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


  1. Researchers Use Lasers To Detect and Destroy Tumor Cells In Melanoma Patients
  2. Facebook Collected Device Data On 187,000 Users Using Banned Snooping
  3. Lego Struggles To Find a Plant-Based Plastic That Clicks
  4. Netflix Unveils Plans To Develop Original Shows Into Video Games
  5. America's Renewable Energy Capacity Is Now Greater Than Coal
  6. Google Drive Will Stop Syncing With Google Photos In July
  7. SpaceX Successfully Launches and Lands Its Falcon 9 Rocket On the California Coast
  8. The Long-Awaited Upgrade To the US Weather Forecast Model Is Here
  9. Team of American Hackers and Emirati Spies Discussed Attacking The Intercept
  10. UK Sets New Net Zero Greenhouse Gas Emissions By 2050 Target
  11. Popular Soccer App Spied on Fans Through Phone Microphone To Catch Bars Pirating Game Streams
  12. Jordan Peterson Announces Free Speech, Anti-Censorship Platform 'Thinkspot'
  13. CERN Ditches Microsoft to 'Take Back Control' With Open Source Software
  14. Google Expands Android's Built-in Security Key To iOS Devices
  15. India Set To Launch Second Lunar Mission; Land Rover on the Moon
  16. Facebook Worries Emails Could Show Zuckerberg Knew of Questionable Privacy Practices
  17. Konami Announces the Turbografx-16 Mini
  18. Telegram's Description of DDoS Attack is the Best
  19. WhatsApp is Finally Going After Outside Firms That Are Abusing Its Platform
  20. Huawei Says It's Scrapping Laptop Launch Because of US Blacklisting
  21. Tesla Says Solar Roof Is On Its Third Iteration, Currently Installing In 8 States
  22. Apple's US iPhones Can All Be Made Outside of China If Needed, Says Foxconn
  23. Scientists Discover Previously Unidentified Mass Beneath Surface of the Moon

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

Researchers Use Lasers To Detect and Destroy Tumor Cells In Melanoma Patients

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from IEEE Spectrum: Tumor cells that spread cancer via the bloodstream face a new foe: a laser beam, shined from outside the skin, that finds and kills these metastatic little demons on the spot. In a study published today in Science Translational Medicine, researchers revealed that their system accurately detected these cells in 27 out of 28 people with cancer, with a sensitivity that is about 1,000 times better than current technology. That's an achievement in itself, but the research team was also able to kill a high percentage of the cancer-spreading cells, in real time, as they raced through the veins of the participants. If developed further, the tool could give doctors a harmless, noninvasive, and thorough way to hunt and destroy such cells before those cells can form new tumors in the body.

Researchers led by Vladimir Zharov, director of the nanomedicine center at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, tested their system in people with melanoma, or skin cancer. The laser, beamed at a vein, sends energy to the bloodstream, creating heat. Melanoma CTCs absorb more of this energy than normal cells, causing them to heat up quickly and expand. This thermal expansion produces sound waves, known as the photoacoustic effect, and can be recorded by a small ultrasound transducer placed over the skin near the laser. The recordings indicate when a CTC is passing in the bloodstream. The same laser can also be used to destroy the CTCs in real time. Heat from the laser causes vapor bubbles to form on the tumor cells. The bubbles expand and collapse, interacting with the cell and mechanically destroying it.

Limited to melanoma

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Physician and researcher here. This is clever and useful. However, the press release glosses over limitations (as usual).

After skimming the paper, the big ones that jump out are:
1) Limited to melanoma. Absolutely will not be effective for any other type of cancer. Both the heating effect and subsequent detection rely on the presence of melanin, the pigment that makes melanoma tumors brown. Melanoma is the only type of cancer that makes melanin.
2) Melanoma is capable of NOT making melanin given an evolutionary selection pressure, which this laser killing would provide. There are likely already a small fraction of cells present in melanoma tumors which do not make melanin. So these will survive, and if in the blood, metastasize without detection or killing by this system.
3) The system is missing metastatic cells that have already seeded other parts of the body prior to the laser system starting blood detection. And the detection is limited only to a peripheral branch of the circulation, so it's also not scanning the whole blood volume as the heart circulates blood. So this is only detecting some small fraction of circulating cells. Even if the detection system were 100% accurate, detected all cells in the blood, and was kept active 24/7, it would still likely have missed metastatic seeding which occurred prior to realizing the patient had melanoma in the first place, unless the patient is lucky enough to have it diagnosed very early in the cancer's progression. And if the patient was that lucky, the tumor can simply be cut out - no need for blood monitoring with this system.

In sum, this is probably most useful for monitoring disease response to a different treatment (immunotherapy for example), as well as monitoring for recurrence.

What he said

By techno-vampire • Score: 5, Funny • Thread
There's no better comment I can think of than the one a hospital's chaplain made when I told him that I was about to have laser lithotripsy and explained what it was. He looked at me for a moment with a stunned expression and then said, "How...Star Wars."

Re:Limited to melanoma

By Tyr07 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

It's certainly not a one stop cure yet, but you're highlighting the limitations, which with new technology there always is.

What you should be taking away from this is:
Technology has progressed with projected energy devices able to target a specific disease and eliminate it without surgery or chemicals.
As research and refinement on such technology continues, they may be able to use different projected energy devices or tuning making it more effective and able to target other diseases or more effective ways to reach the ones it can already target.

If you had a technology tree reaching out to star trek level technology where you have a device that you just place over a person and it cures / treats them / heals them, this one be one of the required techs on the path to it.

Pew pew pew

By Ranger • Score: 3 • Thread
I just wanted to write that.

Re: Limited to melanoma

By laughing_badger • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

That was my first thought too - can we tag things with a marker that responds to a specific frequency of light and use the same principle. I think that this has been done before with metal nanoparticles and radio frequencies.

Facebook Collected Device Data On 187,000 Users Using Banned Snooping

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Facebook obtained personal and sensitive device data on about 187,000 users of its now-defunct Research app, which Apple banned earlier this year after the app violated its rules. TechCrunch reports: The social media giant said in a letter to Sen. Richard Blumenthal's office -- which TechCrunch obtained -- that it collected data on 31,000 users in the U.S., including 4,300 teenagers. The rest of the collected data came from users in India. "We know that the provisioning profile for the Facebook Research app was created on April 19, 2017, but this does not necessarily correlate to the date that Facebook distributed the provisioning profile to end users," said Timothy Powderly, Apple's director of federal affairs, in his letter. Facebook said the app dated back to 2016.

These "research" apps relied on willing participants to download the app from outside the app store and use the Apple-issued developer certificates to install the apps. Then, the apps would install a root network certificate, allowing the app to collect all the data out of the device -- like web browsing histories, encrypted messages and mobile app activity -- potentially also including data from their friends -- for competitive analysis. In Facebook's case, the research app -- dubbed Project Atlas -- was a repackaged version of its Onavo VPN app, which Facebook was forced to remove from Apple's App Store last year for gathering too much device data. Just this week, Facebook relaunched its research app as Study, only available on Google Play and for users who have been approved through Facebook's research partner, Applause. Facebook said it would be more transparent about how it collects user data.

The advertising industry learned 2 things

By Mr. Dollar Ton • Score: 3 • Thread

from the Communist playbook and experience:

1. Everything is cheaper if you can change the perceptions of the people about what is "good". What is actually good, efficient, useful, etc. stops to matter at all. When the average people see "an influencer" gargling with poison often enough, they'll be tempted to try. With a large enough buying power behind the holding company that is advertising and selling it, dead people won't even be noticed.

2. Envy is a much better motivator than coercion.

Welcome to the Brave New World, vastly worse than the 1984 world, where the new Communists massage your brainz with the posts of your peers.

Unwitting snitches

By mrwireless • Score: 3 • Thread

The reason why Facebook's practice is so nefarious has to do with the core distinction between types of data. Broad speaking there is the data that you provide willingly and knowingly (like when you provide data in a form), and the data that was 'gleamed' from you. This can be observed behavioural data (e.g. mouse movements on a web page), or data that was inferred an derived from the other data. Basically, there is an important distinction between "your data" and "data about you".

