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


  1. Diesel Cars Emit More Air Pollution On Hot Days, Study Finds
  2. Fukushima To Possibly Dump Radioactive Water Back Into Ocean
  3. Apple Unveils Its 7th-Gen iPad With a 10.2-Inch Display
  4. Is Microsoft a Digital Nation and Does It Have a Secretary of State?
  5. 'Ban All Watches From Exams To Stop Cheating'
  6. VW Announces Its 'ID.3' Electric Car For the Masses, Praises Elon Musk
  7. Apple Arcade Will Be Available On September 19 For $4.99
  8. Apple Watch Series 5 Has An Always-On Display, Comes In Titanium or Ceramic Finishes
  9. Weakness In Intel Chips Lets Researchers Steal Encrypted SSH Keystrokes
  10. Period Tracker Apps Used By Millions Of Women Are Sharing Incredibly Sensitive Data With Facebook
  11. Libraries and Archivists Are Scanning and Uploading Books That Are Secretly in the Public Domain
  12. Myths About USB Type-C
  13. Uber Lays Off 435 People Across Engineering and Product Teams
  14. Apple Launches iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max
  15. Storm Area 51 Festival Canceled Because It Was a 'Possible Humanitarian Disaster'
  16. Apple Prices TV+ Video Service at $4.99 a Month, Hitting Netflix and Disney
  17. 51 Tech CEOs Send Open Letter To Congress Asking For a Federal Data Privacy Law
  18. Trump Says He Fired National Security Advisor John Bolton -- But Bolton Says He 'Offered To Resign'
  19. We Need To Prepare for the Future of War, NSA Official Says
  20. Mozilla Launches VPN as Part of Resurrected Firefox Test Pilot Program
  21. Loophole That Lets People Share Your Private Instagram Pics and Stories Isn't a 'Hack' -- but Still, Heads Up
  22. EU Reappoints Top Antitrust Cop Who Led Crackdown on Tech Giants
  23. Scientists Discover New Evidence of the Asteroid That Killed Off the Dinosaurs
  24. US Charges Chinese Professor With Fraud For Allegedly Taking Tech From a California Company To Benefit Huawei
  25. New Models Suggest Titan Lakes Are Explosion Craters

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

Diesel Cars Emit More Air Pollution On Hot Days, Study Finds

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Guardian: Emissions from diesel cars – even newer and supposedly cleaner models -- increase on hot days, a new study has found, raising questions over how cities suffering from air pollution can deal with urban heat islands and the climate crisis. Research in Paris by The Real Urban Emissions (True) initiative found that diesel car emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) rose by 20% to 30% when temperatures topped 30C -- a common event this summer.

Emissions from a range of vehicles were found to be many times higher than those declared by manufacturers in laboratory tests, confirming earlier findings following the 2015 Dieselgate scandal, in which Volkswagen cars were found to emit 40 times more NOx on the road than during laboratory tests. Certain pollutants from motorcycles -- often considered a cleaner alternative to four-wheeled vehicles -- were also found to "greatly exceed" averages for both petrol and diesel cars.
Yoann Bernard of the International Council on Clean Transportation, which carried out the study, said real NOx emissions had been found to be up to 18 times higher than those recorded in vehicle manufacturers' tests, even in newer vehicles that are supposed to be cleaner.

Goodbye, diesel

By PopeRatzo • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Diesel engines for private transportation are going to disappear in our lifetime. Maybe diesel will disappear entirely, since now we're hearing about more fleets of trucks, school buses, etc dropping diesel. You guys got all mad and modded me down last time I said this, but like it or not, it's happening.

Re:Goodbye, diesel

By jcr • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

It will happen whenever the price per unit energy curves for diesel fuel and hydrogen cross. Hydrogen in a fuel cell can deliver up to 80% efficiency, and electric motors can reach a similar level. The typical diesel delivers about 1/3 of the chemical energy of the fuel as mechanical power, and most of the rest is waste heat. Add to that the complexity of a diesel engine versus a fuel cell drive train, and the writing is on the wall.

The public health benefits from getting off of diesel will be enormous.


Is that blue stuff supposed to fix this?

By blindseer • Score: 3 • Thread

I thought diesel engines were supposed to have the blue stuff added to the exhaust to fix this.

What are the proposals to fix this? A carbon tax? Some other tax?

What allows people to give a damn about the environment is having enough money to do something about it. Lower the stupid taxes and then people can afford to buy new cars that use the blue fluid to reduce NOx emissions. Or they might buy electric cars.

From the article:

In 2017, research suggested that globally at least 38,000 people a year die early due to the failure of diesel vehicles to meet official limits in real driving conditions.

People die of a lot of things, like not being able to afford the medications they need. Don't tell me you will then propose raising taxes to pay for this medicine by government grants.


There, I feel better now.

The answer to our problems

By AndyKron • Score: 3 • Thread
You know, if there were less fucking PEOPLE on this planet this wouldn't be a problem

Thermodynamics strikes again

By jabuzz • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Why the hell did they need a study to find out tha a diesel engine emits more pollution on a warm day? Look so does a freaking petrol/gasoline engine. It is basic high school thermodynamics 101.

This was all worked out nearly 200 years ago when French physicist Sadi Carnot in 1824 proposed the ideal thermodynamic cycle aka the Carnot cycle.

Efficiency depends on temperature differential between the hot and cold portions of the cycle. So on a warmer day the cold portion of the cycle aka ambient, is higher than on a cold day and hence the efficiency of the cycle goes down.

It's why you have intercoolers on turbo charged engines for crying out loud. The turbo compresses the air making it hot (the turbo is basically adiabatic in nature) in the process so you pass it through a chiller (basically a radiator with ambient air passing over it) to drop the temperature to increase the efficiency.

Can someone please go and give the people writing this study a good beating with a clue stick and send them back to high school for some physics lessons.

Fukushima To Possibly Dump Radioactive Water Back Into Ocean

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
omfglearntoplay shares a report from CNN: Eight years after Japan's worst nuclear disaster, the government is not sure what to do with the contaminated water that remains -- but its environment minister says dumping it into the ocean might be the only choice. To cool fuel cores at the damaged Fukushima nuclear plant, operator Tokyo Electric has pumped in tens of thousands of tons of water over the years, according to Japanese national broadcaster NHK. Once used and contaminated, the water is put into storage. Now, storage space is running out. And during a televised press conference Tuesday, Japan's environment minister Yoshiaki Harada said he believed the only solution was to "release it into the ocean and dilute it." "There are no other options," he said. Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga emphasized that a decision has not yet been made. "There is no fact that the method of disposal of contaminated water has been decided," he said. "The government would like to make a decision after making thorough discussion."

Re:Worst one?

By Opportunist • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

You don't need that many words to explain the reason, it's actually pretty easy: Dumping is cheaper.

Re:Worst one?

By Cyberax • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
This water is groundwater seepage. Nothing needs cooling in Fukushima, all the "hot" materials have long since cooled enough to not require water cooling.

The water is filtered through multiple layers of resins and adsorbents, but they can't do anything about tritium, since it's chemically indistinguishable. Right now the water in tanks is just about 2 times more radioactive than legally allowed for discharge into the ocean.

They should just discharge it and stop the Kabuki theater that is Fukushima cleanup.

Re:Not sure I'm seeing the issue...

By Solandri • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

and divide it by the volume of the entire ocean and say "Hey... Zero risks!". The real world is a bit more complicated than that.

Who said anything about zero risk? Seawater is already radioactive. Anyone so fearful of radiation that they oppose diluting this water in the ocean shouldn't be swimming in the ocean in the first place. Or visiting the beach. Or flying on planes. Or sleeping next to other people. Or exposing themselves to sunlight.

So you don't need to reach zero risk. You just need to reach a level of risk which is close enough to natural background radiation levels that it's indistinguishable from accepted safe levels. Which is actually pretty easy considering the natural radiation level at sea level is significantly less than you get at higher altitudes which we acknowledge are safe for people to live at (otherwise we'd have to evacuate Denver).

If you really want food for thought, cancer mortality rates are actually lower at higher altitudes despite the higher radiation dose you receive living at higher altitudes.


By MrKaos • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Tritium and its most common pollutant form, tritiated water doesn't bioaccumulate. It's water.

A list of some scientific studies on the effects of tritium, with references, in case there is any doubt regarding Triated water's effect on living beings.

Tritium is biologically mutagenic *because* it's a low energy emitter. This characteristic makes readily absorbed by surrounding cells. The available evidence from studies conducted journal a list of effects. From those works;

Tritium can be inhaled, ingested, or absorbed through skin. Eating food containing 3H can be even more damaging than drinking 3H bound in water. Consequently, an estimated radiation dose based only on ingestion of tritiated water may underestimate the health effects if the person has also consumed food contaminated with tritium. (Komatsu)

Studies indicate that lower doses of tritium can cause more cell death (Dobson, 1976), mutations (Ito) and chromosome damage (Hori) per dose than higher tritium doses. Tritium can impart damage which is two or more times greater per dose than either x-rays or gamma rays.

(Straume) (Dobson, 1976) There is no evidence of a threshold for damage from 3H exposure; even the smallest amount of tritium can have negative health impacts. (Dobson, 1974) Organically bound tritium (tritium bound in animal or plant tissue) can stay in the body for 10 years or more.

It's often said "of all the elements in nuclear waste tritium is one of the more harmless ones" and while it's more benign than most other radioactive effluents it's toxicity should not be under-estimated.

