the unofficial Slashdot digest for 2021-May-31 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.

Xiaomi Shows Off Phone That Can Charge To 100% In 8 Minutes

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Xiaomi's at it again: The company's new fast charging technology can get a smartphone from 0 to 100 percent battery in less than 8 minutes. From a report: The 200W wired charging tech, used on a modified Xiaomi MI 11 Pro with a 4,000mAh battery, gets the phone from 0-10% in just 44 seconds. The phone gets to 50% in 3 minutes, and it's fully charged in 7:57 minutes. In a YouTube video, Xiaomi also showcased its 120W wireless charging tech, which gets a smartphone with a 4,000mAh battery from 0 to 100 percent battery in 15 minutes.

Re: That's pretty quick!

By IdanceNmyCar • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

Only if your a dissident.

Re:That's pretty quick!

By Ronin441 • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Interestingly, lithium ion batteries are endothermic while charging. They might need to actively heat the battery pack during charging.

(Most battery chemistries are endothermic while either charging or discharging, and exothermic in the other charge/discharge direction. It varies with chemistry which way is which.)

See e.g. here

Re:That's pretty quick!

By Freischutz • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

I'm more interested in "can it detonate with the force of a hand grenade when something goes wrong?"

No, Samsung patented that feature.

Current, Resistance and Tea

By Roger W Moore • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Interestingly, lithium ion batteries are endothermic while charging. They might need to actively heat the battery pack during charging.

They are: passing a large current through the battery's internal resistance will generate a lot of heating which is why batteries get warm while charging. To charge a 4,000 mAh battery to 50% in 3 minutes will take a current of 40A which is around three times the current that a plug can safely carry.

Even though the voltage of this current will be much less than the mains the heating it causes depends on the square of the current. So if the internal resistance is say around 0.3 ohms (just guessing based on this) then the heating power will be about 500W (=I^2R) which is about a quarter the heating power of a kettle. All they need to do now is make it waterproof and, as a bonus feature, you'll be able to brew a nice cup of tea while it charges.

Re: How many battery recharge cycles?

By swillden • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

but all those semi-full charges may even get counted as complete cycles

It doesn't work that way. You can cycle many more times if you keep the range between, say, 30% and 80% than if you nearly deplete and then charge to full. Or even if you don't nearly deplete, then charge to full. Keeping your state of charge as far as possible from the extremes of 0% and 100% (not that your phone will actually let you get all the way to either extreme) will give you the longest battery life.

Seagate 'Exploring' Possible New Line of Crypto-Specific Hard Drives

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
In a Q&A with TechRadar, storage hardware giant Seagate revealed it is keeping a close eye on the crypto space, with a view to potentially launching a new line of purpose-built drives. From the report: Asked whether companies might develop storage products specifically for cryptocurrency use cases, Jason M. Feist, who heads up Seagate's emerging products arm, said it was a "possibility." Feist said he could offer no concrete information at this stage, but did suggest the company is "exploring this opportunity and imagines others may be as well."

Whatever stops ...

By devloop • Score: 3 • Thread
crypto retards from hoarding storage with their useless nonsense "data".

Relevant tweet:

By Sebby • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

It’s only a matter of time until someone invents a cryptocurrency that
uses bandwidth saturation as proof of some kind of whatever and we’ll
all be left with a few bits per day bandwidth left over and the rest gets
soaked up on BroadBandCoin.


How about adding a physical "write enable" jumper

By blitz487 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

so I can read backup drives with confidence that the ransomware on my system isn't going to encrypt it.

Re:Whatever stops ...

By tlhIngan • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

This is the exact opposite of that. This is Seagate wine to get a piece of the giant sales at Nvidia and AMD have seen the crypto people. If anything it's worse because the hard drives are still going to wear out it's just a nature of hard drives. This means massive amounts of hard disks going directly in the landfills. Not that we can do anything about it.

Never heard of Chia, then? IT's the next big thing in cryptocurrencies and instead of wasting CPU cycles, it wastes disk space.

It's resulted in shortages of large hard drives and SSDs. 18TB+ enterprise drives are unobtainium because people are snapping them up along with 2/4/8TB SSDs.

The buyouts are slowly making it down the list, so if you want to buy a 10TB disk, better get it quick. They haven't snapped up the consumer level drives yet, but it's only a matter of time.

Intel's latest 11th Gen Processor Brings 5.0GHz Speeds To Thin and Light Laptops

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Intel made a splash earlier in May with the launch of its first 11th Gen Tiger Lake H-series processors for more powerful laptops, but at Computex 2021, the company is also announcing a pair of new U-series chips -- one of which marks the first 5.0GHz clock speed for the company's U-series lineup of lower voltage chips. From a report: Specifically, Intel is announcing the Core i7-1195G7 -- its new top of the line chip in the U-series range -- and the Core i5-1155G7, which takes the crown of Intel's most powerful Core i5-level chip, too. Like the original 11th Gen U-series chips, the new chips operate in the 12W to 28W range. Both new chips are four core / eight thread configurations, and feature Intel's Iris Xe integrated graphics (the Core i7-1195G7 comes with 96 EUs, while the Core i5-1155G7 has 80 EUs.)

The Core i7-1195G7 features a base clock speed of 2.9GHz, but cranks up to a 5.0GHz maximum single core speed using Intel's Turbo Boost Max 3.0 technology. The Core i5-1155G7, on the other hand, has a base clock speed of 2.5GHz and a boosted speed of 4.5GHz. Getting to 5GHz out of the box is a fairly recent development for laptop CPUs, period: Intel's first laptop processor to cross the 5GHz mark arrived in 2019.

Actually 5GHz?

By Gravis Zero • Score: 3 • Thread

How fast is it when all the spectre patches are applied? Intel's likes to fudge the truth so I know that we'll never get a real answer out of them.

Re:4C/8T configuration is a bit disappointing

By tlhIngan • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

They have been running this config for almost a decade now. I get that clocks are higher and new generations IPC beats old ones. But seems like intel is just rehashing products while struggling to go to 7nm or so manufacturing process. Where are 6 or 8 core models?

I think those of us who carry thin and light laptops (aka ultrabooks) are more about portability than actual number crunching power. After all, that was the appeal of laptops like the Macbook Air - it was super thin and light and you can slip it in your bag and carry it around all day without your arm hurting. It would have limited connectivity due to size (you were lucky if you got more than a couple of USB ports). And since the battery is limited, you'd want something not so high powered so you can work several hours on it.

I'm sure they could do 8 core units, but for the market, it probably wasn't particularly useful.

The people who need an 6 or 8 core laptop will probably need more in the way of RAM, ports, storage, screen, etc.

Thermal Throttling Kills the U-Series

By caffeinejolt • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
This sounds great... having a core hit 5GHz on your ultra-portable that gets 12 hours battery life. Unfortunately, what they do not tell you is that most manufacturers of ultra-portables fail to include the cooling necessary to sustain 5GHz for more than a few seconds. In reality, you are better off getting the cheaper I5 instead of the I7 in most cases simply because you can't access the higher clock speed since the CPU throttles down almost immediately to keep thermals in check.


