Alterslash

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

Contents

  1. Artificial Leaf Produces First Drugs Using Sunlight
  2. New Prosthetic Legs Let Amputees Feel Their Foot and Knee In Real-Time
  3. Thousands of Servers Infected With New Lilocked (Lilu) Ransomware
  4. Gas Plants Will Get Crushed By Wind, Solar By 2035, Study Says
  5. Amazon Employees Are Walking Out Over the Company's Huge Carbon Footprint
  6. NYC Mayor and Presidential Hopeful Bill De Blasio Wants a Tax On Robots
  7. YouTube Creators Are Turning the Site Into a Podcast Network
  8. Web Scraping Doesn't Violate Anti-Hacking Law, Appeal Court Rules
  9. Microsoft Redesigns To Do App To Make it Look More Like its Wunderlist Predecessor
  10. Someone Just Moved $1B in Bitcoin
  11. How Top-Valued Microsoft Has Avoided the Big Tech Backlash
  12. YouTube Promised To Halt Comments on Kids Videos Already. It Hasn't.
  13. Nearly Every State Is Launching An Antitrust Investigation Of Google
  14. Juul Violated Federal Rules by Marketing Vaping Products as Safer Than Cigarettes, FDA Says
  15. If You Asked Equifax For $125, You Need To Update Your Request
  16. Dozens of Google Employees Say They Were Retaliated Against For Reporting Harassment
  17. The Feature-rich Vivaldi Browser Arrives on Android
  18. On Apple's Response To Google's Project Zero
  19. The Fake Town Where Everybody Knows Your Name
  20. How Apple Stacked the App Store With Its Own Products
  21. Biohackers Use a Raspberry Pi to Implant a Networked Hard Drive
  22. Ask Slashdot: How Can You Limit the Charging Range of Your Batteries?
  23. New Windows 10 Update Bugs Include Orange Screenshots

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

Artificial Leaf Produces First Drugs Using Sunlight

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from New Atlas: Making artificial versions of the humble leaf has been an ongoing area of research for decades and in a new breakthrough, researchers from the Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE) have fine-tuned their artificial leaf design and used it to produce drugs for the first time. Natural leaves are clever little machines. They collect sunlight, and that energy is then used by chlorophyll molecules to power a chemical reaction that turns CO2 and water into glucose. The plant uses this glucose for energy, and expels oxygen as a waste product. Artificial leaves are designed to mimic this process. They're made of translucent materials that allow sunlight in and direct it towards tiny microfluidic channels running through the material like veins. A certain liquid is flowing through these channels, and the idea is that the energy from the sunlight triggers a chemical reaction in that liquid, turning it into something useful like a drug or fuel.

The new artificial leaf design from TUE builds on the team's previous prototype, presented in 2016. Back then, the device was made of silicon rubber, but in the new version that's been replaced with Plexiglas for several reasons. [The material is cheaper and easier to manufacturer in larger quantities, has a higher refractive index, and can contain more types of light-sensitive molecules.] The leaf has started to earn its keep, too. The team put it to the test and found that it was able to successfully produce two different drugs: artimensinin, which is effective against malaria, and ascaridole, which is used against certain parasitic worms. Given its small size and scalability, the team says that the artificial leaf could eventually be used to produce drugs and other molecules right where they're needed.
The research was published in the journal Angewandte Chemie.

Re:Why?

By Errol backfiring • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

While genetic research has its merits, this research has its merits as well. With genetic engineering, you basically take an existing organism and tweak it. This may work, but may not be the best solution. With this in-depth research to the working of photosynthesis, it might be possible to overcome more restrictions posed by the host organism that would have been used in genetic engineering. Also, all organisms die, but a system like this might be maintained and kept productive for a longer time.

In short, I think this research is really interesting.

Bullshit summary

By Wdi • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

These artificial leaves did *NOT* "produce" drugs. It was just shown that they can perform a *single* photooxidation step on a complex, externally synthesized and provided precursor molecule. They can execute a *single* reaction from the sequence of dozens needed to build the drug molecule from simple starting materials. And the standard versions of the in-leaf reactions can be executed in technical photoreactors in a much more controlled and scalable fashion. This is just a proof of concept, certainly interesting technology, but decades away from a possible production application.

Re:Why?

By Whibla • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Since many plants already produce with genetic engineering we can modify natural plants to produce other chemistry

This could do with a little editing...

... why would we waste the energy and resources to support an artificial ecosystem?

Simplification of production, extraction and purification are just three reasons I can immediately think of off the top of my head.

Insulin was produced from e. coili to get control of a critical chemical and to produce precisely the same protein as human insulin, but it's proven vastly more expensive and of no notable medical benefit.

Insulin is being produced commercially, in yeast and bacteria, to this day. Not only is it considerably cheaper than sourcing it from animals, such as cows, it is also more convenient for industrial scales of production, easier to purify, and so on. It is also medically safer, as there's virtually no risk of an allergic reaction to it. Where exactly do you get your misinformation from?

What, precisely, is the motivation except perhaps extraordinarily expensive patents?

Patents expire. The method, not to mention the thrill of discovering something new, is eternal...

Is it to get better control of chemistry that will avoid current legislation as sports performance boosters or new, more easily pre-engineered intoxicants? Because I'm afraid I don't see the market for ordinary medical pharmacology, the prices will be multiplied by the new patents.

Better control of chemistry is a goal in itself, independent of the uses to which the method is eventually put. Dismissing research in a field you apparently know little about because you can't see a reason for it, or can't see the financial returns, doesn't really diminish the value of the research, I'm afraid to say. Perhaps you might be better served trying to regain your sense of wonder, rather than raging at a changing world...

New Prosthetic Legs Let Amputees Feel Their Foot and Knee In Real-Time

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
In a paper published in Nature Medicine today, researchers led by ETH Zurich describe how they modified an off-the-shelf prosthetic leg with sensors and electrodes to give wearers a sense of knee movement and feedback from the sole of the foot on the ground. Engadget reports: The researchers worked with two patients with above-the-knee, or transfemoral, amputations. They used an Ossur prosthetic leg, which comes with a microprocessor and an angle sensor in the knee joint, IEEE Spectrum explains. The team then added an insole with seven sensors to the foot. Those sensors transmit signals in real-time, via Bluetooth to a controller strapped to the user's ankle. An algorithm in the controller encodes the feedback into neural signals and delivers that to a small implant in the patient's tibial nerve, at the back of the thigh. The brain can then interpret those signals as feedback from the knee and foot.

The modified prosthetic helped the users walk faster, feel more confident and consume less oxygen -- an indication that it was less strenuous than traditional prosthesis. The team also tested activating the tibial nerve implant to relieve phantom limb pain. Both patients saw a significant reduction in pain after a few minutes of electrical stimulation, but they had to be connected to a device in a lab to receive the treatment. With more testing, the researchers hope they might be able to bring these technologies to more amputees and make both available outside of the lab.

Bluetooth?

By TFlan91 • Score: 3 • Thread

What?

Why do I need Bluetooth for communication between sensors on the bottom of a fake foot and the computer just a few inches above them?

This is just reckless.

Impressive

By 110010001000 • Score: 3 • Thread

That is a pretty impressive technological feat. I took an arrow to the knee once and this might benefit me.

Great!

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

Soon amputees will be able to stub their toes like the rest of us.

Re:Bluetooth?

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

Why do I need Bluetooth for communication between sensors on the bottom of a fake foot and the computer just a few inches above them?

I imagine it's because the prosthetic is detachable and the (presumably, low-power) implant is, well, implanted under the skin. In either case, wires would probably be inappropriate and a proximity antenna taped to the thigh would probably be cumbersome.

Thousands of Servers Infected With New Lilocked (Lilu) Ransomware

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Longtime Slashdot reader Merovech shares a report from ZDNet: Thousands of web servers have been infected and had their files encrypted by a new strain of ransomware named Lilocked (or Lilu). Infections have been happening since mid-July, and have intensified in the past two weeks, ZDNet has learned. Based on current evidence, the Lilocked ransomware appears to target Linux-based systems only. The way the Lilocked gang breaches servers and encrypts their content is currently unknown. A thread on a Russian-speaking forum puts forward the theory that crooks might be targeting systems running outdated Exim (email) software. It also mentions that the ransomware managed to get root access to servers by unknown means.

Lilocked doesn't encrypt system files, but only a small subset of file extensions, such as HTML, SHTML, JS, CSS, PHP, INI, and various image file formats. This means infected servers continue to run normally. According to French security researcher Benkow, Lilocked has encrypted more than 6,700 servers, many of which have been indexed and cached in Google search results. However, the number of victims is suspected to be much much higher. Not all Linux systems run web servers, and there are many other infected systems that haven't been indexed in Google search results.
Why it should scare you:
- affects Linux servers
- so far the vector of infection / vulnerability is unknown
- you can craft a Google search to watch it spread!

Re:Not New

By gweihir • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Plausible. Patching and a secure configuration are non-optional on Linux servers, just as they are on any other Internet-reachable systems.

Exim / Sendmail - Why?

By pipedwho • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Why would a distro include either of these mail servers in their default installation? They're both like a sieve when it comes to letting an attacker exploit the system. Especially when solutions exist that have been designed from the ground up with hardened security as their primary focus.

There's qmail (the original secure mail server system), but I don't recommend it since it is limited in functionality due to lack of active development (primary due to the original licensing clauses). But, I must say, there has never been a serious security exploit for this system.

And there's Postfix, which was also designed with security in mind, and is under active development. Since Postfix isn't as strict as qmail, it is much easier to configure into a reliable modern secure mail server.

Re:lilo ?

By dgatwood • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

When I saw the name, I thought, "Don't worry. Somebody in Dallas will create an unlocker that unlocks all the variants... and presumably call it the 'Lilu Dallas Multipass'."

And Postfix doesn't do everything wrong like Qmail

By raymorris • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Postfix is good.

DJB, the author of qmail, is REALLY hard to work with because his default position is always "devil's advocate". He's quite smart, but he always wants to do it the opposite of how it's normally done. If he built a car, without a doubt he'd put the brake on the left, accelerator on the right, and come up with a semi-plausible argument for why that's better. The headlight switch would be in the center of the dash and the radio controls would be on sticks behind the steering wheel, just because that's the opposite of how most cars are built. He'd come up with an argument for why it's better to reverse it from what you're accustomed to.