Tritium can cause mutations, tumors and cell death. (Rytomaa) Tritiated water is associated with significantly decreased weight of brain and genital tract organs in mice (Torok) and can cause irreversible loss of female germ cells in both mice and monkeys even at low concentrations. (Dobson, 1979) (Laskey) Tritium from tritiated water can become incorporated into DNA, the molecular basis of heredity for living organisms. DNA is especially sensitive to radiation. (Hori) A cell's exposure to tritium bound in DNA can be even more toxic than its exposure to tritium in water. (Straume)(Carr)

First, as an isotope of hydrogen (the cell's most ubiquitous element), tritium can be incorporated into essentially all portions of the living machinery; and it is not innocuous -- deaths have occurred in industry from occupational overexposure. R. Lowry Dobson, MD, PhD. (1979)


Komatsu, K and Okumura, Y. Radiation Dose to Mouse Liver Cells from Ingestion of Tritiated Food or Water. Health Physics. 58. 5:625-629. 1990.

Dobson, RL. The Toxicity of Tritium. International Atomic Energy Agency symposium, Vienna: Biological Implications of Radionuclides Released from Nuclear Industries v. 1: 203. 1979.

Hori, TA and Nakai, S. Unusual Dose-Response of Chromosome Aberrations Induced in Human Lymphocytes by Very Low Dose Exposures to Tritium. Mutation Research. 50: 101-110. 1978.

Straume, T and Carsten, AL.Tritium Radiobiology and Relative Biological Effectiveness. Health Physics. 65 (6) :657-672; 1993. [This special issue of Health Physics is entirely devoted to Tritium]

Laskey, JW, et al. Some Effects of Lifetime Parental Exposure to Low Levels of Tritium on the F2 Generation. Radiation Research.56:171-179. 1973.

Rytomaa, T, et al. Radiotoxicity of Tritium-Labelled Molecules. International Atomic Energy Agency symposium,Vienna: Biological Implications of Radionuclides Released from Nuclear Industries v. 1: 339. 1979.

Re: Worst one?

By athmanb • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Its always a question of possible consequences and cost. If the release of this water would kill 0.3 people over the next 20 years but filtering it instead costs 10 millions for which you could build a hospital that would save 7 lives, then its not the ethical choice to filter.

Apple Unveils Its 7th-Gen iPad With a 10.2-Inch Display

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
In addition to launching new iPhones today, Apple unexpectedly announced a new 7th-generation iPad, featuring a larger display and support for Apple's forthcoming iPadOS update. Ars Technica reports: This new model comes with a 10.2-inch 2160x1620 "Retina" display, up from the older model's 9.7-inch panel, and an A10 Fusion chip. The latter is the same chip used for the existing 6th-gen iPad, and that chip was first introduced with the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus -- so don't expect a significant performance upgrade. Still, it should provide enough power for the entertainment, Web browsing, and casual work needs this iPad is primarily aimed at. The design is otherwise very similar to before -- thicker bezels, home button, roughly one-pound weight, and all -- and Apple still claims the tablet will get up to 10 hours of battery life. The device still comes with either 32GB or 128GB of storage.

Naturally, the new iPad will come with Apple's forthcoming iPadOS update, which will give the device a more robust multitasking system. It'll be able to connect to thumb drives and SD cards, too, and it'll work with Apple's Smart Keyboard attachment and the first-gen model of the Apple Pencil stylus. Apple did not switch to a USB-C port here as it's done with its higher-end iPad Pros, though that's not surprising with a cheaper tablet like this. The device will retain the $329 starting price of the previous 9.7-inch iPad and will begin shipping on September 30, with pre-orders available on Tuesday. Education customers will be able to get it at a slight discount of $299.

Very unfortunate placement if speakers, again

By guacamole • Score: 3 • Thread

So this model, just like all of the previous non-pro iPads doesn't support stereo sound in landscape mode. If you wanna stream any videos, you will be enjoying all sound coming from one side of the screen. Pass.

Has the Android competition given up?

By Camembert • Score: 3, Interesting • Thread
I may be not well informed, but I have the impression that Android tablets these days focus totally on the basic entry level segment, leaving apple mainly to compete with itself to push people for an upgrade.
Also the iPad Pro variants seem to have interesting competition from Surface, but not at all from Android.

Is Microsoft a Digital Nation and Does It Have a Secretary of State?

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Longtime Slashdot reader cccc828 shares a report from The Economist, which poses the question: Is Microsoft a digital nation and does it have a secretary of state? "The answer of Brad Smith, the software giant's top lawyer, is, well, diplomatic," the report says. "Nation states are run by governments and firms need to be accountable to them, he says. But yes, he admits, he worries a lot about geopolitics these days." Here's an excerpt from the report: Mr Smith presides over an operation comparable in size to the foreign office of a mid-sized country. Its 1,500 employees work in departments like "Law Enforcement and National Security" or "Digital Diplomacy Group." It has outposts in 56 countries, sending regular cables to headquarters in Redmond, near Seattle. Mr Smith is as itinerant as a foreign minister. In one year he visited 22 countries and met representatives of 40 governments. [...] Mr Smith says a coherent corporate foreign policy is simply good business: it creates trust, which attracts customers. His doctrine indeed sits well with Microsoft's business model, based on sales of services and software. It can afford to be more of a purist on privacy and the spread of disinformation, the most politically contentious tech issues of the day, than giants whose profits come from targeted advertising on social networks. Acknowledging Microsoft's mixed record in the past, the article concludes: A dose of hypocrisy is perhaps inevitable in an organization the size of Microsoft. Critics level a more fundamental charge against its foreign policy, however. Where, they ask, does it -- and fellow tech giants -- derive the legitimacy to be independent actors on the international stage? This is the wrong question to pose. As businesses, they have every right to defend the interests of shareholders, employees and customers. As global ones, their priorities may differ from those of their home country's elected officials. And as entities which control much of the world's digital infrastructure, they should have a say in designing the international norms which govern it. At a time when many governments refuse to lead, why should the firms not be allowed to? Especially if, like Microsoft's, their efforts blend principles with pragmatism. How does your company deal with the ever more complex realities of world politics?

Power voids don't exist

By cowdung • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Power voids don't exist. If we don't elect leaders, then others will take charge of the power void. If the world is not run by democratically elected institutions, then it will be run by powerful corporations, international criminal gangs, a small number of Wall Street stock holders, and any other organization that is able to build a strong enough presence around the world.

We can chose to elect leaders, or we can leave it so that things get randomly resolved by whoever is able to seize power at any given time.

Dumb headlines

By raymorris • Score: 3 • Thread

Is Microsoft a nation?

Nation, n. (14c)
1. A large group of people having a common origin, language, and tradition and usually constituting a political entity. When a nation is coincident with a state, the term nation-state is often used.

2. A stable community of people inhabiting a defined territory and organized under an independent government

So no, Microsoft has virtually nothing in common with a nation.

Re:Dumb headlines

By sheramil • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

Right, but it did make an attention-grabbing headline.

Is Google an empire? Is Apple a plutocracy? Is 4chan an anarcho-syndicalist commune?


By e432776 • Score: 5, Informative • Thread how the Dutch East India Co was a nation (a "company-state").

'Ban All Watches From Exams To Stop Cheating'

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from the BBC: All watches should be banned from exam halls to discourage cheating, says an inquiry into the extent of malpractice in exams taken by pupils across the UK. Smart watches, connected to the internet, are already banned from use by students taking public exams. But the review, commissioned by exam boards, says it is becoming difficult to distinguish between hi-tech and traditional watches. Review chairman Sir John Dunford called for a "blanket ban" on watches. The Independent Commission on Examination Malpractice, set up by exam boards to investigate the prevalence of cheating in public exams in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, says that overall there is a "very low level of malpractice." "It can look as if it's a time-telling watch and actually, you press a button and it becomes an email-type watch," said Sir John, a former head teachers' union leader. "If you don't ban them all I think you're giving a very difficult job to invigilators who are looking round an exam room. So I think the obvious thing to do here is to ban watches."


By ShanghaiBill • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Just ban smartwatches

When you have dozens of students showing at the exam room in a 5 minute time window, the proctor does not have time to look at every watch and determine if it is "smart" or not.

The proctor also does not have time to remember who passed the "smart watch" test, and is allowed to look at a device during the exam, and the other students who may be looking at devices they smuggled in in their pocket or shoe.

Just ban the dang watches. The students can either leave them at home, or put them away in their closed and zippered backpacks.

If they need to know the time, they can look at the clock on the wall in the front of the room.

Next are they going to ban...

By magusxxx • Score: 3 • Thread

...glasses since they could be Google's?

Seriously, just a thought.

Simple fix..

By bjwest • Score: 3 • Thread
All exams should be taken in a room enclosed within a faraday cage with wifi, cell and bluetooth jammers. The proctor can have a hardwired phone sitting on the desk, or one on the wall by the door for emergencies. Just like in the old days when no one ever died because they didn't have a cell phone. Actually, all schools should be outfitted like this. No one, and I mean NO ONE needs to be connected 24/7, especially during a time you're using my tax dollars to get an education.

Invigilator? What a great word! Thanks Sir John!

By sabbede • Score: 3 • Thread
I'm probably not the only one who thought it was a funny typo, and I hope I'm not the only one who found out that it's an awesome word. Way more fun than "proctor". I wish I could turn back the clock a few decades (who wouldn't) just to re-take the SAT and overuse the hell out of the term.

"Invigilator. InvigilAATOOOORR! My pencil has entered a state of unusability after failing to resist sheer stresses. I shall require a replacement, Invigliator, please relinquish one."


By CastrTroy • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

I have no problem with people using calculators for this kind of thing. As long as you know that you were supposed to invert the complex matrix, then that's all that matters. No real electrical engineer is going to sit there inverting complex matrices by hand. Maybe in a math class it might be important to understand how it's done the first time, but once you get on to higher levels of math, and classes where you are applying it as part of the bigger picture, then there's no harm in using a computer to do the math for you.