By RitchCraft • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
I'm using a Sklylake Core i7 6700K @ 4GHz as my daily driver that I upgraded to a little over a year ago. Before that an i7 3770 for over 7 years. I only upgraded because 6th gen processors were getting scarce and expensive and I still wanted something that wasn't artificially "locked" into Windows 10. Hell, I still have the i7 3770 system running and the difference between it and the 6700 is very little. I see no value in going out and getting the latest and greatest CPU from Intel. The performance gains are too minimal to justify the cost. I'm not a heavy gamer though, so perhaps gamers see more value in this than I do.

They actually, kinda work

By stikves • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

I like the "ultrathin" Intel processors for their market. But this particular one concerns me.

I have a ultra thin Samsung Chromebook with an i5 processor. And it actually works nicely without a fan. Not the 11th generation of course ( i5-10210U). For office work and web browsing the CPU is more than powerful enough, but of course sustained performance is not possible. Even a full metal body cannot dissipate heat fast enough to run extended times at turbo.

This new Core i7-1195G7 seems to require 28-35 W TDP. That is pretty much impossible to go without a fan, and that kills the purpose. For a comparison, the i5 I have can run between 10-25W, and can still get hot to touch.

Two New Laws Restrict Police Use of DNA Search Method

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
New laws in Maryland and Montana are the first in the nation to restrict law enforcement's use of genetic genealogy, the DNA matching technique that in 2018 identified the Golden State Killer, in an effort to ensure the genetic privacy of the accused and their relatives. From a report: Beginning on Oct. 1, investigators working on Maryland cases will need a judge's signoff before using the method, in which a "profile" of thousands of DNA markers from a crime scene is uploaded to genealogy websites to find relatives of the culprit. The new law, sponsored by Democratic lawmakers, also dictates that the technique be used only for serious crimes, such as murder and sexual assault. And it states that investigators may only use websites with strict policies around user consent. Montana's new law, sponsored by a Republican, is narrower, requiring that government investigators obtain a search warrant before using a consumer DNA database, unless the consumer has waived the right to privacy.

The laws "demonstrate that people across the political spectrum find law enforcement use of consumer genetic data chilling, concerning and privacy-invasive," said Natalie Ram, a law professor at the University of Maryland who championed the Maryland law. "I hope to see more states embrace robust regulation of this law enforcement technique in the future." Privacy advocates like Ms. Ram have been worried about genetic genealogy since 2018, when it was used to great fanfare to reveal the identity of the Golden State Killer, who murdered 13 people and raped dozens of women in the 1970s and '80s. After matching the killer's DNA to entries in two large genealogy databases, GEDmatch and FamilyTreeDNA, investigators in California identified some of the culprit's cousins, and then spent months building his family tree to deduce his name -- Joseph James DeAngelo Jr. -- and arrest him.

Re:What's the downside?

By whoever57 • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

I don't think that you bothered to read the summary.

The police won't be prohibited from using these techniques: however, they will have to get a judge to sign off on the use of the technique in each specific case.

Theoretically, LEOs using DNA may narrow the list

By schwit1 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

But LEOs will treat the new as if it's infallible, like on CSI.. It ain't and neither are the LEOs. Until they are better we need protections from them.

Re:What's the goal here?

By whoever57 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Why don't we allow police to just search any house they like in order to pursue an investigation? After all, the police are only trying to enforce a law.

Re:What's the goal here?

By AmiMoJo • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Because that tool can be used to oppress and wrongly convict people.

The cops have been known to haul people in and lean heavily on them to take a plea deal because they claim to have DNA evidence. It might be totally bogus, by that doesn't matter - the innocent victim has to convince a jury that's been watching CSI where the computer shows a perfect DNA match every time, and their public defender probably isn't up to the task.

The cops are mostly not interested in who actually did a crime, they just want to get another clear on the books. If DNA is enough to get a prosecution then they aren't going to waste time verifying that it actually was you, they are just going to start the railroading process to get you to take that plea deal.

North Korea of America.

By AndyKron • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Cameras, DNA databases, drones. Buckle up because we're fucked.

Amazon Devices Will Soon Automatically Share Your Internet With Neighbors

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
If you use Alexa, Echo, or any other Amazon device, you have just over a week to opt out of an experiment that leaves your personal privacy and security hanging in the balance. From a report: On June 8, the merchant, Web host, and entertainment behemoth will automatically enroll the devices in Amazon Sidewalk. The new wireless mesh service will share a small slice of your Internet bandwidth with nearby neighbors who don't have connectivity and help you to their bandwidth when you don't have a connection.

By default, Amazon devices including Alexa, Echo, Ring, security cams, outdoor lights, motion sensors, and Tile trackers will enroll in the system. And since only a tiny fraction of people take the time to change default settings, that means millions of people will be co-opted into the program whether they know anything about it or not. The Amazon webpage linked above says Sidewalk "is currently only available in the US." [...] Amazon has published a white paper detailing the technical underpinnings and service terms that it says will protect the privacy and security of this bold undertaking. To be fair, the paper is fairly comprehensive, and so far no one has pointed out specific flaws that undermine the encryption or other safeguards being put in place. But there are enough theoretical risks to give users pause.

Bad on multiple levels.

By upuv • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

1. These devices are on the inside of your home network. So they will now eat your home bandwidth which means if you have a data cap you just gave some of it to amazon.
2. Amazon devices are cheap low cost devices. Their whole job in life is to connect to everything and share data with the mother ship. And now you expect this device to securely share your network with random devices?
3. Amazon devices are cheap low cost devices. Which can be easily overloaded with excess traffic. Especially if you have one in wireless range of a lot of other devices. So example an apartment dweller living above a restaurant. Your device could easily be swamped making your home experience garbage. And you are paying for the privilege to give your net and compute to randoms.

And if this is not perfectly clear. SECURITY. A thousands ways this is a security disaster.

Re: They must really want you online...

By e3m4n • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
Except now you can be liable because some asshole downloaded kiddie porn on your IP.

Re:Tile trackers?

By hjf • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Mesh network, 900MHz devices. Basically the idea is, if the device isn't able to reach YOUR home router, but it can see your neighbor's router, it can connect through it. Think for example, a motion sensor at the far end of your backyard.

No known flaws == Secure?!?

By misnohmer • Score: 3 • Thread

So Amazon claims it's secure? What kind of a liability are they accepting for anyone abusing this? If someone uploads illegal content from your internet connection, is there anything in the terms of service that Amazon will provide you with the best lawyers their money can buy to defend you (and cover bail), and if you are in fact found innocent, they will compensate you for all lost income, pain and suffering, and any and all potential future issue stemming from the fact that you were accused in the first place? I doubt it.

