the unofficial Slashdot digest for 2020-Feb-14 today archive


  1. A New Spin On 3D Printing Can Produce an Object In Seconds
  2. HQ Trivia, the Once-Popular Mobile Game, Is Shutting Down
  3. EU Judge Raises Prospect of Increasing Multibillion Fine Against Google
  4. Signal Is Finally Bringing Its Secure Messaging To the Masses
  5. Jaguar To Cut I-Pace Output On Battery Shortage
  6. Tesla Owner Says Remotely Disabled Autopilot Features Have Been Restored
  7. Facebook Says Political Candidates Can Use Paid Memes
  8. A Radio Frequency Exposure Test Finds an iPhone 11 Pro Exceeds the FCC's Limit
  9. Online-only Platforms Are Going Offline With Permanent Spaces
  10. Inside the Pentagon's Secret UFO Program
  11. YouTube Says it Paid the Music Industry More Than $3 Billion Last Year
  12. US Cyber Command, DHS, and FBI Expose New North Korean Malware
  13. An Anonymous Group Claims it Took DNA From Global Elites -- And is Auctioning It Off
  14. Plastic Surgery Images and Invoices Leak From Unsecured Database
  15. 'Pale Blue Dot' Revisited
  16. Popular Preprint Servers Face Closure Because of Money Troubles
  17. Data from Spotify Suggest That Listeners Are Gloomiest in February
  18. UK Police Deny Responsibility For Poster Urging Parents To Report Kids For Using Kali Linux
  19. Sony Is Struggling With PlayStation 5 Price Due To Costly Parts
  20. The 40th Root KSK Ceremony Rescheduled
  21. Developer Finds USB Chargers Have as Much Processing Power as the Apollo 11 Guidance Computers
  22. Nevada Democrats To Use iPads Loaded With Google Forms To Track Caucus
  23. Ohio Man Arrested For Running Bitcoin Mixing Service That Laundered $300 Million
  24. Scientists Observe Potentially Hazardous Asteroid Buzz Past Earth With Its Own Moon

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.

A New Spin On 3D Printing Can Produce an Object In Seconds

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: A 3D model is sliced up into hundreds of 2D horizontal layers and slowly built up, one layer at a time. This layer-by-layer process can take hours or even days, but what if we could print the entire model at once? A new technique demonstrated by researchers from Switzerland's Ecole polytechnique federale de Lausanne (EPFL) -- and further detailed in this Nature article -- does just that and can print an entire model in seconds. The new technique builds a model by hardening a photosensitive resin with a laser, not unlike existing stereolithography (SLA) printers. The big difference here is the application of tomographic techniques, the same used in x-rays and ultrasounds, that allows for rotational printing. Laser light is modulated with a DLP chip (just like in old rear-projection HDTVs) and is blasted into a container full of resin. The laser covers the entire build volume, and the container of resin actually rotates while it's being exposed to the light. The laser projects the model at different rotational perspectives, which is synced up with the spinning resin, and a whole 3D model can be produced in seconds.

The EPFL writes, "The system is currently capable of making two-centimeter structures with a precision of 80 micrometers, about the same as the diameter of a strand of hair. But as the team develops new devices, they should be able to build much bigger objects, potentially up to 15 centimeters." In this first public demonstration, the build volume is 16mm x 16mm x 20mm, making it one of the smallest 3D printers on earth. An 80 um resolution is also nothing to write home about and can be bested by ~$500 consumer SLA printers. It is very fast, though, and the technique is just getting started. The researchers have set up a spin-off company called "Readily 3D" to develop and market the technology.

Photosensitive resin is not new at all

By BAReFO0t • Score: 3 • Thread

Only the laser is. But I've seen this, using a flat panel display and a light below, which feels more elegant to me, in a TED talk, years ago.

And the dirty secret reason it's still not on the market, is that 1. that resin is super-toxic an hard/messy to handle and everything, and 2. that the creator was too greedy and priced the thing in the $10,000 range.

If you solve those two problems, it's definitely a great thing.
But: Did you?

Re: Photosensitive resin is not new at all

By Åke Malmgren • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
Uh, flat bed resin printers are very much in the market. Some only cost a few hundred USD.

HQ Trivia, the Once-Popular Mobile Game, Is Shutting Down

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
CNN Business has learned that the once-popular live mobile trivia game "HQ Trivia" is shutting down. From the report: When HQ launched in 2017, its first game HQ Trivia quickly attracted millions of people across the world who stopped whatever they were doing twice a day to play the game on their smartphones. The company was profiled by The New York Times and its original host Scott Rogowsky became a household name, appearing on programs like NBC's "Today" show. But over the next year, the game's popularity faded and its parent company was hit with a series of setbacks. The company grappled with internal turmoil, including the death of HQ cofounder Colin Kroll, who died in December 2018 from a drug overdose.

CEO Rus Yusupov said in a company-wide email on Friday that "lead investors are no longer willing to fund the company, and so effective today, HQ will cease operations and move to dissolution." In the email, which was obtained by CNN Business, Yusupov also disclosed that the company had hired a banker "to help find additional investors and partners to support the expansion of the company." He said the company had "received an offer from an established business" and was expected to close the deal on Saturday, but the potential acquisition fell through.

News for grannies, stuff that wastes you time?

By BAReFO0t • Score: 3 • Thread

Seriously, who cares?

A generic mobile game shutting down is literally equivalent to a bag of rice in China tipping over.

EU Judge Raises Prospect of Increasing Multibillion Fine Against Google

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Alphabet's appeal against a multibillion-dollar fine for alleged anticompetitive behavior by its Google unit risks backfiring after a European Union court floated the prospect of increasing the fine (Warning: source paywalled; alternative source), rather than scrapping it. The Wall Street Journal reports: In a surprise twist Friday at the end of a three-day hearing, one of five judges on the panel said the EU's General Court has the power to increase the $2.6 billion fine, levied in 2017, if it finds that the sum was insufficient to deter the company from further anticompetitive behavior. "The fine of ~$2.6 billion was described as eye-catching, but it is a small amount of cash in your hands," Judge Colm Mac Eochaidh said in court. "Did that level of fine deter you from repeating your behavior?" he asked Google's counsel. Increasing a fine has only one precedent in the court's history, according to Mr. Mac Eochaidh, when German chemicals giant BASF SE was ordered to pay ~$58,000 in 2007 on top of an initial ~$38 million fine for participating in a chemicals cartel.

Christopher Thomas, a counsel for Google, dismissed the idea that the fine was warranted and said the company takes the entire antitrust process "with extreme seriousness." Google disputes the findings of the commission that it had willingly or negligently squeezed competitors out of its shopping searches. The prospect of raising the fine was described as theoretical by the panel's presiding judge. Still, it sent Google lawyers scrambling for arguments, with one sitting on the floor outside the courtroom frantically researching how to contest such a move. If Google loses the case, it has the right to appeal to the bloc's highest court, the European Court of Justice.

Re:Socialism is expensive

By SirAstral • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

I am not sure what you are trying to tell me here.

It may be true that they are trying to tax people to pay for socialist agenda's, but that is still not socialism.

Socialism is when you force people to participate. Example... being forced to participate in healthcare and pay a premium or you are punished. That is socialism. Socialism is a government or group requiring someone to do something because they can compel them, because that what it means to own productivity. To own productivity means to own the individual. Is a country totally socialist because they do something like a single payer system? Of course not. There are plenty of Nations that have a precarious balance between socialist and capitalist agendas.

Everyone wants to stike a good balance between socialism, free-market, and capitalism. The problem comes from everyone mislabeling things, treating a label as nothing but evil or good, and the worst thing of all... acting as though one system is a solution to another systems problems. They are not, and never will be. The solution to all problems are informed and unbiased humans. Something the 80% is busy overruling!

Now, regarding your questions on Business Participation in the EU. Your questions are dishonest. Every business has to face the specter of running afoul of each nations regulations. If they cannot follow the laws and provide a free service.. then the problem is simple. Stop providing a free service. These businesses do not have a right to demand that they should be able to operate outside of the laws these people created for their nations! That is imperialistic bullshit to advance the notion otherwise. Do you see anyone having trouble with China? No, because the government there is a bedfellow by requirement. I also do not see any of these "virtue signaling" nations doing anything against China either. If their rules cause them to suffer economically then let them suffer!

Re:Team Brussels, World Police!

By Opportunist • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

If you want to do business in my country, you're playing by my rules. If you don't want to, GTFO.

Re:Uh, what?

By bsolar • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Why is that even surprising? During an appeal the original decision gets re-evaluated and eventually a new decision is made based on the new arguments presented by both sides. Nothing says the new decision can only favour the defender.

Re:Uh, what?