VW Announces Its 'ID.3' Electric Car For the Masses, Praises Elon Musk

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Qbertino writes: The VW ID.3 (VW German Minisite and Configurator) is a compact car with a design loosely based on the very successful VW Golf line. The base model costs less than $33,000 with ranges of 330, 420, and 550 kilometers (or 205, 261 and 340 miles). Along with the car comes a new corporate identity with a newly designed logo reminiscent of the dawn of VW, signaling VW's transition into the electric era it announced with fanfare a while back. VW also isn't too shabby about giving credit where credit is due. "Without Elon Musk my job would be considerably harder," VW Chief Strategist Michael Jost was quoted as saying a few days ago. The base model of the ID.3 will only charge up to 50kW, but owners who want to charge faster (up to 100kW) can pay extra for that ability. "100kW charging will come standard on the midrange 58kWh version, while even faster 125kW charging will be available on the top-tier ID.3," reports The Verge. "The company is also offering an eight year / 160,000 kilometer warranty on the ID.3's battery pack."

Runs on Diesel

By Ryzilynt • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

When you "plug" this thing in at one of the proprietary and required VW branded charge stations it actually just refills the "battery" with diesel fuel.

Apparently this is VW's newest and most clever approach to circumventing efficiency standards.

Re:North America?

By Dutch Gun • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

From TFA:

It will be the first vehicle built on the company’s new modular all-electric platform, one that will power dozens more cars and SUVs that are waiting in the wings as part of the larger Volkswagen Group’s multibillion-dollar push into EVs. That said, VW has no plans to release the car in the US right now...

IMO, best to wait until they work out all the kinks in ID.3.1. Or maybe ID.3.11 for Workgroups.

Re:ID.3 ?

By hey! • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

The first designation for the mass produced postwar Beetle was "Type 1".

Correction re: the ranges

By Rei • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

And I guess we shouldn't expect any better, but...

There's two games being played here: the "drivecycle game" and the "up to" game.

1) The drivecycle game: These are WLTP range figures, the European standard. The US, however, uses EPA combined range figures. WLTP generally yields EV ranges 10-25% or so longer than EPA combined figures. More efficient vehicles tend to be toward the low end of the range, while less efficient vehicles tend to be toward the high end. Any conversion of WLTP (measured in kilometers) to miles is automatically going to invite misleading comparisons.

2) The "up to" game: The original claim from VW was that the ranges were "up to 205mi", "up to 260mi", and "up to 342mi". The WLTP testing consist of five separate cycles which are combined, ranging from very low to high speeds. While the combined figure is supposed to be the WLTP range, manufacturers have found that it's better marketing to give the range - for example, the 45kWh pack was "143 to 205 miles" and the 77kWh pack is "242 to 342 miles". Sounds more impressive than just a middle figure, right? From there, an even better marketing strategy was devised - why even bother mentioning the low end at all? Just say "up to 205 miles" and "up to 342 miles", respectively! Don't bother mentioning that these numbers are for extremely low speed city driving. ;)

Cancelling out these games, you could expect EPA combined figures for the ID.3 to come in somewhere around 155mi (45kWh) to 255 miles (77kWh), give or take. Of course, there won't be any EPA figures for it ever given out, because it won't be coming to the US. But expect the exact same games to continue in the future.

Re:ID.3 ?

By _merlin • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Yeah, the official names were "Type 1" for what everyone called the Beetle, "Type 2" for the microbus/camper/kombi thing, "Type 3" for the squareback/notchback/liftback thing, and "Type 4" for the replacement for the Type 2. They weren't very creative with their model names.

Apple Arcade Will Be Available On September 19 For $4.99

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Apple's Arcade video game subscription service is launching on September 19 for $4.99 per month for up to six members in your family. "There will be new games released every month, and will have perks like game guides and sneak peeks," reports Gizmodo. "In addition to a new Frogger, Apple also demoed new games Sayonara Wild Hearts and Shinsekai Into the Depths." From the report: Thanks to the little Apple did share ahead of its September 10 event, we knew that Arcade would launch with more than 100 different games, including a new Sonic the Hedgehog game and the revamped Frogger. Apple also said in March that Arcade wouldn't have ads or require additional purchases and that games would be available offline and playable on an iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, or Mac. And rather than releasing as a dedicated app, Arcade will release within the App Store as a new tab.

At least it's the right price

By guruevi • Score: 3 • Thread

$4.99 for unlimited games on all iOS and macOS platforms sounds pretty nice, especially for casual gamers. These days even the 'casual' games on Steam cost at least $19.99 on launch and even Humble Bundle costs $12/month for generally crap games with micro-transactions and add-on content that suddenly becomes critical in multiplayer.

The fact that Apple has outright banned micro-transactions makes this a win for me. Hell, even Microsoft and Sony is charging upwards of $10/month just to be able to connect their $70 games to a network.

If this has a nice library, I may be convinced to pay for it, hopefully Nintendo will port some of its classic library. Since the AppleTV now has the juice and controller support, if you just want to relax after a hard day's work and don't have the time to spend hours on a $49.99 + micro-transactions for a top-end game (if you have a real job and family)

parent's dream

By SethJohnson • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
If you have a child trying to play games on a tablet, then you already know the scourge of 'free-to-play.' This model has wrecked mobile gaming.

Every game is full of advertisements for other games that are free and full of ads. It's a tortuous endless loop. I crave the opportunity to simply buy a damn game for my child to play and be done with it. I've been looking forward to this subscription service as a solution for a long time. I'll be signing our family up on day 1. Nice that the games are cross-device compatible -- AppleTV, MacOS, iPad.

Apple Watch Series 5 Has An Always-On Display, Comes In Titanium or Ceramic Finishes

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Before launching the new iPhones today, Apple announced the next-gen Apple Watch Series 5, featuring an always-on display, compass, emergency calling for international countries, and recycled aluminum or titanium finishes. It starts at $399 for the GPS model and $499 for the cellular connected version. The Verge reports: Apple says the Series 5 watch maintains the prior model's 18-hour battery life, even with the new always-on screen, thanks to a new low-temperature polysilicone and oxide display and low-power display driver. Watchfaces and workouts have been redesigned to take advantage of the new display option. The screen will be in a low-brightness mode until you move your wrist, where it will switch to full brightness in a similar fashion to how the current model turns on when your wrist is moved. In addition to the new always-on display feature, the Apple Watch Series 5 is now available in a recycled aluminum or titanium finishes. The stainless steel and ceramic options from prior models are also available. Apple says this is the widest number of finishes ever for the Apple Watch. You can order one starting today and they will be in stores starting on September 20th.

Re:18 hours ???

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

How useless is that ? Just think of all the times when you are away/doing-something and you won't be able to find a charging point.

Well... if you have a regular 24 hour sleep/wake cycle, this leaves 6 hours when you should be sleeping for 8 hours. Presumably the watch will be charging during that time. I, however, often stay up longer than 24 hours, and routinely longer than 18 hours, so I would have to be sans watch during some of my uptime, making this watch not "useless" but certainly problematic.

Thankfully, I haven't worn a watch in about 35 years (I'm 56) and the one I have is a self-winding one. More to the point, who needs a watch anymore? The time can be found just about anywhere... I get that "smart watches" are really more an extension of your cell phone, but don't get needing one over simply using your cell phone, especially given the limitations of the device.

Re:18 hours ???

By damnbunni • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

I use a Pebble Time, which lasts well over a week on a charge. (With an always-on screen, at that.) It tracks sleep patterns, which it wouldn't be able to do if I had to take it off to charge every night.

I originally got it on sale cheap and wasn't sure what use it would be, but now not having it drives me nuts. Especially since my phone is on the large side, and usually in my bag or on my desk, not my pocket.

It's a lot more convenient to just look at my wrist to get the time, or see what that text message was, or dismiss a call instead of pulling out my phone to do it. Being able to respond to texts from the watch is useful, too.

Re:"move your wrist"?

By sexconker • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

Okay, I don't have one of these and haven't seen one, but what do they actually mean, 'cause I "move my wrist" all the time.

Good news. You'll stop caring about the display brightness as soon as you go blind from all that wrist action.

I like Apple

By Ryzilynt • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

I had the original watch when it first came out. I broke it by smashing the face into a steel girder , it was a freak accident. I haven't even discussed a replacement with the wife since. She also has an apple watch, wears it every day still , series 1.

The 18 hour battery life has been around since the beginning. It's usually just fine. As for not having a charging port near you, well, that applies to just about everything. If the battery gets too low it switches to "reserve" mode and you can still see the time. Apparently the advancements in battery tech have all gone directly into more consumption i.e. faster processor , bigger screen etc. If you had the original watch functionality with today's battery I would guess you could get 3 or more days out of it.

When you turn your wrist towards your face or when you lift your arm toward your face is when the display activates, or on this newer version i guess it brightens.

The series 5 with cellular and a set of air pods could effectively replace your phone for most day to day requirements.

You can also load a crap ton directly to internal storage , songs, pod casts, photos. etc.

Running , in the rain , listening to your favorite playlist bluetoothed to your airpods, while monitoring heart rate, tracking your run, and taking a phone call all without a phone, is where this watch shines.

Re:18 hours ???

By elohssa • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

I have a series 4. I generally only charge it while I shower and dress. Unless you go without electricity for days at a time, battery life is not an issue.

Weakness In Intel Chips Lets Researchers Steal Encrypted SSH Keystrokes

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: In late 2011, Intel introduced a performance enhancement to its line of server processors that allowed network cards and other peripherals to connect directly to a CPU's last-level cache, rather than following the standard (and significantly longer) path through the server's main memory. By avoiding system memory, Intel's DDIO -- short for Data-Direct I/O -- increased input/output bandwidth and reduced latency and power consumption.

Now, researchers are warning that, in certain scenarios, attackers can abuse DDIO to obtain keystrokes and possibly other types of sensitive data that flow through the memory of vulnerable servers. The most serious form of attack can take place in data centers and cloud environments that have both DDIO and remote direct memory access enabled to allow servers to exchange data. A server leased by a malicious hacker could abuse the vulnerability to attack other customers. To prove their point, the researchers devised an attack that allows a server to steal keystrokes typed into the protected SSH (or secure shell session) established between another server and an application server.
"The researchers have named their attack NetCAT, short for Network Cache ATtack," the report adds. "Their research is prompting an advisory for Intel that effectively recommends turning off either DDIO or RDMA in untrusted networks."