They really should make it an opt-in option and offer to pay for the bandwidth. Then each customer who opts in becomes a provider to Amazon, so they know they are taking a risk, perhaps demand Amazon detail exactly who sent what over their Echo.

Re: Security concern?

By e3m4n • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
And what happens when your IP gets flagged for illegal activity? They dont tolerate the insecure hotspot excuse anymore. Illegal enough and it might be a no-nock kick the door in warrant. Not worth getting killed over.

NSA Spied on European Politicians Through Danish Telecommunications Hub

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Denmark's foreign secret service allowed the US National Security Agency to tap into a crucial internet and telecommunications hub in Denmark and spy on the communications of European politicians, a joint investigation by some of Europe's biggest news agencies revealed on Sunday. From a report: The covert spying operation, called Operation Dunhammer, took place between 2012 and 2014, based on a secret partnership signed by the two agencies. The secret pact, signed between the NSA and the Danish Defense Intelligence Service (Danish: Forsvarets Efterretningstjeneste, FE) allowed US spies to deploy a data interception system named XKeyscore on the network of Sandagergardan, an important internet and communications hub in the city of Dragor, near Copenhagen, where several key submarine cables connected Denmark (and continental Europe) to the Scandinavian peninsula.

The NSA allegedly used XKeyscore to mass-sniff internet and mobile traffic and intercept communications such as emails, phone calls, SMS texts, and chat messages sent to the phone numbers and email addresses of European politicians. The covert operation abruptly stopped in 2014 after Danish government officials learned of the NSA-FE collaboration following the Snowden leaks. Danish officials put a stop to the operation after they learned that the NSA had also spied on Danish government members.

Pot meet kettle

By liefer • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
I love the fabricated outrage from Germany over this - "How could you do this?!?". Don't be fooled, it is indeed fabricated. Everyone is spying on everyone, and everyone knows it. But lets keep the charade going and hope that everyone has forgotten that Germany was caught red handed spying on Danish leaders as late as 2015 -

Ban Huawei

By Gabest • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

We need equipment that we can exploit.

Vice versa

By Fons_de_spons • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
Why do I never read an article of EU intelligence infiltrating Russian/Chinese/US networks. Are we that good?

Any sanctions on the NSA and Denmark? see Huawei

By tekram • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Seems like Huawei has been convicted of spying with less evidence than the NSA and Denmark and yet US and EU sanctions were swift and deliberate when it comes to convenient targets.

'Amazon Prime Is an Economy-Distorting Lie'

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Matt Stoller, looking at this month's antitrust suit against Amazon filed by D.C. attorney general Karl Racine: To understand why, we have to start with the idea of free shipping. Free shipping is the God of online retail, so powerful that France actually banned the practice to protect its retail outlets. Free shipping is also the backbone of Prime. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos knew that the number one pain point for online buyers is shipping -- one third of shoppers abandon their carts when they see shipping charges. Bezos helped invent Prime for this reason, saying the point of Prime was to use free shipping "to draw a moat around our best customers." The goal was to get people used to buying from Amazon, knowing they wouldn't have to worry about shipping charges. Once Amazon had control of a large chunk of online retail customers, it could then begin dictating terms of sellers who needed to reach them.

This became clear as you read Racine's complaint. One of the most important sentences in the AG's argument is a quote from Bezos in 2015 where he alludes to this point. In discussing the firm's logistics service that is the bedrock of its free shipping promise, Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), he said, "FBA is so important because it is glue that inextricably links Marketplace and Prime. Thanks to FBA, Marketplace and Prime are no longer two things. Their economics ... are now happily and deeply intertwined." Amazon wants people to see Prime, FBA, and Marketplace as one integrated mega-product, what Bezos likes to call "a flywheel," to disguise the actual monopolization at work. (Indeed, any time you hear the word "flywheel" relating to Amazon, replace it with "monopoly" and the sentence will make sense.)

You're rational, though, most aren't.

By Somervillain • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

It's not rocket science. Some stuff is just easier to buy and/or cheaper on Amazon. Some stuff isn't. It's not hard, nor a lot of work, to find out.

Every person I know has Amazon Prime. Most people, including my wife, would rather just buy from Amazon than consider anyone else. It's very frustrating because it puts every good retailer at disadvantage. Most things sold by Target are cheaper than Amazon, but most of my highly technical and well educated coworkers are surprised when I tell them that. My local Microcenter sells computer gear for the same price to substantially cheaper...even with delivery. Home Depot is almost always cheaper. A great example is the shampoo you mentioned. My wife and every woman I know is so happy they can find their brand on Amazon...even thought it's also available at target for substantially cheaper.

Amazon has hacked the brains of a large portion of the educated workforce through genius strategy. Back when they weren't profitable, you'd have to be an idiot NOT to buy from them. EVERYTHING was cheaper. EVERYTHING was better. I remember buying tools for 2/3 the cost of Home Depot (same brand/model). Why? Amazon was burning through VC funding and propping up their unprofitable retail sector with AWS...then one day they decided to make a profit....while their competitors shaped up and lowered their prices. Now they're 5-10% more expensive for most things I buy...yet that's not common knowledge. This also happened like 3 months before Jeff Bezos became the richest man in the world. He played the long game masterfully...but now Amazon is a curse. He's making money hand over fist and investing it in automation moreso than anyone else, to my knowledge. I wouldn't be surprised if one day he just decides to lower prices again and kill off all his competitors.

Amazon is a company to be feared and scrutinized. They wield far more power than most of even know.

Price plus

By Jerry • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

I WAS an Amazon Prime member until I started comparing Amazon's "prime" price with those of other vendors on Amazon selling the same product. The other vendor's prices plus shipping were very close or equal to Amazon's "prime" price with "free" shipping. So, Amazon's Prime's $120/yr membership charge isn't worth it. (And I don't watch their movies)

I can also get "free" shipping by going through the checkout process (not the automatic checkout). Somewhere along the way I get the opportunity to choose a delivery date. Next day always includes an expensive charge for shipping, but usually one of the options is for shipping free on a specific day, a week or so in the future. I use that when I shop Amazon, which I do with less and less frequency these days.


By cpt kangarooski • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

a cycle of citric acid to remove limescale

Citric acid to remove limescale sounds like it checks out. Presumably it also works on orangescale, grapefruitscale, and lemonscale.

how this really works

By Jodka • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Matt Stoller is a cretinous political hack. Ignore everything he says. This is the way Amazon Prime really works:

Big-box retail stores had a significant intrinsic advantage over online-only outlets such as Amazon: transportation efficiency. Suppose in the year 2000 you wanted a new CD player to listen to the latest Backstreet Boys hit. What if you ordered if from Amazon? Well the listed price might be lower than the price at Walmart, but then after you include delivery fees, the Amazon price was higher. So buyers preferred Walmart to Amazon because of lower prices. That was true even if you priced in your own time and expenses to drive to Walmart into the comparison. Why?

