the unofficial Slashdot digest for 2019-Nov-08 today archive


  1. The World's First Gattaca Baby Tests Are Finally Here
  2. 'Platinum' Hacking Group Strikes Again With Complex Titanium Backdoor To Windows
  3. GIF Site Gfycat Announces Mass Deletions, Threatens Archive Team With Lawsuit
  4. Six Arrested For Selling Chinese Gear To Military As 'Made In America'
  5. Vaping Illnesses Linked To Vitamin E Acetate, CDC Says
  6. Trippy T-Shirt Makes You Invisible To AI
  7. Mozilla Hits Google, Facebook For 'Microtargeting' Political Ads
  8. House Plants Have Little Effect on Indoor Air Quality, Study Concludes
  9. GitLab Director Resigns, Says It's Engaging In 'Retaliatory Behavior'
  10. EU's Vestager Says Google's Antitrust Proposal Not Helping Shopping Rivals
  11. Amazon Is Accused of Forcing Up Prices in Antitrust Complaint
  12. Work-Life Balance: After Cryptographer's Lawsuit, BAE Division Will Retrain HR
  13. Firefox Turns 15
  14. In China, Shutterstock Censors Hong Kong and Other Searches
  15. DNS-over-HTTPS Will Eventually Roll Out in All Major Browsers, Despite ISP Opposition
  16. Netflix, HBO and Cable Giants Are Exploring New Ways Such as Authentication Using Fingerprints To Crack Down on Password Sharing
  17. NASA Flew Gas Detectors Above California, Found 'Super Emitters'
  18. Ambrosia, the Young Blood Transfusion Startup, Is Quietly Back in Business
  19. Facebook Staff Lamented 'Unethical' Practices But Were Rebuffed
  20. Ransomware, Data Breaches At Hospitals Tied To Uptick In Fatal Heart Attacks
  21. Bill Gates Thinks Windows Mobile Would Have Beaten Android Without Microsoft's Antitrust Woes
  22. Delays in Boeing Max Return Began With Near-Crash in Simulator
  23. Kepler Achieves a World-First For Satellite Broadband With 100Mbps Connection To the Arctic
  24. The Cost For Each SLS Launch Is Over $2 Billion

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.

The World's First Gattaca Baby Tests Are Finally Here

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from MIT Technology Review: Anxious couples are approaching fertility doctors in the US with requests for a hotly debated new genetic test being called "23andMe, but on embryos." The baby-picking test is being offered by a New Jersey startup company, Genomic Prediction, whose plans we first reported on two years ago. The company says it can use DNA measurements to predict which embryos from an IVF procedure are least likely to end up with any of 11 different common diseases. In the next few weeks it's set to release case studies on its first clients.

Handed report cards on a batch of frozen embryos, parents can use the test results to try to choose the healthiest ones. The grades include risk estimates for diabetes, heart attacks, and five types of cancer. According to flyers distributed by the company, it will also warn clients about any embryo predicted to become a person who is among the shortest 2% of the population, or who is in the lowest 2% in intelligence. The test is straight out of the science fiction film Gattaca, a movie that's one of the inspirations of the startup's CEO, Laurent Tellier. The company's other cofounders are testing expert Nathan Treff and Stephen Hsu, a Michigan State University administrator and media pundit. So far, fertility centers have not leaped at the chance to offer the test, which is new and unproven. Instead, prospective parents are learning about the designer baby reports through word of mouth or news articles and taking the company's flyer to their doctors.
"The test (called "LifeView") is carried out on a few cells plucked from a days-old IVF embryo," the report says. "Then Genomic Prediction measures its DNA at several hundred thousand genetic positions, from which it says it can create a statistical estimate, called a 'polygenic score,' of the chance of disease later in life."

Criticism of the company from some genetics researchers has been intense. "It is irresponsible to suggest that the science is at the point where we could reliably predict which embryo to select to minimize the risk of disease. The science simply isn't there yet," says Graham Coop, a geneticist at the University of California, Davis, and a frequent critic of the company on Twitter.

Re:Poor comparison.

By saloomy • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Uh, one: Jurassic Park was a fantastic movie.

Two: Technology makes life better. Every time. Even Nuclear Weapons. Life loss due to war was increasing every decade since early civilization until Nuclear Weapons. Suddenly, it slowed down to about 1M deaths a year. Why? Nuclear Weapons. Those that have it are terrified of recourse by others who have them, and those that don't are afraid of those who do.

There are X number of pre-mature deaths due to these diseases. Lets assume for a moment that you can save so many human life-years by selective genetics. Why not? Is there really a bad reason for this? Lets assume that for a moment, the science is flawed. So? Then the results are random. Is that any worse than things today? No.

What if the accuracy isn't good, and the correlations are only slightly positive? Great! Have you seen any technology NOT improve? I haven't. It we can make ourselves better, gain understanding about ourselves or our genetics, and improve quality of life for millions of people, then I am for it.

Re: Poor comparison.

By Way Smarter Than You • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Did you see Gattaca? The point (one of, anyway) was that the rich buy better babies than the middle class. The poor can't afford genetic modification babies at all. So the power dynamics of society based on wealth become both permanent and the stratification greater. There is no way in the world of Gattaca to advance or improve one's self through hard work. Your destiny is pre-determined by how rich your parents are; your success then passed down and so on, while failure for the poor is also multi-generational and permanent due to the laws and social structures in place. Even dating: do you recall they exchanged dna before having a relationship? I think you either didn't see it, forgot it, or completely missed the point of an amazingly good movie. I suggest you watch it again.

Re: Poor comparison.

By saloomy • Score: 4 • Thread
I saw and remember the movie. I loved the movie. They used to say the rich would drive cars and the poor would only be able to walk. They used to say only the rich can have (insert cool technology here). The rich start, then it democratizes. Thats what happens with every single technology. The rich pay for it, its expensive and inefficient. Then new entrants find cheaper ways to accomplish the same thing with more accuracy and efficiency lowering the costs. The technology moves down the line to become affordable to more people. Rinse. Repeat. Gattaca was a great movie, but like most movies, the moral of the story was wrong. Technology doesn't lead to dystopian futures. Never will.

Re:Not really new or interesting

By Luckyo • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

There's nothing strange about it. You may have missed it, but ever since Stalin and massively popularized by modern far left in non-communist/former communist countries, there exists a pseudoscientific assertion that humans are born as same blank slates that are programmed by society, and to claim any determination by biology is "nazism". You know, the argument made by the person I answered to, "but what would nazis do with this".

And this denial has a strong tendency to cause massive amount of human suffering, a common theme for the collectivist ideological extremes. Just like having a child born with severe genetically inheritable mental retardation, because surely people are born as blank slates and it's all about environment influencing them. In reality it means family is tied to that child for his entire life, and he will never become anything even remotely close to a fully functional human being. If you want to object to this, read up on what genetically inherited mental retardation like trisomy 18 or trisomy 13 does to a human being.

I had to grow with a friend who's sister had trisomy 21. It was much less harsh than those two, and his family life was still hell because of it, which he started escaping to drugs and alcohol before he hit grade 9. A very common theme in such families, as when you have an grown teenaged or adult body with mental capacity of a [variety of young ages] year old, with tantrums, lack of self control, lack of basic empathy and other issues associated with this level of development, there is neither time nor energy in most human beings to do anything but constantly work on mitigating the damage being caused by these issues. Everything else, from siblings to parents' normal well being is often utterly neglected. The only families I know to get something out of this are typically either the religious types or the types that like the excuse to exercise total control over the child for the rest of their natural life that normal child would reject very harshly by the time they hit teens.

For almost everyone else, birth of such a child is typically a life long existential tragedy. And since it's possible to be mitigated by modern science, it should, like all other medical tragedies that we mitigate against already.

And if you think this is something linked to far right, then you have to in the same breath and on the same principle defend sibling marriage and claim that opposition to it is also far right. The reason we outlaw it is the exact same as the reason we allow in vitro screening for known genetic defects in couples who are at risk. Massive increase in severe inherited genetic illnesses.

Re: Poor comparison.

By alvinrod • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
And before that technology there were no despots right? The Khans bloody reign and brutality makes the Nazis look like third rate chumps and the tinpot dictators in the third world like they aren’t even worth considering.

Blaming technology for the evil assholes that use it to do evil things is idiotic. Do you similarly rebuke medicine because it could also be used as a poison?

'Platinum' Hacking Group Strikes Again With Complex Titanium Backdoor To Windows

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Freshly Exhumed shares a report from Securelist: Platinum is one of the most technologically advanced APT actors with a traditional focus on the APAC region. During recent analysis we discovered Platinum using a new backdoor that we call Titanium (named after a password to one of the self-executable archives). Titanium is the final result of a sequence of dropping, downloading and installing stages. The malware hides at every step by mimicking common software (protection related, sound drivers software, DVD video creation tools).

The Titanium APT has a very complicated infiltration scheme. It involves numerous steps and requires good coordination between all of them. In addition, none of the files in the file system can be detected as malicious due to the use of encryption and fileless technologies. One other feature that makes detection harder is the mimicking of well-known software.
One of the methods Titanium uses to infect its targets and spread is via a local intranet that has already been compromised with malware. Another is via an SFX archive containing a Windows task installation script. A third is shellcode that gets injected into the winlogon.exe process (it's still unknown how this happens).

windows pro/home gets a virus

By johnjones • Score: 3 • Thread

honestly most users just need a browser I fail to see why windows pro is deployed on mass any more...
chromebooks or even windows S

what I would really like is a desktop browser mode built into Mobile phones so that when you attach a phone to USB C it charges but connects to the monitor/KVM and provides a full size browser that managed by MDM would be awesome !

