the unofficial Slashdot digest for 2019-Sep-11 today archive


  1. No Bones About It: People Recognize Objects By Visualizing Their 'Skeletons'
  2. Most Android Flashlight Apps Request An Absurd Number of Permissions
  3. Two Mathematicians Solve Old Math Riddle, Possibly the Meaning of Life
  4. Taylor Swift Reportedly Threatened To Sue Microsoft Over Racist Twitter Bot
  5. It's Not 'X', It's 'Cross' -- the PlayStation Joypad Revelation That's Caused an Outrage
  6. Objects Can Now Change Colors Like a Chameleon
  7. Trump Calls On FDA To Ban All Flavored Vapes After Mystery Lung Illness
  8. Open-Source Database Scylla Gains DynamoDB Compatibility
  9. Apple's iPhone 11 Pro Is Triggering 'Fear of Holes' Or Trypophobia In Some
  10. Australian House Committee To Look Into Age Verification For Porn
  11. After Payroll Provider Collapses, Banks Drain Employee Accounts
  12. Expert Predicts 25% of Colleges Will 'Fail' in the Next 20 Years
  13. A Famous Argument Against Free Will Has Been Debunked
  14. Court Rules That 'Scraping' Public Website Data Isn't Hacking
  15. GameStop Closing 200 Stores Following Another Quarter of Dismal Sales
  16. Google Chrome Now Lets You Send Webpages To Other Devices
  17. SpaceX Confirms It's Almost Ready To Test Its Orbital Starship
  18. California Bill Makes App-Based Companies Treat Workers as Employees
  19. Apple Just Turned Its Extended Warranty For iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch Into a Monthly Subscription
  20. Google To Run DNS-over-HTTPS (DoH) Experiment in Chrome
  21. Amazon Probed by US Antitrust Officials Over Marketplace
  22. Comcast Sues Maine To Stop Law Requiring Sale of Individual TV Channels
  23. 281 Alleged Email Scammers Arrested In Massive Global Sweep
  24. Jack Ma Steps Down On 20th Birthday of Alibaba

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

No Bones About It: People Recognize Objects By Visualizing Their 'Skeletons'

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader shares a report from Scientific American: Humans effortlessly know that a tree is a tree and a dog is a dog no matter the size, color or angle at which they're viewed. In fact, identifying such visual elements is one of the earliest tasks children learn. But researchers have struggled to determine how the brain does this simple evaluation. As deep-learning systems have come to master this ability, scientists have started to ask whether computers analyze data -- and particularly images -- similarly to the human brain. "The way that the human mind, the human visual system, understands shape is a mystery that has baffled people for many generations, partly because it is so intuitive and yet it's very difficult to program" says Jacob Feldman, a psychology professor at Rutgers University.

A paper published in Scientific Reports in June comparing various object recognition models came to the conclusion that people do not evaluate an object like a computer processing pixels, but based on an imagined internal skeleton. In the study, researchers from Emory University, led by associate professor of psychology Stella Lourenco, wanted to know if people judged object similarity based on the objects' skeletons -- an invisible axis below the surface that runs through the middle of the object's shape. The scientists generated 150 unique three-dimensional shapes built around 30 different skeletons and asked participants to determine whether or not two of the objects were the same. Sure enough, the more similar the skeletons were, the more likely participants were to label the objects as the same. The researchers also compared how well other models, such as neural networks (artificial intelligence-based systems) and pixel-based evaluations of the objects, predicted people's decisions. While the other models matched performance on the task relatively well, the skeletal model always won.
On the Rumsfeld Epistemological Scale, AI programers trying to duplicate the functions of the human mind are still dealing with some high-level known-unknowns, and maybe even a few unknown-unknowns.

This is News?

By Gamer_2k4 • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
Art instructors have been teaching to start with the skeleton for decades, if not centuries. We determine form by internal structure. So why are we just now learning that that's how people actually perceive the world?

Stick figure

By raymorris • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

If you replace "skeleton" with "stick figure" in the summary it might seem more familiar.

You easily recognize a stick figure of a human vs a dog vs a tree - even at the age of 2 or 3. Whether the arms or up or down whatever - the position can vary to any somewhat normal position for the person or dog or car to be in and you immediately recognize it as a person or whatever it is.

A stick figure is, of course, the same thing visually as a simplistic skeleton.


By weilawei • Score: 3 • Thread

My wife is face blind, and this leads to an interesting situation where I'll say two people look similar (because of underlying facial structure), and she'll say they look completely different.

This story makes sense in that light, because other tasks requiring the arrangement or orientation of things to be assessed is not her strong point.

That is interesting

By Sqreater • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
About twenty years ago I lost the ability to recognize objects using one of my eyes. It lasted for about 12 hours and then recovered. Probably a temporary clot or what is called a "mini stroke." If I covered the good eye and looked out of the impacted eye I could see the object but just did not know what it was. If I covered the unimpacted eye and looked out of the normal eye I could identify objects normally. Whatever allows us to identify objects must exist separately in both hemispheres of the brain and in specific places. I suggest also that recognizing an object and evaluating or judging an object are two different things. We make evaluations of acceptability and quality according to the "EPs" or "elements of perception" (mine) that append to the object. Why is that a "good" lamp and that one not? Why is that one type of apple and not another? Shape, size, color, smell. Also, context allows a speedier determination of an object. An object can be more easily determined if it is among objects it is likely to be around. Sometimes it can be erroneously determined if it is among many unexpected objects. So an object can gain its recognition from objects around it. Wasn't there an elephant-in-the-room discombobulation of an AI recognition program recently? Recognition in the wild, in a constantly changing world, is an incredible problem that humans solve with ease. In humans it is far more than wire frame recognition. Amazing.

Internal skeleton?

By twocows • Score: 3 • Thread
When I visualize an object in my mind, I visualize the way it looks from the outside: the orientation of its surfaces and how they're arranged. Rather than an internal skeleton, it's more like an external skeleton like a bug might have (even if the surface in question is not skeleton-like in any way). If I try to picture an internal skeleton for an object, it just feels off.

Most Android Flashlight Apps Request An Absurd Number of Permissions

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Out of 937 flashlight apps on the Play Store, Avast Security Evangelist Luis Corrons found that the vast majority requested a large number of permissions, with the average being of 25 permissions per app. ZDNet reports: "There might be variables average users are not aware of and that are needed for these apps to work, but if 408 of the apps need just 10 permissions or less, which seems fairly reasonable, how come there are 262 apps that require 50 permissions or more," Corrons said in a report published this week. The Avast researcher said he found 77 flashlight apps that requested more than 50 permissions, which is about a third of the total number of permissions the Android OS supports. The champions were two apps that requested 77 permissions, followed by another three, which requested 76. But while Corrons said that some apps appeared to justify some of the permissions they asked for, these were only an exception to the rule.


By michelcolman • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

What's important is not how many permissions they want, but which permissions. If a flashlight app only wants one permission, read/write root access, that's probably not the one you want to install.

So what kind of permissions do these apps need anyway? Access to the flashlight, and... what else?

Re:Er ...

By thegarbz • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

It's not provided by Google or the AOSP

Google added the flashlight as core functionality in Lollipop. OEMs did it before then. It's not a separate app, look for a button somewhere in the swipe down menu.


By mrfaithful • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

AFAIK you have to get camera permissions because unless the camera is active you can't force the flash on. I assume it's a driver limitation that's too big to fix. Most apps request phone permissions because they all want to change state when you receive a phone call; in this case to switch the light off so you don't blind the person unfortunate enough to be sitting next to you when you take a call. It's a limitation of android that instead of a specific kind of app suspension message you respond to you have to get permission to know everything about the incoming call. You'll get a "backgrounded" message but last I checked you can't tell if it's because the user is switching to something they want to use WHILE the light is on, or if it's something they likely want to deal with separately like a phone call, so grabby permissions it is. The file permission I think is because although android provides a way to save preferences it's an unusual interface and full of gotchas so I suspect most devs just say "to hell with it" and request access to the file system so they can save stuff in a damned file. My experience with android development is that everything is just weird for weird's sake and it surprises me not one iota that most app devs take whatever shortcuts are available to them.

iOS on the other hand is pretty sensible, it's just learning Swift/ObjC that's the issue initially. But the big problem with iOS tends to be that the answer to "How do I...?" is "you can't" with the longer answer being "Apple don't want people abusing X to do Y so you don't get to solve your problems."

Army Knife

By kbahey • Score: 3 • Thread

The Army Knife for Android app has a flashlight in it, and a whole bunch of other useful apps: scientific calculator, magnifier, stop watch, timer, compass, bubble level, ruler, unit converter, and even a mirror ...

Highly recommended.

Re:Flashlight app???

By jwhyche • Score: 4 • Thread

Smartphones do a lot of things. They don't do anything particularly well though.

They empty your wallet rather well.

Two Mathematicians Solve Old Math Riddle, Possibly the Meaning of Life

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
pgmrdlm shares a report from Live Science: In Douglas Adams' sci-fi series "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy," a pair of programmers task the galaxy's largest supercomputer with answering the ultimate question of the meaning of life, the universe and everything. After 7.5 million years of processing, the computer reaches an answer: 42. Only then do the programmers realize that nobody knew the question the program was meant to answer. Now, in this week's most satisfying example of life reflecting art, a pair of mathematicians have used a global network of 500,000 computers to solve a centuries-old math puzzle that just happens to involve that most crucial number: 42.

