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

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

Some Corals Grow After 'Fatal' Warming

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Phys.Org: For the first time ever, scientists have found corals that were thought to have been killed by heat stress have recovered, a glimmer of hope for the world's climate change-threatened reefs. The chance discovery, made by Diego K. Kersting from the Freie University of Berlin and the University of Barcelona during diving expeditions in the Spanish Mediterranean, was reported in the journal Science Advances on Wednesday.

Kersting and co-author Cristina Linares have been carrying out long-term monitoring of 243 colonies of the endangered reef-builder coral Cladocora caespitosa since 2002, allowing them to describe in previous papers recurring warming-related mass mortalities. [T]he researchers found that in 38 percent of the impacted colonies, the polyps had devised a survival strategy: shrinking their dimensions, partly abandoning their original skeleton, and gradually, over a period of several years, growing back and starting a new skeleton. They were then able to gradually re-colonize dead areas through budding.
"Coral are made up of hundreds to thousands of tiny creatures called polyps that secrete a hard outer skeleton of calcium carbonate (limestone) and attach themselves to the ocean floor," the report mentions. In order to be sure that the polyps were the same animals staging a comeback, "the team used 3D computer imaging to confirm the old, abandoned skeleton was connected to the new structure."

"This process of 'rejuvenescence' was known to exist in the fossil record but had never before been observed in coral colonies that exist today." While further investigation is required, the team says the findings open up the possibility that other modern corals around the world might be apply similar strategies to survive.

This is hardly surprising

By bcwright • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Given that the Earth's climate since the Pleistocene has hardly been stable (numerous ice ages as well as warm periods), this is hardly surprising. The current 'global warming' is not unprecedented in its amount, though possibly in its speed (usually global cooling can happen faster than global warming - think volcanic eruptions and meteor impacts, which can cause swings of several degrees over the course of a single year), and yet corals have survived for hundreds of millions of years. It was utterly predictable that their genetics would allow for some kind of survival strategy during such times (though exactly what that was in modern corals might have been less clear).

Re:Sayeth Ian Malcolm

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
This is a much better quote attributed to Ian Malcolm:

"Let's be clear. The planet is not in jeopardy. We are in jeopardy. We haven't got the power to destroy the planet - or to save it. But we might have the power to save ourselves."

Re:Of course it grows back

By Cyberax • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

The coral reefs are fine.

Coral reefs are NOT fine. The global warming will cause an almost total collapse of coral-dependent ecosystems. The keyword here is "almost" - some corals will survive, and once climate mellows out they will recolonize the reefs. But that's the matter of hundreds if not thousands of years.

Re:Of course it grows back

By K. S. Kyosuke • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Panicked people put up solar panels without thinking about the air pollution it could produce.

And of course you conveniently "forgot" to add the rebuttal by Duke themselves. Not the first time you did that, if I recall correctly, but that's equally unsurprising with you. :)

Re:Of course it grows back

By sabbede • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
From the report it looks like 17 years, not hundreds or thousands.

The Most Detailed Map of Auto Emissions In America

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
The New York Times published findings from an analysis of new data released through Boston University's Database of Road Transportation Emissions. The map embedded in the report shows a year's worth of CO2 from passenger and freight traffic on every road in the United States. From the report: The database provides the most detailed estimates available of local on-road CO2 over the past three decades. Even as the United States has reduced carbon dioxide emissions from its electric grid, largely by switching from coal power to less-polluting natural gas, emissions from transportation have remained stubbornly high. The bulk of those emissions, nearly 60 percent, come from the country's 250 million passenger cars, S.U.V.s and pickup trucks, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Freight trucks contribute an additional 23 percent.

Reducing emissions from driving has been a big challenge, said Conor Gately, who led the project mapping CO2 on America's roads as a postdoctoral researcher at Boston University. Emissions dipped during the recession of the late 2000s, but have been ticking back up since 2013. National fuel economy standards put in place under the Obama administration have helped temper the rise in automotive emissions because the rules require cars and trucks to use less gasoline per mile traveled. But even as vehicles have become more efficient, Americans, buoyed by a strong economy and low gas prices, have been driving more miles and buying more S.U.V.s and pickup trucks, which have lower gas mileage. Freight trucking is also on the rise. Boston University's emissions database, first published in 2015 and updated this week with an additional five years of data, reveals that much of the increase in driving-related CO2 has occurred in and around cities.
The report goes on to say that in nearly every metro area, total emissions have increased since 1990. "The New York area, home to 20 million Americans, accounted for the largest share of driving-related CO2," reports The New York Times. "After years of increase, emissions ebbed during the late-2000s recession but rebounded by 2017. In more car-dependent areas, like Dallas-Fort Worth, emissions from driving barely dipped during the recession and have increased rapidly in recent years. But, adjusted for population, these cities flip: Residents in the denser, more transit-friendly New York area contribute far less CO2 from driving on average than their counterparts in Dallas."

As for how the database was created, "Boston University researchers used federal traffic data to calculate the number of miles travelled on local segments of each road in the United States and converted those miles to carbon dioxide emissions by estimating how much fuel is consumed by different types of vehicles using those roads."

Re:Wait in a couple years

By whoever57 • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

This is the biggest load of BS that I have read for a while on /..

The state with the largest population of EVs happens to be CA, where there is close to zero coal used for electricity generation.

Battery packs will only need to be replaced after 400,000 to 500,000 miles, as long as you don't throw your money away on an EV from another manufacturer. Guess what you call the typical ICE-powered car that has done 300,000 miles? Scrap.

Even with the Leaf, there are likely to be cheap battery replacements soon.

Finally, look at the map and see what BS you are spouting:

Do you really think those ICE powered vehicles are putting out less CO2 than an EV with an mpg equivalent of over 100mpg?


By OldMugwump • Score: 3 • Thread
[Bah, I'll try again]

First, it's not a map of "auto emissions", it's a map of how many vehicles are on the roads. Even the summary says so.

They don't seem to account for a hybrid using less fuel than a regular vehicle, or an EV having zero emissions. Just how many cars and trucks.

Second, when people say "auto emissions", they normally mean pollution, not CO2. In a sense CO2 is pollution (insofar as it contributes to global warming), but it's not the kind that causes haze, smog, dirt, or damages lungs. And tracking CO2 takes no account of some vehicles producing a lot more pollution than others for the same amount of fuel consumed - the worst offenders are diesels and gasoline vehicles in poor tune (belching out a lot of unburnt hydrocarbons).

To be meaningful as a measure of "emissions" you'd have to account for fuel efficiency (hybrids, EVs, etc.) and for fuel type and vehicle maintenance.

I call shenanigans.


By sjames • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

The problem isn't wages. Labor only accounts for a tiny portion of the cost of most goods these days. I did the math recently,. and the iPhone would cost 6% more if the workers were paid $40/hr.


By thesupraman • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Their per person emissions are much much lower than the US.. So what was your point? You feel that Chinese and Indian people dont deserve the quality of life Americans enjoy through their impressively high per person CO2 emissions?

Flamebait? no, not really.. just an observation of your kneejerk reaction to try and move blame to others. but mod away, reality can be SO annoying.

Re: Wait in a couple years

By Pyramid • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

You really should refrain from calling people idiots. Sure liquid gasoline does not burn. But there is a thing called "vapor" - you should investigate what that is.

The ignition temperature of magnesium is 4000F. The spontaneous ignition temperature of gasoline is 536F. Gasoline's flash point is -50F (NEGATIVE 50F); that means vapor is always present in normal conditions

And yes, each time the fuel/air mixture in the cylinder is lit via spark, *it explodes*; i.e, it rapidly increases in temperature and volume. You've conveniently ignored that ICEs use a fuel/AIR mixture, not liquid gasoline.

