Alterslash

the unofficial Slashdot digest for 2021-Feb-22 today archive
 

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

Does Private Equity Investment in Healthcare Benefit Patients? Evidence from Nursing Homes

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
The summary of a study by National Bureau of Economic Research: The past two decades have seen a rapid increase in Private Equity (PE) investment in healthcare, a sector in which intensive government subsidy and market frictions could lead high-powered for-profit incentives to be misaligned with the social goal of affordable, quality care. This paper studies [PDF] the effects of PE ownership on patient welfare at nursing homes. With administrative patient-level data, we use a within-facility differences-in-differences design to address non-random targeting of facilities. We use an instrumental variables strategy to control for the selection of patients into nursing homes.

Our estimates show that PE ownership increases the short-term mortality of Medicare patients by 10%, implying 20,150 lives lost due to PE ownership over our twelve-year sample period. This is accompanied by declines in other measures of patient well-being, such as lower mobility, while taxpayer spending per patient episode increases by 11%. We observe operational changes that help to explain these effects, including declines in nursing staff and compliance with standards. Finally, we document a systematic shift in operating costs post-acquisition toward non-patient care items such as monitoring fees, interest, and lease payments.

Re: wow

By larwe • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Copays are the tool that was designed to make covered patients interested in the cost of care. The idea was that if you make the patient responsible for say 10% of the cost, they have skin in the game and will shop around for the cheapest treatment plan. You don't need to be a rocket scientist to know this doesn't, and can't, work. There's no such thing as "shopping around" when it's impossible to get an actual price upfront. Also, nobody says "hmm, this $50000 surgery will let me walk normally and without pain, but the $1000 surgery will let me hobble around in agony and that's enough to let me go back to work; I'll take the cheap one".

Re: Wow. Much research

By JonnyCalcutta • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

I think the OPs point wasn't that people 'don't' have to do this, but rather they 'shouldn't' have to do this. I think your examples prove the point, since neither case was the ideal outcome.

I honestly don't think Americans can appreciate the difference a public health service brings. Its not just a monetary thing. Living in the UK I have never, not once, had to question what I'd do if I was injured or sick - I literally don't have to think or worry about it. I've never had to think about which policy to take, or whether changing job will affect my medical care, or what to do if I'm unemployed (or starting my own business on a shoestring) and get sick, if I can afford (medically) to have a baby, or think about whether to visit the doctor or not. I also know that everyone in my country has the same, no matter their circumstance. I'd sacrifice my 'freedom of choice' a thousand times over for that liberation.

Re: Wow. Much research

By stabiesoft • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Agreed. Living in the US with a high deductible policy (8500 before insurance pays even the first penny) I always think about it. I am healthy, have never hit the limit, but you always think near the end of the year, should I go or wait until next year. After all if anything happens in december, I have to pay out 8500 for that year and then the clock resets on January 1st. It really is just crazy.

Re: Wow. Much research

By Organic Brain Damage • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
I'm in the USA. A $100,000 / year programmer with a wife and 2 kids, living in the USA would pay roughly $30,000 per year in all forms of taxes. It varies depending on where in the USA, but it might be $25,000 in Florida or Washington and $35,000 in NYC.

If you lived in Sweden or Finland, you'd give pay roughly $50,000 of your income to the government. Let's assume you're in a lower-tax US state and go with the higher $20,000 differential.

For that the Finn or Swede gets a much better deal on health care, university tuition for their two kids, and retirement benefits.

The American family needs $28,000 per year for medical care. If they are in an average employer-sponsored health plan.

https://www.beckershospitalrev...

Already, the Swede or Finn is up on the American by about $8,000 per year. Don't even bother comparing quality of the product in the USA to that in Finnland or Sweden. By all society-wide measures, they're healthier and live longer and spend less. American Health Care, you can get better outcomes, but you cannot spend more.

Add in the differentials in university tuition (a very large cost for American parents) and the "Heat, food, housing or healthcare, you can have any two you like" retirement program that is the US Social Security/Medicare mess and the average Swedish or Finnish family is far better off than financially average Americans.

Why is it this way? Welp, the American system is not setup for the benefit of the majority of the population. It's setup to fleece the majority for the benefit of the Plutarchs. The majority of Americans are suckers who have been sold a "USA is the greatest at everything" bill of goods.

Re: Wow. Much research

By DaveV1.0 • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
Having worked for a health care company, I can say that insurance is a large part of the problem. Medical coders, insurance and billing clerks, and associated systems and personnel are about half of the cost of the bill. Procedures, supplies, and medical personnel make up most of the other half.

Spotify Expands To 80 New Markets, Targeting 1 Billion Customers

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Spotify is introducing its audio service in 80 markets across Asia, Africa and the Caribbean in coming days, expanding the company's potential market by some 1 billion people. From a report: The steps announced Monday will nearly double Spotify's geographic footprint and add regions where streaming music is in its infancy. The company already operates in 93 countries or territories. Spotify is seeking to build on its head start as the leading audio service in the West to become the dominant player globally. While the company already has more than 345 million users, fewer than 20% come from Asia, Africa and the Middle East, where most of the world's people live. The Stockholm-based company has been slower to expand globally than Netflix or Google's YouTube, partly because of the complexity of securing music rights. But its timing coincides with growing potential in markets across Africa and Asia. Where the music industry was once U.S.-centric, many of the most popular acts in the world right now hail from India, Nigeria, South Korea and Latin America.

Languages

By Pop69 • Score: 3 • Thread
But they still can't manage to have Scots listed as a language to upload stuff in ?

It could be targeting 7.8 billion customers

By xack • Score: 3 • Thread
If copyright extremists didn’t artificially restrict based on region.

Remastered

By Blame The Network • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

I'm about to cancel spotify because they make it hard to find original songs. They present me with 'remastered' songs which often sound quite different to (worse than) the original. I presume they get some kind of financial benefit from this, or they would show originals first

If I search for "beatles let it be" I get 6 results all of which are 'remastered'. Most remastered results are not even 'official' remasters released by the band/label, but something done by spotify or by grifters

Microsoft Word is Getting Text Predictions Next Month

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Microsoft is planning to add text predictions to Word in March. From a report: The new feature will work similarly to Google Docs' Smart Compose option, using machine learning to predict what words an author will need to speed up document creation. Microsoft originally announced a beta of text predictions last year, but it's now on the Microsoft 365 roadmap to reach all Word users on Windows next month. Word will highlight grayed-out predictions when users are writing a document, and the suggestions can be accepted using the Tab key or rejected by hitting Escape. Text predictions can also be completely disabled by Word users.