Consider your hypothetical Amazon purchase. Suppose you live 30 miles from the UPS depot. The UPS truck is loaded with your CD player package at the UPS depot, drives 30 miles to your house, drops off the package and drives back to the UPS depot. Therefore, the total price of your CD player must include the fuel costs, vehicle maintenance and depreciations, and driver compensation for a 60 mile round-trip drive.

Compare that to a hypothetical Walmart CD player purchase. The customer jumps into his Ford Probe and drives 30 miles to they local Walmart, where he purchases a CD player. While he is there he also buys a gallon of milk, a quart of ice-cream, a dozen apples, oil filters and automotive oil, iceberg lettuce, two pounds of ground beef, onion bagels, blue-cheese salad dressing, a floor lamp, taco shells a case of Jolt cola and book about the impending Y2K crisis from the bargain bin. The total price of that bundle of goods to the consumer must include fuel costs, vehicle maintenance and depreciations, and driver compensation for a 60 mile round-trip drive.

What have we just learned from that example? Even when the transportation distances are the same, when a bundle of goods carpools together to the consumer's home from the big box store then the average transportation cost per good is lower than when customers order good online which are delivered individually.

So if you are Jeff Bezos in the year 2000 your megalomaniacal dreams of total world domination are looking pretty unrealistic. You realize that Amazon growth is capped because the transportation logistics of the mail-order business model are intrinsically disadvantaged against large brick-and-mortar outlets. Amazon has an advantage in long-tail markets like books because it is cheaper to warehouse and ship obscure products than retail them at brick-and-mortar stores, but even if you dominate there, the long tail is small potatoes compared to the fat middle at Walmart. But you are Jeff Bezos! You have a ridiculous arfing seal laugh, a one-click patent, a hot wife and you graduated summa cum laude with degrees in computer science and electrical engineering from Princeton. You are going to turn the tables. You are going to fuck Walmart, very, very hard. They will not see it coming.

Bezos finds some first-rate quants, pays them a good pile of cash or stock options, and swears them to secrecy under penalty of painful castration with a blunt instrument such as the fossilized leg bone of a large prehistoric ungulate or a perhaps frozen tube of Walmart ground beef (the in-store brand). He tells them, you have only one job: Tell me how many other stops that UPS truck has to make on the way to delivering the CD player, tell me how much other stuff that customer has to receive in that same delivery, for the Amazon price to the customer with shipping fees to be as low as the Walmart price without shipping. The quants calculate for a while and then reveal to Bezos the top-secret "Walmart is totally fucked number." It is the size to which Amazon grows at which it gains an intrinsic logistical advantage over brick-and-mortar retail because its delivery trucks amortize the expense of a mile driven over more purchases than does the family sedan making a trip to Walmart.

Bezos does not worry about losing money getting Amazon to that s

Re:because the shipping price..

By allcoolnameswheretak • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

And still, I can get cheaper prices outside of amazon (since I'm not prime and never will be).

Sometimes, if I decide to put in the extra effort to search the Internet, I do find cheaper prices. But when I do, it's not by much and usually not worth the hassle.

But the thing about Amazon is not just that they frequently have the best prices, but that it's simply bloody convenient because it's a one-stop-shop that has absolutely everything on stock, and they also provide excellent customer service. Anything I order, I know I can print out the return form and ship it back for any reason - no discussions, no lengthy process. This makes Amazon purchasing not just very convenient but also risk-free.

I agree Amazon has a monopoly-like position and I don't like supporting that or making Bezos any richer than he already is, but what if the service they offer is actually so good that it beats all competition? Amazon just works - as much as I hate to say it, it's the best place to shop online for various reasons. Is it wrong to support a service that provides the best customer experience, even if it is a monopoly?

California's Controversial Math Overhaul Focuses on Equity

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A plan to reimagine math instruction for 6 million California students has become ensnared in equity and fairness issues -- with critics saying proposed guidelines will hold back gifted students and supporters saying it will, over time, give all kindergartners through 12th-graders a better chance to excel. From a report: The proposed new guidelines aim to accelerate achievement while making mathematical understanding more accessible and valuable to as many students as possible, including those shut out from high-level math in the past because they had been "tracked" in lower level classes. The guidelines call on educators generally to keep all students in the same courses until their junior year in high school, when they can choose advanced subjects, including calculus, statistics and other forms of data science.

Although still a draft, the Mathematics Framework achieved a milestone Wednesday, earning approval from the state's Instructional Quality Commission. The members of that body moved the framework along, approving numerous recommendations that a writing team is expected to incorporate. The commission told writers to remove a document that had become a point of contention for critics. It described its goals as calling out systemic racism in mathematics, while helping educators create more inclusive, successful classrooms. Critics said it needlessly injected race into the study of math. The state Board of Education is scheduled to have the final say in November.

The bias is in thinking academics top priority

By joe_frisch • Score: 3 • Thread
This is the result of wrong-headed thinking that 'high brow" academics are "superior" to other occupations. People have different talents and interests, and there is nothing wrong with helping them pursue the direction that is best for them. I a career scientist. OK, I enjoy it and I earn a fair bit of money - enough to own a small airplane. Great. But the mechanic who owns the shop that fixes my plane, is a lot wealthier than I am, owns a better airplane and as far as I can tell really enjoys his job. I'm good at science / math, I'm terrible with mechanical stuff. Is my job "better" than his? By what measure. Is either of us "better" than a farmer, or social worker, or investment banker, or massage therapist? Society needs people with a wide range of skills - and people have a wide range of abilities. Schools should encourage students to do what they are good and and what they enjoy (which are usually the same). There are a huge number of careers that provide enough income for someone to live a happy life, and once someone can afford the basics, more income doesn't really mean more happiness. ___ Push the students that are good in math to excel. Push the students that excel in shop to excel in shop work. ___ Get rid of this absurd idea that going to college is the primary goal ___ (apologies for wall of text, can't get carriage returns to work - firefox / windows)

Re:2+2=5 if we say it is

By Octorian • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

I'm pretty sure the OP isn't from the US, and is thus using different terminology. The first clue was the term "maths."

Re:Just the facts.

By Dutch Gun • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Worth mentioning that a lot of people have talked about "A Pathway to Equitable Math Instruction" which is different than the actual proposal.

Correct, and I did note that. But it's also fair to mention it WAS referenced in earlier drafts of the proposal, but was subsequently removed. Thus, I also think one should consider the influence of Pathways on the proposal.

More to the point, that's really not my main problem with that proposal - just a worrisome insight into the minds of its advocates. I mostly think it's a bad idea to eliminate the fast-track math courses for more gifted students. I simply don't think it will help students struggling in math, and it seems to have a high likelihood of harming those gifted in math.

To me, this feels like they're eliminating merit-based bifurcation of math classes to avoid the perception that some races are being favored over others, but I fear this will just treat the symptoms, not the root of the problem.


By Malays2 bowman • Score: 3 • Thread

While the US rides the crazy train, Asia took charge of the 21st century.

