the unofficial Slashdot digest for 2019-Jul-09 today archive


  1. AI Trained On Old Scientific Papers Makes Discoveries Humans Missed
  2. YouTube Is Making It Much Easier For Creators To Deal With Copyright Claims
  3. It's Time To Ban All Government Use of Face Recognition, Says Digital Rights Group
  4. T-Mobile Says It Can't Be Sued By Users Because of Forced-Arbitration Clause
  5. The $280,000 Lab-Grown Burger Could Be a More Palatable $10 in Two Years
  6. GitHub Removed Open Source Versions of 'Deepfakes' Porn App DeepNude
  7. Skype Snap App Remains Hopelessly Outdated
  8. AT&T Will Automatically Block Fraud Calls For New Customers
  9. Firefox 68 Arrives With Darker Reader View, Recommended Extensions, and IT Customizations
  10. Mozilla Blocks UAE Bid To Become an Internet Security Guardian After Hacking Reports
  11. Raspberry Pi Admits To Faulty USB-C Design On the Pi 4
  12. Ross Perot, Founder and Former CEO of Electronic Data Systems and Perot Systems, Dies At 89
  13. WarnerMedia Announces HBO Max, Its Netflix Rival That Will Launch Next Year
  14. LinkedIn and the Art of Boastful Self-Promotion
  15. Apple Lowers Prices on the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro and Adds New Features
  16. Logitech Wireless USB Dongles Vulnerable To New Hijacking Flaws
  17. Trump Can't Block Critics From His Twitter Account, Appeals Court Rules
  18. IBM Closes Its $34 Billion Acquisition of Red Hat
  19. Apple Discontinues 12-inch MacBook
  20. Google Unveils 'Code With Google,' Awards $1 Million To CS Teachers Group
  21. Bitcoin Mining On an Apollo Guidance Computer: 10.3 Seconds Per Hash
  22. Moon Landing Could Have Infected the Earth With Lunar Germs, Say Astronauts
  23. Serious Zoom Security Flaw Could Let Websites Hijack Mac Cameras

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

AI Trained On Old Scientific Papers Makes Discoveries Humans Missed

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard: In a study published in Nature on July 3, researchers from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory used an algorithm called Word2Vec sift through scientific papers for connections humans had missed. Their algorithm then spit out predictions for possible thermoelectric materials, which convert heat to energy and are used in many heating and cooling applications. The algorithm didn't know the definition of thermoelectric, though. It received no training in materials science. Using only word associations, the algorithm was able to provide candidates for future thermoelectric materials, some of which may be better than those we currently use.

To train the algorithm, the researchers assessed the language in 3.3 million abstracts related to material science, ending up with a vocabulary of about 500,000 words. They fed the abstracts to Word2vec, which used machine learning to analyze relationships between words. Using just the words found in scientific abstracts, the algorithm was able to understand concepts such as the periodic table and the chemical structure of molecules. The algorithm linked words that were found close together, creating vectors of related words that helped define concepts. In some cases, words were linked to thermoelectric concepts but had never been written about as thermoelectric in any abstract they surveyed. This gap in knowledge is hard to catch with a human eye, but easy for an algorithm to spot. After showing its capacity to predict future materials, researchers took their work back in time, virtually. They scrapped recent data and tested the algorithm on old papers, seeing if it could predict scientific discoveries before they happened. Once again, the algorithm worked.
"In one experiment, researchers analyzed only papers published before 2009 and were able to predict one of the best modern-day thermoelectric materials four years before it was discovered in 2012," the report adds.

..out of how many predictions?

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

It was fifth in the 2009 dataset.

Numbers two and four were also found to be thermoelectric.

Figure 3 from the paper
b, The top five predictions from the year 2009 dataset, and evolution of their prediction ranks as more data are collected. The marker indicates the year of first published report of one of the initial top five predictions as a thermoelectric

The link from Vice takes you to the full paper.

By Truth_Quark • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
The answer is that it was 5th most likely material based on the analysis of 2009 papers. The second was also found to be thermoelectric in 2016. And the fourth in 2017.

Re: Math papers are the holy grail for this

By religionofpeas • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

So can humans. Not in speed, but in knowledge.

To a degree, yes. But computers have the potential to improve faster and longer. Compare with chess, for example. Human chess knowledge only advances slowly. Arguably, current world #1, Magnus Carlsen, is a bit stronger than former #1, Gary Kasparov, but the difference is small either way. The progress that has been made with computer chess in the same time frame is much bigger. The Deep Blue computer that barely beat Kasparov can be easily wiped off the board using a program running on a smart phone.

Re:ha ha ha.... Again folks... NOT AI

By religionofpeas • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

A car is not intelligent just because you turned the steering wheel right and it when right.

I never said that, did I ? Please learn to read and address only the stated argument. My argument is that a machine that reaches the same results as a human using their intelligence, is also intelligent. For instance, a self driving car that can drive any random trip from A to B just as well as a normal human driver should be considered intelligent, no matter how it's implemented. Just following simple instructions like "turn right" is not a sign of intelligence, neither in humans nor in cars.

The cure for cancer has already been published

By guacamole • Score: 3 • Thread

We just need to use this algorithm to find out what it is.

YouTube Is Making It Much Easier For Creators To Deal With Copyright Claims

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
YouTube is updating the way it handles manual copyright claims with changes that should make them much less of a headache for video creators. The Verge reports: Owners of copyrighted content -- like a record label or a movie studio -- will now have to say exactly where in a video their copyrighted material appears, which they didn't have to do in the past when manually reporting infringement. That'll allow creators to easily verify whether or not a claim is legitimate and to then edit out the content if they don't want to deal with the repercussions, like losing revenue or having the video taken down. With this change, the whole system will be a lot clearer and should operate much smoother. Video creators will be able to see the chunk that's been claimed, and YouTube will allow them to mute the audio during that portion, replace the audio with a free-to-use song from YouTube's library, or cut out that chunk of the video. If they choose any of those options, the copyright claim will automatically be released. (All of those options were previously available, but creators had to figure out on their own what they needed to cut out.)

Re:but not for auto Claims!

By Rockoon • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

No, it's where they demonitize you and Google keeps the money.

From How I Deal With Fake YouTube Copyright Claims by Believe Music in June of last year:

Every now and again, I get an email from YouTube that some random company has claimed that they own the copyright to the music used in my cooking videos.

Now, I have over 350 videos on my YouTube channel. Every piece of music I use to accompany these videos is legally obtained — they’re either copyright-free with source and credit given, or they’re music for which a licence has been paid by the numerous video editors I’ve used over the years.

In said email, YouTube is gracious enough to tell me that I’m “not in trouble”, just that any ad revenue from my video will be diverted to this company from now on. Lovely.

Are we to believe this shit has stopped?

Re:The whole thing

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

I want musicians and other artists to be paid for their work. That doesn't include more than 85% of revenue going to a bunch of suits sitting behind desks at the music publisher. Sure that system worked in 1950 through maybe 2000 but you can record and produce studio quality music in your garage or a spare room in your house. Back then you needed those publishers and record labels to pay for studio time and front the money for a tour. Now we have this little thing called the internet and all of that PR is not needed anymore.

All these copywrite claims come from publishers and record labels. Musicians do not make money off of sales anymore because hardly anyone buys music. Musicians do not make money from streaming anymore because out of every dollar paid out from streaming nearly 90 cents goes to the publishers and record labels. Big time musicians make millions from touring and smaller acts make money from touring and from things like patreon and selling their merch online.

We don't need a middle man for content like music any longer. They are doing nothing but stealing money from the actual artists who made the music in the first place. The songwriters and band members get a pittance from sales/streaming while a bunch of greedy fucks sitting in offices snorting cocaine off a hookers tits get paid millions. This is what copywrite strikes on youtube are all about. There aren't many artists who care when someone uses a 15 second clip of one of their songs in a youtube video that falls under fair use as outlined under copywrite law. But the youtuber will get a strike and get their revenue stolen and diverted to the music publisher anyway and the artist who wrote and recorded the song in question gets nearly nothing from it.

We have things like the DMCA because of those greedy suits sitting in offices making money hand over fist while the artist gets nearly nothing unless they go out and tour all over the country/world for most of the year. So let's just stop acting like these copywrite laws are there to protect artists and admit they are there to fuck artists and make millions for music executives and shareholders.

I had a claim a couple of years ago for using less than 10 seconds of Toto's Africa. It was literally just the beginning of the chorus "I blessed the rains down in Africa." It was a nearly 12 minute video and it was yoinked because of about 7 seconds of audio that fell 100% within "fair use" under US copywrite law. I fought the claim and was told it would stand in an automated reply, it was never investigated by anyone and the company making the claim was given free reign to claim whatever videos they wanted as "infringing on their copywrite." I pulled the video down, uploaded a new version with zero music in it, a different title, and the same company flagged it again within 48 hours. I once again appealed and it was denied, I appealed the denial and got another nice automated email telling me that my appeal was denied and if I got another strike my account would be shut permanently. So I just deleted all my videos on youtube and quit making them. I hardly ever used any copywrite material and if I did I was absolutely sure that it was used under fair use. My videos weren't even monetized so I was making no money and just doing it for fun.