That's what he did with qmail. Anything you expect of a Unix / Linux software, qmail is the other way around. A lot of this stuff there is no clear right or wrong. It doesn't matter if the brake or the accelerator is on the left - it matters more that it's consistent. Qmail author DJB considers "consistent with how things normally are" to be a problem.

Just as an example, normally, and by multiple official standards, the directory layout is: /usr/bin for executables /var for system data /etc for configuration

None of that is true for qmail.

If you're like me, you'll find qmail really annoying.

Re:Watching it spread in Google

By Dan East • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

That search requires the web server to be configured to show directory listings, which very, very few do now. That would vastly reduce the number of hits in google.

Gas Plants Will Get Crushed By Wind, Solar By 2035, Study Says

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
According to a new study from the Rocky Mountain Institute, natural gas-fired power plants are on the path to being undercut themselves by renewable power and big batteries. Bloomberg reports: By 2035, it will be more expensive to run 90% of gas plants being proposed in the U.S. than it will be to build new wind and solar farms equipped with storage systems, according to the report. It will happen so quickly that gas plants now on the drawing boards will become uneconomical before their owners finish paying for them, the study said. The development would be a dramatic reversal of fortune for gas plants, which 20 years ago supplied less than 20% of electricity in the U.S. Today that share has jumped to 35% as hydraulic fracturing has made natural gas cheap and plentiful, forcing scores of coal plants to close nationwide.

The authors of the study say they analyzed the costs of construction, fuel and anticipated operations for 68 gigawatts of gas plants proposed across the U.S. They compared those costs to building a combination of solar farms, wind plants and battery systems that, together with conservation efforts, could supply the same amount of electricity and keep the grid stable. As gas plants lose their edge in power markets, the economics of pipelines will suffer, too, RMI said in a separate study Monday. Even lines now in the planning stages could soon be out of the money, the report found.

Don't trust anyone that ignores nuclear power.

By blindseer • Score: 3 • Thread

From the Washington post.
https://www.washingtonpost.com...

Nuclear power is certainly not risk-free. While anti-nuclear activists often exaggerate the extent of the risks, there are small chances that nuclear plants can release radioactive gas into the air. Nuclear waste disposal also poses health and safety threats, as the half-life of spent nuclear fuel can last decades or even millennia. These are not trivial risks.

They pale, however, in comparison with the projected risks posed by climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report last fall saying climate change will be irreversible unless immediate action is taken to reduce carbon emissions by 2030. Candidates have taken this to heart: Warren says climate change is an âoeexistential challenge,â and Sanders says âoewe have less than 11 years left to transform our energy system away from fossil fuels ... if we are going to leave our planet healthy and habitable.â Given this rhetoric, arenâ(TM)t the risks from nuclear power well worth taking?

This prediction of wind and solar power "crushing" natural gas in the near future is based on assumptions that may not come true. We will need a "Plan B" because we don't have a "Planet B".

If these politicians believe nuclear power to be a greater risk than global warming then I believe them to be exceedingly ignorant on the topic.

Re:Didn't you hear? Elizabeth Warren hates nuclear

By weilawei • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Well, that's a shame.

I am disappointed to see otherwise intelligent and knowledgeable people fail to grasp just how different nuclear power is. The potential energy in nuclear materials is (often literally) astonomically greater than that contained in far more polluting fuel sources--that pollute by inefficiency in raw materials use, requiring strip mining, or by directly releasing carbon.

Frankly, I like the Earth. I'd really like to use the super dense, ultra clean fuel we have in a modern, sanely designed reactor (that, yanno, doesn't use an explosive as its coolant when things go poorly), so we can damage as little of it--atmosphere, land, and ocean--as possible.

Re:Oh price will totally be an issue.

By hey! • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

The problem with the flying car isn't government regulation. The problem is that nobody has ever managed to make one comes close to living up to your imagination. Now *electricity* is a well-entrenched and in fact growing market, and unlike every other way of using energy nobody cares what form that energy originally took; all they care is what they pay. This means we aren't dependent upon any single provider, which promotes competition.

We spend a lot of money on fossil fuels, both to obtain them and secure our supply of them. We take mountains and grind them to rubble to get at coal and shale; we shatter the crust of the Earth to get at gas and oil. We build millions of miles of pipeline across inhospitable land, expropriating the property of the people along the way. And we spend the lives of our children to secure our supply of fossil fuels from short-term price fluctuations. We don't have to kiss the Saudi's ass to get their oil. It does them no good in the ground so in the end they're going to sell it. Yet they've got us by the short and curlies because we can't tolerate a short-term rise in oil prices.

The only reason these things don't seem ridiculous to us is that it's the status quo. But that doesn't mean it's cheap; it has cost us and continues to cost us just to keep running in place. A future with millions of acres of windmills,and vast photovoltaic, geothermal, and hydropower installations will cost us dearly too, but if it happens that won't seem any stranger to us than what we are doing now.

Re: right now price is not the issue

By swillden • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

But the bigger offset is that we generally consume less in winter than summer. So the rise and fall of the demand will destructively reduce the wave of the supply. If anything, I think we got more problems covering summer's demand rather than storage of the excess in winter.

Maybe. The structure of the demand side is going to change, too. The growth of electric vehicles will generate more demand year-round, with less seasonal variation. And then there's heating, which is currently nearly all fossil-fueled, with fuel oil in some regions and natural gas / propane elsewhere. If that goes electric, even if it's based on heat pumps (perhaps with ground loops), then winter demand is going to be high. I expect that heating and air travel will be the last sectors to de-carbonize, and maybe the answer will be to use biofuels to achieve carbon neutrality there, rather than move all of that infrastructure to electricity.

Re: right now price is not the issue

By Elledan • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
Electricity usage in Europe rises during winter, as it is commonly used for heating in countries like France and the Scandinavian countries.

We also experience a phenomenon called 'Dunkelflaute' during winter, whereby there's negligible solar production due to severely overcast weather and short days and no wind. This can last for weeks on end.

You need storage to bridge this. Storage which can bridge the entire electricity needs of Europe for a month at the very least.

Amazon Employees Are Walking Out Over the Company's Huge Carbon Footprint

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard: With less than two weeks until the global climate strikes, 930 tech and corporate Amazon employees have pledged to walk out of the company's offices on September 20, demanding zero emissions by 2030. The climate action, which follows strikes at Amazon warehouses, most recently on Amazon Prime Day, marks the first time white collar Amazon employees have staged a walkout.

Workers with the group Amazon Employees for Climate Justice are demanding that the company adopt a resolution to eliminate its massive carbon footprint by 2030. Compared to other tech giants, Amazon, which ships billions of packages each year and controls a huge portion of the cloud computing market, has come under particular scrutiny for its carbon emissions. On September 20, the biggest day of the weeklong climate strike taking place in 117 countries, Amazon employees in Seattle will walk out of their offices at 11:30 a.m., gather at the giant glass spheres at the center of Amazon's corporate campus, then march to city hall to rally with youth climate activists. An internal call for action that began circulating among employees on September 4 received around 930 pledges as of September 8, Read said.
"Playing a significant role in helping to reduce the sources of human-induced climate change is an important commitment for Amazon," an Amazon spokesperson told Motherboard in response to news of the walkout. "We have dedicated sustainability teams who have been working for years on initiatives to reduce our environmental impact. Earlier this year, we announced Shipment Zero - Amazon's vision to make all Amazon shipments net zero carbon, with 50% of all shipments net zero by 2030."

"Over the past decade through our sustainable packaging programs, we've eliminated more than 244,000 tons of packaging materials and avoided 500 million shipping boxes," the Amazon spokesperson continued. "To track our progress on this journey and as part of an overall commitment to sharing our sustainability goals, we plan to share Amazon's company-wide carbon footprint, along with related goals and programs, later this year. This follows an extensive project over the past few years to develop an advanced scientific model to carefully map our carbon footprint to provide our business teams with detailed information helping them identify ways to reduce carbon use in their businesses."

Microsoft workers in Seattle will also participate in the walkout. Google workers could join too.

Re:Their footprint may be large

By EmagGeek • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

You're asking climate zealots to look at the big picture. Please stop.

930 workers...

By BytePusher • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
930 workers will suddenly find themselves under performance review. Initially they'll believe they have 6 months to right the ship, but within a month they'll be on the chopping block. Amazon does not tolerate anything resembling collective action, aka Unions.

not the problem

By slashmydots • Score: 3 • Thread
The unwise choices for sources of energy at the actual problem. A company using a lot of energy is not. Electric car owners are not responsible for their city's choice to burn coal down the street instead of gasoline in their own car engine, making it a complete waste of effort. It's the irresponsible government choices that put up the coal plant. The carbon problem would be completely solved and everyone could waste all the energy they wanted whenever they wanted if renewable, clean sources were rolled out virtually universally.
Until then, screaming at energy users to help make up for the fact that power plant construction companies are irresponsible idiots and how we all need to help cover for them by using less energy is IDIOTIC.

Slow News Day?

By Jarwulf • Score: 3 • Thread
What percentage of Amazon's work force is 930 people? I'm pretty sure you could find 930 people in amazon at least vaguely sympathetic to hitler. More 'movement out of molehill' journalism.

Re:Their footprint may be large

By sabbede • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
Oh, and you know better than the high school students the employees are walking out to join? Teenagers are pretty on-the-ball, and widely known for making good, well-informed, long-term choices, right?

NYC Mayor and Presidential Hopeful Bill De Blasio Wants a Tax On Robots

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
In an opinion article published last week on Wired, New York City Mayor and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Bill de Blasio said as president he would issue a robot tax for corporations displacing humans and would create a federal agency to oversee automation. CNET reports: "The scale of automation in our economy is increasing far faster than most people realize, and its impact on working people in America and across the world, unless corralled, will be devastating," de Blasio wrote. De Blasio would call the new regulator the Federal Automation and Worker Protection Agency, which would safeguard jobs and communities. In addition, his proposed "robot tax" would be imposed on large companies that eliminate jobs as they become more automated. The tax would be equal to five years of payroll taxes for each employee eliminated, according to De Blasio.

Robots move

By Kohath • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

"Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it."

- R. Reagan

Don't forget capital depreciation

By g01d4 • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
From an MIT Tech Review link:

...by not taxing the machines as we currently tax human labor, we're actually subsidizing robots heavily. We even provide tax incentives for more robots in the form of capital depreciation. So the argument isn't to tax robots directly - it's to more fairly tax capital equipment, which includes robots.