The question, which goes back to at least 1955 and may have been pondered by Greek thinkers as early as the third century AD, asks, "How can you express every number between 1 and 100 as the sum of three cubes?" Or, put algebraically, how do you solve x^3 + y^3 + z^3 = k, where k equals any whole number from 1 to 100? This deceptively simple stumper is known as a Diophantine equation, named for the ancient mathematician Diophantus of Alexandria, who proposed a similar set of problems about 1,800 years ago. Modern mathematicians who revisited the puzzle in the 1950s quickly found solutions when k equals many of the smaller numbers, but a few particularly stubborn integers soon emerged. The two trickiest numbers, which still had outstanding solutions by the beginning of 2019, were 33 and -- you guessed it -- 42.
Using a computer algorithm to look for solutions to the Diophantine equation with x, y and z values that included every number between positive and negative 99 quadrillion, mathematician Andrew Booker, of the University of Bristol in England, found the solution to 33 after several weeks of computing time.

Since his search turned up no solutions for 42, Booker enlisted the help of Massachusetts Institute of Technology mathematician Andrew Sutherland, who helped him book some time with a worldwide computer network called Charity Engine. "Using this crowdsourced supercomputer and 1 million hours of processing time, Booker and Sutherland finally found an answer to the Diophantine equation where k equals 42," reports Live Science. The answer: (-80538738812075974)^3 + (80435758145817515)^3 + (12602123297335631)^3 = 42.

Not every number

By Pretzalzz • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

There are no solutions for k= 4 or 5 mod 9. Every cube is either -1, 0, or 1 mod 9 so the sum of three cubes must be between -3 and +3 mod 9.

Re:One answer...

By Antique Geekmeister • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

69 does not involve multiplication. I thought every freshman knew that?

Please forgive me. The new freshmen are at school., and they are _so young_ that I'm compelled to believe such humor may sound new again.


By hcs_$reboot • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
Excel integers are on 16 bits.


By Ed Avis • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
Yes, the numbers are too big for floating point arithmetic, even double-precision floating point: You need arbitrary-precision arithmetic to get the right answer.

% perl -E 'say((-80538738812075974)**3 + (80435758145817515)**3 + (12602123297335631)**3)'
% perl -Mbigint -E 'say((-80538738812075974)**3 + (80435758145817515)**3 + (12602123297335631)**3)'

Re:4-1/2 dozen is?

By JonnyCalcutta • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

We're stockpiling for Brexit

Taylor Swift Reportedly Threatened To Sue Microsoft Over Racist Twitter Bot

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
When an artificially intelligent chatbot that used Twitter to learn how to talk unsurprisingly turned into a bigot bot, Taylor Swift reportedly threatened legal action because the bot's name was Tay. Microsoft would probably rather forget the experiment where Twitter trolls took advantage of the chatbot's programming and taught it to be racist in 2016, but a new book is sharing unreleased details that show Microsoft had more to worry about than just the bot's racist remarks. Digital Trends reports: Tay was a social media chatbot geared toward teens first launched in China before adapting the three-letter moniker when moving to the U.S. The bot, however, was programmed to learn how to talk based on Twitter conversations. In less than a day, the automatic responses the chatbot tweeted had Tay siding with Hitler, promoting genocide, and just generally hating everybody. Microsoft immediately removed the account and apologized.

When the bot was reprogrammed, Tay was relaunched as Zo. But in the book Tools and Weapons by Microsoft president Brad Smith and Carol Ann Browne, Microsoft's communications director, the executives have finally revealed why -- another Tay, Taylor Swift. According to The Guardian, the singer's lawyer threatened legal action over the chatbot's name before the bot broke bad. The singer claimed the name violated both federal and state laws. Rather than get in a legal battle with the singer, Smith writes, the company instead started considering new names.

Question ...

By Retired ICS • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

What is a "Taylor Swift" and why do I (or anyone for that matter) care?

There are only 44 phonemes in English

By Solandri • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Phonemes are individual units of sound. English only has 44 of them - 24 consonants, 20 vowels, giving 480 one-syllable combinations (960 if you include combinations where the vowel leads).

If we're going to allow celebrities to claim ownership of these single-syllable combinations, we're going to run out of them awfully quickly. Any nobody will be able to use any short names for anything without running afoul of the celebrity(ies) "owning" them. Down this path lies madness.

Re:Do it, gurl

By Mashiki • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

That wasn't a joke. You simply don't understand how angry people are over the stunning amount of bullshit being pumped out by progressives and leftists.


By MancunianMaskMan • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
in other news: Ms Swift is suing the AMS for promoting the Taylor series, which purports to be able to "decompose" just about anything into a "polynomials" to arbitrary accuracy.

Who is this "Taylor Swft"?

By MitchDev • Score: 4 • Thread

Based on the story, I'm assuming Taylor Swift is slang for "fucking moron"

It's Not 'X', It's 'Cross' -- the PlayStation Joypad Revelation That's Caused an Outrage

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader shares a report: A fortnight ago, Twitter user @drip133 asked a seemingly innocent question above a photo of the joypad: "Do you say 'x' or 'cross' button?" There were hundreds of contradictory responses, which became increasingly furious as the week wore on. Some insisted that because the other buttons are named after shapes -- Triangle, Square and Circle -- logically, the "X" button must be called "Cross"; others pointed out that as 'X' was the common usage, this was the only acceptable pronunciation. [...] Then, in a shock move, Sony itself became involved. On 5 September, the official Twitter feed of PlayStation UK stated: "Triangle. Circle. Cross. Square. If Cross is called X (it's not), then what are you calling Circle?" The scrap is a rare event in the world of video games as console manufacturers usually name buttons after numbers, unambiguous letters of the alphabet or colours. The groundbreaking Nintendo Entertainment System pad, for example, went with A, B, while the SNES added X and Y (a configuration also used by Sega and Microsoft), and in this context, it's clear that "X" is X.

Years ago, in an interview with the now defunct video game website 1UP, Sony designer Teiyu Goto explained how the buttons came to be named: "We wanted something simple to remember, which is why we went with icons or symbols, and I came up with the triangle-circle-X-square combination immediately afterward. I gave each symbol a meaning and a colour. The triangle refers to viewpoint; I had it represent one's head or direction and made it green. Square refers to a piece of paper; I had it represent menus or documents and made it pink. The circle and X represent 'yes' or 'no' decision-making and I made them red and blue respectively." Sadly, this doesn't really help because in the quote he has characterised the "X" button with an "X" symbol and who knows whether that was actually him or the journalist who wrote the piece.


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

"Do you say 'x' or 'cross' button?" There were hundreds of contradictory responses, which became increasingly furious as the week wore on.

Sorry, I mean, fucking seriously? It's a button. As long as everyone knows what everyone else is talking about ... don't be dicks about it. (Advice that can be applied, I believe, to many circumstances.)

Besides, there are *way* more important things going on in the world to be "furious" about -- like Vi vs. Emacs or "GIF" pronounced with a "G" or "J" to name a few. :-) [ Anyone care to add anything else ... ? ]


By Lost Race • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

[ Anyone care to add anything else ... ? ]

Endianness, of course! High-order bit first or last?

Depends on the orientation

By JustAnotherOldGuy • Score: 3 • Thread

After a little thought, I realized that I make the distinction based on the orientation.

If the lines are diagonal, like "X", I tend to think of it as an 'x' like the letter.

If the lines are vertical and horizontal, like "+", I tend to think of it as a 'cross' (or 'plus').

Re:Never change, never improve, Internet humans

By Rick Schumann • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Basic proof that a world society will never get along perfectly, we should stop trying to force it and embrace that we are all slightly different and need our own little groups, but should still have respect for each other in spite of our differences, and that our differences are what make us interesting.

Fixed that for you.


By JoeDuncan • Score: 3 • Thread

Crosses are perpendicular...

This is a "Cross": +

This is an "ex": x

Objects Can Now Change Colors Like a Chameleon

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
The color-changing capabilities of chameleons have long bewildered willing observers. While humans can't yet camouflage much beyond a green outfit to match grass, inanimate objects are another story. From a report: A team from MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) has brought us closer to this chameleon reality, by way of a new system that uses reprogrammable ink to let objects change colors when exposed to ultraviolet (UV) and visible light sources. Dubbed "PhotoChromeleon," the system uses a mix of photochromic dyes that can be sprayed or painted onto the surface of any object to change its color -- a fully reversible process that can be repeated infinitely. PhotoChromeleon can be used to customize anything from a phone case to a car, or shoes that need an update. The color remains, even when used in natural environments. "This special type of dye could enable a whole myriad of customization options that could improve manufacturing efficiency and reduce overall waste," says CSAIL postdoc Yuhua Jin, the lead author on a new paper about the project. "Users could personalize their belongings and appearance on a daily basis, without the need to buy the same object multiple times in different colors and styles."

