Alterslash

the unofficial Slashdot digest for 2021-May-30 today archive
 

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

Facebook and Instagram Confront Historically Bad 'Reputational Crisis' in the Middle East

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
NBC News reports: Facebook is grappling with a reputation crisis in the Middle East, with plummeting approval rates and advertising sales in Arab countries, according to leaked documents obtained by NBC News.

The shift corresponds with the widespread belief by pro-Palestinian and free speech activists that the social media company has been disproportionately silencing Palestinian voices on its apps — which include Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp — during this month's Israel-Hamas conflict... Instagram has taken the greatest reputational hit, according to a presentation authored by a Dubai-based Facebook employee that was leaked to NBC News, with its approval ratings among users falling to a historical low.

The social media company regularly polls users of Facebook and Instagram about how much they believe the company cares about them. Facebook converts the results into a 'Cares About Users' metric which acts as a bellwether for the apps' popularity. Since the start of the latest Israel-Hamas conflict, the metric among Instagram users in Facebook's Middle East and North Africa region is at its lowest in history, and fell almost 5 percentage points in a week, according to the research... Instagram's score measuring whether users think the app is good for the world, referred to as 'Good For World,' has also dropped in the region to its lowest level after losing more than 5 percentage points in a week...

The low approval ratings have been compounded by a campaign by pro-Palestinian and free speech activists to target Facebook with 1-star reviews on the Apple and Google app stores. The campaign tanked Facebook's average rating from above 4 out of 5 stars on both app stores to 2.2 on the App Store and 2.3 on Google Play as of Wednesday. According to leaked internal posts, the issue has been categorized internally as a "severity 1" problem for Facebook, which is the second highest priority issue after a "severity 0" incident, which is reserved for when the website is down. "Users are feeling that they are being censored, getting limited distribution, and ultimately silenced," one senior software engineer said in a post on Facebook's internal message board. "As a result, our users have started protesting by leaving 1 star reviews."

Internal documents connect the reputational damage to a decline in advertising sales in the Middle East. According to the leaked presentation, Facebook's ad sales in the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and Iraq dropped at least 12 percent in the 10 days after May 7.

NBC adds that pro-Palestinian civil society group believe Israel is flooding Facebook with reports of violations. "The Israeli government is spending millions on digital tools and campaigns targeting social media content," said Mona Shtaya from 7amleh, a nonprofit that focuses on Palestinians' digital rights.

The article points out that Israel "also funds a program that pays students to post and report content on social media in what is described as 'online public diplomacy.'"

Re: Good

By DrMrLordX • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Yes, we all know that Iran and other bad actors are using the Palestinians to wage proxy wars against Israel with the long-term goal of committing genocide against the Jews.

Oh wait was that not what you meant? ha ha! You're funny.

I fail to see the problem

By cowwoc2001 • Score: 3 • Thread

The anti-Israel crowd are disproportionately spreading hate speech and inciting violence against Jews. This is not Freedom of Speech. If anything deserves to be restricted, this is it. The fact that it makes Facebook less popular in dictatorships should not surprise anyone.

Re: Good

By jedidiah • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

There are guys like Mandela in the Knesset.

Genocide liquidates entire families wholesale. What's going on in Judea, Samaria and Gaza don't even come close.

FB is ideologically aligned with the pro-palestinian crowd. The idea that they would be censoring those people is typical unhinged conspiracy nonsense.

Re:Good and hard

By jedidiah • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

> Thus, if you are a diamond hard US constitutional literalist

That means that your freedom of speech is limited to technologies available in 1783.

Get a Web Site

By rbrander • Score: 3 • Thread

There's a guy in BC who's in jail until he calls up whatever foreign ISP is giving Canadian courts the finger when they are ordered to take down his web site showing his marital sex tapes that he's using to hurt his ex.

It's really hard to actually censor "The Internet". This is about social media.

I don't care about "social media". I hope they censor it to death. I hope everybody flees it and gets web sites.

It's not "the internet"; it's a cluster of monopolies that use slot-machine psychology to sell user-generated content for advertising.

Will America Confront the Kremlin Over SolarWinds' Latest Massive Phishing Attack?

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
In the latest SolarWinds mass-phishing attack, "The highest percentage of emails went to the United States, but [incident response firm] Volexity also saw a significant number of victims in Europe..." according to Security Week.

In an article shared by Slashdot reader wiredmikey, they note that the attackers apparently compromised the Constant Contact account of USAID, an independent agency of the United States federal government that is primarily responsible for administering civilian foreign aid and development assistance — and then impersonated it in emails "to roughly 3,000 accounts across over 150 organizations in 24 countries."

So what happens next?

The Associated Press reports: The White House says it believes U.S. government agencies largely fended off the latest cyberespionage onslaught blamed on Russian intelligence operatives, saying the spear-phishing campaign should not further damage relations with Moscow ahead of next month's planned presidential summit. Officials downplayed the cyber assault as "basic phishing" in which hackers used malware-laden emails to target the computer systems of U.S. and foreign government agencies, think tanks and humanitarian groups.

Microsoft, which disclosed the effort late Thursday, said it believed most of the emails were blocked by automated systems that marked them as spam. As of Friday afternoon, the company said it was "not seeing evidence of any significant number of compromised organizations at this time."

Even so, the revelation of a new spy campaign so close to the June 16 summit between President Joe Biden and Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin adds to the urgency of White House efforts to confront the Kremlin over aggressive cyber activity that criminal indictments and diplomatic sanctions have done little to deter. "I don't think it'll create a new point of tension because the point of tension is already so big," said James Lewis, a senior vice president at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. "This clearly has to be on the summit agenda. The president has to lay down some markers" to make clear "that the days when you people could do whatever you want are over."

There's a famous story about Vladimir Putin meeting Joe Biden back in 2011. A decade earlier former U.S. president George W. Bush had said when he'd looked Putin in the eye, "I was able to get a sense of his soul." But as Biden tells it, when he'd met Putin (who was then Russia Prime Minister), "I said, 'Mr. Prime Minister, I'm looking into your eyes, and I don't think you have a soul.'"

"He looked back at me, and he smiled, and he said, 'We understand one another.'"

Why would they?

By gweihir • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread

SolarWinds is not state-sponsored. That is a lie pushed by those that want to misdirect people away from their own utterly pathetic state of IT security.

Actual Russian state attackers would/will stay under the radar and make sure they are _not_ detected. That increases the value of the data stolen massively.

World War III

By backslashdot • Score: 3 • Thread

Yeah, let's start World War 3 .. no big deal right? What could possibly go wrong? I mean we handled the pandemic just fine .. how bad can a nuclear war be?

Re:Why would they?

By Bert64 • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Victims of hacking attacks will often try to attribute the attack to state sponsored attackers, because blaming a supposedly well funded intelligence agency is less embarrassing than admitting you got owned by a 15 year old script kiddie operating from his parents basement.

If an attack appears to come from china or russia etc, that's usually because there are lots of easily compromised systems there which run pirated windows versions with no updates. The actual attacker could be anywhere, and is simply relaying their attack through far away compromised hosts to mask their true identity.

Needs to acknowledge our own activity

By cjonslashdot • Score: 3 • Thread
I hope so, but it needs to be a discussion about the activities of our respective governments. The US Cyber Command is not there for no reason. And it goes way back - even before the Internet we have been interfering in other governments. E.g., Operation Ajax in 1952, undertaken by MI6 and the CIA, arranged for a purportedly "domestic" revolt against the newly elected government of Iran. This is all part of the global struggle for dominance. So it is not an issue of the US being a victim: it is an issue of creating trust between the leaders of the US, Russia,, and China, and agreeing mutually to scale back this stuff.

Confront China over Fentanyl

By schwit1 • Score: 3 • Thread

How many people have died from the SW hack? Fentanyl kills tens of thousands in the US every year. This is war that the US fails to acknowledge.

Viral TikTok Video Attracts 2,500 Teenagers to Rowdy California Birthday Party. 175 Arrested

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
A birthday party for 17-year-old Adrian Lopez turned into a viral TikTok event that drew thousands of unruly party-goers to Huntington Beach, California, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Just not Adrian Lopez, "who in the days leading up to the party was increasingly nervous about all the attention." When it was over, more than 175 people were arrested, city officials and merchants were adding up the damage, and everyone was wondering who should be blamed and who should be billed...

The high schooler's invitation was picked up by TikTok's "For You" algorithm and viewed by people across the country. The announcement was curious: Who was this mystery teen, and would anyone actually go to his party? Some TikTok users, including internet celebrities, began posting about it, and videos with the hashtag #adrianskickback have since drawn more than 326 million views.

