the unofficial Slashdot digest for 2020-Oct-15 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.

FCC Will Move To Regulate Social Media After Censorship Outcry

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Verge: On Thursday, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai said that the agency will seek to regulate social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter at the behest of the Trump administration's executive order signed earlier this year. "Members of all three branches of the federal government have expressed serious concerns about the prevailing interpretation of the immunity set for in Section 230 of the Communications Act. There is bipartisan support in Congress to reform the law," Pai said in a statement Thursday. "Social media companies have a First Amendment right to free speech. But they do not have a First Amendment right to a special immunity denied to other media outlets, such as newspapers and broadcasters."

On Thursday, Pai said that the commission's general counsel said that "the FCC has the legal authority to reinterpret Section 230." He continued, "Consistent with this advice, I intend to move forward with a rulemaking to clarify its meaning."
"Pai's decision to move forward with rulemaking follows a series of moderation decisions on Wednesday made by Facebook and Twitter against a New York Post article regarding former Vice President Joe Biden's son, Hunter Biden, who has been the subject of political attacks from the right throughout the 2020 presidential election," the report adds.

Facebook reduced the reach of the story, while Twitter banned linking to the story entirely. "These moves from Facebook and Twitter incited an outcry over conservative bias from Republicans," reports The Verge.

Re:Thanks to S230 you can post just about

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

Censor legal content, lose section 230 - simple really, isnt it.

It isn't all that simple. If I set up a discussion site for gardening, I might want to censor any post about basketball. This is legal content, but irrelevant to my site. If someone starts posting about cultivating weed, I might chose to censor it as well as I am perhaps personally against it. And maybe that side-discussion on garden gnomes has to go as well as it really doesn't have much to do with gardening. But it wasn't excluded by the rules so I just changed them because I didn't really think about garden gnomes when I wrote the them. (Don't construe my examples as my actual opinion on a subject, it is just for illustrating a point).

Further, you don't actually have the right to post on Twitter or Facebook. They give you the possibility of doing so but I am sure in their TOS they have the right to rescind it if and when they feel like. You are free to set up your own web site if you like and say what you want (within the bounds of legally permissible speech and perhaps the rules of your hosting company).

Section 230 gives content providers explicit rights to cater their site how they like. You need to actually change the law or get it invalidated in court - it is quite clear on the subject. If you want something else, you need to get that law changed (but think carefully how you would change it... forcing sites to have 100% clear rules is a recipe for lawsuits and ultimately will likely limit speech on your favorite sites a lot more than today).

Real censorship would be if the government decided you couldn't say something, not if Twitter or Facebook chose not to host your post.

Re: Spam or not Spam

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

The law might have been written with child pornography in mind but the text of the law is pretty broad. Basically it allows a provider to filter "material that the provider or user considers to be obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable". The "otherwise objectionable" is an awfully big category that is basically whatever the provider doesn't like. It is also the provider who gets to decide ("considers to be").

Is a story about Hunter Biden that they believe to be false harassing? Even if they thought it was true, it still could be harassing. All they have to do is "consider it to be" harassing. So if in their opinion it is, it is. (If a user considers it to be harassing the provider could also remove it - on a large site like Facebook or Twitter, I guarantee you that I can find at least one user who find just about anything objectionable.)

Re:Consider this...

By PraiseBob • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
Now remember that Trump's personal tax information was leaked by the New York Times. This was indeed illegal, as courts have ruled that Trump is still a private citizen, and as such was not forced to release this private and personal information.

But, he has said, over and over and over, including in the past 24 hours, that he wants to release his tax returns and show the American people what they contain, but that he was unable to due to audit. So, the New York Times is helping him by releasing those documents, and offering exactly what he said he wants. Unless you think, he was really lying, each time he made that statement about his taxes?

Re:Consider this...

By mikeg22 • Score: 4 • Thread
The reason the Biden story was banned is because it was fake news Russian disinformation fed from the Kremlin straight to the Trump campaign. It has been discredited by all reputable investigative journalists who have looked into it.

If your side doesn't want it's stuff banned, then produce true, at a minimum defensible, content.

Re:Consider this...

By drew_kime • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Consider... why did Twitter and Facebook not block a single news article that contained Trump's personal tax data, but they did block the article related to Biden?

Because they determined that the tax data was most-likely true, while the Biden story was most-likely disinformation.

Journalism is not blindly parroting everything that anybody says. It's finding and sharing the pieces that you believe are true and relevant and explaining why.

This is where someone complains about using "journalism" when talking about Facebook and Twitter. But the issue is whether they spread a news article, so that seems to apply.

Oxford Scientists Develop 5-Minute COVID-19 Antigen Test

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Scientists from Britain's University of Oxford have developed a rapid COVID-19 test able to identify the coronavirus in less than five minutes. CNBC reports: The university said it hoped to start product development of the testing device in early 2021 and have an approved device available six months afterwards. The device is able to detect the coronavirus and distinguish it from other viruses with high accuracy, the researchers said in a pre-print study. "Our method quickly detects intact virus particles," said Professor Achilles Kapanidis, at Oxford's Department of Physics, adding that this meant the test would be "simple, extremely rapid, and cost-effective."

Siemens Healthineers on Wednesday announced the launch of a rapid antigen test kit in Europe to detect coronavirus infections, but warned that the industry may struggle to meet a surge in demand. Although the Oxford platform will only be ready next year, the tests could help manage the pandemic in time for next winter. Health officials have warned that the world will need to live with coronavirus even if a vaccine is developed.

Here's detailed info

By raymorris • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

I guess MSNBC isn't the best source for science, eh. This has a tad more info, still for a general audience:

The preprint paper is here:

Google Music Shuts Down Smart Speaker Support and Music Store

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Google has started to shut down parts of its 9-year-old music service as it transitions people to YouTube Music. Ars Technica reports: The gradual shutdown started on Monday with the death of the Google Play Music Store, which previously let you purchase music for playback and download, as opposed to the all-you-can-eat rental services that dominate the music landscape today. Google's Music store was a section of the Google Play Store, which now just shows a message saying the feature has been removed. Google is getting out of the business of selling music entirely and now only offers a rental service through YouTube Music.

The other big feature shutdown is music playback on Google Home and Nest Audio speakers. While the Google Music app still works and you can start a playback through Chromecast, you're no longer able to start music by voice through Google Assistant devices. If you dig into the Google Assistant settings (that means opening the Google app on your phone, then hitting "More," then "Settings," then "Google Assistant," "Services," and finally "Music") you'll find that the "Google Play Music" option has completely disappeared. Now the only supported services for voice commands are YouTube Music, Pandora, Deezer, and Spotify. [...] Google Music is scheduled to completely shut down sometime this month. Right now, the only thing left is streaming via the smartphone app and the Google Music website.

Can someone explain to me why?

By Somervillain • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
Google Music was great. It did everything I ever wanted. Why do I care about YouTube Music? Why is that better for me or Google? It's not a better player. It doesn't support keyboard shortcuts in MacOS, like Google Music did. I keep finding bugs in it. It's ugly and has a convoluted interface. Even the name is terrible. Google Music was the perfect name. Why do we want to associate it with YouTube? They're 2 different solutions for 2 different problems.

It's like if Apple decided the iPad is no longer going to be the iPad, but now Beats Pad...and they change the OS...and everything is worse...and like 10% of the the features from the iPad is missing from it.

WTF is up with Google lately? They used to be so awesome but now are really determined to suck, despite having so much potential and so many advantages. Time to get a new CEO.

Not surprising.

By msauve • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Google has the attention span of a 3 year old, with no adult supervision.


By cervesaebraciator • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
I'm tempted to kill my Spotify subscription and instead buy a new CD each month.

Not liking Google branding anymore perhaps?

By 4wdloop • Score: 3 • Thread

YouTube has little to no branding of Google. Perhaps they want to move out of the ever-so-more soiled "Google" brand?

Re:Another worthy product sacrificed by google.

By Waffle Iron • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

I've had a google music account since it was in beta, it's been the good enough alternative to pirating, and the "substitute" in youtube music is a step backwards.

I had been using the free ad-supported version of Play music occasionally. (Mostly when someone else in the house was using our single paid subscription to another streaming service and I was doing something like working in the yard.) It worked well enough for that, and I didn't have to install any new apps to use it.

After they bugged me for a while, I went ahead and transferred to YT music. It turns out that it is 100% useless to me because the free ad-supported version won't work unless the screen is on.

WTF? The damned phone is in my pocket. Who in their right mind is going to keep poking at their screen to keep it awake just so they can listen to a glorified radio?

Maybe I'll just use the FM radio app that came with my phone instead for that situation.