Will China nuke us? Never. A country filled with blubbering crybaby morons is no threat to them.

Re:Just the facts.

By ghoul • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Having studied Math in Asia and watching my kids learn in California, I have to unfortunately agree. Math in California is dumbed down so that European-American kids can keep up. But it cant be helped. Most of the population thinks sports is more important than STEM. The multi-track system lets kids who would rather do Math than go to Soccer practice have a safe and productive space.

Ultimately family culture decides a lot of what kids excel at. Asian-American kids in the USA hardly ever make it to NFL or NBA. Its not because they dont have the potential - after all China gets most medals in the Olympic - but most of the Asians who immigrated were from families who put emphasis on academics.

What I am saying is you cannot create equality where it doesnt exist naturally- if you could the NFL would have a bunch of Asian-American players and Math teams would have more non Asian-Americans on it.

Nestle Document Says Majority of Its Food Portfolio is Unhealthy

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
The world's largest food company, Nestle, has acknowledged that more than 60% of its mainstream food and drinks products do not meet a "recognised definition of health" and that "some of our categories and products will never be 'healthy' no matter how much we renovate." FT: A presentation circulated among top executives this year, seen by the Financial Times, says only 37 per cent of Nestle's food and beverages by revenues, excluding products such as pet food and specialised medical nutrition, achieve a rating above 3.5 under Australia's health star rating system. This system scores foods out of five stars and is used in research by international groups such as the Access to Nutrition Foundation. Nestle, the maker of KitKats, Maggi noodles and Nescafe, describes the 3.5 star threshold as a "recognised definition of health."

Within its overall food and drink portfolio, about 70 per cent of Nestle's food products failed to meet that threshold, the presentation said, along with 96 per cent of beverages -- excluding pure coffee -- and 99 per cent of Nestle's confectionery and ice cream portfolio. Water and dairy products scored better, with 82 per cent of waters and 60 per cent of dairy meeting the threshold.

only Nestle ?

By swell • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

What about Kellogg, Post, Bimbo, General Mills, Oscar Meyer, Armor Meat, every beverage company and countless others who monopolize the food offerings in America and beyond? There's profit in sugar and starch! That $5 loaf of bread has 30 cents worth of wheat and $5,000 worth of medical costs associated with it.

1% ?

By valnar • Score: 3 • Thread

"99 per cent of Nestle's confectionery and ice cream portfolio"

Wait. I'm more interested in this 1% of ice cream and candy that is healthy. I won't get my hopes up, since I assume this is the non-sugar crap.

Not surprising; it's almost a tautology.

By hey! • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

There aren't many foods that are truly *unhealthy* -- artificial trans-fats I suppose, but those are largely banned. Something like a sugar-laden soda isn't really the moral equivalent of a cup of poison, unless those kinds of empty calories are too much of your diet. It's *dose* that makes the poison.

So what "unhealthy foods" are, for the most part, are simply foods we eat too much of. And it automatically follows that's what food companies sell too much of.

Now industry does play a role in maintaining our unhealthy eating habits; it uses some impressive food technology to transform dirt cheap (often subsidized) food stock into products that are palatable, convenient, and affordable. By in large doctors don't want us to eat more of *any* foods that have all those qualities; they want us to eat things that take more effort to store, prepare, and eat; or which are relatively expensive because they're what Federal budgets call "specialty crops": fruits, nuts, and vegetables, which receive very little public subsidy.

Re:Not surprising; it's almost a tautology.

By quantaman • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

There aren't many foods that are truly *unhealthy* -- artificial trans-fats I suppose, but those are largely banned. Something like a sugar-laden soda isn't really the moral equivalent of a cup of poison, unless those kinds of empty calories are too much of your diet. It's *dose* that makes the poison.

So what "unhealthy foods" are, for the most part, are simply foods we eat too much of. And it automatically follows that's what food companies sell too much of.

Now industry does play a role in maintaining our unhealthy eating habits; it uses some impressive food technology to transform dirt cheap (often subsidized) food stock into products that are palatable, convenient, and affordable. By in large doctors don't want us to eat more of *any* foods that have all those qualities; they want us to eat things that take more effort to store, prepare, and eat; or which are relatively expensive because they're what Federal budgets call "specialty crops": fruits, nuts, and vegetables, which receive very little public subsidy.

Fundamentally, one of the big reasons that food companies make processed food is so that they can crank up the fat and sugar to make it super-palatable. Even with labelling it's not easy to tell how healthy processed foods are so they tend to compete on price and palatability.

The reason unprocessed food is healthy by comparison is that it's hard to crank up the sugar on a tomato or even an orange enough to make it unhealthy.

Re:Only 82 percent of their water is healthy.

By BoogieChile • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

> None of this should be cause for health concerns, says Marion Nestle, professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health and professor of Sociology at New York University. The additives being put into water are those naturally found in water and the quantities of these additives are likely too small to be of much significance. “If you had pure water by itself, it doesn’t have any taste,” says Bob Mahler, Soil Science and Water Quality professor at the University of Idaho. “So companies that sell bottled water will put in calcium, magnesium or maybe a little bit of salt.” ->

Amazon Calls For Funding K-12 CS, Eyes $250M Seed Money From Congress

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
theodp writes: The U.S. isn't producing nearly enough students trained in computer science to meet the future demands of the American workforce," lamented Amazon in a Friday press release, adding that it is "urging Congress and legislatures across the U.S. to support -- and fund -- computer science education in public schools." Well, the 'urging' seems to be working. On Friday, Representatives Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN) reintroduced the Computer Science for All Act (Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Microsoft all lobbied for the bill's predecessor, the CS for All Act of 2019), which provides $250 million in new grants to support a diverse 'tech pipeline' in pre-K through grade 12 education.

Amazon and Amazon-funded nonprofit were cited as the bill's 'supporting organizations' and quoted in Lee's accompanying press release for the legislation, which aims to improve equity in CS education. "We look forward to working with Representative Lee and the bill's cosponsors to meet these objectives," said Brian Huseman, VP of Public Policy for Amazon, which in 2017 curiously broke from other tech giants and stopped releasing the gender and racial data on its workforce it's required to report to the federal government. "Right now, there are over 400,000 open computing jobs in the United States," added CEO Hadi Partovi. "Frustratingly, only 47% of our public high schools teach computer science.

My interpretation of this...

By Pollux • Score: 4 • Thread

Bezos saw a need for more programmers. He looked at his drawing board and saw two options:

Option A) Pay them more, incentivizing more people to study CS; or
Option B) Have taxpayers pay for schools to teach more CS, increasing the supply of CS graduates, decreasing their demand and salaries.

And since Bezos already does everything within his power to not pay taxes, Option B was a win-win!

And yet

By stabiesoft • Score: 3 • Thread
Local governments fall all over each other to give amazon and other large businesses that are crying for these better educated citizens the tax breaks that pay for this type of education. K-12 is funded by local property taxes in most places. In TX even community colleges are funded by property taxes. And what do these large companies get to build some new facility? Oh, property tax breaks. Reapin what you sowed Jeffy.

