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


  1. Glacial Melting In Antarctica May Become Irreversible, NASA-Funded Study Suggests
  2. Chinese Air Pollution Dimmed Sunlight Enough To Impact Solar Panels
  3. Fed Chief Calls For Facebook To Halt Libra Project Until Concerns Addressed
  4. Google Contractors Are Secretly Listening To Your Assistant Recordings
  5. Banned Chinese Security Cameras Are Almost Impossible To Remove
  6. Microsoft Might Crush Slack Like Facebook Crushed Snapchat
  7. Samba 4.11 Removes SMB1 File-Sharing Protocol Version By Default
  8. FCC Kills Part of San Francisco's Broadband-Competition Law
  9. Hackers Breached Greece's Top-Level Domain Registrar
  10. Academics Steal Data From Air-Gapped Systems Via a Keyboard's LEDs
  11. The Fish Is Boneless. (Fishless, Too.)
  12. Linode Democratizes Cloud GPUs: Brings Powerful Nvidia GPUs To Its Linux Cloud
  13. Moons That Escape Their Planets Could Become 'Ploonets'
  14. Foxconn Will Only Create 1500 Jobs, says Wisconsin Governor
  15. Slashdot Asks: How Long Before Google Shuts Down Its Little -- But Expensive -- Pixel Smartphones Project?
  16. Alibaba Claims New Record in AI Language Understanding
  17. Coming To a Streaming Service Near You: Shows Costing as Much as Big-Budget Movies
  18. Americans Shouldn't Have To Drive, But the Law Insists on It
  19. David Attenborough Addresses Climate Change in Most Eloquent Way Possible
  20. Nintendo Switch Lite Launches September 20 For $200
  21. Hong Kong's Protesters Use AirDrop To Spread Information To Mainland Chinese Visitors
  22. German Entrepreneur Wants To Develop Lab-Grown Psilocybin
  23. Scientists 3D-Print Human Skin and Bone For Mars Astronauts

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

Glacial Melting In Antarctica May Become Irreversible, NASA-Funded Study Suggests

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Guardian: A Nasa-funded study found instability in the Thwaites glacier meant there would probably come a point when it was impossible to stop it flowing into the sea and triggering a 50cm sea level rise. Other Antarctic glaciers were likely to be similarly unstable. The Thwaites glacier, part of the West Antarctic ice sheet, is believed to pose the greatest risk for rapid future sea level rise. Research recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal found it was likely to succumb to instability linked to the retreat of its grounding line on the seabed that would lead to it shedding ice faster than previously expected.

The researchers found a precise estimate of how much ice the glacier would shed in the next 50 to 800 years was not possible due to unpredictable climate fluctuations and data limitations. However, 500 simulations of different scenarios pointed to it losing stability. This increased uncertainty about future sea level rise but made the worst-case scenarios more likely. A complete loss of the West Antarctic ice sheet would be expected to increase global sea levels by about five meters (16ft), causing coastal cities around the world to become submerged.


By johannesg • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

If climate change is real, governments around the world stand to lose trillions worth of property (land, cities, businesses) that are currently located just above sea level. They are in possession of a simple, effective, and cheap method to stop climate change dead in its tracks, which is building nuclear power plants on a large scale. And the only actions they take are... taxation and restrictions on what citizens can do. In other words, for them it is not about climate, it is about money and power. They do not believe in climate change, other than as a tool to sow fear and strengthen their grip on society.

If there is anything bothering me about the climate change narrative, it's that.

Re:So Nostalgic...

By Truth_Quark • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

This takes me right back to the 80's when they were saying the same thing... keep telling the same lies long enough and people will start to think it's truth, especially if you shout that the "science is settled" while you're telling the lie.

Why is there so much climate science denial on slashdot?

This place used to be news for nerds, which implied some scientific literacy.

Do you think that there are bots and shills here for the fossil fuel industry and/or Russia?

Re:I've been wondering

By religionofpeas • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

If there is a growing blanket of CO2 over the Earth and the Earth is heating as a result, what does that do to the rate of diffusion of heat from the core of the Earth to space?

The heat of the core diffuses to the surface, and gets combined with the surface heating from the Sun. At that point it doesn't really matter where the heat was coming from. All that matters is the total amount.

The energy from core to surface is about 47 TW.

The energy from Sun to surface is about 173000 TW.

As you can see, geothermal energy is an insignificant contributor.

Re:I've been wondering

By religionofpeas • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Is the 17300 TW the energy staying at the surface of the Earth

Sorry, the 173000 TW is the energy hitting top of atmosphere. About 88000 TW is left to heat the surface, the rest is reflected back.

The 88000 TW is not staying there. It is radiated into space as infrared light. The greenhouse effect is caused by CO2 blocking a bit of this escaping energy, which then results in surface warming until a new balance is achieved.

All glaciers are unstable

By RogueWarrior65 • Score: 3 • Thread

There is no such thing as a stable glacier.

Chinese Air Pollution Dimmed Sunlight Enough To Impact Solar Panels

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Using a record of solar radiation measurements around China going back to the late 1950s, researchers from ETH Zurich found that China's coal-driven air pollution is significantly reducing the output of solar panels by dimming the Sun. Ars Technica reports: The researchers found that, over the entire record between about 1960 and 2015, the average potential solar generation declined by about 13%. Expressed in terms of capacity factor -- the fraction of a solar panel's maximum output that is actually produced on average -- the drop from the start to the lowest point in 2008 was 0.162 to 0.142. The change wasn't the same everywhere, though, as air pollution and local conditions varied. The five worst provinces actually saw potential generation drops of fully 20-28%. These included industrial centers in the east but also some clearer high-elevation areas in the west where a small amount of air pollution can have a big impact.

If China could go back to its 1950s air quality, its existing solar installations in 2016 would have produced an additional 14 terawatt-hours of electricity for free. As more solar panels are built, that number would only grow. By 2030, cleaner air could net an additional 70 terawatt-hours of electricity each year -- about 1% of total projected electricity generation at that point. To put some dollar signs on these numbers, the researchers used the current feed-in tariff of $0.14 per kilowatt-hour and a projected drop to $0.09 per kilowatt-hour in 2030. In 2016, this would mean cleaner air would have brought $1.9 billion worth of electricity. In 2030, the extra 13% or so of solar potential could be worth over $6 billion per year.
The study has been published in the journal Nature Energy.

This is what any "technological solution"

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

of AGW that does not actually decrease CO2 in the atmosphere will be like -- severe industrial pollution, on a global scale.

Re:Fake news

By hey! • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

This actually occurred between 1940 and 1980. Aerosol pollution reduced the energy reaching the Earth's surface causing a global *decline* in temperatures.

Re:Solar panels need to be cleaned occassionally,

By Cyberax • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
Not really. Regular residential solar panels have self-limiting fouling, that usually doesn't exceed 5%. Exceptions usually happen in very dry climates with little rain and wind.

China needs nuclear power

By blindseer • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

China is seeing their air pollution as a problem and are working to build a new fleet of nuclear reactors to improve their air quality.


China currently has 45 reactors in operation, with another 15 under construction. By comparison, the United States currently operates an aging fleet of 98 reactors, while France operates 58 reactors, with the number of reactors operating in both countries expected to fall as current plants reach the end of their operating life.

The air quality has improved in the USA, and CO2 emissions reduced, because of a switch from coal to natural gas for our electricity production. We'd do even better in the long run if this switch away from coal power included new nuclear reactors. China realized this. Even Japan has realized this.

Japan wants renewable energyâ(TM)s share in 2030 to grow to 22-24% of the countryâ(TM)s power supply from 16%, while pushing nuclear energy to 20-22% from just 3% in 2017. The report said the cost of renewables also needs to be reduced.

Japanese utilities rely more heavily on fossil fuel plants than those in the U.S. and Europe, the paper said. Coal and natural gas accounted for 74% of Japanâ(TM)s energy supply.

The UK will have to come to realize that they cannot do without nuclear power soon or they will have to rely on more and more electricity produced across the channel.

Prof MacKay argued that solar, wind and biomass energy would require too much land, huge battery back-ups and cost too much to be a viable option for the UK.

âoeThere is this appalling delusion that people have that we can take this thing that is currently producing 1% of our electricity and we can just scale it up and if there is a slight issue of it not adding up, then we can just do energy efficiency,â he said. âoeHumanity really does needs to pay attention to arithmetic and the laws of physics â" we need a plan that adds up.â

Prof MacKay had previously avoided being drawn into the political debate about energy, but told Lynas: âoeI have always tried to avoid advocating particular solutions but maybe because time is getting thinner I should call a spade a spade.â

The key for the UK, he said, was a zero-carbon solution that works in the winter, when energy demand is highest but sunshine is lowest and winds can drop for days at a time. âoeThe sensible thing to do for a country like the UK, I think, is to focus on CCS, which the world needs anyway, and nuclear,â said Prof MacKay.

Perhaps large nations with ample hydroelectric resources can rely on wind, water, and sun for its energy needs but small island nations, separated by geography and/or politics from its neighbors, will need to rely on nuclear power for a large percentage of its energy. Maybe large nations that span multiple time zones, such as USA, Canada, Russia, or China, can spread out enough solar panels, windmills, and use hydroelectric dams for storage and backup, to do without nuclear power. Maybe. This reliance on solar and wind will require massive amounts of raw materials and labor that nuclear power would not. China has the labor and natural resources to be successful in doing without nuclear power and yet they chose it. Why? Maybe because they realized that this labor and material could be put to better use in efforts besides windmills and solar collectors.