Reagan's trickle-down view is failing

By Tablizer • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

We may need a degree of "make work" socialism to avoid mass riots. There don't seem to be enough lower-end jobs to replace those lost to automation and overseas outsourcing. Think Occupy-Wall-Street on steroids.

During the boom years of the "business cycle" perhaps there are enough jobs for High School graduates, but during slumps the choices may be too slim. And trickle-down isn't working.

I for one welcome our robot underlords

By Tablizer • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

This will just make America a very unattractive country to set up manufacturing jobs.

It already is. The "best" places for manufacturing allow mass polluting and horrid working conditions. Also known as "commie slaves". Arguably we shouldn't permit trade with countries that allow such.

Perhaps we can milk our robot "slaves" if we can rid the idea of "job or death". We have wonderful machines to do most of the grunt work of society, why not leverage that and free up human time!

The ancient Greeks advanced art, science, philosophy, and math because they had war captives as slaves, freeing many to ponder the Universe. We potentially are in a similar position except the "slaves" are robots.

Lets ponder ways to rework the economy so humans have more spare time and bots do most the grunt work. If somebody proves that's not mathematically possible, I'd like to see the proof. Otherwise, it's worth exploring. Trying to resurrect the past may be a dead end. The factories ain't coming back and bots will soon be flipping burgers and driving trucks.

Re:Looks like a great idea; impossible to audit

By CrimsonAvenger • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

The scale is like never before

Umm, no.

We went from 80+% farmers to 5% farmers. I'm pretty sure that 75% of our workforce is not unemployed, so obviously we found something for 3/4 of the population to do that was reasonably productive. And I don't see any reason to believe that robots are going to put even half the country out of work, much less 3/4 of it....

YouTube Creators Are Turning the Site Into a Podcast Network

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Several popular YouTubers -- including including Logan Paul, Marques Brownlee, and Emma Chamberlain -- have launched podcasts in the last year, " proving YouTube is a bonafide podcast network," writes Alex Castro via The Verge. "They're all available through traditional audio platforms, like Apple Podcasts and Spotify, but many also offer video versions that live on dedicated YouTube channels where they've become incredibly popular." From the report: These creators have figured out how to make podcasts work on a platform that wasn't designed for them, leveraging YouTube's search algorithm to meet new audiences, make more money, and expand into a medium that's expected to grow rapidly in the coming years. Some of the top podcasts on YouTube are pulling in millions of views every few days or weeks. Top shows, like Ethan and Hila Klein's H3 Podcast or Joe Rogan's Joe Rogan Experience, have dedicated audiences who use YouTube notifications as an RSS feed, letting them know when a new episode is available to watch. While the podcasts are also distributed via Spotify and Apple Podcasts, YouTube acts as a first stop.

To reach even bigger audiences, YouTubers have figured out that they can break their show into pieces and spread it across multiple channels. H3 Podcast, Cody Ko and Noel Miller's Tiny Meat Gang, and The Joe Rogan Experience run as full-length episodes on their main podcast channel, but those episodes are then broken down into tiny individual cuts. These cuts, often referred to as clips or highlights, exist on a completely separate channel. They're also arguably more important when it comes to using YouTube as a way to grow the podcast. The H3 Podcast uses one of the most popular takes on the "YouTube podcast" format. Ethan and Hila Klein have three channels: H3H3 Productions (6 million subscribers), H3 Podcast (2 million subscribers), and H3 Podcast Highlights (1.3 million subscribers). The main channel is used for longer commentary pieces, special collaborations, and comedic sketches, but the latter two are solely dedicated to the podcast. Creating a separate channel for clips lets podcasters take advantage of YouTube's recommendation algorithm, which surfaces content on specific subjects a viewer is already interested in.

What's special about podcasts?

By Livius • Score: 3 • Thread

To the extent YouTube has a constructive purpose, this is exactly what YouTube was always supposed to be. And there's not a lot of difference between a audio monologue/dialogue versus an audio-visual monologue/dialogue. What makes good content is ideas and information; sometimes visuals are essential but often they're merely embellishments.

Except cat videos; those are about the visuals.

Not the creators

By Rockoon • Score: 3 • Thread
Its not the creators that have turned youtube into their podcast dump, its youtubes demonetization policies, redirected-monetization policies, and completely broken and hostile "copyright strike" system that have done that.

Its become easier to sell a coffee mug that nobody actually needs than to get a penny out of google.

Turn youtube into a what?

By QuietLagoon • Score: 3 • Thread
Oh please. Using youtube for podcasts is merely the fad du jour. Next year youtube will be turning into some other type of network. And the year after, yet a different type of network.

.
youtube is a general purpose network. It can, and will, be used in many different ways.

Web Scraping Doesn't Violate Anti-Hacking Law, Appeal Court Rules

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Scraping a public website without the approval of the website's owner isn't a violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, an appeals court ruled on Monday. The ruling comes in a legal battle that pits Microsoft-owned LinkedIn against a small data-analytics company called hiQ Labs. HiQ scrapes data from the public profiles of LinkedIn users, then uses the data to help companies better understand their own workforces. After tolerating hiQ's scraping activities for several years, LinkedIn sent the company a cease-and-desist letter in 2017 demanding that hiQ stop harvesting data from LinkedIn profiles. Among other things, LinkedIn argued that hiQ was violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, America's main anti-hacking law.

This posed an existential threat to hiQ because the LinkedIn website is hiQ's main source of data about clients' employees. So hiQ sued LinkedIn, seeking not only a declaration that its scraping activities were not hacking but also an order banning LinkedIn from interfering. A trial court sided with hiQ in 2017. On Monday, the 9th Circuit Appeals Court agreed with the lower court, holding that the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act simply doesn't apply to information that's available to the general public. [...] By contrast, hiQ is only scraping information from public LinkedIn profiles. By definition, any member of the public has authorization to access this information. LinkedIn argued that it could selectively revoke that authorization using a cease-and-desist letter. But the 9th Circuit found this unpersuasive. Ignoring a cease-and-desist letter isn't analogous to hacking into a private computer system.
"The CFAA was enacted to prevent intentional intrusion onto someone else's computer -- specifically computer hacking," a three-judge panel wrote. The court notes that members debating the law repeatedly drew analogies to physical crimes like breaking and entering. In the 9th Circuit's view, this implies that the CFAA only applies to information or computer systems that were private to start with -- something website owners typically signal with a password requirement.

The court notes that when the CFAA was first enacted in the 1980s, it only applied to certain categories of computers that had military, financial, or other sensitive data. "None of the computers to which the CFAA initially applied were accessible to the general public," the court writes. "Affirmative authorization of some kind was presumptively required."

How is it proprietary if you make it public?

By SuperKendall • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

I am really glad to see this ruling, way too many companies want to publicly put data on websites that anyone can access, but then act like its confidental.

If you are going to put data up for all to see anyone should be allowed to examine and make use of that in other contexts.

not at all what the opinion is about

By supernova87a • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
That is *not* what this court ruled. It would be nice to get someone with kindergarten legal understanding to check these stories first. What this court ruled on was that the arguments being made by LinkedIn weren't persuasive enough to let them continue blocking HiQ or prevent this case from going to trial.

But this case is so ridiculous on multiple fronts that although this procedural ruling (injunction) seems technically correct (to allow the case to proceed to actual court), it could just as well have been thrown out with no difference in or ultimate harm to the parties.

First, LinkedIn makes the claim that its users have a right to privacy against scraping by such a 3rd party. That's laughable. As the court saw, their whole business model is made on people sharing their profiles broadly and mostly to the public.

Secondly, HiQ claims that LinkedIn's efforts to stop it from using the data are tortious interference. That's bold -- suppose someone is taking your assets (you believe illegally) and selling them to others -- can you imagine the gall that the person taking your assets can sue you for interfering with their subsequent sale of your assets?

Finally, that LinkedIn resorted to using the computer fraud and anti-terrorism statutes to make their argument is ridiculous.

So much craziness to go around. I would've just tossed the case, but I guess there is the whole bit about due process... Maybe HiQ will fail anyway at the next substantive trial, but what a waste of time.

Re:not at all what the opinion is about

By Retired ICS • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

"Secondly, HiQ claims that LinkedIn's efforts to stop it from using the data are tortious interference. That's bold -- suppose someone is taking your assets (you believe illegally) and selling them to others -- can you imagine the gall that the person taking your assets can sue you for interfering with their subsequent sale of your assets? "

This is bullshit.

A more correct analogy would be that someone is BUYING something you are offering for sale at the price you are offering to sell them for, but then RESELLING them at a higher price by bundling them with something else which adds value. In such a case, refusing to continue to do business with the party of the first part (the one buying what you are offering for sale under the conditions on which you are making the offer) is, in fact, tortuous interference.

In this particular case, LinkedIn is "selling" their assets for free, and the bundled value added product is the additional analysis provided by HiQ.

More interesting, does not the threat to commence proceedings under the CFAA by LinkedIn if HiQ does not cease and desist their activity constitute the crime of extortion? If not, then why not? It certainly would qualify as extortion here in Canada.

robots.txt ?

By oneiros27 • Score: 3 • Thread

The article is rather lacking in details.

I assume LinkedIn had a robots.txt file, and hiQ tried to get around it. LinkedIn would also have had some sort of EULA.

For those who haven't managed web servers -- robots.txt was from the early days, where you'd list the pages that you didn't want web crawlers to scrape. It's roughly equivalent to 'no photography allowed' signs in a museum. You could you specify the name of the bot, and then the pages that bot was blocked from looking at. It wasn't supposed to be so you could favor one search engine over another ... it was because there were some that were well behaved, and others that would just run amuck and DOS your server)

The problem was that you ended up listing all of the places that you *didn't* want people looking. So it might be that you were blocking off a bunch of CGIs that were expensive to run if they weren't called with the right POST, but most people would also list the password protected bits of their website. (and in those days, there were a ton of sites using basic auth)

But there were lots of unsavory scrapers out there (eg, ones looking for e-mail addresses), so some of us would do things like redirect them to a page saying that we know they're a bot, and they should go away ... and then give a long loop with sleep() and slowly printing out bogus e-mail addresses. (with some that had a legit server, but if anyone ever sent e-mail to it, we black-holed the server it came from)

It wasn't until many, many years later that someone came up with 'sitemaps' to tell automated tools what pages there were on a given site, and how often search engines should check them.