"The researchers say future attacks may be able to steal other types of data, possibly even when RDMA isn't enabled. They are also advising hardware makers do a better job of securing microarchitectural enhancements before putting them into billions of real-world servers." The researchers published their paper about NetCAT on Tuesday.

Re:Performance through shortcuts.

By jabuzz • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Oh I don't know maybe that AMD did are not cheating for performance by playing fast and loose with security. So you have AMD with chips not hitting their top boost speed, on the otherhand you have Intel chips that are a never ending security nightmare. I know which one I think is preferable and it's not the Intel problem.

Perfect Timing

By thegreatbob • Score: 3 • Thread
This is just a somewhat fancy timing attack, so my erratic typing rates should render this ineffective.

Re:Performance through shortcuts.

By BroccoliKing • Score: 5, Funny • Thread
Chill out and stop having a temper tantrum. It's an article link, not a dick, you don't have to take it so hard.

Re:Performance through shortcuts.

By bob4u2c • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Anyone who bought a FX chip knows this. I bought two of them. That is the real issue.

Wait, I'm confused. Anyone who bought the chip knows this, then why did you buy two of them? Pretty sure after the first one I would have returned it as a faulty product and not ordered a second.

The real issue is that you wanted the stated boosted clock speed. When you got the product and tested it and it didn't live up to what you expected instead of returning it or getting some kind of refund you wanted them to modify it to reach that speed. But wait, they did release a fix that does that, however it causes the chip to get hotter and eventually dies a short death. So what is it you want? Your money back, or a fix that degrades the life of the chip, or a magical chip that hasn't been released yet?

Just so I'm straight about all this, your talking about the Ryzen 9 3900X chip that was suppose to reach 4.6Ghz, but for all but a handful of users it only reaches about 4.5Ghz? Really, running about 3% slower makes you this mad?

Re:Performance through shortcuts.

By Rockoon • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
He isnt "bitching about it" .. what he is doing is "desperately trying to distract from the never ending avalanche of security flaws in intel hardware"

Period Tracker Apps Used By Millions Of Women Are Sharing Incredibly Sensitive Data With Facebook

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Period tracker apps are sending deeply personal information about women's health and sexual practices to Facebook, new research has found. From a report: UK-based advocacy group Privacy International, sharing its findings exclusively with BuzzFeed News, discovered period-tracking apps including MIA Fem and Maya sent women's use of contraception, the timings of their monthly periods, symptoms like swelling and cramps, and more, directly to Facebook. Women use such apps for a range of purposes, from tracking their period cycles to maximizing their chances of conceiving a child. On the Google Play store, Maya, owned by India-based Plackal Tech, has more than 5 million downloads. Period Tracker MIA Fem: Ovulation Calculator, owned by Cyprus-based Mobapp Development Limited, says it has more than 2 million users around the world. They are also available on the App Store. The data sharing with Facebook happens via Facebook's Software Development Kit (SDK), which helps app developers incorporate particular features and collect user data so Facebook can show them targeted ads, among other functions. When a user puts personal information into an app, that information may also be sent by the SDK to Facebook.

Re:Yeah, such a secret

By Tablizer • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

[sarcasm] It's so difficult to tell when a woman's having her period.

My wife found a way to hide it by being mean to me all the time.

Re:Apple FUD?

By Austerity Empowers • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

But it has to do with vaginas!

I feel like describing this as "incredibly sensitive" is a little over the top. If I created a tracker for my urination and bowel movements no one would consider that 'incredibly sensitive", mostly "I didn't want to know that". I'm not exactly sure why data tracking periods is any different. There's medical value in retaining those records, but after about high school, very little other value.


By cbhacking • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Bear in mind, this is the app invisibly sending the data, not (presumably) the user choosing to share it with Facebook. Facebook presumably uses the data, but they're not the ones taking something a user shared in confidence and passing it along to a third party (at least, not this time).

These app makers, on the other hand, deserve to be roasted (assuming the claims are true and not misleading). I'm not sure if period and related health data falls under HIPAA (the USA's primary medical privacy regulation), but if it does and these apps are marketed in the USA, the developers could be facing a massive lawsuit. For that matter, even if it doesn't, they could still be at risk of being sued. (IANAL)

A little disgusted

By Spinlock_1977 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

The mysoginy in some of these comments demonstrates how much entitled males have to grow to become members of a civil society that respects all members equally. Shame on a whole bunch of you snickering children. This is a privacy issue, not a vaginal one.

Well if I'm an employer

By rsilvergun • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
looking to find out if you're trying to get pregnant (and therefore about to cost me a bunch of money in paid leave and increased insurance costs) then yeah, it's incredibly sensitive.

And yes, small employers watch when their employees use the insurance. Buddy of mine with a sick family basically got told real polite-like that if he ever signed up for the company insurance he'd be fired the next day. This was pre Obamacare and all, but those laws are sparsely enforced.

Libraries and Archivists Are Scanning and Uploading Books That Are Secretly in the Public Domain

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
A coalition of archivists, activists, and libraries are working overtime to make it easier to identify the many books that are secretly in the public domain, digitize them, and make them freely available online to everyone. The people behind the effort are now hoping to upload these books to the Internet Archive, one of the largest digital archives on the internet. From a report: As it currently stands, all books published in the U.S. before 1924 are in the public domain, meaning they're publicly owned and can be freely used and copied. Books published in 1964 and after are still in copyright, and by law will be for 95 years from their publication date. But a copyright loophole means that up to 75 percent of books published between 1923 to 1964 are secretly in the public domain, meaning they are free to read and copy.

The problem is determining which books these are, due to archaic copyright registration systems and convoluted and shifting copyright law. As such, a coalition of libraries, volunteers, and archivists have been working overtime to identify which titles are in the public domain, digitize them, then upload them to the internet. At the heart of the effort has been the New York Public Library, which recently documented why the entire process is important, but a bit of a pain.

95 year hole

By michaelmalak • Score: 4 • Thread
So we'll have a 95 year hole in human knowledge, representing the years 1964 to 2059, covering the rise of digital computing, the Internet, the sexual revolution, the fall of the iron curtain, the legalization of abortion, the rise of autonomous cars, and the approach of the Singularity. Happy birthday Mickey.

"Secret" seems the wrong word.

By smoot123 • Score: 3 • Thread

I mean, there's nothing secret about copyright law. It's all out there for anyone to read. Your average Joe (or average non-wonky-IP-lawyer) might not know the details but it's nothing you couldn't figure out if you cared.

Re:For those outside entertainment cartel arm

By fafalone • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
The last two copyright extensions were completely bipartisan. The one in 76 unanimously so in the Senate and 317-7 in the house, and the really egregious one in 98 was introduced in the Senate by Orrin Hatch (R) and passed by unanimous consent, and passed in the house by voice vote (i.e. not even close).
Maybe you should actually be sure where the parties stand before singling one out.


By stabiesoft • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
It looks like is getting first copies and they put copyright on their plain text version. Hilarious. The only other option is their crap interface unless you have an institutional login. Hope project gutenberg gets a copy too as they provide freely downloadable pdf's.

Re:Three-generation principle in European copyrigh

By ItsJustAPseudonym • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Thanks for the reference. Be advised that I am not shooting the messenger here. That being said...

Because copyrights are based on something inherently personal—an author’s creativity...

Cry me a fsking river. Patents are also based on creativity, but they don't afford protection for the same length of time as copyright. (Don't bring up patent trolls BTW. They are useless sucks on the world.) Q: Why not give patent owners three generations of protection?

A: Because it's a stupidly bad idea to grant that level of protection to ANYONE for anything they create or invent.

We should just go ahead and extend copyright protection to the heat death of the universe, because The Mouse will otherwise make it so, in little bits and pieces, as time moves on.

Myths About USB Type-C

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Julie Stultz, Technical Marketing Manager at ON Semiconductor, writes for ElectronicDesign: 1. USB Type-C and PD are complicated: With a universal connector that can plug into a power host (source) or device (sink), it seems like the negotiation of which device is powering which can be overwhelming for product designers and consumers. However, products can have more -- or less -- complexity based on the product designer's needs. For Type-C only devices, a single IC can be used to control all of the connection handshakes. For more complex features, the Power Delivery protocol (PD) can be implemented. There's a strict set of guidelines that must be followed to be USB-C PD compliant. Products receive approval from the USB-IF governing committee before they're certified. Utilizing firmware from certified IC vendors can simplify design the solution.
2. USB Type-C and PD is expensive: To detect, attach, and negotiate communication, it would seem that the transition from USB 2.0 to USB-C would become expensive. For basic USB-C functionality, a basic state-machine controller can be used. Controllers are available on the market for 3. All Type-C ports have identical functionality: Despite a common connector, the actual feature set of a USB-C port can vary significantly. Ports on travel adapters only charge devices. Ports on wearable devices typically only receive charge. Ports on dual-role devices such as laptops can still see variation in port features. Power levels for standard Type-C ports are limited to 15 W while ports that implement PD can negotiate power up to 100 W. In addition, some ports are capable of data communication up to USB SS Gen 2 speeds of 10 Gb/s. Other features may include DisplayPort or Thunderbolt support.
The article debunks eight more myths.

So if you plug a Switch into a MacBook Pro ...

By Wrath0fb0b • Score: 4 • Thread

... for whatever reason, they decide that the sensible thing would be for the Switch to charge the laptop from its internal battery. Unless the Switch is off, in which case the direction is reversed.

Makes total sense! Especially when the laptop battery is multiples of the handheld battery. And the dependency on the power state of the handheld is totally logical.

I'm not aware of anyone that knows how to configure this in software (on either end) but the default behavior is pretty dang pants if you ask me.

