the unofficial Slashdot digest for 2020-Oct-16 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.

US Surpasses 8 Million Coronavirus Cases

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from CNET: America surpassed 8 million cases of the novel coronavirus on Friday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The grim milestone that puts the U.S. ahead of every other country in terms of total cases. Over 218,000 coronavirus deaths have been reported in the U.S. as well, again setting a record that represents about 20% of total deaths worldwide. COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, has rapidly spread across the globe, infecting nearly 40 million and killing over 1.1 million. Beside the U.S., India has the highest number of cases, at almost 7.4 million, while some countries like New Zealand have all but eliminated COVID-19 with the number of active infections now at zero.

Re: In before

By e3m4n • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

A honey bee goes from flower to flower .. which does what? Cross pollination. So moving around and interacting with different clusters or groups of people create a spread effect that otherwise would not happen. If 16 people interact together daily and never come in contact with anyone else, their area of influence is very small and they likely are semi-quarantined. Now if 1 of those persons were to spend all day hopping from one group of 16 to another and during the course of the day interacted with 20 different groups, not only is his chances of bringing covid back to the group high, if he does this regularly he could infect all 20 groups. Its a sort of vinn diagram of interaction. Those that stick to boring routines and have fewer interactions have better odds and tend to be less of a risk of spread even if they do become asymptomatic. Its like AIDS or Herpes. You arent just having sex with one person, you are having sex with everyone they ever had sex with. With covid when you come into contact with someone its everyone they came in contact with in the last 14 days.

Re:about 2.7% dead?

By walterbyrd • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

CDC recently updated estimated infection fatality rates for COVID. Here are the updated survival rates by age group:

0-19: 99.997%
20-49: 99.98%
50-69: 99.5%
70+: 94.6%

Only 6% of covid are purely caused by covid.

By walterbyrd • Score: 3, Informative • Thread

This according to the CDC. For example, there was a case were a guy was killed in a motorcycle accident, and it was attributed to covid.

This virus is about 10% virus, and about 90% politics. Models have been wildly inaccurate. The numbers are all over the map. So is the advice.

The WHO has recently stated that lockdowns are not a good idea. Recent CDC data suggests masks are not that effective. Everybody flip-flops all the time.

Trump has proved that even an overweight 74 year old can blow off covid like it's nothing.

CDC recently updated estimated infection fatality rates for COVID. Here are the updated survival rates by age group:

0-19: 99.997%
20-49: 99.98%
50-69: 99.5%
70+: 94.6%

Re:it's just gonna go away, you'll see

By geekmux • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Masks are enforced here in Canada and we still have surges in cases. Masks do nothing to reduce the number of cases. People think they do, but their effect, if any, is negligible...

Military grade gas masks for every deadly cocktail we've ever encountered or engineered on the battlefield, but a deadly novel coronavirus? Yeah, just tie an old t-shirt around your face and write a cute saying on it. Good enough.

Go figure they're basically worthless, because that is not protection.

Re:it's just gonna go away, you'll see

By hairyfeet • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

You gonna landmine the border? Because if you don't your entire plan falls to shit as new infected just keep crapflooding in packed like sardines in trucks and of course if you DO try to stop them a certain party will scream "Thats Raciss!".

The sad part is the Wuflu should have ended the debate on a wall right then and there because being able to stop disease spreaders by locking down areas has been a strategy for stopping plagues for the better part of a thousand years but nope, you have to let those hundreds of disease ridden plague bearers into the country or a certain party calls you a monster. I bet if we had an outbreak of the flipping T-Virus they would have pink hairs in the street screaming for zombie rights and saying "You can't shoot that zombie in the head you're a WHITE MALE REEE!"...FFS.

Xbox's Phil Spencer Hints At Exclusivity Potential For Bethesda Games

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
In an interview with Kotaku, Xbox boss Phil Spencer said that Microsoft doesn't need to ship future Bethesda games on PlayStation in order to recoup the $7.5 billion it spent acquiring Bethesda's parent company, Zenimax Media, last month. Spencer also explained that the deal wasn't specifically signed to take games away from the platform. Pure Xbox reports: "This deal was not done to take games away from another player base like that. Nowhere in the documentation that we put together was: 'How do we keep other players from playing these games?' We want more people to be able to play games, not fewer people to be able to go play games. But I'll also say in the model -- I'm just answering directly the question that you had -- when I think about where people are going to be playing and the number of devices that we had, and we have xCloud and PC and Game Pass and our console base, I don't have to go ship those games on any other platform other than the platforms that we support in order to kind of make the deal work for us. Whatever that means."

Previously, Spencer noted to Yahoo Finance that the Xbox community should feel the Bethesda acquisition is a "huge investment in the experiences they are going to have in the Xbox ecosystem," and he wants that ecosystem to "absolutely be the best place to play, and we think game availability is absolutely part of that." However, the Xbox boss has also confirmed that decisions on whether games will be exclusive to Xbox will ultimately be made on a "case-by-case basis", so it might still be a while before we know more.

Bethesda Good?!?

By rtb61 • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

That would be because Bethesda games have been so good lately, what is the music meme associated with Bethesda by their customers 'tell me lies, tell me sweet little lies, tell me lies, tell me lies'. Either M$ believes those lies or they are just working to spread them more, I think they are working to spread them more.

Bethesda games used to be good, not so much any more and amongst gamers, there reputation is now utter shite. Zero trust, each game on it's own merits probably a year after publication to avoid the chango switcho to micro transaction grind pay to win.

Is anybody surprised?

By stikves • Score: 3 • Thread

They have spent over $7 Billion for a purchase, and they would want to maximize what they get for it.

Yes, they can run it as is, and oversee a generic publisher. But there is no reason to do that. They could earn more money by not doing that in investing somewhere else.

And they have over 50 million Xbox consoles sold, and Billions of Windows machines which can run those games. Why would they want to extend this great advantage to PlayStation? Remember even Sony is bringing some of their exclusives to the PC. PC is where most of the players are.

Future looks dark

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

I don't see the games going in a good direction. Microsoft also bought out the developers of Wasteland 3 a couple of years ago, in the latter part of that game's development. You can tell they shoehorned consolization into it after the buyout.
WL2 had a year's worth of time between the PC and console releases. As it should be with a game like this - The combat is turn-based, grid-based strategy... Lots of reading... the exact opposite of what works on a console. WL3 had all the platforms' release date synchronized. After MS bought the studio, suddenly they felt the need to add voice acting for all dialog, and add detailed 3D models for two or three characters... characters that you spend maybe 5% of the game's dialog-time conversing with. It adds nothing to the game. All this pushed back the game's release date by about a year. Meanwhile there are huge sections of the map that have obviously deleted dungeons, and lots of other clues to cut content, that are probably to appear as DLC. The previous game actually came with a parody of DLC on its title screen, a fake ad for non-existent DLC. Way to shit all over a series' legacy.
And of course, the game's release 6 weeks ago came with a mountain of game-killing bugs that are too numerous to discuss on this post. But they could find time to add those pointless full-screen scenes with detailed models to look at, while you work through a couple minutes of dialog trees.

Bethesda has been consolizing their games for over a decade, so I'm actually less concerned about them, they have a shorter way to fall. But I am pretty disappointed in Wasteland 3, and my hopes for the next one have all but died. Microsoft couldn't even let them finish developing Wasteland 3 as-is, and that game was halfway done when they bought the studio.

Billionaire CEO of Software Company Indicted For Alleged $2 Billion Tax Evasion Schemes

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
The billionaire chief executive of Ohio-based Reynolds and Reynolds Co, Robert Brockman, has been indicted on charges of tax evasion and wire fraud conducted over "decades." ZDNet reports: The scheme, in which roughly $2 billion was hidden away in offshore accounts and through money laundering, took place between 1999 and 2019, the US Department of Justice (DoJ) said on Thursday. According to the indictment (.PDF), the resident of both Houston, Texas, and Pitkin County, Colorado allegedly used a "web" of offshore organizations in Bermuda and Nevis to hide the profits he made from investments in private equity funds.

