the unofficial Slashdot digest for 2021-Jun-09 today archive


  1. The First 'Google Translate' For Elephants Debuts
  2. The Vivaldi Browser Now Has Mail, Calendar, and An RSS Reader Built-In
  3. Americans Pocketed $4 Billion In Bitcoin Profits In 2020, Analysis Reveals
  4. Google Used Reinforcement Learning To Design Next-Gen AI Accelerator Chips
  5. Instagram CEO Says Facebook Will Help Users Get Around Apple's Cut of Transactions
  6. Linux X86/x86_64 Will Now Always Reserve the First 1MB of RAM
  7. Apple's First AR Headset To Launch In Q2 of 2022
  8. What Would You Pay For Autonomous Driving? Volkswagen Hopes $8.50 Per Hour
  9. Ring Refuses To Say How Many Users Had Video Footage Obtained By Police
  10. Facebook Plans First Smartwatch for Next Summer With Two Cameras, Heart Rate Monitor
  11. Several macOS Monterey Features Unavailable on Intel-Based Macs
  12. Facebook Says It Will Expand Remote Work To All Employees, But May Reduce Pay If They Move To Less-Expensive Area
  13. President of El Salvador Says He is Working To Offer Bitcoin Mining Facilities With Cheap, 100% Clean and Renewable Energy From Volcanos
  14. Biden Administration To Buy 500 Million Pfizer Coronavirus Vaccine Doses To Donate To the World
  15. One Fastly Customer Triggered Internet Meltdown
  16. Whale That Travelled Halfway Around the World Sets Migration Record
  17. White House Launches Task Force To Address Supply Chain Disruptions
  18. China is Vaccinating a Staggering 20 Million People a Day
  19. Biden To Revoke and Replace Trump's Executive Order That Sought To Ban TikTok
  20. Microscopic Animal Revived After Slumbering in Arctic Permafrost for 24,000 Years
  21. Google Will Let Rivals Appear As Default Search Engine Options On Android For Free
  22. Is HBO Max Broken?
  23. National Geographic Recognizes New 5th Ocean
  24. El Salvador Becomes First Country To Adopt Bitcoin as Legal Tender After Passing Law

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.

The First 'Google Translate' For Elephants Debuts

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Scientific American: Elephants possess an incredibly rich repertoire of communication techniques, including hundreds of calls and gestures that convey specific meanings and can change depending on the context. Different elephant populations also exhibit culturally learned behaviors unique to their specific group. Elephant behaviors are so complex, in fact, that even scientists may struggle to keep up with them all. Now, to get the animals and researchers on the same page, a renowned biologist who has been studying endangered savanna elephants for nearly 50 years has co-developed a digital elephant ethogram, a repository of everything known about their behavior and communication.

[Joyce Poole, co-founder and scientific director of ElephantVoices, a nonprofit science and conservation organization, and co-creator of the new ethogram] built the easily searchable public database with her husband and research partner Petter Granli after they came to realize that scientific papers alone would no longer cut it for cataloging the discoveries they and others were making. The Elephant Ethogram currently includes more than 500 behaviors depicted through nearly 3,000 annotated videos, photographs and audio files. The entries encompass the majority, if not all, of typical elephant behaviors, which Poole and Granli gleaned from more than 100 references spanning more than 100 years, with the oldest records dating back to 1907. About half of the described behaviors came from the two investigators' own studies and observations, while the rest came from around seven other leading savanna elephant research teams.

While the ethogram is primarily driven by Poole and Granli's observations, "there are very few, if any, examples of behaviors described in the literature that we have not seen ourselves," Poole points out. The project is also just beginning, she adds, because it is meant to be a living catalog that scientists actively contribute to as new findings come in. Poole and Granli believe the exhaustive, digitized Elephant Ethogram is the first of its kind for any nonhuman wild animal. The multimedia-based nature of the project is important, Poole adds, because with descriptions based only on the written word, audio files or photographs, "it is hard to show the often subtle differences in movement that differentiate one behavior from another." Now that the project is online, Poole hopes other researchers will begin contributing their own observations and discoveries, broadening the database to include cultural findings from additional savanna elephant populations and unusual behaviors Poole and Granli might have missed.

Re: The First 'Google Translate' For Elephants Deb

By IdanceNmyCar • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

The cliques on this forum are fucking disgusting. It's like I am back in high school. The only difference is now it's all about ragging on people's political views. Didn't your mother ever teach you to stfu if you don't have something good to say. I mean, I could probably say some shit about your family but I thought a forum for nerds could have, you know, people with some critical thoughts though some compassion might be nice too. Literally the article is about understanding another species and the potential for compassion we have while you try to take us back to the stone age. Grow the fuck up.

Long lifespan mammals

By IdanceNmyCar • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Anything we can do to better understand mammals with long lifespans can really benefit us in understanding better the development of language and the balance that exists in the world. Whales and elephants are prime examples for us to better understand the universality of culture and language. Elephants buying their dead is even ritualistic, so at some point we may even have an answer to the universality of spirituality and religion.

Re:What storage does it use?

By dohzer • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

Does that support data truncation?

I think not.

By msauve • Score: 3 • Thread
"The First 'Google Translate' For Elephants Debuts"

How's an elephant going to control a tiny smartphone, keyboard or touchpad? And everyone knows they're afraid of mice.

Never really thought about this

By Rick Schumann • Score: 3 • Thread
From Wikipedia:

Elephants show an ability to manufacture and use tools with their trunk and feet. Both wild and captive Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) use branches to swat flies or scratch themselves.[74] [75] Eight of 13 captive Asian elephants, maintained under a naturalistic environment, modified branches and switched with the altered branch, indicating this species is capable of the more rare behaviour of tool manufacture. There were different styles of modification of the branches, the most common of which was holding the main stem with the front foot and pulling off a side branch or distal end with the trunk. Elephants have been observed digging holes to drink water, then ripping bark from a tree, chewing it into the shape of a ball thereby manufacturing a "plug" to fill in the hole, and covering it with sand to avoid evaporation. They would later go back to the spot to drink.

Asian elephants may use tools in insightful problem solving. A captive male was observed moving a box to a position where it could be stood upon to reach food that had been deliberately hung out of reach.[76] [77]

Elephants have also been known to drop large rocks onto an electric fence to either ruin the fence or cut off the electricity.[78]

One might dismiss the apparent tool-making/tool using behaviors as some sort of very complex hardwired instinct, but the bit about the waterhole is not only tool-making, it shows planning.

The Vivaldi Browser Now Has Mail, Calendar, and An RSS Reader Built-In

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
The Vivaldi 4.0 release is launching today, and includes a built-in email, calendar, and RSS reader. The Verge reports: The email client supports IMAP and POP accounts, so you can connect the vast majority of email services to it, and you can easily have messages open up in tabs rather than taking over the current window -- handy if you're the type who often needs to bounce between emails. The search is also, in my experience, very quick. The calendar and RSS reader also include most of the features I'd expect, along with a few really cool bonuses. For example, the RSS reader also supports YouTube channels, which could be handy for those who are worried about an algorithm deciding not to show a creator's videos.

The other headline feature of this Vivaldi update is built-in translation. The browser will be able to translate entire webpages (automatically, if you want) in 50 languages as of today, but the company says it'll be expanding to support 109 languages soon. While the Mail tools are desktop only, the translation is also available on Vivaldi for Android. Vivaldi has also come up with a solution for those who don't want these features taking up room in their browser: you'll be able to choose between three layouts, which will give you a basic web browser, one with a few power-user features, or the all-in-one experience with email, calendars, and RSS. All the features will still be available, even in the "Essentials" layout, but they won't be taking up space in the interface.

Perhaps they need another year to get it right.

By swell • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Good luck with Vivaldi Mail. I just spent hours with it and none of the first four email accounts I tried could run. Mostly due to failure to verify with the provider. Each one works well with both webmail and Thunderbird. There was supposed to be a way to import RSS feeds from Thunderbird but I couldn't find it. The browser offered to import my bookmarks & history from Firefox; but it found 5 copies of Firefox data on my computer and ended up importing some ancient stuff. There was no way to tell which was which version and I only have the latest version of the program. takes 375MB on my Mac disk; Vivaldi takes 505MB (but includes extra functionality).

It's really sad because I like the Vivaldi people and what they seem to be trying to do. I'll try again with v4.2 perhaps.

In other words

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

Zawinski’s Law strikes again

I really like Vivaldi

By SuperKendall • Score: 3 • Thread

I've been using Vivaldi regularly for a while, after I got tired of Chrome resource usage but still wanting/needing a Chrome based browser for plugin support.

It's really stable and I like the other feature it offers around organizing bookmarks and things...

That said I probably will not use it for email so that aspect is lost on me, but it doesn't; mean I'd stip using Vivaldi.

Re:Perhaps they need another year to get it right.

By markdavis • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

>" takes 375MB on my Mac disk; Vivaldi takes 505MB (but includes extra functionality)."

That is a lot, of course, it is several apps in one.

On Linux, Firefox 89 install takes 220MB (not including home config). Chromium 89, which I don't use (and of which Vivaldi and all other major multiplatform non-Firefox browsers is based on), takes 339MB. That is without Mail/calendar/RSS.


By backslashdot • Score: 3 • Thread

Installed it in the Spring, tried it in Summer and Fall, uninstalled it in the Winter.

