the unofficial Slashdot digest for 2020-Sep-16 today archive


  1. Software Could Help Reform Policing -- If Only Police Unions Wanted It
  2. Piratebay.Org Sold For $50,000 At Auction, Up Next
  3. Daimler Shows Off Long-Range Hydrogen Semi, New Battery Truck
  4. Oculus Quest 2 Offers a More Powerful Standalone VR Headset For $299
  5. Billions of Devices Vulnerable To New 'BLESA' Bluetooth Spoofing Attack
  6. Scientific American Endorses Joe Biden For Its First Presidential Endorsement In 175 Years
  7. NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Tested: a Huge Leap Forward In Gaming Performance
  8. The Majority of 18- To 29-Year-Olds In the US Are Now Living With Their Parents
  9. Safety Driver in Fatal Arizona Uber Self-Driving Car Crash Charged With Homicide
  10. PlayStation 5 Launches Nov 12 For $500; Discless Digital Edition Priced at $400
  11. Amazon Providing CS Education For 550,000+ Schoolchildren Amid Pandemic
  12. E-scooter Trial Put on Hold in Coventry Five Days After Rollout
  13. USB-C Was Supposed To Simplify Our Lives. Instead, It's a Total Mess.
  14. Why Goodreads is Bad For Books
  15. Facebook Will Release Its First AR Glasses in 2021
  16. Congressional Inquiry Faults Boeing And FAA Failures For Deadly 737 Max Plane Crashes
  17. How Microsoft is Looking To MetaOS To Make Microsoft 365 a 'Whole Life' Experience
  18. Chip Industry Wants $50 Billion To Keep Manufacturing in US
  19. Amazon Music Now Has Podcasts
  20. Developers Frustrated at Apple for Just One Day's Notice To Submit Apps Ahead of iOS 14 Release Today
  21. Apple Says Epic Is 'Saboteur, Not a Martyr' in App Store Battle
  22. Cambridge Staff 'Fobbed Off' At Meeting Over ARM Sale To Nvidia, Says Union
  23. French President Emmanuel Macron Compares 5G Opponents To Amish
  24. ESA Awards $153 Million Contract For Its First Planetary Defense Mission

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.

Software Could Help Reform Policing -- If Only Police Unions Wanted It

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
tedlistens writes: The CEO of Taser maker Axon, Rick Smith, has a lot of high-tech ideas for fixing policing. One idea for identifying potentially abusive behavior is AI, integrated with the company's increasingly ubiquitous body cameras and the footage they produce. In a patent application filed last month, Axon describes the ability to search video not only for words and locations but also for clothing, weapons, buildings, and other objects. AI could also tag footage to enable searches for things such as "the characteristics [of] the sounds or words of the audio," including "the volume (e.g., intensity), tone (e.g., menacing, threatening, helpful, kind), frequency range, or emotions (e.g., anger, elation) of a word or a sound."

Building that kind of software is a difficult task, and in the realm of law enforcement, one with particularly high stakes. But Smith also faces a more low-tech challenge, he tells Fast Company: making his ideas acceptable both to intransigent police unions and to the communities those police serve. Of course, right now many of those communities aren't calling for more technology for their police but for deep reform, if not deep budget cuts. And police officers aren't exactly clamoring for more scrutiny, especially if it's being done by a computer.

A Slightly Different Question...

By ytene • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
I think the easiest and most dangerous mis-conception to make here is to assume that the question here relates to "police unions". That might be the outward appearance of what is being discussed, but the truth is substantially different.

Over the last few years, there have been numerous excellent investigative articles - to say nothing of a detailed FBI operation - looking at white supremacists and fascists infiltrating US Law Enforcement. Here are just a small selection of articles covering this:-

White supremacists and malitias have infiltrated police across US
The FBI warned for years that police are cozy with the far right. Is no one listening?
White supremacist and far-right groups have infiltrated US law enforcement
Hidden in Plan Sight: Racism, White Supremacy, and Far-Right Militancy in Law Enforcement
Body Bags and Enemy Lists: How Far-Right Police Officers and Ex-Soldiers Planned for 'Day X'
White Supremacist Infiltration of US Police Forces: Fact-Checking National Security Advisor O'Brien
The FBI has quietly investigated white supremacist infiltration of law enforcement

If we continue to think of this problem as "police unions" or "a few small bad apples", then we pre-emptively blind ourselves to a much larger, more sinister problem.

Another way to think about this is to think of it as being similar to "genetic dominance". If two people - one with dark brown or black eyes and one with bright blue eyes - were to have a child, there is a much greater probability that their child would have dark brown or black eyes, because the gene that determines *brown* eye colour is naturally dominant over the gene for *blue* eyes.

Now translate that concept to a moderately-sized police force. On day one, all your police officers are decent, law-abiding and neutral in their application of the law. Then one day a white supremacist is recruited. Over time they encourage friends to join - maybe it is a "power trip" thing; maybe it is a "firearms" thing. Slowly, imperceptibly, that police force begins to employ more and more white supremacists. Eventually, enough are present for more overt acts of racism. Non-white-supremacist officers are "encouraged" to turn a blind eye. It is exactly the same sort of "dominance mode" that we see in genetics. The "naturally decent and law abiding" officers in a department will typically be the silent, just-do-your-job-and-be-professional types. The manipulators are the white supremacists.

Your question is critically important, then, because it gives us an opportunity to recognize the misconception and break it down.

To borrow from technology fault-finding principles: we can't solve the problem until we correctly define it.

Re:Tasers alternative to gun AND baton

By Junta • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

While I agree that people need to follow instructions for their best interest (for now) and rely upon the courts to correct injustice (it may reverse the permanent damage to your record, but you won't "win the lawsuit lottery" unless they inflicted serious injury without reforms to hold them accountable).

The problem in a lot of these videos is that the subject is by all appearances following directions. They get told hands on their head, and hands go on their head. They say down on the ground, they go down on the ground. They say hands behind you back, the hands go behind the back. Then they say 'oh, you aren't putting them far enough back, you are resisting' and tase them. Or they skip the order to go on the knees and just kick their legs to force them to fall on the knees. And this was footage from one of those pro-police shows with live footage, and they thought this made the police look good, imagine what they would opt not to show.

Re:Tasers alternative to gun AND baton

By AmiMoJo • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

In practice it seems like the cops are more likely to immediately scream an order at you, and then before you are able to react attack you. That seems to be what happened to Martin Gugino, if there was an order he certainly didn't have time to act on it before being assaulted.

The problem now is that people don't believe they will be safe if they comply, so they sometimes run instead. For them it could be a matter of life or death, there is no way to know if that cop has a history of violence and is going to put his knee on your neck.

Another problem is that it isn't always possible to comply. If they told me to lie down or hold my hands behind my back I would be physically unable to without causing myself a great deal of pain. If they are not willing to listen to me explaining that to them then I'm going to get violently assaulted and maybe tazed. The fact that there may eventually be a show trial where they are acquitted doesn't really comfort me much.

Re:Tasers alternative to gun AND baton

By serviscope_minor • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

So the police are heavily armed animals against whom you have no real recourse either at the time or after, and you seem to be ok with that. Yeah you're a massive bootlicker.

How about having police who aren't vicious armed animals on high alert ready you regard citizens as a deadly threat. You know like civilized countries.

Re:A Slightly Different Question...

By ytene • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
I can't argue with your sentiment, but I think the problem here extends far beyond "the Far Right", or "Policing". I believe the problem you touch on is "lack of transparency".

In many different cases, but in particular when we are talking about institutions and agencies - local government, state and federal - we are accustomed to thinking of them as opaque, mystifying and complex "things" where "stuff happens" that, honestly, we don't really have the time or interest to get involved with. A bit like, for example, the process by which a local police force obtains permission to use tazers.

In my very limited experience, where decisions are made "behind closed doors", where there is no direct, personal accountability, where there is no transparency, decisions tend to be significantly poorer than those where decisions are made with transparency and participation. Fictional example: if "Charlie", Chief of Police, goes to his mate, Mayor Mike, and says, "Just wanted to let you know, my boys are gonna carry tazers now, so we don't have to shoot people. We think it will be safer..." and Mayer Mike says, "OK, sounds good", that's an example of a behind-closed-doors and risky decision.

On the other hand, if Chief Charlie had to go before the Town Council and an open public meeting and explain why they wanted to carry tazers, chances are they would be asked to bring forward evidence that showed that tazers were needed, that they could reduce the risk to the public [innocent as well as guilty] and were safe to use.

In my contrived example, I'm trying to show that good transparency leads to better decisions and a better society. But in a way that lends itself to the issue you give for "the far right". The reason that "The far right" infiltrate police forces is because there's no oversight. They don't have to answer for their actions.

Imagine how different life would be if there were a federal law that said, "All on-duty law enforcement officers must wear a fully functional body cam whilst on duty, with a federally mandated punishment of 1) loss of one month's pay; 2) loss of 3 month's pay; 3) loss of job and 3 months in prison for a failure to comply..." suddenly what you'd find is that all the people who work as police for "questionable reasons" would want to work somewhere else, because you have just taken away their job satisfaction [which was obtained by abusing their authority].

I'm particularly concerned with the discussions of "warrior culture" and the idea that public streets are some kind of war zone. If that is your outlook "going in", then you are actually creating a space in which any kind of extremist [far right or far left] becomes easier to spread.

In the re-make of the sci-fi show, "BattleStar Galactica", Commander William Adama (Edward James Olmos) is asked by President Roslyn () if he will put military on to the ships of the fleet to help maintain order. He refuses. His explanation is so vitally relevant here:-

"There's a reason you separate military and the police. One fights the enemies of the state, the other serves and protects the people. When the military becomes both, then the enemies of the state tend to become the people. " (See here).

That is exactly the problem we see today...

Piratebay.Org Sold For $50,000 At Auction, Up Next

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Several Pirate Bay-related domains become available again this month after their owner failed to renew the registration. Yesterday, was sold in a Dropcatch auction for $50,000 and will follow soon. Both domains were previously registered to the official Pirate Bay site. TorrentFreak reports: Over the years the Pirate Bay team had many 'backup' domains available, just in case something happened. That included various exotic TLDs but the site also owned and We use the past tense because both domains expired recently. The domains listed Pirate Bay co-founder Fredrik Neij as the registrant and until recently the same Swedish address was listed in Whois data. For reasons unknown, however, the registrant let both and expire. This isn't a problem for the torrent site really. The domains were never used as the site's main address. did forward to the original .org domain at one point, but that's about it.

None of this means that the domains are not valuable to outsiders though. This became apparent in an auction yesterday, where (without the the) was sold for $50,000 to a bidder named 'clvrfls.' The bid below ended up being the winning one. The domain failed to renew earlier this month after which the professional 'drop catch' service scooped it up. They auctioned the domain off, which is a common practice, and it proved quite lucrative. What the new owner will do with the domain is unclear. It has a substantial number of backlinks and there will be plenty of type-in traffic as well. [...] is expected to drop later this week and is listed at a pending delete auction, and and will drop in a few days as well.

Obvious targets for domain typos

By pipedwho • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

What the new owner will do with the domain is unclear.

Gee, I wonder.

Winning bid

By gosso920 • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

With $50,000 as the final bid, that price was a


( -_-)>#-#




Re:But after I purchased it....

By thegreatbob • Score: 5, Funny • Thread
You wouldn't download a website, would you?