Brockman squirreled away his capital gains and also tampered with the evidence of his alleged activities, prosecutors say, by methods including backdating records and using "encrypted communications and code words" to communicate with co-conspirators, including the phrases "Permit," "King," and "Redfish." A ranch, luxury home, and yacht were among the purchases apparently made with non-taxed income. US prosecutors also say that between 2008 and 2010, Brockman used a third-party entity to purchase $67.8 million in debt securities from the software company. As CEO, the executive is not permitted to do so without full disclosure as it can have an impact on share prices and trading; however, Brockman allegedly did so without informing sellers.

As a result, approximately $2 billion in income was kept hidden from the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS). In addition, US prosecutors allege that investors in the software firm's debt securities were also defrauded. A federal grand jury in San Francisco, California has issued a 39-count indictment, including seven counts of tax evasion, 20 counts of wire fraud, money laundering, evidence tampering, and destruction of evidence.

Smart rich guys tax shelter their income.

By hey! • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Dumb ones lie about their income.

After so many years of political favors to the wealthy, a billionaire who cheats at his taxes is cheating in a game that's already rigged in his favor.

Re:Smart rich guys tax shelter their income.

By Krishnoid • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

He has agreed to pay $139 million in taxes and penalties and forfeit $182 million in charitable donations.

And now that he's caught cheating, it's rigged in his favor enough to forfeit only about $320E6, or about a 16% rate on $2E9 in income. How does this work again? Incentives or something?


By backslashdot • Score: 3 • Thread

Seems like the perfect candidate for Republicans 2024 presidential nomination assuming the current one can be persuaded to leave.

Twenty years to spot this?

By ytene • Score: 3 • Thread
Life is never this simple, but if you do the math, tax evasion to the tune of $2 Billion in 20 years means that Brockman was hiding an average of $100 million a year.

We also know from the article that he did make several significant purchases ("a ranch, a yacht and a luxury home"), but of course these could have been purchased by a holding company - say one set up in a tax haven - to hide the true owners.

But seriously? How on earth did the IRS miss this for 20 years?

Re:Business experience

By quonset • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Sounds well-qualified to be President of the USA

You're not too far off. This article from Forbes lists the at least $1 billion in debt the con artist owes (not the $400 million previously reported). One of the more interesting parts is this:

The debt against Trump’s Chicago tower includes the most confounding liability in his portfolio. In addition to a Deutsche Bank loan for what seems to be $45 million, there’s a loan of more than $50 million, from a creditor named Chicago Unit Acquisition LLC. Here’s where things gets confusing: Donald Trump owns Chicago Unit Acquisition LLC, so he’s lending money to himself. If one of his companies owes more than $50 million to another one of his companies, then the company lending the money should theoretically be worth more than $50 million. But Trump does not list any value for Chicago Unit Acquisition LLC on his financial disclosure report. All of this has befuddled investigative reporters from Mother Jones, the Washington Post and, yes, Forbes for years.

And here's something else. Chicago Unit Acquisition LLC lists no employees, has no contact information and never files any financial paperwork.

It's almost as if this company isn't real and the con artist simply pulled fake money out of the air.

Google Is Beginning the Forced Migration From Hangouts To Chat Next Year

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Google will officially transition users from Google Hangouts to Google Chat starting next year. The Verge reports: As part of the change, Chat, a messaging service previously only available to customers who pay for Google Workspace (the recent rebranding of G Suite), will become a free service that's available inside of Gmail and in a standalone app. And some Hangouts features will be going away ahead of its disappearance. The transition from Hangouts to Chat will begin sometime in the first half of 2021, when Google will offer tools to help automatically bring your Hangouts conversations, contacts, and chat history to Chat, according to a blog post. It's unclear what steps will be required for that migration, but Google says it will share guidance at some point.

The switch from Hangouts to Chat will take place gradually, and there will be a period of time when both messaging services are still available. Eventually, all free users and Workspace customers will be moved over to Chat. Once that's done, then Chat will fully replace Hangouts. As for why you'd want to upgrade from Hangouts to Chat before you're forced to, there are both carrots and sticks. On the plus side, Google says Chat not only offers features like direct and group conversations you might be familiar with from Hangouts, but it can also let you more easily plan and collaborate with others.
Google also announced that it is planning to remove some specific Hangouts features, such as the ability to manage texts and phone calls from Hangouts. They're also planning to remove Google Voice support from Hangouts early next year, as well as no longer letting you call phone numbers from Hangouts.

What's the point of using Google products?

By DontBeAMoran • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

What's the point of using Google products when you know that sooner or later they're going to stop working.

What's chat?

By GraWil • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
"This account doesn't have access to Google Chat." Sigh

as long as the xmpp side is still open

By Sleeping Kirby • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
That's all I really use. Though reading the blog post:

Chat includes familiar Hangouts features like direct and group messaging

I find it funny the most basic things of the internet like direct messaging, is being touted. Like, at this point, I wonder why we ever got off of IRC.

Re:as long as the xmpp side is still open

By Voyager529 • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Like, at this point, I wonder why we ever got off of IRC.

Freenode and Rizon and plenty of other public IRC servers are still quite busy. Comp.Misc and a few other Usenet forums still have active discussions and threads with virtually no spam anymore. A number of BBSes are still active, many with Telnet or SSH access so you don't need to dial in.

The older protocols that facilitated communication may not be as popular as what's currently more widespread, but that's the beauty of the 'old internet'. You can't fire up an installed copy of Google Talk or Buzz or Wave, and you can't go to their browser-based iterations, but there are IRC clients for basically every OS ever that will still happily allow you to connect to Freenode.

I can't argue with that Google has been more successful than pretty much anyone involved in IRC, but if a time traveler came back and told me that a working IRC server would be reachable in 2070 but Google wouldn't have a usable chat service, I'd believe them.

Nikola Stock Falls 14 Percent After CEO Downplays Badger Truck Plans

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Nikola CEO Mark Russell downplayed the company's Badger pickup truck in comments to the Financial Times on Thursday. "The Badger was an interesting and exciting project to some shareholders, but our institutional shareholders are mostly focused on the business plan," Russell said. "Our core business plan since before we became publicly listed always focused on heavy trucks and hydrogen infrastructure." Russell's comments were published after markets closed on Thursday. Nikola's stock price plunged on Friday morning and is currently down about 14 percent for the day.

Negotiations with General Motors to design and build the truck have dragged on weeks longer than expected. Nikola and GM announced a wide-ranging partnership on September 8. It envisioned GM not only building the Badger but also supplying the batteries and fuel cells that power the trucks. Under the deal, GM would also supply hydrogen fuel-cell technology for Nikola's semi trucks outside the European market. Nikola was supposed to give GM $2 billion worth of stock to license GM's technology, reimburse GM to build out a Badger factory, and then pay GM on a cost-plus basis to assemble the Badger. The value of Nikola's stock soared immediately after the September 8 announcement, but it then tanked after a short-selling firm revealed that Nikola CEO Trevor Milton had lied when he said Nikola's first truck, the Nikola One, was fully functional. Nikola has admitted that a promotional video showed the truck rolling down a hill, not traveling under its own power. The price decline has made GM's expected $2 billion stake in Nikola worth much less.

Re:The Scam is Unravelling

By Rei • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

The amazing thing is that there's still people buying it at a $8-9B valuation.

The most "impressive" thing that "they've" done is largely contract out the construction of two actually "drivable" prototypes. Drivable in quotes because they appear to only be workable at low speeds, are incredibly loud even when stopped, have dramatically less power and range than claimed, and according to a recent statement from Nikola, are ~18 tonnes each.

Nikola's big stakeholders just need to hold through early December for their lockups to expire.

Am I the only one

By AvitarX • Score: 3, Informative • Thread
That instantly thought Nikola was a scam from the name?

Like Tesla is popular, I'm gonna make a car company to ride their popularity using the first name of the same person...

