the unofficial Slashdot digest for 2021-May-27 today archive


  1. More People Are Buying Wearables Than Ever Before
  2. Cities Have Their Own Distinct Microbial Fingerprints
  3. The Boring Company Tests Its 'Teslas In Tunnels' System In Las Vegas
  4. Epic Games Launches Unreal Engine 5 Early Access, Shows Massive 3D Scenes
  5. German Scientists Identify Possible Cause of Vaccine Blood Clots
  6. Tech Liability Shield Has No Place in Trade Deals, Groups Say
  7. Colorado Ditches SAT, ACT and Legacy Admissions For Public Colleges
  8. Cox Appeals $1 Billion Piracy Liability Verdict To 'Save the Internet'
  9. A Disturbing, Viral Twitter Thread Reveals How AI-Powered Insurance Can Go Wrong
  10. Industry Groups Sue To Stop Florida's New Social Media Law
  11. Immunity To the Coronavirus May Persist for Years, Scientists Find
  12. Humans Probably Can't Live Longer Than 150 Years, New Research Finds
  13. Indonesian Government Blocks Hacking Forum After Data Leak
  14. A Super Blood Moon Dazzles Earthlings
  15. Clearview AI Hit With Sweeping Legal Complaints Over Controversial Face Scraping in Europe
  16. Twitter Decries India Intimidation, Will Press for Changes
  17. Coinbase Launches 'Fact Check,' a Section on its Blog To Combat Misinformation about the Company and Crypto World
  18. Google Says Rowhammer Attacks Are Gaining Range as RAM is Getting Smaller
  19. Facebook Ends Ban On Posts Asserting Covid-19 Was Man-Made
  20. Automation Puts a Premium on Decision-Making Jobs
  21. VMware Warns of Critical Remote Code Execution Hole In vCenter
  22. Dutch Court Rules Oil Giant Shell Must Cut Carbon Emissions By 45% By 2030
  23. Long Working Hours Lead To a Rise In Premature Deaths, WHO Says

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.

More People Are Buying Wearables Than Ever Before

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: The wearables category of consumer devices -- which includes smartwatches, fitness trackers, and augmented reality glasses -- shipped more than 100 million units in the first quarter for the first time, according to research firm IDC. Q2 2021 saw a 34.4 percent increase in sales over the same quarter in 2020. To be clear: wearables have sold that many (and more) units in a quarter before, but never in the first quarter, which tends to be a slow period following a spree of holiday-related buying in Q4.

According to IDC's data, Apple leads the market by a significant margin, presumably thanks to the Apple Watch. In Q1 2021, Apple had a market share of 28.8 percent. Samsung sat in a distant second at 11.3 percent, followed by Xiaomi at 9.7 percent and Huawei at 8.2. From there, it's a steep drop to the smaller players -- like BoAt, which has a market share of just 2.9 percent. However, analysts say upstarts or smaller companies like BoAt are driving the significant year-over-year growth for wearables. IDC's report says that the fastest growth comes from form factors besides smartwatches, such as digitally connected rings, audio glasses, and wearable patches. This grab-bag subcategory within wearables, which the IDC simply classifies as "other," actually grew 55 percent year-over-year.

Gave Away Secret Base Location

By theshowmecanuck • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
Who remembers when a fitness tracker gave away the location of secret US military bases in the Middle East? Yeah, old people have been around long enough to take advantage of lessons learned from other clowns.

Re:People like to be tracked

By bardrt • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

I don't think anybody who uses facebook doesn't understand what they're doing, yet they still go on using that shit anyways

You would be wrong there.

I just explained the very rudimentary basics of what facebook tracks outside of it's own site/app and watched a couple of otherwise educated people go through what looked like a ten minute version of some kind of shame/grieving process due to "feeling violated" (in their words).

Things went rapidly downhill after I then explained that some "smart" devices that respond to voice commands are often leaving their microphones on all of the time and a truly easy way to shop for something you wouldn't normally shop for is to start talking about it around your smartphone/alexa/google home/television/etc because you'll start seeing ads for it.

Hell, I've seen extremely competent IT people who understand cross-site scripting not realize the full extent of what tracking cookies are doing and unless you're running a browser with something like noscript on fully and regularly allowing only what you WANT (something most people won't put up with for their daily websurfing) you probably don't have the slightest idea how deep THAT goes...and THAT'S just one visible portion on the client side.

I find that, by and large, the mass majority of people don't have the slightest CLUE what's being tracked, when it's being tracked, how it's being tracked, or where (from application to application) it's being tracked.

In fact, at best, most people will give a "well, of COURSE they track like, what I click on while I'm there, I suppose." answer when asked what, precisely is being tracked.

Go hit an Aldi or a bus station and start asking people about what facebook does.

People don't know.

Re:People like to be tracked

By thegarbz • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

privacy is a totally foreign concept to the people of this generation

No this generation just understands that privacy is not a black and white concept, and that there's a sliding scale of benefit to you to handing over data that you likely find completely nonintrusive. This generation realises that the value of things varies depending on who has the said thing.

Just because you value someone else not knowing something that in all likelihood has precisely zero impact on your life doesn't mean that it's a foreign concept to someone else.

Re:People like to be tracked

By AmiMoJo • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Have you actually looked at these devices?

For example I have a Xiaomi Mi Band 5. It doesn't have GPS, or WiFi, or a modem, so I can't collect location data or leak it. The only connection to the outside world is via Bluetooth and the Xiaomi app, which I have firewalled just in case. Not that I ever detected it leaking any traffic anyway.

Even without the Bluetooth link it's a useful tool.

There are plenty of options for people who want privacy.

Re:People like to be tracked

By drinkypoo • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

You're paying for the service by giving away all your privacy. That's a much higher price to pay than any service is worth.

This level of hyperbole always turns up in these discussions, and it is always ridiculous hand-wringing froth. "You're giving away ALL your privacy!" What a fucking toolbag you are.

Giving away access to some of your data does not necessarily represent a major loss, or indeed any loss. Some things I don't want everyone knowing, and I keep them secret. Some things I don't want everyone knowing, but they already do. Some things nobody cares about, and they know anyway. Some things nobody cares about, and nobody knows. Every bit of privacy you have doesn't fly out the window just because you use a service. Unless perhaps you're dumb enough to trust an app from Facebook... I don't use their apps, which have been caught stealing information before. Or in general, if you grant unnecessary permissions to apps. Don't do that either.

Cities Have Their Own Distinct Microbial Fingerprints

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
sciencehabit shares a report from Science Magazine: When Chris Mason's daughter was a toddler, he watched, intrigued, as she touched surfaces on the New York City subway. Then, one day, she licked a pole. "There was a clear microbial exchange," says Mason, a geneticist at Weill Cornell Medicine. "I desperately wanted to know what had happened." So he started swabbing the subway, sampling the microbial world that coexists with people in our transit systems. After his 2015 study revealed a wealth of previously unknown species in New York City, other researchers contacted him to contribute. Now, Mason and dozens of collaborators have released their study of subways, buses, elevated trains, and trams in 60 cities worldwide, from Baltimore to Bogota, Colombia, to Seoul, South Korea. They identified thousands of new viruses and bacteria, and found that each city has a unique microbial "fingerprint."

They found that about 45% didn't match any known species: Nearly 11,000 viruses and 1,302 bacteria were new to science. The researchers also found a set of 31 species present in 97% of the samples; these formed what they called a "core" urban microbiome. A further 1145 species were present in more than 70% of samples. Samples taken from surfaces that people touch -- like railings -- were more likely to have bacteria associated with human skin, compared with surfaces like windows. Other common species in the mix were bacteria often found in soil, water, air, and dust. But the researchers also found species that were less widespread. Those gave each city a unique microbiomeâ"and helped the researchers predict, with 88% accuracy, which city random samples came from, they report today in Cell.

The study's main value isn't in its findings (which are mapped here) so much as its open data, available at, says Noah Fierer, a microbiologist at the University of Colorado, Boulder, who was not involved with the research. That will give other researchers the chance to delve into new questions. "Different cities have different microbial communities," Fierer says. "That's not super surprising. The question for me is, why?" Mason sees an opportunity for "awe and excitement about mass transit systems as a source of unexplored and phenomenal biodiversity." Newly discovered species have potential for drug research, he says, and wide-scale mapping and monitoring of urban microbiomes would be a boon for public health, helping researchers spot emerging pathogens early.

Died where?

By Ostracus • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

This could come in handy when doing forensics.

From the Obvious Department ..

By chotahead • Score: 3, Funny • Thread
An unusually high and quickly growing concentration of "methanobrevibacter" (a methane producing bacteria-like microbe associated with harder stools and constipation) has been found in and around Washington DC.

Drug research?

By kmoser • Score: 3, Interesting • Thread

Newly discovered species have potential for drug research

Considering the samples come from the subway system, they're probably genetically related to drugs.

It's okay to lick the subway.

By az-saguaro • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Last sentence of the post:
"... wide-scale mapping and monitoring of urban microbiomes would be a boon for public health, helping researchers spot emerging pathogens early."

Not really.

That last sentence reveals a bias in microbiological science, medicine, and public health ever since Koch, Pasteur, and Lister elucidated the role of microbial species in human disease. Infectious diseases are all too real of course, but the idea has done more than almost anything else to engender fear or be used as marketing FUD. That includes fear of political regimes, terrorism, earthquakes, and asteroids. And as a marketing or mind bending tool, germs are a subtle and persuasive tool. Unlike politics, they are apolitical, everybody equally at risk (so the germ fear mongers would have you believe). And unlike the theoretical next Chixilub, the microbes are here already. Ever since the latter 19th century, fear of germs, hyped by those with something to sell, ensures a never ending reliable stream of revenue for sterility and antiseptic products.

But here is why this fear is not only not warranted, not as stated in this report, but tangibly dangerous.

There are hundreds of thousands of bacteria and other classes of non-viral microbes. Millions actually, or likely. DNA sequencing has opened up the flood gates of identifying unknown species, just as implied in this report.

Each microbe has its own requirements for life. Higher taxa, especially man, are highly adaptable to hostile environments. Most lower taxa are quite restricted in where they can live, because they have simple metabolic systems that require a narrowly defined environment, ecology, and energy substrates. Take an organism out of its home environment, and it cannot survive. We use the designation "extremophiles" for organism that live in volcanic vents or under glaciers, but for them, they are home. Your armpit or the sewer on your street would not be a tasty meal for them, indeed those environments would be their death.

