the unofficial Slashdot digest for 2020-Nov-19 today archive


  1. AT&T Raises DirecTV Prices Again Amid Customer Losses and Possible Sale
  2. Google Stadia Is Coming To iOS Officially As a Web App
  3. Messaging App Go SMS Pro Exposed Millions of Users' Private Photos and Files
  4. Facebook Antitrust Probes Will Target Acquisition of WhatsApp and Instagram
  5. LidarPhone Attack Converts Smart Vacuums Into Microphones
  6. YouTube Will Run Ads On Smaller Creators' Videos Without Paying Them
  7. Star Wars Legend Alan Dean Foster Says Disney Is Withholding Book Royalties
  8. Facebook Estimates Hate Speech Seen In 1 Out of 1,000 Views On Its Platform
  9. BuzzFeed Strikes Deal To Buy HuffPost From Verizon Media
  10. Election Misinformation Often Evaded YouTube's Efforts To Stop It.
  11. Famed Arecibo Telescope, On the Brink of Collapse, Will Be Dismantled
  12. OpenStreetMap is Having a Moment
  13. As Antitrust Pressure Mounts, Google To Pull Back Benefit to News Sites That Adopted Its Preferred MobileTechnology
  14. 'Wonder Woman 1984' is Coming To HBO Max (and Some US Theaters) on Dec. 25
  15. Fearing Drama, Mozilla Opens Public Consultation Before Worldwide Firefox DoH Rollout
  16. Japan To Begin Experiments Issuing Digital Yen
  17. China's Xi Jinping Warns Against Protectionism in Apparent Swipe at US
  18. Google is Rolling Out End-To-End Encryption for RCS in Android Messages Beta
  19. Oxford Study Confirms Astra Covid Shot's Response in Elderly
  20. GeForce NOW Games Available on iOS Devices Through Safari, Fortnite Coming Soon
  21. Human Error Blamed For European Vega Rocket Failure
  22. Charlie Brown Holiday Specials To Air On TV, After All, In PBS Deal
  23. Scientists Discover Outer Space Isn't Pitch Black After All

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.

AT&T Raises DirecTV Prices Again Amid Customer Losses and Possible Sale

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: AT&T has announced another round of price hikes for DirecTV satellite and U-verse TV services, with monthly prices set to rise up to $9 starting January 17, 2021. "Due to increased programming costs, we're adjusting the price of our video packages," AT&T said in a notice on its website. "Periodically, TV network owners increase the fees they charge DirecTV for the right to broadcast their movies, shows, and sporting events." Of course, AT&T itself determines some of these programming prices because it owns Time Warner.

A $5 monthly increase is coming to DirecTV's 160-channel "Entertainment" package, which currently has a standard rate of $97 a month. A $7 monthly increase is coming to the 185-channel Choice package, currently at $115 a month. A $9 increase is coming to both the 250-channel Ultimate package (currently $142) and the 330-channel Premier package (currently $197). New customers can get those packages for $64.99 to $134.99 under promotional pricing that expires after 12 months. "If you currently have a DirecTV TV promotion, you'll keep that discount until it expires," AT&T said. "Once your promo period ends, you'll pay the new price for your package."

There are also $1 and $3 increases for DirecTV's Basic and Preferred Choice packages for international customers, $6 increases for certain Spanish-language packages, and $8 increases for "Xtra" packages. Only the Minimum service, Family, and ChineseDirect Plus plans are not getting increases. AT&T is raising U-verse TV prices by $5 to $9 a month depending on the package, while keeping the price of the most basic U-verse package the same. U-verse provides TV over AT&T's wired network. As with DirecTV, customers on U-verse promotional pricing won't see the increase until the promotional period ends. DirecTV is also adding a "Federal Cost Recovery Fee of $0.19 per month," similar to a fee that used to be charged once per year. Despite the name, the fee is not mandated by the government. AT&T said the fee covers "expenses that DirecTV pays to the Federal Communications Commission."
Ars Technica notes that AT&T did not include any increases for the Regional Sports Network and Broadcast TV fees. It's also decreasing the price of some premium channels. "That includes $3 decreases for Starz, Cinemax, and Showtime," the report says. "There are also decreases of up to $3 for certain add-on bundles that include sports channels. But even with premium channels, there are some price increases, including a $2.96 boost to an add-on bundle that includes HBO Max, Starz, Showtime, Cinemax, and a sports-channel pack."

The full list of price changes can be found here.

You can't make money with video as the last mile

By Revek • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Provider. Its a simple fact that the profit for video is in the production of the content not its delivery. By the time those that deliver have paid for all of that content there is very little profit left. Cable companies can provide internet service. This is the only way they make a profit. In the old days the government would step in with regulations but companies bribe or lobby the politicians and convince the foolish consumers that regulations are bad. Its true they are bad for lazy business models who don't have to provide decent customer service. Too bad there is always some idiot willing to defend their right to be shitty.

Reason #13 why I don't have cable anymore

By Sebby • Score: 3 • Thread

#13: constant price increases, with no additional value

Among my others:

#23: having to endure the insult to my intelligence that is referred to by broadcasters as "commercials"
#74: bullshit Geo-restrictions
#5: being tied down to stupid show schedules (they all fight for the same viewer timeslot, instead of trying to let the viewer have a chance to view each show by each having a different timeslot)
#2: fucking around with the show schedules, confusing viewers as to when or even if the show runs
#3: cancelling good shows because of 'poor viewership', because of idiot execs doing #2

and #1: the fact you even have to pay - I don't have to for radio, why the hell should I for TV? (ask and I shall explain further if you want to hear my reasoning).

Death spiral

By mveloso • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

This is the end of the death spiral: when you raise prices to make sure the only people left are the hardcore subscribers that will never leave.

That way the buyer knows that this is the minimum subscriber base that they have to work with.

Knowing what business you are in

By sphealey • Score: 3 • Thread

Southwestern Bell/the new AT&T apparently didn't pay attention to those corporate gurus trainings in the 1990s about knowing what business you are really in. The business AT&T was really in was installing, maintaining, and operating hundreds of millions of high-quality wires (and fiber optic cables) to specific locations and delivering high-quality reliable information signals down those wires for not-totally-unreasonable prices. Everything they have done to try to move away from that model has been a disaster, and they have now pretty much destroyed their own legacy infrastructure/seed corn and have nothing left.

Doubling down

By tflf • Score: 3 • Thread

Monolithic corporations tend to be very resistent to change, and, are hard-wired to double-down on the core business practices that generated the most income. For cable companies, gouging customers has been the road to financial success for decades.
It's far easier to keep on doing the same old and tired business practices than to try to innovate and change with the times.

Google Stadia Is Coming To iOS Officially As a Web App

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Google's Stadia game-streaming service, which has been limited to Android phones, computers and TVs, will launch for the iPhone in the coming weeks. The Verge reports: Google on Thursday announced iOS support for its Stadia cloud gaming service, following in the footsteps of Microsoft in turning to the mobile web to circumvent Apple's App Store restrictions. Google says it has been building a progressive web app version of Stadia that will run in the mobile version of Apple's Safari browser, similar to how Microsoft intends to deliver its competing xCloud service on iOS sometime next year. But Google intends to beat Microsoft to the punch with public testing of its version in the coming weeks. Nvidia also announced today that it a beta web app version of its GeForce Now cloud gaming service on iOS is available today.

Apple in late August clarified its rules around cloud gaming, telling providers like Google and Microsoft that their apps were not allowed on the App Store due to restrictions Apple imposes on software that streams games to the iPhone and iPad. Apple eventually loosened its restrictions after public criticism from Microsoft and others, but the App Store still requires companies to submit individual games for App Store review. Microsoft called the compromise a "bad experience for consumers" before deciding it would develop a web app version of xCloud for iOS instead. Now, Google is doing the same.

Web Assembly

By Anonyrnous • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
Expect Apple Safari's implementation of Web Assembly mysteriously fall of a cliff with the next rounds of updates.

Messaging App Go SMS Pro Exposed Millions of Users' Private Photos and Files

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Go SMS Pro, one of the most popular messaging apps for Android, is exposing photos, videos and other files sent privately by its users. Worse, the app maker has done nothing to fix the bug. TechCrunch reports: Security researchers at Trustwave discovered the flaw in August and contacted the app maker with a 90-day deadline to fix the issue, as is standard practice in vulnerability disclosure to allow enough time for a fix. But after the deadline elapsed without hearing back, the researchers went public. Trustwave shared its findings with TechCrunch this week.

When a Go SMS Pro user sends a photo, video or other file to someone who doesn't have the app installed, the app uploads the file to its servers, and lets the user share a web address by text message so the recipient can see the file without installing the app. But the researchers found that these web addresses were sequential. In fact, any time a file was shared -- even between app users -- a web address would be generated regardless. That meant anyone who knew about the predictable web address could have cycled through millions of different web addresses to users' files. Go SMS Pro has more than 100 million installs, according to its listing in Google Play.

Developers are out-to-lunch

By bobthesungeek76036 • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
I used to have this SMS app. It has a private box feature that I need. There was an issue that if you sent a pic to one of your private contacts, it would keep sending it over and over until you deleted the message. I tried to contact the developers multiple times but got crickets. Deleted it and now using Next SMS. Stay very far away from Go SMS Pro (far from that).

These guys struck me as sketchy years ago

By Voyager529 • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Go SMS Pro was my favorite SMS client for a while, most notably because it handled backup and restore of texts and MMS messages within the app, which was nice.

Then, one day, they changed it so that you needed to pay for local backups, but cloud backups were still free. Seemed a bit backwards to me; why was it 'free' to send my data to their servers, but saving to my own device cost money? Moreover, it was amusing that my automatic nightly backup to my SD card ran fine, but I just couldn't create a new scheduled task or run a scheduled backup.

So, I paid up; it was something like $5/yr, which seemed reasonable to me.

90 days later I wiped my phone and re-added the app (this was all back in the 2.x days when modded ROMs were frequent and more customized, so flashing was a common practice), and it acted like I didn't pay for the app.

