the original battery packs need refurbishment at the 10-11 year old mark -- mainly because they're starting to develop shorts due to insulating materials degrading from time and the weather. Meanwhile, companies have started offering refurbishing for these, independent of Tesla -- so at least you CAN fix one back up and keep using it, should you want to. Alternately, Tesla offers a v3.0 battery for them that has much more capacity and improved materials. That will set you back about $29,000 including the labor though, so NOT real cost-effective, except for the fact these are basically sports/collectible cars at this point. Most owners are using them for car shows and parades more than as daily drivers. If they got 10 years of use out of theirs, they might spend the $29K to keep it around another 10+ with a much improved battery that gives it 350-400 miles of range between charges.

I figure my Model S has an 8 year, unlimited mileage warranty from Tesla with it, standard. So being a December, 2014 production date - it should be covered through the end of 2022. It's not likely I'd still own it that long, as I'd probably trade it in on a newer model with more capabilities by then. Whatever they sell by 2022 might be using a whole new battery technology, if Tesla is even still around? I mean, anything's possible.... At the end of the day, I bought this car because I knew I'd get a lot of use and enjoyment out of it while I owned it. And so far, I've done exactly that. I'm not super concerned about my "environmental impact" -- but I do like not having to hassle with stopping at gas stations anymore. (Charge the car overnight in my garage and it's good for my daily commute and whatever else I usually need to do.) And the performance is great too!

Re:Sorry Rei

By Morky • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
Nine documented fires not caused by a crash or striking an object, and that is counting from 2012. Nine! Give me a break.

Coal-charged EV?!?

By Alwin Henseler • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Just coal, good old coal. About 90% of the electricity for an EV comes from coal.

Sorry... WAY OFF. It depends on where power for a specific EV comes from. Which varies from place to place. And thus, varies from EV to EV depending on how/where its owner charges the vehicle.

If you take grid power, one could take a ballpark average using the world's electricity generation. Which has coal pegged around the 40% mark (2014 numbers, and I suspect falling). Less than half of that ridiculous 90% number of yours. What country on earth generates 90% of its electricity using coal? Certainly NOT big users like the US or China.

Where I live, most charging stations I've heard of are built by a company called FastNed. Which uses 100% renewables to power its charging stations (mostly wind & solar PV). Of course the sun doesn't shine at night. I'm sure that's dealt with along the lines of "pull 10 MWh from the grid at night, feed in 10 MWh above own use during the day". Slashdot readers should understand how that works. So charge an EV in the NL at a FastNed station, and yes you ARE driving around on 100% renewable power. Charge at home, and it will usually be grid power. Which unfortunately for the NL still depends heavily on fossil fuels including coal. But consumers here can choose where they buy their electricity from, and supplier's offerings include renewable power.

Not to mention that a significant % of EV owners will be environmental-conscious people. More likely than an average person to do something crazy like say, put solar panels up on the roof & charge EV using that.

Re:Growing pains.

By Aighearach • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

There was no fire, they just did extra testing on the wiring harness and found that under certain test conditions there is seepage through a harness that is designed to prevent seepage. It isn't actually supposed to get wet in the first place under normal operating conditions.

This isn't about fires, this is about meeting specifications that are based on product testing rather than design. As you do more tests, you might have to modify the design. That's expected.

So it is just growing pains, but it is more of an ache than a burn. ;)

Crappiest paywall clickbait ever

By Tough Love • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

This Fortune screed brings crappy paywall clickbait to an entirely new level of low. With three (or more???) links to the proprietary Bloomberg silo. Both Bloomberg and Fortune can FOAD. I will most happily get my news elsewhere.

Maybe a bit better quality control on Slashdot links would be in order.

NASA is Sending an Atomic Clock Into Deep Space

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader shares a report: On Saturday, June 22, SpaceX plans to launch its Falcon Heavy Rocket out of the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The reusable craft is coming off two successful flights; its maiden launch in early 2018 and a satellite delivery trip in April 2019. For its third adventure, the Falcon Heavy will ferry a trove of precious cargo up into space. Around two dozen satellites are going along for the ride this time. But the rocket's most interesting passenger has to be the Orbital Test Bed satellite. Its main payload is an experimental, toaster-sized gizmo called the Deep Space Atomic Clock (DSAC). If the thing works properly, future missions to Mars, Jupiter and beyond could become a whole lot easier -- and less expensive.

What the hell?

By jpaine619 • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Built-in atomic clocks help GPS satellites determine the distance between themselves and your smartphone.

Uh.. No.. GPS satellites send out a signal.. That's it... Your phone/tablet/device does all of the calculations.

