Alterslash

the unofficial Slashdot digest for 2020-Jul-31 today archive
 

Contents

  1. The Anglerfish Deleted Its Immune System To Fuse With Its Mate
  2. Lifestyle Changes Could Delay Or Prevent 40% of Dementia Cases, Study Says
  3. Google Accused By Developer of Retaliation For Cooperating With House Antitrust Investigation
  4. Germany is Banning Single-Use Plastic Straws, Cotton Buds and Food Containers
  5. Microsoft Is Shutting Down Cortana On Multiple Devices, Including iOS and Android
  6. Apple Surpasses Saudi Aramco To Become World's Most Valuable Company
  7. Comcast Lost 477,000 Cable Customers In Q2 2020
  8. Amazon Says Police Demands For Customer Data Have Gone Up
  9. COVID-19 Hospital Data Is a Hot Mess After Feds Take Control
  10. Spotify CEO: Musicians Can No Longer Release Music Only 'Once Every 3-4 Years'
  11. Facebook Says Apple's iOS 14 Changes Could Hurt Its Ad Targeting
  12. A Florida Teen Just Got Arrested for Twitter's Huge Hack
  13. Microsoft in Talks To Buy TikTok, as Trump Weighs Curtailing App
  14. Netflix is Letting People Watch Things Faster or Slower With New Playback Speed Controls
  15. Emails Detail Amazon's Plan To Crush a Startup Rival With Price Cuts
  16. Twitter Permanently Bans White Supremacist David Duke
  17. Australia To Make Facebook, Google Pay For News in World First
  18. Argos To Stop Printing Catalogue After Almost 50 Years
  19. Red Hat Security Update Renders Systems Unbootable
  20. Twitter Says High-Profile Hack Was the Result of a Phishing Attack
  21. Nvidia in Advanced Talks To Buy Chip Giant Arm
  22. 'We're Running Out of Homes For Sale,' Lake Tahoe Brokers Say As Tech Workers Flee Bay Area
  23. SpaceX Completes Static Fire of Starship Prototype, Will Hop Next
  24. FCC Approves Amazon's Internet-From-Space Kuiper Constellation of 3,236 Satellites

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

The Anglerfish Deleted Its Immune System To Fuse With Its Mate

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Wired: There are few animals more bizarre than the anglerfish, a species that has so much trouble finding a mate that when the male and female do connect underwater, males actually fuse their tissue with the females for life. After the merger, the two share a single respiratory and digestive system. Now scientists have discovered that the anglerfish accomplishes this sexual parasitism because it has lost a key part of its immune system, which then allows two bodies to become one without tissue rejection.

All vertebrates, including humans, have two kinds of immune systems. The first is the innate system, which responds quickly to attacks by microscopic invaders with a variety of chemicals like mucous physical barriers like hair and skin, and disease-munching cells called macrophages. The second line of defense is an adaptive system that produces both "killer" T cells to attack the pathogen and antibodies custom-made to fight specific bacteria or viruses. The two systems work together to fight infections and prevent disease. But in a study published Thursday in the journal Science, researchers from Germany's Max Planck Institute and the University of Washington found that many anglerfish species (there are more than 300) have evolved over time to lose the genes that control their adaptive immune systems, meaning that they can't create antibodies and lack those T cells.

Only works for Anglerfish not nerds

By ghoul • Score: 3 • Thread

PSA: To the nerds in basements everywhere - deleting your immune system will not get you a mate. Do not go out and try to get HIV as a shortcut to finding mates.

It may be the alcohol...

By aaarrrgggh • Score: 3 • Thread

...but this is really cool!!

Always interesting to see how we adapt to our environment...

Re:ummm....

By Moopstock • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
They also should not use the term "sexual parasitism" when it's clearly "sexual mutualism" as the species would not survive without this reproductive strategy. The female's hormonal system is in control of attracting a male; she releases her scent into the abyss on the sole purpose of acquiring a male. She may have one or many male counterparts and she will stop attracting males when she becomes satisfied.

Re:ummm....

By serviscope_minor • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Why portray it as the male fusing instead of both fusing together?

Because that's how it works. Male finds female. Male bites female and starts secreting enzymes and hormones to induce fusion. The tiny male thereby fuses itself to the large female fish. The male's organs and brain is then absorbed leaving only a pair of testicles.

End result, the animal with the most balls is a female angler fish. It's not unusual for one of those fish to be rocking 8 pairs of nuts.

In some species, the males don't even have fully developed digestive systems. They can't even eat, they fuse to a female or starve. It is very one sided.

True Facts

By SoundGuyNoise • Score: 3 • Thread
I read this in a Ze Frank voice.

Lifestyle Changes Could Delay Or Prevent 40% of Dementia Cases, Study Says

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Excessive drinking, exposure to air pollution and head injuries all increase dementia risk, experts say in a report revealing that up to 40% of dementia cases worldwide could be delayed or prevented by addressing 12 such lifestyle factors. The Guardian reports: The report from the Lancet Commission on dementia prevention, intervention and care builds on previous work revealing that about a third of dementia cases could be prevented by addressing nine lifestyle factors, including midlife hearing loss, depression, less childhood education and smoking. The research weighs up the latest evidence, largely from high-income countries, supporting the addition of a further three risk factors to the list. It suggests that 1% of dementia cases worldwide are attributable to excessive mid-life alcohol intake, 3% to mid-life head injuries and 2% a result of exposure to air pollution in older age -- although they caution that the latter could be an underestimate.

While some actions can be taken on a personal level to tackle such issues, many require government-led change. The report includes a list of nine recommendations, including improving air quality, and urges policymakers to "be ambitious about prevention." Research has suggested that the incidence of dementia in Europe and North America has fallen by around 15% per decade for the past 30 years -- likely because of lifestyle changes such as a reduction in smoking -- even though the numbers of people with dementia are rising as people live longer. The impact of lifestyle interventions, the team add, is likely to be greatest among the most deprived individuals and in low- and middle-income countries. The impact of lifestyle interventions, the team add, is likely to be greatest among the most deprived individuals and in low- and middle-income countries.

Re:As I recall

By Frank Burly • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
If Trump fans have one thing they loathe, it's a falsehood admitted to and retracted. Nobody who does such a thing can be trusted again.

Re:The 12 lifestyle changes

By h33t l4x0r • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
At least I can still huff paint. It's the little things in life, I find.

Re:The 12 lifestyle changes

By NewtonsLaw • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

I have had only one significant head-injury (concussion after falling off a motorbike) and I'm not subject to any of the other risk factors but I have been diagnosed with Parkinson's which boosts the risk of getting dementia hugely.

After my diagnosis I decided to do whatever I could to slow the progression of the disease. This included weight loss, lots more exercise (I put on a lot of muscle) and a deliberate focus on avoiding negativity in my life.

The worrying thing is that I'm aware that some days (the frequency of which is increasing) I have a mental-fog which really does cause confusion. Last week I couldn't remember the name of the street I live in.

It is incredibly scary to realise that I'm probably going down that path and there's nothing I can do about it.

My only response is: carpe diem and fingers crossed :-(

Re:Unexpected

By divide overflow • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

I didn't realize hitting yourself in the head was a lifestyle for some people.

I guess you're unaware of the U.S. National Football League, where hitting yourself in the head is a career choice.

I've seen and agree with some items on the list

By imidan • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

I watched my grandmother deteriorate with dementia. It was nowhere near the descriptions of the worst cases that I've heard of, but it was still quite evident. I can't establish a causal relationship, but I can say that her early decline coincided with her spending a lot more time alone in her home. She had less social contact, she left off projects around the house, and overall just stopped doing stuff. It turned out that she had experienced undiagnosed hearing and vision deterioration -- she didn't really notice because it happened gradually. I have often wondered whether we could have prevented or at least forestalled her decline if we had been more attentive and insistent that she get proper care for her sensory deficits and encouraged her to participate in social programs for seniors that would have kept her more busy and engaged.

I and the rest of my family certainly spent time with her as much as we could, but we didn't know what we were looking for as far as warning signs. I was relatively young at the time, so there are things that today I would interpret as warnings that I didn't back then. We had to move her into an old folks' home, which actually helped her -- the place had a variety of activities, and they took their meals together in the dining room, so she got a lot more socialization and challenge there than she'd had living by herself. She got quite a bit better living in that environment for almost ten years before she really succumbed to her age and died. It was particularly sad because she'd been living on her own for decades before that, and was quite self-reliant for a woman of her generation.

So, this is anecdotal, and obviously I've left out a lot of details, but I've always suspected that what really accelerated her decline was her gradually advancing inability to meaningfully interact with the world around her. When we addressed her sensory and social issues, she made a significant recovery.

Google Accused By Developer of Retaliation For Cooperating With House Antitrust Investigation

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Google kicked an email app off its Play Store Friday, just days after its developers revealed they were cooperating with House lawmakers who questioned the tech giants' chief executives during a landmark tech antitrust hearing earlier this week. From a report: The founders of Blix, the maker of the "BlueMail" app, say they believe the move was retaliation for their outspokenness on antitrust issues. They said Google had not previously warned them about the move. "We have been developing for the Google Play Store for more than six years, but we woke up this morning to find ourselves kicked out with no notice," Blix co-founder Ben Volach said in an interview Friday. On Wednesday, the antitrust subcommittee of the House Judiciary committee questioned the CEOs of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google about new evidence the committee has gathered in an ongoing investigation into allegedly anticompetitive behavior by the four companies. One area of interest for the committee was the power of Apple and Google to act as gatekeepers for app developers, particularly when they compete head-to-head with those developers.