By moronoxyd • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

The reason is pretty obvious - that Google considers the fine a cost of doing business and has not been deterred from doing what they do by the fine

The problem with that reasoning is the EU never stated what they wanted Google to stop doing.

Untrue. The EU said what behavior by Google was anti-competitive. They listed the things they had a problem with. They said why these things were a problem.

What the EU didn't do was to tell Google how to remedy the situation. There isn't always exactly one way to get rid of anti-competitive behavior. And instead of forcing one solution on Google, they gave Google the choice to offer solutions themselves.
But as companies are wont to do, Google tried to get out of this with as little change as possible Thus the first suggestions where not actually enough to remove the problem.

Re: Socialism is expensive

By AmiMoJo • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

they are busy bitching about the power Trump abuses as an executive but do not seem to have the same reservation when Bernie openly admits to being willing to abuse that power the same way just in a different direction when he gets into office as well.

Yes, we tried playing nice and look where it got us. A great example is the Supreme Court. Obama nominated someone and the conservatives refused to even hold a hearing. They just abused their power and waited until Trump got in, while Obama made the odd mildly chastising statement about it.

Conservatives in the US play to win. They don't care about rules or what's right, they care about winning. And they are right, if you don't win you can't do shit so winning trumps doing the right thing. The Democrats need to get in and abuse the hell out of every opportunity to push the country as far as they can in the direction they want, because in a two party system that's the best strategy.

For an example of a better system look at Ireland's recent election. Not just the result, look at the campaigns, the debates. It's a master class for countries stuck with a two party system.

Signal Is Finally Bringing Its Secure Messaging To the Masses

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Wired: [Cryptographer and coder known as Moxie Marlinspike] has always talked about making encrypted communications easy enough for anyone to use. The difference, today, is that Signal is finally reaching that mass audience it was always been intended for -- not just the privacy diehards, activists, and cybersecurity nerds that formed its core user base for years -- thanks in part to a concerted effort to make the app more accessible and appealing to the mainstream. That new phase in Signal's evolution began two years ago this month. That's when WhatsApp cofounder Brian Acton, a few months removed from leaving the app he built amid post-acquisition clashes with Facebook management, injected $50 million into Marlinspike's end-to-end encrypted messaging project. Acton also joined the newly created Signal Foundation as executive chairman. The pairing up made sense; WhatsApp had used Signal's open source protocol to encrypt all WhatsApp communications end-to-end by default, and Acton had grown disaffected with what he saw as Facebook's attempts to erode WhatsApp's privacy.

Since then, Marlinspike's nonprofit has put Acton's millions -- and his experience building an app with billions of users -- to work. After years of scraping by with just three overworked full-time staffers, the Signal Foundation now has 20 employees. For years a bare-bones texting and calling app, Signal has increasingly become a fully featured, mainstream communications platform. With its new coding muscle, it has rolled out features at a breakneck speed: In just the last three months, Signal has added support for iPad, ephemeral images and video designed to disappear after a single viewing, downloadable customizable "stickers," and emoji reactions. More significantly, it announced plans to roll out a new system for group messaging, and an experimental method for storing encrypted contacts in the cloud. Many of those features might sound trivial. They certainly aren't the sort that appealed to Signal's earliest core users. Instead, they're what Acton calls "enrichment features." They're designed to attract normal people who want a messaging app as multifunctional as WhatsApp, iMessage, or Facebook Messenger but still value Signal's widely trusted security and the fact that it collects virtually no user data.
Wired explains how adding simple-sounding enhancements can require significant feats of security engineering to fit within Signal's privacy constraints. Adding downloadable customizable stickers, for example, "required designing a system where every sticker 'pack' is encrypted with a 'pack key,'" reports Wired. "That key is itself encrypted and shared from one user to another when someone wants to install new stickers on their phone, so that Signal's server can never see decrypted stickers or even identify the Signal user who created or sent them."

For Signal's new group messaging, Signal partnered with Microsoft Research to invent a novel form of "anonymous credentials" that let a server gatekeep who belongs in a group, but without ever learning the members' identities.

Re:Old geezer here.

By Opportunist • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

That sounds like a known-plaintext attack waiting to happen...

Re:Terrorists everywhere are rejoicing

By Opportunist • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

The price of freedom is that some assholes will abuse it. The alternative is giving up your freedom.

Besides, do you really think terrorists need signal to communicate? It's not like someone willing to blow himself up gives a shit about you knowing that it was him.

Re:Terrorists everywhere are rejoicing

By Mr. Dollar Ton • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

You are a "terrorist" only after you start to implement your terror plan for real. Before that you're only committing a thought-crime.

Luckily, implementing a terror plan tends to leave evidence. It is that evidence that allows the law enforcement to discover and thwart the plan.

Adding it to WhatsApp was security theater only.

By BAReFO0t • Score: 3 • Thread

Like an Allied base having a Gestapo "assistant" that relays messages for them using a super-secure tunnel, to another Gestapo "assistant" at another Allied base.
Who the fuck cares if the tunnel is secure, if the end points aren't secure?

This FAQ seems to answer how it works:

By BAReFO0t • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Here's the meat:

Signal periodically sends truncated cryptographically hashed phone numbers for contact discovery. Names are never transmitted, and the information is not stored on the servers. The server responds with the contacts that are Signal users and then immediately discards this information. Your phone now knows which of your contacts is a Signal user and notifies you if your contact just started using Signal.

I don't see, how that doesn't still allow a man in the middle or on the server, to create a social graph of the hashes.
Even if they don't have the phone numbers associated to them, it makes that association easier IMHO.

I've learned to not underestimate Moxie though.

Jaguar To Cut I-Pace Output On Battery Shortage

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Thelasko shares a report from Automotive News Europe: Jaguar Land Rover is pausing production of the Jaguar I-Pace electric SUV due to battery supply issues from LG Chem's Poland plant. JLR said it has adjusted production schedules of the model due to temporary supplier scheduling issues. "We are working with the supplier to resolve this and minimize impact on customer orders," JLR said. JLR did not name the supplier [A source familiar with the matter told Automotive News Europe that the battery supplier is LG Chem]. It also did not say when the production pause would start. The I-Pace is a rival to the Tesla Model X, featuring a large 90kWh battery and a range of about 377 km (234 miles). According to The Times newspaper, production of the I-Pace will stop for a week starting on Monday, Feb. 17.


By backslashdot • Score: 3 • Thread

What? People were buying it?

Cut or Pause?

By Fly Swatter • Score: 3 • Thread
Journalistic wording is very important. They are pausing production, but the headline makes it sound like they are going to put smaller capacity batteries in the car, or just outright cancel production permanently.

-Well at least shortage wasn't confused with shrinkage. :D

Why would anyone buy a Jaguar?

By Snotnose • Score: 3 • Thread
When I was in high school, 1970s, they were known to be both hard to work on and unreliable.

When my friends and I started making enough coin in the 90s to buy cars like that Jaguar was known to be both hard to work on and unreliable.

From what I hear now I dunno about the hard to work on part, but they're unreliable.

If you want to buy a car with the intent to sell it in 2-3 years, go for it. If, like me, you buy a car intending to run it into the ground before you buy another car, then run away. Far far away.

Tesla Owner Says Remotely Disabled Autopilot Features Have Been Restored

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Tesla has restored the Autopilot driver assistance features it remotely disabled on a Model S, just days after the story was first reported by Jalopnik. The owner in question, who Jalopnik refers to as Alec, said he was contacted by a Tesla customer experience rep who "apologized for my troubles, told me that Tesla has restored all missed options" and "cited a miscommunication" as the reason why the company pulled the Autopilot features in the first place. The Verge reports: Alec had purchased the used 2017 Model S in December from a third-party dealer that acquired the car from Tesla at auction in November. The original owner had equipped the car with the (now-retired) "Enhanced Autopilot" version of Tesla's driver assistance package and the company's "Full Self-Driving" package, which promises increased autonomy over the years. Three days after Tesla sold the car to the dealer, Tesla performed a "remote audit" that flagged those features for removal, according to Jalopnik. Even then, the features were never removed, and the dealer posted the car for sale with both Enhanced Autopilot and Full Self-Driving featured on the car's Monroney sticker -- meaning Alec paid for a car with those features.

But when Alec took the car to a Tesla service center a few weeks after his purchase, he was told that the features were removed. Tesla has removed features from used cars in the past, but typically does so before the car is sold off to a third-party dealer or a new owner. Since Tesla pulled these features both after it sold the car to the dealer, and after that dealer sold it to Alec, it caused some fear that the company was setting a precedent for yanking features on a whim.