The system these companies use to find and flag videos is automated and will flag anything with any copywritten material. They can't do it with humans because it would take tens of thousands of people a month to watch what is uploaded to youtube in a single day. The same goes on the youtube side, they have an automated system and for manual reports they treat them as gospel and take action immediately. They don't have people watching videos. The only time someone at youtube will manually watch your video to verify the claim is legitimate is if you are a hugely popular youtuber and you make a big deal out of it. Now they have gone so far as to put in their terms of service that you aren't supposed to address your strikes online and cause people

while progress , It still fails with D-

By aepervius • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
It still places an onerous burden on the creator to verify and respond while allowing automated tool for claim, and those tool make no difference between fair use extract for analyze and copyright infringement, and those tool still claim spuriously stuff which they falsely recognize as copyright. There should be an escrow associated with a claim, say 10$, and if the claim is found to be spurious , then that money is given to the defendant, if not that money is given back. Or something similar. At the moment there is no punishment for spurious claim. And that is a shame, since the DMCA AFAIR forsee one. Heck the 9th circvuit agree with me :)

Re:The whole thing

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

Well, there is another side to this. I've been involved with creating original video content, and I've seen the situation where someone sets up a YT channel that is entirely based on ripping whole videos from us (and others in the same field) and monetizing them. From our side, every time this happened, we had to go through a tedious manual process to file a DMCA takedown. And then hours later, the same guy would be back with the exact same video ripped again and getting ad revenue on his channel. YT has obligations under the DMCA and similar laws elsewhere to take action against repeat offenders, but as far as we can tell, it did nothing extra in this sort of situation at all. And I'm sure it was taking much more time for us, the people doing the actual creative work and legitimate rightsholders, to deal with each case than it was for the other guy to re-upload the same rip he'd already taken.

So yes, claiming the entire video as copyright infringement should definitely be allowed, because sometimes it is.

Realpolitik "rights"

By sjbe • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Say your video is an independent news video. In it, your video footage gets background audio that contains copyrighted music.That background capture is legitimate fair use, even if the video is monetized.

While that is basically correct you always have to remember one thing. Your "rights" under the law are in reality only as strong as your ability to defend them. If you want to claim fair use then you need to have the resources to defend that claim in the event of a dispute. Legally speaking you might be 100% correct but that doesn't matter AT ALL if you cannot defend your claim. Companies that depend on copyright for their income streams (think Disney, etc) understand this fact and are more than willing to abuse it to their benefit even if technically they might be on the wrong side of the law in a given case. Google/YouTube is perfectly well aware of which parties are well equipped to fight them on this matter and they behave accordingly. If this surprises anyone they aren't paying attention.

George Carlin said it best "...rights aren't rights if someone can take em away. They're privileges. That's all we've ever had in this country is a bill of TEMPORARY privileges..."

It's Time To Ban All Government Use of Face Recognition, Says Digital Rights Group

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Fight for the Future, the digital rights advocacy group, is calling for a nationwide ban on government use of facial recognition. Fast Company reports: The group says the technology is just too dangerous to civil liberties to allow government agencies to use it, even with regulation. It launched a website where people can contact their legislators and urge them to support a ban. "Imagine if we could go back in time and prevent governments around the world from ever building nuclear or biological weapons. That's the moment in history we're in right now with facial recognition," said Evan Greer, deputy director of Fight for the Future, in a statement. "This surveillance technology poses such a profound threat to the future of human society and basic liberty that its dangers far outweigh any potential benefits. We don't need to regulate it, we need to ban it entirely."

A bit late for that

By reanjr • Score: 3 • Thread

Once it made it to the Super Bowl, it essentially became a permanent fixture in the U.S. It's not going anywhere. You might regulate it, but ban it outright? It's not gonna happen.

Pick your battles.

By WolfgangVL • Score: 3 • Thread

Soon, the location of every police officer and government official in any given city will be publicly accessible with a smartphone.

We will have this conversation again.

Re:Being for law and order and

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

You ban things because you can be almost entirely sure that they will be misused. Just look at how many times law enforcement officers have gotten into trouble for accessing things like the DMV database illegally to find some cute girl they saw getting into a car at the mall.

When the likelihood is near 100% that a system will be abused you either make it illegal or put in so many protections to keep it from being abused that it will be useless.

The US is the land of the free and home of the brave. That doesn't mention "safe" anywhere in it. Human nature proves beyond any doubt that we will never be safe all the time in everything we do. There is no technology now or in the future that will guarantee our safety and still allow us any kind of freedom. What you are talking about is a police state and people will still suffer from abuse from the state but almost everyone who isn't poor will not have to deal with that because that is how a police state works. You keep your head down and don't be poor and you will be fine.

If you think there will be facial recognition and there won't be a permanent record of everywhere you go and everything you do then you are the most foolish person to ever draw a breath on this planet. If you have a car newer than 2005 with factory gps and internet capability or you carry around a phone there is absolutely already a permanent record of everything you do and everywhere you go. The company you bought your car from keeps those records and won't tell anyone how long they keep them for. Phone companies say they don't keep records but also wont admit how long it stays in their system before being deleted. Not answering is a way of saying "it stays there forever."

This is the age of "big data" and storage is dirt fucking cheap compared to the money these companies get from using all the data they collect about you. Governments don't need to care about a big budget because with all the money the US spends every year they could hide what it costs to store all the data from your car and phone as an inexpensive line item on a purchase for any government agency and we would never know.

We already have enough issues with trying to secure our personal information and maintain some little bit of privacy now. Facial recognition systems would compound these beyond belief and would be overcome with abuse. A city administrator running a search for his wife and spying on what she is doing. A police officer searching for his ex girlfriend who left him because he was abusive. Someone with a friend who has access and pays them to find someone they have a grudge against.

Unless and until they can find a way to guarantee that the system won't be abused it shouldn't be allowed anywhere in the US. Technology has opened a lot of doors but this is one that we need to slam shut right now. I'm a law abiding citizen and don't have anything to fear but that doesn't mean I want a computer looking at every camera in the city and tracking and recording everywhere I go. I don't want a system where someone could have a photo of me and search the system to see where I am at the moment or where I was.

Anyway since facial recognition systems all over the world are wrong over 80% of the time right now why don't we just let this technology advance to where it is right 99.99% of the time and then we can undo the laws banning it if we need to. Even in test systems in a controlled environment where they have as few as a few hundred photos in the database they get it wrong more than 60% of the time or simply can't identify the person in the image they are given. Somehow you think introducing a few hundred thousand or even millions of people into these systems and putting them up operating in public will do anything but cause innocent people trouble. Yep, you are a damned fool.

Re: Unconstitutional

By Highdude702 • Score: 4 • Thread

You just explained the difference between looking for somebody already accused of or being a person of interest, and vacuuming every identity in the country up into a database "for the lulz"...

You are a criminal. Yes you are.

By sjbe • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

not a criminal personally I'm all for FR pretty much everywhere in public. I want every criminal act captured and prosecuted. Maybe that's just me, but I don't think so.

Yes you are a criminal. So is everyone else including me. The laws are written that way on purpose. I absolutely guarantee you violate multiple laws every single day of your life. Some intentionally (speeding just a little bit) and some not intentionally. Many you aren't even aware they are a law. So no, you don't want every criminal act captured and prosecuted. That's not a world ANY of us want to live in. I want to live in a world where reason plays a role in the rule of law. There are very few laws that perfectly capture every possible contingency and situation. Many times they don't even matter at all.

T-Mobile Says It Can't Be Sued By Users Because of Forced-Arbitration Clause

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
T-Mobile U.S. is trying to force customers into arbitration in order to avoid a class-action lawsuit that accuses the phone carrier of violating federal law by selling its customers' real-time location data to third parties. Ars Technica reports: T-Mobile yesterday filed a motion to compel arbitration in U.S. District Court in Maryland, saying that customers agreed to terms and conditions that require disputes to be handled in arbitration instead of courts. The two plaintiffs named in the lawsuit did not opt out of the arbitration agreement, T-Mobile wrote. "As T-Mobile customers, each Plaintiff accepted T-Mobile's Terms and Conditions ('T&Cs')," T-Mobile wrote in a memorandum of law. "In so doing, they agreed to arbitrate on an individual basis any dispute related to T-Mobile's services and to waive their right to participate in a class action unless they timely opted out of the arbitration procedure outlined in the T&Cs. Neither Plaintiff elected to opt out. Accordingly, Plaintiffs have brought their grievances to the wrong forum and their claims should be dismissed in favor of arbitration."

T-Mobile's terms and conditions say, "Thanks for choosing T-Mobile. Please read these Terms & Conditions ('T&Cs'), which contain important information about your relationship with T-Mobile, including mandatory arbitration of disputes between us, instead of class actions or jury trials. You will become bound by these provisions once you accept these T&Cs."
Customers can opt out of arbitration by calling 1-866-323-4405 or online at, but action must be taken within 30 days of activating a new phone line. The customers who opted out of T-Mobile arbitration could file a similar lawsuit, but that would result in a much smaller pool of customers who could seek damages.

The class-action complaint seeks financial damages and certification of a class consisting of every person who was a T-Mobile customer in the U.S. between May 3, 2015 and March 9, 2019. That's at least 50 million people, the class-action complaint says.

Re:They're right

By Darinbob • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

The problem is that T-Mobile is claimed to have broken the law (civil, not criminal). It seems absurd that a company can effectively make a law null and void just by forcing an arbitration agreement on customers. An arbitor is not in any condition to decide the legality of an action, that's what a judge and jury is for. Save the arbitor for normal disputes.

Libertarians should be completely against arbitration agreements as they restrict liberty, and the sole role of the government to diehard libertarians is to protect the rights of its citizens. These arbitration agreements are hardly "contracts" as one party is given no choice to opt-out, amend, or negotiate on the contract.

End this indefensible madness

By GameboyRMH • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Forced arbitation should not be a thing, the fact that a company can do end-runs around the entire legal system is a dire consequence of lawmakers being asleep at the switch. This will go down in history as one of society's great failures alongside debtor's prisons.

Re:Can the consumer choose the arbitor?

By jrumney • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
1. Only the company chooses the arbitrator, which makes it an inequitable clause in the contract.
2. No clause in a contract can protect you from legal action for criminal conduct. Arbitration clauses apply only to contractual disputes, they are irrelevant to criminal disputes.