PhotoChromeleon builds off of the team's previous system, "ColorMod," which uses a 3-D printer to fabricate items that can change their color. Frustrated by some of the limitations of this project, such as small color scheme and low-resolution results, the team decided to investigate potential updates. With ColorMod, each pixel on an object needed to be printed, so the resolution of each tiny little square was somewhat grainy. As far as colors, each pixel of the object could only have two states: transparent and its own color. So, a blue dye could only go from blue to transparent when activated, and a yellow dye could only show yellow. But with PhotoChromeleon's ink, you can create anything from a zebra pattern to a sweeping landscape to multicolored fire flames, with a larger host of colors.

Trump Calls On FDA To Ban All Flavored Vapes After Mystery Lung Illness

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Verge: In a surprise meeting on Wednesday, President Donald Trump pushed to ban all non-tobacco-flavored e-cigarettes from the market. Trump discussed the proposal during a meeting at the White House after discussing the move with advisers like Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and acting Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Norman Sharpless, Bloomberg reported. "Not only is it a problem overall, but really specifically with respect for children," Trump told reporters. He continued, "We may very well have to do something very, very strong about it."

Secretary Azar said the FDA would soon issue regulatory guidance to remove flavored vaping products from the market. The secretary cited statistics showing five million children using e-cigarettes of some kind, a number he found "alarming." In December, the US Surgeon General declared underage vaping "an epidemic," laying the groundwork for future regulatory action.
Last week, federal officials announced that over 450 people across the country had grown sick with deadly lung illnesses that have been linked to e-cigarette use.

Re:What about (any gun)?

By Ryzilynt • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Assault rifles killed 700 from 2000 to 2017, so that's about 40 per year. Or about one month of the new vaping issues...

From the article you site :

"The researchers’ records do not include every shooting with mass casualties during that 17-year period, and the definition of “active shooter” may have missed instances of gang violence, Haider says."

Here's another good one :

"Three-quarters of all U.S. murders in 2017 – 14,542 out of 19,510 – involved a firearm. About half (51%) of all suicides that year – 23,854 out of 47,173 – involved a gun."

I don't give a fuck that my link isn't solely "assault rifle" deaths.

This is fast-tracked propaganda

By • Score: 3 • Thread

I think I've never heard of such rapid escalation of hearsay to media coverage to LAW since late 1930's Germany. These absolute megalomaniacs running the US managed to overinflate data about THX-based vapor products getting a bunch of people in the hospital, spin them as legit, widespread products (which they aren't - these are a subset of the entire market from a rogue company using bad practices), EXTRAPOLATE the issue to all electronic cigarettes (including nicotine-delivery systems), and suddenly all teenagers are putting poison in their lungs.

Ladies and gentleman, I give you the Trump administration.

In retrospect, it isn't much different from the border wall, tariffs or the STUPID fast-track they also gave to ending Obamacare and Net Neutrality. It's quite clear now that the secret of this administration is fabricating, then addressing hot matters STAT. They get their sponsors happy while making the electorate believe they're getting good shit done, when they're actually solving non-issues in the best way for their own interests. I'm glad I don't have that president, but I'm not glad your country serves as precedent-setter for others.

Re:bunch of nonsense - safer than raw veggies

By Joce640k • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

millions maimed and killed by tobacco smoke each year, vaping of mainstream commercial products done for over a decade by tens of millions with no problems.

A whole decade?

Given that it's millenials doing it and that aven tobacco takes two or three decades for statistics to become clear, when do you think the deaths from vaping will start to appear?

Re:What's new?

By Darinbob • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

fyi, you do really come across like a judgmental ass

Maybe because the few people I know who vape can be asses as well. They vape inside even when asked not to despite the lousy smell, or even when HR demands that they stop (at which point some vape secretly and assume no one notices the smell). Some are always puffing periodically all day long, not just during a normal smoke break. So if smoking was socially unacceptable, why do some think that this all changes with vaping and that puffing in people's faces is acceptable?

Health wise, we haven't had vaping long enough to say what's going to happen. These relatively few deaths may be flukes with bad formulas. But what happens in 30 years if there's a rash of emphysema patients? If people want the freedom to harm themselves or take risks then fine, do it to yourself but no one else, and don't come asking for less expensive medical care when it turns out it was bad for you all along. Right now there's a common attitude that vaping is 100% safe, and that needs to be argued against.

Re:What's new?

By jwilcox154 • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Other than tobacco companie, who has said that smoking is totally fine?

Mike Pence actually said "Despite the hysteria from the political class and the media, smoking doesn’t kill."

Open-Source Database Scylla Gains DynamoDB Compatibility

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
urdak writes: Four years ago, ScyllaDB introduced Scylla -- a new open-source NoSQL database, compatible with the popular Cassandra but 10 times faster. Today, the project announced support for the DynamoDB API as well. This will allow applications that use Amazon's DynamoDB to be migrated to other public or private clouds -- running on Scylla instead of DynamoDB. Beyond the added choice, large users may also see their cloud bills drastically reduced by moving to Scylla: ScyllaDB reported in the past that the total cost of running Scylla is only one seventh the cost of DynamoDB.

Best nosql solution

By Drunkulus • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
If you are operating in a cloud environment, and speed is important in your nosql applications, the best solution is committing all writes to /dev/null. This optimizes write speed, data compression, and consistency. /dev/null is particularly well suited as a store for many common types of data, but especially user behavior, browse history, smart home audio, social media data harvesting, and so on. Thanks to gar1t for one of the most edifying technical presentations ever produced:

Apple's iPhone 11 Pro Is Triggering 'Fear of Holes' Or Trypophobia In Some

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
dryriver shares a report from the BBC: People with a fear of small holes have claimed the design of Apple's iPhone 11 Pro is triggering their phobia. At its unveiling on Tuesday, many found their attention drawn to its "ultra-wide" rear camera, with three high-powered lenses packed closely together. The lenses sit alongside the handset's torch and "audio zoom" microphone. And hundreds of smartphone users now claim the new design has triggered their "trypophobia," an aversion to the sight of clusters of small holes. The term "trypophobia" was first coined in 2005 in online forum Reddit and it has since become widely talked about on social media.

American Horror Story actress Sarah Paulson and model Kendall Jenner are among those who say they have the condition. Vision scientist Dr Geoff Cole, at the University of Essex, was part of the first full scientific study of trypophobia, working with his colleague, Prof Arnold Wilkins. "We have all got it, it's just a matter of degree," Dr Cole told BBC News earlier this year. The response to seeing small holes can be very extreme, their study suggests. Dr Cole and Prof Wilkins reported testimonies from some people who vomited and others who said they could not go to work for several days. "It can be quite disabling," Prof Wilkins added.

Re:Simple solution...

By sgage • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

This, this, and this.

WTF, this is news that matters?

Re:Oh fuck right off

By poptix • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

It can be pretty disturbing

It triggers some primal "get the fuck away from diseased people" self preservation instinct.

Re:Maybe legit?

By wetmice • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

I didn't even known trypophobia was a thing until my daughter was symptomatic. We got some new wooden coasters for a living-room table, and they were patterned with these clever honeycomb-like holes. And my young daughter couldn't even look at them; she found them really, really upsetting. When should could finally speak about it, she just described that it's the kind of holes were bugs and snakes might be hiding.

My wife and I thought she was totally making it up until I Google'd it. Kooky.

People with a fear of small holes

By Hognoxious • Score: 3, Funny • Thread

Not prince Andrew or Jeffrey Epstein then.

Dear Apple...

By ClickOnThis • Score: 4, Funny • Thread're hole-ing it wrong.

I'll let myself out now.

Australian House Committee To Look Into Age Verification For Porn

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from ZDNet: Australia is once again deciding to follow in the tracks of the United Kingdom, with the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs to look into age verification for online pornography and online wagering. The matter was referred to the committee by the Minister for Families and Social Services, Senator Anne Ruston and Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety, and the Arts, Paul Fletcher. The terms of reference for the inquiry state that it will be looking into age verification under the auspices of protecting children online.

The committee will look into "the potential benefits of further online age verification requirements, including to protect children from potential harm, and business and non-government organizations from reputation, operational and legal risks," the terms state. Potential risks and unintended consequences for age verification will be looked into as well, the terms state, including privacy breaches, freedom of expression, false assurance, and whether adults are pushing into "unregulated/illegal environments or to other legal forms of these activities." The committee will also examine the economic impact of age verification, and the impact on "eSafety resourcing, education, and messaging."
The UK's age verification system for online pornography became mandatory on July 15.

Not a good track record

By JazzXP • Score: 3 • Thread
Given the general incompetence of our government implementing such things, nothing will change. Just set your DNS to or and everything will be fine.


By nukenerd • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
Exposure to minors is a different issue from men (ie adults) being emasculated and hiding in "fantasy worlds". Maybe it's difficult for such men to take an interest in "real life" if "real life" takes no interest in themselves. Men have become demonised by the feminists, and analysis of dating apps has shown that typically 80% of women are only interested in the top 20% of men - the "Jocks" who have been there throughout history and remain undented by femisism.

Two or more generations ago you only ever met the girl next door, or one from a limited choice at the local dance hall, and married her. Pin-up mags would only feature 5-6 girls per monthy issue, tastefully posed, and no sex was shown. Now with dating apps, and the cultural acceptance of promiscuity, the unintended consequences are to extended the reach of Jocks, and to allow women to excercise their "harem" instinct. (Women are attracted to men if other women are also attracted to them.) At the same time you can watch as much sex on the internet as you have time for. It is hardly suprising that many male incels have retreated into sexual fantasy and porn.

