the unofficial Slashdot digest for 2020-Sep-18 today archive

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

Iranian Hackers Found Way Into Encrypted Apps, Researchers Say

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The New York Times: Iranian hackers, most likely employees or affiliates of the government, have been running a vast cyberespionage operation equipped with surveillance tools that can outsmart encrypted messaging systems -- a capability Iran was not previously known to possess, according to two digital security reports released Friday. The operation not only targets domestic dissidents, religious and ethnic minorities and antigovernment activists abroad, but can also be used to spy on the general public inside Iran, said the reports byCheck Point Software Technologies, a cybersecurity technology firm, andthe Miaan Group, a human rights organization that focuses on digital security in the Middle East.

The reports, which were reviewed by The New York Times in advance of their release, say that the hackers have successfully infiltrated what were thought to be secure mobile phones and computers belonging to the targets, overcoming obstacles created by encrypted applications such as Telegram and, according to Miaan, even gaining access to information on WhatsApp. Both are popular messaging tools in Iran. The hackers also have created malware disguised as Android applications, the reports said. [...] According to the report by Check Point's intelligence unit, the cyberespionage operation was set up in 2014, and its full range of capabilities went undetected for six years. Miaan traced the first the operation to February 2018 from a malicious email targeting a Sufi religious group in Iran after a violent confrontation between its members and Iranian security forces. It traced the malware used in that attack and further attacks in June 2020 to a private technology firm in Iran's northeast city of Mashhad named Andromedaa. Miaan researchers determined that Andromedaa had a pattern of attacking activists, ethnic minority groups and separatist opposition groups but also had developed phishing and malware tools that could target the general public.

The hackers appeared to have a clear goal: stealing information about Iranian opposition groups in Europe and the United States and spying on Iranians who often use mobile applications to plan protests, according to the Miaan report. [...] According to Check Point, the hackers use a variety of infiltration techniques, including phishing, but the most widespread method is sending what appear to be tempting documents and applications to carefully selected targets. [...] The spyware enabled the attackers to gain access to almost any file, log clipboard data, take screenshots and steal information. According to Miaan, one application empowered hackers to download data stored on WhatsApp. In addition, the attackers discovered a weakness in the installation protocols of several encrypted applications including Telegram, which had always been deemed relatively secure, enabling them to steal the apps' installation files. These files, in turn, allow the attackers to make full use of the victims' Telegram accounts.
"Although the attackers cannot decipher the encrypted communications of Telegram, their strategy makes it unnecessary," the report adds. "Rather, they use the stolen installation files to create Telegram logins to activate the app in the victims' names on another device. This enables the attackers to secretly monitor all Telegram activity of the victims."

Last I checked

By nehumanuscrede • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Anytime you attempt to log into a Telegram account from a different device, an access code is sent ( via Telegram ) to the account holder
( on the device the account is already logged into ) which has to be input before the account is accessible from the new device.

So, unless they have physical access to the existing device where the Telegram account is already running, I'm not quite following how they
could simply log in as the same user on a different device without knowing said access code.

Eg: I want to run Telegram on a mobile phone. I download the app and before it lets me log into the account, it sends an access code to the
existing Telegram session on my desktop. I input said code into the phone and voila, I now have it on both devices. No code = no login on new device.

In addition, you can see how many sessions Telegram is running on for your account pretty easily. A quick glance at mine shows it's running on
my desktop and my phone with the ability to force close all other sessions if you wish to do so.

This is not "a way into encrypted apps"

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

This is a way around encrypted apps, using social engineering and, by the description of it, bugs in either the phone OS, or backups, which allowed access to the so-called "installation files".

Not sure at all why Telegram is singled out as 'hacked', when it seems from TFS that it was not.

Overall, this looks more like an attack on Telegram than anyone else.


By DontBeAMoran • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

They'll never be able to identify my nationality, eh?

Facebook Accused of Watching Instagram Users Through Cameras

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Facebook is again being sued for allegedly spying on Instagram users, this time through the unauthorized use of their mobile phone cameras. Bloomberg reports: The lawsuit springs from media reports in July that the photo-sharing app appeared to be accessing iPhone cameras even when they weren't actively being used. Facebook denied the reports and blamed a bug, which it said it was correcting, for triggering what it described as false notifications that Instagram was accessing iPhone cameras.

In the complaint filed Thursday in federal court in San Francisco, New Jersey Instagram user Brittany Conditi contends the app's use of the camera is intentional and done for the purpose of collecting "lucrative and valuable data on its users that it would not otherwise have access to." By "obtaining extremely private and intimate personal data on their users, including in the privacy of their own homes," Instagram and Facebook are able to collect "valuable insights and market research," according to the complaint.

Re:Facebook is so much worse than TikTok

By Narcocide • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Like what, force China to buy it?

Use a rubber-band

By cachorro • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

I take one of those fat rubber-bands they use to hold bunches of asparagus together, and stretch it over the camera lenses on my phone. It keeps dirt off the lens and prevents any unintended video capture.

One basic law is needed

By tiqui • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

I'm normally against nearly all government regulation of tech, for several reasons I'll get to, but with that said I have long believed that one particular tech law is absolutely required, and it needs to be federal so it covers all 50 states and the territories: Any electronic device which includes a camera or a microphone must have a physical switch that cuts-off the camera, and a physical switch that cuts off the microphone, or a single one that cuts both, and it must be obvious the the user if either of these switches is in the "on" position. Such a law needs slightly better wording, and a massive penalty for violating it, but should not be made any more complicated - lawmakers love huge omnibus "crap-sandwich" bills as a way to bury all sorts of dastardly evil corruption. I personally think we'd all be far better off if no law could address more than one topic and none could take up more than 4 pages of single-space typed 9pt text on a size A sheet.

This is required for two reasons: First, because big tech has repeatedly demonstrated that its word is meaningless, and second because even if the consumer could trust big tech when it says it's not looking or listening, that's no guarantee that some 3rd party malware is not.

The reasons I generally oppose govt intervention of big tech include, but are not limited to:

1. Politicians are generally not from the smart end of the gene pool - people who are generally (though admittedly not always) choose other more productive careers. The simple fact is that even with a few smart lawmakers, the dumb ones will always outnumber them, Same goes for all the unelected bureaucrats.

2. Politicians are often corrupt. Sure, there are some with fairly pure motives on at least some issues, but there are just too many whose opinions can be shaped by bribes ... errr.... "campaign contributions" (yeah... that's the ticket!...). This means that bigger less creative and less nimble early market entrants can encourage regulations that create regulatory capture.

3. Politics is just too slow - by design. Politics is about compromise, and getting people to "split the difference" is great for lots of policy matters, but it stinks as a way to advance technology. The first robotic race horse ends up as half robotic hippo and half robotic frog. By the time politicians finish regulating a bit of tech it's likely to be 3 generations obsolete, and if you could change that formula, it'd be by slowing down the advance of tech, not by making politics more efficient (unless your politics is centered on the iron fist and the gulag of course)

4. Politics tends to be one-size-fits-all. When government creates a new rule or regulation, we do not each get one custom-tailored to our needs. In an ideal marketplace, many competitors are always innovating and we can each choose products and services we prefer, including often hanging onto semi-obsolete stuff when that's what we prefer. The marketplace can provide that to a reasonable degree, but government abhors even the concept, but also lacks the competency.

I've said this before, and I'll say it again...

By Nabeel_co • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
Where I work, we had a Facebook dev come in, circa 2015, to give a talk on UX/UI and user testing, and he told us that they use the front facing camera to do eye tracking to know where you're looking on the screen. During the QA period, he clarified that this was happening in their public release version, not just internally.

