the unofficial Slashdot digest for 2020-Jun-30 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.

Dr. Anthony Fauci Says New Virus In China Has Traits of 2009 Swine Flu, 1918 Pandemic Flu

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from CNBC: White House coronavirus advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said Tuesday that U.S. health officials are keeping an eye on a new strain of flu carried by pigs in China that has characteristics of the 2009 H1N1 virus and 1918 pandemic flu. The virus, which scientists are calling "G4 EA H1N1," has not yet been shown to infect humans but it is exhibiting "reassortment capabilities," Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee during a hearing.

"In other words, when you get a brand new virus that turns out to be a pandemic virus it's either due to mutations and/or the reassortment or exchanges of genes," he told lawmakers. "And they're seeing virus in swine, in pigs now, that have characteristics of the 2009 H1N1, of the original 1918, which many of our flu viruses have remnants of that in it, as well as segments from other hosts, like swine." Fauci said Tuesday there's always "the possibility that you might have another swine flu-type outbreak as we had in 2009." "It's something that still is in the stage of examination," he said. It's not "an immediate threat where you're seeing infections, but it's something we need to keep our eye on, just the way we did in 2009 with the emergence of the swine flu."

It's a threat alright

By Joe2020 • Score: 3 • Thread

If it's being found in China, where the hygiene conditions for animals are can be utterly terrible, then it's a threat to all of us. They need to stop treating animals like garbage in China or all this research is about as meaningful as staring down the barrel of a gun.

Why only 3-4 vaccine strains per year?

By Miamicanes • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Why do authorities limit the vaccine to only 3 or 4 strains, and only one batch per year? Why not do two flu vaccines per year, with totally different strains in each? They could use #1 for the "core" strains, and #2 for "emergent" strains.

Influenza isn't just a winter disease. In cities like Miami, flu season is year-round. Why? We get lots of visitors from South America. July is the middle of THEIR flu season. And half the time, American influenza vaccine is worthless against those strains, because they're either too new,or weren't deemed important enough by whomever is in charge of picking strains for American influenza vaccine.


By thegarbz • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Of course we are. It's an election year and Trump is on the ballot.

I for one can't wait for this pandemic to be cured in my country by an election in the USA.

Oh and in case you can't tell, I'm mocking you. I normally say that people aren't inherently stupid and just sometimes say stupid things, but honestly you're making me re-evaluate that philosophy.

Re:Meat is mutation

By magusxxx • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Interesting Fact: There used to be a yearly celebration here which included an area set aside for a petting zoo for the kids. The animals came from various local farms. One year it was cancelled because of a disease which was affecting sheep and had spread around Great Britain, Ireland and possibly Europe. Since many international visitors would attend they canceled the petting zoo for fear they could transmit the disease to the animals. And then they would carry it back to the various farms.

This decision was made in less than 15 minutes.

Compare that to the decisions which are being made now about food safety. From Jan 2017 - May 2019 the FDA issues 37% less Food Safety warnings than the previous administration.

"Enforcement of environmental and health protections at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has similarly declined, according to a report from the advocacy group the Environmental Integrity Project. The group found the EPA is conducting 60% fewer inspections of violations than the annual average and is referring fewer polluters to the justice department for civil prosecution." - Source: The Guardian

It's not strange at all.

By hey! • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

It's the reverse-telescope effect. Everything that is far away looks smaller than it actually is.

These influenza outbreaks are coming from Chinese farms. There are over *forty* Chinese farmers for every American farmer. Many of Chinese farms are small time operations producing a variety of goods for local markets -- like most American farmers did 100 years ago

Chinese consumers like pork and duck, which makes a small Chinese farm an ideal breeding ground for influenza -- again like American farms of a hundred years ago. "Spanish" flu probably emerged on an American farm that had chickens and hogs and was transported by wartime mobility around the globe.

China has been on an infrastructure binge for years now, linking its remote rural areas to cities whose scale and crowding is simply mind-boggling to an American. More people live within the city limits of Shanghai than live in all of Florida. And because of China's preeminence in world trade, those cities are linked by jet travel around the world.

Once you try to wrap your brain around the scale of China and conditions there, it doesn't seem strange at all that novel pathogens should emerge there regularly.

Declining Eyesight Can Be Improved By Looking At Red Light, Pilot Study Says

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
swell shares the findings from a small pilot study that suggests a few minutes of looking into a deep red light could have a dramatic effect on preventing eyesight decline as we age. CNN reports: Researchers recruited 12 men and 12 women, whose ages ranged from 28 to 72. Each participant was given a small handheld flashlight that emitted a red light with a wavelength of 670 nanometers. That wavelength is toward the long end of the visible spectrum, and just short of an infrared wavelength, which tends to be invisible to the human eye. They spent three minutes each day looking into the light over a period of two weeks. The lights work on both cones and rods in the eye. Cones are photo receptor cells that detect color and work best in well-lit situations. Rods, which are much more plentiful, are retina cells that specialize in helping us see in dim light, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Researchers measured the cone function in subjects' eyes by having them identify colored letters with low contrast. And they measured their eyes' rod sensitivity by asking them to detect light signals in the dark. There was a 14% improvement in the ability to see colors, or cone color contrast sensitivity, for the entire two dozen participants. Improvement, however, was most significant in study participants over age 40. For those ages, cone color contrast sensitivity rose by 20% over the course of the study. That age bracket also saw significant increases in rod threshold, which corresponds to the ability to see in low light. Study participants under 40 also experienced some improvement, but didn't see the same jump as older subjects. Younger eyes haven't declined as much as older eyes.

Re:Blue LEDS

By flyingfsck • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
Hoo hooda thought that a visit to the Red Light District could be beneficial to your eye sight?

Re:Do you really have to bring up Trump?

By Dog-Cow • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

No one with a functioning brain has killed themselves because of anything Trump has ever said.

No control group

By bradley13 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

This pilot study lacked a control group of patients who could have been exposed to a dummy light that emitted, he noted.

This invalidates the study completely. For all we know, the people got better at discriminating colors, because the study had them practicing this skill, or because it was a Tuesday, or because Mars was in conjunction, or...

Seriously, WTF is any scientist doing, carrying out a study without a control group?

Re:No control group

By Mr. Barky • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

A study without a control group can be cheaper to run and hence you can look at more things with the same budget. Once an interesting correlation is found (such as this) it shows that further study might be interesting. To really demonstrate that it is cause/effect you need to do a higher quality study with control groups etc. It isn't necessarily a waste to do a lower threshold study - if they find no correlation, they just move on to their next idea.

Of course, if they present the study as more than it is, that is a problem. I have no idea if that happened (or if the write-up implied things the author of the study did not - something that quite often happens).

I set up a website for this at

By ibirman • Score: 3, Interesting • Thread

I looked up the hex color, it's #ff0000, so I created a website, where you can look at the color on your screen. Enjoy!