On Saturday night, roughly 2,500 teenagers and young adults — some who say they drove for hours or flew in from other states — converged on the Huntington Beach Pier and downtown area in a gathering that devolved into mayhem. Partygoers blasted fireworks into a mob in the middle of Pacific Coast Highway, jumped on police cars, scaled palm trees and flag poles and leapt from the pier into throngs of people below to crowd-surf. A window at CVS was smashed, businesses were tagged with graffiti, and the roof of Lifeguard Tower 13 collapsed after it was scaled...

Authorities spotted the party announcement when it began circulating last week and immediately began staffing up in preparation for what was being billed as a weekend-long event. In all, more than 150 officers from nearly every police agency in Orange County were called out to the beach Saturday night to help get the crowd under control. Clashes with police broke out Saturday, and officers fired rubber bullets and pepper projectiles as they tried to disperse the crowd. Eventually, authorities issued an overnight curfew to clear the streets...

The majority of those taken into custody over the weekend were not from Orange County, police said.

One 53-year-old watching the crowd told the Times that "Literally they were playing in traffic on the Pacific Coast Highway." But the Times also got a quote from one 18-year-old attendee who "went to last Saturday's party but said he does not condone the debauchery that ensued."

"People my age haven't gone out in a year... It was to get the ball rolling. This is the start of summer."

I know how to fix this quick

By stabiesoft • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread
"When it was over, more than 175 people were arrested, city officials and merchants were adding up the damage, and everyone was wondering who should be blamed and who should be billed.."

Want it to stop? Send TikTok the bill. Social media will find a solution quickly if they have to pay for it.

Re:Morons

By gweihir • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

So arrogant morons. That does not make things any better.

Re: You have no idea how easy it is to get out of

By MysteriousPreacher • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Most of the people calling for defunding don't live in poor areas where crime is a daily reality. They're typically the young and the privileged, too busy deconstructing society and inventing genders to be concerned with the uneducated proles.

Re:You have no idea how easy it is to get out of h

By dr_blurb • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

"The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers." -Socrates

Is this the Socrates quote from 1907 ?

https://quoteinvestigator.com/...

Re:Morons

By Rei • Score: 4 • Thread

Certainly feel entitled, too.

"People my age haven't gone out in a year... It was to get the ball rolling. This is the start of summer."

Oh, you poor thing, you've suffered so much compared to everyone else. Your suffering of not going out for a year is unique and special. :P

Resale Prices Triple for NVIDIA Chips as Gamers Compete with Bitcoin Miners

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
"In the niche world of customers for high-end semiconductors, a bitter feud is pitting bitcoin miners against hardcore gamers," reports Quartz: At issue is the latest line of NVIDIA graphics cards — powerful, cutting-edge chips with the computational might to display the most advanced video game graphics on the market. Gamers want the chips so they can experience ultra-realistic lighting effects in their favorite games. But they can't get their hands on NVIDIA cards, because miners are buying them up and adapting them to crunch cryptographic codes and harvest digital currency. The fierce competition to buy chips — combined with a global semiconductor shortage — has driven resale prices up as much as 300%, and led hundreds of thousands of desperate consumers to sign up for daily raffles for the right to buy chips at a significant mark-up.

To broker a peace between its warring customers, NVIDIA is, essentially, splitting its cutting-edge graphics chips into two dumbed-down products: GeForce for gamers and the Cryptocurrency Mining Processor (CMP) for miners. GeForce is the latest NVIDIA graphics card — except key parts of it have been slowed down to make it less valuable for miners racing to solve crypto puzzles. CMP is based on a slightly older version of NVIDIA's graphics card which has been stripped of all of its display outputs, so gamers can't use it to render graphics.

NVIDIA's goal in splitting its product offerings is to incentivize miners to only buy CMP chips, and leave the GeForce chips for the gamers. "What we hope is that the CMPs will satisfy the miners...[and] steer our GeForce supply to gamers," said CEO Jansen Huang on a May 26 conference call with investors and analysts... It won't be easy to keep the miners at bay, however. NVIDIA tried releasing slowed-down graphics chips in February in an effort to deter miners from buying them, but it didn't work. The miners quickly figured out how to hack the chips and make them perform at full-speed again.

Use My GPU for Graphcs/Raytracing

By BrendaEM • Score: 3 • Thread
Oh, we don't exist. Sorry, my mistake.

Re:Such a bs

By willy_me • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Not a stupid strategy. Without graphics, the crypto-cards can not be resold to gamers. In a few years these crypto-cards will be discarded - or used by university / student researchers. If they had graphics then they would be resold to gamers, with each sale stealing a potential customer away from nvidia. So by separating the cards into two types, nvidia is preserving their future market. AMD will also be helped -- presumably an unfortunate byproduct from nvidia's perspective.

Re:So how about my tensorflow projects

By tomz16 • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Let the price float for full functional cards

More importantly, force the retail partners to actually sell at MSRP with strict user-limits (e.g. one per US non-P.O. address) or cut off their supply. A large portion of the current inflation is due to the fact that the retail-customer allotments never make it to a shelf / cart before they are pilfered for mining and/or re-scalped at ludicrous prices. Entire pallets are sold in bulk and no retail end-customer can ever compete against a middle-man peddling that kind of volume. Hell, sometimes there aren't even middle-men. I've reported actual top-tier AMD and NVIDIA partners on e-bay openly jacking the price of their cards / CPUs WAY above MSRP and neither company gave a shit.

Yes, demand currently exceeds supply. But the level of inflation is compounded by the limited purchasing-power of an individual customer in this market. There's no reasonable price I can offer that can compete against someone willing to buy entire pallets at a time. The current policy has just created chains of GPU arbitrage middle-men.

Re:Bullshit

By MatthiasF • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Stating that ALL bitcoin mining is being done on ASICs now is completely ludicrous. Some bigger miners use FPGAs as well.

But MOST of the bitcoin mining is being done on GPUs.

So long as it is still reasonably profitable to use GPUs, someone out there will be using them.

https://www.nicehash.com/profi...

Over $200 a month for a six month return on investment is what I would call reasonably profitable.

on the flip side

By Kryptonut • Score: 3 • Thread
Can we get the damn AMD cards to be first class citizens in the likes of TensorFlow? There's a definite bias toward NVIDIA gpu's / CUDA.

One Startup's Quest to Take on Chrome and Reinvent the Web Browser

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
"The web browser is a crucial part of modern life, and yet it hasn't really been revised since the '90s," writes Protocol. " That may be about to change." The browser tab is an underrated thing. Most people think of them only when there are too many, when their computer once again buckles under Chrome's weight. Even the developers who build the tabs — the engineers and designers working on Chrome, Firefox, Brave and the rest — haven't done much to them. The internet has evolved in massive, earth-shaking ways over the last two decades, but tabs haven't really changed since they became a browser feature in the mid '90s.

Josh Miller, however, has big plans for browser tabs. Miller is the CEO of a new startup called The Browser Company, and he wants to change the way people think about browsers altogether. He sees browsers as operating systems, and likes to wonder aloud what "iOS for the web" might look like. What if your browser could build you a personalized news feed because it knows the sites you go to? What if every web app felt like a native app, and the browser itself was just the app launcher? What if you could drag a file from one tab to another, and it just worked? What if the web browser was a shareable, synced, multiplayer experience? It would be nothing like the simple, passive windows to the web that browsers are now. Which is exactly the goal.

The Browser Company (which everyone on the team just calls Browser) is one of a number of startups that are rethinking every part of the browser stack. Mighty has built a version of Chrome that runs on powerful server hardware and streams the browser itself over the web. Brave is building support for decentralized protocols like IPFS, and experimenting with using cryptocurrencies as a new business model for publishers. Synth is building a new bookmarks system that acts more like a web-wide inbox. Sidekick offers a vertical app launcher and makes tabs easier to organize. "A change is coming," said Mozilla CEO Mitchell Baker. "The question is just the time frame, and what's actually required to make it happen."

They have lots of different ideas, but they share a belief that the browser can, and should, be more than it is. "We don't need a new web browser," Miller said. "We need a new successor to the web browser."

While he was at the White House, Chief Digital Officer (and Miller's boss) Jason Goldman said something Miller couldn't forget. "Platforms have all the leverage," is how Miller remembers it. "And if you care about the future of the internet, or the way we use our computers, or want to improve any of the things that are broken about technology ... you can't really just build an application. Platforms, whether it's iOS or Windows or Android or Mac OS, that's where all the control is."

What if??

By jenningsthecat • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

What if your browser could build you a personalized news feed because it knows the sites you go to?

What if a big slice of that pesky, expensive, server-intensive infrastructure that sends your targeted ads, builds echo chambers to help make you a compliant controllable consumer, and tracks your every move on the Web, could be cheaply distributed among all our computers and browsers?

What if every web app felt like a native app, and the browser itself was just the app launcher?