Re: Can the consumer choose the arbitor?

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Arbitration; because they weren't happy just breaking up employment unions. Now they want to break up their customers and the broader society as well. Oh wait they succeeded.

Moving on.

The goal of binding arbitration is to prevent class action lawsuits. Companies don't have a good way to protect themselves when they piss off 100,000,000 people and those same people collectively file suit. Instead, prohibit them from joining together in legal action. Now those 100,000,000 people will need to find 100,000,000 independent lawyers. Cutting the story short: there aren't enough dollars to hire this many lawyers, nor are there enough lawyers. Not today, and never in all the future of the US economy. Company wins by default, because reasons.

Now all we need to do is enact some law that creates a similar impossible situation and use that to billyclub the shit out of some feckless CEO.

Re:Can the consumer choose the arbitor?

By larryjoe • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

The arbitration of all disputes will be conducted by a single arbitrator, who shall be selected using the following procedure: (a) the AAA will send the parties a list of five candidates; (b) if the parties cannot agree on an arbitrator from that list, each party shall return its list to the AAA within 10 days, striking up to two candidates, and ranking the remaining candidates in order of preference; (c) the AAA shall appoint as arbitrator the candidate with the highest aggregate ranking; and (d) if for any reason the appointment cannot be made according to this procedure, the AAA may exercise its discretion in appointing the arbitrator.

So, who pays the AAA? That's who controls who the arbiters are. As we see in governmental elections, selection of the voters is the key to swinging the election.

So, the consumer gets to strike two names from the five selected by the organization funded by the company. Sort of like in totalitarian countries where you get to select from the candidates vetted by the government.

So, how many consumers go to arbitration and how often do the consumers win? According to this report, the number of arbitrations initiated (at least for some company categories) is low, the majority are settled, and of those that are arbitrated on the merits, consumers win 20% of the consumer-initiated cases and companies win 90% of the company-initiated cases. That is, heads the companies win, tails, the consumers lose. No wonder companies love arbitration.

The $280,000 Lab-Grown Burger Could Be a More Palatable $10 in Two Years

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Lab-grown meat, first introduced to the world six years ago in the form of a $280,000 hamburger, could hit supermarket shelves at $10 a patty within two years, European start-ups told Reuters. From a report: Consumers concerned about climate change, animal welfare and their own health are fueling interest in so-called clean meat, with the number of associated business start-ups climbing from four at the end of 2016 to more than two dozen two years later, according to the Good Food Institute market researcher. Plant-based meat alternatives are also booming. Shares in Beyond Meat have more than tripled in price since its initial public offering in May. Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods each sell 100% plant-based meat alternatives to retailers and fast food chains across the United States.

And cultured meat grown from animal cells could be next on the mainstream menu, with producers eyeing regulatory approval as they improve the technology and reduce costs. It was Dutch start-up Mosa Meat's co-founder Mark Post who created the first "cultured" beef hamburger in 2013 at a cost of 250,000 euros ($280,400), funded by Google co-founder Sergey Brin, but Mosa Meat and Spain's Biotech Meats say that production costs have fallen dramatically since then. "The burger was this expensive in 2013 because back then it was novel science and we were producing at very small scale. Once production is scaled up, we project the cost of producing a hamburger will be around 9 euros," a Mosa Meat spokeswoman told Reuters, adding that it could ultimately become even cheaper than a conventional hamburger.

Re:Meanwhile the elites will still be dining on

By Xenx • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
If a lab-grown "monstrosity" tastes as good (doesn't need to be the same, just good) as naturally grown meat... I don't see a new issue. There is already a disparity between what the rich and poor eat. This doesn't change that.

No way

By AndyKron • Score: 3 • Thread
Just like soy bean burgers cost more than real meat. Fuck that shit.

Re:Come back when you brought it down to $ 0.2

By BarbaraHudson • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Vat meat will win out if it’s the same price. There are plenty of people who would like a guilt-free experience when eating meat. No killing animals, 1/10 the environmental impact of farmed beef, these have value among meat eaters.

Vegan Spam

By DatbeDank • Score: 3, Interesting • Thread

It's time to call this crap what it really is: Vegan Spam

It's just as processed, just as gross, and is the complete antithesis of what it means to go vegetarian or vegan

I'd sooner eat real spam, steaks from the dollar store, and margarine than I would eat this trash.

I live in fantasy land too.

By Mr. Dollar Ton • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

Here we abhor the exploitation of plants for food. I belong to the larger group. I am an Inorganian, we only accept what Nature would give us freely. So I sit with my mouth open and eat only what inorganic matter falls in it. It was hard at first, but now, through my improved psychics, I am full at almost every meal.

My brother sitting next to me has gone a step up, he's a Lightarian, ze only subsists on pure sunshine and will consume the sunlight that Nature bestows upon zim at the most magical hours immediately after dawn and before sunset.

We think all these contraptions that force people into creating life to suffer so that they can eat are terrible.

Follow us, and become better human beings.

Inorganians and Lightarians for Better Humanity!

GitHub Removed Open Source Versions of 'Deepfakes' Porn App DeepNude

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard: GitHub recently removed code from its website that used neural networks to algorithmically strip clothing from images of women. The multiple code repositories were spun off from an app called DeepNude, a highly invasive piece of software that was specifically designed to create realistic nude images of women without their consent. The news shows how after DeepNude's creator pulled the plug on his own invention late last month following a media and public backlash, some platforms are now stopping the spread of similar tools. "We do not proactively monitor user-generated content, but we do actively investigate abuse reports. In this case, we disabled the project because we found it to be in violation of our acceptable use policy," a GitHub spokesperson told Motherboard in a statement. "We do not condone using GitHub for posting sexually obscene content and prohibit such conduct in our Terms of Service and Community Guidelines."

The "Sexually Obscene" section of GitHub's Community Guidelines states: "Don't post content that is pornographic. This does not mean that all nudity, or all code and content related to sexuality, is prohibited. We recognize that sexuality is a part of life and non-pornographic sexual content may be a part of your project, or may be presented for educational or artistic purposes. We do not allow obscene sexual content or content that may involve the exploitation or sexualization of minors."

Re:"Highly invasive"?

By gweihir • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

It is basically that people think "this can show everybody nude" (it cannot). Then the fear sets in and the two brain cells the average person has available on a good day shut down. The whole thing was a nice demonstration of what can be done with the technology. The reason it is done for women only is because there is far more training material around, which just happens to be a fact. Hence even the "SEXISM!"-angle does not work. Sure, the whole thing is a bit silly, but that is basically it.


By DNS-and-BIND • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
It's a dog whistle used by feminists to mean "rapey". You'll see the word in all sorts of literature when they stop short, but you know what they want to call it.

Open source is not software freedom

By jbn-o • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

It looks like this is how Microsoft shows it loves "open source". And the open source development methodology does not (apparently) stand for software freedom (the freedom to run, inspect, share, and modify published computer software) or freedom of speech. GitHub decided that this speech is "sexually obscene" according to GitHub's representative even though the program itself contains no "sexually obscene" information.

Re:Comic Book Code all over again...

By vux984 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

People have been saying general purpose computers would be banned since RMS published his "right to read" in the 90s; then the RIAA/MPAA campaign to end piracy raged for the last couple decades, yet here we are.

Kind of in the the middle -- copyright still exists and has plenty of teeth despite general purpose computers that can violate it at will coexist with it, and nobody really expects it to change. Sure we've got DRM and HDCP to restrict us, and cracks for DRM and HDCP and workarounds to get around it. Intel shows up with IME; someone else shows up with open source hardware initiatives.

The pragmatic among us would see plenty of victories and losses for both sides.

And we persist in this balancing act, never reaching and never likely to reach either extreme.
aka... "the 3rd option"

Of course they removed it.

By bjwest • Score: 3 • Thread
It was sexist, after all. Make it work on both male and female, and there wouldn't be such a stink.

Skype Snap App Remains Hopelessly Outdated

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader shares a report: The official Skype Snap app for Linux has not been updated in nearly six months, and Microsoft is yet to say why. When introducing the cross-distro build in early 2018, the company said the Skype Snap app would give it the "... ability to push the latest features straight to our users, no matter which device or distribution they happen to use." Clearly, not. Because at the time of writing this post the Skype Snap app sits on version, which the Snapcraft store reports was 'last updated' in November 2018. However, the "regular" Linux version available to download from the Skype website is on version, released June 2019.

Snaps outdated? How surprising...

By KiloByte • Score: 3 • Thread

There is no way for Snaps to be up-to-date and secure. The author of that snap would need to track every single package contained within that snap -- but, if you already maintain it, why would you even bother doing all that redundant work instead of simply having the package as part of the distribution? And the moment you stop updating the snap every time something inside gets a security update, you become a problem.

AT&T Will Automatically Block Fraud Calls For New Customers

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
AT&T will start automatically blocking fraud calls and issuing suspected spam call alerts for new phone customers at no extra cost. "You'll have to opt out if you don't want the company to screen calls this way," reports Engadget. "Existing customers, meanwhile, will see the feature automatically reach their accounts in the 'coming months.'" From the report: If you like the capabilities, you can turn it on right now either by downloading the AT&T Call Protect app or enabling it through your myAT&T account settings. Although AT&T isn't charging extra, the FCC rules don't prevent it or others from using the auto-blocking as an opportunity to raise subscription rates. It may take a while to learn whether or not there are any pitfalls to what otherwise seems like a promising upgrade.

Yes existing customers too

By SuperKendall • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread

Every single response at the time I am posting is saying "what about existing customers" when even the SUMMARY makes it clear existing customers will see this in coming months, so eventually...

Look I don't like AT&T either, but at least read all the way through the summary before dropping a hot-take!

