the unofficial Slashdot digest for 2020-Jun-28 today archive

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

To Keep Trump From Violating Its Rules...Facebook Rewrote the Rules

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
"Starting in 2015 Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook rewrote their rules in order to not sanction then-candidate Donald Trump," writes Rick Zeman (Slashdot reader #15,628) — citing a new investigation by the Washington Post. (Also available here.)

After Trump's infamous "the shooting starts" post, Facebook deputies contacted the White House "with an urgent plea to tweak the language of the post or simply delete it," the article reveals, after which Trump himself called Mark Zuckerberg. (The article later notes that historically Facebook makes a "newsworthiness exception" for some posts which it refuses to remove, "determined on a case-by-case basis, with the most controversial calls made by Zuckerberg.") And in the end, Facebook also decided not to delete that post — and says now that even Friday's newly-announced policy changes still would not have disqualified the post: The frenzied push-pull was just the latest incident in a five-year struggle by Facebook to accommodate the boundary-busting ways of Trump. The president has not changed his rhetoric since he was a candidate, but the company has continually altered its policies and its products in ways certain to outlast his presidency. Facebook has constrained its efforts against false and misleading news, adopted a policy explicitly allowing politicians to lie, and even altered its news feed algorithm to neutralize claims that it was biased against conservative publishers, according to more than a dozen former and current employees and previously unreported documents obtained by The Washington Post. One of the documents shows it began as far back as 2015...

The concessions to Trump have led to a transformation of the world's information battlefield. They paved the way for a growing list of digitally savvy politicians to repeatedly push out misinformation and incendiary political language to billions of people. It has complicated the public understanding of major events such as the pandemic and the protest movement, as well as contributed to polarization. And as Trump grew in power, the fear of his wrath pushed Facebook into more deferential behavior toward its growing number of right-leaning users, tilting the balance of news people see on the network, according to the current and former employees...

Facebook is also facing a slow-burning crisis of morale, with more than 5,000 employees denouncing the company's decision to leave Trump's post that said, "when the looting starts, the shooting starts," up... The political speech carveout ended up setting the stage for how the company would handle not only Trump, but populist leaders around the world who have posted content that test these boundaries, such as Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines, Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil and Narendra Modi in India...

"The value of being in favor with people in power outweighs almost every other concern for Facebook," said David Thiel, a Facebook security engineer who resigned in March after his colleagues refused to remove a post he believed constituted "dehumanizing speech" by Brazil's president.

Re: Lock Him Up.

By will_die • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Sweden is at 57 per 100,000 death rate. USA is at 38 per 100,000.
USA would be even less except for some stupid policies implemented in the north-east and north-west about covid patients and old age homes.

Treason [Re:Lock Him Up.]

By XXongo • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

This is English law treason, you dope.

And English law was what the U.S. had before we wrote the constitution. The English over-use of charges of treason is why treason is defined in the constitution.

Re: Is this the same WaPo..

By drinkypoo • Score: 4 • Thread

"You don't get to rewrite the meaning of TDS."

Yes, we absolutely do. That's how language works. We can use the word in the way that makes the most sense if we want to. And if we do, the word (or in this case, initialism) takes on the new meaning. "TDS" was originally intended as a way for Trump's supporters to gaslight his detractors by implying that they are crazy for pointing out facts which paint him in a negative light, but it makes much more sense to use it to describe the severe disassociation experienced by those who support him even when his actions are at best contemptible. And we will continue to use it in that way. You don't get to gaslight us forever.

Re:Lock Him Up. Zero evidence bounty story is true

By swillden • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Zero evidence. Mueller found zero evidence that Trump was involved with Russian interference in any way.

Not true. Mueller found insufficient evidence to prove that Trump coordinated with the Russians on election interference. What he found was more than zero, but not enough to meet the unusually high bar he set (the FEC, which normally investigates such things, uses a lower standard which almost certainly would have been met).

Who else is in jail for their dealings with Russia? Zero.

This is true, but misleading, since it appears to imply that there was no substance to any prosecutions of Trump's pals over dealings with Russia. The facts are:

Michael Flynn would be in jail except for a bizarre decision by the DoJ to drop the charges after obtaining a guilty plea -- a decision that astonished the judge and caused several prosecutors to withdraw from the case and at least one to leave the DoJ entirely. He pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his dealings with Russia.

George Papadopolous was in jail, but has now been released. He got a very lenient sentence because of his cooperation. He plead guilty to lying to the FBI about his dealings with Russia.

Paul Manafort is in jail, for his dealings in the Ukraine, on behalf of a former Ukrainian president with very close ties to Russia in general and Valadimir Putin in particular. So while his dealings technically weren't with Russia, they were with a Russian proxy.

Roger Stone is not in jail, but only because his sentence has been delayed due to concerns about rampant COVID-19 in the federal penitentiary system. He was convicted of lying to Congress and investigators about his interactions with Russia, obstructing the investigation into the campaign's dealings with Russia.

Michael Cohen was in jail, in part because he lied to Congress about the Trump Tower Moscow project, but has been released to serve the remainder of his term under house arrest, due to COVID-19.

Re:no more dixiecrats [Re: Lock Him Up.]

By Shotgun • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Maybe so, but the Democrats are as racist as they've ever been. You just refuse to recognize it for what it is.

Oracle Celebrates 'The 25 Greatest Java Apps Ever Written'

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
Oracle's Java magazine is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the programming language with a list of the 25 greatest Java apps ever written: From space exploration to genomics, from reverse compilers to robotic controllers, Java is at the heart of today's world. Here are a few of the countless Java apps that stand out from the crowd.

The story of Java began in 1991, at a time when Sun Microsystems sought to extend their lead in the computer workstation market into the burgeoning personal electronics market. Little did anyone know that the programming language Sun was about to create would democratize computing, inspire a worldwide community, and become the platform for an enduring software development ecosystem of languages, runtime platforms, SDKs, open source projects, and lots and lots of tools. After a few years of secret development led by James Gosling, Sun released the landmark "write once, run anywhere" Java platform in 1995, refocusing it beyond its original design for interactive television to applications for the burgeoning World Wide Web. By the turn of the century, Java was animating everything from smartcards to space vehicles.

Today, millions of developers program in Java. Although Java continues to evolve at an ever-faster pace, on the occasion of the platform's 25th anniversary, Java Magazine decided to take a look back at how Java molded our planet. What follows is a list of the 25 most ingenious and influential Java apps ever written, from Wikipedia Search to the US National Security Agency's Ghidra. The scope of these applications runs the gamut: space exploration, video games, machine learning, genomics, automotive, cybersecurity, and more.

The list includes Eclipse, Minecraft, the Maestro Mars Rover controller, and " VisibleTesla," the open source app created by an automobile enthusiast to monitor and control his Tesla Model S.

Re:Office Suites

By demon driver • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

OpenOffice/LibreOffice is not a Java application, it's mostly just the database component that needs Java. That said, some time around the year 2000, there used to be a pure Java version of its predecessor StarOffice, then still with Sun, that was designed with a client/server architecture that distributed work between the client PC and the server. On the screen, it looked just like StarOffice, it was fast, and I've even seen it running on OS/2 back then. For some time it used to be deployed by a German internet company for their business customers as an online office suite, the client portion of which ran as an applet in the browser, quite similar to what Collabora Office does today. That gem of software engineering never became generally available, though. And as much as I'd like to blame Oracle there, I'm not sure whether it was Oracle or whether it was already at Sun where it quietly and completely disappeared.

Re:Brace yourselves...