Re:The dealer is the culprit here

By Thruen • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Except Tesla admits they removed it due to a miscommunication... Some of you Tesla defenders are a little out of your minds, eh? Once the company admits they messed up, after refusing to comment on the story the whole time, I think it's pretty well settled. At best, Tesla failed to communicate to the dealer that the car they were buying was going to have features removed from it that were listed on the sticker. And don't give me the "they can remove rims, too!" argument because those rims would've been removed prior to the dealer buying the car, these features were not. From the original story, which you claim to have read:

Three days after Tesla sold the car to the dealer, Tesla performed a “remote audit” that flagged those features for removal

Pretty cut and dry. Dealer bought a car with features, Tesla removed those features after the sale was completed with no prior notice.

Re:The dealer is the culprit here

By fred911 • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

'Tesla sold a used car to the deal "without" autopilot.'

Wong, Telsa brought the vehicle to a wholesale auction and the auction represented the vehicle having certain features, autopilot being one of the disclosed features.

The dealer bought the car from the action that was represented by Tesla.

The retail consumer purchased the vehicle from a reseller that represented the features as presented and as they knew. The consumer used the features until Telsa's internal audit.

There's no shady part of any of this. And kudos to Mr. Musk for making everyone happy [and the costless eyes waiting for resolution]. Finally a happy story.


By backslashdot • Score: 3 • Thread

Uh, apparently a little publicity goes a long way.

They did yank features

By hawguy • Score: 3 • Thread

it caused some fear that the company was setting a precedent for yanking features on a whim.

I don't understand this -- this didn't just cause fear that they would yank features on a whim, but they actually *did* yank features on a whim due to their own bad bookkeeping.

I don't see why anyone should feel better about this now that they've apologized and restored the feature after they were called out publicly. What are they doing to prevent this from happening again?

Removing features on resale.

By GrBear • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Tesla has removed features from used cars in the past, but typically does so before the car is sold off to a third-party dealer or a new owner.

How is this even legal? Does the Tesla have a shrinkwrap license that if you sell the car, any features you bought are stripped off if you resell it?

Facebook Says Political Candidates Can Use Paid Memes

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Facebook said Friday that political candidates, campaigns and groups can use paid branded content across its platforms, a clarification prompted by a move from Michael Bloomberg's campaign to pay top Instagram influencers to post memes on its behalf. Axios reports: Its policy didn't explicitly state that it was OK for candidates to use branded content posts, but after hearing from various campaigns about the issue, Facebook moved to clarify its stance. Facebook has agreed that branded content should be allowed to be used by candidates, as long as the candidates are authorized and the creators disclose paid partnerships through branded content tools, according to a spokesperson.

Facebook previously prohibited political candidates and campaigns from running branded content by default because it wanted to avoid any risk that such actions could be viewed as accounts giving monetary contributions to campaigns. It's tweaking its approach now -- only in the U.S. -- because it believes that this is no longer a concern, given that it doesn't provide payments as a feature of its branded content tools. If a campaign were to buy ads to boost its branded content, then it would be subject to Facebook's advertising policies. That paid promotion would then need to be included in Facebook public, searchable political ad library for seven years.

So far that's working out great

By rsilvergun • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
for Bloomberg

And yeah, Facebook has shown it'll do anything as long as the check cashes

Isn't this great?

By DNS-and-BIND • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread

Boy, now we've got a private company deciding what is and isn't OK in our politics. The future sure is amazing, isn't it?

Did you hear that the media is giving Bloomberg's ugly history of sexism a pass? This in addition to his racism, saying that blacks can't be trusted not to kill each other.

Re:Isn't this great?

By CaptainDork • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

Boy, now we've got a private company deciding what is and isn't OK in our politics. The future sure is amazing, isn't it?

Did you hear that the media is giving Bloomberg's ugly history of sexism a pass? This in addition to his racism, saying that blacks can't be trusted not to kill each other.

You do realize you're ranting about a cat video platform, right?

Try the Onion for more factual information.

A Radio Frequency Exposure Test Finds an iPhone 11 Pro Exceeds the FCC's Limit

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from IEEE Spectrum: A test by Penumbra Brands to measure how much radiofrequency energy an iPhone 11 Pro gives off found that the phone emits more than twice the amount allowable by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission. The FCC measures exposure to RF energy as the amount of wireless power a person absorbs for each kilogram of their body. The agency calls this the specific absorption rate, or SAR. For a cellphone, the FCC's threshold of safe exposure is 1.6 watts per kilogram. Penumbra's test found that an iPhone 11 Pro emitted 3.8 W/kg.

Ryan McCaughey, Penumbra's chief technology officer, said the test was a follow up to an investigation conducted by the Chicago Tribune last year. The Tribune tested several generations of Apple, Samsung, and Motorola phones, and found that many exceeded the FCC's limit. Penumbra used RF Exposure Labs, an independent, accredited SAR testing lab for the tests (The Tribune also used the San Diego-based lab for its investigation). Penumbra was conducting the test, which also included testing an iPhone 7, to study its Alara phone cases, which the company says are designed to reduce RF exposure in a person.
It's worth noting that when the FCC conducted a follow-up investigation they did not find evidence that any of the phones exceed SAR limits. "That said, while the Tribune and Penumbra both used off-the-shelf phones, the FCC largely tested phones supplied by the manufacturers, including Apple," adds IEEE Spectrum.

Joel Moskowitz, a researcher at UC Berkeley, says that could be because there's a systematic problem with RF Exposure Lab's testing methods, or Apple rigged the software in the provided test phones to ensure they didn't put out enough power to exceed the SAR limit. Either way, both McCaughey and Moskowitz agree that the FCC's RF exposure testing is woefully out of date, as the limits reflect what the FCC deemed safe 25 years ago.

Need to sell product, make a fake report...

By MikeDataLink • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

This is not news. It's a scammy case seller making a report to sell their cases.

Wait, what?

By tsqr • Score: 3 • Thread

Penumbra's test found that an iPhone 11 Pro emitted 3.8 W/kg.

So, if you weigh 100 kg your iPhone 11 Pro emits 380 Watts, but if you weigh 75 kg it "only" emits 285 Watts? Or is it Watts per kilogram of the test dummy's head? Please, someone tell me what I'm missing.

The FCC's explanation isn't very helpful: ALL cell phones must meet the FCC’s RF exposure standard, which is set at a level well below that at which laboratory testing indicates, and medical and biological experts generally agree, adverse health effects could occur. For users who are concerned with the adequacy of this standard or who otherwise wish to further reduce their exposure, the most effective means to reduce exposure are to hold the cell phone away from the head or body and to use a speakerphone or hands-free accessory. These measures will generally have much more impact on RF energy absorption than the small difference in SAR between individual cell phones, which, in any event, is an unreliable comparison of RF exposure to consumers, given the variables of individual use. (emphasis added)

Typical variation.

By burtosis • Score: 3 • Thread
Meh, that’s about 3dBm which is not an unusual amount of variation in cheap radio chipsets. It’s probably because no one really cares and Apple, like any smartphone manufacturer, doesn’t want angry users with dropped calls and it’s not worth the money for the precision so they errd on the side of performance. Simply holding the phone differently or using it next to a conductive surface can easily be a 10x difference in power absorbed by the user.

A sports car you say, why right this way! The average horsepower is two hundred! Sure, some may be 400 and some 100, but that’s engines for you!

Hmmm, maybe a car analogy was a bad idea.

Re:Wait, what?

By dtmos • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Please, someone tell me what I'm missing.

The FCC requires that phones sold have a SAR level at or below 1.6 watts per kilogram (W/kg) taken over the volume containing a mass of 1 gram of tissue that is absorbing the most signal.

That is, 1.6 milliwatts per gram for the volume containing a mass of 1 gram of tissue that is absorbing the most signal. It doesn't say anything about total body absorption, average absorption, or anything else.

Re:Still non-ionizing

By msauve • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Hell, he's claiming "that long term heating of tissues in your head can damage those tissues".

I'll need a well written, reviewed paper to believe that bumping the thermostat up by a few degrees is going to kill me.

Online-only Platforms Are Going Offline With Permanent Spaces

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader shares a report: The retailpocalypse started in 2010. It followed the 2008 global recession, with the parallel birth and rise of social media adding fuel to the growth of online shopping. Suburban and rural malls sat empty, underutilized or poorly maintained as the most affected brands lost their customer base in the squeezed middle class. Meanwhile, online retailers thrived without the overhead costs of a physical space. Nearly a decade later, the online-only platforms that disrupted retail are choosing to pay rent as an additional, unnecessary expense. There are items available for purchase in each space, but the stores' ultimate goal is to offer a tangible experience offline to their users or consumers.