Re:windows pro/home gets a virus

By Psychotria • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

The details are scant at the moment, but if this new APT is not stupid (and it doesn't appear to be) there is the possibility that it will delete itself from computers that are not of interest (i.e. most users' computers). Sophisticated APT actors don't want millions of copies of the "malware" installed on random computers and if the software somehow ends up on grandma's computer it will likely uninstall itself (e.g. like APTs by Equation Group). The more copies "in the wild" the less stealthy it is and more open to analysis. So, yeah, if grandma's Windows computer somehow gets targeted the APT software will likely not install at all, or uninstall itself as soon as it can. The APT actors want the software on critical systems; they are targeted.

Re:windows pro/home gets a virus

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

what I would really like is a desktop browser mode built into Mobile phones so that when you attach a phone to USB C it charges but connects to the monitor/KVM and provides a full size browser that managed by MDM would be awesome!

Don't know if this is exactly what you want, but the Librem 5 phone runs PureOS (Linux distribution) which would give you any Linux desktop app you want. Don't know if it can be attached to an external KVM. For that, check out Maru built on Android Oreo. Their info says:

Simply plug your phone into an HDMI screen, connect up a keyboard and mouse, and you’ve got a lightweight desktop experience you can take anywhere. Maru automatically detects when an external display is available and spins up your desktop. It boots in less than 5 seconds.

GIF Site Gfycat Announces Mass Deletions, Threatens Archive Team With Lawsuit

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Gfycat is threatening to sue Archive Team for archiving the site's old, anonymously-posted images that are marked for deletion. Gfycat's CEO, Dan McEleney, says archiving the memes it hosts is a "denial of service attack" and demands compensation. From a report: The fallout is ongoing on Twitter, with users of the site panicking about their old content and the company asking for (and being refused) private negotiations with Internet Archive, which [Archive Team founder Jason Scott] points out is not the same entity as the legally-threatened Archive Team.


By thesupraman • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

So, I assuming they have a new plan to monetise the content people have given them for free, and that therefore having all that free content hanging around gets in their way.

Perhaps we should cry them a river.
Oh, wait a minute, no..

And, denial of service? Denial of bait and switch business model is not a denial of service..


By meerling • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
So basically the people at Gfycat are just stupid and arrogant.
Got it.

Denial of imbecility?

By El Jynx • Score: 4 • Thread
So a few extra users start archiving content and their entire site goes down. I might turn that around and ask: why can't your site take having a few extra users? Let me guess: the CEO downsized IT and they never really configured the website properly in the first place, and now is blaming everyone for his incompetence. Throttling, load balancing, never heard of it. What a moron.

Six Arrested For Selling Chinese Gear To Military As 'Made In America'

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: In August 2018, an Air Force service member noticed something strange about a body camera being used by security personnel at an Air Force base: Chinese characters on the screen. A subsequent investigation found numerous indications that the camera -- and two dozen others in the same shipment -- had been made in China. Investigators found three telling logos in the camera's firmware: an Air Force Logo, the logo of the Chinese company that made the camera, and the logo of China's ministry of public security. Forensic analysis indicated that all three images had been loaded on the camera at the same time by someone in a Chinese time zone. This suggested that not only was the camera made in China, but the Chinese knew that the body camera would be shipped to an Air Force facility.

How did a Chinese-made digital camera wind up at a US Air Force base? In a criminal complaint unsealed Thursday, federal prosecutors blamed Aventura, a New York-based company that has been fraudulently re-selling Chinese-made gear for more than a decade. On Thursday, six of the company's founders and senior officials were arrested and charged with fraud and other crimes. [...] [S]ince 2006, the feds say, Aventura has been buying Chinese-made cameras, metal detectors, and other products, slapping "Made in America" logos on them, and re-selling them in the United States -- to customers including U.S. government agencies who are legally prohibited from buying such items.


By Kaenneth • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

China would execute them if roles were reversed.

Time to stop importing from China

By WindBourne • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
It is LONG past time to quit importing from China. If other nations in the west want to do it, fine, then they will have to deal with China's dumping, and economic war on them. BUT, this is killing America.

In addition, these ppl should be charged with treason, or even better, aiding and abetting the enemy.

Re:where is what happens when you don't roll your

By PPH • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

There must already be an established US chain of military manufacture.

There is. And these contractors could be invited to bid for an Air Force base security camera RFQ. But since this is a rather small quantity the cost will be high. And they always seem to lose to a little outfit in New York that has some sort of cost advantage. Gee, I wonder what that might be?

The problem is: We don't build enough stuff in this country to keep the volume up and cost down. Sure, the government and military can afford the more expensive domestic stuff. But that difference can be exploited by unscrupulous distributors to buy cheap stuff, re-label it and sell it just low enough to win bids.

Made in America

By lobotomy • Score: 3 • Thread
Well there's your problem: claiming that any electronics gear is made in America. A 1978 Zenith TV may have been made in America, but not much after that.

Re:change them with Espionage or treason

By geekoid • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

This isn't treason. They where aiding the enemy.
President selling arms to the enemy? treason. Oliver North selling arms to the enemy, treason.

Buying shit from china and re branding country of origin? not treason.

Vaping Illnesses Linked To Vitamin E Acetate, CDC Says

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The New York Times: Vitamin E acetate, an ingredient added to THC-based products, has been identified as a "very strong culprit" in the vaping-related lung injuries (Warning: source may be paywalled; alternative source) that have sickened 2,051 people and killed more than three dozen, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Friday. But the agency left open the possibility that other chemicals or toxins could also be causing the severe respiratory ailments. The report is based on finding the vitamin compound in fluid samples taken from the lungs of 29 patients who had the lung disease. "For the first time, we have detected a potential toxin of concern, vitamin E acetate, from biological samples from patients," with lung damage linked to vaping, Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the C.D.C., said at a news briefing. The samples, she said, "provided evidence of vitamin E acetate at the primary site of injury in the lungs."

Samples taken from the patients were also tested for plant oils, petroleum distillates like mineral oil and other potentially harmful substances, which were "notably not detected," the C.D.C. said. The findings are being published in Friday's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. About 70 percent of the patients are male, 79 percent are younger than 35 and 86 percent say that they have vaped THC. Many of the products used by those who became ill were illicitly obtained, public health experts have said, by patients who bought them from friends or on the street. Vaping oils typically include other additives, solvents and flavor enhancers. Vitamin E acetate is sometimes added to dilute the THC to increase profits or as a thickening agent.

Previously suspected. CDC report was today

By raymorris • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Vitamn E acetate is indeed one of the ingredients that have been suspected for a couple of months. Today the CDC released their report confirming that indeed v E was found in the lungs of the affected patients and other suspected possibilities were NOT.

So until today it was "it could be vitamin E, or this or that or the other thing". As of today, we know.

Here is a link to the report

By raymorris • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Re:Can't say I feel too bad for said Vapists.

By TheGratefulNet • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

uhm, 'ok, boomer'

Honey Cut

By shplopt • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
Apparently this can be traced to a specific thickening additive that was sold as Honey Cut.

Trippy T-Shirt Makes You Invisible To AI

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
In modern cities, we're constantly surveilled through CCTV cameras in both public and private spaces, and by companies trying to sell us shit based on everything we do. We are always being watched. But what if a simple T-shirt could make you invisible to commercial AIs trying to spot humans? Motherboard reports: A team of researchers from Northeastern University, IBM, and MIT developed a T-shirt design that hides the wearer from image recognition systems by confusing the algorithms trying to spot people into thinking they're invisible. Adversarial designs, as this kind of anti-AI tech is known, are meant to "trick" object detection algorithms into seeing something different from what's there, or not seeing anything at all. In some cases, these designs are made by tweaking parts of a whole image just enough so that the AI can't read it correctly. The change might be imperceptible to a human, but to a machine vision algorithm it can be very effective: In 2017, researchers fooled computers into thinking a turtle was a rifle. A T-shirt is a low-barrier way to move around the world unnoticed by AI watchers. Previously, researchers have tried to create adversarial fashion using patches attached to stiff cardboard, so that the design doesn't distort on soft fabric while the wearer moves. If the design is warped or part of it isn't visible, it becomes ineffective.

What if

By burtosis • Score: 3 • Thread
Sick of waiting at the end of secret government lists, never getting those sunglasses in suits to come and spirit you away to the unacknowleged hell of secret government holding facilities? Well wait in vain no longer! This apparel will get you flagged and bumped up to the short list of troublemakers all for the low low cost of 39.95! Popular with social macoschists everywhere. Act now while supplies and facility space last!

the research paper

By Gravis Zero • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

the research paper is here:

Re:AI doesn't "get" Impressionism.

By SethJohnson • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
It's not that the algorithm thinks the person is a piece of art. It's that the edges that score for a person are being outweighed by the edges in the region of this adversarial design. The adversarial design never looks like (to a human) what the algorithm is tricked into 'seeing.' It usually resembles an unintelligible blob. For instance, check this video of tricking an algorithm to score an image for a toaster when a banana is clearly present

Looks like the dazzle camo they put on ships

By jfdavis668 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
During World War I, many ships were painted in dazzle camouflage, which broke up the contour and made it hard to determine the speed or direction of the ship. Seems like this shirt has a similar effect.

Re:What if

By Immerman • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Better still - Congratulations you're now invisible to all the government surveillance AI! You can finally step outside and cross the street in safet-ACK.

Oh. Um. Oops. I guess crossing in front of an autonomous vehicle wasn't such a good idea...