Someone Mysteriously Sent Almost $1 Billion In Bitcoin

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Someone transferred bitcoins worth close to $1 billion on Tuesday morning, a move that was public for everyone to see while the identities of the sender and receiver remain unknown. Motherboard reports: Big money moves hiding in plain sight tend to be events of some interest among Bitcoiners. Decrypt noted that the sending wallet was recognized as the largest Bitcoin wallet not known to be associated with a business such as an exchange. This means that it could belong to a wealthy private individual, or it could really belong to an exchange, investor, or other business that is simply currently unknown. There's no obligation to publicize which Bitcoin addresses one controls, and if nobody else puts two and two together, one's activities may remain shrouded in pseudonymity.

If the Bitcoin wallet belongs to someone legit, then it's likely the transfer was internal to the business, or it represents a large purchase of goods or services, or the sale of bitcoins. Regardless of what it was, the business would be expected to pay taxes in any relevant circumstances. If the transfer wasn't legit, well, pseudonymity and the ability to freely move money without the pre-approval of an authority is the point of Bitcoin. That being said, law enforcement is certainly aware of Bitcoin at this stage in the game and if I'm talking about this transfer then I'm sure more important people could be, too.

Re:Taxes, BTC "value", and account transfers.

By Falos • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

I can't be the only one who had a sudden urge to kludgineer a rig for them feeding into each other.

Re:duck and cover

By Opportunist • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

It was Colonel Mustard in the Study with the Candlestick.

Re:With this amount of money

By Opportunist • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

What amount of money?

A billion in bitcoins is like a billion in stock. Do you think you can monetize that? Imagine you held a billion in Facebook stock and threw that onto the market NOW. Do you think you'd get a billion dollars in return?

Re:With this amount of money

By cmseagle • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
More than $10bn a day, apparently.

Everyone is missing the bigger picture!

By _0xd0ad • Score: 3 • Thread

For the sake of simplicity and readability, I'm calling these wallets A, B, C, etc.

On 2020-02-25 15:41, wallet A transferred 111857.24579800 BTC, with 5000 BTC going to wallet X and the rest going to wallet B.

On 2020-04-01 13:55, wallet B transferred 106857.24571944 BTC , with 5000 BTC going to wallet Y and the rest going to wallet C.

On 2020-06-26 17:56, wallet C transferred 101857.24568009 BTC, with 5000 BTC going to wallet Z and the rest going to wallet D.

Are you beginning to see that there's a pattern to these transactions? This latest "mysterious" transaction is but a single tree in a forest. Would anyone like to bet me that we won't see wallet D making a similar outgoing transfer sometime around August?

Allow me to suggest that wallets A, B, C, and D are likely all owned by the same person or entity... if that is the case, then what we actually see is that they've spent 5000 BTC on each of those dates. In fact it's entirely possible that they also own wallets X, Y, and Z, and merely wanted an additional layer of transactions to help insulate themselves from when those bitcoins were actually spent.

400 TB Storage Drives In Our Future: Fujifilm

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
One of the two leading manufacturers of tape cartridge storage, FujiFilm, claims that they have a technology roadmap through to 2030 which builds on the current magnetic tape paradigm to enable 400 TB per tape. AnandTech reports: As reported by Chris Mellor of Blocks and Files, Fujifilm points to using Strontium Ferrite grains in order to enable an areal data density on tape of 224 Gbit-per-square-inch, which would enable 400 TB drives. IBM and Sony have already demonstrated 201 Gbit-per-square-inch technology in 2017, with a potential release of the technology for high volume production in 2026. Current drives are over an order of magnitude smaller, at 8 Gbit-per-square-inch, however the delay between research and mass production is quite significant.

Strontium Ferrite would replace Barium Ferrite in current LTO cartridges. Strontium sits on a row above Barium in the periodic table, indicating a much smaller atom. This enables for much smaller particles to be placed into tracks, and thankfully according to Fujifilm, Strontium Ferrite exhibits properties along the same lines as Barium Ferrite, but moreso, enabling higher performance while simultaneously increasing particle density. [...] Fujifilm states that 400 TB is the limit of Strontium Ferrite, indicating that new materials would be needed to go beyond. That said, we are talking about only 224 Gbit-per-square-inch for storage, which compared to mechanical hard disks going beyhind 1000 Gbit-per-square-inch today, there would appear to be plenty of room at the top if the technologies could converge.


By DrYak • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

then you go get another one, and find out that it won't read the tapes you laboriously backed up important stuff onto. Hundreds and hundreds of dollars invested in junk that ended up in the dumpster.

That's the whole raison d'être of the LTO standard.
People got fed up with the 90s' proprietary crap, and started using standards in the 00s.
You can buy any drive from any manufacturer and it could read the tape of any other manufacturer, as long as they follow the LTO standard (as opposed to propreitary format like DLT).

Not only that but the compatibility of the generations of hardware is also specified:
- a drive can also also write on last gen's tape in their native format: this year's upcoming LTO-9 drive will be guaranteed by the standard to be able to write on LTO-8 tape
- a drive can read two generations back LTO-7 drives could read as far back as LOT-5 drives
(The only excetion: LTO-8 cannot read LTO-6)

Had you been using tape nowadays, you wouldn't have had the "new drive doesn't read the previous backup" situation.

Re: Transfer speeds

By mlheur • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Storage arrays can deliver 350GB/s

SAS 4 does 22Gbps

So the drive connector will be the bottleneck. 32gbps FC is the wise choice.

400TB at 32Gbps takes 26 hours.

The use case is for long term archive of tertiary copies for regulatory purposes. Or to tape out your cloud data. Never under estimate the throughput of a cube van full of LTO cartridges on their way to Iron Mountain.

Qualcomm Made a Modern Smartwatch Chip: Meet the Snapdragon Wear 4100

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: After years of repackaging the same basic smartwatch chip over and over again, Qualcomm has graced Wear OS with a modern smartwatch SoC. Meet the Snapdragon Wear 4100, a Qualcomm smartwatch chip that, for the first time ever, is faster than the previous chip. The Wear 4100 uses four 1.7GHz Cortex A53 CPUs built on a 12nm manufacturing process, a major upgrade from the 28nm Cortex A7s that every other Qualcomm smartwatch chip has been up until now. It's not the state-of-the-art 7nm process that Qualcomm's high-end chip uses, and the Cortex A53 is an old CPU design, but for Qualcomm, it's a major upgrade. Between the new CPU, the Adreno 504 GPU, and faster memory, Qualcomm is promising "85% faster performance" compared to the Wear 3100.

There are actually two versions of the 4100, the vanilla "4100" and the "4100+." The plus version is specifically for smartwatches with an always-on watch face, and like previous Wear SoCs, comes with an extra low-power SoC (based around a Cortex-M0) to keep the time updated and log sensor data (like step counts). Qualcomm is promising a better display image quality in this low-power mode, with more colors and a smoother display. There are also dual DSPs now, which Qualcomm says are for "optimal workload partitioning, support for dynamic clock and voltage scaling, Qualcomm Sensor Assisted Positioning PDR Wearables 2.0, low power location tracking support, and an enhanced Bluetooth 5.0 architecture." There are also dual ISPs with support for 16MP sensors (on a smartwatch?). As usual, connectivity options are plentiful, with onboard LTE, GPS, NFC, Wi-Fi 802.11n, and Bluetooth 5.