USB-C? Universal SERIAL bus

By LynnwoodRooster • Score: 3 • Thread
They forgot that whole serial thing. I mean, 24 pins in the connector? The old DB25 parallel port had just one more than that! At 24 pins, you can be parallel. Seriously, you need - at most - 5 pins: Power, Ground, I2C (negotiate what the heck you are), D+ (high speed data line), D- (high speed data line), with the last two being differential. Twenty Four Freaking pins for a SERIAL bus? Give me a break...

Re:Analog audio

By blindseer • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

I have not been able to spot any cable that transfers analog audio into a 3.5mm jack

There's two reasons for that.

First, this was added to the USB-C spec only 2 years ago. That might seem like a long time in "internet years" but it can take time for these changes to gain support by the people making the stuff, and more time still for them to build the machines that will build the cables. Someone is likely making them now, they just haven't got to market yet.

Second, the spec requires that any audio device with a USB-C plug must support digital audio. A cable that supports only analog audio pass-through from a USB-C port to a 1/8" jack is violating the spec. That doesn't mean someone won't make such a cable, and I'm quite certain someone will, they just can't call it a USB-C cable as that would get them in legal trouble from the people that hold the USB trademarks and other intellectual property.

You may ask, why add this analog audio output to the spec if everything that plugs into it must have a DAC? The reason is so that the device with the USB-C port can be far simpler. One such use might be ports next to a seat in a car, bus, or plane. This port can be used for passengers to plug in a headset to hear music or something, or to plug in a cell phone, tablet, or laptop to charge.

Bonus points for being a port that gives audio and power for things like noise canceling headphones, they don't need batteries any more.

Re:USB-C? Universal SERIAL bus

By itsdapead • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

The old DB25 parallel port had just one more than that!

But, to be fair, so did the old RS232 serial interface... :-)

Seriously, you need - at most - 5 pins: Power, Ground, I2C (negotiate what the heck you are), D+ (high speed data line), D- (high speed data line), with the last two being differential

...then the same again if you want bidirectional communications. FWIW, USB-C contains four high-speed differential pairs - which it needs top be able to carry a full DisplayPort or Thunderbolt signal - plus a USB 2.0 pair so that you can at least plug a keyboard and mouse in as well as your display. The result does have e teensy bit more bandwidth than your old Centronics printer cable...

Not that I'm necessarily saying that combining independent functions like power, display and data into a single port is remotely worth the resulting extra complexity on anything bigger than a phone (and phones will probably be going completely wireless in the near future anyway), or that USB-C shouldn't be staked, sprinkled with garlic and poppy seeds and buried at a crossroads alongside those frigging 13-pin DIN video connectors off the Atari ST.


By Mashiki • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

Ah come on now, let's make it fun. And pump 40A through a 28awg wire, people will get scorch marks and home made lightening all day long.

Uber Lays Off 435 People Across Engineering and Product Teams

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Uber has laid off 435 employees across its product and engineering teams, the company announced today. Combined, the layoffs represent about 8% of the organizations, with 170 people leaving the product team and 265 people leaving the engineering team. From a report: The layoffs had no effect on Eats, which is one of Uber's top-performing products, and Freight, according to a source familiar with the situation. Meanwhile, the company is lifting the hiring freeze on the product and engineering teams that has been in effect since early August, according to the source. "Our hope with these changes is to reset and improve how we work day to day -- ruthlessly prioritizing, and always holding ourselves accountable to a high bar of performance and agility," an Uber spokesperson told TechCrunch. "While certainly painful in the moment, especially for those directly affected, we believe that this will result in a much stronger technical organization, which going forward will continue to hire some of the very best talent around the world." Great timing to dump this announcement.


By JoeDuncan • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
I thought their business model was just to burn through VC capital until they run out?


By BytePusher • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
I'm so excited about these openings I'm going to apply... never. How the fuck would anyone want to work for a company that goes directly from hiring freeze to layoffs to mass hiring during record low unemployment? My guess, Uber used some statistics while tightening the screws during the hiring freeze to infer who might be likely to support a union, then cut the thought traitors. This move was purely about a making a show to instill fear into their employees, as they could have cut the low performers one by one at Will.

Why the hate?

By FeelGood314 • Score: 3, Interesting • Thread
Uber serves their customers well. They replaced taxis that were horrible monopolists in much of the world with a much cheaper, cleaner, friendlier alternative. Uber drivers are contractors. There is no barrier to for drivers entering or leaving the market, they supply their own equipment and set their own hours. The drivers who track what they are doing and know how peak pricing work make much more than they would at jobs requiring similar skill.

Re:Uber is just another app

By Dutch Gun • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

I know, right? What the hell are all those people doing? I guess the obvious answer is: Making Uber unprofitable.

I'd imagine the more complex answer is: A whole lot of R&D that probably went nowhere, or into building hugely complicated infrastructure that's vastly more than was needed to do the job at hand. Programmers are going to program, but it doesn't mean what they program will really be of any significant value, aside from being some "really cool tech." My guess is that among all those programmers, some of them developed:

* A new domain-specific language, because all programmers think they can invent a better language.
* A new micro-services framework. We can never have too many of those.
* New server configuration management and deployment tools. Not Invented Here, so we need our own special sauce.
* A whole bunch of AI-research for heavens knows what, because everyone knows that's the future. Or something.
* Secret back-door tools for spying on everything and everyone. Yes, we're fucking evil. So what?
* Random cloud-related shit.
* Something something blockchain.
* And of course, self-driving tech. How hard could that be?

435 people? Doing what, exactly?

By JustAnotherOldGuy • Score: 3 • Thread

435 people? Doing what, exactly?

Seriously, the Uber app could be coded by a team of 20 or 30 La Croix drinkers with lots of slack time left over. Add another 20 or 30 to run the testing and shit, and what more do you need for "Engineering and Product teams"?

Apple Launches iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Apple today unveiled the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max, its new smartphone lineup. While the 11 is the cheaper alternative following the iPhone XR -- there are a few design changes, like a "surgical-grade stainless steel" case and matte finish, but the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max are more focused on cramming in as much power as possible. About the iPhone 11: Like last year's model, the iPhone 11 includes a 6.1-inch display, and the design is almost identical to last year, too, with the notch at the front for the Face ID camera. Apple is adding new color options, with purple, white, green, yellow, black, and red all available. Apple's biggest design changes are in the camera at the rear of the device. Last year's iPhone XR had a single 12-megapixel wide-angle camera, but the iPhone 11 now includes a dual-camera system with an additional 12-megapixel ultra-wide camera that supports 2x optical zoom. There's even a new immersive camera interface that lets you see outside the frame, so you can see the details of the photos you're taking with the ultra-wide camera. [...] Inside the iPhone 11 is Apple's latest A13 Bionic processor, and naturally it's the "fastest CPU in a smartphone" and also the "fastest GPU in a smartphone." Apple demonstrated the performance on stage with a game called Pascal's Wager, which is launching on the App Store next month with some pretty impressive looking mobile graphics. Other than the gaming demo, Apple didn't reveal any additional performance improvements with the A13. It starts at $699. The 5.8-inch iPhone 11 Pro and 6.5-inch iPhone 11 Pro Max: Despite the number change, the two phones look pretty similar to last year's iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, but with one major change: a third rear camera. Apple's also upgraded the display to a new OLED panel, which goes up to an even brighter 1,200 nits, a 2 million to 1 contrast ratio, and is 15 percent more energy efficient. Apple calls it a Super Retina XDR display (similar branding to the Pro Display XDR that the company announced earlier this year). Apple also claims that the glass here is the "toughest glass in a smartphone." Just like the standard iPhone 11, the new iPhone 11 Pro models will feature Apple's A13 Bionic chip which Apple says has both the fastest CPU and GPU ever in a smartphone. Apple also touted improved machine learning performance ("the best machine learning platform in a smartphone," it says).

Apple says that with all the improvements to efficiency, the 5.8-inch iPhone 11 Pro should get up to four hours better battery life than last year's XS, and the larger iPhone 11 Pro Max will get up to five hours better battery than the XS Max. The new camera system is one of the standout upgrades (quite literally, as it dominates the back of the phone in a gigantic square camera module). The new lens is a 12-megapixel ultra-wide lens with a 120-degree field of view, joining the wide-angle and telephoto cameras Apple has offered in the past. The telephoto camera also is getting an upgrade with a larger Æ'/2.0 aperture, which Apple says will capture up to 40 percent more light compared to the XS camera. And like the iPhone 11, the front-facing camera is now a 12 megapixel sensor, and can shoot both 4K and slow-motion videos.
The iPhone 11 Pro will start at $999, and the iPhone 11 Pro Max will start at $1199.

They have gone to 11

By jfdavis668 • Score: 3 • Thread
No information on volume level?


By That YouTube Guy • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
That rumor was for early 2020.

Re: Be brave, Apple!

By Synonymous Cowered • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
Unreliable? Funny, I've never had a 3.5mm jack fail on any of my phones. In fact, I've got plenty of hardware that dates back to the 70s, and I don't believe I've ever encountered a failed 3.5mm jack (nor any failures of it's bigger 1/4" variety). I have, however, experienced the 3.5mm to USB-C adapters are more prone to accidental disconnection of my headphones (not sure whether lightning connectors suffer the same issues or not)

Getting close to US price on gold

By Christopher Carver • Score: 5, Funny • Thread
iPhone 11 Pro weighs 194 grams and costs $999 US. Today at 194 grams pure gold costs $1488.50 US. The Apple phone is getting close. Might we switch to the Apple standard soon? To early to call I say.

Do any of them have a headphone jack?

By 0xdeadbeef • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread

If not, then who cares?