Mozilla Hits Google, Facebook For 'Microtargeting' Political Ads

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Mozilla is calling on Google and Facebook to stop "microtargeting" political ads. "Political speech is critical to democratic discourse, but against the very real circumstances of organized disinformation and organic misinformation today, microtargeting keeps ideas from being debated in the open, and fiction parades as fact," Ashley Boyd, Mozilla's advocacy vice president, said in a statement. "Online platforms can take the important step toward quelling the manipulation by limiting political ads to a scale where they facilitate a public discourse." The Hill reports: Microtargeting, a method which uses consumer data and demographics to narrowly segment audiences, is used by political campaigns to specialize ads for different voting groups. The practice's critics include Federal Election Commission Chairwoman Ellen Weintraub, who wrote in a Washington Post op-ed that microtargeting makes it "easy to single out susceptible groups and direct political misinformation to them with little accountability, because the public at large never sees the ad." Mozilla's call follows reports that Facebook has considered restricting politicians' access to microtargeting.

I like Beau of the Fifth Column's take

By rsilvergun • Score: 3 • Thread
on the Twitter ban.

TL;DW; Twitter banning poltical adverts means that your ideas have to stand on their own, they can't make it on repetition. Without the ability to buy ads your ideas stand (or fall) on their own.

Can't see the fuss

By sheramil • Score: 4 • Thread

Also, choose not to see the ads. ublock origin.

How about not micro-targeting at all!

By evanh • Score: 3 • Thread

Forget user tracking entirely and just use the page content as the reference.

An ad company is going to ad...

By AHuxley • Score: 3 • Thread
They need to know who to spend their ad money on ..
If the ad is getting seen and ...
What the user did after seeing the ad...
Who is going to pay for a new ad with no results and no tracking method?

Terrible targeting.

By bill_mcgonigle • Score: 3 • Thread

My boy was just complaining today that his YouTube video was interrupted several times with the same political ad for somebody called Tom. Tom is advertising to 13 year olds who like to watch videos about cats farting. I wonder what Google is charging him for that service.

House Plants Have Little Effect on Indoor Air Quality, Study Concludes

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
New research from a duo of environmental engineers at Drexel University is suggesting the decades-old claim that house plants improve indoor air quality is entirely wrong. Evaluating 30 years of studies, the research concludes it would take hundreds of plants in a small space to even come close to the air purifying effects of simply opening a couple of windows. From a report: Back in 1989 an incredibly influential NASA study discovered a number of common indoor plants could effectively remove volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the air. The experiment, ostensibly conducted to investigate whether plants could assist in purifying the air on space stations, gave birth to the idea of plants in home and office environments helping clear the air. Since then, a number of experimental studies have seemed to verify NASA'a findings that plants do remove VOCs from indoor environments. Professor of architectural and environmental engineering at Drexel University Michael Waring, and one of his PhD students, Bryan Cummings, were skeptical of this common consensus. The problem they saw was that the vast majority of these experiments were not conducted in real-world environments.

To better understand exactly how well potted plants can remove VOCs from indoor environments, the researchers reviewed the data from a dozen published experiments. They evaluated the efficacy of a plant's ability to remove VOCs from the air using a metric called CADR, or clean air delivery rate. "The CADR is the standard metric used for scientific study of the impacts of air purifiers on indoor environments," says Waring, "but many of the researchers conducting these studies were not looking at them from an environmental engineering perspective and did not understand how building air exchange rates interplay with the plants to affect indoor air quality." Once the researchers had calculated the rate at which plants dissipated VOCs in each study they quickly discovered that the effect of plants on air quality in real-world scenarios was essentially irrelevant. Air handling systems in big buildings were found to be significantly more effective in dissipating VOCs in indoor environments. In fact, to clear VOCs from just one square meter (10.7 sq ft) of floor space would take up to 1,000 plants, or just the standard outdoor-to-indoor air exchange systems that already exist in most large buildings.

Specially engineered plants

By alvinrod • Score: 3 • Thread
Is it because plants suck or the plants we’ve tested suck. We’ve been able to use selective breeding, atomic gardening, or even genetic engineering to produce incredible food crops. I wonder if the same could be done for other types of plants.

There isn’t a lot of incentive to do it when there are much more effective options, but it seems like the type of thing you might want for space travel where opening a window isn’t an option.

From the NSS Institute

By Snotnose • Score: 3 • Thread
A houseplant that's maybe 12" high that at best lives a sedentary life, just sucking up water and smoking that sweet sweet CO2, that over a day may produce 1 lungful of O2. No Shit Sherlock, who whoulda thunk it doesn't contribute shit to the overall atmosphere. Don't confuse that with the overall ambience, which is a different thing.

Plant's advantages

By manu0601 • Score: 3 • Thread
The benefit of plants in your house or office is to lower your stress level. That is better than nothing.

GitLab Director Resigns, Says It's Engaging In 'Retaliatory Behavior'

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Candice Ciresi, GitLab's director of risk and global compliance, has resigned after less than six months on the job, apparently saying that the $2.75 billion startup is "engaging in discriminatory and retaliatory behavior." Business Insider reports: Notably, Ciresi resigned in public: GitLab espouses a culture of transparency, whereby all major product and corporate policy decisions are announced and discussed where anybody can see. She posted her resignation in response to one such discussion -- an active debate over a proposed GitLab policy, in which it would ban the hiring of people who live in China or Russia for any role that would require access to customer data. At the time of writing, Ciresi's post announcing her resignation had been reviewed and then "redacted" by GitLab, citing concerns that it would "further inflame this situation." However, Ciresi's comment went out via email to GitLab users who had subscribed to this particular discussion.

Per a screenshot posted to Reddit, Ciresi wrote: "As I believe GitLab is engaging in discriminatory and retaliatory behavior, I have tendered my resignation." "We did decide to moderate this post for review, as there have already been credible personal and physical threats against GitLab employees in this issue thread," GitLab says, in part, in place of Ciresi's comment. "While this particular post did not contain a personal threat to anyone, we were concerned it would further inflame this situation."
GitLab confirmed Ciresi's departure but didn't comment any further.

Start up

By jeremyp • Score: 3 • Thread

Can you really call a company worth $2.75 billion a "start up"?


By Confused • Score: 4 • Thread

While the whole thing seems a snowflake having a melt-down, at least she stood up for her principles. It really doesn't matter how much or little those principles make sense. Good for her.

As for Github, they probably can survive losing a director of "improving up the gender quota".

I wish her all the best in her future. May she reap what she sowed.

EU's Vestager Says Google's Antitrust Proposal Not Helping Shopping Rivals

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Google's proposal to create a level playing field for price comparison shopping rivals to stave off fresh fines has not led to more traffic for its competitors, Europe's antitrust chief said this week. From a report: European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager two years ago slapped Google with a $2.65 billion fine for favoring its own price comparison shopping service and told it to stop its anti-competitive business practices. The world's most popular internet search engine subsequently offered to allow competitors to bid for advertising space at the top of a search page, giving them the chance to compete on equal terms.

The proposal does not seem to be doing the trick, Vestager said. "We may see a show of rivals in the shopping box. We may see a pickup when it comes to clicks for merchants. But we still do not see much traffic for viable competitors when it comes to shopping comparison," she told a Web Summit conference. British price comparison service Foundem, whose original complaint triggered the EU case against Google

Amazon Is Accused of Forcing Up Prices in Antitrust Complaint

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
In a letter sent to federal lawmakers, an online merchant has accused of forcing him and other sellers to use the company's expensive logistics services, which in turn forces them to raise prices for consumers. From a report: The 62-page document, reviewed by Bloomberg, lays out an antitrust case that emphasizes harm to consumers -- the traditional basis for such cases in the U.S. Until now, antitrust experts have suggested that Amazon was not vulnerable to such an argument and that regulators would need to find another way to restrain the company's growing market power. The complaint, based on an analysis of thousands of Amazon transactions over several years involving more than 100 products, turns all of that thinking on its head. It accuses Amazon of "tying" its marketplace and logistics services together, an antitrust violation in which a company uses dominance in one market to give itself an advantage in another market where it's less established.

The letter refers to previous Supreme Court rulings on tying, including one against Kodak in 1992 that said the photocopier manufacturer violated antitrust laws by forcing customers who bought its machines to also use its parts and repair services. "When it comes to Amazon's dealings with third-party merchants, some of the conduct actually does lend itself to antitrust scrutiny," said Hal Singer, an antitrust expert and Georgetown University adjunct professor retained by the merchant to work on the analysis. "If you can connect the conduct to some measureable harm, in this case increased prices, that gets you into the antitrust ballpark."

This Doesn't Smell Right

By cusco • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

There are innumerable ways to sell on Amazon, Fulfillment By Amazon is only one of them. Many vendors prefer it because they don't have to pay for warehouses, negotiate with shippers, etc. Many vendors ship from their own facilities and deal with UPS/USPS/Fed Ex on their own. Many vendors also sell their products through their own web site for lower prices than they offer on Amazon. I can't help but think that they're going to have a hard time proving this one.

Full Disclosure: I work at Amazon but have nothing to do with the retail side.

eBay aggressively pushes their logistics too

By caseih • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

eBay aggressively pushes their global shipping program on sellers which costs international buyers big time. Often the cost of shipping is more than the item itself. It's quite a racket. Simple USPS international parcel shipping is usually half the cost. Unfortunately once a seller agrees to use the global shipping service they cannot change it when I contact them to point out how expensive it is. Sellers have no idea how expensive this is for buyers. And sellers get nothing from this. It's a money grab for eBay's partner plain and simple. I've stopped buying things in eBay because of this nonsense.

No forcing of logistics...

By LynnwoodRooster • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

You can self-fulfill if you like. IF you want to offer the 2 day Prime delivery option directly, you can do that, too - but if you fail more than a few percent of the time, Amazon will yank your ability to offer 2 day Prime delivery. If you use their logistics, they're on the hook for 2 Day Prime.