Hunker describes itself as an editorial website to help "first-timers improve their homes -- with inspiring tours, practical solutions and design advice for real people." Shopify is an all-in-one commerce platform where users can start and run an online business, facilitating 820,000 online stores since June 2019. Depop calls itself "the creative community's marketplace" and projects that its existing user base will increase threefold over the next three years, from 5 million to 15 million users. In the last two years, each company has added a physical space that isn't exactly a store and isn't really an office, though they definitely borrow aspects of each. Hunker's space, known as Hunker House, is a three-story loft in the Abbot-Kinney neighborhood of Venice, CA. Shopify opened a 1,600 square foot location in downtown Los Angeles' The Row, and Depop's two community spots are in Little Italy, Manhattan, and Silver Lake, LA.

Re:Online shopping is awful

By rtb61 • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

It's called click and mortar. You shop online for the product but buy in the store, that final check, and you know you have the product, no waiting to see what actually arrives, if it arrives.

The new question in the market, how many disappointing online purchases does it take to put shoppers off the idea and have them leaning to click and mortar, shop online to select the product but buy instore for the final check and service if things go wrong with the product.

For the business, click and mortar, use online to get them too the store and whilst they are there they buy something else and you avoid the delivery risk, the missing product and the broken product. There is also the up sell, all completely gone.

What click and mortar chains need to do is make sure online sales are booked to the store that serves the delivery address, so those stores do not compete against their head office for sales. The stores provides certainty of sale, provides sales and support to generate customer loyalty and the up sell opportunity.

Online fraud in both directions makes click and mortar the best shopping choice and online only, well, the good get measured with the bad, how many bad transaction does it take to put people off in either direction of the trade.

Let's not forget

By sjames • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Crappy banking practices were a big part of the reasons shopping spaces went to seed. The real estate market went BOOM, and shops were feeling the squeeze from the follow-on economic problems. But even as the mall went down to 50% occupancy or less, if they dared cut a deal on rent, the bank's crystal ball would suddenly devalue the property, declare it under collateralized and trigger foreclosure even as shops started moving in and the mall slowly returned to profitability.

So instead, they RAISED the rent to satisfy the bank even as they naturally (and obviously) drove away the remainder of their tenants.

Since the market didn't turn up in time, the vacant properties decayed to the point that they really can't be put back into use (some LITERALLY have weeds and grass growing inside), so the banks maintain complex ownership so they can avoid being forced to properly tear down and clean up the carcasses.

Of course, what do they care, they had their fingers crossed behind their backs when they accepted the bailout money and they know nobody will actually hold them to anything because they'rer TOO BIG TO FAIL and TOO BIG TO JAIL (tm, pat pend.)

Inside the Pentagon's Secret UFO Program

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Newly leaked documents show that the Department of Defense funded a study concerning UFOs, contradicting recent statements by the Pentagon. From a report: In 2017, The New York Times revealed the existence of $22 million dollar UFO investigation program called the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, or AATIP. A twist came two months ago, however, when Pentagon spokesperson Susan Gough told John Greenewald -- curator of the Black Vault, the largest civilian archive of declassified government documents -- that AATIP had nothing to do with UFOs. Greenewald also wrote that the Pentagon told him that another program, the Advanced Aerospace Weapons System Application Program or AAWSAP, was the name of the contract that the government gave out to produce reports under AATIP. In a new Popular Mechanics article, journalist Tim McMillan acquired documents from Bigelow Aerospace's exotic science division, Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies, or BAASS, indicating that the organization did explore strange phenomena under the auspices of the AATIP program.

One BAASS report, leaked to McMillan by an unnamed source, previously appeared on a list of products produced under the AATIP contract "for DIA to publish" that was obtained via FOIA laws. The report was cited incorrectly on that list, but Popular Mechanics tracked down its author, who confirmed its authenticity. The report investigated "exotic" propulsion via injuries sustained by people who experienced "exposure to anomalous vehicles." The text mentions UFOs several times. "What can not be overly emphasized, is that when one looks at the literature of anomalous cases, including UFO claims from the most reliable sources, the extent and degree of acute high but not necessarily chronic low-level injuries are consistent across patients who are injured, compared to witnesses in the far-field, who are not," the report states. Notably, the report's author -- Christopher "Kit" Green -- told Popular Mechanics that he was not contracted by BAASS except to produce this report and that it provides zero evidence for extraterrestrial or non-human technologies.
Further reading: Navy Confirms It Has a Secret Classified Video of an Infamous UFO Incident, Says Releasing It Would Threaten National Security.

BAASS? C'mon guys.

By hey! • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

Just add "Defense" in there for the "D": Bigelow Aerospace Defense Advanced Space Studies. You know you want to.


By JBMcB • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

When the SR-71 was retired, they did a de-classified run across the USA and broke several air speed records.

Ever been up close to an SR-71? They have one at the Kalamazoo Air Zoo, along with the engine. The interior is all analog. The engine is controlled with mechanical valves and push-rods. This thing was designed and built in the 60's. It was engineered using graphing paper and slide rules.

On paper, it's still one of the fastest planes ever built. By today's standards, the technology used is *ancient*

Now, imagine the classified stuff the Air Force has after 50 years of technological advancement.


By hey! • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Now, imagine the classified stuff the Air Force has after 50 years of technological advancement.

OK.... I'm imagining a system that costs much, much more. It promises things far beyond the dreams of the SR-71 designers, but has problems meeting some of its basic functional requirements. Nonetheless, the contractor building it keeps raising the price while still receiving all the performance bonuses possible under the contract.

Oh, yes, and it critically depends on some highly dubious software.

Re:People will believe whatever they want

By lgw • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

These is plenty of evidence for UFOs. Just no evidence they are extra terrestrial. My favorite thing about UFO sightings is when they say, "It was really huge and moved too fast for something that big." Maybe it was a lot closer to you than you realized?

The biggest successful government coverup (that we later learned about) is all about UFOs (there may be bigger secrets successfully covered up, but by definition we don't know about them yet). Have you ever head of Project Blue Book?

During the height of the cold war, when reliable witnesses, like airline or military pilots, would talk about seeing a craft that was flying higher and faster than any plane possibly could, the government would interview them, explain how it wasn't a UFO, and how they weren't allowed to talk about the secret government UFO study that didn't exist. Sure enough, leaks abounded about secret government UFO coverups. So even when actual good photography started accompanying these eyewitness reports, the intelligence agencies in the USSR just dismissed it all as UFO nonsense.

No connection was made in Russia between the "A-12 Oxcart", clearly some lumbering fighter-bomber, and these photos and reports of a craft flying higher and faster than any plane possibly could. The CIA operated not just undetected, but unsuspected, for a couple of years. It was only when they allowed the Air Force to start flying a two-seater version, the SR-71 Blackbird, that Russia caught on.

It was about 50 years later when all of this came to light. Everyone heard about Project Blue Book, there was even a TV show in 78-79 (and again last year?), which made it the perfect cover-up. No one suspected what it was actually covering up until long after it stopped mattering.


By sysrammer • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Hey! That's not imagination, that's just reading the news!

YouTube Says it Paid the Music Industry More Than $3 Billion Last Year

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YouTube says it paid the music industry more than $3 billion last year. "YouTube offers twin engines for revenue with advertising and subscribers, paying out more than $3 billion to the music industry last year from ads and subscriptions," YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki wrote in a blog post Friday. From a report: The latest figure hints at how much of the Alphabet-owned company's ad revenue goes back to music industry and creators. The data has been largely unknown to investors who have wondered how much money the company is actually pocketing at the end of the day.

Is it profitable?

By NateFromMich • Score: 3 • Thread
Do that many people actually watch ads on YouTube to cover the cost of streaming those songs/videos?
Is it just advertising companies are dumb enough to send them billions anyway?

The Important Question

By Vandil X • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
When I play a YouTube video of 10 hours of Enterprise D Engine Idle as white noise to fall asleep to, does Paramount/CBS get a check?

Re:Is it profitable?

By DontBeAMoran • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

More importantly, how much is the music industry giving back to the artists? You know, the ones actually producing anything? Do they even pay them at all?

US Cyber Command, DHS, and FBI Expose New North Korean Malware

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US Cyber Command, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Federal Bureau of Investigations have exposed today a new North Korean hacking operation. Authorities have published security advisories detailing six new malware families that are currently being used by North Korean hackers. From a report: According to the Twitter account of the Cyber National Mission Force (CNMF), a subordinate unit of US Cyber Command, the malware is being distributed via a North Korean phishing campaign. US Cyber Command believes the malware is used to provide North Korean hackers with remote access to infected systems in order to steal funds that are later transfered back to North Korea, as a way to avoid economical sanctions. The North Korean government has a long history of using hackers to steal funds from banks and cryptocurrency exchanges in order to evade economic sanctions and raise funds for its nuclear weapons and missile programs. In September 2019, the US Department of the Treasury imposed sanctions on the Pyongyang regime for the use of this exact tactic.