Not For Me

By crow • Score: 3 • Thread

My phone is on a business account, and the app tells me it's not authorized because apparently my company didn't sign up for it. #notallcustomers

Fee increase

By Scutter • Score: 3 • Thread

Although AT&T isn't charging extra, the FCC rules don't prevent it or others from using the auto-blocking as an opportunity to raise subscription rates.

Of course there will be a rate increase. AT&T would never in a million years pass up an opportunity to gouge their customers for another couple of bucks. The others will follow suit because "Charging for this valuable extra service is the industry norm".

It isn't enough

By BulletMagnet • Score: 3 • Thread

Someone's wardialer is on the fritz - I got the "suspended SSN" scam call 18 (seriously) times today - about once every 20 minutes or so ALL DAY LONG .... Once a week is one thing, but this shit is out of hand now. All the same two area codes from random Indiana or the Bahamas - same VM is left each time. Why can't once of these fucks call Captain Oversized Coffee Cup a few hundred times?


"download"? "app"?

By Megane • Score: 3 • Thread

Has everyone forgotten that there are still telephones that don't fit in your pocket, with a little wire that you can trace back all the way to the phone company? Wireline phones (even the VoIP that Uverse uses) do not run apps.

At least AT&T raised the limit of blocked numbers to 100 from 30 a while back. I just added my 50th today. But there's no way to block bogus random "same exchange" numbers, or places that call you from a small block of numbers, or a dozen different numbers with the same name. It only supports 10-digit numbers. I would be happy if I could use wildcards or name matches.

Firefox 68 Arrives With Darker Reader View, Recommended Extensions, and IT Customizations

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Mozilla today launched Firefox 68 for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS. Firefox 68 includes a darker reader view, recommended extensions, IT Pro customizations, and more. From a report: As part of this release, Mozilla has curated a list of recommended extensions "that have been thoroughly reviewed for security, usability, and usefulness." You can find the list on the Get Add-ons page in the Firefox Add-ons Manager (about:addons). While Firefox has had dark mode for months, the Reader View's dark contrast only covered the text area. Now, when you change the contrast to dark, all sections of the site (including sidebars and toolbars) will be immersed in dark mode.

With Firefox 60, Mozilla introduced an enterprise version of the browser that employers can customize. This let IT professionals configure Firefox for their organization, either using Group Policy on Windows or a JSON file that works across Windows, Mac, and Linux. With Firefox 68, Mozilla has added more enterprise policies -- to configure or remove the new tab page, turn off search suggestions, and so on.

How about fixing mobile firefox?

By drinkypoo • Score: 3 • Thread

Brave is twice as fast and uses normal text input fields, so copy and paste actually works.

Re:How about fixing mobile firefox?

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Are you living under a rock?

I honestly think Slashdotters just ignore everything Mozilla does unless it's something they can bitch about.

Re:By the way, you know what is an awesome browser

By markdavis • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

>"Opera. I just re-discovered it [...] I'm using it more and more often vs. Chrome."

Opera *is* Chrome/Chromium, just with a somewhat different UI. If you value the freedom of the Web, using Opera doesn't help matters much vs. just using Chrome. It looks to most websites like Chrome and further helps solidify Google's stranglehold on dictating how the web works with the essentially non-community driven Chromium project.

If you like it, great. I am a fan of choice. But just know that underneath the UI, Chrome, Edge, Brave, Opera, Vivaldi, Blisk, Colibri, Epic, Iron, Silk, Yandex, Comodo, Torch, Samsung Browser, Cent, and several others, are all Chromium/Blink and ultimately under significant Google control.


By anonieuweling • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
And FF68 has this webGL bug:
Just so that you know.

Re:How about fixing mobile firefox?

By serviscope_minor • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Brave is twice as fast and uses normal text input fields, so copy and paste actually works.

Copy and paste works fine on skeptic android Firefox. It's not like I just retyped that entire line above.

I can't comment about speed because I've never used brave.

Mozilla Blocks UAE Bid To Become an Internet Security Guardian After Hacking Reports

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Firefox browser maker Mozilla is blocking the United Arab Emirates' government from serving as one of its internet security gatekeepers, citing Reuters reports on a UAE cyber espionage program. From a report: Mozilla said in a statement on Tuesday it was rejecting the UAE's bid to become a globally recognized internet security watchdog, empowered to certify the safety of websites for Firefox users. Mozilla said it made the decision because cybersecurity firm DarkMatter would have administered the gatekeeper role and it had been linked by Reuters and other reports to a state-run hacking program. Reuters reported in January that Abu Dhabi-based DarkMatter provided staff for a secret hacking operation, codenamed Project Raven, on behalf of an Emirati intelligence agency. The unit was largely comprised of former U.S. intelligence officials who conducted offensive cyber operations for the UAE government. Former Raven operatives told Reuters that many DarkMatter executives were unaware of the secretive program, which operated from a converted Abu Dhabi mansion away from DarkMatter's headquarters.

Implausible deniability

By Raistlin77 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Former Raven operatives told Reuters that many DarkMatter executives were unaware of the secretive program, which operated from a converted Abu Dhabi mansion away from DarkMatter's headquarters.

Sounds like implausible deniability to me.

Internet Security Guardian

By boiert • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
Please just use the technical term. A Certificate Authority (is what I'm reading between the lines)

The nitty gritty

By rufey • Score: 3 • Thread

For those interested in the history of this action, see

The "announcement" was made in the first post made on July 9, 2019.

This gives you some insight into what kind of stuff goes on when an entity applies to have their root CAs become trusted by Mozilla, and effectively, trusted in other browsers.

Raspberry Pi Admits To Faulty USB-C Design On the Pi 4

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: The Raspberry Pi 4 was announced two weeks ago as a major new upgrade to the line of cheap single-board hobbyist computers. The Pi 4 featured a faster CPU, options for up to 4GB of RAM, and a new, modern USB-C port for power delivery. The Pi 4 was the Raspberry Pi Foundation's first ever USB-C device, and, well, they screwed it up. As detailed by Tyler Ward, the Raspberry Pi 4 has a non-compliant USB-C charging port and doesn't work with as many chargers as it should. Thanks to the open nature of Raspberry Pi (even the schematics are online!), Ward was able to discover that Raspberry Pi just didn't design its USB-C port correctly. Two "CC" pins on a USB-C port are supposed to each get their own 5.1K ohms resistor, but Raspberry Pi came up with its own circuit design that allows them to share a single resistor. This is not a compliant design and breaks compatibility with some of the more powerful USB-C chargers out there.

Whether your USB-C charger works with the Pi 4 has to do with whether it uses an "e-marked" cable. E-marked cables are fully featured USB-C cables with chips inside that negotiate power management, accessory modes, data rates, and other communication specs. Since the Pi 4 USB-C port is wired incorrectly, these smart cables will detect the Pi 4 as an "Audio Adaptor Accessory" and refuse to charge them. Usually, e-marked cables are more expensive and come with larger, higher-powered items, like a USB-C laptop. After reports started popping up on the Internet, Raspberry Pi cofounder Eben Upton admitted to TechRepublic that "A smart charger with an e-marked cable will incorrectly identify the Raspberry Pi 4 as an audio adapter accessory and refuse to provide power." Upton went on to say, "I expect this will be fixed in a future board revision, but for now users will need to apply one of the suggested workarounds. It's surprising this didn't show up in our (quite extensive) field testing program."

Re: The waiting is the hardest part

By mysidia • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

The fact that the cheap devices don't properly sense the Pi for what it's programed to be could be argued is the cheap USB power supplies' fault

No.... its actually expensive USB power-supplying devices adhering to the USB spec.
Its the dumber cheaper USB power-supplying devices that will deliver the power regardless.

Re:and they saved $0.005 an unit with that.

By ebenupton • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

I imagine the field testing didn't turn up anything because the Pi Foundation gave each of the testers one of the Pi foundation's $8 chargers... because those needed testing too...

Actually those turned up too late in the day, and went through a separate testing program.

We actually grabbed a bunch of cheap(ish) chargers and cheap(ish) cables from Amazon, discarded the ones that were too terrible, and sent them out in various combinations. Because of course you worry about the vulnerability of your product to the cheap stuff everyone has, not to the expensive stuff some people have. Live and learn.

Schematics are not fully available

By dskoll • Score: 3 • Thread

The Pi schematics are incomplete and heavily-redacted. It just so happens that the available schematics included the USB-C port and associated circuitry, but the Pi hardware is not open by any means.

That said, the Pis are sweet little machines. I own a Zero E, a couple of 3Bs and a 4.

Re:Sounds More like a Bug with the Cables

By dissy • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

But are you implying that the vast majority of usb-c cables (all non smart cables) will destroy all non charging devices they are plugged into?

It's the other end, you can damage a power supply by drawing more current from it than it can deliver. You can also overheat your cable by drawing more current through it than it's rated for.

Check out the new "USB power delivery" spec. Try searching on: USB PD R2.0 V1.2

To use "legacy" mode you must put resistors on the data lines, which by definition makes it a charge only port and not a data capable port.
To be data capable and still follow the USB-C spec you must use the new power delivery spec.

This is from

In a 5V 3A or 5V 1.5A supply can I connect CC1 and CC2 and use a single shared resistor?
No. This design fails with active cables, emarked cables or any device that requests Vconn. These cables have an Ra pulldown on one of the pins, preventing accurate detection of CC voltage if the pins are shorted at the adapter.

Now note the resistor configuration table for power adapters above that.
To get power you need a resistor on CC1 and leave CC2 open. "Hot" mode.

If they are shorted together, that can't be. Both will have resistance on them, which you'll note is "cold" mode.
This mode does not deliver power until the device, this case the pi, itself puts power onto the line to signal how much current it needs.
Remember again, we are trying to power the pi, it has no other source of power yet, and no way to put power on that line.