Storm Area 51 Festival Canceled Because It Was a 'Possible Humanitarian Disaster'

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
The organizers of the Storm Area 51 festival called "AlienStock" have canceled the event in the Nevada desert, citing a "possible humanitarian disaster" associated with having people show up unprepared in an area with few amenities and little water. From a report: "Due to the lack of infrastructure, poor planning, risk management, and blatant disregard for the safety of the expected 10,000+ AlienStock attendees, we decided to pull the plug on the festival," a message on AlienStock's website reads. AlienStock was set up by the Facebook meme page "Storm Area 51," and was planned for the weekend of September 20 near Rachel, Nevada. The local town has been actively warning people on its website not to come, noting that many local residents are armed and would be willing to defend their property.


By PopeRatzo • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Who else is disappointed that we don't get to see hundreds of thousands of dipshits die of thirst and heat and particle weapons in the Nevada desert?

It would have been a natural disaster caused by sheer stupidity and it would have been glorious. Think the Darwin Awards on a mass scale.

Once again

By bobstreo • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

the Darwin Awards are cheated of many possible "winners".

Re:That's a pity

By Kaenneth • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

I hear the Clinton's have a secret child sex slave dungeon in the most remote point of Death Valley. Should totally storm it next July.

And bring a lot of alcohol to drink.

Re:but don't worry

By Red_Forman • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

People don't die in science stations in the Antarctic, or in remote desert settlements like Alice Springs in Australia... because the people there no what to expect and have the right supply lines set up.

The people there also know the difference between no and know.


If the organizers were smart...

By Akardam • Score: 3 • Thread

... they would have found a way to fool GPS and every mapping app, and convinced both that the middle of the Area 51 facility was where the Burning Man festival was taking place... and then sat back and watched as a bunch of generally free-thinking folks well prepared to survive in the desert for a week descended on the locale en mass.

Just a thought, really.

Apple Prices TV+ Video Service at $4.99 a Month, Hitting Netflix and Disney

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Apple said its TV+ original video subscription service will launch Nov. 1 for $4.99 a month, undercutting the price of rival offerings. From a report: The Cupertino, California-based technology giant made the announcement at a Tuesday event focused on new versions of the iPhone. The service will be free for one year with purchases of new Apple devices, Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook said on stage. The TV+ service is entering a crowded field that already includes Netflix Inc., Inc., Hulu and AT&T's HBO. In November, Walt Disney plans to launch a Disney+ streaming service, with a giant catalog of titles, for $6.99 a month. Netflix's entry-level subscription is $8.99 a month in the U.S. Netflix and Disney shares fell after the announcement on Tuesday, while Apple stock climbed.

I'd pay $10 - $15 per month

By SilverJets • Score: 3, Interesting • Thread

If they opened up the entire Apple iTunes catalogue as part of this service. All movies, all tv shows, all music.

I got Netflix and Prime

By future assassin • Score: 3 • Thread

and I still torrent more and (gasp) watch YouTube more than those two. What sucks about YT is the click bait thumbnails and 1000's of copy cat shows although I used those to also weed out shows.

Hits no one

By SuperKendall • Score: 3 • Thread

I think the price is great, possibly between them and Disney leading a charge across the streaming industry for lower prices...

But the Apple price service is not going to replace Netflix or Disney+, both of which have much larger content libraries.

The Apple pricing reflects that it will be an add on service, the same way Disney is priced knowing people will get it in conjunction with Netflix, not as a replacement....

It remains to be seen if AppleTV+ really has many compelling shows to watch.

This is a very new concept for Apple

By Trailer Trash • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Seriously - being the low-cost alternative? They literally have no experience in that position.

Re:Available on Roku and Android TV?

By Mousit • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Will it be available on Roku and Android TV?

A shame TFS didn't link to the actual Apple press release.

Though it doesn't directly answer your question, it lists "...available on the Apple TV app on iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, iPod touch, Mac and other platforms, including online at" Emphasis mine; I'd venture a guess that it probably will be, as the press release explicitly listed all the Apple platforms, so "other platforms" suggests non-Apple stuff.

Also the last piece of that is worth noting: available online at They have already confirmed that this will work with Chrome and Firefox, not just Safari, so that alone will be a platform-agnostic way to use the service.

51 Tech CEOs Send Open Letter To Congress Asking For a Federal Data Privacy Law

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
The chief executive officers (CEOs) of 51 tech companies have signed and sent an open letter to Congress leaders today, asking for a federal law on user data privacy to supersede the rising number of privacy laws that are cropping up at the state level. From a report: The open-letter was sent on behalf of Business Roundtable, an association made up of the CEOs of America's largest companies. The CEOs of Amazon, AT&T, Dell, IBM, Qualcomm, SAP, Salesforce, Visa, Mastercard, JP Morgan Chase, State Farm, and Walmart, are just some of the execs who put their name on the dotted line. CEOs blamed a patchwork of differing privacy regulations that are currently being passed in multiple US states, and by several US agencies, as one of the reasons why consumer privacy is a mess in the US.

This patchwork of privacy regulations is creating problems for their companies, which have to comply with an ever-increasing number of laws across different states and jurisdictions. Instead, the 51 CEOs would like one law that governs all user privacy and data protection across the US, which would simplify product design, compliance, and data management. "There is now widespread agreement among companies across all sectors of the economy, policymakers and consumer groups about the need for a comprehensive federal consumer data privacy law that provides strong, consistent protections for American consumers," the open letter said.

Here is my recommendation.

By Oswald McWeany • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Here is my recommended federal bill.

Two companies may not share private data relating to a third party without gaining permission from that third party EVERY SINGLE TIME. No catchalls either no "you give us the right to share data with whoever we like"- if Google wants to share data on us with Target, Walmart, Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft, they need to ask us EVERY SINGLE TIME, and for EVERY SINGLE COMPANY and this has to be separate from any EULA so that people know PRECISELY WHEN-WHERE-AND-HOW their data is passed around like a stereotypical 1980's college sorority girl.

Yes, many people will stop doing business with certain evil entities and some companies will be forced to be more privacy aware and less loosey-goosey with our data.

Reason not included in letter

By Chris Mattern • Score: 3 • Thread

"Bribing the US Congress is so much easier than having to bribe all 50 state legislatures."


By Compuser • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

We already have a model privacy law. No need to reinvent the wheel, just expand HIPAA to cover all personal information and apply it to all businesses. Then we can talk about expanding HIPAA protections.

this isnt about a patchwork at all.

By nimbius • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

This patchwork of privacy regulations is creating problems for their companies, which have to comply with an ever-increasing number of laws across different states and jurisdictions.

this is about one very specific state --California-- and one very specific privacy regulation, namely Assembly Bill 370. These CEO's, despite endless lobbying, have failed to find anyone to sponsor amendments they want in order to render the bill ineffective. These CEO's know that if California goes, so goes the rest of the US. Many other states will pattern their privacy laws on what California has done.

so the best way to get ahead of it is to lobby at the federal level, which is always interested in lobbyist money. the new data privacy law would "simplify product design, compliance, and data management." but nowhere in the open letter do they mention the ability for users to ever opt out entirely from data collection (something the California bill explicitly permits.)

How about this

By gettin2old • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Stop requiring private data. Period.
I shouldn't have to tell them anything private to view their website. And they shouldn't collect anything from me either. No tracking cookies.
Any personal information needed to say bill and ship an order may only be used for the purpose of billing and shipping.
Zero 3rd party transfers of my data. If I want the 3rd party to have it i'll send it to them when I solicit their services.

Trump Says He Fired National Security Advisor John Bolton -- But Bolton Says He 'Offered To Resign'

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
President Donald Trump said Tuesday he fired national security advisor John Bolton, saying on Twitter he had " disagreed strongly with many of his suggestions." From a report: But minutes later, Bolton in his own tweet said that he "offered to resign" Monday night -- and that Trump told him, "Let's talk about it tomorrow." Either way, Bolton's departure shocked Washington, D.C., and oil crude futures fell. Bolton, who was named national security advisor in March 2018, is a harsh critic of Iran, and has advocated military strikes against that oil-rich nation. "I informed John Bolton last night that his services are no longer needed at the White House. I disagreed strongly with many of his suggestions, as did others in the Administration, and therefore I asked John for his resignation, which was given to me this morning," Trump said in a tweet. "I thank John very much for his service. I will be naming a new National Security Advisor next week." Earlier this month, Bolton had accused China of stealing US technology to make a stealth fighter. On a visit to Ukraine last month, Bolton said an unnamed fifth-generation aircraft "looks a lot like the F-35, that's because it is the F-35. They just stole it."

Re:Drain the Swamp

By jythie • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
For the current generation there really isn't any good reason to be so hostile towards Iran. What we see today is mostly left over from the 70s and 80s followed by 'but they are not respecting our authority!'. Just look at the Bolton plan for Iran, it mostly involves either destruction or humiliation, and Trump (same generation) mostly just cares about humiliation. The older generation of conservatives have a deep emotional scar with Iran that they REALLY want to take care of before they all die.

Re:Drain the Swamp

By Comrade Ogilvy • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Exactly. Trump shows no evidence of carefully considering thoughtful input from anyone ever, or even knowing whom to ask for such input. Most likely, ether he saw Bolton TV kissing up or a close family member did. It is conceivable that there are those around Trump savvy enough to manipulate him by sending a link to a choice video clip, too.

Fellating Trump on TV is a pretty good way to get an appointment these days. It really does not take much more than that.

The rest was nothing more than "I feel it in my gut, he has the right kind of angry tough, oh baby, oh baby, do not stop". Guess what happens when work has to get done and there is no more time for pleasuring the CinC? Trump gets bored and wants a different whore.

Re:Drain the Swamp

By tlhIngan • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

Trump keeps his campaign promises by draining the swamp.

Trump did drain the swamp. He just never said what he'd do with what was in the swamp. End result is instead of all those deals being done behind closed doors, they're being done out in the open.

Instead of hiding the corruption, he's just broadcasting it for the world to see.

Well, that, and revealing classified information - the world got a great glimpse of what kind of satellite imagery the US can get, well beyond what's available commercially, and always heavily classified by every nation, until now.

Re:"They just stole it."