Despite the 10^5 to 10^7 microbial species possibly out there, only a minute fraction cause human disease. On any given typical day in any hospital, the number of species actually causing infection and being treated is maybe 20-30. In the course of a month, maybe 30-50 species have been identified. Taking account of endemic species in different parts of the world, then in any year, maybe 200-300 species of bacteria and mycetes would have had any notable presence. If all clinical labs pooled all data on human pathogens identified in the course of 10 years, I don't think it would break the 1000 mark.

Then, there are many more species that live on our bodies that never cause disease (except perhaps in the most extreme circumstances of immunosuppression). Then again, there are hundreds of known species that actually populate our gut and skin that have never been identified as a pathogen. In fact, current research has started to emphasize the protective value that many of them have to help us, either to protect us from genuine pathogens that might "get us", or to supply micronutrients and other metabolic benefits to our systems. Indiscriminate use of antibiotics to simply kill germs on our bodies is detrimental. Perhaps the most common clinical problem that has become prevalent in hospitals is Clostridium difficile necrotizing enterocolitis, an often fatal disease that occurs solely from antibiotics eliminating protective species.

And how do we treat C. difficle? In part by eating certain other bacteria. We eat yogurt, cheeses, sausages, all which use friendly microbes to spoil our food in tasty healthy ways. If the microbial fear mongers knew that, you would be persuaded never to eat cheese. Imagine streptomycin yogurt, with pills instead of strawberries at the bottom of the cup.

We indiscriminately try to kill germs, in our kitchens and bathrooms, and in our hospitals, because companies with products to sell, playing on our own innate primal fears and susceptibility to FUD, ha

...And that's the story...

By skam240 • Score: 3 • Thread

When Chris Mason's daughter was a toddler, he watched, intrigued, as she touched surfaces on the New York City subway. Then, one day, she licked a pole. "There was a clear microbial exchange," says Mason, a geneticist at Weill Cornell Medicine. "I desperately wanted to know what had happened."

...And that's the story of how this guy's daughter got herpes.

The Boring Company Tests Its 'Teslas In Tunnels' System In Las Vegas

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Rei_is_a_dumbass shares a report from The Verge: Elon Musk's Boring Company started shuttling passengers through the twin tunnels it built underneath the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) this week, as part of a test to get the system ready for its full debut in June. Videos, images, and accounts shared around the internet by the people who showed up for the test offer the most coherent glimpse yet at Musk's solution for traversing the LVCC campus. It is quite literally just Teslas being driven through two 0.8-mile tunnels -- a far cry from the autonomous sled-and-shuttle ideas that Musk once proposed for The Boring Company.

The Boring Company says the Loop will ultimately turn a 45-minute walk into a two-minute ride, though it's not down to that level of efficiency yet (hence the test). In one video, one of the test riders said they had to wait about three to five minutes for a few of the rides, though even with a top speed of around 40 miles per hour, trips between stations appear to have taken about a minute to a minute-and-a-half. One of the things increasing that total travel time was the underground station. There were times when test riders pulled into the station only to run into some congestion. The drivers have to maneuver around other parked Teslas, people getting in and out, and cars queueing up to reenter the tunnels. It's a tight fit. There was also just some general confusion as people got used to how the system worked.

Re:Not impressive. Yet.

By jeremyp • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

This is just wrong.

Cars in cities do not offer "door to door" personal transport. If I took my car into London, I'd end up spending the last 15 or 20 minutes of my journey looking for somewhere to park it and the cost of parking is likely to exceed the cost of buying a tube ticket from just outside London (and parking there).

The LV loop cost $55 million for less than a mile which is way more than Elon's claim of $10 million per mile. It will not meet the contracted capacity and its running costs will be much higher than promised because they need to pay 62 drivers at all times. (As a side note, it's interesting that Tesla's "full self driving" can't cope with what ought to be about the easiest environment possible.) Who's going to pay for all these drivers?

The contracted capacity is supposed to be 4,000 per hour and the LV loop won't reach that. For comparison the Northern Line in London (which uses tunnels of the same diameter), has a maximum capacity of something over 100,000 passengers per hour.

The LV loop is just taxis in a tunnel. There's nothing new or revolutionary about it. In fact, it's a bit shit. Frankly, they must be embarrassed about it.

Re:No automated driving?

By hattig • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Indeed, and maybe redesign the Tesla a little, because with a few stops it seems to me many people would be sharing the same source and destination stations, so maybe a more extended design would work. Also those low doors won't do, they slow down vehicular access, so maybe you would want a wider, taller door you can just walk in and out of (also disabled access), and maybe an aisle down the centre so you don't need so many doors on the vehicle. Then maybe to solve congestion issues you could connect a few of these vehicles together, even if they now have to stop at every station on route, because the capacity improvement makes it worthwhile, and the congestion time-saving makes up for those extra stops.

ROI should be measured in Teslas

By sonoronos • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

This may be a bit tongue in cheek, but I wonder how many additional Tesla vehicles need to be sold per Tunnel in order to break even.

The description of how the Boring tunnel works is always filled with visions of Tesla cars driving through them - never any other vehicle. On the surface of it, this seems natural given the relationship between The Boring Company and Tesla. However, the deeper message is that this is about selling more Teslas. So how many Teslas actually need to be sold to pay for a tunnel?

Re:Not impressive. Yet.

By NormalVisual • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Anyway, people don't like it and don't want to use it.

The primary reason mass transit isn't more popular in the U.S. is simply that it doesn't go where a lot of people would find it useful. Walking 4-5 miles to the nearest city bus stop to board and then another couple of miles from the closest stop to your destination isn't very practical for most people.

Why there aren't more stops in desirable areas is due to a variety of other reasons, but people aren't going to use a service they don't find useful. As an American that has to drive everywhere due to a lack of mass transit options, I'd LOVE to have a system like the London Underground or Paris Metro available.

Lithium Ion Batteries

By Malays2 bowman • Score: 3 • Thread

Those batteries really worry me. Just one battery fire can lead to a catastrophe in this system.

I didn't see any fire safety devices in this video except for some marked exit doors in the tunnel.

  I hope that barring much safer battery technology being readily available, that they will have these cars
get their power via inductive coupling with a power system built under the road (this was discussed here not long ago IIRC).

Epic Games Launches Unreal Engine 5 Early Access, Shows Massive 3D Scenes

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
After years of work, Epic Games is launching early access for game developers for Unreal Engine 5, the latest version of the company's tools for making games with highly realistic 3D animations. VentureBeat reports: Unreal Engine 5, which will officially ship in 2022, is the company's crowning technical achievement. The early access build will let game developers start testing features and prototyping their upcoming games. Epic isn't saying how long this took or how many employees are working on it, but it's a safe bet that a large chunk of those devs are involved in Unreal Engine 5. It's been seven years since the last engine shipped. Unreal Engine 5 will deliver the freedom, fidelity, and flexibility to create next-generation games that will blow players' minds, said Nick Penwarden, the vice president of engineering, in an interview with GamesBeat. He said it will be effortless for game developers to use groundbreaking new features such as Nanite and Lumen, which provide a generational leap in visual fidelity. The new World Partition system enables the creation of expansive worlds with scalable content.

Developers can also download the new sample project, Valley of the Ancient, to start exploring the new features of UE5. Captured on an Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5, Valley of the Ancient is a rich and practical example of how the new features included with Unreal Engine 5 early access can be used, and is the result of internal stress-testing. The demo features a woman named Echo in a deserted mountain area. The team from Quixel, which Epic acquired in 2019, went out to Moab in Utah to scan tons of rock formations, using drones and cameras. And the artists who created the demo populated the scene with Megascans assets, as opposed to using anything procedural or traditional animation tools.
"We are targeting 30FPS on next-generation console hardware" at 4K output with the demo, said Penwarden. "We expect people to be targeting 60 frames per second. It's really a choice of the the gaming content itself, what you want to target, and UE5 is absolutely capable of powering 60 frames per second experiences. We chose to, in this case, absolutely maximize visual quality. And so we targeted 30fps. But we're absolutely going to support 60 frames per second experiences."

You can view a demo of Unreal Engine 5 running on both the PS5 and Xbox Series X here on YouTube.

Re:and min specs are 1080 ti's

By Phydeaux314 • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Min specs for the *tech demo* is a 1080 Ti and 32GB of RAM. That's not the minimum spec for the engine, which is an iteration on UE4 and carries forward the relatively broad scaling options that engine had.

German Scientists Identify Possible Cause of Vaccine Blood Clots

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Hmmmmmm shares a report from The Telegraph: Scientists in Germany believe they have discovered why the Oxford-AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccines cause potentially fatal blood clots in rare cases, and claim the issue can be fixed with a minor adjustment. The authors of a new study claim their findings show that it is not the key component of the vaccines that cause the clotting, but a separate vector virus that is used to deliver them to the body (Warning: source paywalled; alternative source). Both the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson jabs use a modified adenovirus, similar to the common cold virus, to deliver the spike protein of SarsCov2, the virus that causes Covid-19. The scientists claim the delivery mechanism means the spike protein is sent into the cell nucleus rather than the cellular fluid, where the virus usually generates proteins. In rare cases, they argue, parts of the spike protein can splice inside the nucleus, creating mutant versions which do not bind to the cell membrane where immunization takes place, but are secreted into the body, where they can cause blood clots.

These claims are only one of a number of hypotheses currently being explored on why the jabs cause blood clots in some people. A rival German study led by Prof Andreas Greinacher of Greifswald University Hospital claimed the clots were being caused by EDTA, a chemical used as a preservative in the AstraZeneca vaccine. In a two-step process, the vaccine can cause an overreaction by the immune system in some people which causes too many platelets to form in the blood, Prof Greinacher argues. EDTA can cause the cells in blood vessels to become "leaky," causing platelets and proteins to flood through the body, triggering a massive immune reaction that can cause the blood clots.

A third German study released in preprint this week by scientists at Ulm University Medical Centre claims to have found unusually high levels of proteins in the AstraZeneca vaccine which it is theorized could be behind the clots. "The often-observed strong clinical reaction one or two days after vaccination is likely associated with the detected protein impurities," the authors of the study wrote. The type of proteins involved "are known to affect innate and acquired immune responses and to intensify existing inflammatory reactions," Prof Stefan Kochanek, the study leader, said. "They have also been linked to autoimmune reactions."