Microsoft Will Share Digital Revenues With GameStop On Every Xbox It Sells

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
New details have emerged about a partnership between Microsoft and GameStop that will see the retailer receive a share of all digital revenues generated by a console sold in their stores. reports: The agreement has been rumored, but investment advisor DOMO Capital Management claimed via Twitter that it had received confirmation from GameStop: the chain will get a share of all downstream revenue for customers it brings into the Xbox ecosystem this generation. Essentially, if a customer has purchased their Xbox Series X or S from any GameStop branch, the retailer will get a share of each digital purchase the user makes, whether its full-game downloads or downloadable content.

DOMO even claims this applies when the DLC is being purchased for a physical base game that was bought at another retailer, providing the DLC is being bought from the Xbox store. This also extends to pre-owned Xbox Series X and S consoles, with GameStop reporting to Microsoft every unit that it sells. It's unclear whether a similar arrangement exists with Sony.

rent-seeking bullshit

By cas2000 • Score: 3 • Thread

Fuck that shit. Buying a product from a retailer does not mean they own me. A single voluntary transaction does not entitle them to an ongoing involuntary revenue stream from my future purchases - regardless of whether it results in increased prices to me or if gamestop's cut comes from microsoft, the publishers, or the game devs.

I am not in the market for an Xbox or any other games console but if I was, this kind of rent-seeking bullshit would be enough for me to find another retailer to buy the console from....a retailer too small to have such a deal with Microsoft.

Re:rent-seeking bullshit

By RazorSharp • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

I think it's Microsoft playing dirty (though legally) to get Gamestop employees to push their console. It's classic Microsoft: worry more about market strategy than the product itself. They know Gamestop employees are desperate to keep their jobs and they will turn into all-out Microsoft fanboys with this incentive.

To me, I dislike the move more because, like always, Microsoft is looking to make deals people cannot refuse. It has pretty much no effect on the consumer (except for those who are naive enough to trust their local Gamestop employees for advice).

I also find your last statement odd. You were offended by the whole thing, but your response wasn't to boycott the Microsoft product (the ones who initiated this deal for their own benefit), it was to boycott Gamestop for accepting a deal they couldn't refuse.

Canonical Introduces High-Availability Micro-Kubernetes

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from ZDNet: If you've been hiding under a rock -- and who could blame you these days? -- you may have missed how totally Kubernetes now dominates container orchestration. One way to quickly get up to speed on Kubernetes is with Canonical's MicroK8s. This is an easy-to-run and install mini-version of Kubernetes. And now Canonical has added autonomous high availability (HA) clustering to it. [...] Now, with HA, MicroK8s is ready to move from Internet of Things (IoT) implementations, testing out Kubernetes implementations on a workstation, or simply learning Kubernetes to bigger, better cloud jobs.

With the new MicroK8s release, HA is enabled automatically once three or more nodes are clustered, and the data store migrates automatically between nodes to maintain a quorum in the event of a failure. Designed as a minimal conformant Kubernetes, MicroK8s installs, and clusters easily on Linux, macOS, or Windows. To work, a HA Kubernetes cluster needs three elements. Here's how it works in MicroK8s:

-There must be more than one worker node. Since MicroK8s uses every node as a worker node, there is always another worker available so long as there's more than one node in the cluster.
-The Kubernetes API services must run on one or more nodes so that losing a single node would not render the cluster inoperable. Every node in the MicroK8s cluster is an API server, which simplifies load-balancing and means we can switch instantaneously to a different API endpoint if one fails.
-The cluster state must be in a reliable datastore. By default, MicroK8s uses Dqlite, a high-availability SQLite, as its datastore.

I haven't been living under a rock

By Berkyjay • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

But I still didn't understand anything that this post said. Next time don't assume everyone is up to date on some esoteric technology. Provide us with some context.

Re:I haven't been living under a rock

By steveha • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

To understand Kubernetes you must first understand Docker.

The idea of Docker is to use a standard container format to hold an application and all of its needed support libraries. Using Linux "cgroups" (control groups) each container is run as a sort of very lightweight virtual machine. It's not a true VM because all Docker containers are using the same Linux kernel, and a true kernel exploit could possibly allow one container to peek at others. Also, Docker purists hate me now for using the VM analogy, because best practice is to run one thing in each Docker: you would put a web server in its own Docker, put a mail server in its own Docker, etc. But as long as the kernel remains secure, each Docker image has really good isolation. And it means you can run one wacky old app that has a hard dependency on one specific version of one library, right next to all your other apps that want recent libraries; again, all libraries are in the containers and run in isolation. The host system can treat all your apps the same; it runs them at the standard container level.

Standard shipping containers revolutionized transporting goods. Standard software containers are revolutionizing running software on "cloud" servers.

So, now that Linux has standardized containers, Google made Kubernetes to manage the containers. Kubernetes (often written "K8s" since it's lazier to write an 8 than write the 8 letters in the middle of the word) manages services at the container level. You can write a K8s config that specifies "Run 5 copies of Container A, and also 1 copy of Container B and 2 copies of Container C". Any config like that is called a "pod". And you can specify how K8s can detect whether a container is running and healthy; if a container fails its status checks, K8s will terminate it and spin up a new one. So K8s not only starts your pod, but also knows how to guarantee that your desired services are running as intended. If one of your containers hits a bug and stops working, the container will be terminated and a fresh one started up, automatically. This is sometimes called "self-healing". Linux has had this for a long time at the single-service level: System V init, upstart, and systemd all can restart a service that dies. But K8s can manage a more complex "pod" setup and use actual readiness checks (HTTP requests against specified port numbers), so it can restart a service that hasn't died yet but has stopped responding. And K8s can manage services on multiple servers; if one server dies and all the containers on it die with it, K8s can bring up services on another server. This high-level management of services at scale can be called "orchestration".

I work for a company that uses K8s, and the services I'm responsible for run under K8s. What's really neat about it is how painless releases are now. When it's time to do a release, K8s spins up new containers with the newer service, and only once they are responding to their readiness checks it starts shutting down the old containers. After all the new containers are running and the last of the old containers is terminated the release is complete. There is no down time and little risk; if something is wrong with the new release, the new containers will fail their readiness checks and K8s won't kill the old containers, and we can safely roll back the release.

Another nifty feature is that our pods are set for auto-scaling. We run a minimal number of containers, but if a whole bunch of customers hit our web site at the same time, K8s will spin up additional containers to handle the increased load; then later in the day, when the spike dies down, K8s will terminate the extra containers and go back to the smaller amount. Before K8s we ran enough instances of my services to handle any possible demand; now we trust the auto-scaling and it's saving money.

So now there is a mini version of K8s suitable for playing around with on a desktop, for learning how to use K8s; or I guess it might be used on lightweight hardware for IoT applications. You can try running your software on a cluster of Raspberry Pi boards, for example.

It wouldn't be impossible for K8s to have a competitor, but Google wrote K8s with enough flexibility and power to manage Google's services, so it's powerful enough for everyone else. And it's basically working so I think people are just using it instead of trying to create a competitor to it. So if you think your future will involve managing services, you will want to look into K8s sooner or later.

Re:I haven't been living under a rock

By Anrego • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

As someone who made the jarring leap, I'll say it isn't as daunting as it seems on the surface.

The core concepts driving all these technologies are fairly easy to wrap your head around once you make some initial inroads, and the tooling has become very intuitive. The driving factor in a lot of these recent trends has been simplification and re-use, with the goal being to let you focus on the part you actually need to and have the rest more or less just work.

Personally, I went (at a very high level), docker -> podman -> k8s -> istio. This still seems like a common progression. Docker is falling out of fashion, but it is very intuitive and user friendly. I view it as kind of the MySQL of the container world. Not as powerful, but you can get going with it really quickly and it is a good way (imo) to learn the basic principles. Podman and k8s are built on the same ideas (and use a lot of the same underlying tools), but are more flexible. Istio looks really daunting at first, but it is actually pretty straight forward once you dive into it.

There is a tonne of terminology around this stuff too, which I think also can make it seem like a huge barrier if you've been hacking away on a c++ monolith for the last 10 years, but once you start using it, it kinda just clicks (or at least that was my experience).

I actually think that is the problem stuff like this tool is trying to solve. Get users up and doing something so they don't feel like they are staring at a wall with no clue where to even start. "Hey, download this, run this, congratulations you have a service mesh!"

'Person In Jetpack' Spotted Flying Again Near LA Airport

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
There are reports of an unidentified person flying in a jetpack near Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) -- the second such incident in two months. The BBC reports: A China Airlines crew said it saw what appeared to be someone in a jetpack on Wednesday at 6,000ft (1,829m), seven miles (11km) north-west of LAX, the Federal Aviation Administration said. The FBI is investigating the incident, as well as a similar one in September. It is not clear if either incident posed any danger to aircraft.