By Anonyrnous • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Nah I think he's talking about running Java Applets in the browser which is indeed quite dead.
I'm sure there are still plenty of Swing and SWT apps out there in the wild and still getting written no doubt. They won't be going anywhere anytime soon.

I actually consider Java much like Pascal. More of an academic exercise than a viable production language.

Quick! You'd better contact the countless thousands of organizations using Java as a production language and tell them all they're doing it wrong!

Re:Sloppiness = Squandered opportunity

By cowdung • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Wow.. you really don't remember history do you..

Before the mid-90s you had many programming language choices in the software industry as long as you chose between C and C++. (VB was allowed but mostly for inhouse software)

Then Java came along and made it acceptable to have a language that was:
- interpreted
- ran on a VM
- used garbage collection
- didn't have direct memory manipulation
- had a hugely extensive standard library with tons of useful stuff

This last point was of particular importance. In the mid-90s there C++ library was quite minimalist. So basically you had to choose some library provider like MS MFC or Motif and others. You depended on some commercial vendor or rolled your own.

Java allowed us to go beyond that.

For the first time in history since Smalltalk you had a somewhat ok implementation of OO (better than C++ at least) that actually had an extensive reusable library. Then you had huge Open Source projects supporting it as well. Software reuse became a reality, whereas before it was merely a dream in commercial programming.

Now, in the late 90s its true that Applets where an abject failure with security problems and things like that. But mostly the alternatives were more attractive. And Wintel had lowered the price of the PC to $500 to block Sun's attempt at displacing them.

But another trend was also afoot. Companies such as IBM and Oracle backed what became the J2EE which basically saved Java. Because suddenly Java was an enormously useful Serverside language that adopted the best ideas of ASP and others and went far beyond it (at the time). Meanwhile in the Open Source world Apache launched Jakarta and the enormously successful "Tomcat".

This changed the game of web software. MS had to play catch up.. which eventually they did, but Java was king at the beginning of the 2000s.. And it still is a top popular language. Though young people like to disparage it (you know you've made it when you have haters).

Its thanks to Java that people even consider using languages like Python, Ruby, C#, Javascript and others for serious software development. It was also the first example of widespread reuse in commercial software.

In the beginning there you could choose anything you wanted as long as it was C (or its son C++).

Number 12: Applets

By thegarbz • Score: 3 • Thread

No. JUST NO! Why did you have to bring this up. I've only just forgotten. *sob*. Why now. *sob*.

Users don't give a fuck about Language

By UnknownSoldier • Score: 3 • Thread

Most people don't give a fuck if C++ or Java was used for their application. All they care about is:

* Is it stable?
* Is it fast?
* Is it easy to use?
* Is it inexpensive?
* Is it lean?

America Pushes Europe to Reject Chinese Baggage Screening Tech

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes Engadget: The U.S. fight against Chinese technology appears to be extending to another category: the security screening you normally see at the airport or border. Wall Street Journal sources understand the National Security Council and other U.S. agencies are pushing European governments (including Germany, Greece and Italy) to avoid using baggage, cargo and passenger screening systems from Nuctech, a Chinese state-run company that already has a foothold in the continent. American officials are reportedly worried any connected devices could pass sensitive data like passenger info and shipping manifests to Chinese spies.

Much like the claims against Huawei, there's no publicly available evidence of Nuctech forwarding data to Chinese surveillance systems. The U.S. Transportation Security Administration barred Nuctech from many U.S. airports in 2014 following a review, although the report is classified... The U.S. is supposedly asking European nations to replace Nuctech equipment with American equivalents — it stands to benefit if the Chinese company gets kicked out. That's a strong incentive to keep up the campaign, even if the surveillance claims are unwarranted.

Why is EU doing business with a modern Nazi state

By schwit1 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

What China is doing to the Uyghurs and Falun Gong should make them a global pariah state.

Re: Build their own?

By Way Smarter Than You • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Europe built their own GPS satellite system. Europe builds their own cars. Europe has a huge amount of core science of all types going on. Europe builds their own military equipment: tanks, jets, etc. But security equipment is too niche?
More niche than a fighter jet of which only a few hundred will be built over 10-15 years?

Nice dreams you got there, Murica...

By BAReFO0t • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

From Germany, those stories read quite a bit different.

Like how the relations to the US and UK are currently quite "tense" and "strained", and the EU "sits between the US and China/Russia".
And how US citizens are currently banned from entering the EU, because of its failure to control the Coronavirus.

Instead of the US's, quite frankly, propaganda view of EU countries still being pretty much vassal lapdogs of the US.

Yeah, there's still some US moles in the EU. But the UK is almost kickbanned already. But when Trump "threatens" to pull out US troops and bases, all we can do is laugh heartily. Oh noes! The occupyiers and hostile state meddlers will leave? We have a sad! ;-; Big booboo tears... lol

(Note how this comment in no way goes against American citizens like you. I'm offending the people that mostly are your enemies too. Not you. We mostly have no problem with you guys. People are people. Just don't fall for their games and don't let them do this to your country.)

Re: Has the USA gotten this desperate?

By BAReFO0t • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Correct. The world's view of the US has shifted quite a bit in the last years. From big powerful leading empire before the NSA leaks and before W. Bush, to mostly laughing stock and desperate and in denial of its loss of power now.

It is really hard to not let it overflow into thinking that of regular US cititens too. I have to repeadetly tell myself that people are just people, and you're mostly quite alright. Just like Americans will perhaps do with thinking about regular Russian or Chinese people.

I just wish all this bullshit would stop.
Everyone leave everyone alone and do some nice things. Even to not nice people, as a way out, to give them a chance to become nice too. I mean even a Putin, a Dick Cheney, a Kim-Yong Un, A Lloyd Blankfeyn, a Khomeini, lies in bed at nighty and wishes he had a happy loving life and everybody was niceâ¦

Re: Why is EU doing business with a modern Nazi st

By BAReFO0t • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Says the American, off all states ... LOL

The only fuckin country on the planet that still clings to race theories, acting like there is such a thing as "races", despite being debunked by every sane country , about 100 years ago.
The country that fueled the Nazi empire and had its own human experiments and racist societies etc, until oh shh..., they realized the Nazis are gonna lose, while the Soviets, French and Brits were about to win, quickly turned their coat around, stormed to the front, kicked over the last buckets, and proclaimed henceforth to be the sole winnes against the evil Nazis ... then promptly hired as many Nazi scientists and monsters as possible to continue their work in the US, installed former Nazis as the new "democratic" leaders of the new vassal state, and kept treating blacks and east-Asians like subhumans for decades and decades, still keeping remains of it to this day, and even rekindling them nowaday.
The country that still prides itself in nationalism.
The country that also keeps real actual concentration camps, like Guantanamo Bay and many other of those so-called "black sites" around the world, to this day.

Yeah, piss off. The USA is the remaining one of the Nazi empires of back then!

Chinese Bank Required Two Western Companies to Use Tax Software With a Hidden Backdoor

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
A Chinese bank required at least two western companies to install malware-laced tax software, according to a new report from the cyber-security firm Trustwave.

"The two companies are a UK-based technology/software vendor and a major financial institution, both of which had recently opened offices in China," reports ZDNet: "Discussions with our client revealed that [the malware] was part of their bank's required tax software," Trustwave said Thursday... Trustwave, who was providing cyber-security services for the UK software vendor, said it identified the malware after observing suspicious network requests originating from its customer's network... Trustwave said the software worked as advertised, allowing its customer to pay local taxes, but that it also installed a hidden backdoor. The security firm says this backdoor, which Trustwave codenamed GoldenSpy and said it ran with SYSTEM-level access, allowed a remote attacker to connect to the infected system and run Windows commands, or upload and install other software...