"The more air we mix in, the higher the compression and the less fuel it uses" This is also wrong. The stoichiometric ratio at which air/fuel burns most completely/efficiently is 14:1. Pumping in less air causes dirty, incomplete combustion, pumping in more air eventually causes failed combustion. Most vehicles operate at a little less than 14:1, depending on operating conditions to keep the cyl chamber cool, slow the flame front and reduce the chance of detonation. Forced induction doesn't just stuff in more air, it forces *more air/fuel mixture* into the cylinders.

What of the best things you can do when talking about a thing is knowing what the hell you're talking about. You should try it.

Da Vinci Bridge Design Holds Up Even After 500 Years, MIT Proves

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Researchers at MIT have proven that Leonardo da Vinci knew what he was doing when he came up with a novel bridge design that would connect Istanbul with its neighbor city Galata. At the time, it would've been the world's longest bridge, with an unprecedented single span of 790 feet -- constructed without wood planks or even mortar joints. But, unfortunately, it was only recently put to the test since the design was rejected by Sultan Bayezid II in 1502 A.D. CNET reports: "It was time-consuming, but 3D printing allowed us to accurately recreate this very complex geometry," MIT graduate student Karly Bast said in a release on Thursday. Bast worked with a team of engineering academics to finally bring to life a faithful 1-to-500 scale model of da Vinci's famously rejected bridge design, putting the Renaissance man's long-questioned geometry to the test by slicing the complex shapes into 126 individual blocks, then assembling them with only the force of gravity. The group, which presented its work this week in Barcelona, relied on the sketches and descriptions found in da Vinci's letter bidding for the job, along with their own analysis of the era's construction methods.

The structure is held together only by compression -- the MIT team wanted to show that the forces were all being transferred within the structure, said Bast. "When we put it in, we had to squeeze it in." Bast said she had her doubts, but when she put the keystone in, she realized it was going to work. When the group took the scaffolding out, the bridge stayed up. "It's the power of geometry," she said.

Why on earth did you post a CNET link, Beau?

By nyet • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

CNET is basically just a clickbait aggregator these days. Don't drive traffic to them.

Go to the source.

Norway built that bridge

By bolt_the_dhampir • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
Well, a smaller scale version, but still a bridge :)


By az-saguaro • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Looks like I am late to the party, plenty of other people have already corrected these comments. But, I will add another set.

Just because it works on a scale model doesn't mean it would work in real life.

The whole history of architecture has depended on models and drawings to plan and engineer the real structure, and then the real structures stand for centuries or millennia. That's what models are all about, to plan the real thing that stands.

For one the construction methods of the time may not have allowed creation of precise shapes that 3D printing have allowed.

Lots of examples already given about precision masonry, even in ancient post-neolithic but pre-bronze and pre-iron civilizations. Other examples of grand scale stone masonry that is precision fit and self-supporting: the temples at Luxor and Karnak, the Parthenon, Roman basilicas, Gothic cathedrals.

Also may have been cost prohibitive to build the necessary scaffolding at that scale.

Societies find ways to fund what is important. That bridge might have been a grand piece of civil engineering, but it was comparable in scale or smaller than the pyramids and many other historical projects, all of which their societies afforded. Theory is that Easter Island society killed itself by deforesting the island to build its stone monuments. So, they bankrupted themselves doing it, but they still had the economy, the efforts of its people, to do so. This bridge would have served a vital transportation, logistical, mercantile, and military purpose, so easily justified with a good value on investment. And, it was the Ottoman's, a society that had treasures like Hagia Sophia and a vast empire - they could afford a few trees. Medieval Europe built their cathedrals with scaffolding. The Brits built their whole empire on timbers to sail the seven seas. We use the same amount of lumber for building forms to make modern concrete structures.

If you are going to build that much scaffolding might as well leave the scaffolding up and run a road on top.

Wood isn't durable. There is a current interest in modern uses of architectural wood, but historically there are few wooden structures that persist beyond a few centuries. Speaking of bridges, the comment brings to mind the conquest of the Wild West in latter 19th century United States. There were some huge railroad bridges slung across gaping chasms, supported by wooden trestles. But they were ephemeral, and to be ultimately durable, railroad bridges had to be built of iron.

Proven when 130 ft for 18+ years

By CptJeanLuc • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

They built a small scale version in Norway which was finished in 2001. Don't know about 500 years and 790 ft, but at least we have proof that 18 years and 130 ft works.

Re: Scale?

By TuballoyThunder • Score: 5, Funny • Thread
From what I understand, some Agile proponents convinced the sultan to use Agile. Instead of requirements and engineering, they said it would be more efficient to iterate and pivot.

So, they started with the bridge and ended up delivering a hashish pipe.

Rwanda Releases First Smartphone Made Entirely In Africa

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Rwanda's Mara Group just released two smartphones, earning the company the title of the first smartphone manufacturer in Africa. Their grand ambitions are to help turn Rwanda into a regional tech hub. Fast Company reports: Rwanda President Paul Kagame has announced Africa's "first high tech smartphone factory," CNN reported. While smartphones are assembled in other African nations (Egypt, Algeria, and South Africa all have assembly plants), according to Reuters, those companies all import the components. But at Mara, they manufacture the phones from the motherboards to the packaging, which is all done in the new factory. Kagame made the announcement in a press conference on Monday in the capital of Kigali. The phones, called Mara X and Mara Z, are the first "Made in Africa" models. Both run on Google's Android operating system. While the company admits they are a little more expensive than other options, like the popular Tecno brand phones made by a Chinese-owned company, they hope customers are willing to pay a bit more for quality and Made in Africa pride.


By ArylAkamov • Score: 3 • Thread

They are not capable of manufacturing everything as they claim.
Might as well say the phones are powered by vibrainium.

Re:There's no way these aren't repackaged Chinese

By LynnwoodRooster • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
They don't make their own chips; they DO assemble their own PCBs and do total phone assembly. Fabbing ICs is hard; running a fine-pitch SMT line is comparatively easy and affordable. That said - precious few companies actually make their own chips - most outsource the actual fabrication to a 3rd party. Even Apple outsources fabrication to TMSC and others.

Not quite

By jrnvk • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread
The Reuters article has a quote that sheds some light: “We are actually the first who are doing manufacturing. We are making the motherboards, we are making the sub-boards during the entire process,” There's no talk about the display, battery, SoC, or any else of the hundreds of parts that we know just can't be made there due to lack of natural resources (not to mention economical constrains). Which leads me to this: saying you made a smartphone when you produced a system board is kind of like saying you built an axle and claiming you built a car. It just isn't right.

Re:There's no way these aren't repackaged Chinese

By msauve • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
"It says they make their own MOTHERBOARDS, it doesn't say anything about making the SoC (or memory, or network IC) just that they make their own boards."

Uh, the headline on both the summary here, and the linked article state "Made Entirely In Africa". And, they contrast that with other companies which "import the components." If they're not sourcing African SoCs (and other component parts - semiconductors, passives, connectors, etc.), then they too are importing components.

Quantum Computing May Be Closer Than Expected With 'Game Changer' Discovery

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Inverse: Researchers from the Johns Hopkins University describe a superconducting material, B-Bi2Pd, that naturally exists in a quantum state without the additional influence of magnetic fields usually needed for such an effect. The authors write that the low-maintenance, stability of this material makes it a perfect candidate for designing quantum systems. The research will be published Friday in the journal Science by physicists from Johns Hopkins University. "We've found that a certain superconducting material contains special properties that could be the building blocks for technology of the future," the paper's first author, Yufan Li, said in a press release. "A ring of B-Bi2Pd already exists in the ideal state and doesn't require any additional modifications to work. This could be a game changer."