'drop catch' should be banned

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread buying non-renewed domain and then auctioning it off should be banned and criminalized.
Just like domain squatting should be banned and criminalized.

Similar URLs should not be allowed

By ath1901 • Score: 3 • Thread

This is exactly the problem with the whole system. The Pirate Bay is a well known entity and these domains will most likely be used to profit from that, most likely by unethical means. Perhaps by phishing, url mistakes etc.

Sites with similar names should simply not be allowed. Once is registered,,, etc should not be allowed to be sold to anyone else. This is such a stupid and unnecessary security risk.

Daimler Shows Off Long-Range Hydrogen Semi, New Battery Truck

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Daimler, which has worked on hydrogen technology for decades, is developing a fuel-cell semi with range of up to 600 miles per fueling and next-generation battery trucks amid intensifying competition to curb diesel and carbon exhaust from heavy-duty vehicles. Forbes reports: The German auto giant's truck unit showed off the Mercedes-Benz GenH2, a concept truck designed for long haul runs that will be tested by customers in 2023, at an event in Berlin Tuesday outlining steps it's taking to meet the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement. Volume production of GenH2s starts in the second half of the 2020s. The company also debuted its Mercedes-Benz eActros LongHaul, a battery-powered truck for short- and medium-range routes goes about 300 miles (500 kilometers) between charges. eActros production starts in 2024.

Both trucks share Daimler's new ePowetrain modular platform to help hold costs down. They'll be available initially in Europe, though versions for North America and Japan will arrive around the same time, the company said. [...] A unique twist with Daimler's GenH2 truck is that the system relies on liquid hydrogen, rather than highly compressed hydrogen gas, the current standard. The benefit is that liquid hydrogen is more energy dense and uses tanks that are much lighter than those required for gaseous fuel, Daimler said. "This gives the trucks a larger cargo space and higher payload weight," while also improving range, it said.
The combination of hydrogen and battery vehicles "enables us to offer our customers the best vehicle options, depending on the application," Daimler Chairman Martin Daum said at the event. "Battery power will be rather used for lower cargo weights and for shorter distances. Fuel-cell power will tend to be the preferred option for heavier loads and longer distances."

Fuel Cells

By backslashdot • Score: 3 • Thread

Dude, ditch the fuel cells at the roadside somewhere. Fuel cells are a pain in the ass. I apologize, but there's no other way to put it. They need to work on their active accident avoidance technology instead. I can't believe they would even show their face in public after they shamefully admitted back in June that it would it will take them 5 more years to reach Tesla's 2017 level of self driving.


By whoever57 • Score: 3 • Thread

A unique twist with Daimler's GenH2 truck is that the system relies on liquid hydrogen, rather than highly compressed hydrogen gas, the current standard

I assume this means cryogenic storage. How much energy does it take to cool the H2 down to temperatures at which is is liquid? Once the hydrogen has been cooled sufficiently, larger tanks would be more efficient, since energy required for cooling will be related to the surface area of the tank. Or, perhaps rely on some of the liquid H2 evaporating (either through usage or losses) to keep it cool?

Note that this will still require a battery, because fuel cells are not good at supplying the peaks of power required, so a battery provides a buffer.

Two lessons

By quenda • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

I learned

1) A "semi" is an articulated lorry, or the tractor section.

2) Do not use the Urban Dictionary as your first source for defining unfamiliar words.

Oculus Quest 2 Offers a More Powerful Standalone VR Headset For $299

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Facebook has unveiled the Oculus Quest 2, including its release date and price, and it promises to be a big leap over the original. Android Authority reports: The second-generation standalone, Android-powered virtual reality headset will be available on October 13 starting at $299 for a model with 64GB of storage, a full $100 below the price of the first Quest. Pre-orders are open now. The Oculus Quest 2 is much more powerful than its predecessor, with a Snapdragon XR2 chip and 6GB of RAM instead of the aging Snapdragon 835 and 4GB of RAM. That should lead to more advanced games and an overall smoother VR experience, although you'll need to wait for titles that take full advantage of the added power.

You may notice the improved display technology right away, however. The Quest 2 boasts the company's sharpest visuals yet, with a single LCD screen providing 1,832 x 1,920 resolution for each eye -- 50% more pixels than the 1,400 x 1,600 displays in the first Quest. It's the highest-resolution Oculus headset to date. The Oculus Quest 2 also supports much more natural-feeling 90Hz refresh rates, although it won't be available upon release. You'll have to settle for 72Hz at first. It could also be the most comfortable. The Quest 2 is both smaller and 10% lighter than before, with a soft head strap that should make for an easier fit. The Touch controllers are improved, too, with upgraded haptic feedback, better hand tracking, and a thumb rest. Add-ons will help, for that matter. A Fit Pack will adapt to different-sized heads, while a $49 Elite Strap and a $129 Elite Strap with Battery Pack offer both more comfort and longer VR sessions.

Re:Still requires a Facebook login

By iggymanz • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Facebook has vetting for accounts,and it WILL start to associate that fake account with your relatives and friends. Try it and see what I'm talking about, it's creepy.

Re:Still requires a Facebook login

By Mr. Dollar Ton • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

"Incognito mode" will not help at all. It is enough that someone on your network - that is, one of your relatives, your phones, your email or chat client - is connected at the same time, your new super-sikrit account will be associated with them immediately.

Re:Still requires a Facebook login

By iggymanz • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

nope, not fine, the temporary cookies from other sites you're on in Incognito can be used to nail you, as can your IP address and HSTS weaknesses. Then facebook contacts friends and relatives to ask if it's you.

Re:Still requires a Facebook login

By PingSpike • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Every time I've tried to create a fake account recently it has locked and demanded a mobile number shortly after the account has been created.

Once I tried to login to my legit account (which was always intentionally pretty sparse on personal info but none of it was false) and it demanded a scan of my drivers license. That wasn't a new account.

So adding those two events up you never know when "your" Occulus Quest will suddenly ask for a scan of your drivers license to allow you to use it.

Facebook? No way. Can hardware be re-purposed?

By Lady Galadriel • Score: 3 • Thread
I am not a user of The Facebook, The Twitter or such sociopathic sites, so the Oculus Quest 2, (with it's inherent requirement for The Facebook account), is a non-starter for me. But, an interesting question comes to mind.

Can the hardware be re-purposed for a different VR infrastructure?
Hopefully open sourced?

That might make the cheap price a selling point. With perhaps 80-90% of the people accepting The Facebook account requirement, and the remaining people using the hardware for something else, it will sell well enough to remain in-expensive.

Billions of Devices Vulnerable To New 'BLESA' Bluetooth Spoofing Attack

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader writes: "Billions of smartphones, tablets, laptops, and IoT devices are using Bluetooth software stacks that are vulnerable to a new security flaw disclosed over the summer," reports ZDNet. Named BLESA (Bluetooth Low Energy Spoofing Attack), the vulnerability impacts devices running the Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) protocol, and affects the reconnection process that occurs when a device moves back into range after losing or dropping its pairing. A successful BLESA attack allows bad actors to connect with a device (by getting around reconnection authentication requirements) and send spoofed data to it. In the case of IoT devices, those malicious packets can convince machines to carry out different or new behavior. For humans, attackers could feed a device deceptive information. BLESA impacts billions of devices that run vulnerable BLE software stacks. Vulnerable are BLE software libraries like BlueZ (Linux-based IoT devices), Fluoride (Android), and the iOS BLE stack. Windows' BLE stack is not impacted.

I really did wake up in Bizarro World this morning

By DontBeAMoran • Score: 3 • Thread

Vulnerable are BLE software libraries like BlueZ (Linux-based IoT devices), Fluoride (Android), and the iOS BLE stack. Windows' BLE stack is not impacted.

Does this not seem like the complete opposite of what you were expecting?

Re:That sucks...

By rtb61 • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

I never turn it on, unless I want to specifically use it and when finished I turn it off, same as wireless. Both always annoyingly trying to connect, so off, unless I specifically want a temporary connection. I find airport mode quite useful and forget it is on, only switching it off to make a call, to connect to the world without the world connecting to me. Although you still can not keep out top level hackers (with the built in google backdoors) who will run you phone battery flat listening in on every single fucking thing (really annoying battery and data constantly gone, for many months and then it stops, nothing changed by me but definitely changed, battery life back to over a day after a drop to around six hours, phone constantly phoning home apparently, yeah Google built in backdoors to android and do not believe otherwise).

BlueZ is not vulnerable - gatttool is

By vudentz • Score: 3, Informative • Thread
Great, not only BlueZ end up as the first mentioned as vulnerable but there is no mention whatsoever that is one of the very few that do employ encryption right from the beginning when used with non-deprecated tools.

Scientific American Endorses Joe Biden For Its First Presidential Endorsement In 175 Years

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
goombah99 shares a report from The Washington Post: Four years ago, the magazine flagged Donald Trump's disdain for science as "frightening" but did not go so far as to endorse his rival, Hillary Clinton. This year, its editors came to a different conclusion. "A 175-year tradition is not something you break lightly," editor in chief, Laura Helmuth told The Washington Post on Tuesday. "We'd love to stay out of politics, but this president has been so anti-science that we can't ignore it." In a nod to Trump's embrace of anti-science conspiracy theories, Scientific American editors compared the people each candidate turns to for expertise and insight. Biden's panel of public health advisers "does not include physicians who believe in aliens and debunked virus therapies, one of whom Trump has called 'very respected' and 'spectacular,'" the editors write. The editor in chief of Science Magazine, the "apex predator of academic publishing," according to Wired, also denounced Trump but stopped short of endorsing presidential candidate Joe Biden. goombah99 writes: "This may be the most shameful moment in the history of U.S. science policy," writes H. Holden Thorp, a chemist and longtime university administrator. The editorial's key point is that it was negligence but more like malice. "As he was playing down the virus to the public, Trump was not confused or inadequately briefed: He flat-out lied, repeatedly, about science to the American people. These lies demoralized the scientific community and cost countless lives in the United States." This follows on an august issue's lament over the dangerous policies of the unqualified presidential coronavirus advisor Scott Atlas: "Although Atlas may be capable of neurological imaging, he's not an expert in infectious diseases or public health -- and it shows. He's spreading scientific misinformation in a clear attempt to placate the president and push his narrative that COVID-19 is not an emergency." Thorp concludes his article in this prestige journal with a searing indictment "Trump was not clueless, and he was not ignoring the briefings. Listen to his own words. Trump lied, plain and simple."

Re: Plitician lies?

By phantomfive • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
No, you're wrong. There is now a large body of published research showing that masks work. So go look it up if you care, but either way, remain ignorant no longer.

I think a lot are troll

By rsilvergun • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
It's been revealed that Turning Point USA is paying Teenagers to troll post. People have been buying and selling low Id /. usernames since I started.

/. does lean conservative (little 'c', as in, "don't change stuff"). The average age is getting up there, most of us held onto decent jobs and we're afraid of losing what we have. But there's a difference between being scared of change and being willing to support an anti-science nut like Trump.

Ignore the trolls, if you've got mod points upvote good posts and continue to make genuine attempts to improve the conversation. And remember, at least we're not Reddit :)

Re: Honest question, not looking for a fight.

By AmiMoJo • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

The Scots will likely have a referendum next year. There is an election there on May 6th and the Scottish National Party will stand on a platform of having an independence referendum in the autumn. Current polling suggests they would win it.