4 cores

By gbjbaanb • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Is it me, or is software programming models so useless these days that a watch that basically tracks your heartbeat every second, pings an email notification and displays a clock requires 4 cores?

Re:smart watches are cringe.

By Opportunist • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Then again, do I want to go to dinner parties where they judge you based on the watch you wear?


By idontusenumbers • Score: 3 • Thread

Please consider using exposition to explain what 'modern' means instead of using the word 'modern'.

YouTube TV Jacks Up Pricing To Become Most Expensive Cable TV Alternative

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
On Tuesday, Google's YouTube TV announced a monthly $15 price hike, bringing its streaming package of channels to $64.99 monthly, from $49.99. "YouTube TV is now the most expensive of the cable TV streaming alternative services," notes USA Today. "When YouTube TV launched in 2017, it was $35." From the report: In a company blog post, YouTube defended its decision by announcing the availability of additional channels from Viacom, including MTV and Nickelodeon. The move is effective Tuesday for new members, while existing subscribers will see their rates rise after July 30. "This new price reflects the rising cost of content and we also believe it reflects the complete value of YouTube TV, from our breadth of content to the features that are changing how we watch live TV," YouTube said.

AT&T Now recently lowered pricing to $55 monthly, while Hulu with Live TV is $54.99. Sling TV is the lowest priced of the cable TV alternatives, at $30 monthly for the Orange or Blue packages, or $45 for both. However, Sling doesn't carry all the local broadcast stations in each market, so check your local listings. Philo is even cheaper, at $20 monthly, but is missing news and sports channels. A 2019 study by Consumer Reports found the average cable TV bill is $217.42 monthly.

Re:This model is running out of steam fast

By ItsJustAPseudonym • Score: 5, Funny • Thread
Well, competetive house painting is the best thing on "The Ocho", since dodgeball went on hiatus for public health reasons.

Re: Extortion

By Nidi62 • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Yeah, that shits all scripted too. My parents know someone whose relative was on American Pickers. After going back and forth a few times on an item they told them off camera "we will pay you what you want, just say yes to their offer". And Pawn Stars has had actors come in and play sellers.

This comment is for rubbing your noses in it

By Rick Schumann • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Hey there 'cord cutters', you all thought you were so smart, dumping cable and satellite TV for 'streaming' over the internet.
Then they started charging for it, and you said, "Oh, okay, it's still cheaper than cable or satellite, haha, we're still so much smarter than everyone else".
Then they started slowly raising the fees, and you still said "Oh, it's okay, it's not that much more".
Just like a crab, or a frog, in a pot on the stove, they slowly raised the temperature, slow enough that you didn't even really notice until it was too late.
Now you're back to paying basically the same amount you paid for cable or satellite -- plus you're paying for internet on top of it.
Meanwhile, some people told you, the whole time, "you're not being smart, you're going to get bit in the ass by this sooner or later", but you didn't listen, did you?
You called them 'luddites', and 'boomers', and claimed that they 'just didn't understand', and you were sure you were smarter than them, smarter than everyone else.
Guess what? You were WRONG.
It ALL came to pass: you're paying the same now that you paid for cable or satellite -- maybe even more in some cases -- and you're using up bandwidth in the process.

You want something for basically nothing? You have two choices: Either an antenna and free OTA channels, or bittorrent. Otherwise just give up and accept that you're paying the same money no matter how you get your 'pay TV', because regardless of it being cable, satellite, or internet 'streaming', in the end you're going to pay the same amount.

Be sure to use your troll accounts to mod me into the sub-basement like you always do, trolls. Otherwise I'll be worried something happened to you.

Ha ha, YouTube copies Apple and Microsoft

By tiqui • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

There was a day when most businesses leased their computers and software and paid regular support contract fees, and then along came Jobs and Woz at Apple and Gates at Microsoft with the sales pitch that said, essentially, "why are you paying all that money and not having ownership or control? Buy OUR stuff instead and you will OWN it, and own your data and control it all and be free of the monthly ransom payments!"

People listened, and bought into the ownership model, and all the big old vendors collapsed with some re-inventing themselves to fit the new model and others now being just a memory.

Once they attained market saturation, Apple and Microsoft needed a way to convince investors of rising revenue with a customer base that was not growing fast enough, and they re-awakened the old business model they destroyed - they re-branded offsite storage under somebody else's control as "the cloud", and leased software as cloud-related "365" this-n-that ---- but it's really just that they have discovered why big lazy no longer creative companies loved the old model of holding users hostage.

In a similar way, consumers have long been tied to cable companies and their bundles. As the prices rose higher and higher and service got worse, YouTube and others stepped-in as newcomers encouraging a new model: streaming video and no bundles - watch what you want when you want for a low price. "Cord cutting" was the new buzzword. Unfortunately, you still had to have the cable company for that fast internet access, so you still had that part of the bill to pay. Now, however, YouTube has clearly decided to embrace the bundle model that the cable companies were so wedded to - so their users will have all the downsides of streaming, plus the cable bill for fast net access, plus the same sort of bundled content and related costs. Just as before, the user will pay for a huge number of channels while only watching one at a time, only now he/she cannot have multiple family members watching multiple shows simultaneously on multiple devices at no extra cost as they used to with cable. Oh, and since it's streaming data rather than broadcast on a cable, there are all the issues of paying for and needing more bandwidth...

Sometimes, the dinosaurs in an industry have a lesson to teach: to be fat, dumb, and happy in that marketplace one probably needs that evil business model. Sometimes, the former upstarts in an industry forget the lessons they themselves once taught, and they leave themselves vulnerable to newer upstarts who remember those lessons....

Re: This model is running out of steam fast

By hambone142 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

My "budget" is zero dollars a month. I have the internet and I know how to watch video for free.

Android's AirDrop Competitor Is Coming Soon

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Android's long-awaited "Nearby Sharing" feature, which allows you to share files between Android devices wirelessly, is rolling out to beta testers. Android Police reports: Nearby Sharing may appear slightly differently depending on the type of content you try to share. In all cases, it shows up as an app in the apps list on the share sheet, but you may also get a smaller prompt just under the content preview, more like it did in the previous Android 11 video leak. We tested it on a Pixel 4 XL and Pixel 3a running Android 10, but the appearance may also vary on other versions of Android. Note that Nearby Share works for both files like photos or videos, as well as other shareable content like Tweets and URLs. It probably works with a lot of things.

Select Nearby Share in the share sheet as the target, and you're prompted to turn on the feature, if it's the first time you've used it. The quick setup process lets you configure your default device name and device visibility settings, though those can also be changed later. Once you have it enabled, Nearby Sharing starts looking for other nearby devices. The interface is pretty simple: A big X in the top left corner backs you out, your avatar on the right takes you to a settings pane that lets you configure things like your device name, visibility, and which mechanism to use to make the transfer (i.e., whether to use your internet connection for small files, to stick to Wi-Fi, or to always share offline).
Google says Nearby Share is currently in limited testing via the Play Services beta: "We're currently conducting a beta test of a new Nearby Share feature that we plan to share more information on in the future. Our goal is to launch the feature with support for Android 6+ devices as well as other platforms."

What's wrong with Bluetooth file-transfer?