Personally, my company does both - we fulfill direct (via one listing) and use FBA (Fulfilled By Amazon - logistics) for another (both are for the same products). Overseas in the EU is pretty much all FBA, for all of Asia and Australia it's direct fulfillment (lower order volume there).

Work-Life Balance: After Cryptographer's Lawsuit, BAE Division Will Retrain HR

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Longtime Slashdot reader mdecerbo writes: Back in 2015, defense giant BAE Systems fired cryptographer Don Davis on his first day of work, after learning he didn't want to work more than 40 hours a week while caring for his dying wife. Davis filed a federal lawsuit, and the Boston Globe suggested that the company should settle it rather than try to defend the "soullessness of the machine."

It's unusual for the public to hear anything about settlements of lawsuits like this; they're usually kept confidential to avoid publicity. So it's remarkable that BAE and Davis have now issued a joint statement that the lawsuit is resolved, with one division of BAE announcing that they will retrain their HR staff about male employees with caregiving responsibilities. Maybe one part of the machine has gotten a little less soulless. Could this become a trend, where tech companies have to actually let employees have some sort of a life?

Re:I don't accept the notion of a "soullessness of

By UnknowingFool • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
Well it does make the BAE HR department look like uncaring monsters. What Davis requested was reasonable. Davis’ supervisor was in favor of it. He was willing to work past normal hours but only remotely as he had to take care of her and their children. She was also in the final stages and only been given only several weeks to live.

Re:One more reason to move back to Norway...

By DontBeAMoran • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

So you would accept having no life for the benefit of Silicon Valley?

Re:Ask not for whom the bell tolls...

By Austerity Empowers • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

with one division of BAE announcing that they will retrain their HR staff about male employees with caregiving responsibilities

Oddly specific really.

Re:Been through this.

By sconeu • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

I was fortunate. I didn't have to make a threat like yours.

When my wife -- coincidentally, also named Sue -- was suffering from ALS, my employer encouraged me to take the time I needed, allowed me to work from home, and was generally supportive in every possible way. RIP, beautiful... 9 March 2013.

I was shocked to find a company that realized that loyalty was a two-way street.

Re:Get a union!

By AutodidactLabrat • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

...Why bring a union into this, where you have to pay money and be put into direct conflict with your employer, ...

Because together you bargain, alone you beg

Firefox Turns 15

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
harrymcc writes: On November 9 2004, a new version of Mozilla's browser called Firefox shipped. It was taking on one of the most daunting monopolies in tech: Microsoft's Internet Explorer, which had more than 90 percent market share. But Firefox was really good, and it became an instant hit, ending Microsoft's dominance of the web. Over at Fast Company, Sean Captain took a look at the browser's original rise, the challenges it faced after Google's Chrome arrived on the scene, and the moves it's currently making to put user privacy first.

And like a petulant teenager . . .

By smooth wombat • Score: 3 • Thread

it doesn't listen to what you say but instead believes it knows better.


By smooth wombat • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Agreed. I came in at the end of the Phoenix line and that browser was great. It was the WordPerfect 5.1 for DOS of its day.

Having gone from Netscape to Phoenix was like the proverbial night and day.

And now, Firefox has become a petulant teenager (see my comment further down). I probably should have included a fat, petulant teenager. One which doesn't leave its parents basement.

I couldn't care less

By tuxfusion • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread
After Firefox decided to take part in Silicon valley censorship and ban the dissenter plugin, it was clear to me that it's time to switch. I changed all my devices and all familly devices to Brave browser and couldn't be happier. I've been a first day user, advocate and plug in developer and still I have to say #FUCKYOUFIREFOX

Re:For those who don't get it

By slack_justyb • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Along the way, it got more and more features, so it wasn't the lightweight, trimmed down, fast browser it was originally designed to be

Well I'm glad you think that but everything was lightweight back then because we didn't have anything near what web pages do today. Netscape and the first few releases thereafter was anything but lightweight. The fact that it was so freaking fat was the reason Apple began work on KHTML to make WebKit. XPCOM was everywhere in the base. Everything, and I literally mean everything had a CORBA IDL interface using XPCOM. Things that needed to work together closely, didn't because they had to go through serialization because, because Netscape wanted to over engineer the damn thing. The serialization was simplified by Phoenix making it a strict XPCOM interface, so you couldn't use something like GNOME bonobo to wrap up a nsFrame anymore, but now the objects went through just a single object broker, that was a massive improvement since now I don't have to wrap an object in one format, then wrap it in another format, then wrap it in a network transparent format (because why wouldn't you want RPC for a desktop application?!), then send it off, then have it deserialized all the way back down.

I get people are nostalgic for the Web before 500 MB JS frameworks ate into everything, but gosh the first few years after Netscape the codebase was a complete nuclear disaster. I'm glad everyone remembers it fondly because it was a steaming pile really and the only reason it actually seemed snappy was because the semantics for HTML 3 and 4 were insanely simple to process and JS was like an after thought. There's no way with today's level of interactions that the browser would ever fly.

People jump on Lennart Poettering for over engineering shit, but gosh Netscape post 4.x series would put even that over engineering to shame.

DoH IS about privacy - from the ISP.

By Ungrounded Lightning • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Not every decision made by Mozilla had been about user rights and privacy. ... they are now pushing DNS-over-HTTPS (and the browser having its own resolver making direct DNS queries to servers of its choice), where the standard-conforming (and UNIX-philosophy conforming) approach is DNS-over-TLS using the system resolver.

DoH IS about privacy - from the ISP.

The "UNIX-philosophy conforming" approach you advocate is fine against a wiretapper. But that's not the threat in question. When driven by DHCP it will go straight to the ISP's resolvers, and in most manual configurations it will do the same. That hands all your name-lookup history (browsing and other) to the ISP.

To "do it right" by your approach, you'd have to configure your system's resolver to go to a nameserver of your choice that is NOT one of those at your ISP. The browser can't do that for you, and you can't make it happen at all if you don't have administrative rights to the machine on which it's running.

But the browser CAN ignore the system resolver in favor of one of its own, do its own lookups on a server of ITs choice, and let you configure that choice if you chose.
  - Encryption still blocks wiretappers.
  - Using a not-your-ISP server blocks your ISP.
  - Making it Further, making the default makes it happen as the norm, rather than only for a few who opt in.
  - Letting you configure the selection similarly blocks the operator of the browser makers' selection.

You'd think that a still better approach would be for the BROWSER's resolver to use DNS-over-TLS and go straight to the root servers. But that fails as long as not all the domain servers are DoT capable.

Further, traffic analysis of the queries can leak info about what domains are being viewed. And going to the particular domain servers also gives "great firewalls" an opportunity to selectively block domains.

In China, Shutterstock Censors Hong Kong and Other Searches

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Shutterstock, the well-known online purveyor of stock images and photographs, is the latest U.S. company to willingly support China's censorship regime, blocking searches that might offend the country's authoritarian government, The Intercept reported this week. From the report: The publicly traded company built a $639 million-per-year business on the strength of its vast -- sometimes comically vast -- catalog of images depicting virtually anything a blogger or advertiser could imagine. The company now does business in more than 150 countries. But in China, there is now a very small, very significant gap in Shutterstock's offerings. In early September, Shutterstock engineers were given a new goal: The creation of a search blacklist that would wipe from query results images associated with keywords forbidden by the Chinese government. Under the new system, which The Intercept is told went into effect last month, anyone with a mainland Chinese IP address searching Shutterstock for "President Xi," "Chairman Mao," "Taiwan flag," "dictator," "yellow umbrella," or "Chinese flag" will receive no results at all. Variations of these terms, including "umbrella movement" -- the precursor to the mass pro-democracy protests currently gripping Hong Kong -- are also banned.

[...] Shutterstock's censorship feature appears to have been immediately controversial within the company, prompting more than 180 Shutterstock workers to sign a petition against the search blacklist and accuse the company of trading its values for access to the lucrative Chinese market. Chinese internet users already struggle to discuss even the tamest of taboo subjects; now, it seemed, the situation would get a little worse, with the aid of yet another willing American company.

Re:What's the goal here

By Luthair • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

I think the question you should be asking is when does assisting an oppressive government go too far? China is known to have hundreds of thousands or perhaps even millions in re-education camps, and is known to kidnap & tortures dissidents or their family members.

Why do you think it is reasonable that we allow companies to help Xi cover up his, and his predecessors systematic human rights abuses?

Re: What's the goal here

By OrangeTide • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

It's false equivalence. Censorship for cultural norms is different than censorship as government propaganda. Certainly there are governments that insist their propaganda is their cultural norm, but we all see it as bullshit.

China is a trap businesses can't help falling into

By twocows • Score: 4 • Thread
China's market is very large, to the point where it makes up a substantial portion of the revenue for businesses operating there. The problem is, China is a trap, and doing business there has severe long-term ethical and economical consequences. That doesn't matter, though, since a lot of businesses are often competing to stay afloat short-term. If your competitor takes the extra 10% and you don't, that might be enough for them to push you out of the market you're competing in. If your business dies in the short term, the long term trap really won't matter much, will it?

Companies do business in China because they often don't have much of a choice (or at least they believe that enough to act upon it). If companies don't have a choice, then, who does? The government. China is a bad actor. They're a totalitarian regime that oppresses their own people and sometimes other people and they secure the funding to stay in power by profiting off foreign businesses operating there and by stealing (and sometimes seizing) the intellectual and/or physical assets of foreign businesses and then reproducing their products with state sponsorship and without costly regulations designed to protect people and the environment. Long term, their actions are a threat to innovation, to global economic stability, to the freedom of people in and around their area of control, and to the environment that keeps us all alive. A government mandate to take them out of the picture so businesses don't have to think about going there to compete is exactly what is needed, for both ethical and pragmatic reasons.