Theoretically the UK government may have the ability to block the referendum, it needs to be tested in court. But current thinking in the Tory Party seems to be that they will let it happen but try to sabotage it by forcing the Scots to negotiate a settlement before the vote, i.e. the opposite of the brexit catastrofuck. The irony is pretty thick.

Anyway 2021 will probably be the end of the United Kingdom. A border poll in Northern Ireland is likely in the next few years as well. Even the Welsh are talking about independence.

Biden makes up facts too

By misnohmer • Score: 3 • Thread

Biden will substitute his ideology for facts too, remember the recent "A black man invented the lightbulb, not a white guy named Edison" speech? When facts don't support their ideology or political goals, politicians just to substitute their own. Biden does goes one step further, not only does he spread misinformation himself like Trump, he also advocates his "facts" should be taught in schools, a technique borrowed from North Korean leadership perhaps.

Re: Will this make a difference?

By whistling zither • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
Unemployment fell from a high of 10% in October 2009 to 4.7% under Obama. Under Trump it fell to 3.5%, then returned to 3.6%, then soared when COVID-14 hit. Trump called the low Obama unemployment, under 5% at the time, a "phony number", but then embraced it once he took office and never again called it "phony". The DJIA rose from a low in the 6,000s in 2009 to over 20,000 under Obama (nearly 19,000 at election time). Under Trump it's about 28,000. Trump predicted that the National Debt would be completely paid off in 8 years. He's added nearly 7 trillion in under 4 years. Obama, beginning during the largest recession since the Depression, with two costly wars, added a total of about 9.4 trillion in 8 years. Trump predicted that GDP growth would reach 6%. He's never reached 3% GDP growth. His best quarter has been 4.2% growth (real annualized). Obama attained consecutive quarters of 5.1 and 4.9 in 2014. A small portion of the wall was built, without Mexico paying for it. There are several failed pledges like this. The ACA was supposed to get replaced with something cheaper, offering better coverage. I mean, seriously...

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Tested: a Huge Leap Forward In Gaming Performance

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
MojoKid writes: NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang officially unveiled the GeForce RTX 30 series based on the company's new Ampere architecture a couple of weeks back. According to Huang, the GeForce RTX 30 series represents the greatest generational leap in the company's history and he claimed the GeForce RTX 3080 would offer double the performance of its predecessor. The embargo for GeForce RTX 3080 reviews just lifted and it seems NVIDIA was intent on making good on its claims. The GeForce RTX 3080 is the fastest GPU released to date, across the board, regardless of the game, application, or benchmarks used. Throughout testing, the GeForce RTX 3080 often put up scores more than doubling the performance of AMD's current flagship Radeon RX 5700 XT. The RTX 3080 even skunked the NVIDIA Titan RTX and GeForce RTX 2080 Ti by relatively large margins, even though it will retail for almost half the price of a 2080 Ti (at least currently). The bottom line is, NVIDIA's got an absolutely stellar-performing GPU on its hands, and the GeForce RTX 3080 isn't even the best Ampere has to offer, with the RTX 3090 waiting in the wings. GeForce RTX 3080 cards will be available from NVIDIA and third-party board partners on 9/17 for an entry-level MSRP of $699.

Re:It will be impossible to purchase.

By MojoKid • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
Really? Is anyone mining on GPUs anymore? Doesn't it cost more to power them than you actually make?

Re:8K at 120 fps

By DamnOregonian • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
That was the first place my head went while pondering "Why would anyone need a 3090 if the 3080 is that fast??"

Answer- to drive high resolution VR.
My 2080Ti struggles with my Valve Index in some games at 90hz, and just about all games at 120.
It would be awesome to see that fluid as butter.

Who can afford it?

By Snotnose • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
The card itself costs more than my expected next CPU + motherboard + GPU + case + power supply + flowers for the wife.

Not to mention the power requirements will greatly shorten my Tesla home batteries lifetimes, plus the added air conditioner costs.

I think I'll wait a year until PS5 prices come down a bit (1/3 the cost of this video card) and there are some decent games for it.

The Majority of 18- To 29-Year-Olds In the US Are Now Living With Their Parents

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Axios: Nearly 30 million Americans are spending their 20s in the same place they spent their grade school years: at home with their parents. For the first time since the Great Depression, the majority of 18- to 29-year-olds have moved back home. Those living arrangements can come with a great deal of awkwardness and pain, but families across America are making the most of it.

Reasons for moving home vary. The coronavirus recession has hit young people especially hard, and many are living with family because they've lost their jobs or haven't been able to find work after college or grad school. Others wanted some company during lockdowns. "You can't imagine how great it is to hear that I'm in the majority of my generation," says Elsa Anschuetz, a 24-year-old working in public relations out of her childhood bedroom. "It is definitely not where I thought I'd be at this stage in my life, but, at least to me, it is definitely better than living in an apartment alone during this crazy pandemic."

Moving back home = shifting the voting population

By bustinbrains • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

This is probably going to monkey with election results. Mass sudden movements of a sufficiently large population group always messes with districts and voting. So whatever numbers you are hearing now could actually result in wildly different results come November. All of that constant manipulation of district lines is probably gonna backfire gloriously.

Great parents, but I moved out for good at 18

By Miles_O'Toole • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

I can't imagine living at home from 18 - 29, even though my parents were great. I worked hard and played hard, and I have never needed a lot of sleep. Basically, my lifestyle would have been disruptive to my parents' lifestyle and (wink, wink) moral standards.

So I moved out when I was 18 and never went back except for big family holidays. Living alone I could keep whatever hours I liked, sleep with whoever I wanted whenever I wanted, have dinner when I got home from work, even if that was at midnight, and watch a movie at 2am with the volume up if I felt like it.

To be clear: my parents wouldn't have pulled any "my house, my rules" crap (like the parents of a lot of people I have known), but my lifestyle would have had an impact on them. They didn't need that, and neither did I. Having a place to call my own, and being responsible for it, helped me grow up. I feel incredibly sorry for kids/young adults today who don't have this opportunity.

Re: So what?

By whoever57 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Inflation is not the problem. The issue is that all the increases in wealth in recent years have gone to the 1%ers. Increasing wealth disparity is the problem. Inflation would not be a problem if wages had kept up, but they haven't.

On another note: increasing wealth disparity is negatively correlated with economic growth rates. Not only are wealthy people suing their money to influence politics to their own benefit, they are making the country poorer through their influence.

Re:As economic indicators go

By GameboyRMH • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

It's a good thing the stock market doesn't care how many hard-working young people can't afford housing, or some numbers on a computer would look bad and then we'd all be in deep shit! :-P

Re: So what?

By Kitkoan • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Previous generations didn't spend spend, panic spend anything like today's generation though. I work with a lot of millenials, and it blows my mind how much they spend on things they just don't need to. They seem to do it for reasons of they are scared of being viewed as "poor" (a la forever keeping up with the Jones) and they feel entitled to the same standard of living their parents worked 30 years to attain. Previous generations didn't have to have the newest flagship phone pretty much every year, and a huge cellphone bill to match it, they didnt come to work having spent $15 for Starbucks breakfast, they didn't go out for lunch on their breaks, they didn't go out 3+ times a week for food (going out was viewed as a special event, now it's expected), didn't think they had to buy a house in the most expensive places in the country (most people bought houses in the suburbs because it was in their budget). What I notice the most of the millennials around me (maybe you're different....) they claim that their parents had it easier, but seem to not realize all these extra things they spend spend spend on all the time, their parents didn't spend on all the time/went without. And those extras add up to a huge amount per year. Stop panic spending and suddenly you can notice, yes, you can have it better then it seems.

Safety Driver in Fatal Arizona Uber Self-Driving Car Crash Charged With Homicide

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
The back-up safety driver behind the wheel of a self-driving Uber test vehicle that struck and killed a woman in Tempe, Arizona, in 2018 was charged with negligent homicide, prosecutors said. From a report: Rafael Vasquez, age 46, who is also known as Rafaela, pleaded not guilty on Tuesday after being charged in the death of Elaine Herzberg on Aug. 27, court records show. She was released pending trial set for February 2021. Herzberg died after she was struck while walking a bicycle across a street at night. The first recorded death involving a self-driving vehicle prompted significant safety concerns about the nascent autonomous vehicle industry. A Tempe police report said Vasquez was repeatedly looking down instead of keeping her eyes on the road. Prosecutors in March 2019 said Uber was not criminally liable in the crash.

My Notes from a Conference with the NTSB

By eepok • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

I attended a conference in 2019 where the NTSB spoke about their investigation. Key points:

Tempe, AZ - 10pm at night
- 2017 Volvo XC-90
- Crash occurred at a cross-pattern underpass
- The vehicle was going 43mph when the victim was first detected.
- The victim was walking a bike across the street midblock

- 6 seconds before impact, the vehicle detected the pedestrian, then marked her as unknown, then marked her as a vehicle, then marked her as a bike.
- 3 seconds before impact, the vehicle began breaking.
- 1 second before impact, the driver reacted.

My commentary:

1. Uber's software couldn't figure out what the "obstruction" was but continued to plow forward. One would assume that pedestrian, vehicle, bike, and "unknown" would all be categorized under "DO NOT HIT" regardless of final categorization. For THREE SECONDS, the vehicle knew there was an obstruction and didn't brake. Massive fault on Uber here.

2. The vehicle started braking 3 seconds before impact. Any modern vehicle (a Volvo nonetheless) can go from 43mph to 0 in less than 3 seconds if that brake is mashed. It wasn't. Uber failed here.

3. If you watch the video posted by the Tempe Police (, you'll notice that That the vehicle was doing 43mph on collision means that the application of brakes must have been REALLY light. It's quite likely that if the driver was paying attention to the road that the collision would have still happened, though potentially with less deadly consequences.

4. The only reason the driver is being charged with anything is because there is video evidence of the person being on her phone. Pedestrians and bicyclists are killed on the road every year and very frequently nothing happens to the driver because there's no witness aside from the driver him/herself. The driver says, "She just came out of nowhere" and the cops say, "Ya... non-drivers. Losers."

5. If Uber leaves the driver out to dry, then they're pretty much setting back the desire for autonomous vehicles by decades. Who's going to want an AV if the company driving the vehicle will hold YOU responsible they THEIR driving fails?

6. No, your Tesla wouldn't necessarily have performed better. The next discussion was on Tesla's high susceptibility to drive-out collisions. (Williston FL 2015 Tesla Model S; May 7, 2016)

Need discovery on all work rules / emails / guides

By Joe_Dragon • Score: 3 • Thread

Need discovery on all work rules / emails / guides / etc for the safety driver.


By fluffernutter • Score: 3 • Thread

Purpose: To explore whether humans are capable of maintaining vigilence required for safe automated driving.

Result: Hard no.

Re:Uber gets off the hook?

By uncqual • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

The accident video from the car apparently didn't give a very good view of what the driver would see because of the lighting conditions and the camera's sensitivity (or lack thereof). The next day, a driver drove through the area at night and posted a video on YouTube that showed much better lighting than what the clip from the self-driving car suggested.

Re:Uber gets off the hook?

By cusco • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

showed much better lighting

No, it showed a video which used a different type of camera which functioned better in low light than whatever camera Uber had used. I've never driven that particular street at night so can't speak as to what actual lighting conditions are, but I know that if I drive it with five different cameras we'd have five different videos which give five different impressions of lighting conditions.

A coworker who has driven that stretch of highway said that the pedestrian was an absolute idiot to attempt to cross there at any time of day, much less at night.