Americans Pocketed $4 Billion In Bitcoin Profits In 2020, Analysis Reveals

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Americans got richer off bitcoin than any other country last year -- pocketing $4.1 billion in profits as the price of the volatile cryptocurrency soared to $29,000 from under $10,000, according to a new analysis. The New York Post reports: The US was followed by China, which cashed out some $1.1 billion in profits in 2020, according to data published Monday by blockchain firm Chainalysis. Japan came in third with $900 million, followed by the United Kingdom with $800 million and Russia with $600 million. The figures only cover realized gains, meaning that profits still held in cryptocurrencies or in exchange accounts are not included.

According to Chainalysis, Americans appear to have stepped up their bitcoin investments last year, despite nationwide lockdown orders and record unemployment. US crypto investors then cashed out toward the end of the year when the price of bitcoin has soared more than three times its $9,000 price tag. While cryptocurrency profits can be hard to track due to the currencies' intentionally decentralized nature, Chainalysis produced its estimate by collecting data including deposits, withdrawals and web traffic from cryptocurrency exchanges like Coinbase.

Re:Great, more lies

By Vapula • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Not exactly... shares bring you some revenues so holding may end up bringing more money than what you paid for. Country bonds also bring you some interest, paid by the country which issued it...

In stock market, part of the gains don't come from the pockets of the losers...

Pocketed is not the wrong word

By Admiral Krunch • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

I would not say they "pocketed" the gains unless they really did sell their bitcoin holdings for dollars.

From the helpful summary...

The figures only cover realized gains, meaning that profits still held in cryptocurrencies or in exchange accounts are not included.

they did in fact pocket those gains.

Re:Great, more lies

By jonbryce • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

It is not. Stock market gains come from companies making profits, which come from those companies making and selling stuff to people that they find useful.

Re:Great, more lies

By luis_a_espinal • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Then those who avoided paying taxes will get to pay backtaxes with interest.

I don't avoid paying taxes, but my accountant really hates cryptocurrency trades. The coinbases and robinhoods don't send nicely packaged data files of the cryptocurrency trades like you get from fidelity for stock trades. Alas Fidelity has too much of a stick up their arse to allow cryptocurrency trading on their service.

Your accountant can hate crypto tax papers as much as he wants, but he's getting paid to handle them when you file for taxes. I know CoinBase will send my tax form when the time comes, and I'll hand it over to my accountant (along all the other paper crap I have to give) to handle it.

That's what we pay accountants for. To handle all this crap the legal way and with accuracy (instead of us going DIY and make a mistake or worse, break the law somehow.)

Re:Great, more lies

By djinn6 • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

What happened to crypto was simply a speculative bubble running hot. When BTC grows as a steady pace as it did in 2019 and 2020, then gains are "normal" without incurring losers holding the basket when the bubble pops.

That's not how it works. A BTC is not a revenue-generating asset, hence gains don't exist regardless of how slowly the market price moved.

Since holding a BTC does not generate any revenue for the holder, the value of a BTC is simply what a future buyer would pay for it. Obviously we don't know what that value is, but it's some finite value. When this future buyer buys it, the value of the BTC becomes what a buyer even further in the future would pay for it. So on and so forth. The problem is, since nothing lasts forever, there will be a last buyer. That buyer would've paid some amount for a BTC, but since there are no future buyers (he's the last one), the value of the BTC is zero.

Thus, in order for someone to make money with a BTC, they will have to siphon money from some future set of buyers who are mistaken about its value. Or as you might say, "losers holding the basket".

Google Used Reinforcement Learning To Design Next-Gen AI Accelerator Chips

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Chip floorplanning is the engineering task of designing the physical layout of a computer chip. In a paper published in the journal Nature, Google researchers applied a deep reinforcement learning approach to chip floorplanning, creating a new technique that " automatically generates chip floorplans that are superior or comparable to those produced by humans in all key metrics, including power consumption, performance and chip area." VentureBeat reports: The Google team's solution is a reinforcement learning method capable of generalizing across chips, meaning that it can learn from experience to become both better and faster at placing new chips. Training AI-driven design systems that generalize across chips is challenging because it requires learning to optimize the placement of all possible chip netlists (graphs of circuit components like memory components and standard cells including logic gates) onto all possible canvases. [...] The researchers' system aims to place a "netlist" graph of logic gates, memory, and more onto a chip canvas, such that the design optimizes power, performance, and area (PPA) while adhering to constraints on placement density and routing congestion. The graphs range in size from millions to billions of nodes grouped in thousands of clusters, and typically, evaluating the target metrics takes from hours to over a day.

Starting with an empty chip, the Google team's system places components sequentially until it completes the netlist. To guide the system in selecting which components to place first, components are sorted by descending size; placing larger components first reduces the chance there's no feasible placement for it later. Training the system required creating a dataset of 10,000 chip placements, where the input is the state associated with the given placement and the label is the reward for the placement (i.e., wirelength and congestion). The researchers built it by first picking five different chip netlists, to which an AI algorithm was applied to create 2,000 diverse placements for each netlist. The system took 48 hours to "pre-train" on an Nvidia Volta graphics card and 10 CPUs, each with 2GB of RAM. Fine-tuning initially took up to 6 hours, but applying the pre-trained system to a new netlist without fine-tuning generated placement in less than a second on a single GPU in later benchmarks. In one test, the Google researchers compared their system's recommendations with a manual baseline: the production design of a previous-generation TPU chip created by Google's TPU physical design team. Both the system and the human experts consistently generated viable placements that met timing and congestion requirements, but the AI system also outperformed or matched manual placements in area, power, and wirelength while taking far less time to meet design criteria.

Instagram CEO Says Facebook Will Help Users Get Around Apple's Cut of Transactions

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from CNBC: Facebook is setting its sights on the creator economy, hoping to allow millions of people to make a living off its family of apps. But the company wants to promote offline transactions between creators and companies in order to avoid Apple's 30% cut of in-app purchases, Instagram head Adam Mosseri said Wednesday. "When there are digital transactions that happen on iOS, Apple insists that they take 30% of that. There's a very few number of exceptions. For transactions that happen in iOS, we're going to have to abide by their rules... but in general we're going to look for other ways to help creators make a living and facilitating transactions that happen in other places," Mosseri told CNBC's "Squawk Box." "So, for instance, if we could help brands and creators vet each other and find each other, they could make those transactions happen offline. For affiliate marketing, it's real goods, not digital goods. So we're going to try and lean in to the places creators can actually make a stable living," he added.

Apple generally takes a 30% rake from purchases of software or digital goods from apps distributed through the App Store. That would mean creators would eventually have to split revenue from goods sold within the app between themselves, Facebook and Apple. (Facebook hasn't said how much of a cut it will take, but did say it will be less than 30%.) In order to skirt around that, Instagram could push for creators to connect offline with brands or other people, in an effort to make money off the iOS operating system. It'll be a key issue for the company, which has spent the past several years feuding with the Apple.

Easy Peasy

By Ol Olsoc • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Avoid the terrible Apple locked garden, and sell your soul to Facebook - We'll see how many people hate Apple so bad that they'll give their own and their customer's information to those data collectors who will uses it against them.

If I had to pick between the two

By TuballoyThunder • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread
Apple wins everyday of the week. Giving Facebook any information is a no-go for me.

Instagram CEO Says Facebook Will Help

By oldgraybeard • Score: 3 • Thread
hahahah lol right!

From Pirate to Prince.

By geekmux • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

"...the company wants to promote offline transactions between creators and companies in order to avoid Apple's 30% cut..."

Oh, so when The Pirate Bay wants to promote "offline transactions" to avoid the MAFIAA cut they're fucking criminals, but suddenly Instagram is Robin Hood?

Don't even know what to say to that shit other than learn to compete instead of playing cutthroat games. Insta-grift, I promise you won't like it when the knife is at your throat next time.

"Apple will love to play this game. Trust us." - Samsung

Ummm... No...

By JenovaSynthesis • Score: 3 • Thread

I trust Apple infinitely more than I trust Facebook. *cough*CambridgeAnalytica*cough*

Linux X86/x86_64 Will Now Always Reserve the First 1MB of RAM

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
AmiMoJo shares a report from Phoronix: The Linux x86/x86_64 kernel code already had logic in place for reserving portions of the first 1MB of RAM to avoid the BIOS or kernel potentially clobbering that space among other reasons while now Linux 5.13 is doing away with that 'wankery' and will just unconditionally always reserve the first 1MB of RAM. The Linux kernel was already catering to Intel Sandy Bridge graphics accessing memory below the 1MB mark, the first 64K of memory are known to be corrupted by some BIOSes, and similar problems coming up in that low area of memory. But rather than dealing with all that logic and other possible niche cases besides the EGA/VGA frame-buffer and BIOS, the kernel is playing it safe and just always reserving the first 1MB of RAM so it will not get clobbered by the kernel.


By dohzer • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

This is essentially why I built my current system with 32.001GB of memory.

Re:Easier solution

By TechyImmigrant • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

I predict that soon someone will map that free 1MiB somewhere else to fulfill some purpose. Then the logic to plug the corner cases will get really complex and someone will get their computer security PhD by coming up with some new aliasing attack, which will then become the basis of a new strain of ransomware.

This is always how these things happen.

Re:Late to the party

By The Evil Atheist • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
My implied point is that they probably tried to avoid losing that first MB in the first place was because they didn't want a difference between x86 and proper embedded systems with their custom firmware that don't accidentally clobber that MB.