To the best of my knowledge, there's never been a court case to say that robots.txt is legally binding, and if ignoring it counts as trespass or otherwise stealing services. But you'd also have to make a judgement on EULAs on websites that allow you to get information without creating an account. Is it like a 'shrink wrap' agreement, where you're automatically bound to it? How obvious or in-your-face do websites have to make it so it's enforceable?

Anyway, there are lots of bad analogies out there for what's being done here. I'm not sure which it closest -- it's not quite like taking pictures in a museum and selling prints, unless we're dealing with stuff so old it's out of copyright. Maybe it's closer to taking pictures through someone's windows. ... but without knowing what LinkedIn tried to do to stop the other company, and what the other group did to avoid LinkedIn's measures, I can't tell if hiQ was in the right, downright obnoxious, potentially illegal, or just a little bit sleazy.

Microsoft Redesigns To Do App To Make it Look More Like its Wunderlist Predecessor

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader shares a report: When Microsoft bought 6Wunderkinder, the developer of Wunderlist, in 2015, officials said they planned to shut down that task-management app at some point and replace it with its own To Do app. That move still hasn't happened. But this week, Microsoft is rolling out a redesign of To Do that attempts to make it look more like Wunderlist. On September 9, Microsoft introduced the redesigned To Do, which has smaller headers and more colors. The app is more customizable now with a variety of backgrounds, "including the beloved Berlin TV tower that was a feature in Wunderlist." The app can sync across Mac, iOS, Android, Windows and the Web. And it integrates with Microsoft work or school email accounts; hosted email accounts like Outlook, Hotmail or Live; Microsoft Planner; and Microsoft Launcher on Android. Just so it happens, last week Wunderlist founder Christian Reber said that he'd like to buy Wunderlist back from Microsoft. Today he tweeted "GREAT timing," in regards to Microsoft's To Do makeover.

Someone Just Moved $1B in Bitcoin

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
A $1 billion Bitcoin transaction has become conspicuous not because of its size but because its sender spent far too much on fees. From a report: Someone could have sent 94K BTC for $35. Social media users were guessing at the origin and destination of the funds on Sept. 6, which involved 94,504 BTC ($1.018 billion). According to Twitter-based monitoring resource Whale Alert, the transaction did not involve known wallets or those belonging to a specific cryptocurrency-related organization, such as an exchange.

One theory suggested the funds may be tied to institutional trading platform Bakkt, which begins accepting client deposits today. "Institutions building inventory for their market-making needs going forward," commented Max Keiser on the giant transaction. He added: "This = effective 'put' on the BTC price at $9,000. Ie, institutions are net-buyers of any BTC that shows up at $9k. Risk/reward now for buyers is excellent."

Another founder skips?

By ghoul • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

In other news , the founder of was found dead by his wife/girlfriend who has no idea of his passwords. 1 Billion in Bitcoin was found to be missing from the depository accounts. /s

What?! nine thousand?

By Z80a • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

This bitcoin display must be broken!

Suspiciuous

By enriquevagu • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

has become conspicuous not because of its size but because its sender spent far too much on fees

Seriously? TFL indicates that the fee was around $700. That's a 0.00007% of the transaction amount. They suggest that it could be generated by a bank with high interest in buying BTC, this fee is worth nothing to them.

Possibilities

By Tablizer • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

1. Mexico is about to pay for the wall

2. Someone's paying up a bet on the Indian moon lander

3. A big investment in Sharpie stocks

4. A decimal typo

How Top-Valued Microsoft Has Avoided the Big Tech Backlash

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple are targets of government investigations and public outrage, facing accusations that they abuse their power in various ways, from exploiting personal information to stifling rivals. Conspicuously absent from most of that criticism? Microsoft, a tech company worth more than them all. From a report: The software giant, valued at more than $1 trillion by investors, is no stranger to government scrutiny and public criticism. It endured years of antitrust investigations, and faced a long public trial that almost split up the company. In the end, Microsoft paid billions in fines and settlements, and absorbed humbling lessons. But its "Evil Empire" moniker, once a label favored by the company's critics, has fallen by the wayside.

Market shifts and the evolution of Microsoft's business over the years help explain the transformation. It is less a consumer company than its peers. For example, Microsoft's Bing search engine and LinkedIn professional network sell ads, but the company as a whole is not dependent on online advertising and the harvesting of personal data, unlike Facebook and Google. [...] But Microsoft has also undergone a corporate personality change over the years, becoming more outward looking and seeking the views of policymakers, critics and competitors. That shift has been guided by Brad Smith, Microsoft's president, diplomat-in-residence and emissary to the outside world. In a new book, Mr. Smith makes the case for a new relationship between the tech sector and government -- closer cooperation and challenges for each side. "When your technology changes the world," he writes, "you bear a responsibility to help address the world that you have helped create." And governments, he writes, "need to move faster and start to catch up with the pace of technology."

How have they avoided the problem?

By Locke2005 • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
One of the biggest things Microsoft has going for it is the ability to change, relatively quickly. Lately, they have been adopting and improving open source where it fits into their larger aims (i.e. git). Also, Microsoft's business model still involves selling software, hardware, and server space, unlike Google and Facebook that are advertising supported. Microsoft is a direct competitor to Apple, though, it should be suffering all the same problems that Apple is, e.g. from doing all their manufacturing in China.

Re:Microsoft and goalposts

By onyxruby • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

I remember posting on Slashdot about the need for the government to go after Microsoft during their monopoly trial. The Microsoft back then and the Microsoft today are very different companies. Microsoft certainly still has their faults, but I think it is safe to say that they have done a lot to clean up their monopolistic act. The following come to mind off the top of my head:

Microsoft has gone from trying to extinguish open source to actually being the largest corporate contributor to it in the world
https://www.techrepublic.com/a...

Microsoft has gone from doing everything they can to stop Linux to hosting more Linux on Azure than they do Windows:
https://www.zdnet.com/article/...

Microsoft has gone from being one of the worst security offenders to being one of the better ones and participating in the community: https://www.microsoft.com/secu...

I think the average person today is far more worried about google than they are microsoft.

Re:And yet Win10 is just a roomba in drag

By smooth wombat • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
What data is being collected and how is it being used? Please cite.

Here is their "privacy" statement which outlines what they are collecting. Here's a little snip:

Microsoft collects data from you, through our interactions with you and through our products for a variety of purposes described below, including to operate effectively and provide you with the best experiences with our products. You provide some of this data directly, such as when you create a Microsoft account, administer your organizationâ(TM)s licensing account, submit a search query to Bing, register for a Microsoft event, speak a voice command to Cortana, upload a document to OneDrive, purchase an MSDN subscription, sign up for Office 365, or contact us for support. We get some of it by collecting data about your interactions, use, and experience with our products and communications.

And there's this little gem in the preceding paragraph:

Many of our products require some personal data to provide you with a service. If you choose not to provide data required to provide you with a product or feature, you cannot use that product or feature.

No, Microsoft does not need my personal data to use a service. The only thing they need is an email account, at best.

So what's your next excuse about them collecting data and using it as they see fit?

Re:MS is a Steaming Pile

By alvinrod • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Microsoft has also changed their business model. With something like Azure they don't really care whether you run Linux or not, they just want to be the ones to host it for you. Microsoft has realized that there are going to be some people who just don't want to run Windows, but that doesn't have to mean that Microsoft can't do business with them or sell them other services or products to turn a profit. They also ditched almost all of the old guard from upper management positions, so you don't have people like Gates or Balmer at the helm that insist everything everywhere be a Microsoft product and go to any extent to accomplish that.

Similarly there aren't the kinds of people running their divisions that will gladly sabotage new products in the most boneheaded ways like insisting that a Tablet PC run Windows and have a Start button/menu even though the UI on such a device won't be controlled with a keyboard and mouse. I'd read an article from one of the developers who worked on Microsoft's early tablets (circa late-90's, early-00's) who said that they had come up with a really good interface, but it got axed because the person running the Windows division insisted that everything had to have similar form/function even though it sucked doing that on a tablet. Just pure ego-driven incompetence that lead to a decade of stagnation and let Apple steal the market away with the iPad.

The Microsoft of today is just standard corporate evil. They're going to dick you over on pricing and might make it a little more difficult to move off of their platform than they actually have to, but they're not 90's Microsoft that would viciously attack anything that might be a new market for them to exploit. Gates wanted it all. It was pretty evident from the address they chose for the corporate office: 1 Microsoft Way. Of course this kind of strategy just makes a disjointed mess of a company, and Microsoft didn't always win so much as they made everybody lose. Satya Nadella has realized it's better to do focused business and create an ecosystem where everyone can earn a buck that Microsoft might only get a few pennies of themselves instead of trying to cut everyone else out and spending a lot of money trying to push out yet another project that needs to be supported.

Very short memory

By VeryFluffyBunny • Score: 3 • Thread
It appears that the author has a very short memory. Wasn't it only just recently that the German government was declaring Windows 10 unfit for purpose because of its baked-in, GDPR-violating user surveillance? US govt. may have forgotten about Microsoft's prior transgressions but in the EU, they're not letting them off the hook that easily.

YouTube Promised To Halt Comments on Kids Videos Already. It Hasn't.

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
A pedophilia scandal compelled YouTube to vow to suspend comments on videos with kids age 13 and younger. Six months later, comments are still easy to find. From a report: YouTube is about to reposition how its massive online video service treats clips for children. Following a record $170 million penalty, announced Wednesday, for violating kids' data privacy, Google's YouTube pledged to disable comments, notifications and personalized ads on all videos directed at children. And its machine learning will police YouTube's sprawling catalog to keep kids videos in line, the company said. One problem: YouTube's machine learning was supposed to be suspending comments on videos featuring young minors already. It hasn't.

Comment-enabled videos prominently depicting young kids are still easy to find on YouTube. A single YouTube search for one kids-focused subject -- "pretend play" -- returned more than 100 videos with comments enabled, all prominently featuring infants, preschoolers and other children young enough to still have their baby teeth. After CNET contacted YouTube with a list of these videos, comments were disabled on nearly half of them.

I see what happened here . . .