PlayStation 5 Launches Nov 12 For $500; Discless Digital Edition Priced at $400

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
The PlayStation 5 will cost $499 for the standard version of Sony's next-gen console and $399 for the PS5 Digital Edition -- the system without an optical disc drive -- when it launches Nov. 12, Sony Interactive Entertainment announced Wednesday during its PlayStation 5 Showcase livestream. From a report: The Nov. 12 release date is for the consoles' launches in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, and South Korea. They'll become available on Nov. 19 for the rest of the world, Sony said. Sony's PS5 price announcement follows similar news from Microsoft, which announced the release date of its $499 Xbox Series X and $299 Xbox Series S earlier in September.

Looks like a good system but launch titles thin

By SuperKendall • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

The system itself and demos so far look impressive, but launch tittles seem kind of low.

I think that is why Sony is doing the PS Plus Collection thing, where you get quite a few very good PS4 games, for free, if you have a PS5 and a PS Plus subscription (at least that is how I'm reading it, details may be different). That way even if there are not a lot of launch titles, you still have a lot of stuff you could start playing right away until the bigger upcoming games come out for the PS5.

I saw some speculation the Playstation Plus Collection was the list of the only games that would be backwards compatible, but I don't think that is accurate - seems like the full list of backwards compatiblePS4 games would be much larger than what they are offering in the Collection.

Wait One Year

By stikves • Score: 3 • Thread

It looks like neither console has "the game" to buy at launch date. Yes, PlayStation has a few more exclusives, but even that is not enough to make a complete switch.

Give one more year, and there would be more reasons to switch, more games, better prices, and possibly GOTY editions of these early games at better prices. Let them build the libraries, polish up bugs, and offer a better deal.

For context the Sega Genesis

By rsilvergun • Score: 3 • Thread
launched in 1989 for an inflation adjusted $393. The Atari 2600 was around $800 inflation adjusted dollars at launch IIRC. My grand parents had one because grandma got addicted to Space Invaders. We weren't a wealthy family and I have no idea how/why they spent that much money back then :P.

And the 3DO and Neo-Geo were even crazier. Especially the 3DO. Neo-Geo had the excuse of being arcade hardware in a console box being sold to high end gamers. The 3DO was around $1300 in inflation adjusted dollars and mass marketed. It was the .com boom I suppose but still.

The Super Nintendo had the cheapest launch, IIRC. Two controllers and a game (Super Mario World) for around $380 bucks give or take.

Re:Please, fix title: $499 is not $500

By DontBeAMoran • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Please don't fix it. It's time we push back against the 99 dollars marketing bullshit.

Most of their launch titles are $70.

By twocows • Score: 3 • Thread
Overcharge for the console and the software? They must be pretty damn confident in their position. I don't blame them, they completely showed up MS last gen, but I think that's going to be a bridge too far for a lot of people.

Consoles seem more and more optional as time goes on, honestly. The last actual console I bought was the Wii U (Switch if you count that, but I use it as a handheld) and I barely used it other than to hack it; I've been PC/handheld exclusive for several years now and haven't felt like I missed out on anything I care about. Not to mention I get much better deals on PC price-wise, I can throw a game I'm kind of interested on isthereanydeal and just buy it when it goes on sale for the price I want.

Amazon Providing CS Education For 550,000+ Schoolchildren Amid Pandemic

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
theodp writes: Amazon on Monday issued a press release noting it will provide Computer Science Education for 550,000+ K-12 students annually across 5,000+ schools nationwide amid the COVID-19 pandemic. "Amazon Future Engineer coursework can be done virtually to help ensure students stay on track and continue to prepare for the jobs of the future," Amazon explained. Amazon Future Engineer also launched the Amazon Cyber Robotics Challenge, a virtual coding competition that teaches students in grade 4+ the basics of CS in the context of a real-life industry challenge -- "code an Amazon Hercules robot to deliver your friend's birthday present on time." Another case of life imitating 'The Simpsons' (screenshots: Amazon vs Simpsons)?

E-scooter Trial Put on Hold in Coventry Five Days After Rollout

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
A 12-month trial of e-scooters has been paused five days into the scheme due to people riding them on pavements. Coventry City Council has raised safety concerns amid reports they were being used in pedestrianised areas -- against guidelines. From a report: Some residents also complained about them being discarded across the city and people going the wrong way. The authority made the decision to put the trial on hold while it reviews how e-scooters can be used "appropriately." The 200 e-scooters were deployed in Coventry and Birmingham, in the UK's biggest trial of its kind, on Thursday. Sarah Gayton, a campaigner for the National Federation for the Blind, said she is relieved by the council's action but wants the e-scooters to "disappear from the UK." "I was absolutely shocked to see riders going on the pavement, whizzing around, going the wrong way, scooters discarded all over the city centre," she said.

Re:People will learn

By DontBeAMoran • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

It's like, the first time someone gets a giant robot fist grafted onto their body or gets a super power: you just know they are gonna punch a hole in a building or level a city block, just to see it happen. There's just no resisting that urge! But after everybody else does it a few times, and after they get trapped under the fallen debris for a few hours, they will calm down and come to your senses and everyone can get along and use the new power sensibly.

I knew something was off when I woke up this morning, as if I wasn't in my own parallel universe anymore.

P.S.: do you have real cute sexy cat-girls in this universe too?

Re:Rest of the world agrees and ignores

By tsqr • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Nowhere in the world have e-scooter uses adhered to any rules.

That's a much better argument for banning e-scooters than it is for changing the rules, widening all the streets, and forcing commuters in cars to go slower than dictated by safety. Your "solution" punishes drivers for using the existing infrastructure as it was designed to be used. If the introduction of scooters causes a previously-safe environment to become hazardous, the solution is obvious.

Re:Ticket people who use them in a stupid manner

By AmiMoJo • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

I've only ever seen them used on the pavement. The problem is the roads are too dangerous. Bad drivers and potholes all over.

Same with cycling. The rules in the UK are crap and there aren't enough cycle lanes. I don't know why they bothered launching here.

Re:Rest of the world agrees and ignores

By apoc.famine • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

It's baffling that the city didn't anticipate this problem. Did they not even bother googling how other cities have found e-scooter rentals working? Did they not reach out to other cities and ask? Have they never been to a city with e-scooter rentals? It's baffling that anyone could be so clueless as to be surprised. Yet here we are....

"I was absolutely shocked to see riders going on the pavement, whizzing around, going the wrong way, scooters discarded all over the city centre," she said.

Re:Sidewalk Riding

By R3d M3rcury • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Sidewalks avoid the car accident issue, but they are often not smooth or maintained as well as streets, plus you have to worry about avoiding obstacles (people, pets, etc.).

I love how you consider pedestrians as "obstacles". I'm sure motorists have the same opinion of you.

USB-C Was Supposed To Simplify Our Lives. Instead, It's a Total Mess.

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
USB-C is near-ubiquitous: Almost every modern laptop and smartphone has at least one USB-C port, with the exception of the iPhone, which still uses Apple's proprietary Lightning port. For all its improvements, USB-C has become a mess of tangled standards -- a nightmare for consumers to navigate despite the initial promise of simplicity. From a report: Anyone going all-in on USB-C will run into problems with an optional standard called Power Delivery. The standard allows devices to charge at a much higher wattage relative to older connectors, therefore allowing them to charge faster. But it requires the right combination of charger, cables, and device to actually achieve this. If you buy a USB-C charger that doesn't support Power Delivery and try to use it with a Microsoft Surface, for example, the laptop will complain that it's "not charging" despite receiving some power. Fixing this requires figuring out whether or not it's the cable or wall charger that doesn't support Power Delivery, and replacing it with something that does support it. There would be no way for a layperson to hold two USB-C chargers and know the difference between one that supports Power Delivery and one that doesn't.

Furthering the confusion, some devices actually can't be charged with chargers supporting Power Delivery, despite sporting a USB-C port -- because they weren't designed to negotiate the higher wattage being delivered by the Power Delivery standard. A pair of cheap Anker headphones I own, for example, refuse to charge when plugged into a MacBook charger. Other devices, like the Nintendo Switch, only partially support the standard, and some unsupported chargers have bricked devices, reportedly due to the Switch's maximum voltage being exceeded. Then there's DisplayPort and Thunderbolt, another set of standards supported by some USB-C devices. DisplayPort allows the use of an external display, such as a 4K monitor, but only supports one at a time at full resolution. Thunderbolt, yet another optional standard, is a much faster layer on top of USB-C that allows additional possibilities, like the use of multiple displays daisy-chained from a single port, or the use of an external graphics card. It uses the exact same connector, but can be identified with an additional "lightning" symbol when supported.

Re:Know what you are buying.

By bhcompy • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
The problem is that there's lots of junk out there that is mislabeled. This happens with HDMI cables all the time. We need better enforcement of standards.

Secondarily, we need color coded connectors to help with what to do after you bring it home. You've got a hodgepodge of cables from different manufacturers that all support different things and they aren't reliably stamped with what they're actually capable of. Unfortunately, the USB-IF decided that going away from color coding was the right idea because they're a bunch of fucking idiots. Why not color code them? PD connector? Blue. DisplayPort(which implies PD)? Red. etc etc

Re:Not quite a total mess

By bhcompy • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

The USB-C cable just replaces the plug, not the overall adapter of design thereof. Same goes for DP-Alt-Mode and VirtualLink, there are different specs for bandwidth, just like HDMI and DisplayPort have different specs for bandwidth to handle higher resolutions and refresh rates.

Those power bricks are labeled because of some very specific labeling requirements for certification across different countries. USB-C cables are not labeled with shit. They're not even color coded.

For the lazy user

By DrYak • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Title: Is it a mess ?

For the lazy user who can't be bothered to *read* the description on the mandatory label, but just plugs stuff that roughly look alike ("it has USB on both sides"), yes it is a Mess. Due mostly to their own doing (and also a bit due to lack of clear marking set by USB standard).

Simple gadget charger will have "5V 3A" only. USB power delivery (PD) and/or USB2 QuickCharge will give a list or range of voltages: "5V 3A, 9V 3A, 12V 2.5" or "2.4-19V 3A". Devices are also labelled in a similar fashion. Such power labelling are mandatory in lots of jurisdictions and thus most electronic devices carry them. Even if the device has a good voltage regulator and doesn't actually care much what the input voltage is as long as it is low -- some of the old devices labelled 9V will happily take anywhere between 6V and 12V pm their barrel connectors and their voltage regulator will happily drop that to the 5V used by their circuits (Warning: that's not all of them).

The only differences between now and back in barel connectors era is:
  - Back then if you didn't pay attention at matching the charger and the device you could burn the device (too high voltage from the power brick) or melt the charger (the device pulls more amps that the max rating of the power brick). (my Minidisk was the only device able to detect overvoltage, disconnect the charging circuitry and display an error message on the screen).
  - Nowadays, if you don't pay attention at matching the charger and the device, both can actually perform negociation and if they can't agree on power, they'll gracefully handle the discrepancies and display an error message (Ideally it should be a bit more clear to the end user. Instead of "no charging" it should be more explicit "this device require USB Power Delivery, but the plugged in adapter only provides 5V")
(Nintendo Switch is the exception but that's Nintendo's fault for producing a crappy device that doesn't follow standards, not USB PD's fault).
  - Back then, 6V, 9V and 12V where all extremely popular in addition to all the rarer voltage, meaning that it would be very easy to match the wrong pair of device/charger.
  - Nowadays, with the exception of laptops, everything can do 5V. So unless you're trying to charge a pro gaming laptop out of a phone charger, everything WILL charge, even if at a slower speed.