And there's good use cases for x86 with 512MB of memory - virtual machines. Yes, I know things like Docker, Kubernetes, or whatever is the container-flavour-of-choice now are popular, but "proper" or "traditional" VMs are still necessary for decent isolation. If you can run a proper VM with 512MB of memory, then you can fit a lot more VMs on that one machine.


By AmiMoJo • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Modern PCs don't act like they are going to boot DOS. In fact most ship with the compatibility module needed to boot DOS disabled.

The issue is that the UEFI often has bugs, as do some firmwares and drivers like the mentioned Intel graphics.

Getting rid of the BIOS wouldn't help, it would just be replaced by something else equally buggy. If Macs do get away with it (does anyone know if they keep that 1MB available?) it's only because Apple can get bugs fixed, not because ARM is somehow better.

This isn't new either. AmigaOS reserved the first 4 bytes of RAM because writing to null pointers was such a common error and would crash the system if something important was kept there. AmigaOS apps look at address 4 to find the base address of system libraries that let them bootstrap.


By Crass Spektakel • Score: 3 • Thread

My lowest spec linux/unix/posix system was a 386sx16 with 2MByte of memory. Using a manually optimized and build kernel I could do some textmode work - even at 100x60 character through the use of the ancient SVGATextMode toolchain but barelly anything else. I am ignoring the WRT54 router I tried using with 2MByte because it got me nowhere. Even addin 0,5MByte additional memory was greatly appreciated. Thankfully I got some 8MByte of memory for free shortly after that and besides that particulary awful 386sx16 I always had 8-16MByte.

Btw, my lowest resource x86 was a non-IBM-compliant 8088 with 16kByte of memory and a tape drive at school. Funny enough it was able to run some very early self booting games like Psi5 Trading Company in pure text mode.

On the other hand, my first computer ever was a CBM3032 with only 32kByte. Now imagine reserving 1MByte of memory on that one...

Apple's First AR Headset To Launch In Q2 of 2022

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
According to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple is planning to debut its first augmented reality headset in the second quarter of 2022. MacRumors reports: The research report focuses on prospects for key Apple supplier Genius Electronic Optical, and notes that the company will benefit from a number of upcoming VR and AR products from the likes of Facebook, Sony, and Apple: "We predict that Apple will launch AR HMD [head-mounted display] devices in 2Q22. The device will provide a video see-through AR experience, so the lens is also needed, and Genius is also a key supplier." Apple has been rumored to be working on a pair of AR-related headsets, led by an initial "mixed-reality" device that has variously been rumored to be launching in 2021 or 2022. A sleeker pair of augmented reality glasses is rumored to follow, perhaps around 2025. As recently as January, Kuo was predicting that Apple's initial AR headset would debut sometime in 2021, but by March he had pushed his prediction back to "mid-2022," more in line with today's report.

Some of the uncertainty about timing may be related to a potentially lengthy gap between announcement and launch for the AR headset. As a new platform for Apple, the company may want to announce it a number of months ahead of any product launch to give developers time to prepare. Reports have, however, indicated that Apple's first AR headset will be a pricey, high-end device largely targeted at developers rather than the broader public.

Richie Rich-vision.

By Ostracus • Score: 3 • Thread

Reports have, however, indicated that Apple's first AR headset will be a pricey, high-end device largely targeted at developers rather than the broader public.

Reality has been augmented with dollar signs.

I am the brand. Love me!

By AndyKron • Score: 3 • Thread
I hope it's insanely expensive so when people see me with it they'll know how fucking awesome I am.

What Would You Pay For Autonomous Driving? Volkswagen Hopes $8.50 Per Hour

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: The future of driving may cost you $8.50 per hour if Volkswagen follows through on its boardroom musings. The German automaker is considering charging an hourly fee for access to autonomous driving features once those features are ready. The company is also exploring a range of subscription features for its electric vehicles, including "range or performance" increases that can be purchased on an hourly or daily basis, said Thomas Ulbrich, a Volkswagen board member, to the German newspaper Die Welt. Ulbrich said the first subscription features will appear in the second quarter of 2022 in vehicles based on Volkswagen's MEB platform, which underpins the company's new ID.3 compact car and ID.4 crossover.

The executive said that Volkswagen will also offer video games in cars, similar to Tesla's arcade. "In the charging breaks, even if they only last 15 minutes, we want to offer customers something," Ulbrich said. He said the automaker wouldn't be developing the games themselves, and it's not clear whether they'll come preinstalled or be available for purchase through an app store. Volkswagen's real moneymaker might be autonomous driving, though. "In autonomous driving, we can imagine that we switch it on by the hour. We assume a price of around seven euros ($8.50) per hour. So if you don't want to drive yourself for three hours, you can do it for 21 euros," said Klaus Zellmer, chief sales officer of the Volkswagen brand. In a swipe at Tesla, he said that by charging hourly fees, VW would make autonomous driving more accessible than "a car with a five-digit surcharge." That's not to say Volkswagen isn't hoping to make serious money off the subscriptions. In total, Zellmer said he anticipates the subscriptions will eventually make the company hundreds of millions of euros in additional revenue.

"Autonomous" is "remote controlled" by humans

By ffkom • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
VW knows very well that no company can currently or in the near future sell actual "level 5 autonomy" that just works, regardless of where you drive to. That's why they insist on "fast, low-latency networks" as required for "autonomous" cars, because in reality, they will be computer-driven only where this is relatively easy, while remote human operators will have to take control where the software fails. And those humans, even when employed as minimum-wage jobs, will cost per hour. So it is only logical that they only want to sell the pseudo-self-driving at an hourly fee.


By jenningsthecat • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Speak a little louder.

The Netflix world who doesn't own DVDs might see you then.

The Spotify planet who doesn't own CDs might be able to hear you then.

If the concept of ownership was still valued, it wouldn't be dying a slow painful death.

Ownership is still valued. The thing is, who values ownership, and of what, has changed drastically. The elites value ownership highly - and one of the 'things' over which they covet ownership is - guess what? Us!


By geekmux • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

While you're sitting here being completely dismissive of all of those things that are practically bothersome to you in the "own" category, someone else is targeting your Precious to turn into Rent-Ware.

Just remember that as you peddle this shortsighted bullshit.


By Brandano • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

So you can load a 3rd party software that will handle the same task?

Minimum wage

By ghoul • Score: 3 • Thread
For 7.25 an hour I can hire an actual human to drive my car in the US. Has VW considered how cheap human labor is in the US far less developing countries.

Ring Refuses To Say How Many Users Had Video Footage Obtained By Police

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Ring gets a lot of criticism, not just for its massive surveillance network of home video doorbells and its problematic privacy and security practices, but also for giving that doorbell footage to law enforcement. While Ring is making moves towards transparency, the company refuses to disclose how many users had their data given to police. From a report: The video doorbell maker, acquired by Amazon in 2018, has partnerships with at least 1,800 U.S. police departments (and growing) that can request camera footage from Ring doorbells. Prior to a change this week, any police department that Ring partnered with could privately request doorbell camera footage from Ring customers for an active investigation. Ring will now let its police partners publicly request video footage from users through its Neighbors app. The change ostensibly gives Ring users more control when police can access their doorbell footage, but ignores privacy concerns that police can access users' footage without a warrant. [...] Ring received over 1,800 legal demands during 2020, more than double from the year earlier, according to a transparency report that Ring published quietly in January. Ring does not disclose sales figures but says it has "millions" of customers. But the report leaves out context that most transparency reports include: how many users or accounts had footage given to police when Ring was served with a legal demand? When reached, Ring declined to say how many users had footage obtained by police.

Re:What is problem with police having video anyway

By hyades1 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

If you trust the police more than Amazon, you haven't been paying attention.

The police have a much higher body count of innocent civilians murdered, beaten, framed and stalked.

Re:These are the problems I've heard about

By tsqr • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

If people don't want to be arrested for petty theft and go into the prison system and have problems for life, they have a couple of obvious choices:
- Don't commit petty theft.
- Move to Los Angeles, whose District Attorney doesn't believe in prosecuting petty theft.

The reason may be different than you think

By timholman • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Based on several conversations I've had with the local police, the reason why Ring won't reveal the numbers is probably because they're so low.

One officer I spoke to was particularly critical: he considers the "partnership" between Amazon and the police to be nothing more than an advertising gimmick to sell Ring cameras. According to him:

(1) The police have to request access from Ring for every criminal incident. There is no blanket access. The police provide Ring with the time and location of the crime.

(2) Ring does not supply the police with the names or the addresses of any camera owners in that area. All they will do is confirm if there are Ring cameras nearby, and then Ring contacts the owners to request their permission to forward any relevant video clips to the police.

(3) Any Ring owners contacted must grant permission for this access, and guess what? Very few Ring owners respond to the requests. And if they do respond, the video obtained is generally worthless.

The officer told me that he obtains video footage the old fashioned way: he looks at the homes nearby, sees if any of them have cameras, and knocks on doors to ask the owners for help. That way he's not limited to any single manufacturer or brand, nor does he have to go through Amazon to do it.

In his opinion, the Amazon / police "partnership" is a carefully cultivated advertising strategy to make potential Ring buyers believe that their cameras will be effective and valuable crime-fighting tools, when in fact the exact opposite is true. And when you consider the quality and type of video that Ring cameras typically provide, I think he's right.