Dim Sun

By Opyros • Score: 3 • Thread
At last, I know why "Dim Sun" is on the menu at Chinese restaurants!

Fed Chief Calls For Facebook To Halt Libra Project Until Concerns Addressed

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said on Wednesday that Facebook's plan to build a digital currency called Libra " cannot go forward" until serious concerns are addressed. Reuters reports: "Libra raises many serious concerns regarding privacy, money laundering, consumer protection and financial stability," Powell said during his semi-annual testimony on monetary policy before the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee. "I don't think the project can go forward" without addressing those concerns, he added later. Powell said any regulatory review of the project should be "patient and careful." He noted that existing rules do not fit digital currencies. "It's something that doesn't fit neatly or easily within our regulatory scheme but it does have potentially systemic scale," he said. "It needs a careful look, so I strongly believe we all need to be taking our time with this." A Facebook spokesperson said in response: "We are very much aligned with the Chairman around the need for public discourse on this. This is why we along with the 27 other Founding Members of the Libra Association made this announcement so far in advance, so that we could engage in constructive discourse on this and get feedback."

Tell me again

By DNS-and-BIND • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
So, tell me again how Facebook is a private company and has totally not morphed into a quasi governmental organization. Zuckerberg hobnobs with elites, gives generously to politicians, gets laws passed to favor his viewpoints, and now the Federal Reserve (another private company) is being influenced by Facebook. Pull the other one.

What leverage ratio?

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

I assume Zucks plan is to create a fake currency that Facebook users can buy to create fake value based on FB money exchanges, and he can print more of secretly in the background.

So what ratio was Zuck thinking of?

For US banks its about 12x to 20x, they can create 20 times the amount of money magically from thin air, as long as they have 5% coverage with actual money.

I assume that's Zuck's plan, FB users buy Zuckdollars for actual dollars, to do Facebook payments, and in the background, for every F$1, he prints F$20, and uses F$19 to pay Facebook bills or converts them to actual dollars slowly.

So yeh, you can see why the Fed would be against companies creating their unregulated private currencies.

That's essentially what's propping up the deficit. That $600 billion increase per year in debt, caused by the tax cuts to the Epsteins of the world, is covered by money printing. FB's magic funny money would undermine that.

Fed is running scared

By bill_mcgonigle • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

This is wonderful. "Fuck Facebook" and all that but I am delighted to see them about to fight and bribe their way to running an electronic SDR for the IMF.

It's an electronic stablecoin, not a cryptocurrency, but if the Military Finance Intelligence Complex is shitting bricks because they'll loose the printing press of the War Machine, then hallelujah.

Re:Who talks like that

By ceoyoyo • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Business types seem to like to make up their own language constantly.

It kind of reminds me of the kids in high school who wanted to sound smart so they used unusual words, but they didn't really understand what they meant so it sounded weird.

Better than onboarding though.

Re:What leverage ratio?

By ceoyoyo • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Nope. FaceBucks are only supposed to be created when someone deposits a RealBuck. There's no need for elaborate theories. Facebook wants to track what you spend your money on, and they're tired of paying VISA and Mastercard for access.

Google Contractors Are Secretly Listening To Your Assistant Recordings

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
A new report from Belgian broadcaster VRT News describes the process by which Google Home recordings end up being listened to by contractors -- and the scary part is that it apparently doesn't take much, if anything, to start a recording. While the recordings are not listened to live, audio clips are sent to subcontractors. The Next Web reports: VRT, with the help of a whistleblower, was able to listen to some of these clips and subsequently heard enough to discern the addresses of several Dutch and Belgian people using Google Home -- in spite of the fact some hadn't even uttered the words "Hey Google," which are supposed to be the device's listening trigger. The person who leaked the recordings was working as a subcontractor to Google, transcribing the audio files for subsequent use in improving its speech recognition. They got in touch with VRT after reading about Amazon Alexa keeping recordings indefinitely.

According to the whistleblower, the recordings presented to them are meant to be carefully annotated, with notes included about the speakers presumed identity and age. From the sound of the report, these transcribers have heard just about everything. Personal information? Bedroom activities? Domestic violence? Yes, yes, and yes. While VRT only listened to recordings from Dutch and Belgian users, the platform the whistleblower showed them had recordings from all over the world -- which means there are probably thousands of other contractors listening to Assistant recordings. The VRT report states that the Google Home Terms of Service don't mention that recordings might be listened to by other humans.
The report says that the recordings are identified by numbers rather than user names, but VRT "was able to pick up enough data from the recordings to find the addresses of the users in question, and even confront some of the users in the recordings -- to their great dismay," reports The Next Web.

What does Google have to say about all this? That they only transcribe and use "about 0.2% of all audio clips" to improve their voice recognition technology.


By mschaffer • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Why would you knowingly allow these kind of devices into your home or office?


By Rockoon • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Why would you knowingly allow these kind of devices into your home or office?

Your smart phone is one of those kinds of devices. Do you leave it outside your home or office?

True story....

By Ol Olsoc • Score: 5, Funny • Thread
Husband: "I'm kind of concerned, dear".

Wife: "About what, honey?"

Husband:Oh, just thiinking that Google Assistant might be listening in on everything we say".

Wife: "Can it really do that?

Husband: Oh, probably not. (laughs)

Wife: (laughs)

Google Assistant: (laughs)

Surprised? LOL

By JustAnotherOldGuy • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

OF COURSE they're doing this. Anyone who is surprised by this either hasn't been paying attention or has just awoken from a 20-year coma.

I knew something like this would be discovered as soon as I saw these "always listening" devices start appearing.

Parse the phrase "always listening"...try and puzzle out what the meaning of that mysterious, hard-to-understand phrase is.

Android and Google voice

By tinkerton • Score: 3 • Thread

There is a microphone button in my browser (for google search)which i inadvertently switch on very often . That is a lot of recordings of background noise which google has no business with

Banned Chinese Security Cameras Are Almost Impossible To Remove

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Bloomberg: U.S. federal agencies have five weeks to rip out Chinese-made surveillance cameras in order to comply with a ban imposed by Congress last year in an effort to thwart the threat of spying from Beijing. But thousands of the devices are still in place and chances are most won't be removed before the Aug. 13 deadline. A complex web of supply chain logistics and licensing agreements make it almost impossible to know whether a security camera is actually made in China or contains components that would violate U.S. rules. The National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, which outlines the budget and spending for the Defense Department each year, included an amendment for fiscal 2019 that would ensure federal agencies do not purchase Chinese-made surveillance cameras. The amendment singles out Zhejiang Dahua Technology Co. and Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Co., both of which have raised security concerns with the U.S. government and surveillance industry.

Despite the looming deadline to satisfy the NDAA, at least 1,700 Hikvision and Dahua cameras are still operating in places where they've been banned, according to San Jose, California-based Forescout Technologies, which has been hired by some federal agencies to determine what systems are running on their networks. The actual number is likely much higher, said Katherine Gronberg, vice president of government affairs at Forescout, because only a small percentage of government offices actually know what cameras they're operating. The agencies that use software to track devices connected to their networks should be able to comply with the law and remove the cameras in time, Gronberg said. "The real issue is for organizations that don't have the tools in place to detect the banned devices," she added.
Also, since many of Dahua and Hikvision's cameras are sent to equipment manufacturers and sold under those brands, those cameras have completely different labels and packaging. This means it would be nearly impossible to tell if the thousands of video cameras installed across the country are actually re-labelled Chinese devices.

don't use cloud dvr systems use zoneminder

By Joe_Dragon • Score: 3 • Thread

don't use cloud dvr systems use zone minder in an isolated network

Use some of them to spoof the spies

By Applehu Akbar • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

If the US has anything, it's the world's greatest effects experts. Wait until the Chinese are trawling through their spycam footage and come to the Pentagon testing a mind control ray, a gooey blob alien intern in the White House, a time portal in the Nevada Test Site control center opened to the Song dynasty in an attempt to manipulate Chinese history...

Port blocking and the uselessness of law in Europe

By onceuponatime • Score: 3 • Thread

Combine this with a growing, disturbing trend on Europe on blocking all access to the router and many ports, forcing owners of security cameras to use foreign proxy servers to be able to remotely view their cameras and trashing innovative development. Despite the introduction of the toothless net neutrality law Scarlet ISP in Belgium as just once example block all access to port forwarding facilities on their routers. The only way to remotely view many of the Chinese security cameras is by making use of the Chinese hosted proxy servers. Neelie Kroes, former president of the European commission introduced the net neutrality law which has become as useless as the any cookie law, underlying fundamental uselessness of the legal system being adopted by the European union.

Block China at the firewall / Pi-Hole

By PeeAitchPee • Score: 3 • Thread

Two things that immediately make these cameras more secure:

  • Block China and other select countries at the firewall (e.g., Russia, Nigeria). Implementing GeoIP / GeoIP2 block lists with pfsense provides a simple way to do this, for example. Sure it won't stop people using VPNs, but you're likely not special enough that hackers won't attack someone else first with a less secure network. They'll usually move on to someone a lot easier.
  • Use Pi-Hole or similar DNS sinkhole technology. Pi-Hole blocks a bunch of undesirable stuff right out of the box, including a lot of the Hikvision cams' "phone home" messages as well as Microsoft's telemetry stuff. Again, not a silver bullet for every attack vector, but using it gives you a much more secure environment than *not* using it.