Take this info with a huge grain of salt...

By bogaboga • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

US Cyber Command, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Federal Bureau of Investigations have exposed today a new North Korean hacking operation. Authorities have published security advisories detailing six new malware families that are currently being used by North Korean hackers.

As WikiLeaks' Vault 7 noted, the CIA has a history of creating malware, deploying it, then blame other entities for the mayhem or havoc it creates.

An Anonymous Group Claims it Took DNA From Global Elites -- And is Auctioning It Off

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An anonymous organization called the Earnest Project is offering the chance to own DNA samples of a handful of world leaders and celebrities. The group claims it has surreptitiously collected items discarded by attendees of the 2018 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, that may contain their DNA. President Trump, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Elton John all attended the conference. From a report: The group has compiled these artifacts -- napkins, paper coffee cups, a glass parfait jar, cigarette butts, and other items -- in an online catalog it calls the "Davos Collection." Each has an estimated dollar value: A strand of human hair is listed at $1,200 to $3,000. A used breakfast fork has an estimated worth up to $36,500. And a wine glass is valued at up to $65,000. None of the items are identified with names, but it's assumed they come from the leaders or celebrities at the forum. The Earnest Project is planning to auction off the items to raise awareness about "surveillance capitalism," the practice of monetizing people's personal data. They fear that our genetic data could eventually end up in the hands of tech companies like Facebook and Google, which already harvest a lot of personal data.

"By collecting and selling vital and sensitive data harvested from the most powerful people on the planet, we hope to encourage a visceral reaction against surveillance capitalism among the elite," the Earnest Project told OneZero in an email. "We're all constantly depositing our DNA around us and on discarded items. Once you start paying attention, it's really quite easy to collect a target's DNA." Now that genetic testing is getting cheaper and companies are developing hand-held DNA sequencing devices, it's no longer a far-off possibility that someone could take your DNA, get it analyzed, and use it against you for blackmail, extortion, or discrimination. The Earnest Project had planned to hold the auction in New York on February 20 but is postponing the sale due to "unresolved legal issues," according to a statement emailed to OneZero.


By thedarb • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

See if this DNA can be found in Epstein's sex dungeon. Oh wait, that's right. Already scrubbed and filled with concrete. Bastards.

Let's do the test

By smooth wombat • Score: 3 • Thread

Since they claim to have DNA of the con artist, someone should run it then compare it against the DNA of the child who the con artist apparently fathered out of wedlock.

Like Karen McDougal or Stormy Daniels, both of whom he paid to have affairs with and not talk about the affairs, he claims not to know this woman even though she was one of his housekeepers.

My Uncle Oswald

By poodlediagram • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
This was the premise of the Roald Dahl adult novel My Uncle Oswald published in 1979: In the story, Oswald obtains the DNA of the celebrities of the day, including Albert Einstein and Sigmund Freud, by using the feminine wiles of his accomplice Yasmin and an extremely strong aphrodisiac made from Spanish fly. The 'DNA' is then sold to wealthy childless couples. The greater the fame of the victim, the higher the price. If true, a case of life imitating art.

One of the hardest parts of having principles

By Solandri • Score: 3 • Thread
One of the hardest parts of holding principles others do not share, is that you must abide by those principles while others are free to wantonly violate them without consequence. This is why e.g. a preacher who condemns sexual immorality can be criticized for viewing porn, while billions of others do the same without consequence.

The Earnest Project is planning to auction off the items to raise awareness about "surveillance capitalism," the practice of monetizing people's personal data. They fear that our genetic data could eventually end up in the hands of tech companies like Facebook and Google, which already harvest a lot of personal data.

If you believe people have a fundamental right to privacy, then this is wrong, period. You cannot violate that right simply because you dislike the people whose right you're violating. Either everyone has a fundamental right to privacy, or nobody does. By violating that right as a publicity stunt, you undermine your own cause. (Of course the more likely reason is that these guys don't give a damn about privacy, they just wanted to try to make a buck. And they came up about that spiel about "raising awareness" as a thin veneer to deflect criticism over what they're doing.)


By nospam007 • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

"The US Secret Services collects and destroys any glasses or cutlery a sitting US president touches. "

Thank god the current one rarely uses any of these.

Plastic Surgery Images and Invoices Leak From Unsecured Database

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Thousands of images, videos and records pertaining to plastic surgery patients were left on an unsecured database where they could be viewed by anyone with the right IP address, researchers said Friday. From a report: The data included about 900,000 records, which researchers say could belong to thousands of different patients. The data was generated at clinics around the world using software made by French imaging company NextMotion. Images in the database included before-and-after photos of cosmetic procedures. Those photos often contained nudity, the researchers said. Other records included images of invoices that contained information that would identify a patient. The database is now secured. Researchers Noam Rotem and Ran Locar found the exposed database. They published their research with vpnMonitor, a security website. Rotem said he sees exposed health care databases all too often as part of his web-mapping project, which looks for exposed data. "The state of privacy protection, especially in health care, is really abysmal," Rotem said.

So a nude picture in an exposed database?

By The Snazster • Score: 3 • Thread
Would a nude picture in an exposed database constitute a double-exposure?

'Pale Blue Dot' Revisited

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cusco shares a report: For the 30th anniversary of one of the most iconic views from the Voyager mission, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, is publishing a new version of the image known as the "Pale Blue Dot." The updated image uses modern image-processing software and techniques while respecting the intent of those who planned the image. Like the original, the new color view shows Planet Earth as a single, bright blue pixel in the vastness of space. Rays of sunlight scattered within the camera optics stretch across the scene, one of which happens to have intersected dramatically with Earth.

The view was obtained on Feb. 14, 1990, just minutes before Voyager 1's cameras were intentionally powered off to conserve power and because the probe -- along with its sibling, Voyager 2 -- would not make close flybys of any other objects during their lifetimes. Shutting down instruments and other systems on the two Voyager spacecraft has been a gradual and ongoing process that has helped enable their longevity. This celebrated Voyager 1 view was part of a series of 60 images designed to produce what the mission called the "Family Portrait of the Solar System." This sequence of camera-pointing commands returned images of six of the solar system's planets, as well as the Sun. The Pale Blue Dot view was created using the color images Voyager took of Earth.
Planetary scientist Carolyn Porco shared the story behind the idea of Pale Blue Dot picture on Neil deGrasse Tyson's video podcast "Star Talk" last year. It's fascinating -- watch from 51:05 seconds and hang around for 13 minutes. Also the famous video where Carl Sagan describes the Pale Blue Dot. An interview he did on the subject later.

Interviews with Carolyn Porco, Garry Hunt and Alan

By alanw • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Interviews, with Carolyn Porco, Garry Hunt and Alan Stern at The Register

Re:Picture of everyone

By BeerFartMoron • Score: 5, Funny • Thread
Few people know the full story of The Pale Blue Dot. Stephen Hawking mentioned this exact issue to Carl Sagan; that on average, only 50% of the Earth would be visible in the picture. Hawking felt this showed a "western bias" in the image and wanted to place a small blackhole between Voyager and the Earth in order to make sure the entirety of the planet was represented. Sagan believed the extra cost was beyond the scope of the project. The argument became heated. Hawking drove over Sagan's foot crushing the limb, Sagan punched Hawking in the face. Chaos ensued. Both astrophysicists were left battered and bloody. Sagan lost his foot and later his life due to complications resulting from the melee.

I prefer the original

By Petersko • Score: 3 • Thread

Just like I prefer to see the grain in classic film, I like the version of this that looks like it was shot by something from its time.

It is a slick piece of work, to be sure. But if I were printing one of them, it would not be the new one.

Technical details

By Waffle Iron • Score: 3 • Thread

The updated image uses modern image-processing software and techniques while respecting the intent of those who planned the image.

Here's how they enhanced the photo: They loaded it into Gimp, then they used the pencil tool to change the blue pixel from a rather drab #67a2a7 to a more pleasing #63dde8.

The actual picture

By Sooner Boomer • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Great tease, but nowhere is the URL of the *actual* (enhanced) picture shown.
There, fixed that for you...