5V shall be applied to VBUS only when a UFP is detected by monitoring voltage on the CC pin. 5V should only be applied when voltage vRd on CC is 0.85V < vRd < 2.45V for a 3A power source.

Since the pi isn't (and can't) put power back into CC to the supply, a supply must not apply power itself to the device.
This is what the pi is saying to the power supply when wired incorrectly this way.
It shouldn't even be using this mode, let alone using it and in a way telling the power supply to not deliver power.

If it was the power supply end getting this detail wrong, it is completely possible to misinterpret a legacy mode device requesting higher 5v amperage, as a request for a higher voltage instead.
Screwing that up would very much destroy whatever device was plugged into it, getting potentially 20v shoved down its throat.

Thus the "vSafe0" fall backs when things aren't just right or only following part of the spec.
Simply not working is a far better default state than over powering anything in any way.

Really should have used a barrel connector

By kriston • Score: 3 • Thread

They really should have used a barrel connector.

So many naive Raspberry Pi owners wonder why their fancy gadget randomly corrupts SDCards and get the flashy undervoltage icon thing in the top-right-hand corner of their screens when using their phone charger.

Orange Pi had the right idea with the barrel connector. It's ponderous why the Raspberry Pi Foundation didn't address this years ago, especially with the market flooded with sketchy USB Type C chargers.

Ross Perot, Founder and Former CEO of Electronic Data Systems and Perot Systems, Dies At 89

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Ross Perot, a self-made billionaire, independent presidential candidate, and philanthropist, has died at the age of 89 after a five-month battle with leukemia. Perot rose to fame after founding his first company, Electronic Data Systems, in 1962 with just $1,000 in savings. More than two decades later, he launched information technology services provider Perot Systems, which was acquired in 2009 by Dell for $3.9 billion. CNBC reports on his political accomplishments: As a disruptive third-party candidate for president, Perot ran on a platform of fiscal responsibility and protectionism. He won nearly 19% of the vote in the 1992 race -- by far the biggest slice of the electorate for a third-party candidate since Theodore Roosevelt's Bull Moose Party in the 1912 election. Perot stood out from the political crowd for his quirks as much as his business credentials and lack of experience in establishment politics. "I don't have any experience in running up a $4 trillion debt. I don't have any experience in gridlock government, where nobody takes responsibility for anything and everybody blames everybody else," he said in a 1992 presidential debate. The shifting of U.S. jobs to Mexico created a "giant sucking sound," he famously said during the campaign. Perot was also a bit of a pack rat, collecting everything from whimsical toys to priceless artifacts. Perot owned the only Magna Carta ever allowed to leave Great Britain, which he loaned to the National Archives in Washington, D.C., and in 2007, sold it for $20 million.

Re: Too bad he can't run now

By NoNonAlphaCharsHere • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
You had a classy, conservative, church-going family-man as president, unfortunately, he was a Negro and a Democrat, so therefore completely unacceptable.

Re:Remember his Platform

By NoNonAlphaCharsHere • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
If you'll recall, Clinton (the guy who won that election) left office with a budget surplus, which Bush and the Republican congress promptly gave away to their oil and arms-trader buddies.

Star Trek Meme

By seoras • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

I'll never forget the bumper sticker I saw while he was running for President:
"How are you voting? Republican, Democrat or Ferengi?"


By sconeu • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Don't forget the whole "Rescuing EDS employees trapped in Iran after the revolution" thing.

Ken Follett later wrote "On Wings of Eagles" about it.

Re: Too bad he can't run now

By NoNonAlphaCharsHere • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
See? That's exactly what I'm talking about. You haven't a gram of evidence for any kind of assertion like that, all you have is your hatred and prejudice. Go back to watching the Sean Hannity Show, he'll tell you what to think and be angry about next.

WarnerMedia Announces HBO Max, Its Netflix Rival That Will Launch Next Year

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
There's HBO Go, HBO Now, and soon, there will be HBO Max. For WarnerMedia and parent company AT&T, the latter is most important, as it will become the subscription video service that they position against Netflix, Hulu, the upcoming Disney+, Apple's upcoming TV+, and a range of other paid video offerings. From a report: "Anchored with and inspired by the legacy of HBO's excellence and award-winning storytelling, the new service will be 'Maximized' with an extensive collection of exclusive original programming (Max Originals) and the best-of-the-best from WarnerMedia's enormous portfolio of beloved brands and libraries," the company wrote in a press release today. (The emphasis there is from WarnerMedia, of course.) So you'll get all the stuff you'd expect from having HBO -- TV series, on-demand movies, watching some primetime HBO shows live -- plus a huge serving of content from basically every other WarnerMedia property. More relevant to you is that WarnerMedia also confirmed that HBO Max will have exclusive streaming rights to every episode of Friends when it launches in spring 2020; that'll be after the hugely popular sitcom departs Netflix. Friends is set to leave in 2019, so there might be a gap where the show disappears from streaming altogether until HBO Max's debut.


By fahrbot-bot • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

I'm going to wait for HBO EXTREME!

Next up:
- HBO Max Extreme: For demanding consumers discerning Maximum Extreme content.
- HBO Extreme Max: For discerning consumers demanding Extreme Maximum content.

[ Just you wait ... :-) ]

Re:May affect Prime Video a lot more

By Raistlin77 • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

You watch entirely too much TV. Get out, The Real World isn't on your TV set.

Oh, yes it is. On MTV.

What about Cinemax?

By R3d M3rcury • Score: 3 • Thread

Like with MAX Go, will I be able to get MAX Max? Or perhaps Max MAX?

Re:Which HBO do I choose?

By PsychoSlashDot • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Streaming services and content providers had a good thing going for awhile. Now they have fucked it all up with their own walled gardens.

Damned right.

I have no interest in going to the (membership-only) Lettuce Store then making a trip to the (membership-only) Ground Beef Hut, then zipping over to the (membership-only) Cheese Shack, before visiting the (membership-only) Place of Seasoning, after which I can finally enjoy the (membership-only) Taco Shell Supply. Give me the world where I can visit a magic "grocery store" to pick up my needs and wants... even if it costs more for the convenience of having everything in one place.

I won't - simply won't - support the multiple streaming source model. My money goes to Netflix. HBO, if you want my money, that's where it is. If that means the monthly fee there has to go up to support you, so be it. I'd pay easily $100/mo to legally watch what I want to watch. But I won't pay 10 different providers $10 each, $5 each, or even $1 each.

ala carte

By daveywest • Score: 3 • Thread
Congratulations to everyone who wanted ala carte cable tv. You're getting exactly what you asked for, and every channel costs $20+/month.

LinkedIn and the Art of Boastful Self-Promotion

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Harry Barnes runs a Twitter account called The State of LinkedIn with more than 100,000 followers. On it, he tweets a curated selection of the most egotistical, self-unaware, jargon-ridden posts from LinkedIn members [Editor's note: the link may be paywalled]. From a report: Recent gems range from the boastful "You call it luck, I call it 80 hours a week", to the baffling "How easy is it to hire me? I interviewed myself", as well as the awful-wonderful morning routine which begins "I wake up. Instantly. From the fogginess of dreams, to the readiness of full consciousness..." Humble brags, including Mr Barnes's favourite, in which a man is pictured playing pool while a supercar just happens to be parked in the background, also feature regularly. Mr Barnes, who has worked in social media but runs the account as a hobby, says the idea is to poke fun at the ridiculous world of workplace self-promotion, rather than individuals. "All the content is sent to me," he says. "I don't trawl LinkedIn looking for it."

Mr Barnes is not the only one enjoying the lighter side of LinkedIn. There is also the @CrapOnLinkedIn Twitter feed and parody LinkedIn accounts, such as the "demotivational speaker" Mike Winnet. Unlike other social networks, however, humour is not the norm for LinkedIn, which has always been a more grown-up, professional place. For better or for worse, that may be changing.

I wonder who they were influenced by?

By Tablizer • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread

"I'm the best employee ever, believe me! I do more work in my sleep than regular people do awake after ten cups of coffee. Ten! My brain multitasks so brilliantly that I invent 100 products for each hour I play golf, and they are really terrific products, everyone wants them! Few people know this, but I invented golf also. I'm suing Tiger Putter for royalties even. He owes me bigly, he's know it."

So what you are saying is...

By SuperKendall • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Linked-in is Instagram for ugly people.


By JaredOfEuropa • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
Why on earth would you link to a job agent?

I found LinkedIn to be very useful for work, it's a good tool for finding people, staying in touch with former colleagues, or just seeing what they're up to. I get very little spam from them. But I do not post anything there, offer as little info about myself as I can get away with, and only link to people whom I have actually met.

I also go to LinkedIn to read these inane posts with nauseating positivity, people virtually slapping each others' backs or tooting their own horn, and the sad self promotions, to remind myself why I left the world of big corporations where everyone puts up these fully fake fronts, and where the only time you'll see any "authenticity" is when the word is spelled out on some stupid Powerpoint.

It's not always positive press

By Phaid • Score: 3 • Thread

Today I got a "News about XYZ" email from LinkedIn, which took me to a newspaper article about one of my former colleagues who is now vice president of a large government services firm. I was expecting something about a major contract win or a new product or service he was touting. Instead, the article was about how the company he works for is mismanaging a huge state government computer system, customers and taxpayers are furious, and the guy in charge of the agency had called my former colleague to complain but was not satisfied with the response. Not a good look. So if you're in a position to get your name in the papers, be aware that LinkedIn might help spread the word - for good or ill.

How do you network?

By phantomfive • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
I have plenty of LinkedIn connections, but I have no idea what to do with them. The ones I like, I don't really want to bother by asking favors. How do you network?