What if your browser became the one, the only, the unavoidable spyware / paywall / gateway between you and everything on your computer that currently exists as a separate, user-controlled application?

What if you could drag a file from one tab to another, and it just worked?

What if the browser became the common-to-everyone, easily-exploitable chunk of attack-surface real-estate with ready, built-in access to every file and program on your computer?

What if the web browser was a shareable, synced, multiplayer experience?

What if your computer was Jonestown, with a gulp of Kool-Aid just a click away?

Thanks, but no. I'll keep my autonomy; and if I have to walk away from computers to do that, so be it. Sometimes being an old fart has its advantages.

Re:So yet another data-gathering company?

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

What if your browser had an RSS feed in it?

WHERE'S MY BILLION DOLLARS?!?!?!

Crap

By lsllll • Score: 3 • Thread

He sees browsers as operating systems, and likes to wonder aloud what "iOS for the web" might look like. What if your browser could build you a personalized news feed because it knows the sites you go to?

Lennart, is that you?

Re:We replaced one monopoly with another

By Pieroxy • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Many geeks rejoiced this month when Microsoft finally retired IE, which ruined the internet since the 90s

IE4 revolutionized the web in 1997. They created DOM based rendering allowing what was known as DHTML at the time to be fully functional. That was the stone on which every web browser is built today. So no, it did not ruin the web since the 90s, it enabled it.

Once they eradicated competition (namely Netscape 4) through simple technical superiority, they stopped investing in it. There was a few releases with half baked mildly good ideas, like SVG, and they stopped at IE6.

It took almost 8 years to Mozilla to get a decent browser to replace the pile of crap that was Netscape Navigator. The first versions were memory and CPU hogs but were so much better in all other aspects to Internet Explorer that it quickly took off - notably with developer tools that we all know today behind the F12 key. This was a revolution for web devs, so every dev used it, and that's when we first saw websites not working properly in IE. Then came Safari, showing that this could be all running in full in a phone in 2007, then Chrome that took over pretty much any platform they could get their hands on - so, everything but the iPhone.

Microsoft reacted slowly, as usual in these cases, by releasing IE7 in 2006, which was another huge pile of crap. IE8 in 2009 started to be decent but it was too late. They had already notably lost the smartphone market and Chrome was already years ahead of them by then - from a technology standpoint, building on the shoulders of Apple.

Re:So yet another data-gathering company?

By AmiMoJo • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

It's even worse than that. What if your browser had a news bubble built right in? No need to even go to Facebook any more to get your world-view warped and distorted, the browser does it for you!

If it ever took off then within a few years you would find terrorists saying that they were radicalized by a web browser instead of Facebook.

Is Natural Gas (Mostly) Good for Global Warming?

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
Natural gas " creates less carbon emissions than the coal it replaces, but we have to find ways to minimize the leakage of methane."

That's the opinion of Vaclav Smil, a distinguished professor emeritus at the University of Manitoba and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, writing in IEEE's Spectrum (in an article shared by Slashdot reader schwit1): Natural gas is abundant, low-cost, convenient, and reliably transported, with low emissions and high combustion efficiency. Natural-gas-fired heating furnaces have maximum efficiencies of 95 to 97 percent, and combined-cycle gas turbines now achieve overall efficiency slightly in excess of 60 percent. Of course, burning gas generates carbon dioxide, but the ratio of energy to carbon is excellent: Burning a gigajoule of natural gas produces 56 kilograms of carbon dioxide, about 40 percent less than the 95 kg emitted by bituminous coal.

This makes gas the obvious replacement for coal. In the United States, this transition has been unfolding for two decades. Gas-fueled capacity increased by 192 gigawatts from 2000 to 2005 and by an additional 69 GW from 2006 through the end of 2020. Meanwhile, the 82 GW of coal-fired capacity that U.S. utilities removed from 2012 to 2020 is projected to be augmented by another 34 GW by 2030, totaling 116 GW — more than a third of the former peak rating.

So far, so green. But methane is itself a very potent greenhouse gas, packing from 84 to 87 times as much global warming potential as an equal quantity of carbon dioxide when measured over 20 years (and 28 to 36 times as much over 100 years). And some of it leaks out. In 2018, a study of the U.S. oil and natural-gas supply chain found that those emissions were about 60 percent higher than the Environmental Protection Agency had estimated. Such fugitive emissions, as they are called, are thought to be equivalent to 2.3 percent of gross U.S. gas production...

Without doubt, methane leakages during extraction, processing, and transportation do diminish the overall beneficial impact of using more natural gas, but they do not erase it, and they can be substantially reduced.

Re:Fission! (Re:Natural gas is temporary adjustmen

By ShanghaiBill • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Your point?

That, in practice, nuclear is not cost-effective and the up-front numbers are always BS.

I'm sure I could find a solar power project under construction now that is behind schedule and over budget.

I'm sure you can. But I can point to ANY nuclear project built outside China.

Should we base the performance of the entire industry on the performance of a single example?

It is not a single example. The delays and cost overruns at Hinkley Point are even worse.

Need a third example? Olkiluoto in Finland was finally finished for three times the original quote.

Now let's turn it around. Can you point to ANY nuclear power plant completed on-time and on-budget in the last 20 years?

With competition we drive down costs.

Really? The normal excuse for mismanaged nukes is that we need a single standardized design, such as the AP1000. Of course, that was a debacle, so hey, whatever.

Re:Fission! (Re:Natural gas is temporary adjustmen

By MacMann • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Can you point to ANY nuclear power plant completed on-time and on-budget in the last 20 years?

Past performance does not dictate future performance. A lot changed in the last 20 years. A lot changed in the last 20 months.

Last August the Democrats released their new platform document, this time reversing their position on nuclear power. For the last 50 years or so they were in open opposition of nuclear power. It seems that in the last primary season they discovered that opposition to nuclear power was a good way to lose elections.

The problems with nuclear power was largely political, perhaps only political. Without the Democrats holding up nuclear power the costs on regulations and licensing will be very different. The government will now look for ways to bring nuclear power on line instead of ways to kill the projects.

For 50 years the Democrats held up new nuclear power. They at least claim on paper to not be opposed any more, and will support it. It will take some time to see how serious they are. It's also going to take some time for people that know how to build a nuclear power plant to believe the Democrats won't just pull the rug out on them and make these people lose a lot of money. I expect the Democrats will have to convince them of the seriousness of this support with loan guarantees, subsidies, and other perks. Perks that are at least as nice as what wind and solar have.

The Democrats drove the nuclear power industry into a near standstill. The people that knew how to build a nuclear power plant on time and under budget are all senile or dead. We will have to train a new generation. That means a lot more projects that exceed the budget and run behind schedule.

Given that 50 years ago we saw an average of one gigawatt of nuclear power come to the grid per month then there will be a point in which we will exceed that rate. If we don't then it will be on the Democrats to explain why CO2 emissions in the USA started to go up after so many years of being on the decline. It will be nearly trivial to get the nuclear power industry to that rate in ten years, we did it once so we can do it again. The wind and solar industry hasn't yet shown that kind of production rate. The wind power industry may have reached a rate of one gigawatt capacity per month but a wind gigawatt is not like a nuclear gigawatt. Nuclear power plants routinely get over 90% capacity factor where only the rarest of wind project get to 30% capacity factor. That means it would take three gigawatts of wind to equal just one gigawatt of nuclear in annual energy production, and it is energy production that counts.

We will make nuclear power cost effective. We will build nuclear power capacity like we've never done before. We will do this because failure means higher CO2 emissions, more air and water pollution, higher energy prices, and more people dead from accidents, pollution, "energy poverty", and greater reliance on foreign nations for energy vital to our existence as an independent nation.

Solar, wind, and storage is not an energy plan. Any viable energy plan must have new nuclear fission generation capacity included. Only the science deniers disagree.

Re:Fission! (Re:Natural gas is temporary adjustmen

By Namarrgon • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Please cite in the 2016 Democrat policies where it says they were opposed to nuclear power. Or indeed in any of their prior policies.

Instead, Obama was in favour of nuclear energy, and Democrats since then have co-sponsored bipartisan nuclear energy bills at Federal and State levels.

We will make nuclear power cost effective.

Great, we're all looking forward to that. And when it happens, I don't doubt more nuclear plants will get built. But until then, expect to see much more wind and solar, as they're dramatically cheaper per MWh (not just per MW) than nuclear.

Solar, wind, and storage is not an energy plan.

The DoE's NREL disagrees. Their studies (and many others) show intermittent renewables are "more than adequate to supply 80% of total U.S. electricity generation". The remainder could come from nuclear, if it eventually gets cheap enough, or from gas peaker plants burning natural gas in the short-medium term and "green" hydrogen in the longer term, or possibly just from more renewables if the current trend towards cheaper storage continues.