From an end-user perspective, GPS satellites are a one way transmission system. Signal comes out, nothing goes in.

Even in the realm of reasonable mistakes to make when talking about technology, this one is a whopper.

So they truned this Falcon Heavy Booster

By oldgraybeard • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
around in less than 90 days ;) Wow
"its maiden launch in early 2018 and a satellite delivery trip in April 2019"
"On Saturday, June 22, SpaceX plans to launch its Falcon Heavy Rocket"

Just my 2 cents ;)

Re:What the hell?

By BenBoy • Score: 5, Funny • Thread
That's what they want you to think ... if you can't be bothered to do a little research on the conspiracy between MLB and atomic space toasters used by Burger King to ... wait a minute, you said "whopper" ... you're one of them, aren't you? AREN'T YOU???


By Netdoctor • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Skip the clickbaity dumbed down article, go straight to the release:

Navigation ...

By PPH • Score: 3 • Thread

... dependent on an accurate time base? That Harrison guy is just stirring up trouble again. Just pay him his reward and maybe he'll go away.

Some Big Tech Firms Cut Employees' Access To Huawei, Muddying 5G Rollout

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Some of the world's biggest tech companies have told their employees to stop talking about technology and technical standards with counterparts at Huawei in response to the recent U.S. blacklisting of the Chinese tech firm, Reuters reported Monday, citing people familiar with the matter. From a report: Chipmakers Intel and Qualcomm, mobile research firm InterDigital and South Korean carrier LG Uplus have restricted employees from informal conversations with Huawei, the world's largest telecommunications equipment maker, the sources said. Such discussions are a routine part of international meetings where engineers gather to set technical standards for communications technologies, including the next generation of mobile networks known as 5G.

The U.S. Department of Commerce has not banned contact between companies and Huawei. On May 16, the agency put Huawei on a blacklist, barring it from doing business with U.S. companies without government approval, then a few days later it authorized U.S. companies to interact with Huawei in standards bodies through August "as necessary for the development of 5G standards." The Commerce Department reiterated that position on Friday in response to a question from Reuters.

One question

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 3, Interesting • Thread

Have any of the accusations actually been proven? Or don't we do that anymore since 9/11/2001? We're just supposed to take the politician's word? Is that how it works?

We live in mad times...

A trade war disguised as security concerns

By Alain Williams • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

This is what it looks like to me. Huawei is a threat to dominance by USA companies and so the USA government has made up, or overblown, security issues and used this as an excuse to try to damage Huawei in the USA and other countries. This is very anti competitive and to run around World Trade Organization rules that prohibit discrimination - national security is an allowed exception ... thus the Trumped up security claims, but there is little evidence for these security issues.

Yes: Huawei is subject to Chinese law and would have to spy if ordered to. But USA companies are subject to the Patriot Act which compels them to do likewise - many countries have similar laws. USA companies kit (eg Cisco) has documented cases of deliberate security back doors. Many vendors (Chinese, American, & others) have poor security practices - but that is a different issue.

There are problems with China: it has a reputation for playing loose with intellectual property, this is getting better but has some way to go. Also government subsidies and ignoring environmental concerns give Chinese companies an unfair advantage. Trump is right to address these problems, but I do not think that starting a trade war is the right way. China is not the only country to do this but is now an economically large country and so needs to play ball.

Who is dying for 5G?

By Gravis Zero • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Honest question, is anyone rally just dying to get 5G for their phone? Is 4G not enough? I keep getting the feeling that 5G is being pushed by companies but there isn't any actual demand for it.

Scottish Power To Build Vast Battery To Improve Wind Energy Supply

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Scottish Power is to undertake the most ambitious battery power project in Europe in an attempt to unlock the potential of the UK's wind and solar farms. From a report: The company will connect an industrial-scale battery, the size of half a football pitch, to the Whitelee onshore windfarm early next year to capture more power from its 215 turbines. The first major onshore wind power storage project will lead the way for a string of similar projects across at least six of Scottish Power's largest renewable energy sites over the following 18 months. It claims the 50MW battery systems promise a "significant step" on the road towards renewable energy, providing baseload, or continuous electricity supply, for the UK energy system. The battery has more than double the power capacity of any existing battery in the UK. It would take an hour to fully charge and could release enough electricity over an hour to fully charge 806 Nissan Leaf vehicles over a total of 182,000 miles, according to a spokesman for Scottish Power.

Re:Surprised they're using Battieries

By gweihir • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Pumped hydro is slow. It is a good choice for base-load. Batteries are very fast. They are a good choice to improve grid stability.
Also, pumped hydro needs pretty stable power to pump. Batteries can easily take in highly fluctuation power.