That's when I switched to Textra + MyBackup Pro and couldn't be happier.

Re:Nothing you post on the Internet is private

By Errol backfiring • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
But this is not a "post on the internet" app; it is an app to send things to one specific individual. That the does this by posting the content on the net, and apparently unencrypted, is something the user would not expect.

Facebook Antitrust Probes Will Target Acquisition of WhatsApp and Instagram

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
A group of state attorneys general, led by New York Attorney General Letitia James, is on track to file antitrust charges against Facebook in early December, according to a report Thursday from the Washington Post. CNET: The move comes as the US Federal Trade Commission is also reportedly finalizing its antitrust probe into the social media giant. State and federal investigators plan to bring antitrust charges against Facebook over its acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp, alleging that the deals "helped create an anti-competitive social networking juggernaut," according to the Post. Investigators may also reportedly argue that Facebook weaponized its vast trove of user data to help quash rivals.

My favorite Facebook competitor

By phantomfive • Score: 3 • Thread
Back in the late 2000s, everyone was doing social network startups the way they do AI or Bitcoin startups right now. Friendster, travel social networks, couch-surf networks, whatever. My favorite example was a Karaoke social network, where you can sing and share your songbird (raven) voice with complete strangers. I can't imagine why that didn't take off.

Welcome the land of no $hit

By RitchCraft • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
You're 8 years late to the party US Federal Trade Commission.

LidarPhone Attack Converts Smart Vacuums Into Microphones

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from ZDNet: A team of academics has detailed this week novel research that converted a smart vacuum cleaner into a microphone capable of recording nearby conversations. Named LidarPhone, the technique works by taking the vacuum's built-in LiDAR laser-based navigational component and converting it into a laser microphone. [...] They tested the LidarPhone attack with various objects, by varying the distance between the robot and the object, and the distance between the sound origin and the object. Tests focused on recovering numerical values, which the research team said they managed to recover with a 90% accuracy. But academics said the technique could also be used to identify speakers based on gender or even determine their political orientation from the music played during news shows, captured by the vacuum's LiDAR.

But while the LidarPhone attack sounds like a gross invasion of privacy, users need not panic for the time being. This type of attack revolves around many prerequisites that most attacks won't bother. There are far easier ways of spying on users than overwriting a vacuum's firmware to control its laser navigation system, such as tricking the user on installing malware on their phone. The LidarPhone attack is merely novel academic research that can be used to bolster the security and design of future smart vacuum robots. In fact, the research team's main recommended countermeasure for smart vacuum cleaning robot makers is to shut down the LiDAR component if it's not rotating. Additional details about the research are available in a research paper titled "Spying with Your Robot Vacuum Cleaner: Eavesdropping via Lidar Sensors."

This sucks

By theshowmecanuck • Score: 5, Funny • Thread
Had to...

Kind of a neat trick

By Burdell • Score: 3 • Thread

This falls more into the category of "neat hack", with the original meaning of "hack" (more like "repurposing a thing to do something the designer never intended") than "crack".

Smart devices

By jenningsthecat • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

are generally allowed to connect to the Internet only when they're operated by dumb people. I'm constantly amazed by the droves of people who pay lots of money for devices that can spy on them, can be bricked at will by manufacturers, can be easily hacked, and can become paperweights when the provider gets tired of maintaining the cloud infrastructure.

As far as the corporatocracy is concerned, rental is the new ownership, and what we used to know as ownership is approaching extinction. And all these fucktards who keep buying this crap are putting the noose around their own necks. Unfortunately, they're to some extent putting it around our necks as well.

The next time you hear somebody singing the praises of what currently passes for capitalism while they damn the evils of collectivism, just point out how collectivist our lot as consumers currently is and listen to them stammer. Individualism doesn't count for much when individuals are herded into the same sinking boats that the sheeple are happily boarding.

In a vacuum

By Drishmung • Score: 5, Funny • Thread
I thought sound didn't propagate in a vacuum...

(I'm sorry, I'll get my coat)

YouTube Will Run Ads On Smaller Creators' Videos Without Paying Them

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
YouTube has updated its Terms of Service to include a new section that gives it the right to monetize videos from channels not big enough to be part of its Partner Program. Engadget reports: That doesn't mean new creators can start earning from their videos right away, though -- YouTube said in a forum post explaining the changes to its ToS that non-YPP members won't be getting a cut from those ads. To become eligible for the YouTube Partner Program, a creator has to be living in a country where it's active, has to have 4,000 public watch hours in the last 12 months and has to have over 1,000 subscribers. YouTube only used to run ads on videos from channels that don't meet those criteria under special circumstances, such as if the channel was previously a YPP member. Going forward, though, the website can monetize any video, so long as it meets its ad-friendly guidelines.

In addition to this change to its Right to Monetize section, YouTube has also added "faces" to the kinds of information people aren't allowed to collect from its service. It explained that the website never allowed the collection of personally identifiable information, but it altered its language in the ToS "to be extremely explicit about what kind of data users" can't collect. YouTube is rolling out these changes in the US first, but they will be effective worldwide by the end 2021.

This will hurt everyone

By NewtonsLaw • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

This will have far worse effects than most people realize.

For YPP creators it will mean a significant loss of revenue.


Well there are a couple of reasons

Firstly, by effectively monetizing almost every video on the platform YT are massively increasing their inventory of ad-space. Without a corresponding increase in demand for ads that means there will be an over-supply situation and as we all know, the laws of supply and demand dictate that when supply exceeds demand, prices will drop. That means that YPP creators will see a lower CPM for the ads running on their videos. Result: money every month for YTPP creators. I suspect some of those who are marginally earning enough to make it a full-time job will give up and go back to flipping burgers (where the pay is better).

Secondly, since YT won't have to share *any* of the ad revenue when ads are placed on non-YPP videos, they will undoubtedly be using those videos as the preferred place to put high-CPM advertisements. Why give away 50% of your most lucrative ad revenue when you don't have to? This means that YPP creators will get "the dregs" of the advertising bucket. The lowest CPM ads will be run on YPP channels because that will cost YT less as a result of the revenue split involved.

For those channels who either choose not to run ads or are inelligible for the YPP there will also be nasty side-effects.

They will probaby lose view-time because you know that YT will load up their videos with as many ads (including those nasty mid-roll breaks every 2-3 minutes) as they can. They'll do this because YT gets to keep every cent of the revenue those ads generate. When a channel's view-time falls that channel is less likely to be promoted so the view stats will also fall. This makes it even less likely that these channels will grow enough to qualify for the YPP and thus they'll never get to share the ad revenues.

And let's not forget the effect this will have on those who simply "consume" YT content...

Up until now, we've been able to watch a good number of videos without ads -- either because the channel has chosen not to run ads or because they aren't qualified to enter the YPP. Forget that! Virtually *every* video on YT will now carry ads so you will have no option but to instal ad-blocker software (if you haven't already) or be driven mad by the relentless stream of unskippable mid-rolls.

In one fell swoop, Youtube has delivered a devastating blow to the YT ecosystem by disadvantaging *everyone* except Alphabet's bean-counters.

On the bright side, we can expect to see sites like Rumble, BitChute, Odessy and others pick up a lot of new creators and a much larger audience.

Youtube has once again proven that it has totally lost track of what a "fair value exchange" means when it comes to business.

I for one will be actively using other platforms to deliver videos to my 400,000+ subscribers and my next 120 million views are likely to come from those platforms rather than YouTube.

YouTube... your feet are bleeding!

Re:Just swear a bunch in your video

By arQon • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

That doesn't actuallly matter. One of the channels I used to watch got demonetized for months, but it didn't stop Google running ads on it for all of that time. "Demonetized" just means the CREATOR doesn't get their cut: instead, Google goes from taking X% of the revenue to taking 100% of it.

What makes the scam even better is that a lot of the time an entire *channel* gets demonetized, rather than just a single video. So at that point Google gets all the revenue on the back catalog as well. The view count is much lower on old content, of course, but there's a lot more of it. (It's like the classic interest-rounding fraud: it may be tiny amounts, but by the time the occurrence rate is in the millions it gets meaningful very quickly).

Re:More from the, Fuck You, Got Mine Dept.

By ShanghaiBill • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

They're legally obligated to maximize profit for shareholders.

"Modern corporate law does not require for-profit corporations to pursue profit at the expense of everything else, and many do not do so." -- Supreme Court of the United States (Burwell v. Hobby Lobby)

Re:More from the, Fuck You, Got Mine Dept.

By kurkosdr • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
I second the "costs money to run" statement. Daily reminder that:
1) There is no "cloud", it's someone else's computer which consumes electricity as any computer does (and hence generates an electricity bill)
2) Ad-revenue is a type of revenue that can dry up at any moment, for example during an economic crisis (caused by a pandemic or something).

Youtube Buries Channels

By BrendaEM • Score: 3 • Thread
Once you become demonetized, they bury you. There are many similar youtube channels that get more hits than mine:

Star Wars Legend Alan Dean Foster Says Disney Is Withholding Book Royalties

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
wiredog writes: Disney has developed a radical new theory of copyright. When Disney bought Lucasfilm and Fox, they acquired the copyright licenses that enabled them to sell Alan Dean Foster's books -- but not the liability, the legal obligation to actually pay him for those books. They have apparently also done this to numerous other authors.

The statement from the Science Fiction Writers of America (SFWA) is here, and also a Twitter thread from Cory Doctorow.
Foster's complaints go beyond Star Wars. His letter also states that Disney failed to pay royalties entirely for his Alien novelizations. "He noted that he and his agent have tried to negotiate with Disney to resolve it all -- mainly because he and his wife have ongoing medical issues and the royalties would help with bills -- only for Disney to ask Foster to sign an NDA before talks could even commence," reports Gizmodo.