Wage suppression, workforce insurance or both?

By ErichTheRed • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

One of the problems with "coding" and the other jobs these classes target is that you can only teach so much. Either you have a logical mind capable of a million levels of abstract thought, or you don't. I'm in IT and we have a similar problem with people with no troubleshooting skills trying to get and hold onto jobs. Either development is going to have to get simpler than it already is, or people will need to really ramp up their overall ability levels.

I imagine the simplification side of this equation is going to be in the form of (surprise) AWS proprietary, AWS-only, super-easy SDK provided, It Just Works!-level PaaS services. Getting people used to using only these services by not teaching fundamentals would be a really good way to ensure future business. I work in a development shop on the IT aide of the house and everything is "serverless" now...when coding becomes Legos even more than it is now, then anyone can code. We're seeing this in IT too -- on the Microsoft side of the house, Microsoft has discontinued all fundamentals training like the MCSA/MCSE track in favor of how-to-drive-Azure services.

The reasons for all this aren't altruistic in the least. FAANGs and Microsoft hate having to pay Seattle and San Francisco inflated salaries for developers, and they know they can only push offshoring so far - both due to public opinion and the same law of non-infinite talent. Why pay $300K for a Google SRE when you can force it down to a $50K job by flooding the market with good-enough people?

Now I understand why California

By oldgraybeard • Score: 3 • Thread
is trying to ditch advance mathematics in High school. They need the time to teach K-6 Computer Science catch Up classes.

"Frustratingly, only 47% of our public...

By RitchCraft • Score: 3 • Thread
...high schools teach computer science." There's a simple reason for that. The pay to teach CS in a high school setting stinks. The cost of getting a CS degree, on top of the re-certifying every few years, makes it impossible to get people in CS to teach. I know ... I was a high school CS teacher for 18 years. I loved teaching but the onslaught of poorly implemented state testing, mis-managed teacher evaluations trying to place all blame on teachers for poor school scores, and coupled with less that 3% pay raises each year drove me away.

Quic Gives the Internet's Data Transmission Foundation a Needed Speedup

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
One of the internet's foundations just got an upgrade. From a report: Quic, a protocol for transmitting data between computers, improves speed and security on the internet and can replace Transmission Control Protocol, or TCP, a standard that dates back to Ye Olde Internet of 1974. Last week, the Internet Engineering Task Force, which sets many standards for the global network, published Quic as a standard. Web browsers and online services have been testing the technology for years, but the IETF's imprimatur is a sign the standard is mature enough to embrace fully.

It's extremely hard to improve the internet at the fundamental level of data transmission. Countless devices, programs and services are built to use the earlier infrastructure, which has lasted decades. Quic has been in public development for nearly eight years since Google first announced Quic in 2013 as an experimental addition to its Chrome browser. But upgrades to the internet's foundations are crucial to keep the world-spanning communication and commerce backbone humming. That's why engineers spend so much effort on titanic transitions like Quic, HTTPS for secure website communications, post-quantum cryptography to protect data from future quantum computers, and IPv6 for accommodating vastly more devices on the internet.

Re:It has nothing to do with speed

By Captain Segfault • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

The largest issues here involve head of line blocking, both for QUIC and for HTTP/2.

Yes, TCP does a great job of achieving line rate, when properly tuned. If all you want to do is download/upload a large file, TCP will saturate your 10 gigabit network connection just fine once you replace congestion control with something a little bit less loss sensitive like BBR.

The problem is that for usecases like downloading a web page, you have two head of line blocking issues:
1. In HTTP/1.1, pipelining lets you have multiple requests on a single connection, but the server has to respond to them in order. That means a server can't respond to the second or third request promptly if the first is large or takes a long time to process at the server. HTTP/2 fixes this. That ultimately makes things easier for both web clients and servers that care about performance, given a robust HTTP/2 implementation. The alternative is to have a bunch of parallel connections, which is both more resource intensive and is less friendly with respect to congestion control, and unless you never pipeline at all you can still get unlucky.
2. TCP being a single stream is more sensitive to single packet drops, which is inefficient when you logically have several streams. If your higher level abstraction is multiple independent streams (as with HTTP/2) switching from TCP to a multi-stream transport protocol like QUIC (or e.g. SCTP) packet less has less latency impact because it only affects the streams where the packet loss occurs rather than blocking all streams.

Note that neither of these makes a difference if all you're trying to do is download a single large file. They *do* make a difference if you're downloading a 2 GB file and then decide, on the same connection, that you want to fetch a 1 KB piece of metadata.

Lastly, I don't think the centralization argument holds a lot of water. There are plenty of sources of complexity in implementing a web browser or web server. If protocol complexity is significant, presumably you use one of a number of existing well tested implementations rather than rolling it yourself.

Re:QUIC is a money making scam

By PhrostyMcByte • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

It's not controlled by Google -- the working group is pretty diverse. There's no conspiracy to make QUIC take unfair priority over other traffic. QUIC has some great real-world benefits. The biggest ones off the top of my head are:

  • It bakes in the TLS handshake, removing one round trip compared to TCP+TLS. So you'll have better latency when connecting to brand new servers.
  • Streams within a connection are decoupled, so packet loss on one stream won't freeze the entire connection (this was a problem with HTTP/2 on less than perfect networks).
  • Connections are identified separate from their IP/port, and can migrate. It lets you seamlessly hop connections between wifi and 5G, and can help load balancing on the server side.
  • It's easier to extend. For instance, datagrams and forward error correction can improve real-time apps like video streaming and games.

(Caveat: I wrote .NET's HTTP/3 client implementation and am one of the primary developers working on its QUIC APIs)

Re:QUIC is a money making scam

By Captain Segfault • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

TCP already has your 20:1 style problem even without Google doing anything special. Cubic, along with most other congestion control algorithms, provide fairness in the form of competing flows having equal sized windows. That means that a flow with 1/20 the RTT across a bottleneck will get 20x the throughput.

Who has 1/20 the RTT? The companies, like Google, serving lots of traffic behind large CDNs, compared to someone just trying to download from a faraway server.

Meanwhile the head of line blocking issues that HTTP/2 and QUIC target? The usual workaround for them is to have multiple connections, and multiple connections means that you have N flows that in combination compete at N times the weight of a single connection.


By Myria • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Firewalls handle TCP much better because they have a well-defined concept of a connection beginning and ending that the firewall can see. QUIC is over UDP because it has its own flow control. Firewalls will not do well with QUIC.

Sure, firewalls could be reprogrammed to understand QUIC traffic, but the inertia is so high that we can't even get IPv6 into the mainstream, and IPv6 has been around since 1998.

Re: Was interested until

By Aristos Mazer • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

But questioning something like this based *solely* on the past history of its progenitor is exactly how we get conspiracy theories about vaccines or pizza restaurant child porn. Questioning is fine, definitely, but your post was not questioning. It communicated a presumption of a problem. And it expressly called for non-technical people to be suspicious of it. I see that as a seriously problematic way of doing the questioning.

