the unofficial Slashdot digest for 2020-Sep-15 today archive


  1. Zerologon Attack Lets Hackers Take Over Enterprise Networks Within 3 Seconds
  2. Apple Researching Apple Watch Bands That Can Provide Information In Braille
  3. Europe's Top Court Says Net Neutrality Rules Bar 'Zero Rating'
  4. Microsoft Submits Linux Kernel Patches For a 'Complete Virtualization Stack' With Linux and Hyper-V
  5. Personal Information of Roughly 46,000 Veterans Exposed In VA Hack
  6. A Bug In Joe Biden's Campaign App Gave Anyone Access To Millions of Voter Files
  7. Francisco-Backed Sandvine Cancels Belarus Deal, Citing Abuses
  8. Apple Introduces Redesigned iPad Air With A14 Chip, All-Screen Design, TouchID and USB-C
  9. New Google Fiber Plan: $100 For 2Gbps, Plus Wi-Fi 6 Router and Mesh Extender
  10. Apple is Removing the USB Power Adapter From Upcoming Apple Watch Boxes
  11. How Big Oil Misled The Public Into Believing Plastic Would Be Recycled
  12. Google Unveils Video Conferencing Hardware For Post-Pandemic Offices
  13. Apple One Bundles iCloud, Music, TV+, Arcade, News+ and Fitness+ for $30 a Month
  14. Apple Announces Apple Watch Series 6 With Ability To Measure Blood Oxygen Levels
  15. FBI Says Credential Stuffing Attacks Are Behind Some Recent Bank Hacks
  16. Addicted To Losing: How Casino-Like Apps Have Drained People of Millions
  17. European Police Malware Could Harvest GPS, Messages, Passwords, More
  18. China Says TikTok Sale Shows US 'Economic Bullying'
  19. IBM Publishes its Quantum Roadmap, Says it Will Have a 1,000-qubit Machine in 2023
  20. At JPMorgan, Productivity Falls For Younger Employees At Home
  21. Gene Editing To Produce 'Super Dad' Livestock
  22. America Is Facing a Monkey Shortage
  23. Mercedes-Benz Fined $1.5 Billion For Emissions Cheating

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.

Zerologon Attack Lets Hackers Take Over Enterprise Networks Within 3 Seconds

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader writes: Researchers have developed and published a proof-of-concept exploit for a recently patched Windows vulnerability that can allow access to an organization's crown jewels -- the Active Directory domain controllers that act as an all-powerful gatekeeper for all machines connected to a network.

CVE-2020-1472, as the vulnerability is tracked, carries a critical severity rating from Microsoft as well as a maximum of 10 under the Common Vulnerability Scoring System. Exploits require that an attacker already have a foothold inside a targeted network, either as an unprivileged insider or through the compromise of a connected device. However, when this condition is met, it's literally game over for the attacked company, as an attacker can hijack its entire network within three seconds by leveraging a bug in the Netlogon authentication protocol cryptography by adding zero characters in certain Netlogon authentication parameters, bypassing authentication procedures and then changing the password for the DC server itself.
The technical report from Secura B.V., a Dutch security firm, is available here.

The most secure OS ever

By flyingfsck • Score: 3 • Thread
Just as secure as Windows ME.

Re:I don't feel sorry for their clients

By FaxeTheCat • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
What is more false sense of security than believing that there is a dense network of people looking for bugs in the software?

Re:I don't feel sorry for their clients

By Mr. Barky • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

This isn't really a problem of proprietary vs. closed source. There may be many advantages of open source software, but immunity to security bugs is not one of them. This stuff is hard and the tiniest error in the obscurest function might create one. No amount of code review will find all potential problems. Even if the code is "perfect" (100% to specification) there are likely to be flaws in the specifications somewhere.

Any software that has such a critical place will eventually get hacked (possibly multiple times - many actors prefer not to publish what they find so it doesn't get fixed).

My bet is that Microsoft has some of its best developers on this sort of code and very, very strict rules on committing changes.

Re:Cyber warfare

By theCoder • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

So bad in fact, it could start a real kinetic war if the finger pointing leads to a nation-state sponsoring this.

I doubt any country would really attack the United States for harboring Microsoft.

Re:no sanitisation, compromised by"adding characte

By clovis • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

I read that too. My first thought was, nice backdoor and I wonder how long that's been abused and by whom.
I mean really, how could initializing a session key with a fixed value get by any code review for so long? I know I'm excessively paranoid, but this piece of code has been alive longer than some of the posters here. I'm suspicious.

Apple Researching Apple Watch Bands That Can Provide Information In Braille

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
According to Apple Insider, Apple is researching an Apple Watch band that could contain controllable protrusions to present tactile information on the surface. From the report: Apple has famously always researched providing accessibility features in its devices, whether or not it's profitable. However, so far there has been a limit to what the Apple Watch can do -- and its bands could have no accessibility features at all. "Tactile output for wearable device," is a newly granted US patent which aims to change that. Alongside the various things Siri can say aloud since the Apple Watch Series 3, there could now be Apple-designed bands that display Braille information.

While Apple wants its patent to cover any kind of electronic device possible, most of its descriptions and all of its drawings refer to the Apple Watch and to what Apple refers to as actuators. These are components that respond to a processor and cause other elements to move or rearrange. "[For example, a] wearable item comprises a flexible strap and actuators within the flexible strap," says the patent. "The actuators are configured to dynamically form protrusions along the flexible strap. The protrusions present tactilely-perceptible information." These protrusions are similar to the raised dots in Braille, but Apple says they needn't be confined to that one system. Rather than following the established patterns of whole words in Braille, the same protrusions could be configured to "also or instead be dynamically and/or selectively actuated to form [the] shapes of alphanumeric characters."


By 93 Escort Wagon • Score: 3 • Thread

I was about to try and be clever and post "be sure to drink your Ovaltine" in braille here; but then I remembered that Slashdot doesn't support unicode.

Prior art?

By niftydude • Score: 3 • Thread
I feel like ideas for programmable Braille displays have been around for a long while. Even Braille ebooks.

What's the patent innovation, that it's on a strap?

Is "on a strap" going to be this decade's "on a computer" frivolous patent?

Re:Smart Move, Apple.

By Freischutz • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Going after that juicy "blind watch wearers" demographic.

Or, giving a shit about a group of people whose needs are frequently ignored. I rather doubt Apple will be raking in the billions on this product.

Europe's Top Court Says Net Neutrality Rules Bar 'Zero Rating'

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
The European Union's top court has handed down its first decision on the bloc's net neutrality rules -- interpreting the law as precluding the use of commercial 'zero rating' by Internet services providers. TechCrunch reports: 'Zero rating' refers to the practice of ISPs offering certain apps/services 'tariff free' by excluding their data consumption. It's controversial because it can have the effect of penalizing and/or blocking the use of non-zero-rated apps/services, which may be inaccessible while the zero rated apps/services are not -- which in turn undermines the principal of net neutrality with its promise of fair competition via an equal and level playing field for all things digital. The pan-EU net neutrality regulation came into force in 2016 amid much controversy over concerns it would undermine rather than bolster a level playing field online. So the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU)'s first ruling interpreting the regulation is an important moment for regional digital rights watchers.

A Budapest court hearing two actions against Telenor, related to two of its 'zero rating' packages, made a reference to the CJEU for a preliminary ruling on how to interpret and apply Article 3(1) and (2) of the regulation -- which safeguards a number of rights for end users of Internet access services and prohibits service providers from putting in place agreements or commercial practices limiting the exercise of those rights -- and Article 3(3), which lays down a general obligation of "equal and non-discriminatory treatment of traffic." The court found that 'zero rating' agreements that combine a 'zero tariff' with measures blocking or slowing down traffic linked to the use of 'non-zero tariff' services and applications are indeed liable to limit the exercise of end users' rights within the meaning of the regulation and on a significant part of the market. It also found that no assessment of the effect of measures blocking or slowing down traffic on the exercise of end users' rights is required by the regulation, while measures applied for commercial (rather than technical) reasons must be regarded as automatically incompatible.
The full CJEU judgement is available here.

Re:Net Neutrality is an antitrust measure

By Richard_at_work • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Here in NZ, the last mile for fibre is owned by a company that cannot provide services to end users - it must sell connectivity to anyone who wants to use it. This means I can get a huge variance of services from a wide range of ISPs at all sorts of price points - for example, my current gigabit service costs me $100 NZD a month (static IP, unlimited and no traffic management), but there are companies out there that sell gigabit for less (with dynamic IP, caps etc) or more, or sell a 200Mbit service etc etc etc.

Re:Zero-rating is working against broader access

By green1 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

No. Banning zero rating is absolutely essential for net neutrality to exist. If zero rating is allowed, then net neutrality cannot exist period.

Zero rating is just a shady back door to avoid net neutrality rules by artificially lowering the data cap, and then allowing "free" access to the sites that bribed you to allow it. It is exactly the same thing as charging extra for sites that didn't bribe you. Either way you skew which sites your subscribers have access to, and either way you force companies to pay you for access to your subscribers.