Re:COVID-19 vaccines and blood clots

By Eravnrekaree • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

0.5%-2% are devastating numbers. Would you fly an airline where 2% of passengers are killed? The indifference to the loss of human life is really disgusting. Such numbers are considered a severe threat to public health on a high contagion because it can add up to large numbers of people. Even considering the blood clots, the vaccines are far, far safer. With COVID having an IFR of 1/150, the vaccines blood clot is something like 1/20,000,000


By h33t l4x0r • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
Thinking that covid-19 is safe and vaccines are not is is more than 97% retarded. Look it up if you don't believe.

Re:COVID-19 vaccines and blood clots

By vasanth • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
not really, when I was a kid (in India) it was very common to see polio affected kids almost everywhere but now you don't see any. India had a mass polio immunization campaign..

Re:COVID-19 vaccines and blood clots

By thegarbz • Score: 4 • Thread

Why is it that people who start their posts with a fragmented sentence consisting of Fact [full stop] then proceed to demonstrate an overwhelming amount of ignorance about the data they are using to support their claims.

Now here are some actual facts for you:

1952: 57000 polio cases. The peak for the USA after it had been steadily rising.

Why was it a peak? Because at the end of 1952 a mass test campaign for the vaccine started, and the tests were conducted on the most vulnerable groups. Over the next year the number of cases dropped to the low 30000 and stayed there while vaccine data was reviewed and in 1955 (a year with 30000 deaths) a mass vaccination campaign started which caused cases to plummet and we know it was a direct result from the vaccination campaign because it was only in the country of the campaign that the cases plummeted.

By 1957 the numbers were down to 5000 with the large majority of the vulnerable vaccinated.

Sorry that your "Fact." doesn't agree with actual facts and if you feel like scrolling down on that page you'll note that the global map of vaccination rate by country looks almost identical to global map of recorded cases in the past decade.

I'm sorry, I'm sure you didn't expect someone to actually look it up and no doubt you expected us to just believe you random internet anti-vaxxer.

Re:As far as risks go

By jabuzz • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Couple of things. In the trials Pfizer and Moderna only tested patents that showed symptoms, where AZ tested everyone weekly. As such AZ was bound to show lower efficacy because Pfizer and Moderna where missing all the asymptomatic cases which AZ was picking up. In the real world studies show similar levels of efficacy between the vaccines to the point where it's really a toss up which is better.

Second the areas with the surging case in the UK are by and large areas with the greatest vaccine hesitancy. There was a very stark map shown of the Bolton area last week where the correlation was abundantly obvious to anyone with functioning vision it was that stark.

Tech Liability Shield Has No Place in Trade Deals, Groups Say

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
A coalition of internet accountability groups is warning the Biden administration against including liability protections for tech companies in future trade agreements, saying that could hamstring efforts to hold platforms responsible for user content. From a report: In a letter sent to President Joe Biden on Thursday, the organizations said including a legal shield in trade deals like the 2018 U.S.-Mexico-Canada accord "reflects a broad effort by the big tech platforms to use 'trade negotiations' to limit domestic policy options."

The letter was signed by 16 public interest groups focused on issues such as civil rights, democracy and the market power of tech platforms, including Public Citizen, Color of Change and the Center for Digital Democracy. The coalition came together as the advocates observed how a ratified trade deal could bake in -- and export -- increasingly controversial legal protections for internet companies, said Morgan Harper, a policy director at the American Economic Liberties Project, which also signed the letter. The groups are "sounding the alarm about this tactic by Big Tech to undermine the inevitability of domestic regulation that's coming their way," Harper said. "We expect that this will be a priority for the Biden administration."

Re: Lawsuits R Us

By dwater • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

You think you have free speech? That's so adorable.

Censoring crazy people is worse than banning them

By Traverman • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

To limit the spread of disinformation is to limit the accountability of individual users for applying standards of critical thinking based on evidence, and more accurately, a probabilistic model of the relative credibility of evidence. Please do not protect me from disinformation. Rather, protect me from those who would remove the volumes of information, disinformation, and misinformation (jointly, "alleged information") upon which I seek to train myself, just as AI trains itself. I alone am responsible for how much faith I choose to place in any given piece of alleged information, and the actions that I may take as a result. I would rather make mistakes and learn from them than to be "shielded" from "disinformation" or "unproven claims" which, on rare occasion, prove both true and valuable.

Too many times in recent history, we have treated "unproven" as equivalent to "false". And "fact checkers" test the veracity of claims against "established facts" which, given the abundancy of nonreproducible "science", are often wrong. What they generally don't do, in any event, is analyze the totality of evidence available and weigh it by credibility in order to obtain the most likely of a multitude of unlikely explanations, to be compared against the claim or assertion in question. AI does do that with varying degrees of competency, which is why it often "miraculously" makes more progress faster than the scientific method would usually afford, with respect to the optimization of a certain target parameter.

I don't need to you to check Wikipedia, PubMed, or Nature for me in order to "fact check" someone's outlandish claims because you're afraid to be sued. To the contrary, I need to ensure that you are vulnerable to lawsuits for deleting alleged information, especially if known to have originated with a human as opposed to a bot.

The case could be made that humans cannot possibly replicate the evidence-weighting process of AI, especially within narrow domains where the latter excels. That's certainly true, but the most productive claims analysis process necessarily leverage AI (and to an extent which is sure to increase as AI becomes more sophisticated) because, in our dynamic world, we often need to make an assessment and decide on courses of action before the scientific method can settle on a rigorous conclusion. The default action is simply inaction, which is a choice in itself and usually not the optimal one. None of that works if social media platforms are compelled to delete alleged information because they fear liability arising from the subset of it which turns out to be false, or worse, merely unproven.

Yes, perhaps such liability protections for hosting disinformation don't belong in a trade deal, but they belong somewhere in the laws of a country which claims to support freedom of expression and thought.

Stupid people on both political extremes may act on a whim, avoiding the mental tax of critical thinking. There is no cure for such laziness other than evolution itself. We cannot afford to embolden the thought police in order to save those fools from themselves.


By stikves • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

It is not the user's fault when they post something on Facebook, but rather go after the platform which has deep pockets. Bonus points: the government also gets to dictate what is "acceptable" and what is not.

Yes, I know we can do better than our current state. However look at Slashdot as a medium sized online platform. If you browse at -1, you will see "the scum of the Earth", if you browse at 2, you will see very civil headed discussions.

Same with most other platforms, let it be Reddit, Twitter, or even 4chan. The users can choose which content they are exposed to by subscribing to different rooms, or following other users. If you just jump to "latest", yes the vile stuff will be there. Caveat emptor.


By kot-begemot-uk • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

The liability shield provisions are essentially a form of forced export of USA legislation into other countries. They take section 230 and several similar legislations and force feed it down the savages throat assisted by the butt of an M16 to ensure it is eaten.

Let's leave aside the outright colonialism aspect and have a look at it from a purely legal standpoint:

1. Even if the country has a pretty well established regime for libel, hate speech, etc (f.e. Germany) they are put to the side and replaced with an inferior version. Specifically, criminal aspects of libel and hate speech are replaced with USA/UK style civil one.

2. Country's sovereignty and heritage is violated, raped and thrown in a ditch. The definition of hate speech is an essential part of the history and heritage of each country. What an Englishman will and can say about German and French is hate speech in the latter and vice versa. It belongs in the local court with the country's constitutional court being the highest authority. It does not belong on the desk of a judge in California.

3. Most countries around the world have a reasonably well defined and rigid legal system. It is rule based and not subject to interpretation. That is an essential feature of Napoleonic law compared to common law. You cannot break a chunk out of it, duck tape a google translate version of Section 230 on it and expect it to function correctly.

So while I am not a fan of most of the groups that signed it, this time they got it right - a classic case of a broken clock showing the right time twice a day.


By Baki • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

We want to keep our sovereignty as a nation, and don't want to be bullied into giving it up due to economic blackmail.

E.g. political donations by companies are banned in most democracies, and for a good reason. It would be disastrous if reasonable balance between free speech and money/advertisement would be disturbed by the forced import of US standards (that are not always the best in the world, to put it mildly).

Colorado Ditches SAT, ACT and Legacy Admissions For Public Colleges

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Colorado has become the first state to ban "legacy" admissions, a practice that gives preference to certain applicants based on their familial relationship to alumni of that institution. "The governor also signed a bill that removes a requirement that public colleges consider SAT or ACT scores for freshmen, though the new law still allows students to submit test scores if they wish," adds NPR. From the report: Both moves are aimed at making higher education access more equitable. According to the legislation, 67% of middle- to high-income students in Colorado enroll in bachelor's degree programs straight from high school, while 47% of low-income students do. There are also major differences when it comes to race, with white students far more likely to enroll in college.

Legacy admissions have long been a target for reform. In a 2018 survey of admissions directors by Inside Higher Ed, 42% of private institutions and 6% of public institutions said they consider legacy status as a factor in admissions. Some of the nation's largest public universities do not consider legacy, including both the University of California and the California State University systems. However, private colleges in California have reported using legacy as a way to encourage philanthropic giving and donations.

During the pandemic, many colleges backed off on using SAT and ACT scores in admissions. Research has shown -- and lawsuits have argued -- that the tests, long used to measure aptitude for college, are far more connected to family income and don't provide meaningful information about a student's ability to succeed in college. Wealthier families are also more likely to pay for test prep courses, or attend schools with curricula that focus on the exams.

What about exit requirements?

By 140Mandak262Jamuna • Score: 3, Interesting • Thread
We welcome the relaxation of the entry requirements.

Now we urge the great state of Colorado to address the next big impediment faced by disadvantaged people in college. Time to address the exit requirements. So many courses to take, so much in core, so much specialization, pass marks, grades, grade point averages ... All of them are placing onerous burden on the student and prevent so many students from reaching their full potential.

It is patently obvious, no point reducing impediments to entry, all impediments to graduation must be obliterated, a just and equitable society demands nothing less.

Re: fair for everyone

By jmcbain • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Who said anything about being black?

He brought up black because most extremist liberals seem to fetishize minorities these days.

Re: fair for everyone

By ShanghaiBill • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Average IQ of whites: 100
Average IQ of blacks: 85

A century ago, there was a 15 point gap in IQ scores between protestants and Catholics in Ireland.