What Facebook is doing here is all about the second type, the derived data. By having such detailed data about a subset of society, Facebook can train it's algorithms to better analyze people who are less transparent.

For example, its algorithms can look at the highly transparent people and find that people with bowel cancer tend to like Facebook pages (and visit websites) about gardening and Shakira slightly more than healthy people. It can then look at all people who exhibit the same pattern and say "they may have an elevated risk of having bowel cancer". The databroker world, which Facebook is a big part of, it all about selling profiles full of these algorithmically derived risk scores.

This is the difference between "data science" and actual science. Actual science cares about finding causation. Data science is happy enough to sell any correlation its algorithms spot.

Put simply: the few people who are highly transparant act like 'snitches' on the rest of us. They allow dubious algorithms to be trained which are then set loose on the rest of us.

Lego Struggles To Find a Plant-Based Plastic That Clicks

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Last year, it was reported that Lego was investing $120 million and hiring about 100 people to eliminate its dependence on petroleum-based plastics, and build its toys entirely from plant-based or recycled materials by 2030. The effort has been seven years in the making, " but it keeps hitting brick walls," as The Wall Street Journal reports. From the report: Lego tried making pieces from corn, but they were too soft. Its wheat-based bricks didn't absorb color evenly or have the requisite shine. Bricks made from other materials proved too hard to pull apart, broke or had what executives call "creep," when bricks lose their grip and collapse. Lego has so far tested more than 200 combinations of materials, but just 2% of its products are made from plant-based plastic. The Danish company says it is still exploring several promising options, but finding the material to hit its target is proving difficult. Some materials proved problematic to mold with Lego's existing machinery. Recycled plastic is an option, but Lego needs large food-grade volumes with guarantees on provenance and quality.

Lego's slow progress is emblematic of a broader struggle to use plants like corn and sugar cane instead of oil to make plastic, which advocates say would lower greenhouse-gas emissions. Lego has had some success with plastic partly made of plants. So has Coca-Cola, which has sold bottles using 30% plant-based packaging since 2009. But unlike Coca-Cola, when Lego couldn't find a way to source the remaining 70%, it decided not to go to market. "Ultimately we want a zero-impact product," said Tim Guy Brooks, Lego's head of environmental responsibility. For now, there's always recycling -- Lego-style.

Re:Well at least they are mostly not thrown out

By Dutch Gun • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

This was exactly my thought. Legos are expensive, but incredibly durable and long lasting. Leave the formula alone, Lego Corp. No one sane throws Legos out anyhow.

Plastics are just fine for durable goods. We need to figure out how to reduce the volume of low-grade waste plastic that gets immediately thrown out, like with packaging. Example: in my grocery store, fresh baked bread is sold in open paper bags, but they have plastic cellophane on the front of the bag so you can see the loaf inside. Yes, that looks very nice, but there's absolutely no reason for it other than aesthetic appeal.

I mean, I'm glad they got rid of plastic grocery bags in my area. I'm happy to bring my own bags when shopping. But there's still a lot more that could be done without creating any unnecessary health risks or driving up expenses to a prohibitive degree. As consumers, we should start encouraging recyclable or biodegradable packaging wherever it's practical.

Sweet sweet trade secrets

By WolfgangVL • Score: 3 • Thread

Best to get the R&D in now, while you can still sell petrol based plastics in toys. Legos gonna be sitting on a nifty pile cutting edge material science based patents and trade secrets when it really counts.

Re:Canâ(TM)t it go back to the original plast

By _merlin • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

The ABS bricks have better long-term stability than the original cellulose acetate ones. They keep locking together decades later. My sons have Lego sets with the new plant-based parts in them You can tell the difference immediately. They don't have that same glossy sheen, they don't feel as smooth to touch, they just don't have the same feeling of quality. It's going to be hard for them to find a replacement that doesn't feel worse in some way.

Re:Canâ(TM)t it go back to the original plast

By Rei • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Let's do some googling...

Hmm, whatcha know: "These 88 measurements have an average of 15.814 mm with a standard deviation of 0.0265mm."

0,0265mm = 26,5 microns.

Re:Canâ(TM)t it go back to the original plast

By jellomizer • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Lego has competition in the building block market. They cannot afford to sell an inferior products compared to their competitors, especially as their competitors are using cheaper prices as an advantage.
Most consumers have a hard time realizing the carbon footprint of the products they buy. Being that Lego's are a toy that lasts long, and can be passed down to generations, any extra carbon offset for quality would be considered to be made up for its long use.

Netflix Unveils Plans To Develop Original Shows Into Video Games

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
At the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) on Wednesday, Netflix shared details of its plans to develop its original shows into video games. Hollywood Reporter reports: Among the program of upcoming games, Stranger Things 3: The Game was highlighted, described by Netflix as "an adventure game that blends a distinctively retro art style with modern gameplay mechanics to deliver nostalgic fun with a fresh new twist." Playing as a character from the show, the user will be tasked with solving puzzles and battling the Mind Flayer. Dave Pottinger, CEO and co-founder of BonusXP, shared that the game will feature old-school graphics.

Two characters from the game were revealed at the panel: Max, who will exhibit karate kicks and the ability to add fire damage to those kicks; and Eleven, described by Chris Lee, director of Interactive Games at Netflix, as "the most powerful character in the game" -- she will have psychic push power. The game will launch on July 4 and be available on Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4, Xbox One and other consoles. In addition, a special announcement was made at the panel about a Stranger Things mobile hybrid RPG/puzzle game that will launch in 2020. The game is a collaboration with Next Games, which is based out of Helsinki, Finland.
Stranger Things isn't the only show that's planning to have its own game. "Netflix show The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance Tactics is also set to become a 'turn-based tactics' game challenging fans to recruit an army and act as their commander in a series of campaign battles," the report adds. "No specific date was mentioned, but the game will launch this year on various consoles."

Re:Why ?

By BoogieChile • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade

Dune II

GoldenEye 007

The Witcher

The Simpsons Hit & Run

The Lord of the Rings Online

The Lord Of The Rings: The Battle For Middle-earth

Middle-Earth:Shadows of Mordor

Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic

Star Wars Jedi Knight

Star Wars Rogue Squadron

Star Wars: Empire at War

America's Renewable Energy Capacity Is Now Greater Than Coal

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from CNN: The renewable energy sector had slightly more installed capacity than coal in April, according to a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission report. That means U.S. power plants can produce more energy from clean sources than coal for the first time in history, according to the SUN DAY Campaign, a nonprofit research group supporting sustainable energy. The breakthrough reflects the plunging cost of solar and wind as well as heightened environmental concern about coal. Also in April, the renewable energy sector was projected to have generated more electricity than coal, according to a separate report published by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. That transition was partially driven by seasonal issues.

Re:Hey folks.

By blindseer • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

India's three stage nuclear weapons program? I believe you are confused.

As best I can tell there's been one nuclear weapon that used thorium as part of it's core, and while it did detonate it was considered a failure as it did not produce the yield they had expected.

If the existence of nuclear weapons concern you then you should support nuclear power. The current practice of downblending and disposal of weapons grade material doesn't destroy the material, it only makes it expensive to dig back up and put in a weapon again. To destroy the material in any meaningful time frame (it has a shelf life, just one that's millions of years long) then it must be destroyed in a nuclear reactor. This is also an expensive process except when done in a nuclear power plant, then it becomes profitable.

Re: Hey folks.

By ClickOnThis • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

-i could go on forever, but the point is made, you can educate yourself, or you can be a kendall-

Composite metamaterials IMO show the most promise, and that's largely proprietary secret shit you won't hear about publically until someone capitalizes.

Just.. you know, a heads up (your coal ass)

sg_oneill is right. You can't synthesize rare-earth elements.

The first of your three links talks about creating synthetic alternatives to rare-earth elements. That's not the same thing as synthesizing rare-earth elements.

The other two links talk about cleaner and more efficient ways to mine and refine rare-earth elements, not synthesize them.

I'll leave it to the reader to decide who is the ass here.