What's the difference between having not enough data allowance to watch movies, except for those from companies that paid your isp extra to be "zero rated" vs having the data allowance, but the sites that didn't pay your isp extra get throttled to unwatchable? It's exactly the same issue.

As long as ISPs get to play favourites and choose for you which sites you have access to, it doesn't matter which method they use, or what they call it, it's anticompetitive either way.

Re:Zero-rating is working against broader access

By Frobnicator • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Zero-rating helps customers be able to use sites they otherwise could not afford, because essentially a lower bitrate version of that site access is included with service - like 720P Netflix is free on T-Mobile. If you ban zero-rating, you are talking access AWAY from people who cannot pay. People often claim to want equality, but all too often act in ways that stifles it.

Those are the tricky parts to the argument, and something a lot of lay people get wrong. Companies have spent a lot of money on disinformation campaigns and carefully worded counterarguments.

Thankfully, it's an area the CJEU seems to have understood.

Having a network that is content neutral --- net neutrality --- means that it cannot discriminate based on the content. Neutrality means the content does not matter, all of it is the same. It doesn't matter what the content is or where it is from, if there is metering then all content is metered under the same rules. If those rules would meter web sites like Google, Slashdot, CNN, Hulu, or YouTube, it must also meter sites like AT&T, Fox, Netflix, or Disney+. It cannot matter if that content is video streamed at 1080P or 320x200, ALL content, applications, and services are legally required to be treated identically.

Zero-rating is a form of discriminatory metering. While many people are more concerned about fast lanes vs slow lanes, the two tiers means one group gets preferred service. In your example, Netflix in your example gets a premium deal while other providers are excluded with a higher cost for identical services. These metering schemes are not equal, metering from certain websites (specifically in this lawsuit Facebook's apps, Twitter, and Instagram) are metered on one set of rules, and other competing sites providing the same services are metered on a different set of rules.

The CJEU is correct here. The law requires net neutrality, it does not matter what the content is, nor how "friendly" it is, nor how big the companies are behind it. If the ISP is giving Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Netflix an advantage such as zero-rating it means they are placing other companies at a disadvantage. Even if the companies are paying for a back-room deal, or negotiating on behalf of their companies, that deal is illegal and does not follow net neutrality rules. The law requires equal and non-discriminatory treatment of content, applications, and services.

Re:Zero-rating is working against broader access

By MtHuurne • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Zero-rating is not charity: someone is paying for it. Is it fair to let people who don't stream a lot of music and video pay for people who do? People on a tight budget are probably better off with a cheaper base subscription. Especially when the lack of zero-rating makes it easier to compare subscription offers from different providers.

Providers want to be in the content business, since if they have to compete on just data it's much harder to hang on to juicy margins. Customers have emotional links to content, but data can be compared on cold facts. That's why providers don't like net neutrality.

Nationalize the communicaton systems

By Shotgun • Score: 3 • Thread

When the United States was formed, there was a reason that the roads and postal service were nationalized and controlled by the government. Those things create a "marketplace" where everyone needs to be treated equally, and they should be transparent. Privatized roads would have resulted in what happened with the railroads, where players that could make deals with the railroad owners got preferential treatment. It took federal regulation in the US so onerous that the railroads were effectively nationlized to return sanity to the markets.

This story details another example of why the communication systems need to be owned and controlled by the government. The systems should be transparent, charging only for the amount of data sent and received, and in the hands of a (mostly) neutral party.

That being said, I'd be happy with a simple law that simply said a carrier can only charge for the amount of data sent and received.

Microsoft Submits Linux Kernel Patches For a 'Complete Virtualization Stack' With Linux and Hyper-V

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Microsoft has submitted a series of patches to the Linux kernel with its aim being "to create a complete virtualization stack with Linux and Microsoft Hypervisor." The Register reports: The patches are designated "RFC" (Request for comments) and are a minimal implementation presented for discussion. The key change is that with the patched kernel, Linux will run as the Hyper-V root partition. In the Hyper-V architecture, the root partition has direct access to hardware and creates child partitions for the VMs it hosts. "Just think of it like Xen's Dom0," said Microsoft principal software engineer Wei Liu. Hyper-V's architecture is more similar to Xen than it is to KVM or to VMware's ESXi, and Liu acknowledged that "we drew inspiration from the Xen code in Linux," specifically for code handing interrupts. Until now, the Hyper-V root partition had to run Windows.

Microsoft has also ported Intel's open-source Cloud Hypervisor, a Virtual Machine Monitor (VMM) written in Rust that normally runs on KVM, the hypervisor that is built into the Linux kernel. Cloud Hypervisor itself is currently in "very early pre-alpha stage." Even when Linux is the root partition, it will still run on top of Microsoft's hypervisor, a thin layer running with ring -1 privileges. It will no longer be necessary to run Windows on that hypervisor, though, enabling Microsoft to call the new arrangement "a complete virtualization stack with Linux."

Re:Fuck That. Fix Hyper-V

By realmolo • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Hyper-V is broken, and it always has been. But it's obvious that Microsoft doesn't really care about it anymore. They want you to run your stuff on Azure.

Which is fine. If you are serious about running VMs on your own hardware, you should be using vSphere anyway. There really is no substitute for it in the enterprise. *Everything* works with vSphere, the management tools are the best, and there is an entire third-party industry built around supporting/extending vSphere.


By Trongy • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

What I see is developers following the open source process. Most companies who write code for the Linux kernel do so for their own benefit.

There's probably no value for anyone but Microsoft at this stage. If they never distribute the binaries outside of their own Azure datacentres, they wouldn't even have an obligation under the GPL to distribute the source code.

  We don't know Microsoft's intentions for this code. It might be just an experiment that never goes into production. It's probably an effort to increase reliability of their Azure servers while decreasing the cost of maintaining hardware drivers.

Re:I still don't like the new Microsoft

By Cylix • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread


MSFT have transformed from a desktop company to a cloud company. The desktop is now telemetry, add and OEM sales for them. It is still a large part of the organization, but no where near as fragile a personality as it used to be. This is similar to the Amazon Retail/Ec2 relationship. One will eventually overtake the other and when making big bets... you bet on the future.

They have spent quite a bit getting into the cloud architecture (a lot compared to most of the organizations around) and they really don't care about windows anymore. That isn't their lock in these days and it is the same lock in that Amazon ran with several years ago.

There is a reason I can run a bash shell with a debian environment on windows 10 and it isn't because they particularly care about desktop lock in.


By squiggleslash • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

It means a Linux kernel is a first class citizen under Microsoft's Hyper-V technology, which is a rival to Xen. Yes, you can run Linux as a first class citizen under Xen, but that's hardly an argument for not having it work under Hyper-V too.

Supporting multiple platforms is generally considered a good thing. For example, Linux works under different CPU architectures. The fact Linux can run as a full operating system on an intel chip doesn't mean it wasn't a good thing when someone ported it to ARM.

Re:I cannot wait for them to be sued for GPL viola

By lordlod • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Except, you know, the GPL lawsuits have been kind of weak and I'm sure they know that with their legion of lawyers.

Really? Every single case around the world has held the GPL up.

The mark of a strong licence isn't large numbers of public lawsuits. It is the fact that companies comply or settle to avoid an inevitable loss in a public trial.

Personal Information of Roughly 46,000 Veterans Exposed In VA Hack

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from CNN: The Department of Veterans Affairs said Monday that roughly 46,000 veterans had their personal information, including Social Security numbers, exposed in a data breach in which "unauthorized users" gained access to an online application used for making health care payments. A preliminary review of the incident indicated that the hackers accessed the application "to change financial information and divert payments from VA by using social engineering techniques and exploiting authentication protocols," according to the department's announcement.

"The Financial Services Center (FSC) determined one of its online applications was accessed by unauthorized users to divert payments to community health care providers for the- medical treatment of Veterans. The FSC took the application offline and reported the breach to VA's Privacy Office," the statement said. "To prevent any future improper access to and modification of information, system access will not be reenabled until a comprehensive security review is completed by the VA Office of Information Technology," it added.
The department is taking steps to alert veterans whose information was compromised. "To protect these Veterans, the FSC is alerting the affected individuals, including the next-of-kin of those who are deceased, of the potential risk to their personal information. The department is also offering access to credit monitoring services, at no cost, to those whose social security numbers may have been compromised," Monday's statement said.

"Veterans whose information was involved are advised to follow the instructions in the letter to protect their data. There is no action needed from Veterans if they did not receive an alert by mail, as their personal information was not involved in the incident," it adds.

Round and round

By AndyKron • Score: 3 • Thread
I think the shorter list now is who HASN'T been hacked?