Re:WIll Now Take Longer

By vux984 • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

"You have to hit TAB to allow accept the suggestion,"

Except that TAB is used for other things too, like going to the next tab stop when writing column aligned things, or going to the next table cell in tables. There's probably other things it does, in other contexts like headers and footers, bibliographies and indexes, etc...

More material for Elise Ecklund

By rebill • Score: 3 • Thread

Back in 2019, Elise posted a song on Youtube based on the predictive text Apple provided: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3DwAIsFbBSE

Apparently watermelons will take over. I wonder how crazy that will get with Microsoft's predictive text.

Fck you once & fck you twice & fck you onc

By Oligonicella • Score: 3 • Thread
I'll type my own damn words.

Old song. Most of the younger ones won't get it.

Re: WIll Now Take Longer

By Z00L00K • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

It bothers me to have to turn off shit I haven't asked for.

Compose host Jim's Is This that ate Always wrong."

By Maxo-Texas • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

"Oh crate, now that means phat cow I cang compose host Jim's is this with the predictive words that ate Always wrong."

Google has gotten *worse* and *worse* as they expand the vocabulary beyond common usage words.
Google *regularly* inserts obscure or even foreign words instead of the ordinary vocabulary word it should be using over the last 12 months. To make things worse- it *continues* to change the words so even when the text is correct- it may suddenly change it right as I post. It also insists on randomly capitalizing any words that are movie or book titles.

In cases it's not obvious... the first sentence is the raw output of google voice.

Three to four years ago it was *really* useful. But it had a much smaller vocabulary and a much better sense of what words were common and what words were rare. I don't even recognize some of these words like "thinj". I suspect it's accidentally or intentionally being trained with nonsense words. On my latest phone, it insists on inserting "oh" before comma's. So a list of words oh, adverbs oh, and nouns looks like this.

Microsoft and Google need to get more humans back in the loop. They are depending too much on self training without proper guidance.

NASA's Mars Perseverance Rover Provides Front-Row Seat to Landing, First Audio Recording of Red Planet

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
New video from NASA's Mars 2020 Perseverance rover chronicles major milestones during the final minutes of its entry, descent, and landing (EDL) on the Red Planet on Feb. 18 as the spacecraft plummeted, parachuted, and rocketed toward the surface of Mars. A microphone on the rover also has provided the first audio recording of sounds from Mars. From a report: From the moment of parachute inflation, the camera system covers the entirety of the descent process, showing some of the rover's intense ride to Mars' Jezero Crater. The footage from high-definition cameras aboard the spacecraft starts 7 miles (11 kilometers) above the surface, showing the supersonic deployment of the most massive parachute ever sent to another world, and ends with the rover's touchdown in the crater. A microphone attached to the rover did not collect usable data during the descent, but the commercial off-the-shelf device survived the highly dynamic descent to the surface and obtained sounds from Jezero Crater on Feb. 20. About 10 seconds into the 60-second recording, a Martian breeze is audible for a few seconds, as are mechanical sounds of the rover operating on the surface. "For those who wonder how you land on Mars -- or why it is so difficult -- or how cool it would be to do so -- you need look no further," said acting NASA Administrator Steve Jurczyk. "Perseverance is just getting started, and already has provided some of the most iconic visuals in space exploration history. It reinforces the remarkable level of engineering and precision that is required to build and fly a vehicle to the Red Planet."

Re:The "first"?

By Cpt_Kirks • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

IIRC, two other missions. Neither one worked, or the probe failed.

That was awesome!

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

My only (tiny) disappointment was - after the heat shield separated, we got to watch it fall quite a ways. I was hoping to see the "puff" of dust when it hit the surface - but it drifted out of the frame before that happened.

It was pretty incredible to see that extremely clear and detailed video, and to realize that had all happened 100+ million miles away from Earth!

In related news ...

By fahrbot-bot • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

I thought this was an interesting read: The First 100 Days on Mars: How NASA’s Perseverance Rover Will Begin Its Mission ...

Some useful links...

By Obipale • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
More Resources: https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020...

Images: https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020...

Raw Images: https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020...

Videos: https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020...

Audio: https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020... p.

Re:The "first"?

By StupendousMan • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Taken from the Planetary Society's website:

Planetary Society members and supporters funded the world's first Mars microphone on NASA's Mars Polar Lander, which launched in 1999. It was the first citizen-funded science experiment to fly to another world. Sadly, the spacecraft crashed on Mars later that year. We were scheduled to refly the microphone experiment on a French Mars mission called Netlander that was ultimately canceled in 2004. NASA's Mars Phoenix lander had a microphone aboard, but it had to be turned off before launch due to last-minute technical difficulties.

Read more at https://www.planetary.org/sci-...

Clubhouse Chats Are Breached, Raising Concerns Over Security

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
A week after popular audio chatroom app Clubhouse said it was taking steps to ensure user data couldn't be stolen by malicious hackers or spies, at least one attacker has proven the platform's live audio can be siphoned. From a report: An unidentified user was able to stream Clubhouse audio feeds this weekend from "multiple rooms" into their own third-party website, said Reema Bahnasy, a spokeswoman for Clubhouse. While the company says it's "permanently banned" that particular user and installed new "safeguards" to prevent a repeat, researchers contend the platform may not be in a position to make such promises. Users of the invitation-only iOS app should assume all conversations are being recorded, the Stanford Internet Observatory, which was first to publicly raise security concerns on Feb. 13, said late Sunday. "Clubhouse cannot provide any privacy promises for conversations held anywhere around the world," said Alex Stamos, director of the SIO and Facebook's former security chief. Stamos and his team were also able to confirm that Clubhouse relies on a Shanghai-based startup called Agora to handle much of its back-end operations. While Clubhouse is responsible for its user experience, like adding new friends and finding rooms, the platform relies on the Chinese company to process its data traffic and audio production, he said.

I can't see how this comes as a surprise.

By kalieaire • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

People on Clubhouse have been stating that "yes, the company doing the DSP is in China" "no, anyone can be record a conversation"

The easiest low tech version is getting multiple ios devices and joining several rooms. But I suppose it would be a serious issue if the user in question was joining a lot of private rooms. Regardless, it's a digital platform and your data is being sent overseas through the Great Firewall of China. It should be a simple expectation by any and all users technology users that *nothing* is private on the internet.