Same goes with the other extra functionnality:
  - every base function can at least speak USB2 and USB3.
So even if you need to match the display functionnality (Display port, HDMI, Thunderbird, etc.), the base USB functionnality will always work the same.

Re:For the lazy user

By Calydor • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

You wrote an entire screen-length about HOW TO CHARGE A BATTERY.

The system is a mess.

Re:is it a mess?

By arglebargle_xiv • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
USB-C is a total mess because there's about a thousand incompatible protocols that run over the USB-C connector. It's not just USB-C PD, it's USB-C USB 2.0, USB-C USB 3.0, USB-C USB 3.1 Gen 1, USB-C USB 3.1 Gen 2, USB-C TB3, TB passive vs. active cables, USB-C Alt Mode with any of the above, and a near-infinite number of variants and oddities, and unless both endpoints and the cable are all exactly matched up and right, nothing works. It's like the bad old days of SCSI but worse because there are so many incompatible variants, all using the same identical connector.

Why Goodreads is Bad For Books

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
After years of complaints from users, Goodreads' reign over the world of book talk might be coming to an end. From a report: Goodreads started off the way you might think: two avid readers, in the mid-Noughties, wanting to build space online for people to track, share, and talk about books they were reading. Husband and wife Otis and Elizabeth Chandler say they initially launched the platform in 2007 to get recommendations from their literary friends. But it was something many others wanted, too: by 2013, the site had swelled to 15 million users. That year Goodreads it was bought by Amazon, an acquisition Wired magazine called "quaint", given Amazon's roots in bookselling before it became the store that sold everything. Even then, many Goodreads users already felt stung by the tech giant which had, a year earlier, changed the terms of its huge books dataset (which Goodreads used to identify titles). Goodreads had been forced to move to a different data source, called Ingram; the move caused users to lose large amounts of their reading records.Z

Most stuck with it, however -- not because of the platform itself, but because of its community. Writing in the Atlantic in 2012, Sarah Fay called Goodreads "Facebook with books," and argued that "if enough contributors set the bar high with creative, funny, and smart reviews it might become a force of its own." While newspapers mourned the decline of reading and literature, Goodreads showed that a large and growing number of people still had a real passion for books and bookshops. Thirteen years after the first Kindle was sold, printed books have more than ten times the market share of ebooks, but talking about books happens much more online. But now, for many, the utopia Goodreads was founded to create has become closer to purgatory. Goodreads today looks and works much as it did when it was launched. The design is like a teenager's 2005 Myspace page: cluttered, random and unintuitive. Books fail to appear when searched for, messages fail to send, and users are flooded with updates in their timelines that have nothing to do with the books they want to read or have read. Many now use it purely to track their reading, rather than get recommendations or build a community. "It should be my favourite platform," one user told me, "but it's completely useless."

modern layout is generic

By animanoir • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
I like that style, tho, makes it quite cozy. Please, don't support generic, frameworked layouts, those indeed suck.

And where is it exactly "bad for books"?

By Camel Pilot • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

I mean there was a lot of emotion and opinion in that article but no where does it identify how it is "bad for books". Books are doing fine with or without goodreads.

Goodreads does seem to suck

By 93 Escort Wagon • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

But I'm not sure how that extrapolates to "bad for books".

Goodreads is OK, but this article isn't

By kaur • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

I use Goodreads, my friends use it, we get book ideas and recommendations and it works exactly as intended.
Even most books that I read are on it. This is small miracle, as I read mostly in Estonian - a language with less than a million speakers, but a lot of books published in it.

This seems like plain and blunt advertisment for a new, competing platform that fills the second half of the original article.

My problem wtih Goodreads

By LatencyKills • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
Is much like any reviewing site - too easy to game. There are businesses selling thousands of 5* reviews on Goodreads for books just like they do on Amazon for all products. I was with Goodreads for years, but now find their recommendations too unreliable. I started waaay back before the interwebs getting book recommendations from friends, and now decades later it has come full circle.

Facebook Will Release Its First AR Glasses in 2021

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
During Facebook Connect -- the replacement for the AR/VR event previously known as Oculus Connect -- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said today that the company is planning to release its first pair of augmented reality glasses in 2021. From a report: While the company's Oculus unit has become a leading provider of VR headsets, Facebook has touted AR as the next major frontier for computing, and this release date could spread the next-generation technology to the masses earlier than expected. Zuckerberg confirmed that it has been working with Ray-Ban, owned by fashion eyewear company Luxottica, to create the product, and suggested that it will be cosmetically appealing. The companies haven't yet revealed imagery of the glasses, but it's important to note that there are at least two stages to Facebook's plans -- an initial AR wearable with basic functionality, then a future fully functional device with more features. Facebook confirmed its multiple prototype strategy last year.

Likely a NO GO!!

By cayenne8 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
I'm guessing Facebook will require a FB account for any of their AR products.

No thanks.


in contrast..

By hdyoung • Score: 3 • Thread
I'd pay a pretty penny to wear a pair of Apple glasses. Facebook would have to PAY ME to wear theirs.

Surprisingly Lifelike

By BeerFartMoron • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
I heard that when you wear your Facebook AR Glasses to watch Mark Zuckerberg testify before Congress that his skin appears real and his image is "surprising lifelike".


By Gravis Zero • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

I can't wait to never buy one!

Please offer with Shaw lenses

By Miamicanes • Score: 3 • Thread

If anyone from Oculus reads this... please, please, PLEASE either allow independent labs to buy the semi-finished blank pucks to do their own freeform rear-surfacing (with enough additional base curve options to allow the lab to surface the lenses with Shaw Lens' designs), or have Essilor license Shaw's IP directly and offer it as an option for people who want it.

What's so special about Shaw? NO ADAPTATION TRAUMA.

For people with astigmatism, getting new glasses has historically sucked. Even when the new glasses technically had the same prescription strength as the old ones, they'd STILL warp and distort your world badly enough to make you go through days or weeks of vertigo, headaches, and general dysfunctional misery. The old ones warped and distorted the world too, but the new ones warped and distorted it DIFFERENTLY.

Shaw lenses were designed by an optometrist with a background in both engineering and programming. About 15 years ago, he realized that the technology finally existed to manufacture lenses with curves that were optimized to fix most of what has historically been wrong with lenses used to correct astigmatism. He prototyped lenses, confirmed that they were awesome, then set out to get big companies like Essilor and Zeiss to use it. They weren't interested, because all THEY cared about was making the lenses cheaper/simpler, thinner, and/or flatter. Only geeks care about things like optical integrity and comfort.

So, Peter Shaw went and started his own company to make the lenses --

What makes Shaw lenses so great? Reduced (or eliminated) adaptation-misery, among other things. I recently got new glasses with Shaw lenses. Both sphere strengths changed, and my eyes ended up an additional 0.25D apart. My cylinder strength doubled, from -0.5 to -1.0. My axes both changed by a few degrees (historically, they were rounded to the nearest multiple of 5 degrees... now, they're precise and spot-on).

With NORMAL lenses, that kind of a change would have been CRIPPLING, and left me with headaches and vertigo for days or weeks. With Shaw lenses, they were just an instant, immediate total improvement in every way. No pain, all gain. It was the first time in my life I've ever put on new glasses, and immediately felt like they were better than my old ones in every way.

I'm a believer. I'll never willingly wear glasses without Shaw's enhancements again, because by comparison, all other lens designs are just intolerable. Shaw lenses have all the benefits of other best-of-breed freeform lenses (wide sweet spot with edge-to-edge clarity, no barrel/pincushion distortion, and VASTLY reduced cylinder-induced warping), but the lack of any need to "adapt" to them has sold me on them forever.

Note that if you go to Shaw's website, you'll immediately be confronted with a term you've almost certainly never heard before: aniseikonia. If you Google it, you might get the impression that it's only a "problem" when it's "severe". The fact is, optometrists historically held that belief because prior to Shaw lenses, there wasn't any good or easy way to FIX small, non-crippling amounts of aniseikonia... so they all just pretended it wasn't a problem at all, and gaslighted their patients into thinking the problem was with THEM, not with their GLASSES.

The fact is, nearly EVERYONE who wears glasses that have different left/right strengths will find Shaw-type lenses to be more comfortable. And LITERALLY everyone with astigmatism (whose prescriptions have values for "cylinder" and "axis") will find them to be more comfortable, because "dynamic aniseikonia" is basically a fancy way of saying "the horrific dynamic warping and distortion you seen everywhere when looking through new glasses and moving your eyes around".

Anyway, regardless of what Oculus does, I enthusiastically recommend Shaw lenses to anyone with astigmatism, EVEN IF it's not "severe". The fact is, the optical aberrations from mild and moderate prescriptions are PRECISELY the ones Shaw lenses can mostly eliminate. My own prescription isn't "severe", and I was still BLOWN AWAY by the lack of new-glasses-adaptation-trauma with them.

Congressional Inquiry Faults Boeing And FAA Failures For Deadly 737 Max Plane Crashes

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A sweeping congressional inquiry into the development and certification of Boeing's troubled 737 Max airplane finds damning evidence of failures at both Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration that "played instrumental and causative roles" in two fatal crashes that killed a total of 346 people. From a report: The House Transportation Committee released an investigative report produced by Democratic staff on Wednesday morning. It documents what it says is "a disturbing pattern of technical miscalculations and troubling management misjudgments" by Boeing, combined with "numerous oversight lapses and accountability gaps by the FAA." Lion Air Flight 610 crashed in October 2018, and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashed in March 2019, both Boeing 737 Max aircraft. "The Max crashes were not the result of a singular failure, technical mistake, or mismanaged event," the committee report says. Instead, "they were the horrific culmination of a series of faulty technical assumptions by Boeing's engineers, a lack of transparency on the part of Boeing's management, and grossly insufficient oversight by the FAA."

The report is the latest of many investigations into the 737 Max crashes and includes little new information. But it appears to be the most comprehensive in analyzing both Boeing's and the FAA's roles in developing and certifying an ultimately flawed commercial passenger jet. House Transportation Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., says one of the most startling revelations uncovered by the investigation is that "both FAA and Boeing came to the conclusion that the certification of the Max was compliant" with FAA regulations. He calls that "mind-boggling." "The problem is it was compliant and not safe. And people died," DeFazio said, adding that it's "clear evidence that the current regulatory system is fundamentally flawed and needs to be repaired." "This is a tragedy that never should have happened," DeFazio added. "It could have been prevented and we're going to take steps in our legislation to see that it never happens again as we reform the system."

Re:Is Airbus better?

By GameboyRMH • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Airbus is a French company, and the French government probably isn't dumb enough to let an aircraft manufacturer self-regulate.

"Don't leave the free market in charge of anything more important than a Twinkie. And keep an eye on 'em while they're making that Twinkie or they'll fill it with sawdust." -rsilvergun

Airlines and Pilot Training Are At Fault, Too.

By darkmeridian • Score: 3 • Thread

Boeing and the FAA are both at fault for sending out shoddy aircraft. But the story here is how poorly-trained pilots are, especially in developing nations. Even in developed nations, pilots are increasingly becoming custodians of the auto-pilots. When the systems fail, the pilots are unable to fly the aircraft properly. Air France 447 crashed because the co-pilot freaked out when the computer stopped and held the stick back until the plane crashed. If he let go, then the plane would've recovered. Boeing does not want anyone to recognize this because then they wouldn't be able to sell as many aircraft to developing nations if they couldn't get enough pilots.