Today, there is no gap.

IQ gaps can be caused by cultural and environmental factors.

Lead depresses IQ scores. Black children in America have twice the blood lead levels that white children have.

Fund Students Instead of Systems

By schwit1 • Score: 3 • Thread

This realization that we should be funding students instead of closed buildings is also leading to real action in a majority of state legislatures across the country.

Re: fair for everyone

By stabiesoft • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
A friend is a HS teacher. You speak the truth. I recall him telling me one incident where a parent was berating my friend because their "precious" had gotten an F in his class. He keeps meticulous notes. So he starts going thru the list of reasons the child got an F, from not turning in a single assignment, to tests with no right answers, to squandered opportunities of the "precious" to raise their grade by simply turning in something. The parent walked off in a huff. The problem is the school system needs high graduation rates to meet metrics. In another incident where the child was going to get an F, the principle met with my friend and asked him to raise the grade so the kid would graduate. My friend is not fool, he asked the principle if a C would work, the principle nodded, and the kid got a C. The public system in particular is screwed. Private/Charter kick out the really bad ones because they can, whereas the public has to accept everyone. And then society handcuffs the public schools ability to provide discipline. If you don't start in 1st grade demanding respect for the teachers, it is a little late to expect it in high school. And that is where we are and will be for at least 8 years even if we change tomorrow.

Cox Appeals $1 Billion Piracy Liability Verdict To 'Save the Internet'

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Late 2019, Internet provider Cox Communications lost its legal battle against a group of major record labels. Now it's appealing it. From a report: Following a two-week trial, a Virginia jury held Cox liable for its pirating subscribers. The ISP failed to disconnect repeat infringers and was ordered to pay $1 billion in damages. Heavily disappointed by the decision, Cox later asked the court to set the jury verdict aside and decide the issue directly. In addition, the company argued that the "shockingly excessive" damages should be lowered. Both requests were denied by the court, which upheld the original damages award.

Despite the setbacks, Cox isn't giving up. The company believes that the district court's ruling isn't just a disaster for Internet providers. If it stands, the verdict will have dramatic consequences for the general public as well. This week the ISP submitted its opening brief at the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, hoping to reverse the lower court's judgment. The filing begins by placing the lawsuit in a historical context. "The music industry is waging war on the internet," Cox's lawyers write. First, the music companies went after thousands of file-sharers and software companies such as Napster. When those tactics didn't deliver the desired result, Internet providers became a target.

Re:We need to support the ISPs

By saloomy • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Yup. The law is a bad law because it allows the Record Labels and the ISPs to determine connectivity ex judiciously. Clearly if you accuse someone of breaking the law, they should maintain the right to defend themselves in court, present evidence, refute the accusatory evidence, and face their accuser.

Re:We need to support the ISPs

By PPH • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

If you are an ISP, you can't afford to allow any content owned by Sony Music, Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group and EMI to travel across your networks. Block it all. Just to be sure.

Electricity providers

By AlexHilbertRyan • Score: 5, Funny • Thread
Lets face it its the electricity providers that make piracy popssible. Shut down the grid - thats what i say.

One sided

By stikves • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

The problem is that the law is one sided.

Sure, please do have rules that will ban me or any other users after so many strikes.
But, we should also have rules to ban companies from making any further DMCA accusations after that many strikes as well. So, if Disney asks to block 10 IPs, and they turn out to be downloading Ubuntu, Disney gets no more rights to send DMCA take-downs anymore. At least as long a period as a regular user will be banned.

(Not sure which company was the perp, but Ubuntu thing definitely happened):

However they will keep the laws one sided. It is what they paid the senators for after all.

Re:So Honda is liable if I transport pirated DVDs?

By Sleeping Kirby • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
Honestly, if the software/movie/music industry gets their way, yeah, they would like that to be the case. Disney use to sue people for distributing studio ghibli movies when they were shelving them in the US (in the 90's.). This was common knowledge in animation industry. They were suing people to prevent them from getting something they could sell. Movies can't legally be shown in class rooms.. People were sued for reselling stuff despite first sale doctrine. The head of the RIAA once referred to backing up music like getting a free bottle of cognac (or was it whiskey, something like that) after you finish it (somehow, him not understanding the difference between a perishable and non-perishable good is both natural and disturbing to me). They wanted IPV6 (I could be wrong about that.) to have inherent DMCA protocols embedded into it. So... yeah, they will if they can.

A Disturbing, Viral Twitter Thread Reveals How AI-Powered Insurance Can Go Wrong

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Vox: Lemonade, the fast-growing, machine learning-powered insurance app, put out a real lemon of a Twitter thread on Monday with a proud declaration that its AI analyzes videos of customers when determining if their claims are fraudulent. The company has been trying to explain itself and its business model -- and fend off serious accusations of bias, discrimination, and general creepiness -- ever since. [...] Over a series of seven tweets, Lemonade claimed that it gathers more than 1,600 "data points" about its users -- "100X more data than traditional insurance carriers," the company claimed. The thread didn't say what those data points are or how and when they're collected, simply that they produce "nuanced profiles" and "remarkably predictive insights" which help Lemonade determine, in apparently granular detail, its customers' "level of risk." Lemonade then provided an example of how its AI "carefully analyzes" videos that it asks customers making claims to send in "for signs of fraud," including "non-verbal cues." Traditional insurers are unable to use video this way, Lemonade said, crediting its AI for helping it improve its loss ratios: that is, taking in more in premiums than it had to pay out in claims. Lemonade used to pay out a lot more than it took in, which the company said was "friggin terrible." Now, the thread said, it takes in more than it pays out.

The Twitter thread made the rounds to a horrified and growing audience, drawing the requisite comparisons to the dystopian tech television series Black Mirror and prompting people to ask if their claims would be denied because of the color of their skin, or if Lemonade's claims bot, "AI Jim," decided that they looked like they were lying. What, many wondered, did Lemonade mean by "non-verbal cues?" Threats to cancel policies (and screenshot evidence from people who did cancel) mounted. By Wednesday, the company walked back its claims, deleting the thread and replacing it with a new Twitter thread and blog post. You know you've really messed up when your company's apology Twitter thread includes the word "phrenology." "The Twitter thread was poorly worded, and as you note, it alarmed people on Twitter and sparked a debate spreading falsehoods," a spokesperson for Lemonade told Recode. "Our users aren't treated differently based on their appearance, disability, or any other personal characteristic, and AI has not been and will not be used to auto-reject claims."

The company also maintains that it doesn't profit from denying claims and that it takes a flat fee from customer premiums and uses the rest to pay claims. Anything left over goes to charity (the company says it donated $1.13 million in 2020). But this model assumes that the customer is paying more in premiums than what they're asking for in claims. So, what's really going on here? According to Lemonade, the claim videos customers have to send are merely to let them explain their claims in their own words, and the "non-verbal cues" are facial recognition technology used to make sure one person isn't making claims under multiple identities. Any potential fraud, the company says, is flagged for a human to review and make the decision to accept or deny the claim. AI Jim doesn't deny claims. The blog post also didn't address -- nor did the company answer Recode's questions about -- how Lemonade's AI and its many data points are used in other parts of the insurance process, like determining premiums or if someone is too risky to insure at all.

Ha! I looked at these guys at one point ....

By King_TJ • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

They promised a cheaper, better way to do car insurance, etc. etc.

I'm always happy to find a lower rate so I researched them a bit.

A buddy of mine in the industry said to watch out for them, because essentially, they just put customer money in a savings "pot" that starts over annually. This might work fine as long as things remain "business as usual". But the real risk is when you get into big disaster scenarios. Say there's an earthquake or hurricane damage along a swath of cities with a lot of people insured with them. The "pot" is going to get drained instantly and they're going to default on paying the remainder of the claims.

Re:100% Lying BS for an answer

By Anubis IV • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

I've worked for a major insurance carrier programming rates and what they are claiming is 100% bull! [...] And where does this money go if they don't pay for a claim? Oh I forgot. Denied claims are paid out in bonuses to the CEO and those who do the best at denying claims in their yearly bonus.

No, Lemonade doesn't use denied claims that way. Lemonade isn't a typical for-profit company: they're a registered Public Benefit Corporation with a B-Corp certification, and as such are legally obligated to operate in a way that's somewhat more akin to what we might expect of a registered charity, even though they are still a for-profit corporation.

The way they do that is by "giving back" (check the Giveback section at the end) any premium payments they collect that aren't spent during the year. And to keep themselves from having an incentive to deny claims, the way that works is that they take a flat 25% from each premium payment (this is where bonuses would come from), then use the other 75% to cover the costs of paying out claims or purchasing their own reinsurance (i.e. insurance with Lloyd's of London for if they don't have enough to pay out claims). If there's anything left of that 75% at the end of the year, it gets paid out to charities selected by their customers.

So, whether it's paid out in a claim or paid out to charity, Lemonade never keeps any of the money related to denied claims. They keep the flat 25%, but claims aren't paid out of that portion, so they really don't have much reason to deny a claim, and if you check the reviews online, you'll find that the claims processes and approvals are simple and easy for the vast majority of their customers.

Including me.

I actually switched to Lemonade about a year ago after doing some research and loving that they had a business model that didn't incentivize denying claims. They were less than half the price of my previous homeowner's + VPP insurance and the process for signing up couldn't have been simpler, since it was nearly entirely automated. I had to make my first claim a few weeks ago after a hailstorm came through. Roofers suggested I needed a whole new roof, so I hit up the Lemonade app, clicked the button to make a claim, answered some quick prompts in a chatbot, recorded a 20-ish second video of me basically saying, "we had a hailstorm and this roofer next to me says I need a new roof", they sent out an adjuster a few days later, and my claim was approved the next day to the tune of $14K, with the first payment hitting my bank account even before I saw the email that said the claim was approved.

Couldn't have been simpler.

As for this current stuff, I'm not pleased to hear any of it, but it sounds like they're using the AI to flag suspicious videos for review while letting deemed-valid ones through without a human review. I'm fine with that. It's the converse with which I'd have an issue. Otherwise, I've frankly been so impressed by their operation and how smartly they've automated things to keep their costs low (while still making humans available when you need them) that I honestly just don't care about a Twitter tempest in a teapot or people on Slashdot who spout off without knowing relevant details about how the company operates.