Re:Capacity vs production

By swillden • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

From the source for that report:

To be fair, there are seasonal considerations. Of particular note, is the long-held practice of taking coal plants offline during the lower demand periods of the spring (and fall) to perform maintenance and upgrades to ensure that they are ready for the higher demand of the summer and winter seasons. In addition, spring tends to be peak time for hydro generation.

So, when you take a bunch of coal plants offline, THEN renewables can finally equal the production output.

The key is that this is the first time it's happened... and that the EIA projects that it will continue happening every spring, but for longer and longer periods, gradually creeping into other parts of the year. We're probably still a decade away from renewables exceeding coal on an annual basis, and a bit longer than that before renewables exceed coal all the time, but the trend lines are clear.

Re:Capacity is not the same thing as generation.

By JaredOfEuropa • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

"Renewables still lag on actual electricity generation" - And considering they've been around so few years, they're lagging on centuries of subsidies, research, development, massive "socialist" works projects... endowments...

I'd argue that it's nuclear power playing catchup, not in generated power but in R&D.

Not that long ago, the economics of wind and solar were pretty bad, but they were slowly being rolled out nonetheless (with generous subsidies). Now that we know how to build that stuff cheaper, more durable, cheaper to maintain and with greater efficiency, they make economic sense. That's usually how things go: once something is out there being used, it tends to get better and cheaper fast. Somehow that hasn't happened with nuclear. There's a few next-gen designs but few are being built, instead we have opted to keep aging (and dangerous) designs in operation well past their projected lifespan. Little is happening in the way of new reaction cycles like the ones using thorium: if we'll ever see thorium plants they will most likely have been designed in India or China.

As to the cost of nuclear: if I google around I see the same thing in various studies: the levelized cost per kWh (taking the cost of building, operating, decommissioning and other costs into account) shows unsubsidized nuclear power to be expensive, but still below offshore wind and small-scale solar installations. Nuclear needs no subsidies, over here we've seen a couple of proposals for nuclear plants by commercial parties who receive no subsidies beyond what every new power plant gets (mostly in the form of supporting infrastructure such as grid facilities). Those plans have all been abandoned for a variety of reasons, but not because they weren't economically viable.

Re:Hey folks.

By quenda • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Nuclear and coal can't compete with renewables, even gas will be replaced too.

Yeah, funny. But the truth is that gas beat coal, not renewables. Solar has made astounding progress, but we still have very little capacity to store it when the sun does not shine. We are making progress, but still have a way to go. Meanwhile, nuclear and gas can help reduce carbon emissions compared to coal.

Google Drive Will Stop Syncing With Google Photos In July

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
In an effort to create a "simplified experience," Google said in a blog post today that Google Photos will stop syncing to Drive in July. Digital Trends reports: The change is sure to be controversial. For many, the fact that Photos automatically syncs to Google Drive is a favorite feature, as it allows for much easier organization of photos. Of course, the change will avoid some confusion. According to Google, the change is aimed at helping "prevent accidental deletions of items across products." In other words, it seems like some users were confused about the fact that deleting a copy of a photo in Photos also means that the image is deleted in Drive, and vice versa. The blog post notes that the two services will still work together to an extent. The company announced a new feature called "Upload from Drive," which will allow users to manually select photos and videos to be imported into Photos. Once the items are uploaded, the files won't be connected, so you can delete the file in one without it being removed in the other.

Additionally, Backup and Sync will continue to work on both Windows and Mac, "so if you store your photos locally and want to then sync them to either Google Drive or Google Photos, you'll still be able to do so," reports Digital Trends. Google also notes that existing photos and videos will stay in both Photos and Drive, but the Google Photos folder in Drive will no longer update automatically.

Want to bet on a undisclosed security hole?

By nazsco • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

> avoid confusion of deleting photos from both places

if user mistake was even close to the true reason, they would have put a dialog "do you want to delete this photo from drive AND photos?" but no, this is a huge architecture change that is only explainable if they found some deeply rooted problem that became evident when they added some feature or another on either products.

The user mistake avoidance is just the spin narrative.

Probably they figured out that they photos was creating a Drive share that was only possible in the enterprise tier, or you could use the combination of both to reach someone else private files, or some other nonsense they want to avoid.


By AvitarX • Score: 3 • Thread

I really hope they get around to a duplicates search like Picassa had.

Re:Want to bet on a undisclosed security hole?

By phantomfive • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
Google has a single repository (that's not exactly true anymore, but a rough approximation). That means if you change something it has a lot of dependencies. That puts a lot of pressure to delete old services. For example, say you want to refactor/remove the Javascript.div_size_for_ie4() function, but then Google photos relies on it all over the place for syncing with the Google drive. It really makes you want to get rid of that feature, and if no one is actively maintaining it (because that person left long ago, which happens at a company with high turnover), then no one cares enough to stop you.

Obviously that causes problems, but so does putting stuff in multiple repositories to the point that no one knows what they even are.

Re:Want to bet on a undisclosed security hole?

By swillden • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

It really makes you want to get rid of that feature, and if no one is actively maintaining it (because that person left long ago, which happens at a company with high turnover)

Google actually doesn't have particularly high turnover, in fact it's a little lower than most of the tech industry. What Google does have, though, is a great deal of internal mobility. Employees are encouraged to switch teams every 3-4 years, and this can leave some components unmaintained, or poorly maintained. In addition, it's widely perceived that promotions come to people who build new things, not those who maintain old things. I question the accuracy of that perception, but it really doesn't matter if it's factually wrong. If people believe it and act as though it's true they'll seek opportunities to build new stuff and avoid maintenance work.

SpaceX Successfully Launches and Lands Its Falcon 9 Rocket On the California Coast

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
SpaceX successfully launched and deployed three RADARSAT Canadian satellites into orbit this morning. Despite heavy fog, the company also landed the Falcon 9 rocket on the California coast. The Verge reports: The trio of satellites going up on today's flight are part of the RADARSAT Constellation developed by the Canadian Space Agency. The spacecraft are meant to operate nearly 400 miles up, where they will observe Canada's land and waters, as well as the Arctic. The goal is to gather data on sea ice in nearby oceans and the Great Lakes, as well as the changing ecosystems within Canada. Such information will be useful for many groups, including mariners who navigate in Arctic waters and scientists who want to understand the impact of climate change in the region. Satellite imagery from RADARSAT could also help with disaster relief.

SpaceX is using one of its used Falcon 9 rockets for the mission, a vehicle that previously flew the company's Crew Dragon capsule on its very first flight to the International Space Station back in March. After that launch, the Falcon 9 landed on one of SpaceX's drone ships off the coast of Florida in the Atlantic, but now it's ready to make a ground landing on the opposite coast. The first and only time that SpaceX has landed a Falcon 9 rocket on California land was in October of 2018. Nearly all of the company's attempts to land on solid ground have been successful, save for one that missed its pad in Florida and landed in the ocean instead.

Well that's not very useful

By sunderland56 • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

We've already been to the California coast. What sort of "exploration" is that?

I felt like...

By dex22 • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

I felt like I was living in the sci fi future when the two first stages landed side by side together.

If SpaceX really wants to seal the deal, they should relocate the rockets between the east and west coasts by just flying them there.

That would seal the deal for me. :D

Re:I felt like...

By complete loony • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

they should relocate the rockets between the east and west coasts by just flying them there

While that would be fun, rockets are still expensive and not that efficient. The fuel cost, the probability and cost of failure are still too high.

Re:Is SpaceX design actually a good idea???

By Strider- • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Once the fuel is (largely) expended, the centre of gravity of a booster rocket is right down near the engines. They’re the heaviest part of the thing, the rest is empty fuel tank. As such, on re-entry, the whole thing is more like a shuttlecock than a rocket. Given 41 successful landings for SpaceX, I think the idea is pretty sound.

The Long-Awaited Upgrade To the US Weather Forecast Model Is Here

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: For the first time in about 40 years, the guts of the U.S. model got swapped out for something new today. The upgrade brings us a new "Finite-Volume Cubed-Sphere" (or FV3) dynamical core, which simulates the basic atmospheric physics at the heart of this endeavor, a change that has been in the works for a while. The new core had its origins in simulating atmospheric chemistry but ended up being adapted into other models. A few years ago, it was selected to replace the old core in the U.S. Global Forecast System model. And for more than a year now, the new version of the model has been running in parallel so its results could be compared to the operational model.