Silly article

By pherthyl • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

It's audio going out the speakers of anyone that's joined the room.
Obviously it's trivial to record any and all of it with no hack required. Join room, press record.
Was anyone really naive enough to think that Clubhouse chats are private?

All the inconveniences of a walled garden ...

By dasgoober • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

... but none of the security. Where do I sign up?

When a company makes promises...

By HiThere • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

The first question I want to ask is "How are you standing behind it?". I'm interested in what legally binding commitments they are making. When there aren't any, I assume the promise if marketing bullshit. So HOW is Facebook standing behind this promise? (AFAIKT, they aren't.)

P.S,: Note that when an ISP promises to deliver "up to xxx kilobyes/second" they're promising that they won't deliver better service than xxx. They aren't making any commitment about delivering worse service. That promise would be true if they never delivered more than 10 bytes/day, and possibly if they never activated the account.

Spotify HiFi is a Lossless Streaming Tier Coming Later this Year

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader share a report: Spotify is going hi-fi. Well, "HiFi." It's taken longer than competitors like Tidal and Amazon Music, but today, the leading subscription music service announced a new lossless streaming tier that will allow listeners to get the most from their digital music library. The news came at the company's Spotify "Stream On" virtual event. Spotify HiFi will be available later this year and "will deliver music in CD-quality, lossless audio format to your device and Spotify Connect-enabled speakers, which means fans will be able to experience more depth and clarity while enjoying their favorite tracks." Spotify has done small tests of higher-quality streaming in the past, but now it's going to launch the feature more widely -- with the caveat that it'll be available only "in select markets." Pricing is yet to be announced. Higher-quality streaming has apparently been among the top requests from its customers; as it stands today, Spotify tops out at 320kbps audio.

Not Lossless

By backslashdot • Score: 3, Informative • Thread

I hate to go full audiophile nut here, but any time you convert an analog audio signal to digital, there are losses. I mean, I like Fourier, Nyquist, Whittaker, etc. too .. but we are limited by our bit depth, leaving aside low pass filters. It's simple physics. CD quality samples at 44 kHz using a bit depth of 16. Ok mathematical purity aside, we can do better to reconstruct the signal so even the best audiophiles can't tell the difference. We should sample at 48 kHz using a bit depth of 18. If you listen carefully, you can tell the difference. Instead of a so called "lossless" signal sampled with a bit depth of 16 with a 44kHz sampling rate using a shit low pass filter. We could sample at 96 kHz/18bits and compress it .. that would produce a better signal reconstruction and smaller stream than a fake "lossless" stream that is sampling at 44 kHz.

I dislike the term "Lossless"

By squiggleslash • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread

PCM is lossy, it's just usually used for the master copy (so most distribution copies lose something more), but even then a studio master is usually 24 bit, 96ksps, per channel, not "CD quality". That's not to say human ears can generally hear sounds outside of the CD quality range (though there are some itching to reply to me on that already...) but even CD quality is objectively not lossless given that.

In theory if I put out a 16kHz 8-bit PCM stream, using the current terminology I could claim it's lossless even though it clearly isn't!

Can't we use terms like "Studio quality", "CD quality", etc, instead?

Re:Starting the ripper on 3... 2... 1...

By Cesare Ferrari • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

It might be lossless, but i'd be surprised if it's bit perfect from CD as they put a digital watermark on their music as far as I remember.

Re:Not Lossless

By nagora • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

44.1/16 is adequate, but there's for me there's an easily perceptible difference going to 24 bit.

No there isn't. Don't talk crap.

Apple Is Going To Make It Harder to Hack iPhones With Zero-Click Attacks

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Apple is going to make one of the most powerful types of attacks on iPhones much harder to pull off in an upcoming update of iOS. From a report: The company quietly made a new change in the way it secures the code running in its mobile operating system. The change is in the beta version of the next iOS version, 14.5, meaning it is currently slated to be added to the final release. Several security researchers who specialize in finding vulnerabilities in and crafting exploits for iOS believe this new mitigation will make it much harder for hackers to take control of an iPhone with a technique known as a zero-click (or 0-click) exploit, which allows a hacker to take over an iPhone with no interaction from the target. Apple also told Motherboard it believes the changes will impact 0-click attacks.

"It will definitely make 0-clicks harder. Sandbox escapes too. Significantly harder," a source who develops exploits for government customers told Motherboard, referring to "sandboxes" which isolate applications from each other in an attempt to stop code from one program interacting with the wider operating system. Motherboard granted multiple exploit developers anonymity to speak more candidly about sensitive industry issues. Like the name suggests, zero-click attacks allow hackers to break into a target without needing the victim to interact with anything, such as a malicious phishing link. This means that the attack is generally harder for the targeted user to detect. These are generally very sophisticated attacks. These attacks may now become much rarer, according to several security researchers who look for vulnerabilities in iOS.

Re:"Borrowing" good ideas.

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

All Android users are annoyed by Apple. Probably due to lack of updates.

"quietly" needs to be retired...

By superdave80 • Score: 3 • Thread

The company quietly made a new change...

I don't know why the term 'quietly' keeps getting added to news reports, but it needs to go. It doesn't mean anything. Do you need them to have an employee standing on the street corner yelling, "HERE ARE THE FUCKING CHANGES WE ARE GOING TO MAKE!!!! PAY ATTENTION!!!"?

Re:Spoiler

By Rockoon • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

IBM Mainframes have entered the chat. 24Bit, then 31Bit, (1 of the bits was used to indicate it wasn't 24 bit or something like that)

If you are to support more than one word size within a wider word such as 32-bit, you would use stop-bit encoding for overall computational efficiency. So 24-bit values would have their 25th bit set, 25-bit values would have the 26th bit set, .... 31-bit valued would have their 32nd bit set, and thus 32-bit values are not supported.

Of course this is wholly incompatible with using the extra bits for anything after using them all for encoding the stop bit and only the stop bit.

But honestly, 64-bit addressing aint going anywhere, even if machines go full-on 128-bit words it doesnt have to be reflected in the address space. There is almost no chance that anyone reading this actually has 64-bit address lines within their Intel, AMD, Apple, or ARM CPU. We are talking about 16 million terabytes here while the world still struggles with deciding between 0.8%, 1.6%, or 3.2% of a single terabyte for their main system.

Re: "Borrowing" good ideas.