I don't agree with Trump often (and in some respects I think he isn't much better than the Chinese government), but I agree that China is a problem that needs to be addressed at the government level and that the solution must, to some degree, either prevent businesses from considering China as a market or must extract concessions that give our businesses more protection and require more regulation on theirs. This trade war began a long time ago, we're just finally responding to it with a policy other than denial and appeasement. Whether it'll work or not... I guess we'll see.

I don't know what's worse

By rsilvergun • Score: 3 • Thread
all the Chinese censorship, or the fact that they think so little of America's commitment to freedom around the world that they make no effort to hide it.

There's no economic consequences

By rsilvergun • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
you're thinking like a member of the working class, where you're tied to one country by your limited capital.

As a member of the ruling class China is nearly all upsides. Go look up Mitt Romney's speech on the Chinese people where he marveled at how they'd work 12 hours on a bit of tea and a biscuit.

As for ethical concerns, well, there you go again betraying your working class roots. The ruling class is above all that. Just look at Saudi Arabia's ruling class. The men wear flashy clothing, the women dress in bikinis and the both live opulent lives at odds with the strict religious regimens of their working class.

The world's changed. Our betters are global now. We need to recognize that fact and adjust how we contain them. To paraphrase Warren Buffet (I think): there's a class war on right now, and his class is winning.

DNS-over-HTTPS Will Eventually Roll Out in All Major Browsers, Despite ISP Opposition

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
All major browsers -- including Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, Microsoft Edge, Vivaldi, Brave -- have plans to support DNS-over-HTTPS (or DoH), a protocol that encrypts DNS traffic and helps improve a user's privacy on the web. From a report: The DoH protocol has been one of the year's hot topics. It's a protocol that, when deployed inside a browser, it allows the browser to hide DNS requests and responses inside regular-looking HTTPS traffic. Doing this makes a user's DNS traffic invisible to third-party network observers, such as ISPs. But while users love DoH and have deemed it a privacy boon, ISPs, networking operators, and cyber-security vendors hate it. A UK ISP called Mozilla an "internet villain" for its plans to roll out DoH, and a Comcast-backed lobby group has been caught preparing a misleading document about DoH that they were planning to present to US lawmakers in the hopes of preventing DoH's broader rollout. However, this may be a little too late. ZDNet has spent the week reaching out to major web browser providers to gauge their future plans regarding DoH, and all vendors plan to ship it, in one form or another.


By Ryzilynt • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

A way to hide DNS traffic from third parties?

Or a clever means to funnel ALL DNS traffic through the NSA?

Anybody else see this as a money grab?

By the_skywise • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Unless the browers give you a choice (and I doubt they will) these will all go to Google or Cloudflare. ALL browser traffic will be concentrated to a slim few servers by default - for the good of humanity? No - for power and greed.
I setup DoT on my Asus router (thanks Merlin) and drive traffic to Quad9. Sure, you still only have a select few DNS servers out there - but the choice is still mine and it's (at least for now) a bigger set of choices than I'll get from Chrome or Firefox (owned by Chrome) telling me who to use for my own good.
Interesting discussion and Merlin's personal thoughts here -

Re:These are two separate things

By duckworth • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
"DNSSEC does not provide confidentiality of data; in particular, all DNSSEC responses are authenticated but not encrypted. "

Re:Will they also rewrite all my other network app

By ron_ivi • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Shhh.... The systemd devs will hear you.

They already did. See systemd-resolved.service which already hijacks your DNS in bad ways:


By DigiShaman • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

It's to prevent DNS filter services like PiHole from blocking Ads in addition to collecting marketing metrics.

Netflix, HBO and Cable Giants Are Exploring New Ways Such as Authentication Using Fingerprints To Crack Down on Password Sharing

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
A coalition that includes Netflix, HBO and cable-industry titans is stepping up efforts to crack down on password sharing, discussing new measures to close a loophole that could be costing companies billions of dollars in lost revenue each year, Bloomberg reported Friday. From the report: Programmers and cable-TV distributors are considering an array of tactics to cut off people who borrow credentials from friends and relatives to access programming without paying for it. The possible measures include requiring customers to change their passwords periodically or texting codes to subscribers' phones that they would need to enter to keep watching, according to people familiar with the matter. Some TV executives want to create rules governing which devices can be used to access a cable-TV subscription outside the home. While someone logging in from a phone or tablet would be fine, someone using a Roku device at a second location could be considered a likely freeloader, one person said. If none of those tactics work, pay-TV subscribers could someday be required to sign into their accounts using their thumbprints.

Or, just limit concurrent streams

By Miamicanes • Score: 3 • Thread

There's no need to torment legitimate users with authentication annoyance. Just limit the number of concurrent streams.

Cheapest plan: one stream. Attempting to launch a second stream auto-boots the first one. If you share an account with a friend, you'll probably annoy each other enough for the one paying to stop sharing.

2-stream plan: 133% of cheapest plan. As a bonus, an additional stream is allowed as long as it shares the same IPv4 /31 or IPv6 /64 network.

family plan: 150% of cheapest plan. 2 streams from any IP, plus unlimited streams from the same IPv4/31 or IPv6/64 network. Additional streams are 40% cheapest plan, with a maximum of 6.

If two friends split a family plan, the service loses little, because it's only paying to process a single monthly fee.

If I pay $15/month for a family plan & charge 10 friends $8/month apiece to get extra streams added, well, great... I'm now a guerrilla wholesale reseller, responsible for dealing with my own "customer service" headaches. Beyond 1 or 2 friends, or really if ANY semi-strangers were involved, the scheme would fall apart after a few months anyway when somebody sharing the account cheated & tried using more than one stream during peak viewing times & everybody else kept getting knocked off round-robin style. Our enterprising guerrilla wholesale reseller would either have to watch people drop out in frustration, or would have to buy additional streams & hope the freeloading problem didn't get worse... and if he charged more, it certainly WOULD. As the pool of users increased & monthly share of the cost increased, trustworthiness within it would decrease until it wasn't *worth* the hassle of joining a shared pool just to save a few dollars per month.

It's no different than mobile phone family plans that share a data pool. Sure, you could join a 4-person "family"... but with no ability to limit data use per phone, one single pool member could get everyone else throttled until everyone else got fed up.

The key to keeping shared accounts profitable is to maximize opportunities for Tragedy of the Commons to rear its ugly head. If two people sharing a 1-stream account rarely get in each other's way, chances are that one or both would have cancelled the subscription *anyway* due to high cost and limited perceived value due to infrequent use.

The whole reason people use their PARENTS' cable logins is because until recently, the only way to GET access to a channel's stream was to subscribe to an expensive cable TV package whose monthly fee VASTLY exceeded the value of a channel or two. Now that OTT streaming packages have proliferated, it's not as big of a motivation anymore.

My guess is that the pressure isn't on Netflix or Hulu... or even HBO. It's on the cable companies THEMSELVES who are desperate to preserve their outrageously expensive "take it or leave it" business model, in conjunction with their historical fetish for charging by the outlet/box.

Re:Yeah, no

By cayenne8 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
If I have to start giving biometric info just to watch some streaming TV, I'll just start reading more books again, and use my OTA TV antenna when I"m between good books.

Fsck that...

Re:Yeah, no

By Guybrush_T • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Don't get overexcited on the "thumbprint" idiotic idea that "one person" mentioned "could" be needed "someday". That was never the idea. Fingerprint meant : device + IP fingerprint, not an actual finger.

Kill Your TV

By enjar • Score: 3 • Thread

I remember when I was a kid in the 80's seeing some group destroying their televisions and thought they were just plain weird. I saw "Kill Your TV" bumper stickers and thought "those people seem a little nutty". I must admit as time keeps going on and these kinds of schemes keep getting cooked up it seems like a better and better idea.

We pay extra to have 4 streams on NFLX

By lamer01 • Score: 3 • Thread
What are they trying to enforce exactly? Their whole pricing model depends on people consuming multiple streams. My daughter is abroad currently and using her login to NFLX. How are they going to deal with that?

NASA Flew Gas Detectors Above California, Found 'Super Emitters'

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Over the course of three years, NASA flew a plane carrying gas-imaging equipment above California and made a discovery that surprised even the state's own environmental agencies: A handful of operations are responsible for the vast majority of methane emissions. From a report: In a report published in Nature on Wednesday, scientists estimated that 10% of the places releasing methane -- including landfills, natural gas facilities and dairy farms -- are responsible for more than half of the state's total emissions. And a fraction of the 272,000 sources surveyed -- just 0.2% -- account for as much as 46%. The report doesn't identify these "super emitters," but notes that landfills give off more methane than any other source in the state. NASA's equipment found that a subset of these landfills were the largest emitters in California and exhibited "persistent anomalous activity."

The study marks the first time anyone has ever carried out a systematic survey across California of methane, a greenhouse gas that's 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide in trapping heat and contributing to global warming. The release of methane has been a continual challenge for California, which has some of the most aggressive goals in the nation for curbing emissions and slowing the impacts of climate change. NASA's aircraft made dozens of flights across 10,000 square miles from 2016 through 2018. Landfills accounted for 41% of the source emissions it identified, manure management 26% and oil and gas operations 26%.

Oh... sorry about that.

By Nexion • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

I was drinking Heineken while eating cabbage for dinner and... well... one slipped just before they flew over. My bad.


By clenhart • Score: 3 • Thread

> Landfills accounted for 41%

Please compost. Composting doesn't produce as much methane -- the organisms that produce methane don't survive in a compost pile.