He also let us know that the Facebook app uploads your WHOLE camera roll to their servers in the background, to make "uploads" seem faster.

read about cambridge analytica

By Don Bright • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

by gathering thousands of points of data on every user, facebook is able to allow advertisers (which is what political campaigns are) to microtarget people with an unimaginable precision and likelihood of altering behavior.

Bill Gates On the Difference Between Elon Musk and Steve Jobs

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
In an interview with Bloomberg, Bill Gates was asked whether his contemporary Elon Musk could be considered the "next Steve Jobs," due to the advancements his companies Tesla and SpaceX have made in electric cars and reusable rockets, respectively. CNBC reports: "If you know people personally, that kind of gross oversimplification seems strange," Gates told Bloomberg in the interview published Thursday. There are some key differences between the way Musk and Jobs operate, Gates said. "Elon's more of a hands-on engineer. Steve was a genius at design and picking people and marketing," Gates said. "You wouldn't walk into a room and confuse them with each other." [...] As for Jobs, he "was such a wizard at over-motivating people ... I could see him casting the spells, and then I would look at people and see them mesmerized," Gates told podcast host Dax Shepard Aug. 20. Musk and Gates also have their differences. CNBC adds: In August, Gates wrote a blog post about electric vehicles, saying that they will "never be a practical solution" for replacing trucks and long-haul vehicles. Musk responded to Gates' comments on Twitter Sept. 11, saying that "he has no clue" about electric trucks. (Gates said in the Bloomberg interview that Musk's electric car "is a huge contribution to the climate change effort," that Tesla "did it with quality" and that "other car companies, seeing his success, will come [into the market].") [...] Of course, Gates own reputation has evolved. In the early Microsoft days, Gates was known for setting high standards for the company and being very tough on his team. "I certainly wasn't a sweetheart when I ran Microsoft," he said on Shepard's podcast.

Re:Bill Gate is so a genius

By squiggleslash • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Bill Gates never said that it's an urban legend.

And CP/M... quite honestly... sucked. It was little more than a program loader with a library that implemented half a file system (yeah, half, all files had to be accessed in 128 byte blocks, for example) and some wrappers around the BIOS for simple serial I/O. MS DOS, even DOS 1, was a huge improvement.

I hate to interrupt the whole Gates hate thing, but Microsoft is a mixed bag. The failure of CP/M in the marketplace is largely because of IBM and Digital Research getting off on the wrong foot, but it's no surprise that Microsoft was able to procure something better given nobody in their right mind would produce an OS that either cloned or was less functional than CP/M. Windows became successful despite Microsoft's bad behavior - not because of it. When DR DOS started to seriously threaten MS DOS, for example, Microsoft forced PC manufacturers that wanted Windows to include MS DOS with their systems.

Which follows a pattern. Microsoft has generally waited until they were successful in a market before they started to behave like crooks, largely I guess because of fear that they would lose what they have. Even Netscape vs IE was that - they saw, rightly as it happens, the rise of the web as being a threat to Windows lock-in, as applications would ultimately migrate to being delivered to web browsers. They're right, of course, there's a sizable proportion of the population that can work out of a Chromebook right now, whereas a business that tried to run on Macs or OS/2 in the mid nineties would had severe problems.

So am I saying they're good? No. But they got where they were, mostly, by offering the products people needed.

I couldn't stand MS DOS, but the idea that CP/M was better is laughable. Even Digital Research recognized that, producing MP/M, and then a series of operating systems built on MP/M such as ConcurrentDOS and DOS Plus.

Re: 19 years old and he had the balls to tell Alta

By 93 Escort Wagon • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Ps - remember he was a 19 year old kid, he had basically nothing before the Big Deal.

He was a 19-year old with very rich, well-connected parents. That likely helped him immensely.

Re:Why compare?

By NotTheSame • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Jobs and Gates were one-company only.

That isn't correct.

After Jobs was forced out of Apple in 1985, he founded NeXT, which he sold to Apple for $427 million in 1987. In 1985 Jobs co-founded Pixar, which Disney eventually bought in 2006 for $7.4 billion.

Re:Elon Musk

By AmiMoJo • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

I think that just a cost-cutting measure. Complex dashboards are expensive to produce and you have to finalize the car's UI before you can even start designing it. Switching to a touch screen means you can save money on all the parts that would normally be needed and release a beta interface to be finished later.

Re:Bill Gates Got Lucky

By leomekenkamp • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
Not true. See https://www.historyofinformati... for a more accurate timeline.

IBM approached MS for a cp/m-like os. MS simply bought QDOS (quick and dirty operating system), made some small adjustments and renamed it MS-DOS. IBM could market it under the name PC-DOS. Noteworthy is the position of Bills mother within IBM at the time.

Fortnite: Save the World For Mac Is Shutting Down Because of Epic's Battle With Apple

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Epic Games says Fortnite: Save the World will no longer be playable on macOS beginning on September 23rd because Apple is preventing the game from receiving new updates. The Verge reports: The co-op action shooter was initially released as a paid early access title in 2017. Epic's far more popular free-to-play battle royale will still be playable on Mac, the company says. Epic says Apple is blocking new updates and patches for the macOS version of Save the World, and an upcoming update going out to other platforms will cause bugs and "a very poor experience" for players stuck on the current version.

In late August, Apple terminated Epic's developer account, meaning users cannot download or reinstall games developed by Epic, including Fortnite, and Epic can no longer validate updates for distribution. The studio said that it will issue refunds to "all players who purchased any Save the World Founder's or Starter Packs (including Upgrades) and played Save the World on macOS between September 17, 2019, and September 17, 2020." Epic Games says it may take until October 2nd for players to receive refunds.

Re:Unless Epic published it in the Mac App Store..

By CoolDiscoRex • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Personally, I think this is awesome. I want my computer manufacturer to determine what software is acceptable for me to run, and I feel like we’re finally getting closer to that awesome reality. The walled garden that is iOS has, at least to varying degrees, found it’s way to the Mac. I guess all us frogs saw it coming when Apple began slowly turning up the heat. They didn’t turn it up fast enough for us to leap out, though.

It’s a matter of time before it will be impossible to disable SIP, and all software will have to be blessed by Apple on the Mac as it is on the phone. Phones and tablets are simply smaller computers, and most of us actually accepted that we could not get root on our own private property, while the manufacturer got to keep it. Many of you prefer it this way, no doubt the higher-IQ segment of users.

We’ve finally progressed. I try to imagine being denied root on a personal computer (of any OS) in the 1990s, and I can’t imagine it meeting anything but ridicule. Now, it’s an actual thing that people don’t just accept, but defend. Even though it’s been shown repeatedly that duopolies are nearly equivalent for consumers as monopolies, the consumer still champions their “choice”. Much like Democrat/Republicans do.

Alas, the promise of the great liberating giving a voice to the people never materialized. Instead, the big companies used it to accelerate their hold on the population. Now we compete over who’s more loyal to the corporation. I just read another post on another site where, in response to someone posting the specs for an iPhone X, a guy posted “You shouldn’t post unofficial specs. Apple has asked us not to care how much RAM our phones have, and some of us have agreed not to.”

This appeared to be an otherwise intelligent, rational adult.

We’re a smart species, having invented jets and radar and skyscrapers, etc. but our narcissistic self-defense mechanisms are exploited with little effort.

Speaking of, if you disagree with anything I’ve said, then remember, I’m a Troll, or maybe, just maybe, either insane or evil. They’re the only rational explanations.

Apple has nothing to do with this

By SuperKendall • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Fortnite is instilled on the Mac through Epic's own store, which you install outside the App Store.

Apple has absolutely nothing to do with Fortnite being disabled on the Mac, it's 100% on Epic.

This is where class action suites from users should start up...

Re: Unless Epic published it in the Mac App Store.