A Bug In Joe Biden's Campaign App Gave Anyone Access To Millions of Voter Files

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
schwit1 shares a report from TechCrunch: A privacy bug in Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden's official campaign app allowed anyone to look up sensitive voter information on millions of Americans, a security researcher has found. The campaign app, Vote Joe, allows Biden supporters to encourage friends and family members to vote in the upcoming U.S. presidential election by uploading their phone's contact lists to see if their friends and family members are registered to vote. The app uploads and matches the user's contacts with voter data supplied from TargetSmart, a political marketing firm that claims to have files on more than 191 million Americans.

When a match is found, the app displays the voter's name, age and birthday, and which recent election they voted in. This, the app says, helps users find people you know and encourage them to get involved." While much of this data can already be public, the bug made it easy for anyone to access any voter's information by using the app. The App Analyst, a mobile expert who detailed his findings on his eponymous blog, found that he could trick the app into pulling in anyone's information by creating a contact on his phone with the voter's name.
The Biden campaign fixed the bug and pushed out an app update on Friday.

"We were made aware about how our third-party app developer was providing additional fields of information from commercially available data that was not needed," Matt Hill, a spokesperson for the Biden campaign, told TechCrunch. "We worked with our vendor quickly to fix the issue and remove the information. We are committed to protecting the privacy of our staff, volunteers and supporters will always work with our vendors to do so."

Re:Don't you mean "Kamala Harris's Campaign?"

By HannahBarbarian • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Joe's advanced age and cognitive decline makes this really a race between Trump and Kamala Harris, not Joe. Even Joe refers to himself as a "transition candidate."

Donald Trump is only four years younger than Joe Biden. Also he has a famously bad diet, doesn't believe in exercise and wont listen to his doctors. Not only that, he can barely read from a teleprompter, has difficulty walking down shallow ramps and once received a standing ovation from his supporters when he demonstrated that he was able to drink water from a glass with only one hand.

Biden has demonstrated a relatively small number of gaffes and vocal slips, many due to the known fact that he has a stutter. Meanwhile Donald Trump can barely get through a single speech without mispronouncing or using the wrong word (and pretending it was the right one). "I profoundly accept this nomination for president." etc.

This narrative that Biden is on the cognitive decline being promoted by Trump and his friends at Fox is exactly the same story they tried with Hillary Clinton in 2016 (who I might note is still with us and perfectly healthy). And you fell for it. Again.

Seriously though, if you want to push the idea that this is really a race between Kamala Harris and Mike Pence, I would be with you there. We really need to stop nominating decrepit old men for important political positions.

"Uploads the user's contacts"

By Hizonner • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Frankly, any user who uploads a contact list to anything without the specific permission of everybody on that list is a piece of shit... and should probably be subject to every kind of fine and penalty that you'd apply to a corporation that sent people's data to random places with no permission or discloser. Why does a random business associate or "friend" get a pass for doing things that a Web site would get headlines by doing? ... and the functionality pattern "match all of your contacts against this or that kind of list" is pretty fucking creepy in itself. It could be done done locally, using various cryptography to assure that only the user learned which contacts matched, and the user didn't learn anything about anybody who wasn't already a contact... and it would still be unacceptable.

"Contacts" is not even a kind of access that a mobile app should be able to request.


By backslashdot • Score: 3 • Thread

Back in the 1980s I was an elite hacker and obtained a printed compilation of everyone in my town's name, address, and phone number.

Re:Don't you mean "Kamala Harris's Campaign?"

By DigiShaman • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Cool, glad you think so. So you would have no problem what so ever of Trump and Biden having a national debate. Glad we got that sorted out.

Re:Which should raise the question,

By mark-t • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Russia wanted Hillary to win

No. Not at all. US investigations revealed that Russia actively attempted to interfere in the 2016 election to try to get Trump elected. There is sufficient reason to believe that they are doing so again for the 2020 election

I thought by now everyone would know the whole Trump/Russia thing was total bs

That depends on what you mean by the Trump/Russa thing. Did Russia interfere in the election? Yes. Did Russia want Trump to win? Yes. Did Trump actually conspire with Russia to get elected? No evidence has actually ever surfaced to substantiate this.

Nevermind Trump has been harder on Russia than any president since Reagan.

You're aware, presumably, that this president wanted Russia to rejoin the G7 and become the G8? You're aware, presumably, that when evidence of Russia's interference in the 2016 election was produced by US intelligence, that Trump chose to believe Russia over the USA's own investigations. You're aware, presumably, that rather than trying to hold Russia accountable for violations of its nuclear proliferation treaty with Russia through the use of sanctions, that Trump instead decided to withdraw the USA from the treaty that has been in place since Reagan, allowing Russia to continue to do what it wants entirely unimpeded? No, there is no evidence - AT ALL - that Trump has ever been hard on Russia. Even *ONCE*.

Trump may or may not have colluded with Russia... I do not know, and I would not accuse him of doing so. If he did not, however, he has through his presidency remained a "useful idiot" for Russia.

Francisco-Backed Sandvine Cancels Belarus Deal, Citing Abuses

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Sandvine, the technology company backed by private equity firm Francisco Partners, canceled a deal with Belarus, saying the government used its technology to violate human rights. From a report: The company's technology, which is used to filter and manage internet networks, was used by a state-run internet agency in Belarus to block thousands of websites in the country amid nationwide protests over a disputed election, Bloomberg reported on Aug. 28. Sandvine said in a statement on Tuesday that a preliminary investigation determined that "custom code" was inserted into its products "to thwart the free flow of information during the Belarus election." The Tuesday announcement comes days after Sandvine was criticized by many including politicians .

Too Late

By godel_56 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Belarus already has the technology and Sandvine already have the money. Also I'm sure Belarus feels completely justified in copying the technology and giving it or selling it to all its authoritarian mates

Question asked and answered

By quonset • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Last week I posed the question: What does the company do if it finds its products being used in a manner "detrimental to human rights."? Does it wag its finger at the country and say stop using our product?

Apparently the answer is . . . nothing. Sure, they'll stop providing support and updates, but the government has the product and can still use it. The company got its money, and that's what counts.

Apple Introduces Redesigned iPad Air With A14 Chip, All-Screen Design, TouchID and USB-C

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Apple today introduced a redesigned iPad Air that looks more like an iPad Pro, as well as an updated 8th-generation, entry-level iPad. MacRumors reports on the new iPad Air: Apple today introduced a redesigned iPad Air with slimmer bezels, paving the way for an all-screen design similar to recent iPad Pro models. In addition, the new iPad Air is the first Apple device with Touch ID built into the power button. The new iPad Air is powered by the new 5nm-based, six-core A14 Bionic chip for up to 40 percent faster performance and up to 30 percent faster graphics than the previous-generation iPad Air.

The device features a fully laminated 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display with True Tone, P3 wide color support, and an anti-reflective coating. Following in the footsteps of the iPad Pro, the new iPad Air features a USB-C port instead of a Lightning connector. The device also features the same 12-megapixel rear camera used in the iPad Pro for higher-resolution photos and 4K video recording. The new iPad Air will be available starting in October on and the Apple Store app in 30 countries and regions. Wi-Fi models will start at $599, while cellular models will start at $729, with 64GB and 256GB storage capacities available. There will be five colors to choose from, including silver, space gray, rose gold, green, and sky blue.
9to5Mac reports on the 8th-generation iPad: Apple today announced the 8th-generation iPad, featuring an A12 chip compared to the previous-generation's A10 processor. The design of the new entry-level iPad is largely the same as its predecessor. The jump from A10 to A12 means Apple's cheapest iPad will feature the Neural Engine for the first time. Apple says the A12 chip offers more than twice the performance of the top selling Windows laptop, 6x faster than the top-selling Android tablet and 6x faster than the best-selling Chromebook. The 8th-generation iPad keeps the same price as the 7th-gen: that's $329 for general sale and $299 for education.

Too bad it's not an *iPhone* with USB-C

By dgatwood • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

I'm sticking with my 6s until I can get an iPhone that lets me use the same pair of wired headphones as my Mac and the same cord to charge them both, and lets me sync content to it at a usable speed.

I find it kind of irritating that the one Apple product I actually want to buy right now (and have been wanting to buy for about three years) STILL uses a dog-slow USB 2.0 interface with a nonstandard cable.


By Misagon • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

You know, bezels are necessary on tablets because touching the bezels is how you hold them.

Under-display cameras are still only on the way to being introduced, and so far, no such display hides the camera entirely: there need to be gaps in the screen for the camera to see through, either by having lower pixel density or by having smaller pixels.

A14 performance

By willy_me • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Yes, that statement is meaningless. But if you look at Geekbench numbers you see that the A12 in the previous iPad Air has a score of 1112. Add 40% and you have the new A14 scoring around 1557 (single core only). Now the fastest (single core) CPU benchmarked by Geekbench is the i9-10900K at 1416.

If Apple builds a die with sufficient cores then these numbers suggest that the A14 could be the fastest chip on the market. Once Intel gets their 7nm process going or AMD has their 5nm chips out then this could change. (FYI, Intel 7nm and TSMC 5nm both have the same transistor density.) But for the time being, Apple appears to have a great CPU.