By PolygamousRanchKid • Score: 3 • Thread

One problem: YouTube's machine learning was supposed to be suspending comments on videos featuring young minors already. It hasn't.

The machine learning backfired and transformed the AI system into a pedophile instead!

Re: Indeed

By DarkOx • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Actually banning minors from using the internet seems quite sensible. Treat it like alcohol in most states make it legal to serve (supervise) your own child in your own home but leave complete responsibility for anything a minor does online with the parent/guardian.

Re: Indeed

By Malays Boweman • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
But it's too much for to ask parents to take responsibility for their own kids, especially with an overzealous CPS that routinely misses real abuse cases and 'feewings'. A kid's school chums have more authority than they do. That's why we get these stupid "think of the children" rules and laws only a true brownshirt could love.

Re: Oh no the peedoez!

By Opportunist • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

On some videos, the comments are actually the entertaining bits.

Seriously, what other reason is there for flat earth videos?

Re: Indeed

By CrimsonAvenger • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Actually banning minors from using the internet seems quite sensible. Treat it like alcohol in most states make it legal to serve (supervise) your own child in your own home but leave complete responsibility for anything a minor does online with the parent/guardian.

Actually banning minors from reading books seems quite sensible....

Or not. And keeping kids from using the internet is just as bad an idea....

Nearly Every State Is Launching An Antitrust Investigation Of Google

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Attorneys general for 50 U.S. states and territories today officially announced an antitrust investigation of Google, embarking on a wide-ranging review of a company that Democrats and Republicans said may threaten competition and consumers. From a report: The bipartisan group, led by Ken Paxton, the Republican attorney general of Texas, referred to Google as an "online search juggernaut," on the steps of the Supreme Court. State regulators from California, where Google is based, and Alabama did not join the probe. In a blog post published on Friday, Google senior vice president of global affairs Kent Walker wrote, "We have always worked constructively with regulators and we will continue to do so."States have the ability to levy fines or receive damages from companies found to be engaging in anticompetitive practices but, according to Matt Stoller, a fellow at the Open Markets Institute, the most important aspect of the investigation is that it will reveal how exactly Google works. "The trial is the remedy. Exposing the deals and how the companies use customer data, etc, will have a salutary effect," Stoller told BuzzFeed News.

Dear Google

By bobstreo • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

As you may know, 2020 is a very important election year, and your continued support is desperately needed.

Signed

  50 States attorneys and a couple political parties,

Anti-trust investigation against my state

By jfdavis668 • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
I'm launching an anti-trust investigation against my state. They seem to have a monopoly on government around here. I want to have a good range of governments to choice from. I'm sick of having to deal with the one we are stuck with.

Ignoring the real monopoly

By Comboman • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
If I want to, I can find alternatives to Google (DuckDuckGo, Bing...) and Facebook (MeWe, Diaspora...), but in much of the country there is only a single internet provider. If you're lucky, there's two; one owned by the cable TV monopoly and the other owned by the telephone monopoly, and each in turn owned by a giant media conglomerate like AT&T-Time-Warner or Comcast-NBC-Universal. These media empires are determined to own not just all the content but the all the channels for delivering it. This is what anit-trust legislators should be focusing on.

Re:Google? What about Facebook and Amazon?

By twocows • Score: 4 • Thread
We're talking about antitrust suits, which means we're talking about monopolistic behavior. Being big doesn't make one a monopoly; very specific behaviors do. Now, I'm going off my old high school education here, so I may be missing a few things, but two of the big points I remember being taught were horizontal integration (buying up all the competition in a particular market) and vertical integration (buying out your entire supply chain so you don't have to rely on others for any part).

None of these three companies are fully horizontally or vertically integrated. They all have other competitors in their primary markets and the bulk of their services are computer services and none of them mine their own materials or manufacture their own computer chips.

Facebook's bought out both Instagram and Whatsapp, so they're doing a bit of horizontal integration, but there's plenty of other competition in the social media market; it's not as though they're the only player. I don't think they're in any danger of running afoul of antitrust suits.

Google's the third (fourth?) biggest cloud services provider and the biggest ad services provider. They're able to self-host a lot of their web services on their cloud hosting and most of their other services are there to host ads on. However, they're not really making any further moves to take ownership of the other parts of their supply chain, and while they're the biggest ad services provider, they're far from the only one. I think they'll probably be able to resist this.

Amazon's the biggest cloud services provider (EC2/AWS), the biggest digital marketplace (Amazon), and they've got a substantial first party delivery network, though it's not their only delivery option. They've got substantial vertical integration going on, though they still don't manufacture their own goods or the hardware that hosts their services, so it's not as though they're fully vertically integrated.

This is all layman's understanding of antitrust regulations based on a high school education from over a decade ago, so take it with a grain of salt. My main point is that you can have a big company that does awful things (Facebook) and still not run afoul of antitrust laws. You have to remember that antitrust laws were set up to bust the big trusts that owned all of the supply chain, from mining to point of sale, or bought out all of the competition in a market and then sold at a massive loss to cause the remaining competition to go out of business before jacking prices back up to way above what they were originally. These are the kinds of behaviors antitrust laws try to curb, and they're very specific. Being big and bad doesn't necessarily mean you're engaged in monopolistic behavior.

Just run uMatrix to see how integrated Google is

By kalpol • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
You'll see in almost every major website at least one call to Google APIs, Google Fonts, Google analytics, they are everywhere. Now people are posting Google Amp links instead of real links, because that's the default when you copy a link from Google Chrome, it appears. They are creating more and more ways to keep you within the Google infrastructure with the search result cards and Amp links.

Juul Violated Federal Rules by Marketing Vaping Products as Safer Than Cigarettes, FDA Says

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Juul Labs, the dominant e-cigarette company, violated federal regulations by selling its vaping products as a safe alternative to traditional tobacco cigarettes without approval from the Food and Drug Administration, the agency said in a warning letter on Monday. From a report: The F.D.A. issued its warning amid a public health crisis over more than 400 cases of vaping-related lung illnesses that have hospitalized many young teenagers and adults, and possibly five deaths. Public health investigators have yet to determine a specific cause, but have cited the use of both cannabis-related and nicotine vaping products from a number of companies as possible suspects. The agency's warning letter to Juul follows a lengthy inquiry into the company's marketing and sales practices, as well as a review of congressional testimony from Juul executives, consumers -- including students and parents -- and antismoking advocates. Under federal law, companies are not permitted to market products as safer than cigarettes or a safe alternative without proving those claims to the F.D.A.

Re:I don't get it

By garyisabusyguy • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Also, THC is not a downer, i.e. it does not suppress the central nervous system and no quantity will suppress autonomous breathing functions like any actual downers (this is what makes them deadly).

It should be against the law to advertise this...

By Arzaboa • Score: 3 • Thread

I would like to see, across the board, no more marketing for drugs in the United States.

If someone needs something, doctors should be recommending things to their patients. Not the other way around. Not through mass marketing.

--
America's health care system is neither healthy, caring, nor a system. - Walter Cronkite

Marketing not telling the truth?

By nospam007 • Score: 3 • Thread

Call me shocked!

Re:Is Juul nicotine from tobacco? Or not?

By garyisabusyguy • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Yes, that is why, when it is currently applied to strips of cardboard with nicotine solution applied to them (Snuz) and nicotine gum, neither can claim to be safer than tobacco

The gum (for some reason) can be sold as a nicotine cessation product, although I used nicotine gum for about 5 years unsuccessfully trying to quit.

I totally kicked the nicotine habit by vaping self-mixed tapered solutions (got a big bottle of zero nicotine solution, then added it to vape as needed to thin out existing solution with nicotine in it). Quitting nicotine was totally painless, and if I felt a strong urge to smoke, I wold just vape the zero nicotine solution, thereby completely alleviating nicotine addiction as well as the habit of smoking.

What? It is.

By Opportunist • Score: 3, Interesting • Thread

Vaping is safer than smoking. In the same way as, say, eating lead compared to eating uranium.

If You Asked Equifax For $125, You Need To Update Your Request

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
If you requested money from Equifax for leaking your personal data, you'll need to provide more information by October 15th. From a report: The Equifax settlement administrator sent an email with details over the weekend. It asks consumers to confirm that they're actually signed up for credit monitoring, which is a prerequisite for requesting the money. If they can't do that, they can amend their claim to request free credit monitoring. Otherwise, the claim will be denied. Equifax settled with the Federal Trade Commission for up to $700 million in July, and it set aside $31 million for consumers who were affected by the breach. Consumers could request four years of monitoring or a $125 check. But because the total payout was fixed, the FTC soon warned that people would receive far less money.

Typical

By sjames • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

They got off with a slap on the wrist and they're even trying to weasel out of that.

Honestly, they should just be shut down. Thanks to their own leak, the information they report is intrinsically unreliable (that is, gossip) anyway. Just take them behind the barn and get it over with.

Re:I want them to pay.

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

They could probably provide credit monitoring for the entire country for the $31 million set aside for cash payments ...

The "free credit monitoring" they're offering isn't costing them anything at all, since they're already tracking the credit information of pretty much everyone (which is obvious since they were able to *expose* just about everyone's data in the first place).

You know what I'd take as a replacement for that $125? The right to opt out of Equifax' data sets completely, forever.

Equifax needs to protect data before collecting it

By steveglewis • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread
If Equifax wants to continue its business model of collecting our personal data, without consent, they should be forced to protect it. The fact that this data was hacked due to a failure to apply software patches to their systems should prevent them from making billions of dollars collecting this data. They failed to follow basic security guidelines in protecting the data that they collected from us. Requiring people requesting a cash payment to prove that they have credit monitoring before receiving money from this breach, is the height of hypocrisy.

Re:Does creditkarma count ?

By drakaan • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
I don't understand why they weren't required to put $125 X number of claimants into an escrow account to cover claimants. Money left over after 4 years? Fine. Equifax can keep that, I guess. Either they are admitting that the monitoring service they are offering isn't worth anywhere remotely close to $125 over 4 years, or they are saying that they thought that nobody wold bother to file a claim for $125 from one of the three companies that completely control whether you can get credit, rent an apartment, or in some cases, even get a job, after said company failed to protect information that in the wrong hands could lead to problems with all of the above. The implementation of this settlement was complete horseshit.

I have a simple question

By notdecnet • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread
I have a simple question, why aren't the Equifax management in jail?