Ring makes decent video doorbells. They do not make good security cameras.

Re:What is problem with police having video anyway

By spun • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

But those cameras do not belong to the police, and they do not belong to you. Presumably, they do not belong to Ring either, unless someone has radically redefined property rights while I wasn't looking.

You want the government to take someone else's private property without asking or paying for it? I dunno, sounds kinda commie to me man. I thought you were one of those free market, property rights above all else types? Turns out you are just fine with a little communism when it suits you. And more than a little authoritarianism.

But I get it, I really do. I mean, you obviously trust our current government, and all future versions of it, implicitly and know, for sure, that no government employee would ever abuse their powers for evil. That's refreshingly trusting of you.

I mean, a cop would never use their access to this camera footage to stalk someone or hurt someone they had an argument with. Cops are perfect, and the government is your best friend!

Re:What is problem with police having video anyway

By NormalVisual • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Amazon has more of a global reach and potential impact on your life than the police do

Absolutely untrue. Pray tell, who with Amazon has the legal authority to kick my door in and kill me? I might be one bored Amazon admin away from a bad day, but I'm only one bored cop away from being dead.

Facebook Plans First Smartwatch for Next Summer With Two Cameras, Heart Rate Monitor

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Facebook is taking a novel approach to its first smartwatch, which the company hasn't confirmed publicly but currently plans to debut next summer. From a report: The device will feature a display with two cameras that can be detached from the wrist for taking pictures and videos that can be shared across Facebook's suite of apps, including Instagram, The Verge has learned. A camera on the front of the watch display exists primarily for video calling, while a 1080p, auto-focus camera on the back can be used for capturing footage when detached from the stainless steel frame on the wrist. Facebook is tapping other companies to create accessories for attaching the camera hub to things like backpacks, according to two people familiar with the project, both of whom requested anonymity to speak without Facebook's permission. The idea is to encourage owners of the watch to use it in ways that smartphones are used now. It's part of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's plan to build more consumer devices that circumvent Apple and Google, the two dominant mobile phone platform creators that largely control Facebook's ability to reach people.

My Precious

By Thelasko • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Remember, you are a valuable commodity to Facebook. Be sure to wear your smart watch so we can make sure we get a return on our invest...I mean... make sure you are ok.


By zenlessyank • Score: 3 • Thread

Facebook smartwatch.

Re:2 cameras??

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

I actually have a use case for a camera on my watch, assuming it has a visual quality comparable to my cell phone: I can get my watch out faster for a pic than I can my phone and in a few circumstances, recently that would have made a difference.

Having said that.... nope nope nope, cannot do a camera on a smart watch. I already work somewhere that restricts cell phones for that reason. In fact my cellular-smart watch is how I'm getting around that rule. Once there's a camera built-in that's it.

I wonder if the heart rate monitor ...

By Big Bipper • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
will be used to see just what content pushes your button ( gets you riled up ) the most ? All in the name of customer engagement of course. Don't forget that heart rate monitors are a key element of lie detectors.

Clean up the brand image first...

By ctilsie242 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Facebook doesn't have a good reputation among people. Between people randomly getting banned for various stuff, to all the data exfiltration, scandals of where data was sold to, to many other things FB has done to invade privacy, anything sold with the FB brand will not be regarded highly.

Facebook needs to clean up their image before most people would buy anything from them.

Maybe work on things like how Facebook created a compression algorithm (zstd) that can cover a lot of bases, and is part of the Linux kernel. That, and their work on making btrfs something suitable for production. Facebook doing a lot of good for the F/OSS thing can help greatly improve their brand name, especially if they sell devices which are open and hackable (hackable in the old school sense, not hackable as in easily compromised).

FB has enough capitalization that they could throw a third of their capitalization at climate change and completely stop it entirely.

However, as it stands now, I don't really know anyone who would buy a smartwatch from them. The entire smartwatch industry seems to have come and gone, and if I see a smartwatch, it is an Apple Watch, so there wouldn't be much market for a Facebook device.

Several macOS Monterey Features Unavailable on Intel-Based Macs

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Several of macOS Monterey's features won't be available to users with an Intel-powered Macs. On the macOS Monterey features page, fine print indicates that the following features require a Mac with the M1 chip, including any MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro, Mac mini, and iMac model released since November 2020: 1. Portrait Mode blurred backgrounds in FaceTime videos
2. Live Text for copying and pasting, looking up, or translating text within photos
3. An interactive 3D globe of Earth in the Maps app
4. More detailed maps in cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, and London in the Maps app
5. Text-to-speech in more languages, including Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, and Finnish
6. On-device keyboard dictation that performs all processing completely offline
7. Unlimited keyboard dictation (previously limited to 60 seconds per instance)

So, in other words....

By leonbev • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

It's not really worth bothering to upgrade to Monterey if you have an Intel Mac. Gotcha.

Honestly, I wish that I would have stuck with Mojave (10.14). I lost access to a ton of older 32 bit Mac apps and games when I "upgraded" to Catalina.

Re:Shocking, but not surprising

By Strider- • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

5. Text-to-speech in more languages, including Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, and Finnish

Or this.

Have You ever tried speaking Finnish? I’m surprised it doesn’t take a beowulf cluster to do that...

Re:Pay up for new kit or get less mac.

By dgatwood • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Dropping older Macs from support by the latest and greatest OS is not arbitrary. There is more to a Mac than the CPU and the RAM. My 2019 intel mini has a T1 chip for security and other features that its 2014 predecessor does not have.

And the operating system mostly doesn't care. It's not like you can drop support for non-T1 mass storage devices, or else your external hard drives would stop working. So there would be no obvious code savings from not supporting pre-T1 Macs, unless maybe they could eventually save a small bit of code in the crypto library.

Both have Intel I7 4 cores with 32gb RAM, but not the same generation.

And maybe you get to drop a few errata workarounds in the kernel.

Also, the 2019 Mac has Thunderbolt 3 and USB4 support as does my 2020 M1 mini, but the 2020 M1 mini runs my Intel programs and graphics faster than the 2019 Intel mini.

The i7 Intel Mini can handle 4K streaming in OBS. The M1 in emulation mode can't. So it's very much a YMMV.

M1 includes a lot more than the CPU and RAM on just the 1 chip. Its graphics processing is way more powerful and capable than what is built into the Intel chips.

The base model 5300M GPU in the current-generation Mac Pro gets 233 fps in GFXBench on macOS with Metal (or 267.2 on Windows with DirectX). The M1 gets 214.4 fps. It's not "way more powerful" unless you limit the discussion to integrated Intel GPUs (which have always been crap).

And even the 2017 iMac Pro blows the doors off the M1 in multi-core CPU performance, though the M1 wins in single-core performance.

Recent Intel hardware should easily be able to handle any of the features that they're not supporting — certainly for trivial stuff like video background blur.

Plus there is the neural net engine, Secure Enclave and other capabilities of the M1 which make it better for video and audio streaming.

Secure enclave might be nice for DRM, but I'd hardly call that better for streaming. :-D

The neural engine is pretty cool, but it shouldn't be essential for any of the stuff being discussed here.

Apples's decisions have more to do with implementation, performance and reliability than anything else. If your new computer's does something fast using built in chip capabilities, why implement a slower and probably less reliable version that doesn't have the hardware support?

Because it's the right way to write software. You don't write everything in assembly language; you use a bloody compiler so that you can generate code for whatever CPU you want. So why should anybody sane write this sort of code on top of a low-level API that requires specific tensor processing hardware when they can write it to a high-level API and compile it down to tensor code for the neural engine or GPU instructions for Intel machines with discrete GPUs or x86-64 instructions or GPU instructions for other Intel machines?

If you have Mac money this doesnt't matter.

By couchslug • Score: 3 • Thread

One only NEEDS a specific PC to run software to make a profit. Other use is toy use (like gaming on Windows boxes).

Considered as a tool for work Macs are cheap compared to what a tradesman invests in their typical kit but this idea is a hard sell to buyers too invested in one model instead of planning for OS diversity from the start. If a grand or two hurts in the first world then it's not a tool but an option no matter how much affection you have for it.

The market rewards Apple therefore its choices are correct for Apple. If they're less correct for you, buy another machine or run an OS that doesn't shit all over your freedoms. You knew what you signed up for (if this is still a tech site).

"Freedom of choice means you have some work to do."

Re:Pay up for new kit or get less mac.

By AmiMoJo • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

So landscape mode blurred backgrounds works fine on x86, but portrait mode blurred backgrounds requires the Neural Engine?

And every other device seems to be able to do portrait mode blurred backgrounds just fine without a Neural Engine anyway.

Facebook Says It Will Expand Remote Work To All Employees, But May Reduce Pay If They Move To Less-Expensive Area

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Facebook said it will let all employees work remotely even after the pandemic if their jobs can be done out of an office, but may reduce their pay if they move to a less-expensive area. From a report: Starting June 15, any Facebook employee can request to work from home, the Menlo Park, California-based company said Wednesday in a statement. If those employees move to a lower-cost region, their salaries will be adjusted accordingly and they will be encouraged to go into the office at times to enhance team building. Facebook said it will be more flexible for employees expected to return to the office. "Guidance is to be in the office at least half the time," the company said. Facebook also plans to open most of its U.S. offices to at least 50% capacity by early September and reopen fully in October. Until the end of 2021, employees can work as many as 20 business days from another location away from their home area, the company said.