I just wish Apple CPUs were sold to third parties so we could see ARM based, non-Apple devices capable of running Linux. Apple devices are not a good fit for everyone but their CPUs just might be. Can't wait to see what happens when their power budget increases to 65W.

Christmas villiage

By fluffernutter • Score: 3 • Thread
I always find it funny that Apple fans buy the devices for the cool sleek look, but then they don't mind having dongles sicking out of them everywhere. My Macbook looks like under the table that we set up the Christmas village on.

New Google Fiber Plan: $100 For 2Gbps, Plus Wi-Fi 6 Router and Mesh Extender

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Google Fiber will soon offer 2Gbps service for $100 a month, a package that includes a Wi-Fi 6 router and mesh extender, the Alphabet-owned ISP announced yesterday. Google fiber-to-the-home service never rolled out as far as many people hoped, but the ISP is still making improvements in cities where it does provide broadband. The new offering is double the download speed of Google Fiber's standard 1Gbps service and costs $30 more. While the new offer is 2Gbps on the download side, it will be 1Gbps for uploads.

In addition to fiber-to-the-home, Google Fiber offers wireless home Internet access in some cities through its Webpass service. Even the Webpass wireless service will get the 2Gbps plan, the announcement said. Webpass' standard speeds today range from 100Mbps to 1Gbps. The 2Gbps service will initially be available to some customers through Google Fiber's Trusted Tester program next month, with plans to roll out across "most" Google Fiber and Webpass markets in 2021. The announcement didn't provide any details on the Wi-Fi 6 router and mesh extender that will be included in the $100 price. Google Fiber provides 1Gbps customers a gateway and router in a single device it calls a "Network Box."
"Why 2 Gig? This year has made this need for more speed and bandwidth especially acute, as many of us are now living our entire lives -- from work to school to play -- within our homes, creating unprecedented demand for Internet capacity," the Google Fiber announcement said.

Google says the 2 Gig speeds "will roll out to all of our Nashville and Huntsville customers later this year, with plans to launch the service across most of our Google Fiber and Google Fiber Webpass cities in early 2021." You can sign up here for an opportunity to be among the first to test the new speeds in your city.

2Gbps is useless for most

By GuB-42 • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

I have gigabit fiber, I can upgrade to 2 Gbps for just 5 euros/month, I didn't, and I work from home and have roommates who are gamers. So that's pretty heavy use compared to the average household.

Why not? Simply, I almost never use even half of my gigabit link. The reasons can be multiple:
- The server on the other side is too slow (the most common one)
- A bottleneck at the ISP level (Google may do better than most on that one)
- I only have gigabit Ethernet to my PC, or worse, WiFi
- My PC cannot process data fast enough, 1 GBps is faster a lot of storage devices, and you can't really do complex processing at that speed

And even on the few time I take full advantage of my connection, usually downloading huge files from fast servers, typically things like AAA games, it is not significant, like saving a few minutes on an operation that takes an hour, unattended, once every few months.

The only real benefit I can see is if I run a server at home, 2 GBps *upload* bandwidth is quite cool. But for the download, gigabit and above basically means that you home connection stops being the bottleneck.

Apple is Removing the USB Power Adapter From Upcoming Apple Watch Boxes

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Apple on Tuesday announced it would no longer be including USB power adapters with Apple Watch devices as part of an effort to reduce its environmental impact. From a report: Removing the power adapter means new Apple Watch customers won't have access to the device that plugs into the wall, but they should still receive Apple's custom Apple Watch cable that recharges the device wirelessly. According to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, this move won't be restricted to Apple Watch devices; it will also include upcoming iPhones.


By Jarwulf • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
If it was about the environment they'd reengineer their POS products to last more than a few years, make them independently repairable, and advertise accordingly. This is costcutting hiding under virtuesignaling plain and simple.

Re:About time

By Rhipf • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

It's fine that Apple is no longer providing the charger in the box. The least that they could do is insert a card for a free charger that you can redeem either at an Apple store or via mail (with postage paid both ways). If the only reason that Apple is not providing the charger in the box is to be more environmentally friendly then they shouldn't have a problem with this proposed solution. If the reason they are doing this is so that they can add a few extra dollars profit I say shame on them. They are sitting on enough cash that they can easily afford to include a voucher for a free charger. They would probably still increase there profits over shipping the charger in the box (not everyone will redeem the voucher).

Re:About time

By NFN_NLN • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

So how is it an environmental 'waste', if someone on ebay legitimately puts it to good use?

> If humans were a more logical species

Oh, this is one of those ironic meta posts?


By willy_me • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

I've heard that you pretty much need X-ray to verify the soldering on those.

You need an X-ray to verify the soldering of any BGA device. But it is not limited to BGA, any device package where you can not directly see the solder joints requires an X-ray to verify. It is not really attributed to high densities although higher pin counts do represent more possible faults.

But the X-ray is only really used at the start of a production run. You make some boards and use the X-ray to verify that the soldering profile being used is sufficient. Different PCBs have different thermal characteristics so you never really know a solder profile is good until you try it. Once verified, multiple boards can be assembled without using an X-ray on each board.

When installing individual parts, the X-ray is often skipped. You only heat the specific part of the board you are soldering to and you can manually verify that the IC reflows onto the board. You just look through the microscope and watch for when the solder balls melt and the IC "drops" into place. All 4 sides need to "drop" into place. Then, heat it up just a bit more and you are done. If the board now works correctly then the soldering job was a success. There is no real need to X-ray at this point because it is a one-of job / product.

But if you have BGA devices then you probably also have a complex PCB where traces are often hidden. Multiple layers, hidden vias, via in pads, etc. So you never know if an IC is blown or there is a board fault due to a broken trace. Perhaps a trace breaks when removing an IC - it is very easy to do. The odds of a successful repair go down and it becomes even more desirable to not even bother trying.

Re:About time

By NFN_NLN • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

>> So how is it an environmental 'waste', if someone on ebay legitimately puts it to good use?

> Because most of them are never sold on eBay.

Then don't order the adapter and don't sell it on ebay.
List/sell the card. If no one buys it, throw is away. If someone buys it, send them the card and they can redeem the adapter direct. This would also save on shipping fees.

Next up... world hunger...

How Big Oil Misled The Public Into Believing Plastic Would Be Recycled

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NPR and PBS Frontline spent months digging into internal industry documents and interviewing top former officials. We found that the industry sold the public on an idea it knew wouldn't work -- that the majority of plastic could be, and would be, recycled -- all while making billions of dollars selling the world new plastic. NPR: The industry's awareness that recycling wouldn't keep plastic out of landfills and the environment dates to the program's earliest days, we found. "There is serious doubt that [recycling plastic] can ever be made viable on an economic basis," one industry insider wrote in a 1974 speech. Yet the industry spent millions telling people to recycle, because, as one former top industry insider told NPR, selling recycling sold plastic, even if it wasn't true. "If the public thinks that recycling is working, then they are not going to be as concerned about the environment," Larry Thomas, former president of the Society of the Plastics Industry, known today as the Plastics Industry Association and one of the industry's most powerful trade groups in Washington, D.C., told NPR.

In response, industry representative Steve Russell, until recently the vice president of plastics for the trade group the American Chemistry Council, said the industry has never intentionally misled the public about recycling and is committed to ensuring all plastic is recycled. [...] Here's the basic problem: All used plastic can be turned into new things, but picking it up, sorting it out and melting it down is expensive. Plastic also degrades each time it is reused, meaning it can't be reused more than once or twice. On the other hand, new plastic is cheap. It's made from oil and gas, and it's almost always less expensive and of better quality to just start fresh. All of these problems have existed for decades, no matter what new recycling technology or expensive machinery has been developed. In all that time, less than 10 percent of plastic has ever been recycled. But the public has known little about these difficulties.

This isn't the oil industries fault

By djp2204 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
We live in a throw away society where people value CHEAP first. The CHEAPER the better. Plastic packaging is CHEAP. Food in plastic packaging is CHEAP. Products in plastic packaging are CHEAP. Aseptic packaged food is CHEAP because it lasts longer. Single use medical equipment is CHEAP because it doesn't have to be cleaned before use. It's CHEAPER to throw things away than it is to fix them. If you really want to fix this issue, encourage people to fix things, encourage people to re-use, and convince people that SPENDING MORE is actually profitable in the long run. Good luck!

Re:Maybe in 1989...

By gillbates • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

I wouldn't be surprised if only 10% of the plastic created since 1970 has been recycled, because it has taken some time for the technology to mature.

But I would be very surprised if less than 10% of the plastic today is recycled. The recyclers can't increase the size of the input stream, only what they extract from it, so they are very interested in extracting as much as they can possibly sell - which drives the technology forward. China's recent increase in purity standards may temporarily reduce the amount of plastics recycling due to older, less precise equipment, but as that is replaced, we should see the amount increase.

Again, if we have a problem with plastics recycling, it's not that we can't recycle it, but that people can't be bothered.

Re:Lies to all of us because we want to believe

By apoc.famine • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

the classic case is lucozade bottles - made from an easily recyclable plastic.