Dozens of Google Employees Say They Were Retaliated Against For Reporting Harassment

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader shares a report: Last November, Google made a promise to do better. More than 20,000 employees around the world had walked out of the company's offices to protest that Google had paid out over $100 million to multiple executives accused of sexual harassment in the workplace. In response, the tech giant apologized and said it would overhaul its sexual misconduct policies and that it would be more supportive of workers who raise concerns about problems at work. But almost a year after the historic walkout, a dozen current and former Google employees told Recode that many employees are still justifiably afraid to report workplace issues because they fear retaliation. They say the company continues to conceal rather than confront issues ranging from sexual harassment to security concerns, especially when the problems involve high-ranking managers or high-stakes projects.

And in a previously unreported internal document obtained by Recode, dozens more employees say that when they filed complaints with Google's human resources department, they were retaliated against by being demoted, pushed out, or placed on less desirable projects. A spokesperson for Google said the company is aware of the document but declined to comment on it or any specific cases of alleged retaliation. In a statement to Recode, Google Vice President of People Operations Eileen Naughton defended how the company handles misconduct claims.

Not possible

By sjbe • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Females could be as strong as men.

Not as a general proposition they cannot. They are on average significantly weaker and smaller, particularly in upper body strength. This isn't debatable. Some women can match most men in specific athletic feats. Pretty much no women can match all men. And on average there is a substantial difference in both size and strength.

There are women who are capable to run faster or beat-up 99.% of men in the boxing ring. It is just of matter of training.

I'm a wrestling coach of a college women's wrestling team and I've participated in and coached combat sports for close to 40 years (wrestling, kempo, boxing, taekwondo, judo, MMA, plus some others). The number of women who fit your description is a tiny minority and their physical superiority in those specific endeavors seldom translates far outside of those specific activities. Being a fast runner or a good boxer is not merely a matter of training - there is a strong genetic component. Being a fast runner doesn't mean you have the upper body strength to win a fist fight. Being a good wrestler or boxer requires much more than merely lots of time in the gym - size and strength matter greatly. That's why those sports have weight classes. Size and strength make a HUGE difference. Olympic level women athletes can and have been overpowered by comparatively average men of sufficient size. No amount of training will equalize this. Men have a genetic advantage in strength and size that is generally insurmountable.

And even if none of that were true it still doesn't excuse harassing someone in the workplace.

Re:Reporting micro agressions

By BringsApples • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Oddly enough, this is marked +4 Funny. What's funny about it? It's the horrible truth!

Re:Maybe... Maybe not

By garyisabusyguy • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

They are called Mariachis and you can hire them for any festival or event throughout Mexico

Re:Reporting micro agressions

By JoeyDot • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
It can be joked about but it is also a serious issue. Not all complaints are legitimate and I can't say that I wouldn't retaliate against a malicious or frivolous complaint.

The moment someone did that to me, I'd be gunning for them as well.

Not everyone makes complaints with the intent of doing harm though simply going to the wrong person can be problematic.

Chances are rather than just shelve a pointless complaint the employee complained about may instead receive flak simply for having generated a complaint. Merely having a complain on record, even if invalid or pure hot air can damage someone's standing and career. You can expect them to fire back.

A slip in the article exposes part of the problem "reporting workplace issues.". We're talking issues here and when you talk to a lot of these people you'll find these their own personal issues.

You might think strength in numbers is a good idea but I'd recommend caution. For those with a legitimate grievance you can always find ten with chip on their shoulder.

Dealing with complaints is difficult. You have to sort out ones that are legitimate but those that are hostile, the law tends to favour the people that complain to get ahead, most commonly to assert power over their peers and managers by going over their head. This can invoke various uneven legal risks. You might find it a lot harder to dismiss someone that's basically a sociopath for making hostile complaints than to take at least some action to appease the abusive employee.

Good people are less likely to complain easily because they intrinsically are both honourable, like to be sure and are adverse to harming others.

Bad people are more likely to complain easily simply because they can.

It's both sad and ironic that such people, often entitled people, who get upset even at some blokes having a bit of harmless banter between themselves make it very difficult for those with legitimate grievances.

Re:Lacking Distinction

By Darinbob • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Keep the basic masculine behavior at home, if that behavior is the sort that involves swaggering, calling coworkers 'bitches', or telling crude jokes. "Stop being a pussy" is not acceptable manager-worker dialogue and yet this is still common. Please, we're mostly nerds here and most of us were sick of the testorone poisoned behavior of jocks in high school, so we shouldn't have to put up with this in the workplace as well.

The Feature-rich Vivaldi Browser Arrives on Android

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Almost three years after launching its desktop version, cross-platform browser Vivaldi has finally released its mobile app today. From a report: The brainchild of Opera's co-founder Jon von Tetzchner published an Android beta version today that brings swipe gesture for navigation, built-in note-taking functionality, and privacy controls including a no-tracking option. While the browser is in beta, I've been using it for a few days, and I haven't faced any major hiccups. Here are some of the features I enjoyed in the new mobile version: Easy bookmark management, easy navigation, plenty of option for tab management, and dark mode, screen capture, notes, and no-tracking features.

Does it render zoomed text correctly?

By Dances With Sharks • Score: 3, Interesting • Thread
So far, I haven't found any browser that implements this well. On a small screen, it's highly desirable to zoom in on a block of text in a web page. Ideally, the text block will re-flow so that you can read the paragraph without panning back and forth. There are some Firefox plugins that try to do this, but they don't work well. In many cases, even slight zooming causes the entire page to get re-drawn, and everything jumps around, and the paragraph jumps out of view. I hope Vivaldi can do better.

Chinese owned company?

By ELCouz • Score: 3 • Thread
Doesn't Opera / Vivaldi have big financial backers from China? Just saying...

Re:I thought Google was good at search

By nagora • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Google is not good at search. They just suck slightly less than everyone else (and track your entire life).

It has lots of features

By nospam007 • Score: 3 • Thread

Four seasons
La stravaganza
Orlando furioso
Tamerlano ...

Not a Luddite, I swear!

By stevent1965 • Score: 4 • Thread
I'm just.. sorry. All I care about in a web browser is that it serves up and renders the web site quickly and accurately. Multiple tabs? Yeah, sure, I CTL-click on stories I want to read from sites like Slashdot. Not really a "must-have feature". Bookmark management? I bookmark websites. Maybe go back to check them out a few months later, maybe not. Not a burning issue. You want to "wow" me with your browser? Make all default settings the strictest privacy options available. Incorporate automatic ad blocking. Automatically close (not "accept" not "deny", just close) cookie notifications. Give me the ability, per page, to accept or deny cookies. Let me block automatic video playback without jumping through hoops. Mute sound by default. Finally...finally! Make your fucking text true black on white! Not some fucking shade of gray, never, just pure black on white. Or the reverse, that's fine, also. No other colors needed. Hyperlinks? Underlined. Other text? No underlining. Colors? See above.

On Apple's Response To Google's Project Zero

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Last week, Apple published a statement in which it disputed Google's Project Zero team's findings about the worst iOS attack in history. Alex Stamos, adjunct professor at Stanford University's Center for International Security and Cooperation and former CSO at Facebook, writes on Twitter: Apple's response to the worst known iOS attack in history should be graded somewhere between "disappointing" and "disgusting". First off, disputing Google's correct use of "indiscriminate" when describing a watering hole attack smacks of "it's ok, it didn't hit white people." The use of multiple exploits against an oppressed minority in an authoritarian state makes the likely outcomes *worse* than the Huffington Post example a former Apple engineer posited. It is possible that this data contributed to real people being "reeducated" or even executed. Even if we accept Apple's framing that exploiting Uyghurs isn't as big a deal as Google makes it out to be, they have no idea whether these exploits were used by the PRC in more targeted situations. Dismissing such a possibility out of hand is extremely risky.

Second, the word "China" is conspicuously absent, once again demonstrating the value the PRC gets from their leverage over the world's most valuable public company. To be fair, Google's post also didn't mention China. Their employees likely leaked attribution on background. Third, the pivot to Apple's arrogant marketing is not only tone-deaf but really rings hollow to the security community when Google did all the heavy lifting here. I'm guessing we won't hear Tim talk about how they are going to do better on stage next week. Dear Apple employees: I have worked for companies that took too long to publicly address their responsibilities. This is not a path you want to take. Apple does some incredible security work, but this kind of legal/comms driven response can undermine that work. Demand better.
Michael Tsai raises further questions about the way Apple framed its statement: "A blog," rather than "a blog post"? I love how Apple is subtly trying to discredit Project Zero by implying that it's a mere blog. And let's be sure everyone knows it's affiliated with Google, the privacy bad guys, even though it's a responsible, technically focused group. Apple says: "First, the sophisticated attack was narrowly focused, not a broad-based exploit of iPhones 'en masse' as described."
Project Zero literally referred to "a small collection of hacked websites" that received "receive thousands of visitors per week." And it does seem like a particular subpopulation was targeted "en masse." The sites in question were on the public Internet; it wasn't links being sent to target particular individuals. Apple is blaming the messenger for things it didn't even say.

Apple adds: "The attack affected fewer than a dozen websites that focus on content related to the Uighur community."
Oh, I get it. Most people would consider "fewer than a dozen" to be "a small collection." But in Apple-speak, there were "a small number" of corrupt App Store binaries causing crashes, and "a small number" of MacBook Pro users experiencing butterfly keyboard problems, not to be confused with the "very small number" of iPhones that unexpectedly shut down. So, yeah, I can see why Apple wants people to know that this "small collection" doesn't mean "millions." Although there are apparently 10 million Uigurs in China. Apple adds: "Google's post, issued six months after iOS patches were released[...] It's great that Project Zero reported this in a responsible way, because now we can downplay it as old news.

Hitler first post

By goombah99 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

First time a godwin's law response might be worth it here. But when people tweet casually that apples response was racist it seems way out of line. not worth continuing the conversation

The Uyghur problem is much bigger

By MikeRT • Score: 3 • Thread

You can't really blame Apple for OpSec issues going on in the Uyghur provinces, and I say that as someone who is fairly hostile to the direction of the company under Cook. You have to borderline insane to be Uyghur and do anything online other than praise the Han and the Sublime Wisdom of the Communist Party that clearly has the mandate from Heaven to rule your people with more benevolence than Allah could ever muster (to be fair to the CCP, that part is not hard if you know anything about Islamic theology; even Kim Jong Un is more merciful on a bad day than Allah is half the time).