Seems like an obvious cash grab by chasing what's popular.

San Francisco Apartment Rents Crater Up To 31%, Most in US

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
San Francisco's sky-high apartment rents are falling fast. From a report: The median monthly rate for a studio in the city tumbled 31% in September from a year earlier to $2,285, compared with a 0.5% decline nationally, according to data released Tuesday by One-bedroom rents in San Francisco fell 24% and two-bedrooms were down 21%, to $2,873 and $3,931 a month, respectively. The figures underscore how the pandemic has roiled property markets and changed renter preferences. With companies allowing employees to work from home, people have fled cramped and costly urban areas in droves, seeking extra room in the suburbs or cheaper cities. Tech firms, in particular, have told staff they should expect to work remotely well into next year -- and may be able to do so permanently. "Renters are likely heading to more-affordable areas where they can get more space at a cheaper price," Danielle Hale,'s chief economist, said in a statement. "The future of rents in many of these cities will depend on whether companies require employees to work from the office or continue to allow remote work."


By nagora • Score: 3 • Thread

$2800 a month for a single-bed flat? Wow. I'll have three!

Landlords (and banks) are still making a fortune while everyone else has to make do on fumes and hope.

Flattening the wrong curve

By istartedi • Score: 3 • Thread

It used to be that people could find pockets of affordability in California. Now the high rent people are flowing out and the spread between Bay Area rents and exurb rents if less extreme. I'm quite exurban and own, so I wasn't very aware of what was going on with rentals; but they were complaining about it on the radio today. They're saying it's going to make our existing homeless problems worse--yes, there are rural homeless. This could even cause more wildfires if some of them decide to squat in flammable areas. That's already a problem in San Jose, but in SJ the fire response is fast and the flames have a good chance of being stopped by concrete. No such luck in most of rural NorCal, and despite this year's lightning fiasco, most fires are started by people.

So. By failing to flatten the Covid curve, we've flattened the price curve geographically and it's really not good on so many fronts...

Re:The pipe dream had to end at some point

By thegarbz • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Some of these big cities deserve to have the reset button pressed and come back to reality.

Reality is nothing more than supply and demand. Your idea of "reset" is little more than making a place less desirable to live through an extreme and sudden means. That isn't the best plan for a wealthy city.

if they don't get the extortion level price they are looking for

That's also a supply and demand situation. If they are being undercut they won't get tenants. It's not extortion to not want to pay someone what *they* think their shit is worth. This is the very literal case of people simply voting with their wallet, the exact opposite of extortion.

Wealthy people escaping the plague

By WierdUncle • Score: 3 • Thread

In the UK, I have read of some kind of exodus from cities, towards country properties. The fact is, the concentrated living conditions in cities make virus transmission much more likely. I live in Birmingham, which is a virus hotspot, subject to additional restrictions. My sister lives in a village in Herefordshire. No problems there. Continuing working from home makes rural living quite practical for many people.

Of course, there is the problem of the availability of properties in the country. An exodus of wealthy people from cities to rural areas will drive up prices. While this would benefit people who already own property in rural areas, it makes it difficult for locals to buy property, which might mean younger people leaving small towns and villages, because they cannot afford to live there. This already happens in tourist areas with a large number of holiday homes.

Re:Never a bigger lot of criminals in all of histo

By NormalVisual • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

I gotta say that I'm largely with you there. My favorite experience as a tenant was after I moved out of my apartment about 15 years ago. I got a notice that the landlord was claiming the entire security deposit, and an additional charge because they had to replace the kitchen countertop. (I had accidentally set something hot on the counter top, which lightened the color there from beige to a lighter beige). So, I went down to the management office to talk with them about what all had been done to justify the claim against my deposit. They told me (in a rather condescending manner) that they'd had to remove the entire countertop and replace it with a new one because of color-matching issues. They claimed that the work had been done shortly after I moved out. What they *didn't* know was that I knew the tenant that now occupied my old unit - she had been renting the 2BR unit across from me, and was happy because she was getting my old 3BR unit. We weren't close friends, but we did know each other well enough to chat occasionally

After leaving the management office, I went down to my old place and knocked on the door, explained the situation to my old neighbor that now lived there, and asked if I could come in and take some pictures. She cheerfully agreed, and as I suspected, no work at all had been done to the kitchen. Additionally, they hadn't even replaced the carpet or repainted after I'd been there seven years. I carefully photographed everything, and then went right back to the office.

I spoke to the same manager, and asked her if she was sure that the work on the countertop had been done. She said, "yes, absolutely". I then asked her if she wanted to stick with that story, to which she also responded yes. I then showed her the photos proving that NO work had been done on the apartment since I left and told her that I had their claim for the security deposit with me, and that I was going to be heading to the local police department to report them for felony fraud, and then would be making a phone call to the local news station clearly identifying the apartment complex and her personally. Her attitude changed very quickly.

I got a cashier's check for my full deposit the next day via FedEx. :-)

Elon Musk's Las Vegas Loop Might Only Carry a Fraction of the Passengers It Promised

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
The Boring Company's Las Vegas Convention Center loop " will not be able to move anywhere near the number of people LVCC wants, and that TBC agreed to," reports TechCrunch. The LVCC wanted transit that could move up to 4,400 people every hour between exhibition halls and parking lots on the Los Vegas Strip. According to planning files reviewed by TechCrunch, "the system might only be able to transport 1,200 people an hour -- around a quarter of its promised capacity." From the report: Fire regulations peg the occupant capacity in the load and unload zones of one of the Loop's three stations at just 800 passengers an hour. If the other stations have similar limitations, the system might only be able to transport 1,200 people an hour -- around a quarter of its promised capacity. If TBC misses its performance target by such a margin, Musk's company will not receive more than $13 million of its construction budget -- and will face millions more in penalty charges once the system becomes operational.

So what is stopping TBC from transporting as many people as both it and the LVCC wants? There are national fire safety rules for underground transit systems that specify alarms, sprinklers, emergency exits and a maximum occupant load, to avoid overcrowding in the event of a fire. Building plans submitted by The Boring Company include a fire code analysis for one of the Loop's above-ground stations. The above screenshot from the plans notes that the area where passengers get into and out of the Tesla cars has a peak occupancy load of 100 people every 7.5 minutes, equivalent to 800 passengers an hour. Even if the other stations had higher limits, this would limit the system's hourly capacity to about 1,200 people.

The plans do not show any turnstiles or barriers to limit entry. Even without the safety restrictions, the Loop may struggle to hit its capacity goals. Each of the 10 bays at the Loop's stations must handle hundreds of passengers an hour, corresponding to perhaps 100 or more arrivals and departures, depending on how many people each car is carrying. That leaves little time to load and unload people and luggage, let alone make the 0.8-mile journey and occasionally recharge.

The math in the article is wrong.

By laird • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

First, if each station in the loop has a capacity of 800 people departing per hour, and there are three stations, isn't the total capacity 2,400 people per hour?

Second, the fire safety laws limit the number of people queued up, not how fast the queues move. They're leaving 7.5 minutes for people to get out of the car, and another set of people load in, which seems quite conservative. And if people unload and load faster than the 7.5 minutes, then of course the throughput could go up. And 7.5 minutes seems like a very slow estimate of the time it takes 4-5 people to get out of a car, and another 4-5 people get into the car, even with some luggage.

I have an idea.

By versiondub • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
They should build bigger cars that hold more people. The additional weight will certainly require some innovation; how about instead of rubber tires the cars are on metal tracks? Does anyone have a name they'd like to suggest? "Underground Mega-Car on Rails" has a nice ring but I'm sure there's a more catchy word that we can use.

Re:And this is why the Constitution matters

By Rei • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Except no. This entire article is because someone can't do math.