Eric Schmidt was "adult supervision"

By Sebby • Score: 3 • Thread

You know, with the way Google conducts itself these days, I can only conclude that, as "adult supervision" while Google was growing, Eric Schmidt was a shitty "parent".*

*or "guardian" if you prefer - point is he clearly wasn't a good "moral influence".

Re:Oh dear

By Aighearach • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

If they'd actually read Machiavelli, they'd know that all these stupid plots and schemes fail. They all fail. Just do your fucking job already.

Whoever did this obviously has excessive time and they shouldn't just be fired, they should remove the position from the management tree. Flatten that section a little bit, because this shit come from being bloated with executives.

I got kicked off a few weeks ago. Happens a lot.

By seoras • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

A few ago I was, unexpectedly, kicked off Google Play for a "violation of the rules".
I appealed, asking why, and was re-instated without explanation a week later.
I asked again, what had I done to have my account terminated - so I wouldn't do it again, and the Google rep replied "I can't tell you, just read the rules".
While waiting for a decision on my appeal I got a sleazy email from some east european (included a photo of himself trying to look, I assume, tough and cool) offering to buy my de-listed app. Draw your own conclusions.
Try Googling for "This is a notification that your Google Play Publisher account has been terminated."
It seems to be a regular right of passage for Android Devs.

Germany is Banning Single-Use Plastic Straws, Cotton Buds and Food Containers

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Germany is banning the sale of single-use plastic straws, cotton buds and food containers, bringing it in line with a European Union directive intended to reduce the amount of plastic garbage that pollutes the environment. From a report: The Cabinet agreed Wednesday to end the sale of plastics including single-use cutlery, plates, stirring sticks and balloon holders, as well as polystyrene cups and boxes by July 3, 2021. Environment Minister Svenja Schulze said the move was part of an effort to move away from "throw-away culture." Up to 20% of garbage collected in parks and other public places consists of single-use plastic, mainly polystyrene containers.

Re:Well done

By Pascoea • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
Considering the western world has a habit of dumping our shit in 3rd-world countries, seems like it would make sense to produce less shit. https://www.motherjones.com/en...

Re:cotton swab?

By moronoxyd • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

It might surprise you to hear, but different countries use different terms.

Q-Tip isn't as as prevalent in Germany as it is in the US. So we don't use the product name as a generic term.
Another example: We don't say "Kleenex" over here but "Tempos" (as this brand is much more prevalent).

Re:how will that work?

By Shinobi • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

More and more single-use food containers over here are made from paper, or from left-over starch from industrial food production(Which means they are even edible)

Re:'Cotton buds'?

By michelcolman • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Many cruise and cargo ships throw trash overboard to avoid paying the fees per ton of trash offloaded in the harbour. If you want to clean up the oceans, that looks like a better place to start. Perhaps a world wide rule where ships pay for trash per passenger mile rather than per ton?

And increase fees for littering. In Singapore, you can get a $2000 fine for a first offence. Plastic should be thrown into the trash, not into nature, why do people still find this so difficult to understand?

But noooo, it's much easier to outlaw plastic straws and force people to use either badly tasting paper straws (yes, I've tried them) or tooth-busting corona-spreading metal straws. Never mind that producing paper straws (with the liners inside) actually pollutes more than the production of plastic straws.

Exponential increase will stop someday

By AndyKron • Score: 3, Interesting • Thread
Or we could reduce our population. It will stop someday, that's a mathematical given. The question is: Will we reduce our population, or will mother nature do it for us? So far it looks like we've chosen mother nature to do it for us, unfortunately.

Microsoft Is Shutting Down Cortana On Multiple Devices, Including iOS and Android

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
At Microsoft's Ignite conference in late 2019, the company said it was planning to shut down its standalone Cortana mobile apps as it refocuses on business users. Microsoft today is following through with that plan, announcing that it will shut down the current Cortana iOS and Android apps, end Cortana support for the Harman Kardon Invoke smart speaker, and remove the original Cortana functionality from the first-generation Surface Headphones starting in 2021. The Verge reports: These changes are still a few months away, but it marks another big step for Microsoft in pivoting Cortana away from a Google Assistant or Alexa alternative to a more specialized, productivity-focused assistant -- changes the company has already started making on the Windows 10 version of Cortana earlier this year. (To that end, Microsoft also put a September 7th date on the already-announced sunsetting of third-party Cortana skills for Windows.) Instead, Microsoft will be focusing on its productivity features that repurpose Cortana as a part of the Microsoft 365 suite of software, citing the revamped Windows 10 functions and integrated Cortana features in the Outlook and Teams apps as replacements. It's not as full-featured as the original Cortana -- which offered additional functions like smart home controls and music integration -- but by offering a less broad set of features, Microsoft is hoping to create a product that better complements its existing software and competes less directly with established players like Google and Amazon.

Microsoft is also offering a consolation offer of a $50 gift card for Harman Kardon Invoke owners, who'll be most impacted by the removal of Cortana -- which effectively will turn the formerly smart device into a pricey Bluetooth speaker when the firmware update arrives next year. Owners of the original Surface Headphones (who will also see their Cortana experience removed) are also being offered a $25 gift card to make up for the missing service.

In other news...

By NateFromMich • Score: 5, Funny • Thread
Cortana apparently was on Android and iOS.

Bring back Tay

By awwshit • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Please tell me they are bringing back Tay in Cortana's place.

I can still get it on my Zune, right?

By rsilvergun • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
and my Windows 8 phone?

Focus on business users = remove ads from windows?

By greggman • Score: 3 • Thread

Business users don't want ads in their OS distracting their employees. If MS is going to focus on business users they should arguably remove the ads!

Product Refunds in some countries

By Canberra1 • Score: 3 • Thread
People in New Zealand can simply return their goods to point of sale, saying they stopped working. Other countries may have similar consumer protection laws. And a remote control that does not get lost nor need batteries is worth more than $25, especially quadriplegics and disabled people. That's going to make Microsoft's partners bitter. What galls some is that that the press release was not picked up for being a lie. They are still working on it, and all inputs and outputs are the same. All you got to do is cross-compile the program for a different platform, that they did before. Choosing to EOL the product probably means a deal between MS and Google/Android changed, and that the anti-competition and monopoly commission is not aware of it. Now only Google will hear 'Darling, I think we need a new car' to start push flogging sponsors who pay richly to be the proverbial fly on the wall. Looking backwards, Microsoft lost the browser wars, It lost the search engine wars, it lost the mobile os wars, it lost the voice assistant wars, it lost the self driving car wars, it lost the IOT everywhere/AKA Android, and arguably lost the Web based office software wars. Notably Google picking most of these gongs. Oh, and lost Facebook and Zoom wars. Plus Microsoft's push ad's and background spyware is meeting some resistance. Microsoft is firmly on the technical decline.

Apple Surpasses Saudi Aramco To Become World's Most Valuable Company

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Apple rode the company's strong earnings report to become the world's most valuable publicly traded company, surpassing the state oil giant Saudi Aramco at Friday's market close. CNBC reports: Apple shares closed up 10.47% Friday, giving it a market valuation of $1.84 trillion. Saudi Aramco, which had been the most valuable publicly listed company since its market debut last year, now trails at $1.76 trillion as of its last close. Apple's strong fiscal third quarter earnings, released Thursday, boosted its stock, as investors rallied behind the company's 11% year-over-year growth. Apple also announced a 4-for-1 stock split. The company has recovered from its pandemic low-point in March. Shares are up more than 44% this year.

After this past week

By Wat___(o_O)___lol • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread

After this past week's anti-trust hearing, Apple might soon becomes the 5 most valuable companies in the world

Comcast Lost 477,000 Cable Customers In Q2 2020

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
AT&T lost an astounding 900,000 cable subscribers in the first quarter of 2020, and now, Comcast has reported that it lost 477,000 pay-TV subscribers of its own for Q2. TechSpot reports: In Q1 2020, roughly 409,000 subscribers pulled the plug on their Comcast-provided cable subscriptions -- this last quarter, the corporate giant managed to lose substantially more. If these losses continue to grow at this rate, Comcast may be on track to lose twice as many cable subscribers this year as it did last year. For reference, the company took a hit of around 733,000 cable subscribers in 2019, and it has already dropped significantly more than that (around 886,000 customers) in 2020.

There are plenty of reasons for these mass subscriber losses, but Covid-19 is likely chief among them. Thousands of Americans have lost their jobs due to coronavirus complications (including business shutdowns). Even many who haven't are now working from home, giving them more free time to explore alternatives to cable TV, such as Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and others.
What it lost in cable-TV subscribers it gained in internet customers. The report notes that Comcast "managed to snag around 323,000 additional broadband customers in Q2 2020: the 'best second quarter high-speed internet net adds in 13 years,' according to the company."

TV programming is awful

By FudRucker • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
i refuse to pay a cable TV company for TV programming that is 50% advertising, with all that advertising i consider TV to be spam,

Comcast Priced Themselves Out

By Arzaboa • Score: 3 • Thread

I am a Comcast customer. I do not have any other choice. Their pricing and services have been all over the place.

I had been a customer for a long time, we got TV from there and it worked. The price had finally reached an absurd $250 a month for their fastest internet, and their cable package. They wouldn't lower the price unless I installed a "security" system. I don't hardly trust them with cable tv and internet much less my home security. I wasn't under contract. I told them to move my service to all internet and drop the cable package. Internet is $100 a month for the fastest service here in my area. It is unlimited usage and 110Mbps down and 8 Mbps up.

With internet now at $100 a month, and saving over $150 a month, any other streaming service became an easy choice as every single one of them was cheaper than Comcast. It was a no brainer to leave. They forced me to leave. They created a situation where I could either pay them $150 for TV, or not at all. There was no magic "promotion" package they usually have. Hello Hulu, Netflix and Disney!