It's even worse in developing nations, where the training is lax, and pilot certificates can be bought. In India, there was a crash because the pilots forgot to lower the landing gear prior to landing. When they touched down, they scraped the engines. Instead of committing to the landing, they aborted their takeoff and went around. However, the engines died and the plane crashed into a neighborhood.

In the first MAX crash, the aircraft had a broken AOA sensor, which led the MCAS system, which acts on the auto-trim system, to activate during the penultimate flight. When MCAS activates erroneously, it acts exactly as a runaway trim would act. It is basic piloting to know what a runaway trim feels like, and to know that you fix it by turning off the auto-trim system. (That's why Boeing argued that MCAS didn't require extra training or that it wasn't a "new" system because it was acting on an existing system.)

An off-duty pilot in the cabin told the pilots flying the aircraft that they had to turn off the auto-trim system rather than pull up on the stick. That recovered control, and the plane landed uneventfully. The plane was then not fixed properly. On the last flight, the AOA sensor broke again. The MCAS activated again. The pilots did not know how to deal with a runaway trim. Instead, they started pulling up on the stick but the plane eventually crashed.

For the Ethiopian Air crash, the AOA sensor apparently hit an object during flight and was damaged. MCAS mistakenly activated. The captain was 29 years old and had been flying for nine years for the airlines. The co-pilot was 25 years old. They did the right thing by immediately hitting the trim cutout switch that turned off electric trim and MCAS. However, they had left the engines on full take-off power and they were overspeed. This made it impossible for them to fix the situation by hand. They desperately tried to turn on the electric trim system again to use it to fix the trim. However, MCAS activated when they did so and crashed the plane.

The FAA and Boeing are at fault. But there is also a rush to have underqualified and poorly trained pilots to fly aircraft, even in "developed" nations, in order to save money on training and salaries. This problem needs to be addressed. You can have pilots with 1,000 hours of flight time who spent all that time managing the auto-pilots. When the system fails, they are unable to adequately fly the aircraft. Unfortunately, no one is pointing out this huge deficiency in modern aviation.

How was it compliant?

By jd • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

The hardware and software can't possibly have passed the DO-178C standard (which is quite rigorous) given that there were single points of failure and those are generally discouraged.

There were SPFs in the exterior sensors, not unlike those which have caused prior crashes in both Boeing and Airbus aircraft. That they were not unlike it means that there will be air safety decisions which are relevant and which would have either restricted or prohibited such practices.

Situational awareness was poor, due to poor training and poor documentation. Although that's true of most software, it's discouraged in Mission Critical systems.

The aircraft automagically flying itself into the terrain has been considered bad manners on the part of the software engineers ever since an Airbus decided a forest made an excellent runway.

This whole mess is a farce. And, no, it makes not one jot of difference who else is doing it. The ESA learned, after Arianne V software decided that - was +. I don't really care if Airbus has to learn as well as Boeing, what I care about is that all those who are being pillocks learn. I have no time to waste on blame games, and as I'm not a 900 year old Time Lord from Gallifrey with, or without, a dozen remaining regenerations, I am in no position to say "oops!" if the plane I'm in suddenly decides to have attachment issues with a nearby mountain.

If this doesn't get fixed, bugger all I can do, but I'm confident that it wouldn't take more than a couple more crashes for one or both makers to go belly up. The airline industry is having enough problems, it's not going to want to do anything that places consumer confidence at further risk. It'll play safe, and playing safe generally means not buying aircraft passengers aren't willing to fly in.

Re:Is Airbus better?

By AleRunner • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

The FAA's responsibility is towards American-bound flights and domestic air travel. None of the Boeing 737-MAX9 crashes qualified under their jurisdiction. Why is the FAA being dragged into this? The US carriers had trained pilots sufficiently to handle these situations in the planes.

a) The FAA is the national authority for Boeing. This means that they carry out the certification for Boeing aircraft once and then all the other authorities worldwide accept that. That allows Boeing to sell worldwide at a tiny fraction of the cost of the alternative. If the FAA ceases to be acceptable worldwide that will basically kill Boeing as a company. In fact, because of this situation, the FAA was a supporting authority in each of these investigations in any case.

b) The US pilots is actually just luck. Given the wrong set of conditions it was possible for the flight controls to get into a situation where there was so much force needed to move the control surfaces that you needed to have power active. One of the methods needed for some situations for disabling the automatic systems required removing a fuse which meant that power would not be available. That no Americans were killed is only luck.

c) This is a general failure - this report found serious problems in both Boeing and the FAA. This means that other planes produced recently by Boeing cannot be trusted. Basically, what this report is saying is that you should start boycotting airlines that use Boeing until all certifications of planes done in at least the last 10 years are redone from scratch. Possibly involving a rewrite of most of the software.

Yes, it's probably a troll.. but sometimes the trolls are saying what many people are secretly thinking. This is worth an answer.

The root, root cause...

By tiqui • Score: 3 • Thread

While there are plenty of technical reasons for those crashes, as we have discussed here before, there is actually a deeper root cause, which may be found in Washington DC, exactly where the congress critters never want to look.

There was an era in the US when airlines had a choice of domestic plane builders: Boeing (727,737,747, etc), McDonnell Douglas(Dc-8, DC-9, DC-10, etc), and Lockheed (L1011) a little earlier there was also Convair but we need not go that far back in the jet age. This was competition, which caused different models of aircraft to be available, put competetive pressures in place to drive innovation and suppress prices, and so forth, but it also performed a critical function nobody paid attention to: Redundancy. If some airframe builder made a bad plane, it could be grounded and market share could be lost but the air travel industry could keep going and there would be no crisis of national interest and foreign and trade policy. Unfortunately, Lockheed got out of the business, convinced it could be viable as a piglet at the government nipple of defense contracts, and then the government allowed Boeing to buy McD. Just as with the merger of Boeing and Lockheed rockets into ULA, this was deceptively pushed by lobbyists as a good thing, but it was really only good for the businessmen involved. In the post-merger world, there is always going to be heavy political pressure to approve of Boeing's actions because there is no other option unless the US (the country that created the industry) is willing to surrender it, with all the cascading national security and international diplomatic and trade issues that would ensue. This is why Boeing is never sufficiently punished for any bad behavior anymore (Air Force tanker contract crimes, SLS Rocket debacle, Starliner screwups, lunar lander contract cheating, 787 fires, and MAX8...)

Oh, and before some Euro-snob pipes up to brag about Airbus and swipe at the dumb Yanks... don't. Just don't. Airbus is that mirror image - the single concentrated airframer of Europe who the EU guards as well as the US now guards Boeing, and Airbus avionics have ALWAYS overridded pilots as part of the basic design - One reason the MAX8 was deadly is that it behaved like an Airbus and any Boeing-trained pilots would have never seen that coming without special training. One need not go back to the Airbus that tried auto-landing into a forest for this, there's the one that held a stall attitude from cruising altitude all the way into the Atlantic, among others.

The real core problem on BOTH sides of the Atlantic is monopoly, and in a field directly tied to security, trade, and global prestige. There needs to be an agreement going forward that no nation will allow its aircraft industry to concentrate in one company (and that goes for the Russians and Chinese as well). Where such concentration has occurred, it's time for mutually-assured breakups (ie: The US, Europe, Russia, China all agree to break up their monopolies at the same time).

It's probably also time to set a new federal policy in the US: No buying of military products from companies who do not get at least 30% of their revenue in the commercial marketplace. It's just sick that Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman, who are some of the planet's best aircraft designers/builders have decided to just be defense contractors and not even compete in commercial aviation. It's not only a loss for aviation, but it also tends to make them fat-dumb-and-lazy on "cost plus" contracts, which ultimately drives-up the costs to taxpayers for military hardware.

How Microsoft is Looking To MetaOS To Make Microsoft 365 a 'Whole Life' Experience

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader shares a report: Earlier this year, some leaks about Microsoft's "MetaOS" had a lot of us Microsoft watchers scrambling to figure out what this foundational layer is and how it will affect Microsoft's various products and services in the future. Recently, I've unearthed some more details about the company's high-level goals and lower-level product plans around MetaOS. MetaOS has a lot to do with what's next for Microsoft Teams, Office, Edge, and more. I don't know when or if Microsoft will ever talk about MetaOS publicly, but MetaOS and the related Taos team, headed by Chief Operating Officer and Corporate Vice President of the Experiences and Devices Group Kirk Koenigsbauer, is working actively on the MetaOS inbox apps and services, I hear.

Microsoft's highest level MetaOS pitch is that it is focused on people and not tied to specific devices. Microsoft seems to be modeling itself a bit after Tencent's WeChat mobile social/payment app/service here, my sources say. Microsoft wants to create a single mobile platform that provides a consistent set of work and play services, including messaging, voice and video, digital payments, gaming, and customized document and news feeds. The MetaOS consists of a number of layers, or tiers, according to information shared with me by my contacts. At the lowest level, there's a data tier, which is implemented in the Office substrate and/or Microsoft Graph. This data tier is all about network identity and groups. There's also an application model, which includes work Microsoft is doing around Fluid Framework (its fast co-authoring and object embedding technology); Power Apps for rapid development and even the Visual Studio team for dev tools. Microsoft is creating a set of services and contracts for developers around Fluid Core, Search, personalization/recommendation, security, and management. For software vendors and customers,

Problem is that already exists

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread

This is already what the phones are. Apple, Google, Samsung have already done this and are established. MS is trying to compete without a device. They've lost the students to Chromebooks. They've lost the casual/home user to phones and Apple TV. They've screwed up the various streaming/social media attempts they've made. They messed up Skype. They're down and trying to make a comeback in games with Xbox. This is their last chance to be relevant outside of the office.

I'll just leave this here

By Scarred Intellect • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Like 1984, XKCD isn't supposed to be a guidebook:

Re:Well, that sounds encouraging

By NoNonAlphaCharsHere • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
"Microsoft Whole Life Experience" <FULL BODY SHUDDER>

Byting off more than they can chew

By Tablizer • Score: 3 • Thread

Getting involved in personal info will create a Medusa of abuses and embarrassing leaks. I suggest they focus on business automation and collaboration, staying out of the bedroom. It's too hard to contain such these days. Google bungled privacy badly when they tried to integrate all their services. I can vouch personally about that. One Stop Slopping.

In addition to privacy concerns, Microsoft usually fails in the consumer arena anyhow: Zune, Bob, WinPhone/ME, MSN Watch. Xbox is their only real success. Consumers are just not their forte. Why force it?


By nomadic • Score: 3 • Thread

"MetaOS has a lot to do with what's next for Microsoft Teams, Office, Edge, and more"

There are so many things MS does wrong, but I've got to say I've been pretty impressed with Teams.

Chip Industry Wants $50 Billion To Keep Manufacturing in US

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The U.S. chip industry said as much as $50 billion in federal incentives will be needed to halt a decades-long trend of manufacturing moving overseas as China spends heavily to become a leading semiconductor producer. From a report: The federal government needs to deploy $20 billion to $50 billion to make the U.S. as attractive a location for plants as Taiwan, China, South Korea, Singapore, Israel and parts of Europe, the Semiconductor Industry Association said in a study released Wednesday. Failure to do that threatens U.S. leadership of the sector as a whole, it added. The lobbying group, which represents companies such as Intel and Qualcomm, is making the pitch at a time when it believes Washington is more open to listening. The China-U.S. trade war and supply-chain disruptions caused by the pandemic have revealed the risks of having such vital components made abroad.