Tech tribalism is a security research nightmare

By DigitAl56K • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

I had friends who called out Google for being petty for researching vulnerabilities in Apple products.

However:
* Project Zero also researches Google's own products.
* Google has products that run on Apple operating systems, and has every right to try to protect their systems, data, and customers through security research.
* Security research leads to everyone being safer.

Tech tribalism should not be applied to security research. If your product has vulnerabilities acknowledge them, say thank you to the person who invested their time discovering them, and for the fact that they didn't then try to sell them on the black market but instead offered up the details to help you fix your product.

If egos were bruised then perhaps it was only because of the false premise you were either touting or leaning on in the first place (the idea that one brands product is much more secure than the other).

To be fair, Apple and Google are both bastards

By drinkypoo • Score: 3 • Thread

Second, the word "China" is conspicuously absent, once again demonstrating the value the PRC gets from their leverage over the world's most valuable public company. To be fair, Google's post also didn't mention China.

To be fair, both companies make products which can be and are used for surveillance of the populace, and both companies willfully participate in such in one way or another.

To be even fairer, Google is way more cooperative with China's nefarious acts of suppression than is Apple.

If I had to pick one of those companies to disappear off the face of the earth tomorrow it would still be Apple, because I actually use Google. But if the goal is to make Google look better than Apple, it's better not to go down that road at all.

The Fake Town Where Everybody Knows Your Name

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
With a population of over 87,000, Lower Duck Pond is the largest, friendliest, and oddest city that's not on the map. The Outline: Located somewhere on a plane of nonexistence, the rapidly growing town of Lower Duck Pond rests, isolated, without even an official city map. Its locals don't get lost, though. They know their way around quite well and discuss their comings and goings through postings on the subreddit r/HaveWeMet. The community's 87,000-plus "residents" share constant chatter about which buildings in the area need repairs, which sandwich shops have been changing up their menu, and which streets need repaving. It's not unusual for newcomers to feel confused by the whirlwind of information and every resident's seemingly picture-perfect memory of their surroundings. It helps to remember that they're all pretending.

Strange, new places do take some getting used to and it might take you a few minutes to get the hang of subreddit r/HaveWeMet's premise, where users roleplay as longtime neighbors in a non-existent town called "Lower Duck Pond." The joke's attracted over 87,000 users since the community started two years ago, making it the fastest-growing open-source fictional town on Earth. While the residents, streets, and buildings are fake, the absurdity, purity, and sense of community for its daily users has become very real. Reddit user u/Devuluh, who's really a sophomore computer science major named David (he declined to share his last name), started r/HaveWeMet in early 2017 when he was still in high school. The idea was to create an online space where everyone pretends to know each other. "The original idea for r/HaveWeMet was not a sub mimicking a fake town, but rather simply just people pretending to know each other, and later it evolved into much more than that," David told me. "If you want to have a deep involvement in r/HaveWeMet, it's almost necessary you get to know people's characters. Some even go as far as getting to know the members behind their characters, too. It's like one big universe created collaboratively, just through peoples' interactions with each other."

Sad

By DogDude • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
I hate to sound like the King Orange, but that's the best way to describe this, as far as I can come up with If these people would spend the same amount of time and energy in the real world, the world would be a much better place.

"Our Town" play, collaboratively-written?

By davidwr • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

My first thought was "this sounds like what the backstory to the play Our Town might be if it were crowd-written."

I can see the draw in this. As a fantasy, it can be healthy. As a way to stimulate the brain cells, it can be healthy. For younger people or people who have trouble establishing real-work relationships with others, it can be good practice.

I can also see how it can be very additive, much like Sim City and MMORPGs can be. I can also see people who, out of fear or other reasons, prefer not to have real-world relationships as using things like this, or for that matter MMORPGs, as poor substitutes for real-world relationships.

Remember, unlike a real-world relationship, of something happens to you IRL where you need support and that part of your real-life isn't also part of your "character," your online friends either won't know, won't care, or will be massively confused. Like "you and your husband are having your first child? Congratulations, but I thought you said you were a celibate nun" or "your child has cancer? I'm so sad but I though you said you were single and childless."

Speaking of addition/self-reply

By davidwr • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

If they had something like this when I was young and more prone to "falling into fantasy worlds" than I am now, I would've become very addicted to it and probably become completely isolated from most of my real-world relationships. I would've thoroughly enjoyed it at the time but I would've been worse off in the long run for it. We did have on- and offline multi-person make-your-own fantasy worlds back then, but they weren't as immersive or as 24/7 as this seems to be.

A word of wisdom from someone who has been "lost in fantasy worlds" to those who are still young: If you tend to get "sucked in" to fantasy books or movies AND you don't have strong real-world relationships, do yourself a big favor and make or strengthen real-world relationships before taking this on as a hobby. Your future self will thank you for it.

If you are over 25 or so, you probably already know that either this bit of wisdom is not applicable to you or you already know from personal experience how true it is.

I...uh...what?

By Anubis IV • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

I clicked through on a link from the article, just to see what this is all about. Apparently they had a ban on milk, but it's been relaxed:

Howdy folks, Councilman Everetts here. Just wanted to pass along some new info regarding the ban of milk products from our store shelves.

The ban on milk sales has been lifted. Anyone who disposed of their milk will be reimbursed in the form of meal tickets from our community college cafeteria (go Fighting Loaves!) and milk will be sold again in stores following the next shipment due in tomorrow at noon. However, new restrictions are in place:

  Milk will only be sold to those over 18, ID will be required for purchase

  All stores now have a designated dairy department and cash register, and the cashiers are being supplied by the Council of the Nine, so don't try to outsmart them. They're...different than you and I. Quieter and more observant.

  All purchases are limited to one (1) gallon per person, per day, city-wide. This will be strictly enforced, as the Council of Nine (remember, NOT our city council, of which I am a proud member) has introduced a new system that tracks your milk purchases in all stores within our city limits.

  Skim Milk will no longer be available, and anyone found in possession of skim milk will have their milk wirelessly converted to 2%.

Thanks for your patience during these trying times. Now, go enjoy your milk! And don't forget to come to the local city official meet & greet at the community college (go Fighting Loaves!) next Wednesday from 2-4. Jan won't be there, as she has lunch scheduled that day.

All the best,

Tom.

Most of the top posts at that link are worth a read, if only for their absurdity. Frankly, if that link is indicative of what to expect, I could see this being some rather entertaining escapism for people.

Re:Sad

By PsychoSlashDot • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

I hate to sound like the King Orange, but that's the best way to describe this, as far as I can come up with If these people would spend the same amount of time and energy in the real world, the world would be a much better place.

Not necessarily. The people participating in this are recreating. To them it's just creating fun. It's a great way to relax, which is important for mental health. Downtime is important.

There's a difference between flying a 747 full of living, breathing passengers, and getting deeply interested in minutia in an accurate flight sim.

How Apple Stacked the App Store With Its Own Products

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Top spots in App Store search results are some of the most fought over real estate in the online economy. The store generated more than $50 billion in sales last year, and the company said two-thirds of app downloads started with a search. But as Apple has become one of the largest competitors on a platform that it controls, suspicions that the company has been tipping the scales in its own favor are at the heart of antitrust complaints in the United States, Europe and Russia. From a report: Apple's apps have ranked first recently for at least 700 search terms in the store, according to a New York Times analysis of six years of search results compiled by Sensor Tower, an app analytics firm. Some searches produced as many as 14 Apple apps before showing results from rivals, the analysis showed. (Though competitors could pay Apple to place ads above the Apple results.) Presented with the results of the analysis, two senior Apple executives acknowledged in a recent interview that, for more than a year, the top results of many common searches in the iPhone App Store were packed with the company's own apps. That was the case even when the Apple apps were less relevant and less popular than ones from its competitors. The executives said the company had since adjusted the algorithm so that fewer of its own apps appeared at the top of search results.

The Times's analysis of App Store data -- which included rankings of more than 1,800 specific apps across 13 keywords since 2013 -- illustrated the influence as well as the opacity of the algorithms that underpin tech companies' platforms. Those algorithms can help decide which apps are installed, which articles are read and which products are bought. But Apple and other tech giants like Facebook and Google will not explain in detail how such algorithms work -- even when they blame the algorithm for problems. [...] On Aug. 21, Apple apps ranked first in 735 of roughly 60,000 search terms tracked by Sensor Tower. Most of the tracked searches were obscure, but Apple's apps ranked first for many of the popular queries. For instance, for most of June and July, Apple apps were the top result for these search terms: books, music, news, magazines, podcasts, video, TV, movies, sports, card, gift, money, credit, debit, fitness, people, friends, time, notes, docs, files, cloud, storage, message, home, store, mail, maps, traffic, stocks and weather.
In July this year, the company pushed some changes to its app store algorithm to handicap its apps to help other developers, it told The New York Times.

News?

By illiac_1962 • Score: 3 • Thread
Is this news? Does Apple have an obligation to maintain a community software distribution platform? Before you get the government involved think of how silly it is that we let it get to this point.

Stacked? More like a built-in advantage

By Anubis IV • Score: 3, Interesting • Thread

They're the first-party developer. Simply by virtue of being the first-party, of course most of their apps will get more clickthroughs, downloads, and use than others, which are exactly the sorts of metrics used to determine how apps rank within the App Store. Even when their apps are worse than competitors' (Google Maps vs. Apple Maps), I'd expect them to punch above their weight, simply because Apple users weigh the benefits differently than the general public. I'd be shocked if Apple's apps weren't at the top in most categories in which they compete.

Elsewhere, I saw reported a quote to the effect of, "We're fine admitting when we make a mistake. We didn't make a mistake here. Our apps earned their top spots fair and square, but we're okay with handicapping ourselves to give others a chance, so that's what we did."

Calling it "stacked" seems like the sort of whining about things being "unfair" that you'd hear from a child who's unable to best the biggest kid in the class in an arm wrestling match. It's not stacked, but some people do have a natural advantage.