By Arkham • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

They didn't lose "Access to the SDKs". I don't have an active developer account, but I have access to all the SDKs. Go to the app store on a Mac, download Xcode, and there you have access to every SDK that Apple has.

This is purely about signing the app and putting it in the app store. The SDK access thing is fear mongering by Epic to try to justify to the court why they shot themselves in the face.

The fix is simple

By nehumanuscrede • Score: 3 • Thread

Adhere to the rules you agreed to when you launched your game on Apples platform.
You don't get to grow your userbase to level X, then change the rules so you can cut out the very people who made your platform possible.

If you don't like those rules, make your own phones, write your own platform and do what you will.

Additionally, in the unlikely event Epic comes out on top of this, do you think they will allow 3rd parties to sell V-Bucks ( or whatever the currency is ) inside of Fortnite without paying Epic in the process ? Do you really think Epic would agree to the very thing they're demanding from Apple ?

I doubt it.

Re:Unless Epic published it in the Mac App Store..

By adamstew • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

It's a computer. They are free to distribute the app via their own website. Users can download it and install it. No Mac App Store required.

The only plausible argument is that users will have to delete the version they have downloaded from the app store and do a brand new "full install" of the game from outside of the app store...but there is absolutely nothing preventing Epic from doing so.

Tesla Wins Lawsuit Against Whistleblower Accused of Hacks

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader writes: The US District Court of Nevada awarded Tesla a win in its lawsuit against a former employee, filed two years ago. You may recall CEO Elon Musk referred to this incident in a previously leaked email calling on employees to be "extremely vigilant." Martin Tripp, who worked at the company's Nevada Gigafactory, was accused of hacking the automaker and supplying sensitive information to unnamed third parties. Reuters reported Friday the court ruled in Tesla's favor and dismissed Tripp's motion to file another reply to the court. Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but according to Reuters, the court will grant Tesla's motion to seal the case.

Tripp originally entered the spotlight two years ago after seeking whistleblower protections and accusing Tesla of "some really scary things." He told The Washington Post he was the individual who provided information to the media and accused Tesla of building Model 3 sedans with punctured batteries. Tesla, in turn, accused Tripp of making false claims to the media. Tripp also denied any allegations he hacked Tesla, saying, "I don't have the patience for coding." The automaker previously named Tripp as a disgruntled employee angry after not receiving a promotion and accused him of aiding the theft of confidential photos and videos documenting Tesla's manufacturing process.

Headline is wrong

By chris-chittleborough • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Tesla did not "win" the lawsuit. They just advanced past the motions-to-dismiss stage.

The bad headline comes from TFA itself at (The rest of the article is not much better. You have to follow its link to the some real reporting to learn what actually happened.) Disappointing.

The court determined...

By Rei • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

... that he wasn't a whistleblower. They dismissed his arguments that he was a whistleblower, and accepted Tesla's arguments that he was an angry employee out for money and revenge, who deliberately made knowingly-misleading MOS queries to try to make Tesla look bad, tried to get others to do the same (trying to entice them with promises of payoffs from anonymous third parties), and cover his tracks by making it look like they came from another employee, then decided to rebrand himself as a whistleblower when he got caught.

Yet for some reason, Slashdot and others still insist on calling him a "whistleblower". A court, after reviewing the evidence, literally just said he's not a whistleblower. They only ruled in his favour on one count, which is that they agree with him and not Tesla that he didn't do $165M worth of damages to the company. He is however on the hook for a couple hundred thousand dollars in direct expenses plus potentially punitive damages. We'll find more about this during the next phase.

It should also be pointed out that he does not have a federal whistleblower case, and hasn't had one for over a year. He initially had one, but his attorney (Stuart Meisner) decided to quit, and he hasn't been able to find a replacement attorney to take up the case since then. Given that federal whistleblower cases are lucrative business thanks to the False Claims Act (which awards 15-30% of damages to the whistleblower), attorneys are normally chomping at the bit to take on potential whistleblowers. Tripp can't find one. That should be even more telling.

Lord of the Rings Special Effects Company 'Weta Digital' Launches Inquiry Into Toxic Workplace Claims

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
AmiMoJo shares a report from The Guardian: Weta Digital, the special effects company behind the orcs, dragons and battle scenes of the Oscar-winning Lord of the Rings trilogy, has launched an independent investigation into allegations of a toxic work culture including sexism, bullying and pornography being shared on its intranet. The investigation was ordered by the company's majority owners, who include the director Peter Jackson, his wife, Fran Welsh, and screenwriter Phillipa Boyens. It followed a months-long investigation by local television station TVNZ that found complaints had been ignored by senior management at Weta Digital, and long-standing issues raised by staff had been covered up. "The world's most beautiful toxic waste dump," is how one former employee described the award-winning company. Allegations from former staffers include sexism, bullying, and harassment, as well as "pornographic mailing lists,'" hosted on Weta Digital's intranet, in addition to staff openly viewing pornography in the studio.

The pornography mailing lists are alleged to have existed from at least 2002 to 2015, when they were shut down. "There was a tradition at the time called Porn Friday. Every Friday staff members would email round porn images to the whole team," a female former Weta employee told TVNZ. "The first Friday I worked there I was so surprised, intimidated and uncomfortable. You could opt out of receiving them, which I did. "But there were still conversations amongst the team in my office every Friday about what images were sent round." Another alleged that pornography was openly shared and watched in Weta offices. There were also allegations of sexual overtures and in some cases harassment. It was also alleged that some chose not to complain because the company is a world leader in the special effects industry, and those who experienced issues feared being blacklisted.


By Arzaboa • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread

People spend over half of their lives at the office. For most people their entire lives consist of going to work and then going home to just barely take care of their lives. People are constantly told, "Don't discuss politics. Don't discuss sex. Don't discuss your private life. Don't develop an attraction to anyone you spend your waking lives with here.", all while they spend the majority of their lives in these places.

Because it's a workplace and people need jobs and money, people can't just up and leave. Instead of everyone being tolerant and open minded and dealing with being uncomfortable, we end up with companies banning everything that could possibly upset anyone. Because everyone is fighting for more control over their daily lives, more pay, and more power, the only way to progress is to put your head down and never never act outside whatever "the norm" is or you'll be removed from the "team." Act human and you'll be removed as polite society has decided that sex isn't normal, other people are the only ones with "issues", and if you have any personal issues you can't hide you clearly have something wrong with you. Working in these environments becomes an exercise in pretending and acting. Opinions and politics are not for employees, you can do that when you are not an employee or dead.

It would be so nice to hear one day about a diverse group of people that worked together that was able to deal with everyone else's reality. Hell, this might even lead to more employment and less depression. Instead it's all about power plays, throwing each other under the bus, and complaining that "If not for X, I'd be further in my career!"

In the end it's all about presenting to the least tolerant people. Where does that get you? Well, it gets you here.

Tolerance of intolerance enables oppression. - DaShanne Stokes

Men and Women are Different

By Jarwulf • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread
Men and at least a subset of women and simps have a fundamentally different way of living life. For men being evolutionarily designed as the pursuers, sex and sex humor and culture is an indispensible part of life. This is not a deviation it is a normal biologically ingrained thing as it pops up every where from the lowest bar to the most hoity toity progressive enclave despite decades of trying to stamp it out. For a subset of women, being evolutionarily designed as the gatekeepers, and simps, sex and the body is something that is shameful and to put on a pedestal (although you'll never get them to admit to this specific term thats how they treat it) and humans should act as asexual humorless robots for the majority of their time only being allowed to switch on fundamental biological impulses in an ever shrinking acceptable range of specific times similarly to the strategies of religious authorities of the past. Neither view is necessarily completely wrong. But neither view is necessarily all right. In their wisdom our ancestors recognized this fundamental incompatibility between the worldviews of men and women and solved this through the concept of sex based division of labor and gender roles. We can either go back to this, double down on the failed policy of religious and secular authorities of the past; favoring the female/simp centric perspective of trying to stamp out sex as much as possible which is obviously working out grandly. Or finally be adults and understand that we need to balance the two perspectives and find a better way.