Any other questions?

Re:You don't know what you're talking about.

By bugs2squash • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

I don't see why not. The battery can smooth out demand fluctuation just as well as supply fluctuation. Now whether you could build a battery that big is another issue, but I don't see why it wouldn't work.

I could also see electric car owners being rewarded for dampening supply or demand fluctuation - maybe the car charge controllers could have a feature whereby they don't just charge as fast as possible when plugged in, but if they know they are being left connected for some appreciable time, negotiate their charging requirements with the utility

Re: Excellent, just what is needed.

By K. S. Kyosuke • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

It turns out that solar power has developed considerably in the last 40 years, and so has nuclear power.

Solar power improved in cost by a factor of 100, whereas nuclear power "improved" in cost by a factor of 0.5.

Re: How much CO2 will be emitted?

By skids • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

The only way that "green" technologies are truly green is if they can be fully constructed without the use of any fossil fuels at all steps of the process.

What a great way handicap renewables. Must have been thought up in some oil company board room.

No, we are not going to put our purist dunce caps on. Technologies will be evaluated on an even playing field.

Re: Excellent, just what is needed.

By K. S. Kyosuke • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

I read that it takes more energy to fab the silicon, build the frame, ship the solar panel, and install it than it will ever recover in its useful lifetime. Same with wind generators. Is that still true?

If this was ever true, then definitely not in this century. I mean, even just thinking about it in terms of first principles should give you a pause: since the manufacturing of solar panels mostly requires electricity (for example, look up the Siemens process), this would basically mean that solar panel manufacturers are willing to sell you their products below manufacturing costs, because what the panel generates is surely more than what you're willing to pay for it, and if manufacturing energy input were even larger than the panel's lifetime output you're purchasing, they'd *have* to sell it below manufacturing costs. Yet the business is booming, so the premise can't be true.

Top Voting Machine Maker Reverses Position on Election Security, Promises Paper Ballots

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Election Systems & Software has championed electronic voting machines in the US. Now it has had a change of heart about the need for paper records of votes. From a report: TechCrunch understands the decision was made around the time that four senior Democratic lawmakers demanded to know why ES&S, and two other major voting machine makers, were still selling decade-old machines known to contain security flaws. ES&S chief executive Tom Burt's op-ed said voting machines "must have physical paper records of votes" to prevent mistakes or tampering that could lead to improperly cast votes. Sen. Ron Wyden introduced a bill a year ago that would mandate voter-verified paper ballots for all election machines. The chief executive also called on Congress to pass legislation mandating a stronger election machine testing program. Burt's remarks are a sharp turnaround from the company's position just a year ago, in which the election systems maker drew ire from the security community for denouncing vulnerabilities found by hackers at the annual Defcon conference.

Re:Electronic voting

By whoever57 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Part of the anonymity of the ballot is making it such that an individual's vote cannot be bought. If you can prove how you voted then you can sell your vote.

Re:Don't let Russia steal another election for Tru

By JustAnotherOldGuy • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

What you said is 100% true, yet look how the drones have down-modded this all the way to "1 Troll".

Some people are so bound up in their political identity that they'll suppress the truth out of partisan loyalty. Here's a good explanation (I didn't write it, but it describes the current situation perfectly):

Identity Fusion - aka “Sports team” mode
A majority of the United States is confused by the behavior of ~34% of the rest of the country. To grasp what has happened, you just have to realize that some political supporters have gone into “Sports Teams” mode. They have turned politics into an Identity Fusion issue.

Basically, they have stopped thinking about the representative government as a functional group of public servants. They are thinking about it as if it's their "team" and everything political has become "us versus them."

Some characteristics of a team fanatic (I'm using Trump Supporters as an example because it's currently the most obvious example, but it can apply to both sides to some degree.)

Once you realize this is what's happening, the common attributes are there to see:

- Wearing identifying clothing (hats, badges, colors, logos, slogans) in everyday life.
- Loyalty regardless of performance or behavior of their "team."
- Instant disrespect for any member of the opposing team based solely on team affiliation.
- Hatred of any perceived disloyalty from fellow team fans.
- Having rallies and parades even when there is no pending game with the primary goal to celebrate and re-enforce being loyal.
- At gatherings, fans chant slogans and/or sing.
- Team players (not fans, but players) are 100% supported unless they leave the team. Then they are ostracized and demonized even though they are basically the same person.

Vote By Mail FTW!

By imperious_rex • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Oregon and Washington have been doing it for many years. It has proven to be reliable, convenient, and cost-effective. Why the hell aren't other states doing the same? The voting machine is an anachronism that needs to be retired.