Apple Lowers Prices on the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro and Adds New Features

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Apple today announced updates to the MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro. The MacBook Air price is being lowered to $1,099, but it will be offered to college students for $999. From a report: It will be sold in the same configurations as before, starting with 128GB of storage, but Apple updated the screen with new TrueTone technology. That means it sets the colors on the screen to match the lighting of the room for a more comfortable viewing experience. It also includes the updated keyboard design that Apple first launched in updated MacBook Pros back in May. It should help to prevent some of the sticky key problems experienced in Apple's MacBooks. But this is not the full keyboard refresh that's rumored to ship with an entirely new keyboard configuration. The new 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro starts at $1,299 (or $1,199 for college students.) and includes a quad-core processor in the entry-level model for the first time and improved graphics performance. Like the refresh in May, the entry-level models now also come with new keyboard materials to help prevent sticking keys.

It's Apple...

By Kohath • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

So can someone explain why this change is evil? I know you guys can do it.

Apple SSD expansion prices also way down

By SuperKendall • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

More interesting to me than this price drop, is that Apple SSD expansion pricing for all kinds of systems are now much more reasonable.

That bodes well for SSD pricing in the upcoming Mac Pro...

Probably for the non-Apple people it would have ben nice to bundle this store with the previous Macbook story. :-)

Re: It's Apple...

By tysonedwards • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
They were released with the newest 8th Generation Intel Core Processors. Last time I checked, they were well into the 9th gen since October. So... 21 month old processors on this new revision.

Re: It's Apple...

By alvinrod • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
After digging into this a little more, it appears that most of this is a misunderstanding due to confusing name schemes and staggered release schedules.

I went on to Apple's website and the 15" MacBook Pro is using 9th generation (Coffee Lake) because Intel didn't have an 8-core 8th generation mobile CPU. The 13" MacBook Pro still comes with 8th generation CPUs, but they're all still Coffee Lake. The IPC hasn't improved much at all since Skylake anyway so you're not getting much more outside of hardware mitigations for Spectre, Meltdown, etc with a 9th generation chip. Additionally, I don't believe that there are any 9th generation U parts (which have a lower TDP of 28W as opposed to the 45W in H model parts) so Intel technically hasn't replaced the CPU being used in the 13" Pro. Furthermore, even though those parts are listed as 8th generation, they're actually just as new (in terms of actual release date) as many of Intel's 9th generation parts.

The same goes for the Air which uses Amber Lake (ultra-low power Kaby Lake derivative) which doesn't have a 9th generation replacement yet either. However that particular 8th generation part ( i5-8210Y that they're using came out in October 2018 so it's less than a year old, even though it's a previous architecture and not just a previous generation of the current architecture.

In summary, I don't believe that any ~2 year old chips are being used. Even if they were, Intel hasn't done much improvement in terms of IPC over that time anyway.

Logitech Wireless USB Dongles Vulnerable To New Hijacking Flaws

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
A security researcher has publicly disclosed new vulnerabilities in the USB dongles (receivers) used by Logitech wireless keyboards, mice, and presentation clickers. New submitter raikoseagle shares a report: The vulnerabilities allow attackers to sniff on keyboard traffic, but also inject keystrokes (even into dongles not connected to a wireless keyboard) and take over the computer to which a dongle has been connected. When encryption is used to protect the connection between the dongle and its paired device, the vulnerabilities also allow attackers to recover the encryption key. Furthermore, if the USB dongle uses a "key blacklist" to prevent the paired device from injecting keystrokes, the vulnerabilities allow the bypassing of this security protection system. Marcus Mengs, the researcher who discovered these vulnerabilities, said he notified Logitech about his findings, and the vendor plans to patch some of the reported issues, but not all.

Re:What ever happened to Bluetooth?

By EvilSS • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
Because it's taken a while for BT to catch up. Logitech actually did switch to BT years ago (including BT dongles), but latency and connectivity issues made them to go back to using their own protocols. I had some of those Bluetooth mice and keyboards and they did suck balls compared to the proprietary dongles. Some recent mice (MX Master 2S and MX Anywhere 2 for example) are again supporting both so hopefully we'll see the dongles die off for good.

Trump Can't Block Critics From His Twitter Account, Appeals Court Rules

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
President Trump has been violating the Constitution by blocking people from following his Twitter account because they criticized or mocked him, a federal appeals court ruled on Tuesday. The ruling could have broader implications for how the First Amendment applies to the social-media era. From a report: Because Mr. Trump uses Twitter to conduct government business, he cannot exclude some Americans from reading his posts -- and engaging in conversations in the replies to them -- because he does not like their views, a three-judge panel on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled unanimously. Writing for the panel, Judge Barrington D. Parker noted that the conduct of the government and its officials are subject today to a "wide-open, robust debate" that "generates a level of passion and intensity the likes of which have rarely been seen." The First Amendment prohibits an official who uses a social media account for government purposes from excluding people from an "otherwise open online dialogue" because they say things the official disagrees with, he wrote.

Re: Will Democrats live up to the same standard?

By KixWooder • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
His administration declared it his tweets were official statements.

Re:Will Democrats live up to the same standard?

By GameboyRMH • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Only a judge or jury can state more definitively than I have whether these facts constitute a crime, and they haven't been tried before a court yet. If a man is caught on video threatening a teller with a gun for cash from the register, can we say it's a fact that he's committed armed robbery? He hasn't been arrested, convicted, sentenced etc. yet. That's the situation we're in with examining Trump and the emoluments clause and obstruction of justice issues.


By walterbyrd • Score: 3 • Thread

I have not seen any vigorous debate regarding Trump's posts. Just bots and trash talk.

Re: Will Democrats live up to the same standard?

By chiefcrash • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
Actually, the @WhiteHouse twitter account predates the Presidency of Barack Obama, since it was created on April 21, 2007...

Re:Will Democrats live up to the same standard?

By ClickOnThis • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Yup. "We investigated ourselves and found that we did nothing wrong." Riiight.

It was the Treasury Department Inspector General under the Trump administration who did that investigation and made that conclusion. Again, it's in the article you linked.

But if you expect me to believe that report, then why can't people believe the report that didn't find any evidence of Russian Collusion? The guy that put out that report was strongly biased to try to prove guilt, and yet was unable to.

From a legal perspective, there is no such thing as "collusion." Mueller makes this clear in his report. What Mueller did investigate is whether there was a conspiracy. He did not conclude there was no evidence. He said the evidence did not warrant a conclusion of conspiracy. I for one am relieved that Mueller did not conclude there was a conspiracy.

Mueller also investigated whether obstruction of justice occurred. From the report: "[W]hile this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it does not exonerate him either. [...] If we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts, that the president clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state." Sounds to me like there might be more to talk about here.

Finally, your claim that Mueller was "strongly biased to try to prove guilt" sounds like an echoing of Trump's claim that Mueller was pissed at him because of some imagined issue with resigning a membership at one of Trump's golf courses. Mueller addressed that issue in his report also. He said he cancelled his membership and requested a pro-rated refund of dues in October 2011, because he and his family were too far away from the club to make effective use of it. He got a reply saying he was wait-listed for a refund. And that's it. That doesn't sound to me like an issue that would make Mueller "strongly biased to prove guilt."

IBM Closes Its $34 Billion Acquisition of Red Hat

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
IBM closed its $34 billion acquisition of Red Hat, the companies announced Tuesday. From a report: The deal was originally announced in October, when the companies said IBM would buy all shares in Red Hat for $190 each in cash. The acquisition of Red Hat, an open-source, enterprise software maker, marks the close of IBM's largest deal ever. It's one of the biggest in U.S. tech history. Excluding the AOL-Time Warner merger, it follows the $67 billion deal between Dell and EMC in 2016 and JDS Uniphase's $41 billion acquisition of optical-component supplier SDL in 2000. Under the deal, Red Hat will now be a unit of IBM's hybrid cloud division, according to the original announcement. The companies said Red Hat's CEO, Jim Whitehurst, would join IBM's senior management team and report to CEO Ginni Rometty. IBM previously said it hoped its acquisition of Red Hat will help it do more work in the cloud, one of its four key growth drivers, which are also social, mobile and analytics. The company lags behind Amazon and Microsoft in the cloud infrastructure business. IBM has seen three consecutive quarters of declining year-over-year revenue. But some analysts are hopeful about the Red Hat deal's opportunity to bring in new business.

Great for competition!

By Gravis Zero • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

I know everyone that's a capitalist agrees that the acquisition of the field leader by a megacorp is a great way to encourage competitors to join in an compete, right? Hello? Nobody?

Re:Great for competition!

By gweihir • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

We do. The problem is a huge influx of people that worked on Windows and Windows-type software and now falsely believe they have a clue. The number of bad ideas that made it into distros has sharply risen in the last few years.

Re:RIP CentOS?

By tlhIngan • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

IBM would be pretty stupid to try to kill CentOS. It's basically a free product that IBM doesn't have to pay for that's an entry into their product. I'm not _exactly_ sure who uses RHEL, since everywhere I've worked we use CentOS. I expect very large corporations where they absolutely need the support.

You use RHEL when you need a supported product. There are business applications where your choice of OS is either Windows or RHEL. Sure it will run on CentOS, but the application vendor will likely blame it on an unsupported environment. And since the applications are what people use, a RHEL license is a minor cost. so you buy RHEL.

I've seen the choice IT managers make. If they're a windows shop, they will buy a Windows server for it. If they're a Linux shop, they will buy RHEL. And if they're a big company, they'd probably buy a big RHEL site license .

If all you're doing is using it as a Linux distribution, well, CentOS is better. But if you're using it to host business applications that demand RHEL, you use RHEL. And you use the version they say as well - I believe even very old versions stay supported because there are applications that demand it.