Now, fast forward to yesterday. I got an email that I was enrolled in a new "promotion." They have now added back Cable TV. I didn't ask for it. I don't pay any more for it, in fact I get a $8 a month discount on my bill for it. I assumed there was a reason for this, though at the moment I just figured it was to sucker me somehow down the line. My guess now is that they have added me and a whole lot of others back to the Cable TV plan for "free" so that their subscriber numbers go up.

--
A good laugh is sunshine in the house. - William Makepeace Thackeray

OTA FTW

By Rick Schumann • Score: 3 • Thread
Never looked back once.

Re:They haven't even gotten started yet

By ssyladin • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Yay for a single data point! So, for comparison, the JOLTS data for 2019 in April and May showed about 7.2M open job positions. That means, year on year, there are 1.8M fewer available positions for roughly ~25-30M more newly jobless people. "It is [also] theorized" that we're in a massive shit economy and due to have millions of jobless, homeless people. And know what jobless homeless people don't do? Spend money in their local economy, thus driving more businesses under, and driving up costs related to the health and well being of the general population, like police, social workers, health care, etc. And once you're homeless, it is much much much harder to get a job for which you are qualified. It's a vicious feedback cycle that really sucks.

As an aside, don't forget that unemployment never actually hits zero percent. There is always a background churn, and the job marketplace still takes time to match openings with candidates who are qualified, geographically appropriate, and willing to take that job. Great if I'm fit and unemployed, but I'm not going to be servicing portable toilets for $10 - 14 / hour in Michigan.

Re:They haven't even gotten started yet

By SkonkersBeDonkers • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Actually real data science has found no evidence that people are not seeking jobs just because of the extra unemployment benefits. Just starting with the fact that when you're on unemployment you have to report weekly to the unemployment office and show evidence of job searching which they follow up on and if you're found to have turned down a job offer you are kicked out of the program all together.

What you're parroting is a Republican talking point where they attempt to justify why they're giving American businesses hundreds of billions more but balking at spending a few more billion on individuals.

Amazon Says Police Demands For Customer Data Have Gone Up

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from TechCrunch: Amazon has said the number of demands for user data made by U.S. federal and local law enforcement have increased more during the first half of 2020 than during the same period a year earlier. The disclosure came in the company's latest transparency report, published Thursday. The figures show that Amazon received 23% more subpoenas and search warrants, and a 29% increase in court orders compared to the first half of 2019. That includes data collected from its Amazon.com retail storefront, Amazon Echo devices and its Kindle and Fire tablets.

Breaking those figures down, Amazon said it received: 2,416 subpoenas, turning over all or partial user data in 70% of cases; 543 search warrants, turning over all or partial user data in 79% of cases; and 146 court orders, turning over all or partial user data in 74% of cases. Amazon also said it received between 0 and 249 national security requests, flat from previous reports. Justice Department rules on disclosing classified requests only allow companies to respond in numerical ranges. The number of requests to the company's cloud services, Amazon Web Services, also went up compared to a year earlier. But it's not clear what caused the rise in U.S. government demands for user data.
As for the number of overseas requests, Amazon saw the number drop by about one-third compared to the same period a year earlier. "Amazon rejected 92% of the 177 overseas requests it received, turning over partial user data in 10 cases and all requested data in four cases," the report adds.

Amazon Echo devices

By sarren1901 • Score: 3 • Thread

Nice to see these devices doing what we all assumed they were doing all along. Go ahead, keep buying these things. Tell them everything. We swear nothing is being recorded or saved, really.

COVID-19 Hospital Data Is a Hot Mess After Feds Take Control

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
slack_justyb shares a report from Ars Technica: As COVID-19 hospitalizations in the US approach the highest levels seen in the pandemic so far, national efforts to track patients and hospital resources remain in shambles after the federal government abruptly seized control of data collection earlier this month. Watchdogs and public health experts were immediately aghast by the switch to the HHS database, fearing the data would be manipulated for political reasons or hidden from public view all together. However, the real threat so far has been the administrative chaos. The switch took effect July 15, giving hospitals and states just days to adjust to the new data collection and submission process.

As such, hospitals have been struggling with the new data reporting, which involves reporting more types of data than the CDC's previous system. Generally, the data includes stats on admissions, discharges, beds and ventilators in use and in reserve, as well as information on patients. For some hospitals, that data has to be harvested from various sources, such as electronic medical records, lab reports, pharmacy data, and administrative sources. Some larger hospital systems have been working to write new scripts to automate new data mining, while others are relying on staff to compile the data manually into excel spreadsheets, which can take multiple hours each day, according to a report by Healthcare IT News. The task has been particularly onerous for small, rural hospitals and hospitals that are already strained by a crush of COVID-19 patients.
"It seems the obvious of going from a system that is well tested, to something new and alien to everyone is happening exactly as everyone who has ever done these kinds of conversions predicted," adds Slashdot reader slack_justyb.

Re:That was the point, wasn't it?

By leptons • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
And their fuckery of the data still won't save the economy - nobody with a brain trusts this administration and now we're less likely to trust any numbers, until they are voted out and all their bullshit is reversed and fixed. It's like they're trying to fix a flat tire by setting the car on fire. If people can't trust the numbers they certainly aren't going to pretend that nothing is wrong and start going out to restaurants again.

Re:I don't understand how anyone can still support

By gweihir • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

I'm genuinely worried we're about to become a dictatorship. And not for vague, unsubstantiated reasons, but for the very specific reason I outlined above.

That will not happen. The only thing Trump ever accomplished was getting elected. Immediately after that, he continued his otherwise uninterrupted string of failures, cons, borderline (and not borderline) criminal acts, failing business ventures, perpetual lying and utterly stupid statements. He and his followers are not smart enough to stage a successful coup and Trump is incapable of tolerating anybody that could plan and execute such a coup in his team. Hence he may get more people killed, probably a lot more, but he will not establish a dictatorship.

Re:How is more data not attractive

By sycodon • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Before:
Infected/Not infected
Dead/Recovered

Now
Infected with no symptoms
Infected with mild symptoms
Infected with complicating comorbidity
Contributing cause of death
Primary cause of death
Unrelated to case of death

You know, all the things you need to make informed decisions

Trustworthiness fell

By RobinH • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
I've been following the curves on the CDC and other countries sites for months now. The problem is that countries like China, their data can't be trusted, but the CDC has a good reputation. Not perfect, but good. Then there's this announcement about moving data collection through HHS and bypassing the CDC. At exactly the same time that they switched, the curve of new cases per day stops rising abruptly, and I don't know of any big policy changes (nationally) that could account for such a change, so I'm immediately suspicious that the data is now being manipulated for political reasons. Great, now the US is pulling a China... Just what we needed.

Is it Worse

By dcw3 • Score: 3 • Thread

CDC's data collection was far from the gold standard. They still didn't even have a way to electronically collect the data from all of the states, but were said to be working on it. They weren't separating antibody test results from antigen test results, and were heavily criticized for it. So let's not pretend they were doing a good job. I haven't followed what HHS has done with it, but what we should all stop doing is politicizing this...saying that "the Feds" took over is silly. CDC is as much a "Fed" as HHS.

Spotify CEO: Musicians Can No Longer Release Music Only 'Once Every 3-4 Years'

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
In a recent interview with Music Ally, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek denied criticisms that Spotify pays insufficient royalties to artists, and insisted that the role of the musician had changed in today's "future landscape." The FADER reports: Ek claimed that a "narrative fallacy" had been created and caused music fans to believe that Spotify doesn't pay musicians enough for streams of their music. "Some artists that used to do well in the past may not do well in this future landscape," Ek said, "where you can't record music once every three to four years and think that's going to be enough." What is required from successful musicians, Ek insisted, is a deeper, more consistent, and prolonged commitment than in the past. "The artists today that are making it realize that it's about creating a continuous engagement with their fans. It is about putting the work in, about the storytelling around the album, and about keeping a continuous dialogue with your fans."

Ek alleged that artists have said "many times" in private that they are happy with their royalties from Spotify, and said that he believes that musicians who cannot make a living may not be in step with modern standards. "I feel, really, that the ones that aren't doing well in streaming are predominantly people who want to release music the way it used to be released," Ek said.

Best argument that Spotify does pay too little

By Zontar_Thing_From_Ve • Score: 3 • Thread
The Beatles' recordings are controlled by the 2 surviving members (Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr) and the widows (Yoko Ono and Olivia Harrison) of the deceased members John Lennon and Georgia Harrison. Paul McCartney stated that because of the demand to stream music by The Beatles that they were able to demand an up front flat fee from sources like Spotify rather than the typical royalty rate that they pay. This suggests 2 things to me. The first is that they don't trust Spotify, etc., to come up with accurate totals for the purposes of royalty payments. Second, that they know that the typical Spotify rate is crap, so by getting paid up front, they are likely to end up with more money and it avoids the inevitable prolonged court fight over disputed payments.

To Spotify CEO

By Revek • Score: 3 • Thread
Fix the busted ass shuffle. Seriously it isn't the least bit random. Perhaps you could offer several shuffle options not just the ones that benefit your bottom line.

Paradigm Shift

By divide overflow • Score: 3 • Thread
"Get over yourself and stop behaving like an entitled entertainment artist. You're simply a common laborer that sings for your supper. Pick up your axe and get to work, guitar boy."

Anomalous

By oort99 • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
The latter half of the 20th century was an anomaly... a corrupt lottery system where a few big names made unimaginable money, possible only because of distribution monopolies. We still have a lot of cultural expectations built around that system. Who knows where things settle. Maybe musicianship goes back to something more akin to medieval minstrels. We still need famous heroes, but maybe they are just youtube memers. The writing was on the wall in the late 90s, and it still hasn't shaken out. But the general trend: musician increases in proximity to sculptor. But I remain hopeful for 80s hair band revival that will be my big break.