The China Airlines flight reported what it believed to be a person flying in a jetpack at 13:45 local time (20:45 GMT) on Wednesday, the FAA said. It said it then alerted enforcement agencies, who are now investigating the incident. "The FBI is in contact with the FAA and is investigating multiple reports of what, according to witnesses, appeared to be an individual in a jetpack near LAX," FBI Los Angeles Field Office spokeswoman Laura Eimiller was quoted as saying by US media. The airport authorities have so far made no public comment on the issue.

Re:Did he file a VFR flight plan?

By arglebargle_xiv • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Why do people always assume it is a he?

There's a handy Venn diagram I cant find at the moment which shows the relationship between idiots -> male idiots -> white male idiots. Chances are it was a white male idiot, because in the female case Karens don't use jetpacks unless they're flying over to talk to the manager.

Re:Did he file a VFR flight plan?

By ProzacPatient • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
Grammatical rules of English dictate that when the gender is unknown, or otherwise cannot be determined, then the male gender is assumed.

How are jetpacks practical?

By BlueCoder • Score: 3 • Thread

I can see maybe some limited value for the military but even then...

Simply put it's unpractical for almost all applications I can imagine. Even for something as simple as tree trimming or exterior building work it would be a fire hazard. Plus all the electrical lines one could crash into... forgetting about the pilots safety it would lead to numerous regularly damaged power lines, stopping businesses and people from working. The fuel is expensive and it would be unpractical to carry enough. If it fails your dead; no room for a parachute.

You could strategically get to a high floor on a high rise but I imagine there are military grappling hooks and drones that are more cost effective. You might be able to board a plane... Can't think of much else.

It's just a geek toy. The only thing that would redeem this type of technology would be the invention of anti gravity or changing inertial mass.

Re:How many times does this have to happen.....

By BoogieChile • Score: 4 • Thread

That article about is cameras watching the pilots. One of the key points of a dash cam is it's pointing the other way. Out the window.


By ChrisMaple • Score: 3 • Thread
7 miles NW of LAX is on the coast at the Santa Monica pier. It's closer to the busy general aviation Santa Monica Airport than to LAX.

Facebook's Account Verification Leaves Some Quest 2 Buyers With 'Paperweight'

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Quest 2 is the first Oculus headset to require a Facebook account at launch. False positives from its account verification system may be leaving some buyers with no choice but to return it. UploadVR reports: We're seeing reports from Quest 2 buyers who aren't on Facebook finding difficulty creating an account. Facebook's account verification system -- reportedly administered by a machine learning agent -- may ask for photographic evidence of identity. That evidence seems to be reviewed by a human, since it can apparently take weeks to process. Others trying to re-activate old accounts to use their brand new Quest 2 also report instant suspensions. Trying to create a new account also fails.

If the review fails or your account is suspended, there appears to be no recourse for appeal. Multiple buyers called the system a "paperweight" in their emails to us about their interactions with customer service and what they feel like they can do with the latest VR headset on the market. In an emailed statement, a Facebook spokesperson said Quest 2 customers should contact Oculus Customer support to work through issues. Facebook claimed to only have "a very small number" of Oculus users running into login issues. Among the screenshots from Twitter and Reddit users reporting issues are Oculus Support agents supposedly saying they're unable to help with Facebook account issues.


By Impy the Impiuos Imp • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

There are some games and web sites that have optional facebook or google log in. If they ever dump their native login and require one of those, I'm gone.

Are you buying? Or paying to be bought and sold to advertisers?

Re:Your Money and Your Life

By aberglas • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Most non-slashdot people already have a facebook account. Nobody cares about privacy.

Losing 5% of sales to miscreants that are not on facebook is a small price to pay for knowing everything there is to know about your customers.

Welcome to 2020.

Re:Why you need to be on (((speech jail & cont

By Anrego • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Also of course in my case the first one is already suspended since long =P

This is where I'm at. I lost my account years ago. As far as I can tell, there is basically no recourse to get it back. It just isn't in their business model to have a human review account issues.

This was perfectly fine back when you were losing access to a free website, but now people are going to be losing access to a physical product that they bought. I'm sure the TOS will have enough legalese to protect them, but I wonder if the bad PR will force them to improve their user support. Cynic in me says probably not, they'll figure that the few extra sales they get won't justify the cost, and bad press doesn't seem to hurt them much.

Either way I don't really care. Any interest I had in Oculus died when Facebook bought them.

You aren't missing much

By Miamicanes • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

My Quest 2 arrived yesterday. I'm massively underwhelmed by it.

1. Games purchased for Oculus Go can't be used on it. This is fucking STUPID. Go and Quest(2) all run Android. Quest(2)'s hardware is a literal superset of Go's hardware (with analog stick instead of thumb touchpad). Even if Go's games looked and ran no BETTER than they did on Go, making them not run AT ALL is just evil. It's obvious Oculus used Quest as an excuse to wipe the store slate clean of most indie content.

2. Oculus' Avatars are FUGLY. Zero "cuteness" factor whatsoever.

3. Most of its "best" games feel like forced manual labor. How many floating objects do you really want to squirt with a hose or clumsily grope at?

4. Most of its games are way more expensive than the amount of enjoyment you'll ever get out of them. Especially since Oculus will probably empty your games library every few years anyway. Throw-away ephemeral games are only WORTH a dollar or two. MAYBE $9.95 for one you'll play hours per day for a few weeks if it's truly SPECTACULAR.

5. Quest 2 (and Go) both leave me feeling "optically traumatized" in ways Google Cardboard (piss-poor as it was) never did. It's hard to describe, but one specific disturbing example happened AFTER I took it off... for about 5 minutes, things I looked at kept "de-fusing" and splitting apart into two diagonally-shifted images. It happens to me occasionally late at night (like, 4am) when my eyes are totally fried... but it was only 10pm, after about an hour of Quest 2 use. Like I said, I can't quite put my finger on the problem, but my eyes just felt REALLY "beaten up" afterwards. Quest 2 doesn't leave me feeling as QUEASY as Go & Cardboard, but in terms of "eyes feeling beaten-up afterwards", I'd say it's as bad as the Go, and substantially WORSE than a painstakingly-tweaked Android Cardboard (with the caveat that very,very few "Cardboard" systems WERE painstakingly calibrated).

Re:And this is why

By pjt33 • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Given that you can't refuse consent for processing of personal data without detriment, and consent is the only viable legitimate basis for the processing, this is a clear GDPR violation.

Robinhood Estimates Hackers Infiltrated Almost 2,000 Accounts

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Bloomberg: Almost 2,000 Robinhood Markets accounts were compromised in a recent hacking spree that siphoned off customer funds, a sign that the attacks were more widespread than was previously known. A person with knowledge of an internal review, who asked not to be identified because the findings aren't public, provided the estimated figure. When Bloomberg first reported on the hacking spree last week, the popular online brokerage disclosed few details. It said "a limited number" of customers had been struck by cyber-criminals who gained access by breaching personal email accounts outside of Robinhood, an assertion that some of the victims acknowledge and others reject.

The attacks unleashed a torrent of complaints on social media, where investors recounted futile attempts to call the brokerage, which doesn't have a customer service phone number. Robinhood, which has more than 13 million customer accounts, is now considering whether to add a phone number along with other tools, the person said. This week, Robinhood sent push notifications to users suggesting they enable two-factor authentication on their accounts. It also plans to send customers more advice on security, according to the statement. Several victims said they found no sign of criminals compromising their email accounts. And some said their brokerage accounts were accessed even though they had set up two-factor authentication.


By Aighearach • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Well, of course they're considering adding a phone number, they thought that not even trying meant they couldn't get in any trouble for doing it wrong, and then their lawyers explained the word "gross" in "gross negligence" to them.

You were holding the money. You were unreachable when your customers tried to report ongoing attacks that would cost them additional money. You are one who got hacked, actually, not the customers. Criminals accessed your computer systems and took the money out, that you were in either deposit or trust. Expensive.

Be nice about paying them back, they can't add punitive damages if you make everybody whole! That's your only way out.

Becoming more common

By quonset • Score: 3 • Thread

which doesn't have a customer service phone number.

More and more companies, even the big ones, are foregoing anything resembling ease of customer service in favor of either offshoring to script kiddies or some nebulous form which might possibly get to someone who might possibly be able to help you. After a few dozen back and forth emails over a day or two.