Re:Don't let Russia steal another election for Tru

By JustAnotherOldGuy • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Add this one: Tendency to agree with all or most of the party platform. The party platforms are such a construct of compromise that only a psychopath or team player could agree with it completely.

Yep, and that's how he managed to get the brain-dead evangelicals to vote for him, by claiming he was against abortion rights.

Donald Trump is by far the least "godly" candidate ever fielded by any party, yet the magic phrase "anti-abortion" won them over like tipsy goobers at a county fair.

Re:THis doesn't mean what you think it means

By Kjella • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Why can't the voter photograph their hand-marked ballot before feeding it into the optical scanner?

Yeah, with cell phone cameras what you do in the voting booth should not prove your vote. I think the Norwegian system is pretty much fool proof, after passing ID check you go into the voting booth. It has stacks of pre-printed ballots for each party + blank ones, you pick one and you can also give personal votes to individual politicians. But you don't deposit them in the voting booth, you fold it double so the vote is on the inside and the outside is identical for all of them. Then you go outside, get a stamp from an election official - that way folding multiple votes inside each other wouldn't work as only the outermost would get the stamp - and deposit it in the ballot box.

The key element here is that you don't do the deposit in private. You can like totally go into the voting booth and snap a photo/video of you picking up a vote for party A, then put it back down and vote for party B instead since you can't film yourself leaving the booth, getting the stamp and actually putting that ballot in the box. Technically speaking taking a photo inside the voting booth is illegal too, but it can't really be enforced and lots of people want to put their vote on Facebook. Oh and since they're pre-printed they are easily optically scanned and counted. The only sabotage is that sometimes people take all the ballots for a party they don't like, forcing people to either fill out a blank vote or ask election officials to restock. Which they regularly do anyway so it doesn't ordinarily run out, it's only in cases of sabotage.

P.S. We have relatively little influence on individual representatives, the parties make their ordering and it's rare that the general public will go against it. But unlike the US we have a real selection of parties since it's proportional representation (once you're above a 4% minimum, though some get a representative or two without it). From what I've understood several of the fractions inside the D/R duopoly would probably be their own party here, then form a coalition after the vote instead. Biggest party's leader usually gets to be prime minister and then they distribute ministers by share of the vote, it's not a separate race like becoming POTUS.

Opera, Brave, Vivaldi To Ignore Chrome's Anti-Ad-Blocker Changes, Despite Shared Codebase

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Despite sharing a common Chromium codebase, browser makers like Brave, Opera, and Vivaldi don't have plans on crippling support for ad blocker extensions in their products -- as Google is currently planning on doing within Chrome. From a report: The three browsers makers have confirmed to ZDNet, or in public comments, of not intending to support a change to the extensions system that Google plans to add to Chromium, the open-source browser project on which Chrome, Brave, Opera, and Vivaldi are all based on.

Go further

By xack • Score: 3, Interesting • Thread
Fork Chromium completely and develop it away from the influnece of Google. Having another independent browser engine is healthy for the web.

Just another reason not to use Chrome

By jwhyche • Score: 3 • Thread

Just when I think there could be no more reasons not to use Chrome, Google comes out and gives me one more. If I didn't know better I would swear that Google is doing this on purpose, giving us reasons to ditch chrome.

I don't believe them

By Artem S. Tashkinov • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Looks like a cheap posturing.

All these three browsers are basically a modified UI for Chromium, so if its codebase changes enough, these browsers will have to spend a considerable amount of resources to support the old code and since it's expensive, they will be forced to drop it sooner or later.

So, yes, in case Chromium drops it, they will have a few releases with this code intact. But only for so long.

Re:Go further

By slack_justyb • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

Fork Chromium completely and develop it away from the influnece of Google

Or maybe try Firefox? ducks...

But seriously, Firefox is a very good browser.

Re:A better headline

By Gavagai80 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

People will notice that Chrome suddenly takes way longer to load pages because it's loading all the undisplayed ad and tracker resources. Speed has always been a selling point of Chrome.