I can't wait for these to be newsworthy no longer

By eepok • Score: 3 • Thread

1. I hope that if the investigation finds wrong-doing that they correct it in a constructive manner for all involved.

2. I hope that if no wrong-doing is found, that they are still willing to help the person who submitted the complaint.

Is there ever anything more to say about these types of news reports?

Oh what a surprise!

By AbRASiON • Score: 3 • Thread

He's at it again.

"Lord of the Rings Special Effects Company 'Weta Digital' Launches Inquiry Into Toxic Workplace Claims"
Posted by BeauHD

Are we noticing a trend yet? No interest in tech, endless interest in social justice.
Not fitting for slashdot, why is this 'news' here?

Re:Workplaces are always "toxic"

By Bert64 • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

If porn is allowed in the workplace, then that should also extend to gay porn or any other form of porn that isn't otherwise illegal.
Why would the women object? They're free to look at porn of men too. Many people do look at porn, women included, and just don't admit to it.
People are uncomfortable because this is unusual and not generally allowed in most workplaces, but sex is totally natural.

Personally i wouldn't care if people were looking at gay porn at work, so long as i was also extended the right to look at any legal porn i might be interested in. I may not choose to exercise it, but i wouldn't want to deny it to others.

Bacterial Outbreak Infects Thousands After Factory Leak In China

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
schwit1 shares a report from CNN: Several thousand people in northwest China have tested positive for a bacterial disease, authorities said on Tuesday, in an outbreak caused by a leak at a biopharmaceutical company last year. The Health Commission of Lanzhou, the capital city of Gansu province, confirmed that 3,245 people had contracted the disease brucellosis, which is often caused by contact with livestock carrying the bacteria brucella. Another 1,401 people have tested as preliminarily positive, though there have been no fatalities reported, the city's Health Commission said. In total, authorities have tested 21,847 people out of the city's 2.9 million population.

Brucellosis had been much more common in China in the 1980s, though it has since declined with the emergence of vaccines and better disease prevention and control. Still, there have been a smattering of brucellosis outbreaks around the world in the past few decades; an outbreak in Bosnia infected about 1,000 people in 2008, prompting the culling of sheep and other infected livestock. In the US, brucellosis has cost the federal government and livestock industry billions of dollars. About 60% of female bison at Yellowstone National Park carry the bacteria, according to national park authorities.

Re:6 in 10 infectious diseases come from animals

By dgatwood • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

6 in 10 infectious diseases come from animals.

After a few years of pandemics, more and more people will go vegan. A few years later the meat and dairy industries will collapse. The last step will be governments outlawing meat altogether.

Um... no. With the exception of bacterial diseases like salmonella and e.coli, almost exactly none of the diseases that make humans seriously ill come from farm-raised animals (and even those two mostly come from using the droppings of those animals as fertilizer for vegetables, rather than from eating the animals or consuming milk). Zero pandemics have involved farm animals.

Why? Because we've been raising these animals for food for millennia, and as a result, humans have a pretty solid immune response to any of the diseases that affect those animals.

The diseases that turn into pandemics invariably come from animals that humans do not commonly associate with, like bats and non-human primates (Ebola, SARS, MERS, COVID-19, etc.).

So basically, even if you ignore the fact that humans are absolutely not biologically evolved for a pure-vegetarian diet, much less the vegan diet that you propose, and pretend that somehow protein deficiency won't kill far more people than pandemics ever could, what you're proposing will not only do nothing to solve the problem, but also risks increasing the number of animal species that humans don't interact with, thus creating even more future vectors for disease than we already have. So centuries from now, we'll end up with the next Ebola from wild cows, and it will be because you insisted on banning consumption of meat and milk.

In other words, from a scientific perspective, it's hard to imagine how you could be more incorrect even if you were trying.

Re:Why is this here?

By gweihir • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

My guess is "anti-China". Not that /. is actually anti-China, but "news" make for ad-revenue, hence anything that is hyped at the moment is good for that revenue.

Re:Why is this here?

By gweihir • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

That's ridiculous. The World is not collapsing under Trump. Only the U.S.A.

I would assert that the US is not even collapsing under Trump. He is basically just a symptom and maybe a bit of an accelerator. But he nicely represents apparently about 40% of the voters, all people who think honor, integrity, truth and science do not matter. Once you have that many people of this "quality" things are basically over. Voting Trump out of office can slow this down, but the other side is of the same quality, just to a lesser degree.

Re:6 in 10 infectious diseases come from animals

By 140Mandak262Jamuna • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
Not true. Humans have decent immunity to casual contact with farm animals, but not for blood contact.

Chinese farm animals winter over inside homes. They dont have a separate barns like they do have in USA or Europe. Thus mosquitoes carry parasites back and forth between humans and pigs and chicken. This is the reason for most influenza fevers originate from China. India is protected by Himalayas from Arctic cold, thus Indian farm animals are not brought indoors in the winter. Takes a few months for it to snowball and come over to rest of the world. People study whats brewing in rural China and predict the most virulent and most deadly of these viruses and create flu shots.

So our immunity to farm animals is not as total and complete as you suggest.

Domestication of cattle happened just 15,000 years ago. Dogs 25,000 years ago. Plant species were domesticated around 9000 years ago. Thus we have not really had that much of time to evolve good natural immunity for parasites from the cattle. Reasonably good for casual contact and contact with excreta. But for more serious contact with blood and other humors of the cattle, we are not there.

CEO of Cyber Fraud Startup NS8 Arrested By FBI, Facing Fraud Charges

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Forbes: The CEO of a startup that sold fraud prevention software is facing fraud charges after he was arrested Thursday by the FBI in Las Vegas. Adam Rogas, who abruptly resigned from NS8 earlier this month, is accused of misleading investors who poured in $123 million to his company earlier this year, a deal in which he allegedly pocketed more than $17 million. "Adam Rogas was the proverbial fox guarding the henhouse," acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said in a press statement. "While raising over $100 million from investors for his fraud prevention company, Rogas himself allegedly was engaging in a brazen fraud."

NS8 launched in 2016 to provide online fraud detection and prevention software for small businesses. More than 200 NS8 employees were laid off last week after executives told them the company was under investigation by the SEC for fraud. The news was startling for many, considering the company had announced a $123 million Series A funding round in June, led by global VC firm Lightspeed Venture Partners. In a statement, NS8 said that its board "has learned that much of the company's revenue and customer information had been fabricated by Mr. Rogas." The company added that no other employees or stakeholders had been charged and that it is cooperating with federal investigators. In its complaint, filed in the Southern District of New York, the Justice Department alleged that from January 2019 to February 2020, between 40% and 95% of NS8's assets were made up. During that period, the agency alleged, Rogas presented doctored bank statements to reflect over $40 million in fictitious revenue. Charges by the Justice Department carry penalties up to 20 years in prison. Rogas is expected to face a judge in Nevada on Friday.

Who or what tipped them off,

By lessSockMorePuppet • Score: 3 • Thread

if he hadn't any co-conspirators?

Wikipedia Edits Have Massive Impact on Tourism, Say Economists

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Forget glossy travel brochures and whizzy online sites; one of the most cost-effective ways tourism chiefs can drive business to their towns or cities is by updating their Wikipedia page. From a report: An experiment by economists at the Collegio Carlo Alberto in Turin, Italy, and ZEW in Mannheim, Germany, found that a few simple edits to a Wikipedia page could lead to an extra $130,000 a year in tourism revenue for a small city, underscoring the power of the free online encyclopaedia. The researchers randomly selected cities across Spain to receive targeted improvements to their Wikipedia pages, adding a few paragraphs of information on their history and local attractions, as well as high-quality photos of the local area.