Why Does He Care?

By dcw3 • Score: 3 • Thread

If I stream mostly 60s-80s rock, isn't he making just as much as if I stream some brand new crap? Why does he give a shit? Does he intend to stop paying the great artists of those years because they're no longer creating new content?

Facebook Says Apple's iOS 14 Changes Could Hurt Its Ad Targeting

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from CNBC: Facebook Chief Financial Officer David Wehner said on Thursday that upcoming changes to Apple's iOS 14 operating system could hurt the social network's ability to target ads to users. With the update to its mobile devices, Apple will ask users if they want to let app developers track their activity across other apps and websites. Apple has not said when iOS 14 will launch, but it's expected to roll out this year. "We're still trying to understand what these changes will look like and how they will impact us and the rest of the industry, but at the very least, it's going to make it harder for app developers and others to grow using ads on Facebook and elsewhere," Wehner said.

Until now, advertisers could use a device ID number called the IDFA to better target ads and estimate their effectiveness. In iOS 14, each app that wants to use these identifiers will ask users to opt-in to tracking when the app is first launched. The change is expected to start impacting Facebook's advertising in the third quarter but it will have a more pronounced effect in the fourth quarter, Wehner said.

The one thing that makes me smile

By bobstreo • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

"...could hurt the social network's ability to target ads to users."

  I'd prefer cripple, or destroy to hurt, but you can't have everything.

Good

By Malc • Score: 3 • Thread

I don't want FB tracking and targeting me. Happy to pay an Apple premium to avoid this. FB really doesn't provide much value these days: their app is unusable with the ratio of ads/sponsored crap versus hearing from people I care about. I've just about stopped looking at it because it's become so crap, and certainly don't want them tracking me outside their app in my browser.

Oh noes

By JustAnotherOldGuy • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

"Facebook Says Apple's iOS 14 Changes Could Hurt Its Ad Targeting"

Oh my, such a tragedy.

Re:Bummer

By tlhIngan • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Yes, that's why Apple is testifying in DC over their App Store policies and such. Because Facebook and others know if they can open up iOS, problems like this go away quite nicely.

Why do you think Telegram and others want to run their own app store? It's not because of the 30%. It's because Apple doesn't give them marketing data without user permission. They can avoid all that pesky approval nonsense and load up your iPhone with tons of trackers and spyware that Apple will never approve.

He says that as though it's a bad thing!

By jenningsthecat • Score: 3 • Thread

Facebook Chief Financial Officer David Wehner said on Thursday that upcoming changes to Apple's iOS 14 operating system could hurt the social network's ability to target ads to users

I'll bet he said it with a straight face too, as if he thinks the public is going to either sympathize with Facebook's 'plight' or somehow miss the targeted ads and the tracking. So he's disingenuous, or he's retarded. Either way he's a fuckwit.

A Florida Teen Just Got Arrested for Twitter's Huge Hack

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
In a press conference on Friday, US authorities announced they arrested the main suspect behind this month's major Twitter hack. From a report: The suspected hacker was identified as Graham Ivan Clark, a 17-year-old teen from Hillsborough County, Florida. According to Florida news outlet WFLA-TV, which first reported on the arrest, Clark was arrested earlier this morning, following a nationwide collaboration between the FBI, the IRS, the DOJ, and the Secret Service. Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren filed charges against Clark for being the "mastermind" behind the July 15 Twitter incident, when the teen is believed to have gained access to Twitter's backend, took over several high-profile accounts, and tweeted on their behalf to promote a cryptocurrency scam. The list of hacked accounts includes big names like Barrack Obama, Joe Biden, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Apple, Uber, Kanye West, Kim Kardashian, Michael Bloomberg, and others. Further reading: Twitter Says High-Profile Hack Was the Result of a Phishing Attack.

Re:Only 17?

By gweihir • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

So Twitter got pwned by a script kiddie?

Yes, they were. Nicely illustrates how abysmally bad corporate IT often is these days.

Re:Crypto scam? What a dummy

By PopeRatzo • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

They could have bought SPY puts and then temporarily crashed the US economy by posting fake policy tweets from Trump

Trump's doing fine crashing the economy all on his own, thank you very much, and he doesn't need some Florida teen's help. Although, if I was this Florida teen, I'd be calling the White House looking for a pardon and a job as Trump's campaign manager. You have to think there would be a place for him on the team.

Re:He must love Trump....

By Thrakkerzog • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

Trump's account has additional protections on it.

Mmm, redundancy...

By Cimexus • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

"Graham Ivan Clark, a 17-year-old teen"

What, as opposed to a 17-year-old in his thirties?

Re:Mmm, redundancy...

By waspleg • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

I know a lot of 17 year olds who are well past their thirties. The age on the face doesn't automatically impart maturity or wisdom.

Microsoft in Talks To Buy TikTok, as Trump Weighs Curtailing App

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Microsoft is in talks to acquire TikTok, the Chinese-owned video app, New York Times reported Friday, citing a person with knowledge of the discussions, as President Trump said on Friday that he was considering taking steps that would effectively ban the app from the United States. From a report: It's unclear how advanced the talks between Microsoft and TikTok are, but any deal could help alter TikTok's ownership, said the person with knowledge of the talks, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. TikTok is owned by ByteDance, a Chinese internet company that is valued at $100 billion. That has raised scrutiny of the app, with Trump administration officials saying that they have been concerned that TikTok poses a threat to national security.

The Trump administration has been weighing whether to order ByteDance to divest from American assets it acquired in 2017, which were later merged into TikTok. Bloomberg reported Friday that the president was poised to announce an order that would force ByteDance to sell TikTok's U.S. operations. The Trump administration has also been weighing other potential actions against the company, including adding ByteDance to a so-called "entity list," which prevents foreign companies from purchasing American products and services without a special license, according to people familiar with the matter.

Are they planning to integrate it with Teams?

By Anachronous Coward • Score: 5, Funny • Thread
I'm afraid to read the article.

Will other apps start to be Americanized?

By xack • Score: 3 • Thread
I can see this as part of a trend to buy out Chinese apps. Will even parts of Huawei get bought out?

Re:So what is it then?

By MobileTatsu-NJG • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Is Microsoft considered less evil than China or not?

We'll find out when Microsoft embarrasses the 'President'.

Anybody else think it's suspicious

By Baloo Uriza • Score: 3 • Thread
that a multinational corporation with a history of abusing its market position wants to buy a spy app from an authoritarian dictatorship?

Re:So what is it then?

By phantomfive • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Is Microsoft considered less evil than China or not?

Microsoft is more evil than China as a people, but the Chinese government just cancelled an election, suppresses free speech, jails people for life for protesting, has concentration camps in Xinjiang, and is trying to destroy the culture of Tibet. The CCP is worse than Microsoft.

Netflix is Letting People Watch Things Faster or Slower With New Playback Speed Controls

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Netflix is letting people choose the speed at which they want to watch something on their phone or tablet with new playback controls. From a report: Netflix will allow anyone on an Android mobile device to stream at either 0.5x or 0.75x speeds for slowed-down viewing and 1.25x or 1.5x speeds for faster watching. Those are slightly fewer options than YouTube, which allows people to slow all the way down to 0.25x speeds, and speed up by twice the normal playback speed. Playback speed options are also available on downloaded titles that people have saved for offline viewing. Subscribers must opt in to use the playback speeds with every single title they want to watch; it won't just remain active when you pick something else to watch. This prevents people from accidentally watching everything at 1.5x speed if they don't want to. The feature is rolling out tomorrow and will be available to everyone globally in the coming weeks.

Netflix announced it was testing the feature in 2019 and was met with backlash from Hollywood's creative community. Actor Aaron Paul and director Brad Bird spoke out against Netflix's decision to introduce the playback controls, and director Judd Apatow tweeted in October that "distributors don't get to change the way the content is presented." Netflix's team is introducing a number of features with the rollout to try to work with the creative community to ensure the quality of the content isn't disrupted, including automatically correcting "the pitch in the audio at faster and slower speeds," according to the company.

Faster speeds should include Kevin Costner setting

By Kadman • Score: 3, Funny • Thread
I'm thinking something like 16x might give viewers a better chance of making it to the end without falling asleep.

Re: Paltry, though there's a flawed work-around

By aardvarkjoe • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

I doubt you can use an external player to play Netflix content, can you? (because DRM).

Of course you can. You download the content using BitTorrent.

Emails Detail Amazon's Plan To Crush a Startup Rival With Price Cuts

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader shares a report: Quidsi's (parent company of Diapers.com) founders didn't want to sell their company, but Amazon's diaper price war was starting to hurt Quidsi. Growth was slowing, and Quidsi was having trouble raising additional capital to continue expanding. On September 14, the founders of Quidsi flew to Seattle to meet with Amazon and discuss a possible acquisition. As Quidsi's founders were sitting in a meeting with Amazon brass, Amazon hit Quidsi in the gut. It announced a new program called "Amazon Mom" that offered free Prime service and an additional 30-percent discount on diapers if users signed up to get them through Amazon's monthly "subscribe and save" program. This was a larger discount than Amazon offered on most other Subscribe and Save items.

This put Quidsi in an untenable situation, as Stone writes: "That month, Diapers.com listed a case of Pampers at $45; Amazon priced it at $39, and Amazon Mom customers with Subscribe and Save could get a case for less than $30. At one point, Quidsi executives took what they knew about shipping rates, factored in Proctor and Gamble's wholesale prices, and calculated that Amazon was on track to lose $100 million over three months in the diapers category alone." Amazon's losses may have actually been even larger. During Wednesday's hearing, Scanlon said that internal documents obtained by the committee showed Amazon losing $200 million in a single month from diaper products."