TBC's goal is a max of 2200 people per hour on this project. The fire code analysis filed by TBC states that, per 7,5 minutes, there can be 200 people on the queue platform and 100 people in "Vehicles load / unload", both of these numbers limited by the square footage under NFPA 130 Sec. 5.3.2. The key part of this regulation includes:

The peak period occupant load for each platform shall be based on the simultaneous evacuation of the entraining load and the train load for that platform in the peak period.

As can be seen from the diagram, the vehicle load / unload area is on the right-hand side of the vehicles, and only serves half of the people entering and exiting the vehicles (people entering / exiting the right-hand side), but everyone has to pass through the queue area on the way out. So the queue area has to serve double the number of people: 200 = 100 in, 100 out. The load / unload area, by contrast, is 100 people - 50 in, 50 out.

So let's see. 100 people arrive in cars from other stations every 7,5 minutes and get out. 50 of those get out on the right-hand side
100 people get into vehicles - 50 directly from the queue area, 50 from the load-unload area.
3 stations.

100 * (60/7,5) * 3 = 2400. Wow, imagine that, a reasonable ~10%-ish margin of error above their goal of 2200. Almost like they planned it that way.

I mean, seriously, what was the logic here? As if nobody at TBC noticed this? Or that they noticed it but decided to not change their plans one iota and not get paid?

The author then goes on to state:

Even without the safety restrictions, the Loop may struggle to hit its capacity goals. Each of the 10 bays at the Loop’s stations must handle hundreds of passengers an hour, corresponding to perhaps 100 or more arrivals and departures, depending on how many people each car is carrying. That leaves little time to load and unload people and luggage, let alone make the 0.8-mile journey and occasionally recharge.

Gee, 100 or more trips per station per hour from 10 bays. Heck, let's call it 200! ... so 20 per bay per hour. ... so 3 minutes per bay.

I don't know about you, but I've never taken more than 1 1/2 minutes to get in and out of a taxi in *my life*. By all means subtract 5-10 seconds for an automated pull-in and another 5-10 seconds for an automated pull-out. You can load a bloody tram full of people in 30 seconds, much less your mean loading time a small vehicle.

But of course, it's a Musk company. So of course people like Mark Harris are desperately searching for ways to declare that it won't work, like people have jumped at the opportunity to do for everything Musk has ever done.

Re:Why does this sound ridiculously small?

By Rei • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Why does this sound ridiculously small?

Because it is ridiculously small. It's a tiny contract for a tiny prototype line serving only three stations. Its success thusfar recently gained them approval to build a vastly larger network, however, serving the Vegas strip, airport, and downtown. Success in that will gain them contracts to cover even more of Vegas and help them land contracts in other cities. Repeat.

Again we see this weird thing where people seem to expect companies to just be birthed at mass-scale. Where does this notion come from? I really don't get this mindset. Maybe it's because many people in this site work in software and are used to really short development cycles or something?

Re:And this is why the Constitution matters

By Rei • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

The actual contract awards TBC:

1) $4,4M for 2200 passengers per hour
2) An additional $4,4M for 3300 per hour
3) An additional $4,4M for 4400 per hour.

The stretch goals can be added incrementally over time; payouts are made at the time of meeting each incremental goal.

All of which you would know had you read the bloody article that you're commenting on.

Boeing 737 Max Judged Safe To Fly By Europe's Aviation Regulator

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
schwit1 shares a report from Bloomberg: Europe's top aviation regulator said he's satisfied that changes to Boeing Co.'s 737 Max have made the plane safe enough to return to the region's skies before 2020 is out, even as a further upgrade his agency demanded won't be ready for up to two years. After test flights conducted in September, EASA is performing final document reviews ahead of a draft airworthiness directive it expects to issue next month, said Patrick Ky, executive director of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency. That will be followed by four weeks of public comment, while the development of a so-called synthetic sensor to add redundancy will take 20 to 24 months, he said. The software-based solution will be required on the larger 737 Max 10 variant before its debut targeted for 2022, and retrofitted onto other versions.

Europe before the FAA!

By hcs_$reboot • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
The European regulator approved the "new" Max before the FAA. Given the economic implications, and the competition between Boeing and Airbus, that shows that the European agency is clearly independent.

Give me a reason and a great price

By Mean Variance • Score: 3 • Thread

As a nervous flyer ... I'll jump on one tomorrow with no more worry than any other plane I fly. I just have a primitive nervousness about flying anytime the plane shakes and I just accept it. I also understand statistics. Pre grounding I still would have had almost zero chance of a problem just like any other flight. With some fixes and heavy testing, it'll be even better. Where are we going?

Talk to me when...

By c-A-d • Score: 3 • Thread

They've got 2 years without an accident at the pre-covid-19 flight levels.

Re:Much like the Corona vaccine

By bobbied • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

I'll stick to the "older" 737 models until they get those sensors finished, thankfully they fly that anywhere I might go and they're the safest and most comfortable thing in commercial use.

What sensor are you talking about? There will be NO third sensor. What they will do is synthesize a third virtual sensor using other information they have like airspeed, altitude, etc, and a bit of math.

Re:Much like the Corona vaccine

By bobbied • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

So they're going to fix the 737 deathtrap with software? Running on a pair of fossilized 286s, is that it? Please excuse me if I don't jump at the chance to fly in that.

You do understand that this computer is the same one flown on many generations of the 737 before the MAX and has shown to be highly reliable design, a characteristic which is highly prised in the industry.

Also understand that a 286, even a slow one, is a LOT of computing power if you are using it correctly (and not doing stupid stuff like running Java JVM's or heavyweight things like windows on it). If you cannot get your real-time computing job done in a 286, you have some serious problem on your hands, something bigger than any modern aircraft. Writing code in assembly or just plain C++ on a Linux platform and running it on a 286 is going to be sufficient for most real-time controller applications I can imagine. Just because it would make a poor performer running bloatware like windows and Excell, doesn't mean it is without computing power. Are there faster CPUs on the market? Sure, but how many of them are able to meet the demanding specifications to be used in an aircraft?

Operating at Extended temperatures at low atmospheric pressures are hard to achieve, your desktop would die quickly at 10,000 FT and -40 F, but not this system, it would run just fine on the tarmac in Alaska in the dead of winter where it's -40 sometimes or departing from Bagdad in the heat of summer in the late afternoon where it's been 120F in the shade for days. I dare you to try that with your laptop.. I'll bet it wouldn't boot in either condition, yet this computer on the 737 has to, and more..

A Disturbing Twinkie That Has, So Far, Defied Science

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Apparently Twinkies aren't immortal. After discovering that his 8-year-old Twinkies "tasted like old sock," biologist Colin Purrington sent them to a pair of scientists -- Brian Lovett and Matt Kasson from West Virginia University in Morgantown -- to study the kind of fungus growing on them. An anonymous reader shares the report from NPR: The researchers immediately thought some kind of fungus was involved in attacking the 8-year-old Twinkies, because they've studied fungi that kill insects and dry them out in a similar way. Plus, the reddish blotch on one Twinkie seemed to have a growth pattern that's typical of fungi. [...] They noticed that the wrapping on the mummified Twinkie seemed to be sucked inward, suggesting that the fungus got in before the package was sealed and, while the fungus was consuming the Twinkie, it was using up more air or oxygen than it was putting out.

"You end up with a vacuum," Lovett says. "And very well that vacuum may have halted the fungus's ability to continue to grow. We just have the snapshot of what we were sent, but who knows if this process occurred five years ago and he just only noticed it now." A quick examination with a magnifying scope revealed fungal sporulation on both the marred and mummified Twinkies, again suggesting the involvement of fungi. The researchers used a bone marrow biopsy tool to sort of drill through the tough outer layer of the gray, mummified Twinkie. "We certainly hit the marrow of the Twinkie and quickly realized that there was still some cream filling on the inside," Kasson says.