By DamnOregonian • Score: 5, Funny • Thread
Mine too!
My iPhone 6 on current firmware is so slow that any attack against it assumes it has failed before it can succeed.
I must say, it's a pretty clever strategy.

Back to Basics

By ytene • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
If you click through the vice.com article, you end up at an interesting piece over at Citizen Lab.

To cut to the chase, that Citizen Lab article explains that Apple's iMessage application, unlike many (most) other iOS applications, is not sand-boxed. What this means is that someone at Apple decided that because iMessage was an Apple application and because they controlled the source code and shipped it with iOS, they did not have to obey the same basic security protocols with iMessage that they force on less trusted code.

It would seem that it did not occur to Apple that someone might be able to craft a malicious iMessage payload that could force an error in their code, allowing a handset to be compromised without user interaction.

Whilst the novelty of the zero-day vulnerability in iMessage might be something we'd be willing to give some form of allowance for [I haven't seen to the details, so it's far too early to say], the root cause of the problem here might actually be some of Apple's own internal security practices.

I am reminded of the collective surprise we felt way back, when it emerged that Apple's "screening" of iOS applications for the App Store came down to confirming the code had been compiled via Apple's XCode IDE and precious little else.

Come on, Apple. It's 2021. You really have no excusefor not sand-boxing applications any more. It might be depressing, but today if you're a platform vendor [and to be fair to Apple, we need to make the same demands of Google [Android], Microsoft [Windows] and Torvalds [Linux kernel], we need our platform providers to be moving towards a model in which *ALL* code is considered hostile.

If the default configuration of the platform is to run all user-space code in a micro-VM, then the platform developers put some serious effort in to ensuring that the security wrapper around that VM had the abilities to control precisely what the contained code could do... then we might be able to think of our platforms as being a bit more secure.

I know this is even more old-fashioned, but maybe we should think about assessing software on something like a refreshed version of TCSEC?

WhatsApp To Switch Off Messages For All Who Reject New Terms

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
WhatsApp users who do not accept its updated terms and conditions by the 15 May deadline will be unable to receive or send messages until they do so. From a report: Their account will be listed as "inactive". And inactive accounts can be deleted after 120 days. Calls and notifications will still function for "a short while" but, TechCrunch reported, probably only a "few weeks". WhatsApp announced the update in January. And there was a backlash among many users who thought it meant the company was planning to change the amount of data it shared with its parent company, Facebook. It later clarified this was not the case. And the update was aimed at enabling payments to be made to businesses.

Seems Aright to Me

By Petersko • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

If they aren't modifying anything that invalidates in-place contracts, this seems to me a perfectly valid thing to do. It's announced in advance, and they even pushed back the implementation date 3 months to give people time to opt in or out.

It's then up to their user base to decide whether or not to participate into the future.

And how many will click 'I Agree'.

By Fly Swatter • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Before reading anything above that button.

Re:Seems Aright to Me

By ledow • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

EU and UK GDPR means that any such data sharing is "opt-in". That is, I have to CHOOSE to give you that data, and if I don't you can't suddenly change my terms of service that I'd agreed to in order to include it.

And the data is PERSONAL data, so if you didn't need that before, why do you need it now? The answer: To sell to businesses. Which I don't want you doing. And which I have a legal right to REFUSE you.

They are trying to make it "opt-out" which is, in and of itself, illegal under data protection laws in the UK and EU.

And when you try to "opt out" (which you shouldn't need to), they are asking for MORE INFORMATION than you originally gave them. They want to know my name, address, my OS software versions, etc. etc. and refuse to allow me to opt-out without it. This is also illegal. "Just tell us what information you DON'T want us to have, and we'll not record that information..." is downright stupid.

Further, the opt-out is by insecure email only, and has to be in their prescribed format and they do not accept any other form of opt-out. This is basic data protection - you want me to send personal information that you DO NOT HAVE over an INSECURE medium to "verify" (against what?!) that I'm the registered user so that I then have the authority to "opt-out" of something that I should not have to.

And the stated purpose of this extra information? To give to Facebook so that you can "purchase from businesses more easily". Nope.

As a long-term Whatsapp customer, I have filed complaints with them, the UK ICO, the equivalent in Ireland (where they are hosted but refuse to give head-office address details so you can't write to them which is, again, illegal), etc.

The next stage is removal of all my data from the service and a lawsuit for failing to comply with basic data protection and GDPR options.

If even your terms and opt-outs are illegal in several ways, and you don't seem to care, why the hell should I trust you with any of my data?

It's a deadline alright. :)

By BAReFO0t • Score: 3 • Thread

Byebye WhatsApp. Hello Signal.

Re: Seems Aright to Me

By MartinG • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

I agree that trying to force people to move like that is a way to lose friends.

The way I did it was by gradually spreading the word a few years ago, until probably half of my friends were on Signal after a few weeks (I have a fairly technically orientated set of friends so that wasn't too hard)

For the rest, it was about waiting for a good time. The recent media coverage about WhatsApp T&Cs (regardless of how accurate that coverage was) ended up being a good way to have a conversation with people about moving and most others either moved or already had Signal by then.

For the last handful, the conversation has been "Have you tried Signal yet? [ ... usual blurb...] Anyway, I'm on the verge of deleting WhatsApp now, so you can get me in future either with Signal or SMS.

I'm now down to 2 contact that I use WhatApp for and I expect to have deleted my account in a few weeks.

At no point was any pressure or anything like that needed, and well timed gentle nudging works and I believe is more effective than lawsuits.

Avalanche Warnings Are Issued in Northwest

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Two avalanche warnings have been issued for parts of Washington and Oregon as heavier-than-usual rainfall and snowfall is expected to hit part of the West Coast through Monday. From a report: One of the warnings, a Level 4 on a scale of 5, said there was a high avalanche danger for parts of North Cascades National Park by the Canadian border, extending south through Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest and into parts of Gifford Pinchot National Forest, which is about 140 miles southeast of Seattle. The warning was in effect until Monday evening and also covered part of Mount Hood National Forest, which is about 70 miles east of Portland, Ore. A separate, Level 5 warning, indicating extreme danger, also covered smaller parts of the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, about 80 miles west of Moses Lake, Wash. That warning, which said heavy snow, strong winds and warming temperatures could create avalanche conditions, was also in effect until Monday evening.