The social network had more than 60,000 workers as of March 31, according to regulatory filings. Employees have been able to work remotely since offices were closed at the beginning of the pandemic last year. Facebook also is expanding the number of workers who are allowed to move to other countries. Later this month, any employee will be able to move from the U.S. to Canada or from Europe, the Middle East or Africa to anywhere in the U.K., according to the company. Previously, only employees in technical or recruiting roles were allowed to take advantage of this option. By January 2022, Facebook employees will be allowed to permanently move between seven more countries in Europe, the Middle East or Africa.

Re: So...

By GrumpySteen • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

And the employees in Camel Toe got their salary split in half!

Re:So you're basically admitting slavery?

By aergern • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

It also depends on if a company has filed the paperwork to be able keep someone on the payroll in the state that the employee has chosen. Not every company is incorporated in all 50 states and/or provinces. My wife was going to hire a new FTE for her team, he moved from the Bay Area to Iowa after applying. She couldn't hire him because they don't have all the proper paperwork for Iowa and a single employee wouldn't have been worth all the hoops they'd have to jump through.

There are a lot of rules both state and federal that will have to change to make the "work from anywhere" a reality, it's not just about WFH.

Re: So...

By spun • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

The job market isn't a free market, coercion is involved. If you do not participate, your basic needs will not be met. I can choose not to buy a latte. I can not choose not to work.

Saying "Work or starve" is no different from holding a gun to someone's head and saying "Work or I shoot."

This is because there is no viable alternative, in the USA, anyhow. In the past, you could leave society and fend for yourself. Everyone was taught how to hunt and gather, from birth. Now, the entire world has been privatized, there is no place outside the system you can exist on your own. If you try, people with guns will come and force you back into the system, or into prison, where again, you can be forced into work you do not choose.

There is another factor involved in the labor market, the imbalance of information. It is identical to the seminal example of said imbalance, as outlined in the paper "The Market for Lemons."

A worker is in the same position as a seller of a used car. He or she has far more information about their own worth than a potential employer. Because of this, employers automatically assume the worker is worth less than they claim, and underpay. This causes a systematic imbalance in the price of labor, similar to the systematic imbalance in the price of used cars. Both are undervalued because even a "free market" fails, in certain cases, to do what it says on the label. As with other modes of market failure such as externalities and natural monopolies, the real cost and value of things is not properly accounted for.

And that is without any active price fixing from the employers, who of course do conspire (and even have their lobbyists write laws) to reduce the cost of labor.

Of course, even if you fix all that, capitalists (those who live of the interest from owning things) still have the advantage over labor. As Picketty explained, as long as the stock market is growing faster than the GDP grows, there is literally no place else that excess can originate from, except the real economy. Money is being systematically drained from the workers who create it and siphoned into "the stock market."

Which, as anyone who has been paying attention recently can tell you, is a rigged game.

Head they win, tails you lose. They write the rules, and pay the guys with guns to enforce them.

Re:value of my work

By Yo Grark • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

When I was a hiring manager, I ran into this a few times where the value of the same job position would be paid lower in one area of the country and higher in another. Even worse when comparing countries.

Got so bad when the team started talking to one another and they found out that one country had car allowances that were a perk in one area but not others. Again, SAME JOB, different cultures and hiring incentives.

Even with higher cost of living in one area to another, it's REALLY hard to justify a 3x salary difference. Here's where it gets tricky. I had an employee want to move countries to make the higher wage and he was told he could move, but his salary wouldn't change more than 1.25x.

I also had an employee want to move the other way (to be closer to family) and was told that the company COULDN'T change their salary and that they would make 3x the amount of anyone else for the same role in the same office.

So depending on local laws, this action by Facebook might be illegal as a general policy and have been some of the most interesting HR conversations I've ever had in my life.

Yo Grark

My Experience

By dcw3 • Score: 3 • Thread

I'm a retired engineering manager for a F500 company. Our field engineers were billed out to customers at a rate known as "off-site", which was 30% less than our in plant rate. That's because the company didn't need to provide workspace and thus saved a large amount of overhead cost. Our employees were compensated for working in higher cost of living areas, but their salaries never decreased when going to low cost areas. Note that people were usually at a location for years. Some folks really made out because they had high salaries from being hired in in places like the DC and LA metro areas, and moved to a hole in the wall customer site with no pay decrease. We even had to incentivize some of those kind of moves because it could be difficult to get people to go live in crappy locations, working crappy hours...go figure.

I see a lot of companies making demands right now that they simply won't be able to push because employees really have most of the leverage with unemployment the way it is right now. We're not at Internet bubble craziness levels, and I don't think we ever will be again, but companies are going to have to start kissing some ass again.

President of El Salvador Says He is Working To Offer Bitcoin Mining Facilities With Cheap, 100% Clean and Renewable Energy From Volcanos

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Hours after El Salvador became the first country to adopt bitcoin as legal tender, the nation's president -- Nayib Bukele -- has announced that he has instructed the state-owned geothermal electric company "to put up a plan to offer facilities for Bitcoin mining with very cheap, 100% clean, 100% renewable, 0 emissions energy from our volcanos."

Well well well

By redmid17 • Score: 3 • Thread
This whole shitshow keeps getting better and better. Gotta get BTC in the country before people can start using it because most of the people who could wouldn't spend it in country. The only way this thing doesn't end with a whimper or a bad bang is if this is just a trick to get cheap, clean geothermal energy coming into the country.

How to accidentally enslave your children

By dmay34 • Score: 3, Interesting • Thread

How to accidentally enslave your children.

Let's say you live in a developing country with weak financial enforcement laws, and you owe some small debt. Maybe it's 100gs (gs being a fictional monetary unit in your nation). You don't have 100gs, so you need some help. You come talk to me.

I tell you I can give you 100gs, no problem, but you are basically making a daily wage to feed an house your family as it is, you won't be able to pay me back. Ah, but you have a young strapping son that needs his first job. You've come to the right place. Tell you what, I'll front you 100gs, and I'll pay your son 1gs per day he works for me for 110 days. You can pay your tax debt, I get an employee, your son gets a job, and I make 10% interest. And then in 110 days we shake hands and are friends. Yeah, 1gs per day isn't much, but it's your son's first job, and it's only a short time.

Win-Win. Everyone happy?

Oh wait, one more little thing. Just a tiny little thing. I don't really want payment in gs, I want it in crypto X-coin. That's not really a big deal. Right now the gs to X-coin exchange is 10:1. That means that instead of 110 gs, you just pay me 11 X-coin. It's really the same thing.

[fast forward 110 days].

Good to see you again. I'm so happy your son worked for me. He was such a hard worker. Good lad you got there. Alright, let's settle up. Let's see, I loaned you 110 gs and you agreed to pay me 11 X-coin in return. Oh, dear. Oh dear. Yeah, when we first made this agreement the exchange rate was 10:1. But, you know how these things are, now it's 100:1. You only made enough to buy one X-coin.

Your son will have to continue to work for me for the next 990 days, on 1gs per day. That's too bad.

BUT! I'm a reasonable man and I don't want to see your situation get even WORSE! So let's agree to amend the contract and lock in this rate?


Re:People fail to understand Money

By DaveV1.0 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

This is the reason you get a "monetary premium"on real estates, stocks, arts...

At this stage, a lot of people consider Bitcoin a better option than the list given above.

A lot of people are stupid. Bitcoin is a horrible value store as shown by the roller coaster ride it's price has been on because it has no intrinsic value.

Re:Well well well

By Areyoukiddingme • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

But 40% of power production is still based on fossil fuels, and many poor families are still cooking with coal and charcoal.

Building a power plant is relatively easy. If not with native expertise, somebody somewhere in the world knows how to do it.

Building a power grid in a frickin' jungle is HARD.

Biden Administration To Buy 500 Million Pfizer Coronavirus Vaccine Doses To Donate To the World

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
The Biden administration is buying 500 million doses of Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine to donate to the world, as the United States dramatically increases its efforts to help vaccinate the global population, the Washington Post reported Wednesday, citing three people familiar with the plans. From the report: President Biden is slated to announce the plan at the G-7 meeting in Britain this week amid growing calls for the United States and other rich countries to play a more substantial role in boosting the global supply of vaccines. Biden told reporters Wednesday as he boarded Air Force One to Europe he would be announcing his global vaccine strategy. The Biden administration previously announced it would share at least 80 million vaccine doses with the world by the end of June. Last week, the White House detailed plans for how it would allocate 25 million doses, with about 19 million of them being shared with Covax, the World Health Organization-backed initiative to distribute vaccine doses around the globe. Roughly 6 million doses would be shared directly with countries experiencing severe coronavirus outbreaks, including India.

Re:USA fixing what China f'ked up...

By Rei • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

I slag off the US a lot, particularly its healthcare system, so it's been a big slice of humble pie when the US went and vaccinated my whole department with Pfizer after my country's disaster of a vaccination programme (both the US and Iceland consider my job critical, and it matters far more to Iceland (I'm not legally allowed to strike), yet only the US did anything, while Iceland put me on the same priority level as "people literally randomly selected from a jar" and at lower priority than "16-18 year olds who will be watching children over the summer"...).

It's humbling. And deeply appreciated.

(It's also entirely unconnected to this announcement)

Re:USA fixing what China f'ked up...