I worked at IBM and Redhat before the merger

By Seven Spirals • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
IBM is huge (300k or so employees). It's like a medium sized city. If it was a city, it'd be a Bangalore or Pune, not Poughkeepsie or Redwood Shores. It's got slums (IBM Global Services) and it's got an uptown (IBM Watson Research Center). It's got weird suburbs with their own chip fabs. However, the overall priorities when I was at IBM seemed to be split between offshoring absolutely everything and every related to Americans, meaning either vast numbers of H1B or just simply offshoring straight to India. IBM is literally a third world shithole with a few traitorous turncoat business weasels still trying to arbitrage everything they can *out* of America as their ticket to the big bonus. Redhat was a different place altogether. It's full of "experts" of which about 10% actually know as much as they believe they know (the dumbasses at IBM were content to act dumb). It's pretty hilarious, really, especially when talking to Red Hat "Sales Engineers" (cue laugh track). Redhat basically started going downhill with the advent of "RHEL" and RHAS (for those with a decent memory). The original Redhat distro (up to version 9, IIRC) was a lot more manageable and sane. It didn't have a lot of the features you see in Red Hat today (LVM2, Systemd, Docker, Corosync, XFS, etc..). However, the upside was that it was far more simple and less cluttered with "great ideas" from 20-somethings who joined the Fedora project but missed the Unix clue-boat because they were busy learning to pee. So even the cool features are badly integrated into RHEL. Redhat as a company had a lot more younger folks working there, but also had a lot more unskilled and unaware assholes working there (yes, even compared with IBM). I guess I could say that at least most of the technical folks at Red Hat spoke clear English. These days I still support older Unix systems as well as modern Linux machines. RHEL7 was a much more problematic release than any before it and our support numbers prove it dramatically. I just renewed my RHCE last month, and Red Hat's training is still a scam (they try to insert obscure questions on their tests to trip up people who don't want to take their expensive classes) but I passed anyway (with a big fuck you to RH Training folks). Now that RHEL8 is out, I can say without any hesitation that Systemd and other "great ideas" from the Fedora retard concentration camp, uhh, I mean "project" have ruined Red Hat as a distribution and the IBM merger will do them in on the business side of things. I see a lot of growth for other distros lately and I think it's due to Red Hat fatigue. One of the ones I keep seeing grow more and more often is MontaVista (an embedded distro). They seem to be stealing a lot of RH's embedded biz. The company I'm at now supports multiple distros and that's one of them. I see it displacing RHEL in quite a few companies along with other (far superior if you ask me) competitors like FreeBSD. Redhat has turned into a very uncool shitty corporate distro powered by a mob of systemd-loving-assholes from Fedora. You remember Fedora, right? The guys who think Gnome 3 is awesome, DBUS configuration is fun, and dropping Xorg and XDMCP for Wayland is a great move.

Re:RIP CentOS?

By Vlad_the_Inhaler • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

I have my doubts on this one.
This reminds me of when Compaq took DEC over, although the roles are reversed here. The two companies were totally different in the way they did things.
I have no direct experience of the culture at Red Hat but IBM is totally hide-bound with everyone being slaves to "The Process". IBM looked to me like a government department rather than a commercial enterprise. If Red Hat is forced to adopt this model, either prices will have to go way up or the department is going to be making horrendous losses. Prices going way up is probably not a serious option, a lot of customers will then jump ship.
As I said, I have no idea how Red Hat does things now.

Apple Discontinues 12-inch MacBook

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Apple has stopped selling the 12-inch MacBook just four years after introducing the laptop as the slimmest in its lineup. From a report: The previous generation MacBook Air -- the one without a Retina display -- is no longer available in Apple Stores either. The 12-inch MacBook hadn't been updated in two years, but it still filled a spot that stood out from other models: it was thinner and lighter, though that also came with being less powerful. At $1,299, its price put it directly up against the entry-level MacBook Pro, which outperformed it, with only a small gain in weight and size.

A shame. We could use a proper travel laptop

By presidenteloco • Score: 3 • Thread
and the old 11" Macbook Air at 2.38 pounds (11.8" x 7.56") was ideal for that. You could easily pack it with you for long-distance, long-term travel, and easily use it in an airline seat.
And it had a proper keyboard!!! Imagine!
A processor and screen and battery upgrade to that one would be truly awesome.

The newer 13" Macbook "Air" is 2.75 pounds, which, relatively speaking, sucks for long-term travel portability.

Ideal realistic travel laptop specs today:
Under 2 pounds. Same size as old 11" Macbook Air but with smaller bezel screen so 13" retina screen. 15 hour (for real) battery. Decent current mobile processor.

Re: Newsworthy

By jellomizer • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

People pay a lot of money for the Brand Name.
You think it is bad with Apple, you should go clothing shopping with people interested in fashion. You think that 10% Apple Brand markup is bad, see clothing that is nearly identical costing 30x as much, just for a logo that you barely see.


By Known Nutter • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

MacOS hasn't been used for for nearly 17 years. I has been replaced with OS X

Before you go all-in with the stupid pedantic fuckery, fact check your shit.

The Mac's operating system has been named macOS since macOS 10.12 Sierra, released in 2016.

Get your shit together.


By cayenne8 • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Sure, so the good way to put it is that Apple customers are stuck with buying a more expensive computer than what they need, to run their favorite OS.

There is nothing positive about it for the consumers. For Apple and its shareholders, I agree it's always a good thing when you can gouge of your die-hard user base as much as possible.

Well, you can look at it a different way....there are many companies that are "premium" brands....take a Porsche for example. It is one car company amongst many out there. Many cars sell for MUCH less than the cheapest Porsche, but no one bitches and moans that Porsche is gouging their customers or making them buy a more expensive car than they want.

This happens with many products, and some companies find that they wish to only garner customers that can afford a more premium brand, and if you do this, you have to be willing to accept that some people simpler are NOT your customer, but there are many that are.

You as a customer have to figure what is worth what to you and purchase accordingly.

I mean, I don't see any Porsche equivalents to the Yugo models out there...some companies simply don't offer or work with entry level products, but it doesn't mean that there aren't plenty of other companies that DO offer entry level or commodity level versions of those same product categories.

Making Way for Mac on ARM

By 0101000001001010 • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

I don't interpret this discontinuation as Apple leaving the small clamshell market. Look at the iPad Pros. Same weights (with keyboards), same screen sizes (going by averages and sq in to correct for 16:10 vs 4:3), same ports (1 USB-C lol). But the A12X is a way more powerful processor than Intel's Y-series.

This might be Apple trying custom processors at the low end.

Google Unveils 'Code With Google,' Awards $1 Million To CS Teachers Group

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
theodp writes: TechCrunch reports that Google kicked off the 2019 Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) Conference in style with the announcement of Code with Google, a new coding resource for teachers which collects Google's own free course curriculum on teaching computer science and coding. Google also announced a $1 million grant to the teachers group alongside the unveiling of Code with Google. To hear Google tell it, Code with Google -- much like bacon -- makes everything better. An English and Language Arts teacher, blogs Google Education VP Maggie Johnson, "didn't know much about computer science, but wanted her students to get familiar with coding because it can help with other skills, such as critical thinking and collaboration. So she tried a [Google] CS First activity where students coded different endings [video] to the story they read in class. Melissa says that, in a short time, 'the kids were problem solving, troubleshooting, and helping one another. It was incredible to hear the conversations about coding and the other concepts we were learning in the room.'" Johnson is also on the Board of tech-bankrolled, which reported it had spent $91.4 million (thru Dec. 2018) to get CS into K-12 schools (Google is a $3+ million Gold Sponsor). Not too surprisingly, one of the CSTA 2019 keynotes will be delivered by employees of Platinum Conference Sponsor Google, including a former CSTA Executive Director (CSTA is currently led by's former Director of State Government Affairs -- it's a small K-12 CS world!).

Computer Science vs Coding

By jellomizer • Score: 3 • Thread

I wished they would separate Software Coding with Computer Science a little better.

I would actually call Computer Science, Computational Science. As this is the science behind how to perform computations. Coding is more of a variant of Shop Class (Now I am not dissing Shop Class as I feel that Shop with Home Economics are vital components to a proper education), because way coding is taught, it is more to a point here are all your tools and commands that you can do, and have at it, the teacher may guide students with common methods and best practices. But this is just building programs, using some Computer Science Principals. But Computer Science isn't about coding, but about how to perform a type of calculation. Working out fastest ways to get to it, breaking the problem down to individual steps and finding a process to do it efficiently.

Coding is to Computer Science as Writing is to Ligature.

Is the 1 million tied to "Respectful Code" ?

By RedK • Score: 3 • Thread

Wouldn't want any pesky Slave/Master processes or Blacklist/whitelists now would we.

Re:Computer Science vs Coding

By BarbaraHudson • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
Coding is far from shop class. Shop class will eliminate those who can’t be trusted to use tools safely (if Darwin doesn’t first). With coding, safety (security) usually isn’t even an afterthought. And actually finishing something?

If shop class was like coding:

Your chair has only one leg!
It’s version 1.0
But it’s unsafe.
We’ll release a patch.
Will the patch add 3 more legs?
Of course not! That would remove any reason to buy the upgrade! We’re just going to patch it so that the leg falls off. Then we can sell them a cushion so they’re a bit more comfortable sitting on the floor while waiting for the upgrade.
Just how stupid do you think people are?
Look around you. Version 3 will have adjustable legs. They won’t stay adjusted properly, so we’ll have to release a patch while people wait for version 4. Version 4 will require them to purchase each leg separately, kind of like downloadable content if you want the full product.
Never underestimate the things people will do because of the fallacy of sunk costs.

Re:Is the 1 million tied to "Respectful Code" ?

By Curunir_wolf • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

Wouldn't want any pesky Slave/Master processes or Blacklist/whitelists now would we.

Need to be sensitive to your diverse coder team that might be triggered. It's important.