Because picking up the phone and talking to someone to get the full story is so passe.

modern times

By anonimouser • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread
It is called modern times. A company that flouts SEC regulations advertises themselves as investment for the masses, giving people the ability to do options even though they know absolutely nothing (you are supposed to apply to have options, and the brokerage has to evaluate your aptitude) because in Robinhood you don't even have to know what a share means (you can buy in dollar amounts, whatever that means). Robinhood has caused some people to commit suicide because they lost huge amounts of money (the kid actually didn't lose that much, he just didn't realize it because he doesn't know how to interpret numbers), has frozen when there was peak trading in March, and apparently doesn't even have a phone number where you can reach people. It is ripe for hacking, an app catering to dummies and made by dummies. But the SEC doesn't care, because they have stopped regulating months ago (eg Elon Musk's tweets supposed are to be reviewed first, but he doesn't care and apparently there is no punishment for not following the punishment imposed by not following the rules).

Google Introduces Song Matching via Humming, Whistling or Singing

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Google has added a new feature that lets you figure out what song is stuck in your head by humming, whistling or singing -- a much more useful version of the kind of song-matching audio feature that it and competitors like Apple's Shazam have offered previously. From a report: As of today, users will be able to open either the latest version of the mobile Google app, or the Google Search widget, and then tap the microphone icon, and either verbally ask to search a song or hit the 'Search a song button' and start making noises. The feature should be available to anyone using Google in English on iOS, or across over 20 languages already on Android, and the company says it will be growing that user group to more languages on both platforms in the future. Unsurprisingly, it's powered behind the scenes by machine learning algorithms developed by the company. Google says that it's matching tech won't require you to be a Broadway star or even a choir member -- it has built-in abilities to accommodate for various degrees of musical sensibility, and will provide a confidence score as a percentage alongside a number of possible matches. Clicking on any match will return more info about both artist and track, as well as music videos, and links that let you listen to the full song in the music app of your choice.


By darkain • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Tomorrow in the news: YouTube demonetizes videos of people humming, whistling, and singing due to automated DMCA complaints.

Amazing flexibility

By thegarbz • Score: 3 • Thread

My music skills extend far enough to make any professionally trained singer throw up, the cat hide under the bed, and dogs throughout the neighborhood learn to speak fluent English just so they can come and tell me to STFU.

But through my bleating and belching and above all butchering of songs I know into Google today I've had a 100% success rate. There were some amazing discoveries:
a) you can be wildly out of key, and hit the notes like a stormtrooper.
b) when I tried to sing the bohemian rhapsody it matched me to a parody version of it which amazingly sounded as bad as I did singing it. (Maybe there's a career for me yet)
c) you can sing naturally regardless if you know the words or not. "Lights go out and i can't be seen [sic], la la la... lala lala, brought me down hmmhmm hmmhmm. oh I beg I beg and plead" correctly matched to Coldplay.
d) you can switch between humming and whistling mid song and it still matches.

Colour me impressed. Now I need to go find the cat. I think she's traumatised.

Remdesivir Has Little Effect on Covid-19 Mortality, WHO Study Says

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
The Covid-19 treatment remdesivir has no substantial effect on a patient's chances of survival [Editor's note: the link may be paywalled; alternative source], a clinical trial by the World Health Organization has found, delivering a significant blow to hopes of identifying existing medicines to treat the disease. From a report: Results from the WHO's highly anticipated Solidarity trial, which studied the effects of remdesivir and three other potential drug regimens in 11,266 hospitalised patients, found that none of the treatments "substantially affected mortality" or reduced the need to ventilate patients, according to a copy of the study seen by the Financial Times. "These remdesivir, hydroxychloroquine, lopinavir and interferon regimens appeared to have little effect on in-hospital mortality," the study found. The results of the WHO trial also showed that the drugs had little effect on how long patients stayed in hospital. However, WHO researchers said the study was primarily designed to assess impact on in-hospital mortality. The study has not yet been peer-reviewed. Remdesivir was one of a series of drugs used to treat US President Donald Trump after he tested positive for Covid-19. It was developed by US drugmaker Gilead Sciences, initially as a potential medicine to treat Ebola.

Re:But we NEED Remdesivir for the Herd Menatlity!

By quonset • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

110,000 people dead in the US,

Now we're slicing the number of dead in half? The known dead in the U.S is over 220,000. Right now we're running just under 1,000 dead each day (about 900) and that number is rising. We will be near a quarter million dead come election day.

Also, your Vitamin D story has serious flaws one of which:

The article’s Competing Interests statement says, “The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.” However, publicly available information indicates that corresponding author MFH may have potential competing interests that include non-financial interests based on his vitamin D research and other activities focused on vitamin D; contributions to an app that tracks vitamin D; and interests that include consultancies, funding support, and authorship of books related to vitamin D usage.

And further:

There have been reports that taking very large doses (so-called “megadoses”) of vitamin D supplements will prevent COVID-19 infection. This is simply not true. There is no scientific evidence to support large doses of vitamin D being protective enough to outweigh the toxic effects.

David C Gaze, Lecturer in Clinical Biochemistry, University of Westminster

Re:But we NEED Remdesivir for the Herd Menatlity!

By onyxruby • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Except that your completely wrong when it comes to lay people not getting sick. In fact using CDC data 85% of recently infected patients reported always or almost always wearing a mask:

Remember, the use case of the mask for the layperson is to prevent them from getting other people sick. The mask isn't there to help you from others. Social distancing and good hygiene are still the best things for that. Alcohol based wipes and UVC light (daylight, wands etc) known to disinfect what you touch will also protect if used correctly. If you want to protect yourself though, masks and face shields available to the layperson really don't do any good whatsoever.

This article from an actual doctor takes an evidence based approach to the subject and covers the issue in detail with a lot of supporting detail from the CDC and similar sources. They explain in depth the science, issues and hyperbole behind masks. Educate yourself on the evidence before claiming the evidence is out there, because it isn't.

Wrong Question

By Roger W Moore • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

If masks work, why is the COVID case rate in Europe at an all time high?

Masks are not some magical panacea: you can still transmit the virus with a mask on but the chances of doing so are much less than without a mask. The question you should be asking is whether the case rate in Europe would be even higher if nobody was wearing a mask and all the data on mask-wearing suggest that it most definitely would.

Remdesivir was made in 2009

By Solandri • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Remdesivir was created in 2009, long before Trump's Presidential run was even a glimmer in his eye. It functions by inhibiting RNA replication, which gives it the potential to function as a broad-spectrum anti-viral (since a lot of viruses are just instruction sets for duplicating their own RNA).

It was one of those things that was worth testing against COVID-19 because
  1. it's already been developed so you can jump straight to the testing stage
  2. previous tests of it (hepatitis-C - ineffective, and Ebola - effective but not as good as other treatments) have shown that it is safe in humans, so you don't have to walk on eggshells in the first few rounds of testing and gradually expand the testing regimen, and
  3. animal models have suggested it is effective against SARS and MERS, which are also coronaviruses.

Indeed, it would have been irresponsible and immoral not to test it just because you believe Trump is giving kickbacks to his allies. Testing a product does not become evil just because the test results show it to be ineffective - that's 20/20 hindsight. You have to judge whether it was worth testing based on what you knew before the completion of the test.

But but but

By JustAnotherOldGuy • Score: 3 • Thread

But the MyPillow guy and the "Demon Semen" doctor both said it worked, so who can you believe??

FCC To Move on Trump Plan To Weaken Social Media Legal Shield

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U.S. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai said the agency will consider President Donald Trump's request to weaken legal protections for social media companies such as Twitter. From a report: The FCC will begin a rulemaking to "clarify" the meaning of a law that gives broad legal immunity to social media companies for their handling of users' posts, Pai said in an emailed statement. The action follows a request by the Trump administration for regulators to dilute the decades-old law that Facebook, Twitter and Google say is crucial. The request was called for in an executive order that Trump signed in May. Tech trade groups, civil liberties organizations and legal scholars have slammed the action and said it isn't likely to survive a court challenge.


By quantaman • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

But the reason conservatives are disproportionately moderated is the overwhelming majority of easily discredited conspiracy theories are posted by conservatives.

Ah yes, and of course the sensical progressive liberalism that has destroyed our education system is churning out an excellent grounded group of individuals who never bring forth their own flavor of batshit insanity? Yes, tell me more about the 112 genders we must legally recognize or be Cancelled by those of a certain Culture. Or maybe we can explore why biological women, are no longer able to compete in sports today. Gosh, it's almost too much logic to handle!

First, this is about conspiracy theories, not your pet-peeves regarding how to deal with transgender and intersex people.

Second, I know plenty of people who don't really know more than 2 genders and haven't been cancelled, as well as plenty of biological women who compete in sports.

You're complaining about issues that only a tiny, tiny minority of people will experience.