By Rei • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

To give an idea of what the Icelandic system has been like... they vaccinated police, firemen, and prison guards in January, but didn't even start on, say, people with severe lung cancer until mid April. There's far too many "greatest hits" to name, but just to give the most recent: they bought a bunch of Johnson and Johnson that nobody wants, and their solution to this problem is to randomly assign half the remaining population to it, and announce that they're shutting down vaccination in July, so if you refuse to accept your J&J, you're going to be unvaccinated until the fall.

It turns out I would have been assigned J&J, BTW. I wouldn't have accepted it (not due to side effects, but due to its poor efficacy against new strains, given that our government hasn't committed itself to offering booster shots), and thus been unvaccinated until this fall.

Again... thanks America. That's not a phrase I'm used to saying, but thanks.

Re: Wow that's a lot of doses

By Nite_Hawk • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

I don't know if you will read this, but I have an autoimmune disease that potentially might affect the efficacy of the vaccines for me. I had a notable immune reaction after the vaccine so I suspect that I'm ok, but I just wanted to say that on behalf of folks in my position and worse off, I would humbly appreciate it if you did get the vaccine at this point. Doses are plentiful in the US now. You won't be taking the vaccine away from someone else. Instead you'll help prevent the spread and limit the potential for new variants that might kill someone like me. Thanks

Re:USA fixing what China f'ked up...

By markdavis • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

>"I slag off the US a lot, particularly its healthcare system[...] It's humbling. And deeply appreciated."

Actually a whole lot of the world does. Mostly indirectly by innovation, research, education, medications, procedures, grants, and even private charities. But this is rarely acknowledged. ESPECIALLY on a place like Slashdot.


Re: Wow that's a lot of doses

By MachineShedFred • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Adding absurd arguments that are plainly illegal under the rule of established law doesn't support your position and rather just makes you look silly. And while you seem to think that quote from James Madison justifies spending a total of $0 on foreign aid, James Madison can equally not point to any clause in the Constitution that prevents the Congress from spending money on foreign aid, so that's just not really relevant.

The Constitution is, and always has been, a framework from which all other legislative action stems. More to the point, unless there is something that specifically forbids the Congress from taking an action, the Congress is allowed to take that action. And because we have three co-equal branches of government, if the Congress strays from their lane, the executive can veto or the judiciary can shitcan the whole thing as unconstitutional.

If you don't like the foreign aid, feel free to sue the government and see if the Federal Judiciary sees it the same way - spoiler alert: they will not. And the system that James Madison helped to author keeps on rolling.

One Fastly Customer Triggered Internet Meltdown

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Thelasko writes: The company operates servers at strategic points around the world to help customers move and store content close to their end users. But a customer quite legitimately changing their settings had exposed a bug in a software update issued to customers in mid-May, causing '85% of our network to return errors', it said in a blogpost.

Hoping for details.

By jythie • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
While I suspect any post mortem they could post would be beyond an outsider's ability to really make sense of, I would be really curious to read about how exactly a valid configuration change took down a whole system. I could understand if it was something silly like 'customer requested -1 CPUs and the parameter went through an unsigned field then tried to allocate billions of CPUs to them!', but what kind of valid change results in such a cascade failure?

Re:Hoping for details.

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

but what kind of valid change results in such a cascade failure?

That's the first question I thought of. How can one customer, making a valid configuration change on their network, have a global effect on Fastly's entire network?

If this explanation is actually true, it doesn't speak very well for the quality of Fastly's network.

Re:The internet didn't melt down, Fastly did

By reanjr • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

The Internet was fine. But the interconnected World Wide Web that relies on cobbling together web services and content networks had some issues.

Badly misleading headline!

By Geoffrey.landis • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

This headline really shifts the blame.

The correct headline is: "Bug in Software Update Caused Internet Meltdown".

The customer highlighted in the headline just happened to be the unlucky victim who hit the bug first.

Re:Little Bobby Tables has grown up!

By Geoffrey.landis • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

An amusing xkcd, although I have to say I'm not sure how you say that over the phone.

Practical jokes like that sometimes misfire. There's the guy who asked for (and got) a vanity plate "NULL", and discovered that every traffic ticket for which the policeman couldn't read the license plate... got assigned to him.

Whale That Travelled Halfway Around the World Sets Migration Record

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Between May and July of 2013, a single grey whale (Eschrichtius robustus) was spotted off the coast of Namibia. This was odd, as while there have been rare sightings of this species in the Atlantic Ocean, they are usually confined to the northern hemisphere. From a report: It turns out the animal had travelled at least 20,000 kilometres (12,427.4 miles) -- halfway around the planet -- setting a record for a migration of any mammal, barring humans. Rus Hoelzel at Durham University in the UK and his colleagues used tissue samples collected from the whale's skin and analysed its DNA to trace its origins.

By comparing it with other grey whale populations, they found that this individual, a male, was probably born to the endangered western North Pacific population, found along the coast of eastern Asia. This means it travelled at least 20,000 kilometres to get to the southern Atlantic. Earth's circumference is slightly over 40,000 kilometres. "This is the record really for an in-water migration, if you're assuming that this individual started its life in the north-west Pacific and it found its way to Namibia," says Hoelzel. "That's as far as any vertebrate has ever gone in water, as far as we know." Land dwelling mammals fall far short of this feat -- the record is a grey wolf that roamed more than 7000 kilometres in a year.


By Gabest • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

We set the whale tracking record. It is our achievement. I am pretty sure whales did travel that far before.


By matthelm007 • Score: 5, Funny • Thread
It was a male, so he just refused to stop and ask for directions!

Arctic Tern: 30,000 km

By doug141 • Score: 3 • Thread

Maybe whales have the water record, but Terns:

White House Launches Task Force To Address Supply Chain Disruptions

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
The White House announced this week that it will establish a task force to address supply chain challenges in key sectors where "a mismatch between supply and demand has been evident." From a report: The task force will focus on "homebuilding and construction, semiconductors, transportation, and agriculture and food" and will be led by the secretaries of commerce, agriculture and transportation, the White House said. As the U.S. has reopened its economy, changes in demand have caused the disruptions, the White House said.

"While these short-term supply chain disruptions are temporary, the president has directed his administration to closely monitor these developments and take actions to minimize the impacts on workers, consumers, and businesses in order to bolster a strong economic recovery," it said. The actions come as the White House released the findings of a 100-day review of critical U.S. supply chain issues in a 250-page report Tuesday. The report includes recommendations that the White House said "will not only strengthen the four prioritized supply chains, but will rebuild the U.S. industrial base and restart our innovation engine."

It's about time

By denisbergeron • Score: 3 • Thread

I cal this 20 years ago where I work for a bank.!

The server was part in Africa and part in East European country, the software was created by a canadian company in India!

Then, 5 years after I'm gone, the bank was hacked on their servers somewhere, all users data was stolen and they didn't know why, Yeah Right

If they was kepping their shit together and control every flow of their data, that wont be this shit.

They certainly save millions by outsourcing, but lost billion !

Outsourcing is bad !

How about throwing a CEO in jail?

By schwit1 • Score: 3 • Thread

The decision makers at Solarwinds, Equifax and OPM should have been jailed. Do this a few times and security will improve, quickly.

Missed it in 1.

By argStyopa • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

"While these short-term supply chain disruptions are temporary"
Really? This statement ALONE would suggest that they haven't the faintest idea of the scope of the issue, to say nothing of a fucking clue of what's needed to solve it.

I've been in supply chain and international logistics since 1990.

IIRC 2015 capacities were surplus and ocean carriers were slitting each others' wrists for cargo. You could book a 40' from HK to Santos for $100. Yes, the document services cost more than the o/f.
More typically, a container from China to the US west coast is $1200-$1500.
Right now, forwarders are AUCTIONING available ship spaces and it's not uncommon to see desperate shippers paying $10k+ for that same 1x40.

A/F from EU to US is historically about $1.25/lb. Today it's easily $3/lb - I've seen it spike over $6-$7 on occasion.

Normally booking a container in Europe you can get an empty 3-4 days ahead of loading. Now it's 6+ WEEKS to get an empty that may not even show up.

We have seen port dwell times for inbound containers in LA/LGB (a particularly bad example, as they are around half of US imports) go from a normal 2-3 days to 6+ WEEKS. This is often at the tail end of an import where the Asian shipper has fought for 4+ weeks just to get the empty to load, and then watched it get pushed from sailing to sailing before it actually departs, turning a normal 3 weeks shipment to 15 weeks from booking to delivery.
And THAT means that you need 5 TIMES the number of containers and ships to sustain the tempo...which nobody has nor can quickly invest in at $100 mill per ship.

Most lately, drayage (container-hauling) drivers are starting to quit their jobs to go work for the more lucrative trucking industry (which itself has been a basket-case disaster since October, but they've been having driver shortages since 2009).

Journal of Commerce LAST WEEK published an article expressing that not only is there apparently no "light at the end of the tunnel" on the current circumstances, but many indicators are that it's going to get WORSE.

Nah man, this is globally, catastrophically bad. Like...years sorting this out. People outside this industry could never comprehend how much of a razors-edge this whole juggling act required and now the balls are all falling to the floor.

"I'm from the government, and...

By bradley13 • Score: 3 • Thread

...I'm here to help." The nine most terrifying words that you can hear.