From the Twinkie marked with just a dark circle of mold, they were able to grow up a species of Cladosporium. "Cladosporium is one of the most common, airborne, indoor molds worldwide," says Kasson, who cautions that they haven't done a DNA analysis to confirm the species. So far, however, no fungi have grown from the sample taken out of the mummified Twinkie. "It may be that we don't have any living spores despite this wonderful, rare event that we've witnessed," Lovett says. "Spores certainly die, and depending on the fungus, they can die very quickly." They're not giving up, though. They'll fill lab dishes with all kinds of sweet concoctions to try to coax something back to life from the mysterious Twinkie mummy.

"tasted like old sock"???

By mark-t • Score: 3 • Thread

Why on earth does he know what old sock tastes like?

On second thought, maybe I don't want to know....

Re:"tasted like old sock"???

By nospam007 • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

"Why on earth does he know what old sock tastes like? "


Re:I'm so glad that...

By Brain-Fu • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

There isn't enough funding, nor enough research jobs, for all researchers to focus on these three concerns.

In fact, there isn't enough work, total, to keep all available researchers busy. Here is a random article I found about that.

We have a real cultural problem in that we are pushing too many kids into getting an education in science so they can then face a working world where there aren't nearly enough jobs to go around...leaving them in debt and looking for whatever they can find that is outside of their degree (and probably depressed by this).

We should *stop* marketing science education to kids, and *start* voting for politicians who want to spend more on research.


By Impy the Impiuos Imp • Score: 3 • Thread

They'll fill lab dishes with all kinds of sweet concoctions to try to coax something back to life from the mysterious Twinkie mummy.

Mabe they prefer ding dongs.

A "Disturbing Twinkie"?

By ItsJustAPseudonym • Score: 3 • Thread
"Disturbing Twinkie" sounds like an ex-girlfriend, actually.

Google Says it Mitigated a 2.54 Tbps DDoS Attack in 2017, Largest Known To Date

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
The Google Cloud team revealed today a previously undisclosed DDoS attack that targeted Google service back in September 2017 and which clocked at 2.54 Tbps, making it the largest DDoS attack recorded to date. From a report: In a separate report published at the same time, the Google Threat Threat Analysis Group (TAG), the Google security team that analyzes high-end threat groups, said the attack was carried out by a state-sponsored threat actor. TAG researchers said the attack came from China, having originated from within the network of four Chinese internet service providers (ASNs 4134, 4837, 58453, and 9394). Damian Menscher, a Security Reliability Engineer for Google Cloud, said the 2.54 Tbps peak was "the culmination of a six-month campaign" that utilized multiple methods of attacks to hammer Google's server infrastructure.


By pele • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

They inadvertently made google make their infrastructure more resilient by providing freee test services to them

2.54 Tablespoons?

By RandomUsername99 • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

2.54 Tablespoons? Big whoop.

The 'china bad 'stuff asside

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 3, Interesting • Thread

is no one concerned that a private company has essentially defended itself against a sovereign nation successfully, not just a sovereign nation, but the largest nation in the world lost a fight against big brother incorporated, err i mean google

google has far too much power

Blackhole the ASNs then.

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Fastest way in the world to get ISPs to wake up and get their shit together.

You Can Now Install Microsoft Windows Calculator on Linux

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader shares a report: Earlier, Microsoft released the source for Windows Calculator. And now, that calculator app has been ported to Linux by Uno Platform. Best of all, it's insanely easy to install as it is packaged in Snap format. "The good folks in the Uno Platform community have ported the open-source Windows Calculator to Linux. And they've done it quicker than Microsoft could bring their browser to Linux. The calculator is published in the snapstore and can be downloaded right away," explains Rhys Davies, Product Manager, Canonical.


By Darinbob • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Meanwhile in the Microsoft boardrooms the discussion is ongoing:
"What else can we do to make users hate Linux?"
"Maybe if we put some of Windows applications on Linux, that might work."
"Smithson, that's brilliant! A $20 Bed Bath and Beyond gift card bonus for you!"


By nyet • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Snap is garbage

What is so hard about deb packaging? Don't say dependency hell. If you did, you're relying on libraries written by morons.

I have Emacs

By nagora • Score: 3 • Thread

The calculator in that can do basically everything I need - and a lot more. And I don't need Canonical's garbageware Snap for it.

Reboots, updates, whatever

By Snotnose • Score: 3 • Thread
So does this mean my Linux box will reboot every few days to update the calculator?

Does anyone ELSE avoid Snap?

By pecosdave • Score: 3 • Thread

I avoid Snap because I want tidier, smaller packages instead of 400 copies of the same libraries on my system. I understand the appeal of Snap, but in concept it's the opposite of efficient and every bit the equivalent of "just copy it to every directory until you hit the right one".

I use KDE Neon, so I pretty much have to remove Snap support as soon as I install the OS to keep from getting flat-packs.

Group Files 'Largest FOIA of All Time'

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Reclaim the Records -- a group of activist genealogists, historians, journalists, teachers -- has filed what may be the largest Freedom Of Information Act Request of all time. The group wants the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) to release billions of digital images and their associated metadata to the public. From a report: NARA is a government agency that preserves and archives the American government's historical records. It's also supposed to increase public access to those records. To accomplish that goal, NARA partnered with private companies such as genealogical website to digitize and upload census records, immigration records, and other historical documents. Digitizing these records is a massive task, one NARA likely couldn't accomplish on its own. In exchange for its help, NARA granted the private companies limited exclusivity to the records. That means that billions of documents related to America's history are behind paywalls on sites like Ancestry, FamilySearch, and Fold3.

According to the agreements, the sites were supposed to open up their digitized archive to the public after an exclusivity period of 3 - 5 years. "In practice, this simply hasn't happened," Reclaim the Records said in a blog post announcing the FOIA. "NARA has never actually posted online the vast majority of these records that were digitized through their partnership program, not to their Catalog nor indeed anywhere else where the public might be able to freely access and download the now-digital records. This remains the case today, even when the embargo periods for many of these record sets have been expired for more than a decade, sometimes two decades." Most of these are stored behind's paywall, in part because Ancestry purchased several of the other sites that NARA had made deals with when they were still independent.

About time

By StonyCreekBare • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

As an Ancestry subscriber, I have access to a lot of this data, but it is a disgrace that it isn't freely available to all. Some is, of course, but a lot isn't. Time to open the floodgates and let the data be available to all.

FOIA is a nice start.

By Edward Nardella • Score: 3 • Thread

What would be even nicer is to have lots more data be public by default.

Ancestry's complete document library is free

By dmay34 • Score: 3 • Thread

Ancestry provides public libraries free access to their entire historic library. You can probably go to your local library today and search their database.

(Their DNA databases are obviously not availiable, nor are their user uploaded information.)

Re:Ancestry's complete document library is free

By Aighearach • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Yeah, but if you read the story, it would probably be against the law to charge the government for it, because the government already paid for it. And they already paid for me to have it for "free," too, but I don't.

Actually, a lot of it *is* available

By PeeAitchPee • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

And NARA even built a nice freely available API:

A few problems though: a) the documentation isn't great; b) though useful to the Slashdot crowd, the API doesn't provide great access to the (non-technical) folks submitting this FOIA; and c) it literally provides access to mostly unstructured / flat content; the images themselves, plus a little bit of metadata.

British Airways Fined $26 Million Over Data Breach

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
British Airways has been fined $26m by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) for a data breach which affected more than 400,000 customers. From a report: The breach took place in 2018 and affected both personal and credit card data. The fine is considerably smaller than the $236m that the ICO originally said it intended to issue back in 2019. It said "the economic impact of Covid-19" had been taken into account. However, it is still the largest penalty issued by the ICO to date. The incident took place when BA's systems were compromised by its attackers, and then modified to harvest customers' details as they were input. It was two months before BA was made aware of it by a security researcher, and then notified the ICO.


By LenKagetsu • Score: 3 • Thread

When do the victims get their £65 cut?

Fake news

By PPH • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

British Airways can't keep their IT systems up long enough to lose 400,000 records.