GoldenSpy installs two identical versions of itself, both as persistent autostart services. If either stops running, it will respawn its counterpart... The Intelligent Tax software's uninstall feature will not uninstall GoldenSpy. It leaves GoldenSpy running as an open backdoor into the environment, even after the tax software is fully removed. GoldenSpy is not downloaded and installed until a full two hours after the tax software installation process is completed. When it finally downloads and installs, it does so silently, with no notification on the system.

Re:For the sake of greed

By SirSlud • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

A simplified view that might be appropriate for a 4 year old but not really relevant to any of the systems in practice where they've been intermixed in every ecenomy that's ever existed. No mlnimally eduacted adult should harbor the reductive worldview that socialist policies are always worse than capitalism for everything, everywhere, any time.


By raymorris • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

> For most people it doesn't really matter whether they don't own a product because it's owned by the government or because it's owned by some corporation.

Corporate (adjective)
of or shared by a whole group and not just of a single member
-- Cambridge dictionary

A corporate structure is one in which many people share ownership of the means of production.

  Wait, that sounds like socialism. What's the difference? In the American system you can CHOOSE whether to share ownership in Tesla or in Phillip Morris or Starbucks or Monsanto. In socialism, the politicians decide where your money will be invested. If the leader wants to finance Monsanto and not Tesla, the leader makes that choice. In the American corporate system YOU decide where to invest your money, and how much. It's just socialism by choice as opposed to be mandate.

You mentioned "most people". Most American households choose to own some stock, to own the means of production. They do so because it's a really friggin good idea.

What am I not surprised

By sentiblue • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
Doesn't matter how outrageous things like this got exposed I'm just not going to be surprised. The CCP, chinese companies, chinese military, even US companies founded by chinese ... they all steal shit and they have no fucking shame. They don't just steal research/data/info... they also steal logos, brand names, whatever the fuck looks/feels/seems a little bit worthy stealing.

Didn't see this part coming

By MiniMike • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Trustwave said the software worked as advertised, allowing its customer to pay local taxes

This is the only part of the story that surprised me.

well, DUH, China is officially COMMUNIST

By tiqui • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

By definition, there's no such thing as a "Chinese Bank"; that's a fiction designed to encourage foolish people to think there's something normal or civilized about a Marxist county with totalitarian one-party rule.

It's not some xenophobic racist anti-Chinese (as in "anti-Chinese-race") thing to point out a basic fact: namely that in a Communist society there is no such thing as a church, or a bank, or a business, etc - all entities which appear independent are actually united with the government and the single political party; there's no actual dividing line between the party, the military, the spy agencies, the schools, the "businesses", etc. No such dividing lines are permissible because they could introduce the possibility of alternate political views, alternate power structures, and thus "counter-revolutionary" ideas. The Soviets, by virtue of not being mono-ethnic, never had the cover of being able to scream "RACIST!" at any critics, whereas China and its defenders use the very racial purity of China to attack any critics of its evil government as anti-Chinese bigots (implying that anti-Chinese is "anti Chinese ethnicity", rather than "anti-Chinese communist government" ). Sadly there are many western businesses (Like Amazon, The Washington Post, NBC Universal, etc) with large financial ties to China who will be willing to play along in defending China's geopolitical interests by helping with these false attacks.

Having said that, however, let me say that I actually do not believe China is a Communist country at all; it's something far worse and more monstrous:

China is the fascist super-state Hitler imagined he could build

[1] China is a mono-racial society, and many of its people believe their race to be superior.

[2] China is clearly not actually "Communist" as much as they claim to be so - they have huge numbers of very poor and many very rich. As long as they are party members with the right connections, people there are allowed to get rich and not have their stuff re-distributed. China is actually Fascist in structure and behavior. This is far more dangerous Mussolini (a socialist) invented fascism as a more-efficient and more-improved form of Marxism, one that concentrates politics and power in the hands of one party and its government, but retains some strengths of a market economy by allowing businesses to operate under tight government control and then using government control of those businesses to assist in government control of the population. Hitler saw this and burrowed it from Mussolini and indeed Germany between the wars seemed to have a miraculous economic success - just as China has recently seemed to.

[3] China is expansionist. Like all Marxist regimes, it believes it can only truly succeed in bringing about utopia on earth by spreading the political system globally until there are no alternatives left to mankind and there's no "outside" of the system, to which any non-compliant people might hope to escape.

[4] China is at that stage where it routinely makes obviously false statements (about really big geopolitical stuff, not small stuff all diplomats do) and repeats them through state-owned media outlets over and over again, until their own people and any foreign stooges believe them, and outside diplomats simply shrug their shoulders in surrender and say stuff like "well, that's just China... you have to understand..."

[5] China is reaching out around the world and gradually taking real estate with the claim essentially "well, that was once ours, and we're just re-asserting our historic rights"...... it's just a tad familiar..... reminds one of the "sudatenland"...

[6] China, unlike NAZI Germany, has lots of nukes.

Interestingly, I have never heard a single Western liberal complain about China's "lack of diversity"; I don't think I'll hold my breath for that.

Microsoft's New 'Windows File Recovery' Tool Restores Deleted Data

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
"Anyone familiar with how Windows and other operating systems work might know that files aren't actually deleted, they're marked to allow other data to overwrite them in the future," points out Hot Hardware, noting it's now led to the "quiet" launch of a new free Microsoft tool.

Slashdot reader Mark Wilson writes that the tool even recovers files from drives that were formatted or became corrupt: The command line tool can be used to retrieve data from local hard drives as well as removable media such as USB drives and memory cards... [F]or those who don't mind rolling up their sleeves and getting their hands dirty, it provides a means of getting back files from NTFS, FAT, exFAT and ReFS formatted drives.

Have we gone back to the 80s?

By Viol8 • Score: 3 • Thread

How is this sort of tool new?

Re: I guess it's true what they say

By jfdavis668 • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
Central Point Software sold undelete to Microsoft to include in DOS. Norton later bought Central Point Software and took over all the PC Tools utilities.

Re:I guess it's true what they say

By dunkelfalke • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Norton utilities. Peter Norton actually "invented" unerase. PC tools have been released a couple of years later.

Can we get a portable executable please

By BardBollocks • Score: 3 • Thread

Not this Microsoft Store nonsense...

Wow - the shittiness here is endless

By arQon • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread

So, first off, this thing has to be INSTALLED. Because god forbid we're allowed to have programs that just, yknow, RUN any more.

Probably because it needs a specific version of .NET or whatever, but this is still beyond asstarded for a program that almost nobody is going to have until they actually need it, when the last thing you need at that point in time is hundreds of MBs more disk writes...

And even just downloading it requires you to "sign in with your MS account"? Seriously?! This thirst for user data is completely out of control.

Coca-Cola, Hershey's, Starbucks: More Major Advertisers Are Now Boycotting Facebook

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
Some of America's biggest brands — Coca-Cola, The Hershey Company and the Levi Strauss & Co. — "are among the latest in pledging to halt advertising on Facebook as part of a growing boycott," reports USA Today: Despite Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg outlining several steps the social network will take to combat hate speech ahead of the 2020 presidential election Friday, the companies joined Unilever, Honda, Verizon and others in the protest... Jen Sey, chief marketing officer of Levi's, said in a statement late Friday the company was pausing all paid Facebook and Instagram advertising globally at least through the end of July across all of its brands. "When we re-engage will depend on Facebook's response," Sey said. The ad boycott on Facebook focuses on advertising for the month of July and also includes Eddie Bauer and Ben & Jerry's... Patagonia, REI, Mozilla and Upwork in addition to about 100 smaller companies also have said they are committed.