The government is mostly an expert at screwing markets up. Just as an example: housing, and the current lumber shortage (prices have nearly tripled!). Presently, the US is importing huge amounts of lumber from Europe. To make up for the shortage, Europe is importing wood from Canada. Of course, this makes no sense at all, but it is happening because the US government decided to "help" the lumber industry, by imposing tariffs on Canadian lumber. Oh, and the US is about to help some more, by doubling those tariffs.

It'll be great, when this new task force starts helping even more :-P

Re:Appeasement of..

By WhoBeDaPlaya • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Just-in-time is like agile - it is not implemented correctly / appropriately in a large number of cases, usually in the typical American corporate plague of "this quarter" short-sightedness

Look at Toyota - they originated JIT, and yet are one of the few manufacturers not suffering from chip shortages. Why? Because to Toyota JIT does NOT mean zero inventory (sound familiar to agile espousing bozos?), it means having an APPROPRIATE amount of inventory

China is Vaccinating a Staggering 20 Million People a Day

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
For more than a week, an average of about 20 million people have been vaccinated against COVID-19 every day in China. At this rate, the nation would have fully vaccinated the entire UK population in little more than six days. From a report: China now accounts for more than half of the 35 million or so people around the world receiving a COVID-19 shot each day. Zoltan Kis, a chemical engineer in the Future Vaccine Manufacturing Research Hub at Imperial College London, doesn't know of "anything even close to those production scales" for a vaccine. "The manufacturing efforts required in China to reach this high production throughput are tremendous," he says. The majority of doses are of one of two vaccines, both of which have been approved for emergency use worldwide by the World Health Organization (WHO). CoronaVac -- produced by Beijing-based company Sinovac -- showed an efficacy of 51% against symptoms of COVID-19 in clinical trials, and much higher protection against severe disease and death. The second jab was developed in Beijing by state-owned firm Sinopharm and has demonstrated an efficacy of 79% against symptomatic disease and hospitalization.

Re:China lied and people died

By thegarbz • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

If the CCP had been honest early on we wouldn't have had such a 'staggering' death toll.

Yes you would. Your staggering death toll came long after most of the world know the full truth while your fucking moron in charge was "it's just the flu" "today it's 5 cases, tomorrow zero" "can we drink bleach or shove a tanning lamp up our arses?" "mask? WTF is a mask, how will people see my fake tan if I wear a mask".

Don't blame china for your own inadequacy. There are many countries around the world who don't have a "staggering death toll".

Re:Its useless chinese vaccine

By Ungrounded Lightning • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Knock-off Nation's garbage sinopharm. About 45% efficacy.

As TFA says (if you'd bothered to look, or are you disputing the numbers?)
  - Two vaccines. One 51%, the other 79%.

Not fully tested.

None of them are. In a pandemic "the customer is the final tester".

All done purely for PR and to try and keep up appearances

Seems to me that preventing one out of two, or four out of five, cases is more than just "appearances".

They've got a LOT of people and the virus can run through them like a forest fire, so getting them even less-than-superb protection early is far better than leaving them unprotected while waiting for something better to be produced in sufficient bulk. The fewer of them that become culture media for a virus' self-improvement program, the better off we'll ALL be - and the more of them that will survive.

Re:Its useless chinese vaccine

By HiThere • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

It's not useless. The Russian vaccine MAY be useless, but the Chinese vaccines are just "less useful". Even the Russian vaccine may be useful. We can't tell because the delivered versions weren't manufactured to the same specs as the tested version, and they've refused to say what those specs are. (Likely they don't know...which is really bad.)

The Chinese versions, however, probably keep people out of the emergency room fairly well, and render a substantial proportion of the vaccinated immune. That's not useless. 70% effectiveness is higher than the FDA was aiming for before the current vaccines were tested, and even 50% is close to what they were going to demand. Nobody expected an effectiveness of over 90%.

Re:Its useless chinese vaccine

By theshowmecanuck • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Here's the scariest theft of IP by China (from Canada): High-security lab’s ties to Chinese military researchers should compel Liberals to provide documents: opposition. Apparently they sent deadly viruses to the Wuhan lab from Canada's equivalent of the High Containment Laboratories at the US CDC. Conservative, NDP and Bloc MPs called on the government for details on why two scientists were fired from Winnipeg’s National Microbiology Laboratory this year. And the Liberals are quiet.

Mind you, before Trudeau was elected he was at a fundraiser and was asked what countries government he admired the most. He said China. No word of a lie, it was on camera. The worst for Canada though is that the Conservative Party of Canada has kept putting such bad party leaders forward, that we still can't get rid of Trudeau.

There is a level of admiration I actually have for China, Ahh, because their basic dictatorship is allowing them to actually turn their economy around on a dime'

And the Trudeau Liberals still haven't formally banned Huawei from being used for 5G networks. The only country in the '5 Eyes' alliance. He doesn't seem, and doesn't make Canada seem very allied.

Re: Its useless chinese vaccine

By Yi Ding • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

If you look at the number of people who get sick who are vaccinated vs. unvaccinated, you'll see the efficacy rates are actually very close to the trial efficacy rates.

I like ArsTechnica, but on this issue their reporting is crap.

Biden To Revoke and Replace Trump's Executive Order That Sought To Ban TikTok

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
President Biden on Wednesday will revoke a Trump-era executive order that sought to ban the popular app TikTok and replace it with one that calls for a broader review of a number of foreign-controlled applications that could pose a security risk to Americans and their data. From a report: According to a memo circulated by the Commerce Department and obtained by The New York Times, the order will address a number of applications and bolster recent actions the Biden administration has taken to curb the growing influence of Chinese technology companies.

It is the first significant step Mr. Biden has taken to address a challenge left for him by President Donald J. Trump, whose administration fought to ban TikTok and force its Chinese-owned parent company, ByteDance, to sell the app. Legal challenges immediately followed and the app is still available as the battle languishes in the courts. Mr. Biden's order "will direct the secretary of commerce to use a criteria-based decision framework and rigorous, evidence-based analysis to evaluate and address the risks" posed by foreign-operated applications, according to the memo. "As warranted, the secretary will determine appropriate actions based on a thorough review of the risks posed by foreign adversary connected software applications."

the USA should not allow

By FudRucker • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
not allow any foreign entity to datamine americans, be it a private multi-national corporation or foreign government, it is none of their business and an invasion of privacy, and should be illegal under any circumstances


By cascadingstylesheet • Score: 3 • Thread
So he likes Trump's idea, and wants to expand on it.


By thunderclees • Score: 3, Informative • Thread
With his not-Trump policy, policy Biden seems to be making his decisions based on who the previous president was rather then on the individual merits of the legislation involved.
For example, every decision made so far by the Biden administration regarding the border.
Or maybe Biden is trying to compensate for something.
No argument that there really should be strict control on US citizens data profile but why hyper-focus on TikTok?
There are many examples where the PRC has practically open access to details about US citizens like Amazon, Alphabet, Apple, etc.

Re:This is insteresting

By cmseagle • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

a bunch partisan hack judges; blocked its reversal

Partisan hacks? The Supreme Court blocked it from being rescinded because Trump violated the Administrative Powers Act. DHS then tried to rescind it, but that got overturned because the acting Secretary wasn't appointed properly and so wasn't actually the lawful Secretary of Homeland Security.

The irony of both failed attempts to rescind DACA is that they could have been successful if the Trump administration had governed competently.


By jellomizer • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Even a broken clock is right twice a day.
While I consider Trump to be the worst president in American History (with the events of 2020 putting him below Buchanan) That doesn't mean all his decisions or actions were wrong.
So a lot of the XO that Trump made, really should be reviewed before just overturning them just because we don't like the guy.

Microscopic Animal Revived After Slumbering in Arctic Permafrost for 24,000 Years

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
Bdelloid rotifers typically live in watery environments and have an incredible ability to survive. Russian scientists found the creatures in a core of frozen soil extracted from the Siberian permafrost using a drilling rig. CNN reports: "Our report is the hardest proof as of today that multicellular animals could withstand tens of thousands of years in cryptobiosis, the state of almost completely arrested metabolism," said Stas Malavin, a researcher at the Soil Cryology Laboratory at the Pushchino Scientific Center for Biological Research in Russia.

Earlier research by other groups had shown that the rotifers could survive up to 10 years when frozen. In a new study, the Russian researchers used radiocarbon dating to determine that the critters they recovered from the permafrost -- ground that is frozen year-round, apart from a thin layer near the surface -- were about 24,000 years old. The study was published in the journal Current Biology on Monday. It's not the first time ancient life has been resurrected from a permanently frozen habitat.

Implications for life on Mars

By bettersheep • Score: 3, Interesting • Thread

This suggests that if there was ever life on Mars, it is still there, frozen.

has no one watched

By logan3111 • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
the thing?

Permafrost receding...

By clawsoon • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
This has probably been happening already in nature with more and more permafrost melting.

Have they sequenced them?

By HiThere • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Bdelloid rotifers are "an evolutionary scandal", because they're not only parthenogenetic, they've also survived long enough to fork multiple distinct species. (For certain meanings of species, as I said they're parthenogenetic, so they don't depend on sex to reproduce.)

Therefore I'd think sequencing the genomes of these ancient instances would be a high priority

Re:Permafrost receding...

By cusco • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Finally, a post in this thread that doesn't reference some crappy movie or shitty TV show.