Oh yeah, and change the defualt cam logins to something other than admin / admin. That's the #1 way people get "hacked." Duh.

Re:Port blocking and the uselessness of law in Eur

By Bert64 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

The reason these cameras use external proxies like this is because of the shortage of ipv4 and slow deployment of ipv6... Most users simply don't have enough addresses to make cameras directly reachable (many users now are behind nat themselves provided by the isp and don't even have a single directly reachable ipv4 address), and don't have the technical skills to set up a vpn in order to access them (and cant setup such a vpn in the isp operated nat situation).

Microsoft Might Crush Slack Like Facebook Crushed Snapchat

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
"Tech workers' favorite communications tool, Slack, is losing ground to its biggest rival, Microsoft Teams, which has copied its way into popularity," writes Rani Molla for Recode. "In other words, Slack has the same problem as Snapchat, which has suffered from its bigger rival Facebook's relentless appropriation." From the report: Slack's market share among the world's largest companies is mostly flat, adoption rates are declining, and a bigger portion of these companies indicate they plan on leaving the service, according to a new survey by market research firm ETR, which asks chief information officers and other leaders at the world's biggest organizations* where they plan to spend their company's tech budget. Meanwhile, Teams is seeing increased market share, relatively higher adoption rates, and low rates of defection, according to the data.

Slack, which is currently trading below its first-day opening price, has been beset both by smaller companies hoping to improve upon it and tech giants trying to copy and replace it. Microsoft, at one point, had even considered buying Slack. Instead, nearly four years after Slack's debut, Microsoft launched Teams, which has since adopted many of its competitor's functions, including the basic premise of creating an online office space for coworkers to collaborate and communicate. The situation was similar with Facebook, which after failing to buy Snapchat began to copy it, feature by feature. Facebook did this with impunity because it's not really possible to copyright what software does -- you can only copyright the code itself. Since products like Slack and Microsoft Teams or Facebook and Snapchat are built on different platforms, the code for each is likely distinct, so copying features is fair game.

I say “no thanks” to either one

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

If I’m gonna slack off at work, I’m gonna do it right - by reading Slashdot, like God Intended.

Re:Slack didn't...

By Richard_at_work • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

This. We use Slack heavily at work, with over 60 employees in the immediate office (remote working is encouraged and available, but so is having a desk and a place in the office should you want it) and significantly more than that in other offices, and Slack is an amazing tool - it works extremely well for us.

One thing that Teams has over Slack however is the video conferencing - having used Teams briefly earlier this year, the video conferencing within a team is significantly better than Google Hangouts, Slack and Zoom (the other three I have tried in the same space). Teams did stuff like blurring my background, while Zoom wants me to replace it with a block colour (after I upgraded OSX of course... Teams didnt require me to do that) or get a green screen. Slacks video conferencing ability is just piss poor.

But as a chat system within a team, it works amazingly well for us.

Generally, if you are getting abuse at a work place over Slack, its the work place that is the problem - you would be getting that abuse in dozens of other ways if Slack didn't exist (and infact you probably are anyway).


By buddyglass • Score: 3 • Thread
Seems like Discord should compete with Slack more than it does. Different demographic and focus area, but the tech is very similar. Seems like they could make a "corporate version" of Discord and compete directly with Slack.

Re:Slack didn't...

By sabri • Score: 4 • Thread

this thread is mostly complains about users not being able to mute people that are harassing them... Eh, the issue there is certainly not with slack I dare say... Some others complaining about bots posting too much spam - again the problem is with that workplace, not with the software.

No, the problem is not with the workplace. Every large company has a "Chad". Chad is the guy in your team that is no good for nothing or just keeps bothering you with shit that you may care about, but not when you are focusing on something.

I want to be able to mute Chad, and only get notifications from people that really matter to me.

Every single piece of chat software that I have used in my 25 years of using chat software, has the option to ignore individual users. Slack refuses to do that. So fuck Slack.

Re:Microsoft teams?

By Shaitan • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

The company I work for has chosen teams over slack. The reasoning is pretty simple... no corporate security policy should allow slack. Period. Ever. Slack treats private corporate information the same way that Facebook or Android treats user data. That might not be your biggest concern on an open source project but it is a pretty serious concern.

The way slack treats information just using it for any project at my organization would send enough confidential information to third parties that we would be obligated to notify clients and shareholders of a breach.

Here an example that might come up at my wife's former employer using a persistent group chat to coordinate work flow:

"Hey Jean, I've got John Smith. He has missed payments but they were just on medical and student loans and I know we don't really care about those. Can you check file #5587987987 for an exception on a first bike purchase?"

Normally fine but now you've got a PCI violation because it was said on Slack and Slack isn't hosted and secured by your company, isn't certified as PCI compliant, and doesn't even have so much as an agreement to keep your data confidential. Oh and because of the way slack works, that breach was probably spread to a dozen plugin/extension vendors as well. Slack touts a built in mechanism for cross site scripting exploits as a feature and not a bug!

Samba 4.11 Removes SMB1 File-Sharing Protocol Version By Default

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Samba says version 4.11.0 will switch off previously on-by-default support for the aging and easily subverted SMB1 protocol. Slashdot reader Jeremy Allison - Sam shares a report from The Register detailing the new changes: The open-source SMB toolkit's developers say the Samba 4.11 build, currently in preview, will by default set SMB2_02 as the earliest supported version of the Windows file-sharing protocol. Admins will still have the option to allow SMB1 on their servers if they so choose, but support will be turned off by default. The move by Samba to drop SMB1 can be seen as long overdue, given that Microsoft has been moving to get rid of the file-server protocol version from its operating systems for several years now, even before it was revealed to be one of the NSA's favorite weak points to exploit. You can read the 4.11 release notes here.

Re:better error messages?

By Gojira Shipi-Taro • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

I think expecting the Samba team to do something about your face is a little much.

FCC Kills Part of San Francisco's Broadband-Competition Law

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: The Federal Communications Commission today voted to preempt part of a San Francisco ordinance that promotes broadband competition in apartment buildings and other multi-tenant structures. But it's not clear exactly what effect the preemption will have, because San Francisco says the FCC's Republican majority has misinterpreted what the law does. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's plan partially overturns San Francisco's Article 52, which lets Internet service providers use the existing wiring inside multi-unit buildings even if another ISP already serves the building. The FCC said it's preempting the law "to the extent it requires the sharing of in-use wiring." But Pai's proposal admits the FCC doesn't know whether the San Francisco law actually requires sharing of in-use wiring, which makes it difficult to understand whether the FCC preemption will change anything in practice. Today's FCC decision "stop[s] efforts in California designed to encourage competition in multi-tenant environments," FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, a Democrat, said at today's meeting. "Specifically, we say to the city of San Francisco -- where more than half of the population rents their housing, often in multi-tenant units -- that they cannot encourage broadband competition. This is crazy."

An announcement from Pai's office argued that "[r]equired sharing of in-use wiring deters broadband deployment, undercuts the Commission's rules regarding control of cable wiring in residential MTEs [multi-tenant environments] and threatens the Commission's framework to protect the technical integrity of cable systems for the benefit of viewers."

States' Rights

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

I thought the Republicans were all about States Rights?

Glad to see our appointed commisions

By bobstreo • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

are staying the course of their financial masters. Pai(d) should be removed as soon as possible, regardless of who wins the next election.

Bad for tenants

By u19925 • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

What if the apartment bldg owner strikes an exclusive deal with an ISP which will provide free 56kbps service. Now that it is in use, you can't use any other ISP. The word "in use" should have been reserved for "in use by the resident" but now it can be interpreted as "in use by the owner". Pai indeed preempted it without anyone noticing it. SF authority response is complete nonsense saying that its law does not apply to in use wiring. In that case, the law has no effect as the owner can provide a fake use.


By Anonymous Coward • Score: 3, Informative • Thread

Oh wait, I live in New Zealand where I have access to 31 different ISPs, I am currently on 100/20 with no data caps, no port blocking, no prioritising data, etc etc it is just a dumb pipe, all for the cost of NZ$70 a month , I could go to 1000/400 for another $20. My modem is not locked

In fact something over 85% of the country will have fast broadband within a year or two.

All bought to you by a government that is "by the people, for the people"

Hackers Breached Greece's Top-Level Domain Registrar

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
State-sponsored hackers have breached ICS-Forth, the organization that manages Greece's top-level domain country codes of .gr and .el. From a report: ICS-Forth, which stands for the Institute of Computer Science of the Foundation for Research and Technology, publicly admitted to the security incident in emails it sent to domain owners on April 19. The hackers behind the breach are the same group detailed in a Cisco Talos report from April, which the company named Sea Turtle. The group uses a relatively novel approach to hacking targets. Instead of targeting victims directly, they breach or gain access to accounts at domain registrars and managed DNS providers where they make modifications to a company's DNS settings. By modifying DNS records for internal servers, they redirect traffic meant for a company's legitimate apps or webmail services to clone servers where they carry out man-in-the-middle attacks and intercept login credentials.