Re: 100% Lying BS for an answer

By Anubis IV • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Left over (after the CEO bonus)

Not so. The funds are pulled from a separate pool.

You can read up on Lemonade's business model and Giveback program here, but the gist of it is that they aren't a typical insurance company. Rather, they are a registered Public Benefit Corporation, and as such are legally obligated to operate for a social benefit. A flat 25% of its customers' premium payments go to their own costs, which is where they'd pay out any bonuses from, while the other 75% of the payments are used to pay out claims and purchase their own reinsurance. Anything left of that 75% at the end of the year gets paid out to charities that their customers select. So whether they pay out a claim or not doesn't matter: they aren't keeping that money, nor will it be available to pay their CEO a bonus.

Read up for yourself. Here's where they announced the switch to being a Public Benefit Corporation:
Here's their FAQ:

I've been using Lemonade for the last year or so and love them. They're half the cost of my previous homeowner's insurance, and I had no hassle at all when I made a claim a few weeks ago for a full roof replacement. The money to pay the roofers was even in my bank account before I saw the notification for the email where they told me they approved my claim.

Re: 100% Lying BS for an answer

By Anubis IV • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

"Anything left over goes to charity"

That's BS.

It's not. Lemonade is a registered Public Benefit Corporation, so they are legally obligated to operate in a way that's somewhat akin to a charity, even though they're still a for-profit company. They keep a flat 25% on any premium payment and use the other 75% to cover claims/reinsurance. Anything left from that 75% gets donated to charity once a year.

Read about their Giveback program for yourself. It's the key thing that differentiates them from other insurance companies, and the fact that it aligns their incentives with my own is why I actually switched to them about a year ago. I just had to make my first claim last month (for a brand new roof after a hailstorm), and the process couldn't have been simpler. They're half the cost of my previous insurance company and were WAY easier to deal with than the previous insurer was when someone ran a car into my house.

Re:Ha! I looked at these guys at one point ....

By Anubis IV • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

A buddy of mine in the industry said to watch out for them, because essentially, they just put customer money in a savings "pot" that starts over annually. This might work fine as long as things remain "business as usual". But the real risk is when you get into big disaster scenarios. Say there's an earthquake or hurricane damage along a swath of cities with a lot of people insured with them. The "pot" is going to get drained instantly and they're going to default on paying the remainder of the claims.

This is FUD. Like any small insurance company that doesn’t want to go bankrupt within a decade, they’re reinsured (in their case, through Lloyd’s of London) to deal with exactly that sort of scenario.

The way they operate is simple:
- They keep a flat 25% of premium payments.
- The remaining 75% is used to pay out claims and to purchase reinsurance. Anything left over at the end of the year from this pot gets paid out to charities that their customers select.

Thus, if a major disaster hits, they have reinsurance to cover it, the same as every other decent insurance company. And if a major disaster doesn’t hit, they pay out the leftover claims money to charity. Because they don’t keep the funds either way, they have no incentive to deny valid claims, so if you look through reviews online, you’ll find loads of people saying they’re really easy to work with.

That’s certainly been my experience with them. I switched to them a year ago for homeowner’s and VPP. They’re half the cost of what I was paying, provide better coverage, and I had zero hassle when I filed my first claim with them, just last month for hail damage. They approved a full roof replacement a day after the adjuster did his inspection, and the up front part of the $14K claim was in my bank account even before I saw the email saying they had approved the claim.

I had my doubts, but I did my research, have probably saved over $1000 in premiums from what I would’ve paid otherwise at this point, and had a great claims experience, so at least in my anecdotal, firsthand experience, they check out.

Industry Groups Sue To Stop Florida's New Social Media Law

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Two tech industry organizations are suing Florida over its newly passed rules for social networks, claiming it violates private companies' constitutional rights. The Verge reports: SB 7072, which Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed earlier this week, restricts how large social apps and websites can moderate user-generated content. It makes banning any Florida political candidate or "journalistic enterprise" unlawful, lets users sue if they believe they were banned without sufficient reason, requires an option to "opt out" of sorting algorithms, and places companies that break the law on an "antitrust violator blacklist" that bars them from doing business with public entities in Florida. Notably, it includes an exception for companies that operate a theme park.

NetChoice and the CCIA say SB 7072 conflicts with both constitutional protections and federal Section 230 rules. "As private businesses, Plaintiffs' members have the right to decide what content is appropriate for their sites and platforms," their complaint says. "The Act requires members to display and prioritize user-generated content that runs counter to their terms, policies, and business practices; content that will likely offend and repel their users and advertisers; and even content that is unlawful, dangerous to public health and national security, and grossly inappropriate for younger audiences." The lawsuit claims Florida lawmakers and DeSantis specifically tailored the law to punish services whose moderation policies they disagreed with, while adding the arbitrary theme park exception to pacify Disney, Comcast NBCUniversal, and a handful of other big companies.

Re:Flimsy excuse

By Train0987 • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

The real question is why do private corporations have Constitutional Rights and should they? Corporations being equal to citizens was one of Scalia's worst mistakes. Hopefully that question alone gets it to the Supreme Court.

Re:Flimsy excuse

By Train0987 • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

People aren't being denied constitutional rights by regulating their corporations though. People form corporations in the first place to be afforded certain liability and tax protections that individuals don't get.

Re: Would you feel the same way...

By eaglesrule • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

it's more that I'm absolutely okay with a speech-oriented business like a social media site, a newspaper, or a book publisher saying "We will not publish speech we find offensive or otherwise objectionable, nor will we allow you to use our services to do so. Get lost."

Publishers aren't common carriers.

The social media monoliths that host the messages that hundreds of millions of people send every day are common carriers by any reasonable interpretation.

I disagree with your statement on the basis that anti-trust action or regulation is sometimes necessarily for the sake of the public interest. There was a reason Standard Oil was broken up, same as Ma Bell. We should not, we cannnot, allow the principles of free speech to be applied to these corporations as if they were just individuals. That's not what they are. They are fictional entities formed to limit liability for the persons that operate them.

The power to dictate the terms of our national discourse should not be ceded, but guarded. Vigilantly.

Re:Flimsy excuse

By Bert64 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

The individual people are not being denied anything, the corporation as an entity is being denied something.

The government consists of people and the same applies. The constitutional limits what the government as an entity can do, but does not restrict individual actions taken by a member of the government.

Just block Florida Ips for a day or two

By bobm • Score: 3 • Thread

Iâ(TM)m sure the fallout from Florida being blocked by Twitter/Facebook would change the peopleâ(TM)s minds. My family that lives there would not be able going cold turkey on Facebook

Immunity To the Coronavirus May Persist for Years, Scientists Find

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Immunity to the coronavirus lasts at least a year, possibly a lifetime, improving over time especially after vaccination, according to two new studies. The findings may help put to rest lingering fears that protection against the virus will be short-lived. From a report: Together, the studies suggest that most people who have recovered from Covid-19 and who were later immunized will not need boosters. Vaccinated people who were never infected most likely will need the shots, however, as will a minority who were infected but did not produce a robust immune response. Both reports looked at people who had been exposed to the coronavirus about a year earlier. Cells that retain a memory of the virus persist in the bone marrow and may churn out antibodies whenever needed, according to one of the studies, published on Monday in the journal Nature. The other study, posted online at BioRxiv, a site for biology research, found that these so-called memory B cells continue to mature and strengthen for at least 12 months after the initial infection.

"The papers are consistent with the growing body of literature that suggests that immunity elicited by infection and vaccination for SARS-CoV-2 appears to be long-lived," said Scott Hensley, an immunologist at the University of Pennsylvania who was not involved in the research. The studies may soothe fears that immunity to the virus is transient, as is the case with coronaviruses that cause common colds. But those viruses change significantly every few years, Dr. Hensley said. "The reason we get infected with common coronaviruses repetitively throughout life might have much more to do with variation of these viruses rather than immunity," he said. In fact, memory B cells produced in response to infection with SARS-CoV-2 and enhanced with vaccination are so potent that they thwart even variants of the virus, negating the need for boosters, according to Michel Nussenzweig, an immunologist at Rockefeller University in New York who led the study on memory maturation.

Re:Uh oh

By Zak3056 • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

> Children generally don't get it that bad.

This child got it pretty bad from the bus driver:

I guess he wasn't a fan of her politics.

Generally. Adverb.

a. in disregard of specific instances and with regard to an overall picture
b. as a rule; usually

Re:Uh oh

By Thelasko • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
"If it bleeds, it leads"

The danger of mainstream media is not the spread of overt lies. It's in fooling the availability heuristic of our brain. When you see news stories of people catching COVID twice, or a vaccinated person catching COVID, it tricks you into believing it's a common occurrence.

Re:Uh oh

By smooth wombat • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
And natural acquired antibodies work, just like they always have throughout history.

Sure, for those who don't die. You know, like the plague in the MIddle Ages. Only a 1/3 of the population had to die for everyone else to get antibodies. What's a few million people among friends?

Of course, even if you do get antibodies, you conveniently leave out any side effects from being infected in the first place. Sure, people survived polio, but they had to use crutches and leg braces to get around, or maybe had to live in an iron lung the rest of their life.

In the case of covid, you have muscle weakness and brain fog, which can last for months, along with damage to lungs, heart, kidneys, and other portions of your body, some of which may require transplants for you to survive.

Re:Uh oh

By MobileTatsu-NJG • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Trump was literally a jobs creator.

Example: $30 million to cleanup and repair the Capitol.

Re:Uh oh

By DRJlaw • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

My point is that the people who are claiming we only reach herd immunity if we get a certain percentage of the population vaccinated and that we must vaccinate even those who have already had it are completely in the wrong.

So, you didn't actually read the summery and are "completely wrong" about the "completely wrong" conclusion....

In fact, memory B cells produced in response to infection with SARS-CoV-2 and enhanced with vaccination are so potent that they thwart even variants of the virus, negating the need for boosters.

Yes, that involved vaccinating those who have already had it. SMFH.

Humans Probably Can't Live Longer Than 150 Years, New Research Finds

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Science is once again casting doubt on the notion that we could live to be nearly as old as the biblical Methuselah or Mel Brooks' 2,000-year-old man. From a report: New research research [PDF] from Singapore-base biotech company Gero looks at how well the human body bounces back from disease, accidents or just about anything else that puts stress on its systems. This basic resilience declines as people age, with an 80-year-old requiring three times as long to recover from stresses as a 40-year-old on average. This should make sense if you've ever known an elderly person who has taken a nasty fall. Recovery from such a spill can be lif- threatening for a particularly frail person, whereas a similar fall might put a person half as old out of commission for just a short time and teenagers might simply dust themselves off and keep going.