What makes this superconducting material special is the unique state it occupies as its ground state, or when no other forces are being exerted on it. While other superconducting materials can be forced to maintain a quantum state using external magnetic fields or energy-sustaining "quantum spin liquid," the researchers found that this material naturally exists in a quantum superposition, in which current can simultaneously flow clockwise and counter-clockwise in a ring of the material. This discovery is the realization of a prediction made by physicists in the 80s. The authors write that this property makes it an ideal candidate for quantum systems. But that doesn't mean we're out of the woods yet when it comes to our halting approach to universal quantum computing.

Emphasis mine ...

By CaptainDork • Score: 3 • Thread

But that doesn't mean we're out of the woods yet when it comes to our halting approach to universal quantum computing.

When the word, "may," appears in the headline, "may not," is implied.


By BAReFO0t • Score: 3 • Thread

I hope they don't need much, as Pd is exceptionally rare!

Re:quantum people don't know about "may". "Is not"

By CaptainDork • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Normally "may" implies "may not".

However, this is about quantum stuff. It appears, to this layman, that the quantum people don't have "may" in their vocabulary, so they insist that if you don't know yet, it's both true and false.

There actually is a cat in a box right now. You can't see the box. There is a radioactive thing in the box. Since the quantum dude can't see the cat, he says it is dead - and alive. Other people say the cat may be alive. I happen to be in this very large box (my house) with the cat, and I can assure you the cat is very much not dead. Just because quantum guy isn't here to see it doesn't kill the cat.

Or maybe the quantum folks are just really, really bad at explaining this idea. Because it sounds like they are saying that any car they can't see is dead. And is alive. Normal people just say "I don't know, the cat may be dead".

I have some news for you that comes from a non-lay.

Schrödinger's cat is a paradox. Paradoxes in science are often crafted to mock a hypothesis. That's what happened here. Heisenberg and others offered the Copenhagen Interpretation (notice it's not a theory) back in the 1930s.

Schrödinger was essentially saying, "If what you propose is true, here's a paradox that would arise. The Copenhagen Interpretation, though long discredited, is taught in basic quantum mechanics as a way to explain the state of the art today.

The problem with Schrödinger's cat is that all the elements of the experiment are macro objects and therefore behave according to Classical physics and are much too large to exhibit quantum properties.

Quantum mechanics is much too new for us to have a firm grasp. However, the Schrödinger's cat and Copenhagen Interpretation have certainly yielded to quantum field theory, much of which has been tested and found to be true.

It's MUCH too early to predict what quantum mechanics can do for us. It will be many decades before we get the physics under control.

In the meantime, "guesses," like that presented in the OP will abound.

Why would we do this?

By Dallas May • Score: 3, Interesting • Thread

Person one: Why would we want to make a quantum computer?
Person two: Because it can do some types of math far faster than any traditional computer?
Person one: Like what?
Person two: It could crack every current cryptography used online in microseconds completely upending the entire world's economy.
Person one: ... Can we revisit my original question?

Re:quantum people don't know about "may". "Is not"

By SoftwareArtist • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

That question's a bit difficult to answer, but I'll try. Quantum mechanics experiments usually involve something really small, like an atom or electron, interacting with a much larger measuring device. In Heisenberg's formulation of it, you describe the small thing with quantum mechanics, but you describe the measuring device with classical mechanics. Heisenberg insisted you had to do it that way. He said you needed a sharp line between the small thing you're measuring and the big thing you're measuring it with.

But he was wrong. Quantum mechanics describes lab equipment just as well as electrons. And what Heisenberg called "the collapse of the wavefunction" was just an artifact of trying to split up the world like that. The modern way we describe it is to say the electron and measuring device become "entangled" with each other. That means their probabilities are correlated. After the experiment, there's a nonzero chance the electron has spin up and the measuring device is reporting "spin up". And there's also a chance the electron has spin down and the device is reporting "spin down". But the chance of the electron being spin up and the device reporting "spin down" is basically zero.

What does entanglement really mean though? Is the electron/device system in one definite state, and we just don't know which one until we look at the display? Or does its state not really become defined until we look? Or perhaps it never becomes defined, and we ourselves split into two probabilities when we look at it?

We don't know. Different interpretations say different things. We have a lot of interpretations (dozens of them), and we don't know which is correct. They're all consistent with the experiments we've done so far. Some people get very attached to particular interpretations and try to insist the one they like best is clearly right. They're wrong. We just don't have enough evidence to say which interpretation is right.

Tim Cook Defends Decision To Remove Hong Kong Maps App In Memo

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
On Thursday, Apple CEO Tim Cook defended the company's decision to remove a mapping app in Hong Kong, saying that the company received "credible information" from authorities indicating the software was being used "maliciously" to attack police. Bloomberg reports: Apple pulled from its App Store on Wednesday after flip-flopping between rejecting it and approving it earlier this month. Apple made the decision after consulting with local authorities, because it could endanger law enforcement and city residents. Cook echoed that sentiment in an email to Apple employees. "Over the past several days we received credible information, from the Hong Kong Cybersecurity and Technology Crime Bureau, as well as from users in Hong Kong, that the app was being used maliciously to target individual officers for violence and to victimize individuals and property where no police are present," Cook wrote in the memo, a copy of which was obtained by Bloomberg News. He also said the app violates local laws.

The company has been criticized for the move, and Cook addressed that. "These decisions are never easy, and it is harder still to discuss these topics during moments of furious public debate," the CEO wrote. "National and international debates will outlive us all, and, while important, they do not govern the facts. In this case, we thoroughly reviewed them, and we believe this decision best protects our users."
Apple's reversal came after the Chinese Communist Party's flagship newspaper criticized Apple for letting the app into its store.

Re:In other words

By Xenx • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
One of the continued points of the protest is universal suffrage. In that, while Hong Kong has been allowed democratic elections, they've only been allowed to vote for candidates selected by the mainland. You can hopefully see the downside to only being allowed to vote for candidates you know will side with the mainland.

The rest of the main points I'm seeing revolve around the treatment of the protesters. Independent inquiry into police brutality, amnesty for arrested protesters, and to stop describing the protests as riots.

Re:In other words

By rogoshen1 • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

waiiiiit, shouldn't he be getting social credit instead?

Re:In other words

By LynnwoodRooster • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

You really don't know China, do you? I mean, I know your name is "ShanghaiBill" but your knowledge seems to be lacking. Carrie Lam was hand-selected and installed by Beijing. As with pretty much all provincial Governors/Administrators, they are chosen by Beijing because they will dutifully carry out the will of Beijing. Lam was doing what she was told by the State Council. There are 12,000 Chinese troops and police in Hong Kong right now, and to think they are not involved shows ni shi ben dan.

That little extradition treaty? That bill allowed extradition to China and Macau, and that was the problem. HK has always maintained independence from Beijing; extradition to Taiwan only probably wouldn't have been an issue. But Beijing - as greedy as they ever are - tagged in China and Macau as well, meaning that extradition of politically "difficult" people from HK to China would be a snap. Rightfully, the Hong Kongers stepped up and are resisting.

Hong Kong is the Goose that lays the golden eggs for China. Guangzhou and Shanghai won't take over, as banks are only allowed if they are controlled by Beijing (one of the key industries in China that Beijing refuses to relinquish control over). NO ONE would trust a China bank to allow unrestricted foreign currency transactions (like you get in HK). Or to have all deposits in RMB only (as required by law in China) where the currency can be changed at-will by the Government.