It didn't take an expert, either. Most of the content added was simply translated over from the Spanish Wikipedia into either French, German, Italian or Dutch. Doing so had an immediate and remarkable effect: adding just two paragraphs of text and a single photo to the article increased the number of nights spent in the city by about 9% during the tourist season. In some instances, the increase was even larger. For cities with barely anything on their Wikipedia pages, a minor edit could raise visits by a third.

Re:Correlation is not causation

By ranton • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

to assume the Wikipedia article is the *reason* behind the increase is somewhat ridiculous unless you can completely rule out all other variables. Did the economy do well the year tourism increased? The increase bay be due primarily to an increase in disposable income.

For god's sake, how do you think any research is done? Just use a control group. Very little of their methodology was mentioned in the article so who knows if it was worthwhile research, but it wouldn't be too hard to design a study to mitigate for the factors you mention. At a high level just pick a good distribution of 100 cities you will make the Wiki updates to and 100 cities you will not. Then check the change in tourism in each city. Perhaps monitor other Wiki changes not done by your research team to see if those cities should be removed from the study.

That is just the basics. There are plenty of techniques they could use to ensure they aren't just measuring normal economic improvements, among other factors.

Study limitations

By skoskav • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Link to actual study:

Some of my quick takeaways of the possible limitations of the study:

1) They acknowledge that a significant part of the effect could just be tourism "stealing" from neighboring cities.

2) The effect was more significant if the original article was nearly empty.

3) They used control groups in a perhaps unintuitive way:

To ensure balance in the treatment and control groups, we used a stratified randomization design. We ordered the 60 cities by the total number of tourists. Then we divided the cities into ten groups of six cities each. Within each group, we randomly assigned the city to one of six treatments. The six treatments were as follows: treat the city page in one of the six possible language pairs (Dutch & German; Dutch & French; Dutch & Italian; German & French; German & Italian; French & Italian). Hence, 120 city pages were treated and 120 pages remained as controls.

It's not an issue per se to group the different wiki languages like that, but I did not find a clear justification for it. If not properly accounted for it could be an indicator of p-hacking, by looking at their collected data whichever way is the most favorable for a positive outcome, and downplaying the remaining data.

4) The Dutch wiki admins were assholes.

Re:Correlation is not causation

By Anubis IV • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

So, an increase in tourism followed modifying Wikipedia articles.

But, to assume the Wikipedia article is the *reason* behind the increase is somewhat ridiculous unless you can completely rule out all other variables.

Did the economy do well the year tourism increased? The increase bay be due primarily to an increase in disposable income.

They asserted that there was a causal impact in the opening line of the paper.

It's not difficult to control for such variables, which they did. The 9% improvement the summary talked about? That's 9% over the control group according to the paper.

They selected a randomized set of cities across Spain, updated those pages on Wikipedia across multiple languages, and then waited to see what the results were. Simultaneously, they randomly selected a different set of cities for their control group, then used those cities as a basis for comparison, allowing them to control for whether changes in local or national economy, overall tourism trends towards Spain, etc., etc. etc. had made a difference. And one of the benefits of using Spanish cities is that the hotels keep a record of the nationality of the tourists staying overnight, providing the scientists with an additional indication of whether their changes to Wikipedia had been effective (i.e. if a city sees a tourism boom in general, it proves nothing, but if it sees a boom specifically from the people who speak the languages of the pages they had edited, that would point towards a causal relationship, which in a quick skim of the paper appears to be what they saw). Oh, and they also performed a statistical analysis to make sure that their selection of control cities did not affect their results.

I love how the first thing that everyone on Slashdot does is assume that no one who literally does this job for their living knows how to properly control for variables. While there are some scientists who cut corners, most of the time they've done their homework, especially when the research took over a year to perform in total.

Re:Study limitations

By Anubis IV • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

4) The Dutch wiki admins were assholes.

The word "Dutch" was unnecessary in that sentence.

Re:Correlation is not causation

By penandpaper • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

>knows how to properly control for variables.

Well if you have seen some of the code I have seen, programmers don't know how to properly control their own variables. Maybe it's projection.

Computing Pioneers Endorse Biden, Citing Trump Immigration Crackdown

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Two dozen award-winning computer scientists, in a rebuke of President Trump's immigration policies, said on Friday that they were endorsing Joseph R. Biden Jr. in November's presidential election. From a report: The scientists, including John Hennessy, the executive chairman of Google's parent company, Alphabet, are all winners of the Turing Award, which is often called the Nobel Prize of computing. In a group interview, four of the scientists said the Trump administration's restrictive immigration rules were a threat to computer research in the United States and could do long-term damage to the tech industry, which for decades has been one of the country's economic engines. "The most brilliant people in the world want to come here and be grad students, but now they are being discouraged from coming here, and many are going elsewhere," said one of the scientists who organized the endorsement, David Patterson, a Google distinguished engineer and former professor at the University of California, Berkeley.

The Turing winners are the latest members of the scientific community to find their political voice as the election nears. The research journal Scientific American also endorsed Mr. Biden this week, citing, among other criticisms, Mr. Trump's response to the coronavirus pandemic and his skepticism of climate change. It was the first time in its 175 years that the publication endorsed a presidential candidate. The Turing winners' endorsement -- also a first for them -- was made against the backdrop of the Trump administration's increasingly antagonistic relationship with the tech industry. Several federal agencies are investigating the business practices of tech's biggest companies, and the Justice Department could bring an antitrust case against Google as soon as this month.

Re: The immigration policy

By jellomizer • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

The view of Patriotism and Religion is often brought up by your environment.

Many of the uneducated, they see being a good employee is doing what the Boss says, being a patriot is doing what the president says, being religious is doing what the minister says. It isn't that they are stupid, but the environment they are in benefits those who know to keep their heads down and do what they are told. Their experience also shows problems when they don't do it the way that was prescribed. Confusion, Anger and the feeling of betrayal happens when they see others doing or supporting something different. Because from their point of view, doing something like that only creates problems.

Many of the educated people, will see being a good employee by improving on what the Boss says, being a patriot is doing what you think will help the country at on a whole, being religious is working to understand the teachings and apply them subtly and thoughtfully to the situation, working on the bigger picture. vs just following the rules. When faced with people who just do what is told of them, Confusion, Anger and the feeling of betrayal happens when they see others just doing what they are told when it seems obviously wrong and outdated. Because from their point of view, we should work to get better, and work out problems when they come up.

The right wing media makes it seem like when people go to college there is some underhanded group that will turn them into Liberals. However what normally happens is these people who grew up conservative, are exposed to different ideas, and different types of people. Those people who were considered problems, evil, or just someone broken, Race, other Religions, Sexual Orientation... You find they are not as different than you think, and their ideas that may be different have value, and are often based on some fact.
Oddly enough very Liberal students will also pick up many more Conservative values, as well. Realizing about money how much of it goes to taxes, seeing that their lives needs more propose than just survival. However that doesn't make interesting news.

Of course they do..

By hairyfeet • Score: 3 • Thread

Who do you think is doing their lawns, and who do you think is putting as many Americans out of work as they can by abusing the H-1B program?

Remember the words of Jefferson folks Merchants have no country. The mere spot they stand on does not constitute so strong an attachment as that from which they draw their gains.

Re: The immigration policy

By RightwingNutjob • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
The problem is one of zealotry all around and a lack of willingness on the part of people who should no better to tolerate ambiguity and nuance. It *is* true that blindly following orders is a recipe for stagnation and it is *also* true that reflexively second-guessing everything is a recipe for chaos.