You didn't read the article, did you?

Because you're spouting the same 50 year old lie that the oil companies have been feeding you. It's ingrained in your soul at this point.

That "easily recyclable plastic" is not. It's not recyclable. That's the entire point of this article.

The plastic polymers are recyclable all of one time, maybe two. But there's no practical way to separate out the old from the new, so you literally can't take a plastic bottle and turn it back into a plastic bottle. At best you can take a plastic bottle and make it into some degraded plastic product, which has all sorts of issues. And only 10% or so of plastic seems to even get this level of recycling.

It's all laid bare now that China won't take it, nor will Indonesia nor most of Africa.

Plastic isn't recyclable.

Re:Beer does not come in a metal can

By apoc.famine • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Sorry grandad, but your 1970s understanding of canning has been out of date for a good decade or two now.

Some of the best beer in the world now comes in cans. IPAs, stouts, fruited sours, belgians, you name it. And yes, you can even age your snooty craft beers in cans!

Even worse, the reason this is possible is because.....inside the cans is a fucking plastic bottle! They're lined with plastic, and will keep fresh and sealed for a good 5-10 years.

Even worse? All of the bottles ever have a plastic seal on the cap. And nobody has been pissing and moaning about bottle caps for the last 30+ years.

About the only way to be a purist is to solely go for bombers with corks and either wires or wax seals. And if those are the only beers you drink, I feel very sorry for you. You're missing 99.9% of the beer in the world.

Re:Maybe in 1989...

By spth • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

But... if the article was correct, I wouldn't have a job.

No. The problem is that we need 100x more of you, and we need a way to pay for it. Only a small percentage of the recyclable plastic actually makes it to you.

But I would be very surprised if less than 10% of the plastic today is recycled.

Well be surprised then, because that's what the data shows. I keep seeing that "91% of plastic is not recycled" everywhere I look. That's from places like EPA.GOV, Yale University, and New Scientist. []

Here is a press release from the German ministry of environment from January 2019:

It gives data fro 2017. Total plastic garbage in Germany that year: 6.15 Mt.53% were burnt directly. 46 % (2.8 Mt) were sent to recycling centers. After removing non-recyclable parts (other plastics, food contamination, etc), this resulted 1.9 Mt of plastics actually used in making new plastics products.

For context (not from the above press release, but from

However, while the situation is apparently improving everywhere over time, the numbers still vary wildly by country - in the same year 2017, the US recycled only 8 % of its plastics, while Japan recycled 86 %. For 2016, the worldwide plastics recycling rate was 14%.

Google Unveils Video Conferencing Hardware For Post-Pandemic Offices

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Corporate workplaces around the world are empty due to the coronavirus pandemic, but Google on Tuesday unveiled new devices for when people eventually return to office conference rooms. From a report: The system of gadgets, called Google Meet Series One, includes a camera, soundbar with eight mics and touchscreen remote. Google partnered with the Chinese manufacturer Lenovo for the hardware. The setup relies on Google Meet, the search giant's Zoom rival, which has surged in popularity as people began to hunker down in their homes earlier this year to fend off the spread of Covid-19. Google boasts that its artificial intelligence software can automatically pan and around the room and focus in on people who are speaking. The company also says its audio tools can use noise cancellation to block out the sounds of typing and people shuffling around and instead amplify peoples voices. Google is charging $2,700 for small room setups, $3,000 for medium-sized rooms and $4,000 for large rooms.

Re:The kind of people I always end up working for

By aitikin • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Google is charging $2,700 for small room setups, $3,000 for medium-sized rooms and $4,000 for large rooms.

Day 0: Boss: "We only need a small room setup, and we can save $300" Me: "But that's only a 10% uptick to the bandwidth we'll need soon!". Daily, Day 180 thru infinity: Boss: "Why can't we get more people into the video conference room?"

Definitely this. Nothing I hated more than setting up conference room talking head events and telling them, "Okay, this will get you done for what you're asking for now, but in less 6 months, you're going to need something that costs 1.5 times as much, so I'd recommend buying that and saving yourself from buying it twice..."

"Oh, we'll never need that! Besides, we're way over our budget for this room already!"

[3 months later]

"We need that thing you said we would, can we trade this in?"

"Sure, the company will give you about $0.20/$1 for it..."

So tired

By Junta • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

The trendy thing to do nowadays is to have a hardware product that fundamentally could service any number of providers of a service (in this case, zoom, teams, jitsi, google meet, bluejeans, webex, probably many more) but gets locked to a service.

It's both lock-in without good reason as well as driving waste when the company pivots to another solution. It also seriously messes with ability to meet between organizations when you are meeting with a group that selected product X instead of product Y and one of you has to forfeit your fancy conferencing equipment and just break out your laptops.

Apple One Bundles iCloud, Music, TV+, Arcade, News+ and Fitness+ for $30 a Month

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader shares a report: Seems everything charges a monthly fee, these days. It also seems that every Apple event brings another way to fork over $10 a month to the company. This time out, it was the addition of Fitness+, which brings metric-focused video workouts to an Apple TV near you. To keep things simple (and to keep you subscribing), the company is offering up a trio of new Apple One bundles. It's not quite mix and match yet, but there are three pricing tiers. Individual offers Apple Music, TV+, Arcade and iCloud for $15 a month. The Family version will get you those four services for $20 a month. For the hardcore, there's the $30 a month Premier tier, which bundles iCloud, Music, TV+, Arcade, News+ and Fitness+.

Apple announcing their irrelevancy.

By jelwell • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Title should read “Apple One Bundles a bunch of apple services no one wants together for a price no one is interested in”


By 93 Escort Wagon • Score: 3 • Thread

I didn’t watch the Keynote... has Apple figured out yet how to share files and folders with other people in a way that doesn’t completely suck?

It’s unbelievable how primitive their iCloud file services have been. Pretty much every other service makes it easy to set up shared folders - and has offered it for years.

Apple’s leadership team needs to read some John Donne.

Apple Announces Apple Watch Series 6 With Ability To Measure Blood Oxygen Levels

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Apple has announced the Apple Watch Series 6, the latest in its line of popular smartwatches. The Series 6 model maintains the same overall design introduced with the Apple Watch Series 4 and continued with the Series 5, but it adds a variety of new sensors to allow for things like blood oxygen monitoring and better sleep tracking. From a report: Apple says the Series 6 can measure blood oxygen levels in about 15 seconds, using both red and infrared light. The company says it's partnering with health networks to start large-scale studies using the new blood oxygen measurement feature, including testing to see if it can detect if a person is infected with COVID-19. The Series 6 also comes with the new S6 processor, which promises up to 20 percent faster performance. It's based on Apple's in-house A13 chip and brings the first major update to the Apple Watch's performance since the Series 4, given that last year's Series 5 model used the same S4 CPU (rebranded as the S5 with other additions like a compass and a new display controller). Starts at $399.

No blood pressure?

By Dru Nemeton • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
I have a $32 dollar device that not only captures oxygen levels, but heart rate, breathing rate, and blood pressure. These levels are accurate to about 5% as verified by my doctors office. Which for such a low cost device is "good enough."

I wonder if adding in BP would have opened to door to lawsuits?

A timely feature, and one for the future

By SuperKendall • Score: 3 • Thread

They have probably been working on the blood oxygen monitoring aspect for quite some time now, so they got really lucky with the timing of that announcement! It's pretty compelling to be warned your blood oxygen levels are dropping more than normal as a warning sign of Covid.

A feature not mentioned that seems less useful at the moment, is that you can family-share watches now - so you can buy a kid a watch, and have it pair to a parents phone, but the kid essentially has their own phone number on the watch... the parent can control when the kid is allowed to call, and also be notified when a child has reached or I guess leaves specified areas they are supposed to be in...

No word yet on a Running Man Edition of the watch that comes with a non-removable neck collar Apple Watch for the kid.

Re:Humans can only design so fast...

By PPH • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

I would have bought her the device if it had been available.

Sorry if this comes across as a bit rude: Were you waiting for Apple to come out with their model? Because these things have been available for many years at the local drug store. I've gone through a number of them (broken wires, stuck buttons, etc.) and when the virus hit, I went through my box of broken stuff, repaired some of them and handed them out to elderly relatives.

Re:No blood pressure?

By DigiShaman • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Too much complexity. A pump with bladders in the wrist strap would would have made the watch larger in size.

FBI Says Credential Stuffing Attacks Are Behind Some Recent Bank Hacks

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The FBI has sent a private security alert to the US financial sector last week warning organizations about the increasing number of credential stuffing attacks that have targeted their networks and have led to breaches and considerable financial losses. From a report: Credential stuffing is a relatively new term in the cyber-security industry. [...] According to an FBI security advisory obtained by ZDNet today, credential stuffing attacks have increased in recent years and have now become a major problem for financial organizations. "Since 2017, the FBI has received numerous reports on credential stuffing attacks against US financial institutions, collectively detailing nearly 50,000 account compromises," the FBI said. "The victims included banks, financial services providers, insurance companies, and investment firms."