Hong Kong is doing what is right. Anyone who's lived in China (I spent 6 years in Shanghai) knows that for all it promises - freedom and fair play and respect for the individual is paid lip service only by Beijing and the CCC..

Re:In other words

By penandpaper • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

> The government in Beijing has not been directly involved.

Yes, they have their puppets that were approved in the last election doing the dirty work for them.

>The CPC has mostly just continued the British colonial policy of denying Hong Kong any direct democracy.

Two wrongs don't make a right.

>the protests was about extraditing a murderer to Taiwan, not the PRC

Certainly not able to be abused. I mean the Chinese government promised!

> The treaty has been withdrawn, so the protests no longer have any specific goal or objective.

They have 5 demands.
1) withdraw the extradition bill completely.
2) Retract classifying the protests as riots
3) release all protesters without charges
4) set up independent commission of inquiry into police violence
5) universal suffrage

It may have started with the extradition bill and that may have been the straw that broke the camels back but it sounds like they want suffrage and accountability in the government. Only crazy people want that!

>The protests and riots will eventually fizzle out

Oh the poor poor Chinese government. They are the victims in all of this. After-all, they are making the censors work overtime without pay since the protests started!

Winnie the Pooh is a danger to maintaining the political stability of society. A little fat man that proclaimed himself emperor said so.

Cook suddenly cares about ROI

By Trailer Trash • Score: 3 • Thread

Again, here he was 5 years ago when a conservative investor was asking him about ROI on some renewable energy initiative:

"If you want me to do things only for ROI reasons, you should get out of this stock."

Suddenly, ROI seems to matter to Cook.

As for this:

"Over the past several days we received credible information, from the Hong Kong Cybersecurity and Technology Crime Bureau, as well as from users in Hong Kong, that the app was being used maliciously to target individual officers for violence"

Good. The officers have made a poor choice, they should suffer for it. Maybe they'll realize that "not showing up for work tomorrow" is a better choice. They've jailed protestors, let them suffer the consequences for their actions.

Computer Historians Crack Passwords of Unix's Early Pioneers

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
JustAnotherOldGuy shares a report from Boing Boing: Early versions of the free/open Unix variant BSD came with password files that included hashed passwords for such Unix luminaries as Dennis Ritchie, Stephen R. Bourne, Eric Schmidt, Brian W. Kernighan and Stuart Feldman. Leah Neukirchen recovered an BSD version 3 source tree and revealed that she was able to crack many of the weak passwords used by the equally weak hashing algorithm from those bygone days.

Dennis MacAlistair Ritchie's was "dmac," Bourne's was "bourne," Schmidt's was "wendy!!!" (his wife's name), Feldman's was "axlotl," and Kernighan's was "/.,/.,." Four more passwords were cracked by Arthur Krewat: Ozalp Babaolu's was "12ucdort," Howard Katseff's was "graduat;," Tom London's was "..pnn521," Bob Fabry's was "561cml.." and Ken Thompson's was "p/q2-q4!" (chess notation for a common opening move). BSD 3 used Descrypt for password hashing, which limited passwords to eight characters, salted with 12 bits of entropy.


By namgge • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
Perhaps it's just me, but cracking and then publishing these guys' passwords seems impolite..


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

To be fair, he wasn't using his name - he was using the name of his preferred shell.

Re:Only paranoid people need secure passwords

By yorgasor • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

It's rare that websites are brute force hacked. Usually people gain access via malware or some other security hole, escalate their privileges and then grab a copy of the password hashes. Then they can run the password file through a list of other known passwords to catch the low hanging fruit, then use various other brute force attacks to try to get the rest. If you've got a difficult enough password, they'll give up on it and focus on the easier ones to crack. But if their password hashes also comes with account names (often email addresses), then they can try accessing lots of other websites with that email/password combo, which is why it's dangerous to reuse your passwords.

Re:Only paranoid people need secure passwords

By h33t l4x0r • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
Bingo. This is why I always use "ilovejesus". Plus it's easy to remember.


By Jethro • Score: 3 • Thread

I don't know why I love this story, but I love this story.

Should Cameras Replace Car Mirrors? US Regulators Want To Know

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Bloomberg: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in a notice on Wednesday that is is seeking public and industry input on whether to allow so-called camera monitoring systems to replace rear- and side-view mirrors mandated by a longstanding U.S. auto safety standard. Tesla Inc. and the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers in 2014 petitioned the agency to allow cameras to be used in lieu of traditional mirrors, citing improved fuel economy through reduced aerodynamic drag as the primary benefit. Cameras feeding one or more displays inside the car could also improve rear and side visibility, the Auto Alliance has said.

A five-year agency study of the technology on heavy-duty vehicles found display screens were too bright, making it harder for drivers to see objects on the road ahead. NHTSA's 2017 tests of a prototype camera monitoring system found it was "generally usable" in most situations, and produced better-quality images than mirrors at dusk and dawn. It also found potential flaws, including displays that were too bright at night, distorted images and camera lenses that would become obscured by raindrops. NHTSA said in a notice in the online Federal Register is seeking outside research and data about the potential safety impacts of replacing mirrors with cameras to inform a possible proposal to alter the mirror requirement in the future.

Yes, with caveats.

By Tjp($)pjT • Score: 3 • Thread
Yes with caveats like redundancy, independent power (super capacitors?) for 30 seconds or more, cameras with lens covers that sheet water, shed dirt, cool would be double down on redundancy with stereoscopic cameras and glasses-less 3D displays. Every techno-paranoid concern can be addressed.

I’m tall with a short inseam, so I duck down taking right hand curves, like most every on ramp, to see the road ahead the mirror is blocking. My rear views are a pan to adjust properly.

The added sensor fusion with hdr cameras, Ir cameras and after-market accessories like radar mapping plus archiving things like accident footage to potholes make it very useful. Headlights wouldn’t blind you either with hdr capable cameras, headlights could be inverted to dark spots. And ‘auras’ could be added to spotted items in the road or near the edge.

I’m available to consult if you want to chat near future tech.


By dryeo • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

You're dreaming. It'll have to be done at the dealer and if you do manage to do it yourself, the computer will need reprogramming at the dealer.


By AmiMoJo • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Cameras will reduce the bright lights shining in your eyes, i.e. the headlights of other cars. Instead of simply reflecting some idiot's high beams into your retina the camera with polarized filter and IR night vision will display a dimmed image that you can adjust the brightness of to your personal preference.


By MitchDev • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

"Understanding other driver's intentions is what indicator lights are for."

Obviously you've not driven on American roads in the past 20 years if you think most people actual use those signals....


By quetwo • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

As a full time cyclist -- I often look through windows, mirrors, etc. of vehicles nearby to see if the driver can (a) see me and (b) is looking my direction. I can make myself as bright, obnoxious looking as possible, but if they are looking down at their phones or something else, I'll avoid them by 30' so I don't get run over. Without the mirrors (and the trend of having heavily tinted windows), I have little chance of knowing what I'm up against.

System76 Will Begin Shipping 2 Linux Laptops With Coreboot-Based Open Source Firmware

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
System76, the Denver-based Linux PC manufacturer and developer of Pop OS, has some stellar news for those who prefer their laptops a little more open. Later this month the company will begin shipping two of their laptop models with its Coreboot-powered open source firmware. From a report: Beginning today, System76 will start taking pre-orders for both the Galago Pro and Darter Pro laptops. The systems will ship out later in October, and include the company's Coreboot-based open source firmware which was previously teased at the 2019 Open Source Firmware Conference. (Coreboot, formerly known as LinuxBIOS, is a software project aimed at replacing proprietary firmware found in most computers with a lightweight firmware designed to perform only the minimum number of tasks necessary to load and run a modern 32-bit or 64-bit operating system.) What's so great about ripping out the proprietary firmware included in machines like this and replacing it with an open alternative? To begin with, it's leaner. System76 claims that users can boot from power off to the desktop 29% faster with its Coreboot-based firmware.