The warnings were issued by the Northwest Avalanche Center, which said at least 30 people in the United States had been killed in avalanches so far this season. That's the highest number of fatalities since the 2015-16 season, according to the center. The warnings came as parts of the Pacific Northwest braced for heavier-than-usual precipitation as a result of an "atmospheric river," the National Weather Service said on Twitter. That type of weather event -- "a long river of moisture" that can hover over concentrated areas for a period of time -- is expected to lead to very heavy rainfall or, in higher elevations, intense snowfall, said meteorologists at the Weather Service in Seattle. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration described such events as "rivers in the sky." This one extends about 3,000 miles, from the coast of British Columbia to the coast of Hawaii, said Dustin Guy, a Weather Service meteorologist. Though Seattle may see only about half an inch of rain, coastal areas and mountain regions can expect up to three inches, said another Weather Service meteorologist, Matthew Cullen. In high-elevation places, like the Cascade Mountains, one to two feet of snow may fall in elevations above 4,000 feet, he said.

Better information

By david_bonn • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

This website gives highly accurate reports on avalanche risk in Washington and Oregon:

https://nwac.us/

There are also reports from people actually out in the field, sometimes with entertaining photos.

Re:Bullshit

By jellomizer • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Humans have created Communities, Governments, Cities, Nations... Was beyond just having an organized military protection to fight off other people who might want to do harm, while that is part of it. It was an attempt to build a way to share resources and support a wider range of people, who cannot by themselves fully support themselves.

The Planter Family may live in an area that is fertile, and they grow a lot of food. The Fisher Family live near the ocean, where they can collect fish, The Miner family lives next to the mountain, where they can get a lot of metals. The Hunter Family lives in the forest where a lot of wildlife lives.
All these family by themselves may be able to survive on their own, however they all have things in excess that others may want, and will need things that they cannot get by themselves.
So they joined together, to share their goods and services, which allows them more time to produce more of what they are good at.
Now that being the case, if there is a problem where something is happening to a different family, you should help them out because you may have the resources, to help them out, and in turn they will be able to help you out when you are in trouble.

The idea of Rugged individualism has gone to its extreme, to where everyone is expected to fully take care of themselves no matter what. That is nearly impossible, when when it is, it becomes a general detriment to everyone involved.
The Individual will be so focused on daily survival, that they will not be able to enjoy any extra benefits. The other people will not be able to gain from their skills they may be better at.

We have a government and community to help regulate and manage support for all people within its jurisdiction. This included helping groups of people in need, making rules to make sure that distribution of goods and services have a strong long term plan. And protecting itself from other event. Now some governments do this better than others. A Good King, who feels his job is to serve his country, often runs a better country. While a Bad King who just collects the Excess for his own benefit causes a lot of problems. So other governments were created to try make communities work better, over a longer period of time.

Buried and Thankful

By Mefesto44 • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

As a backcountry recreation advocate, specifically focused around snow sports like snowboarding, skiing, snowmobiling, snowbiking, etc, I am glad that these warnings are becoming more prolific across various news outlets and social media channels. Should this be Slashdot material? Ehhh, maybe if climate folk consider that appropriate, but the fact that I'm seeing these reports here gives me a big smile. Too many people have been lost in the past and information sharing most certainly would have saved some lives. Hell, 2-3 weeks ago was the deadliest week for avalanche fatalities in the history of the United States due to unprecedented heavy snowfall combined with previous rains and icy conditions that basically created a black ice road at high elevation. While I wish every single winter recreationalist would take the appropriate training needed to properly analyze the snowpack and rescue friends, the reality is most people just barely have the time to enjoy their outdoor experiences these days. It's not an excuse, but it's just how it is for some people.

I was fully buried in an avalanche 10 years ago for 8 minutes before I was reached and it was a terrifying but educating experience. My friend who was in the same slide as me was dead at 13 minutes when we pulled him out of the hole and thankfully he was revived quickly. Further down the mountain that morning there was another avalanche that took the life of a 50+ year old man. 10 years ago our avalanche forecasting and education was a fraction of what it is now. With the pandemic on and people itching to get out of the house, this absolutely bonkers winter (the weirdest one in terms of snowfall I can remember in almost 25 years) is setting people up for horrible deaths. We had a rider die here about 3 weeks ago in a slide that pushed him into a tree and tore out his entire chest... poor guy bled out and died right there in his friends arms. The old guys seem to think their luck of never being in an avalanche makes them an expert... but it was interesting to see that when all the warnings came out all my relatively younger riding friends (20's/30's) decided to stay home and play it safe.

I'm glad to see this information everywhere.

Re:Predicted response from right

By EvilSS • Score: 4 • Thread

According to the left the election never ended!

Even after two months, of the 20 or so news stories at the top of CNN's website right now, EIGHT are about "Orange man bad"

I wonder if Trump will end up owing taxes on all this rent free living he's doing in some people's heads.

Anthony Levandowski Closes His Church of AI

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
The first church of artificial intelligence has shut its conceptual doors. From a report: Anthony Levandowski, the former Google engineer who avoided an 18-month prison sentence after receiving a presidential pardon last month, has closed the church he created to understand and accept a godhead based on artificial intelligence. The Way of the Future church, which Levandowski formed in 2015, was officially dissolved at the end of the year, according to state and federal records. However, the process had started months before in June 2020, documents filed with the state of California show. The entirety of the church's funds -- exactly $175,172 -- were donated to the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund. The nonprofit corporation's annual tax filings with the Internal Revenue Service show it had $175,172 in its account as far back as 2017. Levandowski told TechCrunch that he had been considering closing the church long before the donation. The Black Lives Matter movement, which gained momentum over the summer following the death of George Floyd while in police custody, influenced Levandowski to finalize what he had been contemplating for a while. He said the time was right to put the funds to work in an area that could have an immediate impact. "I wanted to donate to the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund because it's doing really important work in criminal justice reform and I know the money will be put to good use," Levandowski told TechCrunch.

Way of the Future sparked interest and controversy -- much like Levandowski himself -- from the moment it became public in a November 2017 article in Wired. It wasn't just the formation of the church or its purpose that caused a stir in Silicon Valley and the broader tech industry. The church's public reveal occurred as Levandowski was steeped in a legal dispute with his former employer Google. He had also become the central figure of a trade secrets lawsuit between Waymo, the former Google self-driving project that is now a business under Alphabet, and Uber. The engineer was one of the founding members in 2009 of the Google self-driving project also known as Project Chauffeur and had been paid about $127 million by the search engine giant for his work, according to court documents. In 2016, Levandowski left Google and started self-driving truck startup Otto with three other Google veterans: Lior Ron, Claire Delaunay and Don Burnette. Uber acquired Otto less than eight months later.