The results have been a little mixed. The new core improves computational efficiency and allows some processes to be simulated at a higher resolution -- unequivocal improvements. It also simulates the physics of water vapor more realistically. In a press conference today, NOAA scientists cited a number of areas where forecast improvements have been seen. Forecast tracks of hurricanes and the mid-latitude storms that frequently sweep across the U.S. have both improved, they said, along with forecasts of hurricane strength. Forecast precipitation amounts were also cited as a key area of progress. But there have also been grumblings in the weather community over the past year about results that didn't seem so hot. For example, surface temperatures have been biased low in some situations, throwing off forecasts.

Re:Finally, real science!!

By phantomfive • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

"Weather forecast model"
>How will the Climate Change activists react to real data on climate?

There's an extrupulous phrase I never heard before, dug up recently while I excavated old usenet archives. It's wisdom, the wiseness I wish to be engraved on my tombstone when I die. Here friend, I'll share with you the wisdom, so you can attain it yourself:

"Weather's not climate."

Team of American Hackers and Emirati Spies Discussed Attacking The Intercept

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
The Intercept: Operatives at a controversial cybersecurity firm working for the United Arab Emirates government discussed targeting The Intercept and breaching the computers of its employees, according to two sources, including a member of the hacking team who said they were present at a meeting to plan for such an attack. The firm, DarkMatter, brought ex-National Security Agency hackers and other U.S. intelligence and military veterans together with Emirati analysts to compromise the computers of political dissidents at home and abroad, including American citizens, Reuters revealed in January. The news agency also reported that the FBI is investigating DarkMatter's use of American hacking expertise and the possibility that it was wielded against Americans.

The campaign against dissidents and critics of the Emirati government, code-named Project Raven, began in Baltimore. A 2016 Intercept article by reporter Jenna McLaughlin revealed how the Maryland-based computer security firm CyberPoint assembled a team of Americans for a contract to hone UAE's budding hacking and surveillance capabilities, leaving some recruits unsettled. Much of the CyberPoint team was later poached by DarkMatter, a firm with close ties to the Emirati government and headquartered just two floors from the Emirati equivalent of the NSA, the National Electronic Security Authority (which later became the Signals Intelligence Agency).

UK Sets New Net Zero Greenhouse Gas Emissions By 2050 Target

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
The United Kingdom will cut net greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) to zero by the middle of this century, Prime Minister Theresa May has announced, marking it out as the first G7 nation to set such a goal. From a report: The UK's pre-existing target, set more than a decade ago, was to slash net GHGs by 80 percent from 1990 levels by 2050. However, campaigners have cautioned this target would not go far enough to meet pledges made under the 2015 Paris climate agreement to try to limit a rise in global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, widely considered to be the threshold for dangerous climate change. "Now is the time to go further and faster to safeguard the environment for our children," May said in a statement on Wednesday. "Reaching net zero by 2050 is an ambitious target, but it is crucial that we achieve it to ensure we protect our planet for future generations," she added. "Standing by is not an option."


By LynnwoodRooster • Score: 3 • Thread
Does this still allow the use of biomass, which is about 11% of the electricity supply? I wonder how they consider this a "net zero greenhouse gas emission" source. It's cutting down trees in the US, grinding and processing into pellets, shipping to a port, loading on to a bulk carrier ship, transporting across the Atlantic ocean, offloading into rail, then delivering to a power plant to be burned. Yeah, a tree will be grown again in 30-50 years to provide the next crop, but that's little more than a fast coal cycle...

Unfortunately ...

By Obfuscant • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
"net zero" doesn't mean "zero", it means zero after you subtract the predicted savings in emissions. It's that latter bit that makes it political football, since you can make all kinds of predictions to get the numbers to line up.

It's like the wonderful 'pzev' medallion on Subaru cars. I couldn't figure it out until I was at the Subaru dealer and looked at the sales brochures. "Partial zero emissions vehicle". I have no idea how an ICE-power car can be "partial zero emissions", unless you're counting the time that the car is parked with the engine off. 'Partial zero' is like 'partly pregnant', and 'net zero'.

This is 30 years too slow

By WillAffleckUW • Score: 3 • Thread

Scotland will achieve net zero by 2020.

The rest of the UK could phase out all coal by 2020, and remove all fossil fuel subsidies, exemptions, exclusions, and depreciation starting in 2020, and achieve 120 percent renewable energy by 2025.

But that would take guts.

It would also save them trillions of dollars.

Re: This is 30 years too slow

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Scotland has a very small economy, and almost no manufacturing.

It also has a population about the same size as that of most large European or American cities, and much smaller than even mid-sized third world cities.

Of course it should be easier for Scotland to control its CO2 emissions. It's a trivial case.

Popular Soccer App Spied on Fans Through Phone Microphone To Catch Bars Pirating Game Streams

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Spain's data protection agency has fined La Liga, the nation's top professional soccer league, 250,000 euros ($283,000 USD) for using the league's phone app to spy on its fans. From a report: With millions of downloads, the app was reportedly being used to surveil bars in an effort to catch establishments playing matches on television without a license. The La Liga app provides users with schedules, player rankings, statistics, and league news. It also knows when they're watching games and where. According to Spanish newspaper El Pais, the league told authorities that when its apps detected users were in bars the apps would record audio through phone microphones. The apps would then use the recording to determine if the user was watching a soccer game, using technology that's similar to the Shazam app. If a game was playing in the vicinity, officials would then be able to determine if that bar location had a license to play the game. El Diario reports that the app has been downloaded 10 million times.

Copyright cost vs benefit

By Solandri • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
The real story here is that the copyright advocates keep trying to offload the cost of enforcing their copyrights onto society. As I've said before, copyright is a trade-off. Society accepts the cost of a temporary monopoly, in exchange for creating an incentive for people to produce works worth viewing/listening to. But in order for this to work, the benefit (to the creator) has to exceed the cost (to society). If the cost starts to exceed the benefit, then copyright is doing net harm to society and should be abolished.

Because only the copyright holder knows how much benefit (money) they're getting from copyright, the only way you can guarantee this trade-off remains beneficial is if the copyright holder also has to bear the full cost of enforcing copyright. That is, copyright only makes sense when the copyright holder is still able to make money from copyright despite bearing the entire cost of enforcing that copyright. The moment the cost of enforcement exceeds the monetary benefit, copyright becomes a net drain on society and should be abolished. And the easiest way to tell if we've reached that point is if the copyright holder is saddled with both the cost and benefit. If you allow them to offload the cost onto someone else (police, ISPs, phone owners, etc), you create a situation where copyright can persist (because the copyright holder is still making money) even though it is a net drain on society (cost to someone else exceeds the money the copyright holder is making).

A Cost-of-doing-business "fine"

By Scutter • Score: 3 • Thread

So, 10 million downloads, a fine that's little more than a slap on the wrist, and no criminal charges for recording illegally. Oh yeah, I'm sure buried in the ToS somewhere is their "get out of jail free" card where you theoretically game them permission to spy on you. Sounds about right.

Re:Who gives a crap

By Headw1nd • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
People care because A) the app was being used to gather data outside the scope of its use B) this data collection wasn't documented to the user C) the actions of the app didn't benefit the app user/phone owner in any way. It is really no different than the app running a bitcoin miner, in that it hijacks the user's hardware to perform an auxiliary task surreptitiously.

Spain is a pain

By AndyKron • Score: 3 • Thread
A fine? These fuckers need some serious JAIL TIME!