The fact is that social media companies are trying hard to apply their standards impartially but end up moderating conservatives more because conservatives are far more likely to violate whatever standard they set.

The liberals who own and run these platforms, freely admit they are liberals. And this isn't about violating. This is about offending fragile weak minds who literally cannot handle the truth. And I mean the ACTUAL truth backed up with science and fact, not "facts" backed up with feelings and the usual "racist/bigot" tirade of ignorance if you ever dare do that human thing and disagree.

Liberals might actually be able to bring forth a point to make here, if they were ever brave enough to actually debate an intelligent conservative. They refuse. Damn near every time. Perhaps you can explain why that is, because logical intelligent people ARE willing to have civil discourse with anyone.
  It's rather enjoyable to debate someone. Or at least it can be, if the person can mentally handle being right or wrong. I will admit I'm wrong all day long if you prove it to me. I'm human, after all.

I guess most liberals, aren't human.

I've sought out intelligent conservatives to discuss with in the past, and frankly they're a dying breed as Trumpism and Fox News have taken over the debate.

And if I'm to be honest, the fact that you instantly turned the conversation from censorship of discredited conspiracy theories to complaints about race and gender, and started ranting about the "ACTUAL truth" while complaining about being called "racist/bigot" tells me that there's not much point in trying to have a productive conversation with you.

Social media not a publisher. 1st am doesn't apply

By gavron • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread

First, the first amendment to the US Constitution doesn't apply to non-governmental entities.
(Go ahead, Republicans, scream all you want, but Fox news gets to decide what's on their
"entertainment" platform and so does Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tik-Tok, and my butt.)

The FCC took their own jurisdiction away. They can do nothing about the Internet.
This is simply an act of ingratiation to make Trump think Ajit is doing his master's bidding.
Something something something dark side. Something something something komplete.

To summarize:
A guy who is 3 months before he's out of a job,
is complaining using an inapplicable law,
to an organization he gave up jurisdiction over,
to please his psycho lying conspiracy-theory boss.

That's it in a nutshell.


Re: Good

By bobbied • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

The constitution as it stands should be sufficient, ....

Hardly. The Constitution is an 18th century document written by men in the 18th century. It was made to be changed and modified for the future and for things they never even thought of.

True, but it takes 2/3rds of the states to ratify those changes in things called "Amendments", the process outlined in the constitution because the founders in the 18th century where smart enough to understand this would be the case.

However, I would argue that the brilliant folks who authored the Constitution kept the process of government simple and focused on the principles that should govern how government works, what it can and cannot do. As such, it has survived the test of time pretty much unscathed, with really only a set of clarifications and details having to be hashed out after the fist 10 amendments where ratified. Very little of what they wrote in the 1700's has needed to be changed.

So, you cannot use your "it's an old out of date document" argument to just dismiss what it says. You either interpret it based on what the authors intended it to say, or you have to amend it. Anything else amounts to making the country lawless. If laws are not to be interpreted to mean what the authors intended when they where written, then their meaning is subjective and moldable to mean almost anything the interpreter decides they want it to mean. Laws that change meaning over time, subject to private interpretation by every individual, are not laws at all.


By Aighearach • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Now look up "good faith" and see if it means "stuff that makes me feel good" or whatever the fuck you were thinking.

"Good faith is an abstract and comprehensive term that encompasses a sincere belief or motive without any malice or the desire to defraud others. It derives from the translation of the Latin term bona fide, and courts use the two terms interchangeably."

All good faith means is that when they delete or block your content and they tell you it is because it is offensive, that they really decided, or believed they had decided, that it was offensive. That's what it means.

For example, lets say you had paid $1 to post 10 items, 1 per week, in my newsletter. And you have to mail me your text each week. And I gave you a bunch of rules that your post has to follow. And there is no time for corrections; if your item isn't approved, you lose your chance to post that week, and you don't get a refund. OK, so then I reject 5 of your posts, and I told you they didn't follow the rules I set. But maybe you hired a bunch of lawyers to make sure your posts did follow the rules I set, so you sue me for fraud. And as part of discovery, I have to turn over a bunch of emails to you. And in those emails, you find evidence that I had actually ordered the person approving the posts to increase rejections by 15% to improve profits. Those extra rejections were not in Good Faith.

That's what Good Faith means. It just means that I really believe what I said, or at least that I believe that parts that are material representations about some business that we're doing.

it's hardly just unsubstantiated rumor that...

By tiqui • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

These are the same outlets who hosted four years of ranting and raving about Trump-Russia, Trump pee tapes, Trump-Ukraine, all on anonymous sources. They ran with tons of tweets and posts and likes about Trump with porn stars and prostitutes, without any actual evidence, and that stuff is all still up (the porn star never provided evidence other than that Trump paid her to go away and shut up, but she illegally breached the NDA she signed when she blackmailed then-businessman Trump, and the products of that illegal breach are all still up). They hosted tone of chatter about the Billy Bush tape which was illegally recorded and released (California, where NBC recorded it, makes it a serious crime to record a conversation without the knowledge of all parties involved). They also pushed mountains of tweets/posts/etc based on illegal leaks of Trump phone calls, Trump taxes, etc. These social media companies are now stomping out every single instance they can find of anybody on their sites mentioning Hunter's actions even though there's nothing anonymous here, and nothing has been illegally leaked/stolen. Oh, and they're justifying this censorship of news by claiming they will not allow somebody's stolen data to be published (the Trump taxes stuff is still all over their sites) and they won't allow unverified accusations to stand (all that Trump-Russia crap that has been debunked by the now-declassified Obama admin docs is still up on those sites).

Yeah, keep pushing the idea that this is all just an illusion. I'm sure you'll be very successful in convincing people not to believe their lying eyes and ears.

Ubisoft, Crytek Data Posted on Ransomware Gang's Site

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A ransomware gang going by the of Egregor has leaked data it claims to have obtained from the internal networks of two of today's largest gaming companies -- Ubisoft and Crytek. An anonymous reader writes: Data allegedly taken from each company has been published on the ransomware gang's dark web portal on Tuesday. Details about how the Egregor gang obtained the data remain unclear. Ransomware gangs like Egregor regularly breach companies, steal their data, encrypt files, and ask for a ransom to decrypt the locked data. However, in many incidents, ransomware gangs are also get caught and kicked out of networks during the data exfiltration process, and files are never encrypted. Nevertheless, they still extort companies, asking victims for money to not leak sensitive files. Usually, when negotiations break down, ransomware gangs post a partial leak of the stolen files on so-called leak sites. On Tuesday, leaks for both Crytek and Ubisoft were posted on the Egregor portal at the same time, with threats from the ransomware crew to leak more files in the coming days.

YouTube Bans QAnon, Other Conspiracy Content That Targets Individuals

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YouTube said Thursday that it would no longer allow content that targets individuals and groups with conspiracy theories, specifically QAnon and its antecedent, "pizzagate." From a report: "Today, we are taking another step in our efforts to curb hate and harassment by removing more conspiracy theory content used to justify real-world violence," the company announced on its blog. The new rules, an expansion of YouTube's existing hate and harassment policies, will prohibit content that "threatens or harrasses someone by suggesting they are complicit in one of these harmful conspiracies, such as QAnon or Pizzagate," the post read. YouTube said it would be enforcing the updated policy immediately and plans to "ramp up in the weeks to come."

QAnon is a modern version of...

By Edward Nardella • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Based on the significant and numerous similarities. QAnon appears to be a modern version of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. A antisemitic text that has played a role in the lead up to multiple atrocities committed against Jews.

I'm half-convinced you're philosophical zombies RN

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

> Do you have any evidence that Deonte Lee Murray was a "member of Antifa" or are you just assuming that?

Look at his social media. What are we supposed to believe when they have ACAB, BLM, 1312, Antifa nonsense on their pages along with cop hate?

> Has "Antifa" the organization you claim to exist as a monolithic entity called for the murder of cops by it's members?

You're putting words in my mouth, they don't have to exist as "monolithic entities" to do this and I never claimed they were monolithic. How can you say the groups chanting slogans like "all cops are bastards" and then going out and murdering cops are somehow disconnected? Oh, and what about "Blue Leaks"? So you have a loosely affiliated group that chants about how they hate cops, that burns down police precincts, that doxxes cops and then murders cops, but you think it's somehow *unfair* to think it's a dangerous group that's going too far?

Meanwhile, one random dude hurts no one while searching for kids in a pizza place who has nothing to do with most of the community and nobody had been advocating that sort of nonsense, but you lose your minds and ban it. Never mind the same groups are also investigating real pedos like Epstein.