Popular Preprint Servers Face Closure Because of Money Troubles

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The rise of preprint repositories has helped scientists worldwide to share results and get feedback quickly. But several platforms that serve researchers in emerging economies are struggling to raise money to stay afloat. One, which hosts research from Indonesia, has decided to close because of this funding shortfall. From a report: INA-Rxiv, which was set up in 2017, was one of the first repositories to host studies from a particular region. Previous platforms served specific disciplines: for example, arXiv, the original preprint repository, hosts physical-sciences research, and bioRxiv is a popular repository for biology studies. Other region or language-specific repositories followed, including ArabiXiv, which hosts Arabic-language research; AfricArxiv and IndiaRxiv. Managers of these repositories say they increase exposure for research from the regions, and facilitate collaborations. INA-Rxiv, ArabiXiv, AfricArxiv and IndiaRxiv are run by volunteers around the world, but the servers are hosted online by the non-profit Center for Open Science (COS), based in Charlottesville, Virginia. The centre's platform hosts 26 repositories, including more than a dozen that are discipline-specific. In December 2018, the COS informed repository managers that from 2020, it would be introducing fees, charged to repository managers, to cover maintenance costs. The charges, which were finalized last December, start at about US$1,000 a year, and increase as repositories' annual submissions grow. The costs can be significant, particularly for repositories run by volunteers in emerging economies.

Re:Does this convince people?

By Shaitan • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

"That is not to say that those publishers, conferences and journals are charging feeds commensurate with their costs. There is no reason why they should be the ones to profit from the distribution of someone else's work"

There is a grey area here. If distribution is not free why should they not profit from providing it? If it requires their time and efforts surely they at least deserve to paid for their labor. In all honesty it is those submitting the work that should be charged and not the readers, if the readers do any kind of commercial work based on the research and it is patented they'll have to pay for the privileged anyway whereas there are benefits to the submitter just for being published. All this amounts to a fairly small fee on a per submission basis... it scales, it likely wouldn't be enough to hinder any real research but would certainly deter spam.

Data from Spotify Suggest That Listeners Are Gloomiest in February

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Around the world, the most popular tunes this month will be depressing ones [Editor's note: the link may be paywalled.]. From a report: Residents of the northern hemisphere might think that their moods are worst in January. Christmas is over, the nights are long and summer is a distant prospect. Newspapers often claim that "Blue Monday," in the third week of January, is the most depressing day. To create a quantitative measure of seasonal misery, The Economist has analysed music consumption. Our calculations use data from Spotify, which offers 50m tracks to 270m users in over 70 countries, mostly in Europe and the Americas. The firm has an algorithm that classifies a song's "valence," or how happy it sounds, on a scale from 0 to 100. The algorithm is trained on ratings of positivity by musical experts, and gives Aretha Franklin's soaring "Respect" a score of 97; Radiohead's gloomy "Creep" gets just 10.

Since 2017 Spotify has also published daily tables of the 200 most-streamed songs, both worldwide and in each country. We gathered data for 30 countries around the globe, including 46,000 unique tracks with 330bn streams, to identify the annual nadir of musical mood. Drum roll, please. The global top 200 songs are gloomiest in February, when their valence is 4% lower than the annual average. In July, the perkiest month, the mood is 3% higher. The most joyful spike comes at Christmas. Strikingly, this February slump occurs in some countries near the equator, such as Singapore, and far south of it, such as Australia -- even though their musical tastes differ. A few Latin American countries lack such a dip, perhaps because the algorithm sees Latin music as mostly happy. The icy north shows the biggest seasonal swings. Finland's mood in July is 11% happier than usual. Overall, on days when a country gets one more hour of sunlight than its annual average, the valence of its streams increases by 0.6%. In contrast, wet days bring particularly downcast tunes.

The Smiths

By ardmhacha • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

"The algorithm is trained on ratings of positivity by musical experts, and gives Aretha Franklin's soaring "Respect" a score of 97; Radiohead's gloomy "Creep" gets just 10. "

"Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now" and "Girlfriend in a Coma" by The Smiths broke the scale.

They're missing people

By smooth wombat • Score: 3 • Thread

Folks like myself who don't give a rat's ass about streaming and instead play our CDs may play uplifting music at this time of the year.

Is not DragonForce and Sabaton uplifting?

UK Police Deny Responsibility For Poster Urging Parents To Report Kids For Using Kali Linux

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The UK's National Crime Agency (NCA) has publicly said it has nothing to do with a misleading poster designed to put fear into the hearts of parents and urge them to call the police if their children are using Kali Linux. From a report: The poster, made public by Twitter user @G_IW, has reportedly been distributed by local authorities on behalf of the West Midlands Regional Organised Crime Unit (WMROCU). It appears the creators of the poster are aiming to inform parents of what dubious software to look out for if they suspect their children are up to no good on the computer. While a good and reasonable intention, the disinformation on the poster, as described by @G_IW, is "staggering." Virtual machines, the Tor Browser, Kali Linux, WiFi Pineapple, Discord, and Metasploit are all deemed terrible finds and the poster urges parents to call the cops "so we can give advice and engage them into positive diversions."

Reminds me of something

By squiggleslash • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
I'm not saying it's a hoax... yet... but it seems to be a modern version of an (in)famous post that made similar outlandish claims.

How would parents know?

By Archtech • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

I have never run Kali Linux, but I rather doubt whether it comes up with a big picture of Kali. Even if it did, what would that mean to the average Westerner?

More to the point, presumably anyone capable of using Kali Linux for nefarious purposes would be able to rig a disguise for their screen.

It would be more constructive if parents were to be urged to notify their children's use of Windows, so they could be given better advice.

The cops could care less

By Grand Facade • Score: 3 • Thread

They don't want to be bothered with folks ratting out their children for doing nothing wrong.

The Cops will notify YOU if your child is doing illegal things on the interwebz.

Great career advertising!

By VeryFluffyBunny • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

This looks like a great way to promote and get more kids into INFOSEC, pentesting, & hacking. Man, if I'd seen a poster like that when I was a kid, I would've been working out how to dual boot Kali & play with those tools in no time!

Well done to whoever thought this campaign up. I reckon it'll work pretty well.

Re:Kali has a built-in Windows theming mode.

By PolygamousRanchKid • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Allows you to switch to something that looks like Windows, and back, with a single shortcut.

Teenage boys using Windows would raise alarms.

Kali should switch to some porn, so the parents will think that everything is normal.

Sony Is Struggling With PlayStation 5 Price Due To Costly Parts

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Scarce components have pushed the manufacturing costs for Sony's next PlayStation to around $450 per unit, forcing a difficult price-setting decision in its battle with Microsoft, Bloomberg reported Friday, citing sources. From the report: The Japanese conglomerate is preparing to gradually replace the six-year-old PS4 console, releasing its PlayStation 5 the same holiday season its archrival debuts the upcoming Xbox Series X. Sony typically finalizes a console's price in February of the release year, followed by mass production in the spring. With the PS5, the company is taking a wait-and-see approach, said the people, asking not to be named because the details are private. The PS4, released in 2013 at a retail price of $399, was estimated by IHS Markit to cost $381 to manufacture. With the $450 unit cost and a similar gross margin, the PlayStation 5's retail price would have to be at least $470. That would be a hard sell to consumers, considering Sony's most expensive machine now is the $399.99 PS4 Pro and is often discounted, according to Macquarie Capital analyst Damian Thong.

Stay the course, Sony!

By Moblaster • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Please Sony, please give us a powerful PS5 with ray tracing and awesome fast SSD goodies like AMD multi-this and that. Make a machine for the next 7 years. Or 4 at least. Do not enshitten this your flagship to keep up with Microsoft. Let them take the second-place. As for you, just stay awesome, my friends.

Re:Stay the course, Sony!

By Moblaster • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

By this logic Super Nintendo Classic retro machine for $79.99 will take over the world. I do not think that will happen.


By ArchieBunker • Score: 3 • Thread

Wasn't the PS3 selling for $600 at launch?

$1000 cell phones, but oh no not a $500 console!

By FictionPimp • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Seriously, I'd expect a gaming console to be way more powerful than my cell phone. Doesn't' this seem backwards?

The 40th Root KSK Ceremony Rescheduled

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
rastos1 writes: The 40th Root Key Signing Key Ceremony, originally scheduled for 12 February 2020 at 2100 UTC in El Segundo, California, is being postponed. "During routine administrative maintenance of our Key Management Facility on 11 February, we identified an equipment malfunction that will prevent us from successfully conducting the ceremony as originally scheduled. The issue disables access to one of the secure safes that contains material for the ceremony," ICANN's Kim Davies wrote.

Re:lost key

By dromgodis • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Don't worry, it is just the key to the locker where they keep the funny ceremonial hat that is missing.

looks like it's happening tomorrow

By wizzy403 • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

As an update to yesterday’s postponement:

Once we had ascertained we could not conduct the ceremony as originally scheduled, our first priority was to notify all impacted parties of the need to postpone. Once that was complete, we spent the evening reviewing our options with input from our expert staff and contractors.

Today, we held a briefing with the Trusted Community Representatives to discuss the equipment failure, our proposed approach to correct the fault, and possible dates to reschedule the ceremony. It was a very useful discussion where we explored the issues and developed a plan for moving forward.