Re:What is "Credential Stuffing"?

By rpresser • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Credential stuffing is a type of cyberattack where stolen account credentials typically consisting of lists of usernames and/or email addresses and the corresponding passwords (often from a data breach) are used to gain unauthorized access to user accounts through large-scale automated login requests directed against a web application.[1] Unlike credential cracking, credential stuffing attacks do not attempt to brute force or guess any passwords - the attacker simply automates the logins for a large number (thousands to millions) of previously discovered credential pairs ...

TL;DR: take user/password pairs from one hacked site and try to use them on other sites, in bulk attacks.

Solution that works

By transporter_ii • Score: 3 • Thread

Google has zero problems with this:

Google and Facebook are more secure than my financial institutions. Go figure.

Addicted To Losing: How Casino-Like Apps Have Drained People of Millions

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NBC News spoke to 21 people who said they were hooked on casino-style apps and had spent significant sums of money. The industry is almost entirely unregulated. From a report: Shellz, 37, a nurse from Houston, spends at least two hours a day with her husband playing a casino-style smartphone game called Jackpot Magic. The app offers a variety of typical casino games to play, including their favorite, called Reel Rivals, a game in which players accrue points by playing a virtual slot machine. As in a real casino, players exchange money for coins to bet. Unlike in a real casino, there is no way to win money back or earn a payout on coins. But that has not stopped Shellz and her husband from spending about $150,000 in the game in just two years. She asked to use her in-game username so her family does not find out how much money they have spent on the game. "We lie in bed next to each other, we have two tablets, two phones and a computer and all these apps spinning Reel Rivals at the same time," she said. "We normalize it with each other." Jackpot Magic is an app made by Big Fish Games of Seattle, one of the leaders in an industry of "free-to-play" social games into which some people have plowed thousands of dollars. Big Fish Games also operates a similar app, Big Fish Casino. Both are labeled as video games, which allows the company and others like it to skirt the tightly regulated U.S. gambling market. But unlike the gambling market, apps like Jackpot Magic and Big Fish Casino are under little oversight to determine whether they are fair or whether their business practices are predatory.

NBC News spoke to 21 people, including Shellz and her husband, who said they were hooked on the casino-style games and had spent significant sums of money. They described feelings of helplessness and wanting to quit but found themselves addicted to the games and tempted by the company's aggressive marketing tactics. Most of the 21 players wished to remain anonymous, as they were ashamed of their addictions and did not want their loved ones to find out about their behavior. A 42-year-old Pennsylvania woman said she felt saddened that she spent $40,000 on Big Fish Casino while working as an addiction counselor. "The whole time I was working as an addiction counselor, I was addicted to gambling and with no hope of winning any money back," she said. Big Fish Games did not make anyone available for an interview, nor did the company respond to detailed questions. The company has said in previous court filings that only a fraction of the game's players actually spend money. In a response to NBC News' inquiries, the company issued a statement saying its games are not gambling and should not be regulated as such.


By Impy the Impiuos Imp • Score: 3 • Thread

For well over 30 years, home shopping style cable channels have been draining retirees of their life savings by pretending to be their friend. All that did was engender donations to politicians. As will this. Expect little change beyond a warning.


By ShanghaiBill • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Addiction is not related to IQ. A high one offers no protection.

At least with nicotine addiction, you are wrong.

Link between cigarette smoking and IQ

Stupid people are more likely to be smokers.

Too bad it's your problem

By Somervillain • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Is not worthy of a headline, nor a news article. It is only worthy of ridicule.

So here's the thing. One person's mistakes rarely affect them alone. So're immune to be suckered...what about your aging parents? What about that relative with a large retirement account and early onset Alzheimer's? OK, so since you're smug, you're probably either have an extremely small family and circle of friends or are in denial.

Are you a landlord?...or do you do business with people who rent apartments?...hope your tenants don't do anything stupid. Missed rent checks and collection agencies are not cheap. Does your line of work sell things to people? Those who blow every cent they have on electronic dopamine stimulation don't have money to pay you for your goods and services.

Do you have a retirement account? Whomever you're investing in is losing out on paying customers when they declare bankruptcy for spending their life savings on an online jackpot game.

Finally, what's the probability this person lives alone? Chances are they have kids they're not taking care of or their parents are having to use their retirement accounts to help them pay rent.

I am thankful I am not an addict, but I have a few in the family. I'm not even directly financially impacted, but I know their kids are impacted immensely. I know their elderly parents are impacted financially. I know that the state is impacted in paying for their welfare and social services for their kids I know the addict's employer is impacted.

Addiction and extreme OCD like gambling addiction impact society. We do need to regulate it. It adds no value and has potential to really destroy the mentally unwell...which impacts us all. There's no punishment too severe for whomever operates these sights and targets people with mental illness. They provide no value to society and lots of tangible harm. We'd all be better off if they were wiped from the face of the planet, or at the very least....regulated to minimize harm.

Like it or not, the economy is an ecosystem and the decisions of those around you impact least they do when you invest in the market, pay taxes, or have a job that provides value to society.

Free Software Foundation

By John.Banister • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
If I understand it correctly, this problem sounds ripe for a Free Software Foundation style solution. It should be relatively inexpensive to set up a competing app that also doesn't pay out. The big feature of the competing app: at the end of the year, they give all your money back. Take the money. Keep the interest. Return the principal. Put the people who don't return the money out of business. Of course the addicts are still out the time, and once the people who are worse are out of the picture, you'll be hated. But, they'll have it better than they do now. Once you have enough addict cash in the bank, you could branch out into other gambling software that pays out, and returns a large percentage of customer's net losses at the end of the year. As the customer base grows, you'll be able to shave down your margins. keep even more of the competition out of business, and still profit.

Re: Your lack of self-control...

By pdxmax • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Itâ(TM)s not regulation for regulations sake. We are talking about lack of regulation in the face of predatory corporate behavior. The regulation would be for the purpose of eliminating that predatory behavior. We donâ(TM)t need to regulate video games or skydiving companies if they arenâ(TM)t predatory and are sufficiently safe. In the real word, policy makers need to make judgement calls in areas where reasonable minds can disagree about where the lines lay between acceptable and unacceptable. In the real world policy makers are accountable for coming up with solutions that minimize social harms. But no serious person likes regulation for regulations sake. And no serious person can oppose regulation in all situations either. You have to consider the situation on a case by case basis. In this case, we already have regulations to prevent the social ills caused by gambling. In this case, a business has slipped through the cracks. So of course the article notes the lack of regulation. There is nothing wrong with or sinister about that. Sheesh . . .

European Police Malware Could Harvest GPS, Messages, Passwords, More

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The malware that French law enforcement deployed en masse onto Encrochat devices, a large encrypted phone network using Android phones, had the capability to harvest "all data stored within the device," and was expected to include chat messages, geolocation data, usernames, passwords, and more, according to a document obtained by Motherboard. From the report: The document adds more specifics around the law enforcement hack and subsequent takedown of Encrochat earlier this year. Organized crime groups across Europe and the rest of the world heavily used the network before its seizure, in many cases to facilitate large scale drug trafficking. The operation is one of, if not the, largest law enforcement mass hacking operation to date, with investigators obtaining more than a hundred million encrypted messages. "The NCA has been collaborating with the Gendarmerie on Encrochat for over 18 months, as the servers are hosted in France. The ultimate objective of this collaboration has been to identify and exploit any vulnerability in the service to obtain content," the document reads, referring to both the UK's National Crime Agency and one of the national police forces of France. As well as the geolocation, chat messages, and passwords, the law enforcement malware also told infected Encrochat devices to provide a list of WiFi access points near the device, the document reads.


By jellomizer • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Bad Guys with computers defeated by worse guys with computers.

Freedom is the Opposite of Safety.

If you want to feel safe, you will need to give up freedoms. If you want to be free, you will need to expect to live in a less safe environment.

One cannot expect a fully free society, or a fully safe one. It is trade-off where a complex decision needs to be made.

Say you were being monitored but innocent for say using the internet to sell drugs. However in their investigation they found that you downloaded some pirated movies. Because if you are a bother to the police, They will often find something to arrest you with.

China Says TikTok Sale Shows US 'Economic Bullying'

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A senior Chinese official accused the U.S., which forced the sale of TikTok on national security grounds, of "economic bullying," while lambasting European Union restrictions on Huawei Technologies, in comments highlighting Beijing's increasing assertiveness against what it sees as unfair treatment from Western governments. From a report: "What has happened with TikTok in the United States is a typical act of coercive possession," the head of the Chinese Mission to the EU, Zhang Ming, said. "Some American politicians are trying to build a so-called clean network under the cover of fairness and reciprocity and blah, blah, blah," Ambassador Zhang said in an interview with Bloomberg TV. "This is nothing but economic bullying."