Weird, it's almost like you just invent "principles" on the spot and then don't actually follow them, you just use them as roadblocks for actually principled people to deal with intellectually while you spew word salads at us. No wonder the woke refuse to engage with ideas and assume they can't win any contest of ideas without shutting everyone else down first...

Re:What's a QAnon?

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

And yet you don't seem to have an issue with Trump appointing his own family to every possible government position he can despite their complete lack of qualifications.

QAnon is not the same.

By bussdriver • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

BLM is a legit non-profit with millions of supporters and enemies with a massive propaganda machine.

Antifa is historic and a once popular position but a boogieman for all practical purposes; it is nothing and therefore easy for anybody to appropriate.

Marxism is an indestructible set of ideas and facts from which there is little chance of them being adopted on whole; especially not by surprise. Mostly exists as a propaganda foe. Only reason can keep it in check; never ending problem.

QAnon is probably a Russian psy-op; couldn't do much better from a single op...except get an asset in the white house (perhaps you should graduate to adult level conspiracies?)

Re:QAnon but not BLM

By bazorg • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

That's why they get banned.

I'd say that there's more to it than just spreading false rumours.
In some jurisdictions, claiming that someone is a pedophile has a special treatment under the rules for defamation.

What these conspiratoty types have achieved is to have thousands of posts drowning out normal political speech with defamatory statements, at a scale that makes it not viable to prosecute.

It's like the GNAA taking over mainstream social media and trying the same with TV.

Amazon To Escape UK Digital Services Tax That Will Hit Smaller Traders

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Amazon will not have to pay the UK's new digital services tax on products it sells directly to consumers but small traders who sell products on its site will face increased charges. From a report: The tax, which aims to get tech companies such as Amazon, Google and Facebook to pay more tax in the UK, is forecast to eventually bring in about $645 million annually to the exchequer. Amazon has already stated that the 2% tax on revenues made in the UK will be passed on to sellers but it will not be adding the charge to the cost of advertising on its platform.

According to a report in the Times, Amazon, which paid only $18.5 million in corporation tax on total UK revenues of $17.7 billion last year, will not have to pay the tax on goods it sells directly. The new tax is not being levied on sales, which would also penalise online retailers such as Tesco and John Lewis, but on the service fees that companies such as Amazon and Google charge third parties. With Amazon's third-party sellers facing a 2% rise in the amount they pay, the US retailer is effectively getting a price advantage on competing goods it sells directly to consumers. "This seems to me to be absolutely outrageous," said Lord Leigh of Hurley, the Conservative peer and former party treasurer, in the House of Lords. "It is clear that the UK government is not taxing Amazon properly and is allowing it to avoid tax on its own sales through the marketplace."


By serviscope_minor • Score: 3 • Thread

This is what talking back control looks like!

If you voted in these fuckwits you only have yourself to blame. It's not like you weren't warned they were a bunch of lying incompetents.

Hey, it ain't Amazon's fault....

By cayenne8 • Score: 3 • Thread
It isn't like Amazon wrote the laws.

This is the fault of the lawmakers that wrote the faulty tax laws.

Amazon, like any one or any company plays by the law and will and should try to pay nothing more than what legally owed.

If the lawmakers and general public don't like the result, change and write and pass BETTER tax laws.

Written to demonize Amazon, but this seems legit

By scamper_22 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Basically, the UK government wants more tax revenue.
So they look at the big tech companies and say... how can we get them to pay more tax?

Now, at some level our democracies are still functioning as laws have to be somewhat neutral. You can't just create an Amazon specific tax.

So the government says... can we tax Amazon sales? Maybe, but then we'd also end up taxing our own firms like Tesco. So let's not do that.

How else can we tax Amazon?
Maybe tax on 3rd party marketplace sales? That sounds good enough for me.

And away they go. Basically taxing Amazon's sales directly wasn't worth it to the UK government as it would hit other UK retailers that they didn't want to target. Everything worked out.

How this impacts 3rd party sellers... all to be seen. Maybe it's just the 2% push they need to get off amazon and setup their own shop. Who knows. Or maybe they just eat the tax.

OK so no useful context

By oldgraybeard • Score: 3 • Thread
"Amazon, which paid only $18.5 million in corporation tax on total UK revenues of $17.7 billion last year,"

What were the expenses for the same period? You are only taxed on
Revenue - Expenses = Profit (which is the amount being taxed)

Governments world wide would love to tax total revenue!

About the main subject, the small business did not buy the required number government officials(bureaucrats, politicians and family members) to be exempted from the tax like Amazon.

Re:OK so no useful context

By Archie Gremlin • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

I think the Guardian article has succeeded in it's attempt to muddy the waters.

The UK (and some other jurisdictions) have introduced a new tax on revenue. They did this because a lot of multinationals are using strategies to export profits to other countries by creating fake costs.

This new tax applies only to large companies and only to "digital services". Amazon are now paying this tax. The small businesses are not required to pay the tax. Amazon has chosen to pass some of this new cost on to the small businesses.

The Guardian campaigned for this tax. Now it's being charged they're making it sound like Amazon like the opposite has happened.

FAA Revamps Space Launch Rules as SpaceX, Blue Origin Expand

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Commercial rocket ventures including Elon Musk's SpaceX and Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin should get a clearer path to space under new regulations that oversee non-government launches. From a report: The Federal Aviation Administration on Thursday announced it is replacing decades-old rules as it adapts to rapid growth in the industry to propel satellites and, eventually, private citizens into space. "This rule paves the way for an industry that is moving at lightning speed," FAA Administrator Steve Dickson said in a press release. "We are simplifying the licensing process and enabling industry to move forward in a safe manner." In addition to SpaceX and Blue Origin, Virgin Galactic and Virgin Orbit, companies founded by Richard Branson, are also trying to cash in on space tourism and small satellite launches. Other companies include Northrop Grumman, United Launch Alliance and Rocket Lab.


By Areyoukiddingme • Score: 3 • Thread

To be specific, a single launch license will be written for multiple launches, whereas an individual license is required for every current launch.

It's a reasonable modification of bureaucratic procedure that's likely to survive an administration change. When there were zero commercial launches in a year and every payload was unique and special, no one cared. Now that there are nearly 30 per year in FAA jurisdiction, it's time. It's not like range safety requirements will be changing. Just the required paperwork.

Senate To Subpoena Twitter CEO Over Blocking of Disputed Biden Articles

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The Senate Judiciary Committee plans to issue a subpoena on Tuesday to Twitter Chief Executive Jack Dorsey after the social-media company blocked a pair of New York Post articles that made new allegations about Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, which his campaign has denied. From a report: The subpoena would require the Twitter executive to testify on Oct. 23 before the committee, according to the Republicans who announced the hearing. GOP lawmakers are singling out Twitter because it prevented users from posting links to the articles, which the Post said were based on email exchanges with Hunter Biden, the Democratic candidate's son, provided by allies of President Trump. Those people in turn said they received them from a computer-repair person who found them on a laptop, according to the Post.

"This is election interference, and we are 19 days out from an election," Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas), a committee member who discussed the subpoena with Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.), told reporters. "Never before have we seen active censorship of a major press publication with serious allegations of corruption of one of the two candidates for president."

Re:Bizarro Republican World

By spun • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

And yet again, a Republican tries to tug at the heart strings while providing no facts. Sorry, but y'all had over about a decade to make this stick, and despite wasting huge amounts of time and making Clinton testify for eleven hours, there is simply no smoking gun. Or any gun. Or even a toy sword.

You lost, the truth won, let it go.

Slashdot has fallen

By Yumi Saotome • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

There was a time when Slashdot would immediately scream "The Internet treats censorship as damage and routes around it", plaster stuff like 09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0 everywhere in defiance of corporate censorship regardless of the content being censored, and proclaim fuck the corporate powers.

That Slashdot has died.

Re:Bizarro Republican World

By andydread • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
the are. See here and here among many many others outside the right-wing media sphere. You better believe reporters all over are checking with their sources.

Re:Censorship: you should oppose it

By drew_kime • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
It's not hidden, and it's not "information". It's dis-information. AKA propaganda.

The tables have turned

By doubletalk • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
Funny how the tables have turned. That you think it's a big deal or not, it's hilarious to see you defend all of this after having attacked Trump for taking that Russian lawyer meeting for years!

Google's Breast Cancer-Predicting AI Research is Useless Without Transparency, Critics Say

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An anonymous reader shares a report: Back in January, Google Health, the branch of Google focused on health-related research, clinical tools, and partnerships for health care services, released an AI model trained on over 90,000 mammogram X-rays that the company said achieved better results than human radiologists. Google claimed that the algorithm could recognize more false negatives -- the kind of images that look normal but contain breast cancer -- than previous work, but some clinicians, data scientists, and engineers take issue with that statement. In a rebuttal published today in the journal Nature, over 19 coauthors affiliated with McGill University, the City University of New York (CUNY), Harvard University, and Stanford University said that the lack of detailed methods and code in Google's research "undermines its scientific value."