Here's part of his letter sent to the company: "When you purchased Lucasfilm you acquired the rights to some books I wrote. Star Wars, the novelization of the very first film. Splinter of the Mind's Eye, the first sequel novel. You owe me royalties on these books. You stopped paying them. When you purchased 20th Century Fox, you eventually acquired the rights to other books I had written. The novelizations of Alien, Aliens, and Alien 3. You've never paid royalties on any of these, or even issued royalty statements for them. All these books are all still very much in print. They still earn money. For you. When one company buys another, they acquire its liabilities as well as its assets. You're certainly reaping the benefits of the assets. I'd very much like my minuscule (though it's not small to me) share."

SFWA president Mary Robinette Kowal said: "The larger problem has the potential to affect every writer. Disney's argument is that they have purchased the rights but not the obligations of the contract. In other words, they believe they have the right to publish work, but are not obligated to pay the writer no matter what the contract says. If we let this stand, it could set precedent to fundamentally alter the way copyright and contracts operate in the United States. All a publisher would have to do to break a contract would be to sell it to a sibling company." The group is asking Disney to either pay Foster foor back and future royalties or cease publication -- either permanently or until new contracts can be signed. They're also asking any other writers who may have had the same experience with Disney to come forward.

Re:Capitalism is a good tool, nothing more.

By dryeo • Score: 4 • Thread

A lot of the debate is how about the limits of that government granted monopoly. The original reason for granting that property was to "advance learning by granting a limited monopoly" with the expectation that works would enter the public domain in at most a few decades (14+14 years with a 35 year grandfather clause). The Americans used a very similar formula, except they called it advanced learning, the arts and sciences and even used the same 14+14 year formula with the same registrations and the same having to put a copy in a (different) famous library.
I think most of the debaters would be happy to go back to the original deal, even throwing in the 35 year grandfather clause.
Most all art is built on others art, writers reading, musicians playing others music, painters studying others techniques. In the world the publishers such as Disney would like to see, independent art would stop being created.

Re:Capitalism is a good tool, nothing more.

By dryeo • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

The push for infinite copyright goes right back to the beginning of modern copyright law at the beginning of the 18th century. They lost the first round to a 14+14 year monopoly, 28 years later they were in court arguing that it was a natural right that the government didn't have the right to remove. After that, it was pushing the government to extend it. First was doubling it to 28+28, then more extensions until today where Disney is one of the leaders pushing it, with useful idiots like Trump adding longer terms to trade agreements. (Part of the CUSMA pushes Canada to extend our copyright to 70 years after the death of the author, as if the author needs a 70 year monopoly in death)

Re:Capitalism is a good tool, nothing more.

By cpt kangarooski • Score: 4 • Thread

Mickey Mouse is a trademark. Trademarks don't expire. So the Mickey Mouse character would not end up in the public domain regardless of changes to copyright law.

You're probably wrong.

Trademarks can be maintained perpetually, but they can be lost under various circumstances. The one that is applicable here is genericide. That is, the sine qua non of a trademark is that it is an indicator to the relevant members of the public that goods and services bearing the mark originate from a common source and have a consistent level of quality. This is why you can treat every can marked as COCA-COLA as interchangable with every other one.

But, if the mark no longer indicates that, then it can no longer serve as a trademark. ELEVATOR, ESCALATOR, TRAMPOLINE, all used to be trademarks, but people started treating them as generic words for a particular thing, instead of brand names for particular things. THERMOS is on the knife's edge and is already partially-generic. KLEENEX, BAND-AID, and XEROX are all perpetually teetering too. SANKA was for a while but eventually people started calling decaffeinated coffee 'decaf' instead.

The reason why this is relevant is that when Steamboat Willie falls into the public domain, everyone is free to not only copy and distribute it verbatim, but also to create new, derivative Mickey Mouse creative works so long as they're only based on that cartoon and not anything later. (So he can't have his modern appearance or mannerisms, for example). This means that Disney is no longer able to be the common source for Mickey Mouse works (the trademark might hold up better for other goods, such as the ice cream bars) and cannot control the level of quality. The trademark ceases to function and suffers genericide.

The key issues have all already been litigated. This exact thing happened with patent expiration causing trademark genericide about a century ago (the trademark was SHREDDED WHEAT and when the patent for making it ran out, everyone was allowed to call the stuff by that name) and in this regard copyrights and patents function the same way in how they interact with trademarks. The superiority of copyright (and the copyright public domain) over trademark, and the inability to use trademark as a substitute for copyright was litigated in the 90s in the Dastar case.

Disney knows all of this, and were warned somewhat not to keep trying retroactive extensions. With luck the Mouse will be in the public domain in a few more years.

Re:Capitalism is a good tool, nothing more.

By cpt kangarooski • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Funnily, the origin of copyright is completely about this. In historical England, publishers would rip off the works of artists without permission or paying anything and would get rich off this. Hence copyright was introduced

Not quite. The original copyright was the Stationers' Copyright, which was the agreement by the publishers not to step on each others' toes. Whichever publisher registered a particular copyright, only they got to legally print that book. The author had no involvement, other than that they might get a pittance for the manuscript to make it easier for the publisher (or they might have to pay to have their book published). It was also part of the system of state censorship.

After that fell apart, it was replaced with a system where the authors got the copyrights, and could sell or license them to the publishers.

to make sure content creators get a fair share.

Oh definitely not. The authors still needed the publishers, and there are on the whole, lots of would-be authors; enough that no publisher ever really suffered for rejecting uppity ones. They never got a fair share unless they were already a major author with clout and a built-in audience and were shopping for a new publisher. Most authors still got screwed. And book publishing is positively nice compared to, say, the film and music industries.

That's the Disney Philosophy

By nagora • Score: 3 • Thread

Disney have worked like this since the day Walt stabbed Ub in the back and stole all his creative input - and royalties - on little things like Micky Mouse.

As far as Disney are concerned "creatives" are just disposable work for hire and paying them after they finish the work simply doesn't make sense in that world view.

They are scumbags and always have been.

Facebook Estimates Hate Speech Seen In 1 Out of 1,000 Views On Its Platform

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Facebook for the first time on Thursday disclosed numbers on the prevalence of hate speech on its platform, saying that out of every 10,000 content views in the third quarter, 10 to 11 included hate speech. Reuters reports: The world's largest social media company, under scrutiny over its policing of abuses, particularly around November's U.S. presidential election, released the estimate in its quarterly content moderation report. On a call with reporters, Facebook's head of safety and integrity Guy Rosen said that from March 1 to the Nov. 3 election, the company removed more than 265,000 pieces of content from Facebook and Instagram in the United States for violating its voter interference policies.

Facebook also said it took action on 22.1 million pieces of hate speech content in the third quarter, about 95% of which was proactively identified. It took action on 22.5 million in the previous quarter. The company defines 'taking action' as removing content, covering it with a warning, disabling accounts, or escalating it to external agencies. Facebook's photo-sharing site Instagram took action on 6.5 million pieces of hate speech content, up from 3.2 million in Q2. About 95% of this was proactively identified, a 10% increase from the previous quarter. Facebook said it took action on 19.2 million pieces of violent and graphic content in the third quarter, up from 15 million in the second. On Instagram, it took action on 4.1 million pieces of violent and graphic content, up from 3.1 million in the second quarter. Rosen said the company expected to have an independent audit of its content enforcement numbers "over the course of 2021."

It's way more than that

By SuperKendall • Score: 3, Informative • Thread

Turns out, that in fact 100% of videos online are hate speech.

That's because all those telling us what is hate speech, are telling us what they think is hate speech.

If someone besides the author defines what hate speech is, then any video about anything can and will Abe seen as "hate speech" because someone will disagree with it.

Want to take down hate speech? Fine, no videos on the internet at all anymore. Then you can carry on to burning books (and/or people) which is how the which hunts always end.

What's the problem with "hate speech"?

By BAReFO0t • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread

No, seriously? What's the actual problem?

Anyone has the right to hate whatever he wants. He may have a reason, you know? Rape victims hating their rapists, for example?
Hating something doesn't mean you want to harm. Barking dogs usually don't bite. Assuming a hard relationship between the two is false.

It seems to exclusively stem from two things:
1. Kids that grew up in a safe space and completely missed out on the confidence training of young adults attacking each other. And never learned that that doesn't mean hate and resentfulness, but the exact opposite: Working it out. Or just plain teasing for fun. If it is not serious, you give back something equal, and laugh. If it is serious, you work it out, maybe punch it out, and then you're friends again. Usually better than before. And in any case, you learn to become confident in yourself, and not collapse like a house of cards made of snowflakes in a firestorm.
2. Anonymity. More specifically, the inability to feel empathy for some random user name on the Internet. (Sorry, Zuck, privacy is still key.) As opposed to a breathing, smelling, staring, real human being in front of you. Where *especially* the lack of working it out leads to a self-induced spiral of bottling up and becoming more and more triggered each time.

The worst part is that I see that AFK too. It used to be common among women for a long time. From what I am told, because women suffer more from conflicts, so they avoid them, and rather smile and resent and scheme. But frankly, I suffer from conflicts more than most men too. But I hate only not being open and scheme behind one's back! And also, frankly, since I worked out my lack of confidence, long after it should have happened (thanks, parents!), conflicts have become much easier too. With "This One Simple Trick(TM)": Don't assume they don't like you, just because they're not nice right now!
Women do this too. Even noticed how your girlfriend goes back to normal, as if nothing happened, after a big fight? That trust that whatever happens, you'll be good, is so so so much key to a healthy relationship!

And that's what's currently ruining the Internet.
People who lack that. Who always assume everlasting hate and discrimination and whatnot, in what could not be more prejudiced. And then take that as a justification to act like that themselves "too" (but nowadays preferably in the victim role). Making it real, in the process.

Can we introduce a IPv6 extension that lets one declare in what camp one is? The confident nerf battlefield or the radioactive winter wonderland.
I'll write the firewall rule.

Re:Extreme emotions drive extreme profiits

By SuricouRaven • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

An enraged user is an engaged user.

Just like Slashdot...

By frank_adrian314159 • Score: 3 • Thread

You post one pro-emacs message and the VI-llians come out of the woodwork to slap you down. My karma has never been so low.

Re:What's the problem with "hate speech"?