The Bytedance-owned company has come under pressure in the U.S., where President Donald Trump's ban has forced a sale of TikTok's American operations. TikTok submitted a proposal to the Treasury Department over the weekend in which Oracle will serve as the "trusted technology provider," the software company said. Zhang's comments represent an oft-repeated refrain from Beijing, which has accused Washington of targeting Huawei without evidence and called the forced sale of TikTok U.S. "state-sanctioned theft."

It's not even close to even yet

By sentiblue • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
If China stops banning google, facebook, sourceforge, twitter, and hundreds of other sites... also stop stealing US consumer's data, stop stealing US technologies then we'll stop bullying. We don't ban China's stuffs before. We've already been too easy on them.

Re:Bloomberg TV

By I'mjusthere • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

I don't think the interests of Bloomberg are aligned with the majority of Americans. He should be completely ignored when it comes to policies.

No billionaire's interests align with the majority of Americans. But they keep in power with bullshit distraction issues.

While healthcare keeps becoming more and more expensive with worse outcomes than other western countries. We are told to worry about illegal immigrants. While college as become too expensive for most of us, we are told to be frightened about socialism. While businesses are now allowed to pollute and poison us. we are told to be afraid of some mythical organization called "Antifa". Because, as we all know, anarchists organize and have meetings and band together.

And we have a population of of completely deluded assholes who are ruining this country because of their irrational beliefs.

I would like to thank Christians for wearing their religion on their sleeve so I know who are the gullible useful idiots. Yes, yes I do now hate all of them. And I'm enraged at people who cannot get out and vote because of bullshit like "the candidate didn't inspire me" allowing those morons to gain power. Fucking Democrats who cannot be bothered to vote unless they feel "motivated". - but when shit doesn't go their way, low and behold, they have plenty of time to get out and protest. If they fucking voted as their duty says, we wouldn't have Trump and a bunch of religious kooks running the show. Religion == stupidity.

Vote Blue no matter who because the Republicans are destroying this country.


By djp2204 • Score: 3 • Thread
Chinese policy on forced IP transfers and indebtedness towards Africa show Chinese economic bullying

Et Tu, China?

By I75BJC • Score: 3 • Thread
China, you bullied the USA renewal energy industry by swamping the USA market with cheap (in price and quality, as it turns out) photocell panel. Drove the USA manufacturers out of business.
You didn't cry then, did you?

Kinda tough when the bully gets her own medicine, huh?

Re:Bloomberg TV

By tsqr • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Compared to the interests of the other New York City Billionaire?

You know the one with Disapproval ratings over 50% consistently.

I am not saying Bloomberg is aligned with American values. However his own ambitions are around "I should do things that makes the place better, than people will love me" vs. "I will only make things better for the people who love me, and I will punish those who do not love me"

Really? You're going to single out Trump for wanting to punish those who do not love him?

"We're gonna punish our enemies, and we're gonna reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us" -- Barack Obama, 10/25/2010 Interview with Univision. In the days following the interview, he sort of apologized, saying he should have used the word "opponents" instead of "enemies", but he didn't back away from the idea of punishing those who disagree with his policies.

Now, no one is going to mistake Donald Trump for Barack Obama, and you can nitpick the difference between "support my policies" and "love me" if you want, but politicians sometimes say and do things that they later regret. Personally, I think that things that "slip out" inadvertently are pretty good indicators of someone's true attitudes and feelings. Except for Trump, of course, who would never admit to regretting anything he says or does, and has not given any indication that he actually has a filter of any kind. You can take what he says and does pretty much at face value.

IBM Publishes its Quantum Roadmap, Says it Will Have a 1,000-qubit Machine in 2023

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
IBM today, for the first time, published its road map for the future of its quantum computing hardware. There is a lot to digest here, but the most important news in the short term is that the company believes it is on its way to building a quantum processor with more than 1,000 qubits -- and somewhere between 10 and 50 logical qubits -- by the end of 2023. From a report: Currently, the company's quantum processors top out at 65 qubits. It plans to launch a 127-qubit processor next year and a 433-qubit machine in 2022. To get to this point, IBM is also building a completely new dilution refrigerator to house these larger chips, as well as the technology to connect multiple of these units to build a system akin to today's multi-core architectures in classical chips. IBM's Dario Gil tells me that the company made a deliberate choice in announcing this road map and he likened it to the birth of the semiconductor industry.

"If you look at the difference of what it takes to build an industry as opposed to doing a project or doing scientific experiments and moving a field forward, we have had a philosophy that what we needed to do is to build a team that did three things well, in terms of cultures that have to come together. And that was a culture of science, a culture of the road map, and a culture of agile," Gil said. He argues that to reach the ultimate goal of the quantum industry, that is, to build a large-scale, fault-tolerant quantum computer, the company could've taken two different paths. The first would be more like the Apollo program, where everybody comes together, works on a problem for a decade and then all the different pieces come together for this one breakthrough moment.


By JBMcB • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Quick refresher - a qubit is, roughly, the quantum equivalent of a bit. A logical qubit is the quantum equivalent of a logic gate. The way it was explained to me by a physicist is a qubit is similar to a diode that can store one bit of information, and you group them together, as you would a regular diode, into transistors, then group those together to make a logic gate. Not a 1==1 analogy, but close. So IBM's machine would have 50 quantum-equivalent logic gates. Maybe enough for a very simple accumulator and bit shifter, or something similar.

At JPMorgan, Productivity Falls For Younger Employees At Home

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Bloomberg: A troubling pattern emerged as most of JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s employees worked from home to stem the spread of Covid-19: productivity slipped. Work output by younger employees was particularly affected on Mondays and Fridays, according to findings discussed by Chief Executive Office Jamie Dimon in a private meeting with Keefe, Bruyette & Woods analysts. That, along with worries that remote work is no substitute for organic interaction, are part of why the biggest U.S. bank is urging more workers to return to offices over the coming weeks. "The WFH lifestyle seems to have impacted younger employees, and overall productivity and 'creative combustion' has taken a hit," KBW's Brian Kleinhanzl wrote in a Sept. 13 note to clients, citing an earlier meeting with Dimon. "Overall, Jamie thinks a shift back to the office will be good for the young employees and to foster creative ideas," Kleinhanzl wrote.

Software Engineering Output measured in heuristics

By Somervillain • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Outside of actual manufacturing of goods, are there any lines of work where the actual "production" could me measured on a daily basis?

Yes. Software projects can be measured based on burndown charts and delays. In science class, they'd distinguish between accuracy and precision. Software metrics are more precise than accurate as estimates they're based on are a subjective human-supplied number, but my team tracks it closely with great precision and we did have some delays in the first few months of COVID lockdown. There are additional metrics you could use like function points modified or pull requests submitted or pull request time, bugs found, automated issues (FindBugs, BlackDuck) introduced, etc.

There's no simple formula for software project productivity. Every one I can think of has some flaw. However, there are many sloppy and unreliable metrics one can combine to get a decent picture. A dozen unreliable metrics an suddenly paint a very accurate picture, especially when combined measured over time.

I'd imagine there are heuristics one can use in most industries to get a decent sense of output and productivity...not perfect, not objective, but given enough data and enough time, they can be applied to get a decent sense of output.

Re:Software Engineering Output measured in heurist

By bickerdyke • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

But are they granular enough to notice a regular x% drop in productivity on a certain weekday?

Re:There could be a reason it impacts young employ

By rsilvergun • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
Might I suggest a productivity enhancer?


By rsilvergun • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
In my smallish city we couldn't build an express way for years and years because the fast food joints got together and opposed it. They didn't want us commuters bypassing their crappy restaurants in the morning and using that time to eat breakfast at home.

You would be amazed how much behind the scenes business lobbying affects your life, and usually to it's detriment.

Lots of these articles lately

By ErichTheRed • Score: 3 • Thread

Personal opinion to get it out of the way: Do a hybrid model where you go into the office one or two days a week. That'll make all the agile coaches and collaboration coordinators of the world happy, then you can spend the next 3 or 4 days actually doing work. Rotate different teams between home and office so you have utilization every day, but then you can scale back on how much space you provide.

I've been seeing more of these articles creep in lately -- there are a lot of people who have a vested interest in keeping workers in the office. Middle managers would be one; they have nothing to gauge productivity on that they're used to using, and there are -millions- of middle managers still. All of them make good money and it would be an economic disaster to just all at once chop out all but 4 layers of an organization like the consultants seem to want now. Lots of other interests too -- executives in general not wanting to pay for people to work at home, commercial real estate interests, clothing retailers, car companies, even service businesses like restaurants and bars near offices -- all of them have been affected by WFH. I live near NYC and Manhattan is heavily dependent on millions of workers trudging into the office every single weekday, working crazy hours, buying food, drinking at bars, etc.

I guess my question would be what metrics they're using. If they're just using the M365 "engagement score" thing Microsoft computes based on how chatty you are, what docs you edit and how many people you contact, I could see that being misinterpreted. If they're using VPNs, well, I do about 90% of my work without having to be on a VPN these days.