Nearly all of the social media company's revenue comes from advertising on Facebook and Instagram. Shares of Facebook dropped more than 8% on Friday.

Business Insider notes that the 8% drop in Facebook's stock price meant that Mark Zuckerberg's fortune dropped $7.21 billion in a single day.

And then Sunday Starbucks announced they were also taking action, suspending advertising on all social media because "we believe both business leaders and policy makers need to come together to affect real change."

UPDATE: It's also now being reported that even Pepsi is joining the boycott.

Re:SJW blitzkrieg

By Cylix • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

It's called blood in the water.

Advertisers know they can lower the costs of ads if they find a means to collectively bargain under some label. This is what has transpired under the last several invocations of this non-sense and it just means lower ad rates for advertisers in the end.

The original pause had a point, that no matter what you say, everyone will hate you. It is partially true that the market is extremely polarized. There is a vocal minority making a lot of waves, but the actual buyers haven't shifted in their beliefs. At least for anything above common goods.

Still, never let a good crisis go to waste! Everyone will be back in three months with even lower rates and some half assed message. Meanwhile, the platform skews in all kinds of directions to make accommodations that could have been appeased if they just lowered the rates outright.

Re:Could this be the rise of mass "Alt-Right socia

By cygnusvis • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

censoring the posts from Trump and his campaign team

The right has always been censored, its left wing extremes that are currently allowed to stay on the platform because they are making most content. The boycott is because "kill whitey" is allowed. "Kill XXXXX" where X is not whitey, has never been allowed. The only hate allowed on social media right now is leftwing hate, because the right has been censored already. The right appears sane because their extremes are booted. The left appear insane because there extremes are allowed to speak. Make no mistake, the vast majorities of people will see "abolish police" and "kill white males" as insane rhetoric.

Re:There is no such thing as hate speech

By ZombieCatInABox • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Next time your daughter goes to a movie, I'll make sure to be there and yell "Fire !" in the crowded theatre.

If your daughter dies trampled in the panic, and I'm ever charged for it. I'll expect you to testify in my defense in court, claiming that I should have had every legal right to do what I did, because freedom of speech should be "unfettered, unlimited and absolute". Full stop.

But we all know that you won't do that. So you're just full of shit.

Re:They're just getting priced out of the market

By gbjbaanb • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

And the virus has shuttered a load of their stores anyway, so ads like "come to starbucks, but we're closed or limiting access" are pointless, and a lot of these advertisers will be trying every way to save money because they've had little to none coming in for the last month or so. Given the choice of not spending on advertising for a while, or accessing their credit facilities which will send shudders through their shareholders, its an easy choice to make.

The line about hate speech is just some waffle to make a pretend justiciation.

Re: SJW blitzkrieg

By serviscope_minor • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

These companies are just too afraid of the [people who buy their products]

I think companies should be immune from market forces. Anything that might affect the bottom line of a COMPANY is clearly just the work of evil fascist commie-nazi SJW virtue signallers. Actually I think it should be illegal to not buy a company's products for ethical reasons. That would really own the libs.

CNET Remembers 1995, the Year Hollywood Finally Noticed The Internet

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
CNET is celebrating its 25th anniversary with articles remembering the 1990s — including that moment "when Hollywood finally noticed the web," calling it "a flawed but fun snapshot of the moment the internet took over the world..."

"Twenty-five years ago, cinema met cyberspace in a riot of funky fashion, cool music and surveillance paranoia. It began in May 1995 with the release of Johnny Mnemonic, a delirious sci-fi action dystopia matching Keanu Reeves with seminal cyberpunk author William Gibson. In July, Sandra Bullock had her identity erased in conspiracy thriller The Net. In August, Denzel Washington pursued Russell Crowe's computer-generated serial killer in Virtuosity, and in September Angelina Jolie found her breakthrough role in anarchic adventure Hackers. In October, Kathryn Bigelow served up dystopian thriller Strange Days. It's hard to know what's most dated about these mid-'90s curios: the primitive-looking effects, the funky fashions or the clunky technology depicted on screen. But now, 25 years later, they've proved prescient in their concerns about surveillance, corporate power and the corruption of what seemed to be an excitingly democratic new age...

Most tellingly, Johnny Mnemonic and the other tech-focused films of 1995 all express fears around the misuse of surveillance in a connected world. The Net updates the paranoia of '70s thrillers The Conversation and The Anderson Tapes, and each movie features an unholy alliance of avaricious corporate bad guys and authoritarian law enforcement. Or as Matthew Lillard's character puts it in Hackers, "Orwell is here and livin' large!"

But the whistleblowing heroes of Hackers, The Net and Johnny Mnemonic use their skills to subvert and unpick the establishment's grip on technology. Hackers in particular radiates an infectious idealism as the diverse crew of anarchic youngsters rollerblade rings around the greedy suits and clueless cops, "snooping onto them as they snoop onto us". The movie highlights technology's potential to be a tool for wrongdoing and a democratic, open medium where you can be who you want to be... Sadly, 1995's wave of technology-themed movies have one other thing in common. They all bombed.

CNET's reporter gets new quotes from the director of Hackers — as well as one of that film's then-15-year-old technical advisors, Nicholas Jareck. "For all its exaggerations," he says, "it does a decent job of showing the hacker spirit — those kids were tinkerers, experimenting, reveling in their ability to figure something out. It's a celebration of human ingenuity."

Johnny Mnemonic. "Speaking on the phone from New York, Longo's memories are peppered with entertaining asides about who was 'evil,' 'a dick,' 'an idiot' or 'a fucking idiot.'"

Re: Strange Days

By c6gunner • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Die Hard is the perfect Christmas movie, and Strange Days is the perfect New Years movie.

Complete with its own ORIGINAL story

By skam240 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Very underrated sci-fi flick.

It came complete with it's own original story as well, something Hollywood seems to be almost completely unable to do anymore.

Hackers got a lot right.

By Gravis Zero • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

The thing that Hackers got right more than anything is that people, especially those in positions of power neither understand technology nor want to understand technology, they just want it to work for them. The police in the film tried applying what works in the real world only to end up chasing their tails. The corporate executives on the other hand were baffled and angry while not understanding they are responsible for system insecurity. It was prophetic in that lots of things that shouldn't be connected were connected to the internet without proper security measures.

There were good lessons to be learned from that movie and few if anybody took them to heart.

Ah yes, "The Net" ...

By fahrbot-bot • Score: 3 • Thread

The film that showed the "whois" command returning a photo of a person's driver's license. So stupid.

still doing modems in movies in 1992

By iggymanz • Score: 3 • Thread
forget the internet ones, Sneakers my favorite, old school dial-up modems, dedicated POTS lines for alarms, and Cray Y-MP

A 'Cure for Heart Disease'? A Single Shot Succeeds in Monkeys

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
"What if a single injection could lower blood levels of cholesterol and triglycerides — for a lifetime?" asks the New York Times.

"In the first gene-editing experiment of its kind, scientists have disabled two genes in monkeys that raise the risk for heart disease." (Alternate source here.) Humans carry the genes as well, and the experiment has raised hopes that a leading killer may one day be tamed. "This could be the cure for heart disease," said Dr. Michael Davidson, director of the Lipid Clinic at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, who was not involved in the research.