There are companies that compost for you, so it's not any different than recycling.

Re: Methane?

By ShanghaiBill • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

The landfill close to me Indiana does that. Powers all the infrastructure at the landfill.

That is the best way to do it. The out-gas is about half CO2 and contains VOCs that make it too expensive to process to pipeline quality. So burn it on-site in a turbine tuned for impure gas, and then use the waste heat for the evaporative concentration of leachate.

Landfills are really easy to solve.

By tazan • Score: 3 • Thread
This is good news. This is an easy problem to solve, we just need to ship the garbage to landfills in Nevada.


By ShanghaiBill • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Based on your link, they don't oppose it, they oppose using government subsidies to encourage it.

Which means it won't be done. Methane recovery is usually not profitable, and waste management companies are not charities. So we need to either increase tipping fees or subsidize based on cubic meters of methane recovered.

Environmental organizations are okay with subsidies for solar panels and electric vehicles. Topping up the cost of methane recovery is far more cost-effective. So their objections are not based on any free-market principles.

Ambrosia, the Young Blood Transfusion Startup, Is Quietly Back in Business

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Earlier this year, Ambrosia, the much-maligned California startup selling blood transfusions from young donors, stopped offering the procedure after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a buyer beware, warning consumers against using the service. But now, according to Ambrosia's CEO, the company is back up and running. From a report: Jesse Karmazin, the CEO and founder of Ambrosia, told OneZero in an interview that the company had resumed giving customers transfusions of plasma, the colorless liquid part of the blood, from young donors about a month ago. "Our patients really want the treatment," he said. "Patients are receiving plasma transfusions from donors ages 16 to 25 again." One-liter transfusions cost $8,000, and two-liter transfusions are $12,000. In a pitch about Ambrosia at a 2017 conference on self-enhancement, Karmazin said, "We're a company interested in making you young again." Plasma contains proteins that help the blood clot, and transfusions are often performed on patients to manage excessive bleeding, such as in trauma cases, and to treat clotting disorders like hemophilia. But experts say there's no basis for using plasma to slow or reverse aging or age-related diseases, like Karmazin has claimed. Critics have blasted Karmazin's transfusions as snake oil.

You're doing it wrong

By Empiric • Score: 3 • Thread

This is useless.

Symbolic blood administered in the form of wine has a much longer safety track record. And it expands your metaphysics without the necessity of needles.

Are we in a simulation?

By BenBoy • Score: 3 • Thread
Honestly, some days, the only way I can tell I'm in reality rather than a satirical Terry Gilliam movie is that stuff is just too implausible or too overtly symbolic for the latter.

Facebook Staff Lamented 'Unethical' Practices But Were Rebuffed

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Facebook employees repeatedly chafed at what they viewed as anti-competitive or unethical practices by the company, internal chats show. But their concerns, voiced in 2012 and 2013, were overruled by senior managers including Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg, who argued that the survival of the social network was more important. From a report: The messages come from a roughly 7,000-page trove of leaked documents that were part of a years-old lawsuit in San Mateo County, California. The interactions are likely to be scrutinized further as Facebook faces ongoing antitrust investigations. In multiple discussions found in the documents, employees, including some top executives, argued against policies that would cut off competitors' ability to advertise on the platform and access Facebook's audience and user information, which it provided to non-competing companies.

Zuckerberg, in a November 2012 email, justified the decision to not provide services to competitors. Facebook software that helped app developers increase sharing "may be good for the world but it's not good for us unless people also share back to Facebook and that content increases the value of our network," Zuckerberg wrote. The company's ultimate goal should be "to increase sharing back into Facebook," he added. In later messages, Zuckerberg also argued against giving competing companies access to other Facebook services.

I also like to lament unethical practices

By Mr. Dollar Ton • Score: 3 • Thread

while drawing a huge salary that is a direct result of the said unethical practices.

It is very nice, you're so clean and morally superior, and well-paid at the same time.

Win-win, so to speak.

Re:Get it in writing or you take the blame

By froggyjojodaddy • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
Some guidance, if I may....

If a manager is asking you to do something unethical or even something that doesn't quite smell right, it's not often than outright asking them to confirm via email will get you the results you need to protect yourself. In most cases, the manager will realize that you're asking them to incriminate themselves or, at the very least, establish a paper trail back to themselves should things go awry.

Instead, what you want to do is request clarification or confirmation in a way that doesn't set alarm bells ringing. For example:

Manager: *verbally* I need to change the numbers on this chart to show a quarter over quarter improvement
Analyst: *via email* OK, I think I got it figured out. I was able to adjust the numbers to align to your vision because the standard model didn't achieve the goal. I had to filter out some of the data but think I got it in the end. Can you take a look at this and let me know if it tells your story?"

Doesn't matter if you get a response or not. Take a screenshot, fwd the email, or print it out. Just make sure you have a record. Everytime you get a verbal request, follow up with an email without making it sound like you know what's up.

Lord, what a sorry state of affairs we're in....

Couldn't have been that bothered

By Pimpy • Score: 3, Interesting • Thread

People that lament the unethical business practices of their employer, yet continue to work for the same employer, are complicit in said unethical conduct. Presumably their salaries exceed their level of concern, which is why this hasn't escalated beyond whining about it internally.

This is how things work.

By Gravis Zero • Score: 3 • Thread

I'm not surprised by any of this. In fact, this simply validates my working theory that corporations as a whole are wholly sociopath because individuals in each department are willing to push the envelope in ways that other employees in the company may object to.

Before you interject with an anecdote, I would point to my other working theory that corporations work like optimization algorithms where employees are replaced by others who are more effective at executing the goal of the position resulting in increasingly unethical actions. This is to say, that as time goes on, corporations self-optimize to become unethical as it's more profitable. As for you anecdote, just because you/someone stopped something, doesn't mean you/they weren't replaced with someone willing to do that or something like it at a later day.

Note to employees

By hdyoung • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
This is the internal memo that should be sent to all Facebook employees:

Dear Facebook employees. There have been some misconceptions going around recently about what we do and why we do it. So, upper management wants to clarify a few things. Read this carefully. We are a private company. Therefore, we are driven by profit and nothing else. We make most of our profit by selling ads. At our core, we are an advertising company. Never forget that. We also have a profitable sideline selling user data to anyone with a checkbook. This is what we do. This is why we exist. The social media platform is nothing but a loss leader - a honeypot that we have to maintain in order to collect the user data. We will not do anything that gets in the way of monetizing this data. Always remember who our customers really are. Our customers are the ad companies and the people who buy user data from us. They are the ones that matter. The users are the product. We care about the quality of the product but we have no moral obligation to it. Yes, upper management uses "it" instead of "them". This is a practice that should spread across the company.

Our CEO is currently on a charm offensive to convince the public that Facebook cares about the users. We don't. This is a PR campaign meant for the public - it is not to be taken seriously within the company. In reality, we will quietly work to assassinate any legislation or regulation that restricts our ability to sell ads or user data. If you don't like any of this you can 1) keep quiet, 2) leave the company, or 3) find yourself "redundant" and out of a job. Hopefully this clarifies our policies.

Ransomware, Data Breaches At Hospitals Tied To Uptick In Fatal Heart Attacks

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
New submitter byteme01 writes: Hospitals that have been hit by a data breach or ransomware attack can expect to see an increase in the death rate among heart patients in the following months or years because of cybersecurity remediation efforts, a new study posits. Health industry experts say the findings should prompt a larger review of how security -- or the lack thereof -- may be impacting patient outcomes. Researchers at Vanderbilt University's Owen Graduate School of Management took the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) list of healthcare data breaches and used it to drill down on data about patient mortality rates at more than 3,000 Medicare-certified hospitals, about 10 percent of which had experienced a data breach. As PBS noted in its coverage of the Vanderbilt study, after data breaches as many as 36 additional deaths per 10,000 heart attacks occurred annually at the hundreds of hospitals examined. The researchers found that for care centers that experienced a breach, it took an additional 2.7 minutes for suspected heart attack patients to receive an electrocardiogram.

So who killed them?

By frank_adrian314159 • Score: 3 • Thread

Who killed them? The hackers who sent the ransomware, the user who opened the phishing email, the security person who didn't have his systems patched, the administrator who underfunded security, or the government that did not step in and mandate a less-fractured health-care system? Nah, it's probably the clinical people who took 2:37 longer to respond because their systems were down. To be fair, they do have malpractice insurance to protect them, so the pockets are deepest there.

But that's the great thing about our modern, interconnected world - there are so many people involved in anything that apportioning blame for accountability is almost impossible...

Security theater

By stinky wizzleteats • Score: 3 • Thread
I'd say about 70% of security measures associated with *any* security policy, whether there has been a breach or not, are busywork at best and/or harmful at worst.

Consider, for example, password rotation. We now know frequent enforced password changes are a bad idea. Yet almost every security policy I've seen still imposes them. Why? Because IT security is still an emotional exercise, not an empirical one.

Beating the same old drum...

By Kiaser Zohsay • Score: 3 • Thread

... that correlation is not causation. Delays in administering tests and getting results and falling victim to cyber attacks are both symptoms of a similar cause, which is a disorganized and poorly run organization. There are probably dozens of other measurable outcomes that are substandard at these same facilities, such employee turnover, equipment maintenance, or even broken windows.