Re:Maybe just have better sex ed

By K. S. Kyosuke • Score: 5, Funny • Thread
Also, sex vi > sex ed.


By dohzer • Score: 3 • Thread

Let's face it. They don't want age verification. They want to track who is watching what. The age thing is just a cover.

UK ban is not in place

By shilly • Score: 3 • Thread

The UK ban hasn't started. Was supposed to start in July, but the government fucked it up. So it was delayed by "about" six months. Since then, we've had a new government and Brexit has become even more of a gigantic distracting shitshow, so with any luck, this will all get quietly forgotten, and UK citizens won't be forced to share their porn habits with sketchy private companies regulated by a body with no experience whatsoever of technical internet regulation.

After Payroll Provider Collapses, Banks Drain Employee Accounts

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
dcblogs writes: MyPayRollHR, a payroll processing provider with about 4,000 small to mid-sized business customers, suddenly closed late last week. In response, the banking system went haywire and began taking funds from employees at many of these firms. Previously deposited pay was removed from their personal banking accounts, or 'reversed.' Not once, but twice and there are reports that these withdrawals happened continuously. The checking account of one employee of an animal rescue facility was pinged for nearly $1 million. Her account shows a negative $999,193.75.

Re:Were these ....

By bobbied • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

... direct deposit accounts?

This is why I prefer a printed check. The rules are pretty clear about check deposits. Once the funds have cleared, they are in my account. I grant no one permission to put funds in automatically, because I suspect that there is something in the fine print which allows them to pull them back out. Computer goes nuts and this happens.

Electronic payments can be reversed for up to 90 days. I found this out two decades ago when I was buying a house using funds my employer had deposited into may checking account to cover parts of the transaction costs. The closing company wouldn't accept my personal check and the bank wouldn't issue a casher's check or cash for 90 days. Messed up the closing and really ticked me off... But if you think about it, it kind of makes sense that ACH transactions should be reversible if made in error.. Just like a bad check will be reversed if it's found to be unfunded.

Clearly just rounding errors when taking out taxes

By aaronb1138 • Score: 5, Funny • Thread
Peter Gibbons: [Explaining the plan] Alright so when the sub routine compounds the interest it uses all these extra decimal places that just get rounded off. So we simplified the whole thing, we rounded them all down, drop the remainder into an account we opened.
Joanna: [Confused] So you're stealing?
Peter Gibbons: Ah no, you don't understand. It's very complicated. It's uh it's aggregate, so I'm talking about fractions of a penny here. And over time they add up to a lot.
Joanna: Oh okay. So you're gonna be making a lot of money, right?
Peter Gibbons: Yeah.
Joanna: Right. It's not yours?
Peter Gibbons: Well it becomes ours.
Joanna: How is that not stealing?
Peter Gibbons: [pauses] I don't think I'm explaining this very well.
Joanna: Okay.
Peter Gibbons: Um... the 7-11. You take a penny from the tray, right?
Joanna: From the cripple children?
Peter Gibbons: No that's the jar. I'm talking about the tray. You know the pennies that are for everybody?
Joanna: Oh, for everybody. Okay.
Peter Gibbons: Well those are whole pennies, right? I'm just talking about fractions of a penny here. But we do it from a much bigger tray and we do it a couple a million times.

Re:Why is this such a convoluted process?

By nukenerd • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Payroll is one of the very first things that most companies outsource. Running a payroll is very time consuming and complicated, and there are steep penalties for getting it wrong.

So we should see some steep penalties here, yes?

Re:Sure errors happen.

By bobbied • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

LOL.. You DO realize that they don't keep the paper anymore right?

Pretty much every check is cleared and paid by ACH transactions anyway. The actual check is usually destroyed after it's scanned. Where they used to return the check to the writer, that is rarely done anymore. It was too expensive. Now they scan the check, convert it to a ACH and post the transaction. They get their money faster and it costs lest for the banks.

separate accounts

By dltaylor • Score: 3 • Thread

I had an employer that insisted on distributing expense reimbursement by direct deposit, even though we could have actual paychecks. I created a separate account for that, specifically for this kind of idiocy. Once deposited, I moved the money to my regular account.

I do the same thing for PayPal. Rather than tie it to a credit card, I have a PayPal account into which I transfer enough to cover anticipated expenses. Should there be some sort of error/hack/..., all that can be taken is that amount.

Expert Predicts 25% of Colleges Will 'Fail' in the Next 20 Years

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
For the first time in 185 years, there will be no fall semester at Green Mountain College in western Vermont. The college, which closed this year, isn't alone: Southern Vermont College, the College of St. Joseph, and Atlantic Union College, among others, have shuttered their doors, too. The schools fell victim to trends in higher education -- trends that lead one expert to believe that more schools will soon follow. From a report, shared by a reader: "I think 25% of schools will fail in the next two decades," said Michael Horn, who studies education at Harvard University. "They're going to close, they're going to merge, some will declare some form of bankruptcy to reinvent themselves. It's going to be brutal across American higher education." Part of the problem, Horn explained, is that families had fewer kids after the 2008 recession, meaning that there will be fewer high school graduates and fewer college students. "Fundamentally, these schools' business models are just breaking at the seams," he said.

That's what happened to Green Mountain College. When Robert Allen became president of the school in 2016, he realized "very quickly" that the school had a problem. "I'm a mathematician by training, a financial person," he said. "And I realized that we were going to come up short." The main problem was shrinking enrollment. By last year, just 427 students remained on campus, leaving the school broke. "At Green Mountain College this past year, we didn't have one full paid student," Allen said, adding, "Our published tuition was $36,500, and the average student paid just a little over $12,000." Unable to find a school with which to merge, Allen announced in January that the school's 184th graduation would be its last. "I've had a long professional career, not all of it in education, and it was the hardest thing I've ever had to do," Allen said. "As you can imagine, many parents were really angry."

Re:Let's think about this...

By hey! • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Thank you for your respectful and intelligent response.

My position on this is in part shaped by going to an elite technical university in the 1970s. At the time an extraordinary number of the faculty were still WW2 refugees.

I think we've had a hypocritical immigration policy; we need the labor, but we don't want the foreigners, so we take a legal stance which leaves the sources of immigration untouched: employment. If you seriously cracked down on employers, the jobs would dry up and immigrants would stop sneaking in. We actually have created an illegal *immigration problem* where once we had a valuable migrant labor *resource*. Mexicans didn't want to live in the US, why would they? They wanted to make some money here then go back home. That's what they overwhelmingly did until around 1970. It wasn't until we made it hard to get in to work that Mexicans decided to stay here.

As for the people sneaking in, sure they aren't sneaking in to be doctors. But think about what it takes to leave everything behind and sneak into a country where people don't like you, just to make your life better. A lot of what we flatter ourselves are American virtues are actually *immigrant* virtues. Immigrants start businesses at a much higher rate than native residents. And they tend to be more *socially conservative* than US natives. If you gave them a path to citizenship and stopped demonizing them as rapists and gang members, most of them would easily be persuaded to vote Republican.

Immigration is actually a solution to the Republican's long term demographic problems, if only the party hadn't embraced nativism.

Re:Let's think about this...

By Sumguy2436 • Score: 5, Informative • Thread


We've been fed that line in Europe during the early years of the refugee crisis: "We're getting all these highly skilled people thanks to refugees and immigration!".

A few years later it turned out these alleged "doctors and engineers" are barely literate in their own native languages with an education on par with our elementary schools.

F-1 and M-1 visa are down 40%

By rednip • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Seemingly a lot of Eurpoean countries (and others) are allowing everyone to go to college, and have become a compelling alternative to a U.S. degree. That's the real problem for our colleges, not enough foreign students.

The US issued visas to less than 400,000 international students in fiscal year 2017. That’s a 17% decline from 2016, and a 40% drop from 2015.

Re:Let's think about this...

By zugmeister • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
I'd consider it "extreme" to want to let people sneak into your country and reward them for that violation of the law by pledging to provide them with free healthcare and education which we don't even do for legal citizens! No complaining about dreamers here, I'm outright saying people who violate the law should not be rewarded for that action.

Lack of detail...

By VeryFluffyBunny • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
What the article doesn't mention is that they're all private liberal arts (often religious) colleges. This is a niche market that no longer seems to be drawing its traditional demographic of wealthy customers, i.e. parents. They emphasise lofty goals such as well-rounded, general education rather than specialised &/or vocational training. At the moment, there are too many liberal arts degrees grads working as unskilled labour. Smarter students are going in for specialist & vocational training. That's where the good job prospects are.