Healthy societies require an ample supply of personalities at both extremes and even more in the middle. That does not happen when any one group of people start to tell themselves that they hold the monopoly on absolute universally-applicable truth, any school of thought is either blasphemous or superfluous, and disagreement is a not an indication of the existence of alternative perspectives not available to the in-crowd, but a mark of evil.

And lower the standard of living in the US..

By thesupraman • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

You do know thats what happens right?

As corps take advantage of H1B wage slaves (and yes, they are that, because they are indentured to their sponsor) it costs locals jobs.
The wage slaves are often paid barely more than they were back home, because they are 'chasing the american dream' and often lied to about what they will get.

The only people who win are the owners of the companies. It is just a modern form of slavery.
Globalism is a system FOR the ultra rich BY the ultra rich. I doubt you are one of them. You are the meat in their grinder.

one single right wing Google employee

By mapkinase • Score: 3 • Thread

Please tell me the name of one single right wing Google employee:

- currently at Google
- vocal in political views

There was one - James Damore.


NBC Threatens To Black Out Apps on Roku in Dispute Over Peacock

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
NBCUniversal plans to black out more than 11 channels on Roku's streaming platform Saturday morning, escalating a standoff with the company over its refusal to carry a new video app, Peacock. From a report: NBC's Peacock and AT&T's HBO Max have been unable to secure spots on Roku and's Fire TV since launching their streaming services earlier this year. Roku is demanding, among other things, a cut of the advertising inventory on those apps to sell on its own. Comcast's NBC and WarnerMedia, the AT&T division that runs HBO Max, are rejecting that push because they want to make money from ads on their streaming services. In a statement Friday, NBC said Roku's "unreasonable demands ultimately hurt both their consumers and their consumer equipment partners to whom they've promised access to all apps in the marketplace." Roku used similar wording in a statement. "Comcast is removingâthe channels in order to try to force Roku to distribute its new Peacock service on unreasonable terms,," a spokesperson said.

Cable TV All Over Again

By tgetzoya • Score: 3 • Thread
Meet the same system, same as the old system.

Re:This is why you buy Apple

By im_thatoneguy • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Apple is equally bad. If you haven't noticed they are trying to shake down Epic for 30% of their revenue.


By Anonymous Coward • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

And still standardized, too! No need for someone else's proprietary "app" to play it. I can't count how many different torrent clients there are out there, nor how many different video players. And they all Just Work. Mix and match your favorites, and your TV's quality and convenience is absolutely unbeatable (at least subjectively, since we're talking about your favorites).

Not that torrents are the only good standard. Plain old send-a-Matroska-file-over-HTTP is just fine, too.

If you're not using standards, you're a joke. And if you're buying things that don't use standards, the joke is on you.

If Roku did include NBC's mysterious who-knows-what-it-really-does app, would anyone really want to use it? Just play the stream. I don't have a Roku, but I know it already has whatever code is needed to stream a video. Anything NBC wants to add to that, isn't going to be for the user.


By Comboman • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Not really, they have to make money somehow and a cut of the fees from advertising doesn't seem so onerous (depends on the % cut however)

They are a fucking hardware manufacturer! They make money by selling god damn streaming boxes! Sony/Sharp/RCA don't get a cut of advertising revenue just because you watch them on their TVs. Toyota/GM/Audi don't get a cut of your Uber fee because you use their cars.


By Voyager529 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

They are a fucking hardware manufacturer! They make money by selling god damn streaming boxes!

That's...tricky to state unequivocally at this point. Element14 (of Raspberry Pi fame) is a hardware company and makes money off their hardware. Yes, they have their own Linux distro, but it's possible to buy their hardware and not use their software.

You can't do that with a Roku. Their boxes run their software. They have a payment portal and you can buy apps and subscriptions from them, or you can simply play media off a USB flash drive. Either way, you can't wipe them and run Ubuntu if you want, and conversely, you can't run their OS on a Pi if you want.

This puts Roku in this grey area due to the symbiosis between their hardware and software. I'm not the biggest fan of constantly-updating software, but I can at least appreciate that Roku needs to keep their DRM stuff up to date so that they can carry Peacock and Disney+ and Netflix at all. I disagree with it, sure, but I can be pragmatic enough to say that vanilla-Kodi boxes aren't going to compete well with Roku on the basis of 'freedom' when that freedom doesn't include 'the ability to use a D+ subscription'. If Roku is going to keep that as part of what they sell, they can't just treat their gear like cable box firmware and write it once and ignore it for the next decade.

I'm not a fan of the business model or rent seeking, either. At the same time, I'd rather the streaming services pay to have Roku continue to keep their software working, than for it to be a cost directly covered by the end user. Let D+ chase DRM all the live long day, and if The Mouse wants to pay for it, it can.

AT&T Considers Cellphone Plans Subsidized by Ads

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
AT&T is considering offering wireless phone plans partially subsidized by advertising as soon as a year from now, Chief Executive John Stankey said in an interview on Tuesday. From a report: The consideration, which has not been previously disclosed, underscores AT&T's commitment to the advertising business as the U.S. phone carrier reviews its portfolio to identify assets to sell in order to reduce its debt load. AT&T is considering selling its advertising-technology unit Xandr, sources familiar with the matter have told Reuters. "I believe there's a segment of our customer base where given a choice, they would take some load of advertising for a $5 or $10 reduction in their mobile bill," Stankey said. Various companies including, Virgin Mobile USA and Sprint's Boost Mobile have tested advertising supported phone services since the early 2000s but they have not caught on. AT&T is hoping that better advertising targeting could revive the idea.

Re:$5-$10 reduction?

By supremebob • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

I'd imagine that this would become a slippery slope pretty quickly, where they first give people a $10 discount, and then lower it to $5, and then eventually enable the ads on all new devices and require you to pay an additional fee to have the ads disabled.

Something old is new again...

By t4ng* • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
I was an engineer at Qualcomm and Kyocera Wireless in the late 90's and early 00's during the development of smartphones. Cell service providers, at that time, were planning to offer free smartphones and free service because they knew they could make a ton of money spying on their customers, peering into their bank transactions, selling data to advertisers, and providing geolocated ads based not only on the customer's current location, but also on their past spending habits. It was all made legal by laws written by the industry and handed over to Congress for passage. Then, the industry figured out their customers were dumb enough to pay for the privilege of having their information sold and being inundated with ads. Is AT&T really in such bad shape that they would revert to the original plan to gain some customers.

Re:Not for $5 or $10

By ceoyoyo • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Ah, but some people are poor, so $5-$10 off would be important for them. Question is, what kind of advertiser would target that type of customer?

Oh, right. Payday loans, lotteries, debt consolidators, only the best of the best.

All or Nothing.

By Fly Swatter • Score: 3 • Thread
Either advertisements make the service free, or I want no advertisements at all in any service I pay for.

Oh wait it's AT&T, so I don't care, carry on.

Remember NetZero?

By lfp98 • Score: 3 • Thread
Ad-supported free dial-up internet. Started with great fanfare, but soon enough there were so many ads it became completely unusable. You just can't put in enough ads to generate enough revenue to make it worthwhile. And you can't run the whole economy on ads, eventually people have to buy something and pay for it.

Bill To Tear Down Federal Courts' Paywall Gains Momentum in Congress

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
The House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday unanimously approved the Open Courts Act -- legislation to overhaul PACER, the federal courts' system for accessing public documents. The proposal would guarantee free public access to judicial documents, ending the current practice of charging 10 cents per page for many documents -- as well as search results. From a report: The bill must still be passed by the full House and the Senate and signed by the president. With Election Day just seven weeks away, the act is unlikely to become law during this session of Congress. Still, the vote is significant because it indicates the breadth of congressional support for tearing down the PACER paywall. The legislation is co-sponsored by Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.), whose bill we covered in 2018, and a fellow Georgian, Democrat Hank Johnson. Prior to Tuesday's vote of the House Judiciary Committee, the bill received a strong endorsement from Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.). "It is indefensible that the public must pay fees, and unjustifiably high fees at that, to know what is happening in their own courts," Nadler said.