China Allows Couples To Have Three Children

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
China has announced that it will allow couples to have up to three children, after census data showed a steep decline in birth rates. From a report: China scrapped its decades-old one-child policy in 2016, replacing it with a two-child limit which has failed to lead to a sustained upsurge in births. The cost of raising children in cities has deterred many Chinese couples. The latest move was approved by President Xi Jinping at a meeting of top Communist Party officials. It will come with "supportive measures, which will be conducive to improving our country's population structure, fulfilling the country's strategy of actively coping with an ageing population and maintaining the advantage, endowment of human resources," according to Xinhua news agency.

Re: Decades late.

By backslashdot • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Way to go exaggeration. I asked some friends recently from China if the thing you said about street beatings being true. They laughed and said it is false, they have NEVER seen that. Of course there are a couple of viral videos (none of which had police not intervening, but ok.) China has 1.3 billion people of course you can find videos of violence like that. There are PLENTY of viral videos in the US of women beating other women with other people egging it on. Are you going to paint a narrative that it is the norm? Also, in the viral videos you can find filmed in the US it looks like the women are trying to kill each other whereas the video I found occurring in China the women seemed like they just wanted to inflict some pain temporarily.

The problem isn't Republicans, either

By Okian Warrior • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

The solution is more democracy. If you're an American the Republican party currently has 350+ anti-democracy laws either passed or being worked on. They're also removing the ability of independent Secretary of States to certify elections.

Those damn Republicans!

It's well known that one's goals determines what one sees. The things you see are literally filtered by your position and outlook on life, to the point where you will see only bad things from the other team and only good things from your own team. It leads to the phrase "watching the same screen and seeing two different movies".

It's also believed to imply an impending catastrophic internecine war, potentially tearing the country apart.

If you think that the US is so completely broken that it should be scrapped and something else tried, then you're simply not seeing all the good things our system brings. Despite wealth inequality, real wealth has skyrocketed and shows no sign of slowing down. We produce more food than we need, there's enough housing for everyone, before Covid there were enough jobs for everyone, and during Covid we developed and distributed a vaccine country-wide in about a year.

Dr. Marian Tupy has compiled a list of 10 global trends that give hope for the world, much of which is spearheaded by the US (as we're the 3rd biggest country by population). The US has very little racism (compared to other countries), we're very generous in allowing foreign immigration (compared to other countries), we have a very high levels of individual freedom and wealth, and we have an excellent educational system.

Looking at Dr. Tupy's research, which comes largely from UN measurements and projections, it seems that a) climate change won't be a big deal, and b) the US is working to fix it anyway: solar, wind, BEVs, grid batteries, and research. None of those even existed 20 years ago, so 20 years in the future will climate change even be a problem?

Take a close look at those "anti-democracy" laws and see if they are meant to address a problem someone has pointed out from the last election. Then see if those changes would be catastrophic, in the "break apart the country" version of catastrophic.

Is it such a really big deal? Could your side perhaps suggest modifications to those "anti-democracy" laws that address the problems while keeping your interpretation of democracy intact?

Could understanding, and suggestions for action be a better plan than outright anger?

In the grand scheme of things, we're doing pretty well, and I'd hate to see it all go up in flames with rioting and looting, just because two teams couldn't find common ground.

Re:Decades late.

By ShanghaiBill • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

I regularly see two types of gloom-and-doom articles:

1. Birth rates are falling and we will soon run out of workers. Civilization will collapse.

2. Robots are taking all the jobs, and soon no one will have any income. Civilization will collapse.

These can't both be true.

Real Wealth is great for Jeff Bezos, shit for me.

By Somervillain • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

If you think that the US is so completely broken that it should be scrapped and something else tried, then you're simply not seeing all the good things our system brings. Despite wealth inequality, real wealth has skyrocketed and shows no sign of slowing down. We produce more food than we need, there's enough housing for everyone, before Covid there were enough jobs for everyone, and during Covid we developed and distributed a vaccine country-wide in about a year.

Real wealth is bullshit. So the top 5% have more than they did 30 years ago? Who gives a shit? Yeah, real estate moguls and investment bankers are doing swell. Everyone else is struggling and living in fear. It's getting harder and harder for blue collar professions to make ends meet. Even for the middle class, being super smart with money and investing used to be optional ways to get ahead. Now most need to do so in order to bring in more than they're spending. Nearly every profession that used to be lucrative is getting squeezed.

Every few years Fox News likes to run some contrarian story saying how we're all wealthier than we were 50 years ago because more of us have refrigerators and our houses have 20% more square footage...basically a big shut the fuck up to anyone demanding wage increases in the face of record productivity and profits. Why? My best guess is for a certain group of people they don't want to acknowledge that things aren't fine and we're not on the right path. Wealth inequality is a HUGE issue. For most of us, we're doing more with less, but our wages have stagnated. Why?'s not natural forces, your boss is working hard to ensure you don't know what you're worth....suppressing unionization, doing all they can to import workers while publicly chanting "build the wall," hiding key financial data and our strange cultural phenomena where talking about money is taboo. Remember how Google freaked the fuck out when their employees shared their salary in a spreadsheet? I bet if you went around your office and openly told people how much you made, they would find a reason to fire you...they tell every employee "you're overpaid, we can barely afford you...don't tell anyone, we don't want them getting jealous of your great negotiation skills and this special favor I did for you because you're making soo much more than everyone else." Then there's actual collusion that was well documented in Silicon Valley where large employers agreed to not poach from one another, specifically to suppress wage growth among their most valued employees.

Sure, in 2021, I can watch more movies for free on demand than I ever could have in 1996, back when it required a drive to Blockbuster Video. I can watch every show ever created, on whim...that's pretty cool. However, I will gladly trade streaming video to be able to easily afford a home and have every blue collar worker with a good job be able to do the same....even if it is 20% smaller than the average home today. A million things are better today due to technology, but the most important things are worse, thanks to a combination of natural economic forces and primarily Republican policy choices...cutting taxes for the wealthy, repeal of estate taxes ensuring financial legacies are more easily passed on to heirs...a fetish for corporate tax cuts (which produce almost no investment since interest rates are so low and any company that needed to invest got a loan to do so long ago), but record stock buybacks.

Your CEO is living better than ever before and the rest of us are watching our standard of living pushed down. It's harder to buy a house. It's harder to send a kid to college. It's harder to buy food than it was just 10 years ago. Our jobs are less secure. Everything costs more because these technological advancements used to be optional, now it's essentially mandatory for everyone over 10 to have a smart phone and data plan. In my kids' public school, a chromebook is mandatory for 1st grade. Sure, if you can't afford on

Re: How sweet

By alexgieg • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

I prefer the Biblical version, according which the baby gets a soul the first time they breathes, and abortion is considered a very small misdemeanor that warrants the abortionist paying a small fine to the father due only to the aggression inflicted upon the would-be mother, which makes sense, after all, since the fetus hasn't gained a soul yet because they haven't breathed yet, killing them cannot be punished as an assassination. That fine could be implemented as an automatic cashback on the abortion fee, and the Biblical commandment would be fulfilled perfectly.