Re:Corporate Welfare

By ObliviousGnat • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Tax breaks aren't the only form of corporate welfare. Do you remember the story the other day about how oil companies abandon their wells, go bankrupt and then leave the mess for the states to clean up? We need to make companies pay ALL of the societal costs that they create, and don't let bankruptcy get them out of paying.

Also--and this is important--tax/tariff anything from foreign countries that don't make their companies pay for their societal costs. One reason why chip manufacturing went overseas is because companies there are allowed to pollute with impunity, and that makes manufacturing in those countries artificially cheap. How can our companies expect to compete with that?

Re:Corporate Welfare

By ShanghaiBill • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

The other question is whether a domestically-subsidized chip industry violates international trade agreements.

There are exceptions for national security. For instance, France has declared yogurt making to be critical to national security, and Canada has a strategic maple syrup reserve. So I think America can justify subsidies for semiconductors. We have done so in the past.

If so, we would not find much of a global market for our chips. They would be banned or face stiff import tariffs

Indeed. America can subsidize them for domestic use, but exporting subsidized chips would violate trade agreements.

Losing the export market would drive the cost of domestic production that much higher still. The result is a death spiral as the 'freedom chips' fall further behind in both price and performance.

Indeed. America has subsidized semiconductors in the past, while falling further and further behind. There is no reason to expect this time to be different.

Re:Corporate Welfare

By dgatwood • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Semiconductors are a critical industry. Everything depends on them, including every weapon system.

So is it worth $50B to keep semiconductor manufacturing on-shore?

In my opinion, no, it isn't worth it. Taiwan and Korea are reliable American allies.

And are practically potato cannon distance away from China. In the event of another actual world war, provided the whole world doesn't get nuked, trusting countries that are so easily land-invadable or inflatable-raft-invadable by the country that is statistically most likely to be on the opposite side of that war is dubious at best.

Any real product is still going to rely on foreign parts.

You're not wrong, but having a silicon manufacturing presence somewhere other than eastern Asia is still pretty security-critical no matter how you look at it.

Re:Corporate Welfare

By larryjoe • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Gotta love these welfare queens leaching off the American tax payers.

Here is an idea - pay your fucking taxes and then we can talk about bailouts or 'incentives' or whatever you hypocrites call your corporate welfare.

When it's other people, they're "welfare queens". When it's us, it's just the normal system of tax deductions, subsidides, and funding that are part of our "rights."

Re:Corporate Welfare

By GroundBounce • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Sorry, don't hang our national security on Taiwan, unless the US makes a FULL commitment to defend Taiwan against an attack by the PRC with whatever effort is necessary - strong enough of a commitment to become a deterrent. Right now, we appear to the CCP as a paper tiger. Regardless of how you feel about the probability of the PRC invading Taiwan at any given time or whether the PRC will take the risk of doing so, the threat is there and must be accounted for in our national security strategy. Both Taiwan and South Korea are ideologically reliable partners at the moment, but Taiwan is heavily threatened by the PRC.

If Taiwan gets attacked, even if we defend them, those resources will be offline or compromised for a long time. That leaves South Korea as our least-threatened alliance partner. I've been designing chips for 35 years and I've dealt with both Korean (Dongbu, etc.) and Taiwanese fabs (TSMC, UMC) and the Taiwanese ones are better. Global Foundries is good but doesn't offer everything TSMC does. We ABSOLUTELY need to retain/regrow onshore cutting-edge, sustainable semiconductor capabilities to maintain stable national security. There's just no other option. It will have a cost. That doesn't mean we shouldn't be careful about how any funding or assistance is structured, and make sure it includes ways to keep companies accountable, but after working in this industry for my entire career (which makes me biased, I admit), I believe we absolutely must retain the lead in this technology, onshore as well as with reliable partners.

Amazon Music Now Has Podcasts

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Amazon Music now offers podcasts. The company issued an update today that brings more than 70,000 shows to the platform, including some major titles, like Serial and Pod Save America, as well as new exclusive deals like a show with DJ Khaled called The First One, where he'll interview artists about their breakthrough hits and the stories behind them. Disgraceland, a popular show from iHeartMedia, will also become exclusive to the platform starting in February 2021. From a report: Podcasts can be listened to through the updated Amazon Music app, on the web, or on Amazon Echo devices. Echo devices will search Amazon Music by default and will remember where listeners left off, regardless of what platform they use to listen. The Wall Street Journal reports that Amazon will be selling ads for its shows, although it's unclear if that means DJ Khaled and other hosts will be reading ads and if paid subscribers will hear these ads, similarly to Spotify.


By coastwalker • Score: 3 • Thread

If there is no RSS feed they can fuck off. Apologies for the strong language.

Notice RSS for podcasts has disappeared...

By The New Guy 2.0 • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Notice that the podcast publishers have deleted their "Subscribe with RSS" or ability to download directly... you have to go through YouTube, iTunes, Amazon's app or other program that doesn't let you keep the program long, nor share it with others without them downloading from the publisher.

Seems like open-source has been substituted with closed gardens... so today's news is that Amazon is opening a new closed garden and starting to pick up some shows from other providers.

Developers Frustrated at Apple for Just One Day's Notice To Submit Apps Ahead of iOS 14 Release Today

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While developers have had access to beta versions of the software updates since June, many were caught off guard by Apple's much shorter notice of the final releases. By comparison, Apple started accepting apps built for iOS 13 on September 10 last year, over one week before the software update was released on September 19. From a story yesterday: "I think a lot of developers won't be sleeping tonight or will instead just give up and opt to release [their app] when they want to, instead of alongside the new OS," said iOS developer Shihab Mehboob in a message. "Apple has seemingly out of the blue decided to surprise developers with no real warning or care." [...] "Without advance warning like this, nothing is ready," a developer at High Caffeine Content, Steve Troughton-Smith, told me. "Developers aren't ready, the App Store is't ready, and everybody is rushing to react instead of having the chance to finish their apps properly." Steve ran through the normal iOS release process with me. Apple usually gives third-party app developers a heads up of about a week before the official public release of a new iOS. The company puts out a "Golden Master" copy of the new iOS and Xcode developer tool before the latest operating system is officially released to the public. This gives iPhone app developers the time they need to make sure the apps they've been building for the beta releases of the new iOS actually work on the final version. Sometimes there are critical bugs that are only revealed or could only be fixed at this point in the process.

The extra time can also be used to add new features for any new devices announced at the Apple Event. Apple's approval process for apps also takes some time, so developers have that week to make sure they submit in time to guarantee their work will be in the App Store for the iOS release. "Gone are the hopes of being on the store by the time users install the new iOS 14 and are looking for new apps. Gone is the chance to get some last-minute fixes into your existing apps to make sure they don't stop working outright by the time users get to upgrade their OS," explained Steve. "There are some developers who have spent all summer working on something new, using the latest technologies, hoping to be there on day one and participate in the excitement (and press coverage) of the new iOS," he continued. "For many of them, they'll be incredibly upset to have it end like this instead of a triumphant launch, and it can dramatically decrease the amount of coverage or sales they receive."

Another aspect that makes this very sudden...

By SuperKendall • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

The one day notice is pretty short, but one aspect that makes it even really shorter than it seems, is they just released the final version of Xcode 12 yesterday (which you need to do a release build with iOS 14 features) - after not having released a new beta since the 25th of September!

That means not only a very limited time to test and get an update out, but also using a newly updated tool that could very well have new bugs you have not run into yet...

Now it is true that devs could have found simple errors during the beta phase of iOS 14 and released updates so that aspect is probably OK, but if you were using any new iOS 14 features it's a bit concerning, expect bugs for the first week or two.

Already gotten one warning from an app...

By _xeno_ • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

I've already gotten one push notification from an app that read "DO NOT INSTALL iOS 14" with an explanation that the app crashes on startup under the release version of iOS 14 and that they will be pushing a fix as soon as Apple lets them, but it may be a few weeks until that happens.

Apple Says Epic Is 'Saboteur, Not a Martyr' in App Store Battle

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Apple is asking a court to reject Epic Games's latest bid to get Fortnite back on the App Store, saying the game maker is acting as " a saboteur, not a martyr" in its challenge to Apple's payment system. From a report: In an overnight filing, Apple said "Epic started a fire, and poured gasoline on it, and now asks this court for emergency assistance in putting it out." Epic can fix the problem "by simply adhering to the contractual terms that have profitably governed its relationship with Apple for years." Epic sued Apple on Aug. 13, claiming the removal of the Fortnite app from the App Store was "retaliation" for the game maker's decision to offer in-app purchases through its own marketplace, circumventing Apple's payment system. Epic has renewed a request for a court order that would reinstate the app on the store. Apple last week filed a countersuit to stop the game maker from using its own payment system for Fortnite, escalating one of the most closely watched legal battles in the tech sector. Citing the #freefortnite campaign, Apple said Epic isn't suffering reputational harm due to the fight. "Epic has engaged in a full-scale, pre-planned media blitz surrounding its decision to breach its agreement with Apple, creating ad campaigns around the effort that continue to this day."

Why seek to destroy the most secure option?

By SuperKendall • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

iPads and iPhones are nice devices, but the extreme lock down nature and the insane censorship on apple side needs to change.

Why though?

Apple has made what is THE most secure option you can give to a non technical user.

As it stands, it's the only possibly device, traditional computers 100% included, where you can be pretty sure a non-tech user is not going to install scam or spyware within a week or month that will infect the whole system.

There are already other unlocked platforms where you can do anything you like. Why is that not enough? Why must the only option I have as a technical person to give to my friends and family who do not and cannot understand device security, why must that option be destroyed?

The rumor is that because you can use your already paid for iDevice to send bittorrent links to your already paid for Synology device

From what I can see the rumor is more that it's sending Bluetooth to non-certified devices. Are you seriously arguing that you want a world where apps can just randomly connect and talk to custom Bluetooth devices without your knowing? It would be an amazing tool for what appeared to be a harmless app to do some great data collection from users that you'd never find using a network proxy..

As it stands, Synology says the app will be back, it's not like it's gone forever. They simply have to abide by the rules that help keep the platform safe for non-technical users.

Re:Walmart, E-bay, Amazon

By msauve • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
"Imagine if, like Apple, Target demanded a 30% cut from those sales as well."

You have a good imagination, because your description of what Apple is doing is also in your imagination. They're not taking a 30% cut from outside sales, they're taking a 30% cut of in game sales. And they're also saying a developer can't sell the same thing for less outside the App Store. So, their hook is that consumers will tend to buy in-game, because it's more convenient and costs the same or less.

So, using your analogy, it's like Acme started selling widgets cheaper themselves, so Target could no longer make their 30 point margin. In response, Target stops selling Acme Widgets.

Re:Epic App Store?

By jeff4747 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

I'm sure there are reasons, but why can't Epic make their own App Store app?

Because iOS doesn't allow 3rd party app stores.

My parents and kids require a walled garden on their devices. Currently, I can safely outsource that to Apple. If you allow easy side-loading or 3rd party app stores, then I have to build and maintain that walled garden. And I would prefer to not have to do that.

But fortunately for you, the market has created an alternative to Apple's devices called "Android". It even has a larger market share, so you don't have to worry much about developers not supporting it.