By mi • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread

Bluetooth has had a standardized File Transfer Profile for many years — I used to use it with Blackberry, for crying out loud...

That Apple wouldn't use it is something I hold against them and resent deeply. But that's Apple — if they didn't invent it, they aren't going to like it. Yet, Google is, supposedly, an open-standards champion — so why wouldn't Android use the long-known protocol?

So what was the hold up?

By BishopBerkeley • Score: 3 • Thread
Oh, yeah, so that Google collect data on every user and meticulously document who transferred what kind of file to whom at what time and what location so that it can sell that data to advertisers. At least, that's my bet. :)

Re:What's wrong with Bluetooth file-transfer?

By theurge14 • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Bluetooth file transfer already exists on Android. As the other poster said, it's slower than WiFi:

AirDrop uses peer-to-peer WiFi. Android's previous ad-hoc file transfer was Android Beam, which is being replaced by this new service. Beam used NFC, which is even slower than Bluetooth:

National Mask Mandate Could Save 5 Percent of GDP, Economists Say

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Washington Post: After a late-spring lull, daily coronavirus cases in the United States have again hit record highs, driven by resurgent outbreaks in states such as Florida, Arizona and California. Hospitals in Houston are already on the brink of being overwhelmed, and public health experts worry the pandemic's body count will soon again be climbing in tandem with the daily case load. The dire situation has raised the specter of another round of state-level stay-at-home orders to halt the pandemic's spread and caused a number of governors to pause or reverse their ongoing reopening plans. Against this backdrop, a team of economists at investment bank Goldman Sachs has published an analysis suggesting more painful shutdowns could be averted if the United States implements a nationwide mask mandate.

"A face mask mandate could potentially substitute for lockdowns that would otherwise subtract nearly 5% from GDP," the team, led by the company's chief economist, Jan Hatzius, writes. It's worth noting the authors of the report are economists and not public health experts. Their primary motivation is to protect the economic interests of Goldman Sachs's investors, which is why they're interested in the effects of federal policy on gross domestic product. But their findings are in line with a number of other published studies on the efficacy of masks. The Goldman Sachs report notes the United States is a global outlier with respect to face mask use, which is widespread in Asia and currently mandated in many European countries. Though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention "recommends" the use of masks in public and 20 states plus the District of Columbia have implemented their own mandates, there is no binding national policy, with wide regional variations in mask use around the country.
"We estimate that statewide mask mandates gradually raise the percentage of people who 'always' or 'frequently' wear masks by around 25 [percentage points] in the 30+ days after signing," the authors write. "Our numerical estimates are that cumulative cases grow 17.3% per week without a mask mandate but only 7.3% with a mask mandate, and that cumulative fatalities grow 29% per week without a mask mandate but only 16% with a mask mandate."

Not unlike wearing a condom in public.

By IHTFISP • Score: 3 • Thread

Seriously. If we could just mandate that everyone wear a condom in public, just imagine how much we could reduce teen pregnancy.

And here we see the problem w/ mandating medical masks in public. Only when you will be near (< 6 ft / 2 m) a large group of people (> 10) for a prolonged period of time (> 1 hr) does the effectiveness of medical/surgical masks begin to become statistically medically significant for preventing transmission of COVID-19 from asymptomatic carriers. The WHO & the CDC have both said so. Virtue signaling via casual cosplay doesn't help. This has become established scientific fact. Hazmat suits are more effective, of course, but if folks won't wear simple masks, there is no way they will wear “bunny suits”. Ever.

Moreover, people who are symptomatic should just stay home, in quarantine. Maybe that's what we should be considering mandating: sick folk must stay home, in quarantine. No exemption for politicians. That would be more effective than masks, gloves, condoms, hair nets, drool cups, etc. Why don't we start there?

And then there's that pesky thing about 1st amendment rights to travel, peaceably assemble, publicly protest, etc. No US government entity—federal, state nor local—can lawfully rescind those rights w/ an authoritarian emergency executive order for more than 30 days, and even then the only legal enforcement is a fine, not imprisonment/jail. It requires an act of legislation from the state legislature (signed into law by the Governor) or from Congress (signed into law from the President) to legitimately issue an executive order that lasts more than 30 days or carries a criminal penalty (as opposed to a civil fine). Mayors have no such authority under any condition. Period. For it to last longer or carry even a simple 10-day jail sentence, it must be a law, not a mere EO.

This isn't Rome under the Emperors. This isn't France under Napoleon. This isn't Russia/USSR. This isn't Hogwarts. This is 'Murkka, dambit. ;-)

Re:Stop with this bullshit!

By Yosho • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Goddamn this comment is a sterling example of how Slashdot has gone down the shitter. Just nothing but right-wing, conspiracy theory, nutjob ramblings that are informed based on nothing but ramblings you're repeating from other nutjobs. Every single thing in this comment is both wrong and intentionally misleading. I could go and find sources to rebuke every clause of every sentence here, but I don't have an hour to do your research for you knowing that you'll just ignore it and go back to only listening to out-of-context quotes by Ann Coulter.

Re:what a load of shit

By shilly • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

A black and white world view that is self-evidently contradictory. They wear seatbelts. They (mostly) stop at red lights. They don’t believe in Free the Nipple. When they get hospitalized, they hang on to the doctors’ expertise for dear life. The mask is just something else to get wound up about.

Re:what a load of shit

By shilly • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

True if you pass one person. But if thousands of people pass thousands of other people, transmission will occur just from passing in the street. And if you yourself pass hundreds of people over the course of a week, your risk is definitely non-zero. It’s a numbers game.

Re:Not unlike wearing a condom in public.

By AmiMoJo • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

No, you only have to be around some loudmouth without as mask for a few seconds to get infected.

Uber's New Strategy: Buy Unprofitable Companies, ???, Profit

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Uber's new strategy is just like its old one. Make its money-losing business bigger by buying other money-losing businesses like Postmates. From a report: After Uber's merger talks with food-delivery company Grubhub fell apart, Uber has now set its sights on Postmates, according to the New York Times. Uber Eats, the ride-hailing company's food-delivery unit, is just as unprofitable as the rest of Uber's business operations, but that hasn't stopped the company from reportedly offering $2.6 billion to takeover Postmates. Uber has been searching for ways to stay afloat during the pandemic as its core ride-hailing business has collapsed and its business model of misclassifying driver-employees as independent contractors to save on labor costs is coming under increased scrutiny in California and nationwide. In its Q1 earnings call, Uber reported that rides were down over 80 percent and it had recorded an eye-watering loss of $2.9 billion (it has never recorded a profit), but there was a bright spot: food-delivery was up by 54 percent since last year.

Still, it's not clear that Uber Eats -- or an acquisition of Postmates -- will be enough to save the company. In March, Rideshare Drivers United, an app-based driver advocacy group in California, released a wage claim tool to let drivers claim stolen wages and unpaid business expenses; a mere 4,000 Uber and Lyft drivers have filed claims in excess of $1 billion. Last year, there were well over half a million Uber and Lyft drivers last year and reports have pegged Uber's annual driver retention rate at around 4 percent. Mind you, this is only in California and only includes wage claims -- there is also a growing call for Uber to pay state unemployment insurance taxes in not only California but the rest of the country, a prospect that could cost billions more if realized.