Or do you prefer instead the ancient Greek, pagan, polytheist, anti-Biblical teaching according which the soul enters the body at the moment of conception?

World's Fastest AI Supercomputer Built from 6,159 NVIDIA A100 Tensor Core GPUs

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
Slashdot reader 4wdloop shared this report from NVIDIA's blog, joking that maybe this is where all NVIDIA's chips are going: It will help piece together a 3D map of the universe, probe subatomic interactions for green energy sources and much more. Perlmutter, officially dedicated Thursday at the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC), is a supercomputer that will deliver nearly four exaflops of AI performance for more than 7,000 researchers. That makes Perlmutter the fastest system on the planet on the 16- and 32-bit mixed-precision math AI uses. And that performance doesn't even include a second phase coming later this year to the system based at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab.

More than two dozen applications are getting ready to be among the first to ride the 6,159 NVIDIA A100 Tensor Core GPUs in Perlmutter, the largest A100-powered system in the world. They aim to advance science in astrophysics, climate science and more. In one project, the supercomputer will help assemble the largest 3D map of the visible universe to date. It will process data from the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI), a kind of cosmic camera that can capture as many as 5,000 galaxies in a single exposure. Researchers need the speed of Perlmutter's GPUs to capture dozens of exposures from one night to know where to point DESI the next night. Preparing a year's worth of the data for publication would take weeks or months on prior systems, but Perlmutter should help them accomplish the task in as little as a few days.

"I'm really happy with the 20x speedups we've gotten on GPUs in our preparatory work," said Rollin Thomas, a data architect at NERSC who's helping researchers get their code ready for Perlmutter. DESI's map aims to shed light on dark energy, the mysterious physics behind the accelerating expansion of the universe.

A similar spirit fuels many projects that will run on NERSC's new supercomputer. For example, work in materials science aims to discover atomic interactions that could point the way to better batteries and biofuels. Traditional supercomputers can barely handle the math required to generate simulations of a few atoms over a few nanoseconds with programs such as Quantum Espresso. But by combining their highly accurate simulations with machine learning, scientists can study more atoms over longer stretches of time. "In the past it was impossible to do fully atomistic simulations of big systems like battery interfaces, but now scientists plan to use Perlmutter to do just that," said Brandon Cook, an applications performance specialist at NERSC who's helping researchers launch such projects. That's where Tensor Cores in the A100 play a unique role. They accelerate both the double-precision floating point math for simulations and the mixed-precision calculations required for deep learning.

named after Saul Permutter

By pz • Score: 3 • Thread

From the article:

Dark energy was largely discovered through the 2011 Nobel Prize-winning work of Saul Perlmutter, a still-active astrophysicist at Berkeley Lab who will help dedicate the new supercomputer named for him.

Re:Mostly useless

By pz • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Ah, read the article. It has lots of details about what this supercomputer is going to be used for. It isn't making politicians feel good about themselves, it is primarily for rapid, daily analysis of the massively detailed astronomy photos that are coming on line, but there are a good handful of secondary users as well who have already queued up.

Re:Mostly useless

By Ostracus • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Stand back everyone. If he handwaves any harder he'll blow the forum over.

Re:Mostly useless

By godrik • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

NERSC is mostly doing science using supercomputer rather than research in supercomputers. (Though they also do HPC research, often publish in SC.) Machine Learning is pretty good at solving lots of classic science problems. The best protein folding methods we have today are ML based.

Astronomy uses a lot of ML nowadays. We generate more astronomy data per day than we can process in a day. So astronomers use ML to classify which part of the data is potentially interesting against parts of the data that is not. That enables narrowing down the amount of data worth looking at with more expensive methods.

In AI in general, more computational power is useful. Each time we decrease the turnaround time of training a model, it enables a more responsive development cycle. There was a great talk on that at GTC13 by a facebook engineer.

So yeah, we do need that computational power.

Who wants to be the person to explain ...

By Babel-17 • Score: 3 • Thread
Who wants to explain the chip shortage to the AI when it asks its developers to build it a bride/husband/significant other?

YouTube Channel Remembers and Preserves Ads From US Military's TV Service

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotShareable Link
The American Forces Network is a U.S. government TV and radio broadcast service provided by the military for overseas personnel. But there's an interesting quirk. As an official Department of Defense product, it's not allowed to run ads or even mention commercial products, according to Stars and Stripes. "Instead, it lets commanders put out messages about force protection, weather, current events and base services."

And that's where things get creative...

Killer vending machines, security-conscious hamsters and a roommate who devolves into a caveman. These are some of the memorable features of Garry Terrell's vast collection of military-grade videos from the American Forces Network and its predecessor, the Armed Forces Radio and Television Service. The son of a former U.S. soldier, Terrell is trying to preserve "all things AFN/AFRTS," and boasts over 3,600 videos on the YouTube channel AFRTSfan. He began his collection nearly three decades ago, after learning that little had been done to save the many AFN spots that serve as a touchstone for troops and military families who've lived overseas.

The military-made productions fill what would normally be ad time in broadcasts back home... Because they're broadcast across various theaters, the ads served as "kind of like this bonding thing" for kids' friend groups frequently reshaped by duty station changes, said Sabine Brown, an airman's daughter who grew up in Germany in the 80s and 90s. For Terrell, whose mother is German, "it was just my local TV and radio provider" growing up on the bases where his father served as a career U.S. soldier in the 70s and 80s. He took it for granted until the early 90s Base Realignment and Closure process threatened to shutter bases he'd grown up on.

"Fearing that AFN might also go away, I decided to try and collect some AFN radio and TV items to add to my ever-growing memory book of Germany," he said in an email. "I felt like I was in a race against time."

He began contacting and befriending AFN staff and alumni, growing his collection through contributions from his expanding network of AFN insiders and "superfans." He started sharing this burgeoning library on YouTube over a decade ago, creating something of a time capsule, with spots that run the gamut from cringe-inducing, silly or lame to fun, brilliant and truly memorable.

The article notes that the videos once were even affectionately lampooned in a duet by two folk-singing Air Force pilots — which apparently remembers, among other things, the AFN ad illustrating the importance of the power-of-attorney by re-dubbing an old Hercules movie.

AFRTS in Korea

By Registered Coward v2 • Score: 3 • Thread
I remember them running ads to explain American customs to Korean brides of American service members as well as "It 6 O'clock in Central Europe. The news is next on Armed Forces Radio Network."


By NewtonsLaw • Score: 3 • Thread

" it's not allowed to run ads or even mention commercial products"

So how is it going to react to YouTube's decision to show ads even on non-monetized channels? Could a conflict be brewing here?