Re:When merchants compete, consumer wins

By stevez67 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Yea that works fine until the competition is gone and you find yourself paying twice the original price with no where else to turn to save money.

This is why to skip FACEBOOK and focus on the ...

By WindBourne • Score: 3 • Thread
real American monopolies who are being evil: Google, Twitter, Amazon, etc.

These should be split into multiple companies that exist on different continents. In addition, the anti dumping rules of old should be brought back. What Amazon and Google are doing is as criminal as Microsoft was. Also, it is time to prevent outside monopolies that dump, steal patented ideas, etc; IOW, since china will not break up their government owned monopolies no reign them in, it is time to block them from America, if not the west.

Re:When merchants compete, consumer wins

By SWPadnos • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

New companies don't have enough market share to get the lowest costs from suppliers

The monopolist likely has deeper pockets, which combined with likely lower prices from suppliers, allows them to temporarily reduce prices any time a new competitor comes along.

Ergo, there may be a short-term benefit for buyers every once in a while, but the overall effect is that the monopolist controls the price, with the end result that prices are higher when a monopoly is in place.

Re: Ooops

By CoolDiscoRex • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

You could say that about anything,

“Armed robbery sucks, but it is what it is.”

And nobody could really rebut the point, but people kind of like the government acting against armed robbers.

In this case, we’re talking about trying to eliminate competition, which the government has stated for over 100 years, harms consumers in the long run. They didn’t say “it is what it is”.

Unrestricted commerce was never part of the US economy’s design as the founding fathers felt the public interest was best served by curtailing monopolies.

Re:When merchants compete, consumer wins

By nagora • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Not necessarily. Amazon will have to recoup its losses at some point, and that will cause it to raise prices. This gives entrants a shot.

Putting together a business plan and getting it funded are a lot harder than changing the price of something for a few weeks. Amazon can give their stuff away for free until your company is dead dead dead and then recoup the cost, supposing it's enough for them to even care about, by charging monopoly prices.

Meanwhile, no investor will touch another company like yours for years to come.

This disaster area is known as "the free market" and it always ends up costing the consumer.

Lastly, the manufacturers will at some point become weary of the single-customer model, and incentivize new entrants into the marketplace with new discounts.

Oh, I hadn't realised you believe in fairies. Never mind.

Twitter Permanently Bans White Supremacist David Duke

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Twitter said on Friday it has permanently banned white supremacist David Duke from its platform for violating the platform's rules on hate speech. From a report: Duke's account "has been permanently suspended for Twitter Rules on hateful conduct," a Twitter spokesperson said in a statement. Twitter's policy, revised in March, prohibits posts that promote violence or threats of violence against people based on their religion, race or ethnic origin. It wasn't immediately clear what specific post or posts by Duke led to the account's ban. The verified account for Duke, the founder and former Grand Dragon of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, was blank Thursday, replaced with a message that the account had been "permanently suspended."

Re:Yet

By mi • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs

This is quite intolerable indeed — for it implies, one is not merely entitled to pursuit of happiness (to use the Declaration of Independence language), one has a right to actual happiness itself.

Which means, other people owe you a living. Comfortable living.

And, of course, the practice of Marxism is even worse than the above theory may be suggesting — it is the single most-murderous school of thought known to humanity. Even Nazism — Hitler's peculiar branch of Fascism — is a distant second.

Re:Why didn't they do this earlier?

By jellomizer • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

No it isn't McCarthyism.

It is Twitter not offering someone the Venue to use their platform to talk about their topic.
If you go to a Church and advocate the Values of sinning, they will probably kick you out. If you go to a school, and tell the students they should start taking drugs, you will get kicked out.

Freedom of speech, is not avoiding responsibility for your speech. But just not getting arrested because of it. If I say harmful things, I am responsible for what I said and for the harm that I had caused. If I know someone will be using my property to say harmful things, I too am responsible for allowing them to use my platform to harm others.

Twitter will not get closed down by the government if they let Duke Tweet. However if what he tweets causes people harm Twitter will have some responsibility in it.

Re:Why didn't they do this earlier?

By Baloo Uriza • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Telling someone to GTFO of your place of business because they're being an asshole isn't "censorship". They're still free to say whatever the fuck they want, somewhere else.

Re:Ok, so....

By drinkypoo • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Making excuses for Farrakhan? Seriously?

It's not an excuse if he didn't say what you thought he said. It's an explanation.

Re:Why didn't they do this earlier?

By dgatwood • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Twitter is clearly engaged in censorship. They don't like someone's ideas, so they prevent them from speaking on their platform. You may agree with their decision (in which case you support censorship), and they have the legal right to do so.

But what they've done is clearly censorship.

No, what they've done is exercise editorial restraint. Censorship is preventing someone from saying something. Exercising editorial restraint is telling someone that they can say whatever they want, but that you aren't going to pay for the cost of distributing it.

Australia To Make Facebook, Google Pay For News in World First

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Australia will force U.S. tech giants Facebook and Google to pay Australian media outlets for news content in a landmark move to protect independent journalism that will be watched around the world. From a report: Australia will become the first country to require Facebook and Google to pay for news content provided by media companies under a royalty-style system that will become law this year, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said. "It's about a fair go for Australian news media businesses. It's about ensuring that we have increased competition, increased consumer protection, and a sustainable media landscape," Frydenberg told reporters in Melbourne. "Nothing less than the future of the Australian media landscape is at stake." The move comes as the tech giants fend off calls around the world for greater regulation, and a day after Google and Facebook took a battering for alleged abuse of market power from U.S. lawmakers in a congressional hearing.

The cost of indexing

By njen • Score: 3 • Thread
Google should charge for indexing the content. The amount should be the exact same amount that Google will be charged for displaying the content.

This isnt about "Independent Media"

By sg_oneill • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

This is purely about NewsCorp. NewsCorp has a huge almost monopoly in Australia. It runs almost all the Tabloid format newspapers in the country, and the major broadsheet (Theres also the Fairfax broadsheets, but they havent done well and have been brought out by a conservative TV station which just happens to close to the Murdochs.) Murdoch also runs SkyTV and the Foxtel cable network. The end result is that Murdoch is the King maker here. If he doesnt like you, you dont get to be government anymore.

Now the biggest myth of Rupert Murdoch is that he's a conservative. Bullshit, his only ideology is Rupert Murdoch. Historically he used to mostly support Labour in Australia and the UK until he decided the Tories would make him more money, and would trade more concessions. In Australia that tipping point was Labors laws preventing monopolization off cross media ownership. He wants it all and his prefered Labor party stood in the way, so he changed teams.

What Murdoch wants now is controlling online news, and the "New money" companies stand in his way. See Murdoch has a dilemma on his hands. If he drops the paywall he gets lots more advertising revenue and more political influence. But he loses *all* the subscriber revenue. But if he can extract rent from Google, Facebook, etc then that would be enough to drop the paywall.

  But it'd also completely end the free internet. Now every website that wants to link will need to start opening accounts with content management megacor[porations, ,lots of them, to pay for the links they make, It would be a disaster for free speech and the internet as we know it. Only the wealthy megacorporations would be able to run social media. No more low-budget DIY social media sites. No more private blogs. Everything to be accounted for and paid out in full.

And the Torys will give them that because they know that all it takes for Labour to win back the government is to offer Murdoch a better deal.

And don't think this doesn't affect you America. You know full well Trump is gunning for Facebook and the other Social media companies. And he's very fond of Murdoch and Murdoch is very fond of him, as long as he is useful to them. And theres an election coming. Bring Murdoch the head of Mark Zuckerberg and the election belongs to him. Trump would like that deal very very much.

Your democracy is next.

In a World First

By thegarbz • Score: 3 • Thread

Australia will do what Spain and France already do and Germany partially do. It's FIRST.

This will not end well. In Spain the very media companies campaigning for the anti-Google-News laws are now campaigning for the laws to be reversed after a significant drop in viewership.

What is this Australia of which you speak

By bobstreo • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

I found some vague uncertified articles on wikipedia, but no searches on google found anything.

I think it's an elaborate hoax by some British sounding people to convince me there's a continent near New Zealand.

Re:Or they could just not.

By ranton • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

here is the most important snippet from the news article, although still without too much detail:

Publishers in Germany, France and Spain have pushed to pass national copyright laws that force Google pay licensing fees when it publishes snippets of their news articles. In 2019, Google stopped showing news snippets from European publishers on search results for its French users, while Germany’s biggest news publisher, Axel Springer, allowed the search engine to run snippets of its articles after traffic to its sites to plunged.

This is what happens when countries do this. Google and Facebook are not going to eat these costs, they are going to restrict access to these news sites.

Argos To Stop Printing Catalogue After Almost 50 Years

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Argos is to stop printing its catalogue after almost 50 years, as the buying bible once found in three-quarters of British homes becomes yet another victim of the inexorable move to online shopping. From a report: More than 1bn copies of the bi-annual catalogue have been printed since its launch in 1973, and at its height it was Europe's most widely printed publication, with only the bible in more homes across the UK. However, Argos is to stop printing the title, with the retailer saying that online shopping offers "greater convenience" than flicking through its print catalogue. Coronavirus has hammered the publishing industry and seen numerous titles closed, including music magazine Q, but the company said the pandemic was not responsible for the decision to cease printing. The catalogue has had its celebrity moments over the years. The comedian Alan Carr chose it as the one book he would take when he appeared on Radio 4's Desert Island Discs, and stars from Arnold Schwarzenegger and Tess Daly to Holly Willoughby and Emma Bunton have plugged products in its pages.

Oh no!

By Xiaran • Score: 3 • Thread
The laminated book of dreams!