G20 Agrees To Push Ahead With Digital Tax

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Group of 20 finance ministers agreed over the weekend to compile common rules to close loopholes used by global tech giants such as Facebook to reduce their corporate taxes, a copy of the bloc's draft communique obtained by Reuters showed. From the report: Facebook, Google, Amazon, and other large technology firms face criticism for cutting their tax bills by booking profits in low-tax countries regardless of the location of the end customer. Such practices are seen by many as unfair. The new rules would mean higher tax burdens for large multinational firms but would also make it harder for countries like Ireland to attract foreign direct investment with the promise of ultra-low corporate tax rates. "We welcome the recent progress on addressing the tax challenges arising from digitization and endorse the ambitious program that consists of a two-pillar approach," the draft communique said. "We will redouble our efforts for a consensus-based solution with a final report by 2020." Britain and France have been among the most vocal proponents of proposals to tax big tech companies that focus on making it more difficult to shift profits to low-tax jurisdictions, and to introduce a minimum corporate tax.

Re: Government is greedier than corporations

By DRJlaw • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Why should corporations be taxed if they are just going to pass it on to an individual at some point? Tax the executives sure, but taxing the corporation is just a way for the government to collect money that the citizens don't see.

Bingo! You've identified why corporate income should be taxed.

Create a tax shelter and expect to see inefficient and excessive amounts of wealth accumulate in that shelter. We might need $300B for... something... and in the meantime those "business-related" expenses that the executives rack up maintain a healthy level of executive job satisfaction.

Has that money been passed on to individuals? No. Is there some reason to tax money that "the citizens don't see?" Yes. Corporations use national and local services just like everyone else, and arguably moreso. More to defend, more intensive use of infrastructure, more need for a highly educated workforce.

Why should corporations be taxed? Because corporations, unlike sole proprieterships, partnerships, and LLCs, are not pass through entities. It is folly to pretend that they are.

Re:Government cartel? dumbest statement today

By Obfuscant • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Governments are not in competition with each other,

Yes, in this context, they certainly are competing. When one government changes something to attract something away from another government, that's competition. When Ireland sets low corporate taxes to lure companies away from the US or Germany, that's competition.

Re:So what does VAT stand for

By Obfuscant • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Because their services and regulations are what have enabled you to have a UK user in the first place,

This sounds very much like an argument for allowing Comcast to charge Netflix a fee for better access to Comcast customers. The UK users pay their taxes to get those "services and regulations" that allow them to buy the hypothetical video, why should the video provider ALSO have to pay for those same services and regulations?

Re:This will never end

By luminousone11 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Both "government" and "corporation" are works of legal fiction, the first being created by the collective will of those governed, and the second create by the first work of legal fiction.
The problem comes in where the second is given extra legal rights in excess of those protected for the governed. Further it should be more correctly said that any entity which can extend force over another, no matter the circumstances that lead to that outcome, that in fact that entity becomes government.
The moment limited liability protections are enacted for corporations, the moment they have the right to eminent domain or to capture private property from another(see Texas common carrier law for example), the stop being the governed, and become the government itself.
To an extent these extra legal rights are a matter of practicality, the organization of property ownership, and all the works required for productive endeavors are important to the maintenance of society as a whole.
Property, Corporation, Government, are all concepts created by the mutual consent of those governed by them, Things like the legal fiction that is money are created to aid in their management.
The forth branch of government known as corporation has grown well beyond the means of reason. It has perfected misuse of the powers granted to it to subvert the powers of the original three branches of government.
Corporations originally existed for the public good, a bridge needs building and maintenance, a city needs something to manage the docks, etc. with powers limited to that needed function, then they expanded to organize private property, such as merchant fleets, and yet still limited, it wasn't until later every business became a corporation, old blacksmiths, and farmers, and artisans of all types, where each held liable for their own actions with no special rights became corporations.
For awhile we where free from lords and kings, then we invented new ones, corporation, not organized by kingdoms and nobility, but by practical function and ownership. And slowly, a new nobility being born, an aristocracy of the ultra wealthy using the powers of corporation to curtail the branches of government which they do not control via writ fiat.
Low corporate taxes, privatization, are just tools to expand this control.

Re:Equality. Necessary for a Free Market

By JesseMcDonald • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

You use heavy trucks whenever you shop at a store (unless that store is on a rail line). If you actually wanted to tax people in proportion to the amount they used the roads, a sales tax based on the weight of items sold would be the only way.

What, and make people pay a road use surcharge when the goods may actually have been shipped by plane or rail or boat? The end customer is not using heavy trucks when they buy goods at the store. The contractor selected by the store to move their goods is (possibly) using heavy trucks. If you tax the end customer directly according to the weight of the items they buy then there is no incentive for the store or its contractors to reduce their impact on the roads, which leads to a tragedy-of-the-commons scenario.

If you want people to pay for the upkeep of the roads in proportion to the amount of wear they induce the only equitable approach is for the road owner to charge a toll to the operator of the vehicle in proportion to the cost of maintaining the road—a fixed component for non-wear-related costs plus a charge proportional to the fourth power of the axle weight time the number of axles. The delivery contractor will this pass this toll onto the store, which will pass it on to the customer. Each party then has a proper incentive to minimize the portion of their revenues expended on tolls.