Re:All I can say is...

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

There was a major schism in Christianity in America during the 20s. You can read all about it Here. The summary is: many educated religious leaders got together and flatly stated to the public that modern scientific knowledge combined with recent discoveries of many ancient copies of the scriptures (that offer corrections to the Bible and compelling arguments disputing historical claims of accuracy, authorship, and intent), MUST alter our interpretation of scripture.

This created two big schools of Protestantism: the modernists (who embrace re-interpreting scripture based on new learning), and fundamentalists, who wanted to hold constant their specific interpretation of scripture as an absolute and unchanging religious doctrine. Over time, the modernists became associated with a largely liberal crowd whereas the fundamentalists became associated more with the conservatives.

Both strains are still alive and well in America, but we tend to hear a lot more about the Fundamentalists because they still believe that God tortures non-believers in a literal pit of fire, that homosexuality is intrinsically evil, and other drama-causing things that get a lot of media attention. The modernists don't have the same incentives to actively try to convert everyone, and so they mostly just stick to their charity work and make a lot less noise.

Re:All I can say is...

By mark-t • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

With you up until this point:

... translated many times...

The language that the old testament would have been written in, considering the people who are alleged to have written the various books, would have been in ancient Hebrew. The language that the new testament was written in would have been a combination of Greek and/or Aramaic, depending on the author of the book in question.

While the oldest texts that survive today and which are used to translate the bible into modern languages are not the the original manuscripts, they are at least in the same language that we understand would have been used at the time the texts were written, and in some cases in the new testament, are still from within the first or second centuries CE (oldest surviving old testament texts are from the BCE era). Modern translations of the bible are translated today directly from available ancient Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic texts. So no, it has not really been translated many times. These ancient texts have been photographed in extremely high resolution so that translations can be made from the pictures of the manuscripts without further subjecting the originals to handling and further degradation.

This does not provide any testament to the bible's veracity, but the allegation that the bible has been translated many times is a point frequently made by critics of the bible who are often ignorant about its origins, and does not help the case against the bible. Arguably it can even weaken it because it questions the credibility of the person making the point.

Re:All I can say is...

By kaatochacha • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

I went to a catholic school back in the 80s, and even then there wasn't much competition between science and religion. Essentially, it was "God created everything, he doesn't micro manage so much, the stuff he created has systems, science describes them, There's lots of parables in the bible, no problem. "

Re:All I can say is...

By mark-t • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Christianity has its roots in Judaism, as Jesus himself was a Jew.

The oldest works that we translate the old testament from today are from BCE, and are consistent with references found in the new testament.

While it would be foolish to suggest that the Roman Empire had a negligible effect on Judeo Christianity, the allegation that the Romans had somehow fundamentally changed it so that a person who claims to be a believer today is not adhering to the same fundamental truths that they did in Jesus' own time is little more than a conspiracy theory, and rests on the notion that absence of evidence to support the notion somehow supports the conspiracy. There is no evidence that the most fundamental imperatives of the bible as know it today, which are to first love God, and second to that, to love other people, have ever changed from the time that its earliest books were alleged to have been written.

And again, we have access to texts that actually predate the Roman Empire itself. If the allegation that the Romans had somehow fundamentally changed it were true, then the texts that were used, say, when the King James version of the old testament was translated, would have somehow fundamentally differed from more recently discovered texts that predated those originally used in King James' time (which was not the first translation of the Bible, but one of the first of note, as it among the first widely published via printing press) by many hundreds of years. Differences exist, but to the best of my knowledge none have been found to be ultimately fundamental.

Regardless of any historical veracity, the Bible is actually a surprisingly accurate text that reflects the culture and periods in which the various books were supposedly originally written. It is not, however, through divine intervention that the books have survived so well into the modern age, as some believers may attest to. In fact, the reason it was preserved so carefully is simply because of the religious significance that the people who believed in it would place on it.

There are far more credible criticisms of Christianity than what you have presented.

Re:All I can say is...

By Brain-Fu • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

The actual history of Christianity and its influence from the Roman Empire is rather more complex that you have presented it. The Bible was not written shortly after Jesus was crucified. The Old Testament was all written before that, but the books of the new testament were written at different times, many decades after the fact. Many copies of them were in circulation, and they were not perfect copies; some had more text than others, some had errors, etc.

They weren't even grouped-together AS a Bible until about 140 AD (ironically, by a Christian leader (Marcion) who was later considered a heretic due to his belief that the Bible made it clear that there were two gods, the evil Jewish god and the loving and victorious Christian god).

Prior to that, there was not "one" Christianity. There were scattered Christian communities who used different collections of scripture. Not all of those scriptures made it into the Bible. And Marcion's cannon was also tweaked a bit during the decades that followed, including swapping out some scriptures for longer or different versions that were in circulation at the time.

Once the catholic church came to power in the Roman Empire (thanks to Constantine), they quickly declared all the other Christian communities to be heretics and went about suppressing them and destroying their scriptures (any that weren't part of their updated version of Marcion's cannon). A lot of those early writings were lost to time until an archaeological dig at Nag Hammadi uncovered them in 1945.

Anyway, my point is that the history of the Bible is not a simple one and the Catholic church (under Constantine) had huge influence over what books made it in and which versions of them were used (not to mention establishing the official doctrines about how they would be interpreted.

Ghana Scientist Tries Gene Editing To Create Healthier Sweet Potatoes

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
The Cornell Alliance for Science seeks to build "a significant international alliance of partners" to "correct misinformation and counter conspiracy theories" slowing progress on climate change, synthetic biology, agricultural innovations, and other issues.

Slashdot reader wooloohoo shares their article about research on Ghana's first gene-edited crop — a high-yielding sweet potato with increased beta carotone content. "For sweet potatoes, we want to look at how we can use the CRISPR-Cas9 system to increase beta carotene," said Samuel Acheampong of the University of Cape Coast's Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, who has been working on the project for the past year. "Beta carotene is a big deal for us because as animals, when we eat beta carotene, our cells are able to convert them into vitamin A."

The World Health Organization estimates that between 250,000 and 500,000 children in developing nations go blind every year as a result of vitamin A deficiency, making it the world's leading preventable cause of childhood blindness. Some 50 percent of them die within a year of losing their sight. Respiratory illnesses and infectious and diarrheal diseases in children also have been linked to vitamin A deficiency. Acheampong is using CRISPR-Cas9 to knock out the genes responsible for the production of an enzyme in the sweet potato that converts beta carotene into other products. This will leave higher beta carotene content in the crop, which when consumed by humans will allow them to produce vitamin A. Sweet potato is a very popular vegetable in Ghana, making it ideal for a biofortification effort of this kind...