Re:Underwear Gnome, South Park

By sdinfoserv • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
Uber isn't profitable because it tries to squeeze an existing business plan - taxis. However it offloads most all the costs (maintenance, depreciation, insurance, gas, etc) on the workers and pays them less money with no benefits - while simultaneously siphoning most of the revenue to pay ridiculous amounts to C-level and ownership. The model doesn't work till you don't have to pay drivers, which is what they were betting on. However automated vehicles is more difficult than vulture capitalists and bro-grammer types imagined.

Re:Negative money singularity

By Revek • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
The US postal has one of the biggest nest eggs of money in the world. Its in their pension. A lot of greedy trash want to privatize them to get their hands on it and screw all of those employee's . They are some of the few workers in the land of the fee who actually get a pension when they retire.

Why aren't pizza delivery guys quitting in droves?

By Latent Heat • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

I followed your link to Naked Capitalism and listened to the Hubert Horan interview by radio DJ and one-time SNL cast member Harry Shearer on Why Uber Will Never Break Even.

The gist of it is that Uber is passing off all of the vehicle expenses -- loan payment, gas, repairs and insurance on to the drivers, who are not encouraged to bring along a sharp pencil to add up all those numbers when they sign on. The average driver, however, figures out that it is they who are being taken for a ride, and they quit, after about a month. It is this churn of drivers that is costing Uber so much money, with the claim that Uber spends $500 in marketing and other expenses for each driver they recruit.

Don't you have the same problem with pizza delivery drivers, so why aren't the big chains like Dominos and Little Caeser's in financial trouble? It is my understanding that many if not most food delivery drivers slap a magnetic Little Caeser's sign on top of their personal vehicle, and keeping your head above water financially is a real problem for those drivers?

Is this why Uber is buying up all of these food delivery services, the One Ring to Bring Them All, and In the Darkness Bind Them strategy of gaining total monopoly control over gig-driver franchise operations?

The other thing I don't "get" from Mr. Horan's anti-Uber obsession is that the traditional taxi market has a serious over-demand problem on Friday and Saturday nights, when most people working 9-5 M-F jobs "want to go out on the town."

I "get" that you have all of this capital tied up in an automobile that only gets used on Friday and Saturday night, not to mention how do you pay a living wage to a driver who only finds work two evenings per week. On the other hand, would there not be a group of people who own a personal vehicle and would be willing to work Friday and Saturday nights as a supplementary, second job for a working person or a sideline for a retired person. Could the Uber model not work on this basis? Or are the "suits" at Uber that greedy that their "skim" is too large?

Shouldn't we understand their business?

By mykepredko • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Uber is a publicly traded company.

Shouldn't the public know what the strategy is so that people can make sound investment decisions? Shouldn't the SEC know what the strategy is to ensure that they are working within the law?

Most biased article ever

By FeelGood314 • Score: 3 • Thread
Uber drivers are contractors - they supply their own equipment, set their own hours and choose what rides to take.
Uber drivers are profitable. At least the ones I've driven with and discussed the economics with seem to be making a lot. The ones carefully tracking their expenses and taking full advantage of the pricing are making close to 30CAD/hr after expenses. Compare that with taxi drivers in Ontario who make less than minimum wage after paying to rent the car and medallion.
California's law is BS. They have lots of office workers/ IT workers in that state that are classified as contractors who don't set their own hours, work in their employer's office, use their employers desk, computer and tools and can't refuse a given task.

Having ridden in taxis and ridden in Ubers I can tell you which ones are cleaner, better maintained and have drivers who are more alert because they haven't just worked 20 hours. The taxi companies were corrupt monopolies that deserved to die. I hope Uber doesn't go bankrupt. I would be fine if they raised their prices 30%-40% to stay in business.

FCC Declares Huawei, ZTE 'National Security Threats'

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
The Federal Communication Commission has declared Chinese telecom giants Huawei and ZTE "national security threats," a move that will formally ban U.S. telecom companies from using federal funds to buy and install Huawei and ZTE equipment. From a report: FCC chairman Ajit Pai said that the "weight of evidence" supported the decision to ban the technology giants. Federal agencies and lawmakers have long claimed that the tech giants are subject to Chinese law, which "obligates them to cooperate with the country's intelligence services," Pai said. "We cannot and will not allow the Chinese Communist Party to exploit network vulnerabilities and compromise our critical communications infrastructure," the FCC said in a separate statement. Huawei and ZTE have repeatedly rejected the claims. The order, published by the FCC on Tuesday, said the designation takes immediate effect, but it's not immediately clear how the designation changes the status quo. In November of last year, the FCC announced that companies deemed a national security threat would be ineligible to receive any money from the Universal Service Fund. The $8.5B USF is the FCC's main way of purchasing and subsidizing equipment and services to improve connectivity across the country.

I wish that Ajit Pai were honest ...

By Alain Williams • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

all countries have laws like this Chinese one, in the USA it is the Patriot Act & 2018 CLOUD Act, the UK it is the Investigatory Powers Act - and various updating legislation.

The main reason is commercial, a desire to stop Chinese companies from being more successful than their competing USA ones. However under World Trade Organisation rules a country cannot arbitrarily ban companies in other countries. There are a few exceptions, one of which is national security - this is why security is always quoted as the reason.

I am not saying that the security risk from Huawei is zero, but then neither is the risk from CISCO zero.

Chinese is increasingly flexing its muscles and using its influence in ways that I do not like (think: Hong Kong, restrictions on Uighur Muslims, etc). China is, in part, empowered by its economic might - so curbing that might be a good thing.

Re:dang Ajit whats in that coffee cup?

By Jack9 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

> For a country thats snored through thirty years of warrantless wiretaps and mass surveillance through every major US telecom country

This is about security for the US govt's interests, not a moral stance.

> we sure are concerned about Chinese network equipment despite having not a shred of evidence that any of this clandestine activity takes place

Except for the action that is baked into their own country's infrastructure.Whataboutism for corporate or US govt interests are not compelling arguments, in and of themselves for anything you have posed.

> so occhams razor applies

You posing a false dichotomy that you made up. This is SOP for every country that has the technical and legal means to do so (securing interests politically and technologically) and your "care for the Chinese" is a painfully wrongheaded derail. There is something about the efficacy of policies that serve to inhibit foreign interests, that you have deftly failed to cover.

Your agenda is getting in the way of a high school level of analysis, imo.

Blame America!

By mi • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

thirty years of warrantless wiretaps and mass surveillance through every major US telecom

That'd be used by our government, subject to our election-choices.

we sure are concerned about Chinese network equipment

Of course — giving an adversary this level of access is much worse, false equivalence much?

not a shred of evidence that any of this clandestine activity takes place

Reportedly evidence exists, but is — quite understandably — classified.

we absolutely have tampered with hardware in the past

Sure, adversaries — and even friendly countries — spy on each other. That's neither new, nor reprehensible.