Salesforce Bets on Big Data With $15.3 Billion Tableau Buy

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Salesforce on Monday decided to buy big data firm Tableau Software for $15.3 billion, marking the biggest acquisition in the company's history as it looks to offer more data insights to its clients. From a report: Seattle-based Tableau has more than 86,000 customers, including tech heavyweights such as Verizon and Netflix. As part of the all-stock deal, Tableau shareholders will get 1.103 Salesforce shares, valuing the offer at $177.88 per share, representing a premium of 42% to Tableau's Friday closing price. Salesforce's deal comes days after Alphabet's Google big-data analytics company Looker for $2.6 billion and surpasses the $5.9 billion that the cloud-based software company paid to buy U.S. software maker MuleSoft in 2018.


By WoodstockJeff • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Someone who blackmails their customers.

Disney's Video Streaming Service Hotstar Halts Support for Safari Browser

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Hotstar, India's largest video streaming service with more than 300 million users, disabled support for Apple's Safari web browser last week to mitigate a security flaw that allowed unauthorized usage of its platform, TechCrunch reports, citing sources. From the report: As users began to complain about not being able to use Hotstar on Safari, the company's official support account asserted that "technical limitations" on Apple's part were the bottleneck. "These limitations have been from Safari; there is very little we can do on this," the account tweeted Friday evening. Sources at Hotstar told TechCrunch that this was not an accurate description of the event. Instead, company's engineers had identified a security hole that was being exploited by unauthorized users to access and distribute Hotstar's content -- including the premium catalog. Hotstar, which assumes the global record for most concurrent views on a live event, is operated by Star India, a media conglomerate in India that was part of 20th Century Fox that Disney acquired earlier this year.

Apple's market share in India is approx 1%

By JoeyRox • Score: 3 • Thread
Not exactly the socioeconomic target market for Apple products, so I don't expect this announcement affects many users there.

Re:Browser security?

By Junta • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Note it said 'unauthorized usage', not 'unauthorized users'.

I presume they figured out that people figured out how to exploit safari to download and save videos, as opposed to streaming them.

So here the device is allowed to have the content, and there's nothing much the server can do to limit what client does with the data once downloaded. Well, short of blacklisting the implementations...

DRM has the challenge of having Alice and Bob and concerns about Chuck, except that Chuck is also Bob...

Re:Browser security?

By Freischutz • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Note it said 'unauthorized usage', not 'unauthorized users'.

I presume they figured out that people figured out how to exploit safari to download and save videos, as opposed to streaming them.

So here the device is allowed to have the content, and there's nothing much the server can do to limit what client does with the data once downloaded. Well, short of blacklisting the implementations...

DRM has the challenge of having Alice and Bob and concerns about Chuck, except that Chuck is also Bob...

If Disney's problem is that they are still trying and failing to stop people from pirating streaming content then Disney should change its logo from that Bavarian fairytale castle to Don Quixote jousting with windmills.

Re: Browser security?

By hey! • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

It's a good thing that Safari users can't spoof the user agent sent to that site then, say by going to the app settings "advanced" tab and enabling the developer menu.

It's never

By Obfuscant • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread
When a service STOPS working on a platform, it is almost never a limitation of the platform that is to blame, it is always a deliberate decision of the provider to stop supporting customers who use that platform.

I.e., not Apple's fault here.

Project Scarlett is the Next Xbox Console, Launching in Holiday 2020

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Project Scarlett is the next Microsoft video game console. Phil Spencer, executive vice president of gaming at the company, announced the hardware during Microsoft's E3 2019 press briefing. From a report: "The console should be optimized for one thing and one thing only," said Spencer, "gaming." Spencer explained the console has been developed by the team responsible for the Xbox One X. A promotional video featuring various Xbox employees promised variable refresh rates, real-time ray tracing, 8K resolution and frame rates up to 120 frames per second, and a new SSD that has upwards of 40 times better performance over the current generation. The tech at the heart of the console -- which Microsoft said is four times as powerful as the Xbox One X -- will be a custom chip based on AMD's Zen 2 and Navi technology.

Re:why is gaming so important

By stealth_finger • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

are we a society of dumbfucks addicted to dopamine triggering pretty light on a screen?

Pretty much. It's the same reason grown men lose their shit at other grown men chasing a ball around or seeing who can drive in a circle the fastest.

Which holiday?