Re:soccer is a terrible sport

By rsierpe • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
Compared to what? Football (even the "soccer" name is an abomination on itself) can be played anywhere, and most of the equipment can be conveniently replaced: goalposts can be marked with anything if there are not proper posts, and the amount of space required can be adjusted according to availiability or number of players, and even the ball can be replaced with any spherical object (when i was a kid, we used to play at school with a ball made of old socks). Besides, the possibility of a serious injury is minimal to nonexistant. Please name any other sport with such characteristics. Basketball? Need a specific ball, and something at least resembling a basketball hoop and a ground of a certain quality, which is way too picky, but at least the possibility of injuries is really low. Baseball? Needs specific equipment such as a bat or acceptable substitute, a baseball ball or substitute, ideally a catching glove and a whole lot of space, which makes it still ridiculuously expensive, and adds the possibility to hit the batter with a nice proyectile, and then what, American Football? a great way to end up with a broken knee, a messed up column, crushed ribs or brain damage, certainly a great "sport". If you are too simple or "American" to appreciate football, too bad for ya

Jordan Peterson Announces Free Speech, Anti-Censorship Platform 'Thinkspot'

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Psychologist Dr. Jordan B. Peterson announced a subscription-based free speech platform called ' Thinkspot' on Wednesday that promises to provide users the best features of other social media platforms, but without censorship. From a report: It's being marketed as a free speech alternative to payment processors like Patreon in that it will "monetize creators" and as provide a social media alternative to platforms like Facebook and YouTube. Peterson discussed Thinkspot with podcaster Joe Rogan on June 9, emphasizing a radically pro-free speech Terms of Service. He described that freedom as the "central" aspect saying, "once you're on our platform we won't take you down unless we're ordered to by a US court of law."

Re: The real test

By AmiMoJo • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

The only time I've seen him so much as cut someone off was when they were misrepresenting his views, and he'd jump in with "no, I never said X, I said Y, there's a difference".

That's one of his favourite techniques. He says stuff that is intentionally vague and imprecise, and then when anyone calls him out on it he just claims that he meant something else and they are misrepresenting him.

Turns out if you never make any clear, definitive statements you can never be wrong.

Re:Good luck...

By fafalone • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Someone's subjective offense is a terrible reason to restrict the free speech rights. I'm not even opposed to your example, but you're severely downplaying the circumstances under which speech is restricted in Europe. They're not enforcing reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions, they're enforcing blanket bans. Some insults are illegal, even against the long-dead if they're a religious figure, like the recent case about how you can't call Mohammed a pedophile for fucking 9 year olds, "oh, it's false because he was still fucking her after she hit puberty a couple years later" get the fuck out of here. In the UK hundreds are being arrested over stupid social media arguments where the only crime is that someone was Offended. Holocaust denial in Germany, it's not that they're limiting your ability to go scream that in a Synagogue, you don't have the right to say that anywhere, stupid though it may be.
And people like you want to bring this here. Then you'll be all shocked when people on the left refuse to vote and throw the election to the fucking right.

Re:Good luck...

By lgw • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Everyone opposes Totalitarianism.

Bullshit. Plenty of Slashdot posters have never seen an expansion of government power they didn't support. They just don't call that totalitarianism.

That's not Peterson's real schtick. His real schtick is demonize trans individuals,

He has never done so. You shouldn't believe every bit of blatant propaganda you read.

Peterson took a stance against being legally compelled to use made-up pronouns like "Xim" and "Xer". As he said about trans people "they want to be called him or her, just the other one", which he was perfectly willing to do, and has had many letters of support from trans people for that stance.

His stance was specifically against compelled speech! Restrictions on hate speech were OK by him, but compelled speech crossed the line into totalitarianism.

Re:Good luck...

By KeensMustard • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
Yes, witness the recent efforts to quash the free speech of valedictorians who wanted to speak out against climate change at their schools.

Re: The real test

By serviscope_minor • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Yes, you've just described a skilled sophist.

He's very good at making arguments by implication, he talks around them from a lot of directions with lots of little leaders pointing inwards but always holds back from actually committing to the point he's making. That way whenever anyone calls him out on his bullshit, he can get into pedantic deflections about precisely the words he wrote, rather than the argument he was actually making. He also finely interleaves facts from good sources, facts from dubious sources and his own viewpoints to make it look like he's quoting a fact but when pressed can simply claim that wasn't a sourced fact. It's a good technique to make a convincing argument.

A typical example: repeatedly retweeting anti-science idiots like Watts, then claiming that wasn't an endorsement. He believes that unless he's caught in the act saying "I endorse climate change deniers" then no one can read his actions and conclude that he has in fact done just that.

The thing is convincing arguments are not right in and of themselves. The Greeks knew about it and put it in writing millennia ago.

He's also pretentious as all get out which leads a lot of people to think he sounds (and therefore is) smart.

CERN Ditches Microsoft to 'Take Back Control' With Open Source Software

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
CERN is best known for pushing the boundaries of science and understanding, but the famed research outfit's next major experiment will be with open-source software. From a report: The European Organization for Nuclear Research, better known as CERN, and also known as home of the Large Hadron Collider, has announced plans to migrate away from Microsoft products and on to open-source solutions where possible.

Why? Increases in Microsoft license fees. Microsoft recently revoked the organisations status as an academic institution, instead pricing access to its services on users. This bumps the cost of various software licenses 10x, which is just too much for CERN's budget.

Re:CERN already Linux-based

By fahrbot-bot • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

I'd love to hear MS's argument for CERN not being an academic institution though.

Pick one (or more):

  • Because they can.
  • Because they're greedy.
  • Because they don't care.


By jawtheshark • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Frankly, you can like or dislike Microsoft, but you offer coffee to guests.

Re:Wait, CERN used Microsoft products?

By gmack • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Exchange is an unwieldy beast. But it's the most featurful and capable email (and more) server in the world.

No, it's a crap email server. The reason it gets deployed is because it's unmatched as a calendaring server.

Quite frankly, I wish the open source calendaring options didn't suck quite so badly

Swiss tax policy

By DrYak • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

WTF are you smoking?

"Gun to the head" ?

You're aware that Switzerland practices direct democracy, right ?
We - the people - voted our current taxation policy into place.
And we're more or less happy with it, because we get to have quite a few affordable services out of it.

Like affordable education, instead of heaving the largest part of the population crumbling under student loan debts. (and CERN is part of that academic education system, no matter what Microsoft thinks).

(things are a bit more complex for the politics of the other European members of CERN. But the financing of academic institutions is *not* the reason why the French are demonstrating in Yellow Jackets )

Re:MS to backtrack in 3... 2... 1...

By MightyMartian • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

I agree. Even if Microsoft backs down now, they've revealed that they are a liability to CERN, that at some point it's possible Microsoft won't back down. Considering CERN's resources and the talent they have, frankly, if I was MS, I'd be rather worried that what they cook up may actually end up being a FOSS competitor to Outlook/Exchange.

These are the guys, after all, who invented the web. This isn't some Fortune 500 company who some municipality that can be brought back into the Backoffice fold with hookers, blow and license discounts. This is a pretty damned forward looking organization with a pretty significant pool of talent.

Google Expands Android's Built-in Security Key To iOS Devices

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader shares a report: In April, Google announced a groundbreaking technology that could allow Android users to use their smartphones as hardware security keys whenever logging into Google accounts on their laptops or work PCs. Initially, the technology was made available for Chrome OS, macOS, and Windows 10 devices. Today, Google announced it is expanding this technology to iOS as well. Today's news means that iPhone and iPad users can now use their (secondary) Android smartphones as a security key whenever logging into their Google accounts on an iOS device. The technology works basically the same, as Google explained in April, at the Cloud Next 2019 conference.

Privacy considerations

By sinij • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Android use of hardware-backed keystore to implement FIDO is a useful feature, but it also raises numerous privacy concerns. The use of key, by definition, is both unique and definitively tied to user's identity. In effect it is also "super-cookie" baked deep into hardware that Google under FIDO/CTAP scheme can access at any time.

somebody got their but hurt

By WillAffleckUW • Score: 3 • Thread

Methinks google is smarting from Apple One Button login changes taking away their ability to monetize your information on iOS.

India Set To Launch Second Lunar Mission; Land Rover on the Moon

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
India said on Wednesday it will launch its second lunar mission in mid-July, as it moves to consolidate its status as a leader in space technology by achieving a controlled landing on the moon. From a report: The mission, if successful, would make India only the fourth country behind the United States, Russia and China to perform a "soft" landing on the moon and put a rover on it. China successfully landed a lunar rover in January. The unmanned mission, called Chandrayaan-2, which means "moon vehicle" in Sanskrit, will involve an orbiter, a lander and a rover, which have been built by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). The mission is scheduled to launch on July 15 aboard ISRO's Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III. It will cost about 10 billion rupees ($144 million), ISRO said. After a journey of more than 50 days, ISRO's lander will attempt a "soft," controlled landing on the lunar surface on around Sept. 6.