We have eliminated all references to master/slave by using "mistress/cuck" instead. Everyone agreed on this much more acceptable terminology. Also, instead of blacklist/whitelist we now use Nazis/Wokes. Much more modern, non-triggering, and obvious which is bad and which is good, right?

We're still struggling a bit with "redline." We're also working on a replacement term for our "border diagrams" since it's triggering to our undocumented coders.

Today we will be meeting about how we are referring to parts of plugs, since calling them "male" and "female" parts raised objections. Sounds like we're going to have to start calling them "top" and "bottom" instead.

Bitcoin Mining On an Apollo Guidance Computer: 10.3 Seconds Per Hash

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Slashdot reader volvox_voxel shares an excerpt from the latest blog post from software engineer Ken Shirriff, who is well known for his work on restoring some of the rarest computing hardware to its working condition: We've been restoring an Apollo Guidance Computer1. Now that we have the world's only working AGC, I decided to write some code for it. Trying to mine Bitcoin on this 1960s computer seemed both pointless and anachronistic, so I had to give it a shot. Implementing the Bitcoin hash algorithm in assembly code on this 15-bit computer was challenging, but I got it to work. Unfortunately, the computer is so slow that it would take about a billion times the age of the universe to successfully mine a Bitcoin block. He wasn't kidding about how long it would take to successfully mine a Bitcoin block. "The Apollo Guidance Computer took 5.15 seconds for one SHA-256 hash," writes Shirriff. "Since Bitcoin uses a double-hash, this results in a hash rate of 10.3 seconds per Bitcoin hash. Currently, the Bitcoin network is performing about 65 EH/s (65 quintillion hashes per second). At this difficulty, it would take the AGC 4x10^23 seconds on average to find a block. Since the universe is only 4.3x10^17 seconds old, it would take the AGC about a billion times the age of the universe to successfully mine a block."

Reliability matters

By Laxator2 • Score: 3 • Thread

Yes, the Apollo Guidance Computer is "a mere abacus" compared wiith the Bitcoin network when it comes to number crunching. But I would't truse the Bitcoin network in a space mission where reliability is paramount. I would not like a reboot during the engine burn that puts the spacecraft on the transfer trajectory back to Earth.
You have to hit the atmosphere at a very precise angle, otherwise you'll either experience a nice flattening at >20Gs, or you'll be the first human on a very slow boat to the outer solar system.

Re:Reliability matters

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

the irony of this comment is amazing. The actual guidance computer for Apollo 11 repeatedly crashed during lunar descent because it had no extra processing power and was overloaded by processing electrical interference from a radar left on as backup for abort that wasn't supposed to be sending any data to the computer. Later versions of the radar were redesigned to eliminate the interference. That being said its ability to reboot nearly instantly unlike a modern computer enabled the mission to be completed successfully.

Watch the AGC restoration on youtube

By scattol • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
You can watch the progress of the AGC restoration on YouTube. Here's the first episode: It's on Marc Verdiell channel. They are upto 15 episodes now and SPOILER ALERT:

They pretty much succeeded
It's still an ongoing project. Go check it out. It's incredible to see a computer being debugged at the gate level using a scope an jumper wires.

Re:Reliability matters

By cruff • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
The LEM's AGC didn't actually crash, but as designed, it culled the less important tasks to allow the critical tasks related to the guidance to still complete at their required intervals. A full crash would have resulted in the loss of the current vehicle state and would have resulted in a landing abort.

Re:Reliability matters

By pz • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

"Reboot" here is a stretch, at least if you mean it with a modern connotation.

"Reset" would be a closer analogy to modern computers. The BIOS in your laptop / desktop is more complicated than the AGC software.

As a comparison, I was involved in the design of an instrument that was required to run for months on end in a remotely located trailer without any human interaction, in the days before internet access was ubiquitous. Accessibility was non-existent, except through a low-baud-rate phone line. Reliability was, therefore, of utmost importance. The solution was to design a microcontroller based system (something derived from a Motorola 6809, if memory serves) and add an auxilliary clock that asserted the RESET_ line every 100 ms. The periodic RESET_ would bring the hardware into a known state using the ultimate non-maskable interrupt. Whatever computations needed to be done were either re-entrant, or were completed within 100 ms. Well after that project, I happened to meet a Federal inspector who made rounds of these trailers; they said that ours were the only instruments that *always* worked.

I can't imagine that we were the first to think of this approach, so perhaps the AGC used a similar idea?

Moon Landing Could Have Infected the Earth With Lunar Germs, Say Astronauts

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
PolygamousRanchKid quotes a report from The Independent: A mistake made during the Apollo 11 moon landing could have brought lunar germs to the Earth, astronauts have revealed. When the three astronauts flew to the Moon and back, exactly 50 years ago this month, NASA worked hard to ensure that no bugs were brought back from the lunar surface. All three of the Apollo 11 crew were put into special clothes, scrubbed down and taken to a quarantine facility where they lived until scientists could be sure the Earth would not be contaminated. But interviews from a new documentary -- filmed by PBS and revealed by -- show that the plan to keep Earth could easily have failed, and that space bugs could have got into the Earth's atmosphere despite Nasa's best efforts. The astronauts noted that Nasa did not think there would be anything alive on the Moon that could be brought back down to the Earth. But the precautions were taken in case there were. "Look at it this way," astronaut Michael Collins said. "Suppose there were germs on the moon. There are germs on the moon, we come back, the command module is full of lunar germs. The command module lands in the Pacific Ocean, and what do they do? Open the hatch. You got to open the hatch! All the damn germs come out!"

Astronaut equals pilot

By ebonum • Score: 3, Interesting • Thread

It does not mean expert in biological science. For some reason people seem to think that once someone has been to space, they become an instant authority on huge range of scientific topics. If a Nobel Prize winner in biology (Physiology or Medicine ) talked about possible contamination, I would take note.

Please stop posting every crack-pot theory as valid because "an astronaut said it." If he was talking about Apollo 11's flight control systems or the fuel pump safety systems, I would completely believe him.


By AmiMoJo • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

It was mostly just politicians being paranoid I think. From what I read few people who knew anything about biology thought there was any risk, so the efforts to reduce that risk were more for show.

They probably put more effort into not contaminating the Moon with Earth bacteria, although that didn't really work either.

Well there is the proof!

By tinkerton • Score: 3 • Thread

It's clearly starting to affect their brains.


By tambo • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

The reason that terrestrial germs are dangerous to humans is that they've spent millions of years evolving to attack animal immune systems. HIV is extremely well-targeted to avoid the human immune system, for instance. And what germs lose by being "designed" stochastically and through the brute-force process of evolution, they make up for in vast numbers of replications and mutations to find new ways to attack us.

Lunar germs have not had that experience. They are not well-adapted for terrestrial immune systems. Our immune systems would identify and expel them pretty easily.


By Jason Levine • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

You think there's no life on the moon? Well, how do you explain the whalers on the moon? They carry a harpoon! But there ain't no whales so they tell tall tales and sing a whaling tune.

Serious Zoom Security Flaw Could Let Websites Hijack Mac Cameras

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Security researcher Jonathan Leitschuh has publicly disclosed a serious zero-day vulnerability for the Zoom video conference app on Macs that could allow websites to turn on user cameras without permission. The Verge reports: He has demonstrated that any website can open up a video-enabled call on a Mac with the Zoom app installed. That's possible in part because the Zoom app apparently installs a web server on Macs that accepts requests regular browsers wouldn't. In fact, if you uninstall Zoom, that web server persists and can reinstall Zoom without your intervention. Leitschuh details how he responsibly disclosed the vulnerability to Zoom back in late March, giving the company 90 days to solve the problem. According to Leitschuh's account, Zoom doesn't appear to have done enough to resolve the issue. The vulnerability was also disclosed to both the Chromium and Mozilla teams, but since it's not an issue with their browsers, there's not much those developers can do. The report notes that you can "patch" the vulnerability by making sure the Mac app is up to date and also disabling the setting that allows Zoom to turn your camera on when joining a meeting. "Again, simply uninstalling Zoom won't fix this problem, as that web server persists on your Mac," reports The Verge. "Turning off the web server requires running some terminal commands, which can be found at the bottom of the Medium post."

How to disable Zoom (OSX)

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

From the Medium post:

# Disable automatic video start for all users:
sudo defaults write /Library/Preferences/us.zoom.config.plist ZDisableVideo 1
# Get the webserver process ID
lsof -i :19421
# Kill the webserver process, where $pid is the PID listed from above
kill -9 $pid
# Cleanup the zoom directory, prevent recreate
rm -rf ~/.zoomus
touch ~/.zoomus
# Optionally delete the app from Applications

Let them....

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 3, Funny • Thread
Let them hijack the camera on my MacBook, and let them watch the footage, they will be psychologically scarred for life, the things they'll see will haunt them in their dreams in ways that not even drugs can alleviate.

Yeah...itâ(TM)s real

By Ronin Developer • Score: 3 • Thread

I just discovered it on my Mac. It was installed for a recent job interview.

Terminated with extreme predictive.

Shit like this pisses me off.

Re:Why Zoom when webRTC is built in?

By crow • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

My employer uses Zoom for meetings, and when you use a Zoom link, it tries to get you to install their application, but if you pay attention, you can skip that and just do it all in the browser, and it works great. I've seen no reason to install their software.

This is a bullshit vuln

By mellon • Score: 3 • Thread

The risk here is that somebody will trick you into starting a zoom session with you, and you won't notice, despite that the app will pop up when you click on the link, and despite that the camera light will come on.

This is not a zero-day. This is not a root exploit. This is a trojan horse, and not a very effective one—it can't install itself and persist. It is deeply unfortunate that this is being described as a "zero-day exploit." The effect that disclosures like this have is to make us stupider, not smarter.