Additionally, Acheampong is researching how to increase the size of the crop's storage roots. "I'm looking at a set of genes which affects the transport of sugars in plants. So I'm trying to use the CRISPR genome editing to knock out some sets of genes so that there will be more flow of sugars in the crop, which will definitely lead to increase in the yield...."

He estimates it will take him up to five years to complete his research before any conversation can begin around putting the product in the hands of farmers. "Getting it to the market may take a long time, depending on regulations, etc.," he said.

In another article, The Alliance for Science cites a researcher with the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing who argues "it is unlikely that genome editing-based next generation breeding will completely displace conventional approaches; only when combined with other technologies, such as high-throughput phenotyping, genomic selection and speed breeding, can we guarantee the widespread implementation of genome editing in agriculture."

"This multidisciplinary approach will advance plant breeding to help secure a second Green Revolution in order to meet the increasing food demands of a rapidly growing global population under ever-changing climate conditions."

Done before

By Errol backfiring • Score: 3 • Thread

More than a decade ago, somebody tried to create rice with all necessary nutrients, so poor people could have good health, even if they ate only rice. He deliberately avoided any new techniques or patented techniques, because he wanted his rice free to use for everyone.

He gave up after he was sued for more than 20 patent infringements.

Re:Done before

By Halo1 • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

According to this article, the main issue with golden rice (at least as of 2016) is that the yields are simply not good enough.

Re:Done before

By bws111 • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Bullshit. The project is 'golden rice', and here is what the project itself has to say about that (from http://www.goldenrice.org/Cont...):

Patents are tools to protect commercial interests and investments, but as the Golden Rice example shows, they are not an impediment to the use and dissemination of a technology. Apart from being national in scope and limited in time, their owners can decide to whom to license and under what conditions. Notwithstanding the fact that a number of patented technologies were involved in the production of Golden Rice (Kryder et al. 2000), Syngenta Seeds AG was able to negotiate access to all pieces of the puzzle actively necessary for the intended humanitarian purposes, providing the Golden Rice Humanitarian Board with the right to sublicense breeding institutions in developing countries free of charge.

The patented key technology for Golden Rice production, invented by Prof emeritus Ingo Potrykus, of ETH-Zurich and Prof Peter Beyer, of the Univ of Freiburg, provided access to a package of ancillary technologies required to engineer the trait into rice. A license to those technologies was obtained from Syngenta. The package contained proprietary technologies belonging not only to Syngenta but also to Bayer AG, Monsanto Co, Orynova BV, and Zeneca Mogen BV.These companies provided access to the required technologies free of charge, for humanitarian purposes.

Eliminating reach-through rights and technologies that don't show up in the most recently developed Golden Rice versions leaves us with only a few patented technologies, all of which have been made available for humanitarian purposes free of charge. The licensing process was quick and simple, contrary to what many onlookers believe. Similar projects are looking at this licensing agreement as a good example of how this kind of arrangements between the public and the private sector can be made, especially for humanitarian purposes.

Golden rice wasn't impeded by 'da evil patents', it was impeded by anti-GMO morons.

Re:Sweet potatoes are nasty.

By cusco • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Yes, because fad diets have such a great track record!

Want to lose weight? Start cooking all your meals, eat less, and get more active. You'll be surprised how much money you save too (unless you blow it on a gym subscription). Cooking can be fun, especially if you do it with your partner and/or kids, and you now know what the frack you're eating and how much of it. And "activity" can encompass the entire range of things humans do, it doesn't have to be workouts at the gym. Start taking your dog for a walk every morning before work and every evening after dinner, after a week of that you will **never** be able to skip that walk for the rest of their life, come rain, snow, heat or zombie apocalypse. Start a garden, and keep at it (urbanites can join one of the community gardens found almost everywhere). Walk or bike to the store every day to buy ingredients for dinner rather than drive. It's not hard to do, once you form the habit.

Norman Borlog

By Thelasko • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
I encourage everyone on Slashdot to read about Norman Borlaug, and his work in Africa.

His work in genetically modified crops saved hundreds of millions of people from starvation in India. When he tried to repeat his success in Africa, the anti-GMO crowd stopped him.

Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter Agree to Australia's Misinformation-Fighting Code

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
ZDNet reports: A handful of technology giants operating in Australia have agreed on a code of practice that aims to stem disinformation on their respective platforms. All signatories — Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Redbubble, TikTok, and Twitter — have committed to the Australian Code of Practice on Disinformation and Misinformation. They have also committed to releasing an annual transparency report about their efforts under the code...

[The Code] provides seven guiding principles, with the first aimed at protecting freedom of expression. "Signatories should not be compelled by governments or other parties to remove content solely on the basis of its alleged falsity if the content would not otherwise be unlawful," the code said. Another is centred on protecting user privacy and notes that any actions taken by digital platforms to address the propagation of disinformation and misinformation should not contravene commitments they have made to respect the privacy of Australian users...

"Empowering users" is another principle, that is to enable users to make informed choices about digital media content that purports to be a source of authoritative current news or of factual information. Signatories also commited to supporting independent researchers and having policies and processes concerning advertising placements implemented.

Re:Wow

By omnichad • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

I'm just going to use your quotes against each other and not even bother arguing.

In the U.S., the number of whites who are killed by police is DOUBLE the number of blacks killed by police

Blacks are only 13% of the U.S. population

If I post to Twitter saying Miracle X cures COVID

By rsilvergun • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
you'd have a problem with that, right? So why does nobody have a problem with me posting the same in reverse. e.g. when Joe Rogan goes on air and says he'll wait 6 months to see if the Vaccine is safe, when the trials were done over a year ago and there's 40,000 people who've had it for longer than that plus millions more who just got it...

And you can at least make the argument that Rogan's just profoundly ignorant. He's a multi-multi-millionaire, there's no excuse, he can hire fact checkers like John Oliver does, but yeah, you can at least make the argument. But I don't think anyone believes Donald Trump, with the resources he has regarding the election results, is arguing in good faith.

People lie. Those lies can and will do harm. I'm fucking tired of pretending that every point of view has merit and deserves equal time. There are ideas that cannot and should not be entertained. And there are sick bastards out there who will do that for profit at the expense of us all.