[...] Both of these laptops can be kitted out with 10th-Generation Intel CPUs (specifically the i5-10210U and the i7-10510U), and both have glare-resistant matte 1080p IPS displays. Beginning at $949, the Galago Pro features an all-aluminum chassis, a wealth of connectivity options including HDMI, DisplayPort to USB-C and Thunderbolt, and can be configured with up to 32GB of RAM and up to 6TB of storage space. The Darter Pro, meanwhile, can be built out with 32GB of RAM and up to 2TB of storage, and features up to 10 hours of battery life.

Re:Using a coreboot version that can dual boot

By Mononymous • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

I've been dual-booting only a couple of weeks myself, but it's GRUB that gives me a choice between Kubuntu and FreeBSD. The ROM has nothing to do with that part.

Intel ME

By xororand • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

What about the Intel Management Engine?
This deep-seated piece of proprietary software has a long history of security vulnerabilities .Intel is actively working on making its removal harder. In recent years Intel went as far as shaving the CPU shut down after 30 minutes if this rootkit was deleted.
I applaud System76 for doing their best to bring a computer with free firmware to the market, but as long as Intel ME is in place, it's hard to trust such a machine.
By the way it is possible to (largely) remove Intel ME on older systems:

Re:Intel ME

By Mousit • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

What about the Intel Management Engine?

On every Tech Spec page for every product System76 sells:

"Security - Disabled ME"

Granted, I haven't seen any details on what that actually entails, so YMMV.

Ryzen Processors

By iCEBaLM • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Wake me up when they start offering AMD ryzen processors as options.

Re:Using a coreboot version that can dual boot

By drinkypoo • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Can coreboot load the FreeBSD kernel directly? IIRC Grub added the option years ago allowing you to bypass the FreeBSD bootloader if you wanted.

Coreboot can carry a number of payloads, usually Grub2, or SeaBIOS. FreeBSD can be booted via coreboot using either.

Dyson Cancels Electric Car Project

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Dyson has abandoned its attempts to break into the automotive industry and will wind down its electric vehicle project, ending a venture that founder James Dyson claimed would redefine his business [Editor's note: the link may be paywalled; alternative source]. From a report: The company failed to find a buyer for its designs, and said its plans to build a car from scratch in Singapore were no longer commercially viable. Dyson's ambitions faced a mounting challenge from established carmakers, while electric vehicle makers such as Tesla have raised large sums on the stock and bond markets. Many new entrants such as China's Nio have struggled with the cost of competing against deep-pocketed incumbents. Sir James's decision represents a humbling U-turn for a man who is one of Britain's most celebrated living inventors. The billionaire businessman had hoped to harness his privately owned group's expertise in battery systems, aerodynamics and high-tech manufacturing to break into a fiercely competitive industry. "Though we have tried very hard throughout the development process, we simply can no longer see a way to make it commercially viable," Sir James wrote in an email to staff on Thursday. "We have been through a serious process to find a buyer for the project which has, unfortunately, been unsuccessful so far." The failed automotive gamble was part of a $3.1 bn investment push into a range of new technologies, including artificial intelligence and robotics and batteries.

From skimming a few more articles...

By del_diablo • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Thats a good question you ask. Article mere states they did R&D at their research facility in UK, but it doesn't state how the events unfolded.
The article merely states they couldn't get a investor to pay for Singapore facility, which I guess means they can't supply chain the rest of the parts in UK. Going from a earlier 2019 article( ), the idea was to get a investor to pay for the facility, before moving bulk production of all Dyson parts to Singapore, and then maybe make a car from the additional logistics from being sited in Singapore.

If I where to guess the failure?
No investor, since they are not willing to spend their own cash.
Motors aren't significantly better than Bosch or whatever, so its mediocre.
Solid state battery research didn't pan out significantly
Might have gotten cold feet over China and Singapore, for a lot of reasons. Might even include the problem of IP theft, or unsecure supply chain.
Or I am guessing they couldn't secure enough knowledge and logistics to actually build a car without resorting to a lot of OEM parts. There is already a lot of companies doing that, and for EV it wouldn't really be better despite being a high end brand name.

Anything else to know about Dyson?
They got main office in Wiltshire, UK. A R&D campus at Hullavington, and do not have significant inhouse production.
4/7 of their workforce is located in Malaysian, working for VS Industry Bhd. It seem the original desire was to go to Singapore to acquire inhouse production, to skip a middle man. EV car project seemed to be a silly front to get a investor to pay for that.

0 cars built.
It was a investor bait to pay for a HQ move, to finance inhouse production

How is this shocking?

By kfh227 • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread

Maker of overpriced home fashion appliances realizes it can not compete in the highly cost competitive world of automobiles.

Re:They don't work

By slinches • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

I have done these calculations myself. Lower operating and maintenance costs are only worth it for these vehicles if you ignore the opportunity costs of the higher up front price.

The $15,000 difference between a $40k Model 3 and a $25k Camry invested with a 5% annual return pays for the vast majority of the operating costs of the less expensive vehicle. When that opportunity cost is considered, depending on the assumptions, it either takes longer than the life of the vehicle to break even or it never does.

The sad part

By SirAstral • Score: 3 • Thread

is that everyone is bitching about the wrong thing here as usual.

This problem is more of an issue with the difficulty it is to get started in any "heavily regulated" market. Barrier is high... really high to the point where you often have to get a buyer or you will only just waste money trying to break in.

Businesses love regulation because it helps to keep new competition out.

British automotive electrical systems

By ravenscar • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Perhaps investors were simply wary of a car where British automotive electrical design was applied to the entire vehicle. Posted because I know the Brits can take a joke.

From the inter webs:
Did you hear the one about the guy that peeked into a Land Rover and asked the owner "How can you tell one switch from another at night? They all look the same. " He replied, "It does not matter which one you use, nothing happens!"

The Lucas motto: "Get home before dark."

Lucas is the patent holder for the short circuit.

Lucas - Inventor of the first intermittent wiper.

Lucas - Inventor of the self-dimming headlamp.

The three position Lucas switch - Dim, Flicker and Off.

The Original Anti-Theft Device - Lucas Electrics.

Back in the 70's, Lucas decided to diversify its product line and began manufacturing vacuum cleaners. It was the only product they offered which did not suck.

Q: Why do the British drink warm beer? A: Because Lucas makes their refrigerators

Alexander Graham Bell invented the Telephone.Thomas Edison invented the Light Bulb. Joseph Lucas invented the Short Circuit.

How Remote Work is Quietly Remaking Our Lives

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
From their ersatz offices in coffee shops, coworking spaces, and living rooms, a growing number of remote workers are quietly remaking the way we work and live. From a report: Take Eden Rehmet, who was able to parlay her wages working in trade services at a New York City commodities broker into buying a home and opening a small business upstate. Rob Osoria, a web developer, works remotely from Brooklyn half of the week to skip a commute to his Manhattan office. And interior designer Meg Lavalette gets the best of both worlds by living and doing the majority of her work in rural upstate New York, while traveling to New York City every other week to meet with clients. All of them told Recode that apart from a few downsides, they have improved the quality of their lives by working remotely and releasing their tether to specific places near their employers. While remote work has blurred some of the boundaries between their work lives and their personal lives, they say they're happier and often more productive than they'd been at traditional offices.