By UnknownSoldier • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

> No, seriously? What's the actual problem?

There is no problem but insecure children can't handle someone having a different opinion.

Only children censor.

Adults discuss and even laugh at "taboo" subjects because we aren't insecure at having our perceptions challenged and even wided. It is how we grow. When you shut down criticism, even constructive criticism, with bullshit excuses of censorship then that isn't solving the problem. Ignoring the problem doesn't make it go away.

See: 5 Banned YouTubers You Can't Watch Anymore that mentions Philosopher John Stewart Mill who made the argument when you have Free Speech you must have "Hate Speech" by definition else you don't have Free Speech. Furthermore when we censor speech our perspectives aren't challenged. When they aren't tested we don't think about why we have them in the first place.

The bullshit phrase "hate speech" becomes a weapon used by insecure people to censor anything they don't like as if they are somehow magically given the god-given right to control and manipulate what other people should see, read, and think about it.

George Carlin said it best:

Political correctness is fascism pretending to be manners

BuzzFeed Strikes Deal To Buy HuffPost From Verizon Media

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Business Insider: BuzzFeed is set to acquire HuffPost in a stock deal with Verizon Media, The Wall Street Journal's Benjamin Mullin and Keach Hagey first reported Thursday. Verizon will get a noncontrolling stake in BuzzFeed in return. In addition to the all-stock deal, Verizon is investing cash in BuzzFeed, according to The Journal. As a result of the deal, the two newsrooms will be able to syndicate each other's content and team up for advertising deals. Jonah Peretti, the BuzzFeed founder and CEO and a cofounder of The Huffington Post, will be in charge of the expanded media giant. The two newsrooms will continue to operate as separate entities, the companies said in a press release.

"Verizon Media's strategy has evolved over the past two years to focus on our core strengths -- ads, commerce, content and subscriptions," Verizon Media CEO Guru Gowrappan said in the release. "We've created a powerhouse ecosystem, built on a trusted network, that delivers an end-to-end experience for consumers and advertisers. The partnership with BuzzFeed complements our roadmap while also accelerating our transformation and growth."

Peretti said in the statement: "We're excited about our partnership with Verizon Media, and mutual benefits that will come from syndicating content across each other's properties, collaborating on innovative ad products and the future of commerce, and tapping into the strength and creativity of Verizon Media Immersive. I have vivid memories of growing HuffPost into a major news outlet in its early years, but BuzzFeed is making this acquisition because we believe in the future of HuffPost and the potential it has to continue to define the media landscape for years to come," Peretti said. "With the addition of HuffPost, our media network will have more users, spending significantly more time with our content than any of our peers."
Arianna Huffington, the HuffPost founder, tweeted: "So happy to see HuffPost and Buzzfeed coming together 15 years after Jonah Peretti started HuffPost with Kenny Lerer and me. Such exciting news and looking forward to all that's to come!"

Verizons' core strengths

By hey! • Score: 4 • Thread

"... ads, commerce, content and subscriptions ..."

I guess that covers everything -- except network infrastructure.

Buying Huffpost is a really bad idea

By bob8766 • Score: 3 • Thread
Now that Biden has been elected president, what are they even going to talk about? Their viewers are going to drop off into a bottomless pit once the political drama is over. If they are lucky Trump will run again and get elected in 2024, then they might have viewers again.

Has Huffpost sacked the hateful sexist yet ?

By greytree • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Or is sexist hatred okay as long as you only want to kill men ?

Re:Buying Huffpost is a really bad idea

By cusco • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

If Huffpost were an actual liberal/progressive web site they'd be talking about how to hold his feet to the fire to make him do something that differentiates himself from the non-insane Republicans, but since it's just an echo chamber for the Democratic Party faithful you have a point.


By Briareos • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

So what name are they going to use from now on?

HuffFeed? BuzzPost?

Both sound like they're on crack...

Election Misinformation Often Evaded YouTube's Efforts To Stop It.

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
YouTube videos endorsing the false idea that there was widespread election fraud were viewed more than 138 million times on the week of Nov. 3, according to a report from an independent research project that has been studying misinformation trends on the video site. From a report: The report by the project, called, looked at videos on YouTube that supported claims of voter fraud during the November elections, as well as videos that disputed such claims. Over all, the researchers identified 4,865 videos, viewed a combined 409 million times, that mentioned voter fraud. The YouTube videos supporting claims of voter fraud accounted for 34 percent of all views in the data set studied, while those disputing the voter fraud claims or remaining neutral accounted for 66 percent of views among the videos the research project identified. YouTube does not release data about the total number of videos uploaded to the site weekly. The company has said that 500 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute.

Many of the largest YouTube channels can rack up millions of views each day. For example, CNN, which has over 11 million subscribers to its YouTube channel, uploaded 51 videos during the week of Nov. 3. Those videos were viewed 69 million times, according to an analysis by The New York Times. Some of the most-watched videos disputing the results of the election include two videos by the right-wing news outlet BlazeTV, which were viewed 1.3 million times. Videos by the right-wing news outlets Newsmax and OANN that spread claims of widespread voter fraud were also viewed hundreds of thousands of times.

Re:Trump lost the election by a wide margin

By penandpaper • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

But again, explain to me why you think that Trump's frivolous lawsuits based on patently false claims are being thrown out of court one after another?

Since I must be a sucker for losing karma. I am sure my comment won't change the dogma.

Most of the lawsuits being thrown out are NOT from Trump's campaign but from individuals or entities (like state GOP). They are mostly thrown out for no standing. They are not the party that can raise those lawsuits. In some cases, the Trump campaign is helping or supporting other lawsuits. There is one for against the City of Detroit that I can't remember the name of.

The lawsuits that have been thrown out from Trump's campaign were for being moot (seeking injunction to stop counting until observers present but count was finished). Most current lawsuits are for halting the certification of the votes. In MI, they dropped that case because of the shitstorm with the 2 county clerks rescinding their vote to certify Wayne county because they were threatened and harassed for not certifying in the first place.

The point so far has been building a case to take to court and making sure that in States they feel there are enough irregularities to challenge, not certify those votes yet.

They said today they are filing a suit in GA.

Some things to note. Apparently, one reason why many affiants are not coming public right now is because they are scared of the media and threats of violence. Frankly, that is understandable. The lawyers that dropped out had their familys and careers threatened. I already mentioned the 2 clerks that were threatened. Considering antifa shot a Trump supporter on the streets of Portland and have been targeted for years I am not surprised why they would be afraid.

What I have a hard time understanding, if you are confident Biden won without Fraud; Why is there so many threats of violence and why are so many trying to stop validating that win? What is there to fear with signature verification? What is there to fear with audits or recounts? Seriously, explain this to me. Gore took much longer for his case yet now it's different.

Re:Trump lost the election by a wide margin

By geekmux • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Biden won, and Trump lost. That means everything.

This bullshit about the election being inconclusive is nothing more than a shallow ruse to refuse to acknowledge the result of an election that you disagree with. Trump told his supporters to vote twice, and some probably tried to. But they were caught, the duplicate votes discarded, and the election proceeded.

That fact that the Trump campaign told its supporters to commit election fraud doesn't mean that Biden didn't defeat Trump, and win the US Presidency.

But again, explain to me why you think that Trump's frivolous lawsuits based on patently false claims are being thrown out of court one after another?

Is it possible that you have fallen for an blatant scam, perpetratated by the world's most obvious scam artists?

When the ridiculous propaganda you not only believe but repeat is brought into a court room it's seen by every single judge as not only lacking in evidence, but also being a completely transparent attempt to throw out legal votes.

Be less gullible.

Tell me something Swamp lover, ever wonder how the hell anyone from any political party not aligned with the MSM would actually bring forth evidence of election fraud? If the sworn affidavits coming from many people turned out to be true...what in the holy FUCK makes you think anyone in the MSM would even try and cover it? I really don't give a shit who won or lost, because America lost in the end. You're just too bought into the TDS bullshit to see it. Put your political pom-poms down, cheerleader. You won't look so fucking stupid next time when people demand you prove for a fact and with evidence that no one would ever lie or cover up election fraud as well as they covered up Hunter Biden, Killary Clinton, or Jeffrey Epstein.

And we'll go through this same exact bullshit every four years no matter what Swamp Creature leads. Hackers will prove election software absolutely sucks and is rife for abuse. Every state will continue to arrogantly make their own haphazard and often fucked rules regarding a National election. We'll continue to allow counties to do anything and everything to fuck an election, from not asking for proof of citizenship to mailing a voter card to the dead family dog. We value our election process so much that we'll continue to watch rich fucks pour billions into it, only to ask for unpaid elderly volunteers to step forward and not fuck it up.

But hey, you do you, cheerleader. I'm sure I'll be channeling the whole Dr. Phil hows-that-shit-working-out-for-you gimmick a few months from now when Pelosi sets fire to Biden with the 25th Amendment, Harris takes over the country, and Killary is elected as your VP. Enjoy your new corrupt-free America.

Re:Trump lost the election by a wide margin

By cayenne8 • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
There ARE some disturbing things out there in many of the states, and with the margins so close, I don't know why they aren't being seriously looked at.

Here's a for instance.

Take a look at the results for Wayne County, MI votes and there are some strange things in the Precinct by Precinct Reports.

Scroll down to the Detroit numbers. The VERY odd thing that stand out there are almost ALL of these have 0 registered voters listed, but somehow there were 173,000 votes labeled as AVCB....does this not at least look STRANGE?

And if you look at all the others in that country...many of those were very RED areas with over 80% turn out, etc....and yet, it appears not quite as many Rep votes in the total as would be expected?

Look, along with other irregularities...if they can viably explain them and Biden won fair and square, then ok...I and most other people will accept he won and is president.

I'd think if nothing else, in areas that have weirdness like this no registered voters listed with almost 200 thousand votes which only 3% were Trump....even the democrats would want this investigated to PROVE there was no shenanigans, and to help quell many of the conspiracy theories.

We've seen in MI how a "mistake" flipped a Red county Blue by thousands of votes...this was caught, but if this happened, what did we possibly NOT catch?