By Jogar the Barbarian • Score: 3 • Thread

Launching Holiday 2020? So, it could be New Year's Day? Or Martin Luther King Jr's Birthday? Maybe as late as St. Valentine's Day? Man, that's just around the corner!

Did They Announce a Name?

By organgtool • Score: 3 • Thread
Since it's going to be "optimized for one thing and one thing only", I suggest "XBox One".

Holiday 2020?

By Texmaize • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
Holiday 2020? Seriously, fuck-off. The Holiday in question is called Christmas. It has a famous and massive gift buying culture around it, which represents a majority of that most retail. I am sick and tired of the PC police feeling that they can leach on to the celebration, then diminish it.

Celebrate Christmas? Great. Not, that is ok. Just don't pretend its not there, and market of it.

Re:why is gaming so important

By thegarbz • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

The developers do, the industry itself most definitely does not. The "industry" is consolidating to a few major publishers who are pushing profits over quality at an ever increasing rate, and I don't think that could be typified anymore than in the past year where we have seen:

- One of the most iconic fighting games (Mortal Kombat) get reduced to a grind fest including in game purchases.
- One of the most iconic RPGs (Fallout) get reduced to an incredibly boring rushed and horrendously buggy grind fest including in game purchases.
- A hotly anticipated a RPG (Anthem) get rushed out long before production is finished and reduced to an incredibly boring grind fest including in game purchases.
- Blizzard entertainment get booed off their own stage at their own event for announcing the next Diablo would be a mobile game because as the developers said that's where the money is.
- Activation after years of screwing with Bungee and then blaming them for the result of Activation's meddling decided to part ways with Bungee because they weren't making enough money.

To say nothing of exclusive agreements by a certain game publisher promising more money in exchange for attempting to strong arm their way into the industry with a sub par product.

It's starting to get to the point where the interesting content comes from smaller and smaller independent developers, and not the industry.

Interviews: For the 25th Birthday of FreeDOS, Ask Its Founder A Question

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
FreeDOS was originally created in response to Microsoft's announcement that after Windows 95, DOS would no longer be developed as a standalone operating system, according to Computerworld's 2016 interview with FreeDOS's founder and project coordinator, Jim Hall. "I packaged my own extended DOS utilities, as did others," he explains on the FreeDOS web site, "and we found other public domain or open source programs that replaced other DOS commands."

But that was back in 1994, when Jim Hall was still a college student. He went on to spend 11 years as a CIO in local government and the public sector, and served a year on the GNOME Foundation's board of directors. Now it's been 25 years, and as a prominent free software advocate, Hall contacted Slashdot to remind us that the FreeDOS Project "will turn 25 years old on June 29, 2019. This is a huge milestone for any open source software project, and especially for an open source DOS project."

So in honor of FreeDOS's 25th birthday, he's agreed to answer the 10 best questions submitted by Slashdot readers. Leave your questions in the comments. (Ask as many questions as you'd like, but please, one per comment.) We'll pick the very best questions and forward them along for answers.

What else has Jim been up to? "I've decided I want to focus on coaching, advising, and mentoring IT Leaders," explains his page on the FreeDOS site. "I am starting an IT Executive Consulting practice, IT Mentor Group LLC, to help IT Leaders with strategic planning and organizational turnarounds. I am really excited for this new opportunity. It's not every day that you start your own business!"

Jim Hall is also Slashdot reader #2,985...

"Jim isn't rich or famous," wrote RobLimo back in 2000, "just an old-fashioned open source contributor who helped start a humble but useful project back in 1994 and still works on it as much as he can." At this URL you can read the questions he was asked by Slashdot users in 2000 -- and the answers he gave, just six years into the FreeDOS project.

Then leave your own best questions in the comments below -- one question per comment -- and we'll send them along to Jim to answer for the 25th anniversary of FreeDOS.


By puddingebola • Score: 3 • Thread
Will I be able to get support for my AdLib sound card to work in Dune II?

who are the big users?

By drinkypoo • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Who are the most numerous users of FreeDOS? Is it gamers, or industrial control, or some other group I haven't imagined?

Q: Will this be the year of the FreeDOS desktop?

By JoeyRox • Score: 5, Funny • Thread
Thanks for answering.

Classic 3rd party tools - abandonware?

By blind biker • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Have you tried to contact the companies that hold the rights to classic DOS tools like Norton Commander, Norton Disk Doctor, PC Tools, DiskDupe, Laplink etc? Maybe some would be willing to release their old DOS software as a goodwill gesture?

As a frequent user of FreeDOS...

By Grog6 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

I'd like to start with saying Thanks!