Depending on how you measure it, remote employees like these make up anywhere from 5.3 percent (those who typically work from home) to nearly two-thirds (who work remotely ever) of the US workforce, a number that has been rising since the advent of a reliable and robust home broadband connection earlier this decade. The changes remote work has introduced have happened so gradually you may not have noticed. But its growing popularity is remaking how we work, the tools we use to work, how we communicate at work, and even the hours we work. It's also connected to population shifts from big cities to less populated areas, and it's upending sectors of commercial real estate, both in terms of how spaces are designed and where they're located. What was once a rarity among a select set of workers is quickly becoming a defining feature of the future of work.

30 minutes of travel each way = 6 extra work weeks

By Futurepower(R) • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
"... time saved not having to wait in traffic 2 hours each day..."

30 minutes of travel each way is an hour a day. In 240 working days per year, that is the equivalent of 6 extra work weeks each year!

Re:Careful what you wish for

By Waffle Iron • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

If your job can be done remotely, then it can be done by a smart person in Timbuktu working for $2 an hour.

And if your job can't be done remotely, then it might be done by a robot before too long.

Not all is golden

By argStyopa • Score: 3, Interesting • Thread

Yes, they have technically "releas(ed) their tether to specific places near their employers" but they've also lost the clear wall between work and life.

I'm fortunate in that I'm able to work whenever I like from home at only perhaps a 10% efficiency penalty just because I'm working over a VPN and our office is only 80/10 which means working remotely I'm essentially capped at 10mb/s. My wife, in fact, much prefers working from home. Sitting on the couch, doing her bookkeeping while some inane show scrolls by on Netflix in the background.
I don't. I go to work whenever I can to focus ON WORK. No distractions. No dog to let out. No laundry to do. No dishes sitting waiting to be done. And when I'm home, I do those things, and NOT WORK (as much as possible).

I've been working like this close to 30 years now and I'm ever more insistent that wall between work and life be larger, not smaller.

Hell yeah

By JustAnotherOldGuy • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

I'm currently working 100% remote and I love it. There are so many advantages, and not just for me, but also for the people who don't work remote.

See that guy right in front of you, fucking up your commute? That's not me. (You're welcome.) I'm at home drinking coffee, not blocking you from getting over into the lane you need. Think of all the good things that come from having one less vehicle on the road, and multiply that by "many".

Also, you know that one coworker who's always leaving a mess in the office kitchen? Yeah, that's also not me. I'm happily making a mess in my own kitchen and you don't have to deal with it at all.

I could go on, but you get my point. Even my manager agreed and said, "Yeah, it's better for everyone when you're not in the office."

Hey, wait a minute...

Re:Can confirm

By 0100010001010011 • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

I'll throw in my anecdotes:

I've been 'remote working' for almost a decade now and I can't imagine ever going back. The current system is just so... inefficient.

The commute minutes add up to significant time. 10 minutes commute each way each day for 50 weeks is 5000 minutes, 83.3 hours. If I split that between work and myself we both get an extra work week to ourselves. My stress levels from commuting on gone.

I can interleave my personal household work with my actual work. Rather than twiddling thumbs making small talk waiting for the conference room to open up, I can unload the dishwasher. My 'compiling time' isn't spent paper tube fighting on office chairs but with my family any number of household tasks that need to get done.

I can time shift everything to save time. Being able to grocery shop at 10 am on a Tuesday saves a *ton* of time. There are no lines, no people, and the whole experience is better. Traffic there is less. I can go see matinee movies at 2 PM and work at 8PM. I can fit work into my life, not vice versa.

That said, I still need 'in office' time. Usually 3 days every month. Just bouncing ideas off of people, talking about what to do for the rest of the month, etc. It sort of 'resyncs' all of our work clocks. But 3 days is more than enough.

Pinterest Says AI Reduced Reported Self-Harm Content By 88%

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Pinterest says it's using machine learning techniques to identify and hide content that displays, rationalizes, or encourages self-injury. The company says it has achieved an 88% reduction in reports of self-harm content by users and that it's now able to remove such content 3 times faster. From a report: Additionally, over 4,600 search terms and phrases related to self-harm have been removed from the platform, Pinterest says, and links to free and confidential support from expert resources are now more prominently displayed to members who search for those keywords. People showing signs of distress now see the resources directly in their boards (i.e., home screens), an approach Pinterest says was developed with guidance from outside emotional health experts at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, Vibrant Emotional Health, and Samaritans. Elsewhere, Pinterest this morning broadened the rollout of the emotional well-being interactive practices and exercises it introduced in the U.S. through its iOS app earlier this year.

No more home surgery

By Ryzilynt • Score: 3 • Thread

How am I supposed to find tutorials for performing backyard surgery now?


By ArchieBunker • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

You mean the site that clogs up my image search results?

Silencing the troubled?

By Chromal • Score: 3 • Thread
Someone posts some cry for help, and then an unthinking moronic AI decides to algorithmically flag it as self-harm-flavoured and so their speech is suppressed automatically. How is that making the world a better place? All you've accomplished is the automation of bullying, and what possible recourse is there for someone who's been shoved off the deck and into the ocean by a misguided algorithm? These people need compassion and love, and these guys are unleashing automation to bury alive the most vulnerable people who need help. I find this to be disturbing and deplorable.

What's the false positive rate?

By twocows • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Without the false positive rate, this data is meaningless.

An AI Pioneer Wants His Algorithms To Understand the 'Why'

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Deep learning is good at finding patterns in reams of data, but can't explain how they're connected. Turing Award winner Yoshua Bengio wants to change that. From a report: In March, Yoshua Bengio received a share of the Turing Award, the highest accolade in computer science, for contributions to the development of deep learning -- the technique that triggered a renaissance in artificial intelligence, leading to advances in self-driving cars, real-time speech translation, and facial recognition. Now, Bengio says deep learning needs to be fixed. He believes it won't realize its full potential, and won't deliver a true AI revolution, until it can go beyond pattern recognition and learn more about cause and effect. In other words, he says, deep learning needs to start asking why things happen. The 55-year-old professor at the University of Montreal, who sports bushy gray hair and eyebrows, says deep learning works well in idealized situations but won't come close to replicating human intelligence without being able to reason about causal relationships. "It's a big thing to integrate [causality] into AI," Bengio says. "Current approaches to machine learning assume that the trained AI system will be applied on the same kind of data as the training data. In real life it is often not the case."

In other words: It needs to be able to THINK.

By Rick Schumann • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
None of the so-called 'AI' they keep trotting out to us has any cognitive ability whatsoever, and Yoshua Bengio just acknowledged that.
Good luck with that, sir, since we don't even have the faintest idea how any living brain actually produces the phenomenon of 'thought'.

Bushy grey hair and Eyebrows?

By NEDHead • Score: 3 • Thread

Can we get a picture? Preferably in a Speedo?

What the hell difference does that make?

Is the author of the article 20 years old?

By mustafap • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

"The 55-year-old professor at the University of Montreal, who sports bushy gray hair and eyebrows, "

This may come as a shock to some people, but over the age of 50 many people have grey hair and eyebrows. Why mention this?

Just asking for a friend who is 55 years old with bushy grey hair and eyebrows.

"Why" is an illusion

By werepants • Score: 3 • Thread

Let's be honest, what we are doing when we say "why" something happened is just building a narrative (you could also think of this as a mental model). It's just a conceptual framework that helps us predict what will happen in similar situations in the future.