A Famous Argument Against Free Will Has Been Debunked

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
For decades, a landmark brain study fed speculation about whether we control our own actions. It seems to have made a classic mistake. From a report: The death of free will began with thousands of finger taps. In 1964, two German scientists monitored the electrical activity of a dozen people's brains. Each day for several months, volunteers came into the scientists' lab at the University of Freiburg to get wires fixed to their scalp from a showerhead-like contraption overhead. The participants sat in a chair, tucked neatly in a metal tollbooth, with only one task: to flex a finger on their right hand at whatever irregular intervals pleased them, over and over, up to 500 times a visit. The purpose of this experiment was to search for signals in the participants' brains that preceded each finger tap. At the time, researchers knew how to measure brain activity that occurred in response to events out in the world -- when a person hears a song, for instance, or looks at a photograph -- but no one had figured out how to isolate the signs of someone's brain actually initiating an action

The experiment's results came in squiggly, dotted lines, a representation of changing brain waves. In the milliseconds leading up to the finger taps, the lines showed an almost undetectably faint uptick: a wave that rose for about a second, like a drumroll of firing neurons, then ended in an abrupt crash. This flurry of neuronal activity, which the scientists called the Bereitschaftspotential, or readiness potential, was like a gift of infinitesimal time travel. For the first time, they could see the brain readying itself to create a voluntary movement. This momentous discovery was the beginning of a lot of trouble in neuroscience. Twenty years later, the American physiologist Benjamin Libet used the Bereitschaftspotential to make the case not only that the brain shows signs of a decision before a person acts, but that, incredibly, the brain's wheels start turning before the person even consciously intends to do something. Suddenly, people's choices -- even a basic finger tap -- appeared to be determined by something outside of their own perceived volition.

Re:Where that summary was leading

By DavenH • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
Even with the introduction of a soul, for which we will grant the property of causeless action (and further, the assumption that there are no metaphysical laws constraining it, or the same argument applies), we have merely gotten the "free" part down and I see no argument to be made for how it becomes your will. It goes to the reasonable definition of "will" again. Your poor hypothetical soul has the responsibility of making choices without any information in your physical brain (if you disagree, what do you think a soul can do, fetch some memories that it will process with its own cloud computing? How's any of that going to happen with no metaphysical laws?). So none of your wisdom, experiences, or desires is a factor in decision-making, and therefore that choice is based on what? A coin flip? And we're back to noise being the cause of your action, so it's not will.

Re:Damning nail in the coffin

By gweihir • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Nope. He dragged a thoroughly misguided field a long way in the right direction. Sure, he did not arrive there, but his contribution is still of extreme value.


By Artem S. Tashkinov • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

This new experiment does

not prove free will exists - it just refutes the old experimental data. Here's an excerpt from the article which casts doubt on these new findings:

Is everything we do determined by the cause-and-effect chain of genes, environment, and the cells that make up our brain, or can we freely form intentions that influence our actions in the world? The topic is immensely complicated, and Schurgerâ(TM)s valiant debunking underscores the need for more precise and better-informed questions.

Why don't we go deeper than that? Do we control how the universe was created, which physical laws govern it, the Sun, the solar system, the chemistry of this planet, evolution, our genes, our environment, our parents, etc. etc. etc. For free will to exist there must be something nondeterministic existing in our brains, and not only existing but actively influencing the decisions we make.

So, far only quantum mechanics/effects could be the sole solution to the free will problem but they haven't been observed or proven to be the cause of the processes happening in our brains.

Re:Where that summary was leading

By alexgieg • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

which is evidently logically impossible

Herein lies an even subtler difficulty. All types of logic are inherently deterministic. Even those that deal with contradictions and non-deterministic problems still deal with them in a probabilistic manner, which itself is rigidly deterministic. This means that in every single logical argument, about anything, there's a hidden premise affirming determinism before anything else will be said, and therefore stating that all that will be said, will be said deterministically.

Now, this premise being hidden makes it so that, if one ignores it's there, when one then analyses a logical argument one "notices" determinism as a (pseudo-)corollary of the conclusion. And if one takes the set of those deterministic pseudo-corollaries from logical arguments premised on natural laws and phenomena, and generalizes from them by inferring reality itself is deterministic, what one's actually doing is incurring in circular reasoning. One cannot therefore logically conclude, from the fact logic argumentation is necessarily deterministic, that reality itself is deterministic. At most what we can say is that logic is unable to work with probabilistic-reduction-resistant non-deterministic elements.

Whether any such radically-non-deterministic element actually exists in nature is an open question, but if one does exist -- and "free will" would be a good candidate --, it's entirely outside of the realm of logical analysis, as trying to use logic to reason about it would always result in invalid conclusions.

I never understood the argument

By Zobeid • Score: 3 • Thread

Even if you accepted the conventional explanation of the experiment, and you allowed that we make decisions through some unconscious process before we are consciously aware of it, I never understood how that had any meaningful application to the question of free will. I thought it was understood by all that we process information and make decisions through both conscious and unconscious processes all the time.

Some people made it sound like your unconscious mind is some kind of vile demon that possesses you and secretly controls the "real", conscious you like a puppet on a string, and therefore prevents the "real" you from having free will. Well, that's just ludicrous. Your conscious and unconscious thought processes are all part of the same mind. How you make the decision shouldn't matter, only that you were able to make it.

Court Rules That 'Scraping' Public Website Data Isn't Hacking

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Scraping public data from a website doesn't constitute "hacking," according to a new court ruling that could dramatically limit abuse of the United States' primary hacking law. From a report: The ruling comes after a lengthy battle between data analytics firm HiQ Labs and Microsoft owned LinkedIn, which have been at each other's throats for several years over HiQ Labs' practice of scraping the business social networking website's public-facing data, then selling it (fused with other datasets) to a laundry list of employers. In the ruling by The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the court shot down LinkedIn's claim that access to this public data violated the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). In its declaration, the court ruled that to violate the CFAA, somebody would need to actually "circumvent [a] computer's generally applicable rules regarding access permissions, such as username and password requirements," meaning it's not really hacking if you're not bypassing some kind of meaningful authorization system.

not with wget!

By BringsApples • Score: 3 • Thread

--Aaron Swartz

This should be interesting...

By That YouTube Guy • Score: 3 • Thread
I guess that explains why YouTube doesn't shut down websites that re-host entire channels using HTML code. It's not scraping if the data doesn't require authentication.

Good thing it's legal now

By SuperKendall • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Or else Slashdot could be charged with scraping previous stories!

What about ROBOTS.TXT

By Chromal • Score: 3 • Thread
What if it's forbidden by ROBOTS.TXT and you persist regardless and against the wishers of the site operator? It's still 'breaking and entering' if a door is unlocked and you intend to violate the owner's property rights. I'm mostly just curious how a court determines whether or not something was an authorized access if it's 'open' but expressly forbidden.

GameStop Closing 200 Stores Following Another Quarter of Dismal Sales

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
GameStop will close as many 200 stores before the end of 2019 following another quarter of sharply declining sales and a $32 million loss, the company stated. From a report: In a statement yesterday, the company's chief financial officer attributed the drop in sales to trends "consistent with what we have historically observed towards the end of a hardware cycle." That said, it's yet another quarter with a double-digit decline, down 14.3 percent over the same one last year. For the quarter ending March 2019, GameStop reported a 13.3 sales decline and the company's stock price plunged 40 percent in one day, recovering only slightly since then. James Bell, GameStop's chief financial officer, told investors that the closures will affect between 180 and 200 "underperforming" stores between now and the end of 2019. The company's most recent annual report listed 5,830 locations worldwide, with more than 4,000 of them in the United States and Canada. In yesterday's earnings call, Bell said that the vast majority -- 95 percent -- of stores were profitable. But more closures, in larger numbers than today's news, are expected over the next one to two years, he added.


By MitchDev • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Several of the Gamestops around me have gone more heavily to the t-shirts, board games, puzzles, figures, and Funco Pops etc Video-game related merchandise lately

Re:Physical media is dead

By twocows • Score: 4 • Thread
That's true, I can't resell it. But in most cases I don't need to. With the exception of a very small number of releases that I buy day one, most games I'll throw on a site like isthereanydeal and just wait until the price drops below a threshold where I'm willing to buy it (and if I want, I can flag it to only let me know about DRM free releases). If I wait a few months, I can usually get it 1/3 off its original retail price. If I wait a year or more, I can usually get it 2/3 off its original retail price. Back when I was buying physical media, I'd often end up paying a full $60 for the more popular games even years after they came out. Assuming I even wanted to resell the game (and the ones that were worth playing I didn't), I'd still only break even with about what I'm paying for them on sale these days.

So maybe game companies got what they want, but I got what I wanted, too. And while a lot of my friends are collectors, and I don't begrudge them that, I have an extra wall in my living room that isn't taken up by several bookcases worth of games. I don't mind the trade-offs of digital distribution, though I sympathize with people who still prefer physical.


By vux984 • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread


They've shifted eavily into the merch and accessories markets. Toys/figures, T-shirts, etc.

Over the last several years, I've bought only a couple games there; but several amibo, funcopop figures, puzzles, t-shirts, socks, even a purse as gifts for various people.

Around here its becoming a gamer oriented "hot-topic"; that also sells consoles, accessories, and games. And that's not a bad move.


By jellomizer • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

I see Gamestop more like Radioshack. Who change their business models around, however often in ways that sacrificed its core values.

RadioShack end when they went into Cell Phones and Cell Phone Accessories, filling up 2/3 of their retail space, while they were hundreds of stores that sold this stuff, even in rural areas, you can run into a place that sold Cell Phone stuff every square mile. During this time, the "Maker Movement" was on the rise. RadioShack could had been a local place for 3d printing and 3d printing supplies, a place where you can actually pickup electronics for raspberry pi's and tools and training to fix electronics and legacy hardware.