Academics Steal Data From Air-Gapped Systems Via a Keyboard's LEDs

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The Caps Lock, Num Lock, and Scroll Lock LEDs on a keyboard can be used to exfiltrate data from a secure air-gapped system, academics from an Israeli university have proved. From a report: The attack, which they named CTRL-ALT-LED, is nothing that regular users should worry about but is a danger for highly secure environments such as government networks that store top-secret documents or enterprise networks dedicated to storing non-public proprietary information. he attack requires some pre-requisites, such as the malicious actor finding a way to infect an air-gapped system with malware beforehand. CTRL-ALT-LED is only an exfiltration method. But once these prerequisites are met, the malware running on a system can make the LEDs of an USB-connected keyboard blink at rapid speeds, using a custom transmission protocol and modulation scheme to encode the transmitted data. A nearby attacker can record these tiny light flickers, which they can decode at a later point, using the same modulation scheme used to encode it.

Re:Well no shit

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

If a bad actor manages to get that level of access, there are probably easier ways to do this.

"Hey, does anyone know where this cat 5e cable that's running from the centrifuge controller into the air duct came from?"

Re:Air gaps easy to bridge

By Obfuscant • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
No, it isn't worth noting that. If you have your computer connected to the internet via WiFi is it not air-gapped. Air-gapped doesn't mean you have no physical connection, it means you have no internet connection of any kind.

It is also not worth noting the new discovery that keyboard LEDs can be used to leak data, since that was a thing decades ago. As were a lot of other observable phenomena, including, IIRC, fan speeds or floppy disk access sounds. As was tempest from CRT displays or the CPU. Yes, people actually played music by running code with specific timing constants, which could be picked up on an AM radio. And one fascinating exhibit at a college computer fair was the use of a massive Calcomp flatbed plotter playing classical music in multi-part harmony. (If you can transmit tones, you can send data encoded as those tones, obviously.)

Re:Well no shit

By Rhipf • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Wouldn't having the system controlled via a network connection kind of defeat the purpose of an air-gapped computer? 8^)

Yes I realize the network can be an isolated standalone network but the computer itself is no longer air-gapped.

Even if a keyboard is connected there are several keyboards without LEDs. If the keyboard does have LEDs and they are blinking sporadically I think I would be inclined to replace that keyboard (no typical for those LEDs to blink incessantly).

Horse fucking hockey

By Snotnose • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
I've had top secret before. When you are in that environment you have tons of precautions. Like your windows have curtains to prevent Bad Guys (tm) from shining lasers on your windows to eavesdrop.
To say monitoring my caps lock and num lock are going to be an issue is flat out scare mongering. I don't care how low the bandwidth of those flickering LEDs are, if someone can somehow monitor them then your entire room is hopelessly compromised.

If your close enough to see the light blinking

By anarcobra • Score: 3 • Thread
I think you might be close enough to see the screen and whatever is displayed on it.
Surely taking a quick pic of a couple of QR codes is less obtrusive than standing around for hours recording a led blinking.

The Fish Is Boneless. (Fishless, Too.)

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First, there was the meatless burger. Soon we may have fishless fish. From a report: Impossible Foods, the California company behind the meatless Impossible Whopper now available at Burger King, is joining a crowded field of food companies developing alternatives to traditional seafood with plant-based recipes or laboratory techniques that allow scientists to grow fish from cells. So far, much of Impossible's work has focused on the biochemistry of fish flavor, which can be reproduced using heme, the same protein undergirding its meat formula [Editor's note: the link may be paywalled; alternative source], according to Pat Brown, the company's chief executive. Last month, Impossible's 124-person research and development team, which the company plans to increase to around 200 by the end of next year, produced an anchovy-flavored broth made from plants, he said. "It was being used to make paella," Mr. Brown said. "But you could use it to make Caesar dressing or something like that."

The fishless-fish project is part of Impossible's grand ambitions to devise tasty replacements for every animal-based food on the market by 2035. Whether that aim is achievable, either scientifically or financially, remains to be seen. But for now, Mr. Brown said, he's confident Impossible's plant-based beef recipe can be reconfigured to simulate a new source of protein. It's unclear whether consumers -- even those who eat meatless burgers -- will embrace fish alternatives. Those faux-beef products owe their success partly to the enthusiasm of so-called flexitarians, people who want to reduce their meat consumption without fully converting to vegetarianism, but flexitarians are not necessarily motivated by a desire to save the planet.


By apoc.famine • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

The fishless-fish project is part of Impossible's grand ambitions to devise tasty replacements for every animal-based food on the market by 2035. Whether that aim is achievable, either scientifically or financially, remains to be seen.

How about even remotely possible? They won't be able to do this by 2135, let alone 2035. Are they remotely aware of the vast diversity in animal-based food we humans eat?

They need to be able to produce everything from grubs to caviar to beef tongue to scallops to lamb eyeball to zebra liver to seal blubber to infinity and beyond. Now maybe if they constrain themselves to "tasty replacements for every animal-based food found in mainstream fast-food chains in the US" they can get close in the next 15 years. But "every animal-based-food"? No fucking way. I'll just wait here for their version of Casu Marzu.

Unless by "replacement" they mean "tastes vaguely the same but the texture is all wrong". Maybe you could get the taste of a scallop down in that much time, but I'd put some good money on it being really hard to get the texture correct. It's got to be able to take a hard sear on the outside while remaining incredibly tender on the inside. Halibut, cod, and perch are radically different fish. Is their goal a generic white flaky thing to replace all three? If so, that's not a replacement. It would likely work for a McFish Sandwich replacement, however.

I guess I might be in a minority in that I cook and eat a lot of different meats, and appreciate the subtle (and not so subtle) differences in them. There's a big difference between a beef patty and a lamb patty, and a beef patty with some pork in it. If their "replacement" is just generic ground meat, that may work for some but not for me.

Mr. Brown, the Impossible Foods chief executive, acknowledged that “consumers aren’t crying out for plant-based fish.” But he predicted that would change if Impossible released fish products that mimicked the taste and texture of the real thing.

“The only way we can succeed,” he said, “is to make fish from plants that is more delicious than the fish that’s strip mined from the ocean.”

Good fucking luck. Because part of the draw of seafood is the variety. If you can nail salmon, there are still a couple hundred other species that people are going to want to eat. And I highly doubt that they can make something more delicious than fresh, well prepared fish. I bet they can make something more delicious than old, frozen-too-long, poorly prepared fish. And if they do, kudos to them. But pretending this will be a culinary revolution is a little silly.

Quite interesting - but questionable approach

By ripvlan • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

For years I've wondered why the vegetarian replacement market was making "bacon." Isn't the whole idea that people don't want to eat animals - so recreating bacon/breakfast-sausage/hamburger simply recreating the animal eating experience?

Or is this to convert all of meat eaters to veggie alternatives? and thus reduce/replace food using plants. whatever.

But I've long thought that maybe they could create new flavors that don't exist in nature. If they taste good - great. Kool-aid doesn't taste like anything in nature!! Finding names might be tricky.

"tastes like chicken"

Fishless fish

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

If they don't end up calling this Fish-ish I will be very disappointed.

Gonna be a lot harder to do

By Solandri • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
Beef is beef. Different parts of the cow have slightly different texture and connective tissue, and certain breeds (e.g. wagyu) are bred for a different fat content. But for the most part, beef is beef. They're all pretty much the same species.

Not so with fish. Fish come in all sorts of different textures, flavors, and colors. You have the light white meats which are like chicken and will take on any seasoning flavor (mahi mahi, pollack, tilapia), the flaky white meats (seabass), the meaty white meats (halibut, cod), darker heavier meats (tuna, trout/salmon), and the meatier dark meats (swordfish, wahoo). And lots of in-between species (e.g. albacore is textured like the darker meats, but is lighter). Unless you're buying fish tacos (where the seasoning taste drowns out the fish), you're not eating fish because it's "fish". You're eating it because it's the specific type of fish you want to eat that meal.

It's an awfully long stretch but..

By AbRASiON • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

To go all conspiracy theory, boy there sure are some articles out the past few years kind of preparing us for the future of soylent products. "Yeah all the fish are kinda dead, and the animals and the planet is ruined, you poors need to get used to the B tier product, while Mr Banker over here eats one of the last 2,000 salmon left on the planet for $95k a lb"

We're heading that way, even if it's not some big plan, get the commoners used to eating cardboard.

Linode Democratizes Cloud GPUs: Brings Powerful Nvidia GPUs To Its Linux Cloud

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sfcrazy writes: Linode today launched new GPU-optimized cloud computing instances tailored specifically for developers and businesses requiring massive parallel computational power. The new instances are built on NVIDIA Quadro RTX 6000 GPU cards with all three major types of processing cores (CUDA, Tensor, and Real-Time Ray Tracing) available to users. Linode is one of the first cloud providers to deploy NVIDIA's latest GPU architecture. These new GPU instances give scientists, artists, and engineers working on artificial intelligence, graphic visualization, and complex modeling a cost-competitive alternative to hyperscale cloud providers.

Democracy doesn't cost $1000 a month

By Daemonik • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Okay, they're not "democratizing" a damn thing. They're providing a service to whomever can afford it, and nobody asked us to vote on the price tag.