It was great for small children

By bungo • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

When my kids were small, they would cut out the pictures and give them to me pasted onto a piece of paper as their Christmas which list. They had great fun going through the catalogue and finding things.

And the number of pages in it was huge, so it could take hours to go through it.

The online catalogue in'st just the same.

Like Sears

By crow • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

This sounds like the Sears catalog, which stopped printing a year before Amazon launched. The Sears Wishbook was hundreds of pages, and as kids, we were always excited to go through the toy section and mark all the ones we liked.

Red Hat Security Update Renders Systems Unbootable

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
PAjamian writes: A recently released Red Hat update for the BootHole Vulnerability (firehose link) is causing systems to become unbootable. It is widely reported that updates to the shim, grub2 and kernel packages in RHEL and CentOS 7 and 8 are leaving various systems that use secure boot unbootable. Current recommendations are to avoid updating your system until the issue is resolved, or at least avoid updating the shim, grub2 and kernel packages. Update, shared by PAjamian: Red Hat is now recommending that users do not apply grub2, fwupd, fwupdate or shim updates until new packages are available.

Re:Update

By habig • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
They can pull the bad updates from their download servers. Presumably this works for mirrors too. For systems that have already downloaded them (my auto-yum did so this morning, apparently) that's harder. What I'd do is to push the old, ok version with a bumped version number to the update servers, so such systems would get the "reverted" package on the next update. That'd be the most straightforward way to do it.

Re: Balls

By klipclop • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Don't reboot and rollback. :)

Ah yes, Quality Control

By bobstreo • Score: 3 • Thread

Always the first casualty in the war on corporate expense.

Seriously. How does Red Hat (IBM) get away with releasing crap like this?

Even in my personal use, kernel updates and so always get pushed off a few days to a week because I'm kinda paranoid in general about everything.

Re:Ah yes, Quality Control

By bobbied • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

To be absolutely fair, Red Hat doesn't write this code you know. They just supposedly do validation of code built by others (for the most part).

So, the Grub boot loader and kernel releases involved where likely just not validated on specific kinds of systems. It works fine for *some* systems, and apparently that includes the fleet of systems Red Hat verifies their releases on, it just doesn't work on a subset of the world's system types. You cannot test *every* possible situation.

I don't exactly feel that Red Hat shouldn't be embarrassed about this (they should be, and apparently are), However, I also don't think it's somehow because they are being a bad corporate partner for the GNU software packages they use. I think they generally do a good job with their vetting process and I consider Red Hat to be a pretty good standard for Linux distributions. I'm guessing that Red Hat will step up their surveillance and improve their vetting process to catch such issues in the future.

I love stories like this...

By russbutton • Score: 3, Funny • Thread
...because I retired last year. Not my problem anymore!

Yeeeeee-hawwww!

Twitter Says High-Profile Hack Was the Result of a Phishing Attack

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Twitter said Thursday night that it has "significantly limited" access to its internal tools after it learned that the high-profile hack earlier this month affecting dozens of major accounts was the result of a phishing attack targeting the phones of a "small number of employees." From a report: "This attack relied on a significant and concerted attempt to mislead certain employees and exploit human vulnerabilities to gain access to our internal systems," Twitter said in a tweet. A phishing attack is a type of cyberattack in which hackers try to trick victims into opening malicious emails or links disguised as legitimate web content. In addition to clamping down on access to administrative systems, Twitter said it was also accelerating the rollout of "security work streams" that had already been in progress.

Voice Mail

By rtb61 • Score: 3 • Thread

I get the really odd Chinese voice mail message, really short, never call them, why would I. I can not figure out why other people respond to odd out of place messages. I forward all questionable email to https://www.acma.gov.au/ and just ignore weird voice mail and texts. Keep in mind I use my mobile to connect to the world and not the other way round, I often go out in public with my phone left behind, so very few messages on my phone and the odd ones really stand out (in a year maybe one hundred so the odd ones really stand out). It's a trap pops in my mind when it comes to strange messages. When in doubt simply delete or email forward to your government spam handler and let them deal with it.

Re:Voice Mail

By Anachronous Coward • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

It's a trap pops in my mind

When that happens, who do you visualize -- Lt. Worf or Admiral Ackbar?

Re:Voice Mail

By ledow • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

It's far smarter than that.

I had one at a workplace. It was an email that come through to the finance department, looking for the world like an email from our boss. It had his signature, his device info, a well-researched sign-off that wasn't a carbon copy of his normal one but close enough to be convincing and at the same time realistically "him" without being out of character.

It picked up a conversation that was realistic and just the kind of thing that happens, and written in his tone, and asking the finance girls to "just pay this", but in less direct wording.

It came from the same mail supplier IP ranges so it bypassed SPF checks, etc. It knew our processes (which aren't public), it knew the terminology, the timing, the business process, the customer, it knew what would pass for a convincing request to transfer money, who it had to come from, who it would be sent to, who it would copy in, everything.

It was sent while he was on holiday, and that gives them a certain leeway in terms of getting it right because people send emails differently when they're away.

It was a work of art.

The only giveaway was that I'd trained the finance girls to look at the user image in Outlook - something which is supplied from AD and can't be faked by outside emails. It didn't show an image because it wasn't from our guy, but other than that it was very, very convincing.

Even I had to read the headers three-four times to work out it wasn't actually sent from our systems, even remotely, but without the AD banner, I'd not have suspected and may well have just waved it through.

But we spotted it and reported it, and were much more suspicious. We received several more, different but obviously with the same amount of skill applied. One of them was literally phoning up and trying to engage the finance department as a customer, and that's very tricky to tell if they are or not. We reported those too.

A targeted phishing attack is almost impossible to stop. It's not just a dodgy email with a link to "hackme.ru/fdhasj" and inviting you to click it "to fiks your account".

And that's just someone trying to scam a few thousand out of a business. People hacking Twitter to get access to internal details about the president are going to be whole levels above even that.

Twitter Statement

By JustAnotherOldGuy • Score: 3 • Thread

Twitter Statement: "We are fully committed to closing the barn doors the instant that horse has disappeared over the horizon," a Twitter spokesperson said, "and we'll be interviewing the other horses to see if they have any plans to escape as well."

Re:Again... fire 'em.

By Martin Blank • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Then you just instill fear in the remaining employees, making them less likely to report a suspected phish that they fell for. If they click Submit and then realize that maybe they shouldn't have done that, they can keep quiet thinking that maybe their creds won't get used and they can continue working there (and maybe change their password immediately, if they know how to do it), or they can report it and probably get fired. By the time you pick up that something's wrong, there's a good chance you won't know how they got in to begin with.

Set up a forgiveness program with limits. If someone self-reports before anything obvious has happened, they get amnesty. Screw up once without self-reporting? It happens. Yes, you got training, but there are some clever people out there. You know what happened, so you should be more vigilant next time. Anyone else think they fell for this, please speak up now so we can properly assess the risk. More than one time? Consider it case-by-case, because, as said, there are some clever people out there.

Nvidia in Advanced Talks To Buy Chip Giant Arm

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Nvidia is in advanced talks to acquire Arm, the chip designer that SoftBank Group bought for $32 billion four years ago, Bloomberg reported Friday, citing sources familiar with the matter. From the report: The two parties aim to reach a deal in the next few weeks, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. Nvidia is the only suitor in concrete discussions with SoftBank, according to the people. A deal for Arm could be the largest ever in the semiconductor industry, which has been consolidating in recent years as companies seek to diversify and add scale. Cambridge, England-based Arm's technology underpins chips in products including Apple Inc. devices and connected appliances. Financial Times, which has also independently reported about the deal talks today, adds: Buying Arm would further consolidate Nvidia's position at the centre of the semiconductor industry, at just the moment when the British chip designer's technology is finding broader applications beyond mobile devices, in data centres and personal computers including Apple's Macs. Arm would transform Nvidia's product line-up, which until now has largely focused on the high end of the chips market. Its powerful graphics processors -- which are designed to handle focused, data-intensive tasks -- are typically sold to PC gamers, scientific researchers and developers of artificial intelligence and self-driving cars, as well as cryptocurrency miners. The deal could alarm Arm's other big licensees, including Apple, Broadcom and Qualcomm, which may fear a unique asset being taken over by a potential competitor such as Nvidia.

A sale would mark a stunning reversal for SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son, who declared that Arm would be the linchpin for the future of the technology investment conglomerate. The company has failed to thrive under SoftBank, according to people with direct knowledge of the matter. Neil Campling, an analyst at Mirabaud, noted that Arm's annual revenues had risen from $1.2bn to $1.9bn since SoftBank bought it in 2016, while Nvidia's have roughly tripled in the same timeframe.

Re:RISC V

By Gravis Zero • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Risc-V is interesting from a technical perspective, but won't be relevant in markets anytime soon...

That's where you're wrong kiddo. Western Digital has invested in moving to Risc-V. FYI, they have released their cores to the public and seem to be in the process of testing.

Now, WD could just be hedging their bets and should this buyout go through then they are going to be ahead of the game on all their competitors. Nvidia is incapable of playing nice and as a result, they are going to drive customers to looking for alternatives to ARM. ARM is no longer a unicorn but there has been no incentive to switch. That incentive is Nvidia's management because they have a completely different culture which will no doubt obliterate all the good will that ARM has built up.

This will be good for RISC-V

By williamyf • Score: 3 • Thread

No one likes to put money in a competitor's pocket for a multitude of reasons.

If NVIDIA buys ARM, Fujitsu, makers of, among other things processors for an ARM based Top 500 Supercomputer, will not be to happy to put money in the pockets of a supercomputer provider competitor. Same for Amazon (gravitron), Ampere, Cavium and Qualcomm...