Re:Trump lost the election by a wide margin

By quonset • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Considering antifa shot a Trump supporter on the streets of Portland and have been targeted for years I am not surprised why they would be afraid.

And there it is. ANTIFA!! The most deadly terror organization on the planet outside of those illegal "militias" in this country who have killed people, stormed capitol buildings, set fire to police stations, destroyed other property, and even attempted to kidnap a governor, burn the capitol building and shoot anyone inside.

Just shut up. You're as delusional as Lying Dripping Rudy. There is zero evidence, anywhere, of any impropriety. None. Those Michigan asshats deliberately were against certifying results because of political purposes, not because of any irregularities. They were not threatened. They were vehemently criticized by the public for their political stance on what should be a non-political issue: people's votes.

Thanks to the orange faced buffoon, what was once the beacon of democracy in the world has become the showcase for dictators everywhere on how to prevent people from voting. And apparently you, and millions of others, are perfectly happy with that.

I never want to hear you, or anyone from the Republican party, the party I have been with since I was eligible to vote decades ago, say one word about freedom in this country when they are doing everything in their power, including telling election officials to throw out votes, to destroy whatever remnants remain of the most cherished system on the planet by denying the will of the people.

Russia Russia Russia

By Vandil X • Score: 3 • Thread
2017: Election Meddling!

2018: Election Meddling!

2019: Election Meddling!

2020: Our elections are safe and secure!

Famed Arecibo Telescope, On the Brink of Collapse, Will Be Dismantled

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
The Arecibo telescope's long and productive life has come to an end. From a report: The National Science Foundation (NSF) announced today it will decommission the iconic radio telescope in Puerto Rico following two cable breaks in recent months that have brought the structure to near collapse. The 57-year-old observatory, a survivor of numerous hurricanes and earthquakes, is now in such a fragile state that attempting repairs would put staff and workers in danger. "This decision was not an easy one to make," Sean Jones, NSF's assistant director for mathematical and physical sciences, said at a news briefing today. "We understand how much Arecibo means to [the research] community and to Puerto Rico." Ralph Gaume, director of NSF's astronomy division, said at the briefing the agency wants to preserve other instruments at the site, as well as the visitor and outreach center. But they are under threat if the telescope structure collapses. That would bring the 900-ton instrument platform, suspended 137 meters above the 305-meter-wide dish, crashing down. Flailing cables could damage other buildings on the site, as could the three support towers if they fell, too. "There is a serious risk of an unexpected and uncontrolled collapse," Gaume said. "A controlled decommissioning gives us the opportunity to preserve valuable assets that the observatory has." Over the next few weeks, engineering firms will develop a plan for a controlled dismantling. It may involve releasing the platform from its cables explosively and letting it fall.

Re:RIP Seti@Home?

By douglasfir77 • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
SETI @ Home stopped sending out work units in March. On March 31, the volunteer computing part of SETI@home will stop distributing work and will go into hibernation. We're doing this for two reasons: 1) Scientifically, we're at the point of diminishing returns; basically, we've analyzed all the data we need for now. 2) It's a lot of work for us to manage the distributed processing of data. We need to focus on completing the back-end analysis of the results we already have, and writing this up in a scientific journal paper. However, SETI@home is not disappearing. The web site and the message boards will continue to operate. We hope that other UC Berkeley astronomers will find uses for the huge computing capabilities of SETI@home for SETI or related areas like cosmology and pulsar research. If this happens, SETI@home will start distributing work again. We'll keep you posted about this. If you're currently running SETI@home on your computer, we encourage you to attach to other BOINC-based projects as well. Or use Science United and sign up to do astronomy. You can stay attached to SETI@home, of course, but you won't get any jobs until we find new applications. We're extremely grateful to all of our volunteers for supporting us in many ways during the past 20 years. Without you there would be no SETI@home. We're excited to finish up our original science project, and we look forward to what comes next. https://setiathome.berkeley.ed...

Re:It didn't have to be this way

By cirby • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

The major funding cuts for Arecibo happened between 2007 and 2011. There have been supplementary funds coming from different places, but they were all to support programs, not maintenance. The biggest issue is the National Science Foundation itself, which has been diverting funds from serious science to crap like "gender in glaciological research." The $400,000 for that probably could have partly paid for some new cables at Arecibo - and since the total NSF budget is over $8 billion now, it seems they could have scraped up a little bit to fix things.

You can keep pretending that the Bad Orange Man did this, but the NSF drop in funding for Arecibo from almost $11 million to $3 million from 2007 to 2011 is what caused the problem.

Re:It didn't have to be this way

By rl117 • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Not just in the US, I see it in UK acadaemia as well. There are millions of pounds for funding shiny new equipment. But funding the ongoing running costs, consumables, maintenance, technical support staff and the like? Not so much. So you end up with huge capital expenditures going to waste or being underutilised, not because there is any fault with the kit, but because there's no dedicated staff to maintain and support it, train people to use it, and pay for the ongoing running costs. I've worked in some places that do a very good job, but in other places there's prestige to be gained by getting the funding to buy the biggest and shiniest toy with all the extra knobs on. But the people who get the funding and do the purchasing are rarely the people who actually have to use the kit, the actual requirements often come second. In many cases, making do with something a quarter of the price would do the job just as well, and be much more affordable when bits need replacing. Hell, buy two up front and still have half the cash left over for consumables and staffing. Unfortunately, funding and budgeting is insane and makes no sense, and many of the people involved aren't even sufficiently competent to run their own household budgets.

Arecibo is a great shame, but I think it's fair to say it's had a good long run, and would have had to be decommissioned at some point. After the damage that's been inflicted and the generally poor state it's in now, it may well be much cheaper to start over than repair it. Assuming there's still a demand for it, hopefully there will be the possibility for a new one to be built again in the future. But you are likely to be completely correct that had it been funded properly, routine maintenance should have prevented the problems from happening in the first place.

Re: It didn't have to be this way

By deepthought90 • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
I work for the federal government. The President isn't going to get involved in something so minor relative to the rest of the budget. Maybe the local Representative or Senator but not the President. The lack of maintenance funds is mostly a result of NSF internal prioritization in their portion of the President's Budget submission to Congress. This internal prioritization happens everywhere in the government. Every level rolls up and prioritizes their budget and passes it to the next higher level. I'm not even sure the NSF director pays much attention to the Arecibo maintenance budget with that line item likely being several layers deep.

Re:It didn't have to be this way

By Xylantiel • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

You may like making this political, but it isn't. Hard infrastructure like Arecibo is not funded out of the same budget line as programs addressing gender inequality. NSF's decision was to favor building, maintaining, and improving other facilities instead. Even if NSF were given more money for facilities at the expense of other items, they would likely have still dropped Arecibo, since the Green Bank Telescope was also dropped from the portfolio and is far more scientifically productive and so would have been higher priority to retain. Arecibo has been a niche instrument for quite some time, and after an extensive review process was not determined to be worth the continued cost, given a wide array of other facilities, big and small. You are correct that this decision was made a decade or so ago, and is just coming to its inevitable conclusion now.

If Puerto Rico were a state, it is quite possible that its senators would have been able to maintain funding with earmarks or similar maneuvers. But that's the worst of bad politics, so I'm sure you would dislike that too.

OpenStreetMap is Having a Moment

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Joe Morrison: The first time I spoke with Jennings Anderson, I couldn't believe what he was telling me. I mean that genuinely -- I did not believe him. He was a little incredulous about it himself. I felt like he was sharing an important secret with me that the world didn't yet know. The open secret Jennings filled me in on is that OpenStreetMap (OSM) is now at the center of an unholy alliance of the world's largest and wealthiest technology companies. The most valuable companies in the world are treating OSM as critical infrastructure for some of the most-used software ever written. The four companies in the inner circle -- Facebook, Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft -- have a combined market capitalization of over six trillion dollars. In almost every other setting, they are mortal enemies fighting expensive digital wars of attrition. Yet they now find themselves eagerly investing in and collaborating on OSM at an unprecedented scale (more on the scale later). What likely started as a conversation in a British pub between grad students in 2004 has spiraled out of control into an invaluable, strategic, voluntarily-maintained data asset the wealthiest companies in the world can't afford to replicate.

I will admit that I used to think of OSM as little more than a virtuous hobby for over-educated Europeans living abroad -- a cutesy internet collectivist experiment somewhere on the spectrum between eBird and Linux. It's most commonly summarized with a variant of this analogy: OSM is to an atlas as Wikipedia is to an encyclopedia. OSM acolytes hate this comparison in the much same way baseball players resent when people describe the sport as "cricket for fat people." While vaguely truthful, it doesn't quite get to the spirit of the thing. OSM is incomparable. Over 1.5M individuals have contributed data to it. It averages 4.5M changes per day. The stats page on the OSM Wiki is a collection of hockey sticks. [...]

OSM is good because of commercial absence!

By ffkom • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Now that big corporations start putting their greedy fingers on it, we will probably see the same ugly symptoms that have plagued everything on the Internet that started to see commercial use:

* Advertisers trying to inject advertisements in location descriptions
* Malvertisers trying to remove or alter descriptions of the competitors of theirs
* Real estate sellers faking non-existing infrastructure or removing value-decreasing neighboring infrastructure from objects they want to sell
* Lawyers trying to sue contributors for just anything
* Competing map providers vandalizing the data
* IT companies trying to introduce stuff into the data that makes it incompatible with systems not of their own

... and so on. The Internet has always been a better place where the greedy ones were absent.

Re:when you are a cheap-o company, hypocrisy works

By BAReFO0t • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

I'm sorry, but in what world...?

Everywhere I personally have been, I always found OSM to be vastly superior to anything else. Hell, in my city, every damn park bench, trash can and important tree is in there! Literally! Our public transport organization officially uses OSM, and they enter the data that you get when you set navigation to public transport.

And that doesn't even mention the vast and extensive amount of features of OSMand. Going back to Google Maps is like going back to Playboy. Or Internet Explorer 5.5. (Not even 6.)