Hooray for slashvertisment

By rsilvergun • Score: 3 • Thread
I mean, can we at least try to disguise it. Also if you want GPU power for non-video tasks just buy it yourself. There's a ton of refurbed headless AMD & Nvidia cards out there for insane prices. I mean insane. I saw a 12gb 1080 equivalent refurb with warrantee for $105 bucks the other day. Hell, I was tempted to try it for gaming as there's a trick to get it to output to video through onboard graphics on Windows 10

Moons That Escape Their Planets Could Become 'Ploonets'

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Meet ploonets: planets of moonish origin. In other star systems, some moons could escape their planets and start orbiting their stars instead, new simulations suggest. Scientists have dubbed such liberated worlds "ploonets," and say that current telescopes may be able to find the wayward objects. From a report: Astronomers think that exomoons -- moons orbiting planets that orbit stars other than the sun -- should be common, but efforts to find them have turned up empty so far. Astrophysicist Mario Sucerquia of the University of Antioquia in MedellÃn, Colombia and colleagues simulated what would happen to those moons if they orbited hot Jupiters, gas giants that lie scorchingly close to their stars. Many astronomers think that hot Jupiters weren't born so close, but instead migrated toward their star from a more distant orbit.

As the gas giant migrates, the combined gravitational forces of the planet and the star would inject extra energy into the moon's orbit, pushing the moon farther and farther from its planet until eventually it escapes, the researchers report June 29 [PDF] at "This process should happen in every planetary system composed of a giant planet in a very close-in orbit," Sucerquia says. "So ploonets should be very frequent." Some ploonets may be indistinguishable from ordinary planets. Others, whose orbits keep them close to their planet, could reveal their presence by changing the timing of when their neighbor planet crosses, or transits, in front of the star.

Reason you cannot find them

By SuperKendall • Score: 3 • Thread

Anything named "ploonet" will automatically throw itself into the sun to burn away the shame.

This is incredibly pointless

By thereddaikon • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Beyond the footnote fact of a planet once being a moon does the distinction actually bare any significance? I feel like astronomy is getting a little too anal about the classification of bodies. So a planet is a body orbiting a star that is large enough to have cleared its orbit. A moon is a body that orbits a planet. A dwarf planet is like a planet but has failed to clear its orbit. All planets had shit in their orbit at some point and eventually cleared them, whats the time cutoff? At what point do we decide its out of time and now a dwarf planet? Apparently to minimally qualify for either planet or dwarf planet you have to also be massive enough to reach hydrostatic equilibrium. Below that and you are either an asteroid or comet depending on what you are made out of. But moons dont have to be that massive. They can be space potatoes. So what is the practical difference between a ploonet and an asteroid/comet? What about trojan moons which are captured asteroids? If they manage to be free again why dont they just go back to being called asteroids like before?

What is the fucking point? I feel like someone just wanted to get to name something and stroke their own ego.

Foxconn Will Only Create 1500 Jobs, says Wisconsin Governor

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The Foxconn factory in Wisconsin will only create 1,500 jobs when it starts production next May, Gov. Tony Evers said yesterday. From a report: That's the same number Foxconn has been saying since it shifted plans for the factory a few months ago, and far short of the 13,000 jobs that were promised when President Trump broke ground a year ago. Evers has been negotiating with Foxconn since he replaced former Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, and he says he now has "clarity: on Foxconn's plans. 1,500 jobs is short of the 1,800 jobs required for Foxconn to get the next set of tax credits under its $4 billion deal with the state. Foxconn already missed its first jobs target under that contract, hiring only 156 employees instead of the required 260 last year. Instead, Foxconn has bought a series of empty buildings for "innovation centers" around the state as part of a promised "AI 8K+5G ecosystem" (although it's never specified what that ecosystem actually is). Timeline: Wisconsin's $4.1 Billion Foxconn Boondoggle; Foxconn Is Reconsidering Plan For Wisconsin Factory; Foxconn Says It Will Build Wisconsin Factory After All; Foxconn is Confusing the Hell Out of Wisconsin; and One Year After Trump's Foxconn Groundbreaking, There is Almost Nothing To Show For It.

Re:I'm confused, is not 1500 0?

By mark_reh • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

I live in Mt Pleasant, 2 miles from the Foxconn site. While all this non-activity at Foxconn goes on, the freeways are being expanded at great taxpayer expense at least in part to benefit Foxconn (and Amazon, also building in the area). There's one family left that's suing Mt Pleasant over the eminent domain seizing of their home for Foxconn (though they actually needed just a small portion of the land to widen a road).

A month or two ago I saw that Foxconn was starting to lease land to farmers because they aren't going to use it for their factory - after they bought it or had it seized under eminent domain from those same farmers.

And of course, my property "value" has gone up by 10% this year meaning my property tax has gone up a similar amount.

Re:I'm confused, is not 1500 0?

By mark_reh • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

The GOP (govt. of Putin) has the state so gerrymandered that even though the GOP loses based on vote count, they still take majority of seats in state house and senate. Hopefully the rural folks who voted for Trump (and a bunch of those other GOP a-holes) will see the result of their experiment and change their minds in 2020.

Re:That's true for any level of subsidies

By Daemonik • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
But see, colleges teach kids critical thinking, and that sort of thing is just counter to Conservative ideals, as they're currently expressed by the GOP/Theocratic State. Because colleges are all run by gay liberal homosexuals who don't believe the Bible is the true and accurate and they didn't spend 12 years indoctrinating their kid in homeschools just for some commie socialist Lib to tell them otherwise.


By mark_reh • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

The voters didn't fail. The GOP has gerrymandered the state so badly that they will maintain their stranglehold on power in spite of what the voters say.

Re:I'm confused, is not 1500 0?

By ranton • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

What happened was that the new governor was elected and immediately worked on rescinding the Foxconn deal which caused Foxconn to cancel its plans

That isn't true at all. Do you actually believe that nonsense or are you just trolling?

Foxconn started backing away from its proposed plans in mid-2018. They started planning on much smaller factories with much higher levels of automation, claiming the changes were due to market forces. This reduced their investment from $10 billion to $2.5 billion. A Foxconn spokesperson went from saying the mix of jobs would be 75% assembly workers to 10%. While he wouldn't comment on the total number of jobs, it is clear from that ratio that the level of automation at this factory would be far higher than they had promised.

Foxconn missed job targets in 2018, before the current governor entered office, and had been walking back on promised long before he ever won the election.

Slashdot Asks: How Long Before Google Shuts Down Its Little -- But Expensive -- Pixel Smartphones Project?

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After years of its on and off interest in smartphones, Google today produces some of the best phones on the planet. The Pixel 3 and the 3 XL take better pictures than most smartphones -- certainly any phone that predates them. But the whole idea of Google making handsets -- being also the company that maintains Android and has relationship with hundreds of OEM partners that themselves make and sell Android handsets -- has also been peculiar. Additionally, Google itself has an alarmingly long track record of losing interest in things, including hardware projects -- and especially when they finally appear to have courted a large following. Richard Windsor, director of research firm Radio Free Mobile, adds: While the wires are already speculating on the form factor of the Google Pixel 4 due to be launched in Q4, I am wondering whether this will be the last smartphone that Google makes. Ever since it wasted $12.5bn of shareholder's money on Motorola Mobility in 2012, Google has had a bad condition of what I refer to as engineering disease (see here and here and here). I diagnose engineering disease as a condition where engineers often get so excited about whether they can develop something that they forget to ask whether they should develop that something. Engineering disease almost always ends in financial disaster and I calculate that Google's hardware business has done nothing but burn cash since the day it was created. Worst of all, I can find no logical rhyme or reason why Google needs to make hardware other than a foolhardy attempt to take on Apple.

This it will never be able to do unless it takes Android fully proprietary so that it can control the experience from end to end and it has been unable and unwilling to do this to date. Furthermore, Samsung has done a much better job at taking on Apple given its scale, brand, distribution and the fact that its core competence is to take the innovations of others and make them smaller, better and cheaper. [...] This is why I have argued that Samsung and Google should stop wasting money on each other's core competence and throw their lot in together. The problem for Google hardware is that the days of under-performing businesses hiding under the skirts of the giant search cash machine are coming to an end. We have already seen this as in March, the Pixel Slate and Pixelbook team was cut back due to the lackluster sales of the product. The three versions of the Google Pixel have sold in paltry volumes with market share never reliably exceeding 0.3% with 4.5m units sold in 2018. Given the low volume, I would estimate the gross margin of this product is around 20% in the best instance which after product development costs and marketing leaves very little if anything left over.

This is not the kind of performance that Google is used to which combined with an apparent inability to really get the hardware right (see here) means that Dr. Ruth Porat (CFO of Alphabet) will be asking some very hard questions of this division this year. Consequently, I think that Google needs to see a significant step up in performance with the Pixel 4, otherwise, it too may fall under the surgeon's knife. [...] The time to pull the stops out is now as failure is likely to result in there being no Pixel 5.
How long do you think Google would keep funding the Pixel phones project?

OP needs to stop reading Richard Windsor

By coldfarnorth • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

There's a lot wrong with this posting.

First, the premise - it should be titled: "Let's stir up people about Pixel phones!"

Second, I love how "Google itself has an alarmingly long track record of losing interest in things, including hardware projects -- and especially when they finally appear to have courted a large following" appears to indicate that Google WANTS to kill successful hardware products. Never mind that the product with a large following was a free software service that offered little room for revenue growth.

Third, Richard Windsor doesn't appear to have a particularly solid case for his skills as an analyst. He refers to the acquisition of Motorola Mobility as a waste of shareholder money, but his numbers are wrong and his presentation of the circumstances is woefully lacking. What ACTUALLY happend was that Google purchased a patent portfolio that would keep it from being sued out of the smartphone market for $4.2 billion, but it had to handle a few other transactions to make it happen. (Here's how it worked: Google put up $12.5 billion to purchase MM. It then took all of MM's cash on hand ($3), which offsets the cost by that amount. Google then recouped ~$2.4b by selling off MM's cable modem division (which Mr. Windsor completely forgets about), and then later sold the remaining parts of MM to Lenovo for ~$2.9b.) That leaves ~$4.2b as the cost to Google for MM's fairly extensive patent portfolio.
(If you ever thought that the "free market" was free or a level playing field, please consider that owning thousands of patents is the only way to keep yourself from being sued out of the smartphone market, and possibly existence.)