Re:According to the article, it's rather bad

By vyvepe • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Where are your sources that nuclear emits more CO2 than wind and solar?

Any search I tried results in nuclear being about the same as wind na solar being about 3 times worse than nuclear.

Example: https://energy.utexas.edu/news...

Re:Fossil methane is not the obvious replacement

By Elledan • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
France managed to go from nearly 0% nuclear power to ~75% in about a decade. Sweden took ~15 years to do about the same. Is that fast enough for you?

YouTube Takes Down Ads Showing Belarusian Blogger's Possibly-Forced Confession Video

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
Last Sunday Belarus "forcibly landed a Ryanair plane flying from Athens to Vilnius and arrested the opposition blogger Roman Protasevich and his girlfriend, who were on board," Reuters reports.

By Tuesday the Guardian reports there was a "confession" video which the blogger's father said his son had clearly been physically coerced into recording.

And then... YouTube ran advertisements featuring confession videos published by Belarusian authorities of detained journalist and activist Roman Protasevich and his girlfriend Sofia Sapega, according to a number of people on social media...

The YouTube advertisements appear to have been purchased by a pro-government channel with less than 2,000 subscribers with a name which translates to "Belarus, country for life." The channel has published a number of viral videos about Belarus and its logo features the Belarusian presidential flag... Screenshots posted online suggest the ads displayed Protasevich's confession video to viewers and directed them to a pro-government Telegram channel with almost 80,000 subscribers. At least one person on Twitter also reported seeing another ad from the same channel featuring Sapega's confession tape.

A spokesperson for Google, which owns YouTube, said the company had identified both of the ads and took action against them according to its inappropriate content policy. "YouTube has always had strict policies around the type of content that is allowed to serve as ads on our platform," the spokesperson said in an email. "We quickly remove any ads that violate these policies." YouTube generally allows advertisers to run political ads, but its rules around inappropriate content prohibit those that "single out someone for abuse or harassment; content that suggests a tragic event did not happen, or that victims or their families are actors, or complicit in a cover-up of the event."

The advertisements raise questions about YouTube's ability to effectively moderate how its platform may be used to amplify questionable content in ads...

Tadeusz Giczan, editor-in-chief of NEXTA, the independent media organization Protasevich previously worked for, said on Twitter that Belarus officials have long used YouTube advertisements to spread propaganda. "Fun fact: for almost a year Belarusian state news agency BelTA has been using hostage videos like the one with Roman Protasevich as paid ads on YouTube with links to their network of pro-govt telegram channels," he wrote. "We tried everything but YouTube says there's nothing wrong about it." Last year, several people complained online about YouTube advertisements promoting Belarusian government propaganda seemingly from the same channel.

YouTube did not immediately answer follow-up questions about whether it had previously taken action against the "Belarus, country for life" account.

Re:The missing facts

By quonset • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

How hell, Vasily. How much did you get paid to write this tripe? You bring up something completely unrelated (Russia's invasion of Ukraine) and fabricated "war crimes" against the guy, but completely leave out Protasevitch being beaten/tortured to "confess" to a "crime". Not to mention the use of military jets to force down a civilian airliner so the guy who was ruffling feathers in Belarus could be taken into custody.

It's as if Stalin is alive and well in your country, using every underhanded dirty trick to silence opposition. Such as outlawing Navalny's political party so its members cannot run for office in Russia.

"Coerced confession" not exclusive to Belarus

By ffkom • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Remember when some enemy of a prominent western country conveniently confessed his crimes against that country after numerous days of torture? Youtube videos reporting on that confession are still online in large quantities.

Re:The missing facts

By Darinbob • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

True or not, it is irrelevant to the current issue of his being detained merely because he is in opposition to the president. They want to paint him as a bad guy to divert attention. It is an old trick used by authoritarian and dictatorial regimes to pain the opposition as full of criminals or terrorists. anyone who thinks he's actually getting a fair trail in Belarus is either stupid or a part of the Belarus propaganda arm.

If you get your news from Youtube

By david.emery • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

or Facebook, then these measures are at best going to have small impact. People who get news from sources that optimize engagement and whose algorithms are designed to reinforce what you already believe are probably not going to change their beliefs because a video or an ad was removed.

I don't know how to 'fix stupid.' (I just ignore anything that even remotely looks like an ad or a political commentary video. And I block the FB pages that try to push that stuff into my face. On both platforms, there are specific classes of content I'm interested in such as updates from friends or hobby videos, and everything else is explicitly ignored. Clearly, though, I'm an exception.)

"Possibly forced"

By DrXym • Score: 3 • Thread
Try, actually forced.

Aerion Shuts Down, Halts Work On Proposed Supersonic Business Jet

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
Despite $11.2 billion worth of orders, and partners like Boeing, General Electric and Berkshire Hathaway, Aerion says it still couldn't raise enough money to head into production "in the current financial environment," according to a Flying magazine shared by schwit1: The Aerion SST — the most promising effort in years to represent the next step in supersonic travel since the demise of the Anglo-French Concorde — has reached the end of the line after the company said it had run short of cash. The Reno, Nevada-based aircraft builder said Friday it is closing its doors for good according to a story in Florida Today...

In March 2021, NetJets offered Aerion a vote of confidence by ordering 20 of the SSTs as well as agreeing to become the exclusive fractional business jet operator for the new aircraft. Each AS2 was priced at $120 million in today's dollars.

Another one bites the dust. What a surprise

By Rosco P. Coltrane • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

The only commercial supersonic airliner that ever existed only did because it was developed by two countries pouring a kajillion fuckton of taxpayer's money into the project, then mandating their respective national airlines to buy the planes and operate them at a loss for decades. What chance did a two-bit company from Reno have eh?

Not to mention, this isn't the 60s anymore: people don't have to fly so much thanks to the internet. And the modern airport experience isn't that of the 60s either: you lose more time on the ground waiting in line to be groped by creepy TSA employees than in the air, even on subsonic cattle-class flights. And COVID-19 travel restrictions...

11b in Orders? Probably not

By joe_frisch • Score: 3 • Thread
I think people had put down 250K deposits to reserve positions representing 11B if the plane went into production, but typically those are refundable deposits, and are not a commitment to actually order the $120M plane. These are people basically saying "if you can actually build it for that price I probably want it" but don't represent any confidence that can actually happen. It would be great if supersonic transport became viable, economics kill it over and over again.

Re:Another one bites the dust. What a surprise

By amorsen • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

The difference is that new supersonic jets would be private, not something you could buy tickets for. There are enough super-rich people today to make supersonic private jets viable.

This solves the TSA problem and some of the travel restrictions.

The big questions are technical, not economic. Supersonic private jets are only worth it if they can land in most airports and fly supersonic over land.

Re:Will Boom survive?

By vix86 • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Boom has a way better chance. Wendover Productions did a video on the 3 super sonic jet makers (Aerion was one them) and outlined their strategies. Aerion and Spike are ('were' in Aerion's case) making private jets and banking on new advances in engineering in air frame design to help lower the "impact" of the sonic boom. The hope is that they can reduce the boom enough to get countries to allow them to fly over populated areas.

Boom's strategy however is to just do what Concord did and operate Trans-Atlantic and Trans-Pacific routes. They'll be making a passenger plane (vs a private jet) that doesn't intend to worry too much about the advances in "boom shaping" or changes in regulation and simply go in the direction that is already safe. For anyone worrying about profitability because -- "Wasn't Concord unprofitable?" -- Wendover (maybe it was someone else?) in his video on the Concord pointed out that British Airways actually reached profitability with the plane at the end of its lifetime primarily by lowering the ticket prices from First-Class only to All-Business class, which let them get more consistent passenger numbers.

I suspect with advances in material sciences and in engine design as well, it'll probably be easier for Boom to be successful in this century compared to Concord in the previous one.

Space Plane Startup Promises One-Hour Rides to Anywhere on Earth at 9,000 MPH

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
"Traveling in a space plane is a lot like traveling in a regular plane, except for the middle part," quips Bloomberg Business Week: After reaching cruising altitude, the pilot hits the rocket boosters and blasts the aircraft to the edge of space at more than 9,000 mph, or about 12 times the speed of sound. The plane travels at that speed for about 15 minutes, then glides against the atmosphere to slow itself down, cruising back to Earth to land at a conventional airport.

Venus Aerospace Corp., a startup pursuing a hypersonic space plane, is aiming to use this technique to ferry people from Los Angeles to Tokyo in about an hour.

The company was started by two former Virgin Orbit LLC employees: Sarah "Sassie" Duggleby, a code-writing launch engineer, and her husband, Andrew, who managed launch, payload, and propulsion operations... Venus now has 15 employees, most veterans of the space industry, and has received investment from venture capital firms including Prime Movers and Draper Associates. "Every few decades humans attempt this," says Andrew Duggleby, in a tacit acknowledgment of the idea's repeated failure. "This time it will work...."