The work to repair the malfunction is scheduled for Friday, 14 February. If this work is successfully completed on time, we expect to hold the Key Ceremony on Saturday, 15 February at 18:00 UTC. If further work is needed, we expect to know this by late Friday, and the new date for the ceremony will be announced in the upcoming weeks.

I'd particularly like to recognize the flexibility and willingness of the TCRs, our auditors, the RZM and our staff to make this happen.


Why is Slashdot always this far behind?

By Tomahawk • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

This is about something that was supposed to happen 2 days ago. Why does it take over 48 hours (actually almost 60 hours) for news like this to reach Slashdot?
Slashdot used to be on the nose for stuff like this -- you'd find out about it here before almost everywhere else.

Re:I admit it, I don't have a clue

By rdunnell • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Here is a link. The ceremonies are performed to do any cryptographic operations which require a Root Signing Key. When you need to use such a key, you usually have to get a number of people called "key custodians" who each have independent physical access to one part of the cryptographic key, usually stored on a smart card or other secure token device. You will usually have an overall number of custodians and a certain quorum of them will need to be there for a given operation. Like, six of ten, three of seven, etc.

They all have to get their fragment of the key (their assigned device) which is usually stored in a safe which only they have access to. Then they all need to be in the same room, usually a SCIF (think a bank vault with a data center inside it). Whatever process they run will ask for their components individually, and then once the required number of components have been entered, the system will reassemble the master crypto keys and do whatever it needs to do.

The process is designed to make sure that fraud is very difficult and cannot happen without being detected. All the systems and physical access along the way will typically be monitored, controlled with biometrics and other secure mechanisms, and easily auditable. Any activity requires an intentional quorum of people to agree to do it, so you can't just get one guy to go do something bad.

It is kind of like nuclear missile launching, the root of a certificate authority, the root of a financial processing crypto scheme, etc.

In this case, sounds like something broke down and they can't get into a safe or some other secure location to retrieve key components. Usually these systems are designed to fail secure except in the case of life safety (i.e. you can get out if there's a fire, it just creates a huge audit nightmare).

Developer Finds USB Chargers Have as Much Processing Power as the Apollo 11 Guidance Computers

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader shares a report: It comes as no surprise that the guidance computers aboard the Apollo 11 spacecraft were impossibly primitive compared to the pocket computers we all carry around 50 years later. But on his website, an Apple developer analyzed the tech specs even further and found that even something as simple as a modern USB charger is packed with more processing power. Forrest Heller, a software developer who formerly worked on Occipital's Structure 3D scanner accessory for mobile devices, but who now works for Apple, broke down the numbers when it comes to the processing power, memory, and storage capacity of Google's 18W Pixel charger, Huawei's 40W SuperCharge, the Anker PowerPort Atom PD 2 charger, and the Apollo 11 guidance computer, also referred to as the AGC. It's not easy to directly compare those modern devices with the 50-year-old AGC, which was custom developed by NASA for controlling and automating the guidance and navigation systems aboard the Apollo 11 spacecraft.

In a time when computers were the size of giant rooms, the AGC was contained in a box just a few feet in length because it was one of the first computers to be made with integrated circuits. Instead of plopping in an off the shelf processor, NASA's engineers designed and built the AGC with somewhere around 5,600 electronic gates that were capable of performing nearly 40,000 simple mathematical calculations every second. While we measure processor speeds in gigahertz these days, the AGC chugged along at 1.024 MHz. By comparison, the Anker PowerPort Atom PD 2 USB-C charger includes a Cypress CYPD4225 processor running at 48 MHz with the twice the RAM of the AGC, and almost twice the storage space for software instructions.

Wrong word

By DarkRookie2 • Score: 3 • Thread
Power Adapter/AC adapter
I have yet to see one of those charge my battery.
They provide power to the phone no problem, and then the phone charges the battery.
I really hate calling them chargers since that is incorrect and is only correct now because people are fucking idiots.

Re:Not all of Apollo's processing was done on the

By AmiMoJo • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Also the reason the chargers are so complex is not because they have to be, it's because computing power is so insanely cheap. The designers will have thrown an ARM microcontroller into the charge management IC, an off-the-shelf design, and thrown an existing USB stack on it. It could be done more efficiently but why bother? In fact for volume manufacturing it's probably cheaper to use a known, tested design even if it needs a bit more silicon.

Apollo was state of the art because they needed that. USB chargers are complex because they are optimized for mass production and rapid iteration.

Re:My 2019 Tesla faster than my 1998 Civic

By ranton • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

What shocks (some) people is not that technology has progressed. They marvel at how much was accomplished with technology we now think of as very basic. It is similar to how we feel about wonders of the ancient world like the pyramids. We could certainly build them today, and we would likely do it easier and quicker with concrete. But the fact the ancient world was able to accomplish it with primitive technology still fills people with awe and wonder.

Re:*ba-dum TISS*

By Brett Buck • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Well, that was kind of funny - but also kind of a sad commentary. A large number of people actually think they are living in bad or even "end" times, when in fact they are almost all safe, warm, well-fed, and have no actual problems at all.

      It's like there is some deep-seated need for apocalyptic impending doom, and if there isn't a real one, the world has to create one from the imagination.

Re:*ba-dum TISS*

By sjames • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

The part you're missing is security. People may have had half as much 50 years ago, but they had a real sense that what they had was theirs. Now people have a lot more, but for various reasons real and imagined they have a sense that it could all easily go poof practically overnight.

Consider, even if you have Bill Gates level wealth, you are NOT secure if it's all in a vault in the basement of your home perched on the lip of an active volcano.

It's not a matter of do you have a problem now but how easily could you wake up with an insurmountable problem tomorrow. Even people who own their homes outright have found themselves fighting foreclosere. People who have done nothing at all wrong have been shot dead by SWAT. You're careful with creadt and living well within your means but some bank you've never heard of foolishly loaned $100,000 dollars to "you" and now the collectors are calling you expecting payment. "The Attorney General" is telling you you will be arrested tomorrow if you don't pay $1000 for the overdue video tape "you" rented at a Blockbuster in NY 10 years ago (I really got that call!). Yesterday everything was working fine. Today the fridge is out. Warranty? What Warranty? We don't have any record of that! If you'll refer to page 112 of your purchase agreement, in the fine print at the bottom (yes, that smudge looking thing) you'll see that all warranty service will be handled by shipping the defective unit to wherethehellisthatistan.

You let your children walk a whole 1/4 mile to the park in the safest neighborhood in the state, you neglectful slob of a parent. You can have them back at the sole discretion of a bureaucrat who will first inspect your home from top to bottom for any signs of satanic activity.

People have plenty as long as they actively keep all of the plates spinning, but they feel like they're just one stray marble on the floor away from losing it all.

Sadly, that's not as imaginary as you might like.

Nevada Democrats To Use iPads Loaded With Google Forms To Track Caucus

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from CNET: Nevada's Democratic Party said Thursday it plans to use iPads loaded with survey app Google Forms to calculate voting results in next week's caucuses. The system is an effort to avoid a repeat of the Iowa caucus chaos. The app will be loaded onto 2,000 iPads purchased by the party and distributed to precinct chairs, according to a memo signed by party Executive Director Alana Mounce seen by the Associated Press Thursday. Google's app will calculate and submit results electronically, while a second step will rely on submissions also being made by phone. Nevada's caucuses will be held on Feb. 22.


By geekmux • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

would have been too easy to just use chromebooks if everything you do is a google service?

No, it would be easier to use paper to ensure integrity remains intact in our most important democratic process, but then you wouldn't be able to use a liberal mega-corp who represents the establishment to change the outcome based on whomever is providing the most tax breaks.

Why do we keep asking about various flavors of digital voting when it's obvious all of them will be abused?


By damn_registrars • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

How about a piece of fucking paper and a pencil? 2000 votes is a large high school election and that can't be counted by hand?

They very well might use paper and pen (or pencil) for the individual precinct. However they need to communicate the results up to the district and state levels, and paper doesn't work real well for that. The last time I caucused (2016) my precinct called their results in, but that is not trivial either as you need to set up a phone tree to make it work reliably otherwise you have tons of people sitting around waiting for busy signals to end.

Paper trail

By BytePusher • Score: 3 • Thread
Why no paper trail? Have all participants record their candidate preference at each stage with a carbon copy receipt they can take home.

Trail exists

By Actually, I do RTFA • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

This isn't for individual votes. The is for reporting the aggregate of many people's votes at a single caucus. It's not secret like a ballot. Security is just publishing all the submitted results and seeing if any of the 2000 caucuses says "That's not who we voted for."