Almost any cognitive task can be expressed in terms of building a predictive model. Trying to solve a bug in the code? I take my observable program behavior and try to match it to past experience and fit it into the mental framework I have for the system, and predict what kind of bug it is and where I should start my hunt. If I'm wrong I iterate, take in new data, and try again. Eventually I make it work, and now my internal model of the system is that much better from the experience. Humans just take in data, pump it through their mental models, and act based on probabilities.

And humans are not very good at it, to be honest. Just look at all the ways that we assign meaning to random events and try to come up with explanations for systems that are way too complex for us to understand, like the stock market or economic recessions. People will tell you "why" something happened all the time and be completely, totally wrong about it. We are great at fooling ourselves, and seeing patterns that aren't there. We constantly try to make meaning where none exists. Even in the realm of science, we've managed to put together models that make good predictions for the wrong reasons, and we can be exceedingly correct with models that we can use but can't even being to explain why they work.

Wrong emphasis

By Tablizer • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

I've come to realize that most people view life through a social lens first. "Because it makes the boss angry" is processed ahead of and gets priority over "is it a logical idea?".

If you visit online political forums, the personality and personal life of politicians is discussed far more than say the math and logic of economics and budgets.

If you make an e-Vulcan, it will be rejected because most humans can't handle blunt honesty. Trust me, I violated gobs of social norms due to logic and bluntness, often unintentionally. There are lots of little ways to offend people that are difficult to forecast up front unless you have a good social sense.

If you want a bot that's accepted in a human world, you'll have to master "social math" above logic and physics. Otherwise, it will get kicked in the nuts ... and bolts. And unlike physics and (pure) logic, social math is poorly understood and documented.

Cisco Hit By an Internal Network Outage

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Not a great start to the day for Cisco employees, many of which are struggling in the face of an internal IT outage. From a report: The technology and networking giant confirmed in a tweet it was "aware of some disruption" to its IT systems and is "working" on restoring the network. Worse, the company's corporate blog also went kaput. For a period, Cisco's blog was displaying the default WordPress install page. But at the time of publication, the blog had been restored. Some customers were unable to login through Cisco's single sign-on.

Can't wait for today's meeting with the Cisco Rep

By bluelip • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Cisco has been pushing their new subscriptions for everything. Their software has always sucked.

A nice jab to the sales rep today will relieve some stress.

Well this is embarrassing.

By skids • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

Networking is their thing. This is sort of like a barber showing up at his shop with an albert einstein/bernie sanders hairdew.


By ErichTheRed • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Usually when you read about full network outages, the thing that comes to mind is ransomware. Even with all the news and warnings, it's not easy for large companies to restructure their networks in a zero-trust fashion. Almost everywhere, once you're on an internal LAN you can basically go anywhere. Even if you have client side firewalls, you're bound to hit someone with a misconfiguration or missed patch.

Another factor not helping is that I'm sure Cisco has given all their internal IT over to one of the big offshore outsourcers. Software companies are famous for this, which is kind of ironic considering that they're technology companies. Once a company does this, there's another wall to jump over to get anyone to do anything. It's too bad...maybe they'll learn a lesson and trigger the "send-it-back-in-house" phase of the outsource/insource cycle early.


By Salo2112 • Score: 3 • Thread
I hope their smartnet contracts are up to date and that they get someone on the phone they can understand.

Re:Communications disruption could mean only 1 thi

By PolygamousRanchKid • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

Malware invasion.

No, this looks like a hardware problem to me. They need to switch their hardware vendor.

I would suggest a Chinese knock-off. This would be an easy transition for their system operators, since the Chinese knock-offs use copied Cisco software.

Amazon Workers May Be Watching Your Cloud Cam Home Footage

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader shares a report: In a promotional video, Amazon says its Cloud Cam home security camera provides "everything you need to monitor your home, day or night." In fact, the artificially intelligent device requires help from a squad of invisible employees. Dozens of Amazon workers based in India and Romania review select clips captured by Cloud Cam, according to five people who have worked on the program or have direct knowledge of it. Those video snippets are then used to train the AI algorithms to do a better job distinguishing between a real threat (a home invader) and a false alarm (the cat jumping on the sofa). An Amazon team also transcribes and annotates commands recorded in customers' homes by the company's Alexa digital assistant, Bloomberg reported in April.

AI has made it possible to talk to your phone. It's helping investors predict shifts in market sentiment. But the technology is far from infallible. Cloud Cam sends out alerts when it's just paper rustling in a breeze. Apple's Siri and Amazon's Alexa still occasionally mishear commands. One day, engineers may overcome these shortfalls, but for now AI needs human assistance. Lots of it. At one point, on a typical day, some Amazon auditors were each annotating about 150 video recordings, which were typically 20 to 30 seconds long, according to the people, who requested anonymity to talk about an internal program.

Re:The usual

By courteaudotbiz • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Seriously, I think that nobody cares anymore about that shit. They're just not going to respond anything. It is now a mostly accepted fact that there are cameras everywhere and that you can potentially be watched - even in your home - by the company you bought it from.

4yo "I think Google is listening to me"

By raymorris • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

My four year old received a Google Home device as a gift, the thing that takes verbal commands such as "turn on the light" or "play twinkle twinkle" (no camera).

Although such a thing would be useful for a little kid who is scared of monsters and wants to be able to turn on the light without braving getting out of bed, I had misgivings. I had previously put together an open-source, privacy-respecting version for her using a Raspberry Pi when she was three It was useful because there and four year olds can't easily do things adults can do; the voice interface was very handy.

Anyway, she really liked the Google Home smart speaker she had been given so I decided to let her use it. After a couple days she came to me and said "I think Google is listening to me when I'm not talking to it. How does it know when I'm talking to it? Take it out of my room, please." Smart four year old.

Re:4yo "I think Google is listening to me"

By fluffernutter • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
This was solved pre-internet: The Clapper

Yes but but...

By grumpy-cowboy • Score: 3 • Thread

... I have nothing to hide!

No news here!

By oldgraybeard • Score: 3 • Thread
Anything put on another system, out of your control, that is not encrypted Is being viewed, read parsed and added to unknown databases for future monetization by the holders(owners).

And there is nothing the government or any entity will do about it because the corps have purchased the rights from government(bureaucrats and politicians) to collect and monetize the data

Just my 2 cents ;)

Apple Has No Backbone

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Apple, a company that loves to talk about its values, has this week demonstrated that when it comes to China -- one of its biggest markets and where most of its iPhones and other products are assembled taking full benefit of low-cost labors -- even the Steve Jobs-founded company lacks a backbone. The company has bowed down to Chinese pressure and pulled an app from the Chinese App Store that helped pro-democracy protesters track cops to ensure their safety. Apple, a company with nearing $1 trillion in market cap, said the app "violates our guidelines and local laws."

The company has also pulled news app Quartz, which has been extensively covering the protests in Hong Kong, from the app store. The explanation from Apple, the company which has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to plaster every mall on the face of this planet in recent weeks to tell us that its new iPhone models have an ultra-wide lens? Crickets. On the Chinese App Store, Apple also does not offer The New York Times app because it "violates its policies." That's right. The New York Times, the biggest publication on the planet that wins tons of awards for its reportage each year and is celebrated across the globe and is a partner of Apple for Apple News subscription service, violates Apple's policies in China.

A few other times when x-ray report showed Apple did not have a backbone.

Boo hoo

By budsetr • Score: 3 • Thread

Apple has enough money to build new factories and its entire supply chain. This is all about greed.