Bill Gates Thinks Windows Mobile Would Have Beaten Android Without Microsoft's Antitrust Woes

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Bill Gates has revealed that he thinks everyone would be using Windows Mobile right now if Microsoft hadn't have been caught up in a US Justice Department antitrust investigation. From a report: Speaking at The New York Times' DealBook Conference earlier this week, Gates revealed his thoughts on Microsoft's mobile mistakes. "There's no doubt that the antitrust lawsuit was bad for Microsoft, and we would have been more focused on creating the phone operating system and so instead of using Android today you would be using Windows Mobile," claimed Gates. "If it hadn't been for the antitrust case... we were so close, I was just too distracted. I screwed that up because of the distraction."

Microsoft's messy move from Windows Mobile to Windows Phone allowed Android to thrive, but at the time the company had the biggest opportunity in mobile and gave it away. Gates also revealed that Microsoft also missed the opportunity to launch Windows Mobile on a key Motorola handset. "We were just three months too late on a release Motorola would have used on a phone, so yes it's a winner takes all game," explained Gates. "Now nobody here has ever heard of Windows Mobile, but oh well. That's a few hundred billion here or there."

Re:The antitrust investigation hurt you?

By postbigbang • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Yes, they pushed hard, but it was easy to because IE sucked so badly. Developers poured lots of money into IE-based apps, which provided Microsoft with a lock on apps and platform.

Chrome simply worked and rendered well. When Apache dominance started to appear, Chrome worked really well with it, far more simply, and with fewer glaring holes. As Microsoft had their lightbulb moment, and pushed into dividing user space from kernel space, things kind of worked, but it was too late.

Gates flatters himself. His Business-As-War model was wrong from the beginning.


By Solandri • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
WinCE was originally used on PDAs. I remember HP trying to add phone capability to one of their PDAs. This required low-level modification of the OS to prioritize phone functionality over other OS operations. They got zero help from Microsoft. HP's combo phone-PDA got panned for being unreliable at making phone calls (who wants a phone that crashes in the middle of a call, or drops out because the OS decided to run some sort of scan?), and flopped in the market.

So it was completely Microsoft's own fault - they missed the boat on the convergence between PDAs and phones. My theory is that all of Microsoft's upper management had assistants chasing them around handling their calls (phone) and scheduling (PDA), so they never foresaw the convergence between PDAs and phones. Meanwhile, to any regular person with both a phone and PDA bumping into each other in their pocket with each step, this convergence was obvious and couldn't come soon enough.

It took Apple adding physics to UI before people wanted phones.

The beneficiary wasn't Apple. It was Blackberry (Research in Motion). They were the first to marry a rudimentary PDA with a phone. Then Nokia combined the phone with a general purpose CPU and OS which could run generic apps. Those two dominated the early smartphone OS market. The iPhone took 3 years to pass RIM, and 4 years to pass Nokia's Symbian. Android passed iOS is just 2.5 years, and it's pretty clear from the chart that the fall of RIM and Symbian mirrors Android's rise, not iOS'.

The main feature Apple brought to phones was an easy-to-use market for installing generic apps onto the phone directly. Before then, you were stuck with the pre-loaded apps (RIM and early flip phones which could run apps), or had to hook the phone up to a PC to sideload new apps (Palm, WinCE, Symbian). The iPhone wasn't even the first touchscreen-only phone - the LG Prada was.

MS has NEVER understood good UI. Hell, they had to basically copy Apple for Windows 3.x and Windows 95

Windows' UI is actually based on IBM's Common User Access guidelines. IBM basically spent millions of dollars researching how people interacted with a GUI, and came up with a list of common elements that all GUI programs should conform to (no more having to memorize WordPerfect function keys). Many people forget, but IBM hired Microsoft to build a GUI for the PC in the form of OS/2. Microsoft then stole most of the concepts from OS/2 (including CUA), put them in Windows, and gave IBM the middle finger.

That's the kind of stuff Gates did - steal control of other people's good ideas away from them. When an obvious transition like the convergence between phones and PDAs was staring him in the face, he couldn't see it because he really wasn't a prognosticator. If nobody had done it yet, he couldn't steal it.

Re:The antitrust investigation hurt you?

By Solandri • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
I'm guessing you weren't around back then. Browsers were originally a software product - like Photoshop or Office. You had to buy a copy of Netscape to be able to browse the web.

Microsoft was slow getting on board with this whole Internet thing. Gates had thought the AOL/CompuServe/GEnie model of subscription dialup forums and bulletin boards would dominate. He had partnered with NBC for content, to form their entry into the dialup service market - MSNBC (which they later shortened to MSN; yes you originally had to pay to access that too).

When the Internet and worldwide web blew those away, he was kinda lost. He no longer had any OS advantage since websites used a browser that could run on any OS. The vulnerability he found in that model was the browser. Microsoft made Internet Explorer for Windows and included it for free. That pulled the rug out from under Netscape's software as a product business model, and they were forced to make it free to "compete". But how can you compete against an OS maker including their own browser in the OS? That's what the antitrust lawsuit was about.

The whole thing was just an attempt to grab control too. The target was never Netscape. It was the HTML standard. Microsoft added ActiveX to IE to give scripting functionality to websites - something HTML couldn't do at the time. They wanted to turn the web away from using the open HTML standard, to using Microsoft's proprietary ActiveX standard. That way they could leverage their OS dominance to gain control of the new "platform" - the Web. When it failed, they just abandoned it. Which left South Korea in a lurch since the government had believed Microsoft's PR, and had mandated by law that all government and banking websites had be based on ActiveX. With Microsoft no longer maintaining it and providing security updates for it, their entire financial and government system became vulnerable to hacking.

Re:They kept changing things for developers

By Locutus • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
They really had no idea how to compete without being able to leverage their position in the desktop operating space. Every success they've had relied on leveraging Windows at the OEM or they outright purchased the competition and shut it down. Apple leveraged the Mac with iTunes to get the iPod popular and easy to use and moved that to the Windows platform at the OEM. Even the Palm platform leveraged the desktop platform to make it really useful.

But since Microsoft killed off the handheld market by producing Windows CE and dictating to hardware vendors how it must be displayed and run while paying them to do this they effectively killed off the thing which would have helped them grow the Windows phone market. ie a software tie between the device and desktop OS.

They even tried paying companies to use the devices like they did with the MS Surface and the NFL. But the iPhone showed, like Palm did before it, that making the UI simple and easy to use people will gobble it up. Android made something close but much less expensive and quickly gained all the non-Apple phone vendors support. Microsoft might have finally came up with a usable OS in Windows Phone( as opposed to Windows CE ) but they were WAY late and had no way to leverage the Windows desktop OS position to push Windows Phone on Windows users.

What they did to Nokia just shows to what extent they will go to get into the markets when they have no way to use Windows OEMs to push Microsoft product.
They really do not know how to compete and they tried many things and all failed.


Re:senile ?

By twocows • Score: 4 • Thread
Nokia phones running Windows Mobile in the years leading up to its eventual death were actually really solid... if they could actually do what you wanted them to do, and that was the problem. Smartphones tend to get used as general purpose devices that can do what you need them to do regardless of what that might be. Android and Apple (to a lesser extent) had huge libraries of apps that covered just about every possible thing you might want to do with your phone. Windows Mobile had... Office... and maybe a few other things. Third party developers never bothered porting their apps because it had no market share.

In the end, Microsoft's over-reliance on Office to push Windows Mobile probably had the opposite effect in that the exclusivity pushed even more people toward Google's offerings, since they came bundled and worked well on the most popular phone OS. Google concentrated on shoring up compatibility with Office file formats and as a result, Google now has a strong presence in a market that, for the longest time, Microsoft completely dominated (there may have been alternatives but they never got any significant usage, especially in business or education).

Microsoft's failing was that they didn't understand how smartphones were being used and the importance of the app library until well past the time where they could have actually done anything to capture the market. I do think it's possible that had Bill still been involved in MS to the degree he was in the 90s, he could have anticipated how the smartphone market would develop like he was able to anticipate a great many developments in his Internet Tidal Wave memo. However, by the time his insight could have been useful, he was already more focused on his philanthropy efforts and retirement while Steve squandered the company's resources and fostered an environment of incompetence and boot-licking internally.

It could have gone a lot worse, to be honest. If Bill had actually stuck around and actually accomplished what he wishes he did, we'd be dealing with 90s-era Microsoft and Apple as the two major players most likely. As much as I dislike Google, things could have turned much worse than the dominant phone OS being a proprietary layer (Android) on top of a relatively open base (AOSP) that largely free and open custom ROMs can be built on as an alternative (e.g. LineageOS).

Delays in Boeing Max Return Began With Near-Crash in Simulator

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Boeing engineers were nearly done redesigning software on the grounded 737 Max in June when some pilots hopped into a simulator to test a few things. It didn't go well. From a report: A simulated computer glitch caused it to to dive aggressively in a way that resembled the problem that had caused deadly crashes off Indonesia and in Ethiopia months earlier. That led to an extensive redesign of the plane's flight computers that has dragged on for months and repeatedly pushed back the date of its return to service, according to people briefed on the work. The company -- which initially expressed confidence it could complete its application to recertify the plane with the Federal Aviation Administration within months -- now says it hopes to do that before the end of the year.

Changing the architecture of the jet's twin flight computers, which drive autopilots and critical instruments, has proven far more laborious than patching the system directly involved in 737 Max crashes, said these people, who asked not to be named speaking about the issue. The redesign has also sparked tensions between aviation regulators and the company. As recently as this week, the FAA and European Aviation Safety Agency asked for more documentation of the changes to the computers, said one of the people, potentially delaying the certification further. Developing and testing software on airliners is an exacting process. Manufacturers may have to demonstrate with extensive testing that a software failure leading to a crash would be as rare as one in a billion.
Further reading: Boeing Has So Many Grounded 737 Max Planes Waiting To Be Fixed They're Parking Them in the Employee Parking Lot.

successful test

By bugs2squash • Score: 3 • Thread
A successful test is one that finds a problem. I'm far happier that they found it in a simulator than on a beat-up flight recorder extracted from wreckage.