Science in general has a reproducibility problem -- a 2016 poll of 1,500 scientists reported that 70% of them had tried but failed to reproduce at least one other scientist's experiment -- but it's particularly acute in the AI field. At ICML 2019, 30% of authors failed to submit their code with their papers by the start of the conference. Studies often provide benchmark results in lieu of source code, which becomes problematic when the thoroughness of the benchmarks comes into question. One recent report found that 60% to 70% of answers given by natural language processing models were embedded somewhere in the benchmark training sets, indicating that the models were often simply memorizing answers. Another study -- a meta-analysis of over 3,000 AI papers -- found that metrics used to benchmark AI and machine learning models tended to be inconsistent, irregularly tracked, and not particularly informative.

So-called 'AI' and 'transparency': doesn't exist

By Rick Schumann • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
The so-called, half-assed, meme excuse for 'AI' they keep shoving in our faces has no ability to be 'transparent', even the programmers that create the damned things can't tell you how or why it comes up with whatever it's output is. They shouldn't use this shit for anything serious in the first place, let alone anything medical, it is not in any way shape or form reliable.

Transparent Breasts . . . ?

By PolygamousRanchKid • Score: 3 • Thread


YouTube Bans Coronavirus Vaccine Misinformation

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YouTube said this week it would remove videos from YouTube containing misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines, expanding its current rules against falsehoods and conspiracy theories about the pandemic. From a report: The video platform said it would now ban any content with claims about COVID-19 vaccines that contradict consensus from local health authorities or the World Health Organization. YouTube said in an email that this would include removing claims that the vaccine will kill people or cause infertility, or that microchips will be implanted in people who receive the vaccine.

Dammit YouTube!

By Java Pimp • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

Just because I'm paranoid it doesn't mean they are NOT out to get me!!!

Re:There is no such thing as consensus science

By KenAndCorey • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
I would say "scientific consensus" could be interpreted in different ways. If it is just a bunch of scientists saying the same thing, then what Crichton says makes sense. But I see "scientific consensus" as a bunch of scientists reproducing and verifying an experiment backing up a scientific theory. I see that kind of consensus as very scientific. I see it as "reproducible results" which is what Crichton says is relevant.

Re:Ahem. . . ANY medication can kill. . . .

By geekmux • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

. . . under the right (or actually, wrong. . . ) circumstances. The chance of it, with normal dosing, however, is vanishingly small. The same applies to vaccines. Yes, it could happen, but the odds are tens, or even HUNDREDS of orders of magnitude smaller than the anti-Vaxers claim.

Uh, those odds you speak of get a lot more deadly on an accellerated timeline.

Let me remind you now that it took several decades to get a polio vaccine right. In the meantime, here's a little highlight from the "vanishingly small" historical timeline of the first year of polio vaccines:

"Unfortunately, initial trials were poorly executed and caused great harm to those involved. Teams of researchers in New York and Philadelphia both administered vaccines containing active poliovirus to tens of thousands of living subjects, including children and chimpanzees. Many subjects became severely ill or paralyzed, experienced allergic reactions, and even died of polio."

No matter how you want to paint it, vaccines are hard, and that difficulty likely increases almost exponentially when you have a President trying to rush one, because "muh elekshuns"...

WHO's on first?

By tiqui • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

So... given that WHO can't make up its collective mind and keeps changing the "truth", will YouTube et al be banning what WHO said in January as lies while promoting what they said in March? Will they Ban what WHO said in March and promote what they said in January and in June? Will they ban everything WHO said before October and stand on THAT as the "truthiest" of truths? And if the October pronouncements are the "settled science", what then when WHO makes some new contradictory statements in the next few months?

In the Trump era, a great many people in many fields have become deranged and mix their politics into every damned thing so that we can no longer presume that a pronouncement of a scientist or doctor is non-partisan, unbiased, and tainted by a political agenda. It's also not just the Trump thing - China, as self-identifying communist regime (which I contend is NOT one, but is rather actually a mono-racial totalitarian fascist one, given the actual details) has extended the tentacles of its regime into entities like the WHO which is now run by a Marxist terrorist rather than a medical man. China has, for decades, dangled the prospects of billions of consumers in from of western corporate leaders looking for big untapped markets, and in response many of these businesses have gradually made themselves into servants of China, enforcing Chinese information control preferences as long as they are allowed to make money (Mussolini would recognize this pattern well). In other words, even in an alternate universe where Trump was never born and nobody was deranged about him, many powerful institutions, like international do-gooder outfits, media companies, and tech giants are catering to the whims of the Chinese communist party and manipulating information. Just look at the hoops Mark Cuban jumped through within the last several days during an interview to avoid saying anything about Chinese ethnic policies - he has no hesitancy in attacking Trump, or talking about ethnic issues in the USA, but he makes money from the massive basketball audiences in China, so, well, you get the point...

Re:Ban Harris

By ISayWeOnlyToBePolite • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

for repeatedly claiming the covid vaccines will be unsafe?

Ban baby ban!

This is the quote from the VP debate that particular strawman was made: “If the public health officials, if Dr. Fauci, if the doctors tell us to take it then I’ll be the first in line to take it. Absolutely. But, if Donald Trump tells us that we should take it, I’m not taking it.” - Kamala Harris

Anthony Fauci on the Coronavirus and the Prospects for a Vaccine

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
In the video here, you can watch excerpts from New Yorker journalist Michael Specter and Fauci's conversation, which encompassed the hard lessons of the AIDS epidemic, Americans' fraught relationship with scientific and medical authority, and possible time lines for the development and distribution of a coronavirus vaccine. The key questions, Fauci told Specter, are not just when a vaccine will be available but how effective it will be and how many people will receive it. These are just a few of the factors that will determine the answer to one of the more lighthearted questions posed by Specter, after months of distancing and isolation: "Will we ever be able to go to the movies again?" While cautious about making specific predictions, Fauci expressed optimism about whether Americans are ever again going to be able to watch a movie in a theatre. "Yes, we are, Michael," Fauci said. "And I'll even buy you a ticket."

Re:Anthony Fauci

By Gilgaron • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
I've been surprised by this sentiment, but it only appears prevalent in the sort of person that gets their information from cable news. In short, as a microbiologist, if you listen to Fauci or anyone else from NIAID, really, and think "I know better than that!", then you're an idiot.

Re:or the normal thing happens

By Gilgaron • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
We could deal with the economic realties more concretely, but the senate is busy with trivialities instead.

Re: Positive rates are up...

By UnknowingFool • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
You mean the same medical community that is seeing many doctors and nurses pushed to their limits in the hardest hit areas? I personally know a ER doctor. No one at the ER is counting the money. They are doing everything they can to keep people alive. Thatâ(TM)s their only goal. In the future, people will need more care and medical personnel do not sprout up overnight.

Re:There is no plan!

By jenningsthecat • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

What is required is a much more nuanced approach and its shameful that we haven't moved on from the initial panic and fear. The politicians have now had 9 months to do something more than scream "LOCKDOWN!"

Agreed, but not for the reasons you might think. Instead of just 'screaming' about lockdown, they should have done it - fast and brutally hard, but mercifully brief - about a month would have done the job if they'd gotten off their asses fast enough and committed to a sensible course of action. It's the waffling and hedging and infighting that's let this thing go on for so long.

Here in our town our college reconvened. College age kids came back to school where they were away from their families and older relatives. These kids were not intermingling with older and compromised people on a regular basis. Of course large numbers of them got COVID. None of them died. ONE ended up in the hospital, which was for 8 hours for an inhaler. These kids were locked down on campus, couldn't go anywhere, healed and developed immunity. Now, those kids can't spread the disease any longer.

There are two things wrong with what you've said. First, your observation that 'none of them died' totally ignores the strong likelihood that at least some of them now have timebombs ticking inside just waiting to go off in the form of strokes, heart attacks, etc. Second, some of them may have developed a temporary immunity. All the best evidence so far indicates that 'herd immunity' just won't happen with this virus - people have been re-infected with the same strain, never mind second infections with different variants of the virus. So yes, those kids can STILL spread the virus if they're exposed again - even if they show no symptoms.

Of course the issue with this approach is that none of it empowers the people and none of it is nuanced.