The only criticism you can give OSM, is that it still lacks Streetview. (Satellite data is available via Bing, or with a small hack, from e.g. Google.)
But Mapillary is starting to fill that hole.
If you complain that navigation in OSMand is slow... Well that's because it doesn't leak stuff to some "cloud", and processes it on the device, like it should.

Also, good luck with you GMaps when your reception is bad.

There are two kinds of people. Those who think OSM is awesome, and those who haven't really tried it.

Re:when you are a cheap-o company, hypocrisy works

By boudie2 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Have been using OSMand on my phone for a few months and it's great. Got the map for the entire province in Canada that I live and can use it offline whenever needed. No time limit, no we said you could use it but now you can't. Works flawlessly. Sorry google.

Re:msmash is having a moment

By ceview • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
Yeah I agree. The expression "Having a moment" to me means actually making a temporary error. Like walking along a perfectly flat surface and then suddenly tripping over because you aren't paying full attention.

I suppose this applies to OSM in a sense because they seem to be 'supporting' big tech. But this seems to be a more long term thing rather than a ' brief moment'

Beware ...

By PPH • Score: 3 • Thread

... of Geeks bearing gifts.

Google has not only a nice set of maps but a rather powerful API to incorporate their maps into your app. Great. But their API gives Google a hook into your customers' location data (and probably a bunch of other user data as well).

I had a nice little ADS-B display program which shows which planes are flying over my house. Using a feed from an RTL-SDR dongle, a Google map and some JavaScript witchcraft, it works pretty well. But Google has been up-selling their API, squeezing more and more data out of the users. Not a problem for me, since I don't make my page public. But it keeps breaking their interface. No problem. Switch to OSM with an open source third party animation package.

Oh Noes! We can't have that! People actually moving around in public without leaving a digital breadcrumb trail for LEOs (the actual customers for Google, Facebook, Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft). So we'll throw OSM a few breadcrumbs. Here's a few bucks and a snazzy API (just like Google's). And now you can play with The Big Boys. Just don't sell your map feed through an interface that we don't control.

P.S. Thanks for the tracking data on your users.

As Antitrust Pressure Mounts, Google To Pull Back Benefit to News Sites That Adopted Its Preferred MobileTechnology

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Four years after offering special placement in a "top stories carousel" in search results to entice publishers to use a format it created for mobile pages, called AMP, Google announced last week that it will end that preferential treatment in the spring. "We will prioritize pages with great page experience, whether implemented using AMP or any other web technology, as we rank the results," Google said in a blog post. From a report: The company had indicated in 2018 that it would drop the preference eventually. Last week's announcement of a concrete timeline comes less than a month after the Department of Justice called Google a "monopoly gatekeeper to the internet" in a lawsuit alleging antitrust violations and as pressure mounts on officials in the European Union, which has already fined Google more than $9 billion for antitrust violations. "I did always think AMP posed antitrust concerns," said Sally Hubbard, author of the book "Monopolies Suck" and an antitrust expert with the Open Markets Institute. "It's, 'If you want to show up on the top of the search results, you have to play by our rules, you have to use AMP.'" Google spokesperson Meghann Farnsworth did not address the timing of the change but said AMP is not dead, saying the company is "fully committed to AMP as a technology." She said AMP continues to be required for certain features that "are not technically possible" without it, such as "swipe to visit" in Google Images, and that it's "preferred" in the "for you" feed in Google's news reading app, Google Discover.

Good riddance

By brunes69 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Anything that helps to get rid of the data-harvesting, user experience breaking, bug-ridden pile of dogshit that is AMP faster is good news in my books.

'Wonder Woman 1984' is Coming To HBO Max (and Some US Theaters) on Dec. 25

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Although COVID-19 is surging in the United States and around the world, Warner Bros. still plans to release "Wonder Woman 1984" on Christmas Day -- but its plans are are no longer limited to a theatrical release. From a report: Director Patty Jenkins and star Gal Gadot both posted tweets last night announcing that in in the United States, the film will be released simultaneously in theaters and on WarnerMedia's streaming service HBO Max. "THE TIME HAS COME," Jenkins wrote. "At some point you have to choose to share any love you have to give over everything else. We love our movie as we love our fans, so we truly hope that our film brings a little bit of joy and reprieve to all of you this holiday season." A press release from HBO Max offers a few more details: The film will debut in theaters internationally on December 16, then launch in U.S. theaters and on HBO Max on December 25. It will be available to the streaming service's U.S. subscribers for one month at no additional cost.


By Major_Disorder • Score: 3 • Thread
They actually expect theatres to be open come Christmas?
You couldn't pay me enough to go into a theatre during an out of control pandemic today, and things seem to be only getting worse.

Thanks Obama.


By BeerFartMoron • Score: 5, Funny • Thread
Maybe it will be the in-flight movie on the 737 MAX's, that way we can safely avoid the dangers of the theaters.


By RightSaidFred99 • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
Wonder Woman 1984 coming to HBO Max, some theaters, and mainly Torrent and NZB sites on Dec 25th.

Liberal Plot?

By JudgeFurious • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Holding Wonder Woman 1984 back until after the election was clearly just another in a long line of left wing attempts to subvert the 2020 election. Trump lawyers are preparing a legal challenge based on this in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Georgia even as we read this.

Fearing Drama, Mozilla Opens Public Consultation Before Worldwide Firefox DoH Rollout

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Mozilla has opened today a public comment and consultation period about the ways it could enable support for the controversial privacy-centric DNS-over-HTTPS (DoH) protocol inside Firefox. From a report: The browser maker's decision to open a rare public consultation period comes after the organization faced criticism last year in the UK for its plans to support DoH inside Firefox. UK government officials, law enforcement agencies, and local internet service providers criticized Mozilla for developing and wanting to roll out DoH, a feature they said could have helped suspects bypass enterprise firewalls and parental controls blocklists -- even earning the browser maker a nomination for an "Internet Villain" award from a local ISP. All last year's hoopla was caused by DoH, a web protocol developed as an alternative to the classic DNS (Domain Name System). DoH works by encrypting DNS queries (which are normally sent out in clear text) and hiding them inside normal-looking HTTPS web traffic.

In this instance, fuck Firefox

By GoRK • Score: 3 • Thread

Circumventing the system DNS resolver with a vendor-selected resolver is simply wrong. I fully support the privacy initiatives and wish a pox on ISPs who abuse DNS, but this is not the way the network stack is supposed to work. I am real fucking excited about NOT supporting this. It's gonna be too damn easy to just tell people to use a different browser.

Re:In this instance, fuck Firefox

By serviscope_minor • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Circumventing the system DNS resolver with a vendor-selected resolver is simply wrong.

Firstly, why? You state this as a fact, but provide no reasons.

Secondly, if you're on your own network, then just add a canary domain and Firefox won't use DoH, or, add the canary to your resolver, or configure it to not use DoH. If you're on an enterprise system, the enterprise management stuff can turn it off.

It's 100% your choice whether to use it or not.

I fully support the privacy initiatives and wish a pox on ISPs who abuse DNS, but this is not the way the network stack is supposed to work.

Well this is currently the only practical way to sidestep evil ISPs and currently the evil of the ISPs far outweighs the evil of a second DNS system. In my opinion of course. I think you're letting perfect be the enemy of good. It's good to avoid Theresa May's snoopathon or the ISPs farming you for advertising. Waiting for hypothetical perfect future solutions mean this will continue for the forseeable future.

I am real fucking excited about NOT supporting this.

Supporting this? It just works.

It's gonna be too damn easy to just tell people to use a different browser.

This sounds like a rant along the lines of "Firefox sux because of X so I'll switch to chrome which does X more and first!".


By PraiseBob • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
I'd much rather trust an open source browser that I choose, with configuration settings I choose, than trust my ISP. My ISP isn't my first, second, or even third choice, it's my only high speed choice because of their monopoly on my cities geographic region. I know that they spy on my dns requests, and sometimes hijack them when my VPN is off. I know they make money from spying on me, and selling my private info against my wishes. All this talk about "enterprise firewalls" being at risk, and "wont somebody please think of the kids" is pure bullshit, it's only about the money.

Re:Firefox/Chrome have become a trojan.

By serviscope_minor • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

An intentional built-in backdoor to their MITM service.

They're the browser. They could fake certificate checking in TLS and MITM there. That would be much, much easier. You haven't really explained how a DNS hijack would even successfully MITM with TLS.

Re: How about a consultation on xul and pocket

By amorsen • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

You can also trivially stop DoH by returning NXDOMAIN to queries for See

Japan To Begin Experiments Issuing Digital Yen

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
More than 30 major Japanese firms will begin experiments next year towards issuing a common, private digital currency to promote digitalisation in one of the world's most cash-loving countries, the group's organising body said on Thursday. From a report: The move follows the Bank of Japan's recently announced plan to experiment with issuing a digital yen, underscoring a growing awareness of the need for Japan to catch up to rapid global advances in financial technology. The group, consisting of Japan's three biggest banks as well as brokerages, telecommunication firms, utilities and retailers, will conduct experiments for issuing a digital currency that will use a common settlement platform. "Japan has many digital platforms, none of which are big enough to beat cash payments," Hiromi Yamaoka, a former BOJ executive who chairs the group, told an online briefing. "We don't want to create another silo-type platform. What we want to do is to create a framework that can make various platforms mutually compatible," Yamaoka said.

We have already digital money for decades...

By slashways • Score: 3 • Thread
Who cares about one more kind of digital money? A a new digital money likely optimized to suppress privacy, and to enforce negative interest rates.

Re:how is this different

By Nexx • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

I've lived in both US and Japan, travelled to Europe and Canada. I think I can bring a reasonably global perspective to this discussion. It's also clear you have no idea what's going on in Japan.

In Japan, almost all payments above a certain amount is via wire transfers, and has been since 1990s. In contrast, the US only relatively recently moved to that model, via the much more opaque online bill pay. In Japan, the payer pushes the money, like when sending monies to your friend in Venmo. I'm not 100% sure, but in the US, the payee pulls money.