France and the Netherlands Call For Tough EU Powers To Curb Big Tech

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
France and the Netherlands have proposed stricter EU rules to oversee large technology firms, such as Alphabet, Facebook and Amazon. From a report: In a joint document, seen by CNBC and due to be sent to the European Commission, the EU's executive arm, the two countries suggested that an EU authority should be able to control the market position of these large tech platforms. "Our common ambition is to design a framework that will be efficient enough to address the economic footprint of such actors on the European economy and to be able to 'break them open,'" Cedric O, the secretary of state for digital transition in France, said in a statement. "Access to data, to services, interoperability ... these are efficient tools that we should be able to use, with a tailor-made approach, in order to tackle market foreclosure and ensure freedom of choice for consumers," he added. The EU, arguably at the forefront of regulation in this space, has intensified talks regarding Big Tech and the competitive landscape over the last 12 months. In addition to pursuing anti-trust investigations on some of the largest firms, the Commission is also working on data protection rules.

Re:Not curb, bleed

By AmiMoJo • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

It seems like a better plan than the US one of removing Section 230 protection and letting them flounder.

This should achieve the same goal by opening up the market. The political leanings of Twitter will become irrelevant because there will be a healthy market for micro blogging services. Interoperability will ensure that even if Facebook decides to ban anti-vaxx posts you can join an anti-vaxx friendly social network and still communication with your friends and family on other sites.

Uber on the Hunt For Strategic Alternatives for Uber Elevate

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Uber is seeking strategic alternatives for its Uber Elevate business, including strategic partnerships or a partial sale, Axios reported Friday, citing multiple sources. From the report: This reflects Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi's obsession with achieving profitability, as evidenced by partial sales of Uber's money-losing freight and self-driving units. Uber Elevate's goal is to develop a network of self-driving taxis, with its website suggesting a launch year of 2023.

Uber Elevate

By fustakrakich • Score: 3, Funny • Thread

Holy shit! They bought Otis??

self-driving cars owned by subs who have no funds

By Joe_Dragon • Score: 3 • Thread

self-driving cars owned by subs who have no funds to pay for victims damages when they get in an crash.

Uber can say that local fleet is own / leased by joe's taxi lcc you need to sue them for damages. Even when all of the code / hardware is from Uber but they don't want to have to take on the costs of being an owner of an big fleet of cars so they get an franchise to cover that cost.

Uber is Hiring Hundreds of Engineers in India To Cut Costs

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Uber said it is working to hire 225 engineers in India, strengthening its tech team in the key overseas market months after it eliminated thousands of jobs globally. From a report: The move comes as several high-profile engineers have left Uber India in recent months to join Google and Amazon, among other tech giants. A senior engineer who recently left Uber told TechCrunch that many of his peers had lost confidence in Uber's future prospects in the country. [...] In July, news outlet The Information described Uber chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi's plan to move engineering roles to India as a cost-saving measure. The report said Khosrowshahi's plan had sparked internal debates. Thuan Pham, Uber's longtime chief technology officer, who left the company earlier this year, reportedly cautioned that hiring more engineers so quickly in India would "require accepting lower-quality candidates." Further reading: Nearly 70,000 Tech Startup Employees Have Lost Their Jobs Since March (July 2020).

Genius move

By DrXym • Score: 3 • Thread
Zero cultural knowledge, language barriers and revolving door staff retention. But think of the savings!

Where's Trump when you need him?

By RotateLeftByte • Score: 3 • Thread

He'll stop this in a flash... as in ban Uber. (sic)

Seriously, why is this news? Don't all US Companies with a Wall St Listing do this already?

Re:Worked for Microsoft...

By jellomizer • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

It isn't that the Indians are bad at coding. I have found the problem is most businesses offshore to India to try to just get things done Cheap. So they will bargain price for the cheapest they can find in India.
Then you combined the parent company doesn't understand the culture, they don't realize the big deal of the time zone differences, subtle differences in language and grammar. You end up with a big problem often of crappy products. Because the company is in tune towards managing American Workers.

From my experience, Americans are more self reliant, you give them some basic specs, they will use their imagination and their experience to fill in the Gaps. While Indians will do what they are told. You give them basic specs and explain the big picture, you get basic results. Now if an Indian Company hires American workers, they will probably get Crap code as well, because they will give over elaborate specs, and the American worker will go, well I am not going to be micromanaged, so I am going to give you this instead, it will be crap because they don't have the big picture to work off of.

Shortly most businesses realize there is little to any real cost savings in the long run. It is better to hire people who are close to your community. If you want Indian developers get them into the United States and have them work in your office, at American Rates. They will quickly adapt to the culture and produce what you want.

Re:OK I have to ask.

By mbkennel • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Not true at all. You can't special case the corner cases in any ad-hoc way which will not hurt performance on the rest of the data.

I work in machine learning---they're trying to solve an extremely difficult problem. To get to acceptable levels of performance, to go from 99% to 99.9999%, requires the most extraordinary efforts and significant brilliance and major, fundamental scientific breakthroughs, as well as tremendously large and well specified data sets.

Seems right

By swilver • Score: 3 • Thread

225 indian engineers? That should just about cover the 5 that left.

Coinbase's New 'Direction' Is Censorship, Leaked Audio Reveals

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader shares a report: Brian Armstrong, CEO of cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, revealed in a late September blog post that the company would prohibit employees from debating political or social issues, deeming this a "distraction" from the company's mission. Armstrong doubled down on his position during a virtual all-hands held on October 1, billed as an "AMA" (for "ask me anything"), from which Motherboard obtained audio. The AMA was meant to further explain the company's new "apolitical" direction for those who might consider accepting a severance package that was offered to any employee who felt "uncomfortable." Executives also explained when and where dissent would be appropriate, and explained why they required employees to delete specific political Slack messages. This, at a company that works with cryptocurrencies intended to replace government banking systems in order to create a more free world. During the meeting, Armstrong claimed there is a "silent majority" at Coinbase that agreed with his decision but feared reprisal from colleagues. Armstrong and Coinbase leadership, however, failed to soothe fears that this policy would police employees if they voiced opinions that did not align with Armstrong or this "silent majority."

One former Coinbase employee who left the company after the AMA and to whom Motherboard provided anonymity due to fear of industry reprisal said that these assurances were insufficient and workers feared surveillance and censorship. These fears are not unfounded. Emile Choi, Coinbase's chief operating officer, explained that at least two employees were asked to delete Slack posts, and that HR head L.J. Brock "proactively reached out to employees to explain why their posts would be taken down. He had a very productive conversation with both of them and they understood the context," she said. One employee asked if Coinbase leadership thought that this was "taking away employee power to start a discussion except with 300 character questions" in an AMA format. "It seems like Coinbase is stunting internal discussion." Choi said that the entire executive team was aligned on Armstrong's post and policy, and that the new "culture is focused on what unites us and what we face in the world, which is building toward our mission," Choi said. "The goal was not intended to be harsh, it wasn't intended to land in a way where people felt they were being policed."

It's not censorship

By rsilvergun • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
it's Union Busting. Call it what it is.

Re:Yeah, we mean it

By AmiMoJo • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

I recall someone on Slashdot complaining about having homosexuality "rammed down their throat". Turns out what they meant was gay people talking about their partner or holding their hand in public.

Now everyone at Coinbase has to guess what random action or statement will be considered political by the boss.


By AmiMoJo • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Not getting involved is itself a position. A great historical example is IBM. They decided to ignore politics back in the 1930s.

Consumers consider politics too, e.g. the boycott of companies involved with apartheid era South Africa.

Re:Yeah, we mean it

By lars5 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

I recall a conversation I once had with someone on the subject of same-sex marriage. My stance was simple: I don't care, and the government shouldn't be involved in ANY marriage.

This was immediately attacked as being homophobic. It wasn't enough for the person I was speaking with for me to not care one way or the other what other people do. If I did not actively, openly support that person's position, I was to be labeled a homophobe (which is also a stupid term, I'm not afraid of it, I just don't care what consenting adults choose to do to/with each other).

This is the part that is bothersome to me. Go do you, leave me out of it, and I'll do the same.