By jythie • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
I don't really hear the liberal anti-war crowd being upset with him not going to war. At most I hear concerns that his bluster and brinksmanship will result in a cold conflict going hot or worry that his mistreatment of NATO will degrade its deterrent effect. Or are you just referring to the right wing claim that criticizing russian involvement in crimea or ukraine and taking economic actions is 'leftist war mongering'?

Re:I'll be his national security advisor

By cayenne8 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Is that like the exit door of the DNC leads directly into CNN?

The "real" to MSNBC.

We Need To Prepare for the Future of War, NSA Official Says

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Glenn S. Gerstell, the general counsel of the National Security Agency, writing at The New York Times: The threats of cyberattack and hypersonic missiles are two examples of easily foreseeable challenges to our national security posed by rapidly developing technology. It is by no means certain that we will be able to cope with those two threats, let alone the even more complicated and unknown challenges presented by the general onrush of technology -- the digital revolution or so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution -- that will be our future for the next few decades.

The digital revolution has urgent and profound implications for our federal national security agencies. It is almost impossible to overstate the challenges. If anything, we run the risk of thinking too conventionally about the future. The short period of time our nation has to prepare for the effects of this revolution is already upon us, and it could not come at a more perilous and complicated time for the National Security Agency, Central Intelligence Agency, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, Defense Intelligence Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation and the other components of the intelligence community.

Gearing up to deal with those new adversaries, which do not necessarily present merely conventional military threats, is itself a daunting challenge and one that must be undertaken immediately and for at least the next decade or two. But that is precisely when we must put in place a new foundation for dealing with the even more profound and enduring implications of the digital revolution. That revolution will sweep through all aspects of our society so powerfully that our only chance of effectively grappling with its consequences will lie in taking bold steps in the relatively near term. In short, our attention must turn to a far more complex set of threats of multiple dimensions enabled by the digital revolution. While the potential consequences are less catastrophic than nuclear war, they are nonetheless deeply threatening in a range of ways we will have trouble countering.

Re:Give peace a chance

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
You should check out the number of deaths from war after the invention of nuclear warfare.

It dropped to a fraction of what it was before.

If you want peace, prepare for war.

The future war is already here...and in progress.

By erktrek • Score: 3 • Thread

All informational/social media based and exploiting our lack of critical thinking skills / education.

Fake news and "Fake News", alternative facts, alternative perceived realities, echo chambers..fear, prejudice and greed.

We do live in interesting times...

Re:Give peace a chance

By alvinrod • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

First: nukes aren't useful. Let's get that one out of the way. You can't stop a nuke with another nuke, and you can raise plenty of hell with conventional weapons. So we can ditch all the nukes.

I'd disagree. Nukes are immensely useful, because they tell everyone else not to fuck with your country. If you look at things from the perspective of Iran or North Korea it's quite evident to see why they want nuclear weapons of their own because it means that the U.S. or other foreign powers cannot meddle in their affairs to the extent that the U.S. historically has.

The capability for an adversary to annihilate you is one hell of a deterrent. Bullies are never going to pick on the biggest, strongest kid and it's no different at a nation level. Getting your own nuclear weapons means not being shoved around in the lunch line.

If war is obsolete then there's no need to ban it since no one would care to engage in it, but I feel as though most of your post is just wishful thinking. Making something illegal doesn't stop anyone from doing it. Iraq used chemical weapons against the Kurds and it's been suspected that they've been used in Syria as well. So what do you do to the rule breakers if not going to war with them. The only choice is economic sanctions otherwise your rules are utterly toothless and only their to provide the illusion of safety and comfort.


By jenningsthecat • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

What we really need to prepare for is the future of peace - the kind of peace enforced by corporate dominance, social credit scores, and a 24/7 absence of privacy.

Re:Give peace a chance

By Nidi62 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

First: nukes aren't useful. Let's get that one out of the way. You can't stop a nuke with another nuke, and you can raise plenty of hell with conventional weapons. So we can ditch all the nukes.

I'd disagree. Nukes are immensely useful, because they tell everyone else not to fuck with your country. If you look at things from the perspective of Iran or North Korea it's quite evident to see why they want nuclear weapons of their own because it means that the U.S. or other foreign powers cannot meddle in their affairs to the extent that the U.S. historically has.

The capability for an adversary to annihilate you is one hell of a deterrent. Bullies are never going to pick on the biggest, strongest kid and it's no different at a nation level. Getting your own nuclear weapons means not being shoved around in the lunch line.

Nukes are the real world equivalent of the movie trope of a guy holding a grenade with the pin pulled. It says "if you mess with me I might go down, but you'll go down with me". But it doesn't mean you'll magically have a peaceful coexistence. It means you'll get into proxy wars, use symbolic measures (like missile tests in the case of NK), or get into economic warfare. But you'll still be fighting.

Mozilla Launches VPN as Part of Resurrected Firefox Test Pilot Program

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Mozilla is resurrecting its recently expunged Test Pilot program with a renewed focus on privacy-focused tools and products. The Firefox developer today lifted the lid on the first product to emerge from the new Test Pilot, and it appears to be something akin to a virtual private network (VPN) in all but name. From a report: Firefox Private Network, as the new tool is called, is available in beta today for logged-in Firefox desktop users in the U.S. only, and is accessible through a browser extension. By way of a quick recap, Mozilla debuted Firefox Test Pilot a decade ago but then relaunched it back in 2016. Test Pilot went on to attain an average of 100,000 daily users, each looking to test Mozilla's latest developments -- including a price-tracking feature for online shoppers, content recommendations based on browsing activity, and more.

Some of these became full-fledged features within Firefox and others did not, but back in January Mozilla announced it was killing its Test Pilot program altogether. This came as something of a surprise given Mozilla's own statements about the success of the program. At the time, Mozilla said it was "evolving" its approach to experimentation and suggested it was looking to ideate more widely across the company. Fast-forward nine months, and Firefox Test Pilot is back for a third time.


By chuckugly • Score: 3 • Thread
How is a thing that only encapsulates browser traffic a "VPN in all but name" is the question I immediately have.

Loophole That Lets People Share Your Private Instagram Pics and Stories Isn't a 'Hack' -- but Still, Heads Up

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader shares a report: Here's another reminder to be wary of what you share online: BuzzFeed News noticed on Monday that the way Instagram and its owner Facebook serve up media content allows for anyone who has access to a private photo or video to root around in the HTML code and copy-paste a direct link to it.

BuzzFeed wrote: "The hack -- which works on Instagram stories as well -- requires only a rudimentary understanding of HTML and a browser. It can be done in a handful of clicks. A user simply inspects the images and videos that are being loaded on the page and then pulls out the source URL. This public URL can then be shared with people who are not logged in to Instagram or do not follow that private user. According to tests performed by BuzzFeed's Tech + News Working Group, JPEGs and MP4s from private feeds and stories can be viewed, downloaded, and shared publicly this way.
Because all of this data is being hosted by Facebook's own content delivery network, the work-around also applies to private Facebook content. Here's an example of such a link to a private Instagram image, per the Verge: "

BuzzFeed is calling this a "hack," but what's really happening is Internet 101. When an authorized user loads a piece of content on Instagram in a browser, it's trivial to look in the HTML and find a direct URL to where the image or video is sitting on a server. This is not exactly uncommon for the content delivery networks (CDNs) that serve as the backbones of big websites; the simplest and least computationally expensive method of restricting unauthorized users from accessing the image or video in question is to make its URL very, very long.

In fairness...

By Shaitan • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

It is actually pretty easy to avoid this bug on the part of Instagram they are just too lazy to do it. And most sites do some level of content protection so the assumption would be that Instagram and Facebook would as well. Failing to do so could legitimately be called a security bug and therefore exploiting that bug does constitute a (albeit lamely easy) hack.

They could block by referrer for starters. The links could include a request specific element and the content retrieved from db at need with the request specific element expiring on each load or even within a given time window. Those are just a couple off the top of my head that we implemented regularly on warez sites in the 90's. Neither is really expensive (like I said, we could manage that much for free on warez sites in the 90's) but FB is cheap and lazy because lazy is cheap. It isn't like they give a damn about your security and privacy. Their entire business model is selling out their users.

No kidding.

By garcia • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

This is Slashdot and I have been around long enough to know better but...this is news for nerds?

Everyone has known about this since the beginning of time and this is not something worth of attention.

Re:In fairness...

By rioki • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Maybe they did the cost benefit analysis and came to the conclusion, that you can just make a screen shot and share that... so why bother with more layer of obfuscation and "protection".

Nothing Is Private Online

By Jason Levine • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Just another example that you shouldn't share anything online that you wouldn't want everyone to see. Even without this hole-not-hack, someone could take a screenshot of your "totally private Facebook message/Instagram photo/text message/whatever" and send that to everyone. Don't think that just because the initial communication is "you to one person" that nobody else will ever see it.

why would you care, really?

By argStyopa • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

...I mean, if you're a narcissist that lives vicariously on instagram, really we're just talking degrees of oversharing, if anything.

"Oh, I only wanted that picture of my tits to go to THOSE 134 friends, not that other group of 14 people...NOW I AM TEH MORTIFIED!"

EU Reappoints Top Antitrust Cop Who Led Crackdown on Tech Giants

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
In a surprise move, the new European Commission has reappointed Margrethe Vestager to be its antitrust chief. From a report: As Europe's chief of competition, Vestager has over the past several years led a crusade against many of the biggest U.S. tech companies for abuses of power. But following recent elections for the European Parliament and the selection of a new European Commission, Vestager's term was expected to come to an end. Instead, it seems her mission will continue and has expanded to include a project called "Europe fit for the digital age," though not many details were offered about the new brief. "Digitalization has a huge impact on the way we live, work, and communicate," EC President-elect Ursula von der Leyen said in a statement on Vestager's role. "In some fields, Europe has to catch up -- like for business to consumers -- while in others we are frontrunners -- such as in business to business. We have to make our single market fit for the digital age, we need to make the most of artificial intelligence and big data, we have to improve on cybersecurity, and we have to work hard for our technological sovereignty."