Still, flights aren't imminent. The shape of the aircraft is a work in progress, and the company will begin testing three scale models this summer. The Dugglebys, who've secured a small research grant from the U.S. Air Force and are pursuing additional funding from the Department of Defense, expect the project to take a decade or more.

Investors fooled !

By wimg • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

You can immediately spot this is a scam, one that probably fooled a number of rich investors :
9000mph = 14000kmh
Earth's circumference is 40000km, so going to 'anywhere on earth' means up to 20000km.
This 'plane' has to reach cruising altitude before accelerating to 14000kmh, then needs to slow down again... so you'd be lucky to get 'anywhere on earth' in 3 hours.

Re:No thanks, I prefer Zoom

By NFN_NLN • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Remove the microscope lens attachment and you'll be fine.

Huge market for this

By SuperKendall • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

is the business model plausible? Seriously, who really needs to be on the other side of the world in an hour in this day

There is huge demand for international travel with this kind of speed - it's not about being there in an hour, it's about not being on a plane for 12 hours.

9,000 MPH

By ickleberry • Score: 3 • Thread
Is the rate at which they'll burn through their venture capital angel Whike-Ombinator funding

Re:Okay, mechanical engineering nerds...

By joe_frisch • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
Depends on what you mean by "plausable". A methane / oxygen engine has an exhaust velocity around 3500M/S, so if ~80% of the weight is fuel you can get to 9000mph. Hydrogen oxygen is a bit better, but the hydrogen tank needs to be very large - otoh extra hydrogen could be used for cooling. So its not breaking any really basic rocketry rules. But - lots of extremely difficult engineering. The remaining 20% mass needs to include rocket engines, jet engines, heat shielding, structure, landing gear, control surfaces, pressure vessel, etc. It would be extremely challenging to do that and still leave any useful payload. It needs to be able to fly subsonic for landing and hypersonic during cruise and descent. That is a diffcult tradeoff - good hypersonic shapes like the shuttle, tend to glide like bricks (like the shuttle). There are other approaches like rocket with a re-entry shield and no significant attempt at gliding. The heat shield is more difficult and heavy, but no heavy wings. The idea of a hypersonic boost plane goes back to the 1940s - but no one has found a way to solve the myriad of technical challenges to make it practical and I don't see any evidence these guys have either

Florida Health Department's Actions Investigated as Fired Data Manager Now Granted 'Whistleblower' Status

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
In March of 2020, Florida's governor was assuring the state that there was no evidence of Covid-19 in Florida, remembers the Washington Post. But there was — as far back as January.

The Miami Herald reports that when questioned Florida's Department of Health told its data manager to hide that data from public view, "emails from within the agency reviewed by the Miami Herald and others show." Eventually that data manager was fired, and within months her home had been raided by gun-toting police officers.

But that's not the end of the story. The latest development? That data manager is now instead " officially a whistleblower under Florida law, the Office of the Inspector General told her attorneys Friday," the Miami Herald reports. The Inspector General now says the data manager has indeed shown "reasonable cause to suspect that an employee or agent of an agency or independent contractor has violated [a] federal, state or local law, rule or regulation." Slashdot reader whoever57 notes the move "will grant her certain protections."

The Miami Herald reports: Rebekah Jones, who was responsible for building the COVID-19 data dashboard for the Florida Department of Health, was fired last year after raising concerns about "misleading data" being presented to the public, according to the complaint, which was reviewed by the Miami Herald. In the complaint, filed July 17, 2020, Jones alleged she was fired for "opposition and resistance to instructions to falsify data in a government website." She described being asked to bend data analysis to fit pre-determined policy and delete data from public view after questions from the press — actions she claimed "represent an immediate injury to the public health, safety, and welfare, including the possibility of death to members of the public."

On Friday, the Office of the Inspector General informed Jones that "the information disclosed does meet the criteria for whistleblower status as described by ... Florida statutes," according to the email obtained by the Herald... "It's pretty huge," Jones told the Herald in response to the news. "This isn't vindication but this is a start. It's a big push forward...."

A department spokesperson said at the time that Jones was fired for "insubordination."

There's now an ongoing investigation into Jones' allegations. And in December Florida's Sun-Sentinel newspaper cited other issues with the state government's transparency:
  • The Florida Department of Health's county-level spokespeople were ordered in September to stop issuing public statements about COVID-19 until after the Nov. 3 election.
  • State officials withheld information about infections in schools, prisons, hospitals and nursing homes, relenting only under pressure or legal action from family members, advocacy groups and journalists.
  • The governor highlighted statistics that would paint the rosiest picture possible and attempted to cast doubt on the validity of Florida's rising death toll.

"Unfortunately, the possibility of the Department of Health manipulating information is not a stretch," writes the editorial board of the Miami Herald.

For that reason, they write that Jones' whistleblower victory "stands to be a win over state secrecy for the rest of us."


Re: Why is it always ONE whistleblower?

By Darinbob • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

The courts will figure it out. Not the guy who still says "chick" and "broad".

Re:The state of Florida did nothing wrong ...

By Aighearach • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

No, when State employees commit crimes while on the job, and are supported in doing so by their co-workers, it is both the individual and the State who committed the crimes. That's how it works. The State is not a person; the State delegated these powers, and is responsible for how they were used.

Re:They don't care.

By ytene • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
I thought your comment was worth a read, so I followed your link and read the piece over at hotair.com.

I don’t have a strong view on the evidence underlying her claims - mainly because I haven’t actually seen it - but I think the hotair article might have been trying to leap to a conclusion. The central tenet of their position seems to be that because Jones did not have control of the data that underpinned her dashboard, she could not possibly have been able to edit the data at source. The article basically says that any changes Jones made to the data in the dashboard could have been spotted, instantly, by the people submitting it.

That doesn’t look to be unreasonable on the face of it. On the other hand, it does seem to make some pretty significant assumptions

1. It assumes that there were no other attempts being made to coerce other participants in the data preparation process to also falsify data.

2. It assumes that the individual contributors of data would have access to *all* the data and would therefore be able to determine that Jones’ dashboard was incorrect. [I don’t know who did the final data totalisation, but] What would happen if Jones was being sent copies of raw data from individual sources [as was, say, De Santis’ office], so essentially Jones was the only one who saw the complete picture before she published her web data.

3. Given De Santis’ track record, Jones would have to be completely insane to think that she could make this claim without getting some form of retaliation. Put to one side all the other history here and ponder why someone would go public with this accusation.

As I said above, I don’t have the facts here; I’m willing to keep an open mind, but on the face of it the hotair.com article was pretty much exactly that - hot air.

Re:Only in China do you get this shit.

By Required Snark • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
The US in not like China...

Yet.

Just give it time.

Re: Changing the subject?

By p4nther2004 • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

https://www.tampabay.com/news/...

That day, according to the Miami Herald, reporters contacted the department to ask about the "EventDate" field of data, which showed when people first reported coronavirus symptoms or positive test results. Some people had listed dates as early as January 1, indicating people reported symptomatic or tested positive much earlier than when cases were confirmed in March. It is unclear when the state learned about those cases, or when the people were tested.

Sometime that day, the column vanished from the "Person Cases" data, which lists anonymized records for every confirmed case in Florida. The Palm Beach Post reported the disappearance the next day, May 5.

The Tampa Bay Times automatically checks for changes in the data and archives new updates. Shortly before 10:12 a.m on May 4., data still included the EventDate field, showing records with listed dates that people reported symptoms as early as January 1. By 3:02 p.m., the column was gone.

Millions Can Now Run Linux GUI Apps in Windows 10

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
"You can now use GUI app support on Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL)," Microsoft announced this week, "so that all the tools and workflows of Linux run on your developer machine." Bleeping Computer has already tested it running Gnome's file manager Nautilus, the open-source application monitor/task manager Stacer, the backup software Timeshift, and even the game Hedgewars.

Though it's currently available only to the millions who've registered for Windows 10 "Insider Preview" builds, it's already drawing positive reviews. "With the Windows Subsystem for Linux, developers no longer need to dual-boot a Windows and Linux system," argues the Windows Central site, "as you can now install all the Linux stuff a developer would need right on top of Windows instead."

Finally formally announced at this week's annual Microsoft Build conference, the new functionality runs graphical Linux apps "seamlessly," according to Tech Radar, calling the feature "highly anticipated." Arguably, one of the biggest, and surely the most exciting update to the Windows 10 WSL, Microsoft has been working on WSLg for quite a while and in fact first demoed it at last year's conference, before releasing the preview in April... Microsoft recommends running WSLg after enabling support for virtual GPU (vGPU) for WSL, in order to take advantage of 3D acceleration within the Linux apps.... WSLg also supports audio and microphone devices, which means the graphical Linux apps will also be able to record and play audio.