Re:Wow

By Ol Olsoc • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Actually studies have found that people who believe conspiracy theories, the more evidence you show them that their theory is wrong, the more resolute they become in their belief.

Two Trump supporters die, and go to heaven.

When they meet with God, they ask him:

"Tell us God - Trump really won the 2020 presidential election, didn't he."

God replied:

"No my sons, Joe Biden won by over 7 million votes in a closely watched election that was the most fair and lawful election ever."

The Trumpers narrow their eyes, scowl, and the one whispers to the other:

"This goes even deeper than we thought!"

Re:Wow

By Ol Olsoc • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Actually studies have found that people who believe conspiracy theories, the more evidence you show them that their theory is wrong, the more resolute they become in their belief.

Are you sure it isn't because they feel as if they're being attacked, rather than politely refuting their views? Do you have a source to the study?

Not agreeing with a conspiracy theorist is always seen by them as an attack.

The paranoid nature of people who believe conspiracy theories causes them to distrust everyone, including people who they once treated as allies.

This is all rooted in the paranoid's practice of deciding the outcome, then discarding all evidence that does not support that outcome. So they often discard each other's new evidence.

But when whatever they thought was going to happen, didn't happen, they come up with a new thing - then if people don't accept it, they have new enemies.

An example is the QAnon people's shifting stories of how Trump was going to seize power on the 6th of January, then at the inauguration, and now they apparently believe it will happen in early March. Many have turned against each other in the meantime as the conspiracies don't line up.

Re:Wow

By phantomfive • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

If the censorship is designed to suppress ideas (rather than a particular expression of the idea), then it's absolutely bad.

Experian Challenged Over Massive Data Leak in Brazil

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
Experian may be in trouble again — this time in Brazil.

ZDNet reports on "the emergence of a leak that exposed the personal data of more than 220 million citizens and companies, which is being offered for sale in the dark web." After receiving feedback from Experian over a massive data leak in Brazil, São Paulo state consumer rights foundation Procon described the company's explanations as "insufficient" and said it is likely that the incident was initiated in a corporate environment...

Security firm PSafe discovered the incident, which exposed all manner of personal details, including information from Mosaic, a consumer segmentation model used by Serasa, Experian's Brazilian subsidiary. Following the emergence of the leak in January, Procon notified the credit bureau, and asked the company for a confirmation of the incident, and an explanation of the reasons that caused the leak, the steps taken to contain it, how it will repair the damage to consumers impacted and the measures taken to prevent it from happening again...

Contacted by ZDNet, Serasa Experian did not answer to requests for comment on Procon's response to its feedback.

The agency's demands for answers follow calls from the Brazilian Institute for Consumer Protection for urgent measures to investigate and punish those responsible for exposing the population's data, as well as improved citizen information and transparency.

Experinyan uwu

By Quakeulf • Score: 3 • Thread

All according to keikaku, and no one will face consequences, as usual.

"how it will repair the damage to consumers"

By Pope Raymond Lama • Score: 3 • Thread

This is some form of joke. The thing is simply non-repairable.

Data leaked include all forms of identifiers and secondar data used across hundreds of thousands of places
to authenticate one person. Not to mention credit information, such as those used to calculate
the credit score itself.

And 220 million is a number larger than Brazil population: which means everyone got their data leaked.

The country will have to overhaul all forms of person/consumer/tax payer identification and authorization over
the next couple of years in order to mitigate some of the damages in this leak.

Meanwhile anyone is subjet to identity theft at will, and can do nothing to prevent it.

Yea. Credit agencies that no one enters an

By waspleg • Score: 3 • Thread

agreement with voluntarily are losing your shit all the time. A quick search for Experian shows the exact same shit with South Africa, something in San Diego and a long list of their fuckery from Krebs.

The best part is they advertise their expertise at helping other companies avoid fines for these breaches.

The Power of Experience

Experian Data Breach Resolution helps businesses of all sizes manage the risk of fines, customer loss, negative press and litigation due to a breach of data. We have handled thousands of high-profile data breaches in nearly every industry.

In 2010, 25% of the breaches we serviced fell into the medical data breach category. During a healthcare breach, companies look to Experian for proven guidance and leadership. Because mishandling a healthcare data breach can cost as much as $1.5 million1in fines.

Many government agencies, Fortune 500 companies and mid-size businesses also rely on the power of Experian.

The power of experience indeed. The experience of no consequences.

Can we get a corporate death penalty?

By Gravis Zero • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Experian obviously has no interest in security and their little offshoot seems to be no better. The fact that the FTC didn't hand them a fine so large it would have bankrupted them was a major mistake because here they are pulling the same stupid shit as before.

Full list of the leaked data

By Anonymice • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

This leak was massive and touched basically everyone in the country (not just citizens). As far as I'm aware, it easily takes the crown for the biggest leak of personal information in history!

Just to get a grasp of the sheer amount of information that was leaked, this is the list of data involved:

Basic: Name, SSN, sex, DoB, names of parents
Civil status (single, married, etc)
Family ties: Details of immediate (cat. 1) & extended (cat. 2) family
E-mail
Telephone: Area code, number, operator, plan, type of line, date of installation
Address: Full address, including longitude & latitude
Household: SSN of the head of the house, number of members, household income, full address
Level of Education
Students: Uni, course, dates of entry & graduation
Occupation: Role & worker's ID
Employer: Operating name, tax ID, type of contract, date of admission, salary, hours p/week
Salary: Value, type (hourly, monthly, etc), hours p/week
Income: Total monthly income, social class, tax bracket
Social Class: A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2, D, E
Buying power: Level (high, medium, low), income, salary
State aid/Benefits: Value, Status (Active/Inactive/Blocked), names & number of dependents, SSN
Voter Registration
Social identifiers: tax numbers, national health IDs, SSNs, worker IDs, etc
Inland Revenue/Taxman registrations
Credit Score: Credit activity, Risk score, Level of risk
Debtors: Name, Type of debtor, Status, Type of debt, Value, Went to court?
Bounced cheques
Data precision: Percentage
Analytical model: Predicted chance of the consumer buying products or services
Photo ID
LinkedIn: ID & URL
Business: Businesses owned, number & percentage of shares held
Public Workers: Descriptions of roles held, net income, type of contract
Consultants: Status, Speciality, Worker's ID
Death: Date of death, age, date of registration, name & address of registry office