I'll give $5 for a used store in that condition

By GrumpySteen • Score: 3 • Thread

Or I can offer you $10 in store credit.

Google Chrome Now Lets You Send Webpages To Other Devices

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Google is starting to make its Chrome 77 browser update available to Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android this week. While there are many visual changes to Chrome this time, Google is introducing a new send webpage to devices feature. From a report: You can right-click on a link and a new context menu will appear that simply lets you send links to other devices where you use Chrome. If you're using Chrome on iOS you'll need to have the app open and a small prompt will appear to accept the sent tab. The feature has started showing up on Windows, Android, and iOS versions of Chrome, but it doesn't appear to be enabled in the macOS variant just yet. Chrome has long supported the ability to browse your open and recent tabs across multiple devices, but this send to device feature just makes things a little quicker if you're moving from browsing on a PC or laptop to a phone or vice versa.

What could possibly go wrong?

By WillAffleckUW • Score: 3 • Thread

2020: Internet crashes due to worm web page attack by Russia.

Do I need to log in?

By Nkwe • Score: 3 • Thread
Do I need to log into Google or Chrome for this to work? If so, no thanks. I don't really want to tell Google which links are so important to me that I wish to share them across devices.


By darkain • Score: 3 • Thread

What year is this, 2010 or something!?

No, it sends it to Google, then back to you

By MobyDisk • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

We techies need to make sure that companies don't use the term "send web pages to other devices" when in fact it is "send web pages to Google's cloud servers so that you can retrieve them on other devices." This may sound obvious to us, but my parents were shocked to learn that their Ring doorbell video wasn't "sending video to my phone" that it was actually going to Amazon first. Think of all the people who were surprised to learn that Alexa, Siri, Cortana, and Android Asistant were sending their voices to Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, and Google.

It's OUR fault that people don't understand that cloud servers are involved in everything now. We need to educate them and I recommend we push back on the kind of language being used in these announcements.

SpaceX Confirms It's Almost Ready To Test Its Orbital Starship

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
SpaceX isn't wasting much time now that Starhopper has completed its hover test. The company has filed an FCC communication permissions request that, as Elon Musk confirmed, prepares for test-flying the "orbit-class" Starship. From a report: The vehicle will fly much higher than its stubby predecessor, reaching an altitude of 12.5 miles before it comes back to the same landing pad used during earlier tests. It's not a true orbital test, then, but it's clearly much closer to SpaceX's goals. The FCC filing came days after word from Business Insider (later verified) that the FAA was effectively granting SpaceX permission to expand its Boca Chica launch facility for the sake of Starship launches. The company also hasn't tried to hide its construction work on the orbit-quality vehicle, and Musk has alluded to a September 28th update event that could show off the completed spacecraft. It's poised to launch sometime in October, possibly as soon as the 13th.

Re:Long March 5, New Glenn, Vulcan, etc

By spun • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

The thing about the American aerospace industry is that it is a part of the military-industrial-political complex. There is a large and complicated set of deals that distribute your tax dollars to various pork barrel projects. The point is not "going to space" or "protecting the country" it is "giving politicians the power to hand out tax dollars to their supporters, in exchange for campaign donations and a lucrative post-politics career." This is why nobody cares when every single military/aerospace project goes 5x over budget. The point is not to produce capable weapons or space craft, it is to provide welfare for the very rich.

Space X is not a part of the ecosystem of corruption, and therefore will have to work twice as hard to achieve half as much support from government.

Blinding Speed

By Areyoukiddingme • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

It's just a little bit ridiculous that SpaceX can design, build, and launch a to-space-and-back-again hopper in 2 years, while switching from carbon fiber composite to stainless steel 9 months in to construction. The first hop is only to 20 km altitude, but knowing Elon Musk it will have the fuel and oxidizer capacity to reach the 100 km mark just fine once all the engines are installed.

We all know how absurdly slow the incumbent military industrial contractors are, but consider for a moment that Blue Origin was founded in September of 2000 (they just celebrated their 19th birthday 3 days ago), and still hasn't done more than that. All they've built so far is a suborbital hopper. SpaceX now delivers orbital cargo to the International Space Station routinely. And was founded 2 years later.

There are only FCC licenses for 1 million Starlink ground stations in the first batch. Where do I get in line? I'ma buy me a tent...

Re:"allowing the GOP"

By WindBourne • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
I worked for and fully support NASA. I do NOT support GOP's SLS nor the approach that the GOP has forced on NASA to get us to the moon. SHelby uses NASA as a jobs program, not as a development program for space and science.

Trump has been a mixed bag on new space. OTOH, It was W and Obama that fought agains the GOP who have tried over and over to shut down new space. Even the cut of 3 manned system under Obama was caused by the GOP, including my ex-congress critter (thank god for that). The GOP wanted SpaceX dead and was upset when SNC got cut, not SX.

Re:Long March 5, New Glenn, Vulcan, etc

By swillden • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

The point is not to produce capable weapons or space craft, it is to provide welfare for the very rich.

There's some of that, but the bigger reason is to spread the money around to create jobs in lots of House and Senate districts, so the relevant Representatives and Senators will fight any attempt to cut the funding and kill the jobs it creates in their districts. Bringing that sweet federal pork home to the voters and keeping it there keeps the voters happy and their votes directed "correctly".

This doesn't just create cost overruns, it sometimes even kills people. Utah's representatives managed to get the shuttle booster construction awarded to Thiokol in Utah, home of the long-term and therefore influential Senator Orrin Hatch, which meant that the boosters had to be assembled in segments short enough to ship on trains through tight mountain curves and tunnels. Segmenting the boosters meant that the segments had to be joined together with O rings. Booster O ring failure caused the Challenger to explode. Had the boosters been built in Florida, or Alabama, or pretty much anywhere in the midwest, they wouldn't have been segmented and the Challenger wouldn't have exploded. But Hatch brought home the pork.

Do voters actually care? You bet they do. Here's an anecdote: I'm from Utah and my brother-in-law worked for several years at Thiokol (then ATK) filling booster segments with solid fuel, for $30 per hour. He had no education beyond high school and his previous job was driving a garbage truck for $14 per hour. His time at ATK ended when Obama cancelled the Constellation program, and now he's back to driving a garbage truck, now for $16 per hour or thereabouts. He hates Obama with a purple passion for killing his ATK job and loves Orrin Hatch like his own grandpa for creating his ATK job... and he tells virtually everyone he meets about both opinions.

That's the sort of thing that really drives politicians to seek pork for their districts. Making fat cats happy for big donations is good, too, but getting votes is better than getting cash to spend on trying to get votes.

Re:"allowing the GOP"

By garyisabusyguy • Score: 4 • Thread

Funny thing, SK, but the Senator for ULA ( Sen Richard Shelby R-Alabama) is sooo deeply in the pocket of United Launch Alliance (you know, ULA the expensive guys who cannot compete with SpaceX on a level playing field) that he even puts out press releases for them

And, this is Sen Shelby R-Alabama attacking an attempt to make NASA function better

Now, I know that you will play 'intentionally blind' in this and aren't really worth responding to beyond this one post, but the only house cleaning that will support improving NASA would be eliminating Shelby from the Senate, i.e. a Republican house cleaning

California Bill Makes App-Based Companies Treat Workers as Employees

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
California legislators approved a landmark bill on Tuesday that requires companies like Uber and Lyft to treat contract workers as employees, a move that could reshape the gig economy and that adds fuel to a yearslong debate over whether the nature of work has become too insecure. From a report: The bill passed in a 29 to 11 vote in the State Senate and will apply to app-based companies, despite their efforts to negotiate an exemption. California's governor, Gavin Newsom, endorsed the bill this month and is expected to sign it after it goes through the State Assembly, in what is expected to be a formality. Under the measure, which would go into effect Jan. 1, workers must be designated as employees instead of contractors if a company exerts control over how they perform their tasks or if their work is part of a company's regular business.

The bill may influence other states. A coalition of labor groups is pushing similar legislation in New York, and bills in Washington State and Oregon that were similar to California's but failed to advance could see renewed momentum. New York City passed a minimum wage for ride-hailing drivers last year but did not try to classify them as employees. In California, the legislation will affect at least one million workers who have been on the receiving end of a decades-long trend of outsourcing and franchising work, making employer-worker relationships more arm's-length. Many people have been pushed into contractor status with no access to basic protections like a minimum wage and unemployment insurance. Ride-hailing drivers, food-delivery couriers, janitors, nail salon workers, construction workers and franchise owners could now all be reclassified as employees.

Re:What if people do not WANT to be employees??

By ShanghaiBill • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

For sure, dude! Everybody knows it's, like, ILLEGAL for somebody to have 2 jobs with 2 different companies. Right?

It can be illegal if you are fraudulently working for both at the same time.

As a contractor, you are paid for completing a ride, so working for both is no problem.

As an employee, you are guaranteed a minimum wage for your time.

But if you have both the Uber and Lyft apps open while you wait for a fare, which company is paying you for that time?