Gene Editing To Produce 'Super Dad' Livestock

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Scientists have produced gene-edited animals they say could serve as "super dads" or "surrogate sires." The BBC reports: The pigs, goats, cattle and mice make sperm carrying the genetic material of donor animals. The researchers used a hi-tech gene editing tool to knock out a male fertility gene in animal embryos. The animals were born sterile, but began producing sperm after an injection of sperm-producing cells from donor animals. The technique would enable surrogate males to sire offspring carrying the genetic material of valuable elite animals such as prize bulls, said a US-UK team. This would be a step towards genetically enhancing livestock to improve food production, they added. Further reading: EurekAlert

Dad jokes

By cowdung • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

But do they tell super dad jokes?

Destroying Genetic Diversity

By Puls4r • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
This is a very bad idea. While everyone will want the sperm (and eggs) from the most successful pairing, it will quickly remove genetic diversity from the system and create a race of animals that are all susceptible to the same pathogen. It won't be to the same level as, say, the banana issue. But one can imagine what will happen when the majority of our dairy cattle come from just a couple genetic groups. Or our chickens, or pigs.

Re:Sterile males produce DONOR sperm

By halaloszt0 • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Exactly this!!!!!

1. fertile males will be extremely rare and expensive
2. genetics will be copyrighted and it will be against the law to just breed animals
3. overall genetic variety of the livestock will be non-existent. an epidemic will kill off the entire livestock of large areas all at once

America Is Facing a Monkey Shortage

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Thud457 shares a report from USA Today: The race for a coronavirus vaccine to help end the pandemic has consumed the scientific community and created an escalating demand for an essential resource: monkeys. Before drug companies call on human volunteers, monkeys are used in preclinical trials to test a vaccine's safety and effectiveness. But with more than 100 vaccines in development around the world, there aren't enough monkeys to go around. "There is a shortage," said Dr. Skip Bohm, associate director and chief veterinary medical officer of the Tulane National Primate Research Center.

Like other aspects of society, the pandemic has underscored an already existing problem. Nonhuman primate research centers have been strained in recent years because of restrictions on imported monkeys from countries like China and India, and a lack of funding to support domestic breeding. "We've always been in a state where we were always very close to the level of production to meeting the demand for research, and that has been the status for several years," Bohm said. "When the COVID pandemic came about, that just pressed us even further." According to a 2018 analysis by the National Institutes of Health, the national primate centers' projected demand for monkeys would increase by 20% to 50%. Most centers were not equipped to accommodate that kind of increase -- then the pandemic hit.

Tulane's primate research center has about 5,000 monkeys but only about 500 are used for research in a normal year because of age, health and colony dynamics. This year, Bohm estimates the same number of primates might be needed across the centers just for COVID-19 research alone. To satisfy the demand, NIH and research centers have had to collaborate more closely than ever. NIH created a committee to prioritize COVID-19 research while centers developed master protocols to optimize research, including sharing control groups.

Re:Test It On Prisoners

By Alcari • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
"we hung the last folks to do that and for good reason."

Ironically, the past tense of "To Hang (a person from the gallows)" is "hanged". The past tense of "To hang (an object from anything else)" is "hung".

So, in fact, we hanged those people. We might have hung some objects next to them.

Why not use politicians?

By thegarbz • Score: 3 • Thread

Or are they not a proper surrogate for humans?


By thegarbz • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

I think a monkey is a better surrogate for a human than a lawyer.

Re: Easy fix

By Joce640k • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

And nothing good has ever come out of assuming that humans aren't animals.

Re:I think we can solve this

By bobbied • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Just offer twenty bucks per test regime on conservative websites. Since they believe the whole COVID-19 thing is a hoax, they should sign up in droves.

Problem solved, plus America's average IQ will increase measurably if there are enough bad outcomes.

So many untrue stereotypes, so little time..

Nobody I know who's a conservative believes anything of the sort.. What we believe is that the liberals/democrats are blowing the whole COVID-19 thing out of proportion for political reasons. Yea, it's dangerous to some folks, and we should protect them as best as we can from getting the virus, but for the VAST majority of us, the virus isn't a serious problem given what's passed as "no problem" in the past. (Say like SARS and H1N1.) Wear your mask when you cannot social distance should be suggested, but we would favor personal freedom to choose over mandates.

The hoax here is how the liberals/democrats are treating this whole thing.. A prime example of this is how Nancy P. got her hair done - "A blowout" at an illegally open salon, closed by local COVID-19 rules. She cries about how bad Trump has handled this, but then violates the lockdown rules? Yea, she's not serious. All their hype is more about throwing mud at Trump and not about the virus, in short, it's a political hoax.

Mercedes-Benz Fined $1.5 Billion For Emissions Cheating

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from CBS News: Automaker Daimler AG and subsidiary Mercedes-Benz USA have agreed to pay $1.5 billion to resolve allegations they cheated on emissions tests, officials said Monday. The U.S. Department of Justice, Environmental Protection Agency and the California attorney general's office said Daimler violated environmental laws by using so-called "defeat device software" to circumvent emissions testing. In doing so, the companies sold roughly 250,000 cars and vans between 2009 and 2016 with diesel engines that didn't meet state and federal standards. The settlement, which includes civil penalties and still awaits court approval in Washington, will require Daimler to fix the already sold vehicles.

Daimler AG must repair at least 85% of the affected cars within two years and at least 85% of the affected vans within three years, justice department officials said. The company must also offer extended warranties to drivers on certain vehicle parts and conduct emissions tests on the repaired vehicles each year for the next five years. A separate class action civil settlement will bring a one-off charge of about $700 million, Daimler AG said. In a statement, the company also said settling the emissions allegations means Daimler does not admit any liability nor will the company have to buy back any of the vehicles in question. As part of Daimler AG's settlement, officials in California will receive $17.5 million for future environmental enforcement.

Re:VW vs. Mercedes

By drinkypoo • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

I couldn't imagine the person who would who spend that much money on a slow ass diesel engine in a luxury car.

Look again, sport. The diesels have very similar performance to the gassers, except they actually have more low-end torque because all the current Mercedes turbo diesels have a Garrett VGT that lets them spool up super early. Our 2006 Sprinter (not an affected model) has VGT and it is super quick off the line.

But you know who did spend a lot of money for slow ass diesels in luxury cars? The people who bought the original 300SD. At over 80k in today's dollars it was famously described as the most expensive economy car in the world. Now those are slow. I have a 1982 and it does not take off rapidly at all, because it has an original T3-pattern turbo (Garrett T0301) which doesn't spool up until about 2k, and doesn't actually make full boost until you get it well-loaded. And even then the engine only made 120BHP when it was brand new. It does have 240lb-ft., though, which is pretty damned good for a 3 liter 5 cylinder designed in the 1970s. And it gets 30 mpg on the freeway, which was phenomenal for a full-sized sedan in the 1980s. The performance was actually competitive with American V8 land yachts because at that time they had the emissions malaise. And you'd get over 400 miles to a tank pretty much every time, which is part of the appeal of the Mercedes diesel today — except it's more like 600 miles to an even smaller tank.

Modern Mercedes diesels are quick and even relatively quiet. There's really no drawback to driving a diesel any more, in terms of experience. Most small diesels don't even need glow plugs to start, and they don't make a loud clattering noise at idle either. I don't know that I'd recommend one, but they certainly aren't offensive like they used to be. You don't have to warm them up or anything like I do with my 1982 (which only takes a couple of minutes before it's no longer sluggish.)

The consumer can win from this

By damn_registrars • Score: 3 • Thread
My wife and I just picked up a pair of Audi TDIs at market rates this year which were a great deal for us. The VW Dieselgate scandal caused the following for the used cars we just bought:
  • VW/Audi had to do the emissions repair before the cars could be sold
  • VW/Audi had to warranty their work with a 4 year / 100k mile warranty on nearly the entire drivetrain from the date of the repair
  • The market price for these cars put them as not only less expensive than their less torquey and less fuel efficient gas brethren but also less expensive than similarly equipped gas engine vehicles of lower vehicle classes from other companies (ie, we bought a Q7 TDI for less than what a used Toyota Rav4 would go for).

I don't know if the same will happen for the Mercedes vehicles - and being as their are far fewer of them on the roads here in the US it might be more difficult to take advantage of it anyways - but it could be worth while for consumers to look into.

Re:VW vs. Mercedes

By Ed Tice • Score: 4 • Thread
They all may or may not have been doing some sort of cheating but VM did something way more egregious. They were caught by an independent tester who also tested other brands of cars and those were not found to be cheating. I guess we have a +4 shill mod now?!

Re:VW vs. Mercedes

By drinkypoo • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

They weren't all doing it, not Mazda for example. Mazda delayed their diesel until they could get the emissions down. VW and Mercedes (and others) had too much investment in diesels to let them fail, so they cheated.

Re:VW vs. Mercedes

By drinkypoo • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

"Unrealistic expectations produced onerous regulation that disproportionally affected a number of manufacturers."

They all had the ability to meet the numbers but chose not to for marketing reasons. I'm misinterpreting NOTHING.