Good Luck to India

By WindBourne • Score: 3 • Thread
It is good to see them doing such things.
Once they stop manipulating their money and trying to dump this on foreign markets (esp. on the west), we should then allow them to compete here.
Likewise, we need to give them the specs on docking ports and allow them to add it to a human capsule, practice in space and finally become part of ISS.

Re:No more foreign aid to India

By WindBourne • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
Actually, our foreign aid really is horrible. It competes against local companies. If we really want to help nations, then we open up our markets to them and allow them to sell up to a certain amount. Once they are not manipulating their moneys, and are not dumping, then negotiate a TRUE opening of markets for BOTH sides. For example, both China is far enough along that they should have opened up their money and market. India will be in the future.

Re:Spend it on toilets, not space.

By WindBourne • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
Actually, just as important, is washing of hands. India's real transmission issue is that they transmit disease heavily due to not washing after using a toilet. I have in-laws over there right now, pushing this and helping villages to build toilets and sinks, along with putting up solar lights.

Re:Spend it on toilets, not space.

By JaredOfEuropa • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
Jesus H poop on a stick, not this dumb argument again.
1) India spends many, many times the ISRO budget on "rural development", which includes stuff like sanitation.
2) ISRO actually makes a fair bit of money doing commercial launches.
3) Having a space program with the high tech industry that supports it actually helps the country grow beyond toilets and subsustence farming. It is good for their economy
4) A space program is a great way to instill pride and inspire young people to pursue a scientific or engineering career.
In other words, diverting a tiny part of their budget towards their space program is good for the country.


By bain_online • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Well thats still 4 out of what 190+ nations... We may not be "The" leaders but sure can claim to be one of the leaders after this.

Also point about all the money being spent rather than on toilets... What bullshit!! (pun intended)

Toilets for billion people and such things don't get built out of magic pixie dust.. it requires industrial capability, process capability, management capability. And that gets built out of Organisations like ISRO giving jobs to people who take the higher education, finally revolutionizing all the other sectors with trickle down effects (other ways that can happen is declaring war and channelizing all your energies onto winning... but *ahem* nuclear detterant has ruled that out ;-) ).

Also heavy investment in science and technology has far more good implications to nation and society and is completely worthwhile and as important investment.

And lastly ISRO is poised to be quite a money maker for india, and its good marketing for the business wing.

Facebook Worries Emails Could Show Zuckerberg Knew of Questionable Privacy Practices

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Facebook uncovered emails that appear to show Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg's connection to potentially problematic privacy practices at the company, WSJ reported Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter. From the report: Within the company, the unearthing of the emails in the process of responding to a continuing federal privacy investigation has raised concerns that they would be harmful to Facebook -- at least from a public-relations standpoint -- if they were to become public, one of the people said. The potential impact of the internal emails has been a factor in the tech giant's desire to reach a speedy settlement of the investigation by the Federal Trade Commission, one of the people said. Facebook is operating under a 2012 consent decree with the agency related to privacy, and the emails sent around that time suggest that Mr. Zuckerberg and other senior executives didn't make compliance with the FTC order a priority, the people said.

It couldn't be determined exactly what emails the agency has requested and how many of them relate to Mr. Zuckerberg. The FTC investigation began more than a year ago after reports that personal data of tens of millions of Facebook users improperly wound up in the hands of Cambridge Analytica, a data firm that worked on President Trump's 2016 campaign. The FTC is investigating whether that lapse violated the 2012 consent decree with the agency in which Facebook agreed to better protect user privacy. Since the Cambridge Analytica affair, other privacy missteps have come to light, adding to Facebook's headaches.

To paraphrase another public figure...