I guess Qualcomm, Mediatek, Asrock and Samsung will not be to happy to put money in a company that competes with them with processors sold in the open market for set top boxes, consoles, tablets and such (not phones, tough, at least for the time being).

Then, there is the question of Mali Vs. Tegra.
Does a company, as an ARM licensee, gets access to NVIDIA graphics tech? or just plain old Mali, and nVidia reserves the good graphics to themselves?

So, If this purchase goes through, I foresee a lot of companies moving from ARM to RISC-V. It will take a few lustres, but it will happen.

Re:uhhggg... consolidation

By MightyMartian • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

ARMs success comes in no small part from its licensing. Nvidia would be insane to tamper with that.

Re:Bye bye Intel

By Koen Lefever • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Arm CPUs follow a different design approach when compared to x86. Arm CPUs are designed as low-power CPUs, because their makers didn't want their CPU to be packaged in ceramic, but in the cheaper plastic and without the need for a cooler. This explains the success of Arm as a low-power CPU, which was a decision made about 30 years ago.

ARM was designed for speed in the first place, it was running circles around 80x86, 68000 and the other processors in the late '80s (I used to run MS-DOS, WordPerfect, dBase II and the TopSpeed compiler in an 80x86 software emulator on ARM in 1987).

The low power requirements were discovered when Acorn engineers Furber and Wilson failed to switch of their development board because the CPU kept running on a capacitor or a spinning fan.

Could the chickens come home to roost for Apple?

By ScooterComputer • Score: 3 • Thread

Apple's poor treatment of Nvidia over the past few years--dickish behavior of not allowing them to sign their drivers, basically not allowing Nvidia GPUs on the Mac, due to a long-ago beef over Nvidia sorta pre-announcing new Apple hardware--could just come back to bite Apple in the butt if Nvidia gets ahold of ARM. I'm sure Apple has a pretty solid licensing agreement in place with ARM currently, but their move to Apple Silicon will still necessarily rely on ARM IP. Might just make a future re-licensing discussion interesting; can't imagine Nvidia doesn't have that in mind right now.

'We're Running Out of Homes For Sale,' Lake Tahoe Brokers Say As Tech Workers Flee Bay Area

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
schwit1 shares a report from CNBC: A new wave of urban flight is reshaping real estate markets from New York to Chicago and Los Angeles to San Francisco. As part of this shift, Lake Tahoe is seeing unprecedented bidding wars, buying activity and price increases. Brokers say the inventory of homes for sale has shrunk to about one-fifth to one-tenth of the usual levels. "People are writing all-cash offers for houses, sight unseen," said Sabrina Belleci, a Lake Tahoe broker with Re/Max. "They just want to get out of the city." Historically, properties in the Tahoe area took three to four months to sell, Overall said. Now, it's more like four days.

Lake Tahoe has long been a bucolic escape for Californians looking for a getaway and, on the Nevada side, lower taxes. But the latest buying surge is larger than any the market has seen, brokers say. They say tech workers and investors in the Bay Area, as well as media types from Los Angeles, are coming to the Tahoe area in search of larger homes with home offices, more land for the kids to play, and access to outdoor activities such as swimming and bike riding. The flight from the city got another push this week after Google announced it's keeping workers at home until July 2021. Private schools in the Bay Area also recently announced they will likely shift to all online classes in the fall, which gave families another reason to remain outside of San Francisco.

Re: It's the normal progression of things

By Salgak1 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Which, oddly, sounds like 2020 America, where no matter what you do or say, someone is going to say it's 'racist'. . .

Lots of places

By sdinfoserv • Score: 3 • Thread
I sold a house North of Seattle in June. 1 day on the market - 9 offers, the highest was $85K over asking price. The offer we took was $45K over asking, no contingencies, no inspection, 30% cash down so the mortgage company waived appraisal as well - 3 week closing.
Sure, lots of people just say "move away from high prices". High prices go hand in hand with high wages. I moved to the Seattle area from the midwest, wouldn't go back. Aside from choices of things to do - there's pay. If you save 20% of your income no matter where you live, you've go a much larger bank after working years if your making $200K vs $80K.. that's when there's a real payoff, the end game.

Most people think waaay too big ...

By Qbertino • Score: 3 • Thread

... when it comes to housing.

Point in case: I've by now fully adopted a minimalist lifestyle with all my belongings easily fitting in a 36 square meter single room apartment. I got my kitchen lane in one corner, to large windows out back with quite a bit of green, my 4.5 sqm bathroom and a 2sqm 'hallway'. A neat wide bed for comfy single sleeping or awesome sex with a cute one, a custom-built trolley with my Xboxes and a 27" screen, a small table, a couch table, a couch, my custom built-to-fit bookshelves and stacked storage from muji. .... And I still have to much shit.

If I had the silicon valley money developers get there I would get myself a micro-home built from some container or something. On a large piece of land with solar and a large garden.

I fundamentally don't get these large 6-room cardboard boxes filled with stuff you guys usually live in.

My 2 cents.

This might not last...

By rndmtim • Score: 3, Interesting • Thread

Well, speaking as someone originally from NYC - born and raised - who moved to upstate Schoharie County 10 years ago (for the space and nature, but definitely not for the neighbors), a couple of points.

1) Most people leaving SF or NYC right now are just looking for a back yard. My sister just migrated from Woodside Queens to be with her boyfriend in Boulder, and it's based on a tiny apartment was tolerable when you could go out a lot. My friends from Brooklyn moved to my area so a neighbor couldn't call in a noise complaint on the bouncy house they set up to give their kids something to do. Having nothing social other than a pancake breakfast at the fire house was a show stopper before, but the city has nothing to offer right now, and that's probably not going to stay the case 1-2 years from now. The speed bump the cities are currently having is not a decline. The decimation our rural areas have gone through for the last 3 decades is.

2) Techies who move from the urban core (I'm an electrical engineer) usually are making multiples of the local median salary. The local towns in most cases are lucky to have us. We generally need nothing from the local community, and I live in an area with significant social problems - the biggest drug issues in the country are in the hollers of the mountains where people got hooked on oxy. We have homeless families living in cars next to fields with cows here. We have programs to send kids home over the weekend with peanut butter and bread because they will not be fed otherwise. We let kids shower at schools because they live in structures with no plumbing.

3) The Republicans in my area don't want the people making multiples of the local salary, even though it would re-ignite a tax base decimated by their own children abandoning the area, because... reasons. It gets really complex figuring out why they don't want people who only need a broadband connection and pay taxes on properties that were basically abandoned, but it's usually that they don't want the local population to change. And when this county has 30,000 inhabitants 180 miles from NYC it's one article in the lifestyle section of the NY Times from getting 5-10,000 new voters. But stick a fork in 'em it's done now, particularly with two home families that can do mail in voting.

4) Their kids left the area because there are no jobs. But companies don't want to locate here because the employment environment is terrible. Locals are unreliable employees - waiters show up for 2 weeks and then vanish. The education level sucks (because the locals really like sports but math and science not so much), and there are a lot of social problems (my wife is a school librarian and there are social/family problems here I never saw in NYC). One of the problems is local rural healthcare can't keep doctors easily; our pediatrician recently departed because she got a little tired of the casual racism the locals exhibit towards anyone who isn't white.

5) As ex-city people populate an area, the change in tax base and social programs mostly benefits the people originally from the area, even as they tend to hate us. The Hudson Valley's massive growth in the last 20 years means that rural Greene County is now getting better schools from the new tax base. It also means that there's been a renewed focus on environmental protection, as well as tourism to these green spaces.

6) Every abandoned house on my mountain seems to have sold in the last 4 months, and we just moved a farm property with 125 aces in 6 weeks after the pandemic started that we expected to take 2 years to sell (it had been on the market since last July). But the new imports from the city haven't been through a winter yet... and when they find out about snow blowers and studded snow tires and snow that keeps going until... well this year it was Mother's Day... they may leave the area just as quickly once the pandemic dies down.

Winter is coming

By edi_guy • Score: 3 • Thread

If Tahoe gets a winter like 2018-19 will be interesting for these folks. Not sure that a Tesla Model 3 is going to cut it, and once your internet is out...wfh becomes more challenging.

SpaceX Completes Static Fire of Starship Prototype, Will Hop Next

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
After scrubbing several attempts for weather concerns, technical issues, and even a range violation due to a nearby boat, SpaceX succeeded in static-fire testing the latest prototype of its Starship vehicle on Thursday. Ars Technica reports: At 3:02pm local time in South Texas, the single Raptor engine attached to the Starship prototype dubbed Serial Number 5, or SN5, roared to life for a few seconds. In video shared by NASASpaceflight.com, the test appeared to be nominal, evidently providing SpaceX engineers with the confidence they need in the latest iteration of Starship. Shortly after the test, the founder and chief engineer of SpaceX, Elon Musk, confirmed that the static fire meant the company now plans to move forward with a short test flight of the vehicle. Based upon a notification from the US Federal Aviation Administration, this 150-meter flight test could take place as soon as Sunday, with a launch window opening at 8am local time (13:00 UTC). This would be the first flight test of Starship hardware since a stubby prototype -- Starhopper -- soared to 150 meters in late August 2019. That test, in which a single Raptor engine powered the vehicle upward and laterally for about 100 meters before landing, was successful in demonstrating thrust and vector control of the methane-fueled engine.

Key difference

By Rei • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Starhopper was built like a watertower - with no need to be sufficiently light, sufficiently high-pressure tolerant, tolerant of high aero or reentry stresses, etc. Starship, on the other hand, has to be able to withstand all of these in order to become an orbital-class vehicle.