Re:Yeah, we mean it

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

Wow, so much is wrong with your post that it's hard to know where to even start.

There is zero reason that marriage should be needed for any of these things, except for the fact that we've never bothered to make an alternate structure for some of them.

Joint property? WTF are you talking about? My wife and I just refinanced our house, and it didn't matter if we were married or not. Our names are both on the house. I've had family members who all owned a 20% share of a property. A friend's family made a corporation in order to keep substantial property assets in the family.

End of life decisions? Living will. Probably not as common as they should be, but there's nothing requiring marriage to have one. We already have a structure to indicate what someone's end-of-life wishes are, and who can make decisions about their care.

I agree hospital visitation is a little trickier. This is definitely a place where we could leverage EHRs to provide an alternate method to record who should have access to a patient and who can make health care decisions.

None of these things need marriage. And if you thought for 2 seconds, you'd know that. Parents aren't married to their kids, and yet they can handle all of the situations you described.

And damn are you ignorant and super irritating to talk to.

Has Apple Abandoned CUPS, Linux's Widely Used Open-Source Printing System? Seems So

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
The official public repository for CUPS, an Apple open-source project widely used for printing on Linux, is all-but dormant since the lead developer left Apple at the end of 2019. From a report: Apple adopted CUPS for Mac OS X in 2002, and hired its author Michael Sweet in 2007, with Cupertino also acquiring the CUPS source code. Sweet continued to work on printing technology at Apple, including CUPS, until December 2019 when he left to start a new company. Asked at the time about the future of CUPS, he said: "CUPS is still owned and maintained by Apple. There are two other engineers still in the printing team that are responsible for CUPS development, and it will continue to have new bug fix releases (at least) for the foreseeable future." Despite this statement, Linux watcher Michael Larabel noted earlier this week that "the open-source CUPS code-base is now at a stand-still. There was just one commit to the CUPS Git repository for all of 2020." This contrasts with 355 commits in 2019, when Sweet still worked at Apple, and 348 the previous year. We asked Apple about its plans for CUPS and have yet to hear back.

Re:how does Airprint work?

By gtall • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

You cannot Time Machine back up to an APFS disk from Catalina or before. You can with Big Sur.

Re:how does Airprint work?

By bjb • Score: 5, Informative • Thread requires their old HFS+ file system to work, and all current Macs use APFS.

Yes, it does still require HFS+ for the Time Machine storage volume, but lets not create confusion here. First, the service doesn't care that you're backing up an APFS or HFS+ volume. Second, when Time Machine creates a backup repository on your backup drive, it creates an HFS+ Sparse Bundle. That could live on an APFS volume happy as a clam. So in other words, Time Machine does use HFS+, but does not care what filesystem you have as long as it can create the sparse bundle on it.

(FWIW, I have Time Machine running on an APFS system and the backup is on an APFS disk as well, so I know this works!)

Re:Why fork? Submit to Apple open source repos

By Aighearach • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Of the code that I've been responsible for maintenance of since before 2015, there have been zero (0) commits in 2020, and there were zero (0) commits in 2019. A small number in 2018. And zero (0) commits in 2017 and 2016.

As with CUPS, none of the code I'm maintaining is even known about by PHBs, and it isn't web frontends, so there is nobody to thrash the code. it just runs and runs. Almost as if transistors wired as digital switches are deterministic!

Re:Why fork? Submit to Apple open source repos

By Junta • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

We actually can look at activity:

So no pull requests have landed successfully this year, but many have been attempted. That would seem to suggest the time has come for another fork to become the reference fork since apple doesn't seem to be thinking about it.

Re:What does one use on Linux?

By Bert64 • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

NFS is designed to be reliable, in its default state if your connection to the server dies it will wait for the connection to come back... Any reads or writes that were in progress will wait until the server returns.
Samba is not, if the server dies then reads/writes will fail.

NFS can be configured - see the hard, soft and intr mount options.

A few years ago i was playing music (from an nfs share) on my laptop, i took my laptop away for the weekend and obviously the music stopped... When i brought it back and reconnected it to the original network, the music resumed from exactly where it had stopped.

Developer Says AWS Forked His Project and Launched It As Its Own Service

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Tim Nolet, founder and chief technology officer of Checkly, tweeted on Friday: Oh @awscloud I really do love you! But next time you fork my OS project and present it as your new service, give the maintainers a short "nice job, kids" or something. Not necessary as per the APLv2 license, but still, ya know?


By hcs_$reboot • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Choose another license, or make your own.

Re:Big business stealing from small independend de

By jellomizer • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

It would be Nice to say please and Thank You, and yes you are probably a dick if you don't say that intentionally. However, calling someone for not saying Please and Thank You, where they aren't required to do so, is also a dick move.

If you are going to do a selfless act, it would be nice to get some gratitude, however if you demand gratitude for your selfless act, then it really wasn't a selfless act.

Re:Big business stealing from small independend de

By serviscope_minor • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Also: Amazon isn't a human person. Why should it abide by our niceties anyway?

Because it's made of people, so somewhere someone, an actual person decided not to be nice. Besides if they're treated as anough of people to have first amendments rights then they can be treated enough as people to call them dickheads when they do something dickish.

It's like complaining about the discourtesy of bees stinging you, or a wolf eating your chickens.

For fuck's sake, corporations aren't a force of nature. For every action they take an actual human takes the action. Stop giving people a free pass on meing arseholes or thieves just because they're doing it for money. That doesn't make it any better!

Re:Big business stealing from small independend de

By sideslash • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
No, and in fact your very phrase "dickhead move" is related to the fallacy some are guilty of here. The developer is complaining not about Law, but about Manners. It's not illegal to be a dickhead, however it is normal in our society to call out dickheads and urge them to behave in a more reasonable and civilized way.

You can argue that a minimal expectation of professional courtesy either does / does not require crediting to the person who did this work which Amazon rebranded as their own. That's a matter of opinion, and any consensus would simply be an emergent characteristic of a given population. Perhaps you'll find that open source developers have a very "mannerly" attitude further on the side of mutual acknowledgement, whereas the population of people living under the crack of Jeff Bezos' whip keep their heads down and just make money for the Amazon machine.

At any rate, Law and Manners - two different domains.

Alternate headline:

By thegarbz • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Developer upset that he chose the wrong license for his project now that someone with money is involved.

Chilling Report Suggests 1 Out of 5 Countries Could Be Headed For Ecosystem Collapse

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from ScienceAlert: A new insurance index from the Swiss Re Institute has found just over half of all global GDP -- nearly 42 trillion US dollars -- is dependent on goods and services provided by the natural world. In many places around the world, however, that sturdy foundation is turning to sand. The report, referred to as the Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Index, shows a fifth of the world's countries currently stand on fragile ecological ground, with more than a third of their land disrupted by human activity. That's 39 countries with ecosystems that could be at risk of collapse, largely due to widespread declines in biodiversity, whether that be from deforestation, farming, mining, run-off, invasive species, or a decline in pollinators.

The index was designed to give governments and businesses a benchmark for the state of local ecosystems important to their economies, in the hope that the data can help inform relevant insurance solutions for communities at risk. Developing nations in the index with large agricultural sectors -- like Kenya, Vietnam, Pakistan, Indonesia, and Nigeria -- are particularly at risk due to their GDP's reliance on natural resources, but "densely populated and economically important regions" such as Southeast Asia, Europe, and America are also exposed to risk despite their economic diversification. Among the top of the rankings sit Australia and South Africa, which are also among the world's largest economies, and are both also dealing with water scarcity, pollination, and coastal protection issues.
"For all 195 nations, researchers assessed the state of 10 'ecosystem services,' such as intact habitat, air quality, water security, soil fertility, coastal protection, erosion, and timber provision," the report adds. "Nearly a third of the countries -- exactly 60 in total -- were found to have ecosystems in a fragile state on more than 20 percent of their land. Only 41 countries had intact ecosystems covering the same expanse of land."