Keeping in line with its developer slant, Microsoft also announced that since WSLg can now help Linux apps leverage the graphics hardware on the Windows machine, the subsystem can be used to efficiently run Linux AI and ML workloads... If WSLg developers are to be believed, the update is expected to be generally available alongside the upcoming release of Windows.

Bleeping Computer explains that WSLg launches a "companion system distro" with Wayland, X, and Pulse Audio servers, calling its bundling with Windows 10 "an exciting development as it blurs the lines between Linux and Windows 10, and fans get the benefits of both worlds."

Re:This is not good

By DRJlaw • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

I do believe I already answered the question?

No, you didn't. You claimed that Microsoft was an author, not a user. It's also a user, full stop. You then made an unsubstantiated claim that Microsoft violated a user's right to run software. I'm not buying that one at face value either.

Mere distrust also doesn't justify a present tense declaration that "this is not good."

2021 is finally the Year of Desktop Linux

By jmcbain • Score: 3 • Thread
We should thank Microsoft for making 2021 the year of desktop Linux. Please respond to this post with your personal thanks to this great corporation.

Which is it?

By martynhare • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
First people said WINE is bad because it will put people off making native Linux software, now people think WSL is bad because it allows Windows users to run native Linux software?

Thereâ(TM)s nothing to DRM for the Linux use case. Windows is getting WSL2 because they want to power Azure and Microsoft 365 services using Linux on the backend rather than Windows Server, which will enable them to wind down development on the legacy Windows technology stack very slowly without shareholders getting skittish about it. The original EOL date for Windows 10 was originally primed to be July 2025 and we also know that Microsoft are withholding SKUs like Windows 10 Terminal Server as being Azure-only as a means of providing long term legacy compatibility for holdouts. They are even offering the virtual desktops themselves for free to existing Microsoft 365 customers, you only pay for bandwidth, storage, RAM and processing power.

What does that tell us? Well, we already know Windows 10 is being replaced. The next generation Windows experience that Satya Nadella promised will likely be released in line with the original Windows 10 EOL date (in 2025) and will be very cloud-integrated, with heavy use of Linux on the backend, where non-technical people cannot see it. Linux will become THE dedicated development platform for power users and techies, while Windows will provide a simplified productivity layer for day to day work, all powered by Azure. The legacy Windows 10 will likely be maintained until just past 2030 at that point so that they can fulfil their promise of supporting Windows on devices for as long as the OEMs support the device.

Nothing nefarious towards open source just a simple plan for market dominance in a world which doesnâ(TM)t care whether binaries run in their PCs or somebody elseâ(TM)s...

WSL2 is the successor to Virtual PC

By tepples • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Windows Virtual PC requires a host running Windows 7, no earlier, no later. Its successor on an operating system that still receives security updates is Hyper-V. Hyper-V works on Windows 8.1 and 10 Pro hosts, not Windows 8.1 or 10 Home. WSL2 is a distribution of Hyper-V for all Windows 10 editions, including Home, designed to run Linux guests.

Cygwin

By dltaylor • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

I've been using Cygwin since almost forever.

First used it back when a company's "desktop policy" was Windows 95. There were Sun workstations in the lab, but that was a huge productivity hit (fewer machines than programmers, travel between office and lab with documentation), so most of us used the Cygwin X server and shared the Suns in real time.

I keep a dual-boot Windows 7/10 laptop around for the very few corner cases where I am away from my LAN, and Linux/OpenBSD are not quite the right tool. Its twin, which gets more use runs, those. The Wintop, has Cygwin installed, and almost no Windows applications.

I may, eventually, try WSL, but I cannot imagine that this is anything but a ploy to allow corporate IT to shove Windows down every programmers' throat, rather than letting them use VMs on a Linux host.

China's 'Artificial Sun' Fusion Reactor Just Set a New World Record

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
The South China Morning Post reports that China "has reached another milestone in its quest for a fusion reactor, with one of its 'artificial suns' sustaining extreme temperatures for several times longer that its previous benchmark, according to state media." State news agency Xinhua reported that the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak in a facility in the eastern city of Hefei registered a plasma temperature of 120 million degrees Celsius for 101 seconds on Friday. It also maintained a temperature of 160 million degrees Celsius for 20 seconds, the report said...

The facilities are part of China's quest for fusion reactors, which hold out hope of unlimited clean energy. But there are many challenges to overcome in what has already been a decades-long quest for the world's scientists. Similar endeavours are under way in the United States, Europe, Russia, South Korea. China is also among 35 countries involved in the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) megaproject in France...

Despite the progress made, fusion reactors are still a long way from reality. Song Yuntao, director of the Institute of Plasma Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said the latest results were a major achievement for physics and engineering in China. "The experiment's success lays the foundation for China to build its own nuclear fusion energy station," Song was quoted as saying.

NASA notes that the core of the Sun is only about 15 million degrees Celsius.

So for many seconds China's fusion reactor was more than 10 times hotter than the sun.

Re:China Rules...

By hey! • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

I wouldn't get too excited. It's deuterium - tritium fusion, which releases the lion's share of energy as neutrons. You can get past "break even" if you count that energy as "output", but it's output that we don't know how to harness yet, and creates serious long term problems for any possible continuously running power plant.

As for diversity, China with nearly 20% of the world's population can become a dominant tech and science power on the strength of its native population. The US, with less than 5% of the world's population cannot. If we want to remain a *dominant* tech and science power we need immigration. Immigration is how we became a scientific and tech power; native born Americans of course contributed to that, but there weren't enough to establish the kind of overwhelming dominance the US enjoys today. It started with a wave of immigrants, many of them refugees, in the lead up to WW2: Albert Einstein, Hans Bethe, John von Neumann, Enrico Fermi, Edward Teller, Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar... the list goes on and on. If you look at a list of American Nobel laureates, an astonishing number of them are "something-hyphen-Americans", and many of the native-born ones are children of immigrants.

And the immigration of these people was bitterly opposed by people who feared that immigration would lower America's collective IQ.

Why so hot? [Re:How long?]

By XXongo • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

If for fusion energy we need it to be as hot as the sun, why are they going for 10 times or even more hotter?

Because in the sun, the average time between fusion reactions for a hydrogen ion is 10 billion years.

For a practical fusion reactor for Earth, you'd want a little faster rate.

(also, the density of the core of the sun is 150 g/cm^3, with gravitational compression. Since a terrestrial fusion reactor can't come anywhere near that density, the temperture has to be higher).

Good that China is doing fusion research

By Spy Handler • Score: 3 • Thread

Kudos to these Chinese researchers for what seems to be a significant new achievement in fusion research.

Now if we the rest of the world could force China to stop monkeying around with virus DNA and doing gain-of-function research on deadly pathogens, and instead concentrate on more useful stuff like fusion, maybe in the future we will be spared of global disease pandemics like the one we just went through.

Re:please stop with the Celsisu

By The123king • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
Gas mark 400,000

Re:How long?

By careysub • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

With our puny reactors we'll never be able to use pure hydrogen, energy yield would be insignificant.

To put a sharper point on this - the energy yield would be a true zero. The reaction that drives fusion in the sun, proton-proton fusion, is so slow that it has never been observed in the laboratory at all, and probably never will be. We understand it from theoretical calculations alone (but with the simplicity of the system involved, the calculations work very, very well).

In stars an extremely slow reaction is an essential feature, as we want them to last a long time. In fusion reactors on Earth we want it to burn up very fast, since heating the fuel is energetically expensive, and the volume of our fusion reactors small.

It is somewhat misleading to say that we are using "the Sun's power source" since the actual reactions used are insignificant sources of solar energy. The actual reactions in the p-p cycle (which produces 99% of the Sun's output) are:
p+p -> D + 1.442 MeV
D+p -> He-3 + 5.493 MeV
There are four possible He-3 consuming reactions:
He-3 + He-3 -> He-4 + D
He-3 + He-4 -> Be-7 (+ e) -> Li-7 (+ p) -> 2 He-4

The net reaction is of 4 p -> He-4 releases 26.73 MeV so the rate limiting p+p reaction only releases 5.4% of the total energy released in the final reaction sequence.

Guess Who Opposes Federal Funding for Broadband Internet Services Run by City Governments?