Extrapolate this decline further, and human body resilience is completely gone at some age between 120 and 150, according to new analysis performed by the researchers. In other words, at some point your body loses all ability to recover from pretty much any potential stressor. The researchers arrived at this conclusion by looking at health data for large groups from the US, the UK and Russia. They looked at blood cell counts as well as step counts recorded by wearables. As people experienced different stressors, fluctuations in blood cell and step counts showed that recovery time grew longer as individuals grew older. "Aging in humans exhibits universal features common to complex systems operating on the brink of disintegration," Peter Fedichev, co-founder and CEO of Gero, said in a statement.

Re:I can settle...

By sg_oneill • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

150 is very much a theoretical not a practical maximum.

For all purposes 114 is the generally accepted limit in terms of the fact if you manage to make it that far its *incredibly unlikely* you'll make it to 115. Theres a handful of people who have beaten 114 but with perhaps the exception of Kane Tanaka at 117 (Currently the oldest *verified* age.) the rest tended to be peasant or developing nation people with no real birth certificate to verify the age thus making it more or less a guess.

Re:That is the problem to solve, not the limit

By sg_oneill • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Theres a catch to that though. Part of the reason we die is because of the hayflick limit , a hard limit on cell reproductions designed to limit mutation and thus cancer, as unfortunately DNA copying is a lossy affair. Like copying cassette tapes to casette tapes, each generation acquires a degree of accumulating entropy, and that entropy is basically what cancer is, more or less. So far any thing we've found that could reliably bypass the hayflick limit, would also dramatically increase your chances of cancer and other nasty things that can emerge from mutation.

We don't just need to figure out how to restore telemeres (telemerase is likely the answer to that one), we actually need to figure out how to repair damaged DNA.

Re:That is the problem to solve, not the limit

By Immerman • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

I forget the name, but there's apparently some researcher (in California I think?) that has claimed his group has great success in drastically reversing aging in mice using a variation on the chemical cocktail used to revert normal cells to stem cells. To the point that his rejuvenated mice have health and endurance that actually exceed that of normal adults in their prime.

As I recall his claim is that it's the methalation (recording environmental adaptations) and tangling (from imperfect repacking after different segments get exposed for RNA production) of DNA over time that's responsible for most of the symptoms of aging. Supposedly by leaving out a key ingredient of a common "stem cell reversion cocktail" it's possible to get the cells to "clean up" and "straighten out" their DNA as though they were preparing for massive replication, without actually forgetting what they are and reverting to stem cells.

I think I found the claims outlandish enough to actually research the guy a bit, and he didn't appear to be a quack.

And yet ...

By thomst • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

A newly-published study establishes that it's possible to reverse biological again by an average of 3 years via an 8-week regimen of diet, exercise, supplements, and stress-control practices (meditation, breathing, etc.) alone. The regimen they studied was designed to promote de-methylation of DNA (degree of mythelation of DNA is a reliable measure of biological, rather than chronological age).

It's merely a pilot study, so it will need to be replicated with a significantly-larger group of subjects to validate the results - but the fact that no medications were used (pro- and pre-biotic compounds were employed, however), makes it all the more interesting.

Start adding demethyation and telomerase-production capabilities to the human genome, and watch us blow past that century-and-a-half mark like a Bugatti Veyron past a soapbox derby racer ...

Re:I can settle...

By ShanghaiBill • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Many clusters of longevity have simple explanations.

For instance, a big cluster of people lived past 110 in the mountain valleys of Armenia and Georgia.

There were many hypotheses proposed and tested, including the high altitude and daily consumption of yogurt.

The actual reason? Falsified baptismal records used to avoid conscription in the First World War.

Indonesian Government Blocks Hacking Forum After Data Leak

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
The Indonesian government has blocked access inside its borders to Raid Forums, a well-known cybercrime hub, in an attempt to limit the spread of a sensitive data leak. From a report: The ban, which the government wants internet service providers to implement, comes after a threat actor claimed in a Raid Forums post on May 12 to be in possession and selling the personal data of 279 million Indonesians. The threat actor, an individual known as Kotz, leaked a sample of one million citizens' details to prove their claims. The leaked data included citizen names, national ID numbers, tax registration information, mobile phone numbers, and for some citizens also came with headshots and salary-related information.

It makes you wonder

By Serif • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

What entity would have the authority and power to gather such a large amount of personal data, and yet not have the competence to keep that data secure? Could it possibly be the same entity that is now trying to close the stable door after the horse has bolted?

A Super Blood Moon Dazzles Earthlings

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Australians were among those lucky enough to see it on Wednesday evening, a rare astronomical event marked by a dazzling array of sunset colors like red and burnt orange: a " super blood moon." From a report: From Brazil to Alaska, California to Indonesia, people with the right view of the celestial phenomenon marveled as their moon, usually a predictable, pale, Swiss-cheese-like round in the sky, was transformed into a fierce, red giant. As one Twitter user, words failing, put it: "Man I'm in love with this urghhh." The striking display was the result of two simultaneous phenomena: a supermoon (when the moon lines up closer than normal to our planet and appears to be bigger than usual), combined with a total lunar eclipse, or blood moon (when the moon sits directly in the Earth's shadow and is struck by light filtered through the Earth's atmosphere).

"A little bit of sunlight skims the Earth's atmosphere," said Brad Tucker, an astrophysicist and cosmologist based at the Australian National University in Canberra, the country's capital. He said this creates the effect of "sunrise and sunset being projected onto the moon." Depending on your vantage point and the amount of dust, clouds and pollution in the atmosphere, Dr. Tucker added, the moon appears pink-orange or burned red or even a brown color. "A super poo moon doesn't really have the same ring," he said. Sky gazers in eastern Australia caught the eclipse beginning around 6:47 p.m. local time Wednesday, with it peaking by 9:18 p.m., while those in Los Angeles were to see the action beginning at 1:47 a.m. Pacific time. In Australia, some took to the skies on a special flight to see the supermoon. It left Sydney about 7:45 p.m. and was to return later that evening. Vanessa Moss, an astronomer with Australia's national science agency, CSIRO, and the guest expert on the flight, said this kind of phenomenon was exciting because it was accessible.

Watch out!

By Chelloveck • Score: 3 • Thread
Watch out! This means that vampires will be especially dangerous! Or is that werewolves? Dammit, do I have to carry extra garlic or wolfsbane!?

Buzz word moons!

By SmaryJerry • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
The moons gets a tiny fraction larger and even might change hue a little bit but every single one of these 'events' are a complete disappointment compared to how much press and news is spread using photos made with extreme telescoping lenses that make the moon appear as if it is significantly bigger than normal, bigger than giant statues or castles. In reality almost no one notices the minute differences in size of the moon in the sky when viewed normally. It really shows you how media can blow things out of proportion, literally, in order to get clicks.

Clearview AI Hit With Sweeping Legal Complaints Over Controversial Face Scraping in Europe

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Privacy International (PI) and several other European privacy and digital rights organizations announced today that they've filed legal complaints against the controversial facial recognition company Clearview AI. From a report: The complaints filed in France, Austria, Greece, Italy, and the United Kingdom say that the company's method of documenting and collecting data -- including images of faces it automatically extracts from public websites -- violates European privacy laws. New York-based Clearview claims to have built "the largest known database of 3+ billion facial images."

PI, NYOB, Hermes Center for Transparency and Digital Human Rights, and Homo Digitalis all claim that Clearview's data collection goes beyond what the average user would expect when using services like Instagram, LinkedIn, or YouTube. "Extracting our unique facial features or even sharing them with the police and other companies goes far beyond what we could ever expect as online users," said PI legal officer Ioannis Kouvakas in a joint statement.

Personal IP and privacy.

By Ostracus • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Sounds like the boundaries between public and private need clarification, and what one can and can't do in either one.

Why is it “controversial”?

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

No one should be allowed to scrape your face without your permission. For one thing, it can be pretty painful.

Re:Personal IP and privacy.

By Ostracus • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

A surveillance state depends upon public privacy being a silly thing.

Twitter Decries India Intimidation, Will Press for Changes

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Twitter called the visit by police to its Indian offices on Monday a form of intimidation in its first public comments on the matter. From a report: The social network reiterated its commitment to India as a vital market, but signaled its growing concern about the government's recent actions and potential threats to freedom of expression that may result. The company also joined other international businesses and organizations in criticizing new IT rules and regulations that it said "inhibit free, open public conversation." Twitter will continue its dialog with the Indian government for a collaborative approach, while also advocating for change to the regulations.

The San Francisco-based company has disagreed with local government officials on a number of fronts, deeming some enforcement orders to be improper curbs on free speech. Most recently, Twitter marked several posts by accounts associated with India's ruling party as containing manipulated media -- they purported to show a strategy document from the opposition party whose authenticity has been disputed -- which prompted the police visit to its offices late Monday.

You can prove Twitter's hypocrisy in one tweet

By DeplorableCodeMonkey • Score: 3, Interesting • Thread

Go on Twitter and say "Only real women can have periods, carry babies and nurse them."

That completely factual, utterly banal to 95% of the human race outside of blue enclaves in the US and other Five Eyes nations, statement will get you banned for daring to speak hate-facts about trans people.

India is having none of it. If you can't even state something completely scientifically true about women and female mammals in general without being censored, India is not going to buy this bullshit that they have to allow Twitter to wade into nuanced, local political fights and say what ideas are off limits, what rhetoric is too extreme, etc.

"It's their platform?" It's India's market. The Indian government owns the right to participate in their economy. If Twitter doesn't like that, then Twitter can fuck right off.

Aww, Twitter is sore

By hdyoung • Score: 3, Interesting • Thread
because they're being held to consistent standards.

Twitter spent the last 4 years giving a US leader nearly-complete-freedom to post whatever the guy wanted. And let's be clear about what the last US leader used that freedom for - he used it to help launch a violent coup attempt against the incoming leader. Twitter, and the rest of social media, tolerated this guy because, essentially, they judged that being elected the leader of a country gives someone elevated rights on the platform. Nobody else could have posted what that guy posted. Also, his presence sold a LOT of ads. They won't say it in so many words, but this is what happened and why.