Biohackers Use a Raspberry Pi to Implant a Networked Hard Drive

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
"Biohackers took one small but important step toward the science fiction dystopia depicted in William Gibson's Johnny Mnemonic," reports The Parallax, in an article shared by Slashdot reader Iwastheone: The Four Thieves Vinegar biohacking collective has not figured out how to precisely mimic the memory data transfer scenario Gibson conjured, but it has built a device to enable people to store and transfer data wirelessly in their bodies. Using off-the-shelf parts and focused efforts, the biohacking group has designed and built a networked hard drive, coated in a biosafe resin, to be subcutaneously implanted in the human body. It's powered by an external battery that connects to the device via an induction coil, and its storage capacity is limited only by the size of the microSD card it contains. Michael Laufer, who founded Four Thieves Vinegar, calls it the Pegleg.

In the small hours of August 8, in an operating room within the small house, two patients received the second version of the Pegleg implant, which Laufer says is the world's first subcutaneous networked drive... To make Pegleg v2, Laufer and his team removed from the Raspberry Pi both Micro USB connectors (one for power, one for data), the Mini HDMI connector, and the camera connector. They then soldered on a second Wi-Fi chip to enable it to transfer data to another Pegleg and allow other devices to connect to it, as well as an induction coil to enable it to be powered by a wireless battery resting in a contiguous sports armband or pants pocket. They enabled Bluetooth for future functionality, inserted a 512GB microSD card for storage, and updated the firmware. Finally, they coated the hacked device in a biocompatible acrylic resin to prevent it from interacting with the recipient's body and to diffuse the heat it emanates.

At 11:44 a.m. on the same day, Laufer -- an implant newbie who has three small tattoos but no piercings -- took a seat in the surgical room... During the procedure, Laufer passed out for a few seconds and vomited a little bit. But 32 minutes later, he had a functional "Pegleg" implant.

Re:Die for an implant

By Sneftel • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

And note that the implant in question was developed by professional engineers, tested and certified by different professional engineers, and implanted by a licensed doctor who had been trained to implant it safely. All you "bio-hackers", please consider your relative level of expertise as you smear "biosafe resin" over the wet-electrolyte capacitors on your Raspberry Pi.

Re:Die for an implant

By DigiShaman • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

These are the same tribal group of tattoo and implant artists. They're expanding market share while trying to stay relevant. At best, the procedures are harmless, and worst you get an infection and die. And so far, none of what these "bio-hackers" have to offer are of any redeeming value.

Real cyber-punk bio-implants will be performed with a flight ticket overseas to meet up with a real doctor and his/her team. For the dirt poor and risky, your tattoo parlor (of dubious reputation) doing gigs on the side.

Hmmm...

By burtosis • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Biohackers use a raspberry pi to implant a networked hard drive

Idiots.

A scalpel would have done the job far easier and with less scarring.

Johnny Mnemonic

By Dan East • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

That is not at all how the data couriers worked in Johnny Mnemonic. In the short story / movie the data was stored in the human brain itself in the synapses, etc. It was purely biological. If more storage space was needed than was available, memories could be "erased" from the courier and overwritten with data. They would literally lose their identity and past if they wanted to carry more data than they could accommodate. It also affected their ability to function in general if they went over their cap. It's all rather silly, but there were two points for transferring data this way. One was security, where the person with the data in their brain had some kind of control over accessing that data, and it was "unlocked" by showing them a serious of visual cues. The other was obviously that the data was perishable, and if anything happened to the courier the data was gone forever.

None of that has anything to do with embedding a physical chip in your body, which at the end of the day is no different than sticking an SD card in your pocket and carrying it around. It can still be accessed if you are alive or dead or without you even knowing.

Re: But why?

By denzacar • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

More likely he was being given anesthetics by someone without required expertise.
Also, he may have been "on something" already, such as drugs or alcohol, which caused those "unforeseen interactions".
Hell, he may have had grapefruit for breakfast.

Anesthesiology is a career path which requires 10-12 years of university level education. Not including state licensure or board certification.

Kids, don't take anesthetic from strange people, with at best questionable medical credentials, "in the small hours of August, in an operating room within the small house".
Or in "the operating-room chair in the surgical cleanroom in [the] garage" of a "registered nurse Jeffrey Tibbetts" just because he "has had 20 to 30 implants, almost all of them self-insertions".
That doesn't mean he has experience or knowledge on the subject.
That means that he's a fucking idiot who likes to cut himself and stick things inside his own flesh.

Particularly since he's then announcing that to the public.
Which not only makes his "secret" buthole drive not a secret - he's inviting various medical, sanitary and law agencies to come around and take a detailed look at his "garage/surgical cleanroom".
At the very least he may be running an unlicensed clinic. Kind that only takes cash and specializes in extraction of metallic foreign objects and patching of wounds.

Ask Slashdot: How Can You Limit the Charging Range of Your Batteries?

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
"If you're anything like me, you've got a slew of devices with lithium-based batteries in them," write long-time Slashdot reader weilawei: The conventional wisdom is to cycle them between 20 and 80% for a good compromise between usability and battery life. How then, do you automate the process to avoid over- or undercharging...? Do you remove and store your laptop battery at a medium charge when you run the laptop off an AC adapter?
You can keep checking your battery icon until it hits 80% -- but it seems like there should be an automated solution. The original submission notes TLP Linux Advance Power Management project -- but what solutions are Slashdot's readers using? Leave your best thoughts in the comments.

How can you limit the charging range of your batteries?

Re:It's physical damage to the cells

By gweihir • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

There are always a few idiots that claim that well established facts are not real. See also flat-earthers, anti-vaxxers, etc.

I'm not wasting time

By sjbe • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

It's a bit early, but if you charge an iPhone with iOS 13, it will figure out at what time in the morning you usually unplug your phone and start using it, and over night it charges only to 80%, and then charges the rest just before you get up.

That would be annoying and probably not work very well. I don't get up at exactly the same time each day, nor do most people I know. Sure I usually get up around the same time frequently but there can be several hours of variation and it isn't always predictable. It would be frustrating to wake up early one day and find your phone not fully charged for the day especially if I'm traveling that day. I've never found these features that try to predict my schedule to be very useful or work very well. (No I don't put everything I do into my calendar)

I want the device to charge to 100% (however that is defined) and to Just Work. I expect the device maker to figure out how to make it reliable. If they can't do this I'll buy one that is. I don't want to be bothered trying to figuratively hypermile my battery so that it might possibly live a bit longer with a lot of annoying work on my part. Maybe you have a more predictable schedule than I do and that's fine but I can't ever see me using such a feature. If the battery fails I'll either get a new battery or a new phone. I just have things that matter more to me to worry about.

I don't have that much time

By sjbe • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

I'm not giving Apple anymore money. Dude, I use custom ROMs that should tell you a thing or two about what I think about walled and locked down ecosystems.

It tells me you have a lot more time on your hands than I do to care about such things. Not judging but that sounds like a lot of work and time invested.

Just ignore it

By nospam007 • Score: 3 • Thread

Charge it long enough to 100% and sooner or later that 100% will mean 80% in reality.

Then buy a new one for 25 bucks.

Not necessary!

By GoRK • Score: 3 • Thread

Phones and laptops already have a pretty sophisticated BMS. By trying to mess with charge rates and capacity management on your own you at best are going to throw the BMS for a loop and at worse you might reduce the life of your batteries: If you never charge them fully, for instance, you may not ever get a multi-cell pack to be balanced (since BMS typically doesn't balance until the end of the cycle), and over its life you may over stress a single cell.

Most consumer devices only have a few bucks worth of battery in them anyway. It's not efficient to overthink it. If you are a nerd capable of worrying about battery lifetime and have the diligence to micromanage that crap for years and years to save like $10 then you certainly have the capability to swap and recycle your own battery when it's time.

New Windows 10 Update Bugs Include Orange Screenshots

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes MS Poweruser: Microsoft's latest Cumulative Update KB4512941 for Windows 10 May 2019 Update(1903) may be Microsoft's buggiest yet, with the update already known for being plagued with high CPU usage bugs* and crippled search.

Now reports of a new bug are filtering in, with users reporting that their screenshots all have an orange tint, no matter which method or app they use to take them.

The issue appears to be related to older video drivers, as updating drivers (or uninstalling KB4512941) appears to fix this problem.

* Microsoft has told Forbes that the spike in CPU usage "only occurs on devices that have disabled searching the web using Windows Desktop Search" -- and that they're planning to release a fix for this update-related bug in mid-September.

Re:Windows Search, now more crippled?

By stealth_finger • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
If they are going to be forcing updates they should be making sure they work even more than before.

Re:Microsoft's real purpose: Make life miserable.

By fuzznutz • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

Today's joke about Microsoft: Microsoft is NOT a software company, it is an ABUSE company. When you consider that purpose, it is managed very well.

I didn't come here for abuse. I paid for an argument.

Hanlon's Razor

By swm • Score: 3 • Thread

the spike in CPU usage "only occurs on devices that have disabled searching the web using Windows Desktop Search"

Incompetence
When you disable web search, the kernel goes into a tight loop checking if you have re-enabled it.

Malice
If you won't let Microsoft monetize your search terms, then they mine bitcoin on your machine instead.

I don't really care about the search.

By gl4ss • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

I've turned indexing off too. if you turn off the cortana search the cpu bug doesn't appear.

I use classic shell as a replacement for start button and the only case where I want to use search like that is to just search in the start menu and that works fine with the other searches disabled.

also cortana indexing is somehow seemingly totally separate from the other windows search indexing of file..

microsoft has just been such a shitshow. but less of a shitshow than osx generally is still. I can't imagine anyone using the default windows search with web results or god forbig appstore results enabled though - the way I see it being used by anyone is simply to not use it if they don't understand enough of the system to turn those features off - so they just never use it for anything as it's basically just spam. well the default start button is basically just spam too though.

the most important feature for me about windows is that it runs windows applications and 10 does that better for legacy stuff than 7, so there's that bonus at least. I could write a lot longer rant about how microsoft screwed up with 10 though. even just finding settings is a chore due to them being split IN TWO FUCKING SEPARATE CONTROL PANELS WHAT THE FUCCKKKKKKK. oh and just plain not having essential settings visible without using extra programs like ooshutup. or on purpose having made it so that most _normal_ people who install windows 10 think that you need a microsoft account.

Re:Windows Search, now more crippled?

By jwhyche • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Should be more than that. If they are going to force updates then they should be held liable for the results. Computers running MS OS are no longer options now, many jobs require them. So if they brick my desktop and I'm out of work while I have to dig out their buggy crap then they should compensate me for down time.