But it will be years before human trials can begin, and gene-editing technology so far has a mixed tracked record. It is much too early to know whether the strategy will be safe and effective in humans; even the monkeys must be monitored for side effects or other treatment failures for some time to come. The results were presented on Saturday at the annual meeting of the International Society for Stem Cell Research, this year held virtually with about 3,700 attendees around the world. The scientists are writing up their findings, which have not yet been peer-reviewed or published...

Both genes are active in the liver, which is where cholesterol and triglycerides are produced. People who inherit mutations that destroyed the genes' function do not get heart disease.


By Aighearach • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

what nonsense comic book did your biology class use?

This is the natural result of morons thinking that evolution is "survival of the fittest" without understanding that that is only during selection events where most individuals died, like when a comet crashes into the planet and causes an extinction event. Almost all K-12 is taught this way exclusively, and even in college classes you'll get random doses of it.

Absent a selection event, evolution is driven by sexual choice, and is not tightly bound to those sorts of engineering-type considerations of performance and efficiency. And then there is the fact that a gene you don't need now might be needed later, so it might be important to have some percent of the population with that gene; and it may be that species who narrow themselves too much, by trimming out unused genes, are less likely to survive selection events. (Spoiler: it is)

That's one advantage of doing gene editing on post-reproduction adults; you still get to keep the gene in the population even if you don't know what is used for in a crisis.

Cost may be very Cheap

By Roger W Moore • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
There may be a cost but that cost might be a price we are more than willing to pay in today's environment. We evolved to survive in the Stone Age where live expectancy was low enough that heart disease would be exceptionally rare due to limited availability of food, plenty of exercise to get that food and the fact that the average life expectancy was low enough that you did not live long enough for heart disease to be an issue.

The trade-offs to survive such a world are very different to the modern world. Perhaps these genes help you extract more energy from food or allow you to store excess energy more efficiently? That would be great for survival in the Stone Age but today food is plentiful, too plentiful in fact, and being less efficient in processing it to avoid heart disease would be a trade anyone would happily make.

We should all remain sceptical until there is evidence to show that it works but I disagree that there are grounds to be so pessimistic. There is much we do not understand the purpose of genes. In fact it was only a few years ago that they discovered that the reason that the genes for colour blindness/defficiency were still around was probably because it made certain types of animal camouflage much less effective than it was for normal colour vision.

Cholesterol is the symptom, not the problem

By Press2ToContinue • Score: 3, Interesting • Thread

Ingested cholesterol does not result in higher serum levels. Higher serum levels are a symptom of heart disease, not the cause. Heart disease is caused by excess sugar, grains and other inflammatories which cause the areries to inflame, causing them to leak. Your body in turn attempts to plug the leaks by increasing serum cholesterol and it adheres to the artery walls, stopping the leakage. The proof is in the pudding, when you stop consuming sugars and grains, the body stops producing excess cholesterol, and the arteries clear up. Artificially blocking the uptake of cholesterol has never been shown to reduce heart disease. Cholesterol is essential to the functioning of the nerves and brain, which is composed mostly of cholesterol.


By Gravis Zero • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

If destructive mutations in just two genes is required to eliminate heart disease at zero cost, the gene would be much more common and widespread due to the evolutionary advantage it offers.

You are correct... for hunter-gatherer humans. However, society has radically altered the human diet and not even all humans are compatible with that new diet (see: food allergies). Our intake of sugar, meat, grains and really just food in general is absurdly higher than it used to be so it's no wonder people are dying as a result of their diets.

However, the key element is that people are dying after they have raised their offspring. Beyond that point, evolution is no longer a factor.

We shot the monkey once

By nagora • Score: 3 • Thread

and now it doesn't have to worry about it's dicky heart.

New York Times Investigates How in America 'the Virus Won'

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
"Invisible outbreaks sprang up everywhere. The United States ignored the warning signs," writes the New York Times, in a detailed interactive data visualization.

"We analyzed travel patterns, hidden infections and genetic data to show how the epidemic spun out of control." By mid-February, there were only 15 known coronavirus cases in the United States, all with direct links to China... The patients were isolated. Their contacts were monitored. Travel from China was restricted.

None of that worked. Only a small part of the picture was visible. Some 2,000 hidden infections were already spreading through major cities...

Genetic samples linked to the Seattle outbreak appeared in at least 14 states, said Trevor Bedford, a professor at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center... In New York City, where officials had found only a single case by March 1, roughly 10,000 infections had spread undetected... More than 5,000 contagious travelers left New York City in the first two weeks of March, estimates suggest... People [from New York City] also made more than 25,000 trips to New Orleans, where genetic data suggests that a large early outbreak stemmed from infections from New York...

Travel from the city helped to spread that variant across the country. "New York has acted as a Grand Central Station for this virus," said David Engelthaler of the Translational Genomics Research Institute. By the time President Trump blocked travel from Europe on March 13, the restrictions were essentially pointless. The outbreak had already been spreading widely in most states for weeks... The New Orleans outbreak helped seed infection across Louisiana and the South...

Even now, America remains in the dark. Most infected people are never tested. There is little capacity to trace and isolate the contacts to those who do test positive.

After the lockdowns expired, new cases spiked once again.

Re:Buy War Bonds

By BlindWillieMcTell • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

If a person is afraid to breath the same air as others, they should just lock themselves in their home and never come out.

It has nothing to do with "breathing the same air", you dumb sonofabitch. When you wear a mask around others, you are still "breathing the same air". What you're NOT doing is breathing in the tiny exhaled particles or water droplets that carry the COVID-19 virus. This is how masks work, not by somehow allowing you to breathe different air as those around you. Where in hell did you get that idea, anyway?

Frankly, if I was to conduct business with someone and they refused to breath the same air that I was breathing, I just could not have any confidence in them at all.

Maybe "dumb sonofabitch" is too mild of an epithet for you.

But anyway, I don't want to see you get sick, so maybe have a look at something from the Mayo Clinic, which talks about how masks work and why you should wear one.

Re: The virus is winning...

By NagrothAgain • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Me: When I hit my thumb with a hammer, it hurts.

You: "Correlation is not Causation." (Continues to pound fingers with hammer.)

Re:Romans and Christians [Re:The virus is winning.

By squiggleslash • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

The Bible says very little directly about abortion save for a passage that suggests the penalty for hitting a pregnant woman that causes her to lose her pregnancy should be less (and not capital) than the penalty for killing the pregnant woman. Which kinda suggests that a voluntary abortion isn't a big deal.

The Bible does, however, have a hell of a lot to say about liberal policies like caring for the poor and needy, for loving your enemy, etc. If I recall correctly, there's even a thing about rich people and camels and eyes of needles in there too.

Also, just so you know, liberals tend to be opposed to the death penalty, and I think we can agree that whether a cluster of cells growing in a uterus is a fully formed human being with a functional brain and the ability to think for itself or not (my view, highly unlikely), that a fully grown person who we're blaming for a murder is, pretty much by definition of the fact we believe they made the choice to kill someone, a human being.

But yeah, give me the usual handwaving speech of so-called "Christians" about how killing people in cold blood is Good Actually if we think they've done bad things. Or if they're commies. Or if they failed to produce their driver's licensed when demanded by a cop who also told them not to reach into their jacket pocket. Or if they defended themselves against a stalker but were black and only had a "sidewalk" to defend themselves with. Or...

send the Marines

By Tom • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Everyone is going on about how that's Trump's fault. He certainly had a big share, but there's more behind that, as entire institutions don't fail this spectacularily because of one idiot at the helm.

The problem is that the US society, as seen from the outside at least, has become militaristic to a degree not otherwise seen in states that aren't fascist states or dictatorships. The police is armed with military equipment, the military is deeply in bed with both the media (Hollywood especially) and the industry (the whole military-industrial-complex) and the general attitude to problems is to send troops, and if that doesn't work, send more troops.