And finally, my FAVORITE part: Google has "engineering disease"... Please picture my eyes rolling. Google is one of the most wildly successful companies in the history of commerce, and was built around the idea that engineers should run the company. They KNOW that things don't always work out, but they are willing to try things that have a chance of working out. They're willing to play a much longer game than the MBA types who are fixated on shareholder value. For example: Google Fiber was created to scare other Broadband companies into upgrading their infrastructure and expanding their coverage, which makes more customers for Google...

Re:I think Google does as much as it needs to do

By jeff4747 • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

I bought a Samsung tablet as my first entry into the Android ecosystem. I won't be buying another Android device.

The thing is so infected with Samsung's "We think this is better!!" software that it's annoying as fuck (no, I don't want to deal with rooting it). And I'm already having to worry about lack of OS updates. Meanwhile an iPad from 2013 is still getting updates.

If my first entry into Android had been from Google, it probably wouldn't have the same level of OEM bullshit software. And that would make me far more likely to consider the platform. But they only develop pseudo-laptop tablets, and that's not the kind of tablet I needed.

Re:Google uses its phones to shape Android complia

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

(No vendors whose name begins with S will be called out in this post.)

We all know you're referring to Sanyo, so don't dance around it.

Re:I think Google does as much as it needs to do

By spacepimp • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Pixel phones are not at all about the baseline. Have you actually used one? They are more expensive than most competing apple phones of their era. Google Pixel phones are premium phones that sets a high bar for what Android phones have to meet to be considered premium. They also strip out OEM bloatware that makes the Pixels shine for what pure android can achieve.

Re:Google uses its phones to shape Android complia

By swillden • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

To express its vision of what Android phones should be capable of and how they should use the OS. To corral unruly vendors who would produce unrecognizably weird variants of the functionality. (No vendors whose name begins with S will be called out in this post.) Google gets to put out a demonstration of what it thinks a "clean" and conformant Android device looks like. A continuation of what Nexus phones were, in other words. That's an extra, not directly monetary value to google, but it's an indirect monetary value to google. Because if the whole ecosystem fragments to hell due to poor design choices, misguided attempts to differentiate, and therefore a kind of Murphy's law maximum divergence tendency, the Android ecosystem value will be decreased significantly and at risk of being overtaken. In that scenario, Google loses ubiquity of its app pre-installations and loses a lot of mobile-device ad revenue.

There's another reason Google makes its own devices that might not be obvious: Nexus/Pixel are the Android development platform. As an Android engineer whose work often depends on new hardware features, I've explored a few times the idea of developing on another OEM's device when the Nexus/Pixel team didn't want to add the hardware I needed. Every time, even with willing and eager partners, the conclusion is that it would be a royal pain in the ass. On Pixel, I have access to all of the source code and can easily generate my own builds, including of many of the low-level components. I also have easy and direct access to the hardware engineers. I also have a dedicated test team and a pool of a few thousand internal dogfooders who get the device and can (and will) submit bug reports. Integrating my workflow into another OEM's processes for all of this would not be impossible, but it would be a big job and the result would add ongoing overhead. At the end of the day, I've always gotten the Nexus/Pixel team to add what I needed, even if it meant I had to wait a year.

Now scale that up to a couple thousand Android engineers. IMO, it makes sense for Google to build devices merely to have a development and test platform they control, and build on a schedule that is synced to the development of the underlying platform.

This is, of course, on top of all of the other reasons you cited, which I think are all valid, and Undergrounded Lightning's comment about using Pixel as a security showcase (which has been very successful: It's worth noting that the Pixel has been the only unbeaten device in the last three annual Mobile Pwn2Own competitions), though that's just a subset of the larger goal of showing the rest of the Android ecosystem Google's vision of how Android devices should be built and managed.

I, of course, can neither confirm nor deny any plans for a Pixel 4, 5, 6, etc. But I really don't think it would make any sense for Google to stop making devices.

Alibaba Claims New Record in AI Language Understanding

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An AI program developed by Alibaba has notched up a record-high score on a reading comprehension test. The result shows how machines are steadily improving at handling text and speech. From a report: The new record was set using the Microsoft Machine Reading Comprehension (MS MARCO) data set, which uses real questions that Bing users have asked in the past. The AI program had to read many web pages of information to be able to answer questions such as "What is a corporation?" (In this case the answer would be: "A corporation is a company or group of people authorized to act as a single entity and recognized as such in law.") Its scores were close to or slightly better than humans', according to two measures. AI algorithms have been improving at these sorts of question-and-answer tasks thanks to large, flexible learning algorithms and copious amounts of data. The Alibaba team developed a technique that essentially prunes out irrelevant text before trying to answer a question. The new program is not, however, "better at reading comprehension than humans." It was simply able to answer some questions about a subset of text better than people, on average. It is still essentially doing statistical pattern recognition without comprehending the meaning of the words it sees.

Not AI

By Artem S. Tashkinov • Score: 3 • Thread

Yet another example of something which is not AI but still being touted as AI. The test might involve comprehension but this new "AI" is still an algorithm and it neither understands the meaning of the words, nor it understands the relationship between them. It's a glorified language/data classificator.

Angel investors must be happy though.

Coming To a Streaming Service Near You: Shows Costing as Much as Big-Budget Movies

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As Walt Disney, AT&T's WarnerMedia and Apple prepare to enter the crowded streaming-entertainment market, they are racing to stand out with eye-catching shows that cost as much for a season as a big-budget movie [Editor's note: the link may be paywalled; alternative source]. From a report: These new services are hoping their planned television epics will capture the cultural conversation, like "Game of Thrones" did. They are also hoping to convince subscribers that their offerings are worth paying for in a market dominated by Netflix, HBO and Hulu. The competition is prompting newcomers to shell out between $8 million and $15 million an episode, significantly more than what the average TV show used to cost. For a single season, after including marketing and other expenses, the total can easily exceed $150 million -- or roughly what it costs to put a new "Spider-Man" movie in theaters nationwide.

When Netflix began making "House of Cards" in 2013 at $4.5 million an episode, it looked like a costly bet. Now, Disney has built intergalactic-desert landscapes for the "Star Wars" spinoff "The Mandalorian," whose cost for an episode approaches $15 million, according to people familiar with the matter. spent $250 million just for the rights to develop a "Lord of the Rings" series. Apple signed up "Aquaman" star Jason Momoa for its fantasy series "See," while Showtime has the videogame adaptation "Halo" and Warner Bros. prepares Frank Herbert's "Dune." With massive casts, exotic filming locations and copious special effects, budgets have ballooned to amounts once considered unfathomable for a TV show. One driving factor, executives say, is that high-profile TV shows are offered up next to theatrical films available to stream on the same service, so original programming can't risk looking like B-material next to the movies.

And it will be like cable $100/mo to get most show

By Joe_Dragon • Score: 3 • Thread

And it will be like cable $100/mo to get most shows just hope you don't have to buy espn 3-4 times.

Maybe if they spent 15 mil per episode

By FFOMelchior • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
on the writers, we'd have stuff worth watching.

I wish that a bigger % of money went to writers

By lamer01 • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
Instead, these inflated costs go to 'rights' and overpaid actors. The result is bad/cliched writing and bad shows.

I'm looking forward to this, but ...

By nospam007 • Score: 3 • Thread

...they all promise us the New Lost, the New Breaking Bad, The New Game of Thrones, the New Sopranos, the New ...

Nobody knows anything, if they did, we would have 25 Breaking Bads running right now.
But they don't so it's a game of 'hit and miss a lot'

Re:Back in the day...

By middlemen • Score: 4 • Thread

West Wing was also reportedly decent, unlike the movie-candy-equivalent crap like Game of Thrones or Twilight.

Make it dark and have a lot of important characters get killed, double-crossed, or drama'd, and you have instant complex and deep storyline.

You clearly have not seen Game of Thrones.

Americans Shouldn't Have To Drive, But the Law Insists on It

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader shares a report: In America, the freedom of movement comes with an asterisk: the obligation to drive. This truism has been echoed by the U.S. Supreme Court, which has pronounced car ownership a "virtual necessity." The Court's pronouncement is telling. Yes, in a sense, America is car-dependent by choice -- but it is also car-dependent by law. As I detail in a forthcoming journal article, over the course of several generations lawmakers rewrote the rules of American life to conform to the interests of Big Oil, the auto barons, and the car-loving 1 percenters of the Roaring Twenties. They gave legal force to a mind-set -- let's call it automobile supremacy -- that kills 40,000 Americans a year and seriously injures more than 4 million more. Include all those harmed by emissions and climate change, and the damage is even greater. As a teenager growing up in the shadow of Detroit, I had no reason to feel this was unjust, much less encouraged by law. It is both.

It's no secret that American public policy throughout the 20th century endorsed the car -- for instance, by building a massive network of urban and interstate highways at public expense. Less well understood is how the legal framework governing American life enforces dependency on the automobile. To begin with, mundane road regulations embed automobile supremacy into federal, state, and local law. But inequities in traffic regulation are only the beginning. Land-use law, criminal law, torts, insurance, vehicle safety regulations, even the tax code -- all these sources of law provide rewards to cooperate with what has become the dominant transport mode, and punishment for those who defy it.