In a surprise move?

By nospam007 • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Speak for yourself.

In the EU, nobody was surprised, everybody was delighted.


By SirAstral • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

What Crackdown? I have not seen, nor hear, nor learned of any kind of crackdown against a Tech Giant.

I have however, seen a few lazy runs at them, some generous hand slapping, an ever so stern *talking to*... would you be referring to those by chance?

Scientists Discover New Evidence of the Asteroid That Killed Off the Dinosaurs

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Wall Street Journal: Drilling into the seafloor off Mexico, scientists have extracted a unique geologic record of the single worst day in the history of life on Earth, when a city-sized asteroid smashed into the planet 65 million years ago, wiping out the dinosaurs and three-quarters of all other life. Their analysis of these new rock samples from the Chicxulub crater, made public Monday, reveals a parfait of debris deposited in layers almost minute-by-minute at the heart of the impact during the first day of a global catastrophe (Warning: source paywalled; alternative source). It records traces of the explosive melting, massive earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides and wildfires as the immense asteroid blasted a hole 100 miles wide and 12 miles deep, the scientists said. The sediments also offer chemical evidence that the cataclysm blew hundreds of billions of tons of sulfur from pulverized ocean rock into the atmosphere, triggering a global winter in which temperatures world-wide dropped by as much as 30 degrees Fahrenheit for decades, the scientists said. "The asteroid blasted a cavity between 25 and 30 miles deep in the first seconds of impact, creating a boiling cauldron of molten rocks and super-heated steam," reports The Wall Street Journal, citing the scientists' interpretation of the rock. "Rebounding from the hammer blow, a plume of molten rock splashed up into a peak higher than Mount Everest. Within minutes, it collapsed into itself, splashing gigantic waves of lava outward that solidified into a ring of high peaks, the scientists said."

"About 20 minutes or so later, sea water surged back over the newly formed peaks, covering them in a blanket of impact rocks, the scientists said. As minutes became hours, waves choked with shards of volcanic glass and splintered rock rippled back and forth, coating the peaks in a layer of impact rock called suevite, the scientists said. As the hours passed, the backwash of waves added more and more finely graded debris. At the very top of the rock core, the scientists detected traces of organic matter and charcoal."

The study was published today in the journal PNAS.

Pics, or it didn't happen.

By DCFusor • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
Oh, wait. There are pics of a round earth and people don't believe that.

Bell rung

By DigiShaman • Score: 3 • Thread

Such as impact certainly would have rung the Earth like a bell. I'm curious to what seismic event would have registered on the far side of the planet (exact opposite side) as the shock-wave raced on toward it.

Re:Well now!

By greythax • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

There were several paths to surviving extinction. It's helpful to imagine the circumstances. While the impact was vast and terrible, it didn't just flatten the species like an h-bomb and have done with it. The full extinction event seems to have taken thousands of years.

The day of the impact would have been a very bad day, but the following year or two would have been even worse. First, you have to survive the cold which was likely pretty severe for the first few months. It's not as if winter hadn't been invented yet, so most species would have had adaptation strategies. The real test would have come when the plants didn't start growing back. Being a bird, with warm blood and eating insects, which get their food from dead plants, life would have been much better than for most species. Being a burrowing mammal who ate seeds was also a pretty good niche. Being a crocodile was tough, but the water helped keep you warm and fish were dying by the millions, so all you can eat buffet.

Still, species are resilient and at this point were the genetic product of 4 other mass extinctions, seeds can lie dormant a long time for certain species, animals are amazingly resilient. But either by coincidence, or as a result of an unprecedented impact, or possibly before the impact event (take your pick, lots of debate going around) the mother god of all volcanism started in siberia and lasted for 800,000 years. It released enough lava to cover the entire planet in 20 feet of rock, albeit very slowly. That wasn't really the problem. The problem was all of the carbon and sulfur it released. Amazing quantities of it. Enough to push the temperatures far out of their normal ranges, and create worldwide acid rain. This was the deathknell for most of the species. Plants that were already shocked from the impact had real trouble establishing themselves in rapidly changing climates. Almost every fish that lived in the water column died off (dependant on plankton), only the deep dwelling ones survived. Pretty much every animal that ate exclusively plants or meat died off too. Insectivores and omnivores under about 50 lbs were the only ones who could really find a path to survival (excepting crocs, once again, because they are magic animals with a fantastic niche.) This is where the ability to migrate really shined. Being able to change your habitat was a form of heat regulation, as was burrowing. The earth was, however, pretty close to an all you can eat insect buffet for a long time though, and animal species who were specialized in that arena were able to chart a path through those rapidly changing conditions.

I've heard a lot of estimates, but the one I believe the most is that after about 5,000 years, species had started to settle into sustainable niche's and the worst of the extinction was done, but in the end 90% of everything living was dead.

US Charges Chinese Professor With Fraud For Allegedly Taking Tech From a California Company To Benefit Huawei

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
U.S. prosecutors have charged a Chinese professor with fraud for allegedly taking technology from a California company to benefit Huawei, in another shot at the embattled Chinese telecommunications equipment maker. From the report: Bo Mao was arrested in Texas on Aug. 14 and released six days later on $100,000 bond after he consented to proceed with the case in New York, according to court documents. Bo Mao was arrested in Texas on Aug. 14 and released six days later on $100,000 bond after he consented to proceed with the case in New York, according to court documents. According to the criminal complaint, Mao entered into an agreement with the unnamed California tech company to obtain its circuit board, claiming it was for academic research.

The complaint, however, accuses an unidentified Chinese telecommunications conglomerate, which sources say is Huawei, of trying to steal the technology, and alleges Mao played a role in its alleged scheme. A court document also indicates the case is related to Huawei. Although Huawei has not been charged, the company said it views the case against Mao as the U.S. government's latest instance of "selective prosecution."

Re:How ironic

By PolygamousRanchKid • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

They accuse a professor of transmitting knowledge...

If you do some research, and then publish a paper about it in an acknowledged scientific journal . . . you are transmitting knowledge.

If you weasel your way to get access to propriety information of a private company, and then sell it to a competitor company . . . your are committing industrial espionage.

Re:Ya just can't trust the chinks

By DigiShaman • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

I'm going to get flamed for this, but to hell with it.... China has a cultural problem, starting with the fact that on average and as a whole they're not an enlightened (sadly though the West is hell bent of regressing to match them) society. China is in a "copy that" phase with little foundational understanding as to why it's the core of success other then it's a known source of prosperity to emulate. Also add to the fact very little trust exist among it's own people. I cannot attribute order of causality, but a well known fact that communism is associated with societies that bear little trust among each-other; please see the history of East Germany and other communist nations. So when you hear or read stories about the amount of cheating and lying of the Chinese, it's pretty much true. Their society is like a Great Filter where only the strong and ruthless rise to the ranks. They're not "evil", but are conditioned to survive for the environment they're in. Remember, there are literally billions living in a non-democratic system with re-education camps and other state indoctrination schemes in play.

All that we can do in the West is welcome the Chinese to prosperity while simultaneously throwing the book at them for breaking our laws. Authority is all they understand, so authority they must be shown!

Industrial Espionage: it's still wrong, but...

By rmdingler • Score: 3 • Thread

It's not exclusively a Chinese activity, but it does feed into the stereotype, and our own schadenfreude.

To be fair, the Chinese don't respect or protect intellectual property in their own country, so it is not particularly shocking to discover they do not hold it in high regard internationally.

Every industrialized nation does it... China perhaps more so, since they manufacture virtually everything.

Re:Ya just can't trust the chinks

By drinkypoo • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Communism is a red herring. China is fascist-capitalist, not communist.

The USA, of course, is capitalist-fascist. The basic facts are the same, but the emphasis is different.

Re:Industrial Espionage: it's still wrong, but...

By sinij • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
I think this is a positive feature of humanity - it is impossible to keep any technology secret. While I don't like Chinese blatantly stealing tech from the West, this is not at all unusual in historical terms.

New Models Suggest Titan Lakes Are Explosion Craters

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Using radar data from NASA's Cassini spacecraft, recently published research presents a new scenario to explain why some methane-filled lakes on Saturn's moon Titan are surrounded by steep rims that reach hundreds of feet high. The models suggests that explosions of warming nitrogen created basins in the moon's crust. Phys.Org reports: Titan is the only planetary body in our solar system other than Earth known to have stable liquid on its surface. But instead of water raining down from clouds and filling lakes and seas as on Earth, on Titan it's methane and ethane -- hydrocarbons that we think of as gases but that behave as liquids in Titan's frigid climate. Most existing models that lay out the origin of Titan's lakes show liquid methane dissolving the moon's bedrock of ice and solid organic compounds, carving reservoirs that fill with the liquid. This may be the origin of a type of lake on Titan that has sharp boundaries. On Earth, bodies of water that formed similarly, by dissolving surrounding limestone, are known as karstic lakes.

The new, alternative models for some of the smaller lakes (tens of miles across) turns that theory upside down: It proposes pockets of liquid nitrogen in Titan's crust warmed, turning into explosive gas that blew out craters, which then filled with liquid methane. The new theory explains why some of the smaller lakes near Titan's north pole, like Winnipeg Lacus, appear in radar imaging to have very steep rims that tower above sea level -- rims difficult to explain with the karstic model. The work, published Sept. 9 in Nature Geosciences, meshes with other Titan climate models showing the moon may be warm compared to how it was in earlier Titan "ice ages."

Nitrogen explosion?

By Rockoon • Score: 3 • Thread
Why would melting nitrogen explode?

Re:Nitrogen explosion?

By tomhath • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
It's similar to a steam explosion. If the temperature rises it can stay liquid while it's under a lot of pressure; but when something starts to give, the pressure is reduced and it all turns to gas at once. KABOOM.