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
U.S. President Joe Biden has proposed federal funding for local internet services run by nonprofits and city governments, according to Bloomberg. " That's not sitting well with Comcast, AT&T, Verizon Communications, and other dominant carriers, which don't like the prospect of facing subsidized competitors." Pleasant Grove, Utah shows why established carriers might be vulnerable. With 38,000 residents, it's nestled between the Wasatch Range and the Great Salt Lake Basin, just south of Salt Lake City. When it asked residents about their broadband, almost two-thirds of respondents said they wouldn't recommend their cable service. Almost 90% wanted the city to pursue broadband alternatives... [The city-owned ISP Utopia Fiber] will also reach areas not served by current providers... When the city council voted unanimously to approve Utopia's $18 million build-out in April, the mood was a mix of giddy and vengeful. "I'll be your first customer that signs up and says goodbye to Comcast," said one council member moments before the body voted. "I'm right behind ya," another added.

The events in Pleasant Grove jibe with the rhetoric coming out of the White House. Biden says he wants to reduce prices and ensure that every household in the U.S. gets broadband, including the 35% of rural dwellers the administration says don't have access to fast service. To connect them as well as others languishing with slow service in more built-up places, the president wants to give funding priority to networks from local governments, nonprofits, and cooperatives. Established carriers are pushing back against the proposal; they have long criticized municipal broadband as a potential waste of taxpayer funds, while backing state-level limits on it.

Almost 20 states have laws that restrict community broadband, according to a tally by the BroadbandNow research group.

The carriers say the administration and its Democratic allies are calling for blazing upload speeds that have little practical use for consumers, who already get fast downloads for videos and other common web uses... Republicans want to bar spending on municipal networks and have criticized Biden's broadband plan as too expensive. In response the administration scaled back its plan to $65 billion, from $100 billion.

The article notes that local governments in the U.S. are already offering about 600 networks that serve about 3 million people, according to Christopher Mitchell, director of the Community Broadband Networks program at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance.

Yet it also cites statistics showing that in 14 of America's 50 states, less than 85% of the population has access to broadband.

Re:Why?

By ArchieBunker • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

The feds are involved because the "free market" is failing to provide competition and better services. Telecom companies lobbied to make it illegal for local governments to provide broadband. In places where it is legal the telecoms have sued to prevent competition. They know their service is inferior and lawsuits are cheaper than building capacity.

https://broadbandnow.com/repor...

Re:ISP's Have Had Plenty Of Time

By squiggleslash • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Yep. We tried the "Free market". We even subsidized them. They didn't make good on their promises.

I think the program doesn't go far enough, personally. I'd like to see the Post Office given funding to operate a national non-profit broadband system at cost implementing NN and with no limitations on packets sent and received beyond reasonable steps taken to protect the integrity of the network. Monthly pricing to determine nothing except maximum and median Mb/sec up and down.

Re:Strange headline

By ClickOnThis • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Municipal broadband, stay away from me
Municipal broadband, mama let me be
Don't come a-hangin' your fiber here
I'm good with 5G for porn and a beer
Modem lights can hypnotize
Your service is not what you advertise
I don't need your construction liens
It's anguish enough when I get blue screens
Now broadband, get away from me
Municipal broadband, don't take my money-hee-hee-yeah

[For the record, I'm not against municipal broadband. I just thought this mashup might be funny. Did it work?]

How about paying ISPs after?

By quall • Score: 4 • Thread

I don't want my ISP ran by the government. I see a lot of people complaining about government overreach in general, and I wonder if they're the same ones who want to give the government more power here?

It seems more reasonable for the government to add legislation that holds subsidies until AFTER contractual services are rendered by the ISPs. ISPs have the money to float themselves for these upgrades until they're paid by the government... so let them.

Re:Do we really want socialized internet?

By AntronArgaiv • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

So, fine. Municipal fiber is open to any ISP you choose to have. Want Comcast as your ISP? They have the same access to municipal fiber that AT&T or Charter has. Pick the one that offers you the deal you want. The municipality could also offer you ISP service, in addition to the fiber pipe. That's how competition works.

Gotta say, I don't see a downside to municipal fiber. The municipal ISPs we have around here are all very competitive with Comcast et al, and rated gigher.

Jerusalem Post: Israel's Gaza Strip Bombing Was 'World's First AI War'

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
"For the first time, artificial intelligence was a key component and power multiplier in fighting the enemy," says a senior officer in the intelligence corps of the Israeli military, describing the technology's use in 11 days of fighting in the Gaza Strip.

They're quoted in a Jerusalem Post article on "the world's first AI war": Soldiers in Unit 8200, an Intelligence Corps elite unit, pioneered algorithms and code that led to several new programs called "Alchemist," "Gospel" and "Depth of Wisdom," which were developed and used during the fighting. Collecting data using signal intelligence, visual intelligence, human intelligence , geographical intelligence, and more, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has mountains of raw data that must be combed through to find the key pieces necessary to carry out a strike. "Gospel" used AI to generate recommendations for troops in the research division of Military Intelligence, which used them to produce quality targets and then passed them on to the IAF to strike...

While the IDF had gathered thousands of targets in the densely populated coastal enclave over the past two years, hundreds were gathered in real time, including missile launchers that were aimed at Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. The military believes using AI helped shorten the length of the fighting, having been effective and quick in gathering targets using super-cognition. The IDF carried out hundreds of strikes against Hamas and PIJ, including rocket launchers, rocket manufacturing, production and storage sites, military intelligence offices, drones, commanders' residences and Hamas's naval commando unit. Israel has destroyed most of the naval commando unit's infrastructure and weaponry, including several autonomous GPS-guided submarines that can carry 30 kg. of explosives.

IDF Unit 9900's satellites have gathered geographical intelligence over the years. They were able to automatically detect changes in terrain in real time so that during the operation, the military was able to detect launching positions and hit them after firing. For example, Unit 9900 troops using satellite imagery were able to detect 14 rocket launchers that were located next to a school... One strike, against senior Hamas operative Bassem Issa, was carried out with no civilian casualties despite being in a tunnel under a high-rise building surrounded by six schools and a medical clinic... Hamas's underground "Metro" tunnel network was also heavily damaged over the course of several nights of airstrikes. Military sources said they were able to map the network, consisting of hundreds of kilometers under residential areas, to a degree where they knew almost everything about them.

The mapping of Hamas's underground network was done by a massive intelligence-gathering process that was helped by the technological developments and use of Big Data to fuse all the intelligence.

Re:Great, so civilian deaths were only 10x

By glum64 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Unlike Israel? They absolutely target civilians

Do you realise that, if that was the case and Israel would go `full Dresden mode', the population of Gaza would become virtually extinct in less than a week?

illegal civilian target like headquarters of news organizations

Calm down, there were GPS jammers and other means of electronic warfare in the building. The journalists, without a single exception, were not harmed in any way because Israel warned them and ordered to evacuate the building, giving them one hour before the strike was made. Israel does not target civilians deliberately. Hamas does.

Open your eyes.

Re: Predictable

By alexgieg • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Is that what they told you? Did they provide evidence to support it?

They don't need to, the numbers the Palestinian authorities provide are proof of this.

In a situation of civil war the average death toll rate is in the range of 1% to 2% of the population per year, most of whom civilians. Gaza's population is 2.05 million, which would mean, by that metric, around 30k deaths per year, or about 82 deaths per day. The recent conflict lasted 16 days, and according the Palestinian own Ministry of Health, confirmed by the UN, it resulted in 254 deaths, or 16 deaths per day. This means the Israeli military held back in their killing efforts by a factor of 5, that is, the conflict was five times less deathly than a typical war would be. Or, to put it another way, the Israeli military, by the MOH's own admission, avoided killing what would regularly have been circa 1,300 people, instead of that killed only 254 people, and hence went out of its way to spare over 1,000 lives that otherwise would have been lost.

There's no need of propaganda for this. Knowing war theory and the raw numbers is enough to put things in the proper perspective.

Re: Predictable

By alexgieg • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Ethnic Cleansing was always the plan.

Israel's population is composed of 74% Jewish people and 26% non-Jewish people, the majority of whom, 20% of the population, are of Arab descent. The Israel State has existed for 73 years. If by this point its population isn't of 100% Jewish people, then either a) they're utterly incompetent at implementing their goals, or b) ethnic cleansing wasn't and isn't the goal. The Israeli government doesn't seem to be incompetent, quite the opposite, that rules out alternative "a". Therefore, I conclude alternative "b" is the most likely by a very large margin.

Re: Predictable

By bluegutang • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

The most striking statistic I saw is that 72000 Gazans lost their homes, while about 130 (rough estimate) Gazan civilians were killed. That means that 99.8% of the housing units destroyed by Israel were unoccupied when bombed. Whereas you'd expect about 50% unoccupied, if people are home approximately half the hours of the day.

I don't know why it was so important for Israel to destroy these buildings, but it seems Israel did an extremely good job of making sure nobody was home when they were destroyed. An astoundingly good job, really, given that they must have detected who was home by aerial surveillance or cell phone signals, rather than actually entering and checking the apartments.