Re:Car == Freedom

By dgatwood • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

So, no. You are completely wrong. The GP is directly paying for his/her road use, and the people in cities only subsidize the surface roads within the city limits that the city has responsibilities for.

It's worse than that. If the GP drives more than an average number of miles, he or she is directly paying for way more than his/her road use.

You see, road damage is proportional to the vehicle's axle weight to the fourth power. Because they use gasoline, cars pay only about 3/4 of the tax per gallon that diesel-powered trucks do, but they do thousands of times less damage per mile. So your gas tax is subsidizing the trucking industry.

What that means is that if you drive more miles than average and do not also buy truck-provided goods proportionately more than average, you're basically paying a portion of everybody else's road damage on top of your own. Unless we fix that externality, trucking will continue to be the dominant mode of transportation in the U.S., which reduces demand for (and improvements to) rail and other modes of transportation that would otherwise be much better ways to move freight around were it not for the artificially deflated cost of trucking.


By rogoshen1 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Why do Asians do so well in the US? Hell they weren't even allowed to immigrate until the 1950's in many areas, and Japanese were thrown into detention camps during WWII.

Honestly it seems like treating someone's success (or lack thereof) as a foregone conclusion is the best way to make sure that they never actually try to make it.

Re:Car == Freedom

By DaveV1.0 • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
I looked into commuting by bus for one of my jobs. My 30 minute rush hour commute became 1 hour. I am looking at moving to be closer to my new job. One place is about 20 minutes away by car and 2 hours by bus.

Re:Use GNU!

By DarkOx • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

This ^^^ a 1000 times this ^^^. Just imagine for example an America where a character like Donald Trump had the power to say ensure the "women's march" was poorly attended by furloughing 90% of the TSA in the days leading up to it snarling airports and rail stations causing everyone to miss planes and trains. That type of shit happens all the times in middle eastern dictatorships. It does not happen here because everyone would see the transparent attempt it is but unlike those places could do something about it; hop in car go anyway and make all the more noise.

Picking on Trump because he is in office now - not because I think he is anymore likely to play that type of game if he could than the last guy or whomever happens to be the next.

Re:Waste of time

By Obfuscant • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Tax gas to make it $10/gallon. Tax new car sales at 50-100%. Lot of folks would move closer to work, take up cycling, ride the bus, etc. Increased cycling would lead to an outcry to fix bike lanes.

Simplistic solutions often lead to disastrous results. No, people who live in areas with limited housing already are not going to move so they can walk to work. I live in a university city. Most of the university employees cannot afford to live within walking distance, were there sufficient homes available for them to do so. The university is actively trying to force people to stop driving and have been remarkably unsuccessful at it, simple because there is no adequate alternative for most people. Their decisions to replace parking spaces with other things have turned the neighboring communities into parking lots, which has resulted in ridiculous special parking zones for residents (who don't have garages of their own because they'd rather rely upon on-street public parking.) Ask the uni's neighbors if they're in Utopia.

Many folks just can't cycle. Buses don't exist in a lot of places, or what does exist is unrealistic for such a utopia as you suggest.

"If there is a problem, tax it into submission" is the liberal view on everything, and it rarely works.

Tax coffers would run over, allowing the needed bike lane improvements and road to bike lane conversions to happen.

State gas taxes go to the state to pay for state roads. People who live in rural or small city areas are NOT going to support taxing their gas so the money can be given to the big cities to build more bike lanes. Roads are not going to be converted to bike lanes no matter how much ground unicorn horn dust you sprinkle on the problem.


Yes, voila indeed. Your ideas for Utopia are fascinating. Do you have a newsletter?

David Attenborough Addresses Climate Change in Most Eloquent Way Possible

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Natural historian, English broadcaster and 93-year-old national treasure David Attenborough has spoken. Whether you like his chosen topic of climate change or not, the naturalist has an effortless and coercive way with words. From a report: Speaking to a Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee meeting in London on Tuesday morning, local time, Attenborough gave evidence on the radical action required to tackle the climate crisis. "We cannot be radical enough in dealing with the issues that face us at the moment," he said, the full talk detailed by The Guardian. "The question is: what is practically possible? How can we take the electorate with us in dealing with these things?" The UK has committed to net zero carbon emissions by 2050. But that target, according to Attenborough, "is not the way of focusing on the problem." Attenborough did acknowledge the lively efforts young people had put in to "recognising that their world is the future."

"The most encouraging thing that I see, of course, is that the electors of tomorrow are already making themselves and their voices very, very clear," he said. "And that is a source of great comfort in a way, but also the justification, the reality, that these young people are recognising that their world is the future." Attenborough compared our attitudes toward climate change with the transformation of slavery. "There was a time in the 19th century when it was perfectly acceptable for civilised human beings to think that it was morally acceptable to actually own another human being for a slave. And somehow or other, in the space of 20 or 30 years, the public perception of that totally transformed."

Re: "coercive way with words"

By ilsaloving • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

It's only ones confusing carbon tax with wealth redistribution are people who are intentionally trying to confuse the issue, for a variety of selfish/willfully ignorant reasons. It's like saying that giving a ticket to someone for speeding, or charging bail on a criminal, is wealth redistribution.

The point of Carbon Tax is to be a punitive measure on companies that pump out CO2. CO2 is an externalized expense that companies ignore for the simple reason being that they can. Carbon Tax is intended to re-internalize that expense and put said companies back into the equation of responsibility instead of leaving tax payers on the hook for a company's laziness.


By ilsaloving • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Your argument could be shorted and made more blunt:

Climate change deniers don't want to be inconvenienced. More importantly, they don't want to have to face the idea that they are, no matter how minutely, tangentially responsible for the situation we're in. They not only insist, but demand, that *everyone* stick their heads in the sand just long enough for them to continue enjoying their current indulgent lifestyles, at least until they die and it's someone else's problem.

Meanwhile we're already seeing the effects. Just the record-breaking year on year on year temperature swings alone are already causing major problems with basic infrastructure like roads, which need to be repaired more often. And that's just one example among many.

Re:Wasted breath

By blindseer • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

But, deniers will deny. We already knew this, even in the face of overwhelming evidence, they will shakes their heads. Even the most renowned naturalist on the planet telling us "We need to do something about this." isn't going to convince this segment of the population.

Then propose solutions that make the denial of global warming irrelevant. By that I mean offer zero carbon vehicles that are as cheap, useful, convenient, and comfortable as the carbon dioxide producing vehicles they use now, as one example. As it is now people must choose between lowering CO2 output and lowering their standard of living, or keeping their standard of living and keeping their CO2 output as it is. Give them something that lowers their CO2 while raising their standard of living. Make them an offer they cannot refuse.

Right now it's easy to deny the effects of global warming because what comes with accepting the threat of global warming seems to always come with reducing their freedoms, their standard of living, their income, their costs, all while reducing their choices. Stop doing that. People don't like being told what to do. Give them a choice and make that choice so attractive that they choose it willingly.

So long as the global warming threat looks like a bunch of watermelons, green environmentalism hiding a red socialist center, people will find it very unappealing. Give them something that has a veneer of freedom, lower costs, and improved lives, with a green environmental center, and people will no longer deny it.

Here's something that should be an easy sell, natural gas vehicles. Not an ideal solution but people get a 20% to 30% reduction in CO2, as well as reductions in other tailpipe emissions. People get the convenience of filling up at home for many that already have natural gas service for heating and cooking. Natural gas plug-in electric hybrids should be a relatively easy sell as it can take advantage of the growing infrastructure for battery electric vehicles. Don't force it on anyone, simply allow people to see the convenience of this and then the people will buy them without coercion.

Forcing this on people simply will not work, they need to see the change as an advantage in the here and now. Without that people will inevitably and forcefully push back.

Re:Wasted breath

By blindseer • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Coal is more expensive to harvest and use than numerous alternatives and yet there's a small segment fighting for it.

Citation needed. Both on coal being more expensive than the alternatives and on people fighting for it being a "small segment".

Electrical utilities aren't in the business of making electricity, they are in the business of making money. If coal costs more than something else then they will drop coal in no time and pick up on whatever is cheaper. There's many many people fighting for coal power because it is cheap and plentiful. If you want to see people stop burning coal then give them a choice that doesn't increase their costs.

I say we give nuclear power another try. We learned a lot in the last 30 or 40 years since we stopped building nuclear power plants. We also forgot a lot. I believe we can make nuclear power cheaper than coal but only if we are allowed economy of scale. That means not making a plan to build one or two nuclear power plants, it means making a plan to build dozens of nuclear power plants. Let the designers know that they can spread development costs over a dozen nuclear power plants and these non-recurring costs start to look real small.

Re:He's right... is it enough?

By blindseer • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

There's existing work in these fields, and if we could put together some kind of X-prize like incentive for this kind of tech, that might be just the ticket.

The people doing research on nuclear power are not asking for money, they are asking for permission. I've seen multiple talks from people in the nuclear power industry on YouTube and what they will say repeatedly is that they can find private investors but what they need is permission from the government and, perhaps more importantly, they need an assurance that permission will not be revoked just because someone wrote one piece of hate mail to some senator.