Re:Walmart, E-bay, Amazon

By bws111 • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

IF the lawsuit was a contract dispute you might have a point. The lawsuit doesn't say anything about changing a contract. They don't want the contract at all. They want to be allowed to compete with the App Store in selling applications in the IOS market. Their exact words are:

Epic brings this suit to end Apple’s unfair and anti-competitive actions that Apple undertakes to unlawfully maintain its monopoly in two distinct, multibillion dollar markets:(i) the iOS App Distribution Market, and (ii) the iOS In-App Payment Processing Market (each as defined below). Epic is not seeking monetary compensation from this Court for the injuries it has suffered. Nor is Epic seeking favorable treatment for itself, a single company. Instead, Epic is seeking injunctive relief to allow fair competition in these two key markets that directly affect hundreds of millions of consumers and tens of thousands, if not more, of third-party app developers.

Antitrust law allows 'sufficiently affected' parties to bring an antitrust lawsuit. By daring to offer their own in-app purchase store, and being blocked by Apple from doing so, they have demonstrated they are sufficiently affected.

Re:I would agree with Apple

By Wraithlyn • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

I'm torn here, because I do think multiple app stores being available for iOS would be an improvement.

But, to play devil's advocate...

Apple maintains a monopolistic access to their platform

  • And Nintendo maintains monopolistic access to their platforms.
  • And Sony maintains monopolistic access to Playstation.
  • And Microsoft maintains monopolistic access to XBox.

But here's the rub, none of these (including iOS) are actually monopolies (in the legally actionable sense), since you can choose a competing platform.

So as much as I would love to see multiple app stores on iOS, I don't really see how Epic has a leg to stand on here. Closed ecosystems are nothing new.

Cambridge Staff 'Fobbed Off' At Meeting Over ARM Sale To Nvidia, Says Union

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An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Guardian: Opposition to the $40 billion sale of the UK's largest tech firm, Arm Holdings, is mounting, as the trade union Unite said staff concerned about their future had been "fobbed off" and the company's local MP urged the government to act. The government has so far declined to say whether it will consider deploying powers to block the deal or attach conditions, despite pressure from Labour, trade unions and Arm's outspoken co-founder Hermann Hauser.

On Tuesday, Unite said members who worked for Arm at its Cambridge headquarters had been kept in the dark and fobbed off in an internal meeting, with senior figures telling them any transaction was at least 18 months away. Unite called on the government to prevent the sale, saying ministers should be "protecting tech firms from being hollowed out by detrimental takeovers and providing the investment needed for the sector as a whole to flourish." Daniel Zeichner, the Labour MP whose constituency includes Arm's headquarters, will meet union officials and employees on Friday. Speaking in the House of Commons on Tuesday, he called on the government to secure a legally binding guarantee to protect jobs as well as an exemption from US foreign investment rules.
On Monday, ARM co-founder Hermann Hauser penned an open letter to the UK's Prime Minister Boris Johnson in which he says that he is "extremely concerned" about the deal and how it will impact jobs in the country, Arm's business model and the future of the country's economic sovereignty independent of the U.S. and U.S. interests.

A spokesperson for Arm said: "Communication sessions have been ongoing with employees at a global, regional and departmental level since the deal was made public. Together, [Arm CEO] Simon Segars and [Nvidia CEO] Jensen Huang held multiple interactive communications sessions with Arm employees, providing them with the highest levels of transparency within the legal constraints of the situation. It was also clearly communicated that the regulatory process does not have a specific timetable and employees will be kept informed as we get more information relating to the initial estimate of 18 months."

Why now?

By thereddaikon • Score: 3 • Thread

I understand them not liking Nvidia but why wasn't this a concern when they were sold to Softbank years ago? Furthermore what indications are they getting that Nvidia is going to close the UK offices? It's possible they could but its equally possible that Softbank does the same and sells off ARM's IP if they don't find a buyer for the company.

This all just seems to me of a case of choosy beggars. They let themselves get bought by a bank, that bank is now selling them because of unrelated bad investments (We Work etc) and they think they can somehow dictate the terms of the sale.

I suppose the UK government could get involved and block it somehow but in a post brexit world it seems unwise to do so. Europe seem to resent the whole thing and pissing off the US and Japan would just make the whole situation worse.


By serviscope_minor • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

So in reply to a post only saying the British government is doing nothing, you conclude that the EU is evil... Well this is why everyone vaguely sane thinks most Brexiteers are morons.


By vague disclaimer • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

That isn't the EU's sentiment at all (insofar as a member group with 27 members has a sentiment).

The sentiment is simply: you are no longer a member of our golf club, so you don't get to play on our greens without paying the non-member fees.

And the biggest "green" is the single market (ironically invented by Thatcher). If we want tariff-free access we play by their rules. Simple and perfectly normal.


By monkeyxpress • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

I don't understand the sentiment from the rest of the EU. Like oh Britain is gone can't wait to fuck them over on trade deals! Such a swell group of people, can't imagine why they want to leave.

That's what every country does. If you think the USA is going to give the UK a fair deal because of the special relationship, then you are delusional. NZ has been trying to get a trade deal with our close buddies the USA for decades, and it has gone nowhere because a bunch of yokel farmers in their massively state subsidised dairy industry don't want to compete with the blip that is NZ agricultural output. Oh and they hate that we have a centralised buying agency to keep medicine costs down.

Even the Australians, our 'cousins' keep coming up with new reasons to block the sale of our apples because, despite the free trade deal we have, their apple industry doesn't want to have to compete with us.

This is just how things go. This idea that all the countries around the world are chomping at the bit to do free trade is utterly delusional. You can certainly make progress in that direction, but it takes decades, lots of horse trading, and ultimately, if a big trade block goes all protectionist (e.g. Trump) there isn't anything a smaller nation can really do (but go to the WTO and grovel).

I don't think the UK was necessarily as stupid as people make out for leaving the EU. The EU has a lot of problems. But as a trading bloc it is very successful, and the UK will have to get used to this sort of 'outrageous behaviour' because it's how things work out in the big wide world (which ironically NZ got thrown into against it's will by the UK joining the EU and ditching us).

Re:Sold to Japanese Company was ok?

By whoever57 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

The big difference is that Softbank isn't a semiconductor company. NVidia owning the ARM IP has a much greater scope for disruption of the industry.

Also, Softbank had little incentive to move the HQ and development, whereas NVidia might want to consolidate these functions into its HQ in Santa Clara.

French President Emmanuel Macron Compares 5G Opponents To Amish

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
neutrino38 writes: "France is the country of the Enlightenment, it is the country of innovation [...] We are going to debunk all false ideas. Yes, France is going to take the 5G turning point because it is the turning point of innovation," Macron insisted in front of a hundred French Tech entrepreneurs gathered at the Elysee. "I hear a lot of voices saying that the complexity of contemporary problems should be addressed by returning to the oil lamp! I don't think that the Amish model can solve the challenges of contemporary ecology," the head of state said.

Meanwhile, AT&T's 5G network was found to be slower than 4G, and in China some 5G towers are switched off during the night because of power consumption. Welcome to the future.

Re:Not a good comparison

By SkonkersBeDonkers • Score: 5, Informative • Thread


I wanted to add for others that may see it to that in spite of many media portrayals of the Amish as insular and unfriendly to non-Amish, nothing could be further from the truth. Obviously there are good and bad in every group, but on the average, Amish folks are lovely people and good neighbors.

And one thing I'll say, differences in belief aside, Amish believers are extremely true to their message. Just one example. Non-violence, avoidance of anger/rage and forgiveness are important to them. Years ago there was an outsider that took hostages at a Amish school for young girls. He ended up killing 5 girls and wounding 3 others. He died. There was an outpouring of support for the Amish families and millions of dollars were donated. Almost immediately the families announced that they wanted to divert some of the money to provide support for the widow of the gunman which they promptly did and AFAIK continue to provide money to her to this day. I mean I got to admire people who can lose their children to violence and turn around to immediately start caring for others who are not only not tied to their community but to the very person that hurt them so terribly.

Re:You can lead a horse to water but you can't mak

By Syncerus • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Censorship is such an easy thing when you know that you're always right.

Lost in translation

By lorinc • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

"Amish" in French doesn't have the same meaning as in the US. We don't have Amish communities in France since the 1900s and for us the word does not refer to the existing US people. It's a French idiom that simply means "people that refuse technological progress by all means".

Just like "negro" means "black" (the color) in Spanish, it would be unfair to keep the work without having in mind that the meaning is different.

I know /. is very US centric, but the world does not revolves around the US. If the last 4 years indicate anything, the rest of the world couldn't care less about the US at the moment. If you want to have a meaningful opinion on what Macron said, you'd better not interpret his sentences based on what you think it means with your US biases, but try to do some research to understand what it actually means.

Re:Not a good comparison

By sound+vision • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Well, the New World Order conspiracy guys got one thing right - the existence of the NWO.

Where they go totally off the rails is when they try to work out the details. They think Bill Gates has some grand microchip vaccine plan, or that Joe Biden is the spearhead, or some dude named Soros is pulling the strings. Sorry, the microchip's already in your hand. And you voluntarily paid a month's rent to buy it, and you spend every waking hour staring at it, and it's making you retarded. No vaccine necessary. No 5G necessary - although it helps.

Yeah, the plot to that movie is a little less exciting, but it's the movie you're in.

Re:Not a good comparison

By Thelasko • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
It really depends on the local bishop. The intent of the Amish lifestyle is to avoid personal luxury, as you stated. However, the details in achieving that is decided at a local level. Some communities are fine with a basic pickup truck and power tools to be used for work. However, there are some that go out of their way to avoid electricity, but have nice home appliances that run on compressed air instead. The Amish compressed air economy seems to run counter to the purpose of the Amish/Mennonite/Anabaptist religion.

ESA Awards $153 Million Contract For Its First Planetary Defense Mission

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
The European Space Agency (ESA) is awarding a $153 million contract to an industry consortium led by German space company OHB. "The contract covers the 'detailed design, manufacturing and testing' of a mission codenamed 'Hera,' after the Greek goddess of marriage and the hearth, which will support NASA's Double Asteroid Redirect Test mission and help provide a path towards future planetary defense operations in space," reports TechCrunch. From the report: ESA's Hera mission will launch a desk-sized satellite, which itself will contain small CubeSats, to perform a post-impact assessment of the effect NASA's DART spacecraft has on as asteroid that it's designed to essentially smash into at high velocity. Hera is intended to navigate around the asteroid autonomously while collecting data to help scientists back here on Earth understand whether their ambitious plan has been successful, in terms of using a human-made spacecraft to intentionally impact with an asteroid and change its trajectory through space.

The CubeSats will inspect the asteroid close-up once deployed from Hera -- including a potential interior probe with a radar array, the first of its kind for an asteroid body. All told, Hera and its CubeSate companions will be spending six months studying the asteroids following their encounter with DART. NASA's mission is set to launch sometime in July, 2021, and will arrive at the pair of asteroids -- called the 'Didymos' pair -- in September the following year. The ESA's Hera mission is set to launch in October 2024, and then rendezvous with the asteroids in 2026, so there will be a considerable gap between the impact and Hera's close-up study -- time during which its effects should hopefully be apparent.

the price of everything and the value of nothing

By Anonymouse Cowtard • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
Is $153m really all our safety is worth? At this point, detecting it decades in advance and painting half of it white is the best defence we have. But we're short on paint. And paint brushes.