Of course, I not only expect SpaceX to crash some Starships during flight testing, but also to blow up some more on the test stand while trying to find the bounds of how high pressures they can get vs. how lightweight they can build the craft. "Fail quickly" is a good strategy for rapid development where there's no human lives at stake.

One thing that'll be fun to see in the future, after the first orbital landing, is how Starship looks. Highly heated stainless steel can get a rainbow effect on it, which would look awesome :)

Re:Key difference

By Rei • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

The explosions should get ever-more spectacular, too ;) Starship + SuperHeavy combined will hold over 1500 tonnes of methane, which burned with oxygen equals about 8e13 joules of energy, or 19 kilotonnes of TNT equivalent, about 25% more than the Hiroshima bomb. By comparison, the N1 pad failure was about 7kt, and the Halifax Explosion was 2,9kt. Now, to be fair, destructive potential is not just about total energy, but also how quickly it's released (power) - but still....

The last Starship failure was really bloody impressive; I can't imagine what a full stack would look like.

It's Fun To Watch the Iterations

By Vandil X • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
SpaceX is slowly and publicly showing its iterative process of developing the spaceship of the future. The ship NASA has even put into contract for a Moon landing.

I'm going to enjoy watching Starship slowly prove itself and eventually find its way to the Moon, while Boeing is still fumbling around with SLS/Orion.

The Raptor engine itself is very impressive

By JoshuaZ • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
One of the things here that is most impressive is the Raptor engine itself. It is a full-flow staged combustion engine https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Staged_combustion_cycle#Full-flow_staged_combustion_cycle and the first such engine to ever really fly. Full-flow staged combustion engines are really tough to build, since they require two different turbopumps which have to be kept in synch, but if work can get really high thrust and chamber pressure, and require less maintenance. It will also have a higher specific impulse than any other oxygen-methane engine https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_orbital_rocket_engines . It can't get as high as specific impulse as some hydrogen-oxygen engines, but in general hydrogen engines have the best specific impulse of any chemical engine. (One may note that Mira is supposed to have a higher specific impulse but no version of Mira exists beyond a preliminary drawing board as far as I can tell.) I remain somewhat skeptical that SpaceX's Starship will do all the things they intend it to at nearly the price point they say it will, but if it does succeed, the Raptor will be a major reason it does.

Re:Apollo

By Rei • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Software was pretty limited back in those days. For example, Apollo's guidance computer used "core rope memory" ROM, which was literally woven by hand. That said, NASA in general wasn't as heavily bogged down by "analysis paralysis" in those days as they are today. And they did do uncrewed test flights. Combining the previous two sentences: Apollo 6, for example - uncrewed flight, they found that they had severe pogo oscillations, caused a propellant problem (rupture in a flexible line, replaced with a rigid one after this) that lead to the shutdown of one of the J2 engines which - due to a miswiring in the rush - caused the computer to accidentally shut down a second, perfectly fine engine. But they gathered a huge amount of information, rapidly iterated, and just a bit over a year later, landed on the moon.

For SpaceX, there's a massive amount of development work left. Beyond all of the work involved in finishing Starship's suborbital test program (still yet to hop, let alone do high altitude controlled flights and land safely), and Super Heavy (barely even started, although thankfully built extremely similar to Starship) - and then to test them on orbital stacks, including reentry for both - SpaceX will need to continue to work to increase performance and decrease the mass of the system (e.g., how much payload you can deliver per flight) while simultaneously increasing reliability, with the goal of hitting airplane levels of reliability and reuse. AND they need to get orbital propellant transfer to work if their lunar and Mars plans are to be realized, AND they need to develop a range of variants of Starship, including crew, payload, lunar, and tanker.

Increasing performance and decreasing mass involves iterating on every single system aboard, from the engine to the tankage walls. To pick a random example: they'll initially be flying it with cold gas RCS thrusters. But they plan to develop methalox RCS thrusters - more complicated, but significantly more powerful and higher ISP. This would not only save propellant (for a given required impulse), but would likely allow them to land without having to do an overshot "fishhook" turn driven by the raptors that requires a longer burn time.

Lots and lots and lots of work ahead. But it'll be nice to see an orbital-class version of this bird take to the skies :)

FCC Approves Amazon's Internet-From-Space Kuiper Constellation of 3,236 Satellites

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
The Federal Communications Commission has approved Amazon's plans for its ambitious Kuiper constellation, which entails sending 3,236 satellites into orbit to beam internet coverage down to Earth. Amazon claims that Kuiper will "provide broadband services to unserved and underserved consumers, businesses in the United States, and global customers by employing advanced satellite and earth station technologies." The Verge reports: The company plans to send the satellites to three different altitudes, and it claims it needs just 578 satellites in orbit to begin service, according to an FCC document announcing the approval. Amazon has not announced which launch provider it plans to use to fly the satellites into orbit yet. While Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos also owns the rocket company Blue Origin, the launch provider will have to compete to launch the satellites along with other companies.

There are few caveats to Amazon's FCC approval. The company must launch half of the constellation by 2026 to retain its FCC license, and then the remaining satellites by 2029. Amazon also must submit to the FCC a finalized plan for how it will mitigate orbital debris, since the design of its satellites aren't finalized yet. Amazon claims it will take its satellites out of orbit within 355 days, but the FCC argues the company didn't "present specific information concerning some required elements" for its debris plan. A big concern of a constellation of this size is that the influx of satellites will lead to more collisions in space, creating pieces of debris that could threaten other satellites. Amazon claims that Kuiper will "provide broadband services to unserved and underserved consumers, businesses in the United States, and global customers by employing advanced satellite and earth station technologies," according to the FCC's approval document.

Re:Temporary Kessler

By Rei • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

For anyone who's curious, re: Kuiper:

4. Application. In its July 4, 2019 application, IBFS File No. SAT-LOA-20190704-00057 (filed Jul. 4, 2019) (Kuiper Application). Kuiper is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Amazon.com Services (Amazon).

  Kuiper proposes to deliver high-speed, low-latency broadband services by operating 3,236 satellites in 98 orbital planes at altitudes of 590 km, 610 km, and 630 km. At 590 km, Kuiper plans 28 orbital planes with 28 satellites per plane for a total of 784 satellites. At 610 km, Kuiper plans 42 orbital planes with 36 satellites per plane for a total of 1296 satellites. At 630 km, Kuiper plans 34 orbital planes with 34 satellites per plane for a total of 1156 satellites. Kuiper Application, Legal Narrative at 2-3.

    Kuiper states that its system, which will also include gateway earth stations, customer terminals, “software-defined network” and satellite control functionality, satellite operations centers, telemetry, tracking, and command (TT&C) earth stations, and other technologies, Id. at 5.
  will be capable of providing continuous coverage to customers within approximately 56N and 56S latitude, thereby serving the contiguous United States, Hawaii, U.S. territories, and other world regions. Id. at 2. Given the proposed design of the Kuiper system, service cannot be provided to the majority of Alaska. Id. at 27-28.

5. According to Kuiper, the system will be deployed in five phases, and service will begin once the first 578 satellites are launched. Id. at 3. “Coverage begins at 56N and 56S latitudes and quickly expands towards the equator as more satellites are launched.” Id.

    Kuiper plans to use the following frequencies: 17.7-18.6 GHz (space-to-Earth), 18.8-20.2 GHz (space-to-Earth), and 27.5-30.0 GHz (Earth-to-space). The 17.7-17.8 GHz (non-U.S. only), 17.8-18.3 GHz, 18.3-18.6 GHz, 18.8-19.3 GHz, 19.7-20.2 GHz, 28.5-28.6 GHz, 28.6-29.1 GHz, and 29.5-30.0 GHz bands will be used for customer links. The 19.3-19.4 GHz, 19.4-19.6 GHz, 19.6-19.7 GHz, 19.7-20.2 GHz, 27.5-28.35 GHz, 28.35-28.5 GHz, 29.1-29.25 GHz, 29.25-29.5, and 29.5-30.0 GHz bands will be used for gateway links. The 19.25-19.3 GHz and 19.3-19.4 GHz bands will be used for TT&C downlinks; and the 27.5-28.05 GHz band for TT&C uplinks (specifically, the 27.5-27.55 GHz, 27.95-28.0 GHz, 28.0-28.05 GHz bands). Kuiper Application, Legal Narrative at 4-5. Kuiper also requests to conduct MSS operations, in addition to FSS, in the 19.7- 20.2 GHz and 29.5-30.0 GHz bands and feeder links for the MSS component in the 19.4-19.6 GHz and 29.1-29.5 GHz bands. Id. at 23-24.

To Paraphrase Dylan

By Cmdln Daco • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread

"Everybody must get connected!"

There can be no place on the continental US that the spyware in mobile devices can't connect!

Re:What could possibly go wrong

By jbmartin6 • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
I saw they had a giant robot space maid who could just vacuum it all up. You just have to be careful it doesn't suck up all the atmosphere.

Re:Temporary Kessler

By jamesborr • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
The FCC is in charge of the radio spectrum for the United States, hence, if these satellites were to prove useful for U.S. based broadband, their approval would be required. If Kessler (Bezos) also wants to provide satellite based services for other countries, they will also need approval from Europe, Russia, China, etc...

Re:What could possibly go wrong

By rtb61 • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

The real problem will be the first major solar flare and whole bunch of cheap out of control satellites. The impacts will get worse and worse over they days as more and more shrapnel for impacts generates new impacts. If you can afford to lay a proper compact dirt road, you can afford to run a fibre optic line down that dirt road, that is the reality.

When it comes to taking out satellites is to wait to day time and use mirrors to reflect a whole lot of light at them, a pretty large array of mirrors, to get it really hot. Keep that light focused on them through until they fail. I would say about 100m by 100m array mirrors (100 x 1m x 1m) should be enough.