Things like rent/mortage payments, credit card payments, salaries, utility bills, etc., are almost always have been paid via electronic means. This, in contrast to the US, where checks were, and are used, especially with smaller landlords. In Japan, it's quite customary with even smaller landlords to pay them using wire transfers.

It's typically the much smaller purchases -- up to about USD 200 -- that gets paid in cash. Think of paying for meals at a restaurant, paying for a cab or buying groceries. Here, cash becomes king because a lot of the smaller merchants do not have payment processing terminals.

I left paying for public transport out of this though -- primarily train operators use their own electronic payment networks. JR East started with Suica, way back in 2002 or thereabouts, as a RFID payments system. Others quickly followed, and interop was becoming a thing sometime around 2004 or 05. They added payments as a thing too, first in the convenience stores and newsstands owned by JR East, and later, probably, others.

I believe what BoJ is trying to do is to create a unified system of these disparate systems, to unify under one umbrella. If you travelled beyond the regional reach of your home system, very frequently the other systems were incompatible.

Re:how is this different

By r2kordmaa • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
This is central bank digital currency, there is a pretty big difference What you think of as digital currency, technically isn't currency at all, rather it's a case of a private company owing money to you or you owing money to them and that debt gets shuffled around and transacted with. Central bank backed currency only comes into play when someone moves cash to pay that debt off or create more of it. With CBDC you have central bank saying, here this quantity of money exists and belongs to Bob and also allows Bob to make transactions with his money.

Trying to eliminate quasi-anonymous digital yen?

By PrimaryConsult • Score: 3 • Thread

Japan has a rather fascinating ecosystem of quasi-anonymous digital payments already
-transit passes which can also be used at stores, with oddball overlaps - the JR passes cross with each other, and the passes for each region cross with each other within that region, but using something from out of region at a local store is very hit or miss
-Preloadable debit-type cards such as EDY, Nanaco (requires registration, administered by 7-11), Waon
For these you can get an initial card, choose to register it or not, and refill at vending machines with cash.

A move to this seems like an attempt at consolidating all this into something centrally managed and trackable.

China's Xi Jinping Warns Against Protectionism in Apparent Swipe at US

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
President Xi Jinping has pegged China as the pivot point for global free trade, vowing to keep his "super-sized" economy open and warning against protectionism in a global economy eviscerated by the Covid-19 pandemic. From a report: Buoyed by the signing of the world's largest trade pact over the weekend, Xi said the Asia-Pacific is the âoeforerunner driving global growth" in a world hit by "multiple challenges," including coronavirus. He vowed "openness" to trade and rejected any possibility of the "decoupling" of China's economy -- in his only comments nodding to the hostile trade policy of Donald Trump's US administration, which has battered China with tariffs and tech restrictions. The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) forum, at which Xi delivered his comments, was held online this year because of the coronavirus pandemic. It brings together 21 Pacific rim countries including the world's two biggest economies of China and the US, accounting for about 60% of global GDP.

Rapist talk

By Shotgun • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

This is like the rapist telling the victim not to struggle so that the anal sex won't hurt so much.

Pot, meet Kettle ...

By Freischutz • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
That is rich coming from the leader of China, one of the industrialised world’s leading exporters of unemployment through dumping and state subsidies for domestic Chinese industry.

We're the world center of free business!

By kaatochacha • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

"Now excuse me while I cancel this ANT IPO because the owner annoyed me"

Biden will take a knee

By groobly • Score: 3 • Thread

Rest assured that Biden will genuflect before Xi. Then again, it would take 30 years to fix the last 30 years of failed industrial policy that hollowed out the US manufacturing sector. Trump's pop-up tariffs may have had the right sentiment, but are and were naive to the max.

Want free trade?

By jcr • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread

Hold free elections.

The CCP is not a legitimate government. It's a terrorist organization that has nuclear weapons and billions of hostages. It's worst enemy China has ever faced, having murdered Chinese by the tens of millions, vastly exceeding the crimes of the Imperial Japanese army.


Google is Rolling Out End-To-End Encryption for RCS in Android Messages Beta

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
After two long, complicated years, every Android user worldwide (outside China) now has access to the next-gen texting standard that is replacing SMS. Google is directly offering RCS chat services through its Android Messages app to anybody who installs it and uses it as their default texting app, which partly bypasses a carrier rollout that, at times, has ranged from sluggish to incoherent to broken. From a report Just as importantly, Google has announced that it's finally beginning to enable a key privacy feature: end-to-end encryption. For Android users who use Android Messages, one-on-one chats will eventually be end-to-end encrypted by default, meaning neither carriers nor Google will be able to read the content of those messages. Even though encryption is only beginning to roll out to people who sign up for the public beta for Android Messages, turning on encryption for RCS is a very big deal. It's a massive privacy win, as it could mean that the de facto replacement for SMS will, by default, be private on the smartphone platform used by the vast majority of people worldwide.

As for the people who use that other smartphone platform -- the iPhone -- we have no word on whether Apple intends to adopt the RCS standard. But as every carrier worldwide gets on board, and now that there is a clearer path to ensuring private communication with RCS, the pressure on Apple to participate is likely to build. Unfortunately, SMS becoming fully deprecated and replaced by RCS will only happen if all goes to plan for Google. Since initially announcing plans to transition to RCS as the primary texting platform for Android, the standard's rollout has been mired in confusion. In attempting to be neutral and make Android's texting a standard shared by carriers worldwide, Google set itself up with the job of herding multibillion-dollar cats -- with sadly predictable results.

Woohoo end-to-end encryption

By Rosco P. Coltrane • Score: 3 • Thread

So only Google can read all your message, none of those pesky men-in-the-middle.

Re:Why RCS?

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Although in principle I agree with you ("SMS is dead tech"), keep in mind that SMS is still the "legacy" option, and the only option that really works and is available for all those people that refuse to have their lives controlled by evil megacorporations by using a non-free messaging app.

It was already difficult enough to convince a critical mass of my family and friends to switch to Signal (which is, by the way, already a non-optimal solution but way better than Whatsapp/Telegram). If I meet a stranger and need to exchange a point of contact, the first approach is either e-mail or SMS. E-mail would be better of course, but it's not always socially acceptable as a first approach.

Most importantly, SMS is the legacy option used for 2-factor authentication (2FA) that does not require to install a non-free and invasive mobile app. There are better alternatives (apps like FreeOTP and similar ones that use well-tested open protocols, or even better, hardware tokens) but they are not always supported by, e.g., your bank: they'd rather have you install their evil, closed-source, likely insecure, proprietary app. SMS from this point of view is the fallback choice (although I'm not sure how long it'll resist in this market). Clearly it is not as secure as the other options. A widely supported encrypted protocols for receiving SMS would give new life to this fallback option.

Finally, remember that there are still large areas of the world where business is big but still using terribly outdated tech (Japan anyone?). Living without SMS in these places is just not possible yet.


By Meneth • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
Google is performing all the key management, which makes it easy for them to perform MITM attacks. Whitepaper.

Oxford Study Confirms Astra Covid Shot's Response in Elderly

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
The University of Oxford confirmed that the Covid-19 vaccine it's developing with AstraZeneca produced strong immune responses in older adults in an early study, with key findings from the last phase of tests expected in the coming weeks. From a report: The results, published Thursday in The Lancet medical journal, shed more light on preliminary data released in recent months showing the experimental shot generated an immune response in the elderly, who are at highest risk of severe illness. "This is a very important step, because the big worry with any vaccine is that it doesn't work so well in older people," Richard Horton, The Lancet's editor-in-chief, said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. The data is "another brick in the house that we're trying to build for this vaccine." Researchers still await late-stage trial results that will show whether the vaccine can meet the high bar set by front-runners Pfizer and Moderna. The Astra-Oxford data readout will come after there have been 53 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the trial, Andrew Pollard, Oxford's chief trial investigator, said at a press briefing.


By drinkypoo • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

The data is "another brick in the house that we're trying to build for this vaccine."

No, it's a wall. Another brick in the wall. But I guess that particular phrase is unpopular for at least two reasons. Still, we don't want to build it a house. We want to build a defense against it, not a home for it.

Good idea - a vaccine for the most vulnerable

By jhecht • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Older people are the most likely to die if they catch COVID, so a vaccine targeted at their vulnerability could be of great value. They may not go clubbing, but they do need to go out into the world for other things, and those in care facilities are very vulnerable to infections from the staff caring for them. We're still figuring out what makes them more vulnerable, but it's likely a vaccine targeted to whatever makes them more vulnerable would be more effective than a vaccine targeted at the public at large.

Re:Good idea - a vaccine for the most vulnerable

By hey! • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

The impact of COVID-19 in retirement homes has been horrific; fully 1/3 of the excess deaths in nursing homes during the pandemic have been from neglect, as staff is overwhelmed caring for COVID-19 patients. Otherwise healthy people are dying of dehydration, malnutrition, and sores.

It's simply not possible to protect people in nursing homes unless you can protect the people who care for them. Nursing care is hard, up close and personal work with highly vulnerable patients. Infected, asymptomatic patient care technicians are going to infect patients, and pretty soon it's all over the place and unavoidable for anyone who works there.

GeForce NOW Games Available on iOS Devices Through Safari, Fortnite Coming Soon

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
GeForce NOW, NVIDIA's streaming gaming service, today announced the launch of Safari integration, which will bring Fortnite and other games to Apple's iOS devices through the Safari browser. From a report: The new Safari integration is available in a beta capacity, and NVIDIA says that many games in the GeForce NOW library can be played on iOS devices. Using GeForce NOW on an iOS device requires a gamepad, and keyboard and mouse-only games are not available. NVIDIA has a list of recommended gamepads. NVIDIA is working alongside Epic Games on a touch-friendly version of Fortnite that will run on iOS devices through Safari, so Fortnite is not launching today, but it will be coming soon. Rumors earlier this month suggested that Fortnite would return to Apple's devices through a partnership with NVIDIA, and when the game launches on the GeForce NOW service, it will be the first time Fortnite has been accessible on iOS devices since the Apple vs. âOEEpic GamesâOE dispute kicked off in August.