But you're trying to convince, that — because the US itself is spying on others — it is somehow disagreeable and wrong for us to resist spying attempts by the others.

neo-liberal capitalist police state in the 21st century (just like us),

The "just like us" part — falsely equating China's regime with the US — has destroyed your entire argument (whatever was left of it)...

Re:way down the list

By Gravis Zero • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

How about we declare NSA, DHS and CIA national security threats, they are the ones invading our privacy, kicking in doors, waging shadow wars against those that didn't attack us to create new enemies.

While those are issues, they are attempting to act in the interest of the United States. Conflating their actions with the actions of a foreign government is not constructive at all but then again, you were never interested in doing anything but writing a whiny comment.

Re: way down the list

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

Given my choice between having a western nation spy on me and a brutal murderous dictatorial regime spy on me, I'll take the western spies.

Microsoft, LinkedIn To Retrain Unemployed Workers for In-Demand Jobs

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Microsoft and its LinkedIn unit will provide free job training to help unemployed workers prepare for in-demand jobs as the global pandemic pushes U.S. joblessness to levels as bad as those during the Great Depression. From a report: The program uses LinkedIn data to find the jobs that employers most want to fill, and offers free access to content that helps workers develop the required skills. The company will also cut the cost of its certification exams and offer free job-seeking tools. Microsoft aims to provide additional skills to 25 million people globally by the end of the year through the program for such jobs as software developer, customer-service specialist and graphic designer. Microsoft said its calculations show global unemployment may reach a quarter of a billion people this year. The U.S. unemployment rate was 13.3% in May, the highest level since 1940, as the coronavirus shut down stores, restaurants and bars, with higher rates of joblessness among Black and Latino workers. While parts of the economy are starting to reopen in the U.S., companies are also shutting down, filing for bankruptcy or announcing permanent job cuts to adjust to a long-term slowdown.

Re:Plenty of people with those skills already

By backslashdot • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Developers!! Developers!! Developers!! Developers!!

not the pandemic

By iggymanz • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

you mean as government forced tens of millions into poverty as an overreaction when the truth is most of those jobs could have been done in a safe way. Mom and pop shops were destroyed while the big corps were allowed to continue to operate.

An essential business is one that provides income for families. We need to clip government and big corps wings so this evil farce never happens again.


By smooth wombat • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
The U.S. unemployment rate was 13.3% in May

No, the unemployment rate was not that number. At a minimum, the rate was three points higher, most likely more. When BLS released the May number, they knew they had a data error where people were misclassified. Instead of correcting that error as well as going back the two previous months where the same error occurred, they gave out fake information but added a teensy tiny footnote about the known issue.

And the unemployment number doesn't take into consideration those who aren't eligible for unemployment such as contractors, self-employed and many wait staff.

So no, 13.3% is not the unemployment rate. The rate is much higher. We just like to fool ourselves into thinking this is the number.

Lead time.

By I'mjusthere • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
So, if a job is demand NOW and it takes 6months - 4 years to train, the job market in those skills could collapse.

I lived through it in the mid to late 90s. There were so many technologies (and Buzz Words) coming out, we did not know what would stick. I learned IBM's Taligent. It was supposed to be HUGE! I mastered it. And nothing. FIZZZLE!

Java came out and some of us were skeptical and well....I missed out.

Microsoft released .NET and many of us thought that MS was on its last legs. Well, let me tell you that a diet of crow and humble pie grows on you.

And we have ALL seen all these new platforms that gain a following and then fizzle out - unless this is your first two years in this crazy fucking industry. Then I would suggest, get the fuck out while you are young.

And it sucks because of legacies. We all saw the story how states unemployment systems were in dire need of COBOL programmers. Even when I was in school, it was considered a dying language and career suicide to get a job doing that.

I guess what annoys me the are the fads and trends in this industry. And if you are on the wrong trend, your skills are not transferable and you career is over.

Try as a C# developer or move to Java (or vice versa) and see what you hear.

I am sorry. But you do not have the skills that we need.

Re:Plenty of people with those skills already

By darkain • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Close, but not quite. There is a larger scheme that ALL of the major tech companies are into right now.

Each tech company for years now have been pushing away from standardized languages like C/C++ into their own in-house tools to help prevent the easy transition away from their tooling and into competitor's tooling. This means more 3rd party eco-system vendor lock-in for their own stuff, without helping others.

Microsoft? C# and everything .Net
Apple? Swift
Facebook? Hack
Google? Go

Despite Visual Studio and VSCode supporting an assload of languages, watch Microsoft only provide free learning materials for just C# with a very narrow focus on tools that transition upwards to Azure exclusively.

Amazon Launches Space Push To Drive Cloud-Computing Growth

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link is boosting efforts to lure military and commercial space organizations as major users of its cloud-computing services, hoping to benefit from rising government spending and burgeoning private investment. From a report: The move by Amazon Web Services, the online retail giant's cloud-computing arm, comes during a multiyear surge in U.S. military and civilian agency spending on space projects, with NASA, the Pentagon and their largest contractors -- including Lockheed Martin -- benefiting from hefty appropriated or proposed budget increases. Lockheed Martin already is an Amazon customer. Capitol Hill is pouring billions of dollars into new boosters and the next generation of superfast missiles, driven, in part, by White House and intelligence community warnings about Chinese and Russian advances in space. Commercial companies are building or planning to deploy swarms of small satellites encircling the globe, though the Covid-19 pandemic has dimmed the immediate outlook for many private space projects.

Amazon is anticipating a huge increase in space-related cloud-computing contracts globally with a market size estimated at hundreds of billions of dollars, said Teresa Carlson, AWS's vice president in charge of public sector business. "There's a need for a more modernized approach to this industry," Ms. Carlson said. AWS will formally announce it is establishing a dedicated segment, called Aerospace and Satellite Solutions, at an online summit focused on business with the public sector on Tuesday. The group will be run by retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Clint Crosier, who, until recently, was in charge of planning to set up the Space Force, the newly created branch of the military. The initiative comes as AWS faced increased pressure from cloud-computing rivals for public sector business. Last year, AWS lost out to Microsoft in a high-profile competition to provide the Pentagon cloud-computing services. The program, known as JEDI, could be worth up to $10 billion over 10 years. Amazon has challenged the outcome.

Nothing this important should use "The Cloud"

By Rick Schumann • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
"The Cloud" is about as secure as the rest of the Internet -- which is to say not secure in the least. The military and spaceflight should not be using it at all. For that matter no one should be using "The Cloud" for anything at all because it's just as insecure as the rest of the Internet.

Just a logical growth

By cusco • Score: 3 • Thread

This is just a logical growth from AWS Ground Station, which was launched a few years ago.
AWS Ground Station is a fully managed service that lets you control satellite communications, process data, and scale your operations without having to worry about building or managing your own ground station infrastructure. . . With AWS Ground Station, you have direct access to AWS services and the AWS Global Infrastructure including a low-latency global fiber network. . . You can save up to 80% on the cost of your ground station operations by paying only for the actual antenna time used, and relying on the global footprint of ground stations to download data when and where you need it. There are no long-term commitments, and you gain the ability to rapidly scale your satellite communications on-demand when your business needs it.