By Anubis IV • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

The notion that the laws and rules that govern a land might be inaccessible to its people is abhorrent. You cannot follow, challenge, consent to, or disagree with that which you do not know.


By nomadic • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

This was all part of a decades-long right-wing push to "run government like a business" and I'm glad to see it going away (especially since I use PACER and those charges can add up quickly).

They also need to do this for sci papers

By wakeboarder • Score: 3 • Thread

The cost of storing and retrieving documents is dropped significantly over the years. We don't need to pay just to pull up a document, if we do then the fees should be minimal


By UnknowingFool • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
The PACER system is solely funded by these fees. If you want no fees, how would you propose funding the system then?

As authorized by Congress, the program is funded entirely through user fees set by the Judicial Conference of the United States, the policy-making body of the federal courts.


By ShadowRangerRIT • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
The likely inflated claimed costs of PACER are $100M/year, for which they collect $140M/year in fees. There are over 140 million taxpayers in the United States, working out to a cost of ~71 cents per taxpayer if we accept their claimed annual costs. That's effectively rounding error in the federal budget already, and it looks like the real costs of PACER are lower than that, they've just been misusing their funding for other unrelated expenses.

Trump To Ban US TikTok and WeChat App Store Downloads on September 20

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
The US Commerce Department has issued a new order to block people in the US from downloading the popular video-sharing app TikTok as of September 20th, Reuters first reported Friday. From a report: The full order was published by the Department of Commerce on Friday morning. "Any transaction by any person, or with respect to any property, subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, with ByteDance Ltd," the order reads, "shall be prohibited to the extent permitted under applicable law." It is set to take effect on September 20th. Over the last few weeks, TikTok's Chinese parent company, ByteDance, has been engaged in talks with US companies like Microsoft and Oracle to create a new company, TikTok Global, that would meet the Trump administration's concerns over user data security.

Re:US freedom

By AmiMoJo • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

The Chinese have been strongly hinting that if WeChat and TikTok are banned then they will retaliate against Apple.

Re:"Standing up"

By smooth wombat • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
Yes, Trump has done an excellent job of standing up to China,

The con artist also praised Xi when covid-19 was rampaging in China and getting its steam up in the U.S., not to mention he promised Xi he wouldn't say a word about China's use of force in Hong Kong while he was trying to worm his way out of the failure called trade negotiations with China.

Re:US freedom

By friedmud • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

I feel you. I'm the same way.

I voted Republican all of my (voting) life due to it lining up the best. I didn't vote in 2016 because I couldn't bring myself to like either candidate.

This year I'll be voting for Biden. At the very least, I just want to send a message to the Republican party that I'm not personally going to put up with a liar as a president. Voting the other direction is the ONLY actual input I have... so that's what I'm doing.

Until we get voting reform (Maine is actually making some headway here!), we will never get out of this mess. We need something along the lines of ranked voting so we can feel free to vote for smaller parties without that meaning that someone we DONT want is more likely to be president....

Re:US freedom

By Cajun Hell • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

apparently Lindsey Graham suddenly has an interest in someone else's taxes. I say apparently because he's been claiming the con artist not releasing any tax returns is no big deal but is now all hot and bothered his opponent hasn't done so.

Good news; that's out of date.

Re:US freedom

By jbengt • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Mueller investigation, the lawfare campaign that took three years with a $35 million warchest and a general warrant to look for crimes.

No, the Mueller investigation had a very limited warrant. It did not look directly into Trump or general crimes; it only looked into Russian election interference and directly related matters. The Trump campaign was looked into where it related to the Russians, but the investigation did not go much beyond that. Mueller was a stickler for following the letter of his Order, and did not go on the type of fishing expedition that Ken Starr went on against Bil Clinton.

Facebook Issues New Rules On Internal Employee Communication

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from CNBC: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday outlined to employees a new set of principles to guide debates and conversations within Workplace, the company's internal social network. Zuckerberg outlined the changes to address "a lot of very tense conversations happening out in the world," according to company spokesman Joe Osborne. The new principles follow a set of similar changes at Google, which is increasing the moderation of its internal message boards, CNBC reported earlier this week.

"We deeply value expression and open discussion. What we've heard from our employees is that they want the option to join debates on social and political issues rather than see them unexpectedly in their work feed," Osborne said in a statement. "We're updating our employee policies and work tools to ensure our culture remains respectful and inclusive." Under the new set of principles, Zuckerberg said, Facebook will ensure all employees feel supported at work, especially the company's Black community, by strengthening the company's harassment policy with more protections for underrepresented employees. The company will also be more specific about which parts of Workplace can be used to discuss social and political issues. This change will be so that employees do not have to confront social issues during their day-to-day work. Facebook's new principles also ask that employees communicate with professionalism and continue to debate about the company's work but do so in a respectful manner.

Re:No Politics at Work, Only Work

By jellomizer • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Perhaps you haven't been paying attention. Nearly anything you say and do, can be considered political.
Sneakers, Beans, What Car you drive, how far away you live from work, which foods you like to eat, which foods you don't like to eat, Your leisurely hobbies... Will group you in two groups.
The group that people like you and see you as an upstanding citizen
The group that people see you as the devil incarnate out to destroy all that we deem good

For the person who is a Nike wearing, who makes Meat and Bean Chilli with Goya Beans, that Drives a Prius (Looking to upgrade to a Tesla) and lives 30 miles in a rural area, whose hobbies include Wood Working and Jazz Music. Is oddly enough seems to some people a contradiction in values. Because they decide not to fit neatly into a partisan stereotype. Where this are very supposed to be non-political things, that really don't really explain ones political stance. And their political stance, may not fit into either side very well. However we are being forced to choose one side and be all in.

Re:No Politics at Work, Only Work

By squiggleslash • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

That works until it doesn't.

You find out that, after the US unilaterally pulls out of the relevant treaties that make it illegal, your employer decides to start importing and selling blood diamonds. You know that your continued employment ensures that slavery and horrific abuses connected to slavery continue in the world, and you know your employer could be doing better.

Do you (1) just quietly find another job, or (2) try to reform your own employer by speaking up, so the entire problem ceases to be one?

A lot of Slashotters think (1) is the only option, but that's in part because a sizable number just don't give a fuck about the issues people are upset by.

Facebook's in a weird position right now, under the free speech banner it plays hosts to a huge number of the types of forum whose members, if they gain power (and they appear to be gaining power) would happily imprison and torture and even execute people for having views contrary to their own. And just to make matters worse, at least one nation state has been misusing Facebook to promote propaganda in support of those neo-fascist movements. There's been at least one genocide that was, in part, caused by Facebook's failure to take seriously the safety and well being of its users as a whole, such was its desperation to grow and increase the size of its surveillance network.

Even outside, though, of the issues that will be handwaved away by half of Slashdot's users, there are long term ideological issues with collecting information about identifiable people and how you use that information. Facebook has been more careless than Google, and has intentionally done everything it can to put real names and faces against the often harmful information it collects. Even back in the 1990s, when none of us were political, we were all political about that.

Expecting Facebook's employees to "leave the politics at the door" is forcing them to either be silently complicit, forcing them to leave (itself a hard decision for most of us) without explaining why or helping the company become better, or remaining employed and acting like drones.

Facebook's employees are not drones. They don't deserve to be treated as drones. They are accountable for what Facebook does, and as such have every right to speak up internally about it when Facebook's policies and procedures result in terrible things.