It's much more equivalent to saying "Each state's government will submit their (public) vote totals to a single Google Form, so it can automate the electoral college math on election night. "

Preventing the Next Trump Situation

By bill_mcgonigle • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Elizabeth Warren is saying we should break up Google. And like, I love her but she's very misguided, like that will not make it better it will make it worse, because all these smaller companies who don't have the same resources that we do will be charged with preventing the next Trump situation, it's like a small company cannot do that.

-Google Executive Jen Gennai

Or, perhaps, the "Bernie situation".

Ohio Man Arrested For Running Bitcoin Mixing Service That Laundered $300 Million

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
U.S. authorities have arrested Larry Harmon of Akron, Ohio, for running a "Bitcoin mixer" service on the dark web that helped criminals disguise the origin of Bitcoin transactions. Harmon is "accused in a three-count indictment (PDF) for operating Helix, an online website located on the dark web," reports ZDNet. It is the first case the DOJ has brought against a Bitcoin mixer. From the report: Helix functioned as a Bitcoin mixer (Bitcoin tumbler), a type of service that takes funds from a user, split the sum into small parts, and using thousands of transactions, sends and reassembles the original funds at a new Bitcoin address, in an effort to hide the original funds under a cloud of micro-transactions. "The sole purpose of Harmon's operation was to conceal criminal transactions from law enforcement on the Darknet, and because of our growing expertise in this area, he could not make good on that promise," Don Fort, Chief, IRS Criminal Investigation, said today in a DOJ press release. "Working in tandem with other sites, he sought to be the 'go-to' money launderer on the Darknet, but our investigators once again played the role of criminal disrupters, unraveling the interlinked web from one tentacle to another," Fort said.

According to DOJ documents, Harmon ran Helix as a secondary project attached to his primary service called Grams, a search engine that aggregated listings from multiple dark web drugs-related marketplaces. Grams allowed users to search for drugs and find the cheapest offers in their areas. Helix was provided as a way for potential buyers to hide their identity when buying products. The DOJ says Harmon operated Helix since 2014 and helped launder more than 350,000 bitcoins, valued at around $300 million at the time of their transactions -- valued $3.5 billion today. Investigators say that as the service grew, Harmon also partnered with other dark web services. According to the indictment, Harmon joined forces with AlphaBay, the biggest dark web marketplace for illegal products at the time, with AlphaBay recommending Helix to its users as a safe Bitcoin tumbling option.

Re:Lesson to learn here

By Errol backfiring • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Just replace "Bitcoin" with "mortgage" and you know the difference between "financial business" and "money laundering". The Bitcoin trader did not lobby enough for deregulation.

Re:How is this Bitcoin "mixer" service illegal?

By Wycliffe • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

How is this Bitcoin "mixer" service illegal? A Bitcoin "mixer" service is the same as a service that exchanges someone's dollar bills for other dollar bills with different serial numbers. It's not stealing, and it's not tax avoidance. Such an exchange has nothing whatsoever to do with how the owner of the original dollars bills obtained them. This service is protected by the 1st Amendment (free speech).

Money laundering has been illegal for a while. Your example of exchanging one set of dollar bills for another set of dollar bills is also illegal. Ever notice how drug dealers also deal in paintings? Paintings are a perfect way to launder money. Buy a painting for $1k (or paint one yourself) and have the guy who owes you drug money buy it for $1M and you can now claim that you made $999000 from a painting sale not from under the table illegal drugs.


By fuzznutz • Score: 3 • Thread
Is this Larry Harmon of Bozo the Clown fame?

Hopefully justice occurs here

By Shaitan • Score: 3 • Thread

The sole purpose of a mixing service is anonymity and criminal activity is NOT the sole purpose of anonymity.

Re:Lesson to learn here

By Jerry • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

The Community Restoration Act, signed into law by Jimmy Carter, gave banks a way to give subprime loans to NINJA borrowers (No Income, No Job, No Assets) on the claim that banks had been discriminating against them. Few of the banks did that until Clinton signed an EO saying that only banks that gave subprime loans could do business with the Federal government. Andrew Cuomo, AG of NY at the time, filed a $1B+ lawsuit against NY banks to force them to do the same.

So, the banks gave the loans and a housing boom took off. However, brokerage houses were having trouble selling the subprime paper, so they developed a mathematical method of splitting the junk among A+ bonds so that they couldn't be separated and then sold those hybrid bonds to European investors, brokers, towns and governments. The guy doing the bitcoin mixing was, in effect, doing the same thing.

When people who don't have a job, or a steady income or any assets are given a home they can't pay the mortgage on, they default. A blind man could see that but activists with a political ideology, like ACORN, could not or did not want to see it. Or, they did foresee the eventual outcome but wanted it to occur in order to make the US economy, and our Republic, collapse.

The result was the collapse of the housing bubble in 2008 and a recession/depression (recession if you had a job, depression if you did not) that is still being felt today. The Obama administration investigated everyone but Obama, who did legal work for ACORN, and his administration. His administration pursued politically motivated investigations, prosecutions, and civil lawsuits against banks and credit rating agencies in order to concoct a history that blames predatory lending rather than statist policy.

When the USSR fell in 1992 radical Marxist groups in America were cut off from funds. Clinton described this turn of events in his 2009 talk at the PES Conference (Party of European Socialists), which is on YT. But never fear, the housing bubble collapse gave Obama an opportunity to funnel BILLIONS to Marxist activists:

Radical Democrat activist groups stand to collect millions from Attorney General Eric Holder's record $17 billion deal to settle alleged mortgage abuse charges against Bank of America.

Buried in the fine print of the deal, which includes $7 billion in soft-dollar consumer relief, are a raft of political payoffs to Obama constituency groups. In effect, the government has ordered the nation's largest bank to create a massive slush fund for Democrat special interests.

Besides requiring billions in debt forgiveness payments to delinquent borrowers in Cleveland, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Oakland, Detroit, Chicago and other Democrat strongholds — and up to $500 million to cover personal taxes owed on those checks — the deal requires BofA to make billions in new loans, while also building affordable low-income rental housing in those areas.

If there are leftover funds in four years, the settlement stipulates the money will go to Interest on Lawyers' Trust Account (IOLTA), which provides legal aid for the poor and supports left-wing causes, and NeighborWorks of America, which provides affordable housing and funds a national network of left-wing community organizers operating in the mold of Acorn.

In fact, in 2008 and 2009, NeighborWorks awarded a whopping $25 million to Acorn Housing.

In 2011 alone, NeighborWorks shelled out $35 million in "affordable housing grants" to 115 such groups, according to its website. Recipients included the radical Affordable Housing Alliance, which pressures banks to make high-risk loans in low-income neighborhoods and which happens to be the former employer of HUD's chief "fair housing" enforcer.

Scientists Observe Potentially Hazardous Asteroid Buzz Past Earth With Its Own Moon

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Meghan Bartels writes via One of Earth's premier instruments for studying nearby asteroids is back to work after being rattled by earthquakes, and its first new observations show that a newly discovered space rock is actually two separate asteroids. The instrument is the planetary radar system at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. The observatory was closed for most of January, after a series of earthquakes hit the island beginning on Dec. 28, 2019. The observatory reopened on Jan. 29. Meanwhile, on Jan. 27, scientists using a telescope on Mauna Loa in Hawaii spotted an asteroid that astronomers hadn't seen before. The team dubbed the newfound space rock 2020 BX12 based on a formula recognizing its discovery date.

Because of the size of 2020 BX12 and the way its orbit approaches that of Earth, it is designated a potentially hazardous asteroid. However, the space rock has already come as close to Earth as it will during this pass (2.7 million miles or 4.3 million kilometers); astronomers have calculated the asteroid's close approaches with Earth for the next century, and all will be at a greater distance than this one was. [...] Based on the observations, the scientists discovered that 2020 BX12 is a binary asteroid, with a smaller rock orbiting the larger rock. About 15% of larger asteroids turn out, on closer inspection, to be binary, according to NASA. The larger rock is likely at least 540 feet (165 meters) across, and the smaller one is about 230 feet (70 m) wide, according to the observations gathered by Arecibo. When the instrument observed the two space rocks on Feb. 5, they appeared to be separated by about 1,200 feet (360 m).

Color me Disappointed.

By bobstreo • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Most of the other coverage of this object was fear mongering like:

"NASA reports a "potentially hazardous" asteroid will come close to Earth on February 15, 2020"

Which would of course be very scary until you realized how far away it would actually be. (If you were smart enough to know how far 3 million miles actually is.)

In case you want really want to worry, here is the NASA NEO Earth Close Approaches site:

Tweak headline before posting?

By Edward Nardella • Score: 3 • Thread

Scientists Observe Potentially Hazardous Asteroid With Its Own Moon Buzz Past Earth

Seriously, a simple tweak can make things much more likely to be properly understood at first pass.