Hamas

By backslashdot • Score: 3 • Thread

It doesn't really help that Hamas doesn't even bother to at least claim, even falsely, that they are aiming for military targets. Makes it look like they are after extermination and genocide. They've gotten consumed by so much hatred that they can't think of doing anything else. I guess that's what happens to any victim of abuse. I had a neighbor who used to treat his dog like shit, and of course, the dog became fierce and lashed out at people. It's a vicious cycle, hard to break out of. Israelis faced attempted genocide before, they aren't going to fuck around when they feel threatened. In many circumstances, abused becomes abuser --- not a guarantee but it's just more probable because humans choose to have little control over emotion-driven acting. It requires active suppression. Many (almost every?) humans has a limit or set of emotional states in which they would make immoral or unethical decisions -- some have a lower threshold than others.

Twitter and Facebook Admit They Wrongly Blocked Millions of Posts About Gaza Strip Airstrikes

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
"Just days after violent conflict erupted in Israel and the Palestinian territories, both Facebook and Twitter copped to major faux pas: The companies had wrongly blocked or restricted millions of mostly pro-Palestinian posts and accounts related to the crisis," reports the Washington Post: Activists around the world charged the companies with failing a critical test: whether their services would enable the world to watch an important global event unfold unfettered through the eyes of those affected. The companies blamed the errors on glitches in artificial intelligence software.

In Twitter's case, the company said its service mistakenly identified the rapid-firing tweeting during the confrontations as spam, resulting in hundreds of accounts being temporarily locked and the tweets not showing up when searched for. Facebook-owned Instagram gave several explanations for its problems, including a software bug that temporarily blocked video-sharing and saying its hate speech detection software misidentified a key hashtag as associated with a terrorist group.

The companies said the problems were quickly resolved and the accounts restored. But some activists say many posts are still being censored. Experts in free speech and technology said that's because the issues are connected to a broader problem: overzealous software algorithms that are designed to protect but end up wrongly penalizing marginalized groups that rely on social media to build support... Despite years of investment, many of the automated systems built by social media companies to stop spam, disinformation and terrorism are still not sophisticated enough to detect the difference between desirable forms of expression and harmful ones. They often overcorrect, as in the most recent errors during the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, or they under-enforce, allowing harmful misinformation and violent and hateful language to proliferate...

Jillian York, a director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an advocacy group that opposes government surveillance, has researched tech company practices in the Middle East. She said she doesn't believe that content moderation — human or algorithmic — can work at scale... Palestinian activists and experts who study social movements say it was another watershed historical moment in which social media helped alter the course of events...

Payment app Venmo also mistakenly suspended transactions of humanitarian aid to Palestinians during the war. The company said it was trying to comply with U.S. sanctions and had resolved the issues.

Re:why Israel always gets a pass

By flyingfsck • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
Err... The Palestinian West bank and Gaza rule themselves. They have to look after their own medical issues. Israel has many Arabs living in the country proper and there are even Arabs in the Israeli government. Calling it Apartheid is not far off the mark, but it is the only system that can work when everyone is quarrelous.

Re:Proofs are due

By MrL0G1C • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

How come such a baseless accusation of the State of Israel in racism and apartheid is modded up as `insightful'?

Because Israelis keep voting for a right-wing gov't that operates a racist apartheid state. Car analogy: we call cars cars because they are cars.

content moderation can not work at scale

By rapjr • Score: 3 • Thread
>Jillian York, a director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an advocacy group that opposes government surveillance, has researched tech company practices in the Middle East. She said she doesn't believe that content moderation — human or algorithmic — can work at scale.

This is an interesting idea. Content moderation is very subjective and community standards vary wildly. When is speech free speech and when is it a danger to society, and to which society? I can well believe that content moderation can not scale and is infeasible in a very basic way. So what are the alternatives?

Empathy classes in grade school? "Safe places" with restricted speech plus "wild west spaces" where anything goes? That seems to be what we're doing now. Everyone runs their own media filters and selects the level of hate they will currently tolerate? Having an authority control speech is a problem (newspapers only allowed limited points of view before the internet), but having the community control speech is also a problem (gangs take over forums). AI is not good enough to solve this because we don't understand how to control bias in algorithms (and bias is inherent in people, so who or what gets to decide what is biased?)

It seems like there must continue to be absolutely unrestricted speech /somewhere/ because it is useful in that it exposes opinion and generates new ideas. That some speech also harms societies and subgroups also seems obvious. The solution is probably not monolithic, it is probably many solutions resulting from many (and continuously ongoing) experiments. There is no "fix" there is only continuous evolution.

Re:They wanted to err on the side of caution.

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

Officials in the US wasted no time threatening social media with billions to hundreds of billions in stock losses, unless they censored harrassment. This gets cheers, in spite of violating the First Amendment. And immediately they pointed out to start with the "harrassing tweets" of their political opponents, which was done.

Then they moved on to "dangerous" speech, because, hey, who could argue about that? What they meant was a slightly more acceptable reason, but in form it was the same thing: ban the speech of our political opponents.

Here is the same, just that it's "the other side". One could facetiously claim, since Palestine started the attacks, anything pro-Palestinian attack was dangerous speech.

I don't think that, but the gleeful censors do. Remember that. This is the bed you made, a terrible mistake.

Re:Lots of anti-semitism on Slashdot

By jenningsthecat • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

You people should stick to tech stuff instead of defending terrorists who lob thousands of rockets on the most progressive, inclusive and humane society in the Middle East. That's as polite as I can put it.

Ever heard of Miko Peled? His grandfather signed Israel's Declaration of Independence. His father was a general in the Six-Day War. He himself joined the Israeli Special Forces and earned a red beret. He lost a 13-year old niece to an anti-Israel attack in Jerusalem.

So the man has some serious skin in the game. And yet he denounces his country's policies toward the Palestinians, explicitly calls Israel an apartheid state, and says of it that "half of the population lives in what it thinks is a Western democracy while keeping the other half imprisoned by a ruthless defense apparatus that is becoming more violent by the day."

He also says that Israel is "occupying another nation and that in order to save lives the right thing to do is to end the occupation and negotiate a just peace with our Palestinian partners". He is a warrior seeking peace through peaceful means, and his history suggests that he knows something about the matter. Would you care to share your reasons for disagreeing with him?

BTW, if you have the intellectual courage, you might watch this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?.... It offers a pretty compelling counterpoint to the common 'historical' narrative around the founding of Israel.

Robots and AI Will Guide Australia's First Fully Automated Farm

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
" Robots and artificial intelligence will replace workers on Australia's first fully automated farm," reports Australia's national public broadcaster ABC.

The total cost of the farm's upgrade? $20 million. Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga will create the "hands-free farm" on a 1,900-hectare property to demonstrate what robots and artificial intelligence can do without workers in the paddock... The farm will use robotic tractors, harvesters, survey equipment and drones, artificial intelligence that will handle sowing, dressing and harvesting, new sensors to measure plants, soils and animals and carbon management tools to minimise the carbon footprint.

The farm is already operated commercially and grows a range of broadacre crops, including wheat, canola, and barley, as well as a vineyard, cattle and sheep.

This could make monocrops more susceptible

By rapjr • Score: 3 • Thread
since the monocrops would now also have monolithic algorithms tending them. Software attacks on crops become possible. Instead of one farmer ruining some of their fields, the algorithms can have an error that ruins ALL of EVERYONES fields.

However, implemented properly with diverse algorithms available and competing, and long term quality improvements, it could work and be beneficial and is worth studying.

I do not believe it will work for animals. Animal diseases are much more numerous and variable than crop diseases. A sensor tag on a cows ear can not tell if they have a stone in their hoof or if a predator is harassing them. We have already found problems with algorithms used on people which are causing harm. I talked with Temple Grandin about this and she saw that sensors on animals had some value, but could make life for the animals hell if people were not also checking up on the animals daily.

Farming has a lot of moving parts which are going to make automating it difficult. Weather can not be controlled. New insects move in or leave. Spores and seeds travel on the wind and the local mix will change over time. Water availability varies. The long term adaptations will be the last to be figured out.

Prediction

By irp • Score: 3 • Thread

I have a vision, say 20-30 years from now.

Automated megafarms with few human hands. Owned by corporations that are owned by corporations such that they longer pay taxes. Because the robots are really expensive (they are leased from one of the owning corporation, residing in a tax haven). Turns out that farming is just a loss, and hence exempted from tax. ... One have to wonder why they do it... They would really like to pay tax, but as you can be see, that is just not possible. Instead they have to be subsided. Unless you want the stores to be empty?...

Am I totally off?

Okay

By cascadingstylesheet • Score: 3 • Thread

Farms are already massively automated compared to the past. This takes it a step further.

I don't think farmers are going to shed too many tears about not having to bring in "seasonal migrant workers".