And a virus is something you can't defeat on a battlefield, you can't bomb it, and it doesn't give a fuck that you have nukes.

It's a failure to see the world in all its complexity, to not reduce everything to "with us or against us" and other concepts taken straight out of a military playbook, and an over reliance on military and economic power.

Also, arrogance at all levels.

Re:The virus is winning...

By Tom • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Correlation is not causation.

He is right though that there are a number of studies out already that show serious evidence of too much and too early intubation having caused avoidable damage.

Are Uber Drivers Employees? Uber Faces Two Big Court Challenges

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
Strider- (Slashdot reader #39,683) shares a story from Reuters: Canada's Supreme Court on Friday ruled in favor of a driver in a gig economy case that paves the way for a class action suit calling for Uber Technologies Inc to recognize drivers in Canada as company employees.

UberEats driver David Heller had filed a class action suit, challenged by Uber, aiming to secure a minimum wage, vacation pay and other benefits like overtime pay. Drivers are now classified as independent contractors and do not have such benefits.

A lower court had already ruled that Uber's contracts included an arbitration clause that was "invalid and unenforceable," Reuters, reports, and it was Uber's attempt to appeal of that ruling that was dismissed by Canada's Supreme Court in an 8-1 vote. Reuters notes that "The arbitration process, which must be conducted in the Netherlands where Uber has its international headquarters, costs about C$19,000 ($14,500)."

Meanwhile, CNN also reports that Uber and Lyft "could soon be forced to reclassify their drivers in California as employees or cease operating in the state as part of an escalating legal battle over a new law impacting much of the on-demand economy." California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and a coalition of city attorneys intend to file for a preliminary injunction this week to force the two ride-hailing companies to comply with the new state law, according to a press release issued Wednesday...

"It's time for Uber and Lyft to own up to their responsibilities and the people who make them successful: their workers," said Becerra in a statement concerning the injunction the state is intending to file. "Misclassifying your workers as 'consultants' or 'independent contractors' simply means you want your workers or taxpayers to foot the bill for obligations you have as an employer.

buh-bye Uber

By DogDude • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
It's about time. This company is literally a criminal enterprise. An internationally illegal taxi company that refuses to pay its employees. Fuck. Them.

Would Uber have a business w/o the drivers?

By rsilvergun • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
that's to me the main test. If I make widgets and hire somebody to make a fence around my widget factory then I still have a business without a fence. If Uber drivers stop driving Uber goes away. It would be like declaring my factory workers "independent contractors" at my widget factory.

Furthermore Uber has been known to punish drivers who refuse to take unprofitable rides by cutting back on the number of profitable rides they get. Also Uber exercises a lot of control over the drivers (type and age of of car, Star Ratings, etc, etc).

The only argument I've heard in Uber's favor is that you can driver for other services, and that they don't have set hours (though the punishment for not taking those profitable rides renders that last one moot). But when it comes to asking "Are you a Contractor or not?" the IRS and established law weighs several factors, meaning if they follow the existing guidelines there's more than enough evidence that these are employees.

Re:Would Uber have a business w/o the drivers?

By PPH • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

meaning if they follow the existing guidelines there's more than enough evidence that these are employees.

Yes. Some are.

The problem is this: Uber, originally envisioned as a ride sharing service anticipated that most of its drivers would be earning a few extra bucks by picking up riders when they were already out driving for some other purpose. These people are contractors. But then a lot of people jumped onboard who have no other means of income and needed an Uber job as their primary and possibly only means of support. These people are employees. But here's the thing: These people are for all intents and purposes cab drivers. And many jurisdictions regulate the taxicab business, require the possession of a permit (medallion), etc.

This has been going on since before IC automobiles. Anyone with a horse and carriage who needed a income would hit the streets looking for fares. In some places, it's tuk-tuks. Or rickshaws. Here in the First World, it became such a problem with traffic congestion, competition turning violent and organized crime that governments had to step in with the aforementioned regulatory systems. Uber/Lyft were originally conceived as a way to efficiently allocate empty seats in what were vehicular trips already being made. But it rapidly became an end run around the law. Uber and Lyft own a lot of the blame for turning a bind eye to this, allowing a part time contracting gig to become a full time illicit employment program. Perhaps they cold have handled it in a different fashion.

Before Uber/Lyft, there were a few (aborted) attempts to create on line cab hailing services. New York City was instrumental in shutting these down, on the principle that they might upset current medallion owners (and possibly result in an increase in bodies found floating in the East River). So a good part of the blame should be heaped upon the regulators that fell into bed with the old school organized crime syndicates.

Want to fix the system? Create a clear distinction between ride share contractors and taxi cab employees. Encourage the adoption of new technologies on both sides of that line. Round up the crooked regulators and throw them in prison next to their buddies in the mob-run businesses and cabbie union leaders.

Re:Are Ebay sellers Ebay employees?

By dskoll • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

On Uber, people sell their labour. That's the very definition of being an employee.

On Ebay, people sell their stuff. That's like a glorified classified ad service.

Uber wasn't originally envisioned as that

By rsilvergun • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
or if they were it was during the "Napkin" planing stage. Look up the stories of their "Greyball" software that they used to evade local law enforcement who wanted to shut them down because they're an unlicensed taxi cab service.

They knew from the git-go that what they were doing was against the law and they new exactly why it was. They built systems to prevent themselves from getting caught until they were big enough to buy off the politicians.

IBM's New Differential Privacy Library Works With Just a Single Line of Code

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
Friday IBM Research updated their open source "IBM Differential Privacy Library," a suite of new lightweight tools offering "an array of functionality to extract insight and knowledge from data with robust privacy guarantees."

"Most tasks can be run with only a single line of code," brags a new blog post (shared by Slashdot reader IBMResearch), explaining how it works: This year for the first time in its 230-year history the U.S. Census will use differential privacy to keep the responses of its citizens confidential when the data is made available. But how does it work? Differential privacy uses mathematical noise to preserve individuals' privacy and confidentiality while allowing population statistics to be observed.

This concept has a natural extension to machine learning, where we can protect models against privacy attacks, while maintaining overall accuracy. For example, if you want to know my age (32) I can pick a random number out of a hat, say ±7 — you will only learn that I could be between 25 and 39. I've added a little bit of noise to the data to protect my age and the US Census will do something similar.

While the US government built its own differential privacy tool, IBM has been working on its own open source version and today we are publishing our latest release v0.3. The IBM Differential Privacy Library boasts a suite of tools for machine learning and data analytics tasks, all with built-in privacy guarantees. Our library is unique to others in giving scientists and developers access to lightweight, user-friendly tools for data analytics and machine learning in a familiar environment... What also sets our library apart is our machine learning functionality enables organisations to publish and share their data with rigorous guarantees on user privacy like never before...

Also included is a collection of fundamental tools for data exploration and analytics. All the details for getting started with the library can be found at IBM's Github repository.

Jakarta EE 9 Specification Release 'Marks the Final Transition Away From javax Namespace'

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes ADTmag: The Eclipse Foundation this week announced Jakarta EE 9 Milestone 1, the final version of the enterprise Java specification before the first Release Candidate (RC). The Jakarta EE 9 release marks the final transition away from the javax.* namespace (which Oracle refused to give up) to Eclipse's jakarta.*. This release updates all the APIs to use jakarta.* in package names. In fact, Mike Milinkovich, executive director of the Eclipse Foundation, says that transition is really what this release is all about.