Re:Capitalism is awesome

By JeffOwl • Score: 4 • Thread
Don't like working for Uber? Go try Lyft. Don't like Lyft? Go try working for a Taxi company, or a Limo company, or an airport shuttle company, or Starbucks. Unemployment is very low, there are plenty of other crappy jobs out there. Or, here's a thought, find a niche and start your own company. Nobody is forcing anyone to be an Uber driver. I am in favor of some types of regulation, especially environmental, but not this. Uber is not a monopoly.

Re:More Socialist left-coast BS

By PCM2 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

I mean, it isn't like anyone holds a gun to the head of a person forcing them to drive Uber/Lyft.

On the other hand, you might be surprised at how many of their legal rights someone might be willing to waive when they have to pay the rent and keep food on the table.. So in a sense, yes, it's a gun to their head. That's why government regulation is necessary.

Re: workers rights before corporate greed

By urusan • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Isn't this a classic tragedy of the commons situation?

As an individual firm, if I outsource my labor and nobody else does, then I pay less for labor but the consumer economy is still healthy, because my potential employees represent only a small portion of that consumer economy. Thus, there's an incentive for me to outsource. Since there's an incentive for individual firms to outsource, more and more individual firms decide to outsource to get the benefits. As this behavior becomes more common, the consumer economy starts to take more and more of a hit, thus degrading the resource for everyone. If all the firms worked together to preserve this resource, then we'd all be better off but these individual "best" decisions led to this poor collective situation. Since this resource is where most of the money comes from in a healthy economy, I am hurt much more by the loss of this resource than I gained by outsourcing (though the damage may not be obvious since we can only the current economy to past economies, so we can't see that we'd be much better off today if we still had a strong consumer economy today).

Worse yet, in this particular case the problem is self-reinforcing (leading to a death spiral/race to the bottom). As an individual firm I think "If I outsource, I can make more profit!" but once most firms are doing this, I find out that my customers can't pay nearly as much, so I am forced to lower my prices to stay in business. This means that any firm that didn't outsource is now dealing with other firms charging lower prices and customers that can't afford their products anymore and no good way to decrease prices, causing them to go out of business (or to start outsourcing). This weakens the consumer economy further, forcing prices down further, forcing more local firms out of business, continuing the cycle until more or less all the local firms are out of business.

Of course, the real economy is more complicated, some work can't be outsourced and local firms can find niches that allow them to survive and thrive even in this situation. Government employment also forms a base of consumer spending that is not impacted by this. Some economic activity is not part of the formal economy. These kinds of factors have kept the death spiral from collapsing the economy, even if it has caused serious injury to the economy.

Re:What if people do not WANT to be employees??

By gnunick • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Don't forget, the State then gets to also charge things like unemployment and disability insurance, so moving them to employees drops billions in to Sacramento's coffers...

Excellent! Unemployment and disability insurance are there for a reason. It's not like Ubers and Lyfters are safe from unemployment or disability.

Apple Just Turned Its Extended Warranty For iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch Into a Monthly Subscription

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader shares a report: Apple's extended warranty, AppleCare+, has always covered iOS and Apple Watch devices for a total of two years. But after its iPhone 11 event, the company quietly introduced a new option that basically turns AppleCare+ into a full-on monthly subscription, allowing consumers to continue paying beyond the regular coverage period and keep going for as long as Apple is able to service their product. The change was spotted by 9to5Mac. Apple had already offered monthly installments for AppleCare+, but that was only an alternative to paying a lump sum for the same two-year coverage total. And it seems Apple has now eliminated this payment option. With the new approach, Apple uses the pretty clear wording of "pay monthly until canceled." As 9to5Mac notes, you'd end up paying more through the monthly option for the standard 24 months of coverage than if you just opted to buy that length of time outright. The new subscription is really best for people who plan to hold on to their gadgets for several years.

Not the case for all Apple Watches

By SuperKendall • Score: 3 • Thread

The Apple Watch I ordered had just a straight one-time AppleCare payment, no monthly option.

I like the idea you can expand paying for that if you like, since it would mean indefinite free screen replacements for people who choose to keep phones longer than two years...

Don't forget, it's still an option to buy this service at all.

People aren't buying our new iPhones!

By Merk42 • Score: 3 • Thread
I've got the solution! Convince them to continuously pay monthly for the phone they already have!

How nice

By nospam007 • Score: 3 • Thread

"Apple's extended warranty, AppleCare+, has always covered iOS and Apple Watch devices for a total of two years. "

Here in the EU that's the mandatory period for everything, even for a toaster.

Google To Run DNS-over-HTTPS (DoH) Experiment in Chrome

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Google has announced plans to test the new DNS-over-HTTPS (DoH) protocol inside Google Chrome starting with v78, scheduled for release in late October this year. From a report: The DNS-over-HTTPS protocol works by sending DNS requests to special DoH-compatible DNS resolvers. The benefit comes from the fact that DNS requests are sent via port 443, as encrypted HTTPS traffic, rather than cleartext, via port 53. This hides DoH requests in the unending stream of HTTPS traffic that moves across the web at any moment of the day and prevents third-party observers from tracking users' browsing histories by recording and looking at their unencrypted DNS data. The news that Google is looking into testing DoH in Chrome comes just as Mozilla announced plans over the weekend to gradually enable DoH by default for a small subset of users in the US later this month.

Re:Is it just me, or...

By thereitis • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Good point. If we allow Google to be in control of DNS lookups, that gives them authority to drop the DNS record of anyone who runs afoul of their "community guidelines" / code of conduct. We've all see how well that's been going on Google/Alphabet's YouTube: stifling freedom of speech, errant takedown automation. The last thing we should want is to give Google (or other massive players) even more power.

Split view DNS

By Xenolith0 • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

One concern I have about browsers ignoring the system-wide configured DNS and using their own built-in DNS server is:

How would this work on a home or corporate LAN where you have split-view DNS? (e.g. internally resolves to, and externally to Or even worse, only resolves internally.)

How does these browsers using DNS/TLS account for that? Do they auto-magically "do the right thing" or is this a new nightmare for IT helpdesks around the world?

DNS adblock services

By twocows • Score: 3 • Thread
I was thinking about setting up a Pi-hole a while back. I may still do so. However, this story made me wonder if there are any public (ideally free) DNS adblocking services out there for people who may not have the resources to self-host. A quick search on Google (ironically) turned up AdGuard DNS and Alternate DNS, both of which seem to fill that role. I'm sure there are others out there, too; I spent all of five seconds looking that up.

Does anyone have any familiarity with services like this? Care to offer any opinions or recommendations?

Re:There's really only one reason for this

By tepples • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Thankfully, Chrome isn't the only browser out there.

Windows, macOS, X11/Linux, and Android can all run Firefox, a Chromebook with Crostini can run Firefox for Linux, and iOS runs only Safari wrappers. This leaves two classes of devices that have a hard time running anything but Chrome: pre-Crostini Chromebooks, and devices without enough RAM to comfortably run Firefox for most browsing at the same time as Chrome for Skype and other Chrome-only web applications.

Re:This way...

By jwhyche • Score: 4 • Thread

The only reason that I can think to do this is keep your isp from knowing what sites your pulling from their DNS server. Even then they are still going to know where you are going when you start connecting to the sites from the dns entries. So even now it's pretty much point less.

Amazon Probed by US Antitrust Officials Over Marketplace

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
A team of FTC investigators has begun interviewing small businesses that sell products on Amazon to determine whether the e-commerce giant is using its market power to hurt competition. From a report: Several attorneys and at least one economist have been conducting interviews that typically last about 90 minutes and cover a range of topics, according to three merchants. All were asked what percentage of revenue their businesses derive from Amazon versus other online marketplaces like Walmart and EBay, suggesting regulators are skeptical about Amazon's claims that shoppers and suppliers have real alternatives to the Seattle-based company. One merchant, Jaivin Karnani, said he was surprised the FTC returned his call the very next day.

The interviews indicate the agency is in the early stages of a sweeping probe to learn how Amazon works, spot practices that break the law and identify markets dominated by the company. The length of the interviews and the manpower devoted to examining Amazon point to a serious inquiry rather than investigators merely responding to complaints and going through the motions, antitrust experts say.

Comcast Sues Maine To Stop Law Requiring Sale of Individual TV Channels

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Comcast and several TV network owners have sued the state of Maine to stop a law that requires cable companies to offer a la carte access to TV channels. The complaint in U.S. District Court in Maine was filed Friday by Comcast, Comcast subsidiary NBCUniversal, A&E Television Networks, C-Span, CBS Corp., Discovery, Disney, Fox Cable Network Services, New England Sports Network, and Viacom. The companies claim the Maine law -- titled "An Act To Expand Options for Consumers of Cable Television in Purchasing Individual Channels and Programs" -- is preempted by the First Amendment and federal law. The Maine law is scheduled to take effect on September 19 and says that "a cable system operator shall offer subscribers the option of purchasing access to cable channels, or programs on cable channels, individually." The lawsuit seeks an injunction to prevent the law from being enforced. "I submitted this bill on behalf of Maine's hundreds of thousands of cable television subscribers," Representative Jeffrey Evangelos, an independent, said in testimony when the bill was being debated in March. "For far too long, consumers have been forced to purchase cable TV packages which include dozens of channels the consumer has no interest in watching."