My question: Is there a way to keep the DOS tradition, in a hardware world that is increasingly divorced from the actual hardware?

Ex: An IBM PC in 1984 has BASICA in ROM, and you could write applications out of the box, to do actual hardware operations, even if they crashed.
Now, there's is no standard hardware/software support included with any operating system that doesn't require elaborate drivers to function, and no impetus to write drivers for old or otherwise unsupported hardware.
The latest OS with support for some of my cards was Linux, and that ended in 98 or so; and driver virtualization and timing skews don't really allow mutitasking type OS'es to work anyway.

FreeDOS still works fine, however. :)

I still run old hardware, mostly to use some data acquisition hardware that either no longer exists, or would be incredibly expensive to replace.

I have various setups doing research, that take data continuously, and have been running for years.

Some of the hardware will run under Win95 or 98, but for solutions that are timing sensitive, DOS is still the best.

I've found that different old DOS versions all have their quirks, so standardizing on FreeDOS makes things simpler, and if I have to help someone out with old hardware, there's no licensing embuggerences to deal with.

Setting up EISA hardware Requires DOS, of some flavor, as well as most Adapted SCSI raid setups, so this won't go away until the hardware does.

A 'Premium' Firefox Is Coming This Fall

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes I Programmer: In an interview by Jan Vollmer for the German online magazine site t3n, Mozilla CEO Chris Beard has confirmed plans to launch Firefox Premium later this year. Answering Vollmer's questions about how Mozilla is currently monetized Beard answered:

We are working on three sources of income and we want to rebalance them: We have Search, but we also make content. We have a company called Pocket that discovers and curates content. There is also sponsored content. This is the content business. And the third one we are working on and developing as we think about products and services are premium levels for some of these offerings. You can imagine something like a secure storage solution.

Prompted to say more about a premium offer, he continued:

We also tested VPN. We can tell if you're on a public Wi-Fi network and want to do online banking and say, "Wow, you really should use VPN." You can imagine we'll offer a solution that gives us all a certain amount of free VPN Bandwidth and then offer a premium level over a monthly subscription. We want to add more subscription services to our mix and focus more on the relationship with the user to become more resilient in business issues.

Later in the interview, when asked when the subscription services might start Beard tries to be reassuring, saying:

So, what we want to clarify is that there is no plan to charge money for things that are now free. So we will roll out a subscription service and offer a premium level. And the plan is to introduce the first one this year, towards fall. We aim for October.

Re:Good Time for a Fork

By cascadingstylesheet • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Topsites, Pocket, and now this?

There have been numerous forks, pick one and enjoy.

Re:Also support?

By LarryRiedel • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
On Ubuntu, I can remove pulseaudio, no problem, but Firefox has no sound without it. They changed Ubuntu Firefox to require pulseaudio for sound a couple years ago, and they marked the bug asking to restore ALSA support as WONTFIX. I use Chromium for ALSA on Ubuntu.

Re: One or the other

By tepples • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

In Firefox ESR 60 for Linux, I was able to perform the following:

1. Click the lock at the left side of the URL bar
2. Click the right-pointing arrow whose tooltip is "Show Connection Details"
3. Click "More Information" at the bottom
4. Click the "View Certificate" button
5. Optionally click the "Details" tab

What is missing from the view of the certificate that Firefox shows when I follow this procedure?

this is where the money goes

By drinkypoo • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread

When you donate money to the Mozilla foundation, they spend it making the browser worse. Whether it's spending $20 million on a system to show you ads (sponsored content) when you open a new tab (Pocket) or just ignoring long-standing bugs in favor of developing new features, they have proven beyond any doubt that they do not spend donations respectfully. The whole point of Firefox was to have a fast and light browser that just browsed. They have shoved feature after feature that should be an add-on into the browser itself; in the case of Pocket, specifically to prevent you from removing it from your browser.

At minimum, it's time to stop donating to Mozilla. They are sitting on a big pile of money, and they can always sell that Pocket bullshit that they never should have spent donators' money on if they need more. Ideally, it's time for a new curator, who will rip things out of the browser and either junk them, or move them into add-ons as appropriate.

Re:One or the other

By ctilsie242 • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

It would be nice if they had features people really wanted, like disabling autoplay of videos, built in uBlock Origin, Tampermonkey, better privacy to deter Web browser fingerprinting (no canvas/WebGL unique IDs), its own hosts file because it uses its own DNS servers, encrypted storage of cached data, better containerization to ensure some websites have no access to anything outside, and other things.

Stick to honing a good web browser, and don't add needless stuff. Otherwise, might as well drop Firefox and revive Seamonkey as the be all and end all of browsers.