Re: yeah NO

By saloomy • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Worse, it would actually violate OUR laws. Tim Cook has a fiduciary obligation to steward Apple to its maximum profit. Every decision he makes, however mundane or calculated, must be explainable in some way to increase shareholder equity in the company. Even when they make a decision that might immediately lower revenue, it must be backed up by "in the long run". If he doesn't act that way, he risks personal liability from Apple shareholders; and with Apple, there are many, MANY activist shareholders. FalcDot is wrong here, Apple management is bound by fiduciary duty not to take action against the laws in China.

Bloodhawk is exactly right. Companies are subject to the laws of the lands they choose to operate in. Don't like it? Talk to the local politicians, talk to the US State Dept and cajole them to take action. Lobby them. Appeal to the masses. But until the laws get fixed, you have to obey them. These massive companies are still just that, companies. They are not the vessels by which we decide rule of law. There are other systems for that (Democracy in the US, Authoritarianism in China). Want that changed? Don't ask companies to do it. Ask Government.

Re: yeah NO

By larryjoe • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Well currently its their entire bank account. Forget about people buying and using iPhones there, they are all manufactured there. If china were to just go in and shut that shit down, it would be a very long time before Apple could recover.

The untold story is the game of chicken at play. Yes, Apple would suffer immense financial harm if they could not longer manufacture phones in China the next day. However, eliminating more than one million jobs in China in one day would also have an impact on the Chinese economy. The Chinese government is very sensitive to the prospect of economic turmoil that might turn into social unrest. That's why the huge debt bubble is more acceptable than potential seeds of economically driven political opposition. Fortunately for the Chinese government, they correctly estimate the supremacy of stock prices and the bonus-driven decision making of American executives.

Re: yeah NO

By fropenn • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
"Fiduciary obligation" is just a BS excuse companies and executives roll out when they don't want to do the right thing. There is absolutely NO requirement that companies take on profitable activities that violate their principles and values.

For example, consider a company that values protecting the environment. While they could make more money by, say, dumping the toxic chemicals from their textiles plant directly into the ocean, this would violate their core principles and values, so they decide to not do this even though it means less profit.

What Apple is saying is that they value the access to the Chinese market more than they value the human rights and safety of their customers. So, what I am saying is that I will do my best to continue not buying products from Apple.

Also Nike, Disney, and NBA

By walterbyrd • Score: 3 • Thread

South Park nailed it.

Cambridge Analytica Whistleblower: US Heading In 'Same Direction As China' With Online Privacy

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
"The United States is walking in the same direction as China, we're just allowing private companies to monetize left, right and center," Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie told CNBC on Wednesday. "Just because it's not the state doesn't mean that there isn't harmful impacts that could come if you have one or two large companies monitoring or tracking everything you do," he said. CNBC reports: Wylie, whose memoir came out this week, has become outspoken about the influence of social media companies due to the large amounts of data they collect. In March 2018, he exposed the Cambridge Analytica scandal that brought down his former employer and resulted in the Federal Trade Commission fining Facebook, 15 months later, $5 billion for mishandling. While Cambridge Analytica has since shut down, Wylie said the tactics it used could be deployed elsewhere, and that is why data privacy regulation needs to be dramatically enhanced.

"Even if the company has dissolved, the capabilities of the company haven't," he said. "My real concern is what happens if China becomes the next Cambridge Analytica, what happens if North Korea becomes the next Cambridge Analytica?" Wylie also said he believes that social media companies should, at a minimum, face regulation similar to water utilities or electrical companies -- "certain industries that have become so important because of their vital importance to business and people's lives and the nature of their scale." In those cases, "we put in place rules that put consumers first," he added. "You can still make a profit. You can still make money. But you have to consider the rights and safety of people."

Just "Heading" . . . ?

By PolygamousRanchKid • Score: 4 • Thread

I though we were "Leading".

Companies = state

By sad_ • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

There is no difference between a government violating your privacy or a company.
The government will just make laws that will allow them to access the collected information from these company when they 'need' to.
It's just an extra step to get to the data.

Re:Companies = state

By bigpat • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

There is no difference between a government violating your privacy or a company.
The government will just make laws that will allow them to access the collected information from these company when they 'need' to.
It's just an extra step to get to the data.

There is a big difference. A government has the authority to use force against people that don't conform to the law. A company can micro target you to know exactly how to sell you cars, pancakes or mobile apps.

However, you are right. If private companies are collecting surveillance data and especially if they are selling that data to third parties then the government doesn't even need a law to allow them to force it from companies. They do enough business with these companies that getting all our information is just a drop in the bucket on a government contract.

World War 3

By Aethedor • Score: 3 • Thread
The next big war will not be between countries, but between governments and people who are not taking this shit anymore. Like what's happening in Hong Kong right now, but then world wide.

No mention of Australia and UK?

By pgmrdlm • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
I am probably wrong, but I thought that those 2 nations had more government intrusive policies toward privacy. Camera's monitoring your every move, encryption back doors, monitoring of data/?

Overwatch Mei Is Becoming a Hong Kong Protest Symbol

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Following Blizzard's decision to suspend a Hearthstone player for expressing support of protests in Hong Kong during an official tournament broadcast, some gamers are working to turn Overwatch hero Mei into a symbol of the Hong Kong resistance. Polygon reports: A post yesterday on the r/HongKong subreddit suggested people turn Mei, a Chinese Overwatch hero, into a "pro-democracy symbol" to get "Blizzard's games banned in China." (China already censors Winnie the Pooh after the internet began associating the character with president Xi Jinping.) The post has been upvoted more than 12,000 times, and has more than 300 comments, plenty of which are images of Mei supporting Hong Kong. The movement has spread outward into Twitter and elsewhere. Players have also continued to post screenshots of themselves uninstalling Blizzard games and closing their accounts. The #BoycottBlizzard hashtag remains active, with new tweets generated nearly every second.

Re:Reports are that Blizzard is refusing cancellat

By awing0 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Don't try to conflate cancelling your Blizzard account to China's actions or "cancel culture". Dropping your WOW subscription is "voting with your wallet" and has always been celebrated here.


By clawsoon • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

There is a reason why you generally don't want to trade with your ideological enemies.

This is where an examination of the history of American foreign policy is useful to figure out who the ideological enemies of America are. There is a long list of capitalist dictators supported by America, from Suharto and Mobutu to General Park and Pinochet. There is a long list of democratically elected socialists opposed or overthrown by America, from Mosaddegh and Allende to Árbenz and Goulart. Dictators aren't ideological enemies of the U.S.; anti-capitalists are. The current Chinese government fits comfortably into the sort of the regime that the U.S. has been happy to do business with.

Re:I guess they will have to remove her...

By leonbev • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

While they're at it, can they add a few pictures of World Of Warcraft characters supporting the Hong Kong independence movement as well? Getting that game banned as well sounds like a good way to get rid of all those Chinese gold farmers in that game.


By laird • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Players aren't employees of Blizzard, they are individuals competing for prizes. The idea that they give up their free speech in order to compete is quite un-American. And it's pathetic that Blizzard cares only about avoiding upsetting rich paranoid Communist China, and not about freedom of speech or even about upsetting their customers in Hong Kong and elsewhere who are concerned about Communist China's aggressive attempt to control free speech globally in order to further their expanding military and political control over everything near them.

Closing accounts and deleting games?

By DontBeAMoran • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread

Blizzard already has my money. Why the fuck would I delete their games in protest? This would only hurt me.

If you want to protest and hurt Blizzard, play on their servers as much as you can because it's costing them money. Heck, organize something so their servers are always maxed out to the point that almost everyone starts complaining. Tech support costs money, too.