But the current system involving service tiers and bundling "reflect[s] the exercise of First Amendment rights -- both by the programmers who decide how to license their programming to cable operators, and by the cable operators who decide how to provide that programming to the public," the industry lawsuit said. The lawsuit also says that "an array of federal statutory provisions precludes Maine from dictating how cable programming is presented to consumers." The state law "is expressly preempted by several provisions of the Communications Act," including a section that "prohibits state and local authorities from regulating the 'provision or content of cable services, except as expressly provided in' Title VI of the Communications Act," the lawsuit said.

Re:Comcast doesn't have to comply.

By DarkOx • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

See I disagree Comcast, Disney and friends should be allowed to produce/sell/market their content however they like. The PROBLEM is that governments granted cable operators monopolies in the first place.

If anything we need and Amendment that prohibits governments from granting any sort of exclusivity to a commercial operator.

Re:Didn't read TFL

By squiggleslash • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

are often granted exclusive franchise rights by local governments which keeps competition out

This hasn't been true for decades.

The reality is it's hard to compete with an entrenched player if you have to roll out essentially duplicate infrastructure, probably at a greater cost (improved standards) than the entrenched player did (who has already paid it off several times over), knowing that you can probably expect to earn half the revenues of the entrenched player if you're lucky and assuming the entrenched player doesn't just cut their prices to put you out of business.

That said, there is competition and has been for decades. There are two major satellite operators. The local phone company has been offering cable like service for a decade or more in most areas. And Roku et al have made "Cable over Internet" very viable with everyone from Google to Dish Network (Sling) lining up to provide cable TV this way - if you want a cable like experience.

Competition isn't the issue here. The real problem is that it's not the cable companies making the bundles, it's the content providers. Fox (prior to the Disney buy-out, no way of knowing what's going on from here on) used to insist on requiring cable companies to bundle channels like FX and Fox News if they wanted to carry the local Fox affiliate, and likewise Disney required they bundle channels like the basic ESPN service and TDC if they wanted to carry ABC. I believe CBS and NBC worked similarly.

Why are the cable companies up in arms about it? Well, that's another issue but in a sense it reduces their negotiating position too. Just as Disney wants to use ABC to push lower popularity channels, the cable companies know they can keep the costs of the lower popularity channels down by threatening to cut ABC (and thus those channels) if Disney tries to push its luck. Ultimately the cable companies want to carry the channels Disney et al want to bundle, what they don't want is to pay through the nose for it, because they know, long term, customers will walk away.

They should not wonder

By Kernel Kurtz • Score: 3 • Thread

why people are ditching cable and cutting the cord. They are just writing their own obituaries.

Like the music and movie industries, eventually they will have to adapt or die. Same goes for the TV channel producers.


By Nidi62 • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

I guess to them, profit *is* speech.

Well, the Supreme Court did rule that money is speech. So if you interfere with the flow of money you are interfering with the flow of speech. Of course, since it's our money flowing to the cable companies it should technically be considered our speech, not theirs.

Re:Didn't read TFL

By drinkypoo • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

A law like this will not really help customers. The cable companies will just make the a la carte channels prohibitively expensive

At first, yes. But if they are forced to provide them, eventually they will compete on price, which is what consumers really need. That's why stopping the cable cartel from continuing this inherently abusive pricing model is important.

They're clinging to an outmoded business model. Consumers are making their choice to move away from cable, and their only hope is to win in the courts to prevent consumers having any choices beyond the 2 or 3 they offer.

Ironically, their only hope is to offer cable a la carte, because consumers want choice; and to offer it at a reasonable price, because consumers have alternatives. And yet, they are fighting tooth and nail to avoid doing the only thing that could keep them going. I for one would prefer the high quality and reliability of a cable stream (which I can capture with a DVR for the purposes of time shifting) if only I didn't have to buy a bunch of crap I didn't want. And it would be convenient to pay one provider for both internet access and for content, if only it weren't so convenient for them to screw people over by providing both of those things. Regulation is actually good for everyone in this case, but they are avoiding seeing that with a truly spectacular effort.

281 Alleged Email Scammers Arrested In Massive Global Sweep

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
The Department of Justice today announced the arrest of 281 suspects in connection with email scams and wire transfer fraud. The action is the biggest of its kind yet against this type of digital scammer, and is a strong symbol of law enforcement's sense of urgency in trying to contain a rapidly growing threat. Wired reports: You're familiar with crimes like this, even if you don't know them by their proper name of "business email compromise" schemes. It involves the coordinated crafting of compelling scam emails that trick employees or vulnerable individuals into sending money, then using strategic mules to wire the funds back to the perpetrators. Such scams have ballooned in recent years, costing victims tens of billions of dollars over time. The DOJ said the new round of arrests took four months to carry out across 10 countries, and resulted in the seizure of almost $3.7 million.

Tuesday's law enforcement initiative, dubbed Operation reWired, involved extensive international coordination to make 167 arrests in Nigeria, 74 in the United States, 18 in Turkey, and 15 in Ghana. The remainder took place in France, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Malaysia, and the United Kingdom. Research and law enforcement investigations have shown that a large proportion of all email scamming originates in West Africa, specifically Nigeria, but the scams have spread, partly because some West African actors have moved around the world. The new arrest of 281 suspects involved global coordination among law enforcement agencies. In the U.S. alone, Operation reWired involved the DOJ, the Department of Homeland Security, the Treasury, the State Department, and the Postal Inspection Service.

My beloved,

By Mick McCann • Score: 5, Funny • Thread
I have been arrested by the DOJ and need your help to transfer the sum of FIFTEEN Million US Dollars. I will be pleased to offer to you 20% Of the total fund God bless you

They couldn't wait any longer

By Mal-2 • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

They really wanted to wait until they had 419 suspects, but they couldn't delay any longer without losing some of them.


By rstanley • Score: 3, Funny • Thread
Q: What are "281 Alleged Email Scammers Arrested In Massive Global Sweep"?

A: A good start! ;^)

Unfortunately, there are too many more active, and more will follow.

More like this please

By AlanObject • Score: 3 • Thread

The ones I really want them to get are those pretending to be with the IRS that will file a lawsuit against you in the next 24 hours unless you pay up now.

Not that I would personally ever fall for it but it just makes me pissed that confused and frightened seniors who are culturally isolated enough that they would fall for it are preyed upon like that.

So good on you today DOJ.

Re:More like this please

By pr0fessor • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

I transferred a call from a Microsoft support scam to the real Microsoft support once.

Jack Ma Steps Down On 20th Birthday of Alibaba

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Jack Ma has stepped down from the position of chairman at the company he co-founded exactly 20 years ago. Ma announced his retirement plans last year, saying at the time he wanted to spend more time focusing on education. ZDNet reports: Ma bid farewell to Alibaba, sporting a rock star wig and guitar at an employee event Tuesday, according to Reuters. "After tonight I will start a new life," Ma reportedly said at Tuesday's event. "I do believe the world is good, there are so many opportunities, and I love excitement so much, which is why I will retire early."

His retirement was not the end of an era, the former English teacher said when he announced he was stepping down, but "the beginning of an era," adding also at the time, "I love education." CEO Daniel Zhang succeeds Ma as chairman of the board, effective September 10, 2019. Ma stayed on for a year to "ensure a smooth transition of the chairmanship."
"I have put a lot of thought and preparation into this succession plan for ten years," Ma wrote in a letter to shareholders and customers in September. "When Alibaba was founded in 1999, our goal was to build a company that could make China and the world proud and one that could cross three centuries to last 102 years. However, we all knew that no one could stay with the company for 102 years. A sustainable Alibaba would have to be built on sound governance, culture-centric philosophy, and consistency in developing talent. No company can rely solely on its founders."

Rich fuck retires - who cares

By Rosco P. Coltrane • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread

My wife retired last month after busting her ass 37 years in the same company on a shite salary, with a shite retirement. Nobody talks about her, or the thousands of similar sods who earn a miser so that Jack Ma and his ilk may "love excitement so much" and other such tripe at the sunset of their lives.

Video with Elon

By monkeyxpress • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread

I saw the highlight reel for the Musk/Ma interview. Okay, Elon has some pretty nutty ideas at time, but they are generally at least grounded in some technical knowledge with a bit of pixie dust added. Jack Ma is simply non-sensical. My guess is that he is the 'useful idiot' type that you see around the place. The money folk (or in china's case the govt) want to shovel money into a certain area, but they want someone they can control. So they pick someone charismatic and intelligent enough to keep a project bumbling along, but not intelligent enough to realise they are being played. If it all goes bad they liquidate the person, take their grandma's house that was put up as collateral, and throw them on the trash heap. You see this a lot with shiny real estate developers (ahem, some might be able to think of a particularly high profile example).

Maybe after his appearance next to musk the chinese government realised they aimed a little low, and decided to replace him.

I do believe the world is good

By Opportunist • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread

I bet the former Southern Gentlemen thought the world is good, too, after getting rich from slave labour.

Could we get a word from the slaves what they think about it? Or did they jump already?

celebrating a fucking slave owner?

By etash • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Isn't he the guy who is super excited and endorses the 12 hour / day and 6 days / week working plan also known as 996? The same guy who made billions from this tactic as well. May he die a slow and painful death.