With the growing market in Cubesats and small-sats many operators have a viable business model but don't have the necessary hundreds of millions of dollars to build out that infrastructure on their own. This levels the playing field to a considerable degree.

In other words, this is a pipe dream.

By geekmux • Score: 3 • Thread

"...though the Covid-19 pandemic has dimmed the immediate outlook for many private space projects."

Uh, "dimmed" the outlook?

Well, that's certainly a rather cute way of saying "...there's no economy to pay for any of this shit."

"Amazon is anticipating a huge increase in space-related cloud-computing contracts globally with a market size estimated at hundreds of billions of dollars..."

I guess Amazon sees the value of getting the hell off this rock far more than their customer base does. I can't wait to see which group of billionaires is going to agree to pay for all of this, since the other 99% of humanity will be busy for the next decade trying to figure out how to survive another round of unchecked corruption.

Universities and Tech Giants Back National Cloud Computing Project

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Leading universities and major technology companies agreed on Tuesday to back a new project intended to give academics and other scientists access to the computing resources now available mainly to a few tech giants. From a report: The initiative, the National Research Cloud, has received bipartisan support in both the House and the Senate. Lawmakers in both houses have proposed bills that would create a task force of government science leaders, academics and industry representatives to outline a plan to create and fund a national research cloud. This program would give academic scientists access to the cloud data centers of the tech giants, and to public data sets for research. Several universities, including Stanford, Carnegie Mellon and Ohio State, and tech companies including Google, Amazon and IBM backed the idea as well on Tuesday. The organizations declared their support for the creation of a research cloud and their willingness to participate in the project.

The research cloud, though a conceptual blueprint at this stage, is another sign of the largely effective campaign by universities and tech companies to persuade the American government to increase government backing for research into artificial intelligence. The Trump administration, while cutting research elsewhere, has proposed doubling federal spending on A.I. research by 2022. Fueling the increased government backing is the recognition that A.I. technology is essential to national security and economic competitiveness. The national cloud legislation will be proposed as an amendment to this year's defense budget authorization. "We have a real challenge in our country from China in terms of what they are doing with A.I.," said Representative Anna G. Eshoo, Democrat of California, a sponsor of the bill.

Re:I think I see the logic here

By guruevi • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

There hasn't been research cutting, if anything it has increased:

What has decreased is funding for administrative overhead across the government, that is what Trump initially threatened to decrease funding for, because the NIH and NSF and even NASA had increased their budgets but hadn't actually funded more programs and projects. Now more funding is being redirected at actually doing science instead of filing paperwork, this puts some research institutions such as Universities in a pinch as they likewise have a bloated administrative wing but haven't actually increased classes or faculty recruitment for at least a decade or two.

math gradutates...

By MancunianMaskMan • Score: 3 • Thread
1. write esoteric number theory paper

2. get funding for some serious cloud computing time

3. write algo that secretly mines bitcoin instead


the major difference being

By nimbius • Score: 3 • Thread

We have a real challenge in our country from China in terms of what they are doing with A.I

In china, if your school were studying AI, the government would dole out massive education research grants to make sure you had everything you needed to work on AI. that research would then benefit all the people of china as open and free. In the US, its the exact opposite. Schools are pushed hard yearly to drive austerity in the labs and classrooms, eschewing in-house research in favour of established corporate products and services until the research teams are practically indistinguishable from customers. The research is privatized and commoditized by the highest bidder.

Umm the Intenet and Internet2

By oh_my_080980980 • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
So in other words you want universities to have access to the thing they already have access to.

And do academic scientists really want to store their data in data centers of tech companies? You know where the tech company can steal your information, like Amazon does on a regular basis to the sellers in their market place.

Here's a better idea: why not collaborate; which again was the point of the internet. Universities could work together. Pool and share resources. You are basically doing that with tax payer dollars.

Will the companies profit?

By larryjoe • Score: 3 • Thread

From the New York Times article, "But in the past, the government built the labs and facilities. The research cloud would use the cloud factories of the tech companies. Academic scientists would be government-subsidized customers of the tech giants, perhaps at rates below those charged to their business customers."

This is a wash for academics when comparing with using cloud resources at government labs versus at private companies. The money comes from the government in either case, so it's a wash for the government, too. The big question is whether the big companies stand to profit monetarily. Historically, companies only take on government contracts that are financially favorable for them. I would be quite skeptical that these companies would charge fees "perhaps at rates below those charged to their business customers" unless there were other favorable financial benefits, such as taking advantage of existing low-utilization or spare resources, tax breaks, etc. The government doesn't have a good track record of crafting contracts with below-market rates.

Apple Executive Defends App Store Rules Scrutinized by EU and US

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
The Apple executive in charge of the App Store in Europe said that the company's policies ensure a level playing field for developers and ease-of-use for customers as regulatory scrutiny over the platform mounts. From a report: "Our efforts to help developers succeed are broad, deep and ongoing, and they extend to apps -- in music, email, or a variety of other categories -- that compete with some aspect of our business," Daniel Matray, the iPhone maker's head of App Store and media services in Europe, said in a speech Tuesday at a four-day virtual conference hosted by Forum Europe. The speech comes as Apple faces antitrust probes in the European Union and U.S. over rules it imposes on developers. In particular, regulators are taking aim at the requirement that apps use the company's in-house payment service, which takes a cut of 15% to 30% of most subscriptions and in-app purchases. Matray said that about 85% of apps it hosts don't pay Apple a commission because they're free or earn revenue through other means. Further reading: How Apple Stacked the App Store With Its Own Products.

Re:Level playing field, nicely done

By AmiMoJo • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

They couldn't. As long as they have retail in the EU they will be subject to EU rules. If they close all their retail and B2B stuff in the EU they will be pissing away hundreds of billions of Euros and it still won't help because their products will get taxed or confiscated at the border.

The EU always wins because the EU is a huge, valuable market and in the end it's always more profitable to play by the rules than to leave or to try to circumvent it. Even entire countries like the UK can't overcome it.

Google Removes 25 Android Apps Caught Stealing Facebook Credentials

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Google has removed this month 25 Android apps from the Google Play Store that were caught stealing Facebook credentials. From a report: Before being taken down, the 25 apps were collectively downloaded more than 2.34 million times. The malicious apps were developed by the same threat group and despite offering different features, under the hood, all the apps worked the same. According to a report from French cyber-security firm Evina shared with ZDNet today, the apps posed as step counters, image editors, video editors, wallpaper apps, flashlight applications, file managers, and mobile games. The apps offered a legitimate functionality, but they also contained malicious code. Evina researchers say the apps contained code that detected what app a user recently opened and had in the phone's foreground. If the app was Facebook, the malicious app would overlay a web browser window on top of the official Facebook app and load a fake Facebook login page (see image below: blue bar = actual Facebook app, black bar = phishing page).


By ledow • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

"overlay a web browser window on top of the official Facebook app"

How is that even possible?

The problem there is not the app, but that it can even do that.

Even my TVheadend app overlay (to put TV over the top of the Android interface) requires special permissions and isn't convincing enough, especially where interaction (e.g. typing in details) is concerned.


By Luthair • Score: 4, Informative • Thread


By geekmux • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

"overlay a web browser window on top of the official Facebook app"

How is that even possible?