The people ARE empowered - they can wear masks, keep their distance from one another, and was their hands frequently. If everybody did this religiously, then going back to the workplace with modified procedures and lots of caution might be tolerably safe. But as usual, a bunch of snowflake fucktards whinging about 'muh freedumbs' spoil it for the responsibly-behaved rest of us. And the fact that in the States there's been a hard vacuum in the realm of leadership has multiplied that effect. So don't talk to me about 'empowerment' until almost everyone is actually taking advantage of the powers we already have to make this better.


By backslashdot • Score: 3 • Thread

False. We're not going to watch movies again. Not because of virus fear or covid, but because Hollywood is never going to make movies that don't suck.

The Great Barrier Reef Has Lost Half Its Corals

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
The Great Barrier Reef, one of the earth's most precious habitats, lost half of its coral populations in the last quarter-century, a decline that researchers in Australia said would continue unless drastic action is taken to mitigate the effects of climate change. From a report: Researchers studied coral colonies along the length of the reef between 1995 and 2017 and found that almost every coral species had declined. Colony sizes were smaller; there were fewer "big mamas," or older large corals that produce baby corals; and there were fewer of those babies, which are vital to the reef's future ability to breed. "Our results show the ability of the Great Barrier Reef to recover -- its resilience -- is compromised compared to the past, because there are fewer babies, and fewer large breeding adults," Dr. Andy Dietzel, the lead author of the study, said in a statement.

The study was published on Wednesday in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society. Dr. Dietzel and other researchers from the ARC Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies in Queensland, Australia, measured changes in colony sizes as a way of understanding the capacity of corals to breed. Bleaching -- a process in which corals expel algae and turn white as water temperatures rise -- contributed to steep losses of coral colonies in the northern and central Great Barrier Reef in 2016 and 2017. The southern part of the reef was also exposed to record-setting temperatures in early 2020, according to the researchers, who cited climate change as one of the major drivers of disturbances to the reef. "There is no time to lose," the researchers said in their statement. "We must sharply decrease greenhouse gas emissions ASAP." "We used to think the Great Barrier Reef is protected by its sheer size -- but our results show that even the world's largest and relatively well-protected reef system is increasingly compromised and in decline," one of the researchers, Terence Hughes, said in a statement. The decline of "branching and table-shaped corals," which provide critical habitats for fish, was especially pronounced, the researchers said.

The planet has two options

By WeaselCom • Score: 3, Interesting • Thread

We either run out of oil and stop polluting the seas with plastic and atmosphere with invisible CO2, or the planet wipes us out via climate change or a natural disaster big enough to cause an economic collapse we don't recover from. If we're lucky a scientific break through that is scalable and cheap in regard to energy production and carbon capture might save the day.

The wealthy have the resources to solve this problem, us commoners that have to spend our lives working to make ends meet, are given little choice about what we can buy and its impact on the environment.

Environmental Impact Assessments ...

By KT0100101101010100 • Score: 3, Interesting • Thread

... are required for all kinds of mini projects.

Often, as a result of the assessment some form of compensation is required, e.g. reforestation
if trees have to be cut for a road or wind turbines.

Can we FINALLY start requiring EIAs for projects which modify the composition of the
entire planet's atmosphere???

Growth sucks

By AmazingRuss • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
stop making babies

The reef will die

By WindBourne • Score: 3 • Thread
There is little to no chance of saving it. As long as we keep building fossil fuel electrical plants, esp coal, and continue to run ICE cars, then CO2 will remain high. This will be absorbed by the oceans and turned into carbonic acid, eating away at the coral.

Until ppl realize that NEARLY ALL nations must drop their emissions, it will not change. far too many ppl are expecting the west to drop our emissions, which are generally headed in the right directions, while claiming that other nations, esp. developed China, should be given permission to continue growing theirs.
Totally insane.

Twitter, Like Facebook, To Remove Posts Denying the Holocaust

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Two days after Facebook announced that it would block posts that deny the Holocaust, Twitter decided to do the same. Bloomberg reports: Twitter's policy doesn't explicitly state that denying violent events is against the rules, but the spokeswoman confirmed that "attempts to deny or diminish" violent events, including the Holocaust, would be removed based on the company's interpretation of the policy. "We strongly condemn anti-semitism, and hateful conduct has absolutely no place on our service," she said in a statement. "We also have a robust 'glorification of violence' policy in place and take action against content that glorifies or praises historical acts of violence and genocide, including the Holocaust."

Re:Elephant in the Room

By paazin • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

I can't help but be reminded of the Steele Dossier, it's publication, wide circulation and discussion in 2016 by "journalists" who didn't bother to authenticate or verify the contents. It turned out to be Russian disinformation paid for by Hillary, but is Twitter intervening to stop the ongoing Trump-Putin conspiracy theory the dossier created?

Incorrect, actually. It was funded initially by anti-Trump Republicans and then funded as oppo by the Clinton camp.
And FYI, the Steele Dossier was generally determined to be factual, despite claims to the contrary:

The Mueller Report substantiates the core reporting and many of the specifics in Christopher Steele's 2016 memoranda, including that Trump campaign figures were secretly meeting Kremlin figures, that Russia was conducting a covert operation to elect Donald Trump, and that the aim of the Russian operation was to sow discord and disunity in the US and within the Transatlantic Alliance. To our knowledge, nothing in the Steele memoranda has been disproven.

Bad precedent

By onyxruby • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread

First for the record, if you deny the holocaust you're a douchebag and worthy of complete contempt. Second, this is nothing more than an excuse to justify censorship for things that they want to censor such as stories that support conservative views.

The only solution is stop all censorship altogether. That means you have to let antisemitic douchebags deny the holocaust. They are making asses of themselves, and hopefully someday they might visit a place like Auschwitz and realize the horrors of what previous generations of anti semitic douchebags did.

Your not going to stop douchebags like that through censorship. The only way to prevent history from repeating itself it to allow people to talk freely without censorship or threat of being cancelled. You can't do that with censorship.

Re:Elephant in the Room

By AmiMoJo • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

The full content of the email:

Dear Hunter, thank you for inviting me to DC and giving me an opportunity to meet your father and spent some time together. It's really an honor and pleasure. As we spoke yesterday evening, would be great to meet today for a quick coffee. What do you think? I could come to you office somewhere around noon or so, before or on my way to the airport.

Sent from my iPhone

It's unclear exactly what he meant but I read it as the invitation had been extended. In any case if was talking about prior events there is zero evidence that this meeting actually took place or that anything came of it. If this is a major scandal then the Russians at the Trump Tower meetings are off the charts.

Re:Elephant in the Room

By AmiMoJo • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

It's all been investigated by the FBI and two House committees and law enforcement overseas.

By all means if there is strong evidence let's see it, but it's all been tested and failed to meet the required standard so far.

Re:Another win for censorship

By AmiMoJo • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Wikipedia hasn't actually banned holocaust denial pre-se. They just have standards of evidence for statements made in articles and obviously all the holocaust denial stuff doesn't meet them.

Same with anti-vaxx, same with coronavirus denial, same with anti-mask, same with Pizzagate.

Physicists Successfully Carry Out Controlled Transport of Stored Light

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
schwit1 shares a report from Phys.Org: A team of physicists led by Professor Patrick Windpassinger at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) has successfully transported light stored in a quantum memory over a distance of 1.2 millimeters. They have demonstrated that the controlled transport process and its dynamics has only little impact on the properties of the stored light. The researchers used ultra-cold rubidium-87 atoms as a storage medium for the light as to achieve a high level of storage efficiency and a long lifetime. The controlled manipulation and storage of quantum information as well as the ability to retrieve it are essential prerequisites for achieving advances in quantum communication and for performing corresponding computer operations in the quantum world. Optical quantum memories, which allow for the storage and on-demand retrieval of quantum information carried by light, are essential for scalable quantum communication networks.

In their recent publication, Professor Patrick Windpassinger and his colleagues have described the actively controlled transport of such stored light over distances larger than the size of the storage medium. Some time ago, they developed a technique that allows ensembles of cold atoms to be transported on an 'optical conveyor belt' which is produced by two laser beams. The advantage of this method is that a relatively large number of atoms can be transported and positioned with a high degree of accuracy without significant loss of atoms and without the atoms being unintentionally heated. The physicists have now succeeded in using this method to transport atomic clouds that serve as a light memory. The stored information can then be retrieved elsewhere. Refining this concept, the development of novel quantum devices, such as a racetrack memory for light with separate reading and writing sections, could be possible in the future.
The findings have been published in the journal Physical Review Letters.

"slow glass"

By N7DR • Score: 3 • Thread

Reading this summary, I couldn't help but think of one of the best SF stories I've ever read: "Light of Other Days, by Bob Shaw: Thoroughly recommended. (I found a copy here: https://www8.physics.utoronto....). This is NOT the Arthur C. Clarke novel, "The Light of Other Days".