So, here we are. They allowed Trump to rule the roost. Modi's logic is: why not me? Twitter doesn't get it both ways. They made their bed, and now every autocrat wannabe is going to point to the sweet deal that Trump got and demand it for themselves. They can expect Twitter to ban them.... after they are out of power. But not before. And Modi is very, VERY powerful in India. Twitter is lucky they just got an office raided. That was just a shot across the bow. If they don't knuckle under, it'll get worse. Sue? Sure, knock yourselves out. That'll go far.

Social media has done this to themselves. I have no sympathy for hindu nationalism, but even less sympathy for these internet companies..

Re:Twitter should mind its own business

By Marxist Hacker 42 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Selectively promotes the politicians that it likes, and deplatforms the politicians that it doesn't like.

The obvious answer to this charge is to turn off moderation entirely and become a common carrier no different than the rest of media that contains community created content, but then nobody would "trust" their propaganda or advertise with them.

Re:"inhibit free, open public conversation"

By ebyrob • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

The joke is that twitter does not promote free, open, public discourse and then is surprised when someone else does it to them.

If they behaved fairly, then some of the "press" protections might kick in. But seeing as they don't protect anyone else, there is no one left to protect them.

Good luck Twitter. You're going to need it.

Re:You can prove Twitter's hypocrisy in one tweet

By ljw1004 • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

[...] statement will get you banned for daring to speak hate-facts about trans people. India is having none of it. If you can't even state something completely scientifically true about women and female mammals in general without being censored, India is not going to buy this bullshit that they have to allow Twitter to wade into nuanced, local political fights and say what ideas are off limits, what rhetoric is too extreme, etc.

To be clear, members of the ruling party posted doctored videos, and Twitter put a label on them saying "this media was doctored", and the government therefore got their police to raid the Twitter offices.

I'm having a hard time relating the facts of the matter to your outrage.

Coinbase Launches 'Fact Check,' a Section on its Blog To Combat Misinformation about the Company and Crypto World

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Crypto giant Coinbase on Thursday launched its own media operation. The company is calling it " Fact Check" -- and giving it a dedicated section on its blog. In a blog post, Coinbase Founder and CEO Brian Armstrong said the firm, which recently went public, will use Fact Check to combat misinformation and mischaracterizations about Coinbase or crypto being shared in the world.

"Unfortunately, we also see misinformation published frequently as well, whether in traditional media, social media, or by public figures. This doesn't always come from negative intentions. Our business, and crypto, can be difficult to understand, and often people are rushed to post first impressions online, making mistakes in the process. At other times, misinformation comes from people pushing their own agenda, or from those who have a conflict of interest," wrote Armstrong, who in the post outlines in detail his thinking behind launching Fact Check. An excerpt from the blogpost: In the future, we will need to move beyond fact checking, and start creating more of our own original content to communicate with our audience, and tell the stories of crypto that are happening all over the world. Many of these stories are not being told by traditional media. Fact checking is still largely reactive, but we need to move to a more proactive stance on content creation to have a true media arm. Distribution of our content will happen through podcasts, YouTube, our blog, Twitter, and every other channel we own. But in the future, it will also likely move to more crypto native platforms, like Bitclout, or crypto oracles. Long term, the real source of truth will be what can be found on-chain, with a cryptographic signature attached.

Well I learned something new

By SuperKendall • Score: 3, Interesting • Thread

From TFA

Half of global mining takes place in Sichuan, China

I knew a lot of mining took place in China, but I had no idea it was that much in one region.

Even though you probably have to take Coinbase assessment of mining electricity sources with a grain of salt, it's nice to see an assessment from the other side of the coin when anything else I've read seems very slanted the other way.

Re:Fact Check?

By GameboyRMH • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

From this article, I'd say yes:

No different from PR efforts from fossil fuel or tobacco companies.

Google Says Rowhammer Attacks Are Gaining Range as RAM is Getting Smaller

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
A team of Google security researchers said they discovered a new way to perform Rowhammer attacks against computer memory (RAM) cards that broaden the attack's initial impact. From a report: First detailed in 2014, Rowhammer was a ground-breaking attack that exploited the design of modern RAM cards, where memory cells are stored in grid-like arrangements. The basic principle behind Rowhammer was that a malicious app could perform rapid read/write operations on a row of memory cells. As the cells would shift their values from 0 to 1 and vice versa in a very small time window, this would generate small electromagnetic fields inside the row of "hammered" memory cells. The result of these fields were errors in nearby memory rows that sometimes flipped bits and altered adjacent data. [...] In a research paper published this week, a team of five Google security researchers took Rowhammer attacks to a new level. In a new attack variation named Half-Double, researchers said they managed to carry out a Rowhammer attack that caused bit flips at a distance of two rows from the âoehammeredâ row instead of just one.

Linus Torvalds called it

By amorsen • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

ECC absolutely matters.

ECC availability matters a lot - exactly because Intel has been instrumental in killing the whole ECC industry with it's horribly bad market segmentation.

Go out and search for ECC DIMMs - it's really hard to find. Yes - probably entirely thanks to AMD - it may have been gotten slightly better lately, but that's exactly my point.

Intel has been detrimental to the whole industry and to users because of their bad and misguided policies wrt ECC. Seriously.

And if you don't believe me, then just look at multiple generations of rowhammer, where each time Intel and memory manufacturers bleated about how it's going to be fixed next time.

Narrator: "No it wasn't".

See the whole post on RealWorldTech forum

Re:Linus Torvalds called it

By DRJlaw • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

*WHAT* fucking policy?

The one that says that no Intel processor branded less than "Xeon" supports ECC RAM?

Removing support for ECC RAM from CPUs that aren't targeted directly at the server world is one of the ways Intel has kept those markets strongly segmented. Torvalds' argument here is that Intel's refusal to support ECC RAM in its consumer-targeted partsâ"along with its de facto near-monopoly in that spaceâ"is the real reason that ECC is nearly unavailable outside the server space.

The usual argument around why ECC isn't present in consumer tech revolves around cost, but we suspect Torvalds has the right of it here.

Re:Linus Torvalds called it

By DRJlaw • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

What useful information will a rowhammer attack yield on your typical desktop machine with a few word docs open?

Nothing, ArchieBunker, nothing at all. Go about your business.

For the rest of us who might actually care about privilege escalation, arbitrary code execution, and chained attacks allowing access to the entire system, there's this.

Facebook Ends Ban On Posts Asserting Covid-19 Was Man-Made

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Facebook has ended its ban on posts asserting Covid-19 was man-made or manufactured, a policy shift that reflects a deepening debate over the origins of the pandemic that was first identified in Wuhan, China, almost 18 months ago. An anonymous reader shares a report: The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday that three researchers from China's Wuhan Institute of Virology became sick enough in November 2019 that they sought hospital care, according to a previously undisclosed U.S. intelligence report. "In light of ongoing investigations into the origin of COVID-19 and in consultation with public health experts, we will no longer remove the claim that COVID-19 is man-made or manufactured from our apps," Facebook said in a statement on its website Wednesday. President Biden on Wednesday ordered a U.S. intelligence inquiry into the origins of the virus. The White House has come under pressure to conduct its own investigation after China told the World Health Organization that it considered Beijing's part of the investigation complete, calling for efforts to trace the virus's origins to shift into other countries.

Re:Maybe Social Media shouldn't...

By Bodhammer • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Too many people want social media. They have a psychological dependency on the sense of connectedness it gives them. Maybe this is unhealthy for them and causes depression, but so are things like alcohol, refined sugars, excessive salt or fat, etc. .

The dependence is because it is designed that way.

If social media was a physical substance, it would be a schedule 1 drug.

Re: Maybe Social Media shouldn't...

By Freischutz • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

There was an actual Wuhan researcher who came forward and had the proof last year. She was on the lamb from China and feared the CCP retribution but did so anyway. Besides, if you are waiting for the smoking gun to be delivered on the floor of the UN when Chinas national security is involved, youâ(TM)re going to be waiting a very, very long time while the research continues.

And I have a cousin who has a friend whose third cousin had an uncle who saw Sasquatch once. Provide some proof or keep the conspiracy theories on 4chan or Based on your logic, if you are waiting for the conclusive evidence to be delivered in the National Academy of Science for the existence of Sasquatch/The Lizard People/Gray Aliens, youâ(TM)re going to be waiting a very, very long time while the research continues ... so ... let's just use our imaginations pending the availability of 'facts' (which, let's face it, are overrated anyway) ...

Re: Maybe Social Media shouldn't...

By phantomfive • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

The lab in Wuhan was doing research to genetically modify coronavirus and make it more infectious in humans.

Re:Maybe Social Media shouldn't...

By LordWabbit2 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

it's hard to conclude that anyone would die if they believed that.

Tell that to the Asians being brutally assaulted in the streets of US cities.

So about that other thing...

By ElizabethGreene • Score: 3 • Thread

Does this mean we're allowed to discuss the alleged Hunter Biden laptop now too?

Things are not okay when an oligarchy declares ideas verboten. There is no defense for this.

Automation Puts a Premium on Decision-Making Jobs

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
A new paper shows that as automation has reduced the number of rote jobs, it has led to an increase in the proportion and value of occupations that involve decision-making. From a report: Automation and AI will shape the labor market, putting a premium -- at least for now -- on workers who can make decisions on the fly, while eroding the value of routine jobs. David Deming, a political economist at the Harvard Kennedy School, analyzed labor data over the past half-century and found that the share of all U.S. jobs requiring decision-making rose from 6% in 1960 to 34% in 2018, with nearly half the increase occurring since 2007.

Partially as a result, a greater share of wages is going to management and management-related occupations, more than doubling since 1960 to 32% -- a trend that is more pronounced in high-growth industries. This shift has also reinforced generational disparity in the labor market. Getting better at making decisions requires experience, and experience requires time on the job. Largely as a result, career earnings growth in the U.S. more than doubled between 1960 and 2017, and the age of peak earnings increased from the late 30s to the mid-50s.


By VanGarrett • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

The problem is that with less money floating around in the wild via wages, fewer people have money to spend. The response to that is to lower prices. When two companies producing the same kind of product have reduced their costs, unless they are colluding to keep their prices up, they both lower their prices to make their product more appealing than their competitor's. That's market forces.