By rnturn • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

... he probably is saying--or thinking--something like:

```Oh my God. This is terrible. This is the end of my Chairmanship. I'm f**ked.''

But, weasel that he is, I'm betting he'll wriggle out from under this. Somehow. Billionaires always do.

Re:"People familiar with the matter"

By DRJlaw • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

The press has lost it. When they can't get a story they find someone "familiar with the matter" to make one up.

Yeah! All whistleblowers should publicly disclose their identities, so that they may be properly retaliated against.

We shouldn't accept such sloppiness.

We don't have to. Congress will now be looking for those emails in the response to the subpoena. and people "familiar with the matter" may very well contact a Congresscritter in the event that they do not turn up.

Oh, you mean that you, personally, will not accept that process? That means f-all.

Intentional from day one

By WillAffleckUW • Score: 3 • Thread

Seriously, is there even a question?


By Anonymous Coward • Score: 3, Interesting • Thread

When will executives be held accountable? We let the banking executives get away with destroying the economy. The billionaire owners of Purdue Pharma are still on the loose. Nobody at Boeing has gone to prison over intentional design flaws that led to the deaths of hundreds. Only a few pee-ons have gone to prison over the poisoning of the Flint water supply.

In contrast, Germany has sentenced VW executive Oliver Schmidt to prison. Vietnam has put their corrupt bankers to death.

The United States needs executive accountability. Corporations should not be able to shield executives from their illegal actions.

nobody should be surprised

By hdyoung • Score: 3 • Thread
This is a modification from a previous FB-related thread.

These companies can do ANYTHING they want with our data, as long as it's allowed by law. Period. End. Of. Story. They can say whatever they want. "We didn't know about it. We're stopping the practice. For realizes, we promise promise promise etc. etc. etc." It doesn't matter. At. All. In most cases, straight-up-lying is still legal.

The only two things that can force a company to act: government laws and the laws of economics. A company will share anything and ignore privacy if it allows them to make money, unless there is some economic reason that the company is better off holding the data private. For example, there is pretty strong evidence that Apple sells and shares user data MUCH less than the others. It's part of what you get when you pay the premium for Apple products. Their premium sales model would suffer if they failed to distinguish themselves on this front. Google and Facebook? They're bottom-line commodity services and will sell anything for a buck. Cambridge-Analytica-type events are going to happen over, and over, and over again, unless it's made explicitly illegal at the federal level and enforced with prison sentences.

Don't get me wrong - I'm not really angry about any of this. This is capitalism at work. Data is valuable and thus will be collected, hoarded, bought, sold, traded for, and sometimes stolen. We designed our system to be nearly pure capitalism, and it works pretty darn well. But please, let's be honest about what's happening.

The safest bet is to assume that EVERYTHING is shared and NOTHING is private. You do a search or watch a video on one platform with ALL the privacy boxes checked, and 10 minutes later you'll be getting creepy targeted adds on a totally unrelated platform. Your internet activity is bought and sold in real-time. "Private mode" is an illusion. Policies are not law. A company can flagrantly violate its own policies and suffer exactly zero consequences. Fundamentally, privacy policies are worth less than the (non-existent) paper they are written on. Don't believe a company will even bother to follow them unless it PROVES that they're following them. Again, see Apple. Not perfect but they put a lot more money where their mouth is on this topic.

The internet is NOT private. Don't kid yourself that it ever was. Or ever will be.

Konami Announces the Turbografx-16 Mini

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader shares a report: Hey, if Nintendo and Sega can do it, then Konami can too. In a surprise E3 announcement, the company is releasing a miniature version of the classic 90s Turbografx-16 console, called the Turbografx-16 mini. If you're wondering why Konami is handling this, the original console was a joint effort between NEC and Hudson. Konami became Hudson's parent company in 2005 and then absorbed its operations in 2012, meaning it owns the brand and all its properties.

What the hell?

By H3lldr0p • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Why is the Japanese version getting the anchor game, Bonk's Adventure, but not the US? Are they expecting people to break it open and put new games on it or what?

Great machine

By AmiMoJo • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

The PC-Engine (TG-16 in the US) was a great little console. The CPU is 8 bit but the graphics hardware is 16 bit. It's very easy to work with and the results are great.

It also got a well supported CD peripheral (later integrated) very early on. It was only 2x speed but the machine only had 192kb RAM so loading was very fast. The lack of a video decoding hardware also meant there was no crappy FMV of the kind that plagued later machines through the 90s.

The retro phase is getting out of hand

By Viol8 • Score: 3, Interesting • Thread

Yes its nice to play retro games occasionally but apart from a few great ones (defender, pac man etc) most of them suck. And its not like we don't have emulators so why would anyone spend money on a 8 or 16 bit console (or more likely a £30 raspberry pi in a retro box running MAME) that isn't even an original to play mainly rubbish games that they could play on an emulator anyway?

I Just Dont Get It.

Re:The retro phase is getting out of hand

By barc0001 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

> I Just Dont Get It.

stoplikingthingsidontlike.jpg ?

Seriously though, it's a big world and everyone has different tastes and likes. You think there are only "a few great ones", but I happen to like a lot of the older games. Everyone has different tastes. If everyone thought like me, the avocado industry wouldn't exist as I personally dislike avocados, avocado toast, guac, and anything else done with avocados. But a lot of people like avocados, so here we are. And a lot of people like and buy these retro consoles. So here we are.

As for why not a Pi? Not everyone has the inclination to spend the time to set one up, or even the skill to do so. These consoles you pull them out of a box, plug in the power and the HDMI cable, and turn it on. Done.

Telegram's Description of DDoS Attack is the Best

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
A distributed denial of service attack may sound like hacker talk, but there's a simple explanation behind it. Secure messaging app Telegram said it had to endure one Wednesday, and it gave an explanation that almost anyone could understand. From a report: Telegram tweeted Wednesday morning that it was dealing with a DDoS attack. The app was down for many users across the globe, according to DownDetector. The downtime period was just a little over an hour, and while it was going on, Telegram explained how a DDoS attack works.

"Imagine that an army of lemmings just jumped the queue at McDonald's in front of you -- and each is ordering a whopper," Telegram tweeted. "The server is busy telling the whopper lemmings they came to the wrong place -- but there are so many of them that the server can't even see you to try and take your order." The tweets then went on to describe how hackers accomplish a DDoS attack. "To generate these garbage requests, bad guys use 'botnets' made up of computers of unsuspecting users which were infected with malware at some point in the past. This makes a DDoS similar to the zombie apocalypse: one of the whopper lemmings just might be your grandpa," the company said in another tweet.

Re:If you can't explain something in simple terms

By PolygamousRanchKid • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Add it to Wikiquotes. That was beautiful.

Oh, it's probably in there already. Dr. Richard Feynman said it.

Re:If you can't explain something in simple terms

By Shaitan • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Or you understand it perfectly and it is just complicated. It is one thing giving someone a rough idea of a high level concept in a conversation at dinner, it is quite another feeding oversimplified and flawed analogies to business decision makers who then think they actually know what is going on because they understood the simplified analogies. These things bite when you the difference between the dumbed down descriptions and reality rears its head and someone is making bad decisions you are stuck with.

Re:Better description

By stealth_finger • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

"Imagine that an army of computers just requested our computers for data" Telegram tweeted. "The server is busy responding to their requests -- but there are so many of them that the server can't even see you to try and take your requests."

More accurate, simpler and you don't need to know what a "whopper" is.

What if you don't know what a server is? If you are unaware of the whopper I wouldn't assume you know the basics of how the internet works. In terms of lowest common denominator its pretty low to know that you cant get a whopper from burger king. Their point isn't just there are lots of request its that they the wrong type of thing requesting the wrong item in the wrong place and they have to be told to fuck off individually. Is that better?

How To Name Things 101

By drew_kime • Score: 3 • Thread
From now on botnet nodes in a DDOS are whopper lemmings.

Time to Summon...

By IMightB • Score: 3 • Thread

BadAnalogyGuy! We need you!

WhatsApp is Finally Going After Outside Firms That Are Abusing Its Platform

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Tired of taking the flak for helping spread fake news, WhatsApp will start suing parties it finds flouting its rules. Till now, it was only using machine learning to flag accounts that were abusing its anti-spam policies. From a report: The messaging platform, used by more than 1.5 billion users, confirmed on Tuesday that starting December 7 it will start considering signals off its platform to pursue legal actions against those who are abusing its system. The company will also go after individuals who -- or firms that -- falsely claim to have found ways to cause havoc on the service.

Damage has been done...

By bayankaran • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
At least in India and many other developing countries the damage has been enormous. People have been killed, falsehoods spread, ethnic and minority related bigotry getting legitimacy and so on.

Re:Damage has been done...

By alex67500 • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

To be honest, it's only because WhatsApp became the dominant tool. It could have happened through any messaging app.

Huawei Says It's Scrapping Laptop Launch Because of US Blacklisting

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Huawei has ditched a product launch for the first time since the US placed it on a trade blacklist. From a report: Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei's consumer division, told CNBC that the firm had formally planned to launch a new product in its Matebook series without giving a date, but it had been indefinitely put on hold. He said that being on the U.S. Entity List, which restricts American companies from selling products to Huawei, had caused the cancellation. "We cannot supply the PC," Yu said, adding that the situation is "unfortunate." When asked if the laptop could be launched at a later date, Yu said it "depends on how long the Entity List will be there." He acknowledged that, if Huawei is on the blacklist for a long time, the laptop will not be able to be launched.

Yes! Awesome!, Thiefs should not benefit

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread

Huawei a company which is built on stolen technology has no right to benefit from Western economies. Also, like ALL Chinese companies, Huawei is controlled by the Communist government.

Quiz: Which country am I describing:

1) Placed millions in concentration camps
2) Persecuted and killed anyone who criticized the government
3) Aggressively making claims on territory.
4) Occupying territory that doesn't belong to it.

A. Nazi Germany
B. Communist China

The answer is B. In addition there is a thriving organ trade based on the executed prisoners.

Re:* In the US, who nobody really cares about

By TWX • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

I've found it rather ironic that downtrodden people support a political party run by rich elites that see to offshore for corporate profit and somehow think this is in their best interests. Rich people looking to get even richer are the ones that closed American factories to reopen factories overseas.