"The main to provide a release that is very similar to Java EE 8," Milinkovich told ADTmag, "with everything converted to the jakarta.* namespace. We're providing a stable technical conversion platform, so all the tools and frameworks in the ecosystem that are using, say, javax.servlet, can make the change with confidence." Giving the ecosystem solid footing for the transition from the Java EE coffee cup to the Jakarta EE sailboat is the Foundation's way of setting the stage for rapid innovation, Milinkovich said, once the transition is largely complete.

"These technologies have been around for an awfully long time," he added, "and we had to provide folks with a stable platform for the conversion. At the same time, thanks to a contribution from IBM, we have the Eclipse Transformer Project, which is going to provide runtime enablement. If someone has an application they don't want to recompile, and that application is using the javax.* namespace, they will be able to run it on top of a Jakarta-compatible app server. That's going to provide binary compatibility for apps, going forward..."

How Should High Schools Teach Computer Science?

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
A high school computer science teacher claims there's an "unacknowledged failure" of America's computer science (CS) classes at the high school and junior high school level. "Visit classrooms and you'll find students working with robotic sensors, writing games and animations in Scratch, interfacing with Arduino microcontrollers, constructing websites, and building apps with MIT App Inventor...

"Look underneath the celebratory and self-congratulatory remarks, however, and you'll find that, although contemporary secondary education is quite good at generating initial student interest, it has had much less success at sustaining that engagement beyond a few weeks or months, and has frankly been ineffectual in terms of (a) measurable learning for the majority of students; (b) boosting the number of students who take a second CS course, either in high school or college; and (c) adequately preparing students for CS college study."

Long-time Slashdot reader theodp writes: In " A New Pedagogy to Address the Unacknowledged Failure of American Secondary CS Education ," high school computer science teacher Scott Portnoff argues that a big part of the problem is the survey nature of today's most popular high school CS course offerings — Exploring Computer Science (ECS) and AP Computer Science Principles (AP CSP) — both of whose foundational premise is that programming is just one of many CS topics. "Up until a decade ago," Portnoff explains, "introductory high school computer science classes were synonymous with programming instruction, period. No longer."

This new status quo in secondary CS education, Portnoff argues, resulted from baseless speculation that programming was what made Java-based AP CS A inaccessible, opposed to, say, an uninspiring or pedagogically ineffective version of that particular curriculum, or a poorly prepared instructor. It's quite a departure from the 2011 CSTA K-12 Computer Science Standards, which made the case for the centrality of programming in CS education ("Pedagogically, computer programming has the same relation to studying computer science as playing an instrument does to studying music or painting does to studying art. In each case, even a small amount of hands-on experience adds immensely to life-long appreciation and understanding").

This teacher believes that programming languages are acquired rather than learned, just like any other human language — and concludes the solution is multi-year courses focused on one programming language until proficiency is fully acquired.

For this reason, for the last seven years he's also been making his students memorize small programs, and then type them out perfectly, arguing that "the brain subconsciously constructs an internal mental representation of the syntax rules implicitly by induction from the patterns in the data."

Re:Badly, like everything else

By imidan • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

I agree that CS should be taught in high school, at least for those students who demonstrate an interest or aptitude. But, having been tangentially involved in teaching CS to high school students, I can tell you that the typical approach is way more wrongheaded than our approaches to English or foreign language. The AP curriculum is the most popular, and it's trash. These days, programming is not even the central premise of AP CS; they're trying to turn it into some kind of social science course with programming as a sideshow. I believe this is because they're trying to make the course more attractive to people who have no interest in programming.

I'm not saying that every programmer is born that way. It's totally valid to try to lure people into learning about CS. But luring people into CS, teaching them the historical or cultural or social consequences of CS, and then telling them that they now have programming skill? It's borderline cruel. If you want to teach those things, teach them as a co-requisite to the programming class. But don't gaslight students into thinking they're programmers because they can write "hello world" in Lego Mindstorms.

Re: Wrong in every way

By Nidi62 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Yeah. Forcing students to memorize small programs and regurgitate them doesn't foster understand of the language or syntax, all it does is turn it into some arcane incantation or rite. Its no different than back when the catholic church used latin: a parishioner could eventually pick up the Latin phrases of the regular liturgy but they wouldn't be able to expand that into actual useful knowledge of Latin as a whole, able to have a conversation.


By west • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

One other (and I think underappreciated) reason for teaching programming (at least in a basic level) is to enhance the personal ability to both process and create unambiguous sets of instructions, a skill that is almost a necessity of our current life.

It's interesting (and instructive) to watch how difficult many, if not most, people find a set of instructions that is more than 3-5 steps, let alone the 10+ steps it might take to simply get one's TV hooked up, understand the fire-safety memo, etc. (Not helped by the fact that often the instructions themselves are bad.) I see a this in quite a variety of people who suffer under what is almost a form of illiteracy, requiring some external help to navigate mutli-step instructions.

It's a pretty much vital skill that could be taught using a variety of subjects, and (at least to the level required to function in modern society) it's a skill that the vast majority can learn. (There are parallels to literacy here.)

Programming doesn't have to be the vehicle used to teach this skill, but it's likely to be the only one that practical for high schools. It's why I believe 1/2 - 1 semester of programming should be mandatory, despite the challenges of finding those who can teach the material.

Well yes...duh.. But that's a good thing

By goombah99 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

I've coached sports at all age groups over the years and if you are doing it right your job at one age group is not to win games or teach at t high level, it's to make the kids ready for the level of the _next_ years coach. If you are doing that then those kids are going to have fun at their age, and progress to awesomeness. If you don't do that all you are doing is selecting on early aptitude which seldom persists late aptitude.
This is well studied in sports (most pro athletes have birthdays early in the year), and countries that supress having lots of divisions (A, B, C...) at early ages kick butt in the Olympics because they dodged the early-age selection effect.
And now studies are starting to show this in other academic areas.
So if you want to teach computer science in Highschool you need to start earlier and just make it fun. For me writing games was the lure. As you get better your games get more complicated and thus laggy. And it's at that point you, not your teacher, become motivated to figure out how to make them go faster. That's where the switch clicks to Computer science. (is one sort better than another, should I use a linked list or a dictionary?. What the heck is a featherweight pattern? Oh you mean I can do vector ops not just loops? cool!)

THat's where a kid needs to get to before you can actually teach computer SCIENCE. Up till then it's just familiarity with languages and libraries and things you can do (build a web server! write code to make game mods. Learn to textue a 3d model).

But if you want to actually start them thinking about optimality and design patterns they have to have some place they see that this solves some problem they had in their exploratory patterns.

So start early, teach them tools, give them objectives of things to build, but above all make it all about fun and learning at your own pace. Make it an easy A. fun fun fun. they have to want to learn to do better because CS actually requires thinking about things differently and it's not all fun.

The Purpose of CS class is NOT to make Coders!

By BobC • Score: 3 • Thread

Is the purpose of math classes to make mathematicians? Of course not. Is Physics taught to make physicists? Or art class to create artists? Or History to make historians? Again, no, no and no.

These subjects serve to help students gain basic literacy about the world, about knowledge and its many aspects.

Why should ANYONE think high school CS should be about making programmers?!? What, then, should CS education DO? What should it be FOR? Why teach CS at all?

Our world is increasingly computerized, and increasingly reliant on software. THAT's why we need to teach CS, right? Well, our word is even more dependent on metal structures and alloys: Why isn't there an outcry for high school classes in metallurgy and mechanical engineering? No, while software is an intimate part of our daily lives, so is metallurgy: There must be more or better reasons to teach CS in high school.