I think the previous record was something pulled from a glacier core, which are also melting at an accelerating rate. "Multicellular animal" is technically correct here, but this is pretty minimal. A large rotifer can eat a small paramecium, so there aren't many cells in play here.

Google Will Let Rivals Appear As Default Search Engine Options On Android For Free

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Engadget: Google will jettison an auction system that forces other providers to bid for the right to be featured as a default search engine option on Android. Following a $5 billion fine and antitrust enforcement action in 2018, people in Europe have been able to choose which core apps and services they use on Android by default, instead of having to use Google products at first. Users in the region see an Android choice screen while setting up a device or after performing a factory reset. They can select their default search engine from a number of options. However, the three providers that are presented alongside Google Search have been determined by a sealed bidding process.

The revamped choice screen will feature up to 12 search engine options. The one you pick is the default for searches on the home screen and Chrome, if you use that as your browser. Your device will also install that provider's search app. Only general search engines are eligible, and they need to have a free search app on the Play store. Vertical search engines (i.e. specialist or subject-specific ones) will be locked out. Providers that syndicate search results and ads from Google won't be featured on the list either. The changes will come into effect for new Android devices sold in the UK and European Economic Area by September 1st.
"Following further feedback from the Commission, we are now making some final changes to the Choice Screen including making participation free for eligible search providers," Oliver Bethell, Google's head of competition for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, wrote in a blog post. "We will also be increasing the number of search providers shown on the screen. These changes will come into effect from September this year on Android devices."

Image search.

By Ostracus • Score: 3 • Thread

And then there's the "Google as a utility" lawsuit in which any action by Google that makes them look even MORE like a monopoly would be bad.

More details

By AmiMoJo • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Missing from TFA were a few key details that are answered on Google's page:

The thing I was interested in is how the 12 options are chosen, if not by auction. The top 5 will be the top 5 according to StatCounter per country. The remaining 7 slots will be all the others, and if there are more than 7 eligible search engines they will be randomly chosen. The order will be random too.

Is HBO Max Broken?

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
Last week, Apple TV users reported issues with HBO Max refusing to rewind, fast-forward, or pause content. According to The A.V. Club, the issue is still ongoing. From the report: Strangely enough, HBO Max's customer service Twitter account acknowledged the issue on June 4. They wrote to a Twitter user, "We're aware of this issue with our app on Apple TV and our team is working to find a solution as quickly as possible. Thank you for your patience while we sort this out." HBO says "fixes coming," according to The Verge. Yesterday, the site's editor-in-chief tweeted about the issue to HBO Max's executive vice president and general manager Andy Forssell, who tweeted, "First priority is to deliver for users in addressing the issues, but in parallel we will also dive deep into that question." As of now, though, the company is still charging users for an app that won't let you rewind, say, that scene from Dumb & Dumber where Harry has diarrhea. This leads us to ask, where's the money going?

Is Slashdot Broken ?

By bettersheep • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

For the last five years, Slashdot users reported issues with Slashdot Editors refusing to proofread, fact-check, or correct content. According to CmdrTaco, the issue is still ongoing.

Re:Well, of course it doesn't rewind

By rudy_wayne • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

Fucking HBO Max charges me extra every month for not rewinding videos after I'm finished watching them.

It's happening with Roku hardware, too.

By patmanDC • Score: 4, Informative • Thread
It's not just Apple TV. The HBO MAX app on the Roku hardware is also not working correctly. For example, the "Continue Watching" feature is no longer working on the Roku Ultra... which means you can't pick up watching a video where you left off. HBO MAX has not responded to my emails sent to their tech support team...

"Where's the money going?"

By eepok • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

I hate this question so much. Ya, there are times where it's genuinely a good question-- the public sector for example. If a city is running a deficit for the year, then it's wise to ask, "Where's the money going?"

On the other hand, if there's a technical error on a website, "Where's the money going?" isn't a valid question. It's not like you can shove money into a slot and make technical problems go away. They're not going to hire 50 more programmers to stamp out a single bug.

A more appropriate question to ask is, "How complex is this bug?" But that doesn't really get so many clicks, does it?

Their stuff downloads just fine here.

By grub • Score: 4, Funny • Thread
Oh wait...

National Geographic Recognizes New 5th Ocean

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotShareable Link
On World Oceans Day, Nat Geo cartographers say the swift current circling Antarctica keeps the waters there distinct and worthy of their own name: the Southern Ocean. National Geographic reports: Since National Geographic began making maps in 1915, it has recognized four oceans: the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, and Arctic Oceans. Starting on June 8, World Oceans Day, it will recognize the Southern Ocean as the world's fifth ocean. "The Southern Ocean has long been recognized by scientists, but because there was never agreement internationally, we never officially recognized it," says National Geographic Society Geographer Alex Tait. Geographers debated whether the waters around Antarctica had enough unique characteristics to deserve their own name, or whether they were simply cold, southern extensions of the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans.

While the other oceans are defined by the continents that fence them in, the Southern Ocean is defined by a current. Scientists estimate that the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) was established roughly 34 million years ago, when Antarctica separated from South America. That allowed for the unimpeded flow of water around the bottom of the Earth. The ACC flows from west to east around Antarctica, in a broad fluctuating band roughly centered around a latitude of 60 degrees south -- the line that is now defined as the northern boundary of the Southern Ocean. Inside the ACC, the waters are colder and slightly less salty than ocean waters to the north.

Extending from the surface to the ocean floor, the ACC transports more water than any other ocean current. It pulls in waters from the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans, helping drive a global circulation system known as the conveyor belt, which transports heat around the planet. Cold, dense water that sinks to the ocean floor off Antarctica also helps store carbon in the deep ocean. In both those ways, the Southern Ocean has a crucial impact on Earth's climate. [...] For now, by fencing in the frigid southern waters, the ACC helps keep Antarctica cold and the Southern Ocean ecologically distinct. Thousands of species live there and nowhere else. By drawing attention to the Southern Ocean, the National Geographic Society hopes to promote its conservation.

Bring back Pluto!

By Black Parrot • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

We don't want a new ocean; we want Pluto back.

Re:They're a joke

By bws111 • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Nobody 'bought out a highly respected organization'. The National Geographic Society is a charitable organization made up of scientists and educators. The National Geographic CHANNEL is a joint operation between the NGS (27%) and Disney (73%). Disney runs the channel, with SOME of the content provided by NGS.

Re:They're a joke

By I've Got Three Cats • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

We need to distinguish between National Geographic Partners LLC with the National Geographic Society. The former is majority owned by Disney and is responsible for all commercial products. This includes TV, print, and events.

The National Geographic Society is a separate non-profit entity, although what their actual purpose is now seems unclear. They may just be a shell organization who owns part of National Geographic Partners LLC.

There is only one ocean.

By ElizabethGreene • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
If you ask a fish, there is only one ocean. It is dotted with a few small land masses, but they are of no real consequence. There's a map that shows this in an interesting way. The earth as seen by a fish

Re:We are meant to be unifying the planet.

By fred6666 • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

People forget that the USA is a federation of independent nations.

And this is for a good reason: it isn't. States are nowhere close from being "independent nations". First, they are not independent, and last, they are not nations.

El Salvador Becomes First Country To Adopt Bitcoin as Legal Tender After Passing Law

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotShareable Link
El Salvador has become the first country to adopt bitcoin as legal tender. Lawmakers in the Central American country's Congress voted by a "supermajority" in favor of the Bitcoin Law, receiving 62 out of 84 of the legislature's vote. CNBC adds: "The purpose of this law is to regulate bitcoin as unrestricted legal tender with liberating power, unlimited in any transaction, and to any title that public or private natural or legal persons require carrying out," the law reads. Prices can now be shown in bitcoin, tax contributions can be paid with the digital currency, and exchanges in bitcoin will not be subject to capital gains tax.


By AmiMoJo • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Ironic that the very next story is about CO2 reaching the highest level of 4 million years.

Bitcoin, the environmental disaster

By nicolaiplum • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Meanwhile the next article down from this one is "Carbon Dioxide Reaches Highest Level In 4 Million Years"

With the energy to run Bitcoin ever-increasing (inherent in the design of Bitcoin), it is now as much energy as a medium-sized country (Norway or Argentina):

Bitcoin mining produces 22M tons of CO2 each year, with entire fossil-fuel power stations devoted to it (

Bitcoin is a bad economic idea, a really terrible environmental idea, and used only for value speculation or criminal transactions.

Bitcoin delenda est.

In practice?

By HetMes • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
How does that work if you want to buy a loaf of bread? How long does that take these days? Who picks up the transaction cost?

a banana republic?

By FudRucker • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
i doubt it has a stabilizing effect, it will just give drug dealers & smugglers a place to do business and launder money, and then eventually lead to a proxy war or all out invasion by the US Armed Forces for some other reason, (bitcoin/financial criminal harbor & haven?)

Kick El Salvador out of banking system

By 140Mandak262Jamuna • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
The bit coin transactions are public till they are digested into the block-chain. We have enough storage to save all the original transactions for ever. All the transactions between wallets are public. All you need is one slip, and tie the wallet to a real identity we can find all transactions. This is how the colonial pipe line ransom was tracked. There are services that mix up the transactions to make it difficult to track.

Adding an entire nation and its economy to the mingling service is exactly want the drug lords and criminals want. The right response should be to treat El Salvador as a failed nation and a simple bit coin obfuscator service and kick them out of world banking system.