Automation will reduce employment. There's no question about that. The remaining jobs will tend to be those that command higher wages, but there will be fewer of them. We're going to have a rough couple of years, but when we come out through the other side, we're in post-scarcity territory.

And this has been the trend for 250 years

By smoot123 • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

The entire thrust of the Industrial Revolution has been to add outside power and automation to manual tasks. The entire thrust of the Knowledge Economy was the same: replace manual work of collecting and entering data with computers and leave people free to think about the data.

Remember back in the '70s, when we still had a typing pool and office memos got sent around by human letter carriers? I'm not quite that old but all that's been automated out of existence. Similarly, we don't need as many clerks collating TPS reports but do need people to interpret the results of that collation and make decisions based on what the reports show.


By ShanghaiBill • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Automation will continue eliminating jobs

Except this is the opposite of what has historically happened and is the opposite of what is currently happening.

Corporate America has more than 8 million unfilled job vacancies, more than ever before in history.

Unfilled jobs soar to record high

Automation makes workers more productive and thus more profitable for employees. So demand for labor goes up, not down. Workers in developed countries have seen their wages rise twenty-fold since the industrial revolution began.

If automation actually "eliminates jobs" then North America, Europe, and East Asia would be mired in poverty while countries like Somalia, Mozambique, and Afghanistan, which wisely avoided the "productivity catastrophe" would be prosperous.


By nasch • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

That won't just happen automatically. The US is currently designed around working to support life, or maybe giving just enough temporary aid to scrape by if you're not working. To get to a post scarcity economy where people whose labor isn't needed can live a comfortable life without constant insecurity and stress will require UBI or something like it.


By ShanghaiBill • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Over last 50 years in US wages stagnated while cost of living increased.

Wage stagnation in America was not caused by "robots stealing jobs".

It was caused by the opposite: Growth in automation stalled as jobs shifted from manufacturing to services.

Where automation continued to grow, wages continued to soar. East Asia is the most obvious example.

This is the exact opposite of your original assertion.

VMware Warns of Critical Remote Code Execution Hole In vCenter

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from ZDNet: VMware is urging its vCenter users to update vCenter Server versions 6.5, 6.7, and 7.0 immediately, after a pair of vulnerabilities were reported privately to the company. The most pressing is CVE-2021-21985, which relates to a remote code execution vulnerability in a vSAN plugin enabled by default in vCenter that an attacker could use to run whatever they wished on the underlying host machine, provided they can access port 443. Even if users do not use vSAN, they are likely to be affected because the vSAN plugin is enabled by default. "This needs your immediate attention if you are using vCenter Server," VMware said in a blog post.

The second vulnerability, CVE-2021-21986, would allow an attacker to perform actions allowed by plugins without authentication. "The vSphere Client (HTML5) contains a vulnerability in a vSphere authentication mechanism for the Virtual SAN Health Check, Site Recovery, vSphere Lifecycle Manager, and VMware Cloud Director Availability plug-ins," VMware said. In terms of CVSSv3 scores, CVE-2021-21985 hit an 9.8, while CVE-2021-21986 was scored as 6.5.

Re:One is curious...

By devoid42 • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
The statement is misleading, the vulnerability is in the mentioned plug-ins but exposed via a poorly designed HTML-5 client. All of these related CVE's are corrected by updating the vCenter server, which hosts the plug-ins AND the web service that serves up the HTML-5 Client interface.

Re:better then the old flash + plugin webui

By MeanE • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
That flash client was dark times for VMware. Whoever green lit that should have been fired. They should have kept the old c# client up to date after the backlash they received until the HTML-5 client was complete.

Dutch Court Rules Oil Giant Shell Must Cut Carbon Emissions By 45% By 2030

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
A Dutch court on Wednesday ruled oil giant Royal Dutch Shell must reduce its carbon emissions by 45% by 2030 from 2019 levels. That's a much higher reduction than the company's current aim of lowering its emissions by 20% by 2030. CNBC reports: Shell's current climate strategy states that the company is aiming to become a net-zero emissions business by 2050, with the company setting a target of cutting its CO2 emissions by 45% by 2035. A spokesperson for Shell said the company "fully expect to appeal today's disappointing court decision." "We are investing billions of dollars in low-carbon energy, including electric vehicle charging, hydrogen, renewables and biofuels," the spokesperson said via email. "We want to grow demand for these products and scale up our new energy businesses even more quickly."

The lawsuit was filed in April 2019 by seven activist groups -- including Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace -- on behalf of 17,200 Dutch citizens. Court summons claimed Shell's business model "is endangering human rights and lives" by posing a threat to the goals laid out in the Paris Agreement. Roger Cox, a lawyer for environmental activists in the case, said in a statement that the ruling marked "a turning point in history" and could have major consequences for other big polluters.

Re:Netherlands is going to go broke

By thegarbz • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Or back in reality, they will building up industries and expertise of how to solve real world problems and will then get large international business as the "experts in their field."

Something which has already happened when it comes to shipping, water management, and farming.

There are movers and followers, and the first mover often has risk, but also has the opportunity for great reward.

Oh I like it and hate it

By thegarbz • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

While I appreciate that companies are finally getting taken to task on externalising their environmental damage in the name of profits, I absolutely do not support the idea that a company can be held liable when they are following the environmental regulations of the country they operate in.

Screw Shell for being a dirty oil company. Screw the courts even more for thinking they run the country. If you want to punish a company prove how they failed to meet the regulations imposed on them and if they don't get punished then sue the government to uphold the regulations.

Activist bullshit needs to stop, and I highly suspect this will get swatted down on appeal.


By cascadingstylesheet • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

just wondering why people who are trying to conserve the environment in a state that is fit for human life are activists, but people who are actively destroying the environment are conservatives.

Congrats! Turns out that if you get to frame the whole argument and just assume your axioms, then you get to win every argument! (Inside your own head, anyway.)

Re:Stop selling petrol in the Neatherlands

By Zocalo • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
Was going to mention the same thing, but I suspect there is at least some PR-based smoke and mirrors about how far along they are as well. We're looking at the imminent end of new petrol vehicle sales in the UK, yet Shell's TV ad (PR fluff piece, really) states they are only now working on their *first* all-electric service station. Sure, this may well be the first of its kind in the UK, and you'd absolutely want to have a prototype before any widescale deployment, but I suspect there are probably more charging points in supermarket forecourts run by dedicated charging providers than there are on the established petro-chem forecourts right now (although BP does run one of the larger such networks). Shell Recharge's own site claims that they have "over 100" charge stations deployed in the UK with a target of 200 by the end of this year, although they do have many more in Europe as a whole. That's not even three per *city*, let alone per town - most of which have at least one supermarket with at least two chargepoints apiece. I'm leaning more towards "lip service" and "too little, too late" at this point (and not just regarding Shell), so hopefully this will give a little more expediency to their efforts to support the inevitable rollout of electric vehicles, even though you just *know* they are also going to be lobbying to have those cut-off dates on petrol/diesel vehicle sales pushed back as far as possible.


By Freischutz • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

you're exactly correct, but Slashdot is unironically unaware of how right-wing and deluded they are. If you come here to talk about RAM hardware specs, this is your fam. If you want to talk about politics, life, sexuality, money...keep it moving :)

What really amuses me is that those same US right-wingers venerate Christ who was a literal socialist who wanted to help the poor, free the slaves, eliminate inequality, re-integrate outcasts into society, create universal peace and who preached that a camel has an better chance of getting through the eye of a needle than social elites have to enter the kingdom of God.

Long Working Hours Lead To a Rise In Premature Deaths, WHO Says

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Long working hours are leading to hundreds of thousands of deaths per year, according to a new study by the World Health Organization and the International Labor Organization. The Seattle Times reports: Working more than 55 hours a week in a paid job resulted in 745,000 deaths in 2016, the study estimated, up from 590,000 in 2000. About 398,000 of the deaths in 2016 were because of stroke and 347,000 because of heart disease. Both physiological stress responses and changes in behavior (such as an unhealthy diet, poor sleep and reduced physical activity) are "conceivable" reasons that long hours have a negative impact on health, the authors suggest.

Other takeaways from the study:

- Working more than 55 hours per week is dangerous. It is associated with an estimated 35% higher risk of stroke and 17% higher risk of heart disease compared with working 35-40 hours per week.
- About 9% of the global population works long hours. In 2016, an estimated 488 million people worked more than 55 hours per week.
- Long hours are more dangerous than other occupational hazards. In all three years that the study examined (2000, 2010 and 2016), working long hours led to more disease than any other occupational risk factor, including exposure to carcinogens and the nonuse of seat belts at work. And the health toll of overwork worsened over time: From 2000 to 2016, the number of deaths from heart disease because of working long hours increased 42%, and from stroke 19%.

Does it count?

By Chrisq • Score: 3 • Thread
Does it count if half the time is browsing slashdot?

Re:Wow! Who knew?

By AmiMoJo • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

It's important to have studies like this for legal cases. Now there is solid scientific backing and clear numbers people can use that to get better conditions or sue if they are forced to damage their health.

It's also useful for lawmakers looking at maximum working times. The UK is likely to get a post-brexit review of the current limit (48 hours/week on average) and it will probably be removed, but at least now we have some ammunition to use in the fight to lower it.

that is just what the government wants

By FudRucker • Score: 3, Interesting • Thread
they want everyone to work long hours so they have big paychecks to tax, and then everyone dies before they are old enough to collect social security

Re:Thou shalt do overtime

By bill_mcgonigle • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

> It also is a sort of measure of how important you are. The more overtime, the higher you are regarded. It goes pretty far. If you only do the hours written down in the contract (typically 40h/week) you are considered as a bad employee with no commitment.

Are you highly paid? Is there high loyalty from the company such that you'll never be laid off if times are tough?

Sometimes these are true but far more often these are just abusive cultures using people without compensation. It's like when prisoners enforce the rules for the warden.

Re:Missed opportunity

By omnichad • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Not sure you understand what "no clear evidence" means (especially as a preliminary finding). Do you think they just grab people off the street and expose them to sick people as some sort of twisted experiment? You only have statistics and and guesses about who even counts as a case since there were no widely available diagnostic testing at that point.

The media was definitely irresponsible in misinterpreting how to react to a preliminary finding. It was an ongoing investigation and you expect changes to what's known as time goes on. It's important to report on, but everyone should be expecting the story to be constantly evolving as more is known. That's how science works.