Jobs. The world needs web developers and game coders. This is how high school can make up for losing nearly all of it's skill-based hands-on aspects like physics and chemistry labs, metal, wood and auto shop classes, and music, art and cooking classes. But that's a false distinction: All those hands-on craft and trade classes are still needed, but the funding isn't there. Could it be that PCs are simply cheaper, making CS more affordable in comparison? Maybe. Let's list this as a minor justification for CS education: It's cheaper than the alternatives.

What then would/should be the MAJOR justification(s) for teaching CS? What can more easily or better be accomplished via CS classes that would be difficult or impossible to obtain otherwise? That is, why teach CS if it isn't primarily about CS itself?

I believe it's because CS can unify all the above. Art becomes animation and UI. Math becomes logic becomes structure. Physics becomes simulation. Prose becomes scripts. The list goes on. From this perspective, CS is not a goal, but a tool, a vehicle, a process. With such diversity of application, CS can provide a shared context for collaboration and creativity, to learn to build a whole greater than the sum of its parts. It's about getting students to work together, to help one another, to imrpove communication skills, cooperation and group skills, yet also to pursue personal goals, individual productivity.

These are life skills. Useful everywhere. What other class could mix so many different things together toward shared goals?

And, yes, they may learn some CS along the way. That would be nice.

Starbucks Worker Insisting Customers Wear Masks Rewarded With $70K On GoFundMe

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
"Masks are stupid and so are the people wearing them," posted one San Diego woman on Facebook (who is also an anti-vaxxer). "She has also shared previous posts expressing her refusal to wear masks, and her belief that those who wear them are 'not thinking clearly,'" reports the Washington Post.

Here's what happened next... Amber Lynn Gilles walked into a Starbucks in San Diego without a mask and was declined service, according to a Facebook post on her page. She took a photograph of the barista who didn't serve her... Her post backfired.

It quickly collected more than 100,000 reactions and comments, as well as nearly 50,000 shares. Many Facebook users defended the barista, Lenin Gutierrez, and some called Gilles a "Karen" — a name coined to describe an entitled white woman making inappropriate remarks. One Facebook user wrote: "There's no reason to publicly shame a kid who's trying to work his shift like any other day...." That's when Matt Cowan, a man who doesn't know Gutierrez but stumbled upon the post, decided to start a virtual tip jar for the barista on GoFundMe. Cowan called the donation page "Tips for Lenin Standing Up To A San Diego Karen..."

"Everybody is rallying around somebody for doing what they're supposed to do and trying to protect everyone else," Cowan said in an interview with KGTV. "It just goes to show you there are a lot of good people out there and that outweighs the bad...."

By Saturday the original Facebook post criticizing the Starbucks barista had brought him over $70,000 in donations through the GoFundMe campaign.

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times reports, "In an interview with KNSD-TV Channel 7 in San Diego, Gilles said she's received 'thousands' of death threats since the post went live."


By AmiMoJo • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Sigh. I remember when Slashdot was both open minded enough to consider arguments like these and fairly secular, with religious beliefs being ranked correctly as pretty far below those based on evidence and logic.

Claims of death threats = a coward's plea for help

By damn_registrars • Score: 3 • Thread
We've seen this before, I highly doubt this woman has received anywhere near the number (or even any) death threats over this. Really, who would be so enraged over this to actually commit murder? She's an entitled idiot, but you'd be hard pressed to find someone willing to go to jail to remove her from the population.

This reminds me in particular of Scott Adams (of Dilbert fame). Several years back (at least a couple years prior to 2016) he became a staunch conservative, and for a while he was using as his personal blog along with it being the official site for the comic strip. When the 2016 presidential campaign came around he openly championed the GOP candidates and demonized the democrats. He once claimed that he was receiving death threats from "Clinton supporters", but never was willing to provide a shred of evidence for it.

It seems that this has become a new weapon for people to use to try to claim the victim card. They can claim that they received "death threats" via email, twitter, facebook, some random blog, etc, and then conveniently not be able to find the evidence of said "death threats" when asked about them. You can't prove they didn't receive said threats, and they didn't name anyone specifically as threatening them so there is nobody who can claim defamation or false accusation. Eventually the claim just dissipates into the ether but they were able to capitalize - or at least deflect - on it for a while. They also notably never have to apologize for it as they never hurt any specific person by doing it.

Two problems

By JoeRobe • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

I have two issues with this /. submission that are both editor-related. Sure, that customer was being a jerk, kudos to the barista for standing up to her, and I guess congrats for getting a random $75k+ windfall BUT:

First, how is this news for nerds? Because it involves Covid? Is /. just turning into a general news aggregator? There's so much interesting tech/science news happening in the world, I wish /. would just stick to that.

Second, there are 3 links in the summary. The two links to the actual news stories are paywalled, making them useless to the majority of users. The editors should be doing a tiny bit of extra works and linking to free stories (maybe in addition to the paywalled ones) that are easily found via google search:

Re: Two separate points

By mmdurrant • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
Please go to Home Depot, buy a ladder, and use it to get the fuck over yourself.

Re: What goes around comes around.

By alexo • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

This experiment did not include N95 masks and does not reflect the actual transmission of infection from patients with COVID-19 wearing different types of masks. We do not know whether masks shorten the travel distance of droplets during coughing. Further study is needed to recommend whether face masks decrease transmission of virus from asymptomatic individuals or those with suspected COVID-19 who are not coughing.

In conclusion, both surgical and cotton masks seem to be ineffective in preventing the dissemination of SARSâ"CoV-2 from the coughs of patients with COVID-19 to the environment and external mask surface.

I suggest reading the whole article.

I suggest also reading the retraction.

Google's Phone App May Soon Tell You Why Businesses Are Calling

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
Android Police spotted a new "Verified Calls" feature Google appears to be rolling out that tells users why a business is calling before they answer the call: Unlike call screening, which can be initiated by the user on any incoming call, Verified Calls only come from businesses that have gone through Google's approval process. When a call that meets the criteria is placed from an approved business, the user will see the business name and logo, as well as the reason for the call.

Verified Calls require the business to send call information to a secure Google server. That server then pushes the info to the Google phone app on your device

When the actual call is placed, the app checks the caller's info against that stored data in order to verify the call is indeed coming from the business. If everything's legit, the Phone app displays the call as being Verified, and presents the helpful info provided by the business. A few minutes after receiving the call, the information is deleted from Google's server. Verified Calls will be turned on by default, but there should be a setting to opt-out in the Phone app. Although, it doesn't seem to be showing up yet.

Rather than let Google get more money for spamming

By bobstreo • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

I'll just stick with the old tried and true, if you're not in my contact list, and don't leave a message, I'm probably not calling you back.

no thanks.

By bloodhawk • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
No thanks, Not going to Trust an Advertising company to determine what are legitimate calls. Plenty of good call blocking services out there, if it is not in my contact list it goes to my voicemail and if it is important enough they can leave a message.

This is useful

By FeelGood314 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
But I think we should be worried where it leads to. Eventually people will block all calls that don't come from their contacts or that aren't google verified. At that point google's wall protecting their ads will get even higher. Every company will have to register with google. We have had years to come up with an actual better solution to spam calls. It is a little disturbing that google might be the one with the solution.

Remember and tell others: You are not google's customer, you are their product

Do I need Google to know more about by business?

By haus • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread


I cannot think why I would want Google to get even further involved between me and the groups that I do business with. They sure as heck are not doing it to make things better for me, they are doing it to know more about me so they can make more money on selling me to advertisers.

No thanks.