The nuclear power industry has not stopped doing research and development when the federal government decided they didn't want any more nuclear power plants. What has happened though is that they cannot prove which of their designs is most profitable until the US federal government starts to allow the building of full scale prototypes. They've been able to build small scale prototypes. They've done simulations. They've done all they can do except build something on a full scale.

There's a lot of money in producing energy and there doesn't need to be any kind of X-prize. What we need is a realization that nuclear power is a viable solution to our CO2 production problem. This realization needs to happen at every level of government so we don't see some city or county creating a lawsuit because a federal agency issued a license to build a nuclear reactor in their backyard.

If global warming is the problem that it is claimed to be then there should not be any opposition to building new nuclear power plants under proper federal oversight and licensing. Opposing nuclear power now is implying that nuclear power is a greater threat to society than global warming. I can't take the threat of global warming seriously so long as the people that scream the loudest on this threat continue to oppose nuclear power as part of the solution.

Nintendo Switch Lite Launches September 20 For $200

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Nintendo has confirmed the much-rumored Nintendo Switch Lite, revealing that the new slimmed down console -- available in gray, yellow, and turquoise -- will launch on September 20 for $199.99. From a report: The device, which first came to light last year, is $100 less expensive than its predecessor and, as such, it does lack a number of key features compared to its bigger brother. For example, the Nintendo Switch Lite only offers a single "handheld" game-play mode, compared to the additional "TV" and "tabletop" modes of the Nintendo Switch. While this raises questions about the use of "switch" in the device's name given that it doesn't actually switch between modes, it also means that compatible games are limited to those that support handheld mode in the Nintendo Switch Library. However, gamers will be able to buy separate Joy-Con controllers (and a device to charge them) to use wirelessly with other games that don't support handheld mode.

How about...

By skam240 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

How about one that only operates as a console? The miniscule amount of mobile gaming I do is on my phone so I have no use for any of the Switch's mobile features but would love a cheaper version of the console to buy.

Re:Why bother?

By DontBeAMoran • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Underpowered for what? Running boring 4K games with no actual gameplay or story?

Only bad gaming companies rely on powerful hardware to avoid making good games.

Hong Kong's Protesters Use AirDrop To Spread Information To Mainland Chinese Visitors

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Quartz: Hong Kong's protesters are using AirDrop, a file-sharing feature that allows Apple devices to send photos and videos over Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, to breach China's Great Firewall in order to spread information to mainland Chinese visitors in the city. Leaving AirDrop settings open allows anyone in the vicinity to send files to your device. A protest held yesterday (July 7) in Tsim Sha Tsui, one of Hong Kong's most popular tourist districts, had a clear aim: to tell people from mainland China about the city's opposition to a hated extradition bill, which has mobilized millions of people over the past several weeks to multiple protests and presented the most critical challenge to the local government in decades.

But news of the protest has been heavily censored in mainland China, with any mention of the mass movement wiped off the Chinese internet. Even songs alluding to the city have been scrubbed. As such, many Chinese tourists were visibly confused by the large march, which organizers say drew an estimated 230,000 people. Hong Kong's protesters have therefore turned to Apple's AirDrop feature to get their message across to their mainland Chinese compatriots. That the messages are written in simplified Chinese -- Hong Kongers use traditional Chinese -- confirm that the intended audience is Chinese tourists.


By 110010001000 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Hopefully Apple will issue a patch that will close this loophole and also notify the Chinese government of this behavior. After all, China is a big market for Apple products. It is their duty to the shareholders!


By aaarrrgggh • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Too bad it is still easy enough to catch people via honeypots in the crowd. Full anonymity would be an issue for Apple.

German Entrepreneur Wants To Develop Lab-Grown Psilocybin

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
nightcats writes: A German capitalist wants to promote everything from psychological research, applied clinical uses of psychedelics, and even peace in the Mideast, with the help of lab-grown magic mushrooms. "Today, with a net worth of roughly $400 million accrued through various enterprises, [Christian] Angermayer is one of the driving forces behind the movement to turn long-shunned psychoactive substances, like the psilocybin derived from so-called magic mushrooms, into approved medications for depression and other mental illnesses," reports Scientific American.

The strangest and most daring idea mentioned in the Scientific American piece by Meghana Keshavan relates to a bizarre project for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. "Angermayer, interested in expanding his web of psychedelics holdings, recently asked [Rick Doblin, founder and executive director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, a nonprofit focused on research and education around the substances] if he might invest in his nonprofit, MAPS -- particularly its efforts to legalize therapeutic use of MDMA, commonly known as ecstasy," reports Scientific American. "Doblin demurred. MAPS is purely donation-based, and unlike Compass, intends to stay that way."

"But their talk shifted to one of the highest priority projects at the nonprofit: An exploration of psychedelics in conflict remediation. Along with researchers at Imperial College London, MAPS plans on bringing Israelis and Palestinians together to take ayahuasca and, working with negotiation experts, sift through their respective traumas. The idea is that finding common ground in their spiritual and mystical experiences might help coax political reconciliation between the warring factions."

Does it work?

By CODiNE • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Has this been found to work on an individual level between groups with strong dislike? Can you put a Trump fan and an Antifa member in the same room and ecstasy makes them pals? Or does the feeling of connectedness wear off and you're back to the same feelings? Is this trivializing actual disputes as something to "get over" or is a change in mood all that is needed? Before we talk of healing cultures, how about a few hundred documented and "repeatable" conflict resolutions.

Re:Makes perfect sense

By Immerman • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Well, since you asked for cynical replies...
I actually support the therapeutic uses of psychedelics and MDMA - there's a large and growing body of evidence for their effectiveness. However,

>The idea is that finding common ground in their spiritual and mystical experiences might help coax political reconciliation between the warring factions.
Seems extremely naive. Political conflict is almost always based on competition for power and wealth amongst politicians, not ideological differences or a lack of common ground. Ideological differences are just a tool used to keep the populations riled up so that they'll support the conflict - and if they don't already exist then those seeking greater power will happily manufacturer them.

We're all the same naked apes under the skin - we already all have far more in common than separates us. Good luck finding any schism - cultural, ideological, etc. that separates populations that *isn't* being actively fed by groups seeking to expand their own power. Religion, race, environmental responsibility... even large terrorist organizations are primarily interested in fundraising and extending the political clout of their leaders.

Re:Mental Illness

By Immerman • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

In fairness many psychedelics have shown themselves to be *extremely* useful for curing depression and several other mental illnesses. Not managing, which is what the pharmaceutical and psychology industry likes to do (gotta love that steady income stream), but *curing*.

Generally speaking they offer two powerful effects - they greatly enhance neuroplasticity, so that it's much easier for you to "rewire" your brain's habitual thought patterns, and they offer a new perspective by temporarily wildly altering the way your brain functions so that your usual thought patterns are almost impossible to sustain.

Essentially temporarily dissolving "you" - the collection of preconceptions, assumptions, and gut reactions that shape everything you see and think, allowing you to look at the world you feel trapped in with fresh eyes, and see for yourself how many of the walls of your prison are of your own creation. While the greatly enhanced neuroplasticity allows you to break them down and build more productive patterns in their place, doing in hours of focused attention what would normally take months or years of constant struggle against the forces of habitual thinking.

Do we understand how they work? Not really. But you can say the same thing about most antidepressants, hormonal birth control, and a vast array of other medical chemistry. And unlike those, natural psychedelics have literal millenia of history of therapeutic use by shamans and mystics of many stripes all over the world, in order to help their fellows recover from psychological traumas.

Scientists 3D-Print Human Skin and Bone For Mars Astronauts

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Scientists from the University Hospital of Dresden Technical University in Germany have successfully bio-printed skin and bone samples upside down to help determine if the method could be used in a low-gravity environment. CNET reports: The skin sample was printed using human blood plasma as a "bio ink." The researchers added plant and algae-based materials to increase the viscosity so it wouldn't just fly everywhere in low gravity. "Producing the bone sample involved printing human stem cells with a similar bio-ink composition, with the addition of a calcium phosphate bone cement as a structure-supporting material, which is subsequently absorbed during the growth phase," said Nieves Cubo, a bioprinting specialist at the university. These samples are just the first steps for the ESA's ambitious 3D bio-printing project, which is investigating what it would take to equip astronauts with medical and surgical facilities to help them survive and treat injuries on long spaceflights and on Mars.

Re:I keep hearing about all these fantastic-soundi

By darkain • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Early lab test vs releasable commercial products takes time. For instance, I was already reading up on what we know today as Blu-Ray disks back before Windows 95 even launched. There were lab tests being done using blue spectrum lasers for optical disc storage, when the current best consumer tech was CDs, which were still very new to market.

In that same era, there were talks of rechargeable batteries that could replace NiCad that didnt suffer the memory effect from partial discharging. Today we have Li-Ion. In the same era, there was talks of everyone walking around with a computer in their pocket more powerful than anything on the market in that day, and now we have multi-core multi-GHz cell phones and even wrist watches!

One of the greatest powers of the internet is that we get to see technology in the earliest stages of infancy. And I for one, personally absolutely *LOVE* seeing the bleeding edge of research.

Re:Still hard to believe

By darkain • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

"rough 3D printing plastic" is significantly older. What happened a few years back is the patents expired, so the tech became public. Once again, patents held back innovation, rather than promoting it!

Forget the theoretical Mars Astronauts -

By sheramil • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

How about printing replacement skin for BURNS VICTIMS ON EARTH?

Pretending to do it for Mars astronauts is pure woo, and only satisfies the interests of Cnet's advertisers.