Re: Link to download pleasse

By Nidi62 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

When they say flight simulator, they mean a full cockpit with all the switches, lights, and I'd imagine hydraulics to simulate motion. It's more than just software and you can't just download it.

Yeah, since this has do do with maneuver characteristics they are testing it in a full motion flight simulator. These things are massive, with a fully enclosed cockpit(plus room in the back for observers/instructors) and sit on hydraulic legs. They have to be kept in pretty large bays (3+ stories tall) as well to ensure there is enough room for the motion. They're also connected to large server racks to run all the calculations, graphics, etc.

They do make fixed devices that run everywhere from cockpit panel mockups on flat panel displays to what are termed Level 7 devices which are essentially the full motion simulators without motion (full cockpit mockup and display screens showing a simulated view of surroundings). All of these are of course much cheaper than the full motion simulators and much smaller (the basic devices can sit in a regular, office sized room).

This is actually a space where I see VR or AR becoming a very useful tool. Instead of spending huge loads of money to make full motion or static full mockup simulators (plus the costs to run a full motion simulator can run hundreds of dollars an hour), use one of the static trainers that has a real panel and use VR technology to add cockpit surroundings, everything outside the cockpit, etc. This would allow you to move a lot of training besides maneuvers training and checkrides into a much cheaper trainer.

A modest proposal

By DulcetTone • Score: 3 • Thread

Remove the code that commands the elevators and replace it with audible warnings when sensors detect pitch exceeding reasonable bounds and a manual elevator trim that is easy to use and near-at-hand.

Problem solved. Send my check to my usual address.

Re:A modest proposal

By bsolar • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
As far as I understand that would require all the pilots to be re-trained, which is the reason the correction was designed to be "hidden" through an automated system in the first place.

Re:Hot standby

By Distan • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

> By contrast, the 737 Max had two separate computers.

The 737 Flight Control Computer (FCC) system has dual-dual redundancy. The 737 contains two FCCs that each contains two processors running independently. In the event the two processors in one FCC ever disagree that FCC shuts down. If the FCC that shuts down was the active one then the secondary FCC takes over. This system provides at least as much hardware redundancy as a three-way voting system.

A key problem with the initial MCAS implementation wasn't the lack of CPU redundancy but the lack of sensor redundancy. Each FCC was programmed to accept only one AOA sensor's input. In the event of erroneous AOA input to the active FCC there was no way for the system to detect the error.

MCAS as initially implemented also represented a very significant shift in the role of the pilot vs the computer. The 737 is an old air-frame that is fundamentally controlled by steel cables and pulleys. The Pilot has full authority over the aircraft and the computers are best seen as "pilots aids". MCAS inverted this expectation by inserting a new software component that had nearly unlimited authority over the pilot.

Contrast this with Airbus where the computer is responsible for flying the plane under the authority of the pilot. Under "normal law" on an Airbus the pilot has no direct control over any flight surfaces. The pilots commands are simply one input to the computer, but the computer ultimately decides what to do.

From the traditional Boeing 737 engineering point of view, having full redundancy on all systems wasn't necessary because the pilot is the one flying the plane and if one of the systems misbehaves the pilot could just turn it off. From an Airbus engineering point of view, having full redundancy on everything is critical because the computer is flying the plane.

Kepler Achieves a World-First For Satellite Broadband With 100Mbps Connection To the Arctic

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Small-satellite startup Kepler and its nanosatellites have successfully demonstrated achieving over 100Mbps of network speed to a Germany icebreaker sea vessel that acts as a mobile lab for the MOSAiC research expedition. TechCrunch reports: This is the first time there's been a high-bandwidth satellite network for any central Arctic ground-based use, Kepler says, and this connection isn't just a technical demo: it's being used for the researchers in the MOSAiC team, which is made up of hundreds of individuals, to transfer data back and forth between the ship and shore-based research stations, which improves all aspects of working with the considerable quantities of data being gathered by the team. On the icebreaker floating research ship, Kepler has demonstrated 38Mbps down, and 120Mbps up.

Re:Call me when you can do it in a city.

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

Nobody is interested in a single 100Mb/s connection on an entire continent.

Why? That's pretty much what most US households share right now.


By Cowards Rule • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
From their FAQ: "By offering services via LEO satellites, link latencies pna or nf ybj nf 100 zf. Ubjrire, Xrcyre'f freivprf qb abg cebivqr erny-gvzr Vagrearg, fb gur dhrfgvba bs yngrapl bsgra trgf pbashfrq urer. Bhe Tybony Qngn 'fgber-naq-sbejneq' Freivpr vf sbe yngrapl-gbyrenag qngn. Raq-gb-raq qngn qryvirel gvzr (creuncf n orggre grez guna 'yngrapl' va guvf pbagrkg) sbe fvatyr-cnff hcybnqf pna or nf ybj nf 10 zvahgrf naq nf uvtu nf 12 ubhef." Also, required accounts suck, so the text has been altered for your inconvenience.


By ledow • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

That shows a terrible understanding of the problem at hand.

You can flood any size connection with just a basic torrent stream.

It does *not* mean that you won't have a several second delay on the underlying transmission medium.

TCP timeouts are in the order of seconds, not microseconds.

To use an analogy, you might have a six lane motorway, but the speed limit is 30mph. It can still take a huge number of cars every second, but for one particular car to traverse it takes far longer than on other roads.

A pet peeve of mine

By mwfischer • Score: 3 • Thread

It's apparently impossible to lay fiber to Antarctica. There is some amazing research being done there however there is a 12 hour window for internet access on a 7Mbps sat. It is almost running near 99 to 100% saturation. Thus the "$3 per email" phrase.

100Mbps is game changing.

The Cost For Each SLS Launch Is Over $2 Billion

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Acting director of the White House budget office Russell Vought said in a letter that the cost estimate to build and fly a single NASA large Space Launch System rocket in a given year is "more than $2 billion." "The article then notes how this cost is affecting the Europa Clipper mission, which has three launch options, with SLS mandated by Congress," writes Slashdot reader schwit1. From the report: The powerful SLS booster offers the quickest ride for the six-ton spacecraft to Jupiter, less than three years. But for mission planners, there are multiple concerns about this rocket beyond just its extraordinary cost. There is the looming threat that the program may eventually be canceled (due to its cost and the emergence of significantly lower cost, privately built rockets). NASA's human exploration program also has priority on using the SLS rocket, so if there are manufacturing issues, a science mission might be pushed aside. Finally, there is the possibility of further developmental delays -- significant ground testing of SLS has yet to begin.

Another option is United Launch Alliance's Delta IV Heavy rocket, which has an excellent safety record and has launched several high-profile missions for NASA. However, this rocket requires multiple gravity assists to push the Clipper into a Jupiter orbit, including a Venus flyby. This heating would add additional thermal constraints to the mission, and scientists would prefer to avoid this if at all possible. A final possibility is SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket, with a kick stage. This booster would take a little more than twice as long as the SLS rocket to get the Clipper payload to Jupiter, but it does not require a Venus flyby and therefore avoids those thermal issues. With a track record of three successful flights, the Falcon Heavy also avoids some of the development and manufacturing concerns raised by SLS vehicle. Finally, it offers the lowest cost of the three options.

Re:Leave it to US government

By nospam007 • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

"There's also a huge amount of cronyism where unqualified family members (think Hunter Biden) "

Are you a stable genius by any chance?

How come nobody is trying booster rendezvous?

By An Ominous Cow Erred • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

We've mastered automatic docking already. Just send up the payload and an extra booster on separate launch vehicles. Dock in orbit, fire up booster and you're on the way with extra kick. Two Falcon Heavies are still an ORDER OF MAGNITUDE cheaper than a single SLS.

Re:How come nobody is trying booster rendezvous?

By An Ominous Cow Erred • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

I mean, the Falcon Heavy can almost get the fully fueled second stage to orbit on its own if it doesn't have a payload (though that would require expending the core booster probably due to it acquiring so much delta V to survive reentry). The only payload on the second stage would be an adapter to mate with the payload from the other launch (which would have its own kick stage). You can then just use the Falcon Heavy's second stage as the booster to get the payload and kickstage on a quick path to Jupiter.

Re:Leave it to US government

By Terwin • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

The problem in the USA is not mostly under the table kick backs. The whole thing is done more or less "legally" via lobbying, Super PACs and so on. If you support what special interests want then they support you. They don't give the money directly but the effect is the same. You don't have to spend your own money and you get into positions which guarantee highly placed directorships afterwards. Effectively the country has become an oligarchy even though the voters could stop it tomorrow if they systematically voted against whatever the money wants.

That happened in 2016, and since the day after the election, the monied interests have been doing everything within their power to either reverse/invalidate the election or otherwise interfere with their ability to get work done.
Not to mention the constant harassment and attempts to intimidate any potential future 'inappropriate' candidates out of running for high office.

'Trump hate' is what you can expect for any true 'outsider' candidate who threatens the status-quo in DC.
Things will only get worse if the Barr investigation succeeds in putting one or more 'insiders' in prison.

Not quite

By PackMan97 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
I'm a big fan of Musk and SpaceX...but the cost for the SLS bakes in the cost of development, the process of launch and all associated activities. The cost of Starship does not. It only covers the cost of direct launch operations and fuel. Huge difference. A real world example is signing up for a cell phone. SpaceX and Musk are telling you it's going to be $20/mo and then the bill shows up and it's more like $80/mo. Boeing and the SLS are telling you the cost is going to be $2,000/mo and no hidden fees. Well, maybe it is exactly like that :)