Still forcing the app on Android/Win/MacOS?

By gabebear • Score: 3, Interesting • Thread
Will NVIDIA force people to use the apps on other platforms? It always makes me angry when I can't use the web version without changing my user agent because a company is pushing some app I don't need. The APIs needed are supported in pretty much every browser released in the last 4 years.

Human Error Blamed For European Vega Rocket Failure

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
"A quick analysis of Monday night's Arianespace Vega rocket failure has been root caused to 'a series of human errors,'" writes an anonymous Slashdot reader. STAT reports: In a call with reporters, Roland Lagier, chief technical officer of Arianespace, said the first three stages of the Vega rocket performed normally after liftoff from Kourou, French Guiana, at 8:52 p.m. Eastern Nov. 16. The Avum upper stage then separated and ignited its engine. However, "straightaway after ignition" of the upper stage, he said, the vehicle started to tumble out of control. "This loss of control was permanent, inducing significant tumbling behavior, and then the trajectory started to deviate rapidly from the nominal one, leading to the loss of the mission."

Analysis of the telemetry from the mission, along with data from the production of the vehicle, led them to conclude that cables to two thrust vector control actuators were inverted. Commands intended to go to one actuator went instead to the other, triggering the loss of control. "This was clearly a production and quality issue, a series of human errors, and not a design one," Lagier said.

Re:From the no-shit department.

By tsqr • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

every error in a human endeavor is a human error.

Well, no. Some times things happen that are completely outside the capability of human beings to control. But in this case, the CTO of Arianespace is wrong to characterize this as "not a design error". The connectors on those two harnesses should have been keyed differently to prevent the possibility of connecting them incorrectly.


By argStyopa • Score: 3 • Thread

I'd been told by several friends in Europe that the "silly" American use of imperial measures was more or less the root human error that caused the destruction of the well-known Martian probe.

So HUMAN ERROR is possible even with complex rockets built entirely in the metric system?
Who'd have imagined it?

Re:It *WAS* a Design Issue!

By Pascoea • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

There's only so much stupid you can engineer out of a system. From the article: "The improper installation apparently required some considerable physical effort" and "...simulated the improper installation... on the actual hardware. As it turned out, it would be very difficult to do but not impossible." and "As a result, the plate holding the sensors sustained damage."

These are two wildly different failure modes. Your example wasn't someone absentmindedly switching two identical plugs around, it was a "technician" making a conscious decision to violently and destructively beat a square peg into round hole.

Re:It *WAS* a Design Issue!

By 140Mandak262Jamuna • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
The actuators are the same parts, two identical parts one for the left and one for the right. Its like the disc brake in the car. All the four wheels have exactly the same disk brakes. The hydraulic lines are identical, coupling is identical.

In a rocket you can create inserts in the sockets with keys and matching slots in the cable to prevent misconnections. Usually not possible in mass produced machines using interchangeable parts.

But the more serious question is, how did this pass QA? Every control surface is tested by technicians after assembly who gives control inputs and verifies correct reaction. They verify full traversal. They verify each step of control input and the correct response. This is the standard process. They have log books and signatures. Now a days with cheap ubiquitous cameras and videos, its possible the testing is recorded and reviewed by additional engineers. I was part of one such testing rig back when I started my career, seen two technicians going through the test protocol, one calling out, "Pin 529 +1 volt" and the other calling back, "Left aeleron up 2 degrees", record it in the ledger. The expected value is not in that register, it is in another log book where the third technician compares the observed values with expected values and signs off. These technicians are usually sergeants or their civilian equivalents.

This still IS a design error...

By Magnificat • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
If you can accidentally swap the cables and have them still fit into the wrong connectors, that IS a design error. This is why, at the place I worked, when we were designing TV's years ago, we made sure every cable connector and every sub-assembly in the TV had a unique header/connector that could not physically BE connected to the wrong place. By making sure every connector on the PCB itself was unique, the entire cabling process became a non-issue at the manufacturing stage.

Charlie Brown Holiday Specials To Air On TV, After All, In PBS Deal

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Last month, "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" wasn't aired on TV, marking the first time since 1965 that the Peanuts special wasn't broadcasted. Instead, it was streamed on Apple+. Now, according to The Associated Press, the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and Christmas specials will return to the air. From the report: On Wednesday, Apple bowed to the backlash, announcing it had teamed up with PBS for ad-free broadcasts of "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" (on Nov. 22) and "A Charlie Brown Christmas" (on Dec. 13). Both specials will also be available for free during three-day windows on Apple TV+ (Nov. 25-27 for "Thanksgiving" and Dec. 11-13 for "Christmas.") For subscribers, the specials will be available beginning Nov. 18 and Dec. 4, respectively.

Re:Charlie Brown is still going?

By nagora • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

I can't remember the last time I saw the cartoon here in the UK on TV or in a publication. Must be decades. Didn't the author die years ago?

Feb 2000.

Interesting dynamics "bowing to pressure"

By thegarbz • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

I'm not going to put Apple on a pedestal here, but it's interesting seeing fundamentally an IT company's approach to this vs what you'd expect from a traditional cable company or a modern cable company like Netflix, or god forbid Disney. Can you imagine Disney's response? I expect something along the lines of "hahahah No! f-you and leave your credit card behind as you leave."

Perfect for Apple

By DarkOx • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

They get exactly what they want out of this, in choosing "ad free" venues to share with. PBS runs one big sponsored by Apple spot (so they get their ad) and anyone else who wants to place ads in the context of this stuff does it on Apple's platform, so they still have their exclusivity in the advertising space.

Scientists Discover Outer Space Isn't Pitch Black After All

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Researchers with NASA's New Horizons say they've finally been able to determine if space is truly black. The group has posted their work online, and it will soon appear ini the Astrophysical Journal. NPR reports: New Horizons was originally designed to explore Pluto, but after whizzing past the dwarf planet in 2015, the intrepid spacecraft just kept going. It's now more than four billion miles from home -- nearly 50 times farther away from the Sun than the Earth is. That's important because it means the spacecraft is far from major sources of light contamination that make it impossible to detect any tiny light signal from the universe itself. Around Earth and the inner solar system, for example, space is filled with dust particles that get lit up by the Sun, creating a diffuse glow over the entire sky. But that dust isn't a problem out where New Horizons is. Plus, out there, the sunlight is much weaker.

To try to detect the faint glow of the universe, researchers went through images taken by the spacecraft's simple telescope and camera and looked for ones that were incredibly boring. Then they processed these images to remove all known sources of visible light. Once they'd subtracted out the light from stars, plus scattered light from the Milky Way and any stray light that might be a result of camera quirks, they were left with light coming in from beyond our own galaxy. They then went a step further still, subtracting out light that they could attribute to all the galaxies thought to be out there. And it turns out, once that was done, there was still plenty of unexplained light.

In fact, the amount of light coming from mysterious sources was about equal to all the light coming in from the known galaxies, says Marc Postman, an astronomer with the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Maryland. So maybe there are unrecognized galaxies out there, he says, "or some other source of light that we don't yet know what it is." [...] So where does the light come from? Perhaps, he says, there are far more small, faint dwarf galaxies and other faint regions on the outskirts of galaxies that instruments like the Hubble Space Telescope can't detect and so scientists just aren't aware of them. Or, maybe there's more dust out there interfering with the measurements than scientists expected. Or perhaps there's a more exotic explanation -- some unknown phenomenon out in the universe that creates visible light. It's even possible it's something associated with dark matter, a mysterious form of matter that exerts a gravitational pull on visible matter but has never been seen directly.

This was already known.

By thegarbz • Score: 3 • Thread

We already pointed the Hubble at nothing and found that nothing was full of galaxies even with our ancient detection equipment. Then there's the well known theory that in any direction you look you should get hit by a photon. This was partially addressed in a minute-physics video years ago

Re:Is space infinite?

By Whibla • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Assuming we're talking, as the article is, about visible light then that 'proof' doesn't satisfy the sniff test.

How fast is this infinite universe expanding? If point 'a' is receding from point 'b' faster than the speed of light then no light from 'a' will ever reach 'b'.

Assuming the above is not generally true, did one or more periods of 'expansion' happen? How long will it take the light from point 'a' to reach point 'b', given the distance between them, the rate of expansion of the universe, and the periodicity (if any) of the period(s) of expansion? Has the universe lasted that loing?

Where within this infinite universe are we measuring from? Infinite doesn't mean no edges, only that in at least one direction it doesn't end (Aleph 0 if you will). If one is located right on the edge well over half the sky might be completely 'lightless'. Of course this does beg the question: what happens to light that hits the 'edge' of the universe?

How fast does light 'decay' into a non-visible form?

So, sure, for a particular infinite universe it might be 'bright', but that presupposes a particular set of conditions which make that possible. That sounds somewhat self fulfilling to me. Without those initial constraints however I'd say it was entirely possible to have an infinite universe set against a dark background...

Re:Dark Hole Theory.

By jythie • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
Do not confuse a pop-science posting with research. The actual paper is what one would expect, it goes over the methods, the data collected, an overview of known sources and the methods for calculating them, the gap between the two numbers, and an overview of possible explanations to explore further. I am not sure what else you could want or expect out of research. They found something new, drilled down into it, presented what they had, and provided hypnosis for other researchers to consider and either build off of or counter. 'maybe' is a building block of knowledge.

Refraction from cosmic particles.

By jellomizer • Score: 3 • Thread

Outer space isn't 0k so there is energy floating around, so it will hit a particle, which will reflect, refract, or radiate an emission. If you multiply all the near 0 energy by the size of the universe, you will probably get something more noticeable.

I think they just proved the universe is infinite.

By nbritton • Score: 3 • Thread

They said that about half of all light was unaccounted for. Light follows the inverse square law, so if you represent all light in the observable universe as a geometric series, then the second half of the series can be accounted for as the all the light from the edge of the observable universe to infinity.