"This index doesn't necessarily mean these ecosystems or the economies that rely on them are doomed, but if we keep tracking the way we are, human activity could very well lead to tipping points and abrupt ecosystem collapse."

Malthus dung

By GerryHattrick • Score: 3 • Thread
Might there be a link between 'ecosystem collapse' and 'unconstrained overpopulation', given the local resources available? I think we ought to be told.

Re:Chilling report from a company

By argStyopa • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Not to mention, if you're in your 50s like me, you've heard 'chilling' reports of everything from Malthusian population starvation to ecosystem collapse to terror over a global temperature cycle that's been repeating for at least 5 million years.

It's hard to take any of this even faintly seriously.

When I realized they sacrificed green for peace

By raymorris • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Funny. To be honest, I left when I realized the extent to which they sacrificed Green to kiss up to Peace. That is, the leaders knowingly and intentionally lied to us about nuclear power, thereby helping to ensure 40 more years of coal. They did so because the "peace" half of Greenpeace was opposed to nuclear research because of nuclear weapons.

Their advocacy is own reason we're still burning coal, which would be forgiveable if they were honest about it. If they had said "while nuclear power will dramatically cut CO2, we opposed nuclear research because nuclear weapons exist", I could respect that. Instead, they intentionally spread misinformation about nuclear power, knowingly lying to their members (including me). I don't finance people who are lying to me.

Re:When I realized they sacrificed green for peace

By GameboyRMH • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Smart move, their opposition to nuclear power was massively damaging and one of the best things that ever happened to the fossil fuel industry.

Re: Someone gets it

By Zitchas • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

If - world wide - all governments and insurance companies stopped compensating people for living in flood zones; or even stepped in and mandate that people can only live in flood zones if they put a sufficient amount of money aside in a fund reserved for paying any and all rescue and infrastructure costs incurred as a result of them living in a flood zone. And helicopter rescues are *expensive*.

Put a money cost to taking risks, and eliminate the safeguards that are basically paying people to take risks that don't help society. Although that probably isn't actually accurate. Flood plains are flood plains for a reason. Building a house there is only "taking a risk" in the same way that "standing in the driving lane on a road is taking a risk of being hit by a car." More of a "When" not "If" sort of thing.

But you are right. Follow the money. Cut the money flow that supports the problem, and the problem will probably resolve itself.

NASA Funds Nokia Plan To Provide Cellular Service On Moon

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
schwit1 shares a report from UPI: NASA will fund a project by Nokia to build a 4G cellular communication network on the moon with $14.1 million, the space agency announced. That project was part of $370 million in new contracts for lunar surface research missions NASA announced Wednesday. Most of the money went to large space companies like SpaceX and United Launch Alliance to perfect techniques to make and handle rocket propellant in space. The space agency must quickly develop new technologies for living and working on the moon if it wants to realize its goal to have astronauts working at a lunar base by 2028, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said in a live broadcast.

PSA: turn off roaming during the flight

By OffTheLip • Score: 5, Funny • Thread
I'd hate to see the bill for the flight to the moon if airplane mode was off.

Low Budget?

By enmock • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread
Maybe this is just me, but the price tag here seems very low. We can't even build a government building for $14M, but we're going to have reliable communications with the moon?

And astronauts will get calls like this...

By RogueWarrior65 • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

"We're calling about the extended warranty on your lunar rover..."

Bring it on home

By PopeRatzo • Score: 3 • Thread

Before you start putting cell service on the Moon, do you think we could get some cell service and broadband here in this rural area of the Blue Ridge Mountains?

There are about 15 million people in the United States who don't have any access to broadband and can barely get a cell signal.

Re:If you are aiming for the moon ...

By Binestar • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

If you are aiming for the moon, literally, can't you at least go with 5G rather than 4G?

I'll take this as a serious question so here goes:

4g uses less power than 5g unless you're going full bore on the link. Meaning uploading a little here, a little there, 5g is less efficient.
4g has a range of 10 miles. 5g has a range of 1000 feet.
4g gives up to 200mbps, 5g has a theoretical 10gb speed
The advantages of speed don't really overcome the limitations of power and distance.

A Dead Soviet Satellite and An Old Rocket Booster Could Collide In Space Tonight

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Space traffic experts are tracking two pieces of orbital garbage that appear to be careening toward each other: A defunct Soviet satellite and a discarded Chinese rocket booster that are expected to nearly miss each other -- with a slight chance of colliding -- Thursday evening. CNN reports: No one knows for sure if the objects will collide, and near-misses happen in space all the time. But LeoLabs, a California-based startup that uses ground-based radars to track spaceborne objects, is putting the odds of collision at 10% or more. That's high, but not uncommon LeoLabs CEO Daniel Ceperley told CNN Business on Thursday. "Multiple times a week we're seeing dead satellites come within 100 meters of each other, moving at tremendous speeds," Ceperley said. The company decided to raise public awareness about this particular event, he said, because the two objects are both large -- and likely to create an enormous debris field if they collide -- and because they're in an area of orbit that's still relatively clean compared to nearby orbits. The company is also trying to raise more general public awareness about the debris problem, he said.

The Soviet satellite, which launched to space in 1989 and was used for navigation, weighs nearly 2,000 pounds and is 55 feet long, according to Jonathan McDowell, an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. And the rocket booster, part of a Chinese Long March launch vehicle that likely launched in 2009, is about 20 feet long. Neither of the objects is still in use. If the rocket and satellite do collide, it would be the first time in more than a decade that two objects spontaneously collided in space -- a situation space traffic experts have hoped desperately to avoid.

Re:Geosynchronous orbit

By DarwinSurvivor • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
Contrary to what you see in the movies, you can only have a geosynchronous orbit at the equator. In fact, geostationary orbit is technically a single orbit exactly above the equator at a specific altitude (a 1-dimensional line) which is an extremely inefficient way to organize satellites. It would also mean no satellites over Canada, Russia, Australia, and a lot of other populated areas. And that's not even considering that most countries try to launch their rockets as close to the equator as possible to take advantage of the natural 460m/s speed boost you get versus near either of the poles, which would just make for more things for them to hit. In fact, a lot of satellites are in low earth orbit which goes North/South almost directly over the poles. The angle is offset from the poles such that as the earth spins under it, it slowly goes North/South (then South/North on the other side) and slowly scans the entire planet until ending up back over the same spot (going in the opposite direction) about a week later, then going the original direction over the spot the following week (and so on). This way a single satellite can image the entire earth instead of needing a separate satellite for every X square km of ground you want to image. If the satellite is set up to look down slightly to the East or West (instead of straight down), that means it can image/scan the west side of a building, then a week later scan the other side of it (which is VERY helpful for terrain mapping).

News for nerds?

By thsths • Score: 3 • Thread

"At very high speed", "bad", "in orbit" - that is not news for nerds, that is dumbed down pseudo-science BS. No sources, nothing.

Also, it is Friday now. What happened?

Re:More to come

By Gwala • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Thankfully those providers are generally going to LEO - and LEO debris will naturally fall down fairly quickly (couple of years).

Re:Geosynchronous orbit

By Errol backfiring • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
Also, one of the pieces is Russian. The USSR could not use a launch site near the equator during the cold war, so they developed an alternative to the geosynchronous orbit: the Molnya system of two satellites, of which one was always in view.

Re:Geosynchronous orbit

By Immerman • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

That's not so much because of the lack or equatorial launch sites - those just give you a free bit of extra launch speed, modestly increasing payload capacity to a given orbit.

The real problem is that geostationary satellites aren't visible from high latitudes - which includes much of the USSR. Instead you need an inclined orbit that will itself spend time at high latitudes so it's overhead instead of below the southern horizon. And any circular orbit that spends time at high northern latitudes, spends just as much time at high southern latitudes, which was useless for the USSR. So instead they put them on elliptical orbits that spend their far, slow-moving time above the northern hemisphere, while rushing across the useless sourthern hemisphere at low altitude and high speeds.