Re:Why can't he see?

By currently_awake • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
If you censor social media you are responsible for content. If you make it free-for-all but enforce the law then you are just the phone company and it's not your problem. These companies need to ensure they are not liable for content, there is money or jail time at risk.


By drinkypoo • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

One of my coworkers is a MAGA type. We have political discussions in which we disagree strongly. Then we work together, and quite well, too. If you crybabies can't manage that, perhaps you need to work on your thin fucking skin.


By rlwinm • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
Mark Zuckerberg also assured employees that those with conservative viewpoints will still continue to be marginalized and canceled as soon as they are discovered.

Sony Makes It Official: PlayStation 5 Won't Natively Support PS1, PS2, PS3

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
In a Wednesday interview, Sony Interactive Entertainment chief Jim Ryan confirmed that the upcoming PlayStation 5 console won't natively support PS1, PS2, or PS3 games. Ars Technica reports: Ryan explained that "PS5-specific engineering" meant the design team was mostly focused on "the simultaneous use of high-speed SSDs and the new DualSense controller." This prevented Sony from delivering compatibility with older consoles, Ryan told Famitsu, even though he made clear that Sony wanted to support PlayStation 4's "100 million players" by developing compatibility with "99%" of PS4 games, since "we thought that they would like to play PS4 titles on the PS5, as well."

This announcement doesn't clarify whether PS1 games purchased for use on PS4 will transfer to PS5. It also doesn't mention the existing ability for players to stream older-generation games to PS4 from the PlayStation Now cloud-subscription service or whether we should expect that functionality to seamlessly transfer to PS5 in November. [...] Wednesday's dump of PlayStation 5 news did not go into further detail about additional boosts to PS4 games as played on the upcoming console. Instead, we learned that some major PlayStation 5 games, particularly Horizon: Forbidden West and Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales, will launch simultaneously on PS5 and PS4. This appears to run somewhat counter to Sony's recent comments about maintaining "generations" instead of supporting an Xbox-style "forward-compatible" plan for its biggest games.

Re:Not surprised

By drinkypoo • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

I'm still on ps3, and never have any plans to buy another one. It was the cheapest Blu-Ray player available at the time, and works ok with my DNLA server. Other than that purchase, I've never given SONY a cent. All the games I have were bought used, for pennies on the dollar.

Consequently, Sony has no reason to give two fucks about you.


By JBMcB • Score: 3 • Thread

The PS1 used a MIPS CPU and a custom GPU, along with a custom video compression codec built-in to the CPU
The PS2 used a custom MIPS-based CPU with a custom GPU
The PS3 used the Cell processor bolted on to a customized nVidia GPU
The PS4 used a (mostly) off-the-shelf PC design

So, yeah, the three weird architectures won't be implemented in PS5 hardware, which is also PC based. Sony will pull a Nintendo Virtual Console and emulate them, probably.

Re:When reached for comment...

By drinkypoo • Score: 4 • Thread

The PS/2 was an IBM PC with MCA bus and the PS2 is the Playstation 2. Nobody but you puts slashes in the names of Sony consoles.

Re:When reached for comment...

By Pimpy • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

The solution they used in the PS2 was to have the bulk of the PS2 logic in the Emotion Engine, and to have the boot/IO processor be effectively a PS1 SoC. You effectively had two systems combined, only in PS2 mode the PS1 chip really only handled the I/O tasks in and out of the EE. A comparable split-bus approach was also used by the Dreamcast and earlier on the Saturn (which, in turn, took inspiration for it's rudimentary SMP approach from the earlier SGI POWER series - SMP before the days of snoop controllers and cache coherency). The hardware for the PS1 was quite simple, as it was never originally intended to be a standalone console. Furthermore, the PS1 and 2 were both MIPS based, so you could write a lot of the bootstrap logic once and execute it on either core - the R5900 had an MMU however, in comparison to the R3k on the PS1. The PS3 took a departure from MIPS and jumped on the PowerPC bandwagon, while the PS4 shifted to x86. At this stage, it's certainly not realistic to support backwards compatibility in hardware, and the extent to which some titles were written down to the metal would also make simulation tricky. When I worked on the PS2, I always admired Sony's ingenuity in providing backwards compatibility, but they've simply done too many architecture hops at this point to reasonably support such a legacy. The only option now would be via simulator, which would be a significant undertaking in and of itself, and one I'm not sure there's really sufficient market demand for.

Re:Not surprised

By Saffaya • Score: 4 • Thread

You must be new here.

Despising Sony is a natural and commonly understood thing to do for any sensible human being, because said company has repeatedly, behaved itself in a despicable manner.

A few examples are :

Secretly infecting your PC with a rootkit when you thought you were just playing a CD-Audio

Allowed PS3 consoles to be used as linux workstations in order to benefit from advantageous import taxes, then remove it from anyone who would want to use it online.

Subpar network security and criminal negligence about credit card information : storing customer passwords in PLAIN TEXT i.e. unencrypted.

Sueing out of existence the only shop that would allows you to buy Sony PSP consoles from other regions

And a long history of outright lies about their products. Example :
"The PS2 will do Toy Story level graphics in real time!"

Hubble Captures Crisp New Image of Jupiter and Europa

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
A unique and exciting detail of Hubble's new snapshot appears at mid-northern latitudes as a bright, white, stretched-out storm moving at 560 kilometres per hour. This single plume erupted on 18 August 2020 and another has since appeared. From a report: While it's common for storms to pop up in this region, often several at once, this particular disturbance appears to have more structure behind it than observed in previous storms. Trailing behind the plume are small, counterclockwise dark clumps also not witnessed in the past. Researchers speculate this may be the beginning of a longer-lasting northern hemisphere spot, perhaps to rival the legendary Great Red Spot that dominates the southern hemisphere. Hubble shows that the Great Red Spot, rolling counterclockwise in the planet's southern hemisphere, is ploughing into the clouds ahead of it, forming a cascade of white and beige ribbons. The Great Red Spot is currently an exceptionally rich red colour, with its core and outermost band appearing deeper red. Researchers say the Great Red Spot now measures about 15 800 kilometres across, big enough to swallow the Earth. The super-storm is still shrinking, as noted in telescopic observations dating back to 1930, but its rate of shrinkage appears to have slowed. The reason for its dwindling size is a complete mystery.

Re:NASA are being dishonest

By pjt33 • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

I'm not sure exactly where you're seeing that text, but if you look at the credit line you will probably see that it lists an organisation which isn't NASA. Hubble is not the sole property of NASA; besides which, anyone who does sufficiently creative selection of data and representation on public domain data owns the copyright to their own output.

Re:NASA are being dishonest

By The1stImmortal • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

I assume you're referring to the ESA/Hubble copyright page linked at the bottom of the article?

As a partner in the telescope and "owning" some of the instruments, it's entirely possible that some images can be released by both ESA and NASA, with ESA copyright licensing applying where sourced from ESA and NASA non-copyright applying where sourced from NASA. Even if it's the same image. Then there's the mess that the US copyright prohibition is only domestic. Technically the US Government can claim (or license) copyright internationally.

NASA's's copyright page explains that they just ask that attribution be applied, whereas ESA requires it.

TL;DR - if you source images from NASA's hubble site, for the most part, attribution will be voluntary. See

Re:NASA are being dishonest

By presearch • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Haven't you heard? The government has to turn record profits now, every quarter, or the division gets axed.

In what seems like an Onion article, NASA is going to start filming Estee Lauder face cream commercials on the ISS.
They can't use astronauts in the filming (yet), but this is supposed to somehow exchange a veneer of science for a little cash money.
The Idiocracy continues, and Planet Starbucks was not far off the mark.
Give it a year, and they will be selling naming rights to Saturn.