Re:Yes! Awesome!, Thiefs should not benefit

By TWX • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

that goes back to Drinkypoo's comment on convenience. Huawei is where it is because Cisco stupidly engaged Huawei to manufacture Cisco products. They simply used IOS on their own products when the relationship with Cisco broke down, and only on the threat of blacklist did they write their own software for these products.

Cisco, looking for cheaper manufacturing, gave away the store.

Re:* In the US, who nobody really cares about

By bigdavex • Score: 4 • Thread

I expect China to invent things. They're smart people. The U.S. isn't as special as Americans would like to think.

Re:* In the US, who nobody really cares about

By Aighearach • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Smart people doesn't help. All places have smart people.

It is about the local sociopolitical environment, and how if affects those people.

If you don't have enough freedom, you won't invent much.

Tesla Says Solar Roof Is On Its Third Iteration, Currently Installing In 8 States

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from TechCrunch: Tesla is currently installing its solar roof product in eight states, according to Elon Musk, speaking at the Tesla Annual Shareholder Meeting on Tuesday. The solar roof-tile project has had a relatively long genesis since being unveiled three years ago, in 2016. In addition to having installations run in eight states, Musk said the solar roof product is currently on version three, and that this version is very exciting to him because it offers a chance of being at cost parity with an equivalent entry-level cheap traditional tile, when you include the cost of utilities you'd be saving by generating your own power instead. Regarding timelines for wider rollout of the solar roof products at the costs he anticipates, his own words probably say it best: "I'm sometimes a little optimistic about time frames -- it's time you knew," he joked at the meeting.

Leaks are rare

By Comboman • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

I also am a bit dubious about putting a bunch of larger holes in the roof to hold the panels in place, seems like after ten years you'd have a higher risk of leaks from that even if they sealed them pretty well.

Just like anything else mounted on your roof (TV antenna, lightning rod, satellite dish), if done properly leaks are extremely rare and will show up right away.

Some states require new houses have solar

By WillAffleckUW • Score: 3 • Thread

Tesla would be wise to roll this out in states where all new construction houses and residential apartment buildings have solar and HVAC systems, such as California.

Go where the regulatory infrastructure works for you, not against you.

Durability & Cost

By Only Time Will Tell • Score: 3 • Thread
I'm curious how well these handle some of the weather extremes that seem to be more common now like hail, high winds, heavy snows, etc. I'm really hoping the tech & manufacturing cost matures to the point that these are a viable alternative for around 115-125% the cost of a regular shingled roof by the time my roof is ready for replacement. We had a major wind storm blow through in May that knocked power out to 90,000 houses. As I sat around candles and flashlights, I thought about how nice a solar roof would be.

looking forward to putting this on our roof

By WindBourne • Score: 3 • Thread
We live in an extreme hail region that is expected to get more and bigger hail.
As it is, we have already replaced our hail-resistant shingle roof 2x in 10 years. Come the next time (assuming we are still here), we will switch to Tesla roof. It really makes good sense.

How are the tiles tied together

By edi_guy • Score: 3 • Thread

I checked the Tesla site, but there isn't any info on how the tiles are actually connected. For instance whats the voltage of an individual tile, how many can you link in series to get X voltage? Then how many of those in parallel ? And connectors...pretty weatherproof I assume. Curious about how one would go about fixing a single cell if it were bad.

Apple's US iPhones Can All Be Made Outside of China If Needed, Says Foxconn

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
A senior executive at Foxconn says they have enough capacity to make all iPhones bound for the U.S. outside of China if necessary. Bloomberg reports: China is a crucial cog in Apple's business, the origin of most of its iPhones and iPads as well as its largest international market. But President Donald Trump has threatened Beijing with new tariffs on about $300 billion worth of Chinese goods, an act that would escalate tensions dramatically while levying a punitive tax on Apple's most profitable product. Hon Hai, known also as Foxconn, is the American giant's most important manufacturing partner. It will fully support Apple if it needs to adjust its production as the U.S.-Chinese trade spat gets grimmer and more unpredictable, board nominee and semiconductor division chief Young Liu told an investor briefing in Taipei on Tuesday. "Twenty-five percent of our production capacity is outside of China and we can help Apple respond to its needs in the U.S. market," said Liu, adding that investments are now being made in India for Apple. "We have enough capacity to meet Apple's demand."

This is particularly noteworthy because the U.S. market accounts for one in every four iPhones sold worldwide, "so it represents a huge portion of Foxconn's manufacturing business inside China," Strategy Analytics analyst Neil Mawston said.

Re:Tax cuts LOL

By mlw4428 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
No one said that. However in the Constitution, the duty of taxation is a right enumerated to the government. What's being said is that the people who need tax breaks the least are given them while those of us that really COULD use those breaks are ignored. Furthermore we, the middle and lower classes, are expected to pay for these tax cuts for the rich in the following years to come. Nothing that you said addressed any of his points.

Re:China doesn't need US

By ebrandsberg • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

China holds about 4.7% of Federal securities, AND due to the maturity schedule on the securities, they wouldn't be able to call in all of the debt at once. If China started calling on maturity all of their debt, it likely wouldn't do much to the US, but would impact their Yuan trading rate in a bad way.

Re:We can still build them

By AHuxley • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
That can go to Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan the real China, Vietnam, Cambodia, India, Thailand.
The new robots and more advanced production lines are ready.
Smaller parts no longer need what China had to offer.
What once would have been the next upgrade in China can be done for less outside China.
No Communism needed.

Re:Bet they can't make dupes as fast as /.

By caseih • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Labor costs haven't been a real factor in companies placing manufacturing in China for some time. The real advantage to manufacturing in China is the supply chain. Every possible component, electronic or mechanical, is readily available there. Not so here in North America. And although labor is cheap in Vietnam, they still would have to ship all the parts from China. It's been quite fascinating to watch the "Strange Parts" YouTube channel about this sort of thing.

Re:Final Assembly

By JustAnotherOldGuy • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Take the recent claims that China pays the tariffs. White House staff claim that it's what Trump actually believes, but it seems so ludicrous I find it hard to accept, even from him.

He's so ignorant of everything, I wouldn't be surprised to find out that he does actually believe that China is paying the tariffs.

It's obvious he doesn't know anything about business, how the government works, basic civic administration, and a host of other things. He's a gold-plated moron who grew up wealthy and as a result never had to learn anything.

I honestly doubt Trump could figure out how to buy car insurance, compare prices in a grocery store, or change a tire.

He's never had to overcome a challenge or figure anything out- he's always had someone else to do the miscellaneous day-to-day tasks that you and I do all the time.

Remember, this is a guy who thinks that windmills cause cancer and that you need ID to buy groceries. I literally know of no one else who's that uninformed.

Scientists Discover Previously Unidentified Mass Beneath Surface of the Moon

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
pgmrdlm shares a report from CBS News: A previously unknown deposit of an unidentified physical substance larger than the size of Hawaii has been discovered beneath the surface of the moon. Scientists at Baylor University published a study detailing their findings of this "anomaly" beneath the moon's largest crater, at its South Pole. They believe the mass may contain metal carried over from an earlier asteroid crash. According to the study -- "Deep Structure of the Lunar South Pole-Aitken Basin" -- which was published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters in April, the large mass of material was discovered beneath the South Pole-Aitken crater, an oval-shaped crater that is 2,000 kilometers (about 1,243 miles) wide and roughly 4 billion years old. According to Baylor University, the unidentified mass was discovered "hundreds of miles" beneath the basin and is "weighing the basin floor downward by more than half a mile." The scientists discovered the mass by analyzing data taken from a spacecraft used during NASA's Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission, which was a lunar gravity mapping exploration to study the moon's interior and thermal history.

According to the published study, "Plausible sources for this anomaly include metal from the core of a differentiated impactor or oxides from the last stage of magma ocean crystallization," which hypothesizes the moon's surface was once a molten liquid ocean of magma. They also believe the mass could be suspended iron-nickel core from an asteroid that previously impacted the moon's surface.


By slashdot_commentator • Score: 3 • Thread

A justification to go back to the Moon and establish a sustainable human presence (rather than going straight to Mars). The Moon has to be a lot easier destination than an asteroid to mine for materials. But if man still can't drill down for miles to reach the mass, there's no point in spending hundreds of billions to put a semi-permanent US presence there.

Re:We knew of the presence of such lunar anomalies

By quonset • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Their existance is known since at least 50 years, and they are called mass concentrations (mascons).
What is new is that astronomers discovered a mascon below the South Pole of the Moon.

Are we sure these mascons aren't connected such that they form a ring inside the Moon?

Re:anybody really believe...

By ledow • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Er... to within a million years or so, quite possibly.

There's a reason that forensics is a science.

If the crater-splash goes over the top of older rocks, and those rocks were believed molten at a particular time, then it must have come *after* they solidified. If you have enough overlaying layers / craters / dust that you can identify, then you can date it to within a range (maybe the range is +/- 10 million years, but it's still a range).

Much like *every* archaeologist on the planet can date an object of interest in the soil by looking at the style of the pottery, how deep it was in the ground, what pottery was in the layer above it, and what was in the layer below in.

To a sufficient accuracy that almost the entirety of archaeology is based on such dates, and they are self-consistent across the world to within reasonable margins of error, and which when revised because of new information are revised around the world too (much like carbon dating has been revised several times as new information on world-scale events that might affect it are discovered).

Welcome to science. Where the answer is "Yes, you can", but the long answer needs ten years in the field and a degree/doctorate to prove you're right enough to say that.

Water .... minerals .... war!

By petes_PoV • Score: 3 • Thread
If there was one place that is worth fighting over on the Moon, this would be it.

The question is whether it would be actual people in combat or robotically controlled drones and fighting vehicles. And, of course, who would win?

Re: Isn't this

By laie_techie • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

When talking about the big island specifically, people use Hawai'i. Hawaii usually refers to the whole state.

Actually, as kama`aina, we use the `okina in the name of the island, the state, and the whole island chain. Since the US keyboard doesn't have the `okina key (and the English alphabet doesn't include the `okina) it is often omitted when writing in English.