The problem there is not the app, but that it can even do that.

That's only a side-effect of the problem.

The actual problem here, is we'll find another 25 (or 250) "bad" apps in the store a year from now abusing this same vulnerability, as Google pretends they give a shit about security with this whack-a-mole tactic while doing nothing to actually fix the real problem you've identified.

Disney Research Creates Face-Swapping Technique For High-Res Video

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
shirappu writes: A new paper by Disney Research shows off a newly developed neural network that can swap faces in photos and videos at high-resolution. The idea behind this technology is to replace an actor's performance with a different actor's face, or for roles that require de-aging or increasing age, or for portraying actors who have passed away. Current face-swapping technology (also known as deepfakes) often creates an "uncanny valley" effect, where something about the image or video feels off. Though there is some of that in Disney Research's tech, it's still a huge step forward for creating believable face-swapping in the entertainment industry. This has once again brought up a conversation around the ethical use of this technology and the potential for malicious use. However, given the amount of ongoing R&D in this area, it seems unlikely that we'll see any slowdown in the near future.


By Anonymous Coward • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

The Porn industry says thanks.


By Cannucklehead • Score: 3 • Thread

And this is how RDJ stays the face of Iron Man in perpetuity.

Oh wow

By Dunbal • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
This will be so useful for when some actor gets "cancelled" because of a politically incorrect tweet they made 20 years ago, now they can just swap in a different actor's face and the show must go on!

VR Beer Googles!

By Ronin Developer • Score: 3 • Thread

Couple this with VR goggles, you can have the partner of your choice and you won't even have to worry, after a hard night of drinking, that their bag might fall off...unless the battery dies before they leave.

Re:Direct Video Link

By hairyfeet • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Actually in Gladiator it was the dead actor it was just a scene he had already filmed (and which had already been used in the movie) which they then used a computer to digitally add shadows to basically relight the scene so that you wouldn't be able to tell it was the exact same shot used earlier.

Corridor Crew did a vid on it about a year ago and it was pretty fascinating how they redesigned the set to have shadow sources that would make the digital shadows fit so well if you didn't know you would never have guessed that it was the exact same reaction shot you had seen not a half hour before.

China Approves COVID-19 Vaccine Candidate For Military Use

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
schwit1 writes: Same vaccine being tested in Canada. But China just skipped ahead and approved it for one year for its soldiers without full long-term data. The COVID-19 vaccine (Ad5-nCoV) in question is developed by China's Academy of Military (AMS) research unit and CanSino Biologics. Clinical trials proved it was safe and showed some efficacy, according to the company.

Reuters says the company has not disclosed whether the inoculation of the vaccine candidate is mandatory or optional, citing commercial secrets. "AMS received an approval earlier this month to test its second experimental coronavirus vaccine in humans," adds Reuters.

The anti-vaxxers will love this

By De_Boswachter • Score: 3 • Thread
Ad5-nCoV is a live adenovirus vaccine. So they're infecting people with the GMO-iest of GMO viruses as a vector against another virus. Better hope it won't revert to a wild-type and better hope no oncogene will sneak into its genome along the way. Better those Chinese 'volunteers' than me.

Re:Yeah, right.

By drinkypoo • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

I'm solidly in favor of criticising China for its abuses, but you do know that in the US military you take the medications you're given too, right? You give up even the right to know what they are.


By Sumguy2436 • Score: 5, Funny • Thread
Just declare the soldiers as "protesters". They'll magically be immune.


By ceoyoyo • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

The case fatality rate is in the ballpark of 5-10%. It's believed that up to 90% of cases may be undetected, so you have to divide that by 10 to get an estimate of the infection fatality rate, which gives your 0.5-1%.

OP seems to be doing like many people and dividing *that* by 10. I'd suspect political motives, but basic innumeracy is probably just as likely.

Re:Yeah, right.

By rsborg • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

I'm solidly in favor of criticising China for its abuses, but you do know that in the US military you take the medications you're given too, right? You give up even the right to know what they are.

Can confirm. Former soldier. I took lots of crazy pills and shots - they would sometimes not disclose other than 'it's gonna f*ing hurt, and it's for battle prep". Who knows what experiments were run on my body at the time - we all knew we were US Gov property for our enlistment.

First Apple Silicon Benchmarks Destroy Surface Pro X

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
As expected, developers with early access to Apple silicon-based transition kits have leaked some early benchmarks scores. And it's bad news for Surface Pro X and Windows 10 on ARM fans. Thurrott reports: According to multiple Geekbench scores, the Apple Developer Transition Kit -- a Mac Mini-like device with an Apple A12Z system-on-a-chip (SoC), 16 GB of RAM, and 512 GB of SSD storage -- delivers an average single-core score of 811 and an average multi-core score of 2871. Those scores represent the performance of the device running emulated x86/64 code under macOS Big Sur's Rosetta 2 emulator.

Compared to modern PCs with native Intel-type chipsets, that's not all that impressive, but that's to be expected since it's emulated. But compared to Microsoft's Surface Pro X, which has the fastest available Qualcomm-based ARM chipset and can run Geekbench natively -- not emulated -- it's amazing: Surface Pro X only averages 764 on the single-core test and 2983 in multi-core. Right. The emulated performance of the Apple silicon is as good or better than the native performance of the SQ-1-based Surface Pro X. This suggests that the performance of native code on Apple silicon will be quite impressive, and will leave Surface Pro X and WOA in the dust.

Here are the native scores

By otuz • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

It's silly to post comparisons of early emulated code, since even the emulator will improve over time running on the same hardware. However, there are native scores on iOS and iPadOS:

The A12Z on the iPad Pro 11" gets 1119/4699:
It's Apple's previous generation chip with two extra cores.

The Intel Core i7-1065G7 on Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 is in the same ballpark with 1233/4751:

In single-core performance, the 6-core A13 Bionic on Apple's $500 iPhose SE beats both 1328, but obviously loses in 3043 multi-core, since it's a small telephone:
It's Apple's current generation chip though.

What the production Macs will be using are next generation from that, probably A14 something, and will be engineered without such tight thermal limitations.

Re:Wrong takeaway.

By gnasher719 • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

So Silicon can't run Geekbench natively while Surface's ARM can? Sounds like a win for Surface.

Are you stupid, or are you intentionally acting stupid? They were running Geekbench for MacOS. Compiled to Intel code. Geekbench has a version for iOS, compiled to ARM code, and a version for Surface Pro, compiled to ARM code, and when Macs with ARM chips are officially released, they will have a version for MacOS, compiled to ARM code.

Apps will still run slow

By Ed Tice • Score: 3 • Thread
It seems no matter how fast the hardware is, apps always seem to expand to use every cycle that you have and more. It's amazing how inefficient things are.

Re:Big Sur?

By AmiMoJo • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Some mod didn't get the joke.

They started naming releases after locations in California. Mavericks, Big Sur. Well one semi-famous location is called Shit Pipe, at least by the locals.

I'm still sad they didn't make make Mac OS Moggy or Mac OS Happycat.

Re:Emulated == always slower?

By Strider- • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

It also cost $10,000, in the 1990s.